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!