Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hard Disc

I am working on something that is very hard to do.  What makes it hard?  It would be easier if I had two extra hands.  I am making the disc that will be attached to one side of the Casket Keepsakes thread winder holder.  The entire disc is fabricated by detached buttonhole stitch over gold metal thread that you wind around and around in a circle.  I wasn't sure if I could do this but the more I work on it, the more I think that it might turn out okay.  It's not perfect.  It's not even.  But I'm hoping that it will look alright when I am done.  I don't dare worry about the other side's design yet.  I made a copy of the pattern so that if I mess up too badly, I can try again.  I just hope I don't have to.

I got both of the linings for the inside done.  They look like duck heads.

I got the pencils in the mail yesterday!  Yeah!

 So I started coloring the pond of Hampton Court.  It looked a bit stark at first.

But you cover it with some silk/metal gauze that mutes the colors.  This gauze is fascinating.  If I look at it from the side, it looks blue.  If I look at it from the bottom, it is silver.

 I've stitched down the gauze.

The next part is the lawn.  I worry that it won't look as nice and neat as Jenny's.  But hey, you have to try.

I've seen some photos of the double caskets for the Cabinet of Curiosities class that are being put together  right now.  I wonder if I am in the first ten.  Maybe. . .
I've got my steps in for today.  The Y is closed on New Year's Day tomorrow.  It is snowing a lot outside.

   I have a pina colada to drink tonight.  I may not be able to stay awake until midnight.  We'll see. .

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Other Kit

The other kit that I got for Christmas was ordered back in July.  Stuff for the kit was back ordered and as luck would have it,  it was here in time for Santa (DH) to give it to me.  I got the book that tells how to make it a while back (last year?) when it first came out.  The book is " Home Sweet Home, An Embroidery Box" from Australia.

Many of the supplies are not readily available here in the states.  It calls for a lot of stuff I have never heard of.  So when Mary Corbett on her blog,  Needle 'n Thread, mentioned a shop in Colorado was making a kit of the supplies you need to make this, I jumped in with both feet.  And waited patiently.  For six months.

I also requested the linen needed.

I had to buy a full yard but I can use what is left over for other projects.  The lining fabric wasn't included so I still have to find something that will work.  There isn't interfacing in the kit either so the kit is not a total complete everything-you-need one.  The kit has a lot of stuff in it.  All the strange and different threads called for.  All the charms.  Now embroidery is not my strong suit.  This will be a challenging project for me.  This project is one of my goals for 2014.  I have made a tiny bit of progress, I cut out the pieces for the box and ironed and serged them.  Now I have to go back to the book and see what I need to do next.  I think I have to baste the pieces of linen to muslin and put them in a hoop or frame.

I made good progress on the Casket Keepsakes Kit.  I got both sides of the pin keep done.

The heart sparkles in real life.   I am working on the lining of the thread winder holder thingie.

I am pretty proud of the eyelets as I think they turned out nicely.  I think all that is left to do on the pin keep is to lace the parts together.  But I haven't read the instructions completely and we don't have all the lessons yet.  I think I am on Lesson 4 of 13.
Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What Day is it?

Since we had a holiday this week, I'm having a hard time remembering what day it is.  And it is going to happen again next week too.  DH says everyday is Saturday when you are retired.
I happily worked along on the Casket Keepsake kit.  I got one side almost done.  I have to couch some curled wire around the edge and then that side is done.  The curly wire around the flames is very cool.  I like the effect.

  I've started the other side.  It is a padded heart.

I'm ready to put lines of silk pearl across the heart for detached buttonhole stitch using this gold metal looking stuff.  It sounds hard but I trust Amy Mitten's directions to get me through it.

I have worked just a bit on the second side of the Sakura Bag.

I'll tell you about the second kit I got for Christmas tomorrow.

We're having a heat wave today.  It is going to be in the 40's.  Wow.  We have to enjoy it as it will be very cold next week.  Single digits.  I've had enough winter already and it has just begun.

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Here

It finally arrived yesterday.  The Casket Keepsakes "Winter" kit.

So of course I had to start it.  It is so fun to start something new.  I had to iron everything and do some basting of the design parts to muslin.

I got to Lesson 2 which is actual stitching.  This is fun!

I got two kits for Christmas.  One is the Hampton Court Kit from England.

 I want to put this on the top of my casket.  There is a whole book of directions. Forty pages long.

 I read through the first few pages to see what has to be done first.  What I have to do first is color the pond with some permanent colored pencils.  They aren't in the kit so I ordered them.  I found an art supply place where you can just order the color number that you need rather than get a big set.  I need three blue pencils.  They were shipped yesterday.  I have to wait to start this kit but I want to do it just right.
Boy, am I lucky.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day

We had a lovely Christmas - just us two, no big deal.  We got to see Claire open her gifts via Facetime.  What a joy!  She understands much more about opening presents now.  They immediately took the step stool into the bathroom and Claire used it to wash her hands.  She loves to wash her hands with her "Minnie Mouse" soap.  We get to go see her in person in less than a month.

DH got me exactly what I wanted for Christmas.  I was tickled pink and spoiled rotten.

I think today is my blogiversary.  I'll have to think of a giveaway.

I finished off the Queen Victoria Scissors Case with some twisted cording.

 I put twisted cording on the Peace on Earth ornament (I was on a roll with the twisted cord).

One of the neatest things I got for Christmas were these glasses with binoculars on them.  Sort of like what the dentist has.  They are great.  I can see very tiny things with them.  It is so much easier to use these than try to use one of my other magnifiers.

I am making one last batch of caramel corn.  We had more neighbors come to the door and bring us plates of goodies and I ran out of things to give them.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I am working on some finishing today.  I made a photocopy of the Queen Victoria Scissors Case so I could cut the shape from a file folder.  It worked out well.  Now I just have to stitch it together.

I found some nice fabric in my stash that will go well with it.

I finished the Peace on Earth ornament.  I still need to make some twisted cording to put around it and hang it up on the tree.

I am almost done stitching the back side of the pin cushion of Sakura.  My goal is to get the front side of the pin cushion stitched today.

I am s t i l l waiting for my Casket Keepsakes Kit.  Maybe today.  I am excited about tomorrow.  DH has lots of wonderful presents for me.  I can't wait to see Claire open her presents.  That will be the best present of all.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Power, as in electricity, is a wonderful thing.  This is something one learns very quickly when one is without Power.  Just as we were anticipating seeing Claire and her parents through Facetime, our power went out.  ARGH.  The power stayed out for 14 very chilly and long hours.  We consider ourselves lucky though as some around here are expected to be without power until after Christmas.  That would be awful!
We are predicted to get between three and eight inches of lake effect snow today and tonight.  I guess this means we will have a white Christmas.
The bathrooms are clean.
I've been to exercise class.
DH is playing soccer - indoors of course.
So since I ran out of light yesterday, I don't have much to show.  I picked up a needlebook that I made a couple of years ago and was not happy with the finishing and decided to fix it.

 I put on the button and hedebo closure and I figured out a way to fix the inside.  I used to have cording down the middle and the book didn't close.  So I took off a bit of the cording and I'm going to insert a piece of the lining fabric between the two halves like a hinge.  The lace is the top edge of a pocket that has ultrasuede in the bottom of it.  I guess that is so you can put scissors in the pocket and they won't poke a hole.

I hope I get the Casket Keepsakes Kit in the mail.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We Have a Snail

All was not smooth sailing but the snail is now done.  When I got the shell done, I attached it to the front side.  Then I thought "Can I put this together now?"  No.  Next comes the snail foot.  It is worked in detached buttonhole.  The hardest part was finding the page with the pattern on it. There are over a hundred and fifty pages of instructions for the Mermaid's Treasures.  The foot turned out better than when I did it the first time.  Check that off.  Now can I put it together?  Yes!  So I stacked up the pieces and laced them together.  The lacing was the reason I wanted to do this snail over again.  I wanted to try the ladder lacing technique.  I just knew it would look better.  It looks good.  Not nearly as messy as the first one.  Thank you Amy Mitten for the extra set of snail guts so I could do this.

The Christmas tree is as done as it is going to get.

I am still waiting for my Casket Keepsakes Kit.  Well maybe I can finish something off while I wait for Monday's mail to arrive.  I didn't pay extra for expedited mail, so now I wait.

We got the ice storm but it isn't bad.  Especially if you don't have to go out in it.  I'll just stay warm and cozy inside.
Hey it's Christmas Eve's Eve's Eve.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Warts and All

I am trying again to make the snail from Mermaid's Treasures.  I was doing fine until I got to the over one on the far side.  I got off.  Way off.

 I decided not to just fudge it.  I started over.  Luckily I had enough of the dark blue thread.  I was worried I was going to run out.  So I used a better strategy this time.  I put in the dark blue and then worked the other "stripes" of blue around it.  Success!

Then I thought, wow can I put this together now?  No.  I have to do the snail's shell.  The shell is made using the ceylon stitch over a straw.  I did it once, I can do it again.  So I started.  Then I was reminded what a PITA the thread is.  It twists and knots and causes me fits.  Then I dropped stitches and didn't realize it until 5 rows later.  Then when I get all done, I see that it is actually too long.  It needs to be over an inch shorter.

 I can finagle it to look okay.  But then I check the instructions and see Amy Mittens beautifully stitched, perfectly done ceylon stitch.  I can do better.  I will try it again.  This time I am waxing the thread, that helps it not twist so much.  I am being very careful not to drop or skip a stitch.  It is only six stitches a round, you'd think I could figure this out.  Anyway, it is looking better.  I'll make it a bit shorter this time too.  Hopefully I can finish it today.

I've decided that any ornaments not on the tree by 5 p.m. will be stored back in the crawlspace.

I am still hoping to get the Casket Keepsakes kit in the mail.  I printed out the instructions so I am ready.  It doesn't look hard at all.
We are expecting an ice storm this afternoon.  Ugh.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Peace on Earth

I finished the stitching on Peace on Earth.

I better finish-finish it off quickly so I can put it on the tree.

 I got the tree up but it isn't done being decorated yet.  I am the queen of excess, I like my tree to be totally full of ornaments.  No Charlie Brown tree for me.  I felt better knowing that a couple of my readers also haven't got their trees up or decorated either.

 I made another batch of fudge using up some old marshmallows.  They were so old they stuck together.  But I guess the fudge turned out okay as DH is already enjoying it.
It's raining out today - but that's way better than driving on ice.  I got my steps in so I am happy.
Maybe the mailman will bring my Casket Keepsakes kit today. . . the class starts tomorrow!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I finished off the Ebony and Ivory Neccessaire.  I looked up photos I took in class and realized that the other pockets are attached to the lining not the pin keep.  I can do that.

I sewed on the tag on the lining and the cording on the scissors fob.  Done!

So now what do I work on?  I picked up Peace on Earth.  Maybe I can finish it before Christmas.  I finished stitching one hill and one sheep.  One more sheep to go.  I can finish this today.

The Christmas tree still isn't up, I plan to do that today.

I went walking at the Y yesterday afternoon and this morning.  I'm trying to keep up my exercise so I don't gain back any weight.  Maybe my Casket Keepsakes kit will come today?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Buttoned Up

Thank you kind readers for all your encouraging words about my Mermaid's Treasures finish.  It has been a long journey but I am very happy to have finished it.  As always, it isn't perfect but I am happy with it.

I decided to try and finish up some things that have been languishing around my sewing room.  I picked up the Ebony and Ivory Neccessaire.  I really like it and there are just a few more things that it needed to be complete.  I sewed on the ultrasuede scissors holder.

There isn't a picture of where the other ultrasuede pockets go and there isn't much room so I may just leave those off.  I have to go through the photos I took while I was in class to see if I can find where they go.  Then there is the closure.  I wanted to make the button using the hedebo stitch and small plastic ring.  I tried it with soie pearle but then I read the directions.  So I started over with a different thread.  I wasn't sure what to do for the middle of the button.  The directions say make a few french knots in the center of the button.  What?  Why?  How does that help?  So I made a few straight across threads so I could sew it on.  It occurs to me just now that maybe what she meant was to attach the button with a few french knots.  Too late now.  I think it turned out okay.

Then there is that pesky tag that goes on the lining.  I stitched my initials.

 I wanted to stitch "Amy" but there was not quite enough room.  I need to press the tag and sew it on and the Neccessaire will be done.  I worked on the fob too.  Since it is stitched on the diagonal, the corners turned out rounded.

I am going to sew on some twisted cording and that will be done.  I still have to carrier to make but not right now.

I'm still a slug.  My knee is much better today since I stayed off of it yesterday.  I made more caramel corn.  This morning I made peanut butter fudge for Son#1.  The first batch was crumbly so I made another.  An easy thing to make is to melt a package of white chocolate chips.  When they are melted, add 1 cup broken oreos, 1/2 cup broken pretzels and 1/2 peanuts.  Spread it out to cool and then break it into pieces.
Maybe my Casket Keepsakes kit will come today?