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.


Stasi said...

Thanks for the shout out, Sally!! Retirement does surely help with added time for stitching!

Nancy H said...

Love your finishes. That spider ribbon is the best!

Robin said...

Love your finishes and your honest reflections. Lol. Retirement means more stitching time, I thought that would be the way. Too many things to do and not enough time. Stasi is just a machine. A darned nice one but still a needles on fire stitcher