Saturday, March 14, 2020

I'm in the zone...

Yes, I'm fully back to stitching...staying up late and getting up at 3 a.m. to stitch, and have multiple projects put together for the Nashville Market, yes I'm fully back....however, I've lost some speed but I'm not going to let that get to me.  I'm trying not to set goals, in previous years I've tried to complete 4 projects per month.  But right now I'm just enjoying the stitching again, the fabrics, fibers, and embellishments and not setting a goal (although I find myself reviewing how many projects I've completed so far in 2020 every time I finish something)...but still not worrying about the numbers per month yet.  Arrived home Tuesday from Nashville where we once again had a successful buying trip.  Thanks to Stasi for all her assistance in Nashville.  It makes the job so much easier, especially for Sara, since I sit in the room and add inventory into the system and generate the price tags, while Stasi and Sara ran the floors doing all the buying.  Also a huge thank you to Kathie and Judy who worked the shops for us and did a great job, as always.  Thanks to Stasie, Kathie and Judy for all you do.  I'm glad to be home again.  And my bathroom is fully done and decorated by Mary.  It has the feel of a spa, all white with a tile floor that looks like wood, and the shower reminds me of a sauna.  It's stunning and quite relaxing.  So nice and clutter-free.  My challenge is to keep it that way.  So far it's working....but I'm only on day 4.    But so thankful for John, Vernon, and Mary for all the hard work.  And Brian who did the painting throughout and in the bathroom, as well as carpet cleaned the entire apartment.  What a wonderful surprise.  A nice treat for my homecoming. As you may already know, Brr...Berry by Erica Michaels is finally finished.  This was so much fun to finish as it took on a life of its own in the finishing.   It took me 3 starts to figure out the linen to use and in the end, it turns out to be a 28 ct. Babbling Brook Jobelan.   I was hoping to use 32 ct. but ended up picking up a piece of linen sitting on the cutting table at the shop and it turned out to be 28 ct.  I started stitching without even looking at the count and once I decided it was good, I didn't care what count it was.  While the amount of white over one was daunting, since I was having difficulty getting back to stitching, but that wasn't holding me back,  it was the scarf.  I'm old school and still have colors and patterns from the '50s and 60's that I can't picture together and the scarf had 2 of the colors I can't put together, red and purple.  In fact, when I did the one and only quilt I ever made I had to have the owner of the quilt shop pull the prints in the colors I wanted to use  so I would know which ones actually would go together since I thought no prints, stripes, plaids went together.  Anyway, to get beyond the color issue I tried many possibilities, ugh, I finally decided to just use cadet which is what was used for the mittens.  Due to the fact it is overdyed it, almost self stripped the scarf and I loved the effect.  I also did cross stitch over 2 under the scarf (the project is over 1 otherwise) and then satin stitched over it so it puffs out and then fringed the scarf using Turkey Work.  Of course, I used beads for the mouth and the eyes and I changed the hat ribbon to red in place of purple.  I had a slight placement problem which was a counting mistake but decided I could live with it, although every time I look at it the mistake is glaring to me: I just needed to get this project done as it was part of what was blocking me from stitching overall.  And the finish...  After stitching the back together and getting the top ready for the wool top, I discovered I didn't have the right color wool at home.  After checking the shop I didn't have it there either.  This led me to the finish shown.  I created a top hat for my strawberry out of felt, painted a little bird bead I had red to match the stitched birds and attached it to the top hat.  Easy breezy finish and I just love it.

  So once I got the stitching done, I moved on to Brenda Gervais' Holiday Hoopla's.  As we just got in the St. Patrick's Day Hoopla, that was the next project.  I stitched it on a neutral 32 ct. linen.   What should have been a very easy project proved a little difficult because I ended up stitching the clover on the sheep's butt about 4 times before I got it right.   The project is done over 2 except the clover on the lamb and it is done 1 over 1.  When I finally got it done the rest just flew by.  Again, there was one problem with counting but  I decided I just wanted it over, you really don't notice it so I can check that project done.   I was going to put it in one of the pedestal frames I used before, however after finding them during my massive stitching room clean-up, I moved them to a place I just knew I'd remember and of course, I forgot where that was so I had to come up with another plan. As it turns out, while in Nashville we went to their Hobby Lobby and found the perfect thing.  I made the piece into a pincushion and put it into a tin tart candle stand (#1793702).  I then dipped 3 pins into a green Testor paint (a Christmas gift from Sara)  so I'd have the perfect green pins.  Another project is done.

 While I pondered that finish,  I decided to leave it and move on to another spring treat.  Brenda Gervais, Holiday Hoopla Easter.  This was a joy start to finish.  Stitched it in 2 days and used 28 Ct. White Chocolate linen, used the suggested threads, although I did change the watering can to a gray, and I did the tail using Turkey Work.  I had a vision for the finish....since the rabbit is standing on a watering can, I decided to use a watering can as my finish base.  That is what prompted our visit to Hobby Lobby in Nashville.  I needed a size that would work and I had researched this and knew they had several, but I needed to see them.  Again, a tin watering can.  We picked a couple but the larger one was necessary for this piece.  I had hoped to have a completely open-top as I was going to put flowers in it, however, this didn't have the open-top, so I'm dealing with it.  A little harder to finish as the piece has to bend around the base somewhat but eventually I got it how I wanted it and hot glued it to the base. (Yes I said hot glue).  I tried several trims around the piece to give it a finished look and the only one I liked was a rick rack which I applied so that it stands up on the edges.  It may not be perfect but it looks good to me.  And it's a different kind of finish which is what I'm always looking for.
Must run, shop is waiting for me to help get Nashville out....Stay safe and try to enjoy the stitching time when you can.  Keep washing your hands and praying for all to stay well.  Talk to you soon.