Tuesday, September 24, 2013

...and another start

I was so excited to be able to finish "Autumn Leaves" so quickly, I decided that, while the iron is hot, so to speak, I might as well stay on a roll and start another canvas project.

This next one is called "Woodland Star" from Nancy's Needle.
It's 152 x 152 stitch count, done on 18ct sandstone canvas, using:
  • three (3) Caron Watercolours - Rainforest, Chianti, Seaweed
  • three (3) DMC Perle Cotton flosses - 902 Vy Dk Garnet,
    934 Black Avocado Green, 676 Dk Yellow Beige
  • one (1) Rainbow Gallery Gold Rush 18 metallic floss - Bronze
Here's a photo from the front of the packaging:

...and photos of my progress. Not too sure I'm diggin' the colors, but I'll soldier on and then decide when it's finished.

Started Saturday night and got this far....

...and here's what I accomplished while watching the Emmys: (the colors are growing on me a little more)

Sunday night's progress...

And of course, Miss Autumn insisted on showing her exciting fall activities, so here's what the Princess has been doing lately....

See how beautiful and photogenic I am??

Ahhhh....leading a dog's life couldn't be any better!
(out on the patio on Sunday)

The weather is very cool today; it was 46° this morning. Currently it's very sunny and warming up to a whopping 57. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this weather! I had an annual tune-up done on my furnace this morning, and while the repair-person was working, I dragged out the down featherbed and down comforter for my bed. So H.A.P.P.Y!

And that's it for today's activities. Hope you're all well and staying warm!

So very thankful for my little piece of heaven
out on my patio!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Another finish....

Doin' my Happy Dance! Another one finished! This is Autumn Leaves by Nancy's Needle. Bought it last January at Salty Yarns while in Ocean City, Maryland, at a stitchy get-together, and loved the colors and the design, and the fact that its theme is Autumn didn't hurt either....my favorite time of year. 

I started this at the beginning of September and finished this past Friday (20 Sept). I think this has to be the fastest I've ever stitched any project EVER! I loved working on this and the stitching went quickly, especially since it didn't involve having to look at the chart repeatedly. Once you get started with a certain stitch, you just keep going! The slowest part was making sure the colors in the overdyed strands were consistent on all 4 sides. It involved a little bit of planning in advance, and making sure I had the same lengths of floss, with the same colors, but once I had that figured out, the stitching went so quickly. Love the feeling of (almost) instant gratification!

The colors are much more rich than the photo depicts... It's really gorgeous!

Oh.... and I finally decided on Belle Soie "Buttercup" silk floss (4 strands) for the main yellow-ish background. It suits the design perfectly.

So happy to have another piece of artwork finished. I've started another canvas chart, and will have updates in the next couple of days. Stay tuned...

Thankful for the gorgeous fall weather we're having today, and for my cozy patio on which I'm stitching and enjoying every minute of this beautiful day!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My RED Snowman....

[Let me preface this post with the fact that it was written and scheduled to post over a week ago, but never did, so the weather conditions have changed considerably, so bear that in mind as you read....]

In this sweltering weather, I thought I'd share something "cool." I finished another snowman in the series by Shepherd's Bush. This is the RED snowman.

I'm currently working on the Green Snowman, but my progress is so minimal I won't bother to show it just yet.


And another "small" project I finished back in June called "Grateful Hearts" by Heart in Hand Needleart, stitched 1 over 1 on 32ct linen. The fabric color is called "Days Gone By" and the chart was published in the 1999 Just CrossStitch magazine.

Enjoying all the stitching I've been able to finish,
and hope you enjoy it, too!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Several projects to show you...

It's really pathetic how lax I've become about posting, but today I'll try to make up for it. 

First, let me say that even though it's a somber day (9/11), I want to wish a VERY Happy Birthday to my mother. She's an amazing woman and I would NOT be the person I am today without her. I love her sooooo much!

Next I have several photos of some finished/ongoing projects:

Here's my  Sherwood Garden "Stained Glass" project all finished:

...and here's another canvas-work project I've started called "Autumn Leaves" by Nancy's Needle. This is just the center area of a much larger design. The colors in this photo look exactly the way my stitched design looks so far...

However, the photo on the front of the packaging looks like this... NOT EVEN CLOSE, right???!!!!!!!  

Yes, I'm using the flosses it calls for...just goes to show you how the manufacturer never color-corrected their photo of the product to actually match the flosses.  Hence, I'm having a bugger of a time getting a yellowish-gold color to fill in the majority of the background. What the pattern calls for and what the flosses actually look like? UGH! Need to find something else....for SURE! Stay tuned for my solution.

And here's another very tiny project called "Seahorse Fob and Scissors Kit" by The Heart's Content (Maureen Appleton). I've always admired this beautiful project and finally found the entire kit in a store called "Threads" near Lancaster, PA while visiting a friend. AND it was on sale, so I just couldn't resist! Here's a photo of what it will look like when finished: (click photo for a larger view)

The kit comes complete with chart, flosses, fabric, scissors, beads, and a complete tutorial of how to make the tassles. The worst part will be completing the entire background surrounding the seahorse in grey. Can you say tedious? ...and here's my progress so far. (the quarter shows size relativity)

I'm stitching it 1 over 1 on 32ct linen and I'm really lovin' how it looks!

So in a nutshell, that's what I've been working on...

Happy Birthday to my Mother!!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another update on my "Stained Glass" project...

I wanted to post these updates last week, but dummy me went and got a new phone, and after taking a bunch of photos to test out the camera app, I realized I had no way to get the photos to my laptop (via gmail) and here's why:    Altho I love my new phone (aka "toy" --- a Samsung Galaxy Note II) there's something wrong with its ability to send attachments from my Gmail account. So after 5 days of wrestling with Best Buy (where I bought it), my local Verizon store (my service provider), Verizon Tech Help (on phone with Ursa for 2 hours at the store), Verizon Level II Tech Help (another hour with Charlotte on the phone), Google (Verizon's phone help managed this contact....bless Charlotte's lil' heart for her persistence!!!), and Google Level II Tech Help (again, bless Charlotte for wanting to get to the bottom of this [she has the same phone and the same problem, but never had the time to address it on her own, but because a customer (me) needed help, she was able to spend the time]), Google and their Gmail service has finally admitted there is a problem with their app for this new phone. If I was lucky, it was taking 24+ hrs to email just one small attachment...if I was unlucky, it would just send a notification that "sending attachment was cancelled." Sheesh!!!

I know I could've worked around this by simply plugging my phone into my laptop and retrieving the photos, but it was the principle of the issue I wanted addressed, not a work-around to let Google off the hook. At this point I'm still awaiting notification that a "fix" (updated download for the app) has been issued by Google, but after waiting all night, all 7 photos finally arrived on my laptop email, so here goes: (I only used 2 of the photos)

Here's the overall project as of last Friday (26 July). I had completed all the small design boxes in the middle section and barely started on the green triangular stitch (Milanese stitch) on the left-middle area.

Sherwood Garden by Kathy Rees (Needle Delights Originals)
in the "Stained Glass" colorway

Here's an enlarged version of the small boxes in the center of the design...(both photos are "clickable" for larger views)

I so LOVE working on this. Once I get the "hang" of each stitch, I can just keep stitching without constantly referring back to the instructions, like I would if there were a lot of "confetti" stitching. Confetti stitching is when a designer puts in a multitude of different colored stitches in a given area, so the stitcher (me!) is constantly changing needles and constantly looking at the chart to make sure there are no 'oopsies' happening and all the various floss colors are in their correct locations. Really takes a lot of concentration and tends to make it difficult if I want to watch TV at the same time. But the stitching above is basically non-thinking once I do one or two stitches, goes very quickly, and makes it a pleasure to have some 'instant gratification' each time I stitch. I have a lot more done since these photos were taken last week, so I'll post those updates tomorrow, but only if my phone with the photos decides to play nice.

Keep your fingers crossed.....

So thankful for the fun of this project....it (sort of) balanced out
all the aggravation with my new phone!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Adding to my stitching repertoire...

A couple of years ago, while at a large stitching conference in Ocean City, Maryland, I was introduced to another style of stitching called Canvas Work (some people say it's technically known as needlepoint, but I think it's a lot like crewel work with all the various stitches), but I digress...

While at the conference, several women were stitching this so-called canvas work and I fell in love with the look, the colors, and the geometric designs. I asked if I could sit and watch and ask questions; they were so generous with their time and couldn't help me enough...they were wonderful! And I fell in love with this new technique of stitching. The reason it's called canvas work is because it's stitched on a stiffer material than cross-stitch, with larger holes, and the canvas is mounted on a frame of wooden stretcher bars using tacks made especially for this technique.

Canvas mounted on stretcher bars with tacks

Also while there, one of the girls in my group bought a canvas chart at the local stitching shop (Salty Yarns) and wanted to start it. She had never done one of these either, so we sat together and figured out how to mount the canvas on the stretcher bars, etc. Well, I got so hooked on helping her with the design, I basically took it over and worked on it while she went for a walk on the beach. LOVED working that new technique of stitching. And needless to say, the next day, I returned to the cross-stitch shop and bought the same design plus another for myself, with ALL the necessary supplies (of course!!!) 

Then, early this winter, I was alerted to a canvas work class that was being offered online in April, and once I saw all the "colorways," I couldn't resist! (Colorways are the different color versions the design can be stitched in: blue/greens, purples/pinks, yellow/oranges, etc.)  The class design was called Sherwood Garden, offered by Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals. I fell in love with the "Stained Glass" colorway of the project and signed up for the class. I started it in April when the class first began, but then got distracted by some other WIPs and put it aside. Over this past weekend, I got the itch to continue working on it, so here's my progress:

Sherwood Garden by Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals©
('Stained Glass' colorway)

 ...and here's an enlarged view of the border. I LOVE the effect!

 ..and here are the different colorways available for the project:

 ...and here's the overall look of the project in the original colorway "Sherwood Garden" (greens, rusts, and peaches):

Hoping to get more stitched tonight!

So happy working with all the jewel tones in this design!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Sweltering Saturday with Netflix...

Well, it's been another day spent indoors hibernating from the heat. But you're not going to hear me complaining too much because it has allowed for mucho stitching time, accompanied by Netflix pix. I just filled up a tall glass of iced tea and will be happy as a clam as soon as I upload this post...

For today's viewing pleasure, I just received the beginning of Season 2 of "Game of Thrones" (Episodes 1 + 2) and "From Prada to Nada" in today's mail. I'm loving the "Game of Thrones" series.....unbelievably well produced and the scenery and costuming are absolutely incredible. Really enjoying watching it but hate waiting for each consecutive disc to arrive. (Yes, I know I could order the 'streaming' version of Netflix and watch them all in a row, but I'd have to buy an additional piece of hardware to receive the streaming version, AND [and this was the deal-breaker] there aren't as many selections via streaming yet, so I opted to receive via mail.)

I'm not too sure about the "Prada" movie, however. Someone told me it was quite funny, so I added it to my queue of movies without any research. It's fun to be surprised (or NOT!) I'll be sure to let you know....

Also, one of my Showtime channels has been airing the special about The Eagles (the rock band) called "The History of The Eagles." It's 3+ hours long and another incredibly well done documentary. I DVR'd it and have been watching it in increments. LOVE it so much I've re-watched the entire show a couple of times now. Their music is unbelievably well written and their harmonies are spot-on, and it will stand the test of time for decades. And I have to admit....I'm kinda crushin' on Don Henley....AGAIN! All of my high school and college years occurred in the '70's, so the Eagles' complete repertoire was the soundtrack of my life at the time. And with each song, a wave of wonderful memories comes flooding back to me, reminding me what a great time those years were. Thank you, Showtime, for airing such a great piece of artistry!

OK....now back to my regularly scheduled hibernating-in-the-AC time. Stay cool, everyone!

So very, very thankful my air conditioning continues to keep me
cool and comfortable, and all my ceiling fans allow me to
conserve on the AC use!