Mermaid Return


Happy Saturday everyone! I’m so glad the weekend is here. It was a long week for some reason. I did, however, take another final at school and my certification exam for this class will probably be next week. I’m onto my fifth class now, and I have two more after that. Then I am DONE! Anyway, I have been stitching this week, even though one night Eric took me out to see a fabulous performance on Tuesday night. So, here’s my progress for this week. As you can see above, I did get out my mermaids and stitch on them. I finished up a page last night. This is page 1, of course, which is a small page (basically a half page), but it was the center so that’s why I started there. I’ll be moving on to mermaid number two and working my way up I think. So, page 1 complete, minus bling. Here’s how she looked a couple of weeks ago, when I stitched on her last.
And also this week, I felt like stitching on something small, so I decided to go ahead and start on Adam & Eve by Carriage House Samplings. I am stitching this over one on 28ct black linen with the recommended NPIs. Don’t you just love silk. There is nothing like it. Anyway, the swirls seemed like a fun place to start, so that’s what I’m doing.
I’m stitching this one as a SAL with several other stitchers from the Carriage House Samplings yahoo group. I’m very excited about stitching my first A&E. Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be starting the other SAL I’ve jumped into (also in the same group), on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I’m so in love with that piece. I can’t wait.
And although I didn’t really place any Nashville orders, I thought I’d show you a few things that the mailman has brought over the last week.
I ordered the finishing chart for the freebie alphabet charts Erica Michaels designed for Rainbow Gallery. I’ve got all the supplies to start the first two, I just need to set time aside to do them. I love how they are finished into a book though. And speaking of books, have you seen the most beautiful book ever? Go look, I’ll wait, it’s worth it. WOW! That’s all I can say.

I also received the last of the 2008 Loose Feathers charts, or as Siobhan calls it, the Shrek glove.
Anyway, I think that’s all for me today. I’ll have my Shores start to show you soon, but I’ll wait until I have more than a black border to show you. Have a great weekend.

I am grateful for Saturdays.

Fat Tuesday

Hello all! I had hoped to have a post yesterday, but sometimes Mondays are Mondays. I’ve been making a lot of progress on my stitching and that feels so good! I am trying my hand at not feeling stressed or guilty about my stitching. I have a couple of things nagging at me, but for the most part I am just enjoying myself. One of the things nagging at me is my Mermaid SAL…I really need to get back to that. Anyway, above you can see what I have been stitching on…my Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler. I have been stitching away on part 2, and was able to finish up the last motif on Friday night. The tall flower actually spans across parts 2 and 4, but I wanted to finish it in its entirety (as I did with the potted tree on the left hand side that spans between parts 1 and 3). Here’s how it looked last time, just for comparison.
Next time I pick this up I’ll be moving on to part 3. It feels so good to be making progress on this again. After finishing up part 2 of this, I decided to move onto something else that’s been calling to me…Mystery 9. I started this in January of 2006. This was my first big Chatelaine mystery (although I had completed a Midi Mystery in 2005). I think I moved along just fine on this until about March of 2006 when I moved and then in April 2006 got married. I did work on it off and on, picking it up again February of last year. Here’s what it looked like the last time I stitched on it.
I had started on part 8, the four artichokes. I was leaving the specialty stitches and beading on each artichoke until I finished all four. Well, I picked this back up over the weekend and I even got out my System 4 floorstand that I have never used. I got it set up and started stitching away! Here’s where I left it Sunday night. Please excuse the horrible photo…I took this last night with the piece still on the stand, so just imagine how much prettier it actually looks. Oh, and the fabric this is on is actually a pale pale lavender (Lavender Mist I think). It looks beautiful against that yellow.
So, I’m working both artichokes three and four at the same time, rather than one at a time like I did with one and two. It keeps me from changing thread as often. I’m very happy with my System 4 so far. I had one issue with it, that Eric fixed easily, and then I was back to stitching. Next time I’ll try to get a better photo that actually comes closer to doing the piece justice. Last night I had a board meeting for the guild, so I was home two hours earlier than normal (yippee!), so after doing all the stuff I have to do when I get home at night, I sat down to put some more time in on Mystery 9. It’s been a pleasure working on it these past few days.
Coming up soon, though, I’ll be starting two new pieces. My silks arrived for the Carriage House Samplings Adam & Eve. I already had black fabric left over from the Twilight tags. I’m going to stitch my A&E over one. It will be a challenge, but I think it will turn out a nice size, plus it lets me use the fabric I had on hand.
And I also received my silks for block 1 of Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, as well as my fabric. I will be stitching on 36ct Vintage Autumn Gold. I LOVE the fabric. I know a lot of stitchers are not fond of the recommended fabric for this piece, but I love it. Gorgeous! I decided I would just purchase the silks for block 1 at this time (although any that required more than 1 skein for the piece, I went ahead and got all that are required for dyelot purposes), and then with the remaining blocks I’ll fill in the few threads I need when I need them. Aren’t they stunning though?! I can’t wait to start on this.
Hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy your Mardi Gras!
I am grateful for focusing on my accomplishments rather than my failures.

My Everything

My Everything
The Sampler Girl
Tulip Belle Soie on 32ct Cream Linen
Finished 2/11/09 for Eric

As promised, above you can see the finished and framed My Everything. I gave it to Eric on Saturday morning, and he hung it in our bedroom on Sunday. We hung it next to the pewter heart that I bought for him two Valentine’s Days ago. You wouldn’t believe the luck I had with this frame. I went to Joann’s on Thursday night and found this mat and frame that already had “art” in it. It was marked down to $5, and as you can see it is the exact perfect fit for the piece. At the bottom of the piece, you can see my initials and Eric’s initials with a heart in between and then the year. I just love how this turned out and I am so happy I finished it in time to give it to him.

And Eric gave me these gorgeous roses (these are called Freedom), as well as something sparkly. He made a lovely dinner for us Valentine’s evening, and we had some champagne over the weekend too.
After finishing My Everything, I decided to work a little on my Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler (that appeared in the Gift of Stitching in 2006, I think). I started this one in March of 2007. I am stitching it on 32ct Sandcastle by Silkweaver with Vikki Clayton silks. I just love stitching on this piece, but unfortunately some time ago I realized I had made a huge counting error, and I had about six motifs that were in the wrong places. So, I started working on ripping out and restitching. I took the piece to my guild meetings and I would force myself to work on ripping a little each month. Here’s what the piece looked like December of 2007 (only part 2, I had finished part 1 already). The motifs that had to be ripped out and restitched were the D, the windmill, the tree, the rose, the blue diamond and one other motif that I had stitched after this photo was taken.
I picked this back up Thursday night and began doing some more ripping and restitching. I finished up the repair work, and then began moving along to finish up part 2. I have such fun stitching on this piece, and I was just on a roll with it, so I continued stitching along on it over the weekend. Here’s what part 2 is looking like now…
And here’s the whole piece so far. Parts 3 and 4 are the bottom two corners, and then part 5 is the middle, which I think I have three choices for, when I get to it.
I may continue to work on this piece more this week before going back to Dorothy’s Garden. I have a couple new starts on the horizon as well. In the CHS Yahoo group, several of us are going to begin a SAL on March 1st of Adam and Eve. You may remember this chart was part of my New Year’s purchase. I am going to be using the leftover black fabric from the Twilight tag (I will still have enough to make one for me), and I have the NPIs on order.
Also on March 1st, several of us will be beginning a SAL on the Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I just love this piece, and I’ve been wanting to stitch it for so long. I have had the chart a little while, and I have the fabric on order (I went with 36ct Vintage Autumn Gold) and I am also ordering the NPIs for block 1.
So if you’d like to jump in and join us, please feel free! I hope to get back to my Mermaids this weekend, I missed out on the SAL on Sunday because I was stitching along on my Mystery Sampler. Hope you all have a great week!

I am grateful for enjoying my stitching.

Mishmash

Hi, everyone. Thanks for the compliments on the mermaids and Dorothy’s Garden. It is much appreciated. Mr. Eric surprised me with a Valentine’s bouquet delivered to my office on Tuesday. He just knew I’d want to enjoy it as long as possible, as well as I am missing him greatly this week while he is in Chicago for work. It even came with a balloon, which I love. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a balloon before…makes me feel all girly! What a guy!

And speaking of Valentine’s Day, I did a little bit of decorating around the house over the weekend. Of course, the mantel always gets the majority of the attention. You may notice also that I’ve moved our engagement picture from over the mantel and put my framed (by Jill Rensel!) Midi Mystery I here, just for a change. I love looking at this piece, and it inspires me at night while I’m stitching.

I decided to mix it up a little bit and put out some of my stitched pieces (the tin was a gift from Barbie) all in pink for the occasion. Fun, huh? You may remember the “For You” piece I stitched for Eric for last Valentine’s Day.

I also put out my heart tree, like I have the past couple of years on the dining room table. I wish I’d been able to finish my quilt in time to have it out too, but time just got away from me. And speaking of…I finished stitching My Everything last night. Tonight after work I’ll be shopping for a frame for it. I hope I can find something suitable. After finishing it last night I pulled out my Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler from GOS. This is the one that has all the mistakes in it that I am having to pull out and restitch. As I was stitching another motif back in last night, it ocurred to me that I purchased the HDF thread for this back when the piece was in the GOS, and likely the dye lots are severely different now, assuming I could even get the same threads. So, I’m going to take a closer look at it tonight, but I believe I may just leave the other three motifs that are in the wrong places, since I don’t want to run the risk of running out of thread, if at all possible. I am reusing the thread as I pull it out as much as I can, but still… I’ll post a photo if I make any progress that you can actually see on it. It is such a pretty piece, I think if I hadn’t made the big mistakes on it I would be finished with it by now because I love stitching on it. Oh well. Here’s hoping my thread is enough to at least finish the three corner parts. I figure if I run out of thread and have to substitute, I’d rather do it in the center part, so that at least all four corners match. Anyway, I’ll deal with that if it happens. But for now, I think the decision may be to leave the other three mis-placed motifs where they are.

Oh, and I promised you stash photos too. Before I got sick, my friend Sherri and I went to that new to us LNS. Well, I cam home with some great stuff. I purchased the fabric and Belle Soie for My Everything, I also brought home Blue Ribbon’s Pointsettias and Pines (which I’ve been in love with since I saw in on Nicole’s blog), and Quaker Virtues by ByGone Stitches. I had hoped to also get Quaker Christmas, but she didn’t have that one. Also in this photo you can see the two charts I purchased from Tanya (The Sampler Girl) when she was having her Inauguration Day giveaway sale (you got a ltd edition Inauguration Day freebie with a purchase, which is wonderful). You can see I purchased On the Banks of the Potomac as well as Return to the Sea with Jane Austen, which is the companion to At Home with Jane Austen that I just finished. You can see my Gold Santa there from Cathy B., as well as a chart from the Whitby Museum that I received at my guild meeting.

Also, at the LNS outing I picked up two other goodies – these two books…The Goodhart Book and Thank You, Sarah Tobias by BBD. I’ve done my part for the economy!
It was such a fun day, and I always enjoy getting to see Sherri. If you haven’t seen the Goodhart book and had a chance to flip through it, you need to. It’s really a gorgeous book. And speaking of books (don’t you love how this post is all train of thought?! lol), I finished reading Two for the Dough last night too. If you haven’t read these books, you should, they are so funny and well worth a quick read. I picked up Pillars of the Earth to replace that. I’ve given myself a challenge to read 50 books this year, and specifically to read some of the books that I’ve been meaning to get around to for a long time. Pillars of the Earth has been on my GoodReads list forever in the “to read” shelf. So far I’m enjoying it.

And finally, Nancy presented me with a wonderful award. It’s called the Special Friends Award and “Love” Pendant. The description for this award reads “These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with.”.
First let me say that one of the best things about having this blog is how many friendships I have made. It means so much to me that I can come here and write as often or as little as I feel like, that I can talk about stitching or my life or whatever. The support and interest that you all show me is just amazing. I would never be so inspired to push myself in my life and my stitching if it weren’t for all of you. So, I would like to extend this award, and my friendship, to all of you who stop by my blog and visit me here. I love it when comments you leave turn into an email conversation. So, thank you all for being a part of my life and my blog.
I’ll be back next time with a finished and framed photo of My Everything, as well as hopefully some other progress photos. I’ve got a couple new starts planned for March, so I’ll have to let you in on those too…I must be crazy. Have a wonderful rest of the week. I’ll be finishing up my Gossip Girl marathon tonight, and then tomorrow my sweetie comes home.
I am grateful for starting a new book.

Fit As a Fiddle

Well, Eric and I are both feeling much better. Thanks for all the healing words you left! And, I am so excited, Paulette posted my Twilight tag on her blog. Woohoo! So, after missing last week’s SAL day on the mermaids, I wanted to be sure to pick them back up this weekend. I am soooo close to finishing the page I’m on. It’s a small page, but hey, a page is a page. Above is what she looks like after Sunday’s stitching, below is how she looked last time.
After finishing At Home with Jane Austen, I decided I would pick up my Dorothy’s Garden. This is the piece that my guild members chose for me to finish this year as my MAGIC (My Annual Good Intentions Contract) piece. So, here’s how Dorothy looked the last time I worked on her – January of 2006 (I started this piece in 2004).
And here is how she looks now. I finished the roof slates, that knot motif and then started in on the flower basket below it. This is stitched over one.
I’m sort of dreading stitching on that house, but I think I’ll break it up and stitch on it between motifs. That should keep it from getting too overwhelming or monotonous.
With Valentine’s Day being on the horizon, I have a new little start. This is My Everything by The Sampler Girl. (and yes I know there’s more to the poem…but I really like these lines). I’m stitching with Tulip Belle Soie – luscious – on 32ct cream linen.
I had a little bit of mail over the weekend to share with you too… my Block of the Month for my Halloween Baltimore Album quilt. This is month two. And no you didn’t miss anything, I haven’t done month one.
New books – two are for my book club (one more on the way). I’m enjoying my Stephanie Plum book, but I’m almost finished with it. I’ll have to decide if I have time to read something else before my next book club.
Well that’s it for me…I’m off to get a case of Stitch Ass, as Siobhan calls it. Have a great week!
I am grateful for weekends with my husband.