Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SBQ - 4/30/08

This week's SBQ is from Jennifer:

Do you have any pieces that you would liked passed on to future
generations as family heirlooms?

Well, yes... all of them!! Everything I've stitched, or that has been stitched for me, has a special significance to me. That said, I don't that any of them will become family heirlooms. I don't have children... and I'm not going to have them in the future. And I have no siblings, which means no nieces or nephews. I do have a very large extended family, though, and some of them may appreciate my stitching after I'm gone.

I just hope none of my stitching ends up at a yard sale.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More FUFOs!

I recently joined the Monthly Finishing Challenge blog, and it has already had a great effect on my FUFO pile. This month's challenge was needlerolls. I had already completed two just before joining the blog, so I felt that I should do at least one more. Doing "just one more" led to doing three more.

These were the last of the pieces in my FUFO pile that were designated to be finished as needlerolls. Now, if I want another needleroll, I'll need to stitch it! :)

May's finish is supposed to be a biscornu. I've never done one of these, and I don't think I have anything stitched that will fit the bill. So, I'll be stitching one soon. It's a finishing technique that I've wanted to try for a while, so I think it will be fun. I'm not sure yet if I will pull a freebie pattern from the internet, or if I might go ahead and design something original. I haven't spent nearly enough time designing since leaving work, so maybe this will be a good opportunity.

I had a nice surpise a couple of days ago. For the third time in a week, I had a female cardinal fly out of one of the nandina bushes as I was making my "rounds" through the flower beds. Detecting a pattern, I decided to do a bit of very careful nosing around. Yep, it's spring, and the cardinals are making new birds. :)

I couldn't quite tell if there are 3 eggs or 4, but as of yesterday, they haven't yet hatched. I'm able to see the nest from inside our sunroom, so we're able to watch without disturbing the little mama.

MY babies are doing quite well! The garden still doesn't look like much, but the bits that I've planted there are growing and appear to be happy.

Friday, April 25, 2008


The laptop is currently out of town with BF, which means I can't post any stitching progress. So, I'll share some gratuitous flower pictures instead. ;) I had excellent results with the bulbs that I planted last fall-- 100% success! They're blooming in stages, so we've had continuous color ever since the first crocus peeked through the ground.

One of the first tulips to bloom this year was Fosteriana "Red Emporor". The petals of these were so shiny that it made the flowers difficult to photograph. I did the best I could, but had to do it in a hurry. Then, we got a lot of rain, and the blooms were ruined before I could take more pics.

"Orange Emporor" came next, followed by a Darwin hybrid "Daydream". Funny thing about "Daydream"... it has turned sort of orange. It was a sunny yellow when I took the photograph below, but the color has changed considerably as the bloom has matured. I'll need to take another photo, if the rain we're getting doesn't ruin them first.

These are more Darwin hybrids, but I can't remember their name.

Gardening chores are multiplying quickly around here. I'm exhausted from it most of the time, but the results are worth it. The weed patch is slowly starting to look more like a garden. I got the tiller out the other day and worked on another row. Ordinarily, we would have worked the soil for the entire garden at one time, but it was neglected for so long that we can only manage it piecemeal. I doubt we'll get it entirely back into shape this year, but at least we're making progress.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

SBQ - Week of 4/23

This week's SBQ is from Christine:

How do you handle blended threads? Do you kit the blends up before you start a piece, or do you grab what colors you need and blend when the need arises? If you kit up the blends beforehand, how do you store them? Do you have another option for blends to share?

I blend the threads when I need them. If it is a project with a lot of different floss, I put the threads into Floss-Away bags by number and pull from there as needed.

For projects that have a lot of blends, like Tradewinds, I create a sheet with all of the blend symbols. Then, when I don't use a full length of a given blend, I can "park" the threads in the sheet of paper. It saves a bit of time on projects where I need to change threads frequently.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My "To Do" List

Sometimes, I need a reminder...

Completed April 20, 2008
Design: Big Girl Panties
Designer: Janlynn Kit
Fabric: replaced the 14-ct. aida with 28-ct. something-or-other from my stash
Floss: DMC

This has been such a busy week. I'm exhausted from it, and even managed to sustain very minor (but painful) injuries in what could only be described as a freak accident. A large glass measuring cup fell, hitting me in the head before landing on my thumb. It would be funny if it wasn't so painful. >:( Nothing serious, but painful enough that it disrupted my sleep last night. So, instead of throwing a pity party for myself, I finished BGP. Much better! LOL

I'm also feeling very pleased with myself for a "work" acheivement today. I *finally* got around to trying the new body cream formula that I've been working on. I still have a hard time thinking of these things as "work", but I suppose that's what it is. The cream is a basic Shea & Cocoa butter and jojoba oil combination, lightly scented with lavender essential oil. It's really thick, which is what I was going for. It turned out GREAT, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

FUFOs and Gardening

Spring has definitely "sprung" here. The daffodils have mostly faded, except for a few strays. Our poor little gnome is looking a bit beaten. The oddly-painted concrete yard art isn't really my thing, but my mom had a few of them, so they sort of came with the house. I guess I'll need to touch-up some of the paint this year, before they look any worse.

I did a bit of planting this morning, starting with this "Bag o' Blooms" kit that I picked up at Wal-Mart a while back. I'm not sure it's going to work... the plants in the kit looked pretty sickly. But, I just had to know. It will be a fun experiment, if nothing else.

Experiment #2 for today was rhubarb. I remember my dad growing it when I was a kid, and I don't think it was particularly difficult or demanding. I got a pair of roots and we've planted them behind the garage. The next task will be finding or making space for tomato and pepper plants. I went a little overboard in my seed starting. I didn't really expect them to grow so successfully, so I planted lots of them. We currently have 72 tomato plants (4 varieties), and around 100 assorted peppers, both sweet & hot. There's no way that we'll have the time or energy to make space for all of these plants. And if we did, we'd have to open a farm stand at the end of the driveway. LOL

The weed patch is slowly starting to look more like a garden. It has suffered so badly from neglect over the last several years that it is going to take a LOT of work to get it back into shape. This year's garden is mostly experimental, more learning experience than actual garden. We're feeling pretty successful even now, just for having cleared some of it off and setting a few tiny plants in.

Stitching has been practically non-existent this week... too much other stuff to do. I did manage to hemstitch a couple of needlerolls, which I assembled this morning. Two less projects in the FUFO pile. YAY!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Home Again

We spent last week in New Bern, NC... our annual trip to BF's timeshare. I always look forward to the trip, but we keep finding more and more to do down there, and it seems to become more hectic each year. Yesterday I arrived home feeling like I needed a vacation from my vacation!

I managed to stitch a little while we were away, but not much. I dutifully worked on Adia Tuesday-- my weekly UFO stitching commitment. PIG also saw the light of day, but again... not much. I didn't get around to photographing them yet, but I'll post some updates soon.

We've been extremely busy since we got home yesterday. There's a ton of garden work to do, and we're also trying to get one of our northern VA properties converted to a rental. It doesn't look like I'll be doing much stitching this week.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Little Gift Sampler

This isn't actually a gift-- Little Gift Sampler is just the name of the design, by Indigo Rose. I wanted this to feel a little more like spring, so I changed all of the colors. I started with the fabric, 32 ct. Carnation Pink linen. I used Waterlilies "Confetti" for the alphabet, then chose coordinating DMC for the rest. I'll finish this one into a needleroll. Which reminds me... I really need to assemble some of my finished projects. Currently, they're sitting in a drawer, waiting for attention.

In the meantime, I've pulled out PIG once again. I haven't actually started stitching on it yet, but I plan to do that this evening. Tradewinds is still coming along nicely. Perhaps I'll have an update to both of them in the next few days.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


The finishing fabric that I had in mind for Candy-Stick Noel was really calling to me, so I bit the bullet and pulled out the sewing machine this morning. This fabric is actually what prompted me to stitch the design. The pattern wasn't something I'd ordinarily choose to stitch, but I couldn't resist because I had the perfect fabric to go with it.

I'm really happy with the way this turned out. And, now that the sewing machine is out, I just might go ahead and assemble something else if I can find the time. I've been pretty busy over the past couple of days filling soap & lotion orders. I think I've earned a break, though. ;)

Yesterday's soap was a fragrance called "Lick Me All Over". I'm not crazy about the name of this, and may decide to call it something else, but it smells delicious! It's a sort of fruity scent... almost good enough to eat.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I am happy to report that I am back in the land of high-speed internet surfing. YAY!!! We're online now via a laptop and wireless connection. MUCH better than the dial-up that we had been using for the last few months.

This means that I can FINALLY catch up on my blog reading. I wasn't able to view many blogs using dial-up, because it was just so darned slow. And forget leaving comments! I just couldn't do it, even when I could manage to read content. So brace yourself, folks... I'll be visiting AND commenting now that I'm able. It's also much easier for me to upload pics now, so maybe I can keep my own blog a little more up-to-date.

Off to check out blogs and all your stitching progress!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Adia Update... and SOAP!!!

Last week, I finished stitching the blending filament and metallic braid on Adia. YAY!!!!! It felt so good to get this bit out of the way, especially after my horrible frogging session. I was supposed to work on her again today, but I discovered that I am out of B5200, which is about all that is left of the regular stitching. I also have a lot of beads to attach, but those are all in our other residence. So, Adia will not be getting any further attention toay.

My stitching and blogging time has been seriously cut into by soap business stuff. I *finally* took some photos and uploaded a few things to Etsy. I haven't put much up there yet, mostly because I've been too busy filling other orders and haven't had the time to take more photos or write up the descriptions. Here's one of my soaps, Island Sun.

If you'd like to see more of my soaps, check out my Etsy shop! I'll be posting more items later this week.