Jun 30, 2015

Ann's finished wallets

Hello people.  While I'm working on Kitpin, I thought you would like to see Ann's finishes on her latest wallets.  Her finishing is superb!  I asked Ann to share her thoughts and work because I don't see many stitchers focusing on wallets.  I would love to do them!  And one day I will.  They make beautiful displays and don't need wall space.  I really like being able to move stitchery to different rooms without worrying about the perfect spot or more holes in the wall.
Here's Ann...
As a lover of counted stitch I must admit I so enjoy reproductions and right now my focus/obsession is on wallets.  I have just completed the finishing on these two and am so glad I did each one.
The first is A Work'd Pocketbook (I changed thread colors) with LOTS of queen stitches using Needlepoint silk. Thanks to Ellen Chester (With My Needle) for the wonderful adaptation and the superb instructions. Her design can be seen at http://www.withmyneedle.com/WPocketBook.htm
The second is my adaptation of a New England Flame Stitched Man's Wallet, using Textile Reproductions vegetable dyed wool, wool tape and linen lining.

The last is a small crewel piece to be taught later this year by a member of the EGA, Dayton, Ohio Chapter.  For this year our Chapter is doing presentations and programs on wool.  As a co-chairperson for Programs, we like to have prototypes to show/encourage members to participate.  I decided to finish my piece as a coin purse. 
For me, the EGA is a great way to expand my knowledge and skill in all types of needlework and the best part is to be around such talented and wonderful ladies who encourage and share.
I so enjoy seeing needlework that is reproduced from an earlier time, goes well with a wall of reproduction samplers, and is completely different for a change.  So many designs are wonderful and I love them, but don't want them.  Samplers are my main interest but these projects work so well with them and offer a unique display, that I must order a few.   Along with the sweet bags, these are choices for those of us interested in early or colonial style, and tiring of samplers.
Thanks again Ann!

Jun 28, 2015

Next up

Ann Kitpin reproduction from Threads of Gold
I don't think I've ever used 498 before.  Between the border, satin stitch bands, and the large center flower, I think that shade of red will make a striking piece.
You saw this before and I put it aside but it's a good size for a summer project, if we ever have a summer.  Today, needing a fleece jacket, high around 63, all week will be very cool and more rain.  Except for a few days, the entire month has been ridiculous.   My birthday month!  The start of my favorite season!  One month already gone and it felt like fall.  Can't even sit outside on my drenched swing because of the mosquito population from the wet weather.  A fan would keep them away but the rain starts in the blink of an eye and I don't need more frizz in my hair from electrocution.
 I'm sorry I chose the linen I did because it is 28 count and quite sheer.  These bold colors will definitely show thread carry-overs so there will be a lot of tiny fusible or muslin pieces beneath them when I'm finished.
Hope your weeks starts with sunshine.
Thanks for visiting.
p.s.  Jeannine520, thanks for the info.  I wanted to email you about the easiest way to administer the product but you're no-reply.

Jun 26, 2015

The cover up

Hiya.  While trying to organize the mess I left, the t-shirt that Missy tore was discovered.  Her sharp little claws tear into fabric as well as flesh.  I bought yards of Trans-Web when mom was here, covering her coffee and food stains with stars, hearts, patches, and pockets.  I had a few left that were already cut and ready for the final fuse.
The biggest tear was in the center under the small star, awkward place for a pocket, so this worked out well.  Even though it isn't necessary after fusing, I go around the fabric with a zigzag machine stitch.  It's too bad that this men's size M doesn't fit well around my woman's size L.  
Saved many a top with this method and mom loved the add ons.  Bought a bunch of the studs and crystal pattern iron ons that made her dressier blouses at real hit at church. 
Made my favorite bean salad this morning (even bean haters like me eat it).  Great take along for picnics and 4th parties.
 Recipe here. 
I tried to answer a no-reply comment and ended up finding a new blog.  She has many talents, not just stitching, and started an Etsy site offering her watercolor and crochet tags.  Here's why Google+ drives me nuts.  First off, you automatically are changed to no-reply.  When I clicked her name, it took me to the brightly colored Google Plus profile of which I can see nothing, and no direct link or mention of her blog.  None.  Because I am not Google+, this is what I get when I try to respond or find a blog of a +er.  Anyway, she left her address in the comment or I would have never found her.  From South Africa, her new blog is http://theartfullplace.blogspot.com/ with a link to her Etsy for the tags. 
Dominic informed us that his commercial job has expanded and we must wait at least another month so I cancelled the final two cupboards and his revamping of the manufacturer's custom doors (they must not use the little lines on the ruler, just the big ones).  No one can tell me which custom panel dishwasher is 24" deep WITH the panel because dimensions don't specify and emails to manufacturers are replied with the opening sizes only.  I give up. 
Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 25, 2015

A frustrating finish

Hello stitching buds.  Over the years of my reckless stitching, I learned a few things.  Problem is, and I'm serious, I can't remember what they were.  One of them may have been to always double check the stitch count with the finished size for my linen count.  This design, of which I've changed every color, stated the design area on 35 count as 4 1/2" high.  I'm on 36 count which I verified by counting my stitches and also my marking rules.  I easily had 4 1/2" and it should have been even less because of 36 versus 35 count.  Stitch count is 92 high and on 36 would be 5.12".  On 35 it would 5.25", 3/4" off.  I should have counted the squares and done my own calculations.  Start over?  No.  I will shorten the bottom area and it will be fine.  But I should know better!    What if this was a project that couldn't be altered? 
Remember I did this with France F. and ended so short that my only option was to attach a strip of linen fringe using the nun stitch.  Always count the squares and figure size first, don't rely on the chart figures. 
The design is Little by Little's Quaker Blackbird with different colors.  If I would have stitched the bottom line, there would be enough to sew into a pillow with very little seam allowance.. I wasn't taking the chance and I also moved the J and made it narrower so it wouldn't be too square looking. 
Making my first needle case was an exercise in frustration.   First it was the fusible.  I wanted it stiff so Craft Fuse or Décor bond was my choice.  Neither would stick.  I pulled off, cut another, steamed.  Pulled off, cut another, steamed again.  Over and over.  I threw it all out.
The tutorial said to line between top and bottom with felt, including it in the stacked layers.  I could barely turn it right side out with those thick seams.  Took the stitching out and removed the felt.  Switched to thin fleece.  Removed again.  Third attempt just barely caught the fleece in spots, much better.  But it wouldn't fold nicely with the fleece in the fold line!  Turn it inside out again, cut away the fleece from the fold, turn it out, still too much.  Three times until I finally just cut a large chunk out.  So there.  While this was going on, from sewing machine to ironing board and back over and over, my scissors (all 4 pair) were always in the wrong place.  When I needed them at the machine, they were with the iron and vice versa.  This was really chapping my hide.  Totally frustrated now and starting to rush, carelessness was taking over.  Every time I pressed the correction, the Frixion line disappeared and I had to measure and mark seam lines again.  Turn it inside out, outside in, over and over and over.  The worse part of that - when I turned it in to correct a seam, I wouldn't turn the entire book which led me to multiple errors.  How can it need taken in slightly for a straight edge and end up worse?  Because with the fleece in the way and not fully inside out, I couldn't tell top from side and would stitch the wrong edge of the corner. 
Trying to cut the wool felt for the pages wasn't happening.  I pressed that rotary cutter down and rolled that sucker over and over until it almost stuck in the mat.  Take the guard off you putz.  Finally finished after an entire afternoon, interfacing on the floor, fleece cuts stuck to my clothes, scissors hiding in a pile of possible fabrics and felts, cut threads throughout.

Will I attempt another?  Yep.  I learned a few things and won't make those mistakes again.  I would love to make a bunch and add them to my one-day-I-will-sell-this-stuff-on-Etsy pile.  I really enjoyed stitching this small - a break I needed from the large sampler.  The 36 count was again a pleasure to use and I am liking it more.  I'm still not happy with the finish but I love the little design for this. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

p.s.  Thanks for the tip Annie.
For no-reply comments that I would like to address, I'll be p.s.ing!!


Jun 24, 2015

Sweet Liberty

Greetings!  This is the second day of sun, followed by more rain tomorrow.  Mark was golfing all afternoon and I was looking forward to quiet time on my swing.  I finally went outside at 4:15 with an aching neck, sore foot, and dirty mouth.  I made my first needle book following a tutorial I found online, which started about 12:30.  How the hell can such a little item cause me this much aggravation and time?  I will tell you about it tomorrow. 
The winner of the Liberty sack - and this is a real fluke - is  Joanie.  She wrote in her comment that today is her birthday and it would be a nice present...well Random agreed with you!   How's that for coincidence?  Thank you to everyone that participated.  If you'd like to stitch the sack, I posted the chart under the FREE tab.  I wanted a bronzey color and on my linen the 831 looked good.  You can adjust to any golds or browns that suit your fabric.  I also used GAST Uniform Blue instead of 3768 but either are good. 
If you don't want a sewn finish, you can move the border to the bottom and fringe it, hem the edges and stick it on the wall or a basket.

For myself, I would have just sewn the sides, fringed 1 1/2" on the top, pressed it over and tacked it down, added a jute hanger.  I wanted another long thin sack to go with Hannah Haines.  Homespun Elegance has a new design that will go great with this one too.   I prefer it to mine.  Much more my style.  You can find it on her Etsy site here.
 I asked Sandra if she objected to this freebie since it has a similar element but she was fine with it.
I plan on stitching the same design I just finished into the needle book.  Originally, it was to be a gift, but I think the second one will just be a little pillow.  I'll also explain why it's not the full design and a lesson I learned.  Not a smidgen as bad as the construction of the !#*&$! book.   Better keep the kids away.   Here's a sneak peek...
And....  I'm seeing spots!

I hope outdated protein drinks don't give you the trots.  I have lots to do tomorrow.   My stupor of frustration dulled my brain and I didn't look at the date on the bottle until now.

Enjoy the last of what June is offering.  For us, it's water.

Thanks for visiting.

p.s.  Hi Martha!  Thank you!

Jun 22, 2015

Sun? What is that?

Good day to you!  Hub and I are exhausted after power washing, scrubbing concrete, cleaning gutters, removing dead plants, repotting others.  Still lots of work to be done but today was the first day in a long while that we had sun and no rain forecast.  That will change again starting tomorrow.  So many of my flowers are dying from the water.  I drilled holes in the bottom of the plastic pots because the drainage holes are deeply indented which creates a 1" water reservoir at the bottom.  No removable tray like the old pots and with 10 days of torrential rain,  there's no chance to dry out.
I'm still entertaining the neighbors in my husband's shoes early morning and dusk and there is a big reduction in my slug population.  I'm sure they have figured out by now what I've been doing.  I was surprised to find the creatures in my buckets and containers that hold the pots.  What's left of the flowers and garden is infested with aphids and other pests, destroying all the leaves.
I started this project on 36 count (changed every color) and ran into a big problem.  You can probably see it.  But I'll yak about that next time.  My arthritis is screaming from holding that pressure washer wand for hours and even typing is difficult.  It sure seems like this went from mild to dammit quickly.  Is it because I added another year to my "number"?   Regardless, I'm crabby.  Before I was just flashing and bitchy with no patience but now I am flashing and crabby.  The difference?  Bitchy is usually an attitude in response to a question or act.  Crabby is 24/7 sourpuss.  When I get relief from medication, I'm a little nicer, if you give me sweets. 
I was furious with Nit yesterday after I saw him running with a baby squirrel in his mouth.  I tried going into the woods after him but I can't run in Mark's shoes.  I can get Missy to drop the chipmunks and then take them to a safe place, but not Nit.  I know he was raised in the wild but I still get upset.  And I think I'm going to stop washing their water dish because they prefer drinking rain water from a dirty puddle.
For those of you trying Affresh, shake it, cover your stains or smear it around, let it sit for at least 5 minutes before removing.  I use a $1 microfiber cloth from Staples (the best!) to dry after rinsing.
Time to hit the shower and get the leg up. 
Hope your days have sunshine.

Jun 20, 2015

Here 'ya go

Not my style, but I hope you like the offer for this giveaway. 
Lined with stars on dark red,

backed with stars on navy, interfaced for stiffness. 

Drop a weight inside to balance if the fill doesn't allow a straight hang.
The chart will be posted when I draw the winner.  But you can leave a comment on this post if you would like to be entered for this finished piece (the flag isn't included).  Make sure you include your initials since so many of you have become no-reply.
As for the jelly in the yard, it is called Nostoc.  Harmless but creepy stuff created when your soil can't drain.
The winner will be drawn on Wednesday 6/24 at 6pm EST.

Enjoy the weekend as we close in on the end of June.  WHAT???

Jun 17, 2015


Not yet.  Forgot about the driver license expiring and need to make a trip tomorrow.  Refrigerator died yesterday, repairman coming tomorrow.  Morning trip to the doc because my foot is like a balloon and so swollen it is almost numb.  New compression and instructions to stay off it for a few days.  Not sure when I will get upstairs to make this into the sack.  Doesn't look bad as a banner with bottom fringe to hang from a rod either.  However I finish it, it may not be listed for entries until the weekend, chart to follow.
To no-reply Diane P., yes the nun stitch would definitely stop any raveling edges, and I've also used a plain whipstitch without a problem, using floss or a pulled out linen thread.
And here's a mystery.  Can anyone tell me what this clear amber gelatinous substance is that appeared in numerous little piles over my yard?  Aliens?  It's not as firm as Jell-O but holds together, and we have no idea where it came from.  Creepy.
Busy busy - be back soon with the official entry post.
Thanks for your patience!  Listen to me.  Like everyone is waiting on the edge of their seat because this is just so fabulous. 

Jun 16, 2015

Almost done

Closing in on the finish - just the light threads to do and then the sewing.  Sewn into what?  A skinny sack of course.  Hopefully offered Wednesday evening, Thursday for sure.  Hope you'll like it!

Jun 14, 2015

Barometric pressure and minutia

..minutia - you know...trivial crap. 
Hello people.  How's your weather?  We have and will continue to have, high humidity, heat, storms, and rain.  That means the barometric pressure is falling....and my joints are terrible.  Dr. James Fant (University Specialty Clinics) stated  "if the barometric pressure is decreased, then that would allow the inflamed tissue to swell more, simply because there is less atmospheric pressure holding the tissue back. If there are nerves in that tissue, then those nerves would be stimulated by that swelling and that would translate into pain."  Well la-d-da.  Sounds science fictiony but the size of my swollen foot/ankle and my right index finger joints prove his point. 
That's not the only reason I didn't get the project done that I wanted to share today, but a big contributor.   I am planning a giveaway of a little design I worked up and wanted to stitch it as the offer.  I would have finished it before this front came in, but I changed it four times.  I have four different ways to stitch it, except for one element.  So I will yak about other things. 
Remember the post on how I stabilize the top edge of samplers when hanging unframed?  I used horsehair braid from JoAnn's.  It's in the boxes on the bottom shelf, notions wall.  Well I bought something else this time, flexible boning.  The traditional boning is not flat and much stiffer.  This is also very stiff, narrow, and there is no way it will allow anything to sag.  
I put it out in the sun with weights on the ends to get rid of the roll shape from the box.  The much flatter horsehair is perfect for small and medium samplers, but for big girls like Lucy and Eliza, I will slip it out and insert this boning.  Both had double strips and held up well, but I want to test this.
I've had this dried grapefruit for a few years, thinking it would make a great pumpkin head for a sewn figure.  Look at the nose on this guy.  Paint the eyes, drill for a neck pole and give him a hat.  But I never will.  Would dried fruit crack if drilled?  It's really hard and thick so I doubt it but who knows.

For those of you with smooth cooktops, I've tried the homemade concoctions for cleaning and they were a pain without great results.  Bought all the top names and did not like the waxy feel left behind or the cleaning power.  Until I tried Affresh.  Oh my.  Shake it, a few drops smeared onto the burned area, five minutes later it is easily wiped off.  They don't carry it locally so I ordered online through Home Depot and had them ship it to my local store free.  Great great stuff.
And if anyone has soapstone water spots, placements rings, all the marks left from anything set on it, let me know how you get rid of them.  It's been waxed and cleaned many many times, tried the oil, it's always looking like a mess.  I thought it may be our water, but distilled, spring, bottled, all do the same.  It looks fabulous when first waxed or oiled, but it needs to be done every three days and you can still see the outline of the ever increasing spots.

Since Budman likes to be enclosed, I threw a rug over the bench to create a little shady cave for him.  He's a happy guy.  So much rain that I had to remove the flower pot from the blue pan that had filled with several inches of water.  I think that's it.  Will pop some Advil and see if I can get this done in the next few days.  If not, I will come up with something else for the offer.  Until then, be safe!
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 11, 2015

Is it Sunday again?

Hey!  I'm painting and thought I would show you what we did to the bar.  I love it.  When we added a few cabinets, one base was left out.  A narrow 12" that was 24" deep.  Originally I had planned on a cupboard here but it would have had plank doors that didn't match the kitchen's and no drawer.  Option two was no door and open shelves but that would not be useful, just for display = more dusting.
 Mark cut down the 24" depth to fit beneath and here it is.  No legs yet, just a template.  There is a tiny little drawer perfect for pens or pills, and storage beneath.  This is the new color, Behr's Riviera Beach.  It's very close to Olde Century Color's Linen but less pink.  I love it.  I said that about the first color too.  I tried SW and Valspar but neither could mix it close to Behr.  Makes sense since it's their color and beige is a tricky bugger.  Eggshell finish Marquee.

 Because of the 12" depth of the above wall cabinets, you can't really sit at the very end anyway, so this filler is the perfect size and it matches.  Bonus - support for the stone overhang.  Ain't it cute? 
I sometimes get excited about something and if I don't share it right then and there, I may forget.  I didn't want to bring it up but I'm sure you've noticed a huge lull in my complaints about hot flashes.  They decreased, became less intense, but my brain didn't heal from the fried cells yet and now they're back.  I'm assuming because of the months of stress with Carole and I thought if I ignored them they would go away.  Doesn't work with extra pounds either.
I'll stay away now until Sunday.  I worked out a little design last night and want to start it today, hope to share it then. 
Have a great weekend - already the middle of June - summer is flying by.

Jun 10, 2015


What do you use to learn a new stitch?  I got out all the books for stitch reference and wanted to browse for some that I will need to learn for the sweet bags.   I've found several stitches that are in one book and not the others, so I don't rely on just one for reference.  Could be that they are under a different name, but I also browsed the illustrations. The nun's stitch (or open sided square) which I needed to finish edges, was only found in Linen Stitches.  I remember looking for the turkey too and not all had it.  That one, Needleworker's Companion, and the J&P Coats are my favorites. J&P Coats features 100 stitches in a flat 34 page booklet that doesn't take any room in a stitching bag.  I've found so many in that little booklet that aren't in any of the others and I almost tossed it years ago. The Complete DMC one is going to the library sale.  Includes knit and crochet and I don't care for the illustrations at all.  Online reference and video is better, but if I don't feel like taking the time to get on the computer or it's not convenient, having one of the these smaller books in my bag works out fine.
I didn't know the name of this stitch and searched the illustrations for it.  Fairly sure it is the nun's stitch.  This is why I should have kept a stitching journal for the samplers.  I don't remember color changes, special stitches, changes to the chart, fabric count or color.  Big surprise, huh?  I have to say that forgetting specific words in a conversation is really starting to worry me more.  And the frustration makes a few other choice words leave my mouth.  I don't seem to forget those!

I'm still going through fabric and found these oldies.  Anyone remember Back Street Designs?  I haven't received my second order of BOAF linen yet.  Waiting for cabinet hinges too.  My tracking number for the hinges shows Oklahoma received them on June 5 with no other activity.  Today is the 10th.  The other order left Oakland, CA on the 6th.  No other entries.  The info was always up to date before but lately nothing is scanned until the day of delivery. 

Went to the antique mall for the second time in months, and I didn't have the same reaction as last time.  I thought about Patti and felt more acceptance of her passing, didn't enjoy browsing, but handled it much better.  Thought I would show you what might make a good thread cabinet.  $295, on legs, and about 18" deep but the drawers are not divided.  Still a great piece.  Didn't buy it.

Isn't it strange how many Sundays are in a week?  I know I said that would be the post day but I've been out of sorts, mixed up, and yakky.

Until next time, whatever day that may be..adios!

Thanks for visiting.



Jun 9, 2015

The hunt is on

for slugs.  I started slug hunting early this year and found tons of very small ones, hard for the blade to cut in the grass.  It was at dusk after a rain, still drizzling.  My hair was frizzing by the minute and falling in my face. 
Adding to the presentation were shorts to show off my Polish knees, an old t-shirt full of paint, and my husband's mocs because of the swollen right foot.  I was hunched over staring at the ground using my bright blue wicked blade as a staff, stabbing the grass with a "gotcha!".   Every year I treat the neighbors to a spectacle that allows the voyeur in all of us, to hide behind a curtain, peek out, watch for quite some time, and mumble out loud...what the hell is she doing?  My back was killing me from the bent position and walking in shoes too big for me wasn't easy, but I persisted. 
Ready to call the game because of darkness, one of the larger slugs caught my attention.  He looked furry.  Upon closer inspection, it seems I killed a lot of maple whirlygighickeys.  Next hunt will be in better light.
My husband slipped his mocs on to check the garden and wanted to know how they became soaked.  My usual answer that always stops him from asking anything else - "why would you ask me that?"  He knows it's time to move on. 
Have a great day.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...