Monday, February 19, 2018


I don't blog for a week and suddenly I'm behind on three SAL check-ins.  But first some news on the guest cats.  Molly and Olivia are now in the care of the wonderful folks at Feline Foundation of Greater Washington.  One of the first rescues I contacted back at the beginning of this saga texted me with their information and suggested very strongly that I call them, so I did.  Forty-five minutes and  several emails with pictures, etc. later, they tell me that there is someone very interested in Molly and a waiting list of people wanting long-hairs and/or Maine Coon cats so they don't expect that Olivia will have to wait too long for a home.  I dropped them off Friday and sniffed and had watery eyes the whole way home, my brain knew my part in their story was going to be short but my heart didn't get the message - I don't think I'm cut out to be a foster, but I know this is an amazing chance for them to find wonderful homes.  So onto SALs....

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  It is a way for us to thank the generous people that have gifted us with stitching things, or to show things we're stitching as gifts or anything we can shoehorn into that criteria.  Two of my pieces are perfect fits for this SAL as they are gifts, but they are also part of  my  post.  IHSW is hosted by Joysze at Random Ramblings or on Facebook by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching.  IHSW takes place on the third full weekend of each month and is a wonderful excuse if you need one to sit and stitch for the weekend.  I worked on three pieces this weekend and as I mentioned two of them fit with Gifted Gorgeousness.

My main focus this weekend was Goldie.  In the last few minutes of Sunday I had a page finish.  It went from here:

to here

This is the fastest I have ever stitched a Heaven and Earth Design page.  Fingers crossed that I can keep it up.

Japanese Zen Garden went on the frame this morning.  When I showed it last, it was here:

And right now, it's here:

The majority of this was done last weekend, I have only stitched one rock and the blue stitches on the outside there.  The open areas will be filled with beads and specialty stitches.  I want to finish the cross stitches in the next section out before I start adding all the bling and fussy stuff. 

I had a bit more progress on By the Full Moon.  Not sure if I will finish it before the Smalls SAL deadline, but will give it a try.

And finally TUSAL.

TUSAL is hosted by Sharon at It's Daffycat. Another no stress SAL - just save all those bits that you'd normally throw away in some sort of container and post a photo each new moon.  Mine are accumulating nicely.  I'm pretty stingy with my thread, so it always amazes me how many ORTs I collect every year.

I'll be working on Zen for the rest of the evening - gotta love long weekends.

Monday, February 5, 2018


Survived what you ask? Taking Molly and Olivia to the vet.  I figured things had calmed down too much so they needed stirring up again.  Anyway I am very happy to report that both girls are healthy and are now up to date with their shots.  Both girls are also younger than the in-laws said.  The vet estimates they are no older than 7, the in-laws said they'd had them for 10 years.  Molly, who I have not heard say a thing made her displeasure about the trip and being at the vets know LOUDLY to all who would listen - she made one of the dogs in the waiting room jump with one of her howls!! 

This cute little Jim Shore snowman came in the mail today 

Funny thing is, I didn't remember ordering it.  Now I do forget things, like where I put my keys or parked my car or why I walked out of the room, but I don't forget needlework orders ESPECIALLY as I'm participating in Stitch from Stash right now.  Digging around a bit more in the envelope and there was a letter congratulating me on winning one of the prizes on The Stitchers' Village 12 Days Event!  THAT I had totally forgotten about entering mostly because I never win anything so I never went back and checked. 
Speaking of Stitch from Stash, I had a zero spend in January but have already spent February's budget.  I caved and signed up for the Ingleside Imaginarium Guardians of Notre Dame SAL.  If you haven't seen it, here's the border and first two parts: I have no idea what color fabric or whether I will order the over-dye to do the border, but I love grotesques and gargoyles so looking forward to starting this.
I am still filling in the ear/head on the Goldie stocking.  When I put it on the frame last week, it was here:
And when I took it off the frame a few minutes ago, it was here:

It's definitely looking more doggish. 

So there's some stash and some progress and now, a new start. 

This is By the Full Moon by Tracy Horner of Ink Circles.  It's from the 2010 September/October Just Cross Stitch and is stitched on an unknown scrap fabric although I suspect it is either 28-count DaVinci or 28-count Haunted both by Picture This Plus with DMC.  Yes, I know I said The Sampler Life SAL pieces were going to be my smalls until I finally finished them off, but I just couldn't find one that called to me.  When I went looking for one, this jumped out and grabbed me.

Zen will be going on the frame for this week.  The PTBs finally showed up so I plan to go back to the middle and tart it up a bit.


Monday, January 29, 2018

January WIPocalypse

It it's WIPocalypse it must be the end of the month.  WOW!  A weird month - one minute it feels like it flew by and the next it feels like it's been forever. 

No you're not seeing things there were two WIPocalypse posts this month.  Yesterday as the last Sunday of the month was the official check-in, the one the beginning of the month was a warm up and introduction.  If you haven't heard of it, WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and is a nice reminder to focus on those pieces we've already started rather than all those siren calls from the stash pile.  Each month Melissa gives us questions in case we can't think of anything to write about and also to get to know everyone.  This month's is: What SALs are you participating in this year? and if you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?  What are your goals? 

I can answer the second part of that question quickly - No. I am not participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge.  I am doing obligation pieces this year again and I don't want to put extra pressure on myself.  I will be cheering all the participants on though.  As for SALs, I am not participating in any that are "release a part a month" although I am very tempted with the Guardians of Notre Dame SAL by Ingleside Imaginarium and will probably cave in a few months.  I am participating in several "let's stitch and post our progress" SALs.  WIPocalypse obviously but also:

  • Gifted Gorgeousness hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching
  • TUSAL hosted by Sharon at It's Daffycat
  • IHSW hosted Joysze at Random Ramblings and Jo on Facebook
  • Smalls hosted by Heather at Lotus Stitching and
  • Stitch from Stash on Facebook
You can get to all the groups, except Stitch from Stash, by clicking one of the badges on the left hand side at the top the page.  I've been doing all of these, more or less, successfully for years.  I tend to pick SALs that reinforce my stitching goals for that year.  Basically my stitching goals for the last six or seven years has been to reduce my WIPs.  I started with 28 and am down to 17.  I know that doesn't sound like much of a reduction but I have very limited stitching time, and there have been a few starts in there, so I am very pleased.

Now that I've thoroughly answered that question - progress photos! As I mentioned, I am only working on three pieces this year:

Japanese Zen Garden by Chatelaine.  On January 1st it was here:

and today it's here:

It is stitched on 32-count Summer Sky Jobelan with Martina's DMC conversion.  The package containing my PTB is still "on it's way to destination" I could have driven to Michigan and back faster than it's being delivered so no sparkle for another week.

Goldie Christmas Stocking charted by Heaven and Earth Designs:

January 1st:

And when it went on the frame this evening

This one is stitched on 25-county Antique White Lugana with DMC.  I am stitching 1 over 1.  It is also the most progress I have ever had on HaED in a month's time.  Hoping I can keep up the pace.

And finally, The Sampler Life SAL piece despite the name I didn't count this in my SAL list as the actual SAL was finished almost two years ago:

Friday, January 26, 2018

January Smalls

I am thrilled that I have kept up with my SAL check-ins this year.  Yes, I know it's only January, but given my last week or so, I am all for celebrating anything I can! So today, I am celebrating the January Smalls SAL.

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather over at the Stitching Lotus.  This one, like all the others I participate in, is very low stress.  Pop on over to Heather's blog and sign up, you can join in at anytime, stitch a small (you define what's small) and post a picture on the last Friday of the month.  Simple right?  The SAL is designed to encourage us to love those small designs too and for me it's a chance to actually say I've finished something.  For the next few months, I will be working on The Sampler Life's SAL from a few years ago.  I have five or six more blocks from that and then I will start the Joyful World SAL.

This month's finish is Fountains from Lori Laughlin of Rainbow's Daughter

Not my favorite piece because, well, backstitch!  But I do like the color combination.  If I did it again, I would probably use beads instead of French knots in those diamonds.  As I mentioned, I have a few more blocks to stitch; however, only a couple are 50X50 like all the rest, so a bit of fiddling and math to figure out how to make them fit best.

Zen is on the frame for the rest of the weekend and I just got a notice that my order of PTB is on its way so I may actually be able to fill in some of the blank bits soon.

Monday, January 22, 2018

January IHSW

You all have heard more than you probably care to about my two guests, but just a little more.  In an effort to help them settle in I've been spending a lot of time with them.  I've also been spending a little more time with my three so they don't feel left out.  Of course, being cats, they really only want to accept the attention on their terms.  What's that got to do with ?  Well both Saturday and Sunday evenings, Salem decided that he wanted his attention NOW and I spent a good chunk of both evenings like this:

While it is very sweet, it also cut into my IHSW time in a big way.  My goal was to finish Goldie's ear.  It went from here:

to here:

I made good progress just not what I had hoped but Salem is happy and content and that's more important right now.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


A twofer post today.  I'm a couple days late with my TUSAL but right on time with .

Looks like I'm on another period of unpaid time off until Congress can get its act together.  Here's hoping it doesn't last as long as the 2013 one did.  Fortunately, none of my customers will be impacted until Monday as I don't normally work on Saturday or Sunday.

On a happier note, the guest cats are well settled into the guest room and seem to be enjoying their new found freedom (they had been kept in large cages - they did have vertical space so they were able to jump and move around a bit).  Working on how best, or if, to introduce them to my herd but it's being taken slowly.  I say "if" because I know if I let them out they'll just merge into the group and before we know it we'll be saying we have five cats.  I read an adoption form for a dog that said it had been in the foster home for 7 years!  Ummmmm, after 7 years you really can't say you're fostering it anymore.

I'm a little late on my TUSAL posting.  You've never heard of TUSAL?  Well, it's the easiest SAL you will ever participate in.  All those little snips and bits of thread and what-have-you from your stitching/sewing/knitting/crocheting that you'd normally throw away?  Put them in a container, take a photo and post it every new moon and you're "doing" TUSAL! Hope on over to It's Daffycat to sign up and get the longer version of the directions.

I am using an old Yankee Candle medium jar candle jar for my ORTS.  It's not the prettiest and I don't take the most artistic photos but fortunately this isn't a contest just fun.

This is also the start of .  IHSW is a chance to tell everyone to leave you alone because you're hermitting and stitching with folks from around the world. Don't question it too much, just go with it.  I was all set to start at noon, but got distracted when I sat down at the computer to do this update and ended up finishing my taxes (well to the point of submitting, the IRS won't begin processing until January 29th), and cleaning out my emails and reading a few blogs and, and, and it is now 20 to 2 and here I still am.  I have one load of laundry to throw in the washer and I'm pretty much done with the housework for the weekend, so plenty of time for stitching.  I will be focusing on Goldie.  Here's where it is today:

I would like to finish or at least make good progress on that ear. Back tomorrow night or Monday to update IHSW.

Monday, January 15, 2018

January Gifted Gorgeousness

I held off a little doing this one as I wanted THIS one to be seen by the central Atlantic folks.  Anyway, today is the first Gifted Gorgeousness post for 2018.  If you haven't heard of Gifted Gorgeousness, it's hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is a way for us to thank the people who have gifted us stitching wonderfulness or to show things that we are gifting someone or whatever you can shoehorn into "gift".  If you're interested in stitching along, click on over and join.

I am only working on three pieces this year and they all fit Gifted Gorgeousness' parameters.

The first is a gift to my MIL and her husband (or will be). 

This is Goldie Christmas stocking as charted by Heaven and Earth Designs.  It is stitched on 25-count Antique White lugana with DMC threads. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I don't need a magnifier with this one, even though it is over-1.  Yes, I still need my glasses but not the extra help that I need with my 28-count, over-1 HaEDs.  She's back on the frame but I have yet to put a stitch in her tonight - see "Plans", "best laid" and see the results and you'll understand. :-)

My second piece is Japanese Zen Garden by Chatelaine and it is a gift for my son:

Not a lot more done since my last photo, but progress.  I am stitching this on 32-count Summer Sky Jobelan with Martina's DMC conversion except for a couple of variegated silks that had no conversion number and the Petite Treasure Braids.  Despite my lack of progress I am loving working on a Chatelaine again.

My third piece is a gift to me, The Sampler Life SAL from a couple years ago:

The hosts at The Sampler Life contacted designers and asked them to donate a 50X50 design to the SAL  As these were donated, I am calling them a gift to me and shoehorning them into the SAL.  This is stitched on Vintage Autumn Gold from Lakeside Linens (yes really!) with the called for fibers - usually DMC.  This particular block is Fountains by Rainbow's Daughter.

And those are the three pieces I am stitching this year and the three pieces that you will see, hopefully with lots of progress, on February 15th for next month's check in.