Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blame it on Pinterest!

I know a lot of people spend lots of time on Pinterest. I've had an account for a year or two but never had a whole lot of time to spend on it.  I was on there a few weeks ago browsing some cross-stitch boards and I decided to search on "cross stitch ornaments".  Oh dear........I had one of those "I've got to HAVE IT" moments when I saw a cuckoo-clock ornament posted.  I kept clicking until I got to the source where the photo came from and it was Flamingo Valley's stitching blog.

I hope no one minds I posted this collage of Flamingo Valley's
cuckoo ornaments but I wanted to share how lovely they are!
  Unfortunately the blog is in a foreign language (Russian maybe?).  She has a huge number of followers so maybe I was the only one not knowing about her blog!  Anyway I was using the translator function on the blog trying to figure out who the designer was of the cuckoo clocks.  Fortunately someone had asked about that very thing in a comment to her post and the blog owner had responded with the name of some French magazine -  De Fil en Aiguille and something about "hors-serie montagne".  Well thanks to Babelfish translator and Google searching I found out this was a French stitching magazine that has been out of print a few years and she was referring to a special Alpine-themed edition of the magazine from 2004.  I was disappointed to find the magazine was out of print but that didn't stop me...I checked eBay and found nothing then I thought of trying eBay France and voila!  I found the magazine listed there.  I used Babelfish translator again to format a message to the seller and sent her a photo of the ornament and asked her if that pattern was in the magazine she was selling as I wanted to make sure I was on the right track.   She responded with a photo of the pattern that was in the magazine and I put in a pretty good bid to make sure I won the magazine. I was so thrilled to have found it! I 've always had a fondness for cuckoo great-aunt had a big antique one from Germany and all of us kids always loved it.    The pattern is for a cuckoo clock sampler and has 9 different cuckoo clocks to stitch - I love it!  I don't give up when I'm on the trail of something LOL.  Thank goodness for the internet  - when you can find a 10-yr old edition of a stitching magazine sold by a lady in Brittany, France then all is right with the world! This is an incredible stitching magazine too, it's a shame it is no longer printed as I wouldn't mind buying more editions - lovely patterns in it.

I finished up the piece I was stitching for my mother and I laced it myself because I need to get it back from the framer within 2 weeks.  It's only the second piece I've ever laced but I think it came out pretty good and it saves me some money doing the mounting of the piece myself.    I modified the pattern a bit - it's charted to say "Sawyer & Finn Riverboat Co." but I wanted the word "Mississippi" in the piece since my hometown is along the mighty Mississippi river.  I charted it out and filled in some  extra spaces at the ends with little ships wheels.  I think it came out pretty good and is at the framer now.

"Mississippi Riverboats" by Little House Needleworks

My lacing job..........

This piece reminds me of the Mark Twain riverboat at Disneyland.  No matter how many times I've ridden it I always make my husband ride with me every time we go.   I love Disneyland!

By the way the winner of the "Forever Young" pattern was Cindy (no blog).  She had emailed me to enter the giveaway and I'll have it mailed it off soon.  It's nice to be able to pass along a lovely pattern I'm done with.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Finishes and Fun.........

Hi all you stitchers out there, I hope spring is finally getting to most of you. I was in Illinois last week for a family issue and it was still in the 30's some days - brrrr!  Enough of winter already!  I was really glad to get back to warm Arizona.   Some of you may have seen the latest post on Laura's Maude & Mozart blog - we happened to meet each other when I stopped at a shop in the southwestern Chicago suburbs on my way to the airport to fly home last Saturday.  What are the odds?!?!?  I always enjoy Laura's posts about the ladies she stitches with at the shop and all the wonderful projects she shows us.  So I made time in my schedule to stop and see Laura's LNS The Inspired Needle in Lemont, Illinois.   I was there just a few minutes after the store opened and grabbing up some stash when in walked a customer who was greeted by the owner as "Ms. Duet".  Well I knew that was Laura's last name from reading her blog and we had emailed once or twice so I spoke up and said "Are you Laura?" and explained that I am a follower of her blog and mentioned my blog which she reads also.  It felt like the planets were aligning that we both happened to be in the shop at the exact same time yet we live in different states 1800 miles from each other!  It was so fun to meet a fellow blogger in person!   We snagged another customer to take a snap of us.  Laura hopes to get to the Phoenix area this summer for a trip to my LNS -  Attic Needlework. Hopefully we can meet up again - Laura it was great to meet you! 

Laura & Me at The Inspired Needle in Lemont Illinois -
two happy stitching bloggers!

I do have some finishes to share. I had fun stitching the "Forever Young" sampler from Heartstring Samplery with a friend - we did it pretty quickly and it was fun cheering each other on. I used some of my own thread substitutions and I did use just one thread instead of 2 in the greenery of the big fruit bowl as it seemed to let the "fruits" stand out a bit more.   This one is going to the bottom of the big framing pile for the time being because I have 3 pieces out being framed now and a few more waiting in the wings.    If anyone would like this pattern I will pass it along- just leave a comment stating you'd be interested in having it and I'll draw a name at the end of this week and send it to you.

"Forever Young" by Heartstring Samplery

It's been awhile since I've done much quilting but I had a chance to go to an open sewing day at a quilt shop near me a few weeks back.  They had a local quilt designer there all day and we had a blast - they were giving away all sorts of goodies all day and having raffles and it was nice just having an entire day to sit and sew again.  I've got a pile going of little stitched projects I am reworking/repurposing. Some pieces I just didn't like how they were framed years back or my skills had improved and I wanted to redo the finishing. I took 2 older pieces and put them on the front of 2 lined project bags I made. I really like how they turned out and it was fun seeing some old projects get a new life!  I also finished up a little pincushion kit I had picked up a few years ago in a quilt store - the quilt block is called "Arizona" and it came with a matching little charm.  It's stuffed with crushed walnut shells - lots of tiny tiny pieces to sew together!

I was getting in the Christmas spirit early this year doing a bit of finishing for a cyber buddy....I can't believe that we are the second quarter of the year already.  The top piece is mounted to a fabric-covered board to hang on a door and the other pieces were finished as ornaments.   I love all of them!

"Jingle as Ye Enter, Jingle as Ye Go" - design by Nancy at Victorian Motto

This is a little Prairie Schooler Santa finished as a flat ornie
(yes we have grass during the winter here LOL)

And I think these are Lizzie Kate designs but not entirely sure now...
I had grand intentions of stitching an ornament a month this year but my life has just been way too hectic. I did stitch this little JBW design which has been in my stash a long's a little too big to be an ornament so I think I'll make it into a little flatfold hopefully soon. For some reason this little piece seemed to be cursed, I kept making mistake after mistake after mistake.  I finally finished the wording along the bottom as the last part when I noticed that the chart has two different capital P's used for Plum and Pudding.  So I had to rip out one of them and redo that as well but it's finally done.
"Plum Pudding" by JBW Designs
stitched on WDW Cocoa linen with DMC
Now I have to get busy stitching on a present I'm making for my mom...