Sunday, September 19, 2010

False starts....made better

Hi we are almost at the end of another month already! I'm juggling all sorts of things but sneaking time whenever I can for stitching. I got started on the SAL I'm doing on Blue Ribbon Designs' "It's Cold Outside". I had the recommended Lakeside Linen 'Winter Sky' in 40-ct and I put in about 2.5 hours on the project but it was totally frustrating! I was having a hard time seeing the threads and I just wasn't enjoying it all. I finally gave up and dug through my stash and found a beautiful piece of 36-count linen that looks great and in fact, I like it better than what I had started with. What do you think on my start so far?

It's Cold Outside - Blue Ribbon Designs
Stitched on 36-ct "Haven" linen by Picture This Plus
Part of the issue with working on that 40-ct original piece of blue linen was my wonderful Daylight magnifiying light broke a few weeks ago - I've had it 5 to 6 years and lately the spring in the arm had started to squeak badly and was actually ripping a tear in the metal arm. Then I stupidly turned the light too far in one direction and it broke right off. There was no way to repair it so I called my LNS and ordered a new one. These are expensive lights but if you need magnification (I really do because of my age and progessive lenses) they are THE BEST LIGHTED MAGNIFIERS I've ever tried. I had purchased the floor stand when I got my original light and luckily the replacement model will still fit my stand. It is worth every penny to me. I used my last one for over 5 years with hundreds and hundreds of hours of use for both cross-stitching and sewing and any other type of close work and I never even replaced the original bulb in it. I had a Dazor several years ago - it's also a good product - and I have a MightyBrite magnifier that I use out in our family room as it's less unsightly. In my opinion the MightyBrite doesn't hold a candle (no pun intended) to my Ultra-Slim daylight - the MightyBrite uses LED lights and they just aren't that bright. I'm so happy that I picked up my new light on Saturday and I'm back in business! Yeah!!

Daylight Ultra-Slim Magnifying Light - model U22020
I've been working hard on With My Needle too - I just have the rest of the work on the left side of the lady and I'll be done. I really love this little sampler. I hope for a finish in a few weeks!

Quakers & Quilts has been getting a little attention but not quite enough to bother taking another photo. Have you all been watching for new patterns coming out for Market? I haven't seen too much that blew my socks off and made me run down the street waving my credit card, but I'm sure something will come along. I've ordered the linen and silk pack from Attic Needlework for the conversion they did for "The Garden Glade" by CHS. (now to figure out where the money is coming from....) I've had this pattern already for awhile but when I saw how they were stitching it on a soft blue/green linen with some beautiful silks, I was hooked! You can read more about this sampler if you open the newsletter on this page from Sept 10th. (Attic Needlework Newsletters) I have no affiliation.....I'm just a customer who spends way too much money there! Here's a photo of how they are stitching up the model at Attic Needlework - I love the leaves on the tree:

I'm also liking the new Jenny Bean sampler from Shakespeare's Peddlar and might add it to my list. I think my stash is finally starting to catch up with me...I find myself not buying as many patterns because I already have so much...or at least I take a good look and decide if it's really any better or different than what I already have. I have so many things at home I'm just dying to start. I saw nothing that prompted me to buy the new JCS ornament issue either (well I did like the Sock Monkey ornament) ....I already have tons of ornie patterns and didn't see anything I couldn't live without. I'll just watch the rest of you stitch them LOL.

I got to meet a stitcher who lives near me in Phoenix on Saturday - she purchased some charts from me and we had fun chatting about our obsession. ( Hi Melissa- thanks so much for reading my blog and I enjoyed meeting you!)

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm dreaming of autumn..........

"See off yonder; see them tepees? They kind o' look like corn shocks from here, but them's Injun tents, sure as you're a foot high. See 'em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that smoky sort o' smell in the air? That's the campfires a-burnin' and their pipes a-goin'. "

"Injun Summer" by John McCutcheon, 1907
(link to the complete poem)

Every fall when I grew up in Illinois the Chicago Tribune newspaper would reprint the famous story by John McCutcheon about "Injun Summer".......... I sure do miss midwestern things at this time of year....leaves turning colors, pumpkins, crisp autumn air, cornstalks, gourds, corn mazes and best of all....Halloween! Our summer is fading here in the Southwest but we still have about a month to go before we can breathe a sign of relief that the heat is gone for this year. Mornings and evenings are cooling off and it's such a relief. I've enjoyed seeing some of your posts with your fall decorating... I need to get out those boxes from the garage and pull out some things. I can't believe all the fall and Halloween items in the stores - Michaels seems to have gone all out this year promoting Halloween. Pretty soon it's going to be as big as Christmas just without the gifts!

Goode Huswife's "With My Needle" is coming along - the skirt on the woman seemed to take forever to complete but I'm now feeling like this sampler is really shaping up. I have about 4 stitching projects that I MUST get done this year so no time to waste!

I also did a little framing job on my own this week. I'm embarrassed to tell you that I stitched this likeness of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home 'Monticello' back about 1990! I picked up a book of patterns called "Historic Virginia" when I was visiting Virginia & Maryland. I just love colonial architecture, Williamsburg, and all that sort of thing. I don't know why I let this little piece lie unframed so long. Since I started doing a bit of my own framing this year I found that this piece fit perfectly into a regular 5" X 7" frame so I found a perfect one at JoAnn's for $8.00. Can't beat framing a piece for that!

I've decided I no longer want my stitched "Mount Vernon" the home of George Washington. If anyone wants it please email me (address in my profile). If I get more than one request I will draw a name - not sure if anyone would want this but I kind of hate to just dump it in the trash. It too will fit into a 5" X 7" frame.

I also picked up this little framed piece by Blackbird Designs I stitched a few years back. I did the stretching and just had a local shop do the frame and glass. It was hard finding a frame that looked good with this as it's stitched on an odd green color linen (R&R's Glen Ellyn?) but I think it's turned out well.

I am getting ready for a new start too (no I will not listen to the little angel on my shoulder whispering to me about all the projects already started..........). I'm joining an SAL with Heidi & Saskia next week to stitch "It's Cold Outside" by Blue Ribbon Designs. I'm so happy they have included me - I love BRD patterns and stitching these is kind of like quilting because each motif is it's own little block and so you feel good each time you get one of the blocks done. I just love the little penguins!

"It's Cold Outside" by Blue Ribbon Designs - kitted up with 40-ct Lakeside Linen Wintry Sky and Crescent Colours threads.

I thank all of you for your wonderful comments on my Pride & Prejudice sampler last time I posted...they're keeping me encouraged to keep going on this big project. Anyone wanting to know the patterns I have been using - I posted a link at the top of my blog to the pattern list. Until next time......hope you are having a great autumn!