Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Finish

I am so happy to have finished the Spring Fling project.  It would look better ironed.  I got on a roll and didn't quit until I finished it.  I am not sure how this will be finish- finished as I don't really want to frame it.  We'll see.....

I am making good progress on Sweet Heart of Mine.  I really like it.  I even think I want to do two other Barbara Jackson pockets from old magazines.  Just the verse and a couple of vines left to stitch.  I know that the pin book and scissors fob will be quick and easy.  It would be great to finish stitching on the main piece today.

I am slowly working on the Erica Micheal's scissors fob.  I think it is sweet.

While looking through an old magazine I found a project that I want to do.  It is a small impressionist style painting in cross stitch.

 Many of the flosses are blended so it has to be done on a linen that can take three plies of floss without looking crappy.   So 25 or 28 count linen.  I have some 28 count I think I will try.  There are about 50 colors of floss.  I'll have to sit on the floor and sort out and see how many I can find in my big bin of floss.

Dylan's birthday went fine.  I was so afraid he would be disappointed with the books but everything went well.  We made the icing and he iced the cupcakes.  We only have two more times to meet and the year of mentoring will be over.
There is no new lesson for Mermaid Treasures yet so I am happily working on other stuff.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I got all the verse done on the Spring Fling project.  Yeah!  I also finished up all the windows.  Yeah!  Now I just have stuff in the center section around the house to go.  There is some over one in this section, the sheep and the basket of apples.  My goal today is to get the sheep done.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this one.

I worked a bit on the Erica Michael's silk gauze scissors fob.  I like it but it is slow going as I can't use my usual "sewing" method.

Then I am making progress on Sweet Heart of Mine.  The inside panel is pretty and I like working on it.  As I was looking at my projects all in a row, all of them have red and green as the main colors.

Things to look forward to this week:
Celebrating Dylan's birthday tomorrow.
Next lesson in Mermaid's Treasures.
 Lesson 13 (of 18) in Cabinet of Curiosities that probably will include thread wrapping instructions.
Son#2's birthday, I wish he was still 3.
Warmest weather so far this year.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I have half the verse done on the Spring Fling project.  I don't really like this but I'm too close to finishing not to finish.  So I trudge on.  I have three windows left that I'd like to finish today as well as the rest of the verse.

I finished the back of Sweet Heart of Mine.

 I changed the vine a bit.  Instead of eyelets over two threads, I put in four smyrna stitches that give the impression of strawberries and some white smyrnas as the flowers.

I haven't put on the bird's bead eye yet.  I'll wait until I have done all the stitching and pressed it.  But that means I get to start the inside.  Yeah!  This project is going pretty fast.

Here is the Mary Beale that I finished the other day.

I'm a good girl, I went walking today.  I am going to try to actually get to 10,000 steps today.  Wish me luck.

Friday, April 26, 2013


How can it be Friday again so quickly?
I started something new since I am caught up on Mermaid Treasures.  It is an Erica Michael's scissors fob done on 40 count gauze.

I got the pattern at Stitchville.  I found some muslin and mounted it up and put it in a hoop.  It is nice to work on something different.

I stitched most of the back of  Sweet Heart of Mine.  I put some strawberry looking things around the vine over the crown on the front.  I like how it looks and want to do that same thing on the vine on the back.  I saw that Inspirations Magazine has a new issue out.  Neat.  I like to buy them on Zinio.  This issue has a Barbara Jackson project on the front.

Neat.  Barbara didn't mention that she is a cover girl again. The preview for the next issue looks like a Betsy Morgan box.  Cool.

I finished up the Mary Beale project.  I still don't know what to put in the middle so I'll wait until inspiration strikes me.

I worked a little on the Spring Fling project.  I want to finish it but I don't like it very much.  It just uses up my time with that stupid over one junk.  I'm tempted to stick it somewhere.

I can hardly believe it is going to be May next week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I made two more fins for the fish in my Mermaid Treasures class.  They turned out pretty well.  I never did find the fin I made the other day.  I figured it would turn up as soon as I made a replacement.
Here is how they look:

Now I'm caught up until the next lesson comes out on Monday.

On to other things.  I am almost done with the front of Sweet Heart of Mine.  Just a few more stitches in the lower border.  I am thinking of putting a couple of flowers on the green vine above the crown.  The back of the case will go quickly as there isn't much to stitch.  I am thinking of adding a few things there too.

There are some projects I should go back and work on.  The Spring Fling sampler, the Mary Beale thing.  I finished up the Just Nan bee.  This is the button that goes in the bottom of the bee container.

The sun is out and we are expecting a warm weekend.  I haven't worn shorts yet this year
but I may soon!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm Proud of Me

I was brave and did several things on my mermaid that I hadn't tried before.  Most of them turned out good.  First off, I put on the silk purl around the smaller mermaid's waist.  I made the little cutting box according to the directions and cut the purl.

  It went fine.  I was surprised, it wasn't hard at all.

Then I tried a new stitch, the cable chain.    It went fine too. I practised just a bit before using the vintage metal thread.
Next came the mica for the mirror.  I cut it.  I stitched it on and it is so cool. I think it looks good.

Then I made a fin.  It didn't turn out too badly but it has a problem.  One end is sticking out and it shouldn't.  I could try and tack it down. I already tried threading into a needle and directing it down where it should be.   Metal thread has a mind of its own and sometimes isn't very cooperative.  I may just try again.  I have to make another one anyway for the other side of the fish.  I'll make sure to make the bend bigger than a quarter inch next time.  Actually I am amazed that my fin turned out as well as it did.  Amy Mitten's directions are great.  I wish I could see it a little better when trying to stitch it.  I may turn up my light to full blast and see if that helps.  I think the fins are the last thing I have to do before the next lesson comes out.  I'm almost caught up.  I would show you a photo of my fin but at the moment I can't find it.  Story of my life.

I put a few more stitches in Sweet Heart of mine.  I am enjoying this stitch.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mixed Bag

I stitched on Sweet Heart of Mine because I wanted to get the heart done and see how it turned out.  Ta-Dah!

Now I want to finish the front  entirely.

I should go back to my mermaid.  I finished the backstitching on the fish.  The next step is scary.  Putting on the pearl purl (?) on the mermaid's waist.  It's probably not that big a deal but I haven't worked with this stuff before.  There are special instructions on setting up a box to cut it in, cutting it and attaching it.  I just need to work through each step.

While I was at the class Sunday, people were talking about a class with the Western Reserve Sampler Guild.  It's a class that I really want to take and I was hoping it would be taught at Celebrations.  When I found it wasn't being taught there, I decided not to go to Celebrations this year.  So I found out some more information and sent off the registration yesterday.  I have no idea how I'm going to get to the class.  It's about 5 hours away if I drive.  I checked flights.  I could fly there and rent a car.  I don't have to worry about it right now as the class isn't until late August.  Wouldn't it be nice to ride with someone?  That's it, I need a chauffeur and a stretch limo.

I had a good meeting with Dylan yesterday.  He got 5 rows done on the coaster.  We have two more weeks to get it done.  We are celebrating his birthday next week.  I got him a couple of books (Kids' Silliest Jokes, Weird But True).  I thought he would enjoy reading them and they aren't too hard.  I think I'll take cupcakes and we'll make the icing for them.

Barnes & Noble has the prettiest bag.  Several people had them at class.  They aren't very expensive either. So, yes, I had to get one too.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Kindred Spirits

I love going to classes.  I hate driving.  But I did very well yesterday.  I got up early (in case I got lost) and set out for the class.  There was just no traffic.  (Loved it).  I also had a new friend, the GPS unit that son#2 gave us when he got a new one (or has one on his phone or something).  She and I became good friends.  She helped me get to class without one wrong turn.  I was the first one there!

Here is the empty classroom.  It was freezing yesterday and the heat wasn't working in this room so after a bit we moved to the other side of the building which was much warmer.

I love getting a kit with all the bells and whistles in it.  I have taken classes from Barbara Jackson before and I know she always bastes.  I was ready for it.  As you know, in my humble opinion, basting is a waste of time and energy.  But whatever.  I basted.  I learned something too.  Barbara had a handout of where to start.  I have been told many times that you start by a vertical thread.  But no one ever told me which one.  Now I have a better understanding of where to start.

Also in our kit was a brand new pair of nice Bohin scissors.  These are my favorite kind if you don't count my fancy schmancy ones.

I love how this guild provides lunch from Panera and a little gift for everybody.

Barbara is very laid back and easy going.  We made sure to start the bargello heart.  That was fun even though I had to fix my mistakes several times.  But once you get the first row in, it is easy to just follow the pattern of colors.  I met a couple of new people and saw a couple of old friends.

I left early to get back home while it was still light and hoping that the traffic was light as well.  I made it back fine.  I missed talking to Claire but we'll catch up next week.

I'm off to see Dylan.  Smoothies today and five rows on the coaster he is making his mom for Mother's Day.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More Hair

Now the other mermaid has hair and a face and scales.  But this mermaid scales are in a different Bijoux color.  This was not easy backstitch!  But she is done.  I like how she turned out.

Next up are the fins.  They look easy.  Just backstitch lines down them.  I can handle that.

Tomorrow I am driving over the the other side of the state for a class with Barbara Jackson, Sweet Heart of Mine.

That will be fun (I hope).  The last time I drove over to a class turned out to be the worst day of the year for me.  But that was mainly the driving part.  Let's hope things go better tomorrow.  I am taking the GPS so I am less likely to get lost (again).  The fascinating thing about this class is that this is very similiar to another one of her designs.  Look at the magazine from 1994:
I put in a few stitches on the Mary Beale design.
I have to figure out what I want to put in the middle.
See you on Monday.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hair on My Mermaid

Yesterday I spent the day putting hair on my mermaid.  I told DH that and he looked at me kind of weird.  I guess that sounds a bit odd.  I also put scales on my mermaid.  All I did was backstitch.  But it was a very complicated backstitch: over one, two or three on 32.  I really like the Bijoux thread used on the scales. It has just the right amount of sparkle.  Here is the result:

Today I'm going to be working on the other smaller mermaid.  She needs some hair too.  I haven't read ahead enough to know if she will have scales too.  I like the anticipation of not knowing yet.  Who says stitching isn't exciting?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Much Much More

I worked on the smaller mermaid yesterday and I am almost done.  I least I thought I was almost done.  I am working through all the steps in Lesson 3A.  But Lesson 3 has four parts.  I printed out the rest of the parts and looked at what is to come.  Whoa!  I'm going to be doing stuff I have never done before. (mica! purl!) I'm going to have to just take it a step at a time as this looks scary.  Can I do this?  With Amy Mitten's great directions, I think I can.  I may have to practice just a bit before attempting these things for real.
Next up is the backstitching on the mermaids and the fish with sparkly thread.  Of course I can do backstitching.  I really like their backstitched hair.  There is much more to do on these pockets.

I needed a break yesterday and I picked up a small Mary Beale design that I started at Spring Fling.  It seems huge compared to working tent stitch over one on 32 count.  It is a fun design.

Then I stitched (and restitched) a couple of words on the Spring Fling sampler.  I figure if I do a couple of words or one length of thread a day I can make some progress.

It is supposed to rain like crazy today.  It's a good day to stitch.  Of course around here, everyday is a good day to stitch!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm an Idiot, Chapter 12

I was busily working away on the Mermaid Treasures backstitch when I realized I'm an idiot.  Any casual observer of the chart could easily notice that the two pockets are not the same size.  I didn't notice.  DUH.  I was ready to backstitch the fish when I saw that he wouldn't fit on my fabric where he was diagrammed on the chart.  So I had to take out part of the smaller pocket and restitch it.

Sometimes I concentrate on such a small part of the chart and just don't see the whole picture.  I fixed my mistake and moved on.

See that double stitched bottom of the fish.  I couldn't find where I got off so I just kept stitching until it matched up again.  Actually it is hard to stitch with a floss that is the same color as the linen.  Okay, so I have a lot of excuses for my errors.

Anyway, I finally got to the mermaid.  She actually is one thread shorter than she should be but, again, I can't figure out where I am off.  So we'll pretend she is fine.  Now I am stitching on the mermaid that is on the other pocket.

When I was shopping at the Mall of America, I thumbed through a cross stitch magazine that was in the Barnes & Noble store.

I saw a darling alphabet.  I immediately thought of doing Claire's name again but with this alphabet.

I didn't buy the magazine as it was expensive and I didn't have my gift card with me.  When I got home I went to our local Barnes & Noble to see if I could find it.  Their computer said they had 10 copies.  They did not.  We couldn't find even one.  So off the the internet to see what I could find.  It seems this magazine is from the UK and is sold out.  But you can find anything on Amazon.  I found the magazine and as luck would have it, I had an Amazon gift card from Christmas that I used to buy it.  Now that I have read the magazine, most of the designs are fairly simple but I still love this bird alphabet.