Friday, May 31, 2013

Working My Way Down

I finished the top band on the inside pocket of the Needleworker's Pocketbook.    I know, it doesn't look all that different from yesterday.    I am making progress on the second band.  Then there is another band of strawberries before I hit the interesting band that has eyelets and satin stitch and much more.

I put in a few (very few!) stitches in the Strawberry Thief.  As I work, I think about what colors to do on the bird's belly.

I can't believe it is the last day of May already.  Tomorrow we get a new Cabinet of Curiosities lesson.  This will be lesson 14 with only a few more to go.  I meant to try out the wrapped cards but I didn't get that done this month.  Of course, I could do it today.  But I have to be in the mood.  Am I in the mood?  I'm not sure yet.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Love a New Start

I've been anxiously awaiting this kit since I ordered it months ago.  I don't know why but I just love this project.  The mailman brought me my Needleworker's Pocketbook kit yesterday.  What fun to see all the goodies it contains.

What fun to start something new.  I thought I would spend the next few days just basting and backstitching but the point that she tells you to start happens to be a cross stitch.  The first part I am working on is the inside pocket.  It is supposed to look like this:

This is how far I got:

I'm not sure I like one of the colors as it doesn't show up very well.  I've already changed it on the strawberries.  (Yes, more strawberries!  Good thing I love them.)  
I put a few stitches into the Strawberry Thief.  It is slow going as I am doing tent stitch over one on 32 count.  I'm trying not to get lost.  Sometimes a highlighter helps.

Today I want to get all the way across the pocket with the top band.  The pocket has a very interesting band at the bottom, can't wait to get there.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I worked a bit on the bird.  Again, deciding on the colors is the hardest part.  But so far, so good.

I like the blue I chose.  The gold isn't too dark so that is good.  I'll just keep plugging away on this.  I know this will be put aside later today as I expect my Needleworker's Pocketbook kit to arrive.  I love when you can track packages and know when to expect them.  UPS tracking isn't working.  I'm trying to see when Claire will get her Elmo doll and nothing has changed since last Thursday. ARGH.
It is very humid outside.  I'd better just stay inside and stitch.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More Strawberries

I put in several more strawberries on the Strawberry Thief.  It is so hard choosing colors!  The design is coming along.  I'll just keep plugging away.  I used a different lightest pink and I don't like it.  It does give variety to the strawberries though.  I haven't decided whether to take it out or not.

I like the darkest strawberry the best.  I guess my goal today is to work the green caps on the strawberries and venture on to the bird.  If I were very diligent, I would do all the vines.  We'll see.

Monday, May 27, 2013

One Strawberry

I finished the backstitching on the Strawberry Thief.  I went digging for floss colors.  The chart calls for Soie d'alger silk thread but I only had one of the colors it called for.  So I went looking for a conversion chart to DMC.  Just so I would have an idea of what color floss was supposed to be there.  The photo on the chart doesn't look like it used the colors listed.

So I went looking for William Morris's wallpaper in several books that I have for the real colors used in the original.  This all means I wasted a lot of time looking for stuff.  I still haven't decided what colors to use.  I'll take it a step at a time.  First, the strawberries.  The bird scares me the most so I'll probably do that last.  I like how the strawberry turned out.  The lightest strawberry color (although it looks fine in this photo, in real life it is a dull color) is the only Soie d'alger that is called for on the original chart.  I don't really like that color so I'll use a different one on the other strawberries.

I used to have a boy scout that would march in parades on Memorial Day and of course we would go watch him.  It is a bit rainy today and that boy scout is long grown.  DH will grill some turkey burgers for us tonight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I've been backstitching the Strawberry Thief.  I tried double running style but I got lost.  I'm using some of Hand-Dyed Fibers premium floss.  I think the backstitching looks very interesting just by itself.  It will be interesting to see what it looks like when filled in with some color.
Here's what it is supposed to look like finished.  I may change the colors a bit.
It is a beautiful day outside.  I walked (with a brace on my calf!) and enjoyed it very much.  We've nothing special planned for the holiday.  Can't wait to see Claire with her busy book today.
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Third Rock From the Sun

I got my third rock done.  Yeah!  It was easier than the first two.  Now I am all caught up until the next lesson.

Now what to stitch?  I've been looking around my sewing room and I have another Nostalgic Needle chart I want to do.  It is the Strawberry Thief Ornamental based on a William Morris design.  First of all you have to do all the outlining then you fill in.  Another candidate to start is Nostalgic Needle's strawberry ornament. I have a thing for strawberries.  It is the same size as the blackwork ornament that I just finished and will be very quick to stitch.  I have to find some threads to stitch it with.

I can't wait until my Needleworker's Pocketbook kit arrives.  It will be so fun to work on.
I asked DH for advice yesterday.  He told me to go for it.  What a great guy!  So I did.  I signed up for classes at The Attic in November.  My BFF will be there and we'll have a blast.

Friday, May 24, 2013


I am so proud of myself!  I did Grotto Rock #2!  It is done in detached buttonhole and it doesn't look half bad.  Thank you Amy Mitten for having great instructions.

Next up is Grotto Rock #3.  It is also done in detached buttonhole but in a different way, horizontally.
I also finished the Blackwork ornament from Nostalgic Needle.  Cool.  The colors turned out fine.

I was very thrilled to find that my next class, Needleworker's Pocketbook has its first lesson online.  And my kit has been mailed.  Since it comes from Canada, it will take a while to get here.  I am thrilled to be taking this class.  What fun!  I printed out the first lesson last night and it was 37 pages.  Wow.  It has a great big chart (8 pages when taped together) which is good as that makes it easy to read.  I can't wait to get started.
I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bee Finished

Here is my Just Nan Bee:

All done.

I decided to be brave and tackle the first grotto rock.  It is done in trellis stitch.  It worked out pretty well.

I am surprised that I could do it.  It isn't perfect.  It is what it is.  I still have to put the "moss" on the rock.  I was assuming that the other rocks are done the same way.  Nope.  The next rock is done in detached buttonhole stitch.

I need something easy to work on during Nashville last night so I picked our a Nostalgic Needle chart and started on it.  I am just using some handy hand-dyed fibers.  It is all back stitching.

It's a cool rainy day here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bee Happy

I finished off Lady Catherine's Slipper.  I am happy with it.  If you haven't done it, do not transfer the outside edge line.  Mine shows a bit on one side.  I knew I shouldn't have transferred it.  It was good to get some experience working with the #9 gold thread.

I picked up a Just Nan kit that was on my sewing room floor.  I get the automatic from Silver Needle for Just Nan's smalls this year.  I made the bunny and gave it to Claire.  This is the bee.  It is nice to do something quick and easy after the impressionist's painting project.  I am putting on the beads.  I have to backstitch around the edge and I can put this baby together.

Just as I was looking up the finishing instructions for the slipper, I got notification that the next three lessons for Mermaid's Treasures was up.  So when I feel brave I can do the grotto rocks for the mirror.  It doesn't look too hard but it involves the trellis stitch.  So we'll see how it goes.

I only got in about 800 steps yesterday waiting for my calf to heal.  Today I went to exercise class and walked a mile.  I am over 8200 so far.  Big improvement!  I'm so glad I can get back to walking.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I finished the Impressionist's Painting Project.  I even ironed it.  It was an interesting project to do and I like how it turned out.  I didn't like stitching with three plies of floss.


I also finished the stitching part of Lady Catherine's Slipper.  I tried fixing the curlique that didn't match the corresponding curlique.  I discovered that the permanent marker line was under the stitching.  After pressing it, the transfer line doesn't show up so much.  I also took a string of linen and tried to weave it in so as to cover the transfer line.  Right now, I can't even see it.  So maybe it worked.

I am in the process of finishing the slipper.  I have to put in some tufting (where the white dots are), ladder stitch the soles together and make some black cording.  I like how it turned out.  The gold and black together are cool and I really like the silk lining fabric.  Nifty.

I decided not to go to exercise class as my calf is still very sore and I limp a bit.  I am not happy that I can't get in my steps.  That will slow down the weight loss a lot.  Rats.  But I look forward to being better next week and getting back to walking.  How could I have hurt myself just walking?  It's crazy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Close But No Cigar

I am soooo close to finishing the impressionist's painting project.  I just have a few stray stitches to complete and she is done!  Yeah!  I decided to show you the back so you will know I am not the best stitcher.  It is very messy especially when using three strands of floss for each stitch.  It is not pressed yet either.  I probably could clip the threads closer but I'm afraid of clipping them too close.

I worked a bit on Lady Catherine's Slipper.  I put in the gold I had overlooked.  Then I started the stem stitch around the gold.  It is starting to take shape.  I don't like the split stitch for the little tendrils as they don't look very smooth and curved.  But they are so small, maybe no one will notice.  I am going to try and fix that one curl that curls too much, it drives me crazy.

The bathrooms are clean.  I don't go to see Dylan any more this school year so the rest of the day is mine.  My goals are to finish the impressionist's painting and get close to finishing Lady Catherine's slipper.  Maybe work on a UFO/WIP.

I'm hoping Claire gets her busy book today.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Taking Shape

I worked hard on the impressionist's painting project and it is beginning to look almost finished.  I just have to fill in stitches here and there.
I think it is cool that you can see a reflection of the sail in the water.  I want to finish the sky and the water today.

I thought I put in all the gold on Lady Catherine's Slipper but I notice I still have two small pieces to do.  Then I can concentrate on the black.  You can see that the design is not symmetrical.  I want it to be but it is too late now!

It is a beautiful day.  I went walking but pulled a muscle in my calf.  Rats.  I am icing it and hope it feels better soon so I can walk.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I am plugging away on Lady Catherine's Slipper.  I want to finish up the gold thread today.   The lining material for the slipper is so cool and matches so nicely.

Then I worked on the sky of the impressionist's painting project.  I think what I want to do today is work down the right side.

I went to the end of the year party for the mentees yesterday.  It was nice to see Dylan one last time and I got to meet his dad too.  He had a good time at the party.  He is such a good boy.

The lilacs smell so good and the weather is wonderful.  This is the best time of year.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Working Away

I have been working away on the impressionist's painting project and Lady Catherine's slipper.  I reached the far side of the painting and want start working my way from left to right filling in the stitches.  This is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle.

I'm putting in the gold heavy chain stitch on Lady Catherine's slipper.  The slipper isn't exactly symmetrical so that is bugging me.  But hey, you can tell it is hand stitched.  The photo of the slipper shows a very nice even stitching.  I'm hoping that by the time I do the black stem stitch outline around the gold, it will look more even than it looks now.  I have to use a magnifying glass to make sure I am picking up (actually, going under) the right threads on each stitch.

I finished stitching the Erica Michael's scissors fob.  Here it is all done:

This afternoon is the end of the year party for the mentored kids.  Last time I will see Dylan until next year.
I have gotten in 10,000 steps for four days in a row.  That is amazing.  I've almost lost ten pounds.  That is amazing too.  Actually it is more like a miracle.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Done

I totally finished Claire's busy book and sent it off to her today.  The last page I had to do was the shoe page.  Then the trick was to sew them into the cover.  Not an easy task!  But it is all done now and on it's way.  I am proud of how it turned out.  It will be fun for her.  Made by her Gran.

I stitched around the sail on the impressionist's painting project.  Making progress.

Then I started Lady Catherine's Slipper.

 I was wondering how hard it would be to work with the gold thread.  It tends to break and show the thread in the center so I have to cut short lengths to work with.  I think it will be very cool when it is finished.  Another little thing to put in my casket.

It is a beautiful day.  I must sit out on the back porch a while today and enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In the Doghouse

I finished the dog page in Claire's busy book yesterday.  The doghouse isn't exactly straight now that I look at it.  Oh, well.

 Now I am working on the shoe page.  Yeah, it is the last page and then I can put the book together.  I hope the page go in easily.  Then I can clean up the mess I made getting out all the fabrics and notions to make it.  Junk is all over everywhere.

I stitched the sail of the boat on the impressionist's painting project.  Today I  want to stitch around the sail so it can be seen.  Making progress!