26 April 2022

Quick Update


Just popping in for a minute and testing posting from my phone, which I've never had to do before. We're in temporary quarters at our new base. Very comfortable, but not like home, of course. Housing is a problem here and we're on a waiting list for quarters, but thankfully we did manage to find a place to live as we wait. Signed a lease yesterday. Huge relief. Our new place isn't available til late May, so we'll be hanging out in temporary quarters for a while yet. 

Tiger Lily has been a trooper, as always, but this upheaval has been hard on her. She's been a bit sick but seems to be feeling better now. She's chomping away on her snacks as I type this (with my thumbs... on my phone... *sigh*).


We're all kinda wiped out but hopefully now that we have the pressure of finding a place to live relieved, we can relax a bit before the next stage of this move: getting our shipment and unpacking. 

I haven't put in a stitch since early April. My brain has had two speeds over the last few weeks: "bag of squirrels" and "off". Not great for settling down to stitch. Maybe now I can.

Thank you for speeding us along with prayers and encouraging words. This has been a tough one, but I think we can see light at the end of the tunnel. 

Also, if this phone posting thing works, I may be unstoppable. Stay tuned.

10 April 2022

Signing off for a while

 

Hey y'all. Packers come Monday, movers come Wednesday, we leave for our next duty station on Thursday. I don't know how long it will be before I can resume posting, but it may be a while. Thank you so much to each and every one of you for all your prayers and well wishes for our move, and thank you for the birthday wishes for Tiger Lily. Hope to see y'all sooner rather than later. Take care, and Happy Stitching!

02 April 2022

Birthday Girl

 

Sixteen years old and still beautiful. Happy Birthday, precious Tiger Lily.

21 March 2022

A what and a what?

A finish and a start! Okay, the finish is my three-months-late 2021 Christmas ornament, but it's done, and that's better than not done, no matter how long it takes. This is my slightly modified version of this design. Just smooshed it down a bit, left off the words, and added a few snowflakes. Very bright and cheerful.

And here's my new start, one of my purchases in support of Ukrainian designers (please see this post). This adorable baby fox is from this shop. The fabric is the Zweigart manufactured brand from Hobby Lobby, 32 ct. in the color Spa.


Why am I starting this now, when I'm up to my eyebrows in moving? No idea. I've stitched a couple of foxes in this style (Sleeping Fox and Mandala Fox) and really enjoyed doing them. The blocks of color (or even patterns of color, as with Mandala Fox) make keeping track of where you are really easy, and the stitching goes pretty quickly. Not much counting or concentrating. So, pretty good project for when you have 50 other things on your mind.

Speaking of which, thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes for our upcoming move. This has been a difficult year already, and we have challenges ahead, but we've also been so blessed. I certainly count it as a blessing to be able to get lost in my stitching, and to have a place to share it, and y'all are part of that. 

Happy Stitching

17 March 2022

Nostalgia

 

Sometimes you just find something that makes your heart happy. Browsing around on Etsy a while back, I stumbled across this 37-year old (!) leaflet. It was $4.95 and I was tickled pink. Why?

Because these two little designs were hanging on the wall as stitched models at the very first cross stitch shop I ever frequented. I remember seeing them every time I visited. 

It's gone now, as so many are, but I spent many, many happy hours there and these chubby little bluebirds bring back such memories. I intend to stitch them for my sewing room. And I'll have to stitch that little chickadee, too, because I adore chickadees.

11 March 2022

Now, about that bag...


If you've been here for a while, you may remember before we moved here three years ago, I prepared a "mini stash" to see me through the upheaval of the move. I'm not a stitcher who "kits up" lots of projects in advance, however in this instance, I decided to put together a bunch of small projects to have available in case I was separated from my precious hoard for too long. As it turned out, the move went smoothly and we got quarters right away (thankfully), so I didn't end up needing it desperately. 

This move... well, it's another story. It doesn't appear things are going to fall into place as we had hoped, so I may be stashless for some time. Which we're not going to dwell on. What we are going to dwell on is my fabulous new stitching bag. 

Last time, I placed each project in a very fancy ziplock bag and tucked them all in a tote bag. I was so fancy. This time, I am fancy beyond words. Behold, the glory of this bag!

Inside front and first "page" (*flips the page*)

First and second pages (*flip*)


Second and third pages

Third and fourth pages (velcro closures)

Fourth page and inside back (more velcro closures)

This will give you a good idea of the size. That's an 11" x 12.5" q-snap lying flat in the back of the bag. 


It's also nice and wide.


And here she is, fully loaded and ready for whatever moving-related nonsense lies ahead! It's really more like a small, soft-sided suitcase (size wise) than a stitching bag. It holds a ton of stuff.

I got this bag on Amazon (Earthwise Arts & Crafts Storage Bag Organizer with 17 compartments). This size also comes in red, and I believe there is a smaller size, so if you're browsing, make sure about the size you want.

I always overestimate how much stitching I'll get done in situations like this, but it's nice to know I can dive into my mini stash at any moment and have a lot of projects to choose from, all neatly organized and ready to go.

Happy Stitching!

07 March 2022

Stuff & Things & Helping Ukrainians

 

Hey, y'all. I'm still here, at least for a little bit. We got our orders and will be moving in the middle of April, but I'm not sure how long it will be before we're settled enough for me to post regularly. The house is pretty much ready for the movers, and I've already done the pre-move heavy cleaning I always do. All that's left is my sewing room, which is partly done and isn't much trouble anyway. So over all, we're in good shape as far as that's concerned. As for other things, this move is going to be considerably more challenging than others we've done, but let's not dwell on that here. Let's just look at pretty scissors, and fabric, and stitching goodies, and stuff.

I haven't done much shopping; been too busy pulling the house apart for the move. But I have managed to pick up a few Emotional Support Goodies here and there. Treated myself to a new pair of Bohin scissors and a cute little needle minder. The polka dot scissor sheaths are a favorite of mine and you can find them in lots of Etsy shops. 


This is the fabric info. I ordered this from a Ukrainian seller on Etsy before the war started (can't believe I have to type that) as I'd never seen this in the US market. The number 7159 is the color designation, in case you go looking for it. More on the Ukrainian Etsy shops in a minute.

A few more bits of fabric, because fabric cheers us up. Left to right: Sandcastle Jobelan, PTP Mello, PTP Crystal Arctic. 

Couple of winter charts I picked up. The Heart in Hand one will be getting a color conversion at some point, just to deepen the colors a bit.

I also got a new stitching bag for the move. More on this bag in a few days. Watch this space, because you're gonna want to see inside this thing.

So about the Ukrainian Etsy shops. I have been ordering from a number of them for years and have always had very good service. Some ship stitching supplies and kits, some sell only pdf downloadable designs, some sell all of those things. I've linked many of these shops whenever I show a finish or a product. As of this writing, most of the Ukrainian shops I've ordered from are still up and running, though some have pulled the listings for anything that must be shipped (for obvious reasons) and left only pdf listings active.

There are numerous aid organizations to choose from to help the Ukrainians, but if you're looking for yet another way to do so, you can directly help them by supporting their shops. It may not seem like much, but for someone who is unable to work because of the war, four or five orders coming in may put food on the table for the day. 

If you're looking for a change from the sampler/primitive-heavy, muted color palette of the American market, check out Ukrainian designers. Their work is detailed, colorful, cheerful, whimsical. I'll list the shops I've purchased from, but there are more to explore. You can search "cross stitch patterns" on Etsy and filter the country of origin. (Shops are active as of this writing.)

KitsBySAstitch  Check out the series of animals in winter clothes... gorgeous! (I have the fox, chipmunk is on my list!)

NonStopStitch  I've stitched several designs from this shop. Beautiful set of lighthouse designs and so much more.

CutePatternsByMaria  Really charming. The Pet Collection has wonderful dog designs in many breeds. I stitched the Chow as a bookmark.

2x2StitchArt  Bold, bright designs. The nature category and the geometric category are not to be missed!

WonderlandUkraine  In calmer times, this shop has beautiful wood stitching accessories. Their digital downloads are still active.

AwesomePatternStudio  This is the shop where I bought my gorgeous Mandala Fox. So many animals to choose from, and such an enjoyable and relaxing style to stitch.

StitchyPrincess  Unique, folk art-style designs. I just purchased that lovely, swampy green sampler.

I hope you find some things you like. And remember...

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


15 January 2022

Saturday Sampler: Keeping Busy Edition

 

Before we get to important stitching news, I want to thank all of you for the continued prayers and the lovely messages for me and my family. I deeply appreciate all of them. This year has not started out as we had hoped, but we are blessed beyond measure and I count all of you among those blessings. I'm thankful to you and for you. (And for Tiger Lily, who has been my constant companion since I returned from Texas.)

Now, let's talk stitching, shall we? First, my 2021 blog book just arrived. This is a yearly tradition I treat myself to every January. I use this service and have always been happy with the books. There are discount codes on their Facebook page (you don't have to have a FB account to see them) and I recommend waiting for a current code if you're thinking of making a book. I am a paper and pencil, hard copy kinda gal, and I love having my blog in book form. 






As you might imagine, I didn't get to have my annual Stitchy Planning Week between Christmas and the New Year, so when I got back from Texas I started trying to put my mind to a little planning. At least for the first half of the year, my plans aren't as ambitious as they usually are since we'll be moving at some point. Don't know where, don't know when. Not stressful at all. So I needed some small, enjoyable, accomplishable (new word!) projects to get me through the coming months. Here's what I came up with:

This is free! Twelve pretty, seasonal bouquets and you can see all of them! I've only ever done one mystery SAL (large stitched piece with a common border, and you don't know what's coming) and from that experience I learned I'm not a mystery SAL person. I ended up going my own way on four of the last five installments, and while I'm very happy with the finished piece, I discovered that I'm a bit too much of a control enthusiast to put time and money for supplies into a large project I haven't seen. (If you love them, there are lots starting this month!)

And this is why I love this SAL. I'm stitching each bouquet individually as that's what works for me right now, but if you want to stitch them together, you can see what the finish will look like. January bouquet is up now.

She has also provided a list of all the hand dyed threads needed for the entire project, along with DMC conversions, so if you want to gather your supplies for the whole project, you can do so. 

I love the SAL explosion that happens every January. This did not used to be a thing, but in recent years it seems to have really taken off and while I don't do a lot of SALs, I'm happy to see anything that increases interest in stitching. If you'd like to join a SAL, this is a great list:


There are all kinds available. Some are free, some not. Some are mystery, some not. Different techniques. 

I think more than SALs, I enjoy monthly series. I guess that can be considered a SAL, but maybe with a series you feel you can drop in and out as you choose, and you don't have to stitch every installment. Or maybe that's just me. Or maybe it's the lack of a border? Maybe I just have psychological issues? If it has a border it's a SAL and if it doesn't it's a series? I have no idea... 

Anyway.

This is my second choice and I am so looking forward to it. Last year I stitched her Tea & Coffee Series (still need to stitch December), and I loved it. I was hoping she'd do another series this year, and when I saw it was birds I just melted! I adore birds and I must say, it felt like a little gift just for me. Please do check out her Etsy shop. She has so many pretty things.

Also, keep your eyes open for Nashville Market goodies. I have noticed the very first few items begin to show up, one of which is a new edition of the Market cookbook they began producing a couple of years ago. Very cute little cookbooks with some small designs included. I'll try to remember to post Market preview pages when shops start putting them up.

Lots to look forward to in the stitchy world, and lots to keep busy with. Hope you're all happy and healthy and stitching up a storm!



10 January 2022

Thank You

 

Thank you for all of your prayers and kind words over the last year. My dad passed away on New Year's Day. He and my mom had been married 60 years.