November 23, 2008

Only in Maine?

I completely forgot about these photos until I went to upload some stitching related photos this afternoon. In another of firsts since moving to Maine, I went to the lawnmower races this fall. This is what men do when there's no snow. I swear they will race anything. I worked with someone who was actually in a power sander race up in Poland Springs. Anyways, back to the lawnmowers. The local snowmobile club puts on these races every Sunday afternoon from late September to early November and I was invited to go. Actually, the person who invited me said he'd organize a "powder puff" race if I was interested in trying it out. "It's real safe, we'd have you wear a helmet and there are bumpers on the lawnmowers" was said with 100% sincerity. Ummm..... I don't think so! I'm saving that first for at least next year. There are two classes - these "regular" lawnmowers and then the modifieds. You'd be surprised at how fast these things actually go. I think next will be snowmobile races but we don't have enough snow for that yet, thank goodness!
On to stitching related stuff, this is a photo of the absolutely gorgeous birthday exchange package I received from Ilse in Germany. We were in a small birthday exchange together and Ilse got a bit behind. But as I always say, better late than never and this was so worth the wait. As you can see, Ilse stitched my favorite hearts into the neatest three part framed hanging piece and a wonderful little heart pillow. Both of these look great on my heart wall. And she sent along lots of yummy goodies as well. Thanks Ilse!

And finally, to prove that I am still stitching a tiny bit these days, this is my Saturday SAL on the Alexandre stitching wallet from Tempus Fugit. Slow progress on the second panel but I'm still plugging away.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week and please be kind when you hit all those holiday sales on Friday. Kohl's is opening at 4:00am I heard in the store today. I'm planning to be asleep and snuggly warm at that time so good luck!

October 29, 2008

Holey Moley!

I'm embarrassed that it's been over a month since I last posted. I have a good excuse but I'm still embarrassed. I started classes to get my Masters in Healthcare Administration on September 11th and my life has been pretty much school ever since then. Very little stitching going on these days at Casa Pearl. Unfortunately! But I have to remind myself it will all be worth it about 2.5 years from now right? And I've completed my first 7 week class and got an A so I'm just that little step farther.

I did manage to finish this before I started classes:
Now I just have to find a minute to turn it into something giveable. And I've managed to finish one panel of the SAL Alexandre project and make a small start on the 2nd panel. Unfortunately, my Halloween Fairy is languishing in the project envelope while I work on finishing a Christmas exchange piece before the end of November. Grad school on top of a crazy busy job is really proving a challenge so I'll be lucky to update this once a month but I will try! Hope you are having much more fun on your end of things!

September 2, 2008

Labor from Labor Day Weekend

Thanks everyone for your kind words on my eyesight issues! Knowing I have good company definitely makes me feel better. I am a sharing a picture of the new cheaters I got recently - they perfectly match the fob I got in a color exchange this summer don't they? Thanks to Nancy K. for the fob and my boss for finding the cheaters and persuading me I had to have them! LOL Sue, I envy you your shop with all the good cheaters!

Here is my progress update on My Mark's Grace. I am off by one row on the whole of the design but I still think it's coming along nicely. I was able to accomplish quite a lot while watching a marathon of CSI Las Vegas shows yesterday. I've never seen this show before but Spike TV was running them back to back Sunday and Monday so I'm a bit hooked now.

And finally my progress on Nora Corbet's Halloween Fairy. I'm obviously way behind Carol but I'm pretty pleased with how fast this design is going along.

August 31, 2008

August 30 Alexandre SAL Progress

Yesterday was my SAL day on this project and I'm pleased with my progress. I recently bought some stronger cheaters and it's making it a lot easier to work on this project even when the lighting is not that great.

I also finally broke down and went to Lenscrafters and bought new glasses with progressive lenses. I got tired of having to take off my glasses at night to stitch and not being able to see the TV. I found two frames I liked and unfortunately had to settle for my 2nd choice because of sizing issues. The first pair wouldn't have been large enough for them to get good middle distance on the lenses. Sheesh those things are expensive! Thank goodness for some insurance coverage and my flexible spending account. Because of the progressive part, I was not able to leave with my glasses but I hope they will be in before the end of next week.

Today I've been working on my Nora Corbet Halloween Fairy. It feels funny to work on this project which is over two - it's huge! LOL Stay tuned for a photo later today or tomorrow.

August 29, 2008

Finally Friday

This has been an incredibly busy and stressful week and I can't say how glad I am that Friday has finally arrived. And it's a three day weekend - wahooo!

Yesterday's mail brought these great floss drops from Dora who got the HIH Halloween Sampler chart I recently finished. Thank you Dora for your kindness - I have just recently seen these on a blog and now I have my very own set! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Next up is my progress on the My Mark chart Grace - I'm judging again Lucy! LOL I somehow managed to get off in the sun rays part and so everything else is off too. Sigh.... to much on my mind I think or stitching while too tired. That said, I'm really liking this project - I love the contemporary look of a very old technique. It's a fast stitch too which is great!

And finally the rest of my supplies (with the exception of one Kreinik) have arrived for the Halloween fairy in the fall Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine. I'm hoping to put the first stitches into the design tonight. I'm going to be stitching mine on 32ct light mocha Belfast. And as you can see, I just had to get the Halloween special edition of Just Cross Stitch. While I wasn't wowed by all of the ornaments shown, there a several I hope to stitch as well as the Carriage House Samplings tombstone chart.

I'm off to get stitching! Hope you're enjoying your long weekend too!

August 26, 2008

Alexandre SAL Progress

Saturday's are my SAL day on this Alexandre project. Here is where I stopped on Saturday evening. I love working on this project! It's really hard to put down. I made an error on the left hand side in the border but chose to fudge the other side rather than rip out all that over one!

August 19, 2008

Stuff I wasn't going to buy...

Until I saw them that is! I know I'm not the only one that fell for these new PS charts and the Miribilia Halloween Fairy in the magazine shown. I've put in an order for the Kreinik and beads I need for the Halloween Fairy and pulled the DMC to start When Witches Go Riding. However, before I can start anything new for me, I needed to start a Christmas gift and I did that on Sunday. I bought this My Mark chart from the most recent online needlework show and I really like the contemporary look of the design. I am stitching it for someone I work with who is truly one of God's angels on earth. I think she will like it. I cut the fabric for over two on the 32ct Antique White it called for but then decided to stitch it over one. I just can't resist over one stitching!

August 17, 2008

A Nicely Productive Weekend

I know the weekend isn't over yet but so far it's been a very productive one for me. I went blueberry picking with my neighbor on Saturday and I finally finished up this BBD piece. I filled the pillow with the crushed walnut shells as the ladies at BBD recommended. Even though I was extremely careful, I ended up with lots of little bits on my floor and work table. The finishing instructions call for couching a 1 inch piece of ribbon to the perimeter of the piece but after three tries and not being happy with the look, I decided to leave that part off. I'm really happy with it just the way it is.

And today I completed the finishing on my little HIH Halloween Sampler. I think this turned out great as well although I had some trouble getting the bow on top to look like I wanted it to. Do you think I should just leave the ribbon off? I couldn't decide. I really like the backing fabric and need to get back to the quilt store to see if I can find any more of it. I think I bought it for an exchange last year so there might not be anything left. Now I have at least one more thing to put out when October 1st rolls around.
I'm giving away this HIH Halloween Sampler chart to the first person that comments that they would like it!

August 16, 2008

I'm so weak.....

I wasn't going to get involved in any more SALs but this Alexandre piece has been calling my name for months. I have been saving off the charts but had a terrible time deciding on threads to use. If you remember, I was going to use the Waterlilies Cherry Bark but didn't like the colors of the skeins I received. I was then going to use an SNC in Honeysuckle and had cut a piece of fabric but just never got started. Then the online group I belong to decided to start an SAL on the piece and I couldn't resist. Especially after I picked up this DMC Variations thread (#4130) at Micheal's. I had a piece of Desert Sand linen in my stash and got started last Saturday at my friend Nancy's stitch in. Here is my progress so far - I just can't seem to get a good close up photo but I'll work on it. My fabric is 32 count so it's going to be a bit smaller than the original design but I'm really happy with how it's looking - this is a great over one project!

August 14, 2008

Halloween Finish

Thanks everyone for your kind comments on my birthday stitching. It was definitely a push to get everything out and I've still got some back ordered items that have to come in and go out but everyone seemed happy with what I sent.

Right after my commitment stitching was finally over with, I picked up this little piece again and finally finished it. It's been done almost two weeks and I think I've finally decided how to finish it - a cube using Joanie's excellent directions. Maybe I will get to that over the weekend!

August 8, 2008

Birthday Gifts Sent

I can finally share some photos of the exchange gifts I sent for July birthdays as they have all arrived at their destinations. This is the scissor fob I made for Carol who shares my birthday with me. This was a pattern I purchased from Creative Poppy - there is a biscornu to stitch as well but I didn't have time to stitch it.

Next up is a piece I finished into a pillow - it was on the cover of the July issue of The Gift of Stitching and I new it was the perfect piece to stitch for Dane who loves the sea and was there on holiday for her birthday. I didn't used the threads called for but dug through my Weeks Dye Works and made substitutions that I think turned out pretty well. I really liked this little design and plan to stitch it for myself one of these days.

And finally I sent a thread keeper to my friend Jodi who was gracious enough to overlook the fact that the I at the end of her name is one stitch above the other letters in her name. I didn't notice it until I had completely put the piece together and turned it over to stitch the side opening closed. Sigh.... I was in a hurry.

August 3, 2008

One last birthday gift

I have one last birthday gift to share - this magnificent bouquet was given to me by one of my bosses and I brought it home to enjoy over the weekend. Isn't it lovely? There is also a magnificent lily on the other side and the whole thing smells delicious. Whatever the green things are hanging down on either side of the vase make me think of the memorial urns sometimes shown in memorial samplers don't you think? LOL

I've also managed to get quite a bit more done on this little Halloween chart. In fact, I think I will be able to show you the finished piece tomorrow as I've made a lot more progress since I took this photo yesterday afternoon. We've had really rainy weather for most of the weekend so I've been doing a lot of reading and stitching.

August 2, 2008

Drew, you are my hero!

My BIL Andrew is a 7 year Hodgkins survivor. This morning he started his 7th Pan Mass Challenge ride to raise money for The Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Center. He is my hero. While undergoing treatment, a good friend who had been riding the challenge in honor of his sister, inspired Andy to set this as a personal goal to focus on during treatments. He vowed he would be well enough to ride the next year and he has been riding ever since. Sometimes it's hard to remember those many months of treatments and how scared we were and other days it's like yesterday. I am so proud of his fund raising efforts on behalf of The Jimmy Fund and cancer awareness. 100% of the funding raised in this two day bike ride goes directly to cancer research. Feel free to donate through the PMC's site! The goal this year is to raise $34 million.

I was able to see you on TV this morning Pecos as you started off. I wish I were there to cheer you on in person! I love you, Rosie.

August 1, 2008

Birthday Goodness

Carol and I share the exact same birthday - how cool is that? Both born the same day and both loving all things stitching related - and we even lived in the same state at one point. Hmmmm..... talk about planets aligning! It looks like Carol had as fabulous a day as I had. I couldn't post last night because we were having a tremendous lightning and thunderstorm so the PC was off and I didn't get home from a birthday celebration dinner until 10pm.

As you can see, I was thoroughly spoiled by some wonderful friends! This group of packages turned into fabulous stitched items that I'm am so thrilled by I can't stand it! Thank you dear friends for your kindness.

I opened the packages in the order they arrived and Carol's was first. Carol stitched me one of the fabulous floss tags I've been seeing around blogland lately and it is so neat! It's one of my favorite Brightneedle patterns. She included two skeins of DMC variegated thread which I've been using quite a bit lately. Thank you Carol! I love my little tag. I'm going to have to figure out how to make one of these soon.

Next up was a great package from Dane in Germany. Dane stitched me a German design that I absolutely love - the colors are so perfect for my house! And I love how it's finished - I'm going to have to copy this technique. I love the little beaded edging. Dane included a wonderful skein of Tentakulum threads - my first ever! And she sent a great German chart by Stiken & Staunen called Sea which I'm going to love stitching.

And last but by no means least was a wonderful box from my friend Jodi in Wisconsin. Jodi had already given be a couple of birthday goodies when I saw her in February but she managed to spoil me again with a fabulous stitched design finished into a piece perfect for one of the fabulous stands her dad makes at Bloom Woodworks. Isn't it neat? I love how these stands work. At first I couldn't figure out what the wooden stick piece as for until the base was unwrapped and I put two and two together. I thought it was a strange new tool for knitting because Jodi also sent along two glorious skeins of yarn. LOL Jodi also included two gorgeous necklaces - one in the shape of a heart with my birthstone in it and a gorgeous 1928 piece with garnet colored stones.

Thank you all for making this a lovely birthday!

July 30, 2008

Not sure I'm worthy!

Jill was kind enough to nominate me as a Kreative blogger - thank you Jill! I'm not sure I deserve the honor because I haven't been very good at keeping up with this blog but I do appreciate the kindness.

Here are the rules for this award:

• The winner may put the logo on her blog.

• Put a link to the person you got the award from.

• Nominate 5 blogs.

• Put links to the blogs.

• Leave a message for your nominees.

It's torture only nominating five as there are so many kreative bloggers out there!

My nominees for Kreative Bloggers are:

On a stitching note, I sewed this BBD piece into a pillow form over the weekend finally. I just need to find some of the crushed walnut shell pet bedding the designers recommended for stuffing the pillow. My local pet store didn't have it of course so now I need to call Petsmart to see if they have it in stock before I trek up there. With gas prices these days, I really try to keep my long trips to a minimum and combine errands where ever I go. Sad how much we took for granted before the gas prices woke us up.

I've also made a bit more progress on my little Halloween piece and started a crochet project which I will show you soon! Thanks for stopping by and my apologies to all of you creative bloggers that I didn't name - I know you're out there!

July 27, 2008

Free Time!

Well, my last birthday exchange package is going into the mail tomorrow and I have absolutely no stitching obligations looming on the horizon. I'm free to pick up and work on anything I like. I've resurrected my Summer of Socks start from vacation and pulled out a little Halloween chart I started a while back and put away.
It feels great to not have any projects hanging over my head although I am starting to think about Christmas presents but those have a much longer completion horizon. I also plan to get back to reading and commenting on blogs as I've felt quite out of the loop. I can't wait to see what everyone's been working on while I've been buried. And I have a couple of crochet projects I want to get going on so I don't forget how to do it!

July 16, 2008

Whoohoo I won!

Barbara at Mainely Stitching has a random draw for a really neat CHS design that I had never seen before and I was the winner - how lucky am I? Thank you Barbara for giving away this chart. I think I will dig through my stash and see if there isn't something that someone else might want. Stay tuned!

By the way, have you seen the adorable hand-worked items she has been crafting and putting in an Etsy shop? If not, go over and check out the adorable birds and bunnies. I swear I don't know how moms find the time to do these things. I have no kids and while I do work full time, I still should be able to accomplish more in my spare time.

I'm still plugging away on commitment stitching - very close to being done on one rather large piece - the end is in sight. My goal is to have it ready to mail on Saturday or Monday at the latest and then I need to finish something that's been waiting forever and hurry up and start another July gift.

I also wanted to share a ph0to of a sampler I had framed when I did my button cards. It has been finished for an embarassingly long time (probably close to two years) when I finally had the urge (and the extra money)to get it framed. It's a BOAF chart and I love the frame. It was something my framer had recently gotten in and of course was nothing that I had in my head when I got to her shop. Does that happen to anyone else? It's now hanging over my bed.
Thanks for everyone's kind comments on my recent exchanges. I'm trying to get back to regularly reading and commenting on your blogs too so bear with me. I think I need to get up earlier in the morning!

July 13, 2008

Color Exchange Sent

Here is the stitched portion of what I sent to my color exchange partner. She chose the color pink and I made this scissor fob - the design is the same on both front and back. I had fun shopping for additional pink things to include with this fob and the recipient seemed to enjoy what I sent along. Currently, I am working on finishing the stitching on a birthday piece, doing the finishing on a second birthday piece and have yet to start another birthday piece - all do in July! Can you see why I haven't been posting much? After that last exchange is gone, I'm taking a break from exchange stitching so that I can concentrate on stitching something for me for a change! Hear that? You MUST help keep me to my commitment. LOL

Color Exchange

I know it's been a while since I've posted - lots going on. Part of the reason is that I've been buried in exchange stitching and not able to post photos of what I've been working on. I can't remember the last time I stitched on something for myself - since at lease April I think! And for some reason, I don't seem to be making a lot of progress on anything!

Anyway, I was in another color exchange back in June - I think this is my favorite type of exchange. You pick a color and then your partner stitches something using that color and includes some goodies with the same color as well. This time, the group was kind enough to humor me in wanting to have a color combination - blue and brown - two of my favorites! Here are photos of what my partner stitched for me - didn't she do an absolutely amazing job. The pieces are just not done justice by the photos and I was thrilled with the package. Thanks Nancy K!

I will post what I sent in another post.

June 17, 2008

I'm still here...

Just quite busy lately. Lots of commitment stitching and yard work and I've been riding my bike. By the time I get home and have dinner, I'm too tired to do much computer related. But I have some photos to share so I may spread them out over a few posts.

The first item I want to share is my completed quilt. This is my first ever quilt and I made it queen size to fit my bed. The pattern is from the Turning Twenty Again book and when I started putting my blocks together I totally missed the part of combining light, medium and dark fabrics - such a novice! LOL As a result many of my fabrics touch which is not how the pattern should look but it's my own unique creation so I am happy with it. After languishing for months, I set a goal of finishing it by the end of May and I did so a week earlier. I have been sleeping under it ever since and I'm thrilled with the way it looks. The wall color is new this year and was picked from the quilt fabric.

I also had two antique button cards framed and they are now hanging on the walls. I found the frames on clearance at Target and took them to my framers. I really like how these turned out as well.

June 1, 2008

Patriotic Fair & Square Exchange

Jill has received the squares I stitched so I'm allowed to post the photos now. I combined a freebie from Stitchy Kitty with one from Erica Michaels to get my design. The alphabet is one from the Alpha de Sof collection stitched over one.

I also put together the squares Jill sent me, making them into a tasseled pillow. The stars on each corner were part of the package Jill sent. I think it's such a cute design and have already laid this out for display. This was really a fun exchange and I hope to do another one when I have less commitment stitching to do - maybe in the fall.

May 28, 2008

Perfect PIF Surprise

Last week I received a PIF gift from Jen. She stitched me the PS Spring and made it into a little pin keep. It's much prettier than the photo and so neatly done. I wish my finishing skills were half as good - there's no glue anywhere it shouldn't be which never happens for me! Thank you Jen for your kindness.