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

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Stitch from Stash

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's nearing the end of the month (January can't leave fast enough to suit me!), so that means it's time for the Stitch from Stash check-in.

Mel, over at Epic Stitching has organized this SAL.  If participants spend less than $25/month on new stash, they'll be entered in the monthly drawing.  My reasons for joining the SAL have less to do with saving money (although I like that added benefit), or winning prizes (but that's nice, too) than they have to do with not buying any more new charts.  So going by that criteria, I was successful in January.  I spent $1.60 on four skeins of DMC which I needed for my Mates WIP, and $15 on fabric needed to balance out the tones on a lap quilt which I intend to start soon.

The two orangey fat quarters on the left,
and the two brown half yards in the middle
were my new purchases this month.

The new DMC skeins have already been sucked
into the vortex of the ring of floss
which is being used for Mates.
You didn't miss anything colorful;
they are light grays and beiges. 

My new starts from stash this month were:
Nordic Needle pre-work (click here, if you missed it),
 the pincushion that was part of my
Third Blogaversary Giveaway (click here)
and a Christmas ornament...

 I know this looks a little strange,
but it will be cute when made into a strawberry.

Here's the chart.
It's the one on the top left.

So that's a grand total of $16.20 spent, and $8.80 left.
I have a $25 gift card which can be used as
stash money, so that gives me
$33.80 that I can roll over into February!
I know, too much math!
I hope to do better, money-wise, next month.

That's it from here.
Folks in my area just have to make it
to Wednesday, and the temps
are predicted to rise above 0 degrees F.
Isn't that special?
Stay on the warm side of the door
if you've been visited by Polar Vortex, The Sequel.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog!

Vicki over at 2 Bags Full has organized a Grow Your Blog party--such fun!  I'm always looking to connect with bloggers that are new to me.  For those of you who've never visited here before, here is a little about me.

I live in the greater Chicago metro area (in the 'burbs)

 ...with my husband and rescue dog Molly.
I've done some sort of embroidery for almost as long as I can remember, and I started this blog three years ago in order to connect and share with others in the Blogosphere who craft or do needlework or have an interest in the needlearts. 

 I enjoy doing cross stitch,
but my interests also extend to...




and even a little quilting, knitting, crochet,
photography, music, animals... lots of things.

To promote the party atmosphere, I'll be having a little giveaway of a small something handmade by me.  Just leave a comment on this post if you want to be entered.  Deadline to enter is February 14th, and I'll draw the winning name the next day.

So have a look around and follow me if you think my little corner of the Internet might be of interest.  Make sure you leave a link to your blog so I can visit you, too.

Thanks for visiting, and party on!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We Have 3 Winners!

Hey Blog Buddies,

Today is my third blogaversary!

We were all so cute when we were three...
but I digress.

Of course today is also the day
that the three winners of my blogaversary giveaway
were chosen.
My stitch group was over this morning,
and the ladies happily obliged
when I asked each in turn to
draw a name from the bowls.

Without further ado, the winners are:

Pincushion:   Mouse (Tales of a Stitching Mouse)
Fabric:  Suztats (Suztats)
Scarf:  Caitlin Jordan (Naughts & Cross Stitches)

Congratulations, ladies!
Please contact me with your addresses,
and I will send your prize off to you.

I know Molly is supposed to draw the winning names
for any giveaways that happen around here,
but she was upstairs in seclusion this morning...  I hope I can make it up to her.
(She doesn't look too pleased, does she?)

Have a wonderful day,
and thanks for visiting! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January IHSW: A Blast from the Past

Hey Blog Buddies,

Did you ever pick up a stitching project that you hadn't worked on for 13 years?  That's what I did during this International Hermit and Stitch weekend, and it wasn't easy!  The project was Mates, from my Turtle Trot listEvery project on that list is something I want to finish (or at least make significant progress on) this year.  Here's my before photo:

I had forgotten a lot of the details about this piece.  I remembered that it was stitched on Aida cloth (a little easier to work with and besides none of the ground will show when finished), but it's 18-count and I couldn't figure out if I had used one or two strands of floss.  (I should have figured out by the coverage of the black that it was two.)

One of the things I had done was to tape the edges of the ground with masking tape.  Don't judge:  it was 13 years ago and I didn't know any better!  I've kind of gotten away from using Q-snaps (they're a little too heavy for me to hold, and I don't have one of those wonderful but expensive gripper frames), so I took the piece off of the Q-snaps (yes, it had been on them all this time--are you horrified yet?) and decided to mount it on stretcher bars!  That should also help with getting some of the wrinkles out.  heheh.  When DH heard the pounding, he came up to ask if I was starting yet another new project.  When I showed him my "new" project, he was quite surprised and he remembered it right away (I was impressed!)--it is kind of distinctive.  At this point I still wasn't convinced that I was going to take a stitch on it.

By the way, I found the highlighter that I was using to mark off my stitching progress in the bag along with the piece and it still works!

 Do they even still make these?

This project kind of reminds me of a HAED, only not so big.  I guess it would be one of their "quick" stitches - ha!  There are "only" eight pages of charts.  I don't believe I would ever purchase a chart this large (and with so much confetti stitching!) today, but there is a lot of stitching already finished and it would be a shame to give it away (I wouldn't throw it away), plus I really like how it's turning out!  So, after circling it mentally for quite some time wondering where to start, I just plunged in.  Here is what I got done this weekend:
After quite a few hours of stitching, it doesn't look like anything was done to it, does it?  I'll give you a hint:  I filled in areas under "her" throat and also areas on the bridge of "his" nose. 

I'm not a patient person, but working on something like this will either teach you patience or you'll be throwing the piece down on your driveway and backing over it with your car (no tread marks on it yet!).  Maybe if I can stitch just a tiny bit on it each day, I'll make decent progress on it without driving myself crazy.  That's the current plan.

In non-IHSW stitching, I worked on Debbie Stiehler's pumpkin earlier in the week.  Here's where it's at now...

I'm halfway done!   Here are a couple of close-ups--they're a little more interesting.

Last but not least, I finally got Rosewood Manor's Rose Watercolor Butterfly framed--  I finished stitching it last July!  I brought it to my new favorite framing shop this past Wednesday and got the call that it was ready the very next day--crazy!

I have no idea why I let it sit so long.  Love the butterfly, but those of you who've been reading this blog awhile know that it was the blackwork that attracted me to this design.  Speaking of which, I must get another blackwork piece going this year, and I have just the project in mind. I already have the chart and I can scrounge the fabric/threads from my stash so I won't have to spend any money.

Of course it's blackwork--darning stitches are often used in blackwork!  Gosh, I may have had too much caffeine today.  I should stop now.

Don't forget to check out my giveaway here.  Deadline to enter is midnight, Chicago time, Monday, January 20th.  You can check on the other hermitters' progress hereHope your weekend was groovy.  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Hey Blog Buddies,

I can't believe it's been almost three years since I started this little blog.  Time does fly when you're having fun!  So in order to celebrate, a giveaway is being held.  For my Third Blogoversary Giveaway, there are three prizes. 

Since we are close to Valentine's Day...

...a stitched heart pincushion.
It's a Ewe and Eye and Friends design,
and my first finish of 2014!

Next, an assortment of 28-count linen and evenweave,
good for smaller projects:

Last but not least, a crocheted scarf:

 There will be three winners.
To keep it simple, all you have to do to enter
is be a follower of this blog and leave a comment on this post
letting me know which prize you'd most like to win.
You can name two or even all three, if you can't decide. 
But, alas, there's only one prize per person.
Anyone, anywhere can enter.

Deadline to enter is midnight Chicago time,
January 20, 2014.
Winners will be drawn on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
Good luck!

And thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 10, 2014

My 2014 Turtle Trot Ten

Hey Blog Buddies,

This year I decided to join the Turtle Trot SAL because I thought it would mesh nicely with the Stitch from Stash SAL.  

Turtle Trot is hosted by Claudette of BAP Attack, and this is her description of what the SAL is about:

1. You must have a blog, because you'll be posting links to it. If you don't have a blog, you can still work on those old projects, you just won't be eligible for the contest.
2. Pick 10 unfinished projects...
3. Take a picture of them and make a blog post by the 10th of January.
4. Each month, by the 10th, post whatever progress pics you have.
So, we would very much like to finish our WIPs
but there's no pressure to do so--it's not a race:  hence, Turtle Trot!
Here, in no particular order, are the WIPs I've chosen,
with a couple of UFO's thrown in for good measure.
No. 1
Rosewood Manor's A Tree by Itself,
started on April 4, 2013.
I absolutely love this design,
but it only made my rotation twice in 2013.
I hope to do better this year.

No. 2
This has definitely become a UFO.
It was a canvaswork class
hosted by my EGA guild on April 30, 2011.
All of the proceeds from this design
went to benefit autism.
I think this will be a make-it-or-break-it
year for the UFOs on this list.

No. 3
Debbie Stiehler's Autumn Pumpkin Patch,
started on May 4, 2013.
I'm behind on this big guy.
My goal was to finish the stitching in
May of this year, but I've fallen behind
and there's a lot of intense stitching ahead.
I know, it's the journey, not the destination!

No. 4
Harper in Stitches' Cool Cardinal,
started on November 21, 2013.
This is really a winter piece,
but I may not get it done
before the warm weather sets in.

No. 5
My most recent start on this list (December 22, 2013),
is Ink Circles' 99.
I know DH will be nagging encouraging me
to work on "the bottles" this year,
so it should move right along.

No. 6
This is Mates by Cross My Heart.
The chart is dated 1998, and I believe
the last time I worked on it was
sometime in 2001 (before I kept records!).
As you can see, I do have a large amount done,
but it's all confetti stitching,
and it's not calling to me at the moment.
I need to either finish this or try to find it a good home.

No. 7
Needle Delights Originals' Tangerine Twist,
started on June 22, 2013.
It's over half done, and should be
a relatively quick and easy finish.
I hope those aren't famous last words.

No. 8
Winter Logs, another Needle Delights Originals design,
was started on September 28, 2013.
Estimated completion date:  early June 2014.
This is a guild SAL.

No. 9
Winter by Indigo Rose.
I believe this is my oldest WIP,
predating Mates by about a year.
It has lots of specialty stitches which should be fun,
but this one, too, isn't calling me.  (sigh)
As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure where it is right now,
but I haven't looked too hard for it (snort).
This photo is from a couple of years ago,
and not a stitch has been taken on it since then
or, for that matter, in the last 14 years!

No. 10

Cindy Valentine's Pristine.
This will be a lovely hardanger tabletopper, someday.
Started in April 2006,
it spent years folded up in a bag
because I cut a thread from the ground
that I wasn't supposed to
and thought it was the end of the world.  It wasn't.
This piece only made my rotation one time in 2013,
and I hope to see more of it this year.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me.
I also have quite a few small charts
and random pieces of fabric in my stash
that I can throw into the mix every
once in a while in order to enjoy
a finish or two along the way,
so that I can hang on to what's left of my sanity.

That's it from here.
Hope everyone has a fun, stitchy weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Hey Blog Buddies,

It's been snowing here since yesterday evening and isn't predicted to stop until tonight, then we go into the deep freeze.  No one on our street has been out yet to shovel their driveways, and our street itself has not been cleared yet, so we are hunkering down at least until tomorrow, when the predicted high temperature will be -10 F but the snow will have (hopefully) stopped falling.

The snow this time around is pretty heavy,
as the drooping branches show.
(looking out my front window)
This is our goose on the deck,
attired in cape, hat, muff and lots of snow,
taken earlier in the day
when there was a short break in the precipitation.
But enough of the horrid snow
and on to the stitching.
I was able to finish LHN's Warm Winter Woolens
on the last day of 2013:
I am going to treat myself and
get this one finished professionally.
On New Year's Day I started the prework
for my canvaswork class at the
Nordic Needle Retreat coming up in April:
This will become an ort box.
I have done the borders for the top,
bottom and all four sides, so I am ready!
The past few days I've been stitching
a little something-something
that I can't show yet.
It's for my 3rd Blogoversary Giveaway
which will happen later this month,
so stayed tuned.
That's it from here.
If you're a victim of this winter storm that we're having,
stay warm and dry.
Thanks for visiting!