Happy Monday to everyone! I hope that your weekend was just as cozy and relaxing as mine was. DH is back on night shift again, so that gives me a really good excuse to take looong naps in the middle of the day during the weekends. It is so nice just to sleep next to each other - it is surprising how many of the things that we would probably label "smaller" that I find out I miss once they are not there. Yesterday was really wonderful, with a nice lunch out at the local "luxury fish place", a stroll through the book-store, and some mending of torn and worn clothes in front of the adventures at Downtown Abbey in the evening. Add to that that DH and I found a new British TV series that I am in love with - The Midsummer Murders. Wow, oh wow - they are great!!!! I am thrilled. I have already worked myself through three mysteries and I can't wait to get back from work so that I can continue. Life is good - doesn't take a whole lot to keep me content...
I did also do some limited shopping at Silverneedle during their Superbowl sale. Very, very minor! Is it bad when you feel like you already have everything that you want!? LOL
Anyway... I have had these pictures uploaded on the blogger page for ages now, but finding the time to actually write a bit to go with all the photos has been trickier. Too many things to do! You know the feeling, I am sure! LOL
Here is the first sampler that accidentally got added to the list of 2012 projects after I had constructed my WIPoclaypse list. This is the Ellen Maurer-Stroh sampler that I mentioned in a previous post or two, stitched on a antique white 40-st linen over two with one strand of DMC. Since I am one of the most impatient people in the world, I decided to stitch on the pretty bluebell border as far as I could. It was easy to memorize, which makes it a quick stitch. I did switch out a couple of the blues to darker shades and I like how it is turning out. I am thinking that I may switch out the colors completely on the right-hand side border and stitch pink blue-bells there instead. Thoughts?
The February part has already been posted, so I have it printed and ready to go. Right now, I am devoted to the upper flower border and I have stitched 5 of the 10 repeats that make up the full border. This one is not a border that you can really memorize, but it is lovely! She has a unique way to play with colors and the light pink flowers look almost transparent, like really fine china! Very skillfully done. The February assignment contains a rose sprig and half of a very pretty fruit basket. Can't wait to get working on them!!! (Still not too late to jump over to her site and download these pretty charts - they are in color and very easy to read. And let me tell you, they stitch up much quicker than you would ever believe!)
This is the current state of the Scarlet Letter EH sampler. My favorite part is stitched up, even though many areas are meant to be filled in with trellis stitch. Since the instructions in the pattern are pitiful, I will have to root around in my stitch-room and to to get out the Proper Stitch book by Darlene O-Steen. I really hope that trellis stitch is in there (I am pretty sure that it is...). On to a more narrow border where a lot is going on - carnations and knot-work - very pretty! I think after that boder is done, the half-point is met...
I pulled Snapperville back out last week too. Only one more square to go, plus the border around the little scenes. This is an easy stitch, but somewhat boring and surprisingly slow, I think. I guess that I am not thrilled because I have a hard time imagining that I will actually hang it somewhere. The colors are pretty though - I am not following the colors at all, since I am too cheap to expand my already pretty significant overdyed thread collection. I just pick colors from the existing bundle and go with that. Don't you like my blond horse? :-)
I am currently thinking about some alternate verse for the bottom border, since I am not thrilled about the original; "Teach us that we may learn the importance of every day. . .of every hour as it passes". I found Kim's very pretty finished SV for inspiration: "North or South, East or West, Farm or Town, Home is Best" here. I like how she made her "swirlies" in the lighter color too! I am shamelessly copying that, once I get there!!!
Here is another oldie that has been lying on the "almost finished" pile for ages now. I only needed to add the text and then do the actual finishing work... The chart is from a vintage German Burda magazine, so I needed to translate Frohe Weihnachten to Swedish and English. To fit in the text, I had to stitch it over one. Isn't is just amazing how you (as in I) can count something 100 times and still have it end up off-center!? Rather than ripping up the entire Merry Christmas row, I decided to add a little sprig of something... I think that it worked out all right, so next up is tracking down a backing fabric and some time to sit down and sew it all up. I think that I will finish it as a wall-pocket that I can collect Xmas cards in (I should be ashamed of that though, since I don't send out Xmas cards myself). Or I could have some pretty branches of seasonal plants. We'll see - maybe even this Christmas! (Yeah, right!)
There is a Valentine heart from the same (two-part) series that would be fun to stitch. We'll see - maybe in 2013?
I went through a serious finishing kick a week ago and got a few projects completely finished.
Here is my Christmas Tree from Fremme. The little picture is based on the pretty sad story by the Danish author H. C. Andersen; The fir Tree. I love the little bunny jumping over the tree in the upper corner!
On display with the Swedish flag!
I did finally manage to do right by the nephew. Nephew's "First Xmas" ornament and birth sampler in progress:
The ornament is a sweet little freebie by Brookes Books Designs. I switched some of the colors to make it less pink and I tried to place the beads in the border on the side to create a lace effect. That didn't really work out as well as I had hoped, but it is finished!
The birth sampler got framed. I got the matting and frame from Michales general framing area. No specialty materials or measures needed - don't you love when that happens!? DH helped me pick out the frame. It's a lot of fun - he had planned to run over to the pet-store right next-doors to Michaels, but decided to come with me instead. I think that he knows that he is really good at helping me pick out stuff, so he enjoys it - as do I . (No worries, we did hit the pet-store afterwards, so all our critters got fed this week too....)
My parents are coming to visit in May, so my mom offered to bring everything back to Sweden in their luggage. That will work out really well! Last time I shipped a framed piece over to Sweden, the glass shattered on the way over. Not so good.... I am really glad that Littlest Sis didn't get hurt when she unwrapped that package!
And finally, here is my "just for fun" project (it was not on any of my start-of-the-year lists...): Jenny Bean's Pin Tuffet from Shakespeare's Peddler. Quick and fun and finished with the Sudberry House Shaker Round Pincushion.
I switched out every single color for this piece, I think. I went for purples instead of rusts and I am really pretty delighted with how it turned out. My inspiration was the checkered flower in the bottom right. It is black and white in the original, but it still reminded me about the Snakes Head lily, a very pretty Fritillary that is the landscape flower of Uppland, Sweden. Since that is the landscape I come from, I felt that it was a fitting change and I switched the rest of the colors to go with the lily.
If I would change anything with this project, it would be the foam that came with the Sudberry piece. It is a polymer foam that has high friction, so it is hard to stick your pins into the cushion. I should probably have switched out the foam for several layers of batting or maybe made an inner cushion filled with some other type of material. Oh well, now I know for next time.
I am finishing this post with some amusing craft. This Princess Leia hat from Bleu Arts at Etsy reminds me of a favorite scene from 30 Rock.
Liz Lemon is trying to get out of jury-duty by pretending that she is more than less peculiar - this video is a shout out to my buddy Hip^Hip^Happy, who is on call for jury duty right now.... you go get'em girl! :-)
Take care and Happy Stitching! I will try my best to swing by all your blogs out there. it's been a while.
PS We had a mega-frost over night here - hope that all my spring-bulbs made it... :-(