Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have made a big mess.  I had to take everything out of my china cabinet and everything out of my curio#1 so they could be moved.  I couldn't believe how much stuff was in each one.  Where to put it?  All over the place.

 We got them moved just fine with help from some pieces of cardboard so they would cooperate and slide.  They look better than I thought they would.  I like where curio#1 is now.  I can see it better.  When I am at the sink or the counter in the kitchen it is right there for me to look at.

But now I have to put everything back.  A few things will go to Goodwill.  I can rearrange things in curio#1.  This was a great opportunity(!) to dust.

We have a big empty wall now for curio#2 to go on.  The bad part is that several large framed stitched
pieces are now in the behind the sofa art gallery rather than on the wall.

Did I get Maryann all finished into a pillow?  Nope.  I was unhappy with all the wrinkles in the fabric so I ironed it and then gave up and washed it.  I found a nice stripe to do the cording in.  Then I had to think.  (That is a very important component in finishing.)  I wanted to use the flowered fabric for the front strips and the back with only the striped fabric for the cording.  What if I didn't have enough?  I had to plan and make the strips small enough so that there would be enough fabric for the back.  Or I could make it easy on myself and use the striped fabric for the back as I have lots.  After thinking about it, I decided to go with using the floral as much a possible for the front and back.  I have the front sewn together and am ready to do the cording.
Sloppy Joes tonight - or as DH calls them crappy joes.  What does he care?  He's having fish!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Yes, her name is Maryann.  I finished stitching her up last night.  Now I need to see if the piece of fabric I have is large enough to totally finish Maryann into a pillow.  I want to put a strip of fabric above and below the stitching.  I'd like to put some cording on the edge but I can do that in another fabric if I need to.  That is my goal today, to get it completely done.

I went looking at the fabric store for a pattern for the dress I want to make Claire.  It is hard to find smocked dress patterns anymore.  I guess they are a specialty item now.  It looks like I will have to go looking for a dress pattern in a box of old patterns that I have stored downstairs.  I was trying to avoid that.
If I can't find anything, I will use the pattern that I found in an old Smocking Magazine from 1999.  I want different sleeves than the one in the magazine.  We'll see what I come up with.

I order "The Art of William Morris in Cross Stitch" off of ebay. (1.99).  I think it may help me with some designs for my casket.  The shipping cost more than the book! (3.99).

The new curio (from Santa) is to be delivered on Friday.  That means I have to take everything out of the china cabinet and curio#1 so they can be moved to make way for curio#2.  That is another one of my goals today.  I'd better get busy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How About an "N"

I made progress on the Grand Niece's name.  Only one more letter to go.  You can probably guess what it is going to be.

Ornaments and stocking were sent off to Claire this morning.  I had forgotten about the little banner.  I make cute stuff even if I do say so myself.

I must be getting really old as I am in need of another curio for my stitched things.  I have totally filled up the one I got for Christmas two years ago.  I found a very nice one that happens to be larger than the first one.  We went down and bought it today.  I'm a lucky duck.
I have decided that a busy design behind the words makes them unreadable.  So forget this:
It was good to try this so that now I know this is a bad idea.
I am going to a stitching class on Saturday.  That will be very fun and I don't have to drive so far.

We got our first Christmas card today.  I am not ready for the Christmas season!  I wouldn't mind a bit of fudge though.


Monday, November 26, 2012

On the Edge of My Seat

I have been all tensed up and on the edge of my seat.  Why?  Because I have been reading the new Jack Reacher novel, A Wanted Man.  It is on my Ipad and I picked it up to take a break from stitching.  Then I couldn't put it down!  I keep waiting for the sudden unexpected event to happen.  He's riding in a car with a couple of bad guys who have guns.  At night.  With a broken nose.  I was finally able to stop reading when one of the bad guys shot at him. It was time for lunch anyway.

Thanksgiving went very well.  I haven't forgotten how to cook.  The trifle is long gone.  DH is back to having fish tonight.  I do have a hankering for brownies however.  I never did get around to making prune bread.

I have been very bad about stitching the Grand Niece's name.  I have two letters left and I should get busy.  I have have been playing around with some things.  You'll just have to imagine me having fun trying new stitches and colors of floss.

As I stitch, I think about stuff.  Now that Thanksgiving is over, I have to think about Christmas and what to get Claire.  I wanted to get her this darling horse rocker.  The horse is made of white terry cloth but he isn't available until December 19th.  I have to think of a Plan B.  All I have for her so far is an animal puzzle that makes sounds.  So I was looking online for the most adorable little girl's outfit ever.  What I liked best was a smocked bishop neck dress.  I could make that and I already have some material.  This afternoon I went looking for a pattern in my stash.  I think I found one that will do in the right size.  I also have a pattern down in the crawl space for a watermelon dress.  It is from many years ago but it such a cute idea.  The round collar looks like a slice of watermelon and the seeds are black oval buttons.

I got the rest of the my order from ABC Stitch so that I have all the stuff for starting Victorian Painted Lady.  I am going to take the Jackie project from Sampler and Antique Needlework magazine off the frame so I can put the congress cloth on it.  Then it will be nun's stitches up the yingyang.
Santa let me order something very special this week - a mirror with doors!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Info and Half a Letter

I only got half a letter done yesterday.   
At least I am half done with Grand Niece's name.  I will be busy with Thanksgiving and company for the next few days so may not post until the weekend.
You may not realize that when you leave comments, your Blogger settings apply.  If you want your comments available for reply click on your name in the top right corner of your dashboard, then click Blogger Profile or go to Profile page.  Click the orange Edit Profile on the top right.  Check Show my email address and click save.  Another way to accomplish this is to change your account settings.  Click Edit profile under your name and change contact settings.  Check Allow for email/messages.   I paraphrased  this explanation from another blog.   Some people I want to reply to and cannot (Anette!).  

I also haven't figured out how to leave comments on my own blog.  Duh.

It is a lovely day but I must clean!  Darn!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am finishing up the third letter, R.  I'm bored and I want to do something else!  But I must stick with this until it is done.

Margaret asked how big my hydrangea is.  So here it is next to a penny.

It is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (4 centimeters).

I bet I can find a round thing to mount it in on Country Stitches website.

If I have a lot of ambition today, I might make some caramel corn.  I have all the food and fixings for Thanksgiving.  I don't know if I will get around to making prune bread but I have the stuff for it if the mood strikes me.  Fudge sounds good too.
Dylan and I had personal pan pizzas yesterday.  Boy, were they good.  I hadn't had one since last May.  This new building seems to be able to make them just as good as the old building.  I tried the drive through window and didn't even have to get out of my car.  It was great.

Monday, November 19, 2012

MA as in ...

I got most of the next letter done in the grand niece's name pillow.  It is starting to look like it has too many colors but I think that will change.  I don't know how much I can get done today.

I got most of the hydrangea done.  I like how it looks.  I may have missed a stitch or two, I have look it over using magnification to see if I have missed anything.  Now the question is, how to I do the background and what color?  I sort of like the 3D effect it has without background.  I could make it into a small round pin or pendant.  I want to do as little background as possible as I am lazy and easily bored.

There is talk of a new tutorial by Amy Mitten.  I was hoping she would do a tutorial of her Mystery Mansion Etuii.  But she won a needlework contest with a mermaid mirror that has accessories and has mentioned maybe teaching that.  Whatever she offers, I'm game to try.  I so enjoyed her Vierlande Winders Keeper.  I am still tempted to sign up for the Friesland Winders Keeper even though I know how much work is involved.  I have it in the back of my mind to ask Santa for it.

I took apart bookmark #2.  I just didn't like the finishing.  I had a piece of silk left from the Vierlande Winders Keeper and I restitched the bookmark using that.  I took out the skirtex that was inside and just put iron-on interfacing on the back of the linen instead.  I am much happier with it.  Now I need to get off my lazy behind and do that woven edge with pearl cotton so that it will be totally finished.

I have to do some cleaning this week.  Cleaning always cuts into my stitching time.
It is pizzas today for Dylan and me.  Yum!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

M as in ...

I restarted my grand niece's name pillow.  I looked through my stash and found a piece of material that I really like.

I hope there is enough of it to finish the pillow.  I made Claire a little stuffed dog out it.  So then I got my DMC thread reference out and tried to match floss colors to the colors in this fabric.  I have seven letters and each one has a border.  I chose nine colors (so far).  I took out the muted color I started with yesterday and began anew.  I thought I would let you guess the name as I get the letters done.  Also, I am going to try and do one letter every day for a week.

I put the ribbon on with buttons on Cherished Stitches Limited Edition Kit.  I'm not sure if I put them in the right place as it doesn't look exactly like the picture.  I just put them on the corners.  Seemed logical to me.

I finished off one of the Christmas ornaments.  It turned out pretty well.  I made some twisted cording for the hanger.  I tried to think ahead so that I would not have a knot showing when I got done.  I am thinking of writing the year on the back.  I have one more ornament that still needs to be finished.

I finally figured out how to order using Paypal on Zinio.  (You must order only one issue then you get the option of using Paypal.)  So I got the Inspirations magazine instantly!  I love it.  I downloaded the English Rose thimble holder (darling!).  I don't know why but I love everything Carolyn Pearce designs.  I love that I can get this magazine for half the price of the print copy.
Things to do!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Grand Niece

Our nephew and his wife had a baby girl.  I guess that makes her my grandniece.  What can I make?  I think something everyone likes is the name of his/her child.  So I decided to stitch the seven letter name like I stitched "Claire" and make it into a pillow.  I intend to get her a real gift too.  Claire's favorite toy is Sophie the giraffe so I might get one for this new baby.  I started the name on 32 count.  I was debating with myself: bright colors or muted colors.  I naturally like muted ones but bright ones suit a baby better.  But  when it comes to finishing, what fabric colors/patterns will be easier to find?  I'm going to look in my stash and see what I can find.  That will help me decide.  I started it in muted colors though.

I made myself finish sewing on the ribbon on the edge of the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit.  Then I sewed on the thread rings.

I have to read to directions and see where the ribbon ties are supposed to go.  Then it will be done!  Of course there are some other parts.  I like the scissors fob.  But I don't like the chatelaine and don't plan on stitching that.

I got another leaf stitched on the hydrangea.  It is hard not to get lost on this chart.  My goal for today is to get the third and last leaf done.  Then I can concentrate on the flower.  It really is going fine even if it doesn't seem like it.

I found a nice round shape for one of the Christmas ornaments.  I want to finish this one today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Working on Gauze

I've been to The Cheese Lady, the bakery and the gas station this morning and that is all after going to exercise.  Every time I go to the bakery I get a donut ( a chocolate iced fried cake) so that kind of cancels out the exercise.  But it was very yummy.  It is a good thing they didn't have any of those baby size pumpkin pies, I would have bought one of those too.
I have been working on the hydrangea on silk gauze.  I started out doing cross stitches but it wasn't looking as smooth as I wanted.

So I did some investigating.  How did they do it in the photo I saw?  What did I do on the gauze I worked on last year?  In both cases I used tent stitch.  It would be a nightmare to take out what I had done, so I started over.  I am much happier with how it is looking now.

Gauze is hard to work on.  You can get confused as to which holes have been worked since you can see through to the threads on the back.  I had a hard time with the chart, I kept getting lost.  So I scanned the chart, printed it out and used a few colored pencils to help me figure out where the heck I am.  I am just going to start at a point and build around it.  I am pretty happy with the leaf.  I ended up with a few unworked stitches in the leaf and I just filled them in with a middle color instead of going back and doing one stitch of one color, etc.  So I know it isn't done exactly to the chart but it looks fine.

I want to finished the hand sewing on the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit today.
 I have seen the wave of the future!  It is digital magazines.  Inspirations Magazine is now available as a digital magazine and I want to subscribe.  Their site doesn't have the "lock" to assure it is secure so I may have to call and subscribe.  It will be great not to pay for all that postage from Oz.
It sure doesn't feel like it is almost Thanksgiving.  We are supposed to get up to 50 degrees today.  It is lovely outside.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just Goofing

I'm just goofing off today.  I finished the Just Nan limited edition mouse.  I love it.  I need to put a spot of glue on the whiskers so they won't just pull out.  I think I did pretty well finding linen in my stash the right color.  I bought a bunch of small leftover scraps of fabric from The Silver Needle and one was a very good gingerbread color.  I didn't even count the threads to see if it is the right size.  It was a fun stitch.

I goofed around with some of the 40 count linen that I got with my casket in mind.  It was suggested in this month's lesson in Cabinet of Curiosities that we stitch just one part of the casket and frame it.  So I picked a small side and stitched the first line of the poem that I wanted to put around the casket.  That turned out fine. Then I went to the window and traced with a micron pen a design for in back of the words.  I tried stem stitch for the vine with one strand, then I tried it with two strands.

I like the two strands better as it stands out more like a vine.  I tried the technique where you tent stitch the outline with a darker color and fill in.  I found out that the darker color needs to be really darker to be noticeable.  I learned that I don't really want to do a whole casket over-one on 40.  ARGH.  I want to try a leaf in cross stitch over two and see how that looks.  I'd also like to try embroidering a flower and see if I can stand it.  This is just a learning scrap to help me figure out what I want to do eventually.
I am getting the hydrangea design that just came in the mail all set to stitch on the silk gauze.
Today is a day full of possibilities.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lucky Duck

I'm a lucky duck.  I get to stitch all day.  How much more lucky can you get?  Well, you get very lucky when the mailman brings you great stuff to stitch in the mail.  I was expecting one order yesterday but I got two, how lucky is that?
I had even forgotten some of the things I had ordered so they were like a surprise present.  I was prompted to order a couple of these things when I saw them on ebay and thought they looked cute.  So I went to the site and found some other interesting stuff.  I thought about it for a while and in a weak moment, I went back and ordered it.  I got a book on Berlin work and some silk gauze::

I got a couple of other kits:

I saw the hydrangea done on the silk gauze and I really want to do that.  A while back I had stitched a monochomatic design on 32 gauze and it turned out well (well enough to frame).  So I am game to try it again.  If I was really brave, I would have ordered the 40 count gauze.

Then I got a partial order of my silks for Victorian Painted Lady and a Just Nan Limited Edition kit.  Fun!

  So of course, I had to start the new little kit.  Then it dawned on me that the little mouse I am making would be a darling ornament for Claire.  So I may make a couple of these, hoping I can fashion a tail and find a suitable button for the bottom.  I am finished with the stitching part and can put it together today.

I only got this far on the ribbon edging of the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition thread wallet.

I am sewing each side of the ribbon by hand.  It is only slightly tedious.
Lots of new fun stuff to stitch.  I am a lucky duck.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bracelet #2 Done

I put Bracelet #2 together.  I was afraid that it would be too clunky for my taste but it is fine.
Try not to notice the dry wrinkled skin.
 I like it.  I didn't do it completely right as I ran out of rings and I put the crystal cross on the wrong back but it doesn't matter.  I didn't think I could cross stitch with it on as it might catch on my thread or fabric but it is no problem.  I like that it has buttons on it.  My favorite charm is the crown.

I finished stitching the thread wallet in the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit.  I looked up all the parts to finishing it.  I'd like to get that done today.

I realized that I didn't finish the Christmas ornaments that I made for Claire.  I'd better do that.  I would like to stitch a couple more just to see which one I like best.  We have begun looking for things for Claire for Christmas.  What fun to have a baby to shop for!  I can "overshop" a bit as she has a birthday in January.  She is a little hard to buy for since she has so many toys already and yet an empty box or a tag is such an interesting plaything.  You can never have too many books though.  Unless you have several of the same one like Goodnight Moon.

Monday, November 12, 2012


We might get snow today.  ARGH.  I am not ready for that.  I just want it to wait until I get back from seeing Dylan.  I haven't been able to take him a little personal pan pizza as our Pizza Hut has been torn down and is being rebuilt.  It reopens again tomorrow so next week will be pizza week - and it has a drive through.  I'm not sure how that will work but I am willing to find out.
I am finished with Winter Cottage.

Now time to critique it.  I changed some things and it was a mistake.  It looks okay but it would have been better to follow the directions and to use the recommended materials.  I tried to avoid some of the nun stitches.  Not my favorite stitch.  I used the CA way of joining for the needle book inside the front cover.

It was only partly successful.  The needle book is a bit puffier that I want and not quite as straight.  I think using the congress cloth would have been better.  I like the design inside the needle book better than the called for.

I think I left out (forgot?) a part that was to cover the inside fold.  I interfaced the inside and left an edge open so that there are two pockets.

But the interfacing should not really be seen and it is.  I still need to make some twisted cording to tie Winter Cottage together at the bottom.  The inside needle book doesn't close as flat as I would like and a tie there would be good too.  The door scissor pocket turned out nicely.

I wish the outside edge was smoother, that may be due to using linen instead of congress cloth.

I used Hand Dyed Fibers substitutions and I think some of the colors are too close together.  I would use a darker gray and three more distinct blues if I were to do this again (not a chance).  The threads for Victorian Painted Lady should arrive this week and I am going to follow the directions precisely.  I can get started on the nun stitch edging anytime.
Goal for today: finish number 2 bracelet.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It is sunny and warm outside - at least that's how it looks.  Our leaves were supposed to be picked up Friday but they are still here.  Maybe the city will come on Monday or Tuesday.

I didn't get the bracelet glued until this morning so I haven't put together the second bracelet yet.

 I started putting on the buttons but I have to wait for the cabachons to dry.  Let's hope I bought the right glue.

I happened to pick up the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit to work on.  I wanted to work my way to the end as there isn't that much more to do.  Hopefully that will give me the motivation to finish stitching it.  

I started another of the accessories to Aunt Julia's Sewing Box.  It is called Thread book #2.  I like the design and I think it will go quickly.

There will be no mail tomorrow due to Veteran's Day.  I hope to get something in the mail this week from Serendipity Designs.