Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Eve Post

  It's been a while since my last post but I'm sure you'll all forgive me since I'll bet you've all been running around with your hair on fire too!  We just got back from dinner with my son's in-laws and it was a lovely evening, one I hope they enjoyed as much as I did.  We are having them all here for Christmas dinner tomorrow and I am supposed to be in the kitchen right now doing desserts but I thought I would do a quick drive-by on my poor neglected blog and show you a couple of finishes.
  I have spent the past year working diligently every month on the Calico Alphabet for my stitch group friend. It is a good thing that I started as early as I did and factored in some extra time because I was burying threads on it on Sunday when I had to gift it on Monday.  I was in such a hurry to get it wrapped that I totally forgot to get a picture and had to get one after the exchange so please excuse the wrinkles!

I know, a total mess, but she seemed to really like it.  We drew names for next year at the exchange so I know who I will be stitching for next time already.  I have really got to try to stitch something smaller this time because I have a lot on my plate to work on this year already!!
  Then I got back to work on the one I had borrowed and got it finished too.  Here is the completed Their Song by Blackbird.

I really enjoyed this stitch and even though it isn't a Christmas piece, the colors made me feel like I was working on something Christmas-y.
  So that's all I have for now.  I am working on a couple of other things that I will post about next time, hopefully soon after the new year.  Until then,  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to sharing more stitching in the new year.

Merry Christmas,  Laura

Monday, November 23, 2015

Checking In and Catching Up

   It's been quite a while since my last blog post.  Time has just flown through this summer and fall and it is so hard to believe it is nearly December already.  I am so unprepared for even the idea of  the holidays and Thanksgiving is just around the corner with Christmas close on its heels.  Posting to the blog has become one of those things that never seems to make it to the top of the 'to do' list.   But although I haven't been posting, I have been stitching.
   We made our fall beach trip the second week of October.  The week before and the week after are always sheer craziness with prep and then clean-up but the week there is pure bliss.  I sit in my stitching chair and stitch as much as I want to without any guilt.  I leave all the cooking and shopping to my housemates and just enjoy the view of the sun, sand and surf.  Really, pure bliss.
  Within first day or two I finished Strawberry Fields.  Amazing what a bit of dedicated stitching time will allow you to accomplish!

40 ct Weeks Confederate grey
w/ mostly listed threads

After that finish, I spent my time working on Merry One by Plum Street.  It is a kit but I wasn't crazy about some of the colors so I changed a couple and moved a few others around to come up with this.

Santa's coat in Weeks Baked Apple
berries stitched in original coat color

This finish lead to a start on The Queen's Garden by Scarlett House.  Love this one and although I didn't finish it at the beach, I did manage to wrap it up in that following week.

I changed out the darker gray in the fence and I also left off a few bees.  They are done over one and I was having an issue with the tension in the frame I was using. And I thought it had enough bees already!!
  Feeling the pressure of the need to complete the Christmas exchange gift, I put some work into it after I finished the Queen.  I am closing in on a finish for this one and good thing too since our exchange date is the 14th of December!  Trying to wrap this one up by the end of the month.

Calico Alphabet by Summer House Stitchworkes 

  I ordered this piece totally kitted up from Needlecraft Corner as soon as I saw it  and even though I have a ton of things unfinished, I couldn't resist a start on this one.  Love the big house!

One of the new ones by WTN&T, Grateful, Thankful & Blessed.  Stitched with the called for materials but  I did have an issue with the house color at one point and thought I would have to change it.  I managed to find another dye lot that suited me better and away we ran!!  I almost have the house done and after that, the rest should really fly.
   I was also on the list to borrow one of the OOP Blackbird designs, Their Song.  I started it this past weekend and am making good progress on it so far.

36 ct Lakeside V. Buttercream
w/ listed threads
It's about 1/3 done and I hope to get some serious time in on it this weekend.  So very happy to have the opportunity to stitch this one.  I had searched for the chart for a long time with no luck and it is so nice of Pat G. to make her OOP charts available to others.
   So, that's about it for me.  I have been sick since the beginning of the month with a cold my husband gave me and that he got over in about 3 days.  I am still dealing with the lingering cough and wonder at this point if it will ever go away.  I have been staying in as much as possible to try to avoid giving it to anyone else and although it makes me seem like a hermit, it has given me lots of time to stitch.  Not condoning illness as a way to make more stitching time!!  Just saying.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!   Laura

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Working on Some Smalls

   I have been working diligently to get ready for the arrival of the Finishing Faerie.  I was hoping to have more stitched but I think I will have to holler 'uncle' at this point.  I had a few things in the box already so its not like there will be nothing for her to do.  And I would prefer if she just took them home with her and sent them back to me later but she insists on finishing while she is here so I am going to let her!
   I managed to get In Full Glory by Blackbird Designs finished.  I didn't think it would take me 5 days to get it done but there it is.  One of the reasons I didn't get more pieces stitched.

40 ct Flax w/ my color changes

   So, since the piece of linen I had was the perfect size to stitch both of these on, I stitched Old Glory by Little House next.  Also on the 40 ct Flax, mostly with the same colors as the one above.

Then I thought I should probably work up a couple of Christmas ornaments for the exchanges I am participating in this year.  I started Fa La La by Country Cottage and then realized that the other exchange is the same weekend as our stitch group Girls Trip to the Mountain.  Guess I won't need that 2nd ornament after all!

This is stitched on a 36 ct mystery fabric and worked up to be larger than I like.  We'll see what it looks like after it is 'finished' and it can either be an exchange ornament or it can go into my dough bowl at Christmas.  I have a pattern for ribbon candy ornaments that is stitched on perforated paper that I have done several times and I am sure it would be welcomed again.
   Not to be without some sort of stitching at hand, I took out Strawberry Fields again.  It is so cute and if I can just concentrate on it for a while, it will be finished in no time!

Also on 40 ct and fits quite handily entirely within a 8 x 11 Q Snap!  Getting ready to put on the roof tonight.  I know I said I was going to make Old Glory by Rosewood Manor my group piece now but I think I will have to work on this one until it is finished now.
   I still have some work to do to get the house ready for company.  Why is it that your perfectly acceptable house becomes a  pig sty to your eye when you have guests coming??  Should be a lot of fun those once she arrives though.  Stashing and stitching.  What more could you want?


Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Stitching Update

   I can't believe it is the middle of September and that it has been nearly a month since my last stitching post.  I am failing miserably at getting back on a schedule but I am having that problem with a lot of things in my life lately.  I seem to have been possessed by the ghost of Scarlet O'Hara and my theme has become 'Tomorrow is another day.'  Just hope that really is true!!
   Although I have been pushing quite a few things off to another day, stitching has not been one of those things.  I have been stitching like a mad fool and here is the proof.
   I added another row to the Calico Alphabet.

I'm still behind the schedule but not so much so that I am worried about getting it finished on time. We are going to the beach soon and this may be one I take along.  But it is on a large lap frame so I will have to see how much room I have available for such non-essential things.
   I have also been working on Liberty Inn.   Not as far along as I had hoped but I am playing with the second red color and having difficulty finding one I like.  It calls for GA Woodrose and I'm not overly fond of it to start with and all the dye lots I can find are orange.  I chose Weeks Red Rocks and I am going to live with it for a while before I make a final decision on the 'other' red.

36ct. Lakeside V. Maple Sugar w/ lots of color changes

   I have made Old Glory my stitch group piece and since I had two groups meet this week, it saw more love than usual.  Once I get the large flag in, I will be at the bottom of the piece so I am working on it as diligently as I can even though it is boring me to tears.(Good for group though because it doesn't require you pay it a lot of attention and there is no ripping out at the end of the meeting!)   There are a lot more fun and interesting things to stitch on this sampler once we move over to the right.

40 ct. Flax w/ mostly called for colors

    Facebook has once again been a huge enabler to me and after seeing all the fall stitching that has been going on, I couldn't resist just a small piece. (But we will not talk about the Fall SAL that I signed up for but haven't started yet!)  This is Autumn on Marigold Lane by Pineberry Lane.

36 ct. Lakeside linen w/ mostly called for threads

I have had it kitted for so long I don't remember what the linen is now!  But it was a fun, quick stitch and gave me that little taste of fall stitching I was yearning for.
  I still have several small pieces I am trying to get done for my dough bowl and a couple of Christmas ornaments I need for guild exchanges as well.  The Finishing Faerie  is going to the beach with us  and I am using her arrival as a deadline to get some of these stitched.  If I can get them to her while she is here, I should have them back by the time I need them for exchanges.  So, I started In Full  Glory by Blackbird Designs a couple of night ago.

40 ct. Flax w/ mostly called for colors

I hope to have this one wrapped up in another day or two.  With the house just about in, the rest of it should work up pretty quickly.

   So as you can see, Stitcher's ADD still reigns supreme here in the burg.  I have so many things I want to stitch that keeping to just a few is really hard.  Don't be surprised if I have a totally new set of stitches to show you in the next go round!!

Until next time, keep your needles flying!  


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Sampler Guild Meeting to Remember

   I had been looking forward to the September meeting of the Tidewater Sampler Guild for quite some time.  We were to have a lecture on the Pocahontas Wedding Jacket and if we were really lucky, actually be able to see it up close and personal.  It was a wonderful day and did not disappoint!
   Brenda Rosseau, manager of the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center, breezed into the room with the jacket thrown over her arm and we all gasped!  After so many years of being taught not to touch the needlework it was shocking to be able to hold it and turn it over and look at it with our hands as well as our eyes.  I was even able to get Brenda to try on the coif although I promised her that picture  would NOT show up in my blog!

Sorry I caught her with her eyes closed,

  The story of the jacket, in its entirety, can be found in the June 2015 issue of the Needle Arts magazine published by the EGA.  For those of you without access to this magazine, in brief, it was designed for the reenactment of the wedding of Pocahontas at Historic Jamestowne on the 400th anniversary of her marriage to settler John Rolfe.

   In total, 88 volunteers came from all over the country to work on the jacket and spent over 1400 hours completing an ensemble that included a forehead scarf and coif.   All of the motifs are plants and animals specific to Virginia during that period.  Note the eagle, tobacco plant and sturgeon in the center of this panel.

All of the pieces are currently on display at Historic Jamestowne.

So that was a fun and exciting day.  I have been doing lots of stitching but that will have to wait for another day.  Maybe sometime this weekend I will get motivated to do a stitching post.  Until then, keep your needles flying!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

I've Been Trying and Trying to Make a Post

   I've been trying to make a post for about 2 weeks now and every time I sit down at the computer to write it, something happens and I have to leave it.  So I am now, at this late hour, sitting down, again, to make a post.  Hopefully I will be able to get through it before some other issue arises.
   After my last post,  it was IH&SWeekend round one.  I did stitch that weekend and even managed a finish!!  Let the happy dancing commence! The Inn at Fox River Mill now awaits a trip to the framer.
Love this one and it is so cute if I do say so myself.

  I have really had an itch to finish Ann Bowers so I got her out and managed to finish 2 of the bands I has started before putting her away last time.

There are now just 2 bands left to complete and she will be finished.  One is over one verse, on 45 ct, an issue I have complained about before and will not repeat here.  The other is that darned strawberry band that I have had so much trouble figuring out what stitch to use.  I think I have it worked out now and should be able to get it done soon.

(As you can see, the issue of the fat and thin threads persists even on the 45 ct. linen!  And you can see where I have tried different stitches in that strawberry band and the effect it has had on the linen.)
  So feeling proud for all the progress I had made, I, of course, had to start something new!  I had recently received the linen for Plum Street's Liberty Inn and since that made the kit complete, I jumped right in.

Not a lot of progress yet but it is fun and not very big so I have hope of this one moving along quickly.
  As before, most of my stitching time has been taken up with Serenity Harbor.  I'm not sure why but this part seemed to take forever!  It is completed through part 6 now, so another Happy Dance is in order!

I was going to wait until the end and then go back and do all the back-stitching but the sheep looked like funny rocks in that field without their legs so I had to put it in!!  I am hoping the long stitches of the fence railing will hold up to rolling on the scroll frame but if not I guess I can fix them in the end.
   This makes half way for me but part 9 is about to come out so I will be 3 sections behind again.  I have decided to go back to my rotation and not try to catch up or even stay close.  Working every single stitch just takes too much time on a piece this size and I am making myself crazy!  I have other things on deadlines that are now also behind so I need to get my rotation back on track before all is lost and I flip out from the stress.  Stitching is supposed to relieve stress not create it!
   The Inn had been my 'stitch group' piece and since it is now finished, I was able to move something else into that spot.  Old Glory will now make at least a weekly appearance so it started getting some love this week.

Once this large flag is done, it will get a lot more interesting and I am really looking forward to that!
  So that about wraps it up for this time.  My summer is about to end. I don't think I'm ready for that yet.  EGA starts back up next week with a board meeting bright and early on the lst which means the newsletter will need to be out by the end of the week. The old lazy summer schedule giving way to the busier days of fall.  Reminiscent of childhood....

Til next time,  Laura

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Technology Failed Me Once Again

  I have been trying to write this post all afternoon.  I started a Windows update this morning that took all afternoon to download.  Apparently, it was stuck in a loop or something and wasn't doing what it was supposed to be doing and I didn't know enough about it to recognize it at the time.  The story of my life!!  LOL!!   So now I am trying to make this post and I'm kind of cranky about it so I apologize in advance for any snarkiness!
   I have been stitching although it seems like even though I have avoided my "group obligations" I still don't have enough time to stitch. (I think I might need a maid!)  I am making progress on a few things and since it is WIP Wednesday I guess I will show you ALL the things I have been working on.
   First up is Serenity Harbor.  I enjoy working on this so much!!! But it is solid stitching now, which does not go very quickly, and I am still WAY behind on it no matter how much time I spend on it. It is my baseball piece so I work on it nearly every night but that still isn't enough to get it caught up!  Oh well, it is for me so I guess it doesn't really have to finish on time.  But I was hoping to at least stay close!!  (The color on this is a little off.  Took the pic on the kitchen island and I'm not sure what happened, those lights are usually so good.)

Part 6  ends at the bottom of the tree trunk
Then, comes the Little House Summer SAL piece.  I have this one almost finished and since we are having a double IH&SWeekend this month, I hope to be able to wrap this one up over the weekend.
This is where it is now...

This part is what I have added since my last post.  I just love this one and I think I will have to keep it for myself!

I have been trying to work on something else during my weekly stitch group meetings, just to keep things interesting.  Also, I am kind of a messy stitcher and trying to transport one of the above projects to someone else's house can sometimes be tricky!!  Threads get lost, etc.   So last week, the Rosewood Manor piece got a little work done on it.  Not a lot got accomplished but it is group stitching and you know how that can be!!

This weeks group stitch project was the long suffering Dorothy Walpole.  She is so neglected and I do have her on the list to finish this year.  Once again, didn't get a lot done and I really need to make some progress if she is to make her completion date!!

  Well, that's about all for now.  I need to get back to it if I am ever going to finish another piece.  Seems like the finishes have been few and far between this year and that is really starting to bug me!!  The list continues to grow though,  I have just signed up for another Facebook SAL for the Fall.  Maybe that explains it!

Take care and enjoy your stitching,  Laura

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Song Remains the Same

   Thank you all so very much for your kind comments on my last post.  Things remain pretty much the same, still waiting for insurance to resolve, etc, etc.  It is nice having the chick back in the nest, even if only for a short time.  He is anxious to get back to work but for now,  it is helping me to have him here.  We are managing to live more calmly and quietly now and for my own mental health, the paperwork can continue at its slow pace. I am in no hurry to get him back on the road.
   I have been spending a lot of time with my needle.  I usually take the summer off from all my groups and organizations so that leaves me a lot more time to putter.  My house is being neglected, not something I  am known to do, but I am still a little scattered mentally and have no interest in more than basic cleaning yet.  So,  I stitch.
  I still don't have any new finishes but at least I managed to concentrate on just two pieces since my last post.  I am at about the half way point with my Little House piece.  Love the little fox!

I am also back to work on the Serenity Harbor SAL.  I am trying not to get too far behind with it and since part 8 is coming out in a couple of days, I need to make some serious progress in it!

This is part 5 and I should be able to finish it in a day or two.  Then I think I'll move back to the LHN piece so hopefully I can finish it by the end of the SAL.  We'll see.  The Norden Online Market is coming up and I may find something I have to start right away.  Giving myself permission to go where the wind blows me!

  Talk again soon,  Laura

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

There's Been A Lot Of Stitching Going On Around Here

   This was not originally the start of this post but I couldn't bear having the next picture be the one that shows up as the thumbnail for this post.  So I am showing a bit of recent stash enhancement instead.  Not sure when I will get a chance to start these but I couldn't pass them up!  So many cute patriotic pieces have come out recently!!

Now on with my post...

   I had every intention of getting back on my regular posting schedule, about every 7 to 10 days, and was even thinking about what to post next when all hell broke loose here.  My older son is a commercial truck driver. We were expecting him home on the 2nd of July so it was no surprise when we got a call from him that afternoon. I just thought he was calling ahead to let us know where he was and when we could expect him.
  When his father came in to talk to me, I am usually the designated pick up driver, he could barely speak he was so upset.  It eventually came out that our son has been involved in a major accident on the WV turnpike that was serious enough to total his truck.  This is what is looked like after the crash.

That blue one was his.  Luckily, all parties involved walked away with minor scraps and bruises.  We got him home and we are all continuing to recover from the stress and other adventures that arise from an accident like this.  He's working on getting back on the road.  I'm working on trying not to lose my mind.  Hence, lots of stitching.
   As many of us do, I use stitching as stress relief.  Needless to say, there has been a LOT of stitching going on around here.  But that does not necessarily mean I have been able to concentrate so I have been stitching on a lot of different things in an effort to remain calm.  So here is the current line-up.
    First, after finishing that last patriotic piece, I felt like doing another.  So I started Old Glory by Rosewood Manor.

40 ct. Flax w/ mostly listed colors

 I have had this kitted for quite a while and thought I might do it for my husband for Christmas this year but we will have to see about that.  I will need to spend some serious time on it starting pretty soon for that to happen and with the Stitching ADD I am currently experiencing that might be a tough one.
   This little pretty found its way into the rotation, for about 5 minutes, so I only got a few stitches in before I got distracted.

Strawberry Fields Forever by Blackbird

It is so small and cute you would think I would have it finished by now but not so.  Hopefully soon.
   Then I required another new start.  I have had this one kitted since it came out and I really wanted to stitch it this summer.  I was using it as my carrot to get a few things done but I gave in to temptation and just started it.

Summer at Cherry Hill by WTN&T

I LOVE this one and want to stitch the companion piece this summer too!  Not sure if I will be able to make that happen or not but I would sure like to try!!
  I also added some more letters to the alphabet sampler I am stitching for my friend for Christmas.

Calico Alphabet by
Summer House Stitche Workes

I really love the way this is working up.  Still behind though.  This is on schedule for the June stitching but not for July.  I guess I'm not technically behind though since  this is still July!
  In an effort to assure I didn't have a single minute to think about my son's situation, I joined another SAL on Facebook.  The Little House page is doing a summer themed SAL so I dug out one I have been wanting to stitch for a long time and got it put together.  We were supposed to start on the 5th of July but I didn't get it going until this past Sunday so I am a week behind the start date.  I don't think it will matter in the long run since I doubt it will be finished by the end date anyway.  The way things are going, I may have 10 more starts by then!!!

The Inn at Fox River Mill by LHN
I am really enjoying this one!  It would be farther along but I ripped put the red and changed the color.  Then I got distracted by a movie I was watching and had to rip the red all out again!! Hopefully it is on track now and will keep my attention for a while!!
    So that is what has been going on around here.  I am really going to make an effort to post in a more timely fashion from here on out.  I also hope this summer calms down and I am actually able to finish some of the UFOs I have haunting me!!!

Talk to you again soon,  Laura

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Is it hot enough for ya??!!

   I used to think that was funny when people said that but now, not so much.  It has been so hot here, pretty much since the beginning of June, that it has been all I can do to keep from melting.  I have all the shades drawn again the sun and have all the ceiling fans going to keep the air moving.  I only go out if I absolutely HAVE to so I have been a hermit for the most part all month.  It makes for really good stitching though!!!
   I worked on my Facebook patriotic SAL until it was finished.  It was a fun stitch and worked up very quickly.  I haven't done anything with it yet but it will go into the 'to be finished' box now and be finished into something later.

LHN Liberty 1776
35 ct. Weeks Parchment
w/ listed threads
   Then I got all enthusiastic and pulled out Ann Bowers. She is so close to being finished and I REALLY would like to see the back of her if you know what I mean!  If you remember, I am stitching Ann on 45 ct. linen.  Some of the stitches she calls for don't work on that.  I worked for several days trying to figure out a replacement for the Queen stitch strawberry band near the bottom to no avail.  Queens do not lay well on 45 ct.  All the other stitches I tried didn't look any better.  I ran this problem by my weekly stitch group yesterday and they are of the consensus that I should just leave it off and fill that space with my name and the date.
   I don't know  if I want to do that or not.  I have the companion piece to this sampler and it also has this band. I think it is a band that identifies the sampler to the region it is from and I would hate to leave it off completely.  I will reserve that as an option but I think I want to work on this problem for a little while still.  So, once again, Ann Bowers remains unfinished.
   Failing that mission, I moved on to some of my long term projects.  I added a couple more letters to the Calico Sampler.

And it now looks like this!

But this only catches me up for May.  I'm still behind for June so I need to get this caught up this week!
   The majority of my time has be spent working on this! The Red House Sampler makes another appearance after quite some time in hiding.  I bought a new Moira Blackburn recently and it made me think of this sampler and how neglected it was. (I know, strange brain connection but its the English thing.)

So this round, I put in the little scene with the couple and what I hope is a squirrel since I made it grey to match the ones in my yard.

 Then I got really excited because I thought I only had the scene on the other side and the border (of course; doesn't the border always wait until last??!) to be finished.
  Then I moved the Qsnap and all was revealed.  It seems that the entire right side was still undone so I started at the top and have been working my way down. (This is why I like to work on scroll frames. You can see the entire area you are stitching at once.  Qsnaps can be very deceptive since they hide all the edges!!)

I am going to finish the section in the above picture and then I will have to move on to the Calico alphabet I think.  So no finish here yet either.
  So basically I have been chipping away at some of my larger pieces.  I have kitted up quite a few smaller things to work on too but I have gotten very good at putting off new starts until I have a finish of some kind.  If I can keep myself interested in working on a WIP, I do that instead.
  I am off to my cave now for some hermit and stitch time. LOL.  Hope all of you are managing to stay cool wherever you are and that you are enjoying your stitching as much as I am!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Again

   After my last post I did go back and change the water in my sampler back to the original charting.  I am happy with it again!!

This completes section 4 and I am now going to put it away and work on something else for a while.
    I signed up with Vonna on Facebook to participate in the Patriotic SAL on the Little House page.  This is the piece I am stitching for that. I've had it in my stash for a while and what better reason to stitch it than another SAL?! (I know, I've totally lost my mind!)

35 ct Weeks linen in Parchment
w/ listed colors
This should be a nice change of pace and give me the quick finish I need right now!  There are only so many large, unfinished projects a person can have going all at once.  The occasional finish is a must!!
Talk again later,     Laura