Sunday, October 30, 2016

Corsica River

Stitch-a-long Announced

I will be hosting a Stitch-a-long for completing Queenstown Sampler Design's Corsica River by Barbara Hutson.  I mentioned wanting to do this as a SAL kind of as a lark in August and well, it took off.  So let me give you the lay of the land here:

First the pattern -
The pattern can be seen at Queenstown Sampler Designs.   
Follow their link to find a store where yo can purchase the pattern.
  • REVISED to include the FB option
  • First and foremost, this is meant to be a friendly, supportive, healthy atmosphere
  • Bloggers and NON-bloggers welcomed
  • SAL start date:   February 22, 2017
  • Completed date:  February 22, 2019    Yes, two years!  Why, because other things come up!  
  • This is not a race to see who will finish first.  There is always the turbo stitcher out there that will zoom ahead and that is fine.  I, for one, usually have several projects I am working on and work and life does get in the way.  
  • Each month prior to the 22nd I will remind everyone to post your progress on FB.
  • If you would rather post your progress here instead of on FB or in addition to FB, Stitchers - fellow bloggers - need to update your blog with a post on your progress and email ( me by the 20th of each month.  I will link to your progress post on my monthly posting.
  • The same for non-blogging Stitchers regarding posting here or on FB - should email ( me by the 20th of each month, a photo and/or info about their progress.  I will incorporate your info in my monthly post.
  • Please feel free to share hiccups in the stitching along the way
  • Please let me know by February 15, 2017 if you wish to join in
  • Before February 22, I will work out a 'suggested' schedule for completion
  • This is a first for me - moderating a SAL - so bear with me as I stumble through this!

The design is an original Queenstown Sampler Design considered to be an intermediate level sampler.   The sample pictured on the Queenstown site was stitched on 35 count Northen Cross in cream by Norden Crafts.  

It is charted for Needlepoint Inc. Silks or DMC cotton.   The stitch count is 337 wide by 451 tall.   On 35 count the design area is 19.25 wide by 25.77 tall.  

Stitches used:   back stitch, cross stitch, double running stitch, eyelet, long-arm cross stitch.
Techniques used:  blackwork and Assisi stitching

For mine work, I selected antique white, 32 count linen.    I decided to use the NPI silks.  I had entered the store thinking I would use belfast linen with floss in a shade of green with a gold and something in a sepia tone.  I surprised myself by purchasing not what I intended.  I choose my colors by sight and when I compared to the chart, I selected the recommended colors.    The called for RED was much nicer in person that in the design photograph.

As for the pattern - it consists of 16 pages of charts.   There is NO shaded overlap from page to page.

Each page is listed as part of a column and row.

How you decide to proceed - by page or by row - will be your choice.  I 'think' I may proceed by page rather than by row......jury is still out.   I think I will know better after I create a schedule of sorts.

Row One - double running and blackwork
Row Two - Assisi work completed with double running and long-arm cross
Row Three - blackwork
Row Four - Assisi work
Row Five - blackwork
Row Six - cross stitch and blackwork
Rows 7, 8 & 9  - Assisi work
Row Ten - blackwork

Let's see who's on board!  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Suitcases In and Out of Storage

Well my traveling suitcase is stowed for a while.  Just back from another girl's weekend in Princeton, NJ.   Deb and I stayed in Princeton for our four days of wandering in the New Hope, PA/Lambertville, NJ area.  As always she and I had a great time sightseeing and shopping.  It's a shame the that weather this summer and fall seems to have delayed the changing of the leaves.
View of the tow path canal in Lambertville.

View of the Delaware River from the bridge between NJ and PA.

On the way home we spent the day at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton NJ.   What a fabulous way to spend the day.   Not the normal stuffy museum-type place and we'd like to go back in the spring when everything is in bloom.  

Monet's "Woman with a Parasol"

The grounds/museum are the vision of J. Seward Johnson, grandson of the founder of Johnson & Johnson.  Such wonderful foresight to establish a place like this.  The bronze statues were astounding.  Around every corner was a surprise as well as a different view created by standing at a different vantage point.

The "Girl with the Pearl Earring" - a great book to read.

 The iconic Marilyn Monroe in bronze.   

The features so detailed you can see the stitches on her hem.

Outside, the variety of statuary was diverse and only limited by Seward Johnson's imagination.

Inside a stone building peering out....
and the surprise outside at this........

Or looking through another window and seeing a seated couple...
And then outside, the statues by the boat.... Eduoard Manet's "Boating"

Monet's "Water Lilies" below and our then view from the French restaurant, Rat's, at lunch

And then you walk around the corner and Oops! catch a young lady in an outside shower with real running water splashing over her.....even her hanging clothes were make of brass.  (I've always wanted an outside shower in my back yard....of course Mr. W. thinks I am crazy.   I think I would insist on a door on my shower though.)

Renoir's the "Luncheon at the Boating Party" was brought to 3-dimensional real life....

The detail on the leather coat, the zipper, the crew neck of the t-shirt......all so unbelievable.    All the statuary was quite approachable.   We were encouraged to sit, pose, photograph anything without a red-tag......and I think I only saw one red tag.

 Renoir's "Two Sisters on a Terrace"

(that's a real seed pod in the marsh)

Not all statues were interpretations of paintings.....and some were more abstract than others.

Look's like we happened upon some lovers......nope, life sized bronze statues......

Well I could go on and on about this place.   It was such a relaxing day and one that stirred the imagine and left you in awe of the talent and the whimsy.  Fall foliage or not, Deb and I had our usual good time together.   I feel embarrassed to say this is an hour and a half away from where I live and I only just discovered it!

So fall traveling and more weekends away then home behind me...... the worse part was most time home was spent prepping to go or recovering afterwards!   So I have little stitching progress to report.    I think I spent a short period of intense stitching on my Boo to You witch that I hit a wall and put it much for being stitched and finished by Halloween.   No worries, she is close and will be easy to finish.  I am on a mission to not be the last of the group to complete it......I'll take incentive in any form.

My only progress is Miss Mary Mack from La-D-DA. I was stitching along fine and then......see that empty WDW card?   I surely did not calculate the amount of floss I needed correctly.   I knew thought I had two part skeins at home and bought two more at Salty Yarns in early October and thought I was good.   A little more than two skeins used with a little more than one quarter stitched and I am out of thread.   You guessed online and ordered 8 more skeins of 1268-Molasses.  I am hoping  Sara packs them up quickly and that the dye lots are close.   I have a neat finish in mind for this one.....stay tuned for that.  

Now for my great brainstorm of what I envision for the old suitcases in storage.......First how did we ever lug and tote and carry those things that were heavy empty? idea in a nutshell is......I just got a set of twin beds for my sewing room for when the kiddos come home.   I plan to pull the old hard side samsonites out of the attic, stack them and make a bedside table between the beds.   Better yet, I plan to use the insides of each suitcase for my fat quarter storage, thereby eliminating a bookcase that will help make more room for the twin my mind it comes together EZ-PZ.   However,  I have learned thru the years that my 'ideas' often are a lot more work that I envision.    I will have to report on my progress and outcome.  

OK, happy stitching all and, if all goes well, I will post again tomorrow about a Stitch-A-Long  I will moderate in February 2017.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Viva Las Vegas

Last week I spent four fun packed days in Las Vegas with some friends from High School and what a great time we had.  Now I am not one for gambling....I mean I did play the slots...but I remember the early days of marriage when $20 was all we had in the checkbook for the rest of the week so I kind of have a hard time wrapping my head around throwing money away.    I set my limit of what I am willing to go home without and then I was done.  Gambling aside there was far too many other things to do.  I knew we should have stayed another day!   I went for the 'mini reunion' and was pleasantly surprised by all there was to do besides the casinos.
Inside the hotel lobby
Out front of my hotel - Paris Las Vegas

Our early morning flight was good.  The pilot pointed out the Mississippi River and we saw the Grand Canyon from the air.  On the ground we met up with a classmate who now lives in Arizona.    We saw a couple of shows, we walked the strip, we were guests in the Diamond Lounge, we ogled and ah'd at the opulence of the casinos, saw the light show on Fremont Street and saw some scantily clad folks and sights for sure.

More of my hotel entrance

The Bellagio waiting for the fountain show.
The Paris Las Vegas across the street from the Bellagio
The Venetian and The Flamingo.......they may look close but the Venetian is about a 30 minute walk from where we were.

When at full force the sound was incredible.   It was like the whoosh you hear when fireworks go up as the high water was sent up......even higher than above.

View from top of the Eiffel Tower of my hotel below

Another view of the city below the Eiffel Tower

Classmate Darlene and I went to the Hoover Dam, took a boat ride on Lake Mead and a bus tour of local homes and gardens. We want to go back to kayak on the lake, to zip line on Fremont Street, to see some more shows, see the Grand Canyon, and more.   There really is so much to do there.
Above, the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

Yes, I did the tourist foot in Nevada and one foot in Arizona.    They removed the state line that was painted across the roadway on the bridge as seen in the Selma Hayak movie "Fools Rush In".....seems it was creating traffic jams will people stopping for photo ops.

Inside the Hoover Dam generator room.

By pass pipes that are so large they had to be built onsite.  What an amazing engineering feat!

Approaching Lake Mead from our bus ride.

The white line is the high water mark from the snow melt in 1983.   That line is approximately 135 above the water level.

Approaching Black Canyon

The dam from Black Canyon

Such a hardy little bush......we were told to look for Mountain Goats feeding but we saw none.   Amazing anything can grow and thrive in this climate and terrain.

Leaving Black Canyon and heading back to the dock.

New York, New York Las Vegas

 Statue of Liberty made out of Twizzlers!

Fremont Street and oh the sites.......the casinos turn out their lights each hour for a laser light show displayed across the doomed cover over the street.

Bye bye Las Vegas......I think I will be back.

So not much stitching has been done the last two weeks.   I did take Miss Mary Mack from La-D-Da for the plane.  EZ-PZ right.....small, one color.  Well when you sit in the middle and you feel like a T-Rex with your arms all squeezed in....not as much progress as I thought I would be able to accomplish.      I've added the second "buttons" and start "All" since I got home and BAM......looking at this right now and singing the song.......I see I am short one line of "buttons".....time to frog I guess.    Geez, this piece is not proving to be as EZ-PZ as I thought it would be!

So back home and on my way to Thursday night stitching I had to pull over and take a photo of the beauty from where I live.     

Now time to regroup, clean house, winterize the deck and yard, finish fall decorating and head out again next week for a get away with a work mate.

Stay tuned for information on a Stitch-A-Long that I will be announcing before the end of the month.