Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finishing and traveling continue......

The beginning of November I was fortunate enough to be asked to share a vacation with 2 other stitchers, Stephanie and Paula. It was a glorious, sunny, warm, relaxing 4 days. I got in 18 holes of golf, shot the best score of my life, soaked up the sun, walked the beach, and got some stitching  and finishing in with friends. I don't know what could sound better than that.
I finished 3 ornaments, only 2 that I can show right now. One is Hallelujah by Little House Needleworks. Stitched on 40 ct linen over 2. This will be given to a fellow stitchers family that I make an ornament for each year. Lori passed away just before Christmas 3 years ago. She left behind a husband and 2 young girls. I thought this looked like an angel looking over 2 others and was perfect!
LHN Hallelujah
Then I started this ornament while in Florida and took me another 2-3 weeks to finish it.These take a long time to do! They are fully stitched and then TONS of backstitching. This is from a Dimension Gold kit called Christmas Village. The backing material is what you see it laying on. I have now stitched 3 of the 6. Only taken me 3 years!
Dimensions Gold Christmas Village

And last but not least I finally got the December cottage in the mail last Saturday.....even though I am auto ship, but that's another story.....and I really wanted to get it finished for next month. So I finished stitching it tonight and then decided to "finish" it tonight too. There is a little bit of burgundy felt around the edge (even though you can't see all sides in the photo) and then mounted it on some material. I covered a couple buttons with the material too. So I am now officially ready for December.
December Cottage Country Cottage Needleworks

I also took the May Cottage with me to stitch on the plane and I finished that soon after I got home. There is no need to rush the "finish" on that, so here is a photo with the material I will probably finish it with.
May CCN Cottage

Now I am heading to Chicago this weekend with my husband and 2 other couples. We've been to Chicago many times, but always in the summer. So we thought we'd like to see the city all decorated for Christmas. Amberlyn has already picked out an American Girl doll dress from the catalog, so I am going to the store to buy it. Speaking of Amberlyn, here she is getting her haircut.
I doubt that I will get another update in this year. I can't see much stitching going on during the busy holidays. So I'm wishing you all a Happy Holiday and safe travels!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A couple real "finishes" and my busy month!

Only a month since my last update....and I have some things to share! I did finish the Sportsman's stocking. I am still looking for someone to "finish" it because a stocking is WAY beyond my expertise! But here it is. I'm sure they will love it, but won't know for another month or so! If you are interested to see some of the details up close, you can go to my Photobuckets album.
I was actually prepared to get the November Cottage done and ready for my calendar this month. I haven't had one hanging since July!!! So this weekend I got the sewing machine out and finished it so that it is ready to hang. The flowers you see around it are still my baskets are still looking great even though we've had some frost. I used all my own threads I had on hand. I rarely have the specific threads they call for so I just wing it.
Then I decided I really should make my first small pillow for a seasonal bowl...and since I finished the pumpkin last month and it has 2012 on it....geez....get it done! I would so love to add little extras to them instead of just one kind of material, but I just don't have the ric-rak and abundant supply of coordinating material. So this will have to do.
And I've been working on this piece for the last month. I was gifted this pattern and had the material and threads all picked out (I hate to kit!) so when I finished the stocking it was ready to start. I just added the buttons this morning. I have the material it's sitting on and I'm thinking of maybe a no sew wall hanging. Maybe I'll get motivated today while I watch the Lions lose(well maybe not, they just scored their 1st touchdown in the 1st quarter for the whole season!). Don't even get me going on the Detroit Tigers. They make it to the World Series and as of last night they are down 0-3. No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win......
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting fellow stitchers, Rhonda, Anne and blogger Shari . Shari lives about 1hr 45 minutes away and was kind enough to open her home to us. The day went too fast and before I knew it I had to go, but I enjoyed seeing all the cross stitch in Shari's home and the projects that Rhonda brought. She loves over one and love to see them all! LOL We found out that Rhonda only lives 30 minutes from me and comes to my town to shop! So we are hoping to get together again sometime and get to know each other better. And can you believe it I don't have ONE picture of us....was hoping to get a group shot and Shari's husband didn't get home until I left!

Besides traveling to my stitching day, I also went to Indianapolis with the work girls for a seminar. We left the boss at home! Here we are doing a self portrait and then the capital building from the top of the hotel bar. We had a great time together and ate at one restaurant where the bill ended up being $350 with tip!! And we shared one appetizer and one dessert among the 4 of us!!!

I also went to a concert at the fair. It was Eddie Money.....I went to see him back in the early 80's when we were both a few years younger. But hey, the tickets were less than $20 and I got front row, middle seats. Yes, he sings about as well as he does in the Geico commercial. Here is my perspective from the evening and I wasn't zoomed in!
Also this month we decided to switch out our plain gray straight sidewalk with the stamped concrete like we did for our patio last year. Here are the progress photos. We have lots of moving of plants and new things to plant. I did get about 40 tulips planted when it was still 70 outside. Already looking forward to spring!!
removing the old sidewalk

While the staining powder is still on

After the stain is removed and now the sealant is on.

All of the fish are doing well and it was a sunny day,  so I thought I would try and get a picture to capture all of them. Well it's hard to get them to cooperate, but here is a large group of them. We'll see how many babies we get next spring and then decide if we need to weed out a few. If you are still with me, I really didn't plan on a post this is a photo of Amberlyn with her Uncle Brett's camo hat on and her "pretty" dress! Quite the combo!! Don't know what I'll have to share next time.....but hopefully you'll enjoy it! Happy Fall y'all!!!!

And as a PS....I haven't read a book in YEARS, well the girls at work were all talking about the "50 shades" trilogy. I told them to bring them in. I'm on book 3 now and I just started them last weekend. So add 2 books read to what I accomplished in October!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm back!

Sorry about the delay......since the last post I found out that my "home" site Multiply was closing and I felt a bit lost on how to handle the transition. I know most of you followed me through Blogger, but my start was in Multiply and they would allow me to post my blog there and just "copy" it to blogger.. So I have been avoiding trying to find my alternatives on where to upload photos. Anyway,  I may have it figured out now so this is my first attempt.

Since July I have finished my "I am a Stitcher" piece. Still haven't done anything with it yet, but it is completed.
I also finished my August CCN piece. Yes, this one is also in the waiting to be "finished" pile. All these will be done and hanging on my calendar NEXT year! I changed the color of the house. It was supposed to be blue and I changed the waves to one of the new DMC variegated colors of Mediterrean sea or something like that.
In June I was given this piece and I worked on it as long as I could until other projects got in the way. Here is Karen R's piece when I got it and when I sent it back to her.

In early September I went on a bus trip with my Mom's senior group to Gettysburg and Washington DC. I had never been to either and was looking forward to seeing all the sites. I had wishful thinking by taking 3 small projects to do in the evenings. They got on the bus and left at 8am and we were site seeing ALL day and night until we returned around 9:30 or10 each evening. So no stitching was accomplished. I saw every memorial in DC and LOTS of the highlights. Arlington, The White House, 2 Smithsonian's, US Capital building, Ford Theater, Mt Vernon and I could go on!  I did try and stitch on the bus and got this one started and then finished it when I got home. It's from the JCS 2012 Halloween issue. White Jack-O-Lantern is it's name. Using all the recommended floss. I plan on starting a basket of seasonals. This is my first.
My final project is the stocking I want to finish so that someone (not me) has enough time to make it into a stocking before Christmas. This is for my son's best friends baby. This is one of the old Cross Stitch and Country Crafts patterns. 1995. Sportsman's Dream is the name. I just have the area around the name to finish, hopefully another week or so.  
Several areas are over one for more details.....

That should catch you up on my summer stitching.
If you are still with me, I'll leave you with a couple photos of my trips this summer..
Our trip to Lake Michigan
The World War 2 memorial

The US Capital building with a couple of tourist in front of it. :-)

That's it from my world. Hope you enjoyed the update! Happy Fall!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A new start and new toy!

Trying to keep busy without starting a new Mystic.....LOL. I recently bought a new pattern by Cherry Wood Designs called "I am a Stitcher".

Just a perfect saying to hang proudly in my new craft room. I LOVE the saying, not so much "in love" with the fonts or colors used. So I headed to Stitching Bits and Bobs to get a floss conversion. Cam (the owners husband) was very helpful as we chose some different colors. Of course it had to have some purple/minty greens in it. So this what we came up with on a purple hand-dyed Silkweavers piece. They are all Carrie's Creation threads and one of them is a silk of hers.

I'm not as comfortable changing the font, but I do like the colors much better. It's stitching up pretty quickly considering I am also working on 2 other projects.

Here is my progress on the Christmas stocking. I have to backstitch each part as I finish or I feel as if I will forget something!!
And since I lost a bet, well the TIGERS lost the bet I had with Stephanie when we went to the Reds game, she got to choose what I worked on for one week. I had until August 1 to do so. She gave me Karen's TW English Garden Sampler that is traveling around. Here is what it looked like when I received it.

And here is what I have done during the week. The green is what I have stitched. I am not going to post a photo of the actual piece until I am done and ready to send it on to it's home. But you can see I have filled in most of all the stitching to the left of the gray line.
And lastly, I've been toying with purchasing a new vehicle for a couple months now, but finally we decided on the car and took the plunge. I haven't had a truly "new" car for years. We've been buying most of our cars off of ebay and have purchased used ones. I LOVE the technology in this car! The blue tooth is AWESOME and I can even tell "SIRI" (my Iphone) to read me any text's I get and I can dictate text I want sent and it reads them back to me before I send it! Plus any call I get goes right thru the blue tooth. No looking for my phone in my purse!With the Onstar app I can lock'/unlock, start and stop the car with my IPhone, now how cool is that????? I don't have to worry about locking the keys in my car as long as I have my phone!

And then I have to show my pond as it sits right now. It's only been in since June 1, but we are enjoying the backyard so much. It's really one of the best purchases we've made in awhile. I should clarify...we have been enjoying it as much as the weather allows. We are in an extreme drought in southern Michigan.We have had 1 inch of rain in about 9 weeks and have had 26 days over 90 this year. We had 11 days over 90 ALL of last summer.

And the last photo I'll leave you with is Amberlyn at our friends house on their horse.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your summer and stop by later to see what I might be up to next!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Done ahead of time! Finally

Yep, July's Country Cottage Needlework  is done and ready! I really got stuck on April, May and June, but when I saw the July cottage, I really liked it and it was a quick stitch. I used a Silkweavers light blue material, instead of the tan it shows on the model.

I think it took me just 2-3 days to stitch and when I finished it I headed to the only place around town to get material....WalMart. I wasn't that thrilled with their selection, but I found something and got busy and "finished" it. I have the darnedest time with those covered buttons, but I think it came out nicely and even got a comment from Carl that this was the best one yet!

My 2nd little finish has actually been done a while ago, but I wanted to save it until I had the box done. Meari has hosted several online "classes" for finishing so I joined her latest box class. I have finished boxes before, but it never hurts taking a class to see if you can "perfect" your talents! I stitched the JBW design French Country Love but totally changed the look of the pattern by using PTP Diva and some Carries hand dyed threads.

I thought I had plenty of room, but in the end, it barely fit on my top! I looked for some small trim. No luck. But when I head to the bigger city I will keep my eye out for something to add to it.

This is what the model looks like!

I also started a Christmas stocking for my son's best friend who just had a baby boy. I have made something for him before, so I know he APPRECIATES home made items. Believe me, I wouldn't make something for someone who doesn't. This is different from my Mystic with ALL the back stitching. I am doing that as I go, so I won't miss something. The ship in the bottle and several other areas will be stitched over one. This is one of the last CSCC stockings called Sportsman's Dream.

Amberlyn came over for the evening and spent the night, she got her first ride around the neighborhood on Papa's motorcycle. Apparently she kept telling him where to turn and when she saw the ice cream store, she wanted to head in that direction! Smart girl!!!! The cut under her eye is from a bike accident earlier in the week. NOT from my house!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the dog days of summer!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

11 Stitching questions

Jayne  tagged me in the newest game going thru blogland so here goes.

 The rules are -- answer the questions another blogger asks and then tag eleven more bloggers asking your own eleven questions. Here are her questions and my answers
  1. How do you feel about blended threads as in Teresa Wentzler's projects? (personally I hate them, I'd rather use hand dyed threads)
  2. Do you launder your project before framing? (only if absolutely necessary, ie you can see the dirt!)
  3.  How do you feel about the lack of colour fast in all the flosses now? (fine with me, I rarely wash them)
  4. When you begin a project with a black and white chart how do you choose which symbol to begin with? (I typically start in the middle (unless a Mystic or HAED) then find a symbol that is the used the most)
  5. Do you do your own framing? (sometimes)
  6. Do you choose your own mats and moldings or let someone else tell you what you would like? (If I'm having it matted and framed professional, I let them give their opinion, but it's still my final decision. And it usually hits me when I see it)
  7. Pins or Lace (lace)
  8. Do you have any wall space for a new project? (of course, you can never run out can you? Plus my new craft room can hold some more)
  9. Have you ever gifted a finished piece right off your wall because someone really liked it? (nope)
  10. Would you stitch it again for yourself?
    (depends, if I could depart with it so easily, I might not have been in love with it anyway!)
Do you have a group of friends whom share the love of stitching with you on a regular basis? (I have a group of friends online that I see occasionally. I would love to have some closer so it could be at least a monthly occurrence)

Now for my questions:
1. Have you tried any other finishing techniques than framing? YES, TONS!
2. If not, why not?
3. Do people ever comment on your stitching in your home (if they don't know you are a stitcher) Sometimes
4. What's the most expensive piece you have ever done? Chatelaine Tuscany Town Mandela-chart , material, silks, beads probably over $200
5.What's the most expensive finish you've paid for? Did you keep it? Same as above. Jill Rensel matted it and then I paid for the frame. That was over $300
6. Do you think about your stitching every day.....even when you can't stitch?Of course
7.Have you gone out of state or country to meet with other stitchers? YEP
8. Have you ever given a stitched piece to someone and received a better response than you thought? Yes
9. What do you do with your patterns you have stitched? Sometimes if I really like it I keep it, sometimes I gift it to someone else who'd love to give it a new home.
10. What's the biggest change in your stitching since you started? Finding out about hand dyed material and over dyed threads
11. Do you budget for your hobby, or just buy when and what you want??? If I like it, I buy it
I'm not going to tag 11 more, but feel free to answer my questions in the comment section. I'd like to hear your answers!!! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DONE! With many other non stitching pictures

I have a major finish!! After over 2 years, and 105,300 total stitches, it's done! It really is spectacular looking in real life too! I am keeping this one, if you are wondering! ;-) I was working with a deadline as I am meeting up with another stitcher this weekend to see the Detroit Tigers. So that really forced me into finishing those last few pages as fast as I did.
This is a Mystic Stitch, called Seasonal Collide, the pattern is not available anymore. I think there was some copyright issue with the artist. So don't go looking for it! For once it paid off to buy it when I saw it, and not procrastinate.

Since my last post I also celebrated my 31st anniversary and my birthday! Have I said how much I love the month of May???

Carl bought me a new set of golf clubs (he makes them). We went golfing the day after my birthday and of course I played like crap, but I did hit the ball well in the fairways. I just need to take them to the range and hit them repeatedly to get use to them.

This was the first Memorial Day that my Dad was buried at the National Cemetery. Even though he died in April of last year, we didn't have the committal service until June 25 last year. The National Cemetery is only 40 minutes from my house, so I drove by myself to witness all the graves with flags on each one. It truly is an awesome site and it was really more emotional for me than I thought it was going to be. The last time I was there was during the committal and I'm glad I stopped to get the number of his grave. I really thought I would be able to find it without the number, but when I got there I was really surprised at how many rows beyond my Dad were there already! It's pretty depressing to know that that many more veterans have died over the last year. This is just one small area of the cemetery.
Another big project around here is to finally get my larger pond put in. We knew we wanted to do it, but we did the 1st phase last year, by removing the wooden deck and putting down stamped concrete. So this year is the pond. These pictures are the granted this was after we had removed ALL the perennials that we wanted to keep, so it really looks BAD!!!

Then this happened.....

and my poor fish had to live in here for a couple days......

And now it looks more like this....although the water is now clearer and you can see the bottom! The sound of the fall is just perfect, not a trickle, but enough to even enjoy from our open family room window. It's over 600 gallons, yes the fish stay in it all winter....even in the Michigan weather. And the fall will run all winter too. I have already seen the birds enjoying the waterfall area by getting drinks!

And here it is tonight, with the light going!

So now you can imagine Carl and I sitting on the patio, having a glass of wine and enjoying the sounds and sites of the new pond!
My granddaughter Amberlyn's 3rd birthday is today! We spent the HOT Memorial Weekend at a friends house and she was in the pool about one minute, when she walked right out the shallow end, around to the other end of the pool and off the board she went with NO hesitation! Man, I wish she had just a bit of fear of certain things. So far the only thing she is afraid of is our friend Bob, who owns the pool! And I mean TERRIFIED!!! Too funny.

And swimming makes you hungry, so you have to have a cupcake!

So here's to the start of a great summer! Thanks for stopping by and sharing my little part of the world.