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Saturday, December 22, 2012

On a cold winter's night

It is unusually cold here tonight. We have a fire going and I am getting ready to get back to my hummers. I so want to finish that for 2012. I am down to the bottom edge of the design and have started doing the backstitching and fill in of missed stitches. I am pleased with how fast the backstitching is going. I think the end is in sight. This photo is only the bottom half. When I get some of the backstitching done I will add a new picture.  I ran out of 3 colors of thread but Dimensions was very prompt in sending me additional thread. One of the colors I used almost every bit they sent me so the kit was quite short of thread.  I will save up to get it framed for my sister's birthday mid-year. I am looking forward to picking something else up to stitch!
There are several designs on the WIP list that are not making any progress that would love to see some stitching time. I am still working on my organizing so I will be ready when the stitching time comes around. I still have a lot of work to do to get my stitching room in order. It just seems to multiply. I did find out this week at Thursday night stitch a resource to donate my quilt type fabric pieces to that I know I will never use. I don't mind giving it away if someone can use it. I am going to box that up and get it out first. That will free up quite a bit of closet space. There are also some old clothes that need to go to the donation bin as well. That will also open up some space. I have a couple of boxes of older designs that I no longer think I would use that I am going to donate to a local group that holds classes for kids to learn different sewing methods. I have a large rubbermaid box to go to the kids learning to stitch as well. I may take some to the little consignment shop and see if there is any interest. I have a large box of stash that a friend gave me to try to sell for her so I am going to inventory it and put it up for sale.I am going to add some stretcher bars of mine to the list and see if someone that loves them would like to have them. I use a different brand than I used to and the old ones are just taking up space. I can raise some money that way to fund the improvements I want to make.  If I just get all of that done I will have made a huge dent in organizing the area.
I spent a lot of time on the internet looking for ways to organize a stitching room that doesn't involve a large cash outlay. Mine really needs some help. I need to sort my fabric so I know what I have. I would like to be able to sort it by count and shades of color but not sure what to put it in to keep it in order.  am thinking of shallow drawers that I have seen before.  I am going to do an excel inventory for it and print it so I can look at a glance what I have so I don't order what I don't need.  I am trying to figure out the best way to organize my threads and patterns. The threads give me the biggest problem. I am going to get some boxes to organize the patterns in but my over-dyed threads need a better system.  I am not sure I want to go the baggie route but that may end up being the best I can do. Over-dyed ribbon is something else I would love to find a good way to organize.  My DMC are well organized in Thread Bed notebooks that fit nicely on the shelves. I found apps for the phone that will allow me to keep up with the thread inventory (and my Mill Hill beads) so I know what I need in each of the thread categories I use the most. My patterns will go by designers in boxes in the old wardrobe I have in the stitching room now. That way they will be behind closed doors but labeled so I can find the pattern by designer quickly.
I have a lot of project bags so I can get everything I want to work on organized with threads, fabric and pattern to make it easy to move between them as I move through the rotation. I have some nice plastic bags a friend gave me that work well for WIP storage as well.
So, I have done lots of looking, planning and drawing out the changes but not so much of the working on cleaning it up part. I have a couple of things I want to get to add to the usefulness of the room. I am making my list for the garage sale season though I think some of the items will come from Joann's. I want a counter high small ironing board for in there that will fit behind a door until I need it and some larger cutting boards. I am also looking for a table that I can put a cutting pad on that is high enough to use for comfortable cutting and probably to hold the ironing board as well.   My sewing room is a very small area so I have to be careful to leave room to sit and stitch. I have a good chair and an excellent light. So I have a wonderful start. Like my stitching I enjoy planning my space.
Off to get some stitching in. Hope you find some stitchy time in your day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Still plugging away

Most of my stitching is samplers or smalls, which you probably know if you have been following here for any length of time. I do have a few large picture designs that I want to do, most of them florals. When you live somewhere where Winter is the dominant season you sometimes have to grow your flowers with needle and thread. One of the flowers I have come to love since moving to Alaska is the peony. We have a plant growing in the front yard that through total neglect by me produces beautiful blooms all summer. They make me smile every time I see them. I have quite the collection of peony graphs for stitching. During the last online needlework show I found a peony biscournu to do which seems a more doable size flower to stitcher considering the never ending hummers. I think I will add it to the line up for the new year.
As you can tell I am trying to get organized for next years stitching line up. In years past I belonged to a group online that had a challenge to do one strand a day on a project that was not a regular rotation piece but that you really wanted to finish but were not currently motivated to work much on. That worked surprisingly well for me and I think I will bring it back for next year. I will pull something from the Longgggggggg WIP list to put in that position.
So for rotation the way I have done it in years past I pick 4 pieces to change every Monday. I get most of my stitching time over the weekend. Variations on this included having something different that I only stitched on at my weekly stitch night with my friends. Having a project that I did just one strand a night and then moved back to the rotation piece. I almost always carry a piece with me in my purse for unexpected down time ( I also have my IPod which only has podcasts and books on tape just in case).
I also used to have a piece in my car for travel stitching. If you have even been to Alaska you know nothing is close and drive time can be several hours. During the summer with all that lovely long hours of daylight that is prime stitching time. So I have a little stitching bag I keep in the back seat just in case. Right now there are two smallish Santa designs in there. Sometimes I think I enjoy the planning as much as I do the stitching!

So 2013 rotation as it stands now
Maryland sampler from Heartease
A gift for a friend
Dorothy Walpole
The hummers and then Ann Bowers or Common Grounds by Just Nan
ATS will be my One strand a night piece
Peony Biscournu, then White work sampler, the EGA Piece from the WIP pile for Thursday night
In the car monthly freebies teacups and teapots
Purse piece mill hill moose, then stockings from BBD

So other than the gifts for friends, and SAL pieces the rest are all from the WIP pile. I am committed to getting the pile smaller! I stitch slowly though so it will take a while. And it may not go this way at all as plans are held loosely here. I am more likely to accomplish more if I have decided ahead of time what I want to do as opposed to getting lost in the stash room looking for a WIP I know I have "somewhere". Over December I will tweak the list, dust off the project bags and arrange the current rotation into my big pink stitching bag so it is an easy move from one piece to the next. Of course, I am determined not to start this until I finish the hummers so off I go to pull them out to put a few more stitches in. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have some stitching  time in your day!
Marjo


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wedding design

A good friend got married and I really wanted to do a small piece for her. She has moved away with her new husband and I really really miss her. I wanted to do something nice so I decided to do a Sweetheart Tree design that I thought would suit. The problem was that she used blue for her wedding colors and the kit came with pink threads. With the help of my stitching friends and Cathy at the Inspired Needle I was able to find what I needed to get it as close to her colors as was possible. My framer was able to almost exactly match the blue with a lovely mat and so I was quite pleased with the framed results.  I enjoyed stitching this for her and now that the package has been received I can share this with you.  I deleted their names for their privacy but I must tell you getting the names centered was the most difficult part of the stitching (once I got the colors picked out).
I gave this and a tin of royal wedding tea to the bride and groom as a much belated wedding gift.
The best part of all for me was my friend showed up as a surprise at our stitching group Thursday. It was so good to see her and hear all about her new life. Best surprise of the season for me! I love the group of ladies that welcomed me when I first came to Alaska, they are wonderful indeed. I really appreciate having each one of them to call friend.
Well for me it is back to the hummingbirds. I was able to contact the company since I have run out of three colors of green threads with 34 rows left to stitch. The threads are not DMC  or Anchor and so it would be an obvious change in dyelots. The threads have been difficult to stitch with, breaking and knotting up terribly. I am way over on some colors with multiple strand that will be left over and am afraid that I will run out of two more colors before it is done. That is the reason I usually don't stitch kits unless they are from one of the Sampler companies. I am hoping the threads will come soon as I would like to get this one off the WIP list by the end of this year. Off to stitch!
Hope you find some stitchy time in your day. Marjo

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stitching update

The wonderful group of ladies I stitch with on a weekly basis just had our fall stitching retreat. Two of our number moved away this last year so we were a smaller group than in years past. It was a little sad but we managed to have a lot of fun none the less. We met at one of the ladies' house and she made wonderful soups for us to enjoy after an awesome breakfast. We each brought something to share food wise and as always food was not an issue. We started early in the morning and stitched all day long.
I worked all day on the Hummingbird Kit. I made surprising little progress. I took a ton of other things to stitch and did not do more than bring it out of my stitching bag and look at it. I really want to get this design finished and off to the framers to be ready for gift giving. It will be for the next year not this one. But I will get it done. 
My friend with the only Ta-Da from our gathering.
In getting ready for the retreat, I went through my stash. Yes, well. I am trying to get ready for next year. It is already November  and I have so many stitching goals I get overwhelmed just thinking about it. I am going to continue with the hummingbird kit until I get it done. At the first of the year I am going to try to join the With My Needle SAL and see if this is the year I can keep up with it. Other than that I will stick to stitching from the WIP list. It is a long list. So I was thinking of what I wanted to get done this next year. Several things on the list are past class pieces, some are gifts and others are designs I still love but put down for one reason or another. I still want to stitch them all. So I thought I should deside what other designs I was going to pull from the list to get a little stitching time this year. I am going to do one other new one that is a gift for a friend and will start it as soon as the hummers are done.  The other 2 spots have yet to be decided. I try to do something small  for one of them so I can say I finished something. I am way behind on the BBD stockings and I have more ornaments that I want to stitch that any tree could hold. So much to choose from.  I want to have something small to carry with me for those times I end up with time on my hands and could use it to ply needle and thread. I think it will be the Moose magnet from Mill Hill for my travel piece. Not sure what will round out my rotation but since it will be December by the end of this week I better get it figured out.
Well, off to stitch. It is cold and clear here. Hope you find a warm place to get a little stitchy time in this week.
Marjo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stitching disappointment




As I cannot seem to manage to get anything finished I really should never buy anything new. When I was in Salt Lake City for training for my new job I had to visit Shepherd's Bush. I absolutely loved it. I spent all morning there on Saturday. It was right before their birthday celebration and the retreat they hosted this year so the shop was full to the bring with lovely stuff. I think I handled everything in there. I did buy a few things there. Who could resist? I sat for quite a while looking at designs that I love as well as some I had never seen before. The result was a modest haul of new stuff to add to my embarrassingly large stash. Sigh. I always think I will not buy anything at least until I get my stash under control but something shiny catches my eye and there I go again. But my vacation is a totally different story.....

I just got back from vacation to see my husband's family. I was so excited to be going to the lower 48. I spent quite a bit of time looking at designs that I wanted, hoping to do some local shopping while we were there. I knew there is a local active EGA group there so I was in hopes of stitching to be seen. Well, nothing to be had. There was one lovely Needlepoint store but no cross stitch. I was so disappointed. This was unexpected to me as there were several stores listed within driving distance but they were all closed or not cross stitch stores. Sigh.
I then turned my mind to Hobby Lobby as there is a Christmas Ornament design coming out that uses a paper mache box from there. Since I have no such animal here I thought I would try finding a Hobby Lobby. Nope, not a one within 50 miles of where we were. Due to family obligations I could not venture farther than that but sadness, no Hobby Lobby either. I settled for getting some DMC at Joann's and that was an epic fail. So, a week of vacation = no stitchy shopping for me.
But we did visit a couple of Amish stores to look a the quilts. Only a few handmade quilts but it was a fun store. I don't think it is run by the Amish anymore but the new owners have kept the old name. It was fun to go through all the same.

Not much stitching got done either....not sure where that week went but I didn't get much done. I am a little farther along but still a good ways left to go plus all the backstitching. I will get this done and framed for her birthday next year I suppose. Well off to stitch.
Hope you have some stitchy time in your week.
Marjo

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Back from the framers

I usually save up my money and take a bunch of things in at once to get my items framed. I think it drives my framer nuts but it always seems to work that way.
I joined a SAL a while ago for Sail Away by Shepherd's Bush. I love that piece and had great fun finishing it. Of course I was the straggler in the group, always the last to finish. I love it though and found the perfect frame to finish it.
I wanted to show you a close up of the frame for this one but it didn't come out as well as I would like. It is not brown at all but a grey that has a blue gray outer edge to it.  I may have to use this one again. (Of course that means I actually have to finish something first!)
I enjoy the designs by Blackbird Designs. I stitched this one a long time ago. I read the chart wrong and used the red for the roof instead of the orange color it called for. I didn't catch it until I was over halfway done and a friend who was also stitching it at the same time commented her thread on the roof was more orange than mine. That is when I realized I had used the wrong color. It turned out to be a happy mistake for me. I like the red better.
One of my favorites that I did  is Beneath the Sunlit sky by BBD. The colors with this one were lovely. I love the beach and this makes me smile every time I look at it. The frame is greener than it looks in the photo but no matter how many times I took a picture of it I could not get the true color of the green. I enjoyed stitching this one a lot.  I love the beach. Sigh.
I would use this frame again as well if it is still being made when I get And They Sinned completed.

I also finished a Sweetheart Tree, With This Ring for a recently married friend. I can't post the picture until I get it in the mail to her. I will show it as soon as I know she has received it.


Matchless Grace by Heartstring Samplery. This sweet little sampler was so much fun to stitch. I fell in love with this sampler over the little blue flowers that go in different directions around the edge. I kept all the mistakes as charted as well as I thought that was part of the charm of this piece.


Quaker Hornbook was done a really long time ago. I am so glad to finally get it ready for the wall. The colors are not my usual palate  but they seemed to really work with this and I love how it turned out. The frame came from Brokenwheel Wood worker not from my framer.
So much fun to be able to add some new things to my wall that I so enjoyed stitching over the last several years. I also mailed out two pieces to Jill Rensel to frame because I wanted to see what she would do with the mat for CHS Alphabets. I can't wait. I also sent her the small darning sampler I finished.
Well, off to work on the hummers yet some more. I fear they will never be finished. I am really afraid I am going to run out of thread. The design will just have about 2 inches around it I hope. Not only was the kit short of the poor quality thread it is going to be a tight fit for the fabric as well. I will be glad to have that one on the finish pile for sure.  Well off to it. Hope you have some stitchy time in your day.
Marjo


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Updates

I have been busy for the last while as you can tell from my lack of posting to my blog. I have taken a new job, gone to the lower 48 for training and come back to Alaska to start the job and stitching all the time. I have been stitching on the Hummingbird design for the last several months, I am totally afraid if I put it down I will never touch it again.  This is the progress from this weekend.
I still have a good bit more to do on it but I am making progress. I am leaving the backstitching until the end so I can do it while watching TV.

I did get all my pictures back from the framer. I will post pictures of them next time.

Hope there is lots of stitchy time in your day. Marjo

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Off to see the framer

I have so many finishes that have been languishing in a pile for quite some time. I am so excited to finally be able to drop them off with the hope of them gracing my walls soon.  So today I am dropping off Sail Away by Shepherd's Bush,  Wedding Sampler by The Sweetheart Tree, Beneath the Sunlight Sky by Blackbird designs,  Matchless Grace by Heartstring Samplery, Quaker Hornbook by Exemplars from the Heart (this one is just getting glass, spacers and core board as I have the frame already), Darning Sampler by Trenner Designs,  and Home is where the heart is by Blackbird designs.  I cannot tell you have excited I am to get these things framed. I have been saving for quite a while. I have a hard time getting to the framer so that makes it even harder. I want to try a couple of other framers from out of state like Jill Rensel and the framer with the Attic but I am just afraid to put the pieces in the mail. I would never get over it if one of the big pieces got lost. I am saving CHS Alphabets back until I get up the nerve to mail to Jill Rensel. I love her work.  I should probably send one of these to each of the framers and see who I like best and compare costs. I think the Attic framer is having a sale quite soon.  Maybe I will try a piece and see how it goes. It is quite expensive up here to get framing done due to the cost of ordering supplies (everything is barged in). So in reality the cost might not be so much different. Oh, I cannot wait. I enjoyed each one of these all the way through the process and cannot wait to see them completed.
I am almost at the halfway mark for the hummingbirds so I will post a picture soon.
Today is my first lace knitting class. I am looking forward to it as well. We are making a cowl. I have wanted one for a while so I couldn't be more pleased to be able to take the class. The trouble is the store that has the classes is inside a quilt store and so many of the people don't knit that work there so you can't get any help if you are shopping for yarn and not fabric. It is frustrating as I work the same hours the stores are open so my opportunity to get there is limited and then when I do they cannot help me.  I am going to try go in early to get the yarn as it is supposed to be ready to knit when we start class.  I hope someone will be there that can help me pick out the right yarn.  They were out of the needles needed as well. The store that just sells yarn does not offer very many beginning classes. The small local shop doesn't  offer summer classes. Plus I have a coupon for 15% off so I want to use it on class supplies at that store. I do get excellent service from the other two stores though. I am crocheting a scarf and a baby blanket for a co-worker so always plenty to do.
Well, I have to add a couple of beads to the wedding sampler before it goes to the framer so I best be off. Thanks for visiting. Photos of needlework next time I promise.  This is a shot of the view from our condo from our May trip out. It was gorgeous and I would love to be back there right now.....
Hope you have stitchy time in your day.
Marjo

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

First knit project

Depending on where we hold our stitch night and how tired I am when I get there makes me decide what I will be working on. All of my stitching buddies knit, really well. Me, not so much. So I decided I needed to learn and took a class. So here is my first project, a hat for my husband. He is a knitter but he is left handed so he could not teach me. He is helpful when I run into problems.


I have crocheted for many years and am working on a couple of small things but got some great yarn so added a scarf to the baby blanket I had started while I was on vacation.

So much to do, so little time. Have some stitchy time on your 4 th of July! Marjo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Progress and a small finish




I have continued work on my hummingbird piece for my sister but just for fun I had to take out something small to work on and my go to piece this time was another Blackbird design stocking. Still back on February designs I finished Be mine and started February violets. I am pleased to make some progress on the large piece but satisfied with the small finish.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hummer progress

You know it frustrates me that all the different sites that we use to communicate with each other seem to think they need to make random changes without telling the user about them. Suddenly now I have to post differently than I used to do it. Facebook, I can't find half my friends or sometimes I get the posts for the sampler groups I belong to and sometimes I don't. I do wish they, whoever they are, would just leave well enough alone.
 Enough of a rant. I have had very little time to stitch but the time I have had I have used to work on a gift for my sister. She bought this kit for me to do for her years ago and I started it and into the depths of the WIP pile it went to rarely see the light of day. When I went on vacation I decided to make this my focus piece and I spent most of my stitching time on it and have continued to keep it in the forefront. I really want to get this done and off my list. I don't stitch on Aida much anymore  and the thread is terrible (it knots all the time) but too far now to make any changes.
Vacation stitching

Progress since I got home
The fabric is not green as it looks in the second shot, it is a cream color closer to the top shot. I have made a bit more progress since then even. Lots of half stitching to it for shading that changes color a lot. It is a large piece but I am determined to get this done.
I have not stitched on anything else for a while. I have so much I want to do. Sigh. Love every stitch I get to take though. Have read a couple of books and that is always a good thing as well. 
I am contemplating a new rotation for next year. A week on each WIP in one long rotation so I can say I have worked at least some on them all. Hum......wonder if I could do that or what progress would I really make. I tend to get stuck on a piece and work until I am done or more likely make a big mistake I can't find or easily fix and just set it aside for a while.  I have less WIP's than there are weeks in a year so some would get more than one week. Hum, will have to consider that. I even enjoy planning my stitching. Well off to do some stitching while the sunlight holds. Yeah, gotta love summer in Alaska, 10 at night and still sunny. Hope you have some stitchy time in your week.
Marjo

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Another little finish

I am addicted to the BBD stockings, really I think I am. I find these little things such fun to stitch. They are colorful, they are quick to stitch even for someone like me who is a really slow stitcher. Really, what is not to like. I finished another one Thursday night at stitching group. I have been stalled on stitching them for a little while just because I had picked up a couple of other things, but once I pick them up I can't put them down. As soon as I figure out what I did with the fabric for them I will work on the other 2 stockings for February. These are travel pieces for me. I take them in my work bag as I have to wait a bit for my ride home after I get off work. Not much but a few stitches at a time add up.
I have gone back to stitching on Dorothy Walpole. I just love the colors on this one. I am still just at the top on the alphabet but it is such a great pattern.  I would love to have her as a finish this year.
I am frustrated with needing supplies and not being able to get them quickly. I am stitching a gift for a friend. I was done with the stitching and washed and ironed it ready to put the beads on and take it to the framer in time for her birthday. I made it to the very last small section and there were not enough of two of the colors of beads. Reason number one why I rarely buy kits. Now I will have to order those beads and wait for them to come in the mail.  That means it won't be ready by her birthday. Sigh. I really miss being able to just drive to a LNS and get what I need. Oh well, I am lucky to have great online stores to order from that will send me even just a couple packs of beads when I need them. I can't wait to get them as I really want to get this piece framed and delivered. I won't post a picture until she gets it but I will eventually post something.

Hope you have some stitchy time in your day. I am off to work on Sally Munro.
Marjo

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time flies...

I don't know where March and April went. I can't believe it is already May. I did start the month with a new finish. I always try to do the SAL with Ellen Chester's newsletter group. I almost always start one of them. Finish, not so much. I am proud to report I have actually started and finished one of the two chosen samplers. I did the Trenner Darning Sampler and enjoyed every stitch. I used Devonshire Cream and a beautiful rose colored AVAS silk. I love the way it turned out and am really thrilled with it.  I love the accomplishment of a finish no matter the size of it.

I am starting the other design, Rachel Hyde for the SAL as well. I got the pattern, fabric and threads and hope to start it over the weekend.
I am going to start back on Sally Munro as well. It has a lot of rice stitches (the entire border is done in rice stitch) and I find that a fun stitch to do as well.  I am enjoying the history lessons provided with this class. I will update with a photo on Sally next time but I am afraid there is not much to see.
Hope your day is full of stitching.
Marjo in Alaska

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Some stitching progress


I did order some new books all stitching related. One came today "Seventeenth and Eighteenth century fashion in detail" by Avril Hart and  Susan North. Over 200 pages of drawings and color plates of the embroidery detail. Better than I had even anticipated. I have purchased a couple of other stitching related books.

Stitching is slow going around here. Mostly because I am working so much overtime that by the time I get home I am too tired to stitch. It is that time of year where the light gets longer so that makes stitching easier on the eyes. I have purchased way too much stitching of late. I have so much I want to stitch and so little time to work on it as well.  I am really enjoying my class with Sally Munro. The webcast was confusing to me to log into (my fault entirely) and I am glad it is reposted on the website for reviewing. I love the colors on this and really want to finish it but no way am I going to be able to keep up with it. I have not been able to keep up with Amy Mitten either just not enough hours to stitch. I am downloading it all and will keep working on it. I do love both of them. I think I will just do class stitching until I am all caught up. I will add Dorothy Walpole back once I catch up and Mary Wigham. I have to get more disciplined. I have two small pieces that I am working on in between as well. I love doing the BBD stockings but even those are behind. It is all okay. I love every stitch.

I need to start shopping my own stash. But it seems every time I say that some new design comes out and there goes my resolve. I want to get the new LHN Lisa Snow sampler. Love the roses across the bottom of that. I need to wait a bit though. These classes are going to take up most of my stitching time for the next while. But that never stopped me from looking.
My last progress picture from Mary Wigham. I love the colors and they are even nicer than this picture shows. 

This is my updated Anniversaries of the Heart. Very little progress on this. I am stitching it on 40 count with recommended colors. 

I did want to thank two people who left comments on a previous post giving me an award for blogs that have less than 100 followers. I really appreciate it. 
I hope you are all getting lots of stitchy time in this week. I promise to post more pictures soon. I really am stitching more than I am blogging. 
Hope you have a stitchy day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dorothy, you'll have to take my word for it


Dorothy Walpole
At this point Dorothy Walpole is just a green border line. I had changed out the fabric since I did not like the fabric that I got with the design. I used Vintage Pecan Butter and it is a great color. I have worked across the top part of the border so I could be sure that the piece would fit before I got too much done. I am enjoying this piece and look forward to getting more time with her. I hope to spend Saturday's working on it as normally that is the day I spend the most time stitching.
Winter Carnation BBD
I am loving the BBD stockings. They are so much fun. I finished Auld Lang Syne stocking. It is a cute thing. I moved on to the second stocking from January named Winter Carnation and finished that during the Super Bowl. Great colors that are cheerful for this grey time of year in Alaska. I think the birthday one which is the third one from January will be one I make more than once. How cute to put a small gift in and give to friends as a keepsake. I think I will use them as gift tags. Quick fun stitch.
Be My Valentine Drawn Thread
I have signed up for several classes this year. I just love learning about needlework. I am taking the Amy Mitten class on thread winders. I got the fabric and thread packet in the mail today. I am looking forward to starting it. I would love to keep up with it and finish on time with the class . I have also signed up for Sally Munro with the Essamplaire. I hope to get started with it on time as well. The kit has not yet been received for that but I am sure it will be here soon. Not like I don't have something to work on in the mean time. That is why I did not start any other large projects except Dorothy Walpole this year. I knew I was going to take some classes. I just got my chart of Ann Dale from the Attic. It is missing a couple of colors that were back ordered.  That is for a SAL that is being run by the Attic. I intend to do both SAL from Ellen Chester's annual newsletter stitch a long. I have wanted to do a darning sampler and the other sampler is just lovely.  I have one more class upcoming that starts in May. It is an 18 month long class on Needlework Caskets. I have always wanted one and this seemed the best way to get one -  take a class. I am really looking forward to each of these classes for different reasons. Most of all because I love needlework  and learning about needlework is something I particularly enjoy.
I have gotten some small seasonal charts. One of the ones most recently received is a Valentine small design by Drawn Thread. The colors are just gorgeous. I want to do a small seasonal Valentine display for next year. I have some pincushions, some free patterns for smalls and a little pillow. Along with this will be a few small framed pieces including this new Drawn thread, a new Shepherd's Bush and new little Lizzie Kate. I think they will look great together.
Hope you have some stitchy time in your week.
Marjo

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow and stitches

bird feeders and house out back

Out my front door

Kori enjoying the snow

We are in serious need of some shoveling. It snowed again yesterday, but that is okay because that means it warmed up enough to snow.  The first is shot is out the back door, the second the front steps and the third is the back with the dog who has made a path to under a tree when there is enough room to move around. The sky is blue today and bright sunshine makes for a cheerful day. I am looking forward to some stitching time and the next few shots are of my Blackbird design stocking. One finish and the next two are different shots of the small progress I have made on the second stocking. These are quite fun and I am loving stitching on these in between the big projects I always seem to choose. 
Blackbird designs auld lange syne

Winter Carnation BBD

Hope you are enjoying your stitching as much as I am,  Hope you have lots of stitching time in your day. Marjo

Monday, January 30, 2012

a little bit of progress


I have been stitching a little bit on the monthly teacup designs that were out a couple of years ago or so. I collected  them but never stitched them. I stitched this yesterday. There are lots of reflections from the magnifier-  we are adding more light but not that much yet so evening pictures are always after dark. That is the top of the cap and the handle of the cup. I am going to keep working on this tonight. I would love to get this finished and move onto another month. At this rate it would be February's cup. I have also been stitching on Dorothy Walpole, my January 1st start. I am loving this. I decided to move all the way across the top because I wanted to be sure I had cut the fabric correctly.  I was afraid I was too narrow but no, it is good.

I am also working on the monthly January Blackbird stockings. I just picked one up last night. It was great fun and hope to finish it tonight.  I am so enjoying these designs.
Santa by Homespun Elegance is coming along. I have taken it with me to my stitch group but it works for me for late night stitching when I am tired.  I am waiting for the thread to come in for the bag Santa is carrying but I still have plenty to do.
Hope you have some stitchy time this week.
Marjo

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Progress of an odd sort

Homespun Elegance Gifts to you
I am sure this will be perfectly clear what I am stitching on this week, or maybe not. I have been working late hours and by the time it is stitching time here at home  I have been too tired to work on small count fabric so I decided to pull out this Santa from Homespun Elegance and put some stitches into it. It is on huge count fabric and boy does it eat up the thread. This is his shoulder (in case you couldn't tell) and there is much more to fill in. I found as I was working on this that I do not have all the thread for it. So another order had to be made. Having to place an order just for thread is one of the biggest aggravations of living in Alaska. So instead of moving on  to his bag of goodies I had to go back to his red coat. I guess I could have moved over the other way toward the beard, I will head there when I pick up later.
Sally Munro
Sally Munro Essamplaire
Tonight was supposed to be our stitch night but the weather is so bad we just decided to stay home. I have read all the blogs I follow, looked at all the stores I like online and signed up for the Essamplaire class as well. Just what I need is another project but I have loved the look of this one since it came out in a previous newsletter. Picture is from the Essamplaire website. I enjoy taking classes as I always learn so much and I have always enjoyed the classes from Essamplaire.
I leave you with a picture from my drive home, this female was headed into the hospital stopping for a snack as I was headed home, note the blowing snow out there....that is why I am home stitching.....
Hope you have some stitchy time in your day.

Marjo

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New beginnings, progress and a finish too

Dorothy Walpole on V. Pecan Butter 
I was able to find all the parts I needed, get the piece on the scroll rods and spend some time stitching  on Dorothy Walpole. I love it. The colors are great and I am going to enjoy this piece. At least that is how I felt till I actually got the stitches into place and found I just didn't like the color fabric I had gotten. It is way too distressed and way too green for me. I tried to like it and then just decided I needed to find a better color and get on with it so I changed out the fabric and am so much happier with it. I am sad I spent more time messing with it than stitching on it but a beginning is always good.
Mary Wigham Needleprint
I am working on Mary Wigham as part of a SAL on Facebook. It has been much neglected, but even a little progress is a good thing.
 I am also going to try to do something that I used to do to get a stuck in the water WIP going and that is put in just one strand of thread a day into a piece. ATS is the piece I chose and one strand for me will be one length of floss a day. I just feel like if I don't do that I won't ever get it done. And I have to get it done, really I do, I had found the perfect frame for it. I even have the wall space for it. Sigh. I will work on it in rotation but I will also try to get in a strand a day as this is such a huge piece.
My first finish of the year is a BBD stocking from the December patterns 'Merry Christmas'.  I really am enjoying stitching them and can't wait to have them all done. They are an easy travel piece.


BBD December stocking, Merry Christmas
I usually stitch in a rotation by weeks. Recently with my limited stitching time that has ceased to work for me any more. I just try to keep a few active WIP going at any one time and focus on them till I hit a wall and then take another one out of the WIP basket.  It keeps me stitching on that huge pile and makes me happy to be able to put needle to thread as often as I can.


Hope you had time for stitching in your day. Marjo

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So what are you stitching on New Year's Day

Happy New Year

Having 2 holidays back to back has given me the unique opportunity to have 2 short work weeks back to back which means I get to stitch a little bit more. I have so enjoyed that. I decided this year I would do a New Years Day start and have been through my huge stash and came up with quite a list to choose from. I chose Dorothy Walpole. I have wanted to stitch that since I first saw the original on the Scarlett Letter website several months ago. I love the colors. I am using the Attic conversion for fabric and silks. I am glad because the fabric that came with it didn't seem right to me. I had to go find scroll rods that would hold it. I love stitching.
BBD Snowy Eve Stocking
BBD Merry Christmas

I did have one last finish for the 2011 round up of the second of the December stockings, and almost finished the third but was just too tired to stay up any more. I will work on it today to try to finish so I can move onto the January stockings. I am really enjoying these little stockings and look forward to having them on a tree for next year.  I am going to continue with my ornament stitching so I always have a small to work on to fill in travel stitching time or just so I get an occasional finish.

I decided last night I really need to take some things into the framers soon. My new to me office at work has totally blank walls and I think I would rather see my stitching there than anything else. I have several that are needing to be done. I think I am going to try mailing some to the framer by the Attic to see  how the cost compares and the quality. I have only found one framer up here that does needlework but choices are limited up here. I will take a couple of pieces to her this week if I can and then wait for the sales the other framer has to try them.
Hope your New Year"s Day is full of stitching.
Marjo