November 30, 2012

Update (Warning - Picture Heavy!)

It must seem like I've disappeared off the internet and, to some degree, I have. My writing has suffered greatly since Malea passed away and I have had no heart for blogging. I have been busy with my needle and thread, however.

But first, I wanted to share with you the framed piece that Malea made for me earlier this year. She went with me to Hobby Lobby on July 23rd to pick out the mat and frame and we bought beads, which I added to every hole on the piece. After she died, I took it back to Hobby Lobby and had them use the frame and mats we picked out together, plus I added a cut out with her name and her birthday and date of death. I haven't found the perfect place for this yet, but I want it somewhere I can see it all the time. That probably means moving some things around in the family room.


I also did a bunch of finishing done this week. It seems like I get on a roll on something and keep going until I'm done! This ornament was finished with ribbon that was ruched all the way around. Really fun to make!

Little House Needleworks - All Dolled Up Collection

This ornament was beaded all the way around with red glass seed beads. I've decided I really enjoy doing bead work. Maybe I can branch out and do some jewelry!

Just Cross Stitch Magazine - December 2011
This one was the stitch along that Carrie over the summer. We will be starting our next Diane Arthurs chart soon I hope. Life has really gotten in the way and Carrie, I apologize!

All Hearts Come Home by Diane Arthurs
This next is a project for the Embroidery Guild. It is on perforated paper with perle cotton. When finished, it will be a scissors case. I'm so excited to be making something useful! I only have the beads to add and it will be ready for the finishing class in January.

Hapsburg Lace Scissors Case by Tanya Berlin
Lastly, since my HAED is all in blue right now, I have been working on this one a lot. I don't have to really think about what I'm doing or worry about color changes or making errors, so it's just right for my frame of mind right now. I wasn't going to post an update until I finished page two, but I'm close enough to share. It's blue all the way to the edge on the right. I will be glad

Fairy on Butterfly by Michele Sayetta
Sorry it took so long to get an update on here. Not only did I lose my best friend on October 21st, Justin's 97 year old grandmother passed away right before Thanksgiving. We also got the news that my mom's experimental medication is no longer working and there are no more treatment options for her. My life feels unbelievably surreal right now. I hope to get back to reading and commenting on your blogs soon.

Happy stitching!


 

November 15, 2012

Help! I Need to Finish This!

I have managed to stitch together the back and front of this Christmas ornament.



All it needs now is ribbon and a hanger, but I am afraid to try putting this together, as I don't have a lot of finishing experience. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I have another one of these ornaments to make from the All Dolled Up series by Little House Needleworks. It's a cute little snowman and I would love to stitch that one up quick and have both of them ready to take with us when we go to my parents' house for Christmas this year to hang on their tree. But I need to know how to finish them off!


This project was started by Malea when we went on our girls' weekend in August. She picked out the pattern from one of my cross stitch magazines and then we went to the store and picked up the supplies she needed. I'm so sad that she didn't get a chance to get more done on this. The needle is exactly where she left it at the end of the weekend. Her sister has asked me to finish it for her, so this is something I will also be working on. It's not a large project and shouldn't take more than a few days to get finished.

Malea had two other projects in progress and I am hoping her husband will come across them when he is going through her things and mail them to me to finish for her family. She had gotten quite a bit done on her angels (you can see them under the tab with her work above) and she had finished the one for her granddaughter, which I would like to get framed and send to her son. I know it must be really hard for her family to sort through and part with anything that belonged to her, so I am trying to be patient and remember how difficult that task will be.

Please leave suggestions on how to put the ribbon on the ornament in the comments. I truly appreciate your help!


 

November 14, 2012

A Finished Piece

I did okay when I went to order the matting and frame for this, but cried all the way home from picking it up.




I had so hoped not to have to put that inset into the finished piece. It would be a much better world if Malea was still in it.


 

November 13, 2012

Update from the Survival Zone

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. It's been a rough few weeks, with Malea's passing away on October 21st and my mom getting sick again. But I wanted to show you what I am working on for the Embroidery Guild of America (Winchester Chapter). This month we started a Hapsburg Lace Scissors Case designed by Tanya Berlin. Here is what it will look like when it is finished:


And here is what mine looks like right now:


I'm a little stymied on putting the ribbon in and I want to get some help from some of the other embroiderers this Friday at sewing club.

I've also been working on my HAED quite a bit. Here's where I am right now:


There is nothing but blue on the horizon of the next few pages, so I will plug along and hope for some color changes.

The last time I saw Malea, she urged me to sit and cross stitch when she was sleeping. I asked her about the projects she was working on. One of them she had finished and I wanted to take it to get it framed for her. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate it in the house, as they had brought home bags and bags of stuff from the hospital and she was a little too out of it to know where it was. Since she made it for her granddaughter, I have told her husband to mail it to me if he finds it so I can have it framed and send it to her son.

I also took in the beautiful butterfly she made me. I added a cutout in the matting with "Designed and Stitched by Malea Kanoho" and her birth and death dates. It was very hard to drop it off, because we had picked out the framing I was going to use when she came to see me for my birthday in July and I even got the same woman who was there and she remembered when we had come in. It will be ready by November 19th and I will be sure to post a picture.

While I was looking for the piece for her granddaughter, I did find this project that Malea had started when we had our weekend away in August.


I knew when I saw her that there was no way she would be able to ever finish this. They had her very medicated and she was in hospice care. This was in a bag with another project she had started for her mother. I grabbed this one, since I had given her the pattern and the supplies and will try to figure out where she was in the pattern so I can finish it for her. I regret that I didn't grab the one she had started for her mom, since I have not been back to their house, but I told her husband to mail me that one too, if he finds it, and I will finish it and have it framed and send it to her mom.

This has been a very tough time for me and I have to say that without Justin, my kids, and my furry, four-legged family members, I would not be making it. So, we have decided to add one more to our collection of animals. Meet Princess Sophie Malea.


Sophie will be coming to stay on Friday afternoon. We could have had her today, but we know those first couple of nights will be hard for her, so we wanted to be able to get up and down to make her feel more at ease.

She is a pure bred border collie, second cousin to our five year old, Charlotte. We will co-own her with our vet (pictured here) and we may breed her when we see what she is going to look like in six months. It will be up to our veterinarian, as she will retain the right to make that decision. Sophie comes from a very distinguished line of border collies and is an absolute doll. Jack took to the puppies like he was one of them and was so excited. Charlotte maintained her regal bearing and did not deign to play, but she wasn't territorial either. I think we will stop with three dogs and two cats, as we are becoming a farm without the land!

No other news right now. I hope all of you are doing well and I am sorry I have been unable to keep up with your blogs. I hope to be back to reading and commenting soon.


 

November 01, 2012

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Christmas Giveaway

Just wanted to mention that Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is giving away 25 gifts for the 25 days of Christmas. Please check it out and tell her I sent you.

I have one finish I can show you. Well, two, if you don't count the finishing part. It seems that all of my projects are huge, so I have been trying to do a few smaller things in between.



This is a biscornu I made last week for my mom. I wasn't up to stitching on a big project, so I decided to make her a little pillow with the colors of her house in South Carolina, which are mostly blues, teals, and tans. I really like the way it turned out. Now that I've had the chance to show the guild members, I will be getting this in the mail to her shortly.

This little Christmas ornament is all sewn together. I just need to either make more cord (in which case I need some big packages of floss) or figure out how to do a ruched ribbon around it. I have another one from the same "All Dolled Up" series that I am hoping to finish before Christmas.

I am planning on taking the cross stitch picture that Malea made for me to Hobby Lobby for framing. I would like to do a cutout in the frame with her name and the dates of her birth and death. If anyone has any suggestions on how to create a little card like that, please feel free to share.

My blogging has gotten sporadic, at best, so I hope you will all bear with me. Unfortunately, cancer has kind of taken over my life and I am grieving in the worst way. I hope to be back at full update soon.


  

October 27, 2012

Memorial to my Beautiful Friend


Today was Malea's memorial service and I just had to share this memorial video that her family put together.

It was a beautiful, uplifting service, with her brother giving a wonderful eulogy and her husband, Jason, also speaking, as well as performing the song he sang to her at their wedding. There were many, many tears, but also much joy in remembering how special she was. The chapel held about 100 people and the chairs were packed, with people spilling out into the hall. Everyone dressed in pink and white and it was celebration of her life.

Now begins the healing (hopefully) and the advocacy (most certainly).

I felt joy after the service as I got to hold her beautiful baby granddaughter.


Amaryana has Malea's eyes and I could feel her spirit as I held this beautiful baby, a tiny piece of Malea that lives on.

Her family is grieving, but relieved that she is no longer in pain and suffering so badly. I am missing my friend more than I could ever have imagined. No matter how much you know it's coming, losing someone you love so much is a horrible thing. I imagine it will be quite some time before I can do anything without feeling the hole her passing created.

I dreamed about Malea for the first time this morning. We were at her memorial service, but she was there. I was distressed because I had to leave to go get my kids and she walked me to the door and told me, "Chelle, it's okay. You can go on." For a moment after I woke up, I could still feel her reassuring presence and I hope that she will visit me again. I know I can go on. I'm just not sure how.

Thank you, Malea, for always being such an awesome person and the "best of best friends." I will miss you more than you know.


  

October 21, 2012

Rest in Peace, Malea





Malea Renee Kanoho
March 13, 1974 - October 21, 2012

Your pain and suffering are over and heaven
has a true angel.

September 29, 2012

A New Biscornu

I haven't updated in awhile. I have been stitching on various things, but I thought I would post up this finish I had today.



My "middles" didn't quite meet up. If you don't get the first one right in the middle when you are sewing it together, it won't match up all the way around. But I was too sick of this project to go back and fix it. I now have two of these little pincushions. These would make great gifts, but I need to find patterns that are a little less complex.

My friend, Pam, told me that there are all kinds of biscornu free patterns on the internet. I think I will look for a butterfly one next time.

For now, I am going back to my rotation, although I may throw another Christmas ornament in there. I love the little angel from Little House Needleworks. I haven't finished it yet, because I need to get some Christmas backing fabric. My mom has offered me her greens and reds, saying she isn't going to be needing them.

I apologize for not doing my IHSW update. The last couple of weeks have been extremely rough. My best friend is going into hospice on Monday, after a long week in the hospital. I am more sad than I have ever been in my life, made worse by the fact that her entire extended family is now here and I don't want to add to the chaos by being one more person huddling around her bed. Hopefully, after some of them go home, I will get a chance to see her at least one more time. What is the time prognosis for people in hospice care, with cancer that has spread to the bones?

Sorry to end on a down note. I only seem to have down notes lately.

Happy stitching!


  

September 22, 2012

Please Go Here Instead Today!

I apologize for my lack of posting. Believe me, it's not for lack of stitching.

But instead of having update pictures for you, I am going to send you over here to read about what I've been up to lately. This has been a very time consuming project, but also a very gratifying one. This is my "other" blog that I am sending you to and it was started a couple of years ago when I was going through a very rough patch. Now, I am much more invested in stitching than in writing, but with everything that is going on, I thought I should share that something good is happening right here in my community and I am so glad that we live in Winchester.

I will post updates from IHSW shortly (I hope!), but in the meantime, please go and check out all the links I posted and really, go read Jenny Lawson. She's the best blogger I know and she is what inspired what I am doing now.

Happy stitching!


  

September 10, 2012

Three Finishes and ISHW

I have been stitching my butt off to finish a few things before starting on anything new. I managed to finally finish my stitch along with Carrie when I got my stars for the background yesterday.


All Hearts Come Home by Diane Arthurs

I did add my initials and the year down on the bottom right, which you will be able to see after I have framed it.

Then I decided that I really needed a small project to work on over a day or so, with an easy finish. Well, this one took a little more than one day (three), but I did finish it fast.

All Dolled Up by Little House Needleworks

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the piece on the chart front had been finished by none other than Vonna Pfeffer of The Twisted Stitcher (Vonna, I hope I spelled your last name right! I was too lazy to go check the pattern.) She was one of the first two stitching blogs that got me started on my own stitching blog, so I was happy to be working on something she had done before. Her star was an embellishment instead of stitched, but since I didn't know to get the embellishment when I bought the chart and since I didn't feel like trying to get to the hobby store and find one, I just went ahead and stitched the star in the golden yellow color. I plan on doing the finishing when I go down to visit my mother in October, as she has promised me her stash of Christmas fabrics to bring home. Until then, I will keep it with the other projects awaiting finishing.

I also finished my biscornu at Guild on Thursday. Here is what it looked like before:


And here is what it looks like finished:




A lovely little biscornu. I really have to go to google translate and figure out what the heck that means. Little pincushion? I was happily surprised at how easy it was to make this a three dimensional project and I plan on making a bunch more as gifts. (People who aren't stitchers beware! People who are stitchers anticipate!) I'm taking color requests for Christmas presents.

I have made huge progress on my HAED, but I want to finish the metallic on page one before posting an update. I received the thread in the mail the other day, so it's just a matter of getting to it. Page two will go faster than page one I think, just because I am getting into a rhythm and figuring out what this HAED thing is all about.

This weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend. Wow that came around fast. I am going to the Bluemont Craft Fair on Sunday, so most of my stitching will be done on Saturday this time, but I've signed up anyway.

I hope you all are enjoying the cooler weather we are having.

Happy stitching!


  

September 07, 2012

Finally Something is Finished!

I did it! My very first three dimensional stitching project. Here's how it turned out.



A real, eight sided biscornu, which I'm guessing means little pincushion in French (I didn't do well the one semester I took French in college!)

This was so fast and easy to make, I think I'm going to be making some Christmas gifts with different patterns and colors.

I've been working on my HAED all day, except for the two hour vet visit this afternoon. We are lucky enough to have found a vet that comes to the house and we have a dog with a skin infection and a cat with (diabetes?) a weight problem and arthritis in his back legs. I don't have pictures of the dog being tended to, but I thought you might get a kick out of this picture. I really need one of these bags!





Isn't that the cutest thing? It keeps the cat from scratching and biting as you work on him. There are zippers where his legs are and you can draw blood or trim his nails without getting hurt. It was awesome. I'm just hoping his bloodwork comes back okay.

Our vet has become a friend and next Sunday, we are going to the Bluemont Craft Fair. I am so excited about this! I will take some pictures to share.

Happy stitching!


  

September 06, 2012

Sorry, Thought These Were Done!

I've been waiting to post because I had hoped to have some projects finished up. Unfortunately, something was working against me this time!

Here's what I've been working on and the challenges that kept me from having a finish on each.



All Hearts Come Home by Diane Arthurs

I got to the embellishments on this stitch along with Carrie and discovered that they had not included any of the stars for the sky background. I sent them an email and they said they were very sorry and would send the stars out right away. What you see is what they sent. The picture on the cover of the chart shows 17 stars. They sent me eight. I sent them another email and they said they would send me more. So, I'm waiting on stars to finish this one...sigh.

They did send me a free chart with the eight stars which certainly was nice of them, but it wasn't something I would stitch, so watch for a giveaway here soon.

Faery on Butterfly HAED

I had so hoped to get the first page of this completely finished, but as you can see, I ran out of the sparkly metallic thread they suggested using for the moon. Sigh again. It's my own fault though for switching out the 25 count Laguna linen, one over one, to 16 count Aida fabric, two over one. Obviously I am now going to need a lot more of all of the threads and there are about 90 different colors.

I have ordered two more spools of the metallic thread and I went ahead and gridded up pages two through five yesterday.

I took out the gridding on the first page to see if you could tell I had done it, as I had read on someone's blog that they didn't grid because they felt you could see it afterward. It was a little tough to get some of the thread out, as I had sewn over it and under it and even through it, but everything eventually came out and it looks fine, as far as I can tell.

Biscornu by Alita Designs
This is a project for the Embroidery Guild and when finished, it will be a little pillow. The top is the large X design and the square with my initials and the date will be the bottom. I will post pictures after the finish this afternoon.

That's all I've got for this week. I feel like I've accomplished a lot, although I didn't actually finish anything completely yet. I found multiple counting errors on the top portion of the biscornu and had to completely restitch it. Luckily, it's a fast little project and I can see a few more of these in my future as gifts.

Happy stitching!


  

September 02, 2012

Nancy's Giveaway!

Nancy over at the Victorian Motto Shoppe is having an awesome giveaway for Halloween. Just go here, follow her blog, and enter!

Will have updates for you soon. I am having to restitch the top of my biscornu when I discovered multiple counting errors. Luckily, I was with the designer at the time and she also discovered a mistake in the pattern directions, so we were able to get an email out to everyone before they show up with their borders incorrect for guild on Thursday.

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend.

Happy stitching!


  

August 28, 2012

Stitch Along Finish and a Gift Well Received

I made Carrie promise to wait to post her update, since she finished hers first. And mine isn't truly finished yet, as my embellishment package came without the stars that are supposed to be scattered in the sky. I sent an email and they will be sending me some, so hopefully, this will soon be complete. And I would love finishing suggestions.


I think it turned out adorably for both Carrie and myself, but holy crap, the back stitching!!! I looked at the next two patterns we chose from this same designer and they are both full of back stitching as well. I was ready to throw it across the room, I was so sick of DMC 310!

I know I revealed my secret project, the gift for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. They were here for a long weekend a couple of weeks ago and I gave it to them. I think it even impressed my dad and he is a hard man to impress! You never think needlework is going to please the guys. Here is my gift hanging in the entryway of their new home:


I'm absolutely tickled that they liked it so much they want everyone who comes into the house to see it. Congratulations, Mom and Dad, on being such a great marriage role model. You are the ultimate couple and I am blessed to have you as my parents. You certainly know how to raise kids right.

Since the only thing I've been working on is the SAL, I don't really have anything else to show you right now. I picked up my HAED last night for the first time in several weeks and my goal is to finish page one before doing anything else. I've got to have some finishes! These big projects kind of wear me out.

So I will leave you with a cute kitty picture. This is our cat, Kylie, enjoying the new duvet cover I bought. If I had known she would be so taken with it, I might have chosen a different color!


She really is the sweetest thing. Mouthy though!

Happy stitching!


  

August 21, 2012

IHSW, SAL, and TUSAL - WOW

It's been a roller coaster two weeks, with my parents coming up from South Carolina this past weekend. It was so awesome to see them and I can't wait to go visit in October. Which was a totally spur of the moment decision that I would fly down for a few days. Don't you love it when you can be spontaneous?

But I am guessing you hopped over here for some pictures. Although I was super busy this past weekend, I did manage to get some things done.

First, remember that "surprise" project I said I would unveil in the Fall? Well, it was a gift to my parents, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on September 1st. We were celebrating while they were here and here is the gift that I made for them:


Although I wasn't really able to get a great picture of this because the glass reflected no matter what I did, I think you get the idea. This pattern can be used for either the 50th or the 25th wedding anniversary. You use gold metallic thread for 50 and silver for 25. Justin and I will be celebrating 25 years next year and I might just stitch one of these up for us. It was a fast and easy stitch and really fun to do. And I'm very happy with the matting and frame. (Go Hobby Lobby - you rock framing!)

 

I have been stitching entirely on my stitch along with Carrie, as I have decided I will only work on this one until I finish it. I was getting really overwhelmed with all of the WIPs and new patterns, so I decided I needed a finish. Plus, we have ordered two more Diane Arthur patterns for a new stitch along (you all are invited!), so I wanted to finish this one. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it when it's finished. I don't usually do Christmas stitches because I hate having to put them away after two weeks of displaying them. I might do a Diane Arthurs for each season and then I could leave them all out if I put them together.

Speaking of Diane Arthurs, here are the patterns Carrie and I chose for our next SAL:

Free Kittens by Diane Arthurs

Great Harvest by Diane Arthurs

We had decided to do Free Kittens first, followed by Great Harvest, but I think I am going to suggest to Carrie that we do Great Harvest first, since fall starts next month. There are so many cute Diane Arthurs patterns that I don't think we will run out of patterns to stitch from her for quite awhile. We may still be stitching her stuff in five or ten years! Carrie, what do you think about switching the order?



Finally, here is my TUSAL, which I chose to set besides my fat, lazy cat, Max. He was quite put out by this thing in his space and was very happy when I took it away. You can see lots of blues in there from my HAED.

I have set goals for myself of finishing All Hearts (the SAL) and the first page of Faery on Butterfly by the end of August. That may be a bit ambitious, but I don't have too much scheduled and school starts next Wednesday, so I might just be able to get both of those done by the end of the month if I focus. (Which isn't so easy when you are distracted by shiny things and new patterns!) I am not allowing myself to start the Mirabilia pattern that Carrie sent me for my birthday until I get those two things finished and it's just about killing me, as it is all kitted up and waiting for me. I need twelve hands and six brains so I can work on multiple projects at once.

I hope everyone had a great IHSW weekend.

Happy stitching!