Thursday, August 31, 2006
I got held up by an entire row of queen stitches yesterday. :-) I expected to be a little further along with Violets than I am. I love the way they look, but they are a slow stitch to get in. And two rows above the queen stitches as a row of mosaic stitches. Oy-vay! Almost finished with those - I'll finish this up on the train ride home tonight. It will be three down and one to go. And only 15 years after I purchased the charts!
I received my Blackbird Designs I ordered from Drema last night. I really like Garden of Life. But I did make a mistake in ordering my fibers. I only have one skein of GA Chamomile. I'll pop into my sewing bag all my variegated floss. I'm sure I have an ok substitution. I'll plan on making the zigzag border the different color.
As predicted I also received my floss for Marquior ABC - the blue and red I picked out are perfect! I'm so pleased and I can't wait to start this monthly project.
I have a ton of work to do today before I leave for vacation tomorrow. I do plan on bringing my laptop with me - I hope to get some nice pictures of the beach and the wild horses that live in the area. But in case I'm just to busy taking it easy and laying on the beach, have a great Labor Day weekend and I'll see you in a week!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Here is my progress on Violets. I did redo the words yesterday - I much prefer them darker and I will go back and fix the two that I have finished. The wording on those is so light that you can't read it. I should be finished with Violets before I leave on vacation. I might bring the fourth one that I own, Amarath with me on vacation. Then I would have all four done. I'd like to frame them together in one large piece, 2 by 2. Karen V from the UK had a really cool idea, she is stitching five of these and is doing them bellpull style on one continuous piece of linen. I've seen a progress photo of it and it's really something. Here is my latest, I have one row on the bottom to finish - lazy daisies - yuck, and five more on top. Piece of cake. :-)
Jeanne from Arizona asked me if I intended to frame my Autumn Arbor individually from the others. That is my plan - a set of four. I would like to purchase the mats that went with them and I do have an email out the the framer that did them for The Drawn Thread. They would fit into a standard frame size, 9 x 11 I think, so that part would not be too expensive if I'm able to pick them up at Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale. I like the way my own framing turns out so I'll continue to do that and save money so I can buy more stuff. :-)
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Block 12 Village of Hawk Run Hollow (you can see what I started on last night - about two hours worth of block 11) using the recommended NPI silks on 32 count Sand Dune.
Autumn Arbor - from the Drawn Thread using recommended threads and 23 count linen.
Here is my progress on the Violet Flower Folio from Shepherd's Bush. This is going super quick - almost half way done! :-) Not so much because I'm super fast - but because the flower row is about a third of the total piece.
Since the end of the month is rapidly approaching, I worked on my September goals today. I messed up with my August goals because I only listed what I was working on at the time. Because of my long commute, I can finish a small piece in a week, week and a half. So my goals list was always just what I was working on and nothing really to reach for (except for VoHRH - I missed my goal of two blocks). So for September, I made it a push to complete all that I would like to. My vacation will help me out for sure. I'm sure I'll stitch around six hours at day. Actually that's not much more than I do now a day. But I should finish two to three smaller pieces for sure. I still have not decided if I should drag along the Village. I'm thinking not. It's just way to big and I want all my supplies to fit into one smallish tote bag.
I'm super busy at work - I put a bunch of stuff off last week so I'd have stuff to do this week and now I'm buried. :-( I hate it when I do that.
Tonight is agility and I didn't work with Molly much at all the past week - partly because I was so tired all last week after work and once I sat down that was all I did the rest of the evening and also because it was raining so many evenings last week. And most of the weekend. So I'm not expecting much from her or me tonight. As long as we have fun it's ok.
Monday, August 28, 2006
But that meant I could not take a picture of my two finishes from the weekend. On Friday evening I finished my first block of The Village of Hawk Run Hollow. It took me three weeks. The good news is the most time consuming blocks is finished. The bad news is, well, these blocks take forever to finish! :-) I'll post a photo tomorrow.
On Sunday I finished Autumn Arbor from the Drawn Thread. I love how this turned out and it only took me a week to complete. Winter Arbor will be next. Followed by Spring or Summer, based on whichever linen I buy next. I need a piece of Lavender Mist from Zweigart (spring) and a piece of Light Mocha also from Zweigart. I'll set up an auto search on eBay for them. I need to start saving a little money for my projects.
A charge from Needlecraft Corner hit my debit card this morning - my new Blackbird Designs' Loose Feathers are on their way to me! The new one #21 Garden of Life, should be arriving as well as two from last year that I ordered, Evergreen and Summer House. I'm already to start on Garden of Life - I ordered the floss last week and it arrived Saturday and I'm planning on using cream 32 count linen. Nothing fancy this time around as I have a yard of cream linen laying around. And it's already paid for! And judging by the amount charged, my Needle Necessities Overdyed Floss for my Marquoir ABC Bleu & Rouge are on their way also. I sure hoped I choose well. I picked the colors off their website and not in person. Drema helped me of course and I don't think she would steer me wrong. So I'm all set for the Marquoir piece as well. Only three weeks to go for the first installment. :-) I can't wait to start this HUGE piece.
Since I'm planning on starting Garden of Life as soon as it arrives, for my train rides this week, I chose an old Shepherd’s Bush piece, Violets, one of the flower folios. It’s been in my stash since 1990. I’ve already completed buttercups and bluebells. I should have this completed by the end of the week. Here is my first progress photo – not much to show because the first row of these pieces always involves a ton of counting. The flower band is always the slowest also because of all the color changes and the backstitching. I'll still be working on this part tomorrow I'd bet for sure.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Autumn Arbor is zipping along - I did find a counting error last night on the train home but it's one I can live with and in any case, way to much would have to come out to fix it. The bottom border is now finished except for the beading. I'll probably finish a large portion of the top band before I get home from work tonight and on tomorrow's train so I will finish this over the weekend. I can't resist doing so when I'm so close to being done and besides, doing bead work on the train is near to impossible. Also worked a little on block 12 last night. I'll do so again this evening and post an update photo tomorrow. I won't be able to stitch at all on Saturday - I have to help a friend with a charity event at Arlington Race Track. It's always fun and her husband and I after we are finished helping her, play the ponies and drink beer. :-) A good time is had by all.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Was I ever tired on the way home from work last night. So I took a nice little nap. :-) So not much progress to report on Autumn Arbor. I did get about an hour of stitching on my block 12 however. I just keep plugging away on my black background. When I get bored with the background over weekend, I'm planning on doing the backstitching. That way when I done with the background, I'll be ready to move onto block 11.
Here is some of the detail on Autumn Arbor - I love the variegated silks from Gloriana. They do fray a bit I think but once you learn to deal with that, all is well. But the color makes it all worth it.
A tree with diagonal queen stitches with spanish moss Gloriana Silk.
A tree with leaf stitch in autumn arbor Gloriana Silk.
Molly was a star again last night in agility. She really is doing so much better since we started to practice every evening. Almost all of the evening was off-leash. She is really starting to follow my hand commands. If we had an extra month before our trial in September I would have not worries at all. But alas, we don't. But the fun factor will be huge in any case.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Quaker Tree from Heart to Hand (a freebie!) on 32 count sand linen with Needle Necessities Overdyed floss Serengeti - done as a pin keep (without the pins - I need a source for nice glass head pins).
And Blooming Alphabet - a kit from La-D-Da done on the recommended linen with the recommended WDW threads.
I continued on Autumn Arbor, I'm finished with the center section except for the beading. The more I work on Drawn Thread pieces, the more I like them. Specialty stitches really break up the time spent on a piece. Of course I could have done without those Queen Stitches.... :-) They are on the tree second from the right. One of these days I'll learn how to enlarge a photo for detail.
Tonight is agility with Molly - I hope tonight goes as well as last week did!
Monday, August 21, 2006
I managed to dye my linen for Marquoir ABC - and it turned out just like I hoped! Not because of my great dying skill but of sheer luck. Even my experiments turned out ok. I have a great piece of linen for a Halloween pumpkin. Trix or Treat from Blackbird Designs has a perfect jack-o-latern for me to use that will look perfect with my orangy linen. A closer look:
An even closer look:
My pumpkin fabric:
Of course I found time for a little stitching! Here is my progress on Block 12 - I really wish I would have started off using two threads of silk - but it's too late now. :-( The background is going quickly especially since I don't have to reference the chart at all. So it's just stitch, stitch, stitch! I can feel the end of this block in sight. Maybe next week sometime I'll be done with the black and ready for the backstitching. The tree needs it and there are little plants by the tombstones.
And my Autumn Arbor from The Drawn Thread - this design is a lot of fun to work on. I look forward to doing the other three.
I'll be going to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week starting September 1st - I'm already thinking about which projects to bring. Its a beach vacation so I'll have plenty of time to stitch. The Village for sure and maybe Winter Arbor and a couple of Halloween designs from Trix or Treat. And it would be nice to finally get my Shepherd's Bush flower folios finished. I still have two to complete - the pink one and the purple one (violets maybe).
Friday, August 18, 2006
I can finally see the progress on block 12 of the Village - I know it's been there all along but last night I could really see and feel I was getting along with it. I should be finished with all the colors by the end of the weekend. And then starts the black... I might start block 11 and work on the background on 12 to break it up a little. I would like to keep this project on my table and to do this I think I need to avoid getting bored with it.
I'm at home sick today - I could not face going into work on a Friday with nothing to do for eight hours. I worked on Autumn Arbor but didn't make much progress yesterday so I don't have an update photo. I'll post one Monday.
I also ordered all my fibers for Marquior ABC - I went with Needle Necessities overdyed floss - blue and a red - big surprise! But I really liked the idea of a two color piece and those would have been the two colors I would have chosen in any case. Midnight Blue and Razzle Dazzle Red. And they were 25% off from Drema. She had to order the blue because she didn't have eight skeins of it. But I should have it by the 16th of next month. I'll try coming up with my dye this weekend. I might have ordered the wrong colors - I'm thinking I should be experimenting with browns and not lighter shades. You can dilute the darker colors to make a lighter shade but you can't dilute the lighter shades. So I might have to order a couple of more dyes. As long as I get what I want and stay under $110.00 for the linen I'm ok. And more money than that, I could have just purchased what I wanted from Silkweavers. I'm sure I'll be way under. :-)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
I didn't get any stitching done except for my train rides. Making good progress on Autumn Arbor - I really like this piece even though it's not a sampler. :-) It's good to switch it up once in a while. I love the little blackbirds.
Hopefully tonight I can get back to block 12 of the Village. It's taking much longer than I had first estimated. But then block 12 is a super heavy stitched month. Every space is filled in with a cross. Karen in the UK is saying the same thing with her blocks and I like her plan - taking two months to do a heavy block and plan on doing one in a month when the blocks are light. I'm going to follow her sage advice. Tonight I want to finish the gravestones and move onto the moon and trees.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I finished up with Quaker Tree from the Workbasket (it was a freebie pattern) last night before I went to agility. I did it on 32 count light sand using Needle Necessities Serengeti. I'm going to hang onto this chart - I'd love to do it again using light green variegated silks.
This morning on the train ride into work, I started on Autumn Arbor from the Drawn Thread. I was going to start on Winter Arbor but seeing as we are going into fall, I thought this more appropriate. I love the pumkins! And all the fiber used is silk - I LOVE using silk thread.
I have the other three of the season arbors waiting for me when I'm ready. I picked them up on eBay for $12.00 a piece. I love to shop other peoples stash! I'm planning on calling the framer used for these pieces to see if I can buy the special cuts mats. That would be so pretty.
Molly was a star last night in agility - probably her best night ever. Off leash much of the evening and her weave poles rocked! I was such a proud mom. National is just four weeks from today. We will have a great time!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Lastly I received my chart order from Stitching Bits and Bobs yesterday - the booklet Trix or Treats and Autumn Bouquet both from Blackbird Designs. I love them both. There are so many really cute things in Trix or Treats - I wish I had a LNS that I could just pop into to pick up some fibers. The closest is 30 minutes away and they are a needlepoint store so they don't carry all the lines of popular overdyed floss (but they do have more silk than I have ever seen anywhere else). The closest cross stitch store is 45 minutes away. :-( I just want to look at stuff. You just never know what the real color is unless you can see and touch it.
I'm progressing with Quaker Tree using Serengeti from Needle necessities (I should be done by tomorrow) and I think I'm going to make a pin keeper out of it. It will be on the larger side for that but it will still look really cute I think. Over the weekend I'll be finishing an another Secret Garden for a fellow Blackbird Design Yahoo board friend. Peg http://www.lostinthreads.blogspot.com/ asked a couple of weeks ago and I figured, why not? I enjoyed finishing mine and it's not like I don't have time. Peg did it in greens, I can't wait to see it. Should be at the house tonight as she sent it on Saturday.
Also worked on block 12 for two hours last night while watching the end of Hell's Kitchen. I love that sort of tv. And it's really good to stitch to because you really don't miss anything when you don't watch!
No time tonight or tomorrow for stitching in the evening on VoHRH. Agility for Molly tonight and I have a board meeting for PugFest 2007 tomorrow. I'm the silent auction chair this year.
MOLLY HAS PROGRESSED TO UPRIGHT WEAVE POLES!! I'm very excited. We have been practicing everyday for two weeks and last night after a quick warm-up with the poles slightly angled, she did them upright for most of the session. She still misses the occasional pole but she's ok about 75% of the time. That is a huge improvment from our last class just two weeks ago. Now we need to work on her entrance. According to the rules, the dog must enter the weave poles between the first and second pole with the poles always on their left side. Molly hasn't learned yet there is only one correct way to enter the poles. And that is a tough thing to learn. And she needs to be able to do it from any angle. At the novice level the entrance will be fairly easy and I'll be able to guide her but it will get much harder as we progress.
Monday, August 14, 2006
I'm all finished with Sunflower Charms from Blackbird Designs. I used the recommended fibers with 30 count La Crosse Blend from R&R Reproductions. As always, I love this piece. The nice thing about BBD is they are quick projects and they all look slight different. And I love the folk art style they reflect.
I didn't have much time to stitch on Saturday or Sunday, although I did get a little time in Sunday evening.
Saturday afternoon I went to a luncheon for the 75th anniversary of the Gurnee Fire Department. My Dad was a volunteer for years with the GFD. And I heard a funny story for the first time. I was conceived on Valentine's Day 1962. By October 29th, I was pretty late so my Mom's doctor told her to come in the next evening and he would induce labor. Well she was all packed and ready to go when a fire call came in. Rather than leave Mom at home and have to drive back for her, Dad took her to the firehouse and had her wait there until the fire was out. When the call was over, off to the hospital they went. I was born five hours later on the 31st. For years, I was known as the baby that was almost born at the firehouse. I never knew! LOL!
Saturday evening was a 25th wedding anniversary party for my middle brother and his wife. All of their bridesmaids made it to the party and we were given pretty flower leis to wear. Later we were given roses and were asked to all get together - they then renewed their vows! It was very lovely. I only stayed until 9:00pm or so. I don't know any of their friends now and much of my family didn't show - not that made much of a difference - we don't have a whole lot in common. And by then I was starting to wallow - I hate being the only single person in my family and I'm tired of being alone. All my brothers and sister are over 25th years married or close to it and I can't even get a date. :-(
Here is my progress on block 12.
And a start on Quaker Tree by The Workbaset - on 32 count sand linen using Needle Necessities Overdyed Floss in #128. I should be done with this by mid-week and by then the linen I purchased for my Drawn Thread Arbors should be in. I ordered it on last Friday. I'm planning on starting with on winter.
Friday, August 11, 2006
The Heart and Hand piece will audition my linen and silk choice for Cirque des Cercles. I'm going with a Silkweaver linen called Golden Harvest and a Caron Waterlilies silk. I can't wait to start it. I will probably finish up Sunflower Charms tonight or tomorrow instead of working on Block 12 of the Village. I want to get it out of the way to start the new project.
Here is Sunflower Charms. I'll be done with the border after today's train ride home.
And making progress on Block 12! I went and bought 11 inch q-snaps and I love them. Sure made working on this BAP easier. My goal for the weekend is to complete two more tombstones and finish the tree and moon. Maybe put the bats in also.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Yesterday on the train home, I was almost finished with the outline of the basket on Sunflower Charms when I found a counting error. So out it all came! :-) Normally with so many stitches in, I would find a way to compensate but it wasn't working in this case at all. But I fixed it and I like the way it looks now. I'll be starting on the border today. I can feel this one almost done.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do next but I don't think it will be a Blackbird Design as I don't have any kited up right now. I have the linen for Flee Market Souvenir but only a couple of fibers needed. I have the chart for With My Needle but no supplies. I just ordered Trix or Treat and Autumn Bouquet from SB&B but of course it's back ordered so who knows when I'll receive it. Maybe another Drawn Thread? I have all four the season arbors. They were partial kits so I have all the fibers - I just need the linen - all different shades of wichelt - twilight blue, lavender mist, natural and antique tan. I've also got a couple of freebies that are in my stash and I have linen and fibers for all of them also from my stash. I think that's what I'll do next as my small project. STASH IS GOOD! :-)
I'm not sure if I'm liking working on two pieces at the same time. I feel like I'm only giving each half of my care - that's not the case of course but it does feel funny. I'll just have to get used to it because I'm not schleping my Village on the train. It's just way to big and I can see my linen getting stained. I can finally see some progress on block 12. Maybe tonight after I finish the tombstone I'm working on, I'll start the tree to the left of the block. That will really add some progress.
Now today's puzzle:
You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed. On your right side is a sharp drop off, and on your left side is an elephant traveling at the same speed as you. Directly in front of you is a galloping kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it. Behind you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the Kangaroo. What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?
If you do not know, scroll down to see answer below.
GET YOUR drunk butt off the merry-go-round!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I worked on VoHRH for around three or so hours. It's really slow progress but then I kinda expected it to be slow. I can't wait to try larger q-snaps. And I'm really thinking hard about buying the q-snap accessory piece for my Needlepoint System 3 stand. Being able to do these big piece hands free would be great.
Also got in the usual stitching on the train rides home and back to work again this morning. I hope to complete the basket on the way home from work today.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I had dinner with a friend last night --> waving hi to Allie! I had a very nice time. Allie is a pug friend and I find that I like 95% of all pug people. Allie is from Texas and breezes into town every other month. Hopefully we will be able to get together the next time she's around.
I'm having the worst bad hair day - in fact is a really bad day in a huge span of bad hair months. In fact, my hair is so bad looking these days that I had a stylist come up to me last week and hand me his business card saying he was taking new clients. What's up with that?!?!? I just don't know what to do with it anymore. It's on the short side and naturally curly. I can't do a thing with it. I used to straighten it but after too many straightening sessions, I had to cut it all off because it was totally fried. Now I have no idea what to do. Maybe I should take this guy up on his offer. I do need HELP! :-)
Monday, August 07, 2006
On Friday I ordered the silks I would need for blocks ten and eleven. That's good so I won't have any down time if I don't want it. I'm also only going to work on this in the evenings and on weekends. I'm having trouble holding this piece because I have so much material to work with. Since I'm doing it on 32 count Lakeside Linen, I had to buy a half yard piece. I know I can trim some off on the top and left side, but I decided to wait until I get finished with block ten to make sure I don't cut it too short. Then I'll take off some of the extra left linen. Maybe if I have a larger q-snap. I'm using the five inch one (it's the only one I have). I'll go buy the 8 inch one when I have a chance.
For my train rides, I started Sunflower Charms by Blackbird Designs. It should finish up fairly fast.
On Saturday I did a little lawn work and Sunday I went the the Bristol Renaissance Fair in Bristol Wisconsin http://www.renfair.com/Bristol/index.php with some friends. I had a blast. But I do want to know what do wire mesh bikinis have to do with the Renaissance. Or Viking costumes? It kinda bothers me that Renaissance Fairs have turned into a huge fantasy party. Well at least everyone seems to have a good time.
Friday, August 04, 2006
I finished Garland Fair last night - it's all I did yesterday while I waited for my car to be finished. I really love this pattern and I'm as happy with this as anything else I've completed all year. It was worked on R&R 30 count Cordy's Special Blend using one skein of Caron Waterlilies Graphite - 1 thread over two. I will load a better photo on Monday - I have dial up at home so I can't load a photo with a lot of detail.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I'm at home today because my car is in the shop. I should have lots of time to stitch today. I received my package of NPI silks from SBB. It was one short! It will be shipped later. So that make my decision on whether to start block one or block twelve first. I have all the colors I need for twelve so that will be my starting point. I'll order the threads for nine or eleven today from Drema. That way maybe they will be here when I'm ready to move onto the next block.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I think I'll continue to work on it on my train rides until it's finished. I did receive all the NPI silks I ordered for blocks one and twelve of Village of Hawk Run Hollow. But that piece is so huge I don't think I'll want to lug it around. Since I'm stitching in 32 count, I had to purchase a huge piece of linen. And I've never worked on such a big piece before so I think I'll do it at home at night. At least until I get the hang of working on such a large piece.
Do I ever like the NPI silks - I played with them for some time last night. The feel of them is incredible. I can't believe I've lived so long without them! LOL!
Last night was agility and Molly was terrible. She wouldn't do the course at all off leash and everytime I tried, she ran away, wanting to play. My teacher told the class last night that she will be on vacation next week so we won't have class next Tuesday. We also won't have class on September 5th because of the Labor Day holidays so that only four classes before the trial on September 13th. Teacher also told me to expect Molly's performance at the trial to be similar to her performance last night. :-( Since it's her first trial and it's outside there will be way to many distractions to expect anything from her. I'm a little bummed - I would have liked to at least complete the course but I really don't think there is much chance of that. It's against the agility rules in AKC to touch the dog in any way. So if she stops dead on the course and I can't get her to move again with just my voice (we can't have treats or toys either), we are done and we will need to excuse ourselves. And right now, the only way I can get her to do anything is hold onto her tab leash. I'm really bummed. I think I already said that.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I hate to complain about the heat because, one, I like it on the warm side and two, there are so many people worse off than us - people without AC or living where it's even hotter right now! But I'll sure be glad when it breaks, hopefully tomorrow. I hate sleeping with the fan and a/c blowing on me. I like to be all bundled up in my pillow palace as I call it. :-) Saturday is my monthly pug meetup and it's predicted to be in the low 80's - perfect pug weather. Cross your fingers for us.
I made good progress on Garland Fair on my train rides and even stitched a little last night. My silks for VoHRH didn't arrive (I expect them today and tomorrow) in the mail yesterday so I was able to just get to work without being distracted by new stuff. :-) I LOVE using the Caron Waterlilies silks. There is no fraying and the knotting is at a minimum. I have to confess I use a thread length longer than I probably should but it's been ok with these silks. And what can I say about the colors! Yummy. I've decided for sure to use them on my Ink Circles project. As for the mail, I did receive two small packages however, a piece of Silkweaver fabric, Hint of Heather (a wonderful light mauvy heather color) and my last fiber for Sunflower Charms. So I'm good to go on my next BBD. :-) Like I need another project ready to go....
I have no idea why I ordered the Hint of Heather! I must have been planning something that I forgot about! Or changed my mind somewhere along the way. It's pretty though, so I'm sure I'll use it. I'll have to write down notes when I buy Silkweaver fabric so I know what I'm planning it for. I do know I have two more pieces of Silkweaver solos coming - I'm going to use them for BBD Halloween designs. They should be here next week or so.