A Flower, A Fob, and Fabric

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I may have mentioned that Hare Pyns had to have some minor ripping out and restitching done to her. That center flower needed the pale pink color in the center, as opposed to the red I’d mistakenly stitched there. The center flower is now finished and I’ve done the rest of the outlining on the flowers and leaves and begun the fill in on the leaves. Like I said, my goal is to get this front flap finished by the end of June. I’m thinking it’s not going to happen. But, I’ve been wrong before. I just find it amazing that I can’t find photos online of anyone else stitching this piece. I had hoped for some in progress photos to help me along. No such luck. The majority of the photos I find when I search for this piece are my own. And that doesn’t help me!

But since this piece is such a beat down to stitch (mainly because of the tension differences in the stitches which can’t really be helped, and I’m not sure what I can do about it), I find myself wanting to work on something at the opposite end of the spectrum. Something that doesn’t make my eyes cross.

So, I’ve been working on another old WIP (I know, they’re neverending). This is Sweet Treats by Country Cottage Needleworks. This piece was a series of chart packs with Crescent Colors thread and JABC buttons. I finally finished the border and have now moved on to the second chart pack, which is Cupcake. I am stitching this on 28ct Vintage Lentil.

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It’s an easy break from Hare Pyns.

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And yesterday I met some friends for lunch to celebrate one friend’s birthday. You may remember last year I stitched this piece for her. This year, I found these great black and white scissors and made a fob for them (see already putting those jewelry-making skills to good use!).

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I had a lot of fun making the fob, and the black and white set was a perfect counterpoint to the Kaffe Fassett quilt book I also gave her that was full of gorgeous, rich color. I’m thinking I need some Kaffe fabric in my life. Anyway, we had a lovely lunch and I’m so glad she liked her gifts!
Also over the weekend, I spent some time sewing the binding on a quilt. I finally finished it last night and am looking forward to sharing it with you. I’m totally in the mood now to work on quilts. I spent some time this weekend cutting out some more hexagon templates so that I can get back to working on my hexagon quilt. I also made a little trip up to my local quilt shop and saw that they were starting to get the new Christmas lines in. Now I’m jonesing to work on Christmas quilts! I have at least three planned and have most of the fabric I need for all three. There’s a fourth I just remembered I want to make too, but no fabric for it yet. But doesn’t this pretty Christmas fabric make you want to start some holiday projects?

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Oh I’m just dying to get my sewing machine out and start piecing some quilt tops! I can’t wait to get started! (OMGthoseowlsaresofreakingcuteIdie.)

So that’s what I’m up to. Tonight I’ll be back to working on Hare Pyns, in an attempt to get that front flap done. But maybe over the holiday weekend I can sneak in some sewing. And I’ll for sure be sharing my newly finished quilt soon too!

I am grateful for inspiration and a sense of accomplishment.

Afterglow

 

Wreath with Snow

I hope you have all had very happy holidays! We have been enjoying ourselves and our families over the past week too. If you’d like to take a peek at our annual Eggnog & Dessert Party, you can see that here. On Christmas Eve we had snow again, which seems like some sort of record to me – twice in one year. It snowed off an on for a good portion of the afternoon and evening.

I appreciate all of your sweet comments on my stitching pieces that I’ve decorated with this year. I missed showing you a few, but probably you’ve seen them before. I did need to share this though. Remember my little sheep? Well, he was of course all decked out for the holidays as well. And that sweet little hand-painted wooden spool? That was a gift from my friend, Ava.

 

All Hearts Come Home

There hasn’t been a whole lot of stitching going on over here, but I thought I’d show you what little progress I’ve made.

I’ve stitched on Sweet Treats a little bit. Working on those side borders.

 

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I also made a start finally on my Marbek Nativity. You may remember I was supposed to start this at Thanksgiving. But, I did start it on Christmas Day. I am stitching this with DMC on 36 count Sapphire linen from HeavenLee Creations. I love the fabric, it is gorgeous in person. My little white blob there will eventually be a sheep. I’m starting on the center panel first.

 

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And, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m having a hard time settling down to any one piece. So, I’ve also been stitching on an ornament I started a long time ago. In fact, here’s what it looked like the last time I worked on it – January of 2009.

 

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And here’s what it looks like as of this morning. This is Mele Kalikimaka by Monsterbubbles from the 2004 JCS Ornament Issue. It’s stitched over one on 32ct with Silk n Colors. But being over one, with solid fill in, is slow going. Which is why, apparently, I keep picking it up and putting it back down. I’d like to finish it sooner rather than later, because it is really pretty. I’m working on the ocean currently, and still have the sky to fill in plus the little bit of backstitching.

 

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And, in the hopes that I really will get some quilting done this coming year (oh I want to be like Laurie!!), one of my Christmas gifts was this quilt kit from The Country Sampler. Here are a couple of photos of the quilt from their blog (the one on the bed). Isn’t it pretty?!?

 

Winter Trees Quilt Kit

I can’t wait to get started. But, first I need to finish that little baby quilt. Yesterday I got the quilting done. Today, I should be able to get the binding done, and then voila, on to other things!

Oh, I’ve also been reading. On Christmas morning I finished this…

The Hunger Games book

This book came highly recommended, so I thought I’d give it a shot. And no, there are no vampires in this, Gloria. Although I was hesitant to start anything else after finishing Drums of Autumn, this was the perfect choice. It was so good and immediately had me hooked. It was a very quick read, I think it took me a week or so. I am definitely going to be keeping this one in my library, and buying book 2, Catching Fire. This one was not on my Book Challenge list, but boy it was well worth deviating from the plan for it. After finishing this, I attempted to pick up the book for my next book club, but I quickly came to the decision that while I’m on vacation, I should be reading something fun, rather than reading about Impressionist painting, which can be a little dry. So, you can see what I picked up on my sidebar. It will be another quick read, then I can get back to the Impressionists.

Hope you’re all enjoying your last bit of stitching before the end of the year. I have some other crafting to share with you, as well as a New Year’s start that I’m really looking forward to. Until next time, stay warm and stitch on!

I am grateful for family and a man who spoils me.

Cozy

Hall Tree Ornaments

Thanks for all the compliments on Jenny Bean. I really appreciate it! Since finishing Jenny, I’ve been concentrating on getting ready for the holidays. Eric and I have been spending the last couple of weekends decorating, menu planning, addressing cards, and doing some of our annual traditions. I thought I’d show you some of the stitched items I’ve used in my decorating this year. The past few years I haven’t gotten many of them out, but I tried to rectify that this year. Above, you can see one of trees. This one is filled mostly with handmade ornaments.

Stockings

And, our stockings hang on the mantel.

Christmas Cards

I fill this little basket with the cards we receive from friends and family. My Peace ornament found its home here again this year.

Winter Snapperland

I had almost forgotten about my Winter Snapperland. But, I found a place for it nonetheless. We change out some of our photos of our travels with holiday photos from our trip to New York, so I have those scattered throughout the house too.

Santas

It’s been years since I got these little pillows out. That Mary Engelbreit Santa was the very first piece I stitched on linen. The little blue pillow Santa was actually a design for a knit sweater, but I liked it so much I used the chart and stitched him. He’s kind of fun on that opalescent fabric.

I have a couple other stitchy type decorations, but I’ll wait to show them to you next time since this post is already rather photo heavy!

So, since finishing Jenny Bean, I’ve been kind of hesitant to start on anything new – although I have several things I need to get cracking on – not the least of which is the 4th Day ornament for Eric. But, I just kind of felt that with all the hustle and bustle right now, I needed something rather mindless and comforting. So, I picked up my CCN Sweet Treats piece that I started some time ago. Here’s what it looked like the last time I showed a progress photo.

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And here’s what it looks like now. The colors in the photo above are much more accurate. I was attempting to take photos with my eyes shut apparently for the recent update photo.

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I’m stitching along on the border and then I’ll go back to my blocks. I’m anxious to start on Block 2, which I think is Cupcake. Thankfully, when I started this, I was smart enough to print out the corrected border chart. So, hopefully, I will have no problems!

I’ve also been doing a little bit of jewelry making, which I am looking forward to sharing. But, you’ll have to wait until after the gifts are given for that! I also have a quilt that is in desperate need of attention. I intended to work on this weekend – to do the quilting – but, I only got as far as measuring and cutting my batting and backing fabric. Oh well, maybe later this week I can make progress on it!

Anyway, I hope to have more lovely things to show you soon!

I am grateful for being taken care of – and Christmas carols while baking!

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.

After Dark Sneak Peek

West End

Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping by my little part of the world. I always appreciate that you do. Our Dallas after Dark photowalk was fun (although h.o.t.). I think I got some good photos, although I haven’t had time to really sit down and go through them. But, I thought I’d share at least one of them with you for now. This is taken at the West End in downtown Dallas. I haven’t made any edits to this photo other than resizing, so I’d say that’s pretty damn good. I love how you can see the green building in the background through the arches. I can’t wait to go through the rest and see what I’ve got. I’ll be sure to post them when I do, probably over on my alternate universe (ie the other blog). I will of course also have photos of the other adventure that is forthcoming. Yay!

Not much stitching to report. Last weekend was a full one, as I’m sure you can imagine. I did, however, manage a new start (like I need another WIP). But, whatever, it’s summer…I can do what I want. I wanted a new summery start, so I decided to pull out a piece that had been calling to me for awhile.

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Can you guess what it is? Why yes, it’s Sweet Treats (block 1) from Country Cottage Needleworks. I’ve had all the fixings for this piece in my hot little hands for some time now, and it was finally time to start it. So much fun. I should be able to finish up this block pretty quickly I think. I’m using the Crescent Colors threads that came with the pattern, of course. I am also using the suggested 28ct Vintage Lentil from Lakeside (so that the buttons will fit). Love it!

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th, if you’re here in the states. And for everyone else, a wonderful stitchy Saturday!

The quilt top below is one I finished several years ago, and it has yet to be quilted but I thought it was appropriate for an Independence Day post.

Stars and Stripes