Monday, September 11, 2023

Things don't always go to plan, at least not for me.

I kept saying in previous posts I was going to finish my final summer pieces before fall, however, best laid plans and all that.  I did finish Mr. & Mrs. Margaretaville, but don't like the finishing so waiting for Sara to get the Rainbow Gallery fibers in so I can dress them up a little.  And the Italian designer's piece which I'm crazy about, I did get one of the pieces done, but I tried to do 3 dimensional hair and while it looked fine if the girl I put it on was about an inch bigger.  So I have to redo that and then I'll show you hopefully next time.  

Since Brenda Gervais has released "Coming to America," I decided to get it framed now so I will also be bringing that into the shop for display.  I forgot I had stitched the whole piece over 1 on 32 or 36 ct. and when I unrolled it I was shocked to see that again.  at 75 apparently I can't remember that long ago, and yet I can remember things my sister did when I was in my teens and before that I hated.  Go figure.  Anyway, the point is, if you haven't seen this piece it is spectacular, no matter who did it or what linen or Aida they used.  

I've also got the Hands on Design snowman which was stitched last year, but I never put the nose on him because I wanted something with dimension in place of the called for nose made with Weeks Wool.  I finally made the nose out of Sculpey clay, baked it, attached it and thought I was done.  But while finishing another piece I was going through my charm container (an old Fisher Pecan Halves empty 23 oz container~I'm an ardent recycler of plastic containers that can be reused) and saw several silver snowflake charms so I had to use one and now my snowman is holding one in his twig hands.  I wish I could remember what I stitched this on, but it's been well over a year and I simply can't.  But...I finished another piece this week which I will be showing below, and it looks like exactly the same color and size so I'm going to say 30 ct. Weeks Dye Works.  I also used the colors listed.  Now, I must be doing something right because my initial plan for the snowman was to finish it on a paddle or hornbook.  I buy things I have no plan for initially but figure something will come along that will work beautifully.  I had a couple of paddles which were almost perfect, but about 1 inch too short.  So I handed it to Vernon and asked him to make me one that would be about 1" longer and waited.  And then Vernon and Sara bought this lovely dream home in Berlin and of course they are obsessed with getting it ready to move in.  Since I work on a personal guideline, I just couldn't wait and didn't want to bug them while they were busy painting, buying furniture, etc.  So last week I strolled through the shop and saw a frame that I thought would work beautifully.  It was from Jill Rensel, who most of you know from Shepherd's Bush kits, and there was the frame she made for Shepherds Bush "Winter is Chilling."  It turned out to be the perfect size.  See what you think!


Once I finished with the snowman I was excited to begin Halloween and fall.  I wanted to pick something new, and something from a design I'd never stitched before.  So the winnter was, "Meow-o-ween" from Stitches by Ethel.  Really I think it was so different from what I usually stitch I couldn't wait to start.  I chose 30 ct. Confederate Grey as my linen and pulled the threads.  She used CC Black Coffee, but I usually switch any overdyed thread with little mottling to just DMC.  Why spend the extra money is my motto if you can't see the difference. (this could prove to be a potential bad move here).  Anyway, I also didn't like the bright yellow listed so I softened it by using DMC 3820 but that was again, just a personal choice.)  You know I'm always looking for opportunities to add a charm or a button, but in the end I just couldn't find anything that I thought matched the piece.  I thought the lollipops the cat is holding would have been a perfect place to do it, but didn't have anything that would have a Halloween tone.  So I decided it was perfect just as it was.  I did make one fatal error.  As I was typing this I looked at the picture and realized I forgot to give the cat whiskers.  Perhaps I should have stopped trying to add dimension and just stitch the dimension already there.  Well, whiskers are side is longer than the other, but wasn't that easy on a piece that is completely finished so I'm just going with it.  Still cute and he should be a little funky, he's Meow-o-ween.  Where I did get a little creative is by using a scrapbook paper as the background for the piece and added a black spider ribbon which I thought was brilliant when I bought it from Papermart several years ago, and have tried every year to use it on something.  Because I couldn't figure out a trim to use, I tried rick rack, chenille, etc., and then I pulled out the spider ribbon and layed it flat on the paper and sat the stitched piece on top of it and it did add a spooky element to it.  Not sure you can tell it's spiders or lace, let's just say it's cool I finally used a little of the ribbon.  

Without his whiskers

With his whiskers

Now, the final finishes went into a favorite new thing for me,  Frony Ritter Designs, Tiny Mittens Set #4.  I loved the Nautical set you saw in a post so I had to grab a Christmas set and this was the first one on the rack.  I love the tags they added to this set.  You can put names and use them as gift tags, or stitch one for your children or grands and if you do this every year they will be able to decorate their first tree with all the ornaments they've collected from you.  But they showed another use and it was a wine glass charms.  They chart the words you see on mine but doing you own names wouldn't be difficult.  Of course, as always I had to add my own touch with embellishments.  The beads are pretty standard but when I stitched the truck I went and found my micro buttons and thank God I found these little black buttons which were perfect for tires.  While I was disappointed I didn't have micro snowflake charms for the snowman, and God forbide I wait until I could get some, I used the smallest size I had and added to his hand.  Added a tiny jingle bed (this was shown on the chart along with a ribbon, and then I had already ordered the red/white butcher twine so I was ready to finish these mittens.  Again, as with the nautical I added scrapbook paper to the backs (red/white checked) and today while I'm at the shop for Knit and Bitch (Sara's Summer Stitch which doesn't seem appropriate for Autumn), I'm going to pick up another set of mittens.  As before I used the 14 ct. Plastic white canvas (which seems more like 18 ct.) and I used the recommended threads.  This set, as the set before takes 1 day for each mitten...keeping in mind I sit for hours a day to stitch.  Last night I started the snowman mitten (incidentally I added an amber/orange bead for a nose and I added stitches to the head to make it more round) anyway, I started the mitten around 5:30 p.m. and had it stitched and finished ready to hang by 10:30 pm.

  I'm aware that I'm lucky to be retired and can sleep in if I need to, so I'm speaking 1 day for me, but you can determine for yourself how much  stitching time you have and how long it would take you.  If you aren't already retired, you will be and think of all the stitching you will get done.  I still marvel over what is shown by certain stitchers, Stasi I'm talking about you here, and how much she gets done, she's retired but Rich and Stasi go out and visit places (although she does stitch in a car), visit their grandchildren often, etc., and yet she's posting much bigger projects also stitching on 40 ct., 46 ct, and I believe even ventured into 52 ct, or close to it.  Anyway, someday your stash will be stitched, just be patient, it will be here before you know it.  And you, like all retired people, won't believe all you get done.  

OK, I've got to get ready to go.  Have a great week as the weather lets up a little.  Hope you are able to put some stitching time in and I'll be talking to you soon.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

What was once lost has finally been found and just in time & New Class Alert!

 I lost my blog, been trying for 2 weeks, had no idea where it went and even signed up to start a new one, but at 3 a.m.this morning I tried once again to straighten the mess out and voila!  Never stop trying is what I've learned from that experience.  It's so nice to be back.

A lot going on at Salty Yarns as we are busy getting ready for retreat season here.  The canvas and threads have arrived for the canvaswork class, "Beachcombers Booty" with Anne Strite-Kurz, and for once I'm going to be taking the class.  Picked up the supplies from the shop and tried to start the outline of the sand dollar and of course I've became to afraid to start for fear I'd start in the wrong place so Sara said to leave it with her and she'd do the pre-stitch.  I jumped at the chance.  I had to laugh when I got a call from Sara a couple of days later to see if it would bother me if it was centered exactly.  I said no, but knew it would drive me crazy but figured once the class was over I'd just take it apart and start over.  But fortunately Kathy and Stacy were also in the shop starting their pre-stitch and Kathy put pressure on her to start again.  So folks I'm ready to go and the design outline is in the center as instructed.  Exciting!

Then in October we have Jamboree and Jackie DuPlessis.  Yes, orders are being placed and tags are being made.  Won't be long now....
We also have a new class that has been scheduled....this time a knitting class (information is at the bottom of the blog post.  

I'm still busy trying to meet my goal of 4 projects finished each month I got the boost of the 5 nautical mittens which counted as 5 projects but only took me one week to complete so that made this month easier as I had to stitch only 3 pieces and my goal would be reached.  This month I pulled out Little House Needleworks, Keeper of the Pins, which I spoke about last month.  Should have been easy, it was a WIP which I put away apparently 5 seconds after I started it and was shocked to find I had only stitched 1 small leaf.  Yikes, I wonder what shiny object caught my eye that made me leave this one in a bag for a few years.  But I'm determined to get all the WIP finished before I die since I at least have the shame associated with too many WIP sitting on the shelves.  Moving only revealed the exact number and it's embarrassing.  So my new goal when I moved was to start pulling one instantly, and I did, and then to continually pull a new WIP each time I finished the current one.  So far I've finished a few but it's like taking a thimble of water out of the ocean.  There are just way too still are the shelves many to celebrate yet.  But at least I'm working on it.  Keeper of the Pins took much longer than I had imagined it would so, I got frustrated every day I didn't finish it and then last week decided I just needed to sit and stitch until it was finished.  The final insult for me was the last row of strawberries on the vine I zoned out and did twice the number of strawberries by mistake.  I was over half way through the vine when I actually looked at the picture on the chartpak and realized mine looked different and then realized what I had done.  I was over 1/2 done with the vine so I just decided I didn't feel like ripping out stitches so just finished it that way.  And so now it's finished.  Yea!!!  

Final news for this post is Salty Yarns is going to have a knitting class starting September 27th.

After Thought Heel Sock Class by Brenda from A Little Bit Sheepish 

Cost of 4 classes will be $80 plus the cost of materials (which are not included)  $40.00 deposit is required to hold your spot.In four sessions, September 27, October 18, October 25, November 1, you will learn how to knit in the round and use double points, working your way to a pair of socks.  

Sessions will be held at Salty Yarns, 10452 Old Ocean City Blvd (right next to Tractor Supply in Berlin) from 1 PM - 2:30 PM on the dates shown.

To register please call the shop (410) 289-4667 or e-mail SALTYYARNS@AOL.COM. 

Have a great Labor Day and I'll be back to show you a couple of finishes that I'm working on now.  

Keep your needles moving stitchers.  No time to waste!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Don't forget Summer Knit on Monday, August 7th...

 In searching for new summer related projects to stitch I came across a gem somewhat hidden on the rack and it became my next stitch.  The chart is called "Nautical Mittens" and it's from Frony Ritter Designs and the chart retails for $5.00.  

These are the 6th sets of mittens Frony Ritter has published but the first ones I've seen for some reason.   I started stitching the sandcastle first. Several of the other mittens are Christmas related, but I've got Sara ordering some of those.  Stitched on 14 ct. Plastic Perforated Paper (the shop is on a never ending list of back orders which includes white PP)...anyway, the plastic works as well, in fact a little better since it does bend or tear.  Don't forget you can also use Aida or linen.  Anyway, since I stitch many hours a day I can finish stitching 1 mitten/day.  Winner, Winner!  But seriously these are really well designed and cute as a button because of the finished size of them.  They are approximately 1-1/2" wide and 2" high (not counting the white 1/8" ribbon which I cut a 5" piece and glued it to the back of the ornament and covered with navy scrapbook paper.  Because of their small size I decided to stitch them all. Seriously cute for your summer tree.  Can't wait to get some Christmas mittens.  

So now that I've finished this project I have to find another summer project.   I know just what I'm going to stitch.  New designer for the shop, Serenita di campagna and the piece is called  "Giochi
d'Estate"  Beautifully done summer scenes.  Below is a picture of it

It's so hard to believe July is almost over.  When I lived in O.C. the summer felt like it was a year long, and today I realized we have only one more month before it's over.  Of course with the heat, well let's just say I don't do well in heat and humidity, so I'm really looking forward to fall.     I hate to even go outside now.  I also love the fall designs so come on fall!  

On the home front Solomon, one of my grandsons, is working with me this summer in hopes I'll get the house completely furnished, pictures hung, boxes, emptied and yesterday we measured the room that will become my stitching room, so I've ordered a desk.  Once that gets in place I'm assuming the rest will fall in line, I'll get all the boxes out of the 2nd guest room and get it finished.  The desk is due to arrive on Thursday, so hopefully Solomon will be able to accomplish that next week since this week he's only working Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday he goes to get his learners permit, so that's exciting for him.  Anyway, we spent a couple of hours hanging pictures today.  Up until today the walls were bare.  It's so exciting to have something on some of the walls, and one brought back so many memories of events gone by.  In 2012-2013,  73 stitchers worked on a Blue Ribbon piece for Sara, Mary and me and I am the one who took it with me to hang.  I remember the day or night I should say, they presented it to us at Jamboree and how shocked I was to receive such a fantastic and gorgeous gift.  The remarkable part is not only that they gifted it, but how many people worked on it.  73 stitchers stitched part of this sampler, Quilted Garden, and not while they were all together at an event, but it had to be mailed around to everyone.  One wonders how they accomplished this and get it framed beautifully and presented to me in time for Jamboree.  But ladies it's hanging in my kitchen/dining room so I can look at it while I'm relaxing over a meal and marvel at the fact that 73 stitchers pulled this off without  the three of us finding out.  I've also hung the 70th birthday gift which was matted with the signatures of everyone that attended the event that year.  I have such wonderful memories of my times with the stitchers.  So again, thank you for making my day all over again.  I loved them then and I love them even more now.  

The desk arrived a day early so Solomon decided he would haul all the parts upstairs himself and start the construction.  Haven't heard a word from him since, except he did come down for a soda and had a smile on his face and said it's cool he can do it.  Fingers crossed although I know he can't finish it today but at least he knows what he's going to be doing next week.  This week we took over 2 cartons as donations to the Methodist church, made 2 trips to recycling as well as cleaned out the utility room so I can actually use the fabulous work bench that Bud had in there.  We got several bins out of the garage along with the boxes of samplers to be hung.  Although I know there are more because I haven't found my grandmother's yet.  So it's a slow roll, since I've lived here since last October, and the movers brought the rest of my stuff in April, but I'm O.K. with that.  I'm enjoying every moment but now with my stitched pictures, etc. being put up it looks so much more like a home.  And best of all, Solomon is a joy to have here and we are getting so much time together now.  His parents trained him well so he's polite and respectful....yes a joy!

I've got to get back to stitching so I'll end here.  Have a great week and hope to see you at Summer Knit on Monday, August 7th.  I missed Stitch 'n Bitch on Thursday as 2 men arrived at my door as I was getting my stuff together to leave and when I asked if I could help them they informed me they were here to put the new unit in my summer room so I now have better a/c (the portable unit didn't cool enough) and it also gives me heat in the winter.  Yea!!!  I've been sitting out there during the 94 degree days perfectly comfortable.  Win, Win!

Talk to you soon.

Friday, July 14, 2023

I am ashamed to say, "I am the epitome of lazy"

I have a room upstairs that I intend to make my stitching room, however, before that happens I've been stashing everything around the downstairs.  The bedroom walk-in closet on the first level has become my go to when I need to stash anything stitching related.  So that is where all the DMC is and that closet is less than 20 steps away from the room I stitch in.  For me it might as well be 100 feet because I never seen to be willing to go there to get thread I need.  Now I keep my overdyed threads in the room I stitch in, stashed on a shelf under the T.V.  That makes those threads about 5 steps away from my stitching chair.  When I started "Nautical Tier" from Erin Elizabeth Designs, I looked through my pile of DMC sitting on the table from a just finished project and not put away, and when I didn't find the called for threads I pulled out the Weeks Dye Works bin and substituted for the DMC.  How lazy is that.  And the time it takes to figure out substitutes, well, if there's one thing I've got now it's plenty of time so obviously it would be less timely if I just got up and got the DMC. Anyway, here is my version of the Nautical Tier and the 2nd picture is the original.  Under the pictures you will find the substitutions I made.  I left off the starfish and sanddollars around the base as I liked focusing on the 3 tier tray.  

 Nautical Tier  - Changes I made

Erin Elizabeth Designs 

Stitched on 30 ct. WDW Blue Jean linen 

Threads used: Weeks Dye Works & DMC 

1st Tier Nat 

Starfish –WDW Cornsilk 

Piling – WDW Grape Vine & DMC White 

Lighthouse – WDW Louisiana Hot Sauce, 

DMC White, Black, 745 

Ships Wheel – WDW Chestnut – DMC 3862 

2nd Tier 

Sailboat – Sails – DMC White & #932 

Pail & Shovel – WDW Navy & Louisiana Hot Sauce 

Anchor – WDW Pelican Gray & WDW Cornsilk 

Life Perserver – DMC White & Louisiana Hot Sauce 

3rd Tier 

House – WDW Navy, & DMC 932 & DMC 310  

 Roof DMC 3862 & WDW Chestnut 

Crab – WDW Louisiana Hot Sauce & WDW Driftwood 

Sandcastle – WDW Driftwood & DMC 3862 

Shovel – WDW Louisiana Hot Sauce 

Seagull – DMC White, Black and WDW Pelican Grey,  

DMC 745 

3 Tier tray – DMC white 

On to the next summer project...although I found another WIP that I might just finish and get it out of the closet. Have a great weekend and I'll be talking to you soon.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Now on to summer stitches...

 The 4th is now behind me, and I reached my goal for patriotic stitching when I finished the final ...  Threadworks Primitive, "Uncle Sam."  Loved stitching this one as it is small but full of motifs along with the main character.  So here he is...stitched on 32 ct. Helix linen from Picture This Plus using the recommended threads.  

Wherever I go, Michaels, etc., I look for display pieces that I think I can use in the future, therefore when Uncle Sam was completed I went to my display store facility (right now my walk in closet since I still haven't finished the stitching room, hell I haven't even started it yet.) and came across a small sized hornbook.  It was just plain so I had to paint it or something.  I had just received some July 4th scrapbook paper and couldn't resist using it as well.  That's the background you see here.  It's so much easier and less messy than painting.  And I finished stitching it July 4th so I just had to put the 4th of July paper button on it as well.  
Once July 4th was behind me it was time to start my summer stitching. Do you have a schedule for stitching certain things?  I do and it helps me keep current for model in the shop.  So June is Patriotic pieces, July is for summer stitching, August is Autumn stitching, September is a continuation of Autumn or school, October is for Thanksgiving, November is Christmas, January is Valentines, February is St. Patricks or Irish, March is spring and Easter, April is spring and Patriotic, May is patriotic as well or floral pieces. 
 I usually start choosing my next project while I'm still stitching the previous project but nearly at the end.  This time I pulled out a WIP from a couple of years ago that I had only done a little on but had stuffed it back in a tote which I continually open to see what's in it so I decided to get it out and finish it.   It's from an Erica Michaels chart pack called Summertime Berries, and there are actually 3 berry charts inside.  But I loved this one because it is done in Monochrome and every so often I just want to stitch with one color of overdyed thread.  So I used the called for color from Classic Colorworks, "Deep Blue Sea," and proceeded to finish the stitch.  I got to the big M and noticed there was over one stitching involved.  My problem and I'm sure the reason I never completed the darn thing was I had started it stitching over one.  So I stopped stitching
and started over stitching over 2, so I could have the over 1 stitching as well.  While I love my over 1 berries, this was so much easier to stitch, but looks enormous to me.  

Good ole Summertime is what it says.    I topped it with Weeks Dye Works Blue Jean Wool and Snowball Wool.  Love my berries, so I'm sure you will see more coming from me.  

More good news out of Salty Yarns...
 Sara has Ann Strite-Kurz coming in September to teach, "Beachcombers Booty".  All the info is on the Website under events.  But here is a picture just to give you a glimpse on what I'll be stitching in September where I'll be learning the open blackwork pattern.  

I hope to see you there.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone.  It came down to the wire but I was able to get the American Momma strawberry finished and I love it.    

While the two smaller berries were stitched on 32 ct. linen, the Momma berry was stitched on 18 ct. Lambswool linen over 2 threads.  All three berries are from Prairie Schooler's American Strawberries.  The large berry was stitched using DMC Perle Cotton and the smaller ones were stitched using DMC floss.  I have one more patriotic piece to finish by tomorrow (hopefully) and then I'll be moving on to summer stitching.  While I patriotic stitching, I'm ready to move on.  And after that one of my favorite 
themes, Autumn stitching.  

As we all celebrate another 4th, I hope you have a safe and fun filled day filled with family and friends and good food.  Perhaps you will even find time to stitch...I know I will.  

Also don't forget to stop in Salty Yarns on the 1st Monday and the 3rd Monday from 1:00 -3:00 for knitting or crocheting (or bring your stitching it really doesn't matter) and the 2nd and 4th Thursday for Stitch 'n Bitch (or bring your knitting we don't care).  Just time for like minded stitchers to get together and see what everyone is working on.  Plus bring your show and tell.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Sometimes my stupidity is astounding, even to me....

I've been working on 4th of July pieces and saw the Prairie Schooler American Strawberries and thought of all of us that have year round trees and thought these would be perfect.  So I picked the one which looked like it was all American flags.  It stitched up quickly, done in 2 days, so I tackled the bargello inspired strawberry since I love bargello.  It took a little longer, 3 days as it's not really bargello but looks like it.  This morning I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and headed to the summer room to start finishing.  This is where my stupidity took over.  I sewed a seam and thought it looked wrong, but did that stop me, nooo, I cut the excess fabric, and gathered what I assumed was top,  and could tell it was wrong since it looked more like a Christmas stocking.  And yet, that didn't stop me, I was committed.  (I should have been committed at this the nearest hospital.)  Then I began to cuss Prairie Schooler and wondered why no one else had bitched about this.  I loaded the lizard litter, and then thought perhaps I should have something to eat and have time to reconsider how screwed up this strawberry had gotten.  So after a break, a couple of waffles and a drink of tea I headed back to look at the red hot mess.  I finally decided to make a paper pattern and see if I could figure this out.  I headed over to the sewing machine, sat there, sewed a different line, what I thought was the top before and voila....the first time I sewed around the top instead of realizing that the curved part was for gathering.   Once I sewed a paper pattern of the strawberry and just sewed the straight line I saw what should have been obvious to anyone.   So I did my bargello strawberry which took all of 15 min. start to finish and now I'm going to try to figure out what the heck I can do with the one I screwed up...but I'm thinking I'm going to have to restitch it.  - 30 minutes later -  Well, as luck would have it I took out the machine stitching on my first strawberry and while I didn't have a lot of room to put a gathering stitch, I managed to do it and now I have both strawberries completed.  What was so simple I managed to make so hard, lesson learned.  A paper pattern next time when something alludes me.  And project alert.  I have two I'm dying to do for the 4th, Threadworks Primitive, "      "  and the new Plum Street Sampler's, "       " .  Now that I'm on the American Strawberries projects,  I also want to do a large strawberry from the booklet on 20 ct. linen over 2 so it would be the momma of all strawberries.  

Went to the shop for supplies, and to drop off models, and was able to get a picture of the "Home of the Free" from Primrose Cottage Stitches.  I changed out the linen for 20 ct. Weeks Dye Works linen so that I could make a pillow that would sit on a chair.  But Vernon was here right when I finished it and said, "I got more of your favorite star frame moulding in case you want to frame it."  So, of course I took the easier route and framed it.  Any time I can stay away from machine sewing, I'm on board.  

In place of the floss, I switched to #5 Perle Cottons from DMC & Weeks Dye Works. I like the way it turned out framed.  Good job Vernon!0
There are so many wonderful patriotic charts it's really hard to decide what to do next, but I have started the Momma Strawberry and I have one more day of stitching to do on it and then I'll post it.  I hope you have had time to stitch this week.  We've had a deluge of rain and now it's a steamy 80-83, so the only place I want to be is inside stitching.  Have a great week and I'll be talking to you again soon.