31 January 2015

Sheila Sheep

Just a few changes on this one: changed the blue on her hat to pink, changed the blue knitting needle ends to pink, omitted the eyeshadow, used 815 for the backstitching on the chair instead of black, and used the lighter shade of green for the ball of yarn.

Still two behind... but only two behind! Happy Stitching!

24 January 2015

Woodland Birdies Finished!

Just finished this chubby little quail!

Woodland Birdies, Victoria Sampler:

Now I need to try to catch up on the Advent Animals... I'm two behind!

Happy Stitching!

22 January 2015

An Unexpected "Vacation"

So I was doing a little finishing Monday morning, and inexplicably threw out my back. Leaned over... leaned back... WHAM! I guess I'm getting old. Anyway, that totally shut down my week, since for the first couple of days I was hobbling around like a little old lady, couldn't lift anything, couldn't bend over. No housekeeping for me. Mr. Wonderful ordered me to stop trying to continue my domestic commando activities, and took over. He's been taking care of laundry, food, errands... he even took Tiger Lily to the vet last night after work (a double ear infection... like last winter... poor thing). I've been able to move around quite a bit more today and have even been (carefully) doing laundry, but for most of the week I've just been sitting and stitching. 

I picked up the Woodland Birdies again after a long break. I stitched the owl last year, and just finished the woodpecker. Now I'm on to the quail.

This is the ornament I was finishing when my back exploded.

This is Mr. Wonderful's 2014 ornament, from the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue. I found the trim in the upholstery section of a craft store in California years ago and dug it out of my finishing stash. The tiny holly garland is from Hobby Lobby, and I found it in their Christmas craft section a year or two ago. I don't like my ornaments to be fussy, so I usually don't add bows or tassels or anything like that. Sometimes I do, but not usually. And Mr. Wonderful's ornaments are always "bow-less," but I thought maybe a little garland would look nice on this one, to pull out the green of the tree and balance all the red. If I find something I like better when the Christmas crafts come out this year, I may change it, but for right now I like it.

We're on the mend around here... I'm getting around better and Tiger Lily is feeling better, too. We're just sitting around stitching and resting. We both have a good excuse! Hopefully I'll have that little quail done and ready to show off soon.

17 January 2015

Woodland Sampler: January Block

Here's another project I'll be working on throughout the year. This is Woodland Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. My plan is to stitch one block a month. I'm stitching it on 28 ct. mushroom evenweave. I changed the border color to DMC 839 to better match the fabric (which is darker than the model), and I changed the word "January" to DMC 156. 

Happy Stitching!

15 January 2015

January Update: Snowfire Christmas

I've got a bunch of other projects going (unusual for me), so I'm only working on this project for about the first week of the month. Progress won't be as fast as it could be, but I'm thoroughly enjoying stitching this sampler. Here's my January progress, before I put it to bed until February.

For info on fabric and color changes, click on the "Snowfire Christmas" label.

12 January 2015

Needle Minder Mania!

I've been gluing my fingers together again! A while back, I posted pictures of some needle minders I made out of old costume jewelry. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, so I decided to make some more. Because I need a needle minder to match every project. I couldn't care less about shoes for every outfit, but needle minders are another story.

This time I raided the jewelry-making section of Michael's and picked up a few charms. This first one is my favorite, even though I was hoping to find something more like a tiny picture frame with flat glass. I'm pretty sure Hobby Lobby has them, but I'll have to wait until later in the week to check. I can always make more... especially of the Stitchy Supervisor!

A Tiger Lily needle minder!

Here's what they look like unassembled. I used a tiny amount of super glue on the tip of a toothpick and dotted it around the edges to assemble the pieces. I also used pliers to remove the loop.

Sometimes you can't remove the loop without damaging the charm, and in that case you can just glue on a little bead or a flat-backed crystal, as I did with these next two, a Celtic knot and a bird's nest.

This last one was an experiment, just to see if it would work. I found this tiny teacup in the miniature section and hot-glued magnets to the bottom (the super glue wouldn't bond to the ceramic). I think it's charming!

Public Service Announcement: nail polish remover with acetone will remove super glue from skin. News you can use!

10 January 2015

Goodies, spoils, plunder, loot...

I've said it here before, I'll say it again: One of the joys of being a stitcher is that you find yourself delighted by very simple things. And the ability to be delighted by very simple things seems to be something we lose as we age and life gets more complicated. I think that capacity for joy and fun keeps us young... or at least young at heart. There is a sense of "play" in needlework. Pretty colors of fabric and floss in endless combinations. "Toys" of all kinds, from sparkly needle minders to scissors in our favorite color. Rainy afternoons spent "playing" in--also known as "organizing"--our stash. Daydreaming about our next project. All of those things are just fun, and fun is good for you! And we haven't even gotten to any actual stitching yet!

Something else that's fun about being a stitcher is always being on the look-out for goodies that can be turned toward stitchy uses. Sometimes you find stuff in the most unexpected places. Yesterday, Mr. Wonderful and I had a rare day out together, and one of our stops was Home Depot. Look at this cool set of boxes I found for less than $8!

The big one measures roughly 10" x 4" x 6" and the little one that fits inside measures roughly 7" x 1 1/4" x 4 1/2". They had this purple color and the teal color you see on the sticker on the top of the box. These are perfect for stitchy tools and small projects. An assembled 6" x 6" q-snap will fit in the bottom of the large box, under the large tray, and the lid will still snap shut (you have to leave out the smaller box). The more I fiddle with this set of boxes, the more I'm tempted to go back and get a few more, maybe to put by for small gifts. They're just neat little boxes.

More goodies. Found this beautiful fox puzzle at A.C. Moore, along with this super cute fat quarter of fabric I'll be using for finishing Christmas ornaments. See those little foxes?

Also found some pretty silver acorn charms to use in finishing. These have a nice weight to them.

Those are my fun finds from yesterday, and here's something else from yesterday. These weird tiny snow pellets were all over the ground when we went out in the morning. It's called "graupel." We'd never heard of it. 

Isn't that strange?

We've got more interesting weather on the way, so I'm off to tidy my sewing room and hopefully start a new project, because there's just nothing better than stitching when it's nasty outside. 

Happy Stitching! And remember to keep an eye out for stitchy goodies in unexpected places!

08 January 2015

Because I have no willpower...

...and because I'm excited!, I'm sharing a little sneak peek of my progress on a SAL in which I'm participating. It began on New Year's Day, and the project is whatever design you've been really, really wanting to stitch but just haven't got around to yet. The updates are supposed to be shared on the 15th of each month, but I can't wait until next week. I'm too excited to finally be stitching this, and I'm too happy about how it's turning out, especially since I've made my usual numerous changes.

Over on the right, you'll see a picture of Just Nan's Snowfire Christmas, which I'm stitching as a wedding sampler for our Christmas wedding 14 years ago. Better late than never, right? In a way, I'm actually glad it's taken me this long to stitch this, because if I had stitched it all those years ago, I probably would have stitched it exactly like the picture. The model is beautiful, which is why I chose it, but at this point in my stitching life, I'm much happier with customizing things. For this project, I've made the following changes:

*fabric is 28 ct. Valor, from Picture This Plus
*DMC #12 Perle Cotton 712 changed to blanc
*DMC 712 changed to blanc
*DMC 3731 changed to 777
*pale rose gold beads changed to silver
*cream pearl beads changed to pearl
*champagne beads changed to ice

When I chose the green fabric instead of the antique white used for the model, I also swapped the ivory/cream colors for white/pearl and swapped the gold for silver. I wanted a snowy/icy look, and I wanted the snowflake motifs to stand out more on the green fabric. Also... breaking news... I'm obsessed with green fabric. (Long-time readers nod sagely.)

So here's what I've got so far!

I am happy, happy, HAPPY with this so far. And I couldn't wait until next week to share. Hope your beginning-of-the-year stitching is going just as well!

Happy Stitching!

06 January 2015


A snowy day here. Tiger Lily has spent the morning on her basket by the window watching all the birds have their breakfast. 

01 January 2015

Happy New Year!

May you have lots and lots of finishes in 2015!