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Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Break From Cross Stitch

I've been taking a bit of a break from cross stitching lately. I think I needed to work on another craft for a while. The past couple of weeks I have been knitting like crazy. I found a nifty little set of knitting project cards for scarfs and decided that it was the time of year to work on such things.

The first one I completed was a tubey scarf. It was fun to work this one up on my round needles:

You might guess this is for a girl from the festive colors and the butterfly. That might be stereotyping. But you're right ;-).

My second scarf allowed me to play a little with my enormous knitting needles:
This one is a shawl scarf. There's a little blue butterfly - can you find it?

The third is almost finished. I'm expecting to complete it today :-). It has a fantastic ribbed pattern and will be about 6 feet long. It uses roving instead of fully spun yarn and has a wonderful felted feel to it as a result:

I have another scarf that I'm planning to start with a beautiful nubbly texture to it. I'm hoping I can get started on that one later today if I can finish this one up.

Yesterday I stopped by a friend's house on the way home from a Christmas visit with my in-laws. I saw a cross stitched mug on the counter and asked when she had gotten it. It had been a gift from her daughter-in-law, who was also the matron-of-honor at my wedding. She received the gift before her son was married to this woman. We got chatting about how wonderful it is to give and to receive hand made gifts. I noted that I find it sad when someone gives a craft as a gift and the receiver puts it away and never uses it. I feel that crafts, by definiton, are meant to be used. She had a wonderful response about what its like when, later in life, you come across just such a gift when cleaning out a disused room or a closet. That is just the type of conversation one should have at Christmas!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Awards and New Crafts

This week my Paradise Macaws project was on display at work for the employee's art show. I was excited to learn that I had received 1st place in the needleworking division for the juried awards! I was also thrilled to find out that the award was 2 oil/lube/filter changes at a local auto shop :-).

Today Jerry and I went to a beginning spinning class at a local Alpaca farm. It was very interesting. It was $40 for each of us for a 5 hour class. The fibers were provided and we could borrow a drop spindle for the class. The first part of the class our instructor, Elizabeth, told us about the history of spinning, different resources, local sources and demonstrated basic technique. After lunch we tried our hand at it. We ended up spinning using the drop spindles and plying the yarn we had created. We also got to try our hand at the spinning wheels she brought with her. Here's a picture of Jerry using the parking method to draft his yarn...

And here's my yarn after spinning, but before plying....

And here's some of my finished 2-ply yarn....

And with that I'll close my thrilling photo essay so I can make some mac n cheese n dogs for dinner!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Birds Are Framed

Yesterday I picked up the framed Paradise Macaws from A Stitcher's Garden. Jackie did another great job on the framing. I'm looking forward to entering the piece in the employee's art show for the county where I work.
I also finished the Letter X from my Art Deco alphabet project. I think I have 6 of the 24 done now. I'm moving along slowly on these. They are nice travel projects thought, so it seems like a shame to rush through them.

I've been making some progress on the Magnolia project. This was a little toss off piece that's been sitting in my closet for a while. I just felt like I needed to get it done so I wouldn't have to look at it anymore ;-). It will go into the base of a small serving tray. I'm hoping I'll be ab le to get it done before the end of the year.I've also been doing a little on a hardanger project. But the photo of that project will have to wait a bit :-).

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Photo Finish

YAY! I finished the birds project. Unfortunately, I didn't have batteries for my camera at the time and so no photo yet. It's out for framing now. I will be definitely posting a pic once I get it back! I'm so excited.

I'm also almost finished with my Letter X. I'm home sick from work today, so I might see if I can get that one wrapped up too so I can feel like a super hero ;-).

Despite my vow not to start another stinking project until I got through a few of the ones lurking about the house, I decided to start my Quaker gameboard project. Hmm, lets see here where that link is... oh, here's my pic of it:
Well, time to wander off for some medicine, breakfast and stitching :-).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Birds progress!

Yes it is true... I have been stitching!! I made enormous progress this week on the birds project! I only have the tail feathers and the flowers that sit in the middle of the leaves to finish. Here's the piccy...

I'm sitting in Lake Placid right now, taking a break from a conference for work. I don't think I'll be able to do much more on the birds this week because I'm here through tomorrow, have an appt tomorrow night, have stitching on Wed, skating on Thurs and then getting ready for the dog tracking test at our house this weekend. Whew!!

While I'm on travel I've been doing a little on the letter X project. I'm sad that is going as slowly as it is, but I suppose there's nothing to help that!

Well, time to head to the next session. Happy stitching!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hey Strangers

Well it's been a long time since I posted an updated on my stitching. Its been a busy summer for me, so I ended up not getting a lot of stitching in. I missed doing it, but still I was having a good time. Mostly.

I've been working on the Birds of Paradise project lately. I was able to get the second bird's shoulders finished and the surrounding feathers complete. Now I'm onto the wings which are a lovely blue color.
I've also gotten a little work done on the Letter X from the Art Deco alphabet project. This one is going to be a slow goer. Its funny, no one really wants to be injured, yet sometimes I hope for a good ankle sprain so I have an excuse to sit around and stitch. Shame on me!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Snowmans in Summer

Who doesn't love snowmen??!! It's silly hot out today and I'm happy to post the finish of my chilly friends. This was super fun to work up. I'm trying to decide what it should be assembled as still.I'm a loser and am missing my LNS stitching group tonight for two sessions in a row. I have a bike ride I'm organizing tomorrow and a friend I'm trying to help out. I can't quite seem to squeeze the time out of my days anymore. *sigh* But I'm planning to head downstairs to my stitching station and at least put in a little time on the macaws project. I did some on that this morning. It's going to be lovely! I can't wait to finish that one :-).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Fair

My entries went down to the county fair yesterday. I entered the Autumnal Abstract Bag, Alchemical Symbols and Sunny Day Cat for this one. *fingers crossed*

I was able to wrap up a small that I started over the weekend while I was chillin in the parking lot before work this morning. I have a photo of it, but I need to get back to my computer before I can post it since I accidentally left my SD card in the computer. I made it for a friend and am trying to decide how to finish it. And I'm trying to decide if I want to show it to them tonight when I see them or if I want to wait until it's completely finished. Tough decisions!

Its not looking good for the La-D-Da Free-Bee I've been working on for a while. I'm just about to run out of thread. I think that I'll use up what I have left tonight and then try to figure out what the heck I'm going to do about that. I'm pretty sure I pulled that stuff from the discontinued bin. Either way I have lost the tag that was attached so I have no clue what manufaturer the cotton is, let alone what color. I suppose I could just grab another color and bull through acting like it's what I meant to do. *shakes head*

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Little Late

I completed the third page in the sampler book a little over a week ago. I've been a bit slow in getting around to posting it :-). There are letters in the sky above the castle, but they are white on white and so are a bit difficult to see in this photo.

I started on the letter D. We're going to head to Canada today, so I'm hoping to get some time in on that one in the car. Possibly I'll be able to finish it during the drive?

I've been doing a bit of work here and there on my traveling projects. Unfortunately a bit of life caught up with me over the last week, so I didn't get to use my lunchtimes to make progress on those.

I was able to make a big dent in the second Macaw last week. This is where I was at on the 26th of June. Since then I finished most of the macaw's head and some of the pink feathers that make up it's shoulder. Not awesome progress, but its something :-D.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

For the Birds

After finishing the Letter T last week I spent some time working on a few of the little projects I have poking around the house. I couldn't get into any of them, so I decided what the heck - start another. But I didn't want to have another stinkin' project sitting around in my pile. Instead I decided to compromise and start a new project on an old project.

I've been meaning to get back to my Birds of Paradise two-fer project and found it when I was "cleaning" my stash over the weekend. I set it up and got started last Sunday. This is what I have done after a week of dinking around...
I'm thrilled to have one block of color finished. I'm planning to get the leaves around the bottom finished up this week. I like this project because there are color changes, but I can work in decently sized blocks if I get sick of dealing with confetti stitches. I can't wait to see this piece finished. If I'm super fast (yeah right!) I might be able to have it done for the fair.

I also decided to finish off a couple of little motifs from the Autumnal Abstract to make into accents for the bag I assembled recently. I am hoping to enter this one in the fair. I hope my nasty sewing skills don't hurt it in the competition ;-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Best Day EVER!

Well if it's not the best day ever, it's pretty darn close! I went to work this morning to discover that a worm had infected our network and my computer was a victim. After about a 1/2 hour I asked my boss if I could bug out since there was absolutely nothing I could do - and I got the OK :-). So home I went to finish assembling this....
I'm thrilled with how it came out! There is a magnetic hook inside the top of the bag to keep it closed. I'm planning to stitch a couple of the motifs from the bag and make some little dangling charm sort of things to hang off the strap, but I'm not sure when I'll be getting to those.

The following pic shows the lining of the bag...I can't wait to start using it. I think I'll have to wait until after the county and state fairs as I would like to enter it in those and see how it does. I'm so excited about it!!

Last night I was able to finish off another one of the letter squares I've been working on. Now I have five finished and _only_ 21 left to go. I'm trying to decide if I want to do the four random designs that go with the letters series or not. Such difficult decision I face! Here's the Letter "T":I'm really happy with this one. Now that I'm home for the day I'm expecting to spend a little time working on the "Nova" canvas work project. Also, I'm trying to decide how to organize my fabric again.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Christmas and Not Even July!

Yay! I got my sewing machine working, bought some thread and figured out how to assemble my Christmas stockings! I need to tack the cuffs down - but I'll be doing that in the car today. I can't believe I got those finished :-).
I have another project I want to finish, but I don't think I'm going to be able to get to it this week. Maybe the next one? Maybe next year. Still, I have assembled almost all of the projects that were sitting around. Now I just need to finish a few more!

I went through my various piles this past week in an attempt to try to get things a little more organized. I've been experiencing project creep around the house. I discovered that I'm likely not going to have enough floss to finish my Free-Bee project. I'll need to figure out how I want to deal with that one. I also pulled out the letter "T" that I've been slowly getting started on and made some great progress on it.

I'm thinking about stopping by the shop today to pick up some more floss for the letters. They're good for travel projects. I only have 21 of them left to go ;-).

While we were watching movies last night I made some excellent progress on my hardanger teacups project. This one is moving fast! I just need to spend a little more time watching TV I guess!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Little Steps

I've been meaning to post some progress photos for some time. I promise... soon. I haven't gotten a lot done, but I have made some steady progress on a few of my projects. There's something about May that makes it hard to find time to stitch. The weather is getting nicer and everyone whats to do everything _right now_ because they have been cooped up all winter ;-). Now that we're heading into June my schedule clears out since everyone else seems to be getting burned out on doing things. Now I can start to concentrate on more stitching.

I am happy to note that I have been able to get my Christmas stockings almost fully assembled. I'm hoping to get them completed by this weekend with some finish photos. I'm super happy with how they are coming out. I have one more project that needs to be assembled. *fingers crossed*

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stitching in the Background

It has been crazy busy for us this spring. I've been having a lot of fun, but I've been missing my cross stitch. I'm glad to have finished the knotwork project from the retreat. If I let those things go they'll never get finished. But, I missed the rhythm of cross stitching. Last night and this morning I found a little time to work on my Letter T from the Black and White project. So relaxing! Now I need to get myself psyched up for a bike race. grrrrr!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Knot Work Finish

I finished the Theresa Layman knotwork project from the retreat this morning. Last night I was able to get all of the stitching done. The morning effort was to get the piece assembled. I'm pretty happy with how it all came out.
I'm not yet sure how I feel about knotting. I think I'm still a cross stitcher through and through. I'm happy with how cross stitch looks. The knotted finish, hmmm, the jury is still out on this one. I have another project that I picked up which I think I will enjoy working on. I do really want to get back to working on some of my outstanding cross projects. Next up... who knows!! Maybe I'll start a new one just to live dangerously, maybe I'll get back to St Petersburg the UFO from heck!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Little Miss Suzie Homemaker

I've been working on a couple of my projects in between riding my bike and working. Now that my back is feeling better I've been doing various sporting activities so I'm usually too tired to stitch in the evening. But I do try to get some stitching in at lunchtime and in the mornings. And TA DA....
I'm so close to finishing this knotwork piece! Only a little more to go and I can get it all finished. It's going to be on a seagrass basket that Theresa Layman gave us when we took her class at the March 2009 Stitching Friends Retreat that my LNS put on. It wa great learning how to do the Colonial Knot better and getting some tips on French Knots also!

I've also been working on my very first real garden (as opposed to a couple of bulbed crammed in the ground). I put four flats of annuals in yesterday in about three hours. I woke up this morning with gardener's shoulder ;-). It seems to have worked itself out however!
I'm hoping we don't get another frost this year. We've been known to get frosts in June. There's only been one month of the year, I think August, in which it hasn't ever snowed in recorded history here in Central New York. I don't know if I'll be able to handle covering the plants, but here to hoping!

During my morning sessions I've been working Nova, the canvasswork project that I hope to complete this century. I'm really enjoying all of the different little pattern. Each of the variations is interesting. This is going to be an awesome peice when I get it finished.I finished the entire top row. There are 18 blocks across. I think it goes down to "V" on the side. I can't remember right off hand though ;-). Maybe I'll spend some time working on this one tonight... I am hoping to get this one and the knotwork ones done so I can get back to cross stitching. I'm feeling like I'm cheating on my cross stitch projects. Bad stitching whore that I am!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Slow Progress...

I haven't been making fast progress this year in my stitching. I suppose I should be happy for that. Last winter my back was injured, so I wasn't able to do quite as many physical activities as usual. Also, this year I'm trying to work on some of my larger projects that have been stacking up around the house.

I made some good progress on Nova this past week. This is a canvas work project on mono canvas using 4 strands of DMC floss. It's a bit fussy since I have to use a laying tool, although I am getting more adept at that. I wish I had gotten a close up of some of the squares before I was separated from it for the weekend. Here's the progress anyhow :-)...
There are 18 columns and "V" rows in the project, so there are 396 12x12 blocks total. And I've done 22 - I'm one eighteenth done. eeeep!

I also have made some progress on one of my travel projects - Free-bee from La-D-Da. I found this awesome grey thread, but am seriously concerned that I'm going to run out of it before the pattern ends. I think it was discontinued. I may have mentioned this before. Oof the stress! I think I'm a little more than 1/2 way through this one.
Today I'm hoping to assemble my stockings and abstract bag. I'll have to see how that goes. I have a friend helping me out with that so I don't mess it up too badly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Finish I've Been Meaning to Post

I finished up the cute accessories keep from the retreat last week. I think I wrapped up the stitching on Wed or Thurs. It was a fun little project. I think I'll probably send it to my mom since she doesn't have anything to keep her scissors, needles, etc. in.
I also made the matching scissors fob:

They both stitched up quickly.

Now I'm working on Nova, by enormous canvas work project. I'm on the hunt for one of the colors - maybe my neighbor has some...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Bit More Retreat...

I just realized that I hadn't gotten around to finishing my updates on the retreat. It's been so busy here as I transition sports seasons. Also, the weather has been _awesome_ so I've been taking every opportunity to get out on my bicycle.

First off, here's the required stash shot...
I didn't quite get as much stuff as last year. During that retreat I won one of the baskets and was so loaded down! I don't mind getting a bit less. I have so many projects to work on already. The floss and fabric was awesome! The little charts are a hoot. I'll be making a few of those up for some friends and family while I'm in the car and on trains, etc.

I also got a shot of all of the completed bunnies from the needle felting class on the first day. They're pretty adorable. Mine is the one just to the right of the dark brown bunny. He has the curled ears. :-) The retreat sampler, which was given as a prize, is in the back. Betsy did a wonderful job designing and stitching it!
And then there is the group shot! We were 19 strong. There were two teachers, one assistant, a shop owner and a gaggle (or maybe a giggle?) of stitchers. We had an awesome time!

Don't worry -there's more to come. I have one of the projects finished. I just need to attend to some stash organization.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Knot Kit Exposure

OK here's the beginnings of the knot kit. I since have gotten the flowers and most of the leaves done. Whew - this is different. I'm not sure how I'm feeling about it yet ;-).

Catching Up!

My poor computer couldn't read my photo card last night. I think I was overworking her. She's all rested this morning.

I finished this bookmark for a coworker waaaaay back on 9 March. I was a fun little project that I pulled from The Gift of Stitching Magazine. I'm pretty happy with the quality of the projects I've seen in their pages. Oh if I only had more time!

I've mad some progress on a couple of my WIPs. This is Free-Bee from La-D-Da. I got the pattern at last year's spring retreat. I've been working on it on and off during travel. It's since become my lunchtime project at work. I'm hoping I'll be able to get it done soon. I'm a little concerned that I'm going to run out of the thread that I'm using. I'm not sure I'll be able to get more - I thnk it's a discontinued color.I also started a hardanger project that I've been meaning to do for a year :-). I got this pattern when I swapped charts with people a while back. This pattern came to me from England. It's been fun to work!
I'm sure there will be more to come about the retreat later. We're going to be taking classes from Teresa Layman and from Laurie of Chessie and Me. :-D

Friday, March 20, 2009

Long Time Coming

OK it's been a while since I posted. I got a bit caught up in the end of the skating season. I'm glad I did because I ended up getting a good ranking for the end of the season. But now it's spring and I'm attending the "Nature's Beauty" stitching retreat with my LNS.

This evening we took a class in needle felting. The goal was to make a bunny. Here's the beginning of one of the "campers" projects...
So, do _you_ think this looks like a bunny?

They got better though. This one is mine - he's a little bummed about life, but his ears came out OK!More to come.....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

WOW - Two Posts, One Day!

I got on it today and wrapped up the two projects I was working on. I finished stuffing and assembling the biscornu. It came out pretty well. I hope the woman I made it for will like it. I'm thinking of attaching a ribbon so she can use it as an ornament. I'm pretty sure she won't be using it as a pin cushion ;-).

This morning I also wrapped up the stitching on my stocking. I don't think I'll get a chance to assemble it this week - maybe next week since I won't be skating anymore for the season!The weekend after this one I'll be at our LNS's annual stitching retreat. I'm really looking forward to the classes and the company. It's going to be a nice followup to the nationals competition I'm heading to this week *stressssss*. Hopwfully I'll get some of my travel projects werapped up while I'm on my way out and back to the big meet :-).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finally - Some Progress ;-)

I've been on-again-off-again stitching the last few weeks. I was traveling a couple of weekends for sports and didn't get a chance to even pull out my travel projects.

This week I did get to finish a biscornu during my 1/2 hour lunch stitching. I was just playing around with some of my old DMS variegated floss. I was bummed to find out that they discontinued these colors. *sigh*

I went to the LNS stitch in last night. It was rough! I've not been getting enough sleep for the last week or two with all the travel and DH being ill, so staying up to midnight after getting up at 5:30 am was not working too well for me. I hung on though and almost finished my Christmas stocking...

I'm actually a bit further along than this picture shows, but well we all know how that goes ;-). I'm hoping to wrap up the stitching tonight so I can finish my stocking and DH's sometime soon. I bought the fabby for it just before the stitch-in last night. I'm really excited to see them done. I hope my sewing skillz are up to par!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Light Week

It's been a light week for stitching. I did get a little work done on a few of my traveling smalls. I also got an hour or two in on the stocking, but not too much. I was in Lake Placid for the Empire State Games. Oddly, I ran into a woman who ran cross-country with me in high school. It was rather spectacular learning about what she's up to. I was also happy to medal in all three of my events against a tough field. Mostly I was thrilled to travel with the little team I coach. The kids made me very proud! They exhibited wonderful sportsmanship as had a good majority of the other racers laughing.

Hopefully I'll be posting some photo updates soon :-).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stocking Progress

I was all stitched out at the beginning of the week, so I spent a few days organizing my fibers. Talk about excitement!

Later in the week I started back in on my Christmas stocking. I know that I won't have it done in time if I wait until spring. This is a really fun project to work on!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Big Finish!

HOORAAAAY! It's been a while since I finished one of my larger pieces. Yesterday I finished the Autumnal Abstract. I'm hoping I can find some time this weekend to assemble it into a nifty configuration (to be revealed at a later time). I'm feeling pretty magnificent at this moment.

I pulled out my Christmas stocking to work on that a bit tonight, but I wasn't feeling it. So, instead, I'm organizing my #5 pearl cotton pile and trying out a new organization in the meantime.

Today I also put in to cancel my Silkweaver Fabric of the Month subscription. I'm not a happy camper about it, but I do have piles of fabric all over the place that are waiting to be stitched on and could use the extra money. *sigh* I hate being responsible.

So now I'm trying to estimate how long it will take me to wrap up a couple more of my open projects so I can start some new exciting thing. Or maybe that won't hold me back anyhow!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Penultimate Post!

Well here it is...the second to last post for the Abstract! I only have the lower right corner to do. Most of the lattice is finished. It shouldn't take me long to fill in the crosses and the interior of the flower. Then there's just the halo area around that. It's all yellow and green though - I'm getting a bit sick of yellow and green ;-).Off to the movies to see Coraline - YAY!