Episode 11: Project Roulette

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg podcast!  In this episode I share my first finished shawl, my 2016 stitching plan, and some wonderful gifts I received.

Show notes:

Finishes:

  1. Yowza Weigh It Shawl by Susan B. Anderson – using Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and size 8 Signature circulars.  Finished on 12/31/15
  2. Hare Pyns (not shown – you can see the finish here) by Patrick’s Woods
  3. EGA Nametag and Tudor Rose Sampler Guild Nametag

WIPs:

  1. Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – I’m currently on the March block called A Wish for You; stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with (mostly) the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads
  2. Mistake Rib Scarf by Purl Soho – yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in color 338 Nouveau and I’m knitting with Size 10 Addi Turbos

Stash Enhancement:

  1. Erin Condren Good to Go Life Planner

Reading:

  1. Finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness in December
  2. You can see the complete list and reviews of my 2015 reads over on the Cozystyle blog here
  3. Currently reading Lara Casey’s Make it Happen and R.K. Ryal’s The Story of Awkward

Essential Oil of the Week: Valor

Valor

For more info on Young Living Essential Oils, visit my site here.

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Find me on Ravelry: cozyegg

I am grateful for being a knitter!

2016 WIPdown

WIP Box

 

In 2015, I focused a lot on my quilt WIPs and working my way through them.  I was very pleased at the end of the year to have made great strides in that arena.  I started with my oldest WIP and with each I finished, I moved on to the next in line (oldest to newest).  So, when the new year got close I started thinking about how to approach my stitching WIPs.  I knew that if I started with my oldest WIP, I’d never get anywhere (there’s a reason that one still isn’t done).  I also know that I do best focusing on one project until it’s finished, rather than bouncing from project to project.  So, I decided that I would choose ten WIPs, projects that I want to work on, and put them in a box.  Instead of having my usual New Year’s Day start, I would pull my first project out of the box and work on whatever it is until it is done.  Instead of a tenth project, I put in a “seasonal wildcard” so that I could stitch on something seasonal – new start or WIP – if I draw this one.  I’ve also allowed myself any smalls or ornaments that I want to work on, so that I have a travel project and also something small to work on if I’m focusing on a large WIP.  So, on New Year’s Day I was super excited to pull my first project out of the box and see what I was going to work on!

…and I drew Hare Pyns!  So here’s the funny backstory on this.  The weekend before I got together with a friend to work on Hare Pyns and we made some good progress.  We got the needlebook made and sewn on and we got the pincushion made.  I was really excited when I realized how close I was actually getting to having HP done.  But, my excitement over picking something to stitch out of the box overshadowed how I was feeling about HP.  When I pulled the rabbit hare out of the box, I was shocked!  Of course it was the one WIP I’d put into the box that wasn’t actual stitching, just finishing.  I just laughed and said, “ok, I guess I’m supposed to finish this sooner rather than later!”

I’ve posted my previous progress here and here. So, here’s where I started out on the first of January with HP.

All the stitching was done, of course.  I’d made the pin keep and attached it, assembled the sewing case itself and the ribbon edging was partially attached.  The needlebook was finished as was the pincushion.  So, all I had left was finishing up attaching the ribbon edging, add the ribbon accents, assemble the scissor sheath and the scissor fob.  That’s it!  It really only took a few nights to finish off that ribbon edging, and then a few more to finish the other pieces.  And as of last night, it’s finished!

I can hardly believe it is actually done.  Our kit came with the wooden hare threadkeep and a hare ruler.  I’ve been so afraid I would break mine before I got this piece done, so they were in a safe place.  A safe place I had to find.  Sherri Jones provided the antique button for the piece as well.  And in case you were wondering, all that background is actually stitched.

Inside you can see the needlebook, the pin keep (I don’t actually have pins around the edge of it since I’d like to find some matching glass head pins), and the truth about how long it’s been since I took this workshop.

A closer look at the needlebook.  I love that tiny little hare coming out of the tulip.  The inside of the needlebook is wool felt.  And below is a closer look at the pinkeep.  All that background on the pinkeep and on the sewing case itself is also all stitched.  Love the over one hare inside the zero.

And here’s the inside pockets.  There’s the wooden hare ruler.  There is a center divider and on one side it has a little pocket and on the other side (the side you can see here), there are ribbon “slots” for holding needlework tools.  There’s also two bigger pockets at the back where the ruler is.

And here are the other accessories – the scissor sheath, the scissor fob, and the pincushion.

Back of the fob has my initial on it.  And the sweet hare scissors are from a friend that also took this workshop.  (I had to find these too…they were in use already in another project bag.)

And here’s a look at the back of the sewing case.  The bargello, of course, matches the scissor sheath and vice versa.

I really am so beyond excited to finally have this piece finished, and looking at it I can hardly believe that I actually did all this finishing myself.  It was super frustrating at times, but none of it was really hard.  It did take a lot of patience, and a lot of reading and re-reading the instructions, and a lot of time with my friend working on our pieces together.  Finishing this also makes me feel a tad more confident about tackling some of my other workshop pieces.  Of course, they have to actually be stitched first!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my first finish of 2016 and that you’ll check back to see what the next project is that comes out of the box!

I am grateful for my finishing buddy. 

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.

Stars in Her Crown

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The Tudor Rose Sampler Guild invited Paulette of Plum Street Samplers to come and teach a workshop for us and we commissioned her to design a sampler.   I’ve been counting down the days and anxiously awaiting Paulette’s arrival in Dallas for our class.  Saturday was the big day, and true to form Paulette’s attention to detail was evident in every piece.  The kit was beautifully packaged and opening it brought gasps of joy from every person in the room. 
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The kit included a glorious array of silks, Lakeside linen, Weeks wool, a Sudberry frame, crushed walnut shells and other little bits for finishing the smalls as well as a fun little lip balm.  Everything was beautifully presented.
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Paulette also set up an amazing trunk show for our members – and seeing her pieces in person was a treat.  Absolutely gorgeous pieces – and several of them just got bumped up to the top of my To Stitch list.  
And here is the gorgeous sampler Paulette designed for us.  It’s called The Crowned Bird Sampler.  Love love love it!  I cannot wait to get started on this beauty. 
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Paulette spent some time talking about her inspiration for the piece and some of the things she included and why. 
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Look at the red bird!
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And Victoria Beckham move over, this lady’s fascinator puts hers to shame!  What a perfectly dressed couple – particularly for a  workshop taking place on Derby Day!
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And here are the smalls – a miniature sewing tray and strawberry.  
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Here’s my little bitty start on the sewing tray.  Paulette’s pieces are always so fun to stitch and it was such a good day filled with friends, stitching, laughter, good food and beautifully designed pieces. 
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Thank you so much, Paulette, for designing such a special sampler for us.  Your visit was much too short although I’m sure Tilly-Roux the Yorkie was glad to have you back home!
I am grateful for a wonderful weekend with a wonderful lady. 

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. 

Tilting at Windmills

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I finished up my pre-stitching for the Betsy Morgan class.  I love the little windmill.  These two little panels stitched up pretty quick, which is good because my track record for pre-stitching hasn’t been so great.  I’m looking forward to this class in October.  
After finishing my pre-stitching Saturday night, I was a little adrift about what to work on next.  I really need to get back to And They Sinned.  And I’ve promised myself I am going to focus on AOTH, ATS and John Reed until they are finished.  (Of course Glory House was nowhere on that list!)  And now I’m really wanting to do some fall stitching.  But, I really should stick to the plan and finish some of these things that have been taking up space in my project basket closet.  
And speaking of new starts…I decided to sign up for the Tula Pink Sew Along hosted by Sew Sweetness.  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get moving on my Kiss Kiss quilt made from Tula’s Parisville fabrics. 
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On Saturday, I busted out the rotary cutter and finished cutting out all of the fabric for the “spokes”.  That’s fifteen pieces from each of the ten fat quarters!  Once I finished with those, I moved on to fussy cutting my centerpieces from the Cameo fabric.  

Fussy Cutting Parisville Tula Pink
I managed to get three of the nine cut out before it was time to call it a day.  I’m looking forward to getting all my cutting done so that I can start sewing!  
And even though I’m just getting started on my very first Tula quilt, I’ve already started making plans for the next one.  Please take a look at the new purchase – from her most recent line (at least until Salt Water comes out!), The Birds and The Bees.  Love that squirrel!!
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I really should get back to my Kate Spain Christmas quilt if I hope to have it done for the holidays this year…  Sounds like I need to tackle some of the ongoing projects in my quilting pile too!
I am grateful for getting out of a rut.  

The Last of Summer

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It hardly seems possible that Labor Day is now behind us and it’s September.  I’ve been working on a little project as sort of a last hurrah of summer.  It’s Chessie & Me’s Glory House.  Sweet little thing, isn’t it?
And you may be wondering what I’ve been up to, since I haven’t blogged in a bit?  Well, I had a birthday.  And my birthday was full of fun celebrations with friends and family.  You can see a little recap in photos over on the other blog here.  But I just had to share a few of the wonderful gifts I received.  
Sylvia made me this sweet stitching wallet.  I am in love with the Paris fabric!
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Here’s a peek at the inside…
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And she must have gotten tired of me bugging her about the fabulous fingerless gloves with owls on them that she made for her daughter a while back.  So she made some for me!!!!  I LOVE THEM! (And in case you’re wondering…I’m modeling them with my blue moon manicure in honor of the blue moon that was on August 31st).
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I was also treated to a day of wonderful food, laughter, stitching and a little Downton Abbey by some friends.  One of them stitched this sweet Needlework Press piece for me.  I am in love with the color thread she used.  
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A little closeup…
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I have lots more to show you, but I’m attempting to not overload you with photos!  So, here’s a quick peek at what I’ve been working on. I’ve found it difficult to settle in and stitch lately, but I’ve been working a little bit on my John Reed sampler.  I’m working my way across the top border.  I love love love how the AVAS silks are popping on that Confederate Grey linen.
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It’s been awhile since I showed you ATS too.  Not a lot of progress.  I stitched that strawberry band and have started on the alphabet.   
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Tuesday night I picked up the pre-stitching for a class I’m taking in October with Betsy Morgan. I’m excited about this one. 
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That’s it for me today.  I’ll post again soon with some other birthday pretties I received, a new quilt start, and hopefully some more stitching progress!  Thanks, as always, for stopping by.  I really appreciate it!
I am grateful for another amazing year.

Eat, Pray, Love

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Eric and I have been married almost six years. Our wedding ceremony and reception were greatly influenced by his Italian heritage on his mom’s side. For our honeymoon, we went to Rome. When we were planning our wedding, Eric ran across a phrase in Italian that he really loved. It translates to “my heart is yours forever”. We wanted it engraved inside our wedding bands, but there was no way all that was going to fit. So instead, we went for a shortened version in Italian. I know you can’t see the engraving inside the rings in the photo (my photography skills aren’t that good), but trust me…it’s there.

So, when I saw Siobhan’s bonus block for her Anniversaries of the Heart piece, I fell in love with how she’d used something more meaningful than just the charted alphabet. So, the gears in my head started turning and I decided that I really wanted to use our phrase in my bonus block. So I charted and re-charted until I thought I finally had it. And last weekend I finished the stitching on this block. I’m really please with how it came out.

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I’m counting each of these blocks as a tiny finish, so I was happy to celebrate another finish for the year! And no sooner had I finished this block did I start gathering my stuff to start the March block. That is until I got some news on Wednesday that considerably moved up my time table to get my Anniversaries of the Heart finished. So, instead of starting on the March block, I started on the June block that will honor my dad and his mother – both June birthdays. I’d like him to see at least this block finished.
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So, that’s what I’ve been working on for the most part. This week I did receive my supplies for an online class I’m taking from Amy Mitten. My guild is doing this as a SAL. Once I had the fabric and fibers in my hot little hands, I couldn’t help but put in a few stitches.
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I’m looking forward to seeing this one come to life.

I am grateful for every day we have.

Valentine Rose

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I took a little break from my Hare Pyns pre-stitching to finish up Valentine Rose (block 2 from BBD’s Anniversaries of the Heart). This block caused me to do a lot of thinking, which may be partially why it took me four months to stitch. When I first decided I was going to stitch AOTH, I initially thought I would include people that had some great stories, use some of the genealogy Eric and my dad had gathered. This block was supposed to be dedicated to my 3rd Great Aunt. She has a great story for sure. Actually a great name as well. But when I saw the final bonus chart and I saw Katrina and Siobhan’s finishes of their AOTHs, something changed in me. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to piece to really mean something and not be just a bunch of names on fabric – people that are so far removed that they are strangers. What good is a good story if the relationship isn’t a deep one? The piece is intended to be people of my heart. And I always knew that the piece would be a melding of both Eric’s family and mine, so why not keep it to those immediate family members that really are of our heart?

With that last chart in my hand, Eric and I sat down and determined who would be honored in which blocks. We didn’t do more than that, just made an initial “map” if you will. But it felt good to know who would be where and that the people immediately surrounding us would be included.

So, Valentine Rose, is now dedicated to my Grandfather, my father’s father. The photo is of the house where he was born. It was taken in 1914, when he was about 10 years old. That’s him standing on the left hand side in front of the horse. I do remember spending time with him when I was young. Unfortunately, he died on December 24 when I was six years old (my sister was barely two). It is the only time growing up that my dad wasn’t there for Christmas. For all the short time I knew him, Grandaddy (as we called him) left a big impression on me. Since my dad has started researching my family’s genealogy I’ve actually learned a lot more about my Grandfather. Suddenly my father’s memories of him and of growing up were stories he wanted to tell. And now I don’t just think of the man who hugged me and made me feel so loved, but also the man who had a fleet of Cadillacs and was that sharp dresser I see in later photos.

You can see his first name there at the bottom, Robert, and his birth year, 1904. He was born on February 6, so I changed that shape on the door of the house to look more like a 6.

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I really enjoyed stitching this block, even though it took me so long. I loved the specialty stitches in the roof, the vase and even the chain stitching on the flowers. The house to me reminds me of the home I visited, even though I really have no visual memory of the outside of it, just a feeling of coziness.

So that’s my Grandfather, and the block dedicated to him. I’ve got the next block (the bonus block) ready to go, but no idea when I will start it. I’m anxious to get moving on it though.

And lest you think I’ve been slacking off and not working on Hare Pyns, I have been. There is a lot of stitching in this piece, so I’m determined to work on it as much as possible in order to get it done in plenty of time before our class. It’s coming along, but it’s coming along slowly because I seem to have to keep making decisions about how to do each new thing I come to. Has anyone stitched this that might be able to provide some assistance??

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It is going to be a really pretty piece, I may just drive myself insane by stitching it though. But I’m loving the red. Can’t wait to get that flower all filled in too. It will see some more attention tonight, since yesterday was for And They Sinned.

I am grateful for stitching time with a friend on Saturday. And getting my hair cut!!

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.