January 27, 2014

Anyone Like Lavender and Lace?

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the long absence. Losing my mom really knocked me off my feet. I hope to be posting updates on my stitching again soon. I really didn't do much since last March as I was fighting grief and terrible depression.

I'm just checking in to let you know I have Celtic Princesses by Lavender and Lace for sale. Here is what I have:

This is Autumn and it is almost completely kitted. There are three missing DMC thread skeins. It includes the pattern, linen, specialty threads, beads, 2 cards of Treasure Brain and all DMC except for three skeins. It might require gold Treasure Braid, but I'm not sure. It can be purchased through 123stitch.com.

Summer has pattern, linen, specialty Needlepaint threads, two cards of gold Treasure Braid, and all the beads. I did not buy the DMC yet.

I think both of these would retail for over $100. I will take $65 for the Autumn pattern and $60 for the Summer pattern.

I did Winter already and have done some of Spring, but decided I would never get through all four of them. Hope someone can use me. Just email me your information if you'd like to buy one or both. I do have a Paypal account.


July 06, 2013

I'm Losing My Mind

I went to Hobby Lobby today to buy thread for a couple of smaller projects that I am either working on or ready to start working on. I am trying to do some smaller projects (to feel some sense of accomplishment) and to finish the County Cottage monthly series from last year. For some reason, I took the patterns with me, with the thread I needed circled.

I bought my thread, put the patterns in the bag and headed home. Except, when I got home, none of the patterns were in the bag. I looked everywhere in the house I had been, went back through the car a couple of times, and then called the store. They couldn't find them either.

Here are two of the patterns I lost:

August County Cottage Needleworks
Moonshadow Mini - "Life's Journey"

I don't have the name of the third pattern, because the picture and information was on the front and the pattern, with the information for the thread I needed was on the back.

I am hoping that someone out there in our needlework groups can help me out. If you have done either of the two patterns listed above and no longer need the pattern, could you help a girl out? I'm especially upset with myself about the Country Cottage, because I need to finish it to keep up my monthly turn around in the frame. Plus, I had already started it. The Moonshadow Mini was an old pattern that I got from our needlework guild and is probably out of print by now.

If you have a copy of either pattern, can you let me know how much you would take for it and how I could get it from you? I can buy a new copy of the August pattern, but it seems like a waste of money to buy something I've already bought at full price.

I kind of feel like I've lost my mind since my mom died and things like this keep happening to me. I'd chalk it up to ADD, but it's more likely the scattered brain syndrome that happens when someone you love dies. (This isn't the first time I've done something like this since Mom passed and yes, I cried all the way home from the hobby shop.)

Thanks in advance for checking your stash. I hope I can pay it forward for you someday. If you can share this with your friends to get the word out, I owe you double.


July 03, 2013

My Quarterly Update (Or So It Seems!)

Hello fellow needleworkers! I know it's been awhile, so I thought I would show you what I've been up to. I fell way behind on reading blogs and commenting, but I think I'm finally caught up. Here's what I've been doing.

I decided that I needed to feel some sense of accomplishment right now and that all of my big projects were simply overwhelming me. So I fished out a few smaller ones and now I have two finishes! This first piece was kind of picked by randomly reaching into my stack of patterns and just pulling one out, but I chose several and this was the one that really caught my eye. My mother's favorite color was red and I can remember her talking about the Red Hat Society, so I thought I would stitch this in my mother's honor. It was a quick stitch, only taking about a week. I forgot how much I enjoy beading!

The Promise by Just Nan

I am continuing to try to keep up with my cottages that were started last year. I am trying to get the next one done before the month is up and I just started August yesterday. Here is July all laced up and in the frame.

July Cottage by Country Cottage Needleworks

This one is our hardangar project that we were working on as a foursome, but everyone else had finished theirs and I was dawdling along behind. Cutting threads is scary, people! So far, so good, but I have to be awake, alert, and able to concentrate to work on this one, so it's going slowly.

Beginner's Hardangar Course through the Embroidery Guild of America

I am loving my little sheep and have been working on one a month. I don't remember if I showed you "Peace," so I am including it.

Peace by Little House Needleworks "Stitchin' the Flock"

Here is last month's "Courage:"

Courage by Little House Needleworks "Stitchin' the Flock"

Here's how many I have done so far. There was an unfortunate bad measuring when I went to cut off the extra fabric and I now only have room on this piece for nine sheep instead of twelve. That made the decision to have them finished as pillows by Faye at Carolina Stitcher fairly easy. It will be cheaper than getting the whole thing framed, so really I'm coming out ahead.

This is a mystery piece (not to me, but to you guys) that I am making as a Christmas present for someone. I may or may not show more pictures as I make progress. I need to get working on it a little bit more if I want to finish it in time for Christmas. This piece is really special because my mom started it when she was having trouble quilting and was looking for some hand work to do. She hated cross stitch with a passion and was having so much trouble with her hands that I told her I would finish it for her.

What am I?

Here is my exchange piece with my friend out in Washington. She made one for me (which she misplaced!) and I am slowly working on getting this one done for her. There is a lot of embellishment once the cross stitching is done, so I know it's going to get harder before it gets finished. But at least the basics are almost finished!

Elegant Geisha by Dimensions Gold

We started learning crewel at Guild a couple of months ago and this is the project that we are supposed to complete. Well, it should be done by now, but I haven't touched it in weeks. Fancy that! I'm a little scared of the holly leaves because I missed the first teaching session and will have to wing it by following the instructions. I'm not good at instructions...

Christmas Ornament Initial by Maggie Fraser

Last (and maybe least?), this is a project that started out as a guild project. Unfortunately, only six people signed up and so they decided not to take the time in guild meetings to work on it. It's called Renaissance Jewels and is from an old magazine one of my guild friends had. She has made it and finished it, as has our president. It is supposed to be worked as a "band sampler," meaning you do it in sections. I'm way intimidated by this project, so I haven't even touched it yet, even though the two people who have finished theirs can help me.

Summer has meant fewer stitching groups to attend, as everyone is busy. And the ones that are meeting, I'm having a hard time going to, as I never know what I'm going to feel like when I wake up in the morning. Most days, I don't particularly want to talk to anyone (except Justin while he's working) and I confess to canceling my third Friday of the month stitching group until Fall due to lack of interest or people going on vacation.

The Renaissance piece is one that we were going to work on in my third Friday group, so I am hopeful to get this group back up and running again in September.

Right now, I am in an eight week grief group through our local hospice, which has been extremely helpful. It's nice to be around people who know how I am feeling right now and who don't mind listening to me talk about Mom's story over and over. I am also in a women's group every other Tuesday (same day as grief group) and individual counseling. I decided on Monday that this is simply more counseling than I can handle right now and I need to focus on the grief group, so I am going to withdraw from the women's group and make the individual counseling on an as needed basis until grief group is done. As I put it to Justin, I need people to get out of my head for awhile.

Hope you are enjoying your summer and that the fireworks on the 4th don't scare your animals or small children.


May 06, 2013

Oops! Update Part II

When I was updating yesterday, I forgot to show you these.

Elegant Geisha was started over a year ago (I think) as an exchange with a friend of mine from high school. She finished mine, but misplaced it. I still haven't finished hers. This was on her wish list from 123 Stitch. I've been fighting it because it's 18 count Aida and that count is difficult to get a needle through. Last week, one of my guild friends came over and we were looking through my stash. I noticed how close I was to finishing this, so I pulled it out and decided to just get it done already! I'm actually into the half stitching now around the border, so it's not as hard. It does have quite a bit of embellishment though, so we'll see if I get stuck again.

The Gold Collection Petites - Elegant Geisha

This next one is a mystery gift for my brother that I am hoping to finish by Christmas. When my mom was having trouble quilting, she was looking for handwork to do. I had done this piece for my brother several years ago and Mom had quilted a border for it. I never got a thank you, which was very strange, but I didn't want to ask him what had happened to it. Finally, last Christmas, my mom or I got up the nerve to say, "Hey, did you ever get this and what happened to it?" He never got it. Thank you USPS! It took me a couple of months to make and my mom time to quilt, not to mention the love that goes into every stitch. So, I bought my mom the kit and she started it, but it wasn't long before she put it aside because she simply hated to cross stitch. I can't imagine that, but then again, I don't particularly like to quilt. I think I should be able to finish this fairly quickly if I spend some time on it and don't get distracted by projects I want to start. I'd like to have it to him by Christmas.

Mystery Gift

These are free patterns off of the internet that grabbed my attention. I've never been particularly fond of the way my guild name tag turned out. I'm not really a fan of those colors and someone else decided to fasten my ecru colored cording down with red DMC floss and make a tassel at the bottom corner without consulting me first. I had left a hole in the top for the cording to be tucked into and I was going to put either a pin or a magnet on the back to hold it on when I wear it. It's also a bit larger than I like. So I pulled these patterns from the internet and I'm going to do my own design with the my name and the chapter information on it. I'm also planning to add my EGA number so that when I go shopping at the needlework shops, I will have it handy for a discount. I will be doing this one on Confederate Gray 28 count linen and combining two over two and one over one stitches. I may also put in some satin stitch, just for fun. It will be in pinks and purples or maybe just one of those. Purple may look better on the gray fabric than pink.

Free Patterns from the Internet for New Nametag

Current Nametag - Not My Style

I still need to get around to updating the right hand side of the blog with my works in progress and put my finished projects from this year into the proper place under a 2013 tab at the top. I have four finishes so far this year - the two Stitching the Flock virtues, the June cottage, and the BA sampler. I hope to continue to get some finishes done, as I have so many pretty patterns and kits just waiting for me to get started on!

Happy Stitching!


May 05, 2013

Long Overdue Update

I'm finally here for a long overdue update. It seems as if everything just comes a little later and a little harder since Mom passed away in March. Justin did take me to Ocean City, Maryland for our 25th anniversary and we truly enjoyed having three days away from the house, children, and animals. He went all out on the hotel and we stayed at the Hilton in a beautiful suite with views of the ocean from two sides. It had a walk in shower with three shower heads, which got me to thinking about redoing the shower in our bathroom.

But, on to my update.

I decided to try to finish some projects before moving onto the ones I've recently purchased. I'm tired of looking at the full plastic bucket. Some projects are obviously larger than others, so not all will get done, but I am hoping to get the majority out of there so I can start on some newer ones.

This first one, however, is an ongoing Stitch Along with other Little House Needleworks fans for 2013. I have finished my first two and just got "Peace" in the mail from my LNS, so I will be starting on that one shortly. Here are my two finishes for this year:

Little House Needleworks Stitching the Flock

I finished up the June cottage from last year's stitch along. Only six more cottages to go. I have July kitted up and ready to start.

Country Cottage Needleworks June Cottage

I finally finished my sampler and have now stashed it away to be framed. I'm estimating at least $100 in framing costs (probably higher, even with a coupon), so I am in no hurry to get this done. My dad is going to be bringing up a bunch of Mom's stuff when he comes for Memorial Day and I want to see if he is gifting me with any of the framed stitching done by my great grandmother before I decide where this one will live. We just had the foyer and my sewing area painted, but I am thinking this sampler would look best in the kitchen and we haven't had that painted yet.

Sweet Humility Sampler by Brenda Keys

I know I have a long ways to go on my Butterfly Fairy, but it is going fairly quickly (you can look further down the blog for my last update on her. I love the colors and I am almost done with her skirt. This is another big project, but I am hoping to finish her up by the end of the summer. This pattern was gifted to me by Carrie probably last summer, but I know she understands how much crap I have gone through in the last six months. I have three other patterns she sent me and hope to get to them, as well as the stitch along we were supposed to start last fall. Sorry, Carrie!

Mirabilia Butterfly Fairy by Nora Corbett

This is a project I am doing in embroidery guild. We are learning all different types of stitching and so far, there hasn't been much cross stitch. This is a crewel Christmas ornament with the initial of my last name. I think it's really pretty and so far it hasn't been extremely difficult. Next month, we will begin to learn needlepoint, which I think is just like half cross stitches on canvas.

Crewel Christmas Ornament by Maggie Fraser

And that's about it. I know I really need to update the current projects over there on the right side of the blog, but it's been all I could do to get these photos taken and posted up. Thank you for your patience. It's been a really tough time, but I am hopeful that better times are right around the corner. Of course, nothing will ever be the same without my mom, but somehow the world keeps turning. I don't quite know how that works.

Happy stitching!


March 25, 2013

A Little Hope and June Finishes

I have my first finishes for 2013. I haven't had a whole lot of time to get stitching done, since the majority of this year was taken up with the caregiving of my mother, who passed away on March 21st. She saw the beginning of June and also saw me struggle over trying to do "Hope" one over one on 32 count linen and finally give up in frustration. I know she would be proud of these finishes. I hope she can see what I've accomplished from her quilting room in heaven.

Little House Needleworks "Hope"

Country Cottage Needleworks "June"

Both of these finishes are part of year long stitch alongs. The Country Cottage SAL was started in 2012 and so I am a bit late, but at least I am halfway through the year. I am doing well with the Stitching the Flock stitch along, since I don't yet have the second "virtue" to stitch.

I am doing the flock on one piece of 30 count R&R Reproductions fabric (the color of which has now flown right out of my mind). I am planning on getting all of them stitched and then deciding whether to have them cut and made into little pillows, as Vonna is doing, or have the entire twelve months of virtues framed. I'm running out of wall space in my house. Since my mother passed away March 21st, I have even less wall space, as I brought home many quilts and wall hangings from her house. One of the quilts she left me was made by my great great grandmother in the 1850's and I am so fortunate that she left it to me. The only problem is what to do with it, as it is very fragile. Mom thought it would be a good idea to see if the Smithsonian would take it for their quilt exhibit and asked me to follow up with the person who is in charge of curating that exhibit. I am torn, because I want the quilt to stay in the family, but it's more important to follow my mother's wishes and how cool would it be to have a quilt in the Smithsonian that was made in your family? I'm just not quite ready to let anything of my mother's go yet.

Ben is planning on moving out when he graduates in May with his associates degree, which will free up a room upstairs. I had planned on moving Jamie to Ben's room (since I had promised it to him - it's a large room with a bathroom) and taking Jamie's room as my sewing room, but I am kind of enjoying using what used to be the dining room as my sewing/writing room. So we shall see what the upstairs turns into.

I am off to work on my Hardanger piece for my Wednesday group. I am very much behind after spending so much of the beginning of the year in South Carolina. I am finding stitching to be very therapeautic, although part of my grieving process seems to be falling asleep all the time. I think I've found the cure to insomnia. I don't think it's a bad thing to sleep your grief away until you can handle it.

Happy stitching and I hope to have a Hardanger update shortly!


March 10, 2013

More Than Time for an Update

I am not posting nearly as much as I would like and that comes from two reasons. As most of you know, my mother is in the end stages of cancer and I am back and forth between Virginia and South Carolina as we watch her decline. She is currently unconscious and non-responsive, so we are playing a waiting game. I have not gotten nearly as much stitching as I would like to get done (reason two for not posting), but I thought I would at least show you what I have worked on.

As you can imagine, I have been busy here in South Carolina helping my aunt clean out my mother's sewing room so that my father won't have to mess with it and it's been a large job. I also find it very hard to sit and concentrate long enough to get any stitching done. But here is what I have managed to get done.

This sampler is something I started working on seriously when I went to Camp Wannastitch in January and I still would very much like to get it out of my WIP pile and framed. It may end up being a gift for someone, as the colors are not really to my liking and it didn't occur to me until I got this far that I could actually choose my own colors and no one would be the wiser. It's taken me awhile to get out of the habit of just following the directions on the charts. You can guess what kind of student I was!

I am continuing to try to finish last year's SAL from Country Cottage Needleworks. I was trying desperately to finish June while I was here, but I got sick of it and decided I wanted to work on the Stitching the Flock 2013 SAL and why was I working on something that I was not enjoying at the moment? I did get very tired of the cottages and I don't know why that is, except that it's really the same design 12 times with different colors and themes.

This is the Little House Needleworks Stitching the Flock "Hope" virtue second beginning. I'm pretty sure one of my last blog entries was about trying to do this one over one and it ending up a disaster. I have switched to 30 count linen and am doing two over two and am much happier. I have a large piece of fabric I am using for this, as I want to frame all twelve together. I can decide later to cut them apart and do them as pillows, which is how Vonna intended them to be done. If I do that though, I will probably need to get one of the women in my EGA guild to finish them for me. I am not happy with my finishing abilities. We really need to have a finishing class as one of our programs and we may well have had that, since I have missed so many meetings with my mom's illness.

I haven't started this one yet, but I am anxious to get it out and get to work. I thought it was neat, since I had just joined the EGA last year. I don't know whether to leave the date of 1779 in there or change it to 2012, which is when our EGA was established, but I suspect I will leave it at 1779.

That's about it. We are in waiting mode right now and I am anxious to get home, but so, so sad that cancer is taking my mother from me. She had a lot more to give and wasn't ready to die and may be hanging on just to show the cancer that she's in charge. That wouldn't surprise me and would be in keeping with her liking to be in control of what's going on. I've been in SC for about 10 days now and I only brought a few changes of clothes, so I will be glad to get back to my own closet and not doing laundry every other day. Unfortunately, my going home rests on my mom's passing and that is a no win situation, no matter how you look at it.

I do miss Justin, my kids, and my furry people.

Happy stitching,