Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Peace" by Elizabeth's Designs

This is a free pattern from Elizabeth's Designs. Like I did with the Prairie Schooler Santa, I substituted Rainbow Gallery white Wisper thread when I stiched the little lambs. My photo's a bit overexposed, but they show up nicely in real life.

"Santa and Pear Tree" by Prairie Schooler

This one's from a free pattern I got from the Prairie Schooler site, here. I made one change, which was to use Rainbow Gallery white Wisper thread for his beard and eyebrows. I'll be turning this into an ornament, probably, though it's a bit larger than a normal ornament. I stitched it on 20-count lambswool, so it ended up about 3 1/2 inches square.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Two Wannabee Bears - the butterfly ones - Dale Burdett

These are both squares for a CSFC quilt. Since they used a lot of the same colors, I did two at the same time.

I was supposed to get my fabric from Silkweaver this week so I could start on my Chatelaine piece, but they accidentally sent me someone else's order. So while I'm waiting for the correct fabric to arrive, I think I'm going to inventory the patterns I want to stitch in my Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazines. I've been leafing through them lately, and have found small patterns I want to do for jar lids, medium patterns that can be good for more charity squares, and some nice large ones that might make great projects some day. I also have to get on ebay and fill in some gaps as there are a few issues I don't have, and I'd like to have them all!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Goodies in Today's Mail

After a long day at the office, I came home to not one, but TWO fabulous packages! First, I eagerly tore into the one from Shakespeare's Peddler. This is a fabulous online store! Teresa puts together "___ of the month" packages, and I signed up for two of them. First, I decided to get the "Crabby All Year" kits from Raise the Roof Designs. The first kit has January through March. What a concept - celebrating the things you don't normally celebrate - like taxes! I haven't decided yet whether I'm doing these separately or all on once piece of fabric. I also signed up for the Little House Needlework Designs Fruit Thread Packs. This is a chance for me to build up my stash of overdyed threads. Each month you get a chart for one of the fruit designs, and 5 skeins of Crescent Color threads. So cool!

The second package I opened was from Silkweaver, where I've signed up for the Fabric of the Month Club. They dye their own fabrics, from aida to cashel to lugana and more, and they offer a wide variety of monthly options. I chose the 3 9x13's, and this month they are all in shades of purple. They look blue in the photograph, but they're definitely different purples and are truly lovely. I've also ordered a custom-made piece for my Chatelaine Alpine Seasons mandala, and will show it off when I get it.

Moose from "Wild Wonders" by Something in Common

I stitched this for an international exchange I signed up for on CSRR. In this exchange, you stitch something representative of your country. I asked my partner if she wanted something U.S. patriotic, southwestern, or mountain/rustic (since I live in the moutains), and she chose the latter. The whole design includes bears, trees, an eagle, a squirrel, a goose, and some nice-looking motifs, but I deided to just do this one part of it. It's stitched on 28-count brown linen. I found the mat at JoAnn and the frame at Michael's. My partner's from Mexico, so I'm looking forward to see what she sends me!

"Halloween Night" by Helga Mandl - Finished for Hanging

Here it is, all sewn up and ready for hanging. There's a pocket running across the top of the back, where Dawn (the person I'm sending it to) will insert a small wooden dowel. Then she'll use the black cord I'm sending to hang it. The cloth is a Halloween design - those are small pumpkins. So cute! I wish I sewed, or I'd have done it myself. But at least I stitched the design!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Meme from Mel

Mel of Oh the Drama tagged me the other day for this meme, and I'm just getting around to giving it a try.

ACCENT -none - except when I'm really tired, and then my old Texas twang makes its presence known
CHORE I HATE - all of them!
PETS - We don't have one any more. Pepper was with us fo 14 years.
ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS - computer, camera, treo, ipod
PERFUME - don't wear it; can't stand it
GOLD or SILVER - both
INSOMNIA - only when I drink coffee at night
JOB TITLE - President (really! of our teachers' union)
KIDS - Theresa, 25 & Kenny, 23
PHOBIA - angry parents (of students)
SIBLINGS - 3 sisters, 2 brothers
TIME I WAKE UP - 6:30 except for Fridays, when it's 5:15
UNUSUAL TALENT/SKILL - hmmm - that's my secret!
VEGETABLE - corn on the cob, brussels sprouts
WORST HABIT - interrupting people
X-RAYS - pinkie, foot, chest
MY FAVORITE MEAL - filet mignon, baked potato, chocolate lava cake for dessert

I guess I'll tag anyone who wants to give this a try!

I Just LOVE Exchanges!

I like exchanges, because I get an outlet for my stitching, and get to make things for other people. Then, I also GET things from other people, which doubles the fun! This little Santa ornament was made for me by Brenda A, as part of an ornament exchange on CSRR. Isn't he cute?

Right now I'm working on a piece for another exchange, and it's looking good. It's a moose, with some sampler borders, and I'll show it off when it's finished.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Folk Art Anniversary Sampler" by Gloria D. Moore

This one is now back from the framer's. I really fell in love with that frame the first time I saw it. It matches the burgundy in the text and flowers, and the golden yellow scrollwork picks up the golden yellow in the flowerpots. I chose not to have a mat. One thing that's different from my piece and the original is that I chose not to put the heart cabochons in the stitched hearts. If you're interested in this pattern, it's in the October issue of The Gift of Stitching Magazine.

Now THIS is a hardship assignment!

My son Kenny just got back to Okinawa from a 3 1/2 month assignment to the island of Diego Garcia. Can you imagine having a beach within walking distance of your job and barracks?

Another Charity Square

This little guy is an Ellen Maurer-Stroh design, and it's for the safari-themed quilt on WOCS. He's stitched on 14-count white aida, and took me just one night to finish him.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

"Lavender Garden Mandala" by Martina Weber (Chatelaine Designs)

Finished! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this one was. I plan to start one of Martina's larger mandalas soon, and I know they're pretty intense - so I thought I'd "practice" by doing a smaller one. What I like about this is you look at the pattern while you're working one part of the design, and then you don't have to look at the pattern any more - you just repeat, and use your own stitching as the guide. Even the beads were easy on this one. I'm not sure how well you can see them - there are gold ones in long angled rows in the corners, and then lots of lavender ones interspersed among the lavender Rhodes stitches in the border. Even the Rhodes stitches were easy. I think the gates on each side are really interesting - along with the "pond" in the middle (that's what Martina calls it).

About the frame: this was originally a $4.99 art print at Michael's, which was on sale at 50% off. I removed the glass and the backing; used a piece of quilt batting between the fabric and the backing, and then put the design and backing back in the frame. (I discarded the glass.)

Stitched on 28-count white Zweigert cashel
DMC floss, Kreinik gold #4 braid, Mill Hill beads

SBQ - Question of the Week

I have absolutely no difficulty answering this week's SBQ:

Would you ever stitch one of your BAPs a second time? (This does not
include starting over because of mistakes, bad fabric, etc., rather
stitching something from the first stitch for a second time.)

Absolutely NOT! One of the main reasons I enjoy cross stitching is because I like to see the images reveal themselves as I go. I love the mystery of it - beginning with a chart of symbols, and converting it to a beautiful design - and if the mystery has already been revealed, I have no interest in doing it again. As a matter of fact, I have a BAP that I just can't wait to finish, as the main part of the design is complete and I already know what it looks like. I'm almost bored with it. I have to make myself pick it up and work on it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Just a Hint of Why I Haven't Posted a Lot Lately

I still have a lot of beads to attach, and I figured out from the photograph that I need to go back and do some more backstitching. Anyone want to guess as to what piece and designer this is? I'll be finished tonight, and I'll put it in the frame and take a pic to share.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bead Storage

I was getting tired of all those little plastic Mill Hill bead packages, and wanted a place for all my beads - with room to grow. So, I dashed down to JoAnn and bought several of these:

JoAnn had them on sale, and now all my beads are sorted and identified by number. Yippee! Now I want the container on ebay that has 54 tins in it!