Monday, December 16, 2013

Rocking The Cold and Flu Season and trying to stitch.

I thought it was more than time for an update.
I've found my camera finally but was unable to get the images off of my laptop.
My husband was ill and hospitalized for some time and of course now that he is out I have come down with a cold/flu or whatever it is. It has not been a stellar cold and flu season for me this year. Pneumonia, multiple sore throats, and now this. So much for the personal info, put in more so you will have an idea of why I've posted so little lately.

There was the Secret Santa for one of my stitching groups. I got ambitious and I have to tell you it was coming out even better than I expected. I had pics saved on the laptop of each step. I can easily tell you what it was since it met with disaster and the intended recipient is getting something else. An elegant little needle-book with fancy silver threads and  embroidery in purple satin, some monogramming, and l was letting my inner geek come out to play by doing her initials in Elvin in silver thread. Yeah, the dog ate it. Literally.Oh my.

I'll continue that story after Christmas since I don't want to get into what I did hand make.
Stitching there has been very little of, and much of it hurried.
The Blue and White Sampler has seen a little work.




I faithfully dragged it with me to the hospital every day but I think it only saw stitching 2 of those days.

The only other thing I've really stitched on was a piece from Just Cross Stitch which I'd printed in the vague hope I'd get to it.
Well, I sort of did. I was on hold for an endless amount of time and there was this piece of 14 ct. aida I'd set out that had been part of an abandoned project of my husbands nearby. There has half a skein of black within reach, and so it was begun. I'd forgotten how awfully thin DMC black is or I would have used 3 strands. I am not satisfied with the thinness of the stitching, but here it is, worked on only when I'm waiting for something.
So not the least bit productive lately stitching wise but I have high hopes for next year

Meanwhile I feel icky and I'm going back into hibernation for awhile. Be prepared since I usually come out of down time with a dozen new plans.

Happy stitching this Holiday season and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Updating Soon.

My laptop died and that had all my pics and blog things on it so it will be awhile before I update my blog. I hope to get some new pics and do a new post within a week or so.
Until then Happy Holiday Stitching.
Love Karen

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How Many Shades of Grey? And Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I've pulled out my lovely Mini Soul Mates now that I can stitch again. And I haven't counted how many shades of grey are in it, but there are quite a few.
Here is what it looked like the last time you saw it:




And here is a picture of it since I've been working on it  the past week or so.



I seriously love this chart.

I also have put some stitches in on my Live Love Laugh kit.



This is such a pretty little kit, it just makes me smile. Reason enough to work it!

I've been thinking of a really big project, which is crazy for someone who stitches as slowly as I do, but all the same. I've long held a secret desire to stitch The Sistine Chapel ceiling. There are 3 charts for it that I know of and I've been comparing the HAED version to the Joanna Roberts version. There is a group on Face Book devoted strictly to those stitching the Sistine Chapel so I've been avidly watching their progress. I've yet to come across anyone stitching the Artecy version, so if you know of anyone stitching it let me know.

Of course I've also wanted to stitch at least 2 other charts, both bigger than this, so I could still change my mind.
Meanwhile I'm trying to focus myself on just the charts I already have. They are all much loved and there has been a battle of the charts going on in my efforts to decide which I love the most, and so, which should be stitched on first! Still working on that, plus, with all the back issues of Just Cross Stitch there are a number of patterns I'd love to work. So many lovely things and not a tenth enough time to stitch them all.

Happy Stitching Everyone
Karen

Monday, October 21, 2013

Decisions, Surprises

I haven't had a lot to blog about in that I hurt my neck on my experimental project and couldn't stitch for a bit. I do have a bit to show on that from before I was hurt, but I haven't taken photo's yet. I also got a little done on my Live Love Laugh and haven't taken pics of that yet either.

I am actually sharing a great surprise I got, an RAK from Dana Dragonheart. Don't you just love that name? It was a real surprise on Friday, when I also was working my first day of having changed shifts at work and it just made the whole day feel sort of special. I feel so blessed and thankful.

You see, being a slow stitcher I decided that one of my favorite charts might actually get stitched if I did it as a mini. Day Night was released as a mini back in July of this year and I put it on my wishlist.

I know Heaven and Earth completely re chart when they make a mini so today I am comparing the mock-ups.
Here is the mock up of the original full sized chart at 400 X 563 stitches.
And here is the Mini mock up at 237 X 334:

Quite a big color difference in them! Both are lovely and they use many of the same colors. I'm still comparing floss lists etc. but thought I'd share just to show the differences in a Full sized and a mini. I've seen lots of questions over the months and thought it might be helpful to those wanting to compare. Both are available at Heaven and Earth Designs.
I'll be back soon with a proper stitching update.

Until then Happy Stitching!

Friday, October 4, 2013

After The Frogging

And a new start.

I thought I'd show you my Friday SK SAL Spider Queen after the frogging last Friday and my new stitches today. I've had some pain and doubt I'll be stitching on it again today so it has gone away until next Friday.

The stitching is a bit smoother and I really didn't want to stop but common sense with the amount of pain I was experiencing finally won out. I am a slow stitcher to begin with and working on the frame used to be faster for me but now it is slower. A great deal slower. Hopefully I'll pick up speed as I get used to stitching on a frame and parking again. The half crosses are ok but I am wondering if I shouldn't have gone ahead with the 3 over 1 instead of the 2 over. As you can see I am still missing some colors so there are blank spots.

To celebrate paying off a debt I treated myself by starting this.

It is a sweet little kit and I love the cheerful colors. Also love how quickly the lettering stitches up.

I also put a few stitches into my blue and white sampler, but not a lot and I didn't take a picture. Will have to catch that next time.
It has been another busy week but I'm satisfied I fit some stitching time in when I could.

Until next time
Happy Stitching
Karen

Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Untangled Web

So, one of the less flattering pics I've ever posted is about to be revealed. This is my experiment on 25 count and with half cross stitch. It was coming along on it's SAL Friday and I was feeling OK about it until I realized everything was one stitch off. Then I had to frog. Yuck to frogging, and the smaller the count the bigger the yuck to unpicking it.
So SK Spider Queen after stitching and then unpicking.

Never let it be said I am unwilling to show my boo-boos! Rarely has a stitching blog posted an uglier pic of stitching than this one.

On a brighter note, I also was working on my Blue and White Sampler during the week. This chart is from the Fall 1987 issue of Needlecraft Ideas, A Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I'm pretty happy with the way it is coming along and how easy it is to pick up and put down when you are busy.



Hopefully next week will show more progress on this and on SK the Spider Queen. With any luck she will look a bit more presentable.

Until next time Happy (frogless) Stitching!
Karen


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Test Stitching Experiments and a Small Update.

If you saw my last blog post then you know I am playing with some 25 ct. DMC Magic Guide that was very kindly sent to me by Lesli. I've even tried stitching on a frame and I know I'm not supposed to do that. In the past I've tried going back to a frame and put myself out of stitching for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks because of the pain. But I tried it again for part of the 25 count and will keep trying in all likelihood because for me, my stitching looks much better on a frame.

I'm also experimenting with just plain half cross stitch on this project. Hey, in for a penny in for a pound!

First about the fabric. It is sort of soft but not too much, and sort of nubby, but not too much. I find I like the feel of it and it is easy to stitch, given its count and my eyesight. I can see very little showthrough in my stitching doing 2 over 1 half cross but in the extreme zoom photo's your about to see I definitely see a lot of show through which isn't visible at all to the naked eye. I might try 3 over 1 in the future but I think that would make for some very tight stitching in the confetti areas.

Anywho...



If you click on the photos you can see them in all their glory, the good and the bad. This is the first 750 or so stitches of SK The Spider Queen from Heaven and Earth Designs. I wasn't too sure I'd love working with these colors but I do. The open spaces are threads that I didn't have and that weren't available locally so they will have to wait until I place an order.

The Magic guide throws me off by having the gridding! How dumb is that? I do grid but I grid every 10 block and this is every 20 so I'm having to adjust and it is harder than it sounds. This chart is only 75 stitches wide btw. Some I stitched on frame as I said, and the rest I stitched in hand, all in half cross stitches. Normally I wouldn't mix them up that way but this is a test piece and that is how test stitching goes for me. I'm too slow a stitcher to do big sections of both and then decide.

I plan to try some other 25 ct. fabrics as soon as I can afford them. DMC doesn't sell the magic guide in the US so it would be expensive for me to buy if I get too attached to it. Do you have any recommendations on 25 ct.? I generally prefer natural fabrics.

Now to my other stitching this week.
I continued on with the Blue and White Sampler and actually had some stitching time. Not a lot of it but more than I have been having. I had to frog one little area twice and so drew in some grid lines and that is when I realized the chart itself, when it moves from one page to the next, doesn't have evenly numbered grid lines. They start over on the next page! So I wasn't just being dense but really, who does that?

Here is an update picture.
Last time:




And the progress:

Excuse the wrinkles, but I do stitch in hand.

Happy Stitching until next time my friends!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Feels like Autumn Stitching

A little stitch here, a little stitch there and slowly you start to see progress.
Well, that is the theory anyway.

The weather feels wonderful here right now. Not too cool and not too warm. The puppies are loving it and so am I. This is my favorite time of year I think. I'm not a winter loving girl but I do love the opening show for it.

I have been working stitching into my schedule when I can.
First up is QS Mystic Garden from the HAED BB SAL. Warning! Not a lot of progress but enough to make me feel as if I worked on it.

Before:




And After:



Enough to satisfy for the moment.

I also pulled out my Blue and White Sampler yesterday. You may remember that I mentioned getting this one half way finished many years ago and then it was lost in a move or something so I re-started. And then didn't touch it again for months. Sigh.
So before:
And after:


I really do love this one so hopefully it will see more time in the near future.

The 25 ct. experiments continue and I am trying to give it a good chance with half cross 2 over one. It can be a challenge for eyes that will be 50 years old in two weeks! I was diagnosed with tiny cataracts in both eyes in January of this year so I am pleasantly surprised to be able to work this count at all. I forgot to take a picture of that so next time I will try to remember. There isn't much to see yet anyway. I've gotten so used to counting over blocks it sometimes throws me off a little. How sad is that?

So just for fun I thought I'd show you these. In the picture below you see my first ever needlepoint attempts. Both are from more years ago than I care to think about. These were made when I was in my scale miniatures phase. I do not recommend learning to needlepoint in 1 inch = 1 foot. I only still have them because they were learning pieces and not good enough to actually use (I'd probably use them now though) in a miniature setting.
The dime is for scale.
The little carpet was done on either 22 or 28 mesh, can't remember, and the shell was meant to be the seat for a chair. It was done on either 48 or 58 silk canvas with a beading needle and one strand of floss. Note the distortion from using half cross stitch. I will have to see if I can find one of the mini afghans I crocheted back then, they were adorable, also made with 1strand of embroidery floss.

Well, I'm looking at another hugely busy week and will get back with you all as soon as I have something fun to show.

Happy stitching everyone!





Monday, September 2, 2013

IF I COULD PUT TIME IN A BOTTLE!

I still wouldn't have any, but if someone else figures out how I'd be first in line to buy it.
House projects, puppies, plumbing problems and pneumonia along with a full time job have kept me hopping and given me little to no stitching time. Not enough time for sleeping either! I even multitask when I'm checking facebook!

I did manage a few stitches on Phuan the past 2 Fridays, and by a few I mean maybe 30 to 50 stitches each time. Loved it.

 





I'm contemplating a major project in the next year or so. There is pretty much no way it will ever fit on 18 ct. so I'm experimenting with smaller counts. 28 count is a no go. Lesli sent me a piece of 25 ct. DMC Magic Guide)(Thank you Lesli) and I am playing with it now. It looks better on the frame, what doesn't? but I'm not sure I'll be able to continue on frame because of my neck problems and my in hand stitching with it looks lumpy. On frame is ok with 2 over 1 half crosses  but my tension needs work.

I've been 'sneaking' in a little crochet, just to see if I could. So long as I don't do it for more than 5 minutes at a time it has been ok, anything over that and the pain starts. Knitting is still out of the question.

Pattern sale. I shouldn't have spent the money but I had planned it in advanced that when Simplicity patterns went on sale I'd pick up two of their retro patterns. Ran in yesterday on the way home from the hardware store and picked up these two.




Unfortunately my obsession with maxi dresses ended up in two others, one picked by my DH and one by me.




Can you guess who picked which pattern?

The sewing room/stitching room that was supposed to be set up this weekend is only 1/4 done due to multiple unforeseen  circumstances but I did manage to carve out enough space to sit and stitch so while practicing on the 25ct. I'm starting this, which you may recall was an RAK back in May of this year.



I've been longing to stitch her in any case.

Happy Holiday and Happy stitching 'till next time.
Karen






Monday, August 5, 2013

Eight Weeks Old and a Page Finish!

Puppy dog tails!




Sam
Dean
Gizmo, stealing the big kennel




I thought you could use some cuteness!




In stitching news I finished a page on Fantasy Blue from Tilton Crafts. This is the last page of the first row, which is where I generally prefer to start.
 So yay me! A page finish. There are only 3 shades of blue in this page which really helped it along.



I've tons of work these next few weeks, plus even more tons of stuff to do at home so I'm not certain when my next update will be. I do plan on getting some stitching time in on the SAL for the HAED  Bulletin Board that I am taking part in. Mystic Garden, but I can't promise how much time I will have for stitching.

Happy Stitching Everyone!



Monday, July 29, 2013

New Additions to the Family, and Stitching.

I'd like to introduce two new additions to our little family.


Samantha (Sam) on the left and Dean on the right. They are exactly 7 weeks old today and joined us yesterday. They are already as big as Gizmo and weigh more! I'm sure you'll be seeing more of them in the future.




On the stitching front I've only worked on one project since last time. Fantasy Blue has had my attention when I have found the time and energy to stitch. Not as often as I'd like but I had settled into a bit of routine with it. I know that will be different while the puppies need so much attention but here is the update pic after yesterday.

Other than this life goes along. I have had some health issues slowing me down a little and hope to have those resolved soon. There is work and Gizmo and the new puppies, stitching and spending time with my husband. Life is full and busy. The stitching helps keep me centered. What a great thing it is to have a hobby that is always there to look forward to and enjoy.

Until next time, Happy Stitching everyone!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mysteries Of The Universe, and stitching.

Such as, why is DMC thread so much less expensive in the US than in Europe? or Why does DMC sell Magic Guide in the UK but not in the US? And why have dye lots on the skeins if you don't have dye lots? Things that make you go Hmmm.

Then there are my skirts. Yes, I prefer making them to fit and today I am reminded why. Three ready made (store bought)  skirts that are just me. All were sort of tea length, or what I call cowboy boot length, except one turned out to be a maxi, swoon! All in the same size, two by the same manufacturer. One is tight enough to have been used in medieval torture. The other just right and the third from a different manufacturer a smidge too big.  The just right one is the maxi, so all cool there at least. But huh on ready to wear sizing?

Now to the stitching.
I pulled out one of my all time favorite pieces, Basilisk, and re-kitted it. Yes, I know I said I hadn't the inclination for a something with a lot confetti or colors right now, but apparently my mood changed!  I don't have a new pic because I didn't have about 5 colors. I was going to work on it anyway but naturally three of those five colors were in the first row so I put it aside until I get them. Here is where I was the last time you saw it.








On Friday I was having what I like to call a Karen day. After the past few weeks of dealing with some illness and the new job settling down I was just frazzled out. So when I was off on Friday I didn't run errands or do lots of useful stuff around the house.

I sat on my bottom and made a new start on the only thing I had kitted up.
Fantasy Blue. You may remember that I surprised myself by buying her back in April. Well, I didn't get a lot done, but here is her progress so far.





Probably not the greatest picture ever but a nice little beginning.
She should look like this when she is finished, and is available from Tilton Crafts


I also hung out laundry. lol. I actually enjoy that.

I've been following along on a certain stitch-a-long that I meant to take part in that began in June but I didn't get everything kitted up in time the way I thought I would. You saw those charts in a previous post and if you haven't seen it yet take a look at HAED's Owl in a Poppy Field being stitched over on
http://gizzimomosstitchyplace.blogspot.com/. It is looking fabulous and cute and sweet.

That is all for the moment friends. I hope you guys are enjoying your summer if it is summer for you and enjoying your not so summer Down Under.

Happy Stitching this week!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Quick but Happy Finish

I wasn't expecting to be blogging again so soon, but I couldn't resist a quick update.

I finished this on Saturday:




This was such a quick finish, no where near the 15 hours the magazine suggests. I really enjoyed it, even though I found an error I'd made and left it in there.

I expect to make it into a cushion, though you never know, it may end up framed. I'm really happy with this one.

I'm planning on going watermelon hunting later this week. Who knows, I may try a watermelon milkshake this year! I'm working on the actual day so we will celebrate on Friday.

Happy Holiday this week to those in the USA! I'm wishing everyone a great time this week even if it isn't a holiday for you.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Here In The Real (stitching) World

There are only so many hours in the day.
After being a bit injured I'm able to stitch again this last week or so, but having less time and still working on recovering I realized I just didn't want to work on some huge project with 100 colors. Wow, did I say that?
The smaller projects I've done in recent months have been satisfying my stitching urge without overwhelming me with detail, and I've come to a place to realize that is ok, for the moment. Not that there isn't a part of me that misses and longs for confetti galore, but at the moment I'm really enjoying my lazy stitching and seeing some completions of things for the home.

In that vein when I was able to begin stitching again I didn't pick up anything major. In fact I did a few stitches on my new kit, just to put my hand in. This is the little I've done.






A bit of umbrella, nothing too exciting.

But then last week-end I was able to pick up only my second issue ever of The World of Cross Stitching. You just can't hardly find them here.

It was issue number 201 and I found a little chart I couldn't resist.





Not the best pictures but it is rainy and cloudy so the best I could do.
I'm loving stitching this up all in one color, though I picked a different color of red than that in the magazine.  I can see this as a pillow much like in the magazine, and I may add our names at the bottom, also a suggestion in the magazine that I like.

So I'm busy, and tired a bit 'till I get used to working full time again. It is a good feeling and I'm feeling mostly satisfied with the little bits of stitching I am having time for. I feel like I should feel guilty about all of this but I really don't. It is just too good and relaxing at the moment. Very freeing to change things up.

What about you? Are you enjoying your stitching? Having fun with your present projects, or do you need to shake it up for a little while? Summer brings so much in the way of change and shaking up routine, have you done anything different? Do you want to?

Happy Stitching my friends! Have a great weekend!



Friday, June 21, 2013

First Day of Summer Update!

But not much in the way of stitching!
I hurt my wrist and arm shortly after my last post. It is nothing bad or serious but has taken a little time to start to feel better.
I began my new job full time on Monday and was in training for the two weeks before that so there would have been little stitching anyway. I am happy to say I'm feeling better now and will hopefully have a more interesting update about stitchy things soon.
I plan to work on my new kit that I showed you in my last post. Hopefully I'll do some stitching on the 2013 HAED SAL since I am feeling it needs the attention. I also plan to begin Fantasy Blue. After that we will see. I have too many WIP's and I don't know what will come back.
Meanwhile I've been enjoying everyone's WIP pics on the HAED BB, on Facebook and on their blogs. If you haven't checked out my links you've been missing out!

Happy First Day of Summer!
Karen

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Only a Little Bit of Stitching, and Stash Enhancement!

Wow! Lots of tired after my first full week of 8 hour work days in years (My last job had cut us to 32 hours a week several years before the cut backs). I am in training for my new job so hopefully things will settle down in another 2 weeks. Also still doing home repairs with the DH so crazy busy. But I'm at home, which is my favorite place always so I'm thrilled and happy about it.

The few minutes I have found time to stitch I've put in on the HAED BB(Bulletin Board) SAL(Stitch a Long) piece and in a week I doubt if it has been more than 150 stitches. Still, progress is progress and I'm content enough with it for the moment while life is demanding more of my attention elsewhere.

Today I made the mistake of going into Hobby Lobby since it is right across the street from another store I need to visit. I don't go there often since it is a good 30 minute drive. I bought some 18 ct. aida I've been in terrible need of. And then, as a treat for myself for getting a job and working hard all week DH and I picked out a kit. They were on sale of course, this is me after all! I'll try to find a pic or link for you.

  Here is a pic of the chart from the Design Works website.


She is a pretty little thing and I love the lavenders and blues and soft greens. More importantly it is a kit and I don't have to go and buy a thing, it is all there, which is kind of giving her a lead in the new start category.

The 18 count I bought is for starting Fantasy Blue, when time allows, as it was all kitted up except fabric. Since it is a Tilton Crafts chart I will probably join the SAL they have going on facebook. I think it will be fun and the group there is full of amazing stitchers.

Now the other SAL I really wanted to join this month is for a HAED chart (well, charts actually) I was gifted and would also be with a facebook group. The stitchers there are great and fun to chat with, and it is beyond doubt my favorite group. No, I didn't mention the name of that one. Yes, the home body here actually gets social with the stitchy folk, who are a great bunch of people. That one I now have enough 18 ct. (I used the famous 40% off coupon) to start but it isn't kitted with floss because A. I haven't had the time. B. Haven't had the money really, and C. I haven't decided which one to do yet! I mean, if you saw my last post then you know my dilemma here.

So there you have it, not the most exciting of stitching times but I love my new kit and I'm pretty pleased with myself for managing to get any stitching done this week.


I hope all of you are having lots of stitching time, or at least some fun stash enhancement and day dreaming about stitching!

Happy stitching everyone!

Karen

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Busy As A Whole Hive of Bees plus a little Stitching

Remodeling and rebuilding on the house and now the excitement of finally having begun training for my new job! This has been such a busy time I sometimes feel as if I scarcely have time to think about stitching, much less do any.

But I did manage to finish a small piece during the HAEDless SAL. I do enjoy this stitch along because it helps me to focus on what I need to be doing.

Here are before and after pics of my little kit A Family is a Circle of Love from Dimensions.





Reviewing the kit:
I enjoyed stitching this, even though at the end I realized that the light blue and the dark blue strands provided were off. It appears that the two were mixed up as far as amount goes. I could have written and asked for more of the dark blue to do the writing but I just used the light blue. I could also have pulled some from my stash. It actually shows up much better than in this pic so I'm not bothered by it.
The kit came with everything needed, including the black frame to hang the pic with and a needle. In the future I will remember to check the strands against the supply list before I begin. I almost always do but this was such a small kit I skipped that step and didn't realize until the end that there was too much lt. blue and not enough dk. blue. Other than that it was a fun kit and I like the result. The directions were easy to follow. I will probably hang it in our bathroom if the bathroom is ever finished!

I've received a couple of great charts lately that you haven't seen so I'm going to share pics here. I usually don't mention names because I never think to ask if the person gifting it minds until I'm sitting here typing.
One is SK Spider Queen from HAED.

Isn't she divine? And very hard to resist I might add!

Another is QS Treasure Quest:
 I hadn't thought I would do a Spangler any time soon but he is just so cute!
 Now this next one was a surprise from Prunella Puddlejump:



I have no words to say how Much I want to stitch this one! And there is another, sort of a companion piece that I would love to have as well.

Now this last one may or may not be a new start for me at the end of June as part of a SAL. Owl in a Poppy field. Depends on finances really, and time. But it is a cutie. What do you think?



I may ask if I can stitch the smaller and less expensive to kit up QS Treasure Quest instead, finances allowing of course. But I just love the colors and the owl is captivating.

So, I'm basically saying I have almost no time to stitch at the moment and all of these beauties tempting me on!
I should also note that all of these are Heaven and Earth (HAED) designs and are available here if you are interested in any of them for yourself.

No sewing since I no longer have a sewing space and I'm unsure when I'll be able to set something up again, but I've several pieces I'm looking forward to sewing when I do. There is a dress from the Colette book and I still have that retro pattern and the purple denim waiting for life to settle down again.
Don't you just love having things to look forward to?

Happy stitching until next time.
Karen