Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sam is coming along

Alma Lynn designs from 1992, duplicate stitch pattern for a sweater.
I am amazed at how fast Uncle Sam is coming along.   This is a super great project for me right now.  



Still working mad, crazy hours including going into the office today.   I can get more done in four hours on a Saturday than I probably will accomplish on a full Monday and Tuesday!




I am allowing myself 15 to 20 minutes each morning before getting ready for work rather than an hour each morning.   As you can see, it is working.  I thought I was being extremely hopeful to attempt to finish by the 4th of July......as for now I am feeling like that is not unrealistic at all.


Sam is stitched on 18 count.   On a previous 18 ct. finishes I have used 3 and even 4 stands of floss.   I charged ahead here using only two strands but as fellow stitcher Pat pointed out, it gives him a more faded, weathered look and I am OK with that.   He is supposed to have a stitched flag but I will be using this flag instead....that is if I can attach it well enough to keep it sturdy and not from dipping down.    When the stitching is done, I will be finishing him to stand on an easel.  

As for me, hi ho, hi ho, it is off to work I go.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Blooming

Yeah!   Good things do come to those who wait.   One orchid bloom has popped and more on the way...


Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Detour or Two


Here is what I have been up to stitching wise this week.   Really moving along with Uncle Sam.   Was so excited as I sipped my second cup of coffee this morning to see how far I moved along.   Well......what I thought was the beard down the right hand side, it actually the vest, and the difference between "V" and an upside "V" on the color chart is gray and red.   Thank goodness this is stitched on 18 count.   Frogging will be a piece of cake.   My plan is to get this corrected by end of day.  On a good note, the bottom of the beard is the bottom of page one of the graph so that is encouraging.


I am getting ready to start my Corsica River Challenge (See Corsica River Stitch Along on Facebook or see this post) so  today I wanted to make sure I ran a basting stitch down the left hand side to avoid that sampler spraul that can happen and to mount this on my scroll frame.   Well.....another detour.....seems I need to order longer bars or if I can't find them on Amazon (already looked at a couple of cross stitch store websites) I will be sending the hubs to Home Depot for two 5/8's by 28 inch dowels.    That should be interesting.  I recently asked him to pick up a 3 1/2 inch by 42 inch piece of glass from the local auto glass store.   While giving him the existing piece of glass from my grandfather's clock that was mysteriously broken one day and no one knew who did it (albeit 20 years ago) and I am finally replacing it.   I tell him to get the cut 1/8 inch narrower than the old piece so I can ease it back into place easier.  Mr. W. takes my direction, takes my note, walks away and comes back after much thought and says......why do I want the thickness an 1/8 inch less adding that the glass is pretty thin already.   God bless him!    You want your stereo, your tv, your computer connected, wired, or on the cloud, he's the man but not so much with carpentry.   Just get the same size dear and I will get out the glass grinder to make it fit.    Men and women really do see things differently and maybe I really am just not ready to be home with him all day, every day.


And a finished finish.  This was fun to do.    When at Salty Yarns in January, I saw the "Postcard" series from Beth at Summer House Stitch Workes and thought her finishing idea was the bomb.   I hopped on to her website for more info and sure enough she has a YouTube video to demo how to do the finish.   Aren't stitchers just the sharingest of the people?   I had fun doing this mixed media finish digging through my stash of bits and bobs that we crafters keep for that 'just in case I need it' moment.  I made a color copy of my stitched piece and cut it to size to work with until I knew everything would work.



New camera zooming on in the bird bath even shows the  glue gun 'hairs'.    Yes, a new camera.     Mine has been givens me fits and starts the last month.   It finally evolved to taking a photo and then it would shut off.    Mr. W. bought me a new battery and a new charger.      (again, his speciality, anything to do with  electronics).   Neither helped.   He made an appointment at Best Buy only to find out it was $130.00 to send it to Canon and that was only to be told what is wrong and IF is could be fixed which would cost additional.   Home he came with the updated version of the same camera.   
Don't you just hate that  this is  such
a throw away society?   It is easier and sometimes the only option to replace an item rather than fix it.    I have a clock in my bathroom that was on the wall in the bathroom of my childhood home.   This little plastic clock has to be 45 to 50 years old.   And I can't even remember when the batteries were last changed and it is still ticking.  What will millennials do if they ever need to repair something?  


 But enough of my carrying on.  I am leaving you with this sweet finish that I am proud of.
Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Stitching all.   Thanks for stopping by.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Two Weeks to go.....

Just two weeks and the Corsica River SAL Challenge will start.   Hop on over to the FB page at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/131778023996184/  to get on board.  Go to the "files" tab to check out the premiss, the pattern, the stitching schedule and  see who's onboard already!

See my earlier post from this past fall about the SAL.   I have updated the rules to include the Facebook Option - Option, not necessary.   I just need to know your preference.


Here are the names of those who have signed up via the Facebook Group -

Pat L., Elmer, NJ
Stacy S., Newark, DE
Evalina, British Columbia, This and That blog (EvalinaMarie@blogspot.com)
Laura K., VA
Ann S.,  DE
Barbara S., New Zealand
Lynn M., Lancaster, PA - not sure if Lynn is along for the ride or is watching the ride
Christine K.
Dianne M.
Dorothy H.
Jo B., New Guinea
Kris A.
Kristina H.
Melissa B., Atlanta, GA
Sandra B.
Sarah M., Seattle, WA
Sharon F., Buffalo, NY 
Sue W. Buffalo, NY


 Ack!   I can't believe I am taking this on....the SAL AND the CHALLENGE of this piece!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Happy Weekend Everyone

I know I sure am glad for the weekend and lingering over the second cup of coffee in my pj's rather than racing out the door in the early morning cold.

I do have a finished to share and a hot mess of tidbits I need to complete the finish.  This was such a  sweet project and what I needed when time is limited.   So nice to have quick finish for that quick gratification.
The Drawn Thread - Love Birds
I have a neat idea on how to finish this and jumped right online to Amazon and ordered what I needed.   
I sorted through all the bits and pieces of paraphernalia that a crafter saves and started pulling items I need for this mixed media finish.  I feel sure by next weekend I  will have a finish to share.


I managed a teeny tiny bit of stitching on my take along piece.  Just need to remind myself, slow and steady wins the race.   I am close to halfway and feeling good about my progress.



A couple of posts back I mentioned I was planning on doing ten stitches a day on a project.   Well that method doesn't work for me.  For me it is more work to count and stop at 10.   I have had success in the past with 'loading' three needle's worth of floss and working until they are empty.   For me that is a win-win.   I can make progress without dedicating a lot of time and while not taking time from other projects.   Wandering down that merry trail of a stitching method, I am making progress on my Thursday night girls SAL.  Several of us in the group have gravitated to like projects in the past and completed them as SAL between us.   We did enough Santa's so it was time for something different.  We did know we wanted to do a stand up finish.

We decided on a patriotic stitch.   We finally found a pattern we all like, Alma Lynn Designs from 1992!  The pattern is a duplicate stitch for a sweater but it is just as easily stitched on 18 count.   For me, Sam's hat is coming along.   I am not sure if the others have started.    I'd love to have this done by 4th of July....maybe not 2017.

Thanks for stopping by.   Happy week and happy stitching everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunrise and Sunset

It is that time of year again for me in the world of work.  I am leaving for work in the dark and pulling back into my driveway long after dark.   Just a couple or three heavy more work weeks and then I will be coasting through the rest of the winter with just the normal hectic workload.   On those chilly dark mornings I let my mind fantasize.  I cross a high suspension bridge each day on my commute and as I descend from the top, I see laid out before me a vast sea of blue-black velvet which is heaped in mounds and folds across which is a spilling of jewels......diamonds, rubies, topaz, emeralds.....I bring myself back to reality and the realization that the diamonds,  rubies and emeralds before me are the street lights, red and green traffic lights of the busy outskirts of the city waking up.   Back to reality my mind wanders into the houses and homes where children are getting more snuggles from moms, fathers are coming or to and from work, teenagers are taking their time getting up and getting ready, firemen man the station waiting a call, school bus drivers are warming their buses for their routes, a cat is sleeping on a child's bed and dog is begging at the door to go for a walk and all those everyday, wonderful, normal things just going on as I take on another day.     You see, for me, it is all about a positive attitude and I choose to see the good.  With this I am content and I am appreciative for what I have and do not worry about what I do not.  Enough gushing and my Pollyanna views of the world.  

Because of work, not much stitching was accomplished this past week.   Not even at lunch at work as lunch has been as my desk.....and so much for doing 25 stitches a day on this piece.....counting does not seem to work for me.  For me that makes it work, besides it is too cumbersome to stop mid-bird or letter.   I just keep stitching.  
This is proving to be a sweet, fast little stitch considering the stolen few minutes I have had this week to stitch.  I am hoping for more progress on this later today.

Yesterday I did truly take a day to do nothing but sooth my inner creativity with a day of finishing. Mr. W. has been in Atlanta, GA most of the week for the Winter Meeting of Drum Corp.....(planning out the summer season) which makes it easier to do nothing of a household nature.  My daughter came down for the day and brought her serger - a machine I don't want to try for fear I need one.   She sewed a jacket, then cut out a dress and started to stitch that up while I made Miss Mary Mack into a pillow.     I should have done some much need computer work but alas after long days all week with contracts and spreadsheets the last thing I felt like was logging on a computer.

I did have a vision and it actually turned out the way I saw it in my minds eye save for I ran out of stuffing.  (Diane! I need a new BIG bag)    For the back I created a bit of whimsy by making it have the look of a shirt placket.  I had four buttons to complete the back but the forth had no hole in the shank so  I fashioned a tiny bow of 1/8-inch satin ribbon and added three petite silver beads to the center.


A true prim and proper dress for Miss Mary Mack.  
Wishing you all a great week filled with many stitches and good days. Until next time, thanks for stopping by.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Progress and New Adventures in Cyberland

I had a great day with friends yesterday.   One friend generously hosted a stitching weekend.   Those that traveled far stayed overnight and others dropped in for as long as possible.    Great friends, good chatter, fabulous food and stitching.   Wahoo!   (Thank you Stacy for a great day!)

Here is what I have to show for it... This is where I was after last weekend........and happy with the great progress below.   I am almost to the halfway point.    I may put this aside when I get to the point. Yesterday my friend, Francine, translated the french name of this pattern.   Yes, I could have went onto google translator but it was so much cooler to have her say it in french.

"A Stitchers (embroiderer's) Dream".   This is proving to be a great take along piece to stitch on.   Maybe I won't put it aside. 

Below, progress on Drawn Thread's Love Letters.    This has been on my wish list for some time and it was gifted to me by the best PenPal in the world!  (Hi Shirley!  I'll write soon, I promise.)  I think I will pledge to stitch 25 stitches a day on this piece  Those stitches will add up.

No more progress to share on Rosewood Manor's Cornwall Cottage.   hmmm, maybe I should dedicate Sundays to stitching on it.   That deserves some thought.

And....buds on my orchids after two years.    Yeah!   Three buds on this orchid and two on another.   It is a fine balance of returning them to their favorite window and neglect!  I will be sure to share photos of the blooms.    Glad I didn't give up on these babies.   Good things come to those who wait.


Next up I need to update my other blog since I missed the last monthly DVHSG Meeting (Thank you Caryl and Lynn for notes and photos); I need to create a new blog for my EGA guild (down the rabbit hole further for a couple of hours); and finally, I need to attack the creation of a new Facebook page to launch the Corsica River SAL, starting 2/22/17.  (Ack! Could be the cyber point of no return!) It is just fear of the unknown for this one.  And I am sure it is an easy thing to do but unlike the millennials that have no fear of anything internet related, I still have the mentally that once it is out there is it out there so no "whoopsie daisies" allowed!  Not the Corsica River is in any way risqué!   LOL   An hour of computer work, an hour of stitching, rinse and report.   Sounds like a good afternoon to me.

Have a great day all.   Happy stitching, happy week.

Facebook page has been created!     Title - Corsica River Stitch A Long

I also have a link to a great tutorial for the Assisi Stitch which is part of rows 2, 4, 7, 8 and 9.





Monday, January 16, 2017

Keeping up with my goals....

I am keeping my promise to put more time into completing that white elephant of a project of the wallpaper removing I started last year.  I made great progress spending a Sunday afternoon attacking the mess.
and making a mess with all the bits and pieces.    An hour here and there and I will continue the progress so I can reach my goal by summer.  Good thing this is the upstairs hallway that no one but me sees!  





















Today, I am just back from Camp Wannastitch in Ocean City Maryland.   In addition to stitching you know that means a trip to Salty Yarns for shopping and seeing old friends.

What a fabulous weekend.   Camp Wannasttich is part of the MAR (Mid Atlantic Region) of EGA (Embroiders Guild of America).   How can one be so tired from sitting and stitching for a weekend?   And how can one stitch all weekend and come home and want to stitch more?   It's a mystery I guess.  I got to see old friends and met some new.   We shared a table with four fabulous ladies from Williamsburg and now have great invitations to visit them in Williamsburg.

I was able to make great progress on a couple of my challenge pieces.
Before -  



I ran out of the Anchor floss I was using.   Fear not, it has been ordered


Rosewood Manor's Cornwall Cottage - before


and after -
I managed to almost complete page 3 of 12!
I am happy I starting working on both of these projects.   Both were put aside because I thought them too large and too tedious.   What was I thinking when I packed these away under the guise both were too difficult?....both are moving along nicely....for the moment.

And of course, staying true to my lack of restraint, I started this little cutie from Lizzie Kate.

Hopefully I can be done by Easter.  I have plans  for this quick  little  stitch.
Happy week and happy stitching all!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Went Fishing

So the best laid plans of my snowy Saturday went amok.    I do laundry and needed to clean first and that is where I got into trouble.    About 3/4's of the way done I thought I'd be nice to Buddy (the cat) and vacuum his kitty kat condo he climbs on.   Just as I was thinking I'd better grab that catnip fish, you guessed it.....swoosh into the vacuum it went.  So fast forward about 10 minutes and I have the vacuum in pieces, the fine dirt has come out of it and out of the canister and is all over the floor, my clothes, the cat has walked through it, paw prints everywhere, I've sneezed, dust everywhere with the obligatory I have now wiped my face with my grimy hand and have dirt across my cheek, Mr. Wonderful comes in from outside and just looks at me, puts his coffee cup on the end table next to me and he asks "what are you doing" and I just glare at him.  He says he'll come back later........so a bit of digging about into the innards of my Dyson with a crochet hook and viola, a catnip fish!  Meanwhile I kind of resemble PigPen from Peanuts.

Now I got it put back together and I can't find the hose.   I mean really!  I only walked to the kitchen and back but now I retrace my steps  at least 3 times, through the dirt pile no less.   By this time - although I am not swearing - I am speaking out loud to no one that this is totally ridiculous.   I find the hose, right next to where I was sitting (I swear it wasn't there before).   So this whole morass has set me back the better part of an hour.....

Tools away, cleaning products away, clothes changed and I decide I am going to stitch for an hour before I start dinner (which thankfully is a big pot of soup I already made!)  I start to stitch and I (almost) complete the motif only to realize a mistake was made in my count from way back when I worked on this piece several years ago.....  It is now 3:00 and Mr. W. returns and wants to know what I am cooking for dinner......

 I get a big bowl of ice cream and sit in the recliner and succumb to the day with the Hallmark Channel and decide I quit!  Mr. W. can warm up his own soup!  It was just one of those days.

Snow Day!

Only one thing better than a snowy Saturday.....that would be a snow day during the week which would mean a Snow Day Off.....I will settle for a Saturday snow day.    The forecast keeps changing and I have no idea what the final snowfall amount will be.....I know for sure we won't be getting what is forecasted for my friend Stasi in Richmond.   (Stay safe my friend and see you next weekend!)

So what does a snow day mean to me.....beauty, silence, big pot of soup, and.....wait for it........crafting all the day long.   Yeah!   Yes, I have done the obligatory cleaning and making of beds and I have started a big pot of potato soup.   Now don't get excited, it is not from scratch.   It is a mix to be doctored up with bacon, sour cream and cheese.   I look forward to a side salad and a steaming bowl when I take my dinner break later today.

I am not sure what I will get into today but after that War and Peace missive of a post of my last post - and I applaud all the diehards that lasted through that post in its entirely - I forgot to share Miss Mary Mack!    She was my last finished for 2016.   I have plans to finish her as a  pillow with a flanged edge....but we all know that sometimes what I envision does not always turn out as it was in my minds eye.    She was stitched in R & R's 28 count Winter Bran with WDW Molasses, pattern by La-D-Da.


 I stitched the dress on a diagonal and like how the color variation in floss played out.

"Miss Mary Mack, Mack Mack,
All dressed in black, black, black,
With silver button, button, buttons,
All down her back, back, back.

She asked her mother, mother, mother,
For first cents, cents, cents,
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants,
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high,
They touched the sky, sky, sky,
And didn't come back, back, back
Until the 4th of July, July July."

I thought I knew which fabric I was using for my finish - the center one because of the scale of the print.   However the color above is more true than as it photographed below.   Now I don't know which one to use.

Some of the silver buttons I have pulled from stash.   I really like the one with the black center.   It has a large shank and would be perfect at the center of a biscournu.


Also there was another big project  I started in 2016 that I didn't share.   This is something I have been contemplating and been advised against by professionals for several years.   But I took the plunge and started the process.    Intrigued?   LOL......I stopped dying my hair last June or July.  Of course a hairdresser is going to advise me against it.   I am letting the gray grow in and I like it.  The long months of a technicolor mane of hair are behind me.  I am about maybe a haircut or so from getting the last bits of dye cut off.  In my little pea brain I choose to view it as natural frosting.   Maybe it was turning the big 6 0.   Or it was seeing pix of friends on their boat sharing his catch of the day and noticing how gray he has become that got me thinking why do guys look distiquished or sexy with gray hair and women don't.   I can tell you it is very liberating.   If I was any good at taking a selfie that look more like me and less like some sort of big eyed alien head looking like a dazed deer in the headlights, I would share the color.  

Enjoy your day whatever you decide to do.  Hopefully I will have something more than a tale of cleaning, sorting and purging stash to share for my day o' crafting.   Life is good.  Happy week everyone!