Thursday, June 26, 2014


Betsy Morgan inspired me to work on Hampton Court because she is stitching it too.  And she is ahead of me.  So I decided what size of smooth gold purl to use in place of the thread I messed up.  Then I had to figure out how long to make the pieces of metal thread.  My pattern is a bit faint and I couldn't even see where to put them or how long they are supposed to be.  So rather than quit, I made up how long they are and I figured out where to put them.  Then I spent half an hour looking for the silver thread.  ARGH.  That's what I get for being a slob.  Anyway, I found the silver thread and worked on this most of the day so that the castle is almost finished.

 I am going to glue (I shudder at gluing embroidery) on the piece of wood for the door.  A bit of metal thread outlines the door and that's it.  The castle is done.  On to more fun things.  Like the pond.  I figured out a good way to cut the metal thread to a consistent size.  I used tape with measuring marks on it and taped it to the metal thread.  Then I was able to cut 30 pieces the same size.

I finished the scissors fob from Shepherd's Fold.  I wasn't up to messing with the design on the back so I just stitched it as is.  I'm happy to have it done and ribboned and beaded.  The fabric it was supposed to be stitched on is in the background.

I picked up the half doll pin cushion and put a few stitches in.  I'm not sure I am using a large enough piece of linen so I want to work my way to the top.  I think it will be just big enough.

I have to get ready for my trip.  I'm going to Madison Wisconsin tomorrow for the Toy Box class with Betsy Morgan.  My BFF will be there along with about 5 other people I know.  It will be a fun weekend.  I have to pack and all that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Price is Hours

I planned to tell you all about this on Thursday so that you could watch on Friday.  But when I turned on the TV yesterday morning in anticipation of World Cup soccer, there it was.  The episode of The Price is Right that featured moi sitting in the audience.  Way back in January when we were visiting sweet Claire in California, I talked my DIL into going (taking me to!) a taping of The Price is Right.  Okay, I admit that I am a country bumpkin.  DIL kept asking what we wanted to do when we came to LA and so I thought of getting tickets (they are free) to a taping.  It was quite the experience.  It took all day.  Really.  When you see those people in the audience remember that they have been waiting for six hours to get into the studio.
First it was an hour or more drive to get to the studio.  They give you a number when you arrive and you have to stay in numerical order.  My lucky number was 224.  They only have about 250 in the audience so we were near the end of the line.
This is the first waiting area.  They make your name tag.  (Yes, they write them all by hand).  Then they take your picture.  You can buy a copy later.
Two hours of waiting.  Then you go around the corner for another two hours of waiting.  You get up as a group and are interviewed and looked over.  I think the contestants are selected at that point.  You can also order a hamburger that will be delivered to you at the next waiting area.  Then it is on to the last waiting area and your hamburger.  Finally we get to go into the studio.  When you are in the studio you can't hear anything.  Everyone is shouting.  There is a guy whose sole job is to get the audience to be excited and yell.  You can't see anything except on a monitor.  There are cameras and people directing things and they are in the way.
Drew Carey is a saint.  He is relaxed and friendly and talks to the audience during the breaks.  I'm sitting next to a crazy person who keeps yelling "I love you Drew".  We are sitting a couple of rows behind the bidders.  It is funny seeing myself as I am about a head shorter even sitting down than my DIL.  You could tell who would be chosen as a contestant from the moment we got there.  There was a girl who was excited and dancing and waving her hands the entire waiting time.  Six hours.  She ended up winning the showcase by a mere $73.  What an experience!  Thanks for taking me Meagan.

I finished up the Edinburgh Reticule.  My tassel isn't perfect and I may remake it.  My pearl cotton has run off somewhere so I can't do it right now.

I have one side of one wing embroidered on the Summer Casket Butterfly.  Seven more to go.

I picked up the scissors fob to Shepherd's Fold.  Not much left to get this baby finished.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I am almost finished with the Edinburgh Reticule.

Just a few more stitches and a couple of hedebos and a tassel.  This turned out nicely and I like it.  I am happy I got all the parts finished too.  Usually there is one or two pieces that I will do "later" (as in never).
The next three things I want to work on are the Summer Casket Butterfly, Hampton Court (do I even remember where I was on this?) and the Giulia half doll.  Of course there are 14 other things I would like to work on too.
Francesca asked me if the directions come with the beetle I ordered.  The answer is I don't know.  There is an app that you are supposed to download from itunes.  So I downloaded it.  What do I do now?  It seems to have only a pencil sketch of the beetle's wings and points for the legs.  I don't know how to print it out or what size it is supposed to be. There is also something about an in app purchase for the beetle.  Will I have to buy the directions?   I will wait and see if more information comes with the kit.  I think I may learn a lot when I make Amy Mitten's beetle. Her beetle holds a thimble. I may try to make the kit like Amy's.  We'll see.

My BFF washed her Shepherd's Fold linen with Rit Dye Remover to see what happened.  So I tossed my in the washer to see if just washing it evened out the color.  It improved the splotchiness a little.  DH thought it was a rag and put it in the rag pile.

Monday, June 23, 2014

How To Waste Time

The best way to waste time is on the computer.  First you have to go to Pinterest and type in a subject.  It can lead you to all sorts of wonderful ideas and pictures.  I happen to go to Pinterest the other day and saw this:
Now at the moment I am very interested in beetles.  I am going to stitch Amy Mitten's Summer Casket Keepsakes Beetle.  I thought this beetle was very pretty.  Is it an antique?  Where is it from?  I showed this beetle to a friend.  She said she knew someone who made this and it is much larger than "life-size" and that it was a kit.
It is a kit?!?!?
 Okay so now I'm off and running.  It is a kit and I'm looking for it.  I am a woman on a mission.  I will find it.  Well, Google and I will find it.  So I google " beetle kit".  No, no not a Volkswagen Beetle.   I try Embroidered Beetle.  Could it be a Jane Nicholas creation?  Could it be  a Di Van Busquirk (or however you spell her name)?  No luck.  Okay, try Stumpwork Beetle.  Hey, there's the same photo!  There is an Etsy shop.  Yeah! Success!  I find the kit in an Etsy Shop.  I click buy before I even realize it comes from Australia.  Whatever.  It is being mailed to me tomorrow which is a whole other story.  We have cousins in Australia.  They moved.  I didn't know they moved when I sent them a Christmas Card early last December.  I got the card returned to me about two weeks ago.  So it took six months for the card to come back.  Six Months.  How long will it take for my beetle kit to arrive?  Who knows.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

One Down

I finished off the carnation.  Now it  wasn't all easy sailing.  I put it together and didn't like how it looked so I took it apart, noting what I wanted to change and then I put it together a second time.  Now I'm happy.
This is what it looked like first time around:

I didn't like that the pouch showed at the sides and I didn't like the turn of the petals at the side, I wanted them to bend the other way.  So I tried again and this is the finished product.

I wasn't sure the bottom edge would be nice looking but it turned out fine.
I look at it now and can't believe I actually made it.  Happy Dance!
So I looked at what I have left to do on the other flower.  I put together the calyx and started the edging.
I decided to let myself put just a few stitches in the new kit.  To begin it is just satin stitching.  Easy Peasy.
But my goal today is to finish the Edinburgh Reticule.  I'm really very close.
I will stitch while soccer is on.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I finished the dreaded detached buttonhole stitch on the last petal of the carnation!  Happy Dance!

Today's goal is to finished putting the carnation together.  I put the drawstrings in the pouch.

 I read through all the instructions and they aren't too hard.  I can do this.  Here are my ingredients:

I have to cut away the petal from the couching thread.  This could take a while.

 I think someone mentioned using tweezers to get all the bits of thread out.  I did just a bit and I think my petal will even itself out after it is off the pattern.
Then I gather the petals up and join them with their partner.  OOh, I'm excited about finishing.  It will be so cute!

Mr. Mailman brought me my Summer Casket Keepsakes yesterday.  Yeah!  Another Happy Dance!  It is fantastic.  I love you Amy Mitten for making such nifty things for me to stitch.  Look at all the ingredients for this one:

New things to try!  A beautiful butterfly!  A cool beetle!
I am just the luckiest person ever!

Friday, June 20, 2014

One Day

This is a day's worth of stitching.

 It doesn't look like much.  But it took several hours to couch the metal thread.  Then the dreaded detached buttonhole goes very slowly.  I wear my fancy pants glasses with the binocular thingies on them to see the threads.  Even so, I still manage to loose threads and have to add stitches as I go along so I don't have holes.  I'm hoping that when this petal is gathered up, you won't see my mistakes.  My motivation today is the thought that I could finish the carnation.  Wow, that would be fantastic.
It would be perfect if I got the Summer Casket Keepsakes in the mail today so that when the tutorial is posted tomorrow, I can begin.

I so want to make that butterfly.  The beetle looks very interesting too.

This is the new design from Giulia Punti Antichi.  I ordered the doll part and have it already.    I'm tempted to order the pattern (at 20% off) from Stitching Bits and Bobs.  I will get to visit several needlework stores next week.  Maybe I can find this pattern at one of them.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


When I was taking the class with Betsy Morgan, she used a cool tool to cut the mylar.  It is a Martha Stewart design and is actually three tools in one.  Everybody in class wanted one.  When I got home I went to Michael's and found one.

I love having good tools.

I got most of my goals accomplished yesterday.
I finished the third petal for the carnation.

I wove the other drawstring. I was putting this off because I knew that it had to be done in one go, no stopping,and that I needed to work on it for about an hour straight.  It went better this time and I don't have any parts that I need to hide.

I started the couching of the silver thread for the cornflower.  But the thread broke!

 I have to decide what to do.  I'm changing the couching thread and the needle I was using and starting over.
I saw a completed carnation on the website tutorial so I'm inspired to keep going.  I have one more petal to make and I can put mine together and finish my carnation.  I'm going to see how much I can get done today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In Progress

What am I stitching right now?
Well, I'm working on the dreaded detached buttonhole for the Spring Casket Keepsakes.  I'm trying to get them done before the Summer ones get here and the on-line lessons start on Saturday.  I've made some progress.  Two and a half of four petals for the carnation are done.

My goal today is the get the other drawstring woven and to finish the third petal.  I'd like to also get one of the cornflower petals couched and started but we'll see how it goes.

 I have been working on the Edinburgh Reticule. The needlebook is done,

 the scissors fob is done,

 one side of the reticule is done and lined and beaded and tasseled.

  I only have the second side to finish and I can put it all together.

 I can see the end on this one.  I made a change to the first side, I added two more stained glass rectangles.  I like how it turned out.  I'm am slightly altering the shape of the shamrocks on the other side.

There is just not enough time in the universe to stitch all I want to stitch.  I was able to buy and download a digital copy of Inspirations Magazine #82 last night.  Oh do I want to stitch two things that are in there.
I love the butterfly by Trish Burr and the Bluebird by Nicola Jarvis.

Oh may I live long enough.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Did I Buy and Where Am I Going?

Barbara asked me what I bought at Salty Yarns.
I really did try to control myself in such a well stocked needlework store.  I even put one thing back before I checked out.  We had a 15% off coupon so that made everything very tempting.
I got a few boxes:

I wanted a souvenir from Salty Yarns and this was perfect.  I love little boxes.  I like that there is a magnet inside the box.
Then I haven't seen these book boxes in my local stores so I got one.

I finished one of these boxes when I went to Spring Fling.  Now I have to remember how I did it.
At the shop they had a sample of this box all finished with scissors in the drawer.  It was a good price so I got one.

Then I had been looking for these Giulia Punti Antichi patterns.  I'm taking a class from her in December and this pattern will coordinate with it.

I didn't find the beads for it yet.  I'm hoping we can buy beads from her in December.  I like this half doll pin cushion.  I'm on a half doll kick this year.

I got this Cricket Collection "May" because if I rearrange the letters, I can make it say "Amy".

Of course when you have the chance you have to get linen.  I got several different pieces.

I love the little Time for Halloween pendants.

 I have the pendant already so it will be fun to make one of these.
Then I have a doll-sized chair that needs a stitched cushion and I think this will be a good design.
Betsy Morgan bought some designs that we could buy and I got three.  They will be a lot of fun to make.

Barbara asked me what class I'm going to next.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that in 10 days I'm going to another Betsy Morgan class for The Toy Box.  I've seen Chris's and it is so neat.  My BFF talked me into to the class and Ginny found me a ride which was my big hang-up.  It will be so much fun.  I got the pre-stitching for the class in the mail yesterday and had it done by bedtime.