Friday, July 27, 2007

Birthday Celebrations and Stitching Progress

It has been an entire week since I last posted. Lots of things have happened in the last week. We made a 4 day trip to South Dakota to visit family. It was a day traveling each way and then two days there. We had a great time, but it was rather hot there. Most days it was from 95-100 and add in 9-10 degrees more for the heat index. I don't do heat very well. On Wednesday, I left home about noon to run an errand and go to my Wednesday afternoon stitching therapy session. About 1/2 mile from home, I realized I had a flat tire. Ended up calling significant other to help change it. It was rather warm and he ended up almost laying on the ground to change it, so I would not have done very well with that. At this point, needed more air in the donut spare, so off to the nearest gas station to put air in and then to Sears, (where I had bought the tires) to get it fixed. There was a nail in it, but at least I did not need a new tire. Just glad it happened near home and not on my 450 mile trip to the fair last week or our 500 mile each way trip to South Dakota.

Today is my birthday. And as has become the custom, I seem to eat my way through my birthday. Yesterday, I met two retired friend that I used to work with for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Got a very cute card, a Kansas State t-shirt and a sun figurine to hang on the house. It will probably be hung near the hot tub. Then today I met a friend that I met while working on a joint project between two State agencies. Near the end of the project we found that we share the same birthday. Even though I am retired, we still try to have lunch together to celebrate our birthday. We had a sandwich at Schlotzskys. Tonight I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant with 3 of my bestest friends and stitching buddies, the owner of the LNS, her sister and another gal that has become one of my best friends. They were just too good to me and I made quite a haul. My gifts ( hope I can remember them all) included a purplish metal photo frame, a Barnes and Noble gift card, a gift certificate to our local frame shop, a Boston Terrier Desk Clock, a Connemara Marble bracelet with a Celtic Cross charm, some really cute note pads and recipe cards, a flip flop tote bag(will make a nice stitch bag), an electric ice cream freezer and last, but not least, Carriage House Sampler's Village of Hawk Run Hallow. It is a design that I have thought I wanted to do for a long time, so I had the LNS order it for me. However, I could not understand why it did not seem to ever come in. Now I know, she was holding it for my birthday. What a sneak.

The Mexican restaurant where we had dinner, makes it an unforgettable birthday by the way they help you celebrate it. They put a big sombrero on your head, hand you a rubber chicken that make this awful squawking noise. Sing these loud Mexican songs to you. Give you a balloon and about the time you reach for it they pop it. All the while this is going on they are taking pictures and just before you leave they hand you a birthday card with one of the pictures in it. This is the second year in a row that I have subjected myself to this, so I think next year I will learn and pick another place to celebrate my birthday. LOL!!

Also received many calls, e-mails and cards today, so obviously did not get much stitching done. And the celebrations are not over. I have lunch scheduled next week with another of my best buddies, also a stitching friend to celebrate my birthday some more. Good thing birthdays only come once a year.

With all that has been going on this week, there has not been a lot of time for stitching. However, I was able to do some stitching in the car on the way to and from South Dakota. I finished stitching the ornament that I had started from PS Cranberry Christmas.

Then started a second PS ornament and finished it.

And also started a third one. I think we are going to use them as store model at the LNS and today we were talking about finishing like PS did. Thinking of getting some of the weeks Wool to put on the back of them. Still have not figured out what make these pictures so fuzzy. Maybe I am trying to zoom in too close on the Auto setting I am using. Some day I will figure it out. At least you get the idea. It is interesting to look at the pictures. All the designs are stitched on the same piece of fabric, lambswool line, but they all look different.
Here is the framed Baby Sampler that I did. Just picked it up from the framer yesterday. Next on the schedule is to get it mailed to my nephew and family in the next week or so. Pretty fast considering the baby is less than 3 months old.

Other stitching include working on the design model that I have been working on for a few weeks. I am down to some back stitch and long stitch things. Hopefully be done in a few days. Finished up the final actual cross stitching today at the shop while waiting to go to dinner. Wednesday when I was in the shop, picked up another design to start on. Trying not to get started on it until I finish the other one. I love to start things, so am resisting temptation. Have done a few stitches on Best of Blessing and my Quaker Squares. Trying to stay focused on the design models for now.

So far this has been the most frustrating post I have to date. I have no idea what has been the problem, but I have had to upload the photos twice because I kept unintentionally deleting them and I deleted my text once and had to recreate it. Maybe I since I just celebrated another birthday, I am getting senile or something LOL.

Thanks to everyone that has stopped by and commented. Enjoy hearing from everyone. I did find out that when you are gone a few days that you can get behind very easily in reading others and commenting.

Have a good weekend from a much older blogger.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Finish and Start

A quick post before I go finish packing for our trip to South Dakota tomorrow. Several posts ago, I showed one of my mini-flags stitched. I picked them up at the framer yesterday. They are going to South Dakota as little gifts for two aunts. Several years ago, I did them for aunts on the other side of the family. So now I am finishing up with the other side. I love this little design. I got it during the 1st Iraq war. Have stitched it many times. Probably takes about 3 hours to stitch.

As promised last night, her is a picture of my start on Cranberry Christmas by Prairie Schooler. I could not do it exactly the way they charted it. It was charted with DMC, but I changed to Sampler-Cranberry and Weeks- Collards and Whitewash. I really like it so much better. The picture on the pattern showed it as really bright red. This is turning out way better. It is on 28-ct lambswool linen. This was a remnant from the LNS. It appears if I plan properly I can get 3 on this piece of fabric. Probably will finish as ornaments similar to how Prairie Schooler did them.
Thanks to everyone that visits my blog and for your nice comments. This has become lots of fun to do. It makes work at getting better with the digital pictures. Still have lots to learn, so my pictures sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

Off to finish packing, etc. so we can get off at a decent time on our 500 mile trip. Gives me time for stitching. Sometimes it is difficult when I have the dog sitting or laying on my lap. She insists on being on me the entire trip.

Happy stitching to all.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

County Fair Results, Stash Enhancement

It was a successful trip to the fair for me and my cross stitch projects. This is the Ellis County Fair in Hays, Kansas where I go to help a college friend work the Needlework Section of the fair. Needlework includes knitting, crochet, stamped embroidery, latch hook, and clothing construction. If you stitch it in some form or fashion it is included. The only thing that is a separate section is quilts. On Monday, we check in all the exhibits and they are judged on Tuesday. This year there were 113 exhibits which was an increase of 10 over last year. Anytime there is an increase it is good.

The big disappointment was the number of counted cross stitch entries was down with only 9 entered. To add to the frustration, I had 8 of the 9 entries. It was kinda like competing against myself. I kinda felt bad about taking so many, but my friend, Sam, said that there would not have been much of anything good if I had not exhibited. The big news is that I got purples on all of them. They give 3 purples, in each class within the section, if quality warrants. I got 3-1st, 4-2nd, 1-3rd. The only section I did not get 1st in was a class called "any other needlework". That included plethora of things. The 1st purple was given to a huck-weaving table runner done by a man. I think she did that just as encouragement to the man. Then from all the 1st purples they pick a Champion and Reserve Champion. I got both of them.

Champion- Bent Creek/Winter Snapperland
Reserve Champion- The Workbasket/Quaker Santa (aka Santa Burl)

Below are pictures of all the exhibits that we had to arrange for public viewing. Winter Snapperland is in the top left of the first picture. Santa Burl is sitting beside the cabinet in the second and fourth pictures. I did not get a good picture of him.

The trip to and from Hays is 3 hours each way and that is the hardest part of the trip. It cuts into stitching time. I have not figured out how to drive 70MPH and stitch at the same time. So to break up the trip on the way home, I made a couple of stops to enhance my stash.
One stop was at Picture This Plus in Junction City. Found a piece of Sterling 28-ct Cashel Linen. It is a color that I had not seen in person before. We have about 10-12 colors in the LNS on a regular basis. I also love Needle Necessities fiber. Picked up a couple of those too. Notice the color. My favorite.
The other stop was at The Quilting Bee in Salina. I found a nice Halloween panel with a neat witch in the middle. One other part has a black cat riding a broom. So cute. I bought one of the companion fabrics that has pumpkins wrapped like mummies. Cannot pass up any good Halloween stuff. Also found a nice Christmas with candy canes. Thought it would eventually find itself as a part of a cross stitch finish. They were out of another one that I liked. It has those round red and white candy discs in it. I am going to be looking for it somewhere else.

Before I sign off, I have to say a few words about one of the judges at the fair. She has judged the last three times I have helped and one of the previous times she told me that she had not done any counted cross stitch in a long time. Well, it was very obvious this year. When she first looked at Winter Snapperland, she pointed to one place on it and said "must be using low quality thread". Seven of my eight pieces were stitched with Sampler and Weeks threads. She has never been familiar with it. I have talked to her about it before. Then when she looked at my LHN-Moon and Stars she said "it must be a kit, they always put inferior thread in kits". Again, this was stitched on Picture This Plus fabric with overdyed floss. As she was looking at the Quaker Santa, she had to run her hands all over the stitching. I almost bit off the end of my tongue trying to keep from saying "Get Your Mitts off My Stitching". But, of course, you are not supposed to say anything to the judges like that.
In the end, when she was picking the champions, she did say that there was a lot of work involved in the stitched pieces, more than in any of the other things up for consideration. She said she could not do all those little stitches. After all the judging was done, I had a little visit with her explaining what overdyed threads were and they started out with DMC or Anchor thread to make them. She then showed her lack of knowledge when she said she had never heard of Anchor. I came out of it good, so I guess I should not complain, but I had to rant a little. When I talked the LNS owner about what happened, she just could not believe it. She is ready to educate her.

Last night, I was able to get caught up on all my blog reading, but I did not take time to comment on everyone. Sorry, time is a precious commodity. We are leaving again on Saturday morning for a trip to South Dakota to see family of my significant other. An aunt will be there from Oregon. Don't get to see her very often, so decided that we needed to make the effort to go up there. It is a 500 mile trip one way for us and she has probably traveled 3 times that amount. Haven't had very much time to stitch in the last few days. Hope to get some done on the way to SD.
Unfortunately, my Adult Attention Deficit kicked in last weekend and I started a Christmas ornament from Prairie Schooler, Cranberry Christmas. When I was taking pictures tonight, I forgot to take one of my progress. Maybe I can take one in the morning and make a quick post tomorrow.
Until next time, keep on stitching.

Friday, July 13, 2007

FLASHBACK Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here we are again, Friday. Since I am only into my second month of blogging, I have lots of old finishes to show you. The ones included tonight are some of the ones that I will be entering in the fair. The plans are to take 8 pieces to the fair. Had an e-mail from my friend and she already has my name labels ready to go.

by Brittercup Design
I stitched this for my friend Corky's birthday about a year ago. Therefore, it is called Corky's horse at the LNS, from where I took it, to take to the fair. Design is stitched on 28-ct Queen Anne's Lace Jobelan with the fiber as called for in the pattern. Frame is from East Side Moulding.

Plant Your Seeds
by Little House Needleworks
This was stitched on 28-ct Queen Anne's Lace Jobelan. The overdye on the fabric does not show up much on this. I have seen other pieces of Queen Anne's Lace that has a lot of color to it. I used the fiber that the pattern called for. Frame is a double frame done at the local frame shop.

by Little House Needleworks
The fabric for this piece is 28-ct Mercedes Cashel from Picture This Plus. With the help of the LNS we converted the Crescent Colours that was called for to Weeks Dye Works and/or Sampler Thread. The frame is from East Side Moulding. This design has been a good seller at the LNS where it resided until a couple of months ago. Now it is hung at my house.

Stitching continues on the design model for The Sunflower Seed. I am getting real close to having it done. Had had trouble with the border and had to do some frogging. Partially due to my inability to read the pattern properly. Today I found an error and called Anita to find out how she wanted it done. Got the wrong stuff ripped out and put back in the way she wanted it. After a weekend of stitching, I will be either done or so close I can smell the end.

Since, I will be gone to the fair for the 1st 3 days of next week, I will miss both stitching group therapy sessions this next week. Probably will get some stitching done, but will not take the design model. Have plenty of other projects that I can take along.

Earlier this evening I got a call from a friend in my church asking if I would be interested in an stitching group at the church. Of course, I would. Never enough therapy sessions. I guess several ladies in the church expressed an interest in having a stitch group. It will not be exclusively counted cross stitch. We have several ladies that do quilting also. Several of the older ladies do stamped embroidery, knitting and crochet. Hopefully, we will get them involved. We planned to have our first meeting on July 31st. I am looking forward to it.

Might be a week before I can post again, with me being gone to the fair, etc. Plan to bring back some good pictures.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and getting lots of stitching done.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Second Therapy Session of the Week

A quick post to update stitching progress. Today was second therapy session of the LNS. When it works out, we have stitching twice a week at the LNS. The Monday night group is the largest. However, we had been asked to start an afternoon group and we don't get as many people as on Monday night. When I can go, I pick up an elderly lady that stitches with us on Monday night. She really enjoys going, since going to our therapy sessions at the LNS is about the only time she gets out. Today Mary, sister of the owner was working. When I got there, the lady that I had picked up needed some fabric. I went to cut it for her and then to serge the edge. The serger was un-threaded and Mary nor I know how to thread that, so I got out the sewing machine and promptly broke a needle. While I was zig-zaging then I ran out of top thread. Neither of us could figure out how to thread it. I guess it is time I learned. Will go in and have Anita, the owner, show me and then un-thread and make me re-thead it. We will serge that lady's fabric at a later time. She has many projects that she won't be working on it for a couple of days. LOL. Also checked in an order from Hoffman Distributing for the shop while I was there. Like to see all the new stuff.

As for stitching, I did not get much done at the Therapy session. I continue to stitch on the design model for The Sunflower Seed, but over the 4th holiday and over the weekend, I did take some breaks. Sometimes when I get tired of a piece, I end up doing some frogging and I do better if I go on to something else for a little bit. Then I am fresher when I go back to the main focus piece. Since I worked in the LNS on Saturday, I did get a little stitching done then too. Here is the progress on Hands to Work-Best of Blessing. (For some reason the picture looks a little fuzzy, might be something to do with the photographer). I now have a house completed. Also did some stitching on my Quaker Odds and Evens Squares. Not enough progress for a picture yet. Getting close to having the 3rd of 4 squares done. The design model piece is getting close to be done. Maybe in another week, I will have it done and ready to frame. I probably will be up on her web site later in August.

Making preparations to travel about 3 hours away from home to help a college friend in the needlework section of rural county fair. This will be about the 4th time I have done this. The people that are the head of the needlework section and the quilt section are getting older and it is harder for them to handle the job, but they still do not want to give it up. Sam and I do a lot of helping. Monday afternoon and early evening is the check in of items. Tuesday is judging and then we arrange them in display cabinets for the public to view. Usually she begs me to come and bring some things to enter. Right now I am planning to take 4-6 things. Last year I got Reserve Champion on Ewe & Eye & Friends- Primitive Santa. It really is a lot of fun. They seem to get fewer and fewer entries. I will be giving an update on the fair and hopefully have some pictures later next week.

Well, it is off to stitch. Oh, I almost forgot, thanks to everyone for reading my blog and the comments received.

Keep on stitching.

Friday, July 6, 2007

FLASHBACK Friday!!!!!!!!!

Wow, another Friday has rolled around. My how time flies when you are having fun stitching. Still cannot post any progress pictures. Still working most of the time on a design model for The Sunflower Seed. Also, did a little stitching on a couple of my many WIPs, but not enough to warrant an updated picture of them.

These finishes have been completed a couple of years. Both are used as store models at the LNS. Seems as this is a Hinzeit-themed Friday.

by Hinzeit
Not sure what fabric this is. It is some evenweave, not linen and the fiber is what the pattern called for. Frame is a double frame from East Side Moulding.

by Hinzeit
This design is stitched on 10-ct Black Tula with the fibers called for in the pattern. You would think that stitching on larger count fabric would make things easier. Actually, I think it is harder because you have to work so hard to make sure the many strands you use lay flat beside each other. It is easier to see on, but more difficult to make it lay down nice. Most of this was stitched on a bus trip to a Kansas State football game at Texas A & M. Below I have included a picture of the back of the pillow. I found this cool 'candy corn' long before I ever stitched the piece. I knew I would find a use for it.
Tomorrow I am taking care of the LNS, so the owner can spend the weekend with her kids from out of town. It is always dangerous when I work at the shop. I tend to find more things that I know I need for my stash. I will try to restrain myself. Currently, I have too many things in process and on my to do list.

Have a good weekend and spend all your spare time with needle in hand.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Therapy Session...

Tonight I spent the evening with the best therapists that money does not have to buy. My LNS -The Sunflower Seed hosts a small group of stitchers on Monday nights for a couple of hours of fun stitching together. We are actually a support group for each other. We average from 7 to 9 stitchers each week. Some nights we almost have too many and the circle gets rather large for our little shop. We have so much fun and laugh so much that we have the endorphins really working. Below are pictures of our little group taken tonight. They are not going to be very happy that I posted their pictures all over the net.

The person on the left below is the shop owner and needlework designer.Here is the shop dog "Betsy". She really did not like getting her picture taken tonight. She usually likes me, but it was different when I had a camera with a flash in my hand. Might be due to hearing all the fireworks that have been going on around town.

As for stitching progress, I don't have much to show for my efforts. I have spent most of my time doing work on a design model for The Sunflower Seed. However, I did take some time to stitch on my Quaker Odds and Evens Sampler. Being on the mulberry fabric, it hard to get a good photo. I have 2 of 4 motifs done. I have taken 4 of the Odds and Evens motifs that were the same size and put them on the same piece of fabric. Had to do some frogging on the 3rd design late Saturday due to my inability to count.

Been enjoying everyone's blogs. I am utterly amazed at the beautiful stitching that everyone does and how many projects that you are able to complete. It just seems like I never have enough time to stitch.
Happy 4th of July!!! Let Freedom Ring!!!!
Keep on stitching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!