Saturday, August 4, 2018


So there's July done and dusted.  In my last post, I was getting ready to go to Michigan for a family reunion.  I've been and come back from two now.  Yep, my Mother's family reunion was the 14th and my Dad's was the 28th.  It was so good to see everyone again and I had a wonderful time with the immediate family too.

Nephew and Niece announced they're having a boy!  Let the crafting begin!!  I probably won't have a lot of stitching for the foreseeable future as I'm making a quilt.  I also took my crochet knowledge (one unfinished scarf) added lots of YouTube watching and started...

It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I am completely chuffed.  The yarn is Jordan Almonds from Caron. It's self-striping so it looks like I know what I'm doing when all I have to do is keep up with the pattern (which is just the same thing over and over). 

I did do some stitching in July and actually have a finish:

Just Nan's Seasonal Gems I: Summer
I finally decided an extra eyelet balanced everything out just fine.  I'm contemplating adding a bead on each side but have to see if there are any left after I finish:

Just Nan's Seasonal Gems I:  Autumn

I'm counting Summer as my July Smalls SAL entry.  Heather at Stitching Lotus hosts the Smalls SAL.  It's a very no stress SAL, stitch a small and post a photo of it the end of the month.  Don't have one one month (or 6 or 7 as happened to me last year)? No problem, just join back in when you do.

I also worked on Snowman and Pals the Dimensions' Whimsies I mentioned last post.  I was able to get a decent picture of it:

Need to finish the light and there's some background stitching and lots of backstitching before he's done.  There are two side pieces to stitch and then they're stitched together to finish the standup.

I'm a few days late but still within posting time for WIPocalypse .  WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and reminds us to give some love to something we've already started before starting something new.  The snowman and Summer were both from my stash, but they weren't WIPs so they don't count and I didn't put a stitch in either of my targeted WIPs so this month's report is a big 0.  Melissa gives us topics each month to nudge us along if we can't come up with something to say.  This month's is:  Half-year recap:  How are you doing with your goals so far?  Not so good.  I realized early on that I had, as is typical of me, over estimated how fast I could stitch.  I should be half through each of my focus pieces as I was hoping they'd be gifts for this Christmas, but I am nowhere near close to half way on either piece.  I've had a mini-slump going on either for mental health reasons or vacation/traveling BUT my major stresser at work left for greener pastures and I won't be traveling again until October.  So I should be able to settle myself back into a routine.  Once I finish up the quilt and blanket (probably blankets as I am really enjoying it) I can get back to my stitching.

I'll be pulling the sewing machine out this evening and getting myself into quilting mode - I might even hem those two pairs of pants the The Hubs hung over the back of my chair a while back...

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Secret Revealed

I mentioned a while back that I was stitching a number of pieces but couldn't show them just yet.  I was able to show you my parent's anniversary piece the end of May and now I can show you:

These are Love You Dad and Love You Mom by Bent Creek.  They're stitched on 32-count Summer Khaki Belfast (more golden brown than beige) in the DMC conversion.  There are heart buttons on Mom and a star button on Dad.  I'm trying to decide between flatfolds or pillows for finished-finishes.  Why the secrecy?  Well, Alex and Michelle - see my previous post - didn't make the official announcement that they're expecting until this weekend.  Yep, we're going to have a new addition to the family come early December (I think we're going to find out this weekend if it's a boy or girl).   Everyone is very excited - this will be my sister's first grandchild and my parent's first great-grand.  So far, Mom and baby are doing well.

So onto current stitching.  Goldie came out of hibernation and I did a fair amount on her.  She went from here:

to here:

Lots of filling in now and I am going to have to do something about that blue nose. I've been researching ways to fix it, but haven't come across the perfect solution yet.  I don't need to cover it up, just tone the blue down a bit.

I've been stitching on a WIP that I found while digging through a box.  It's a Whimsies by Dimensions kit and is stitching up quickly. It's done on plastic canvas and I'm having a horrible time photographing it, so will wait a bit before trying again.  It's going to be my travel project as I don't have to worry about a hoop or scroll rods so nice and compact.

So, onto the last of my WIPs:

This is New England St. Nick from The Goode Huswife.  It's stitched on a 30-count Onyx from Weeks Dye Works with NPI silks (oh to have that disposable income again).  I bought the pattern, fabric and threads from In Stitches in Alexandria, Virginia when I went up to the Woodlawn needlework show a number of years ago.  The designer moved and stopped designing not too much after I bought this but I read somewhere that she is going to re-release her charts so this may be available at a reasonable price again.

This a from the Lilac Studio's leaflet Rose Duet I and is Rosa Gallica Versicolor.  It's stitched using DMC but I can't remember what the fabric is.  I do remember that it is a very open weave - something I don't really care for.  It stitched up fast as I remember that this was only a couple of night's of stitching.  My plan was to do all four, - Rose Duet I and Rose Duet II and hang them in my dining room.  I haven't had that particular dining room for almost 11 years now, so I'm not sure where I'm going to put these.  Maybe the guest room.

Next is:

Santa of the Forest from Lavender and Lace. It is stitched on a 32-count Natural Linen with DMC and, later, lots of Kreinik (actually it's charted with DMC 284Z but I absolutely refuse to use it).  I have a love/hate relationship with this piece.  I love the colors - the reds just jump off the fabric and the detail is what you would expect from a Lavender and Lace piece; however, this is the third time I've started it.  The first time I think was my fault as I think I miscounted my starting place and could not fit the crook of his staff on the fabric.  I'm not exactly sure what happened the second time, but I suspect the fabric was cut to design area size as I quickly discovered that there was NO extra fabric.  I was mad about that one as I'd taken the pattern to the store with me and I remember talking with them about my first issue.  I went to a different store for the third piece and they measured, remeasured and measured again just to make sure.  Hopefully third time is a charm. 

Next is:

Tiles from Sue Lentz Needlework.  I can't tell you much about this one. I got the kit at an EGA swap night.  The fabric is a white evenweave, but that's about all I can tell you.  The piece isn't charted, it's all directions - stitch 24 stitches on the diagonal and the like.  I love the color palette but it takes a lot of concentration.

and last but not least is:

By the Bay Needleart's Fall SAL. At the time I posted my list to the tab up top called "All My Other WIPs" I couldn't find this one so there isn't a current picture of it. I found it a little while back, but couldn't find the patterns (it's a three part SAL), so I was going to throw it out.  I'm glad I'm a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to throwing out crafty things as a few weeks ago I was surfing her blog and found the posts with the pattern, so I'm back in business with this one.  It's small so I may slip it into my Smalls SAL so I can get it finished.

So, that's all my non-Chatelaine or HaED WIPs and a little bit about each of them.  The good thing is that I still like each of them so they will be finished some day.

Back into the office tomorrow, I worked from home today, and then on Wednesday I'm driving to Michigan.  My Mom is hosting her family's reunion on Saturday, so lots of good fun, good food and people (they're good too).

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Giving June a Miss

Before I jump into the excuses well-thought out reasons for not posting or stitching...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Alex and Michelle.  My Nephew and Niece are celebrating their first wedding anniversary today.  In case you don't remember, here's a photo from the day:

So, um, yeah, well, stitching....

See it started with an innocent work trip.  I had to pack and get everything around the weekend before the trip so not a lot of stitching that weekend.  I then had to unpack and do laundry and all the normal weekend stuff the weekend I got back, so no stitching that weekend.  I could have stitched while I was gone, but I have learned that I am so tired at the end of a full day of training that I usually have to frog everything I did, so I read instead in the evenings.  So, yeah, that's what happened.  I am so far behind on all my SAL check-ins that I'm just going to give June a pass and work on making July better which it won't be as I have two trips to Michigan for family reunions - see what happens with trips earlier in paragraph.  I do know I won't be doing any more work travel this year.  We got our Administrative budget last week (our fiscal year starts October 1st, so we've been guessing for the last 9 months on what our budget would be) and we had a rather significant, unforeseen, reduction - so no more travel or pens, paper or other supplies and don't even ask to take a class or other training.

So what have I gotten done?  Well I have been working on Just Nan's Seasonal Gems II Summer.

This is stitched on 28-count Platinum Cashel with the called for DMC.  If you are stitching or have stitched this one, mine is a bit different from the chart.  I decided I didn't need it to say Summer and it bugged me that the design wasn't really centered in the border, so I am modifying. If you've been reading my blog for any period of time you'll know I am not a pattern changer - I was attracted to the design just the way it appeared on the chart so I don't change things.  This is HUGE for me.  I haven't done anything really major, just flipped the piece around and stitched the top band of motifs on the bottom.  That move changed up the middle motif a little but now it's centered, so I'm happy.  I need to figure out what goes in those gaps on the sides.  I also need to add beads, Kreinik and eyelets, but there's really not a lot left before it's finished.

This weekend I pulled Chatelaine's Japanese Zen Garden back out.  Last time you saw it, it was here:

and today, it's here:

I didn't do all of this stitching this weekend, just haven't updated my progress photos in a while.  This is stitched on 32-count Summer Sky Jobelan with Martina's DMC conversion.  I am using the called for PTB, beads and two threads that didn't have a good conversion.  As usual, I love stitching a Chatelaine and am looking forward to settling in for a good stitch the rest of this afternoon.

To continue my WIP review, I have:

Liz Turner Diehl's Flamigerge Egg.  This is stitched on the called for fabric, but I can't remember what it is, with the called for threads and I can't remember those either, so will have to get back to you with that information.  When completed, this will be in the fashion of a Faberge egg but with the very non-Russian motif of flamingos.  Now all I can see are a line of flamingos wearing Ushankas or maybe Cossak hats...

The next one is another Liz Turner Diehl piece (I have several of her gardens in my stash too):

Hannah's Hummingbird Knotgarden.  The Hubs gave this kit to me for my birthday a number of years ago - it has a copyright of 2007, so probably not too much after that.  It has Madeira and Rainbow Gallery Glissen Gloss threads which are both new to me.  I enjoyed working with the Madeira but the packaging caused me a little headache and I still haven't figured out what I'm supposed to do with the leftover bits.  The kit also contained all the beads.

Blackbird Designs 2011 Loose Feather's Design is next.  I have a start on part one the alphabet bleeds over into part two a little bit

Again, called for fabric and threads.  I am pretty sure I got this as a subscription piece through Wasatch Needlecrafts (sadly now out of business).  This is the first piece I put on my belt scroll - the fabric mounts on the ends rather than the top for those pieces that are too long for even the longest scroll rods.  I did discover that it works best on shorter pieces as you would need arms like an orangutan to reach the top of this one comfortably for those of us with human length arms, turning it upside down also works.

And last for this week is Mill Hill's 2006 Buttoned and Beaded Christmas.

I am stitching all six kits side-by-side on one long piece of fabric.  I think the fabric is a 28-count raw linen.  Another one that's using the belt scroll - this one fits much better as it's shorter.  I really like the Mill Hill kits as a "grab and go" piece but am always worried about mangling the paper, so when I saw them on fabric it was a complete "palm meet forehead" moment - why hadn't I thought of that before?  Although I'm sure it goes back to my earlier discussion of "not a changer" or more likely it's "there's a perfectly good piece of stitching paper why should I spend money on fabric?".

And I have been doing some stashing I have GOT to stay off  Floss Tube as I have a serious case of stash envy and I go looking at things and then they're in my cart and then, well you know *sigh*.  This

is Evening in the Shire from CutePatternsByMaria an Etsy store (don't even get me started on the evil wonderfulness of Etsy).  I bought a piece of Twilight Mist Jobelan that I think will work really well.  I also bought Sea in a Bottle:

Sea in the bottle  I haven't found the right fabric for this one, but have a piece of Twilight/Silver that I think might work.  There are a couple more patterns in her shop that I am tempted by but I am determined to stick to my Stitch from Stash budget for the rest of this year so on my wish list they will stay.

A weird work week coming up for me.  Independence Day is on Wednesday so I'll work Monday and Tuesday, have Wednesday off and work Thursday and Friday.  Friday is my work from home day so only three trips into the office this week.

Stay cool or warm if you're in the Southern Hemisphere.  We're in the middle of an early summer heatwave with temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s with "feels like" temperatures into the 100s.  Tomorrow's heat index is supposed to be near 105 so not looking forward to walking to and from the train station tomorrow afternoon.  I think I will work on Christmas cards on Wednesday - think cool and you'll be cool right?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Back to my rotation

Before I start, a big Thank You to everyone that has commented in the last few weeks - seems Blogger isn't forwarding comments to my emails - I didn't figure it out until a few days ago so I'm way behind in responding.  They say they are "working on it" but I don't know how long it will take.

I have finished my obligation stitching and jumped back into my rotation.  Before I show my progress, I can show one of my finished pieces.

This is a piece I did for my parent's 60th wedding anniversary.  It's from the Anniversary Sampler leaflet from The Sweetheart Tree.  I had to do a bit of improvising for the 60 as designers don't seem to think people celebrate 60th anniversaries.

In addition, I made this card for them:  

The swans and moon are done with a sparkle paper - you can sort of see a texture difference and maybe even a little bit of that sparkle.  Just gotta love that Cricuit (thanks family).

So - stitching.  I worked on Goldie this weekend.  Here's where she was when I started back on Friday:

and today she's here:

Lots of filling in and single stitches but progress so I'm happy.  Those stitches down the right side are confetti stitches so will take a bit to fill that in then onto the background.

For this week's trip down WIP memory lane I have:

Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow from Carriage House Samplings.  This is stitched on 40-count Vintage Sand Dune from Lakeside Linen with the called for NPI silks.  This one, like all the others, was set aside when a 17 piece rotation proved to be no way to make much progress on anything.

Next is:  

Countdown to Christmas from Blue Ribbon Designs.  It is stitched on 40-count Magnolia from Lakeside Linens with the called for Gentle Art Sampler Threads.  I love the little cardinals.  The gridding not so much, but I do like the finished piece.

The third piece is:

Eye of the Tiger by Sherrie Stepp-Aweau.  I don't remember what count the fabric is, maybe 22.  I love how the tiger heads are reflected in the eye.  Lots of background stitching left on this one - I didn't want to stitch on black but am now looking at lots and lots of background stitching so maybe I should have used black fabric.

Japanese Zen Garden is going back on the frame tonight but I don't think I'll get any stitches into it until Friday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

60 years

It was a winding and sometimes bumpy road from here:

to here:

but my parents navigated it together and today are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

Friday, May 25, 2018


That would be the sound of the days rushing past.  I have worked from home the last few weeks, so while getting a lot more stitching done, I am also totally confused time-wise.  I'm heading back into the office on Tuesday (there was an issue with asbestos and lead-based paint in the office next door to mine and as there is a door connecting the two offices, after a bit of a tiff with upper management, we were allowed to work from home until they finished the remediation), so my extra stitching time is leaving, but I have a lovely 3-day weekend before that happens.

So where to start...

Well, the 15th was the check-in day for Gifted Gorgeousness which is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  It is a lovely way to thank people that have gifted us with stitching things or to show things we are stitching as gifts.  I have three pieces that fit this SAL, but I can't show any of them just yet, so while I am checking in, there is nothing to see here just yet.

The 15th was also the TUSAL check-in.  TUSAL is hosted by Sharon at it's daffycat.  It's a fun SAL that only requires that you save snips and bits of thread in a container and then show them off once a month.  Here's my jar so far:  And Blogger is being persnickety and not showing my jar this month (honestly, I'm so stingy with thread that it looks a lot like last month's jar, just no cat). 

  None of the cats volunteered to be in the photo this month, so it's just the jar and boy do I need to get out an trim those shrubs in the background.  It's filing up nicely, but really isn't too colorful.
Last weekend was .  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and Joyze at Random Ramblings keep this one going.  On the third full weekend of the month, you have permission to sit and stitch - all weekend.  I participated and can show you one piece that I worked on and finished.

This is Just Nan's Pearl Orchid.  It's stitched on a 28-count Cameo Rose Cashel with the called for DMC.  The pattern came with a bit of over-dyed thread and all the beads and the orchid charm. This is also my piece for the Smalls SAL which is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  This SAL is a celebration of the smaller pieces in our stash.  You get to decide the pieces, you get to decide what a small is and you could have twelve finishes through the year.

And last for the SAL check-ins is WIPocalypse which is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings.  I have two pieces that are official WIPocalypse pieces but they've been set aside while I stitch up my secret pieces (I believe I will have them finished up by the end of June).  WIPocalypse encourages us to focus on those pieces we've already started and she also gives us questions each month to get things rolling.  This month's is:  Where do you love to shop for stash?  I love shopping for stash at Stitches 'n Things in Fenton, Michigan.  I started shopping there when they were located in Davison.  We would stop in while we were on our way from New Hampshire to my parent's house.  When she moved the shop it wasn't as convenient for me to be able to physically stop in but they do have a web store.  It's a small store, but every inch is used to the fullest.  Deb has a great selection of charts, an amazing thread room and all the fabric you could want.  If you can't make it there in person, check them out on-line.  Whenever I'm in Michigan and can carve out some time, I take a little drive to the shop (it's about an hour from my sister's house) and spend a wonderful few hours.  They also host two stitching retreats each year if you're interested in those.

This post is longer than I expected, but I want to continue with the WIP parade I started last time. 

First is the 1999 Sampler in a Year by Linda Driskell  and yes I started this the year it came out.  This is a mystery sampler and is done all in shades of white on a white linen.  I am not sure why I didn't get more done on it.

The next is Alpine Garden from The Drawn Thread.  I love The Drawn Thread pieces and have started and finished others after I started this one.  I think this one got put aside when I moved from New Hampshire and was sort of forgotten.  I bought this as a kit and have not changed any of the materials.  While they don't sell kits through stores anymore, you can buy kits for a very reasonable price from their website.

This last one is from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts and is Visiting the Neighbors from the Amid Amish Life triptych.  I have finished the other two so just need this one to finish the set.  It's stitched on 28-count Wedgewood Lugana with DMC.  Back when I started the series the "rule" was three strands with 28-count fabric, I find that much too bulky now which is probably why it's languished.

I have a nice long crafting to-do list for the long weekend I also have a housework to-do but I have slowly whittled that one down and only have vacuuming left and hope to cross lots of things off it by Monday evening.