Saturday, April 28, 2012

Check out Maverick and Sage wrestling in the backyard. 

Fun from the Mailman

Remember in my last post, I showed you what I had received in the mail... IMG_0366
Well, here's what was in those pretty packages...IMG_0371
It's the new Liberty Hill star farm box and my finished pincushion from the fundraiser we had a few weeks back for the Sampler Guild of the Rockies designed by Tanya of The Scarlett House.  Didn't it turn out great??  I love the Liberty Hill box, I think it's actually called a stitcher's companion, it comes with the ruler, the painted thread winder and a paper sleeve for needles.  Since I purchased mine from Attic Needlework they included a pack of 28 ct. Boehin needles to fill it and I loaded it up with some scissors from my growing scissor collection!  I just love it!!

Here's a closeup of the pincushion, didn't my finisher do an awesome job??

Now I'm sure you're wondering by now what is in the third package well that is a surprise so you'll just have to wait a bit to find out.  :)  Happy Stitching! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Done with Over One!

IMG_0369Yay!!  I finished the over one verse on Mary Roe!  I love how Miss Mary has a backward "s" toward the end of the verse and I just love the way this looks now that all the lettering is done!  While it may not look like I made a lot of progress, this is huge for me because now I can move on to the flower band and all the fun motifs below that.  I may start by stitching the strawberries in the border next though.  I am getting together to stitch with some friends this weekend and the berries in the border will be easy to do while carring on a conversation since it's the same berry all the way around the vine. 

I had hoped to have a finish on Spring Song to show by now but I did basically no stitching during the first part of the week so it's not quite done.  I absolutely love this piece, it keeps pulling me back to it when I sit down to work on Mary Roe.  I guess that's why I usually stitch on one at a time because there's usually one piece that just speaks to me.   I'm stitching this on 30 count R&R Sheep's Straw as charted and it is simply beautiful even if my camera does seem to wash it out a bit.  I really want to finish this so I can start the main sampler in the booklet, Mary Ann Blackburn.  I will be stitching her on 35 count though. 

I came home tonight to find some special packages waiting for me.  What could this be?  Stay tuned to find out...


Monday, April 23, 2012

My Intro to Rug Hooking and an April TUSAL

IMG_0364Wow, it was a busy, busy weekend but also very productive in many ways!  One of the things I did on Saturday was to take a Rug Hooking class at a shop called the Wool Basket in Loveland.  I had been up a few weeks ago to check out the shop and ended up signing up for class then!  The ladies there are very nice and it was a fun lesson.  Here's my progress so far:.

It doesn't seem like much to me but I was assured that I picked it up quickly and made more progress than a typical beginner (this made me feel good and I am very encouraged to keep going)!  And yes, I am hooking a black cat rug, that pretty much sealed the deal for me since I love black cats! 

IMG_0361I haven't been stitching too much since I've been so busy.  I did get to work on the letters of Mary Roe a bit, and I was able to get a start on the vine.  I was traveling on a plane with this piece and the little over one letters just would have been too much so I moved on to the vine since it's over two.  I'm loving this little sampler!  I'd like to go back and do some more on the words and then maybe put the strawberries in the vine for some color.  I can't wait to get to all the fun motifs below the vine but for some reason I tend to like to get the hard stuff out of the way and then save the fun stuff for last.  It's not so much that the over one words are hard, they're really not, but they're just not as fun as the colorful motifs below the vine.  I absolutely love the way the little letters look and was inspired to see Tanya's model when I was at the Attic a couple weeks ago.  That alone made me want to keep going with the words and get to the super fun stuff!  Actually, these little letters are reminding me so much of stitching Elizabeth Sheffield's sampler!

I've also put some time into Spring Song lately and I have to say that even though it seems weird to me to be stitching with two threads I am really enjoying this piece!  And, stitching with two threads instead of my normal one thread is really filling up my TUSAL jar quickly!  Here's a progress pic: Spring Song

IMG_0362And it's a new moon so it's time for my latest TUSAL pic.  Anyone can get in on the TUSAL fun, it's not too late!  Just go to this post on Daffycat's blog for details.  I decided that the jar always kind of looks the same and that the added weight of the ORT's each month just push the whole layer down just a bit.  So, after I took this picture I squished the whole thing down and oh my, it really squished tiny!  Oh well, it will give me room for more ORT's even though some of you may wonder if I've removed any when I post next month.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Frames for Paradise Lost

Recently I sent my Paradise Lost to my Mom to help me pick out a frame.  She took it in to Lynn's to pick out frames and sent me some options.  I narrowed them down and then she went in and picked one based on my narrower choices.  I'll tell you in my next post which I picked but here are the choices.  And, if you look closely you can see that I added my initials over one in a silk color to match the linen in the lower left hand corner.  I did the same with the date in the lower right corner.  I love how this turned out as my personalization is there but doesn't detract from the piece. 

Option 1:


Option 2:

Option 3:


Option 4:


Option 5:

Which option do you like?  I'll tell you in my next post what I chose and it was a hard choice!  I love Lynn's for framing, they have so many neat frames!  I'm sure that if you need a piece framed they can do something similar for you.  Just click the link to get to their website and call or email them to get started. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stampin' Up! Retiring Stamps List

This year things are changing a bit in the Stampin' Up! catalog department.  Instead of a new catalog coming out on July 1st it will be released on June 1st.  As such the retiring stamps list is out now. You can download a PDF copy here:  Download RetiredStamps_0412_en-US.

Additionally, Stampin' Up! has announced that they will no longer carry the Decor Elements (wall art) and Simply Adorned (jewelry) lines so if you want items from these lines be sure to order them soon! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

IMG_0347At least that's how I think the poem goes.  Why oh why did these little girls in the 1800's stitch with teeny tiny letters on teeny tiny linen??  I started the words on Mary Roe the other night, mostly to get placement and partly to get them out of the way. 

I decided to stitch one thread to start each line so I could add the vine and make sure I had the placement right.  I had really wanted to stitch the whole verse to get it out of the way but I suspect that maybe I'll do one or two strands of verse with each sitting alternated by the fun stuff.  This is a really fun little sampler and I can't wait to finish her and have her hanging up on my wall!  But, that's going to take me a little while.  :) 

I did manage to finish Mary Little.  Here's a snap of her all completed. 

I actually stitched her twice, one for me and one for a gift.  I'm thinking that once I do the finishing work that I may take the second one to the pincushion exchange at the May Sampler Guild of the Rockies meeting.  Since she is out of print and was hard to find I was thinking that would make my exchange piece more special.  And of course I used my own initials instead of those on the chart.  She was such a fun little stitch!  I used 40 ct. Autumn Gold linen and switched to overdyed cotton threads. 

The third Mary I started is the box top in the Mary Ann Blackburn chart by Blackbird designs called Spring Song.  Here's where I am so far (sorry for the wrinkles in the photo):


One of the things I loved about this piece is the blue marking lines.  On Friday night I caught a peek of my friend Katrina's start on this piece and decided that I needed to start it too.  I have done this type of weaving of linen threads before on drawn thread work but this was so much fun!  I had a super busy weekend so when I finally had a little bit of time to sit down on Saturday afternoon I found an Indiana Jones movie on TV and started with the blue lines.  It was such a relaxing, easy and fun project to start, and for those of you keeping track I now have more than one project going at once...  

I'm stitching Spring Song on 30 ct. R&R Sheep's straw linen with the called for Gentle Arts Sampler Threads.  I have to say that stitching on something with stitches this big and with two linen threads has taken some getting used to!  I had purchased a beautiful cut of 32 ct fabric originally to start Anniversaries of the Heart on but was fretting about stitching with two threads as I prefer to only use one.  I ended up calling Lynn's to order a piece of 36 ct. Vintage Pecan Butter for my AotH and I can tell after starting Spring Song that it was the right decision for me! 

This past weekend was our seminar for the Sampler Guild of the Rockies and it was so much fun!  On Friday night we had Jackie du Plessis in to teach us the finishing for the Briar Rose Etui.  I now have a finishing kit and great instructions to get started.  Sunday she was back at our guild to talk a little about her embroidery and finishing and she had some great make and take kits for sale.  Of course, Sampler guild is so much fun!  Getting to visit with friends there, stitch and see others work, it is always my favorite Sunday of the Month!  When I got home the sky looked threatening even though we didn't get a drop of rain at my house.  I'll leave you with a snapshot of what the sky looked like.  Happy stitching!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Briar Rose Finish

It's done, it's done!  My Briar Rose etui stitching is done!  Big happy dance going on here!  I love the way it turned out but stitching with a deadline just isn't my favorite thing.  And with all those pinks and overdyed silks for fill in I sure do have a pretty layer in my TUSAL jar!!  But now that it's done, I'm all set to take the class on how to finish it.  Yay!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

There's Something About Mary

Mary Little that is!  After over six months of searching since seeing the completed Mary Little on Siobhan's blog, I finally found the pattern and have started stitching her!  Here's my start on her, not much to see yet but she should stitch up quickly! IMG_0345
IMG_1014But, before I could start, I needed to do some stash diving to find threads and linen.  What started as a stash dive quickly turned into an hour and a half of stash organizing!  You see, I wanted to stitch Mary with overdyed cotton threads and hand dyed 40 count linen.  I pulled the DMC it called for but then started looking through my big bag of sampler threads.  It's impossible to find anything in that bag, let alone a specific color.  I purchased some large 5" binder rings so decided that the sampler threads needed to be organized before I could get to stitching.  Here's the floss before, just dumped out of the bag.  

And, of course I had help in sorting, my little floss thief kitty decided to supervise.  Here she is checking out the pile of floss, just waiting for her opportunity.  Sorry for the poor quality of photos in this post, I was using my ancient iPhone (which I joke with some family friends still runs iOS1).  I'm waiting patiently for the iPhone 5 to be released and then it's upgrade city!IMG_1016
Here she is admiring the neatly arranged piles of floss
And then here she is stealing the pile of "S" for her own fun!IMG_1023

Here is miss Sage wondering when this nonsense will end so we can puh-lease go do something fun outside...


And finally, the organized floss neatly on a ring, colors for Mary Little picked:IMG_1024

We'll see who gets the last laugh...


I also started Mary Roe by the Scarlett House the other weekend.  I didn't do anything but stitch the border vine but boy was I happy when it matched up when I got to the last corner.  Here's a photo of my start, I'm sure you'll be seeing more of Miss Mary Roe in the near future, she's going to be a fun stitch!   She is sideways in this photo and I guess I'm too lazy to edit to make the photo go the right way! IMG_0335

I also want to start Mary Ann Blackburn by Blackbird designs, so see there really is something about Mary!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Liebster Award

I've been awarded the Liebster Blog award from my friend Mary.  Thank you Mary!!!

The Liebster Award

Liebster is a German word, meaning "favorite, dearest or beloved," and the Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other, newer bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help them gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

  1. Choose 5 up-and-coming blogs (with less than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.

  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

  3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.

  4. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

Many of the blogs I read regularly have either already posted their Liebster award or have been named by others.  Heck, my Mom has even posted her Liebster award post!  So, I've tried to pick blogs that haven't yet received it or haven't posted yet, it was hard to choose, I have so many favorites!  The 5 blogs I've chosen are:

  1. Natalia at Stitching 4 Joy (I just LOVE the stitch wallets she makes!)

  2. Melinda at Merry Wind Farm (I love her house, horses and stitching!)

  3. Dona at Bele Chere Needlework (I can't wait to see her completed Sarah Elizabeth Brooke!)

  4. Cindy at Never Enough Thyme (I love her gardens and Maine Coon Cat!)

  5. Riverspitter (I don't know how many followers she has but OMG, she finished Dutch Beauty!)

Now the hard part. Five random facts people don't know about me (at least I don't think people know these about me).

  1. I am going to take a rug hooking class later this month!  This is breaking news as I just signed up yesterday but it's something I've wanted to try for awhile now!

  2. I grew up with a Sheltie and really enjoy the quirky nature of hearding breeds

  3. I was inspired to try Dog Agility with Sage after reading the book "Dogged Pursuit" - a story of a man in the Chicago area who does agility with his rescue Sheltie with not so steller results.  A fun book that I could relate to and even though his results weren't great it sounded like a lot of fun!!

  4. I am trying my hand at composting for my garden.  The first time I put eggshells in the bin the Sage guarded it so I've since learned that eggshells are great but I need to rinse them first.  Oops!

  5. I have more stash than I could stitch in my lifetime.  Oh wait, maybe you already assumed that.  :)  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Briar Rose Etui Progress

Just a quick shot of my progress on the Briar Rose Etui.  I haven't had much stitching time this week but all that's left is to fill in the flower petals with an overdyed silk.  It's all in tent stitch so I'm hoping that goes quickly!!