24 September 2016


 In My Daughter's Eyes
Custom Chart from  personal photo
stitched with DMC on 18 ct aida

After almost 4 1/2 years, I finished the photo of my daughter and I this past week. I really wanted to have it done before the Wee Man gets here, so I pulled it out Labor Day weekend and it's been my focus. I am quite proud of this finish. Not only because it is pretty, but it was also a lot of work (although when I look at how large it is, compared to how long it took, I shake my head). I just think when I started it, back in July 2012, it was a little beyond my skillset at the time. Finishing Santa's Pets earlier this year gave me the confidence to know I could finish this. Now, maybe, I can work on some of my other full-coverage pieces without getting so intimidated. But, I am happy that this was one of the 5 projects on my list that I determined I had to finish before starting Noah's Sub. The others were Soul Music by Dimensions, Sleepy Hollow by Cricket Collection, Santa's Pets, and the year of floss tags by Needle's Content. It seemed like a lot to ask of myself last summer, but, out of them, only the Needle's Content remains to be done, and I have 4 of those stitched already.  So, it's possible that Noah's Sub will get started next year, but later, probably. Heck, getting two large projects done in one year is impressive!

I thought I would rotate Little Wings back in and make that my weekday stitch, but I adopted a UFO from stitching group, a Precious Moments baby blanket, that would be nice to have for Wee Man, so that is going to be my weekday stitch. It shouldn't take too long, and it will be nice for him. The already-completed stitching is beautiful, so I am trying to match it.

I am also trying to follow the Keeping Christmas challenge, to stitch an ornament a week. It has not been easy--somehow I find myself wanting to do more involved ornaments. I have been working on Mitten Mitten, a freebie from Cricket Collection from 2009, it has taken about 3 weeks of weekends. Ooops! I am stitching it in Sullivan's floss. I have used that floss before, but I am still up in the air about it. Part of me really likes the colors--this ornament is very cheerful and luscious--and I like the way it feels. It doesn't feel like regular cotton floss, more like linen, and it just feels very crisp and nice, maybe a little fluffier than regular DMC or Anchor. But they don't have all the colors DMC has. Maybe if I ordered it from them, or bought at an LNS, but I got mine at Hancock, and, considering no one seems to use it for anything, every time I went in there, the floss bins were a horrible mess and they were missing colors. Even if it had the number on the bin. I wish my LNS would carry it, because I do like it for designs with minimal shading. As it is, I am being creative with this finish. But it will be personal! Do you all use Sullivans? Do you like it?

10 September 2016

A few WIP photos

I've been notoriously absent from blogging lately. I have been doing a lot of stitching, but the last few weeks have been a little weird. I ended up in the ER a few weeks ago in a panic, and the doctor asked me to take it easy and not do a lot of strenuous things. No heavy lifting, no travel outside the Baltimore/Washington area (though I can go to the Eastern Shore tomorrow for a reunion, but only because it would be close enough to get me to Baltimore if things got real), and just take it easy. After so many months going full-tilt, I've been in a daze. I am not used to not being able to do what I want, but it's for the Wee Man, so I have been listening. Watching a lot of Law and Order and movies. Last night, I saw "Joy". It was a really good, empowering movie.

I have three major projects on the go right now:

In My Daughter's Eyes
charted photograph from my collection
18 ct aida with recommended threads

I had been working on Little Wings like crazy since the 16th of July. I was starting to get burnt out on it, and I still have Mama's massive skirt to do. So I took a pre-Labor Day vacation from it to work on a smaller project. On Saturday, I pulled out this UFO for stitching group and decided I need to finish it.  So I have been working on it all week. I have almost completed two pages since I pulled it out--it helps that there is a lot of black, LOL.  I would like to have this finished before the baby gets here. That way, I won't feel guilty about having two kids with no birth samplers, it will just be him, LOL.  

Little Wings
Lavendar and Lace
16 count jobelan with called-for threads

I don't have the most current picture of this, but this is, I think, my favorite part of this chart. That little birdhouse is so sweet. It's neat and dainty and so, so pretty. I love it. I am doing this for Kaydence, so she has something Mom did just for her, a love gift. She told me it looks like her and I, so that is awesome. I hope I can get it done to hang in her room. I just need a break.

I have started thinking about my plans for 2017. So much depends on how well the new baby sleeps, my work schedule and when we start doing the remodelling on the new house, but I am going to focus on small things that i have already kitted up for the year. That has been another project for me. I sorted the ones i wanted to do into project boxes by subject so I can pull them out and work on them when the mood strikes. I know thinking I can do a big project is asking a lot, so that is OK.  I think my mistake with Kaydence was wanting to stitch big things and not accepting that I had the rest of my life to do that, to just understand my time is not my own for right now. I know we need to get the work on the house done, it's what is best for us and is a better, bigger house. More wall space to hang stuff, yay! I don't know how many more UFOs I am going to be able to work on this year, or that I want to work on next year. When that is all you can work on for 6 months, it gets to wearing on you. I have them in a box and will pull one out as desired, I guess. Or wait til 2018

So that is all that is going on in Crazyville. I am starting to be ready for Fall. It's 92 here today. Too warm for September!


14 August 2016

The Mobile App

for Blogger is annoying. For some reason, I can not post text and a photo in the same post on my phone. Arrggh!At least I know my password for the web version.

Thank you for the comments about the little freebie finish. I think it is adorable! I chose a scrap of that aida that DMC used to sell that came hand-dyed (do they even make it anymore? The blue was so nice and affordable.)   This was some sort of dusty brown, but I thought I could pull fabric from my finishing stash to work with it.

As far as the fibers, I used Crescent Colours (or Classic Colorworks, but mine are old, so are Crescent Colours). A few years ago, I stitched a design with Bunny Honey, but I had to get more for the project and then ran into issues matching dyelots, so, by the time I found some I could use, I had a bunch left over in a darker version of that color. It looked to me like the color whitetail deer turn in the winter, so it was an easy choice. The wording is CC Wild Berries--I had a maroony version of that color and thought it would look good. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. The only change I made, and only because it annoyed me, was that I added a tail. I just always picture romping deer with their tails up, so I modified her ear by taking off a row and flipping it. I think it works, and I love it. I have a day off on Friday, so I am going to *try* to finish some things. I have a bunch of ornaments I have finished over the years that I just want to get done, so I can put it on the tree by the holidays. So hopefully, I can get them done.

Not much else is happening around here. I am almost finished with my first major band sampler in a few years. I spent all of last Sunday picking out and restitching the border. It has been pretty much par for the course with this project. The chart is not well-laid out, at least not in the way other band samplers have been. But, once I figure out the stitches, as long as people give me space I can get through it. I just have a few stitches to and a titch of beading, then I am done except for adding the charms, one of which is on order. I will try to post a photo.

24 July 2016

New starts

I could not wait to start something new this week. I actually waited til Saturday night, though. Went to my LNS and chose fabric and specialty threads for a few projects, but chose to start one I had in my stash. 

I did get fabric for L&L Little Wings. I realize in all my stitching life (27 years at this point), I've never done one. A Mirabilia and a Told in A Garden, but no L&L. This one looks like a romantic version of DD and I, so it was a good one for me to do. My progress has been steady.

The other one is an old design, Rabbits in the Arbor. I got it from a giveaway bin somewhere, all kitted up with most of the charms, the silks and the fabrics. I love how it looks, it's just a very tricky chart to work with. Instead of the blocks representing a stitch, they represent a thread. Its so counter everything that i know as a stitcher and different from other band samplers, which I love. I am relying on the cover photo to get me through. It's my weekend project and I work on Little Wings during the weekdays.

I came to another decision. I have a bunch of small designs and kits I have accumulated. Since I am trying to focus on working on stuff I have and I know a new baby won't leave me a lot of time to stitch large things, I think I am going to focus on 2017 as a year to stitch smalls and finish things.  That way, I can make the most of my stitching time.  Somehow, I have this vague recollection of picking up a needle for the first time the day after DD turned 1; I know this can not be true,  but it feels like that.  But we'll see.

Anyway, I hope everyone is making their way through this very hot weekend. Last night, I came home by 9 from work and was asleep by 9:45. And slept til 730 this morning. The last week or so, I have had more energy, so sleeping that long isn't normal, but I needed it, I guess. I drank a lot of water today, because my office A/C does not work, so it wasn't bad, but I still stuck to the chair. UGHHH. Supposed to be very hot tomorrow. They are calling for a thunderstorm: hopefully, it breaks the weather. If not, more water!

09 July 2016

End of Stash and Start Restraint

This week finishes my six-month participation in the Stash and Start Restraint challenge from Cross Stitch and Discuss. I started out with 80 or so UFOs and WIPs (mostly UFOs). In 6 months, I finished 19 of them.

2016 finishes
This should link you to my finish album on Facebook, even if you don't do Facebook. If not, let me know and I'll update it.

 I am pretty proud that I got so many projects finished in so short a time, but it was also pretty draining.  I have realized I don't like being restricted. Having all my kitted-up projects around and not being able to start them (the challenge involved only stitching things previously started) was frustrating. I like having the option to start new. What I did learn on a positive level is that I would rather stitch than shop. I used to prefer shopping and acquiring new things, but I have done an 180 degree shift in that regard in everything. And its helped immensely. Now, I just want to buy things when I want to stitch them. And only when I plan on starting to stitch them.

In other news, our family is expanding again. We found out a few months ago I am expecting our second child. It was a total surprise, but a very welcome one as we have been wanting another child for a few years now. We do know it's a boy--advances since 2012 include the ability to isolate the baby's DNA in my blood and tell, not only his risk for genetic disease, but also his gender. DD is still holding out hope he will be a girl, but she does love him and sings to him. He is due at Christmas; I did get diagnosed with gestational diabetes again, so he may come early. Which is fine--I am already mourning the loss of stuffing and cranberry salad at Thanksgiving, i don't want to do it at Christmas as well. LOL

So that is all that is going on here. I am planning a trip to my LNS next Saturday with all intentions of kitting up (and starting) Salem Remembered. I have grand plans of framing it and two of the Salem Sisters charts together for Halloween. I am not going to use the recommended fabric or threads for it though. It calls for 40 count and I did 2 40 count projects this year. not doing 3. Sorry.

Hope you are having a fabulous July.

10 May 2016

Finish #13 for the year

Birdsong 1, by Prairie Schooler. I started this while pregnant, and just got overwhelmed by the 40 count. Y'all that work on that count, I bow to you. I determined to finish it and did. It felt quite satisfying to put the threads in the box after this one. I wanted to do the companion, Birdsong 2, on 40 count. Not happening. I just won't hang them together!

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls