15 April 2024

March Basket

 

Just finished the March Basket from Cosford Rise Stitchery (Etsy). Stitched on 28 ct. Raw linen with the recommended threads, except I stitched the little white flowers with DMC Blanc to make them a bit brighter. I'm really enjoying this series; they're quick to stitch and so delicately pretty.


The babies and I are sneaking up on this unsupervised week of stitchy productivity. Today was a bit of a slow day. I finished the March Basket and began the April Basket (spoiler: bunny!), and another small project I'll show at some point. I also planned out what I hope to get done for each day this week. We'll see how far I get. The big fabric reorganization begins tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to getting it done. I'll be back with an update on that, so stay tuned!

Bonus Baby Pic:




13 April 2024

Unsupervised: Part 2

 


Once again, Mr. Wonderful has jetted off on TDY and left me alone with the werewolves, completely unsupervised. I've got the house cleaned and the laundry and cooking done so I can spend the week playing in the sewing room. I hope to get some finishing done and also a major reorganization of my fabric stash--the colors, at least. The neutrals will wait for another day.

As usual, I'll be popping in during the week, sharing what I've been up to. Fingers crossed we have a quiet week and I can get a lot done. Spare a kindly thought for mama werewolf... these two can be a handful!





06 April 2024

Making Counting Pins

 

It's been quite a while since I made any stitching tools. The other day when I was running errands I happened upon a 50% off sale on beads and decided to make some counting pins. I use size 26 needles and super glue. My favorite is Loctite Gel Control. (Yes, I have a favorite super glue.) It's not runny and it doesn't dry out like the tubes. I use a toothpick to sort of fill the eye of the needle with glue and insert it in the bead. That way there's a nice little blob of glue in there, but not so much that it squishes out when you put it in the bead.


A set for spring


And one for winter


Off to sort fabric. I'm about to do a big fabric reorganization. More on that soon.

Happy Stitching!

01 April 2024

A Bird Story

 


Story time. Brew your tea.

If you're a long time reader, you may be familiar with my seasonal basket/dollhouse displays of my small finishes. (If not, just click on those labels in the right sidebar for a peek.) Within the last couple of years, I decided to come up with a different theme for my summer display, but ran into two problems: couldn't think of a theme, and didn't have time to do anything about it anyway. As y'all know, the last couple of years have been a challenge around here. 

Summer is my least favorite season, so nothing was really jumping out at me, demanding to be stitched. I guess the two most obvious and popular themes for summer decor are beach and patriotic. I'm not a beach person (unless it's rocky and freezing cold), and as I've mentioned in the past, I have done very little patriotic stitching because being in the military, it's pretty much our whole life! I needed something different!

A couple of weeks ago I was minding my own business when I was mugged by an idea. (Stop me if you've heard this one.) Birds. Of course. Of course, birds. Remember my bird tree from Christmas Open House 2022? If you do, you know I love birds! How did I not think of this immediately? I don't know. But at last my addled brain came up with the perfect theme.

I miss birds so much. When we were stationed on the East Coast, our quarters backed up to a pond and a wooded area. We had birds galore, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed feeding and watching them. We also had deer, squirrels, groundhogs, foxes, raccoons, and bunnies. The pond had ducks and geese and frogs and spring peepers. Oh how I miss all that wildlife.

Our next assignment was on the Great Plains, and there were very few trees around us, and not many birds. We did have bunnies and the cutest little ground squirrels. And where we are now, we have woods, but we can't have bird feeders on account of the bears. 

So the day I settled on my bird theme, I naturally started hunting through my stash and prowling Etsy, and remembering how lovely it was to have so many birds around back then. I thought a lot about how the little house finches used to nest in my front door wreaths every spring, and how the first thing I heard when I came downstairs every morning was their busy nesting and happy chattering. I remembered watching their babies hatch, and grow, and fledge. It's been years ago now. I was feeling wistful. 

The very next morning I came downstairs and heard that old familiar chattering and scrabbling on the door. I almost couldn't believe it. I peeked out, and sure enough, a pair of house finches had just begun their nest in my front door wreath. Because we have to use this door, I had to move the wreath and hope they would come back. I moved it to another place on the porch, and in doing so, noticed they had used some animal fur in the nest. I put a puff of werewolf fuzz on another part of the wreath for them to find, and waited.

They didn't come back that day.

I hoped they'd come back the next morning. 

They weren't there. 

I felt bad for disturbing them, but not having a side door as we had in the past, we had to use the front door. I hoped that maybe another pair might find the wreath.

Mid-morning I traipsed downstairs for a cup of tea and what do you think? There they were, industriously repairing the beginnings of their nest that the move had dislodged. I was so relieved.

We had our tea together that morning. It's been years since I've had tea with the birds, and I sat quietly, listening to them work, and feeling so very peaceful. It was enchanting. 

So for the last little while, I've been happily planning my Summer of Birds: choosing designs, pairing them with fabrics, making shopping lists... 

...and having tea with the birds.

(Bluebird design info in this post. Stitched on 32 ct. Zweigart Murano Fleur.)

26 March 2024

I May Have a Problem

 

Remember back in this post when I showed y'all that cute little floss organizer I had just gotten (and shared the link to the shop)?

Well.

I waited and waited for another sale and bought some more because I absolutely love these things! And when I say I love them, I might mean I'm a little obsessed with them. (Can you be a little obsessed? I guess not.) They are such a compact, efficient way to organize floss for a project. Not every stitcher uses bobbins, but if you're a bobbinator, these are wonderful! 


They come in lots of sizes and in different configurations. Since I don't do huge projects with tons of DMC colors, the 12 and 20 bobbin sizes are best for me. I also picked up a little 6 bobbin size.


I think I'll be using the smallest one to hold a few of my most used little tools and the black and white floss that every project seems to require.

Always fun to find something new to enhance the stitchy experience!

Happy Stitching!


18 March 2024

February Basket

 

Got a bit behind on stitching when I was doing all that framing, but it was worth it. Here's the February Basket from Cosford Rise Stitchery (Etsy). Scroll down a bit for my January Basket finish. I'm stitching these on 28 ct. raw linen with the recommended threads. Just did a bit of customization on the envelope to add our initials. Really looking forward to the March and April baskets... shamrocks and daffodils!

11 March 2024

Happy News!

 

Since November, we've had another move hanging over our heads. While it comes with the job, after three moves in five years, we needed a breather. We found out last week that we'll be here for two more years! Mr. Wonderful will be changing jobs (from the squadron to the wing), and that will keep us here for a bit. We are so relieved! Although this isn't a place we would choose to stay long term, we've become deeply attached to our church family here and we need some calmness; we've been through a lot these past few years, much of which I haven't shared. And the last four months of uncertainty have been very stressful. I feel like I can actually take a breath. So, so thankful for this blessing and wanted to share it with y'all. 

07 March 2024

Yay, Me!

 

Y'all, I did it! Last week when I was unsupervised I set out to frame 10 of my smaller finishes that I had frames for. I finished up on Saturday and am just now getting a chance to photograph and post. Kinda proud of myself for having finally gotten these finishes framed because some of them have been living in the finishes box for an embarrassing length of time. That being the case, some of them may no longer be available, but I'll identify them anyway in case you see something you want to hunt for.

First, my beautiful red boy, stitched from a kit. Scroll down a few posts for the link to the shop.


Fox Forest by The Workbasket



Liberty by Just Nan (charted as an angel, but I stitched her without the halo and wings), and Be Brave by Shepherd's Bush



Believe in Magic by Bluebird Needleworks, available from this Etsy shop. This is my blue-to-red color conversion, and my color choices are in this post. (The shop link in this old post no longer works, but the design is available at the shop link above.)
And a blue-to-green conversion of a very old Passione Ricamo freebie which is no longer available. You can see the original blue version in this post.





And there we have it! If you scroll through my last several posts you'll see all 10 of my framed finishes. I received my first custom frame from a new shop I'm trying out, and hopefully I'll be able to get that framing job done pretty soon and be off on my custom frame adventure. Also coming up: so. much. finishing. 

Stay tuned and Happy Stitching!

01 March 2024

Winter Pretties

 

Mr. Wonderful is safely returned from TDY and I managed to get half my smaller framing projects done. As we say at our house, "not great, not terrible". I had hoped to get a bit more done, but I'm happy to have accomplished what I did and maybe I can get a few more done over the weekend.

An uncharacteristic amount of blue happening here, for a girl who's not wild about blue, but in stitching, I take it on a case-by-case basis. I usually "purple-ize" blue projects (convert from blue to purple), but I liked these designs as they were.

This is Winter's Rest by Calico Confectionery,  stitched with the recommended DMC on mystery rustic even weave.




Snowy Wren from the February 2023 issue of Just Cross Stitch, stitched with the recommended DMC on Bridesmaid even weave.




And Let it Snow by Blackberry Lane designs, stitched with the recommended DMC on PTP Stellar, which I don't think is available anymore (or wasn't last I checked). Which is a shame, as it's a stunning blue, but I think I remember reading that some blue dyes were discontinued a while back and fabric dyers lost some of their colors.




I'm going to keep poking along here in the sewing room. Stay tuned for another batch of framing in a few days! 

Then maybe some finishing? Who knows?!

Happy Stitching!

27 February 2024

Unsupervised: Pie for Breakfast

 

It's just us girls this week as Mr. Wonderful is TDY and we are unsupervised! I got the house cleaned last week, and spent Monday in the kitchen getting my meals sorted, and now I'm ready to spend the week catching up on some framing. So far, I've managed to frame one 5 x 3 piece, so I'm not exactly off to a blazing start, but start I have. It always takes me a while to get going if I haven't done it in a long time, and hopefully I can make a dent in the finishes box this week.

This is Just Nan's Flowering Crown.




I have sooo much work to do.


And that's just the small pieces I have frames for. I have a frame stash that I've collected over the years. I always keep an eye out for sale/clearance frames, especially ones in non-standard sizes. Those are hard to find, but sometimes you do run across them.

I've got some larger pieces that will require custom frames, but I think I may have found a source for those. I can do the framing myself, which saves a huge amount of money, it's just a matter of gritting my teeth and spending the money on the frames. I know, I know. We deserve to have our needlework out where we can enjoy it, not living in a box or a drawer. I don't know why I don't have a problem buying hand dyed linen and threads for a project, but balk at a custom frame. Doesn't make any sense to stop on the last step of the process, but there it is. I guess I'm weird and need to change my thinking! Anyway, that's the framing. 

And then there's the finishing pile. Yikes. I'm three years behind on annual Christmas ornaments. And lots of other stuff. *sigh* Let's move on to food.

Chicken Spaghetti is one of my favorite comfort foods. I use Pioneer Woman's recipe, with just a few tweaks. The full recipe makes two 9 x 13 pans, if you need to take food to someone and also make supper for your own family. It's easy to halve the recipe if you don't need that much.

I also made myself some pie, because why wouldn't I? This is an old favorite I haven't made in years. My little recipe book calls it Chocolate Truffle Cream Pie, but this is the same recipe. I am a big fan of dark chocolate, but if you're not, I suppose you could make it with different chocolate. I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips. The only other ingredients are marshmallows, milk, and cream. It's lovely and smooth and chocolatey, and not overly sweet.


Will I be eating pie for breakfast at least once this week? Why, yes. Yes, I will.

Back in a few days with more framing. Leaving you with this:

Unauthorized access to my foam core






23 February 2024

An Early Spring

 

It's been three years since I last decorated for spring (2021; we moved in April 2022 and in May 2023). As I was getting out my things I realized... I don't have enough spring stitches! I've got a couple in the current to-do pile, and hopefully I can get them done pretty soon. I also had a rummage in the finishes pile and realized I've got a few spring things to finish/frame, so that's on the list as well. Since we don't have winter here (or what I consider winter), I just decided to go ahead and get a head start on spring. 








It's nice to see all of it again after so long. I am, as always, behind on finishing and framing. I need to reorganize my shelves that hold all my stitching stuff. I'm thinking about re-doing my summer decor with a different theme. I need to pull some supplies and get a few projects together. I'm stalking the mailman for some goodies I'm expecting. Just busy, busy, busy. Aren't hobbies wonderful? So much to do, and plan, and think about, and putter around with, and look forward to. So good for what ailes you. 

Happy Stitching!

18 February 2024

Beautiful Little Red Bull

Finished my lovely boy! I am delighted with him!


Look at these sweet eyes!


I can't remember the last time I stitched a kit. I have a whole box full of them, but apparently I'm just squirreling them away for the future. I know some stitchers put them by for when they retire, in anticipation of having less disposable income and not being as free to purchase charts, fabric, and floss separately. I think that's a great idea. I didn't start my kit collection with that in mind, but maybe that's where I'm going with it. Anyway, I got this kit from this Etsy shop. They have frequent sales, so if it's not on sale it probably will be soon. I did change out the fabric for linen, and the kit provided plenty of floss.


February is almost over and I've got four more small projects I had hoped to stitch this month. Will I get them all done? Probably not! But stay tuned to see how it goes! (I may be unsupervised for a week at the end of the month, and things may happen!)

Happy Stitching!