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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Another Finish

I am so happy that I have another finish this year.  I think this has been the most productive year in a while, well at least for needlepoint.  I still have lots of x-stitches that are begging to be finished.

 The tiger will go into a mirror for my daughter's purse.  I will look at getting them mounted this weekend.  The directions look simple enough.  Then I need to find the beaded tassels for their purses and hand sew the back to the front.  Once that is done, I will wrap them and ship them off to my daughter's for Christmas!!

For a change I pulled out my knitting and started on the second sock.  I love the blues and purples in this yarn.   I should have taken a picture of the finished sock, but will take do that another day.

What really sparked my knitting desire is guilt.  I decided to re-organize my stash in our "guest room", which had NO room for a guest.  Well as I was pulling stuff out of miscellaneous bags and putting it away, I realized I have so many skeins of sock yarn!!  I'm not talking 2 or 3, I'm talking probably 10 or better!!  We won't talk about the yarn for sweaters and such, or the roving for spinning, lets just focus on the sock yarn :).

My problem is I keep seeing yarn that I love (ohhhh you should see the mint green and brown I found) and getting just ONE skein, I mean surely I can get ONE pair of socks knitted.

Well if you buy just one skein enough times, you really have more than just one and if you aren't knitting the socks out of them, you get really close to hoarding.

I use to keep a started sock by my bedside, by my cross stitching chair, on my dresser (yea I know, nobody sits on their dresser and knits) and then one in my stitching bag.  Well Ms Kitty has decided she has a thing for yarn, it used to be my silk threads, but I guess I've gotten better about putting them away.

I have found socks that have lost their knitting needles (which are neatly beside them with their tips chewed off) and the yarn strung between our bedroom and the living room.  I know, she looks sweet, but there is a devil in her. Anyways, I found it necessary to put my socks away and out of sight, and you know - out of sight, out of mind.  Most of the started socks ended up being ripped out and re-wound on the skein.  So I will get this one done and then start another one, maybe the mint green :)

Happy stitching all!!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Where it all began

Not going to go into WHEN it all began, but where it all began is basically this Month's question for the WIPocalypse stitch along that can be found here:

In this Stitch-a-long, we pull out projects that we want done before the end of I guess as long as I have LOTS of projects, time will have to continue and the world won't come to an end.

This month's question is How did you begin stitching?

My Grandma Millie (she is holding me in the picture) taught me how to hand sew.  As a little girl I used to spend a lot of time at her house and she had to find things to keep me occupied.  I would spend, what I seemed like hours, making little x's on gingham, or sewing snaps and hooks onto pieces of cloth until they were perfect.  From there I graduated to doing the hem stitches so I could shorten my dresses and pants, I was the short one in the family.  I was NOT allowed to use a sewing machine, everything was always done by hand at my Grandma's house.

As I got better my Grandma would give me potholders and towels to embroider.  I"m sure my Grandma took out the stitches that weren't perfect and re-stitched so it was presentable.  My sister Linda and I would spend houses designing dresses for our paper dolls.  My Grandma's first job as a young woman was sewing in her sister's seamstress shop.

My Mom is a knitter, but also was known to sew or needlepoint, but always said she didn't have the patients to teach any of her daughters.  So it was my Grandma Millie who introduced me to my love of stitching.

I tired a lot of stamped projects, and other kinds of surface stitching, but really didn't care for it, and most of those projects just lingered in half done status until I either tossed them, or put them always for eternity.  It wasn't until I found my first counted cross stitch that I really got hooked.  Getting hooked on needlepoint and canvases is another story for another time.

So what I have been doing since the last end of the month?  Well I finished  the beading on the purse for my youngest daughter and also the small round that will go into the mirror case.  Then started on the tiger that will go with middle daughter's purse in your mirror case.

I'm hoping mounting in small round designs will be simple and I can do it quickly.  The writer instructions seem easy enough.

Other than the weekend at our Southern Cal Retreat the end of September, I've not really done much cross stitching at all this month.  You can scan back and see what I managed to do, and my other small finish.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

So when you leave work and the elevator has padding up it makes you wonder

Am I OK, or does someone know something that I don't know?

That happened yesterday, which was a crazy day at work, it was almost like there was  full moon.  Okay, it's been crazy for the past month or so because my co-worker took a better job and left.  He gave them 4 weeks notice, so it wasn't like he walked out in the middle of day.  I'm still waiting on management to decided what this means for me and my staff, and who in the world is taking care of those that reported to him?  So needless to say my life is crazy at work, I'm walking on egg shells trying not to over step, but at the same time trying to keep all the balls in the air and the fires at bay.  My co-worker has been wonderful and has answered any questions I've asked him, so that has really helped.  I also have a deep desire to make sure his staff is moving forward and not feeling as through they don't have any direction or help.

Most days I spend about 30 to 45 minutes of my lunch hour stitching.  If my lunch is interrupted by the phone or someone with a question then I take a little more than an hour for lunch.  Before you think I'm short changing my employer, I work 9 hrs days when things are going good and 10 ++ hrs when they aren't (and I'm salaried, so that is really unpaid time as far as I'm concerned).

Stitching on my lunch hour has two benefits, keeps me calm for the afternoon events, i.e. I don't kill anyone.  It also allows me to have a few finishes!!

My morning tea or coffee keeps me sane in the morning, if I ever have to give up caffeine all together, I'll need to get up earlier and stitch for a minute or two before leaving for work.

Speaking of finishes I have ONE!!!  Hooray for me!!  I love how the beading turned out and it went so much faster with the beading thread.  Now all I have to do is put some batting on the back and sew it closed.  If you can see, there are zipper teeth at the top, so it zips onto the purse.  This way I can do different flaps for my daughters without the cost of a new purse.  Also need to put the beaded tassel back on the flap.

Since this was done I started another project that is small and I'm hoping will go fast, because I love the starts, dislike the middle and love the ending.   Here is my new start, it is a small round that will go into a mirror case for the purse.  I think it will look great together don't you?  Would love to have this done by this weekend so I can start the other one for my middle daughter (this one is for my youngest daughter).

Now I have to qualify my comment above, not liking the middle of a project.  You'd think with this attitude I would do all small projects.  Well to be honest I am attracted to larger projects, not the HAED, I'm not fond of projects that are 100% solid stitching, but do like those projects with lots of stuff going on OR of late I've been enjoying the over one projects.  I'm itching to pull some back out again and work on them.  While the over one aren't always big projects, they do have a lot of work because you are doing the same number of stitches, only smaller.

The last picture has nothing to do with stitching at all.  Not sure how well you can see this little fella on the Bird of Paradise plant.  I was waiting for my husband to pick me up from work last week and saw the humming bird buzzing around the flowers, and then he stopped and sat on the branch for a while.  Don't often see them resting like this on a plant.

Happy stitching to everyone.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

I can taste the finish....

Every project has two exciting periods:

    1. The starting process, when you put in those first 100 or so are just so geeked with the start and you don't want to put it down.....  
    2. When you hit that sweet spot, the spot where you realize it will be a finish soon and once again you can't seem to put it down.

Everything in-between is OK, I love the project, but if it doesn't get attention for a few days, months, years, I'm OK with that.

Well I'm tasting that finish - I know one more lunch hour and I'm done!!  I took this picture 2 days ago, yesterday i got more beading done, and would have had it done today, but needed to take a short lunch, so no stitching.  Tomorrow it will be done.  I'm loving it again :) and excited to think about my new start that is just waiting.

I found where I missed a couple of stitches....darn, need to find the thread and fixed that before I sew the back on and send it off.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

I'm calling it a finish :)

After having a lovely time with a very hungry frog - he kept me ripppppping for what seemed like forever, I finally have a finish!!  While the WHOLE process is not finished and won't be for a while, OK a couple more years I'm sure, I have finished a section and I'm desperate for finish.

This is P is for Panda on my Curtis Boehringer Noah's Ark series.  I now have 16 of the 29 parts done, so more than 1/2 way.  What you say - the alphabet only has 26 letters - what are the other 3???  Good question - Noah of course, his wife and in the center is the Ark itself!!  I have the thread pulled for the Quail and I'm leaving the afghan out so maybe I'll pick it up and start working on another one.

Happy stitching weekend - hope to another finish to post before Monday hits :)  Going to keep this one a secret for now.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

How can I stitch all weekend and not complete anything?

I belong to the Southern California Stitching group, last year about this time we went on a retreat.  It was so wonderful, so we did a repeat this year this weekend and will do a three-peat next year (already counting down the days).

I stressed over what to pack, not to wear, but what to stitch!!  I took several projects that I thought would be maybe not "quick" finishes, but something I could finish with stitching Friday later afternoon and even, all day Saturday and then Sunday to mid-day.  Well I managed NOT to finish any of my projects, so disappointed, and I really didn't walk around socializing all that much, so can't blame talking to others as the reason.

What did I take?  First up was my August Peridot Fairy.  She has been lingering for several years just needing beads.  Just beading right?  Should be quick.

To the left is where she was when I started the weekend, I had done some beading, but not a lot.  The other picture is where she is now.

I managed to bead the bottom half of the fairy.  I would have continued, but it was hard not having my flood stand or my magnifier that would reach into the middle.  So she has been put back in the bedroom and will go back on the floor stand this week.  I'm on a roll now, so maybe I'll get it done this coming weekend.

After realizing she wasn't going to be finished, I pulled out my CB Noah's Ark, this has been something I've been working on for about 22 years :( and I'm only up to P for Panda.  So here is where I started.  It was looking like something I could get completed quickly right?  I mean there are only 3 colors, it's perle cotton #5, so no stranding or layering required.  Easy-peasy right?  NOT - did you know that the best from of this panda was a frog!!  Yes that is right, one big ugly frog that caused me to have to ripppppp out the entire left side :(

Spooky panda was where I left off when I went up to my room for the night.  I thought, I'll work on it some more in my room and surprise everyone in the morning with a finish.  Well, that is when I found my error and I spent the night unstitching and re-stitching until I got tired.  The picture below is where he is tonight, I pulled him back out when I got home and finished the rippppppping and re-stitching.

I still need to do the other panda (hence Noah's ark with two of each animal) in the background, but that one is solid gray, so hoping it really stitches fast.  I had started it before and that is most likely when I saw my error, but had totally forgotten about it.
So after my two near finishes, I thought I would give a little bit of loving to something else.  I brought about 5 such projects with me.  I figured I could find something in that group that would spark my interest after my two great finishes.   Well as explained above the finishes didn't happen, but that didn't damp my spirits too much, so I pulled out these to work on, the first is my Family Tree by Thistles.  I started on the first of 10 blocks with houses.  It really is stitching fast, but I have to figure out how to put initials and birth years in each block.  Only worked on it for a couple of hours of stitching, I like my progress :)

Then after our brunch today (which was our last meal at the retreat.  I pulled out my Rosewood American Quilt Flag (or a name similar)  I had Delaware done, and had started the frame around the second one, so finished the top and bottom and got some of the right side in and then stared the quilt square.  Both of these are BAP, not HAED big, but big enough.  It will be slow going in getting them done, but if I do a little bit a couple of times a year at least, then they will get done.

Hope you all are having a great start to your fall and getting some stitching done during the cooler weather.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day Early and a dollar short......

It's the last Sunday, or will be of September tomorrow.  Which also would have been my grandmother's 122nd birthday.  To be truthful October's question of the month would have been perfect for this month....but I guess I'll need to wait until next month to tell the story of my Grandma Millie and will post my tribute to her then.   While my Grandma has been gone for 25 years, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her.

So what is this month's question?  Which as you know if my favorite part of the post :)

Which floss (or color of Floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?

Hummmm interesting question, I guess I would have to say my favorite flosses are silks, especially over dyed or hand dyed silks.  I find myself buying it without anything in mind because I love the dark rich colors of the thread or I have a project in mind, but not sure which color would look the best, so I'll buy two or three.  I think this is why I love SB kits so much, love the lushes silks that come with them (I only have 49 of them, some are done, but many are waiting in the wings).  My first experience with silk was doing a band sampler at LNS in Ft. Smith AR.  Don't remember who the designer was, but shortly after doing that one, I started to do and collect a lot of Just Nan band samplers, which then led to the SB, Victoria Sampler, Indigo Rose and may others.  

My only problem is I tend to have really dry hands and as you know, most lotions are not advised when stitching.  To combat the dry hands I occasionally do paraffin dips before going to bed.  If you've not done one - go and have one done, they are wonderful!!  I got my own set up at home now so I don't have to wait for a trip to nail salon, as I don't do my nails, but I do love getting my toes polished!!  Paraffin dips on my feet are wonderful too and something I treat myself too when I've been overly stressed, or extremely good.  

Now on to what I've done this past month!!

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you know I'm a serial starter.  I'm not as addicted to starts as some of my fellow stitchers, but I do I love those first couple of hours of stitching a new project.  Its like chocolate, but a lot less fattening, but then I fade fast and start to look for something new to do.  I have always hoped that a rotation of sorts would cure me of my urge to start new things, but it doesn't seem to work too well as each year my list of WIPs gets longer and every year I vow to finish more than I start.

Anyway, every once in a while I hit on something that continues to hold my attention, and I just can't seem to put it down.  It isn't alway a small project (like this time), but there is just something about it, or maybe its because I'm doing it for someone who is special and I enjoy every stitch.  

I started a new project with the last posting and this month I'm happy to say it has been completed!!  Lizzy Kates - Dancing in the Rain.  OK, I need to attach the charm (a small dragonfly that goes between "about" and "waiting", but all of the stitching is completed.  I love the saying, it has helped me get through some rough times over the past couple of years.  There is another saying that I love - can't remember the exact words, but it was something about looking up and not down during a rain storm because looking down you'll miss the rainbow.

I also have my project that I do on my lunch hour at work.  I still need to cut/trim the turkey work on the giraffe, but this one is done as well.  I might add a little more back stitching around the elephant to define more of the face but for now I'm calling it finished.  I need to figure out how to finish it, which I need to take a deep breath and channel my inner sewing skills.  When I was younger I just did it, and now I over think the process.  I have several needlepoint designs that are ready to be finished.  I might need to take a few weekend and focus on working on them.

If you are counting, which I am :)  I had two finishes for September!!  Not bad for me!!  I'm stoked now.
Ok, back to reality, I also worked a little bit on my multiplication table, and without thinking I used 2 threads vs. one that I used in the grid :(  I like how it looks so I think I will continue to use the two.  I will do the grid all in one so it looks the same, but will do the numbers in 2 threads as well, it covers better.  I have a little bit more done this, as I've been stitching this afternoon too!!

This will be my Starbucks project for Saturday and sometimes Sunday morning.  I love to walk down to Starbucks, I get out my i-pad and put in my earbuds and watch something on Netflix, right now I'm watching NCIS from the start.  I tend to lose track of time and hubby either has to call me and remind me to walk back home, or he simply comes and gets me.  Now we are not talking about me being gone 15 or 20 minutes, we are talking 2 or 3 HOURS gone.  Hey you can all relate to it, how time just flies by when you are in the stitching groove :)

Last weekend I had a stitching buddy.  He/she had been a lot closer while I was stitching. However when I got up to take his picture, he scrambled back up his web.  At one point we were eye to eye, but after reasoning with him that it wasn't healthy to be THAT close to me, we settled on him having the area by the post and plant and me having the area around the table.  I'm sure we both kept our eye(s) on each other to make sure neither of us violated our agreement.

I hope you've all have a great month.  Mine has been full of work stress as my co-worker quit, so the stress level has been higher than normal.  Stitching at lunch has been a blessing, it helps me focus in the afternoon, the only problem is that it doesn't last nearly as long as I would like!!  Will be happy when they figure out what they are going to do with his work, as long as it doesn't become mine we'll be good because there aren't enough stitching projects in the world to help me destress from doing the work of two.