Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hitting the Stitching Brick Wall

Okay, I know that stitching is supposed to be fun (thanks Siobhan!) , but I hate when I hit a brick wall. Provence is starting to be like a bad relative that has worn out their welcome!. Don't get me wrong, I love it, it's just the old Gemini in me needs a break. Of course, what do I want to do? Something that I thought I had all the materials for and can't find them. This peeves me off because all my stitching supplies are organized and categorized - Excel spreadsheets for charts, fabric and floss. Fabric on hangers - marked as to what it is and the count, etc., charts (of which I'd be embarrassed to admit how many I have) alphabetized by designer and then alphabetized by pattern name in binders - yep, I'm kind of anal sometimes and proud of it!!). So I'm pulling my hair out because I want to do Frances Eden, but the fabric is nowhere to be found. AUGHHHHHH!!

I put myself on a stash restriction because my craft room holds what is literally a small needlework and craft store (I quilt, knit, etc., etc., - a true Gemini). But I have a funny feeling that before the week is out I'm going to cave and order fabric for Frances. If I still had a LNS around, you know I'd be in my car today driving like a mad woman (even though we've had even more snow around here) to get that fabric! Instead, I have to call around and hope that someone has it and then wait for it to get here.

But yesterday I spent some quality time in my craft room trying to find something that I had all the supplies for - and there are a lot of them - but as you know, nothing is "calling to me". Isn't that the way? I settled for a smaller project (because I just know that I'm going to order that fabric and need something to occupy my time until it arrives).

I decided to do some pinballs. In June, my sampler guild hosted Kathy Barrick. What a hoot she was! Her class was so much fun!. We did one pinball with decorator fabric first to get the feel for making one so that our stitched fabric wouldn't be ruined by us not having a clue as to what we were doing (my finished sample is at the top of the two charts). I'm going to play with the colors on the backgrounds of these as I don't like the browns (maybe blue or cranberry?).

Okay, I've made my decision. Now I can go clean toilets or something so it actually looks like I did something around here instead of obsessing about stitching!!!

Oh, and I do plan on spending some more time on Ann Medd too!!! I pulled everything out for her yesterday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another Update on Provence

Another week has passed and I've made a little more progress on Provence. My threads for the center window came the other day, but I was already up into the border and decided to just keep going with that. The border is tedious and I can see my interest is waning a little (as it usually does on these large projects). I seem to never get them completely done in one pass and usually will put them down for a while and go to something else. I think the only one I couldn't put down was And They Sinned.

I was going through some blogs today and came across The Frances Eden Sampler.
This has been in my stash forever and I think I'm going to pull it out and start it. It's snowing here once again, and I can't think of a better way to spend the day then digging through stash. I know, my New Year's Resolution was to clean up some of those WIP's, but, I think I did pretty good - I lasted 28 days! I had fully intended to put some time in on Ann Medd, but.......I'll think about it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Progress on Ann Medd

I had a request from Siobhan (from the Legacy Embroiders Guild on Yuku) to get an update on my Ann Medd 1742 Sampler from the Scarlett Letter The top picture is how it will look when finished (sorry for the bad pic). The second is my progress. I think I've mentioned that I like these BAPs! Ann has been sadly neglected I hate to admit. I think that I worked on it on and off in 2007, and I probably haven't picked her up for over a year now. It is at the top of my list to finish off this year. I like to be optimistic.

The sampler has been described as the "Mother of All Samplers" by some people who have seen the original. It will measure 44" x 18" when done. I had hoped to hang this along side And They Sinned (see picture below) on my staircase. The major reason I put this down was that while I was merrily stitching along, at some point I realized that I was 1 thread off (this sampler is stitched on 35ct fabric over two threads). This threw me for a loop because I like things to be as perfect as possible, and when I discovered where I had made the mistake, there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to rip out what was probably over a month's worth of work. After shoving her in a corner of the guest room in disgust, I later realized that it won't matter in the long run, no one will notice it. The Amish believe that nothing but God is perfect, so I guess that I'll just go along with that thought. I'm sure before I'm done with this monster, I'll be making a few more mistakes.

Just a small note here - Siobhan, I love your friend's comment about "if a man on a galloping horse wouldn't see it, don't worry about it!" I like how she thinks!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Part of Provence Done

I've made even more progress on Provence. This is Part 8. It certainly has helped that the weather has been so unbelieveably rotten here. After yesterday's cold snap of -25 (that was with the wind chill, but still darned cold), it has warmed up a little (very little) and we're expecting 5 to 8 inches of snow! I really can't wait until this winter is over.

Anyway, I'm skipping around a little bit on Provence and still have to do parts 5, 6, and 7 (those parts being other fruits). There is still a little bit missing from this part. There is a lot of vinework to be done within the gazebo, but the thread called for was just too bulky for my tastes, so I ordered another thinner thread and now have to wait until it arrives. Now on to Part 9 (I think - haven't really been paying much attention to what part I'm working on). I realize, too, that I should probably post a picture of my complete progress thus far. I will try to do that later today. I'm just having a lot of fun with this. Maybe while doing the wash and after some cleaning, I can sit and watch the snow and stitch. Nice thought - but it's the weekend so I doubt that will happen.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Update of Provence

I've gotten some more stitching done on Provence. Actually, I've been done with this part for a few days and am now working on the next section. The eggplant is finished and the border next to it (minus some beads). This border will be stitched three more times around the design. Considering how cold and snowy it's been around here lately (-25 with the wind chill this morning), I've taken advantage of the cold and stayed indoors. I normally don't do any stitching during the day, but you can only clean the house so much before you say enough. The kids have a "weather day" today due to the cold (do you hear my son screaming on Xbox live and so happy because his mid-term finals have been put off until Tuesday?), so I may not get any stitching done - you know how it is when the kids are around!

A Little Bit of Bragging

My eleven year old daughter, Catie, is very outgoing. It's my opinion that someday she will be a lawyer or someone that really likes to be out there and talk. Because she can talk! She also has loved to dance and she has done that since she's been three. She surprised me in the fourth grade when she came home and wanted to enter the Dream Career Speech contest at school. I could never imagine getting up in front of a lot of people at that age and telling people what I wanted to grow up to be. She picked the career of Archeologist! ARCHEOLOGIST! My daughter?????? Well, she had gone through a phase of catching every conceivable critter she could find and if it was dead, so much the better! She would cut it open and look at it under a microscope! YUK!! But she did win the school Dream Career Contest!! Thankfully, she did get out of that stage of cutting things up and now it seems like the acting stage is her love.

Last year she did a Summer Theatre program through our school system. She did not get a large part - they did Beauty and the Beast and she was a villager and a spoon. But the bug bit. When casting calls were put out for the Mikado at school, she ran right for it and landed the part of Yum Yum. She did a wonderful job! I was so surprised. No nervousness, no hesitation. She was truly fantastic! Of course, this is her mom talking here, but our phone didn't stop ringing for two hours after we got home last night! I think that it's gone a little to her head though. Now she asks if maybe there's a chance that she could work for Disney! Oh lord! I truly think that her real motivation for this request is so she can meet the Jonas Brothers (I wasn't born under a rock, you know). You did a wonderful job, Catie!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update on Chatelaine's Provence Mandala

In addition to the past two months being really busy, I haven't had a lot of time to stitch, but I am making some progress on Chatelaine's Provence. I love how this is turning out and hope that I don't hit a wall at some point and put it down. Sometimes when things are repeated on all four sides, as this design will start having once I get a little further along, the Gemini comes out in me, and I have to move on to something else.

But I have made a little bit of progress on this and I'm really pleased with how it's turning out. The little bit of purple in the upper left is another part that I just started on. It will be an eggplant and the other three corners will also have fruits or vegetables of some type - lemons, cherries. What really slows you down on these designs besides just their vast size is the use of metallics, beading and specialty stitches. It's not all cross stitch. But I love needlepoint also, so this combines the best of both worlds.

A Late Start on the New Year

Well, my first resolution of the New Year (of course, as you can see, thirteen days late) is to be a little better about posting to this blog. November and December were incredibly busy months with my 2nd annual trip to New York (mom's jail break as I refer to it) to see my sister who has a place on Long Island and then the holiday season.

My sister's place on Long Island. It originally was the potting shed of a large estate located on Red Cedar Pond on Long Island. There are four other homes on the property that also were used at one point to support the home (although really a mansion) located on a rise above them. Now all of the homes are owned by members of my BIL's family. A barn from Michigan was later disassembled by my BIL's father, transported and attached to the potting shed to make the home that my sister and BIL now live in. The right hand side of the house is the original potting shed and includes now a bedroom, bath and den downstairs and two bedrooms and bath upstairs, the lower middle section is the dining area and kitchen behind that. The left hand side is the barn which has been converted into their great room and loft and bar area (gotta have a bar!).
We did a lot of sightseeing while I was there. I love all the small towns and the ocean and Sound. The Sound is in back yard and Red Cedar Pond in the front. I could very easily get used to living there (if I could only afford it). We also visited the Duck Walk Vineyards and went through a tasting. Needless to say, I don't have pictures from that. I was feeling no pain when we came out of there and didn't even think to take a picture!

The lighthouse in Montauk

A windmill on the way up to Sag Harbor and Montauk.

After visiting with my sister, I go down to the City. New York City was incredible as usual. It's a town that's become very dear to my heart for a lot of reasons. :)

I really only get to spend one day in the City. Never enough time to see all that is there. Last year, I did more of the touristy things - Ground Zero, Wall Street and things like that - all the things that I wanted to see but had only seen in pictures.
This year I saw the Lion King. Incredible! I wanted to see it last year, but Broadway was on strike. Although, this year I almost didn't make it again. The train (LI Railroad) before mine from Long Island into the City derailed causing all of us to deboard and take the subway (something I vowed I'd never do). Scary to say the least, but everyone is so helpful there. I actually got closer to my hotel than I would have getting off at the station I was suppose to. This year's sights included Central Park, a Deli (with cheesecakes the size of truck wheels), The Museum of Modern Art with a Van Gogh exhibit, a lot of walking and some wonderful restaurants for dinner. Unfortunately, a long walk from the MoMA up to the MET was futile as the MET was closed. But the walk was a special time, nonetheless. It was a great day for walking along and into Central Park. The time spent there went much too fast!

Then Christmas was here before I knew it. It went by quickly. My DD came down with pneumonia just as her Christmas vacation from school started and then I came down with the same bug Xmas eve and it took me over a week to feel right. While I was trying to recuperate, my son had all four of his wisdom teeth taken out. He'd be highly embarrassed if I posted his "chipmunk cheek" picture, so I'll refrain from doing that. Some stitching was done however, and I'll post a picture soon.