Friday, March 09, 2012

WIPocalypse - 3rd Full Moon Report

Well, stitching friends, we're into March of 2012, and we're all still here stitching! It's wonderful to know that the end of the world prediction is at least not here yet, and our moon is full, LOL!

Since I've had to add more WIPs to my WIPocalyse list, I need to share all that I've stitched this last month, which is nothing to write home about, but keep in mind that I'm a slow stitcher and have worked in several new projects this new year. I knew it would be difficult to stick to my original list, which allowed for no new stitching, for heaven's sake. And as things become available to start, I'm sure I will be sorely tempted yet even more, but that is part of the life of people in an Internet stitching community.

This is a few minute's start on a freebie Quaker heart I found on Gazette94 blog. I'm working with one thread of WDW Union Blue over two on 40ct Lambswool Linen. This is my first time stitching on 40ct and was difficult at first judging the small size of the stitches, but I did get used to it after a bit.

This is my third Halloween stocking in the Blackbird Designs book, 'Tis Hallowe'en. I had stitched two last year and will sew them all into stockings by this Halloween, hopefully.

This is my Year of Hearts SAL I'm doing with a Yahoo group, and I have done the March heart and started April's.

This is a year-long project I'm doing with the German Sticklounge Yahoo group called A Tribute To Ackworth. I've received part 3, so this is through part 2. It's on 28ct Lugana, I believe in the color lambswool, and I'm using Carrie's silks. The variegated silk is Autumn Leaves and the coordinating solid is Raspberry. It's a delightful stitch, and the silks glide through the fabric like butta.

Monday, February 06, 2012

WIPocalypse - 2nd Full Moon Report

I knew I wouldn't be able to just stick with the WIPocalypse projects I originally noted, as there are others sneaking into the act as well. I'm not disciplined at all. I started the new year by joining a German Yahoo group, Sticklounge. They have 50 German members and 50 English speaking members, and when that limit is met, they close memberships, which, as far as I know, has been accomplished at this time. English speaking ladies must have a Godmother to help them with the language barrier, in some cases, but mostly to help with the rules of the group. I committed to stitching an exclusive design that will stretch out for a year (till January 2013), and it's huge! I just received my Carrie's silks and bought the fabric and will begin stitching that ASAP.

Till then, I still have my Year of Hearts SAL to continue, and the designer of that one is going to be offering one of her designs to Sticklounge that she guarantees I'll also want to stitch, which starts next month, I think.

I do have one little accomplishment for WIPocalyspe from my list, and it's also my 2nd finish for the year, though it wasn't started this year. It's SanMan Originals Autumn Circle, which I plan to make into my first biscornu, and I purchased large autumn pins from Just Another Button Company to put into it.

My Year of Hearts can be seen in the post below this one, and I have the next two hearts to add for March and April.

But to end this post, I want to share with you my most human of all my four cats, and I have featured her before, but it's Amber, who is unbelievably loyal to me and humanly jealous of my affections towards the others. Here you can see where she is in the evenings when I am downstairs in my little sewing room off this great room where she's lying. She doesn't go downstairs to the finished basement unless I'm down here, and she comes down and tries to get me to go back upstairs with her while I'm stitching. When I refuse, she goes into this room and awaits my return upstairs by lying in front of the fireplace in the winter and patiently waits till I call her to go upstairs with me. I keep the downstairs lights low (hence the darkness), but my sewing room is bright with light.

And to all, stitch by the light of the moon tomorrow, and may we all be stitching by March's full moon on March 8.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

I've been stitching, but ....

but haven't posted it here and have yet stitched a bit more than these pix, but for what it's worth, here is my 2012 Year of Hearts SAL to date and have received the next two months for stitching. For those of you who love hearts, this design originates in a closed Yahoo group, but the designer is going to release her Year of Hearts for sale this summer.

Though I have more stitched since this pic, here is my progress of my 2nd WIPocalypse project, which I hope to have finished before the next full moon, February 7th.

My wonderful Daddy died Jan. 5th, and I have been finding solace in my stitching and reading, but DH has been scanning pix of old photos of him so I can do a tribute to him here. We have been surrounded by friends and family since his death, but the dust has settled, and I miss his beautiful smile and his loving concern for his kids, namely me. In the last few years, I have been going out to lunch with my parents 3 times a week. I treasure those hours spent with them because at my age, I was so terribly lucky to still have my parents. They would drop me off at my house, and because I am alone 3 days a week, Daddy would always say to me, "We'll see you tomorrow, but if you need us before then, give us a call." Thank you, Daddy, for always loving me and being concerned.

Friday, January 13, 2012

First Finish of 2012!

It's old Jolly Jack that I finished a couple of days ago.

Next on my WIPocalypse list is Autumn Circle by SanMan Originals, a design from last year's Merry Members of the SanMan board. I don't know if this is suitable for a biscornu, but I'm thinking if it is, this will be my first.

Monday, January 09, 2012

WIPocalypse - First Full Moon Report

I'm so close to being finished with this that it hurt to put it down, but I have to get up early tomorrow. I need to get my beauty rest you know. I'll be so glad to get my fall stitching out of the way. It seems a bit funny to be looking at Halloween stuff this time of year, but here it is. Oh! And we're all still stitching away at the first full moon of 2012, prophesied to be the last year of the earth. I don't know about you, but I'm glad that so far, I'm still stitching!

My progress on Jolly Jack before WIPocalypse stitching began:

And just some berries on the around the leaves with the color in the needle on the Halloween needle minder, my signature, and the table scallops filled in with a light color, then onto another of my WIPs to finish.

Sooo... if I don't see you sooner, the next full moon of 2012 will be February 7 when I report again. Happy stitching by the light of the moon!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A New Year, A New Blog Post!

I lost my connection with my photos because of one of my guilty kitties knocking off my external hard drive onto the floor and up under my desk lower shelf, and it's a long story, but I was unaware it was even missing for some time but couldn't figure out why I had lost all my pix. I had forgotten I had my own external hard drive and thought my pix were on my husband's HD because we're networked. I told you it was a long story, so I'll stop right here. I hope your holidays were happy, but there were many whose holidays were sad. It's a tough part of the year for many, and I feel for them.

Since October, a lot has gone on, and because I thought I had also lost the software to my camera (another long story), I didn't get progress pix and stash pix taken, so I'll have to start from here, though not a lot of stitching was done because of my Dad's stroke. He's been in and out of the hospital, in and out of the nursing home, and it has been a nightmare.

I was on several exchanges this holiday seasons, and one in town with my stitch group. Although I didn't get a photo of the ornament I stitched, I have taken a pic of the one I received in the ornament exchange:

In The Stitch Specialists Yahoo group, I sent to a girl from France, and in return Niina from Finland sent to me some delicious chocolates (gone), a beautiful set of Fiskars scissors, two pieces of hand-dyed fabric, a hand-dyed skein of floss dyed locally, a Lizzie Kate chart, and best of all, a hand knitted ball ornament! Thank you, Niina, for a lovely Christmas exchange!

I had one exchange on a Yahoo group who didn't follow through with her end of the exchange and was banned from the group and reported to Tricky Traders 2, and it turns out she already had two reports against her, BUT! The Christmas spirit was alive this season, as 3 members of the same group sent me things to make up for the bad deed of the banned member. One member, Faith, sent me a gift certificate to 123 Stitch (unredeemed as yet), Lisa sent me a primitive snowman ornament snowman decals, and snowman socks - cutest I've ever seen:

Another member, Pam, sent me a ton of DMC, a musical Charlie Brown Christmas card, snowmen findings, a nice, thick huck towel for cross stitching, and a full-sized snowman stocking. Thank you, Pam. With friends like the 3 of you, who needs deadbeats?

Then, the mods of The Stitching Specialists Yahoo group exchanged gifts with one another, and these great gifts were the result:
This I bought with a gift certificate from Abi, group owner/designer in England. I'm in love with Autumn Splendor by Kustom Krafts!

Goodies from Kay in England. Good English recipes, tea towels, napkins, and a long necklace of stones.

Goodies from Marguerite, a British transplant now in Arkansas. Waterlilies silk, Bohin needles, fabric, RPTB, and Kelmscott needle minder - wonderful!

Then, from a new friend in Australia, Mel, came this wonderfully delightful full 1/2 yard of very wide Weeks Dye Works 30ct hand-dyed linen in the color Parchment, which was on my wish list. Thank you, Mel, for your friendship and for your totally unexpected generous gift out of nowhere!

But in the stitching department, this project will be my first one worked on for Measi's WIPocalypse, which can be read about in my blog's page (above tab), 2012 WIPocalypse. My list, with links for information can be found on that page.

I actually did work on some fall things which never got finished, therefore the WIPocalypse, and I will be posting more later. For now, I've had a hard day and am very tired and ready for bed.

I'm very glad to be able to blog again and share what I'm doing. Hope to see what you are all up to this new year!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Amber at the Vet

The last couple of days I've noticed that my six-year-old orange tiger, Amber, has changed her potty habits. I can always tell when she has a UTI because of her changes. Usually, it gets pretty far advanced by the time I notice. She'll find another place to pee, associating the litter pan with pain. This time, we were able to nip it in the bud, as she was only using the larger pan with the dome over it, and was just peeing on the extra part of the liner that sticks up out of the litter, and under it was a big pile of clumped litter, so I had a sneaking suspicion. It's a chronic condition for her. I took her to the vet for a urinalysis, and she only had a few drops, but our vet is an expert at extracting drops from her. She spun it down, and sure enough, at the bottom were a few bacteria, the very beginning of infection.

Amber is a very high-strung kitty (which is partly why she is so prone to UTIs), and a trip to the vet is a major upheaval in her life. She knew the moment her carrying thing came out of its hiding place in the unfinished part of the basement and immediately hid under a bed. After chasing her upstairs and down, and finally trapping her into one bedroom, after prying her from under the bed, she emerged a whipped cat, limp as a dishrag. She was as good as dead - breathing hard as though she were clinging to the vestiges of life. She came to life as I was cramming her into the carrier, and suddenly, she grew to twice her size in diameter, preventing me from getting her into the hole. I pushed and shoved, sweating like a pig after the chase, cursing all the while. I'm not sure how I finally managed to shove her in and close the door. In the car on the way, she protested loudly the entire way, and through gritted teeth, I assured her everything would be just fine and dandy.

When we got to the vet's office, she went limp again and was barely clinging to life, and I managed a couple of shots of her with my cell phone on the cat room countertop; also the picture on the wall. As you can see, she didn't have the strength to hold up her head.

We ended up with an antibiotic to clear up the infection, and a $75 bill to pay. I ditched the carrier for the trip home, and Amber rode on the console, constantly checking to see where we were. When we got close to home, she got more & more lively and leapt out of the truck when we entered the garage and went right to the door to her domain.

She has forgiven me and has been completely resurrected.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Review

A few weeks ago, I received a surprising email from a nice person named Yiota, living in the UK, who wanted me to review one of her cross stitch kits. She's interested in getting more traffic and interest in her website and wanted me to choose a kit, which she would send to me free of any charge to open, inspect, and review on my blog. She had happened upon my blog and had decided that this would be a good medium from which to get her website better known. I poured over her site, which I never knew existed before and was delighted with the variety. I had several picked out but eventually asked my husband to help me. I had picked several artists' work charted for cross stitch, but when I showed him the one he decided on for me, he said it looked more like something I would choose to stitch, so I let Yiota know I wanted the following:

This is how the kit appeared when I turned it over to the back:

And this is what I found when I totally opened the kit and spread the contents:

The first thing I noted as a plus was that the floss was wound on numbered cards. My only kit-buying experience has been with floss that needed sorting or pre-sorted floss in strands; never already wound and ready to start stitching. A definite advantage to the cards is that, should the stitcher be short on a floss color, the instructions have a key that names the DMC colors that can be replenished should frogging take place and floss becomes in short supply. That is a definite plus for me.

While there is a piece of white aida with needle inserted, and I prefer working on evenweave or linen, it's true in this particular design that the design is solid and would not show the "blocks" of the aida that I, myself, do not care for. When I brought this up to Yiota, she replied that her company is in the process of offering the option of evenweave over aida for those who prefer stitching on that. Although I didn't want to show the chart in detail, for fear of copyright infringement (dishonest people blowing up the photo and charting it themselves); however, I did find it to be clear and easy to read, in black and white, and similar to Heaven and Earth Designs' charts. I would probably enlarge both Yiota's charts and HAED charts for my own personal preference, as I'm not young any more and do experience vision problems because of an autoimmune problem. I also appreciate that there are no fractional or half stitches; this chart is all full cross stitches.

I hope I have covered all that applies to my lovely kit. I would say that it is far superior to kits I have bought in the past. The carded floss is the single most appealing feature and most conducive to immediate stitching when received. The overall quality of contents is excellent.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time To Blog

I don't know what has happened to my good intentions to blog regularly, but it has gone the way of my fall cleaning, washing windows, and even stitching every day! I have one finish that I took the time to photograph today, though I have other stitching to show that I have yet to take the camera to. I'm not sure what the problem is with me. I'd say spring fever, but I am enjoying the cooler temps and the beginning-to-turn leaves, and to top it off, this is the first day of fall. Yay!!! I do so love fall, but the problem is that it doesn't last that long, and then we're heading into the holidays, which is simply unbelievable. Part of my problem is that I'm so into The Stitch Specialists Yahoo group since I became a moderator, and I love my job there. It's time consuming, but it's work I love. The pay isn't so great but the comaraderie is tops. I have made some of the loveliest friends there one could ever have. The group is dedicated to specialty stitches and pulled thread work, or hardanger, and it stretches one's blah, blah comfort zone to reach out and embrace Abi Gurden's designs. Her instructions are to-die-for, and beginners who have never used anything but aida will be mastering specialty stitches on linen/evenweave before they know what hit 'em. What I have pictured here is Abi's Tree of Stitches, and though I joined late in April after the SAL was underway, I just finished mine and put the finishing beads on the last couple of days. I decided on a "busy" tree with different colored beads and a little bling with a couple colors of beads and a pastel falling of leaves in a completely different color of leaves than the rest of the tree. There are so many different versions and interpretations of each and every tree, it's fun and relaxing to see the photos section of the group. In the few months that I have been there, the group has grown from 100 members to nearly 400, and by the first anniversary, I predict we will be heading toward 500 members. Below is my own version of the wildly popular Tree of Stitches:

I have selected my fabric and a couple of fibers for the newest SAL, The Great Escape. I have also started a fall-themed design, of which I need to get a picture. I have done the August bird in OakHavenDesigns Bird SAL, but haven't yet taken a photo. I have the chart for both the owl and bird for September I have yet to start. I had great aspirations for plenty of fall stitching, but my Daddy had a stroke two weeks ago, and I've also been spending time with him, since after the hospital stay, he's now in the nursing home for physical rehab, and is not very happy about that. I visit often and stay long to help him with things that the staff is stretched to cover. My sister has also sold her house and is moving in with my Mom temporarily to help with my Dad when he comes home (wants no part of the nursing home if he improves enough to leave), and of course, I will be taking a big part of the help on myself. My Mom is 85 next month and will be hard-pressed to do it herself, having rheumatoid arthritis. Her hands are pitifully crippled, and she is all but disabled too.

If I can get myself a bit more organized with all that I have going on, I can have more to "show and tell." All you about my age remember those days in school when we had "show and tell?" I can't believe some of the things I took to school! I wonder if kids still do that. Sometimes I feel kids are missing some really good times, but I may be wrong. Even my grandkids are grown so I don't have a clue what goes on! I'll look forward to having great grands one of these days.

Now let's see if I can get my latest things together to put in a post!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Owl SAL Progress

The monthly owls by Tonia Pappan of OakHaven Designs Yahoo group. I'm all caught up with this one!