January 31, 2010

Going for a Spin

We got about 10 inches of snow here yesterday. We went out early in the storm because I had been too tired to go grocery shopping the night before. Knowing it was extremely slippery, and not wanting to slip backwards, I gunned my car up a hill while making a left-hand turn and wound up doing a 180 in the middle of the road. Wheeee! We made it to the store, got a cartload of stuff and returned home without incident, so I celebrated not going into the ditch with a new start: "Holy Moses." It's a large--or at least a long--design at 128 stitches wide and 575 stitches high. I have decided to do another on-the-fly conversion to GAST and WDW--the colors are so nice, but even nicer with the variegated threads. Here's a floss which is called for in the sky: "Blessed Jess" by Crescent Colours. I love the pink-to-yellow of it. So far a very fun stitch. There's lots and lots of writing on it, so it should go quickly for most stitchers.

I worked on "Wisdom," but didn't make huge progress so I'll show you that next week. Here's my take on the weather with "Winter Welcome." I've made some substitutions to compensate for the darker linen, but I think it's turning out well. I might frog those two snowflakes; I don't like the glittery silver blending filament with the white DMC floss; it's reminiscent of white teeth with silver fillings. I prefer the clear/white blending filament in the snow on the lawn.

Pink: "Check the road conditions carefully and then proceed gingerly."
Elvis: "Right!"

Happy week ahead, all.

January 24, 2010

What's on My Q-Snaps

I am in Vonna's stitching corner when it comes to using Q-snaps. All of my Q-snaps are the same size: 8 inches. I do have one smaller set for small cuts of fabric. I have a larger set that I don't use because it makes my right hand tired. I never had any luck with scroll frames--just didn't work for me. Unlike Vonna, I don't use a piece of felt or fabric between the plastic and my fabric--I don't like the fabric too taut, because I am a sew-er and not a stabber. I haven't found that I've got excessive wear on my threads, although when I'm showing my projects to the owner of my LNS, she goes "eeek!" and tucks the ends of my fabric under the plastic clip (then I take it out when I get home). Anyway, here are a couple of things in my Q-snaps this weekend. I'm calling this project "South Beach": the architecture is not art deco, but the colors are. I'm also on the SB diet--which means I could eat that bird, but not eat the pears hanging on that tree or the black-seeded, mostly unripe strawberries. Because I cannot eat them, I want them, although they're decidedly funky. If the bird is gone next week, it's because I have skewered him for our rotisserie.

Also on my Q-snaps is this little design, LHN's "Winter Welcome." I have a little easel in my foyer that displays SB's Tiny Flag (is that what it's called?), and I've decided it might be nice to have a season-appropriate welcome sampler instead. Then I thought in the obsessive way I do, about finding lots of welcome samplers and stitching them all for my foyer. Welcome, welcome, welcome from all the samplers in my foyer--like stitchy echoes.

And here's my progress. My fabric isn't quite that dark, but I'm taking pictures under a lamp today because of the cruddy weather. I'm using 40 ct Lakeside in Sand Dune, and using some of the called-for GAST threads. Instead of the silver DMC called for, I'm substituting Kreinik blending filament and braid. Instead of DMC colors I've substituted more GAST threads.

Speaking of fabrics, here's a new color I have sampled (in the smallest size--a stitcher's eighth) in Lakeside 40 ct called "Misty Rain." This is a fairly true photo--I'm comparing it to last week's "Wild Rose" Lakeside. It's the perfect light silvery color if you're looking for a light fabric with a slight blue-ish/gray cast but not too much. I can foresee using it for lots of projects, so I'll buy larger cuts later.

The cats are complaining that they're rarely pictured on my blog. This is Shy Tabby, Scratchy and Buckaroo, sleeping on ratty towels on the only one of the three sofas in our house where they are not supposed to sleep. Normally there are four cats here. How do they know? It's a mystery.

And speaking of ratty towels, here's Peaches, busily rearranging her towel. Why? Also a mystery. Rabbits very fussily arrange things and then re-arrange things.

Happy week ahead!

January 17, 2010

Sampler Sunday

School started this week, which has limited my stitching time a bit, although I did make some progress on "Wisdom." For anyone interested in my conversion to silk (it's charted for DMC), I'll be happy to share once I'm through with all the converting--I'm doing it as I go along. Also, since I'm converting from my stash rather than the larger palette available from the LNS, there might be better choices.

Pink went on a little outing last night, leaving little Elvis behind. Elvis doesn't like to run on the hardwood, so he's stuck in the master bedroom with its carpet.
"Pink! Where are you?!"

"Visiting a friend."

"Making note of where I've been."

Home again!

Happy week ahead, all!

January 10, 2010


I've made a little progress this weekend on "Wisdom."

Here are 2 cuts of Lakeside I received recently. The ivory-colored one is Maritime White; the hot-pink one is called Vintage Wild Rose. It's pinker than I realized when I ordered it, but I really like it. Now to find just the project for it.

This is the chart I based my banner photo on. It's "Thistle House" by Ewe & Eye & Friends. I stitched it for a round robin, so I don't have the finished product any more. I changed the design to fit the block I was stitching. The little black bunny was not originally part of the design. It's a Just Nan bunny--she charts bunnies well--and I stitched him in honor of my bunny, the Bunnyman, who had died the previous year at a fine old bunny age of 10.

The Bunnyman (1997-2007), dashing around the dining room right after we moved in. He was blind at that point from cataracts, but he still enjoyed a good run.

Pink says "Happy week ahead, all!"

January 08, 2010

Smitten with Jellybaby, Another Sampling and the Re-enactors' Lament

Thanks to Potentially Nervous, which is the blog devoted to Bells, Nuage and Fats, we have discovered a new star in the firmament--Jellybaby (photo used with permission). Jellybaby is a magician's rabbit, although she is not pulled from any hats, since we're pretty sure she wouldn't stand for it. Read about the magician, Malcolm Russell, who is quite a hoot.

When we are not swooning over other people's rabbits on the 'net, we have been stitching industriously; it's too cold to go out at lunch, for one. I've put some time into "Wisdom," by Vermillion Stitchery. Although I originally kitted it up with the called-for DMC, when I saw how beautiful the colors were on the 40 ct Lakeside Navy Bean, I decided to use silk instead. I'm doing an on-the-fly conversion, using NPI and AVAS from my stash.

This is the Innis House, a small structure caught between the artillery exchange of the advancing Union army and the Confederates in Fredericksburg, Virgina during the battle of First Fredericksburg, December 1862. The house stands today, restored, but with bullet holes left as they were found, as part of the Fredericksburg Battlefield, a national park commemorating one of many battles of the U.S. Civil War fought in this area.

Around here they take their Civil War Reenactments seriously. According to the Free-Lance Star today, a couple of "Union and Confederate cavalry commanders who tussled on the field of battle were found not guilty of assault. The two pressed charges against each other after the September 19, 2009 reenactment of the Battle of Stanardsville." It seems the Confederate commander "claimed his Union counterpart knocked off his hat." He retaliated by firing his revolver, and while there was no bullet, the Union commander suffered facial injuries from the revolver's powder blast, according to a prosecutor. According to Confederate witnesses, the Union commander used archaic slurs such as "blackguard" and "knave" to describe his Confederate counterpart." Hah--since a number of witnesses were called in the trial, I wonder if the sides attended in their respective uniforms. Apparently the Confederate commander used more contemporary expressions than "blackguard" and "knave." Kooky!
Bullet holes, just to remind the two gentlemen that sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you. Photo of interior of house borrowed from "brotherswar.com."

Elvis declares himself smitten with Jellybaby, and he's showing off for her. Notice the wood shavings in his beard. He's been busily chewing on the underside of the box spring frame. He figures if Jellybaby can eat a Christmas tree, he can chew a bed. He considers himself a bit of a magician; one day he will pop up through the mattress!

January 03, 2010

Sampling Samplers

Having kitted up so many projects, I got busy sampling a few after taking down the tree and putting all the stuff away. Begone, Christmas Stuff! It was cold and windy today, so I stayed in and stitched and put my supplies in order. Here's Ice Boating, by Stoney Creek. I'm tarting it up with a heavy-handed (I'll admit) application of Kreinik and Glisson Gloss (Rainbow) threads.

Dazzling! (The sampler purists in the audience are shaking their heads in sorrow at my taste in projects here. That's ok.) Stitched on 34 count Legacy, one DMC (plus shiny strand) over two.

Here we have a terrible picture of a more traditional sampler. The colors are way off; IRL they're much, much nicer. This is "Yellow Birds Sampler" by The Sampler Company.

I'm stitching it using an on-the-fly conversion of GAST and WDW for the recommended DMC, one over two on 40 ct Lakeside in Bittersweet.

Here's an old friend--"Dorothy's Garden," by Hands to Work.

I've been working on this quite a while--I'd love to finish it this year. I worked on the grass this weekend--a bit tedious but pleasant enough, especially since this grass doesn't have frozen blobs of snow on it. I'm using AVAS on 32 count Lakeside, I think.

Elvis says that Pink's butt looks like a big snowball in this photo.

Happy week ahead!

January 01, 2010

Stitching 2010: 2 x 5200, no 310

Remember this guy? Now he has eyes. I sewed on a couple of Mill Hill Beads instead of stitching them. Says Kreinik Krab: "Here's looking at you, kid."

And the whole project--done, done, done. A good start (or end) for the first day of the new year. ("July," by Prairie Schooler, stitched mostly with the recommended DMC fibers, one over two, on 40 ct Legacy (I think). Kreinik added on-the-fly, along with two beads. I'm going to be doing more on-the-fly substitutions--it made it extra fun.)

I am quite unremorseful about my stitching habits, which are messy and undisciplined. I acquire stash and charts willy-nilly, kitting up as I go. Who knows what I might want to do on the second Tuesday in July, when a new start calls to me? Today I had a Michaels 25% percent off coupon, good for the entire order instead of just one item, so I took myself off to Michaels, where I kitted up 8 designs I've been contemplating for New Year's starts. At this point, skeins of DMC at Michaels are 35 cents, and my coupon brought them down to 26 cents. I got 145 skeins of DMC after standing at the rack for ages, kitting up one design after another. (Woe to the guy behind me in line calling to his wife: "Let's get in this line, Honey; she only has one item!" I filled him in on the fact that the cashier would scan each separate skein label for inventory purposes, so he and Honey found a new line.) I noticed the store was sold out of the Christmas red and greens and for some reason, although there were multiple slots for it, there was no 310. Put your hand up if you don't know what color 310 is. Now I can understand being sold out of the Christmas colors, but why a run on black? Fortunately there was plenty of white in all its variations, blanc and 5200.

Here's one of the charts I kitted up: Silver Creek Samplers' "Holy Moses." It's 128 stitches by 575 stitches high, and I'll be using Lakeside 40 ct in buttercream I think. This has been a hard design to see online; here is a shot of the top and bottom of the design, in case you've been wanting a closer look. I'm not 100% sure I'll start it immediately, because I also kitted up LHN's "America," The Sampler Company's "Yellow Birds Sampler," Hillside Samplings' "Hillside School of Handworke," The Cricket Collection's "All Through the House," The Vermillion Stitchery's "The Wisdom Sampler," Carriage House Samplings' "Patchwork Cats," and a 1989 Stoney Creek design called "Ice Boating." I'm going to Kreinik the heck out of Ice Boating, with its starry night sky, snow, ice, evergreens and bright houses. It'd be the perfect Christmas stitch!

Pink: "I can't believe I just heard her talk about stitching for next Christmas."
Elvis: "zzzzzzzzzzz......."