Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy, Merry, Jolly Time of Year! A quick update.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Holidays. Christmas and New Year are such fun, exciting, stressful times. I'm hoping you have all had a moment to simply enjoy them.

Stitching, as always, whenever I can.
I took part in the HAED BB sal again this week with Mini Crossing Spirits:

As you can see I changed my mind about working a page at a time and started working across the first row of ten blocks. This was a quick picture I took as I was changing the qsnap, scooting the piece over. I'm probably not going to be working on this for a week or two.
Also, that fake animal print in the background is part of a blanket I made my husband for Christmas. After seeing the one I'd been gifted by my secret santa, he wanted one of his own.
Here is a pic of me all wrapped up in it. And look, I took a pic with my eyes open! Sort of.

Does anyone remember this kit?
 I was having such fun with it back on Halloween of 2013.
While I was posting an update picture here on the blog Dean, who was still a puppy, was busily tearing up the floss card to it. The floss was okay, the card a bunch of little pieces. I'd like to say that he has grown out of this sort of thing, but his paper addiction is still strong.
I shoved it all into a sack to sort out later. Well, it is later. I had a non-stitchy day or two and pulled this out, cleaned up the floss, organized the colors again and made a new card. The light purple is missing but everything else is intact, so I plan to give it some time today and just work on it until the 2015 HAED BB sal starts on Jan. 1. I can't wait to get started on that. Who doesn't love a sal?

What is everyone else working on? Are you preparing for the New Year? New Starts? New Finishes?

Until next time,
Happy stitching everyone.
Karen

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas in.....December?

While I can't believe the year is nearly done, it has, as usual, got me thinking about next year. Traditionally for me December is the month I break rotation and work on whatever I like. Since I haven't had a rotation going that is sort of out, but I'm all about the do what I like part.
I've continued on with Mini Crossing Spirits, slowly working my way across the first row of blocks. Still all the same shades of gray so I didn't take an update pic yet.

Yesterday I also made a small start on  my the stocking my husband chose. I know I said in 2015 but it just seemed right so I went with it. I don't have all the floss yet either, but most. unfortunately the pic came out looking gray when it is actually only 2 lines of a pretty blue. Night and the flash I suppose. Instead I'll post a pic of the magazine it came from. 1990!
This one has a couple of charts I'd always meant to start, namely the collector's plates, but those will have to wait awhile. The stocking on the cover is similar to the one I'll be working for Jason.

Now the really fun stuff. I have opened my secret Santa gifts. The sender gave me permission  (I promise I didn't ask!) and after that there was no resisting it.
I was just blown away. Thank you secret Santa, you went way over the top with this. I've never had so much nice stitching stuff!! The little owl needleminder in the pic above was one of my pressies. I have the pictures I took for my Facebook group for now, but may put up some others later on.
Needle threader, needle minder

One side of the blanket

The other side of the blanket and all my lush presents!

Trying to get a better pic of the beautiful needle minder



I confess I've longed for one of the unique needle minder's from HAED but I never thought I would have one. I wish I could take a photo that would show you the depth and richness of that beautiful handmade needle minder.  It is seeing heavy use. If I remember I will show a pic of the ones I was using. The little cheapie red ones that come three in a pack.
BTW, the blanket color in the bottom pics is much more accurate!
The tea had the whole house smelling lovely but I couldn't drink it, I had a sinus allergy attack from it. Bright side is my husband loved it with a capitol L and so he got a bit of a present out of it too!
The hand dyed fabrics are two large pieces of 18 count aida and a piece of 28 ct. Jobelan. These are my first ever hand-dyed fabrics and I love them. They are almost too pretty to stitch on and I will try to get a pic of them up next time.
I've done some test stitching on the 28 ct. and it looks wonderful one over one, with excellent coverage, but I confess I didn't enjoy stitching that count very much. I will be giving it another go later, and also trying it over 2.
I've never felt so spoiled and special as when I opened those packages. I feel so elegant and ladylike at my stand now, stitching away surrounded by all the loveliness.

I hope you are all enjoying a bit of Christmas stitching adventure.
Happy Stitching!
Karen


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Futility Of Resistance....

I won't quibble about it.
Nikki sent me this:
Wolf, girl, black and white, just an all around perfect chart for me.It is titled Mini Crossing Spirits by Nielsen.
I found fabric, I had all of the floss colors but 3.
I felt virtuous for deciding it would be my Christmas new start.
Yeah, I caved and started it yesterday.
My only explanation? I was off work and home alone.

I had a twinge of guilt after announcing I was only having two new starts in the first 6 months of 2015. then I realized it wasn't 2015 yet, I could have a start every day if I liked. Yes, stitchy thinking, totally self involved. lol.
The chart is available here.
Here is my first progress. There are 4 or 5 shades of gray (grey to our UK and Aussi friends) and a bit of black, though it is hard to tell from this photo. Also I started in the upper left, I don't know why, it was an accident, I much prefer the upper right. No matter, I'll just go with it. And btw, this picture is terrible. It looks perfectly fine in real life, I promise!
I've filled in the blank spots since this pic and done a little more but you get the idea.
Before that I worked on both Anal Nathrach and one of the Christmas ornaments.
The ornament, which I put away after deciding to do the back stitch as I go along. I'll pick it back up soon but I hate back stitch.
That isn't all of the cross stitching for this section, I went back and added some more but I'm too lazy to go pull it out for a picture with so little more to show.

Anal Nathrach, yes, I am the world's slowest stitcher.
Still on my first page, which is the center page of the chart. I'm sort of wishing I'd started in one of the corners, mainly because I can't decide which direction I want to stitch in.

Lastly, Mini The Black got fixed up and it only took a short time. I will post an update pic at a later time, because for some reason it won't load for me right now!

Until next time
Happy stitching my friends!





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving, Making Plans, and Stitching

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it. I hope you are having/have had a lovely day.
Ours has been quiet but enjoyable. I'm sleepy but I need to stay awake, it is only 7pm! A perfect time to catch up this blog.
I've had a problem with my right shoulder/upper arm for about 6 weeks-2months, it has not affected my stitching at all but then I pulled something in my right upper back shoulder area and wasn't able to stitch for about a week. It is better now but I'm still not stitching as much, just sort of building back up to it.
I also changed my hours at work and I'm loving it by it does take a lot more out of me and impact my stitching time, so I'm still working that out.
But enough prelude.
I manged a bit more on Mini The Black, but found an error on a previously stitched section. It doesn't look to be too bad but I've been procrastinating fixing it for a week or two. I won't post the progress since it was minimal.
Mini Cheshire Cat saw some progress though. I do love working on this one.
It is only another row of 10 down, but I'm pleased to have progress to show.
I had intended to give the lions share of my time to the first page of Anal Nathrach, but it didn't work out that way. I've gone full circle on it and worked my way back to the upper right so that I can work across from right to left, which I find is more comfortable for me.
As you can see I've tried different methods and the left to right is the one I've decided on. I do love the colors in this one.

My secret Santa gift was put in the mail this week. I got the gift from my SS a couple of days ago and it is a whopping big box, can't wait to get in there and see what goodies await me!
I decided to wait until Thanksgiving was over to work on my Christmas ornament kit. I just wanted to do one holiday at a time!
I'm already busily making plans for next year's stitching.
I've joined a SAL that will start in January and my DH has finally picked a stocking pattern, so I'll work on that throughout 2015 and hopefully have that finished by next Christmas.
I've been thinking hard about my 2015 stitching, if you read this blog you already know that I've tried several rotation ideas, with only one of them being really successful. I'm not sure I want to go that route again.
There are a number of kits I have that I want to do, and most are already started, so I'm tentatively planning to give them at least one week a month. I want to work on the sal and start my husbands stocking, those are the only two new starts I'm planning for the first 3 months of next year.
Not only because funds for fabric is limited, but because I want to make a little progress on some of my wips. And frankly, I have too many beautiful charts to choose from and am feeling too indecisive to decide on one.
There is a dark horse in the running, so to speak, for a new start next year. I've been longing to work either a sampler type or a blackwork(I only learned it this year, see my first try here) piece, contingent on finding the right fabric. That will have to wait though, until I can afford something nice to work it on.
It just isn't possible to stitch all of the lovely charts I'd like to stitch, so I'm hoping to be practical and work through some of what I've started before I plunge into anything other than those I've already mentioned.
What about you? Have you begun making plans for 2015? Are you hankering to try something new, have tons of new starts, work towards what you've already got going? I love seeing what others are working on and hearing about their plans. It is very inspiring sometimes to just look at what others are doing and share their excitement.
Until next time, Happy Stitching!
Karen


Monday, November 3, 2014

Progress, Problems and Winter

It seems like a good time to show you my progress.
First is Mini The Black. I am stitching this one between calls late at night when I am working, so I only am stitching the black for now to cut down on confusion. The goal is 100 stitches per work night and I usually make that, though there has been 2 or 3 times when I didn't. It seems to work out though because on a Holiday I worked I got in closer to 300. Anywho, as of 11/01/2014:
A nice bit of progress, now 9.5% worked, so very pleased here.

I also spent some quality time with Mini Cheshire Cat. First with the HAED BB SAL, then continued on with it for a Halloween SAL with my Facebook stitchy friends.
I am falling so in love with this piece again.
It happens every time with a black and white piece.
Oh! I forgot to tell you about the QSnaps! I tried them about a month ago and fell in love. I also love that I can sew huggies/grime guards for them, it just makes it more fun for me.
It was great. I was lucky enough to have just enough money left from another purchase to get these(11X17) at 123Stitch. I loved them instantly but wanted to extend the size for some of my larger projects. My great job sent me a 10 dollar gift the very next day and I applied it to ordering the 3 inch expansions. I want to get an 8" by 8" for smaller things. Just love them.

I got a little holiday happy and decided to begin my Dimensions Christmas Village Ornaments kit. Here is a link to an example of it on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Dimensions-Needlecrafts-Counted-Christmas-Ornaments/dp/B000W5I4OM/ref=sr_1_3?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1415011228&sr=1-3&keywords=dimensions+christmas+cross+stitch
Here is also where the problem came in. The kit is well put together and the floss separated, but the cloth was so tight I could hardly stitch on it! Not too stiff mind you, but the holes too small for the 4 thread half stitches and the 3 thread half stitches. I was in real pain after only 30 minutes of stitching, and had to use a rubber disc to get the needle through the fabric for every stitch.

Dear Lesli took pity on me and sent me a great piece of 18 count to replace it. Thanks Lesli! It was stitching up just lovely when I realized I was one row off and had to frog lots, so no picture today.

The other problem, some creep got our debit information and made 3 withdrawals so we are spending the weekend even more broke than we would have been. Life happens, I just wish it would happen when we weren't already cutting things so close.

The cold weather seems to have arrived with Halloween. I do not like winter. I want to hibernate!

Anal Nathrach is hopefully going to be worked on this week, along with those ornaments, so hopefully there will be progress to be shown next time.

Happy Stitching Everyone
Karen



Friday, October 10, 2014

A New Floor Stand and Way too much Stitchy Goodness (Picture Heavy Post Here)

Well, I've let the time slide by since my last blog update. I've been working and then there is life in general, but fear not, there is lots of stitchy excitement going on around here.
First up, for my birthday in September my husband made me a floor stand. He looked at the two I've had in the past that were pretty much unusable for any large projects, watched some you tube video's of what others have made, and just studied stands in general. He popped this together really quickly, and while he complains that it isn't nice enough, that he will make another, that he is no carpenter....you get the idea. The stand is fabulous and works like a dream! Silly man. I can fit my largest frame on there with no hint of instability or tipping. Love, love, love it.
I added the butterfly's, and later he added a couple of hooks. It has seen heavy use already and is just wonderful to use.
But that was not the end of the birthday fun!
A big thank you to Christy for gifting me QS Winter Rose, a Heaven and Earth Designs chart. I have had the full sized chart on and off my wish list and when the QS came out it was love at first sight. The artwork is by Kinuko Y. Craft. I loved the book that this was used as the cover illustration on and just knew I had to have it when it came out in a QS!
Isn't she a gorgeous beauty? Don't you just love the owl and the rose and the way the branches are growing and part of her gown?
Now, unless you have been hibernating under a rock, or don't shop Heaven and Earth Designs patterns, you have probably heard that Nene Thomas charts will no longer be available after October 15. The artist has her reasons I'm sure, and when there was trouble with the HAED website she graciously extended that time to the 15th so all of her fans would have a chance to buy up their favorites. There was a sale on at the time and I think the site got overwhelmed with people trying to get her charts.

When the fuss died down I went on to the site and sneaked a couple of charts onto my wishlist, I wanted to consider which one I would buy. Funds were low so it would only be one and this required thought. But we took Sam to the vet(which my lovely friends did not know) and I made the decision not to buy any of them. Then the mad enablers from my favorite Facebook group got involved! The word Doom comes to mind for some reason.
Nikki began the morning by gifting me Astranaithes. Yes, the full sized, not the mini, which I had put on my wish list. It has been on there before and taken off, and put on, and taken off....You get the idea. Nikki was so sweet and thoughtful, she even thought to send me the large print version! My goodness, I love this chart!
I was knocked out, and bubbling over with enthusiasm I think. I'm almost embarrassed now to remember it, but I have loved this one for a long time and they are stitchers in that group, so they get it.
But then:
and:

Ashleigh had to do it! You can probably see why I fell in love with these two. QS Emerald Hawthorne actually came minutes after QS Whispers, I don't know why the pics are reversed, but I can work with that. She has the murky sky like background, the gorgeous lace sleeves, the roses, the amazing peacock, and all in the most amazing colors! QS Whispers has it all in another way, subtle and subdued, the wings, the gorgeous dress, the misty background. Ashleigh, Queen of enablers, thank you so very much.
Both also in large print!
The thoughtfulness that went into these lovely gifts had me all teared up. It is lovely to know that a friend is thinking of you, that they went to the trouble to find your favorite charts and took the care to send them large format because your vision has changed and it will help you.
I'm sorry, did you think I was finished?
Having been the recipient of such bounty I confessed in our little group that I'd decided not to by a chart at all, due to the vet and just not having the money to spend. I only mentioned it as I was thanking them for their lovely gifts, so that they would know their thoughtfulness had even more meaning for me than they might have otherwise done.
So Angela and Charlie the cocker spaniel sent me Mini Wings in repose. It seems Charlie has had a lot of vet visits lately too, and his Mom sent me this in harmony. Many thanks to Angela and Charlie, I hope you continue to feel better Charlie!
This is one of those charts that sneak up on you. I liked it the first time I saw it, and each time I see it I like it more. The classic misty background, the lovely bird and it's reflection on the water, the foliage and branches all around and the lights. It is just a beautiful subtle piece of art  both still and full of motion.
Hmm, I should update with a wip picture. Here is Mini the Black, still only seeing bits of work when I am able, and still only working the black for the moment.
I've nearly finished the page of black! Very excited about that.
I'll update Anal Nathrach and whatever else I am working on next time.
I've been doing the HAED BB SAL's again the past 2 or 3 weeks and I find it very motivating.
Until next time
Happy Stitching
Karen









Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Start Goodness and an Update

Well, to tell the truth and shame the devil it is a re-start of the first big Heaven and Earth chart I ever bought. The bright and beautiful Anal Nathrach. I had a lot of problems with this one and finally just put it down. Wrong fabric and the wrong stitch was definitely part of the ugliness.
Here is a pic of the chart:





I love fantasy art and this one is so super bright and cheerful it outdoes itself.
So, re-start on 18ct. aida 2 over 1. I was so going to order the kit with 25 ct. but due to recent problems with eye sight I decided 18ct was more practical. And it was a hefty amount cheaper to kit it up myself at 123Stitch. Enough so that I'm going to give the Secret Santa thing a try again this year after all. I'd thought I wouldn't be able to afford it. What a treat, but more on that later.

Mail delivery goodness:
And new start porn:

The first 101 stitches:

The setup, for now:
As you can see I am experimenting with leaving the needles on my parking. I stopped at Wally World and bought a pack of button magnets to keep them on. We will see how that works out. I'm a little nervous about them since Dean ate a pack of cigarettes one week and a watch battery the next. Expensive snacking on his part and these aren't that big and look sort of treat sized.
My stitching speed has been reduced to probably a quarter of what it was and I'm hoping this method will help pick it back up a little. I'll let you know when I know.

Meanwhile, my late night between calls project, Mini The Black, of which I am only working the black right now, is coming along nicely.




I hope everyone is enjoying their stitching as much as I am.
Happy stitching my friends.
Karen

Friday, September 5, 2014

A little of this and a little of that and a (2) new starts

I've been busy, busy, busy.
And I've barely left the house!
I've been stitching Mini Soul Mates. I really need to give this project more time. I was bad and decided to start stitching down the middle page in hopes I'd eventually get to something more interesting. Time will tell. 3 over 1 on 14 ct. aida.
Inspired by Marti, who will be stitching a chart only during the holidays, adding to it each year, I decided to start something for those late nights at work when I sometimes have 10 or 15 minutes between calls.
So, yes, a new start. My goal is to try to get 100 stitches a night in on this on the nights when I have slow times. I've been pleasantly surprised with the progress. I introduce you to Mini The Black, an RAK for my birthday from Teresa back in 2012. I had meant to start him long before now.  2 over 1 on 18 ct. aida.
I will try to remember to update you regularly, though at the moment I haven't technically kitted this up, I'm only working the black bits, of which there are a lot!
Both of these are HAED charts btw.

The other piece I started is a gift for someone so I won't be posting about it for some time to come.
In sewing news I finally got the energy up to try one of those tank top dresses. I had an almost new tank that I'd stained near the bottom and was about to toss out so I pulled out some old fabric from the stash and the elastic thread I bought to play with. It worked up in a flash and made a great maxi. I'd run take a pic for you but I'm wearing it right now. Next time I will make fewer gathers, or maybe do pleats, and it definitely needs a belt of some sort. Not the most flattering garment if you are wide around the waist, but I just threw it together to see if I could. It is uber comfy. I could live in these for the rest of my life, it feels so good. Here is a link to the blog with the tutorial I (mostly) followed. http://asmallsnippet.com/2011/09/wanna-make-dress.html

That is about everything for this time.
Happy Stitching this weekend!

Monday, August 18, 2014

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back; I won a chart!

Or that is what it feels like.
I was sure that I'd have posted 3 or 4 times since my last post on July 16, but life stepped in and slowed me to something less than a crawl.
Let me explain.
I'd had that post planned and went ahead and posted it, even though at the time I'd already had the 'injury' that was slowing me down. I thought the symptoms would pass with time and I'd get on with things.
Well, they haven't, but I am getting on with things.
I'd taken a fall in my hallway and was having some pretty nasty symptoms, I won't describe all of them, just the ones that were majorly affecting my stitching and crafting.
1. Extreme sensitivity to light. (As in, my bright stitching light)
2. Massive headache that would not go away and would only go down to a dull headache with meds.
3. The occasional bout of blurred vision that made seeing stitches and symbols impossible.
There are a host of other symptoms but I these are the ones that most affected my ability to stitch. Oh, and yes, I did finally go to the doctor after some badgering from my husband. It appears I had a concussion. I admit to being alarmed when he sent me straight to the hospital for a stat Cat Scan and then to a neurologist.
But that isn't what I'm posting about today, but merely an explanation of what happened so you can all get the idea of how things have been and so you will understand the following about coping with it.
First, meds for the headache have helped.

Coping:
At first I didn't stitch at all, then I started a needlepoint kit I had in the stash (bigger holes and little counting).
But it wasn't satisfying. I need my stitch therapy!
1. I've learned to adjust my stitching light in such a way that I find it bearable for short periods of time.
2. Use the Nook or Kindle, with EZPDF reader. I can highlight the symbol I'm stitching so I don't forget which one I was stitching if I have a flaring head pain or headache, or have to stop a moment for blurred vision.
3. Use the same ezPDF reader to view my symbols enlarged when said problems make it difficult to see them on my floss key or chart.
4. Shortly I will be adding an enlarged version of the symbols to my floss bags for each project. Just have to get my handy dandy printer hooked up. (First have to find the hand dandy power cord. lol).
5. Stitch only one project for a little while so I don't feel so overwhelmed.
6. Accept that my already slow stitching is going to be even slower.
7. Minimize distractions during stitching time. Dogs, movies, music etc.
8. Don't travel or cross country stitch, a head ache just makes me that much more likely to make an error.
9. When having blurred vision only work on something like 14 ct. The one project I chose above is 14 ct. aida, 3 over 1. Mini Soul Mates.
10. Count it as many times as I deem necessary if I'm just feeling like maybe I didn't count right the first time.
So far these are my solutions. Suggestions are extremely welcome. I am not looking to re-invent the wheel here.
And the chart I won? Jo did a little contest on her anniversary and I was lucky enough to win! I was able to have my pick of a HAED chart and chose mini The Ghost. I love that chart, and it isn't huge so it should be do-able, even if I am slow. Here is the link and a picture. Mini The Ghost .

Isn't she divine?

Until next time, Happy Stitching Everyone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And Sew On, and sew on, and sew on

As everyday life goes along with all of its little joys and struggles I've rediscovered the simple pleasure and relief from stress I get simply from stitching. Sometimes lately I have a little too much on my mind, and end up having to frog, but even that is a comforting part of stitching, familiar after all these years.
Recently I've put some time into two projects. The first is mostly blue stitches, but yay, now I am having different shades of blue. I am talking about All Dogs Go To Heaven, from Heaven and Earth Designs.
The last time you saw it:




And as it is now:



See those red threads? I had lost count and grabbed some floss to put in a  temporary grid. I'll pull them back out pretty quickly and try to find something else to grid with now that I will no longer use the quilting pen.

Second up is one I haven't worked in a little while. I finished the first page of I Am Half Sick of Shadows, a Golden Kite pattern. This was my third restart and I can't think why I put it down. I am missing a few colors now but am enjoying it again.
Before:
And After:

  
 
So not a huge amount of progress, but a pleasure to be stitching on her none the less. I have picked up a few of the colors I need and have a only a few more to get, hopefully soon, but I'm not sure when it will be.

Just for the fun of comparison, both of these are being stitched on 14 ct. aida. The first is traditional 2 strands over one, the second is 3 strands over.



Until next time, happy stitching my friends.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stitching and a Movie: Serenity

If you've known me for very long then you know I am a Josh Whedon fan. I've loved almost everything he has done, so it shouldn't be any surprise that I'm reviewing Serenity.
Believe it or not I've only seen this movie once before.
Serenity: **
Stitching rating, even having seen it once before is only**. In my backwards rating system this makes it a good movie to watch, but not so great for stitching to. I looked up from my stitching, a lot.
If you were a fan of the series Firefly you won't be disappointed in this movie. Since I don't want to give up any of the plot in case you haven't seen it I'll just say that I found the movie satisfying in tying up loose ends, if a little sad in places, for those familiar with the series. All of your old favorite characters are there.
I stitched on Dragon of The Clouds, which I started a little while back and put aside, so there is no before picture, just an after.
Dragon of the Clouds:

I must have gotten used to these specialty threads because the gold Kreinik didn't bother me one bit. The black fabric is getting more difficult to see year by year but is still a pleasure. Please excuse the dog hairs, I hadn't rolled it yet when I took the picture and my stitching companion is blowing fur at the moment, thanks in part to our late start to summer here.

It has been nearly 2 weeks since I watched the movie, so I'm a bit behind on my posting. I'll have a post of my other stitching up soon.

Until then, a quote from one of the Firefly episodes.

"Harken: Seems odd you'd name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.
Mal: May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Shiny!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Minimal Stitching

But at least it is something!
Here is an update on All Dog's Go To Heaven from Heaven and Earth Designs.




Yep, more blue. Not the most exciting thing to look at, but hey, my blue is growing.

Warning: See that quilting pen I was  gridding with? One of my kits I used that on last year has suddenly had those lines re-appear! I will never use it again. You can see that piece before it was washed and the lines gone, on the Finishes tab for 2013. I'm going to wash it again in a few minutes and hope for the best. I was really upset about this since I've used it before with no problems.

And second up is progress on Mini Cheshire Cat. It is also a Heaven and Earth design. It was RAK'd to me over a year ago and I am enjoying the black and white so much, even though you can't tell a thing yet since I haven't gotten very far. I remember my absolute delight when I put down QS Dragon Soul one day and realized I had stitched a thumb. I couldn't even tell until I was done stitching for the day and was seeing it from a distance.
Anywho:
It doesn't look like much progress, but then I've had very little time for stitching so I'm pretty pleased.

I am finally beginning to get caught up on my blog reading. It is so much fun reading about what others are doing and really inspiring to see all the pics. There are a number of blogs I visit that aren't listed on the sidebar yet and I really need to take the time to get them on there. Hopefully that will be soon.

I am hoping to get some quality stitching time in tonight. I have an actual night off! So I am going to get some housework done and then we will see.

Happy Stitching!



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stitching And A Movie: Devils' Knot

I have watched this and 2 documentaries. I'll let you know about the documentaries another time.
I finished my mini quilt and put some time into All dogs go to heaven.

Devils' Knot:

Stitchability *****

That isn't necessarily a good thing.
I won't rehash the details of the crime, there is plenty of information available out there. I was really looking forward to seeing this but:
This was a boring movie, so a high stitchability rate. It would seem impossible to make a boring movie about the crime of murdering 3 small boys, a satanic cult scare and 3 teenage boys being accused of the crime, but somehow it was done
This happened just across the river in West Memphis, so there has always been a lot of interest in this crime locally. The scenery was really good in the movie, in fact the whole movie was beautiful.
Reese Witherspoon did a great job as the mother of one of the murdered children. She even managed to nail the accent. Colin Firth was believable as well, as an investigator working pro-bono for the West Memphis Three, as the accused boys became known.
 Overall, no new ground is covered here. The movie totally failed to capture the drama, the intensity or the atmosphere of the time and events. James Hamrick was never able to quite capture the quiet intensity of the real life Damien Echols.
I can't recommend it unless you are interested in the case and/or have some time to stitch and just want something to listen to as you stitch.
All Dogs Go To Heaven Before:
And after:

I've done a few more stitches on it since then.

My picture of the Irish Chain cross stitch won't load for some reason. I'll try again later or take another picture.

Until then, Happy Stitching!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stitching and a Movie: Abondoned Mine

Yep, I actually managed to squeeze it in.
I chose a movie on Netflix and sat down with Mini Cheshire Cat.
I'd actually kitted it up over a year ago and started it with only a few stitches on April 3. Of 2013! I never got back to it and decided it needed some love.
I'm glad I picked a black and white project. It sort of went with the movie.
I'm rating the movie by the stitchability factor.

 Abandoned Mine.

 A bunch of teens/young adults get together for Halloween and decide to spend Halloween night at an abandoned mine that is supposed to be haunted.
What could possibly go wrong?
Don't teenagers watch horror movies? You'd think they would know better!
This movie wasn't good, but it wasn't bad either.
On the down side it was a little too dark in places to see the action. Otherwise it had all of the usual  horror movie ingredients, but without nudity or gratuitous sex scenes. So thumbs up for being able to watch it with your family. There was a little suspense and one gross scene. The Indian character provides some mild comic relief, though sometimes you just feel like he is being harassed. The ending wasn't exactly surprising but it wasn't one of those that leave you asking "Did I miss something?" either, which seems to be a trend lately.

Stitchability factor is ***1/2. If not for the dark scenes and having to look up occasionally it would be higher.
Here is the progress on Mini Cheshire Cat.


Until next time Happy Stitching!
Karen


Sunday, June 8, 2014

And Then There Was Stitching!

Lately I've felt as though I will never have time to stitch. When I do it feels like I'm sneaking it in around all the other busy stuff going on.
I decided to work on some small stuff in only one or two colors, thinking I could at least feel as if I've accomplished something.
I began with a cross pattern I'd down loaded from Amazon.com last year. It was only 99 cents. One color and sort of pretty. I picked up my fabric and started stitching. Then I realized that the darn thing wasn't symmetrical. I put it down. I picked it up again two weeks later but it was still getting on my nerves, so I put it down again.
Here is a picture of what I did manage.
This would be the bottom part of the cross. I will pick it back up at some point but the asymmetry jangles my nerves.

So, I picked out a bit of fabric and pulled out some spare floss and started one of the cross stitch quilts from a little book I've had for years. They would look really cute in my sewing corner. After a bit of time, 5 minutes here and there, it is coming along great. I chose the Irish Chain. I hadn't intended to use Christmas colors, it just worked out that way and I love it. I may have to break down and make an actual quilt like this.

 My lack of stitching and crafting time has really been getting on my nerves so I decided that each week I would treat myself to sitting down with a movie and stitching. I'm going to try to make that a feature on the blog as well. I'll share whatever I'm stitching and let you know what movie I watched. Be warned that I love horror movies. My DH Jason will also have a pick at movies so don't be surprised if there are zombies in my future.

I made most of the rest of my 9 patch blocks but forgot to take a picture. I also forgot that I'd told someone I would send them the magazine with the chart for the Blue and White Sampler . I'll have to pick up an envelope and try to squeeze up enough time to actually get to the post office. I hate that guilty feeling when I say I'll do something and forget, and I hate disappointing someone to.

The other thing I've done that made me super happy was buying a little stand for some of my sewing supplies. I stuck it in the closet by my sewing area. It looks fab and I love it.




We went back today, my only day off, to buy another but Home Depot was sold out. Boo. They were really reasonable so I'll check back if I don't forget.
Oh, and see that tea cup pin cushion? That was the other project I did this month. It was so fast and easy. I love it. I needed a bigger one for when I'm piecing.
Closer up.


Isn't it sweet?
It is amazing what you can fit into 5, 10 or 15 minutes when you set your mind to it.
One last thing. A quick trip by Goodwill to look for a sewing machine table for Moma Linda (still no luck) and I picked up this glass vase. I've been aching to start a terrarium. I need to collect other plants for it but here it is so far.
Yeah, I'm afraid that floppy one is not going to make it, and one of the plants doesn't show up in this picture, but you get the idea. The picture doesn't show it but the vase is tapered at the top. Sigh, I'll take a better picture when I remember.

Happy stitching until next time everyone.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Crazy Life with Stitching and Crafting.

After one of the most trying weeks ever I have the pleasure of sitting down and sharing fun stuff with you.

In stitching I've pulled out Mini Soul Mates. I managed to finish another row and make a start on the next.

I've also made a few 9 patch blocks to satisfy the quilting urge for a moment.
And I've been cutting strips from left over fabric and from old clothes. The plan is to make a strippy quilt on the treadle. Or maybe two. I want to get really comfortable with her. She may look like a tank but I've named her Fairy Bell. I was sewing with her on a warm spring evening and she sewed like a dream, light and smooth.
Here are some strips.

I went to Goodwill to look for a cheapy box for them but they were basically higher than a new one at a big box store. I did find a picture frame there and tried my hand at framing a piece of stitching. Not the greatest, I've no talent for that, but it is okay.

What do you think?

The colors go really well at least. I'm determined to find frames for, or otherwise finish more of my finished projects.

And lastly, in the right of this picture, the baskets I found at the dollar store to hold the strips by color. I love me some dollar store. Well, one of them. I got 4 to start with so I could separate them by color group.





Life has become extremely hectic and unpredictable. There is a lot going on, so I'm not sure how often I'll be posting for the next little while. More, less, the same. I'm sure I'll be crafting at something though since that is what relaxes me and helps ground and center me.

Until next time Happy Stitching Neighbors and Friends.