Unfinished Finishing

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I have a confession.  I have a very bad habit of taking classes/workshops and then the project never sees the light of day again.  Maybe.  Ok, yes, seriously I do.  It may be a problem.  There is more than one instance where the only stitches I have in some pieces are the basting stitches.  Anyone else?  No?  Just me?  
So, in order to try to break this horrible habit of mine, I’ve been working on finishing my Hare Pyns piece.  Some friends and I have occasionally gotten together to work on our finishing together, which is very helpful.  I admit that I am a complete amateur when it comes to finishing, I’m actually a little afraid of it.  Which is why it requires moral support.  
So, when last you saw this piece it was newly stitched and I’d attended the class.  I had the main sewing pocket stitched, and then the pinkeep and needlebook.  That was November 2011 and I believe my statement in that post was “I hope to have this finished by the end of the year.”  Oh the shame.  
Moving on.  
I have the pinkeep attached to the main piece, as you can see in the photo above.  I have the inner lining attached and the angled pockets attached. 
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I have the gussets made, the divider with the ribbon made, and the little pocket made.  Oh, and I have the pretty glass button sewn on. 
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I have sewn the little pocket onto the reverse side of the ribbon divider, and then attached the gussets to both sides of the divider. 
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It is coming along very slowly.  But it is coming along.   I’m in fact almost to the point where I need to actually get my scissor sheath and fob stitched.  Yes, I know…sad that I still don’t have those stitched even.  I do actually have that divider and the gussets sewn in and it’s starting to actually look like a pocket now, which is kind of exciting.  
Lately, I’ve really been in the mood to finish up some of these longstanding pieces that have been sorely neglected and hanging around unfinished for-evah it seems.  This piece definitely falls in the realm of things that are on my Dude, Get On That Already list. 
So, more to come on things of the finished variety, and definitely more to come on the Hare’s grand adventure. 
I am grateful for podcasts keeping me sane.

Snow Day

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Thanks for all the compliments on my ornament in the last post.  I agree with you – the guild members are a talented group of stitchers!  As you know, I have been attending the Tudor Rose guild’s annual holiday party since I became a member.  I decided this time that I would also attend the Greater Dallas EGA holiday party as well.  Having never been before, I thought it would be fun to attend.  Unfortunately, the holiday party had to be postponed a week due to the crazy ice storm we had in Dallas.  We did get snow as well, but underneath that snow was a solid sheet of ice.  Needless to say – we all opted to hibernate in our houses!!
But the city thawed and we were finally able to get together for our party.  You’ve seen the ornament I stitched for the Tudor Rose exchange, so here is the ornament I stitched for EGA. 
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If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have photographed my little Santa ornament in the snow!  Alas, I wasn’t.  I’ve been mulling over stitching this ornament for a few years now.  It was actually one of the monthly sheep blankets for the Woolly Tyme club done by Homespun Elegance back in 2006.  I just always thought this was a sweet design and would be something that probably few have seen.  I just love his little Wisper beard that’s all fuzzy.  I found this great pompom trim at JoAnn’s that was a perfect choice for finishing him.  
One of the things I love about EGA is that  you have needleworkers of all kinds – cross-stitchers, needlepointers, beaders, etc.  One of the ladies brought her beaded Christmas trees to share.  You can see two of them in this photo – but she’s actually finished like six of these things!  Aren’t they awesome???
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The board members presented the outgoing President with this amazing gift.  They took a kit out of her stash (without her knowing) and they each stitched on it and then finished it.  Not only was she completely blown away by the beautiful piece – but the fact that it had come from her own stash – what a gift that is!  (Side note: if anyone would like to stitch something for me from my stash, shoot me an email.  LOL)  She had even bought these gorgeous Sajou Mother of Pearl scissors to go in the piece and quickly wen to retrieve them so that they could take their proper place!  I wish I’d gotten a photo of the outside of the piece, but it was just stunning!
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Now, on to the ornament exchange!  Here are closeups of a few I thought were eye-catching.  Loved the beaded edge and hanger on this sweet one. 
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A beaded ball with fringe.  My photo of this does it no justice. 
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This one had a lot of people’s interest – it’s a completely beaded three-dimensional star with a beautiful crystal in the center.  Loved this one so much!
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And here are some closeups of some of the fantastic ornaments together.  
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Look at the beaded cardinal – wowza!  So pretty!  I love the blackwork piece next to it as well. 
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And here they are all together.  I meant to get a closeup of the two wool ornaments – they were darling.  Again – I love how different they all are. 
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And this is the beautiful ornament I went home with.  Made by my sweet friend, Adrienne, I was thrilled I managed to hang on to it through the swapping! It’s two-sided and entirely beaded.  She is such an amazing beader. 
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So there you have it – another fun holiday party and exchange.  I will definitely be attending the EGA party again.  
I am grateful for stepping outside my comfort zone.  

Turning and Returning

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In my last post I mentioned I had a new start for New Year’s Day.  I kept meaning to show a progress photo of the piece I chose, but before I got around to showing a progress photo I had a finish!  So, here we are with my first start and my first finish of 2013!  I decided back in December that I wanted to make A Return to the Sea with Jane Austen by The Sampler Girl my January 1 start.  
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It’s a design I’ve had in my stash since it was released, and I’ve been hoarding a piece of fabric for it and the time was finally right to put the first stitches in.  I loved stitching this.  It was a wonderful way to relax at the end of some very grueling days at work.  And the colors and the design just made me happy.  I put the final stitches in on Saturday the 19th. 
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 I stitched this with the called for DMC and Crescent Colours threads, but substituted the one Old Willow Stitchery thread with DMC.  I used 28ct Light Mocha fabric that I had set aside for this one, because that’s what I used on the companion piece – At Home with Jane Austen.  You can see how pretty the two are together. 
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At Home with Jane Austen was my New Year’s Day start in 2009 and I finished it in early February 2009.  I’m so glad that I finally made Return to the Sea a priority in my stitching bag.   These are both such fun pieces and the experience of stitching both of them was a true pleasure.  And it appears that there is now a third design that I need to stitch to go with these two.  What a perfect 1/1/14 start that would be!
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And while Miss Austen kept me company a good part of January, I also spent time with an old friend.  
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 It’s been awhile since I shared my progress on And They Sinned.  I picked it back up on Sundays and I managed to get the top of page two finished.  The alphabet actually went rather quickly, which was a nice change.  I continued my border vines down to the halfway mark.  I seem to judge my progress on this piece by two things – one, I’m now down to the fold in my chart and two, I get to roll my fabric!
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It’s such a delight to be “below the fold” on another page!  I have no hope of catching up to my SAL partner, Sylvia, but I keep trying!  Turning those scroll rods really gives me such delight, it tends to spur me on to tackle the next part.  
And speaking of Sundays, I thought I’d share another little thing I’ve been working on.  All this talk of Santa Sundays on Instagram had me digging out my started and abandoned Green Santa.  Since I’m already spoken for on Sundays, I took this guy with me on Tuesday to my monthly EGA meeting.  
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He’s just too cute.  I’m stitching him on 40ct Weeks Cocoa.  And it’s fun to jump on the bandwagon with Siobhan and Paulette (among others) that are participating in #santasundayxs (even if I do have to do it on Tuesdays).  You can find me on Instagram and Twitter under cozyegg, if you’re so inclined.
Now that I’ve finished Jane, I’ve returned to my John Reed sampler which is one of my main focus pieces this year.  I’m loving the way it’s looking and I promise to share a progress photo soon!
I am grateful for finding my groove.

Et Tu, Etui!

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Last week I promised that I’d post about the Betsy Morgan workshop I attended, so here it is!  The workshop was offered through my local EGA chapter and the class was Betsy’s Sampler Casket Etui.  Of course, you’ve seen my pre-stitching (above) before.  I was rather impressed with myself that I was able to come to class with all my pre-stitching done (unlike that Hare Pyns debacle).  
Of course, it is always a treat to get to see the full kit for the piece the first time!  Such lovely silks. 
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In class we worked on assembling our little thimble bag, which was fun.  Betsy’s directions are very clear and concise, which I very much appreciate.  She also provided us with color copies of each of the pieces too, which will make completing this that much easier.  
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Anyway, I was able to get my little thimble purse sewn together and my little loops made for the cording to go through for the drawstring.  
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Cute, huh?
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And the inside is lined with silk dupioni.  
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We also learned in class how to do the Aztec stitch, which we will need for one of our little pieces.  She had us practice on something big enough to really be able to see what we were doing.  This was my first time cutting and removing threads…eeek!  That first snip is the worst.  
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But I got the hang of it.  It’s always fun learning something new.  
Anyway, the class was great and I thoroughly enjoyed Betsy.  If you haven’t taken a class from her, I highly recommend doing so.  
This weekend was spent working on the finishing of my ornament for the guild’s ornament exchange.  I’m really looking forward to our holiday party tomorrow night and I’m anxious to see what I’ll come home with in the exchange.  But for now, I’ll keep mine a surprise.  I think it turned out pretty darn cute, though!!
I am grateful for Saturday outings and face to face conversations. 

The Last Hurrah

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Since it’s been several weeks since my birthday, I figured I’d better wrap up the birthday posts for now.  I mean, once it rolls into the next month, you kind of have to stop celebrating, right?  Plus, with the weather this past weekend, it’s definitely feeling more like fall than summer to me.  And people are already asking me about Christmas!!!  Let’s not rush it!  Anyway, one of my sweet friends gifted me with this gorgeous bone dish, thimble, scissors, bird threadwinders and a skein of some stunning Gloriana silk!  I am so in love with this.  Please expect to see these goodies show up in many a blog photo from here on out!
And a couple of weeks ago was the EGA meeting.  For our program that night we did a beaded tube fob.  You can see my start below (accomplished with much help and some exclamations of “just give it to me and I’ll fix your mess”).
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It will be pretty if I ever finish it.  And at the meeting I was gifted with these amazingly beautiful earrings handmade by the same lovely lady that gifted me with the candy corn earrings.  Look how pretty these are…red and teal, one of my favorite color combos.
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On my actual birthday, I spent the morning up at the quilt shop cutting fabric for a new quilt.  It was exactly how I wanted to spend the big day.  And while I was there, I decided to pick up some fabric for another new quilt. This one.
Planted Seed Designs Tradewinds Quilt Pattern
So, I march over to a big display at the quilt shop with a sign that says “Lily Ashbury – Tradewinds”.  I pick out four bolts of fabric and have them cut.  I congratulate myself on the beautiful score.
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After I get home, I realize that the bottom two fabrics in this photo are not actually part of the Tradewinds line.  I think I can make them work, but boy that was an expensive mistake to make! Of course I assumed that the fabrics in the spot marked “Tradewinds” would actually be, oh I don’t know, Tradewinds.
And speaking of…the friend I discovered that quilt/fabric line with in July…she made me this spectacular pin cushion out of the Tradewinds fabric!  I am IN LOVE!  Plus, as a bonus, she brought me another fun pin cushion back from a quilt shop in Maui.  Look at that pineapple!!
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And from that photo that is all summer… to the photo below that is all fall…
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Another friend knit this great scarf for me.  The color of the yarn?  Zombie BBQ.  How awesome is that?!  And she gifted me with some nail polish from my new favorite brand (the color is Dosh).  Don’t you love how it matches my scarf?
Thut had to check it out…he approves.  (Notice his big boy collar!)
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And finally…there’s no better way to say goodbye to summer than to finish it off with, well…a finish!
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Chessie & Me’s Glory House with Belle Soie on 36ct Meadow Rue.
I am grateful for wonderful friends who inspire me.