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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Nature of Friends





I am back from the Twin Cities. In one piece and only slightly worse for wear. I'm adjusting back to the Eastern Time Zone although I grew up in Central Time and it is the real time. We didn't get on the plane when we tried the first time Sunday night. We ended up going early Monday morning. We had a full day of working on #1 son's deck. Then Monday night was very special. We met up with friends we hadn't seen in 35 or so years. My dear friend Leslee is just the same wonderful person she always has been and her husband is so funny and entertaining. Leslee was the bridesmaid at my wedding. I had forgotten what a terrific personality she has. I want to be more like her. She is so positive and supportive and honest. Honest doesn't really convey how upfront with no agenda and plainspoken a person she is. I want to keep in better contact than Christmas cards. It was great to see her.

Then on Tuesday my BFF drives way out to our hotel to pick me up and then drives way back the other direction to the most marvelous cross stitch shop, Stitchville USA. She even took the morning off work to do this. Thank you!!! What a great friend to take the time and trouble! I walked into the shop and was overwhelmed with the inventory. The shop owner, Debbie, has a vast array of charts, tons of threads, Charms like crazy, framing, walls filled with models. If you want something obscure, she probably has it in stock. The organization is fabulous. I almost didn't know where to begin to look. I wish I lived near this shop and could go to the stitch-ins. They sound like so much fun. Another friend, LuAnne, came to the shop. I met her at Celebrations this year. So we all went to lunch at Old Chicago. It was fun and we got to gab. My BFF had to go to work so LuAnne waited for me to finish shopping at Stitchville and got directions to take me back to #1's house. Clear back, completely across town, well, several towns. LuAnne, you are a true friend to take the time to drive me back, thank you. Plus, you are so funny. I could listen to you and your adventures all day.

We spent some time at #1's house then went to the airport for the afternoon flight. We almost got on the flight, but at literally the last moment, the lady that went out to smoke made it back. I guess you have to go outside the airport building to smoke. It took us 50 minutes to go through security. So did she have to go back through security after smoking? Since we didn't make it on that flight, we amused ourselves looking at stores and eating and puzzles until the next flight four hours later. The flight was a breeze - only an hour. It was a long day. We are glad to be back home and able to sleep in our own bed.

I finished my plane stitching project. I also finished the Sweet Baby James needle case holder. I want somebody to show me how to use the Lacis cordmaker I bought. I not entirely happy with the twisted cord on Sweet Baby James, but it is okay. I am almost done with the Make-it, Take-it project from Cherished Stitches at Celebrations. I changed the colors as it is supposed to be blackwork. The name of it is "A Garden of Roses" but it looked more like a spider web. To make it more rose-like, I stitched the round motifs in an overdyed pink and the leaf motifs in an overdyed green. It was a fun experiment to see how it turned out. I like it. I have some rosy material to finish it off. It will hold a little two and a half inch square ruler that measures where to start a stitching project.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

On the Go




We are leaving for the Twin Cities this afternoon. So there is a lot to get ready. I did my regular Monday bathroom cleaning because I wanted to come home to clean bathrooms. So I won't be posting for the next few days.

I finished one side of the wheelbarrow yesterday. That is my favorite part. On two of the edges are palestrina knots. I kind of wish the palestrina knots were charted as I am unsure of their placement. But if I am consistent (make the other side exactly the same), it will work out.
I decided to work a bit on the gauze. I wasn't sure I could do it but it is going fine. I tried some of the background just to see how it would look.
Then I tried sewing one of the ribbons to the side of Sweet Baby James needle holder. I think it will work. I would almost like to try this design on a different piece of fabric, a linen fabric. This one has too much polyester to fold flat.
I am trying to fill up my little yazzii bag with stuff to stitch on my trip. I will let you know about Stitchville USA when I get back. I may get to Mall of America too. Cool.
A

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grasshopper





It is going to be a perfect summer day. I'm off to pilates in a little while. I don't think I'll go to the Farmer's Market today as we are going to be gone for a few days. Although it would be nice to have a cupcake.

I worked on the wheelbarrow parts yesterday. What fun! I got the needle cover, scissors cover, and two sides of the pin cushion done. What I really want to stitch is the sides with their vine and flowers design. I have started one of them. It is going pretty fast. The bird is supposed to have a brown beak. The yellow one doesn't show up very well so I may change it.

I sent in my registration for a class in October. There are two other classes in October that I am interested in but I'm still waiting for information.

I'm off to enjoy the day!
A

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Finish Sort Of




I finished the tool carrier for Lounging Hare. There was a lot of hand sewing of the ultrasuede to the back of the five panels but I worked diligently and at 7:00 p.m. last night I finished it. Wow. It has been nearly two weeks since the class. I'm proud of myself for getting it done. It is a keepsake. Of course, it won't be complete until the box arrives and I can totally finish the top.

So now, do I go back and finish a UFO or do I start something new? I should go finish a UFO but instead I started the Wheelbarrow. I love that pattern and just had to see how it is started. I read through the instructions and it doesn't seem that hard. So I serged the edges of the material, put the threads on a card and labeled them. Then I just had to start the piece in the upper left hand corner of the fabric. I am happy with the palestrina knots that go across one side. I wasn't sure whether to chicken out and just do a chain stitch. Then I figured out a way to do the knots by just dropping down one thread each time. It looks good. On the next piece is a darling grasshopper. Fun.

Finally I got an email from the guild I just joined and she sent me the registration form for the class I want to take. There is one space left - and she is holding it for me! Yeah! So before I even ate breakfast, I filled out the form and wrote the check. After exercise class I went and mailed it at the Post Office. I am ecstatic!
A

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I attached the needlebook to the ribbon. Yeah! One down and four to go. I have to stitch the sitting hare back slip to be able to do the next one. So that is what I am working on now. I've had to frog a lot but it won't be long now until it is finished.

We had a sub in aerobics this morning. The sub usually teaches zumba so class was quite different. It was fun doing moves to specific music. I enjoyed different music as I get tired of hearing the same CD's over and over. But it was a challenge since there are fewer ques (called moves) to what we are doing. I am slow and lumbering when it comes to dance so I tried not to embarrass myself. I think aerobics is more strenuous though.

I tried out my donut pan again. This time I used the mix that I bought. They turned out good. But I still want to see what happens when you put in cookie dough or cake mix.

I am trying to get a newsletter out of two different sampler guilds. They both have classes in October that I want to sign up for. It is very frustrating when you email someone and don't hear back. I just really want to take the classes. I guess I am being taught patience. ARGH.
A

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coming Together



I finished the needlebook and pyn keep for Lounging Hare. I stitched the last pocket slip for the front. Now I am ready to start putting it all together on the ribbon. I still have the two little back pocket slips to stitch. I need to sit down and carefully read the directions which includes tacking ribbon and stitching ultrasuede to the backs of each panel. I fiddled with the wool for the box top. Since it was so hard to squish it down, I decided to restitch it together but much more firmly. This worked. I pinned the linen to the top but I am waiting for the box before I attach it as it may require a size adjustment. I have so enjoyed this challenging project. I changed the leaf color on the flower pocket slip. It is almost the same as the needlebook flower that has white leaves. I didn't think the white leaves showed up very well on the fabric so I changed it to the light moss color. I like how it turned out.

I lost a needle with a bit of thread in it. I think it is on the floor of my sewing room by my chair but it is driving me crazy not being able to find it. ARGH. I guess I better make sure I have my shoes on while I'm stitching.

I didn't get the kitchen floor washed yesterday. I guess I'll try to do that today. We will probably go to Minneapolis on Sunday. It is exciting because I think I'll get a chance to go to Stitchville USA with my BFF.
A


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday



I only put in a few stitches yesterday. Most of the day I worked on finishing the Lounging Hare. I made good progress but finishing always goes slowly. I laced all five panels to stiffener. One pocket slip is sewn to it's panel. Today I want to finish the needlebook and pyn keep at least. I made the little twisted thread that goes around the button on the needlebook but I am going to do it over as I wound it a bit tight and it doesn't look as even as I want. I piled up all the cuts of wool that the top of the box will be mounted on. It will be hard to squish it down and put the muslin over it. The directions say to use a glue stick or tape. Well, the tape doesn't hold so it is either glue stick which I don't have much confidence that it can hold or just lace it tightly in place.

I laced the violets to some stiffener and I have to sew some ultrasuede to the back along with a pin back. Then it will be done.

My face is much better today although it is very dry. I hesitate to put anything on it. I want it to get back to normal without me plugging up my pores.

I love that it is the longest day of the year. But I don't want to see the days get shorter. If I am a very good girl, I will wash the kitchen floor. I'll let you know tomorrow.
A

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Face Was Red



Back in the sixties when I was a teenager, there was a section in Seventeen Magazine (I think) that was called "My face was Red" where readers sent in accounts of embarrassing situations in their lives.
Today my face was red. But not because I was embarrassed. I went to the Origins counter a few weeks ago and the lady in front of me got a sample of "A Perfect World". So I asked for a sample too. I tried it out and liked it. So when I went back to the Origins counter last week. I asked for some "A Perfect World". The lady at the counter said to just use a pearl sized amount. I bought it and used it faithfully every night as a moisturizer on my face. I began to notice that my face was red. Today I felt like my face was burning off. The stuff I bought was a little different consistency than the sample. So I got my glasses. Come to find out, I bought cleanser not moisturizer. I have been putting cleanser on my face and leaving it on every day for a week. Not a good idea. What an idiot I am! My poor face. Ironically, there was a call on my phone this morning from the Origins counter thanking me for my purchase last week.

I started the finishing for the Lounging Hare. I still have 3 pieces to stitch. But I ironed all I have done so far and cut the interfacing, ultrasuede and stiffener. Now I wish I had listened better during class to the finishing directions. The first thing I have to do is lace all the stitched panels to the stiffener. It is fun seeing it take shape.

I also laced the Sweet Baby James kit together. But then I put the wooden needlecases in it and it is not going to fit. So I thought up putting some ribbon on the sides. I took some coordinating ribbon folded it in half and stitch witched it together. We'll see how if that looks good.

The bathrooms are clean. It's Monday and now I can work on fun stuff.
A

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Plugging Away




It was a nice day yesterday. It would have been easier just to stay home, but I really wanted to see some old friends at the school picnic. I didn't stay much longer than an hour. I was surprised at how many people they expected - 500! It was fun to see the activities for the kids: pony rides, face painting, animals to pet, sno-cones. It was so interesting to see kids I remember as three-year-olds at age 14. They didn't remember me but I didn't expect them to. Some of them were taller than I am. Whoa.

I stopped and took a walk through the Area Show. It was interesting to see what got picked to be in the show. There was one watercolor that I really liked called "Buick". So much depends on the show's judge and his specialty (bias). A sculptor naturally chooses a lot more sculpture than an oil painter.

I worked on trying to salvage my practice pocket slips for the Lounging Hare. I took out the weaving and had trouble figuring out the tweed pattern. I finally did it but the directions didn't help or I wasn't reading them correctly. Then I goofed and started a flower 2 threads over too far. Then had to compensate on the other side. I'm not sure it will turn out. But there was too much stitching to try and take out. If it doesn't look good, I'll stitch another one. I want to get the stiffener cut and start the finishing. The accordion fold tool holder can be completely finished even though I don't have the box. I am feeling the pull of several projects that need to be finished. But I sure have enjoyed concentrating on the Lounging Hare.

I am thinking of my dad today and wishing I could tell him "Happy Father's Day".
A

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Busy Day



Just a week ago I was having fun stitching on a new kit - all day. Now it is back to normal. Although I went to the Farmer's Market before going to pilates (I usually go after class). It was less busy and there was more stuff. I got some free range eggs. They are usually gone when I get there. I took a bite of a garlic top green bean looking thing. Mistake. I think I will have garlic breath all day! I got some of the first strawberries. I see strawberry shortcake in my future. I don't usually get flowers but these were very pretty and only five dollars.

This afternoon I am going to a retirement party for the head of the school where I used to work. It will be fun to see many old friends. I look forward to seeing some kids that were in my class. In last week's paper, was the name of one who was graduating from high school. I wonder if I would recognize her from when she was 3. It is always fun to see how kids turn out.

I finished the Lounging Hare box top except for 4 more sorbello stitches. I wish I could put it together, but I think I have to wait for the box to arrive to make sure it fits. I am trying to salvage my practice pocket slips so that I don't have to stitch them over again. Gwen's look so nice and even. I want mine to look as good as hers do. I'm still thinking about this...

On my way back from the retirement party, I might stop at the Art Institute to see the Area Show. It is always interesting to see what won and what I like. They aren't usually the same thing. One year a bunch of wires won. Good grief.
A

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flown





This week has just flown by. I am amazed that it is Friday - again. I finished the needlebook cover for Lounging Hare. But I was distracted by what came in the mail. I got my order and just had to try out a lucet. I had never heard of this tool until last weekend at the Blue Ribbon Sewing Box class. The teacher had a model of one of her classes called "Lucet". So I asked her what it was. The model had an unusual cording on it. The lucet was used to make that cording. It is an old timey tool that makes a square cord. So when I got mine in the mail, I looked up a video on Youtube on how to get started. My first try was lumpy but I was using some #5 pearl cotton. So I tried it with some silk serica. Then I decided to experiment with how tight you need to pull it. So I am gradually getting better at it. Of course the teacher's cording was beautiful and smooth and perfect. At first my silk serica was very very tight. It looked much better when I loosened up. But every once in a while I get a "bobble" where is isn't as tight as it should be. I figure if I use up the whole spool, I will know how to do it by the time I get to the end.

I read a recipe for making iced coffee on the Pioneer Woman site. So I tried it. I poured coffee into water and let it set all night. Then I strained it and put it in the refrigerator. This morning I used my ninja to grind up some ice and poured on the coffee, added Coffeemate and sugar and drank it with a straw. It was a lot like a frappichino. The jury is still out on whether a hot coffee is better in the morning. Maybe it would be better with a squirt of chocolate. It was interesting just to try it.

We are going wi-fi. We are working out the kinks (getting a new router). DH has a Chromebook. Cool. There will be less time fighting over who gets the computer. Theoretically.
A

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fun



I am having so much fun stitching Lounging Hare. I reached my goal of finishing the pyn keep top yesterday. I got started on the needlebook front. It is so interesting to use different techniques and see how it all works out. I love the needle weaving along the edge. I figure I am about half done. I got a little bit done on the box top. Let me see, what is my goal today? Well, I want to finish the needlebook cover and nearly finish the box top. Then I have four smaller parts (pocket slips) to do. Just wait till you see this come together. It is going to be fabulous.

I told DH I need a bigger allowance. There are so many things I want to do. I want software to design cross stitch. I want to take more workshops. I want to collect more thread by joining Vicki Clayton's threads of the month club(s). Maybe I am just being piggy and should work on stuff I have. That would take more than one lifetime. But hey, a girl can dream.
A

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Hare is Lounging




I made some good progress yesterday. I got the outside of my hare for the top of the Lounging Hare box done. I finished the 5 back pieces. My goal today is to stitch the pyn keep front.

I measured and taped and applied the scrim to the front of my Blue Ribbon Sewing Box. It is now officially done. The scrim really makes this piece.

Here is what I worked on while flying last week. The design seems big and clunky compared to working over 1 on 32 count linen.

Last week I saw a couple of people stitching with two pairs of glasses on. It looks a little silly. But I tried it and I like it. I have a magnifier but I have to bend over to use it and it distorts the image especially around the edges. By using two glasses I can see as well as when I use the magnifier but I don't have the distortion. Maybe I just need stronger readers.

We have lovely weather here. This is how it should be all the time.
A

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Projects





I love starting something new. I have Glastonbury Garden that needs finishing but I couldn't help starting on the second class project that I just took, Lounging Hare. I got a pitiful amount of stitching done yesterday. Too much time was spent catching up on blogs and goofing around. I got 3 backs slips done (the easy ones). I want to take my time and do this project perfectly. We don't have the box yet but we can finish everything and have it ready when the box arrives. I also started one of the kits I bought. It is a small design done all in a dark red on silk gauze. I haven't worked on gauze before. I always chicken out and substitute a larger count linen. But the teacher encouraged me to try it on the gauze. I have a nice tight hoop that I bought at Keepsake Quilting and now is the perfect time to use it. So I am working on it a little bit each day. I don't like how you can see the threads on the back but once the background is done it will look nice and neat.

While I was in Columbus, I bought a mini donut pan. I tried it out last night. It makes the cutest little donuts. I made chocolate ones and they were good and just the right size for a snack. They really need the icing though. I want to try cooking a cake mix in it.

I went looking for more classes and I found some. I am just addicted to nifty projects. The classes I saw were in Cinncinati in October. Lucet and Hare Pyns. I saw those projects this past weekend and they are marvelous. I ordered a lucet and hope to teach myself how to use it to make square cording. It looks easy. Famous last words.

I am going to work hard today and get lots done!
A

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hog Heaven




I was in hog heaven for the last four days! I am a lonely stitcher in my area, I don't know any other people here that like to stitch. Going to Georgia was a revelation. Those stitchers like to stitch as much as I do and they have all the stuff to go with it. Wow. It was so fun and I learned a lot about a lot of things. Like spraying ants with windex and how good homemade lemon ice cream is. My Blue Ribbon Sewing box is done! I got a chance to glue it in class (sometimes I need adult supervision). It is perfect! I love how it turned out. Don't you just love those scrims? Making it was my goal this year.

I had never been through the Atlanta airport. Oh my goodness, what a sea of humanity. My over all impression is that the airport needs to be bigger. Every gate was busy and did not have enough places for people to all sit down. I was glad that I could navigate enough to get from my arrival gate to my departure gate. I thought I would never get to Columbus however. Our flight was delayed by several hours as the crew for our plane was delayed. I was at the end of the concourse where there were about 8 gates all together. You could hear announcements for other gates: delays, overbookings, requests for 15 people to take a later flight, gate changes etc. When we finally got on the plane we were ecstatic but then we had to wait to take off for another hour and a half. One lady said "that's the longest 22 minute flight I've even taken". Someone said that to get to hell, you have to go through Atlanta. I know what she means.

A very kind lady gave me a ride, well that's not really correct, she gave me more than rides, she took me everywhere with her. I loved it. I was hoping other kits would be available - and they were! Man, I tell you, I was in hog heaven. I got a kit I had admired and drooled over and thought I would never be able to get - the wheelbarrow. Pinch me!

I just had sooooo much fun and everybody was very nice to me. I met my follower, Gwen. (Hi Gwen) I saw another multiple retreat goer, Angela. (Hi Angela).

I am glad to be home, my bathrooms are clean and I can play with all my stuff. I have already ordered from a place I heard about this weekend.
A

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ready Set Go



This is my third trip in six weeks. Wow, that's a lot for this stick-in-the-mud. I've never been to Georgia. The suitcase is out and half packed. I can print out my boarding pass anytime now. I hope to run into the teacher on her flights there. I just need to find some rubber bands or clips (clothes pins?) for holding everything together when I am gluing my stitching to the box. I figured out a strategy for taking something to the potluck that is Friday night. Subway footlongs cut up into small pieces. I hope the teacher has some other teaching pieces with her to show us - like the Button Brag Book. Last time I took a class with her she had some small kits of the same theme that we could buy. So I'm hoping for some extra kits this time too. I don't know if there is a needlework store in the area. That would be fun to visit.

I am still nun stitching the bottom pockets to the inside of Glastonbury Garden. I am putting the pockets in upside down. In the one the designer made the pockets open downward. Everything would fall out if you held it upright.
I took a break and finished off the last section of the kit. I'd like to get the inside done and be ready to put it together today. I am going to go through my laundry basket of junk to stitch to find some smalls to kit and take with me. I will be back on Monday!
A

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sick of Nun


I am sick of doing the nun stitch!!! It is how the pockets on Glastonbury Garden are edged and attached. But I did reach my goal of finishing the smaller flower pocket. I interfaced the inside cover and it looks much better now. It is really slow going to attach it though. So far I have run out of 3 colors of floss in the kit. Good thing that I bought extra. I am encouraged by my progress. It looks like I could actually finish this puppy. I started one of the dimensional pockets. I am thinking of how to make it more interesting, like putting a flower or heart on it somewhere.

I finally ironed some clothes to take on my trip. I plan to pack and get everything ready tomorrow. I'll have to kit up some small charts to take with me to work on while I am on the plane and while I am waiting for planes.

It is miserably hot here today but I am in air conditioning and feeling very comfortable. I was surprised that I kind of felt like reading when I was ready for a break from stitching. I still have a big chunk to read of Cutting for Stone. Do I even remember what I was reading?

The camera is not cooperating today so I had to scan my stitching.
A

Monday, June 6, 2011

It All Works Out


Yeah! I've found a ride to my class! It is all working out even better than I hoped. Whew, now I don't have to worry.
I worked mostly on the kit yesterday. I wanted to get the next section done. It is going to be a little fabric sack that holds three little wooden needle cases. I have one section left and I will have the outside done. Cool. The inside only has one stitched section. Easy peasy.
My goal today is to finish the small flower pocket for Glastonbury Garden.
My bathrooms are clean. Yeah!
I sent my dues in to join another Guild so I can take the classes they offer. Too much fun.
A

Sunday, June 5, 2011

One Down Four to Go




It is a lovely warm Sunday here. I am looking forward to getting some stitching done. I would have liked to have Glastonbury Garden done enough to take with me to my class to show to my friend Angela. But I don't think it will be in one piece by then. I finished one pocket. Four more to stitch. Two of them are flowers, two are dimensional pockets.
The kit is turning out nicely. I like the colors I switched to. You never know how things will come together.
The "thing" in the b-i-g project is still emerging. It is interesting to click on the picture and see the larger image where you can see some of the combinations of colors.
I need to iron some clothes to take on my trip. I just wear crud clothes most of the time, ones that are good for exercise class or cleaning. So I am out of practice trying to look presentable. When you get older, you just want to be comfortable. I need somebody who knows what they are doing to take me shopping for clothes. By the way, I used to like shopping at Talbots, but they have really gone downhill. I don't like the cheap fabric used and the unfinished edges. Why would anyone wear wrinkly linen? Plus there is not nearly enough elastic for me.
A