Sunday, April 8, 2012

Valentine Lace on Easter

Samplers and Such
February Tin Topper
Valentine Lace

Of all things, I took the above picture with my cell phone.  Turns out just as good as all my other bad pictures.  I did NOT enjoy stitching this at all.  I made a mistake, restarted, made a mistake, restarted, and finally made a mistake and said forget it and kept going.  It turned out fine, it's almost impossible to tell where my mistake is, though I'll always know.  I am one freaking thread off somewhere.  The geometric nature of the pattern was not forgiving and I could barely see on the relatively small coffee-colored evenweave.  

I did however LOVE my first finishing class at my LNS!  I loved spending a couple hours with other stitchers and learning a new technique.  I also think I will be better at Chirstmas ornaments because of this class!  I wish I could show you the cording trick she taught.  You can't tell where my cording ends and begins, it's awesome.  The finished product came out so beautiful that I am actually tempted to stitch another.  <GASP>  Maybe an "easier" pattern?  I say "easier" because by looking at this one, I expected this one to be quick and easy.  The thing is I think my godmother would actually like this design.  I finished the inside with a big cabbage rose pattern.  It looks nice.  I'm making a note I should have taken inside pictures too.  I'd love to make one of these as a RAK for any stitcher I know, the problem is the only other stitcher I really know is my Godmother.

I also finished my nephew's birth sampler (finally) and a small owl ornament, but those pictures will come along another day. I have to figure out if it is possible to block the name in the birth sampler without making it pointless to show a picture.   I reached the point where I could start working on Puppy's (not my nephew's real name) stocking and I am so excited.  

I hope you all had a blessed Easter.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's TUSAL time!

Hooray!  I remembered!

And what's that next to my TUSAL?  Yes!  It is a finished ornament.  My one finish since, well, January.  (another one is right around the corner though).  That ornament is SnowHop by DaffyCat.  I am MUCH happier with my finishing this time.  I used what I could remember of DaffyCat's awesome Step by Step tutorial.  Now I have TWO finished ornaments, which is two more than I had this time last year and I am just as pleased as can be about it.

If you're wondering about what a TUSAL is -- it's a Totally Useless Stitch Along and it's never too late to be useless along with us!  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Understandably Unfinished Update

I did some work on my Oldest UFO this month! 

January 2012 progress close up
8576 Angelic Ornaments by Dimensions C9) 1998
Holly Babes

January 2012 progress
8576 Angelic Ornaments by Dimensions C9) 1998
Holly Babes

I met (and beat) my goal from where I was last month: 

December 2011 progress
8576 Angelic Ornaments by Dimensions C9) 1998
Holly Babes
which was simply to finish back-stitching the little ice-skater angel.  

Here is the thing.  I HATE THIS UFO!!!  I considered quitting.  I said it, you heard it, QUITTING.  I have precious little stitching time and 5 out of 8 ornaments is still 5 ornaments, right?



I didn't have it in me.  One, I enjoy the stitch along and don't really want to quit.  Two, it's no pressure.  I have all year.  So I figured I would just make small small small goals and see how it goes.  This month my goal is just to get the next angel's hair and face done.  Three, I really do LOVE these angelic ornaments.  It is the %$#^&@*(# plastic canvas I hate.  I had no idea a billion years ago when I started it that now in my older years where I type 8 hours a day to make a living plastic canvas would be exhausting.  In my naive days,well, it is what came in the kit. y needle doesn't glide though.  Who knew I got so much joy from a gliding needle?

Speaking of joy -- how's this?

That is Sunshine, Sebastian, and Grandpa's Dog.  Now, you may be wondering a few things.  Like, why am I letting my children play in the water when it is January.  I have a few good reasons.  The dog was doing it.  Children uniformly seem to believe if it is good enough for the dog it is good enough for them.  It was also over 70 here.  The water is in the 50s, cold for us grownups but as warm as some lakes up north ever get.  It's been a rough 2011 and 2012 seems to be slowly better.  This was a joyful afternoon.  Simple joy.  And look at Sebastian (again, not his real name).  Standing in his socks in the rocks in the water.  That child has autism.  This is HUGE HUGE HUGE!  That boy in the rocks in his socks in the river, that boy is one of the two best reasons why I am no quitter.

*&^%$& angels.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Totally Useless . . .

Post? Camera? Stitch-a-long?

Yes!  All three, but especially that last one.

Tonight marks my inaugural post for the Totally Useless Stitch-a-Long.  Don't worry, it's not too late for you to be useless too.  Just follow the link and sign up.

My ORT jar is impressive (for me).

The picture doesn't do it justice since I took it at night in my kitchen, but my jar is gorgeous.  It is a little pitcher and is just precious.  I like having one around.  It gives me a place to stick all those little threads and when it is all fluffed up I feel super productive.  I am going to squash it down and add to it for next month.  This month it includes all my ORTs from finishing the stocking for Sebastian (not his real name).  It also includes ORTs from my first (messed up) Valentine Tin Topper.  I am off one freaking thread somewhere!  The pattern is geometric so there is no fudging it.

It also includes ORTs from my first ornament of the year.

I am not so thrilled with my pictures or how the pillow turned out, but there is a first time for everything and it was my first try.  As you can see (out the window above the angel to the right of the ornament) it was dark when I took the pictures, no natural light).  The stitching itself, I LOVE and I will stitch this ornament again this year.  The 2012 (which you can't really see) and Adore Him I used some floss from I don't know where that is variegated red and green.  It doesn't "feel" like WDW thread it has a coarser texture, but isn't it lovely?  I used the DMC variegated green for the tree itself and buttons for the ornaments and around "adore Him."  The medium gold I used for the star is a bit too light.  I did blend in thread of gold with it though so in real life it sparkles a bit.  Otherwise, I really LOVE this ornament and didn't even go pack it away.  I left it in my sewing basket for inspiration.  As far as finishing, the particular tutorial I used (link omitted to protect those who do it better than I did) had you machine stitch the bottom afterwards.  Today when I was unhappy with mine I searched about other blogs like a stalker and Daffycat uses a ladder stitch.  Duh.

Thanks for reading this useless post!  I've already started stitching Snow Hop by Daffycat so it won't be long before I have a second chance at finishing an ornament.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas is coming , , ,

Inspired by Pam and her super ornament to-do list I am also going to make a list to try to keep myself on task. That said, I ahd no idea where to start.  I thought maybe with the obvious -- my 2011 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.

So, in order of how they appear in the magaizine --
1) Love and Joy -- JBW designs
2) Noel Stamp Ornament -- Jeanette Douglas Designs
3) Yuletide -- Plum Street Samplers
4) Christmas Cat Tree -- Buttercup Designs (this is for my daughter and I am super excited to stitch it for her but a little nervous about the triangle shape)
5) Twinkle -- Courtney Collection
6) Christmas Cardinal -- Gemini Designs (for my Godmother, also super excited)
7) Winter Squirrel -- The Victoria Sampler (for a good friend)
8) Jolly -- Miss Crescent's Crowne (this is actually on the picture page as being named Joy not Jolly)
9) Geometric floral ornament -- M designs

Sharon over at It's Daffycat has several free designs that are on my list::
1) Snow Hop
2) Various Reindeer -- starting with Ribbon Reindeer, I believe

I love My Big Toe Designs, though I have  yet to actually stitch any.  My LNS is actually having a trunk show featuring them in a week.  Who knows what that will add to my to-do list. For now on my Christmas to-do list are two ornaments from their Christmas Pinkies I -- For unto us and Peace, love, joy.  

Also, Plum Street Samplers has a freebie, Adore Him that I actually wanted to do LAST year.  Better late than never.  

By my count that is 14.  So far?  ROFL.  I better get to stitching.  It's a good thing I have joined The 2012 Ornament-A-Month-Challenge SAL.    

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's ToodleDO not Don't Do

Have I mentioned I love Toodledo? It is an online to-do list that you can separate into folders, assign priority levels, and give due dates. Because it is internet based, you can access it from anywhere you have internet, and it has a "slim" design for your phone/iPod/other device.   If you so chose, it will also email you a "hot list."  The hot list is a fantastic way to remind yourself myself of what it is you I forgot to do yesterday!

For example, yesterday was The Oldest UFO day.  I should have posted a picture of the progress of my oldest UFO.  You guessed it, I forgot.

Evalina however is a kinder gentler blogger and is not disqualifying people for gross incompetence forgetfulness.  I get a whole new fresh start this month, so it is only fair to post my starting point.

This is where I was last month:

Be prepared to be amazed.

This is where I am this month:

I know what you are thinking.  Did she work on it?  Surely not.  I did, I promise.

It's hard to tell, I know, but her whole little wing is filled in with the shiny pain to work with beautiful iridescent ribbon.  

I still get a lot of hand fatigue working on this.  The needle is huge, so I am going to try a smaller needle and see if it helps and I can still work on the (sigh) plastic canvas with it.  I also can't find where it says what colors to use for backstitch, though obviously 12 years ago it probably had those directions.  I do have those four angels on top complete though, so I can use them to figure it out.

My goal for next month?  Simply to have this little one's backstitching done as otherwise she is complete.  Then 5/8 angels will be done!

In my defense, I was busy stitching away on my second oldest UFO, Sebastian's stocking, which was completed and hung on the mantle with care and pride right next to his Sissy's.

They do have names -- I have cut them off in the picture on purpose.  I forgot to move the cat's picture before I took a picture, but I hate to put this post off, because I am most surely going to forget again.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's done!

I know, trust me, I am just as surprised as you are.  Except for I did know I had steely determination on my side.  After a mere seven years I have finished the stitching for Sebastian's stocking!  Tomorrow I just have to turn it into an actual stocking.  It had to be washed tonight, you'd be shocked what kind of dirt gets on a piece of stitchery when it takes seven years to stitch it.  

Holly Angel's Friend stocking (Sunset/Dimensions)

Now someone please talk me out of this stocking.  PLEASE!  While it does match very nicely. And it doesn't look too bad . . . I mean never mind that I have a stocking to do for my nephew this year, and they kind of expect it before he is 8; a birth sampler, which it would be great to get done before he is 1; and, and, and . . . 

Isn't it precious?  Wouldn't those three coordinating stockings look great hung on the mantle together?  And I love Christmas mice . . .   Somebody stop me.