Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year's End

Here we are at the end of 2013 and I need to do some catching up with my stitching chronicles.  I don't consider myself a blogger.  I don't have the discipline to post often enough to keep people interested.  As I initially stated, I just wanted a place where I could keep track of what I stitched, what I want to stitch, random thoughts, etc.  A few people have found me and I appreciate any kind words they shared. 

Earlier this year I hinted that I had finished a Christmas stitch that was going to be a gift and that I would share it after the holidays.  Here's the big reveal.........


You all recognize Christmas at Hollyberry Farm by Stacy Nash Primitives.  The story behind this piece is that I was given a gift certificate last year for The Attic needlework shop in Arizona.  I knew instantly what I wanted to order.  The gift certificate came from my good friend Holly so this was a no-brainer as far as I was concerned.  It seemed the appropriate piece to stitch for her as her Christmas gift this year.  I had fun pulling this off and making that gift certificate go full circle. 

For the most part, I managed to meet my goals and a few challenges in 2013.  I haven't posted pictures of everything I stitched this year, mainly just the things that were finished.  I joined the Prim Ladies Society through Dyeing To Stitch in Virginia Beach, VA and I have all but one of those pieces stitched, just not finished.  I guess finishing should be at the top of my list of challenges for 2014!  There are several old WIP's that could and should be completed without too much effort.  I always start a new piece on New Year's Day so what I've lined up is the Keep Me Sampler by Moira Blackburn.  This will be a housewarming gift for my friend Karol who will be moving into a new condo in a few months.  It's all kitted and ready to go and I'm just itching to get started in the morning.  I absolutely fell in love with And They Sinned the very first time I saw it several years ago but wondered if it was too big to tackle.  This morning I took the plunge and ordered the chart, threads and linen from Silver Needle in Tulsa, OK taking advantage of their New Year's Eve sale. I think I'll have plenty to keep me busy for a while.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finished!

Just a quick update to show that I have finished June Morning.  The 40 count black proved not to be as challenging as I first thought.  I actually have a couple more projects in mind that would be gorgeous on black plus I want to start Mary's Sampler II by Paulette Stewart.
I'm hoping it's as quick a stitch as it looks to be.  





Friday, October 4, 2013

What happened to September?

I last posted at the end of August and that doesn't seem all that long ago but here it is October already.  What happened to September?  Besides taking an unexpected trip to North Carolina and my husband having a hip replacement, I dunno.......where'd it go? 

When I posted last I confessed that 40 ct. black linen was kicking my butt.  I was so excited to start working on that piece but that excitement soon turned into frustration.  It just wasn't clicking and it seemed I no longer knew how to count.  I decided to lay it aside and go back to a previously started Halloween piece which is now finished, just not framed. 


This is a Carriage House Samplings design, Ravens & Pumpkins & Cats, Oh My!  And Oh My! is right!!  This picture really shows the switch from one Gentle Arts Nutmeg skein to another that were obviously not of the same batch.  Thankfully it's not as obvious in person.  It's a seasonal piece that will only see the light of day for a short period when it's finally framed. 

I pulled June Morning out to give it another go and this time it clicked.  I have no idea what was wrong the first time but I'm not having any trouble this time around.  See.......

It's coming right along now.  I'm loving the bright colors on that black background.  They just pop. 

On our return trip from NC we decided to head to the coast.  We've spent a fair amount of time exploring up and down the SC and GA coastline but had never seen the Outer Banks, Nags Head, Kill Devel Hills, etc. so...........
We didn't spend a great amount of time exploring the area but wanted to at least see if it's worth going back when we had more time and hubby had a new hip.  We then headed north to Virginia Beach, VA home of Dyeing To Stitch.  This was a spur of the moment decision and I was unprepared as far as having a shopping list but I did a little damage and really enjoyed talking with the ladies and exploring their shop.  One of my purchases there was a lap cloth that was suggested to help with stitching on the black linen.  One side of this cloth is black and other is white.  When you're working on light colors, you put the dark side up and then just the opposite when working on dark.  It just might be the combination of the lap cloth and the Ott Lite that's making stitching on June Morning easier. 

I need to do a bit of blog housekeeping too.  Back in April I won a sampler box of Marly's from Samplers and Santas and failed to make any mention or post a picture here on my blog.  I guess I was just too excited to think straight, let alone show off and brag about it.  Apologies to Marly for my tardiness. 


I still don't know what happened to September but I apparently made a little stitching progress. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Whoa mama!

40 count black linen is NOT the easiest to stitch on!!!  My Medicare-eligible eyes don't have any problem seeing to stitch on 40 count as a rule, especially with the aid of inexpensive readers.  Stitching on black is a whole new and different experience.  I'm not throwing in the towel but definitely putting this project in a rotation of sorts.  I've pulled out a Halloween themed piece that had been started but obviously cast aside when something new walked in the door.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm so excited.......

I've been on the lookout for the OOP chart June Morning by The Goode Huswife for quite a while.  I had put it on an eBay list and several weeks ago was alerted that there was one listed.  I managed to win the bidding and it soon arrived in my mailbox.  I don't have a LNS so had to order the 40 count black linen and just today was notified that my order was packed for shipping tomorrow.  I can hardly wait for it to arrive so I can get started.  Thank goodness that I got that Christmas stitching done because I know what project will be getting all my attention soon.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Christmas in July

I'm basically the only person that knows this blog exists but that's okay with me.  It's a place for me to keep record of my stitching and perhaps a thought or two along the way.  After finishing the Charleston piece last month I went back to some Christmas stitching.  I'm so ahead of the game this year that it's amazing.  I usually put off even thinking about doing any Christmas stitching until about October when it almost really is too late.  This year I got started very early and that has been a good thing because I'll have projects done and waiting for the holidays.  That's truly a first.  I'll post pictures then.  It's been hotter than h--- and, trust me, stitching Christmas pieces in July does absolutely nothing to help you keep cool!  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another completed gift

At the end of March I had the opportunity to travel to Charleston, SC with one of my girlfriends.  She and her daughter-in-law, who had lived in that area but now lives in the Chicago area, were planning to go down to do some of the home and garden tours and would I like to join them........yes!!  I hadn't been there for several years and it's one of my favorite places.  We had a great time taking in several of the tours even though it was rainy and cold.  (I've never been that cold in Charleston, ever!)  We shopped and ate well, sometimes going back to favorite places and sometimes trying new-to-us restaurants.  It was the perfect girls getaway that included a trip to Summerville to People, Places & Quilts for my girlfriend and Keep Em In Stitches for me.  There we were admiring the stitched models of the Charleston pieces on display and Heidi commented how much she liked several of them.  That's all the encouragement it took for me to jump right in and offer to stitch for her, especially since she had lived there and it would be a meaningful piece for her.  She choose Queen Street Alley by Barbara and Cheryl particularly because of the iron gate and balconies.  I got started on it shortly after our return and quickly became possessed.  I couldn't leave it alone.  Usually a piece like this will become tiresome and I'll need to work on something else for a break but this one was different somehow.  I was able to finish it in three months and gave it to her and her husband when they were visiting the in-laws/parents for the 4th of July.  They seemed to be very pleased. 

This is my completed Queen Street Alley by Barbara and Cheryl.

It was stitched on an unknown 40 count linen with a stitch count of 180 X 180 for a finished size of 9" square.  That's a whopping 32,400 stitches!! 

The copyright date on the chart is l988.  Were there sophisticated computer programs then to help with the graphing?  I'd really love to know how they did such complicated graphs and Barbara and Cheryl did a lot.  In this particular chart, there was one color that was used for only three cross-stitches.  That blew my mind.  I can't imagine that those three stitches made that much of a difference but that's how detailed it is. 

Beautiful.........if I do say so myself. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finished!

I'm just posting a few more finished projects.  The first one has been in the works for a while.  I figured it was a good winter project to keep me busy on those cold, gray, snowy days and that it did.  Not only was it a multi-step project but I made four of them to be gifts for friends.  I managed to get all the stitching done and then tackled the painting.  At that point this project languished for a few months because, even though I've stitched for years,  I had never laced a piece of needlework before.  Yesterday I decided it was time to "just do it" so, after watching a You Tube video demonstrating the process, I did it!  It's not so scary afterall.  So after just a few more steps in the finishing process, this morning I'm able to add "Morning Star" by Blackbird Designs.

While I had the camera out I also took a picture of my "Christmas Garden" by Blackbird Designs.  I stitched the modified version adding the alphabet to the bottom panel rather than keeping it a seasonal piece.  It's such a pretty piece and it seemed a shame to not enjoy it all year rather than just at the holiday.  It's not framed yet but is keeping good company with lots of other unframed pieces. 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Finishes for 2013

I'm finally putting this space to use to keep track of my cross stitch work.  The photography won't be good but at least I'll be able to see what I've accomplished this year. 

The first finish for this year was "A Token of Love", a scissor pocket design by Barbara Bernard.  This was stitched last year but I didn't actually get around to "finishing" it until January to give as a gift. 


The next January finish was "Blessings Be Thine", an OOP Blackbird Design.  I was lucky enough to be able to borrow this chart from a stitcher who had posted her finish on her blog.  It still needs a frame but I think I have plenty of time......famous last words!


Yesterday I finished "A Spectacles Pocket", a Ladyes Pocket Needfuls design by Primitive Traditions.  It is lightly padded, fabric lined and has a fabric divider so that it will hold two pairs of glasses.  This one is all mine!