Friday, November 16, 2018

Hmm Hmm Hmm, Hmm Hmm Hmm, Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm!

Subject line!  Do you know what I am cheerfully humming?  Yes, Jingle Bells!  It's cold!  It snowed a bit yesterday!  All is right with the world   : )

I've finished three more ornaments   : )   These are from The Prairie Schooler Book 202, Evergreen.  I would have stitched more of them if I had more of the 32 count sage Jobelan.  Does anyone know where I can find some?  I have been searching but have not had any luck.  I used the suggested DMC threads except I made a slight change on the snowman.  I used 900 for his nose and 976 for his broom.

I am now wanting to stitch more Prairie Schooler stuff   : )   I have a lot to choose from, but I have almost two dozen ornaments already kitted up so I will be good and postpone them until sometime next year.  I also have plans to stitch a couple more PS samplers.  Then of course there's all the other stuff I want to stitch.  I'm going to live for at least another 50 years, right?

John and I are going to be leaving the US in less than two weeks to visit the Christmas markets in Cologne and Wuppertal.  We will first spend 2 days in London, then take a train to Cologne.  When our time in Germany is done we will take the train back to London and then head home the following day.  I'm kind of freaking out … lol!  It seems there is so much to do before we leave and it's overwhelming me a bit.  I'd like to take some stitching with me but alas, I can't even see 28 count fabric, not to mention charts, without my magnifying light   : (   I will have to instead take something I can knit along with some kind of book to read.  Now I have to choose a knitting project, get it started, and choose a book!  AHHHHH!!!

I hope everyone is well!

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Couple More Finishes and Some Purchases

The weather is cooler here in northern Kentucky and I am, of course, thrilled!  Will it snow soon?  Will it snow at all?  I hope so!

I have finished stitching two more ornaments!  I love this first one, and yes, I was singing the song in my head the entire time I was stitching it   : )

Designer:  Heartstring Samplery
Design:  The Holly Bears the Crown
Fabric:  32 ct Vintage Examplar
Floss:  WDW as suggested by designer

I stitched this next design back in 2014 but gave the finished ornament away as a gift.  I've always wanted one of my own so this is it   : )
Designer:  Nikyscreations
Design:  Faith - from 2014 JCSCO issue
Fabric:  32 ct Examplar
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

As for purchases, I was watching a podcast recently (Mel's Travel and Stitching) and she showed a chart or two from The Drawn Thread.  She talked about how happy she had been purchasing from them directly.  There was a design or two that I've been wanting to purchase for a while so I decided to place an order.  I ended up purchasing six kits … lol!  I am very pleased with their service.  They shipped my order either that same day or the next and it arrived here in record time, and they wrapped my purchases in pretty tissue paper.  For a brief moment I thought it might be nice if I waited and placed them underneath the Christmas tree, but since I will most likely not be decorating this year I decided to open them now   : )   I purchased Snow Day, Welcome Winter, The Night Before Christmas, Good Tidings, Christmas Thoughts Sampler, and Christmas Cards.  I have no idea when I'll be stitching them since I am so focused on ornaments now (I just kitted another 21 ornaments!) but I'm looking forward to stitching each one   : )
It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away!  I'm toying with the idea of not making a Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Yep, no Christmas decorating and maybe no Thanksgiving dinner.  It's been that kind of year.   

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Road to Hell

Paved with good intentions it is.  I miss blogging, I really do, but ever since leaving the Devil's Playground my life has been, well, you really don't want to know.  And then there's Blogger which continues to provide utter confusion in the best of times.  I was always able to monitor my comments, choosing whether or not to publish them.  Now they just show up despite the fact that my monitor thingy is checked.  Argh!

I was aware that I haven't posted any photos of my finishes for a while, but I was surprised to see that I haven't posted any finishes or even talked about my projects since April!  I will remedy that now.  Grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy, and here we go   : )

I will intro this first one by saying that I had more problems with it than you can imagine!  I don't know how many times I frogged bits and started again.  And stitching the autumn part of the design was a special kind of crazy because despite carefully counting not once, not twice, but three times to make sure I started in the right spot, I started it one stitch too far to the right of the summer part and didn't realize it until I was preparing to start the leaves and acorns at the bottom.  I had to frog the whole of autumn and begin once more.  The finish was well worth it but I don't ever want that to happen again   : )

   Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  4 Seasons
Fabric:  32 ct Amber linen
Floss:  WDW as suggested by designer

I changed up this next one just a wee bit.  It called for Mill Hill buttons to be used for the pine tree at the top and the birdhouse at the bottom.  I just designed my own tree and birdhouse to stitch.  It also called for turkey stitches to be used for the ends of the scarves and chain stitches for the mitten strings.  I used straight stitches for the ends of the scarves and a 2-strand back stitch for the mitten strings.  And here's a fun fact … there are 74 individual Smyrna stitch snowflakes in this design   : )
Designer:  The Drawn Thread
Design:  Generosity
Fabric:  32 ct Lambswool linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Nothing to add to this next one   : )
Designer:  Prairie Schooler
Design:  Winter Sampler
Fabric:  32 ct sage jobelan
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

On to ornaments!
 Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Flora McSample's 2014 Stockings -
Unto You Is Born; Silent Night; Reindeer Sampler
Fabric:  32 ct Lambswool linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Flora McSample Treats - Hark
Fabric:  32 ct Lambswool linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Flora McSample 2015 -
Love Came Down; Deck the Halls;
Joy to the World
Fabric:  32 ct Lambswool linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Flora McSample 2013 -
ABChristmas; Noel; Twas the Night
Fabric:  32 ct Lambswool linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  Pear Tree
Fabric:  32 ct Vintage Light Examplar linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  Six Little Cardinals
Fabric:  30 ct Cocoa linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  Hot Cocoa
Fabric:  28 ct mystery linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Country Cottage Needleworks
Design:  Let Us Adore Him
Fabric:  32 ct Amber linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer
except for church which is the
suggested WDW White Lightning

Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  All Is Calm
Fabric:  32 ct Amber linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  Frosty Flakes
Fabric:  30 ct Straw linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer
(still need to add beads)

Designer:  The Trilogy
Design:  Cheer
Fabric:  32 ct mystery linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  My Favorite Time
Fabric:  32 ct Summer Khaki linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Tiny Tidings XIX -
Jingle Jingle and Snow Bird
Fabric:  28 ct Amber linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Deign:  Flora McSample 2011 Ornaments -
Peace and Joy
Fabric:  28 ct Milk Chocolate linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Tiny Tidings XXII -
Merry Christmas and Snow House
Fabric:  32 ct Light Mocha linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Tiny Tidings XI -
Merry Chris-Mouse
Fabric:  32 ct natural linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested by designer

There are a couple missing I think, but otherwise this is it.  I will need to look into finishing possibilities for the ornaments.  Since Myra, the queen of finishing, had to give it up, and after having so many ornaments ruined by someone else, I'm thinking I might give finishing a try myself.  Not this year though.  Since I literally can't take more than two steps without tripping over a bunch of boxes or other clutter strewn around here, and I am still operating with hardly any furniture, it's a bit difficult to set up a sewing machine, cut fabric, etc.  Hopefully things will turn around for us in the new year. 

Thanks for visiting with me!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Blogger Confusion

It won't surprise anyone that I am perpetually confused about many a thing, and now Blogger is adding to that confusion.  First of all, when I log into Blogger I get this huge yellow square telling me something about the European Union.  What's that about?  At the bottom of the same square there is a separate section telling me that Blogger no longer accepts OpenID.  What in the world is that?  And this morning I get an email, supposedly from Blogger, saying that they want me to confirm that I still want email notifications for comments on my blog and if I do I should click the link provided.  Is this on the up-and-up?  I do know that the comments on my previous post have not been sent to my email account so I can try to answer them.  Is there something I'm supposed to do so I don't have that big yellow square assaulting me every time I log in?  Is it okay to click the link in that email?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Just A Quickie Questions Re Linen

I'm still here!  I did get a new laptop and have been trying to go through all the transferred files and photos from an old laptop and even older desktop.  I'm now at a standstill because John's mouse gave up the ghost and I had to let him use mine lest he totally fall apart without access to his own computer.  He hated my old laptop and he hates my new one.  Yes, I could use the touchpad or whatever it's called on my laptop but I hate touchpads.  John decided to take a nap so I came down to his computer to write this quick post.

I have a design I'm thinking of stitching … And They Sinned.

If I use 40 count linen I will need a cut that measures 15" wide x 47" long.  If I use 36 count linen I will need a cut that measures 16" wide x 51" long.  I seem to remember a discussion or two once upon a time where it was said that it was a bad idea to take a width of linen and turn it lengthwise to stitch on it.  I don't want to buy a full yard and a half of linen to get the length I need when I just need 15" or 16" width.  I also seem to remember that a shop (or shops) in the UK sell long cuts so this might be an option.  If so, can anyone point me in the direction of one?

Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My Dirty Little Secret

This past Saturday my Sweet Babboo and I did an overnighter in Sharonville, Ohio which is considered part of Cincinnati.  We stayed at the Hyatt where John had been given a free night.  He wanted to stay overnight so that he could attend the Half Price Books clearance sale at the Sharonville Convention Center both on Saturday and Sunday.  The Hyatt is actually attached to the convention center so he got to wander over there whenever the mood struck him.  This was his third year going to the clearance sale but his first year staying at the Hyatt.  I decided to go along with him to help him find things he was looking for at the sale.  It became sort of a mini vacation for us.  The fact that Keepsakes cross stitch shop is in Sharonville was icing on the cake   : )   

I will tell you all about my visit to Keepsakes in another post.  For now I have a dirty little secret I'd like to share and to ask for help, assuming I need any.

John bought me several items while we were at Keepsakes including Lizzie Kate's 4 Seasons charts. I was never really interested in stitching these until I saw a couple people on YouTube showing their progress stitching them, but what really clinched it for me was seeing the model hanging on the wall at Keepsakes.  John really liked the model as well and I told him that this design would be my next project.  I started stitching it on Sunday evening.  This is how far I've gotten with the first design in the series.  I will, of course, be stitching all four charts together on one piece of fabric.
Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it's when I turn it around to the back side that my dirty little secret is exposed.
Knots.  If I have confetti stitches, or just a few stitches in part of a design, I secure these particular bits by making a knot.  If I'm using hand dyed floss, as is the case in this design, I both start and end with a knot.  Running the floss under a few stitches to secure these very small bits at the start and again at the finish produces a big lump in that part of the design which just won't do.

My knots are not extremely huge or noticeable from the right side.  I have never really been concerned about them in the past when stitching items I knew would be made into small pillows or even flat folds, but this project will be framed and I'm not sure if the knots will cause any problems.  They are lacemakers knots made with two single strands tied right over left, left over right, and then right over left again.  It is impossible for them to work themselves loose.

I probably would never have made this confession about my knottiness if not for the fact that the house in this design has 11 windows.  Each window consists of three stitches.  The hand dyed floss will not really show up in these windows so my plan was to start them off with a loop start and finish them with a knot.  Seems like an awful lot of knots though and I'm wondering if there might be a better way.  I know I can start one window and carry the floss across to the next, and then to the next, and so on, but I'm concerned that the black floss will show through the pale lilac floss on the right side.  I did some research into the pin start.  Interesting concept, but not when you are stitching with two strands.  Of course for these small windows I could use just one strand of floss and double stitch each leg.

Any thoughts?  The knots really just cushion themselves into the stitch(es) surrounding them so maybe I'm making much ado about nothing and embarrassing myself for no reason.  Will anyone else dare to admit that they use knots?  Perhaps we can get t-shirts made ... Knotty Girls Unite, or I'm a Knotty Girl!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Catching Up

It's been quite busy around here, but then again there doesn't seem to be much of anything getting done!  I don't know if anyone else feels this way but I have SO much to do that I am just overwhelmed by it all.  The tasks appear insurmountable.  I know, I know ... take things a little at a time.  One box per day.  One drawer per day.  Great advice, I'll grant you that.  Unfortunately all the little pixels just meld into one huge picture & I need to go have a lie down.  Sigh!

Some stitching is getting done, if nothing else.  I sort of finished my Winter ABCs by Little House Needleworks, the pattern having been gifted to me by Debra Scott.

Design:  Winter ABCs
Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Fabric:  Suggested 32-count Vintage Tundra linen
Floss:  DMC alternatives

I say I sort of finished this because I still need to stitch 20 or so blasted French knots.  They are unfortunately stitched over white motifs using either red or black floss.  I say unfortunately because after several failed attempts at getting them "just right" (you know me & my curse of just rightness) the black &/or red dye leaves little discolored areas amidst the white floss which, of course, will not do.  I have given up & will instead substitute little seed beads when I can find the right size.  I guess a three-year break in stitching made me forget my once-upon-a-time vow to carefully look at patterns before stitching them just in case those evil French knots are included.  

This next project is an actual finish ... no "sort of's" with this one!
Design:  Le Poulet
Designer:  Blackbird Designs
Fabric:  Suggested 32-count Confederate Gray linen
Floss:  DMC alternatives

I have had this little chart in my stash for several years & have always looked forward to stitching it.  I am happy wit how it turned out.

This is my next project ... Lizzie Kate's A Little Stitch.  
I started stitching it last night & it will stitch up quickly.  

I am kind of between a rock & a hard place in that I have several boxes full of linen but I don't want to open them to see what I've got & to match it up with a design I want to stitch.  Therefore I keep stitching projects that either already have the fabric included with them or I order new fabric.  Argh!!!  I don't want to open boxes ... boxes of fabric or boxes of other things ... because when we moved from our beloved farmstead on the edge of heaven I made sure I packed things to withstand Armageddon. That is how I describe it.  I pack things inside boxes in such a way that if the movers drop them off the truck or down a flight of stairs nothing will be damaged.  It takes a lot of work to pack this way and I just want to avoid having to repack if possible.  I know what you're thinking ... fabric isn't going to be damaged if a box of it is dropped off a truck or down a fight of stairs.  I know.  Still, it is packed "perfectly" & I just don't want to have to go through packing it again.  Yes, I'm a nut case.

Speaking of moving, nothing to tell you on that front.  I did find three possible rental homes in Lexington but never received a call back when I inquired about them.  You would think a professional realtor with a home to rent would respond to someone with an interest in that home, even if just to say "I'm sorry, it's been rented."  So for now it looks like we might be in our current rental until we move to a cemetery.  I hope not.

Some of you would say it's a beautiful day here today ... a sunshiny 75 degrees.  A slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky.  Tomorrow the prediction is for 78 degrees!  Blah!!!  Monday looks a little better ... 44 degrees with a chance of rain/snow.  Come on Monday!!!

You may have guessed from the continued Christmas/winter theme that I still cannot access my laptop.  I did take it in to Staples & a very personable young man was actually able to fix it for me while I was there.  I brought it home & it worked for about 20 minutes & that was the end of it.  I will need to get a new laptop one of these days.  In the meantime it is going to be Christmasy & wintery when you come to visit me.  
Have a wonderful week everyone!!!