Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two Cupcakes and a Candy Cane

What I got done yesterday was the finishing for the Bay of Evil kit. I am happy with how it turned out. It is cute!I I changed it just a little making the page a pocket. I didn't want to be able to see the back of the page (and let people see my messy stitching!) so I put interfacing on the back and sewed it on as a pocket. It is now safely sitting in my curio cabinet. I got a package yesterday but it was just the cable to connect my IPad to my TV so that I can watch stuff on a bigger screen than my IPad. But really, my IPad has such a perfect display that I don't mind watching Downton Abbey on it. I watched the second episode and enjoyed it very much. I got two cupcakes and a candy cane sewn on the Sugar Plum Fairy Stocking. Progress! I still have two candy pieces to put on the bottom. Late last night I got Part Two of the Amy Mitten Vierlande Winders' Keeper Tutorial. Cool. I read through it. The lessons provided online are clear and it will be great putting this together. I can see now what pieces need the backstitching so I will have to go back and do that. The first part of the finishing is putting on the interfacing. A few lessons haven't been posted yet. I can't start anyway since my kit hasn't arrived. It has been mailed so I know it is on it's way. Only 11 days until I leave for Spring Fling. That will be so fun! A

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sugar Plum Fairy Stocking

bay of Evil Kit

Rainy day

Things never turn out the way you think they will. I went off to Step/Sculpt class today only to find that the teacher was sick and there was no sub. It is spring vacation for the schools around here so parking at the Y was easy. So I drove back home and got busy finishing the Bay of Evil kit. I got all the stitching done last night. I love that all the finishing supplies are in the kit although I am changing some stuff along the way. You are suppose to glue (!) the linen to poster board. Well I added some thermolam to the front of the poster board and laced it on. I also interfaced the pages. This can be done done today.
I figured out how to send the photos from my IPad to this blog but I only know how to do just one at a time and it makes a whole new posting. I am still learning how to use this thing.
I am working on a couple of cupcakes and a candy cane for the Sugar Plum Fairy stocking. My goal for today is to finish all the candy along the bottom of the stocking.
I have high hopes that I will get something that I ordered in the mail. Since I have about five things ordered, it could happen! I am not happy with SBB as it has been five weeks now and the site has said "your order is being packed for shipping" for a week. ARGH.
Time goes so fast, I cap'n hardly believe that it is Friday - again!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tomorrow is Another Day

Sister Anthonita used to say "Tomorrow is another day". I've come to love that expression. I've also come to realize that things look better in the morning. That is what I have decided about the gate for the Bay of Evil kit. I tried the color of floss called for and in the light of morning it looks fine. I nun stitched the pages/pocket for the inside. I think I can finish this today.
I looked for some very small designs to put in the tiny rectangles of the second class of the June Retreat. I have four of six done. I don't like the flower one (the stem is too dark) but I'm not sure I'll change it.
The Sugar Plum Fairy stocking is coming along. I wonder how far I could get if I worked on it all day. I want to get to the Fairy part. I'm on piece 48 now out of at least 110.
In a weak and ornery moment, I ordered the pouch chart from France. It's the one David did on David's Cottage Down the Hill blog. I was just checking to see if I could order stuff from my IPad. Yep, I can.
I was shocked to learn that the tool I ordered from Amy Mitten to make the cording/braid, she actually makes them herself! She is very clever. I am looking forward to meeting her in person when I take a class from her in May through our guild. I'm not really a sampler person but I wanted meet her. The best thing about the project we are doing ("Mute but not Silent") is that it has a windmill on it. We should get pre-stitching kits in a couple of weeks.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mountain Flowers

Mountain Fowers needlebook

Bay of evil kit


I'm trying to get back to stitching and get something done besides messing with this new toy. I'm learning lots about it though. Yesterday I put a book on it. It is so cool to be able to read on it. You can adjust the font size so it is easy to see. I had to find a book that wasn't already in a stack somewhere here so I chose "Defending Jacob". I read the first few pages and I think it will be a good read.
I finished the needle book to Mountain Flowers. It sure feels good to finish something. This project had been lying around for a while so now I can put it away. I have a magazine holder that I stick used charts in. It is kind of overflowing.
I appliqu├ęd the lollipop onto the Sugar Plum Fairy stocking and started the chain stitching on a gingerbread girl. I had it all chain stitched but then discovered that I should have used two strands of floss so I had to take it out and start over. The felt suffers when you take out stitching but I hope it will look okay when I'm done.
I got the gate done on the Bay of Evil kit. I'm still not sure if it is too dark or not. I really don't like it on 28 count. I'd like to try it on 32 count but there are so many other things I want to stitch. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Where in the world is A's IPad? Right here in A's lap! I'm typing on it right now. I'm just getting used to using it and getting it set up. I've lots more things to download. This morning I've watched the first episode of Downton Abby. I sure can waste a lot of time with this thing.
I finished stitching my name on the inside cover of Mountain Flowers. I wanted to try this font that I downloaded of my name to see if I like it. It is kind of modern and a scriptlike. I wonder if I have any of the lining material left from the pouch for finishing the needle book. I'll have to go looking.
I'm almost done with all the nun stitch I have to do on the second class of the June Retreat.
Dylan and I painted yesterday. Dylan finished his birdhouse and took it home. He put some fingerprint birds on it and was happy with how it turned out. He tried and liked the haystacks. He smelled them first and wanted to know if they had peanuts in them. I assured him it was just peanutbutter and he took a bite. He said they tasted like fudge.
Not very much stitching took place yesterday but lots of playing with my new toy. I'm going to take a photo with it and see if I can post it here. Well, I can't figure out how to get my photos here. The IPad takes wonderful photos. We'll have to work on it.
I went back to see if I was wrong about the Veirlande Winders Keeper being posted on the 25th. Amy Mitten's newsletter says she was going to start sending out the Lesson Two kits starting on the 25th.
Still waiting for my SBB order. Maybe today?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today is the Day

Where in the world is A's IPad? On the vehicle for delivery!! That's what the Fed Ex tracker says. It could come today! I am very excited. DH went and got one of the cables needed for connecting the IPad to the TV for viewing. What fun I'm going to have with it.
Thank you to Deb for nominating my blog for the Liebster award. She urged me to create a blog and I have enjoyed meeting people who have the same interest in stitching. I also enjoy her blog, stitching cat.
Dylan and I plan to work on the birdhouses again this week. I am taking him a couple of haystacks, my MIL recipe for a yummy cookie/candy. I just want to see if he will try them. His spring vacation starts on Friday and I won't see him next week since there is no school. Boy, has this year gone fast.
I worked on the Bay of Evil kit. I got the inside mostly done. I can't decide if I want to do the lettering for a retreat I didn't attend or just stitch my name and date. There is a gate design that will go over the arbor. The directions say to do it in a variegated green (sage) but I didn't think it showed up enough so I am trying it in 414, a dark gray to look like wrought iron. But it is too dark? Maybe I'll do the sage and see what looks best.
I enjoyed watching MadMen last night, although I missed the first 20 minutes. That will teach me to goof around on the computer.
I also finished stitching the needlebook for Mountain Flowers. I'm deciding how to finish it. I am also stitching my name for the inside cover. I got the graph from a site listed on Jenny's blog,
I think I'll get Dylan and me a personal pan pizza today. Yum.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunny Sunday

The Sugar Plum Fairy tree is finished. Now I am working on a lollipop. It looks like the next section to do is the candy at the bottom of the stocking.
I gave the little bird an "A" to look at on the June retreat's second class. Then I started the next part which is a pin keep. It is a bit smaller than the needlebook. I wonder if the bird on the front cover will fit on this one too. I was thinking of putting a little worm in the bird's mouth.
Where in the world is A's IPad? Memphis, Tennessee. It has been there about 24 hours now. Since it is Sunday, there may be no activity on it today. I think FedEx does not do residential delivery on Mondays. The scheduled delivery date is still Wednesday. So we are on track.
Since I didn't get any goodies in the mail yesterday I decided to reward myself with a new start. I won a kit on the Bay of Evil and I started it last night. It is on 28 count which seems huge. It is a retreat piece with parts by several different designers. I may change it a bit when I get to the needlebook pages so it looks more coherent. Some designers mesh better than others!
I'm still waiting for the second part of Vierlande Winders Keepers to be sent via email.
I am looking forward to seeing Claire tonight on Google Chat.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Two Birds

I went digging for a couple of small bird patterns and when I found them I just had to try them out to see how they looked. I put the bigger bird on the front cover and the smaller one on the back. I am going to add an "A" to the back for the birdie to look at. There are a few more part to stitch for this class but they all involve nuns stitches to begin.
I finished Vierlande Winders Keeper just in time for the release of the Part Two. There is probably some basting/backstitching I still need to do but for right now I am done. All twelve large pentagons are done. It will be fun stitching these together and seeing what it looks like. I am antsy to finish it.
My order from SBB is being "packed for shipping"! Yeah! It really was exactly a month. But maybe I am talking too soon as I haven't received it yet.
Where in the world is A's IPad? It is fun checking the tracking number to see where it is. The cover arrived yesterday. It came via China, Hong Kong, Japan, Alaska and Tennessee. My IPad has traveled from China directly to Alaska. It can't be long now.
So I messed around with the birds yesterday and didn't get much accomplished on the Sugar Plum Fairy Stocking. I'll work on the tree today. I want to iron Vierlande as it has been scrunched in my hand for a couple of months.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I made some progress on the larger pentagons of Vierlande Winders Keeper. There are twelve larger pentagons and I have seven totally done and another three backstitched. So I can definitely get this done today! Yeah! I have reread the directions and have decided that I don't need the tails that I left on the small pentagons so I am tying them off and snip, snip, snip.
My goal on Sugar Plum Fairy is to get all the candy on the tree today. That means I have a lot of candy cane stripes to satin stitch. I have decided that the stripes look better when I do a stem stitch on the lines and then satin stitch over them.
Today has been a month since I ordered from SBB. I know some of the stuff I ordered had to come from Italy. It sure would be nice to get my order. I am itching to start something new.
I put a few stitches in the second class of the June Retreat. I thought of another bird pattern that might fit this oval. Now I just have to find it! I think I know which pile it is in.
My IPad cover should come today even though the tracking says it was in Alaska yesterday. We'll see. Ironically, I got an email saying my IPad would arrive sooner than originally estimated, April 9. The tracking on the package says March 28. Of course I want the earliest date.
It is a rainy day and the daffodils are in bloom.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I counted the small pentagons on the Vierlande Winders Keeper and there are 24. They are pretty easy and I have the stitches memorized after backstitching 12 of them. So the goal today is to stitch the other 12 and get them all done. Then tomorrow (or later today!) I can start the larger pentagons. I'm sure these will be very nifty when they are all stitched together. I am not sure of the directions. Are we supposed to have a 4 inch tail of floss hanging off each and every pentagon when they are all stitched? Or is that 4 inch tail for securely finishing off the floss on each pentagon? I'm not sure. I'm leaving a tail on mine just in case I need it and if I don't need it, I'll clip it. They get in the way though so I have to be careful.
I made great progress on the Sugar Plum Fairy stocking. The cuff is all finished and I am working on the tree. I want to get the tree all sequined and appliqued today. I'm on felt piece number 27.
I read some of Nothing Daunted. Kinda boring. Reading at 4:30 in the afternoon, I tend to fall asleep.
We are supposed to have a new high temperature today - 85 degrees. Wow, it is summer weather. It would be nice to have a couple of screens in so we could open the windows and enjoy this warm weather and a breeze.
I saw where this is the year for the Shepherd's Bush Retreat. I've been to a class with Teri and Tina but not in Utah. We'll see.
Time to get to work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I saw Dylan yesterday. I found out why he wasn't at school the week before. He had been on a trip up north to visit a step brother who is incarcerated. I took Dylan some of the candy that Margaret sent. He was quite delighted, especially with the chocolate bunny. We put on the base coat on our birdhouses. I took him a cupcake. He ate two bites. I don't think he liked the mint flavoring in the ganache. Then he threw the rest away. He said he was full. That never stops me. I was watching to see if he would try the cream cheese frosting and he did. After we meet, he goes to the speech teacher who is next door to the mentoring room. He dictated a note and his speech teacher typed it up and printed it out. It is the nicest note I've ever gotten. It made me cry it was so sweet. This is the nicest kid in the world.
I stitched my initials on the Vierlande Winders Keeper. I must start the pentagons today. Can you tell that I am dreading it?
I finished stitching the front of the needlebook for the second class of the June Retreat. Now I'm working on the back. It will probably turn out better than the front. I stitched it while watching Dancing with the Stars. I love that show. The "stars" are especially good this season.
I forgot to tell you the name of the book I am reading. It is called "Nothing Daunted". I can't really tell yet if it is good as I have only read the introduction.
The cover to my new IPad is being shipped this week. Too bad the IPad won't be here for weeks. Hey, Happy Spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Monday

Monday, Monday was a Mamas and Papas song when I was in high school. I bought that record with some of my corn detasseling (my first job besides babysitting) money. But I digress.
I finished up all sixteen of those blasted winder inserts for the Amy Mitten Vierlande Winders Keeper. I then started on the bottom piece. I read the directions(!) trying to find where we are supposed to put our initials. I love the initials, as I love anything with a crown on it. I've started my "A". I know I should start the pentagons next.
I made good progress on the Sugar Plum Fairy Stocking. I'm up to piece 17 through 24.
I tried out some french knots on the second class of the June Retreat. I like them. I'm using two strands of Secondhand Rose and the french knots look like roses. I'm thinking of putting the bird from my Singing to the Moon box in the center of the oval. I'll have to check the size and see if it will work.
I also took out the border on the Mountain Flowers needlebook and replaced it with a long arm cross stitch. I like it.
I am looking forward to seeing Dylan today. Hopefully, he will be at school and we can start on our birdhouses. He also wanted to play around with Ed Emberley's fingerprint book. I'm taking him one of my cupcakes. Will he eat it? There is a high probability since it is chocolate. I'm also taking him some of the candy Margaret sent. He'll love that.
We ordered it!!! I will soon be the owner of a brand new IPad 3. The delivery date is April 16 - the day I get back from Spring Fling. I got a black one and it is being engraved too.
I'm a lucky duck!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I made the cupcakes yesterday and they were fabulous. They tasted like they came from a store specializing in cupcakes. Now I know how those stores can make them so good. When you take a Devil's Food cake mix and add a cup of sour cream, oil, 3 eggs, buttermilk and a little water, it tastes great and moist. Add a little chocolate ganache on top. Yum. Then top that off with cream cheese frosting. I hate to think how many calories these have in them. DH ate two but scraped off the cream cheese frosting first. If he only knew the bad stuff in the actual cake part!
I worked on the Vierlande Winders Keeper inserts yesterday. There are 16 of these suckers. The hardest part is the backstitching around each one in thread that is the same color as the linen. Impossible to see! I kept making mistakes. Off a thread here, one too high there. ARGH. I finally finished all the backstitching for them. Stitching the little design in each one will be easy. But then I have gobs of pentagons to backstitch. I'm getting out the magnifying glass.
I got good progress done on the Sugar Plum Fairy stocking yesterday. Mostly I was avoiding working on the inserts. I am close to getting the cuff all done. I am going to applique the two little gingerbread men on today. That only leaves a candy cane and the cuff will be done.
I started reading a new book. I bought it after reading a review of it in USA Today. It is about two women who go to teach school in rural Colorado in 1916. Non-fiction even, that's unusual for me.


Saturday, March 17, 2012


I'm all stretched out from Pilates. Now on to the fun stuff. I finished the center medallion of the Vierlande Winders Keeper. I think just little stuff is left now. But I'm afraid there is a lot of backstitching around them. I keep meaning to read the directions. (Famous last words!)
I put on some more felt pieces on Sugar Plum Fairy. I'm still working on the cuff. Three gold stars are next to applique. I kitted up the Snowman stocking - just in case I need to start something new.
My St. Patrick's Day project is Chocolate Mint cupcakes. I have gathered (actually DH, who does the shopping) all the necessary (and naughty as in cream cheese, sour cream and heavy cream) ingredients and I plan to put them together this afternoon. We thought about going to Mulligans but it is Saturday (too busy) and the NCAA basketball games are on (too loud). So we'll just stay home. It is a lovely day outside, no coat or sweater needed. It's supposed to be like this for the next week. Spring starts on Tuesday. Son#2 and DIL sent a darling video of Claire all dressed up for St. Patrick's Day and she is trying to talk. So cute.
I was at my LNS yesterday and picked up a small chart. I had been admiring a photo on David's blog of a pouch that is cross stitched. It is a French pattern that costs 20 dollars. So this is my substitute. I'm think I'll use Gloriana's Bellagio for the flowers and see how that looks. I'm trying not to give in and order the French pattern as I have three orders in right now from three different places. I'm bad.
There were no IPads to be had at Target. Not a big surprise. I'll keep checking back to see if they have gotten any more.
I finally finished my book. Now I am back to the land of the living and ready to get busy. Although, I can start a new book if I want.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I stopped by the store to get the floss for the Snowman stocking. It calls for an 847 but there is no 847 DMC floss. I'll have to figure that out when I run across that symbol. I have some fabric in my stash that I can use. I'm not ready to start that project yet though.
I hardly got anything at all done yesterday. It's that darn book. I have less than 100 pages to go and I can't seem to do anything else. So I might as well finish it so I can go back to stitching.
IPads come out today. DH says we can check Target after lunch and see if they have any. I've got my fingers crossed.
I put a few more leaves on my second class for the June Retreat. I am rethinking the white. It shows up well in yesterday's post picture but last night as I was working on it the white was barely noticeable. We'll see.
I finished putting the first candy cane on the Sugar Plum Fairy Stocking. Not bad.
I've got about half the center medallion done on the Vierlande Winders Keeper. It looks like two deer kissing. I should be able to finish that today.
Our crocuses are all blooming. It is way too early for them to bloom. We have to surround them with chicken wire so the deer don't eat them. Farmers are worried about the apple and cherry trees. They are blooming too but if we get a frost, it is bad news for them. I have shorts on today since the weather is so balmy.
I wish you a lovely day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Little Bit of This and That

I worked on many different things yesterday. But the highlight of my day was when the mailman came to my door. I thought Ooh, the Stocking book has come. I was surprised to get two packages. One was the stocking book but there was another box all the way from New Zealand. I opened up the box from New Zealand and what I saw took my breath away. The box was full to the top with Easter candy! The Easter Bunny is from New Zealand! Thank you to my friend Margaret who made my day with all the luscious things she sent. They have better Easter candy there than here in the US, that's for sure. I drooled as I ate the chocolate covered orange mango flavored marshmallow rabbit. I'm saving some candy to take to Dylan. Really.
Son#2 sent a better picture of Claire in her hat.
I experimented with the second class project for the June Retreat. I folded up some paper and cut a nice oval then traced it with erasable marker onto the linen. Then I tried to decide whether to use the feather stitch or stem stitch. As you can see, I decided on the stem stitch and started adding lazy daisy leaves. I put in a few teal flowers. I thought it needed another color so I added some white. I want to add a pink here and there too. I tried using yellow but it didn't show up. I hope the designer is not miffed at me for changing stuff.
I finished putting the background sequins on and started the appliquing of felt pieces on the Sugar Plum Fairy Stocking. There must be a hundred felt pieces to applique. This is going to take a while.
I finished the Vierlande Winders Keeper pocket piece and started (just barely) the center medallion. I got a bit distracted as I am into my book "The Thirteenth Tale" and could hardly put it down.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sequins and Motifs

I have only one more motif and the Vierlande Winders Keepers pocket is done. It is always a worry that when you work around in a circle, will your stitching match up or have you made a mistake along the way? Luckily it is matching up. Then on to smaller parts. 10 days to get it all stitched before part two comes out.
I put some sequins on the Sugar Plum Fairy stocking. I plan to put some more on today. I'm still working on step one.
The other stocking pattern did't come in the mail yet.
When I saw the Mystery Mansion Etui by Amy Mitten on my friend Jenny's blog, I was reminded of a photo I took while I was at the Winchester Mystery House. It is of one of a lovely stained glass window. I thought of turning it into a painting or stitching project. So I put the photo in my ProStitch program to see what I could do with it. I wish I knew how to work this program. There must be tutorials somewhere. The ones on their site are useless. Anyway, I did make a chart of it. It has too many colors but I don't know how to cut down the colors. I would like somebody who knows what they are doing to come over to my house and help me fix this chart! I should see if there are any YouTube videos on how to use this program.
I'm on to sewing on red sequins.