Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Start

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, I know I did. Plenty of goodies to eat and some wonderful stitching time. I was able to get a good start on my new project, a SAL of Gingerbread Cottage, a new Country Cottage Needleworks design

Gingerbread Cottage - Country Cottage Needleworks
28ct Country Mocha linen

I wasn't sure if I would like it on the fabric I chose, but it seems to be working ok so far. Unfortunately I'm missing one of the colors, so there are a couple of gaps in the house and tree that I'll have to fill in later (the door, a band at the top of the house, and two tree decorations). When it's done it will look like this

I thought this was so cute when I saw it, and love the colors. Like the Little House Needleworks patterns, it has the added plus of no backstitch or partial stitches. Although I may do a backstitch line along the outside edge of the house in the medium or darker shade of brown, as the light shade of tan that the house is in does not stand out all that well against the fabric I picked, so just that tiny bit of backstitch may help give the house a bit more definition. The contrast is slightly less in real life than in my picture.

During Thanksgiving I got to spend a good amount of time stitching with my DSIL Kim and so got to see some of the fun projects she's recently completed and even done the finishing on, like her Chocolate Covered Cherries and Pumpkin Scissor Fob. I love the pumpkin fob and plan on making one for myself. Her finishing always looks so nice to me. One of these days I really need to learn to do more finishing myself. Acorns and Strawberries are still sitting in my basket waiting for me to decide how to finish them off.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Acorns is Finished

I was up a little to late last night, but I was so close to finishing Acorns that I just couldn't put it down.

Acorns - Little House Needleworks

32 ct. Belfast Linen

This was such a fun one. I love squirrels anyway, and this time of year they are so busy running around outside and acting silly in the leaves that it was fun to be watching them and to be stitching one at the same time.

This makes my 11th finish this year so far. Five of them were Little House or Country Cottage Needleworks designs, so you can tell where my focus has been. These are such fun designs, I love the size and colors, as well as the lack of backstitching and partial stitches. This past year has been so hectic in many ways that not dealing with backstitch (which I really dislike) and partial stitches has made stitching time more enjoyable.

If you don't count the scarf I knitted last year I had 12 finishes. My goal this year was to have 1 more finish than last year, with a couple of larger pieces in the mix than in prior year. I've already met the part of doing some larger pieces. With my Acorns finish, I just need two more to meet the doing one more part. I have time off at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so getting two more done (as long as neither is to large) is certainly doable.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and safe travels to all of you that will be traveling over this holiday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Squirrels, Acorns, and Leaves

I'm beginning to think I'll never see the end of the leaves this year. I've put out over 40 bags so far. When I got up this morning after looking at the ground I'll have several more at least. My yard is not that big, so they are not all mine (other than me needing to be the one to clean them up). The angle my house is at, and the way the fencing sits, creates kind of a wind tunnel. So..if my neighbors do not clean up their leaves in a timely manner the wind will blow many of them into my yard where they tend to stay. For the most part I like all my neighbors, but this time of year I get frustrated they won't clean up their leaves quicker or better. I can't leave the leaves on the ground, as there are so many they will kill the grass, but it is irritating to have to spend so much time raking because they aren't. Oh well, this season will pass and I'll have winter and snow to deal with, and then I'll wish I could have the cool weather and the leaves again. Or, better yet, how long until summer?

I've gotten a bit more stitching done, and with the fall season this is an appropriate stitch.

Acorns - Little House Needleworks
32 ct Belfast Linen

This is on the same piece of mystery color linen as Strawberries was done on. While an odd cut of fabric which I found in the odds and ends bin when I bought it, you can see how perfect it worked for the two thread packs. This is a fun one, I love the pudgy little squirrel. The original pattern had the tail in the same color brown as the tree, but I changed it to be the same color as the squirrel. The other change I'm thinking of making is instead of leaving the eye as it is (with the linen showing) I may do a small black french knot or seed bead. Squirrels have such lively, mischievous eyes that it seems appropriate. I'm watching two of them steal seed out of my bird feeders right now.

I've found a play friend for Jazmine. One of the ladies in my area has a 7 yr old golden retriever who is an absolute sweetie. We've been meeting and taking Jaz and Sadie for walks together. Also, once a week we try to get to the dog park for them to be able to run free in a safe area. Jaz seems to love it. Sadie is so sweet and goofy that Jaz is not intimidated at all. Jaz is still the same outside if Sadie is not around (nervous and just wants to go back home), but at least this is giving her some time outside with a playmate so she can see the world isn't always a scary place.

I'm still working on catching up with everyone, you've certainly been a busy group. I'm a little over halfway through reading blogs, so hopefully I'll have caught up with everyone by the end of this weekend.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thank you (and Strawberries)

First, thank you all for your kind concern and well wishes. It truly is hard to lose a pet you've had for so many years, it is like losing family. I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted on Sasha's passing, but time has gone and I've received a number on inquiries on if I'm ok as it had been so long since I last posted, which is not like me.

Jazmine and I are doing better, but still have a ways to go. Jaz really took not having Sasha around very hard. Most of the old routes we walked with Sasha she now refuses to walk. For the most part, she really doesn't want to leave the house. To get her out and moving we do more, very short walks, going a different direction than before. Part of Jaz's problem I know is missing Sasha, but unfortunately part is her natural insecurities. Jaz was not socialized as a puppy well before we got her, and it takes very little for her to get scared and nervous, and this has now increased without Sasha to keep her balanced. She's better now than a month ago, but it takes time, and she'll probably never be totally comfortable outside the house (her safety zone) again poor baby.

Fall is in full force here now, and the leaves are falling like crazy. It seems I can't hardly keep up with them. I'll be so glad when they stop falling. Although pretty, they are such a mess to clean up. Last week I had a little over 20 of the big paper yard waste bags full of leaves to put out for pick up. This week I have 14 more already. While all that raking is good exercise, my back and arms sure do feel it. So..with all that fresh air and exercise that I'm not used to, the evening getting darker so much earlier (it is 6:30 now and pitch black outside, sure looks like night), and my feeling down still from losing Sasha, we tend to go to bed early. Between work, Jazmine time, regular home chores, and feeling like going to bed sooner than normal as it is so dark out, that doesn't leave much time for much else, blogging kind of fell by the wayside.

However, while I haven't been stitching much (I know I should make more time for it, it is amazing how a good stitching session can make you feel better), I did get my Strawberries piece done.

Strawberries - Little House Needleworks

I did it on 32 ct. Belfast linen. Not sure on the color as the piece was an odds and ends piece when I bought it and not labeled for color, but it is a really pretty pale tan. The piece was long and fairly narrow, perfect for Little House Threadpacks. There was enough that I could cut it in two and have enough to do Strawberries and Acorns (another Threadpack). I have Acorns almost half way done now, so will post a picture of that next time.

Haven't decided how to finish off Strawberries yet. I've seen it done as a flatfold on a couple blogs and it turned out adorable. I'm also considering framing it and doing the threadpacks as a series framed and then putting them up along the top of my one wall in the kitchen.

Thanks again for all your well wishes, I'll try to visit your blogs soon. I'm so behind though that it will take a while to catch up on what all you've been doing.