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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Lost in Dreams.... about Pears and Crows

... it has happened again; I have completely fallen for a new theme.  I am obsessed.  I forget dinner and skip bed-time.  I am in the need of collecting every single item there is - I have the urge to find each photo and project that have ever been posted on the internet - I need all of them, right now!!  I look for cross-stitch patterns, penny-rugs, traditional embroidery, quilts, anything!!!  What am I talking about this time?  Yummy golden pears and prim-style black crows.

It all started (way too late) yesterday night.  I was browsing the net for something that I can't even recall now, and came across this gorgeous piece on Laura's blog, Maude & Mozart.  Needless to say, I contacted her immediately and just a few hours later I knew that the beauty's name is Pear Row Pincushion and it was designed by Chessie and Me.  Aren't stitchers simply the greatest group of people in the world!?

It looks like the Pear and Crow theme is one that C&M has toyed with a few times.  Here is the cross-stitch pin-cushion (I only found it in two on-line XS stores, by the way):
 A wool-mat, felt-pincushion, and punch-needle picture:

After that, I lost control.  I have always loved the little partridge in the pear-tree from With Thy Needle.  I have the pattern, but I keep wasting good stitching time on the net... LOL.

I love the sweet finish of this Xmas ornie by Hands to Work (JCS Ornament Issue 2005):

Tiny cross-stitch picture by Akitty Kats Originals:

Look at this beautiful wall-quilt from Blueberry Hill Quilt Designs called Pears and Pinwheels.  You can totally add a crow or two...
 I love the design even more in this blue and gold version personalized by Susan (here is her blog SeeSueSew) - click on the photo, it is well worth a closer look:

I am real anxious to sew up one or two of this yummy looking (and lavender scented) door-stop posted on Scrapiana, here.

 An inspirational wreath (shouldn't be too hard to make something similar, right)?:

Gulp - I need a bigger house!!!!  To add insult to injury, after I put the C&M chart from Stitches'n Things in my basket, I added the only I-can't-live-without-it item that I have seen from the Nashville Market previews:

Isn't it pretty!?  This is the Shabby Chic Pendant from Giulia Punti Antichi.  
Stitches'n Things is getting in a few limited kits, so one of them made it into my basket too - I am excited!!!

Believe it or not, I have had time to stitch a bit between the frantic surfing sessions.  I'll show you pics some other day.  Back to the stitching with me - the Sherry Jones class is quickly approaching...

Happy Stitching and Merry Spring wishes,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My, Oh My - How Time Flies!

Hello and Happy Monday all stitching friends!  Time flies - it feels like the days have been shortened with a few hours.  There is less and less time to squeeze in all the fun stuff, if that makes sense.  (I already managed to miss my very first WIPocalypse post, so I guess that I am done with that... LOL). 
I have managed to stitch on a few projects here in the evenings, so I have a few pics to share with you.

First, I realized that we are almost in March, so my pre-stitching for the class with Patrick's Woods is due very soon.  I managed to slap together five pieces out of eight this past week.  I really enjoy the stitch, even thought there is a good deal of over-one stitching.  The colors are very pretty and much long-arm cross-stitching and hemstitching.  The hemstitching is a drawn thread stitch which I am very fond of; I finish all my bell-pulls and table-cloths with drawn thread hemstitching - it is so pretty - it looks like lace!
The pieces that are left will be a breeze, since I have already taken care of the "boring" part - the borders!  LOL
Here is a close-up of the pretty little bird that is back-stitched and filled with overlapping long-stitches.  I think that I rather packed my bird full with stitches, so it looks less primitive that the original does.
Here is a close up of the pretty hemstitched part of the design hat will be the side of the mattress style pin-cushion.  Isn't it beautiful with the blue ribbon woven through?

I did also get a chance to finish most of the EMS 2012 SAL sampler.  I say most, because I am not a fan of stitching half of a motif, since I am too lazy to restart all my threads.  I also feel that the sharp start and end within the same motif can be seen after the motif has been completed..  I'd pace myself and wait to get the next part before finishing the basket. 
Now I am trying to tell myself that I need to get cracking on the upper border - 5 more repeats to go.

I have probably mentioned before that we are a group of ladies who stitch at work.  We try to stitch at least once a week, but all of us have been crazy busy lately, so it has been a sparse gathering.
Last week I managed to finish this little piece, A Stitch in Thyme  from Little House Needleworks.  The kit came with the super-cute needle-book and tomato pincushion.  Unfortunately, I have lost them...  don't you hate that!?  I seem to manage that a lot...  Drives me nuts!  Anyway, maybe here in the future some day they'll pop up.  Then it is just a matter of finding the stitched piece again!  LOL  It is a very cute piece though.

Here is the fully finished heart needle-book and the little heart box painted by Liberty Hill that came in this limited edition kit from Hillside Samplings.  This was a lot of fun - a lovely stitch and a pretty straight forward finish.  There were some tricky parts getting the assembly done, but it all got lovingly forced together in the end.  Sorry about all the pics...
I spoke with the lady that paints the Liberty Hill treasures last week.  She is so sweet and friendly and took her time to talk with me - and we even discovered that she has visited my blog - I am thrilled!  Needless to say, I am looking forward to the 2012 prim club very much!

Speaking of primitive and clubs, have you seen this one, Prim Sister's Club!? 
Country Sampler, Notforgotten Farm, Primitive Bettys, and Pineberry Lane have joined forces to send the club-members a kit every other month.  I have signed up!

I bought as tiny bit of stash over the Superbowl weekend at Silverneedle's sale.  I was good and I only bought finishing materials and a Very Bradley organizer (I love the bold white, green and turquoise colors) that I wanted to keep coupons in.
 I have to share a close-up of this funny little note that came back in the package with you:

I hope that all of you had a nice Valentines Day.  I had great plans - more than months in the making.  I got the idea inspired by this beautiful Valentines wreath made from reproduction vintage cards by Williams Sonoma.  Isn't it lovely?
Well, I found a few tutorials here and here and there are so many wonderful and generous web-pages full of images of fun and pretty vintage Valentines cards.  This site is my favorite! 
I did get cracking on the wreath and it would have looked grand, except for the fact that I ran into trouble with the Modge Podge - it never seemed to dry up and in the end, all the cards curled up, so I decided to give it a rest!  As you can see, I decided to go with the vintage reds and the cheesy greetings - they are too funny!  Makes me smile!
I added some glitter paint to make things sparkle a bit - it looked great (this was before the blasted Modge Podge!). 
I'll definitely give it another try next year - or maybe I'll try for the precious Easter wreath here in a few weeks..  Just have to rest up my tired scissors fingers and print out some fun Easter greeting cards first...  :-)

Speaking of Valentines - here is Rusty guarding his (?) nest-box with Pixie peaking out from behind.  We'll see if they lay any eggs.  That would be the first clutch for them, so it is exciting (even though I am hoping that there won't be - we don't have any more space here!).  Pixie and Rusty are different types of Greencheek mutations, so their babies would likely be quite unique.

This is Nibbler - also known as "Big eye", since his (?) right eye, the one that is looking at YOU right now,  is much larger than the other.  Soooo cute!

Nibbler almost died when he was a baby.  He flew into a window really hard and started to bleed into his beak.  He almost suffocated on his own blood.  DH freaked out, which helped keeping me much calmer than I would normally have been.  I took Nibbler out to the bathroom, held him upside-down while rinsing his beak with water.  I was sure that there was no chance that he would make it, but we were all very, very lucky!  It is hard to have loved pets die in your hands and especially that young.
I swear that the big eye is a memento of his near-death experience, while DH thinks that I am imagining things.
Nibbler's "big eye" is focused a lot on Scrappy.  Scrappy has a set of admirers that follow her (?) anywhere through the house.  It is a bit of an interesting situations.  Pebble and Nibbler chase after Scrappy, who goes "home" to Henny in the evenings, since they are cage-mates. 

And this beautiful basket is what my "cage-mate" keft for me to discover after work.  He knows that I love bulbs and he really overdid himself - I am so spoiled by that man!  They are starting to bloom out, but I can't wait to dig these babies down in the ground and see what happens next spring.
This is what is going on right now - here in Kentucky, we are all very confused about the winter that never seemed to come.  We are all holding our breath and waiting to see if there will be any late winter-storms before the real spring finally arrives.  Some of us are less patient than others - my mini irises decided to take the plunge and they look happy.  It put a big smile on my face when I left the house Thursday morning and saw these brilliantly blue gems glistening in the flower beds. 

Henny says that it is time to get back out of the basement!  "It is cold down here, mom!"  Isn't she the cutest little thing?  Even though I clipped her wing-pens way too short last time.  No worries - it is like clipping hair or nails; they do grow back out, but it takes a few months.
Well, how can I say no to my special little hen?  Better get up to the warmer part of the house. 

Bubba says Bye!
 And I'd better say bye too - it is bed-time again!  Lots of wishes of many hours of lovely stitches!  I am (once again) hoping for enough time to visit all of your blogs this week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chugging Along!

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...
Excuse the wrinkles - I only iron when my life depends on it! ;-)

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...  :-(