Saturday, May 23, 2015

I don't know where I've been...

Month: May
Spent: $27.67
Earned: Not participating

It is Memorial Day weekend in the States, so I thought a collage was in order.  This is my family during World War II:

On the left is the home front, my Grandparents, my Aunt Linda and my Dad. On the right from top left to bottom right, are my: Aunt Hazel; and, Uncles Dale, Bob, and Dick (thanks to my cousin Dewey's Facebook page for the photos).  My Dad went on to a 30-year career in the Army, but I don't have any official photos of him in uniform. The only one I could find was of him and my mother at my sister's wedding.  It didn't scan very well at all - he is definitely not that ruddy or shocked looking (although it was right before the wedding so maybe he was a bit shocked).

So, when I last blogged (a month ago!!!), I had great hopes of keeping up with all my check-ins and tearing through the stitching. Um, yeah, not so much. I would love to tell you that I was working on something with great socially redeeming value, but honestly, I have no idea what I was doing that took all my time.  That is not totally true, my parents came to visit a couple of weeks ago - Thanks for coming Mom and Dad!!!

I will not be able to catch up on all the check-ins I missed, so will get the ones that are due soon. The first is
Simple and easy - try to stitch from your stash as much as you can. Each month you get a $25 budget (I'm tracking in US Dollars but you can convert to your local currency) and what you don't spend does roll over. Well for the first time in a long time, I bought something this month!!! It hasn't arrived yet, but I am going to count it and will show you when it arrives. So for May:

Balance forward: $100
Budget: $25
Available $125
Spent: $27.67
To June: $97.33

I had three new starts from stash:

This is Rosewood Manor's contribution to The Sampler Life's SAL. It is stitched with the DMC conversion:

A couple years ago, I stitched 99 by Ink Circles for my son. During the stitching I showed my DNephew the photo and h really liked it, so I started one for him this morning. It is stitched on 32-count Vintage Buttercream from Lakeside Linens with DMC.

And finally, while my parents were visiting, my Mom was going through her stitching bag and asked if I wanted to stitch this for her:

It is Just Nan's Swan Lake. It is stitched on a 28-count Dark Teal Green cashel with DMC and the included beads. Technically it's not my stash, but it is a start from stash.

On other stitching.  I didn't get Santa's beard on Santa's Magic by Mirabelia, finished as I'd hoped, but I did get from here:

To here - I very much dislike stitching with Wisper thread!!!:

I also put a bit of time into Christmas Presence from HAED.  He went from here:

To here:

And finally, I'll do my check-in for:

I am using my blocks from The Sampler Life's SAL as my Smalls SAL each month. I showed the finished block above, and here are all four blocks together:

The weather for this weekend is just too beautiful (upper-70s/low-80s, very low humidity, light breeze - pretty close to perfect) to spend much time inside, so I'm not sure I'll get too much stitching done over the next 2 days, but Monday is supposed to start being summery which means hot, hazy and humid - no fun for working outside, so maybe then.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April Stich from Stash and an early Small report

Month: April
Amount Spent: $0
Amount Earned: $0 (I'm not claiming earnings for finishes

More on the above a bit later.  WHEW!! I finally unpacked my suitcase Saturday and, unlike previous weeks, I put it away instead of just setting it aside. I made my last scheduled work trip last week and had a wonderful time in Maine. In addition to the usual sewerage and water treatment plants (I won't post any photos of those here), we were taken past Stephen King's house in Bangor.

While the house is beautiful, the design of the front gate and fence are the real highlights and yes, that is the last of the 100+ inches of snow that Bangor received this winter.

Because I have been doing so much traveling, I haven't been doing a lot of stitching and because I haven't been doing a lot of stitching, I haven't had any need to do any buying, so my April Stitch from Stash report looks exactly like my March report.  SFS is hosted by Mel at Epic Stitching and is designed to help us keep our stash stitching in check. You are given a $25 budget each month and what we don't use rolls over to the next month. You can also, if you choose, get additional credit for finishes. I am not taking advantage of that option, but it is a nice perk. My tally so far is:

Carried forward:  $75
 April budget: $25
Available: $100
Spent: $0
To May: $100

I had one start (and a finish) from stash:

This is the March installment of The Sampler Life's SAL. It's from Tam's Creations. Here it is with the other two blocks:

The next installment will be released next week. We received an email from the moderator and she said it will be a monochrome design, not something I have done a lot of, so I am excited to see and stitch it.

Santa's Magic from Mirabilia made it's appearance in the rotation and I was able to squeeze in a few hours of work on it.

Here is where it was:

And here it is as of today:

I think I will keep it on the stand for a while longer. I would like to get the Wisper in the beard done before I put it away.

We have plans to have the boat's annual safety inspection done tomorrow morning. I hope it doesn't take too long, as I want to get home and put some stitches in Shakespearean Fantasy or Christmas Presence.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


I barely had time to settle into March!! I was in San Antonio Texas last week and flew over some of the same parts of the country as when I flew to Seattle apparently the airlines believe that the most direct way to fly from Richmond Virginia to San Antonio Texas is by way of Chicago a couple of weeks ago and there was much more brown and green land then frozen and white, so winter is finally loosening its grip. I am heading up to Maine in a week, so will probably be back in the freezing and white but know I will be coming home to warm and the knowledge that that is my last scheduled trip for a while.

Despite my best intentions, I have not done a great job of being timely with my SAL check-ins. I am pretty sure I am late for at least two and will probably give them a pass. That leaves three for today's post, HAP, YOTA and WIPocalypse. Fortunately, I have projects that are doing double and in this case, triple duty. With that, here are the SALs:

The 2015 HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches and highlights all those huge projects, defined by Stacy as "the smallest of the dimension of the stitch count is 300", you are or want to stitch and maybe even finish. Shakespearean Fantasy is my HAP for 2015 and 2016 and, and, and...

YOTA is a fun, non-stress SAL hosted by Pull the Other Thread. Just focus on stitching, and maybe finishing, some of those WIPs that may be plaguing you and post on the first Saturday of the month, what could be easier?

And last, but not least, WIPocalypse which is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings. As with YOTA, it's a non-stress, stitch and report type SAL. Melissa also gives us topics for each month, April's is: Which speciality stitches do you love doing on projects? Which do you dread? I have done a variety of speciality stitches and like the challenge they all present. I love Rhodes stitches of any kind - they are used quite frequently in Chatelaine pieces and I like the texture they add. Another stitch I really like but don't see a lot is bullion knots. The one stitch I will go out of my way to avoid is Queen stitch. Despite years of trying and hours of practice, I can not get them to lay right and have just about given up on them. Now that I have said that, the next pattern I pull out of my stash will probably be FULL of them!!

And here are pictures:

My WIPocalypse and YOTA projects can be found in the WIPocalypse and YOTA project list and 2015 stitching plan tab. From that project list, I stitched on Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine, Spring in the Air by Just Nan, Holly and Hearts Sampler by Lizzie*Kate, Christmas Presence by HAED and Shakespearean Fantasy also from HAED.

Updated photos of Secret Victorian Garden can be seen in my blog post here.  My progress on Shakespearean Fantasy and Holly and Hearts Sampler can be seen here. And Christmas Presence went from here:

to here:

Elegant Doily, despite my best intentions, did not make it onto the frame for its week in the rotation and I haven't decided if I will just skip it this round or push everything else back a week. I have a feeling that if I allow myself to skip it this time, I will do it again next time and the next and I will never finish it. I am going to work on the new block for The Sampler Life's Yahoo group SAL today, a blackwork pattern from Tam's Creations and decide later what I will do with the doily.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stitching Smalls from Stash

Month:  March
Spent: $0
Earned: $0

I'll go into that in a minute, but right now - I am not entirely sure where the last two weeks went.  I do remember helping the in-laws do some yard work last weekend, but other then that? No idea.

I do have SALs to check-in on and some additional stitching to show.

First up is my Stitch from Stash update.  Stitch from Stash is hosted by Mel at Epic Stitching and is a challenge, some months more than others, to keep a lid on our stash spending. We are given a budget of $25 a month, so it's more a diet than a fast, which rolls over so by the end of SFS there could be plenty for a good stashing binge.  My tally so far this year is:

Carried forward:  $50
March budget: $25
Available: $75
Spent: $0
To April: $75

I had one start from stash, Faby Reilly's Wild Rose Square. I also had two finishes, the same wild rose square and Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts Sampler - I'm going to show it again, because I am so happy to see it finished.

And there was stitching several WIPs, Christmas Presence, Spring in the Air (a photo is my last post), and Secret Victorian Garden.

Christmas Presence by HAED went from here:

to here:

Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden went from here:

to here:

And Faby Reilly's Wild Rose Square went from here:

To finished:
Stitched on Lakeside Linens Vintage Light Examplar with DMC and Delica beads (the pattern called for bright gold beads, but I liked these better)

Wild Rose Square is my March Smalls SAL piece.  Heather at Stitching Lotus hosts the Smalls SAL. You get to decide what a small is. I will be doing The Sampler Life's Yahoo sampler SAL blocks for my smalls this year, so mine are all 50X50

It is not a style that I would normally do, but that's the great thing about this SAL, you get a chance to try out different designers without a huge investment in either supplies or time. Here they are together:

As this is my off Friday, I will be working on my two HAED pieces, Christmas Presence and Shakespearean Fantasy. Tomorrow will be a Chatelaine day and Sunday Elegant Doily will be making it's appearance in the rotation again.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness and a finish

It's time for March's

Jo at Serendipitous Stitching hosts this SAL. As Jo said, "I am sure we have all benefited from the generousity of our fellow bloggers and here is your chance to show your appreciation for that generousness by doing what we do best - stitching and blogging about it!".  I have two pieces that fit the items in the list perfectly and one that I am shoehorning into the list.
The first piece is also a finish, Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts Sampler

The Hubs gave the patterns and threads to me for our anniversary last year.  It is stitched on a 28-count Silkweaver Fabric solo from my stash. There are a number of "artistic license" items on this piece, so if you are stitching or have stitched it, yes, mine is different. 

The second piece is Shakespearean Fantasy from HAED. This pattern was gifted to me by Pull the Other Thread and is my first HAED piece I never do anything by half.  Here is where it was on my last GG check-in:

And here is where I left it last week:

A bit of green, a bit more dark navy and some more black.

And the third piece is Wild Rose Square by Faby Reilly. It is the second block in The Sampler Life's Yahoo groups SAL. I'm going to argue that, as a freebie, it is a gift from the designer...

Stitched on 28-count Vintage Light Examplar with DMC
 I have never stitched anything by this designer, but I am enjoying this square very much.

I also had progress on Christmas Presence from HAED. As this is a freebie SAL, I can shoehorn this one into the SAL too.

Just Nan's Spring in the Air was on the frame this week and it went from here:

To here:

Spring in the air certainly defines our weather today. I have been working in the yard most of the afternoon, pruning roses and generally picking up. Once I finish picking up the pruned bits, Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden is going on the frame and I plan to get a few hours of stitching in this afternoon and evening.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Another week

Around here, another week means another round of snow. We were in the 50s on Wednesday and the snow from the previous storms was just about gone and Spring was getting ready to, well, spring.  Then the temperatures started falling, the rain started freezing and it was snowing again. We ended up with a very nice layer of ice under about 5" of snow. This is so unusual for this area for March. It will be interesting to see what summer has in store for us.

I am late for two check-ins and early for one so far this month. Fortunately, they all involve the same projects, so three check-ins, one set of pictures!!

The first is for the HAP SAL.  The 2015 HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches and highlights all those huge projects, defined by Stacy as "the smallest of the dimension of the stitch count is 300", you are or want to stitch and maybe even finish this year.  Shakespearean Fantasy certainly qualifies as a HAP and I do want to make some progress on it, so joining this SAL made perfect sense.  Here's where I left off:

This will be going on the frame sometime this afternoon for some concentrated stitching.

The second check-in is for WIPocalypse.  Melissa at Measi's Musings created and hosts this SAL. In addition to Shakespearean Fantasy,

Christmas Presence

and Holly and Hearts Sampler
Sooooo close
are on my WIPocalypse list. Melissa also gives us a question/topic to discuss each month. This months is: If money - and time - were not limiters, what projects would be on your stitching bucket list?  I have such a large stash that time is my biggest stitching enemy so if it were no longer a limiter, I would stitch all my stash, starting with my Chatelaines. Around 2040, At some point, it would all be stitched and sent off to Jill Rensel for framing, then it would be time to shop.  The items on my wish list tab would be first and then the Thea Gouverneur city kits.  The Sistine Chapel from HAED  recently caught my eye and would certainly be part of my stashing experience as would the recent gingerbread buildings from The Victoria Sampler. I think I would also plan a trip to Picture This Plus to stock up on fabric. I would also pay a ridiculous price on Ebay for Blackbird Designs Blessings be Thine. While it's not a project, I would love to attend a stitching retreat.

The one SAL that I am on time for is YOTA. YOTA is hosted by Pull the Other Thread and is a no stress, stitch on something in hopes of finishing it SAL. All three of my WIPocalypse pieces are also YOTA pieces, so no new photos.

Stitching OAAT (one at a time) is not working well for me, so I plan to start back up with my rotation this weekend. So, on Sunday, Just Nan's Spring in the Air  will go on the frame.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Long week and a check-ins

I travel fairly frequently for work, but it is usually Monday through Friday. My trip last week was Sunday through Friday and that extra day was huge. Combined with the three-hour time difference and the 12+ hour days, that extra day just about did me in. There was no blog reading, or much of anything at all for that matter. I would get back to the hotel and be asleep before 8:00. BUT I did get to see a fair bit of the state of Washington -it's on my list of places to go back to so that I can actually do all the touristy things - I did tour four sewage treatment plants (do I have a great job or what?!?), but most folks don't have those on their list of places to go and things to see when they're on vacation (or any other time I imagine).

I should be home for a few weeks before I head out again, so maybe I can catch up on my blog reading (which is probably all I will be doing as I am so far behind that I don't think I will be able to leave comments), stitching and reading.

I did finish up on piece before I left and it is my February

entry. Here is the completed Janie Hubble Designs contribution to The Sampler Life's Yahoo Group's SAL:

The pin is a placement reference for the next block, which should be released tomorrow.  I don't know which designer has done March's block, but I am looking forward to seeing and stitching it.

If you are interested in participating, the SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus. You should be able to click on the badge above or in the sidebar and go to her site.

And one last SAL/Blog hop for the month is

DESIGN allows us to highlight a designer each month, all we have to have is a current WIP. This month, I'm going with Lizzie*Kate. Linda is not a new designer, she's been designing for the cross stitch market since 1996, but she consistently puts out new and fun designs. The one I am currently stitching is Holly and Hearts Sampler.    This is the finished piece from her website.  This is the fourth or fifth Lizzie*Kate piece I have stitched and I have an equal number in my stash and several others on my wish list. Her color choices could be described as non-traditional but the colors all work well together. I guess whimsical best describes her style. Her pieces range from Snippets (5"X5" or smaller) to larger pieces. Many of her pieces use over-dyed threads and buttons and charms, but DMC substitutions are included and the charms, while cute, are only extras and not major parts of the design. She has a number of kits which I have found to be very high quality with more than enough thread to finish the piece. If you are looking for a fun stitch, this is really the designer for you.