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Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's Saturday and picture time!

It seems like the only time that I post pictures is on the weekend. Maybe it's because of our lack of sun and the length of the days. Anyway, here's the Saturday update:

First of all, I was awarded a *You Make My Day* award from Jeanne of Just String!

I was so surprised and touched because I think this blog is BORING compared to other blogs that I read. She said that she reads my blog and I make her day because I stitch some beautiful reproduction samplers and is another upstate NY stitcher. Thank you so much, Jeanne, you MAKE MY DAY too! You should pop over to her blog, Jeanne stitches exquiste designs and her work is not only beautiful but technically difficult!

Now on to the pictures.

First of all, I've photographed some stash, (sorry for the flash). David just shook his head at me cause he doesn't understand why I would post my stash on this blog. Anyway, I went a bit, umm-mmm, crazy ordering Blackbird Designs last week and they showed up in my mail box everyday this week. (David once again just shook his head at me and wondered out loud how I planned on stitching all this stuff before I die....I told him to shush.) Seems like I should be in Blackbird heaven for quite awhile!


I have been dying to start either American Star or Where My Heart Blooms. But I am doing my best to stay strong and work on my Wips instead of starting yet another new piece. But my resolve is crumbling....

Next is a shot of my progress as of last night on Sarah Tatum. I think that the last time I posted a picture, the large rose motif was partially done, and I started the calla lilly motif next to it. I am happy to report that I have finished not only the rose motif but the motif that's to the right of the large green one on the top row, as well as a robin's egg blue 1/2 floral motif under the partially stitched calla lilly motif. And I started the swan motif but only the outline as I want to get to stitch another 1/2 urn to the right of it. I like stitching 1/2 motifs, I don't know why, maybe cause it's 1/2 the work?? Sarah is the only piece I've stitched on during the last couple of weeks, no, I haven't picked up my Stitcher's Wallet or Time and Seasons as Sarah's held my interest. Although, for the past few nights, the frogs visited the motif to the right of the green one on the top row. I think I re-stitched the same portion of it at least 3 times because the silk is the same color as the linen and I kept losing my place because of it and miscounted the same 3 stitches over and over again.


And I have an exchange picture for you. This is my Frosty Friends exchange piece from Dawn, aka Flossgal. She stitched me a very cute snowman and finished it as a pinkeep. She also included all the goodies surrounding the pinkeep. Thanks so much, Dawn, I love the snowman and everything else you included in my exchange. I certainly was spoiled!

I apologize for the late posting of it too...

And last but certainly not least, I wanted to share with you a lovely needlebook that my dear friend, Alexa, sent me. Alexa is from France and she stumbled onto my blog a few months ago. She asked me for my John Foster (ah, my darling, John!) pattern and I sent it to her. We've struck up a friendship and have been corresponding. She sent me this beautiful piece a few weeks ago as a surprise. And was I ever surprised! I was deeply touched that she would think of me and spend her time to stitch something so pretty for me. Thanks, sweet Alexa, not only for your exquisite work but for your friendship too!



So gang, that's the update for this weekend. I think that I'll continue to work on Sarah this weekend but probably not until tomorrow because David and I are going out to dinner tonight as a late Valentine's date. Both of us had prior commitments on Thursday so we postponed going out. We don't go all out for Valentine's Day, he gave me roses and a card and he got a card and a kiss from me. He's my Valentine everyday. Ok, enough of the mush...LOL!!

Once again, thanks for dropping by. I hope that everyone is warm and that you all have a great weekend. Until next time....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday...

Sorry about the lack of posts. It's February, remember?

The weather in NY is truely brutish. Cold, raw, windy and it's going to get worse. Windchill in the negatives, wind gusts sustained between 40-50mph. Perfect.

Today, I spent 2 hours out in the barn with the horses. It was pretty nice there, not too cold. I had some housekeeping chores to do and the farrier was coming for trims. The horses got a pedicure today. Our farrier is very nice and handles the animals gently. My Joey likes to talk to Bruce. He nuzzles him and makes very quiet nicker noises while Bruce is tending to his hooves. And when Bruce is done with trimming him up, Joe will lay his big head on Bruce's shoulder. And Bruce will scratch his head and tell him he was a good boy.

Once I *talked* to my horses via an animal communicator. I was really surprised at what this communicator told me, she described my animals in detail (she never met my horses) and proceeded to tell me that Joey is quite the comedian. He likes to tell jokes, especially to the farrier. So that's what I think he does when he *talks* to Bruce. My diva, Peaches, knows she's beautiful and told the communicator that she wanted everyone to know that she was very pretty.

Once Bruce was finished, I picked everyone's stalls one last time and fed them their dinner, swept up the clippings and headed up to the house. Walking the 200 feet to the house was such a treat, blowing snow and wind in my face.

I worked on Sarah Tatum most of the day. David and I stayed home from church today, neither one of us wanted to go out in the cold so we listened to a CD on the book of Romans as our Sunday sermon. So, I had a full day of stitching and I think that's just what I needed. On Sarah, I am almost finished with a very large motif with a flower that reminds me of a calla lily. I have only one more motif on the upper right and the top of the sampler will be finished. I will start the large swan motif next just so I can start the 1/2 basket motif on the right side. Once I get those 2 motifs done, I will have stitched 2 complete rows. I don't think I'll get that done tonight! I wish I could though, it would be so much fun to stitch until my eyes cross.

I jumped over to ABC Stitch Therapy to look at the Nashville market releases. Fortunately, the only piece that grabbed my attention was Just Nan's biscourne, When Barnabee Met Bella. That's surprising as Just Nan is not my cuppa tea. I am glad there wasn't a lot of things that wanted, I sorta, kinda went nuts buying up some Blackbird Designs on Ebay. And I stupidly ordered AND bid on 2 listings for the same design. Guess what! I won both auctions and I have the pattern on order. So, I have 3 American Star designs coming my way so I will sell 2 of them.

Anyone want one? I'll sell them to you for the price I won them...$8.00, postage on me. Leave me a comment and I'll be in touch.

Well, I want to get back to Sarah and see what progress I can make before I have to say good-bye to the weekend. Boy, where does the weekend go? Last I looked, it was Friday night! How did it get to be Sunday already?

Have a great week everyone, thanks so much for visiting!!!
I am so glad that you've stopped by to *chat*.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Progress Pictures

After much cajoling, begging, swearing and threatening my little digital that's gasping for air, I got these pictures of what I've been working on since the beginning of the year (click on the pictures and they'll enlarge). Please forgive the wrinkled fabric and the dog hair on the carpet in the backround. Ahem.

Sarah Tatum:
I took up Sarah Tatum as my New Year's Day re-start. I know that many of you start something new on New Year's Day but I hadn't touched Sarah since New Year's Day '07 so it was like a new start for me. I couldn't believe that I hadn't worked on this sampler for an entire year. In fact, the last progress photo I took was a year ago today...geez...

Progress on Sarah exactly a year ago today:


This is my progress on Sarah since Friday night. I am working on the motif to the right of the green one on the top and a 1/2 urn motif next to the letter K. The silk is really light and the motifs almost blend into the fabric. If I were smart and not so anal about colors (see previous post) I would have substituted the Buff and Straw silk for a silk a titch darker in color so the motifs would show up better on the Lt Exemplar linen. Oh well, too late now!


Time and Seasons:

I've been rotating T&S with Sarah since the beginning of the year.
I last worked on this sampler mid-week and I've worked mainly the borders and the zig-zag vine near the top. The borders are boring so I've started some of the motifs in the center of the sampler, see the evergreen in the center? I am obsessing over the fact that I may not have enough silk to complete the borders. Say a prayer cause I really like this sampler a lot and don't want to have to use it as a dishrag.


The Stitcher's Wallet:
I worked on this piece yesterday and it was quite happy about it since it's been whimpering in it's baggie for the longest time. I just got TIRED of brown and I had to frog some of the 2nd panel and the quality of the pattern isn't the best so it made it hard to know what color went where. Yeah, yeah, full of excuses. The real reason I stopped working on it was because of the endless brown and Sarah captured my interest again.

But yesterday, I needed some mindless stitching and what's more mindless than ABC's? I am happy with this piece and I'll probably work on it during the Superbowl in between stuffing my face with quesadillas and chips and salsa.
Better watch for stains...




So there you have it. Hope you like what you see and yes, comments are greatly welcome.

I am going to let the camera rest up a bit and then try again for more pictures. Seems like 5 pictures is all it's going to take at a time for me.

Next up exchange photos and maybe some other wips...Who knows?!!!!


Saturday, February 02, 2008

It's Groundhog Day!!!

And the little rodent saw his shadow so it's 6 more weeks of Winter. Yay...I mean blech...blech, blech, blech. Cold, grey...... Can you tell I am ready for Spring? I have to confess, this is not my time of the year. February may be the shortest month of the year (and there's an extra day in the month this year, joy of joys) but for me, it's the LONGEST month. It just drags and drags.

A lot has gone on during the time since my last post, I'll try to catch you all up. I have been stitching. Yes, at least an hour a day and sometime longer. I've been working on Sarah Tatum almost everyday. She's progressing, I'd say I am about a 1/4 done with her. I started her WAY back in the beginning of time with Vicki Clayton silks. It's been so long, long enough for Vicki to discontinue some of the original silk colors and change the color formulations on some of the other colors. I found that out the hard way when I realized I was running low on some of the silks. Fortunately, these are Quaker motifs and as long as I finish the motif that I am working on with the older color then I can begin the next motif of the same color with the newer version. It doesn't look bad, I just had to get over the fact that the colors would be slightly different, either a little lighter or brighter. It was a struggle as I am pretty anal when it comes to things like that. My perfectionism kicks in and I really had to fight the urge to box her up and put her into the permanent UFO bin. Fortunately, the David convinced me that no one would know that I had switched color vintages midstream and besides it's a repro and I am stitching it on VINTAGE Lakeside linen so it's supposed to look old and faded in spots. Uncle, I cried! He was right! So, I am continuing and I am happy with the results so far.

The floss dilemma reared it's ugly head with Time and Seasons but to a lesser degree. Some of the replacement colors for the old colors of the same name were not anywhere near what the original colors looked like. But it really only matters for the border and fortunately, I believe I have enough of the orignal silks to stitch the borders. And once again, I chose the antique colorway for this sampler so if the colors in the interior of the sampler are different then it will only add to the illusion of fading and age.

Tonight, I picked up my Stitcher's Wallet. I am almost done with the fourth panel now. Three quarters of the way done! Wahoo! It was nice working with coarser thread tonight and stitching letters was quite soothing.

I have received a few exchanges too, I am sorry that I cannot post pictures. My camera is just about dead. I received my snowman exchange and I received my Grateful Heart exchange from Linda in Iceland too. She will be glad to know that it finally made it to me. She stitched a lovely heart design with deep red thread on dark green linen which she made into a fabulous pinkeep. She also included some cool fabrics and a heart pattern from Jeriamiah's Junction. Thanks! And I received a little Christmas ornament from Wendy. Thank you, too!

With Market around the corner, the only thing that's pulling me to purchase is the new Loose Feather's design.



I really like that little sampler and I am looking forward to stitching it. I signed up for the *club* from Needlecraft Corner to get the mystery sampler at the end. I probably will sub out the fabric as I an not thrilled that it's on 30ct linen. I've been working on 36 count linen for awhile and stitching on 30 count will feel like I am dropping my needle into a hole. Plus, I'd have to use 2 strands of floss and that means railroading. Not in the best frame of mind to railroad. I don't have the patience right now.

I know that everyone is going crazy over Shores of HawkeRun Hollow but for me, it just doesn't float my boat...ha, ha. I thought the same about Houses of HawkeRun Hollow too and I ended up purchasing it and the supplies too because after I saw it stitched up, I fell in love with it. Maybe that will happen with Shores.

On the house front, Mr. Contractor may be in Vegas. I am working on trying to find our siding that we purchased. I know that he bought all of it and it's in storage SOMEWHERE. Our lawyer is trying to track it down.

Work is insanely busy. That's about all I'll say about it. I think that my appraisal is coming up soon and I am a little apprehensive. I don't know why, there is no rational reason to be nervous but I heard a few things from other people about the bar being raised and the appraisal process has gotten tougher.

The Cadet and the lovely Jenna are well, although she is driving the Cadet a little crazy because she is in school 2 hours away from him and she misses him to the point of distraction. She gets very depressed when she is not with him. The Cadet made the dean's list last semester and all in all life is good for him. He found a part-time job at Dunkin Donuts to supplement his ROTC stipend so that's good cause it keeps him in gas and his semester schedule isn't too tough.

Well, I probably will edit this post later...hopefully with pictures. Hang in there, maybe if there is sufficient light, the light meter in the camera will work and I will be able to get a picture of the lovely exchanges that I've been blessed with.

Oh, and as far as the Superbowl goes, I am cheering for Eli Manning and the Giants. I know, they are the underdogs but I am living in New York. This will be the first time in 2 years where I will actually watch the game AND the commercials.

Go Giants!