Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Salem Remembered

I finished The Primitive Needle.'s Salem Remembered yesterday:

36ct PTP Heritage
SNC Cypress Umber, Sun Ripened Rubarb, Tuscan Olive

So you can see a bit of color, here's a close up of the top. I enjoyed working on this piece a lot.

When I got to the Parkers on the list I wondered if it's possible my husband's family might be related. I don't know and haven't asked them yet, but it was something to think about.

Is it wrong that when I got to John Proctor's name all I could think about was Daniel Day Lewis? But I didn't think about him as John Proctor in The Crucible, I was kind of thinking about him in his Last of the Mohicans persona. In a strange coincidence I was watching Age of Innocence around the time I was stitching John Proctor's name. I don't think the character Daniel Day Lewis portrayed in that movie would be a good tribute to the memory of John Proctor and isn't it strange that Winona Ryder was the conniving woman in both The Crucible and Age of Innocence and here I am stitching John Proctor's name but thinking about John Proctor as Long Rifle? How's that for a round of six degrees of separation?

More color here at the bottom. This is a fast stitch. I came down with a bit of the stitching blahs, lost the mojo but it had nothing to do with this design. It was all me or rather the three most ungrateful children on earth but I managed to finish Salem Remembered despite their efforts!
I am a stitcher hear me roar!
One of the reasons I fell in love with cross stitch so many years ago was the history of the needlework. I was awed that young girls stitched these samplers as school work. Boy would I have preferred sampler stitching to Algebra I. So to find a modern piece anchored in history, well I felt the love immediately.
Lisa has a few new designs being released or maybe they already are, if you aren't familiar with her designs go browse her catalog, place an order and feel the love! Her designs can be seen here:
Next up for me, Cape Cod Girls and Simply Live-Missy-do you want to start this sometime soon? Let me know and I'll SAL with you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Making a Run for the Border

And no I'm not talking about Taco Bell. I had an idea for some pictures but my camera--well it's either done or the batteries are so you, dear reader are going to have to deal with poor Blackberry photos. Oh well, you don't come here for the superior photography anyway, or you definitely wouldn't be here. I've been working on Primitive Needle's Salem Remembered. It's a long narrow piece. There's something so comforting to see where the borders meet. That I stitched my way around the sampler and that I can count.
I didn't let out that squeal of joy until I saw my final stitch:

See that, the borders met up just fine(you can click to biggify as Annette's Acre would say). I was shocked. I realize that the theory behind cross stitch is a simple one. You have some fabric, a chart, a needle and thread and hopefully the ability to count, sometimes as a stitcher you hit that corner and see that you are a thread off, or you've miscounted a stitch too short, a stitch too many. The being a thread off is the killer though. The others are usually easily fixable that thread off thing--rip, rip, rip. No other way, although I'll be honest, I'll be forthcoming, I have one or two samplers where I just said to myself, "Make it work, because you are not ripping back 267 stitches. No one but you will notice."
I've got a few more stitches to put into Salem Remembered and then it's done. YAY! She will definitely be finished this evening and hopefully I'll figure out what's wrong with the camera and you will not have to suffer through more Blackberry photo shoots.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No Stitching but FROGS!

Disclaimer: No frogs were injured during this photo shoot, I promise.

On Monday I babysat my little buddy John. He's absolutely my favorite human being person. He's smart, way beyond his three years. If I'm sad, this kid can brighten my day, even when that day starts at 6 a.m. We somehow ended up in my backyard which I think is one of John's favorite places and I'm not sure why. I have a swing, he has a swing in his backyard too. I have dogs and cats, he has a dog and a cat. I'm pretty sure he even has frogs in his yard but on this day he caught a baby frog in my backyard. Below you see him trying to contain the frog who really was just minding his own business, hopping along to meet some frog buddies.

Trust me there's a frog on his arm.

See peeking out there, Sir Frog Hopsalot. He really was calm considering his current situation.

The mantra of the morning: Do not squeeze him. Do not squeeze him. I finally gave up and said, "If you keep holding him that tight he's going to pee all over your hand and I'm out of soap!"
Sometimes gross works, especially with three year olds.

This picture was taken by John, Still Life with Frog. So see Sir Frog Hopsalot survived the photoshoot and is hopefully off chillin' with his frog lady friend and getting ready to make some tadpoles.

Here's the much delayed graduation picture. That's the 13 yr old to the left, the graduate in the middle and the spousal unit there on the right. The oldest was off somewhere with a pack of girls.

And here below you see my very own Angel with a Dirty Face, Polly Prissy Pants. I love this dog so much. She's my best friend, my protector, and so darn goofy.

In stitching news which is probably what you come here for, I'm almost finished with Primitive Needle's Salem Remembered. As soon as that's finished I'm going to start either Simply Live which is kitted up from a mix of threads or Cape Cod Girls which I have partially kitted up, just need a few more colors but I could start it no problem. Both of these are also Primitive Needle designs. Here's a link to more of Lisa's designs: The Primitive Needle.
I had a bit of a fabric dyeing disaster. I wanted to start HAED Cinderella-Dawe, I am having trouble accessing the website or I'd include a link you can go to http://www.heavenandearthdesigns.com/ click on artists listing 1, then scroll down to Dawe, click, then you can see Cinderella. Anyway, my fabric was a bit too white so I thought a coffee stain would darken it up enough that the light grays wouldn't fade into the fabric, well I dunked my fabric, took it out, put it on the patio table to dry, the wind kept blowing it off the table so I tossed it in the dryer. I'm not skilled at this stuff, I just do what I think I am supposed to do. I can't stress that enough. Well my fabric came out of the dryer and all the coffee stain had pooled along the edges and now the fabric just looks dirty or peed on. Fortunately this is a solidly stitched design, I was planning on matting it when I framed it, so only a tiny bit of fabric will show and I just didn't want it to bright antique white. So I'm stitching on the screwed up fabric because I'm just wild and crazy that way and have no shame. I love the way Cinderella is presented in this picture. I can feel her heartaching, the magic is gone and she's back to being Cinderella, cleaning girl. Right now other than the fabric being in hideous shape I've only stitched a bit of black and gray and there's not much to see but a blob. Will share when I have more of a picture.
I'm not sure if I've shared this link before but Beatrice is stitching The Autumnal Woods from Golden Kite. It's something like 600,000+ stitches and is the size of a blanket. She has a pretty sweet gallery of stitched masterpieces from http://www.goldenkite.com/ and when I see how much she has stitched on this ginormous piece it makes me want to pick up my needle and go to town. I just don't know if I have that kind of stick-to-it-ness. How long have I been working on Salem Remembered a piece I love?
I'm hoping the spousal unit will be motivated to paint the living room this weekend, I mean what else has he got to do? The only thing on his calendar is True Blood at 8p.m. on Sunday night, he can surely squeeze in a bit of painting right?
Keep your fingers crossed next post will be a "I finished Salem Remembered" celebratory post.
Also anyone else think Facebook puts you right back into the mindset that you are still that awkward kid you were in high school?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Dull Around These Parts

Life is busy yet boring at the same time. How is that possible?

The middle son graduated from high school last Monday. I'll post a picture tomorrow if I can find the darn camera cord.

Other than that I have nothing. Zero, zip, nada.

I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Let's see on the stitching front, I'm still working on Salem Remembered, I should finish it in the next few days. Cape Cod Girls is partially kitted, I've got what I need to start so will be starting that as soon as SR is complete and I also have PN Simply Live kittted up from a mix of threads from the stash so that'll see some action later this summer. I also have PN ABC Hornbook partially kitted from the stash so I have that to look forward to also.

I'm supposed to be stitching on my HAED Dark Waters this weekend, it's the SWIP SAL and I haven't touched it and here it is Sunday night.

I have been exploring the world of over 1 tent stitching or petit point if you want to be all fancy pants. I'm stitching HAED Red Silk Mermaid(which is really Red Cotton Mermaid as I'm using DMC and the chart calls for DMC but there ya go). I'm stitching 2x1 on 28ct tea dyed Monaco and I'm shocked at how much I am enjoying it. I like the half cross. It's a quite lovely invention.

I've been thinking a lot about SL's Jane Atkinson and how I need to work on it and also want to work on LD's Sonne Spotte. There's really not enough hours in the day.

I'm also thinking about patchwork cushions, how badly we need to paint the house, it's really hideous, what a mess the bedroom is and how I haven't even started to sew my little squares together to make a quilt for that bed, they're all cut out but that's as far as I've gotten.

My Roma tomatoes in the Topsy Turvey tomato planter are doing pretty well, my Pink Brandywine is blossoming but so far not one single tomato. The blossoms just seem to keep falling off.

I'm feeling kind of whiney lately and I'm pretty sure that's why I've been on radio silence. I just don't know what I want to work on so I work on nothing which means a lot of wasted hours. I need to get a bit of my balance back, the kids are now officially out of school and we are finding it difficult to fall into some kind of daily routine. Hopefully that will work itself out in the next few days.