Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Theme-Tas-Stitch Just One July

Theme-tas-stitch

What is Theme-Tas-Stitch, you ask? Kerry hosts a theme every month that you can build your stitching plans around. Click on the picture above for more details!

This month's theme was..."Just one July - Pick a focus piece for the month and see how much progress you can make - show us before and after pictures if you can."

You don't have to wander around my blog for very long to know that I am most definitely NOT a one-at-a-time stitcher. I'll pick something up and then get distracted, or have a deadline, and switch pieces faster than a strand of blending filament tangles. But as I mentioned in my last post, I was gone for a good chunk of June (and yes, you will get some pictures at some point!), so I was actually a little fatigued and didn't have the energy to pull out any new pieces. Since Prancer was already on the Q-snaps, I stitched on him all month! I had stitched on him a little at the end of June, and I was planning on checking in for last month's theme (gardens), so I only stitched on his greenery. Here's where he was at the end of the month:
You can see, like previous progress pictures, there was #stillNoDeer

But here is how he looks now!

Hunh. It turns out that if you focus on one thing, you actually make visible progress! Who knew??

Next month's theme is "Animalia August - Give some love to those projects with our furry or feathered friends."

What do you think I'm stitching on next month? As my mom used to say, I'll give you three guesses and two don't count...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Smalls SAL June 2017

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No idea what the Smalls SAL is all about? Click the graphic above to learn more (and see lovely smalls from others!)

All I managed last month was finishing a small I had already finished the stitching on, but I'll take it as a win!
This is Keep a Little Secret by Just Nan, also known as She Who Makes You Stitch Really Intricate Designs, Only to Hide Them in a Tin or Box. I love it, anyway.

Why did I have so little time this month, you may ask? Well, I spent two weeks in Shanghai and and Tokyo! And let me tell you, jet lag is REAL. I'll just show you one thing for now...I "rescued" this temari from an airport gift shop on the way out of Tokyo.
Isn't it gorgeous? I say I "rescued" it because...airport gift shop. And it was only about $20! I know how much work went in to this temari, and I will appropriately appreciate it!

JiffNotes
Yup, I was gone for a while...but I have a good excuse...I was out of the country!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Theme-Tas-Stitch Monochrome May

Theme-tas-stitch

What is Theme-Tas-Stitch, you ask? Kerry hosts a theme every month that you can build your stitching plans around. Click on the picture above for more details!

This month's theme was..."Monochrome May - Choose a colour and stitch on your projects that contain that one colour."

If you have been around me for any length of time, you know that my favorite color is BLUE! I could have pulled out a million pieces to stitch with blue in them, but since May is the last month to get Loopy Academy pieces done, I didn't get to stitch on any of them! Fortunately, I did get my blue beaded scarf done!


I was running out of time to get a photograph, so all you get is a terrible headless selfie. :) It really was a monochromatic month for me, since I had to work on this pretty much non-stop to get it done by the deadline.

Next month's theme is "Jardin June - Venture outdoors and put some stitches in a piece that has a garden or floral theme."

I have a bunch of garden-related pieces, so I'll have a ball with this one!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Theme-Tas-Stitch April Showers

Theme-tas-stitch

What is Theme-Tas-Stitch, you ask? Kerry was inspired by the Theme-a-licious SAL I used to run and asked to continue the theme-ing tradition, and she's doing brilliantly! There's a theme every month that you can build your stitching plans around. Click on the picture above for more details!

This month's theme is..."April Showers...What pieces do you have that contain water? - It might be rain, river, sea or lake - see how many stitches you can make!"

It was an easy job for me to find WIPs that fit in this category. In fact, I didn't even get to stitch on all of them. But I did make good progress on one of them:
The reason there are words floating in the water is that this is going to (eventually) be an EGA nametag and that is the name of my chapter. In case you are Googling, yes, that is a chapter in Florida, and, yes, I live in Atlanta. A friend is a member of that chapter and a while ago they needed members to help build the chapter back up, so I joined. Now the chapter is doing great! I hope to one day actually travel down to a meeting. Maybe once this nametag is done. ;)

My second "watery WIP" is Prancer.

Now, WAIT, I hear you say. (Well, I don't actually hear you; that would be weird. But I have my copious and active imagination going for me.) WAIT, I hear you say, That WIP has a DEER in it, but no water.

Ah...there's where you're wrong...on BOTH counts.


There is no deer in this WIP, but if there were, it would be standing on sparkly, sparkly ice, which, as we all know, is frozen WATER. #stillnodeer

And now, here comes the shoehorn. Tiffstitch and I are doing a stitch-along on Nora Corbett's letter "H". The fabric that is called for is "WATERlilly", but I am stitching it on "Squall", which is also a fine, watery-sounding fabric.

I am very, very slow, so I am not even done with my dress of a different color.

Next month's theme is Monochrome May, where we are supposed to only stitch with one color all month, and if you have been around here for very long, you can probably guess what color I will choose: Blue!

Well, I am, now, finally out of commas, so I will sign off for this month!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 2017 Gifted Gorgeousness


What is Gifted Gorgeousness, you may ask? It's the brainchild of the lovely and talented Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, who invites us to celebrate gifts we've been given that we are stitching on (or gifts we're stitching for others). If you're up for seeing more eye candy, click on the graphic above and visit Jo's link up post!

As I'm posting this on Easter (a few days late as usual), the first gift I have to show you is very appropriate...a friend gave me these counting pins for my birthday:
Aren't they too cute? I used them to start Nora Corbet's letter "H", which I am stitching along with Tiffstitch on Wednesdays. Of course I completely forgot this past Wednesday, so I don't have any progress to show!

Next were a couple of kits I bought with birthday money (and, *ahem*, maybe a little extra)...I just subscribed digitally to Inspirations magazine. In the very first issue I got, there was a bird by Nicola Jarvis. The last time I was in England (2014 I think), we visited the William Morris Gallery, and there was an exhibition of many of these stitched birds. I was over the moon for them, but they were out of most of the kits, so I didn't get a chance to bring one home. When I saw the bird from Strawberry Thief was in Inspirations, I had to get the kit.
I love how the needles are on a big page with every other possible needle size so you can see which is which (on the right). The fabric this is stitched on is very interesting; it's a heavy woven fabric with almost a plastic/rubber backing.

Since I was ordering all the way from Australia, I had to order two kits to justify the shipping, right?
Actually, the shipping was not too bad. I considered kitting this one up myself, but the beads and crochet cotton were getting close to the cost of the kit, and I wasn't sure what kind of fabric they were talking about in the magazine directions. Of course, if I had kitted it, I would have bought full tubes of beads...but at this point I'm not unhappy at the prospect of not having leftover beads! This one will be a lot of fun, since there are many needlelace and darning patterns in it!

Well, that's it for this month's Gifted Gorgeousness...tune in next month, when I might have actually stitched something that was gifted to me!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2017

Hello beautiful people! It's Spring, it's Easter (well, Good Friday, anyway), so it's time for Jo's annual Easter Blog Hop!

My mom made me some beautiful ceramics when I was little, and I love being able to put them out each year. I added a little bunny of my own to the display this year.

This is a freebie bunny you can find here. There are two other Quaker pattern bunnies as well! I think my bunny needs some friends for next year. =) This bunny is stitched on perforated paper in DMC 335 for the outline and DMC 4120 for the pattern. I'm not sure what that thread color is named, but it should be named strawberry lemonade!!

Now, I know why you're really here...you want your letter so you can complete the phrase Jo has come up with and enter to win her prize draw which hopefully includes delicious British chocolate!! So here is the letter, rendered in our pale American imitation of said chocolate:

In case you can't see the picture, L is the letter! Have fun hopping, and remember, Christ is risen!!!

Please continue hopping to the next blog, which is
http://familybusinessgroverc.blogspot.com! In case you showed up here without visiting Jo's blog first, start at the beginning by visiting over there.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Smalls SAL March and a Small Start

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No idea what the Smalls SAL is all about? Click the graphic above to learn more (and see lovely smalls from others!)

I'm squeaking in under the deadline this month, but I did manage to finish the stitching for a small!

Keep a Secret by Just Nan

I just need to finish the edge and then sew the wool on the back of this, then it will fit nicely in the pretty peacock tin. This is one of the pieces that the Sparkly Compote of Decree gave me for March Madness, and after working on it for a day, I thought, "Now that there is more sun with Daylight Saving Time, I can totally finish this tiny over-one piece!" So I did. =)

I also have a small start on a medium piece; Tiffstitch and I are doing a Wednesday SAL on Nora Corbet's letter "H". Here's my start, just a couple hours of stitching (you know, after stressing out about whether I was "really" starting in the center or not):

Wherever Tiffstitch decides to start, I know hers will not look like mine, because I changed the color of her dress! That blob you see is the bottom hem of it. It's a funky shape because when I stitch with overdyes (especially ones that are as variegated as this one), I complete one X at a time, and I do not stitch in rows. This avoids what Leon Conrad once called the "stripey bacon" effect. Of course, sometimes you want that effect, but I want her dress to look like it's made of flower petals. The floss I'm using is called "Morning Glory" (which is a very ironic choice for stitching my fairy namesake, since mornings and I are not on friendly terms).

Click the graphic at the top of this post if you'd like to see what smalls others have stitched in the past month!

JiffNotes
Thanks to Theme-Tas-Stitch's March Madness, I was inspired to finish a small I started a long time ago!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Still No Deer

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When last I checked in for March Madness, I was enjoying stitching on Prancer so much, I didn't really want to move on...
...so I didn't. The giant stocking and 80s-bridesmaid-dress-style bow are now done. Could an actual deer part make an appearance soon?? Any bets?

I was reading one of the "Top Five Tuesday" posts that Tiffstitches does and saw that one of the things she wants to finish this year is the "H" by Nora Corbett. Hey! I have that chart! I kind of had to buy it, since the name of the design is "Heather". =) So, we decided to do a little SAL on Wednesdays. We start next week!!
I had the threads, though I substituted the skin and dress colors. I went diving in my stash and came up with a piece of fabric that is almost exactly the same color as the Waterlily linen that is recommended (I actually had Waterlily, but stitching on those Wichelt linens is no fun for me). It's Squall from Sugar Maple Fabrics. Does anyone else have a small, deeply treasured stash of SMF?? I almost didn't want to use it, because then I won't have it anymore!


I have really been enjoying the Spring flowers (and Daylight Saving Time!!! Hooray for leaving work when it is still light!!) The pollen, not so much. I believe the pollen count here today is over 3500. Yes, three-five-zero-zero...not a typo. A coworker was visiting from Boston last week and when I told him the count was 1800, I thought his eyes were going to fall out of his head. I've pretty much felt like a zombie this week, although last weekend was worse; I think I actually had a virus!

But, hey, the pollen is worth it!

JiffNotes
That's Prancer up there, I swear it is.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Theme-Tas-Stitch, March Madness Edition

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Theme-tas-stitch

What is Theme-Tas-Stitch, you ask? Kerry was inspired by the Theme-a-licious SAL I used to run and asked to continue the theme-ing tradition, and she's doing brilliantly! There's a theme every month that you can build your stitching plans around. Click on the picture above for more details!

This month's theme was March Madness, a particular favorite of mine! Guided by the Sparkly Compote of Decree and the slips of paper I draw out of it, I try to stitch on a different WIP every single day in March! I always end up skipping a few days (the perils of having a full-time job). In case you missed my previous posts (because putting all those pictures in this one post would be too much!), here they are
And now, what I've been up to in the past week or so! We left off with me drawing a "nice, big" project to work on...but it's actually a set of smalls!

Ye Shall Prosper by Moss Creek Designs

Squirrel! I really did not get much done here; just some chain stitch outlining. But if I waited until all the fun stitching was done before doing the outlines, I would never assemble these. The two small squares will be a tiny pin pillow, and the other two pieces will make an acorn-shaped scissors case. I need to do the back of that. The needlebook is already stitched, and then I just have the front and back of a thread bag to go and I'm done!

The SCOD gets "moods"...last time, it was in a yarny mood. Well, this time...

Spring Garden Gate by Moss Creek Designs

it was in a Moss Creek mood! Two projects in two days! I managed to get all the lupine flowers (the blue ones) done...they are double-sided buttonhole bars. I really had to use the magnifier. But you're not allowed to look that closely at them. ;)

That brings us up to March 17th...

The only thing I can remember about this hardanger piece is that it's an ornament from the JCS 1997 ornament issue (and I'm too lazy to go look up the name and designer!) I swapped the DMC floss for some random Hand-Dyed Fibers. I got a good bit done after I figured out which way I was travelling....

March 18th we saw Beauty and the Beast AND went to the Ballet, so I did not have time to stitch at all!

March 19th:

Peacock Tapestry by Teresa Wentzler

At the rate I'm stitching this, I will be done when I am 237.

March 20th I drew a magic blank slip (allowing me to choose!)

Prancer by Mirabilia

Still no deer colors!

Now I am really torn because I want to figure out a rotation (and I really just want to stitch some more on Prancer)...but I drew a slip out of the SCOD, anyway, just to see what it would say...and Spring Quakers popped out. That would be really fun to stitch, too...hmmmm....

Next month's theme is April Showers: "What pieces do you have that contain water? - It might be rain, river, sea or lake - see how many stitches you can make!" I am golden here. Especially when I remember that snow is just frozen water. ;)

JiffNotes
Even when directed by an inanimate object, I still can't make up my mind on what to stitch....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness March 2017


What is Gifted Gorgeousness, you may ask? It's the brainchild of the lovely and talented Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, who invites us to celebrate gifts we've been given that we are stitching on (or gifts we're stitching for others). If you're up for seeing more eye candy, click on the graphic above and visit Jo's link up post!

As my birthday is the end of February, you may be thinking I'm going to show you all kinds of stitch-related gifts! Well, I at least have one:

This is some of my haul from my wonderful spouse, and you'll notice the beautiful Jane Nicholas book at the bottom. My husband told me, "You already have everything I'm giving you, just not these versions." Yes, I have T-shirts and stumpwork books (even ones by Jane Nicholas), but of course I need MORE!

And now, for the rest of the post, I will use the largest shoehorn that I own, as I want to show you what else has been happening during March Madness! My shoehorn is that the Sparkly Compote of Decree gives me the project I'll stitch on each day.

We left off last Tuesday. Wednesday, March 8th, the SCOD wanted me to work on a scarf that I frogged during the Lottlympiad. *ahem* I really should clean out the SCOD! So I picked the socks I took to Disney World in case we had decided to see the new Rivers of Light show, which would have required an hour wait. =)
Woo hoo! Happy Dance! March Madness has given me a finished object! Well, two, actually. I'm wearing them right now and they are quite comfy. =) The sock pattern is named Björk, but I called the project "Swan Feathers". Why? Well, when I think of Björk, I think of only one thing...

...wait for it...


March 9th the SCOD coughed up a slip of paper with a project that I could not for the life of me find, so I picked this related project (sea-themed, like the one I was supposed to stitch):
This is an EGA nametag for my chapter I was supposed to have stitched a looooong time ago. Good thing I am a remote member!

March 10th:
Keep a Secret by Just Nan. I could probably have this finished soon if I just concentrated on it! I'm assuming I put it away because I couldn't see the over-one stitching, but now that Daylight Savings Time has given us the GIFT of more light, I could get back to it....

March 11th:
Sanctuary by The Drawn Thread. This was plagued with problems when I picked it up. I wanted to start the trees on the left, but I seem to be missing JUST THAT ONE COLOR of NPI silk! Fine, after a fruitless search, I decided to just do the trees at the top. See that one pathetic tree trunk? Yeah, that's because I stitched all the trees before I realized I was ONE STITCH TO THE LEFT. I couldn't fudge it because there's a corner tree, and I would have had to fudge all four sides and corner trees similarly. *sigh*

March 12th: This was a Sunday, so I was hoping for a nice, big project to work on. Instead, I got a paltry little knitting project. I drew again (I do that occasionally and switch days). ANOTHER yarny project! I drew a third time. Finally, a stitching project!
And then, it turned out that with church and errands and other commitments, I didn't have time for a nice, big project, so I worked on the knitting, anyway. The Sparkly Compote of Decree is looking mighty smug in that picture, wouldn't you say?

March 13th: No stitching. Apocalyptic day!

March 14th:
The SCOD, in its yarny mood, gave me the oldest (and only) crochet WIP I have. A friend kindly taught a few of us to crochet using a cute little acorn bag. According to Ravelry, that was 2009!!! After doing two rounds in what I thought was single crochet but turned out to be something I made up, then ripping and doing one round correctly, I decided I really hate crochet and I frogged the whole thing today! So now I have the gift of spare yarn....

Well, my shoehorn is starting to bend under the strain, so I will leave you wondering what project the SCOD has given me today...it's the nice, big one I drew for on Sunday!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Week of Mice and Madness

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If you're participating in Theme-Tas-Stitch (or you've been around here for over a year), you know that March means March Madness. And that means that I try to stitch on something different every day of the month! I don't always succeed, because I don't always get to stitch every day, but on the days I do get to stitch, I draw a slip of paper out of the SCOD (Sparkly Compote of Decree), and it tells me what I stitch that day. March first brought me this beauty to work on...
This is Toccata by The Drawn Thread. I only got one little square done, but, hey, that's pretty good for a work night.

March 2nd we went to see Phantom of the Opera at the fabulous Fox after work, so I got no stitching done that night. (My one-sentence review of the show is that if you saw it in the 90s, don't bother, because this production is much scaled down and misses a lot of the iconic staging moments.)

The next day, I told the SCOD to go take a flying leap, I was working on my first Loopy Academy project, Spliced (qualification: must be a two-color-per-row project):
I did not get all of that done, but I did get a lot of it done. The next two days I did not stitch at all, because I had better things to do...
We went to Disney World for my birthday! It's the first time in a while that I haven't been there on my actual birthday. That's OK; I still got the button, and the Dapper Dans sang "Happy Birthday" to me. =)

The Flower and Garden Festival was going on at Epcot, so that park was just beautiful.



Sometimes the Festival starts just after my birthday, so although some of the topiary displays are up, we don't get to enjoy other aspects of the Festival, like the fabulous food booths!

I tried to convince Michael that the cheese strudel with berry compote was terrible and I should just eat it all so he didn't have to suffer through it, but he didn't buy it. =)

Our second day, we got up early and hustled over to the back entrance of the park (we stayed at the Swan, so we were able to walk...and a big shout out to my Falcons for being in the Super Bowl and getting us a three-for-two deal there!) We wanted to be there at "rope drop" so we could speed-walk over to Norway and be in line for Frozen Ever After!
I didn't try to take any photos during the ride because I just wanted to enjoy it. The wait time can balloon up to several hours, so getting there early is your only hope if you can't get FastPasses (and we made the decision to go down too late to get them). We only waited about 10 minutes! We really enjoyed the ride and talked about how cool it is to go on a brand new Disney attraction...it's a treat that doesn't come along every day!

I'll end my pictorial review with a pair of dragons, because: DRAGONS!

China pavilion topiary at Epcot...

Maleficent "float" at Magic Kingdom.

On the way home, I knit on my second Loopy Academy project, Sinnesfrid.
I'm still not 100% sure about this color...I wanted a bright Spring green. Sometimes I think this is it, and sometimes it looks weird to me. It really changes color with the light.

That doesn't quite bring us up to today, but here's the last picture that was in the camera, from Tuesday:
The SCOD coughed up a blank slip of paper, which means I get to choose! So I picked a project out of the Drawer of Shame...it's a drawer in our coffee table where I keep stitching supplies like scissors, needle minders, stitch markers, etc. But it also contains various random small projects that get stuffed in there for one reason or another. I decided to stitch something from there to help clean it out...I wasn't sure what all was in there! I found a few ornament kits that were not started, an ornament with one side stitched, one side unstitched, and one side completely missing (along with the fibers!), a bead kit, a stumpwork ornament whose directions I'm sure I packed in a box somewhere, various other things, and this. This was pretty much the only started thing in there that had all its bits together! It's going to be a PEACE tree by M Designs. If I have enough fibers left to complete it. I have my doubts...

The madness will continue! Stay tuned...

JiffNotes
Disney World got in the way of March Madness, in the best way possible, but I still got a lot of stitching done!

Old Geek-outs