Friday, August 31, 2012

Niky's Mystery

Earlier this summer Niky hosted a mystery project.  I was a bit late in getting started on it (as usual delaying my start until I had all 3 parts), and then even later getting the finishing done.  Errr, let me rephrase that, getting mom to help with do the finishing for me.  Honestly, she was really just supposed to show me how to do the piecing for the front, but then it sort of escalated.  I think we made this project a bit harder than it needed to be.

Lined, with pockets.  Handle attached with vintage mother of pearl buttons.  A small touch of jute trim across the back from Victorian Motto.  I knew exactly how I wanted to finish this before I even started stitching it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

USS Midway

I'll just say up front this isn't a stitching post, and no stitching pictures.  Most of my stitching the last month and a half has been for exchanges or for the giveaway I just had.  Hopefully in a few weeks there should be a flood of stitching pictures.

San Diego is a Navy town, but strangely enough, my father was never stationed here in his 27 years of service.  One of the attractions downtown is the USS Midway Museum.  I got the chance a couple of weeks ago to be a last minute fill-in for a neighbor that wasn't feeling well, and attended a Steel Beach Party with the neighbor's husband and my parents.  I've never been on the Midway before (in fact I've never been on any carrier before), and unfortunately the museum portion was closed during the event, but it was still a lot of fun.  Dad never had a tour on the Midway, but he had been on it before during missions in Vietnam.

One of the neatest things about the Midway is my dad's plane is on deck.  No, not just the same type of plane, but his actual plane he flew.

Dad with his A-3 baby
Dad and Bob, the neighbor, talking guy stuff
There was a live band to greet us, and we also received leis as we walked into the cookout area

As you can see by the crowd, it was quite a popular event, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous for us.

As the sun went down, the lights on the ship came on and the city was absolutely gorgeous.

Hawaiian and Tahitian dancers for our entertainment

The Midway staff promises this will become an annual event for the museum members, and I've already put in my request with dad for a ticket to next year's Steel Beach party.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


No, I didn't forget about my giveaway.  I swear names were drawn out of a bowl by mother on Sunday, I've just had the scraps of paper sitting by my keyboard since then, taunting me.  I've been diligently plodding through my eCommerce class project, trying to get it finished.  If it isn't schoolwork in front of a computer then I've been ripping out vegetation and demolishing a backyard getting it ready for some landscaping.  Oh, and I've been breaking out in hives.

Enough excuses and blathering on about boring stuff, here we go.  There were exactly 3 times as many vintage lovers as funky (39 entries for vintage, 13 for funky).  I ended up feeling a bit sorry for all those vintage lovers, so I had mom draw 2 names out of that batch.

Faith was the lucky funky winner, while Linda and Sharee were the vintage gals.  I'll be sending out emails to you three asking some questions and to get addresses.  Thank you to everyone that entered, and welcome to my new followers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gather, Gobble, Give

Charlene posted posted a progress pic of her Gobble, and has already stitched Give.  I really love the colors she's chosen.  Anyway, she posted a link to my blog about my finished series, and it was driving me crazy trying to figure out where I has posted them.  Duh!  It was a blog header pic last autumn, so they never made it into the actual blog and received a label.  This post is more for my own peace of mind!

Plum Street Samplers Gather, Gobble, and Give
Stitched on 36 count HDF linen with HDF silks

The photo was definitely altered with some color effects and textures.  The 3 pieces are still unframed and un-finish finshed, hopefully waiting on mom to do some quilting magic and turn them into a wall hanging.  Maybe I'll gently prod her by picking out some fabrics and setting them on the sewing machine.

Hmm, maybe I should go pull Ghoul out of my supply of charts I brought with me....

Speaking of photo editing, I finally got brave enough to use Photoshop Elements (which I've had for a year now) and made my own custom blog header using different layers, textures and clipart.  On a different test blog (for my current eCommerce class), I came up with a custom blog background and a header.  Sorry, that blog is private since its a real business and I don't want people getting the test blog confused with the real business blog.  Its a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sad loss

Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum died this past week.  While my tastes have changed over the years, and don't currently lean toward her designs, they were true works of art.  She managed to chart very detailed designs and get fine shading, without resorting to the dreaded blended needle, or excessive use of fractional stitches.

Marilyn was a forward thinker, sometimes ahead of her time.  She spoke out against the evils of digital piracy of patterns back in 2000, way before many designers even had a web page of their own.  If more people had been proactive and thought about new approaches to take to selling designs, we might not be suffering through the current crisis some designers are facing.  Instead, the needleworking community chose to just carry on as normal.

One of my first ever "large" finishes was a Lavender and Lace project, Celtic Noel.  It took several years of on and off stitching, with the live-in boyfriend of the time yelling at me about needles stuck in the arm of the sofa.  Other than that, he was a pretty decent guy about supporting my cross stitch obsession.  At some point, once I get a job again, I'd like Jill Rensel to do her magic on this piece.  That is if I can ever get it out of my mother's possession.  It somehow ended up in her house a few years ago, after years of me telling her no!
Lavender & Lace Celtic Noel, stitched on 32 ct
natural linen with DMC floss, metallic floss, and beads.
Marilyn, you will be missed for your artistic talent and what you gave to the needleworking community.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympic Stitching Recap

I wasn't as self-disciplined as I wanted to be, but I wasn't bad either.  Christmas Garden saw quite a bit of progress, and I managed to stick with it for about the first 10 days of the Games.  I'm actually so close to a finish, but I've managed to obligate myself for a fair amount of stitching over the next few months.

Blackbird Designs Christmas Garden stitched on 35 ct
R&R Sheep's Straw with Shepherd's Bush silk conversion
Remember that Funky sneak peak a couple of posts ago?  Well, the stitched portion of the giveaway is no longer a mystery (don't worry, there will still be surprises).  I'm pleased to present Barbara Ann's Frogscornu.

Barbara Ann Designs Frogscornu biscorn, stitched on
28 ct Silkweaver linen (limited edition color) with
DMC floss and DMC Color Variations
I'm not sure what drew me to this design, since its about as opposite to my normal style as you can get.  Maybe its my Dad's nickname for me growing up - The Toad.  Maybe its that I'm still looking for my prince. Maybe its just that as a stitcher I like the idea of poking pins and needles in those dratted frogs.  I have a feeling I'll be stitching this again for myself, I have just enough of the blue Silkweaver fabric leftover.

For all you Vintage loving gals - don't worry, that project has already been started.  For anyone that hasn't signed up for the giveaway, you can head over to this post and leave a comment.

I want to give a quick apology to everyone that's left comments on my blog and I haven't gotten back to you yet.  Somehow my spam filter in email got turned off, so I got swarmed and overwhelmed.  Everything is sorted out now (and spam filter turned back on), but I still have to play catch up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vintage Sneak Peak

Its only fair, funky got a peak, so here's a post for the vintage lovers.

38 count Italian linen

Buttons from Grandma's button jar and the antique sewing
box purchased in England 25 years ago

Old wooden spools

Soft, muted colors.

The almost-amputated finger is doing much better.  The cut itself is healing very well.  The finger still has a fair amount of bruising (its reached the yellowish-blue stage) and is very stiff and difficult to bend after almost 4 days of being immobilized.  That will teach me to not respect my sharp knives.  Thank you to everyone for you kind thoughts and wishes.

Parsley was hosting a PAWty but unfortunately Princess Annie didn't get to participate.  Her evil owners sent her to the vet Saturday morning for a dental cleaning.  The poor baby took about 24 hours to recover from the anesthesia, and then another 48 hours for her gums to recover enough to go back to her hard kibble.  She obviously got absolutely no dental care the first 3 years of her life with her original owner, and my parents delayed getting her in just because they were scared to sedate her.  Anyway, here's a picture of her laying on a bed, with her hot pink pressure bandage from where the IV was inserted.

I'm happy to say Annie is fully recovered now, back to her usual antics, and doesn't have horrible bad breath anymore.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Funky sneak peak

Not my usual style.
Not my usual colors.
Not my usual linen count.
But so much fun!

I'll be stitching on 28 count linen with *gasp* 2 strands of thread!  This was one of those charts that immediately scream !cute! to me, so I guess its worth going out of my comfort zone.  Still plenty of time to sign up for my blogoversary giveaway here.

I still haven't made up my mind what the vintage option will be, but I have some ideas.  Probably a good thing since stitching is at a snail's pace right now.

My knives are super sharp and I was an idiot.  I know proper knife handling techniques, I just chose to ignore them on Monday and paid the consequences.  I didn't even feel the cut the knife is so sharp, but its a good one.  About and inch long and almost down to the bone, right on the second knuckle.