Friday, October 28, 2005

No Pictures Today

But my first two full weeks of unemployment have been productive in the stitching department. Much more so than in the much maligned but necessary cleaning department. I'll try to have a good progress pic of Sirens of the Sea tomorrow. DS#1 likes to take my camera with him where ever he goes so it never seems to be here when I need it.

Unfortunately there are no pics of my first attempt at dyeing fabric and the project that I used it for. I could never get an accurate picture of the color and then when I finished the project my camera was no where to be found.

I did finish Blackbird Designs Black Cat Sampler and Boo! from the Trix or Treats book.

I've been obsessing for the last few weeks over a quilt in the October issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. It's on page 71 and I'm thinking about making up my own pattern and seeing how close I come to copying this one. I've been through most of my quilting books and couldn't find anything close to it. It's applique in the Baltimore Album quilt style but it doesn't look as tedious as some of the ones I've seen. I believe this quilt top might work up pretty fast. Then it can become my winter handquilting project and more than likely next winter's too. No just kidding. I do believe the applique itself will go fast. I like handwork. It's just the tracing and the cutting that I procrastinate on. This looks pretty straight forward and the applique pieces are all large. No teeny tiny pieces to fuss over.

This weekend I'm hoping to get a few things framed. I've purchased frames, just haven't had time to sit down and get it done.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What Have We Here?

Could it be a new stitching hutch? Why yes it is. This has been stored in the garage because the DH said it was for TVs so what else could I possibly use it for? Sorry the top pic is so dark, not sure what happened but you get the idea. It's a medium oak stained tv armoire.

Which I turned into this. Can you believe the top pic and this pic were taken just a minute or two apart? My camera has been dropped several times and it's sorta got a mind of it's own these days.

Wow! Scissors and pins where I can find them. How long will this last?

Here's a stitching update, this is Carriage House Samplings Sirens of the Sea. I started it last Sunday and have been moving right along.

Hmmmm, is this really the beginnings of a new crochet project? Sure is. My mom is moving into a new house and I'm making her this afghan:

 Free Crochet Pattern: HOMESPUN Five-Panel Throw

I'm using the colors suggested in the pattern. What you see above is the first panel in Lionbrand Homespun Sierra(color distorted by sun and shade, sorry). I'm having trouble finding the other colors, but I have yet to make the day trip to a Micheals or Hobby Lobby. JoAnn's didn't have any of the colors I needed. What I'm using I rounded up at the local store that shall not be named.

The ball of Homespun was created using my new ball winder. What a cool gadget. Pricey but cool. It's a lot more fun winding balls using the handy dandy ball winder than it ever was using a toilet paper roll with a slit cut in the side.

Thanks Anna for your kind words regarding the birthday and age. Happy Belated Birthday to you.

I've really enjoyed my first week of unemployment. The laundry is almost all off the kitchen table and with any luck I'll have my oven repaired by Wednesday. There are rumors that the owner may reopen on Friday, but she has yet to call me or one of the other regular employees. So I have no clue what's up and I'm perfectly happy not going back. Don't get me wrong, the money I brought into the home will be missed, especially by me but I feel a lot better than I've felt in ages. I so needed this down time. Just wish I was using it a little more productively. I'm still procrastinating about getting things done but my excuse is I needed the rest. What ever works right?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thursday Morning

First to the comments, thanks Jo for the kind words about the quilt in progress and to Gina-expect an email from me when you get home.

So what's been going on around here? Why have I gone blog silent for the last couple of days? Well at the moment I'm unemployed, not sure if the business will reopen and in all honesty I feel better than I've felt in long time. Worried about money but that will all work out eventually.

Yesterday I tried my hand at dyeing some 28ct lugana orange and when I removed it from the dye it was the perfect color, so I let it sit in the dye solution a little longer thinking that would aid the fabric in holding the color. Well when I rinsed a lot of my lucious orange rinsed out, but it's still a pretty shade. No pictures because DS#1 took the digicam to school and now it's not working.

I've been stitching on Carriage House Samplings - New Designs Sirens of the Sea. Not sure you can view it at this link, if it's not under new designs it will be under almost new. I've ordered Medieval Mermaid from Midsummer Night Designs and if you see a theme going then you're right. I like these primitive, funky merchicks. Medieval Mermaid isn't quite as funky as the other two(Mairmaid's Song is the other one to which I'm referring) but she's not your typical mermaid design either. Sirens of the Sea was moving along pretty well until I made the mistake of leaving my baggie of floss on the couch with my DMC 869 laying on top of the baggie, 007 1/2 one of our kittens, jumped up there and peed on my DMC 869 and my scissor fob! I knew better than leave my stuff just sitting on top of the baggie for any length of time. Kittens are babies. Sure they "know" how to use the litterbox but when you have to go you have to go and for some reason they have found joy in peeing on ziplock baggies. Threw the fob in a pillowcase and tossed it in the washer on gentle and it was fine.

Yesterday was my birthday and I found my mind filled with all kinds of reflections on age and if I'm too old to try to follow some dreams. Is it too late to write the great American novel? Am I too old to be aching so badly for another baby? Do I really want to move to the mountians and have chickens, sheep, horses? It's hard work for someone who's no longer in the age group 30-39. When do we let go of the dreams and move on with life? Are we being unrealistic holding on to some dreams? Do the dreams give us a reason to get up in the morning? A reason to look beyond the mundane existence of our daily lives?

Can you tell I've been unemployed since Saturday? All this introspective reflection, and time to actually reflect on it. Yikes!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Halloween Quilt-The Beginning

Below is a picture of the first two panels of my Halloween quilt.

The picture above is of Lizzie Kate's Fright Night and the bit of the border fabric.

The picture above is of the next two panels that I still need to sew together. I have to decide on a border fabric to go between the two rows. The bottom designs are ShepherdsBush and I can't remember the name of either one. The designs above are L*K's Happy Haunting and Bugs & Kisses.

This a close up of Mosey N Me's Frank's Witch Matilda and the fabrics surrounding her.

With any luck I might get this finished tonight. Yes, it's wonky. I'm hoping I'll be able to straighten it out when it all comes together but if not it'll just be a wacky, wonky Halloween quilt. I'm doing all the sewing by hand.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Introducing Super Action Hero Sprinkles

This good looking guy is my cat, Super Sprinkles. Why is his name prefaced by the word "super" you might be asking yourself? Well  DS#3 named him Sprinkles before we knew he was a boy or a girl. Well after awhile it came to our attention that Sprinkles was in fact a boy and I determined that Sprinkles was a demasculating name for fine looking male cat such as himself so to manly up his name I started calling him Super Action Hero Sprinkles. Yes it's a mouth full but hey, a good looking guy like him is deserving of a fabulous over the top name.

Why am I boring you with pictures of the Super Sprinks? Well, I got nothing today. My cross stitch pieces all have eyes and hair and are ready to be turned into a Halloween quilt but I am stalling as I hate the whole putting together part. Once I'm sure I won't be called back into work, I plan to lay the blocks out in the middle of the living room floor and try to get some kind of plan. The sewing together really shouldn't take too long once I know where I'm going to put which design. I have the center planned, so it's just figuring out how to make the other squares work with those two designs. I've decided not to over think it. It's going to be busy, it's probably not going to be perfect and that's an understatement so I'm going to just try to go with the flow on this and hope it turns out halfway decent. I set really high standards for myself don't I?

I started working on Goode Huswife's With My Needle but ending up having to frog a little on it yesterday when I discovered I was a thread off. That's worse than being a stitch off. It's amazing how much chaos one little thread can cause. It's more difficult to fudge than being a stitch off.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sunday Stitching

I decided I needed to get a little bit of discipline where my stitching is concerned so Sunday afternoon I pulled out And They Sinned and was determined to put in one length of floss on the piece. As you can see it was a beautiful afternoon and the natural sunlight really helps me to see the holes in the 36ct dirty linen. Until I get a few things finished I'm going to try to put in one length of floss on this piece every week. Once I have more free time, I'll devote more time to this sampler. At one length of floss a week I should finish this four foot+ sampler sometime around 2085. Yes, I could have sat outside a little longer than the time it took to stitch one length of floss but I started getting bit by mean little yellow flies. The cooler weather is nice but the north winds seem to wake up this mean little creatures.

The picture above with the exception of the four light rows near her face is where my progress on ATS was when I picked this back up.

This picture shows what one length of floss looks like. That would be part of her wing to the left of her face and midskirt. I've got a long, long way to go on this piece.

I stitched a little on BOAF's Remember Me on Halloween but didn't take a picture.

I pulled out all my Halloween blocks and tried to find all my buttons to create the crazy eyes on a few pieces and only had enough for three pairs of eyes. I need to make a trip to JoAnn's to pick up a few more packages of the buttons so I can get these pieces ready to put in my quilt. The quilt will be my focus this coming weekend. I've been wanting to get this finished for about two years now and just keep putting it off because I hate sewing. I don't mind handsewing, I piece all my quilt blocks by hand but I loathe the sewing machine. One day she and I will be best friends but right now she is my archenemy.

Yesterday I made a quick trip to one of my LNS to put my Mairmaid's Song in for framing. I chose a simple, primitive type frame with a dark stain. Sorta of like driftwood but not yet bleached by the sun. I also dropped off my Stitching Witch to be framed. She'll hang all year in my bedroom. A picture of her can be seen in my Webshots album at this link:

Webshots Community - gulfskye

I finished her back in 2001 and had planned to make her into a wallhanging, but when I found her tucked away with all my Halloween stuff I determined that I would never ever make her into a wall hanging so I dropped her off to be framed and I'll hang her in my bedroom all year long.

Yesterday morning I pulled out Goode Huswife's With My Needle and put my first stitches in that piece. Yes, starting one more project. I keep hoarding up all these projects, saving them for some reason. I want to stitch this, it doesn't look like I'm going to be unemployed any time in the near future-that's why I kit things up 99% of the time. I'm afraid I'll lose my extra income and have all this glorious free time on my hands and nothing to stitch. Yes, it's a sick and twisted way for me to look at stashing but I know that when money is short my stitching fix is the first thing kicked off the budget. I don't mind being broke, but I can't stand being bored. So I'm an obsessive stasher and project kitter(is that a word?) upper. I have several TW projects I'm slowly kitting up, Mermaid, The Fortunate Traveller, Tropical Dream and Castles by the Sea. Tradewinds and Fantasy Triptyche are already started. I think Tradewinds might be my focus project for 2006.

Thanks to Kiwi Jo for her kind words regarding my Mairmaid's Song.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Mairmaid's Song

Here is my finished Mairmaid's Song. The designer is Kathy Barrick-Dieter of Carriage House Samplings - Home Page. She is without a doubt one of my favorite designers. Please excuse the wrinkles my iron seems to have disappeared. This is a close up of the satin stitches in the center of the design. The whole piece can be seen below.

On today's stitching schedule, Birds of a Feather's Remember Me on Halloween and maybe, if I can gather up the energy, finally putting together my cross stitch Halloween quilt. A few summers ago I stitched a whole bunch of Halloween designs with no real plan for them. The idea of quilt came to me but I'm very lazy when it comes to sewing. I have a love/hate relationship with the old Singer, truthfully, it intimidates me. I prefer handsewing. To someone who has a clue they could put this quilt together in an hour or two at the most. For me, it'll take all day, maybe even part of another day and then I still won't think it's right. But I'm going to give it a try. It's a shame to leave all these Halloween pieces just tucked away in a rubbermaid bucket. They deserve better. Not sure my sewing is really better, but it does get them out of the bucket.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rambling Thoughts

The picture above is of the three green fabrics I showed DS#1 to choose as a color foundation for his quilt. He chose the one on the left. At first I thought it was a batik but I'm not sure that it is, as a matter of fact now I'm pretty sure that it's not. I only glanced at it before shoving it at him along with the two others and in the light I took the picture the fabric on the right looks way more blue than it is in real life. It really is  more of a green than a blue. Anyway DS#1 chose the fabric on the far left and now it comes down to me trying to find more fabrics that work this color so I can proceed to make him an Ohio Star quilt. He likes green so now it's time to play with color, a task I'm really not very good at. I hate playing with color, get absolutely no joy from it because I'm pretty much color blind. I'll think colors work together only to have someone tell me they don't go together at all. It's frustrating and I have no faith in myself at all when it comes to make any kind of color related decision. How bad is my judgement where color is concerned? Well let's put it this way, when I finally excepted the fact that I don't see color like everyone else in the world, my mother said, "You know your clothes never matched when you wore them to school." I asked, "Why didn't you ever say something to me?" She said, "Well I thought you might be trying to make some kind of 'statement'? What statement mom? Could it be the statement that I'm a bigger dork than most people at that school could have ever imagined? If so then I managed to accomplished that no problemo.

So I'm dreaming of all these projects, but I have no time. The lady I work for is considering closing the restaurant. As far as I'm concerned she can't close it fast enough. I'm exhausted. I never have time for my family. I don't have the time to really clean the house, it's all hit or miss you know? I don't even have time to wait on a repairman to come fix my oven. Do you know how bad I miss hot brownies from the oven? Lasagne? But I never have time. My days off tend to be consumed with the tediousness that is everyone's life, bill paying, grocery shopping, running kids here and there. Who has time? I need two or three weeks when I'm not working to get the house cleaned and ready for the holiday season, to get my oven fixed and to do somethings I want to do. Finish some projects, get organized. Ok, whine is over for the moment.

I had hoped to have a finished pic of Mairmaid's Song but not yet. With any luck I'll have her finished tomorrow. Oh yeah, I'm dreaming big. I think I can finish her fin tonight, then tomorrow all I have left to do is finish the black border and then all the satin stitched water. If I can just get to the point where I can work on the stupid water I'll feel so much better.

Also hope to dye some cross stitch fabric in the next day or so. I want to do some "quickie" Halloween pieces to attach to a grapevine wreath and decided to play around with some fabric dye and see what damage I can do there.