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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Surprise




I love getting things in the mail. Yesterday I was doubly delighted as I received my Hand-Dyed Fibers order and a gift from my friend DW.
DW sent me a little bird charm for my Glastonbury Garden. I think it looks very sweet and finishes it off very well. Thanks DW!
I was very surprised at my order from Hand-Dyed Fibers. I didn't remember how many threads came in the monthly offering of variegated threads. So were the purple threads an added bonus? Why did I get two of them? I don't know. Then I was surprised at the spools. I thought they all would come like the purple threads hanging from the little white things. When I looked closely at the threads, I thought, oh no, I ordered pearl cottons. Then I looked on the website and saw that there is a choice between premium and regular weight silk floss and that premium is thicker. Only one strand is needed for 28 to 32 count over 2. I loved getting a variety of colors. I want to try them out. One of the spools is bigger than the other ones. An added bonus? I want to try them out and see how they stitch up.
If I work diligently today, I can finish the background of Hare Pyns. I finished going around red bird twice. Is it done? I guess. I stitched the other strip for the wheelbarrow. Still putting it together. S l o w l y.
A

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Itching



July flew by so fast. I am going to see if I can finish Hare Pyns between today and tomorrow. I worked hard on the background and did get to the halfway point yesterday. But I am itching to start something new. I still want to do two rows around the red bird. I took some messy looking stitches out. But it shouldn't take too long to go around it twice, should it? I didn't get much done on the wheelbarrow. I have a small strip to stitch. More pieces are attached to each other. I would really like to whip the sides on but I can't do that until I get these little strips sewn on first. I am a little afraid of putting together the wheel. I didn't try the ultrasuede button. I kept thinking of an easy way out, like a real button that looks like a rose.
I enjoy going to the Farmer's Market on Saturdays. It is always fun to see what they have. After pilates, I stopped by the best place to get asiago bagels, Panera. Yum.
My Hand-Dyed Fibers made it to Indianapolis yesterday. Maybe they will make it to my mailbox today.
Still waiting to hear about the countertop. DH has done some more work taking out the old countertop. Three quarters of it is just balanced in place. I have been watching HGTV and have more ideas for the kitchen. How about a mirror above the sink? How about crown molding around the bulkheads?
I better get busy if I am going to get anything done.
A

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mystery Solved




I found the crinoline! I went down to iron the lining of the wheelbarrow sides and I found a piece of crinoline on my ironing board. Then it dawned on me what I had done. I cut the crinoline meant for the sides and used it for the front. So there wasn't enough left to do both sides. What can I say? I'm an idiot. I am slowly but surely getting all the pieces ready to be sewn together. I am totally confused about the button made out of a piece of ultrasuede. I wish that I had a diagram of where all the buttonhole stitches go. But I think the goal is to cover the ultrasuede cylinder with buttonhole stitches and make it look like a rose. I'm going to try. I'll show you tomorrow what I come up with.
I used up a whole strand of silk putting in background in my Hare Pyns front. It is way more than six strands. It was interesting to see how much got covered using a whole strand up. I would like to get to the half way point today. But if I get sick of it, I'll quit. I can't believe I am almost done. And that it looks like it is supposed to. Yeah!
I didn't get my Hand-Dyed Fibers yet. But I have a tracking number. Yesterday they were still in Pennsylvania.
We had lots and lots of lightening last night. It is supposed to be hot today. I'm going to be nice today when I answer the phone as it may be the countertop guys. I usually just hang up on the AT&T dipsoids and the "I have an important message from credit card services" recording.
A

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Under Construction





I am putting together my wheelbarrow. I realized that I have two small things yet to stitch. Strips to hold a thimble and one to hold the strawberry emery. I cut everything out and pressed it. The paper templates seem to fit okay. So I cut the timtex shapes. I am in the process of lacing the the linen to the timtex. I must have cut the crinoline wrong as I need just a bit more for the sides. So I bought some buckram. That is the closest I could find to the crinoline.
I finished the background to red bird. I think I should do two more rows just outside the border as that is what is shown in the picture on the front of the pattern.
My Hand-Dyed Fibers are winging their way to me - finally. They could be here today if I am lucky.
I took everything off three of the walls in my kitchen. It looks so sad without my personality stuck all over the walls. I have to take out the nails today. DH says we have to wash and paint before the countertop is put in. I am realizing how much crap I have on the counters. I have collected a lot of junk over the past 33 years. The bellpull which was one of my first cross stitch projects was made in like 1983. I got a blue ribbon for it from the library show. Maybe it should be retired.
A

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wheels




I was very happy to finish the background on the inside cover of Hare Pyns. Yeah! It looks nice too. Now I have just the front cover's background to do. Maybe I'll try to stitch one strand (6 plies) every day and see how far and fast that gets me. I think I can finish the background of red bird today. My friend DW suggested doing the background in basketweave to see if that is more even so I am trying it.
I am so proud of myself. I finished a wheel on the wheelbarrow. It was not easy trying to figure out how to do a blanket stitch without piercing the fabric. I kinda made up a stitch somewhat related to a stem stitch. I'm just trying to make it look like the picture. Who knows if it is right? I'm working on the second one and it will probably be better than the first. Although I got off somewhere and am backtracking so the circle will meet up.
I started sneezing during exercise class yesterday and my nose hasn't quit running since. Allergies? I've never had allergies so I assume it is a cold. One of those awful summer colds. I probably caught it in the grocery store when someone sneezed all over everywhere. I wash my hands all the time so I won't catch anything. I'll post pictures later, my battery needs recharging. Rats.
A

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pitiful


I got a pitiful amount of stitching done yesterday. I was just pooped. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. I stitched the date that is on the bottom of the wheelbarrow. That means I only have the wheel left to stitch and I can start putting it together. It looks like it is challenging to construct. There is even a paper practice page to help you figure out how to put the parts together. I will have to wrap floss around wire for the frame. I hope that goes smoothly. The palestrina knots don't look very even but they are supposed to help define the top edge. I am hoping they look good when it is all put together. I think I want to make a fancy edge for the pin cushion with hem stitching and ribbon threaded through. I am always more ambitious in the morning.
I put a few stitches in the background of red bird. The background looks kind of antiquey. Not as even or smooth as I would like but maybe one won't notice that when it is all finished. Let's hope.
The counter top is being made! I didn't have to pay more! It is supposed to be done by the end of the week! Yeah!
We bought the sink yesterday. So all set with that. We still need some accessories like a faucet and drains. DH is talking about taking off more of the old counter top so we are ready for the install.

Goals for today:
Finish the inside cover background of Hare Pyns.
Try to finish the background of red bird.
Read how to stitch the wheel.
Read the finishing instructions for the wheelbarrow.

I went back and looked at my Hand-Dyed Fibers order and saw that they will email me when they send the order. So I'm waiting for the email instead of the mailman or in our case, the mailwoman.
A

Monday, July 25, 2011

Creeping Along




I feel like I am moving slowly but I can see the finish line. I got to the three-quarters done mark in the red bird background. I got past the half way point of the inside cover of Hare Pyns. I was excited when the lines actually matched up. I was so afraid that they wouldn't and I would have to figure out how to hide the fact that they didn't match up but luckily they meshed just fine. I also finished the front of the wheelbarrow. Sweet. I want to finish one of these parts today. One bathroom is done and I am procrastinating doing the other one by playing on the computer. Usually I don't let myself goof around too much until my work is done. But DH is off on an errand and I have access.
We are going to go get a kitchen sink today. And I hope to spur Home Depot into getting busy on my new countertop. Still waiting for Hand Dyed Fibers. This is the first time I have ordered from them so I didn't know what to expect. Now I know. Don't hold my breath.
Back to the other bathroom.
A

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Close But No Cigar




I got most of what I wanted to accomplish done yesterday. I am half done stitching the red bird background. I stitched on the background and got to the top of the inside cover of Hare Pyns. I finished the other side piece to the wheelbarrow and started the front with a little birdy on it. The last thing I was going to do was kit up a small project. Didn't get there yet. I find that I get going on something and I just don't want to quit.
So what are my goals for today? I want to get to the halfway point in stitching the background of the inside cover. I want to do some more of the red bird background. I want to see how far I can get on the front of the wheelbarrow. Essentially, more of what I was doing yesterday. Not very exciting. But the progress I can see keeps me going.
I still haven't gotten the Hand-Dyed Threads that I ordered. I thought they would be here by now. I should get them this week for sure.
A

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunny Saturday




Right now it is a sunny Saturday morning. I've been to the Farmer's Market. If I had had more money I would have bought a bouquet of lilies. But I got some good stuff. It is the first time I've seen peaches there. I don't know why but I have a hankering for an asiago bagel. Wish there was a bagel place nearby. I've been to pilates too so now I can play.
I got the background to the pin keep done. Now only 3 backgrounds to work on. My goal was to get to the edge of the inside cover. Check. My other goal was to do the background around the "A" on the red bird. Check.
Today's goals are to:
1. Finish at least half of the red bird background
2. Get to the top of the inside cover,
3. Work on the wheelbarrow,
4. Kit up something small.

I cleaned out the mentoring bag. Good grief, the summer is half over, took me long enough. I should work on another pile of stuff in my sewing room. I reorganized a bit trying to find the background thread for red bird. Luckily I finally did find it. I kept telling myself, "it's got to be here somewhere". Although I kept finding new projects that would be fun to start on.
A

Friday, July 22, 2011

Background Check




I stitched the diamond shaped pin keep that goes on the inside cover. It has a tent stitch background that I am still working on. I tried some rows of the twill stitch background on the inside cover. I have just a quarter inch done of the upright gobelin stitched background on the cover. So essentially, I have three backgrounds to work on Hare Pyns before this baby is done. I also have the background of the red bird to do. I need a diversion. An interesting interlude to amuse me. I guess I should go back to the wheelbarrow. How about some sweet small project? That would be a nice change.
There are three little boys playing outside my window. The teacher in me wants to go tell them to put the sticks down. Old habits die hard.
It is a bit cooler today with a chance of thunderstorms. I was very nervous yesterday as the electricity blinked out a couple of times - just enough to screw up the clocks. I bet our electrical grid was stressed.
I didn't get the mentoring bag cleaned out so it is still on my list - with a few other things.
A

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two leaves


I finished the inside cover. There is a diamond shaped pyn keep that I haven't stitched yet that will go between the two flowers. I got the last front cover flower stitched and now am working on the last two leaves. I still have the initials to put in. I'm close to being done! I goofed up the little leaf and had to take it out last night but now it is in the right place. It sure is easy to get lost in those leaves. I might just thread up needles in the four different colors and work my way up the leaf. Maybe that will make it easier to figure out where I am. I also have some colored tape that may help too. As I look at it, I see that I have some more stitches to do between the zigzags on the inside cover. I've done really well for two weeks work.
We went out to eat last night as did half of the city! If you judge by restaurant business, the economy is doing just fine.
It is really hot here today. We are so fortunate to have air conditioning. There was no teacher for aerobics this morning so I didn't go, I just slept in. It was great. I should make a list of things to accomplish today. Maybe I'll clean out the mentoring bag.
A

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overcast



The weather is overcast and gloomy today. It is supposed to be even hotter and more humid than yesterday. UGH. But I have light and electricity so I don't care. Ha Ha weather.
I started the inside cover of Hare Pyns and I am half done already. Isn't that a cute bunny head in the zero? I can finish it today. Sometimes I just need to finish something. I have two leaves, a flower and three initials to finish on the front. It would be great to get to the point of just having the backgrounds to do. 72 days until the class. I know I can get it done. I hope my pictures aren't too boring. I feel like I am showing you the same picture everyday.
We looked at kitchen sinks yesterday. I am still waiting for the store to call with the final price for the countertop. Let's get on with it already.
The insurance guy called yesterday and took our claim for the branch leaning up against our house - over the phone! He didn't even come see it. Now we have to contact a tree removal company to take care of it. It's always something. (Roseanne Roseannadanna)
A

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bargello


I finished the bargello back of the Hare Pyns stitcher's pocket! Yeah! It felt like I had been doing bargello forever. Now it will be nice to go on to something else. I can work on finishing stitching the front or peek into what I have to do for the inside cover which looks easy and quick. It will be nice to work on something different.
It is oppressively hot today. I am just going to stay inside in the air conditioning.
I ordered the Hand-Dyed Fibers varigated monthly selection. It will be fun to see what I get. It is also fun to wait for a package in the mail. There is a "Christmas in July" sale at The Attic and they have some neat looking scissors on sale. But I am trying to resist (like I need another pair of scissors!).
A

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inch by Inch



Stitching goes slowly sometimes. I wanted to finish the bargello on the Hare Pyns back cover as I had twelve rows to go. Alas, the best laid plans go by the wayside. I only got five rows done. Seven still to go. But I finished the middle flower on the front. I also put some stitches in the red bird background. I'm hoping it won't look messy when I get done. I am not sure how to finish-finish it. Frame it? Make it a pin? Mount it on a box? I'm waiting for inspiration.
I even found the parts to stitch a bit on the wheelbarrow. It was interesting to do some actual cross stitch as opposed to tent stitch over one. It looks so big.
I called the insurance company this morning about the two-story tall branch leaning against our house. Somebody is going to come look at it. They will probably say "Sorry Charlie, it's your problem". But it doesn't hurt to check.
My BFF is going to the Ohio classes! Yeah! It will be great to see her there. I'll know somebody.
The bathrooms are clean and I am going on a great fun adventure - to Target! Be still my heart.
A

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Something Finished





It feels good to finish something. I bought this little kit for a wooden needlebook in Georgia. I think it kind-of coordinates with the lounging hare project. It is called "Mr. Butters". Mainly it is just cut and glued together. But the wooden sides make it unique. The front design (Mr. Butters, I assume) is printed on fabric. The inside is ultrasuede with pockets and a needlepage. The little needle packages were included also. I have another little butterfly kit to make that looks like fun too. It coordinates with the wheelbarrow that I have been neglecting.
I worked a bit on the background of the red bird. I think I like the look of working the background in vertical rows as opposed to basketweave which is worked on the diagonal. I was trying to find the most even looking way to stitch without getting a "lined" look.
I worked a bit on Hare Pyns. I timed myself to see how long it took to do a row of bargello. It took 22 minutes. I have twelve more rows of bargello to finish the back. I guess if I worked on it all afternoon I could finish but I might be bored out of my mind. We'll see. Sometimes I like the mindless repetition. Sometimes I like excitement. Although excitement for me is starting something new.
I plan to watch the final game of the Women's World Cup this afternoon and root for the USA.
A

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A



My last name has always started with "W". So I am usually at the end of the list. So when given the opportunity to stitch my initial I always choose my first name. I am particularly fond of my first name and it starts with an "A". "A" is first on the list, it is the best grade, it is the top of the heap. When it came time to put my initial on the red bird, I put in a lovely "A". Now all the red part is stitched and I can start on the background. I discovered a mistake in the background I had already put in and had to take it out. Whoa is it hard to frog on gauze! I was afraid I would tear it somehow and the whole thing would be ruined. But luckily, it came out okay. Slowly but okay.
I also worked on Hare Pyns. I am half way through the bargello. The front design (not counting the background) is half done. Yesterday I said they were nearly half done. I'm afraid it is going to be slow going and not very exciting pictures to show. I wanted to put in a few stitches in the wheelbarrow but I had to find all the parts and ended up playing with another kit that I want to finish today. It looks quick to put together and there isn't cross stitch involved but it does involve a bunny. I'll show it tomorrow.
We are getting ready for a very hot week here. I can take hot when I have electricity. I don't need much from the Farmer's Market today. I'd like some snap peas if they are still around. The sour cherries I got last week died without electricity to chill or freeze them or make them into cherry crisp.
Women's soccer semi-final is on this morning. I know, it doesn't sound very exciting but I am not fond of cartoons. The tree that took out the electricity on Monday is all gone. People came by and took care of it entirely yesterday.
A

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fryday



So I've made it to Friday - again. I love electricity. It makes many things possible. May I never take it for granted.
The counter top design is decided (no ogee on the backsplash) and I have been looking for a kitchen sink.
I worked on Hare Pyns yesterday. I have had the kit for approximately 8 days and feel like I have made very good progress. The Hare Pyns stitcher's pocket has three parts: front, back, inside cover. The back is all bargello which is really easy and goes pretty fast. I am almost half done with it. The front is very delicate over one. The flowers use an encroaching gobelin stitch which I am getting more used to. The real challenge will be the background which is all stitched in upright gobelin. But having seen the finished product in Georgia, I know it is beautiful. I have nearly half of the over-one design stitched. I took a break and put in a few stitches in the red bird.

The sewing room is a wreck. I need to pick a spot each day and clean it up - for about a month. I like having lots of things at my fingertips but it gets to a point of not being able to find anything because there is too much stuff.
I'm making homemade pizza tonight. Yum.
A

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Biforcated Tree



I have been holding my breath for 3 days. We had a severe storm on Monday morning just as I was getting ready to post. The tree up the road split in two and the half that fell took out the electrical line and two poles along with it. Many people were without electricity and we had to wait our turn. I thought we would get taken care of quickly since we had wires laying on the ground. (No) Downed trees that were blocking two of the three ways to get out of here were moved on the first day.
DH and I are horribly spoiled. We can hardly function without power. All our entertainment involves electricity. I stitched as much as I could with limited light. We went to bed at 10 p.m.
We discussed buying a generator or going to a hotel. Generators were roaring all around us. There was the buzz of chain saws all day. We sweated. Then this afternoon, the trucks showed up. The cavalry came and saved us! Finally at 4:12 this afternoon, we have power. Wow. It is wonderful. This is the third major power outage this year. Enough already.

I almost forgot what I was showing you on this blog. Okay, so I just up and cut the offending threads on the Hare Pyns scissors fob. Now it looks perfect. Let's just hope no threads work themselves loose and rear their ugly heads. I stitched up the scissors cover and it is beautiful. I got started on the main stitcher's pocket. It is hard! Over one stitching with specialty stitches. It is going well but now that I have light I will have to look closely to see if I messed anything up in the last 3 days.

The guy came yesterday to measure for the new counter top. New issues to deal with. I want an ogee edge on the front. But I do not want an ogee edge on the back splash. They are going to call me and tell me how much more that will cost. Oh well at least I have electricity.
A

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fixed






Now I am happy with my Hare Pyns scissors sheath. I took it all apart. I stitched a second side and then sewed it all together again. I blocked it just a bit and now it looks good. I also put the little scissors fob together. There are two stitches I wish I could take out in the scissors fob. Just two! One is a background stitch that should not be there. The other one is when I was stitching it together, I got over one thread too far on one stitch. I don't think I can take them out without making a mess of it. So maybe I will stitch it again. Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to mess with it a little and see what happens.
I am excited to stitch the needle cover. It is so cute and I am almost to a tulip.
I am feeling much more comfortable stitching over one. There are projects that I have abandoned in part because the over-one stitching was too much. I bet if I went back to them now, they wouldn't seem difficult at all.
I have made good progress on the red bird. It is interesting to note how the background stitches change the design. I was afraid I was too messy and uneven but it is shaping up pretty well.
I'm off to stitch and watch the women's soccer team play Brazil.
A

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sweet




I am very much enjoying working on Hare Pyns. My friend DW suggested stitching another side for the scissors sheath and trimming the felt closer. I'm going to follow her recommendations. I stitched the sweet little scissors fob yesterday. It is really good to practice the background stitches and feel comfortable with them before tackling the bigger project.

I made all the twisted cording yesterday for tying on the pockets of the Queen Bee bucket. I am very happy to finish this as I went to this class last October. About time! I like how buttons are used on both sides of the pocket tie-ons. One side is a black button and the other side is a Mother-of-Pearl heart-shaped button.

I am looking for a sweet little charm to put on the ribbon of Glastonbury Garden. The designer shows one on hers and it looks neat. I found a small silver heart but what I really want is a tiny dragonfly or bee or ladybug.

I skipped pilates today and just went to the Farmer's Market. Bad girl!
A