Saturday, July 14, 2018

Could I stitch ANY slower?!

Hello, hello! First, a stitchy update. I have been going back and forth between my witchy stitching and a crochet shawl I've been trying to finish up.

I need to start cracking down on this one-I love it so much! I've also been spending a good deal of time at the pool. Oops! No stitching or crochet happening at the pool, lol. But hey, that's what summer is all about. We moved here last August and only had a couple weeks for the pool, so we vowed to take FULL advantage this year! And we have!

YES! We have always wanted a pool and now we have one and it makes you feel like you are on vacation all the time!  It's been really hot here in VA and the cool water is just how you want to finish up a long summer day.  As a kid, I remember the pool being such an event!  You went and you were there for hours and hours.  Now I have the luxury of going when I want for as long as I want and I feel really thankful for it!

We did absolutely nothing for the 4th of July.  I actually did not miss hearing the boom of fireworks at all.  My son's girlfriend has to get up super early for her job, and we all work, so we are just in bed at a ridiculous early hour.  But that's OK!  It's how we like it.

Have you ever see a Hummingbird MOTH?  Well, I have, and it's a rare treat.  Because they are even harder to photograph than the actual bird, I got a video of one that was feeding in my petunias early this past week.  Enjoy!

I hope everyone has a great week and you get some quality time to stitch.  Hopefully I will make more progress on my witchy stitching (I'm doing more as soon as I finish this post!)  I should have my Hotel of Bees Shawl finished shortly as well.  It's been a really nice project to work on.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Notforgotten Farm The Giving Sisters-pumpkin time!

Here's an update of my (not too much) progress on The Giving Sisters by Notforgotten Farm:

 This is a fun stitch! I love all things Halloween, especially stitching. I made a brief foray into designing some years ago, and had to give up my pursuit after a short time. I'm thinking I need to give it a go again, because I have so many great ideas and I'm so inspired by designers such as this one. So many other great ones too!

Since we moved last August, I did not get to see our Moonflowers bloom at all, and I think the young man that bought our home ripped them all out. It shouldn't matter to me, but gosh it made me so sad! We were unable to plant any last year but, fear not, I made sure I'd have plenty this year. I have missed these perfect little heart shaped leaves so much!

You can bet I'll bore you with the blooms as soon as I have any!

My son turned 22 on June 11.  I just can't believe so much time has gone by.  Wow.

He is in college and doing great. He has a really good job and they love him there and we're really proud of this kid.  

Here are some lovely bees I managed to get a good pic of.  I just want to pet them.

And I will leave you with a beautiful waxing crescent moon from a few days ago.  We have been getting SO MUCH rain that seeing the moon was a real treat for me. I'm always looking at the sky it seems. 

More stitchy updates to come soon! I hope everyone has a productive and beautiful week!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Giving Sisters progress and Kitted Up Projects

I've left Mrs. MaGuire's Garden for a bit (nearly done) to work on my Giving Sisters and I'm making good progress. I'm thoroughly enjoying this stitch and have loved this design ever since I saw it.

I kitted up my projects that I bought floss and fabric for while on vacation too! So I thought I'd show those off.


I can't wait to work on all these designs, and I have plenty more kitted up and ready to go as well. I found a great system that works for me using small and large acrylic envelopes to store kitted projects in. I keep the fabric and floss separated in the envelope however, to avoid any bleed that might happen.

I look at all my beautiful stitching supplies and I feel very lucky indeed. I'm a crafter by nature, so I have lots of yarn, beads, and scrap stuff too. My project life book from last year is paused at August. I've yet to do one this year. It's been a hell of a year around here. Some good, some bad. But I feel stuck as I've never felt. Just need to get all my things back on track! Actually completing stitching projects is so huge for me. Staying off facebook certainly helps.

If you are taking time to stop by this blog and are generous enough to leave a comment, thank you. It's no small thing when people take time to notice you and acknowledge what you are doing.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Bethany Vacation, A New Start, and Some Stash!

What a week! We went on vacation to Bethany Beach, DE and had a really great time! I started a new project, which I always do on vacation, and I chose to try again with the same project I took with me last year. I started it last year and tossed it out because I didn't like how my threads were laying.  Otherwise knows as "I'm over 50 and can't see anymore".  I'm OK with this one so far....

The Giving Sisters-Notforgotten Farm

We'll see how it goes. Some of my floss for this is old, and some is new.  Keep hope alive, lol.

I visited my favorite store ever at the beach, Salty Yarns. I picked up specialty floss and fabric for about 4 different projects that have been on my list of things to do.  These just look so amazing to work with!  I have never tried Classic Colorworks, but it is a cotton floss as are the others.

PTP-Heartland, Feldspar, Wren and Legacy
These fabrics are all Cashel Linen from Picture This Plus. I can't explain how much I love the look and feel of these.  It'll be nice to try something on linen again after being off my game for so long.

I also went to Sea Needles, in Bethany, and they are a wonderful place for long forgotten charts.  I picked up some charts that I (think!) sold some years ago while foolishly cleaning out my stash.  The beeskep one from Hillside Samplings is one that I have NEVER been able to find anywhere and I was SO sorry I sold it.  Low and behold, I found it at this shop in perfect condition, probably sitting there for over a decade.  I don't believe Hillside Samplings is in business anymore and that is a shame.  I loved their stuff and took this opportunity to pick up a couple more of their designs.

 To be perfectly honest, I am not sure if the Fanci That patterns are in my stash or not.  I believe I sold them previously as well, but I'm not taking any chances.  I have always wanted to complete these two and wasn't going to let them get away.  :D

The beach was great, except for the fog all week.  I have never seen fog like this!  But for the couple of days we had good weather, I got some nice pics.

I adore the beach.  Wish we'd have bought a vacation home there years ago, when we probably could have afforded it! We're considering dreaming of buying after my husband retires though!   I feel like my soul was meant for the ocean and the sand. 

We ate some amazing meals outdoors, walked the boardwalks, took in the salt air and the ocean....I mean, how perfect is that?  Only complaint is I wish we could go more often.

Be back soon with more stitchy updates!  Until then,

Sunday, May 13, 2018

BBD Eleanor Rigby and Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all! I hope it was a good one. I can finally share the finish I had back in March that was waiting to be framed.

Blackbird Designs Eleanor Rigby.  I hand-dyed the 14 ct. aida a pale gray. I also changed a few colors.

I also just want to give a shout out to my incredible mother. She is truly an amazing woman. She taught me needlework and many other crafty things. Everything I make, I can trace back to her instilling a love of crafting in me. She has always loved this design, ever since she first saw it. So now, she has it to enjoy forever! I truly love her and cannot say enough wonderful things about her.

I love you Mom. You are beautiful inside and out and I feel fortunate to have you in my life.

Be back soon with more stitchy updates! Until then,

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

New stitchy update and extended DMC rant!

Here with an update to my Mrs. Maguire's Garden, and a few other things (DMC rant ahead!). She is coming along nicely and should be done soon!

I made some mistakes changes in this design. I made the strawberry tops all the same color and have forgone the fussy french knots on the berries and water from the watering can.

I also added an additional row of flowers on this stalk because I didn't count correctly and refused to do it over.  But I think it's OK, and I'm sure no one I know will point out the difference.

OK, so now my DMC rant.  I knew I wasn't going crazy.  There are not only color differences, but also major differences in texture and smoothness of the floss.  See what you think.

Left side=old  Right side=new

Left side=old  Right side=new
Left side=old  Right side=new

Now, this last example of #924 illustrates what I'd been saying in a previous post the best. The new thread lacks the sheen, smoothness, and silkiness of the old thread.  And the new thread is twisted SO much more-and by that, I mean each individual strand of the six strand floss-and that affects the stitches so much, it really does, for me anyway.  It's been really frustrating for this perfectionist.  Bottom line: I don't care how much they say the floss is the same.  It is not.

OK, and with that, I'm out!  I'm enjoying the weather and all is good here!  Updates soon with a finish, hopefully!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mrs. Maguire's Garden is in bloom!

Mrs. Maguire's Garden is taking shape. But I gotta tell you-this DMC floss is giving me an extreme headache. I changed the flowers to Ecru because the charted color did not show up at all on my dyed fabric, and the floss is probably 10-15 years old, no kidding. It was soft, silky, and I was able to use the one loop method for starting and each side of the floss laid really nicely, side by side, without any issues at all. The brown I'm using is the called for DMC #869 and the quality is just awful. Using the one loop method leaves me with one SUPER twisty strand, and one thin weak strand. It's the strangest thing. I compared the two flosses together and the new floss is twisted so much tighter than the old floss. Weird.

When I use the two strand starting method, it was a TAD better, but not much. There are areas of dull, fuzzy floss, and it's just not consistent at all. I think I'm going to have to look into replacing some of this new DMC with another brand. Not this go round, but maybe next time I'll just use a conversion to something else for my entire project and see how it goes. And I'm telling you, this 14 count fabric, is not what I remember 14 count to be. At all. OK, that's plenty of complaining for now! Here she is so far.

The fabric is showing quite a bit lighter than it actually is. This is because I am lazy and don't want to take it outdoors (literally 5 feet from me).  ;)

So, there I am for now! Just a quick progress update. I hope everyone is enjoying Spring. It's been crazy weather here in VA with snow one week and 90 degrees the next. UGH!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mrs. McGuire's Garden in Fits and Starts

Just a quick post to show my progress on Pineberry Lane's Mrs. McGuire's Garden! I love it.

I have started this project on THREE different pieces of fabric! I had originally gotten a piece of PTP 14ct Aida in "Ale", and it was gorgeous, but so so very soft.  I didn't like the floppiness of it and the fabric didn't seem to have any "bite" to hold the floss. Does that make sense? I tried it for a while and decided it wasn't for me.  Then I dyed a piece of Fiddler's a nice brown, but I got to those danged butterfly wings and I messed them up so many times that you wouldn't have believed it. So I decided I wanted to do it so badly I started again.  For all the progress I did on each of those starts, I could have had it done already, lol.   Finally, it's working out.  I do love the pattern so much and I really need to get this done!

And can I just say that all DMC floss colors are not equal? They most certainly are not. I've been stitching a very long time and that brown around the butterfly's wings is #869. I'm just going to be blunt and say that floss quality is NOT GOOD. It took me forever to stitch those things because it would twist, bunch up, and no two threads would lay properly on any stitch I did. Same for the #640, which is the inside of the butterfly wings. UGH!

I'm also using Thread Magic, which is a different floss conditioner than Thread Heaven (this has been discontinued), and I am not thrilled with that either! 

Next post will be of a lot more progress on Mrs. McGuire's Garden hopefully!  Pineberry Lane has so many cute and pretty things I need to stitch!  Until then, have a great week!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Annual Woodlawn Show and A New Start!

Hello! My beautiful mom and I went to the annual Needlework Show at Woodlawn in Alexandria last week. We noticed fewer cross stitch projects and more canvas needlepoint and embroidery. It was all interesting to see, but one thing that has always bothered me about this exhibit is that there is ZERO MENTION of the designer or project names on any of the exhibits. You also can't photograph close up so you can look for it later either.

I was able to get some photos of the lovely old rooms and the awesome needlework quotes they have on the walls there. Maybe I'll contribute next year. We will  see.

I have a finish, but it's a gift and being framed, so that will need to wait a bit. I do however, have a fun new start!

Be back soon with some progress pics on my new start. I hope everyone had a great weekend and that you may all have time to stitch this week! Until then,