I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's not the Destination, It's the Journey

Hey Blog Buddies,

I kept repeating the above phrase as I frogged quite a bit of blood red silk in my CT13 this afternoon.  I contemplated leaving the mistake in--it was on the left side of the bottom branch--but then I would have had to make a similar "mistake" on the right side, and the whole branch would have looked too thick and out of whack.  So I frogged.

You can still see a little red fuzz
on the bottom where I ripped.
This won't be nearly as far along as I had hoped,
but again, journey not destination!
(And it's been one heckuva journey today!)

Yesterday, I went on a field trip (for research purposes only, of course) to Designer's Desk in Geneva, Illinois, with six other gals from the guild.  I had heard much about this needlework store from various people, and was interested to see if it would live up to the hype.  All I have to say is, it's a stitcher's nivana.  It's in a cute Victorian house.  The main floor and upstairs are packed with stuff.  The basement is packed with stuff, too, and everything there was 75% off!   They carry a full line of cross stitch supplies, as well as all the needlepoint you could want, including a bunch of painted canvases.  Their thread walls have to be seen to be appreciated.  Did I remember my camera?  No.  That's why I must go back--so that you can see photos of this wonderful place.

I had been doing so well with working from stash and not buying anything new--until yesterday.
Hey, it's almost the end of January!

Clockwise, from left:
Summer by Indigo Rose (75% off!),
Hare's Summer by Plum Street Samplers,
Mix it Up from Mill Hill Kitchen Collection,
and two Mill Hill beaded Halloween ornies for my tree, of course.

I also found the Rosewood Manor bin,
and had six charts pulled.
I eliminated the charts, one by one,
until only this beauty was left.

And who says I have no impluse control?!!

We had a 1 o'clock lunch reservation
which was a good thing because
it gave us an excuse to get our purchases rung up and leave
(after 2-1/2 hours in the store).

Good friends, tasty food and fabulous shopping.
Hope your weekend was just as marvy.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My First IHSW (This Project is Cursed...)

Hey Blog Buddies,

Over the weekend, I participated in my first International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, and it was quite fun to be stitching along (virtually) with so many fellow stitchers, and then be able to visit their blogs to see what they did.  Here is what I accomplished on the Uptown Stitcher:

Starting with just a few lines of backstitching
in the lower left corner,
I stitched almost half of the background.
It's a criss-crossed backstitch
(Alicia stitch)
done on the diagonal,
and it's really time consuming.
I spent a lot of hours on it
both on Saturday and Sunday.

Although the Alicia stitch
done in this exact color
was listed as a background option,
the photo showed a different background,
with much of the white canvas left unstitched
(a design element I still have a hard time with).

I also redid her little shopping bag:

Yes, I'm aware the design is a little off center (sigh).
This is the second time I've put this little bag together
(after ripping it out the first time)
and I think it would fall apart if I went for a third go-round.
But that's not even the worst part.

Here's the bag where it will
eventually be placed in the finished piece.
Yes, it stands out because it's 3-dimensional,
but to me it looks way too tone-on-tone
next to the background color.

That's all I'm going to do on her for now.
When she comes back up in the rotation,
I'll decide whether I want to rip out the background,
redo (from scratch) the shopping bag (probaby not!)
or leave it the way it is.

I look forward to participating in
many more IHSW weekends.
They are the third weekend of every month.
To find out more about them, go here.

Hope your weekend was productive.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We Have a Winner!

Hey Blog Buddies,

Thanks for the great response to my giveaway!  As advertised, we had our drawing today, although I believe this will be the last time I tear up little pieces of paper and write names on them.  That was time consuming, given the number of entries!  (Hello, Random Number Generator!)  But anyway, I digress. 

I thought I'd give the newest member of the Southpaw Stitcher staff a shot at drawing the winning name.

Molly was a trainee, up until today.

I believe she thought this was a bowl of dog food.
Trust me, there was neither food nor a treat in the bowl.
I was too afraid she might eat one or two names
in her zeal to get at any buried treat.

Just as I was about to give the other staff member
a shot at drawing the winning name, he said,
"Hey, she did it!  She knocked one piece of paper out of the bowl!"
(More than one piece would have necessitated a do-over.)

She looks as surprised as we both were.
I honestly didn't think she could pull it off.
She's been promoted to Giveaway Supervisor.

So, without further ado, the winner is...

...Kimberly R!  Congratulations!
I don't believe she has a blog.
Kimberly, if you'll email me your address,
I'll mail the goodies out to you ASAP.

Now, I plan to go back to participating in the
Good stitching, everyone!
And thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My New 2012 Plan

Hey Blog Buddies,

I'm usually a serial stitcher:  once I start something, it will usually get finished (with a few notable exceptions) before I start something new.  This year, I thought I'd try a rotation of four items.  Once an item gets finished, a new one will take its place.  (We'll see how long this lasts.)

Snow Patches was Item 1.  Item 2 (are you ready?) is none other than the Uptown Stitcher.  She actually deserved to be Item 1, but she'll take whatever she can get.

It doesn't really look like much progress was made.
But, I finished the details in her boots,
gave her some grass to stand on,
added all the yellow French knots to her dress,
drew the outline for the shape of the background
and started doing the Alicia lace stitching
on all the areas that aren't Her.

Alicia lace (a new-to-me stitch)
is just criss-crossed backstitching,
done on the diagonal.
It's not at all hard to do, but very time-consuming.
(Basketweave would go quicker.)
I'm doing it with one strand of DMC 341.

We'll have to wait and see
what projects will emerge as Items 3 and 4.

If you haven't already,
don't forget to check out my giveaway
and leave a comment on the giveaway post
for a chance to win.
The deadline is tonight, 11:59 p.m. Chicago time,
and the winner will be drawn tomorrow.
Good luck!

And thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Bumbling Stitcher

Hey Blog Buddies,

First of all, welcome to all my new followers, and thank you for all your kind comments.  I love your feedback!

Today it seems that a more appropriate title of this blog would have been The Bumbling Stitcher.  The project that I'm currently stitching is the Cross-Eyed Cricket's "Snow Patches"--a snowman design.  (I realize that I had a little hissy fit in my last post about the snow, but pictures of snowmen are generally cute.  Go figure.)  I had a 9-inch square piece of confederate gray linen which I had chosen for another design that was deep-sixed.  It was too similar to the "Winter" piece that I did right after Christmas.  So why not use the linen on "Snow Patches"?

OK, this design is not quite square,
but I thought it would be doable.
The background of the piece is a little 20 years ago,
so I decided to change the colorway.
I didn't want holiday colors,
so decided to go with "different."
Katie, bar the door!

In the meantime, I'm stitching along
on the snowman, and his bottom half
is getting perilously close to the lower edge of the fabric.

The only part of the fabric that you don't see
is the selvedge which does not reach the
edge of the bottom clip.
I thought it was prudent to just stop at this point.

I decided against doing the top hat,
so now he has a National Park Service Ranger type of hat,
which makes him look a little like Clem Kadiddlehopper.
(Sorry, all you wonderful Rangers!)

Here's what it looks like so far:

He has a different personality than his cousin.
He's chubbier and a lot less sophisticated.
I'm still not sure about the flying geese design
that is making an appearance in the upper right corner.

It's a shame that all the confederate gray
will be covered up.
I really like it.

Is this going to turn out to be quirky
or just a hot mess?
Time will tell, since this is all being done on the fly.

I almost never change any part of
the design of a project.
There's probably a good reason for that!
I should at least get some graph paper
before trying something like this again.

Hope your weekend has been productive.
If you haven't already, don't forget to
check out my giveaway, here.

Thanks, as always, for visiting.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I am not amused...

The view from one of the upstairs bedroom windows.

Now, admittedly, it's not as bad as it looks.
We accumulated maybe 6-7 inches of snow here
during the last 24 hours.
This is "just" a drift on the roof.
And we have been really, really
spoiled weatherwise this winter.
Yesterday was the first measurable snow.
But still...

Add to that the fact that I've got
a doozy of a cold,
and you have one very cranky
Southpaw Stitcher.
I.  Hate.  Snow.

However, there is one saving grace.
A couple of days ago,
this came in the mail...

One hundred twenty colorful pages
of luscious stitchy goodness.
I'm ever so much happier looking at this
than out the window.
If you're not on their mailing list,
you really should get on.
They have a big website, too,
but there's nothing like a paper catalog
that you can hold in your hands
and just..  dream.

And, of course, I got some stitching done, too.
Progress pics to come.

Hope the weather where you are
is just what you want.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blogoversary Giveaway!

Hey Blog Buddies,

Are you as excited as I am that my one-year blogoversary is coming up on January 21st?  (Well, probably not...)  Anyhoo, in honor of that blessed event, I am having a giveaway, to-wit:

...all this stuff.

Let me break it down from largest to smallest:

The Spring 2011 issue of Spool.
If you're not familiar with Spool,
each issue has a variety of charts and patterns for
cross stitch, needlepoint, knitting, felting,
punch needle, crochet, something for everyone.

Chart with row-by-row instructions for
"My Favorite Things" sampler by the Drawn Thread.

Booklet with chart and
very thorough instructions for
"One Stitch at a Time" by
Patricia Ann Designs.
Great for learning new stitches.

Here's the colorway I chose.
(finished piece not included in giveaway--smile)

Two 15" x 15" pieces of 32-count Belfast linen,
either one of which would be suitable
for "One Stitch at a Time"

Chart for "I''m Confused.."
by Sisters and Best Friends
(no itty bitty buttons, though)

Last but not least, the chart
for Lizzie Kate's January Flip-It.

Same deal as before:
leave a comment on this post for one chance to win;
followers get an additional chance to win;
post about it on your blog with a link here for a 3rd chance.

Deadline to enter will be
11:59 p.m. Chicago time on January 20th.
The winner's name will be drawn
on January 21st.

Good luck!
And thanks for visiting...

Monday, January 9, 2012

WIPocalypse 2012 - January Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

Are you as stoked as I am about the 2012 WIPocalypse?  Not that I'm hoping that the world will end in December, but if it does, there are over 300 of us who will have our WIP's (hopefully) all finished!  And there's something to be said for that.
I haven't actually showed photos of my 2012 to do list before.  And since I can't seem to get this Blogger page thing figured out, I'll do it here.  Some are WIPs, and other are just things I want to do this year.  But since this is a picture-heavy post, I'll stop blabbing and go straight to my WIPocalypse list:

Here she is, our old friend,
Libby Sturdy's Uptown Stitcher.
She's nearing completion.
There should be no reason that she remains a WIP.

Alessandra Adelaide's CT13--
the zany red Christmas tree.
I'm really hoping it will be up on my wall
for Christmas 2012.

This is Indigo Rose's Winter.
It's probably my oldest WIP,
started in 1998 or 1999.

The project benefiting autism research
that my Guild offered in April 2011.
The multi-colored row that I'm doing now
is really... interesting.

Another stocking from
BBD's 'Tis Halloween booklet.
I'd like to get at least one other one stitched, too...

..this one.

I've got two of these designs finished.
I want to do three more.
(Yes, I'll be stitching one twice.)
These will look cute finished as a cube.

Plum Street Sampler's "Boris."
He is just too cute for words!

Milady's Needle "Christmas Elegance."
You can never have too many holiday ornies!
(I want to do at least one, hopefully two.)

Raise the Roof's Crabby All Year
This is such a fun design!
Once I get all the buttons and some linen,
look out!

I found this free chart while
rummaging through my stash today:
Calico Crossroads'
"I Stitch Therefore I Am" band sampler.
How cute is this?!!
And I didn't even remember I had it!
Gotta do this one soon!

This was a Guild project,
a freebie blackwork design from Laura J. Perin
that I'd really like to get done this year.

This is another guild project:
cross-stitch pinwheels
from Calico Crossroads
worked on perforated paper.
Everyone needs a cross-stitched pinwheel, right?

This is Rainforest Revisited
by Needle Delights Originals.
I'd like to start this right now, except
the short ends of the stretcher bars
are being used by Uptown Stitcher.
(Just another reason to finish her soon.)

I want to do 2 or 3 of these
for my spring display....

This Victoria Sampler ornament
was in the 2010 JCS Christmas issue.
It's all kitted up and ready to go!

And wonder of wonders, I have a finish!
Lizzie*Kate's January Flip-It.  Woo hoo!

And here is my latest start.
Snow Patches from the Cross-Eyed Cricket.
If you've made it through the end of this list, congratulations!
Hope your weekend was fabulous.
And thanks for visiting.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

hep mous

Hey Blog Buddies,

"hep mous" -- that's what one of my recent projects spelled out.

Well, I started stitching at the bottom,
and in order to be able to stitch it easier,
I turned the thing upside down.

There, that's better--Snow Day.
(I'm not quite right.)

This is from the Lizzie Kate leaflet
"Winter Crazy."
No, I don't know what the little piece of lint is
on the snowman's scarf.
I assure you it wasn't there
when I gifted this to my friend Joyce yesterday.

This is the first time I've ever done a flat finish!
It's certainly not a Karen finish.
The tassels are a little weird,
and the cording could have been a bit thicker,
but you learn by doing, I guess.
I'll have to add "finish-finish more things myself"
to my 2012 stitching goals.
Anyway, Joyce liked it,
and that's all that matters.

This is the other 2011 finish I couldn't show you before.
It's a freebie blackwork project from the EGA
that I'm going to be teaching later this year.
You'll notice that the stems are a bit funky.
That's because my stitches are a bit too long in spots.
(It's the wrapped stem stitch.)
I figured that since it's a teaching project,
I would leave it the way it is to show
what NOT to do.
And since the project was chosen for me,
I consider it "expendable" after I'm done with it.
I don't hate the design, I just don't love it.
A bad attitude?  Maybe.
But I'm sure I'll have fun teaching it
because I do love blackwork.

Hey!  My first blogoversary is coming up soon.
And you know what that means, don't you?
So, watch this space!

And thanks for visiting.

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Start of the Year

Hey Blog Buddies,

Happy New Year to all of you!  2012 is rollin' and it's the 2nd already.  I do have one modest little start to share with you.

As you can see, it's the January Flip-It by Lizzie Kate.

I haven't gotten too much done on it, because I'm working to finish-finish a little giftie for a friend who sometimes pokes her head into this blog.  A photo of that little project will be forthcoming in a few days.

I have been reading your blogs and notice that there are a lot of posts about progress on 2011 goals.   I didn't have any goals for 2011!  This blog didn't even exist last year at this time.

HOWEVER.... I did finish 26 projects last year.  OK, a lot of them were small:  ornies and bookmarks and such.  But still, that's pretty good for me.

This year I have joined the 2012 WIPocalypse.  Everyone works on their WIPs in hopes of finishing them.  But you don't even have to limit yourself to WIPs, you can add new starts, too--it's very flexible and sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  Measi is in charge, and the deadline to sign up isn't until January 15th.  If that sounds like fun to you, run over to her blog here and sign up.  You could end up winning a prize!  Here is my WIPocalypse list so far:

Lizzie Kate's January Flip-It (above)
Libby Sturdy's Uptown Stitcher
3 more Quilt Collection ornaments from Laura J. Perin
Needle Delight's Rainforest Revisited
Plum Street Sampler's Hare's Christmas
Alessandra Adelaide's CT 13
Stumpwork Cardinal by Marsha Papay-Gomola
A couple of quilting projects, to be determined

...and you know more will be added as the year moves along.

The other thing I want to accomplish in 2012 is learning how to do Ukrainian Drawn Thread Embroidery.  I have an instructional book... that's a start.

I had a groovy 2011 here in Blogland.  Thanks to all of you who stopped by to read my ramblings.  And a very special thanks to those of you who took the time to become Followers and/or commented on a post.  It means a great deal to me--otherwise I'd think I'm just talking to myself here, and that would be no fun.

I hope that 2012 is happy, healthy and filled with stitchy goodness for all of you.

And, as always, thanks for visiting!