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..............."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS


Monday, January 30, 2012

The Stitching Gods are Against Me!

Just when I am making good progress on WIP/UFO reduction (ok I know I am just one week into it) I get my Spring 2012 issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework. On the front cover is part of a sampler that will be presented in three parts. Part one being in the Spring Issue. The bad news is I LOVE IT!! And want to start it NOW!!! Well, I need supplies first anyway so maybe it will be placed in the rotation under new. Since I am not sure it would be correct to copy the entire sampler here, I give you a section.
It is all DMC floss so I am good there, I just need to get the fabric which is 30 count cream Northern Cross Linen. To do the entire sampler I will need a piece that is 32" by 17" - so I probably also need to liberate my scroll bars. I suppose since it is in three installments I could get it done over time. The sampler is adapted from a sampler from 1659 and I will soon need to decide if I will put the original stitcher's name and date in or not, since it is in part one at the top (not shown here). What do you think??

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scissor Fob and Oldest UFO/WIP

Last week was my first week of WIP reduction/rotation system and as I posted yesterday I finished the first project selected and went to another one. Well last night I finished it and here is the result. I used the Palestrina Stitch to sew the two halves together (as directed in the instructions).

Blackberry Scissor Fob a Stumpwork design 
by Marsha Papay-Gomola
Marsha taught this to the Colorado Chapter EGA in 2008 or 2009.
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So to continue on with my WIP reduction/rotation plan I chose a Needlepoint project and let the random number generator pick it so to speak. It turned out to be my oldest WIP/UFO. The kit was a gift from my mom in around 1977. I have worked on it bit by bit at least in each of the decades I have had it (although I may have missed working on it in the 80s). I still have the cover sheet and stitching instructions which say it is from the Columbia-Minerva Corporation and is "one of a series based on illustrations from THE ORIGINAL PETER RABBIT BOOKS(r) by Beatrix Potter as interpreted by Erica Wilson"
As you see I got it stitched up to and including a bit of the background. The background stitch is called the knotted stitch and in the finished project picture looks very nice. I am not sure if I will stick with this the entire week for two reasons. First, and mainly because I don't know what I would do with it; second because it is kind of boring and tedious at this point! Only time will tell.

That's it from here!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Finished a WIP!

The WIP I began last Monday as part of my WIP reduction process is finished!!! Plus I made a pair of earrings and a bracelet too!! Delica Pendant with Spiral Rope.
Because I finished this one I picked up another WIP and it is about finished too. I just need to sew the two parts together and then I can post about it. I plan on finishing it up tonight and then tomorrow I will pick up another WIP and see how that one goes!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting My WIPs in Order Part 2

Just a quick follow up to my last post. I don't mind the regimented like plan and it won't spoil the fun of stitching (for me anyway) because:
  • I am an organized person and a planning fool (for the most part)
  • Without some sort of plan of action I seem to run willy nilly and collect more projects
  • There is flexibility in the plan (the new category)
  • It is  not cast in stone and there are no WIP police so I can stop or alter the plan at anytime.
Having a goal with a plan should help get some of the WIPs off the list (gotta make room for more after all)!!

Enjoy your day!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting My WIPs in Order

As you know from a previous post, I created a list of my WIPs to see just what I had (not) been keeping up with. Then I decided to figure out a system to start whittling them down. I created an excel spreadsheet and my columns included a number – source – date – project name and the last column was location (in my studio). I can say everything is in one room anyway! I then decided on some categories, one of which was guild project, but when I saw by my source column that at least 90% were from guild classes or seminars I got rid of that category pretty fast. It was way too broad. I also see from it that my main source of WIPs are my guilds!!! Oh well, too fun to stop now.
So I came up with three categories – cross stitch/embroidery; needlepoint; specialty/beading and then color coded them – not 100% sure why it just seemed like a good idea and easy enough in excel. In case you are wondering my specialty category included some stumpwork, canvas that had photo transfer or painting that you add stitching too and other things along those lines.  Because I added beading my WIP list is now at 53 by the way!
I decided on a weekly rotation system stitching on one category for a week then moving to the next category. I decided to start with specialty/beading then move on to cross stitch/embroidery followed by needlepoint and then finally a category I call New/gifts after which I would start again with specialty/beading.  I then decided to use the random number generator (www.random.org) to pick the first WIPs in the rotation. Not sure why just seemed like a novel way to do it. Ironically the needlepoint WIP came out to be my oldest one from around 1974 (more on that when it comes up in the rotation). I won't always choose the WIP to work on this way, but it gave me a place to start. I can see on my list I still want to finish them (expect perhaps one) so this helped me find a place to start.
Any way in this process I decided that the category New/gifts should be changed to New/gifts/stitcher’s choice. So if I don’t have a new project to start (is that possible given my stash*) or a gift to make, but there is a WIP I want to work on then I would do a “stitcher’s choice.” Looking at the list I saw a few projects that are almost done and they would make great stitcher’s choices. I like having a rotation category like New to give me a little wiggle room. Of course this could lead to a future WIP. And in retrospect maybe my list is a combination of WIPs and UFOs!! Just when does a WIP become a UFO anyway??
I have done these rotation things before and they have worked pretty well until something gets in the way – like in 2010 when work sent me to Boston for a month! So we will see how far I get this time. I would be happy if I stuck to it at least until the heavy gift stitching season starting in late October or early November. 
I will add it was interesting and enlightening to create this list. I know there is at least one thing that may become and remain a UFO since it is a technique I discovered I do not like – time will tell. I also learned that spell check does not like WIPs.

Here is the WIP I picked up for this week, a beading project that I got online during the peak of my bead work (2001-2004). It is called Delica Pendant with Spiral Rope from www.thebeadlady.com.
You can see in the picture the pendant is done, I just need to finish the spiral rope. I did change the bead colors.

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*Stash?? Now that would be a list of epic proportions!
Shhh, don’t tell the hubby.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jan 2012 TUSAL

The full moon has arrived so here is my TUSAL for January! I am trying a new jar hoping you can see the orts better on this smooth sided one.

These are mostly from my stamped cross stitch table cloth that I posted about on my old blog before it was lost. I has peach flowers, some blue flowers and of course leaves and a green two tone bow. More on it next time I stitch on it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I did a bad, bad thing!

I created a list of all my WIPS in an attempt to whittle them down. I came up with 46!!! That seems like a LOT to me. How about you?

Next step is to figure out a rotation system or something to work on them. Past rotation attempts have worked to a degree, but not for long. Any ideas?

I think my 2012 goal will be to get a certain percentage done, but still working on what that should be too.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions and will get back to you all when I make a decision.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mouse Pad for Greg

I wanted to make something special for my big brother's birthday that he could actually use. He is on his computer quite a bit, so I decided to make him a stitched mouse pad. I got the one I used for this project at Hobby Lobby, but you can also get them here. Which is all I will say on that since this is my fun stitching blog.


I will now explain the motifs used starting from left to right and top row. Facebook, troop two patch (troop two was his boy scout troop), the emblem on the scout badge and Eagle Scout badge - he made Eagle Scout (with a palm cluster no less).

The next row is is initials which I created from my PC Stitch software. Between the initials and the facebook logo was my attempt at a batman bat (the 60s version not the new one).

The bottom row consists of the wolf head part of the cub scout emblem. I did not have enough room for the entire emblem. He drinks coffee and is an LA Dodger fan, so I created an LA coffee mug. He has a cross in his car and has always been a tad interested in religion and then the baseball mitt. My initials and date are in yellow at lower right.

I got the baseball font, and baseball mitt from my PC Stitch software, I made up the facebook f, troop badge number, coffee mug (with a bit of help from my software) and the cross. I got the Boy Scout emblems from a book called "The emblems of the Boy Scouts of America in counted Cross Stitch" by the Vanessa-Ann Collection and Published by Zim's Inc (1986).

I think that covers it for now!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snowflake Biscornu

At our December Sampler Guild of the Rockies (SGR) meeting we could purchase the instructions and kit for a very pretty snowflake biscornu designed by one of our talented members. It consisted of 5 strips of three squares - the photo here shows the strips cut out of the fabric. Naturally since we had a month to complete it, I started the stitching the Monday before the Sunday January meeting!! It really was not hard to stitch.


Then at our January meeting we got the instructions and stitching time to turn the strips into the biscornu! I was able to stitch at the meeting to the point of needing to add the stuffing and was happy about that! Here it is all stuffed and sewn shut. I think I maybe could have added more stuffing, but I am happy with it!


I have it set out on the front entry table with some other snowmen for the January display. The tall fellow I made about 12 years ago and would do a few things differently now, oh well, I still think he is cute. The wooden one I got at a local craft fair this past fall and he is made of local aspen wood. The trio at the right were the SGR gift to chapter members at the December Christmas Tea.


We got a tad bit more snow (about an inch) last night, but with sunshine and warmer temps forecasted the new stuff should be gone in no time. But I think these snow folk are safe inside.
 Happy Stitching!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Miss Maddie Has Been Limping

I will have fun stitching post later today or tomorrow, but I thought I would share the not so fun news that Miss Maddie tore the equivalent of her ACL and needs surgery! It has a 4 month recovery half of those spent in a crate it seems. Not to mention we need a first born child to sell in order to help pay for it! She is still young enough and otherwise healthy (she is only 7 years old) so she has some good years ahead, if we have the surgery done. Without the surgery she could get better, but would always have a limp and not enjoy running and playing, so we are saving up to get it done. Oh, boy!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Studio Furniture!

I had been eyeing this 8 drawer flat file cabinet in the Home Decorators Collections catalog when low and behold it came on sale with free shipping AND they let me use a $50 off coupon so I ended up getting it for $185 less than normal price. So of course I had to get it!!!!!! The coupon came in Maddie’s name, so you could say it was a partial Christmas present from the dog!
The down side is it comes unassembled….in THREE, yes THREE boxes. One box weighed approximately 52 lbs, the second box was about 70 lbs and the third box was 104 lbs!!!! Did I tell you my studio is a converted upper floor bedroom??  Between my hubby and me we managed to get the 50 and 70 lb boxes up to the studio and the 104 monster into the living room. Miss Maddie, smarty pants dog that she is, hightailed it into another room!
The next day we assembled the cabinet. We opened the heavy box downstairs and carried the parts up to the studio. We opened the other boxes and took inventory. All there and then we proceeded to assemble. It took us most of the day, and my hands were sore from all the screws!!
Dividers came for the top two drawers and here is how I set up the very top drawer. My plan was to use this drawer to hold my rotary cutting rulers and tools with my big rotary mat on top of the cabinet. I think the top is 42” x 28” and it is 36 inches high (great height for cutting – I am 5’7”) and the top holds my big rotary mat just fine. I think the top will be nice for wrapping Christmas presents next year too. It is a very nice working height. I have it just about in the center of the room and it has worked out great. I even used the cutting mat this past weekend - I am in heaven.
Notice how the ENTIRE drawer comes out for easy access to the back? LOVE IT!! It was well worth the effort, but not sure I would want to do it again - we even had to put in all the drawer rail hardware. When they said unasembled they meant unassembled! I am extremely happy with it and believe it or not it has been up since Saturday and it is NOT filled yet!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mystery Sampler - Seasons

I think I first posted about this in 2008 since that is the copyright date on the charts and it was made especially for the Foothills Chapter of EGA. So, I think most of my other posts got lost in 2009 when my first blog accidentally (by me) got deleted. At any rate it was one of those things I found in my studio a month or so ago that was 80 - 90% finished and I asked myself why??? And then told myself I should finish it!!

Well I did and here it is for you viewing pleasure. It was designed by Becky Autry and I changed the border and dividers to green since we have more green in our house than blue. Otherwise I think I stayed fairly true to the design. Except for Winter, I could not find the same charms she used and I may change the rooster that is in the Spring square (since it is the only metal colored charm and the rest are flat buttons). Then off to the framers we go!

One WIP down, too many to count to go!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stitched Christmas Gift

Last February I was working on the Heart in Hand Monthly Mania for March and thought it would be a nice gift to make each of the 12 months and put them in a wooden box that was open at the top to show off the current month while the11 other months could be stored in the box. My sister in law in Iowa decorates for the seasons, and appreciates my handy work, so I thought it would make a nice Christmas present for her.

I could not find a box, but I found two deep frames at Michael's with a mat with a 4"x4" opening. So I cut 12 pieces of comic book board the size of the frame (5.5" square), marked the middle of each with a pin hole and then mounted them on the board. I used a sewing pin to go through the middle of the stitching and then through the pin hole I made in the middle of the comic book board. Carefully removing the pin and straightening out the stitching. It worked out great in centering the stitching.

I was then able to get 6 months in each deep frame (Jan - June and July - Dec). So I sent one with December showing in the frame and one with January showing. I forgot to put in a note of explanation so when we spoke on Christmas Day I let her know that all 12 months were there and that I had put a piece of ribbon in to help pull them up when time to change the month. Good thing we spoke, she did not realize and thought more might be coming for birthdays or future Christmases!  They were a lot of fun to stitch, a little tricky finding the frames, but it all worked out great. I took a picture of all the months laid out and December in the frame.


Happy New Year Everyone!!