Friday, August 29, 2014

A finish at last....I finally finished "The Gathering Sheep" which is the kit from the Chessie & Me Club.  I had already shown you the tote and fob, but I decided to add to the needlebook and hadn't finished that until 3:00 a.m. this morning.  I got home around 8:30 p.m. from my skatepark duties last night and I don't understand why, but I was too exhausted to stitch.  I mean it's not as if I was doing the skating, but apparently sitting in the car, and walking out to the bleachers to watch once, is just too exhausting for me and I wanted to finish the book I was reading so I didn't even stitch while sitting in the car.  Hence the 3:00 a.m. finish.  I love the inside though and it turned out perfect for me.  The way it  was suppose to be done was with nothing inside, just the black weeks wool stitched to the front.  But it was just too plain for me so I came up with the needle pages and a pocket, all nun stitched and then attached to the wool (2nd picture).   I made a flap on the pocket and stitched a lamb over one taken from the cover and the year finished and my initials.  The first picture is the front of the needlebook and the right picture is the back of the book.  Love it!  One project done, unfortunately for me though, Shepherds Bush new pieces came in yesterday so this morning since  I had to work for Sara an hour while she did battle with PNC, I added 4 more kits to my ever growing stash.  I had to add the Autumn Box since the Winter Box and Summer Box are already at the framers.  When I pick those up I want to drop off Autumn and Spring so the collection will be complete.  Thankfully those pieces only take one night and school starts soon so hopefully my skatepark duties are coming to an end.  The skaters  are great fun to watch, especially Solomon who works hard to accomplish each trick he sees the older guys do.  And you see this skinny little 7 year old flying around the park, dropping in from an 8 ft. ledge, well it's pretty amazing and the older kids encourage him and cheer him on.  You hear so much about mean kids, but let me tell you that is not the case at a skatepark.  No one makes fun of the kids just learning, or the fat kid standing there....they are welcoming and encouraging to one and all. Color me shocked!    Anyway, as the season slowly ebbs down, we're gearing up for our Jackie Duplessis class next weekend and then it's on to the Delaware Sampler Guild retreat and our Jamboree in October...where did the summer go?  Fall is always such a nice time to stitch though, either inside by the fire or outside in the sun with cooler temps.  Yes, it's always the season for stitching.  Have a wonderful day and I'll be checking back with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New finish.....means another start....oh my!

New day-more stitching, and also more skatepark duty so I'm not getting as much stitching done as I thought I should....but still I'm stitching so it's all good here.  I was done with the stitching on the Chessie &  Me Club piece, and as you can see I got the carrier finished and the scissor fob, but couldn't get the needlebook done because I just felt it was missing something.  So I've been making up extra pieces to stitch to the inside of the needlebook and while they are completely done, as of last night, I still have to put it together.  Hopefully that will take place today.    But I love the carrier and fob.  We carry the carrier's in the shop and I'm going to try using some of the Blue Ribbon Design charts, like "Autumn Sampler to make another set.  This is one of the designs which can be stitched whole as a sampler or you can take the design apart to be used for needlebooks, fobs, etc.  I'm excited once I latch onto an idea and I've used her designs before for things similar to this so I know I can do it.  YEAH!!!!  The other picture shows a present that showed up on my door last week.  It was a complete surprise and I feel remiss that I haven't  shown it before, but between 7 hours a day at the skate park and Izi-sitting...well, I'm usually home and ready to do something around 8:45pm  and by then I'm done, a couple of stitches and then napping.   But Solomon and Izi are in school next week so I won't have to do as much park sitting or Izi sitting, but I have taken on another job which will require quite a bit of my time, but I'll probably talk about it later.  Back to my new strawberry.  It was sent to me by Greg McCord as a birthday gift  I just love it and have added it to my collection of strawberries (so far I have 2..that's still a collection isn't it?)  It was beautifully made, stuffed well, and I love the little lace topper.  Thanks so much Greg....I love it.  And Greg, we miss you down here.  I ask for you whenever I see the girls so they sometimes give me info and other times haven't seen you so perhaps you can give us updates through e-mail or facebook.  Anyway, the summer is coming to an end which always brings mixed emotions down here.  While we're excited to have cooler temperatures (not snow, but fall temps in the low 70's and 60's), and no more night hours, we do miss the excitement of summer.  Fall and winter are so laid back down here.   I told you in the last blog that I started the over one by Blackberry Designs...haven't worked on it since.  And had the nerve to start a new series...."Frosty Forest" by Country Cottage....there are 12 designs total and the entire series can be stitched as one piece which Sara liked a lot, so of course I had her cut the fabric and then I hunted for the fibers in my bins and I started it last night in between the final nun stitches on the Gathering Sheep piece.  Since that stitching is done, I needed another over 2 start.  It's easier to stitch at the skateboard park.   Anyway, as you all know the industry just had a market in St. Charles (I think).  We can't leave the businesses in the summer so we didn't get to go....darn it!  But of course the new charts and needlework accessories are arriving in the shop daily....this is the most fun of all...opening boxes and discovering the treasures.  And, of course, there is always something in those boxes I have to have.  I'm trying to choose wisely, but you know how that goes.  It's a good thing I only work a couple of days a week or I'd bring home everything, but as it is I tend to forget to check all the nooks and crannies and don't see everything when I'm there.  Jenn Ryan has been in a couple of times and she showed me a picture of the new Lone Elm Halloween piece which has the skeleton walking the dog which is also just a know I'll have to have that.  Sara is gearing up for the Jackie DuPlessis class happening in about a week...or a little more than a week.  Thank God there was no pre-stitch or I'd be further behind on my stitching than I am now.  And many have reported in on the Jamboree pre-stitch.  Things are going well for many of the stitchers and their pre-stitch is finished in plenty of time.  For those of you who haven't finished....just keep plugging along you still have a little over a month to keep stitching.  I've got to end here to finish my Gathering Sheep needlebook.  Hope I have it to show tomorrow.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Loving the new mystery stitch!

Love the new SamSarah Designs "Something Wicked" mystery sampler.  At first I wasn't sure I would be stitching this one, but when I saw the line drawing, I was hooked.  It was the harvest moon that did it for me, and I simply couldn't wait to start this piece so while I should have been putting the finishing stitches on my many projects in the works I threw all caution to the wind and just thought I'd put a few stitches in but in the end, I couldn't stop stitching it, so   last week I finished the first chart and am now waiting to receive the next section.  I have never been so thrilled with an overdye as I was with the Honeysuckle used in the moon.  The varigation is perfect and the coloring is what you see in pictures of the moon with gas clouds and what not.  And the way the branches are stitched and then wrapped....perfection.  The branches, when stitched that way, sit on top of the fabric and are rounded as opposed to flat backstitch and are more realistic.  Because of this wrapping I'm now stitching a lot of my backstitches this way.  I'm going to the framers today and because I like to take multiple projects to be framed I quickly stitched Shepherds Bush's "Summer Box" and "Winter Box."  Summer Box has a flag pole on it and I wrapped it as it's perfect.  I never realized how much better things that are round would look with this wrapped backstitch until now.  Give it a try and see what you think.  Anyway, I'm driving myself nuts with all the projects I've got in the works.  I think I told you "Gathering of Sheep" is finished and now on to the construction, which shouldn't be that hard, but oh, this is so not in my wheel house.  I love to stitch but finishing....well it's making me a nervous wreck, but I shall proceed with caution and pray for the best.  To make matters worse, I actually had the nerve to start a new project this morning.  It's Blackberry Lane's "Witches Night Out" and I've taken on the challenge of the large banner.  The good thing uses only black...the bad's another over one.  And I have to do it over one because I love the banner holder it uses.  The top piece is a witches hat and the bottom part of the holder are the witches cute.  I really don't even think I'll have this done before Halloween this year, I've decided to just work on it a little bit, hopefully each day, and not stress about getting it done in my usual timeline.  In fact my time line has been shot in the foot this year.  In the past I put a 5 week deadline on any project.  No matter how large, 5 weeks was all I had.  On larger projects that was stressful at times, but I always made it.  Now I've been working or not working,  in some cases just opening the zippered pouch and closing it daily, but some have been sitting here for months.  Of course in the last month I've been on skakepark duty and this past week on Izi detail.  The good news....I finally tried out the DVD player that came in the dashboard of my new car and it works beautifully, unfortunately I kept forgetting the DVD's so I haven't actually used it because... since I figured it out I've been on Izi duty at my house.  Last night was spent putting nerf bullets in 4 guns and letting Izi fire them at the T.V.  When he thankfully got tired of that....I then had to pick most of the bullets up as Izi pointed them out to me.  I figure I can call that my exercise for the day.  Then it was time to settle down and watch Lego movies on his I Pad....and finally at about 8:30 Mary showed up to collect him.  I put in about 20 stitches on one of my projects and was too exhausted to do anything else but watch T.V.  I was disappointed in myself...missed a golden opportunity to stitch except everything is over one...I've got to start an over 2 project for these tired nights.    Love being a grandmother, but it's exhausting.  Talk to you soon

Monday, August 11, 2014

A's so exciting when I finish something not only because I've finished, but it means I get to pick something else for the rotation.  But first I did make a couple of changes (surprise, surprise) to "Seaside Summer Alphabet" from Little House Needleworks.  I changed one line ...Ocean City, Md. obviously wasn't part of the original design..."Seaside Summer" were the original words on the chart.  I just wanted to personalize it for our area.  And Ocean City fit right in so why not.  Remember, while the design was can always add or subtract something and make it your own.  And that's exactly what I did.  Love it  Then I looked in my unfinished box and pulled out Drawn Thread's "Give Thanks" and will get it done in time for Thanksgiving.  Not much out there for that particular event, so I'm trying to boost my Thanksgiving pieces.  I like a statement for each holiday which means multiple pieces to represent the holiday.  I love this Drawn Thread piece because the stitches she uses make the finished piece look lacey in places and using different stitches.  There are 18 different stitches used, in addition to cross stitch and she suggests NPI and Dinky Dye silks.  I loved working on this and only put it away earlier when I needed something else stitched first.  Then we got the Sam Sarah Mystery Sampler for Halloween in and I think it's going to be a winner.  Love, love, love the first part of the design.  While I can't post a picture as we don't have one, and I won't post a chart, I have posted the line drawing for the button placement, because I think it gives you a great idea of what we're going to see.  Love the big moon, and it's actually what sold me on this.   I've done a few of these mystery samplers and while I love them, I'm always leary of mystery stitching.  But I'm taking the plunge again and I'll be starting "Something Wicked" soon.  Well, it will enter the rotation soon because Shepherds Bush "The Fold" is on it's final lettering  and the Traveling Quaker Roll is down to my name stitched on so that's 2 more that will be done this week.  Yes, it's a good week for finishing.  I love it when a plan comes together.  We didn't get a lot of new designs in last week, although 2014 Prairie Schooler Santa finally arrived, thankfully since it's been on everyone's list for the last 2 months.  But with the needlework show next week I think the designers are waiting for that to put their new charts in the marketplace.  I've seen a lot of new being shown, just not delivered yet.  So we have great things just a couple of weeks away. 

Things are hectic down here as we gear up for the end of summer.  Kids will be going back to school soon so everyone is trying to get in their final days at the beach so the town is busy, busy, busy.  Betsy Cole and her niece, Sarah, have rented a couple of units at the hotel so they will be here for the week.  Always fun to have regulars here so we can discuss stitching.  I love to see what everyone is working on.  And since we get the "string buyers" in daily, to speak with stitchers who know it's DMC or Threadgathers, or whichever brand is refreshing.  Needless to say we're grateful for every buyer, but it's really nice not to have to explain everything.  The other week I had a visitor in the shop and she and her husband picked up a hand painted canvas, brought it up and started asking questions about what you used to stitch it, etc.  She finally mentioned that she had never stitched anything before which made me say, "while I realize you like the scene on the canvas, it is hand painted and is not what I would suggest for a beginner."  She misunderstood and thought I was telling her she wasn't capable.  But when I corrected her and said she could do it, I just felt that spending $150.00 for a canvas for needlepoint, which in the end she may not enjoy, was not the way to go.  Of course then I had to explain why it costs $150.00 and in the end they walked out without buying anything.  I explained that there was needlepoint that wasn't hand painted at a much lower price point, and then there's counted cross stitch which is really reasonable, but once they saw that canvas that was all they focused of.  That's why I love stitchers.  While they may be horrified at the cost of a tool, canvas, or a kit, they move on and I don't have to explain anything.  And a stitcher can usually find something they need (O.K. perhaps not need but want).  Anyway, if you need me I'll be in the shop this I'll be talking to you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Excitement mounts as I close in on the finish.  I finally decided to just get it done and so I worked on the redesign on the Shepherds Fold and moved the skeps and added the fence to match the other side and I'm thrilled with it.  Of course I still have to come up with something that will fill the void on the right side over the fence, but that's a minor point at this point.  Now I have to do my lettering and the final elements and this could be done today....yeah!!!!!  Finally !  Now all I have to do is the fob and I've caught up on this one project.  I worked on the final pieces of the Traveling Quaker Roll and for some reason as I was Nun Stitching the needlebook I never held it up to look at it and when I got done on one side I realized I was off, so....another rip out.  Honestly, it's almost laughable, if it wasn't over 1 on 40 ct.  But I spent a couple of hours putting it in and then 1/2 hr tearing it out and then of course, the time it took to restitch it correctly.  Brother, it's exhausting.  Sara called me last night to ask questions about the spring clamp clothes pins I showed the other day on the blog.  Apparently we had a few people contact the shop about these.  We do not carry them, they were a gift to me from Carol Wentzel, however, I have researched the clamps (of course I threw the packaging away or this would have been a lot easier) and found them on Amazon.  If you google "Spring Clamp Clothes pin " it will bring up several items.. you are looking for Amico's 8 pcs. plastic Assorted Colors Clothespins Clothes Pegs Clips.  But I also saw the ones right under it, Angle Simple Stainless Steel Clothes pins that also look promising.   Before I purchased either one I would check anyone who sells clothes pins though because they might be in a store right in your own home town.  But if, like me, it's about instant gratification....just order one of these.  Last night I had the absolute worst  catastrophe (at least for me).  I turned on my magnifier lamp and it flickered, which I ignored, stitched for a couple of minutes when it flickered again, oh, no....and then it went off.  Crap!  Luckily I had a Dazor table lamp in the stitching room so I set it up next to my stitching chair (also known as my sofa) in the living room and I was back in business.    Now I have to remember to bring another floor lamp home from the shop.  I love a floor lamp.  The one I had was on borrowed time and I knew it.  The switch broke last year and I've been turning it on and off  by the power cord...what a pain since my phone plugs in there as well and I never remembered that when the cord was turned off my phone was not charging.  You would think after one time I'd remember that....but no....this was a lesson I had to learn repeatedly.  I'm blaming it on age.  Anyway, I'm back to stitching.  Having a great time and I hope it never ends.  I do have a question though, if people don't stitch what do they do with all that free time?  Talk to you soon.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I see the end of the line for a few projects...exciting

Oh I'm getting, on several projects, to the finish line and I'm really excited since I haven't had a finish in a month.  But...this month I should see a couple at least.  Anyway, thought I'd show you what's happening on the Welsh Cottage.  I finished the front wall, back wall, both sections of the roof and I've got one partial side wall and I'm working on the 2nd side wall.  As you may recall, this is my joint project with Linda Wimbrow, and we have a deadline of December 31st on it as I've already put the date on my roof.  We've had the project for several years, kept promising we'd start it and of course never did, so this year it was a "now or never" thing.  I'm determined and so is Linda so I know it will be done!  Pardon the wrinkled look the pictures have.  Of course I just ripped it out of the bag and photographed ironing here folks.  Anyway, I'm enjoying this stitch once again.  Had a tough time with the first side wall, which is why it still isn't finished, but the second side is breezing right along.  I may not get as much time in now as I was getting.  Tuesday I picked up Solomon at 10:00 a.m. for the skatepark and he was there all day.  Brian relieved me at 7:30 p.m. so I was able to get home, go to the bathroom and relax for a while.  Honestly I don't know how this little 6 year old was able to do this...all breaks...Mary brought him lunch and dinner and I never saw him take a bathroom break.  Meanwhile, if Mary hadn't given me a break at 1:30 so I could run home and use the bathroom I'd have a flooding in the van, where I sit the entire time as Solomon wants no parents in the park with him.  6 years old....he can't understand why we have to be there because none of the other boys have parents there....he is the only 6 year old in the park...duh!!! So I chose to go in periodically to see him (and hopefully he can't see me from where I'm standing), but basically I stay in the car with my a/c the entire time.  I came prepared, I had a book, 2 stitching projects and although I brought iced tea I was afraid to drink it because I'd been warned about the bathroom at the skatepark and told I would not go in there.  So I don't even want to take a chance.   Long day and not very productive for me, but these are memories for Solomon so I want to be a part of that.  I want him to remember while I may not be able to get down on the floor and play with him at the age of 3 (well I did but it was a 15 minute process to get up off the floor), but when he was ready for skateboarding I was there and willing to put in the time...well at least on Tuesday.  Now that we've lost one of the desk receptionist (she goes to her permanent job now that she graduated) I'm sure baby sitting and skateboard park sitting are in my immediate future...Mary is now our day desk receptionist at the hotel.  I seem to be the only free person in the family (sometimes semi-retired can bit you in the ass).   But school will be starting soon so then it will be an after school thing so  I'll only have to be there for a few hours.  What grandparents do for their grandchildren.  Back to stitching however, my traveling Quaker roll is about 2 days from completion.  Over one on 40 ct....ugh...but I'm gritting my way through.  The little needle book and fob are so precious to look at.  There is nothing more beautiful than over one stitching on smaller counts.  I still don't know how Paola stitches on 52 ct, but I'm taking her word for how "easy" it is I have no intention of going there.  The "Gathering of Sheep" which is a special kit from Chessie  & Me and only available from Tomorrow's Heirloom, is progressing very nicelynd I've almost finished the needlebook.  It's a fun project with a cute wooden carrier, and will have a stitched fob, needlebook and a piece that goes on the front of the wooden carrier.  It's a joy to stitch even though it's on dark fabric, but it's over 2 so I'm loving it.  I'll get a picture up in the next few days so you can see it.  Then the Cotton Bird is progressing very slowly.  It was suppose to be over 2 on 36 count, but I decided, idiot that I am, that over 1 would give me a small and I could figure out how to finish it better than if I framed it.  I force myself to stitch one part of this per day and that is how I'm getting through this one.  I haven't started on the tray mat which is the other club with Ladies Prim.  These clubs are getting me into a lot of trouble.  And I'm back on the Shepherds Fold.  Everyone knows what a fanatic I am about Shepherds them!  Have just about all of them in my stash, have stitched many of their pieces which are now hanging in the shop (with only a few at home), so when I first heard about the Fold I was so excited and knew I would be stitching it.  When it got to the shop  though, there was something throwing me off.  I didn't even take one home at that point, but of course when everyone was getting one and starting them, I decided to get on that train.  I made a couple of changes instantly, made the chimneys shorter...just small changes that no one would notice, then I had the problem (strickly my fault) with the fiber difference in color and I just put it in the bag and said I'll rip later.  I took it out of the bag a couple of weeks ago and got the first fibers pulled out so the grass on the one side would look the same, but that caused a change in colors being necessary for the grass on the other side as well as the leaf color on the flowers as the color called for blended in with the grass so you couldn't even see it.  You know, with each change that must take place you get a little more bogged down and I found myself working on other things rather than working on it.  But the other day I said, "I've got to work on this and get it finished, since I'm already behind."  So I pulled it out of the bag, figured out what was bothering me so much and made the decision to change it a little more.  The urn of flowers sitting beside the house was throwing me off  because it seemed out of place to me.  Reminds me of the samplers where the people are as large as the houses they stand beside...which is what I don't like about samplers.  Shepherds Bush has done such lovely pastoral sampler the last couple of years so I decided to make this like that.  I decided if that was all that was keeping me from loving this piece and finishing this piece then I needed to change it.  I'm taking the urn out, moving the bee skeps up toward the house and adding a fence on the right side to match the fence on the left side.    I'm not going to discard the urn completely though, because I love the urn of flowers, so I'm going to use it inside the box, either on the lid or on the inside bottom.  I'm thrilled now with my decisions, and it's going to be perfect and I'll have my Shepherds Bush box, my way.  Can't wait.  And I 'm close to getting it done as well.  Summer Alphabet from Little House is done except....while I've charted Ocean City, Md., I haven't stitched it in yet so I'm hoping to get that done this week and then another finish.  But all this talking about it isn't getting the job done, so I'm going to end here and go finish something (hopefully).  Talk to you soon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

   Front of the traveling Quaker Sewing completed....and I've also got the inside piece nun stitched and last night I even started the scissor fob.  However...oh, yes, there is a however....I stitched the fob over 2 in my excitement over getting this done and this morning read that it should have been over one.   The worst part of this is.....I had the discussion about over one or over two with myself before I started it.  Perhaps reading all pages of the directions would have clarified this for me.  I'm debating today whether or not to rip it out (why not...I've ripped out something on everything I'm working on.)  Anyway, I decided to let it sit and went back to the Welsh Cottage and I'm thrilled with the progress I've made.  Today I will be finishing the tree and then the front wall, back wall, and both parts of the roof will be completed.  One wall is 1/2 done and then I just have to do the chimney and the other wall...and boom...Welsh Cottage will be done.  However....yes, once again....the one wall has proven to be a problem so hopefully I will have gained some inspiration, wisdom or just the guts to get it done.  I can't wait.  So now I've got one project with a days work left, one project with a week's work left.  Of course I have  many projects in the works but seeing some of them getting close to the's exciting.  Today I'm taking a break from stitching...well, a detour of stitching spots actually.  Solomon, our 6 year old blackbelt, has now gone back to skateboarding with the same kind of enthusiasm as he  had for karate.  He wants to live at the skate park which is difficult as it's summer and everyone is working long hours, except for me.  So I'm picking him up at 10 and we're heading to the skatepark until 8:30 tonight.   I know he won't leave until then as I've taken him before and he was the last man standing and we didn't leave until the skate park was closing even though he was alone.   So that's what I'm doing today.  My biggest problem here is not that I'll have to be there all day as much as bladder control.  Honestly, Mary says I don't want to even think of using the bathroom there so now I really have a problem.  But somehow I'm going to overcome this hurdle, I've got my stitching with me, a book with  me and I'm leaving my sanity at home.  I'll be praying a lot I'm sure but I'm determined to make this work for my Solomon. I have to say that I think for a 6 year old he's amazing out there.  He watches the older boys and when they are watching him he trying to copy them and manages to do quite well.  He is getting bolder and bolder and his skills are improving each time we go.  He's the youngest one there, but before long he will certainly eclipse some of the other younger boys I'm sure.  If I had his determination, well I have no idea what I'd be, but I doubt I'd be sitting on the sofa stitching (ooh, that's not a good thing!)  We had what is becoming a "thing" on Sunday.  Mary's babysitter called in sick, so I got the call for help.  Sara informed me when the new schedule was ready that I had only one day of work, Monday, so I came into the watch the kids.  While sitting there the front desk receptionist came in and said, "Pat said she's alright right now, but she's alone in the shop."  Fortunately Sara and Mary were with me at the time so I looked at Sara and she said, tell her I'm coming right now.  I said, "who is suppose to be working...since it's either Judy, Sara or myself."  Sara said, "Oh, I forgot, I guess you were on the schedule, but don't worry I'll take the shift."  I reminded her that she told me I only worked on Monday.....and I couldn't now as I had the boys.  Sara apparently forgot she changed the schedule. (I think they are trying to gaslight me).  So then I look at the schedule and I'm not on Monday at all.  Renee needed Wednesday off and Sara had asked if I could work her Wednesday so I knew I was on for that.  So I asked Sara what happened to my Monday and she informed me that Judy couldn't work on one of her days but could take the confusing for me, and apparently Sara.  Anyway,  I watched the boys til 3:30 and then worked the shop until 8:30 so Sara could have a few hours off.  But at 8:30  Sara came down and took over.  Long day....for me...I came home and fell asleep.  God only knows what I'll do today after 10 hours at a skate park.  Of course I can always sleep in the car while I'm waiting....with my luck I'll get arrested if I do that for sleeping in a car which is illegal here.  Anyway, hope your day is filled with fun activities and stitching.  Talk to you soon.