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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Ornaments

Hey Blog Buddies,

How's your weekend going?  Ours has been cloudy and gray, much like the last few weeks, but I'm not complaining because:  no snow (yet).  We know it's just a matter of time.

I've been stitching Christmas ornaments recently, some for exchanges and some for myself, and wanted to show them before the New Year.

This is a cute little spool ornament
which I made as a gift.
It's from EJV Designs, and it's called,
unsurprisingly, Peppermint Spool.
Very quick to do, and the kit
comes with everything you need
to make the ornament,
including the spool and bell.

 I participated in two
ornament exchanges this month.

This is what I made for the first one.
(It was well received.)
This is one of the Lizzie-Kate Jingles designs.

 And here is what I got.
This, too, was well received!
I believe this is one of
Susan Johnson's designs.

This is what I made for the 2nd exchange.
It will be familiar to long-time readers,
because it's one of my go-to ornaments.
All that is needed for finishing is a ribbon.
Gosh, now that I look at this photo,
I realize that my latest version
of this piece used white pearl cotton
for the eyelets!

I received two ornaments in this exchange!

Here are the last two ornaments.
Many of you will recognize
Foxwood Crossings' sleds.
The design is A Touch of Turquoise.
I'm keeping these two for myself.

 I also have three new starts
which I've been remiss in not showing
before now.
Well, they're not so new anymore...

First is Carriage House Samplings' Frederika.
I have a wing done, and a couple 
of her square spots. 

Next is Needle Delights Originals'
Summer Logs.
This is my ANG chapter's continuing project
this year.

Finally, blackwork enthusiasts may recognize
this very generous freebie
from Elizabeth Almond at Blackwork Journey.
And here is why I call it very generous...

The design came out in 24 separate "blocks."
I am on the first block,
and I'm not done with that yet!
Yes, it is humungous.
This will definitely be a multi-year project.
You can find this and other 
lovely blackwork freebies here.

I, of course, am planning a new start
for New Year's Day,
but don't worry, I'm not buying another chart.
It's going to be one of three
of the 37 projects I have kitted up...

Glendon Place's Tiramisu,

BBD's Loose Feathers 
Long Dog Sampler's Dawn Chorus.

I can't decide.
Yes, they're all on the large side, aren't they?
Any suggestions?

Wishing all of you a Happy Solstice
and Merry Christmas!
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Final Turtle Trot 2014

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's December (already!) and that means it's time for the final Turtle Trot post for 2014.  So here's a grand review of how all ten of my pieces looked in January and how they look now, going in order from least to most worked.  I'll start off with my Walk of Shame...

This is a canvaswork project
taught by my EGA chapter in 2011.
The proceeds of the kit went to benefit autism research.
Don't recognize it? 
Probably because you never saw it this year.
This is the "before" photo.

And here is the "after."
My motto is: work on what calls to you,
and this didn't this year.

Continuing on with the Walk of Shame,
here is the "before" photo of Winter by Indigo Rose.

And here is the "after."
I will have to determine the ultimate fate
of these two pieces some time soon.
Moving on...

Here is the "before" photo of Pristine 
by Cindy Valentine Designs.

Here is the "after"--not an easy piece to photograph,
especially on a gray December day.
I finished the satin stitches on the star in the center,
and added the eyelets,
on 2 of the 4 small inner triangles
and 2 of the 4 large outer triangles.
You'll just have to trust me, they're there.
Maybe I can finish the eyelets in 2015.  (heheh)


Rosewood Manor's A Tree by Itself  "before."

Here it is now.
I was hoping to get more done on this one,
but it is what it is.

Ink Circle's 99 in January of this year.

Here's what it looks like now.
Lots more beer to choose from!
Hoping for a finish next year...
and for world peace, too.

Here's Harper in Stitches' Cool Cardinal.
Last January, I had a headless bird.

He's hanging on my wall now,
and looks better than this photo.

Debbie Stiehler's Autumn Pumpkin Patch
as of last January.

I don't care if it is an autumn piece,
it will stay on my shelf all year round!

Needle Delights Originals' Tangerine Twist,
as of last January.

 The frame is dark blue, and quite shiny.
But at least the glass didn't glare!

Another Needle Delights Originals piece,
Winter Logs, the "before."

And the "after."
I believe I may have photographed this
upside down from the first photo (oops!).
But you get the idea.

Last but never least, regular readers of this blog
know them well:  Wolfgang and Wanda.
 This is how little had been stitched
way back in January.
Cross My Heart's Mates.

And here they are now.

Are you ready?


Did I give away the surprise?

Yes, I was close last month,
but now they are finished!
We could put this photo
next to the word "perseverance"
in the dictionary.
Up until last month,
I didn't believe these guys
would be finished this year.
 They've actually been finished
for about four days now,
and I haven't started any new projects.

So half of my Turtle Trot projects are finished,
and 3-ish are coming along.
This SAL has really helped me to focus
and make some pretty decent progress.
Thanks, Claudette!

To see more Turtle Trot wrap-ups,
check out the BAP Attack blog.

Hope you're having a wonderful December.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lloyd and Lola are Done

No, not as a couple.  (smile)  I named my wolves, so why not the lovebirds!  I've kept up with the lessons in my cyberclass, so now my blackwork lovebirds are finished.

Tanja Berlin's Just the Two of Us
I really, really like them.

This was billed as a beginning blackwork class,
but there were a lot of challenges along the way:
the stem stitch around the toes was tricky,
the heads are a dense layering of
DMC 310, YLI black silk and a
Belle Soie in dark periwinkle
(hard to see in this photo).
And let's not forget the very fine pearl purl
which had to be couched down
around the bodies and the beaks.
But challenging yourself does
give a feeling of accomplishment.

Here are the heads in various stages of progress.
I was really happy to be able to get
rid of the last of the red tacking stitches!

 And here is a close-up of the head.
You can see the periwinkle peeping through the black.
The reason the red in the beak
doesn't extend all the way to the
black stem-stitched inner border is that
this type of lovebird has a
white band across the top of its beak.
I actually looked up lovebirds on the Internet
because it was bugging me.
The eyes are spangles (sequins) held down
with a kind of eyelet stitch.

I would definitely urge you to try a cyberclass,
if you see one that interests you.
We posted WIP photos all along the way,
and got lots of good (and prompt!) feedback from Tanja.
I felt that I had plenty of time
to complete each class, too.

That's it from here.
I'm taking them to the framer's today.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 10, 2014

November Turtle Trot

Hey Blog Buddies,

How was your weekend?  My quilt guild had its annual giant boutique (think a rather large gymnasium overflowing with thousands of items), and I sold four embroidered items.  The items for sale don't necessarily have to be quilted, just handmade.  And no, I didn't price them to compensate myself for any time involved, just the materials.  It was a fundraiser, and I wanted them to sell.

What does this have to do with the Turtle Trot, you may wonder.  Well, it's leading in to the excuse I have for only working on one piece this month.  The four boutique items did take a bit of time to make after all.  I've also been diligently keeping up with the lessons in my blackwork cyberclass (photo coming soon), leaving little stitching time for anything else.

Yes, the day has finally come when I have ignored everything in my Turtle Trot list except for one (and we all should know what's coming next):

I'm sure that regular readers of this blog knew that it would be Mates.
Here is where I left off last month.

This is where I am now.
Hey, most of the white holes in her head are gone now!
For the past couple of weeks, the theme song
from the 70's comedy series "The Jeffersons"
has been playing in my head:
"Well we're movin' on up (movin' on up)
to the East side (movin' on up).
I'm already on the east side!   Ha!
I'm spending entirely too much time
with Wolfgang and Wanda!

This is a good example of a
no-matter-what project.
I work on it a little bit
every day before breakfast
no matter what.
And I'm getting results, albeit slowly.

To see what the other Trotters have been up to,
check out Claudette's blog, BAP Attack.
She's our Head Turtle.

 That's it from here.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lovebirds - Lessons 2 and 3

Hey Blog Buddies,

What have you been up to recently?  I've been spending a lot of time working on my blackwork lovebirds in order to keep up with the cyberclass I'm taking from Tanja Berlin.  It's a good thing the overall size of the piece is not terribly large, is all I can say.

In case you missed my first post about them, here is where I left off...

This was Lesson 1.
And here is Lesson 2.
It's kind of hard to see in this photo,
but there are a couple of small stitched areas
toward the top of each bird
that look a little lighter than the rest of the body.
That's because most of the body
was stitched with DMC 310,
but the lighter areas were stitched with
YLI silk which is noticeably thinner than DMC!
How thin was it?
It was so thin that I had to tie it on to my needle!
And here I thought that silk floss
was always thicker than DMC floss.
Gloriana is.
You learn something new every day!

I thought that Lesson 3 was rather ambitious,
but I managed to finish it.
I'm all caught up to where I'm supposed to be,
waiting for Lesson 4 to be published.
The colors in the body are
four different shades of metallic thread,
and the beaks were stitched with Au Ver a Soie silk,
which is a bit thicker than DMC 310.

Here's a close-up.
As you can see, some of the octagons
contain a two-color metallic square.
It all depended on whether
they straddled the basting lines,
which are thankfully gone now.
They annoyed me.
Put them on my long list!
This is a fun class,
and I like how the birds are turning out.
Lesson 4 (coming this Friday): the heads!

Hope you're stitching something fun.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 10, 2014

October Turtle Trot

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's the tenth of the month, so it's time to post our progress for the Turtle Trot SAL.  

Each month we post progress updates on the ten WIPs we chose at the beginning of the year.  Claudette of BAP Attack is our Head Turtle/ringleader.

This month, I'm afraid there's not too much to show.  I did make some progress on Ink Circles' 99:

This is where I left off last month...

...and this is where I'm at now.
I was hoping to get the entire 4th row done,
but the best laid plans, etc.

And last (already?!) but never least,
we have Perseverance Mates:

...last month...

...and this month...
The casual observer might think
that this piece is almost done.
Would that it were.
I estimate at least 2 to 3 more months of
stitching on it a little every day.
Not my definition of "almost done."

That's it for this month--short and sweet.
Visit Claudette's blog to check out her progress
and that of the other Trotters.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jo's 500 Followers Blog Hop

Hey Blog Buddies,

Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is celebrating her blog reaching 500+ followers with a blog hop geared to celebrate the friendships found in blogging.  Each blogger who joined was given the name of another blogger who is participating.  Then on October 7th (that would be today) we are to dedicate a post to that blogger.

"My" blogger is Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread.  I'm glad that I received Kim's name because I wasn't familiar with her blog until yesterday.  As I discovered while reading her blog, Kim is all about reaching out and forming friendships with others.  She participates in numerous round robins, exchanges and stitch-alongs.  She also thinks outside the box and has come up with some very clever and fun ideas to interface with other stitchers such as Swapaway and The Traveling Treasure Chest.

Kim and I seem to have quite a few things in common.  We are both:  from the Midwest United States, retired, living with a husband and one or more dogs, only children, and like to do a variety of needlework including cross stitch, canvaswork and quilting!

Jo suggested that each blog hop participant pick one of our stitched projects that we think our featured blogger would like.  I noticed that Kim is doing a canvaswork piece on a Tudor lady named Catherine Parr.  I also did a canvaswork "lady," perhaps not as regal as Catherine, but her attitude makes up for any lack of royal bloodlines:

This is Libby Sturdy's Uptown Stitcher.
I named her Betty.
I think Betty and Catherine Parr would get along famously
if they ever happened to meet, don't you?

So go check out Kim's blog, Wisdom with Needle and Thread, and Jo's Serendipitous Stitching to see all the blogs participating in this fun blog hop.

Thanks for dropping by.