Alphabet Giveaway!

July 14, 2009

If you guys haven’t seen this yet, I seriously recommend popping over and having a look. I was absolutely drooling! I don’t know about you, but personally I think no one can ever have enough alphabet books. lol And this one looks to be a doozy!

BibleDesLettresCrossStitchLettersBibleValerieLejeune

Whether I win or not, I’m going to need to get a copy of this one. 😀

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July Finish

July 13, 2009

Just a quick post today. I’ve got schoolwork and real work waiting for me, but I wanted to post a few finishes first. The first is my square for the Fair and Square Summer Round. My partner has received it, so it’s now safe to show on here.

FS Summer Round 3

This is a Delft tile image, the pattern of which can be found in Reader’s Digest Big Book of Cross-Stitch Designs. I sort of modified the existing pattern to fit F&S’s size restrictions.

The second is my break from bigger projects. I couldn’t resist, although when I asked the hubby to come take a picture of it and he got his first look at it, he laughed and then said I wasn’t going to hang that anywhere in the house. It does not, he said, get to be my new motto.

Housework

It is, of course, Lizzie Kate’s Housework Never Killed. I changed a couple of the colors because…well, one because I didn’t have it and I wasn’t about to stop stitching just because it was 11pm and the local floss shop refuses to adopt a 24-hour schedule, my politely persistent requests notwithstanding, and the other because I just plain didn’t like it.

Now, I’m off to be productive in the real world! Woot! And I should hopefully get caught up on what exciting projects are consuming all the rest of you by this weekend. Double woot!


Finally Some Progress…

July 8, 2009

mw1

Well, I guess you can see straight off, the fabric isn’t black. I never did make it to Tulsa to the cross stitch shop. So, instead I had to make do with what fabric I already had. I had a real burning desire to do something ‘different’. So I found the last piece of black fabric that I own, but knew instantly that it was too small. No problem, I thought. I’ve always wanted to try 1 over 1. So I dug out some really nifty colors, which would hopefully stand out bright against the black, and got started.

Come to find out, I’m blind as a bat and 1 over 1 wasn’t helping. I struggled my way through half of the first motif before deciding the only way I would ever finish this over 1 was through the use of a powerful microscope. So I ripped it all out and put it back.

Stuck with plain ol’ white fabric, but still wanting to do something different, I then thought I’d try my hand at coffee dyeing. I downloaded instructions, got the supplies ready, got the pot of coffee, cut my square of fabric and then stood there, fabric in hand, coffee before me, considering the instructions. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, the end result was not the creation of a wonderfully ‘aged’ piece of material, but that of a shambling gray-haired woman, wandering the dark halls of this big house, petting her swatch of cloth and muttering, “It’s all right. Shhh…shhh…You can stay white. I’m sorry…so sorry…You can stay white…”

Once I pulled myself back together again, I printed out the pattern and finally got started. Or so I thought. With my pristine, puritanical white fabric in my lap, I started picking through thread choices. Still wanting to do something fairly original, I picked through four different color pallets, alternately stitching and picking out that first motif another four times before I finally settled on this: DMC 321, 310, and 841. I’m not following any particular rule about where I place the colors. I am…deep breath here…winging it, but I’m happy with the results so far. 🙂

As for the design itself, I have tried really, really hard to follow the actual pattern, but the inconsistencies are driving me crazy. I’m fixing the errors as I see them and as I go. I realize Mary was only nine when she did this, but as I was picking out that first motif for the seventh and final time, all I kept (ungraciously, I know) thinking was: where was that grumpy sewing instructor and her trusty ruler while little Mary was making all these mistakes? One of my pioneer ancestors at 11 years old was given a journal the day before her family set off from the East coast to the West. Now, we know this because she, quite bitterly and with a vocabulary better than most high school graduates would use, recorded receiving this stupid journal, which she now had to write in each and every day, while her brothers got pocket knives, boots, hats, and in one case, a rifle, i.e. the “good” gifts.

What stands out in my mind was the entry she made regarding her mother’s method of schooling. She had to do it in cross stitch. Here’s this very smart and very disgruntled 11 year old, after traveling was done, having to then do all this needlepoint instead of being able to play with her brothers and peers, and she’s recounting–very, very bitterly–about trying to hurry and finish her stitching just as fast as possible so she could play, too. And her mother caught her doing it and smacked her hands. Five times. Each. And then, not only did she have to rip out everything and start all over again, but she had to do it with hurting hands AND it was dark before she finished so she never did get to play. Not with anyone. She had to go to bed instead. Stupid journal. Stupid stitching. And she was going to ‘lose’ them both in the first river they came to.

I don’t know about the stitching, but fortunately, she changed her mind regarding the journal. 🙂 Have a good week and may your stitches all be neat, straight, and properly, unhurriedly placed.


Mary Wigham

July 1, 2009

Well, I’ve been sucked into it. I did my best, valiantly fighting the near-gravitational pull of this beautiful Quaker until Olga came along, bless her heart, and quite cheerful pried my fingers from my last desperate hold on resisting temptation. “Nooooo!” I cried, but off I went anyway, flying headfirst into the heart of yet another beautiful project, as if I don’t have enough of them started already. (Is that even possible? To have too many WIPs?) And, as if that weren’t enough, she then emailed to let me know about a USA version of the European SAL. I made it onto the Mary Wigham USA SAL, but only just. I was, quite literally, the last one admitted and then it was full.

So, now I have to run around, gathering threads and finding that perfect fabric. All I really know is that I want to do it on black cloth with bright, bright cheerful colors: white, yellow, pale blue, hot pink, leaf green. I’m planning a trip to Silver Needle in Tulsa tomorrow, I think, and I’m going to match cloth to threads and see what looks good.

Unfortunately, this is the one part of cross stitching in which I’m severely handicapped. Believe it or not, I can’t see colors or patterns in my head. Most of the time, I figure I’m doing good if I leave the house dressed in something that doesn’t clash so badly that people actually stop and stare. It might very well be that once I get to the store and actually lay threads to fabric, that I wind up scraping the whole maverick idea of dark fabric and just do white fabric with traditional colors. We’ll just have to see. You know, I’ve always wanted to work with satin threads. Maybe this is the project…

Oh, and it’s that time of month again. July goals:

1.) 3 motifs on the BP quaker.

2.) 10 motifs on MW. 🙂 I gotta get caught up to everyone else.

3.) I want to finish the stitch work on Mirabilia’s Christmas Flourishes.

4.) and lastly, I want to get back on course with my schoolwork. I can’t finish this month, but I want to do a refresher read through of Courses 1-4 (approximately 50 chapters), and next month be back on track with the last and final Course 5.


TUSAL June Update

June 27, 2009

This is my June update on Yoyo’s Totally Useless Stitch A-Long. I’m a couple days late, but at least I’m catching up. I was nearly a month late last time. 🙂

I ran out of room in my ort jar. I wanted to use a second glass, but my husband said no. These were, after all, our drinking glasses, and who knows, he might actually get thirsty sometime between now and the end of the year. So I had to upgrade to a nice vase I found at the Goodwill for $1. Can’t beat the price. lol

Here are my orts before the move:

tusal before

And here they are after:

tusal after

It’s my goal to have that thing totally full by the end of the year.


New Stash

June 26, 2009

Just what I was needin’: More Stash! Ah yes, but don’t we all? My scanner isn’t yet up and running (I think I’ve lost the cable in the move), so pardon the pilfered pictures.

Housework Never Killed Anyone. My first Lizzie Kate, but definitely not my last since I’ve had my eye on the Boo flip it collection.

housework never killed

Pirate’s Creed by Post Stitches

moral improves

Sleepy Hollow by The Cricket Collection and Vicki Hastings

sleepy hollow

My fourth pattern I ordered via a money order snail mail. Sadly, I guess she wasn’t set up for automatic payments, so it may be a while before I get that pattern.

The weather here has been hideously hot. My mother in Oregon has been keeping track of it (she does so miss us) and said it’s been steadily twenty degrees cooler in Oregon than Kansas. I said, “Mom, Hell is twenty degrees cooler than Kansas.”

Even the snakes think so. I went downstairs into the basement to feed the spiders and made my cursory check of the sump pump. Toads like to crawl in through the pipe and swim around in there–I guess we’re built on a natural spring because that hole never runs dry; we’d be in water up to our door knobs within the hour if the pump ever shut off). Unfortunately, it wasn’t toads in the sump pump hole. It was the biggest flippin’ snake I’ve ever seen in my life. That monster could not have been native to Kansas. I don’t know what that was, but it was H-U-G-E!!!

I screamed.

I also ran upstairs and called Michael’s work, crying to please send him home it was an emergency. Within ten minutes, the gravel in front of the house went flying as he tore right up to the front porch steps, came bounding inside, all sweaty and concerned and said, “What happened?”

“Snake!” Imagine me standing at the stairs with windmilling arms all pointing fervently down at the basement. “AHHHH!” I added for emphasis.

He was not amused.

But he did remove the snake and cart it back outside. He will not, however, let me dam up the sump pump pipe.

“It’ll just get back in here,” I said.

“We’ll be under four feet of water,” he said.

Great. We’ll turn the basement into a swimming pool. It’s hot outside, anyway.


Much Needed Happy Dance

June 25, 2009

I wanted a quick stitch and it certainly was that, although everything that came afterwards was a hassle and a half!

I started Trellis by Paula Vaughan last Thursday and finished the back stitching on Sunday. I then proceeded to coax my husband into taking a picture just before he went to bed. Long story short, I couldn’t get the picture off the reader card. Oh, the joys of digital cameras. I spent three days fighting with that card and my computer, getting my husband to take another picture, all to no avail. The card continuously claimed that it needed to be reformated, or that it had no pictures and that I was an idiot for trying to download anything off it in the first place. That card is now in the garbage and I went out today and bought a much friendlier card to replace it with.

And so, here is the Trellis.

trellis

Having cleared one pattern out of the stash, I then went online Tuesday and bought four more to replace it. Three of these patterns were with 123Stitch.com, and one hour later, I received notification that my order had shipped. Every single time I place an order with these guys, I can bank on having it in my mailbox within 3-4 days. I absolutely love their service, and their shipping costs are the lowest I’ve yet seen. I can’t wait to get the patterns. I think they’ll be here tomorrow.

And last but certainly not least, my Fair and Square Exchange from Sharon V arrived today! Woo hoo! It’s beautiful! And she sent goodies!

Sharon V exchange

You can’t see it very well, but the flowers have beads on them. I couldn’t be happier! Thanks, Sharon!