Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A day late TUSAL and Smalls SAL

Yesterday was the new moon, so in addition being a wonderful, dark night for sleeping it was also time for a 2014 TUSAL check-in.  Sharon over at It's Daffycat hosts the SAL.  This is the easiest SAL to participate in, if you stitch, you already have half of what you need to participate in all those bits you snip off and throw away.  All you need to do is put them in a pretty jar, dish or cup and post a photo on the new moon.  At the end of the year, I put them all in a clear ornament, paint the year on it and hang them on my cork board.

Heather at Stitching Lotus is hosting 2014 Smalls SAL.  All you have to do to participate is stitch a small - what's a small?  Whatever you can stitch in a month is a small.  I love SALs that don't have a lot of rules!!

This month I decided to go for a two-fer photo.  Here is my TUSAL jar and my finished small.

Those of you with sharp eyes will see that the fabric on the top rod is a different color than the finished piece - there is a 3/4 done small on the frame.  I tried to have a double finish for this month, but just couldn't get there. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stitch from Stash and Just Nan SAL check-in

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post for....  CONGRATULATIONS to DNiece!!!!  She graduated Summa Cum Laude (she's beautiful and smart!!) from Western Michigan University this afternoon with a Bachelors of Science degree majoring in occupational therapy.  She has a few weeks off before she heads back to study for her Masters .

Onto the regularly scheduled post.... Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment on my blog - I still find it hard to believe that anyone but me reads it!!

Before I get onto the stitching pictures, because I have been the recipient of this look (not in this situation) but the look is very familiar and the sentiment is all cat!!!

I traced this from blog to blog but could not find the originating site, if anyone has that info, I will certainly update the post.

After weeks of gorging themselves at the feeders, the hordes of gold finches seem to have taken off for their summer homes.  There are three at the feeders right now where before there might have been a couple dozen - it is strangely quiet outside without their song.  The departure of the gold finches means the arrival of the hummingbirds.  We have two so far but have had up to 12 - gets a little crazy around the feeders.

On to SAL check-ins.  Today I have two:  2014 Stitch from Stash  and Just Nan SAL 2014.

Mel at Epic Stitching is hosting the Stitch form Stash SAL.  Not a lot of stress associated with this SAL, it is, as the name suggests, an incentive to use up some of that stash that you may have accumulated over the years.  There is a rather, at least in my thoughts, generous $25.00 allowance each month and it rolls over so still plenty of opportunity to purchase that must have stash. 

So for April my spending report is:

Carry over:             $ 75.00
Allowance:                25.00
Purchases:                   0.00
Balance Forward:  $100.00

The first month or two were really difficult but it is definitely getting easier and it is nice to see the stash being reduced.  I had three starts from my stash this month:   

Two Little House Needleworks, All is Calm and Frosty Flakes.  I finished All is Calm and will be showing that in my Smalls SAL post but here is where I got on Frosty Flakes yesterday:

Stitched on 30-count WDW Straw with DMC, Crescent Colours and WDW
The bird was charted in the same white as the snowman, but I like cardinals and we don't have any white birds around here in the winter, or ever when I think on it, so I stitched the bird in WDW Brick.

And Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts:

Stitched on unknown 32-count Silkweaver evenweave with Weeks Dye Works
Zeb at Keep Calm and Cross Stitch is hosting the Just Nan SAL.  I have so many Just Nan patterns in my stash, many kitted up and ready to go, so it was great to find a SAL that got me to pull them out and get some of them stitched.  Strawberry Summer  is in the Just Nan slot in the rotation right now.

It went from here:

To here:

It is stitched on 28-count Savannah Rose with DMC floss and perle cotton and beads as called for.  I am about 3/4 through this one and am already planning for the next one, no I don't have one picked out yet but I do love the planning.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April's IHSW

I went to work on Monday with the hope that a walk around the Tidal Basin at lunch would be under blooming cherry trees.  Unfortunately, the majority of the blooms were in the Tidal Basin but the walk was still very nice - if a bit crowded:

Fortunately, the cherry tree in our front yard is a bit behind the ones in DC so I did see a tree in bloom:

We planted the tree about six years ago so it's still very young for a cherry tree but it certainly doesn't scrimp on the blooms.

The wild dogwoods are just past their peak but are still pretty:

And I found several clusters of wild grape hyacinth in the yard.

It's the third full weekend in April which means it's  I stitched on three pieces this weekend but will only show two as the third was a small finish that I'll show the end of the month.

The first one I can show is Just Nan's Strawberry Summer.

Here's where it was on Friday:

and here's where it was when I put it away yesterday:

This is stitched on 28-count Savannah Rose linen with DMC floss and perle cotton and beads as kitted.

And Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine went from here:
To here:

Stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow with the called for fibers and beads
This one will be on the frame for this week, so I am hoping to have a bit more progress by next weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April WIPocalypse - picture heavy

It's time for April's WIPocalypse posting.  2014 WIPocalypse Measi at Measi's Musings has hosted WIPocalypse for the last three years.  If you click on the block you should be taken to the information page and you'll get all the information you need to participate.  This year, in addition to theme months which I pretty much ignore, Measi has provided some questions which I do try to keep up with.  This month's question is how do we organize our stash?  A few years ago, I would have said, "In the craft room", but when I moved to Virginia, I went from a craft room to sharing a room with The Hubs and his computer.  There was 30+ years of crafting supplies in that craft room in New Hampshire and I wasn't sure where it was going to fit in our new home here in Virginia.  It was pretty unorganized the first few months or so (read in boxes all over the house and basement) but then I took the doors off the closet, and put curtains up to use as a display board:

And put shelves up and filled the closet up:

The top shelf has my quilting supplies, the next shelf down has my beading supplies (behind the curtain on the left) and some project boxes.  The fabric is on pants hangars and labeled with fabric color, count and the project it is for.  The colored boxes in the middle there have Carriage House Samplings, Shepherd's Bush and Prairie Schooler patterns.  I use a lot of those scrapbook storage boxes for my needlework. I have several 6-drawer Iris storage carts that I use for both paper crafting and cross stitch storage. For my cross stitch, I put one project per drawer (the drawers are actually storage boxes that slide into the cart), so when I'm ready to stitch on that project, I pull it out and have my pattern, fiber, beads and fabric all in one place. The rest is for paper crafting and rubber stamping.  This is the after, before, it was rather a hodgepodge - now it is just messy.

After another year or so, I bought an Expedit bookcase from Ikea and moved a bunch of stuff out of the closest and the packing boxes from the basement and got this:

The drawers hold my sewing supplies, the two tan baskets have my printed Chatelaine patterns, lots of beading, sewing, stitching patterns, crafting paper, floss and fibers and craft books and magazines fill up the rest of it.  The baskets on the right have my knitting supplies and some mending that needs to be done.

I then bought these units from Michaels for my kitted patterns, my DVDs, assorted papers and The Hubs' books and game manuals:

And that's where I keep my craft stash.

I have four projects left from my original WIPocalypse list, Santa's Magic, Elegant Doily, Secret Victorian Garden and Three Tulips. 

I had a finish this month on Three Tulips.  It went from here:


Santa's Magic was here at the March WIPocalypse:

 and here for this one:

Secret Victorian Garden

and Elegant Doily went from here:

to here:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

End of Vacation

I had a very relaxing week off from work, but back to the grind tomorrow - oh to have been born rich instead of beautiful!!  On the plus side, the boss is out next week so it should be quiet and I can catch up on everything - yes that is wishful thinking.

The warmer weather has really greened things up.  The dandelions and violets are blooming all over the yard, the dogwood are blooming in the woods and our cherry tree should be flowering by the end of this week.  I'm sure that in the next couple of weeks I'll be pulling the mower out and spending a good part of Sunday walking around the yard behind it.

Fortunately, the grass held off growing until after my vacation, so I could spend my time off reading, stitching, and watching all those shows I DVRed.  On the stitching front, I had one finish, one start and some progress on another project.

My finish was With Thy Needle and Thread's, Three Tulips (Thanks Mom and Dad for the wonderful Christmas gift):

Stitched on Weeks' Dye Works 30-count Parchment with Weeks Dye Works fibers. 
My start was Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts (Thanks to The Hubs for the wonderful anniversary present):

Stitched on an unknown 28-count Silkweaver's evenweave with Weeks Dye Works fibers (I hope to get a better photo soon)
and my progress was on Little House Needleworks' All is Calm:

Stitched on 30-count Natural Northern Cross linen with DMC
Just Nan's Strawberry Summer is on the frame for this week.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

First Saturday

March was a loonngg month!  April is making up, weather-wise, for all of March's lack of warmth and sun.  We have had a couple of days in the 70s which has caused all the flowering trees and bushes to pop.  The Bradford Pears and Redbuds are all in their full glory, as well as just about every other tree, which means my allergies are in *their* full glory.  The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington DC were hazy pink when we went by yesterday - a sure sign they will bloom within the next week or so.  I do hope they hold off as I am taking next week off from work and do not want to miss my annual cherry blossom walk - when the weather is nice I walk around the Mall at lunch but always take at least one walk under the cherry blossoms. 

It was nice enough this morning to get outside and do some yard clean-up as well as some plant dividing and moving.  Several years ago there was some major roadwork up the way a bit, when they laid out the new road route it went through a daylily patch.  The Hubs stopped one night on his way home to talk with the work crew and they said to take what he wanted.  He didn't bring home many, but what he did liked where they were planted - of course these are the old-fashioned ditch lilies  that seem to live just about anywhere on anything so I wasn't too surprised and no, this is not a photo of my flowers - at least not yet!!!  We have an embankment that is starting to erode badly, so this morning I transplanted several dozen daylilies onto it - hopefully they will look like that picture in the next few years and hold the bank in place.  I have another area with hybridized daylilies that needs to be dug and divided but I will leave that for another day mostly because sitting at a desk all winter does NOT prepare one to do the necessary spring yard work!!

Sitting at a desk all winter DOES prepare you for stitching though!  And as it is the first Saturday it's YOTA posting day!!!  YOTA is hosted over at Pull the Other Thread and focuses on finishing your WIPs.  I have four projects on my YOTA list and stitched on each one at least once in March.

You can see my progress on a couple of projects at my March WIPocalypse post here.  Two of the projects have progress photos to show since then:

Elegant Doily by Kayann's Kreations went from this:

To this:

And Santa's Magic by Mirabelia went from here:

to here:

Santa will be on the frame the rest of today and maybe tomorrow.  I mentioned I was taking the week off, well I have no plans for the week other than sleeping in and not going to work so I will have a lot more stitching time than I usually do so will have plenty of time to work on Three Tulips which is up next in the rotation.  Not taking Santa off the frame won't take anything away from Tulips or at least that's what I have convinced myself of and I am really enjoying working on Santa right now.