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Friday, December 30, 2005

What I stitched over Christmas vacation

Some pictures :-)!!

Hillside Samplings, Hillside School of Needlework:

Prairie Schooler, Prairie Birds:
Cardinals (Sorry, it's a tad blurry)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Whew! This week is flying!

Last week when I was stuck at work, the week D-R-A-G-G-E-D...but this week, when we are on vacation, it's flying by! I haven't had a ton of time to stitch like I planned but I've started Prairie Schooler's, Prairie Birds and Scarlet Letter's, Sarah Tatum. Also, I decided to pull a wip from my enormous pile (ahem..) and work on it for a while. I chose Hillside Samplings, Hillside School of Needlework. I haven't touched it since 2004 (wince!) and I really don't have a lot to finish on it. I know I have finishing anxiety and I planned on adding a verse to the sampler instead of the personalization so that meant work, and as a result, it went into the *finish someday* pile. I dislike backstitching (ick) and the entire house is backstitched for bricks. Plus, I made a mistake in the fence area and it needed frogging, which I fixed last night. I love the sampler, so I decided to add it to the *finish now* pile.

I also thought about a rotation. I am not one to structure my stitching around a schedule, I usually stitch what's screaming the loudest, but as I looked back on 2005, I realized that I didn't finish any of my Wips. I just added to the *start pile*. This year, that's gotta change. So, this is what I decided to do...I will work on 5 pieces a month. One per week. This is what I've chosen:
1. Sarah Tatum - 1/2 page per month (one evening a week for the SAL plus a full week)
2. Prairie Year and Prairie Birds - 1 motif a month from each pattern
3. Hillside School of Needlework - Wip
4. Whatever screams the loudest - TBD (leaving some wiggle room..hee-hee)

Because I work full time and only have a couple of hours in the evening during the week to stitch before I go comatose, I tend to stitch more on the weekends than during the week. So giving 4 projects some focus time may be just what I need to do to complete SOMETHING in 2006. As one piece finishes another will take it's place. I haven't given up on the list that I posted earlier, I just am prioritizing a bit and tweaking it. Since Sarah and the Prairie Schoolers made the list, the others will just wait their turn. Eventually, they'll get some stitching time. And I haven't decided what to do about the strong urges to start a new project. I do know that I will be curtailing purchases in 2006 cause this week I spent a lot of time organizing stash and my craft room. I am overwhelmed by the amount of stash that I own and I should have plenty to choose from when I need a new start. I love all that I have too, there isn't a chart or kit that I wouldn't mind spending time stitching. I can't give up buying altogether, though, especially quakers and there are samplers that are on my short list too. But impulse buying has to be curtailed somewhat.

So what do you think? Doesn't this sound like a plan? Has anyone tried this method and was successful with it?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends,

Merry Christmas! May you have a wonderful holiday, celebrating our Savior's birth! I wish everyone who reads my blog a great day filled with family and friends, much laughter and love. Oh, a bit of stitching time too!

Today, I started Prairie Schooler's, Prairie Birds. There is a SAL on the Friends Gather BB for this design in January but I couldn't wait. I am stitching all the motifs on a single piece of 32ct flax Belfast linen with DMC. I have a dilemna though, there are only 10 motifs and I am not sure of how to configure them.

I will post a picture of my progress tomorrow.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas House Exchange pics!!

I received the coolest box design from Karin in NY for the Christmas House Exchange on the Legacy BB. It's the neatest thing!

Here's the pics!

Been thinkin'...

and as my husband says..."That's NOT a good thing! LOL!!!

I've been thinking about next year's stitching. Now mind you, I am a list maker but not everything gets done on my list. So, I guess in the spirit of *Pirates of the Carribean*, the list is just a 'guideline". At work, we call *guidelines* weasel instructions cause *guidelines* are *suggestions* and not RULES. In my job, I live by RULES, so my stitching plans are "guidelines*. *AHEM*'s my um-m-m-m *List for 2006 Stitching*.

After much consternation and pulling of patterns, current wips and just going back and forth with desires, wants and need to do's, I've listed the following that I want to work on in 2006. Notice, I didn't say finish...cause that would be a RULE.

1. SAL - Prairie Year - Prairie Schooler
2. SAL - Prairie Birds - Prairie Schooler
3. Bent Creek - Snappers
4. Lizzie Kate - Flip it's for the year
5. My Quaker RR
6. Time & Seasons - Moira Blackburn
7. A Drawn Thread pattern - probably nothing too big cause I have BAP wips now.
8. Something from my current Wips (that number 28!)
9. SAL - Sarah Tatum - The Scarlet Letter
10. SAL - Miss Mary Mack - to be made into a pin
11. An anything else that comes down the pike that strikes my fancy (weasel, weasel)

There. I feel like I should have all the legal disclaimers, void where prohibited, Do not remove this tag under penalty of death, the surgeon general's health warning and no shoes, no shirt, no service...LOL!!!!

And then there are 2 things that I must do - my Garden exchange and my *blush* very delinquent Autumn exchange...(yes, I am ashamed but when it's finished it's going to be spectacular!!!)

So, that's the list, um plan, um-m-m-m hope(?) for 2006.

What's YOUR stitching plan for the coming year???

Friday, December 16, 2005

No stitching tonight :-(

Whew, what a busy, crazy day! Woke up to 6 inches of snow, yucky roads and many, many accidents, including a fatality. Got to work ok but late cause of traffic and the road conditions. Work was busy but the day went fast. I walked to the LNS at lunch, yes, Stitchery Row is down the street from work..(yeah!!)and I bought (blush) MORE stash...oh, I am so bad. I bought a piece of Bonnie Blue linen to stitch "Bring it on". I also bought another set of buttons to make it again for a special someone. And Krenik braid and a BC Snapper "February". I put 2 patterns on *hold* too, Sampler Cove's Grace and Carriage House's Quaker Christmas. Then it was off to my 2nd manager's home for a Christmas party. We had a ball there. Got home around 6:30. Roads were dry but there was a ton of traffic. Then I put up the Christmas tree. David hates putting up the tree and getting him to put the lights on was a battle in itself. But the tree is done and it's so pretty. Now, it's Christmas in my house! My hubby wanted me to wait until tomorrow to put it up but Mike is coming home from college tomorrow and I wanted to have the house all decorated for him.

When I get up tomorrow, I have to bake 7 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange in the afternoon. I hope that they come out ok. I am going to make Chocolate Crinkles. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!!! LOL!!! I am hoping that on Sunday, I can relax and stitch awhile. That will be a good thing!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Taking a small break

I was at Barnes and Nobles the other day to pick up a book for my Son. I bought myself "Memoirs of a Geisha". I can't put it down, it is so fascinating. I wasn't sure that I would like it as it's not the type of novel that I normally read. But I love it. Has anyone read it?

I got word that Leena received my Sampler House II exchange piece. I am so relieved as I was going to start a new piece for her. It took a long time to go to Malaysia. Now, to finish off Nancy's pieces and I will be totally finished with exchanges for 2005. I have been working on my Quaker RR too, I put in a couple motifs in the border and I am planning on what to stitch in the interior sections. There are many Quaker motifs that I like so I am having a hard time deciding what to stitch next! I know I should not be stitching on the Quaker RR but I can't help myself. It's like eating good chocolate, I eat until I get a stomach ache. I am going to lock it in my cedar chest so I am not tempted to continue to stitch on it as I MUST work on other things!

One of the things that I want to start too is this little freebie from Just Another Button Company called *Brign it on*.

I think this little snowman is adorable, don't you? It doesn't look like a long stitch either, maybe I will work on it over my Christmas break.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lizzie Kate Winter Boxer

I made this for the Sampler House exchange on Legacy. It's Lizzie*Kate Winter boxer made into a cube. I didn't put the bow on it yet. I want it to look like a Christmas present.

And with the bow, displayed on my mantle next to the Santa bowl that I painted.

I'm not saying where it's going and I hope that my exchange partner likes it. Do you?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pictures Pictures!

As promised...Pictures!!

My Quaker RR. This sampler is stitched on 32ct Vintage Pearled Barley linen from Lakeside with Vicki Clayton premium silk in Basic Black. It's so graphic and I love it. The ladies who stitched on it did a fabulous job, and it's exactly what I envisioned it to be. I asked that the participants use only motifs from Quaker samplers in the style of M. Quetier or Good Huswife's, "1798 Quaker Sampler". My only regret is that not all the participants in the RR stitched on it cause it came home early. Honestly, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to work on it because this piece sums up a very difficult late Summer and early Fall. But now that it's home, I will finish it.

Moira Blackburn's "Time & Seasons". This is stitched on 36ct Lakeside Linen Vintage Light Exemplar with Vicki Clayton silks. The colors are very soft and nostalgic.

I will be working on this sampler during 2006.

Stash! I've been very bad stash shopping instead of Christmas shopping! In this photo is Lizzie*Kate's "December Flip-it", Elizabeth's Designs "Garden Gate" and "My Garden", Au Fil des Reves "Scissors and Needlekeeper" and a reproduction Quaker sampler, Sarah W. Rowland.

I know there's more stash stuffed someplace in my house cause each day I get envelopes in the mail and my husband just shakes his head in bewilderment. I also have stuff on order, Vero in France picked up Armada for me while she was at the big craft exposition last week. She is so kind. From Elegant Stitch, I ordered a Just Another Button kit, "Bring it On". It's the cutest snowman. Plus, Heart in Hand's "Snowman Medley".

Friday, December 09, 2005

My Quaker Sampler is home

I participated in a Quaker RR on the Legacy bb. Although my sampler came home early, it is truly beautiful and I love it. The ladies that stitched on it did a wonderful job and I will cherish this sampler. I believed that I would not be able to look at it or even stitch on it once it came home cause of the circumstances that surrounded it, my Dad's death and other things, but I believe that I will be able to finish it and hang it in a special place in my home. I know that when I look at it there will be bittersweet feelings and sadness but also healing and closure.

I will post a picture of it tomorrow along with the stitching that I've done this week. By the time I get home from work it's dark and there is never enough light to take pictures. My digital camera adequate but not terrific. It's the equivalent of a snapshot camera and it doesn't do well in low light situations. Tomorrow, we are to have a partly sunny day so I should be able to get decent pictures of my Quaker RR, my progress on "Time & Seasons", a Lizzie Kate piece and my recent stash aquisitions.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow's on it's way!

We are to get a snowstorm tonight, the weatherman is predicting at least 6 inches. That means we will have about 10 inches total after the storm.

I've been sick, I picked up a viral infection, so I've been home from work for the last 3 days. I did stitch a little bit during this time when I wasn't coughing or sleeping. I finished up my Sampler House Exchange piece, I just have to put it together. And today, I decided to stitch on one of my Wips. I figured that if I was well, I would be at work, so the time at home was bonus time. I worked on Moira Blackburn's "Time & Seasons". I started it way back in June but put it away while I was stitching on exchange pieces and dealing with everything else. I am stitching it on 36ct. Light Exemplar linen from Lakeside and using Vicki Clayton's silks. I like how it's coming out, it's very soft and vintage-y looking. I'll be putting it away after today, cause I am busy stitching last of my exchanges.
I don't think I will be working on any of my Wips until the first of the year. But that's ok.

I had S.E.X. too, I've gone overboard ordering things lately. I received a couple of Elizabeth Garden pieces, My Garden and Garden Gate, Lizzie Kate's, December Flipit and Acworth 3 from Historical Stitching. I also won a DAR sampler, Susan Rowland on ebay. I've ordered a couple of things from Elegant Stitch too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Christmas ornament for Katrina

For the Christmas ornament exchange on the Stitching Bloggers Exchange BB, I stitched a Prairie Schooler design for Katrina. It's from Book #33 Christmas Collection. I also sent Katrina a Bentcreek kit, Winter zipper.
I am glad that she likes my ornament and small gift. I had a great time stitching for her.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Extreme craft room makeover

NO, Ty and the crew didn't show up at my door to makeover my craft room. Although, I wished that he would show up many times today as I battled with 20+ years of various types of stash.

I know I am going to regret posting these photos of my trashed craft room because the room is really messy and cluttered. But it's the beginning of ORGANIZATION. I spent a lot of time today moving, toting, throwing out, and yes, cursing as well. So without further ado...H-E-R-E-'S Joanie's Craft room....! (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

This a picture of the new storage units that I bought at Target. They are stackable and right now they are holding some painting supplies. They aren't as wide as I wanted but they will be OK. You can just barely see the bookshelf that holds binders of all my stitching charts. To the right are the plastic containers that held my fabric.

There's more to come, I bought 2 pantry units to go on either end of these storage units, as well as 2 drawer units to place on top of these double door pieces. The hubby got tired of assembling furniture and moving things around for me, he's such a dear.

This picture is of the top of the little dresser where I stored all my fabric. I moved the fabric to a nicer home than those plastic storage bins. This is the beginning of the mess.

A tiny bit of organization. I decided to make a stitching display on the top of the dresser. On the far right is my Mom's sewing tin. It was a Christmas candy tin that she used as long as I can remember to hold needles and various spools of thread to do mending. It still has all of her sewing stuff inside. The little candy jar on the left always held hard candy or jelly beans at Easter.

A closer image that shows all of my stitching treasures. You can see PattiH's little scissor fob.

To the right of the dresser on the wall is a display of some of the wooden miniatures that I painted over the years. I used to sell these at craft shows. I have eleventy-bizzillion of them that are unpainted hiding in the basement. I can't bear to get rid of them! Am I a sick puppy or what!

The only picture that didn't come out because it was back lit when I took it was the work table. I'm glad that it was too dark cause it was stacked about 3 feet deep with STUFF. Tomorrow, I will take a picture of it in the evening. Also, I am confessing that I moved a metal shelf unit out of this room and into the basement that held large pieces of unpainted wood. You didn't get to see those...LOL!!

Well, kids, it's a start. And I'm bushed.