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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mmmm - Coffee and - Brrrr - the Fear of Math....

Oups -  I forgot to show you my new coffee mug that I whipped up the weekend before last.  It is one of those photo tumblers that allows the owner to insert a scrap booking type collage.  Well, many years ago, I saw some real pretty versions that had been made with cross-stitch designs in stead of photos (I believe that this was on a Japanese site, but I can't track it down).  I decided to simply take some coffee themed cotton fabric and personalize with some free-hand embroidery.  Here is the final result:
The "deer hoof print" in the last pic is supposed to be a coffee bean, by the way...
I thought that I was going to go nuts trying to insert the fabric into the very narrow tumbler slit though...  I did prep by using fusible interfacing to stiffen the fabric.  Then I basically had to pound my tumbler onto the ground until the piece had slid into position.  Then I cursed a bit and used tweezers to get the fabric back out, once I realized that a piece of scrap had wedged itself between the tumbler wall and the fabric.  The second insertion was no party either.
The result is not quite as cute as I had envisioned it to be, but hey - it's "unique", right!?  ;-)

I am not sure whether I have mentioned that I am lucky enough to get to take Sherri Jones (Patricks Woods) Lucet class in October through a lady that I know from the Queen City Sampler Guild.  We got our class-kits in the mail last week and I could simply not wait to started.
 This is a pre-stitch class, but we will likely not get a whole lot of assembly done in class, seeing that we have yards and yards of lucet cording to get done during class.
There are several really neat videos on-line at YouTube to check out, if you would like to see how to lucet.
I will likely take Sherris' Hare Pyns class too.  This will also be a assembly class, which will be very challenging.  The design is pretty large and it is almost solely over-one stitching.  I took the class back in 2007 and never even opened the kit after I got back home.  I figured that the finishing class may get me to pay some long overdue time with my dusty old kit...  Plus, I only have to pay the teaching fee this time around, so it should be friendly on the pocket book too.
Here is a photo of Hare Pyns - note the adorable hare ruler and floss holder:

I have also been working on the Birdcage from Just Nan and I am pretty much done.  Nan suggests adding a pink cord along the entire length of the edge, but I am not so sure that I will do that.  I have a couple of areas that still need worked on, but other than that, this cage is finished!
I changed a few things; the back had a saying, but I added my monogram (do you recognize Prairie Schooler's standard alphabet?) and an egg instead.  I switched the pink ribbon that the pockets were supposed to be made with to a lilac fabric, added tie-backs for the tools, and made some needle-book felt leaves to go with a flower pin that we got at the Shepherd's Bush retreat last year.  To make the whole piece more sturdy, I inserted cardboard pieces in both the the front and back.  Right now The Cage is displayed as a stand-up on the living-room mantle.  The colorful and silly design makes me very happy!  Plus, I hope that it will serve as a warning to our flocks o'parrots - be silly and you get the cage!  ;-)
Other than that, I have tried to be good and concentrate on the Richmond sampler. Half of the queen-stitch urns are now completed and it feels like I am on a roll, so I hope that I will be motivated enough to stick to this project until completed....  Here is a terrible close-up shot of one of the baskets and the wonderful queen-stitch border.  I'll do better next with the focus button time - promise!

This week is already shaping up to be insanely busy.  I have stuff going on each and every evening and I am starting to think that maybe I have not planned for things ahead in a very good way (as in "not at all")...  I have promised to participate in our town's "Founder's Day" on Saturday.  There will be a tent with a bunch of different crafters showing off our work.  It'll probably be a lot of fun, but I told myself that I would like to print up some poster slides talking about the history of stitching and I am not quite sure when my grand plans will be transformed into reality...  somewhere in a dimension where time does not move forwards, I guess.

Some of my prep-work was taken care of yesterday.  I paid a visit to Michaels to pick up some shadow boxes to display some of my finished projects in.  I happily show off my stitched pieces but - pardon for sounding snobby here for a moment - I'd rather not have 900 strangers fondling my pieces after squeezing hot-dogs and burgers... 
Well, as fate had it I was in luck; the shadow and display boxes were "buy one, get the second for a penny".  It ended up being a huge math struggle between the (very, very sweet, but tired and ready-to-go-home) cashier and myself.  Initially, I bought 3 boxes; 2 for $29.99 and a larger box for $59.99.  Just as I was on my way out of the store, it struck me that it was pretty idiotic on my behalf to not get a second large box for $59.98 off the original price, right?  I get back into the store, explain to the cashier that I would like to return the larger box for $59.99, and then buy 2 of them for $60.00 instead.  Yep - no problem at all - she totally sees my point.  So I kinda' bounce when the transaction is to be finished and she tells me that I owe $29.98.  Huh!?  We discuss back and forth and I even get all the way back to my car before I think "what the heck, I'd better straighten this out today, or there is not a chance that anyone will ever get this, if I even bother to get back to deal with this issue another day...".   So, I roll up my sleeves, march back in (nicely) and show the cashier all my receipts and even ask her if she has a pen and paper so that I can show her the math (yep, I am an engineer...).  At this point she gets so exhausted that she just randomly takes 2 items off completely.  I explain that now she is being waaaay too generous -  from over-charging me $30, I am now undercharged $70! - and her response is that "That is fine, I don't care"...  Sigh!  I guess that I should be happy that I got a "great deal", but I feel more frustrated that I didn't get to show her the math...  or am I being weird here???   Sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of people are so scared of math that they just turn off their brain in panic and don't even try.  I do the very same myself if I have to perform calculations under time pressure, but hey - you can always grab a pen, paper and a chair, sit down, take some time, and just figure it out!

Anyway, time to skip into bed!  Dream Sweet Dreams!

Oh, and Happy Stitching!

PS Check out the crazy Cuckoo clock we picked up in Sweden - I love it!
And how seriously cool & cute are these other modern takes on Cuckoo clocks?


  1. Hi Jenny,
    I love your stylish new coffee mug.
    Your Class pieces are beautiful. I hope that you get more assembly done in class than you think you will.
    The Richmond sampler is looking great. I hope that your roll continues.
    Good luck with the Founder's Day Celebration!


  2. Ååå, fina muggar! Blir inspirerad att göra något fint av den jag har. Den står här brevid mig på jobbet. Har med mig smoothie varje morgon:-p
    Förstår att du ser fram emot kursen. Riktigt fina saker!
    Fågelburen är ju också himla söt. Påminner mig om grisen och hönan som står hemma på hedersplatesn. Löööv it :)
    Vad stolt jag blir att du ska ställa ut! Skulle gärna kommit och beundrat dig och dina broderier. Du är bäst!
    Pusspusspusspuss*1000 (lite matte som avslut ;) )

  3. Love your little white cuckoo clock, Jenny.

    That Michael's story is hilarious!!

  4. Sherrie's classes will be fun. Love the cuckoo clocks, the craved with digital may be my favorite.