Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the Old

Well, it's not really that old as I started stitching it a couple of days ago and it has only been in my stash for a couple of years so it is a mere infant, but it is my final finish for 2012.

Little House Needlework's Joy
Stitched on 28-count opalescent White with DMC and Mill Hill beads

I also emptied out my ORT jar into the official 2012 ORTament:

That photo is about as artistic as my photos get...

One last cat photo this year - you know how sometimes the packaging is played with more than the actual gift? I do not remember what this paper was sent with but Trouble thinks it is the best toy she has ever had.  She runs through it, buries herself in it and just generally makes a huge mess but it keeps her from attacking her brother and sister so I really don't complain about it - the look of impending attack is aimed at her brother, Salem, whose head you can just barely see at the bottom of the photo.

I plan to spend the rest of the evening preparing my New Year's Day start. Very happy and healthy new year to you and your families.

Friday, December 28, 2012

WIPocalypse Recap and a finish

I cleared out my January through November WIPocalypse tabs as it was getting a bit cluttered up top there, but you can see my December report and my 2012 recap in the tabs above or you can click on the December or 2012 and it should take you straight there.

One more finish for this year:

The pattern is from Cross Stitch World's blog.  There are a lot of biscornu patterns in May 2012 posts.  It's stitched on Silkweaver's 28-count opalescent Desert Sky with DMC. 

I am not sure what will be going on the frame now.  I should stay with the rotation but it was nice to start and finish something in just a few days, so I may pull some smalls out of the stash and work on them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Now I can show you

Now that all of the gifts have been opened I can show the stitching, finishing and crafting that I've done the last few weeks.

First is Lizzie*Kate's Christmas is Forever.  I bought it as a limited edition kit a number of years ago and finished it as a flat fold.

And once again, the photo is tipped on its side and I can't get it to rotate.

Next up is The Angels Sang from Little House Needleworks:

This is also finished as a flat-fold.

And finally I made these for DSon and the niblings thank you Jo for a wonderful new word:

Can't really tell from that photo?

Does this one help?

No?  It's a wallet made from:

Yep, duct tape!  Thought these would be a really cute and different way to give them their gifts.

Thank you all, once again, for all the thoughts and prayers for The Hubs. He is having more good days than bad now, although he did overdo a bit this weekend and is now paying for it. And I am doing my best not to say "I told you so". 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Things are looking up

Thank you all again for your wishes and prayers for The Hubs.  It has been a rocky week or two but things are looking up.  Not that they are moving quickly but they are moving in the right direction.

In addition to reading all of your wishes and comments, I had another huge bright spot in my week.   Nancy at the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is have an amazing series of give aways for the Christmas season and on the 11th day of December, I won floss!   The package arrived earlier this week and Oh MY was I ever blown over by her generosity!  This is what was in the package:

I have no idea why the photo is turned, but I can't seem to get it to turn but these are amazing skeins - no measly, scrawny bits of floss here, nope these are big, 20-yards-each skeins!  I have no idea what I'm going to stitch with them, but my mind is working on all sorts of possibilities.

In case you missed it, Heaven and Earth Designs has posted a freebie for Christmas.  It's a very cute Santa and mouse ornament.  It's only 150X150 stitches so compared to most of their designs it's small and looks like a great way to give their designs a try.

Still no stitching to show.  I have put a few stitches into a gift for the in-laws but not enough to show.  I am hoping that things will calm down enough this weekend to make some good progress.

Fortunately, while I haven't been able to concentrate on stitching, web surfing doesn't require a lot of thought process and sometimes you find little gems like this why can't I be around when something like this happens?:

Monday, December 17, 2012

What was I thinking?

I knew that I would be slammed with Christmas preparations and running after The Hubs, so I am not sure what made me think that signing up for the IHSW was a good idea.  While I finished all the cards, wrapping and baking, I did not put one stitch into anything.  I did pull the fabric and threads for a biscornu for the in-laws and should have that finished before next Christmas.  While I finished making the cards and got them all signed and into envelopes, I only mailed out about half of them - my address list is on my computer at work who thought that keeping the most current copy there was such a good idea??!!?!? and we had major connectivity issues all day long.  I think I'm just going to tell folks that I'm NOT late for 2012, I'm very early for 2013!

Thank you all again for the good wishes for The Hubs.  His recovery is, unfortunately, not going smoothly-  partially due to not following doctor's orders, and partially due to drug interactions/reactions which are causing some very strange behaviours yes I am an American English speaker, but that spelling somehow makes more sense to me, sort of like catalogue rather than catalog.  

As I mentioned in a previous post Melissa at Measi's Musings is hosting WIPocalypse 2013.  Sign ups are open here.  Just fun SAL.  She's added monthly themes for 2013.  I'm not sure how well I will be keeping up with the themes but I will give it a try.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Before It Gets Crazy Here at the Meadow

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers for The Hubs' surgery.  It has been a long week, just to provide too much information, he had an AVM (Arteriovenus Malformation) in his brain.  It wasn't causing any problems, but there is a 2% to 3% chance each year that it could bleed or rupture, so it was best to have it removed.  Because The Hubs has the luck he does, neither of the easy options were good options so he had surgery.  It took 7-1/2 hours for the actual surgery, which was a bit longer than had been anticipated but the surgeon is confident they got the entire malformation.  The Hubs will need an arteriogram to confirm but  that will be some months down the road.  He has had issues with pain management which have kept him in the hospital for a couple of days longer than expected - yes can you believe? brain surgery on Monday and he was physically ready to be discharged Friday morning?!?  His surgeon is just amazing. Hopefully he'll be discharged tomorrow although given how wonderful he is as a patient, it might be better for my health if he stayed a while longer.

I didn't start the little kit I put together as the light in the waiting room, ICU and his hospital room was not very good and the chairs were not at all comfortable for long waits - we had to be there at 5:30 AM and didn't leave until almost 6:00 PM, but I did "build" my little cottage from The Nutmeg Company.

I still need to stitch the bugle beads on the corners to hid that join and put a ribbon on the top for hanging but it is, for all intents and purposes, done.  I also stitched two Christmas gifts, but I can't show you those yet and caught up on several months of magazine reading.

Before the craziness began, I was able to finish Eightsome Reel:

I started this about five years ago as my "lunch stitch" but started walking at lunch and this fell by the wayside.  It feels good to have a mid-age WIP finished.  Actually this is young for my WIPs as I am fairly sure there's one in the box that is almost 20.

I am not anticipating too much stitching this week, in between catering to running after caring for The Hubs I will be cyberworking so that I don't get too far behind on things - fortunately this time of year is a bit slow at work so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bits of This, That and the Other

I have been remiss in welcoming and thanking my followers.  I really do appreciate that you take the time to read about my little corner of the world.

While blog reading, this caused immediate drooling caught my eye at the Bush Blog:

Hang a Shining Star from Sam Sarah Design Studio
Unknown Fabric and WDW fiber
I did a search and realized that I saw the release notice back in October.  It is charted to be stitched on WDW Morris Blue which seemed a bit bright at least to me for the piece

so I skimmed right over it.  It is amazing what a change in fabric can do for a piece.

Measi of Measi's Musings has decided to continue the WIPocalypse for 2013.  It's a fun, no stress SAL, so if you're interested click on over, sign ups should be open soon.  

On the stitching stand this week was:

Papillon Creations' Eightsome Reel
Stitched on 28-count Chai Tea Jobelan with a HDF conversion
I am so close to a finish on this, three rounds and a medallion, that I think I will keep it on the stand for the weekend rather than switch to the next piece in my rotation.  I'm not sure how much stitching time I will actually have, The Hubs is having major surgery on Monday, so I am prepping some pieces for finishing and kitting a small piece so that I have something to do in the waiting room and also for whatever time he's in the hospital. I don't imagine I will have too much time for stitching or finishing once he is home as he is the worst patient and will keep me running. And NO there will be no bell given to him for summoning purposes!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

One More Post

I hope those of you that celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our turkey was done an hour and a half early causing a bit of stress while trying to get everything else ready and on the table.  I don't know why I was surprised as it seems to have become a tradition for it to be done significantly earlier than the recipes all call for.  I have had the same problem in three different ovens, so it's not the oven.  I have used different roasting charts, so it's not the directions.  I have even called the turkey hotline and used their directions - still early.  Of course, as soon as I factor in the time difference, it will take two hours longer.

I took last week off, except for Friday, and had a very relaxing time.  I even had a good time at work yesterday as it was VERY quiet and I got a lot done.

I did some stitching last week - one I can't show right now and one I can.

Here's my progress on Chatelaine's Japanese Octagonal Box:



Hmmm, not a lot of progress but every stitch counts.  I haven't looked at my cards to see what will be on the stand this coming week, but as the day is fast coming to a close, I suppose I should take a look.

I am still mulling my 2013 project list.  Nicola at Stitching By a Cornish Seashore is hosting a Scarlet Letter Challenge next year.  While I love Scarlet Letter charts, I do not have any in my stash and I am on a stash diet so won't be buying any, but I will definitely be watching every one's progress.

Monday, November 19, 2012

IHSW Recap

This is my IHSW recap post.  Unfortunately, I planned rather poorly as I can't show you what I worked on as it is a Christmas gift, but I made great progress and with some luck there will be a finish tonight or tomorrow.

For a stitching photo you'll have to read my previous post, but what's a blog without a photo?  So here is one of my favorites of the critters:

from the wall:
Spot, Trouble and Salem
This is an older photo as they don't wear collars anymore - Spot figured out how to take hers off and then figured out how to take the others off so after a day or two of putting them back on, just to have her take them off again, still have not figured out how she worked out how to open the clasps we decided to leave them off.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Yes, it's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW) but this is not my progress post,  I will actually be participating and not just drooling over every one's projects for the first time in four or five months and will be posting my progress on Monday.

First, thank you everyone for the compliments on my finish.  Holly was really a fun stitch.  I had a long weekend and stitched away very happily on Chatelaine's Mystery XV and The Nutmeg Cottage's Gingerbread Collection Parma Violets.

I am very happy to report that I have another finish!!  Okay, the stitching is finished, I have not even read all the directions to turn it into the cute little house that will hang on my tree sometime in the future.

Here are the finished parts of the cottage:

I have some unexpected time off in the next couple of weeks and hope to have some time to finish-finish this.

And here is the before of Chatelaine's Mystery XV - Deep Blue Sea

And this is where I was Sunday evening:

Chatelaine's Mystery XV
Stitched on 32-count Summer Sky Jobelan with DMC and Rainbow Gallery's PTB
I did do a bit of additional stitching but as it is a gift, photos will have to wait.

I have this coming week off from work and have lots planned which means I will get almost none of those items done but lots of other things.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Unexpected Finish

Thank you all for the thoughts as Hurricane Sandy made her way up the east coast.  We were very fortunate, we were just far enough south to miss the worst of it.  Lots of wind, lots of rain, lots of flickering lights but no damage other than a couple of leaks but we think we've found the spot and are fixing it this weekend and the power was never off for long enough to even require us to reset the clocks.  My heart goes out to everyone that was in a more direct path of the storm.

Having a bit more stitching time than I had expected this week, I was able to finish Mirabilia's Holly

Here she is before:

And here she is finished:

She is stitched on 32-count opalescent Antique White Belfast with DMC.  I switched out the called for Kreiniks for Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid and the Mill Hill beads for Delicas.  I also changed up the back stitching and beading on the wings from the called for greens to silvery-blue as I wanted a frosty look. 

 I am going off my rotation for this week as I want to start and hopefully finish a Christmas gift or two and will start back on it next weekend when The Nutmeg Company's Parma Violets will be back on the frame so to speak - I finished a piece in my rotation and added this one to the list so it has two slots as well as Chatelaine's Mystery XV - Deep Blue Sea.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


In case you haven't had the radio, television or computer on in the last couple of days, the mid-Atlantic and New England are preparing for what has been dubbed "Frankenstorm".  If it does what they think it will, three storms merging into one megastorm, it is going to be a rough ride.  It looks like the worst of it is going to go just north of here, but with a storm as big as the one predicted, we will be impacted.  Everything that we can do to prepare has been done - bathtub is full of water, bottled water ready, laundry done can you tell I freak at the thought of not having water - it is one of the negatives of living in the country, we are on a well and when the power goes out we don't have water, everything that needs a charge to operate is plugged in and I have enough cross stitch pieces on large count that I will be able to stitch, if not by candle okay battery-powered lantern but *that* does not sound like roughing it at least by whatever daylight we may have.  There's also enough food that doesn't require refrigeration or cooking to keep us going for a few days. 

Is it just me or has there been a rash of comments from Anonymous on every one's blog?  I must get five or six a day.  I really do not want to go to comment moderation but I may have to.

I was finally able to watch this season's Wallander last weekend.  As much as I enjoy them, I do have to be in the right mood.  While watching listening I was able to stitch on a couple of projects:

First is The Nutmeg Company's Parma Violets gingerbread house.  It is stitched on 22-count white Aida with DMC no beads yet.  This is one wall of the cottage the needle is to give some perspective on the size.  No before photo as I stitched the roof last go-round.

And this is Chatelaine's Hawaiian Garden Mandala:


And after hmmmm given how little I got stitched, I guess I was watching more than I thought:

Chatelaine's Hawaiian Garden Mandala
Stitched on Summer Sky Jobelan with recommended fibers and beads
Mirabilia's Holly is on the frame for the coming week.  Everybody have a good week and those of you in the path of the storm, stay safe.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another October Post

Yes, it is a lame title, but I sat here for quite a while and came up with nothing better...

Before I forget, if anyone has stitched or is stitching The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood could you please contact Nicola at Stitching By a Cornish Sea Shore? She has a couple of questions before she starts and please don't wait too long, I can't wait to see this one stitched!

I know lots of you have beautiful Halloween displays throughout your homes.  Me?  Not so much.  DMom sent me these and they are the only Halloween items I have out, but I think they are very cute.  The owl's lantern is lit but it doesn't really show due to the bright sunshine in the background:

And just because it is my blog and I can...  Despite having two, almost identical, chairs in the den, the cats only seem to sit in one.  The Hubs sent me this picture the other day of Salem and Spot:

Please ignore Spot's glowing eyes I promise they don't glow, not even on Halloween but she seems to be saying, "DAD!! Make him move!!"

I am not thinking too highly of the weather right now you would think that after living here for five years that I would be used to how variable October weather is as we are back in the 70s during the day.  It is so strange to have those temperatures, see people in shorts and then see trees that look like this:

 This is "Yellow Flower Meadow" in the early fall.  The reddish tree is some sort of oak, the yellows are gums and tulip poplars.  The yard is NOT that dark a green, the photo was taken just as the sun was coming over the trees on the other side of the house so it is not well lit.

This is a farm just up the road from me.  I just loved the contrast between the tree and the fences, clouds and buildings.

As I predicted in my last post, I did not get as much stitching done on Chatelaine's Winter Watergarden as I did on Twilight of the Tsars but Twilight has no speciality stitches nor blackwork, but I am happy with what I did get done.

Here is Winter Watergarden before:

And after:

It is difficult to see, but I finished filling in the area between the darker outer border and the middle mandala and lots of Rhodes and eyelet stitches in the middle mandala. I'm stitching on white Belfast with all the recommended fibers and beads.

I have The Nutmeg Company's Parma Violets and Chatelaine's Hawaiian Garden on the to-do list this weekend.  I don't know how much time I will have for stitching as it is The Hubs' birthday tomorrow and I have no idea what he wants to do but I am sure it has nothing to do with mowing the yard one last time or cleaning out the basement.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

That's more like it!!

I was able to sit down and stitch for hours and hours last weekend and finally have some decent progress to show on a project.

Here is Dimple Designs' Twilight of the Tsars before my stitchy weekend:

And after:

This is stitched on 32-count Smokey Pearl Belfast with DMC - cotton and rayon threads, Kreinik, and Mill Hill beads.  The fabric color is actually about half-way between that shown in the before and after photos - it's a blue-grey.  The white flowers are DMC rayon which was not my favorite thread to stitch with but not as bad as I thought it would be.  I have put off doing most of the stitching that requires blending filaments I really dislike blending filament - love the results - but despite trying all the tricks I never enjoy the process but am quickly reaching the point where I have no choice.

Chatelaine's Winter Watergarden is going on the scrolls for this weekend.  Doubt I will have as much progress as last weekend, but it is so nice to have my mojo back again and the time to be able to take advantage of its return.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Doors Closed

The title really has nothing to do with much of anything except that I just watched an episode of "NOVA" that was sort of "everything you wanted to know about elevators but were afraid to ask".  Did you know that the "doors closed" button doesn't work?   I only use the elevator at the office if I'm going more than 3 flights up or down but on the few times I have actually ridden the elevator and used the button it certainly didn't seem to do too much.  Of course in my building, it isn't really a surprise when something doesn't work as expected.

We are expecting our first extended cold snap starting tomorrow.  I don't mind the cooler weather and I do hope that it decides to stay cooler.  The temperature ups and downs are very frustrating.  Dressing for the temperatures in the morning is sure to have you overdressed for the afternoon. 

Thank you to my new followers.  I have been very lax in my blogging and blog commenting - I have been reading (you are all an amazing group of stitchers) and really do hope to get back to a more regular schedule of reading, commenting and blogging.

Before I forget, Donna at By the Bay Needleart is hosting another freebie stitch along.  This one is an autumn themed one done in four parts.  One part will be released each Wednesday.  The really nice thing is that it is sized to fit a 5"X7" frame when stitched on 28 count fabric.  I have my fibers pulled but have not started stash diving for fabric.

As this is supposed to be a way for me to keep track of my stitching, I should probably show some...

This is Ink Circles' 99 stitched on an unknown company's 32-count Golden Walnut fabric with DMC:

Just Nan's Christmas Elegance stitched on 28-count Antique White with DMC, Kreinik metallics and beads.



And this is Mirabilia's Santa's Magic.  It is stitched on 32-count opalescent Amertrine from Silkweaver's with DMC, Kreinik and Mill Hill beads.


Twilight of the Tsars by Dimple Designs is going on the frame for this weekend's stitching time.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Twice in one month!

Hopefully this is a start to getting back to my pre-slump blog posting - something about a journey and one step...

We have definitely taken a step towards autumn, the tulip popular trees have started turning yellow/brown - not very pretty but a sure sign of the changing seasons.  The other sure signs are the horde of hummingbirds have started their migration south.  There are still a couple that are coming in but nothing like the two dozen we had a couple of weeks ago and the blue jays have returned.  I am definitely looking forward to the slower pace of autumn and winter this year.

One advantage to the length between my posts is that I have a lot of stitching to show in each post.  So here is my "lot of stitching".

This is Snow Girls from Country Garden Stitchery:


And after - the colors in the "before" picture are much more true to life:

County Garden Stitchery's Snow Girls
Stitched on Silkweaver's 28-count Mulberry Mix with GAST
This is Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden:

 And after:
Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden
Stitched on Silkweaver's 28-count Carol's Meadow with recommended fibers and beads

 And this is Blackbird Designs Summer:


And after (these colors are much more true):
Black Bird Designs' Summer
Stitched on R&R Reproductions' 30-count Irish Creme linen with recommended fibers
 I plan to finish filling in the flower and then spend the rest of the weekend working on Ink Circles' 99. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Enough all ready!!

No, not stitching but this heat and humidity!  The yard and "gardens" are looking very sad but it is just too uncomfortable to be out for more than a few minutes at a time.  I will have ask that you all remind me of my tantrums about the weather this winter when I'm complaining it's too cold and according to the Almanac it is supposed to be a very bad winter.  DFIL told me he read a report saying that the weather patterns are exactly as they were three years ago when we had that crazy, snowy winter - the only plus if it turns out the same is that we now have a 4X4 and would be able to get out of our driveway!

First - welcome and thank you to my new followers!  Given my sporadic and rather whiny postings recently, I am surprised that anyone is even stopping by anymore, but I do appreciate it. 

Speaking of previous posts, I finally figured out that my mojo was still hanging around but it was being overpowered by my stitching ADD.  Fortunately, I seem to be overcoming it, as I was able to sit and stitch for almost two hours the other day yes in a row with no interruptions!  I know, for lots of you, that's nothing, but for me in the last few months it's a miracle!

Second - hop on over to the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe blog for an amazingly wonderful giveaway.  I should warn you that Nancy has some beautiful fibers and trims as well as patterns.  Please do not hold me responsible for any uncontrolled stashing that may take place just saying. 

Now that I have said my stitching ADD is getting better, I suppose I should show you.

This is Papillion Creations Eightsome Reel.  It's stitched on 28-count Chai Tea Jobelan with HDF silk conversion.


This is a Mill Hill Buttons & Beads kit Tree Farm.  It's stitched on 28-count Natural linen with DMC and Mill Hill beads.
Here's where I started:
 And here's where I stopped:
The fabric color in the "before" photo is correct.
Next up is Carriage House Samplings Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow.  It is stitched on 40-count Sand Dune from Lakeside Linen with NPI silks.
And after the colors are more correct in this photo: 
And finally, Blue Ribbon Designs Countdown to Christmas.  It is stitched on 40-count Magnolia from Lakeside Linens with Gentle Arts Sampler Threads.
And after unfortunately I have reached the boring part on this one as all that is left on this part is stitching the grid for the calendar.  
Country Garden Stitchery's Snowgirls and Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden are on the stand for this weekend.