Monday, October 31, 2011

Gettin' Freaky With Fancey

Earlier this month I finished Pineberry Lane's Fancey Blackett and the Harvest Dance. I love Fancey. She's embracing nature, the squirrels, and just celebrating the joy of the harvest season. I imagine her kitchen is well stocked with herbs for the cauldron and her witch's brew. It's a cozy place, fire going, the scent of sage in the air, a nice harvest stew bubbling on the back of the stove, her Book of Shadows open on the rustic table, bread rising on the counter, and cat or two or five curled up in nooks around the large room. And Fancey, why she's excited waiting on her friends to drop by so they can celebrate the Turn of the Wheel and sharing a Blessed Samhain.

Fancey Blackett and the Harvest Dance

Pineberry Lane

mystery linen-I think it's a 30ct R&R


I also had another finish this month, Hands To Work's My Beloved Tennessee. I've been feeling a bit homesick recently and this chart called to me. Even though I spent most of my life trying to get out of Tennessee, it's home, it's where you will find all my family and occaisionally I miss it so much it hurts. I love Florida but over the last couple of years I realize more and more that I will never be a true Florida girl, I will always be a Tennessean.

My Beloved Tennessee

Hands to Work

32ct antique white linen aged by me


Future Projects

With the beginning of the 2011 holiday season my mind is drawn to 2012 and all the projects I hope to start and WIP I want to finish. 2011 so far as been a bit of a fail. I haven't had near as much stitching time as I would like and my project finishes have been few and far between. I know it's not a race but there are so many things I want to stitch, I want to "Stitch all the things!" Totally taken from this Hyperbole and a Half post, scroll down to see "Clean all the things!"

Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I'll Never be an Adult

These days I spend a good bit of time sorting through charts, making lists of future projects, supplies needed, and then squealing when I've kitted something up and it's sitting there waiting on me to put in that sacred first stitch.

There are so many people that don't understand the call of needle, thread, fabric, and a crisp new chart, I feel very sorry for them but then again they may not understand why sticking to the kitchen floor doesn't bother me in the least and they just love the smell of Pinesol and Soft Scrub. Hmmm, no I still feel sorry for them. Give me a comfy spot and some good solid hoop time and I'm a happy girl. I do get concerned at times that one day I'm going to wander into the kitchen for a little snack and the floor will refuse to give me up. Now that I think about it maybe I should keep that bottle of Pinesol within reach.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween. May your pumpkin patch be sincere and may the Great Pumpkin shower you with gifts.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

She Blogs!

I think I remember how to do this thing called "blogging". Over the last few months I kind of ran out of things to say here on the blog. Do you ever think "that blogging thing is kind of pointless" I think I just felt I didn't have much to contribute so opted out for a bit. You know a summer hiatus, I love that word, so very tv.

I have been doing some stitching. Not as much stitching as I would like but my current project is The Scarlett House's Sarah Elizabeth Brooke. I've been dying to stitch this since Tanya acquired the sampler. My great grandmother is Sarah Elizabeth and Brook without the "e" is a family name. I was destined to stitch this sweet sampler.

I got a new camera and am still learning. Michelle is right, the best camera in the world is no help if you don't have an eye for the shot. I kept these simple and used the light box the spousal unit put together for me a few weeks ago.
I decided to go with DMC instead of Belle Soie so my sampler is a little different than the one you see pictured on the chart. I wanted to start Sarah sooner rather than later so I pulled the DMC, unkitted a piece of 36ct vintage light examplar, and jumped right in.

I did tweak the DMC conversion a touch. The flowers in the border are stitched with DMC 304 instead of 3721. I wanted a deeper red and I'm very happy with the 304.

I also swapped out the color for the house. Instead of DMC 355, I decided to go with DMC 347. Again I wanted my bricks just a little redder.

It's been so long since I blogged, I do believe all pictures can be clicked on to make bigger.

I tent or half cross stitched the verse. It was such a relief to discover that the over 1 in a half cross is not a nightmare. I've had Jane Atkinson in progress since 2009 I believe and part of the reason I quit working on her was the over 1 verse. I just couldn't face it, the thought of it made me sick to my stomach. But thanks to Sarah and just doing it, I can now face over 1 but only as a half cross. I think if I were forced by the stitching police to do a full cross at this time, I'd just have to stick my needle in my eye.

Last weekend Tropical Storm Lee dropped in for a visit. He came bearing(baring?) the gift of much needed rain. He was also kind enough to stagger the showers that there wasn't even a lot of flooding around here. I could go for a few more weekends just like that. I like being in the house. No guilt about not going anywhere, I'm actually being a good citizen by staying home. Really!

Here are some boats in the mists. OK the ghost boats are really in the pouring down rain but I love the eerie feel. Ghost Pirates! Check out South Park's Halloween Ghost Pirates episode with KORN. One of my favs. I think you can view it at South Park. If not there, then I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix.

Here are some surfers. I don't normally criticize surfers for surfing during a storm because that's their thing. But I noticed the guy in the middle was kind of teaching the chick here on the left. And sorry dude, a tropical storm, even one as whimpy as Lee is not the time or the place to teach someone to surf.

That's about all the news from the Redneck Riviera. I have a few more projects going and maybe I'll have a finish in a few days. Or maybe not!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Happs

The title is kind of misleading as not much is going on around here. But I did make this cover for my Nook: The Original Padded Nook/ Nook COLOR/ New by BirdifulStitches I highly recommend this pattern. The directions were easy to follow, any wonkiness or poor quality is all on me.

Nell, my Nook, stored in her handmade padded cover. Much nicer than the tacky crochet thing I whipped out when I first got her.
These are the pockets. I made a few mistakes but it had nothing to do with the pattern or the instructions. It had every thing to do with my sewing machine being possessed and I think I told it to "Suck My D___". Use your imagination. It's one of my favorite lines from The Hangover and as the Spousal Unit says, "It's funny because I'm a girl". Of course, the sewing machine, every the nasty ho, told me it was thinking about getting it's bartender's license. I know makes no sense but I was terribly frustrated that day because of an uncooperative piece of machinery.

Here's the full frontal view of the inside of my Nook case. I'm so glad I finally got around to making this. I've had the pattern forever. I'll make another one as I figured out my machine issues and am more comfortable with the process.

I've been working here and there on my WR2107 Pokey Dots Throw. I'm attaching blocks as I make them. Sure it slows down the fun part, the block making, but when I'm done, I'm done, well I'll have to add edging but the blocks will all be together. No hours and hours of putting them together when I'm already sick of it.

This is my progress such that it is on Lisi Sloboda 1828 - Cross Stitch Pattern. Sorry my pic isn't better Margaret. I'll take another one when I add a few more colors. I'm converted the DMC to HDF and decided I'd use those instead of the WDWs as charted.

All crafting has been slowed considerably due to the stack of books you see in the pic above. Our library system has it's kinks. Sometimes you can request 20 books and they come in one at a time weeks apart, other times you get all of them at the same time. That's what happened to me. I'm trying to read through this stack as fast as possible. I don't enjoy pressure reading and it's my one complaint about the library but what does one expect for $0.

We have been in the middle of a major drought. Storms reach the Florida/Alabama border and run north instead of east. These clouds were a happy sight last Saturday. I hope I was able to catch the weird bright green of the water. I honestly can't tell on this old computer.

Hope everyone is enjoying these early days of summer. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cool Waves and Dark Waters

I've had a productive day or two. I managed to finish crocheting an afghan started many months ago. Just in time to welcome in Summer. DOH! I also pulled out a HAED project, Dark Waters. I'm actually stitching a triptyche of art, but started with the bottom piece, Dark Waters, an ocean of mermaids, there's a center which is just water and sky and the top piece is a sky full of angels. Not a lot of progress on Dark Waters, I'm trying to fill in areas of confetti which is wonderful for the detail of the piece but doesn't really show much for several hours of stitching. But I love this art and it's going to be freakin' awesome when completed. If it's ever completed that is.

Here's my Cool Waves throw stitched with the same exact colors as in the magazine because I'm unimaginative that way, actually I love these colors and I had them all right here in the stash so I went with what worked. Please ignore where Pineapple the cat has clawed up my wicker. She's evil. This pattern is from a Crochet Today special issue, Quick and Easy Gifts. The yarn is good old Red Heart.

I have more afghans planned, some using the exact colors from the magazines because I'm trying to deplete the Red Heart stash and mostly because I happen to like the colors the original design was created with. I suck at the color thing, when I attempt my own interpretation it's usually catastrophic, at least to whom ever is unfortunate enough to gaze upon it.

This is my current progress on Dark Waters. I love the detail in the fish to her left. That makes the confetti stitching so worth it. Yes, my fabric is dirty and believe me, over the next ten years of stitching on this I suspect it will get even more dirty. Such is the life of a slow work in progress.

Have you seen Tanya's new designs? Head over to The Scarlett House and show her the love! They are wonderful!

Hope everyone is able to spend many hours with the little X this weekend! Especially the Americans who have a long weekend, that's 24 extra stitching hours!

What are your stitching plans?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

M. R. M.

Or Mouline Rouge Monday:

Mouline Rouge

Long Dog

40ct Lambswool Linen

DMC 498

This sampler was started years and years ago. I love it and can't really say why I haven't been showing it love all this time, ok, I've got the attention span of a gnat and other more exciting projects screamed louder. It kept getting bumped lower and lower in the WIP pile and was forgotten. I have to say I'm lovin' my Mondays spent with this sampler. It's a nice change from what I normally stitch and it's entirely possible I'll finish page one next week.

My rotation as it stands now is:

Monday- Mouline Rouge

Tuesday-Miss Lila

Wednesday-Heaven and Earth Designs, I have several going and I miss them.

Thursday-Wild Card-Anything Goes Jane Atkinson Reproduction Sampler(another one started several years ago),Abécédaire Berthe Dupont - 18 Trésors de boites à couture Trésors de boites , Lisi Sloboda 1828 - Cross Stitch Pattern and any other number of projects that I have started and strikes my fancy.

Friday-Freebie Friday I'm working on a free sampler from a French site, Berthe Dupont:

Le site des Trésors de boîtes à couture click on blog, and check out Berthe Dupont, there should be the most recent part on the first page(or see link above) I am also participating in HAED Freebie SAL, working on QS Curl Up With a Good Book and the half year SAL is about to begin and I will be stitching SK Rapunzel.
Saturday/Sunday-Sonne Spotte

So far this is holding my interest. There's enough variety to keep me entertained and it's loose enough that I can pull out other projects and mix it up a bit.

Also On My Mind:

Crochet. I've fallen in love with several designs from this book:

My friend Pam scored it for me at Hobby Lobby, yay, to not having to order online!

I want to make some cushions for the wicker on the front porch and I'm loving the Sunburst pillow, the Hexagon Pillow, the Graphic Pillow, and the Pinwheel. I also want to make the rug for the area inside my front door. I'd call it an entry way but it's basically a 3x3 hunk of linolium. I'm thinking I'll do the background in brown and make the dots yellow, orange, lime and aqua. Would love to do the white but I'd have to wash it every five minutes. It would be brown before the first day is over, so I'll start out with where it would end up anyway. I have a huge bucket of Sugar & Cream and Peaches and Cream and all kinds of kitchen cotton so I can do a stash dive for supplies. I'm kind of wanting to order some of Knit Picks Dishie(Dishie Yarn Knitting Yarn from But I have way too much kitchen cotton in the garage to order any at the moment.

Anyone watching Game of Thrones on HBO? OMG we look forward to Sunday nights so much now. I didn't expect the Spousal Unit to like it, it's not his normal show but he's addicted more than me. We discussed downloading the HBOGO app on the computer so that we could watch next week's show early and decided that if we did that we wouldn't have anything to look forward to next Sunday. I'm also listening to the book from For every four hours of TV show, I'm listening to about 9 hours of book.

Hope everyone is doing well and getting lots of stitching done!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesdays With Miss Lila

Or Revisiting the Whole Rotation Thing

I'm not much of a rule girl. I follow them because that's what one is supposed to do and it only took one ticket for not wearing a seatbelt to make me buckle up(but it still annoys me that in Florida people on motorcycles can choose not to wear a helmet but me, in a car surrounded by metal, am forced to wear a seatbelt and I don't want to hear all the benefits, I get it but I think helmets should be required on motorcycles if I have to be attached to my car, just sayin'). Anyway, I have started a new rotation that I don't expect to last very long because I'm a rebel at heart but if I can get some time in on each of these projects for a just a little while before breaking my own rules I might see some genuine progress.

Tuesdays are for CHS Miss Lila's House. I have an Aunt Lila and you'll be hearing more about her later on. Yeah, I know you are all on the edge of your seats!

Miss Lila's House

Carriage House Samplings

32ct black linen dyed by moi


I'm so very ashamed of the stitching you see below:

I have frogged this area four times. I have changed hoops, tried stitching in hand, used a Qsnap. Nothing will make this area look nice. The little X is going funky on me here. I am now referring to this house as the Amityville house. I'm pretty sure I'm going to wake up any morning and find it surrounded by flies. Check out the Amityville Horror movie if you don't know what I'm talking about.

I will admit that this linen is a cheap 32ct that I dyed myself, it's obvious that I got exactly what I paid for. I plan to frog one more time and also switch to DMC that hasn't been bobbined, just in case that is the cause of all my woe. I do love this piece, because as I mentioned I have an Aunt Lila, my Mamaw's oldest sister, so she is technically my great aunt and I loved her a lot.

Has anyone else ever had this problem when stitching 2x2? I can't remember a time when I have struggled this much trying to get the little X to cooperate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dirty Laundry

With apologies to my Mamaw who I loved more than anyone on earth, I will, with this post reveal some family dirty laundry. It's only peripherally stitching related but since this may be the only public memorial to my dad's wife, I'm going to tell the tale here and I plan to tell it true. I will start with a progress picture of my Mouline Rouge. I haven't worked on this project in a month of Sundays. When I pulled it out of it's hidey hole, I remembered that I was stitching it using a wooden hoop my dad and his wife brought me back from Germany when they went to visit her crackhead idiot son who was being "kept" by a rich German woman. I think at the time she owned nail salons. They have since gotten married and it's entirely possible they were married at the time my dad and his wife went for their visit.
Jean asked me what I would like from Germany and I said "Oh some stitching stuff". When they came back they brought me this hoop and some Anchor threads and I think a big hunk of fabric to make into a tablecloth.

Here is MR out of the hoop. I'm stitching it on 40ct lambswool with DMC 498.

At the same time I am wandering down memory lane, looking at the hoop and wondering how Jean is, I get a call from my brother that our uncle had called him and said that Jean, my daddy's widow, passed away last Tuesday. This was the following Monday. So I call my uncle and try to figure out what's going on, there's no obituary, nothing online, except I ran across where her house had been foreclosed on and auctioned off on April 15. When my dad died her idiot son and his wife moved back here from Germany to live with her, to take care of her. She got my dad's pension, her pension from the Sheriff's Dept and I believe she got some SS disability because of a degenerative back disease but I'm not 100% sure about that but she was not hurting for money. She had been sick for many years with lymphoma, when my dad passed away and my brother and I got nothing and had to beg for the few things of my dad's we did get, well, we felt bad for her because she was ill. My brother mowed her lawn, did her grocery shopping and took care of the "Honey Do" list for her. I called regularly. My brother discovered while trying to help her manage her bills that she had been wiring her idiot son money by the thousands, double digit thousands, so that he and his wife could get out of Germany, I guess the rich nail salon proprietress had fallen on hard times. Anyway, it was her money, not ours so let her send it all to the idiot crackhead doofus.

Eventually they arrive, at this point my brother and I can no longer get through to her on the phone as crackhead goober doofus wants to chat us up. We know his mother's schedule better than him, we know when to call, but both of us finally gave up. My brother quit going over doing chores because he and the doofus goober crackhead would get into fights. So we both went on disconnect with her which is how we ended up out of the loop at the time of her death.

I have known Jean for most of my life. Her first husband and my parents were best couple friends. They rode motorcycles together, we went camping together as families. We spent a lot of time with them for several years. Then one day, they are gone. Their house is empty, they vanished. A few years later my dad gets a call from her husband and they are living in some middle of nowhere place in Mississippi. They want to see us. We head down there and they are living on a farm and telling stories of their time in South America. I never got the true story of how and why they ended up there, if they were running from something or to something but they did come back quietly and in the shadows. Well Jean eventually divorced her first husband, got on the Sheriff's Department, I think she was a sargeant at the time she retired but I'm not sure about that. She had remarried to another Sheriff's Deputy. She divorced him. And now I'm not sure if she had a third husband or if my dad was number three. So we will go with my dad being husband number three but how does my mother's former best friend in the whole wide world end up being married to my dad? Well, as best as I can tell, Jean's oldest son committed suicide and somehow she got a hold of my dad and they started talking, renewing the friendship. My dad, God love him, was always chasing the dream and unfortunately the dream was never my mother. Any woman that wasn't my mother seemed to be who he wanted to be with. Other kids other than me and my brother were kids he wanted to be around. I don't think he could help it. But he and Jean reconnected, apparently on many levels and when he and my mother finally divorced, curiously right about the time my brother turned 18 and child support would no longer be an issue, they married.

As far as I can tell they had a happy marriage and were probably soulmates. They indulged each other's whims, neither one could do any wrong in the other's eyes and in a weird crazy kind of way they embraced each other's conspiracy theories and had guns all over the house and bought groceries like they were buying for an army because what if Armageddon arrives and we can't get to the store and they were extremely private and guarded and in this whole wide world is there anything else anyone can ask of a marriage and a partnership?

My daddy and Jean

Jean was always good to me. She had known me most of my life and while I wanted to hold her accountable for my parents horrible marriage, it was horrible way before she came along. My dad, he just never met a woman he didn't like. It's a sad thing but it's true. Over the years I've come to accept this part of him and forgive him because while his choices hurt us, he was a dreamer. I loved my dad, I loved his kooky, wonderful artist side. I loved how quiet he could be and then out of the blue be so unexpectedly funny. He grew his hair long, got his ear pierced, was covered in tattoos, grew a fu manchu, and rode motorcycles until his health wouldn't let him do that any more. He was my dad, and I loved him, so I loved Jean.

I spent a week with them when my Mamaw passed away. The room I stayed in looked like Marie Antoinette threw up all over it. Their doberman slept with me(probably to make sure I didn't try to steal anything) and I was surrounded by Jean's collection of dolls. Some Marie Osmond dolls, some very fine porcelain dolls, I'm not up on my collectibles, but there were dolls every where. She had a little log cabin in the front yard, the size of a child's playhouse, set up like a life size doll house. She loved her collection, they made her happy, maybe filled that void for the little girl she never had. Everything was very feminine and ruffledy all over the house except for the few spaces that housed my dad's odd collection of things.

Daddy and Jean and Harrison

November 1995

I don't know how Jean's life has been since her son and his wife moved in with her. We lost contact. When he(doofus, crackhead son) called my uncle he didn't know what to do about burying her. She had been gone a week and was still laying on a slab in the morgue. She had wanted to donate her body to science but it was so full of disease they turned her down. There was some nonsense about a cemetary and it being underconstruction, and then "I want to cremate her but don't have the money, but it's okay the county will bury her". That is so very wrong. She had her life together before all this. She had money, her house was almost paid for if not paid for, good insurance, and to end up like this. My brother talked to some people at the Sheriff's Department and they told him if her son would contact them they would take care of her. My brother was going to tell my uncle who could then maybe contact her son and hopefully she will get a proper burial.

Jean, may you R.I.P., tell my daddy hi and give him a hug for me and I hope that you are now at peace and pain free for the first time in many, many years.

Friday, April 15, 2011

From the Workbasket

Things have been busy around here lately. I hate it when life gets that way! I have been feeling more creative than I have in a very long time so I'm going with the feeling. I'm not really sure what will be created but it will either be awesome or a total fail but as my South Park would say, "I learned something". That's not a bad thing. Below you see my slow start on CHS Miss Lila's House. The fabric was originally an antique white linen. I dyed it myself with some good old RIT dye. I was hoping for a true black. As you can see I got nothing close to a true black, but I think the design is working up well on this color. My first attempt was a very light charcoal, so I soaked the fabric overnight, rinsed the heck out of it the next morning and still ended up with a deep charcoal instead of black. The dark fabric was a bit frustrating to stitch on at first, the tree in the center there has been frogged not once but twice because I was apparently just sticking the needle in where ever it felt good. I mentioned that I am feeling creative. I pulled out my Jenny Hart Sublime Stitching book, found the practice sampler, and worked on it yesterday. I think I like embroidery. A few years ago I don't think I would have written those words. I've been taking my time, trying to get comfortable with the stitches, stitching on muslin instead of evenweave linen and basically enjoying the process of learning. I think we forget how fun learning can be. I'm one of those people that wants to be able to do something correctly from the beginning, to start out an expert and that's such a joke and only leads one down the path to craft disaster. So I'm taking my crafting slow these days, embracing the process. If I spend a few days learning something and it's a big old fail, then it's a big old fail and maybe when I try again later, I'll get it. I have to remember to love the process.
I am seriously digging this Clover hoop. Sorry I'm not adding links, my computer is being a butt and I'm just hoping to get this posted before the post goes "poof" into cyberspace, anywhere but my blog!
My stitches are not perfect, a few of my French knots are questionable, some of my flowers are wonky, but isn't that what makes it handmade instead of machine made?

Hope this post finds everyone doing well and enjoying spring!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blush & Bashful

Emma Lerch and Shelby from Steel Magnolias would have been friends.
Emma Lerch

Scarlet Letter

32ct Cream Linen


Emma stitched her house in Shelby's two colors of blush and bashful. The house does appear to be hosed down in Pepto-Bismol.

Go here if you don't know what I'm talking about:

YouTube - Pink is my signature color

I promise I tried to add the video right here but I'm not as smart as I like to think I am.

Emma has been joy to stitch from start to finish. She got me through some very sad days the last few weeks. I still can't write about the loss of my friend Lisa but Emma was definitely a bright spot in days filled with the shadow of grief.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do Guys Dig Chicks

With porch sitting skilz? Because of all the skilz I have, I'm my very best at porch sittin'. Emma Lerch
Scarlet Letter
32ct cream linen
(click pic to make bigger)

It's that time of year, day time temps are hovering around 66°F, the sun is calling me out to soak up some of those full of Vitamin D rays, and the wicker on the porch, left so empty for the last couple of months, is yelling for me to plop my behind right here and stitch. So who I am to argue with the wicker?
I sat outside for a little while and used the time to put in a couple of lengths of DMC 352 on Emma's house. My friend Tanya mentioned that I had outlined the house and how different we all stitch, and days like this are why I save my filling in for later. You never know when opportunity knocks and you can steal some front porch time and why bother with a chart when there's all this filling in to do?
I've managed to work the border down the right side and am now keeping my fingers crossed that it meets up properly along the bottom.
Emma is a simple sampler but her bright colors make me so happy I'm finding it hard to set her aside to stitch on anything else. Once I get the border finished I'll complete all the stuff in the middle with the exception of the house and the grass and I will devote my porch sittin' stitchin' time to those areas. I can get back to outlining on Jane Atkinson and working on Isabella Johnstone when I'm forced to stitch indoors.
In other news, I've been planning my front flower bed, it's a narrow little space and I think I'm going to plant sunflowers along the back row closest to the railing and then fill the front with all kinds of cut flowers. I have two packets of cut flower mix here along with snapdragons, cosmos and zinnias. I'd also like to plant some daisies and dahlias.
I've been making lists of all the things that need sprucing up around here and I've filled up one composition book already. I started painting the patio table and chairs last week. I still have two chairs to go and then I need to get some new cushions. The table was a roadside find a couple of years ago and then the chairs the Spousal Unit found, yet again, on the side of the road. We are definitely upcyclers/recyclers so I don't feel too bad wanting to splurge on purchased chair cushions and a new umbrella.
If you like Frappuccinos but hate the price, I found a very good recipe here:
Since the mornings are warmer I've decided to give the coffee pot a break and start treating myself to a morning frappuccino. This morning I even topped it with some Reddi-wip and chocolate syrup. Of course this treat caused me to add one more thing to the to do list, replace icemaker in the fridge. My ice is full of black rubber shreds from the icemaker. I hate it when that happens but my frappe was just as tasty without the ice.
Hope each of you are seeing a bit of spring in your corner of the world, unless of course you are enjoying being snowed in, which come July and August I'm going to be dreaming of six foot high snow drifts instead of 95° and 100% humidity.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Quickie

POST--a quickie post. Unfortunately not a quickie project but one full of joy. I hope that 13 year old Emma Lerch was as happy in her day to day life as her sampler makes me. The bright colors have been nice to stitch with since the last couple of weeks have been dark and dreary here in the Sunshine State.

(click to make bigger)

Emma Lerch

Scarlett Letter

32ct cream linen


Yes my pictures would be better if took a minute to iron the stitching but that would mean taking all the stuff off the ironing board and actually putting it away, so wrinkled is ok, it gives it character.

I have developed an unhealthy addiction to Netflix streaming. Who knew there was so much tv out there that I didn't know existed? I turned off the tv last week and went back to my audiobooks. I definitely needed to get the Netflix monkey off my back. I think I've found my balance and can watch Netflix responsibly, meaning I will leave the house occaisionally and interact with actual human beings instead of the ones on my tv screen.

Hope this weekend brings a touch of spring to everyone's corner of the world since this winter has been a humdinger. My mother says she's never seen so much snow in Tennessee as they have had this year.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Of Stitching and Crocheting

The stitching around here has been slow but steady. I can stitch for hours and not have a lot to show for that time other than the memory of a pleasant few hours.

There are those that think sitting around the house stitching on a perfectly beautiful day is a waste of a perfectly beautiful day. I disagree with that philosophy. I think any day is the perfect day to sit on the couch and stitch and since recently introducing Netflix streaming through the Wii to our home, well I don't care if I ever leave the house. It's this wonderful, magical thing, this Netflix streaming through my Wii.

I've just started Isabella Johnstone from SANQ, I think last summer's issue. I'm using DMC and 32ct linen that I aged myself. I've also been working a bit on SL Emma Lerch:

(yes, that's the Wii controller, my new BFF)
The picture below is the bit that was able to catch a streak of sunlight, the only sun that I could capture this afternoon:

Emma and Isabella are great companions while I watch episode after episode of Wire in the Blood and 30 Rock. Another project getting a bit of attention is my Ocean Waves afghan. It's from Crochet Today's Quick & Easy Gifts special issue. I'm crocheting it using the recommended yarn because I had it all in the stash. Good old Red Heart. I would say that I wish I was crocheting this using the finest wool but the fact is my family is the type of family that if a drink gets knocked over they reach for the closest thing to sop it up which would be this afghan, not to mention the dogs and our pride of cats, the frequent handwashing of a wool blanket would be a pain in the butt.

All I know is that I need to stitch and crochet much faster. I have a long, long list of projects and even with not leaving the house any more than I have to, I can't get near as much done every day as I'd like. I thought for sure I'd have Emma completed by the end of this month. No way that will happen. I keep trying to tell myself it's all about the process, the finish is just a wonderful perk but I want to move on to the next project. The serial starter in me is itching to start several new projects. It's a constant battle not to put that first little X into a piece of virgin linen. I must control myself or I will spiral out of control and be sucked into the vortex to Fantasy Island or rather the land of "You'll Never Finish All These Projects".

Thursday, January 06, 2011

That Emma, She's a Screamer

Since finishing Rachael Holmes my stitching time has been devoted to sweet EMMA LERCH. She seems to be yelling the loudest and considering her loud color palette, she's hard to ignore.
Emma Lerch
Scarlet Letter
32ct cream linen
started in 2010

The last couple of days have been spent on stitching the house outline and I will admit that while this is a reproduction sampler I am not stitching it the same as Emma. Her house was apparently outlined with over 1 Xs and I can't see where all that over 1 enhances the beauty of the piece so Emma is a better woman than I. I'm stitching the house outline over 2 just like the rest of the sampler. Call me a baby, I can take it. I tried a couple of over 1 stitches and truthfully, they were not making me happy so I made the executive decision to make my sampler a wee bit different from Emma's and no one would know unless I told them and whoops, I just did!

Since finishing the outline of the house I've gone back to working on the border. It's actually going pretty fast and this is from the single slowest stitcher in the history of the world.

Has anyone else stitched this sampler? Did you outline the house with over 1 Xs?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here ye! Here ye! On this the second day of January in the year two thousand and eleven, a sampler has been completed by she who nevers finishes anything. Rachael Holmes
Heartstring Samplery
32ct linen, aged by moi
assorted threads from the stash
(click to make bigger)
New Year's Eve was spent trying to right some wrongs such as the septic tank, the broken front blinds thanks to a neurotic dog and cats who believe they are their personal monkey bars, some cleaning and a bit of stitching. Unfortunately most of the above took away from the time I could spend stitching and Rachael Holmes ended up being carried over to the new year. Since I'm more of a lemonade girl than lemons I decided a finish on the first day of the year could be just as a positive as a finish on the last day of the year and maybe set my stitching pace for the year ahead. January 1st was spent with an NCIS marathon and stitching and stitching and stitching, OMFG, no matter how much I stitched, there was more. No matter how close to finished I thought I was there was more! I gave up around tenish and decided Rachael won and she'd get one more day out of me. At six a.m. this morning I picked Rachael back up, I made X after X after little X and finally after two episodes of Law & Order she was completed.
I love this Sampler so much. I used Beth's colors as a guideline and pulled threads from my stash.
These are the threads I used-the chart colors on the left, my substitution on the right:
WDW Honeysuckle- GAST Ohio Lemon Pie
WDW Dove- GAST Banker's Gray
WDW Guacamole CC Eves Leaves
WDW Pecan DMC 420
WDW Havana DMC 830
WDW Mocha CC Olive Branch and DMC 640
WDW Bark DMC 3021
WDW Red Pear DMC 223
WDW Raspberry CC Manor Red(this was touch too red but it works well I think)
WDW Deep Sea CC Wavy Navy
WDW Bullfrog GAST Forest Glade
WDW Curry CC Finley Gold
My conversion isn't perfect but I'm very happy with the finished result and am working hard not to be so anal about using the exact threads a chart calls for and I'm trying to build my confidence swapping out colors. I've found the investment in a DMC color card is worth every penny. Once a thread can be matched a color of DMC matching a thread from the stash is so much easier.
May 2011 be a year of stitching heaven for all of us.
May there be no knots in your floss
No frogs in your needle
And may the little X continue to bring you comfort and joy!
Thank you to everyone who takes time to read this blog and share the love of the little X with me.
Happy New Year!!!!