21 June 2018

Victory!

It's cookie time for everyone! Look what arrived today!

Finally got my little mitts on Judith Kirby's Victorian House #13, Midwinter Moonlight. I've been seeing it here and there for far more than I wanted to pay, but I finally found one that was reasonably priced (for me). This completes my years-long quest to acquire this seasonal set:

About five years ago, I bought Autumn House from a fellow stitcher and two years ago I stitched it using my purple house color conversion. (I really need to get this framed.)


In February of last year, a very kind stitcher who was de-stashing gifted me with Spring and Summer.

I have #14, Summer Sunset, in my to-stitch basket for this summer. I've got a piece of fabric picked out for it and I'm anxious to see if it will look as cool in real life as it does in my head. I've got fabric in mind for Spring as well, but I think that house is going to need a paint job and I haven't decided on a color for it yet.

Lately, I've found myself reaching back to older designs, and re-imagining them with different color schemes or on hand dyed fabric (or both). It is amazing what a difference just changing the fabric makes. If you've been visiting for a while, you know that I love fiddling with color (if you're new, click on the "color conversions" tab below the header picture), and one really fun way to do that is to "update" an older design with a bold fabric choice. Even though my mom taught me to stitch when I was about five, I didn't start stitching in earnest until I was about 15, and back in those dark days, blue Aida was a bold choice. Now, there is an endless array of colorful Aida, linen, and evenweave. And those older designs whose models were stitched on white Aida deserve a second look. 

So, I encourage you to keep a sharp eye out for older treasures wherever they may be found: garage sales, Goodwill, clearance bins at your LNS, or online; they're usually really inexpensive. Plunk down $3 for your chart, splurge on some beautiful fabric, and breathe new life into an aging design. 

Happy Hunting... and may all your Stitchy Quests end in Victory!

19 June 2018

Summer Stitching

I am slowly emerging from my Stanley-Cup-winning-induced fog, though I absolutely intend to celebrate all summer. I've got a couple of new projects going (but only one you can see), and of course, even the delirium of victory cannot cloud my ability to acquire fabric. Let's see what I've been up to. 

Here's my beautiful summer project, Clover and Lace by Misty Hill Studio. The verse reads:

Her lawn looks like a meadow
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne's lace

I adore this. It reminds me of my Grandparents' home. Somewhere there's a picture of me standing in their front yard, knee-high in Queen Anne's lace, spared from the mower. I'm stitching this on 28 ct. PTP Oaken and sticking pretty close to the called-for colors, which I'll post when I have a finish to show. Look at those sweet little bunns!


I made a new fairy door needle minder.

Here's what the package looks like, in case you go hunting for it. I think it came from Hobby Lobby, but these little button packs are everywhere. I think the round door on the right looks like a Hobbit door!

New fabric has come to live at my house! These are Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie. Left: Colonial Parchment; right: Simply Sage. Both are 28 ct. linen.

Fabric Flair. Left: Bridesmaid; right: Nut. Both 28 ct.

Fabric Flair Fairy Mist with Silver, 28 ct. I've shown some of this before, but I decided to get a bit more because it's so pretty and very delicately sparkly. I get all of my FF fabric from 123 Stitch.

And finally...

Believe it or not, I've started on my Christmas Open House 2018. This year will be my fifth annual Open House, and I wanted to do something extra special. I came up with the theme about a month ago, and I've just started to work on it. And yes, it will take me six months to get it done! But when you're having fun, it's not really work, is it?

09 June 2018

Saturday Sampler: Stanley Cup Edition

Had to make a celebratory wreath for our front door! A $4.97 wreath from Wal Mart, a few letters and some glitter from Michael's, and some aluminum foil and hot glue. Boom!



I'm actually kinda proud of my little Stanley Cup. I'm pretty proud of the big one, too!

I may have worn these Friday:

The night before Game 5, we went to dinner at our favorite little Italian place and then took a walk around the lake near our house. Throughout dinner and our walk, we talked about the Caps, the playoffs, the Final, the upcoming game. Oh, the anxiety! Would they win the Cup? (Geese, completely unconcerned.)


They did. And it was glorious. I'm still recovering from all the nerves and excitement and tears and lack of sleep. The Stanley Cup playoffs are not for the faint-of-heart, and the Final is absolutely brutal on the nerves. I'm worn out!

Tiger Lily is recovering from all of the excitement, too. She is very much a little creature of habit, especially when it comes to her bedtime. The late nights of playoff hockey and all the hollering have interfered with her beauty sleep.

We'll all be snoozing peacefully this weekend.

08 June 2018

FINALLY!


Our Washington Capitals just won the Stanley Cup! Much joyful yelling from Mr. Wonderful (sorry, neighbors!) and many joyful tears from me! 

I. CANNOT. BELIEVE. THEY. FINALLY. DID. IT.


Well done, boys. What a run.

28 May 2018

Mind Your Own Beeswax


This made me smile when I found it. We used to say this all the time when we were kids, and I wondered aloud to Mr. Wonderful if kids still say this nowadays. Privacy and discretion seem to have gone out of fashion, what with data mining on one side and over-sharing on the other. I'm pretty old fashioned about privacy so this little design is just about perfect for me. It's available here. I stitched mine on 28 ct. PTP Sand (I think) with GAST threads in Apple Cider, Brandy, and Soot.

You know those super soft sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles the grocery store sells? Well, here's a homemade version and yes, they're better than the store-bought kind. These are lovely and the recipe is right here. The recipe I used is from her book Sweet & Simple and it is slightly different from the online recipe, but very close. It makes only 6 cookies (I got 7 out of it) so it's perfect for a weekend treat.


I also made scones and a tiny 6" chocolate cake. So that's how I spent my holiday weekend: stitching and baking. (And shopping for sprinkles because now I'm obsessed with this cookie recipe and I need sprinkles for every occasion.)

22 May 2018

Antique Beasts & Birds Finish!

My full color version of Antique Beasts & Birds by Elizabeth's Designs.




Stitched on 28 ct. Natural Brown Undyed Linen (Wichelt) with Caron Wildflowers and DMC 938.

My color choices:

border: Copper and DMC 938
words: DMC 938

rabbit: Suede
dog: Burnt Toast
squirrel: Copper
cat: Caramel
bird #1: Dense Fog

butterfly: Mountain Haze
lion: Old Gold
elephant: Dense Fog
chick: Old Gold
bird #2: Oyster
horse: Burnt Toast

snake: Moss
monkey: Copper
bee: Old Gold
fish: Suede
dragonfly (?): Mountain Haze
bird #3: Lexi's Blue


One note about the design: I didn't notice until I'd finished stitching the words that the letter "s" is charted in two different ways, and the model switches them (from the chart) in a couple of places. It didn't matter to me and I left them as they were, but if that sort of thing bothers you, you may want to make note of it.

18 May 2018

A New Stitching Buddy and a WIP Update

Y'all, look who just arrived at my house, all the way from Scotland! Isn't this the most adorable little pink frog you've ever seen? 

Look at this face!

And she brought goodies with her! Beautiful counting pins and buttons and needles and thread. All of these wonderful gifts are from the very talented Ann in Scotland. She made the pink frog--who hasn't got a name yet--but who is very much on duty keeping me company while I stitch. Thank you so much, Ann!

And here's another peek at my progress on Beasts and Birds. I'm now down to the last row of animals and a few more words, then it's on to the border. 

My sweet frog couldn't be more appropriate. It's been raining for days here, and I've been stitching by an open window, listening to the rain and to the extremely delighted frogs singing their little hearts out in the pond behind our house.

I hope my next update is a finish. My next project is all ready to go and it's calling me.

14 May 2018

Chickens, Mo' Pottery, and a WIP Update

Another spring Saturday, another day of wandering the countryside looking at (and sometimes buying) stuff. Have I ever mentioned my life goal of someday owning a few chickens? Well, now I have. I want some chickens. We were plundering another pottery studio on Saturday, and the potter had the prettiest (?) chickens I've ever seen. Even Mr. Wonderful was charmed.

I mean, look at this gal:



And of course, the pottery hoard continues to grow (unlike my cabinet space).

I love this squatty little pitcher. I have a thing for pitchers. Never use them. Just love them. I think I'll start putting flowers in them and get rid of most of my glass vases. (See how cleverly I just came up with a "reason" to buy more pottery pitchers?)


Last year one of our favorite local potters was experimenting with teapots, and I got this little beauty. Saturday we discovered he'd made a few teacups. Had to have one.

I've been working away on Beasts and Birds. Here's a sneak peek at a few of the critters.

I'll post a complete list of all my color choices when I post the finish.

07 May 2018

Here a (Purple) Peep

Finally, a finish! Here's my purple dress version of Here a Peep There a Peep from With Thy Needle and Thread, stitched on 28 ct. Lamb's Wool.



Original color --> my change

Weeks Sockeye --> GAST Old Brick
GAST Brandy --> GAST Golden Rod
CC Autumn Spice --> DMC 920
CC Candied Yams --> CC Sunkissed
CC Eggshell --> CC Toasted Marshmallow
CC Mint Julep --> CC Grape Pie
CC Ye Old Gold --> GAST Golden Rod
CC Crab Cakes --> GAST Holly Berry

I also left off the white stitches on either side of the dark stitch for the eye, and just filled in with Golden Rod instead.

And now for my next project, which I'm really looking forward to. Way back in November 2015, I had the wild urge to stitch the Plum Street Samplers Sunday Mystery Sampler (the Twelve Days of Christmas) in full color instead of the three or four colors it was charted for. It was a bit like falling down a rabbit hole. I had no idea where I was going color-wise, and obviously no idea what the finished product would look like, but I was undeterred. I chose a favorite, rustic-looking neutral fabric--Wichelt Natural Brown Undyed linen--and my favorite threads--Caron Wildflowers--and off I went. (If you haven't been around my blog for that long, click on the picture of the Twelve Days of Christmas finish in the right sidebar to see all of my posts about the project. There's a link to the free charts in there somewhere, too.)

I was really happy with how it turned out and I figured I would end up doing another project  using this approach at some point. And here it is.

I saw this when all the new Market stuff was arriving and immediately imagined it in color. I love the verse, especially, and all the little critters just shouted, "Color me!" My Caron Wildflowers collection has grown quite a bit in the last couple of years, but it's not complete, so naturally I had to order some more colors to play with. I'll be using the Natural Brown Undyed linen again.

These are my new colors. I don't know if I'll use them all, but it helps to have lots of choices on hand when you're making it up as you go.


I cannot wait to get started on this! Stay tuned for critter color updates!