Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dragons, and Kitties, and Framing (oh my)

The Dragon, Kitties, and Framing you'll understand from my next couple of pictures. The "oh my" I couldn't resist adding after the Wizard of Oz, as I went to see the musical Wicked last Sunday. It was awesome. I think it was the best play I've seen in quite a while, and I really enjoyed the different spin they put on the "wicked" witch in it. I was lucky to get to see it, as we got tickets when they first came out. The production ended up selling out every showing and filled so quickly that they booked it already for next year to come through again. I originally was going to see it with my DD, but as she has ran off to join the circus and is currently running around in Texas I asked my DSIL Kim if she wanted to go, we both had a wonderful time.

In addition to going to see the play, I received a wonderful stitchy birthday present from Kim, she made me this gorgeous tin to hold my stitching goodies. It is longer than normal (it is a Whitman's tin) so my scissors, magnetic needle finder, highlighter, etc... all fit easily. My Boo Boo stick doesn't quite fit, but if I was going somewhere and wanted to take it I could bend the tip a little and then that would fit in there too. The pattern is one of the Gemstone Dragons by Dragon Dreams. The original colors were a red dragon holding a red ruby (my birthstone), but Kim, knowing how much I love blues and thinking the red dragon with the red stone made the stone a bit hard to see on the tin, changed the colors on the dragon to the blues. I think she did a fantastic job and dearly love my little dragon.

Next up in the line to show off is my finished and framed Winter Welcome by CCN. I was thinking of taking it to the framers to be finished, but as I'd just done that recently with a couple of other pieces that wasn't going to happen for a while. Since I really liked how this turned out I didn't want to wait to have it framed so I could hang it and enjoy looking at it. I know it is a little out of season, but I don't care, plus with the heat lately it is fun looking at a "cool" picture. I lucked out on the framing. I started looking at Michaels and fell in love with this frame. The plain style seems to compliment the piece, some of the other fancier frames seemed to overwhelm it. In addition, I had a 40% off coupon I could use on the frame, and the mat was a stock mat so I didn't have to try and cut one (which I can't do). All together it only cost about $15 to frame, I was thrilled. The only problem I had was that the mat didn't fit into the back of the frame, the outside diameter was to big. Fortunately my mom had a cutter and could cut the mat down a bit for me so that it fit. The tricky part though was centering my piece, with the border it kept wanting to go squiggly on me, so seemed to take forever to get reasonably straight. It still is a little off (and if you look closely you can see that the door in the house squiggles a bit too), but I figure unless I really look close every time (and no one else probably will either) it isn't so noticeable as to bother me. Another issue was that I didn't have a lot of material on the top and bottom to be able to lace it, and the tension when I tried really started to pull the fabric out quite badly (even on the sides where I had plenty of material to work with it started to pull out). This material really has not been nice to work with, but I may have mentioned that before, LOL. Anyway, I ended up pinning it around the cardboard backing. It still isn't totally straight, but I can live with it and am enjoying having it hanging up.

My last picture is my new WIP. It took me a little bit to figure out what I wanted to work on, but not to long. I thought about working on one of my existing WIP's, but none really appealed to me right now. Two of my WIP's, well one is really a UFO, are on dark fabric, and I'd had enough of that for a while. Also, wanted something I didn't have to concentrate on to hard as work and life are pretty busy right now, so that let out Flower Dragons and Garfield (for me backstitching is to much concentration). I've had Peaches by LHN in my stash for a while as I love the colors and the little cats in it, so pulled that out. So far I'm loving it, it is going along smoothly and the 28ct Monaco I'm doing it on is quite nice to work on (especially compared to that dratted blue linen I just got done with).

Well I've rambled on long enough, if you're still reading I appreciate it. I love all your comments and want you to know how much I appreciate each and every one of my visitors, thanks so much for stopping by.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Winter Welcome Finish

Well today was another quite warm day, and while I was inside quite glad of the AC I finished Winter Welcome, just a little out of season, LOL. I really like how it all turned out, even though several of the areas did give me quite a bit of trouble with the color changes from the original design, which was on a pale natural color linen. I was really in luck on this though, as I misjudged how much green the leaves would take. The very center parts of the large leaves are DMC, so no problem there. However, the outer areas (which was most of the leaves and ivy) I decided to do with WDW in Lucky which I had on hand and really liked the variations in it. As I got closer to being done, the amount of this I had started to disappear quite quickly. When I put in the last stitch of green I had enough left to have been able to have done just one more leaf, talk about cutting it close. Trying to get another of this and have the dye lot match would have quite tricky (not to mention the frustration of having to put it on hold while I waited to get more when I was this close to finishing.

This was actually finished last night except for the overstitching on the snow. I wanted the snow to have just a bit of sparkle as if the moon was glistening off of it, so after I got the rest of the stitching done last night I used some petite treasure braid and went back over all the snow with a half stitch. I had seen snow done like this at a LNS and really liked how it added a touch of shine, but not to much. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in the picture, but in real life it has a nice touch of sparkle.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to start another project to replace this one, or if I want to concentrate for a bit on my other various WIP's. Or, I did pick up the new Harry Potter book today, so maybe some reading time is called for for awhile. Hmm choices choices.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Welcome and Circus update

Hmmm seems I'll post a bit on the circus first, as that seems to be a really popular topic at the moment as a great number of my comments asked what my DD was doing with the circus. Well it isn't using what she got her degree in, which was a dual major of Psychology and Legal Studies, unless you count the psychology helping to get along with and work with so many personality types and nationalities. She's made the comment that with all the different people that work there it is like a mini United Nations. My DD has always loved learning about different cultures and things, so she's really enjoying meeting so many different people. While the people that work in administration, concessions, and such are pretty much from the United States, even then there are a lot of different ethnic groups represented. However, the performers come from all over the world. This also has the side benefit that she says there is some wonderful food available on occasion. While my DD doesn't cook, she loves all different types of food, and when the different people in the circus cook it can represent a lot of different cuisines (sp?). She called the other evening and she was eating some type of meat pie that someone had made, I think it may have been Russian, and she said it was wonderful. She was going to see if she can place an order for a pie when they make them the next time (some of the people cook and sell the extras).

As to what she's doing, at the moment she is in the concessions group (there are three main groups, concessions, props, and performers). She's kind of the wardrobe administrator. She makes sure costumes get to who needs them, that they are collected at the end of the day, and that they stay in repair. She'll find a dry cleaners when they get to the different cities that can pick up and clean the outfits quickly. She also helps to make sure the different food, photo booths, etc.. are set up and ran during the various performances. There's other stuff too, but that seems to be the bulk of it. The only problem is, my DD is not a desk/office type personality, she likes to be doing things. So..needless to say it is not a great fit at the moment. She'd really like to transfer to props (putting up, taking down, building, painting, etc...) as she'd enjoy that more. One of the biggest draws was the ability to travel all over the country and see the different cities and states that she's never visited before. So far she's enjoying that aspect. I wouldn't like all the travel and living out of a tiny room in a train, but I'm not the one doing it so I'm really trying to see it from her view. It's her life and she's happy traveling around so I'm trying to be happy for her. However, as a mom I'd really like better to see her settle in one spot with a more traditional and settled job. However, as she says she's healthy, relatively happy, and independent, so I should look at it as having done an ok job by her and let go a little. Easier said than done though, LOL.

As to stitching, I've been working on Winter Welcome by Country Cottage Needleworks. I don't think it looks like I've gotten much done, but then part of it is that I've redone the lettering a couple of times. The original pattern had the lettering in dark brown (the color of the roof), which would look ok on the original fabric color, but on my dark blue didn't seem to work as well. The next color I tried was a variegated blue, which while it looked lovely (but then I pretty much think anything blue is lovely) really didn't seem to give it the effect that I wanted. So then I tried it using a variegated that had kind of a yellow/green tone. While I don't like the color itself as well as the blue I had, I do think the color goes better with this piece. Once I finally got a color I liked for the wording I was able to move on. Hopefully the rest will go smoothly as far as colors. I don't think there is anything else that I'll have to potentially change around. I really do like it on the darker fabric, but changing the colors has been a challenge for me, and quite a learning experience.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Birthday Surprise

I came home today and went to get the mail figuring that it would be the usual mix, junk mail and bills. However, when I reached in and pulled it out there was a wonderful surprise inside. I can't believe that I'm the lucky recipient of one of Carol's beautiful fobs.

I'm constantly amazed at all the wonderful fobs and such that Carol makes. I don't think she ever sleeps given all the beautiful stitching she gets done, for so many others as well as herself. I never imagined I'd be one of the people that would be treated to her lovely work as a birthday present. I've been blogging about a year now, and have known Carol for about six months of that. So although that is a bit of time, it really isn't that long for her to make such a gorgeous treat like this for me. Isn't it beautiful? It has such tiny little stitches and it's finished beautifully. Carol did the S from Nature's Alphabet by Elizabeth's Designs. This is so perfect, I love the cheerful looking sunflowers, and it has a sweet little charm on the corner that says "made for you" On the back she has the little tree with both of our initials. I still can't believe that she's taken the time to make something this lovely for someone she's only known through blogging such a short time. Thank you so much Carol for your generous and beautiful birthday present, I'll love using this.

The timing was perfect too, as I was feeling a bit down. My DD left Tues. for her new job, she's ran off to join the circus. Yup, you read that right, the circus. I remember when I was younger threatening to do that, but she actually has. She accepted a position with Ringling Brothers and so she flew off to Texas to join up with them. Her contract is for six months, which gives them time to see if they like her, as well as if she likes working for them (and the nomadic lifestyle). If at the end of six months both sides are happy she'll stay on, otherwise it will be on to something different. It will be a huge change from the normal settled lifestyle one normally has with all the traveling around and living on a train. She has a small little compartment on the train for her living quarters. The train moves the whole group around from place to place while they are on tour. Needless to say, her cat and 2 gecko's couldn't go, so I'm doing grandma duty to my four footed grandkids as she puts it for a bit. Luckily her cat Isis seems to have fit in with my 3 cats and 2 dogs without much problem, and the gecko's are content to just look out of their aquarium while the various furbodies look back at them. It should be an interesting six months all around.

With everything we needed to get done for her to leave, not a whole lot of stitching has been getting done. I've made a little more headway on Flower Dragons, here is where it is at now (I'm about half done with the first page). So far I'm really enjoying it, but it still seems odd to be working on a project that covers 12 pages. :)