December 31, 2005

Vacation Stash

While I was visiting my family in Florida, I found a wonderful stash shop right in town and came home with a few things. I went in for more WDW Onyx for my BOAF piece but of course came out with more than just the thread! I got two skeins of the WDW Onyx, the frame for a wonderful SamSarah Stitch Every Day chart that I will show you later, two JBW Designs charts, Holiday Ornamentals and Christmas Motif Sampler, another SamSarah chart, Light the Way, that I've been admiring for a while as well as some fabric and the WDW Clam Shell that I didn't already have. This is a great little shop in Venice if you are visiting anywhere on the gulf coast from Bradenton to Ft. Myers. It's located on the island at 101 W. Venice Avenue and it's called Needlepoint Ivy. The owner and her husband were very friendly and knowledgeable and willing to ship anywhere. They also offer needlepoint canvases and supplies. I can definitely recommend this LNS to visitors and local Florida stitchers.

December 30, 2005

Thanks for your kind comments

I appreciate your condolences on Boo. I'm so glad I took his picture when I did as I don't have a lot of photos of him. Tomorrow I'm going to pack the cat things away and keep them in the basement for a bit before deciding what to do. I will probably donate them to the nearest animal shelter at this point.

Here are photos of my completed socks and my progress on my BOAF Happy Hearts piece. I don' t think I will manage to finish the BOAF piece before the end of the year as I had hoped but I will be pretty darn close. Who knows, I may sit and stitch all day tomorrow and get it done. If not, it will be completed by the end of January for sure and then it's on to something new!

I stayed home from work today as I was feeling really lousy when I got up. Slept the day away on the couch and I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help me feel much better tomorrow. I hate being sick!

December 29, 2005

Strange Christmas

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and that you are looking forward to the coming new year. I am back from my holiday travels and a bit under the weather so this won't have much stitching content. This was a very bittersweet holiday for me as the day before I left, my cat passed away during a procedure to clean his teeth. The vet was very upset and going to do an autopsy to see why this may have happened but I won't know the results until next week as he is on holiday. The house feels a bit weird without him here when I got home from work this evening.

This was the first Christmas I had spent in Florida in almost 10 years and it was definitely strange. The weather was gorgeous but my family was split up between two households and this is the first Christmas I didn't get to wake up with my nieces and open presents. I did get to see my dad which was nice but I'm not sure I would like to repeat the experience. There is just something about cold weather and snow that makes things a bit more Christmas-ey to me.

I didn't do much stitching while I was down there which is the opposite of what I had planned. However, I was able to finish my other sock and ended up starting a pair for my niece. Most of my time was spent knitting rather than stitching but I did manage to do some stash enhancing which I will report on later. I'm off to nurse my cold....

December 19, 2005

Many Thanks

Thank you to everyone who comes to visit my blog and has left kind comments about Boo and my sock and other postings. I appreciate your taking the time to stop by. I have had very little time to even read my usual blogs the past two weeks and I miss checking up on everyone. I will do better after the holidays. I have been keeping an eye on you all but not had the time to comment. Keep up the fabulous stitching I see going on around the world - it is so inspiring!

I will be leaving tomorrow evening to travel to NH. I'm flying the friendly (I hope) skies on Wednesday to somewhere much more southerly and warm for the holidays. I doubt I will have the opportunity to check in while I am gone so that will mean even more catching up to do when I return! I want to wish everyone the best of holidays.

Here is an update on my BOAF piece and this is what I'll be taking with me to stitch on. I'm planning to take only one other project with me so this should get lots of attention and may even come back finished! I was able to complete the hands, the two hearts to the right of them and start on the first bird. I've actually worked a bit more on this so the bird is closer to being completed. I'm looking forward to having this DONE and moving on to new projects. To tide me over, I'm taking my SBEBB Valentines exchange piece with me and I hope to have that done by the time I return as well. Happy holiday to you and yours however you celebrate!

December 18, 2005

Finally Framed

I've had these two pieces stitched for almost two years and I just finally had them framed. The framer I used for Plymouth Sampler had a coupon in the paper for 20% off so I took these two Kathy Barrick designs to be framed. I picked them up on Saturday. Slyvie does a really nice job and I'm really pleased with how they came out. I think both frames complement the pieces. Picking a frame is just agonizing for me and Sylvie is great about letting me pull tons of possibilities off her walls and then giving me her final opinion with my choices. Now I just have to figure out where to hang these beauties. I think Lady in Her Garden will go in the dining room and North, South, East West will either go in the living room or my bedroom.

December 17, 2005

One sock does not make a pair but

it means you are half way there! I finished my first ever sock last night and I'm thrilled to say it fits! That makes two knitting UFOs completed this year and I don't have any more of the knitted kind so I'm free to start my second sock. I plan to take it with me over the Christmas holidays so I will hopefully have a pair by the start of the new year.

I'm also making great progress on my BOAF Happy Hearts Sampler this week and I will share a photo soon.

December 16, 2005

Calgon, take me away!

Today we had another nasty snow storm which started as snow in the morning and slowly changed over to sleeting rain. Yuck with a capital Y. We got a good 6 more inches of snow at least and now it's got a nice icy coating on top. I was leaving work for an appointment at 12:30 today and got my car stalled. I couldn't get the engine to turn over so I ran and asked one of the maintenance guys for help. He tried to give me a jump but it wouldn't start. He went to get one of the work trucks and I called my appointment and told them I'd be late and it turns out the lady never came in and they never called to let me know. It's a good thing I found out before I had driven over there on the messy roads.

By that point I was pretty wet and just a little mad. I decided to try to start my car one more time and realized I didn't have it in park and that's why it wouldn't start. DUH! I'm not telling the guys at work that one!!! After that I just gave up and came home. While I was sitting on the street waiting for the plow guy to finish cleaning the driveway, the UPS man came. He was delivering my order from Pennyworth books which ordered all because of Danielle. I read her blog and had to check out the site. And of course that led to ordering! These are the books I received:

A Thousand Days In Venice by Marlena De Blasi
This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland by Gretel Ehrlich
Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World's Most Coveted Delicacy by Inga Saffron
In Light of India by Octavio Paz
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani
Roads to Santiago: A Modern-Day Pilgrimage Through Spain by Gees Nooteboom
The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers

Did you catch the travel theme here? Hence today's title. I guess even though I'm stuck wintering in Maine, that doesn't mean I can't travel the world! Pennyworth books is a great site as each book is only $5.00 and my shipping was only .50 cents! Now I don't need to go to the library or a book store for a good 6 to 8 months. :-)

December 15, 2005

Stitching Accessory of a sort

This is my cat Boo. He sits on the arm of my stitching chair whenever I am stitching or knitting. He often paces around the house if I'm not sitting in the chair and everytime I head towards the living room, he runs to jump on the chair. My stitching pieces usually have some Boo hair woven into them somewhere. He's pretty good about leaving my threads alone but he keeps a close eye on my progress and any stray threads that might come his way.

He was quite disappointed that I was only taking a picture and not planning to sit for a bit. I have a stitching lamp on the other side of the chair that he usually naps under - kitty heat lamp!

December 13, 2005


I have been on a mission to finish some projects before the end of the year and this is one of them. I started this poncho back in August of 2004. It's from the Sally Melville book The Knit Stitch. It is a really simple pattern, garter stitch two rectangles, sew them together and then add fringe. Why it took me so long to complete I don't know but I'm really thrilled to have it done. And, best of all - it fits! LOL Not always a given when I'm knitting.

I'm also hoping to finish up my sock this week and cast on for it's mate. I am planning to take the socks with me to FL so maybe I will be able to finish another project started in 2004! My next project will be a cardigan sweater that I've had the yarn for for a while. It's Manos del Uruguay in a fantastic red/purple/gold combo. But that will probably be a project for 2006......

December 12, 2005

My Busy Hands

I love the phrase on this BOAF sampler - "Busy Hands Make Happy Hearts". My heart is pretty happy with my progress on this piece. I'm really hoping to be able to finish it before the end of the year. There's still quite a bit to be completed but I'm thinking of taking only this piece with me for the Christmas holiday so I just might get it done if it's the only thing I have to work on.

If I can finish it before the 31st, it would be the third UFO that I started in 2004 and finally finished. I had one more large Goode Huswife piece that I started but I really disliked the fabric and how it was coming along so I cut it up and will restart the pattern someday on different fabric.

December 11, 2005

Socks and Snow

Friday we got over 13 inches of snow. UGH! Thankfully it was the light and fluffy sort so it was realtively easy to shovel and I got my neighbor's plow guy to pick me up. I walked home from work at around 3:00 because the roads were pretty lousy. It wasn't a bad walk and it probably took me about 30 minutes. It's only a 5 minute drive usually so that's not too bad. Plus it was kind of pretty.

I've been doing some stitching but I've also been knitting again. This is a picture of my sock - it's been a UFO since May of 2004. I am quite proud of it as I had to rip out the heel 2 times before I got it right. The third time is the charm in this case and I'm on my way to the toe. I also finished the second piece of a poncho I started in August of 2004 and this morning I washed both pieces and they are drying now. I hope to put them together this week and maybe I will have a modeling photo. Stay tuned!

December 7, 2005

Exchange News!

Today I received my Legacy Holiday Sampler House Exchange Piece from Jacque. I am just so thrilled as the piece is just so me. Jacque confessed she stalked my blog which I really appreciate her taking the time to do. This piece so matches the colors and style and taste of my house it's perfect! She also included lots of wonderful goodies in the package.

When I do an exchange I tend to focus on the giving part and don't pay much attention to the receiving end until that package arrives. When I got Jacque's today, I was totally stumped as to why I was getting a package from Kansas City, MO. It took a few long seconds for me to connect that it was my exchange piece! LOL

I also had another package waiting for me from my friend Nancy. I'm going to wait to open it until it's closer to Christmas though. That is the plan anyway! LOL I'll probably give in by the weekend.

December 5, 2005

GH Angel of Tulips HD

Last night I finished the GH Angel of Tulips that Danielle and I have been stitching. I really love the design but wish I'd chosen a different fabric for it. This fabric had a very open weave which made it easy to do the over one stitching but it reminds me of needlepoint canvas when I look at it. I will definitely stitch this over again on 40 count as the design called for and as Danielle is doing.

Now I will continue to focus on trying to complete my BOAF UFO/WIP and my CHS alphabet series that I'm stitching with Vivian who is light years ahead of me!

December 4, 2005

Christmas at Casa Pearl

Today I've spent most of my day so far decorating my porch for Christmas. Since I'm not putting up a tree this year due to traveling over the holidays, I really needed the decorating to get me more in the Christmas spirit. It started snowing this morning just after I got up so it was a nice accompaniment. But it was also quite cold and I think my poor hands will never warm up. I hope you enjoy my photos - I love how the house turned out! I promise I will have stitching content very soon!

November 30, 2005

Christmas Goodies

Well, the notice from the post man was a wonderful box from Paula in Scotland. This is the gorgeous ornament she stitched for me for the SBEBB Ornament exchange. I'm so thrilled with it. Her stitching is perfect and the finishing is too. She also included some yummy Cadbury chocolates, a Marks & Spencer Christmas pudding (this won't last until Christmas!), a hand stitched card, two wonderful gold frames, some lovely red and gold ribbon that will be perfect for the frames and a lovely variegated skein of Pearsall's silk in green - my favorite color. Can you tell I'm thrilled? LOL I feel like it's Christmas morning already.

This was my first exchange with the SBEBB group and it went very smoothly. We had plenty of time to stitch our piece and everyone did a lovely job with the ornaments. It's always so interesting to see the variety of designs and finishing methods. It will be lovely to see Paula's ornament every year at Christmas - although I'm probably going to leave it out all year round! Thank you Paula!

November 29, 2005

Wait a minute Mr. Postman

I had a notice in my mailbox this evening from the post office that I have a package on hold - wahoo! I bet it's my SBEBB ornament exchange. You can be that I will be rocketing to the post office on my lunch hour tomorrow to see what has been delivere to me. Thank you Mr. Postman and Mystery Sender for brightening my tough Tuesday!

November 28, 2005

Do you ever....

read the security verification letters on comments to see if they sound like a real word? Do you ever click that little box up in the right hand corner that says Next Blog just to see where it may take you? You should! It's a strange and wonderous world out there and people blog about anything and everything. I love to click that Next Blog button just to see where in the world it might take me. Remember, life is an adventure so enjoy it!

That said and if you're still with me, here is a picture of the stitching I managed to work on yesterday. It is GH Angel of Tulips again. I completed the outside frame part and will probably continue working on the inside. The only color silk I haven't used yet is the lighter rose color for the stars on the wings so maybe I will work on that this evening.

With my SBEBB ornament sent out and recieved and my Legacy sampler house piece completed, my stitching is my own. However, I have begun mulling over what to stitch for my first SBEBB Birthday exchanger. It is Karen V and her birthday is in February which will be quickly approaching. I'm going to put my sleuthing hat on and stalk her for a while to see if I get any great ideas! Feel free to leave any suggestions - you too Karen!

November 27, 2005

What I did on my Thanksgiving Vacation

And it wasn't a whole lot of stitching! I painted my kitchen. I've been trying to get motivated to tackle the project since the weather cooled off but I just don't like painting. I love the results but hate the process as I'm just a mess at room painting. But with an extra long weekend, I decided to bite the bullet and get out the paint brushes. And I'm very, very pleased with the results of TWO days work! Two coats of primer and two coats of paint and I'm finished. Whew what a job. The color is called Southwest Potter by Benjamin Moore and it's a warm reddish brown color. It looks great with the hardwood floor in the kitchen.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I know for some, family members were dearly missed but I hope good memories and the warmth of existing family helped you be thankful. I had a wonderful time at my sister's and got to see some of my BILs family who visited from Ohio. We had an amazing day with two turkeys and lots of laughter. I can't wait to repeat the visit at Christmas time - only 4 short weeks away! And we had snow - at least 4 inches in New Hampshire when it was done - not as much here in Maine but enough to make it a white Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy turkey day to you and yours. I hope if you are traveling that you are safe and if not, cozy at home.

November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve

It's wicked cold here this evening and they are forecasting some snow. They had some farther north today but I'm hoping that if we get anything, it will be just a little. I don't want it to come but I always like to have that first day of driving in snow behind me - to get my snow legs so to speak! I don't think I'll ever be truly comfortable driving in snow. Give me a torrential downpour any day!

Tonight I put the finishing touches on the back piece of my Legacy sampler piece so it's ready to be put together which won't take very long. Here is the back in progress. I plan to finish this over the weekend. Next up is some work on my UFO. I did make some more progress on Sunday and maybe, just maybe I can finish it before the end of the year after all!

November 22, 2005

B is for Bird

Here is my progress on my CHS Alphabet piece. This chart is working up quite quickly. I hope to start filling in the bottom area tomorrow as I'm too tired to stitch over one this evening. I went to a lovely birthday dinner for my boss's DH and a glass of wine means no energy to stitch. Probably better off that way as I hate frogging over one!

I've also finally decided on a finishing technique for my Legacy exchange piece and the front is done. Now I need to go through my stash and get another piece of fabric for the backing so I can personalize it and begin putting things together. I will probably do that sometime during the upcoming long weekend. I may leave work early tomorrow and get a head start on stitching.

November 20, 2005

Bored with Black!

On at least three of the projects I'm currently working on, I'm using black. WDW Onyx, GAST Black Crow and DMC 310. Ugh! I'm really getting tired of black. Here is my progress on my UFO after this week. Not a lot accomplished unfortunately. I managed to fill in the two arms? on the design and started on the black outline today in the center - not shown in this photo. I'm also working on my over one CHS alphabet piece and my Legacy exchange piece - all using shades of black!

I've started to give some thought about 2006 stitching goals. This year was all about finishing some UFOs started in 2004 and I've managed to finish two pieces. My BOAF is the third but I doubt I'll be able to finish it before the end of the year. Next year, I really would like to work on some smaller pieces instead of BAPs. I think I need to sit down with my stash and see what cries out to be started. I know at least one will be CHS Dainty Housewren as it's been kitted up for a good 3 months but not yet started. And I'll continue to work on my UFOs and CHS alphabet piece for sure. I definitely don't want to end up with a bunch of UFOs as I did at the end of 2004. It takes too darn long to turn them into finished objects!

November 16, 2005


That is the sound of relief in having mailed off my SBEBB Christmas ornament today! I took the day off today as my boss wasn't going to be in the office. That gave me some extra time to wrap up my goodies and take them to the post office. They should arrive at their destination towards the end of next week I'm thinking! I just realized that I neglected to take any photos - duh! Hopefully the recipient will be able to post a picture.

Being in exchanges is fabulous but also a bit stressful as you are stitching to a deadline. The rewards are wonderful because you get a great gift in exchange but I must be mindful of managing the number of exchanges I sign up for as my enthusiasm can get me involved in way too many projects with deadlines and take the fun out of stitching. I know others have recently commented about this on their blogs as well. I signed up for another round of the Legacy sampler house exchanges and am happy to say that I should finish my stitching this evening and I plan to go straight to the finishing this weekend so that I can mark that off my list well before the Dec. 10th mail date.

Regarding comments to my blog, thank you to everyone who takes the time to write a note. I forget to mention it often enough but I do appreciate it! And it's wonderful to meet some new people along with those who are becoming wonderful friends. Carol, we will get together soon I hope! And Anna I do believe Colonial Needleworks will stay open around the holidays. They don't have a website as yet but you can call them at 603-472-8828 to check. They are down by the Ethan Allen store on 101 in Bedford - in the same building as a bridal salon. It's well worth going to visit.

This week I'm also UFO stitching again on BOAF Happy Hearts. Here is a photo at the start of my week on Sunday. I plan to work on this through Saturday so I'll post my progress again this Sunday.

November 12, 2005

Tiny Finish and Start

This is a photo of my CHS Alphabet piece. I'm working this with Vivian who has completed far, far more of the letters than I but she's stitching them individually so that's the excuse I'm going to stick with. Once I get going on this piece, it's hard to put down. I love how tiny each letter turns out. I've finished A as you can see and started B is for Bird.

Today I went down to NH for a haircut and stopped at a new cross stitch shop, Colonial Needleworks, in Bedford, NH on my way back. It was quite a nice shop, open, spacious and well organized which I love. I also got to see my friend Ann who has done a lot of framing for me which was an extra bonus. I was very good and only came out with things for my two exchange packages. That's not to say I wasn't tempted but I was strong!

November 9, 2005

Wonderful Exchange from Aniza

Yippee! I picked up my Sampler House exchange piece from Aniza today at the post office. I have a funny story to tell (now it's funny) in addition to sharing photos of her wonderful work. I left work a bit early yesterday to go grocery shopping to make myself a nice dinner. I planned to try a new recipe and purchased a bottle of wine to go with my dinner as a treat. I did my shopping and came home and dropped the bag in the kitchen. I then went immediately to the porch to check my mail as has been my habit these days. I found a slip from the PO saying I had a package and I just new it had to be my sampler piece. I went to put the slip in my purse so I could run to the PO on my lunch hour today and guess what? No purse! Yep, you can imagine my panic. I can't believe I did this but I left my purse sitting in the shopping cart in the parking lot at the grocery store. Yikes! I went racing back to the store and customer service and they were just getting ready to call me. A kind citizen had turned my purse in, fully intact! LOL So whenever I used Aniza's wonderful piece, I will get a chuckle about my adventure!

Tonight I cooked that wonderful dinner I had planned for last night - I was too frazzled to attempt a new recipe then - and had glass of wine and admired my needle/thread keeper from Aniza. She also sent a lovely Old Willow thread and some really beautiful batick fabric in purples and greens which I don't think my photos truly show off correctly. Without further ado, here is my wonderful exchange from Aniza! Thank you again Aniza - it was soooo worth the wait.

November 7, 2005

Coming up Tulips?

Here is my progress on my GH Angel of Tulips. Boy was it wishful thinking that Danielle and I would finish it in one week's time! We both have been busy with exchange pieces, she more than I, and as a result I at least have not finished my piece. But I don' t have too much to go and it's not planned as a gift yet so I'm not worried about it.

I did finish putting together my SBEBB ornament tonight. I'm not 100% thrilled with the finished results but it's still turned out very nicely I think. I have to stop being such a perfectionist with my pieces. They are homemade and they should look like they are, not as if they were made by a machine. But I so want anything I send out to another stitcher to be perfect! Do you know what I mean?

Tonight I hope to put in the starting stitches for my holiday sampler house. I already know what I'm going to stitch so that's a good thing. Our Legacy organizer had us post a list of likes so I also have some ideas for what to include in my package to my partner. That's a definite plus as I hate shopping!

November 5, 2005

Little Pink Houses for You and Me...

Today I stitched and finished the latest Essy's Friends Kit which is a Pink House fob. It is absolutely the cutest thing. It went together quite easily until I had to attach the ribbon. You insert the ribbon and whip stitch it but the instructions say for the bead to be on top of the ribbon. It took me a while to figure out how to get this to lay right and I ended up with two beads on top because I wanted to make sure the ribbon stays secured. Here is a close up so you can see the bead detail.

I went to Walmart this morning and of course they didn't have what I needed but I did buy a piece of foam core poster board and used that for finishing my ornament. It's probably going to be thicker than what was used in the directions but I just couldn't drive to Portland for just one thing. I have two more steps to finish it off which I hope to do this evening.

I also spent two hours raking and bagging leaves so my yard is once again clean but I have no expectation that it will stay that way for long. The trees in my yard are pretty much bare but my neighbor has an oak and they always hold onto their leaves the longest. Hopefully they will stay in her yard and not cross over the line!

November 4, 2005

Ornament Exchange HD

Tonight I finished my ornament for the SBEBB Christmas Ornament exchange! I need to pick up some foam core board before I can finish it. I'm going to go to Walmart tomorrow morning and I hope they have what I need because if they don't it means a trip to Portland and AC Moore. I really don't want to have to travel 40 minutes each way just for one item. The traffic will be horrendous around the mall on a Saturday.

I've also decided to use the same design for another exchange so it will be a bit before I can show a photo. I've cut another piece of fabric so it's all ready to start. However, I think tonight I will start the new Essy's Friends kit that came in the mail today. Yippee! It's really cute and I love the fabric color. If you haven't seen it, here is a link to Pink House which is this month's kit. I don't think it will take too long to stitch and I'm familiar with the finishing technique so that's a plus. I'm off to start my house....

November 3, 2005

Stitch group night

Tonight was my weekly stitching night at the quilt shop in town. It is such a highlight of my week, a chance to get together with a really nice group of ladies and laugh and talk and stitch. The group is mainly quilters but they also knit, crochet and do penny rugs so there's always a lot of variety to see every week. I'm so glad I found the group - the store is literally across the street from me so it's close and convenient. By the time Thursday rolls around, I really need stitch night. My project tonight was my Christmas ornament so I can't show you a picture but it's now about 2/3rds of the way done. I really like the design and I may even get it finished this evening. Definitely done by Saturday so I am going to do the finishing and get that out of the way. Then it's on to another Legacay sampler house and some more ornaments!

November 1, 2005

Angel of Tulips

Here is my progress as of Sunday on my SAL with Danielle on GH's Angel of Tulips. I probably won't get any more time on this piece until the weekend as I'm now dilligently stitching on my SBEBB Christmas ornament exchange. I really like the new design I'm working on. It only calls for three colors but they are so crisp and sharp on the fabric which is 32 ct. Lambswool - one of my favorite fabrics to work with. I think I will need to stitch this one for myself too!

October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

For the first time in a long while, I live in an older neighborhood that is very conducive to trick or treating. I have had quite a few visitors tonight but many have commented that there are not as many kids out as usual. It's pretty warm out so I'm surprised. Ah well, I didn't buy any really fattening candy this year and whatever remains will go to work with me tomorrow.

As a result of the jumping up and down, I haven't attempted to stitch anything at this point. But I will share a picture of my Halloween sweetbag from the exchange I did on Legacy. It went to Colorado. The photo isn't the greatest but I think you can get the idea!

Tonight I hope to put the first stitches in on my SBEBB Christmas Ornament. I changed my mind on what I wanted to stitch so last night I sat down with the JCS ornament issues and found a new one. I am much happier with my choice and I hope the recipient will be too! Tonight after work I cut a piece of fabric and pulled the threads so I'm ready to go! But first I have to go answer the door a few more times......

October 30, 2005

UFO Stitching

I've been working on my BOAF Happy Hearts ufo over the last few days and have made a bit of progress. Once I sit down to work on this piece, I really enjoy it and hate to put it down. I've completed the numbers 1 and 2 at the bottom and started working up on the left hand side to the weird flower thing above the heart. I have also worked some more on Angel of Tulips that I'm stitching with Danielle. I will post a photo later this week.

There have been a lot of photos of stitchers sewing/craft/stash areas and organizational triumphs on blogs the past few days and along those lines, I went through all my charts in binders last Sunday and cleaned out some things I will never get to or just don't care for anymore. This morning over my coffee, I made a list of all the charts and kits and I think I will end up putting them up for sale on one of the bbs I frequent. I don't intend to make a lot of money but it would be nice to get a little bit back considering how much I spent! I need to come up with a better system for keeping my stash organized. Too me there is so much it's overwhelming and I can never seem to find what I know is there somewhere. I have been looking at various closet organizing set ups and posts on blogs but I am still undecided as to what will work best for me.

October 24, 2005

The start of a new project

There is nothing like the feeling of starting a new project -threading the needle and placing that first stitch. Tonight Danielle and I started our Angel of Tulips SAL. The chart is by The Goode Huswife, one of my most favorite designers. I've had this chart kitted up for a while and when I saw that Danielle had it too, I suggested an SAL. This is my progress at about 45 minutes. I'm doing it over one on some mystery fabric from my stash. It's an even weave in an off white color. I'm using the NPI silks the chart calls for - I LOVE working with NPI silks. I took a close up view as well.

As is typical of an over one project for me, I had to force myself to stop because I'm in the middle of a really good mystery and want to continue with my reading. I don't think this will take us long to stitch - maybe a finish for us both by the weekend? Stay tuned!

October 23, 2005

Books, my other obsession

This weekend I traveled to New Hampshire to attend a Halloween party and on the way, I made a stop at Barnes and Nobles. The closest B&N to me is in Newington, NH which is about 35 minutes away. But I stopped at the Manchester B&N which is my hold "local" store. I don't even know how long I was in there, but it was hours before I surfaced and realized I was supposed to be at my sister's helping set up for the party.

I stopped in initially to buy the December issue of The Cross Stitcher as mentioned in a previous post. Vivians design is really adorable and there were several projects in the magazine that I liked. I bought two copies because I'm going to send one to someone as a gift. Since I was at the store, I figured why not look around because it's not often I get to be in B&N these days without a specific trip to Newington. I'm usually pretty good about getting books out of the library but my library here is not the greatest. So, I came home with:

With all these books, I'm really going to have to set up a rotation for reading and stitching!

October 22, 2005

Back from the wilds of Maine

Thursday afternoon I traveled to Bangor which is about 3 hours north from where I live in the southern part of the state. I was attending a professional meeting of administrative secretaries that support senior level hospital officials from all over the state. Bangor is now the farthest north I've traveled in the state but there is still more above that - for probably another three hours! I must say it is out there but... it has a mall! I was misinformed by whoever told me the Maine Mall is the only one in the state. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to shop or see much of the city, but I really enjoyed the meeting and I met some more wonderful Mainers. I will definitely travel back to Bangor to explore some more.

As a result of these travels, I didn't have any stitching time so no progress to report since my last post. To answer some questions, I am stitching my CHS alphabets on one piece of fabric which is 13.5 inches wide and 15.5 inches tall. That includes 2 inches on either side for framing. Leila asked what size the boxes are and they are a miniscule 1 1/8 inches tall by 1 5/8 inches wide. I truly appreciate the kind comments about my work.

I'm off to a Halloween party in NH today so there probably won't be any stitching for me until tomorrow when I get home. I'm going to be a hunter - a last minute scramble decision as the party is a week earlier than I had thought! I may have some costume pictures when I get back....

October 19, 2005

Teeny Tiny Angel

I am doing a stitch along with the oh so talented Vivian whose design is on the front page of the December issue of The Cross Stitcher magazine. We are stitching the CHS Alphabet series together, each buying half of the designs and then sending them to the other once we've stitched them. Viv is doing all of hers as little individual pillows but I am doing mine all on one piece over one. She is waaaay ahead of me of course but here is my progress so far. I am using 30 ct cream fabric and the GAST threads called for. The border is one sent to me by Kathy Barrick and has small flowers on the flat parts of the repeat.

I absolutel love how this is turning out - so miniature. I will be making this a focus piece along with my BOAF piece over the next few months. I have B, C and D waiting to be stitched and then they are on to Vivian in the great wilds of the Yukon where they have grizzlies closer than Vivian would like to know about.

On another note, a dear sweet blogger was sent a really mean email and is justifiablly shaken by it. In my experience, fellow stitchers and bloggers are some of the most wonderful and genrous people I know and I'm so sorry this happened. I really hope it doesn't deter her from sharing herself and her stitching the way she always has. It would be a terrible loss to our community. My thoughts go out to her and I hope she is comforted by all those who care about her. There are many more of us than the unkind person who sent the email. What goes around comes around you know.....

October 18, 2005

Sweet Sweetbag!

Yesterday I received my Legacy Sweetbag exchange from Linda Meyer of Jacksonville, FL. She crafted the most adorable bag and filled the package with fun stickers, candy and a cute ornament that went immediatly up on my armoire. Stichers are so generous with their exchanges and I really appreciate all Linda's hard work. Here is her sweetbag and a picture of the package contents.

I sent mine out in the mail yesterday and I will post a photo once I know it's been received on the other end. I'm embarrassed because I totally forgot to add candy into the package! So it won't be quite as sweet as I had planned. This was a fun exchange.

I also sent out my Sampler House exchange piece and I really hope the recipient likes what I did. It is going overseas so it might be a week or so before it's received. I will post photos of that as well once it's reached its home.

I have been stitching on my CHS Alphabets which is over one and I can't believe how tiny each one will be. I will post a photo tomorrow as I hope to get more work done on it tonight.

October 16, 2005

Rain, rain go away!

It rained all day yesterday and Friday as well and I have to say, I've had enough. The ground is so saturated that a lot of the water just lays on the roads and it makes for some pretty tricky driving around these parts. I haven't seen the sun in over a week and I'm afraid I'm starting to mold. I just keep reminding myself that at least it isn't snow!

On the stitching front, I finished putting together my Legacy Sampler House exchange piece and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It is a threadkeeper. I will post pictures once it is received. I'm thinking about making the exact same piece for myself because I really like how it came out. I do hope my exchange partner feels the same way. I have two exchanges going to their new homes tomorrow - my sweetbag and my sampler house piece.

Here is my progress on my BOAF UFO. I was able to fill in the bottom heart and start on the number 2 block. I was hoping to complete this by the end of the year but now I'm not so sure that will happen. There is a lot of work yet to be done on the top and along the bottom. I really enjoy working on this piece.

October 10, 2005

Happier Heart

This week is UFO week with Life's A Stitch. I've been working on my BOAF Happy Hearts since I finished Plymouth and I'm still hoping for another UFO finish in 2005. The top photo was on the 19th of September and the bottom photo was this evening before I picked it up to work on it. There is still a lot to do and the year is draining away quickly. I will work exclusively on this until Saturday so my goal is to have the heart filled in and be on to the funky part above it. I am enjoying working on this piece - it's 40ct R&R fabric - my favorite!

I've completed my sweetbag and just want to pick up a few more things to go in the package and then it will be mailed out - probably on Saturday. I've also started to put together my Legacy Sampler House exchange piece. I'm going to take it really slowly to ensure that it comes out right. I've cut all my pieces out this evening and now I need to get out the sewing machine and start that process. It will have to wait a few days because tomorrow evening I'm going to the symphony in Portland and Wednesday night is dinner with some friends from work. Lately I've had a lot of things in the evening which really cuts down on my stitching time. But it's good to get out instead of hibernating at home after work which is my inclination now that it gets dark so early. I'm not ready for winter!

October 6, 2005

Tassle on

Tonight I went to the quilt shop across the street and got more thread to make tassles for my sweetbag. This will be my first attempt at tassle making so wish me luck. Hopefully it will go better than the cord making adventure. I hope to sew on the tassles this weekend and then my sweetbag will be ready to go. That's a good thing because I'm running out of time and feeling very pressured these days. Exchanges are quite fun but a bit nerve racking with two due only three days apart. I'm such a procrastinator. I still want to pick up a few more things to include in my package though.

I also finally decided how I want to personalize my Legacy House Sampler exchange piece and I hope to finish that part off by Sunday and maybe even start the finishing. It's supposed to be rainy and in the low 60s all weekend so it's incentive to stay indoors. I'm having family company on Saturday so I'm not sure how much I will get done but I will do my best. I'd love to be finished by Wednesday so I have the following weekend to relax. Plus UFO week is starting on Sunday with LAS and I need to put some time into BOAF Happy Hearts - it's been neglected. Off and running.....

October 4, 2005

In The Pink

This was waiting for me in the mailbox tonight - yippee! It's the next installment in the Essy's Friends from Lois at Elegant Stitch. It is the most adorable mermaid and everything you need to make this into a little pin. I'm excited because this is finished with the ribbon and pin trim that I have been seeing on many blogs and boards but have never attempted. Hopefully it will go easier than my cording! I am now two behind on these little kits but they are quick to do up if the first one is anything to go by. Elegant Stitch really does the most fabulous job in putting them together and they are so worthwhile when it's supporting a good cause. It's just like Christmas to get a package from them!

In actual stitching news, I discovered I was off on the back of my sampler house exchange piece so I will be frogging a small section before I can continue. I just have the bottom of the "frame" to complete and then it's time to decide what to stitch. I think I've decided on that, at least in my head, but I want to get it onto paper to see how it will fit inside the frame. Hope you're stitching is going well and thanks to all those who left kind words about my cording.

I was also notified from here that I've been chosen to read and review another book this month. I've now been chosen twice for at least one of my choices. I will be reading a book called Alligators, Old Mink and Money. Sounds interesting doesn't it? I will let you know!

October 3, 2005

Poster Child for How Not To Make Cording

I am a dysfunctional cord maker. I don't know why because I have all the equipment required: two hands, a cording drill, material to make cord but I swear something goes terribly wrong with my brain when there is any math involved. And cording does require math - even if it's of the most basic kind. Therefore, what is easy for most normal people is an exercise in frustration for me.

That said, I have made the cording for my sweetbag and I have even attached it to the bag itself. I even took a picture as proof. I'm not 100% happy with it but I've done the best I can. I'm sure when you see it you will be complimentary (you WILL be complimentary right?) but I'm such a perfectionist and the picture in my head of how I wanted my bag to look, isn't exactly how it looks. Can you hear the huge sigh from here? I still have to make two tassles and attach them but I'm all out of threads and energy.

Things I learned from this episode: I will choose a different finishing method next time and I really need to practice making cording. What is your secret? Please, help the pitiful. :-) If it doesn't involve any math, I'll be your friend for life.

October 2, 2005

Back In Action

I have had very little time to blog over the last week or so as I have not been home. I had evening events on Wednesday and Thursday and was just to tired to be creative and then Friday I went to NH for the weekend to get my hair done and see my dad who is visiting for two weeks and staying at my sister's. Next weekend they will come to visit me. As a result of all of this busyness, I haven't had much time to read blogs or stitch either. I need to catch up on both very quickly. I was able to finish the front of my Legacy house exchange piece and have begun working on the back frame part. I need to sit down and chart what I want to stitch on the back for my exchange partner. I am still debating how to finish the piece but I think it will end up being a thread keeper instead of a needlebook as I had originally planned. I must be very industrious this week because I need to get going on the finishing part which always takes me the longest.

I do have a photo to share and it's of three charts I bought from Joanie - thank you Joanie!! before I left for CATS. I have always admired Chessie & Me charts but didn't have any in my stash. Now I do! So, I've not really fallen off the wagon since they were purchased before going to CATS and the official declaration of being on the wagon. I also have the Essy's Friends auto coming some time soon but that will be the only stuff arriving that is stash related. It's a very cute mermaid this time and I can't wait to see her.

September 27, 2005

An excess of riches

An alternate title for today's entry would be "I am soooo on the wagon". It took me three photos to get all of my stash from Hershey's documented. I am quite embarrassed at how much stuff I came home with - I should have gone with a list! Without one, anything that caught my eye seemed to jump into my hands.

The first picture is of my fabric and fiber stash. In that pile are 1 pc of 18x27 pc 36ct R&R Antique Cotton, 1 18x27 pc 40ct R&R Daily Grind, 1 18x27 pc 40ct R&R Gold Finch, 1 18x27 pc 40Ct R&R Sagebrush, 1 pc 30ct R&R Green for FlipFlopDays Freebie,
1 pc 30ct R&R For the Cure Pink for What if the Big C was Cure Freebie, 4 colors of Hanna Silk Hand Dyed ribbons for finishing projects, a 6 pack of 9x9 pcs of 30ct R&R in assorted colors for Blackbird Designs Trix or Treat book projects and WDW in Mascara and Palomino.

Next up are the charts and kits I bought which include Samplers and Such – Quaker Mini Treats, Maggie Bonanomi – Live Each Season, The Nostalgic Needle – Irish Sampler Pincushion, With My Needle – Quaker Needlework Treasures, Carriage House Samplings – Hearts & Flowers and Barrick Samplers – Lady’s Garden.

And there's more! Stitch Every Day freebie – What if the big C was Cure w/buttons, Live Simply Freebie by Hands to Work, Lilybet – Lilybet’s Needlebook, Stitchy Kitty – No Frogging Allowed, With My Needle – My Treasures Sewing Case, The Sweetheart Tree – Rhodes Butterfly Fob, The Sweetheart Tree – Baby Bluebells Fob, JBW Designs – Spring Ornamentals, JBW Designs – Sweet Friendship and
Needle & Frame – Red Flowers beaded ribbon scissor case & fob kit. I also bought a pair of red scissors and some #17 Knitting needles.

Most of this stuff was purchased at Where Victoria's Angels Stitch before we even got to Hershey! I have no idea where it's all going to get stored but many of the charts were purchased with possible exchanges and gifts in mind so I'm trying not to feel too guilty about how much I came home with. I do not plan to buy anything new for a long, long, long time to come. Please help me stay on the wagon!!