Monday, July 31, 2006

Right on Time

PIG was put aside for a while this month while I worked on exchange projects, and I wasn't sure I'd have part 3 finished on-time.  Part 4 of Persian Iris Garden will be released tomorrow, and it looks like I am right on schedule for this one.  Last night, I finished the beads and tonight I will add the last little bit of metallic braid.  That means that tomorrow I will be ready to start part 4. 

I decided not to take an update pic until I complete part 3.  In the meantime, I was browsing through some WIP photos and came across this UFO. 

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The design is Flower Power, by Crossed Wing Collection.  There's a photo of the pattern here.  It's a huge design-- 574 x 340 stitches.  I started it on 32 ct. antique white Belfast linen.  The entire design is to be stitched over 2, but I decided to convert the hummingbirds and insects to over 1.  I think that's where I went wrong.  I got part of the way into the first hummingbird, put the project down, and never picked it back up again.  Someday, perhaps I'll frog the over-one bits and get back to work on it. 

Friday, July 28, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingToday's SBQ is from Von:

Many of us have a few pairs of embroidery scissors and some even have a �collection�. How many pairs of scissors do you have? Feel free to share a photo of your favorite pair or pairs with us!

I'm not sure how many pairs of scissors I have.  All of them never seem to be in the same place at once.  The two pictured here are the ones that I use the most.  The pair on the bottom are a pair of Gingher's from their Designer series.  I forget what the pattern is called.  (Amanda, maybe?)  I have another pair just like them, except the handles are decorated in a blue floral.  The pair at the top of this photo are my Solingen's.  They're extremely fine and razor-sharp.  I just love them!

The tiny black pair was purchased to replace a gold-handled pair of Gingher's that I lost.  Well, I thought I lost them anyway.  They eventually turned up, and I now have two pair of very finely pointed scissors.  I also have one pair of "everyday" scissors that are very pretty w/ green handles, and I recently discovered a few pairs of old German embroidery scissors as I was cleaning out one of the many corners of the house that I inherited from my parents. 

I have to admit that I have a thing for pretty embroidery scissors, and it takes a lot of willpower not to continue buying more of them every time I'm at the LNS.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's Official!

I'm going to Hershey in September!!!  :)  I wasn't sure I'd be able to attend, because of some other vacation plans, but I've found a way to make it work.  I've never attended before, for assorted reasons.  Last year, it was because I was on a cruise during the exact dates of the festival.  This year, we're going to take our cruise(s) a bit earlier, so that I will be back in time for Hershey.

There is a stitching group that I've been a part of for many years, and quite a few of the members will be attending CATS this year.  I'm really looking forward to it, because I haven't had the opportunity to meet most of these folks whom I've "known" for so many years-- some as long as a decade.  They'll be coming from all over, and it looks like it will be a fantastic event. 
Sue will even be coming from Australia, and another member is coming from England.  I doubt any of us will get much sleep.  But oh, what fun!!

Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We now return...

to our regularly scheduled stitching.

PIG is progressing well and is right on schedule.  Part 3 consisted of the four semi-triangular areas, which are nearly done.  The top one is completed, the remaining three have all of the regular stitching done.  I still need to add the gold braid along the edges and beads.  I'm sure I will be able to finish this part well before Part 4 is released.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Gratuitous Kitty Photo

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSometimes I don't have any updated stitching pics to share.  Not because I'm not stitching, but because I've been to lazy to take any photos.  Today is one of those days.  But, I want to keep up with my blogging habit, so today I offer the most recent picture of my furry children.  Poor Zoe doesn't look too thrilled, but Buddy appears as though he's quite pleased with the new spot he found for a little snooze.

Since the most recent round of exchanges is finished, I've gone back to working on Persian Iris Garden.  I'm just about finished with the stitching on part 3, but I still need to do the beading. 

I stitched a bit on Saturday, but decided to take Sunday off.  Instead of stitching, I went out for tapas with a friend.  We had a wonderful meal, followed by a shoe shopping expedition.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the store was already starting to carry boots.  It's July.  Our temps are in the 90s.  Who on earth would buy boots in this weather???  Well, me,  of course! LOL  I can't resist boots or sandals, and buying both on the same day... heaven!! 

Tonight I will try to finish the stitching on PIG, and maybe, just maybe I will have pictures to share by tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

SBQ - July 21

This week's SBQ is from Cathy:

When you get a project professionally framed do you get glass insterted into the frame? Why or why not?

I always get glass when I have my projects framed. I've seen how dusty the tops of the frames can get just by hanging on the wall, and I don't want to risk my stitching getting dusty. I get regular glass, with spacers inserted to prevent the glass from touching the stiching.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ornament & Summer Exchanges

I finally managed to take a photo of the beautiful ornament that Nita sent. It's much prettier in person. This was the best I could do with just a photo. Nita also included some holiday themed goodies in the package-- a Mill Hill snowman kit, and two skeins of Needle Necessities floss in yummy Christmas colors.

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I also received my Dog Days of Summer exchange from Myrna today. The stitching and finishing on this piece is absolutely wonderful. She used a Lizzie*Kate design to make a pocket on a tote bag. Such a clever way to finish!

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And... the bag was filled with all sorts of summertime goodies!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Well, I finally found the time to sit down and catch up on my blog reading.  There are so many that I follow (take a look at my sidebar-- I really do read them all) and I have gotten hopelessly behind on many of them.  So this afternoon, I decided to catch up, from the beginning.

I've read a number of posts and have seen all sorts of lovely and inspiring stitching.  But, I can't comment on anything!  For some reason, I can't connect to Blogger's comment feature.  The little window opens up, then it appears to ponder life for a minute or so before giving some sort of "unavailable" message.  I managed to leave a few comments earlier today, but nothing is working now.  So I will leave you with a general blanket statement....

I've been reading and admiring all of your handiwork, and sending hugs where needed and happy dances as appropriate.

Let's hope Blogger is more cooperative tomorrow!

I can share!!

I just got word today that the ornament that I made for Lynda has arrived. This is from a JCS ornament issue. I'm not at home at the moment, so I don't know which issue or designer this is from. The design was charted for DMC, but I converted it to overdyed floss, just because. I was really happy with the way this one turned out. I just might have to do another for myself!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Christmas in July

Last week, I received the loveliest ornament as part of a Christmas in July ornament exchange hosted on one of my email groups.  It came from Nita, a stitcher I've known online for at least 10 years.  She also sent an adorable Mill Hill snowman kit, and a pair of overdyed flosses in holiday colors.  I haven't had a chance to take a pic yet, but I will be sure to update my page tonight with a photo.  I never seem to have time to post blog entries at home, so I thought I'd post about it now and add the pics later.  Stay tuned...

The ornament that I stitched has been mailed and, according to the PO, delivered.  I haven't heard confirmation from the recipient though, so I am holding off on the photos of that for the time being. 

I've been suffering from a bit of exchange overload this month, with 3 exchange projects mailed since June 30.  The last one is safely in the mail and on its way to a new home.  The next exchange I'll be doing is a scissor fob exchange.  I'm excited about that one, because I love stitching fobs and yet don't have any of my own.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bluebird Landed

I found out today that my For the Birds exchange gift for Chris arrived safely. I stitched a portion of a seasonal sampler from an old JCS issue. It's a sampler I'd like to stitch for myself someday, and I thought this bit of it was perfect for a bird-themed exchange. And it was just the right size to finish as a needlebook!

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You can't tell from the picture, but the fabric is actually a light green color. Willow Green, I think. I finished the inside using a strawberry and floral printed fabric. I found this fabric purely by accident when I was clearing out a closet at my "other" house. My mom used to make a lot of aprons and always kept cheery fabrics on-hand. I think this must have been for that purpose. At any rate, I thought it was much more suitable for this project than any of the others that I had purchased recently.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

SBQ - Week of 7/5

This week's SBQ is from Vash:

What is the biggest mishap you have had with your stitching material (i.e. spillages)?

Years ago, something like 1992 or 1993, I started a Paula Vaughan design for a friend's wedding.  It was large and had nearly solid stitching.  It was also one of my first pieces stitched on linen.  It took a long time to stitch, and it was almost complete when I had a giant "oops" moment.  One day, I was doing laundry... a load of RED clothes.  Just as I was moving the laundry out of the washer and into the dryer, I saw something light sticking out.  And there it was-- the Paula Vaughan that I had spent so many hours on.  I have no idea how it ended up with my laundry, and I don't think I have to tell you how horror-struck I was when I found it in with the load of already-washed red clothes.  Amazingly, nothing bled onto it, and it was absolutely fine when all was said and done.

This and That

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and left comments. I'm hopelessly behind on reading all of your blogs lately, but I am trying to catch up! It seems like there is always something happening that needs my attention. Like the lawn mower. After driving 90 miles to mow grass at my second home, the silly thing wouldn't start. The battery won't charge, and it needs either a new battery or a starter. When did lawn mowers become so complicated? We weren't able to linger in the country on this trip long enough to get it fixed, so it's still not working. In the meantime, the grass is still growing. I'm going to have to find someone to cut it in the meantime, while we figure out how to fix the mower. This "Harriet Homeowner" thing is new to me-- my "real" home is a condo, so these are things I've never had to worry about... until now. It's a heck of a learning curve!

Speaking of learning curves, I'm still fiddling around with my soap making. Well, not really soap so much this weekend, but bath bombs. I made my first batch on Tuesday. They're pretty, and they smell WONDERFUL. I wasn't sure about the sunface mold for bath fizzies, but it actually worked quite well. I was surprised at how nicely the details came out. The whole process was extremely easy-- 2 parts baking soda, 1 part citric acid, fragrance, color (mica powder), spritz the whole thing with witch hazel until it gets clumpy, and voila.... Bath Bombs!! The only tricky bit was spritzing the mixture without setting it to fizzing. If that happens, the entire batch is ruined.

I tossed one of these into a bath last night, and the results were so-so. The scent was great, but the bomb sunk like a rock straight to the bottom of the bathtub. I've bought a ton of these commercially, and all of them floated. I'm not sure what's causing it, but I'm playing around with my formulation in the meantime. Also, they're not at all moisturizing-- not that I'd expect moisture from baking soda and citric acid. But that bit can be easily fixed with the addition of some oils or butters. After my bath, I promptly went back to the kitchen and started tinkering around with the recipe. I only made one bomb last night, just to test the adjustments. We'll see how that one performs this evening.

In between making and testing bath bombs, I've also been stitching. The latest installment (part 3, of 12) of Persian Iris Garden was released a day early, on June 30. This was perfect timing, since we were driving to the country on Saturday morning. Even though it was a very hectic weekend, I still managed to stitch just a bit on PIG. I'm not quite halfway through part 3. I also have 2 exchange projects in the works-- one Christmas ornament and one summer-themed project, but of course I can't show pics of those. ;)

FYI-- I'm still having problems posting directly to Blogger, so I've been doing all of this from Photobucket. It's why the format/spacing is a bit messed up.