Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Gadget the gadgets and Carol Wentzel knew it and found me my latest favorite tool.  Thanks Carol...Love them!!!  These are clothes pins that work like vise grips, just not as hard.  You  can see I've got a white one attached to my Q-Snap on the right.   I love a 6" Q-Snap and seldom work with anything else.  I don't care if I'm using a yard of  fabric, for some reason the 6" just fits so nicely in my hands and isn't flopping around like bigger sizes do for me.  Usually I fighting fabric hanging down, and while I've become accustomed to it, I don't like it.  So these gadgets are perfect.  Thanks Carol...I appreciate your thinking of me and sending me a new tool.  As for my stitching....I'm pleased to say things are progressing.  I pulled out the mismatched fibers on my Shepherds Bush "Fold" and now it's moving forward.  I've almost completed the Quaker Needleroll by C. Theron and will have the majority of the stitching done on that by end of today.  I've also almost completed the front wall on the Welsh Cottage....thank God, since Linda was getting ahead of me and that drives me crazy.  So I'm in a good spot right now with my stitching and can see the end of the tunnel on several  of my projects...always a good thing since I seem to be bringing home more and more projects to do.  We got in more of the murex shell with the needlepoint inserts and they are going like hot cakes.  Sara put them on the facebook page and we got around 6 orders within the first few hours.  We did get more designs so now we have the shell, seahorse, dolphin, mermaid, crab,  oh, no I can't remember what the other one was.  Anyway, these are fabulous and so easy to do.  Very little stitching involved and everyone who has put one together seemed to have no problem.  Judy has hers already displayed in the shop, Pat finished hers in record time so this is a winner!  Beautiful and fast!  "Just Bee" from Hands on Design has literally flown out of the shop.  We started with  6 charts which also contains the fabric for finishing, Sara put it on facebook and we were out of them by the end of the day.  So we ordered 12 more and now they are out and we're working on 12 more.  So that's added a bit of excitement as we take bets on how many we can sell in a day.  Sara is on a first name basis with everyone at the post office since we send everything thru them.  And yarn arrives every day.  Sara is on a yarn jag and can't seem to get enough of it.  It really is wonderful to have her so involved in yarn since my "forte" is counted work.  Renee's is needlepoint so she is thrilled with each canvas we get in.  She is also the master of pulling fibers for them and coming up with suggestions.  Judy does some of each, much like myself so I'm not sure yet which one is her favorite.  So we all have our areas of expertise here.  Anyway, just wanted to touch base and let you know I'm still stitching as fast as I can.  Keep your needles moving stitchers whether you are knitting, crocheting, needlepointing or cross stitching.  It makes the day go by in a much nicer way. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's a good day in the neighborhood...............

   It's a good day you can see I have finally finished the last Ladies Prim Society offering, Salute to Abigail Adams.  I had a false sense of finish and then realized I had used the wrong color on 3 of the flowers in the border and I considered just saying the heck with it, I mean after all who would know?  But in the end I knew it would silently drive me crazy (I have a little bit of ADD I think) so I tore it out and redid and now I'm done.  But since I received another kit yesterday and already had one waiting I am still behind.  But it's a place I'm very familiar with and I'm getting use to living in that state.  I don't like  it, but I've adapted.  And so today I move on....can't decide whether to reward myself by starting a new piece, or pulling something started out of the old bag and working on it or perhaps do both.  I have,  in the past, worked on multiple projects in one day, especially if one of the pieces was either giving me problems, or I wasn't have fun with the stitch (after all isn't that the whole deal...enjoy the stitch?)  So I might do that and then as I get close to finishing something I automatically just stitch that to get it completed.  I have so many, it's hard to choose..  I'll let you know what happens.  O.K., a couple of days have gone by since I started this post so I've made some decisions.  I was off on Saturday (actually I'm off more than I'm on) I put in "White Queen"...why do I love these period pieces so's like housewife on steroids...honestly each episode has a new family, queen, in charge and there is always fighting going on, sometimes with weapons.  Anyway, I pulled out my Quaker needleroll first and stitched on that...loving it, and have plenty of thread since I pulled one of each color out of the shop so I'm set to get this one finished.  I have actually finished half of one side...and I'm working the border and Nun Stitch for finishing along with the design so when I get done this side I've finished everything.  I hate finishing the design and then going back over something to do borders etc...learned that lesson early on and since I didn't do that with the Abigail Adams piece I was really reminded about this.  Anyway, after working on the Quaker piece for a few hours I decided to move on to another one stuck in the ba,g waiting attention, Shepherds Bush Fold...and here I started to pull our the grass to.   replace the color since I ran out (my own fault), and am replacing it with same color different dye lot out of the shop.  I  kept at it and have restitched quite a bit of that piece and then to reward myself for working on two "problem" pieces I started a new piece from the Colonial Gathering Club.  Since I am splitting the two clubs pieces between Sara and myself (big of me since Sara bought both club memberships for for herself and one for me and the minute they arrive I grab them all and bring them home.  Originally I did it so they didn't sit in a pile and accumulate...we both have too much of that going on...but now it's just a matter of greed on my part.  I just want it all and honestly Sara is too busy with the shops to do anything.  I can attest that running the 3 shops is so time consuming you generally don't have much time for anything else.  After saying that...well I'm actually doing Sara a service...yes, that's how I'm going to see it now...I wonder if I should charge her for doing the stitching?  Uh, oh, this is taking a bad turn...I will remember this as the wonderful gift it was and do it out of love...especially since she never asked me to do any of it.  (whew...I think I'm back on track here).  Anyway, I loved the first few of the club pieces because they were smalls, but now they are getting larger.  I guess you can only do so many smalls...really it's about all I do anymore, but anyway, I decided to do this one over 1 and then Sara can use it as a pin cushion, and I'll add a fob to go with it and perhaps design a case for it.  So let's summarize...I got one kit to stitch and now I've added two additional pieces which I will have  to design and then stitch.  Why do I keep doing this to myself...I could have stitched it over 2, made it into a door hanger and called it a day.  Let's face it, I'm an idiot!  Then I do have the stitcher's mat which is the latest to come in from the club and this I will make into a mat but will redesign so it fits in this beautiful tray we have in the shop from Priscilla's Pocket.  But this is an over 2 stitch so that should breeze right along (does that ever really happen?)  Anyway, I also pulled out another older piece I haven't worked on for a month, The Welsh Cottage.  I feel real pressure to work on this since Amy may be getting it and we all know she'll have it done in about a week (perhaps sooner) and this will cause me great anxiety so I need to get it done before she starts hers.  After all, Amy has already finished 3 toys for her toy chest (she was one the 3rd one yesterday so I'm sure it's done today) and while I have 3 toys stitched, only one is together.  I do have the chest together so I'm ahead on that, however, she just got hers a couple weeks ago and I've had mine for about 4 years.  And The Welsh Cottage is a challenge piece for Linda Wimbrow and I.  Linda is working diligently on hers so now I'm playing catch up.  We have to have this piece done by Christmas as I've already put the date on it.  (that should make me do it).  So I'm really focused right now...oh yea, I located stuffed in one of my stitching bags the Drawn Thread alphabet piece that I finished last year after locating in another bag where it was stored unfinished.  I keep losing this piece so now I am leaving it on the dining room table until I put the charms and button on it.  Then it's going to take a ride to the framer....I have 2 ready to be framed....a win, win.  Oh, that reminds me I have almost finished the new "Seaside Summer Alphabet" by Little House Needleworks.  Amy's starting to rub off on me and I decided to change out the words "Seaside Summer" for Ocean City.  So now I have to chart that and get it centered on the piece (uh, I spell a problem with this?)  I want this to get done so I'll work on it tonight so I can add it to the framing pile.  I'm moving things out of bags, out of the house and to the framers people.  I feel like I am accomplishing things here. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Halloween is least the Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue is here and we're excited because this means we can officially start stitching (since I already stitched the halloween watch fob pieces shown on a previous post you know I already started stitching ) for the occasion which is one of  my favorite events to stitch for.  The designs are always so fabulous and there are some in this issue that I think are well worth checking out.  Of course I have a few favorites...well more than a few...there's "Trick or Treat" by Sharon Pope.  This design shows 4 children dressed in rich colors heading toward a haunted house with windows all aglow.  I love the witch in silhouette riding her brook across the moon.  So cute!  I also like "Scary Night" a sampler from Nancy Boyarsky of Glory Bee Designs.  It features an alphabet which has Halloween "things" as part of its alphabet,  and the scary cat, spiders and ghosts floating around.  And Patti Connor of SamSarah Design Studio has a "mummy" on perforated paper that is so good.  At first I thought she just stitched white for bandages on brown perforated paper, but she actually stitched the entire piece and then jointed it so it would look so cute on a Halloween Tree (don't we all have one?)  And the "Witches Tea Thyme" from Isabella Abbiati of the Primitive Hare...well it is too cute for words.  Three witches, along with the black cat are having a grand old tea party.  Don't want to miss that.  Susan Rohm & Pam Lewis of Praiseworthy Stitches have "Sale at the Bubbling Cauldron" which appears to be a witchy gift shop.  I love their house scenes so this is a nature for me...all kinds of things going on here.  While I wouldn't have guessed I would like this I am drawn to "Bullfrog Witch" by Casey Buonaugurio of Casey Buonaugurio this is a blow toad if ever I saw one.  This witchy toad is blown up but dressed for the occasion with his Witches hat and giving you the "you better beware" face.  Would make a cute door hanging.  I've done several word Topographies this year and Sharon Pope's "Halloween College" reminds me of them.  She has added a Celtic looking border of twining chains which really dresses it up and her jack o-lantern would look cute done by itself as an ornament.  Cute piece done as a whole or parts done as ornaments.  "Ghostly Mandala" by Tracy Horner of Ink is a wonderful black on white piece with all lines forming ghosts.  For fun & funky there is Amy Bruecken with "Pumpkin Girl" and "Jolly Jack."  We've seen these characters done for Christmas and they are always so funky they are cute and would look great on your tree or hanging from your door.  Check out the Candy Corn dangling from Jolly Jack...too cute.  There are owls a plenty if that is your thing...all sizes, by themselves or part of a design.  There are several ornaments in the issue...I'm telling you there are numerous reasons to get this magazine.  You won't be disappointed.  In fact everytime I flip through I find something else..."Midnight Ride" is a moonlit ride above a sleepy town by a witch in silhouette against the moon and she's pulling a banner behind her broom that wishes you a Happy Halloween.  This design is by Theresa Curry & Brian Stugelmayer of Needle Bling Designs.  Honestly I could go on and on but won't because I've got to get back to stitching.  When you are in your LNS or if you don't have one be sure to order this if you like Halloween as much as I do. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

 I said I did have a finish and here it is...another of Pine Mountains pillow kits, which I actually like stitching because it's easy...once you get the centering, etc. correct, which, of course, I never do.  I count, recount, measure, pin...honestly I do everything to get it correct and then I'm amazed that somehow, someway things went wrong.  So then the scramble starts to position things so you can't tell I screwed up....or in the end use a button or buttons placed strategically to hid the fact that I screwed up.  As usual, I miscounted yet again but was able to wiggle things around so it looks alright.  These pillows with the words on them also have a bit more stitching that a lot of the Pine Mountain kits, but it's still an easy stitch, just takes a little more time.  The second picture is the watch fob I did for Renee for her birthday.  I was so inspired by Stasi Buhrman's gift to me, plus many of the examples of these fobs shown on the internet, but Stasi's mermaid sealed the deal for me so I searched for the perfect mermaid to fit inside.  I found Jeannette Douglas' "Seaside Accessories" chart had the mermaid as well as the wreath of seaweed (I'm calling it seaweed...I don't think Jeannette did) so I  pulled out my 40 ct...OMG...and started to stitch.  The wreath is stitched over 2 so that was no big deal but for the mermaid to fit inside the wreath I had to go to over 1..again peepers and light were working overtime on this believe me.  I started with Overdyed Floss but it proved too think (1 strand of the 6 was too thick) so ditched the first piece and restitched it using silks and was able to stitch it beautifully.  Sara has since gotten the Tudor Silk in the shop,  which is the fiber used on small counts like 52 ct. so I'm certain it would have worked here...but we didn't have it in when I was working on this piece.  In fact I will never had to use Tudor because unlike Paola, I'm never going to attempt stitching 52 ct.  She's stitched on 52 ct. like I stitch on 28...honestly I don't know how she does it.  Anyway,  I wanted teeny tiny shells to attach to the wreath and put one on her hand as if she was holding it, but after scouring the shell shop bins we could find small shells but nothing teeny enough for this piece.  All in all I was thrilled with the end result, and I hope Renee enjoys it.  And that ends gift stitching for a while.  So I'm really forging ahead with pieces started but not finished and trying to clean up some of the mess I've created in my stitching bags.  Wish me luck.  Tonight I work (I'm only working a couple of days a week in the shop now..whoooohooo) and I do miss seeing new things when they come in, and I use to love ordering new things, but I've given all that up and now it's Sara's job.  I come in and take a few minutes to scour the new rack to see if anything new has come up and then unless Sara has a job for me I sit and stitch or play.  Retirement is a wonderful thing and a state to be enjoyed and believe me I'm enjoying it.  By the way, the September Jackie DuPlessis class piece has been put into the catalog because I wasn't able to get it on the blog so if you want to know what that class it go to the catalog and put in Jackie DuPlessis, or really just look at "Just Arrived" and it should be there since I just put it in the oher day.  Have a great to you soon. 
Pictured is the gorgeous bag which Paola made for me and gave me for my )..  It's not just the gorgeous stitching that makes this so wonderful and beautiful, but the finishing as well.  The entire bag was done completely by hand, inside and out.  (now you know I'd have used that darn sewing machine at some point)  The lining is so perfectly done you'd swear it was done by machine...not a stitch can be seen, just immaculately finished.  Thank you so much Paola, but really the greatest gift was having you here for my birthday.  We don't get to see a lot of you, but it sure is wonderful to see you at least once a year.  I know  you came over for the Betsy Morgan class but in my mind you came to see me. (let me live in my own little dream world....I like it here and people know me).   And to add a little something extra, Paola always puts a Greeneleaf envelope inside my gifts which has the scent of roses which I love.  It smells so wonderful.  Everytime I walk into my stitch room I get a whiff of it and I always think of Paola.  After seeing what Stasi and Paola stitched for me it's embarrassing for me to even talk about my own stitching.  The shop has been getting patterns in right and left and I've grabbed a few that I like and when I get home I've very enthusiastic, but then I start pulling out all the pieces out of the bags surrounding the sofa and depression sinks in as I've started too many and haven't finished anything but a Pine Mountain pillow for the shop.  One of my main problems seems to be I like everything and want to start everything I've got.  I finally gave myself a good lecture and decided to finish the Blackbird piece from the Prim Society Club.  I am almost done, just border left but....I've already received the next kit from them so I'm behind (this started out so well...I think getting a sampler that wasn't a small has thrown me off).  Anyway, another night or two and I should have this done and on the way to the framers.  I've also been working on the Drawn Thread Summer Jumble.  As usual I've made several changes in colors and now I'm  waffling on my choices, so that went into a bag to make a decision later.  Then the Shepherd's Bush Fold...well I ran out of a color (not their fault mine....I stitch using a continental stitch... I come from a needlepoint background- and it uses twice the amount of covers the back of the piece completely.  I usually make sure I have plenty of extra fibers before starting a project, but in this case I just failed to follow my own rules.  Now I have to rip out a lot of the background as the fibers I have don't match the original color completely.  UGH!  So that's just sitting there.   

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's been almost a week since I last erupted over the number of boxes of yarn that arrived...well Sara and Pat got it all put away in the storeroom (don't ask where..I haven't, nor have I gone back there to see) and the other cartons have also been dealt with and more come in everyday.  It's an endless stream of work, but that is expected this time of year so as long as Sara stays on top of it and gets things priced...well I may, and I emphasize "may" just shut up.  I did want to show you a few of my birthday surprises.  First is the fabulous Tim Holtz watch fob that Stasi Buhrman stitched for me...fabulous, love it..we're all about the mermaids here in Ocean City.    Then another Tim Holtz piece, the album which opens and inside is the world's smallest sampler, also by Stasi Buhrman.  Have you ever?  I hadn't but you better believe I was on the internet ordering some of the albums to have in the shop.  Loved the idea and thrilled to have it as a gift.  She gifted it to me in the little shaker type box filled with fleece which I can then use in a pin cushion.  Wonderful idea...a gift within a gift.  I feel very lucky to have friends who stitch for me, and give me fabulous piecee.  Next blog I'm going to show you the very special bag Paola stitched for me.  I want to put it on tomorrow's blog because I forgot to take a picture of the back of the bag and I want you to see both sides...fabulous!  Anyway, thank you Stasi for such wonderful gifts.  You know I've already taken the idea of the mermaid piece and while it wasn't the same, I made one for Renee for her birthday.  I think it is fabulous and will show it down the road as well.  But it wasn't just stitching I received...I thank Crystal Szymansky and Cynthia Radley for my gift card to Sunset favorite spot to eat and also thank Sheila and Trudy for my other gift card.  You ladies know the way to my heart it's definitely through my stomach.  I am so grateful for the gift cards because it allows me to go out to eat several times during the winter.  And while I've been to Hooks, etc., other great places in Ocean City...nothing compares to my Sunset Grille.  So thanks to all who remembered me with cards and was a great day for me.  Well, week really it seems to go on and's good to be me.