Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meanwhile...back at the ranch....

It's been a busy summer for sure but I've been stitching and feel like I'm making good progress.  I haven't been keeping up too well with my blog reading but I've noticed (sadly) a lot of blogs I've read for years haven't had any recent postings in a long while.  At first I wondered if maybe it was the move off of Google Reader and I wasn't getting updates....but no....people are just too busy or maybe they've moved away from blogging or not stitching as much - I'm sure it's a variety of reasons but it makes me sort of sad. I always miss someone when they quit blogging but I understand it's hard to make time for everything you want to do.  I may not blog too often but I'm not going anywhere.....I enjoy keeping up with all you cyberstitchers!

My job situation is finally resolved. Our layoff at work consumed more than 2 months of stress.  Although I applied and interviewed for a few different jobs including the one I already had, I decided that I would not take my old job again as it was just too stressful and going to get more so.  Fortunately I was offered a spot in another group so I accepted that position and will be starting that job shortly.  I have some friends in my new group and they assure me that the new job will be much less stressful than my old one.  This is good news - maybe I can survive a couple more years there until I'm ready to retire.  I admit though that I was very, very close to just packing it in and taking the layoff package that was offered. I had glorious dreams of all the stitching I could get done if I wasn't working.  So those hopes are dashed to bits but on the bright side I still have plenty of stash money while I'm working!

I've recently gotten some framing done so a few more things marked off the list.  This is the SAL piece I recently completed - I picked a frame that looks very old with distressing, dings, etc.  I think it works well with the piece.     (and oh how I WISH it was cold outside!  We are in the midst of our desert summer here in Arizona....hot hot hot!)

 "Baby It's Cold Outside" - Heartstring Samplery
Closeup of BICO frame
Below is a piece I finished up last year and finally got framed. It's an old Ewe & Eye & Friends chart called Kona Coast.  I left off the verbage from the chart and substituted the word 'aloha' and some hisbiscus flowers.  It reminds me of Maui where my husband and I have been a few times (and hope to go again!).   I like this frame because it sort of looks like a tropical teak wood. 
"Kona Coast" - Ewe & Eye & Friends
And lastly here is a small band sampler I did many years ago.  I never liked how it was framed so I took it apart and had it redone.  Love that they had a frame that matched the colors exactly!  It will go great in my pink & aqua sewing room.

"Very Victorian Strawberries Sampler" - Eileen Bennett
I'm making good progress with Halloween Rules.  I passed the halfway mark - yippee!  Only 6 more rules to go. At first I was worried the colors were sort of blah on the gray linen but I'm liking it now that I've got more done on it.  I won't have it framed and displayed for Halloween this year but I will have it completed and get it framed for next year.  I think this is one I want to send off to Jill Rensel for some special mats. 
Like most other stitchers, I am so envious of Carol's smalls she shows on her blog Stitching Dreams.   I've been trying to do some small seasonal items to start my own collection.   I had done all 12 of the Shepherd's Bush pieces years back.  I had mounted them all on foamcore and rotated them in and out of a frame I had made.  Well I would always forget to change it when the month rolled around and I decided to 'remodel' them into small pillows instead. So far I've done these 3 below.  The second photos shows how they looked in the frame before.   I'm liking them much better as smalls.

 the "after photo - Remodeled smalls for Feb, March & July
a 'before' photo of the April piece
I'm wondering does anyone have any tips for putting rick-rack in as a trim?  I got it to work but it wasn't too easy. I basted it onto the backing piece before I sewed the front to the back.  It just seems hard to do and wondering if there are any tips for making it easier.
I'm getting ready to start a new SAL with a stitching friend.  We're doing "Quaker Christmas".  This has been in my stash for a long time...we're going to just take our time on it and share progress every few months.  Luckily I had everything I needed in my stash for once.   I had a huge bundle of Gloriana thread I bought for something else years ago and decided it will work out for this piece. I also had an old piece of Lakeside Linens from when they used to dye it with more mottling. In the past couple of years I've noticed there is hardly any mottling in their linen anymore which is sad. 

Well that wraps up things for me today.  Next week I'll have an exciting finish to show you - something I've worked on for 5 years almost - finally making it to the finish line!!  I also sent off a private Christmas-in-July exchange that I'll be able to share once the person receives it.  Thanks for sharing a few moments of your time with me.