Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's Happening?

What is happening today?  Well, it rained all night long and it is supposed to rain all day too.  That is typical Halloween weather for this part of the country.  The leaves have been raked to the front of the house and are being picked up by the city.  I filled up my Longaberger basket with treats.  I bet the rain will keep the number of trick-or-treaters down this year.

I got some progress made on the seed stitch background of the mirror frame.  I'm hoping to get much more done today.  I'd like to get up to the top of the mermaids, but we'll see how it goes.  The seed stitching makes the design stand out better.

I finished the one lower side of the UnPlayed Piano and started the other one.  I am contemplating putting animals on the top side.  Like a rabbit on one side and a fish on the other.  But I have that window already stitched on one side but it is going the wrong direction.

  It will be a pain to take out.  I'll have to figure out something.  Maybe I'll stitch the fish on the end of the main piece of linen and hope it works out.

Sweet Claire is dressing up as a Michigan cheerleader for Halloween.  Go Blue M!  That's what she says instead of M Go Blue!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One More Mermaid

I got one more mermaid stitched on the mirror frame.  She is frowning.

The mermaid on the other side is happy.  I'm thinking it is a good hair day/bad hair day thing.  The frowning mermaid is also a bit fatter than her counterpart.

So what do I have left?  The top design of clouds and wind and a whole lot of seed stitching.  We got an addendum to our finishing instructions for the snail.  We were shown a new way of lacing the sides together.  But I already did my snail!!!  Do I undo it?  Do I try to make another one?  The new way will make all the sides look more even and nice.  I don't want to take my snail apart.  Bad things can happen when you do that.  But I don't have the innards to make a new one either.  Unless I try to fashion some innards (is that really a word?)  I'm thinking......

I found design for the lower sides of the UnPlayed Piano.  One side is almost done and I like it.

This piano has several different styles of designs and I'm hoping they look good together.  I'm using the same floss so that is one unifying factor.

I leave one week from today for Arizona.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I finished the stitching on the front of one of the retreat projects.  I don't like the linen as it looks old and dirty to me.  I'm not crazy about the colors of floss.  I don't like that the bird's tail touches the house.  I wish the chimney were not centered on the top of the house.   I don't like that the alphabet is not centered.  Where are the bird's feet?  He has legs but no feet.  There are a couple of charms that will fill in a couple of spaces.
Whine, whine, whine.  So this is not my favorite project.  The back should go quickly though.

I started back on the mirror frame of Mermaid's Treasures.  I'd like to get the right side mermaid done and some more seed stitching.

I'm still uncertain as to what to stitch on the sides of the UnPlayed Piano.  But my time is dwindling so I better get busy.
Dylan liked painting the pumpkin yesterday.

I only took one paint brush with me so I couldn't meddle or "help out".  He was happy and that's what matters.  His cafeteria lunch was so pathetic.  Two cheese filled breadsticks.

 He had carrots and an orange but didn't touch them.  I brought him a smoothie and he liked it.

Someone backed into our mailbox so DH is our trying to fix it.  This isn't the first time this has happened.

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Pumpkin

Here is my pumpkin.

I have to go see Dylan is just a minute.

This is the back of the UnPlayed Piano.

So far so good.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We Have a Snail

I worked until I got it done.  As I say with most of my stitching, it's not perfect.  It is a little sloppy around the edge and the raised backstitching is not nearly as even as I would like.

 You learn a lot when you do something for the first time.  You learn what thread tension works best and what things to pay attention to.  If I were making the snail again I would do it way better.  For a first try though, it is pretty good.

I finally put the pins into my fish needle holder.  The pins on the snail's head make him top heavy and he doesn't sit up straight.

I finished the rectangle that will be the top of the UnPlayed Piano.  I am still deciding if something needs to go inside the rectangle.  That's what takes the most time, deciding.  I found a couple of motifs that I am putting on the back.  I really need to decide what to do on the four side panels.  Ten days until my trip.

I made up the little pumpkin I bought.  He is sort of scary.  I'll show you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Plan

My goal for today is the finish off the snail tape measure.

I made good progress on the pre-stitching for the UnPlayed Piano.  The rectangle is the top of the piano.

 I am tempted to put some stitching on the back of the piano too.  But we'll see.  I have to decide what to do with the sides.  I did one side but now I'm not sure whether I want to keep it or not.  I'm still thinking about it.

I got the kits from Drawn Thread.  They will be fun to start.  I better not start them yet, I have too many things going on.  They might be a good traveling project.  Eleven days until the Attic trip!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkins and Cinnamon Rolls

Instead of a birthday cake, I decided to get a cinnamon roll.  The best ones are from a local restaurant.  So this morning before exercise class I drove out and bought one.  It is huge!  I couldn't help it, I bought two.  Oh, you say, one for DH and one for you.  Well, DH probably won't eat his, I'll help out if needed.

Then I needed to get some pumpkins for Monday.  Dylan wants to paint a pumpkin.  Just around the corner a lady is selling pumpkins.  I got two smallish ones.  Big ones would be too heavy for Dylan to have to carry home.  I got some paint and patterns too.  We are all set for Monday.

I made good progress on the UnPlayed Piano pre-stitching.

 I like it so far.  I did end up taking out the line of stitching using the original colors.  These colors suit me much better.  I got lucky with getting it centered.  I started from end.  Then I started the other end and when I met in the middle, it worked out designwise.  I am making it up as I go along.

I ordered a couple of the new Drawn Thread designs and they should come in the mail today.  Nifty.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Possibilities

Today is United Nations Day.  I always celebrate that day.  It snowed as I was driving home from exercise class.  ARGH.  I'm not ready for winter.

I went out to eat last night.  When I got back I had some emails.  It is so exciting.  I got the latest lesson from Amy Mitten on finishing the tape measure snail.  So cool.  Also she said she was going to offer a new online tutorial about the winter solstice.  I was hoping she would offer a new tutorial.  I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve.  I wish she would design a casket or a mirror surround.  I have to admit that I am considering the Sampler Symposium that is going to be at the Attic in January.  Amy Mitten will be there.  But I want to check out the Attic and see what I think of it in two(!) weeks before I sign up.

I started the snail finishing.  I love the wonderful instructions.  I read through them and I know I can do it and that it will be fantastic when it is done.  I started the snail's foot using detached buttonhole stitch.  It will attach to the end of the tape measure.

Then this morning I see that Barbara Jackson is offering a new Christmas ornament through Shining Needle Society.  I enjoyed making the one she designed last year.   I'm going to sign up for this one asap.

I finished the stitching on the Limited Edition Never Far Apart.  I slightly altered the shape of the stocking.  I like a certain shape, the Cross Stitch and Country Crafts stocking shape.  Other stockings look misshapen to me.  I hope to finish it off soon.  I am tempted to start the Plum Street Samplers' Thanksgiving stocking patterns that I got at retreat a few weeks ago.  But first I really so want to get my UnPlayed Piano pre-stitching done.  I actually decided what I want to do.

I am taking a Shepherd's Bush needle roll pattern and stitching parts of it on UnPlayed Piano.  We'll see if it turns out......  The lower line of stitching is with the original floss.  The colors don't do anything for me.  I may take it out.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I finished stitching the anchor and fish.  It looks like a tattoo a sailor would have on his arm.  I started the seed stitching.  I hope I get faster at it as there is a lot of area to cover.

I put in a few stitches on the Limited Edition Blackbird design, Never Far Apart.  I'm off a stitch or two but I don't care.  If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know!

Confession:  I have totally messed up the threads on Mermaid's Treasures.

A few of the threads I took out and cut into 18 inch lengths.  I should have done that for all the threads but I was afraid that I might need a long strand so I left them as is.  Now they are hopelessly tangled. I would like Amy Mitten to let us know whether we should (or should not) cut the threads into the length we want to work with.  I know some designers like to work with long threads.  I like the 18 inch length.  That works for me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One to Go

I have stitched one of mermaids on the mirror frame of Mermaid's Treasures.  She just needs a few stitches on her comb.

I want to work my way down to the anchor and the fish so I can start the seed stitch.  So far, so good.

I was goofing around yesterday and didn't get much done.  I saw Dylan.  He is doing fine.  I wish I could work with him on reading everyday.  He is in fifth grade this year and still needing to sound out words.  He wants to paint a pumpkin next week so I have to get the stuff.  In previous years, fifth graders had only half an hour for lunch.  But this year we have the whole hour.  I'm very glad.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Finish

I finished  entirely the Stacy Nash project from the retreat.  As I was stitching down the linen, I thought of another way to finish it.  The linen could be lined and then sewn to the backing board on just three sides to make a pocket.

Then I worked on the Limited Edition Blackbird stocking, Never too Far.  I made good progress.  I changed a few things.  I changed the second house colors a bit.

The mermaid on the mirror frame is coming along.  When I get done with all the backstitching, the background is done in seed stitch.  That will be a big job and take a while.

I'm going to see Dylan today for the first time this school year.  I hope everything is well with him.
It's a rainy Monday.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I finished the stitching on the Stacy Nash project.

I want to put it together today.  The backing is ready, I finished that at the retreat.  So I just have to iron the stitching and decide whether I need some stiffening in it or if I can just work it with Warm'n Natural.  We'll see.

Then I put some stitching in various projects trying to find something interesting and fun.  I worked a bit on the Olde Colonial piece from the retreat.  I wanted to get beyond the over-one parts.  So I worked down far enough to do some over two.

I was feeling strong so I tackled taking some of the floss out of the Limited Edition Blackbird design.  I got most of the wrong color floss out and now I need to put the correct color in.  I will finish this!

Then I wanted to try different thread on the mirror frame of Mermaid's Treasures so I started a mermaid.  That is going well although it is so easy to get off a stitch.

I'm thinking I really need to do the pre-stitching on the Unplayed Piano.  A little over two weeks until the Attic classes.  I so want to change the design and the floss colors, that is what is holding me back from getting it done.
It is so hard to go walking in the dark.  So I waited until it was light to go walking in our local park.  I meant to take some pictures but I forgot my camera.  Maybe tomorrow.  I saw eight deer.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Be Kind and True

I am almost finished with the Stacy Nash project from Dyeing to Stitch's retreat.  I just have to finish off the house and put it together.

I finished the one design on the mirror frame of Mermaid's Treasures.

I started the other one.  It is tedious.  The thin metal cord is challenging to stitch with.

 I'm going to start in a different area today.  I want to see how the mermaid is stitched.  Hopefully it is done with a more substantial thread.  I have to go back to the first design as it needs a chain stitch around the edge that I forgot.

The Farmer's Market is over for the year.  It is rainy cold and overcast outside.  It is nice to stay cozy and warm in my sewing room.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

I finally got the backstitching done around all the mirror frames.  There are six. (Sorry about the wrinkles)

 Now two of the six have designs on them.  I am almost done with one design.

 It is a whole lot of backstitching with Bijoux thread.  It has a  nice sparkle to it.

 Hopefully, I can start the other design today. It is clouds,sun, mermaids and a sea serpent. I am almost caught up with the lessons.  Yeah!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I got the latest Just Nan Gingerbread Mouse just before I left for retreat.  I finished it up and it turned out very cute.  Cuter than the owl I did a couple weeks ago.  I think I like mice way more than owls anyway.

I want to make another one so I can have one and give one to Claire.  I tried to do a buttonhole stitch around the bottom button but I needed to do many more buttonholes to make it look better.  It is hard to get a needle through the metal button so I just left it like it was.
I'll show you my progress on the Mermaid's Treasures mirror frame tomorrow.