Saturday, June 27, 2009

Swirlies and Possibly a Little Venting

Colorful Daisies

Last week Eric surprised me with these colorful beauties. No reason, just because he's a sweetie. Aren't they pretty? They are really brightening up my kitchen.

When I changed my blog template a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the pieces that were WIPs still even three years after my first post. One of those is Mystery 9, which I'll show you progress on in a minute. The other is Bay Sampler by The Workbasket. Glenna asked me if I'd finished it, and well, you can see I haven't. But, I thought it might be fun to show you where I last left off on this piece. I LOVE this piece, and stitching with Silk N Colors (which are probably one of my favorite threads) is such a pleasure on this piece. Here's what happened though, I had problems with the top sail on that boat. The color it was supposed to be stitched in was the exact same color as my fabric. So, I switched it out and restitched that sail three times. Well, I'm still not happy with it, but I was at a loss as to what to do. So, I put it down. And I haven't gone back to it. Are you noticing a trend? In case you're just tuning into the blog - I do this a lot...once a problem arises I am notorious for setting a piece aside. So, no more progress on Bay Sampler. So, not sure what to do with that sail still, but I may pull this out again soon and stitch on the other stuff and leave the sail alone for now.

Bay Sampler 031907 Whole Thing

So, last weekend I finished Part 8 on Mystery 9. On Sunday, Eric and I sat down to start watching Season 1 of True Blood and I started on Part 9. This part consists of the swirlies in each corner. The one on the bottom there is finished except for beads and crystals. This part is almost all beads and crystals. So, it is going to be blinding once all the bling is in place. I can't wait! And it's coming along pretty fast too, I think. I'm almost done with the stitching on this corner, then three more to go. Also, the more I look at it the more I wonder if this thread might work well for my sail? I may have to try it out and see, if I have any left over.

Mystery IX 062709

And I am loving my new stitching bag! It's ginormous, but I love that M9 fits in there easily. And I may just have purchased a little accessory piece that matches to hold my scissors and needles. Possibly.

Miller Bag

And let me vent a little moment here. Let's assume that a stitcher decides to place an order with a needlework shop for the first time. And let's assume that said stitcher sends an email inquring about ordering, gets an immediate response back saying that of course they would be happy to help. Said stitcher then calls the shop to provided credit card information. Now, let's assume that this ocurred say oh, about four months ago. Let us also assume that said stitcher has not yet recieved either of the two charts he/she may have ordered. And, progress reports on the status of the order are only given when the customer inquires. Sometimes it requires two attempts to get an answer. Said stitcher finally may have sent an email indicating their extreme disappointment with the customer service and ordering ease with this needlework shop. Needlework shop sends email stating they will send one of the two charts ordered and would stitcher please provide credit card information. Stitcher in question just may have responded a little hastily with an email stating that credit card information was provided four months ago, you should check your records. At this point the stitcher in question doesn't know if chart A will be arriving, and if chart B will ever arrive. Needless to say, it is assumed for the sake of argument that stitcher in question will not be giving Needlework shop a second shot at his/her business. Stitcher is an entirely reasonable person, and with adequate communication is willing to understand what all issues may arrive - except of course that chart B did come in and although was being held for stitcher, was then sold out from under stitcher to someone else...thus adding another two months and counting onto the transaction. Of course all of this is just theoretical. Of course. Really.

And I made a little bitty start on BBD's The Simple Things. Love the colors on this so far.

The Simple Things 062709

So that's about all the news from here today. Eric and I will be heading off on a short adventure next week, which was also a surprise and I am really looking forward to. And tonight, another adventure, we are going on a Dallas After Dark photo walk. That should be fun (hot as hell, but fun). I hope to learn a few things and also have some cool photos to share.

I am grateful for losing another 1.6 pounds this week.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Part 8 Finished!!!

Part 8 Close 062009

Finally! It only took me oh, two years to finish this part! Sad. But, that's the way it is. This part is finished now. And I only have four parts left. I am so excited to be making progress on this. Martina's designs are so intricate, and involve a lot of shading, color changes and intricate work. But, when it all comes together, it is magnificent. I took this piece with me on Thursday to Barnes & Noble to meet up with some of my stitching friends (I had such a blast, ladies!). I do have to say that it made me feel really good to have people stop and tell me how pretty it is. And, of course, I am a sucker for sparklies, so beading this piece as I go makes it a lot of fun. I finished up the beading on my last artichoke bed this afternoon. And don't those stitches for the flowers just make them? I love how three-dimensional they are.

Here's the whole thing so far.

Mystery IX Part 8 062009

Keep in mind that I haven't added the bigger Swarovski crystals yet, nor have I added the bugle beads on those triangular beds. And I was asked about the center. Yes, there is a center designed for it, which is part of Part 12. Martina offered two options, a beaded center or a stitched center. I am actually going to be doing a combination of the two. I have the pearls and crystal embellishment Martina offered, but I will be stitching around them. And Part 9 is all about the sparklies, so it should be a beautiful effect that I'll be seeing next.

And, my trusty mail carrier arrived this afternoon with some goodies for me. One package contained The Primitive Needle's Sampler Sisters of the Thread. This design is so beautiful, and I will definitely be starting it pronto. I also received my gorgeous hand-turned pincushion base for the BBD Loose Feathers "extra". This piece is so well-made and I highly recommend that you all call your LNS and order one immediately. (Mr. Milady will probably be cursing my name soon). But really, this is so pretty. I can't wait to make my pincusion. Although, I am holding off on the sewing accessories for now because I want all of mine to match, so I'm thinking about color schemes. I do really like the color chosen for the pincushion though, so I may just carry that through.

Stash 062009

And, have you seen this?

Mediterranean Mermaid


The new Mirabilia mermaid. Love it - she is a real beauty!

That's all for me today. I am going to be ironing my fabric this weekend to start on the new Loose Feathers (The Simple Things), and also probably making a start on Part 9 of Mystery IX. I'm so happy to be able to say that!!

I am grateful for Eric's surprise - I can't wait for the 4th!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Resurrection

M9 Closeup 061309

Thanks to all of you for the compliments on my new look. I am so in love. And it's weird to look at my blog and not see Botticelli's Venus looking back out at me. But, that's ok. I love the red. So, in my last post I mentioned that two of the three pieces that were WIPs in that first post of mine in 2006 are still WIPs. The two are Mystery IX and Bay Sampler. Well, after writing that post, plus seeing that blank spot on my bedroom wall staring at me, I decided to pull out Mystery IX and work on it a bit. I am currently working on Part 8 (of 12). I have two of the four artichoke beds still left to finish. So, I've been working on it the past couple of nights and I'm making a bit of progress.

Mystery IX 061309

The blank spots you see in those right hand beds are for the specialty stitches and beads. I'll do that once I have all the cross-stitching done on the left two. I'm also missing the bugle beads around those yellow beds. Bugle beads can cut the thread you've sewn them down with because of their sharp edges, so I'll wait until the end to add them, along with the larger crystals. If you want to see my last progress photo of this, you can see it here. I'm stitching this on the 32ct Lavender Mist linen that was called for with the recommended silks. It is so hard to tell in the photos, but the fabric is really the palest of lavenders. You wouldn't know it unless you held it up against something white. But, it is not the bluish/greyish color it appears here. That's just 7am light through the window. I love this piece so much, but I just can't seem to stick with it for very long. And I have the incentive. I've promised myself it will go to Jill Rensel for framing and I have the space picked out in our bedroom to hang it. I'm anxious to finish up part 8 and move onto part 9.

Gift from Anna

And remember that crappola of a week I was having? Well, on the very worst day of that week, look what arrived in my mailbox! Sweet and thoughtful Anna sent this sampler chart to me as a new addition for my A&E wall. So fun! Thank you, Anna!! And, of course she sent along one of her beautiful handmade cards as well. She is talented in so many areas! [Although I wish she'd send her framed Anna's Bird to me...I covet it.] Anyway...thanks again, Anna! You made my week!

Earth Sampler 061309

And here we are again with the yeti fabric. I haven't made much progress on it since I last showed it to you, but I am liking the progress I made. I saw Andrea's finish of this on her blog and she also subbed out the Sable thread. I think I am going to do the same, because I hate mine. So, the h, i, j may be coming out to be replaced with a better brown. I want my bunny to be a pretty brown, when I get to him, not this weird-o brownish blackish greyish color. I don't have the GAST Cinnamon she used, but I'm sure I can find something that works.

And I've also got some progress to show you on Dorothy's Garden. As I mentioned, I finished the alphabet and started on the border.

Dorothy's Garden Closeup 061309

This piece is just so dainty. It's a lot of fun to work on, but I am really dreading that house. I'm gonna have to just suck it up and do a little at a time. Here's the whole thing...

Dorothy's Garden 061309

I also bought a new stitching bag, which I was in desperate need of. I'd been using this fabulous woven bag, but it's just gotten so much use that the material it's made from is starting to wear down. Which is a shame. So, I saw that Silver Needle was having a sale on Vera Bradley bags, and I ordered one. I decided on the Miller bag, in the retiring fabric "Night Owl". I just fell in love with the little owls! The bag is freakin' huge, but it is wide enough I can fit my 17 x 17 q-snap in it with no problem, which I suppose is a good thing. And it has a ton of pockets around the perimeter of the inside, which is nice. I've never even really looked at a Vera Bradley bag before, so this was a new adventure for me.

I have also signed up for a 5k in August, and have been training for two Saturdays now. I'm excited about it, and looking forward to it. My plan is to walk it, but last night I made my first venture into running, so I may end up doing a walk/run. This morning I probably walked close to 3 miles, so I don't think the 5k is going to be any problem. I'm tired though, so I think some serious stitching/couch time is on the horizon for me this afternoon.

So, that's all the news from around here. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

I am grateful for losing two pounds this week and pushing myself to run last night. Yay me!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Surprise!


Cherries



As a slightly early gift to myself for my third blog anniversary, I decided to do a complete overhaul of my blog template. What do you think? I am absolutely in love with it. I've had the same template since my very first post back in 2006, so it was time for a change.

If you're interested, you can read that very first post here. And yes, two of the three WIPs I show in that post are still WIPs...don't judge. There will be a big party with fireworks and champagne when they're finished. I promise.

Sadly, I have no progress photos of my current projects to share. It's just been that kind of week. I've made a bit more progress on Earth Sampler, currently stitching that cute little speckled egg. And I've also spent more time on Dorothy's Garden. I finished up the alphabet and have now moved on to the border. I am hoping that I don't completely regret starting on the border without all the middle finished as reference points. But, I think it will be fun to have the border done so I can see how big this sampler really is. I'm also hoping that sometime in the near future I can get back to my quilting. I have several quilts in progress that are calling my name.

Thanks to all of you who have been with me for three years, and thanks to all of you who have joined me along the way!

I am grateful for my new look.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Snuck a Little In

Dorothys Garden Close 060309

So remember I said that we were supposed to have a check-in on our MAGIC projects at the guild meeting last night? Well, I picked up my piece over the weekend and made a surprising amount of progress. At least, I surprised myself.

Since last we left off on progress pics for this piece, I had finished up the roof and begun that flower basket. Over the weekend I finished up the flower basket and then started on the alphabet. I love how it's looking.

Dorothys Garden 060309

There is really so much more to go on this piece, but I am glad I made a little progress on it. And just for bringing my piece in for the check-in, I got a pack of John James needles for my trouble. And apparently, if you look at this from far away it looks like Shrek or something. You may have to squint. Guess I'll have to fill in the house so that the roof no longer appears to be legs. Oh, and just in case you're wondering, since it's been so long since I worked on this...it is Dorothy's Garden by A Stitcher's Hands. I am stitching it over one on 32ct. unknown linen with DMC and AVAS. I started this in 2004, which is why I decided to offer it up to be my MAGIC piece for the guild this year. I hope I finish it.

It is lovely though, I have to admit.

I am grateful for chocolate...because it's been that kind of day.