Thursday, December 31, 2015

Plans for 2016

The week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day is always a time to plan for me.  As I think about 2016 and the projects I want to start (there are many), I am reminded that I should probably plan some finishes for the year as well.

My plan (currently) is to have one new start per month.  I would love to say that I could have a finish a month, but I think that is pushing it.  So perhaps a finish every two months (major projects that is).

Pumpkin Swirl has gone into the UFO pile.  Somehow I just could not get the count right on one section so it has come off the frame and gone into the "this WIP is killing me".  The good news is that Gardens of London has come out of the TWIKM and will be back in rotation for this year so it may be the year of the Chatelaine for me.


Cotton Sampler from Chatelaine.

 I have chosen a piece of 28 count Jobelan in Stormy Grey.  I am really looking forward to this project.  I have had it for a while and it has been calling to me for months!


I  have several other Chatelaine designs that I have kitted and want to start sometime this year.  Perhaps if I finish one of the others I have going!  

And of course I have many, many other things in the works.  Still have an Ink Circles project, the KnotGarden and a Mini Mandala from Chatelaine,  Home of a Needleworker (which may end up unfinished for years) and the two Needlepoint projects I started during our trip west this year. 

Speaking of Knot Garden.  I realized last night that I put some silks on it.  I was determined to get all the DM work done, wash it, THEN put the silks on, but I guess the specialty stitches were calling to me.  Not sure what I will do now.  May go ahead and throw caution to the wind and try to wash it before I put any more silks on.  

It has been hard to get into stitching this month (December) as I have been cooking, entertaining, playing with grand girls, trying to get the house organized and, of course, eating!  

That is it so far.   Thanks so much for visiting.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December plans

We are back in California so I am getting settled into my stitching area.  Of course it is very busy getting ready for Christmas and the new year and enjoying my grand girls so I am not stitching as much.   And I MUST get to the framer on Monday.

I also need to do some serious organization.  I reeived a couple of orders that I had sent here rather than hauling it from Texas. First a bunch of fabrics that were on sale at Herschners many month ago and  my order from ECC for two Chatelaines, Classicism and Old World Vinery.  I am not sure when I will get to these but I just did not want to chance any of the specialty threads being discontinued in the next year and I got a refund on some taxes that, of course, I had to spend.

This month I want to finish or at least make some good progress on a few things before I start working on 2016 projects.  One of my many goals for this month is to have no new starts.  Just work on WIPs.  I usually plan my next year the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

I  miss working on Gardens of London by Chatelaine.  I figured out that once I got through alot of the specialty stitches and borders that were so much fun to do I am a little bored with doing the cross stitching and back stitching on the buildings.  There are many color changes and the chart is a little tedious to read.   I am back to it this month, determined to get at least the London Bridge section finished.  I changed to a smaller qsnap for this project since I found the 14x14 was sort of becoming a problem for me.

Hoping to get some good progress done on Pumpkin Swirl by Glendon Place.  I am just a little over halfway done with it.  Have no plans for it after it is finished so this one of really kind of on the back burner.  I do want to finish it so I can free up my Millenium frame for another project next year.

A long way to go on Ink Circles RYOB  but it is a pretty quick stitch.  Hope to finish it soon and get it in the mail to its intended recipient.

Knot Garden by Chatelaine.  I am not keeping time on this project as I do with most of my others.  Now that I have moved out of the center I am really enjoying the project as I work through the specialty stitches.  I think I will frame this piece and keep it for myself.

Books Reading Books, Heaven and Earth Design:

This so confetti heavy that it is taking me quite a while.  I am loving it, and cannot wait to get moving along on it.  I am thinking I need to allocate a certain amount of time a week to make some good progress on this piece.  I have now been at it a year.

Mini Mandala II-C by Chatelaine.

Barely started this project but I am looking forward to working on it and finishing it to go with the other mini mandala in the series that I have completed.

I do not know when I will work on my Needlepoint projects again.  No travel planned for a few months, but you never know when I will have to ride somewhere.  I am thinking these would make good traveling projects.

Thanks for visiting.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas Season and a terrific New Year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Heading West Into the Sunshine

We made it to Tucson where we will spend two days.  It is good to be in the sunshine again.  The high tomorrow is going to be 79 degrees, so we are taking an extra day to rest for the last legs of the trip.  Getting through the LA basin is the worst part so we are planning to do that on Saturday morning.

Naturally, traveling makes us just want to travel a little more next year.
We are making some plans to upgrade a few things in our coach before our trip next year.  More on that as it happens.

Other than lots and lots of construction delays it has been an uneventful trip.

I have done quite a bit of work on my two needlepoint projects

and got some good progress on my Knot Garden by Chatelaine.   I have been working on it exclusively in the evening.

Not alot to report.  Will begin planning for the rest of December and 2016 once I get caught up back in California.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Final Finishes of Christmas Projects

Lizzie Kate.

 It was a really fun stitch.  I used threads I had left over from various projects so it is not exactly as charted.   It was basically two greens, two pinks, white and red.   I am not sure how I will finish it, but I am going to wait until I get back to California to do something with it.  I am a little surprised how much I like it!


Prairie Schooler 2004 Santa

Both Santas are finished now.  Not sure what I will do to finish them.  Although I love the fabric (28 count Opal Lugana Winter Solstice Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie) I am not sure it was the beset choice for these.  I do like them, however.  I am thinking perhaps blocks unframed so that I can use them wherever for the season.  I am glad I decided to do these two designs but I do not see more Prairie Schooler Santas in my future.

This is the end of my stitching finishes in Texas for this year.  Am getting the RV packed and ready for our trip.   I am partially sad to leave and partially ready to get back to California.   I have all my travel projects ready to go so I can make some progress while we are traveling along.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Needlepoint News

Autumn Leaves Laura J. Perin Cyber Class

I received the first "lesson" and got a little work done.  I have found that counting for needlepoint is different than counting for cross stitch.  I think the deal is that you have to count the threads, not the holes.  I am not quite sure, but I know I have had to pull out several areas and redo them when they did not work out properly.  It is very interesting working with the metallic ribbon (the gold part of the border portion).  I have never worked with it before.  It is surprising easy, but it does fray quite a bit.

Grace Dimensions Kit

It is interesting.  I am having the same counting problem.  Since this was a pretty inexpensive kit (compared to most came from Amazon), I am using it for practice.  Hopefully it will help me with the other needlepoint project.

Those pinkish stitches were fun to do.  They are called Teardrop Jessica stitches.  Surprisingly easy once I got the hang of them.   This thread in the kit is all what appears to be a 6 strand DMC type cotton so there is a certain comfort level.  There is a little metallic threads for finishing but that shoes not be a problem.  I am hoping I will get better as I am not sure I am happy with the continental stitch (I think that is what the half crosses are called).  I am beginning to completely understand the use of a laying tool.

I got these started because I want to do them while we are traveling in a couple of weeks so there will not be any progress until December or so.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mid November Finishes

Managed to finish a couple of this in the past couple of weeks.

 Nora Corbett Alphabet 

This was a really fun stitch.  I am looking forward to getting it framed.

2015 Prairie Schooler Santa

Because I used a dark fabric, I changed the moon and the stars to a light yellow.  I am not super happy with the wording (I left off one word), but I think I will wait until it is ready to finish (however I am going to do that).  I sort of like the subtle wording (Although it does not photograph well) as I am not a huge fan of words in most pieces.

I am making decent progress on the other Christmas themed projects in my WIP pile while getting the house ready to close for the winter, wrapping pipes, mulching flower beds and the like so I am not getting as much stitching done.

Also getting my projects ready for the upcoming trip.  We will be in the Dallas area for Thanksgiving, then headed West as weather allows.  I really enjoy stitching on the road and will be working on some needlepoint projects during the trip.  I got them all ready to go in the past couple of days.  Photos to follow in the next post.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Needlepoint: A New Needle Adventure

I have been so happy with all the specialty stitches I have learned this year thanks to Chatelaine designs and all the wonderful facebook posts that I have been drawn to branch out.   I just enthralled with the stitches I have learned so far and am always looking for  a place to use them.  I have not been called to do any hardanger I think because I cannot bear the throught of cutting holes in something I spend hours stitching!  I am a big chicken I suppose.

I have done a few needlepoint kits in the past that were basically just half crosses; tent, continental and basketweave.  I got a little bored with them frankly.

After a visit to a shop, I have been looking again at Needlepoint sites and have realized a couple of things.......

There are incredibly beautiful pieces out there that are far beyond the typical 'half cross" technique that I have done before.  There seem to be thousands of variations on the tent and continental stitches.

Needlepoint canvases can be VERY can the fibers used.  But oh my are they beautiful!  There seems to be a huge difference in the hand painted canvases versus the canvases I have dealt with in kits I have purchased and worked in the past.

Many Needlepoint canvases do not come with "instructions".  There are "stitching guides" available in some cases, but they, too, are expensive.  For the most part, it seems that needlepoint stitchers pick their own fibers and stitches and create really amazing things.

So I have gone a little crazy trying to find out where to learn some of these wonderful stitches and found a Cyber class offered by Laura J. Perin (a needlepoint designer).  I am thrilled to be a part of it and will be posting my progress.  It is called Autumn Leaves.

I was luck enough to get the last kit available.
Just what I need is another project!

Today, Monday, November 2, 2015 the "kit" came in from Laura J. Perin.  I am so excited about starting on this new adventure that I am over the moon!  So, I put the binding on the mono canvas and looked through all the instructions....I have to decide how I am going to mount the fabric on either 11" stretcher bars that I have or a scroll rod.
I choose the teal option for this project.  The fibers are just beautiful.  This will be a first for me.

I use seam binding that I get from thrift stores to bind the edges of the mono canvas.  The canvas is very stiff so this makes the edges softer and I do not like using masking tape for some reason.  Hopefuly this will work

I have not yet found any other participants in this class but I am sure some will emerge as time goes by.

For those who follow me, I think I am going to tag these posts as needlepoint so you do not have to suffer though them if you are not interested.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for the "progress".

Saturday, October 31, 2015

November Plans

A Finish:  Giving Thanks:

This a really cute.  Quick stitch and will make a cute little pillow.  I am reminded about 32 count and how small it really is!  For some reason it has really given me fits.  I think I need to enlarge the chart as I keep making mistakes!

 Finally got through it, however:

I made changes to the wording, making it Give thanks, rather than Giving thanks.  Then, while I am on a pillow roll, I made it a little pillow to give to one of my nieces if she wants it.

Christmas themes for November stitching.

I learned from doing the small projects that they are not comfortable to stitch on the little pieces of fabric that they require.  So..........I put border fabric (just a piece of cotton) on all the fabrics for these projects so I can use a larger qsnap.  I have a 6 inch one, but it is too small for me hold comfortably and too small to go on a stitching stand.

Two of the Prairie School Santa's from 2011 and 2015.

I am going to do them on a 28 count opal lugana called Winter Soltice from Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie.  I am a little concerned about some of the colors on this fabric, but will deal with it as i go.

Snoozin Santa by Holly Gordon

This kit was ridiculously cheap from somehwere.  It comes with 14 court aida, but I am switching it out to an opal aida because the white on the beard and santa suit are not stitched but just outlined.  I may put this project off for next year because I have a couple of other Christmas themed things I want to stitch.

Dear Rudolph by Lizzie Kate  Finished!

This is a kit that comes with everything but the stuffing to make a little pillow.  It will challenge my sewing skills no doubt!

Since I finished the October projects quickly, I got a head start on this little project and was able to finish it in just a few hours.
Took longer to make the pillow than it did to stitch the design.  It was fun, so I am looking forward to the next LK project......

Three Blox  by Lizzie Kate

I think I am going to make these into three separate blocks but who knows.   It comes with the fabric.  Again, a challenge to my finishing skills!

I may be a little too ambitious  with all these Christmas projects and may burn out on them, but we will see.

Last but not least I want to finish the Nora Corbett Alphabet letter A for my grand daughter.  It is going well and just needs a few hours of attention

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Updating the Blog

Changing computers has spurred me into some cyber actions.  I am trying to come into the new century by revamping this blog.  I see other blogs and they are so impressive, mine was/is kind of boring.  So, bear with me as I mess around with things.

I must admit that I have a bit of trouble figuring out how to do things and find that I really do not speak computer.  It takes me hours and many trips to the "Help" screen to figure out what I am trying to do, what it is called and how to do it.

I figured out how to make tabs today, Woohoo.  I still have not figured out how to update the blog list so I may just eliminate it.  And I have not figured out how to list blogs I follow.........perhaps that is not important.

I really cannot figure out how to put all those cute little photos on the side that link to different things.  I do think they are very cool!

I am sure I will get there eventually.  As I asked, please bear with me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October Update

Before I start on my update, I have to share a brilliant idea.  I am always looking for a way to make my stitching a little easier and my stitching time more effective.  I love Thread Heaven thread conditioner, especially for DMC and metallic threads.  I do not usually use it for silks for some reason.  Not sure why, I am just not comfortable putting on a project I know that I cannot launder.  Anyway, we all struggle with using that last bit of Thread Heaven and taking it out of the little box to run the thread over it when it is not new......well, I saw these little baby wax things for quilters and ordered them.

Then, I took the wax out, put half a container of Thread Heaven and a washer (so it will stick to a magnet) in the little container and voila!  I am lovin it!  They have the notch in the container so the thread can be run through.    No clue what I will do with the wax I removed, but I have used it in the past as a thread conditioner so I will hang onto it.  I am not sure how this will work out, but time will tell.

Now on to progress:

Be Thankful:

Perhaps because of the fabric I chose, I made a couple of changes to the recommended floss.  3865 was too white, the yellow and green were too bright.  So I used 3866 which is creamier.  I also just picked a softer yellow and softer green.

For some reason this piece is becoming a little tedious.  Perhaps because I do not like doing "words". Who knows.   I sort of fell out of love with it somewhere right after halfway.  So it is packed away and perhaps I will finish it next year.

Patterned Gourds

Finished this project in about 36 hours of stitching.  I really like the Chai Tea fabric that I used.  I will probably make this into a cube of some sort by mounting it on a piece of foam.  I like the argyle look of it.  It kind of screams autumn without being in your face.  Really like it.

Heaven and Nature, With Thy Needle and Thread

Have really been surprised at how much I enjoyed this.  While I am still not convinced this is the best fabric for it, it is working well for this piece.  I made a few tiny changes to what I am assuming are supposed to be snowflakes.  Just added a stitch in the middle of the small ones.  I like the trees and really like the red poinsettia at the bottom.

I know I mentioned the threads before, but I really love the subtle variegation of the Gentle Arts threads; particularly for this piece in the dress and the reindeer.

Now to make it a pillow without wrecking it!  I learned from this project that I cannot sew and really don't enjoy it.  Measuring and pinning and stitching and turning, oh my.  Not a fan.  Perhaps I just need practice.......

Stitching this project took about 28 hours, but the pillow making.......felt like it took every bit of that although I know it was only a few hours!

Nora Corbett Letter "A"

Am enjoying this one as much as the previous letter.   I am not crazy about the fabric, but it will work out just fine.

Ink Circles Mandala RYOB series

Made a little progress on this project.  One quarter done.

Books Reading Books, HAED

This project is going slower than I would like.  So much confetti, so many color changes1   I am trying to devote an hour or so a day.  I am wishing I could get the hang of the parking technique.  I have not been able to make it work for me and I truly admire anyone who can master it.

While I do not need any supplies (other than some substitutes for discontinued threads on my Chatelaine that I will do next year) I am wanting to visit Stitches from the Heart in San Antonio next week.  It is an hour away, but something is just calling me to go.

That is it for this busy October.  Lots of stitching due to trying to get my silly foot o heal up.  I do not like being "down" for what feels like weeks on end.  Especially since we will be on the road in a few short weeks and I have to get this house ready to be left for a few months.

Thanks for visiting.  I have some really nice things planned for December along with the on-going projects so don't forget to stop by in a few weeks.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Starts for October

I have great plans for the rest of the year.  I am doing a few smallish projects for people that I think will keep me working on those large projects between them.  I spent the last couple of days kitting up projects that I want to do in the next two months.

I started Heaven and Nature Sing by With Thy Needle and Thread.  I am not thrilled with the fabric.  I think I would have preferred a more creamish color, but I got the recommended fabric ( two pieces of it as a matter of fact) so I am going to use it.  It is 39 count line in Cafe Kona.  It is a goldish brown.  I hope it will go with my sister's decor.  It is a Christmas theme so I guess it does not really have to "go".  It is a pretty fast stitch, so I hope to have it ready to give her by Thanksgiving so she can have it out for the rest of the holiday season.

 This project uses Gentle Arts Threads.  The angel's dress is done in Simply Shaker Lexington Green.  I bring this up because this is not the first time I have used this brand, but it is the first time I have really appreciated them.  The varigation in this dress is just amazing, and the subtle, faded look of the threads make this look really nice.   Perhaps there will be more primitive type projects in my future.

I started the Nora Corbett letter A for my grandgirl to get it done and framed for Christmas.   I am using the recommended fabric this time.  It is a 32 count  Water Lily linen.  It looks to have alot more beading than the "R" I just finished.

For some reason it makes sense to me to do Thanksgiving themed projects in October so here they are:

Thanksgiving themes for October:

Be Thankful by Country Cottage Needleworks

I will be doing this on 28 Count Coffee evenweave by Fabric Flair.

Giving Thanks by Not Forgotten Farm

I will do this on a 32 Count Ivory Lugana that I already have.  I may be able to get two of the little pillows out of this piece.  I am thinking of changing the wording to Give Thanks rather than Giving Thanks.  Not sure as I have not started this one.

Patterned Gourds by Sharon Pope from Just Cross Stitch magazine.

This is on a 28 count Jobelyn in Chai Tea.  I really love this fabric.  I have had it for a while and think it is perfect for this project; must more subtle than the orangy fabric in the photo.

This is a great piece to work on outside since the weather has cooled off quite a bit.  It is done in DMC from my inventory so I will be able to launder it once it is finished.  I like the way it is finished in the photo of the piece, just stretched over a canvas, no frame.  I think that is how I am going to finish it.

I am realizing that a week of October is already gone.  The good news is that I should have alot of time for stitching.....the bad news is that I have a foot injury that is not healing very rapidly so I am doing alot of sitting.

I gotta get busy!

Hopefully I will have a couple of finishes this month.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Finish Just in Time for Halloween

I finished the Pumpkin Patch Quilting Shop from Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine, 2010.  I had alot of fun doing this project because I have a specific recipient for it.  It only took about three weeks (68 hours or so) to complete but I was kind of on a mission to get it finished.  I was going to frame it and give it to the local quilt shop here in town, then I decided they might rather finish it themselves as a wall hanging.  The ladies in there are so nice.  The shop carries DMC and Cosmo threads as well as a few speciality threads that quilters use.  I try to buy a few skeins a year there just to help the local economy.  Selfishly, it keeps DMC close in case I run out!

It was a fun stitch and I am looking forward to seeing how they finish it.  

I also finished the Nora Corbett Alphabet R

It was a quick stitch that only took about 26 hours to stitch and bead.  I am really happy with the outcome and will be starting the "A" letter on the recommended fabric.

On our way to the DFW area we stopped by Fancy Stitches in Cleburne, Texas.  It is a great shop but was overwhelming.   I got a couple of charts that I had not seen on line anywhere

Two patterns are Halloween based that I will do next year:

Ghouls Night Out by the Trilogy (this one is a kit)

 Flight School by Just Nan.

I picked up Heaven and Nature Sing by Brenda Gervais.  I am going to do this one for my sister as a Christmas housewarming gift.  Already ordered the materials from 123 Stitch and hope they will arrive in the next week so I can get it started.  Hope to get it done by November.  I am not sure I am going to finish it as it is suggested, I may just make it a normal pillow.  It does comes with all the finishing instructions to make this pillow with a pocket on it as it is pictured.

Finally, I took advantage of a sale somewhere (Stitchery I think) and got a Christmas project just for the heck of it.  It is called Snoozin Santa by Holly Gordon.  I have someone in mind for this also.
It is a kit that include 14 count white aida and leaves the white portions of the pattern un-stitched.  I am thinking of changing the fabric and doing the white portions in stitching.  Or I might get a sparkly aida cloth in a 16 or 18 count.  Have not yet decided.  If I have no other Christmas project that calls to me I will do this one when I finish the Heaven and Nature pillow.

That is the update for this week.  Am hoping to do some work on the larger projects that are on-going.  I am kind of burned out on Gardens of London at the moment and have put it away for a while.  I was enjoying it so much I am a little surprised

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Halloween Finish and Christmas Plans

Here is Wicked Wanda all done.  I made a couple of minor changes to the pattern.  I did not want to do the wording, so I added the bat, and I changed the border.  Using a Cosmo variegated thread I did some stitches I learned doing my Chatelaines; Rhodes stitches I believe they are called.   I am really happy with the finished product.

The materials and patterns for the Nora Corbett alphabet came.

I am not aure about the fabric.  The suggested fabric is 32 count Water Lily linen.  It is extremely stiff.

Depending on timing and how things go I may do the "H" for their last name.  Have not decided if I will do it for Christmas or later.

For the 'R' I am using 32 count linen in Silver Moon which is a very pale grey.  It is a really fun stitch that is working up really fast.  Of course it has lots of beading that will take some time.  I will be doing an "A" also.

In the suggested supplies from 123 Stitch they included a spool of thread for beading,  here it is.

It is awful stuff.  It shreads like crazy and  is impossible to thread on a needle.  I am trashing this and using the nymo thread I prefer.

I have also made some good progress on Pumpkin Patch Quilt Shop.  I think I will finish it before October.  That is the plan anyway.  I made some changes to the pattern.  I did not think the ghost on the left side of the roof needed a heart; and I replaced the heart on the shop to the State of Texas since I plan to give this to the local quilt shop.  I will also change the wording on the sign so it meets the local shop a little better.  It is going pretty fast and I am about half way through the project.  This project has a lot of outlining but I am doing it as I go so it is not too bad.

I have made more progress on the Ink Circles project.  I have not decided if I will finish all the black outline work for the whole piece before I add the color, or if I will put the color in as I go from page to page.  So far, I am not yet sick of the black. Photo is a little blurry but you get the idea.

The good news is that I got a new laptop ....actually an Apple Airbook...and so far it is working like a charm.   There is a really large learning curve (especially in the photo portion of the program) but since it is so much like an IPad it is not too bad.  Not nearly as frustrating as the Windows 10 so far....

That is it for this week.  Thanks for visiting.