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

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April Stitch-from-Stash, a Finish and a RAK

Hey Blog Buddies,
How are you all doing?  I'm kind of excited that I have my second finish in a month, but we'll get to that a little later.  First, my Stitch from Stash report.  I knew going into April that this would be my cheat month because of the Nordic Needle Retreat.  (Did you know that they maintain a rather comprehensive boutique and a wide range of snacks in the hotel conference room set up for stitching between classes?  How is a person supposed to stay strong?)

To refresh your memory, the items pictured above are what I purchased in Fargo.  For full disclosure, I bought a package of floss bags that didn't make it into the photo.  The book and the magnifier/light were a little pricey, but it could have been much worse!

But prior to going to Fargo, I stopped off at my LNS.
Because... Cheat Month! 
Here is a very large, very expensive piece of 28-count pewter Lugana.  The photo doesn't capture how nicely mottled the color is.  The fabric and the Kreinik will be used for the Save the Stitches blackwork freebie found on the Blackwork Journey blog.  I don't really want to start another large piece this year, but this project is calling me.

Then I started talking with Cathy (yes, the owner of my LNS and I are on a first-name basis) about the Prairie Schooler Alphabet charts, and she mentioned that she is having trouble getting one or two of the titles.  They are over ten years old, and I decided not to wait any longer and had her order the remaining five titles that I needed, plus another PS oldie.  Fortunately, she was able to get all of the titles I asked her to order...

I really love all of these charts!
So that's it stash-wise for the month of April.
I can't see that I'll need anything else this year
unless I run out of thread on a WIP or something.

Now for the exciting (to me) news--my finish:
Here is Libby Sturdy's Bejeweled Tree #3
from the pilot class I took earlier this year.
This was worked mostly in Kreinik
with a couple of cards of Neon Rays thrown in.
(Picture me standing up, shaking my hips and stirring a big pot.
Frightening, no?)

Last but not least, I received this groovy RAK
I love the creepy-crawly centipede fabric,
the nifty ribbon with witches and bats
and the cool skull, cat and skeleton embellishments.
What a fun package!
Thanks again, Moonsilk!
That's it for now.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hey Blog Buddies,

First of all, thanks so much for all your kind comments on my last post.  I enjoyed reading every one of them!

As most regular readers of this blog know, I attended the annual Nordic Needle stitching retreat last week with my partner in crime, Joyce.  The weather was much better than last year (a high of 78F on the trip up there!), and they had the same great variety of classes and extracurricular activities that we all have come to expect.

We took two classes.  The first was needle painting and we stitched Trish Burr's Little Bee Eater:

We needed a whole bunch of colors for that cute little bird!
Each person taking the class received
a blue-green "nest" (in the upper middle of the above photo)
 which was needle felted by our teacher,
to be used for our orts. 

This is my progress so far.
His claws consist of three bullion knots.
Joyce has already finished her knots
but unfortunately I didn't get a photo.
Doing the long-and-short stitch is a lot more fun that I remembered.

Our other class was a little canvaswork box.
 Each side of the box has a Jean Hilton-esque motif.
The background "icing" is done with Arctic Rays
which goes along with the theme of the retreat: "Oh So Sweet."

Here is where I'm at.
The cupcake needle minder was a gift from our teacher.

Of course there was lots of food,
a bookmark exchange,
a tea towel exchange,
a stash exchange and 
a Christmas ornament exchange.
Despite my best intentions,
I did not get around to making anything
for any of the exchanges.
I did get photos of a couple of tea towels...

Almost every one was stitched in a different technique.

One night there was a a little demo on decorating fabric
with Sharpie markers and alcohol (!)
and everyone had a chance to purchase
an inexpensive scarf and create their own art...

We had a free day, so we took a little trip
to Dakota Fiber Mills, just south of Fargo, to see
Chris and her menagerie of animals.

This is Bert, one of two yaks living there.

 She has quite a few alpaca.
They are just the cutest critters!

She even has a camel (Abraham).
Chris was a bit upset with Abraham
because he had just gone for a roll in the mud
and of course his fur (hair?) would somehow have to be cleaned!
Her dog is in the lower right corner of the photo.
She has sheep and goats, too! 

She hires someone to shear the sheep
(Abraham's hair is combed, not shorn).
Then she spins the fur and hair into roving...

...and skeins of yarn...

I purchased a big skein of sock yarn...
It's 70% alpaca, 20% wool and 10% mohair.
This should motivate me to sign up for that sock class
that I've been thinking about for the past year!

No retreat report would be complete without
photos of new stash. 
Here are some of the freebies given away at the retreat...

And here is what I purchased at "The Shop."
I didn't go crazy--you see there's only one new chart.
The portable magnifier/light works well--
I've already used it!

All too soon, it was time for us to head home.

It's always nice to be missed!

Hope you enjoyed the Retreat.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Turtle Trot Update

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's April and the big news is that my friend Joyce and I are going to the Nordic Needle Retreat in Fargo, ND (road trip!).  The festivities begin at 7:00p.m. on Wednesday the 9th, with a Dessert Bar, and end at midday on Sunday the 13th with a Farewell Brunch (yes, there is a lot of food involved).  In between the meals we do a lot of stitching, and I will have a recap for you after the Retreat is over.

But meanwhile, we have the Turtle Trot update, which for me this year means the once-a-month update on the progress of my (ahem) rotation.  So, here we go--first is Needle Delights Originals Winter Logs:

 last month

this month

If I can get the rest of the bottom triangle finished
before the next meeting of my ANG chapter,
I'll be all caught up.

Next, we have Cross My Heart's Mates:

last month

this month

This month's progress doesn't even look like that much to me
because it was at least one hour of stitching
(often longer) every day!
And I should have more done, don't you think?
This couple might not see too much action in April
because they are no longer being worked on every day.
That doesn't mean they've been abandoned,
just that they are going to have to find a slot in the rotation.
(Good luck, Wolfies!)

The piece that has taken their place as the once-a-day, every-day stitch is Debbie Stiehler's Autumn Pumpkin Patch, known informally around here as La Calabaza (Spanish for pumpkin).  I did this switch just a few days ago, so don't expect much.

last month

this month

This is the piece that I really want to finish next.
Each of the 16 sections is stitched five times--
they just switch locations--and it's becoming a little tedious.
I still really like the piece, just want it to be finished!
I need to find my zen place with this piece
and think more about the journey than the destination...

And speaking of finishes, I actually have one this month!
Needle Delights Originals Tangerine Twist:

last month

this month

...and a close up of one of the squares so that you can see the beads.
They are Little Charmers,
and the package had an assortment of colors, finishes and sizes.
All the directions said to do was attach them at random,
making sure that you don't get two of the same beads
next to one another!
This is only my third finish for 2014.
(And one of them was a small piece!)
That's what happens when you devote a lot of time to the BAPs.

Check out Claudette's blog, BAP Attack, 
to see what the other Turtle Trotters have been doing.

That's it from here.
Thanks for visiting!