Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Title Photo

Pretty impressive, huh? 

And don't I wish these were mine. 

At yesterday's EGA meeting, we had a change of program and did a show and tell of antique linens stitched with needle and thread.

These Assissi bags belong to my friend, Melissa, who has been collecting for a while. And these are just a few of what she brought. She also has an impressive Casalguidi bag. If you don't know what Casalguidi is, google image it. Or go look at Jeanine's Italian Needlework blog.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crazy January Update

I'm pretty happy with how this is coming along. It's The Victoria Sampler's O Canada. I need to find some pearl #12 to match the linen so I can do the dividing bands. Somehow I missed that while kitting this. Not sure how that happened. I love how the alphabet is just flowing along and then it breaks into O Canada. Yup. Next line starts with DA. 

I have figured out a way to personalize this piece to suit me.  The number on the piece is 125 - for the birthday Canada was celebrating when Thea designed this piece. I've decided to use 250 because that's how many years ago my ancestor emigrated to Canada. And I'll be putting genealogy information in place of the song lyrics.

And this is R. Le Tellier by Queenstown Samplers. Lots of green and red. I had to start the alphabet before I went into a Christmas coma. 

I'll be taking both of these with to Florida soon. I got my pedicure yesterday and my toes are already for the beach!
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Answering Comments

I'm off to Thursday morning stitching group for the first time in weeks! 

But first, let's respond to some recent comments.

Mary Eman asked me where we stationed in Germany. Let's say, Mary, that you were in a much nicer part of Germany. We were in the heart of Hesse, outside of Frankfurt in Hanau. Home of the Brothers Grimm. I loved every moment of our three years in Germany and sometimes I can't believe it's been 22 years since we left!

Lewmew wants me to find her a discounted Needlework System 4 stand! Oh how I wish I could. It was such a coincidence that I got this one. Trust me, when I say I know exactly how lucky I got. 

Granny Sue asked me about samplers and if I stitch one every year. I am a sampler lover. I've got a few hanging on the walls, both reproduction and modern. And many more in my finished stitching box. I might have about a dozen samplers as WIPs right now. And tons more that I would like to stitch. I'm trying to be more disciplined now about not just making random starts, but actually planning which samplers to add my WIPs. 

The Quaker samplers are fairly new to me. And I'm finding them quite irresistible.

Lee asked if I changed things up on Love and Live Happy. I used the colors we were given and didn't really change anything on that score. Pam has terrific color sense. If you ever get a chance to take a class with her, you'll be in heaven!

Our goal on this piece was the personalization - our names and anything else we included. If you notice, I've got some monograms on mine that stand for where I live. 

I did start another Pam piece yesterday. The Pennsylvania German sampler that I wrote about here:  September class.  I'm stitching mine on 36ct with one thread of Glorianna. I'm not in love with the alphabet and I'm looking for ways to make this work for me. Meanwhile I might just move along to the motifs and have some fun.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fresh From the Framer

Hmm. This is Little Green Acorns by Eileen Bennett. Was a very good exercise for me last year given all the different sampler stitches on this piece. I do like the colors, though I was ambivalent about them initially. Still say the squirrel resembles Ignatz the mouse from the old Crazy Kat comics. 

And a few of you may have seen this already as I posted it on facebook. Here's the version with my last name covered...

This is Love and Live Happy by Pam Darney of Guildhouse Samplers. She promises that soon she will be selling her charts commercially. Right now to get them, you have to take a class with her. 

It's so gorgeous! I am totally in love. I could stare at this for hours. But what I really should do is go start another of her samplers that I have in my stash!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

Today I'll show you some of my recent finds. First up, we have a pretty little cross stitched table linen from Goodwill. Chinese motif and I've also posted a photo of the back which is immaculate. A 50 cent bargain.

Here we have a little table. Called Dave. It seems a few guild members stopped at IKEA one day to have meatballs and they all went home with Dave. After they raved about Dave at a meeting, I had to go and check him out. And yes, he came home with me, too.

Dave is height adjustable and tilts. Somehow I think this little number is going to come in quite handy.
Another Goodwill bargain. Under $3 - a little Smith and Hawken herb greenhouse kit. I'll plant when I return from my next trip.

Posted by PicasaHere's my new best friend. Last week on Tuesday, I had written down everything to call in an order for a Needlework System 4 stand. And then I didn't call. The next day at our guild meeting, I bought this one used!!! The seller has no idea how very happy she's made me. But I'll be reminding her every time I see her!

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To the Amiable One

So how do we follow up a birthday and valentine's day at my house? With another birthday, of course!

Today our son is 22. He was born in a German hospital where the only person who spoke any English was the doctor I saw once a day on rounds. After 3 years in Germany, I could handle basic German, but did not have a single word of understanding of anything having to do with medical terminology. What a fun experience that was!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy VD Day

Technically, today is supposed to be my birthday. My mother was having a scheduled C-section and she chose February 14th only to be told it was a Sunday and the doctor didn't schedule this procedure on Sundays. Instead she chose the 12th because it was convenient and also Abe Lincoln's birthday. (I'm pretty sure she didn't know it was Charles Darwin's birthday, too.) 

Also I was supposed to be named Bruce. 

Sometimes plans just don't work out. Do they?

At my house, we pretty much ignore this day. It's a Hallmark holiday and can safely be ignored. 

If you can't show your love all year round, one day isn't going to make things better. 

For you hopeless romantics who love today, I wish you good cheer and lots of chocolate and flowers and bling. 

And in other news:

Reporting date for pitchers and catchers!

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fingers Faster than Brain

I accidentally deleted a comment on my last post by CalamityJr.

So sorry!

And here it is:

Wow - that's quite a piece! And I am so glad to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't mind french knots; I didn't think there was another stitcher who's not put off by them!

Post Number 1812 - Cue the Orchestra

Yes. It is a birthday finish! 

 The entire piece.

 A bit more detail. This is a project that was published in Needlearts magazine in 2005 and 2006. It was published as a mystery band sampler by Jana Kerr. 

I've got two tiny areas to address, but essentially I finished it yesterday on my birthday. Ten episodes of Dexter and it's done. Which means that Dexter isn't really a great show to stitch by. I keep getting distracted. 

It's about 30 inches long. We, as in me and two friends, started teaching this piece in our guild at the January meeting. I'm happy to have it finished. 

Maybe you can see where I need to add two more four sided stitches in the above photo on the left hand side. I totally forgot that my basting line was one thread off. See what I mean by distracting? 

I got through that entire Queen stitch strawberry without swearing once. It's pretty to look at, but I still put Queen stitch on top of my most hated stitches pile. If you feel differently, that's okay. Because I can French knot for days and weeks without complaint. It kind of all balances out. 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Idea for 2012

I have managed to do a tiny bit of stash acquisition. And I believe it's only proper to share my new goodies here. Be forewarned:  I might have a singular problem. Or maybe it's multiple problems.

Stitching on Stars led me to think that there might be some threads that I will need more of, especially considering that I've only stitched 1/3 of the squares. JL Walsh stopped being able to dye the silk and wool blend that is necessary for this piece and I had placed several possible substitutes in with my threads. I ended up choosing to use Gumnut's Poppies - one in blues and one is pinks. This, too, is a silk/wool blend, but it's much thicker than you can ply the JL Walsh. So I headed off to see if I could find some more. 

First stop:  Waste Knot in Arlington. No Gumnuts here. But they do have the Raymond Crawford Owl canvases for sale individually now. And two of them came home with me. 

The one I want the most was already gone. I think that I have identified the five of these that I want the most. But for now, this is a good start.

I left Waste Knot and headed to Needlewoman East, still searching for my Gumnuts. Not there either. Which narrowed things down to In Stitches or the Stitching Post. 

But at Needlewoman East, I bought two more canvases. They are little bitty and thrill me to pieces. Way back in the dark ages, when DH and I were just becoming a couple. we were in a production of Winnie-the-Pooh. He was Owl and I was Kanga. So you can see why I fell head over heels for these two:

 Sorry. Silly computer insists on turning these sideways. This is the first time I've seen Kanga. I'm used to seeing Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger. The other ones you see much less of. These will be brilliant ornaments to add to our tree. Happy! Happy!

On Super Bowl Sunday, i decided to give In Stitches a shot. Of course, it didn't hurt that they were having a sale. And don't you know, this is where I bought the Gumnuts. Hallelujah! Success. 

But of course, another canvas piece followed me home:

 Hey. It was on sale. This is a Raymond Crawford piece and even with the stitch guide this cost me a whopping $15! I love the citrus brights and am looking forward to kitting this one.

Now, back to my bright idea for 2012. I'm considering having it be the year of hand-painted canvas. I've got too many. And they seem to languish in pile of projects. I've got most of the year to contemplate this plan and see if it's a wise one.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Whoops! and National Stitch in Public Day

First, a thank you to Anna for the good catch. It is Eva Marie Saint, not Eva St. Marie. And we will chalk that up to faulty brain processing due to illness...

Second, last Saturday was National Stitch in Public Day which I did not crow about here this year. My EGA chapter got totally snowed up last year at this time and we've decided that trying to stitch in public on the first Saturday in February is fruitless. I know that EGA National picked this day to coincide with February being National Embroidery month or some such thing, but September was a much nicer time to do this. 

Anyway, here's a chapter that had a success story with this particular outreach:

Stitch in Public in Louisianna

Monday, February 07, 2011

Crazy January Day VI Update

Update is a code word for finish, at least in this case. That makes four finishes out of fifteen. 

 I really do need to work on balancing my colors better. The green canvas is a true hunter green. This is the Laura J. Perin design that was on the cover of Needlepointers May 2010. I didn't think I needed it in red, so I did it in green. Very cute and sweet. Took five days of stitching time for me to finish this one. Should have gone faster, but I've been a bit lazy lately. I need more sun and fewer gray days.

Then again, my color problems may have something to do with my viewing things on this computer. I'll have to check into that. 

Not sure what I will do with this. Maybe a box? Or do I want to frame it? Maybe a stand up ornament for St. Patrick's Day? Or I could just put it in the finished pile. Sigh. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Big Yippee!

First up, let's celebrate that I can eat again! I'm wiping last week from my mind, at least the part between lunch on Monday and lunch on Friday. I am extremely thankful that no one else in my house got ill. 

Second, let's happy dance for a finished square on Stars!

I present to you, Eva St. Marie. I've had an up and down relationship with Ms. St. Marie. One moment I was in love, and the next moment, bleh. But that final application of blue that sort of makes a ring around the central motif, took my breath away. I truly wish you see it in person. It's way better than the photo! (But Vivien Leigh is still my favorite!)

It was difficult finishing because I had just started watching the first season of Dexter. Took me 5 episodes to finish this because I kept getting totally distracted from the stitching. I may start to think of this as the psycho square... I did make one little substitution. I've been using Gumnut's Poppies for the JL Walsh silk and wool thread that is no longer being made. But the Gumnuts was too much and I substituted some Pearl #8 which I think worked just fine. I'll be moving back one square to the left and stitching Marlon Brando next. 

I can hear my DH and son revving up for the Super Bowl by watching the DVD's of the Patriots Super Bowl wins. Nothing makes my husband happier than watching these games. So silly. I'm off to whip up some appropriate football food - piggies in a blanket and sliders and fresh veggies and dip. 

And Aunt Signe, this one's for you - Go, Packers!!!


Friday, February 04, 2011

My Husband Says

That I am cranky!

He's right.

You'd be cranky, too, if you hadn't eaten a vegetable since noon on Monday. I made the mistake of trying just a bit of "real" food yesterday. Peanut butter to be precise. Was not a good idea. 

Let's just agree to live on scrambled eggs, toast, and chicken noodle soup for a bit longer. But I'm still gonna be cranky!

Will try to resume regular posting this weekend...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Weekend and the Aftermath

Last Friday seven intrepid travelers headed west on I-66 to the Retreat Center at Signal Knob. It had been snowing fitfully all morning - of course, the weather people had called for flurries, but this was a bit more than flurries. By the time we arrived, the weather had finally decided to give us a break. 

 When the directions say to turn right after the big barn, they aren't lying. The turn is immediate and the barn is big! The four of us who got there first chose bedrooms and stitching spots in the living room. We even claimed coffee mugs! And soon we got down to the business of working on Stars for a New Millenium by Tony Minieri. If you'd like to know more, you can check here at Tony's homebase - the Edwardian Needle.

Here's where I was at on Friday afternoon. I'm appalled that this represents nearly a year of stitching. This project has been put away too often, for too long. My stitching is sideways. That's Marilyn Monroe on the top, Clark Gable in the middle, and I was about to start on Vivien Leigh.

After of hours of laughing and talking and fighting off the invasion of the box elder bugs, this is how much progress I made over the course of the weekend. 
On Friday evening I had made a goal of finishing two new square for myself. I didn't quite make. In fact, it's rather depressing how long a square of this project can take. But I can deal with that. 

Vivian is so beautiful and captivating that I am completely satisfied with the weekend's progress. Photo is kind of yellowed - no good natural light here at home this morning. But from the moment I completed that inner square with the trebizond outline, I was hooked.

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I jumped down to the middle square, having already planned this by stitching the sashing. This is Eva Marie Saint. I've gone through a love/hate relationship with this square. She was looking very light and pale until I got to the blue color on those squares. I'm back to liking her again.

Now for the unfortunate part of the weekend. It seems that some of us came home with a problem, possibly a norovirus. Let's just say that I don't want to relive any of the past 40 hours of my life. 
Due to decreased brain function this is not the post that I had intended to write. If you'd like to see photos of my friends' versions of Stars, go here: