Saturday, March 22, 2014

Where Did My Afternoon Go!

I had plans to get this post done hours ago but my time this afternoon has just zoomed away.  Thankfully it is going to be a night of leftovers for supper so I have a few minutes to post a quick update.

I realized it had been awhile since my last post as I've picked up two completed pieces from the framer.  Funny how you have good intentions and then the next thing you know a couple of weeks have gone by.

I thought we were going to make it through the entire Winter season this year without my son getting sick but alas it was not to be.  He has been home off and on over the past 2 weeks nursing a cold/cough.  I think the worst symptom has actually been the cough.  It really seems to get going at bedtime and then we miss hours of sleep trying to get him settled.  

This is Hip Hop Easter by Nathalie (TheBlueAttic).  I stitched it to be a small design as I had in mind using a large width frame to showcase it.  The frame I chose has various shades of the same thread colors I used and it turned out just as I had envisioned.  Imagine that!  The finished size including the frame is 8 1/2" wide x 9" high.    This was a start to finish stitch in one afternoon.

I also completed La Pensee' Positive by Les Marottes de Nathalie.  I actually thought this design would take me much longer to stitch than it did.  I usually take a photo after each session I stitch on a project to see it evolve and so I have a visual of progress made and was surprised to realize it only took 9 stitching sessions to complete.  I did try several different frames for this piece but the frame I used on Sampler aux Bouquets where I used the same fabric and many of the same threads was still the one that showcased it best.  I did change several of the called for colors so I could use the same threads but kept the colors charted for the words.  I also chose to completely stitch the tablecloth rather than just outlining it.  The finished size including the frame is 7 1/2" wide by 14" high.

I'm still knitting away on my afghan using the washable wool yarn.  I don't get as much time in on this project as I like stitching so much more.  However,  I'm about to move onto a new color so progress is happening.
I have picked up the Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle again.  I started this over a year ago but detest working with colored patterns so put it down never to see the light of day again for a VERY VERY long time.  It came to mind again as this was about the time I put it away last year and decided to have a go at it again.  I'm pleased to say I'm dealing with the colored pattern better this year - mostly because I'm cutting it in small sections to work from.  I know I still hear the gasps of horror.  I just figured I paid for it I can do what I want to it.  I've made significantly more progress than the picture shows but I've just not had time to snap another photo.  The fabric is much more blue than this picture shows and will try to get a more accurate read of the blue in the next photo.  I believe it is a 30 count Quaker Cloth but I won't commit to that just yet.  I changed most of the colors as well so they would be more compatible with the fabric color.  I promise next post I will give better details of fabric and threads used.

I did manage to attend my Compass Club book group a week ago although I did not finish the book.  Many of the longtime members were in attendance so it was fun to catch up with everyone.  Next month's selection is Far From the Tree and is 700 pages long - gulp!  Other members are already talking about just reading the sections that they feel pertain more to their circumstances rather than the entire book.  

I also attended the Compass Club needlework group this past Tuesday.  It was my first time attending this group as it meets in the afternoon and I don't have much time to participate as I've my son's bus to meet.  I did manage a very relaxing and enjoyable hour with the ladies and am thinking I might just work this into my schedule as it only meets 1x per month.

I don't know if anyone else saw the Lizzie Kate Contest for suggestions for favorite quote for her to design next.  I did enter the contest but did not get my quote picked for voting.  However, it has inspired me to pick up my graph paper and pencil to create a design for my favorite quote.  It is not one I anticipate any designer will do anytime soon so I figure I am going to have to design this one myself.  I will now be on the hunt for a good alphabet and some motifs to put on it and maybe a border.  I'm thinking I want it to have the feel of the Positive Quote I finished (you know Victorian Lady, maybe flowers, teapot/cups).


   A woman is like a tea bag - you never now how strong she is until she gets into hot water - Eleanor Roosevelt.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Almost to the End!

I'm pretty excited that I'm closing in on the finish of this La Pensee' Positive piece.  I thought it would take so much longer to stitch based on the stitch count but am flying right through it.  I've set myself a goal to have it done by the time I am to go to the framer and pick up the piece I left last Tuesday for framing.  Could be an unrealistic goal as I bet I get a call on Tuesday to pick it up.  Unless, of course, I find a couple hours of stitching time today.  On the 25 count over 1 it is 9" long at this point and am expecting another 2.5 to 3" more added to the length by the time I am done.   The width is a tiny 3.5".    I do absolutely love how it is evolving.   I did have to change another color - the sheep!  The color called for was just too light on this fabric and you could not see them at all and yes I stitched an entire sheep just to be sure.  Thankfully I came up with just the right color on my third attempt.  Not like those darn houses on Beauty in Simplicity that it took 8+ attempts to find just the right color.  I actually spent more time taking out stitches on that piece than putting them in - all my fault due to my fabric choice.

This is a new design I'm getting ready to start by Nathalie (TheBlueAttic).  It is in the category of a quote/saying.  I also purchased Farm Fresh Eggs and When This You See Remember Me.  I really like Nathalie's designs as they have such detail and charm in a small design.  It is so nice to be able to stitch a piece in a day or 2 amongst all those larger projects.

For all you lovers of the Big Bang Theory this was my acquisition on date night last night.  My new Jeep does not have a hard drive to download my CD's like my previous Jeep so have had to put my music on a flash drive that you plug in to play over the radio.  Hubby thought it would make my music flash drive easy to spot by getting a Sheldon figure.  He is so right!  This method will actually be easier for altering my playlist ongoing.
I've been reading on several blogs about so many stitchers stitching from their stashes during 2014.  This was actually something I listed as a goal on my blog in 2013.  I wish I would have thought to start a Stitching from Stash Group back then.  It would have been nice to have the support of like minded stitchers.  I did really well stitching from my stash in 2013 and have been continuing on with this goal in 2014.  It seems easier this year than last year.  I think that is largely due to the fact that none of the new designs has really "called" to me to be stitched.  

Speaking of stitching from stash as soon as I finish La Pensee' Positive I will be picking up Red Riding Hood by ThePrimitiveHare.  I set it aside when I started all my stitching for Christmas gifts and think now is a great time to pick it up and finish it.  If I remember correctly, I think I'm halfway there.  It is a piece I would like to enter in competition in the 2014 Iowa State Fair so it is time to pick it up again.  

Book club for March is on Friday.  I'm afraid I am nowhere close to having the book finished - The Secrets of Mary Bowser.  I don't know what it is about the selections this year but I have only managed to read 2 of them all the way through.  I'm guessing they are just not the type of books I'm in the mood to read this year.  I remember one book it actually took me 3 attempts at over the course of 3 years before I could finally settle into it.  Books are like music for me in that I have to be in the mood for that genre.

Date night was an enjoyable evening out with hubby.  We had a nice supper at On the Border.  We had time for a little bit of window shopping at the mall before the movie started - Non-Stop.  It was an enjoyable movie for 2 reasons.  It moved along quickly and I didn't actually figure out who done it until it came out in the movie.  Harriet will attest that this is not something that happens often with me.  I usually know the who by the time the entire cast of characters is in play whether it be movie or book.

Well, off to help hubby put snowblower away for the season - so I expect one more blizzard before we really get into Spring!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Finish! An Awesome Frame! Update on SAL!

I have been quite a busy since last I posted - not all of it fun!  Hubby came home from work early on Thursday not feeling well.  Still not great on Friday so stayed home from work.  I thought he should go to the doctor based on symptoms but noooooooo!  He wasn't quite miserable enough yet.  Friday night the worst hit and we were up pretty much all night long.  Saturday morning I had my son and I ready to walk out the door by 8:00 AM for our traditional run to the coffee shop but tried one last time to get my husband to the doctor.  Hallelujah he was ready to go!  A trip to VA ER where they pumped in 2 liters of fluids (dehydrated by this time) and shots of anti nausea meds along with pills to take home and he was on the mend.


I have not yet had any additional time to explore what sewing machine I would like to get.  Thank you Teresa (AtWillowTreePond) for  your input on the Pfaff.  What a coincidence that I was looking at just that brand at my local quilt shop as that is what they carry.  I find it very appealing that they can do cleanings and repairs of them.  The Brother I bought a couple years ago has no local place for cleanings or repairs.  


We spent the weekend in house as a snowstorm hit Saturday late afternoon.  It dropped about 3" so I shoveled us out on Sunday morning.  I did, however, decide to spend a relaxing afternoon on Sunday stitching up this fun little design by Nathalie (The Blue Attic) and watching an episode of the BBC Sherlock Holmes (Episode 1, First Season).

This design is Hip Hop Easter and I used the called for DMC threads.  I stitched it up on a 25 count piece of Mushroom Lugana 1 thread over 1 thread.  I will admit that 25 count 1 over 1 is my favorite way to stitch.  The finished size is 2 1/2" x 3".


You may have realized that I like to put a holiday themed displays on my buffet and coffee table.  When I decided to stitch this, I knew it would be perfect as part of the "holiday Easter" display I will be putting on my buffet this year.  I knew I wanted to show off this dainty little piece with a large chunky frame to give it presence.  This is a "snippet" of the frame I have chosen.  The colors in the frame are a perfect match to the browns in the stitched piece.  I get to pick up the finished piece next week and can't wait to see it and share a photo of it with you.


I have managed to put in a couple of hours over the past couple of days on La Pensee' Positive by Les Marottes de Nathalie.  A couple more small little motifs and I will be moving on to Part 4 of 5.  Hopefully I will have time to get to that point tonight (must go vote tonight so will see if time allows.).  I had thought to frame it in the same frame as Sampler Aux Bouquets but now I'm not so sure.  I'm thinking I will have to "try on" a few other frames before making that decision.  There just isn't as much of the "pinks" as in the other design.


Just received a yard of fabric I ordered recently.  As stated in previous posts, I'm really into the reds right now and just couldn't not pass this one up.  I'm thinking of making myself a set of things for myself out of it.  Yes, I said MYSELF!  Selfish of me isn't it.  I'm thinking a project bag, drawstring bag, needle case, scissor case.  


It has been quite the week trying to get the "clear bra" (protects paint from rock chips in most vulnerable places) onto my new Jeep.  I picked it up last Thursday from the dealer and it was not done correctly.  This was the second time we had tried to have it done to our specifications only to be disappointed again.  Yesterday we took it to the place where we had our other vehicles done and they could get it in right that moment.  Should have gone there in the first place but thought the dealer where we bought it would be more convenient - no so much.  I just picked it up this afternoon and it is finally done right!  Yea!  

It is funny as you just never know what kind of loaner car you are going to get.  I went from driving a Lincoln Navigator which I call the "BUS" last week to the little Mini Cooper which I call the "KIDDY CAR" this week.  My son never knows what kind of car he is going to be getting in anymore.  He refused to get into the "BUS" but couldn't get in the "KIDDY CAR" fast enough.  I actually wouldn't mind having the Mini Cooper for Summer driving.  I'll keep that in mind when I win the Lottery!