Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday stitching

I got lots of stitching time in over the Christmas holiday.  How fun!

These first two photos ended up as Christmas presents.  The tree wall hanging is a SAL and the little holiday sampler is an original -- just some thread doodling I did.

I also dug out the heart sampler (Victorian Heart by Lynne Tomlinson Designs) and filled in the outside lacy area and the long, central ribbon. The ribbon isn't entirely finished plus I have to decide if I want to put beads or French knots around the outside of the eyelets. And then I want to add a few charms or beads in some of the patches. This has been in the works for some time now and I can see the end of this project nearing.

I also spent time stitching on the samplers from the Marqouir Group:

And, last but not least, Harvest Angel:

Here's hoping I can get lots done over the New Year holiday also ......

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Thank God It Fits !!

Yippee!!  ..... with plenty of room to spare  .....  a perfect Christmas present

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In the mail .....

That's where these christmas ornaments are now .....  going to my young nephews.  I love the hairy yarn in the cording.

I addition to these, I'm working on another Christmas present.  Hopefully, it will be finished before Christmas.  Once it's done, I'll post a photo of it.

Another project in the works is something new and as you can see I'm still stuck in fall colors.  But aren't they lovely?  The fabric is 28 ct tea stained evenweave, the threads are DMC and I am stitching it with 1 thread over 1.  So far I really like it.

Unfortunately, I cut the fabric a little smaller that prefered and then to make matters worse, I forgot to take into account the peaks of the diamond.  DUH!  This is why I would rather begin in the middle of a project.  There is no mistaking the middle.  - sigh -  It seems almost every time I begin at a corner, there is a problem.  However, I believe that the peaks will fit on the fabric.  It's just that 2 of them will be closer than I like to the fabric edge. 

This project is different from anything I have stitched before.  Normally, I would never leave motiffs unfinished before beginning another.  Plus I hate leaving all those threads just hanging there.  It's enough to set my OCD all a tither.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Boys are gone ....

Eure & Happy are back home and the house is quieter.  At least for a couple days.  On Thursday, a friend is going away for Christmas and her shih tzu, Precious, will be visiting for a couple weeks.  She's a doll.

I accomplished quite a bit over the weekend.  I worked on some holiday ornaments from my stack of finishing-to-dos.  Now all I need to do is add the trim around the rims of them.  I'm leaning toward cording.

I finally finished stitching this reindeer.  It will also become an ornament in the near future.  Hmmmmmm ... I'm thinking  ...... stuffed .....

I officially began the Christmas Design SAL by putting the canvas on stretcher bars.  I haven't actually picked out threads yet but will do that soon.  Oh my!  Everytime I look at this, I have no idea where to start.

I wasn't entirely  happy with my tea staining from last week.   Soooo, I cut a small piece off and re-stained it a second time.  Same conditions, 200 degrees F for a hour.  This time I used 2 bags of Cinnamon Stick tea (out of Earl Grey) and crumpled the fabric. 

Isn't it gorgeous!    I love it.

Now to pick out my threads and I'm ready to begin See the Star.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Something new, something temporary, something stained ..... and a finish

It's been very busy at my house these past few days.  My kitchen has a lovely new vinyl floor.  No more yucky carpet -- yippee!  My pack has swelled by 2.  A friend is away for a few days and I'm watching 2 of her papillions this week.  It's always interesting when the boys come to visit.

<--  Eure (short for Eureka -- as in the vaccuum cleaner) and my beagle Shasta showing off our new floor.

<--  Happy on the back of my couch.  One of his favorite places when he comes to visit.

Last night I decided to tea stain some white 28 ct evenweave fabric -- I think it's from wichelt.  I am both pleased and not so pleased with the result.  Here's what I did .....

I put the fabric in a 9x13 cake pan with a couple glass dishes to keep it from floating. 
Added earl grey tea bags (5 or 6) between the fabric layers and a bit of red wine vinegar.
Covered the whole thing with tin foil.
Cooked in my oven at 200 degrees F for an hour.

Can you see a problem already?  I didn't.

After the hour, the color was absolutely gorgeous -- a nice rich color with darker splotchy areas (at least on the top).  Upon closer inspection, I noticed most of the darker areas were not so splotchy.  They were very regular rectangles -- you know, tea bag shaped.  DUH!

So I mushed up the fabric with said tea bags and cooked again for about 30 minutes.  It didn't change anything.  After rinsing, drying and ironing the fabric, here is the end product:

Hmmmmm ... looks a little wierd.   I was going to use this tea stained fabric and fall-colored DMC threads for the Marquoir "See the Star" piece but I'm not so sure now.   I need to measure off the good area and see if it will still work.  It isn't a total bust.  I'll find uses for the goofy areas with smalls  **PLUS**  I learned a valuable lesson.

And last but not least, while staining and learning said lesson, I finished the Noel Sampler .... ta-da .....

I'm mostly happy with it.  I'm not entirely sure about the candle and flowers on the bottom.  The colors I chose don't exactly separate & stand out nicely, making it kind of blob-ish.  I can't even blame the photograph.  Oh, well.   It's done now and I'm not going to change it.  You may have noticed, I settled on a heart charm for the upper wreath instead of the flower or snowflake.  I haven't decided what to do next but will probably frame it.

Oh dear!  Finished and me still not in the proper holiday mood.

Bleechhhtttttt ! ! !

Friday, December 4, 2009

Noel Sampler

I stitched more on the Sampler Noel 2009 and since it is near completion, I started playing with trinkets to add to it.  I like the 2 angels in the wreathes (dollar store dangle earrings) and the little sequins stars around the border (I'll add them with a bead).  I'm not sure what to put in the top wreath:  the "crystal" snowflake or the gold charm?  Right now I'm leaning toward the charm but the more I look at the snowflake, the more I like it.  Hmmmmmm .... decisions, decisions. 

I should have time to work on this over the weekend and hopefully finish it.  I love finishing a project.  It always gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me smile.

Once this is finished, I'm back on the Harvest Angel.  With a little luck, it shouldn't take too long to finish her.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving stitching

I was very productive over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Not only did I get lots of stitching done but (knock on wood) it appears the dreaded flea epidemic has subsided -- WooHooHoo! 

And little Firefly seconds that.

Can you believe nasty fleas on this little lovely -- what an abomination!

Anyway, back to stitching ......

I worked on Harvest Angel on Thanksgiving Day while at my dad's house.  I didn't really get much of her done -- too many distractions -- but she's closer to being finished.

Since it is fast approaching the Christmas season and I'm stuck in Autumn, I decided to kick myself in the pants and begin a very pretty French SAL ( 

The fabric is a 25ct Navy evenweave (can't remember which kind), the threads are all shiny -- talk about Bling.  This is something I've never done before.  I love adding beads and shiny threads to my stitching but this is the first time the entire piece will glitter.  What fun!

The white thread is Treasure Braid while the gold and pink threads are Kreinik braids.  The white and gold are wonderful to work with and make lovely cross stitches.  The pink thread seems a little stiffer and thicker.  It doesn't work as well as cross stitches on the 25 count (did I mention I'm stitching over 1) but it works well with larger stitches.

I plan on adding beads -- probably gold, maybe pink? -- once the stitching is finished.   And instead of stitching the bird and letters in the circles,  I'm going to add some pretty gold charms (which are not picked yet).

You would think that would be enough but I also pulled out lots of smalls that are stitched but need finished.  And here they are, my to-do-stacks, patiently waiting:

I spent most of a morning cutting out boards, picking & cutting backing fabric, cutting the quilt batting, gluing material to the back boards and the batting to the front boards, picking out buttons and various other assundries to enhance the finished smalls.  Whew! -- what a lot of cutting and gluing!  I thank the crafting gods for my electric cutter!  It definitely saves mega wear and tear on my hands.  We won't talk much about the gluing except to say that it isn't one of my strengths.

Some of these smalls have been stitched for y-e-a-r-s.  Others are recently stitched.  Some are for me and some are for gifts.  I figure if I do a couple a week, I should be able to get them finished in the near future (no pressure -- except for the Christmas presents for this year).

And speaking of Christmas again .... the kick in the pants did nothing but leave a bruise on my tush!  I'm still not in the proper mood for the season.  There is a neat pattern calling me with pumpkins and crows and other inappropriate autumnal symbols.  Bah! Humbug!

Looks like Fall to me ......

Monday, November 23, 2009

I hate fleas .....

with a passion.  Unfortunately, my dogs have come down with them.  It's been 10 years since I had to battle this plague and, quite frankly, I'm beat!  I have been vaccuuming, bathing dogs, washing, bleaching and drying the devil out of the dog's bedding and whatever else will fit into the clothes washer.  The devil has left the building but the fleas remain.  --Sigh--  I finally had to break down and get one of those nasty insecticide things to put on each of my pups (except the pregnant one of course).  This seems to be working but I'm beginning to suspect the fleas are living in my yard and coming in with the dogs.  I'm hoping it freezes soon so I don't have to spray the yard.   --Heavy Sigh--

And speaking of the yard, it was such a lovely day Sunday that I spent some of it outdoors (fleas notwithstanding) working in my garden.  Mainly, I spread the leaves out in my garden.  Fallen leaves are wonderful things.  Garden mulch extraordinaire.  You just put them where ever you want and  -- POOF! -- like magic -- they will turn into black gold.  Call me crazy but I'm thinking of planting more trees in my back yard to get more leaves for my garden.

All that aside, I did manage to stitch a  couple little fall projects this past week .... ones that I have been wanting to do for some time.  And being in an autumnal kind of mood, I decided to put everything else aside to finish them.

This first one I just LOVE.  One of my favorite things about the Fall holidays is Pumpkin Pie -- yum -- yummy!  This is a pattern from the Cross-Eyed Cricket.   Isn't it scrumptious?  It's on white congress cloth that I painted with acrylic paint to a nice orange/brownish color.  Using mostly DMC threads, I changed most of the cross stitches to other stitches.   I'm thinking I'll either put it in a little frame or make an ornament out of it.

I'm happy with it .....  It makes me smile.

This second one is from the Plum Street Samplers.  It's a nice little turkey sampler.  The oringinal pattern has a border around it but I opted to not stitch it.  This one is stitched on a misc. piece of 28 ct overdyed  evenweave I had from a previous project.  It is all DMC threads and, again, I changed some of the cross stitches to something else.

I just love this turkey.  He is way cool.  I plan to turn him into a little wall or door knob hanging.

Even though I'm still in a Fall stitching mood, I'm going to switch to some Christmas stitching this week .....   presents don't stitch themselves and I recently found out I need one more.  I best be crackin'!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

(You can probably guess what I'll be eating this holiday)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Progress on Mary Wigham

Here she is as of November 13, 2009.  It may look like I'm jumping around but the plan is to do the two sides and make sure they meet at the bottom.  This is the first I've stitched on Mary since Sept.  She's coming along .... slowly .... but surely.

Here are the newly stitched areas up close and personal:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally .......

A relaxing evening at home stitching!  Just me and the lil dawgs.  It's been awhile.

I stitched more of Harvest Angel.  I decided to cross stitch the pumpkins then cover that with satin stitches to make the pumpkins plump.  Ususally I just  stitch a couple layers of the satin stitches but I wanted the pumpkins to be exactly the pattern's size.  Soooo, since I recently read somewhere about covering XS with satin, I decided to give it a go.  The results are not too bad.  I even like that the plumped areas are a little rough -- just like on a real pumpkin.  It makes me smile.

In case you have noticed, this pattern is originally done all in XS but since I tend to get bored with just one stitch, I have adapted it using other stitches.  I also plan to put some beads on this once all the stitching is completed -- gotta love the way beads add something to a piece.

"Unfortunately" I need to get to my LNS if I plan to finish this piece.  I am almost completely out of the plum thread.  Of course, I could always work on something else until I get there.  I hear Mary Wigham whispering .....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stitching tragedy narrowly missed .....


Last Friday on my way home from work I stopped at JoAnn's to pick up a couple DMC threads for my Harvest Angel.  I was running low and feared there wouldn't be enough of the 2 main colors.  The 3777 was easily found, hooray!  The 977 (or 779 or whatever) was not -- GASP!  There wasn't even a slot for that color!  I double checked, figured I was remembering the wrong number, walked back out to the car (because I left the slip with the numbers on it out there and since it was such a nice day, parked a good distance away from the store's entry), grabbed said paper and returned to the store.  Unfortunately, I had remembered the number correctly and there was no such number there.  I purchased the 3777 and in a state of mild panic, rushed home, called my LNS owner (which is not on my way home but rather a 40 min. drive away) and was told not to panic.  She carries that particular thread and has lots in stock -- horray!  A happy ending!

Even though I was very busy over the weekend doing doggie stuff and mowing grass, I did manage to squeeze a little stitching into my schedule: 

I'm really liking the way Harvest Angel is coming along.  The other piece is from the Mary Wigham sampler.  I started it awhile back and decided it will be my 'in the morning before going to work' stitching.

Good news -- Stormy is feeling much better.  He's not 100% and is still on R&R but he's getting there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poor Stormy

Yesterday was just awful!  My little brown dog was in pain.

At breakfast he didn't bounce for his meal, at lunchtime he was trembling and obviously hurting, at dinner time he wasn't any better.  So off we sped to see our favorite doggie chiropractor, Dr Dave, only an hour drive away, in the dark, with lots of really BIG! trucks going really FAST!!, deer waiting at every corner to JUMP! out at our unsuspecting selves .... what speed limit?!? ..... it was white knuckle driving all the way.  But we made it.  Whew! 

Nothing wrong with his knees and his back is okay. Turns out the little dude has a badly bruised or pulled rib or something.  Probably the result of slamming onto the a-frame at the agility trial last weekend.  He and I are getting too old for this crap!

Needless to say, my planned evening of grocery shopping and stitching went down the interstate.  Here's what I was planning on stitching:

Isn't she pretty?  She's from La-D-Da and though her title is Harvest Angel, her original dress of black and brown made me want to call her Cemetary Angel .... so I decided to change her dress to more cheerful colors.

Unfortunately, I have a Beagle Club meeting tonight and groceries that still need buying, so Miss Harvest Angel will be alone again this evening.  Bummer!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beginning ....

Hello and Welcome ..... my name is Marcy and this is my blog. Mostly it will be about my Stitchy stuff but I'll probably be tossing in some Doggy stuff and some Flowery stuff if the mood hits me.

Here are some of my recent stitchy finishes:

The above little stumpwork bird was a class taught at my EGA chapter in 2007. Isn't he cute?

This Scarecrow is a Laura J Perin (one of my favorite designers) piece. I stitched him on congress cloth and just used threads from my stash, except for the overdyed thread used for the leaves in the border.

This little guy is called Tirolean Santa. I forget the designer. I was working on him when my young nephews were visiting last year at Thanksgiving. It was fun because they were interested in the stitching process and offered help with designing the snowflakes. After helping me, the youngest leaned over the couch and asked if I would give Santa to them. How could I resist? Of course, I finished, framed and sent Santa to S Carolina for Christmas.

Now I need to make another one for me.

Skinny Santa is one of the few I stitched in red. I just think he is cool looking. Again, I don't remember the designer but it's one of a series of tall skinny Santas. I'm trying to stitch a Santa collection by stitching a new one each year. He's my 2008 Santa.

These 3 smalls have been sitting around in a drawer for a few years, probably since 2004 or 05, just waiting for me to learn how to finish them into something. A couple weeks ago, I decided to bite the bullet and learn how to do this. I'm so proud!

This is the Mary Wigham sampler and you can see I have lots more to stitch. Now, don't think for a minute that this is my only WIP .... it's the only one with a photo. Perhaps I should take pics of the other ones ... it may give me the subtle nudge to get back to them.

And with that thought, I bid goodbye until the next time and in the words of my favorite little ghouls: