Saturday, September 29, 2012

Halloween tree

Here is this year's Halloween tree.  I finished off all the ornaments that I stitched last year and I hope to still add a couple more this year.  I'm running into the same trouble however as I am for the Christmas cross stitch tree - lack of small ones for the top of the tree.  I'm not feeling like doing any over one right now so I'm only looking for small designs or designs that  I can take an element or two from.  Maybe there will be something in this year's Just Cross Stitch - my copy should be here any day - today even.  :-)

I also finished stitching my needlework nibble on Thursday evening.  I hope to finish it off today.  I'm happy with how my stitching looks.  Yesterday the postman delivered my stumpwork kit from Australia.  I little underwhelmed with what I received for the cost.  But last least now I have examples of the sort of base fabrics I should be using - and now I can go purchase yards of it to practice on.  The kit didn't include anything that I can't purchase at JoAnn's or Michaels.  That was also nice to know.  Just wish I would have tried on my own and saved the $50 bucks.  I could have put it toward a nice needlework slate that I need to buy for my casket embroideries.  Oh well, live and learn. 
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A little pin pillow

Here is my progress on Swam Lake - I can't believe I'm close to finishing this one up!  Yesterday I purchased the Just Cross Stitch Halloween magazine and I'm hoping to get a couple more stitched for my tree this year.  I pulled out the three that never were totally finished from last year (I stitched five I think) and I'm hoping to take care of that in the next couple of days.  My tree is starting to fill out but I need some smaller ones.  Right now everything seems to be the same size.

Thistle Threads came out with a new needlework nibbles a couple of weeks ago and I started on it yesterday.  I need a lot more practice with my non cross stitch type stitching and I figure I need to get going.  So far I'm happy with what I've done.  A couple more hours and this will be ready to turn into a little pin pillow. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

monthly update :-)

I've turned into a once a month blogger!  Not sure how that happened.  Ok I know how it happened, I stopped stitching and started sleeping on the train and watching tv at night.  :-)  I've had a chronic sinus infection now since January and it's really making me worn out.  No matter how much sleep I get I just can't get enough.  I've been on antibiotics for months and months and it's just not working.  Not sure what's next but a trip back to the doctor for the fifth time is in my future.

Here is my progress on Swan Lake from Anniversaries of the Heart.  When I finish this one I'll be more than half way done.  I really need to get going.  I've also been quilting on the weekends but nothing finished to show yet.  But lots in progress so stay posted for that.  My sister and I went to a huge quilt show a couple of weeks ago and I purchased a ton of goodies - mostly miniature quilt kits.  I'm really liking those tiny quilts these days. 

I've started work on designing my casket (above is a first pass at my top piece) - I'm going with the double casket design - more areas to design but actually less to stitch (but more secret drawers!).  I've also decided that I'm going to cover mine with 100% stumpwork.  A tall order for me since I have zero experience with stumpwork and my embroidery skills are rusty.  I've been purchasing every stumpwork and embroidery book I can afford get my hands on and I think I'm ready to start to practice.  I purchased my first stumpwork kit from Jane Nicholas just yesterday.  It's the style of stumpwork that I want to emulate - more modern than the traditional sort.  Since it's coming from Australia I don't expect to receive it until October but that will give me time to finish up Swan Lake.  I've also purchased a Wacom Bamboo Create graphic tablet!  I'm so excited.  I'll be able to trace in all my designs and then edit them at will.  Tricia also provided the fiber colors in computer format so I'll also be able to color and recolor to my hearts content before putting in a single stitch.  This will be so helpful.  It took me hours to trace the above outline and I already need and want to change it.  The sun need its to be way bigger for balance and I've decided to put a sitting dog in place of the running dog.  Plus I need to add a lot more objects to match the style of the original caskets.  So it needs to be totally done over.  Once I get it in a computer file, I'll just swamp out images over and over again until I'm 100% happy with it.  Then I can color it in using the codes provided by Tricia.  This is will very helpful as I work on shading.  There will be a learning curve of course but I'll have plenty of time as I don't expect to start the actual stitching on the casket for many many months.  Maybe even next year or even later.  As part of the class we are being provided five mini projects where we learn the skills needed to execute the caskets.  And I need to take the next class session that deals with stumpwork specifically so it really could be a while.  We have already started on the first project - we traced a design onto linen and learned how to get it on the slate frame - next month we start stitching I think.

And last but not least, sorry Anna!  Not much of a story connected with my photo with Harry Connick Jr.  My sister is an exclusive independent insurance agent for one of the largest insurance companies in the country.  Every year they organize a fabulous trip for the top agents from the previous year.  There is a gala dinner with entertainment one night during the trip.  This year's entertainment was Harry and they set up a photo session with him for the top, top performers.  I got to go along for the ride.  :-)  But it's still as yummy!  As a side note, next year is Monte Carlo and Paris!  Go sell insurance Maryl!  I want to go!  LOL!