Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Time to catch up

8 months? Holy cow!!!!! So much has happened in the last 8 months. My mom has moved and is loving her new apartment in a senior complex. She is no longer depressed and happier than she thought she would be. Yay for her! 

But my big news is that we totally remodeled our whole first floor basically. New kitchen, family and dining room. That was a 4 month project that we  did ourselves with a little help from professionals. We love the new look and now plan on staying here for another 20 years! You can tell its the same house by looking at the doggie screen door on the far left of both before and after photos. Since then my husband has also helped my son remodel his kitchen with our old cabinets. To say the least, he's looking forward to fall/winter to relax!

The finishes I've had this year have been Lizzy Kate's Halloween Rules stitched on PTP Monet.

 I needed to do something other than my Mystic piece.This is not finished yet, I just put it on the bell pull.

We went to the Florida Keys in March to get away from the AWFUL winter in Michigan this year. I took this little project....that had 50 colors.....and was over one on 28 ct! By Blackberry Lane called Snow Day

I also kitted this one on vacation and finished it after getting back and still enjoying the winter....Sleigh Bells by LHN. I have several things now needing finishing.

But most of the year was taken up by remodeling and finishing Balcony View of Villa. 88,500 stitches on 22 ct over one with 2 threads. I started it 2-13 and finished 6-14.This is the finished photo, and not the computer generated one Mystic gives you! The doors look a little wobbly, but it wasn't stretched or framed yet. It's at the framers now and I should have it back sometime next month.

My current WIP's are a new Mystic, Bon Appetito
This is where I was as of July 13...... just a few more stitches before it's done!  :-)   That is the upper left corner if you can't tell.

And I also started another soldier memorial. It is for the other soldier that was killed the same day as Drew, my first soldier piece that I showed on my last entry. 
I guess I need to update you on my Grand daughter too. I know you are wondering! LOL Well she is now 5 and will be starting all day Kindergarten right after Labor Day. She has learned to swim in the deep end of a pool without flotation devices and she went tubing behind our boat too! Time flies. This was just the best Santa, and since I haven't posted since the beginning of Dec 2013 I have to share and then from this June.

Thanks for reading this photo heavy post, maybe someone is still out there! I've been hanging out on FB a lot more than blog post readings. I like these though so I can have a summary for myself. So there's my last 8 months in a nutshell!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another 3 months.....

Where does the time go?? It's hard to remember what has happened in the last few months. I'll try and catch you up and not be too boring. Again, if you are on instagram, look me up, it's much simpler to post a quick photo there. I'm ndmurdock on Instagram. I'm just starting to use it more regular and don't have many that I follow, or follow me. But I would if I knew you were there!

In the fall, I wanted to "stitch for a purpose" so I decided to join the Yahoo group called American Soldier Memorials. You pick a fallen soldier and stitch a piece for the family they left behind. The list of fallen soldiers is daunting. I couldn't just do an eeny, meeny miney mo. I wanted to have some sort of connection. I went on FB asking friends to help. Well I found a perfect family. Their son was just 6 months younger than my son, he graduated from the High school that my mom graduated (and was valedictorian) from. They gave the first scholarship in his name to my friends husband (my friend was also an old girlfriend of my son). He is buried in the same cemetery as my grandmother. And one final odd connection. His funeral was at the same funeral home as my Dad, just 6 months after my Dad. It is a large city, so there are lots of choices out there. Anyway, I tracked them down and they accepted my offer. I sent them several photos of patterns and they chose this one and asked for a personal message in the ribbons. So this is not how the pattern is charted. I went to their house and we got to know each other and then went out to lunch. They are such a great couple and my heart breaks for all those that have lost a son/daughter, husband/wife. 
There are plenty of names left if you want to give this gift to a deserving family. 

I "finished" my October cottage, which means my series is now completed. Here it is, I totally took liberty with this one and changed all the colors to be more Halloweeny and added bats and a moon and a spider charm. These all hang out around my craft room doorway when they are not on display on my calendar. I'm so glad I did the series and I will enjoy them for years to come. 
I took some time away from my Mystic for a few weeks and stitched up this pattern that was given to me by my friends in The Stitchers Village. I had the pale yellow material (it's much more yellow in real life)  set aside for it for quite some time and I started and finished it in a couple weeks. It's a pattern by Cross Eyed Cricket and now I want to do all the seasons. 
So here is my update on Balcony View of a Villa by Mystic Stitch:
Last photo: 
and now
Our office dressed up for Halloween, it's quite the process. First we have to think of possibilities, then we bring the ideas to a meeting, we vote on the theme we like the best and then when we decide we choose who we want to be. This year was Toy Story and I was Jesse. I had someone make my costume for me. She was obviously a sew-er so I made a little altoid tin for her to keep any stitching notions she may want to keep safe.
Then my last project.....I've had this in my stash for awhile. I bought the bead pack and material some time ago. It's one of those patterns that gets my attention every time I open the "to be stitched" drawer. I broke down and started it the beginning of November. Here is where I am right now. I plan on completing it in the near future and using my works Christmas money next year to frame it using Jill Rensel again. It's Mira's Winter Winter Santa. 
You would think that I've had nothing to do the past few months with all the projects I've shown. It's amazing myself when I look back. But along with all this stitching my Mom was hospitalized with pneumonia and then was in rehab for a couple weeks. During that time I was traveling to see her on my days off. Then the decision was made to move her into an apartment and out of her condo that she has lived for the last 6 years. So with that decision being made, now I have been traveling an hour to help her sort her things, decide what goes with her and finding long lost things my Dad had kept. One treasure I found were 2 pencil drawings that my Great, great grandfather drew. They are dated in the 1880's. I am framing this one for myself for Christmas. 
This fall there is a local photographer that I have been following on Facebook and I love his work. I decided to get my daughter and grand daughter an appt for some outdoor photos this fall. I got in a couple and this one is my favorite. 
Are you still with me??? :-) Well that about wraps it up from here. I had planned on putting up my Christmas tree and stitching today.....what have I been doing??? Trying to get this update posted! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season celebrating what is important to you! From the looks of it, I won't be back until February or so. That is just 3 months away. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm neglecting bloggerland!

As you can see, since it's been over 3 months! I don't even know if anyone is still following this. I have to admit that Facebook groups and posting in them is so much easier than trying to keep up a blog. For a long time I tried keeping my facebook friends(who have no idea about my hobby) separate from my stitching friends. And now that there are plenty of cross stitch groups on Facebook out there, it's sort of a mute point. I'll get to the point now, it's the stitching you are interested in anyway.

The last time I posted about Cirque was back in January! I hit a snag and couldn't figure out how to put the beads in the pattern as they were too big. Well I finally figured it out and it's finished and framed!! I upcycled an old oak frame and spray painted it white. Then I bought a black suede mat. Love the finished look, if I do say so myself! And to refresh your memory, I used a custom dyed silk thread from Carries Threads. One and 2 strands and Mill Hill beads.

I finished August and September by Country Cottage Needleworks. I changed the 
September house to look like a school house stealing the idea from http://fullnovembermoon.blogspot.com/2012/10/september-cottage-finishfinally.html. I have October stitched (so the series is done) but I won't share until its "finished".

I did one of my 6 Mill Hill Halloween pieces. I tried stitching it on the dark material I purchased specifically for them, but I could see the holes and rather than fight with it and probably never get them stitched, I used the paper and I will use a mat to put them all together in a skinny frame. This one is called Halloween Nights.
Then I couldn't resist buying this tuck pillow kit from Pine Mountain. It's a quick stitch and can be finished with the stitching part in just one evening. Now I just need to find a good online tutorial for making the pillows again as I have already purchased enough pink and blue materials to make several more. 
I changed the threads to add the bling to it. What fairy doesn't have some sparkles or iridescent threads??

And here is my progress on Balcony View of a Villa from Mystic Stitch.
Last post:
And now:
Here's Amberlyn, who is now 4 years old and starts her 2nd year in Head Start tomorrow!! She was so happy with this dog purse I bought her!
Hope you had a great summer and will welcome fall with open arms!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A June update in May

With 3 days left in May, I figured it was time to "finish" June. I found some strawberry material that my Mom gave me awhile back and thought it was a good enough match so I didn't have to go material hunting. This is a pattern by Country Cottage Needleworks. I have September and October left to stitch.
I've been steadily stitching away on "Balcony View of a Villa" by Mystic stitch. Here is where I was when you last saw it.
A few weeks later.....
And then as of last night.....

The bottom 2/3's of the pattern is where all the action is, so I'm assuming that I will be slowing down on this one. That and the fact that I want to work on some other things now.
Our outdoor project has been redoing the landscaping where we redid our sidewalk last fall. Here's a collage of one area (on the left) before during and after and then an overall of before and after.(on the right) It's not really fair since the tree didn't have leaves on it. We spread lots of mulch and 2 tons of rock. We still have some lights to add and some accent boulders on one end to do. But I'd say it's 95% done.

And what blog post is complete without a photo of Amberlyn. She had her first dance recital. They were so darn cute!

And May is my birthday and anniversary month. My husband and I celebrated 32 years together.. I stole this picture idea from Pinterest. Happy Summer all!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's spruce up time

You know, sometimes you just stitch and stitch and when they are completed  they just go in this big pile and nothing happens with them. Some of us have more of those "piles" than others. I can't stand to have too many because if I take the time to stitch them, I want someone to enjoy them!
Here is May, by Country Cottage Needleworks, that I stitched last year, but needed to finish for this month. I finished it April 30. I just love how it updates my calendar my Dad made for me years ago. I found a cute button in my stash that matched the flowers perfectly.
I stitched this one several years ago......I'm ashamed how long it's been in my "need to do something" with pile. I was planning on getting an orange frame, but that would have to be ordered. Obviously I wasn't doing that, so one day I went to visit my Mom and took it with me. Walked in the local Michael's,  picked out a white ready made frame and decided to just mat it, to give it color. This will go to my husband office, who has the Pistons, Red Wings and U of MI pictures already. Guess I need to find a good Lions one and he'll have all the sports covered.
We've been working outside, like most people this time of year. Just by adding new mulch we went from this:
To this:
I've been having fun seeing what color tulips I planted last fall. You can see some of them around the pond, but here are some close ups.

We've been redoing our front walk too, but I'll save before and after photos when we are done. It won't be until after Memorial Day weekend. Still have lots to do and 2 ton of rock being delivered. We probably underestimated what we need!

I'll leave you with my grand daughter doing her favorite thing and with the piece I made for her. Enjoy the warming weather and try and get some stitching time !