Saturday, November 8, 2008

A New Project

Wow. I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted anything in this. Things have been busy as usual.

One person who has also been busy is my friend Diane. She has been busy enabling. Enabling me to stitch. As I've told her, I don't know whether to kiss her or slap her! She understands though. I was really in my own little world of doing some knitting (which she again, had a hand in as far as getting me started back with that) and I was working on small projects. My life lately hasn't really let me stitch all that much. Well, we had lunch one day and she brought a design she was working on and also one that she had done previously. Both were Chatelaine Designs - Hawaiian Mandala and St. Petersburg. She knew that I collect these patterns and also some of the supplies for these. By the end of the lunch, I was ruthlessly enabled (yeah, Di, I'll blame it all on you - LOL) and I started one of these monsters - Provence Mandala. I don't really have a picture of the finished work because these are on-line charts that come out each month for a year. Probably the best place to see these beautiful designs would be to look at the Chatelaine Board on Yuku. There are mock-ups of the design. A true picture won't be available until the model stitcher or someone else actually stitches the design. That is one thing that is so incredible about these designs - Martina Weber (the designer) will design the chart and release it, but she has absolutely no idea how it will look until someone stitches it. It's truly amazing because these designs are showstoppers when finished. The link to the board is below:
These designs are incredible. These are also massive, but when you have finished one of these, you know that you have accomplished something. Her designs are filled with overdyed threads, silks, Delica beads, and crystals of all kinds. They also take a lot of time, but are definitely worth it.
So, Di - I think I'll reserve the slap and give you the hug. And I owe you a drink. What are friends for but to enable each other relentlessly! I love working on this.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Needles and Pins and a couple BAPS

In my quest to do smaller projects and to clean up some of my stash, I pulled this out of the pile and finished it in a couple of days. It's Needles and Pins by Milady's Needle. When completely finished, it will be a needlebook. This was fun and quick to stitch. As soon as I can find some Skirtex (which my local Joanne's says they don't know what it is - odd for a store that sells upholstery fabric and supplies), I'll put this together and post a picture. I guess a quick trip to the upholstery store will render what I need.

I'm enjoying working on these smaller projects. Traditionally I've been attracted to those BAPS (big-a$$ed projects) that take a year to do. I love the results, but tend to lose interest in doing them. Another thing, with two busy children, I tend to do my stitching between 9:00 and 10:00 at night - not a lot of time to spend when you have larger projects). One of my favorite BAPs was And They Sinned by Examplar Dames (excuse the picture, it's hard to get the whole thing in the camera frame, but you can click on the picture and it will come up larger):

Another was Alhambra by Chatelaine Designs.

Close up of corner.

Close up of beaded center:

I enjoyed working on Alhambra so much, but trying to cram all those beads in the center (which I was positive would never fit) warranted a lot of expletives on my part (of course, under my breath so other members of the family wouldn't hear me). But for all the aggravation, the results were really stunning.

Both of these took me about a year on and off. I currently have another Chatelaine in process, Convent's Herbal Garden, but again, I get so far along in it and I want to get something done quickly.

A Cute Old Hag

Just in time for Halloween. Isn't she adorable? It's Salem Witch by The Primitive Needle. I placed her in a tin frame necklace from Twisted Threads. Very quick to stitch even though it was over 1 on 32 count Sand fabric using NPI silk threads. I've already had a couple requests from people to make them one.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Stitching Finish

I finished this yesterday. Sorry the picture isn't better, but it was quite hard getting the whole thing in the frame. I absolutely love Shepherd's Bush designs. This one is called Sailing Away. The colors are so soft and it was really a fun stitch. And quick! I like quick! I have a tendency to pick larger projects, but am trying to do some smaller things so that I feel like I'm accomplishing something. This will probably end up on the one of the walls in the Guest Room. Everything in there is Shepherd's Bush. One of the walls is quite long and I'm in the processing of filling that one up. Maybe by next year I'll have enough up to post a picture.


We have been living with this room for three years almost to the day - since we moved in. This is what we were living in and had to work with:

When we bought our house three years ago, we knew that work needed to be done. Of course, there were things that had to be done right away (a roof is a good thing, etc.) so the inside basically sat for a few years. Right after we moved in, my husband and a friend drywalled over the brick fireplace and removed brick from the floor in front of the two windows. He then subfloored where he removed the bricks and there it sat for about three years. We called it "roughing it". We didn't have enough furniture to fill the room, so it looked pretty pathetic for all that time. Oh, and there was no carpeting on the floor - just painted subflooring.

Finally after three years (almost to the day) we have an end result (or almost the end):

There are pictures to be found and decorations, but I hesitated buying anything until I saw what the furniture would actually look like in the room. I'm so happy with it. This room was almost the death of me or the end of my marriage - I'm not sure what came the closest. My husband wanted Laz-y-boy!!! AUGHHHHH! We had that before - been there, done that. I'll admit that it is comfortable furniture, but it's so.....Laz-y-boy looking. I just couldn't take seeing another piece of reclining furniture in my (okay, our) family room. He actually ended up picking out the sofa and ottoman and as a concession to him, the chair in the foreground on the left is a reclining chair. I think that he's sat in it once - go figure. Also I saved an incredible amount of money on this furniture. A lot of calls to North Carolina did the trick. Once I got my prices from NC, I went to my local furniture store and dickered with them! Things are so economically bad, that they honored all the prices. Wasn't quite like shopping on a shoestring, but I did save a ton of cash!!!

While my husband was in an agreeable mood about ordering window treatments, I also convinced him that we needed some for the kitchen too. He wasn't smiling after he saw the pricetag (but then again, he usually doesn't smile much on a good day either - LOL), but they look so nice. The next project is the kitchen, but that will probably be on hold until next year or when the economy gets better (or until my cooktop dies and the refrigerator groans one last time. Oh yes, the dishwasher hasn't worked in two years, but I enjoy washing dishes three times a day (yeah, right!).
Over the sink.

Over the doorwall.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Bit of Nature

I meant to add this to my post earlier and had forgotten. This picture I took recently out at my BILs. He has a number of fruits and vegetables out at his place and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this dragonfly. I thought the colors against the raspberries was incredible and that on the tips of it's wings you could see the leaves through them.

This is my latest accomplish. It's Sampler of Stitches by The Drawn Thread. I loved working on this because it wasn't just cross stitch, but a combination of that and speciality stitches. Once I started working on it, I couldn't wait to keep going, but it came out in nine installments over a period of a little over a year, so I had to be patient. Now I'm working on Sail Away by Shepherd's Bush. That is a fun stitch also because of the combination of cross stitch and specialty stitches. The colors are wonderful in in (a lot of blues - my favorite) and I'll post a picture of my progress next time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My First Entry

This is my first entry into the world of blogging, so please excuse any mistakes I make here.

Let me introduce myself. I'm a stay-at-home mom of two very ACTIVE children. My son is a 10th grader who swims, plays football, caddies golf and just took driver's training. I get a little worried. My daughter just entered middle school and that too is scary!

I decided to enter the world of blogging after seeing so many interesting blogs from people across the world. It is truly fascinating to see their worlds, their hobbies, the pictures and to hear their opinions. I always wanted to do this, but it's finally now that I've been inspired to do so.

I am passionate about needlework. Any kind, whether it be cross-stitching (my first love), needlepoint, knitting, quilting - I love it all. And that is what started me on this attempt to blogging. A friend sent me a link to a Neighborhood Round Robin that was starting up. Traditionally, one person will decide on their theme, and then pass her fabric around (sometimes around the world) for people to enter buildings, trees, etc., to create their town. When the piece comes back there may be up to a dozen different houses, buildings, etc. And they are truly stunning. This particular Round Robin is done totally by the person who wants it. They are to graph out and design their Town. Then they stitch it entirely themselves. As I've wanted to do one of these forever, this seemed like a good opportunity. I don't believe stitching actually begins until December, which gives all the "town builders" sufficient time to plan and draft out their towns.

So, that is why I started this. Also to share my love and enthusiasm for the craft and pictures of what I've done.

I've attempted to put in a picture of a sampler I recently completed. It's by Handwork Samplers and is called Flora Virginia's Holmes' Sampler. It was so much fun to stitch.