Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mary Ann Blackburn Start and a Peacock Finish!

IMG_0436This week I have a teeny little start on Mary Ann Blackburn by Blackbird Designs to show you.  I have the most lovely piece of 40 count R&R Sheep's Straw linen that I'm stitching it on.  It's nicely aged and overdyed and to make it a bit more splotchy I spritzed it with water.  OK, that was an accident but I like the way it turned out and am loving these colors on it!  I'm stitching it with the called for Gentle Arts Sampler Threads by the way and even though I haven't gotten very far yet I think this one will go quickly!  I initially wasn't sure about the rooster/peacock that is in the center of the sampler (on top in my photo) but in the end I'm very glad that I stitched it as charted.  I did think about swapping it out for one of the peacocks in Grace Bridges or the one in the Peacock Pinkeep but decided to leave it as is and am happy I did.  Of course, now I am jonesing to start Grace Bridges.  Good thing I have that all kitted and ready to go as she may be next!  :)

I must be on a peacock kick because I also started and finished the Blackbird Designs Peacock Pinkeep in the last week.  I also did the bonus needlebook chart while I was at it.  If you're not familiar with this piece, the peacock pictured in the upper right of this picture is the top and the band at the bottom wraps around to form the sides of the pinkeep.  When it's all done it will look like a drum.  Normally I would crop this photo but as I was taking these pictures I had the pieces laid out on the couch to get a decent snap and the kitty was looking for attention, that's her foot peeking in the very bottom of the photo so I had to leave it in.  :)

I purchased this chart, the pattern and the Belle Soie when I was at Attic Needlework back in January and it's been in my bag to stitch every since.  Now she's stitched and will go off in the mail to my finisher this week.  I can't wait to get her back and display her! 

This week I dog-sat for my second favorite dog in the world and I happened to pick up a new piece of training equipment over the holiday weekend.  I was working "off contacts" with both dogs and had them each on an end.  Maverick sat down as I took this but I thought it was a cute photo and thought I'd share a bit of what I do in my free time when I'm not stitching.  You can see more about my adventures with Sage over at my dog blog.  Enjoy!

All About Agility

Recently Maverick came to visit and over Memorial Day I had gone to pick up the new agility training equipment that I had ordered.  This is a contact trainer which is half dog walk and half mini a-frame and the idea is to use a home sized piece of equipment to train your dog on their contacts.  Well, I had been working Sage on this for a couple days and with Maverick over I decided to play.  After just a few attempts he was getting the idea.  Such a smartie pants!  He sat down as I took this picture but I thought it was fun for both dogs to show how awesome they are!  And, they really are!  :) 

Of course, once we went inside both dogs totally passed out.  This is just one of the things I love about doing agility with Sage, it wears her out both mentally and physically!

Sage and I are going to attend an agility clinic to work on our skills and thoroughly wear both of us out.  It's mandatory to have a crate so the dogs get some down time during the breaks and at lunch.  Well, all I have at home is a wire crate that isn't even mine and that's heavy to bring to something like this.  So, my instructor recommended that I go pick up this lightweight, portable crate at Walmart for use at the clinic.  I got her the X-Large size for the low price of $26.88 and even better it's pink!!  Here's a picture of the cat getting crate trained... he is always the first to try any sort of crate!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mary Roe Finish!

IMG_0409Here's my completed Mary Roe!  Yay, she was such a fun sampler to stitch and went so quickly once I finished that dreaded over one stitching.  I stitched her on 36 count Meadow Rue with the called for Belle Soie silks.

I pressed Miss Mary before this picture and then laid her on the bed and she looked slightly wrinkled again.  I've heard that Belle Soie can sometime run a bit so I decided to settle for this and will give her a good pressing once I've got a frame all picked out for her.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sampler Guild Pincushion Exchange

A few weeks back, over Mother's day weekend my parents came into town to visit.  It just so happened that it was Mother's day on Sunday but on Saturday we had a Sampler Guild of the Rockies meeting that included a pincuchsion exchange.  I honestly don't know which I was more excited to share with my Mom!  In a previous post I showed you the wrapped packages that I had all ready to go.  Well, one of them held the pincushion that I gave away at the exchange.  It was Mary Little, her finish photo is above.  I actually stitched her twice because I knew I'd want one for myself.  Now I'm stitching her a third time.  :)

IMG_0403The exchange was so much fun!  We got in a circle and passed the pincushion to the person to our right each time we heard the word Pin or Pincushion during the reading of a brief history of the pincushion.  It was really fun!  After the reading was finished we opened our gifts.  This is what I received and I am absolutely gaga for it!  It is so awesome to have a pincushion stitched on a colored fabric for my small but growing collection!  Thank you Tina for this treasure!  I simply adore it!   

When we got home I put my new treasure with the rest of my collection of smalls which I'm housing in a cute star shaped basket.  Right now since I only have a few the basket is sitting up but my hope is to continue adding to it to where I have to set it down or even get another basket.  :)

IMG_0405Here's a photo of the basket with what I have so far.  My Lady's Trimkeep from Plum Street Samplers doesn't quite fit in the basket without cramming it in so I've got that sitting out in front.  There are also the two pincushions from the SGR exchange, a BBD Designs pincushion that my friend Theresa stitched for me and the SGR Fundraising pincushion designed by The Scarlett House.  I just love this little collection and have plans to start adding to it.  I would love to start Wild Garden for this basket too! 

The other gift that I showed in that previous post is a gift that I put together for my Mom.  She opened it at the meeting and I really enjoyed her reaction!  The little Vera Bradley bag contained some EOS lip balm, a humangear bottle with udderly smooth hand lotion, some needles, a sampler cloth and one more of the Scarlett House pincushions!  It was really fun and I think she really enjoyed it!  I forgot to get a picture of us at the meeting but here's a picture of her gift.  Happy Stitching!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mary Frankenstein and May TUSAL

Mary FrankMeet Mary Frankenstein... OK, not really, I just ran out of white thread and decided to stitch her hair before finishing up her face. When I saw this it occurred to me that she resembled something out of the Munsters.  Forget about that teeny waist or burly arms it's the forehead I'm talking about!

All kidding aside, this has been a pretty quick and very fun stitch!  I actually have Mary finished but just need to find a moment to take a quick final picture and then I just need to find a frame for her.

I have dreams of a bigger sampler wall someday, with lots of pretty samplers framed and hung tightly together on a wall somewhere in my home for me to enjoy.  While I do think I have a fair amount of stitching up on the walls, expanding the wall that contains And They Sinned to include more samplers or starting another wall and filling it to the brim sounds like a lot of work but something that I'd really like to accomplish!  I think I have enough in my stash to do it too, just not enough time!

Speaking of time, I haven't blogged in awhile because I've been so busy with my pup, Miss Sage and doing various spring tasks around the house.  Last weekend Sage and I performed at Ella's walk which is a fundraiser to benefit the Longmont Humane Society.  We take a weekly obedience class there called the ACES class (Animal Continuing Education Superstars) and have been working toward this dance routine for about 6 months.  It took a lot of time to teach the individual behaviors and we've been linking them together ever since.  Poor Sage was a bit spooked by the speakers and the stage but held it together pretty well.  If you want to watch, click on over to my dog blog at

IMG_0402And, before I forget, here is May's TUSAL progress!  You too can join the TUSAL fun, just visit Daffycat's blog here

I love all those brightly colored threads from Mary Roe and my latest start - the BBD Peacock Pinkeep. I needed one or two little things before my next big sampler.  I haven't figured out what that will be so stay tuned! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sage and Jen performing in the ACES demo at Ella's Walk

Here's what we've been working toward for several months, it's the demo that Sage and I were a part of for Ella's Walk at the Longmont Humane Society.  It took a lot of time to learn all of the behaviors that you see here and link them together but it was so much fun!  I hope that we get more opportunities to show our skills over the summer!

ACES is what I've been striving to get to since last year at Ella's Walk, it stands for Animal Continuing Education Superstars and is a really fun class with great teachers!  If you're interested in the training that the Longmont Humane Society offers, visit their training page:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sampler Guild Gifts

IMG_0390Not too much to see here... yet!  Today is our Sampler Guild of the Rockies anniversary party.  It's an annual event in May but my first since this is my first year as a member.  This year we are doing a pincushion exchange so the package on the left holds my pincushion ready for trade.  If you've been paying attention you know what it is, pictures soon! 

The other package shown is for a very special guest who is attending the meeting with me tomorrow.  I can't wait to give it to her or to watch her enjoy it's contents!  One of the items in here is the second wrapped item that I showed in this post.  More soon! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mary Updates


As you can see, I've made some progress on Mary Roe.  I hope to be able to get the rest of the flowery vine done soon so I will only have the bottom half left.  I sure am loving stitching this sampler, I've just been too busy lately to find much time to sit and work on it!

Additionally, I finished the finishing on my Mary Little pincushions which is just in time since one of them is going to be my exchange item for our sampler guild's pincushion exchange tomorrow.  It turned out cute with some ric rac around the outside.  I forgot to take a picture but will do that soon!  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Song Finish

Well, I finished Spring Song last weekend.  Here she is in all her glory! IMG_0375
I love the Old Blue Paint fabric threads and am really happy that I took the time to remove and reweave to get this look!  I have the box and went to get a piece of matboard yesterday so I'm all set to do the finishing. 

IMG_0378I also made a great deal of progress on Mary Roe.  I was enjoying this sampler but I needed to add some color so I did the strawberries in the vine to brighten it up a bit.  This is such a fun stitch especially with all these bright colors!  Once the vine was done I started on the Rice Stitch mounds at the bottom. 

I enjoy rice stitch so this part went really fast and now I'm ready to move onto the shepard and sheep at the bottom left.  I haven't decided if I'll work up from the bottom (although it seems as though that's what I'm doing now) or if I'd like to go up and finish the vine.  We shall see I guess.

Unfortunately, I need to set Mary aside for a few days to do the finishing on my Mary Little pincushions and to do some stitching for an EGA project.  I thought I had an extra week on the EGA piece but panicked a bit when I realized I need to have it done for our meeting next week!  I have some pretty blue ric rac for the trim on Mary Little but also ordered some blue chenille from the Attic.  Either one would need to be attached after the cushion is assembled so I'll probably do the finishing and when the chenielle arrives then I'll make a decision on the trim.  I can't wait to get these finished, they are going to be so cute!!

Here's a close up of those beautiful rice stitch mounds.  I just love this sampler!


Happy Stitching!!