Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Saturday, July 09, 2016

A finish :)

Well it has certainly been a busy couple of months.  I've made two trips to visit my granddaughter (and her parents) and spent almost a week each time.  She's growing so fast, I can't believe she's a little over a year now.  She's so much fun, and I love watching her do things.  She had a fantastic 4th of July, hope you all had a great holiday too.
Evidently yogurt and corn on the cob is a delicious way to picnic on the holiday :)  So far she pretty much enjoys and will eat anything, which makes it so much easier to go places.  She also seems to like spicy, which is great as both her parents love spicy food so it will make dinners much easier in the future as long as her tastes don't change.

I've made another cat mat for the local shelter, and had a wonderful finish.  May I present my dragon (poor little guy still doesn't have a name).  This is SK Forest Walk by A. Stokes, a HAED pattern, done on 16 ct. Aida.
He just needs to be washed, pressed, and some of the remaining specialty fibers my two furbabies have been donating removed (or as much of it as can be, it kind of gets woven in pretty good somehow).  At least with it being a darker piece, the black fur doesn't show to much, not like some of the lighter pieces I've done.  Jo-ann's is having a great framing sale right now, so probably going there.  

Now to focus on my remaining WIP's, really trying to clean up some of them, and especially Riley's birth sampler.  My goal is to have that done by the end of this year.   One of the new starts that is tempting me is Mini Moonlighting, aren't they adorable. I think they have such sweet faces.  I have the pattern and the materials, would just need to organize them and then......I'd be off :)  So many fun projects so little time it seems.  The drawback of having to work to support my stitching habit, LOL.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.  We had some nasty storms yesterday, luckily my area didn't lose power but many are still without.  Pretty overcast now, so more may be coming our way.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Has it really been a year?

Has it really been a year since my last post?  Well just squeaking in under the one year date I guess, but would have been had I just procrastinated a couple more days.  I don't know where this year has gone, is it just me or do they seem to just fly by so much faster as we get a bit older?  It probably helps too that I've been trying to cram so much into it.

Most of my time this past year seems to have been spent at work (we've had a ton of turnover and so a lot more work to be done by fewer people), but finally it seems to be settling down.  With all the turnover we've had, I ended up with a new boss too, but really lucked out as she's great.  So nice to have a good group to work with and for, makes work (even when stressed) so much more enjoyable.  Part of the extra work though was I needed to get as much done ahead as I could, so that I could take time off to visit my new granddaughter Riley, and then I'd be super busy when I got back trying to catch up on work again.  I was able to get out to visit Amber, Jeff, and Riley 4 times last year, and they met up with us for Thanksgiving.  I feel truly blessed to be able to see them that much.

Riley was born last May, so she's coming up on a year old.  She's already walking, and has learned how to climb up on things (like the coffee table and couch), unfortunately she doesn't yet know how to get down.  She's turning into a delightful handful :)  So here's my little sweetie

I can't wait till I can get out to see her again, she seems to grow so fast.  Thank goodness for FaceTime.  She may not remember me as a "full" body person when I come, but my face and voice should be familiar as I talk to her at least once, if not more times, a week.

I have made some good progress on her birth sampler (promised to have it done before she turns 2) and am loving how it is looking.  Still have the back stitching to do on Tigger (so he'll really pop), and the lower section is where I'm starting Piglet.  Other corner will by Eeyore, and then two little bees and Riley's name and date in the middle.  The material is 32 ct. pink lemonade, a lovely light sparkly pink, unfortunately couldn't get it to show up very well in the photo (it looks pretty washed out).
My other project has been a StoryKeep by HAED, Forest Walk by Anne Stokes.  Finally finished enough for his face to start to show.  He's on 16 ct. antique white aida.
I'm wondering how long after my dragon is finished and framed I'll actually be able to keep him, LOL.  My last dragon finish, my daughter loved so much it went to live at her house.  She and Jeff are huge fantasy/SciFi fans, and so dragons appeal to them :)  At least I know my pieces go to where they'll be appreciated.

Not much else going on, finished several more cat mats for the local animal shelter, read several books, went to multiple local plays, started watching the series Dr. Who, along with the other more mundane aspects of life.    Tempted to do another new start, there are several calling to me, but think I need to behave and focus on finishing Riley's sampler and my current dragon, as still have the Flower Dragon piece hanging out that needs finishing too.  So many lovely stitchy projects so little time.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lots of updates

Well, time for my monthly update, and lots of updates today : )

Seems like I've a lot of projects going at the moment, can't remember the last time I had quite this many at once.  However, with my main focus now being the baby sampler for my upcoming first grandchild, most will probably be on hold for a while.

First up is the completed camp piece.  I ended up having to take the charms off, as where they would have been positioned is the bottom of what turned out to be a box/pillow.  Even if I stand it on end you don't really see the charms anymore anyway, so removed them and I'll save them for a future project.
Here's my finished pincushion/pillow from a couple of angles.

It was a fun way to finish something, and I learned a lot.  The class came with a future project to do that would finish into a self standing tray that looked like a lot of fun to do as well, I can picture using the finishing technique and doing it with various holiday designs.  It was also fun seeing all the different color combinations people came up with.  Here are the various ones people made, don't you love all the colors and various sizes from different fabrics that we all came up with?

Camp was a blast, love getting with other stitchers and seeing what everyone is working on, as well as doing nothing but stitching for a whole weekend. While I was at camp I started a new projects to work on when it's late and my eyes are a bit tired, which table toppers are perfect for.  Love the colors in this, although my picture didn't turn out the best, it's lovely greens and purples.
 This is what it will look like when finished.
I've also gotten a nice bit done on my flower dragons, I'll be working on his body pretty soon :)
I still love the blues in this, and the way they pop on the gorgeous yellow fabric that my daughter picked out.  Fair amount of confetti though, so doesn't move as quick as I'd like sometimes.

The other project I started and almost have finished is a purple cat mat.  These are what I work on when I'm so brain dead in the evening I can't even seem to count.  My local animal shelter uses these, people make them in all different colors and yarns (knit, crochet, weaving) and some quilted ones of fleece are also donated.  They look so bright and colorful in the kitties cages and give them something warm, cosy, and soft to lay on.
I'm a little over half done, then I'll drop this off with the others I've made.

My final piece to show is my Pooh baby sampler I started.  It took a bit to get with my daughter and her husband and decide on fabric and such, but they picked one I think will be lovely.  It's a light variegated pink with shadings in white and just a touch of yellow undertones that warms it up a bit, there is a bit of sparkle in it too.  It's 32 ct. Pink Lemonade.  I'm starting in the upper left, so Pooh will be the first to show up.

No matter how I tried I couldn't get a good shot of the coloring today, so hopefully the next post will allow the fabric coloring to show off better, this just looks so washed out for some reason.  This is what my focus piece will be for awhile, as Amber's due date is May 5th, so not a lot of time.  Here's a picture of my Daughter and her Husband Jeff visiting their new niece Alexis.  It will be a lot of fun for the two cousins to be so close in age.   
Amber has another friend that had a baby a little over a month ago, and one that had one about 5 months ago, so she's got lots of friends she can call up for advice and just to talk to that all have babies around the same age.  I think the two will make great parents, can't wait to meet my granddaughter in the near future.

Well I'm off to try and catch up on what all you've been up to.  Getting warm and sunny here, finally after a really cold winter, hope you're all enjoying good weather too.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A finish and an Old WIP

Well I finished my class project (except for the finish finishing we'll do in class).  While it wouldn't have been my original choice of a design to stitch, I'm happy with how it came out.  Love the blues, and once I found some small charms in the jewelry making section at Michaels for the four corner areas it seemed to come together.  I know there are a lot of designs where they are not quite symmetrical, but I like things balanced, and having the four corners have a section that was left blank bothered me every time I looked at the piece.  I thought about stitching a small motif in each corner open area, but as not sure how it will be finished off thought if they need to be blank for a reason that would be time consuming in class to pull back out.  Then, I saw these charms and thought how cute they'd look, and how easy to get back off in class if I needed to, sooooo on they went.  So here's my finished piece.  The charms read Love, Laugh, Dream, and Believe.  It's done on 28 ct antique white Monaco.

As to the WIP, this is quite an older WIP that seems to have been around for ages. I looked back through my posts and can see where I actually started it in June 2007 (isn't that pitiful?), it got worked on for a bit and then for some reason just seemed to sit.  The design is 12 pages, and about 50 colors.  I'm doing it on Gold Dust by Kiwi Sparkles and when finished will be about 15 x 24 inches.  The fabric is a lovely golden yellow with sparkles in it that my DD picked out (this is going to be for her when finished).

While the blues seem to be showing up wonderfully, the real test to see how the colors all work on the fabric will be when the flower starts to go in, as well as the pinks on the one dragon's chest and the underside of the tail.  Hopefully they all work and show up well.  The floss toss looked ok so fingers crossed, I really don't want to have to try and adjust the colors in the design (I'm really not good at altering designs like that).  The original fabric started out darker, but we rinsed it several times in quite hot water to try and fade it down a bit and it seems to have worked.  Here's what it will look like finished.

This was the first really large piece I'd ever attempted, and I've learned a lot since then on working on larger designs and organizing my floss and such, so hopefully it will go easier now that I've a bit more experience under my belt as far as a design with so many color changes.

While I've ordered the fabric for the baby sampler, it hasn't arrived yet, so no new start pictures to show for that one yet.  Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, it's nice and sunny here for a change, I think Spring may really be on its way.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Floss haul and Baby Sampler :)

JoAnn's had a 30% off your entire purchase today, so I stocked up on flosses. I picked up the ones I needed for the baby sampler I'll be doing, as well as the ones for Maleficent by HAED (although she's been subsequently renamed on there as the Evil Queen).  All together over 100 skeins, so timing it to when they had a sale was a necessity.  They each ring up separately, so the final receipt was longer than I am tall (so over 5'2") when I held it up, LOL. Thankfully the lady was quite friendly and didn't seem to mind ringing them all through.  

Maleficent that I want to stitch is in an earlier post, but here is the baby sampler I'll be doing that my DD picked out.
They love Disney and Pooh, Eeyore, and the gang, and are thinking of a 100 acre wood theme, so this will be perfect, and I love the little characters, so will be bright and fun to work on as well.

I have made some headway on my camp project as well, and have 2 of the 4 sides done now.  Once I finish the third and fourth side just have the outline stitching to do around the outside of the whole area.

I still like the colors I picked, so am good with that.  However, I one of those people that likes my work to be balanced, and so unfortunately on the outside edge the gap that shows on the right sides of each outside piece, where there is no letter to offset the one on the left side of the outside section, is bugging me.  I know that's the design, but it doesn't look finished to me.  Since I don't know exactly how it will be finished finished in class, it's possible that something will go there later, but if not, I know down the road it will bug me each time I see it.  I'm thinking to find four small charms or buttons I can stitch in those spots, that way if it does need to be empty for a reason I can take them back off fairly easily, and it they were going to be just blank (since not everyone needs things balanced) I'll be all set and not have problems with it.  I'd thought about stitching a small motif in each, but if they do need to be blank for a reason, didn't want to have to worry about taking class time to take stitched motifs out in a hurry.  Now just need to figure out what type of charm/buttons I'd like to use.  Hope you're all staying warm  this winter, it sure has been a cold one.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

New start

Not much going on at the moment, watching some of the snow melt that we've gotten (the last pass through dropped a little over a foot on us) and wishing winter would hurry up and be over.  We're looking at possible freezing drizzle later today, ugh, that will make things really messy.

I'm about half done with the new cat mat I'm crocheting, a lovely deep burgundy color, and I've gotten quite a good start on a new project that I'll be taking to a stitching retreat later this year.  The original design suggested a couple different color combinations that could be used, but said we could pick what ever appealed to us to actually stitch it in.  The stitching needs to be done before we go, as we'll be learning a finishing technique while we're there.  Not sure what it will be finished into, but I'm really enjoying the colors I picked.
The alphabet I just started will continue around the block, and then there will be more of the motif again on the outside of the lettering, using the variegated blues again.  I originally thought of using a solid really dark blue for the letters, but that seemed to get lost.  I'll see how I like the purple once it's all done.  If don't like the contrast, the lettering will be easy enough to pull out and use another color for later.  Variegated flosses are so fun to use, love how you can just thread up your needle and go, no constant switching of colors, perfect for working on at the end of the day when you're a bit tired and don't want to concentrate to hard.

We'll off to catch up with all of you, hope you're all staying warm :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I'll start with the BIG news first, I'm so excited, I'm going to be a GRANDMA!!!!!  My daughter and her husband are expecting a girl late May!

I love the announcement they made, they are big gamers, ever since they were both young.  For a wedding cake they had Link and Zelda for the topper (they found the figurines and made the topper themselves).

Then, following the gaming theme, since they both still play all kinds of video games, they came up with this for the announcement

I thought it was great, so creative.  Fun part also, was that once you know what it is, it is obvious, but initially not everyone got it :)

Now onto the fun, but not quite as exciting, stuff.  Haven't done near as much stitching as I'd like,  we've had some more turn over at work, and lots of people taking vacation time for the holidays that put us behind while we covered for them, so not as much free time as I'd like, but I did get both of the Pine Mountain tuck pillows Naughty/Nice done and love how they came out.  They were a lot of fun to put out for Christmas (actually still have them out LOL, they make me smile).  I haven't liked very many of the more recent Pine Mountain pillows they've come out with, prefer more their earlier style, but these I thought were adorable.

Other than that, I've finished two crochet cat mats for the local animal shelter.  Really need to get going on a couple of my other WIP's, or maybe a fun new start.  Just got a new pattern from HAED, Maleficent, which looks like it would be a lot of fun.  They were having a 50% off sale and I couldn't resist.  Decisions, Decisions.

Hope you're all staying warm this winter, now I'm off to catchup on your blogs (which I apologize for being so far behind on).