Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I was naughty

I've done pretty well this year avoiding stash enhancement....even at Celebrations I managed to avoid spending a lot of money in the shopping area. But lately, I've slipped a bit.

First, I bought the Just Cross Stitch Halloween special.  I wasn't convinced it was great, but the OCD collector in me just had to have it...  (Maybe I should write a review, like Anna's annual reviews of the ornament issue!)

And then....well, at Celebrations I *almost* bought the embellishment pack for Jeannette Douglas' "Once Upon a Tree."  It was going to be my one "big" purchase - but wouldn't you know it, she was sold out!  I did sign up to get an email when she had some available, and I got a message from her last month.  However, I hemmed and hawed a bit longer...and then today I saw an ONS that was having a big sale, and it included Jeannette's embellishment packs.  Click, into the cart it went!
Finally, last fall when I went to Cape Cod with DH (and Muriel!), I really loved visiting the old Burial Hill cemetery in Plymouth.  The old tombstones are fascinating!  And since then, I've been a little bit obsessed with The Primitive Needle's "Tombstone Spots."  Of course, the designer has passed away, the design is out of print, and it always goes for a ridiculously high price on eBay.  Well, wouldn't you know, that same ONS had it listed in a closeout/clearance section!  So I added that too.

I suppose overall I didn't do TOO badly - but I think I need to do more stitching and less shopping.  Ah well - it is my retirement plan, right?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Little Bit of Stitching

Thanks for the comments on the skirt.  I actually wore it to work on Monday, and got a couple compliments.  The waist may be a bit of a mess, but the color and pattern makes me smile!

I took an impromptu vacation day today, mostly because it was ungodly hot and my office isn't air conditioned.  I spent the morning pulling up some old carpet (translated: I spent a lot of time kneeling on the floor and swearing at staples and tack strips), then I took a little nap and did some stitching.  Here's a pic of my Joan Walsh Anglund "A," almost ready for me to add the baby's name and birthdate.

(Apologies for the crummy tablet pic.)

Just need to finish the little cat on the right side of the A and do some backstitching, then it will be on to the personalization.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Swearing at my Sewing Machine

While I haven't done much stitching - it has been too hot to sit in the living room lately! - I have been browsing sewing blogs.  I've grown particularly fond of the "refashioning" trend, finding unappealing items at thrift stores and turning them into something more wearable.  So Friday, after being inspired by Jillian over at Refashionista, I did a quick run through the local Goodwill.  I came home with this:
It was hanging on the dress racks.  Well, even in my youth this style would NEVER have worked as a dress for me...and now I'm too old and saggy in certain places to even try this on for a "before" picture.  LOL  I'd say "use your imagination," but then again, I don't want to be blamed for the ensuing nightmares.

First I deconstructed the piece, removing the zipper and taking off the "bodice."
See what I mean?!?  Look how tiny that top piece is!!

I had to line the skirt, which is what became my undoing.  I had an old navy blue tee that I thought would be perfect for that purpose...however, it was rayon and very slippery.  Also, the dress fabric was cheap and frayed terribly once it was disassembled.  But I soldiered on, and changed the waist to an elastic drawstring (I made a casing of sorts using the skirt fabric and creasing it above where the lining was attached).  And...ta-da!
It is a crummy workplace bathroom pic...but you get the idea.  The top was another thrift store find from some time ago - it was slated to go back because it is a bit of an odd color (compared to the colors I usually wear), but it coordinates almost perfectly with the skirt.  And thankfully, it covers up my moderately wonky waistband!  The finished skirt hangs in such a way as to hide a multitude of fabric puckers and other sins, as well.

So there you go, my first attempt at "refashioning."  It was frustrating at times, but fun, and I'll be on the lookout for other potential candidates!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Holiday Stitch-in!

I hope everyone (in the US, anyway) had a lovely long weekend.  My husband had some minor surgery on Thursday morning, so we took it easy most of the time.  My mother came out to help/play with the Wee One on Saturday, and I headed out for a stitch-in!  I re-united with a group of ladies I met at Celebration of Needlework in New Hampshire.  Bev lives in Utica, NY, and her sister Sylvia was up from south of Albany to visit.  Anne and Stacy also live below Albany, but were willing and able to make the trip up this weekend.  So I drove a little over 2 hours to Utica.  Here we all are....


It was really great to have some time just to stitch and chat, and not worry about the laundry that needed to be done or the dishes on the kitchen counter!  I think we're going to try to do it again sometime in the fall.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Quickie Just Nan update!

Here's my latest progress on "Wings" - not much change from the last picture,  but a few lengths of floss closer to finished...
I took this with my tablet,  so the colors look a bit odd.  :(

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Trying to do better!

I said in my last post that I do have some stitching to share, so in an attempt to follow through and post more frequently....
Just Nan's "Wings," started at Celebrations and worked on sporadically since.

From a book of alphabet patterns based on the illustrations of Joan Walsh Anglund (one of my favorite children's illustrators), the letter A.  I left off the bird on the top of the A (mostly because my piece of fabric was a bit small!), changed the girl's hair bow and dress to purple, and will add a name and birth date to make this into a small birth sampler for my niece.  I also need to make an ornament/birth keepsake for another niece, my sister's new daughter, since I made one for her sister a few years ago.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ahem.

So, I officially suck as a blogger lately....sigh.  Especially since having my daughter, summers always seem to get away from me!  There are always family things to do on the weekends, and weeknights are taken up with cooking, laundry, and trying to keep our house from looking like a total disaster (and I don't always succeed at that).   I'm still working on Just Nan's "Wings," and also a small Joan Walsh Anglund letter (A) for a niece who was born in April.  I try to get in a few stitches when I can, but progress - on anything - is painfully slow.  I do have to work tomorrow night, so I'll try to remember to take some pictures and write an update then.
Oh, and Muriel has selected her next stop - Canada!  Kathy over at Kathy's Sit and Stitch will be her hostess (if you are still willing, Kathy?  Send me an email with your address!).  Muriel thought your stitching progress was far superior to mine, although she was moderately suspicious of your infrequent posting.  I assured her you were probably just busy, as I am...  I will say, if you are looking for help reviving your blog, Muriel is HAPPY to serve as taskmaster!
Finally, I can share one pic of a project I completed - although not a stitching project, it is indirectly related.  You see, our library is undergoing a massive renovation/construction project.  In fact, right now our building has been completely gutted and we are relocated to a classroom for the summer!  So as the building was emptied, many decisions had to be made about old furniture and other materials.  And here is what I brought home, now full of stitchy supplies....