Friday, February 24, 2012

Crazy Weather

Yeah, we've had some crazy weather this week.  I showed you the snow pictures in my last post, well we're only five days out from those and it was 80 F this afternoon!  My flowers are coming up and the trees are budding.  There are daffodils blooming in the planting beds around the Department of Energy's building in DC.  If this keeps up, the cherry blossoms are not going to wait until April to bloom!  It is supposed to cool off a bit for the weekend as there is a front coming through.  Right now the wind is just howling - a few gusts have shook the house.  It is eerie to hear it roaring across the fields, through the woods and towards the house.

My fabric for Serengeti arrived today!  I'm going to be using Wichelt's Summer Sky Jobelan. I'm using 32-count to reduce the size a bit it is something like 410X410 stitches but may have to do some fiddling to get the center beads to fit my experience has been that these "hand dyes" don't seem to have the shrinkage factor that some others. I decided that as this is intended as a gift I'd go all out on the fibers. Normally I would order the kit from European Cross Stitch, but this time I was able to get the majority of them on sale at either Needlecraft Corner or Stitching Bits & BobsNeedle in a Haystack filled in a few and Alex-Paras Needlearts came through with the Caron Impressions and I got the bead kit from European Cross Stitch. Even with the shipping I saved quite a bit doing it this way. I should be able to pull the majority of the DMCs from my stash. Just have to start stalking the postman wait for delivery.

I mentioned that I had Monday off and I was able to stitch for a good portion of the day. I probably didn't get as much done as I could have. I had the first season of Sherlock recorded and it's not really a show you can have on as background.  I was talking with DSon about this series and neither of us care for Moriarty. I know, you're not supposed to *like* the bad guy, but the portrayal just doesn't fit our perception of Moriarty. DSon said that Mycroft was more what he was expecting. Oh well, a minor irritation in an otherwise good series.  We are both looking forward to Season Two. I still think Benedict Cumberbatch would make an interesting Dr. Who.  Okay, that thought train was totally derailed, back to stitching... I almost finished one quarter of part 10 of Secret Victorian Garden.  Lucky me, who hates backstitching, there are two gates on this part that are entirely backstitched in Rainbow Gallery's Petite Treasure Braid.  It's a beautiful effect, but UGH! 

Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine
Stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow by Silkweaver Fabrics with recommended fibers and beads
Shepherd's Bush's Holy Night will be making an appearance on the System 4 this coming week.

Happy stitching everyone.

Monday, February 20, 2012

IHSW Recap

Thank you all for the kind and encouraging comments and welcome to my new followers.  I had a very relaxing weekend, which is probably what I needed more than anything, the stitching portion was just a huge plus.

We had our first official snowfall of the season considering how the rest of the winter has been, this will probably be our *only* snowfall.

We didn't get a lot, maybe 3" or 4", but it looks so pretty this morning

And the sky is the most amazing shade of blue

Unfortunately, it is supposed to be close to 50 F today and 70F by Thursday so it will all be gone in the next couple of days, but it snowed so my New England brain is finally content.  Some day I hope to get myself acclimated, I thought I was close this year but apparently not.

As you didn't come to an IHSW post to read about snow, here is what I stitched this weekend:

Snowgirls by Country Garden Stitchery
Stitched on Silkweaver's 28-county Mulberry Mix with Weeks Dye Works Threads
is Snowgirls from Country Garden Stitchery, as I mentioned in my previous post, this is a new to me designer and I really like the whimsy of the design.  I pulled the fabric from my stash I belonged to a Fabric of the Month a few years back and this was one of the pieces as the pattern called for Weeks Dye Works Light Khaki and I wanted the design to show a bit more.

My focus for the weekend was Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine.  This is my before:

And here is where I stopped last night:
Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine
Stitched on 32-county Carol's Meadow from Silkweaver's Fabrics with recommended Fibers and Beads

To accommodate my stitching style I turned the piece over so the bottom left in this photo is the upper right in the first photo.  The fabric is actually a very light green with hints of pink/purples, not beige or blue.  I was able to finish half of part nine and get a start on part 10.  I have today off it's President's Day here in the states, so I plan to continue with part 10.  As the last parts are divided by quarter, I will continue on to parts 11 and 12 before moving on to the bottom left.

I have also been contemplating my WIPocalypse plan.  As the idea is to finish things, I think that once I make one rotation through my list I will pick out two or three pieces to focus on and add the others in as I have finishes.  I do reserve the right to change my mind again, as I rather enjoying seeing a different project each week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Stitching Weekend

International Hermit and Stitch Weekend is this weekend if you're interested hope on over to Joyce's blog and not only is it my short week at work it's a holiday weekend to boot!  Four days of potential stitching time! I do have a few housework items to take care of, but by and large I am free to engage in a weekend of stitching I even planned slow cooker dinners, so little fuss and bother there.

Thank you everyone for the encouragement on Tree Farm I was very disappointed in myself for not focusing and getting more done and I appreciate your reminders that every piece starts with one stitch. 

Welcome to my new followers, I appreciate that you all take the time to stop by my corner of the blog world.  I am still working on my email issue, I thought I had it fixed but it still doesn't seem to be working, so for now I'll be doing my thank yous here.

Before I get started on my IHSW plans, here's what I worked on this last week:

Blue Ribbon Designs' Countdown to Christmas
Stitched on Lakeside Linen's 40-count Magnolia with Gentle Art Sampler Threads

Here's the before:
I will mention again, I am very glad that I have that magnifier - this would be thrown in the trash a UFO without it.

On my plan for this weekend is a new start tomorrow with Snowgirls from Country Garden Stitchery a new to me designer and the rest of the weekend will be spent on Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine.  I started it back when it was a mystery in 2007.  I kept up with it through June or July but that was the year I moved to Virginia and between packing, things being in storage, buying a house and moving in and then my available stitching time being greatly diminished I never finished it.  I have stitched on it a few times in the last five years, but it has been in hiding for a good two years. It will be nice to see it on the frame again.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pathetic Start and Some Progress

Again, thank you for your comments on my progress on Eightsome Reel.  Honestly the more I stitch it, the more I wish I had done it in one color - perhaps a deep cranberry? Oh well, the investment in time and materials has been made and that amazing color changing fabric is hard to come by so multi-colored it will be. I keep hoping that some day I will get DSon's photography skills, but I do not see that happening any time soon.  Nicola, I commute to work five days one week (9 hours for four days and 8 hours on one), four the next (9 hours each day) and I get one day off every two weeks.  I do have a telework agreement that allows me to work from home one day a week, but the project I have been working on has a ton of back-up paperwork associated with it, so I have not been working from home for fear of throwing out my back or shoulder lugging the computer and all the paperwork back and forth.  I am hoping to get back into my telework schedule in the near future. The commute is not all bad, I drive a half hour each way and then spend the rest of it on a train.  I sleep for the majority of the morning ride and read on the way home.  I use to do a lot of stitching, but I have been on a reading kick for the last six months or so.  My commute is on the outside range of usual, but 1-1/2 to 2 hours commutes aren't uncommon for a commuter in the Washington, DC area.

As mentioned in the header, I had a pathetic start to my Mill Hill series.  I am doing the Buttoned and Beaded 2006 Christmas Village on one piece of 28-count natural linen.  I had another one of those days that started with great plans but went off on tangents and suddenly it was 7.00 and I had done no stitching.   Here is what I did get done in the short time I had left for stitching:

Tree Farm from the 2006 Mill Hill Buttoned and Beaded Christmas Village
Stitched on 28-county Natural linen with DMC and Mill Hill beads

The outline you see on the sides and top will be repeated for all six of the kits.  I am thinking of extending the flakes a bit further down the left side, but will see how it looks when I finish the entire piece.

The progress is on Carriage House Samplings' Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow.  This one was so much easier with my new Mighty Bright magnifier.  I started this one with a magnifier attachment on my OTT floor lamp and it worked but I always had a problem adjusting the light so that I didn't get any glare on the magnifier.  As the lights are around the magnifier on the Mighty Bright, no glare - ever.  Hmmmm, that sounded like an advert didn't it?  Not affiliated in any way with either OTT or Mighty Bright, just a very happy customer of both companies. Anyway, here is where I started this week:

Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings
Stitched on Lakeside Linen's 40-count Sand Dune with NPI and Thread Gatherer fibers
And here is where I stopped:

Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings
Stitched on Lakeside Linen's 40-count Sand Dune with NPI and Thread Gatherer fibers
And no I haven't changed from my usual top-down/left-right stitching pattern, I'm actually stitching it upside down so that I can keep up my normal stitching style.  It looks like someone took a huge bite out of the side of that pumpkin doesn't it?

According to my project cards, Blue Ribbon Designs' Countdown to Christmas will be on the frame for this coming week.  Another one stitched on 40-count! Very poor planning on my part.  The forecast is for cold and rain/snow this weekend, so it will be a perfect one to stay in and stitch.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Already!

I am definitely getting older as every new month I hear myself say "Where *is* the time going?" just like my Grandmother used to!  Oh well, I worked hard to get to be this old and I'm going to enjoy every second of it besides 50 is the new 40 right?

Anyway, not as much stitching as I thought this week, I worked from home for the majority of the week and the thought of not having a 5 hour round trip commute and all the stitching time in the evenings was heavenly BUT it seems that my mind can no longer handle more than an hour free time in the evenings and I could not really settle myself down to do much stitching.

I worked on Papillon Creations' Eightsome Reel.  I started this one as a commute piece but had major issues with stitching in hand on a piece this size and I really do not like the thread I'm using an HDF conversion and while I know lots of people just love these fibers, I am having a really difficult time with them

Here's where I was the beginning of the week:

And here's where I stopped last night:

Eightsome Reel from Papillon Creations
Stitched on Chai Tea hand-dyed Jobelan with HDF
The before photo is a much better representation of the fabric color than the after.

I'm planning to start a Mill Hill Button and Beads kit from 2006 today.  I'm going to stitch six of these side-by-side on one piece of fabric.  I'm rather excited to see how my village looks when it's done.

Carriage House Samplings Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow will be pulled out tomorrow or Sunday for its round of stitching.