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!


  

August 15, 2012

SAL Update and More

I spent the weekend with my dearest friend, Malea, who is fighting stage IV breast cancer. We had planned a fun weekend of hanging out and stitching, but unfortunately, the cancer intruded again and we logged a bunch of miles traveling back and forth to Kaiser, where she received infusions of antibiotics every 12 hours for an infected port. On Monday, I took her to the Kaiser in Springfield and they removed her port, an excruciating procedure. I can only begin to imagine the pain she went through as I held her hand and cried with her while they worked on her.

Cancer really sucks you guys.

But we did get some stitching done in between medical trips.

Here is my update on the SAL with Carrie and Linda:


I know Carrie is a bit further along than I am, but this should not take too much longer to finish. I am stitching it on 28 count evenweave and really enjoying it. I may put in a few hours on this during the week, as my parents are coming to visit for the weekend and I may or may not get a chance to work on this next Sunday.

I also worked on my Spring Princess:


Her dress is gorgeous, but it's just so much! I will be glad when I get more of this filled in. I have Summer and Autumn to do after Spring is finished, but I may take a good long break before starting another Lavender and Lace project. These are so detailed and time consuming, but they are beautiful when finished.

I also put in quite a few hours on my HAED:


I am very excited that the end of page one is in sight, although I'm not quite sure why, since I will still have 19 pages when I finish this one. I am actually a little further along than the picture shows, as I put in some more time last night after snapping this picture. The round part that is emerging is the moon and it is in metallic Kreinik thread. I am excited to be close to working in the metallic thread, but also concerned about what my snap frame is going to do to the stitches when I need to move it over. Does anyone have any idea whether I will have to take the frame off when that time comes?

I have also been working on my Country Cottages. I am so far behind - still on May and here I just ordered the September pattern!


 I really need to get back to work on this and finish it! I have all of the other patterns, but I think what's happening is that I'm getting kind of sick of them. The designs are basically all the same, so I may have made a commitment to a project that I am now bored with. Oy.


Malea got a PICC line put in yesterday, so she will be able to continue her chemotherapy. We were very concerned that if the port came out, they would have to stop treatment. I am hoping that in October we will have a chance to go away for a real retreat at a local resort nowhere near a Kaiser facility.

This weekend is IHSW again (wow, that came around fast!) and I have signed up, but I have no idea if I will get any time to stitch or not as my parents will be here from South Carolina to visit. My mom is a professional quilter and I am hoping she will bring some sewing of her own so that we can spend some time together with our respective hobbies. She is also going to teach me how to make pie crust, which is something I have just never been able to learn. If I get it, I plan on lots of pies in the next few months!

Happy stitching!


  

August 08, 2012

HAED Is Having a 50% Off Sale!!!

I already have more projects in progress and waiting for me to begin than I could possibly ever finish in my life. But when I heard about the HAED 50% off sale (through August 10th), I just had to go over and see what was what. Do you know they have more than 7,000 patterns???? Talk about brain overload.

Obviously I couldn't look at every pattern, even though I really wanted to. And even though I went ahead and bought four patterns ($20 for FOUR PATTERNS!!!!), I want to go back and see what else I can find.

But, in the interest of not being more overwhelmed and the fact that I am only half through with the first page of my current 20 page HAED, I am going to try to only post what I bought here and then get off the computer. So here are the four patterns I picked:

Faces of Faery 14

Faces of Faery 73

(Someone just finished this design on Stitching my first Heaven and Earth Design. It was beautiful, I thought I would give it a try myself.)

PTP Faery in my Rose Garden

Tiny Treasures Kitten 2
The PTP Faery is one of their tiny designs. It is on 40 count linen, one over one and, if I counted right, has 90 different floss colors. The finished size is supposed to be 6" by 7 1/2". I have no idea if I can do this, but it's definitely a challenge I would love to take on. On the floss usage chart, there are a couple of colors that are tens of thousands of stitches. In a 6" X 7 1/2" space, I'm not exactly how that will work. But, since I have so many projects currently in the works, I may not ever find out.

Have you bought any HAED designs since they went on sale? If you don't have enough stash, I encourage you to head on over to their website and see if there's anything that catches your fancy.


  

August 06, 2012

Updates and Finally Framed!

I was going to wait until I had completely finished this one, but I just had to share how pretty it looks.


This is the combination of two pieces which will eventually be turned into a "biscornu," which is a small, geometrical pillow. We are doing this project for the embroidery guild and we had a choice of two patterns and any colors we liked. Of course, when given the choice, I always go for pink and purple!

The two pieces will match up (had to be extremely careful with my counting) and be sewn together with more of the purples.

Yesterday was my stitch along day with Carrie and I didn't really get settled until around 3:00. I had gone to Gettysburg for the weekend with Justin and finished the biscornu pieces at the hotel on Saturday. I didn't get home until lunchtime yesterday and had promised Jamie a trip to Best Buy. By the time I got settled down to stitch, more than half the day was gone! But, here is my progress.


I'm pretty sure Carrie is quite a bit further along than I am, but hopefully I will catch up. I am spending next weekend with my best friend and we are planning a stitching weekend.

Finally, I picked up my professionally framed angel at Hobby Lobby this afternoon! I wasn't sure at first about the frame I had picked out, but it is growing on me.


I have hung her on the wall in the family room, where I spend the majority of my time. This piece is very special to me and I feel a great deal of emotion when I look at her, so I wanted her to be in a place I could see her all the time. She was stitched in honor of a very special little girl, Juliana LaMonica, who passed away just after she turned three from acute myeloid leukemia. Juliana was an incredibly special, spirited, happy little girl and, when our friends went through losing their daughter, we shared this overwhelming journey with them. She was diagnosed in November of 2009 and died eight months later on July 5, 2010, just days after her third birthday.

If you haven't been over to Vonna's Blog and seen her awesome winnings from the fair, you really should check it out. I can only hope to achieve a small fraction of what Vonna has perfected. I've never seen so many first place and honors ribbons, not to mention a couple of champion ones. She is truly a one of a kind stitcher and I am so inspired by her.

Happy stitching!


  

August 01, 2012

Time for an Update!

I've been doing a lot more sewing than anything else these days. I find that it really helps to keep the anxiety down and that's really important when you have people who are very important in your life who are extremely ill.

So, I thought I would post an update on some of my pieces that I have been working on. I am not sure where I was on these pieces the last time I posted, so I'm not going to do before pictures.

Here is where I am on my Sunday Stitch Along with Carrie:


I've spent a little time on the Celtic Princess, as I have been neglecting her quite badly:


I've put a good bit of work into my HAED, but I still haven't finished the first page. I am getting close to a half a page though, which will be 5,000 stitches. Hard to believe. So many stitches and so much work, but so rewarding in the end!


This is the sampler I bought at In Stitches when I went to the Needlework show back in June. I am a little frustrated with this piece. I started in the middle, which I think was a mistake. All I am doing is house and it's lots and lots of just one color. I think I should have started in the left hand corner so that I could have done some of the smaller portions of it. I really have been wanting to do an alphabet and I am nowhere near that point. Oh well, too late now!


I have one finish to show you, but it isn't mine! Malea finished her piece for her granddaughter and it turned out beautifully indeed.


Tutu is the Hawaiian word for Grandmother. I think it turned out beautifully. Her granddaughter, Amaryanna Renee, was born two weeks early on July 13, 2012. Malea is going to find a frame and then I will finish the piece off with foam core and lacing so that she can send it to her son.

I have all of the pictures in place for the lacing tutorial and I am sorry that I haven't had the time or the energy to get that put together for you. I know I promised it last week, but I am fighting a situational depression right now and the only thing that makes it better is stitching, so I am concentrating on that. I'm not sure when I will get the tutorial up, but Justin will be out of town this weekend, so possibly I will get motivated to get it completed while he is gone. Or I might just sit in my recliner all weekend and do nothing but stitch. Some of my pieces are so large that I feel like I'm making no progress. Luckily, our EGA meeting is tomorrow and we will be working on a small piece that I will be able to finish quickly. I think I need to do a few faster stitches in between all of the large ones.

Happy stitching!