Sunday, June 19, 2016

IHSW Check-In

Not as much stitching as I hoped the weather was just too nice, but hermitting happened this weekend. In addition to the three pieces I showed in my last post, I worked on Christmas Soldiers from Just Nan and am happy to report that the cross stitching is done.  Specialty stitches, beading and the name tag are left, but definitely in the home stretch.

I think I am going to use a forest green for the back and trim, but will see what I can find once I get to that point.

The next piece I worked on was Tiny Tiger from Artecy Cross Stitch:

I'm not sure how this style block will fit with the others, but I did sign up for a mystery sampler block project to try different designers.  This is the April block for The Sampler Life group SAL.  I have  just fallen behind on this project and do need to buckle down and get on with it again.

WHEW!!  Two posts in one weekend!  Not something to get used to, but it sure does feel good!!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness and IHSW

My blogging is slipping again.  I'm not sure what is going on, I take pictures and even have posts written, at least in my head, but they never seem to get out of my head.  Something to work on. 

It is the third weekend of the month and that means !  Yeeaahhh!!  Hop on over to Random Ramblings to sign up.  What?  You haven't heard of International Hermit & Stitch Weekend? Click here and you can read all the "rules" (more like guidelines) and then sign up.  As Joyce says, "the more the merrier" and who can say "no" to a SAL that encourages you to sit and stitch?

I started my weekend a little early and have stitched on three pieces already.  Fortunately for me and my inability to keep up with my blog the three pieces also fit into my Gifted Gorgeousness check-in! 

You haven't heard of Gifted Gorgeousness either?   Oh my. Well, you can find out everything you need to know and sign up on Jo's blog, Serendipitous Stitching.  This SAL gives us an opportunity to thank those wonderfully generous stitchers that have gifted us with patterns, fabric, threads or anything else stitching related.  We can also highlight pieces we are giving as gifts.

The first of my three pieces is It's About Time by Cireo Marchetti and charted by Heaven and Earth Designs.  The pattern was gifted to me by Kate at Needles and Haystacks

I think I will have a column finish soon.

Yesterday afternoon I worked on Christmas Presence by Myles Pinkney, also charted by HAED.

The pattern was given as part of the 2015 HAED SAL, so I'm counting as a gift from the designer/company.  Not sure if what I put in is woodwork or curtain shadow but it did fill in very quickly.

Last night I worked on Shakespearean Fantasy and yes, it's another HAED.  The pattern was a gift from Pull the Other Thread

Yes, more black.  I have the rest of this column and then a partial column and I will have a page finish.  This piece more than the others show me that my rotation is working as it took almost a year for my first page finish and this one will have taken about six months.  I know that's not stellar speed compared to lots of folks, but it is only out for a couple hours a week, so not too bad.  I do need to work on my rotation and get these large pieces worked into it somehow, but I will probably leave that for next year as I plan to have all the obligation stitching out of the way by the end of this year.

Just Nan's Christmas Soldiers will be on the frame for the rest of today and tomorrow afternoon.  I have to decide which smalls piece I will pull out as I would like to have a finish this month and I do still have enough time to start and finish a small piece.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


June?  I seem to have lost May somewhere.  If you see it, please let it know I'm looking for it.  Those two weeks that I thought would interrupt my stitching actually threw my entire life schedule off and I am just now getting back to it.  That and the weather turned nice, so the siren call of reading on the deck was difficult to ignore.

I did get some stitching done but that darn deck and all those books slowed me down considerably.  Before I get to the stitching,  Secret Victorian Garden came home from the framer yesterday.  I am thrilled with it:

The outer mat is a bit lighter than the photo shows and has a bit of texture to it.  The frame was a wonderful find.  Face on it has a beading detail that adds a bit of texture and color, but edge on,

there is an echo of the outer boarder.  Just a little unexpected extra. 

I also did some stash shopping.  Yes, me.  I know that isn't a common statement but I could not resist this:

I want to stitch EVERY design in this booklet.  I was first attracted to the dove and house in the upper right corner, but when I read that three out of print designs, Christmas Garden, Tis the Season and Blessings be Thine, were also included (Blessing be Thine had been on my wish list for years), I jumped right over and ordered it.  When I got it and looked at the rest, well, I fell hard and fast for all the other designs, so a very good purchase.

So, stitching...

Well, let's see...

Things are coming along on Christmas Soldiers and it is looking like a stocking:

I finished the flourish after I took this picture, so there is just a short stripe of ecru perle stitching and the toe left, oh and the name tag and some beads and a bit of metallic.  I would love to do a fancy finish like the cover model, but mine will be a bit plainer.

Staying with the Christmas theme, I finished the few stitches for a column finish and put a few stitches into a new column on Christmas Presence

I am looking forward to getting my rotation moving again so I can spend a bit more time with him.

I also had a column finish on Shakespearean Fantasy

All the stitches were in that green blob so I will be back to stitching black on Friday.

On It's About Time rather than stitch block by block, I did a modified cross country and carried on with a color down the column.

 I will have to see how many stitches I missed before I decide whether or not I will use this technique for an entire column.  This will be back on the frame Thursday evening, so hope to fill in lots of those empty spaces.

No classes or traveling this month, so hopefully I can really settle back into my stitching, and blog reading and writing.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Smalls SAL check-in and more

I'm a little late for the Smalls SAL.  Heather at Stitching Lotus hosts this SAL.  It's very easy to participate, pick a small (you get to decide what "small" is), stitch it and post on the last Thursday of the month.  I have been stitching blocks from The Sampler Life's SAL, but I still haven't picked colors for the March block, so I picked up Plum Street Samplers 12 Days of Christmas and stitched Seventh Day.

Here's the entire piece:

I will get back to The Sampler Life SAL this month, as I do need to catch up.

I spent Thursday evening filling in the missed stitches on It's About Time and have another column finish.

Two more columns and I will have a page finish. I am getting much faster with this style of chart, but I am still looking at years to finish a project - Glad I like my HAED charts.

Friday evening I worked on Shakespearean Fantasy and got to here:

I may be able to finish the column next time I put this one on the frame.

Just Nan's Christmas Soldiers was on the frame for the weekend.

A few more holly leaves, poinsettias and filler stitches were added.  There is one more poinsettia before the bottom of the stocking.  This is stitching up faster than I thought it would - still plenty to do, but I may have a finish in the next couple of months.

No week night stitching for the next two weeks as I have to go into the office every day to attend two training programs - they will finish off a certificate program I have been working on for a couple years, but all that commuting will have me worn out.  I was able to reschedule my compressed day off to a week from Monday but I have an early appointment so won't get to catch up on my sleep too much. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April WIPocalypse

I'm a few days late for the WIPocalypse check-in, but fortunately Melissa doesn't put a time limit on posting.  You can find out everything you need to know about WIPocalypse on Melissa's website Measi's Musings, but basically it's a reminder to give our WIPs some lovin' before we start something new.  Melissa also provides us with "Questions of the Month" so we can get to know each other.  This month's question is:  What do you listen to while stitching?  Most often I listen to audio books while I'm stitching.  I discovered them 18 months ago and love them.  If I'm not listening to a book, there is usually music on and occasionally the television.  If the television is on, it's usually on something that doesn't take a lot of active watching as I would rather concentrate on my stitching and not the show.

So WIP stitching...  three projects in my current rotation are on my WIPocalypse list - you can see the list in the "WIPocalypse Project List and 2016 Stitching Plan" tab up top there.

The three projects are:  Secret Victorian Garden; Shakespearean Fantasy; and, Christmas Presence.

I finally finished Secret Victorian Garden - I showed the finish photo in my last post, but I'll show it again.

Shakespearean Fantasy went from here:

I love how the black makes the greens pop.

Christmas Presence was here:

and today it's here:

Didn't quite finish the column, but will fill in those missing stitches and start a new column next week.
I also had progress on two other projects that are not on my WIPocalypse list, It's About Time and Christmas Soldiers.

IAT is now here:

Quite a few missing stitches in that column
and Christmas Soldiers is here:

Those stars in the middle are two different colors, they just aren't showing up too well.
All in all, it was a good stitching week.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

An IHSW check in and a finish

It was  this weekend and I officially participated for the first time in ages.  Joyce over at Random Ramblings hosts this SAL.  It takes place the third weekend of every month, so if you missed it this month you can catch it in May. 

My stitching weekend started Thursday night with It's About Time.  I added another 300 stitches.

The detail on this one still amazes me.

Friday's stitching was Shakespearean Fantasy

Not a lot of progress but I did finish all the green in the column and 150 or so more black stitches.

While I didn't get as much stitching time as I would have liked on Saturday and Sunday, I did finish
Secret Victorian Garden. 

I started this one on January 1, 2007 when it was called Mystery X.  I kept up with the monthly parts until August when I started packing for my move to Virginia.  It was in and out of the rotation, more out than in, for most of the next eight or so years, but The Hubs wanted me to enter something big in the needlework competition at the State Fair this fall, so out it came.
It is stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow Jobelan from Silkweaver with the called for threads and beads.  I think I bought the kit from Drema at Needlecraft Corner (they don't carry Chatelaine kits anymore but are a really good source for materials). 
The random project picker picked Winter Watergarden to take Secret Victorian Garden's spot once I get back to my regular rotation.  I will be back stitching Christmas Soldiers next weekend and now have two wedding samplers to finish for next year as DNiece called a couple of weeks ago to tell me she's engaged. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

I took pictures!

Yes, pictures were taken last week of my stitching, but the blog was not written.  I am also behind on my blog reading and commenting - staying off the computer is giving me lots of time for stitching but it is putting me so far behind on what everyone is doing.  

The plus side of my blog slump is that I am right on time for the Gifted Gorgeousness check-in.  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching created and hosts Gifted Gorgeousness as a way for us to thank the people that gifted us with something stitching related.  I have three pieces this month that I fit into this SAL.  First up is Christmas Presence.  I count this one because it was a freebie from Heaven and Earth Designs for their 2015 SAL and therefore, a gift.

I am a couple of columns away from a page finish and then just a small page away from a finish.

The next piece is It's About Time:

The pattern for this piece was gifted to me by Kate at Needle and Haystacks. Another couple of column on this one and I will have a page finish.

Shakespearean Fantasy's pattern was gifted to my by Pull the Other Thread:

There are some single stitches in the green area to finish off before I have a column finish on this one.  It's on the frame for its regular Friday night stitch so another column finish is very possible.

I have been spending the majority of my weekend time stitching Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden.  Before ordering more dark blue beads, I decided to go through my beading supplies and was thrilled to find a large box of them. So the most heavily beaded part, the center, is done (except for the bicones and cubes).  All that is left is the rest of the border, one corner, and all the big sparklies.  

Speaking of a weekend.  It is  this weekend.  Head over to Random Ramblings to sign up.  You haven't participated before? You are missing out.  IHSW is the one weekend a month you are encouraged, by stitchers around the world, to sit and stitch all weekend. I don't know how much stitching time I will get in as the weather is supposed to be beautiful and I will want to be outside, but I am aiming for a finish on SVG, so I do have an incentive.