Monday, January 31, 2011

Camille

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C'est finis! I managed to finished Camille on Tuesday and showed her off at EGA. She really is a beauty and I am so thrilled to have her finished. I think she will be pretty with Dorothy, if I ever get her stitched.

At the time I fell in love with Camille, she was a freebie from The Sampler Girl. I believe Tanya has no released her as a chart. When the freebie came out, Vikki Clayton put together a thread pack for it, which I promptly purchased. I even chose fabric for her. But this was all back in 2006, and I never actually got around to starting Camille until last January. I chose a different fabric for her and dove in. I decided to stitch her using one thread over two, to lend a bit of delicacy to the stitches. After stitching an urn and the center spray of flowers, I set her aside. It wasn't until the first week of January this year that I picked her up again.

The sampler is dedicated to Camille Claudel who was a French sculptor and muse to the artist August Rodin. In fact, Wikipedia states "Claudel became a source of inspiration, his model, his confidante and lover." A big part of what drew me to this sampler was it's dedication to a French artist and also the quote of Camille's that is included in the piece. "The essential thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live." I love that.

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You may remember also that I indicated I had to rechart the year for this piece. It was originally charted for 2006. Since I was going to have to rechart it for 2011 anyway, I decided to instead change it to 1883, the year Camille met Rodin. I thought finishing this sampler was a perfect way to start the year off, focusing on love, art and inspiration.

Camille's French Sampler

Camille's French Sampler
The Sampler Girl
Vikki Clayton Hand-Dyed Fibers on 32ct Golden Harvest by Silkweaver (1 over 2)
Begun January 7, 2010 Finished January 25, 2011

I guess I just have a weakness for French ladies... (Marie Antoinette pillbox from Sylvia)

Marie Antoinette Pillbox

And since this post is being brought to you by the color Pink, I have to share another fabulous gift I received at Christmas. My friend, Kim, (creator of Frida and teacher of knitting) knit these amazing pedicure socks for me. My feet always get cold in the winter when I'm painting my toes, and look at the solution! Toeless socks!

Pedicure Socks from Kim

So, fun!

Since finishing Camille, I have also finished a Christmas ornament that I can't wait to share and I've been working along on Snow Garden, which should also be finished soon too. Lots more to show you next time!

I am grateful for finishing old WIPs.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Road Trip

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On Saturday, I went on a little road trip to Austin and spent the day at Ginger's Needlearts. I met up with Missy, Michelle and Amanda. Missy had agreed to help me with remedial lessons in needleturn applique, so we spent part of the morning working on that. Thank you, Missy! We all brought show and tell and shared our WIPs too, which was great fun (and now Missy has me inspired to get to work on some of my Chatelaines!). After lunch, we stitched. I brought Snow Garden to work on, and actually managed to get a fair amount done on it (even with all my chatting!). It's coming along, and I still hope to be able to meet my goal to get this block finished by the end of the month. I still have that house to stitch though, so we'll see. But, it was a fantastic day and I was thrilled to get to meet some blog friends in person. And if you're ever in the Austin area, you need to visit Ginger's. Ginger was an absolute sweetheart and let us overtake her classroom for our get together.

It's so fun to get to meet up with fellow stitchers and bloggers. In fact, in all the hubbub of the holidays, I think I failed to mention that I got to meet up with Natalie and Valerie over Thanksgiving too! We had a blast visiting together too. I'm a lucky girl!

Yesterday, Eric spent some time with me teaching me photo stuff. I'm gradually transitioning over into manual settings from the semi-automatic modes I'd been shooting in. It's a bit frustrating, and I'm finding my photos are getting worse before they get better. But it's worth it and in the end, hopefully, I will get to a level of photography that I'm happy with. And I always appreciate him taking the time to teach me.

Last night I worked a bit more on Camille, but here's the photo of where she was before I started working on her yesterday. She's really coming along. I decided to change the date on her. She was charted for 2006, but since I was going to have to rechart that anyway, I decided to change it to 1883. I'll explain why when I finish her. Last night I finished up the scroll band and the band underneath it. Then I popped back up to the top and stitched the left urn. Once the flowers are finished in the urn, there's only one band left at the bottom. She will be done soon!

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And in my effort to make Christmas last all year, I thought I'd share a couple more gifts with you. You may remember that my friend, Julia, and I exchange a friendship ornament each year. This year, it was her turn to fill it, and not only did she send me a beautiful gift but inside was also a handmade gift from my Goddaughter. She is just learning to sew, and look what she made for me...

Pinkeep from Elspeth

...a sweet little pinkeep, complete with an appliqued flower! What a treasure!

And another sweet handmade gift came from Sylvia. She made this fabulous travel lingerie bag (of course it was filled with some fantastic goodies including a Marie Antoinette pillbox purchased on one of her trips to Paris). I was absolutely thrilled that she used this gnome fabric. I may have (possibly) squealed when I saw it! Thank you, my dear friend!

Gnome Bag from Sylvia

More to come soon. I hope to be back with a finish of Camille before the week's out (and maybe Snow Garden too!).

I am grateful for road trips, book swaps, lessons and sparkly Chatelaines.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cloud City

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After watching two and a half seasons of The Sopranos back to back, the cloud.is.done. I am so glad to be finished with that. In fact, I'm so relieved there was a point at which I thought, I'll just stitch that green vine underneath this puppy and call it done. Yeah, the cloud is a killer. I can see why so many people lose steam at this point and never make it past that cloud. But, oh it is so worth it. Look how that pretty red bird pops against that slate blue. I think I may have to call him Fawkes. He was what kept me going. Love that red bird. So, I'll be moving on to the bottom of page 1. I'm looking forward to it!

And, after finishing the cloud, I went back to Camille. She's seen a lot of attention this week.

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I had to make a minor color adjustment on those diamonds. The center of the diamond was supposed to be one of the pinks (there are two), but my skeins are so nearly identical, that I decided against it. I'm pretty disappointed how identical they are, which is probably why I set this piece aside in the first place. You go to all the trouble of stitching that swag of roses in two colors of pink, and then you only get one color. Disappointing, to say the least. So, I used Quail in the center diamonds instead of the second pink. There's another spot coming up where I'll have pink on pink again, so I think the Quail may make another appearance. The only place it was charted to appear was in that green vine at the top, so I like that now it's being used a couple of other places.

And I'm still celebrating Christmas over at the other blog, if you'd like to see some good food, decorating and New Year's Eve. And since I'm behind, I thought I'd show you a couple of little gifts from Christmas 2009. Eventually, I'll get around to posting some gifts from 2010. We're bending time a bit over here at the Cozyegg. Anyway, these two sweet BBD ornaments were given to me by a friend of mine. She's so clever and creative, that I wish daily she had a blog. But, I digress. When BBD's Joyeux Noel book came out, she stitched up two of the samplers in it and then made these sweet ornaments as gifts for her friends.

Laurie's Tis the Season

Don't you love them? I actually took photos of these last year to share, but by the time I determined my photos were crappy, the decorations had already been packed away. So, I had to make sure I shared them with you this year!

Laurie's Merry Christmas

They hang on my handmade ornament tree, and are a beautiful added touch!

Ok, off to do some house cleaning and laundry so that I can spend some time with ATS or Camille later today!

I am grateful for finishing that cloud!!!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Cutting Down on the Crazy


Book of Days


No Crazy 15 January Challenge for me, but I am working on my WIPs. And I thought it would be fun to keep track of what I work on in 2011 in the beautiful Sampler Enthusiast's Book of Days gifted to me by dear Tanya. I keep track of my starts and finishes in a spreadsheet, but it's fun to see what all I've worked on.

On New Year's Day I had a traditional new start, Paradise Lost. I began it while watching the Rose Parade. I am normally a center-starter. But after all the problems I had trying to start Garden of Eerie in the center, I decided I'd better hedge my bets and start on the bottom right.

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Nothing very exciting, but I always love putting the first stitches into a new project. I thought I'd just work my way across stitching the grass and the words at the bottom. Love how it's turning out though!

On Sunday, I worked on And They Sinned which is our usual day for the SAL. No photo to show on this one because I am determined to get that dang cloud finished before I update. Not long now. I'm close.

Monday night I decided to pull out CHS's A&E to work on after seeing Siobhan's finish (and you know I have to do everything Siobhan does). Mine, however, is being stitched on black fabric over one. And yes I am insane. But, it moves along pretty quickly when I actually decide to work on it. I'm busy filling in Adam's torso.

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Tuesday was guild night (as you can see on the calendar), so I decided to bring my Anniversaries of the Heart with me. I'm still plugging away on Snow Garden. I'd like to get Snow Garden finished up in January, so that I can move onto the next block. My little peacock friend is in dire need of his house though - maybe I'll start building that next.

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On Wednesday I pulled out Camille's French Sampler by The Sampler Girl. I haven't worked on this since last January, I think. I had that green vine just barely started, so you can see how much progress I've made. When I pulled this out on Wednesday to work on it, I realized that all this switching of projects was creating a huge mess in my stitching area. I was doing more switching in and out of q-snaps and trying to dig to find my thread, etc. that I was adding to the crazy. So, I decided that I would just keep focusing on Camille for awhile. So she got attention on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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And I've got a new thing I'm trying out. Robert and I were talking about stitching the other night and when he gets bored with stitching something, he just moves to another area in the piece. That keeps his interest going. Well, I tend to be very methodical in how I work through a piece, so if I get to a part where I lose interest, I set the piece aside. (This is how I have so many WIPs!!!) So I thought I'd give that a try with Camille. When I got bored of stitching the pink band, I moved onto the band below it. When I finished that up, I was ready to get back to the pink band. I also jumped over and started work on the left urn. So, I think this trick may work to keep me from abandoning a project. So thanks, Robert! I'll let you know how it goes! (Robert's been suggesting I do this with AOTH too because I'm so bored with Snow Garden...so you may see me start block two sooner rather than later.)

So, that's all I've got to show, but for the first week in January, that's not bad! I think I'll feel like I've gotten more accomplished if I stick with something rather than switching out every day. Plus that will keep the mess down. I spent a long time yesterday straightening that all up. But, I'm really enjoying my stitching and I'm enjoying writing in my Book of Days. I am hopeful I'll have a finished cloud to show you soon. It is imminent. Until next time, enjoy your stitching! Oh, and if you're interested I've posted a couple of book reviews for recent reads on the other blog as well as a post on our annual Eggnog and Dessert Party.

I am grateful for finally understanding what the issue is with trying to shoot photos of black fabric.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Flock of Final Finishes

Christmas Bird of Joy

Welcome to 2011! I hope you're all having a fantastic start to the new year. When I did my final wrap up post of 2010 finishes, you may remember that I mentioned there were a couple more I couldn't share quite yet. Well, here they are!

You may remember that I bought some of Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas fabric? Well, combine that cute fabric with this pattern from Spool, and you've got a flock of the happiest birds around. The one above just made it's way to Germany. I added a ribbon for hanging, because I thought they would be cute as ornaments or just to hang on a drawer pull even.

And the "Joy" bird has some friends...

Christmas Birds

His friends made their way into the hands of some of my friends. And I have a few cut out and ready to stuff so that I can have Christmas birds to keep me company at my house too!

The other finish that flew over to Germany was a very late birthday gift for Sylvia. Unfortunately her birthday fell right around the time I was hunkered down studying for my certification exam. Sylvia graciously told me not to worry about it and to just focus on my test. So, her birthday and Christmas gifts went across the ocean together.

I do hope she likes her birthday gift. Her favorite colors are pink and green, so I knew I had to stitch this one for her. It's the Pink Flower freebie from Workbasket stitched in Belle Soie on 40ct Lambswool. I filled it with crushed walnut shells and backed it with a pretty pink fabric. I love the way it turned out. Happy (much belated) birthday, my sweet friend!

Pink Flower for Sylvia

You can see Alma's version of this freebie on her blog too. Such a fun stitch!

I have some gifts I received to show you as well, but it will have to wait until next time. I've also been stitching up a storm since the beginning of the year, so I'll have to show you that as well.

I am grateful for a new beginning.