Thursday, March 31, 2011

march 31 - a finish, a question & a puzzle

I spent last night finishing two small pieces. One is an exchange piece, so I will wait to share that one. The other is the ornament I finished for March in our year long SAL at Stitcher's Timeout.This was a freebie here. I stitched it on water lily jobelan with GAST thread in Holly Berry. I really like the way these colors look together and I think I may use the same colors again.

So I have a question that I am hoping someone might be able to answer. I do my finishing by hand, and I usually use invisible thread. My question is...does anyone know if invisible thread is available on cards, instead of just spools? It is not the easiest thing to work with but I keep thinking that if I could only straighten out the thread some, it might be a tad easier. I have tried ironing it, and I've also tried using these little stick things (I forget what they are called)_ that are made to straighten thread. But I guess I am too butter-fingered or something, because I could not get them to work! Anyway, on the off chance that someone might be able to help, I just thought I would throw it out there!

Now to the puzzle. A few weeks ago, in one of my groups (or maybe even more than one) there was a mention of a place in (or maybe it was Spain) that was offering free threads (3) to try their new floss. So I sent my choice of colors and promptly forgot about it. I thought someone said the offer was over or something. Anyway, the threads came in the mail today, but I am puzzled. They look identical to the DMC threads of the same color number. Not just close but identical! Two were on skeins, one was wound on a bobbin. I was wondering if anyone else took part in this offer, and if you had the same experience when you saw your threads? I thought these were supposed to be something close that you might use in a conversion, but if I took the labels off I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Curious...

So I'm off to finish the laundry, finish the latest Monica Ferris book and maybe even do a smidgen of stitching.

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, March 25, 2011

march 28 - guardian angels, PIF and catching up

We had a near disaster last week. We moved my good stitching lamp back to the living room and it is placed near the front window. The lamp also has a magnifier on it. Jeff got home from work early and went up for a nap. When he came down, he saw a small spiral of smoke coming up from the blanket on the couch. The sun was shining directly through the magnifier onto the blanket. If he hadn't caught it, the whole house could have gone up in flames. No-one would have been home for hours. Just thinking about it gives me the willies. We haven't seen the sun here in a long time and I never thought about the reflection and all. Anyway, the magnifier now has a thick terrycloth cover over it...but I am very glad that our angels were looking after us that day!  

I have been able to get some stitching done this week too. I finished the latest part on our specialty stitch SAL with Friendly Stitchers...this time the stitch was the "algerian eye stitch"...

I also finished two pieces from Midnight Stitching. The first was one of my crazy 15 challenge starts in January...A Prairie Girl's Sampler, stitched on bittersweet lite jobelan with a crescent color called "barn door".

The second piece was one of my crazy challenge WIPs/UFOs...Quaker Winter Slumber, stitched on an opalescent white linen with weeks thread in "eggplant".
I really love Marianne's designs and these were both such a pleasure to stitch. I finally got our taxes done yesterday. 

I hate doing taxes because we always have to pay. But now that they're done I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I feel like I have permission to indulge in my favorite hobby more. So I will!  

I have been very lazy with the SAL I am doing with Babs...Apple Tree Sampler. I really like this piece and I love the colors, but somehow I am going at it very slowly. I did do a little bit more last night. I'm sure Babs is way far ahead of me!
I also got my ornament stitched for this month, but it is not finished yet, so I will show a picture when it is. And I stitched my exchange piece for the Blackbird Designs exchange, but I can't show that yet, because my partner might read my blog...I'm not sure.  

And finally, there were three people interested in my PIF, so I decided to just send to all three instead of choosing just one. They are Babs, Fiona and stitchinpeanut. Please send me your mailing info and don't forget to pass it forward on your blogs as well. So now I should get back to work. We have a library board meeting this evening so it will be a later night than usual for me.  
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Monday, March 21, 2011

march 21 - Pay it Forward

I completely forgot about this! When I finally got to check the computer this morning, I found that I was one of the three winners of Mouse's PIF. She will be stitching something for me within the next year! What a treat!

So the rules of the pass it forward are that I now have to make the same offer here on my blog...I will stitch something for someone and send it to them within the next year. (and then that person will pass it forward, and so on, and so on....)

So, if you would like something stitched and finished by me within the next year, please put a comment on this post.

I will check on Sunday, March 27 and pick a winner.

Two posts on one day! The sky must be falling!
Thanks for visiting!

march 21 - happy spring!

It doesn't look much like spring here yet...still rainy and dreary. The weatherguy did promise a dry day soon can only hope. I know this is the Pacific Northwest and it rains lots, but enough is enough!

My partner in the spring pincushion exchange received her parcel, so I can show what I stitched for her. I thought it was funny that we each chose to stitch the same design for one another! I forgot to include the threads I sent her in the photo! The design is Hello Spring from Lizzie Kate stitched on a very pale pink evenweave with DMC.

Our grandson spent the weekend with us, so very little stitching got done! We played lots of train games, and Saturday was a beautiful day (at least part of the time) so we got to spend some time outside. I guess I could stitch when he is involved in something else, but why would I want to stop looking at this face, even for a minute?

I did get to put a few stitches in late last night. Here is my progress on A Prairie Girl's Sampler from Midnight Stitching. I should have this one finished this week.

Thanks for your help with my questions. I think I have my email set up now so that I can answer comments (thanks Deb!) and I am trying Babs' suggestion about the fonts. I'm still doing something wrong...but one of these days I might get it!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Friday, March 18, 2011

march 18 - a wonderful find and some questions

My thread for Quaker Winter Slumber came in yesterday's mail, doesn't quite match...too much bright purple. Of course I shouldn't be has been a long time since I got the threads in the first place. I guess I could just cut out the bright spots, but I thought I would try to find some more instead. And this morning, I came upon a wonderful little quilt and mercantile store in the town right next to where I work! What a great shop! If I was a quilter I am sure I would be drooling over all the beautiful fabrics...I was anyway, and I don't quilt! But they also carry a small amount of Weeks and GAST threads and lots of Boyd's bears and Jim Shore pieces (little ones that I can actually afford to buy!) So I found my color (and it does look closer to the original) and also picked up a bunch more that looked very springy, as well as some adorable scissors. I am already planning my next visit to this great little shop!

I have a couple of techy blogger type questions that I am hoping someone might be able to help me with. First, I found the place to change to fun type faces, but they are only showing in my headings and sidebar. How can I get a fun typeface for the actual text of posts?
Also (I know someone has talked about this, but I can't remember who) there an easy way to comment to people who comment on our blogs? I am so grateful to anyone who takes the time to make a comment and I would really love to be able to send off a reply.
So...can anyone help me?

My grandson is coming for a sleepover weekend, so there probably won't be too much stitching going on at our house this weekend! He is much more interested in his trains and blocks! I hope it dries out at least a little bit so we can spend some time outdoors.

I hope everyone has a fun weekend planned!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

march 17 - spring?????

The calendar says that spring is just around the corner and I want to believe it...really I do! But this has been such a dark and dreary week...gray skies, tons of rain, even some hail and crazy wild winds. It is perfect weather to find a comfy seat indoors though and have a hot cup of tea, so that is what I have been doing every chance I get! There was a spring training game on tv last night too which made me season will be here before we know it and I will be planted in my comfy chair watching as much as I can...just a bit of a fan am I!

Anyway, I have been doing some stitching this week. I'm in a Midnight Stitching kind of mood! I love Marianne's designs and these two are no exception. This one is Quaker Winter Slumber and I am stitching it on a white opalescent linen with Weeks thread in eggplant. Unfortunately, I ran out of thread :(, but some is onthe way so I will get back to this one very soon. I only have the bottom section to do and it will be finished. The original design is finished as a bellpull, but I'm not sure yet what I will do.

This second design is A Prairie Girl's Sampler. It was one of the pieces I chose for my Crazy 15 Starts Challenge. It is being stitched on jobelan (bittersweet lite) with Crescent Colors thread in Barn Door. I am really enjoying stitching this piece!

Sorry for the wrinkle marks in the photos. I just grabbed these off their respective hoops and q-snaps so I could take a quick photo before I left for work!

I hope you are all having a happy St. Patrick's Day...Irish or not. I think we are all a little bit Irish on this day!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Monday, March 14, 2011

march 14 - before the day gets away from me

I wanted to post here before the day gets too busy and I forget. We're short-staffed all week so it should be a fun one!

Luckily, we had a very laid back and relaxing weekend and I was able to get lots of stitching time (and lots of napping time too!). I finally finished my January 1st start...Ellen Birdseye from The Goode Huswife. This was a design I had wanted to do for a long time and I was finally able to buy the pattern and get it started. It was a really enjoyable piece to stitch as well.

I also wanted to finally share a photo of Three Things Sampler from Moira Blackburn. This was a huge finish for was started in 2005! It's one of those pieces that was so enjoyable to stitch that every time I picked it back up I wondered why I had ever put it down in the first place...the photo looks a bit's hard to get a clear view since it is rather large. Hopefully once it's framed I'll have a clearer photo to share.

I also got one more of my block exchanges stitched recently. This is Summer ABCs from Lizzie Kate and it is for the block exchange at the Stitchers Timeout group. The theme for this one is summer.

We have a really fun exchange at Friendly Stitchers called Calendar Girls. There are groups of six and each month someone is the designated "pin-up girl" for the month. That lucky person gets lots of wonderful fabrics and flosses from the others in the group. This year, I was lucky enough to be the first to receive and this is a photo of all the goodies I got in the mail. It's hard to see everything in the basket but trust me the fabrics are beautiful and the threads are amazing...lots of fabulous autumn faves!

I also decided to stitch a card for this month's recipient...usually I just buy them but I thought I would give it a go and it was fun to do. This is part of Birthday Blessings from Lizzie Kate.

Finally, this is a photo of the lovely exchange I received from Elizabeth, also from the Friendly Stitchers group. This was a spring pincushion exchange...a stitched pincushion along with some spring colored threads. Elizabeth stitched Hello Spring from Lizzie Kate. It has little beads all around and I just love it. I'm already using it, in fact! Hopefully she will have mine by the end of the week and I can share a photo then.

Well, I guess that's enough of me for one day!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Friday, March 11, 2011

march 11 - what's been happening

I think I have to get over thinking that I can not post unless I have a photo to share. For one thing, I do not have a great camera and I am not a very good photographer, so photos can be few and far between right now. And to be honest, sometimes I just forget that I wanted to take a photo and then it's bedtime and then the next day and the next and so it goes...
But that doesn't mean that nothing is going on in my little world! These past two weeks have actually been fairly busy. I started off with yet another bout of the cold/flu monster, went home early from work two days in a row and tumbled into bed too tired to think let alone stitch!

My daughter and her boyfriend visited from Boston for a few days and we had a great time. He is a wonderful young man and they get along great and seem to be very happy together. Since she hardly ever gets to see her nephew (except on Skype...he actually thinks she lives in the computer I think!) we had Asher with us from Thursday through Sunday. He is so much fun and we all had a great time. We drove to the Coast one was very rainy and blustery, but Kevin had to see the Pacific Ocean and we all enjoyed a great seafood lunch. We also got to celebrate both Kevin's and my other daughter's birthdays with a wonderful Italian dinner out. Lots of good food, laughter and love. We drove up to Seattle on Saturday and visited the Experience Music Project and the Space Needle which were lots of fun too. All in all, we all had a wonderful visit. I'm just always so sad to see Sara go home...3000 miles is too far away!

This week has been a flurry of long hours at work...finalizing our budget, meeting with the Library Board, and last night we had an evening program that went on until 9. I'm usually off at 4:30 so it was a long night! We had two professors from the local college so a talk about how to read a book for a book to organize book clubs, run them, choose a book discuss, etc. It was really interesting and well attended, with people coming from towns quite a distance from ours. I don't belong to any book clubs, and I must admit that I usually just read books for enjoyment...I really don't like to pick them apart and try to find out what the author is really trying to tell me, but it was a fun discussion last night and I think everyone enjoyed it.

I have been stitching a few small things...another square for the block exchange and a spring pincushion exchange that got mailed yesterday. I threaded a bunch of needles this morning because I plan on parking myself in a comfy chair and stitching most of this weekend away...stitching and napping (and I guess I should do our taxes) sounds like a good way to spend the next couple of days!

I have taken a few photos and I will share them sometime this weekend...promise!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

Friday, March 4, 2011

march 4 - totally useless SAL update

Well, another month has passed and it's time for the new moon again...and with that comes our TUSAL updates. I love watching this little jar fill up each month! I thought I had set this to automatically post , but I guess I didn't do it right. Sorry to be late!

Thanks for visiting!