Saturday, April 25, 2009

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Stitching

Happy Weekend everyone! Hope the weather is great where you are. Spring finally came to Michigan! It's about time. 82 degrees!!! And wouldn't you know it, I have to sit inside and watch my niece make her First Holy Communion today! I shouldn't complain though - she's going to have a beautiful day for this blessed event! And after the service and dinner, I'm stitching while everyone sits around and gabs!!

I did get some stitching done which surprises me. I'm trying to get the Spring housecleaning done and get in some more time organizing my craft room. The craft room took a backseat because the rest of the house needed it more. Like almost everyone I see on the blogs lately (or ones that I watch) , I jumped on the bandwagon and stitched BBD's freebie, Petites Lettres Rouge. I kind of felt like a lemming going to the sea because of so many people I see doing this. But stitching this really got me over my fear of stitching one-over-one.

Petites Lettres Rouge
1 over 1 on 32 Ct. Cream Belfast Linen
Crescent Colors Clay Pot, GAST Mulberry, GAST Raspberry Parfait

I was going to put a family name into it besides my own, but then decided that I'd just put mine in as I've put family into others that I've done. I probably should have put my grandmother's name - Olive Kaupp - into it because she was the person who taught me to embroider when I was about 10 years old. We used to call her Olive Oyl behind her back. I think she knew though and got a chuckle out of it. But she was tall and thin, so the name kind of fit her. BTW, the pitcher in the background was hers. She liked collecting things like that and some of it became mine when she passed away. I'm going on the hunt now for a small frame or may make it into a needlebook of some sort and display it amongst my red transferware.
After I got that done, I went back to Shores and made a little progress. I'm dreading all the fill-in I'm going to come across with the grass and the water. But I'll keep plugging along and as incentive have picked out my next piece to do. I should pick up Cape Cod Girls again, but you know, I seem to have another case of startitis (or crafting ADD) and am using the new project as incentive to get this fill-in done on Block #3. We've got to do what we can to keep ourselves going, right?
Not too much else went on this week. I did make another road trip (well, actually was doing stuff I had to do and stumbled on a few sales out in the country). My periodontist appointment was cancelled on Wednesday, they prescribed more antibotics (I should be immune from anything for a while) and have an appointment next Tuesday. Nothing like putting off the agony! Anyway, in my travels this week I came across a couple things. I think I'm going to have to do this more often because I live right on the border of the country and there always seems to be some estate sale, some farm closure or just plain old garage sales going on. Of course, what was suppose to be a maybe one hour errand run, turned into an all day affair!

These pictures are kind of washed out. Probably should have shot the pics outside because this really is a deep black. This old plate shelf (at least that was how it was described to me) was a must have when I saw it. Not only was it black, but will fit perfectly in what little wall space I have in my kitchen. And it's in pretty good shape so I don't think I'll have to do anything to it. Just find a plate. I love the knobs on the drawers.

Then I found this little piece. I think that I may paint this another color as I'd like to use it in my craft room for hanging smalls (of which I'll probably do a lot more of now that I've gotten over my fear of one-over-one!).

I also found a great map print that I'll post another time. It will look great in our family room. I can't seem to get a good picture of it because it's framed. I don't like the frame, so it needs to be taken out of that and put into something else. A project for this week!
I stopped myself there. DH has been lifting his eyebrow at me a lot with all these purchases. He knows I've been on the hunt for an antique sideboard for my dining room, but I keep coming home with all this other stuff! Oh well, it's fun!
That's about it. Have to get ready for my niece's communion! Hope you have a great weekend and week and thanks again for all the comments! I really like hearing from everyone.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Space Invaders, Stitching and more Tooth Drama

Well, it's been one of those weeks! The space invaders I'm referring to are DH and the kids - they were home all week. Talk about cramping my style! LOL Well, not really - we've had a good time going to movies, out to eat, etc. DH and DS have gotten in some quality golfing time and DD and I have gotten in some quality shopping time. Shopping with a 12 year old is like being put into a revolving door whose speed has been stepped up to warp speed. Man, can that girl shop! LOL Makes my head spin!! She's adorable though. She'll hold something up to me and say, "This would look good on you mom" and I have to laugh under my breath because I'd be lucky to get my right breast into it! LOL It has been fun, but not a lot of stitching time for me (or as much as I would have hoped).

I worked a little bit more on Cape Cod Girls. Siobhan blew me out of the water on this one! Working on this gave me a little bit of heartburn because it wasn't until I was on the "they have" line (and seeing Siobhan's finished one) that I realized that I did a major screw up on the top. The background under the curley cues at the top were suppose to have alternating colors - one for each curley cue. I'm using the creative license thing and not changing it!

April 15th was looming so I started on Block 3 of Houses to fulfill my monthly requirement. Have I ever mentioned that I hate stitching with white thread? Yep, I do. But the house is coming along. I've really been wondering if I'll actually get through this entire thing. I wouldn't place any bets on it. I love the design and hope that by treating each block as a small project, I'll make it through. I had a wee bit of incentive the other day to keep going when I received my sampler guild's newsletter mentioning that Kathy Barrick is once again coming to our Guild next June and teaching another class! This coincides with when we were suppose to have our respective HoHR pieces finished. But again, a small incentive for me - would love to have it finished, but would not suggest anyone place bets on me getting it done.

During the week while the kids were off with my DH, I started actually going through my craft room and purging out what I know that in a million years I will not use. My tooth had started acting up again, DH got the kids out of my hair because I was just a miserable grump, and I had to find something to do. My dentist has now recommended me to a periodontist. Looks like the tooth is going to have to be pulled. But here's the kicker. It seems that there has been an inflection in there for quite some time and has disintegrated the bone. I never felt a thing - the tooth never swelled up around it, never hurt or anything. How my old dentist missed it would be interesting to figure out. The root had cracked and infection set in. The new dentist asked me if I was going to be in town for awhile! Yikes. Sounds like I did something crimimal and can't leave town. Well, seems like I'm going to have the tooth pulled, bone grafts done and an implant. Six month of extreme fun! NOT! Wednesday is my first appointment with the periodontist. Wish me luck!!

Anyway, while I wasn't feeling too good and the house was quiet (before the penicillin kicked in) I decided to get into that craft room. First thing I'm tackling are my bookcases. These are before my attack - you don't want to see what it looks like now - I've got a huge mess going on:

This cabinet holds all my quilting patterns, Sew News magazines (which are going to go to a good home), and miscellaneous things - decorating books, etc. Just spending a little time down there I found some great things - like old issues of Folk Art Magazine that I didn't know I had (and don't even think they're publishing it anymore), great papercutting patterns (something I keep saying I'm going to try), rug hooking, oil painting books (yeah, used to do that too). I really wish I'd gone through these last fall - I could have spent our nasty winter holed up actually trying out some of this stuff.

A few of my first, rather primitive attempts at oil painting.

Then we have the second cabinet (need to lose the ironing board in the picture). This cabinet is filled with cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting and crochet books. I seriously need to downsize. All the binders hold cross stitch patterns. I would be embarrassed to reveal just how many are in there (and there are quite a few, well more than a few, that still need to be filed because I ran out of binders and space). The top shelf of binders hold the cute, but no longer on my radar screen, Alma Lynne, Gloria and Pat books - you know, those cutesy country patterns. DD is going to go through them and then rest I'm going to donate or Ebay. Haven't decided what to do. To the right of the cupboard is a walk in closet. You don't want to see that - there is a whole other thing going on in there.

So anyway, I have a lot of stuff to do. I'm revamping the room, but figured it was best to purge first, before I have to completely empty the room and paint, get my worktable in there, etc. I know it's going to take me a while, but it has been fun finding treasures I forgot I had.
So that was my week. Hope everyone has a great weekend and gets a lot of stitching done!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tooth Aches, A Finish and a Road Trip

Happy Friday everyone! I'm glad it's Friday. It's been a good week and a bad week!

First off, I have to thank Karen for posting her finish of the La-D-Da Tiny Sampler a week or so ago. She made it into a little tin pin finish. She was gracious to offer the pattern to people who wanted it. Well, any freebie is my freebie and I printed it off and worked on it this week. It's in a 1-1/2 inch tin pin.
The reason I can't thank her enough is that this little sampler saved my stitching self this week. Last weekend I started to get a toothache. Monday morning I woke up and it seemed like it was going away. NOT! By the late afternoon, my tooth was screaming (of course, too late to get to the dentist). If I walked it screamed, if I bent my head to stitch it screamed. It was awful. So I medicated myself with some high strength Motrin and got through until the next day. I was going to take some Vicodin left over from my son's wisdom teeth extractions, but he had told me he saw pink elephants in his sleep while taking that so I decided not to go that route! But I wanted to stitch! This little sampler saved the day because I put the fabric into some baby Q-Snaps and could hold my head up and stitch right in front of my face (putting my face down caused more throbbing even though the piercing pain had subsided). A trip to the dentist solved the problem (flushing and antibiotics) and I hope that's over with. Although the Dr. thinks I cracked a root. That will be seen next week! So thank you, thank you Karen for saving me this week!!

By Wednesday, my pity party was over. Toothache gone and normal stitching could begin. I finished up the Tiny Sampler that night and then I started Cape Cod Girls yesterday.
The colors are a little washed out in this pic, but it's such a fun stitch. I'm stitching this along with Siobhan. I think she's a bit further along than I am. I'll probably work on this for today and then put it aside to work on the City Stitcher A&E for the weekend.

Wednesday I was feeling so good I went on a road trip. We have a town near us called Holly and the town is full of antique and prim stores. I shouldn't have gone. I kind of went nuts. I probably felt I deserved a reward for battling all that tooth pain (any excuse is a good one, don't you think?). Plus I usually do some kind of road trip every month. Sometimes I come back with goodies. Sometimes I just have a good drive - looking at the scenery and singing to the songs on the radio. In the fall, I load up on donuts and cider and drive around and look at all the colors. With the weather the way it's been around here this winter though, I've pretty much just holed myself up in the house. So, yes I guess I went a little nuts, but I had to catch up.

This was my first find. A clock cabinet minus the clock. Someone had tacked a quilt square into the opening. Well, my first thought was to get that quilt block out of there and have a piece of glass inserted and then a piece of needlework. A sampler perhaps? Yes, a sampler and I think I have the perfect one in mind. Maybe Ellen Birdseye? May require some tweaking, but I think it would be perfect. The cabinet has two small shelves behind the door that will be perfect for smalls. But I'm going to use this as a side table in my family room. My FIL is very handy with woodworking and I'm going to have him extend the base and the top (as the depth of this is rather narrow) and VOILA, a decorative side table.

My second find was this key case. You can't see the key holders as they're hidden by the cross bar. I was going to hang this by the back door because DH is always losing his keys, but I think it would look better in my craft room. Besides, my DH is never known to put anything where it's suppose to go, so putting it by the back door for his use would be futile! LOL So it will probably end up in my craft room. I think I'm going to give the inside of this a paint job though.

Then I found this Angel plate. I love Angel stuff. I was originally looking around for Red Transferware (didn't find anything), but I fell in love with this.

And I just had to have this Angel! Isn't she sweet? I believe the owner of the shop - Dawn (who also has a blog - makes these dolls. I just couldn't pass her up. By the way, Dawn's prices are very, very reasonable, otherwise I wouldn't have bought half this stuff. Check out her blog. She is happy to mail things!Then I found this punched tin bowl. I think it will look great with some candles in it lit up for the holidays (or anytime I think). I loved the hearts cut into the sides.

Then I found this picture frame. Couldn't pass it up. Don't know what I'll use it for, but I'm sure that I'll find some small sampler to put into it. That was another thing I wanted to look around for was old picture frames. Our community is having a picture framing classes and I think it's about time I learned how to do this. I don't frame half my stuff just because of the expense.

I also found this old carpenter's tool box. It's good sized - about 2 feet across. I was originally going to put this out on my porch with some potted plants, but I'm thinking that I've got better uses for it in my craft room. Time will tell after I do my craft room over!

And last but not least, I thought I'd take a picture of this door molding that I found on a previous roadtrip. I loved it when I saw this with the stars and glass door handles attached. A cute idea. Again, designated for my made-over craft room when I finally get my butt in gear and tackle that beast!
As I write this, Terri is probably on her way up to Holly Hill. There is a funny story behind this. She was going to call me to go up with her today, not knowing that I had already gone up there. We must have been on the same wavelength this week! When I got home that day and started going through the blogs I follow, I found out she was planning a visit to HHP on Friday! I called her and told her I felt like I was going through a Twilight Zone moment. It would have been fun to go up with her, but maybe the next time! I was tempted - Dawn said she was getting more stuff in last night, but I think I've done enough damage for this week. I'm anxious to see what finds Terri came across there!
Well, that's about it. My kids are off today and all of next week. Should be an interesting week. I'll be able to stitch in the mornings and listen to the two of them go at each other in the afternoons. You know how those teens and 'tweens are! Do love them to death though!
Thanks again for all your comments! I love reading them. I feel like I've made a lot of friends all over the world! I hope that each one of you has a safe, peaceful and happy Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another Small Finish and More Snow

I think I'm starting to love these smaller projects. Almost instant gratification compared to all those BAPS I normally work on.

Adam and Eve
Examplars From The Heart
32 count Vintage Country Mocha
GAST Threads

I finished Examplars From The Heart's Adam and Eve this weekend. This was a fun and quick stitch. The pattern called for 40 ct something-or-other, which I didn't have. I had this left over piece of the VCM from the Mermaid Sampler, so decided to use that.

At first I was put off by some of the colors used (yes, I know, I can use creative license and change them), but the more I stitched it, I began to love the kind of wonkiness to it. The colors are actually really vivid. I did make one change - A&E were to be stitched in Porcelain, but I didn't have that thread, so I subbed Wild Oats. Seems appropriate for those two - sowing their wild oats in the garden, don't you think? The picture is a little washed out though. I don't know what's going on with my camera today. Picture taking usually works out so much better outside, but today isn't the day to go outside for picture taking. Because it looks like this:

Yep, another six inches of snow fell last night! It is April 6th, isn't it? Usually by this time, I'm starting to see my hydrangeas pushing up little bits of green, but nothing yet. I did notice the trees have some little buds though, so that's encouraging. I'm sure this won't be around long because it's going to be 50 again in a couple of days. I do love snow, but not this late in the season! Some schools got the day off - not ours (mom secretly chuckles here). My kids were so bummed!
Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday and Not Much to Talk About

Well, it's Friday and there's not too much to report. It's raining and nasty and they're predicting some snow on Monday! I'm still waiting for Spring. Thank goodness I'm not holding my breathe! Rain is fine - the flowers come up and all, but it's also just warm enough around here that when I opened the garage door this morning to run some errands I was met with a multitude of huge earthworms! UGH. Needless to say, there were some squashed worms out there! Couldn't avoid running over them! As my kids would say, "EUWWWW, Worm Guts".

Anyway, you will notice the Noah's Ark piece above. I came across this in a stack of things that I have done and never framed. In the bottom corner it says Sunset Designs (are they still around?) and the date is 1978! Yes, I hang my head sadly. I think that back then I didn't frame things like I do today, I would shove them in whatever frame I could find and do it myself (read mounting them on that sticky board stuff and popping in a frame). So this was just hanging around - never framed. But I've decided that I'm going to frame this (no sticky board, I promise) - it's almost vintage, don't you think? I would love eventually to do a Noah wall too, so I guess this will be the first piece. Oh, I take that back. I do have another one.

It's Noah's Ark by The City Stitcher. I stitched this up when I discovered I was pregnant with my son (although I didn't know I was having a son - I like surprises). It hung in my son's room for quite awhile until he told me he was too old for that sort of thing, removed it from his wall and hung up some kind of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame poster! It now resides in my craft room. So, I guess I have a small start on the sampler wall.

Stitching was sketchy this week even though I was going to be greedy again, but didn't quite make it. The wonky A&E is almost finished, but I'll post when done. I made a little bit of progress on the City Stitcher A&E, but pretty much just the tree - no leaves, so I'll wait to post that too until later.
I did get a little restless though and started another sampler (explains why nothing else is done) - The Elizabeth Townsend Sampler from the JCS Chester County Collection book. I definitely must suffer from Stitcher's ADD! LOL
(Excuse the flash in the picture - there's glass on the front and it's too wet to take it outside). It's the big one - with the blues. I am a sucker for the color blue. This is all I've gotten done though:
I would have gotten further, but I have been toying around with plys of thread, etc. This was stitched on a 25ct over two originally. UGH! I can't do that. I found a nice piece of 36 Lentil in my stash and started, but I used two threads. Mainly because the whole bottom of this piece (the mounds at the bottom of the picture) are satin stitched and you have to do that with at least two threads, so I wanted the piece to have a consistency to it. Well, I've finally decided on one strand for the top (the motif where my thread is coming out is one thread) and two stands for the satin stitch and I think that will be fine. So I had to spend time frogging out everything I had done and starting over, so you can't stitch when you're frogging!

That's about it. I'm looking forward to the weekend (plopping my butt down for the NCAA playoffs - I don't watch - I stitch, but if everyone else is sitting so am I) and seeing what DH cooks up for us in the way of food. Yeah, I'm still a little miffed about the TV, especially as this week another appliance went nuts. The self cleaning portion on one of my ovens went kapooie! DH said you'll have to get some oven cleaner and clean it out. I told him that when he was at Costco he could pick some up and get some rubber gloves that fit his hands! LOL

Thanks to everyone for stopping by my blog and leaving me a comment. I really get tickled by what everyone has to say! And have a really great weekend (and stitch a lot)!