Friday, October 27, 2017

October Smalls SAL post

Here's my project for the October Smalls SAL hosted by Stitching Lotus:
Very Merry Autumn by JBW Designs. I stitched it on 32 count Sage linen by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe, with the called-for threads. If I had been thinking, I would have switched up the threads to something that would have shown up better on this fabric, but I still like it.

I also stitched another Just Nan Halloween mouse, but I have yet to FFO neither it nor the orange Halloween mouse. 😒 Since Halloween is next week, I'm DETERMINED to do them both this weekend. Luckily, I have no other plans. So. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slow down, October

Am I the only one dumbfounded by the fact that October is half over? Where did this month go? Everything has been so busy that I haven't even gotten out my Halloween decorations yet. 😞

I was out of town for work last week, and decided I wanted to take along a project that only used one or two colors. I settled on a monochrome WIP started during Stitch Maynia 2017, "Where Did I Put My Broom" by Dark Crosses (Etsy).

Before the trip:
Now:

I'm using The Thread Gatherer Silk 'n Colors "Smoke Stack," which varies in color between black and dark brown:

Now that I'm home, I've picked up Just Nan's Haunted Autumn House again, so this one will go back into the WIP basket. Given the way this month is going, the only way I'm going to get Haunted Autumn House done is via the focus-and-finish strategy; but then probably only if I have some unexpected extra stitching time. I did at least get a small finished for the October Smalls SAL installment.

Update on the new dog:

He has settled in wonderfully, and my dog has mostly remembered that Poco is actually his puppyhood BFF. There's a bit of jostling for dominance, especially around meals and snacks and who gets to sleep up next to my back at night. But otherwise they hang out comfortably, and have started to play and have fun.

Poco's mom sent them both some cute Halloween scarves:

Monday, October 9, 2017

September Goals - Belated status

Firstly, my birthday was in September, and look what my son got me!
I had him pick the first project for me to stitch from it; he chose White Cat. That's the one I would have picked too. :D I just have to decide on fabric, and then I'll probably pull threads from stash instead of using the charted threads.

On to goals...

I forgot to set goals for September until around the 6th, but this is what I came up with:

Do-able Goals:
- Finish Halloween biscornu: Done!
- Finish Satsuma Street "Sorry We're Dead": Done!
- Start/Finish Just Nan "Miss Ghostly Pumpkin Mouse": Done!


Stretch Goals:

- Start Just Nan "Haunted Autumn House": I got a few stitches in, go me!
- Start Just Nan "Witchy's Sister Mouse": No
- Catch up on Faby Reilly "Lizzie Stitching Wallet": No
- Put some stitches into Nora Corbett "Bleeding Heart Pixie" and Tempting Tangles "Feathers 'n Fins": I did put a couple of threads into Bleeding Heart Pixie!
- Spend $0 on new stash: I don't even want to talk about it. OMG.

Work and life haven't been super-conducive to getting a lot of stitching done, though the stress did result in some therapy shopping. *facepalm* Right now my focus is "Haunted Autumn House," but I'm also sorting through my autumn-themed patterns for one that requires fewer thread colors than Just Nan does, to use as a 'take-along' project.

October Goals

Do-able goals:

  • Finish Just Nan "Haunted Autumn House"
  • Finish Just Nan "Witchy's Sister Mouse" (I've actually accomplished this already)
  • FFO Just Nan "Miss Ghostly Pumpkin Mouse" and "Witchy's Sister Mouse"
  • Start/finish a small autumn pattern 
Stretch goals:
  • FFO Just Nan "Summer Mouse House" and "Haunted Autumn House"
  • Work on Faby Reilly "Lizzie Stitching Wallet"
  • Put some stitches into Nora Corbett "Bleeding Heart Pixie" and Tempting Tangles "Feathers 'n Fins"
  • Spend $0 on new stash

Friday, September 29, 2017

September Smalls SAL post

For the Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus:

The stitching/beading on Miss Ghostly Pumpkin Mouse by Just Nan is done:
I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but that orange fabric is BRIGHT. After working on two consecutive projects on black and dark gray fabric, this was almost blinding. *squints*

Anyway, I had hoped to get it constructed by now as well, but will have to put that off. If I can squeeze it in, I'm going to try to have a 'finishing day' on Monday.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Things

Three things today:

Stitching first! I finished "Sorry We're Dead" by Satsuma Street for a Facebook Halloween SAL:
The model shows it finished in a hoop, like this, but I think I will finish it as a rectangle to emphasize the "Sorry We're Closed" sign homage.

Second: I will be getting another dog on the weekend. So many feelings! The new dog belongs to a friend who, for Reasons, can't keep him. We both got our dogs at the same time, as puppies, and until she moved out of state a few years ago our dogs were BFFs. My dog has become a great deal more territorial and persnickety in his 'old' age (he's only 6, but I still call him my grumpy old man), and he's used to being an only dog, so I'm not sure how he'll feel about this. Plus, two dogs! Can I handle two dogs, in my little house, with my full time job + long commute??

So basically, I'm sad that she can't keep him, hopeful that her situation will change at some point so that she can take him back (because she adores him and it's SO hard for her to give him up), nervous about the extra responsibility/how my dog will adjust, excited because he's a wonderful dog, and happy to be able to give him a home.

It will also be interesting to see how my cats adjust. I figure they will proceed as normal: ignore the canine(s), continue to be in charge of everything. (The new dog has lived with cats and gets along with them just fine.)

Edit: a picture from a couple of years back, of my dog Chuck (front) and Chuck's soon-to-be-roomie Poco.
He has some lovely eyeliner, doesn't he? Wears it better than I do. :D

Lastly: Today I turn 44. Gosh. It's crazy, because some days I don't feel a day over 12.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A first: biscornu!

I finished my first ever biscornu!

This is a pattern by Durene Jones posted as a freebie at the Lakeside Needlecrafts SAL Facebook group.

All supplies came from my stash. I used 32 count "Charcoal" evenweave; glow in the dark DMC & two Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads; and embellished with purple beads and two black 'crystal' beads. Beading the seams of the biscornu was probably not the best thing to do on my first attempt, but it eventually worked out.

So pleased with how it turned out:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hello Fall

Autumn Fever has set in - like Spring Fever except better because we're heading away from hot weather instead of toward it.

At any rate, I'm feeling the urge to declutter my house, paint rooms and furniture, and stitch all the autumn/Halloween things!

Mornings right now are marked by dense fog rising from the river and blanketing the farmland and little valleys among the hills. This has been the view across the river before I leave for work every day:
Beyond the closest treeline is the river; beyond the next treeline is a stretch of farmland before the hills rise up. All of the gray/white below the horizon is fog. It's lovely and magical, and since it's also a deliciously crisp 50-ish degrees F when I'm observing it, I'm about as happy as a night owl can be when forced to leave the house at 6a.m.

There are still plenty of flowers, at least in my mom's garden. I was taking photos for her last weekend, for her to share with a long-distance friend, and caught our dogs in one. My boxer-terrier mix Chuck, and my parent's Yorkie (probably mixed with a dachshund) Lily:
Lily is all "I would be much happier if you would get this terrible large beast out of my yard. >:( " She's not a dog person.

Chuck is enjoying the cooler weather as much as I am. He can lay out in the sun now without melting.
My bebeh. <3 <3 <3

I'm nearly done stitching the free Halloween biscornu pattern from the Lakeside Needlecrafts Facebook group. Here's the front, with the threads I'm using:
And here's a partially stitched back (this is from the other day; I'm much farther along now), showing the color variation in the threads really nicely:
I'd like to finish this over the weekend. Next I'll focus on either "Sorry We're Dead" or Just Nan's "Haunted Autumn Mouse in a House."

*waves*


Friday, September 1, 2017

August goals - status, pics

Ugh, this month. Busy, and stressful. Stitching suffered.

August Goals Status:
Finish Prairie Schooler September (Maynia 2017 start)
Status: Didn't even put a stitch into it. I was paralyzed by indecisiveness regarding the colors I chose for the squirrel. Still here:

Start/finish Satsuma Street Sorry We're Dead for FB Halloween SAL
Status: Started, but not finished. I like the look of it so far, though. Initially wasn't sure about the orange (it's more vibrant than in this pic), but it has grown on me.

Finish Just Nan Summer House (probably won't be able to finish, but going to try)
Status: Finished the stitching! Assembly to happen in September.

Progress on Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins (Stitch Maynia 2017 start)
Status: No progress. Still here:

Progress on Nora Corbett Bleeding Heart Pixie
Status: I actually added a row of white in her dress! It's not terribly noticeable, though, so no updated picture.

Keep up with Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet SAL
Status: Fail. Whether I catch up before next Spring will depend on whether or not I can tear myself away from seasonal stitching. Still here:

Progress on Jolly Jack by All Through the Night (Stitch Maynia 2017 start)
Status: Tiiiiny bit of progress, which amounted to testing 310 in the pumpkin eyes to see if it's going to show up well enough on the dark fabric. IDK. No pic, forgot. Doh.

Purchases: $90 budget for Needlework Galleria 
Status: Nailed it! (Pic of purchases is in a previous post)

Unplanned stitching:
I started & finished the square design from Scissortail Designs Pumpkin Potpourri because I'm in such a mood for autumn.
I also started a free pattern, a Halloween biscornu by Durene Jones via the Lakeside Needlecraft FB page. I am using materials from my stash.

Ongoing Projects:
  • Just Nan's Mouse in a House series - goal is to actually get them all done within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet - this is a stitch along that runs through October. Goal is to keep up with it. (Not sure I can get back on track after this month; we'll see.)
  • Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins - I love this, but stitching on 40 count is a challenge, so it's slow going. Goal is at least one or two threads per month.
  • Nora Corbett Bleeding Heart Pixie - I sort of accidentally started this; goal is at least one or two threads per month.
  • Stitch Maynia starts - the small designs will be take-to-work projects. The larger designs will be picked up as the mood strikes. (I'll make more progress here when I get in the Christmas/winter stitching mood.)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Smalls SAL & Needlework Galleria haul

Firstly, my August small for the Smalls SAL hosted by Heather of Stitching Lotus:
This is the square design from "Pumpkin Potpourri" by Scissor Tail Designs. I used 32 count Parchment linen by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe; threads are Gentle Arts, VMSS, and Classic Colorworks.

I also attended Needlework Galleria on Saturday for a little shopping. My haul:
I did pretty good sticking to my wish list; the only items I had not planned to buy were the SamSarah and JBW patterns. The models for When Pigs Fly were SO STINKIN CUTE that I had to get the pattern. Next year I'll plan to get the little sticks they're mounted on. :)

I'm very excited about stitching Ink Circles "Reflections of Cairo" - I will use the charted linen, "Dried Thistle" by Hand-Dyed by Stephanie (which is so pretty IRL), but I wanted thread colors that included Lapis and the green of the Nile valley after Inundation (I was a little bit of a geek for Egyptology back in my nerdy youth). The Silk n Colors threads I found are so perfect. I should probably finish one of my big WIPs before I allow myself to start it, but oh boy I'm so excited.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse! Oh, and stitchy haul!

I am lucky to live in the path of totality (where we saw a 100% eclipse of the sun), so we had a couple minutes of interestingly funky ambient light before/after totality, and 2.5 minutes of a total eclipse. Seeing the sun's corona flaring out around the dark shadow of the moon was amazingly cool, as was the sudden racket of night insects waking up and the street lights turning on while the day paused for a moment of deepest dusk.

I didn't take any pictures of totality (too busy oooh-ing and ahhh-ing with my son) but I did get pictures of a cool thing. This is what it looks like when an eclipsed sun shines through a tree's canopy:
Those crescent shapes are eclipse shadows! The first photo is before totality; the second, after.

I am working from home today, so I was able to step outside and enjoy the show from my front yard. It was fantastic. Such a cool experience!!!

Happy Eclipse Day!

I almost forgot - I went to a huge used books sale this weekend, and came away with this:
Two Christmas magazines (2005 & 2001), a booklet by Blackbird Designs and Nicoletta Farrauto (Nikyscreations), and two books, all for $4.75. I had not budgeted for that, but it was worth it. I'll take the money out of my Needlework Galleria budget.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July Goals - Status/Pics

July Goals:
Finish Prairie Schooler 'August' (Stitch Maynia 2017 start)
Status: Finished! This took longer than expected.

Finish Mill Hill Flamingo (just needed beads)
Status: Finished!

Progress on Mill Hill Spring Robin (finish back-stitching)
Status:Finished! Completed the back-stitching and the beading.
BEFORE:

AFTER:

Progress on Frosted Pumpkin Mysterious Halloween Town (finish p. 1, start p. 2)
Status: Ehhhhhh. I have just not been feeling this one. Putting it away until the next time I am in the mood to stitch something cute.
STOPPING POINT:

Progress on Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins (Stitch Maynia 2017)
Status: Fail, no progress. :(
STILL HERE:

Progress on Bleeding Heart Pixie
Status: Progress made (no 'before' pic, because it was just one thread's worth of stitching). I REALLY love this. The last projects I stitched before (temporarily) giving up on cross stitch a few years ago were Lavender and Lace (Angel of Autumn and Nantucket Rose); there is something soothing about stitching folds of fabric created by gentle gradations of color. Plus I love the combination of oranges, yellows, white and blue.

Keep up with Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet SAL
Status: Keeping up! The thick green back stitch is done with 6 strands of DMC, and while it creates a nice visual texture it is such a pain to stitch. I think that's largely the fault of the fabric, though - it's very stiff, which makes it extra difficult to pull multiple threads through the weave.
BEFORE:
AFTER: 


Start Summer Mouse House
Status: Started; haven't gotten terribly far, as I had to wait til I finished "August" before picking this up.

No purchases except DMC
Status: Spent $12.75, but I'm ok with that:
  • I thought I had enough black fabric to start a SAL thingie on Aug 1, but I didn't, so I had to purchase some. However, I had a 50% off coupon for Joann's, so I only spent $2.75!
  • I also picked up the Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue - I had budgeted to buy it in August at the Needlework Galleria, but spotted it at the bookstore and decided to get it, just in case no one had it at NG. $10

Unplanned activity
Two unplanned stitching projects - not a lot of at-home stitching time to work on the bigger things, so I grabbed a couple smaller things that were more portable.
  • Picked up Jolly Jack by All Through the Night (Stitch Maynia 2017 start) as my Halloween project. Not much progress yet; went from a bit of yellow + 4 rows of orange, to this:
  • And Merry Moose by Mill Hill had a few stitches put in it last November; I worked on it while house-sitting last weekend and I'm onto beading now.
August Goals:
  • Finish Prairie Schooler September (Maynia 2017 start)
  • Start/finish Satsuma Street Sorry We're Dead for FB Halloween SAL
  • Finish Just Nan Summer House (probably won't be able to finish, but going to try)
  • Progress on Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins (Stitch Maynia 2017 start)
  • Progress on Nora Corbett Bleeding Heart Pixie
  • Keep up with Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet SAL
  • Progress on Jolly Jack by All Through the Night (Stitch Maynia 2017 start)
  • Purchases: $90 budget for Needlework Galleria (I have a wish list. It includes display hardware for an FO, a fun green linen I saw last year and hope is still floating around somewhere this year, pattern/linen for a brand new Ink Circles design [I can't help it, it's an Egypt mandala!], and possibly specialty threads for a pattern that I have in my stash. I also would like more neutral linens in my stash, so I may pick up one or two.)
Ongoing Projects:
  • Just Nan's Mouse in a House series - goal is to actually get them all done within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet - this is a stitch along that runs through October. Goal is to keep up with it.
  • Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins - I love this, but stitching on 40 count is a challenge, so it's slow going. Goal is at least one or two threads per month.
  • Nora Corbett Bleeding Heart Pixie - I sort of accidentally started this; goal is at least one or two threads per month.
  • Stitch Maynia starts - the small designs will be take-to-work projects. The larger designs will be picked up as the mood strikes.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July Smalls SAL post

My July small for the Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus:
August, from Prairie Schooler's "Summer & Winter" (book 91). This was a Stitch Maynia 2017 start, stitched on thirty-something count Beachwalk by Under the Sea Fabrics, using the charted DMC. The only change I made was to swap the snail body color with the snail shell whorl color. As charted, the snail's body would have been the same color as the frog, which seemed weird to me.

Another small completed this month is Mill Hill's Flamingo:
I went ahead and finished it as a magnet, and will give it to my mom for her birthday in October.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Long-term WIP finish

Back in late 2014, I thought I would try to revive my cross stitch hobby, and purchased a Mill Hill kit from a stitch shop. The kit included perforated paper; I didn't think I'd like the look of the finished product on that, so I also bought a matching 28 count fabric.

I started the kit the following spring, and then stalled. As I got closer to finishing the stitching, I started dreading the beading. So it ended up in a drawer for a while.

But, after starting so many things for Stitch Maynia this year, I suddenly feel like I need to finish some things, and this one had been silently guilt-tripping me from its drawer for 2 years so into rotation it went.

And...*drumroll*...I finished it on Tuesday! I was going to take my time with it, but I hated the beading so much that I decided to just push through and finish it so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. :D
"Spring Robin" by Mill Hill.

I don't know why I found the beading so aggravating. But now that I have had a couple of days to get over my aggravation, I can admit that the beads really do make it pretty. My favorites are the shimmery beads on the eggs and edges of the flower petals. And I love how the glint of light on the dark gray eye bead makes it look almost realistic.

I am definitely glad I stitched it on fabric. Perforated paper works great for things that are ultimately cut out (so you don't actually see much of the paper) but I don't think I would have liked having a big perforated paper border around the stitched area here.

SO pleased to have this one done.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Goals Status (with pics)

Midway through June I decided that maybe setting stitching goals AND holding myself accountable is a necessary part of Stitching from Stash. So. I'm going to try this "stitching goals" thing again. But with pictures this time! Because I like posting pictures.

Ongoing Projects:

OK, I have way too many of these. 
  • Just Nan's Mouse in a House series - goal is to actually get them all done within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Frosted Pumpkin Mysterious Halloween Town - whether finished or not, this will be out of rotation by end of September in favor of a Christmas design. So hopefully I can finish it by then.
  • Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet - this is a stitch along that runs through October. Goal is to keep up with it.
  • Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins - I love this, but stitching on 40 count is a challenge, so it's slow going. Goal is at least one or two threads per month.
  • Spring Robin - this is an old-ish WIP (started in 2014); shooting for an August finish.
  • Nora Corbett Bleeding Heart Pixie - I sort of accidentally started this; goal is at least one or two threads per month.
  • Stitch Maynia starts - the small designs will be take-to-work projects. I hope to finish one of the larger designs by the end of the year (Not a Creature Was Stirring by Lizzie Kate).
Monthly Status:

June Goal: Finish Floral Frame Kit
Status: Finished!

June Goal: Finish June Bugs
Status: Finished!

June Goal: Finish Spring Mouse House
Status: Finished!

June Goal: Progress on Mysterious Halloween Town
Status: Progress made
BEFORE:
AFTER:


June Goal: Progress on Whimsical Advent Calendar (this one will be going into the 'on hold' pile; just not appealing to me right now)
Status: No progress. Still here:

June Goal: Progress on Feathers n Fins
Status: Progress made (the progress made in June = the numbers, the partial cat tail above the numbers, and the bit below the numbers)
BEFORE (minus some May progress):
AFTER:


June Goal: Progress on Spring Robin
Status: Progress made (main stitching finished; needs back-stitching and beads)
BEFORE:
AFTER:


June Goal: Start/Finish Summer Mouse
Status: Started/Finished!

June Goal: Start Lizzie Stitching Wallet by Faby Reilly
Status: Started (1st part released June 19)

June Goal: No purchases except DMC
Status: Fail. $26 spent on patterns, argh, $22 on fabric/specialty thread/beads, argh. Some DMC purchases too, of course.

Unplanned activity: Started Bleeding Heart Pixie, woops? No picture, because I've only put one thread into it.

July Goals:
  • Finish Prairie Schooler 'August' (this was a Stitch Maynia start)
  • Finish Mill Hill Flamingo (just needs beads)
  • Progress on Mill Hill Spring Robin (finish back-stitching)
  • Progress on Frosted Pumpkin Mysterious Halloween Town (finish p. 1, start p. 2)
  • Progress on Bleeding Heart Pixie
  • Progress on Tempting Tangles Feathers n Fins
  • Progress on Faby Reilly Lizzie Stitching Wallet
  • Start Summer Mouse House
  • No purchases except DMC

October Smalls SAL post

Here's my project for the October Smalls SAL hosted by Stitching Lotus : Very Merry Autumn by JBW Designs. I stitched it on 32 count ...