Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What UFO???

Yesterday was UFO Tuesday, and I was supposed to dutifully stitch on Adia. But I was delinquent and went to a wine and cheese tasting instead. Afterward, I had dinner with a girlfriend at a wonderful Indian restaurant and by the time I got home, it was too late for stitching. Maybe I'll pull Adia out tonight.

Monday wasn't much better for me on the stitching front. I really didn't do much, even though I had the day off. I was tired of BAPs after working all weekend on Castles Sampler, so I started an ornament instead. No pics yet though.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stitchathon Update

This past weekend was the monthly stitchathon and I chose to work on Castle Sampler. One of my goals this month was to complete the castle in the center panel, and I thought I could do it if I worked on it over the weekend. I ended up discovering some mistakes, both my own and charting errors, so had to frog a couple of times. Despite the setback, I managed to complete the castle and the inner border. The castle and figures both required lots of color changes and backstitching, which slowed my progress considerably. Now that those areas are completed, I'm hoping this project will move along a bit more quickly.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

SBQ - Week of 2/15

This weeks�s SBQ was suggested by Heather:

Comment on your comments (giving and receiving): Do you love comments or hate them? Do you check them every day, never check them, or find them helpful? And finally, are you convinced no one is reading your blog if you don�t get any?

I love comments! My intention in creating this blog was to write it for myself, as a sort of stitching journal. As I started receiving comments, I realized what a great motivator it is to know that there are other stitchers out there who are interested in this stuff. Let's face it-- no one understands this little obsession better than other stitchers. BF shows proper enthusiasm for my stitching and watches happily as "squishy mail" arrives, but he cares only because it's something that makes me happy. But other stitchers GET IT in a way that non-stitchers never will. I

also like to leave comments for other stitchers. There's so much beautiful and inspiring work being done, and I'm always happy to cheer other folks on.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I think I've been staying on track this week with my stitching, although I haven't felt all that productive. Maybe it's the lack of Happy Dances this month. Most of my February stitching has been on BAPs and I'm not having many finishes to celebrate right now. Maybe it's time for another ornament.

Monday was the TW SAL, and I dutifully pulled out Castle Sampler. One of my goals for this month is to finish the center panel, and I think I am on track for that.

On Tuesday I worked on my UFO. I was tired of fiddling with beads, so I worked on her wing instead. There's a ton of blending filament and metallic braid in the wings, which made the stitching go quite slowly.

With my SAL commitments out of the way, I was able to spend some time working on Robert's Stocking. I'm happy to report that it is going much more smoothly now after all of the frustration I had earlier with restarting it. I took the photo below before last night's stitching session and have nearly finished the sleeve.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I came home yesterday to find a little package waiting for me. It was my Valentine exchange gift from Jackie in Australia. How exciting!!! Inside was the most darling treat bag, beautifully stitched and embellished with tiny beads and pearls, and a tiny cupid charm. The photo truly does not do it justice.

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And there were goodies inside! There was a piece of Cherub Pink jobelan (how appropriate for Valentine's Day!), a tiny tin of mints, and two skeins of Dinky Dyes floss in yummy colors. I'm very excited about the floss, as I have not yet tried anything from Dinky Dyes.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I can share!!

I just received word this morning that the Valentine exchange gift that I stitched for Jackie has arrived. Now I can share some pictures!

The design is "Have a Heart," a freebie by Just Nan. The pattern is for the heart on the front of the needlebook only-- I adapted the rest. After completing the heart design, I stitched a square border around it. I did the same border on the back and used part of the pattern to create the motifs in the corners. This was my first attempt at making a needlebook and I was quite happy with the way that it turned out.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Starting over... yet again

So, the third time's the charm, right? At least, I hope that's the case. If not, I'm in real trouble, as I have started Robert's Stocking AGAIN. Yep, that's 3 times I've started it since first beginning last Friday.

When I first started the stocking on the 20 ct. fabric, I used 6 strands of floss. The pattern calls for perle cotton, but I'm not a fan of the heavy gauge perle and decided to try regular DMC instead. I used 4 strands and was happy with the coverage on 20 ct.

Then came the fabric change to 18 ct. and the subsequent restart. Since the stitches were a bit larger, I decided to use 6 strands. I put in a couple of hours working on it Wednesday evening. Last night, when I picked it back up to work on it some more, I realized that I really didn't like the 6 strand coverage. It was just too bunchy for my taste and was a pain to stitch with. I did a test swatch with only 4 strands and liked it better. So yep, that's right-- I frogged everything I did on Wednesday night and started again, this time with 4 strands. The bad news is that I've started the same project 3 times. The good news is that I am much happier with it on the new fabric with only 4 strands.

I'm really starting to wonder about my sanity.

This weekend, "they" are calling for SNOW. Blech!! BF and I will be at my place in the country, which is supposed to get a bit more of the white stuff than predicted here in Northern VA. Sometimes I have 'work' to do around the house when we're out there, but there's really nothing pressing for this trip. My plan is to prop my feet up and stitch, and generally enjoy being away from the metro area for the weekend.

I'll be participating in a "24-hour Challenge" this weekend, where I am supposed to choose a design to complete in 24 hours. I love these quick finishes and am looking forward to this month's challenge. My project will be a design that I'm stitching for an upcoming St. Patrick's Day exchange. I'm not entirely sure that I can finish it in 24 hours time, but I won't have much to distract me this weekend, so there may be hope. Of course, it is only the stitching that will be done over the weekend-- the finishing will be another story all together!

No word yet on the Valentine Exchange that I sent out. I keep hoping it will arrive at its destination, so that I can share some pictures.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Crisis Averted... sort of

First, I want to thank Susimac and Cindy for the excellent suggestions. Unfortunately, the fabric I already started on is definitely 20 ct. linen, not evenweave. :( I have no idea what the "pearl" linen is, although I know Silkweaver has it. I'm pretty sure that's not what I have though.

I ended up making an "emergency" run to the LNS at lunchtime today. While there, I found out that they didn't have 20 ct. linen. The woman who was working at the LNS today actually seemed convinced that it couldn't possibly be 20 ct. LINEN and said simply that it must have been mislabeled. Of course, that was because the original piece of fabric did not come from their shop. If it had, I'm sure the "20 ct. Natural Linen" tag would have been deemed correct. LOL She insisted that what I have at home *must* be 18 ct., since 20 ct. apparently does not exist. Even the colors were not quite right-- but of course I couldn't be 100% sure, because I did not have the fabric in question with me.

I was quite anxious to get back to work on Robert's Stocking and didn't want to take any chances, so I purchased 2 pieces of 18 ct. Natural Linen. I figured that the best case scenario would be that the 20 ct. was indeed mislabeled, and I'd simply have an extra piece of fabric. Nothing wrong with that!

I brought the new fabric home and laid it out next to what I had already started. Indeed, they were not the same fabric. The color was off ever so slightly, and the count... definitely not the same. I measured the fabric I already had, and it is absolutely 20 ct. linen. My best guess is that it's a fabric that has been discontinued. That wouldn't exactly be a surprise, since I've had this fabric for at least 7 years or so. ;)

Not wanting the pair of stockings to not quite match, I went ahead and started over on the new fabric. I'm not thrilled about this, but it's really the only practical solution. I could find different fabric in the same count, or 18 ct. linen in a color that was just barely off. I knew that no one would notice the difference, but it would bother me forever. So, I started over. And here it is...

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I haven't caught up to where I left off, but it's not too bad for an evening's work. Especially when that evening consisted of a lovely dinner with wine, flowers and candles before I started stitching. And no, there was no 'special occassion,' it was simply a Wednesday night, and I love to cook! It just didn't leave much time for stitching.

Quelle Horreur!

I don't know why my high school French teacher suddenly popped into my head, but there it is. The first thing I thought when I realized what I think may be a boo-boo on my latest stitching project.

First, a little background--

I purchased patterns for a pair of Shepherd's Bush stockings YEARS ago. I think my intent was to make them for my ex-husband and myself. We split up in March of 2000, which should give you an idea of how long I've had these patterns sitting around, collecting dust. That's six years, in case you haven't had your morning coffee yet. Stitching just one for myself seemed a little lame, and unfortunately, my parents both passed away before I could do a pair for them. So the patterns sat some more, until I rediscovered them late last year.

In my enthusiasm for the Stocking Project of 1990-something-or-other, I bought the fabric to start. But, I only got the fabric for ONE STOCKING. (Do you want to guess where this is going? LOL) My rationale was that I would purchase the second piece after finishing the first stocking. It made sense at the time, really it did.

Fast-forward 7 or 8 years (maybe more!), and here I am with a single piece of 20 ct. Natural Linen that I can't seem to find a mate for. I looked at my usual online shops and could find 18 ct., 19 ct. and even 22 ct. linen... but no 20 ct. I have no idea who the manufacturer of my fabric is, as the label just has a hand-written note designating the count and color.

I was really looking forward to working on the stocking again this evening. But there's no sense stitching any further on it if I am not able to get the same fabric for a second stocking.

Oh darn... I guess that means I'll have to go to the LNS on my lunch break. Again!! LOL

Monday, February 06, 2006

February Goals

I should have posted these goals sooner-- I've already met a couple of them!

1. Start & finish St. Patrick's exchange project
2. Complete castle in center panel of Castle Sampler
3. Stitch on UFO (Adia) at least once each week.
4. Finish one FUFO - finished two on 2/5
5. Start SB's Robert's Stocking - started 2/5
6. Stitch two ornaments - finished one on 2/2

The only goal I've met that hasn't already been posted here is Robert's Stocking. I started it Saturday and worked a bit more on it last night. It's done over 2 threads on 20 ct. natural linen.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

February FUFOs

Since it was the first weekend of the month, it was time to assemble another FUFO. I'm trying to reduce my pile of completed stitching that needs some type of finishing by doing at least one finishing project each month. This month, I decided to make a flat-fold using a Cherished Teddies Easter project that I stitched several years ago. I found some adorable Easter egg printed fabric that was perfect for the backing.

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I also finished a box top that I stitched in 1999 from a Daydreams kit. The stitching was finished long ago-- all I had to do was sponge paint the box top (something I've never done before) and attach the ribbon and stitching.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

I couldn't do it

After posting yesterday that I was heading to Michael's and walking out the door of my office... I couldn't do it. I literally talked myself out of it on the short walk from my office to the car. My first thought was that my shoes weren't the most comfortable. And who wants to trek through Michael's in uncomfy shoes? Not me.

Then, I heard a little voice in my head telling me that Michael's probably wouldn't have all of the floss colors anyway. They never do. (Was that you, Carol? LOL) Besides, this is a perfect excuse for a lunchtime trip to the LNS! :) Sure, the DMC a little more, but the shopping experience is much nicer, and you never know what other goodies might be there. Remember the $75 spool of Kreinik? ;)

Image hosting by PhotobucketSince I didn't get the DMC that I needed on the way home yesterday, I decided to work some more on Britty Christmas Kitty. I did a tiny happy dance last night around 8:30 when I finsihed it. It's tiny-- about 1 3/4" x 1 3/4". I haven't decided yet how I will finish it, though I really do like the little pillow ornament that they did in JCS.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Off to the dreaded Michael's

As everyone knows by now, I do not have a happy relationship with Michael's craft stores. Going there just irritates me to no end. Unfortunately, they are a necessary evil from time to time. So go there I must... as soon as I leave work today. I'm not much for running errands on my way home, and Michael's rates somewhere below stopping at the grocery store after work. Really, I dislike it that much. But I'm out of several floss colors for Adia and probably won't get much more accomplished on it until I get the missing bits.

Wish me luck!! LOL

January Goal Review-- and a small start

I'm happy to say that I met all of my goals in January. I haven't yet set my goals for February, but I think they may include starting one of the SB stockings that I have planned for BF and me.

1. Finish Santa's Magic - completed January 2
2. Start and finish Valentine exchange piece - done and mailed
3. Start and finish Quaker Diamond - completed January 6
4. Complete Snow Wonderful - completed January 16
5. Assemble one FUFO - assembled 2 - Bee My Honey & Spring Morning
6. Spend some time on Spanish Geometrical Sampler - worked on during stitch-athon weekend
7. Finish UFO Mother's Love needleroll - completed & assembled

Image hosting by PhotobucketI didn't feel like working on anything large last night, so I decided to start a new ornament. I chose Britty Christmas Kitty, from the 2005 JCS ornaments issue. The poor creature is still headless at the moment, but I think I made pretty good progress. I'm stitching it over one on 28 ct. Queen Anne's Lace hand-dyed jobelan.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Neglected UFO

I woke up feeling lousy yesterday, so called in sick to work. Nothing serious, just one of those days and I'm fine now. And of course I wasn't too sick to stitch!

Now you'd think with a whole day just to put my feet up and stitch, on a TUESDAY, that I would have made all sorts of progress on my official UFO, Adia. Wrong! I meant to... really, I did. But I had pulled out Castle Sampler for my Monday TW stitch-along and I just couldn't put it down.

Lately I've been working on the Castle in the center panel. I've made pretty good progress and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I got a bit bored with that and switched to the inner border for a while. That's one of the reasons I love stitching TW designs-- lots of variety!!! And I truly enjoy working those borders.

The photo below was taken before I stopped working for the night. I've completed the inner border across the top, and am now working my way down the right side.

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And I promise I'll work on Adia again soon!!