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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ooooooh, I Won!!

Hey Blog Buddies,

I was one of the lucky winners in Robin's generous giveaway earlier this month, and my package came this week!  The following are my goodies:

My package was entitled "Nature Giveaway"
and the projects include plants and animals.
Robin had five giveaways (with five winners!)
at the same time.

The other stash that came with it were
these lovely large pieces of linen:

These are two hand-dyed pieces and,
believe me, they are much prettier in person!
I am interested to see what type of
special projects I can find for them.

Robin's blog is called "Threads of Memory."
She must be very organized because
not only does she have time to
stitch, blog and hold fabulous giveaways,
but she's in the midst of planning her wedding!
Click here to read her blog and see
examples of her beautiful work.

Thanks, Robin!

Hope you had a fun Leap Year Day.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some Progress on Rainforest

Hey Blog Buddies,

I've been working on Rainforest Revisited by Needle Delights Originals this week, and despite having to frog out nearly half of one square, I have a total of four squares finished:

I am really enjoying stitching this project
(just like I enjoyed Rainforest Crunch last year).
There are some silk threads involved this time,
which means having to lay them.
I don't have a laying tool--oh, the horror!
I just use my fingers.
And the silk tends to stick to my fingers,
especially since they're so dry from the
low humidity in our house.
But it's all good.

The beige (as well as the brown outlining)
in this square are silk.

I would not have put the gold pearl cotton
with the pinkish Watercolour thread,
but I think it works.

This is my favorite block so far,
not only because it doesn't call for any silks,
but in real life the thread colors seem to just glow.

I'm sticking to my rotation,
which means I'm setting this project aside for now.
I've already started a small project this evening.
Hopefully, I'll have a finish to show you before
the end of the week.

Hope you got some stitching in this weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Designer's Desk Revisited

Hey Blog Buddies,

First of all, thanks so much for all the love for my Uptown Stitcher!  I really appreciate all of your kind comments.  She and I had a love-hate relationship for a long time, but now it seems to be turning into love-love.

On Tuesday, I met my GF Joyce at Designer's Desk, and I remembered my camera this time!  She lives not too far away from "the Desk" and had never been there.  (Yes, she is a stitcher, too.)  We meet periodically for lunch and it seemed like a good reason for me to go back there and introduce her to the place.  Plus, I needed to get Ms. Uptown Stitcher finish-finished and they, of course, will do that for you, too.

As you can see, the store occupies 
an entire 2-story house, with a basement--
three levels jam packed with stitchy goodness.
And, everything in the basement was still 75% off!

I was fascinated by the thread wall,
so most of my photos are of that.
You should be able to see that the wall
is actually five walls deep!

And there are more threads on the other side!

(also several levels deep!)

Here is only a part of the basement:

I didn't even take any photos on the second floor!
You get so busy just looking at stuff and drooling
that you forget you have a camera in your purse.
Joyce's reaction to the shop was:
"My head is spinning!"
(in a good way)

Here are my purchases from the second floor
where they have many ready-made frames
and custom-made frames, too, in one of the rooms.
(There are a lot of rooms upstairs.)
These are for my smaller pieces, 3x5, 4x4, 5x5...

The rest of my haul was all from the basement.
I didn't even feel guilty because at 75% off
it's a lot like shopping at Dollar Tree.

One Spring, four Christmas/Winter and
a couple of assorted non-seasonal designs.

Joyce brought along her girls, who are such cuties!
Sadly, they had to stay in the car:

Molly's buddy Lexi, the calm, older lab/GWP.

And Abbey, the lab/wire-haired ??
She is newly adopted and I'm told she is a "handful"
but she seemed very sweet.
Molly hasn't had the pleasure of meeting her yet.

It was a wonderful trip--hope you enjoyed the tour.
And thanks, as always, for visiting.

Monday, February 20, 2012

IHSW: A Happy Dance That's Been Almost 10 Years in the Making

Hey Blog Buddies,

I did it--worked diligently during International Hermit & Stitch Weekend (IHSW), and  I put the final stitches in yesterday!  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you are probably tired of seeing her face by now--not, however, as tired as I was of putting my painfully slow progress out there.  So here she is, the Uptown Stitcher by Libby Sturdy:

She is now all dolled up
and ready for her first shopping expedition!

I was fretting the most about how I was
going to do the trim on the hat.
Well, the netting for the lace went on fine,
and the instructions for the flowers
were simply to make loops of different sizes.
So I did.
Didn't really have to frog anything
while I was doing it.
(Notice that she has earrings to match her necklace.)

Her @#%^& shopping bag
was another story, however.
I said I wasn't going to redo it, but it was
just bothering me too much to leave it alone.
I can't say that I'm pleased with my third attempt,
just that I dislike it less than the other two.
I'm not going to bore you with what is wrong with it
that I can't seem to fix after three tries.

I put cording around the body of the purse
because some canvas threads were showing
where I plunged the unwoven threads
attached to the purse into the main canvas.
I think that part turned out well.

And to treat myself for finally finishing
the old biddy the lovely lady,
I started a new project:

This is the first square from
Rainforest Revisited by Needle Delights Originals.
One down, 31 more to go!
This project should cause me
a lot less grief than Ms. Uptown Stitcher!
It's the companion piece to
Rainforest Crunch, which I stitched last year.

A big thanks to Joyce for hosting the IHSW!
To see the progress of all the other participants,
go to her blog for all the links.

Happy blog hopping
and thanks, as always, for visiting!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

North America's Largest Auto Show

Hey Blog Buddies,

I've been diligently stitching away on one of my WIPs with not much progress to show, so thought I'd share my day with you.  Here is where DH and I went:

As you may be able to read on the banner,
"North America's Largest Auto Show" is
their description, not mine.  But I'll go along with it.
It sure takes up a large chunk
of McCormick Place.

We're not really in the market for a new car.
But the old flivver (Pontiac SUV)
has almost 100,000 miles on her,
so we thought we'd just look around
to see what's out there.

This was DH's dream:

A Porsch 911 Carrera ($125,000)
Beautiful, isn't it?
...moving right along...

Ford cut one of their vehicles in half:

Those crash test dummies need some clothes!!

We decided to take an actual test drive
in a Chevy Volt hybrid.
It's a little different than a test drive
at your local dealership.
They don't run a credit check on you,
or try to sell you the car.
Everyone who took the test drive
had to take a Breatholyzer test first.
I'm happy to announce that
this was the first and only time
 that I've ever taken one!
(We both passed, in case you're wondering.)
Makes me wonder if this is the
wave of the future for test drives
at a dealership?

Anyhoo, this is the Volt.
It's a miracle that I got a photo
without dozens of bodies surrounding the car.
Probably because it was a weekday.
The car was cute, fun to drive
and had decent pick-up.
But the battery lasts for only
35-50 miles, then the gas engine kicks in.
It's practical (and economical) only
if you do a lot of short trips--
not so much for longer trips.

And then there's the sticker shock:

There was a charming elderly gentlemen
who I waited for for over three minutes,
but he would not move his head (as you can see).
Maybe he went catatonic when he saw the price?
You can get sizeable energy rebates on
both your Federal and Illinois income taxes,
but still.

Yes, it's $40,000, stripped.
Again, moving right along...

A lot of folks have a favorite make of car,
and mine is Buick.
(We had a very, very bad experience
with a Toyota--a total lemon--in the 70's which
has permanently scared us off the
popular Japanese makes.)
My dad had a great Buick Special
for many years when I was growing up.
That dates me, I know.
And I had a reliable Skylark as an adult.
So the Encore caught my eye:

It's quite small for a Buick.
They're describing it as a mini-Enclave.
It won't be out until 2013.
They only had one model on a turntable.
You couldn't touch it or sit in it.
I asked about price and was told mid- to high-20's.
I'll be waiting.
Hopefully, our Pontiac will keep chugging along.

What is your favorite make of car?

Thanks for going to the Auto Show with me!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Think Spring

Hey Blog Buddies,

Thanks for all of your kind comments.  I truly do appreciate them.  We have more snow predicted here in the Chicago area overnight, and if I think about that I'll get all depressed, so instead I choose to think Spring.  I came across a little Prairie Schooler card with a Spring design in my stash, no doubt gotten for free from either a shop or a guild event some time in the indeterminate past.

It was a very quick stitch--
I started it about 3 days ago
and it's already finished!
It gave me a nice break
from my larger WIPs.

Continuing right along in the same vein,
the project at our guild meeting
last week was a mixed-media needlebook,
and the results looked very Springlike indeed.
The best part of it was
the project was super quick and easy--
just fuse the materials to one another with an iron.
The only sewing that was needed
was to attach the felt pages for the needles.

We were all given a foundation of
two pieces of fabric sewn together with
some heavier fabric in the middle.
Our kits contained pieces of colored paper,
snippets from books,
brightly colored cheese cloth,
2 pieces of felt to attach inside for the needles,
tatted chains, stamps,
lots of stuff!

We fused the layers together
with "Misty Fuse" and an iron,
and topped it all off with a piece of tulle.

This is the back cover of the book.
I like it better than the front!
But this is the danger of photographing your work:
the dog hair that you see (I know you do!)
is actually fused in between the layers!
I hadn't noticed it before I looked at the photo.

I have an opportunity to improve on this though.
I bought two extra needlebooks,
and now I have a better idea of how
to arrange my trinkets on them.
One can never have too many needlebooks
(hopefully without dog hairs!).

Hope you're enjoying whatever you're doing today.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WIPocalypse 2012 - February Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's time for the February WIPocalypse report already!  Time sure flies when you're stitchin.'  I've worked on three things over the past month, and decent progress has been made, I think.

First, we'll check out Allesandra Adelaide's CT13.  Here's where I started out a month ago:

And here's where I am now:

I added a little extra on the lower right
since my last update
just because I couldn't leave it sitting "unbalanced."
Everything's got to stay more or less symmetrical.
(It's part of my problem, dontcha know!)

Next we have our old friend, the Uptown Stitcher.
Here's where she was at a month ago:

Here's what she looks like today:

Did a bunch of little details
(finished the boots, French knots on dress
and added grass for her to stand on)
and started the background.
I've decided to keep the background color
even though it's close in color to her
shopping bag (not shown here).
She needs to get done.

Last, I have a finish to show you!!
Here is Snow Patches by the Cross-Eyed Cricket
a month ago:

And here he is now.  I finished him yesterday:
I switched around the colors
and even some of the patchwork patterns.
The purple buttons were left-over
from another design.
They go with the hearts on his mittens.
I was going to use beads for his eyes,
but comparing the size of the beads to the
size of the buttons, he would have looked too
(are you ready?)
beady-eyed  (teehee).
So I did French knots instead.
They're not perfect, but then again
no two stones are the same in nature, are they?
He's got a little character,
and I'm happy with the way he turned out.

That's it for my February WIPocalypse report.
Go here to find links to all of the
February WIPocalypse reports.
Happy blog hopping and..

Thanks for visiting!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stitching in Public

Hey Blog Buddies,

Today was our Stitch-in-Public event at the Munster Public Library, and everyone had a grand time.  It wasn't exactly like Walmart at 4:00 a.m. on Black Friday 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, but we did have five adults and two kids come by to see what it was all about and stitch with us.   Don't get us wrong, we love to teach adults how to stitch, but we were especially happy to see the kids since they are the future of needleart.  I've got lots of photos, so will let them do the talking.  (The color is weird on a lot of them, but you'll get the gist.)

We were able to use the library's display case
for some of the Guild's education projects.

We had some preassembled needle books,
and freebie alphabets and other designs.

Here's the start of a cute acorn design
on the right.

This design was originally intended for punchneedle,
but this lady wanted to try surface embroidery.
Whatever floats your boat is our thinking.

Here are two 8-year-old girls
(and their moms' arms on the left)
busy at work cross-stitching.

The girl standing on the right is Sophie,
granddaughter of our member Karen J.
She is an accomplished little stitcher
(she's almost 10 years old)
and is giving the younger girls a helping hand.

The room busy at work.

Since not all of us were needed to teach,
we brought stuff to stitch, to-wit:

Sue's hardanger ornament from an old magazine.

Karen J's Cedar Hill bunny.

Chris' La-D-Da sampler.

Renee's start on Mary Wigham.

Janet's Chickadee Hollow ornament.

Karen U's Carriage House Samplings design.

Lynn - L*K's Christmas Rules.

Barb had started "I found my glasses,
now maybe I can see my keys."

I brought along Uptown Stitcher,
but didn't make tons of progress
and you've seen her already.

And (as of the time that I left)
who was the only one who had finished her project?

She had such a good time that she said
she wants to come back next year!

Hope your weekend is equally fun-filled.

Thanks for visiting!