Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Very Berry Thief

I only worked on Berry Thief yesterday. It was fun working out the border on the middle section. The pattern has nothing on this section, only edging. I wanted to spice it up a bit. So I used the vine and white flowers motif that I used on the front. I put a strawberry at the top and I like how it worked out. I am thinking of putting the bird at the bottom. I could put the word "scissors" but I like the idea of the bird better. This puppy is almost done. I hope to start putting it together today. There is a pocket for the other side that has a border. I will use the vine/white flowers again.
I got an email about what to take to the Hare Pyns class. That made me think about doing what I can now so that I don't have to wait to use a sewing machine or iron when I get there. So I ironed the divider section and now I need to put stiffener in it and stitch it closed. It has some ribbon on it too. I also folded the ribbon and ironed it so it will fit around the edge. The class is still a month away.
The hardest part of the English Tapestry Sewing Box is trying to stitch with DMC 932 on the blue fabric. They are the same color and nearly impossible to see. Is that why I am procrastinating?
My peach pie turned out fine. When I am in my sewing room, I can't hear the oven timer ding so luckily DH heard it and took it out of the oven. Otherwise, it would have been burnt to a crisp.
I haven't found the pattern to the afghan. Rats. It is not even on ebay. I know it is here somewhere. I'm still looking.
It is a nice quiet day for stitching.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One of Three

I got one of the three sides of Berry Thief done. I change a bit. When I came to the third line of words, I made up a little vine with white strawberry flowers. I like it a lot and I think I will use it as a border around the scissor section. I have almost finished the "festoon" stitch around the edge of the second section. This project is going pretty fast which is a nice change from the English Tapestry Sewing Box. I did work on the ETSB a bit, trying to reach the end of it. I'm not quite there yet. Why is one project so much more enjoyable than another? I don't know the answer to that one.

Today is DH's birthday. The will you still love me one. All he wants is a peach pie. So that is what I plan to make today. I can't believe August is almost over. Labor Day is next Monday. Time flies when you are having fun - and even when you're not! But I am having lots of fun.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Berry Thief

I worked on Berry Thief yesterday and enjoyed it very much. It is to be made into a trifold needlecase. The other two parts of the trifold have very little stitching on them and I am thinking of adding some design or border to them. I changed the words of the one I am working on. It had "work'd October" on it and it isn't October. So I just put Amy's work instead. I didn't like how the October bent down the side like they ran out of room. I got out a copy of the William Morris strawberry thief pattern to see if it could give me any ideas about what to add to the other sides. So far, I don't have any inspirations. I think I can finish side one today as I only have a few more rows to go. I also have another kit for a piece that matches this one.
The bathrooms are clean and the sheets are changed. Laundry is in the dryer. There are a few other housekeeping things I should do today. My silverware drawer desperately needs cleaning out and the liner replaced. So that's my goal. Then I'm going to stitch, stitch, stitch.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A New Start

When you finish something then you get to start something new. That's the rule. (I made the rule up!)
The good thing about having a messy sewing room is that you can see stuff all over the floor. And when you are ready to start something new you just have to pick up something off the floor. So I did. I bought this Berry Thief kit while at Celebrations four months ago. I wasn't sure I wanted to stitch it as charted. But when I looked at it more closely, I thought, well, I will trust that the designer knows what she is doing and it will turn out okay. Also, if I want to add this and that along the way - I can. There is so much to be said for having everything that you need right there in the kit. I love that. The first thing you have to do is the festoon stitch all around the edge. This is so interesting that a stitch is called by about eleven different names. Do each stitch twice and call it the nun stitch. I've seen it called the four sided stitch. This time it is festoon. Maybe you can just call it whatever you want. Maybe you can name it after yourself if you want to.
I worked just a tiny bit on the English Tapestry Sewing Box. I got one flower done. That doesn't sound like much and it looks like even less. But when you have to change threads 7 times, it is time consuming not to mention that it is over one stitching. I've decided that I want to skip the next chart page and work on getting to the bottom of the design on one side. I am having fun stitching Berry Thief and may not want to stop.
The Scottish Festival was fun but small. We had our bridies and meat pies and even bought some to take home. We heard some good music. The weather was nice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Finish

I finished my flowered wool mat. I am a good procrastinator and one way to avoid the over one stitching on the English Tapestry Sewing Box is to work on something else. So I picked up the mat which was nearly done and finished it off. Yeah!
DH and I are leaving soon for the Scottish Festival. He is going to wear his kilt. He usually does. I love how he looks in it. Today it is nice outside, not too hot. I am coated with sunscreen and looking forward to a bridie and a meat pie for lunch.
I finished my letter to a relative in Australia and mailed it off. Writing that letter was one of my goals for yesterday. I've been to the Farmer's Market.It is still too hot for the cupcake lady to have cupcakes. Drat.
I hope I get some down time later for stitching.
Have a great Saturday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Listellos are Us

That's the kind of store I am looking for "Listellos are Us". I've spent much of yesterday and part of today looking for decorative tile accents for the kitchen backsplash. You have to look at a lot of frogs before you find a prince. I think I will have to go back out to the store on the other side of town and bring home some samples.
Things happening on the stitching front are boring. Still plugging away on the English Tapestry Sewing Box. I'm tied of it. I want it to be done. When I got sick of it last night I picked up the wool mat with the flowers on it. I really am close to finishing all the embroidery on it. The lime is about half done but not very exciting to look at. I have been dreaming about a Patrick's Woods design that I saw on A Gentleman's Samplings. It is called "A Spot in the Mountains". I hope I get a chance to stitch it. The frame I bought for Red Bird is too big for it but I can get a mat cut. I still can't find the afghan pattern. Still looking.
Son#2 and DIL are on their way to Hawaii today. That sounds so fun. Imagine lying on the sand with water lapping at your feet and beautiful scenery. I hope they have a great time. Wish I was there.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Busy Day

It has been a busy day! I slept a little late. Today is my early day for exercise class and since I skipped yesterday, I really needed to go. Then after class I went to Hobby Lobby for my biennial root beer drops run. They had 18 bags and I bought them all. I also got a couple bags of horehound candies. While I was at Hobby Lobby I got a frame for Red Bird. But now I have to find where I set it down and see if the frame will fit. Luckily the frame was on sale for half off. I got some material for Raggedy Ann's clothes and some stuffing and hair yarn so I can finish her. Then I went to look at tiles for the back splash. The tan tile I picked out is so blah. It needs some sort of accent or color to spice it up. Oh my Goodness accent tiles are expensive. And I have expensive taste! The one I liked was 39.11 for one 12 inch span. I need about 17 of them. I think I am going to go look at Home Depot and Lowe's to see if they have something interesting. One of the least expensive ways to go is to get those little half-inch glass tiles in assorted colors. But that isn't really what I want. The saga continues . . . .
The counter top is all installed. The design is correct this time. The sink has been re-installed and is operational. It looks really nice. It is a big improvement over the French Blue counter top we have had for 33 years.
I stitched on the interminable English Tapestry Sewing Box. I know it is time to quit when I start making mistakes.
My BFF is sending me a package. Neat. I love mail. I ordered some more HDF (Hand-dyed Fibers). This time I ordered the regular (as opposed to premium) varigated floss. It will be interesting to see what it is like. I got the monthly selection. Someone at the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild had some HDF that was so pretty. She was showing everybody. It was on a big spool and she said it was called "Peaches and Cream". But I didn't see any color by that name on HDF's site.
DH has soccer tonight so we are going out to eat at someplace new. Neat.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I waiting for the guy to show up to install the counter tops. He was supposed to be here an hour ago. I have all this nervous energy just waiting. I even curled my hair. Everything is out of the cabinets, we are ready for him.
I searched for the Shepherd's Bush afghan pattern and pearl cotton some more. It is still MIA. But I found some more interesting things. At one time I did silk painting. I saw a really cute design and painted it on silk. I was going to make a wall hanging or quilt out of it. Well, it is still sitting in a pile in my closet. I couldn't throw it away. I am not sure I like how the colors turned out. Like watercolor, if you combine too many colors, you get the color of dirt. One of the cats looks like the color of dirt. Also, I think some of the colors are faded- that's how old this thing is. I have to think about this and figure out if it is worth doing something with.
The counter top guy just called to say he would be here in an hour. Just in time for lunch. Whatever.
I did get down to a bottom point on page 3 of the English Tapestry Sewing Box. I peeked at page 5. The last two pages of charts are much shorter. I may be able to finish this after all.
I didn't get very much stitching done yesterday. I rented "Jane Eyre" and watched it last night. It is kind of a moody film and you have to look at the characters faces and enjoy the gothic scenery so you can't really stitch and watch at the same time. I thought the movie was well done. But "Jane" should have been made just a bit prettier. A tiny bit of make-up would have been better. Also she should have smiled more that two times in the whole movie. Also Rochester could have been more charismatic. Otherwise it seemed very true to the book. Of course, there are things that are left out so it isn't a four hour movie. Over all, I give it a B.
I'm going to stitch until the counter top guy shows up. I could have gone to exercise class if I had known.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Looking for Stuff

Well, I've been looking for the pattern and the pearl cotton to finish off the afghan. So far, I haven't found it. I have discovered a lot of junk that was in my closet though, that I had no idea was there. DH says to throw it away but I am having a hard time with that. I threw some scraps of fabric away and drawings for watercolor paintings done ages ago. I found a whole pile of finished stitching that needs to be made into something (see picture, above). I also ran across many charts, and thought," Yeah, I was going to stitch that sometime" but never got around to it. I have a lot of school stuff that I find really hard to get rid of. Maybe I should reward myself for taking it to Goodwill. What's a good reward? More stitching stash? A Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza?
I worked on the English Tapestry Sewing Box. It goes so slowly. I want to work my way down to the bottom of the page 3 chart today.
The counter top is done! They are going to install it tomorrow! That means I have to unload the cabinets - again. ARGH. One more baby step to getting this whole project in the kitchen done. I have my fingers crossed that they made it right this time. Next up: tiling the backsplash.
Sweet and Sour Pork tonight.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Week

Monday is a great day. It is the start of a new week and new projects and new adventures. I worked just a bit on the English Tapestry Sewing Box yesterday. It goes so slowly, you probably can't even tell that I did anything. I got to a point where I couldn't do anymore over one stitching so I pulled out the lime and got started on it. It is great to be able to see progress. I also remembered a project I started at least 10 years ago. It is an afghan with a Shepherd's Bush design. It is almost done. I just have to finish the house in the middle and I think it is supposed to be personalized with names and dates. It is all stitched in #5 pearl cotton. It is perfect for a baby gift. I finished one of these for a lady a long time ago by lining the back with fabric. I will need to find the perfect fabric and line this one when it is done. If I make it for the new baby girl, I'll have to wait and find out the name and birth date. So I won't be able to give it to her at the baby shower in November.
Well, I am off to clean bathrooms and change sheets (as DH is finally out of bed!).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Page Three

I made it to Page three of the English Tapestry Sewing Box chart. When I get that done, I'll be more than half way finished with this project. I think this project is based on a William Morris design called "artichoke". On this page I think I actually get to the "artichoke" part. Here is a picture of what the box looks like finished.
I made brownies yesterday as I had a hankering and a brownie mix - with walnuts. Yum.
I found the little yellow finch chart! It was hiding but I finally found it mixed in with a bunch of other charts. Now I have to pick out some linen for it. The pattern calls for 28 count but I think I will do it on 32. After doing a lot of over one on 32 count, over two on 28 count seems gargantuan.
It is nice to have an easy project to trade off with a hard one. I also found the lime chart. So I have two possibilities for new starts.
I am trying to finish watching Season 1 of In Treatment. Since there isn't much on TV, it is keeping me entertained - and contemplative.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Pink is my new favorite color! The new baby is going to be a girl! I so wanted to have a girl when my children were born. But I had two boys. Now I can make girl stuff. I have a pleater so I can make beautiful smocked dresses. I have a half-made Raggedy Ann doll that I can finish. I make the cutest little stuffed dog. It is a Joan Russell pattern from a Woman's Day magazine that dates to the early 60's. I already have a Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Christmas Stocking stitched but I want to see if there is an even sweeter one that I can stitch.
I worked on the English Tapestry Sewing Box yesterday. I am pretty close to getting page 2 done. So that is my goal for today, finish page 2. I am starting to feel some momentum on this project. I am anxious to see what the next part will look like. Page two has gone fast.
The word on the counter top is, as of six days ago, it is not done.
Rain is coming across the lake. I can hear thunder already. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't lose electricity again.
I have a hankering for brownies.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is the Day

This is the day we find out if our first grandchild will be a girl or a boy. As they are three time zones behind us, it will be a while before they find out and let us know.
Yesterday I worked on the English Tapestry Sewing Box and got a good amount accomplished on page two. I'd like to finish page two but I don't know if I can do that today. I finished the little round pin cushion that goes with Hare Pyns. I am getting to the point that I can't do much more until the finishing class in October. I don't want to mess something up so the best thing is to wait - but be prepared. There is a tiny scissor fob that I know that I stitched but right now I can't find it. It is not in the bag of stuff. And I still haven't found that cute little yellow bird pattern that I bought all the floss for. ARGH Yes, I know, I need to clean up the sewing room.
I was so happy that I got two more flowers stitched on the wool mat. There are only three more to go!!!
I plan to call and ask about the counter top today. It's been over two weeks. It would be nice to finally put everything back into the kitchen and move on to tiling. The month of August has passed so quickly. It slipped by while I wasn't looking.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back on Track

Well, I finished off In the Sweet By & By and I totally finished my round robin interpretation. So back to the English Tapestry Sewing Box. I made it to Page 2. This page is the other half of the design on the first page so I'm doing all the same stitching on the other side of the flower. Ironically, I found out where I was off a stitch. But it's okay, you can't tell. This design is to be made into a small box that is around 4 inches by 6 inches. I really like stitching that is finished into something dimensional.
I want to put a little time in each day into getting ready for the Hare Pyns class. I'd like to finish the little round pin cushion today.
I started making a list of designers that I would like to take a class with. The guild is always looking for suggestions of who to try and get to teach a class. So far I have:
Cynthia Zittel of Drawn Thread
Merry Cox - Nouveau Palais Royal box
Marsha Papay Gomola - sweet little bird needlebook like she is doing for Shining Needle Society
Betsy Morgan - her new casket design
Sandra Sullivan - Prairie Schooler - I just like her designs
Just Nan - love some of her designs (not the bears or the angels)
Jackie DuPlessis - I want to make the Bonboniere Box, Pink & Pearls, Lily of the Valley
Barbara Jackson - the strawberry needlebook she is doing for Williamsburg
Louise Henderson of Cherished Stitches - sweet lady
Brooke's Books - might be interesting
CA Wells
I know all the rage is samplers and primitive designs but I really like things that are pretty and imaginative. My family says I always pick things with flowers on them. So I must be partial to flowers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Running in Place

I feel like I am running in place - not really getting anywhere. I found some dupioni silk to line the round robin project and some overdyed green wool for the needle page. I just have to iron the dupioni and stitch it to the inside and tack down the wool. Then - done!
I am just inches away from finishing the stitching on In the Sweet By & By. I am happy with the colors I used. There are some "mistakes" in the chart. It is not entirely symmetrical. It is one stitch off here and there. One of the acorn bunches is down a stitch compared to the others. Was it intentional? I have no idea. So with just a few stitches here and there left to do, I am done with it.
I didn't get to the English Tapestry Sewing Box yesterday. I have a sneaking feeling that I am procrastinating. But I really do want to stitch it.
I was looking at the neglected wool mat I started stitching in May. The voice in my head said "Finish it already!!"
We are booked to go to California in September for a few days to see son #2 and DIL. We find out in 2 (!) days if the baby is a girl or a boy. I am so excited! Then it means I can get started on some sweet baby stuff. A quilt. A Christmas stocking. Maybe a Raggedy Ann or a kitty cat.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I finished stitching my interpretation of the Catherine Theron round robin pin cushion. I like how it turned out. I used different threads. I think I'll make it into a needle book. I am lacing it onto Skirtex now. I'll line it with some silk dupioni and see if I have some pretty coordinating wool for the needle page. I meant for the the blue lines and beads to look like a stylized rain falling on the flowers.
I made good progress on In the Sweet By and By. I took out the dark pink I was using for the lettering and used a more faded blue and I like that better. I think I could finish today if I worked hard on it. I am not sure what to do with it when it is done. I thought of adding some strips of fabric, making it into a small pillow and replacing one of the pillows I have on my bed which are donkeys years old (as my MIL would say).
I went to the mall trying to spend money but was not very successful. I had coupons for Penney's and Macy's. I also checked Christopher & Banks. Unfortunately they have gone the Talbots route, using thin cheap material for their tops. Not interested in crappy material for premium prices. It would be nice to find pretty clothes instead of ones that "aren't terrible". Actually, I just like the clothes I have and wish they wouldn't wear out.
The kitchen is all painted, the curtains have been rehung (as opposed to laying crumpled on the dining room floor!). We are still waiting (12 days) to hear about the countertop. I want to put some stitches in the English Tapestry Sewing Box today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

I didn't post yesterday because I was on my field trip to the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild annual picnic. I had a great time. I drove half way there and met friends to ride with the rest of the way. I am not a driver. I don't like it. I am afraid. I hate having to merge. Driving back at 5pm Sunday was the worst part as the interstate was busy and my car starts to shake at 71 mph. So everybody is whizzing by me. But I made it in one piece.
Fun, fun, fun. I had a blast. It is great being around people who like to stitch. Add lots of food and conversation, it is great. Then add kits to stitch and I am in hog heaven.
Everybody showed what was in their sewing bag (Vera Bradley, don't ya know). It was great seeing what people are working on. The house where the picnic was held had many samplers on the wall. Amazing work. My guilty pleasures were a hot dog and ice cream. Since it had been raining, our picnic was inside. There was a raffle for two surprise bags of goodies. You had a chance to buy a special little kit designed just for the guild and it was cute. Then I bought a little strawberry kit that was taught right there at the meeting. It seems that designers send out a notebook of their designs that we could vote on which one we would like taught at the class. We looked at designs from Amy Mitten and Marcia Brown Smith. I got to see the box from the book finishing class I signed up for next year with Marcia Brown Smith. I also got to see the Harvest Moon project. It is so darling! I love the smalls that go in the Elsie box. There were so many interesting people and stories there. It was a great day and I hope to go to more meetings. Everybody was friendly and nice. It was great to have friends to ride with too. Needless to say, I was exhausted when I got home. What a day!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still on Page One

I didn't get as far as I wanted on the English Tapestry Sewing Box. That is because I washed the ceiling and the bulkhead in the kitchen. DH is painting the corners right now. We would love to get the whole kitchen painted this weekend. That would be a big accomplishment. The painting will go really fast once we can use a roller. I've been thinking it would be nice to paint it a color instead of just white. I didn't tell DH, as I know what his response would be: NO!
I worked just a bit on In the Sweet By and By. I am working out the colors as I go along.
My sister asked why I don't like pineapples. I love to eat pineapple but I don't like stitching them especially stitching in all black. The kit is from Jackie DuPlessis and is a neat little see through tin. I just need to find a little round design that I like. A pansy! That's it, find one of Just Nan's pansies and stitch that.
Another of the round robin kits is from Catherine Theron. I don't like the flower on it - too stilted. I saw a flower I liked on the front of the Monogram Album I was using and thought it might do. So I started it.
In hopes of organizing my sewing room just a bit, I am going to get one of those plastic drawers and put all my leftover kit threads in it. Right now, leftover threads are scattered all over. If I put them in one central place, it will clean off the top of a lot of things in my sewing room. I can't bear to throw the threads away and sometimes they are very useful.
I am excited about going to meet stitchy people tomorrow. I'm going to take my camera and get some pictures.