Monday, January 29, 2007

Once was lost...

Last March I completed a bookmark for my son. He picked the pattern and the fabric to stitch it on, as well as requesting a change to one of the colors in it. No sooner than the glue had dried on it, he claimed it and then "hid" it in his favorite book. And then promptly forgot what his favorite book was. We have even taken all his books off the shelf and gone through each of them trying to find it (did this several times over the past year). Then yesterday, my son pulled a book off his shelf to read during his nap and guess what we found! So I finially have a picture of the bookmark!

"Penguin" Bookmark freebie from Charles Craft, Inc. On 14 ct Purple Aida with DMC floss. Requested color change was to change the feet and beaks from the original color to Light Effect Flourescent Yellow). Completed March 2006; Apporx. 13 hrs to complete.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"The Enchanter" update

I've started my rotation at the beginning again, and here is the progress I've made on The Enchanter.
Progress 1/27/07.  110 known hours.

Boy it seems I'm rotating through my project faster this year. I believe part is because I narrowed it down to no more than 6 projects at a time, and the other part is I'm not working on other commissions which cut into my project time.

Friday, January 26, 2007

TAST week 4 - Cretan

This weeks Take A Stitch Tuesday stitch is the Cretan.

Other than new stitches, I've learned a couple new things already from this challenge.
  1. The world will not end if I use my stash. Seriously, I had no problem dipping into my fabric and pulling out the biggest piece of linen I had on hand (18"x27" of 32 ct. Belfast linen), but working with threads other than ones I was sure I would use any time soon, oh the horror. Needless to say, I'm over it. Thread can be replaced, easily. Especially DMC.
  2. I'm really need to find me a good embroidery stitch book. One that has easy to understand descriptions of how to do each stitch (detailed pictures would help too). Anyone have any suggestions? In the meantime, I'm making due with the Internet, and thought I'd share.
  • Needlemaid Stitch Library: This came from Susan of Crazy Quilting for Fun. PDF file that you can printout to keep in a journal or such. From what I've seen of the pictures in it, very helpful.
  • Needle 'N Thread Video Library: Mary Corbet has videoed and explained a wide list of stitches. (Consider yourself hugged and kissed for this Mary) AND she is taking part in TAST too. I'm hoping this will mean more stitch videos from her. Because of the way I learn (watching others), this is my favorite resource.
  • Rissa's Pieces Stitch Dictionary: Great detailed pictures here (such as come up at 1, down at 2). This has been the second place I go to, to figure out a stitch. Not all the pictures are numbered, but those that aren't are still detailed enough to figure out how to do a stitch.
  • STITCH with the Embroiderers' Guild: I'm sure everyone is familiar with these pictures, but The Embroiderers Guild couldn't be left out.
  • Last but not least Sharon B's Stitch Dictionary: And shame on me for forgetting to add it in the first place.

Do you have a favorite online or offline (i.e. book) reference or resource? Feel free to share!

Also, can anyone out there tell (or show) me how to start a tailor's buttonhole? I think I have the 'form' down, but can't figure out how to start it. Where does that needle go?


I did get creative this week and did more than practice my form.

The first couple of rows are the basic stitch, starting with a close Cretan and gradually widening it. On the second row, I didn't pay attention to spacing and just went with it.
Cretan Stitch
Now my son inspired this second part when he, after watching Lilo and Stitch, attempted to hula around the room. My daughter got involved with this one too and suggested I add coconuts to the tree. I had to take them out (LOL), they just looked vulgar.
Cretan fun

TAG! I'm it!

Michele tagged me. First time too!

The rules: Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write in their blog of 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names.

Here's my 6 Weird things:

  1. Before the age of 2, I had a blood clot, anyrism and extra vein removed from my left leg. And then when I was 13, I had a tumor removed from the same spot.
  2. I've had to have over 2000 stitches on my face, 1500 before the age of 3. In 3 different spots, and you can't see the scars unless I point them out.
  3. I hate shaving my legs. In fact they are probably only shaved a total of 2 months (not consecutive) out of the year. It wasn't hard finding guys who didn't care about it too.
  4. I don't remember my childhood. I have some vague recollections before age 12, but very, very few clear memories.
  5. I was clinically depressed from age 4 to 20. (yes this does explain the no memories)
  6. I like potato chips with cottage cheese. You scoop up the cottage cheese like a dip with the chip. I got this from my mom. No idea where she picked it up from.

Did I over share?

Hmmm....who to tag....

I think it will be the last 6 people who left comments, minus the one who tagged me.







Have fun!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

SBQ - Favorite Fabric

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Danielle and is:

What company produces your favorite hand-dyed fabric? Are there any companies whose hand-dyed fabric you do not like? If so, why?

I am not a person of "absolute favorites". I love trying new thing and tend to keep an open mind. That being said, I don't have a whole lot of hand dyed fabrics, as I tend to buy what I need instead of stashing. (I know. What kind of enthusist does that make me ?) The ones I have tried are Silkweaver and Picture This Plus and like them both. I belonged to the SOTM club at Silkweaver (when they used to have it) and the PTP fabic was given to me as part of the kit of a class I took from M-Designs last October.
I also like Enchanted Fabrics. I don't have any of her fabrics, but I like them. I'm not sure if it's because of the colors she has, or because the owner is nice.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How many of me?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

That's 10 people with my first and last name. There are 1,055,889 people in the U.S. with my first name, and There are 2,970 people in the U.S. with my last name. However, if I use my maiden name, there is only me.

LOL, it says there are none of my daughter, husband and son! I guess that means I'm not married or have children.

Take A Stitch Tuesdays

I entered this Tuesday challenge to learn stitches I have not done before and to work on stitches I have not done in years (ok, really it is decades). One of the big things I've learned so far is I need to get me a stitch dictionary. Currently I have to hunt every week for instructions on how to create each stitch; not a biggy, but I have trouble understanding some of the instructions posted out there.

In my search for how to make the Cretan stitch, I ran across this: . The Embroider's Guild had a "Just One Stitch" competition, and the projects are just beautiful. Looking at everyone else's efforts in this challenge, inspire me to to continue learning and sew outside the box.

I am sooooooooooo happy

I am no longer in pain. The tooth that was worked on and the surrounding area is sore, but not hurting.

On a happy note, I finished a block of hours on my Family Sampler.
Progress 01/22/07. 20 hours.
All I have left is the top row of alphabet, some little themes to add around that same area, and then I can begin working on the border. Looking at the boprder I created for this, I think it might take me the longest to do. That and looking at it afterwards and seeing what I need to add/remove/change. Have I mentioned that I love working with these silks?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Updates all around

I was able to get 10 hour blocks done on several projects this past week, mainly due to the lack of sleep from the pain in my mouth. The good news on that front is I see the dentist in an hour to have that fixed. The bad news is today was the ealiest she could see me. I did see my regular dentist on Friday, and she confirmed that I have an infection in the roots of my molar, however there was something off with my roots (something about them not being normal) and I had to go to a specialist (Who only works on Mondays. I'd like that kind of schedule!). Long story short, hopefully tomorrow I won't have top worry about the pain killers no longer working because it will be taken care of.

Now for the pictures.

Here is North American Beauties , with 60 known hours of work:

Progress 01/16/07

Merlin's Oak, with 80 known hours:
Progress 01/18/07

And lastly, the tree skirt, with 40 hours:
Progress 01/19/07.  40 hours.

I should have more updates soon, as I'm close to finishing another block on the sampler. I'm liking the 6 project rotation. Things seem to be going quicker.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Happy Dancing SBQ

Renee asked this SBQ last year at this time and decided it was a good time to ask it again:

Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

I guess my answer for this is yes. I finished a RR piece not too long ago. It was a quick stitch; took about a week to work on (10ish hours actual time). I'm not sure when I'll finish my next piece. Most of my projects are BAPs and the one furthest along is only about 1/4 done. My next HD will probably be one of the two smaller projects I'm working on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Take a Stitch Tuesday Week 3 - Detached Chain

This weeks stitch from Sharon's Take a Stitch Tuesday is the detached chain stitch (aka lazy daisy).

Here is what I came up with today at lunch (click for close-up).

Detached Chain

I first started with detached chains of varying sizes and tension (upper left), and then moved on to putting them next to each other in a row (mid-upper left).
I think I need to mention at this point that I have an infection in my jaw socket (or an abscessed tooth) that is causing a LOT of pain, so my doctor has me taking Darvocet for a couple of days until the antibiotics are really working. I mention this because as I got to the third stitch of that row I was working on, I got bored.
The plan was to stack several rows, but instead I moved on to filling space with an arrow (upper right); I think I was getting downright goofy at this point. So on to more abstraction (left, middle of picture; lower most stitching on left side).
I first started with the detached chain in the cardinal points and was going to start filling it in, but I didn't like how one thread was covering, so I switch to two threads and began again (lower right). I have to say, I really like the medallion idea that was coming out there, however, I think I will try it again later in the week to get it symmetrical. I might even add beads...

You ladies (and gentlemen) are so lucky spell check was invented. I'm a bad speller when I'm sober; today's was redicculous.

What happened to my Sci-Fi Friday?!?

I can understand putting in replacement shows until the season returns. I happen to like Jake 2.0 the first time I saw it, and the reruns are fun. But to move Battlestar Galactica to Sunday!!! Although it looks like their leading with their new show The Dresdin Files, so I can see why they are doing it. Lead with a new, then give the veiwers their Starbuck and Apollo.

I'm starting to go through new SciFi withdrawal. It'd be one thing if there was some decent movies on during the "off" part of the season, but I'm having to make do with Enterprise reruns (not so bad, as I didn't watch the first time around) .

This weekend Sci-Fi played their movie "Grendel". Hubby was all keen to watch, as he loves all thing norse related. He was even willing to forgive the horn on the helmet, and butchering the Beowulf story (artistic licencing and all). However, when they put Roman architecture on the screen and call it a Viking longhall, the channel got changed very quickly. I'm amazed he even lasted those 15 minutes.

Hubby just sent me a picture I'd like to share. It's titled "Why Men Need Post-Its":

Saturday, January 13, 2007

TAST Week 2 - Buttonhole stitch

First off, I have to say that I am in complete awe of the work that is being done by the stitchers taking part in TAST. I hope to one day reach the level of creativity that some of these women (and men?) have achieved. Probably after I have had several nights of decent sleep. <> Am I intimidated? Heck no! But I am catching myself think, "Now why didn't I think of trying it that way?"

Now on to the fun...
As I mentioned earlier in the week, I was not feeling very creative this week, however, as I was stitching my nice straight, perfect buttonhole stitch, I got bored. Heck, I wasn't going to be cutting the fabric and making an edge, so I needed to do something. Turn a corner, and another, and another. Now for a fun message, because I can't find a photo...Drat "Hi Mom" won't fit. And I came up with this:

As I was finishing up the "frame", my son asked me what I was doing. When I told him the stitch I was working on, he said that he didn't see the buttonhole, so I made one, hence the second row. Then he found my book of beads on the table and brought them to me, to let me know I had left them out, and the beginning of the third row came to me. But those beads just weren't sitting right at the 'bottom' of the stitch, so I added them to the 'leg'. Wouldn't that look great on the edge of a bureau cloth, center piece cloth for your table?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bakers Dozen RR

I just put the last french knot in a RR piece. This is Deborah's blanket. My portion: Strawberry Emery.

Strawberry Emery

Now if I could only find some strawberries in the market.

On to work on this week's TAST challenge; the buttonhole stitch. I'm not feeling particularly creative, so it may just be me perfecting my technique this week.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

SBQ - First one for 2007

SBQ is back! And the first question for 2007:
Do you dream of running your own LNS/ONS? If so, tell us about your dream. If not, tell us about your cross stitch dream… maybe you dream of designing, dyeing your own floss or fabric, etc.
Yes, I do dream of owning my own LNS/ONS. In fact, last summer I was a bank loan away from acheiving that dream; I was going to buy an ONS from someone wanting to retire. Unfortunatly, someone else got their money before I could. No hard feeling though. So I'm still working my regular job and when hubby can get enough saved up for me to retire, I'll start looking into starting my own again.
Unless someone has an ONS or LNS that they would like to retire from and sell to me!
Most people want to start something of their own from scratch; I'm not sure I'd know how to even do that. You see, my whole career is based on looking at a company's business/procedures and determining what is not woprking and how to improve upon it. That is why I have no problem taking over someone else's business.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Inanity and responses and stash

First the inanity. I actually laughed at this...
Industry money may bias drink studies


And the responses:
Rachel: No worries! I got the comments all sorted out.

Someone on one of the yahoo groups reported what she received in her first batch of beads from the European Cross Stitch Company Bead Collectors Club.
Delicas-1 Tube Gold, 1 Tube Green, 1 Tube Lilac, 1 Tube turquoise, and 1 Tube Cobalt, and a Mixture of 2 colors of Swavorski bicones in Light Sapphire and Cobalt.
My own finances are the ONLY thing keeping me from breaking the project challenge. Well that and the amount of beads my mom has. If I ever want to get creative,I'll go by her place first. I wonder if she can get delicas wholesale too?
As for keeping track of the floss colors, I'm parking them in the next spot they are used in the 10 space column (parking method). And I double check the color to the symbol when I pick one up to start stitching with it. I'm considering gridding after I'm done with this page, to help with the counting over (150 to the left, 300 up...opps miscount!)

Michele: Yes, the sampler is going very fast. I was actually surprised how far I had gotten on it after I really looked at it after the 10 hr block. Of course, working with the silks is an absolute joy too!

And lastly the stash! I received this from Deb for PALS January color exchange. There was another DMC color too (820), but I had put everything away before I took the picture, and I just realized as I was inserting the picture that I forgot to pull it back out.
January color exchange - PALS

Monday, January 08, 2007

I do have self control...

This weekend I made a trip to my closest LNS, 3 Stitches, to purchase items for the PALS January exchange, as well as a couple of specialty threads I need for an ornament. Now as I'm taking part in a stash decrease challenge and the knowledge of the status of my own budget, I knew I wouldn't be doing any impulse buying. However, hubby was in meetings all day, so I had to take my kids along. Daughter is not a problem, as she does not like stitching, and can usually amuse herself. Son, though, loves stitching, and the last time I brought him to this LNS, he climbed into their yarn basket and tried to bury himself with the yarn. Boy was I glad he was clean that day. So daughter brought along a book, and son brought along a toy dragon (with a couple of trigers, the dragon can flap its wings and open/close its mouth).
After arriving there, daighter was immediatly distracted by a rack of RG mettalics; its the magpie in her. So she behaved and amused herself. Son was in awe and had to show me everything; luckily he behaved and did not touch, as I asked.

I always enjoy picking out needlework stuff with my son. He loves to stitch too, although he is only the level of plastic canvas and finally figured out how to sew up and down, and sew his name useing long stitches and running stitches. He's only 4; I'd say he's way ahead on that. He also has a great eye for color!

It was a good trip all around. Everyone behaved. Son helped me pick out almost everything for the exchange, and tried to convise me to buy more patterns that he liked. But I was good and stuck to my list. Although he pointed out a beautiful dragon pattern that I'd like to get one day. And a stop at Michaels too, for some none stitchy exchange items.

Anyone seen DMC rayon# 30742 anywhere? The display setup jumps straight from 30712 to 30745.

I'll share some pictures of the purchases after the have arrived at their home. Can't give the surprise away yet!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Weekend update

As I didn't get any progress pictures last week, I'll be including those that I worked on the last week of 2006 also.

First up is the progress on the tree skirt. I believe this has a total of 30 hours on it.
Progress 12/31/06

I also started a new project. "Family Sampler" A Do It Yourself Sampler by M-designs, debuting at PALS Oct. 2006 Retreat. I'm using 28 ct. Fresco Linen from Picture This Plus and Viki Clayton silks.
Progress 1/4/07.  10 hrs. complete.

This one I think will stitch up pretty quick. Well, maybe except for the border I've added to it. I'll definitely need some opinions as to what color to stitch the names in (a couple are already there).

And last, The Enchanter:
Progress 01/07/07

I was thinking I had more updates, but now I realize there were a couple of finishes that I already wrote about.

I hope everyone's year has begun as they like it!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Take a Stitch Tuesday - Herringbone

The first stitch for Take a Stitch Tuesday is the herringbone. Click picture to enlarge.


The top row, I used 4 colors twice, weaving the herringbone, to give a braided look. I think this would look lovely as trimming on a girl's dress, or for SCA enthusists, the edging of cloak; definately use thicker thread for it.
THe bottom row popped into my head as I was stitching the first. Turn it vertical, and you have lattoce work for the side of a house, maybe adding flowers of some kind to it. Leave it the way it is, with the french knot, and flip the pattern and you have the front yard fence of a house. Add a longer "post" and use yellow for the french knot, and you have a lantern or torch.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Oh the humanity!!!!

Something so tempting I came this close (--) to breaking my 50 project challenge.

European Cross Stitch Company now has a Bead Collectors Club. For $10 a month, you get bead pack containing 5 or 6 colors of Delicas, with at least 1-2 grams of each color. In addition to the beads, there will be at least one color of Swarovski crystals.

As much as I point my family to getting me stitchy stuff for presents, they usually get me something else that I really want instead.

Looks like I need to work y butt off to get those projects done.