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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Awe shucks, I'm blushing!


Dear sweet Patti at Stitching in Lobster Land has awarded me with this Kreativ Blogger award.

I don't know what to say, I'm completely blown away by it!



Thank you so much Patti!

Now on to the rules:

Here are the rules for this award:
• The winner may put the logo on her blog.
• Put a link to the person you got the award from.
• Nominate 5 blogs.
• Put links to the blogs.
• Leave a message for your nominees.

Oh gosh, there are so many blogs out there that I read and so many that are Kreativ! It's hard to choose just 5! Can I choose 98,354 to pass the award on?

Alexa

Sue

Jeanne

Sherry

Sandra

These blogs are inspirational, funny, thought provoking and, all in all, wonderful places to visit! Plus they have great stitching pictures!!!

Go check them out!!

On the stitchy side, I've worked on my Hungarian Sampler and dare I say it, a Christmas gift. I think I'm going to have to stitch the gift exclusively for awhile so I don't get too far behind and not have it ready for Santa. I'll be rotating it with the Hungarian sampler and Beatrix as they are the 2 projects holding my interest now.

And on another note, I started to paint again so stay tuned for some decorative painting that I'll be selling throughout Autumn and early Winter....I am working on some Halloween goodies and Harvest things too. The painting muse is back from her vacation in Tahiti so it's time to rev up the brushes and squirt out the paint onto my palette.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Second Sunday Post - Hungarian Sampler

As you know, I came across this sampler on the Hungarian Sampler SAL blog a few months ago and it's been on my mind ever since I stumbled across it. I am of Hungarian descent and to be honest, my Dad was a very proud Hungarian. So when I came across the SAL, I knew that I had to stitch it.

This is Ili's finished work. It is so beautiful!



I bugged her and other members of the blog to recommend colors that would represent the colors of the Hungarian flag because I wanted to stitch the sampler in those colors. Ili sent me DMC equivalents and on Friday I purchased my materials to begin the sampler. I know that I said NO NEW STARTS this year and I've broken my promise 4 times so far ( I have such willpower...ha ha) but I could not get this sampler off my mind. I was dreaming of it!

To justify this new start, I decided to stitch it as a memorial to my Grandparents who were from Hungary. I believe they came from a region near the Russian border called Sonkad before they immigrated to the USA. My Aunt Roasza returned to Hungary when she was 13 and lived in Sonkad until she married and moved to Budapest. She lived there with her husband and daughter until they fled the country in 1956 during the Hungarian uprising with Russia.

So today, I began the sampler, I know it's not much of a start but I wanted to share with you what I stitched since I started it. I chose not to stitch it on the Antique White linen I purchased Friday because it did remind me of a Christmas sampler. Instead, I chose to stitch it on a piece of cream belfast linen. I am using AVAS silks - 943 red and 226 green and blanc. I know in the picture, the linen looks grey. I will be personalizing it with my Grandparents names as well as a dedication to them in Hungarian.



I hope to continue working on the sampler today, probably this evening because I will be making an early dinner for the Cadet and some cookies for him to take back with him.

So, off to the kitchen. Talk with you later.

It's Sunday...

I wanted to post some pictures of my recent work. I've stitched sporadically in the last couple of weeks but I did want to document some of my progress.

This is a Prairie Schooler pattern called Autumn Wind. I started it way, way back in the beginning of time as a SAL with Patti and Cathy who finished their pieces probably 2 years ago. OK, I AM SLOW. I am stitching it on 28 count Lugana over one (it's my first attempt at over one stitching and I have to say I am quite pleased with the results.)



Anyway, I want to finish this piece for this Autumn so I am going to participate in an SAL with the gals on the Prairie Schooler BB. The SAL is for the month of August. The plan is to stitch on a Prairie Schooler design on Tuesday and Thursday and post progress pictures on Sunday during the month of August. Since I am over 1/2 way finished, maybe just maybe, I'll have a Happy Dance by September. Let's see if I can maintain focus for 8 days out of the month.

Next is Beatrix Potter. She has my attention right now.

I wasn't really sure about the fiber, it's AVAS 4212 and it's a lovely burnt orange color. It looks really pumpkin-y in this picture. It took quite a while for me to get used to the color but it's growing on me as the sampler grows too. I have the companion piece to this sampler but I am leaning toward a more subtler brown color when I begin that piece. Honestly between us girls, if I had not spent $42 on the hank of silk, I would have chosen a different color. And as I worked on the sampler I thought of switching out the color many times. Now it's a bit too late for switching silks so I'll just finish it up with the burnt orange.


Lastly is my progress on Where My Heart Blooms.

I believe this sampler has it out for me. I literally frogged most of what I stitched on this piece because of counting errors. I think if I did not have a bad case of the frogs, this piece would be finished by now. I think I am over the worst of the frogs now as I am working on the house. I can't say that I love the fabric I am stitching this piece on, it's the recommended R&R fabric. It's very stiff and hard to manage and it has a very open weave. The GAST and Weeks aren't much better, the thread kinks and knots easily. I've found if I dampen the thread it behaves a bit better so that's what I've been doing.


On Friday, I bought the supplies to begin my Hungarian Sampler. I know, I know, I said no new stash until I finish one of the Wips. But it's calling my name!!! I bought red and green silk to stitch the sampler but I may switch out the green for black silk instead. Black and red are traditional Hungarian colors. I wanted to stitch the sampler in the colors of the flag and Ili (THANK YOU!!) helped me out with the colors. Now that I've bought the silks, I am having second thoughts because I am afraid the sampler will look like Christmas. I don't know, maybe I'll just go ahead with what I purchased. I bought an off white linen but maybe I'll switch it out to a creme so that the colors don't jump off the fabric. I'll have to test it out.

The DH and the Cadet are off to motorcycle school this morning so I have some time to stitch. That's what I am going to do when I get off the computer. I am not sure what I want to work on right now, I guess whatever calls the loudest. So the needle is calling and I will say good-bye for now.

Please drop by again and I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Exciting news! And a question for my guests

First of all, my question. I am going to begin stitching a sampler from the Hungarian SAL. It's a beautiful piece that you can see on the Hungarian Sampler SAL blog:


I would like to stitch it as a memorial to my grandparents who immigrated from Hungary to the US in 1918. I would like to stitch it in the colors of the Hungarian flag so I am looking for anyone who can tell me what DMC or AVAS silks would match the green, red and white of the flag. Also, if anyone can translate the words, In Fond Rememberance or In Loving Rememberance from English to Hungarian, I'd be thrilled. I want to stitch this in silks so if anyone can give me the colors in AVAS that would be fabulous. I'll stitch it in DMC if I can't find the equivalent silks.

Exciting news from Chez Remodel! At long last we found a contractor who was willing to side the front of the house and the upper right side and replace 5 windows for us. Below are the pictures. We are so excited! The house doesn't look like a slum from the road now! We still have a long way to go, we won't be able to do much more until we save more money to continue but I think spending what was left of my inheritance to finish this little bit was well worth it.
Entire house close up:

Entire house with garage:

Window close up: The contractors finished the outside trim and please excuse the ladder in the window...LOL!!
We do have an issue with the windows, the manufacturer didn't put all the little buttons to mount the grilles in some of the windows so that's why there is no grilles in the upper right window. I contacted Pella and they will come out and fix them and any other windows that don't have the mounting hardware. Now, all we have to do is the interior work, we are going to do all the trim work ourselves because we didn't have the money to have the "Contractor-Who-Is-My-Hero" do it for us. David and I will work together to get it finished. It may take a little time but eventually the interior work will get done!

I do have stitchy pictures too, of Beatrix Potter and Where My Heart Blooms and I got a lovely gift from Alexa that I must show you. True to form the camera has died again so I must wait until it decides to resurrect itself to take more pictures.
Well, I just wanted to share my good fortune with all of you. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for dropping by! Please stop again soon!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's picture time!

Hi everyone!

The camera finally cooperated with an infusion of battery. So, I took advantage of the camera's cooperation and finally got pictures of Sandra's beautiful bag that she made me. What a wonderful friend I've made *Down Under*. I just love it and I've gotten a ton of complements on it from my coworkers.


Look at the wonderful toile fabric that she used and the gorgeous lace she used to trim it. So pretty and so feminine.



And this is another of my patriotic finishes, Liberty House from Ewe & Eye & Friends which is destined to become a pinkeep...eventually. I stitched it on 32ct Lambswool linen (I ADORE Lambswool, the color is so warm and most threads just look fabulous whnen stitched on it) with the recommended DMC floss.

Actually, I DID finish an older Lizzie*Kate design into a cube. That piece was buried in my finished pile and it begged to see the light of day. I did change up the design a little, I stitched a ton of little stars that were supposed to be umm-mm fireworks. I did miss the mark but that's ok. I like making cubes, I know a lot of stitchers use a foam block to make the cube but I use 8 sheets of foam core board taped together. That way, I avoid trying to cut the cube down to size and using the foam core ensures that the sides are straight.

And this is the Stacy Nash pinkeep that Sandra sent to me along with the toile purse. It's got a place of honor in the tray that's holding my other smalls. I love Stacy Nash and I've eyed this pattern for a long time.



Don't you love all of these lovelies?

I have stitched a little bit on Where My Heart Blooms and a bit on Beatrix Potter but not enough progress was made to warrant a progress pictures. It's slow going in Chez Oven this last few days, it's been in the 90's and humid so stitching is the last thing I want to do until the evening cools a little bit. That means that I pick up my needle late and only last to put a length or 2 of floss into my piece.

Oh, I do have a question for you. I am contemplating painting some holiday items (Autumn, Winter and Christmas) and I was wondering if I could use you as a sounding board. If I get enough positive responses, I will put them up for sale on Etsy. So what do you think, would you purchase painted things or is decorative painting gone the way of the dinosaur?

Well, I should help David scrap the ceiling...it's only fair. But I really, really want another slice of watermelon and check up on all you!

Stay cool and thank you AGAIN for coming by.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Oh my gosh, you guys!!!

I am overwhelmed by the number of folks that visit this boring blog!!! Geez, I am humbled and grateful to all those who drop by from all over the world, please leave a comment if only to say hey there! Honestly, I have been debating on deleting my blog because I didn't think I got that many visitors. But the feed proved otherwise, so thank you!

We had a 3 day weekend (actually, I had a 4 day weekend cause I took Thursday off as a vacation day, which was wonderful!) to celebrate the fourth of July. We chose to stay close to home only leaving to go to the fireworks and to Lowes for paint and to church. It was so relaxing. I didn't get a lot of stitching done but I did finish Liberty House. True to form, the camera will not cooperate so there are no pictures of that piece or the bag and pinkeep that Sandra made for me. I think it needs new batteries now. I had plans to work on a number of projects but the days were beautiful so I spent a lot of time outdoors putzing with the horses and playing in the flowerbed/gardens.

I've wanted to convert our 3rd bedroom into a home office for the DH for a long time now and we decided this weekend to purchase carpeting for the room and actually begin the process of converting the room from a catch all storage area to a REAL place where he can study and do his homework and grade papers etc. This fall, he will be student teaching and he definitely needs a place to work. So far, he's commandered my kitchen table much to my dismay because he spreads his stuff out over the table and all of a sudden it's his desk and not a place to have meals. Moving him upstairs has been a dream of mine for quite awhile, if he choses to make a mess of his desk then I can just close the door to the room and hid the clutter. I can't do that now in my eat-in kitchen.

Anyway, we bought paint for the walls, a steel blue grey carpet that will be installed in 6 weeks or so and a nifty tool to scrape the acoustic material off the ceiling. We have what is known as cottage cheese ceilings, they are highly textured with this material that actually melts if it gets wet so you can't paint it or clean it properly. We've always wanted to get rid of the ceiling material but were afraid we'd ruin the ceiling. And the Contractor-Who-I-Despise actually told me that if we tried to remove the stuff, we'd ruin the ceiling so he would do it for the lovely tune of $5K...NOT! Actually, DH has removed 1/2 of the ceiling now and it's taken him less than an hour. We will have to sand the perimeters of the ceiling where the tool doesn't reach and sand some of the high spots off. It's definitely messy (a fine layer of drywall dust) and some elbow grease is all it's taking. We've decided to take one room at a time now that we have developed a technique.

So, I've been blog hopping and you guys make me want to start many, many pieces but I am going to be strong and continue to work my wips. I'll post progress soon and hopefully I'll post pictures of the new room AND stitching too!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hello? Is anyone out there?

I am sorry that I’ve not kept up with my blog recently. I promised myself that I would post more often than once or twice a month but as usual, my execution of that promise produced less than desired results. I am glad though that you continue to hang in there with me and continue to check up on my world. It’s really appreciated and it makes me glow because you and a few of the needlework forums that I visit are really my only connection to the cross stitch world. There really isn’t anyone to share my stitching with, my friends admire my work but wonder why I would want to spend all my free time making little x’s on hole-y cloth. Sharing my interest in stitching with them is not the same as sharing my passion with fellow stitchers who are as in love with and are as passionate as I am about stitching.

Honestly, I haven’t stitched an awful lot in the last few weeks. I worked on an Ewe & Eye & Friends piece called Liberty House in the late evenings because I wanted a new patriotic piece for my house. It’s ¾ of the way stitched but it won’t be made into a pinkeep before the Fourth. And I’ve worked a tiny bit on Where My Heart Blooms. Progress on that sampler is negligable though, I re-stitched what I frogged out, the border and and a few strawberries. So now I am right where I was before I found the mistake and had to pull out most of the right top and right border out. One step back...two steps forward. Story of my stitching life.

Mainly, I’ve filled my stitching time with my horses and my birthday and our anniversary. Also, throw one full day in Saratoga to attend the Jazz Festival (no, I am not a fan but was gifted a ticket along with a whole hearted attempt at conversion) and the result is my stitching time dwindled to almost nothing. In fact, the most time I’ve spend any extended stitching in the last 2 weeks was on the trip to Saratoga (2.5 hours in the car one way) and that’s where I re-stitched the borders on Where My Heart Blooms.

My birthday was June 24th and was spent pretty quietly. I worked and once I got home, the David took me out to an authentic Mexican restuarant which was scrumptious. I got a very nice gift card to a favorite store and a beautiful diamond pendant which was a complete surprise from him. We visited Mike the weekend prior to my birthday and he gave me a windchime for our front porch. We spent the day with him, we took him and his buddy, Charlie to lunch and grocery shopping.

Our 29th anniversary was on June 30th and we spent the evening working in the yard and grooming horses. We will be going out to a nice restuarant on Saturday to celebrate our marriage. It’s amazing to think that I’ve spent more than ½ my life with this wonderful man who loves me in spite of my faults (which number more than a few!). I wouldn’t trade him for all the gold in the world and I’m so blessed to be loved by him.

I need a break from the big projects that I have going now and seem to be taking forever to show any progress at all. I have 2 small finished pieces that I plan on finishing as pinkeeps in addition to Liberty House. I am in a "smalls" mood, small patterns that can be stitched and finished quickly. It shouldn’t take but a few hours to assemble them. They’ve been stitched for a long time and have languished in a dresser drawer just waiting for the time to see the light of day to be finished. My pieces are: The Trilogy’s, Liberty, which was an old freebie, and The Drawn Thread’s, Halloween Spot. I bought all the finishing stuff, backing, ribbons and trims. Now just find the time to put them together. Plus, I can mount 2 smaller pieces to be framed. I’ll take photos the minute I get them done.

Speaking of photos, here’s a tease for you. My friend Sandra made me the nicest bag from beautiful toile fabric, trimmed with antique lace. Sandra also made me a Stacy Nash pinkeep. I promise, promise, promise to take pictures tonight after work of these beautiful items. Sandra, I absolutely love them and I will cherish them always.

The next couple of weeks will be busy at work, we are auditing our business for a new Quality standard. Hopefully, I will not be too tired to keep up with hearth, home, horses and stitching!

So, to all my American friends, please have a safe and happy July 4th!!!! I hope that you spend time with those you love at a picnic and at the fireworks. That's where David and I will be at dusk, watching the fireworks from our little blanket on the lawn of the Presybterian church. The best seat in the house!

HAPPY JULY 4th!!