Mar 30, 2011

It's not much...

But it's enough to make me whine.
I started Fanny Erb tonight.   Love the floss colors.

I was putting off picking fabric and pulling threads, and I realized if I didn't do it today, I wouldn't do it at all.  I was hoping that blogging would in some way force me to continue stitching and I guess it's working.  Doing a larger project than I expected to do may not last - might move to a small - but at least I'm stitching.  As I said before, I have never put a project down and started another, but I may now!   I've cut the stitched part out of the linen piece, thrown a few in the trash, even burned them.  One way or another, they were finished!   I'm a firebug.  Love to make fires outside, which is dangerous when your hair is wild.   I've had to cut off crinkled smelly chunks several times.   Good thing is, when it's wild, you can't tell.  It never dawned on me to use small areas of the unwanted project for unique pieces as Beth Twist did here.
She made a neat fob from an abandoned piece for her giveaway.  And guess what?   I was a runner up!  Her puppy pics are killing me.  
 I found a piece of blue 32 linen and I was thinking about Nash's Peacock Sewing Roll for the second project.

 It calls for 32 and 40 which I don't have so I worked out the chart for both sides being 32, using pale blue and unbleached linen.  The silk matka backing she uses is not available here, so that's another item to blindly order online.  So hard to imagine color and feel from a computer screen but that's the only way I can get wool or silk.   Right now I need a few chunks of chocolate and a towel to dry off.  What will tomorrow bring?  Hopefully, NO MORE SNOW, and a commitment to Fanny.
Thanks for joining my journey.

Mar 28, 2011

Decisions, decisions

I went through my stash looking for another small project and came across a few mediums that I would consider.
I've always loved Elizabeth Moor and she has no border (big plus), but after some reading I found that the first letter in all the verse is over two, the other letters are over one.  Nah.

Moving on, Fanny Erb is promising.  Only four colors of floss and each line is one color.  That's an easy stitch!  The stitches are running, 4-sided, Algerian Eye, and cross.  Not too bad. 

Next is a tiny one from Hinzeit.  Sweet, easy, and quick.  A contender for sure.
And finally, Stacy Nash, 28 count, done in DMC.  Yeah Stacy!!  So today I'll decide  but Elizabeth is definitely 3rd runner up.
I'm still not feeling the love though.  I look at all these charts and ..... as much as I love them .... I don't feel the love enough to get excited about starting.  I wondered what I'm doing with all these, especially the monsters.   I don't know.  The menopause moods may be rearing their heads again.   These three finalists shouldn't be any trouble at all so I'll keep on keeping on!   I didn't stitch Gathering Basket into a pincushion yet but I did redo the Beehive.  I used the same steam 'n smash method to flatten it and I like it, even though it's hanging crooked. 

The sun is out but it's bitter cold, and I'm going for groceries and coffee this morning.   I've been craving a nut twisty so I need to steer that buggy away from the good smells section.   It seems I always get a buggy that has wheel problems and those have a mind of their own and are really hard to control. 
Thank you for reading!

Mar 25, 2011

Moving along

Except for the satin stitches in the basket, Gathering Basket is finished. 

  I had problems and removed them several times.  I will either fill it in with X's or change the X's pattern and do small squares of satin.  I also removed the little thingy on the wing.  There were other counting errors so I did a lot of stitch removal on this project.  I haven't aged it yet and not sure if I will.   I also worked on the the last CBU and instead of following the tombstone top, I gave it an angular finish with a little of the backing showing around it, some rick rack, and buttons. 

Think it will stay this way?  Nah.  I was playing around because the color I changed in the design made the Goldenrod rick rack match.   Cute, but I think too cute for the more primitive looking design.  I think I might like the other shape better and it would be really easy to disassemble and change.  So tonight I will be thinking about what small or medium sized project to do next, and what fabric to use in finishing Gathering Basket.  

On another note......for the few of you that emailed about BJ, yes she was on medication for pain and mobility.  We used Previcox but only a half tablet.  Those arthritic drugs are very expensive and not always safe, so we did some research and asked the vet for Tramadol (it's non-steroidal).  She didn't recommend the extended release and ordered 360 pills a month (3 every 4-6 hours) which lasted longer than a month and the Walmart price was only $20.  We only gave her as many as she needed at the time so she rarely got all 3 pills, some times only 1.  She took them for over a year and had no problems.  Huge savings, better pain control, less adverse effects.  For her anyway.  Hope this helps.

ADDED - I finished the basket with regular cross stitches.
And I obviously don't have a good camera!

Mar 24, 2011

A year ago today.....

we lost our sweet girl.  She was 15, still in good health and playful, but her back legs could no longer hold her.  For a year we used a sling that I made to take her for walks and help her around.  She never lost her hearing, eyesight, or functions, just her back leg muscles.  It was so heartbreaking. Our first Lab knew when it was time for "dad " to come home and watched from the window for his car.  As soon as she saw it coming, she would whimper and run to the door.

This one also knew the time, which I still can't figure out, and she would keep looking at me until I opened the door so she could watch for him to pull into the garage. 

The daily ritual continued with her jumping on the sofa and resting her head on his shoulder while he tried to read the paper.
Her next move was to slide down onto his lap, as if she didn't weigh 95 pounds.  Both our Labs were from the same kennel and BJ's sire was a huge fox red from Scotland.   
She was lovable and affectionate and very attached to hub.  What joy they bring us, and what indescribable sadness when they leave.
We're so sorry we had to let you are loved and missed.

Mar 22, 2011

Wake up!

This is my progress from last evening.  I ripped out the few letters I had completed with 356 and decided to go with the designer's choices of 223 and 152.  Why?  I can't keep waffling every time I have a flash.  From now on, what it is, it is.  If I don't like it, too bad.  I will eventually! 

And after reading Siobhan's comment, I had a good laugh and realized that I was my own worst enemy.  How could I compare what I was doing in DMC to a photo that was done in a different type of thread?  Because back in the old days, DMC was it, and it never registered in my fried brain that it would be anything else.  And the border?  That's what the chart is, so be it.  I don't see any corrections on their web page so it's good enough for me.  And why am I so worried about a few stitches and a different shade of pink, when I end up throwing coffee on it and then torturing it with heat!!!  I woke up!  And I thank you all for your help.

Mar 20, 2011

Unrequited love

Second post today of my problems with Gathering Basket.  I've been working on it this evening, completed the corrected vines and leaves, and finished the left side border.  It's one stitch off.  The bottom half of the border is indented and I followed the chart.  Is it an error?  Whether it is or not, it looks like one and I need to rip it out and correct it, but not until I complete the design.  Maybe it won't be noticeable?  It doesn't look too bad in the photo but I noticed it right away when I completed that color and set it down.  I love this tiny design but it's not loving me back!

4,379 hot flashes later...

New project is changed.  It never fails.  I don't know why it happens, but when a really intense hot flash is over, my intentions are quite the opposite.  And if I have several, well it's a real brain dizzy.  This is particularly troubling during a house project and it's a shame what my hub goes through.  Not to mention paint colors.  My hairstylist isn't happy when it happens during a haircut either.  They'll get over it.  So.  I grabbed a small piece of off white linen which looks to be 28, and I love the feel.  It's not wimpy at all and even though all my samplers are on natural/unbleached, I like this change.  I should have been far along but as usual, ran into a problem.  I decided to have some chocolate and a piece of cold smoked kielbasa to calm down.  This idea I had that having to keep my hands clean and occupied for stitching would help me lose weight isn't working.   I'm using up a LOT of soap.  Anyway.....keep in mind that I haven't stitched for 20 years and I'm trying to ease back so I don't get frustrated and quit altogether.  So was I wrong in reading the chart?  The chart shows 3051/3052 for the leaves and vines, which I assumed meant to use one strand of each.  I didn't like it and after completing them, looked very closely at the little photo.
 It looks like the two colors are randomly used throughout, some vines light and some dark.  Is this what it means when two colors are given?   Or does it just appear that way?  It's hard to see in my photo of their little photo.  I took the majority of it out and started over.  I also counted the diamonds carefully on the top border, several times.  SEVERAL times.  When I started doing the top area of the vine, something wasn't right.  How did I end with double the design?  Am I having time lapses and repeating myself?  I know there were several flashes at the time because I remember being outside and scaring the deer.
We have anywhere from 4 to 9 each day, and this one insists on eating at the squirrel's spot, not their regular feeding area.    Back to stitching -
So after I took out the excess border, I decided to change the color of the alphabet.  I'm not a fan of pink although the 220's are really nice shades and it's perfect for this project.  I'm toying with one of these...
But since every element has already been ripped out and redone, why not the alphabet?  On the subject of threads, Siobhan was kind enough to tell me about a sale at Needlecraft-Corner on silks, and there are other discounts also through 3/31.  I found several brands in my stash and have time to play with them and decide what to order before the sale ends.  Maybe I won't even like using silk.  I don't think I will ever use 40 and may need 2 strands for 32 so we'll see.  I have several yards of Scarlet Letter's 30, Cashel 28, and Belfast 32, and I'm comfortable with those counts.  I'm a wimp.  Maybe after I get my stitching mojo, I'll be brave and venture out into the land of 40, but right now that is a scary place.  On another thread.....I used a lot of GAST in the past, and while sorting, came across what appears to me to be a pretty big difference in tone.  I know it's variegated and some times there is a great difference in the shading, but I found several that are really off as a whole.
That's it.  Nothing really interesting.  I do want to thank those of you who are kind enough to read about my journey.  I still don't know where it will lead and if I will ever get back to my big samplers.  I know for sure that Ann Medd and And They Sinned will be offered soon.  I made the mistake years ago of discarding sampler charts and such, thinking I would never do them or had already completed the project.  But these two have no future with me.  Until the 4,380th.

Mar 17, 2011

I'm done

So now I have to pick a fabric and decide how to finish it. Narrowed it to three choices.  I have a green that goes really well with that middle tree, but I think it's too much.  Better stick with the neutrals.
 That blue line along the fabric is a shadow.

My choice right now is the really dark brown that I used on the last project.  But after I eat the stuffed cabbage that is now scenting the whole house, I'll probably change my mind.  If you like kugel, or noodle pudding, I'm posting my recipe soon on the other blog.  I love that stuff.   As for deciding on my next little project, I chose the LA-D-DA  Bird in Hand.
Twenty plus years ago when I was stitching, my wonderful-how-I-miss-them shops didn't even carry silk thread.  Or maybe they did but it was never offered or suggested for kitting.  This design calls for silk and I have a few AVAS, and all of these.....

I never heard of this brand and after much Googling, I couldn't find any conversions other than silk to DMC, not silk to silk.   There is no gray in this line which is the bird's color.  So I don't know if I will start this or not, unless I can find a bluish gray that's suitable.  Wait - I don't have any linen over 32 count so ..... should silk be used only as single strand on higher linen counts?   Maybe I should order a piece of the recommended 35 ct. along with the silk.   I'll have to decide if I will wait for the threads/linen order, proceed with cotton, or pick a different project.  If I continue doing smalls, I should have a nice batch for a Christmas tree.  I like little ornaments and pillows in a wood bowl,  but not with hanging loops, so I'll sew buttons on the back top corners or one in the middle and twist the hanger around them when needed instead of sewing them into the seam.  Then I can display them either way.  I'm sure you've all seen Linda Wallace's sampler tree on Mary Beale's site.  I visited for the first time in a long while and LOVE that little pillow on her "shop" link but I can't find it for sale on her site.  She showcases Christmas stockings stitched by Mary Natwick and they are stunning.  Mary will be featuring another stitcher's Christmas decorations, Carla Michaels, this fall.  If you haven't seen the sampler tree, click on "Linda's trees".  Decision made.  I'm going with Bird in Hand on 30 with DMC.  The longer I screw around picking a design the more apt I will be to set it all aside!  It's not easy to go through all that unmarked linen to find a piece close to what it should be, but with the inventory I have, it's silly to keep buying more linen for small projects.  I will lighten or darken what I have - close enough!!!  Hmm...  I deserve chocolate for all that decision making.

Mar 15, 2011


This project should have been completed by now.   Having to rip out the heart flowers and one peacock tail counts as a game delay doesn't it?   She switched tail colors on me!  I made the mistake of looking at the design - not the chart.  Then I got my symbols mixed up - again not checking the chart - and did the wrong color on the flowers.  I'm anxious to move on to my new Stacy Nash or the Blackbird design so I should complete this soon.  I read a lot of stitching blogs and they all seem to have WIP's.  I actually didn't know what that was at first.  I have never not completed a sampler before moving on to another.  I would get frustrated and either change the stitches, the #$%* border (which I always saved for last), or just set it aside for a few days to prevent its violent demise, but always completed it.  That's odd considering I have never completed a house project.  Is there an acronym for completed projects that never met their frame or stuffing? 
CAF?    Completed Awaiting Frame/Finishing 
CBU?   Completed But Unfinished
CAP?   Completed Abandoned Projects
SBU?   Stitched But Unframed/Unfinished
CBNFBSIP?   Completed But Not Finished Because Stitcher Is Procrastinator
That's what I have.  Are they technically WIP's?  

Mar 11, 2011

Not again

This is certainly a winter to forget.  I thought they were exaggerating when they predicted this, but just in case, I went to the cemetery yesterday.  Today marks 10 years that we lost Dad, and I wanted to set a new candle.  Hope the torrential rains and winds didn't extinguish it.

So here's my progress.  Slow.  And no closeups!  I changed 613 to 833.

There are so many great blogs of meticulous stitchers. I love to drool over Glenna's perfect stitches and photos.  Her selections and colors are eye candy for sure.  The buns are a plus.  The new blog from In Stitches is really nice.  Lots of photos and info which really helps someone like me - a girl without an LNS.  Yesterday's mail brought me a few goodies I ordered from 1-2-3- Stitch.  I was so surprised at the size of the chart pack!  Love the designs.
I also coffee stained and sewed the last project into a little pillow.  I just used my usual batting, then I used a steam iron to flatten it and get rid of the puffy look.  

I chose a fabric to pick up the brown instead of the house color.  Well, that's it.  It's still snowing.  Hub is a little upset about the snow blower.  I use those cheap rag rugs to throw on the walk and porch to prevent falls.  I just broom the snow off and the texture gives footing. We had a long runway of them when BJ was having difficulty walking and when they were thawed and wet, they cleaned her paws. Well, seems he forgot about one, and it got sucked up into the blower.  It's all tangled in there so I'll be fighting with scissors and utility knife, plus a few choice words.

Mar 9, 2011

No way Hannah Way

I went through my small sampler charts, looking for one that wouldn't frustrate or discourage me.  This little gem was chosen.
R&R Reproductions.  This is one of the earliest dated samplers (1749) in the Valentine Museum, Richmond, VA, done by a very young child.  Cute little thing.    
Until I read further..
 I hate the Queen.

And further yet........
This child will certainly test my patience.  Seven step cross?  At her age?  Are you kidding me?  Sorry Hannah way.  Not now.  Back to the stash......I wish I had more donuts.  (See my other blog.)

After a chocolate break.........

That didn't take long.  Goode Huswife's Pennsylvania Beehive Sampler.  My sewing box is ready to go. 

Except for the linen.  Uh-oh...

This is the left side of a 10" deep 5' wide 

Here's the center......
And this is the right side.  Too bad the majority have no color labels.

Mar 3, 2011

Love these bags

First of all, I have to say that although I did not know Lisa Roswell, I was saddened by the tragedy of her death.  My condolences to all who knew her.  From what I've read, she was a special lady.

I am almost done clearing my little parlor of the stash.  Now it's all upstairs in a chest waiting to be sorted further, but at least it's out of sight.  Some of the items were stuffed into the bottom of my cupboard which is where I am working right now.  Look what I found.....
I love this denim bag.  Here's what I found when I looked inside......

I don't use a frame, but this one looks like I could be persuaded to give it a try. 

Maybe we can adapt it somehow to become a sit-on frame.

This is another bag that I found and the fabric is a heavy but soft texture, really nice lining, with a velcro closure at the top.  Maybe my first give-away?  It's pretty long and I'm assuming it's for a large frame.   I probably had the one that fit,  but they're all gone now. 

And lastly, I have one bag of all floss up to 3821.  I don't know if I will offer all as one, or by number category.  I don't think I have enough of the newer numbers to make another set.  Didn't get that far yet, but I'm pleased with what I've accomplished and can finally see what I have and find what I need. 
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