Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saying Goodbye to a wonderful designer is always hard to do...............

As everyone knows by now, as of March 1st, Lizzie Kate will be sending out her final design and it is with great sadness that we say goodbye.  Her designs were fun, some were funky, they were stress free and a joy to stitch.  As a shop owner many of her designs were sampled by me and we were happy  to offer her full line for sale in our shop.  But everyone deserves to retire so we are sad but wish only the best to Linda and Allen as they start the next chapter in their story.  You will be greatly missed.  On a happy note, I spoke in the past about the Jim Shore chicks which I thought were too darn cute for spring/Easter. Well,I finally finished Aqua Chick.  I loved their faces and while there is quite a bit of beading I didn't mind that, and then there was the stuffing, which wasn't bad, but because I love to overfill everything I'm surprised Aqua Chick didn't bust out at the seams.  But he's done, hanging on our spring tree (or Easter tree right now).  I did change the ribbon as they included a black ribbon for hanging and I just felt white would go better.  It comes as a kit complete with everything, perforated paper for back and front, DMC floss, beads and ribbon.  You supply the fiber fill. 

Now it's on to a new project and I have several in my tote, plus I have to start packing for Nashville Market.  Oh, my,  I usually do this after midnight the night before we leave, but I'm determined to be more organized....we will see how that goes.  The sun's up today, although it's in the 30's there are a lot of people walking around the boardwalk.  This is usually a big weekend because the schools are closed on Monday for President's Day and the boat show is in town.  We are seeing more people in the shop as well, unlike last weekend which was so boring in here with very few people showing their faces.  I never feel like doing anything constructive when we aren't busy.  I didn't even stitch and finally went to the office to work on taxes and left Sara alone to work the shops.  Anyway, I need to get back to the have a great weekend, hopefully the snow isn't coming your way...we're scheduled for rain.  Although if it does rain and snow it's perfect weather for stitching.  You will find me in the shop until 4 p.m. and then I'll hardly leave my sofa once I get home.  Talk to you soon

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I'm really done stitching for Valentines Day!

While I didn't complete this piece last night as planned (apparently napping and eating took the place of stitching), I was able to complete it this morning before work.  So here is "Coeur en Rouge" which I changed to Coeur en Noir to go with the frame I had picked out.  The chart is part of "Here's My Heart" from Sue Hillis Designs.  Stitched on 32 ct. (light pink from my stash) over one in DMC black.  It's lacy and a beautiful heart and the possibilites for finishing are endless.  But I found 3 of the frames in our storeroom and knew I had to find something to go in them since the design that was originally to go in the frame is no longer available.

You still have time to stitch a little something for your favorite person, but you better get to it.  As for me....I'm  moving on to the spring designs and St. Patrick's Day.  Have a great day!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sun's Bright, It's in the 40's and we have a new model....

Since it's not the 14th yet, I'm still stitching for Valentine's Day and I have one project one day away from finishing and I do have one completed.  Sara asked me to do something that wasn't all hearts, hugs and kisses and she chose "V" is for Valentine, which is part of the Alphabet series from Heartstring Samplery. 

At first I was going to do it over one on 28 ct. because I had a round frame that if painted would be perfect.  But in searching through my private bins for 28 count I came across an afghan piece of fabric which is approximately 14 threads per inch and it fit perfectly in one of the blocks, so I used that and it made the cutest little pillow, which measures 8" x 7 3/4".  It was an easy stitch, even though it was over one because the threads are so fat...yes they are fat.   While this would have been an easy finish using the sewing machine....when I started to use it I got an error message and still haven't figured out what to do about it so I had to hand stitch the finish.  And that kept me from finishing my lace heart...oh, well tonights free so I should get it done.  For the past week I've been working with Michael on his homework after school; seems they brought back vocabulary and to be honest even I had to look up a couple of the words.  Needless to say, I use very few of the words he had to learn, but I'm a firm believer that vocabulary should be improved upon and taught through 12th grade, so I was pleased it's back in the curriculum.  And since the test was on Friday I told him he had to be at my house everynight after school, Monday thru Thursday.  I thought it was going rather well until last night when he had a breakdown and informed me he didn't remember anything.  But I had done my homework and I had worksheets, flash cards and computer tests for him to take.  By the time he left he had a smile on his face and felt better about the whole thing and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets through this  unscathed.  Poor kid, he just defeats himself before he even sees the test.  He is exactly like his mother except she always thought she got by with A's even if they weren't.  Crying was not her problem.  Michael panics, and needs affirmation to get through it.  At home I can say, Michael you know this...think about what we've talked about, etc., and he'll pull it out.  I'm not sure if they would let me sit beside him in school and use the same might distract the other students, damn it.  It's painful to watch. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fun Superbowl Weekend.....

Stitchers began arriving Thursday night and by Friday we were in full swing in the shops.  Stasi Buhrman was busy cutting fabrics for stitchers, I was in charge of getting the tickets done for incoming merchandise and Sara and Debbie kept busy locating different charts stitchers were trying to locate.  The sun was shining, however, the wind and cold were blistering.  As each person blew in the door it just seemed to get colder out.  And then Friday night Sara hosted her welcoming reception at her house while I went home and finished doing whatever I do at home (usually stitch and watch TV).    Debbie Shiowaza brought in 2 large boxes of models she had finished, class pieces from the many classes she takes and the models were exquisite.  Debbie is such an incredible stitcher and finisher...(a role model for me), and Jayne Donchez brought over her over 1 piece (she only stitches over 1) Thea Gouverneur's America....unbelievable.  The color changes were dazzling on this piece.  I also got to see many of the projects the stitchers were currently working on.  It is always inspiring to see what others are working on.  I love it and always come away with a new idea for finishing or a new piece I want to stitch.  I did finish a few things for the weekend, I once again (I can't believe I stitched another tote) stitched Lizzie Kate's latest Winter Smalls and used one of the wooden totes to make a winter sewing set.  Winter Smalls actually consists of 4 designs, obviously I only used three of them as the 4th design was a Valentine design which I didn't want to use on the winter tote.  I finished the tote using Deep Sea Wool to back the design and then trimmed it with Snow white Lady Dot mini pom pom trim  Easy stitch, and an easy finish.  Then I took the Snow design and finished it as a mattress pin cushion.  On the side panels of the pin cushion I stitched snowflakes copied from the top design.   

The third and final piece is the Snuggle design which I made into a needle and pin book.  I used the Deep Sea Wool as the lining, forgot to put the white ribbon ties between the wool and linen so the ends weren't seen,  so had to hid the ribbon ends.  On the left side the needle page hides the ribbon end and I used a Just Nan snowflake charm to hid the other end.   I'm  actually going to add a couple more pieces to this set but this was all I could do before Super Bowl.  Obviously I love stitching for these totes.  Debbie Liming changes all her stitching totes and fobs and everything else she carries to match the seasons.  It is really a good way to clean out your stitching totes and saves on wear and tear as you rotate them out.  That's almost too organized for me.  I do seem to manage to do that every fall, but once I go back to a winter tote I don't seem to change until the next halloween.  However, in my house I have seasonal things beside my stitching chair and I do swap them out for the different seasons.  So once I take this home, it will be beside my stitching chair to hold my scissors, needles, pins, threads, etc., all the stuff I need for the project at hand.   These are the only stitched pieces I will actually use.  Everything else is just for display in the display cupboard or in my stitching room.

Then Sara wanted me to stitch "Valentine  you are cute as a button." by Needle Bling.  So I stitched that on a random piece of linen I had at home.  Since it was just the lettering it worked up really quickly and then it was on to finishing.  At first I was going to make a small pillow, but I saw long pin cushions in dough bowls on the internet and thought I'd like one of those.  So  that's what I did.  Easy to finish and I filled it with lizard litter and Valentine pin cushion complete.  Of course then I had to made 3 valentine red pins to put in the pin cushion.   Stasi Buhrman arrives with the exact same design  for show and tell and she finished hers as a small cute, so I took a picture of hers as well to show different ways to finish the same design.  Stasi went the extra mile and stitched hers over 1 which makes it extra special and so cute.  Love the over ones.  It's fun to see the differences between my vision and Stasi's.  We both used colored buttons as opposed to the white ones shown on the model.  

  While I finished stitching the oversize Whittaker (Stacy Nash-Animal Cracker snowman) I didn't get it finished.  So we will have to wait to show that.    

But I did finish Brenda Gervais Snowbirds.  Brenda shows this as a cute little pin cushion done on 36 ct linen.  But I love to show hers on 36 as well as 18 ct. linen over 2 which makes it a 9 count so I can get a big pillow for my sofa or chairs.  Finish size is approx 13 1/2" 9.5" when stitched on 18 ct. linen over 2.  I stitch them using pearl cotton, both Weeks and DMC, and this time when I was mixed on  which trim to use I asked Sara to pick.  Sara said she liked the large pom pom trim, which worried me as I could see a problem for me and my sewing machine.  So I put it off as long as possible and then just sat down and sewed it and it really wasn't that hard.  Next time I'll do even better but for a first time job done and I'm pleased.  Not too much embellishment, I used faceted black beads for the coal buttons and eyes and I did turkey work on the scarf ends to represent fringe and on the vine I used beads to represent berries.  I always supply my stitching room with purchased pillow forms so I knew I'd find something to put inside.  And of course I had one that fit so I popped it in and zipped the pillow up and it is now in the shop.  And I've moved on to a couple of new projects.  I'm obsessed with the Jim Shore Chicks for Easter  which just came in and started one of those the minute the arrived in the shop and then Sara asked me to do another Valentines piece, "V is for Valentine", by Heartstring Samplery, so I'm starting that tonight.  Can't wait!