Friday, May 30, 2008

12 Days - 4 Calling Birds

I finished the 4th block of the 12 Days of Christmas from Prairie Schooler this afternoon. That puts me in line to finish my May goals just in the knick of time!

Block 4 of Prairie Schooler's 12 Days of Christmas
Thread: DMC
Fabric: 32 count Natural Light Linen
Stitched 5/29/08 - 5/30/08

I noticed that the bird on the cover model looks like he has a green wing, but it is charted with a blue wing. I went back and forth but finally decided to just do him as he was charted. I'm still not sure that was the right decision. But he is a sweet little calling bird and I really enjoyed stitching him up!

Thanks for all your support!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Love and Faithfulness" Finish

Well my goal was to get this one finished up last night. That didn't quite happen. I stitched for several hours last night until I just needed to rest my eyes and put it away for the night. I always under-estimate the amount of time it's going to take me to finish a project! Anyone else have this same problem? Maybe I'm just slower than I realize. But I did get it finished today just before Cuddle Bug went down for his afternoon nap. Sweet accomplishment!

"Love and Faithfulness" Thread Pack from Little House Needleworks
Stitched one thread over one
Fabric: 30 ct linen from WDW, Color: Linen
Thread: Crescent Colours included in Thread Pack
Stitched: 5/23/08 - 5/28/08

I'm pleased with the results. I was really nervous to see this one evolve when I first got started. The stitches weren't nearly as square as they are stitching over 2. But Kathy gave me a quick tip on stitching over 1 - to keep my stitches on the back going straight up and down or sided to side (not diagonal) whenever I could help it. That really really helped! Thank you Kathy!!

I feel like it's decent enough to gift away as part of a wedding shower gift for DH's cousin, but now I'm wondering if I really want to part with it. I guess we'll see. This one will be set aside for "finishing" at another date once I've determined if I am going to be keeping it or giving it away.

Thanks for reading and for all the help and suggestions you all offer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Focus, Kim, Focus!

The month of May has not been a great stitching month for me. Every day I get further and further away from completing my May goals. I gave up stitching time on a few nights to edit term papers for my sister. Then my sister came into town for a week and kept me fairly distracted. And then when stitching time presented itself I just couldn't stay focused for long. Oh well.

Thank you all for your kind words on my LHN start 1/1. It's moving along. It's got little errors and parts that aren't quite square enough for my taste, but the imperfections are growing on me as it evolves - giving it a real old fashioned home-made feel. Perhaps that's just how I'm choosing to look at it. I frogged the third heart. I just couldn't look at it anymore. It had to go. It hasn't been replaced as of yet. This project is not moving along as fast as it should. It is a victim of my inability to focus. But if I can get the motivation to finish this today, I may be able to get all of May goals met just in time! Maybe...

Our holiday weekend was nice. It rained all weekend and spoiled plans. But Saturday morning I woke up and had the whole house to myself. DH took Cuddle Bug on a day trip with family. I took a bath, read my book, got in tiny amounts of stitching, went to breakfast and the craft store with my sister, and just enjoyed a leisurely day. Sunday was supposed to be a trip to the zoo with CB, but that was rained out. And yesterday was supposed to be a trip to DH's grandfather's farm with DH's extended family. But that got rained out too. It was a nice relaxing weekend though. I have no complaints other than that I didn't make enough time to stitch.

We did splurge on a new game for our Nintendo Wii - Wii Fit. It's great fun! My abs hurt today :)

Thanks for reading and for all your support! I love the stitching community! You are some of the sweetest people I "know!"

Friday, May 23, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

I started a new project today - one not included among my May goals. I just needed to get away from the on-going PS blocks and finish a chart from my stash. I picked the "Love and Faithfulness" thread pack since I've had it for a while and figured it wouldn't take a long time to complete. Maybe I can even get it finished and still meet all of my May goals.

But I decided to stitch this 1/1 on 30 ct linen. Do you ever have a brilliant stitching idea and then get started and think "What on earth was I thinking?!" That's how I'm feeling right about now. I'm not convinced my hearts really look like hearts. Any thoughts? It's just that linen isn't consistent so I'm thinking that stitching this over 1 makes my shapes look inconsistent. What do you all think? I'm going to carry on with it. If I like it enough, I will make it into an ornament for DH's cousin who is getting married in October. If it's not perfect enough in my eyes to be gifted, I will make it an ornament for our Christmas tree. Either way, I'm carrying on with it.

The colors in this picture are totally off. Artificial lighting just does nothing for stitching photographs. And the wrinkles make my square look like it's been hit with a few shopping carts in the parking lot of my local grocery store. I promise, it's square in real life :)

Thanks for any comments or advice you have!

The 2nd Day of Christmas

I got the 2nd block of PS's 12 Days of Christmas finished up yesterday. I started it Tuesday but didn't get very far at all by the end of Wednesday. The overwhelming majority was done yesterday - which is pretty good progress in a single day for me. I stitch very slowly. And I railroad my stitches religiously so that really slows me down as well. Having this one done officially makes me 25% of the way done with these squares :)

Block 2 of Prairie Schooler's 12 Days of Christmas
Thread: DMC
Fabric: 32 count Natural Light Linen
Stitched 5/20/08 - 5/22/08

Excuse the greyed-out appearance of the fabric. It is stunningly shady outside and slightly over-cast. I love days that are colored like today - a little gray to contrast against the brilliant green grass and bright pink rose buds. But they don't make for great stitching photos :)

Thanks for reading and commenting! You are all wonderful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wouldn't You Know

Just a few days ago I was talking about my growing "stash" with DH. I said "Honey, I really can't buy any more charts until my 'Completed' charts out-number my 'Not Completed' charts." It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time.

And then this happens! I innocently "Google Reader" on over to Tanya's blog and see the new Country Cottage Needleworks design "Joyful Summer" staring back at me! Ugh! I must have this! It's gorgeous! Why did I say that silly silly thing the other day?! What on earth would compel me to say something so blatantly ridiculous and completely uncalled for!

I'd claim temporary insanity, but I'm not the type to set a goal and then lose without a fight. And that means this is going to have sit patiently on my wish-list until I get through many many charts ahead of it.

I really should have started block 2 of PS 12 Days of Christmas last night but I went running instead and then curled up in bed with my book. Today was worthless for starting any stitching since the headache I went to bed with last night turned into a migraine by morning. With meds, food, DH's tender care during his lunch hour, and caffeine I've nursed myself into something resembling an upright human. Maybe I will get a start tonight. The longer these blocks go unfinished the further I get from finishing my May goals and the longer I wait for the new CCN.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tin Finish Pictures and a PS Finish

It feels like ages ago that I made a little tin and scissor fob for my sister. I gave it to her April 4th but never got pictures of the finished product. She was supposed to email me some and never did get around to it. Well she's in town and she brought the tin with her so I could take pictures myself.

I gave this to her as a sewing kit. She doesn't stitch but she does live on campus where she is attending graduate school. I thought a little mending kit would be a practical thing for her to have around. I changed the wording from "Thankful for Ewe" to "Ewe Are Beautiful."

"Thankful" Freebie from Little House Needleworks
Fob: Lamb Stitched 2/2 - Heart Stitched 1/1
Tin: Stitched 1/1
Thread: DMC
Fabric: 28 ct DMC Linen
Stitched 3/29/08 - 4/2/08
Finished as Tin & Scissor Fob (Sewing Kit) 4/3/08

This was my first and so far only tin finish but I really loved doing it and was incredibly pleased with the result!

I finished block 3 of the PS 12 Days of Christmas last night. I still need to do blocks 2 and 4 before I can cross that off my May goals. This took me 4 days between starting it and finishing it. It never should have taken me that long. But my sister came into town Friday and I just didn't make time to get this finished until last night.

Block 3 of Prairie Schooler's 12 Days of Christmas
Thread: DMC
Fabric: 32 count Natural Light Linen
Stitched 5/15/08 - 5/18/08

Hopefully I will get the other 2 blocks I have set as a May goal finished up in shorter time so I can get at least a mildly respectable start on Peach Tree Cottage before June rolls around.

Thanks for visiting! I love reading your kind comments!

Friday, May 16, 2008

MFC May Biscornu Finish

I made it to the craft store yesterday on the hunt for some suitable buttons to finish off my biscornu for the Monthly Finishing Challenge this month. I found the perfect buttons and got them stitched on last night before bed. There are few things more satisfying than finishing up a stitching project :)

Froggie Biscornu by Casey Buonaugurio
Freebie chart found here.
Fabric: 25 count Cream Lugana
Thread: Recommended DMC
Stitched 5/7/08 - 5/14/08
Finished as a biscornu 5/15/08

I love how this turned out! This is the only acceptable way frogs and stitching should ever mingle as far as I'm concerned!

I got a start on one of the PS 12 Days of Christmas blocks yesterday. I was going to do the 2nd but quickly realized I didn't inspect the chart closely enough and shouldn't have stitched a solid border. So it quickly turned into the 3rd block. With any luck I'll get these blocks churned out quickly so I can meet my May goals. But no guarantees since my sister comes into town tonight.

Thanks for reading and for you sweet comments!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Biscornu in Progress

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my Mother's Day post. I should have put a picture of the fun flowers DH presented me with on Mother's Day but I didn't. So here they are:

They are especially great because DH was so creative and crafty! He seriously isn't a crafty guy so it floored me that he came up with and executed it all on his own!

In stitching news, I finished the stitched part of my biscornu last night. It's so cute and all your sweet comments about the adorable froggies were appreciated in my last entry :)

Froggie Biscornu by Casey Buonaugurio
Freebie chart found here.
Fabric: 25 count Cream Lugana
Thread: Recommended DMC
Stitched 5/7/08 - 5/14/08

I actually got it constructed today except for the buttons. I need to make a run to the store to find appropriate buttons. Maybe I will get that done tonight. It is so cute put together! I can't wait to post pictures as soon as it's completed!

I need to make a start on PS 12 Days of Christmas blocks for this month. Hopefully I can get them all stitched lightning fast so I can meet all my goals.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And a Happy Mother's Day

I hope all you mommies out there had a super Mother's Day!

Mother's Day went by way too fast around here! Sunday morning I woke up to coffee in bed with some fun foam flowers DH had made with pictures of Cuddle Bug in the middle - especially sweet since DH is not known for his craftiness! CB came trampling into the room with a Mother's Day balloon. He was yelling "Happy Mommy Day!" It was precious. One of my favorite things was that CB had let it slip to me that there was a "balloon hiding" on Saturday afternoon when Daddy wasn't around to make sure CB was keeping secrets :) I called my sister to tell her the little guy was dropping details about Mother's Day surprises!

Anyway, DH presented me with a beautifully wrapped gift - charts from my wish-list! Then we headed off to a super fancy brunch downtown. I ate more than I wish to admit to - the desert buffet was sprawling! When I got home there were more presents! CB gave me his gift - a purse I had my eye on over at artsy-crafty babe's etsy shop. It's darling and perfect for summer! DH gave me another chart, this time a thread pack from LHN. It was all just too much :)

We went to the craft store, went to the family rosary, and then ran over to visit with DH's mom. It was a really great day!

I'd like to say that I finished my biscornu for the Monthly Finishing Challenge but the truth is I haven't been stitching too much the past few days. I got the top finished up today so that's something!

I had hoped to have the whole thing put together by yesterday. I got a big distracted with finishing a book and feeling a bit down Friday and Saturday. But I think that's all behind me and I'm hoping to get this one finished up in the next few days. I'm not so sure all my goals will get finished for May though, it being the 13th already. But that's life :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May MFC Start

Last night I made a quick start on my biscornu for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. I mentioned before that I had decided to do Casey Buonaugurio's Frog Biscornu Freebie found here. I continued working on it today and I'm loving this little project!

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my recent CCN finish. I'm very proud of it! And everyone agreed that BeckySC is a total sweetheart and spoiled me rotten! I love this stitchy community!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Finish and Goodies from Becky!

Yesterday was my goal for finishing "A Place We Call Home" from Country Cottage Needleworks. Well yesterday came and went and there was no finishing - but there was a box from BeckySC on the front porch! It was the gorgeous wooden box she made from the "Good Deeds" Littlehouse Needleworks/Crescent Colours Thread Pack! It is so beautiful!! Becky's finishing is perfection! I am so taken by her generosity to send such a stunning piece to a stitching/blogging newbie like me! Thank you Becky!

Today I got another package from Becky! 2 fun mail days right in row and both of them with return address labels from BeckySC! Lucky me! This time it was 10 whole charts! She sent the 4 seasonal arches charts from Bent Creek that I she set aside for me as well as 6 "grab bag" charts! Becky really spoiled me! And every single chart is beautiful and so perfectly me you would never guess she picked the 6 randomly :) Thank you again Becky!! I know this post is riddled with exclamation marks, but I'm really just that excited :)

And finally, I did finish "A Place We Call Home" from CCN! I put the finishing stitch in it just as David Archuleta was performing his final song on American Idol tonight. Happy dance! I loved stitching this piece and I truly expect that I will do it again some day - as a gift for someone perhaps. It was such a lovely stitch and I had only 3 minor run-ins with that dreaded frog during the entire time I worked on it. It was my first CCN finish and I loved it as much as I expected I would.

"A Place We Call Home" by Country Cottage Needleworks
Stitched on 28 ct Cashmere Country French Linen
DMC, Weeks Dye Works, and Crescent Colours fibers
Stitched 4/25/08 - 5/6/08

Thanks for reading and for all your support!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Progress - A Place We Call Home

It's been a very busy weekend and I didn't stitch at all on Friday. But I have still managed some progress on A Place We Call Home from CCN. I'm hoping to put the last stitch in this one by the time I go to bed tomorrow night. I cannot get a good picture of it to save my life, though. We live in an old house and the windows are long and narrow. With the gorgeous vegetation coming to life outside and shading the house there's just not a lot of natural light streaming in. Oh well. What can you do? I just have to live with these washed out looking pictures of my wrinkly project :)

Thank you all for your support!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Fun Mail Day!

I've been forbidden from checking the mail because DH is expecting Mother's Day related mail. So today when there was a little box sitting next to the front door, I had to wait for DH to inspect it before I could tear into it :)

One of my favorite craft blogs is Scissors. Paper. Glue. Jen is super creative, very crafty, and takes the most beautiful pictures! I read her blog for fun and inspiration. So you can imagine my surprise and joy when she offered to send some of the yummy looking Japanese candy she mentioned in this blog entry! Well today it arrived and she really out-did herself! It came packaged so perfectly - beautiful, sweet, and creative just like her blog! She put the candy in a darling little mug with a rooster on the handle, wrapped it in clear cellophane, and tied it off with a cut of bakers twine (which she sells in her etsy shop by the way)! Jen's presentation skills are unsurpassed! And lucky me to be on the receiving end of her generosity and creativity :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!

Wow 2 posts in one day! Seeing as how it's May 1st - I figure I better get my May stitching goals together :)

I completed all my April goals and I hope to do the same for May!

1. Finish CCN's "A Place We Call Home"
2. Start and Finish biscornu for MFC
3. Start and Finish Blocks 2-4 of PS 12 Days of Christmas
4. Start LHN's "Peach Tree Cottage"

I have decided what I want to do for my biscornu for May's Monthly Finishing Challenge. I'm going to do the frog biscornu freebie from Casey Buonaugurio. DH's aunt collects frogs and I have been wanting to do this for her. I'm not sure if I will be doing the flower motif on the back or if I will do something else just yet. But in the meantime I've decided on my fabric and pulled the threads I will need for the frog motif on the front. This will get started as soon as "A Place We Call Home" is finished up.

25 count cream Laguna

Spoiled Stitcher

I am one spoiled stitcher and it's because of how incredibly sweet other stitchers are! I mentioned before that Terry was super sweet and emailed me because she wanted to gift me the LHN "Night & Day" chart from my wish-list. Well it came in the mail today and it arrived with a friend - the LHN's "The Princess and the P" chart! She said she was going through her stash and found "a little something extra" to include. That is so kind! Thank you so very much Terry!! Don't be surprised when your kind gesture is returned one of these days :)

I've been plugging away at CCN's "A Place We Call Home." I love working on this. The colors are so sweet and delicate. I'm a slower stitcher so it's coming along slowly but I hope I will have it done by the middle of next week at the latest. The colors in this picture look so washed out because it's over-cast. My goal for today is to have the row of flowers in the middle done and "Together we've made a" added to the text. I'm going to do the white of the house last so I don't have to risk it getting soiled. I wash my hands before handling my work, but I still worry about white.

Thank you for reading and for all your comments!! I appreciate them more than I can say :)