Sunday, November 12, 2017

And the stocking may be hung....

Work on my Christmas Stocking for William is coming along quick considering minimal stitching time in the last week.


I don't know what I was so intimated all these years to tackle a Shepherds Bush stocking.   EZ-PZ, large count/no cheaters, perle cotton coverage.  Busy weeks ahead, no pressure to complete but this is easier than anticipated.  Geez!  I hope everyone doesn't want one after seeing William's!

Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!



Sunday, November 5, 2017

And there's more....

Just in from a great retreat in Cape May NJ.    Stitch by Stitch in Cape May held a great retreat weekend with Cathy Haberman of Hands on Design.   Not only was Cathy there but her friends Beth Seal of Summer House Stitch Workes and Janis Note from Noteworthy Stitches joined her.   The amount of giveaways from both her and the Sharon at Stitch by Stitch were awesome.   The class was great, the food was awesome, fun games, stitching time with fiends and strolling in beautiful Cape May ...there are not enough superlatives.

Beautiful sunrise over the ocean.









So check out the stuff!  Of course, after emptying the suitcase, the first thing you do is dump out all your stash!   Some bought, some giveaways.

Stuff I got......Still on a Halloween kick.   Really like the blue/turquoise fabric.   I am cheating a bit by choosing it and not having to stitch the blue background.

 More goodies I got but didn't need.

I want to make this my NEXT start!  OMGosh from Beth at Summer House Stitch Works.   She was challenged by a guild in Nebraska to design a sampler.   Their theme was Reality Shows.   What a challenge but she delivered.   Check this sampler out closely.   The motifs for 19 reality shows hidden in the design.    Let's see what can be recognized......the two roses. obviously The Bachelor.  The beehive, Honey-BooBoo.   The two "D's" and ducks across the top,  Ducky Dynasty.   And there are 16 others.

The ornament exchange piece I received.

The finished ornament I made.   There were actually ohs and ahs so I was pleased!


And now, my class piece.  A winter themed Alpine Lodge pin cushion.   I may need to call in a roofer to help with my goofy shingles!

The verse......"When there's snow on the ground......"  Cathy told us how she came up with the design and quote and challenged us to finish the sentence how we like.    Mine might be...."When there's snow on the ground, I like to have a big pot of soup on the stove,  some bread baking in the oven and snuggle up on the couch with a good book".....or replace book with stitching!

Cathy and Sharon, of Stitch by Stitch, gifted us with the pattern and complete supplies for the matching scissors fob.


Of course, if you know Cathy, she was not about to leave us hanging without a chalk piece.   She created a tag and Sharon included the supplies.   The tag is to personalize the adorable basket.  This basket that was made just for us!  So cute to site on your end table next to your stitching.

There were 50! yes 50, in the class but everything rolled fine.   So fine in fact, that 42 of the 50 have already signed up for next year.   Beth Seal of Summer House Stitche Workes will be the teacher and Cathy will return with her.     Guess my work is cut out for me to get some Hands on Design pieces done before next fall!

Believe it of not, I did get some other stitching done.
I finished the tomato pin cushion from Hands on Design.  I am not sure if I want to stuff this with wool roving or to cut layers of warm and natural batting.  Maybe by next year, I can have the whole set done.   And not to let the needle cool off, I started the Shepherd's Bush stocking for grandbaby William.  I have no plans to complete it by this year but working on this 18 count is EZ PZ.  It will be a good piece for stitching night or for lunchtime work.


Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Day Three Dawns

I made great progress last evening....me, my stitching and the Hallmark channel.   Sappy I know but I can't stitch and have to watch the plot so Hallmark it is.   Besides, sometimes it is just nice to have a feel good show on.

There are snowflakes there that are not showing up!


Anyway, Day Two of my hurry-up Christmas Ornament stitching  ended with me pleased with my progress.  However, Day Three dawned with the inability to find the other card of Crescent Colors English Ivy.   I  KNOW I have two cards.   Although both were left over from a previous project, I knew there was enough.  If you know me, you know I hate, with a passion, wasting time 'looking' for things.   I search my project bag, my stitching bag, pulled the cushion off my stitching chair and resigned to blame the cat and move on.   Poor maligned Buddy.

I hate when you have a hiccup in your progress.  So with all the floss we all have on hand I was headed to my sewing room to find a match.  Now there is green and there is green.  





I think I am satisfied to use Bullfrog.  I hope to finish the stitching tonight, prep with interfacing and be able to turn wrong sides together and stitch the finishing at lunchtime on Monday and Tuesday at work this week.



Also, yesterday and three needles later, I put in a zipper in the second of four jackets I am mending for Mr. W.   When I told him I had two more to do, they have been in the mending pile so long he forgot about them.   It was like old is new again.  


I putzed about a bit and tried using Mod Podge to attach card making paper to the backing of a project.   Good thing it was a practice run.  It came out a bit ripply.  I am not going to reinvent the wheel but will head  to YouTube to find a tutorial.  








Also in my impatience to get something done, I decided on a frame for the  Longaberger Basket stitch.   I was torn between this frame and the plaid frame but I thought of how I could display the finish and the frame won.


Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Day One

A quick glimpse into the craziness of my life.     It has been one of those stretches of consecutive days of evening events.   Heading out again shortly.......then again tomorrow and again with theater tickets for Sunday......I guess you rest when you are pushing up daisies.

I have put Corsica River aside until after Christmas.   What!  Yes, there are too many Christmas projects and things to be done and yes I know it is only October....but you wouldn't know that by my spare room and the gifts all about already......but again, I am off on a random tangent...

So last weekend to grind out the frustration of missing my right arm at work, I tackled my craft room.    And might I add, I was quite successful.   I even managed to get a tiny sewing project done and in the mail to a friend.   I ripped out two zippers and replaced one in a jacket of  Mr. W's.   (he has two more waiting of me....ugh!)  I also sorted through my completed projects and my WIP's for whatever reason.......they pretty much all ended up back in the big old kaboodle the same as they were.  But it was a good diversion.    It has raised a question..........

For this finished stitched piece I am wondering how I should finish it:  with the fabrics they provided as a hanging pillow or after shopping my closet, should it go into a little frame?  Opinions welcomed!

It is just a tiny thing.


This is the fabric, ribbon and buttons provide in the kit.



Or do I put it in a teeny tiny frame to sit on the counter or shelf in the fall?


And two other frames pulled from the closet for someday.



Tuesday I attended my first night at a new needlework group and made great progress on my HonD piece which I forgot to photograph.   I am getting close to completion.   The bad thing that happened was being convinced I should make an ornament for the exchange at my class next week.    I hate doing a piece for an exchange.   Mine always looks so cheesy and every else's looks so clever and museum quality.   But I was weakened state from all the evenings out....


I picked this pattern from my stash on Wednesday night.   Day One, this is my progress.   I think I can get this stitched by the end of the weekend which leaves me Tuesday and Wednesday to finish it and wrap it.    I can always just put pretty Christmas fabric as the back to save stitching time.



They have all been fun nights out which brings me to Wednesday and a Stampin Up Stamp a Stack night.    I need to stop saving the cards I make and start sending them!  Here's what we did this week.  Not bad... $25, pizza, drinks and snacks, a few hours laughter and fun later,  and I left with six awesome Christmas cards,  envelopes and a holiday stocker stuffer/favor.

So out the door I go to an old Episcopal Church for "Tunes from the Crypt" event.   The non-profit I am on does spooky Halloween Music by candlelight with the organist dressed as a witch.  Her shadow casts crazy images in the candlelight.   After the music, is a ghost tour in the adjacent cemetery and then home to stitch.   That is if the goblins don't carry me off!

See I really did need to put aside Corsica River so I can get a bunch of other things done!

Thanks for stopping but, keep on stitching and have a howling good time whatever you are up to!


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Progress

First let me apologize for rambling on about my work woes......I have always felt when you have issues if you write about them you can visualize the troubles flowing down your arm, through your hand and off onto the paper.  Like the song lyrics....."letters I've written, never meaning to send..."  Well it must have work to blog about it because yesterday just got better as the day went along.

Hazardous waste (oil based paint, old pesticides, motor oil) was dropped off and the sorting continued.  I managed four boxes for the consignment store, three boxes for Goodwill and two boxes for trash.   My shed is ship-shape and the attic is getting purged one box at a time.  




I made a fabulous dinner......I am a casserole making and soup cooking Queen.  Love those hearty stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals.  My friend Lynn D.  (Hi!) told us about a Reuben Sandwich casserole when were were at our retreat.  Found a recipes on All Recipes  and it was EZ PZ to do, quick and delicious.  Bring on the GF rye bread and this will definitely be one of those make ahead meals for when family is in town.

Before the Penn State game came on last night, I did manage to put in my name on my stump work name tag.   I wrote my signature out, traced it onto the fabric and then couched the floss in place.  Even though I took the time to center it, it doesn't appear centered.  Hey, from the top of the bridge it passes muster!
Also was able to finally make some good progress on my Hands on Design tomato pin cushion.  Maybe I should continue to work on all things NOT Corsica River on the weekends.  I had great thoughts of getting this, the other smalls in this set as well as the box done before my class with Cathy in November but I am removing that pressure........let's be honest...it isn't going to happen.


Unfortunately I  never did make it into my craft room but that is today’s destination.  I am heading up there straight away.  Taking a good ole cuppa up with the, going to put on some music, open the windows and get on with it.  I need to replace a zipper in Mr. W.’s jacket that he has kind of mentioned it a couple of times but that will be only after I sort and put after some things away.   Hoping I don't get too lost when I am up there.

Have a great week all.   Thanks for stopping by.   And keep on stitching!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Unintended consequences

I may need to deduct 365 from my countdown.
It has been a difficult week at work.  The elimination of positions, although in the best interest of business, does leave everyone tense.  Not the least of which was the release of a close coworker.  She is such a champ and says things happen for a reason and she will be fine.  Still the tension is palatable.  

To break that tension I have been cleaning and purging....Monday night was the clean, sort and rearrange the medicine and linen closet in the bathroom.    Tuesday night was kitchen cabinets and expired cake mixes and canned goods.  The trash men did not think fondly of me come Thursday morning.

Wednesday night was attack the vegetable garden.   I had noticed holes in the leaves before OCMD Retreat.   I asked a gardening friend at work what was going on; she said slugs and to ring the plants with Epsom salt.   Well this is what I returned home from my retreat to find.   So sad....I was looking forward to home grown broccoli, Brussel sprouts and kale.   Guess I am not very good at vegetables.




These guys have a voracious appetite




For stitching, I am stumped!  Literally.   I am working on my first stump work piece.   I am finding it not as soothing of a release as cross stitch or blackwork. It seems a bit tedious to me.   My threads are shredding and my buttonholes are not consistent but it is a learning process.  I have all the parts done except for stitching in my name before our next monthly meeting when we will assemble this mess I have made.
Other stitching has me torn.... I am really enjoying working on Corsica River but it is leaving me no time for other things.  I am itching to start something new and small for some instant gratification.  But first up, I need to have a grand sort out of my craft room.   I couldn’t find the fabric that came with a kit to start the next small of that kit.  I pulled out everything and anything and looked and re-looked.  I hate wasting time searching for things. Everything in its place and a place for everything.    There are only a couple of places I put my needle work projects but the fabric was no where to be found.......only when I sat down at my EGA meeting and there it was in my project bag where I swear it wasn’t before.

Onto other mess.....I was loading the oil based paints, motor oil, pesticides, etc. from my Friday night attack of the shed to take to the semi annual hazardous waste drop off this morning......for whatever reason, I dropped a gallon of deck stain on the patio which reminded me of the night a little one ran into bathroom to get sick only to have the toilet lid down.  It wasn’t pretty.  Sorry to be so graphic but it is how my week has been going.  So out came the hose to wash it away.  Off came the new sweats to soak.  And I will now have to explain forever and a day why the grass does not grow there.  While trying to not contaminate the ground water with my old paint, I did exactly that.  Argh!

So, wrap me in bubble wrap today and be sure I will not venture far from home today....I don’t dare go on the bike ride I thought I would on this glorious unseasonably warm fall weather we are enjoying on the east coast.  Maybe finish the quilt binding but someone will have to tell Buddy to find another spot to snooze.   First I am upstairs to clean the attic area of the shed and hopefully have time to get lost in my craft room.  


The week has shown a lot accomplished by channeling nervous energy and frustration. Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!

Monday, October 9, 2017

I am the winner again

Too many times I have been the winner of the title of "Spender of the Most" at checkout time!   Rats.....I was stocking up for retirement right?    Oh well, if I have to win something I guess this isn't so bad.     Ahhhhh....to be back from retreat.   Why after a long weekend of relaxing to the sound of  ocean waves and stitching the day away in the porch rockers,  watching the waves am I so tired?   And how can I come home and what to still stitch?   Mysteries of the universe I guess.   Wow, I am so blessed to be able to do this twice a year with all my stitching buddies!  We all agree this is the best time because we not only get each other and because we get to know each other which you really can't do at the monthly meeting.  Not to mention they are enablers to purchasing.

So enough gushing about the friendships and the stay.....but wait......gushing about our goody bag for sure.   OMGosh!  We were sitting in the car getting ready to leave for lunch when Pat brought our goody bags to us and we opened them  together.   Sara heard us oohing and ahhing all the way across the parking lot.   We shouted our Thank You's to her.  From soup to nuts,  from needles to finishing trim for  Brenda Gervais' Spirits & Spells pattern.   See Salty Yarns most recent post to see the stitched finish and finished project.  


I took a half dozen projects with me but had such a fumbling time with stitching.  I think I frogged more stitches than I kept in.   The lights in the lobby didn't seem to be as bright as they have been in the past and I forgot my Ott light.   Also, I was having trouble seeing clearly......I mean how many pairs of glasses/cheats can one person where at once?    I was beginning to think was I losing my ability to follow a pattern.   Diane and Pat agreed on the lighting and I brought myself a couple of higher strength clip on cheaters and WOW it was the answer!

I did manage to finish my pre-stitch for my November class in Cape May with Cathy Habermann of Hands On Designs.  I struggled with the stiff fabric and the openness of the linen.   We had no color photo included in the kit so at first I was not sure I would like this piece but as I stitched in the color it started to appeal to me more and more.   There are some words that have been stitched and an outline mirroring the house that has also been stitched.....just waiting for November!















Work on this Hands On Design piece is about to come to a stop.   I think I need to park this one for a while.  I thought it would be easy.....just repeat, repeat, repeat......but not the case.    I am not happy with how slow this one is progressing. Nor am I thrilled with the amount of frogging I have done with this.












I started my first needlepoint piece and this is another one that I was having difficulty seeing the black on black.  Diane pointed out that I needed to add more tacks and it will make it easier.   Drat, I can see those two little plastic containers with more tacks in my mind....but where have I put them?  Somewhere safe to be sure.


Before the girls got here Thursday morning, I was able to get in a little progress on Corsica River.    I am enjoying the blackwork.   Not everyone likes it but I like the challenge of plotting my route in and out.   I didn't take it with me this time but will when I go to Camp WannaStitch in January.

And then there is what I bought to win the title......
 I think Lila's Studio may be one of my new favorite designers.   I have had my eye on the Praise Worthy Stitches haunted mansions but could never decide which one I wanted to do.   Then I saw this on the Internet last week.  Don't you just enjoy stitching a Quaker design?   Each individual motif is quick and easy and you see progress.  Believe it or not, the fabric is the called for fabric, Murky by Picture That Plus.   I am looking forward to starting this but not sure when that will be......

 A great sales technique....show the buyer what they can do with it once done.   Sally had similar rounds completed and rather than just laying flat on the table, she had it displayed on an easel.   What a cute little display for a small corner, a shelf or a desktop.
 A Sue Hillis chart I did not need but.....having recently going through all my fabrics, I know I have several pieces of Halloween purple and green I can use.   (Once started) these should stitch up quickly.
 This Cricket Collection pattern I have looked at for several years.....so it jumped in my bag too.   I know right where to find the springtime pastel fabrics in my stash.  One year they will be stitched and hanging on my spring time tree.  I also got a slew of floss and trims to add to my stash.  Stimulating the economy one retreat at a time I am.


And I have to share William.   I have the best D-in-L who shares weekly pix of William in addition to our weekly FaceTime.   Is he a character or what?

I have forced myself to sign up for a retreat in the Harrisburg area and wow, I will be halfway to his house.....guess I will have to add a few days either before or after the retreat to have a little visit.
 And this one had G-Mom using his middle name... William Geoffrey!  He's a climber.  They had to take him out of his crib three or four months ago because he was climbing out....

 Thanks for stopping by and having staying power through my post.  Keep on stitching.