Epic

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Can you believe it’s July?  How did this happen?  (I know I say this every year, but wow – it sneaks up on me!)  And it’s also time for another WIPocalypse check in.  Anyway, I have been stitching…as you can see Isabella’s made some progress.  I’m just loving her and she is really such a joy to stitch.

I did take a little break from Isabella though for a new start.  I mentioned in my last post that I was planning something new, and shared the silks with you.  Well, I took this with me a couple of weeks ago, when I had to go to Wichita for work.  I absolutely love how the AVAS silks look on the Confederate Grey (40ct) fabric.  I’m so happy with the color.  And once I get some more stitched, I think it’s going to look amazing.  Anyway, this is the John Reed 1844 sampler by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches.  It’s going to be my memorial sampler for my dad, and I started it on his birthday. 

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Oh, and the new scissors?  I got them last weekend along with some other goodies I’ll have to share.  So what, pray tell, was I up to over the weekend?  I was invited to attend the second annual Epic Stitching Get Together, which was hosted this year by a local blogger, Susan at Afford Your Passions.   Susan did a great recap of the weekend on her blog, but I thought I’d share a few photos too.  While we were missing a few folks in this photo, you can see that Susan’s living room kind of looked like a bomb exploded with all the stash, WIPs, stitching bags, etc. everywhere. 

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There was even more behind the couch…

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And a bunch of us brought items to give away to good homes – a whole table full in fact!

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And what are those buckets lining the hallway?  Why those were our in-house shop!  One of the ladies brought leftover inventory from her shop and we all had free reign throughout the weekend to peruse and shop at our leisure (often going back again and again!).

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I made sure to bring a selection of things to work on…

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I even got the opportunity to do some Tula Pink enabling over the weekend, thanks to our visit to the local quilt shop and my lovely project bags.

I did attempt to work on Isabella, but due to where I was sitting (no light behind me), the 40ct stitching just wasn’t happening.  So after a couple of hours attempting it, I finally gave up and stitched on something a little easier to see.  I pulled out Mystery 9 that has languished for a long long long long time.  In fact the last time I worked on it was last June.  I’m not sure what prompted me to dig out this piece and bring it, but I’m glad I did.  I managed to get that left bottom corner restitched (after the last sad ripping out session).  And even managed to get the other corner stitched too!  I’m halfway there on part 9!

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And my Chatelaine was in good company – the weekend yielded a total of seven in progress Chatelaines that I got to see up close and personal.  And wow – I need to get my Egypt Garden started asap, especially after seeing this.

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I’m just so thrilled to have made some good progress on this piece.  And I’m even more thrilled to have had such a fantastic weekend and been so graciously welcomed into this group of stitchers.  There was so much inspiration, I’m sure I’m going to be busy stitching for a long time!

I am grateful for new friendships.

Eye Crossing

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As I mentioned in my last post, I needed to get started on my pre-stitching for my Hare Pyns class. I decided to pull out everything on Saturday when I had a fresh mind and read through all of my instructions. She suggested cutting out fabric down to size for the wallet, but as I stood there with my rotary cutter in hand I just couldn’t do it. For one thing, my fabric wasn’t squared up when it was originally cut, so I was afraid of mis-cutting. So, instead I decided I would baste my pieces first and then cut. That way I made sure to have enough for the pocket and the smalls. Eric had a student at the house, so I went into the dining room where I could spread out and started my basting.

I tell you what – I can stitch on 40ct with no problem in the worst of light. I can stitch over one on 32ct with no problem. But trying to count and do my basting on this 30ct fabric? My eyes were having a hard time with it. After awhile I ended up with the worst headache, probably from eye strain, which is so weird because I had a ton of light in that room, both from the overhead light and from the six windows letting in bright afternoon sunlight. But, whatever the reason, once I got that pocket basted, I had to take some Advil and call it a day.

After dinner and a much-needed break from basting, I did settle in to do some actual stitching on the piece that night. I didn’t make a ton of progress because I kept second-guessing the instructions. But at least my eyes didn’t bother me at all, even working over one on that 30ct fabric. So, I’m going to focus on getting that pocket stitched first and then I’ll work on the smalls.

Before launching into working on Hare Pyns over the weekend, I did pull out an old WIP last week (Dorothy has gone back into the closet). This is Chatelaine’s Mystery 9. Seems I’ve been working on this forever (well since January of 2006 – that was the year I got married and moved though, so stitching fell to the wayside). The last time I worked on this piece was August of 2009. Sad, isn’t it? Well, what’s even sadder is that all that stitching I did on it last time, all the swirly stuff in the corner, I completely miscounted. So what you see here is after I ripped out both sides of the swirlies, then restitched the bottom one and am in the process of restitching the left one. It all had to come out. Sad sad sad.

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No wonder I haven’t worked on it in almost two years. This is what happens to me. I make a mistake, get disgusted, set the piece aside, and then years go by. But I really want to get this piece finished up. I’m working on part 9 (of 12). And after having seen Missy’s Chatelaines in person, I’m desperate to get mine finished. I currently have four in progress (this story just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?): Mystery 9, Mermaid Treasure Box, Midi Mystery 2, and Pearl Lights. So, I plan to get back to this as soon as possible (although I’ve got Hare Pyns to work on). I want to get that corner restitched and then get to working on the other three corners. Once those corner swirlies are stitched they have a ton of beads and crystals too, which will be stunning. I can’t wait! And although this photo is a bit washed out, it’s the first time ever I think you’ve been able to kind of see that this is stitched on lavender linen. It’s really pale, but the silks look so good on it.

And of course, Sunday was for ATS. I always stitch into the evening hours on Sundays, so here’s a photo of what it looked like before yesterday’s stitching session. As you can see, I’m stitching leaves for that center tree.

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Last night I finished the leaves and started on the tree branches. There is a lot of stitching in that tree, but it’s coming along. I got about half of the tree branches stitched before I had to stop last night. And I’m still so in love with that cluster of grapes on the right – that purple is just so fun!

So this week will be more Hare Pyns, ATS on Sunday and possibly something else thrown in for fun.

I am grateful for inspiration from Missy.

I Love This Project!

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Recently, I was asked to be a guest blogger on Anna’s blog, and you can see my entry here. This request from Anna was a wonderful surprise and I wanted to take full advantage of it for several reasons… I was in very good company with the other amazing guest posts she had lined up, because Midi was a project I finished prior to starting my blog and it gave me the chance to show some pretty photos of it, and because I do pretty much anything Anna asks me to do.

Midi Mystery I - floral vine

Midi does hold a very special place in my heart, for the reasons listed in my guest post. And of course, after my massive stitching fail post the other day, looking at this piece again reminds me that I did actually stitch and finish and frame this beauty. This was stitched on 32ct (mostly over two, but some over one) with silks and metallics. The beads are all Delicas and then there were some Swarovski crystals thrown in for good measure.

Midi Mystery I - flower beds

These little beds were what I was working on in December. It’s kind of fun looking back at these photos. In fact, if you can believe it some of the photos taken of my progress on this were taken by Eric (because I didn’t take good photos), and even some were taken (by me) with a film camera. Seriously. Because that’s how I roll.

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And look at that basket – I wove that thing! How freakin’ awesome am I? So, anyway, take a stroll on over to visit the Stitch Bitch. Pay no attention to the fact that she points out I am STILL working on Mystery 9, and maybe one day we will get back to our SAL on the mermaids.

Until then, dear ones, I am outta here. I am taking the next two days off work in a stitch-ass celebration of my birthday. So, I hope to have some cool stuff to show you next time. Until then, why not try something new in your stitching?

I am grateful for texts from Eric.

Owl Post

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I decided I need to add one last piece to my Night Owl repertoire. So, the Vera Bradley Tote winged its way here this week at a bargain price. Love it. This pattern is so me. And just to prove I’ve actually been stitching and needed such a bag…

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I’m actually right-handed, but was stitching two-handed with my right hand beneath the fabric. Or technically, right hand was taking the photo. But I’ve made some good progress on The Simple Things. And thanks, Sylvia, for pointing out that there is all that chain stitching. So, I revise my statement that this is a relatively quick stitch…since I forgot about all the chain stitches. And it looks like the new Loose Feathers in due out soon as well. So I’m only a couple behind. But, I did pre-order the Halloween Stocking Book. Can’t wait for that!

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And last night I decided to pick Mystery 9 back up and work on it for a bit. I managed to finish the bottom left corner (minus bling).

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I just love this piece so much. But, these intricate designs can only take so much attention before I have to wander off to something else. I keep hearing Shores calling my name too. I need to get back to that piece as well and get over the hump of not liking it, so that I’ll want to stitch on it non-stop again. It’s too pretty to allow to languish.

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But, the Chatelaine kick was fed by Missy and her beautiful Caribbean Mystery, which I also just signed up for. I couldn’t resist it any longer. And, it was an early birthday gift to myself.

So, there you have it. This afternoon Eric is taking me to the Circus. I am looking forward to seeing a great show and having a snowcone. Oh, and I’ve posted the first set of our Miami photos here, if you’d like to take a look.

I am grateful for a boxful of vampire books that just showed up at my doorstep. Thanks, Missy!!!

Jetting Around

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Eric and I are back from Miami! I may have alluded in my previous posts that we were heading out for an adventure. Well, Eric surprised me with a trip to Miami over the 4th of July weekend. We left on Thursday night (flying First Class – woohoo!) and came back on Monday. We had so much fun, and I will have photos to share soon. As you may imagine, though, there wasn’t any stitching while I was gone. In the past week though, there’s been a tiny bit of stitching. As you can see above, I pulled out Earth Sampler and stitched on it a bit last night. I took Andrea’s lead and replaced the GAST Sable with GAST Cinnamon. I am so much happier with it. So, I’ll definitely be pulling out the h,i,j in the middle to replace it with Cinnamon. My little bit of stitching last night while watching True Blood was the only stitching I did all weekend. Friday night I went with a friend to see The Hangover – so funny! Saturday we had a dinner guest and then Sunday was of course cleaning and laundry during the day. But, I think I am happy with the piece again after the color switch.

On Monday night after we returned, I did settle down and do a little bit of stitching on my new start, Sweet Treats. I finished block 1, minus the buttons, and I’ve started the border.

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I think the buttons will look really cute once I stitch them on. Any suggestions on what to stitch them on with? Matching thread?

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Wednesday night I took my final for Access, and happily did very well on it. I just need to schedule my vendor certification exam now. But, having my final behind me allowed me to spend Thursday night with some stitching friends. I took Mystery 9 and did a little more stitching on the swirl. I was doing more talking than stitching though, so not much progress to show.

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And I would like to provide a little update on my vent from a few posts ago. After calling the needlework shop with my credit card information for the one chart that was sent, I did also cancel my order for the second chart. I politely explained to the person on the phone that I’d been waiting for four months for the order, and at this point I just wanted to cancel the order. So, imagine my surprise when on Saturday a package arrived from the needlework shop. In it was the chart I’d been waiting on, for no charge, a letter of apology from the owner, and some extras. I sent the owner an email this morning thanking them. So, I wanted to update everyone on what happened, so that I didn’t also leave you with a bad taste in your mouth about the situation (even though I haven’t mentioned which shop this is, as I’m sure we all from time to time have a bad experience). Anyway, while never expecting to see this chart, much less the way in which the owner handled rectifying the situation, I was pleasantly surprised. So, anyway, the situation is resolved.

So, I will have photos from Miami to show you all soon. And if you want to take a look at more of my Dallas After Dark photos, you can see them here. I hope to get some more stitching in this week. I’m itching to get back to Earth Sampler now!

I am grateful for a fun vacation to Hot Miami.