November 29, 2009

Take Me to the River

I won Sharon, aka Daffycat's 50,000th Visitor Giveaway and look what arrived in the mail this week! She sent me a beautifully stitched and finished ornament--so cute!--and some other fun Christmas and stitchy things--kicked off the Christmas season for me so wonderfully. Thank you, Sharon!

I've been pretty busy during the Thanksgiving holiday since finals are next week and trying to get some things done, so I confined my stitching to one project--Sarah McPhail. Here's where I left off around November 1.

And what I accomplished over the last four days. I finally made it to the river.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Doesn't this piece of sushi look Christmasy with the red and green fish roe?

And speaking of Christmas, look who's the Christmas Bun on Christmas Cards and stamps? Yes, it's Pink, (grouchily) bedecked in Santa finery and featured on a card. The photo was taken by Pink's foster mom/rescuer/president of Bright Eyes Sanctuary, Patti Henningsen. You can purchase Pink's cards or stamps, or items with other buns on them here, and a portion of the proceeds will support the Sanctuary's work with the little rescued buns:

Pink says that he is an incomparably elegant Santa.

Happy week ahead, all!

November 26, 2009

First Annual Rabbits' Thanksgiving

Having heard much about the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, the rabbits were curious. Since Amtrak was full, the rabbits couldn't get to New York, so we tried to recreate the float experience for them at home.
"Hmmm. What is this?" *Thump*

"Look! It's the Thanksgiving Squirrel!"

"This tether thing worries me. It looks a little flimsy. I don't like the way it floats around and bumps into stuff. I'm officially alarmed."

"There's more than one way to skin a cat!"

"Pardon me? What a rude remark!"

When I left the room to get the camera, Elvis was busily chewing on the balloon tether. Before I could return, I heard a volley of thumps from all three rabbits.

When I returned to the room, the Thanksgiving Squirrel had been liberated and was resting politely on the ceiling, and the rabbits had stretched out to enjoy each other's company. They are thankful for each other, and for the Craisins they will enjoy later. And I am thankful for all my friends! Happy Thanksgiving, All! Thank you for stopping by to see us!

Also, our local newspaper had this very sweet and funny story about a local turkey who was supposed to become dinner, but became a family pet instead.

November 22, 2009

Now I Know My ABC's....

Yesterday I went to In Stitches and picked up my framed Alphabetissimo. I love it; they did such a wonderful framing job. (Alphabetissimo, by Papillon Creations, stitched in 2 colors of NPI on 32 count Picture This Plus (don't remember which blue), 2 over 2.)

It's hard to tell from the above photo that there's some blue in the frame; here's a close-up of the frame.

While I was at In Stitches, I picked up all the remaining stuff I needed to do the Prairie-Schooler ABC stitch along. I bought 6 of the charts, the fabric and DMC. If you want to see what the finished project will look like, click here,. Vonna set up a separate blog for the SAL, which also tells you how to join if you're interested. Thanks, Vonna! If you need any of the supplies, you can call In Stitches in Alexandria, Virginia, and they can take care of you; when I was there yesterday, they had all but one of the charts, and they say that the charts take just a few days to get to them generally (assuming they are in stock with their source). The charts are $7.50. The final project, if you're doing all the letters on one piece of fabric will be 646 x 307 stitches. No need to do the whole thing to join; you can just stitch one letter if you prefer--this is a no-sweat/no obligation SAL.

Without further ado, here's the beginning of "A is for Anchor." I'm doing the entire project on one piece of 45 count Graziano linen in ivory, one over two using the recommended DMC.

I didn't forget "Squirrel!" Here he is looking a little frizzled; I had to frog out some stitches and there are some threads hanging off him. Also stitched on 45 count over two using DMC.

Here's Peaches, saying that she thinks my blog post is boring because it doesn't feature enough rabbits. Don't worry, little girl; we'll be back on Thursday with the First Annual Rabbits' Thanksgiving. Let's see what kind of mischief we can get up to. See you then!

Happy week ahead!

November 15, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another

I can't tell you how excited I am that this semester is winding down. This is the big weekend for schoolwork with a research project, interim exam and heavy homework. After this, it pretty much fizzles out except for finals. That's odd, but it's most welcome, because it means I can turn my thoughts to the holidays: at Thanksgiving it's just the two of us this year, and we can actually plan to do something fun that weekend since I won't have to fret over a school assignment. (I'm planning on a Thanksgiving weekend needlework start--see details below).

In spite of everything, I picked up Plymouth Sampler a bit this week:

And started The Squirrel. The designer suggests stitching it over 1 on 40 ct. Instead I'm using 45 ct Legacy Linen from my stash [edited to add: and stitching over 2]. It's hard to photograph because it's so small and my hands have a bit of a caffeine shake.

I was going to start Squirrel at Thanksgiving, but then I saw this at 123stitch. I don't normally stitch Christmas-specific projects (although I'll be working on Christmas at HRH for the next year or so), but I thought this might be fun to try. It's a Mill Hill kit called Winter Wonderland. You can't go wrong with something that has tons of beads AND a white-bunny button! (I also bought the little frame--together they were very affordable!) Speaking of beads and buttons, I picked up the Nora Corbett Christmas Tree kit at In Stitches when I was last there. I concluded it would take me too long to do, so I put it back, but I'm severely tempted...the colors of the CC threads and all the different beads are so much nicer IRL. If you're contemplating it and have only seen it online, go for it! Oh, and speaking of In Stitches, they have sold out of Sarah Salter now.

To show you how one thing leads to another, when I was searching for the picture to show you of the Mill Hill kit, I put "Winter Wonderland" in the search engine, and this picture popped up. I'm a huge Papillon Creations fan, having just finished Alphabetsissimo, and I know their photos don't begin to do the projects justice, so I'm convinced this will be just gorgeous. For one thing, there is the option of doing the little snowflakes in bead clusters. I ordered it from ABCstitch.
So what should I start on Thanksgiving, hmmmmm?

Pink says white-bunny buttons aren't nearly as good as the real thing, and if you lean close to the screen he'll give you a little pink kiss to see you through the week.

Happy week ahead.

November 11, 2009

Cold November Rain

Because today is a government holiday, my commuter bus ran at inconvenient times, and since I had a doctor's appointment in Arlington, I decided to take the day off. Well, of course, my path to Arlington took me past the town where In Stitches sells their goodies, so I had to stop by and see what was new. My pictures aren't all that great, because at 3 p.m. when I took them, it was already sort of getting dark. So here's a commercial photo of Sheepish Designs' Sarah Salter. Don't you dream of stumbling upon a needlework shop that has a bunch of forgotten stuff in a drawer that they put up for sale the day you visit? This is almost as good: original charts, not exactly forgotten, but overlooked by customers because they were on the bottom of the rack perhaps. And for their original price ($5.50), not the inflated ebay prices these designs go for now. Call In Stitches in Alexandria, VA if you want one--they still have a couple left.

Here's my photo. It's charted for AVAS, which I purchased. It's also charted for DMC. I have a nice piece of pinkish 40 ct. Lakeside I've been saving for just such a project.

They had this design, which I'd seen on the 'net. It's tiny and comes with 40 count Lakeside. Note the huge pile of DMC needed to complete it--35 skeins and 1 skein of WDW. I figure the project probably calls for 2-3 stitches in each color. It's done over one. (I'm stitching the squirrel.)

Here's my photo, with floss.

The Plymouth Sampler is working up quickly:

Off I rush to get some stitching in before dinner and homework. Happy day, all!

November 08, 2009

Sing, Sing, Sing

Thank you all for your well wishes during last week's stomach ailment--I'm much better now and tearing around in my usual scatty way. I've given Sarah McP a little vacation because I got tired of looking at all that pink and green and yellow. Plus I wanted to do something a little more Thanksgiving-ish, but without the turkey specifically, since I'll finish the sampler long after that holiday is over (it's in a little over two weeks! Can you believe it?) So I restarted the Plymouth Sampler by Brenda Keyes of the Sampler Company. This is about the 4th time I've started this. I've tried it over one with cotton (too hard to work on), over two with cotton on a couple of different fabrics, and didn't like the effect. Now I'm doing it over two on 40 count Graziano linen (puro lino, it says, stamped in gold on the selvedge; it's a very heavy, luxurious fabric, and it's thick enough to conceal any carrying of threads across the back), with NPI silks from my stash that I'm converting on the fly.

Here's the photo--I'm sure you've probably seen it. I purchased it at the Sampler needlework shop in Plymouth, Mass. a few years ago, literally just down the street from where the Pilgrims landed the second time.

I've been listening to some alternative music lately, and particularly, a song by the White Rabbits called Percussion Gun. It features a pair of drummers. I love good drumming, and they're ok, but nothing like Gene Krupa of Benny Goodman's band. Now that man could drum. (Photo courtesy of The White Rabbits perform in hoodies, rather than suits or dinner jackets....

"I think that the White Rabbits is an excellent name for a band."

I'm off to find some appropriate music to play while mopping floors. Happy week ahead, all!

November 01, 2009

The Apocalyptic Invasion

Yesterday I awoke a 4 a.m., uneasy. Half a second later I realized: Whoa!! Sick! BF has it too: his started just a few hours after mine. So far, we've skipped both versions of the 'flu, either version A or version Swine, which rage on around us at work, on public transportation, in the grocery store line, causing us to consider friends and neighbors as carriers, but this stomach thing has embraced us in its greasy arms. Ugh. It's not completely debilitating, but it certainly is depleting; I was able to stop briefly at the mall yesterday afternoon to do an errand, but I held my breath and scurried past the food court. Why, oh why, put a Wendy's and a Chik fil A across the aisle from each other in an enclosed, badly ventilated space? And I stopped to pick up something I'd ordered at the lighting store across from my LNS, so I dropped in for a quick visit but was too tired to pick up the two cute Christmas designs I briefly considered. One was Just Nan's Christmas ribbons (came with the beads), and the other was a Christmas sheep thing. I didn't need them anyway, but too tired to shop for needlework? Definitely sick.
Just Nan:

Post Halloween, since we still have lots of candy around: when I visted In Stitches last time, they gave me this freebie by The Cricket Collection. This is the finished model in the store, and while you normally stitch the "Kisses" tag, someone at the shop had inserted a paper tag. It's stitched in DMC and Kreinik braid. I love the expression on the little frog's face.

More on Sarah:

Elvis suggests taking to bed with a book; here he's working his way through The Apocalpytic Invasion, which is somehow appropriate.

Happy, healthy week ahead!