July 25, 2012

Oh How I Love My Stitching Friend!!!!

You guys, guess what Carrie sent me for my birthday?????? (Her blog is Carrie's Cross Stitch on my blog down on the right on my blog list.)

I've been wanting to do a Nora Corbett forever! I love Mirabilia designs and this was the one I had been looking at for awhile. So a huge thank you to Carrie.

Back to stitching today after taking yesterday off to rest my hand. I was having even more pain in it this morning, so I'm back in the wrist brace, but that works just fine to keep the injury from flaring. Today I am working on finishing the beading on Malea's piece and then I plan to switch to my HAED and see how far I can get.

My mystery gift is ready to be picked up from the framer and I am very excited about it. No pictures until after the recipient has gotten it! I have a feeling it's going to be beautiful in the frame though.

Happy stitching!


July 24, 2012

IHSW And Adding a Friend

I have so many pictures for you! I spent all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday stitching. You can get much more hermited (is that a word?) than that.

I got really into my HAED on Friday and just couldn't put it down. The Q Snap frame is much easier on my hands than not using a frame, so I may buy a couple more of these. By Sunday night, I was having a hard time moving my right hand and stitching had to be put down.

But...look at my progress!



That's a ton of stitches right there. I estimate that I have done about 3,000 stitches now. Which didn't hit my goal of 5,000 (half the first page), but I was getting to the point that the blue was getting a little old. I really do love the star though - it's partially in Kreinik and very sparkly. When I get to the moon, that is all Kreinik, which I didn't realize. Don't you just love a lot of bling?

Sunday is my SAL with Carrie, so here is how that went:



I would have made a lot more progress if I didn't have to frog the entire section of white on the snowman and start over because I had made a one stitch error. (Yes, I am that much of a perfectionist. But it was going to affect the whole thing if I didn't, so I frogged it.)

I also worked just a bit on the May cottage.



Not a lot of progress, but by this time, my hand had had enough.

Today is my birthday and my best friend, Malea, came out yesterday to help me celebrate. I taught Malea how to cross stitch and she made me this lovely piece:


She wanted beading on it, but wasn't sure which type to use, so after we had a really filling lunch, we went over to Hobby Lobby and picked out some shiny silver beads. We decided that I would put the beads on and she would leave it with me. This is an original design. She took bits and pieces from other designs and put them all together to make this beautiful butterfly for me. It's the first piece she has finished and I am so proud of her and excited to receive this beautiful gift! There are many layers of meaning for us in this design and it will hold an honored place on the wall in my family room when I go back to get it framed. We even picked out the matting and the frame while we were there and, once I finish the beading, I will go back and give it over to the framing goddesses.

Malea is also incredibly creative at making jewelry and brought me this gift:

Some of the charms were already attached and we added a couple more when we went to the craft store. The butterfly is for Juliana and fibromyalgia. The angle is for Juliana. There is also an autism ribbon for Joey and a hope ribbon for Malea and my mom, who are both struggling with aggressive forms of cancer. The believe charm is a friendship charm. She is going to pick up a "big sister" charm for me at AC Moore up where she lives, because we are more like sisters than best friends, although we are that too. The bracelet is a little too big (ok, a lot too big), so she is going to make me a new one that is my wrist size and stretchy instead so I can wear it.

We also dropped off my angel to finally get it professionally framed and she helped me pick the mats and frame for that as well. If you need a place for framing, Hobby Lobby is incredibly reasonable and they do a great job. I have two pieces there right now and The Rainbow Bridge is still here waiting for my vet to stop by.

I am planning two new tabs for my blog this week. I will be putting up the lacing tutorial (I promise!) and I am also going to give Malea a tab of her own to show her work. I believe that will be incentive for her to keep working on her cross stitch, because her life is a lot too hectic right now and cross stitching is so relaxing. So look for those later in the week!

Happy stitching!


July 20, 2012


This weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend. And, as usual, I will be hermiting and stitching.

I have been drawn to my HAED all week and here is the progress I have made:

I really want to get an entire page finished. I will be getting to moon portion soon and it is stitched with Kreinik metallic thread.

As you can see, the project is on a snap type frame and I need to know what will happen when I need to move it and it covers up the already stitched portion. Should I be removing the frame every night and whenever I am not stitching on it?

I hope you all have a happy hermit weekend!

Happy stitching!


July 19, 2012

July's TUSAL

Here is my TUSAL for July's new moon:

Lots of stitching going on here!

If you're wondering what the TUSAL is, head on over to Daffy Cat's Blog and check her out.

Happy stitching!


July 18, 2012

And the Winner Is...

Here is the list of people who entered the giveaway and their numbers.

1 - Tamara Epps
2 - Gizzimomo
3 - SoCal Debbie
4 - Linda
5 - Carrie
6 - Linda
7 - Denise
8 - Renee G
9 - Melissa

Custom random number generator chose number 5!!!!

Carrie, you are the lucky winner of the Butterfly pattern and fabric from Country Cottage Needleworks. Please send me your address and I will get it in the mail to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I hope that as I build both my blog and my stash, I will have more giveaways in the future.

I worked on my HAED yesterday and here is my progress:

For those of you who work on these projects, I'm wondering what will happen when I move my frame over for the next page. There is a good bit of Kreinik to do the moon on this page and I am afraid to snap that portion of my completed work into the frame when I move over. I am loving the Q Snap though and want to continue to use it on this and maybe buy some more for other projects. Any experience with how the frame may or may not affect the already stitched work?

I'm also wondering about the last three rows of my bottom square. They are not on the first page of the pattern. How do you know which is the page below it? I am assuming with a 20 page pattern that is vertical, that page 5 would be directly below page one, but I want to make sure.

I have to take my middle child to the dentist in a half hour after picking him up at his SOL study class at the high school. (If he had just paid attention in math, we wouldn't be having three weeks of summer school, but I think it's a good thing that he's getting a review in the middle of the summer, since usually they forget so much over the three month break.)

Hope your week is going well and happy stitching!


July 17, 2012

Supplies for Tutorial on Lacing

Today is the last day for the giveaway of the Butterfly pattern by Country Cottage Needleworks. I have seven entrants right now, but I will still take entries today and will announce a winner tomorrow.

I spent a good part of yesterday lacing up the angel. I have a ton of pictures to go with the tutorial I will be writing on lacing for those of you who requested it, but I thought I would share the finished product.

Not an expert lacing job, by any means, but certainly good enough for the framer!

I had to unpin the entire thing and trim the board because it wasn't square. I also took out one of the french knots at the bottom because it didn't turn out quite right and I thought it would look better without it. Also, I took out the wording at the bottom and made my name and initials much smaller down in the right hand corner.

I promise the tutorial is coming, now that I have the pictures. I wanted to tell you that as far as supplies (if you want to do your own lacing) you are going to need a quilting mat and ruler. You can get them at any craft store or Joanns and look like this:

These allow you to get your foam core the correct size for your frame and also make sure that it's square. I didn't get the largest size, but this one is just fine for my needs, as I don't do many really large projects. I recommend one that is at least this size - 18" by 24."

You also will need foam core, which you can get in sheets from the craft store. Hobby Lobby has great acid free foam core which you can get in varying sizes. I buy the largest size - 24" X 36" - and just cut it to the size I need. You should also have a good utility knife (for the foam core) and a rotary cutter. And you will need a lightweight batting and a spray adhesive to attach it to the foam core. The batting will make your needlework really "pop."

Lastly, make sure you get some large size quilting needles and heavy duty quilting thread.

Once you have all of these supplies, you will be ready for the tutorial I will be putting up.

Yesterday, I also worked on my May cottage, although my hands were kind of sore from lacing the Angel, so I didn't get much done.

The HAED is calling me today, so in between having to go in and out for errands, I will probably be working on that.

Oh, this is fun. I ordered a personalized license plates for my new car. I think it fits me.

It's a perfect blend of my autism advocacy and my passion, don't you think? I can't wait for them to come so I can put them on the car! It was surprisingly hard to find a stitching phrase that wasn't already taken. I guess there are more stitchers in Virginia than I thought.

Happy stitching!


July 16, 2012

SAL and Better Rainbow Bridge Pictures

I did spend most of yesterday stitching on All Hearts Come Home and here is where I am now.

I got the reindeer done except for the beads and the antlers (which will be done at the end).

I also unwrapped The Rainbow Bridge and got some better pictures for you.

It's impossible to get a shot of the whole thing and let you read the poem, so I broke it up for you. Sorry about the glare. I got glass when it was framed to protect the needlework, so there was no way to avoid it when my camera insisted on using the flash.

Don't forget to go to my giveaway post and add your name if you want to be entered to win the butterfly by Country Cottage Needleworks! I think I have eight entries right now, so you stand a good chance to win if you enter.

I suspect I will be working on my HAED today, although I am starting to think I need to get the Princess out and stitch on her. Sometimes I wish I had more hands to work on more than one project at once! The sampler and the May cottage are also calling to me. What do you do when you have so many lovely things to stitch on and only two hands?

Happy stitching!


July 15, 2012

Time for an Update!

I've been stitching my heart out this past week, so I thought it might be time for an update.

I've been practicing my lacing skills. These two are finished and here's how they look in the frame.

These two are waiting to be laced.

I decided that I had done very, very wrong by my beautiful butterfly angel by putting it on self-stick mounting board and framing it. And I didn't like the writing at the bottom or where my initials and the date were sitting. So, I took it out of the frame and redid the bottom. Now it's ready to be laced.

I've been stitching a lot on my HAED and enjoying it so much more on the 16 count Aida than on the 25 count linen. It's just so much easier to see it.

It also seems to go faster. I'm not sure why. Of course, I'm going to need at least double the thread!

And finally, I have begun work on my May cottage.

I'm loving the colors of this one, since they match the Apple Blossom colors of our spring festival here in Winchester.

And last but not least, The Rainbow Bridge came back from the framer's yesterday!

I didn't want to take it out of the plastic because it's all taped up on the back. I love the rustic look of the wooden frame and the hunter green mat. I will ask Kathy when I give it to her if she would mind if I get a picture without the plastic cover on it. It is under glass to protect the needlework. Of course, I noticed a couple of little imperfections, like my initials and the year are crooked and "the" at the top goes slightly up to the right, but I think little errors can sometimes make a piece unique, so I'm not worrying about it too much.

I dropped off my mystery gift for framing when I picked up the Bridge yesterday and I am so excited that it will be done soon! I wish I could share a picture, but it won't remain a mystery gift if I do.

Sorry some of the pictures are a little blurry. Usually my iPhone takes awesome pics, but I think it was too dark in here when I took some of them.

Today I am going to be stitching on my SAL with Carrie. Update photo tomorrow. And don't forget the giveaway of the butterfly pattern. Just go to my last entry and put your name in the comments if you want to be entered. The giveaway will close on Tuesday.

Happy stitching!


July 10, 2012

A Giveaway!

Yesterday I mentioned that because I am so grateful to all of the stitchers who have followed my new blog and all of the wonderful comments you have left, I was going to do a giveaway.

I went through all of my old charts and projects that had yet to be kitted up and started and I decided that this will be the giveaway:

Country Cottage Needleworks Designed by Nikki Leeman

This is a brand new chart and, as a bonus, I am throwing in the linen I ordered with it.

The linen is 28 count Patina and the size is 13 X 18. So, if you win, you will probably have some fabric left after you finish the chart I am including. The stitch count is 71 X 71 and you can either order the specialty colors shown on the front of the pattern or you can choose colors more to your liking, if you don't like the ones they used.

To enter, just leave me a comment saying you would like to be put into the drawing. If you send a friend over and she follows me, I will give you another entry. Just tell her to mention in the comments that you sent her.

Postage will be paid by me to whoever is the lucky winner. Deadline for entry is one week from today, Tuesday, July 17, 2012.

Again, thank you so much for following my blog. I feel very blessed to have met so many wonderful stitchers online.

Happy stitching!


July 09, 2012

SAL Update and Other Things

Yesterday, we went down to my Mother-In-Law's to visit, as it was the one year anniversary of my Father-In-Law's passing. I thought it was going to be awful, but it seems like everyone is coping all right. I could see a lot of sadness in Justin and have over the past couple of weeks, which isn't surprising. It was good to see my MIL and her mom, who is still alive and wonderful at 97. We got to talking about all of the things that have changed since she was born in 1915 and she told us a really funny story about running her father's Model T Ford into the garden because she didn't know how to stop it. Right through a fence and, if it hadn't stopped, it would have gone all the way down the hill into the creek. Thank God for vegetables!

Anyway, Sunday is SAL day for All Hearts Come Home. I took it with me and got Santa's beard filled in on the drive to and from:

As we were driving home, we hit a huge, severe thunderstorm that scared the crap out of me. The lightning was hitting everywhere around us, the trees were whipping around, and the rain was going sideways and coming down hard. All I could do was hold onto my sewing with a death grip and hope the lightning didn't hit the car, since my hubby and my two precious younger kids were in it. And it was my brand new car.

Made it home and then it really started in and we had hail. What the heck is going on with the weather this year? And then we lost the power again. Last time, when the derecho came through, it took eight hours for it to come back and and everyone knows how hot it's been. So, I was afraid it was going to be out with no air conditioning for another night. Justin went and got ice and some milk to keep in it, but I guess that's how you magically get the utilities to work, because by the time he got back, the power had come back. It was only out an hour this time and so I was able to stitch in the reindeer's head and that little ornament you see up by Santa's hat. Not nearly as much stitching as I like to do in a day, but what are you going to do when family obligations and mother nature say you have to take a day off?

I am loving stitching the HAED on the 16 count aida and am so glad I followed Carrie's advice, even though the finished piece will be approximately two by three feet. I will worry about framing costs when I finish it - probably 5-10 years down the road. The coverage is awesome and I can actually see the holes. I can also frog if I need to because the stitches aren't so small and the back isn't so tight.

I will be working on this today because I am really enjoying it now and also maybe doing some finishing work. I need to lace and frame my secret gift.

I also decided that now that I know how to properly finish my sewing, I would redo the Butterfly Angel, so I took her out of the frame and removed my initials and the date because I really hated where I had put them and they were so large. I am going to have to have a frame made for this one because you simply cannot find square frames in our craft stores. Justin told me he thinks I should take out the wording at the bottom and finish it as a square. What do you think?

I'm kind of agreeing with him. I really want the focus to be on the angel. I would love to find a very simple cursive alphabet that I could use to put Juliana's name on the bottom and her birth and death dates, as well as my own initials and the year. Any thoughts on where I could find small cross stitch alphabets?

Since you all have been so awesome in following my blog and leaving me comments, I would love to pay back that kindness. So, I will be going through my old charts that I have finished and doing a giveaway of one of them. Stay tuned for that!

I am supposed to take my son to the DMV for his second shot at his learner's permit and I'm positive he will pass this time because I made him go to the website with me and take the practice tests. But it's still raining here (and the temperature has finally broken by 30 degrees), so I may say we're going to wait until tomorrow because I hate going out in the rain. We'll see if it clears up by this afternoon.

Happy stitching!


July 07, 2012

Huge Update!

I've been extremely busy in the last week and kind of off the radar. I apologize for being so behind on blog reading. I have been very focused on the variety of projects that I have going and, to be honest, it's a little overwhelming because I have my sewing supplies all over the house. There are floss and patterns and magazines stored in our bedroom, finishing supplies in the dining room, and works in progress in the family room. I seriously need my own sewing/craft room!

But, I have actually gotten a lot accomplished in the last week. I managed to finish the Rainbow Bridge, as you know, and got it over to the framer. It should be ready in about two weeks.

Here is what else I've been working on.

I was having a lot of trouble with my HAED and was extremely unhappy with the way it was turning out. I had about a half page done and the stitches weren't laying properly and frogging mistakes was out of the question. I decided to change from the 25 count linen, one over one to 16 count Aida, two over one. I got the fabric yesterday and got it cut to the right size, overcast the edges, and gridded up the first page. Here is where I am right now:

I would say this qualifies as a BAP, wouldn't you? The sheer size of the fabric is almost more than I can comprehend and when I do eventually finish it, the framing will be exorbitant! I will worry about that later, though, like maybe five years from now?

I had an Embroidery Guild meeting on Thursday. Now that I am co-chair of the programs committee, I have to go to the board meetings, so I was over at the retirement home pretty much all day. The board meeting was kind of boring, since I am listening and learning at the moment. But it's fun planning out what we will be doing in the coming months and we are well into next year with our plans.

Here is the project we were working on for Thursday's program:

This is cross stitch in DMC floss on perforated paper. I know it sounds strange if you haven't worked on it before, but it's much thicker than normal paper. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to finish this to make it into an ornament, but I bought some green and red felt yesterday at the craft store, so I suspect I will back it with green felt and do a ribbon around the outside.

I also finished my mystery gift over the last week (the pattern was fairly simple but very pretty) and I have it all pinned up and ready to lace. I have a frame I will be using for it, so it just needs to be laced up and put into the frame and it will be ready to wrap. I promise to post pictures of that project after the gift has been received.

I also began work on the sampler I bought at In Stitches in Alexandria when we went to the annual needlework show at Woodlawn.  Here's where I am now:

I made my start in the middle, since that's how I have always started my projects, but since starting the HAED twice now, I am wondering how many people start in the upper left corner. Any thoughts?

I have the May cottage kitted up and ready to begin and the Princess and the Geisha are still in the works in progress bag that I tote around. I'd really like to get the Geisha finished by the end of August and the Princess done by the end of the year. I guess we'll see how much time I am able to devote to each project.

I've seen several blogs that list goals for the year and I am thinking of setting up a monthly goal list, but am not sure I would stick to it, since I'm not much of a rule follower, even if I set the rules myself. Plus, you never really know what might happen that takes you away from your stitching. For me, stitching is a huge stress reliever and I always turn to it when I am feeling overwhelmed with life.

I think that's it for my update. I will be visiting my mother-in-law with my family tomorrow, so I don't know if I will be able to stitch on my SAL with Carrie and Linda. I will probably do some stitching on that one tonight and Monday so I don't fall behind. Carrie, when you finish Mr. Mittens, if you feel like passing along the pattern, I would love to stitch him to go with our SAL of All Hearts Come Home.

Happy stitching and I hope the weather becomes cooler for all of us!


July 05, 2012

Q Snaps?

Just a short post, as I was at Embroidery Guild all day. I promise updates tomorrow (hopefully!)

I was wondering if someone can point me to the person who sells the Q Snap frames online. The sampler I began on Tuesday is wrinkling terribly and I would like to try using the Q Snap to prevent it from becoming completely ruined by my holding it. I don't like hoops because the creases are so hard to remove.

Also, is anyone besides Carrie stitching an HAED on any fabric other than the 25 count linen with two threads over two? I am going to be switching to a different fabric and doing mine over two, as I am extremely unhappy with the way mine is going on the 25 count.

Thanks to all and happy stitching!