December 30, 2009

Sewing Treasures

Over the course of this year, I began collecting sewing implements like scissors, needle packets, thread bobbins, etc. Here are two of my most recent finds. I found this pair of cross Solingen scissors with the cute little sheath and the apple measuring tape in an antiques store near my sister's house in NH. You pull the little apple leaf to get the tape measure out which I think is totally adorable.

I'm really pleased with the finds, especially the scissors which were very reasonably priced. The bottom photo shows the cross better. I checked online to see if there was any history to the cross scissors and found they had not been in production for a while but the company recently started making them again. Based on the wear of mine, I'm pretty sure they're original. Either way, they are very neat.

December 28, 2009

Bad Weather Stitching

Yesterday was a miserable rainy day so much of it was spent on the couch stitching. I made some decent progress on my CHS piece and watched a lot of home improvement shows on HGTV. All the shows that are filmed in California or over the summer make me so envious of warm weather. It's been really weird here lately - bitterly cold for almost 2 weeks and then in the 40s so that a lot of the snow melted and then snow again today with the bitter cold coming back again. And someone mentioned a snow storm for Wednesday that's supposed to be the worst so far this year. Oh Joy! Can you tell I'm bone tired of winter and we still have the worst 3 months to go?

I see many people are updating their blogs after the Christmas festivities so I'm off to see what everyone's been working on! Thanks for stopping by!

December 26, 2009

The Aftermath

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas celebration. At Casa Pearl, we celebrated with good food and a long nap.

One of us also found time to stitch a little bit more on CHS's The Gilded Cage. I just love the colors in this piece and plan to stick with it a while longer this weekend. I still haven't made up my mind as to what piece to start next. There are so many possibilities, it's making it hard to decide.

I hope you are finding lots of stitching time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

December 23, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Now that I've finished my Alexandre piece, I'm trying to decide what to start working on next. I have the fabric and threads to start the CHS Christmas at Hawkrun Hollow or I could also start this

which is kitted and ready to go. I've never actually stitched a LHN design -blasphemy to many of you I know! - so this might be the winner. In the meantime, I've picked up my UFO/WIP of CHS The Gilded Cage and am working on that.

I am planning to draft a UFO/WIP list of projects to work on in 2010. I've got a number of pieces I'd like to finish stitching and a number of stitched pieces that need finishing so I plan to focus on getting them done this coming year. I'm going to try to be really diligent about keeping a stitching journal to record progress and other details for projects, something I have not been that great at lately. Anyone else started to formulate a stitching plan for next year?

December 21, 2009

I'm Done!

This past Thursday I gave a presentation in my last class for 2009 and now I have only three classes left plus the completion of my capstone project. I have filed to walk in graduation on May 15th! I won't officially be done my degree until I give my final presentation for my capstone in October but I have a feeling that the time is going to fly right by! The end is in sight. And last night I put the final stitches into my SAL Alexandre piece. I'm done!! And I love how it turned out. I still have to stitch all the accessory pieces but plan those projects for 2010. Now to get the backing fabric for the inside of this piece and get it started. Here is a photo with all four panels completed.I'm not sure what I will start next. I have two projects kitted up and am mulling over which to begin. I will blog about those tomorrow-maybe you will have to help me choose!

November 30, 2009

The last day of November

I for one cannot believe how quickly this month flew by. And of course December will pass even faster and then we will be at a new year. I hope to have this piece completed by the end of December and am feeling fairly confident that I will be successful. Then it will be on to the accessories that go with this wonderful piece.

I don't know why Blogger decided to upload this in a vertical position because it was taken horizontally! Sorry for having to turn your neck. This is the complete view of the four panels. I will need to start thinking about a fabric to line the inside with. I'm thinking something in an orange or coppery color. Any suggestions? And links to sights would be great too as I don't have a fabric shop in my area that would carry the silk I'm thinking of for the finishing.

November 28, 2009

Stashing along!

While I might not of had a lot of time to stitch lately, that doesn't mean I haven't been buying things to stitch! I have ordered a rather large quantity of stash lately - retail therapy for sure. These are three of my favorites that arrived in the mail today. I absolutely fell in love with Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow and took the plunge. I am thinking of starting this in the New Year after I do an inventory of my NPI silks and see what I need to order. I already have the fabric for this piece.

I also just loved the new Drawn Thread although I'm not usually a fan of theirs. And I loved the new Quaker Diamonds chart even though I'm not a huge Quaker fan. I need to get the Valdani threads and figure out a fabric choice. It calls for PTP Mello which is a great fabric so I will likely order that to do the piece. I am hoping I get a gift certificate for stash so I don't spend too much more money.

My resolve for 2010 will definitely to be to stitch from my stash all year as I've added a ton over the last few months. I will share some more of that soon.

I hope for those who celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, that you had wonderful day. Enjoy the weekend!

November 24, 2009

Birthday Exchange Recieved

I heard today that the birthday exchange piece I was working on forever was received by the recipient and she was very happy with it. Jen was recently accepted into the DAR and when I heard that, I thought my choice was even more appropriate. I chose Freedom House Sampler by Homespun Elegance and had it framed. Of course I forgot to take a photo of the framed piece but here is the stitched piece. I'm hoping Jen will post a photo of the framed piece because I was really happy with my choice. This was a great piece to stitch and I will likely stitch it for myself at some point. I really enjoy working on Homespun Elegance charts.

November 23, 2009

SAL Update

Now that my commitment piece is finished and mailed off, I have picked up my Alexandre SAL piece again. I was working on this on Saturdays but I'd really like to get it completed by the end of the year so I'm working on it as I can. I've reached about 1/2 way through the 4th panel. I can't wait to complete and then work on the accessories that go with it. It's such a beautiful design.

November 22, 2009


I need to make a correction to my last post. The photo is not from an autumn exchange but my birthday. This is the wonderful piece I received in the autumn exchange. It's stitched over one and the finishing is fabulous.s I obviously chose to receive a Halloween themed piece. Isn't this wonderful? I love it!

I also got these great Shepherd's Bush charts which I'm looking forward to stitching.

November 19, 2009

Autumn Exchange

Yesterday I posted a photo of the piece I stitched for the autumn exchange I was in. Here is the wonderful piece I received. Isn't it funny that we both stitched something from Homespun Elegance for each other? This was a mystery exchange so I did not know who I was going to receive from. I thought the coincidence was kind of neat. My thanks on your kind comments on the piece I did. It was a lot of fun to work on.

I was looking at the number of blog posts for each year since I started this blog and they're kind of pitiful. The most posts was in the 2nd year with 143. Pretty sad. I'm going to set a goal to blog at least 200 posts in 2010. That shouldn't be too hard right? That will give me an incentive to make sure I make time for creative pursuits next year. I will need some kind of break as I will be working intensively on my Master's final project.

November 18, 2009

It's all about time

I have been thinking about my relationship with time lately. I have been feeling like there is just never enough of it in my life and I live by the clock/watch and am always feeling rushed. Not a good feeling and probably not good for the body in the long run. I am working to change my perspective.

This update is long over due. I've not had a ton of "time" lately to stitch but I did manage to finish an autumn exchange which is pictured and a birthday exchange piece which is at the framers and will most likely be late to the recipient. That time thing again!

The design is by Homespun Elegance and was really fun to stitch. The acorn tops and the squirrel's tail are all french knots. They were supposed to be colonials but I kept forgetting to do the figure eight and I'm much faster at french knots. Plus, I can't really tell the difference between the two when they are done.

I have been working to read more blogs lately and hope to keep posting on a more regular basis. I've been seeing all kinds of wonderful things out there and they are inspiring and making me want to stitch and stitch and stitch! Keep your needles going everyone!

August 26, 2009

Where has the summer gone? I have been dealing with parental health issues for most of the last two months and feeling like I totally missed the summer. Part of that is due to the fact that it's been the 7th rainiest summer in Portland history - over 20 inches of rain in June, July and August. Add to that a couple of trips back and forth to Pittsburgh and the summer has just flown by. Classes are getting ready to start up again on the 8th and I hate to see that happen.

I have made some stitching progress this summer which is a good thing. I have managed to complete the third panel of my Alexandre SAL project which is pictured above. I have started the last panel and am looking forward to completing it soon. I also participated in a color exchange but I will save that for another post.

I hope you have enjoyed the summer and that we will have a nice Indian summer here in Maine.

June 28, 2009

SAL Saturday Progress

We actually had a warm sunny day on Saturday so I took advantage of it and worked outside on my yard all day. I mowed the lawn, dug up 4 large clumps of day lilies, separated them and planted a new day lily bed on the side of the house where the grass was struggling to grow. It looks much better although I need to get some edging for the beds. In place of the day lilies, I planted hostas which will be much happier in the shade than the day lilies were. It was a huge project but the front garden looks much nicer.

As a result of all the time spent on yard work, my stitching progress was not as much as I hoped but satisfactory none the less. I think I will be able to finish this panel this coming weekend, especially since Friday is considered a holiday and I will have the day off because 4th of July falls on Saturday. Since the biggest part of my yard work is done, I'm looking forward to some serious stitching time. I hope you get some to and thanks for stopping by!

June 24, 2009

Still No Sunshine

I tell ya, this weather is making people cranky, myself included. We had the tiniest bit of sun for about 4 minutes yesterday morning and then it was back to rain and clouds and crap weather. I believe we've had 22 out of 24 days with rain this month - it's pitiful. I had hoped to photograph this piece in sunshine but seeing that's not likely for a while, I went ahead and took a picture today.

Anyway, the weather did mean I stayed indoors and finished this piece on Sunday. I just need to add the little heart button over near the words and then it will be ready to finish. I'm waffling between framing it and making it a stand up. It's for my sister so I think I will have it framed as she covets my heart wall every time she sees it.

June 22, 2009

Picking up the threads again

It's been quite a while since I have been able to put needle to thread but I've finally completed my first year of grad school and have two luxurious months of no classes. I know they will go fast and I have tons of projects I would like to accomplish during the next two months but I will be happy if I finish a few stitching projects. I actually finished one of my rotation pieces yesterday so I'm off to a good start I think.

I also managed to put some serious time into my Alexandre SAL piece and I'd be thrilled to finish at least the main part of this project before classes start again in September. Here's the third panel of four. I am still enjoying working on this piece very much but I will be glad to move on to something different once it's done.

I've been looking at all the lovely projects everyone is working on and it makes me so tempted to start something new. Since I finished my Friday rotation piece, I just might do that this week! Or I might move this SAL piece to Fridays as well as Saturdays to try and get it done.

April 8, 2009


I made a little bit of progress on my stitching rotation last week and here are a few photos of what I worked on. This is the Peace Ornament from the 2008 JCS ornament issue. I switched to the border for a bit because I was so bored with stitching all that white of the dove. I didn't get to work on this yesterday so I won't have progress to show until next week. Sorry the photo is so lousy but this is a hard piece to get a good picture of. Plus we've had very little sunshine over the last week so there's not much hope of getting a better view.

Next up is my CHS piece. I love working on this piece even though I'm stitching slowly. I hope to make more progress on it this evening if I can keep my eyes open. I love the colors in the piece.

And finally I made a fair amount of progress on the HIH heart I'm stitching for my sister. I love their little kits as they stitch up so quickly. I will definitely finish this and get it framed before their anniversary at the end of August.

I did a tiny bit of stitching on my SAL Alexandre and Halloween Fairy pieces over the weekend but not enough to be really worth a photo and post. I should have more to show this weekend. I hope you're week is going as fast as mine is!

March 31, 2009

Thanks for all of your tips!

As a result of all your wonderful tips and advice for working with the dreaded Kreinik thread, I buckled down and worked on getting some of the stitching out of the way on Sunday. It was a perfect day for stitching as the weather was cold and rainy so I had a great excuse for staying in doors. And I'm really happy with the progress I made!

I ended up going with one thread only and very short lengths. It was kind of a pain to have to rethread the needle so often but it was worth it. I was also careful to keep dropping my needle every few stitches to let the thread unwind so it didn't crimp up a lot and that really seemed to work well.

Thanks to all your great advice, I no longer dread having to work with metallic threads. Thank you everyone!

March 29, 2009

Busy Week = Not A Lot of Progress

Between a very stressful week at work and lots of reading for my current class, I did not make a lot of progress this week. I did manage a few stitches in my Peace ornament and The Gilded Cage.

I also cast on for the 2nd sock in the pair I'm knitting for a friend and yesterday I managed to finish the 2nd panel of my Alexandre piece but I did not try to start the third panel. Instead I picked up the sock and knit a bit on that.

Today I'm going to work a little on my Halloween Fairy - it's rainy and damp and my homework is done so I'm looking forward to making some stitching progress today. Hope your weather is fair where ever you are!

March 22, 2009

So close....

Yesterday was my day to work on my Alexandre piece and I came quite close to finishing it. I almost pushed on and completed the rest of the border but I was really tired and afraid I'd make a mistake so I stopped where I was. I should definitely finish this up next Saturday.

March 20, 2009

Thank you kind stitchers!

Many thanks to all of your tips for working with Kreinik - I'm going to dig out my Thread Heaven - I think I still have a container and try that and test stitching with only one strand and see how that looks - stay tuned! I really appreciate you all taking the time to leave a tip.

I've got some progress pics to show of two of the new projects I started this week. First up is the ornament I picked from last year's JCS ornie issue. I am starting with Peace by Knotted Tree Needleart. It was hard to get a decent progress photo. I'm stitching it over one on a light grey 28 count evenweave I had in my stash with the called for Crescent Colors threads.

Next up is my progress on The Gilded Cage by CHS. I'm stitching this on the recommended 40ct R&R Antique Cotton which I luckily had in my stash and the NPI silks called for. This is really going to be pretty I think.

And last night my class got out early so I sat down and finished off my Spunky Electic sock. I'm going to cast on for the other one this weekend as I'd like to get the pair completed and be on to something new!

March 19, 2009

Cranky over Kreinik

Here is my Halloween Fairy progress after working on her on Sunday. I'm now down to the Kreinik and beading part and I think progress will slow a fair amount as I'm struggling with the Kreinik.

Which brings me to my plea for your tips and techniques for working with this fussy fiber. I'm using short lengths as suggested however they are kinking a lot. Do you use two strands together or one strand crossing over each leg of the stitch twice? I am also finding it hard to straighten the thread after unwinding it from the spool which is contributing to the kinking part. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

I did manage to put a few of the metallic stitches in but I'm not pleased with how they look. I was able to substitute out two of the colors with a Petite Treasure braid which I find easier to work with so maybe I will switch to stitching those sections first.

March 17, 2009

Rotation Tryout

In an effort not to bore both myself and you, I've decided to try out a project rotation to add some variety to my stitching. I don't have a great history with a rotation however, anything is usually worth another try. Here's my plan:

Monday will be for knitting or crocheting
Tuesday will be for stitching ornaments
Wednesday will be for a new project - CHS The Gilded Cage
Thursday will be for knitting or crocheting
Friday will be a HIH heart kit for my sister
Saturday will be Alexandre SAL day as usual
Sunday will be for my Halloween Fairy

Here is my progress on my Alexander piece after stitching on it Saturday. I have a floral motif on the left and right to complete and a small one below the end of the alphabet and the rest of the border and this panel will be done. I've been considering jumping to some of the accessories that go along with this project vs. starting another full panel but I still haven't decided what I will do. I probably have two more Saturday's of stitching on this before I make up my mind.

My thanks to all of you who have been stopping by - I really appreciate your comments and encouragement. Class starts back up on Thursday but I hope to keep posting and reading blogs as I am able. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is working on - it's so inspiring!

March 14, 2009

A great end to a vacation week

It's back to work for me on Monday but for one last hurrah before that, my friend Nancy and I got together on Friday and took a trip out to ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham, NH. We met in Manchester and then drove out to visit ABC. They were in their new location which is just down the road from where they used to be. It's a really great space with lots of natural light, room and tons and tons of stash!

They have a truly incredible selection of fibers and threads and a really nice variety of charts and other stitching related items. We got there around 11am and before we knew it, it was after 1:00pm. As you can see from the photos, I did a bit of stash enhancement - mainly fibers. I made a list of projects I would like to stitch this year and then the threads I needed to complete them. I bought NPI silks, Weeks, GAST and a bunch of Crescent Colors cottons. I also couldn't resist the three new stocking booklets from BBD and The Primitive Needle's Cape Cod Girls.

Nancy brought along some of her wonderful quilting and gifted me with this gorgeous tote bag she made. Isn't it great? The fabric colors are so vibrant and she did a great job sewing it. I will be using this either to carry materials for my class or as a second project tote.

We had our own mini show and tell over lunch of projects we're working on - she's got some great new charts and projects coming so be sure to check back to her blog often - she's promised to update it!

March 12, 2009

She's got legs!

As you can see, I've made some great progress on my Halloween Fairy project this week - the luxury of free time during vacation! I am trying to decide if I will start the pumpkins that are to the left of her feet or pick up my Kreinik and start the wording for Trick or Treat. I do not enjoy working with Kreinik so my inclination is to finish the DMC work on the pumpkins. The pumpkins will add a welcome addition of colors other than brown so that's probably what I'll end up starting.

March 11, 2009

Saturday Stitching

I went to visit my sister this weekend and brought along my Alexandre SAL piece not really expecting to have time to stitch at all. However, I had a little bit of time to myself on Saturday afternoon so I picked up the piece and made some decent progress.

I'm on vacation this week and am in the process of painting my kitchen cupboards. What in the world was I thinking????? As of 9:30 this morning, the framework is done - primed and coated twice and the doors backs have the first coat of white on them as do the drawers. Once they dry I will flip them over and do the fronts and then the project will be done. What a tedious process! And of course now that they are changed, the wall color is next but not this week! I'm off to make some more progress on my Halloween Fairy - she's really coming along nicely!

March 6, 2009

Fair Progress

Last night was my last class for the Spring I term and I got out of class early so I picked up my Halloween Fairy and stitched on her till almost 11pm which is late for me - I hope there aren't a lot of errors! She's really coming along I think. I'm working on getting most of the regular DMC stitching done before switching to the Kreinik and beading. Once her skirt is done, it should go pretty fast because most of the solid stitching will done. I'm a bit apprehensive on working with the Kreinik - metallic threads are not my favorites and this has quite a bit. But it will be worth the effort because they really make the piece sparkle. I hope to put more time into this today as I have a few days off.

March 4, 2009

- 11 Degrees

Someone needs to tell Mother Nature that spring will be here on the 20th because I don't think she's gotten the message yet. It was -11 when I went out to get in my car this morning. We have had such a cold winter this year - a very good year for hand knit wool socks. The sock above is in progress for a friend of mine and I think she'll be able to wear them this year if I get them finished within the next two weeks as planned. This is some yarn from my stash by a spinner called Spunky Eclectic. It's sport weight so the pattern I'm knitting called for size 4 dpns which seem huge to me. I'm not super jazzed about the yarn - I love the hand dyed colorway but the yarn itself does not have that tight twist and springiness that I so love in Blue Moon sock yarn. But I promised myself I was going to knit down some of my sock yarn stash before I bought anything else so I will persevere.

This is actually my second pair of socks for 2009 which isn't bad I think. The photo below is the pair I finished for my sister using Blue Moon Flower Power which was part of my 2007 Sock Club stash. She requested a butterfly pattern from Fiber Trends and was quite happy with them. I think I will end up ordering another skein of this yarn as the colors are fantastic.

I stitched a little bit on my Halloween Fairy this morning but it's not enough to show any real progress. I hope to get a little more done over the next two days so I can post an updated photo.

I hope you are keeping warm wherever you are! And please someone, call Mother Nature will you? I need warm weather.

March 2, 2009

UFO Sunday

I didn't make much progress on my UFO stitching yesterday. The photo on the left is where I started and the one on the right is where I ended yesterday evening. By the time I sat down to stitch, my eyes were too tired to do much over one stitching. I am however going to keep this project envelope in my stitching bag rather than put it away until the first Sunday in April. I think for now I will alternate between this and my Halloween fairy depending on my mood. There is also a new project kitted up in that bag that I'm trying to resist so we'll see how that goes!

My thanks to everyone who has been stopping by and commenting. It feels good to be back in the blogging and stitching world and I'm going to do my best to keep my blog updated and visit more of your wonderful pages. The projects you are working on are so inspiring!

March 1, 2009

SAL Alexendre Progress

I made some pleasing progress on my SAL project yesterday. I finished the little bar in the middle and a row of the 2nd alphabet. I also completed more of the right side of the border. I really enjoy working on this project and it's quite hard to zip it back into its plastic project envelope at the end of the day. I hope to get more time with this piece next Saturday.

This is how it looks so far... I wish my camera took better pictures as these don't really show the true colors of the fabric but I'm still very happy with my choice of variegated DMC instead of the SnC I was originally planning to use.

February 28, 2009

Long Overdue Spring Cleaning

As you can see, I've got spring fever! Although there is still a large amount of snow left on the ground, there is a feel of spring in the air and for me it can't come soon enough. It's been a long winter in more ways than one. My new template is from here. I have been really into birds lately and I couldn't resist this colorful template.

I lost my stitching mo-jo for a while and had not picked up a needle in a very long time. I did start and finish a pair of socks for my sister this year but I just couldn't seem to find an interest in any of my stitching projects. Although I was itching to start something new, I decided to pick up my Halloween Fairy UFO and make it a WIP instead. Here's my progress as of yesterday morning.
Today is my SAL day on the Alexandre project from Tempus Fugit. I am working on the 2nd panel and will post an updated photo of my progress tomorrow as I hope to get more time to stitch on that today.