Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy New Year, full of good health, happiness, and lots and lots of stitching! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope you've had a wonderful Christmas season!  Mine has been hectic, as's so hard to try juggling a full time job, and having so many things you want to do to celebrate the season.  Oh well, it has come, and is almost gone. 
In between all the madness, I've been trying SO hard to finish my 2 main project goals for the year...Carriage House Samplings' Village of Hawk Run Hollow, and Carriage House's alphabet sampler.   Thankfully, the alphabet sampler was finished Thursday.  I also wanted to work on something Christmas-y last night on Christmas Eve, while watching Miracle on 34th Street.  I finished Sampler Girl's "Bedford Falls 1946".  It is adorable, can' t wait to do the ornament finishing, and have it ready for next year's tree!  Now, if only I can get Village finished this week. I have a sinking feeling that it won't happen.  My heart isn't in it right now.  I have been going through my stash planning my projects for 2012, and see too many other things I'd rather be working on!  But , I'll do my best.
Once again, I've joined the Crazy January Challenge for 2012, as well as WIPacolypse 2012, and a Blackbird Designs Challenge.  I love any excuse to play in my stash, start new projects,  and make lists, haha!
So, here are pictures of my finishes, they are pretty self-explanatory!

Hope to be back this week with Christmas pictures, as well as Village of Hawk Run Hollow photos!  And if not, Happy New Year!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Finishes and Progress

Hi, just popping in to fnally share some photos of what I've been working on (and finishing) in recent months.  WARNING* this will be PHOTO HEAVY!  And awful photography, as usual, ;)

First is my finished Mystery Sampler.  When I last mentioned this one, I was sweating over the leaves.  Proud to say, I not only made it through te leaves, but perservered, and finished!  Sorry about the wrinkles...

Next will be recently stitched blocks on Village of Hawk Run Hollow.  I have 1 1/2 blocks to go before I'm done, which WILL BE by December 31 of this year :))

My other piece that WILL BE finished by December 31, 2011, :), is my Carriage House Samplers alphabet sampler.  I have stitched 2 letters every month this year, still have G, I, N, T and Z to do.  I don't remember where I left off sharing my progress months ago, but I'll bore you with a few recent finishes.

Can't neglect showing my Anniversaries of the Heart.  It's been pretty slow-going, but with these other 2, much older projects out of the way, this will move to the top of the heap as my big @#$, priority project of 2012.  I was having a really tough time coming up with someone to honor in my Farm House (May) block  I was pretty sure my great aunt Vivian from Tennessee was born in May.  I had 3 childless great aunts, so we were their surrogate grandchildren, and they are all 3 included in my AotH.  Anyway, I did some online research, and lo and behold, found Vivian, and was corrrect, she was born May 29, 1916, so she has earned her rightful place of honor on Farm House.  I skipped down to row 3 to work on Pumpkin Farm during October and November.

Last, but not least, I've accomplished a wee bit on the newest Loose Feathers, Summer and Autumn.  And, I muddled through the dreaded band block of Casting a Spell.  I got a late start on that for this year, but have my wooden box, and everything needed in order to work on this in the coming months, and have it ready for next fall.

So, that's about it...yes, I know, it's quite enough for one post!  I don't know about you, but I'm already daydreaming about future projects and mapping out my stitching plans and goals for next year.

Hope you're having a wonderful fall!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adopting a New Habit

Just a quick little post to share something I have started today...maybe it would be something that might work for some of my stitching friends trying to work through slumps, or large, tedious or less-than-favorite projects.  As I've mentioned before, I have collected all of the Prairie Schooler Santa cards, since the first in 1984.  For whatever reason, I get really bogged down when it comes to working on them.  I don't know why.  They are fairly small designs, so you'd think they'd work up pretty quickly.  But, for me, they don't.  I think part of it has to do with the Davos cloth I am stitching them on.  They have to be worked with the over-one, stick and stab method rather than sewing method.

Anyway, I would estimate that I put in @ 20 hours on each of the santas I've completed so far.  So, in an effort to work my way through them, I have come up with a new habit that I'm planning to adopt...I plan to work on a santa for 30 minutes each day, every day, until they are done.  Otherwise, I will go days, weeks, months, even years without putting even one stitch in one. A little time spent every day will net me more results than not working on them at all, right?  And, who doesn't fiddle away 30 minutes a day?

 I have worked the santas in order, and have completed 1984-1993 so far.  This morning, I set my kitchen timer for 30 minutes, got out my 1994 santa, and got started.  Here is my progress:

I keep all of my santa cards, pre-cut fabric pieces, threads, scissors, even a little Q-Snap, all packed in a cosmetic travel bag, so I can grab it and go anywhere.  I can even do 10-15 minutes here and there a couple of times a day, while I'm waiting for dinner to cook, or sitting in my car on my lunch break.  And once I've gotten in my santa time every day, then I can work on whatever other project I want .   Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How Pathetic is This~ A UFO Story

Hi there~Happy Fall!  I know, it's been a while....I've had a lot going on, mostly work...between being very under-staffed, we've all taken turns being sick, and have been covering for one another.  I have actually kept up with my stitching and reading, though, just haven't made time for sharing.  I actually have had several finishes, and will share photos soon.  But today, I felt the need to come clean publicly about some personal atrocities...specifically, the number of projects I have taken the time and trouble to stitch, then have never framed, or made into ornaments, wall hangings, scissor fobs, etc.
Today, I thought I would share one of the most horrendous examples.  At one point, up until maybe 8 years ago, I was OBSESSED with Shepherd's Bush designs.  Loved the pretty colors, the pudgies, the beautiful threads and fabrics, everything.  Then, I started finding more and more of the primitive and antique designs that really touched my soul.  I'm not saying I didn't like Shepherds Bush anymore, just there was so much of what I liked better to be had.  So, I haven't touched a Shepherds Bush design for years.  Last month, I was at my guild meeting, and 2 ladies had brought finished and framed Shepherds Bush halloween samplers for show and tell, and my heart absolutely melted.  So, I have decided it's ok for me to like SB again, lol! 
This leads up to  what I'm about to share.  I think the year 2000 was a banner Shepherds Bush stitching year for me. Among other finishes, I stitched the 4 seasons series.  These are adorable, each season stitched on a large count linen, with wool threads, now I can't remember what those threads were...and embellished with ceramic buttons, mostly Debbie Mumm, I think.  Then, you could buy the hand painted sort of barnwood Jill Rensel frames for each.  I stitched all 4, sewed the buttons on Spring, Summer and Winter, somehow, never bought the buttons for Autumn, and am missing one button on Summer.  And, I bought frames for Spring and Summer. 
My master bedroom is done with muted taupe, ivory and seafoam green, and the walls are pretty much bare, so I have decided to pull out all of my Shepherds Bush UFOS and charts, finish them, and proudly hang them in my bedroom.  Starting with the 4 seasons set.  I had forgotten how MUCH SB stash, UFO's and finishes I's mind-boggling, to say the least!
  I called Shepherds Bush this week to inquire about the button set for Autumn, and they had a set left, so I ordered those.  I called Jill Rensel, talked to her in person, and I have to say, she's about the nicest person ever!  She knew exactly which frames I was talking about, said she didn't have any made, but thought she had enough of the moulding to make me the 2 missing frames.  She went and checked, called me back, and said yes, I can make them for you, and will have them ready to ship to you early next week!  I got out the finished pieces and the 2 frames I had.  I am baffled by the one missing button on Summer.  Although, I seem to recall my set either missing a button, or having a broken button.  So, I may have gotten it and just never sewed it on.  If not, I hope SB can find me one of those.  Now, to force myself to mount and lace the stitched pieces, and take them somewhere to have spacers and glass cut. 
Now, without further ado...Notice I have also photographed the finishing dates I stitched on each.

This brings me to a couple of goals for next year's stitching...I plan to set aside one day a week to tackle my pile of stitched pieces, turn them into ornaments or whatever.  And to allow a framing budget with a goal of one item framed per month.  What's the point of having these beautiful things just to have them tossed in a drawer not being looked at and admired every day?
Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Day of the Leaf

Just a quick post before going off to do some stitching.  Tomorrow is the end of the month, and I  had set some goals for myself.  One was to have Block 2 of Village of Hawk Run Hollow done, and another was to have Part 2 of the Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler finished.  I am at a place with both pieces where I need to stitch leaves, lots and lots of leaves.  Leaves and stems are right up there with alphabets as far as I'm concerned...they all give me the heebie-jeebies.  So, I have decided to sit down today and face my fears, and stitch each and every one of those leaves!  Here are a couple of pictures I took a few minutes ago of both pieces "before leaves".  I hope to be able to show a picture tomorrow "with leaves".

Wish me luck !  Hope you're staying cool!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stay-Cation equals Stitch-Cation

Hello, fellow stitchers!  I am enjoying a much needed week away from work.  This week was supposed to be our annual trip to the Outer Banks.  But, unexpected car repairs, refrigerator replacement, plumbing repairs, and the never-ending tuition bills for the girls pretty much wiped out our travel funds.   Sooooo, here I am taking a stay-cation.   All is not lost, though!  I have managed to do some things around the house that I've been putting off, and I've gotten a LOT of stitching done!
Allow me to share!  First will be some shots of a UFO I finished Monday.  And, no, it's not the style you normally would associate with me.  This is a design by Corner Stitch and Frame.  We have been going to the Outer Banks for @ 30 years.  Up until around 2005 or 2006, there was an adorable cross stitch shop at the beach.  It was always a highlight of my trip to shop there while on vacation.  The shop closed around 2005-'06.  The shop was also called Corner Stitch and Frame.  The owner has a line of designs by the same name, mostly Outer Banks related.  I bought this chart there and started it on our vacation in 2005.  For whatever reason, it ended up in the UFO pile.  My guess is that it was no longer so much my taste, although I do love the design.  I took it out recently, and looked at it, and realized it had AT MOST, 30 minutes of backstitching left to do.  So, Monday, I got it out and finished it.  My downstairs bathroom is my "Cape Hatteras Lighthouse" room, so once framed, this will hang there.

"Seaside Sampler"
By Corner Stitch and Frame

Next, I will share a photo of my progress on Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler.  First, I have to say, alphabets give me the heebie-jeebies...I don't know why, they just do.  With this in mind, I knew that starting part 2, it was imperative for me to get that pesky alphabet out of the way first.  So, last night, I sat myself down and made myself finish it.  Here it is-now I can move on to the tree and birds!

"Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler"
With My Needle

 For the past couple of days, I have started and completed not only 2 blocks of my Carriage House Samplings alphabet sampler, but the last 32 flowers of the glad to have that out of the way!  My goal has been 2 blocks per month, which will have it finished by the end of the year.  I have been remiss in sharing recent progress.  Since February, I have stitched E, F, H, L, P, R, X, W, U and Y..  Here are some photos:  I think I'm missing "W is for Willow", I'll add that later.

I finished Blackbird Designs "Pink House Manor" last week, all but the personalization. 

Last, but not least, is my progress on Villages of Hawk Run Hollow.  I am juggling 2 blocks right now.  My goal had been to devote about 6 weeks to each remaining block, in order to have this finished in 2011.  Block 6 was supposed to have been finished in June, but for some reason, I have really struggled with that one.  I was planning to work on Block 2 in July, it was partially done from a while back.  So, I am working on both, hope to have them finished this week.  I also have a picture of Block 8, which I finished in May, but never shared.

As usual, my photography leaves so much to be desired!

Hope you're managing to stay cool! 
Until next time...