Sunday, January 31, 2016

Three more finishes....well the stitching is done. now for the finishing...UGH!  Little House, "Giving Thanks...." was a treat to stitch.  Done over 2 on 32 ct. I really enjoyed this for 2 days and then it was done.  This was a gift I gave myself to stitch as I had finished stitching a total of 4 WIP.  Thought I deserved to start something new.  The Santa Purse shown in the first picture was an easy stitch and while I usually refuse to work on Christmas after the holiday, we wanted this for the shop as a model...something different.  Unfortunately while the stitching was a breeze, 1 day and done,   I lost the entire Santa finishing kit which is sold with the chart and backing,  so I'm working from my own fabric stash and it's close so the model you see in the shop will closely resemble what the original is suppose to look like when it's finished.  The third piece was from a Silver Needle club and it's a Blackbird Design piece, a Patchwork Pinkeep.  You stitch on two different linens and then join them.  My self diagnosed "OCD" made this piece difficult for me as everything in my world must be even,  and the use of two different colored linens put into one piece is just not going to work for me normally,  but I also force myself to go out of my box at times just to combat this feeling I have so I decided to finish it their way.  All three were easy stitches...YEAH!!!  Of course, with the exception of the first one which will go to the framers, the other two still have to be finished.  That will be the job this week.  Stop stitching (which I love) and get finishing....which I don't love so much, or at all.  This morning before coming to work I almost finished the "Santa in the Plaid Hat" pillow that was started 1or 2 years ago and during work I managed to completely finish it.  Now I need to add some embellishments to jazz it up and then I'll show it to you as well.  And that will be the end of Christmas stitching for me until mid summer or the fall.  So much to do and so little time....I've got to get back to stitching so that's it for today.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I've had plenty of stitch time and I'm really moving forward......

I've been busy, busy, busy getting pieces stitched before the pre-stitch for classes arrives.  (unfortunately for me, they arrived this week so my stitching may slow down a bit)  But anyway, on the plus side I've gotten several pieces completed so I thought I'd show you some that aren't framed, but have been stitched and will now make their way to the framer.  The 3 are all from Shepherd's Bush, and the two on the left were already started so these were pulled out of a tote and finished (yeah, my goal is being met here).  The Wave, which is the first one you see was in all honesty 3/4 of the way finished.  I just had the top and the two side borders to stitch so I'll pat my self on the back for finishing, but really...not giving myself a lot of credit on that one.  Birdsong Sampler, the second picture was also partially started, however I hadn't even finished the middle section so there was a lot to do with that one.  Of course since I started it a couple of years ago I no longer had the buttons with it, but I'm going to put a little Shepherd's Bush bee on it near the flowers and call it a day.  (In going through bags I found some left over buttons from Shepherd's Bush fob kits which is where I came across the button.  Since I do the fobs over 1 instead  of 2 threads the buttons never fit on the fobs so I use them for other projects.)  The 3rd picture, Good Luck Box,  was new to the tote, well from spring of 2015 and it hadn't been started.  But I wanted a new sample for St. Patrick's Day and since this was small it was my pick.  Unfortunately for me, one of the small buttons representing the gold in the pot had only one hole for attaching so I'm still trying to figure this out, which is why you see the needle and thread hanging out of it.  I'm afraid if I try to open up the other hole it might break the button all together.  Before the end of the weekend I'll figure something out.  Sara said to use a dremel, but since it is one of the only things I don't have...well a trip to the store might be in order.  Anyway, I am having fun pulling stuff out of bags and putting them in rotation.  I've almost finished the quickpoint pillow I started 2 years ago and it's a Santa and I don't care I'm going to finish it this week or die trying.  Have a great day..and keep those needles working.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snow report.............from Ocean City

First we had another snow last 2 snows in one month, what is happening.  We survived both thankfully and enjoyed our "snow days"...while Sara didn't get one last week due to Camp Wannastitch being in the stitchers, she did get to enjoy Saturday and Sunday on her sofa with knitting in hand.  I did get a day off last week plus we had two days off this past weekend.  We were luckier than most other places since our first snow on Friday this weekend which lasted about 4-5 hours was followed by the devastating winds and  rain of a northeaster'.  I am surprised that the snow that followed the rain would even stick but stick it did to give us a couple of inches of snow following the northeaster'.  Hence, we stayed home on Saturday during the rain portion and again on Sunday after the snow portion.  And Sunday was so sunny and gorgeous, well the snow is all but gone.  Just a few lasting tid bits showing but our roads are clear and snow free.  Yeah!!! no snow shovels for this crew.  I mentioned Camp Wannastitch and while I started with the snow, the campers this year were a delight.  We were ready for the campers as we are given advance notice on the numbers coming...this year 174..filled to capacity a sold out event this year.  Good for the ladies who work so hard to make this happen.  Since the early birds were coming in Thursday, Sara opened the shop just for them.  I was a no show since I once again took a fall.  Tuesday while going down the steps to go to the office I missed a step and landed face down on the pavement.  Thankfully Mary and Brian were home and I called them to come help me get to the stairs so I could start the process of getting up.  (my neighbor just drove on by me as I was floundering around like a fish out of water...but I'm going to think perhaps she didn't see me in my red coat).  Mercy, getting up is not an easy job.  I was thankfully broken bones, but certainly in a little pain as I did something to my foot.  But at the time I just shook it off and continued on my way, a little the worse for wear, after all I had to get a lotto ticket.  (I mention this because it aggravates Sara that I would continue on as though nothing happened.)  Anyway, after being at work for a couple of hours I realized my boot was feeling tighter and felt I better get home and get it off.  When Sara saw me shuffling out and we realized my knee wouldn't bend enough to get in the car, Sara  drove me home while I sat in the back with the door raised so my feet were dangling out of the car.  Thank God I live 2 blocks from the shop!  I'm pretty sure that is not legal.  Anyway, once home I changed and got in my favorite spot on the sofa...ah, comfy spot.  With my stitching I was in heaven, unfortunately my toes were black and blue and my knee was killing me.  But I was icing and taking motrins and getting ready to get back into action on Thursday.  Unfortunately, I never made it Thursday but Thankfully Judy and Stasi Buhrman, who drove up to cut fabric for it, arrived to help Sara out.  Friday, again I stayed home and Judy and Stasi were Sara's support group along with Pat Weker.  Then on Saturday and Sunday I showed up along with Elaine to support Sara.  I was so glad I made it in, I wasn't much help but at least it was a warm body. ...although I'm not sure I count as that.  It's always great fun talking with the stitchers and seeing what they are working on and their ideas about future projects.  It was a great weekend for us and we look forward to seeing the stitchers again next year.  This is event that is fun for everyone.  A nice break after Christmas and New Years when we are all so busy getting ready for the holidays.  A weekend of just stitching and friends....yes it doesn't get much better than that.  So for all the stitchers who came to the event and the shop...thanks for making a January day so much brighter for us.  We had a ball.  Can't wait until next year to do it all over again.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hard to believe I'm still talking about Christmas

Seriously, these are the last two postings of Christmas gifts.  Jackie Janovsky stitched the mini tea cup ornament for me.  Sorry Jackie, I just love it, but didn't have it in hand again until Sara was putting her Christmas away and found it with her stuff.  So it may not of been mentioned earlier, but I so love it.    So cute and put in a miniature Polishware teacup...perfect.  The second picture is a redwork pillow done by Stacy Stinson.  She did the stitching, as well as the finishing....good job Stacy.  Thanks so it and will display it proudly during the holidays next year.   It was so sweet of you both to stitch something for me when you have so many others to remember during the holidays.  I love my gifts and will treasure them always.   And now folks, I do believe that is the end of my holiday stitched gifts report.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


    Well, thought you'd like to see how we roll in Ocean City.  This past weekend was Camp Wannastitch and  to give the stitchers a show we had snow.  Many people wonder what the beach looks like and if the snow sticks to the beach so we took a picture, we took several actually, but this one had the surfer in it.  Yes, folks, surfers are dedicated like stitchers and just like stitchers they don't let the snow stop them.  If you enlarge this picture you will see the surfer in his wet suit waiting for that next wave.  Meanwhile today, the wind chill is 2 so I'm bundled up at home and waiting it out.  Enjoy the view.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Fun finishes ... so exciting...and the first of 2016.

   My year has started off well.  My goal is a finish a week of some kind (not that I'll meet the goal but I am always hopeful) and yesterday was a very productive day for me.  After working in the shop I went home and finished the 2 pin cushions you see here.  The First, "Stitch Every Day" designed by Hands on Design is a monster pin cushion.  The design itself is shown as a sampler or the pin cushion so of course I just had to make the pin cushion.  It is so big that it's fascinating to me.  I love oversized things, perhaps because I'm oversized myself.  It measures approx. 6" high and the circumference is 11".   The finish was actually quite easy.  I did it all by hand, but you could use a machine to stitch up the seam initially and then the top piece could also have been put in by machine, but the bottom would have to be sewn in.  Cathy didn't use a hard bottom on hers and cut a slit in it to stuff it and then sewed the slit up.  I just attached the wool piece for the top and then stuffed the piece and finished it as I would if it were a stand up.  Cut a circle out of mat board, covered it with the Weeks Wool and then ladder stitched it to the pin cushion.  Such a fun stitch and really went together easily.  The 2nd pin cushion, "Seasonal Sliders...On Ice", by Just Another Button Company, turned out to be an easy finish as well.   If you use freezer paper to cut out your pieces it makes it so easy to get the accurate cuts.  Then you just blanket stitch them on the main piece of felt.  Everything is included in the kit, except the pins.  And the plus get three patterns in the kit (only have supplies for one) so you can make more pin cushions by just purchasing the colors of felt you will need.  Anyway, this particular one had only 3 pieces which had to be blanket stitched on so that took no time at all.  And the final finishing can be done on machine, although for accuracy sake, in my case, I did it by hand.  Again, JABCO gives you instructions on the assembly, but you need to use common sense as well.  Their last instruction after assembly is attach the buttons.  I'm not sure why they didn't put this first, but you would of course sew on the buttons before the final finishing so that the knots are easily hidden inside the pin cushion.  They also suggest making a slit in the back, stuffing and then sewing the slit up and sewing a heart over it.  It's easier to finish 3 sides, leave the fourth side open and then stuff and sew the fourth side closed.  Not only easier but less work....and that's always the way I'm finishing.  Less work is a win win!  I then worked on the Lizzie Kate Limited Edition "Very Merry Santa" which will be made into a hanging colonial pocket.  So cute, and while I normally don't work on holiday items, once the holiday has passed, I couldn't resist.  I should have it done and assembled Wednesday so I'm sure I'll show  you then.    Can't wait for the weekend....there are 174 members and their guests of the EGA coming for a retreat to Ocean City...Camp Wannastitch...and this is always a busy weekend for us.  We've called in recruits and thankfully, Stasi Buhrman answered the call as well as Pat Weker.  Stasi always offers to come cut fabric when we need her (I hate cutting the linen) so she's always our first call and Pat is Queen of Sea Trader so that puts me back into Salty Yarns...I'm not sure if this is a plus for the shop or not, since I seem to have forgotten most of what I use to know about things.  Everything in the shop has been moved to a new location so I'm constantly having to call on Sara to lead me to it.  (you can imagine the eye ball rolling that goes on from Sara)  It's also embarrassing for me.  I'll lead someone to the spot where I had a certain company for 40 years and they are no longer there and then I start the fumbling around and eventually using the phone to call Sara.  I think I even called her when she was in Jamaica.  Honestly, what kind of help am I?  As it is if Sara sees me answer the phone and it sounds like a phone order, she comes rushing over to grab the phone from me since I made 2 blunders while she was in Jamaica.  (I knew as soon as I hung up on the first I was in trouble, but the 2nd one I thought I did well on until Sara asked me what class the person signed up for.  Oops, never thought to ask, I knew which designer but not the class.  While I didn't have the phone # or address on the first call, I had taken the phone number on the 2nd one.  Yes, folks if I answer your call you may want to ask for Sara.)  I even know where the class sign up sheets are now, although Saturday when someone called to sign up for a class, I couldn't locate them and had to remember what information to ask for (Yes, I remembered to ask which fact I got all the info that was needed).  When Sara returned to the shop I said, "Where are the class sheets?"  Without thinking about it she had moved them to work on them and they were no longer on the counter. (I think she is gas lighting me....but she doesn't have to,  I'll go willingly)  Anyway, I've got to get back to work.  Have a great week.  Hope to see you soon.

   More of my Christmas treasures.  Pat made the black and white scarf which I loved when she made it this fall and shocked when I was gifted it for Christmas.  We got the book in the shop which we were all looking through and oohing and aahing as these are not knitted but hand woven I think.  Pat thought we would all work on one to learn the technique, but after reading how it was done, I was out!  Too complicated for me.  Sara was going to try and the next thing I knew she was out.  Thank God, Pat never says die and she perservered.  I love, love, love it and will definitely be wearing it when and if it ever gets cold here.  (I have a feeling it won't be too much longer before I need it and gloves too.  The middle picture shows Sara's Lizzie Kate pillow for me.  It's something she hears all the time when she's around the senior population at Stitch 'n Bitch or just anytime any of us start talking about our aches and pains.  Such a cute it!  The third picture is a fun stitch from Plum Street samplers and was actually stitched by me, a gift for Sara.  I stitched it on 20 ct. linen over 2 threads so it's a 10 ct. in the end and used DMC and Weeks Dye Works pearl cottons so that the design measures 17 1/2" x 9 1/2" which makes a wonderful pillow. I adore stitching larger because it allows so much embellishment.  For instance, tassels on the ends of the hats, beautiful red beads decorating the wreath around the horse's neck and sleigh bells on the reins, a small bow under the horses neck showing that the reindeer antlers are tied on.  Beads were used for the eyes and a pretty red bead used to finish off  the design in the sleigh.  Oh, so much fun.    The final gift is a pin cushion given to me by Renee.  From the hand felted cat on top to the candle stick,  this is fabulous.  The candle stick is actually glass so quite heavy and painted black.  As I was trying to clean out cupboards after Christmas I almost took some candle sticks out to send to the opportunity shop at church but then remembered I could paint them black and use them on pin cushions. (this could explain the clutter in my closets....I simply can't throw anything out for fear I could use it in something.)  Anyway, I might just try my hand at making a similar pin cushion as I love, love, love it.  So I think this may end the walk down Christmas stitching Lane and now I look forward to the stitching of 2016.  I finished my first piece this started several years ago, Wave by Shepherd's Bush.  It was so exciting to finally finish it as I've pulled it out several times and just kept putting it back in the tote.  I misplaced the fibers so had to go to my Shepherd's Bush fiber tote and get new ones, but who cares, it's done!  Right now I'm getting another Shepherd's Bush piece finished which was started also, a few years ago.  As I've gone through more and more bags in the stitching room, I'm finding more and more half finished pieces....oh, my...but I'm determined to get some of these done this year so we'll see how well I hold on to that goal.  Unfortunately, as usual, my mind wandered when I took Paola's birthday gift over to UPS to be sent out (should have gone out 2 weeks ago....typical of me) I feel in love again with the design so when I got home I started that but I won't allow myself to work on it until I stitch a few hours on the "goal" pieces.  I'm trying to stay focused on the goal, however, life keeps getting in the way.  I was stitching on Wednesday (as usual) and got a call from Vernon who said, "I can't get in."  I didn't even know he was trying so I said, "I'm sorry I didn't hear you, I'll go open the door", and he said, "No I'm telling you they won't let me in."  I asked, "Who the hell are you talking about?  Who won't let you in my house."  He said, "do you have any idea when is happening right outside your door now?"  Embarrassingly enough I had no idea.  Let me first tell you, as many of you know I live in a summer resort area.  While our population booms to over 200,000 in the summer, in the winter we are around 3500 (and I doubt it's that many).  So in January, which is our gloomiest month, there is no one here and nothing is going on.  So when I asked him what he was talking about he said, "there was a suspicious package found and they have the street blocked off as they wait for the bomb squad (we actually have one of those in town?)  Now I'm not completely oblivious..I did see a fire truck, or heard one about an hour before, looked out and saw it parked in front of the house next door, made sure there was no smoke billowing and since I saw no one, not even a fireman,  went back to stitching.  Again, with all the street blockage, etc., the policeman guarding the entrance to the street, I never saw another person, not even a fireman again.  After a few minutes I said the hell with it and went back to stitching.  After a couple of hours as I went to the bathroom, I noticed everyone was gone and the yellow tape was taken down.  So I'm not sure what the outcome was, but I know I kept stitching through it all.  Yes I'm a dedicated stitcher and nothing will come between my stitching and me.  I'm thinking it was probably dog poop in a bag...that's the only activity I see happening here in O.C. in January.  Well that's been my week, and now I'm back in the shop getting ready for Camp Wannastitch next weekend.  How's your week going?

Monday, January 4, 2016

And now here are a few Christmas gifts I made....

I am a big fan of Shepherd's Bush patterns, as everyone who knows me already knows.  And I love, love, love their stockings.  I've made one for both of my daughters and their husbands as well as for each of  the grandchildren,  so I ache when the new stocking arrives every year wishing I needed another stocking.  Well, this year I looked at the patterns and thought, What the heck, I can always stitch one and make it into a pillow or a hanging.  In the end I made the decision to use the Ackfield Table stand with the Merry Christmas topper and make them into hangings and because of the size restriction I also had to eliminate the bottom design of the I stitched the Santa's and anything surrounding them.  I also added bits and pieces from other designs as I stitched along.  It was so much fun, taking what I loved about one piece and then adding it to others.  But most fun of all, stitching a Shepherd's Bush pattern for someone else.  I made the finishing easy so I could complete it myself since Caroline was away at the time...and it also gave me the opportunity to use my new Baby Lock for the first time (I played with it in June for about an hour but didn't actually do anything with it.)  The banners were stitched on 18 ct. and I used DMC and Weeks Dye Works Pearl Cottons.  Fun, fun, fun!  And because the toppers are exchangeable, the stand can be used for other occasions and not just for Christmas.  You can change it for the month or season.  Of course that means that the person that received the gift must then stitch for other occasions and also purchase a new header....don't want Merry Christmas when it's an Easter design hanging on the stand. Anyway, stitching something you love makes the gift easier to make, but then also makes it harder to give up.  Since Christmas stitching is over,  I've been sorting through all the bags stuffed with projects.  Stacy Stinson was in Saturday and mentioned the Delaware Guild's next challenge, name 5 projects which you intend to finish before the end of 2016.  I really think it should be old half done or just started projects...not choose 5 new projects.  I get depressed looking at all the projects I started that have been relegated to a tote bag of other half finished projects.  With that in mind this morning before work I went through 3 of the 5 (or 6) tote bags just in my living room alone to see what has been started.  I also want to get some of the finished projects put together so that's my resolution again (I've said this every year....and I do get one or two things done, but that's like a thimble of water out of the ocean).  Anyway, I pulled out Shepherd's Bush "Wave" and "Bee Scissors Fob" to get finished.  I stopped working on Wave when Debbie Liming left her finished and framed piece here for us to use as a model.  But I'm now going to finish mine for home.  The Bee fob I have the word Bee done and that's it.  So these are the two I will work on first, and as a treat (this always sidelines me) I'm thinking of stitching Lizzie Kate's "Very Merry Santa."  I usually don't work on holiday stitching once the holiday is past, however, I want the model in the shop so I guess I have no choice and it's small so that's a win win.  I put several of the bags in closets for Christmas Day but have since pulled them back out so I can go through them for the umpteenth time.  I also find things in these bags that I've been looking for.  Little treasures I stick in the tote at the time but then forget I put them there.  While it may be fun and exciting to go through the bags, my living room is back to piles as I organize the items in each bag. I swore I wouldn't let my living room get in such a state after getting it all cleaned and scrubbed for the holidays, but here I am, once again hiding totes behind chairs and tables and hoping no one notices them there.  Of course the plan has always been to empty the totes and put empty totes in the closet.  I'm not sure I'll ever see that plan materialize.  The only tote I emptied, is still hanging on the door knob of the closet...somehow apparently it was just much for me to actually open the door, step inside and hang the tote on the rack.  And the truth of the matter is, I only emptied that tote by stuffing another tote with the charts and kits.  As my mother would say, I'm only fooling myself.  Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon.