Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ryan's Words of Wisdom

Handmade Ryan Gosling

So, remember back before Christmas, when I gave you a little teaser photo of a secret project I was working on?

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Well, it all started like this...

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I decided that this year I would make handmade gifts for some of my friends. I'd fallen in love with Tula Pink's fabrics and decided her Prince Charming line would be perfect to use.

So, I got started making hexagons. And I made hexagons, and more hexagons. And eventually I had a ton of hexagons that I eventually turned into this...

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Unfortunately, I didn't get them done in time for Christmas. And, in fact, remember I mentioned that I got together with some friends a couple of weeks ago to do our Christmas exchange? Well, I did my best to get these hexies made into the pincushions I'd envisioned. But, I didn't quite get them finished. I got them sewn together and was ready to put the finishing touches on them, but I ran out of time. In fact, I was running so close that I completely forgot to even wrap them. Yes, I'm an idiot.

The other thing that came into play was that I wasn't sure that I wanted to put the finishing touches on them (wrap them with thread and put a button in the middle of the top). Reason being? I really wanted to be able to see those center hexies, and I kind of liked them without the dividing thread wraps. So, I presented them to my friends, who were very very sweet and completely understood that with all the stuff I've had going on lately, I just didn't get them done. So, here they are...

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I did offer to do the finishing on these for everyone, if they wanted me to. But gave them the option to leave them as is.

So, fast forward a couple of weeks, and I was going to be getting together with some other girlfriends for a fun stitching day. I'd planned to also give them hexie pincushions as well. So, I decided to give the thread and button finishing a try to see how I liked it. On this one, in particular, I used a small enough button that you could still see the girl on the swing in the center hexie. So - the best of both worlds.

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And after finishing all three of them, I was sold. I love the way they look "finished".

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I definitely am anxious to "finish" the other three, if the recipients like the look.

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And I love the navy fabric on the bottoms of the pincushions.

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I'm really pleased with how they turned out, even if it is almost February. And I'm so appreciative that I have friends that understand when I show up with unwrapped unfinished gifts, but good intentions. And one of these days, I hope to make one of these pincushions for myself.

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So, here's hoping Ryan's right. And if you need a good laugh, go check out the site I found that photo on - Handmade Ryan Gosling.

I am grateful for fun days with friends.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Decadence

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Thanks, everyone, for your sweet compliments on Margaret Cottam. I really appreciate them. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of stitching has gone on here in the past couple of weeks, so I don't have much stitching progress to show you. But, I did something really self-indulgent and took the day off work on Wednesday. I got the lovely opportunity to spend the day with some friends, including Sylvia who was here from Germany! It was so good to get to spend some time with her. The four of us did a bit of shopping during the day, and then we did our Christmas gift exchange. We opted to delay it until Sylvia was here to do it in person. So fun!

Above, you can see the oh-so-apropos travel mug that Kim gave me. Isn't it fun? I think it may need to go to work with me. I need a reminder.

Sylvia brought some chocolates from Paris in a really fabulous tin. And you can see on top of the tin a sweet heart needleminder she made for me. She'd made me another needleminder back in October, but unfortunately when the envelope arrived, there was a big hole in the bottom and no needleminder. Sad sad sad.
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Sylvia also gave each of us two stitch wallets that she made herself! The first one I opened was made from Kate Spain's Flurry fabrics. Remember those quilt blocks I was working on back in December...well, I dug them out to photograph with my wallet.
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And if that stitch wallet looks like it's already stuffed full, well that's because it is.
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I've already got my Christmas ornament stitching for this year in there. That's more 40ct Weeks Cocoa fabric, in case you're wondering. I loved it for Margaret Cottam and thought it would be perfect for my BOAF Santas.

And here is the funny part. I've been looking everywhere for this Marie Antoinette fabric that is part of Tula Pink's Parisville line. I did not, however, mention to Sylvia that I've been looking for it. Nor did I mention the reason I was looking for it was to make a stitch wallet out of. Well looky here...
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Clearly, my Jedi mind tricks are working...even overseas.
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And Miss Antoinette is now chock full of my New Year's start that hasn't yet been started (see how behind I am?!). Also, you can see my new Hardwicke Manor hoop that I intend to try.

But that's not all...my sweet, sweet friend, Ava, gifted me with these hare scissors for my Hare Pyns (assuming that one day it will be finished)! I have looked everywhere for these scissors and couldn't find any. So, clearly Ava has been picking up on my use of the Force too. Thank you for inspiring me to get my scissor sheath and scissor fob stitched so that I can finally do the finishing on HP!!!
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And my new hare scissors are pictured here with all the stitching I've done. I'm working on that bonus block for AOTH. It doesn't look like much, but I stitched that right hand border twice. You know, because I could.

Such fun spending time with such good friends. And hopefully next time, I'll be able to show you what I gave them in return.

I am grateful for a Saturday afternoon visit.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Miss Cottam, I Presume?

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She ended up with a 2012 instead of a 2011, but she's done! I finished her last night (a week later than I'd intended). She really was a complete joy to stitch. I started her on Thanksgiving Day and finished her on January 7th. I used the called for threads (Weeks) in the called for colors on the called for fabric (Weeks Cocoa), although I stitched her on 40ct rather than 30.
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I love how she turned out, and it was fun stitching her while she was still a mystery. And you wouldn't believe the number of people who have seen her in person and been surprised at how pretty she is.
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She even took a little trip with me to Chicago for a few days after Thanksgiving for work-related meetings. I stitched all that grass in my hotel room!

So, here she is...Margaret Cottam by La-D-Da. My last start of 2011 and my first finish for 2012!
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So, I know you're thinking..."now that MC is done, what's next?" Well, I'm glad you asked. I've signed up for the 2012 WIPocalypse over at Measi's Musings. And although we all know that I have about 6 kazillion WIPs, I'm going to just focus on a few at a time. So, you can take a look over in my sidebar at my WIPocalypse List to see what's currently in my stitching bag. As I finish something, a new piece will be brought in - some new starts, some old WIPs.

And speaking of new starts, I had intended to have a new start on Jan 1. However, I decided to keep going with Margaret until she was finished. So, I'll be starting that new start soon. But, in the meantime, I picked up my Anniversaries of the Heart.
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I've only barely gotten a start on the Bonus block. I've been stuck on this one for months because I knew what I wanted to do to change the block, just couldn't figure out how to do it. But, I think I finally have it worked out. So, it may require a little trial and error on the fly as I stitch this block, but I think it will be great when it's done. So...working on that.

Also, in my bag is And They Sinned. Sylvia and I are stitching along together on Sundays. Here's a photo of how mine looks before I got started on it tonight. Yes, that is a lone bare leg. Yes, I contemplated stitching a lampshade on the top of it. Yes, I intend to stitch the body it belongs to tonight. (It's almost as bad as the pair of empty boots that lived on my Margaret Cottam until I stitched the rest of the guy.)
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I'll be sharing the other WIPs in my stitching bag as I work on them. But for now, I think I'm going to concentrate on that bonus block and see if I can get past my creative impasse and get back to ATS on Sundays - starting tonight.

Hope you all are having a wonderful start to the new year!

I am grateful for Good Samaritans.