Friday, April 6, 2018

Joyful World: September

Another month down on the 2016 Snowflower Diaries free SAL "Joyful World":
And the whole shebang thus far:
I feel a bit like September is a bit 'under-dressed' compared to some of the others, but I'll see what I think once I complete the other months before I fuss with it.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Discounts from the big box store

Evidently Hobby Lobbys (across the U.S., anyway) are marking down craft stuff, and I finally found one in my area that had made it to the cross stitch aisle in doing mark-downs.

I've been eyeing the Thea Gouverneur and Riolis kits for a couple of years, but couldn't bring myself to spring for them even with a 40% off coupon. The Lanarte owl kit will be my first full coverage project. Those kits run $40 - $45 each full price; I got them for $9 - $11. 😮

And I got the bag for a friend's mom, who loves owls, for $5.50! The other items cost between $0.50 - $1.50 each.
Regular retail value is over $200; it all cost me $58. Woo hoo!

Friday, March 30, 2018

March Smalls SAL post, and ARGH frog

For Heather of Stitching Lotus's Smalls SAL, I stitched another square of Frolic in the Foliage by Blue Ribbon Designs, the owl square:
This square had one of the elements that drew me to the design: I love the color shading on the diamond-shaped tree.

So, I didn't make any mistakes stitching the above March square, but I feel like that's the only thing I haven't messed up lately. I'm making counting mistakes all over the place, and it's really frustrating. The latest:
I have to pick out everything circled in red. It's all off by two stitches. The tree is also off, but it won't be very noticeable so I'm going to leave it.

It might not look like much, but I'm stitching this on 36 count fabric. The stitches are tiny and not easy to snip. AND I've already picked out and restitched some of those triangles once.

So.
Frustrating.

The frog can leave me any time now, thanks.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Lizzie Stitching Wallet finished

I decided to put the wallet together before stitching the scissor fob. All of the pieces are put together by hand, no sewing machine involved. My hand-sewing is slightly more atrocious than my machine-stitching skills, so it's certainly not perfect. But I'm still really pleased with it!

The wallet closed:
Outside:
Inside:
I restrained myself from going out and buying new scissors just for this, partly because I like how the purple ones I already have look. But! I did find a cute little hummingbird needle threader that I bought to tuck into the pocket:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WIP Progress

Lizzie Stitching Wallet:

I fixed the error on the interior piece of the wallet (the center motif was too far to the right).

Before:
After:
I also finished parts 9C and 9B of the design. They are the pocket, which will go beneath the right-most motif shown above:
And the strap:

At this point, all of the wallet pieces are stitched. Part 10 is a scissor fob. I don't know if I want to pause to assemble the wallet, or stitch the scissor fob first...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

August finished

I finished The Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL "August" this morning before work.
I like how it turned out. I changed a white butterfly to the Monarch - white doesn't show up well on my fabric, so I thought I'd stitch my favorite autumn butterfly. I got a bit excessive in the details, but with all of the pops of color and detail in the rest of the months I don't think it stands out too badly. I did try to balance things a little in this block by adding a tiny bit of backstitch to the blue and white butterfly (or is it a dragonfly?) on the right. And the darker bunch of flowers on the right helps too, I think.

I've picked out most of the center motif of the Lizzie Stitching Wallet interior. I've also worked out where the motif needs to be, so when I'm less annoyed and ready to restitch, I will know where to start.

Since it's March 1, I can pull out my Smalls SAL piece and work on the third block. Is it ridiculous that I'm really excited about that? I guess limiting my work on that project to one small section per month makes it feel like a special treat.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

WIP progress

Well,I thought I had parts 7 - 9a of the inside of the Lizzie Stitching Wallet done, but I've realized that the center motif is too far to the right. The fold line, and therefore the backstitch that I'll put in along the fold line during finishing, will cut across the right-most leaf in that section. 😭 Frogging and restitching will happen in the future when I'm less depressed about it.
On the positive side, I can use the leaf to hold the 3 needles I've been using for this project, instead of storing them in my fabric!

I've also made progress on the Joyful World "August" section, but it won't be finished before the end of February as I'd hoped. This is partly because I decided to make the dog a brindle like my dog, and had to try a couple of different color combinations before I settled on one I like; and partly because the lazy daisy stitches are taking forever to do.

Friday, February 23, 2018

February Smalls post & an FFO

For Heather of Stitching Lotus's Smalls SAL, I stitched another square of Frolic in the Foliage by Blue Ribbon Designs, the blue house square:
I ended up buying one of the called-for Weeks threads, "Pumpkin." It replaces the DMC 721 that I was using for the dark orange. In this square, it's used for the border. The difference is hard to see here, but the subtle shading makes it look less glaringly orange to me. 

I'm enjoying the incremental approach to this pattern. It's nice to know when it will be done, and to know the ultimate finish can be accomplished via attainable monthly goals.

Also:

I got a sewing machine over Christmas, and just got it set up this past weekend. My first ever pillow-style finish:
The design is In Every Nest by Raise the Roof Designs; I stitched it last year.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day, Lizzie Kate, & a piece of American history

You know, I never really paid attention to Valentine's Day until I got back into stitching. Now I'm all "oh look at all the adorable heart patterns!"

My wee collection of heart stitches, to wish you a Happy Heart Day:




*****
So sad to hear that Lizzie Kate is retiring. It's wonderful for her, but sad for stitchers. I still have a couple of her first patterns, purchased when I started stitching in the '90s. I haven't decided yet if I'll join the flurry to purchase last-chance patterns. There are several that I really like, but that's true of a lot of designers. I should probably just enjoy stitching the ones I have.

Lizzie Kates I have stitched so far (not many, gosh):




I started one of the older patterns for Stitch Maynia last year; I think I'll make that a finish goal this year, in honor.

*****

So the other day when I was walking my dogs, I spotted a roughly two-inch diameter round metal disk in the middle of the road. It was gross and corroded, but my inner magpie took over and I picked it up and dropped it in my pocket. I tried soaking it in a vinegar solution, thinking the issue was rust, but very little of the crud came off.

However, enough came off that I could see that I had found a 1795 American Liberty dollar.

!!!!!

It's in horrible condition, and after a smidge more cleaning (with baking soda, which is supposed to clean silver) I'm pretty sure that the face on the front is completely worn off and would be impossible to make out even if I could get it clean.

But yeah, I found a 200+ year old coin, minted when my country's first president was still in office, in the middle of the street. Weird. (I know 200 years is nothing to most of the rest of the world, but for a young Republic, it's nearly ancient history.)

Here's what it looks like. The link below the photos shows what it would look like if it wasn't a hot mess.

Monday, February 5, 2018

WIP progress and RIP stash diet

Snowflower Diaries 2016 free SAL "Joyful World" - I picked it back up last month and finished July.

I changed the border color from GAST Apple Cider to GAST Wood Smoke, and added the bent leg to the right-most flamingo. 

Here's the whole thing so far, in all its rumpled glory:
Also, I'm giving up on Stitch from Stash. I'm having trouble with the 'fake money' element - the fact that I add money to my budget for finishes, but on one hand I don't always feel like the amount aligns with the effort I put in, and on the other (more significant) hand, it's not real money so it feels meaningless.

So I decided to give up on that, and just track finishes, and keep my pattern library at top of mind so that I'm not tempted to buy things when I already have something to scratch the itch.

Of course, I decided that, and then there was a sale this past weekend at my local-est needle shop (2 hours away) and I went and bought a bunch of stuff. Derp.

I got the threads I went for (including some hard-to-find Wisper thread that I haven't been able to find online, and a couple of discontinued Thread Gatherer threads, all of which are called for in old patterns in my stash.

And then...I bought a bunch of patterns and kits. Everything was either 20% or 50% off, I couldn't pass it up. 😖

New stash:


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Old art, new frame

I have a painting I did back in high school that I've always liked, and I finally got around to popping it into a frame.
The assignment was to paint, in enlarged format, a small section of a photo or artwork, in oil paint. My teacher chose a painting by Paul Gauguin for me, which explains the orange pigs. 😉 Looking at this always makes me wish I'd kept up with painting. But on the other hand, this is the best piece I ever did, so maybe I quit while I was ahead? 😄 At any rate, I'm very proud of my teenage self from decades ago, and glad to have this displayed.

Joyful World: September

Another month down on the 2016 Snowflower Diaries free SAL "Joyful World": And the whole shebang thus far: I feel a bit like...