Monday, May 23, 2016

Because I'm crazy, that's why.

One of the things I love about going to Celebrations is pawing through other people's cast-off patterns and stitching supplies, and this year was no exception.  You've seen one of my finds already - Bent Creek's "Catch the Day" - and I'm currently stitching away on another Bent Creek, "Black Sheep" (this one I found complete with flosses, just had to find some fabric in my stash!).  No clue what I'll do with it when it is finished, but it is cute and makes me happy.  And isn't that the point?
But anyway.  One of the other booklets I picked up was "Stitch with Sudberry: Samplers II."  Now, for the most part, these aren't really my style...
...but I was drawn to the wording on the small clock pattern (pictured twice here, right under the booklet title - I'm sorry I couldn't find a better picture at the moment).  It says, "sharing makes us a kinder, gentler people," and it is a rather Quaker-esque design, with vines and a little couple at the bottom.  However, I have no intention of stitching this as a clock face.  So I've been hunting about for a pattern/part of a pattern that I can fit into the center.  And I've found a few possibilities from some old Gift of Stitching magazines...because I'm crazy....

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

To be the child of a crafter...

...means your mother (or father, as the case may be!) will invariably say, "I can make something like that!" when you mention some store-bought item your friends have.  This time, in anticipation of the first lost tooth, I made this:
 

This was a pattern from a Pine Mountain kit that I stitched up last year as part of the Smalls SAL.  Since the tooth in question is probably within a few days of falling out (!!!), I figured I needed to get cracking on this!  The little bag isn't perfect, but I think it is cute.  The front is a bit taller than the back, and the front edge is curved because I forgot to account for the height of the crown when I started sewing the lining to the bag.  And the side seam pulled apart a bit - darned opalescent fabric - so I hand-stitched a bit to reinforce the seam.  It probably won't last forever, but it will serve its purpose, and that's what matters.
We've convinced the Little Person that when she finally loses the tooth, she needs to hang the bag on the OUTSIDE of her bedroom door - thereby making things easier for the fairy.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Over-One With My Nifty New Lamp

Here is the little project I've been working on, picked up in the freebie piles at Celebration.  I've picked my own flosses, since it wasn't the complete kit and I wasn't about to purchase anything new...
Bent Creek's "Catch the Day"
stitched over-one on 28-ct. with my own colors
At this size, the design is almost exactly the same size as a concert ticket.  And wouldn't you know, I'm giving a friend a concert ticket he's been dreaming of as a graduation gift this coming weekend, so this will be finished up into a little pouch of sorts for him!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Celebration of Needlework 2016

So, the weekend recap.

I arrived after about a 6-hour drive, puttering my way across NYS and Massachusetts.  (I often have other people gasp when I tell how them long it takes me to get there....however, I see the drive as a lovely bit of me-time, and fill it with music, audiobooks - this time it was "Mirrormask" by Neil Gaiman - and interesting conversations with myself!)  My room was funny - room 201, at the very end of the hall tucked away behind one of the stairwells.  A corner room, too, so the natural light was quite lovely for stitching in the mornings!  The hotel was remodeled since last year's event, and it was very nice.

I met up with my usual bunch of friends in the hotel restaurant, and dove right into the stitching.  Before dinner I was able to finish my Prairie Schooler "Winter" sampler!
I can't seem to get the colors right on this when I photograph it....it is stitched with Vikki Clayton's HDF silks on a piece of "Pumice" dyed fabric from Kiwi Illusions/Countrystitch.  The white really does "pop" more than it appears in this picture!

Then I moved on to TIAG's "Family Treasure III" sampler for a while.  I don't have a picture, but I did finish a band or two, as well as turning some kind of weird looking hearts into lazy daisy flowers (or maybe butterflies, as one of my friends commented).

On Friday I stitched more, shopped too much, and took a class.  I chose Janis Note's "Stitcher's Chest" class this year, and I think it was well worth the cost.  Here is the picture from Celebration's website -
The kit was really lovely, and Janis was a lot of fun.  In class we made the tassel for the little scissor fob, and had a chance to start some of the stitching on the fob itself.  I'm a rather slow stitcher (and Janis DID take a lot of time on the tassel construction), so I didn't get the fob completely assembled, but all of the stitches are ones I'm familiar with, so it shouldn't be too much for me.

Saturday brought more stitching, shopping, and another finish - this is Bent Creek's "Early Bird" design from an older magazine.
As always, I made changes.  Since this is an older pattern that probably predates the hand-dyed floss craze, it was charted in all DMC.  I decided I wanted some variegation, so I swapped out the yellow for the sun and the 2 shades of green for the lettering.  I had initially thought about putting this inside one of those empty alarm clocks, kind of like the snowman in the pocketwatch....but even on the 32-ct. fabric that I used, it is too big.  :(  So instead I'm going to try to mount it on a plaque of some kind and handpaint the words to one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems around it - "...if you are a bird, be an early, early bird/if you are a worm, sleep late."  

And how much damage did I do shopping?  Well, let's see.
  • Barberry Row's "D is for Dreams" kit.
  • Summer House Stitche Workes' "Galileo's Telescope" - I actually made a beeline for this one straight away, having seen it on Facebook and deciding I MUST have it.  It is also the first in a three-part series, which I tend to avoid....but this design can stand alone.  And Beth showed me the completed "mystery piece" that goes along with it, and it is really adorable in a primitive way!
  • A piece of blue-green hand-dyed fabric from the Zweigart/Silkweaver table, and a tin topper pattern of a little boat and compass rose to stitch on it.
  • A stiletto/laying tool from Wood Turnings by Cynthia.  It was kind of impulsive, but after doing the lazy daisies on my sampler and driving myself crazy trying to keep my threads smooth, I decided I NEEDED one.  And she had some from a discontinued line, so it wasn't too expensive.  Her things are just so pretty!  (I don't think her website is running quite right, but the Gallery page DOES work.)
  • A few of Sue Hillis' pirate patterns - Pirate's Creed and Pirate Queen.
  • Two small frames from Olde Colonial Designs.  I'm planning to stitch some of the Prairie Schooler Santa cards over-one on 28-ct., and I think these little frames will be perfect.
  • Another unnecessary, impulsive purchase - mermaid pins from the Primitive Hare.  But they were so cute, and I didn't have to pay shipping from Italy....
  • And finally.....my big purchase....
    .........a new lamp!
    Yes, I went completely out of my budget at the very end of the show, after walking past the Craftlite booth over and over and over.  I have a Daylight next to my stitching chair at home, but the switch is going bad, and it is big and heavy and really in the way in our little living room.  (Yes yes, that is total justification on my part.)  But the 3-level LED lighted magnification on the Craftlite was amazing, and it is sleek and much more portable than the beast-light I currently have.  So it came home with me.  And it has been put to use already!  I started a new project - over-one, even - using it, and it is heavenly.  I no longer have to stitch with my glasses off and miss TV shows.  LOL
So there you have it, my annual crazy self-indulgent weekend.  Of course I pawed through the freebie exchange piles, and came home with quite a few items from there as well.  In fact, my new project is one from there - Bent Creek's "Catch the Day" design.  I made some floss substitutions based on what I had in my stash, and I'm stitching it over-one to make it into a little pouch to hold a graduation gift for a friend.

But for now it is back to work, stitching later!

Monday, May 02, 2016

April Smalls SAL and weekend happenings

I'm a bit late with my Smalls SAL check-in, because I left last Thursday for my annual pilgrimage to Celebration of Needlework in NH!    I had a great time at Celebration, and it was a much-needed getaway.  Much stitching was done, accompanied by lots of laughing and maybe a wee bit too much shopping.  Yikes! 
Last weekend I also finished and delivered the little pillow to my mother for her basket raffle.  I think that qualifies as a small, right?  Here it is -
pillow front
pillow back
completed gift basket - pillow, teacup and saucer, and a box of raspberry tea!
I also should probably include my little snowman watch, posted here earlier in April.

More pics from my weekend will come soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Impatient

Work has gotten quite stressful (budget shortfalls meant that 21 positions were eliminated in January, and everything has been in upheaval since), and while I'm thankful I still have my job,  I'm ready for some time away!  As part of my "Big-0" birthday this year, my mother and my MIL have pretty much covered the cost of my trip to Celebration of Needlework in NH, and last night I got my confirmation email from Kelly.  So, 3 nights in a hotel, lots of stitchy time with friends, shopping, and a class - here I come!  I decided to try Janis Note's "Stitcher's Chest" project; it was the most affordable given the fact that chest is included.  Only 16 days.......

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

I swear, I didn't make it snow.

But it sure did make for a cute picture!
That is my little SamSarah Designs' "Twinkle!", stuck to some quilt batting inside a pocket watch with some white seed beads.  I love how it turned out!  Now I want to try some more tiny watch designs...