Followers

22 May 2015

Our trip to the LNS last night

I haven't been to my LNS in a while. I went before Christmas, but have been really holding back on buying new charts and things. When I do want to kit up a chart, I've been doing it in DMC. From my stash. I have ordered a few things, but very little. But I decided just as one can not diet without occasionally having a little bite of cake, one can't be on a stash diet and never splurge. And sometimes, you just HAVE to get the threads the chart calls for.

When I was going through my chart stash, I found all the old Birds of a Feather french seasonal charts. They were beautiful Picasso-like images of girls, all done in Weeks Dye Works. I collected them, and never bought the threads. I'm glad I bought the charts because BOAF went out of business, and there is nothing like them out there, but I've hesitated to start them because of the cost of the floss. And I know I could do them in DMC, but it wouldn't be as nice. Part of the allure of them is the wispy fragile effect the variegated threads give the design.  So, I sucked it up last night and descended on the LNS with my list for one of them--L'Ete--and some other charts that I needed the threads for . . . and my darling, not quite 3 year old daughter  . . .

She was as good as a toddler can be. Oh, wait, she's not a toddler, she tells me, she's a kid. I took a long her Ariel toy for her to play with while I shopped. She had other plans.

I got the threads first.  She kept asking me what they were for. I kept telling her for stitching and please not to touch them. I know I dance a fine line in mom-head because I tell her not to touch things, but, I mean, this were beautiful hand-dyed threads and she's a kid, and sometimes, as much as I want to encourage her, I have to remember, she can't be touching up on everything. I put everything back she messed up--I don't want to make it seem like I'm a parent that doesn't watch my kid or take responsibility for her, and I don't want her to be an unwelcome visitor to the store. I only kitted up three of my projects, but I figured that was enough, and it was asking a lot of a little girl to sit quietly. But I could not resist buying a skein of Weeks Old Glory and Mother's Day, and one of Gentle Art Jasmine. SO pretty.

They were having a sale, and we perused the selections. I bought Blackbird Designs Raise a Glass of Cheer and Heartstring Samplers Baby It's Cold Outside at 20% off, and they had grab bags. Now, you know how I love a grab bag and when someone says for $9.99 you get $85 worth of supplies . . . I bought two. And they're good. I'll do a separate post on them.  Well worth the money.

My girl loves her some witches, and you never see how many witch cross stitch there are til you go to an LNS with a witch fanatic. She pointed to Mill Hill Hocus Pocus Trilogy Mimi and said, "Will you buy this for me?"  and did the same for Magical Spell, another Mill Hill kit. I agreed, because she had been so good for her and they're pretty reasonable. And then I found Spooky Hollow by Lindsay Lane Designs and so we got another witch in our basket!

Other designs I picked up were:
Welcome Spring by LHN which was $6.75 and had 3 skeins of pretty Classic Colorworks.
Just Nan Bunny Shower (which I will make some of the bunnies grey and brown)
Country Cottage Singin' In the Spring--loved the colors
CCN Seasonal Celebrations-Spring. I wanted Summer, but they just had spring. Someone on Youtube had finished this one, and it was gorgeous. I love her color choices. So cheery. Just what we need after that long dismal winter.
Pine Mountain--Perhaps Christmas.  Kay-kay wanted to buy more of these, but I told her we could just get one. We chose this one.
She also picked out a Christmas ornament and said, "We can make this one for Daddy. He will love it!"  So . . . we'll be making that one.

While we were checking out, I saw that they had the Owl Birth Sampler, by Cherry Hill Stitchery. I am not an owl person, but I love this chart, and I bought it. I have a new nephew, and he might enjoy it.

And then, when we were all done, and back in the car, we realized we could not find Ariel. We ran back in and searched everywhere. And of course my daughter is freaking out and sobbing because Ariel is her most favorite Disney character at this point--work did Little Mermaid for our holiday show this past year and I took her, and she was mesmerized. As an artist, I can appreciate that that show will have an impact on her life, because I was enraptured by Annie when I was not that much older than her, and it's probably one of the reasons I started singing-- I wanted to be Annie. So, losing Ariel. The ladies were helping us, and took my info, and were so sweet, but we couldn't find it. Because it was in the car, it had fallen behind Kaydence in her carseat. We went back in and thanked them for helping us.

We had a couple more errands to run, so it was late when we got home last night . . . and I have a lot of stitching to do.

I don't intend to do a lot of big hauls like this anymore any time soon. I made a decision yesterday--again--to refocus on the things I have kitted up and started, so I can put the flosses from those projects back into circulation.  It's just nice to occasionally have something new.

But that's all from here for now. When I charge up the camera battery, I'll do a post about my current WIPs..

Have a great weekend. Happy Memorial Day!

21 May 2015

I'm b-a-a-a-c-c-c-c-k

Didja mss me?

I finally got the money scraped together to buy a new laptop. Picked it up at lunch. Nothing super fancy, just a little red (yes, I said red!) HP laptop. I never thought I would go for a color, but I deal with black equipment all day long and I just wanted something fun and "fancy."  I still have to get Office for it, and a video camera, but this week, I'll just enjoy having a connection to the world that does not fit in the palm of my hand--I tried to order some Weeks Dye Works this morning using the phone and that settled the issue of when I would make this purchase.

Hope to have some pictures up soon. I let my camera kind of die since there wasn't anything to hook it up to in order to post. Looking forward to being more active on my blog!

29 March 2015

More March finishes

 It's been a pretty good month for stitching here in Crazyville.  On top of my other finishes, I got these two pretty sweet little designs done.

From my Big Box O' Projects:

Spooky String
Lizzie Kate
Stitched with DMC on Tea-Dyed Monaco

Did I mention that, right after Thanksgiving, I bought a very large paper box at Joanns and pulled a bunch of kitted-up projects to put in it so that I'd have some form to my stitching for the year? If not, well, I did. I wanted to kind of focus my mind and limit choice somewhat so I could stitch things I had pulled materials for and really loved that would have some meaning for this year. I have a nice mix of old and new, freebie and commercial chart. it will be fun, and it will be beautiful. I do have some things i am working on that are not from the box, but I'm hoping to make a dent in those projects. 

This did not come from the box:

Cowboys Don't Take Baths
Sunset Kit, copyright 1985
stitched with the kit materials

Someone Small does not like to take baths. Unless she wants to.  She also got a cowboy hat and boots to wear on her Rockin' Rider pony. She fancies she is a cowgirl, when she is not "'Fia First" (Sofia the First, if you don't watch Disney Jr., this child adores Sofia the First) or a dancer like her big cousin.  I got this kit at CATS, probably in 2007, from one of the giveaway tables, and I never had anyone to make it for. Well, now that she is in the "I just did it" phase of life, I thought it would be adorable for her. And it is. I do have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well the materials have held up in this kit. The fabric had been glued around backing, but that adhesive washed right off. I did not have the issues with the floss that many people report. And there is probably enough fabric to finish it nicely.  I am trying to decide between framing it myself (since it's not fancy) or making a wall plaque for the bathroom door, so it's OK either way, but it's so pretty. It's definitely gotten me looking at my large stash of kits, but I am trying to be strong and not pull anymore out til I finish at least one of my large projects. I'm planning to spend April finishing Santa's Pets, I think a month would get me a long way through that one, and still give me enough time to have it finished and framed properly for the state fair.

I sort of feel like I should apologize for the condition my projects appear in in these photos. There are hoop marks all over everything, but I get so excited to take the picture, I just don't stop to iron that. Maybe, when I get my new set up, I'll be a little more patient with it and iron things. I do iron everything before finishing, though. 

So that's all for now. Big stitching day coming up for me on Thursday. We are getting new windows and doors and I am home. I have to sit in a room and watch the dog, so all I plan on doing is stitching. I haven't had a vacation day in 2 months, so I need a day off like this.  I will try to post a picture.

Til then, have a wonderful week. Thanks for sticking around!

14 March 2015

More updates

I hope everyone is having a good month. I still lack a computer, but it's on my buying schedule. We've been pretty busy lately. We are having some work done on the house, replacing all the windows and doors. This winter has been exhaustingly cold in our house--wind and vaulted ceilings are a terrible combination when your windows are horrible, and whoever had this house before us had a dog who scratched the CARP out of our back door and destroyed it. We realized things were coming to a head last summer when our daughter kept picking up pieces of the decaying door off the deck and showing them to us, but finally took the plunge. Hopefully, when we go to sell the house, it will be worth it.

I pulled this out this week to work on.

I'm embarrassed that this is taking me so long.  I have been watching Youtube videos and decided to try the parking technique, even though I don't know what to do when I get to the end of the column.   I'll figure it out. I really want to get this done by Someone Small's 3rd birthday.

And my finish for the week:
Clara's Skating Sampler, 1891
Sampler Girl
stitched with recommended threads on 32 count evenweave

I really loved this pattern, but it took much longer to stitch than I thought it would, and it's very big. 13 inches wide! I will make it into a pillow to be displayed next winter, but I still haven't found the right fabric. Maybe when we get our tax refund . . . 

I also completed organizing my DMC floss into the photo boxes. It was a 6 month process, because it got very discouraging at times. but I got it done last month, and am so pleased.  Now, I can see exactly what floss I have available, and I've only had to buy 2 skeins of floss lately. 

I'm also going to try really hard to stick to the stash wagon for the year. Money is tight, at least for now, and I need to not spend unless necessary. I have so many lovely things to stitch, and now is not the time to put my money into S.E.X. Heck, if I just worked on my Mirabilias, My Daughters Eyes, and Santa, that would last me til summer.  So, I'll stick to my little box of "must-stitch" projects, pull something else out when I can't find anything to suit me and kit from stash. 

So that's all that's going on around here. 

03 March 2015

Update

Just a few quick updates for things I've been doing

18 January 2015

Year in Review and finish list

I realized I hadn't done this yet for 2014. This is the list of finishes. I realize there have been years where I have had a lot more finishes, but I think I am still out-performing my expectations of myself. I worked on some bigger projects this year. Roughly 2 1/2 months were given to Santa's Pets, which is still not done and can not appear on this list, the same fate as a few other projects I started. Maybe they'll be on the list for 2015? The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery alone took over a month, so putting 19 finishes in an 8 month span, including 5 UFOs, I'm pleased.


17 December--Sailing Mice--Margaret Sherry, July 2007 Cross Stitcher
12 December--Happy Camper-Just Cross Stitch, June 2006
27 October--Mysterious Town of Halloween SAL-Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
30 September--freebie
30 July--Blackbird's Winter Delivery--Loose Feathers
18 July--The Cinnamon Bear--Kitty and Me Country Crafts--2001 JCS.
7 July--Are you My Mother-Bent Creek.
27 June--Twinkle--SamSarah Pearls
17 June--Peaches, Crescent Colours/LHN Collaboration
13 June--June D. Morgan calendar--Leisure Arts
11 May--Starlight Sampler--Little House Needleworks
17 April--Giving Us Spring-Sanman Originals
3 April--Wave--Bent Creek 31 March--SNN kit
26 March--Woof tuck-Sanman Designs
25 March-Apples and Applesauce--Pitter Patterns
23 February-Baked Goods--LHN Ornament series
1 February-Freebie--LK
28 January-Joy to the World--Lizzie Kate
19 January-Lamb-Barnyard Christmas-Prairie Schooler-2001 JCS

 Definite highlights of the year were getting the chart to finish Sailing Mice and buckling down to complete Happy Camper and Blackbird's Winter Delivery. Branching out to kawaii cross stitch has been a change for me, and finding the Youtube community has been, now that I've watched them for a while, really pleasant to find. I even have gotten more involved with the different groups on FB, which for me is a big step. I sometimes feel very isolated, since I work out of the house most days, live out in the boonies, and don't have close friends in the neighborhood, especially not ones that stitch.

And I feel like my efforts to organize are going to really help my stitching. Putting all the charts in boxes together, all the fabric together, all the threads, it takes a lot of the stress out of trying to find things. So I can put that towards being productive.  Speaking of which, I put everything I wanted to work on in a pretty box, so I can pull from that and go, so it will be so easy to just work on a project! And I have definite choice vs. having to start and stop projects because I can't find the floss i need or the leaflet.

I think better things are ahead for this year. I hope they are!

Recent finishes and a UFO turned WIP

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great start to the New Year. Mine seems good so far. Except for the lack of a good computer with blogger access, except when I work at the theatre, I'm good. I think I am going to spend the money and have my current laptop tuned up vs. buying a new one. It works, just slowly and not happily, but it was an anniversary gift and it would be better to not add another laptop to the landfill if I don't have to.


 I have been stitching merrily along. This was my first finish for 2015, a freebie (except you had to buy the buttons. 
O Holy Night
JABCO 
stitched with recommended Weeks and Gentle Art on a mystery linen from stash

It took me a while to find all the flosses in stash for this, but I knew I had them. I did have to rob another project for the Straw Bonnet, and it would have been easier to just buy another skein, but I chose to rob. After all, I don't know when I'll complete that project and I wanted to do this one NOW. And I love it. That Baby Jesus button is the sweetest thing EVER. This will be an ornament, but I'm still trying to decide on the backing fabric. Do I want to use a green to match the hills, or a purple for the inside of the stable? HMMM

Next finish was the Sampler Girl's 2012 JCS ornament issue contribution.

 Christmas with Jane Austen
Sampler Girl 
recommended DMC on mystery linen

 I have had this kitted up since May--there are several really pretty ornaments in that issue that I want to do, and this was a good start. I started it before Christmas, but got tied up with other things. She reminds me of my niece, with whom we spent a really nice day in November, watching her compete in an Irish dance competition. Kaydence was over the moon to spend time with her cousin,  and when we ask her to dance like Hannah, she twirls and leaps. We are planning on putting her in a class where they are introduced to Irish music, stories and dance, so this will be a nice way to integrate that.

 I have decided to spend 2015 either working on a few selected projects (that I keep in a box in the living room) or finishing UFOs. This one has been kicking around for so long, since 2004. I keep losing parts of it, so I have decided to man up, as it were, and finish it. I am using a Silkweaver Solo on  Tula, along with the recommended threads.
It's coming along, but the colors appear to have changed since the original pattern was done, because the frog was more blue on the cover chart, and the seaweed fronds are more green, but . . . I like it, and I'm tired of trying to keep the floss, fabric and chart together. I think this will be a wallhanging, but not sure.

I am almost finished with a project I started in the summer, that of reorganizing my thread stash. I've probably mentioned my lack of organization and how I never find the floss I need, because it's all wadded up in a box. Well, my friend Enid kept talking about how she keeps her floss in envelopes in photo storage boxes. Michaels was having a sale, and it sounded like a good idea, so I tried. First with sandwich bags, but those are too slippery, so I went back to the envelopes--lesson learned: sometimes, it's better to follow the crowd. It works really well. I am about 3/4 of the way though organizing, and it was not easy, but the DMC is, for the most part, in photo boxes. I still have to do envelopes for the 900 series and the 3000s, but it's closer than I was a month ago, and I can narrow my search. And know what I don't need to buy again . . . ever. It feels good.

I even managed to come up with an idea for how to use up some of the random strands of floss that I found that got separated from their skein or skeins that weren't marked what they were.  I have some of the Mosey N Me challenge charts. Well, why not take the random strands and use them to do one of those?  That way, I'm not wasting it. It's a good idea, I think

And the other thing I decided was that, while I love my super-fancy sewing machine, the fact that I took my last sewing class 18 years ago, I don't live near anyone who can really get me comfortable with it, and I am so intimidated by it is keeping me from using it, SOOOO, til I get enamored of it, I am buying one of those small sewing machines and using that to finish my stuff. I busted my butt at work last quarter--OK, I will pat myself on the back and say I did a great job last year--and I am getting a bonus, so kind of interested in seeing what that will be, but it's enough to get one of the small sewing machines. Let the girl get used to driving a Chevy before I get handed the keys to the Lamborghini. So, that should be in the next week or so.

I am so grateful for those of you who are sticking around while I work through the equipment issues I have. I found the Blogger app, so was able to post some pix. While my posts may not be as chatty, I'm still here, and still trying!
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