Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another Book

I got a book in the mail yesterday.

It is a book I pre-ordered when I took Sue Spargo's class.  So I bought it sight unseen.  I'm glad I got it.  I was thinking that I needed "The Right-Handed Embroiderer's Guide" but this book will do just fine.  It shows how to do the stitches that we worked with in the class - ones that I had forgotten the name of and how to do.  It really is a very good reference.

 I am impressed by the simplicity of one of Sue Spargo's designs.  What if you took six circles and appliqued them on a plain black felt background adding embroidery to them and then finished it off as a small zippered bag?  It is such a simple idea but each person's bag turns out differently and is a very creative endeavor.  I want to try that one day.

I got a gift certificate for my birthday to the French General.  It is a store that I have seen on the internet.  They also have a yearly trip to a chateau in France.  (Wouldn't that be fun?)  I spent my gift certificate buying two bracelet kits.

They won't be sent until next week.  I think my new Orna Willis tools with be very useful in completing these kits.  I'm not very versed in jewelry.  If I have trouble putting it together, I'll look on YouTube or go to a bead shop not far from my house.

I have been working on the Aunt Julia's Sewing Box accessories.

 After I get this scissors/needles book stitched, I'm going to stop and finish them off before going on the the other accessory.  I'm hoping I can press all the wrinkles out.  Overdyed fabric get so wrinkly since the sizing has been washed out of the linen.

We got treats in exercise class today.  I love those fun size candy bars.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Things to Show

What if I don't have anything done?  What if I don't have anything to say?  I always worry that I will run out of things to put on this blog.  Sometimes I stitch just to have something to show you. So far I have managed to find something to say.
Yesterday I went to see Dylan for the first time this year.  He is much taller and we had a great time.  He is a very good checkers player and we had a fun game that we didn't get time to finish (our time always goes so fast!),  maybe we will play again next week.  He is in fourth grade this year. I have him read a short book to me every time as he needs the practice.  I take him a bunch of snacks too.

While I was on my trip to New Hampshire, I worked on a pinball kit that I got on ebay.  I am too much of a snob to work on aida so I changed it out for some linen.  I like how it looks but it will take a long time as the background is stitched as well.  It is on 35 or 36 count linen.

I finished the little pocket that goes with the class last Saturday.  I didn't like the design (it was way different from the picture when I signed up) and I didn't like working on the diagonal so I was a bit sloppy with the finishing.  But hey, it's done.

Sometimes I feel like a sucker for paying so much money for something worth a few dollars and instructions for making something I already know how to do.  Live and learn.  It was fun to be around other people who like stitching too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Beginning of a New Week

I am fully recovered from my terrible trip.  Now on to other things.  The bathrooms are clean and I am going to see Dylan today.  That will be great.
I worked on the paper mache book project and am almost done.  The book is all lined.

  I am working on the little pocket.  It looked very easy and simple.  See how the pocket matches the wallpaper design?

  Nope.  It is charted and meant to be worked on the diagonal.  Boy, is that hard!  I had a difficult time figuring out where I was.  I don't think it needed to be on the diagonal, it would have been a snap done regularly.  But I won't let it beat me.  I will do it!
The finishing should take about half an hour - according to the teacher.  We'll see.

I put in some more stitches in this French bag project that has been neglected for too long.  It is on 40 count but that is no longer difficult as I have worked enough on 40 to be comfortable.  I changed the pink flower out and I like the new teal flower much better.  I am almost done with the back of the bag.  I have to decide if I am going to change the front design.  Theoretically the front should go faster.  Knock on wood.

I got a package over the weekend.  I signed up for Orna Willis's cyberclass called Dolci Beads.  I got the kit part of it that included nice tools and nice threads.  It will be fun to make.  The Orna Willis class I took at the Needlework Guild of Minnesota Retreat had a large excellent chart with good directions.  I got to see the Dolci Beads in person there and wanted to do them ever since. I wonder when it starts?

Also, I got notification that the Victorian Painted Lady needle case by Gay Ann Rogers is winging it's way to me.  I love to get stuff in the mail.  I better finish up Winter Cottage and fast!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Horrible Terrible No Good Very Bad Day

Yesterday was an absolutely awful day.
I got up really early (for me) to drive over to my class.  Google maps said is was a 2 hour and 24 minute drive to the class.  Google didn't tell me that the sun would be glaring so bad that I would not be able to read the signs and therefore I would miss the turnoff.  My sense of direction took over and I made three wrong turns.  I stopped and asked a nice woman how to get to the road my class was on.  She told me to turn around and go back the way I came.  I did.  Then there was road construction and I couldn't get through.
That is my worst nightmare, knowing where I need to go and not being able to get there.  I was late for my class.  It took three hours to get there.  Then I find out that the people who actually attend the guild meetings got the prestitching.  Then there weren't enough tables set up and I sat in the wrong place (the glue spraying table - which is a bad sign in itself).
The teacher was very nice.
The class was not what I expected.  I thought we were going to make a box.  No.  She handed out premade boxes.  (Paper mache boxes covered with wallpaper).  We only lined the box using manila folder and moire fabric.  There is a small bit of stitching of a band to hold scissors.  I managed to screw that up as I didn't understand the chart.  We tufted the bottom  liner and I broke two needles trying to do that.

The lunch was great.
We were done by 2:30 in the afternoon.
Great - I can get home early.
Oh no.
I get directions on how to get back to the highway and I actually manage to get there.  After only a few miles there was a backup.  I mean there was a BACKUP.  Miles of BACKUP.  Was there an accident?  What was going on?  It took an hour and a half to go 5 miles.  My head was ready to explode.  Everybody had to get off the highway.  I assume there was some construction going on.  I was afraid I was going to run out of gas right there on the highway.  I made it off the highway and got some gas.  I went next door to the gas station and got a hamburger.  I happen to hear someone ask how to detour.  Luckily(?) I heard what to do.  I had planned on trying to go the other direction.  So I follow the directions and everybody forced off the highway was on this two lane road going about 15 miles an hour. ARGH.  After a while the traffice sped up. I thought I would never get home.  It took over 5 hours of driving to finally get home.  I spend more time driving that I spent in class.
I am never doing that again.
I am very thankful to be in one piece and to be home.
Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Try Try Again

I found the new and improved chart for the Rose Glove.

  I decided to start over as I didn't want to take out all that gold metal thread.  I also decided to go with my gut and change colors and threads as I went along.  I have enough room on the same piece of cloth to do another one.

I like my new colors but I have to find three more shades of the red color.  I'm going to look in my Color confidence book for some shades of red.   I picked a gold color thread for the background.  It will take a long time to do the background.

I have one more book that I bought recently.  It is called "18th Century Embroidery Techniques".  I got it for a picture on the front.  I was thinking of doing a casket with flower that are like those around the edge of this man's coat.  In this book, the author has gone to a museum and looked at the items on display and then drawn them and analysed how they were done.

I have picked up and put a few stitches in a couple of old WIPs.  That pink flower is bugging me so I might change it.

I won't post tomorrow as I will be in class on the other side of the state making a box.  I've got my fingers crossed that the weather cooperates.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

With Clean Teeth

I am typing this post with newly cleaned teeth.  I'm happy that I don't have to do this again until May of next year.
I have been stitching on the smalls that go with Aunt Julia's Sewing Box (the retreat project).  I need to finish off the box too.  But I have stitched the scissors fob and the pin cushion.

I am currently working on the needle/scissors book which is my favorite accessory.
Also I wanted to tell you about another book that I got.  I was reading Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread blog.  She was listing the top 15 embroidery books.  I had a Barnes & Noble gift card so I ordered two that looked interesting.  The top ranked book was "Color Confidence in Emroidery"  by Trish Burr.  It looks like a very useful book.  It shows cool and warm colors and how to shade.  It actually gives DMC numbers for shading in different ways.

 There a bunch of projects to do in the second half of the book with good instructions and photos.
I'm glad I have it as a reference.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

United Nations Day

It is United Nations Day and we are celebrating here.  Look what DH got me:

Then I got this tuxedo cake to help us celebrate:

My friend Margaret sent me a package to help me celebrate also:

Isn't that the cutest thimble holder?

And we are going out to eat tonight.
What a lucky duck I am.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Report

I am tickled pink to tell you that I finished The Berry Words by Fern Ridge.  I think it is quite cute and unusual with those wooden leaves.  I like the words printed on them too.
I got a book that I ordered from Hedgehog Needleworks.  It was recommended to those in the Cabinet of Curiosities class.  The book's entire title is:  English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580 -1700 'Twixt Art and Nature.
It has tons of pictures of all types of embroidery.  I wish I could have seen the actual exhibit but this really is even better than that.  You get up close pictures of the objects in the exhibit as well as experts writing about each one.  I intend to read this cover to cover.  It was an expensive book.  I think it will help me decide how to do my casket.  I've already spent a couple hours just looking at the pictures. Here are a couple of pictures from the book:
Cool.  Hey, only a week until our next lesson.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I planned to go out to see my mentee Dylan today but my clearance form hasn't gone through yet.  Maybe I'll go tomorrow.
I got some Halloween treats to hand out, popcorn and fruit snacks.  That's about the healthiest choices I could find and I am not tempted to eat them.
The bathrooms are clean and I am ready to get busy stitching.  The Fern Ridge strawberry is going well but I discovered that I was one stitch too high on one of the lines so I am taking it out.

I think I can finish it today.
Then I need to reassess my WIPs.  I want to finish the side of the small box for Cabinet of Curiosities.

I have at least two more designs I want to try out.
I should finish winter cottage by Gay Ann Rogers.  It is close to being done.
I am still waiting for additional instructions before proceeding on the Rose Glove.  (Actually, I am dreading that gold thread stitched background.)

Every time I go to a retreat, the floor of my sewing room gets messier.  I should try and find places for some stuff.
I am going to a class with Marcia Brown Smith on Saturday.  We are making a box and some smalls.  That will be fun.  Unfortunately, I have to drive over two hours to get there.  I signed up for this last summer.  It is ironic that I just made a box last week and now I'm making another one.  This one is a cigar box shape.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Finish!!!!

I am very proud of myself.  I worked all day yesterday finishing the Flowers of the Needle Never Fade pieces.  It was a lot of hand sewing and I ran out of the small ribbon.  But it is done!
Here is the needle book:

Here is the needleroll.

I haven't made a needleroll like this one before.  It uses a hard cardboard tube with batting wrapped around it.  The ends are gathered then just tucked in.  I am missing ribbon for putting on one end. ( I used too much on the needle book)  This project was different than what I usually do since is was mostly embroidery.
Now can I start something new?
I bought this Fern Ridge kit at ABC Stitch Therapy.

 I had seen it online and wanted it.  When I bought it I didn't notice how much it was.  Upon opening it I discovered that everything you need is in the kit.  I love it.  Then I saw the price.  I might not have bought it if I had looked at the cost.  But I am glad I have it and it will be fun to make.  It is going to be bigger than I thought.  I thought it would be just a little strawberry.  It is going to be large strawberry with wooden leaves that have words printed on them.  Kinda cool.

The fabric count looks huge compared to what I have been working on.  It will be so easy!
Anette, I wanted to reply to your question. (You are listed as no-reply so I can't email you personally) The lighting at the Great Stone Dwelling Place was not very good.  It was built in 1841.  It has been modernized and is in amazing condition.  It was very well built.  Everybody brought their OTT lights so if you wanted to stitch you could have good light.  I actually sat in a chair in my room with a lamp next to me and was able to put in a few stitches.  The light was good enough for gluing which is mainly what we did.  I have a renewed appreciation for my "happy chair" and my Ott light in my sewing room.  There's no place like home.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Summary

I need to tie up some loose ends.  Here is my pleater.

I also have a smocking pleater but that is totally different.  In this one you tuck the fabric in each little flap and then iron it down.  When you take it out of the pleater you have your pleats set.
Here are some memorable happenings on my trip:
1.  I love Delectable Mountain and would like to have hours to explore all the things in this store.
2.  We got a good laugh hearing that Barb's DH was buried with a coupon in his hand.
3.  It makes a big difference when a retreat has good food.
4.  I love my own bed and my own bathroom.
5.  Without TV, telephone and other electronics, the silence is profound.  Oddly enough the Great Stone Dwelling Place had Wi-Fi.  It is also said that there is a ghost.  Luckily, I didn't meet him.
6.  New Hampshire is not just a pretty state, there are several things we want to visit next time (Frye's Measure Mill, Keepsake Quilting and Burdick's Chocolates).  Of course we want to go back to Delectable Mountain and ABC Stitch Therapy.
7.  I love getting little presents of floss and candy and the extra charts I didn't expect.
8.  It is great coming home with a completed project.

It was a great trip.  Now I have to get back to my regular life.  It is time for mentoring again.  I can't wait to see how much Dylan has grown over the summer.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Trip Part Four

I finally figure out how to get warm water out of the shower.  Yeah!  Our boxes are taking shape.  I only have to finish the tray.  Shelley and I are thinking of more efficient ways to make this box.  Don't look closely at mine as it is a little lumpy in places.  If I made another one, it would be way better.

I dreamed up a way to finish the top.  Last Thursday as I was getting ready to leave for the airport I managed to find this pleater thing that I have had forever and have used it only once before. I stick it in my suitcase.  So after I get my box put together I pleat up some of the fabric and arrange it around the cartouche and put lace on top of it.  I only have scrapes of fabric left but I try pleating some to see how it will look.  I like it!  The teacher admires the idea.  The lace is a bit too white so I try some tea dying and then that isn't quite dark enough, I try some coffee dying.  I like how it turns out.  In hindsight, I should have bought some more material from the teacher and pleated one long strip instead of putting together three pieces.

I am happy with getting the project almost done.  The teacher shows us how to use this cording tool.  I have the tool but I didn't know how to use it.  I am so happy that someone is going to show me.  She twists up cording for whoever wants it.  I want it!!  And I want it in two sizes!!  I haven't attached it yet.
Everybody is waiting until it is time to go to ABC Stitch Therapy.  We carpool over there at 4 in the afternoon.  It is about 15 miles away.  The scenery is beautiful.

  We have a wonderful time shopping.

They have so much stuff. They have more than the run-of-the-mill stuff.  The models they have stitched are amazing.  And Thread!!  So much thread.  I am interested in getting linen since it is best to choose linen in person as opposed to ordering it.  Would you believe I got a whole yard of 40 count???
Shelley and I each buy a special kit that was last year's retreat piece.  It is darling and has a special chair that isn't available anymore.
 I also find several kits that I have been wanting.
There is tea and treats for upstairs.  That is the teacher in the green jacket.
We got a 20% discount on what we bought.  What fun shopping!
Then we drive back to the Stone Dwelling House and had a most marvelous dinner with ham, turkey and all the fixings.
What a marvelous day.
I have to pack because we are leaving early in the morning.
It was a great retreat.