Saturday, April 30, 2016


The frame came yesterday for the birth announcement.

 I laced up the stitching on the mounting board and got it all framed.  Wow, it is all done ready to send.

I did some experimenting with the Flemish Ornament.  I tried doubling the thread because it is like stitching with a strand of hair.  See that tiny strand I'm stitching with?

 It looked messy.

Then I tried different thread altogether.  I grabbed a Hand-dyed Fiber and tried that.  It was not as shiny and a bit rough looking.

 I may try some of the Cabinet of Curiosities thread just to see how that works.
  Then it dawned on me yesterday, this isn't so hard.  There isn't that much stitching.  I can do this.  Just wait until I get to the flower.  So my goal today is to get all the leaves in and try a flower.  We'll see if I get that far.

I got the top of Buzz all done!

Now the fun part.  I started the side.  My stitching looks a little rough on dark linen.  All the imperfections show up.  So I'm going to be more careful so it looks a little neater.

The farmer's market starts next week.  That will be fun.  Fresh asparagus!  Maybe the candy lady will be there again.  Be still my heart.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Know Yourself

The last few days have been relatively cold and rainy for walking.  I'm looking forward to a time when I don't need any coat at all.  My trusty old green raincoat sure gets a lot of use.  DH thinks I should replace it but no chance of that happening.

Okay, so back to the Flemish Ornament.  Since I didn't find any more Duchess silk satin, I ordered some but it won't be here for at least a week.  The Yes paste is permanent, you can't take it off and try again.  Or that's what they would have you believe!  They haven't met me.  I decided to rip that sucker off.  And guess what, I did.

It looks messy but the front is not too bad.

 I just wanted to try stitching without the stuff on the back.  I know myself, and I know I couldn't do it through hard paste and paper.  It is just too difficult and too tedious.  Maybe I put too much paste on, there was a really hard layer of it under the paper.  It is hard enough for me to just embroider so I couldn't make it even harder and hope to ever finish it.  The design is really quite small, you must use very small stitches on it and I just couldn't do it through, essentially, cardboard.
Anyway, I am happier.  I guess I should have muslin at least under the satin but I wanted to try embroidering directly on the satin.  So I did.

I'm still getting used to the thread.

I added the snap to the Just Nan needlebook and it is totally finished.  Now I can work on Buzz.

 May starts on Sunday, how can that be?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'm Thinking

I started the stitching of the Flemish Ornament project.  I know a learning curve is involved having never stitched through heavy paper.  It is quite a challenge.  It is really hard to punch holes for stitching.  At one point I was using my pliers to help me push a pin through.  I couldn't really find a pin that was sharp enough but durable enough not to bend.  Then I wasn't sure which stitch to use for outlining.  Stem stitch, backstitch, split stitch?  I've only done one complete teeny circle.

 I've found that the thread will break if I pull too hard so I have to be careful.  I'm rethinking this whole thing.  I actually went shopping this morning to look for some more Duchess Silk Satin to experiment with.  None to be found.  So for now, I'm thinking. . . .

I had more success finishing the Just Nan Needlebook.  The front turned out great.

 I put the beads on and the rose center.  I stitched on the dragonfly.  So cool.  Then I put the ribbon pockets on the inside wool pieces.

 I sewed the lining to the front and realized that there was a gap between lining pieces that was small but you could see the seam allowance of the front.  So I tried to cover that up by overlapping the lining and giving it a scalloped edge - while hoping it would close okay.  I think it will work out.  I still have to sew on the snap.  So this baby is almost done.  Yeah!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting for Paste to Dry

The next step in my Flemish Ornament is to paste some heavy paper on the back of the traced design.  Yikes, that's scary.  What if the tracing runs or smears?  I've never used Yes paste before so I don't know if it is hard to work with.  I gathered up all my tools.  I got out the wax paper and found some books to sandwich the satin and paper between it as it dries.  I found an old spoon to get the paste out with.

 I have an old credit card to use to spread the glue.  Now I'm ready!

So I glued it.  The paste was pretty easy to smooth out although I kept getting ridges.

 I tried to follow the directions exactly.

Now I have to wait for it to dry, then I came begin stitching.  I know it will take a long time for the paste to dry since I have pasted things to the embroidery for my trinket box and casket.

I decided to work on the Just Nan needlebook.  It is getting close now.
It is all stitched except for the beads and a couple other embellishments.

I sewed on the lace.

I sewed together the rose (I think it is a rose) center.  Now I have to sew it to the center of the flower.

Maybe I can put this together today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Mary Corbet gets me into a lot of trouble.  She mentioned about Craftsy classes being on sale.  I have had my eye on the goldwork class for a while (because Mary reviewed it).  I ran across a stumpwork class there.  Yes, I gave in and signed up.  This is the first Craftsy class I have signed up for.  You can look at the lessons anytime and rewatch them.  I think that no kits are involved, you have to get your own stuff but they give you a list of things you need and where to get them.  I've watched the first Stumpwork lesson.  It was only 15 minutes long.  So, short and sweet and to the point. It nice when there is nothing on TV and you have a few minutes.

My slate frame came in the mail and it is beautifully made.  Very nicely finished.  Now I can be a real embroiderer.

I want to get going on the Flemish ornament so I tried dressing the frame.  This is my first try after watching two YouTube videos.

Kind of a mess:

So I emailed Rachael and she gave me some pointers (one of which was to try again).

It isn't easy as you are juggling four strips and needle and thread at the same time.  The second time worked out a bit better.

I hope it isn't on there too tight.

Next step:  trace the design onto the satin material.
I felt very fortunate to have the right kind of pen and a light box.

I'm hoping the embroidery will hide a multitude of sins!


Monday, April 25, 2016

New Week

We've got a whole new week ahead.  Lots of things to do.  First up, the walking is done and the weather is beautiful.  Next up, the bathrooms are "in progress".

I got in some good progress on Just Nan's needlebook.

Then I got a little farther around on the top of Buzz.
It was a joy to see Evan and Claire yesterday.  Evan barely even opened his eyes.  I can't tell who he looks like yet.  But hey, he's only six days old!
It's a little over 2 weeks and we leave for a retreat.  I'm planning the fun in my head.  There are places we just have to go!  The new slate frame should arrive today.  Next step is to "dress the frame".  How do I do that?  If I need help, I'll google it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


I don't think many people still do much ironing anymore.  I often see a couple of old guys walking in the mornings and one of them always has on a nicely ironed shirt.  It drives me crazy.  Some poor wife irons those shirts for her retired husband.  I am so glad not to iron dress shirts for DH anymore.
But for good finishing you must iron your work.  To be a good sewer you must iron frequently.  Same for quilting.  It makes a world of difference for stitching.  I ironed the birth announcement after I finished stitching it yesterday.  It loos so much nicer.
There was a crease down the middle and I hope I got it completely out.  When this is mounted on a board for framing, it will be snugly laced so no crease at all will be seen.
I still need to order the frame.  Today, I'll do it today!

I started a bit more on the top of Buzz.  I'm enjoying this one.  Oh to get to the fun side of it.
Then I decided that I must get the Just Nan Flying High needle book done this week.  No more procrastinating!  I finished the back side (except for the beads and middle of the flower) and am ready to start the front.
I love the feel of this Smokey Pearl linen.  It is great to work on.
Facetime this afternoon with DS#2, DIL, Claire and the new baby!!

Saturday, April 23, 2016


It is a wonderfully sunny day here.  Great for walking.  The bills have been paid.  I do that every Saturday.  I found out that the Farmer's Market opens on May 7th.  Soon.  It is William Shakespeare's birthday (maybe) and the day he died.  Not so good to die on your birthday.

I put Evan's whole name on the birth announcement.

 I charted out the birth date and know where I am going to stitch it.  I just need to do it.  Won't take very long.  Then I will measure it.  It is about 7 inches by 14 inches.  It won't fit a standard size frame.  I get custom frames from American Frame in Maumee, Ohio.  When I needed a frame for the Joseph Raffael poster, that's where I got it from.  Their prices seem reasonable to me.  The cost of frames can be outrageous.  I've been happy with what I've gotten from American Frame.  They are pretty prompt too.   I will be very happy to have this all done and ready to take or send to Evan.

I tried out stitching a violet that I found in a book.  I sort of added and changed some things along the way.  This is my first violet.

Then I thought I would see how it fits in the framework of the parasol piece.

Not bad.  I like the idea of the heart shaped leaves all pointing to the middle of the parasol which will be a pin cushion.  If I were real ambitious I would make a stumpwork violet for the pin cushion.  That is sort-of not likely though.

I started Buzz late last night.  The linen is much darker that it looks in this photo.

This is just a few minutes work before I had to quit.  I really like this design and want to get to more interesting stuff than backstitch.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Not Much

I don't have much to show for yesterday's work.  I decided the birth sampler should be worked on.  The parts left to do are somewhat boring.  Like the border and the filling in background of the words.  I finished the border - finally.  I am working on the background and I can get it done today.  Then I'll have to figure out where to put Evan's name and date in the empty spaces.  I have to figure out what size frame I need and order it.  I'm close to a total finish.

I did a fun thing yesterday.  We got a new computer and DH says we need a new mouse pad.  Our old one is kind of curly on the edges.  How about a custom mouse pad with a photo of Claire on it?  Nifty!  I googled and found that I can get one in about a million places.  I ended up ordering one from Target.
We got a lovely photo from DIL of Evan all dressed up and going home from the hospital.  Oh to be there!
My slate frame is being sent today.  That means I can start the Flemish Ornament next week.  Yeah.  I didn't get started on Buzz yet as I'm feeling guilty that some projects that I HAD to have are laying around half done.  Like the Just Nan Limited Edition (and about 14 other things).

 Oh well, I can do what I want, can't I?

Thursday, April 21, 2016


When I went walking this morning I picked a few violets.

 They bloom for such a short time.  I love violets.  I wanted to see what they looked like, the shape of the petals, the color of the stem and petals and center, the configuration of the petals.

 I'm stitching some violets.  It is the pre-stitching for the June retreat.  It is going to be a parasol shape etui (I think).  I have stitched just one parasol shaped needlebook before.

It is Brightneedle's Sagura.  But it is all one piece.  The violets will be eight panels put together.   I stitched part of one of the eight panels.

I'm wanted to fatten up the petals a bit.  Why do I always want to change things?
Marilyn thinks I should start Buzz by Hands On Designs.  I think that's a good idea.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Do I ever run out of things to say?  Not usually.  I seem to be able to come up with something, just give me a minute.

The baby boy is now Evan.  What a nice name.  I can now finish the birth sampler.

I am expecting some pre-stitching for the June retreat.  That will be fun to see, especially since the theme is Downton Abbey.

I am getting ready to start something new.  I have lots of new patterns from the Nashville market and lots of linen and lots of thread.  The hard part is deciding what to work on.  I was waiting to start some of the designs until I got my magnifier lamp. (Thank you BFF#2 for bringing it to me) Working on black or very dark linen is a challenge.  You really need good lighting and magnification.  I serged the edges of four different linens so they are ready to be used.  Maybe one of these?

I ordered a slate frame.  All advanced stitchers must have a slate frame, right?

The next retreat is not that far away.  We leave in three weeks.  It will be a road trip with four of us.  Fun.