Thursday, January 19, 2017

To brighten a gloomy day

Yesterday I had to have a pesky cavity filled at my dentist's office...and then my exhaust pipe and muffler fell apart as I pulled out of the parking lot.  So it was quite a joy to be able to pick this up from my framer!
I'm sorry about the glare, but I wasn't in the mood to fuss with it last night.  This is "Dark Sorceress," by Claire Crompton, published in a book titled Magical Cross Stitch.  I finished the stitching last year, and finally got motivated to have it framed.  I LOVE it!!!  The mat and frame combination works perfectly - the gold scrolls in the frame accentuate the metallic flosses in the stitching, and the frame also has a touch of purple to it.  My framer, while he is not cheap, is awesome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thank you, Oxmoor House

I'm still working on the Judith Kirby piece, but I took a step away to do a small project - my niece is rapidly approaching her first tooth fairy encounter, and my sister asked if I could make a little bag or other holder similar to what I made for my daughter.  Since I was anticipating this, I grabbed one of those hardcover books that were all the rage in the 1980s/90s, many published by Oxmoor House.  This one was "One-Hour Cross Stitch," and what do you know, it almost WAS a 1-hour project!  I'll probably finish this up tonight.  (My stitching time might have been extended by the fact that I'm using blending filament in the fairy's wings.)  Then I can show it off in my January Smalls SAL post...
I changed the colors around, because my niece's favorite color is orange!  I'm also debating changing the fairy's face - the pattern uses black for the eyes and mouth, but I'm wondering if blue eyes and dark pink lips might not look cute.  And maybe the fairy needs some hair?  I'll probably finish it is a pillow pocket, similar to the picture, only with different colors (and no lace trim!). 

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Not Planning for 2017

I was going to title this post something about my plans for the year, but my track record with plans isn't so great.  I have good intentions, it is true, but my follow-through rate is abysmal.  That said...

1) I'm going to do the Smalls SAL again.  I think I'm hooked on the sense of accomplishment!  And it has led me to try new finishing techniques - everything from box tops and ornaments to mounting pieces on/in various found objects, and even a bit of sewing.

2) I'm going to keep pawing through my WIP hiding places, and either finish things or toss them.  For example, I found this little guy the other day; I think he was started in about 2007?  (He was not tossed, I actually stitched a bit on him last night!)
Yeah.  And there are others, too.  I know my Me Myself and I Neighborhood RR piece is around here somewhere.

3) I will finish the Judith Kirby house I started on New Year's.

I think that's all I'm committing to at this point.  I keep pulling out various things - the gnome book from the 80s by Gloria & Pat, the "M" fairy from Mirabilia, a couple others - and I contemplate starting them, but I can change my mind every day!

Oh, and today I dropped off last year's New Year's finish - the Dark Sorceress - at the framer's.  It wasn't cheap (I use a local frame shop, and he is outstanding, but pricey), but I thought maybe it would be both a reward for all the stitching I did in 2016 and an incentive to finish another large frameable project or 2 in 2017...we shall see.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Looking Back on 2016

I know, I'm a bit late with my recap, but here goes anyway.

Here is Morticia, with a year's worth of orts.
It was a good year!  I finished 27 pieces, the last one visible in the picture above.  It is the Prairie Schooler design that I stitched over-one.  Here is a better pic, with a bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion for scale.
I've also shared this on Facebook, so you may have seen it there.  The little box/frame was something I found in the unfinished wood section at Michael's - I stained/painted/sanded/stained the outside, and stained/decoupaged/stained/sanded the inside, then coated the whole thing with a clear spray varnish.  I mounted the stitched piece on matboard with batting, inserted it and attached the doo-dads, and voila!  I think it is quite charming...however, if I were to do it again, I might paint the inside and apply the paper to the outside.
So of my other 26 finishes, 19 of them would qualify as "smalls" (including the 12 I did for the SAL).  But that's okay with me!  I find small pieces rather rewarding.  The 7 larger pieces were still not what I would consider huge - things like "Mermaid Spoken Here" and Prairie Schooler's Winter Sampler.
I'm kicking off 2017 with a new start,Judith Kirby's Victorian House #14, "Summer Sunset."  I hemmed and hawed over the fabric...it came with ivory Aida, and that simply was NOT going to happen.  LOL  I had a piece of Blueberry, but I decided it was too purple (especially since the house is purple).  I settled on a cut of Blue Dynasty linen that has a nice "sky" look to it.
So I've been busily filling Morticia with purples, oranges, and greens.  We wish you all a happy 2017, once again to be floss-filled and frog-free!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Smalls SAL - December post

Another year of smalls has come to a close, and I have another 12 small things finished!  I'm pretty proud of this accomplishment.  My track record with large projects may not be so stellar, but this one I can do.
Here is my December contribution - a Prairie Schooler Santa from the "St. Nicholas II" pamphlet.

 As you can see, this was finished as an ornament, and I gave it to my friend who is a fisherman.  This happens to be the same friend for whom I made the latest quilt...and that is completely done now, too!  It was quilted by a wonderful Amish woman who did a beautiful (and fast! It took her just a little more than a week!) job.  Here it is, in all its glory.  Can you see the lovely "waves" she stitched in the borders?  The back is a plain blue-and-brown plaid, and the binding was some brown cotton I had in my stash.  I haven't given it to my friend yet, but I can hardly wait to see his reaction!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

There I go again with the crazy.

For some reason, this was calling to me.
Yes, it is Prairie Schooler (the "Forget-Me-Nots" leaflet, to be exact), and yes, I am stitching it over-one on 28-ct.  But I have the perfect finishing idea!!  I found this teeny little wooden box....and I want to get some flower-themed minis....you'll see.  It will be awesome.  You all can tell me all about it, since I'll be blind from the over-one.

Monday, December 19, 2016

I was so busy this weekend!

About how I say I'm "not a quilter"?  I may need to revise that.
This took me less than 2 weeks to plan, cut, and sew!  That picture was taken on a full-size bed, so it is not quite a full-size quilt (it wouldn't hang over the edges).  But still, to cuddle on the couch or even to use as an extra bed topper on a cold night, it is perfect.  And I couldn't be happier with the way the colors worked out.  It simply IS my friend, and I can't wait to have it quilted and finished so I can give it to him.

And after that, I decided to tackle a couple of my smalls and do some finishing - this was a pattern from a 1990 JCS issue.  I found the door at Michaels, and thought it had potential...