Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jungle Baby Birth Record

Jungle Baby by Imaginating
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White
with recommended DMC Floss
(name intentionally blurred for privacy)

Believe it or not, I started this piece just before the baby was born, and was working on it while we were down the shore on vacation and his mom was in labor with him. Andrew, or Drew as he is better known, took his own sweet time getting here. It's a good thing he's such a cutie - his mom was in labor for almost two days!

The piece wasn't finished when I got to meet Drew for the first time, but he did get it the day before his six month birthday. (Go me! Usually it takes me a little longer.) We had a lunch date with Drew and his mom the other day, and I handed over the completed piece, as well as his ornament, coming in the next post. Drew seemed to like it, and his mom loved it. She couldn't wait to get it home and put it in his nursery.

My son is 8 months older than Drew, and the difference those eight months make is incredible! I remember holding Drew for the first time a few months ago, looking over at Nick and thinking, "There's no way my Nick was this tiny!" And in a few months, Drew's mom will look at another baby and think the same exact thing. As all you moms know, these little ones grow CRAZY FAST. Drew's a little older now than the last time I saw him, and he's such a cutie. He's got the most adorable chubby little cheeks and big, bright, cheery eyes. So cute!

I'm so pleased with how this came out. I think it's going to look great in Drew's jungle themed nursery (jungle themes seem to be very popular these days). And yes, it is framed in a standard 8x10 frame from the craft store. I've been leaving the glass out for pieces that won't be hung in a high traffic area or somewhere they'll be exposed to things like grease. Since this is going in a baby's nursery, I don't think I'll need to worry about the piece getting too dirty.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fair and Square Exchange with Lenna

The Huddle by Ink Circles
Stitched by Lenna V

Last week, I received my squares from my exchange partner, Lenna V. Lenna also included a SUPER CUTE tuck pillow with her squares. Lenna's friend makes the pillows, and if you are interested, you can get in touch with her by emailing lrlockley@sbcglobal.net. There is also a phone number on the label that I will be happy to email you.

Lenna also included her signature square.

I love these reindeer, and the pillow will be right at home displayed on our shelves in the living room, next to our Christmas tree. Thank you, Lenna, for a wonderful exchange.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't post a photo of the squares I sent Lenna. I chose a design from the JCS 2008 ornament issue.

Let it Snow by Country Cottage Needleworks
JCS 2008 Ornament Issue
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Picture It Plus fabric in Gothic
with my own selection of threads

Once again, the Picture It Plus fabric was an absolute joy to stitch on, though the dark color did make it slightly more difficult. However, the fabric is just lovely and the color is gorgeous. If you have the opportunity to pick up some Picture It Plus fabric, I definitely recommend it.
Monday, December 20, 2010

Our 2010 Dallas Cowboys Ornament

Christmas Hearts by Just Nan
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White
with DMC and overdyed threads
embellished with beads

Every year, my husband and I add another Dallas Cowboys ornament to our Christmas tree. (You can see Emmitt Smith's elbow in the photo above) We have an entire section dedicated to these ornaments - we call it Cowboy Land. They're not all specifically Cowboys ornaments - we have a few assorted stars, mostly blue and silver, and a blue and silver angel hanging along with them.

I stitched this piece a while back in more traditional Christmas colors of red, gold and green, but had this color combination in mind for our own tree. Since the Cowboys use two different color combinations (one dark blue and white for the jerseys, silver for the pants, and the other white and light blue for the jerseys, and a lighter blue for the pants), I wanted to include both color combinations.

I used WDW Peacoat and Pewter for the dark blue and the grey around the border and a silvery grey DMC Rayon / Satin S415 thread for the hearts. The lighter blues are DMC 824, 826 and 827, and the other shade of grey is DMC 415 with a strand of opalescent blending filament. For the beads, I just used a silvery lined seed bead from the craft store and sewed them on with matching thread. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but the beads do add a pretty sparkle, especially in the light from the tree.

I finished the ornament with a painted wooden embroidery hoop as I described in the post about the first Christmas Hearts ornament. I picked up some dark blue ribbon at the craft store and mixed up a little bit of acrylic paint that I had to match. Once again, I am a big advocate of sanding the hoop before painting to make a much nicer finished product. Some fine grit sandpaper and a damp paper towel can make a huge difference in the hoop's appearance, and it's well worth the extra effort. To finish it up, I used two light coats of matte varnish, available alongside the acrylic paints at the craft store.

As a side note, we did purchase the Tony Romo Hallmark ornament when it was released, but it will not be allowed to join the ranks of the two Troy Aikmans (yes, we have two) and the one Emmitt Smith already hanging on the tree until Tony can bring home a Super Bowl. Sadly for us, it won't be this year, despite our high hopes at the beginning of the season.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who has two thumbs and won't be stitching any more Stoney Creek?

This girl!

Mind you, a finished Stoney Creek is a thing of beauty (and a joy forever), but I will just enjoy looking at them from now on. In fact, I've deleted all the Stoney Creek charts from my wish list. What prompted this oh so bold move? This bad boy... The Selkirk Lighthouse in NY.


This was my contribution to Kathy's Lighthouse Round Robin, which you can read more about on her blog. This piece was years in the making and Kathy is relieved to have it home, and rightfully so.

The pictures are impressive, but I'll tell you, it's nothing like seeing it in person. It will be a genuine treasure when it's completed and framed. Of course, if a piece of stitching could talk, I'm sure this one would have some not so nice things to repeat from the stitchers who worked on it. LOL According to Kathy, I wasn't the only one that may or may not have repeatedly cursed, grumbled, mumbled and cursed a little more while stitching it. The color changes are a bear, but the result is undeniably worth it.

Kathy did warn me that it was going to be a major undertaking, and I thought... "Really, how hard could it be?" Kathy, you were right. Also, I bow to your mighty power to command the respect and friendship of multiple stitchers - truly you are well loved by your fellow stitchers. I can't wait to see it finished and framed!

I was the last stitcher (besides Kathy herself) to complete a lighthouse, and lo and behold, in the remaining charts, was the Selkirk Lighthouse, a lighthouse I have visited myself. To be honest, it's hard to find a chart of a lighthouse in the US I *haven't* been to, though. As many of you know, DH and I are deeply interested in lighthouses and yes, have planned vacations around visiting them. One of these vacations was a spur of the moment road trip to the Great Lakes over a 4th of July weekend a few years ago. We started in upstate NY and worked our way around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie to just over the border in Ohio. Selkirk happened to be one of the very first lighthouses we stopped at.


One of the most unique things about this lighthouse is the "birdcage" lantern. It's one of four remaining birdcage lanterns in the US and dates back to the early 19th century.

When we were at the lighthouse in 2007, it was for sale (along with the adjacent marina). Apparently it is now once again open to the public and available for rent by the Salmon River Marina.