Because I have the Fall Retreat next weekend I started early, 2 weeks ago, getting approx 110 tags done so I could concentrate on other things that need finishing. Two days before the first of October, I remembered the Year of Celebration-October from Hands on Design needed to be stitched and finished, so I now can check that off my list. This series has been so much fun to stitch. Each one takes approx. 2 days so if you are stitching yours monthly, as I have been, each project is so easily completed from the first stitch to finishing. I'm so proud of myself to have continued this so nicely and even more thrilled that I will have completed all twelve in 2 more months. Yes, 12 stitched, finished and in the shop by December 1st.
"boo" really doesn't show off that well. I used the called for orange for the pumpkins and border and the called for fiber for the moon, and DMC white for the ghosts. I broke my tradition of backing the pieces with Weeks Wool and added scrapbook paper for the backing to give it more pop. Then I felt I needed something to ease the transition from the stitching to the paper so I added a black rick rack. Voila! October is now hanging on a black hornbook in the shop. Because it's been a month since I appeared to have stitched anything I also wanted to complete one of the 3 Halloween pieces I had pulled to have completed in October for Delaware Sampler Guild Weekend so I pulled out the smallest project and two days later it was finished and now in the shop. Brenda Gervais "Holiday Hoopla-Halloween." Since I had a frame ready to go, I decided to stitch this on 32 ct. Tropical Green to fit this frame. Brenda stitched the original on 36 ct. PTP Kermit. As usual, I traded out the black for DMC 310, but after that, I used her recommendations basically. When it came time to finish, I did make a change on how I attached the broom to the broomstick. Brenda made a tassel and attached it to the fabric. I sewed my broom onto the stick. The pedestal frame came originally to Sea Trader with rustic embroidery in it. But since we don't carry that sort of thing in the gift shop we called the company to have them take it back. Periodically when the merchandise is inexpensive the company just tells you to donate it, use it or throw it away so they don't have to pay to take it back. When Sara said they didn't want it back, I grabbed them and took them home because I knew I would use the frame. However, it's taken me several years to find just the right project, so I was as thrilled with the frame as I was the design. It's perfect and all I had to do was take out the design inside and paint the frame black. It came with the glass, but of course with the broom the glass was left off.
Last week when I was putting off one of my chores for Jamboree, I finished the tags for the Halloween part of Jamboree. I use to make all the tags the same, but a few years ago someone told me they wish we wouldn't make Jamboree so Halloween oriented since they weren't fond of it. Funny how we just assume if we like something everyone else does as well, isn't it? But I listened and for the past couple of years, I've been making Fall tags and Halloween tags so everyone has a choice which tags to use. Here are the tags for 2019 ready to go a week early...Yeah!!!
Next, I had to do the Chocolate Covered peanut butter cookies, done! So for me the jobs for this weekend are completed so here I sit at home during an event weekend (a first for me since I am usually in the shop), so I feel a little strange, but not strange enough to go see what's happening. Also, I may be ahead with tags, but I still have around 100 cookies for Jamboree to do along with a special kit which back in July I thought would be a great idea. In September I found out the great idea was no longer looking so great, but I told Sara I would do it in July, supplies were ordered so there is no backing out now. Because not everyone likes Halloween, we needed two different kits so each stitcher could choose. Oh, it sounded so wonderful in July. I ordered the metal boxes I love so much to use as a base and didn't worry when I received only 48 when I needed at least 70. But by September, and after questioning about my progress by Sara, I contacted the company to be told they were no longer available as they were discontinued, but they had a new metal box. Oh, no not the same at all. Which meant I would need to find 2 different size charts. My original thinking was I would use one of the designer's charts which we would include with the box, fabric, etc. Easy. The original box was easy, I thought since I've used published charts for 2 different samples already. But as the days in September ticked off without any sign of a new chart appearing, it became obvious I had only 1 solution. I was going to have to design again, which I have to say is probably my least favorite thing in the world (well stepping on a scale is my least favorite, but this is a close 2nd.) Fortunately, when Vernon transferred several files and programs over to the new computer he managed to transfer my charting program as well, but of course, it didn't recognize the new computer so it wouldn't save anything. I saw this as a bad omen for things to come and I wasn't far off. But after a phone call and a couple of false starts, I managed to get it saving and I was off. I can confirm I still hate designing. My theory on my designing is....there are so many fabulous designers, there is just no incentive for me to do it. I love other designers work and have an endless supply of charts, etc., of theirs. Damn, I do not like having to do this, but on I went. After a week I finally got the Halloween finished. I thought the hard part was over for Halloween until I started the stitch. The PTP is dense linen and while I had just completed 2 projects using the 32 ct. lovely green Pampus linen, they were beautiful to stitch over 2 threads. Over 1 thread I struggled, but think it could be because of my age, 71, and my eyesight. After completing the piece I took it to Sara and explained my problem and the thought of designing another piece for fall and then stitching it on the same linen was daunting, well let's just say Sara was not receptive to my changing linen at this point as she rolled her eyes, raised her voice and said, "I'd prefer you didn't change since I already ordered 6 yards of Pampus for you." I reminded her that I ordered 4 yards and the other 2 she ordered for the shop, but that didn't seem to help. I told her I'd use the Pampus and just resigned myself, although it's such a beautiful color and I do love stitching on it over 2, I just needed to focus on the job at hand and get it done. I finished putting the Halloween kits together with the finishing materials, and fibers. I then pulled out the new metal box to try to come up with an idea and realized I couldn't use the same finishing I used on the original box, because of the shape. What I chose to use meant I would have to finish all the new boxes myself as I decided to use Wasabi tape on them and you can't cut off pieces of Wasbi tape for each individual kit. Crap, one more job...why did I think this was a good idea? But I finally got those boxes done last week and with 10 days left I meant to start the design. Well, I did start the design was relatively pleased but didn't think it was enough and I've been in design hell ever since. But this time next week the kits will be presented to the stitchers so I'm in crunch time. Today I'm dedicating my time to finishing the design because I still have to stitch it, pull the threads for the kits and box everything, run the charts, add directions...oh crap I don't have any more time for blogging. Let you know how it goes in the next blog. Have a wonderful weekend.