Saturday, July 21, 2018

Almost like being retired.....

Yes last week I only worked one day in the shop and one day in the office....and the rest of the time my behind was firmly settled into my sofa along with linen, needles and plenty of charts.    Had two finishes last week, the third part of The Laundry Company, "Irony" and now that series is complete.  I framed them all alike because I liked the washboards, but also love the way the original model was finished so I debated a lot about that finishing, but once I ordered the washboards it was go time.  I felt it should have been a two day stitch, however, it was more like a five day stitch since I kept working on other things at the same time.

Then it was time to move on to the finishing of Hands on Designs newest short stack, "Where Liberty Dwells."  Another easy stitch which I had finished on the 4th of July, but didn't put it in it's final form.  




I stitched in the colors shown on chart, but I did use Lakeside Linen, 32 ct. Magnolia since I had a piece of that at home, and I didn't want to wait to get into the shop, I'm all about instant gratification.    An easy stitch and love the short stacks.  Can't wait for the next one...could it be Halloween?  I sure hope so!  And finally my last finish done this week, in fact the stitching was finished 2 days ago but I didn't get around to the finishing until 5:30 a.m. today.  I'm so motivated in the morning, early because by 10 a.m. I'm working on a nap...Ah, retirement I can barely stay awake.  Anyway, part 4 of the Noah's Christmas series arrived in the shop last week and in my goal of actually finishing the entire series I'm trying to take the chart home and get them done right way....so far so good.  So here are Panda's and Parrots, Part 4 of "Noah's Christmas Ark."  These are a two day stitch at most I think so it's a good fast project for those times you just need to finish something.  And if you start now, you will have a complete set by Christmas! (I'm sure she said there would be 12, so that would suggest there are two more chart packs to come, but she also said the final chart would be delivered in February 2019, so you might not have the complete set by Christmas.)  And now I get to pick out new projects. 

  

 At first I was thinking beach, because our display for August is anything ocean, beachy, vacation.  But...then I made the mistake of checking out some of my Halloween projects and that led to Christmas and I'm once again in hot water with the amount of projects I've pulled, and I'm not even talking about anything prior to 2017.  And since Sara showed the new needlepoint canvases she got in I'm starting to think Needlepoint might be a nice change.  But I decided to stick with August's theme, Beachy, first since that's what I have at home and picked out Blackberry Lane's "Relaxing at the Beach" camper.  


The picture here is the model, not my stitching.  I started it a couple of nights ago, worked on the bottom of the trailer and it was going quickly and thought I'd be done in no time, but as with all Marie's pieces, there is a lot of detail and shading that has really slowed me down, but I'm loving the stitch and think this camper is so cute, I don't mind the constant  switch from color to color, because the end result is fabulous.  At first I looked at this as an 18 ct. linen piece over two, which would have made it nice for a pillow,  but in the end decided to stitch it as shown on the chart, 28 or 32 ct. and am pleased so far.  Have a great weekend and keep that needle going. 


Thursday, July 5, 2018

A few finishes done before 4th of July....Happy Dance!


So bere you see Part 1 (whch I finished last month) joined by Part 2 of The Laundry Company.....one more to go and this series is finished...so cute for the laundry room.  Of course this finish took about 10 minutes and I spent the rest of the day on Liberty Tree which was a complete fail.  I took it apart twice and refused a third time so I'm rethinking the finish altogether and will start agan on Monday.  I've had to work for the past 2 days in this heat and although the shops are air conditioned just walking here is making me ill.  I was definitely not built for this heat.  UGH!  Yesterday after wlking home all I could do was sleep, in between waking up to change channels and going right back to sleep.  About 12:30 I tried to stay up long enough to stitch, but after 6 sttches turned out the light, turned off the t.v. and went right back to sleep.   Today, Sunday, July 1st, I had a special visitor come to say hello, Jace, the newest member of the Salty Yarns family. Just 12 days old and such a good baby.  He never cried once while he was here and let me hold him 99% of the time.  Of course it was great seeing his mother, Candi and his grandmother Linda, but let's face it Jace was the main attraction.  After that the rest of the day was so uneventful.  Business is slow as it's too darn hot to move outside.  I could get a lot of stitching done inside if I would just take it out of the tote, but I'm not feeling quite right...heat I think even though I'm in a/c, so there it sits.  I don't even feel like shopping.  UGH!!! I need cooler temps to live.  I did start the latest short stack from Hands on Design... Where Liberty Dwells...I love these short drums.  While I had seen this in Nashville I didn't remember the colors apparently because it's not red, white and blue which is always how I see Patriotic pieces.  But there is a red, Holly Berry, white-flowers and fence, but the Navy blue is missing.  I started to do the lettering in Navy, and change the flowers to black eyed Susans, but in the end I'm leaving it like it is because Sara tires of me always changing things and it's a great design and the colors are fine, I just wanted it a little more like my idea of Patriotic.  I really should have had it done by now but alas, I am stalled.  It is not July 5th and I have been busy at home.  I instantly felt  better on Monday since I had been out of the heat for several hours (was it out of the heat or out of work...a combo perhaps making me feel better)  so I stitched all day Monday because I thought I was off until Wednesday.  Tuesday I decided I had to get the finishing done on Brenda Gervais, Basket of Summertime which I finished stitching a couple of weeks ago.   I always have things I want to do to finish it and sometimes it just doesn't work out.  But I was happy with it and it's a cute pillow, large enough for a chair since I worked it over two on 20 ct. linen.  As always on large count I used WDW perle cotton, (Teal Frost, Whitewash, Pelican Grey, Oscar, Lancaster Red, Deep Sea, Pecan, Navy))and DMC Black.    Finished size is approx. 10" x 8 1/5".  

Once that was finished I thought I might as well tackle the finishing on Lady Liberty from Little House Needleworks. This was also rather an easy finish, just a stand up, only I needed her to be holding the flag.  Since the linen was large count it was easy to insert the flag pole in her hand, but then it dropped at the top so I looped the thread over the pole into her bodice and that solved that problem.    She stands 12" by 5 1/2" wide.  I thought about stitching a flag to go on the pole (the pattern has the flag stitched) but decided that it was easier to just insert a flag I already had.  She is stitched on the 20 ct. linen using Weeks Dye Works (Garnet, Navy Whitewash, Molasses and DMC Black, 950, and 758.  I made her necklace and bracelet using petite red, white and blue Mill Hill beads, but perhaps I should have used the regular beads for a little larger necklace and bracelet.  
But since I was already using the petite beads for the Liberty Tree, and they were sitting on the table beside me...well, you know I'm not going to get up off my butt to change beads.  


Once those two were done I had no choice but to go back to Liberty Tree by Blackberry  Lane Designs.  I really love Blackberry Lane.  Marie's designs are chock full of elements, which I love, love, love and some of it is over one, also a love of mine.  But I have to tell you this piece did challenge me a bit.  While the tree is over two, all of the ornaments are over one.  Most of them were easy enough to do on 32 ct. Dapple linen, but the faces and the doll on the top branch as well as the eagle were challenging because of the constant color changes.  While she included two charts, one with the garland charted and another with no garland so you could garland with beads, I chose to make the red, white and blue garland with petite Mill Hill beads.  You could also use a Mill Hill Long Bead for the firecrackers on the tree, but I chose to stitch those and I used gold thread to make the lines coming from the lit firecracker.  I thought my challenges were over once I had completed the stitching, however my problems were just starting.  I had an oil can just like Marie had, or so I thought,  After sewing the tree together I inserted the straw and proceeded to insert the oil can, which as it turns out had a spout which wasn't up for the task.  It was way too short.  I fooled around with options using the can until I was ready to throw everything in the trash, instead I put it away and started a new stitch.  On Tuesday night when I told Sara I would see her Wednesday, she asked what I was coming to the hotel for.  I said to work, she rolled her eyes (yes even on the phone I can tell she's rolling them) and said, Mom you aren't on the schedule until Thursday.  OMG, extra day at home, well Liberty Tree and I were going to do combat and I refused to lose the war.  I looked around my stitching room, saw a wooden spool and decided I'd make it into a drum and put the tree in it.  Sounded perfect and easy.  It was not!   So I painted the spool and when it was dry put the tree in to see how that was going to work and the spool fell over because the tree is so heavy.  (I stuffed it with lizard litter and polyfil.)  So then I'm looking around to see what could I glue the spool on so it wouldn't topple and I came up empty so I sat down and started stitching again.  It also looked too plain to me because unlike Marie, I didn't make the beaded garland for the edges of the tree.  But this morning I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and thought, I go to work today and that darn Liberty Tree is going with me.  So I make navy cording which I attached to the tree, then made the red/white/blue beaded garland which I sewed around the cording, put a bottom on the spool so I could fill the center hole with lizard litter around the tree trunk and then glued it in by covering around the trunk with cording.  When all of that was done and I sat the tree down while I looked for something to glue the whole thing to so it would stand alone, it was standing alone without anything else.  Thank God, Liberty Tree was finished!

While I tried adding gold and then white to make it look like a drum...that was a final fail and I just decided I might add a gold star to the spool, but at this point it's done.  While I did stitch while trying to figure out what to do about the Liberty Tree, I am thrilled to say I also finished stitching the latest Hands on Design short stack, "Where Liberty Dwells" and as firecrackers were exploding in the sky around 9:30 p.m. in Ocean City, I was stitching the firecrackers exploding on this piece.  However, while the stitching is finished, I haven't assembled it yet.  Hopefully next day off I will accomplish that.  And that will end my tribute to 4th of July.  Now I move on to other things.  Since I've already got the 3rd part of The Laundry Company, Irony,  I thought I would just work on that, but then Sara told me the minute I got here, that Plum Street  came in...and Part 4 of the Noah's Christmas Ark is here along with  Hen Peck and Cow Pile which are two more of the stacking animal series.  Oh my, I've got my work cut out for me now.  These new charts plus all the charts sitting on my sofa this morning and many started projects to finish.  Well, looks like I have no more time to blog, so I'll have to check in with you later.  Have a great weekend and try to get some stitching in.  I know I'll be stitching up a storm.