Wednesday, March 29, 2006

UFO Tuesday... or not

I've been working hard to finish my Spring Exchange project this week, so I skipped working on my UFO last night. I completed the stitching on the exchange piece Monday, and started the assembly yesterday. Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather and didn't get it completed. :( Mailing day is tomorrow, so guess what I'll be doing tonight!

In the meantime, I did a few more stitches on Robert's Stocking. I love how this is turning out, and it's such a nice change from some of my other projects. The photo isn't the best because I laid it out on the kitchen floor (the best place I could find to stretch it out at the time) and got a reflection from the flash.

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And now, a shameless pet picture! I am never able to get good pictures of my little gray kitty. She's very camera-shy and always moves whenever she sees or hears the camera. BF took this pic a couple of days ago, while I was at work.

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Of course, this photo isn't quite what it seems. In the pic, it looks like the two of them are simply taking a little catnap together. In reality, they had just had a fight and Buddy had dislodged little Zoe and taken over her pillow. Normally Zoe spends hours on end on her "throne", looking regal while perched on "her" pillow. That is, until Buddy, the rambunctious boy cat, comes to bug her. I think it's the only time she moves.

Friday, March 24, 2006

This week's SBQ was suggested by Carol:

Have you ever participated in a needlework mystery (i.e., a design that you started before knowing how it will look in the end and by which you receive parts of the design via the internet, magazines, or leaflets at spaced intervals)? If so, why did you decide to do the mystery? What appealed to you about it? Did you enjoy it? If you have not done a mystery, would you ever do one?

I've never participated in a needlework mystery project, and I doubt that I will in the future. Many of the finished designs do appeal to me, especially the Chatelaine designs. Even so, I wouldn't sign up for one. I prefer to know what a design will look like before I commit my time and $$ to stitching it. I would hate to get part of a project done, only to decide that it wasn't something I would choose to stitch outside of the "mystery" project. So, I'll continue to wait and see what the mysteries look like before purchasing any of the patterns.

Slow week?

This feels like it has been a slow stitching week for me. I've had to teach this week, which always wears me out. I've continued to stitch each day but have had less energy and enthusiasm for it over the last few days.

I did my usual bit of UFO stitching on Tuesday, but not enough progress on it to share. I worked a little each day on my Spring Exchange piece also. It's turning out very pretty and the color changes are working out nicely. I'm not entirely sure how I will finish it off once the stitching is done, but I have a few ideas. The problem is, I have too many ideas! This is a design that would lend itself to an assortment of finishing options and it's hard to pick just one. I have to pick one soon, though, as the mailing date is fast approaching. It has to be on its way by Thursday. That's less than a week away!

Since I've been rather tired after work this week, the large stitches of Robert's Stocking really appealed to me. I've been enjoying the little patchwork bit at the bottom of the stocking. I just noticed last night that you can't really see that part on the pattern photo. Of course, Robert is still headless and will probably remain that way until the stitching at the bottom is completed.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

March Stitchathon, or Ranting & Raving

I didn't have time to post over the weekend-- I was too busy stitching! :) It was the monthly stitchathon weekend, and I decided to work on Castle Sampler.

On Friday night, I ran out of DMC 3052, which meant a Saturday morning trip to the dreaded Michael's. I was running low on a few other colors as well and made a list of 10 or 12 colors that I needed. BF and I went out for breakfast and promptly headed to Mic-hell's. (Do you feel some ranting coming on? LOL) I went back to their pitiful needlework section and, much to my surprise, they had most of the colors. But OF COURSE, in typical Mic-hell's fashion, they were out of 3052-- the ONLY one I actually needed!!!

It would be one thing if this was an isolated incident, but it happens nearly every time I try to buy floss at that store. What was even more galling was the fact that they NEVER seem to restock. Weeks, even months, can go by and they are continually out of the same colors. Sadly, it seems to be the location nearest my home that is the worst offender. I've been to the same store in other places, and have never seen one quite as bad as the Reston location.

I spent most of my time in the store muttering like a raving lunatic. BF suggested that we make a mission that morning of finding an alternative craft store for future purchases. As we were setting out, I remembered that Red had mentioned in a comment on a previous post that there was another craft store not too far away. Unfortunately, I remembered "Hobby Lobby in Sterling," while it was actually AC Moore in Ashburn. Oh well... small technicality. LOL

After driving through Sterling, I saw AC Moore and suddenly remembered that was the place we were looking for. The store was quite nice, but quite crowded. It turned out that they were having some sort of "festival" and we had shown up just in time. There were assorted demonstrations going on, though I didn't pay too much attention. I was a woman on a mission. Their flosses were oh-so-neatly organized. None of those silly rotating contraptions that "the other store" has. And here's a shocker... they were FULLY STOCKED. What I didn't realize until I checked out was that they were on sale for .12 each.

Following the great success at AC Moore, I will not be going to that other place again. Oh, happy day!!!

Once we returned home, I settled in for a big weekend of stitching. I didn't keep track of my time, but it was enough that I had "stitcher's fanny" by Sunday night. LOL There were no frog visits, and I was quite pleased with my progress on Castle Sampler. Here's the Before & After:

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

SBQ - Week of 3/15

This week's question is:

Do you stitch "over one?" If so, describe your experiences. If not, have you considered it?

I guess my first over one stitching was back in the '90s, when I did several Cherished Teddies pieces on 22 ct. Hardanger cloth. To me, that was just like stitching on aida cloth, only smaller, so I never really thought about it being over one stitching.

In more recent years, I've progressed to doing over one on linen and evenweave fabrics. The smallest I've done was a tiny sampler over one on 40 ct. gauze. Other things I've done over one have been only sections of a design. I like doing small bits of over one stitching, but I don't think I'd want to do a large project that way.


Yesterday was a good mail day, but for once, it was not due to stash. (Can you believe it?) This time, it was bath products. There was a box from Lush waiting on the doorstep, and it was HEAVY. The package had a buttercream, a bath melt, a couple of soaps, 9 bath bombs, and 4 or 5 bubble bars. AND... they sent a package of freebies with 2 more bath bombs, a bubble bar, and soap! Next to stitching stash, bath products are my biggest habit (and at the rate I'm going, the bath stash may overtake the XS stash soon).

My Wednesday evening stitching time was spent on my Spring Exchange gift, and it's looking very pretty. I do have one area that I have to frog though-- I'm just not thrilled with the color choice for that particular spot. I'll be working on it again this evening, then I'll take a break over the weekend for the monthly stitchathon. I think I'll work on Castle Sampler again this month.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Image hosting by PhotobucketFirst, an almost-forgotten happy dance. This is a design by With My Needle from one of the JCS ornament issues. Of course, I don't remember which issue I stitched it from. It's stitched on 36 ct. linen using WDW Brick floss. I actually completed this on February 24, the day before we left for Florida. Of course, I had to do other things (like packing) that evening and I didn't have time to take a picture.

I'm still working on my UFO on Tuesdays. I'm seeing some progress on it, but it certainly is slow! I got tired of stitching beads and switched to the wing instead. Of course, there's a ton of metallic braid and blending filament in the wings, so that poses its own challenge.

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I'm also participating in a TW stitch-along. My project for that is Castle Sampler, and the designated SAL day is Monday. I've been working on this other days as well, in the hope that I'll finish it this year. Looking at the progress I've made so far, I think I can do it!

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When I get tired of Adia and Castle Sampler, I switch to Robert's Stocking. It's a fairly large design, but it's over 2 threads on 18 ct. linen, so the stitches are nice and big. It makes a nice break from some of the other things that I have going.

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Of course, I'm also working on a project for the Spring Exchange, but I can't post pics of that!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I promised pictures

And I took some. Unfortunately, our internet connection chose not to cooperate when I tried to post them. So I have pictures on my PC, but not in my blog. Yet. Perhaps it's in a state of shock that I finally updated my photos. I'll work on it some more this evening and see if I can coax the machine into behaving. If it cooperates, I'll have updates of Castle Sampler, Adia, Robert's Stocking, and a February ornament Happy Dance that I had nearly forgotten about.

In the meantime, I went shopping with BF after work yesterday. Nothing exciting-- just a trip to Home Depot. I hate going into that place, but it was a necessary evil. We needed a light fixture for BF's master bathroom. We found one that I like, but it doesn't go with the existing faucet or other bathroom hardware. So I guess we'll be replacing all of it in the near future.

After our little shopping adventure, I was able to prop my feet up and work on Castle Sampler while watching Footballer's Wive$ that we had taped from BBC America. I didn't get much done-- just a bit more of the border.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Getting back on track

I'm a creature of habit, and when I get out of the habit of something (like blogging), I have a very difficult time getting back into it. Case in point: I've posted only one blog entry in the last 2 1/2 weeks.

I could come up with plenty of excuses-- work has been extremely hectic, I don't feel like spending time on-line at home, etc., etc., etc. But really, I was just being lazy. So, no more laziness... back to blogging!

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe first weekend of the month is my FUFO weekend. For March, I assembled the June Sampler Accent from Periwinkle Promises. I stitched this little thing YEARS ago, but just got around to putting it together. The photo isn't great, because there's a lot of tone-on-tone stitching, which doesn't show up very well.

I'm happy to report that I have stuck to my plan of assembling at least one FUFO per month. The pile is shrinking!! Well, sort of... I seem to be adding to it with various ornie finishes.

Over the weekend, I started working on my Spring Exchange project. I had a hard time choosing a pattern for this one-- there were so many I liked! Once I settled on a design, I decided to change the colors a bit, to something I thought my partner might like better. This resulted in a bit of frogging along the way, but I think most of that is resolved now. I'm very happy with the color change. I hope the recipient likes it!

Speaking of exchanges, the St. Patrick's exchange that I sent to Heather arrived safely. My pics didn't turn out very well, but if you visit her blog, there are better pics there. The pattern is from Sweetheart Tree.

DOH!!! I just realized that the (bad) photos I took of this exchange project haven't been uploaded to my Photobucket album yet, so I can't share. You'll have to visit Heather's blog if you want to see them.

I haven't taken any update photos of my stitching lately. I'll do that tonight... I promise!!! Check tomorrow for plenty of pics.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Long time, no post

Lately, life has gotten in the way of blogging. It started with work, which was extremely hectic last week. Then I hopped on a plane to Florida, to visit BF's parents. It was a wonderful, relaxing trip, and I even did some stitching while I was there. More on that later.

Flights to and from Orlando (you know, where THE MOUSE lives) can be a bit trying, to say the least. Lots of screaming children on those flights, which is a real picnic if you happen to have a 6:00 a.m. flight. On a SATURDAY morning. The return flight, though it was on a weekday and at a much later time, wasn't much better. We arrived home, somewhat frazzled from travel, and my day improved immediately. There was squishy mail. Lots of it!

First, there was my St. Pat's exchange from Laurie. What a beautiful bag! The photos truly do not do this piece justice. The stitching is so tiny and perfect, and the finishing is simply wonderful.

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Image hosting by Photobucket The next bit of mail was an order I had placed from Carrie's Threads. I had forgotten I'd ordered these before we left. This was my first order of these threads, but I'm sure I'll be ordering more. The colors are so pretty!

The other two packages were a complete surprise. Both were sent from stitching friends as a "thank you" for some patterns I had passed along. One was a package of foot spa goodies-- fabulous timing, since I have to teach a class next week and my feet always ache afterward. The other was a package of yummy fabrics, which I am already making plans for.

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It was a lovely mail day, indeed! :)

And, in stitching news... I took Castle Sampler to Florida. It was the only project that made the trip. Despite a couple of frog visits, I did manage to make a bit of progress on it.

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