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Friday, August 29, 2008

The Fair

It's been a little crazy the last few days. I'm in the process of transitioning between jobs, so there's a lot of paperwork to do :-). But I did make it to the fair over the weekend and on Wednesday. It was nifty seeing my projects on display with the ribbons.

My two first place projects were displayed together on a side wall. It was tough to get photos (too many people), but this shot didn't come out too bad. Harmony & Tranquility (the top piece) won in the smaller sampler/worded message category. Forget Me Not won the competition for the beaded pieces. I'm really happy with how the framing came out on the beaded piece. This one isn't something I would typically do, but hey how can you not like a blue ribbon winner!On to the second place finishers. First of all I would like to note that I'm sure Willie Whippet would have gotten first place if the other piece in the "original" category hadn't been a tear-jerker piece of some bodies grandparent's portraits. But then, to be fair, I couldn't get close enough to see if the technique was good.
My other second place piece was the Spring Hat. This is amusing to me because it was a teaching project from my March retreat. It was the first time I had ever done ribbon embroidery. I'm thinking about doing more because it was awfully fun to play wit the colors and the textures. This one won in the "other counted work" category and was against the largest group of all of my pieces. So that was a nice little boost :-).
My fourth place piece is the Log Cabin project I completed recently. Now I know a few out there are thinking "she was robbed" because it is super lovely, but I have to admit that I was lazy when I was working on this one and some of the stitches aren't laid as well as they could be. This one was also against stiff competition, so I'm not surprised at the outcome. But - doesn't the 4th place ribbon go well with the project? I think so too! And I'm thrilled with the framing on this project. Now where in the heck am I going to hang something pink in my house?! *rolls eyes*
In other news, I finished off my ort jar lid. I'm planning to put some ribbon or something on the jar to dress it up a little more. It's cheerful. My house is getting cheerful with all this stitching stuff laying about - hmmm, I'm not so sure about this!
I was able to finish quite a bit more on the Abstract last night and this morning while listening to the DNC, Obama's speech and the NPR post-game analysis. I'm thinking that, if the wind blows the right way, I might be able to get through a good portion of the next quarter this weekend. But then I have a couple of parties, a trip to the fair and some tracking with the dogs to get through.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Abstract Progress

I finally was able to put together a couple of days on the Abstract. I was happy to make ti to my goal for the weekend of finishing the first quarter of the project :-).
I'm hoping I'll be able to get in a bit more time tonight. I'm happy to be working on the section with the leaf. The large yellow area was getting to be a little much last night!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crankin' Them Out

Yes I have been stitching an awful lot lately - the reason why will out in a few days. In the meantime here's another finish of the Christmas ornaments I've been working on:I started Five Golden Rings this morning and am hoping to get it finished today. I took the day off of work because it's beautiful outside and it's DH's birthday. Maybe I should make a cake or something :-). I'm also hoping to work on the Abstract again. I can get photos again since we found some batteries hiding in one of the offices.

Last night I found some time to finish one of the exchanges I received from the Fair Squares exchange group. The finished project is now on display in our guest room. The walls there are bright sunshine yellow, so it's a spectacular combination!Breakfast time :-d.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun Motif

This morning I decided my ort container needed some decoration, so I stitched up one of the motifs from Ink Circles' Garden Stars.

Now I want to find a bunch of other things that need a little zest added. This was a blast to stitch up. I used silk for the green and cotton for the purple and yellow. I decided to use 32 count over two with only one strand of floss to give it a more classic cross stitched look.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Progress

No photos still, but I was bored yesterday and made a progress picture for the Autumnal Abstract. The dark areas are the parts I've completed. I probably won't be able to get much stitching done on that tonight because I'm assisting in a puppy class and then need to sit around in the city while I wait for DH to finish teaching a class. Maybe I'll get through the first quarter+ by the end of the weekend?

This is such a delightful piece to stitch!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Mailing Day

Ooh I got the round 8 squares from Laura M in the mail yesterday:

Pretty nifty!! I'm thinking that I'll turn this little cutie into a change purse. I better get on it soon because I'll be heading to the fair this weekend and it would be perfect for carrying around the money I'll need there.

Also... last night I got a few more sections done on the Autumnal Abstract. Sadly, no batteries in my camera (I've been using the scanner at work for my finish pics) until DH's new job starts (soon!). So here's a little teaser pic of what it's going to look like when it's done. I've been working in the upper left quadrant from the column of Ss over. Last night I finished the orange triangle in the left central area and a good portion of the scroll. Tonight I'm planning to finish the scroll and the blue stripe behind it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

The Olympics are being good to me. I'm not usually a TV watcher, but I stop in to see what's up while DH has the competitions on every so often. At this point I've just left a pile of my ornament series in his office (that's where the only TV in the house hangs out). I work on them while I'm sitting.

This weekend I was able to whomp out the rest of the "2 Turtle Doves" ornament that I started months ago. I had part of the 2 started, about 1/2 of the border and one of the birds.

Once I got through that one I was inspired to do the "3 French Hens" also. That one went far faster than I expected.

I'd rather be working on the Autumnal Abstract, but these are far better for the setup he has in his office (no tables). I was thrilled to get a little itty-bit of stitching done this morning on the Abstract. Tonight I've been freed up from dog commitments, so I'm planning to get more time in on that - although I do need to get a bike ride in!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Quick Project

I organized a long distance bike ride yesterday (200km). I ended up spending most of the day hanging out at a beach on Lake Ontario waiting for the cyclists to get to the 1/2 way point. While I was enjoying the breeze and the view I spent my time finishing this little Erica Michaels freebie as a needle roll. Unfortunately I ran out of batting, so it's not quite finished, but it's looking cute none the less. This is another project in my stash-draw-down effort. I'm not sure what the chart colors were supposed to be for this - I just grabbed whatever was hanging out in my pile of hand-dyed threads.

Today I just finished off another Erica Michaels project in her 12 Days of Christmas ornament series. I can't get a photo of that until I get some batteries for my camera.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Over the Moon!!

I just found out today that I won awards on all five pieces I submitted to the New York State Fair. I don't have pictures yet of the pieces in the frames, but here's the low down:

Harmony and Tranquility - 1st place Sampler or Worded Message up to 25" (1 length + 1 width)

Forget Me Not - 1st place Any Other Needlework: Beaded

Willie the Whippet - 2nd place Counter Thread Cross Stitch Original

Spring Hat - 2nd place Counted Thread (not Cross Stitch) from Commercial Source

Log Cabin - 4th place Needlework on Canvas

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cleaning House

Now that we've been in our house for a few years and have worked through the last of the building projects (so far), I cleaned the house top to bottom. I ditched anything we haven't been using that could go and organized every room. I'm a bit OCD, what can I say.

As part of that effort, I've been going through all of the scraps of fabric and unfinished projects around my craft area to figure out what can be used or completed.

Over the last couple of days I assembled another one of the ornaments. This one is from Katrina H on the Fair Squares exchange blog. She sent me the squares in June. The ribbon and jingle bells came along with her package. The red ribbon around the edges was some of the oddities I received from the stitching retreat in March. I'm looking forward to hanging it on my tree this winter.

In addition to that finish I also pulled out a project that I was doodling on last year sometime. This little hearts was a freebie from The Workbasket. I messed around with some special stitches. The light pink are Rice Stitch varations, the medium pink are X-stitches on the outside of the heart and a variation on the Smyrna cross in the middle. There are also little backstitched boxes surrounding the Smyrna stitches. The dark magenta stitches are Algerian Eyes. I'm backstitching the border and will likely back it when I'm done.

I have a few more projects in the queue for finishing. I'd like to make draft dodgers out of a couple of them, but I haven't quite worked out the mechanics on those. I think I'll need to get new fabric for the backing on those. In the mean time, I'm working on a bunch of little projects while I get through the summer crunch. Soon I hope I'll be back to my big projects.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Littles

I had a fun weekend. I was able to finish my little snowman ornament project on Saturday while I was hanging out at a family reunion. That crew does a lot of art projects, so it's not considered rude to sit in a corner and stitch while chatting. I love how he ended up!

I also spent some time at the reunion cutting up scrap pieces of mat board my MIL had lying around so I could finish some of the minis and exchange projects I have laying around. I was able to get two of those into a finished state over the weekend. I'm thinking I can do a few more of those tonight.

After I wrapped those up I worked on the awards for the stitching olympics. I was able to get all three done while watching swimming, water polo, beach volleyball and basketball :-). I completely messed up counting on the silver medal and ended up pulling about half of it ot make the correction. *sigh*.

Hopefully there will be more to come soon! The weather has been very conducive to stitching lately!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Side Tracked Again

Of course I was side tracked once more. This isn't so bad though. I had to get the banner ready for the Stitching Olympics on LiveJournal.
I'm itching to work on my Autumnal Abstract, but this weekend is a family reunion, next week is a bike ride I'm organizing and the next two weeks are state fair. Maybe I can squeeze some work in! Gah - summer ;-).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Crazy Busy Weekend

After spending most of July running around the country, I finally had a weekend at the house to catch up on all the work that was languishing. In between separating the vegetables from the weeds in the garden, making firewood an apple tree that was blow down in our trail, cleaning the basement, and making a new crate cover for my dog, I was able to get a bit of stitching in.

Yesterday I was able to finish the August Quaker Square. After being so late on the July square I was super motivated to get August done just in case something came up. I started it Friday during my stitching group. During that session I was able to finish the entire outer ring and lettering. The middle was finished up in a couple of sessions during the day Saturday and in the evening while I listened to Hop Along Cassidy on Old Time Radio. I love stitching to the Old Time Radio show "Where pictures are always better in your theater of the mind" ;-).

After I wrapped that project up I was trying to decide what to do next and ended up opting for cleaning out my stitching bag by starting another project rather that pulling out one of my WIPs. So predictable!

I was planning to work on my snowman ornament over 2 on 32 count. But when I pulled out the fabric scrap I had set aside I realized it was 28 count so I opted for stitching over 1 rather than getting up to search for bits and pieces. Anyhow the point of this project was stash reduction. I'm really liking how the little guys is turning out. There are a couple of trees, some birds and a moon left to stitch.

My next big around the house project: put away the growing pile of stashy things that are accumulating in my stitching room!

Friday, August 1, 2008

July Just in Time

Last night I was able to finish the Quaker Square just in time. I'm pleased with the colors :-).

I'll be starting August tonight so I don't have another crunch at the end of the month. I've already got the colors picked out for it.

Tonight is my bimonthly stitching "group" at the town hall. So far it's just me, sometimes my neighbor and periodically the town clerk (who lives next to the town hall). I should probably get around to advertising the group at some point. I'm sure there are more people who would be interested in showing up.

Maybe, if I get through all of my chores this weekend, I'll even be able to get to St Petersburg!

Stitch On...