Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cold Day In Here

It feels very cold today.  It is raining and dreary.  I don't care, I'm stitching.
I made some progress yesterday.  I finished the "H" for Hoytesma, so the Captain initials are done.  Now I can work on a new cartouche.

I really worked hard on the Second Bookmark.  I filled in stitches -confetti stitches- and worked my way down.  I am very near the bottom.  A finish in the next few days seems possible.

I also buckled down and worked the second pocket, called the double pocket on the Stitching Chair Necessaire.  Now I am starting the pincushion.

I'm late posting because I went shopping.  I thought that a quilt shop in town had closed but surfing the web I found that it had only moved to a new location.  So I checked it out this morning.  Oh, nice fabric.  Oh, nice quilts.  It was fun to see what they had.  Of course some stash came home with me.

 Next door to the quilt shop is a store where you can paint china.  I didn't know there was a place to do that any more.  I have some fun pieces that I have painted and it would be fun to do more.  Now I can.
Then I went to Hobby Lobby.  I'm embarrassed to say that I bought too much candy there.
There is a new Just Nan design for Silver Needle coming out in late June.

  I must stitch it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Gift

The Internet is a wonderful invention.  It is a fun way to spend time.  You can get to know people through their blogs.  You can see things that you would never see locally.  You can expand your horizons and see all manner of possibilities.  My life has changed because of the computer and the Internet.  I'm a much better typist now - and so are kids.  I have found out about things going on that I never would have known about.  If I want to know how to do something, I can look it up on the Internet.  One of the nicest things that I have gotten from the Internet is friends.  People who like to do what I love, stitching.  When stitching people get together, they share information and the latest gadgets and projects they are working on.  One of the special people I have met is Margaret.  She is half a world away from me.  She leaves wonderfully kind words of encouragement as comments on this blog.  We have become friends.
Yesterday the doorbell rang and I ran down to answer it knowing it was probably the mailman.  I was waiting for a kit I bought on ebay.  When I opened the door, it was the mailman with a stack of mail for us that was too large to fit in our mailbox.  I did get my ebay kit. I got a big box from the Silver Needle, a back ordered item.  I  also got a gift.  A most wonderful package from Margaret.  She made me a beautiful husswif.

 The stitching is exquisite.  It is so nicely done.  I love everything about it.  The lining material, the buttons on the scissors fob, the drawstrings, the colors, the special stitches.  Blue is my favorite color.  Inside the bag was a sweet blue pair of scissors.  There were also mints and chocolate and needles in the package. All of this from a kind thoughtful friend that I have never seen in person.  Thank you Margaret.  I feel undeserving of such nice things.  But I know it is a reflection of the great person that you are.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not Much

How much stitching did I get done yesterday?  Not much to speak of.  My kitchen floor got washed.  The food turned out fine for having friends over.  Although I burned my hand (my stitching hand!) on the steam from the chicken.  It feels pretty good today as I kept applying aloe to it.  So the house is pretty clean and I can concentrate on stitching today.

The most I got done was on Mr. Snowman.  I am really close to finishing page 2 of the chart.  All the fruit is in the basket but most of it needs backstitching around it.

I am working on the border of the second pocket of the Stitching Chair Necessaire.  Not much to show but a green line.

I put some stitches in the Second Bookmark but you can hardly tell that I did anything.

Then on Mute But Not Silent I am working on the second "H" for Hoytesma.
So off to work! (Stitching work, not work work)

Monday, May 28, 2012

One is Not Enough

I have decided that four WIPs are too many.  I like a rotation.  I get bored just working on one project.  I need to switch.  There is a point though where I get to feeling overwhelmed.  Right now I feel like I am spread a bit thin working on four things.  I can't see enough progress to satisfy myself.
I finally finished the H for Hendrick and have started the H for Hoytesma.  I also located the starting points for two more cartouches.  Hendrick says "Hi".

I put in a bunch of confetti stitches on the Second Bookmark.  I think I am going to start working my way down filling in stitches.  Then maybe take a ten by ten square on the chart and concentrate on that.

I am working on the fruit basket.  Those backstitches really help define what it is that I am stitching.  For some reason this chart feels old style.  Like charts used to be many years ago.  I don't know why.

I finished the first pocket and have started on the second one.  The design is different from the first one so that keeps it interesting.  This is going pretty fast.

The bathrooms are clean.  I am missing seeing Dylan.  I am fixing Upside Down Chicken and Pineapple Upside Down Cake for our guests tonight.  In reality, it's too hot to cook.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I started the pocket for the Stitching Chair Necessaire.  There are two pockets and a pincushion on it.

I am almost finished with the H for Hendrick on Mute But Not Silent.  I had a run of good luck (no frogging) and I can finish that H and start on the next H today.

I enjoy working on the Second Bookmark and seeing what emerges.  I think there is an arm emerging but I'm not sure yet.  I am working on what I think is her dress.

Mr. Snowman went well yesterday also.  I am working on the basket of fruit.  I want to backstitch the quail today just to see what she looks like.

It is supposed to be very hot here and DH has turned on the air conditioning.  I should be cleaning as we are having company tomorrow.  Maybe later.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Holiday Weekend

I went out to the Farmer's Market this morning.  Would it be deserted or very busy on a holiday weekend?  The answer is very busy.  No parking spaces were available and I had to park next door.  I was tickled to find some sugar snap peas.  People were lining up for the fresh strawberries - including me.  Still no Cupcake Lady.  Rats.
By the time I left the Y after Pilates, it was bucketing rain.

I had to frog again on Mute But Not Silent.  Very frustrating.  I'm still working on the first H for Hendrick.

I put in a few more stitches in the Second Bookmark.  I read a perfect name for the type of stitches required in this project - confetti stitches.

I got the quail all done on Mr. Snowman except for the backstitching on him.  Now for the basket of fruit.  I am coming to the end of page 2 of the chart.

I sewed the fob together for the Stitching Chair Necessaire.  It is very sweet.  I need to make some twisted cording for it.  I have to decide on what color first.  I want to start the actual necessaire part.  Actually I did start one of the pockets for it.  I changed the stitch around the edge to a long arm cross stitch. I love how this stitch looks braided.
Have a fun weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012


I've been working on the scissors fob of the Stitching Chair Necessaire.  I have the front done and just need to add an initial to the back - and a few other things.  Then I can stitch her together using CA's method.

I stitched some more tummy and a lot of the quail on Mr. Snowman.

I tried to do some of the stitches around the face in the Second Bookmark.  I bet you can see her better now.

I had to frog some on Mute But Not Silent.  I was one stitch off and that threw everything out of whack.  I thought I had fixed it but alas, I hadn't and I had to frog it again.  ARGH.
Too much to stitch and not enough time!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Good

Yes, I am good.  I've have cleaned out the back porch.  I take all the furniture out into the back yard and wash it down and I vacuum the porch.  I dislike doing it but love when it is all clean.  My motivation is that we are having some friends over on Memorial Day.  It is supposed to be really hot but maybe we can visit out there in the evening when it is cooler.

I started the H H initials for sea captain Hendrick Hoytesma.  They are quite large and will take a while.  I love the Amy Mitten silk.  The gold color floss I am stitching with almost seems to sparkle.

I finished stitching the tiny needlebook for Stitching Chair Necessaire.  Now I am hem stitching.  I am trying to follow the directions but I decided to wrap the four threads twice instead of just once.  I am working from the back (I usually work from the front).  It looks very nice and I want to go on to the scissors fob.  I think the lining will be sewn just inside the hemstitching.

Mr. Snowman's tummy is not quite done.  I want to finish it today.  There is a quail that I'd like to work on as well as a basket of fruit.

I worked just a bit on the Second Bookmark.  Now I see the face emerging!  Can you see it?

I couldn't believe that we got the replacement nano today.  Apple's customer service is amazing.  DH was quite happy to get a working nano.
I got a list of supplies to take to the June Retreat.  I just go from retreat to retreat it seems.  It is nice to have things to look forward to.  I still have a pinkeep to finish for the second class.  Less than a month away!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Tale of Excess

When I went to Amy Mitten's Mute But Not Silent class on Sunday I admired the lady sitting next to me's scissor fob.  I really wanted to stitch it.  She told me the name of the pattern and who designed it.  Hillside Samplings' Stitching Chair Necessaire.  So when I got home I went straight to ebay to see if I could find it.  No luck.  So I thought I would keep checking hoping it would show up sometime.  I kept checking and kept checking.  Last night as I was picking up the Mr. Snowman book to see what color to backstitch the raccoon in, I noticed something under the book.  It was a kit.  A complete kit of - you guessed it - Hillside Samplings' Stitching Chair Necessaire.  I'm sure I got it on ebay a while back.  I had the kit all along!  Good thing I didn't find it and buy it again!  I think the universe is telling me I have too much stuff.  DH tells me that all the time.  He also mentions what will happen to it when I'm gone....

 Of course, I had to start it.

I got the heart and crown cartouche done on Mute But Not Silent.  Now I think I will tackle the sea captain's initials, HH.

The raccoon is done on Mr. Snowman.  I want to stitch his tummy today. There is a big sea of white that will be mindless stitching during a soap opera.

I signed up for another class.  I know, it is an addiction.  I have been interested in Sue Spargo's embellished quilts.  She is teaching up the road from me in September.  I signed up for the needlecase to be specially designed for the class.  I think it will be fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Getting Back to Stitching

It is a beautiful day here.  I am anxious to get to stitching.  DH's nano died.  The new replacement one that we got in January is unresponsive.  So I've dealt with how to fix it and send it back and get a replacement for the replacement.  I went to Target but they are remodeling and it is a mess there.  ARGH.  So I'm looking forward to a numb butt this afternoon.

I stitched the first cartouche on the Mute But Not Silent sampler.  It is the sea captain.  Next is a crown and heart cartouche.  I don't even know what a cartouche is but that is what she calls them in the directions.  A motif?  A thingie?  Anyway, I want to stitch one cartouche a day and see how it goes.

I stitched on the Second Bookmark.  I am starting the second half .  What will it be?  More flowers?  Leaves?  I just have to stitch and see what it looks like.

I got a good amount done on Mr. Snowman.  My goal for today is to get the raccoon done.

I saw Dylan for the last time this school year.  He is so sweet.  He wrote me another letter dictated to his Speech teacher who printed it out.  We looked at a Wizard of Oz pop-up book and he really enjoyed that.  We made more hand lotion, for his sister this time.  We had pizza.  He might go to summer school.  I would like to work more with him on reading over the summer.  I'll have to contact the school and ask if that is possible.  I asked him what vegetables he likes.  The only one he likes is celery with peanut butter in it but no raisins.  I'm not sure he is familiar with many vegetables.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun Day

I just love taking stitching classes.  This was an inexpensive one as I didn't have to fly or stay in a hotel.  I got up at 6 a.m. and drove across the state.  I left in plenty of time just in case I got lost.  6 a.m. on Sunday morning is the absolute best time to drive.  No traffic and road construction isn't going on.  I only wish I had taken my sunglasses with me.  I got to Spicer House 45 minutes before class started.

 I feel sorry for the park people that work there.  They seem starved for conversation and interaction with people.  There were 13 people in class.  Luckily the guild had bagels and coffee to snack on.  Since I hadn't had breakfast, it tasted especially good.

Amy Mitten is amazing!  How does she do all the stuff she does?  We saw some fabulous samplers.  The "Final Soliloquy" sampler was unbelievable.  I've seen the projects on her website, but seeing them in person lets one appreciate how beautiful they are.  And I don't even like samplers!  So why did I take this class?  I wanted to meet her and the sampler had a windmill on it.

 The class had three parts to it.  First Mary (a class member) read the beginning of the story.   The story involves a sea captain from Friesland.  This made the stitching way more interesting.  Everything on the sampler relates to the story.  Then Amy gave a powerpoint presentation about this area of the Netherlands and embroidery of that time.  It was very interesting and I wanted to know more.   Then we had some time to get started stitching.

I had asked Amy to bring her Mystery Mansion etui so I could see it in person.  It is so interesting.  Amy has a background as an architect and I could see how this helps in designing a project.  Hopefully this will become an online class.

Then Mary read the second part of the story and more motifs were revealed.  Amy went around and made sure everybody knew how to do some of the stitches.  We are a pretty experienced group so no problem.  I saw a technique of over/under weaving of a thread that gives a wonderful effect.
Then we had lunch from Panera.  It was great and a chance to chat about anything and everything.
Then we went back into the classroom area and Mary read the third part of the story.  Amy went around and showed how she hem stitches.  I know how to hemstitch but I have always done it from the right side.  Amy does it from the underside/wrong side.  So I learned something.  I also learned how to make the folding up the hem before the stitching in a better way than just folding.  I really like how she lined the sampler with "hanky" linen.  I'll have to look for some.  Some people who came from southern Indiana left early.

 Deb brought in her collection of tape measures and sewing treasures. Wow, it was fabulous to see all the stuff she has amassed.    I ended up leaving before three o'clock.  I got home in time for dinner.  It was a long day but I had a great time.  I sat beside another Deb and she had the most darling scissors fob.  I'll have to go ebay surfing to see if I can find the pattern as I think it is out of print.  Hillside Samplings Stitching Chair Nessesaire.
What a great day!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lovely Day

Yesterday was an especially beautiful day.  The weather was perfect.  Today is just as nice but a little bit hotter. DH put in the screens.  Yeah!  Fresh air!
 I am getting ready for my trip to class tomorrow.  The car is gassed up.  I have snacks.  I have to leave at 6 a.m.  Rather early for me!
I only worked on the Second Bookmark yesterday.  I just wanted to do what I want to do.  I am within ten stitches of having the first chart page done.  That means I have the top half of the bookmark done.

So I want to work on my other two projects today:  Mr. Snowman and The Purple Thread needlebook.

I went to the fabric store and found some fabric for finishing the GPA needlebook.  Boy, it is hard to find pretty fabric. I was looking for a blue and yellow plaid like the pattern used.  No luck.  Then I just went for a small print in a compatible color.  I ended up getting two small prints.   I may use one of the prints for pockets. I tried to adjust the color balance to reflect the real life colors but I need to try again.
I went out to the Farmer's Market.  Today was the opening day.  They keep impoving the area by adding more parking, more paving, play area and new bathrooms.  They had way more stuff than I expected this early in the season.  The one vendor that I missed was the Cupcake Lady. Maybe next week.   Dang.
I won't post tomorrow as I will be away but I'll tell you all about it on Monday.  Oh, better take my camera.

Friday, May 18, 2012


This week has gone so fast.  I am getting my things together for the class on Sunday with Amy Mitten.  DH has given me two maps of the area so I can't get lost this time.  I lost my way last October to Spicer House when I went to the Button Brag Book class.  They are ordering box lunches from Panera.  That will be perfect.

The progress on the Second Bookmark is slowing down now that the larger areas of color are done.  I think I'll take a 10 by 10 square on the chart and concentrate on it today.

I got the second panel of the Purple Thread needlebook done.  I timed myself on how long it took to do a section of the border and it didn't take very long (ten minutes).  So now I can't complain or dread  the border as it doesn't take that long.  The third panel will go fast.  I don't like this project.  It seems "clunky" not delicate.  I don't like the floss colors.  My "W" didn't fit very well in the space available.  Whine, whine, whine.

I liked some things I saw in the Attic's Newsletter.  Uh-oh.  I know I shouldn't order anything.
I got a little done on Mr. Snowman but not really enough to warrant a photo.