June 25, 2012

A New Finish and a SAL!

I was busy, busy, busy at the beach this week. I finished The Rainbow Bridge and it is waiting in my ever enlarging packet of finishes that need to be "finished." I plan to finish one other gift project (so no pictures until after it's given) and take both to be framed. I also need to get busy "finishing" the things I'm done with, but I need to get some information from a woman at the Guild about the stuff she uses instead of mat board because I want to order a bunch.


I had a second finish while at the beach!

Really pleased with how this one turned out, because I wasn't too thrilled with the green of the cottage. But I think it's a nice contrast to the pink.

I have begun working on my secret gift and it shouldn't take more than a couple of days - I made sure not to get another BAP for this one because I have a very tight deadline on it!

I wanted to save my ORT's while I was stitching at the beach, so I took along a little teeny canning jar from Justin's collection. See if you notice anything special about this.

Yep, those are the seashells that Joey and I collected to bring home!  I am thinking it's time to find a larger glass container for my little threads. Almost all of my shells are a deep purple somewhere on them and I think I found one little piece of sea glass, also purple. What should I do with our shells? We didn't find many - I guess Nags Head doesn't wash up a lot of them or a lot of people had been out collecting before we did.

Carrie and I are ready to start our SAL on All Hearts Come Home.

We are all kitted up and are just waiting on Linda to tell us when she is ready to begin! If you'd like to join the SAL, please let us know and we will add you.

That's about it for today. I did want to share this present I brought home from the beach with you though:

One minute and 16 seconds of the beautiful beach at Nags Head. If you want to bookmark it so you can listen to it on a loop while you sew, feel free and please send me instructions on how to put it on a loop!!!

Happy stitching!


June 21, 2012

IHSW Update

I was going to save this for next week, but I just couldn't wait to share what I did since I got to the beach!

It's done!!!!! It's even initialed and dated.

I spent the drive to the beach sewing and finished it up on Monday. I am so relieved to be able to take this off my "to be finished" list.

I've been trying to decide what to do with this project and I have decided that I am going to have it framed and give it to our veterinarian as a thank you for giving us our newest family member, Charlotte. If I haven't shared our awesome, royal acquisition, I give you Princess Charlotte:

Her parents were the number one (dad in Australia and mom in the United States) show border collies and she was the pick of the litter. She belonged to Kathy's mom until last year, when she passed away from cancer. Kathy had been looking for the perfect home for her and decided we were it. I can't even begin to tell you how much I have bonded with this dog and how much I miss her while we are here at the beach. We are lucky that Kathy wouldn't allow us to leave her in any hands but her own while we are gone but I cannot wait to get back on Saturday and go pick her up. She has become a part of my heart. And I used to be a cat person...

Working on another finish (should wrap it up sometime today as it is pretty hot even on the beach and I prefer to go down in the evenings).

I hope you all had a wonderful IHSW and are staying cool. I see that we are relatively cool compared to most of the rest of the country, so I am grateful for that and air conditioning in beach houses!


June 12, 2012

IHSW - June 15th through 17th

We will be on vacation next week and traveling (burglars beware - we have two very protective dogs protecting the house and an alarm system and a neighbor who works from home next door and another neighbor coming down to take care of the animals, so I think we've got home protection under control), but I really wanted to take part in the next IHSW hosted by Joysze. So I have been stitching constantly for the last week and every minute I have this week.

I will have picture updates from the beach and lots of pics with my mom, who is bringing her sewing machine to do major quilting. Poker, mastermind, reading, sunning, swimming, and general family time is also on the agenda. Work (for Justin) is absolutely not. I am getting him for 10 days with no interruptions from work. In fact, he won't even be turning his phone on. YAY!

So, in this vein, I am going to hold my updates until early next week to see what I have been able to accomplish. I have actually made quite a bit of progress - an almost finished Rainbow Bridge, some progress on my HAED, and begun the March Country Cottage (cottage almost finished already!) so I feel pretty good about the progress I am making.

As usual, though, there are too many projects and not enough stitching time (which would be 28 hours a day if I could!) and I still have too many projects to ever finish and have offered to take over my best friend's gift for her granddaughter, as she is simply too sick from her chemo treatment to finish it. That will be a labor of love for the baby due August 1st.

Please have a wonderful rest of the week. And just so you don't go away empty handed, here is a video of my remarkable frisbee dog, Charlotte.

This little girl is the love of my life!


June 09, 2012

We're Having a Stitch-A-Long!

Carrie from Carrie's Cross Stitch, myself, and Linda at Stitchin' With My Furbabies have decided to do a Diane Arthurs Stitch-A-Long! Here is the pattern we have chosen:

All Hearts Come Home by Diane Arthurs

We would love to have a bunch of people join in this SAL. You can order the pattern, fabric, and embellishments from www.imaginating.com. Carrie informs me that the shop is currently closed, but the orders will be processed on June 18th. That will give us time to get a list together of who wants to join in and get our vacations out of the way (me and Carrie, anyway) and get all of our supplies together.

Please let me or Carrie know if you would like to join in. We'd love to have you! This will be my first stitch-a-long, so I am very excited!


June 08, 2012

Trip to Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Show

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be feeling good and went on the field trip with my embroidery guild to Woodlawn Plantation to see the 49th annual needlework show. It would have been more awesome if I hadn't misplaced my regular prescription glasses before we got out of the bus and had to walk it all with my sunglasses on. Not so much fun seeing it in the dark. Turns out, my glasses had fallen out of my bag in the back of the bus, but I didn't figure it out until I had gotten home. Such a bummer. (After I got home, I finally figured out where they were and called our guild president who had the driver check the bus and sure enough, that's where they were. Luckily, my oldest son works at the retirement home whose bus we borrowed and he ran over there last night and picked them up for me. I think he was grateful for the laundry I did for him the other day.)

The show featured 600 works from stitchers all over Virginia and it truly was awesome, especially set against the background of George Washington's plantation. We weren't allowed to take photos inside, but I thought I would give you a look at the outside.

To say that the show was overwhelming would be an understatement.

After we toured the show, we went to Mt. Vernon to have lunch and then went to a local needlework shop called In Stitches. Since I still hadn't discovered my glasses in the back of the bus, I went in with my prescription sunglasses and it was probably a good thing for my credit card balance that I couldn't see as well as I would have liked. I have never seen so many different designers in one place (every one I had ever heard of and lots that I hadn't), all the different floss manufacturers, and any fabric you might want. It was also overwhelming and we only had an hour to figure out what we wanted and leave and I, of course, was the last one out. Here's what I scored:

I got the fabric and floss for the Christmas ornaments and the Sampler, but threw the Lavender and Lace Santa in my pile at the end, so I will have to order the supplies to kit this one up.

Of course, I am so anxious to get started on what I bought yesterday and new projects are always more compelling than the ones we have already started, but I am determined to finish the Rainbow Bridge before starting anything else. So, I pulled that out and got to work last night to try to finish it:

The more I backstitched on the bridge, the more work I realized I still have to do. There is an entire section under the right side of the bridge and I still need to backstitch the rocks on the left and put in the branches for the trees. I am very hopeful that I can get this one done this weekend and move on to something else. My hand has started acting up again from stitching so relentlessly, so hopefully my brace will enable me to do a hermit weekend. I did promise my middle son a trip to get his hair cut and a trip to the DMV to get his learner's permit, but since he isn't asking, I'm kind of waiting to see if he really wants his learner's, because who actually wants to make a trip to the DMV when they could be stitching at home?

I have five projects that need "finishing" (three of the monthly Country Cottages and two Christmas ornaments) and I hope to get those done before pulling anything else out to work on, but my HAED has been calling to me. It's so hard to figure out what I want to work on! If I do get to the finishing, I promise to take pictures and post up how I learned to finish because I know a lot of people struggle with that.

I probably don't have nearly as many projects waiting for me as many of you do, but to me, I have many more than I usually have. I used to be a one project at a time kind of girl, but then again, I used to also be a follow the pattern exactly kind of girl and a kit kind of girl, so I think I am evolving into a "real" stitcher at last. Too bad it took me almost 48 years to get there!

Happy weekend and happy stitching!


June 06, 2012

Rainbow Bridge, Again, But At Least You Can See the Bridge Now

Have you ever gotten to a point when you realized that you are off by maybe one or two stitches, but you figure oh well, it's okay, I'll just adjust? Well, yeah. That's where I am right now with this one:

It looks good, right? But you see where my thread is right now? I'm trying to figure out if I can recover from completely messing up the stitch count underneath the bridge where the lighter color tan is.

And I have to say that I am both heartily sick of this project and determined to finish it, even though I have no idea what to do with it when I am done. I originally bought it for someone I had gotten close to on the internet, but we don't even talk anymore and, even though we are technically still Facebook "friends," the promised email from a long time ago never came. In fact, it's probably been over two years since we really had a "conversation."

Of course, I am an animal lover and I am sure that I could find a spot for this somewhere, except that I kind of hate it now. And who wants to keep something that they are only finishing because they can't stand the idea of leaving it unfinished?

One thing I have gained from this project is the fact that I think I could have designed those animals to be way cuter. That might be a little conceited and arrogant of me, but it's been in the back of my mind that I am having some trouble finding the charts that I have in mind to stitch. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place, but I really think I could have done a better job with this one if I had any idea how one goes about designing a cross stitch chart. Are there you tube videos for that?

I thought about maybe asking for bids on it, but when you put so much of yourself into your stitching and you know you've got so many hours and so much frustration into a project, it's hard to think about sending it out to someone.

Is it normal to start a project thinking it's really, really gorgeous and you have to stitch it and get almost done with it and think, "Why did I pick this project?"

My question to myself for today is do I want to try to get more work done on this one and see if I can salvage the portion where the stitching is wrong by adjusting what's underneath it or do I really want to work on my HAED, which I haven't touched since I (a) got really sick and (b) decided this one had to be finished or it was going to be nagging at me?

I'm leaning towards trying to finish this one in the next two to three days. I promised my 15 year old that I would take him to get his learner's permit, but he's learned that Mom sometimes makes promises she can't keep because of the fibromyalgia and he always ends up getting what I promised. It sometimes just takes a little longer than he had hoped. One thing I'll say for my kids - they are extremely empathetic to my illness. I guess that comes from living with it their entire lives and seeing me in and out of the hospital and doctor's offices.

What do you do when you know you've messed it up but you've come too far to frog it and start over?


June 04, 2012

Updated Rainbow Bridge and a Huge Thank You

I was hoping that my next Rainbow Bridge update was going to be a finished project, but I was too sick yesterday to do any stitching. You know I don't feel well if I don't feel like stitching!

But, I thought I would show you how far I did get.

The rainbow was frogged and completely redone and I have gotten the left half of the foilage by the bridge done. I hope to make huge progress today.

Also, a huge thanks to my friend, Carrie, at Carrie's Cross Stitch. I received four cross stitch magazines in the mail today and hadn't even gotten through two of them when I found this adorable little pup:

Sam and Peeps by Rebecca Judge and Genny Haines

He looks like a quick stitch and I knew the minute I saw him I was going to stitch him! As soon as I get done with the Rainbow Bridge, I will be kitting this little guy up. There are four more designs that I am thinking I would like to get, but the magazine is from England, so I need to look into how to order them. There are also many, many beautiful designs in the four magazines Carrie sent me, so I can see a lot of new projects on the horizon! (And I haven't even been to the needlework show and In Stitches yet!)

Anyway, I need to get to stitching as I am determined to finish the Rainbow Bridge if it kills me! I have no idea what I will do with it once it is finished, but I'm sure I can think of someone who would like it or someplace to hang it.

Happy stitching!