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!!

September 26, 2005

Home at last

I am finally home! I had a fantastic time in Hershey - so much so that I think it will take at least two posts to cover everything! I left here on Wednesday evening and stayed the night with my sister & family in New Hampshire. Then it was up bright and early to get to Nancy's house in Massachusetts. We got on the road a bit after 7:00 am and began our 12 hour journey to Hershey! Now normally the trip would take about 6.5 hours but we detoured a bit on the way down via New Jersey.

First we stopped at The Kosher Nosh for lunch for the most heavenly corned beef sandwich I have ever had. Then it was on to Clifton, New Jersey to Where Victoria's Angels Stitch. What a fabulous shop. Tawny had a great selection of everything new plus wonderful older pieces as well as fabrics and fibers galore along with supplies for knitters and in house framing. If you are any where in the area or plan to visit NYC, make this a stop on your itinerary - it will be worth it. I blew my stash allowance here and we hadn't even gotten to Hershey! My friend Nancy and I were able to meet the wonderful owners and staff of the shop as well as Grace, a friend we met at a retreat in 2003. After 2 hours of stash enhancement we were finally on our way to Hershey.

We arrived at the hotel around 6:30 and after checking in, we went to dinner at Applebee's. Then it was back to the hotel to search out the legendary Stitcher's Lounge. It was quite busy and we sat and stitched until about 10:30.

Friday morning we had breakfast with Paula, Cindy and Denise from Life's A Stitch and it was so wonderful to meet them in person. We had a great breakfast and then it was off to the Merchandise Mall. Nancy signed charts in the Mimi's Attic booth from 10:00 until 12:00 and then again from 2:00 until 4:00pm. While she was busy with that, I sat and stitched for a bit, shopped the merchandise mall a bit and finally got to meet Jo and her husband Pete. They were just wonderful and while in the mall area we also met Heather and Cathy and her sister Christy. We all had sore feet by about 5:00 so we went and sat outside to stitch for a bit. It was really nice. We reviewed stash purchases, did a bit of show and tell of in-progress and finished projects and just enjoyed stitching together.

Jo, Pete, Nancy and I had dinner in the sports bar and then it was off to the stitcher's lounge. Nancy and I collected our project bags and joined Jo. Cathy joined us a bit later and ended up staying the latest of us all. It was really neat to see the variety of projects people were working on and some of the class pieces as well. The volume of that many stitchers in one place was pretty impressive. The festival provided the Ott lights which was nice plus there was water available as well.

On Saturday morning, Nancy and I made our way to the Hershey Outlets and found the Cross Stitch Corner which is a nice shop tucked away among all the other retailers. I ended up buying one more chart and then it was back to the Lodge to stitch outside. Jo and Pete joined us for a liesurly few hours before departing for home. The merchandise mall closed at 6pm so I helped Nancy carry her models and the few remaining unsold charts back to our room and then it was out to dinner to celebrate a successful stitching festival. We went back to the room and then it was homeward bound on Sunday. I introduced Nancy to the wonders of Cracker Barrel restaurants and the rest is history! Because this is so long and I bought so much stash, I will post that separately tomorrow!

September 20, 2005

Off to.....

Back on Monday with a full stash report for sure, hot gossip maybe and pictures only if the subjects agree to sign a release form. Wish you were going too!

September 19, 2005

A little is good

I did not make as much progress on my BOAF UFO as I had hoped but every little bit gets you closer to a finish right? I worked on the area to the left of the alphabet and managed to get some of the black outline filled in. I've started to work on the inside area but it's a lot of small color areas so it will be a little slow going. But I do enjoy working on this piece so I will continue to work on it as the month goes on.

Tonight I came straight home and mowed my lawn. I have one of those old fashioned push mowers powered by me and I'm sure my neighbors howl in their houses as I push it up and down. But it is very zen-ish and it was a really nice evening so it was worth being entertainment in my opinion. And it beats the $90 a month I was paying to a lawn service - more money for stash I say!

September 18, 2005

Finishing Success

My day of finishing was quite successful. This is a picture of Goode Huswife's Pennsylvania Peacock Sampler which I had finished stitching back at the beginning of the year. I used a piece of fabric in my stash for the backing and the loop is a bit of twine that I had to dig in the basement for. I didn't have a ribbon color or texture that I thought was suitably simple/vintage looking so I used the twine. It's not as centered as I'd like but it works. I've hung this piece on a 12 paned glass door that goes to my 2nd floor and it looks great.

I also finished the bag construction of my sweetbag exchange but I'm stalled at making the cording and tassels. I'm going to get my friend Nancy to help me with the cording later this week. Having two people for the project should result in better cording as mine never seems tight enough when I do it on my own. I may try my hand at making the tassels today - I've never made them before. I also finished a needle case and I took a picture of my sewing area after but I will save that for another day. Let's just say I need to be a better project planner. It came out okay but there's lots of room for improvement!

I got my exchange partner for the Legacy Sampler House II exchange and I'm excited because it's someone I'm a little familiar with. I'm off to snoop around her blog and album to get an idea of her tastes and make sure I don't duplicate anything she may have already. Then I must choose and begin stitching a piece because the mail date is October 17th.

September 17, 2005

Finishing Frenzy

This is the fabric I found that I hope to use for my Legacy Sampler House exchange piece. Today we should find out who are partner is and I'm hoping I can find a design and the materials to complement this fabric. It is just adorable and is the softest cotton.

Today is supposed to be grey and rainy all day which is fine by me. I plan to spend the day finishing off some projects including my Legacy Sweetbag exchange, a needlecase I'm making for a friend and a Goode Huswife piece that I've had completed since the beginning of the year. If I get all of that accomplished, I hope to start working on the pieces of my acorn sewing case from With My Needle that have been languishing in my sewing basket for longer than I care to confess to! Plus I need to start thinking about packing for Hershey as I will be leaving here on Wednesday evening to head south. Lots to do.......

September 15, 2005

Finishes and starts

First, I want to remember to thank everyone for their kind comments that they leave. I appreciate those who take the time to visit me and everyone is so encouraging. Thank you!

This morning I finished my little mermaid from the Trilogy's Seaology Chart. I plan to finish her as a little hanging pillow but I want to find some ribbon or string that will look like rope and I'm thinking of making a tassel for the bottom and gluing on some tiny seashells. I will have to look for both the shells and the string before I can complete the project but I have a few weeks yet to go. That takes care of the finish, now on the the starts!

Tonight when I got home, Nicki had emailed the birthday groups for the Birthday group exchange at the SBEBB. I'm so excited to be a part of this exchange as I think it is such a neat idea. We each stitch something for the other three members of our group for their birthday and we will receive three wonderfully stitched pieces in return. The dates of my group are spread out nicely so that we will have time to really find the perfect thing. And we are quite the international group, one from England, one from Malaysia and a transplanted Kiwi living in Maryland as well as me from Maine. I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better. With the Birthday exchange, I'm now in 4 exchanges! The sweetbag exchange on Legacy which I have stitched and started the finishing on, the sampler house exchange also on Legacy, and a Christmas ornament exchange with the SBEBB ladies. Lots of new starts and finishes to come for me!

Finally, here is the start I made on the CHS Alphabet series. I'm stitching them all over one on the remainder of my 30ct fabric from Plymouth. It's way early in the process but I'm enjoying it so far. There will be small flowers in each straight section of the frame but I haven't decided if I will do the stems in black or a green. I thought I would wait until I get more of the design colors in before deciding.

September 13, 2005

Framed Plymouth Sampler

During my lunch hour today, I picked up my framed Plymouth Sampler from the framers. The picture is not the greatest - I couldn't seem to get one without glare from the flash. The frame is a dark walnut color and is distressed a bit to look older. The framer did a great job and I will definitely be bringing her more work. She said she really enjoys framing needlework pieces so that is encouraging. Now I just need to figure out where to hang it!

September 12, 2005

UFO week

This week is UFO stitching week at Life's A Stitch. I moderate the UFO board there. This is the UFO piece I'm working on now that Plymouth is completed. It's Birds of a Feather Happy Hearts Sampler. It combines the things I love to stitch best, hearts and samplers. It's on 40ct R&R but I can't remember the name of the fabric and it is done with one strand of WDW thread. This was a design I probably wouldn't have chosen if I'd just looked at the chart but I saw the stitched model in a shop in Arlington, MA and had to have it. That's the beauty (and treachery) of a brick and mortar LNS - seeing a model often changes your mind about a design. I'd say I'm about 1/2 way done with this as the remainder has a lot of detail left. But I really enjoy working on this piece so I'm not in too much of a hurry.

I've also made great progress on this little piece. I didn't have the WDW Seaweed that it calls for but I was able to pick that up on Saturday and continue my stitching. This is the piece I've been working on in the morning before going to work. It's going to be a gift and I've been mulling over finishing techniques as I've been stitching. It's from the Trilogy's Seaology chart. I recently bought several of these and really like them. I have Eekology and Cardiology as well. This should be done by the end of the week!

September 10, 2005

Busy week

For being a short week, this one was a very busy one and I haven't had much time to blog or to read all of the blogs I try and keep track of. I think I'm going to need to start a blog rotation! There are so many great stitching blogs and projects out there it's easy to get distracted and lose track of time when reading them. This means less time for stitching so I'm going to have to manage my computer time a bit better. Especially now that I've signed up for a number of exchanges and deadlines loom. Karen sent out the exchange partners for the Christmas ornament exchange and I can't wait to start thumbing through all my JCS ornie issues.

Today I met a friend down in New Hampshire and we went to the beach. It's always heavenly to go to the beaches here after Labor Day because there's hardly anyone there. Most people have finished their vacations and the kids are back in school. While it wasn't warm enough for me to get into a bathing suit, it was lovely to sit and bask in the sunshine for a few hours and catch up with a friend. On the way home, I stopped at an LNS to pick up three threads that I was missing for current projects and I actually made it out of the store with exactly what was on my list and not a thing more!!! A miracle for sure - but only because I've been doing a bit of on-line shopping lately and I was feeling guilty. I plan to do quite a bit of shopping at CATS in Hershey in a few weeks so I didn't look too hard today.

September 7, 2005

Mail Call

This is some of what came in yesterday's mail. I am doing a stitchalong of the CHS Alphabet charts with a friend in the Yukon Territories. We are each going to buy half of the charts and then send them to the other to stitch. I started at the beginning of the alphabet and Vivian is starting at the end. These are the charts for B, C, D and E. I've been stitching tonight on A and I've gotten part of the frame around the design done and part of the outline of the first box. I'm stitching over one on 30ct so the progress is a bit slow but I so enjoy over one stitching. I'm using the WDW called for. If I don't like how it looks after the first letter, I will make that portion into an pillow hanger and then choose another fabric for stitching them all on one piece. I also got the next Essy's Friends Kit which is really cute. I put it upstairs without opening it so I wouldn't be tempted. I need to do the finishing for my sweetbag before I start it. They are also doing another sampler house exchange over at Legacy and I plan to sign up for that so I need to get a few things finished quickly so I don't get to bogged down.

September 6, 2005

Monday's Mermaid

Here is a picture of my progress on a gift for a friend's birthday next month. I'm stitching the mermaid from Trilogy's Seaology chart-the designs are so adorable. The fabric is from my stash - 32 ct evenweave in Blue Spruce I think. The threads are WDW and GAST. It turns out that I didn't have one of the WDW colors so I'm going to have to buy thread after all! I also put the first stitches into my newest over one project which is the CHS alphabet charts all on one piece. I'm reserving judgement as to whether or not I like it over one. I want to put some more work into it before deciding. I really want to do them all on one piece but I don' t want the finished design to be too large. I had stash waiting for me in the mail today but I will talk about that tomorrow! Stay tuned....

September 5, 2005

Start your engines

Yesterday I kitted up 4 new projects - insane I'm sure but I've been really wanting to start some new things now that Plymouth is finished. So today I hope to put some starting stitches in at least two of the projects. I am going to stitch the little mermaid from Trilogy's Seaology as a birthday present for a friend, Dainty Housewren by CHS which will be done on 40 ct Inkspot from R&R with the NPI silks called for, an ornament that will be a gift which is also from a CHS chart and the CHS alphabet charts which will be over 1 on the left over 30 count that I did my Plymouth Sampler on. I will try to post some pictures tomorrow of what I end up starting. Guess I'm going to be quite busy for a while!

September 3, 2005

Deal of the century

Boy, did I luck into a great deal. I'm not a bargain or sale shopper by any means and other than stash shopping, I really hate to shop. But on Thursday night at my stitch group (I should probably say quilting group as they are all quilters and I'm the lone stitcher!) a lady had some great WDW threads she was using on a wool felt hanging. She mentioned that she got them at this quilt shop that is going out of business and they were now at 50% off - $1.00 per skein!!! Well, who could pass up a price like that? I sure couldn't even if I never use them - I can always gift them. I just got home and I bought 43 skeins of WDW and 29 of Gentle Art (mostly Shaker colors) for $75.60 with tax!!! I have no idea where I'm going to store them all but I just couldn't pass up that kind of a deal. I shouldn't have to buy WDW or GAST threads for quite some time! What a great way to start off the weekend.

September 2, 2005

Whole lotta enabling going on

Because of the huge amount of stash I already own, I really try to be good about not adding to it. Lately that has been very difficult and reading so many stitching blogs makes it almost impossible. Lots of stitchers adding to their stash and sharing the photos has been bad for my budget! As a result of a picture of the fantastic Essy's Friends first project on someone's blog, I ordered that plus got on the automatic for future releases. So many tempting projects being worked on or purchased. It's so fun to see everyone's diverse tastes in stitching projects.

Since it's a three day weekend here in the US, I'm anticipating some extra stitching time which is heavenly. I may even get to start my book for the library's book group. The housework can wait can't it?

September 1, 2005

Stealth projects

I have been working on an exchange gift so I can't show a picture but this is a photo of the materials for my next project. I am planning to give it as a gift to a friend. The fabric is 32ct dirty linen/silk from my stash with Weeks and Gentle Art Threads. I am planning to transform them into a needlbook.

I have made good progress on my Legacy Halloween sweetbag as far as the stitching goes but I haven't found a fabric I like to go with it. The stitching fabric is 32ct Cognac and it's really kind of a hard color to match. I'm not totally thrilled with the project but I think once I settle on a fabric for finishing up the sweetbag, I will like it a whole lot more. Since this is going to be a long weekend, I hope to finish this off and get started on something else.