Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happy 2018! Apology... then Recap!

Where does the time go?? The last 6 weeks or so of last year.... FLEW by! And now it is already the 8th day of the New Year!?!? Yikes... I am not liking this.... So much I want to get done... yet time just passes quick as a wink! Sigh...

I went back through my emails, pictures, and box of 'to-be-finished' pieces and am going to piece together a picture of what I have been up to in my absences from blogland... I may forget stuff but maybe it will pop up later on... So, let's do it!

FIRST of all, I owe a HUGE apology to my Birthday Twin, Justine!! She sent me the lovely Birthday package (below) LAST YEAR and I cannot see where I ever acknowledged it! So... Justine, I LOVED my package! The February pillow will make me think of you always... and once I get that adorable Robin stitched... it will also bring a smile to my face, reminding me of you!

And tho I acknowledged the birthday package from Robin that arrived a bit earlier, I usually share on the blog... and had not! She made me a beautiful cushion with my initial, in my favorite color, plus sent along some notecards and birdie note papers! And of course, she sent a birdie Birthday card!!

And going a little further back, I came across this Britty Kitty Christmas ornament I made, intended to be gifted to my husband to put on our tree in 2016!!!! Sigh... Tho I do know that I had to hide it at first, so he wouldn't see it... but then it went to the finishing pile... instead of staying in my sights! It glitters!

Right after the New Year LAST YEAR, I took out this pattern from Erica Michaels called Winter Messenger, and stitched it right up! It was one of those designs that you stitch on gazillion count gauze... OR whatever fabric you want, which is what I did. I used a scrap of fabric in my stash... don't know what it was now... Maybe I will have it finish-finished before Winter is over this year... 

These next two were done mid-year... to see if I liked stitching with white any better... NOPE! But they are very cute, and hopefully... will be on Next Year's tree!

In the Summer, I stitched these two pieces that will be turned into pillows, tho not like the pictures. They were quick and fun to do! Now I have two of three sets done... One more for this year? It could happen!

 Now, this one came up in a previous post when I was considering frames... Well, I got inspired and went to Michael's and picked up some glossy green spray paint. And voila! I LOVE how this looks!! It just pops! Traditional Quaker design, in non-traditional colored thread, and quite the frame! Ha!

In December, I had some more finishing to do for my stitching buddy... Christmas presents for her sisters... Two were made into flat finishes to be put on a little easel...

This day, the weather outside was frightful... so I could not get a good picture. And the piece left a day or two later... so... this is as good as it gets! It was gorgeous!

Then, she stitched these Shepherd's Bush pieces and I made them into little pillows... Used Vonna's technique (http://tts-learntofinish.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-simple-pillow-ornament-video.html)      on stuffing it, for the first time. Still need a bit more practice towards getting those perfect corners... but I am getting there! She loved these and said the backs were really nice...Thanks Vonna!

The last piece I finished was a framed piece. I have done a LOT of lacing lately!! This is a really cute one! Probably Country Cottage Needleworks... Again, crappy weather makes crappy pictures...

And because she loved the finish I did for her sister when we went to PA, I did one for her Autumn finish... which she didn't get until early December... but... she liked it... It's one of those magnetic ones, like I showed in another post. Technique learned from Priscilla (priscillas2000.blogspot.com) on her blog and Flosstube! And I am using it whenever I can! Makes finishing in the future easier... just swap out finished pieces...

This is a present for HER... We haven't had any time together since early December... we missed Christmas! The pattern was in the 2017 Christmas ornament issue of Just Cross Stitch. And I saw this finish on Flosstube somewhere!! (can't remember now...!!) The stitched piece is about 3 inches, the backing may be around 4, and the snowflake (found at Target) is probably 6 inches. Magnetized finish... 

And my buddy and I both stitched this piece... in two colorways. She did the traditional, called-for colors... And we had agreed on a flat finish... But then I went thrifting and found a metal tray, used some of that fabulous green spray paint, finished as a flat finish, edged in bright Christmas red lace, and magnetized it! Voila! I really really LOVE this one!

So, when I finish MINE, I will used the SECOND metal tray I found, and do the same finish for me! Trying to decide what color lace to use... but the tray will be painted white, so leaning towards the purple... Unless I find PURPLE paint!! :)  Then I will use either the white or pink lace! Stay tuned!

I showed my progress on this Lizzie Kate piece in a previous post... but now, here is a shot of the finished piece! I finished it before I did the Joy piece... mid December-ish... Thinking about how to finish it...later. I do really like it!

This came up after seeing it everywhere... so we both stitched it. Mine has my 'personalization' on it... I only did one row of Gingerbread men, at the top, and did not embellish them. They look fine, and I just don't like all that... Still pondering their finishes...

 Last I have a few WIPs... This is by Hands On Designs... Called The Smallest Seed. I got it thru Casa Cenina to support ongoing Earthquake relief in Italy last year. It is a nice piece... easy on the eyes. Using a piece of light yellow Lugana, either 25 or 28, two over two...

And this is a small start of a design by The Sampler Girl that I purchased MANY years ago... It is called Sense and Sensibility, and is a quote from the Jane Austen book of the same name. I have joined a FB group that is going to be reading her books, and stitching designs pertaining to Jane Austen, all year long. Should be fun...

I have another WIP going along that is called Forest Snowfall by Country Cottage Needleworks. I am going to be finished probably by tomorrow... But only after I frog out a couple of parts that just don't please me. First of all, through no one's fault, I find that the dye lot of the thread for the house color I purchased does NOT match the one pictured. Throws everything off, but I am NOT ripping out all that stitching. I have learned to like it. However, the same goes for the roof color, and that carries over to the door... which really looks awful... so frogging that out. And the window panes look ugly too... called for two threads... I am going to try just one... Hopefully I can make this piece look good, cause it is going to be a gift for a friend doing me a favor!

I think that is all I have for stitching. Since we have been stuck inside because of over a foot of snow, I changed the house from Christmas to Winter this week...Thought I would share some pictures...

I got this ornament, and the next one, AFTER Christmas... but since they are sort of for Winter, they go perfectly!

And my dear friend that moved to Tennessee gave me these Snow Babies before she left. Her friend, that I also knew, made them! They are such a delight to see every year!

This year, I did not do a 'theme' tree with only gold and purple ornaments or silver and purple. This year, I decorated with everything else... from stitched ornies to ones from when the kids were little. And while digging around in the boxes, I came across this ceramic piece. My parents made this... We had a ceramic kiln in our basement, and my parents made all kinds of pieces. They had many molds, and poured liquid clay (?) into the mold, heated (fired) it, took it out and painted it, fired it again, and put a finish on it before firing for the last time. This winter vase is just lovely. The gold is 24-karat gold... that I remember!! And on the bottom they put their 'trademark' name: Mickit... which was a combination of my older siblings' names. Next year, I will find some type of greenery to put in it!

And here is a fun Snowmen display... Except for the Cardinal on the mantle, ALL were thrift store finds!  The two Hallmark pieces on the ends still sing and dance! My grandkids grew up with the one on the right! I have a short video of Olivia dancing to the song it plays! Everyone was laughing and enjoying that! The Snowman quilt was also a thrift store find... I think I paid no more than $4.00!

If you got this far, thanks for sticking with me! I will try to be better about posting. But... I can't promise any regularity! My life is a roller coaster, with many twists and turns. Next weekend, my stitching buddy and I are going on a little stitching getaway to a Williamsburg timeshare. Can't wait! Then the following week, on Friday, my husband is having surgery on his nose for a more serious patch of skin cancer. First he is with the surgeon, then we have to go straight to a plastic surgeon to fix it up... Never done this before, and kinda nervous. Then there is recovery time... So, maybe lots of stitching or finishing or both will be done! It could happen!

Well, I have run out of steam, so will close for now!



Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Just popping in to send Christmas greetings...I am pretty backed up on blogging, but hopefully after Christmas, and maybe even before New Years, I shall get a post in that shows what I have been stitching and finishing!

Meanwhile, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Thanks for visiting!



Monday, November 13, 2017

November stitching and finishes so far...

Thought I would do a quick blogpost to show the finishes I have done and the finishing I have done. I intend to do more... of course! So, without further ado... let's begin!

First are finishes... I started the LK Holly & Hearts Sampler last month, and finished Part One last week. It went quickly... and here is a snap... Of course I have now done more, but I am not getting pictures today... it is quite dark. I count it as a separate finish.

Then I felt like doing some smalls...ornaments, etc... and finished two ornaments-to-be and one more Autumn small...

This is by Little House Needleworks, called Quaker Birds. I didn't stitch the entire design... didn't need the flourish or date on it... I used a random scrap of blue Aida fabric... 

 This is also by Little House Needleworks, called Tweet appropriately! Used a scrap of the French Vanilla by R&R that I am doing the LK Holly & Hearts on...

 And this is by Heart In Hand... can you guess the name of it?? :)  Again, used another scrap from the French Vanilla remnant. 

 Made this little one into a flat stand-up (I really don't know what it is called!). Used a really cute Autumn fabric on the back, and some rick rack I had dyed last summer... which works perfectly!

 After doing the layered finish for my Buddy's piece, I just HAD to do one for my own work! And this is what I came up with... The backing fabric is PERFECT, having the teal and orange colors in it! A funny story about doing the magnets... I measured where they should go, then glued them both and placed them. About two minutes later, I heard a 'click'... I briefly thought 'What was that?' and then went over to the board, and sure enough... the magnets had pulled themselves together!! Pretty strong!! I had a good laugh with that... and re-did them, putting something in between them to be sure they didn't slip again! It is hanging in my kitchen... Love it!

And I liked doing that finish so MUCH, I made Pumpkin Cottage a layered finish too! And I made sure to put something between those magnets!

This has been laced... but I admit... I still have to glue on a backing sheet. I promise I will do that after I finish blogging! Sure love the gold frame...

 And Daisy has been laced too... same stopping point, which will be remedied today. I really love this piece... Even tho it was a pain to stitch! Came out beautifully! Can't wait to hang it up!

So, that's it for today...Gotta do my Birding Blog next... But... before I go... Have another little story for you... I was looking in my framing stash for a frame, and picked up the smaller one from when we went to Maryland this summer. I had not yet removed the glass and picture, so thought I would do that while it was in my sights.... This was the picture inside the frame.

Typical print. But I thought it had cardboard behind it, because it felt 'thick'. So, I investigated, and found not one, but TWO photos behind this print! Huh?!?! Who does that?!? I feel so sad for this... someone didn't want the pictures?? Well, on the extremely OFF chance that someone knows this person... I am sharing the pictures. Nice looking young man... If you also feel sad, and wish to spread the pictures around, either grab them from here or I can send a copy to you. What are the chances of locating him? Who knows...

Well, that is all I have for today! Thanks for visiting!



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Stitching

Well, bummer... thought I would be doing this earlier this month... but... time got away from me! So, here I am... hurrying so I can get dinner done BEFORE the trick-or-treaters start! It's gonna be close!!

I stitched and finished about five pieces this month, and started a new, large one. Plus I did a bunch of finishing for my stitching buddy, because we were going to PA to meet with her family one weekend! She stitched SEVEN pieces for them!! So, without further ado... on to the stitching!

 This is a freebie by Alioka... I wanted a soft fall pallette... I just pulled out random overdyed threads... Love it! Into the finishing pile it goes!

 Harvest Alphabet, by Heart in Hand, over one on 25-count Lugana. Have not stitched on Lugana in quite a while. It went easy enough. Have no idea how I shall finish this. Yet.

Hey There Pumpkin by Hands on Designs. Loved this one! It is on a random piece of 32-count R&R called Glen Ellen.  I have a finish all lined up for this cutie!

 And this is a freebie by Snowflower Diaries I think... I THINK I know what I will do for finishing on this one too... but... we shall see...

I can't even remember who designed this, and cannot find the paper... Anyway, really cute and quick finish... Second one. I finished the first one (same fabric and thread) for my stitching buddy, and made a flatfold finish. Well, I followed Vonna's EXCELLENT tutorial, but... my life is full of interruptions. As I was finally putting it under a stack of books... I looked at it and realized that I had put it together incorrectly, so... the 'top' was on the side, and the strip that holds front to back was too! Note to self and others: Always double check each step before going further!! Always!! I was in a hurry by then... and did not! She said she loves it anyway... so sweet! :)

I started Lizzie Kate's Holly & Hearts Sampler from about 4 years ago! Loving it! I actually have lots more done now, but just didn't want to take another picture... I'm on a roll here!

This is a thrift store frame I got when we went to Maryland this summer. It is a perfect fit! Love it! 

So, my buddy stitched seven projects, for her family, and I finished them... She repeated two designs, using different colors of threads, and I coordinated the finishes. 

This one got a copper colored heart on the front, just to jazz it up! 

 Had great fun coordinating buttons to the pieces! But I am running out of my pins! I got them on EBay years and years ago... and I have looked but that company no longer exists. Sad face! 

 Here is the same piece in purples! Her favorite color! She actually came over to coordinate this one, with the buttons and all... Love it too!

Another cube finish...

This teal one is a flat finish, to be put on an easel. Used coordinating teal chenille and cute teal flower and heart buttons. There are pins all around the edges, to hold the chenille on... but they are orange, matching the tiny flowers on the stitched piece! Just another little fun flourish...

Found this frame at a thrift store... some days it just works out! 

The back...

And another thrifted frame. This one required a little work. It was quite an ugly whitish color, so  I found this black paint that had primer in it, so did that. Then roughed it up and put a finish on it. Also love this one! 

The back... different color!

 I have been wanting to try a finish like Priscilla does... (priscillas2000.blogspot.com) and this is what I came up with! It can be a stand up easel, or it can be hung on a wall. 

Used pieces of sheet metal from Home Depot that my husband cut small for my use. Glued the metal onto the piece back, and Gorilla glued the magnets. I really like this!! 

 In fact, today I tried to get another one of those easel boards from Hobby Lobby, but they had none. Sad face! I'll check around...  

 This was the last finish... a seasonal Long-legged Bird cube. I think I have done about 6 of these now. They are for her Mom, who also came down, so she got two gifties! 

Again, used some of the buttons to embellish it...  

On the purple piece above, I knew that using white thread or my only other 'thread' of brown would not work for all those buttons, so I decided to do a little dyeing! And since I had a bit of dye that would get thrown out, I decided to dye this really ugly piece of mystery fabric I had lying around. It was a kind of ugly yellow-y green color. Not anymore!! At least THIS piece will now be used!! Wait for it!

 One of the things everyone wanted to do while we were in PA was go thrifting at the antique-y kind of thrift stores that seem to abound there. So we did, and I came across this really exquisite frame! It had an older, floral print on cardboard in it, which was not of any worth. But the paper on the back had a sticker on it that said 'Hollister, CA', so I HAD to buy it! I researched and that was where the piece was framed... see, it was karma! I don't yet know what might fit in it. IF nothing, then I shall stitch something appropriate! 

Picked up this little gold frame... I actually like the picture inside, but if I need it for a stitched piece... oh well! 

 This festive Fall towel called to me!

 We went to another shop, and I got these beautiful trims!! Each is about half a yard long...

 THIS stitched tea towel called to me!! See the price tag? HAD to buy it, and SAVE the stitches! So... I need your help! Does anyone SEE what is stitched here?? I cannot see what the stitching is supposed to be!! I would love to know!! There are two different colored threads in it, one is light... barely discernible in parts of the 'design'. 

Here is the back... not bad! 

And a parting picture! My buddy's Mom gave me a bushel of apples!! I am down to half a bushel now, and will be busy tomorrow making something more... thinking some kind of bread.... yummm!

Now I am ready to do a bunch of my own finishing! So, that is going to be what I mostly do next week and who knows how long? I am READY! Stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting me!