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. 



  1. I'm so glad to hear the job situation was resolved and that you will have a less stressful job now. That's good news! Love all your framing! I've never seen that Kona Coast piece before. Love your finished little pillows too -- nice job! The threads and fabric you chose for your Quaker Christmas look so pretty!

  2. Hello Jeanne,

    Great to hear that your work situation is now on a better path. Your finishes and works in progress are lovely. Great idea to make the little ones into something that can be seen all the time.

    Happy days.

  3. Good to hear you will keep blogging! Love to read your posts. Although I don't have much time to comment on all the blogs I read, I all love to read them and keep up with the wonderful things are made. Hopefully you get more projects finished with a stress less job. Lately everywhere I look there job cuts, reorganisations, even in healthcare for seniors where I work. It worry's me a lot! Need to work at least another 23 years, so it's hard not knowing if you still have your job next year or so.

  4. Lovely stitching and framing, I love your smalls.

  5. So glad that the work situation has resolved itself. What a fabulous stitching update. Lovely framed pieces and works in progress. Stay cool!

  6. Each frame is really very great. I like the smalls. You have done them very well.

  7. Jeanne -- Great post!! So glad your job situation has been resolved and hopefully it will be less stressful for you.

    LOVE your framed pieces!! Wonderful choices.

    What a great thing to do to repurpose previously stitched items. Yours look great! I should check and see if there are any old things that could use a little updating....

    Your Halloween Rules is looking fabulous and I'm sure Jill will do a super job on framing and matting.

  8. I share your feelings about missing some blogging friends. Things change, people move on. Also, I wonder if people are more into Facebook etc as a means to share their stitching.

    Glad to hear your stressful job situation has been resolved. I am hoping I will find another job soon where there will be less stress too.

    Lots of wonderful stitching and framing! I especially love the first one - does it make you feel cooler just looking at it?

  9. I've been seeing a number of bloggers stop too. Not sure if it's the change over or if it's just that life gets busy. I get a wee bit sad too. So glad to hear about your job situation and that you chose the less stressful job. Very important to not have stress in life! Your framed pieces are beautiful! I'm planning on stitching "Baby It's Cold Outside" for the wintertime. It'll make me feel warm :D Great job on your pin cushions too! I don't have a trick to put in ric rac but I think you did well! If there are any new tricks, let me know!! Hugs!!

  10. Hey Jeanne, with any luck I will be back blogging here real soon. Life has just gotten in the way. A bit of revamping my computer area and adjusting of my life, will help I hope.
    Love your framed pieces and little smalls - and a special mat from Jill will be perfect for the Halloween piece.

    I have finished QC and hopefully it will be back from the framers sometime next month!!

  11. It is sad to have a blog your love just seem to disappear. I love all of your finishes and your frame choices are perfect!

  12. It is sad to have a blog your love just seem to disappear. I love all of your finishes and your frame choices are perfect!

  13. I'm glad to hear you're job situation has been sorted out. I hope the new position proves to be a lot less stress

    Your framing and finishing are looking gorgeous. Enjoy working on Quaker Christmas

  14. Good luck with your new position. I am glad that worked out for you.

    I am one of those long time bloggers who barely finds time to blog. I don't feel bad because I too noticed a number of others that engage in "infrequent blog posting" :D

    Love all of you finished pieces. I am stitching on Halloween Rules as well but have decided to stitch them individually so I can hang them on my Halloween tree (which is desperate for ornaments).

    I look forward to your next post when you reveal another finish. It will be spectacular I am sure.

  15. Yea for getting your new job! That's a relief I'm sure.

    So much beautiful stitching! I love it all. Your smalls are just the most adorable finishes ever!

  16. Hi Leanne: Thank-you for your lovely comment on my blog.
    I love all your stitched projects, it is such a great feeling to have something framed or stitched to a finish.
    I love the frame on your Baby Its Cold outside, it is lovely, the frame on your Kona Coast is also lovely, smalls are one of my faves to stitch.
    Thank-you for sharing all your finishes.

  17. Love all your stitching, so cute and love the little pillows you are creating, well done.
    Nice to have you back at the blog, I too am blogging less but not giving it up either

  18. Oh I hope your new job is a good fit for you.
    Framed pieces are fantastic. Well done on finding frames to accent your work. The pillow redo's are much nicer than the original framing s. now you will be able to throw them in a basket and be able to see them. Don't know about you, but my walls are pretty full! Great update!

  19. Love all of your cross stitch pieces!

  20. I'm glad things are settling down a bit - love all of your work!

  21. Love the frames!! Do you use a local framer?

  22. Happy to hear your job situation is resolved--now you can spend your energy on stitching the Christmas piece

  23. I'm glad to read your job situation is resolved. I know I haven't been blogging or reading blogs as much in the last couple of months... maybe it's the season? I am trying to catch up some.

  24. Glad to read about the improved job situation. And all your stitching is lovely, especially the gorgeous framed pieces.

  25. Glad to hear that your job situation is sorted.

    Beautiful framing and stitching. Looking forward to seeing A Quaker Christmas. I stitched it a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  26. Jeanne, I saved your post to make a comment nd then never got back to it. Love the remodeling of the smalls! I finished Quaker Christmas earlier this summer and was lost sad to put the last stitch in. Each motif seemed like a mini-finish and it was so much fun to stitch.

  27. Great blog!!! I'm curious to know what color/name of the Gloriana thread is this as I can't quite figure it out. LOVE it. Thanks


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