Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Up Next

...Family Treasure III.  Sadly, I was only able to grab a blurry picture with my cell phone this morning...
And again with the color changes!  Eeesh.  I worked on this for about an hour last night, and it seemed like all I did was cut threads and change needles.  Two stitches of green here, two over there, switch to red, then to pink, lather, rinse, repeat.  Ah well.  I'm always thrilled with the finished product, so I suppose I should stop grumbling about the process.  As I'm working on this, I find myself wondering if the fabric is just a wee bit too light?  Hmm.  It is not the fabric called for in the instructions, but it was what was available to me at the time (and affordable).  The white gets a bit lost, but I think part of that is a shortcoming of the photographer.  In person, I've added beads to the white border, so that adds some dimension.

I also started my small for the month - Heather challenged us all to do something Christmas-y, so I pulled Cedar Hill's "Santa's Helper" from my stash.
But of course, mine will look almost nothing like this model pic!  I was missing one or 2 of the DMC colors called for (and how THAT is even possible, I don't know), so I swapped in some hand-dyeds.  I'm also using blue linen from my "unknown count/color" bin.  When I'm done, I may put the pattern up for grabs here if anyone wants it, so keep watching this space if you are interested.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flying Away

I took a vacation day yesterday...and look what I finished!
"Wings" by Just Nan
stitched on 28-ct. Jazlyn (unknown shade of green!)

This little piece was deceptively complicated (quite a bit of over-one), and like all the Just Nan pieces that I fall for, it had a LOT of color changes.  :/  I started this last year at Celebration, so from first stitch to last it took about 14 months.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Box (x4)

I'm posting this month's small and hoping that none of the intended recipients read my blog...
This is a little design from JBW Designs' "Heart Song" pamphlet, with a few changes made.  I didn't have any of the buttons called for!  There is supposed to be a birdhouse button in the lower right, and I stitched the initials of my stitchy friends there instead.  And I repurposed yet another one of the bird beads from DH's grandmother's jewelry for the center!  I used 36-ct. linen to make it fit the box top - the boxes were $.99 finds at Michael's.  I stained them (I believe the stain was "Golden Pecan"), used Modge-Podge to line the inside with scrapbook paper, and made a little padded bottom.  The top is padded as well, and edged with twisted cording.

Now I just have 3 more of these to make....  (and each one will have different color bird in the center - this one is pink, and I also have blue, purple, and green)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Subscriptions

I've been less than pleased with the content in stitching magazines lately...Just Cross Stitch has been especially disappointing.  I had a subscription to Cross Stitch & Needlework, and I didn't hate it, but I simply can't justify adding more "maybes" to my stash!
So yesterday our library director sent out a staff email that we have a trial subscription to "Flipster," a digital magazine subscription service for libraries.  On a whim, I searched for craft magazines....and found both Just Cross Stitch and Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly!  I browsed a couple issues of both and got my stitchy fix.  LOL  Also, the service had the August 2015 Christmas ornament preview of JCS, AND you can print pdfs of the pages, so I printed the 2 or 3 ornaments I *might* do (and if the 10 preview designs are indicative of the forthcoming ornament issue, I'm not optimistic).  At first I wondered if this was an ethical thing to do - but then I figured, libraries pay for subscriptions to magazines all the time, and the magazine publisher and the database provider negotiate fees based on an assumption that people will use their material.  If they don't want readers to print all or any of their pages, there are ways for the database provider to restrict these options.  And they didn't, so I can only assume that my printing 2 ornament patterns for my personal use is considered within the scope of their contract.  Now I'm done thinking about it!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Magic (Happy!) Dance

I finished this last night!
"Labyrinth - Magic Dance" by Cloudsfactory
stitched with DMC on 28-ct. Kiwi Illusions "Pumice"
This isn't the final finished framing job - I just set it in there to take the picture.  I DO plan on using this frame, though.  It is one that I picked up at the thrift store for $2, just had to remove a piece of cheesy mass-produced 1980's folk art!  I thought it suited "Labyrinth" just fine, don't you agree?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Smalls Check-in

This month's finish is extra-special...not just completely stitched, but finished as well!  This was a little design by Enchanting Lair, published in the "Celebration of Stitching" book, called "Small but Mighty."  This piece ended up being another one of my stitching therapy pieces....like the spider bag I made several years ago.  To make a long story short, I crossed a few boundaries with a young man from my martial arts class.  He was young, I was having a fit of "I want to BE young again"....it got weird.  Last summer he stopped talking to me (or even making eye contact with me at class if he could help it).  And as the adult in this scenario, it was entirely my fault.  Anyway.  I saw this little design, and when the blank book came into my possession as a vendor giveaway at a library conference, I had a crazy idea.
I'd make a book cover!  Now, the young man in question here is fascinated by German culture (not Nazi, think Nietzsche), writes all the time, and loves Bruce Lee.  So.  Here is the finished product:
The finishing was a bit fiddly, in part because I forgot about the need to create a "pocket" for the cover to slip into.  I ended up using black bias tape over the top to connect the front to the inside flap, which you can't really see here.  But it makes me happy to have this finished.  Yesterday the young man received his black belt in aikido, so I gave this to him.  Or, more specifically, I wrapped it in brown paper, wrote his name on the package, and left it next to his gear.  There was a note of apology and congratulations tucked inside.  Given the kind of person he is, I don't know if he'll ever acknowledge this gift....but in many ways, it doesn't really matter.  The creation was the therapy for me.  I'd like to think he liked it, but since I have no control over that, I just have to let it go.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Traveling South

The semester is winding down at the college where I work, but I seem to be getting busier and busier.  Earlier this week I was in Virginia, a bit south and west of Roanoke, for a library conference.  I must say, that area of Virginia is absolutely gorgeous at this time of year!  I was constantly in awe of my surroundings...all the rolling green hills and mountains.  I've always considered upstate New York and north-central PA to be pretty scenic, but the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains offered some stiff competition.  And the conference went well, too - I was a presenter (for the first time ever!) and I think my presentation was very well-received.

I haven't gotten much stitching done to speak of, although I DID try to work on a small or 2 for the SAL.  I took the Viking couple kit that I posted last time with me, and got a bit started.  I also did some finishing on a small piece that I stitched earlier, but can't share yet.

On my way home from the conference, I passed a GIANT thrift store in Selinsgrove, PA.  Since I was making a leisurely drive of the return trip, I saw no reason not to stop....  ;)  And it really was huge!  It felt like the Wal-Mart of thrift stores.  LOL  I spent $12, got a couple things for my daughter, a neat old stoneware serving bowl (Mar-Crest, I believe it was marked?), and a book of cross-stitch patterns which I didn't need but just couldn't pass up.
cute serving bowl

book I don't need