Saturday, November 30, 2013

Button Box

I have this wonderful kit called Renaissance Button Box.  The stitching fits into a Frye's Measure Mill box that is gorgeous.

I finished stitching the box insert and now I want to install it.  It is very sweet.

There is a scissors fob and a needlebook that go with it.

I didn't do anything with Ebony and Ivory as DH is busy sealing and staining the new window in my sewing room.

I put a couple of colors on the step stool.  I plan to put on a couple more colors today.

It is a sunny day here.  I can't believe December starts tomorrow.  Time flies when you're having fun - and even when you're not!

Friday, November 29, 2013


It is Black Friday but it feels like a Sunday for some reason.  I didn't get very much done yesterday but I learned that it takes a lot less time to cook a turkey in a convection oven.  The turkey got done way earlier than I expected but everything was fine.  I ate too much and I'll have to walk forever to make up for it.  I got to have my pumpkin pie.  For some crazy reason, the stuffing tasted especially good this year.  Then today I forgot to put on my FitBit so I don't get credit for all the walking I did at the Y.  Rats.  Oh well.

I put on the first coat of ivory on the step stool.  I'm a little scared to paint it wild and crazy colors.  But I figure if it looks awful, I can just paint over it and redo it.

I picked up the needle book of Ebony and Ivory, took off the ribbon edge and started over.

I am happier with the corners this time around but the ribbon only just meets at the top so I have to do something there to cover it up.  Three bows are added at the top to hold it all together.

I thought a great goal would be to finish off the main piece of Ebony and Ivory.  It is all stitched.  My challenge is that the sewing machine is moved and unplugged but I can sweet talk DH into putting it back for me.  I have to locate the back to the needlebook.  After cleaning stuff up, it is MIA.  I thought it was on the sewing table but didn't find it last night.  That's what happens when you clean up, you can't find anything.

Am I going shopping today?  Not a chance, unless it is cybershopping.  But I'm trying to be good and not spend money.  Not spending money is like holding your breath, you can only do it for so long.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is a quiet day at the chateau.  There is a cherry pie and a pumpkin pie in the oven.

 I'll put the turkey in after lunch and hope that it is done by six.  We usually have turkey in the early afternoon, so this is a departure for us.  We had a dusting of snow last night.  I didn't go walking today.  I'm busy with making stuff.

I finished off Claire's Christmas ornament this morning.  It is the Just Nan Cardinal.  He is supposed to have a top knot but I just put the bead on top.

We got lots of stuff I ordered in the mail.  We sorted out this morning what is for Christmas and what we are holding back for her birthday in January.

I sealed the step stool and maybe later today I'll get a chance to start the all-over ivory color.

Here is a picture of my sewing room floor.  I had to get everything off the floor when they put in the new windows.  Inevitably it will get messy again.  But I had to have a record that at one time it was all cleaned up!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I'm going to paint a step stool for Claire for either Christmas or her birthday depending on it I get it done.  Here is what I am starting with:

Here is my inspiration:

So to start, I must seal the wood and paint it Ivory color.  Then I can get creative.

I worked on the Barbara Jackson ornament.  I wanted to get to the dog.  He's so cute and just a few stitches.  You can't really see him in this photo, he is just to the right of the lady.

I did part of the squirrel but the tail is a special stitch of some kind and we haven't gotten that lesson yet.

The prune bread is delicious.  I'm going to freeze a hunk of it for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

So Far

I didn't post yesterday because we were getting some new windows installed.  This is the computer room's new window:

Which now presents the problem of window treatments.  I think we are going to go with blinds.  Then the problem is should we mount them inside the window or above the window.  I have to do some research.

So, how am I doing on the UnPlayed Piano?  Well, I've made good progress.

 Two things are left to do:  sewing the bottom platform onto the piano and the inside tool tray.
I put some twisted cording around the bottom which hides the seam.
I am happy that the scrim now fits the tray.  I didn't use ribbon to attach the scrim.

The piano almost closes.

 Oh, yes, I have to put a button and hedebo stitch to close the etui.  I tacked down the lining in about 5 places.

If I were redesigning this piece, I would start with a lot of backstitching around all of the edges.  Then it would be easy to whip it together and you would know where to bend it.

I got good mail yesterday.  I signed up for the Shining Needle Society class with Barbara Jackson.  I did her ornament last year.  This year I am only getting the chart, not the kit.  So I went scrounging around for leftover threads from Barbara Jackson classes that I have taken.  When the chart came in the mail, I had to just try a few stitches.  It is done on 40 count.  I got a good start.  So far:

There is an aroma of prunes in my house as I get ready to make prune bread, a traditional favorite of mine with my grandmother's recipe.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The @&$%#UnPlayed Piano

I've been working on finishing the UnPlayed Piano.  It is not going well.  I made the interfacing sandwich with the mylar.  It didn't fit the side piece.  So I took (tore) it apart and started over.  I was so careful to follow the instructions but I misinterpreted them.  "Cut a piece of interfacing the size of your stitching",  I did that but then when I got to the part about going 4 threads beyond my stitching and sewing the interfacing to the linen, I realized my mistake.  My interfacing was only just the size of my stitching, it wasn't big enough to sew there.  So I started over.  I recut the mylar to fit my stitching.  It doesn't say how much room to leave between the mylar pieces.  So I guessed and tried to center it on each stitching area.  I got the top done and it looks pretty good.

So now the bottom.  I was not happy with the bottom piece of mylar.  How do you fold it?  The drawer part was way too big for the scrim piece.  Back to the drawing board.  I took out the mylar.  (Why is it 5 1/2 inches long?  That was way too long.   Am I missing something?)  So I cut three small strips of skirtex for the drawer instead.  I am still trying to figure out why the linen for the bottom piece is so long.

 When I got the bottom piece together, it was twisted.  It didn't match up with the top.  So again I took it apart.  I had a major goof when I was doing the bottom side.  I was putting it on upside down and cut it too short.  What to do?  Stitch it again?  Not if I can help it.  I sew a strip of linen back on hoping that it won't show very much.

I undid the stitching on this side and cut it down hoping the twisted effect would be better.  It was better but not perfect.  Nothing I stitch is ever perfect.

There aren't any instructions on tacking down the lining.  I don't have any instructions about the tool holder; we are supposed to remember what was described in class.  I don't remember hearing much about it in class.  So I'm winging it.  I'm going to work on it today and hopefully get it finished.
I went walking this morning in the cold and snow.  Now I remember why I want to live in a warm place.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Two Little Finishes

I had two little finishes this week.  One is a sweet biscornu that is one of the accessory pieces to Pinks and Pearls.
Then I stitched up the readers kit I got at The Attic.

They are fun to wear but I don't like waxing my thread so much before stitching with it.  Anyway, I think they turned out great!
I'll show you what I am finishing tomorrow.

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Here

The UPS man came exactly when expected.  The poor guy looks like he is having back trouble too.  I've been to the chiropractor three times in the last two weeks and now I think I am finally able to stand up straight.  Luckily I have been able to walk and go to exercise class in spite of being crooked.  Anyway.  This is the UPS man bringing the casket to my door.

It was packaged very well.  This is the outside box.

This is what it looked like inside:

I love the message on the envelope.  My very own Cabinet of Curiosites!!

Then there was this box:
In side the box was yet another box:
Then finally - Ta Dah!

The casket looked smaller than I imagined but when I put my foamcore mock-up next to it, it was the very same size.
When you open it up:
I had to see the secret drawers:

Then in the bottom of the casket was a packet with this in it:

This is going to be so cool.  I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head. I am tickled pink!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

This is the Day

Over two years ago I signed up for the Cabinet of Curiosities.  I was hoping that one day I would get to make a cabinet covered with stitching.

 It has been a great class.  It helped me to learn about all the different kinds of caskets, all the different techniques.  I practiced by making a trinket box (not yet finished),

a pincushion

and a scissors holder in the shape of the glove.  My ideas have evolved over the length of the class.  I have seen many designs.  I know what I like and what I don't like (misshapen people and waste canvas on satin)  I know what technique I feel most comfortable with (cross stitch).  I am willing to try some embroidery too.
I was hoping to have the opportunity to get a casket.

Today is the day my flat top casket arrives.  I am very excited.  I made sure to notice when the UPS man drove by this week.  It was between 3:30 and 4 p.m.  Some people in the class have already started their stitching.  But I haven't.  I am getting a kit for Christmas (Jenny Adin-Christie's Hampton Court)

that is a possible casket top design and I have a Sharon Cohen chart called Mermaid Tapestry that could be a top to a casket depending on what size it turns out to be.
I would like to try some more modern techniques to secure the stitching on the casket.  For me, it doesn't have to be done like the seventeenth century caskets.  I want it to look wonderfully neat not bumpy or frayed.
So today is the culmination of the dream of being able to stitch my own casket.
Lucky me!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lorna and Done

When I got home from Arizona there was a package from the UK waiting for me.  You know I love good mail.  I ordered some stuff from the Etsy shop of Lorna Bateman.  I've had my eye on this for a while.  Look at all this lusciousness:

There is a kit for embroidering some small child size ballet slippers.  Darling!

There is a pincushion kit.

I got some lovely threads.  Some are flosses and some are pearl cottons.

I am doing a happy dance!  I finished all the stitching for Mermaid's Treasures.

When the last of the finishing lessons come, I will be ready to put it all together.  I think I started this in March and now, finally, I'm done.  Of course I plan to make the snail again and do it better this time.  I have to sift through the ton of pages to get all the snail information.  Anything will seem easy after that shell!
I have exciting news tomorrow!