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.