Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A little of this and a little of that

I think I really need to pick one project and try to focus on it. I'm making headway on several pieces, but it feels ages since I actually had a finish. My last finish was early February, and here it is now the end of March. All my following pictures are clickable, as used my camera this time instead of my scanner. I think it especially helped on my Indigo Rose piece.

As to getting a finish, I'm optimistic that my Cardinal piece may be done fairly soon. The border is done now, I just need to finish up the design inside the border. I'm planning on making this into a little Christmas ornament, the finished size is 3x3 inches so it is relatively small.

The other piece I've put some time into again is Snow Ho Ho. His hat is done now except for the star tassel, then will just have the border design. Even though I'm not big on borders, it is in blue which will help. Also, I have a lot going on at the moment between work and home, so some fairly mindless stitching will be a good idea of what to work on in the evenings.

My Indigo Rose piece also moved along this past week. I now have the cover stitching completed. The wrought by section with the words and flower vine is over 1. This is the section I was having trouble with earlier and had to frog a portion back out. I'm happy now with how it turned out though. I also frogged out a portion of the vase that I had done previously and redid that, as I didn't like how the flower ended and the vase started, I like it better now. I flipped the picture as thought that would be easier to see than trying to imagine the vase upside down. Now I just need to make the pincushion and do the rest of the finishing. My DSIL Kim is also working on this. For a while I was ahead, but this week Kim finished up her stitching and has started the finishing. Hopefully she'll be able to give me some good tips on putting mine together. This is such a neat piece, I'm looking forward to having it done.

The snow in my previous post all melted, and then we got a couple of inches more. However, most of that is gone now too, and the sun was peeking out. Isis (in the window) and D'artagnon (on the stool) are really enjoying being able to catch some sunbeams. Although D'artagnon doesn't look to happy in the picture about my disturbing him with a camera shot.

One of my other kitties, Midnight, hasn't had a very good week. This is her sacked out over the edge of the couch taking a nap. You can see where the front part of her leg has been shaved. I came home from work on Tues. and she wasn't at the door to meet me, not normal. When I went to find her, she was laying in the middle of the floor and didn't want to get up, so off to the vet we went. She was dehydrated, running a fever, and was very uncoordinated when trying to walk. Midnight ended up spending two nights at the vets with IV's and antibiotics and such. We still aren't sure what is wrong, at 14 though little things can cause big problems. All they could see was a kidney stone, but didn't think that could cause this much trouble. She's home now and resting, still on antibiotics and such, and has gone back once to get some more fluids as she's not drinking as much as she needs. She's a little better, but no where near normal. I'm hoping that with the treatments, some new arthritis meds, and rest she'll be able to bounce back. She's the little diva in our house, for being so tiny she really does rule the roost. Hopefully she's back to that position soon. If you would, healing thoughts her way would be most appreciated.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Progress and.....Snow?

Ok, it is past the first day of Spring, it is the end of March, it is almost Easter for pete's sake. So I was really hoping we would not have any more of this.....

These were taken a couple of hours ago, before that all the snow we'd gotten earlier in the week had melted. All together they are saying 4-6 inches for my area, other areas are forecasted for quite a bit more. The temperature has been up around 40 the last week or so too, and it is dropping fast again now. The poor Easter Bunny is going to freeze his little behind off in this weather.

Needless to say, guess who is thrilled with having snow again

This is Jaz in the previous snow as I couldn't get a good one of her in the current one, but she's out there running around and having a grand time.

On the stitching side I've made some more headway on my Cardinal lunch project

This is such a great project for on the go as the counting is so easy, and the bright red is easy to see against the light green of the fabric.

My needle/tool pocket is also coming along nicely. It is a little too long for the scanner now, but all that really got cut off was the flowers that are on the very outside end, which are the same as those on the other corners.

The over 1 section I'm currently working on has been a bit of a challenge. The pattern said to use 1 strand for the backstitched green vine, but didn't say anything about the flowers or numbers. So.. I started those in two strands. After about a dozen stitches I realized that 2 strands over 2 threads on 32 count really doesn't work to well, it is so bulky and I was having a hard time getting my stitches in, so I had to frog them back out. Frogging over 1 stitching is really miserable, it just doesn't want to come out. Luckily I didn't have a whole lot that I had to do or I'd really be frustrated with the project.

I got the frogging done last night, so that I was able to start fresh today. Since I didn't want to be in the snow, I put on a DVD and stitched, and got the flowers, vines, and 2008 put in. All I have left in this section now is "Wrought by" and my initials and then I'll do the pincushion for the center, and then the finishing. I'm hoping to have everything except the finishing part done this weekend.

Barbara, thanks for the suggestion to put white paper behind when I scan a piece, I think the colors came out better using that.

Jennifer, yes the one center part in the cover area and in the two pockets I have in my previous post are a specialty stitch, it is a spiders web. It's a lot of fun, you start with an Algerian eyelet for the base (the spokes) and then weave around them to create a web effect.

I still want to post the fun stash I got earlier, but some is still in the mail as it had to be ordered, so maybe next post I'll have the rest of it and will show off my new goodies.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday, and that the weather wherever you are isn't getting to bad.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pockets and Cardinals

With stitching, I'm over half way done on my class piece. However, I'll still have the finishing left after the stitched decoration portion is finished. I made good progress this past week. Here's the first pocket. It just needs the white backstitching around the edge to allow it to be whip stitched during finishing. Here's my second pocket which was only partly done last time. This one does have the edging in so it's ready to be whip stitched to the backing fabric. Finally, here it where I am on the cover piece, one end is done and I've started the middle Not sure why some of the areas are looking dirty in the above pictures, as if some of the flosses have ran. It is clear white in real life, somehow my scanner just doesn't want to take a clean picture of this piece.

As mentioned before, when finished this folds like a notebook, with two sides and a flat middle edge. When closed, all the tools (pin cushion, needle case, laying tool, scissors, etc) are inside and are protected. However, when in use I can reverse the fold direction so that the tools are on the outside and the pin cushion is on the top outside of the shape. Here is a picture off of Stitches 'N Things website showing what it will look like done. The final one for class is actually a little different, as the pincushion is rounder with a round spiderweb stitch decorating each end rather than the flatter pillow style shown here, but other than that its the same.

I'm hoping to have the stitching done by next weekend. However, that will depend on if I get the extra fiber I need. It is done with Caron's waterlilies, a silk that is yummy to work with, but the kit was short on two colors. I can work around the two colors for a bit, but since it is the greens that are short, I'll be stuck soon. I've let Catherine know that the kit didn't have enough, and she's said she'll get more in the mail, so hopefully I get it soon. It is so frustrating to want to work on a piece and not have the fiber you need to stitch it. I'm going to be reallllly close on the yellow that is being used in the center right now too, but hopefully I'll have just enough, otherwise I'll be stuck on that also. Catherine said she recently had to change the designer of the fiber from what she designed it with to the waterlilies, so she had to estimate on how much of the waterlilies was needed compared to the other brand. Most of them she got just fine, but the two greens (and maybe the golden) somehow got off in the translation.

Cardinal my lunch project made a little progress as well
I'll be able to add in some of the little trees in the border soon so the box edge isn't so empty looking. This is a fun one to work on at lunch, easy counting and it moves along quickly.There is a tiny snowflake charm that goes in above the right side of the cardinal to fill in the middle a bit more, but I'll wait on that till the rest is done or I can just see myself snagging it constantly.

No work on Snow Ho Ho this week. I've decided to put him on hold until I finish my stitching pockets. Since that design is done with overdyes where the dye lot can vary, I want to make sure I don' t have any other problems with a color being short while I can still get a little more to finish it and know the dye lot will match.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Time Flies

My, time sure does fly when you're having fun. Or at least I had a ton of fun last weekend (this week has been very busy at work so almost no stitching time so far). However, last weekend I was at stitching camp with my DSIL Kim and we had a ball. Stitching, and talking, and seeing what everyone else was working on. There were about 40 of us there, so we pretty much took over the hotel for the weekend. There was a lot of lovely stashing going on as well, but I'll put that in my next post. This one I'll save for my stitching updates, because I was busy.

First off is Snow Ho Ho, yup, he got a nice bit done on his coat and hat. Here is what he looks like now Just a little more left on his hat and then on to the border. Here is what he looked like before

My next one is one of my new starts, Cardinal in Winter Quilt Ornament by Handblessings. I'm doing this one on 28 ct. Thyme Jobelan and it has been such fun so far. Here is what it will look like finished.

My second new start is from the class I took while at camp. The class was by Catherine Strickler of Indigo Rose and was so much fun. Catherine is wonderful to take a class from. The design is called Kate's Necessaire and will be a needleholder, laying tool holder, pin cushion, needlecase, and scissor holder all in one when it is done. So far I've completed the design for the first inside pocket and the outside area of the second inside pocket. The center of the second pocket will look like that of the first, I've put them one on top of the other to show the similar design on the two. Once I finish the two pockets, I can start stitching the outside design, which is what is shown on the design cover. This picture is of it laid out flat, it folds in two when done, with the yellow banding in the middle you see in the picture becoming the middle or end piece once it is folded. This is stitched with Caron's Waterlilies, and working with silks is wonderful, they are so soft. The finishing looked to be fairly straight forward so I have my fingers crossed I can do it. Kim took the same class, and is about at the same point right now. We're planning on taking a day and spending it finishing it together once we get the stitching done. Kim is pretty good at sewing and finishing, so with her help I should be able to get it done.

So that is what I've been up to, why I didn't post last weekend and why I'm behind in my blog reading again. Hopefully I can get all caught up with what you've all been doing this past weekend.