Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you!
Easter is so different now that my kids are grown.  No hiding of eggs.  No filling of baskets,  No new church clothes.  So to celebrate I had a chocolate marshmallow egg.  It's a good thing that those Brach's marshmallow rabbits are so expensive, I could eat hundreds of them but I'm too cheap to buy them anymore.  If they have any leftovers at Joann's at half price, I might be tempted.

I have almost half of the background done on the Mary Beale Album cover.  As I work on it, I am thinking of how to finish it.  What fabric should I use?  Moire, ultrasuede, silk dupoini? Can I find an album to fit it or will I have to make the pages?

I started the little baby shoe.  It is going well.  I wanted to change the colors but I decided to trust Mary and just stitch it as charted.  I think I can finish this today.  Cute.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thank You Mr. Mailman Again

I got mail yesterday.  It was the set of Mary Beale charts that I won on ebay.

 I didn't know what to expect. But I love them.  They are just the style I was looking for.  There are many charts that I'd like to try.  (Like I need to start something new!)  There are 15 little leaflets.

 The only drawback is that there are no color photos of the projects.  There is one photo on the front that has a few of the projects shown.  Otherwise you have to imagine what they might look like and how big they might be.  The first one I want to do is a baby slipper.  So cute!

I think that all my experiences up to this point in my life have prepared me for things I want to do.  Taking the Vintage Strawberry class helped me feel a little more confident working in embroidery.  Working the Trevelyon purse thing taught me some things too.  The Thistle Thead kits made me do things I haven't tried before.  So I started one of the French Needle kits.  I knew I could do some stem stitch so I started with that.  Hey, that went fine, so I continued.  Now I am on flower #3.  Wow.  And it looks good.  The title of this kit is A Thousand Flowers. Luckily there aren't that many.  I like the texture to this and I think a variation of it would be great on the flat casket.  What I should do is doodle with a pen and see what I come up with.  I'd like to enlarge this design, cut out the individual flowers and play around with it to see what it looks like.

I got all of the framework background done on the Mary Beale Album cover.  Now I am filling in the squares.

I looked up where my Mermaid kit is.  San Francisco.  Well, maybe it will come next week before I go to Spring Fling.
I was so good that after Pilates, I walked a mile on the walking track at the Y.  I intend to be very bad when it comes to the buffet at Spring Fling.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thank You Mr. Mailman

Mr. Mailman brought me something yesterday.  It was the order from the French Needle.  I got two kits.  I would have ordered more but they were out of the other kits that I wanted.  The kits are very interesting.  They are printed on what looks like a high quality linen.  One is smaller than I expected.  I haven't started them yet.  Embroidery intimidates me.  I have to start with something very easy, like stems.  I got the thread for each of the kits.  This isn't all the thread required.  Some DMC is called for too.  I've never used House of Embroidery thread.

Now I have to decide whether I should put the linen in a hoop or on a needlework frame to stitch.  A hoop would be my preferred method so that I can hold it in my hand.  A frame is a little more awkward to use.  I scanned the design so that I can trace it onto the linen for my flat casket and enlarge and change it if needed.

I got the medallion done on the Mary Beale photo album cover.  Now I have to stitch all of the background.  A million little squares to fill in.  I like it so far but I still have to fix that baby angel face.
We have another nice sunny day.  Maybe it really is spring.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Waiting for Mr. Mailman

I have been working away on the Mary Beale album cover.  I want to finish the medallion in the middle.  I think it is going very well.  Since there is solid stitching, this project seems to go kind of slowly.

I am getting excited about Spring Fling.  Next week!  It will be fun to see friends again and hopefully to shop at Stitchville USA.  It is a great store.

Almost all of our snow has melted away.  It is looking more springlike.  I'm hoping Mr. Mailman will bring me something today.  I'm waiting for:  Mermaid Treasures kit, order from French Needle, Mary Beale's Pocketbook Needlework 1989 - 1992 that I bought on ebay.  I also have an order into Needle in a Haystack but half of what I ordered is back-ordered.  I've got my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rhapsody Done

I finished the other small pieces of Rhapsody in Blue yesterday.  I found the pins for the pin disk.  They were hiding on my ironing board.  Sneaky devils.

I remade the strawberry.  I'm still not thrilled with the shape as I wish it were more strawberry-like, fatter and shorter.  But it is done and the twisted cording is attached and that little tag on the end.  I really like the little tag but whipping together the over one backstitch is not easy.

Then I put backing on the pin heads.  I tried a spider web rose, it looked awful.  Then I tried doing lazy daisy stitches so it would look like a flower.  I put a bead in the middle.  Not as even as I would like but it is acceptable.  Then I happen to have some off white ultrasuede.  I used a button as my circle pattern to cut around and I used tiny little stitches to cover the messy back of those pins.  Bingo.  That was the best way to do it.  I want to put just the tiniest bit of glue on the bows so they stay up on the pins.  I haven't done that yet.

The hedebo stitched ring turned out fine.  It took a few stitches before I got into the rhythm of the stitch so one side is just a bit neater than the other but I don't think anyone will notice.

Overall, I really like this project.  The instructions need to be tweeked a bit.  (Put the magnets in before you sew it all down. Duh.  Don't make the bottom of the lid so snug.  Include directions on attaching the lid to the body of the pouch.)  Of course it would be so much easier if I did this again.

I worked just a bit on the Mary Beale photo album cover.  I need to fix that baby's face.  It looks like a zombie.

The sun is shining, it is a great day here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I got the second finishing lesson for Rhapsody in Blue.  It is a lot easier than Lesson One.  I finished the pin disk.  I added my own twist on it as I didn't want to just pin the ribbon around the edge.  Now I can't find the pins.  That is my goal for today - find the pins!

I finished the little rectangular pin cushion.  So cute!  I love it.  That mylar is a bear to cut correctly, it slips all over the place when you try to cut it.

Then I worked on the pin heads.  She didn't really give us a way to finish the back of the pins.  I'm thinking of doing a spider web rose with the floss on the back.  You could sew on a button on the back or glue/sew  on a piece of ultrasuede.

Then I made the strawberry but I didn't like it.  It was too long and skinny.  So I resewed it and ended up throwing it away.  I cut a new one and intend to make the seams a bit deeper.  I made the top of the strawberry and it is okay.

So I'm getting close to finishing this whole project.
Dylan liked working with the plastic canvas so much.  He was more confident and knew how to thread the needle and how to start and end.  I was very proud of him.  His school is on spring break next week so I won't see him until the 8th of April

My kit for Mermaid Treasures was mailed yesterday from Canada.  I read the first lesson.  Basting.  But I have great respect for Amy Mitten and if she says to baste, I will baste.  I am excited about starting this project.  How long will it take to get a package from Calgary?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Something New

This is what I was looking through my stash for yesterday.

 It is a Mary Beale chart that I bought on ebay a while back.  I got the bug to try it out after bidding on another Mary Beale  design on ebay.  I haven't really done any of her things so I should see if I like her designs before I buy more.  Logical.  So I looked up the threads needed.  I misread the chart and the main color of the cross hatching.  I was looking for the wrong color which was an ugly green.  I changed it to a more golden color.  Then I discovered that the actual color called for was a deep gold.  Crazy.  Oh well, I started it.  It was fun to work on something completely different.  I imagine it as a cover for a photo album.

I found a free design from Pelin Tezer for a rose that I think would be pretty on a slipper.

I wanted to work a Berlin style slipper but couldn't find the pattern that I wanted.  I want to turn one of these roses around and do half the circle on the toe of a slipper.

I am waiting for the Mermaid Treasures class that starts today.  I don't have my kit so I can't do anything  anyway.    I am also waiting for the second finishing lesson for Rhapsody in Blue.  I can't really do anything until I get back from seeing Dylan.  He very much enjoyed doing some needlepoint on plastic canvas last week and wanted to do some more.  I'm going to make a trip to Hobby Lobby after I see Dylan.  I'll try to behave myself.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Just Goofing

What happens when one goes looking through one's stash?  One finds stuff that she forgot that she had.  Then she has to play with it for a while.  That's what happened to me. I found a needlepoint canvas that I bought in Boston on a trip to visit son#2 a few years ago.  It had some of the threads right there with it.  So I put in a couple of threads in the canvas to see how it looked.

I stitched on my BAP for a while.  I finally completed the first page by filling in all those pesky little stitches scattered throughout.  Then I started the second page.

 I even covered up a couple of stains that were on the linen.  That poor piece of linen has been laying about for quite a while.  I'll show you the whole piece of linen so you can see how very little I have done and what a huge project this is.

  I hope to finish this before I die.  In twenty years - or more.

Then because I wanted a small thing to show you, I started that little French pattern I got on the internet.  I discovered that I bought the wrong pattern.  I meant to buy the one with the bunny that looks a lot like this one.

I don't know what semis means in French.  Maybe it means annuals.  Anyway, I'm going to leave out the tag part and put a little violet top on that vine on the right. What should I make it into?  I'll have to think on that.  It could be very cute.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I've been working on finishing a couple things.  The Merry Cox Box is now a small box.  I just have to do the lid.  What is holding me back?  I hate the font.  It looks like a pre-schooler wrote it.  I want a nice even pretty font.  Then I have to graph it out.  I am not crazy about "her work".  Just putting your name on it ought to be enough to say "I did this".

The Rose Trellis pin pad has been languishing in the laundry basket of shame for too long.  I decided to get on with it already.  I just have to stitch the bottom on and it is done.

I walked for a while after Pilates today.  That is remarkable in itself for a basically lazy person to go out of her way to do something.  I wanted to get in some more steps. I'm only up to 3078 but that is better than nothing.  I'd like to double that number.  We'll see.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I finished the bottom of the Merry Cox Box and have started to put it together.  There still is the top of the box to stitch.  I think I will be motivated to do the top when I see the bottom of the box done.

I ordered some kits today.  On Mary Corbet's blog Needle'n Thread she talked about some kits at the French Needle.  I noticed the kits the other day and admired them.  I think they would be a great pattern for the flat casket design.  I just needed her little nudge to get me to take action.  Unfortunately, one of the patterns was already sold out.  It will be interesting to see if the kits will look good as a casket covering.

I am excited about Monday.  The Mermaid Needlework Treasures class starts.  Also we get the instructions for finishing the accessories to Rhapsody in Blue.  Only two weeks until Spring Fling!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I finished the Rhapsody in Blue bag.  I am tickled that I actually made it.

I had to remake the cording - again - two more times.  I figured out a way to do the bottom of the bag that I felt comfortable with.  I stabilized the gathers by stitching them down before sewing on the bottom pieces.

 The stiffness of the silk makes the bag hold it's shape.  I think it is darling.  I can't wait to get the instructions for the accessories next Monday.

I have a shoe dilemma.  I started stitching the outline of the shoe and realized how big it is.  I don't like it.  Should I keep stitching it?   Should I stitch it over one to make it half as large?  Should I just forget it?  I can't decide.  I have a chart I bought on Ebay that is a shoe that has flowers on it.  I could stitch that instead.

I guess I'll go back to the things I was working on before Rhapsody in Blue. The Merry Cox Box still has a little over 3 flowers to go.
We are getting more lake effect snow.  ARGH.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lots of Hand Sewing

I worked on the finishing of the Rhapsody in Blue bag all day.  I didn't get finished.  Partly because I made mistakes, partly because I didn't understand the directions correctly.  I am very happy to say the lid is done.

 It has four layers.  I had it half put together when I decided I didn't like my cording, it was too thick and didn't look like the photo.  So I tried making the cording two more times using different amounts of thread to see if I could get a cording I could live with.  Then I realized after I had the whole top of the lid sewn together that I forgot to put in the magnets!  So back to square one.

Now I am working on the bag part.  I have it all attached to the hoop.

 I just need to do the bottom of the bag.

 There is a niggling question in my head about when I put in the other magnets.  I'll have to read the directions again to see if I can find that.

The designer talked about using Kevlar scissors to cut the mat board.  I'll have to look those up.  I love having all the right tools and I've never heard of those before.

The sun is shining now on the first day of spring.  And the snow has stopped - although we are supposed to get another few inches.
I saw a sweet design on someone's blog and in a weak moment ordered the chart.

  It will come via email.  It is a spring design.  Fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I was so excited to get the finishing instructions for the Rhapsody in Blue class.  I am being very careful and reading and rereading the instructions so I can do this just right.  But I've hit a few bumps in the road.  First off, the mat board in my kit is just a tiny bit too small.

See,the hoop is hanging off the edge just a bit.  No problem, I have some matboard on hand that I can use.

Then I was trying to whip together the sides of this little tag that has a magnet in it for the edge of the top of the bag.  But it was just impossible to catch the over one (on 32 count) backstitches.  Did I stitch them too tight?  After a bit of frustration, I decided to restitch it.  I added one more thread on each side of the motif and I changed the edging stitch from a backstitch to a long arm cross.  I thought about just making the backstitch over two but then I remember how I like the long arm cross and knew it would be easy to whip together.  So that is what I did.
The first time I followed the directions and made the twisted cording, it wasn't long enough.  So maybe I didn't read the directions correctly.  I tried again and made the twisted cording using a total of 4 lengths of the thread and now I have plenty of cording.
 My goal today is to finish the bag entirely.  It is going to be so cute when it is done.

My BFF is tempting me into going to another retreat.  I have wanted to go to The Silver Needle in Tulsa as it looks like an awesome shop.  They have a retreat that sounds like fun in July.  Then to have a friend to go with me, I just can't resist!

Monday, March 18, 2013


I didn't post yesterday as I wasn't feeling well.  I even went back to bed for a couple of hours.  But then I felt better.  I wasn't hungry all day so I know I was sick.

I finished the other side of the Shoe.  It is ready to be put together.

I wanted to start the actual shoe part.  So I started working on the outline.  Oh my goodness!  I assumed by looking at the photo that it was a cute little mini shoe.  No.  I think it will be big enough for me to wear.  It's huge!  Well, compared to what I was expecting, it's huge.  

I am confused by the pattern because there seems to be two patterns for the shoe. They are slightly different from each other.  I am using the one shown in the finishing photos.  Since I don't know French, I have no explanation.  Whatever.

I put in a few more flowers on the Merry Cox Box.  Five to go.  I hope this looks cute when it is done.  It is filled with mistakes.  Luckily they aren't noticeable.  (Are they?!)

We get the first finishing instructions today for the Rhapsody in Blue class.  Yeah!  It will be fun to work on that again and see it take shape.

I'm taking pizza to Dylan today.  Hopefully he will be happy with that.  I started reading Harry Potter to him last week.  One more week until his spring break.

The bathrooms are clean  and I even have new rugs for them.