Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finish and a Frame....

YUP, me again....*SORRY!*.....but I have another finish! On March 14, 2007 I had started stitching Easter Parade by Blackbird Designs and this is where I left it:


March 14, 2007

Yesterday January 28, 2009 ~ I opened the bag that I had this project stored in and pulled that guy out and started stitching. This afternoon I finished stitching it:


Then I flew down to my basement to find a garage sale picture frame that I knew would be perfect....prepared some foam core, got my push pins and a few other accessories from my finishing studio (fancy word for my finishing room) and went to work. After an hour This is what I came up with:



Blackbird Designs "Easter Parade"
Stitched on my own "bake and basted" coffee/tea stained 28 ct. evenweave
Fibers: GAST and WDW as called for
Framed with rick rack accents

I had him all framed up but...... thought it needed *something* to sort of "jazz" it up....Hmmm....I had a thought ~ ran down to my finishing studio (there's that fancy word again) - grabbed some rick rack and VIOLA! What do YOU think?

All I can say is: "Hang 'er on that wall!" Ok, that's it for me for a few days...work this weekend, plus I've harangued you guys enough this week.....

Until next time.....count your stitches and your blessings!

My Sampler Wall (s)

Hello Friends :) Thank you so much for your kinds words on my "Lo How A Rose" finish! I so much appreciate them, and its funny a grouping of kinds words make the day go so much better! Thank YOU all so much!

Well in my last post.... I said that "Lo" was going to go on my WIP Sampler wall....a few of you wanted to see my Sampler Wall...so I thought I'd show you and then you'll see that it truly IS a WIP:
going up our staircase....
in our master bedroom....
on the balcony over my great grandmother's bureau...
on the walls over the balcony...although I don't know about that I don't think we have a ladder tall enough to hang them here...plus the light from the window would probably not be good....
hallway between kids rooms...
wall outside the master bedroom....

Hardy Har Har!....see I don't *have* a sampler wall! :) so it truly IS a WIP :)))))

Everything I've stitched besides a wedding sampler and my Home of a Needleworker has gone to somebody else's house to live....but I have quite a few walls to start filling up! Thus all the excitement of seeing them G-R-O-W!

And did I mention..... I have a sampler cat?! Well here he is....I awoke him from his nap....


I think I'll have another finish by tomorrow morning! And depending on who you listen to...Bloomington got between 12 and 14 inches of snow! Hubby was getting cabin fever so he decided he was going to work if he had to tunnel his way there and me and the kids? We're happy to be put in the house :) It sure is pretty to look at, and have you ever went outside when there's snow on the ground? I love that...soft, muffled, serene feeling....a wondrous gift from the creator!

Until next time....count your stitches and your blessings!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I went and did it....

Hello my dear friends! I got up e-a-r-l-y today because I couldn't sleep and because I wanted to finish this!


"Lo How A Rose" by Brightneedle Designs
Fabric: 28 ct. Silkweaver Solo Cashel Linen
Fibers: DMC as called for
To be finished as a framed sampler (for my *in progress* Sampler wall!)
Date Started: January 7, 2009
Finished: January 28, 2009

Whoooo HOOO! I cannot tell you how happy that I am to have this project finished...I loved the stitching from start to finish, I enjoyed knowing that I was SALing with two other people - (Thank you Staci and Thank you Laura!) and I am happy to know that the frame will soon be in and I can frame it and hang it on my own wall in my own home and look at it every day! Yay!!!

To finish up the day stitching - since it is only 7 a.m. :o) I have pulled out an *old* WIP, but will wait to announce which one it is until the next time I blog...it's close to being finished...perhaps I'll have another finish to share?

Here in good 'ol Indiana we've been hit with crippling weather....basically a blizzard with ice and you don't get it at Dairy Queen :o) My husband's work announced to stay home unless you are "essential personnel" and he's not well not to them - but to me he sure is! And the kids are off school for today too. I have on the roster for today: laundry, stitching my old WIP and making bananna bread, oh and course hiking my rear end on the elliptical for 40 minutes....gotta stay warm!

Until next time my dear friends, count your stitches and your blessings.......... and stitch with gusto and joy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Primitive Valentine....

Happy Monday....I was feeling a little down and out today for some reason...guess it was hard to roll out of bed on a frosty Monday morning...but I did it...up and at 'em at 4:45 a.m. Got my first 20 minute date with the elliptical done, read some blogs and then I got a load of Primitive Bettys "Oh Sweet Valentine" freebie pattern and went to work... I couldn't resist it! I stitched it up, added some embellishing to the pattern...scattered some hearts and added my husband and my initials, then I sewed the pattern into a primitive heart using some old scrap homespun I had, added a length of vintage lace, then I dunked the whole deal into a pot of old coffee...baked it at 250 for a 20 minutes, then put a few metal key charms and a heart charm on it and viola! Instant primitive pillow for the upcoming holiday! I think it turned out darling!


Oh Sweet Valentine ~ Primitive Bettys Freebie
sewn into a primitive heart pillow

Now to get my house straightened, make some supper, advise on some homework, twenty more minutes on the elliptical - then it will be Peppermint Twist time! Thank you for visiting me and all you lovely words of support and enthusiasm! They make my heart sing :)

Until next time...count your stitches and your blessings!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up!

Hello my friends! Hope this finds you all full of health and vigor! This weekend it was a whole lot chilly here in good 'ol Indiana...another deep freeze has settled over the state. I was off all weekend (WOOT!) so I had a great time snuggling in and doing my stitching. After a less than stellar stitching week, I was determined to make up for it this weekend. I started the weekend off on Friday evening stitching on my HAED piece "Vibrant Vista":

Heaven and Earth Designs~ Vibrant Vista - Jane Wooster Scott (artist)
25 ct. ivory lugana 1 over 1 using DMC floss



I only added 300 stitches, I think this takes me up to 800 stitches total. I've stitched on it three times. Not bad, not great...but progress is progress no matter how small! :o) I just wasn't "feeling" it this Friday for some reason. But I didn't concentrate on that, I just decided to move forward - since I wasn't "feeling" my HAED, I browsed through my many charts that I have and pulled "Of Female Arts" by Primitive Needle:

This is where I got by 10 p.m. Friday evening:


Of Female Arts ~ Primitive Needle
fabric 36 ct. Honey - Sassy's Fabbys Edinburgh Linen/ Using DMC 898

I really like the golden mottled tone of the fabric and deep dark brown of the floss...I think this one is going to be a winner! :)


Saturday and Sunday.... I focused on my Blackbird Designs "Blessings and Kind Wishes" this is where I ended up two weekends ago - This was how I left it on Jan. 11, 2009:

This is where I got this afternoon Jan. 25, 2009:

Blackbird Designs ~ Blessings and Kind Wishes
30 ct. R & R Linen (forgot the color) and mixture of GAST, CC, WDW fibers as called for

I likey, don't you?.......I have exactly one month from today to get this done for someone special in my life....let's hope I "Git R' Done" so to speak ;)

Tomorrow is.....Peppermint Twist SAL Day! Hurray! I m really looking forward to stitching on it again, I missed it last week. Speaking of Peppermint Twist...have you seen Blue Ribbon's Newbies? If not you can go HERE to see them. I have decided that I'm stitching all of them at some point in my life. I think the next one I stitch (after Peppermint Twist that is) will be the Winter one..."It's Cold Outside" I love the Penguins ;) So I think I'll just keep Monday's as my BRD day and just keep on stitchin'!

That does it for me....until next time, always count your stitches and your blessings!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How's Lo Going....

Hello Friends...I've had one of "those" kind of weeks and the first time I got to stitch on any of my rotation stitching was yesterday with my Lo How A Rose SAL with Staci ....this was were I ended last week on January 14, 2009:

January 14, 2009
And here's where I ended up yesterday (I was hoping to finish it today - but between Orthodontist Appointments and general chaos...it ain't gonna happen):

Lo How A Rose ~ by Brightneedle Designs ~ January 21, 2009

Stitched on: 28 ct. Silkweaver Solo Cashel Linen using DMC threads

It's so pretty in real life....I did go and order a frame for it today - this measures 12 x 12 and there are no "premade" square frames in the size I needed (14.5 x 14.5) so I had to purchase a custom made frame - which should be in soon *hopefully*. I got a lovely dark rosewood frame with etched flowers in it....I hope that I can finish this up next Wednesday so I can add another start! :o) You will notice that I added my initials and the year in the center of that octagonal flower thingy....I thought it was bare and that would be the perfect place for my "signature" - LOVE it!

Tomorrow is HAED day....I missed stitching on it last Friday because I had to work and long story short....it's was a mess there and by the time I got home...too tired. So.....there ends my story!

Not very chatty today, so I'll leave you until next time I update...whenever that shall be :o)

Until next time, count your blessings and your stitches!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

American Moment....

Yesterday was a day that I was proud to be an American....and since there was many references, reflections, and inferences to Abraham Lincoln ~ one of my favorite Presidents that I have read many books about, live not far from his boyhood home and have visited many times as a young girl and later as a mother of my own children ~ I felt it only fitting to use his words to sum up what I hope that our new President takes to heart during his Presidency:

"These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: "We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man.

In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began—so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built."

~Abraham Lincoln
August 17, 1858

Hold these values close to your heart Mr. President, that is all I ask....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baking and Basting Fabric

Enquiring Minds want to know.....how I make my "basted and baked" fabric. So while I was having my coffee this morning and waiting for my kids 2 hour school delay, I decided to bake and baste some fabric. This all took about 3 hours. So without further ado....I'll get to how I do my fabrics.

I like to use MCG Textiles 28 ct. evenweave. (I do not like their linen! but I find their evenweave is superior - especially when you are stitching 1 over 1 on it - it's weave is nice and you don't "lose" your thread no matter how you cross your X) So I go to their website and purchase 30 x 36 inch cuts for little money (cheaper than what you can buy it at Michael's or Hobby Lobby - even with the shipping!).

First brew some "really strong" coffee and some "really strong" concentrated tea (little water and a big bunch of tea bags - I use 4 cups of water and 1 gallon tea bag):


I use a big stock pot and throw my fabric in (now sort of have it "wadded" up because that is what gives you the mottling if you want a mottled look) Here I'm doing a 25 ct piece of Zweigart Lugana - but I also have 5 other cuts of 28 ct. MCG evenweave that I did today too:

Pour in your tea after it is heavily steeped:

Pour in your coffee. Now a word of why I use both tea and coffee, I find that using tea alone, give the fabric an all over reddish type tint...not bad at all - but I like the deep browns that coffee also gives the fabric. I find the best (for my personal taste) is to use both coffee and tea - you have a basis of red and browns and it makes it excellent, really antique looking.

While your fabric is staining in the pot turn on your oven to 250 degrees (I live in the USA - so this means Farhenhiet - NOT Celcius). Depending on the depth (darkness) of color you want - that's how long you leave the fabric in the pot. Remember to pull the fabric out - rewad and resink in the pot so that you have different mottles all over the fabric and different depths of color throughout.

Once you reach the desired darkness, get out a cookie sheet, cover with tinfoil to protect your sheet, flop your fabric on it making sure to "wad", fold it, layer it on the sheet so that the baking process will give it a more mottled look.

But the whole shebang in the oven, wait for 15 minutes - pull it out and rearrange the fabric and put back in for another 15 minutes. Continue pulling out and rearranging the fabric until you reach the aged look your looking for - you can "baste" the fabric occassionally by lightly dribbling the stock pot "juice" over the fabric on the sheet:

Once that is accomplished, you take your fabric and iron it with a very hot iron to "set" the tea/coffee, bake and basted fabric. You don't have to iron until dry...just iron a minute, then hang to dry.
When you get finished - like I did today you come up with a range of colors and antique water stained looking fabric. Play around! Have fun....get aggressive! A wide range of beautiful fabrics can be yours like these below that I did today! (click the pictures to see the mottled look and the colors)




Pretty aren't they....this range of colors was all achieved with the same stock pot of coffee and tea - the only difference was "soaking" time and bake/basting time.
(EDITED TO ADD - due to many angry e-mails): This is my tutorial...I posted it for people interested in it. This is my technique and I developed it myself for my own fabric. Try it at your own risk! I get lovely fabric each and every time I do this. However I am not liable for destroyed or burned results! I believe that would be the fault of baker not the writer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yo how's LO going?

HELLO Friends! Well it's a whopping 1 degree here in Bloomington, Indiana....and let me tell you my coffee can't even stay warm for long. And it almost hurts just to breathe because all the moisture in the air is just *all* gone - sucked away from the bitter cold. My sinuses are as dry as a sage grass in the middle of the dessert. Now that's dry! :o) The kids are on a 2 hour delay....although I don't know why....it's cold and it isn't gonna be any warmer two hours later...the high is supposed to be something like 5 degrees or something....I can tell you one thing...we are NOT walking to school today :o) BRRRRrrrrr!



Yesterday.... was my "Lo How a Rose" SAL with Staci and there is another nice lady that is stitching on it, but her name and blog name alludes me at the present...sorry! Anyway....here's where I left off last week:

And here's where I got to yesterday:

Lo How a Rose ~ Brightneedle
Design taken from the Better Homes and Gardens Cross Stitch Christmas "Celebration in Stitches"
Stitched on: 28 ct. Silkweaver Solo Cashel Linen
Using DMC fibers

The bottom of the "F" and "R" is the halfway point...so I'm almost "halfway" done! But anyway....I'm far enough along that I'm thinking that I have two more weeks worth of Wednesdays in January...and I might *possibly* have a finish by the end of January...we'll see. I don't stitch on it any other time except on Wednesdays....so that might be stretching it. Plus....something could always happen and I don't like to count my eggs before they are hatched! But I am far enough along that I've been thinking about framing...what type of frame....etc. I do know that I won't have any matting around it....I think the fabric is just gorgeous personally...so I want to leave about an inch around it "free" so that you can see the pretty mottling of the fabric. We'll see.......

Now ..... I mentioned about my wanting to start on Ash Wednesday (so have to get Lo done by then) Quaker Virtues by ByGone Stitches (its the same designer that did Quaker Christmas....) well....did I tell you its really going to happen? Fabric - ORDERED. Pattern - ORDERED. Well I was thinking about floss colors and the effect I wanted in it, etc. .....and then I remembered my friend Nancy from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe and her over-dyed threads, so I e-mailed Nancy (NBELGIAN@aol.com) and showed her a picture of what I wanted my QV to look like and told her to pick for me the colors. Here is what I received yesterday:


Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe's Over-dyed Threads

Aren't they perfect? Scrumptious? Divine? Well let me tell you...they are cottons, but they feel like silk, and I'm not pulling your leg...they are gorgeous. The reds will be the Quaker motifs and the Gold will be the letters and words. I'm stitching it on Vintage Country Mocha 25 ct over one. I think it's gonna be FAB! Again....we'll see :o)

So what's on the slate for today? Well Thursday is a FREE day so that means I have to stitch Cathy's ornament for the Christmas Ornament Swap...STAT! I've started it...so that good :)

Thank you....for your kind words on my previous post, they mean a lot to me....and it helps fuel my resolve! I guess that's all I have for you today...and I probably won't be back until Saturday or Monday....this weekend is a working one...ho hum!

Until next time.....count your stitches and your blessings! Hugs and love!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Inspiration...

Hello Friends! Hope you all are doing well and keeping W-A-R-M....speaking of warm - a little funny side note is: have you seen those commercials on television advertising the Snuggie? Well the other afternoon, the commercial was on and I said to my husband, "I'd love to have one of those!" And he said, "I was going to get you one for Christmas - but then thought you'd think it was stupid." A big 'ol blanget with arm holes just for me - stupid? - no way! :) Had to LOL! though about it - the sweetie, gonna get me a Snuggie :)

What did I stitch yesterday? Well I tell you I stitched on this:


Stitching from June 2007

Inspiration ~ Rosewood Manor
fabric: 32 ct. Picture this Plus Moonglow
fibers: DMC as called for

I started this in June 2007 and was all excited about it because it really is a gorgeous design in my personal opinion. And its on yellow - one of my favorite colors! It's design is by Karen Kluba of Rosewood manor - a fellow Hoosier. What's not to like? But after stitching on it yesterday nearly 2 years since I dropped stitching on it - I remembered...all those COLOR changes - eeeeGAD there are a heck of a lot of color changes. But I'm in this with the Moondragon herself and I by golly am going to stick it out. So that one day I can look at it hanging on my wall...and with everything else I have going on in my rotation - I have 6 whole days inbetween all the color changing and backstitching :) I need some cheering on with this one....definitely....

Today is......Lo Ho a Rose day with Staci so I'm pulling it out just as soon as I get a chance in between the shuttle of kids to school and the changing of the loads in the laundry room. I hope to make some real progress on that one!

And just a quick few words on my quest for better health - I've been splitting my elliptical routine into two parts - I do 15 minutes in the a.m. and I do 15 minutes in the p.m. That way I push myself really hard by trying to keep it at a high RPM and also by adding more resistance. I figure I'm getting two burns too...because I push myself enough that I'm sweating like a lady of the evening in the front pew of a church :) (that's putting it nicer than the way my brother says it! LOL!) but anyway...I've kept it up and I've also really watched my food intake. I'm weighing once per week. and this a.m. I'm happy to report I've lost 10 pounds! HU-RAY! Now of course this is like spitting in the ocean and trying to see the level change....but I can tell in my body myself...I'm getting toned from the work outs and I think my belly maybe doesn't "hang" as much....I really hope and I pray, that 40 (which is 1.5 years away) doesn't see me overweight...maybe just pleasingly plump!

Ok...onward soldiers to start the day! Until next time....count your blessings and your stitches...and I'll be counting my calories too ;).....


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday's Peppermint Twist SAL Report

Hello Friends :o) Hope you are warm and toasty on this Tuesday...because the temperature has dropped like a rock in good 'ol Indiana.....BRRRRrrrr!!!

Today I have to share my Peppermint Twist SAL that I'm in with a lot of other stitchers. This was Week #1's progress from last week on January 5, 2009:

And here is what I accomplished yesterday on Week #2 - January 12, 2009:



Peppermint Twist ~ Blue Ribbon Designs
Fabric: 32 ct. Tan Marble Sassy's Fabbys
Fibers: DMC


I honestly.....am loving the colors and the "squareness" of the whole sampler....I've never stitched a Blue Ribbon Design, but I can tell you - this won't be my last! I love it! It's really coming together - well I guess in the upper left hand corner it's "really coming together" LOL!



TUESDAY means.....I'm pulling out and dusting off my Inspiration WIP by Rosewood Manor and am SALing with the Moondragon herself who has started Inspiration too. So HURRAY....I'm really, really trying *hard* to get back into finishing some of my old WIPs and add to my walls and decor around here :o)

I Hope...... Tuesday brings your sunshine and rainbows - even if you have to wear a survival suit to enjoy them! LOL!



Until Next time....count your blessings and your stitches!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Report

Happy Monday Friends! I had the most wonderfully relaxing - do anything I want to do - kind of weekend! Aren't those the best?! Another reason why the Winter Season has its good points! Saturday I didn't get out of my PJ's all day and I started this Blackbird Designs - Blessings and Kind Wishes. Sunday after Mass, Bible Study, a trip to Sam's on the way home, lunch and cleaning our upstairs I settled in and continued on my new BBD start and this is where I got to:

Blessings and Kind Wishes ~ Blackbird Designs
started on January 10, 2009
using called for fabric and fibers

I really do like the way the pattern is stitching up....my "goal" was to completely finish stitching the house this weekend. And I'm a little disappointed that I didn't meet that goal...I guess it's about 1/2 way done - maybe a little more....but for heaven's sake...that's a BIG house! I stitched a lot on this...I'm thinking around 6 hours probably and I still didn't get it finished. But I was watching TV too while I stitched and I know I had a lot of "space out" moments. We watched Expelled by Ben Stein this weekend and it is really well worth your time if you are interested in the debate. I think that the science culture as a whole is shooting itself in the foot by completely ignoring one side of the argument.

I guess that you've all noticed that I've completely lost my noodles and have started about a LOT of new things? Well I guess I'm totally embracing this no exchanges mantra that I've decided to stick with! I guess I need to summarize for myself so I'll just summarize with you all...Mondays = Peppermint Twist, Tuesdays = Inspiration by Rosewood Manor (an oldie but a goodie) that I started and then dropped because of exchange stitching getting in the way, Wednesdays = Lo How a Rose, Thursdays = OPEN DAY (I think), Fridays = HAED and Saturday and Sundays = OPEN DAYS....that's a pretty good rotation. I'll fit BBD and other smaller projects into my open days. There's a couple of more things I want to start...but I may focus on finishing one thing before I introduce another. I'm pretty happy with the way I've stitched so far in 2009. It's working out great :) This is the first time I've had any success with a rotation. Hope it continues!

So that was my weekend...GREAT! Hope yours was too, wherever you were!

Until Next time....stitch with joy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

HAED Friday Stitching

Happy Saturday Friends! :o) Well this is what I did last Friday - about 425 stitches:


And here's what I did...last night, I added 400 more stitches:




Last night, I seemed to have a better rhythm...I can see that perhaps gridding would be beneficial...just to know where your 10 squares are...however, I'm finding If I limit myself to just two blocks at a time...that I can figure out where I am. WHEW! I'm pretty proud of myself...

So back in the bag.... goes the HAED and you'll just have to wait until Monday to see what rabbit I pull out of my hat next! :o)

Until Next time....thank you so much for your visits, enjoy your weekend, take your vitamins, have some fun, hug your friends and family and remember to count your stitches and your blessings!