Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wishing You a Happy New Year

It was warm this morning (38 degrees) when I went to the Y.  2016 has gone so fast.  When I reflect on this year the high point was a new grandson and our trip to California to see our grandchildren.

 My trips to stitching classes were high points as well.  I learned that going with friends is much preferable to going by myself.  I keep saying I am going to fewer retreats next year because I have so much to stitch right here at home.  I have debated whether to keep up this blog as there have been a few bumps in the road.  So many of you have said that you enjoy this blog, so for now I'm still going to try and post.  I must admit that everyone who reads this blog is very kind.  Not one person has berated me for my lousy photos or for boring them silly with the same projects over and over again.
Thank you.
Mary Corbet got me into trouble again.  She posted about House of Embroidery threads on her blog.  She talked about a special deal on them. Yep, I ordered some in November.  They weren't going to be sent until late December.  I was quite surprised the other day when they came.  I had forgotten about them.

They are lovely.  I got some variegated #12 pearl cotton.  Very cool.  These would make some gorgeous twisted cording.

I also got some variegated floss.

So nice.
Who put all these on bobbins?  And in a case!  Wow, it looks like I am organized.
That reminds me, I need to clean up my sewing room, but I'd rather stitch.

Happy New Year!  How can it be nearly 2017?  I remember wondering if I would make it to the year 2000.  I'll be celebrating with some root beer!

Friday, December 30, 2016

What Is It?

Rebecca wanted to know what a Big Shot is.  It is a die cutting machine.  What the heck is a die cutting machine?  I used an industrial die cutting machine when I was a teacher, so I sort of knew how it worked.  If you want to make many exact cuts of something, you can put the paper in the die cutter along with the selected die and pull the lever.  But I had to figure out how to use my Big Shot.  So I went on YouTube yesterday and found a video that was very helpful. At first I tried my Big Shot and couldn't get it to work (I wasn't doing it right).  I was afraid to really crank the lever.  I didn't want to break anything.  After watching the video, I tried again.  I was using very thin dies.

With thin dies, you put the platform in the machine,

 then one of the clear cutting plates,

 then the die with the cutting edge up. then the paper ( usually one sheet),

 then the other cutting plate.

 Turn the crank (it is hard to turn at first).and ta-dah!

You have a cut some fancy shapes out of a piece of paper.

  You can make fancy cards this way.  You can use it to do scrapbooking.

The Stampin' Up catalog has lots of ideas for very nice cards and it also sells thin dies.  I must admit that I have a Cricut machine tucked away in a cabinet but it is a little finicky to use.  It will cut things out but you have to have the shape that you want just like you need the dies for the Big Shot.

I should make some thank you cards.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


I was wondering if I could walk outside today.  But I chickened out and went to the Y.  It's the possibility of ice and the dark that made me decide on the Y.  We are supposed to get three to six inches of snow later today.

I got a new toy in the mail.

 I've had my eye on one of these for a long time.  It is a Big Shot.  Stampin' Up has one in their catalog but I wanted to get it at a lower price.  I found it on Amazon.  I got it the other day but I didn't have any dies to try it out.  So I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought two die sets.

 I want to try them out today.

I also got some of that Sulky Sticky Solvy stuff so I can make the felt ornaments.  I couldn't find any locally so I ordered it from Amazon.

Now, will I be good and preshrink my felt?  I don't want to but I might.  We'll see if it a pain in the you-know-what.

I think I can finish the Two Turtle Doves strawberry today.

 I want to get all the bars on the Queen's Ruff wrapped.  It's a little tedious.  I'll show you my progress tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


I got the latest Circle of Friends kit in the mail yesterday.  It is a strawberry design by Erica Michaels.  I love it!

All the threads, gauze and linen are included.

We got a cute scissors fob too.  It has the same design as the kit.

 You can stitch these several different ways.  I love the gauze strawberry with the scissors on it so I want to do that.

 The irony is that I started a new project on Christmas.  I wanted something new to work on.  So guess what I picked up?  A strawberry by Erica Michaels!
It is Two Turtle Doves one that is from the 12 Berries of Christmas series.

 This is how far I am.

 I substituted some flosses that I didn't have and used DMC when I didn't have the Weeks Dye Works colors.  I was able to find some 35 count linen in my stash.

The sun is shining today.  That always makes me feel good.  I've been walking at the Y.  I have to go to the bank.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What Did I Get?

First of all, I must admit that I am a lucky duck.  I got everything I wanted for Christmas.  That's because I ordered it!  Some things I saved from way last summer only getting to open them on Christmas.  One of those things was this set of Dovo scissors.

I also got a pair of Dovo hardanger scissors.

 They are lovely and sharp.  What's Christmas without a new pair of scissors, or four?

Then there was an Amy Mitten kit on my list that I think I can use parts of on one of my caskets.  I was very brave and ordered the kit and 40 count linen.  I was looking at it last night and a lot of it is done over two with tent stitch.  (I think).  I can do that.  It is called Final Soliloquy.

  This kit is so complicated that it is made up of four parts.  I really liked the queen's dress and the Elizabethan style.

 The linen is very stiff and I have to wash some of the sizing out of it today.

I got a great deal on an Ott lighted magnifier.  JoAnn's had a fantastic sale and I got one.

 I bought another brand of magnifier earlier this year and it broke almost immediately.  So frustrating.  The Ott one is a much better design.

I got a Linnea Calendar.  I get one every year.

And last but not least is an IPad Pro.
I spend two hours with tech support trying to get it set up but now it is good to go.  I need to clean the screen.
I need to get back to stitching!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Forty Four Or So

It's Christmas Eve!  It is much warmer here but the roads are treacherous.  Black ice covered the Y parking lot this morning.  Eek!  I won't be able to walk tomorrow.  I get the day off.

I printed off photos that I wanted to put in my little album.

 I counted 44 things that I finished this year.  Here are some of the photos I printed and cut out to put in the album.

The big things were several kits from Amy Mitten.  The Quaker Bag, the Queen's Crown, Diligence Casket Keepsake as well as the World pin keep.

 I reached my goal of finishing Mistress L's Band Sampler.  I was surprised to see that I had finished about 5 of those Just Nan mice as well as a limited edition needle book.

  I still have a couple mice to go.  I got a few of the class projects that I took this year all done, like Betsy Morgan's Bristol Sampler Stitching Bag and Pioneer Girl's Etui and the Ode box bottom.

 Getting the Owl and the Pussycat done was a major accomplishment.  I made Evan a name pillow, a quilt, a fabric book, a Christmas stocking and a birth announcement.  I made Claire her Elsa costume.
I finally put together my trinket box (for the very last time!).

 I've made enough needle books and pin cushions to choke a horse.
I think it is good to have goals.  To be able to make reasonable goals for next year, I needed to know where I am.  I have some plans for next year.  I'll tell you about those next week.  In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wafer Paper

I got the most interesting things in the mail yesterday.  I went to check the Post Office tracking number to find that the package was at my front door.  I saw this first in the latest Attic Newsletter.  It was on the last page, I think.  It was a picture of cookies with a red design on them.  Jean gave a link to Fancy Flours.  I looked up wafer paper on that site.  Cool.  You can buy sheets of edible wafer paper made from potato starch.  Then these sheets are printed with edible ink with many different pictures.  These are the ones I got.

You cut the pictures out (very carefully) and apply them to the baked cookies.  I have in mind to make shortbread and put these pictures on top.  You can use corn syrup as glue.  I think this will be really fun to try.  There was a sheet included with directions on using the wafer paper.

I went through my photos yesterday looking for things that I finished in 2016.  I am making my Paper Pumpkin album for the year and using photos of things that I finished.  I want to count up and see. There are some tiny finishes and a couple of huge finishes (Mistress L!).  Maybe next week I'll do a year end round up as well as goals for 2017.  Looking back and looking forward.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Oh Fudge!

I got the digital thermometer that I ordered so I was able to make fudge and caramel corn.  The fudge turned out great.  It sure makes a difference if you don't over cook it.

 I also made a big mess in the kitchen.  I'm going to make one more batch of caramel corn that will be for us.  What I made yesterday was for the neighbors.

We got to see Claire and Evan open their presents from us.  What fun!  Evan just wanted to chew on paper and bows and toys.  Claire was thrilled with her presents.

I'm sort of regretting not putting up a Christmas tree.  I guess there still is time.

I am working on the Queen's Ruff.  Slowly but surely the lace is being built up.

It still isn't hard!  There are a ton of bars to wrap.  This will take a while.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Like It's Christmas

I got a couple of packages in the mail yesterday.  Thank you, Mr. Mailman.  One was my Paper Pumpkin kit for December.  I watched a YouTube video so I knew what was going to be in the kit.

 It will be fun to make.  It is a little album.  I'm going to print out some photos of my year and make a monthly album.  That will be fun.
I watched a FlossTube video where the lady showed all her finishes for the year.  I wonder how many things I got done this year.  I remember a few of the big things but I'd like to see what I did.

Then I also got a couple of charts that I ordered.  I had never heard of the designer All Through the Night.  I saw a cute pattern on a blog.  So I looked it up and ordered a couple.

 This is a card for a stitchy friend.  Cute design.

Later today we get to see Claire and Evan open their Christmas presents on FaceTime.  I'm so excited.  That is the real fun of Christmas, kids.

I'm hoping the digital thermometer that I ordered gets here today so I can make more fudge and caramel corn for the neighbors. Hopefully there will be some leftover for us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I finally found the wool felt that I had been looking for.

It was hiding in the closet.  In a bag.  This is why I wanted it:
I bought this pattern on Etsy from   It can be done in a variety of colors.

This is one of several patterns for the 12 days of Christmas.

Now I have all the pieces, I can actually try it.  I was able to buy the pattern and download it.  Instant gratification.  I got some of this water soluble paper stuff to print the pattern on.
You are supposed to shrink the wool felt before you make it.  Then you put the printed pattern on the felt and stitch right through it.

When you are done, you have to soak the felt and the paper disappears.
There is a line on the pattern that is supposed to be 4 inches.  Then you know you have printed it to the right size.  My line is only 3.75 inches.  I have to goof around with it a little.  So I have a little more preparation to do before I can begin.
It is much warmer today, 13 degrees.  I've been to the Y.  I'm hoping Mr. Mailman brings me a couple of packages today.  But never fear, I have plenty to work on.