Friday, June 30, 2006

Not Just Stitching

I've been having trouble posting to Blogger recently. It seems as though the connection times out, or something. I decided to try posting through the "Blog" feature on Photobucket. I hope it works!

Last night, I assembled my partner's For the Birds exchange gift. I'm very happy with the way that it turned out, but of course I can't share any pictures yet. I hope my partner likes it! I spent most of the evening putting this little thing together and didn't do any other stitching afterward. Instead, I plopped down on the sofa and watched "The Todd" (it's what BF & I call my favorite soap... One Life to Live) on Soap Network. Yep, I admit it... I watch soaps.

I also make Soap. Recently I've been tinkering with melt and pour soaps, which isn't technically "making" soap. It's simply crafting pre-made soap into pretty bars, adding color and scent, and so on. It's extremely easy and a lot of fun, but my real goal is to learn to make soap from scratch. That will come soon enough. For now, I'm still playing with molds, scents, and color. It started with a small kit from A.C. Moore. The next thing I knew, I was ordering more soap making supplies from Soap Crafters.

My current favorite is the Sun Face, made from one of my new molds. It's scented with citrus and vanilla. Yummy! These are just a few of my recent creations.

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I also wanted to share some pictures from my garden, where I've been doing so much work this year. Unfortunately, I didn't get very good pictures of my roses, thanks to the rain. I waited until the last day of our trip to snap pictures of the roses, and by then they had been rather beaten by the downpours from the previous day. The Peace rose is one that I'm particularly proud of this year. It was really struggling at the beginning of the season. I didn't even expect it to survive, but I decided to try to nurse it back to health. It's still not in prime form, but it is alive and blooming.

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Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love to photograph flowers. It started a couple of years ago, on a trip to Charleston. Last Saturday, after a rain shower, I found the perfect subject in the form of a creamy off-white lily. This was one of the survivors from some bulbs planted last year. So far, it's the only one that has bloomed. But sometimes, you only need one.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Long time, no blog

Has it really been WEEKS since I've blogged? I don't know where the time has gone! I did attempt to post an entry last week, but my computer ate it, and I didn't have time to write it all up again. I don't feel as though I've been all that busy lately. I just haven't been terribly motivated to do anything on the computer. Staring at a PC all day at work has a way of dampening my enthusiasm for doing anything online at home.

I received a beautiful exchange in the mail last week from Laurie. The theme of this exchange was "For the Birds." Isn't the pinkeep gorgeous? Laurie also included some other wonderful goodies. I felt so spoiled! :) The stitching & finishing on the pinkeep are just wonderful. The photos really do not do it justice.

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I've been stitching quite a bit lately. The stitchathon earlier this month was successful, and I finished the stitching on Robert's Stocking. I still need to add the embellishments, which I have not yet purchased. Here are the before & after pics:

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I also took an updated picture of Big Girl Panties. This project isn't my usual style, but the kit made me laugh every time I saw it at the store, so I finally
gave in and purchased it. Little Blackwork and Spanish Geometrical Sampler have gotten some attention as well, but I haven't taken any update photos yet.

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We spent the weekend in the country and didn't return until yesterday afternoon. BF took care of the mowing, while I busied myself with some roses that I had ordered from Jackson & Perkins. My dad had grown roses for the last several years of his life, and I've inherited them along with the house. They've been neglected for the past couple of years, and this year I've put quite a bit of effort into saving them. They still don't look great, but they are steadily improving and I have more survivors than expected. Over the weekend, I planted 5 new ones. They were "bare root" plants, which meant that they arrived essentially as twigs and a root ball with no dirt attached. I had to soak them overnight before planting them on Sunday. And, wouldn't you know it... Sunday was when the downpour hit. I was in the midst of pulling weeds and planting the last 2 roses when the rain started. I wasn't willing to give up though, because the roses simply *had* to be planted. So there I was, in the POURING rain, frantically trying to get my plants into the ground. I was soaked to the skin and quite muddy by the time I finished. Thank goodness there were no video cameras!

Friday, June 09, 2006

PIG Progress

Okay, so Persian Iris Garden has an unfortunate acronym, but that doesn't detract from how much fun it is to stitch. I finished part 2 of my little PIGgie last night. The photo isn't the best-- I think it suffered from bad lighting. The camera batteries were on their last gasp, so I wasn't able to play around with it too much.

I missed one stitch at the bottom. Unfortunately, I didn't notice until after I snapped the picture. I'm now ready for installment #3, which will be coming on July 1.

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With PIG finished for the month, I picked up Big Girl Panties and worked on that for a little while last night. No progress pic on that one though-- it will have to wait until I recharge the camera batteries.

We're off to the country this weekend. There will be lots of yard work, but I'm sure I'll squeeze in some time for stitching, too. This weekend is the 24-hour challenge and I'll be participating. My goal is to finish a project for an upcoming exchange. I have three exchanges coming up in the near future. The three exchanges are spread over a six-week period, with one going in the mail every two weeks, so it should be totally manageable.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Still Stitching

I'm still stitching, but I haven't been posting much. I've been in a bit of a blogging funk lately, for no particular reason. There is a bit of job stress in my life right now that is coloring everything else. Nothing major-- just an office move-- but it will affect my commute in a negative way, and I'm already at my limit on the amount of time I am willing to spend in the car every day. I haven't decided yet whether I'll stay at my current job, find something else, or simply take some time off for a while. I guess I will wait to see how bad the new commute is going to be.

Things are moving right along on the stitching front. My stitchathon project for May was Spanish Geometrical Sampler. I worked on it from May 19 - 21. We were in the country taking care of yardwork, so I didn't get much stitching time. Even so, it was nice to get back to that project and I did get a few stitches in here and there.

Here's what it looked like before:

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And after:

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My kit for Persian Iris Garden arrived. I'm happy to report that it was worth the wait. :) The colors are just gorgeous and there are TONS of beads and crystals. I started immediately, and I finished Part 1 on June 1.

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The pattern is released in monthly installments, so I finished Part 1 just in time to start Part 2. No pics of that yet-- I'm waiting until I finish that installment. It's nearly done and most likely will require just one more stitching session.