Tuesday, April 28, 2009
First, I really need to tell about something that has still has me speechless. I have a dear online friend that lives miles and miles away. I'll probably never get to meet her in person, but she still touches my life in so many ways. I received a box the other day from my favorite needlework shop, and it contained the following gifts from this wonderful friend. (she made me cry)
1. Hummingbird w/accessory pack - The Victoria Sampler
2. Living Free w/accessory pack - The Victoria Sampler
3. M is for Mother w/accessory pack - The Victoria Sampler
4. Snow Sisters w/carrot noses & buttons - Wildflower Stitchery & More
5. Sparky & Friend w/carrot nose & buttons - Wildflower Stitchery & More
6. The Vally of Peace - Thomas Kincade
How do you say thank you and make it sound as grateful as you feel? And what do you do to repay someone for this much kindness? My last purchase of anything cross stitch was the JCS Ornament issue and I can't even remember what it would have been before that. This package certainly made me feel special :) With all that said I had to stitch one as soon as it arrived and after I found the perfect fabric in my stash for it.(Can you guess which one? see below)
Garden season has started, and I've been spending some time getting things planted, plus getting the garden ready for all the seedlings that will need to be put in soon. The garlic is growing nicely, the onions are doing well, and so is the rhubarb. The peas are peaking out after being in the ground since Easter weekend, and I'm impatiently waiting for them to really grow! I'll be putting more onions and potatoes out today, and will try to get the Swiss chard and lettuce planted.
We've had a few days of 90(F) degree weather, and the nights have unseasonably warm. It has been nice for hanging out clothes and the weather has made things bloom quickly. Sadly, today is the last day of this weather, and we are going to see a 20-30 degree drop in daytime temps starting tomorrow. I'm worried that we are going to see frosts that are going to hurt the plants in bloom. That would be awful for the apples and berries that had a quick awakening.
DS was accepted at all the colleges he applied to, and has finally decided on the one that he wants to attend. Surprisingly, it's quite close, so we'll get to see him more than expected. He was looking at a few outside the state, so this was a very nice surprise!
The paperwork that we needed to do has been ...ummm... interesting. As a homeschooling mom, I've come to appreciate all the the school district did when I went to college :) We've made it though, and after the evaluations this year, my son will be officially graduated, and then we send off the end paperwork for his state approved diploma. YAY! He made it!
I ended up with an abscessed tooth, which put me down for a while. Between the pain and the antibiotics that made me sick, I had a bit of time to stitch since I couldn't do much else. So I have a few finishes to post :)
I had promised to post a picture of my Helga Mandl and Barbara Anna SAL, and totally forgot to put it up. I'm not quite as thrilled with it as I thought I'd be when the SAL first started. My problem is that I need a picture to make sense. At first this one did, but as I stitched the other parts, it felt more like a bunch of cute pictures thrown together without any type of a story behind it. I tried and tried to make sense of it, but haven't been able to. If someone knows or has any suggestions of how it all ties together, I'd appreciate hearing from you. You know, it's funny. I never knew why I picked what I do to stitch until doing this piece.
My goal was to get 4 WIPs/UFOs finished this year. I'm going to make that and pass it. For some reason, I'm really drawn to finishing things from "The Box" that holds those pieces that have been put aside for one reason or another.
This finish is called "Sneak Zucchini Nite" and was a free chart from Just Another Button Company with the purchase of the buttons. The Needlecraft Corner had the whole kit on clearance last year that cost about the same as just purchasing the buttons. Well, since it was such a reasonable price this design just had to be stitched for our home! There has always been a standing joke in our area, that when you are tired of your squash, you would sneak and leave it on your neighbor's porch to get rid of it. :) Thus, the reason it just HAD to be stitched. This design was stitched on 30 ct. R&R No Longer Blue linen. I started it last summer, and had put it aside thinking I'd have it finished by August.
I pulled out another UFO - SanMan Originals "Blooms", and was happily stitching away, when I realized that I was going to run out of thread for the lettering. No where in the instructions did it state that I would need 2 skeins of thread, and now the thread is discontinued. I did find another skein, but being hand-dyed, there was a BIG difference in the thread colors. I matched up the orange but got very frustrated, and tossed it back in the UFO pile. The worst part is I don't even like the color of the lettering threads and it doesn't look like the colors at all on the chart. The chart doesn't show any orange in it that I can see. Oh well.
This is probably on of my favorite finishes so far this year. It's "Hummingbird" from The Victoria Sampler and is stitched on Silkweaver's Potpourri 28ct. Jobelan. I've had the fabric in my stash for a long time. It was a piece that I got from the FOTM club (that was QUITE a while ago!) This piece was a real joy to stitch. I decided to leave off the word "Hummingbird" that went along the bottom left under the branch.
After that lovely new stitch, I went back to the WIP/UFO pile, and pulled out the Bent Creek Monthly Snappers. This makes my 7th finish on that piece - only 5 more to go!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Needles: 3.25 mm
Gauge: 11 sts = 2" in st st
CO 44 sts.
K2P2 ribbing for 8 rows
Work heel of choice. I worked the heel on 20 stitches because my daughter has a narrow heel. To set up the heel, first I knitted across, then purled the next row. I chose the partridge eye for mine and was knit as follows:
Row 1: (Slip 1, k1) across row. turn
Row 2: sl 1, purl the rest of the stitches in row. This is the wrong side.
Do these 2 rows for 2 1/2".
To turn heel - you'll be working over the middle 10 stitches.
Row 1: Knit 15, ssk, turn.
Row 2: sl 1, purl 10, p2 together, turn
Row 3: sl 1 knit 10, p2 tog. turn
Repeat these 2 rows until you have 10 stitches left on needle. End with a purl row.
Pick up 15 stitches on each side. Decrease every other round until you end up with 44 stitches. I had to rearrange stitches to make them even again so that my toe would decrease evenly on each side of foot.
Since my daughter has a size 7.5 foot (US measurement) I knitted for 7-1/2 inches total foot length.
For toe - decrease 1 round, knit 2 rounds.
Row 1: decrease 1 round
Row 2 knit 1 round
Repeat the two rows until 16 stitches remain.
Graft toe closed.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.
“While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It’s on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you’d be mad at having to do it again.”
She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
“Where is your little brother right now?”
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.
She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear–he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.
Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!
She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, “I love Mommy,” surrounded by a heart.
Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
1. Sue Hillis - Flurries (12-4-07)
2. Prairie Schooler - Summer Ornament (12-11-07)
3. Hillside Samplings - Letter Snow! (12-14-07)
4. House-Mouse Designs -A Mother's Work (12-29-07)
5. Heart-in-Hand - February Monthly Mania (12-30-07)
6. Lorri Birmingham - Girl with Bunny (1-2-08)
7. Lois M. Bear - From the Heart Needleroll (1-7-08)
8. Emily Jagos - Kiss Dishcloth (1-27-08)
9. Be My Dishcloth (2-03-08)
10. Diamonds On Lace Dishcloth (2-04-08)
11. Emily Jagos - Gingerbread Man Dishcloth (02-05-08)
12. Patriotic Regia Socks (2-7-08)
13. Elizabeth Zimmerman - Thick Woodsman's Socks (2-10-08)
14. Valentine Candy Box Dishcloth (2-11-08)
15. Heartstrings Dishcloth (2-11-08)
16. Illusion Kitty Dishcloth (2-12-08)
17. Heart Illusion Dishcloth (2-13-08)
18. Rainbow Boucle Wrap (2-14-08)
19. Emily Jagos - In Like A Lion Dishcloth (2-18-08)
20. Emily Jagos - Out Like a Lamb Dishcloth (2-18-08)
21. Emily Jagos - Steaming Much Dishcloth (2-19-08)
22. Snoopy Washcloth (3-6-08)
23. Zombie Socks (3-14-08)
24. Reversai Socks (4-03-08)
25. Brown House Studio - Full Winter Moon (5-28-08)
26. Sue Hillis - I Love You More (5-30-08)
27. Bent Creek - March Snapper (6-05-08)
28. Bent Creek - January Snapper (6-19-08)
29. Moonlight Slipper Socks (6-23-08)
30. Knitted Scrappy Bathmat (7-20-08)
31. Slippin' Striping Socks (7-29-08)
32. Bent Creek - April Snapper (8-1-08)
33. Bent Creek - June Snapper (8-4-08)
34. CrossStitcher (UK) Captain Jack Sparrow in Sepia (8-19-08)
35. Iowa Cruise Socks (12-30-08)
36. Sue Hillis - Oh The Weather (1-12-09)
37. Prairie Schooler - Autumn Ornament (1-16-09)
38. Prairie Schooler - Winter Ornament (1-20-09)
39. LynnH's Mom's Fast Florida Footies (1-29-09)
Only 61 more to go!! :)
My Helga Mandl and Barbara Ana piece is coming along quite nicely. Here's part three in progress. Sorry for the bad scan. I was just too lazy to take the piece off the q-snaps.
I just finished part 3 but haven't gotten a chance to take a photo yet. I'll have it uploaded soon.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
I have been going through my cross stitch, and came across this little lovely that I started last year with Wonderful XS World group. It was a mystery sampler posted in 4 parts. It was a collaboration design from Helga Mandl and Barbara Anna Designs and is called "Back On the Road Again". I can't remember the reason why, but I had to put it aside, and didn't finish it. I decided to put some stitches in and yesterday, I finished part 2.
Here's what it looked like before I picked it up:
If you'd like to add this really cheerful design to your collection, you can find more information on how to purchase it at Barbara Ana Design website.
I had originally planned on working on the SKP 2009 sock today, but after seeing the directions, it's not a sock to work on while cheering on the Steelers!! I will put it aside for a start tomorrow. It is definitely GORGEOUS!
Friday, January 30, 2009
I am slowly working on this. It's been quite hard with the black Damask. I wish I hadn't switched out the aida, but it's gone and used on something else. The Damask has that shine to it, and the holes aren't as defined as the aida. I had though the shine would look really nice, and although it does, it's not the most fun thing to work with. I had purchased the material on sale, so I still have quite a lot on hand. I'll use it, but not all at once! :)
(I'm posting the above warning in case you are just here for the needlework, and not my opinions.) I listen to Good Morning America every morning and I'm totally astonished with the tips they give to survive the economy. They tell things like, "eat at home", "don't buy just because it's on sale", "don't use your ATM machine all the time", etc. Are Americans that stupid that they can't figure out for themselves that instead of eating out, that a good homemade meal would be cheaper? If you don't need it, don't buy it? I mean, seriously.... why would anyone NEED to be told these things?!!! Maybe with the soaring economy, common sense was lost as well. I keep watching these reports and shaking my head thinking, "Wow! We've been doing this stuff for years." If I don't have the money, I don't buy it. If I don't have the money, we don't eat out, but plan ahead. Don't want to cook tonight? Crock pot it or cook extra on the weekend and freeze it and have home made convenience food.
This morning I about choked when I heard that a family making $90K wasn't doing well. They really needed to cut back, but NEEDED to be told these things. I sure wish we had an income like that! We'd be able to put half of that income in a bank account every year and still live well (by my standards at least!)
Does that mean we are doing without? Heck no! Do we have a lot of debt? Heck no!! When we were married 18 years ago, our income was well under $20K. We had school loans and all the other loans that everyone gets when they get married. We slowly dug out from them all. So when someone says they can't, my answer is... oh yes you can!!!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
My January Socks for SAM7 are completed with a couple days to spare. I ended up making a few modifications to the pattern. I cast on 52 stitches and knitted these with a gauge of 7 stitches to the inch and added 1 purl per side on the sole of the foot. I also found that if I knit the last 1-2 rows of the toe, they made for a smoother graft.
Pattern: "Mom's Fast Florida Footies"
Designer: Lynn DT Hershberger
Yarn: Regia 6 Crazy Colors 5261
I'm really looking forward to February 1st, as I'm a member of the SKP 2009 International group and the first pattern is released then. According to a few members I spoke to that were part of it last year, each sock increases in difficulty, causing you to challenge and improve your knitting abilities. This sounds like it will be fun!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I received such a lovely package in the mail today from Janeth. She sent me Lorri Birmingham's "Spring Blessings".
Thank you so much, Janeth! This was such a wonderful gift and a great pick-me-up!! The best part is it made it here before "Guilt-Free January" is over, so I can start it!! YAY! Now, to dig in my stash and see if I have the perfect fabric for it. I just love this design. :)
After ripping out the sock, my daughter felt guilty for telling me it wasn't tight enough for her. It took a lot of assurance and explaining to her that I'd rather have ripped one out and started over with something that fit, instead of having a pair of socks that sat in her drawer and never worn. I think it finally sunk in. I have the first sock re-knitted (it fits now - YAY!!)and am on the heel of the second one. It will be finished in time for Sock A Month 7.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I did put some stitches in "Wolf Portrait", but not enough to scan yet.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Next up is Dimensions "Wolf Portrait". Here's where it stands now.
According to my records, I haven't worked on it since January of 2008. It's about time that I finish it and get it out of the way. Since my eyes have gotten ummmm... shall we say older?... it's been difficult working on black. I've noticed a real decline this past year, and am patiently waiting for my yearly eye appointment for the announcement that I'll be needing bifocals. I new that day was coming, and was informed last year that this would probably be happening soon. :) Hey - I don't care as long as I can see to stitch! LOL
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Brrrrr... Temps dropped a lot lower than the weather report predicted. At 6am, our thermometer read -20 degrees F. They call for colder temps tonight. We caged the chickens and put them in the basement for the next couple of days. They seem so happy to be warmer!
Prairie Schooler's August Ornament is finished. I'm now getting ready to start Winter. The bell pull is nearing completion and I'm getting anxious to finish it. It's been a WIP for way too long.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Prairie Schooler's Autumn Ornament is shaping up, but as it sits, it could still pass for winter :) Tomorrow should bring an autumn looking piece. I'm really enjoying stitching this, and instead of setting it aside to do something else, I may just jump into the Winter Ornament and finish the bell pull off. I have the cutest little hanger for it. My aunt gave it to me a long time ago. It's a schoolhouse phone message center, but will make a wonderful hanger for this.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
After looking over my WIP/UFO list, I decided to pull out my bell pull. I'm making it out of the seasonal ornament series that Prairie Schooler put out in Just Cross Stitch (2006). Right now, part 3 is looking much more like winter than autumn. :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The Snowman is finished and I'm really quite pleased with him. I changed his mouth, since I just didn't like how it was before. I really like the beads for the flakes. They stand out so much nicer. Now all I need to do is wash and press it, and then finish it off.
I've updated my lists for this year, and am ready to start working from them. As you can see, I won't be hurting for any new stash. I may want some, but as I said before, I don't NEED it.
2009 Total Finished: 1
Sue Hillis Designs - Oh the Weather...- Finished 1-13-09
My UFO/WIPS List (starting with 44 in '09)
Art Ventures Old Sentinel - 15%
Bent Creek - Snappers (12 w/border) - 6 completed plus 1/3 of the border
Carriage House Samplings - The Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
Cross Stitch & Country Crafts North Woods Stocking
CrossStitcher - Wish Upon A Star kit - 99%
Crossed Wing Collection Hummingbird Garden 35%
Curtis Boehringer Needlewomans Murder Mystery
Dawna Barton - Dinner Call - 60%
Diane Arthurs Happy Everything - 60%
DMC The White Bindweed Fairy - 15%
Dimensions - A Bird For All Seasons - 5%
Dimensions - Magic In Motion - 5%
Dimensions - Wolf Portrait - 55%
Drawn Thread Miniature Reversible Sampler
Drawn Thread - Winter Spot - 10%
French Calendar free weekly - 23 of 52 finished
Hearts Delight Noahs Ark Kit - 50%
Helga Mandl and Barbara Ana - Mystery Sampler - 45%
Just Cross Stitch 2001 Ornament Issue Cinnamon Bear 70%
Just Nan First Stitches
Just Nan Last Stitches
Kustom Krafts - 4 Horses of Apocalypse
Kustom Krafts - Fire & Ice
Kustom Krafts - Sofa Cat
Lanarte Romantic Picnic 15%
Lavender & Lace Celtic Spring - 35%
Leisure Arts Noahs Ark Baby Afghan 50%
Magazine pull out Hearts & Flowers
Marquoir Mystery Sampler freebie SAL 3 of 9 finished
Marty Bell - Hideaway Cottage
Pamela Kellogg Cupids Garden Mystery SAL 15%
Pat Rogers Hearts & Lace Sampler 70%
Paula Vaughan - May
Pegasus Pekingese Dogs V. 4 15%
The Prairie Schooler - Seasons Series from JCS - 51%
The Silver Lining Aymars Amber Rose 30%
SMO - Blooms 15%
Sue Lentz - Grandmothers Garden
Sue Lentz - Soft Terra Cotta Pillow
Sweetheart Tree - Olde English Needle Roll - 15%
Sweetheart Tree Teenie Tweenies Spring Has Sprung 30%
Teresa Wentzler Stretch 15%
Teresa Wentzler Under the Evergreen
Vermillion Stitchery - The Holy Family
*Item in fuchsia is my focus piece.
Ok - now how did I get more on my UFO/WIP list than last year, especially since I made some finishes from the list?!!! I guess I just blame Guilt Free January. Yah - that's it! LOL
My Finishes for last year weren't so impressive:
From the Heart Needleroll - Elegant Stitch
Girl & Bunny - Leisure Arts
Full Winter Moon - Brown House Studio
I Love You More - Sue Hillis
Captain Jack in Sepia - CrossStitcher
January Snapper - Bent Creek
March Snapper - Bent Creek
April Snapper - Bent Creek
June Snapper - Bent Creek
I'm looking forward to a much better year this year.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The bear is finished except for a wash and press, then I'll add the silver stars and then frame.
I started Sue Hillis' free Snowman this past week. I got in the mood for stitching something snow themed since it was stormy out. I'm stitching him on 28 ct. light blue Jobelan and have decided that I'm going to replace the snowflakes with beads. Now, I just need to find the right color beads.
We went to visit my MIL yesterday, and on the way, stopped at Jo Ann's Fabrics. I needed to pick up some fabric for the back of my snowman. I'm between making a flatfold or a door hanger. I'm still up in the air about that. I did find some cute fabrics on sale, so I picked up a couple. I'm thinking of using the blue checked for the back of the snowman.
I also bought myself a couple cross stitch kits. They were half price, so how could I resist?
This is Sunset's "New Home". I love birds, and have birdhouses and feeders all over outside, so this called me to put it in my cart.
This is Sunset's "Bag Ladies" and was just so cute, how could I resist?!!
Normally, I'm not big on kits, but when I can pick up a whole kit for about the cost of fabric or a pattern, I'll get it if I really, really like it. With that said, I do hate sorting floss and no matter how good the cost of the kit is, the floss sorting is still painful. :)
I won't be buying much more in the form of stash this year. There's not much I really need, nor much I can really afford. Hobbies are one of those places that get cut back on when things start getting tight. However, I really don't need to say that, as I know many people are cutting back just like I am. I'm planning on doing stash only stitching for the rest of the year. I will buy the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue, and maybe a thread or other other item if I need it to finish a project that's in my stash. Outside of that, no new goodies. My splurge was the two kits and fabric above. And that was only because they were on sale for 50% to 70% off.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I didn't get much done on this yesterday, but he's coming along, slowly. I found that I had the terracotta and the light mahogany switched, and luckily caught it in time. It's all fixed and looking much better now.
I wanted to stitch more today, but have been catching up on email instead. How did I get so far behind? I know - It's called procrastination. I put it off until tomorrow so that I can write a longer letter, then tomorrow comes, and another letter or two comes in for me to answer, and those things just stacked up something awful. Sigh...
DS is home from his trip to the oral surgeon today. He had to have all his wisdom teeth removed. Poor kid. He's enjoying the comfort the pain killers are giving him and sleeping right now. I hope that he won't have much trouble with pain.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Are you stunned yet? :) I know everyone here is!! I sat down this morning and pulled out my kit that I had so much trouble sorting the floss on, and stitched my little heart out. As each family member got up, they stood and stared in disbelief as their mouths hung opened.
"Close your mouth - you look silly."
"But Mom - you're stitching again!"
It's amazing - they must have missed me doing it, as much as I realized this morning that I missed it.
So here is the start of "Wish Upon A Star" by Andree Langhorn. It was the free kit that came with Britian's CrossStitcher magazine issue #194. There's quite a few things I want to stitch out of this issue.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
We brought the new year in quietly.... playing Mario Kart on the Wii until 11:45, then watched Dick Clark bring 2009 in with a glass of sparkling grape juice. Then off to bed we all went. Another year gone, and another full of new promises has arrived.
Today was spent baking scones for breakfast, and then making pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes for dinner. yummmmm! We've got enough for dinner tomorrow and then it's gone. I've taken some time to make a list of things I'd like to accomplish this year, but not resolutions. These are just things I'd like to do, but if I don't, I'm not going to punish myself. That's what I hate about resolutions - I always feel guilty making them because they are usually so hard that I'm bound to fail.
I dug out last year's list, and was quite pleasantly surprised to find that I had actually accomplished more than I thought. Way cool!! Some things that weren't done got shifted to this year's list, but not as many as I thought I would have to.
I've been struggling with not purchasing any new cross stitch stash or any new yarns. It's been a long time since I've purchased any, and knowing some of the stores are having great sales has been making things even harder. I didn't get any $ or stash for Christmas this year, so I'm going through some severe withdrawls. LOL!!!
I pulled out the old issue of the Cross Stitcher magazine that had Captain Jack in it (the one I bought to make for my DD). Anyhow, it had a cute little kit that came with it that has a bear sitting on a rooftop. Well, I had tried, when I purchased the magazine, to separate the threads - and had to put it aside because there were no reference numbers and just names. I didn't even know what brand the threads were, so I couldn't really reference anything. Anyhow, some of those colors were so dang close - and indication of how many lengths of thread went with what color - so I went pretty much blind trying to figure it out. At that time, I packed it all back up and put it away. Today it came back out and all of us sat in the sunlight and FINALLY figured the colors out, but they don't match the model or the photograph on the front of the kit. But we're pretty sure it's correct. Hey - it's going to be anyhow.
Have a wonderful new year! May it be full of blessings and good health.