September 29, 2013


Happy Sunday! Today has been busy, but I have a little finish to show you. I started it yesterday, and today it's done! It is "French Country--Scaredy Cats" by JBW Designs. It's from 2010; I ran across it in my stash when I was hunting for a pumpkin pin pillow to work on. (I found one, no picture though until I have some more progress.) I stitched on it yesterday afternoon and evening, and almost finished. This morning I finished up the stitching at the car dealership while I waited for my little car to go through its 15,000 mile check-up. The dealership is a very comfortable place to stitch, with big comfy chairs and all those windows for the showroom. One of the things I appreciate about living in an urban area is that the mega dealer where I purchased my car has service hours from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm, no appointment required. So I took it in at 8 am today and was back on the highway and running errands by 9:30. My next stop was Jo-Ann's, where I selected the polka dot backing fabric, interfacing, the trim and the thread. Those are Gutermann Sew-All thread spools, by the way. I love the fact that they don't tangle and knot. I stitched the design using a 40 count Lakeside remnant leftover from Liz Easdon, using AVAS from my stash (charted for Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works).
It has been a while since I visited a Jo-Ann's, and it was a fun visit. Their supply of craft/stitching/knitting/quilting magazines is huge, and I loaded up. I wandered around, looking at the various fabrics I could use as backing for other ornaments(including a huge supply of Independence Day type fabrics), and lecuring myself about not re-acquiring a fabric stash. Once upon a time, I was a fairly active sewing enthusiast and had a pretty large supply of fabrics which I gave away when I realized that I wasn't an eager home dec sew-er and that I found sewing clothing tiresome. Many of the fabrics at Jo-Ann's, including the fabric I bought, seemed to be fairly good quality.
Then I headed for home, where I measured and cut and fused and stitched, then stuffed the pillow with Poly-fil and finally applied the trim (love the trim). The trim is stitched on. The interfacing didn't fuse to the linen particularly well, but it did lend enough stability that when I stitched the whole packet together, there wasn't any dreaded fraying (remembering my horror as the seams I stitched on some Christmas ornaments frayed right past the stitching) and since those nearly ruined ornaments were due as a gift that weekend, I spent some panicky time fixing them (by using fabric glue to attach them to some black cardboard and then jamming the results into a couple of Christmas tree ornament frames). They turned out fine, but I may never be the same!
Here's the back of the ornament. Now, of course, I'm anxious to stitch and stuff and embellish some more. Jo-Ann's carries a decent number of trims and beads and crystals too. Several years ago I worked in NY City for about 6 months, just down the street from M and J Trimming. At lunch I would browse the button collection and the trims.
By the way, if you get the Pier One Imports little catalogue in the mail, look on the last page for the gold ornament tree. I am thinking of getting one to deck with all the ornaments I'd like to stitch! Here's a link to the online page with the trees.
I've been working on "Christmastide at Holly House" (The Scarlett House) lately also. I love the brickwork in this design.
And of course, I continue working on "Peaceful Paradise."
Juliet/Crafty Green Poet asked last post if poor Elvis had friends now. Yes, he's madly in love with Elizabeth, pictured here. When the former threesome broke up, Pink and Peaches cast Elvis out, and he was beside himself with grief at their rejection. So although we didn't really want another rabbit, we let him choose a new mate when he was boarded at the bunny rescue/sitter, and we came home with Elizabeth. She is quite devoted to him, even though she's standoffish with us. We don't mind, as long as he's happy
I have noticed some wonderful new designs coming out. Am I the only one planning some year-end/new year starts at Thanksgiving, Christmas (the day after Christmas, the day after that, etc.) and New Year's eve and day? That about covers it for me! Tell all! I have a few more large finishes this year and early next year, so I have room in my rotation for a few half a dozen new large starts. More about that next time. Happy week!

September 27, 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

Pink wants to share his pumpkin with Cathey. For Cathey's story, go here. Thank you, Daffycat, for organizing Cathey's Blogiversary.
Cathey, I realized when going through my stash that I didn't have a single stitched pumpkin. Not one. Thanks to you, I will be starting one this weekend. Best wishes, Glenna and the bunnies.

September 15, 2013

Peaceful Paradise(s)

Happy Sunday, all! I have devoted a lot of time to Peaceful Paradise since I last posted. I am hopeful that I can finish it prior to the if-you-want-it-by-Christmas framing deadline at the shop, which is October 26. Actually, I would love to finish it up this month, as there are a couple of things I'd like to finish by the end of the year, and a couple of new large pieces that I'd like to start. I have moved several large pieces out of my project baskets this year. Believe it or not, I have not bought anything new from market; we shop ladies are asked not to storm the spinners and nab all the best charts ahead of the regular customers, so I have been waiting my turn. It is a good thing, because I've had a chance to look everything over and decide what I most want to stitch.
Here's a close-up of the top section; I'm really happy with it. The words are fun and easy; no over-one stitching on this chart.
And the bottom left. This photo is the truest color of the fabric.
As a little palate-cleanser after all that PP stitching, I started Stacy Nash's "Butternut Tavern." I will probably frame it rather than do the pillow, because even on 40 count, it's large-ish--about 7x10 inches.
Here's my start, stitching on Lakeside from my stash (mystery color), using the called-for Gentle Arts threads.
Two weeks ago at Stitch Night, Carol M. presented me with these two fun charts:
And a beautiful hand-stitched fob. I love it--beautifully stitched and finished! Thank you so much, Carol!
It has been very quiet at work lately, so I have had some time to cruise the house listings for New England. Primarily I am looking for historic properties with samplers displayed--as you can imagine, there don't seem to be many sampler lovers out there. So sad! Not even in places like Strawberry Banke, the captains' homes in coastal Maine and Massachusetts, not even the Vineyard and Nantucket. Sadly, even with high-end properties, there's just the same-old same-old of granite and stainless and tile and hardwood and various awful colors of paint. Most of the artwork--if there is any--is pretty bland. Most of it is a yawn; there are very few surprises.
Except for this notable property. It's a beautifully redone home in Sandwich, Mass. Built originally in 1860. It has an Elizabethan formal garden in the back and the front overlooks a lovely New England pond with a working gristmill. Very pleasing. Are you getting a mental picture of what the inside looks like probably?
This is the dining room. I love the painting, although Tom said he thinks it would be disturbing to have to look at bare buttocks during a meal.
The living room. I love the unadorned windows, the furniture and the two paintings. I like especially the placement of the lights; that would work really well for displaying a sampler collection, don't you think?
And this--I love the sculpture. She is a nod to the period of the home, don't you think? If you want to see more photos of this home (I'm picturing my samplers hanging in here--it doesn't matter that the home is contemporary), here's the link:
I ran across this photo when I was searching for one to use; this is when Pink and Elvis were still friends, before they broke up over Peaches' preference for Pink.
Things are pretty peaceful here as well; I have a pot of spaghetti sauce with green peppers and hot Italian sausage bubbling on the stove, the air is dry and cool and the sun's out. I'm about to go out for my evening walk and will come home to supper and an evening with more stitching. Happy week!

September 02, 2013

Not Laboring

Happy Labor Day Monday, all! I'm sad to be going back to work tomorrow, because I have had an excellent time visiting In Stitches, where I picked up framed Liz Easdon and inspected all the new stuff from market, went to a feast at my sister's house and spent my remaining time stitching (and gave the house a quick once-over).
Believe it or not, I have not bought anything new from market yet, although I've got plans to pick up several pieces, probably on Stitch Night this Wednesday. There are a half-dozen new things I'd like to stitch. In the meantime, I put some time in on "Peaceful Paradise" and a couple of other older things that I'll show you when I've made some more progress. I'd like to move several more projects out of the project bags by the end of the year.
Here's a close-up of the section I've been working on.
Liz! I'm so pleased with her!
The frame is exactly like the one I used last on Catharine McNeal, except that had a teal and gold wash. This has just the gold wash over the wood frame. And I dropped off Blessings Be Thine to be framed next.
Pink is a little disappointed that I'm heading back to work tomorrow--I brought home a trunkful of brand-new hay and I spent some extra time with the bunnies. Pink: "Back to the grind."
Happy week, everyone!