Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trip and TUSAL

Despite the traffic, going and coming home, I had a wonderful trip. Seeing DSon was the highlight of the trip not that the training didn't go wonderfully and it was great to see all my former workmates, but they don't stand a chance in the "which was better" contest. We had dinner together twice and a good long chat Friday night. Not sure when I'll see him again as I think he's going to spend Christmas with his Grandparents and it's our turn to spend Christmas with the Hubs' family.

I didn't do as much shopping as I'd planned, which was okay as I did some other errands but I did make it to ABC Stitch - twice. Had a lovely time looking around - all the models, all the fibers and fabric, just inspiring. I did find Nora Corbett's Holly (bought the chart and some opalescent antique white fabric as well as the beads, I converted one to Delica but couldn't find a good match for the other and metallics, converted both Kreinik to Petite Treasure Braid) as well as Blackbird Designs Rose Garden I changed the fiber from Jakey Brown to GAST Faded Rose and Lizzie*Kate's Snowman 2010 (I'm planning to stitch this for my co-worker). I also picked up Little House Needleworks Pine Tree Inn but I want to make some changes to it so will be a while before I start stitching.

Burlington was wonderful! It had been almost 10 years since I'd been there and the changes were all positive. If you ever get a chance it's well worth the visit. I especially recommend the lemon-ginger truffles at Lake Champlain Chocolates.

Stitching? Well none happened on the trip, but I did finish the frame lines on BoaF before I left:

Spot is modelling my second TUSAL for this month:

There are bits of BoaF mystery and Socks and Underwear-Santa 2010 in there.

Suppose I need to work on my recap and goals for August. I'm starting a Chatelaine SAL over on The Speciality Stitchers Yahoo group and will be working on Hawaiian Garden so need to pull that out and get it ready as well as finishing up the other things I said I was going to do in July.

Last but definitely not least - thank you for your comments and to the new followers. I certainly never thought that people would actually have any interest in what I was posting as I started all this to help me keep track of my life and stitching. Thank you everyone.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On the Road Again

Yes, I'm on my way away again. This time Burlington, Vermont by way of Concord, New Hampshire. I'm driving to Concord tomorrow, having dinner with DSon, a good night's sleep and then on to Burlington for three days of training. I'll reverse everything on Friday and Saturday. I've got a list of places to stop while I"m there, the bead store in Concord, ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham (there's a quilt store right next door but I don't remember the name), King Arthur Flour, Onion River Co-op and a few more. I'm planning to stop into my old office although I think everyone will be at the training and have lunch with a couple of friends. Aside from the drive, anywhere from 10 to 12 hours depending on the traffic, I'm looking forward to the trip.

No progress on Socks and Underwear-Santa 2010, but there is some on BoaF:
I may finish the straight portions of the border today, but I do still have to finish packing, so I'm not sure how much stitching I'll get done.

Oh, I have new stash!!

Salem and Spot picking out their favorites
 Mom is slowly getting rid of her stash as she's just not stitching anymore and she gave me all this when I saw her in Michigan. Try as I might, I couldn't get a picture without cats in it! It was all nice and neat prior to the cats picking out their favorite pieces. Salem picked as his favorite, rather appropriately, The Cricket Collection's Three Gables (pattern, fabric, overdyes and buttons). Spot chose Lizzie*Kate's Not a Creature was Stirring (pattern, fabric and 4 of the overdyes). There is also a couple of skeins of Perle cotton, a Dimension's Christmas kit, a Lavender & Lace pattern (don't remember the name and it's all put away) and a piece of orangy/rusty fabric.

And two of my orders from Karen at Wasatch Needlecraft  arrived:
The third part for BoaF and part one of Blackbird Designs Loose Feather's Summer. The fabric is large enough for all three patterns. The threads are for part one only. I do hope that some of them can be used in later parts. I have one more thing coming from Karen, that may be here today, but it is just too HOT to think about walking to the mailbox to check. The heat index when I left work yesterday I work in Washington DC was 121! It was so hot and humid, it hurt to breath. There was a little breeze but all that really did was make it feel like walking in a convection oven. Today is supposed to be worse! As I said back in May, please remind me in January or February how hot it was this summer.

Friday, July 15, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

I love travelling, I really do, but there is nothing better than coming home and settling back into normal or what passes for my normal. I got back from Michigan early Tuesday evening and did very little until today. It was wonderful seeing my parents DDad looks GREAT! After all the drama this spring, I was a bit nervous and my sister and her family. DSis and DBIL did a wonderful job with the family reunion/picnic. The newest family member was there - my cousin's 2 month old grandson - as usual, I can't remember the baby's name.  Other than the reunion and all the craziness that went along with getting ready, we pretty much just hung out at DSis's. Art in the Park (second largest craft show in the state) was taking place in downtown Plymouth and we walked the entire thing on Friday.  A wicked line of thunderstorms went through Monday - 60 mph winds, torrential rain, trees down, power out, etc. Fortunately, no major damage at DSis's just lots of branches down BIG branches, a couple of them were 6" around.

I did okay driving the truck. Neither of my driving days were busy travel days so there weren't a lot of cars in any of the parking areas, so parking was a non-issue. I will say it was nice to sit up above a lot of the  other vehicles and actually see what was going on in front of me.

DSis's deck was perfect for sitting and stitching until the mosquitoes came out. I took Lizzie*Kate's Socks and Underwear - Santa 2010 with me and got to here:
I'm not thrilled with my stitches on the face, but it seems to be the color and not my technique, so I'll have to live with it - maybe the final wash and iron will even them out a bit

Ran a few errands this morning and did 4 or 5 hours of yard work this afternoon. Lots of trimming I got to use the big gas powered trimmer, weeding and raking - things grew very quickly the last few weeks. DH got most of the yard mowed before the tractor overheated, so hopefully it will get done tomorrow. We've had amazingly beautiful weather the last couple of days - temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s with fairly low humidity so very comfortable. It would be wonderful if it could continue, but it is Virginia in the summer after all, so starting Sunday it's supposed to get into the 90s with higher humidity again.

Had an email from Karen at Wasatch Needlecraft telling me the third chart for With thy Needle & Thread's Birds of a Feather mystery is on its way to me. That immediately started a guilt trip as I've only finished about half of part 1. Fortunately it's not a race and my guilt trips tend to be short.
Today is my last vacation day. Two weeks off has been heavenly. I'm feeling relaxed and while not totally ready to go back to work on Monday I've had a few emails from folks at work and things are not any better than when I left I'm not feeling totally ill at the thought. Of course, I'm in the office next week and travelling to Vermont the week after (and stopping in New Hampshire to see DS) so I know I'll only have to put up with the miserabliness for a short time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just a Post Before I Go...

Thank you for all your kind comments on my stitching/finishes. Jo the candles have the cutest, littlest brass star charms for the flames. As far as the stash, well I'm well past SABLE I've been collecting for almost 30 years, but this one just struck a chord with me.

Take a run over to Along the Paths of Pins and Needles for a really cute Halloween chart freebie. Berit has just started her own design company, Jaunty Fox Designs. If her others are as cute as this one, she'll be a hit! She's also having a give-away for a really cute scissor keeper.

And before I forget, there are some other really great give-aways happening out there. It's Christmas in July at Seasons of My Mind and Purls of Wisdom is celebrating summer with a really cute Lizzie*Kate Life's a Beach give-away. Deb at Threadgatherer is having an amazing give-away - an Accuquilt Go! Baby cutter! Would go a long way to reducing my fabric stash if I could actually make them into the quilts I envision!

I have not been doing as much stitching this holiday as I'd expected, but I have been plowing through the reading! My Kindle died a while back and I've been in major withdrawal. I was able to replace it and have been busily transferring and putting things in their proper places and reading! I do love that little gadget of course it has taken away from my stitching time on the train!

I have been finishing and stitching in between the reading and packing packing was easy as it's just me going. Two of four of my stitched, unfinished Secret Needle Night projects are now finished!

This is Happy New Year:

 It's finished as an easel:
This is a really great and easy finish - of course, I didn't have to cut out any of the pieces so that made it all the easier.

The green in the background is the inside of Silent Night which was done by guest designer Lizzie*Kate. I should have a finish on that today. The burgundy/red in the background is my "design wall". When we claimed this bedroom as the den, I put shelves in the closet for all most some of my craft supplies. Unfortunately the double sliding doors weren't the best for access, so I took them down and hung up curtains. They serve a dual function of ease of access and also a place to hang up and admire my finishes. It's also served as a guilt-wall lately as I look at the things that need to be finished-finished.

The next finish finish is Tumbling Leaves:
 It's finished off as a door hanger. I'd never done the ruched ribbon edging before, but will certainly use again as it was super easy. I really loved the backing fabric:
Yes it's a craptastic picture as are most of mine, but there's a bit of gold sparkle among the pumpkins and gourds.

And last but not least my minimal progress on Birds of a Feather mystery:

My bags are packed, the list of last minute stuff is made, the truck is cleaned out I am NOT looking forward to driving the truck! I drive a small car on a daily basis, the truck is almost twice as big and I'm just not comfortable in small spaces with it (like in parking lots), but my car has almost 170,000 miles on it and the Hubs' truck has about 25,000. He's more comfortable with me in a newer vehicle for the 9 or so hour drive so in the interest of harmony... and filled up. Just need a good night's sleep and I'm off to Michigan for a few days.

And... I have two more finishes!  This is "Silent Night" designed by Lizzie*Kate for The Silver Needle's Secret Needle Night. It's stitched using all the supplied threads and fabric and finished with the "Magic by Mona" finishing kit into a card box, although I'm thinking of filling it with candy canes.

Maybe it's the bow, but I swear this is straight, the exact same number of threads left to right and top to bottom, I don't know why it looks crooked.

And last, but not least, Ruddy's Ready for Christmas:

He's finished as an easel also. The bow is a bit worse for wear after spending a year in an envelope, but hopefully it'll settle out soon.  And *that* is that for one of my July goals! I have finished-finished all my Secret Needle Night projects! There are now only 4 unfinished finished pieces on my "wall". I've got ideas for them, but they will have to wait a bit.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


It's July, which means the year is half over! Where in the world is the time going? I know where the next two weeks are going - holiday!! For the first time in better than 10 years, I'm taking two weeks off in the summer! I'm going to a family reunion (my Dad's side) on the 9th in Michigan, but other than getting there, back and spending a few days with my parents and my sister and her family there is NOTHING on my to do list. I am soooo looking forward to the time off.

Lots of stitching stuff this post...

First on the list, my recap of June. My goals were:
  • to finish two more rows on both Santaberry Pudding and Just Nan's Christmas Elegance
  • finish part one of With thy Needle & Thread's Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler.
Hmmm, well I finished stitching Santaberry Pudding and mailed it off to Jill for framing, did nothing on Christmas Elegance and did not finish part one of BoaF. I'm not sure the finish balances the other two, but I'm not really stressing over it.

Next, goals for July:
  • Finish part one of BoaF
  • Stitch two rows on Christmas Elegance
  • Finish Lizzie*Kate's Socks and Underwear - Santa 2010
  • Finish-finish the last four Secret Needle Night projects
  • Finish parts 3 and 4 of Tree of Stitches
Big goals, but I've got lots of time this month famous last words!

Next up, a FINISH!!

Holiday Joys
Homespun Elegance
27 count linen
DMC floss
Other than a counting error that was fudged into okayness, and leaving off the year and my initials, this is as charted.

Next is a start. Lizzie*Kate's Socks and Underwear - Santa 2010 I'm doing one for DS, DNephew and DNiece. I'm deciding between flat-folds and cubes for the final finishing.

Socks and Underwear - Santa 2010
New Khaki Lugana with DMC
Last but not least, my progress on With Thy Needle & Thread's Birds of a Feather mystery sampler.

Karen at Wasatch Needlecraft is having a 4th of July sale. The pattern for this:
was listed on the sale page and when I clicked to see it, she had the option to buy the fabric and threads at a reduced price (reduced more for the pattern), so being the weak person that I am when it comes to stitching temptation, I bought the "kit".

Phew! I'm worn out just from typing! I'll probably post progress pics throughout the week, but no long-winded major up date for a while, but of course, it is me and one can never tell.


Here's my TUSAL for July's first new moon:

There are bits of Homespun Elegance's Holiday Joys, Shepherd's Bush's Santaberry Pudding, With thy Needle & Thread's Birds of a Feather mystery, Abi Gurden's Tree of Stitches and Lizzie*Kate's Sock and Underwear - Santa 2010