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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Got Photos?!!!

Hello! I've not fallen off the blogger! Here I am with a new post and some updates. The week was a busy one at work, I am in charge of a big project and it's consuming me. I come home exhausted and all I do is fall on the sofa and veg for an hour or so and go to sleep. Stitching that requires any concentration is just not happening.
But...I do have some photos to share (click on them to enlarge the photos).

The first one is from Blackbird Designs, A Fine Collection. It's called March Hare. It's been so cold here, that I want Spring to come, like NOW. John Foster and I are taking a much needed break from each other and I wanted something quick to stitch. And something Spring-y. So I went stash diving. When I surfaced, March Hare was in my hands. I wanted it to be teensy-tiny cause I have the cutest shabby chic photo frame to put this in so I dragged out the 40 count fabric...eek, TOO SMALL for the almost 50 year old eyes....sigh. What to do? Well, I decided to stitch it over one on 32 count Lambswool lugana. Below is a picture of my progress from yesterday, along with a photo from the book of what it will look like after it's all stitched. It'll be about 3"x 4.5" in size over one. I am not using the recommended fibers except for the Gentle Art Sampler thread I already have in my stash. I don't have any of the Olde Willow Stitchery fibers so I substituted Gentle Art and Weeks Dye Works fiber that I had on hand. It was fun to substitute some of the colors and now I will have a piece unique only to me. Gosh, I feel so thrifty!!!

Next is the beloved John Foster. I did stitch a bit on him earlier this week. The goals were to finish the fir trees and the vines on either side of the trees. I stitched as much as I could on him but I had to stop. John and I are approaching the end of our torrid, mad, love-hate relationship and I think I want to drag our relationship out a little longer (at least subconsciously) because at this stage of the game I have closure issues with my work, so I put him up after a bit of stitching earlier this week. I checked my journal and I began him on March 3rd 2006 and the goal was to finish him before our first anniversary.

I've been reading blogs this weekend and Danielle (A Peacock's Feather) posted about Redwork and lovely french samplers. I love redwork but I don't have any stitched! Do I see a sampler done in red in my future? Maybe?

Last up are some snow pictures of the horses (clicking on them will enlarge them). These photos were taken right after our Valentine's Day blizzard.

Below is a very un-flattering picture of Mighty Joe and his big back side...yes, he is a little porky right now...but it's all the hay we've been pumping into them so they are warm during this deep freeze we've been experiencing over the last few weeks.

Next is our diva, Peaches, who is so unhappy to be dirty. She is a dappled grey psuedo-Appaloosa. (Did you know as grey horses age, they turn white?) Actually, she is an Appended Appaloosa , she is registered Appaloosa but because she doesn't exhibit any Appaloosa characteristics she has a special registration because her Momma was an Appaloosa. Really, she is a quarter horse in Appaloosa clothing. Peaches is a sweet as honey but a Spook. I swear she believes EVERYTHING is going to eat her.

Lastly another photo of the Joe-Man, pawing at his hay. He was so happy to be outdoors after being kept barn bound for a week that he jumped around carrying on like he was a rodeo horse. In this photo, he was getting ready to roll in the snow.

So that's the news from Upstate NY...Hope you all are having a great weekend and are cozying up to your needle and fabric... I may just have to pull out John Foster and finish him up this afternoon after we get home from church as I don't know how much stitching time I'll have this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Well DUH!!!

I have been such a scatterbrain's just cause I have been so concerned over this hugh project that I am in charge over at work and the Cadet's dilemma and our house / contractor issues. It has really drained me, to the point that one of the managers at work dragged me into his office for a *chat*. He wanted to know if everything was ok as I seemed down and he told me that I was *wearing* what was bothering me. He suggested that I take advantage of the counseling service my company offers but if I chose not to do that, he was offering an ear whenever I needed to talk. I thought that it was sweet of him to be concerned but it scared me too cause I thought I was holding things together a bit better than I obviously am. Mr. Manager said that I am internalizing things but it is very apparent that something is wearing me down. So far, my troubles haven't affected my work and I hope that it doesn't get to that level, otherwise, I will have to find a way to deal with my personal life and not let it affect my job performance.

So with that being said, I have apologies to 2 dear stitchers, Paula and Ulla.

I am remiss on thanking Paula (A Celtic Stitcher) for her beautiful pillow and goodies that she sent me for the SBEBB Valentine's exchange. I hope she doesn't think I am ungrateful or that I don't like what she stitched for me cause that's certainly not true at all!!! Red is my favorite color and I have collected heart themed items over the year. The pillow is prominently displayed as an accent on my bed and each time that I see it I smile. Yes, right now, smiles are GOOD! Isn't the pillow beautiful!!!! I know you spent a lot of time and put a lot of thought into my gift. I really love it. Thanks so much, Paula, it did make my day to receive it, as I need some cheering up right now. And all the goodies, Paula included in her package to me. She sent me this fabulous piece of heart fabric, it's so graphic. And she sent me a few skiens of varigated DMC that will be put to good use.

And Ulla (Mission Impossible) I am sorry that your birthday gift was missing 2 items. I forgot to include the fabric for Moonlit Garden and I did stitch something small for you but I didn't get it assembled in time to mail to you. Please watch for another package from me to round out your birthday exchange.

Also, I read a lot of blogs daily but I haven't left comments on them recently. Please know that I visit you and that what you post makes me feel so connected to you.

Last night I stitched a little on John Foster but my heart wasn't really in it. I am hoping that tonight I will feel like stitching. John is 80% complete now. Over the last year, I have kept track of what I've been stitching and I realized that I started John on March 3, 2006. I would love to finish him before our first stitching anniversary. Really, though, I started him and then stuffed him away when I had so much trouble with the top of the sampler. He almost was a UFO but seeing Danielle's (The Peacock's Feather) finished sampler, I had to get back to him. So, I really haven't stitched on him for the full year. He really became my focus piece in the Autumn. Sue (Red's Thread) saw him at CATS in Hershey in September, he was almost 1/3 complete at that time, so I have made good progress in the last 5 months or so.
I don't think he'll be finished this weekend like I'd hoped because I have work to do (finish that project plan) and we are going to friends for dinner tomorrow night, for pizza.

So, thanks for visiting and I hope all of you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Exchange to Barbara

Hello all, I just got word that Barbara (Mainely Stitching) received my SBEBB Valentine's exchange today (on Valentine's cool is that) and she loves what I stitched!! I am pleased. Here's what I made for her with all the goodies, except for the chocolates that she hid from little fingers....

The biscourne is Indigo Rose's, Four Little Hearts. I stitched it on a piece of antique white belfast linen in Vicki Clayton silk, Garnet. I included some Weeks Dye Works thread in Romance, Sweetheart Rose and Love. It was a fun stitch but I freaked over the finishing cause I thought it would be hard...and it really wasn't, just a bit fiddley.

I have to take a picture of my exchange's truly lovely....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's SNOWING 24-30"!!!!

Oh goodness, we are to get tons of snow tonight! This storm is being billed as the a snow of *epic* proportions. The weather guy is predicting 24-30 inches with a possible additional accumulation of another 6 inches on Thursday, with bitter cold and blowing drifts. I know that David and I are going to work from home tomorrow. I already previewed that idea with the boss and he's ok with it. I'll work on my project plan and monitor my email. I guess ol' man winter has decided to make up for the mild winter we've had so far. At least we are in the middle of February, maybe we are on the down side of Winter now. But I'm not holding my breath, we've had snow in April....

I worked on John Foster tonight. His house is stitched now and I am getting close to a finish! I have to work the steps and dogs and finish up the borders and fir trees. If I can get some quality stitching in this weekend, maybe I'll be posting a finished John Foster by next week. Woo hoo! Then he'll visit the framer's immediately cause I want him hanging on my wall soon! Next up will be BOAF's Peace sampler. Another house sampler. What is it with house samplers? I just love them! And in March sometime, Sue (Red's Thread) and I will begin an informal SAL of Carriagehouse Sampling's, My Home Town. Looking forward to that stitch too!

Have you any favorites from market? I have a list. Carriagehouse Samplings, A Quaker Study, Hands to Work, Education, and did you see that cool tray from Hillside Samplings? Wowser!

Hillside Samplings: Folk Art Tray

From Plum Street Samplers, Praise:

Hands To Work, Education:

I love them all! Don't you???

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hi there, some new it was very cold but sunny in Upstate NY and I caught our little sweetie girl sleeping in the sunshine. I thought she was really cute and looked so comfy. Don't you agree?

Updated John Foster, my darling. I haven't worked on him at all this week. I took a break from him. He joined me at work one day at lunch, I thought that stitching in the sunlight (my desk is next to a window) I could get by using my cheater glasses. But on 36count, no such luck. I spent more time frogging than stitching that hour. So, I asked Martha to join me at lunch for the rest of the week and probably this week too.
John's house is almost done, I wish mine was in reality. We've contacted a lawyer, sent a certified letter to the contractor and gave him a deadline. I doubt that I will hear from him, so I see a lawsuit in our future.

On Martha, I got the doves almost finished on Friday and began the third motif on the left side. It's easier to stitch with my reading glasses at work.

There wasn't much stitching in the evenings this week, really there is so much going on that I needed a little break from it all. I did fondle my stash though, and I have been reading everyone's posts and drooling over finishes.

I migrated my blog to the *new* blogger, I hope that I like it. I avoided the Beta version as long as possible. But today, when I tried to log in to post, I was forced to convert. Ok.

Tonight, I am not sure what I am going to stitch, I want to stitch something, but what? We'll have to see....

This week, we are scheduled for our first big snowfall of the season - 8-12 inches. I hope to work from home on Wednesday, that is, if my boss allows it. On Tuesday, I am attending a Project Management class at the Community College. I like taking classes once in awhile, it's a nice break from the routine.

Oh, I did receive my Valentine's exchange from Paula. She stitched a lovely heart pillow for me. I LOVE IT!!! Pictures soon, I promise. I am waiting for my exchange piece to reach a f-a-r destination. I hope that my recipient likes it, I made a cool biscourne, and I sweated the finishing but it came out GREAT!!!!

Well, the needle calls, it'll be the first time this entire weekend I picked up my work, so I want to get busy. The Devil Wears Prada is on the DVD player....

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments, I love visiting with you! Have a great Monday and I hope everyone had a great weekend too!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Second Stringers

Yesterday, while on the hunt for something else in my stash, I came across my second stringers, the Works in Progress that are sittin' the bench with Sarah the Quaker wench. I thought I'd share them with you. Actually, they have migrated downstairs into the family room because I need some motivation to work on the WIPS and not start anything NEW or be totally tempted by the pictures of the new things coming out from Nashville Market next week.

First is Carriagehouse Samplings, Wild Roses. I am stitching this sampler in memory of my Aunt Jay, who was the Wild Rose in our family. Aunt Jay was my Mom's oldest sister. She raised my Mom and 3 other sisters after their Mom & Dad died and later raised 4 hellions of her own. She is the Aunt I most admired, although each of my Mom's sisters passed on valuable lessons to me and my other cousins. During my teenage years, I visited with her everyday of the summer. She told me stories of when she and my Mom and other sisters grew up, we talked about life and love and she gave me advice that I still use this very day. Aunt Jay spoke her mind and would go nose to nose with anyone. She taught me all about patriotism and politics (she worked for the Democratic party during elections). I could count on her to keep my secrets. This sampler is stitched on a piece of 40ct Lakeside Linen, not sure of the name, with Vicki Clayton silk. I stopped stitching on it cause I am not in love with this silk conversion. I may scrap it and start again with the recommended Needlepoint Silks.

Next is Hillside Samplings, Tree of Life. This is what the original sampler looks like:

Once in awhile, I get creative and fudge patterns, so I decided to add one of my favorite Bible verses from Hebrews, about entertaining strangers that actually are angels. I believe in my life I have entertained angels unaware. I know my Mom and her sisters did during the depression, as the house where they grew up in was marked as a place for Hobos to visit.

Stitched on 32ct Lakeside Linen in Fawn with Needlepoint Silks. I will add some speciality stitches to the house and the pots of flowers and I changed the colors to suit the room where it will eventually hang.

The last WIP is my Quaker RR. I don't know if I will ever finish it. It holds a lot of awful memories. Even now, looking at it makes me angry. I was in this RR during the time that my Dad passed away and I fell behind, so my piece came home early and incomplete. I believe I am the first stitcher in the history of Round Robins who was UNANIMOUSLY voted off the Round Robin Island. Am I bitter about this experience? Yes. But I learned valuable lessons because of it:
A. Communication.
B. Nothing, not even death, can get in the way of a round robin.
C. Round robins, although they result in beautiful and creative pieces are to be avoided by me.
Stitched with Vicki Clayton premium black silk on 32 ct. Lakeside Exemplar linen.

Today, I am working on Martha. John is taking a much needed rest, like toddlers, he needs a nap once in awhile, otherwise, he gets cross and down right onery. I am stitching a dove motif on Martha and I think she'll spend the evening with me while the Superbowl is on. Gee, this will be a switch, I'll be stitching during the game and taking a break to watch the commercials...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Oh....look at this!

Wowser! From Carriagehouse Samplings!!! Oh, it's wonderful, don't you think?

Tonight, I worked on John's house and I am 3/4 of the way done with it. I am working on the door right now and only have the right side next to the door to finish. I believed that stitching the house would be boring, but really it's not at all and it's moving right along! I think I'll be able to finish John before March 1st, that's if things continue the way they are going now and John doesn't decide to get peevish on me.

Vonna asked how I like Vicki Clayton's silks. I love them!!!! They are nice to work with, don't tangle and they are inexpensive for such nice quality. I've used her silks in a number of things, Sarah Tatum, Wild Roses, my unfinished Quaker RR, just to name a few of the projects off the top of my head. Right now, My Hometown is kitted with her silks (but I am toying with using AVAS). The nice thing about Vicki's silks is that she offers her silks in a premium thickness so you can stitch on 32ct or a lower fabric with one strand. Plus, her silks have the coolest names...Jambu, Rufus, Dragon oil, Wenge...Vicki's a sweetie and her customer service is top shelf. I am a satisfied customer, not affiliated in any way with her business.

Check out her website:
Hand-dyed Fibers

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! It's off to bed with me!
Thanks again for stopping!

Yes!!! I've been stitching

Here's the proof!!!

Well, since this is to be a blog about stitching, I decided that I should actually POST about it instead of all the drama in my life. Makes for boring reading because my life sometimes reads like a Greek tragedy. Really, my life is blessed beyond anything that I could ever dreamed or hoped, it's just that posting my troubles helps me to work through them. Other than the 3 things that concern me, it's ALL GOOD!

First of all, this is an Indigo Rose freebie called Four Little Hearts. I stitched it with Vicki Clayton's Turkey Red. I want to make it into one of those biscourne, but I am completely freaked out about finishing it. I'm skeerd that I'll ruin it. Silly me, I know.

The Quaker girls:
Here's a picture of Sarah Tatum, the Quaker wench. She is the female version of John. I worked on her for a week and all I have to show for it is that little green unfinished motif at the top right of the sampler and a weenie bit underneath the second motif. Pff-fft. She's back in the bag.

And here's sweet Martha Pollard. I love her. She's been a joy to stitch when I've worked on her. Maybe she will see a bit of action this weekend since Sarah's been banished to her bag. I am stitching her on the linen that came in the kit and with Vicki Clayton silk in Basic Black. I have a 50 yard hank of the silk that I bought especially for Quaker samplers.

Last, oh, last is my love...sweet John. He's been a darling this last week. Notice that his house is almost built. I love John Foster. I worked on him ALL week. Last weekend, we took a drive to Rochester to see the Cadet and I finished up his roof on that ride. Then I decided that I would shower him with attention this week and my affections were rewarded. Sigh...isn't he just grand?

Oh, and lest I forget, because I had a rotten January, I indulged in retail therapy. Well, I had to go to the LNS to pick up a birthday gift for my partner who's birthday is this month. I got that giftie and picked up the following items (Note to Sue (Reds Thread) STOP READING NOW!!!!!):

The birthday gift
BOAF fabric for BOAF Peace sampler
Weeks Dye Works and GAST thread for Peace
Drawn Thread - Tocatta III
Drawn Thread - DEF
Latest issue of SANQ - did you see the Quaker photo frame!!! (oh, my heart, it's GORGEOUS!)
Carriagehouse Samplings - Bedtime prayer

I also got my order from Stitching Bits & Bobs too, but I ordered that way back in November. I think it traveled on the back of a slow snail...
And I pre-ordered Maria Spence from The Exemplaire and it came in the mail this week.

Oh...and to tempt you and me some more Stitches-N-Things is having a SuperBowl Sale...go check it out.

SO, it's off to finish the drudgery of mopping the kitchen floor and then I am spending the rest of the weekend with my needle and thread. For those of you who are football fans, I am rooting for the Colts. But mainly, I am going to watch the game for the commercials.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for coming by.