21 April 2017

I need a Texas basket, y'all.

Okay. So if you've been visiting for a while, you know I have a thing for seasonal stitchy baskets. If you've just arrived, you can see all of them here. I love stitching small designs for my baskets, and I'm always adding finishes to them. This year, I think I'll have enough fall finishes to have separate fall and Halloween baskets. Anyway. My summer basket is just sad. I am not a summery type person and I don't really stitch summery themes. What to do?

A few days ago, it hit me. You know that feeling you get when you have an idea that was so obvious you should have had it ages ago? It was that feeling. My summer basket should be a Texas basket. Of course. Bright colors, flowers (yes, Texas wildflowers are spring flowers, but shhhh...), waving flags. It would be perfect for summer.

Well, then I was off down the rabbit hole: pulling out all my small Texas charts...

...running to my LNS to find the perfect Bluebonnet blue and Indian Paintbrush red, and dusty green and fire engine red and lovely scraps of fabric...

...and collecting supplies for my first official Texas basket project, the Indian Paintbrush companion to this Bluebonnet I recently finished.

I'm supposed to be working on other things, but this has captured my imagination and I need to run with it. Sometimes what you plan to do is not what you need to do. Just as your body will tell you when it needs food and sleep, your mind will tell you when it needs to be let off the leash for a while. So I'm off leash! Let's see what happens!

20 April 2017

And a Few Winter Finishes

Link to this freebie in this post.

This is from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue. My changes are listed in this post.

Link to this freebie in this post.

14 April 2017

A Few Fall Finishes

Link to this pumpkin freebie in this post.

Link to this October freebie in this post.

And I also made a chocolate chip cookie needle minder. For obvious reasons.

12 April 2017

One More Stitch Finish!

Finished up my Stitchapalooza project today! This is my pink/purple conversion of LHN's One More Stitch. 

My color choices can be found in this post. 

10 April 2017

Stitchapalooza Status Update

I'm back! So, that domestic issue that interrupted my finishing activities on Thursday ended up taking over all of Friday, bringing Stitchapalooza to an abrupt halt. Nothing serious. We live in quarters, and when the powers that be decide to paint the master bath, the master bath gets painted. If it takes all day, it takes all day. If it prevents you from picking up Mr. Wonderful at the airport, it prevents you from picking up Mr. Wonderful at the airport. As you can probably tell, Friday was not how I envisioned it. It was followed by a busier than expected weekend, the result of all that being that my Stitchapalooza project isn't done, and I still have a pile of finishing to complete. 


Extend Stitchapalooza, of course! Happily, the weather was beautiful over the weekend and Mr. Wonderful spent his time grilling, so I'm off the hook on cooking this week! How about that?

I did get some stitching done this weekend. Here's my progress on my pink/purple conversion of LHN's One More Stitch. Just the alphabet to go and it will be finished.

I even put some time in on Sleeping Fox.

For week 2 of Stitchapalooza, I'm hoping to finish up One More Stitch and catch up on my finishing. If I get all of that done, maybe I'll be able to get some framing done. Will there be more tiny baking? Maybe. Probably. Okay, yes. If I can't resist. 

By the way, y'all will be proud of me: there was still cake left when Mr. Wonderful got home!

06 April 2017

Stitchapalooza: Day 4

April is being April. This week has been warm and sunny and beautiful, but today it was back to cold and rainy.

One More Stitch is coming along nicely, but I took a break from it today to get some finishing done.

I've let it pile up again, but not like last time. And I haven't been stitching as much so far this year, so the pile hasn't grown too overwhelming.

Tiger Lily has been missing Mr. Wonderful a bit, I think. She's been sleeping in his chair.

But this afternoon, I caught her red-pawed, curled up right smack in the middle of the clean laundry.

 Stitchapalooza was unexpectedly interrupted today by a domestic issue (all is well!), so I didn't get nearly as much finishing done as I had hoped, but I did manage a couple of things. 

Spring in Texas is Bluebonnet season. If you've never seen a field of Bluebonnets blazing blue under the wide Texas sky, you've missed something pretty special. 

Mr. Wonderful is due home tomorrow afternoon, but I suspect Stitchapalooza may linger through the weekend. I'm not quite done indulging myself yet!

05 April 2017

Stitchapalooza: Day 3

Well! Look what arrived last night from Mr. Wonderful (who is currently nearly 5,ooo miles away). The card said they were for Stitchapalooza.

I deliberately exercised bad judgement this morning and did some more baking. This is a fresh-from-the-oven mini Texas Chocolate Sheet cake, made using this recipe. This is quarter sheet sized. My pan is 11.35" x 8", so it's pretty small for a sheet cake, but it's still way too much cake for one person and I don't even care. I've already had two pieces and I'm not sorry. 

It. is. delicious.

And while I will not continue to update y'all on my progress on killing this cake (in an effort to preserve a small shred of my dignity), I will show you my progress on LHN's One More Stitch. This is my pink/purple conversion. I really like how the colors are working out.

My stitching notebook is pretty much done. I haven't yet decided what to do with the inside back cover, but otherwise it's finished. Front cover:

Back cover:

Here's a shot with the light reflecting off the cover so you can see that I've sealed it. I use Ranger Multi Medium Matte for adhesive and sealing. I use an inexpensive paintbrush to apply it when I'm using it as a sealer, and it dries to a hard, nicely textured, water-resistant finish. 

These are the Washi tape section dividers I mentioned in my last post, which correspond with the little circles on the table of contents on the inside front cover that I showed yesterday. I'll be able to quickly flip to whatever I'm looking for.

My notebook is now ready for me to transfer all the information on all those bits of paper.

My plan for tomorrow is to tackle some finishing that's been piling up. It's been too long since I've had a finishing day, and Stitchapalooza is the perfect time. Back with more tomorrow!

04 April 2017

Stitchapalooza: Day 2

You guys, look what arrived today from Robin in Virginia, just in time for Stitchapalooza! Aren't these beautiful? What a wonderful surprise! Thank you, Robin!

It was an absolutely beautiful spring day here on the East Coast, nearly 80 degrees. The hosta is loving the warm weather.

The perfect April sky. I had all the windows open today and it was glorious. 

I spent the morning doing some tiny baking. I made Strawberry Rolls using this recipe.

Look at that tiny lump of dough. Isn't that cute?

Yum! The recipe makes four, but I think next time I'll cut the rolls to make six. And because I tweak everything, not just cross stitch designs, I think I'll add a pinch of cinnamon to the dough and reduce the jam just a smidge, maybe to 1/3 cup. I have a couple left over for my breakfast tomorrow!

I'm making progress on my stitchy notebook. The front and back covers are ready to be sealed.

And here's the inside front cover. Those little circles are punched from Washi tape. This will be my table of contents when I get it finished. I plan to put a little piece of Washi tape on the edge of the pages to divide the sections.

I spent most of the day stitching, but I'll wait to show my progress until I'm a little further along. Finally, I just couldn't resist sharing one more sign of spring, even though the picture is a bit fuzzy because I had to zoom in. This is Gigantor, the groundhog who lives across the street (not to be confused with Henry, who lives out back). This is the first time I've seen him since last fall. Hi, Gigantor!

Yep. Now it's spring!

See y'all tomorrow!

03 April 2017

Stitchapalooza: Day 1

Hi, y'all! Thank you for all of the birthday wishes for Tiger Lily! Stitchapalooza has commenced (see Friday's post) and Tiger Lily and I are on our own for the week, and we plan lots of stitching and crafting and eating. And baseball. The season opener for my team was today, and she and I listened to the game on the radio while I stitched. There's something so soothing about the radio call of a baseball game. 

This is my "spring fridge" with the schedules of all the teams we follow, plus my Formula One race schedule.

I started my Stitchapalooza stitching project today. I'm doing a color conversion of Little House Needleworks' One More Stitch.

Below, on the left are the model colors, and on the right are my substitutes:

CC = Classic Colorworks
GAST = Gentle Art Sampler Threads

CC Cherry Cobbler to CC Sweetest Heart
CC Weeping Willow - same
CC Old Blue Jeans to CC Purple Aster
CC Roasted Chestnut to GAST Sable
CC Black Coffee to GAST Soot
CC Eggshell to GAST Chalk

Putting the last stitch into a project is so satisfying, but putting in the first stitch is exciting! I love this part of preparing my projects. That lovely piece of untouched fabric, stretched nice and tight, marked in the center and ready for the first stitch! Perfect.

Sparkly kitty is ready to mind my needle (made from a charm I found at Jo Ann Fabrics).

I've also started my craft project for this week, which is a stitchy notebook for myself. I probably should explain this, because I'm pretty sure it's not what you're thinking it is. I am a very old-fashioned, pencil-and-paper girl. I love to write things down. Yes, I use a computer (obviously!). Yes, I have a smart phone. But for me, nothing--NOTHING--beats hand written notes. And here's some absolutely free bonus information: there are a number of recent studies showing that students who take notes by hand have better information retention than students who take notes on a laptop. There is also a growing body of research that suggests that reliance on technology affects brain development, and not always in a good way. Anyway. For me, scrawling my ideas and memos on a piece of paper with a nice, sharp pencil is far superior to tapping them into a device using "buttons" I can't even feel. 

This practice has resulted in a collection of notes that was in serious need of order. For some time,  I have scribbled all kinds of stitchy notes on all kinds of paper: order information (some shops send email confirmation, some don't); project ideas, shopping lists, cool things I've found wandering around the interwebs, Etsy shops to remember, ideas for my annual Christmas Open House and notes on recipes I've already shared, notes about goodies that my fellow stitchers have sent me, framing dimensions, etc. If it has to do with stitching, I've made notes about it. All of my little pieces of paper live in the same place, so I always know where to look when I want information, but... it wasn't cute. 

So I decided to make a notebook... a note book... a book for my notes. Nothing more. No fancy stuff. No bells and whistles. Just a pretty little book to scribble in. I found a craft journal at Michael's, got some paper and Washi tape, and had my project for the week. Here is the first stage of the front and back covers...

...and the end papers I added. I'm using Multi Medium Matte as my adhesive, and I like to let that dry overnight after each application, so this is a leisurely-paced project, but that's okay. I have all week.

So, that's what Tiger Lily and I have been up to. We were a little slow today, since we were up at 3 a.m. for me to take Mr. Wonderful to the airport for an appallingly early flight. Tomorrow will be more stitching, more work on my notebook, and, I think, some baking! Stay tuned!