Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sampler Sunday

It was a busy Sunday.  Church, the grocery, a few trips to the airport (long story...), and getting ready for a potluck at church this evening.  It didn't leave much time for stitching, but I did get to spend an hour working on my Family Sampler.

A little's going to take all year to finish this, but I don't care...I'm going to love the finished piece, I just know it!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Stitchy Saturday

I didn't get as much stitching done today as I had hoped.  Our friend Mike invited us over to join him for lunch and to watch The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey  on DVD (as a sort of 'refresher') before we went to see The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug this afternoon.

Lunch was delicious--Mike makes a wonderful Cornish game hen--and we all enjoyed watching the DVD.  I stitched during the film so that I would have SOMETHING to show for the day, but alas, it lead to some ripping...seems I mis-counted on the border, so in addition to ripping I'm going to have to extend the border vertically in order to have enough room to stitch the sugar plums that go ablove the children's heads.  Oh, well.  Such is life...

I am happy with the change from the dingy-white silk to the bright white DMC floss for the border and the bedsheets.  I think that there's just enough contrast between the white and the flesh-colored silk of the faces and so I won't have to re-stitch the children!

Here's a picture of where I stopped.  I'm not sure if I'll get back to this one this month, or if it will end up languishing in the stitching-bag until next month.  But I hope I can find some time to work on it this month--I'm so close to finishing!

And now for something light-hearted and completely off-the-subject:  Did you know that Diet Coke tastes completely different if you sip it from a champagne flute?

Friday, January 3, 2014

stitchy weekend ahead!

It's the last weekend of my Christmas vacation, and I'm planning on spending most of it stitching away on various projects.  The main project will be "Sugar Plums" because this is the CCN Showcase WIP-it weekend for January.  But before I can stitch, I've got to rip.  All that white--it looks dingy, so I'm ripping it out and replacing the silk with good old white DMC floss.  Hopefully once I've done that the children's faces will become more noticeable and I won't end up ripping and re-stitching them, too.

Here's what "Sugar Plums" looks like right now:

I promised myself that I would work on this next project each and every day--without exception.  It's a stamped baby sampler kit that a friend bought to make for her son, and after struggling with it she put it away.  I'm not surprised--stitching a stamped design is much harder (to me) than following a chart, and you don't get the same quality of results.  If it wasn't for the pink balloon that she stitched I'd chunk the stamped fabric, grab some linen, and stitch this baby straight from the chart.  But I want to preserve the little bit that she had stitched so I'm not doing that.

I got a tiny bit stitched on it yesterday--most of my stitching time was spent separating the various shades of floss, and then trying to get the correct color names with the various shades of floss.  She had tossed out all of the instructions EXCEPT the chart, so I had to translate each color name from Dutch to English--so time consuming--but I finally succeeded!  I put in a few stitches on the yellow balloon before it was time to move on to the other tasks that awaited me.  Now that the flosses have been separated, labeled and bagged the stitching should go much more quickly.  At least, that's what I'm telling myself!

On Sunday I'll be pulling out my "Family Sampler" (Little House Needleworks) for the first "Sampler Sunday" stitch over at the LHN Showcase.  The sampler is full of personalization (most of which I haven't charted yet...) so it's going to be a year-long project to design the personalization, chart it, and then stitch it.  But what a treasure I'll have when it's finished!  

I'm stitching this on 40 count linen that I purchased from Vikki Clayton at Hand-Dyed Fibers back when she was doing linen.  I'm using her silk floss also, in colors of my own choosing.  And most of that choosing is being done as I go along!   Right now I'm considering mounting this onto my scroll bars--after all, I don't think it's a project that I'll be carrying with me very often.  I've got other projects that are better suited for traveling.

I spent most of New Year's Day at my father-in-law's house, watching the Outback Bowl.  While I was there I managed to get quite a bit of stitching done--all of it on my current Little Sheep Virtue project. Here's "Faith":

What can I say?  I love each and every stitch I've put into each of these pieces, and I am looking forward to the day when I have the entire set completed and I can begin selecting fabrics to turn them into a wall-hanging to display in my home!

If time permits I hope to do the finishing work on two ornaments that I stitched back in 2008!  I have most of the supplies here at the house already (I might need some cording or other trim) so this could be a good weekend to get the first two stitchy-gifts of 2014 finished!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and that you have time to put your needles to work!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ringing in the new

Yesterday was all about "ringing out the old" and yet "the old" is what ushers in "the new"...for me, it was a day of restoring order (or starting to) in the house, spending extra time with my dear husband, and stitching.

And a surprise.  Late in the afternoon I got a call from a dear young friend of mine, Morgan.  Her son Brendyn was one of the recipients of the Tiny Reindeer ornaments I made just before Christmas, and she wanted to thank me for it.  She and Brendyn were in the driveway....

So I flew out of the house to greet them--and there was Brendyn, standing and walking like he was all grown up, this little boy of 16 months!  How happy I was to see them!  And how excited to hear that Morgan will be sworn in as a Special Assistant District Attorney on Monday.  She'll be working with the Sex Crimes unit, a rough position, but one for which she's particularly well-suited.

Morgan had a lovely gift for me, a wine glass that she had painted.  She's so talented!

And she brought me a bag of cross-stitch projects she had bought when she was pregnant and going through that nesting phase.  She decided that cross-stitch wasn't for her, but she thought that I could use the supplies.

I looked at the supplies after she left--there's a stamped birth sampler (that she started), and the fabric, pattern, and floss for a Care Bears afghan.  I made the decision on the spot to finish the birth sampler for her, and I'm considering stitching the afghan according to the pattern she bought.  After all, she wanted these for her little boy, and I would like her to have them.  I'm not going to frog the part of the birth sampler that she's already stitched--after all, Brendyn might one day want to be able to look at that pink heart balloon and know that Mommy stitched that for him, before Mrs. Ann took over the project. I haven't worked on a stamped embroidery project since 1977 so this should be quite an experience! (And good practice for whenever I start on that vintage Alphabet Sampler kit I have in my stash!)

I also made a last-minute trip to Joann's where I found some jewels that will make lovely tree-toppers on two name trees that I stitched years ago.  I plan to turn them into ornaments for a niece and a nephew as a Christmas present this year.  While hunting through my stash I also found some fabric that will work quite well as the backing for the ornaments.  I'll be able to finish those very soon and once I do I'll have the first two Christmas presents of 2014 safely tucked away!

I ended the night working on my newest Little Sheep Virtue--FAITH.  Such a beautiful reminder of what matters, and what I want to concentrate on this year.

While I have lots of goals for this year--after all, who doesn't--the most important one is to grow and nourish my faith life.  This year I'm going to learn how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours so that I may join more fully into the prayer life of the Church.

Here's wishing you and yours a happy and blessed 2014!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

mat board cutter

I'm in the market for a mat board cutter--as part of my promise to myself to get more of my stitching into an honest-and-true finished and displayed state in 2014.  And my plan to stitch quite a few Christmas ornaments for friends and family next year.  

Do you have a mat cutter?  Do you like it?  Any and all suggestions welcome!

Monday, December 30, 2013

sunset on the way to church last night

God paints with such beautiful colors and brushstrokes!