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24 August 2015

Picture post!

I know, two posts from me in a month? What is this? I wanted to share some of my recent finishes. I focused on one project all summer, my Soul Music kit, but I got a couple other things done. Mostly smalls.

I finished this design earlier in the summer. It's by Falling Star Primitives. I want to make it into a pillow for Halloween, but I haven't found the right fabric. Everything in the colors I want doesn't match the prim feel of the piece and they don't make the more prim-y fabrics in the colors I want. I will keep looking:
 
I think I finished this in May. Miss Kitty's Dragons, by Just Nan:



This took a lot longer than it should have, but it was fiddly. At least I finished it without losing the charms. I think we all know this is a very real threat in my house, LOL. Not sure what I'll do with it. Does anyone else stitch stuff without a purpose for it? Other than to enjoy it?

And my masterpiece, Soul Music, by Dimensions:

I have had this kit forever. I think I bought it in 2004 or thereabouts. Everyone was posting it and I thought it was so beautiful. You don't see it so much anymore. I understand why. It's all tweeding and half stitches. Like 95% half stitches. I don't want to do half stitches for a while. It was for a stitch-a-long on Cross Stitch and Discuss on Facebook. If it had been whole stitches, I wouldn't have finished it so quickly, but then again, I might have been able to count better and not had to rip out so much. I will give Dimensions credit, they give plenty of floss.

I was also in another SAL, but didn't finish.  I was working on our wedding sampler. The wolf puppies were more important. I hope to pick up the sampler and work on it some in the next few weeks, but I'm not sure.

I have actually been kitting up a lot of things lately. I went through and found a bunch of projects that needed specialty floss and splurged one night at my LNS. I felt so decadent, LOL.  And then, a month or so ago, I decided to kit up a few projects with Sullivans. I have a love/hate relationship with that particular line of floss. I love the look it brings to prim pieces, because it doesn't have the same sheen that DMC has, it's more like the linen flosses they used to sell and I love it for things like Country Cottage, but I don't like that you just can't convert more complicated DMC to it. They may say you can, but I have made that mistake, and if there is shading involved, it doesn't work so well. Not to mention, only Hancock carries it, and the closest Hancock is disorganized and doesn't keep the floss stocked. On Someone Small's birthday, we drove to the one in Glen Burnie and picked up a bunch for some older charts. Going to see how this works out. I saw the special in JCS about a whole set of it for $99, and that seems like a good deal, but . . . . I have to see how this works out.

Friday night, I kitted up Michael Jolly's Little Women design. It was a PITA. I really get annoyed when charts don't list the floss in order.  It makes it such a joy to run back in forth in front of the DMC, trying to make sure I have the right floss. Especially with a toddler in the shopping cart. But I also picked up the stuff to do a reindeer pillow from Cross Stitch Christmas 2012 in my new favorite Christmas colorway, turquoise and true red, with rubbed bronze beads. It will be stunning. As I was driving home, I realized I didn't get much done out of the giant box of projects this year, and here I am kitting up more, but I think this is truly it for a while. At least I hope. I did kit up Noah's Sub, but I have determined I can not start it til I have 5 larger UFOs completed: Soul Music (now done), Santa's Pets (still plugging away), Sleepy Hollow (one more part to go), In My Daughter's Eyes (half done) and my Needle's Content floss tags (a set of 12, I've done 3.)  Those may be my 2016 focus pieces, but I'm not sure yet. They do need to be finished. I'm kind of tired of the house being full of large UFOs.

Anyone else starting to formulate their 2016 goals?

12 August 2015

RIP Beazer

A sad post today.

On 1 August, we made the decision to let my sweet Caesar, known to the Internet and us as Beazer, cross the Rainbow Bridge. He had been fighting, gallantly and elegantly, hemangiosarcoma  since last October. We were told 6 weeks back then, and he gave us 10 months. It was a gift. I would have given anything for the chance to have that much time with any of the other pets I have lost, or my dad, but it doesn't make it any easier. I miss him. I was there when he left. He was as kind and loving and strong as he had ever been. Just hard to sit in a room with your dog and realize the only breathing in the room is yours. My daughter keeps asking when he is coming home. We told her he was in Heaven, but she didn't realize he couldn't come back. I told her she can wave to him, she just won't see him, but he's busy finding another dog for her to love and when it's time, he'll send him down to her. I probably say that more to myself than her. This is the first time since 1990 I haven't had a dog in the house I lived in, but I'm not ready for another yet.

Anyway . . . .


Since I have been laptop-less, I have been getting more adventurous in my social media. I joined Instagram for one thing. Still learning how it works, but it's phone friendly. My username is Rachel.spory (I know, exciting and unique, but it's hard to figure out who people are sometimes and my family is on there as well, so it's not hard to find me this way). If you're on Instagram, follow me!

I finished a major WIP the other day. I joined Cross Stitch and Discuss on Facebook and they host a lot of SALs.  I did a Dimensions one, since I have so many kits and need to start one or twenty. I chose Soul Music, a kit of wolf cubs howling. It was all tweeding and half stitches, but I managed to finish it in the time of the SAL. I will post a pic as quick as I can.

I'm still trying to figure out this laptop. It's funny how you get used to not having a real computer to use, and then, when given one, it's intimidating. But I'm trying to get back into it. It will just take a little time.

06 June 2015

Decisions

This will probably be a post that most of you think is silly, but it was hard for me.

I think I've made it pretty clear, I'm a weirdo thread hoarder. And I hoard kitted up projects . . .

But lately, as part of my re-evaluating a lot of things, I'm starting to realize how much money I have tied up in specialty flosses kitted up in projects that I don't know when I'll start. And then I go to kit something up that I really want to do, and I can t find it, so I rebuy it. It's a never ending annoying cycle.

Right around the time we got engaged, I kitted up Witches' Hollow.  It takes something like 50 skeins of floss for 40 count fabric and the idea of spending over $100 on floss for one project has always kind of flustered me, not to mention I don't stitch on 40 count because I can't see the holes. So I knew I needed bigger and then I got to realizing I didn't probably have enough floss and it just kind of swelled into a situation where I couldn't do what I wanted to do, and so, did nothing. And then we got engaged and married and had the baby, and money needed to go other places. So it's been sitting there. Along with several other projects in similar situations.

I have some things I have intentions of stitching soon, and it's back to the same old, don't have the floss nonsense. And I know it's tied up in these big projects that have not much chance of getting completed soon. So I made a choice that flies against my comfort zone. I unkitted Witches Hollow. It felt like I was giving up and somehow failed, but I told myself, we are saving for a bigger house. And every $2.25 worth of floss I don't have to buy because it's freed from a project is money for the house. And that seemed to help some . . .

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. 
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