Monday, December 31, 2012

The Other Side

I plan to take my finished Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D to the framers on Thursday, but before I do, I thought I'd share a picture of the other side.  This is my back, which will be covered when framed.  It's probably my neatest ever.

Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D - Back

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Dancing Tonight!

I am very excited to announce that Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D was finished tonight.  This was stitched as our 40th Anniversary Sampler.  Our anniversary was actually February 12th, but I figured it would be fine if I finished it this year.  That goal was accomplished, and now I can look forward to some other projects for the New Year.  Since I've been stitching all day, I haven't taken time to iron, but here's the finished piece hot off the frame.

Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D Completed!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas!  I've been stitching daily, and it looks like Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D will definitely be finished by December 31st.  Once that happens, I'll post pictures.  Right now, I'd rather keep stitching to meet my goal.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Brief Update On My Sampler

I had to re-position my Q-Snaps again, so here's an updated picture of my anniversary sampler, Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D.  On Sunday I had taken time to go through a bunch of Sajou alphabets to find one that would fit our surname in a section at the top of the piece.  As you can see, I have stitched the DIBLA and will next stitch the NCA to complete that.  With 11 days left in 2012, I'm really going to try to get this done before the year ends.  It will help that the 11 days includes 2 weekends, the holiday, and a shortened work week.

Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D

Friday, December 14, 2012

Time to Finish My Anniversary Sampler

I've been trying to finalize my stitching plans for 2013, which have changed several times as things pop up and draw my interest.  Most recently, my thrift store find of And They Sinned led to my joining a SAL for that piece starting in February.  I've decided that before starting that one, I really need to finish Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D, being stitched as our 40th anniversary sampler.  That anniversary was actually February 12, 2012, but I was stitching it on that date and if I get it done before February 13, 2013, it will be finished in our 40th year of marriage. 

So I picked up that piece this week and will be stitching it daily until Christmas Eve, when I've committed to starting Wisteria by The Silver Lining.  I also have new starts on New Year's Eve and January 4th, but Gigi's sampler is going to be my focus piece until completed.

I just took it out of the Q-snaps to be re-positioned, so I took a picture to post here.  Pardon the wrinkles, but it's tough to keep fabric smooth when you're stuffing a piece of fabric 36" x 31" into 11" x 11" Q-snaps! 

Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D
I intend to stitch as much as possible this weekend, which is also International Hibernate & Stitch Weekend, so let's see how much I can get done!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thrift Store Finds!

Today I met some friends for brunch in Canyon Lake, a small town north of San Antonio, where we had a lovely brunch and watched a delightful small town Christmas parade.  While there, I also visited the local thrift store and was excited with some awesome finds in their cross stitch bin!

The most exciting find was an unopened copy of And They Sinned by Examplar Dames Design Co.  This is a huge Adam and Eve sampler with a stitch count of 809 x 169.  Though it currently retails for far more, I got this for only $1.  You can get a closer look at the design and see a picture of a woman by the finished piece at:  I'm not sure when I'll work this into my stitching rotation, but for now I'm just delighted to have this in my stash!

And They Sinned by Exampler Dames Design Co.

A second find was a small Silken Wings Kit titled Sitting Chickadee by Crossed Wing Collection.  The kit has the chart, matted 40ct silk gauze, and Au Ver A Soie d'Alger silk threads.  Someone did start to stitch a tiny section, but I believe I can remove those stitches without mich difficulty.  I've never stitched on silk gauze before and wanted to get some for Baby Roses by The Silver Lining, a chart of rose bud miniatures I was gifted recently.  I'll either stitch the chickadee for practice or use the silk gauze for one of the roses.  Either way, this was another great $1 find!

Sitting Chickadee by Crossed Wing Collection

Next was a Janlynn Pillow Top Kit of a Hen.  This would be lovely for someone who collects things featuring roosters and hens.  The kit is unopened, and contains 14ct black Aida plus all the threads.  While I doubt I will stitch this myself, I thought it might be a good one to donate as a contest prize in one of the online stitching groups I belong to.  This one, too, was only $1.

Janlynn Hen Pillow Top Kit

My final thrift shop find for the day was a Shepherd's Bush kit, Queen Bee Sampler.  This kit has the chart, 32ct. Belfast linen, and all the silk floss, beads, and charms required to complete the band sampler.  Though the kit had been opened, all the contents are there unused.  Like the pillow top kit, this will probably be donated as a contest prize.  Once again, the price was only $1.

Queen Bee Sampler by The Shepherd's Bush

Friday, November 23, 2012

New Starts Coming!

Well, the Thanksgiving feast is over, and it's time to look forward to the December Holidays and New Year, which generally includes new starts for many stitchers.  Before I settle down to an afternoon of stitching, I thought I'd post some new starts I have planned myself.

First, the OneOverOners Yahoo Group is running a series of Designer Appreciation Events.  December and January features the work of Marc Saastad aka The Silver Lining  One of the women in the group ran a giveaway this week, and I won the chart for Wisteria.  Once I receive the chart, I'll get the threads and start stitching it on 28 count black Jobelan, already in my stash.

Wisteria by Marc Saastad
I was gifted Mirabilia's Sleeping Beauty over 10 years ago by the designer, but never seemed to find the fabric that "called to me" for stitching it.  A couple of small dyers were having sales this weekend, and I finally found the fabric I'd been waiting for at Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie, whose website is:  The fabric I ordered is 32 count opalescent linen in Sunset, and I'll plan to start this sometime in 2013.  Here's a mock-up I put together on that fabric:

Mirabilia's Sleeping Beauty on Stephy's Sunset
The Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) Bulletin Board is running a Freebie SAL for 2013 that I have joined.   To join, you must have been a member before sign-ups began last week, and the board is closed until that process is completed in early December.  Participants receive the chart of their choice from five QS and one SK designs, distributed in parts during 2013 following a schedule yet to be posted.  Those who complete certain milestones can receive one or more of the other charts offered after the SAL is finished next December.  All those who complete their piece are also entered into a drawing for a free HAED chart of their choice.  So far 291 stitchers have joined, and sign-ups are still open through December 2nd.  Of those, 114 have chosen Randal Spangler's QS The Literate Dragon, including me.  I'll be stitching this one 2x2 on 32count Belfast Linen from my stash.

HAED QS The Literate Dragon by Randal Spangler
Finally, I've already posted that I'll be starting HAED's Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall on New Year's Day.  This will do double duty for SALs in The Stash, Stitch and Honking Raketeers Club and the HAED Josephine Wall Cross Stitch Group, both on Facebook.  I'll be stitching that one 1x1 on 25 count fabric, though I'm still deciding which fabric I'll use.

HAED Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall
There are other charts in my stash waiting to be stitched, but adding these to my WIPs, I think my frames and Q-Snaps are pretty much committed for a while.  I really hope to have at least one finish next year!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November's TUSAL post

Well, the New Moon  was November 13th, so I'm a few days late posting my TUSAL picture.  What is TUSAL?  For those of you not familiar with the term, it's the Totally Useless Stitch A Long, sponsored by DaffyCat.  You can get more info at: including info to be coming shortly about 2013 sign ups.  Essentially we keep our thread ends in a pretty jar and show them to the only other people in the planet that can appreciate them - other stitchers!  Here's mine for November:

My TUSAL Jar, November 17, 2012
Can you see all the fuzzy blue-violet stuff in there?  That's the thread frogged from HAED's Eternal Promise after I finally decided that 3x1 tent stitch just wasn't for me.  It was a tough decision, but rather than move foward with something I wasn't enjoying, I frogged it all.  The frogging took a while, but the fabric is now ready for a new start. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Stitching Update

My stitching's gone a little slow lately, hampered a bit by the need to get new glasses.  It's hard to see the tiny little holes when your eyes are not focusing quite right, even with MagEyes.  Fortunately, my new glasses have been ordered and should be here in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I've decided that the tight stitching on HAED's Angel with Iris, done 2 over 1 on 25 count Dublin linen, should wait until the new glasses come in.  I've taken her off the Mark 2 for now, and here's a picture of what's been done so far:

HAED Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina

In the meantime, I've decided that HAED's The Sistine Chapel will be easier to stitch.  That one's being stitched 1 over 1 on 28 count Jobelan.  I've moved that from the Q-Snaps to scroll rods, and it will now have it's turn on the Mark 2.  Here's a picture with a few new stitches added:

HAED The Sistine Chapel

I'll post an update on this next Sunday, by which time I hope to have at least the first few rows of the top of the piece completed.  When I work my HAED projects on Q-Snaps, I work on a page at a time.  With the new scroll rods, I think I'll probably be working across the full piece. 

Back to my stitching for now!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And the winner is.....

Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall was the chart that received the most votes in my blog poll.  This will be my new start for the January 1st SAL in The Stash, Stitch, and Honking Raketeers Club on Facebook.  Thanks to all who voted.  The final count was
    Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall
  • Flight of the Lynx...9
  • Asian Fantasy 3....6
  • Foregone...5
  • Past Present Future...4
  • City of Coins...3
  • The Wind in the Stone...3
  • Biting the Sun..2
  • Diana...2
The odd thing was that I had gotten a coupon text from Michaels and decided to stop on my way home from work and pick up the threads, since this chart was the obvious winner.   When I got home, all the poll numbers had been zeroed out!  I have no idea why, but at least I had gotten the feedback I wanted.  Thank you!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Decisions, decisions.....

Past Present Future

Asian Fantasy 3
In support of Heaven and Earth Designs, an All Hallows Exchange event was set up on Facebook.  The idea was that interested stitchers would sign up to send and receive a RAK which would be a HAED chart from their wish list.  As it turned out, there were two sales during the event, plus some of us had birthdays, so lots of charts were RAK'd.  I ended up RAKing and receiving 8 charts myself.  The next step is that a SAL has been set up on a Facebook group named The Stash, Stitch and Honking Raketeers Club, in which stitchers will start one of the HAED charts received as RAKs during the event.  The start date is January 1st.
Biting the Sun
My initial impulse was to start Past Present Future by Aimee Stewart, which is the smallest of the charts I received.  It's rather abstract, but has a lot of color interest, plus I saw a WIP of this piece which is fabulous.  On the other hand, I recently saw Rachel's beautiful finish of Kinuko Y. Craft's Turandot (also in my stash but not eligible for this SAL) and I wonder if I should go for one of the more spectacular pieces.  I may stick with my original preference, but wouldn't mind getting some opinions.

City of Coins

The Wind in the Stone

Flight of the Lynx


If you were going to stitch one of these eight charts, which one would you choose? 

Time for WIPocalypse!

Well it's time for WIPocalypse again!  This month I got a new Mark 2 floor frame and did some work on HAED's Angel with Iris.  You can see the progress pics in the WIP tab and also in the previous posts.  I did have to re-do my blog recently, so I lost all my followers with the re-do.  If you were following before and still want to do so, you may need to join again.

For those of you weathering the hurricane tonight, I really hope you get through it safely!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Stitching Update, One Last RAK, and a New Year SAL

Earlier this week I'd burned my finger when I over-filled my teapot with boiling water, so I didn't get quite as much stitching done as I wanted, but I did get some work done on HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Stelkina.  Now that I've got the Mark 2, I'll be working to keep the progress even across the piece, rather than working on the page that fits in an 11"x11" Q-Snap.  To that end, I'm working the tops of pages 10 and 11 right now, so here's where she stands.  As you can see by the threads, I'm working a lot of confetti!

HAED Angel with Iris by Nadia Stelkina
As for the HAED All Hallows Exchange, I did one final round and received Aimee Stewart's Past Present Future.  This is rather different from most pieces I've chosen, with bright color and an abstract design.  Yet I'd been drawn to it and added it to my wish list after seeing another stitcher's fabulous WIP of that design. 

HAED Past Present Future by Aimee Stewart
A new Facebook Group called The Stash, Stitch and Honking Rakateers Club has been set up to continue the fun started with the All Hallows Exchange.  A SAL is planned to begin January 1st with stitchers doing new starts of charts received via the All Hallows Exchange.  Though a final decision isn't needed until the end of the year, I will probably start this one.  It's the smallest of the new charts I've received this month and probably has the least amount of confetti, too. 

On a final note, I hope that anyone reading this who lives on the East Coast gets through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.  I used to live in New York and know how bad such storms can be.  My prayers are with you!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday Stash and Another Round of RAKs

Yesterday was my birthday, and I received a bunch of lovely cards and threads from stitching friends.  It was also the "official" start of the HAED All Hallows Exchange on Facebook.  I'd taken part in the earlier test rounds in the beginning of October, during which I received 4 HAED charts, 3 RAKs in the assigned exchange, plus one as an early birthday gift.  This time I've signed up for just one assigned RAK so far, for which Bea Lapp actually sent me 2 HAED charts since it was also my birthday.  I also found that Fiona McQuade from Scotland and I share the same birthday, and we exchanged HAED charts to celerate.  Here are the new HAEDs added to my stash this week:

HAED Biting the Sun by Kinuko Y. Craft
A Birthday RAK from Fiona McQuade
HAED Asian Fantasy 3 by Gracjana Zielinska
RAK'd by Bea Lapp
HAED The Wind in the Stone by Kinuko Y. Craft
RAK'd by Bea Lapp

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just A Quick Update...

First, I didn't get much stitching done this week.  Every time I started, my eyes were kind of blurry and I really didn't want to mess it up and invite in the frogs.  I'd been doing tons of computer work on huge spreadsheets for work, and I figured that was just taking too much toll on my eyes to see really clearly in the evening.

Tonight I realized what the real problem was.  With my new Mark 2 floor stand, my work is closer to my eyes than it was with my lap stand.  I was using the same MagEye lenses which were too strong for the new set-up.  I switched out the lenses, and I could see my work much better.  Hopefully this week will be more productive!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Been a (Mostly) Great Week!

With the exception of being rear-ended on my way to work in the rain on Thursday, it's been a great week.  Even that wasn't terribly bad, since no one was hurt and my car just needs the rear bumper replaced.  Insurance will take care of that next week.

On the HAED All Hallows Exchange on Facebook, I gave and received two more charts besides the ones I"d mentioned earlier.  One is Diana by Josephine Wall and the other is City of Coins by Ciro Marchetti.

Diana by Josephine Wall

City of Coins by Ciro Marchetti
My (early) birthday present should come in handy for stitching all the beautiful charts in my stash.  My Mark 2 by Hearthside Craftworks arrived on Tuesday, and today I mounted a WIP, HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina on the scroll rods. What a joy it is to have this workstation!  The frame rotates 360 degrees with just a touch of a finger....great for all the HAED confetti!

My New Mark 2

A Closer Look at Angel with Iris
That's my news for the week, and now it's time to get back to stitching!

Just a Quick Note

I just wanted to post a note to let you know I now have a page with pictures of all the HAED BAPs in my stash.  Click the HAED BAP Stash link above if you'd like to see.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

RAKS and Birthday Presents

What a great two days for a stitcher!  First, I'd joined a group on Facebook that planned to do a group HAED RAK between October 24th and October 31st.  Called the All Hallows Exchange, the idea is that anyone who joined would both give and receive a Heaven and Earth Designs chart from their wish list.  Well, with the HAED Columbus Day Sale in progress, the organizer asked if anyone would want to go early and test it out. Lots of us chose to do so, and she assigned givers and recipients in groups of six.  Kind of like passing the love, #1 gave to #2 who gave to #3 who gave to #4 who gave to #5 who gave to #6 who gave to #1.  This is lots of fun and still going on.  I received Foregone by Marta Dahlig from Jen Bell and gave Witchcraft, also by Marta Dahlig to Michelle Davis.

HAED Foregone by Marta Dahlig
HAED Witchcraft by Marta Dahlig

Next came a totally unexpected RAK from Liz Dewis as an early birthday present.  She sent me Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall.  I just had to say thank you, so I sent her Mini Feeling Better from her wish list.

HAED Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall

HAED Mini Feeling Better
by Maxine Gadd

I have so many beautiful charts to stitch, and tonight my birthday gift from my husband arrived.  Shortly after 6:30pm, the postman rang the doorbell and delivered my Mark 2 Floor Stand from Hearthside Craftworks in Calgary, Canada. 
Mark 2 by Hearthside Craftworks
In less than half an hour, we had it unpacked and assembled.  I have a few things to re-arrange in the living room and will need to baste my WIPs on the new scroll rods, but I will definitely be stitching up a storm this coming weekend.

My birthday's actually not until October 24th, but I think I'll be forgiven for using it right away.  Don't you agree?  I can even use this with my recliner.  It will be such a joy to stitch with this one.  The first piece to be mounted will be HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina, a WIP which is almost 1/4 completed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frogging Project Completed and a Present on Its Way!

As mentioned earlier, my major project this week was to finish frogging over half a page of HAED's Eternal Promise (retired version) by Matt Stewart.  I'd started that on 25 count Raw Dublin Linen using a 3x1 tent stitch.  While I loved the design and fabric, I'm really a true cross stitcher and did not care for the tent stitch nor the bulk of the three threads.  I am very careful to finish the threads tightly on the back, and this confetti-filled project was not easy to reverse stitch.  However, I did finish it this morning and am pleased to say I now have a fully frogged fat half yard of Raw Dublin Linen ready for another project.

HAED's Eternal Promise (retired)
Over half a page stitched 3x1 tent
Fully Frogged Fat Half of Raw Dublin Linen

On the left is the stitched part I frogged.  On the right is you can see the needle marking the place where I had done the reverse stitching.  Happily, not one thread of the fabric was damaged! 

In other news to share, my Mark 2 floor frame from Hearthside Craftworks shipped from Canada on Tuesday, with an estimated arrival in 10-14 days.  That means I may have it by next weekend!  I ordered it with 4 sets of scroll rods, figuring that was a good number of projects to keep in rotation.  This is certainly a wonderful birthday present, and I love that my husband is so supportive of my stitching.

The first two pieces to be put on the scroll rods will be HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina and HAED's Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, both of which are WIPs.  A third set is earmarked for a new start, Golden Kite's The Turtle Dove by Sophie Anderson.  I have not yet made a final decision on the fourth set, but I do have many wonderful charts in my stash.  I think I'll get some stitching done on the first three, then make up my mind, as there's no hurry!

HAED Angel with Iris
by Nadia Strelkina
HAED Sistine
Chapel by
GK The Turtle Dove
by Sophie Anderson

Monday, October 1, 2012

WIPocalypse and Bullfrogs

I almost forgot to post a September WIPocalypse report!  You can check out my progress on the WIP page, where I have updates on HAED Angel with Iris and Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D.

While I suppose that reverse stitching doesn't count for WIPocalypse, I think I could make the case that my current struggle with Bullfrogs requires sufficient effort to qualify.  Why Bullfrogs?  I think the work required to frog over half a page of HAED's Eternal Promise, which was tightly stitched with 3 strands of floss over one thread of 25 count Dublin Linen (tent) could not have been brought on by ordinary little frogs.

With all kidding aside, I'm actually in one of those odd moods where I'm enjoying the frogging and reclaiming a lovely piece of linen.  Just so you know what I'm doing, the picture on the right shows the stitching I'd done when I finally decided to reverese stitch the piece rather than continue a project I wasn't enjoying.

The two pictures below show my progress with the frogging project as of last night.  On the left is the front of the piece, so you can see that over half of the frogging is done.  On the right, you can see the back of the piece, and I think it's pretty obvious that all the threads were tightly tucked in and the bountiful confetti made for some pretty heavy padding.  Still, I've gotten over half of it frogged with no fabric damage, and I look forward to having a nice half yard of Raw Dublin Linen to either re-start Eternal Promise or start another project in the near future.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Closing September

With the re-build of this blog, I figured I'd follow the lead of Cindy Manock, who consistently updates her blog once a week.  Maybe that will keep Blogger from punishing me for being inconsistent in my posts!

Before I continue, let me thank those who expressed sympathy for my reverse stitching of Eternal Promise.  I will say that I consider that a long-term project.  Stitching with 3 strands on 25 count, even using the tent stitch, created a very heavily padded back due to all the confetti in this piece.  Several other projects are ready in the wings before this fabric is needed again, so I pick it up and do some frogging when I'm in a rare mood to do that.

John on vacation in San Juan
This past week has been one of planning rather than stitching.  My birthday is October 24th, and I'd teasingly asked my husband last week what he was going to get for my birthday.  He grinned and said, "Okay, you've obviously got something in mind.  What are we getting?"  I told him I wanted to get a floor frame, and he asked how he was going to know what, where, and how to make the purchase.  Now it was my turn to grin and say, "I can take care of all of that.  You can just take credit and say Happy Birthday."  He liked that idea, just as he likes my stitching. Isn't it nice to be married to someone for over 40 years who appreciates your hobbies?

I'd really done my homework on the floor stand I wanted and selected the Mark 2 by Hearthside Craftworks.  After discussing particulars with Helen, I placed my order this past week and should have my new workstation by my birthday.  It will work with my recliner and everyone I've been in touch with who has one absolutely loves it.  This will certainly put my stitching mojo on hyperdrive!

 The first piece that will be set up on the Mark 2 is HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina.  I started this piece in January 2011, and she's been stitched off and on since then, with 8 of 42 pages currently completed.  I've been stitching her using a K's Creations Z Lap Frame with Clamp which holds an 11" x 11" Q-snap nicely.  That was good for learning to stitch 2-handed, but now that I know I can do that, I really want her to be displayed on a larger scroll frame rather than all bunched up to fit the Q-snaps! 

I haven't really taken a picture of her since I finished page 7 and ironed her out.  Now I'm afraid to iron her again until I get a new iron.  Mine's getting old and we have hard water that occasionally leads to rust spots.   

As you can in the picture to the left, the fabric for the lower part of the pice is all bunched up in the Q-snap cover.  On the right you can see an earlier version of the full design off the Q-snaps.  What a pleasure it will be to stitch with the full width of the piece visible, rather than just a small window!

2419 Love's Messenger

My last stash purchase of September was a new release Golden Kite chart titled Loves's Messenger.  This is the smaller version at 200 x 249 stitches, but has 199 colors, of which 80 are solid and 119 are blends. 

In case anyone's interested, Golden Kite is having a 25% off sale on their site, and a few new releases such as this one are specially discounted.  The website link is with the latest new releases listed at the bottom of the main page.
Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D

Finally, some notes on the coming week.  I do have one sampler I'm working on, Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D, which will not fit on my new frame.  This one is 36" wide, and I opted initially to purchase a crossbar that will fit up to a 30" frame.  All of my other pieces and those I plan to stitch in the near future will fit that size, and I can stay situated in my recliner where it stands.  So until the new stand arrives, I'll be concentrating on that piece, and maybe even getting it near to completion! 

That's it for now.  I hope you all have a great week in stitches!