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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It has been a while.... :-)

Well, after almost three weeks of silence here at Nirvana, I'd better roll up my sleeves and start typing!  Part of the reason is that I really haven't been stitching all that much lately - I have discovered a new hobby; napping!  LOL  I should feel a little bit ashamed of myself - the photos have been loaded and ready to go for about two weeks now...  Well, here we go!

As you may remember, my parents were here for 10 days earlier this month, so I didn't get a whole lot stitched then as you can imagine.  We did get out on adventures pretty much every day - Andy was working nights all the week through, which complicated things a bit (don't even get me started on his crazy schedule - sigh!  I just about had it!!!!).
I did work a tiny bit on the new Prim Sisters kit, which turned out to be much sweeter than I thought initially.  A quick stitch, so I got a bit done while my parents were here and it was really fast to finish up after they left for Sweden.
I did some smaller changes to the back by adding my initials and the year (+ accidentally picking the wrong colors for the heart...) and I have decided to finish this piece into a zippered pocket instead of the gigantic needle-book that it is intended to be.  This time, the kit included a bit more fabric to do the finishing work with, so that gives me all kinds of freedom - yay!
So far, this has been a great club and I am looking forward to the next set.

Last weekend (I think - time flies), I was participating with a booth at the Founders Craft Fair here in town.  Since my camera batteries were dead, there are no photos to show from this year, but if you'd like to get an idea about how things look, it was very similar to last year's event.  We did have a slight lesser number of booths indoors this year, but it did feel like a lot more people came by.
The two main-questions I got this year were different versions of "Oh, you are doing needle point?"  (how come that everyone is familiar with needle-point, but not cross-stitch, I wonder?) and "How much are they?".  I had to explain quite a few times why the items in the display were not for sale and people seemed to be genuinely surprised (you know the blurb about stitching time and material costs, yada-yada).  It is funny; nowadays so many of us assume that everything is for sale; in this industrial era we don't ever stop to think about how much time it actually takes to make things by hand.  It also seems that many of us think that  the ultimate goal is to make a profit out of what we do, not to find joy in developing a skill and and the feeling of peace of mind.

Well, while interacting sporadically with people (it was still far from being packed), I did get time to work on two Patrick's Woods pieces.  The first one was the little Hare Lines kit that is a small note-book accessory to go with the Hare Pyns set.  The only thing I really had left to do was the border, which was a little bit tricky, and the initials but I did finally get it done and I do like the way it turned out.
I did also start on this sweet little mattress-style pin-cushion, which I am looking forward to doing the finishing work on.  Sherri printed the vintage violet girl on some muslin type fabric and created a lovely design in purples (tent-stitch over one, so not too bad).  I finished the stitching in the evening and now it is lying on the ever growing finishing pile at home.  The purple felt will be cut out into a double heart shape and used for a little needle holder.
Note the pretty wooden cutting board below.  Andy and I picked that up at Shaker Village when we were there with my parents.  I'll show you the photos from that excursion in my next post.
I did also pick up this sweet little picture at Shaker Village - Oh, how I wish that I would have bought many, many more to share!  Note the text written in cross-stitches - just adorable!  It will probably get framed and hung somewhere in the house one of these days.

Other than that, not much to report right now.  I have gotten a few shipments of stash lately, which has been fun.  The Halloween Fob in the picture below was an E-bay find and the charts were a draw of luck (or rather, a draw of suspicion or "covering my a$$") a few weeks back.
Remember when Guilia Punto Antichi came out with the adorable Shabby Chic Pendant earlier this year?  Well, suspicious as I am, I read through countless kit descriptions at several needlework stores on-line, but I could not find anything that clearly informed me what the kit really included.
My feel was that if the button did not come with the kit, it was a waste of a pretty good deal of money.  And you know the deal about exchanging patterns - not gonna' happen!  I even made a few phone calls to various stores to be sure, but none could give me a straight yes or no (that should have been my first clue, LOL).
Well, I finally placed the order with Stitching Bits & Bobs but sent Bobbi an e-mail where I stated that, unless the button came with the kit, I was not interested.
Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later, the "kit" showed up in my mail box and it was nothing but a chart pack - for $16!  I mean - wow, that is a bit hefty in my humble opinion!!!  Luckily, when I called Bobbi and pointed out that I had sent her the e-mail (which she admitted to not have read), she exchanged the chart for a store credit so I got the three charts below instead!  Not bad at all...  Two of them I have been wanting for a while, so that was like Xmas!

The EMS sampler is coming along all right.  This is not the latest update I have, but it took longer to stitch this time.  I did struggle with the mushroom motif which I had already decided to switch for something else - the question was what!?  I will show you how that turned out next time, but I have to say that I am pretty pleased. I am anxiously awaiting part 6 - only a couple of days more!

And finally, this is a new sampler that I just started stitching for someone very special!  This secret person does not read my blog so I will be able to share the progress with you.  This is another kit from my favorite design house, Haandarbejdets Fremme in Denmark.  This piece is also a bit further along, but I'll have to share that progress with you next time as well.  
This sampler is only stitched with five colors and as you can see from the photos below, it is stitched in Assisi style, which is one of my favorite styles.  Close-up here:
And this will be the size of the sampler, once finished.  I am having so much fun stitching on this one!  I really like the quality of the Fremme's designs and kits!  (That may be the reason why I have a drawer packed full of Fremme kits at home.... )

Well, time to get back to the robot here in the lab.
Have a great week and wishes of many hours of Happy Stitching!  (I owe most of you a visit, so that is on the top of the to-do list now, even before napping!)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One more day til' vacation starts - woop, woop!

Happy Friday all!

This is a quick drive-by post - the parents are on their way in (less than 24 hrs - yay!) and I really should be cleaning my house instead of getting stuck in the net...
Anyway, I figure that I will be out of touch for the next 10 days while my parents are visiting, so here is a quick Hi and Hello!

Speaking about cleaning, instead of focusing on what I really need to get done, I had bunches of fun with the second Rosenstand bell-pull.  It is completed and I love them together - below a photo before it hit the ironing board.  The piece on the right was stitched back on 2010 - I have done worse than a 2 year gap between companion pieces in the past, I kid you not~!
Here below they are hanging in a door-way so that you can get a better feel for how tall they really are.  I am looking forward to hanging these babies in the house, but not so much to the hours of hem-stitching...
 Here are a few close-ups, just for fun.  The birds were a real joy to stitch!  They look so content and relaxed, don't you think?

I did also manage to start on the fourth segment of the EMS SAL 2012 sampler.  I haven't gotten very far yet, but I am taking my time with this section, since I am contemplating some possible changes.  It'll be interesting to figure things out, I am sure...
I am not sure about the small flower swag thingy at the bottom... they look a bit blah compared to the rest of the motifs.  DH comforted me by saying that it'll probably look better when all the other motifs are in place.  I am not positive that will help with making the relatively bland colors pop.  Oh well.  The berry branches are so sweet and I enjoy working on them.

After a longer dry-spell in the mail-box, I "accidentally" got in some stash this week.  First I got a package from Australia with a few stump-work kits from Jane Nicholas.  Stump-work is something I dream of making one day, but I don't think that day will be tomorrow...  LOL
Her designs are so, so, so pretty!  Well, since the parents are almost here, the bunnies had to move from the guest bed-room to the stitch room, so I can't dig anything out from there, no matter how much I want to show you.  Poor, poor bunnies... ;-) (And poor, poor bunnies' mommy... sniffle)
...so   ...  I'll show you the newly acquired stash on-line instead - I got the tiny Bumble Bee kit, the fun looking Scarab Beetle Pouch and the large & absolutely gorgeous Fritillary, Fennel and Scarab Beetle.  Splurge!!  LOL  I love the Snake's Head Frittilary, so this one was a must.

Today I got a couple of neat surprises, that have not been "locked in" yet.  First off, here is the second kit from the Prim Sister Club.  Maybe not quite as cute as the first kit IMO, but still a real sweet design.

Second, a few charts, charms and linen cuts from the Woolly Tyme Club from Homespun Elegance.  I have kicked myself for not signing up to participate at the time, but I wasn't really into prim yet... On the plus-side, the prices are significantly better now ...  So far, I have managed to scrape up 9 out of 12 months which isn't all that bad.  (Still missing November, October, and July.)   I am planning on making a bunny to display the blankets on, instead of the sheep that they were intended for.  Any thoughts?

Before getting back to the bathroom scrubbing, I just need to share a photo of a real snuggle-bunny with you.  Back when we got Princess, he was such an itty-bitty thing.  Bubba was really very mean to him, but he is kinda' like the nice dog in UP! - he just did not get that she didn't adore him!  Well, they did become really good buddies after a while, which is lucky for Bubba; Princess has grown to become twice Bubba's weight since.  He is now too large to fit in the largest size igloo that the pet-store carries.  That tiny ordeal does not stop him from visiting with Bubba, nope.  Here he is, with his head in the igloo, probably getting licked by Bubba, while the rest of him has to stay outside... like Alice after drinking form the wrong bottle...LOL  He is just too funny and still very, very sweet as you can see!

Well, back to the sponges and buckets with me!
Have a great Friday, an even better weekend and don't forget to stitch!  ;-)