Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fair and Square exchange with Peg

Another Fair and Square exchange has arrived safe and sound. I heard from Peg (Lost in Threads) last weekend to let me know the squares I stitched for her made their way to Missouri.

Peg mentioned in her profile that she likes Quakers, so I thought this one would be perfect for her, and Peg says she really likes it.

Quaker Hill House by Anniebeez
Stitched on 32 ct. Antique White with recommended DMC threads
I'm especially pleased with how the over 1 stitching came out!
And these are the squares I received from Peg:

LHN's Schoolgirl Lessons stitched with Waterlilies Cherry
You should SEE the back of these gorgeous squares - Peg's stitching is picture perfect! Thank you again, Peg! I can't wait to finish these into something cute. Perhaps a pinkeep with red rickrack trim?
Monday, December 7, 2009

I can't believe I forgot to post this exchange!

I've been doing some catching up on my blogging, and realized I had forgotten to post photos of the Round #14 Fair and Square exchange from Nicky. Not only that, but I forgot to take photos of the squares before I finished them up into this no - sew cube.

The cube now resides on the bookshelf in my son Nick's room. Thanks again, Nicky!!

Two Fair and Square Finishes

I finished up 2 of 3 no-sew cubes I planned on making from some of my Fair and Square exchanges I've received.

First up is my Round #11 squares from Jeanie C (no blog). I knew as soon as I got them that they were destined to be a no-sew cube, trimmed in blue ribbon and put on display in our living room (our connected living and dining rooms are painted in several shades of blue that almost perfectly match the thread Jeanie chose.)
The cube is trimmed wtih a wide pale blue satin ribbon, topped with a thinner metallic silver one and pinned with some Swarovski crystals I pulled from my jewelry making stash. It's exactly what I had in mind when I received the squares and it looks perfect in our living room, displayed on the shelves.

I also finished the squares I received for Round #13 from Marie P (Creative Thread) into a no-sew cube. I had looked everywhere for a reddish gold plaid type ribbon I had in mind, but couldn't find anything I liked. Then I started playing around with other colors and stumbled onto this brown satin, which works very well. Getting the loops in the ribbon on top to line up was a little tricky, but it turned out very nice in the end.

For now, it too is on display in our living room, but I am contemplating moving it either up to our son's room, or perhaps onto the mantle in the family room once we paint it. (We're planning on painting the room a sage green to complement our brown couches, and I think the browns in this piece would really look nice against the green walls).
Friday, October 30, 2009

Autumn Squares from Daniela

Autumn 2009 Round from Daniela T (My Needle Art)
Brooke's Books Autumn Pantry

These lovely squares came all the way from Finland in a wonderful exchange with Daniela. Not only do I love the squares, but Daniela included a beautiful felted wool flower pin she made (it's going to look perfect on my winter wool coat) and a gorgeous handmade card. I always admire these handmade cards, and I've gotten some really cool ones through these exchanges.

A tiny part of me is a little envious of the talent these cardmakers have, but the realistic part of me knows I can't take on another hobby (and probably couldn't do it as nicely as some of you can anyway!) So instead, I will admire the ones I receive and see posted on other blogs, and restrict myself to drooling in the paper and card aisles at the craft store.

Thank you, Daniela!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finally framed!

Safari Birth Sampler by Mary Stickley for The Coleshill Collection
Stitched with included threads over 2 on 28 ct. Antique White evenweave

Finally this piece is FRAMED!! It's been finished since last September and has been languishing in a drawer, waiting to be framed. I've even had the frame since last fall, and for some reason, it just took forever to get around to actually framing the piece (or rather, getting DH to frame it). I rodered the frame from American Frame this time, and was quite pleased with the price, quality and service from them.

DH did a great job framing - he has much more patience for this sort of thing and will fiddle with it until everything lines up correctly. Usually I frame with sticky board (horror of horrors, I know) but we went with mat board and stainless steel pins this time. I noticed there was much less frustration (and cursing) on DH's part as he framed this piece, so maybe that's the way to go from now on.

This was a gift for a childhood friend whose son, as you can see, is over a year old. (I even thought about trying to get it done for his 1st birthday in August, but being pregnant myself really put a crimp in my plans!) DH got it in the mail Friday, and I got an email from my friend yesterday that it's already been received!
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn Fair and Square Exchange with Daniela

Autumn 2009 Round to Daniela T (
Bent Creek's Snapper Sampler
Stitched with WDW Cognac and GAST Mulberry
on Wichelt Copper Penny 32 ct. Fabric
Accented with Copper seed beads

This was one the the last pieces I stitched while pregnant, as I wanted to get it out before I went into the hospital. I absolutely LOVE how this came out - it was hard to part with! And the Wichelt fabric was very nice to stitch on. I had been admiring the color for a while now, and jumped at the chance to use it.

The original pattern called for cross stitches where the beads are, but I thought some copper colored beads from my stash would add a little something extra to the piece.

I also included a skein of my own handyed threads for Daniela in an autumn color.
Saturday, October 10, 2009

Join the Sisterhood!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pattern is moving on. Sara's offering her up to the next lucky stitcher on her blog, so head on over to get signed up for the drawing on Friday, October 16.

This is the journey she's been on so far.... will she visit you next?

Harmien in the Netherlands (November 3, 2007)

She sent it to Lili in France (June 17, 2007)

Who sent it to Barbara in Malaysia (June 25, 2007)

Who sent it to Tessa in Australia (July 16, 2007)

Who sent it to Lizzy in North Carolina, U.S. (February 26, 2008)

Who sent it to Barbara in the Netherlands (March 11, 2008)

Who sent it to Sarah (no blog) in Ohio, U.S. (April 11, 2008)

Who sent it to Anna in Pennsylvania, U.S. (May 28, 2008)

Who sent it to Wendy in Ontario, Canada (July 4, 2008)

Who sent it to Sue in Michigan, U.S. (August 2, 2008)

Who sent it to Jennifer in Pennsylvania, U.S. (September 2, 2008)

Who sent it to CJ in Texas, U.S. (October 25, 2008)

Who sent it to Claire in Nova Scotia, Canada (January 20, 2009)

Who sent it to Kathy in Arizona, U.S. (February 18, 2009)

Who sent it to Carol in Indiana, U.S. (March 15, 2009)

Who sent it to Carolyn in California, U.S. (May 20, 2009)

Who sent it to Sharon in Oklahoma, U.S. (August 8, 2009)

Who sent it to Jill in Minnesota, US (September 13, 2009)

Who sent it to Sara in North Carolina, US ((October 1, 2009)

Who sent it to.....

(Note: If you’re not familiar with the story of this traveling pattern, Lizzy has recorded the history of it here.)
Monday, October 5, 2009

Fair and Square Exchange with Nicky

I had the pleasure of being paired up with Nicky in Australia (The Little Needlecase) for the Round #14 Fair and Square Exchange, and in the course of our emails, she mentioned that her favorite colors were purple and green and that she liked flowers. I immediately thought of a Windy Willows freebie, Amitie, I had in my collection. A few color changes, and VOILA!:

Windy Willows Amitie
Stitched with DMC Floss, plus my own overdyed green thread
Over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White

I also sent off a skein of Blackberry Jam, a purple thread I dyed myself.

I'd post a picture of the super cute squares I received from Nicky, but they will have to wait for another post as I am in the process of finishing them into a no-sew cube. Pictures coming soon, I promise!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Help a girl out, please!

As most of you know, my husband and I are expecting our first child in October, and we've been getting things ready for his arrival. Sure, we've got the big stuff like the crib and the stroller, but what I am in need of is nearly impossible to find here in the suburban Philadelphia area.... Dallas Cowboys gear.

Yep. Dallas Cowboys stuff. I've been hitting Babies R Us, plus the department and sporting goods stores, and sure, there's a ton of Eagles (gack) and Phillies stuff, and even some Steelers stuff, but not a whole lot in the way of Dallas Cowboys gear. I'm guessing that most of these things are only locally availble in the teams' home markets, which is probably why I can't find them online either.

Yes, we have already purchased the Tony Romo Hallmark ornament on the condition that he not be placed on the tree until he gets his December act together... He may not join our collection of Cowboys ornaments until he can get through the playoffs without blowing it. LOL

I'd love to have his first picture taken in a Cowboys outfit (and bring him home in one), and of course, he's going to need a Cowboys outfit for Thanksgiving. I can order stuff online, but I've seen different things in places like Wal-Mart and Target, and I am sure they are probably way less expensive there than they are on some of these sites.

We're already expecting our boy to be over 8 lbs at birth, so newborn stuff isn't going to work, but 0-3 months and especially 3-6 months will. Mostly I am looking for some onesies (long or short sleeve), sleepers, or outfits like the warm up suit. We've seen a few jerseys around, but most of them seem to be too big (we're planning on getting him a Jason Witten jersey for Christmas).

I'm also looking for a few little Cowboy related things like pacifiers, a hooded towel, a picture frame, etc. And if you see anything cool that I haven't mentioned, please let me know. I know that there are usually things only available locally that I might not have even considered. So if you live in Texas or an area where you have access to Cowboys baby gear, I would be eternally grateful if you could help us out. Let me know ahead of time (so I can avoid multiples of the same item) and I will happily reimburse you for the cost of the item and the shipping to PA.

And if you happen to be looking for Eagles / Phillies / Flyers stuff, or Steelers or Giants, let me know and I can help you out (baby, child and adult sizes). Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Saturday, August 15, 2009

For Sale or Trade

I've updated my For Sale or Trade list, so be sure to check it out and see if there's anything you'd like. Postage is $2 for first class mail, unless you'd like me to send it a different way, in which case we can work something out. International postage will vary - contact me for details, but yes, I will send it international.

I'd prefer payment via Paypal, but again, don't let that stop you if you don't use it. We can work something out, and of course, I am always open to trade or a GC for an online shop.

I also have a list of Hearts of America and International Hearts by Victoria Sampler that I am looking for.
Monday, August 10, 2009

The Sisterhood is Moving On... Again!

My Needle and My Floss, They Comfort Me
Waxing Moon Designs #119

Stitched on 28 ct. natural linen with DMC, GAST and WDW threads

Our girl is packing her bags and getting ready for her next adventure, so head on over to Sharon's blog and get signed up for her drawing by leaving a comment. Sharon will be drawing the name of the next sister to join the sorority on Saturday, August 15, so make sure you visit her before then. Good luck!

And if you haven't been following her journey, here's a wonderful recap of her travels around the world, and how different stitchers made her their own.

Harmien in the Netherlands (November 3, 2007)

She sent it to Lili in France (June 17, 2007)

Who sent it to Barbara in Malaysia (June 25, 2007)

Who sent it to Tessa in Australia (July 16, 2007)

Who sent it to Lizzy in North Carolina, U.S. (February 26, 2008)

Who sent it to Barbara in the Netherlands (March 11, 2008)

Who sent it to Sarah (no blog) in Ohio, U.S. (April 11, 2008)

Who sent it to Anna in Pennsylvania, U.S. (May 28, 2008)

Who sent it to Wendy in Ontario, Canada (July 4, 2008)

Who sent it to Sue in Michigan, U.S. (August 2, 2008)

Who sent it to Jennifer in Pennsylvania, U.S. (September 2, 2008)

Who sent it to CJ in Texas, U.S. (October 25, 2008)

Who sent it to Claire in Nova Scotia, Canada (January 20, 2009)

Who sent it to Kathy in Arizona, U.S. (February 18, 2009)

Who sent it to Carol in Indiana, U.S. (March 15, 2009)

Who sent it to Carolyn in California, U.S. (May 20, 2009)

Who sent it to Sharon in Oklahoma, U.S. (August 8, 2009)

(Note: If you’re not familiar with the story of this traveling pattern, Lizzy has recorded the history of it here.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well look what we have here!

I was catching up on my blog reading the other day and when I got to Michele's blog, look what I spotted... These are the finished product from my F&S Exchange with Michele last year. Isn't it GORGEOUS?

Manuela's Sunflower by Châtelaine Designs
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Bone evenweave with DMC and GAST threads
Signature Square from Bread Cloth leaflet

Karen is responsible for the lovely finishing, which I think is an excellent advertisement for her finishing service, Finely Finished. While I haven't used Karen's services myself (yet, I'm sure!), Michele can't say enough good things about the finished products, so be sure to stop over Karen's blog and check out her services.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I have a really good reason for being behind on stitching

You see, my husband and I are expecting our first child, a son, in October. Yep, I'm pregnant. I've kept it quiet for so long because I have some complicated issues with my family and didn't need the additonal stress of dealing with that. But the cat seems to be out of the bag for the most part, so I thought I would share our happy news with my stitching friends.

So far, so good with this pregnancy, except for a ridiculous amount of exhaustion in the first trimester. I have never been so tired in my life! And dizzy to boot, but most of that seems to have passed, and I am into my third trimester now. Baby has been very active lately, and according to his ultrasounds, right on target for growth and development. We're very excited to meet him.

But being so tired and dizzy made it very hard to concentrate on stitching, and I really slacked off for a while, only managing to get in the bare minimum, which is why you haven't seen much from me lately. (I especially want to apologize to my two remaining PIFs - Deirdre and Tammie. I didn't forget about you ladies, I swear!!! I have your pieces stitched up, I just have to finish them!)

Since my DH and I both love the beach and lighthouses, we knew we were going with a nautical theme for his room. This is the bedding we selected, Nautica William.

We'll be painting the walls a light blue, coincidentally called Sailboat (okay, maybe the color name did have something to do with my selection) and going with cherry furniture, including the crib my in-laws bought for their grandson.

I, or rather my husband, did pick the sampler for the baby. It's from Seguin Designs and it's called A Fishing Village Sampler.

Maine is one of our favorite places, and this was the sampler that DH liked the best of about a dozen different ones that I had found. I'm making some modifications to the piece to include his name and vital information. I haven't started stitching yet, but I do have the fabric and the threads.

So if you've been wondering why my posting has been sporadic this year, now you know why. :-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A prize! A prize!

Saturday, DH and I went to our hometown (about 90 minutes away) for his cousin Kerri's engagement party. I absolutely adore Kerri - we've been thick as thieves since we met, oh.... 17 years ago. She was 10 at the time, and announced at our first meeting, "When you marry my cousin, I am going to be in the wedding!" The poor girl had to wait 12 years, but yes, she was in the wedding. :-)

This time, she's the one getting married, and I'm one of the lucky bridesmaids, so it was off to the engagement party we went. Granted, the weather wasn't the greatest, but the food was good, the company even better, and I can't think of a better occasion to celebrate that my little Kerri getting married. Can't wait for the wedding!

The weather was a little overcast for the party, and SUCKED driving home (visibility was near zero and I was glad DH was driving, not me!), but I did get the sweetest surprised when we got home. Tucked away in our mailbox was an envelope all the way from Canada, containing a wonderful prize from Christine (Mtrl Girl) as a reward for guessing the pattern she was stitching on. Since it was a pattern I had stitched myself, it was easy for me to guess, and you MUST check out the gorgeous piece she stitched! I stitched the same design in a purple thread, but she did hers in a beautiful multicolored floss, and it's just lovely.

In my package, Christine included a beautiful piece of Silkweaver Fabric (Blueberry Delight), something I've been wanting to try, a skein of Glorianna Silk in a raspberry color (another goodie I've been eyeing up!) and a a sweet Just Nan pattern called Primrose Path. Plus a beautiful little card / note to go with it all. (I must say, I've gotten some stunning cards from my fellow stitchers - you all have the best taste in stationary!!)

I never expected such a generous package, and I am deeply appreciative. Christine, THANK YOU!!!

Trying to catch up...

It's been a while since I've blogged (I've seen this statement on more than a few blogs lately though! LOL). We've had some things going on here that have kept us busy, and of course, a family vacation in there as well. The weather has been so nice - warm but not hot during the days, and comfortably cool at night. Other than a ridiculously rainy June, we've been spending a TON of time outside. Sure, the wireless works out there, but the glare on the laptop screen makes it a little hard to see.

But here I am, catching up. (I have been trying to keep up with reading blogs, though not commenting quite as much)

I really need to start with my Fair and Square Round #13 exchange from Marie P. She sent me the loveliest squares, a Prairie Schooler lighthouse design -

Marie did a beautiful job stitching, and these are a very welcome addition to our lighthouse collection. I'm on the hunt for some proper finishing materials for a no-sew cube for this one.

And these are the squares I sent to Marie:

The Victoria Sampler's Hearts of America Collection "Texas"
Stitched with recommended DMC threads over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White

I selected the Texas Heart for Marie to honor her recent move to Texas. What I didn't mention to Marie was that there was a matching gold heart stitched on the signature square, or mostly stitched. Just as I worked up to the other side of the heart, I discovered my stitching was off by ONE SQUARE and the two sides didn't line up. SO frustrating, especially working with a metallic thread. I was just about to miss the mailing deadline, so I had to pick out the stitching and sent it off without restitching the heart. I felt so bad I included two of my handyed threads!

AND Marie was kind enough to send me her punch card for the Strawberry Sampler, even after I lead her into the den of temptation by sending her their site when she mentioned she'd be in the area for her son's graduation from college. Marie made a trip to see the girls, and came out with some lovely goodies.

The Sampler used to be my LNS until we moved back to PA. It's still within driving distance for me, though it takes much longer to get there (but not as long as it would take Marie to get there from Texas!) So once again, a big thanks to Marie for sending me her punch card - you can bet it will come in handy at some point!

I have a couple other projects under way - Country Cottage's Little Ballerinas is almost finished for my niece. It was one of the pieces I took down the shore with me, and she helped me stitch on it for a while. She seems to really enjoy stitching, even though she's not quite seven years old. I told her mom to pick up a stamped cross stitch pattern for her at the craft store for her to try on her own, so we'll see how that goes. Right now, when she stitches with me, I put the needle in the right holes and she pulls it through. It adds a lot of time to the project, but I don't mind a bit - I love being able to share this with her, and she loves being able to stitch on a piece that's for her.

Of course, now her brother wants his own special piece, and ended up picking the matching Little League one for himself. I just have to pick up the pattern at some point and get stitching on it for him.

Friday, May 15, 2009

5th Annual Long Island Lighthouse Challenge

Fire Island Lighthouse, Long Island, NY

This weekend, DH and I are headed back to Long Island for the 5th Annual Long Island Lighthouse Challenge. We missed it last year because we were in the process of buying a house and moving.

The Long Island Challenge is the newest of the Challenges, and they're still working out the kinks here and there, but overall, it's a fun experience and a nice way to spend the weekend. For those of you unfamiliar with the "Challenge" concept, basically it involves visiting selected lighthouses over a 2 day period and collecting a souvenier (provided by the challenge sponsors). When you've collected all your souveniers, you present them at the last lighthouse you visit and you'll be given a completer souvenier. Past souveniers have included postcards, bookmarks, pins and wooden coins. There's no cost to participate in the Challenge itself, although some sites have nominal admission or parking fees. Of course, any donations you'd like to make towards lighthouse preservation are always accepted and greatly appreciated.

If you happen to be in the Long Island, NY, area, and are looking for something to do, check out the challenge. You can download a brochure with directions from the LI Lighthouse Society's webpage, and you're not required to visit all the sites. The nice thing about the challenge is that lighthouses that may not normally be open to the public are open this weekend and staffed by some pretty knowledgable volunteers.

And if you can't make it this weekend, there are challenges in both Maryland (September) and New Jersey (October). DH and I have done both of those as well, and always have a great time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fair and Square

Seems like some of the only stitching I'm finishing these days are for my Fair and Square exchanges. I am also stitching on CC's Little Ballerinas for my niece, but I haven't taken any progress pictures. It's a cute piece, and I've made a few changes to it that I'm pretty happy with. Hopefully it will be done soon so I can show you all.

First up, the beautiful Spring Round squares I received from Gillie K. (no blog)

Spring Flowers by Debbie Draper Designs
Stitched over 2 with Glorianna Silks Highland Gardens

Gillie did a wonderful job with these squares - even the backs are beautiful! Thanks so much, Gillie! I think I will probably turn these into a no sew cube to go along with the Squares I received from Susan.

And these are the squares I sent to Gillie

Springtime Violets by Châtelaine Designs
Stitched over 2 with DMC Threads (Converted from Anchor) on 32 ct. Antique White

I did consider putting the Diamond eyelets in, but after I stitched the first one, I didn't think it added much to the piece and frogged it out. And I know it looks like I stitched it on 2 different color fabrics, but it's actually the same fabric (in fact, one long 6" x 12" piece that's easier to put on a scroll frame than 2 separate 6"x 6" pieces). For some reason, the lighting in the signature square photo came out darker, and I couldn't get it to match the first picture. But you get the idea.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5th Anniversary Gift for my Husband

Always and Forever by Little House Needleworks (LHNPC-18)
Stitched 2 over 2 on China Pearl Jobelan with Dinky Dyes Silk in Midnight

DH and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary a few weeks ago. I've had this stitched up for a while, but I never know if he reads my blog or not, so I thought it best to keep it under wraps. I've seen this design on a few blogs and decided it would be just perfect, so I picked it up and selected my fabric and thread colors based on our wedding colors of blue and silver (of course they were blue and silver. We ARE Cowboys fans, after all!)

I picked a pale grey for the fabric and the most delicious Dinky Dyes silk. It's the first time I stitched with the Dinky Dyes, but it won't be the last. I don't generally stitch with silk because it can get expensive, but for an anniversary gift, I wanted to do something special. The Dinky Dyes was just lovely to stitch with, and I was actually a little sad when I finished the piece.

As you can see, I did make some modifications to it. I didn't decide until I got the precut fabric home that I wanted to extend the pattern just a little to include our wedding date, so it was a good thing I opted for a 3 inch border instead of my usual 2 inches! Luckily, what I had in mind fit, and I'm going to frame it in a slightly more ornate carved black frame so this piece won't need a mat. I was able to extend the border by adding in extra loops near the hearts in the center of the sides, and I carried the hearts over to fill in the space between the words and our wedding date. All in all, I am very pleased with how this turned out, and my husband loved it as well. Once I get it framed up, we'll hang it in our front hallway along with our collection of family photos.

As for the anniversary itself, we decided to do a weekend trip to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. DH and I are into lighthouses and things of a nautical nature, so this was a nice trip for us. We drove up on Friday, which was our anniversary, spent Saturday in Mystic and Stonington, then took a long, scenic drive home on Sunday, checking out lighthouses along the coast on our way back. We had wonderful weather, and it was just a very relaxing, peaceful trip.

And if you happen to be in the Mystic area, I'd recommend checking out the following restaurants:
  • Mirch Masala - Groton, CT. It's a converted bar in the Ramada Hotel, but the food is excellent. It's one of the few places I've found meat samosas (which I love), but really, everything we had was just wonderful, and the service was great. It wasn't far from our hotel, which was good because we were both tired of being in the car! (Warning - there is music on the website)
  • Noah's - Stonington, CT. The menu changes based on what's in season and what's fresh, so don't expect everything listed on their website to be available. If scallops are on the menu, I'd recommend ordering them - they're absolutely divine. And the clam chowder? Mostly clam, with a little chowder scoop them up with. Soooo good!
  • Kitchen Little - Mystic, CT. They're not kidding when they say "little". The food is good, but the quarters are QUITE close. We ended up practically sitting with another couple (their table was about 4 inches from ours. But it's right down the road from the Seaport, and the view of the Mystic River is lovely.
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fair and Square Round #12

I received these beautiful squares from Susan P. yesterday. Aren't they lovely?

Freebie from Gazette 94, available here.

I love the squares, and I think they'll be perfect for a no-sew cube, which is good because we are sadly in need of some decorations for the holidays. Living in an apartment, and even a townhouse, wasn't all that conducive to having a whole lot of decorations (severe lack of storage space), but now that we're in a house, it would be nice to have a few things to put out for the holidays. I'm envisioning a very cute cube with a pretty spring bow on my forthcoming living room shelves, just in time for Easter next year.

As for my contribution to the round, I stitched up X-Appeal's Call of the Ocean for Susan. As soon as I saw "lighthouses" on Susan's list of likes, I knew I was going to stitch this piece.

Call of the Ocean by X-Appeal Designs
stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Picture This Plus Fabric in Dwarf
with overdyed and DMC threads

In case you didn't know, the designer behind X-Appeal is also one of the owners of my former LNS, The Strawberry Sampler. If you ever happen to find yourself in the Brandywine Valley / Chadds Ford area of PA, definitely stop in and check out the shop. They have a ton of stitched models, plenty of fabrics and threads, and the staff there is really wonderful.

This was the second time I stitched this piece. (Mine's still sitting in the stitching drawer, waiting to be turned into an ornament for our lighthouse collection on the Christmas tree.) But I had a great time stitching this again. I know the F&S rules call for neutral fabric, but I emailed Susan ahead of time and she didn't mind if I stitched on blue fabric. LOVE THIS FABRIC! It was the first time stitching on PTP fabric, and I'll definitely use it again. It was so soft and just a joy to stitch on.

See? I really HAVE been stitching!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trying to come up with a pattern

One of my oldest and dearest friends is buying her first place and I want to stitch something for her. I've been wracking my brains for a few days trying to think of something and it's been hard.

She lives in NJ and works in NYC, so she's definitely more of an urban girl than a country girl - ruling out most LHN and CCN type designs, as well as primitives. I looked at a few NY / NJ designs and didn't like them much. I don't want anything cute or cartoony. She was down to visit a few weeks ago, and really like the Moire pattern by Pelin Tezer I was stitching, so I thought maybe I'd look for something along those lines - a little fanicer, a little elegant, but not too foofy.

I finally came up with the idea of stitching her last name in a series of illuminated type letters, similar to the ones used in Isa Vautier's Grand Marquoir, and using some of the other blocks between the letters. I had also considered using M Designs Celtic Alphabet, but thought it would end up being too busy to do a whole name, even if it is just four letters.

I definitely want to do all the stitching in one color (probably a varigated), and do the lettering straight across. I'm not completely sold on the Isa V letters yet, so if anyone has any ideas where I can find something similar, either a freebie or a chart for sale, feel free to share. I looked through some of the alphabets I have, and they're too small to do what I want to do - I'm looking for letters that are a little larger in size, at least 50x50 or so, with a little flair to them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Sisterhood is Moving On!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pattern is moving on!

Head on over to Carol's blog, not only for a chance to enter her drawing to become the next member of the Sisterhood, but to check out her incredible, over one rendition of the pattern. It's really quite lovely!
Friday, March 13, 2009

Fair and Square Winter Round from Renee K

I received my Winter 2009 squares from Renee earlier in the week, and aren't they just adorable?

Winter by Mausimom (Freebie available here)

Renee cleverly played off the letter arragement in the chart for her signature square, and included a cool little sparkly charm (it's not actually crooked on the piece - I didn't notice it wasn't straight when I took the photo). I thought the charm was a great idea - I've used beads and charms before, but never thought to dig into some of my other jewelry making stash for embellishment. Great idea, Renee!

Renee also included a cute little heart button, which I forsee ending up in the middle of a biscornu at some point. Thanks again, Renee, for a lovely exchange!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PIF #1 made it safely to Ireland

I've been a little behind on my blog, and of course, I am going to blame it on Facebook. I have a few stitchy posts coming up, though - I have been stitching. Most of it has been secret stitching, and now that a few pieces have been received, I can share them on my blog.

First up is my first PIF gift for Michelle. Michelle was the first one to sign up for my PIF and I had a wonderful time putting together this package for her. I picked over her blog very carefully and discovered that her favorite color was purple and she loved butterflies, so I had a good idea to work with. These are the front and back pieces of the biscornu before they were stitched together. And no, that's not a stain on the fabric - it's some weird little spot that shows up occasionally on my camera lens.

Butterfly Freebie from Tantes Zolder, stitched over 1 on 25 ct. opalescent fabric with Belle Soie Silk in Elegant Eggplant.
The second block is of my own design, stitched on the same fabric with Belle Soie and DMC

NOTE: The above link has been updated March 2013 to a new site as it
 appears that the Tantes Zolder site is not functional

Now, I must confess that I had the pieces of the biscornu stitched up well before Christmas, but got sidetracked when it came to putting it together. Okay, okay, and I might as well ALSO confess that I didn't actually put it together myself - my DH was kind enough to stitch it together for me. What can I say? He's a scientist and loves these fiddly, meticulous projects. (Maybe "loves" is a bit strong, considering the dirty looks and occasional grumblings I got while he was stitching together my over one backstitching...). But he did stitch it together for me, then I did the button on the bottom. I didn't want to put a button on the top through the design in the middle of the butterflies, so I attached the button using the same silk and stitching through the design already in place.

Here it is all stitched up:

And now for the rest of the goodies I sent to Michelle.

I included some fabrics and flosses (2 of my own making), a few floss tag rings, drink mix and gum, a pretty soap, ribbon, a notepad, and probably my favorite goodie - a fold up shopping tote from Target. I love, love, love these reusable shopping bags, and have amassed quite a collection for my groceries, but I love this little one that folds up into the size of a wallet and tucks away in my purse. It's very cute, and quite handy too, especially for little things here and there that don't really warrant a shopping bag.
Michelle was quite pleased with her PIF and I am so glad she liked it. I had such a good time with this PIF and I am really happy with how the biscornu turned out. Now, on to my other two PIFs!
Monday, February 23, 2009

Fair and Square, Round #11

I received these beautifully stitched squares from Jeanie C. (no blog) in Singapore last week.

Aren't they lovely?? Jeanie picked one of my favorite Celtic knot designs from Ink Circles and stitched them up in some gorgeous shades of blue. I am thinking I will finish this as my first pinkeep, perhaps with a silvery trim and dark blue pins to pick up on the dark blue threads she used.

Jeanie also included a hand drawn card of Singapore, designed by her dd. What a great drawing! (I always wished I could draw, but am not very good at it!)

Thank you so much, Jeanie!!!

Winter Round of the Fair & Square Exchange

Renee K. let me know last week that she received the squares I stitched up for her.

Waxing Moon Designs Winter Cardinal
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Mushroom evenweave with DMC and Kreinik Threads

She mentioned in her wish list that she liked birds and I thought this one would be perfect for her. I used the recommended DMC colors, but gave it a little bit of sparkle with some blending filament in the snowflakes (it's a little hard to see, but trust me, it's there!) I also use a tiny little hematite colored bead (an iridescent black color) for the eyes, which I thought was really cool - they actually look like tiny little bird's eyes!

The green thread I used is actually a green I dyed myself. I was fooling around with using colors other than white and beige when I was dying threads a while back, and dunked a skein of green in a dark green dye, then twisted it up for an overdyed look. I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out and will definitely experiment more with different colors of threads.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

She's packing her bags

And getting ready to move on!

Kathy has finished up with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pattern, so if you'd like to stitch her next, stop by and enter Kathy's drawing.
Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Fair & Square Received

This time, my stitching went all the way to Singapore, to the home of Jeanie C. (no blog)

Four Little Hearts by Indigo Rose
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White with DMC 304 and 30666

I've loved this design since the first time I saw it, but hadn't stitched it yet. I decided to go with a "Valentine's Day" theme for Jeanie, and thought this would be perfect. I love how the rayon thread makes the Rhodes hearts and squares shine like little jewels!

She emailed me yesterday to let me know she received it and that she really liked it. I also enclosed a skein of my handdyed thread, Valentine's Day, in shades of pretty red, pink and white.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A new Blogger on the Scene

Carolyn, the lovely woman who owns my LNS, has started up her own blog - Just Cross Stitch in Limerick. Be sure to stop by and say hello!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'll have a hard time parting with this one

I really, really, really like how it came out.

Blue Ribbon Designs - A Christmas Wish of Health and Happiness (2007)
stitched over 2 on 32 ct. evenweave with DMC threads
Freebie Design available here

This is another for the set of Bride's Tree ornaments I'm stitching and finishing for my husband's cousin, who was married in August. We gave them the first one with the promise of the rest to follow, but it's taking a little longer than I expected. Oh well, I TECHNICALLY have a year to get them done.

I am really pleased with how this one came out, and it will be hard to part with it. I modified the bottom from "Health and Happiness" to "Hope and Peace" because that's what the rabbit symbolizes for the Bride's Tree Ornaments. And it's a little hard to tell, but it does say 2008 on there as well. It's been stitched up, I just only finished it into an ornament.

I did the finishing the same way I've done others - laced onto cardboard, stitched together, then trimmed with glued on cording. Here's a tip for you - hang onto the cardboard that Joann's wraps their Quarter Flats around - it's perfect for ornaments since it's on the thinner side. When you put two pieces together (one for each side), it ends up being the perfect weight and stiffness for an ornament.

New Home Ornament

Since DH and I bought our first house in June, I wanted to make a special ornament for our tree, and this is what I came up with:

JCS 2007 Ornament Issue - Deck the Halls by Julia Lucas Designs
stitched over 2 on 32 ct. fabric with DMC and specialty threads

I know - it barely looks like the version in the magazine, which is very nice, but I really wanted to personalize this piece. The most obvious change is changing the door from green to red, and yes, I really did take my DMC color card to my front door so I could get an exact color match. Same goes for the bricks. God only knows what the neighbors thought about the crazy lady holding stuff up to various areas of her house. I also added a brass kickplate and house numbers and left off the wreath treasure.

Oh, and the bushes are a little bigger because I screwed up a little and started them higher than they should have been, so I had to make some adjustments. (Not to mention there are no bushes beside our actual front door, but I consider it creative license). And while I was at it, I changed the Welcome to our name (blurred for privacy), and added our new town and the date at the bottom. Then I laced it and a pretty piece of red fabric with gold swirls onto pieces of cardboard, stitched the two halves together, and gussied the whole thing up with some lovely store bought cording.

And as long as I am on the subject, I'd like to address Julia Lucas Design's contribution to this year's Ornament Issue. At first glance, I thought it was a misprint and they put last year's ornament in again, but upon closer inspection, I discovered that this year's ornament was a window, not a door. Which looks an awful lot like the door from the 2007 issue. I'm just sayin....
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another contribution to the Bride's Tree

Okay, okay, so I stitched this piece about 4 years ago, but I only just got around to finishing it. I always knew I wanted to make it into an ornament, but sometimes the best laid plans....

Victoria Sampler Hearts of America - Hawaii
stitched over 2 on 25 ct. evenweave fabric with DMC and specialty threads

I stitched this as a gift for my best friend and her husband who were married in Hawaii, and I thought, what better way to incorporate the "heart" into their collection than to commemorate their wedding day on a heart shaped ornament?

I used the same fabric on the back and stitched their names and the date, laced both pieces on heart shaped pieces of cardboard (what a pain! but surprisingly easier than gluing once you get the hang of it, especially for non-heart shaped pieces!). Then I stitched the two halves together, and finished the edge with some fancy gold cording (that I bought. AND attached with hot glue. The horror!)

I know it's a little after Christmas, but the recipient is my best friend, and also still has her tree up, so there's a good chance that this will be hanging on her tree in Virginia by the weekend. Woo hoo!!! And only 10 more in their set to go!!

Ornament Finishing Binge

So I've been on an ornament finishing binge, and yes, my tree is still up, though I am forbidden to light it because it's in the front window and my DH doesn't want the neighbors to think we're weirdos. The reason I am leaving it up because nobody has ever really seen our tree. DH and I travel to the family - nobody comes here over the holidays, and so nobody has been able to enjoy our tree but us. I have a friend coming to visit (it was supposed to be this upcoming weekend, but we moved it to the following weekend), so we agreed to leave the tree up so that at least someone else could admire it.

Back to the ornaments I have been finishing. First up is the ornament I made from the squares that Claire G. sent me for the Christmas Round of the F&S Exchange.

I am not sure who the designer is - you'll have to check with Claire (and it's a good excuse to go over and visit her blog!) I originally bought a finishing form for it, but it ended up being smaller than I wanted, so I did it my own way, whipstitching the edges together with beads, and using a piece of cardboard on the inside to give it a little weight. I think it's just adorable, and while you can't see it in this picture, the sparkle of the beads around the edges really sets it off. (Photo is partially blurred for privacy)

And this little snowman is joined by two buddies on an ornament I stitched up in 2007 and just got around to finishing up this past weekend. (I know, I know)

JCS 2007 Ornament Issue
Winter Love by Sam Sarah Designs
stitched over 2 on 25 ct. linen with DMC threads

I used the same finishing technique as I did on the one above - whipstitching and cardboard. I originally intended to make a little pillow like they did in the magazine, but I thought it looked nicer a little flatter. On the back, I used the same fabric and stitched our name and 2007 in red thread, and used red seed beads for the edges. I also didn't use the recommended buttons - stitching in the hearts instead and skipping the cardinal button altogether. This was my first JCS ornament finish, and pretty much the reason I picked up the magazine in the first place.

And the cute little snowflake? One of many crocheted by DH's grandma. Our tree is covered in them, and it actually looks bare without them.
Thursday, January 8, 2009

I finally finished them up!

I finished stitching these two ornaments for my niece and nephew right around Christmas, but just got around to finishing them into actual ornaments this week. A little after the holidays, but it's the thought that counts, right? Besides, they LOVE getting stuff in the mail, so I'll send them off to them this week for a nice little surprise.

This one is for my niece, Elizabeth. She is such a little girly girl, after my own heart. She loves princesses and has decided that we, along with our cousin Kerri, are all princesses. Naturally, she had to have a Princess Ornament to match mine. (I did hers in girly pink and green though)

It's a freebie from Cyberstitchers, available here. I used some small sequins and matching beads to fancy it up a little. Now I just have to finish stitching up Kerri's!

And this one is for my nephew, who is as enamored of knights as his sister is of princesses. He has quite a collection of play swords and shields, and I thought he'd love this. He actually helped me stitch on it a little over Christmas. I'd put the needle in the right hole and he'd pull it through. I was amazed that he sat still for as long as he did and took as much interest - he's only four. But red is one of his favorite colors and knights are his favorite thing, so that could have something to do with it! (Not to mention the boy LOVES to get presents, and I'm pretty sure he wanted me to stitch it faster.)

This is a freebie from Tantes Zolder, available here.

NOTE: The above link was updated 3/2013 as it appears the original blog is no longer online.