Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I'm weeding through the finishing pile.....

Today Brian is having his surgery and we are all stepping up to the plate, some more than others.  I had 2 days off this week (whoohoo!!!!) so I felt of all people I should be here early....well not too early.  I arrived at 8:00a.m. to find Sara smiling and keeping things filled at the continental breakfast.  I would have helped her at that point, however, I got caught by the sweetest man staying at the hotel who wanted to introduce himself and tell me his life story, for the 2nd time, so I decided to go back to Sara's desk and escape reality until it was time for me to go to work in Salty Yarns.  We are fortunate in the hotel and the shops to have such loyal customers, and it  is part of our job to maintain those is not the day.  While I kept the smile on and spoke for several minutes to the gentlemen, my mind is up in Annapolis at the hospital worrying about Brian and Mary and I just can't do it today.  C.J. arrived early to take over the care of Izi and Solomon, Vernon was here by 9:30 to help Sara at the desk, so we are covering for Mary the best we can.  Michael is MIA but that could be a good thing.  He gets distracted by shiny objects at this point and gets moody so Sara is better if he isn't on site when things are rough and today is going to be rough.  Poor Sara has a double shift, hotel and shop as too many workers had to have today off....UGH!!!  I started to offer to work a double, but everyone feels that if I can get through 1 shift it's enough, especially after my breakdown of last Wednesday where I texted Sara and informed her I  was walking out whether anyone replaced me at 4 or not.  (That was a first for me in 45 years, but I had a really tough day).  While I was off for a couple of days  I did finish another of the Blackboard Ornaments from Hands on Design....on the black perforated paper.  Fun times!  All three ornaments finished are in the first chart pack, along with the precut holly leaves and the button berry.  Fast stitch, even though you do have to stitch the background. 

I showed the next piece the other day but had not finished because I forgot to leave a hole in the strawberry top for the scissor leash.  Last night I finally decided to just go for it and made a little hole which I stuffed the leash cording through and done.  Love this piece, "Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray."

I know this picture sucks, but I don't have the hanger on the back yet so I can't hang it to get a better picture, but you get the point.  ABC Needlework from Little Houseworks.  I showed it when I finished the stitching, but hadn't gotten the frame yet from Classic Colorworks.  Then of course, it sat around my house for 3 weeks after I got the frame, so last night I finally decided to just get it done. I don't know why it took so long.  I had it laced in about 15 minutes, which is the boring part....I've got a problem doing anything but stitching apparently.

 Now I just have to finish Clementine.  The real reason she isn't finished is I've been having an internal struggle over the most riduculous thing.  Stacy Nash put a button on the front of her dress and I decided to bead a necklace instead.  After beading a neklace and putting it on her I'm not sure I like it.  Here comes the stupid part....My argument is would Clementime wear a necklace or is the button more appropriate for her?  I mean really, the cat is wearing a dress and I'm worried about a button versus a necklace.  But that is just where I am at this point.  On my next day off (please God make it soon) I'm going to settle the argument and finish Clementine so I can start the next one.  That struggle is,  do I stitch the mouse or Harrison the rabbit.  I think Harrison is winning the fight.  Last night I started stitching the 2nd piece of Lesson #2, Lessons in ABCedarian from  from Brenda Gervais.  Again I'm doing the series as a set of pillows.  So I'm working on Legacy, 20 count which is actually between 16 and; 18 ct., so this is going to work up quickly.  Good thing since Lesson 3 is on the horizon.  God, I can't stitch fast enough. Got to run.  Still haven't finished Wichelt and Sara will kill me when she comes in and it isn't finished after 6 hours, since it should have been done and put away in the first hour.  (who has time for work when you are constantly checking Facebook)  Anyway, I'll catch up later.  Have a great night of stitching.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New finishes, at least the stitching is finished!

My "to be finished" pile is getting higher (ABC Needlework-Little House; Clementine by Stacy Nash, and now Lesson #2 from With Thy Needle & Thread), so I've decided to show one without having it finished.  First is "Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray" from The Scarlett House.  Back in 2015 this was a class somewhere and the tray they show it finished in was purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I figured 3 years later that tray would be unavailable so I automatically started looking for something else to use and there was the perfect tray sitting on my book shelves waiting for a design to be inserted, which I stole from the shop when Sara wasn't looking....OMG, what are the chances (obviously pretty good).  Anyway, the only small wobble was it is a tray with a witch cut out on the side of two sides (left and right on the picture).  Sara called the folks that made the tray and asked if they could just leave the witches off the sides and they said yes so we've got them coming...whoppee.  In the meantime I'm using the tray in stock.  The large berry in the first picture is attached to the needlework as a pin cushion and the 2nd berry is a scissor fob (show in the corner of the 2nd picture) but I just don't have the scissor leash on it yet (yes, I didn't read the directions and didn't attach it under the berry top so now I'm having an internal struggle on whether to take the top off and reattach it or make a leash using ribbon.)  I have to say when I read this was done on 40 ct. Strawflower linen I was questioning my ability to work on 40 ct. linen (I'm good with the gauze but linen is different.)  However, I had no trouble at all and I was working only at night so now I'm all about 40 count.  The pattern for the strawberries is in the pattern pack and they were easy to do (even though I forgot to do a leash for the scissors) and of course the tray we carry and I happen to have one at home (funny how I have so much at home just in case).   Fun project and easy to execute.  I've talked about setting goals before. I do set goals on some projects because it's easy to divide the work up and I had set a week for this one and managed to finish it 3 days early which was another win for me.

The piece you see below was actually stitched on 20 count linen which is the color of off white, I think it's Legacy Buttercream.  So I have no idea why this photographed like this, but anyway, it is going to be a pillow about 13" x 9".  It's the Lesson #2 of the Summer Schoolhouse Lessons in Abededarian and stitched with Weeks Dye Works pearl cottons.  I'm doing the other part of Lesson #2 now to have the set.  Actually I'm stitching the entire series in 20 ct.  Love stitching on it. Don't always love having to switch all the colors out, but one must do what one must do.  Since I didn't have the fabric home for the matching pillow I started another of the Blackboard ornaments from Hands on Design.  

I think I said I was going to start  on Halloween....don't know what happened to that thought....maybe after Lessons #2 I'll get to it.  And of course, I still have my needlepoint to finish before Jamboree.  God help me I just keep putting it aside.  But I have every intension of getting it done.  (I also realize the road to hell is paved with good intensions..uh, oh think I'll get to it before September, just to make sure I get it done in time).  Well I'm at work so I'll get back to it, plus I need to cut some fabric to start working on Lesson #2's other pillow.  Hope you are enjoying your stitching as much as I'm loving mine.  Have a great day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pre-stitch just showed up for Jamboree.....They will be coming to attendees soon...

I was thinking at this point that there wasn't any pre-stitch, so I apologize to the last stitcher to call the shop since she asked if there was and I said, I didn't think so,  since we had not seen any kits.  Oops, my bad.  The kits are from Sue Hillis Designs and contain all supplies needed to finish the stitching and button portion of the project.  Sara started sending them out last week.  Stitchers can use all or some of the buttons included and you can also use buttons that are family heirlooms, if you are lucky enough to have any.  There are at least 15 buttons in each kit, which is more than enough.  Buttons should be sewn on ahead of the class so stitchers can delve right into the easel-izing.  Finishing supplies will be provided in the class.  So get stitching on the pre-stitch when you get it and you will be taking home a finished project, and that is always a good thing.  We have also heard from Gloria (Milady's Needle) and she has decided  on a project for Jamboree and it's going to be a Halloween we're excited about that.  As soon as pictures are available I'll post them for you.  In the meantime I have had another finish...another of the Hands on Design "Chalkboard Ornaments."  Finished by stitching black felt on backs.  Easy peasy!

Two down-7 to go!

Since I finished the ornament I got to pick a new project and while I find it daunting to work on 40 ct. linen, I decided to jump right in and started Scarlet House's,  "Coverlet Scissor Tray"....and I was amazed how far I got last night.  Seems it's not as daunting as I thought.  So now I've sectioned it into 5 sections and according to last night I should have this done in less than a week.  Of course I should know better since nothing goes according to my schedule, once I state I have a schedule.   But I like to set little goals for myself, although if I don't reach the goal I don't beat myself up, I just revise the schedule.  I decided not to bring it to work since conditions must be right for me to work on 40 ct. (My stitchy chair, my Daylight with a magnifier, T.V., glass of ice water)   So today I brought Summer Schoolhouse, Lesson #2 to work on and I'm stitching it on the large 20 ct, (I call it 16-18).  I thought this series would look cute as pillows as well as pin here I go again.  Can't wait to start.  Hardest part is matching colors since I'm using Pearl Cotton, using Weeks and DMC.  In this case close counts.  I struggled with this decision as I loved them as the pin cushions they are suppose to be as well, but large count won out.  Brenda Gervais and Plum Street are my favorite designers for  designs which work on the large count linen but  I also love stitching their designs on 28 or 32 as well.  But not everyone's designs work on large count for me so I always look at their new designs as possibilities for the 20 ct. linens.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Keep your needles moving stitchers....too many designs and not enough time in the day!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The end is near....summer's end that is

I'm in working hell right now as Judy is off for a week and I'm in the shop everyday.  Mixed with this nightmare is Friday's epic work problem.  Brian has an appointment with a surgeon which is good news, however, the appointment is in Annapolis so Mary has to leave the hotel by 7 a.m.  Since Mary is the person at the front desk as well as the morning person in charge of the continental breakfast, that means that I now have to be at the hotel by 7 on Friday morning and have to take charge of the continental breakfast which is way more work than I want to do.  UGH!!!  But I'm always telling the girls we can do anything as a family, so as leader of this motley crew I have to step it up and do it, but in the future I might have to explain I'm not the one that wants to step it up, so when I say "we can do anything, I mean they can do anything."  Fortunately Mary has help coming at 8:30 so I'm only running for 1 1/2 hrs.  I feel sorry for tenants who get up early on Friday, they are in for a world of disappointment.  But at 10:00 I do go to work in the shop so that nightmare will be over, but then another one might begin with me in a shop where I know next to nothing anymore about yarns.  And of course 70 % of the people are asking me questions about just that.  I can talk circles around anyone when it involves counted cross stitch, but frankly when it comes to yarn I'm just not that interested.  But I'm going to have to get interested since it's embarrassing when someone asks me a question and I can't answer it without calling Sara.  She doesn't help because Pat knits a model,  Sara puts in on display and doesn't label it so I'm constantly complaining about that, since while I may be able to figure out which yarn was used, there's no way to figure out what pattern was used.  She finally started labeling some of them since I had a real bitchfest yesterday since the morning was filled with knitters.  When she realized rolling her eyes at me wasn't working she decided to label the models.  Mission accomplished!    With all the work I am not stitching as much as I usually do, but I did get Clementine done, (but not the finishing)  so I got to start something new.  I'm sure many of you have seen the facebook post of the ornament below done on perforated paper.  I saw it and instantly knew I wanted to stitch them.

 There is a series of these Christmas Ornaments by Hands on Design, "Chalkboard Ornaments", and since they are shown on black linen I just knew I would not do them because the darker the fabric the more I struggle to see it.  But when I saw a stitcher had done the entire collection on black perforated paper I was on board.  They really pop on black and  I love the fact that you can cut out around the leaves and the banner so you get some dimension to it.  And it's so easy to finish, just black felt sewn on the back.  Yes right up my alley.  Of course, unlike linen, you have to stitch every hole even though it's on black you have to stitch the black.  But small sacrifice to make for easier finishing.  The linen ornaments are stitched on 32 ct. and the paper is 14 count, so perforated is a tad bit larger, but I love them anyway.  I embellished with red Mill Hill beads instead of stitching holly berries and I switched out the Gentle Arts Geranium floss for Gentle Arts Buckeye Scarlet as I wanted a more Christmas Red.  My Geranium has more of a pink hue to it, but since it's overdyed that could have been just the batch here. I'm already more than 1/2 way through my 2nd ornament.  Fun, fun, fun! and I plan to keep going.  I had the cording in my stash from one of my purchases at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.  Love it when I find something in my stash which I purchased before I knew what I was going to do with it.  I justifies all my hobby purchases even when I haven't a clue.    Well that's all the news that's fit to print so I'll end here and get ready for whatever comes next.  Have a  great day!