Monday, December 26, 2011

Clothing & Stitching Stash

That's exactly what I got for Christmas, and it's perfect.  I haven't really purchased new clothing for about two years and all of my work gear was looking old, ragged, and faded.  I didn't want to wear any of it any more.  Thank you Mom & Dad for all this... and Lane Bryant for having everything on sale at 50% off.

Above is four work shirts, and a dark blue cami.  Below are two sweaters, two casual shirts, a white cami, two pair of slacks, and a new pair of jeans.  Good stuff!!

My siblings were great and contributed the stitching stash. ... It helped that I gave them a list of things to choose from, and I got everything on my list.

The last three patterns for Lizzie*Kate's 6 Fat Men, L*K's HoHoHo quick it, and Country Cottage Needleworks Gingerbread Houses.  Plus the 2012 cross stitch calendar and a dog calendar.  I've never had the cross stitch calendar before, so it will be interesting to see how I like it.

I've also figured out how to add a tab (or page or whatever you call it) to the top of my blog and added the list of projects to work on for the Wipocalypse.  I'm so proud of myself for that... And now I might be a little bit dangerous... Dangerous enough to muck everything up but good!

Hugs and Stitches,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

TUSAL - December 24th, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve.  I hope you are well and safe, surrounded by your loved ones.  That's pretty much what's going on here.  Plus there is more candy and snacks than should be allowed.  My stitching mojo is back, and I've put a few more stitches into the Merry 15 biscornu.

And here is my last TUSAL picture of the year.  Not much added to it since I didn't stitch for about three weeks.  But it is festively surrounded by the stuff around the tree.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

No-go, 'cause of lack of Mojo

I didn't put a single stitch in anything this week.  The mojo has gone on holiday break, I'm afraid.  I'm not too worried about it at this point, it' seems to be a seasonal thing, and should be back in a couple of weeks.

Instead of stitching, I spent my time reading and catching up on all of your blogs.  I really love seeing what everyone else is stitching... and the side effect of adding previously unknown patterns to the stash isn't all that bad either.  I just need to get better at remembering to comment.

I spent an evening hunting around for some new Christmas backgrounds and what-not for the blog.  I added some, I removed some, I read tutorials on how to customize buttons... and in the end... I didn't change backgrounds.  I just didn't find anything out there that really called my name.  I did learn how to do the linky thing with an image and have added the buttons for the TUSAL and IHSW to the sidebar, along with a text link to the Wipocolypse.  I was very proud of myself for that little accomplishment.  I am thinking about adding tabs... or pages... or whatever they are called, to the top for things like my WIPocolypse list.  I also want to do one for my 2011 finishes like so many of you have done.  It's a great idea and I don't feel bad at all for copying it.

I spent some time on Saturday and Sunday dog-sitting for brother #1.  His terrier/lab mix got in a bit of a fight with another dog right before he and his wife were to go off for a quick weekend get away.  I said I'd come and take care of Sadie so they could go ahead and go on their get away.  Sadie and I hung out on the couch, watched tv, and read blogs.  Well, I read, Sadie just wanted scratches behind her ears.  Sadie is on the mend and pretty much back to her playful self.

My family has an odd quirk that we do at Christmas (other than going to the local 24 hr burrito place for giant burritos on Christmas Eve.).  Now, everyone out there shops for the occasional gift for themself, and we do that too.  Only we bring it home and wrap it up and put it under the tree.  We even label it to ourselves, and then pick some other random family member to say who it's from.  Brother #2's wife had a hard time with this the first few years she was with us because it wasn't a surprise to us.  We chuckled and said "It's a surprise to someone!"  I'm always surprised at the shirts, pants, socks, or belts that I 'get' for Dad every year.   Anyway... In a fit of crazy the otherday, I wrapped up all the stash that I bought at the first of December when LMS and I went on our mini shop hop.  My brothers are going to be amazed that they got me the gingerbread buildings.  And the sisters-in-law will be surprised for all the hardanger books they found too.

My sister flies in tonight from medical school.  I am excited to see her.  I just finished re-arranging my stitching lair back into a spare room.  I hope she'll be comfortable.

Mom made caramels.  The holiday browse has gone into full swing and I haven't been to the gym all month!

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busy as a little bee

This week was pretty busy at work.  I have been helping with a database conversion and in the past month or so it became apparent that a little assistance was needed.  On Monday I got two temps to help and a third arrived on Friday.  So all week I've been training them on what needs to be done and the sorts of things to look for and ask questions about.  I didn't get a lot of my regular stuff done, so I'm going to continue to be as busy as can be, probably through the end of the year.

Lizzie*Kate's Christmas ABC's became the at work project, but with training my temps I didn't really get to stitch on it at all.  So no progress to show off on that.  I went to my last hardanger class on Tuesday and practiced a bit of the blanket stitch before loosing interest and pulling out the Merry 15 biscornu to work on instead.  I decided to purchase a couple of hardanger instruction books and they arrived in the mail from Nordic Needle this past week.  (Don't you just love Nordic Needles' mail order catalog?  I've spent hours pouring through it's pages since it arrived with my order.)

I don't know that I'll ever really attack a purely hardanger piece, but I am glad that I can navigate the instructions when hardanger in included in a cross stitch piece.  All in all, the class was completely worth my time and money.  I'm thinking of attacking one of those tassel/ornaments as one of my Christmas in December stitching projects.

Speaking of the Chrirstmas in December focus, here is my progress on the Merry 15 biscornu.  All of the red and green bits of borders are done, along with one snowflake and one tree block.  These are fairly easy to stitch, the spectacular comes from all the colors and the beads that will be added once I finish the stitching.  I'm thinking I was overly ambitious when I pulled six projects out of my stash to work on.  I'm starting to think that I'll be lucky if I get the biscornu done in December!!

Last week while I was up at Shepherds Bush, I asked about ordering 24 skeins of GAST's Current so I can stitch up the Christmas Quaker II: Songs of the season.  They had to order it in for me so that the floss would be of the same dye lot and the package arrived on Friday of this week.  Talk about speedy service!  Now I just need to figure out where I put the pattern, green flosses, and fabric for this project.  I know it's around here somewhere...

The buttons are for This is Christmas by Raise the Roof, one of the projects I pulled out for Christmas in December.  I moved the hoop on my Nativity Sampler today.  Before moving the hoop, I finished up the green in the pine tree, added a cardinal at the top of the tree and put the beard on the shepherd.  It's a good thing that I don't have any plans for finishing this up this month!

And lastly, Mom sewed these up for me.  Two are Christmas presents for my Sisters-in-Law, and one is for me.  They are still looking a bit funky because I've put the stuffing in them, but haven't sewen up the opening yet.  Once I do that, they will look just fine. I'll start sewing them closed after I finish up this post.  My SIL's love Halloween more than they do Christmas.  So I've been making a Halloween ornament for them for Christmas.  Right now, they have more Halloween ornaments (2 each), than I have of Christmas ornaments (zero!)!!!

I have their ornament for next year all picked out an ready to go.  I have the flosses and fabric all picked out too.  I have my Mom's Christmas present picked out for next year too.  However, Mom and Dad are leaving the country for 18 months in April... so... Do I even start on her project or do I wait until they come back?  It's quite tempting to wait.  I miss stitching on Flower Power.

Hugs and Stitches,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A mini shop hop with LMS

That's what I did Saturday, drove alot, spent more than I should have. I'm thinking it's time to go back on the $20 a month stitching allowance again. That almost worked for half of 2011.

We started off at Shepherd Bush. It really is just a treasure trove of everything. I had a small list of floss and some buttons that I wanted to pick up and I got those, plus a few more things.

Above are most of the flosses I needed, plus some white fabric for hardanger class project.  I think I am going to use the purple checked fabric for the cute little ornament with the snowman button on the side and the word ... ...

You know... I couldn't remember the word for that ornament, so I just went and searched through my magazines from this year and couldn't find the ornament!  I know I've seen other people stitch it up, and I know I have the pattern somewhere...  If you know what I'm talking about, can you please point me in the right direction?

I've seen those darling cream boxes all year and always thought about getting one.  Well, I finally did.  I also got a Shepherds Bush pattern to stitch up and put in it.  It's the blue one, in the middle of the bottom row, below.

I couldn't resists Fa La La, all packaged up for fun in a stocking, plus three more scissor fobs.  I guess that little bit of small stitching that I've managed to do had cheered me along a little bit.  They didn't have everything that I was looking for, so I put in an order for some buttons to go on This is Christmas by Raise the Roof, and a couple skeins of current floss to stitch up Songs of the Season.

Our next stop was to The Craft Center of Fine Stitchery.  It was their open house day and everything in the shop was 20% off.  I started by collecting the couple skeins of floss that I needed that Shepherds Bush was out of, and then wandered around looking at everything.

I've loved the 'Gingerbread' stitched houses since they came out and the chapel is a lovely addition to the collection.  And at 20% off with the floss and charm pack... well... I didn't say no.  I also picked up a french pattern of ornaments.  It's charted in one color, but I've seen it done up in reds, greens, and golds that was absolutely stunning.  I think I shall give it a go that way... one of these eons.

I had already paid for my purchases and was over by the snacks table when I spotted the basket of new stuff.  With cookie in hand, I sat down and went through the basket.  And found a few more things that were calling my name.

The Last Stitch Cemetery made me laugh, so it was added to the basket.  I love the whimical Christmas by the Cricket Collection.  And Ornaments Ala Round by Glendon Place was just stunning.  It had to come home with me too.  I think I feel a serious case of startitis coming on!!

LMS got some lovely fabrics and flosses at both stops for an angel she is going to put together for the top of her Christmas tree.  She also found me a Christmas Present. (I found a present for her and gave it to her before taking a picture of it.)

I do love sparkly glass thingies.

Tired and shopped out, we came home.

I should not need to buy anything else until the beginning of the year.  And then it's a $20 a month budget. ... but I still need the skein of B5200 that I have still not managed to pick up.

Hugs and Stitches,

Another busy week

Last week started out quite nice. Mom and I braved the crowds of shoppers on Saturday evening (November 26th) and went to Hobby Lobby and JoAnns. She was looking for some books on thread crochet and I was after some flosses on sale. She found her book, and I got my flosses, plus this book that was on clearance at Hobby Lobby.

I can't tell you how many times I've picked this book up and put it down again.  You see, I'm not really ever going to make any of the pincushions they show, even though some of the ideas are really cute.  I liked some of the stitching designs that were in the book, especially the pansies.  But the book was too much for the few patterns that I did like.  However, the price of the book on clearance.  Totally worth it!

I have decided to go ahead and stitch up little Christmas things in December.  So I rummaged through my stash and came up with half a dozen possibilites.  I started with a little scissor fab kit that I got from Shepherds Bush some time ago.  It didn't take too much time to get it all stitched up.  I just need to take it downstairs and run it through the sewing machine and I'll be just about done.

There is the bit about attaching the ribbon with beads and what not, but I'm sure that won't take too long.  At least, I hope not.  With this little piece all but done, I looked at my selected projects and decided the next one to work on will be the Merry Fifteen Christmas biscornu that I bought a couple of years ago as well.  I decided to start on the red fabric, as it seemed the most difficult to work with, it being so dark in color.  I've started in on the borders, but only the green bit is showing up in pictures.  I seem to have forgotten to pick up some B5200 at JoAnns, so need to go back and get a skein.

That's just part of the pattern showing up behind my fabric...  Here are the other things that I picked out to work on in December.  I don't think I'll get to them all, but I can certainly try!

Clockwise from upper left is: Be Merry by Shepherds Bush, Christmas Tree scissor fob by The Victoria Sampler (from the 2010 JCS ornament book.), Fa La La from Lizzie*Kate, and This is Christmas by Raise the Roof Designs.  I already have the fabric and floss for each of these, so I can pretty much start one when-ever I feel like it... Or as soon as I complete the 15 sided biscornu.  I think on these things, it's going to be a one project at a time kind of deal.

Since December has become Christmas Stitching month, I decided to take Christmas ABC's to work and have it be my at work project.  I don't know if I'm getting ay more done on it than I was at home, but I do know it's getting a little bit of attention each day.  Here is where I finished off on Friday.

I don't have much to show from Hardanger Class on Tuesday.  The instuctor liked my little ornament, and I'm supposed to be working on a buttonhole stitch edging.  I would rather work on my other christmas stitching, and so that's what i've been doing.  As you can see, I did start to mark off the middle of the blocks for calculating a scalloped border, but... I'd rather work on other stuff...

While at the shop for class, I wandered upstairs to the bargain 'basement' and picked up a couple of cute L*K designs that were 50% off.  Not bad.  Up on the woof top just cracks me up.

We were given some white fabric and another homework assignment at hardanger class.  I flipped through all my books here at home and didn't find anything that really spoke to me.  So I started looking for some things online to see what I could see.  Of course, I found some wonderful stuff at 123 Stitch.  I decided on the Pansy Sampler from The Victoria Sampler to stitch on the white fabric... And since I was putting in an order, I decided on a couple more pansy patterns to add to the dream boxes.

I did some counting with the white fabric we were given and my pansy sampler stuff is just a bit to wide to fit on it.  Hmmm... I'm going to have to modify, or get new fabric.  After talking to LMS who did start working on the white fabric, I'm thinking it'll be new fabric and LMS hates the stuff we were given to work on.

When I stopped by 123 Stitch to pick up my order, the ladies had patterns and what not all over the office.  I said that they looked very busy, and they told me that they were going to be having a sale on Friday and Saturday.  "Really?! A sale where I can come and wander around the warehouse like it's a retail store!?"  Yes they said. From 8 am to 5 pm on Friday (December 2nd), and 8 am to Noon on Saturday (December 3rd).  "Noooooooo!"  The time that I had free and could go look at everything would have been after noon on Saturday!

I worked some on my Heirloom Nativity sampler today.  Mostly added confetti stitched snow.  It doesn't really show up on the picture, but it is there.

Hugs and Stitches,