Monday, April 17, 2017

April is Almost Over!

Time is flying this year!  Hard to believe the long hot days of summer are on the horizon.  Our winter has been mild and it's been dry.  Our state is already experiencing a lot of fires.

I have been so busy and I want to show that to you today.  I finished all of Hands on Designs Chalk Ornaments Part 1. The hardest part with working with the dark linen was simply getting started.  Once I had a couple of foundation rows completed, the rest went very smoothly.  Finishing by Vonna Pfeiffer/The Twisted Stitcher who is a great communicator in addition to being a fantastic finisher.
Chalk Ornaments Part 1, Hands on Design
35 Count GunMetal, Weeks Dye Works
Called for Threads

My EGA Guild has a SAL each year.  This year it's Brenda Keyes for the linen SAL.  I chose Country House Sampler to stitch. I saw this stitched at Stitch and Frame Shop on a Natural Linen from Zweigart and loved it so I decided to give it a try.   I typically stitch on Lakeside Linen but I am really enjoying this fabric.  Here is a pic of my very small start.
Country House Sampler, Brenda Keyes
40 Count Natural Linen from Zweigart
NPI Threads
Our guild educational opportunity in March was to make a small woven basket for our stitching supplies.  Here is my finished basket that I have not yet lined nor have I made the pincushion.  I'm thinking of staining it a darker color.  Making the basket was a ton of fun and almost everyone left with a finished basket.  The dowel in the basket handle can hold a spool of thread.
Many of you know that we lost our beloved Cody and Kenzie over the last 2 years.  We've been extra busy lately because we decided to add a fur baby to our family again.  Murphy came to live with us in early March.  He's such a good (mostly) pup and we are totally in love with him!  He's a cairn terrier, the same breed as Cody and Kenzie, chosen because for some reason cairn terrier dander doesn't bother my allergies (I'm highly allergic to dogs).    
I have been doing some sewing too and I have a knitting project to show you that needs blocking.  I'll be back soon sharing more about that.  In the meantime, may all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pennsylvania Alphabet

I didn't mean to be gone so long!  Dad fell in early October and broke his femur just below his hip which created a host of logistical issues for my siblings and I.  Dad was in the hospital for over a week and in rehab for 6 weeks.  He's home now doing well but we've been going down to see him and Mom several weekends a month and my sister is visiting the weekends we are not there.  Unfortunately, my sister, brother nor I live in the same city as my parents.

During this time, I've been taking my stitching with me as there has been a lot of time just sitting with either dad, with my mom or both.  Mom also spent 3 weeks with us - she has mild dementia.  I started this particular project years ago but with 2 threads of silk.  It was far too bulky.  This is the project that has been going with me everywhere.  There have been VERY few stitches not stitched in the presence of at least one of my parents.  First, though, I spent an entire day in the hospital with dad ripping out what I had stitched.  It was just what I needed at the time.  The repetition of ripping was soothing but I didn't have to count.   

I finished it earlier this month!
Pennsylvania Alphabet
The Goode Huswife
32 count Birds of a Feather Barn Owl Linen
Chart and Linen are no longer being produced
Threads:  Soie d'Alger Noir and 2354, NPI 765, 905
Thread Choices My Own

A dear friend lent me her chart, which has long been OOO and impossible to find.  I fell in love with this years ago when I first started stitching on linen when I came across a photo on someones blog that I've long forgotten.  I'll never look at this project without thinking of my parents.
I don't think I've ever shared these three FFO's so I took a quick pic last month when I took down our Christmas tree.  I'm hoping to get a few more ornaments stitched this year to decorate a little tree we put up in our dining room.  
From left to right:
Quite Night - Erica Michaels 2007 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue Page 49
Snow in Love by Little House Needleworks
Merry Christmas by Blackbird Designs
There has been zero sewing.  I put my machine into the shop in December for some repairs and just got it back 2 days ago.  Yesterday was spent cleaning out my yarn cabinet.  I've been trying to work on one small organizational project each weekend.  The yarn cabinet was a bigger project but I couldn't see how to not do it all at once as I didn't want to live with the mess if I didn't.   So far, I have a 3 week streak though and I have something lined up for the next 2 weekends.  

I hope your new year has gotten off to a positive start!  So much of life is what we decide it's going to be and I've decided to have a positive outlook in an effort to encourage positive outcomes!  

During this hiatus, while I have not been posting I have been keeping up with blog reading.  I am always so inspired by all of you and it always makes my heart warm to see what you've been up to doing.  Thank you for your friendship!  As always, may all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

4 Years

Earlier this week, I finished up bock #8 on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow.  I changed up the text for this blog and dedicated it to my son, Chris.  From a young age, he's loved the water, particularly the beach.  Even as an adult, he spends time at the beach or on the water.  Also, I thought that if I dedicated one project to each of my sons in a similar fashion, that'll be one large cross stitch project of mine that they'll each keep when I'm gone.

Any idea how to keep those long stitches taut?  They were but ironing seems to have relaxed them considerably.  I pulled them to the back for this photo.  
This is Chris and my Mom (who has dementia) last year.  Oh how I love this kid!  Mom too!
With the completion of this block, I'm also done with Shores of Hawk Run Hollow as I left this block to the end.  It's been a fun stitch though I must admit I got bogged down on the double block. Once I got that done, the rest of the blocks seem to have flown by!

I can remember Chris catching a seahorse at Coquina Key when he was about 10.  When he was younger, we spent a lot of time there with friends.  His dad/my ex wasn't fond of the beach at all and he worked weekends so we'd take off for the day.  We would see dolphins and manatees from time to time as well.  He also caught a baby sting ray.  Of course, he released whatever he caught after showing me.  Lots of good times!
Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
Carriage House Samplings
40 Count Lakeside Linen Vintage Meadow Rue
Called for NPI Silks

For those of you stitching this,  I needed a third 993/black.  I don't think I did any more frogging than you'd typically expect on a project this size but needed a third skien.  If you're not using 40 count,  you may need more 671 (I only had a tiny bit left), 991, 522 and 208.

I thought I'd started this project in 2009 or 2010.  Looking back, I find that it was 2012 - 4 years to finish seems like a long time.  Now that it is done, that doesn't really matter does it?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

New Starts

This year our EGA Chapter has a needlepoint SAL and a cross stitch SAL.  We had Kathy Rees from Needle Delights Originals come last year and speak to our Chapter.  Since she has so many beautiful projects and brought kits for everything (she was on her way to market), the needlepoint SAL was member choice of any Kathy Rees projects.  I chose Color Delights Rainbow.  I started on July 12th and finished on August 9th which is a super quick stitch for me.  The called for Vineyard Silks were used.  It was a fun stitch and there is plenty of silk left over to use in another project.  If you're a cross stitcher this type of counted needlepoint is a perfect project.
For the linen SAL, we chose a specific project from Amy Mittens 80 Days Around the World projects she is releasing this year.  We chose Excursion #1 Scotland.   I ordered the chart and threads preferring to select my own linen (which is 32 count Vintage Pearled Barley from Lakeside).  I started this right in January and later set it down to work on Shores of Hawk Run.  I'll be picking this up again soon.    I love that this sampler includes personalizing it with family members initials and I've enjoyed stitching this to date.  What I have left is fairly densely stitched so lots more to go!
I've not stitched with Amy's silks before.  The colors are beautiful and seems to have a lot of twist to them.  You can see it in the photo below.  This project also uses some couched chenille for the grass and steps of a house that is yet to be stitched in on my project.  That's going to be new for me!
With the prior post, that mostly brings everyone up to date on what I've been working on stitching wise this year.  It seems I've been doing more stitching than anything else.   What are you working on?  I'll be back again soon, I hope all your stitches are happy ones!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sound of Silence

Is anyone still out there?  I didn't mean to be gone so long.  Truth be told, I thought about blogging almost every weekend but never seemed to put the thought into action.  But I did this weekend!

Just because I've been gone does not mean I haven't been stitching, knitting or sewing.  I have been!  Working on finding my sewing mojo which seemed to disappear year before last.  Knitting some here and there.  I'm having numbness/tingling/pain in my hands and knitting aggravates it the worst.  I have been doing more stitching than anything and today I wanted to update you on my progress on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  This has been a focus project for me this year as it is on my WIP Challenge list with my EGA chapter (our Facebook page is here) and I have the maximum pledge placed.  September of 2013 was my last blog post about this project. It's time to get this one finished!

This block was a pretty quick stitch for me.  I outlined the house first so when I needed mindless stitching, I was prepped for it.  I really like the trees on this one too.
Super fast though there is a counting mistake somewhere in the bottle.  Can you find it?  Me either!

We don't talk about how many times I stitched that row of fish.  Four.  Counting is not overrated.  And yes, it would have been obvious that there was a problem.  I would have left it as it was if not.
 Probably my least favorite block, though I do love the butterflies.  To me it looks like a peacock on a piling in the water.  A peacock!  
And this is the block that sloooooowed it all way down.  The dreaded double bock with only a few colors and lots of big blocks of stitching.  In hindsight, I should have just started another block and worked on it like you do a border - a little bit here and there and eventually it would get done.  You can see more of the entire project in this picture as well.   I have just one block left!  It's the one to the right of the ship.  It's another densely stitched block and is in many of the same colors as the ship.  I just couldn't face it right after the big block so I decided to leave it for last.  You can see a peek off to the right of my start and there isn't much more done than what you see.  
I have had two starts this year too.  Both of them are EGA chapter Stitch-a-Longs.  One I started in January and the other I started last weekend.  I'll save them for another post since I don't have pictures one of them yet.

Even though I haven't posted here on the blog (I have been posting here and there on my Instagram page), I am still reading your blogs and you continue to inspire me every single day!    I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.  Wishing you all happy stitches!