Friday, August 31, 2012

August WIPocolypse #2 - Jeanne

Well I was on the last day before the cutoff for the first August update so now I have to do the second one a day or two later!  Did you know we're having a blue moon now?  It's the second full moon of August hence it's called a blue moon.   And it's a lovely one too....I was taking a walk last evening and admiring the moon and thinking about Neil Armstrong dying.   I wonder what it's like looking up and seeing the moon and knowing you've stood there??  I know a lot of you are too young or weren't even born yet in 1969 but I remember clearly sitting in my living room with my parents and siblings watching him step out and making his famous statement.  The picture was so fuzzy you couldn't see much but it was thrilling.  Back in those days EVERYbody watched all the TV coverage of the space flights.   It makes me sad to think he's gone now.  A lot of our real heroes are quiet, unassuming people who don't want to be celebrities yet have done remarkable things.

Well I don't have a lot of stitching progress to report since my post 2 days ago of course.   I made a decision this morning to trash the ornament I was stitching on the light green linen.  I was getting close to finishing it but the more I saw of it the less I liked it and I began to hate it.  I finally decided that was enough so I've thrown it out and will pick something else.  No sense wasting my precious stitching time on something I don't love.   Onwards!

I thought I'd share another old UFO with you today.  I was reminded of it last night reading the post from Carol over at Stitching Dreams - she stitched a lovely small with a PS birdhouse on it. I haven't worked on this project in probably 2 years but it's part of my WIPocolypse list and hoping I make some progress this year on it.    Remember back when everyone was doing those neighborhood round robins a few years ago?  Well I started my own....and like I frequently do....I went overboard.  I gridded off a big piece of linen with 9 squares figuring I'd have 9 houses in my neighborhood surrounded by trees and other fun stuff.  What the heck was I thinking?!?   Here's a photo showing the middle and lower rows.  There are some PS charts used here and a big tree from a BBD chart. My plan was to have a creek run across the bottom that would end in a little pond at the right at the mill house.

During the height of the 'neighborhood' craze everybody was wanting the birdhouse from Prairie Schooler's Garden Samplers on their neighborhood as someone in France  ("Stitcher Zero" who started the fad)  had done that and everybody loved it. Well 'Garden Samplers' at that time was going for $45 and up on eBay because of the I adapted a little $6 chart from Michael's instead and put that in the middle. Last year I had a thought maybe I could just finish the lower row of this BAP and cut off the rest of the linen and call it done. I had forgotten about the birdhouse and I didn't want to trash that. SO....I played around in Microsoft Powerpoint and had an idea I could make this arch-shaped along the top. That way I wouldn't have to stitch the entire top row of the 9 squares, and just finish what was left under the arch. I can have arch-shaped mats cut to fit and I think this is a good solution.

So that's my plan now and maybe I can finish this off before the linen starts to rot LOL.   It's slightly further along than this but I haven't taken a photo of it in a long time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August WIPocolypse #1 update

Somewhere along the way I thought I missed a WIPocolypse post but I guess not.   I think I'm just under the wire for the first full moon of August which the cutoff is Augu 30th,  and then there's the second full moon this month so another WIPoclolypse post is due shortly for that one. The time is flying by way too fast is all I know!   I've got a few small things to share that I finished in the last week.  The clock sampler patterns have been sitting around for years and years and I finally got one of the 4 seasonal samplers done that fit in this Olde Colonial Clock.  This is "Strawberry Summer Sampler" from C Street Samplers.  (SANQ magazine Summer 2003).   This was a fun little sampler to stitch, some specialty stitches here and there that were fun.  I thought I'd encountered most all of the specialty stitches out there but this is the first time I've ever done the Upright Cross Stitch and it was fun.   You can see it used in 2 lower strawberries in the band underneath the basket, it give a nice interesting texture.  I used an old piece of R&R linen called 18th Century Stone. I just love the color it's so versatile for projects, but mine had some tiny red specks on it. I do believe I've had it for several years and I think those spots are undissolved dye as I've read about that somewhere.  My LNS doesn't stock R&R anymore, mostly Lakeside Linens, but I do miss R&R colors.  Does anyone have suggestions on a good ONS to order R&R linens from, and are you having any trouble with spots??

I actually laced my piece this time to put in the clock. I really was happy with how it turned out!  I've tried stretchng and pinning before and always struggled with it.  I would get one part done and then it would always seem like I would have to undo it and move the piece.  With the lacing, you can adjust it a bit once it's laced and I found it much easier.  I used this video that someone recently put on YouTube.   Stretching & Lacing Needlework   I plan on doing the other 3 seasonal samplers to swap in and out of the clock frame.
I haven't finished stitching my "August" ornament yet...running late this month on that but I did the "finishing" for a stocking I stitched last month -  guess I can count that for August LOL.   It's another of the BBD December stockings.   The linen package said it was 30-ct which is what is called for but this one for some reason didn't quite fit into the stocking template I made for the other 2 I I made the template a bit bigger. I also added a little cuff as I had the perfect fabric to match the piece.  It's bigger than my other BBD stockings as you can see in the first photo,  but I think I like it even better this way!

BBD "Merry December" stockings leaflet

Here's the ornament I've been stitching this month...not quite done yet.  I decided to stitch it on some 28-ct Waterlily linen I had but it's turned out a bit big for an ornament in my opinion. (already about 4" square and not finished-finished)  I may make it into a little pillow small instead.  Although I like the color, the linen is kind of a loose weave which I'm not crazy about so I will need to find some matching green fabric to put underneath I think.  I don't like seeing through the linen or sparse thread coverage. I just took this photo this evening so it was hard to get true colors. I should finish this up soon and then I can be starting some September projects.  
I guess that's about all I've got to share's still very hot here in our desert climate but hoping in a few more weeks we'll get some relief from summer.  I saw a few grasshoppers on the driveway today and that usually means cooler temperatures are on the way.    I want to get back to a couple samplers I'm stitching and see if I can make some progress on those soon.  I have a lot going on in September but will be grabbing any time I can for stitching of course!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Giveaway winners announced........

I had the husband draw 2 numbers from the 64 entries.......and here they are...
FIRST PRIZE goes to #22 which was Mary of All My Scattering Moments-Mary

SECOND PRIZE goes to #47 - Tracey from I Stitch Therefore I am         

Mary & Tracey - congratulations!  I will be emailing you today to get your snail mail addresses so I can send the packages out this week.

Sorry I wanted to get this posted first thing this morning but I've been dealing with a work crisis all day....aaarrgghhh....I feel more hair turning gray by the moment........

Thank you everyone who entered and I so appreciate all your kind comments!!     Also welcome to some new followers - I've got more blogs of yours to add to my reading list.                                  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's Blogiversary giveaway time again!

Well really, it's PAST time for a blogiversary giveaway but I don't think you'll mind that I'm late.  My goodness how fast these blogiversaries roll around, seems like it was just 5 years and here I am at 6 years!   I'm so happy that so many of you have chosen to read and follow my blog and I thank you for all your visits and comments.  I wish I had more time to read and comment on all of yours.  Right now I follow about 240 blogs in Google Reader.  I wish there was a magic button that would automatically add all the blogs from followers to my list but there's not.  I thought I would try to go through my list of followers and add any blogs I don't already follow but oh my it's tedious work.  You have to click on each follower, then go look at their Blogger Profile to see if they have a blog, etc.  I know there are probably many of you not yet on my reading list but I do try to add in more as I can.   There just aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with all the interesting posts.  And the more I read, the more I want to stash & stitch!

SO.....on to the important stuff!  

I didn't really have time to stitch gifts for my giveaway this year so I decided to do something a little different.  I've kitted up 2 prize packages.  You don' t have to be a follower or post a link on your blog or anything special...just leave a comment on this post and I will choose a first prize and second prize name from those who comment.  Deadline for entering is Sunday evening Aug 19th.  You must either leave your email address or have your email address in your Google or Blogger Profile.  If I choose your name and don't find an email address to contact you, I'll pick an alternate name.  

First prize:  I've kitted up a sampler I just love called "Beauty & Grace" from Tree of Life Samplings.  Jan designed this for a retreat last year and after a year she released it for the rest of us.   You can see a nice photo of this on the header of the Tree of Life Samplings blog.   You will receive everything you need except a needle!  I've included the chart, a lovely piece of 32-ct "Mello" linen by Picture This Plus (plenty of margin space for framing), all the overdyed flosses, and one of my  sampler project bags.  Also included is a pincushion I made - it's red, white, and blue, backed with wool and filled with crushed walnut shells.

Second prize:  The newest Little House Needleworks ornament has been kitted up for you.  It's called "Hot Chocolate" and you can see it at the bottom of their ornament page here.  I've included a piece of 28-ct natural linen with the chart, plus all the DMC threads called for, and a Christmas project bag I made.   You'll also get a pincushion made by me.  (I love making pincushions!)

I've been stitching away on a few different projects in recent weeks.  I managed to get a tree stitched by Lizzy & Darcy on my Pride & Prejudice sampler.   I did the tree 'free hand' - just started stitching and looked at some trees on charts I had for inspiration.  I think they like it.  :)   Then I started stitching the house I'm calling "Rosings Park" - my facsimile of it that is. It's almost done except for the door.     The house I charted myself on graph paper - houses are pretty easy to chart so by looking at the photo of the house from the A&E mini-series I came up with my own smaller version.  It still needs a bit of landscaping of course  and I want to add Mr Collins & Charlotte who lived nearby in the parson's house.  Feel like I made some good progress on this BAP this month!

Belton House, used as filming site for Rosings Park in mini-series

Rosings Park - my abbreviated version

I finished up another little patriotic small while watching some of the's the "Glory" fob by Shepherd's Bush but I wanted a pillow not a fob so finished it with a few patriotic fabrics. I found a perfect little blue heart button in my button box - love when that happens! I've also made it to the halfway point on the "Strawberry Summer Sampler" for my clock insert. It goes fast as it's only a 3" wide band sampler...hope to finish it up soon I've just been bopping back and forth between projects.

I've got an ornament kitted up from Brooke's Books to stitch for August but not started it yet.   It's called "Eternity" and has a lovely pinecone on it but I think when I finish it I will rotate it so the pinecone is pointing down.   I was picking up a few of the overdyed threads listed for the design at the LNS this week and couldn't find 2 of the Crescent Colours flosses on display.   I finally had to ask someone at the store and found that they were actually Belle Soie silks.  I'll be using the DMC substitutions for those as I can't see spending ~$15 for 2 skeins of silk used in just an ornie!

Next weekend my DH is out of town so I plan to have a serious non-stop weekend of stitching and movie watching - I'll probably have stiff hands by Monday morning!

Good luck everyone on the drawing!