Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm afraid I've been slacking a bit in blogging lately.  I'm going to just blame being busy and go on from there.  Stitching has also been a little slow, plus I keep forgetting to take any pictures of my modest progress so I'll just leave you with a wish for a good new year and a picture of little Firefly snuggling with her newest friend.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More Christmas stitching

Last Saturday was my EGA chapter's Christmas party so now I can show some more of my Christmas stitching and show off some of the lovelies I received.  Let's see .... where should I begin??

I think I'll start with the things I received.  This first ornament is from our Guild ornament exchange and was stitched by Becky.  Isn't that the cutest finish?  And she rusted the jingle bells herself.  I'm definitely going to give that a try.

We have a secret sister exchange also (don't you just love exchanges??)  This jolly old elf was stitched by my secret sister (Becky, of the rusted jingle bell ornie above).  When you pull the bottom string, his arms and legs move.  How cool is that!?!  I, myself, will probably never, ever, ever attempt this finish.  I hung him on my frig so I can pull his string often and giggle at his jig.  I hope I don't wear him out.

The lovely Mistress Jessie made everyone in the guild one of these wool trees.  Don't you just love the little button ornaments?  I certainly do.

Here's another of Jessie's handiwork.  I love Blackbird Designs and pink.  Needless to say, I love this needle book.

Now on to what I stitched for the big event.  My secret sister was Jessie, a big fan of everything French, pink and Blackbird Design.  Sooo, I stitched her a small pillow that covered them all.
 And then I stitched this for my friend Becky

 And this for the ornament exchange

And now I want to tell you the saga of the scissor keeps.  For last year's secret sister I stitched this ornament:

I loved this little stitching lady so much that I decided I would stitch scissor keeps for the officers of my guild for next year's Christmas party. 

And here the saga begins!  I started them immediately in January and finished stitching them in January -- all 4 of them.  I set them aside and forgot about them for a few months.  Fast forward to June or July and I remembered I needed to assemble them into scissor keeps.  Hmmmm, where did I put them?  I searched high and wide in my house but never found the little buggers.  Come October, I thought I better get going and stitch them again since they obviously have disappeared, not to be found again (at least until I restitch them -- you know how that goes).  So I buckled down and restitched 3 of them, assembled them into fobs, bought cute scissors and little Christmas tins to put them in.  Have you noticed a problem with the numbers here?  I couldn't for the life of me remember why I stitched 4 the first time -- after all, I only needed 1 for each officer -- VP, Treasurer and Secretary (I was the President so I didn't need to make one there).

Sigh -- the best laid plans of mice and men . . . I forgot our region rep.  Duh!  Honestly, if my head wasn't attached, I would probably either lose it somewhere or forget to put it back on when it fell off.  What do you think the chances are that the original 4 will turn up now??  I'm guessing zip.  So I need to stitch another one.  Hmmm, I can probably stitch her from memory at this point since it'll be the 9th time.

What did I learn from this -- don't stitch things too far in advance.  Heaven forbid I should just get organized!

Have a good week.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Still happy dancin' ....

Santa is finished! 

The pattern called for red and white threads with smyrna stitches in his beard but I changed to brown overdyed and ecru threads and used eyelets for the beard.  Then to hide the black thread of his eyes, I attached a slip of ivory muslin to the back before adding the eyes.   The fabric was only big enough to cover his whole beard.  If you enlarge the picture you can see it peeking through the eyelet holes.

I also stitched almost half of the Autumn Log Cabin SAL part 3 over the weekend.  Though I do have some frogging to do tonight where that thread is hanging.  It isn't much so it shouldn't take too long to fix - knock on wood.

Have a good day!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Big Happy Dance

I'm ever so happy to say I have all my Christmas gifts stitched and assembled!  Yippee!  This is the very best gifting-shape I have been in for many a year.  And, to top that off, I almost have my brown Santa finished.  I started attaching the beads and it's going fairly quickly.  Barring a catastrophe, he should get finished this weekend.  Don't you just love the look of his beard?

Let's go back in time to Autumn . . . in October, I participated in a Halloween exchange and forgot to post a picture of the lovely package I received from Janet.  I adore the pillow (that fat little bird makes me chuckle every time I look at it) she made for me and was sorry to put it away for Christmas decorations.  Though actually, I just moved it into my exercise room where I can still see it while burning those holiday calories.  I love the LK fall basket pattern and the pumpkin fabric is perfect.  Thank you Janet!

For my part, I sent a package to Connie filled with assorted bugs, bats and pumpkins.

I love this pattern and one of these days, I'm going to stitch it for myself.  This trio of jacks gets me giggling every time I stitch it.  I love the goofy looks on their faces -- too funny!

And now back to winter . . . .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some finishing touches

Firstly, thanks for all the nice comments on my last post!  It was very kind of you to take a moment out of your busy day to say 'hi and job well done'.  Thank you.

And now for the final finishing touches to my little ornaments.  Though some just got a bow or a tassle, others got a button or two.  Since it's technically still Autumn (though it's snowing at a goodly rate right now), I'll start with the Halloween ornies.  I had wanted to get them all done for Halloween this year but that (obviously) didn't happen.  Well, at least they're ready for next year.



AND DONE  -- I love the spider on a button here

And next up the Christmas ornies.  These are all gifts.  I like to make Christmas ornaments as gifts and right now I'm in good shape for the holiday.  I think I only have 3 or 4 more to finish (they're already stitched just waiting to be ornamentified).  This is definitely the best shape I've ever been in since I started gifting ornaments.

I love the red trim but am still trying to decide about that yellow.

I never thought the green-package-with-an-orange-bow button would ever find a home.

My brown Santa got a little loving also.  All that remains is the beading and his beard.  The beard will be next while the beads are last.  I probably won't do anything more on him until all the gifts are finished.

If you believe the weather forecasters, we're supposed to get some serious snow the next couple days in my neck of the woods.  If you're traveling in the northeast on your way home for Thanksgiving, drive carefully and have a wonderful visit with family and friends.

YUM!  My favorite.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WIPocalypse & IHSW for November

I'm sorry it's been awhile since I posted last.  Blame it on my shoulder (which is loads better -- not completely, but it's getting there).  Unfortunately typing and stitching (among other things) have been on the back burners.  Typing has been confined to work-related stuff  and not to fun stuff like blog hopping or posting.   And stitching has been kept at a minimum.  I've been working on my Santa and though he's a recent start, I'm including him in my WIPocalpyse report.  I'm almost done with his coat and have just his beard and all the beads to add.  I'm sure he'll be done by year's end.

I also got a little stitching related fun in over the weekend for IHSW.   It was basically a finishing kind of weekend.  I made the cording for a bunch of ornaments (however, I didn't get them all attached) and assembled 2 little pillows.

The pillows still need the cording made for them. The smaller one is getting red cording around it and the larger one will probably get blue or maybe white (I haven't decided yet). Once all the cording is attached, I'll add some buttons, bows or other baubles to each of the ornies. 

And last but not least, I do have one finish to show you.  It's a little Christmas bird all ready for the tree:

Happy stitching!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stitching Update and a Toad Lily

Well, the old shoulder is getting better but it still isn't 100%.  I haven't been able to get much stitching done or internet visiting because of it -- which  is making me kind of grumpy.  Right before injuring my shoulder, I started my 2013 Santa.  He's a tall, skinny Santa from Simply Old Fashioned simply called Stitched St. Nick VII.  I decided to make him a brown coat instead of the traditional red.  Searching through my thread stash, I came across a skein of variegated cotton floss called Cosmo Seasons and decided to give it a go.  What lovely thread!  And a delight with which to stitch.  It doesn't twist or knot easily.  The ends don't fray and shred.  I have no idea where I got it from but I love it and want more.

I stitched another one of these Santas a few years ago in the called for red and white:

The other project that's getting some stitching time is a new SAL I joined by designer Kathy Bungard.  It's her Autumn Log Cabin.  I'm almost finished with part 2.  I hope I can keep up with this one.   If my shoulder had blown out before I joined, I probably wouldn't have started it but now that it's begun, I really want to keep going with it.  Her patterns are so pretty.

And lastly, from my garden.  I have a plant called a Toad Lily (can't remember the formal name) that is at least 13 years old.  The plant itself isn't very pretty but the flowers are gorgeous.  And it blooms now -- in October -- when most plants are quieting down for the upcoming winter.

I took these pictures a couple weeks ago when it first began blooming.  You can see the unopened buds along the stem in the first and last pics.  They will open until the whole stem is covered with flowers.  Just lovely and one of my favorite things about October.

Have a treat-filled Halloween!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tricks AND Treats received!

Just a quickie post here because I've got some kind of cursed 'itis' in my shoulder and it's hard to type (and stitch -- wah!).  I received a wonderful package from Melissa (thank you thank you thank you!!!) for the Tricks AND Treats Exchange over at Parsley's

I   LOVE   the little witchy ornament (the backing fabric is fab) and all the other goodies.  The creepy green finger is the 'trick' and is a sucker -- how funny is that?!?

Now I'm off to ice my shoulder :-(

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another busy week!

I got lots done over the weekend, most of it finishing work.  First up is the blingy ornament from Threedles Needleart Design.  I am pleased with my first attempt at this type of project.

More Chirstmas ornaments finalized:

And a few more in the process of being finished:

Now for a couple Halloween finishes:

And a few in the process:

Being on a roll, I decided to finish a couple Fair and Square ornaments:

And a couple flea market finds that I just couldn't throw away after scavenging the frames:

And lastly, a scissor fob that I finished a couple months ago and never showed off.  Another first for me, silk ribbon:

Whew!  Have a good week!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend stitching

Over the weekend I finished stitching the Bling! ornament.  I had planned on making it into the ornament on Saturday but after reading the finishing directions (several times), I decided to add some fray check around it.  I've never cut close on canvas and thought it a good idea to add some adhesive around the edges 'just in case'.   Well, it had to dry a bit and then I wasn't home most of the day Sunday so it still isn't done yet.  Anyways, here she be at this time:

While the fray check was drying, I added the cording to 6 ornaments:

They still need assorted baubles, buttons and bows added but it's a good start to the final finish.  And I tell you this, my fingers were sore (ouch!) after tacking all that cording down.   I really need to learn to use a thimble.

And last, but not least, I put in a few stitches on Mary:

Happy Monday!