Friday, December 31, 2021
Thursday, December 30, 2021
Monday, December 27, 2021
I was putting little bits and pieces together, joining Parts A to Parts B to make Parts C which will then be turned into Part D for Betsy Morgan's Christmas etui--and I got very tired of not having anything actually finished.
So I skipped ahead and put the scissors fob and scissors sheath together.
That still leaves all the parts that make the box to put together, and I do have a needle book to assemble, but at least part of the set is done.
And I feel a sense of accomplishment.
Sunday, December 26, 2021
For the final Sampler Sunday in 2021, I have a finish!
In 2011, Margriet Hogue of The Essamplaire offered an online class for Rebecah French, a reproduction of a sampler stitched in 1802. Rebecah was nine years old at the time.
Of course I signed up to take the class, and I have worked on it, off and on.
Obviously, more off than on.
But now, after ten years, Rebecah is finished!
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
I spent yesterday doing most of the prep work to assemble Betsy Morgan's Christmas Spirit etui.
There are now way too many little stacks of stuff on my work surface.
I still have to make twisted cords--four of them--and do a little embellishment for the lid, but I think, before I do those things, I want to sew some parts together. Having all these bits and pieces floating around makes me just a tad bugnutz crazy. No reason to make that state of mind worse!
Sunday, December 19, 2021
I've spent the last couple of days puttering around, so this is all I managed to do on this Sampler Sunday.
I do plan to work on this a little more tonight while watching reruns of All Creatures Great and Small, so there could quite possibly be more to see tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I've been trying to decide if I want to start a new project on Christmas. Dearly Beloved and I will have a quiet day. He will have his nose in his new book (shh, don't tell), and I'm sure I could find something to do. Then again, I'm starting a major new project on New Year's--that's already been decided.
So maybe I should aim to finish something before the end of the year. I believe I'll think about that.
Friday, December 17, 2021
Not long after I finished Barbara Jackson's Christmas is Coming Etui, I discovered that she had posted the finishing directions for Be of Good Cheer.
So I finished it.
Thursday, December 16, 2021
I thought I was going to knock out the assembly of the tray to Barbara Jackson's Christmas is Coming in a day.
I was wrong.
But, on Day Three of the assembly process, it is complete!
I fear that I am slowing down in my old age. I need to figure out how to speed up if I'm going to get my stash stitched in the next 385 years.
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Sampler Sunday seems to roll around faster every week. I am not complaining, just thought I would mention that Christmas and the end of the year are barreling down like speed skaters in the Olympics.
I have flowers, with more to come.
Friday, December 10, 2021
When your cookie baking extravaganza is derailed when your oven doesn't heat (apparently it needs a new thermostat, and we hope that particular part is available and not sitting on a container ship somewhere), you have to find something else to do.
So you stitch.
And another ornament is ready for the assembly part. As this is a class, I'm going to wait until the finishing directions are posted so I can do it correctly.
Today, by the way, is Mother's 94th birthday, so we went to visit her. I asked her how old she was and she said, "75, that's old enough."
I disagree. I need another 385 years to stitch everything I want to.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Well, actually, he has arrived, at least in the form of this year's ornament from Barbara Jackson for Shining Needle Society.
Now, I was planning to put the tray for Barbara's Etui together. Actually, I planned to start that yesterday, but it took me longer to clear things from the Tudor project away than I expected. I had to add the leftover threads and metals to the stash for future projects. I needed to clear out the project bag and decide what I wanted to keep and what I needed to let go.
And then I got distracted by the stash while I was doing all that.
I need to stop making lists of things I want to stitch and just stitch it. All of it.
Anyway, I had decided to work on assembling this morning, but my old workplace requested some product testing, so instead of working on my stuff, I started working on theirs.
Tonight, though, I believe I need to put at least a few stitches into Santa.
Monday, December 6, 2021
I think I'm through with the Tudor project.
I could put a stitched outline around the center motif in addition to the crimped metal band--at the same time, I think I may have enough glitz. I'm going to leave it sitting up in the frame across the room for a couple of days to see how I feel. At the moment, I feel like I'm through.
In fact, I feel so much like I'm through that I'm planning to put away the "stuff" that accumulates as you work a project. Because there's been so much metal in this one, that means my goldwork tools need to be stashed as well.
The plan after finishing this was to start assembling things this afternoon. The plan has changed. I think I need a nap.
Sunday, December 5, 2021
We have had our Holiday Extravaganza! When you combine Thanksgiving, two December birthdays, and Christmas into one weekend, you have a lot of cooking and baking and eating. Then you have recovering from cooking and baking and eating.
It was all delightful.
Despite two solid days in the kitchen, I was able to stitch just a little bit, and there are now two birds on the bottom of the Rebecah French sampler.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Only one more step, and the Tudor project will be done!
My center motif is . . . slightly . . . different. Somehow, I managed to turn the pattern a quarter turn when I was ready to transfer the design, and that meant that I needed to move the flowers around a little. What can I say? It's an adaptation.
I need to add trim around the edges of the center motif, and I may add some surface stitching on either side of the applied trim.
And then I'll get down to putting some things together. And decking the halls. And baking cookies. Christmas is only a little over three weeks away.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
I went to bed last night thinking there was something I missed doing.
At 3 a.m., I woke up and realized I forgot to blog yesterday. You'd think after doing it for 28 days, it would be a habit. It was not.
I am going to continue to blog, probably not daily, but more often. When I blog, I stitch for at least a little while every day. Given the size of the stash, I need to stitch every day.
Meanwhile, I got the second hill on Rebecah French filled in with cross stitch and have begun to fill in the flowers:
This may get attention on days other than Sunday. I would like to finish Rebecah this year.
Meanwhile, I haven't forgotten about showing how I do ornaments. I've decided I need to spend a couple of weeks just putting things together, and I'll include ornaments in that mix.
This week, though, is going to be busy. Dearly Beloved has "The Procedure" tomorrow, and I have to sit at the doctor's office the entire time he's there. I tried to think of something I have that I could work on while waiting, but it seems everything I'm currently involved in requires either a lot of equipment, is sizable, or has a lot of moving parts--and the light in waiting rooms tends to be dim or dimmer. I suppose that's supposed to be soothing. I find it irritating, since I can't stitch. So I'm taking a book.
Tomorrow night is our EGA holiday dinner. Depending on how well Dearly Beloved feels, I hope to go. He tends to require pampering. . .
Our family Thanksgiving/December birthdays/Christmas celebration is Saturday, so I will be cooking and doing the final decking of the halls Thursday and Friday. After that, we will be able to sit back and enjoy the season.
All will be calm, all will be bright.
Sunday, November 28, 2021
I decided to spend a little time on the Tudor project, even though it's officially Sampler Sunday.
I couched the gold and sequins to finish off the first motif, and I cut out the pieces that will be appliquéd to the velvet in the center. I need to start couching down the gold lizerine that makes the stem and attach the bits as I go, but this is where the bits will be when I do all that.
Those white lines will be removed with a Q-tip and warm water eventually. I have found that it isn't completely successful. If I had it to do over, I don't think I'd use the velvet background. I believe I would use a black delustered satin that I could use a gel pen on.
Live and learn.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
The tree is decorated, and I have two more ornaments in the finish-finishing pile. Both had been started some time ago, and it was past time to get them stitched.
The one on the left is a Barbara Jackson design from years ago. I bought it at Haus Tirol on one of my visits. I really miss that shop!
On the right is a Fern Ridge design that I think came in a goody bag at Christmas in Williamsburg, which used to be one of my favorite events.
I was asked to describe my ornament finishing process, and I'm going to try to take photos of it, step by step, when I put these together, so stay tuned!
Friday, November 26, 2021
There is a light at the end of the Tudor Tunnel.
I got the patterns for the metal thread applications transferred and painted this morning.
I have to wait for the paint to dry before I do anything else on this.
BUT, the Christmas tree is up. Dearly Beloved has had a miraculous recovery--note that it occurred on the day after Thanksgiving, which is when he wants the decorating to begin. Anyway, I will start decorating the tree as soon as he brings the boxes of ornaments downstairs.
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
All I needed to do was sew a circle of velvet to the Tudor project so I could transfer the design and get on with it.
This took way more time than it should have and I said words and combinations of words which frightened Dearly Beloved. I also stabbed myself--twice--with the sharp needle.
Silk velvet is slippery and wants to wiggle and this particular piece did not want to maintain a circular shape. Having beaten it into submission, I believe I will do something mindless for the rest of the day.
And for those wondering why I'm not in the kitchen flinging pots and pans around for the US Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow--ours is delayed until next week due to schedules, family issues, and a plethora of other things. So, tomorrow, Dearly Beloved and I will be enjoying lasagna, which has become our Thanksgiving tradition. Pot flinging will ensue next Friday.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
I spent a couple of hours this morning on the Tudor project.
I've added gold braid to cover the joins between each motif.
There is another motif that will be appliquéd to the center of the piece. I've been going back and forth about when to add the braid--completely cover the seams or wait until the center circle is added and just use braid up to the circle? I finally decided that it would likely strengthen the joins between different fabrics if I did it this way. I've been especially concerned about the silk faille on the lower left.
That part has been scary, since every time I needed to tighten the slate frame, the silk shredded more. Out of desperation, I finally glued the edges to the backing muslin. I do not know if this would be a Tudor appropriate practice, but otherwise this might have become the world's most expensive dust cloth.
Monday, November 22, 2021
We had planned to put up the Christmas tree today. Dearly Beloved did something to himself in getting it out of the closet, so we now have a box in the corner of the living room instead of a tree. He finally gave up and took a muscle relaxer and feels much better, so hopefully tomorrow will see the tree instead of the box.
(As he has strong opinions about decorating for Christmas before the day after Thanksgiving, I have not entirely bought into this whole thing. I will admit, he is moving easier since he took the pill. Or since he said he took the pill. Hmm . . . )
So, instead of putting ornaments on the tree, I finished putting one together.
This came from one of the JCS Christmas Ornament issues, but I do not remember which one nor do I remember the designer. I think it's very sweet, and wish I could give credit where credit is due. I do remember that I stitched it as part of an EGA program on the way I put ornaments together. I stitched several ornaments and had them in different stages of the finishing process for demonstration purposes. I know I had a couple that were almost done, and those have been put together and have been living on the tree, but I have a feeling that I will excavate a few more before it's all done.
Stash diving does result in finding some surprises.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Saturday, November 20, 2021
I ripped out the stitches that were in the wrong place on Carmen's Etui. Then I put some new stitches in the right place and have the framework for the fourth panel.
I think I'm going to work on this today. I did a little more on the Tudor project this morning, but I need to transfer the design for the metallic thread embellishments before I go any further. I'm leaning toward doing that when I appliqué the center piece of velvet for the last motif. I'll have to prick and pounce then--may as well do it all at the same time.
I think I'll start working on Christmas stuff after Thanksgiving. I have just about persuaded Dearly Beloved that we should go ahead and get the Christmas tree up and decorated on Monday--I'm feeling the need for a little Christmas cheer. I believe that will motivate me to at least get two Christmas etuis that need assembly finished.
Motivation is always helpful when it comes to assembly.
Friday, November 19, 2021
I meant to post about this lovely delivery when it came, but it slipped my feeble mind. Anyway, some lovelies from Allison Cole landed on my doorstep last week.
The new book from Inspirations. I would love to stitch every single pin cushion in the book. Would I ever stick pins in any of them? Nope. You don't stick pins in works of art.
Baby Girl's birthday present, which is why it's still in the sealed wrapper, making it difficult to see what it is. What it is is a stitched dragonfly atop a pretty box. The stitching must be done, and Baby Girl likes to stitch--but the deal is that if she reads over the directions and thinks it's a technique she isn't comfortable with, I'll do the stitching and she'll still get the box.
This year's Christmas ornament. I don't believe it will grace the tree this year, but I could surprise myself.
I am leaning towards putting everything I have going aside and just working on Christmas projects for awhile. I'm still arguing with myself about it, so we'll see whether me, myself, or I prevail.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
And I'm going to rip. Bummer!
Yep, that carnation motif on the left is in the wrong place. So . . . before I go any further, it has to come out and be restitched.
I should have realized that today wasn't going to be a good stitching day when I stabbed myself with a sharp needle while working on the Tudor project. There is now some DNA in the black velvet.
Maybe I should do something else tonight.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
The bottom panel for Carmen's Etui is finished!
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Today, needles were successfully threaded and stitches were successfully accomplished!
I worked on the Tudor piece this morning, but didn't bother with a photo. At the moment, I'm couching down the motif for the upper left corner, and nothing looks that much different from the basting stitches I placed to hold the motif steady.
Then there was laundry, and then there were some additional Domestic Diva Duties.
And, at last, the framework for the bottom panel of Carmen's Etui is complete! After dinner, I'll start filling in the spaces.
Monday, November 15, 2021
I believe I mentioned that I planned to spend the entire day with needle in hand.
I believe that I have mentioned in the past that I shouldn't even try to plan when it comes to my needlework.
Dearly Beloved has had a couple of falls when his knee completely gave way, and we ended up spending the day dealing with that. An MRI is planned, but the initial assumption is a torn meniscus. He has a brace to help stabilize the knee until the ortho guy has a chance to review X-rays and the MRI results.
This has taken all day.
I just tried to thread a needle through the pointy end instead of the eye end. I believe that is a message to put the project bag away and do a load of laundry, or dust, or scrub counter tops, or something else requiring little thought. This is definitely the night to crack out the emergency frozen pizza.
Sunday, November 14, 2021
I had great plans for this Sampler Sunday, but this is all I have to show for the day:
Other people had plans for my day.
Dearly Beloved requested that I use the very ripe bananas on the counter to make banana bread. And then, there were some Granny Smith apples that needed to be in a pie. Both were accomplished.
Then I had a long conversation with an old friend. Our paths diverged and we had lost contact. So we have now caught up on the last twenty years. I believe our paths will continue to diverge.
So I barely threaded a needle again. After four days of little or no stitching, I'm ready to plop down into the wing chair and stay there all day tomorrow with needle in hand.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Like flipping a switch, the fatigue vanished and I can function again.
But that doesn't mean I'm getting caught up on my stitching. This is probably all I'll get done today.
I have been stash-diving. And that means that while I'm looking for the project I want to find, I'm getting distracted by other projects.
It's a lovely distraction, but it's a distraction all the same.
Friday, November 12, 2021
I didn't have problems with my first two Covid shots, but the booster has left me shaky and achy and tired!
It's sort of like the last day or so of the flu.
So what does a stitching fool do when she doesn't have enough energy to stitch?
Marathoning Great British Baking Show, FiberTalk and Floss Tube online, and napping. Lots of napping. And I'm heading upstairs to nap again in a few.
I said I would blog every day in November, and I am.
Thursday, November 11, 2021
I started the bottom panel for Carmen's Etui.
And this may be it for today.
I had my Covid booster this morning. I came home and took ibuprofen, as advised, and feel decent. . . except I can barely keep my eyes open. I am so sleepy, I may have to take a nap, and this is after a solid night's sleep. They did tell me that fatigue can be a side effect, but did not mention terminal yawns!
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
And here's the other half of the second panel on Carmen's Etui.
Looks just like the first half, doesn't it . . .
That big open space in the middle will have a separate pin pad attached to it eventually. Meanwhile, I can turn the scroll bars and start on the panel that will make the bottom of the carrier.
I felt like I was making fantastic progress, but then I realized I have to do the bottom panel, the two side panels for the other side, the side pieces/handle, the lining for the bottom, the tray that fits into the bottom, the supports for the sides, the pin pad that fits into this side, a pin cube--and then I have to assemble the whole thing, plus the pin cushion and scissors fob I've already stitched.
I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Today I decided it was time to hitch up the Granny panties and get on with my Tudor class project.
I had to cut out the motif that goes into the first square. This was nerve-wracking. This was very nerve-wracking--I didn't want to cut into the stitching, but I still needed to get as close to it as possible. I didn't break out into a cold sweat in the process, but it was close. I had to take a break after I did it.
Monday, November 8, 2021
This silk is just so shiny!
Sunday, November 7, 2021
I have spent the whole afternoon filling cross stitches in one of the hills at the bottom of Rebecah French's sampler. The whole afternoon, and there are still more to go. I think having to stop and fill in tiny little compensating stitches around the design has significantly slowed me down.
But there's only a little more of this hill to fill . . .
I did not thread a needle yesterday. I played games on my phone and talked to The Saint and Baby Girl and puttered around the house and nary a stitch was stitched.
I also baked a loaf of banana bread, which leads to an Old Married Couple story. If you just came for the stitching, stop here.
To make banana bread, you need to mash up the bananas. The easiest way to mash bananas is to use the potato masher, which is what I was doing when Dearly Beloved wandered in. Lord knows, I might be doing something fascinating that he could miss if he isn't there to observe.
So, he asked what I was doing. I said I was mashing bananas. But, he said, you're using the potato masher. I replied that in all my years of cooking and baking and wandering through kitchen supply stores, I had yet to find a banana masher, so I was using the potato masher. He felt the need to say, "But it's a potato masher." At which point I mentioned that if he ever wished to taste my banana bread again, he would remove himself from the kitchen and not worry about which utensil I was using.
I feel that I should send this to the guy who writes "Pickes" for the comics.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Maybe I should say Frustrating Friday.
I had almost finished sewing the lining to the needlebook when the linen I was attaching the lining to started to fray. And I do mean fray.
I had been a little concerned about the number of threads outside the edge stitch, and I should have listened to myself. When the threads starting pulling out just from stitching through on the last side I needed to attach I came very close to having a sinking spell. This would have required lying down with a cold compress and I had other things to do.
All I can say is Stitch Witchery is my friend.
And the needle book is assembled.
This will likely never be used for its intended purpose, it will be put on display at Christmas, so I'm not horribly concerned about the fraying and the fix.
It would be logical to go ahead and assemble the tray. The only problem is that I need to make new templates. After I had stitched the first piece of the tray, I realized it came out bigger than the template for the bottom of the tray. This has happened before--just because a linen count says it's 32 or 36 or 40 or whatever, there are enough variations in thread thickness and linen weave to throw that count off slightly.
So I'm going to photocopy the finished pieces and make my own templates. Just not today. Today Carmen is calling and I'm going to work on embellishing instead of assembling.
I'm ignoring the fact that Carmen will eventually have to be assembled.
Friday, November 5, 2021
Yesterday, the notification for this year's ornament from Barbara Jackson through Shining Needle Society popped into my inbox.
Well, of course I had to order it, and then I thought it would likely be a very good idea to assemble her Christmas is Coming Etui before the ornament kit arrived. So I got a start last night.
So that leaves the needle book and the tray that holds everything. I need to read through the finishing directions again.
And, who knows? This may precipitate a flurry of finishing.
Don't hold your breath.
Thursday, November 4, 2021
After I came home from my sampler guild meeting last night, I was inspired to stitch. That's the good thing about belonging to a stitching group--it's very motivating when you see the beautiful things others have stitched, and it makes you want to stitch more!
So another zigzag row is done, and now I'm filling in some of the surrounding areas.
This may be all the stitching done around here. I've been awake since about 4:30 this morning and I'm beginning to drag. It's a cloudy, gloomy, rainy, cold day--perfect to snuggle under the blankets and nap. I believe I will do that, especially since I can't seem to focus my eyes!
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
The second panel for Carmen's Etui has been started.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
The first panel for the body of Carmen's Etui is stitched!
The sheen from the Soie de Paris is just amazing, and the photo doesn't come close to showing it.
However, there is a little rough spot on the end of one of my thumbs, and I've had to be very careful as I stitch. No matter how much sugar scrub I use, and how much hand cream I rub in, I can't seem to eliminate that spot. So I took out an emery board and sanded my thumb this morning.
Dearly Beloved wanted to know if I were planning some nefarious deed, and removing my fingerprints in preparation.
Monday, November 1, 2021
How did it get to be November already? And the countdown to the holidays? Time does fly when you're having fun, I guess.
And I've had fun.
Yesterday, Rebecah French had a little love.
This little hill is supposed to be worked in cross stitch and, you may notice, there are flowers growing on it. I have a feeling that Rebecah probably worked all the cross stitches first, then embroidered over them. Instead, we're working the outlines of the vines and flowers and cross stitching around them. To work the reproduction, though, it would have been hard to determine where to place the flowers, unless, maybe, you traced the designs on tissue, basted it on top of the cross stitch, and worked through both. I'm not sure which makes more sense to do, so I'm following the directions as written.
Today I'm working on Carmen's Etui, and I am loving this project. I think I may spend most of my stitching hours this week on this:
Filament silk is a little pesky to work with because it will snag on air, much less the slightest rough spot on your hands--but, oh, the sheen! I wish the picture showed it better. I just want to stroke it. I am avoiding that, because as sure as I touch it, it will find the one rough spot I haven't sugar scrubbed off. I am exercising restraint, but the temptation is great.
And, now, on to another topic. For many years, when blogs were the thing to do, people tried to write every day in the month of November. I have done it myself. Last year didn't make it--I think I wrote four posts the whole month. This year, I think I'm going to take a deep breath and dive in. If I blog, I have to stitch to have something to talk about, and I have a lot I want to stitch.
So on with November!
Saturday, October 30, 2021
For a lady of leisure, I had a lot of things going on this week, which meant I either had a few minutes to stitch or time to blog.
I opted for stitching.
And all the bits for Christmas is Coming are now stitched.
The minute the last stitch was placed, did I start assembling the set? No, I did not. I put another row of leaves in Carmen's Etui.
And this is what I'm going to continue working on today. The pile of finishing grows ever higher, and I am sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "La, la, la" very loudly so I don't hear those projects calling me.
It didn't help when I unearthed another tote bag with a bunch of smalls in it that need to be put together. Actually, there are nine more projects in that bag. When I travelled for work, I would take several small kits with me to work on in my hotel room in the evenings. Some of the pieces come from those trips, others just appealed at the time and were stitched and added to the tote bag.
This makes at least fifteen projects at hand to put together. This doesn't include the other finishing basket upstairs--I'm afraid to look in it to see what's there.
The responsible part of me keeps saying I should take a couple of weeks and do nothing but sew things together. The bratty part of me stomps her foot and says "I don't wanna."
Right now the brat is winning.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Yep, I gave my scheduling about two weeks to try out, and found there were too many interruptions and too many distractions to make it work. So, once again, I'm trying to reconcile myself to the fact that I don't work well with detailed plans, especially as a lady of leisure.
Instead of finishing on Friday, I was able to get a little more done on Christmas is Coming.
I did one of the short ends yesterday, but will take a photo when the other design worked on the same linen is stitched.
I've thought about it--and dismantled the fortress around my chair since I can't possibly work on all the projects piled up there without getting totally overwhelmed--and I think I'll try to keep one very challenging project in progress, and have a couple of things that I can pick up and put down as I have time. I think I'll try to keep Sampler Sunday going since I've made more progress on Rebecah French since I started doing that than I have in years, but otherwise, I'm going back to working on what I feel like when I feel like it.
Sadly, today is going to be one of those interrupted days, and Rebecah probably won't feel a lot of love.
And I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with finishing, especially since I unearthed a tote bag full of tiny little projects that are stitched but not assembled. That came from my traveling days for work, when I threw a bunch of little projects in my suitcase to work on in hotel rooms in the evenings. Apparently since I stopped work trips, they have been breeding. There are a lot more of them than I recalled.
I truly do need to live to 385.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
So I didn't sleep in this morning, which meant I took my walk early, and read the newspaper and did the crossword, AND I finished the motif I needed to gild.
I believe the next step will be to spread glue on the back of all these motifs so they can be cut out and appliquéd. However, there is another instructional video to view before I take that step. Actually, I have only two videos left to view for this class so I can get 'er done and off the slate frame.
My afternoon and evening project for Wednesday and Thursday is Carmen't Etui, the class I just took from Jackie du Plessis at Sassy Jack's. We have leaves.