Monday, January 28, 2013


My first ever Instagram photo!  

My first ever use of hashtags!

Hopefully next week he'll get a face.

That's all for now, back to school, trying to finish a class before the end of my term.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Scarlet Letter stitching

If you read Nicole's Scarlet Letter Year blog, you've probably already seen these pics.

Ann Smith had some progress, and I started on some of the over-1 stitching.  The plan to use tent stitch for the over 1 (except the words) didn't work out.  I wasn't getting good enough coverage on the 35 count linen, so all that over 1 is being done with full crosses.  Miss Ann has a lot of over 1.

Mom and I were discussing that deer on the left one night.  I thought it looked like a moose.  She thinks its a donkey with antlers.  I really laughed at that.

The after Christmas illness that hit the household caught up with me.  All 3 of us were on antibiotics for sinus infections, and I still have the lingering crud - cough and congestion.  I'm not complaining too much, since this is what I lived with 90% of my time in Utah.  I loved Utah, my body didn't.  When I was at my worst, I indulged in a couple of new starts, partly because I didn't feel like facing the over 1 on Ann.

Meet Elizabeth Burrows.  She's a small sampler, but requires some mental agility since the stitches are over 2, 3, and 4 threads.  It was my first exposure to the Montenegrin stitch and Italian cross.  I'm in love.  I chose 4 silks from my stash, trying to respect Elizabeth's original choices, but drew the line at pale pink.  Instead I substituted an overdyed cream silk that had some touches of peach and taupe.

Since taking this picture I've gotten down to the alphabet stitched in eyelets.  I usually substitute smyrna crosses for eyelets, but I'm actually going with the more time consuming eyelets.  Its worth it, they look great.

My other new start was CCN's Santa's Village.  This is going to be a huge piece when finished, even stitched on 36 count.  I changed out some of the floss, using overdyed cotton from my stash, but decided to stay with some of the bright colors.  I'm questioning that now, but I'm not going to rip out what's stitched.  Instead I pulled a darker and more muted red, and will bring some of that in, starting with the berries that should be in the bottom border.  My wreath is missing its berries, and Santa his eyes, and of course the star on the top of the tree.  I want to use some seed beeds and the JABCO button, so will wait until the end to attach those.

My goal for this year is to focus more on my "serious" stitching, with just enough "fun" stitching to keep life lively.  I love my "serious" projects, but they tend to get pushed to the side so easily with my love for seasonal stitching.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Last finishes of 2012

Dad's birthday was on Dec 20.  Since I'm still unemployed, gifts this year were primarily handmade.  I took a $6 box from Hobby Lobby and transformed it with some paint, sandpaper, wax and fabric into something special for Dad.  From the first time I saw this Shakespeare's Peddler chart, I knew I wanted to stitch it for him.  I couldn't afford the gorgeous pencil box it was designed for, so I adapted the chart to fit on top of this larger box.  I thought it was perfect for his Navy heritage.  Another case of me adding alphabets to charts.

That mess in the background of the photo is Dad's desk, and I was happy to see he's already using the box.  I lined it with some padding and fabric.  He's always throwing his watches face down, and scratching up the crystal.  The watch you're seeing  is a very fancy Citizen watch they picked up on the last cruise and was his Christmas present.  We really don't want it getting scratched up.

Mom's Christmas present was an embellished wool applique piece, which isn't quite finished.  I still need to trim it and blanket stitch the backing on.  It was hard to find time to work on it without her seeing what I was doing.  My embellishments lean heavily toward beads, since I have so many of them, and they're easy.  I did do some bullion stitches (around the holly leaves on the right) and some challenged myself with learning drizzle stitches (the centers of the poinsettias).  Drizzle stitches are fun and easy, I'll be doing more of them.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I was using my phone and a new to me app called PicsArt.  I figured some pictures and a post are better than nothing, and I really didn't feel like taking the time to use the big camera or messing around for hours on the phone trying to edit and correct the pics like I normally would.  I haven't come down with the crud as bad as Mom and Dad did, but I'm still not feeling great.

The final exchange I did in 2012 was a Christmas exchange with Stitched With Love Exchanges.  I received the most adorable Rudolph ornament from Debbie, along with lots of other goodies.  She packed everything in a decorated plastic jar.  It was a great idea for protecting everything in transit, and was used to store Chex mix nibbles during the holiday season.

I chose to stitch 2 Santa ornaments for Melissa, finishing them with beaded edges and hangers, as well as stitching a decorative border for their backs.  The Santas were freebies from Gazette 94.  I'd really like to stitch them again for myself, doing the whole series, and maybe passing on the beaded edging.

One of the extras I sent was a chocolate advent calendar.  I have some very fond memories of these from when I lived in Germany as a young child.  Pretty crappy chocolate in them, but I still loved opening up the little squares each evening to get my treat.

I had mentioned in my last post I needed to find the picture I took of Delaney.  Just like I thought, it was on Mom's fancy new smartphone.  Delaney is 15, and has had a tough life.  Don't ask me what she's officially diagnosed as having, I just know she's my special cousin, suffering from both physical and mental disabilities. Its very frustrating for her trying to communicate.  She understands more than what people give her credit for, but she can't talk.  She definitely remembers Mom from the last time they were together, and greeted her with lots of hugs.  It took a few hours for her to warm up to me, but I got my fair share of hugs too.

While watching the Rose Parade this morning, I worked on some Ann Smith flowers.  I really felt the urge to start something new last night, for New Year's, but held off, instead just moving to a new section of Miss Ann.  Here's just a small snap of the top border flowers.

I'm still loving her vibrant colors.  I actually stitched that blue flower twice.  The first time was with some duller blues (I had originally adjusted some of the colors).  I decided to rip it out and go back to the brighter turquoise blue originally called for.  Its definitely mellower stitched and surrounded with the other blues than in the full skein.