Saturday, September 15, 2012

Let the beading begin...

I must admit I have been absent from blog writing as well as blog following.   I get so inspired by what all you crafty peeps do so I have a lot of catching up to do......

Myself, I have been busy.   Seasons change and it means getting things brought in line.   September - whether you have children in school or not - is a transitional month with pools to be covered, flowers to be deadheaded, lawn furniture to be stowed, and trying to get excused from jury duty (you think they will accept my need to attend a cross stitch retreat on Ocean City, MD as a legitimate need?  I hope so!) not much stitching or blogging.

Virginia Beach, Virginia
My ocean view for the week
I did take a little end of summer va-ca to Virginia Beach, VA - I have never been before but I am sure I will visit there again.   So beautiful, so clean....good food, a little sand and see time, good fun.   I find I am drawn to the sea/water for its calming and rejuvenating qualities....the need to be near water must be my Norwegian heritage coming out.

This was my morning view at the beginning of the week
Sunrise with a nice cup of hot, black coffee from my balcony

and then the same time on Friday hiss!
My commute.....still with coffee!
But alas, it is all good.   My travel buddy is not a stitcher or crafter so we read and walked the boards and just had a nice end to the summer..... and discussed our next trip in January.

I have finished the stitching on my 15-sided biscournu and am now working on the assembly.
All stitched with threads pulled for cutting guidelines.

Iron-on interfacing added

Of course NOW I see where I missed a stitch.

Top five and five for sides stitched.
Bottom five.
Almost done......
I only have to stuff the biscouru and stitch it closed and then add some buttons and beads around the edges.  Today I hope to clean the house and pick up the yard and then head off to the city for the night with my daughter and then we will be off to a quilt show in the morning.....I hope to be able to pick up some crushed walnut shells for my stuffing.   I prefer it over fiber fill because I like the weight and movement you get from the crushed shells.

For now, bank and Post Office and house cleaning...............which I hope to accomplish quickly to I can enjoy the yard work in the yard.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reading - a second love

I have been swiping the pages on my iPad faster than a speeding bullet.   I started reading the 'rose' series by Jennifer Donnelly.   Classified as Fictional History,  I was drawn right in.   This category lines up on par with intrigue and mystery and autobiographies as my favorite reading genres.

First The Tea Rose, 756 pages
Second, The Winter Rose, 704 pages
Third, The Wild Rose 614 pages

2074 pages.......since August 1st......not quite, I am only on 476 of The Wild Rose but I may just a bit more read before heading out to dinner on this rainy afternoon all cozy with a cup of tea (how appropriate) and read about this family from London.    Still I am impressed with myself at the number of pages!   I mean, I do work and I do stitch which both interfere with my reading.   I find I cannot put these books down; I am so anxious to make sure Fiona finds her true love and Seamie doesn't die while exploring the Antarctic and what about Sid, who faked his death and went off to Africa and then California?   What's to become of him and his love Dr. Jones who gave up everything for him?

The story follows a poor London family from the 1880's-90's to, in the third book, we are at the beginning of World War I.   Seeing how the family has grown, their triumphs as well as their disappointments, I find myself reading in the pool (yes, IN the pool as I do leg raises while my iPad is propped on the deck), reading over my raisin bran in the morning, reading while donating blood, at lunchtime...bascially, any chance I get.  Too bad I don't carpool or I'd read on my commute!

In addition to the love of novels with history, this is set in London where I have very own Mr. W. was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire,  and his mother and her family are from London.  As I read about Tower Bridge, Kings Cross, Islington (where Aunt Rene and Uncle Albie live),  Whitechapel, Covent Gardens.........I am swept away to when I visited.  (another part of why I enjoyed the Olympics this year as well as being completely enchanted by Kate Middleton...I mean seriously, the girl can't take a bad picture!)

So anyway, please enjoy my recommendation.   Quick, entertaining, inspiring, passionate, star-crossed lovers, heartwarming as well as heartbreaking, with a wee bit of sex.  I think this saga would make an excellent mini-series in the style of the Thornbirds.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I have winners in my Side-tracked Give-a-way.  In no particular order......

Joyzce of Random Ramblings
Cristina of Cross@Stitch

I  wrapped up each package in a camera friendly display and added a picture.   Now you didn't think I would spoil the fun and SHOW you all the goodies inside?
I have contacted each winner via a comment to their individual blogs.   As I explained to each, I will be out of town for several days.  If they have not contacted me with mailing information by the time I return from the beach on September 11th, I will select another name.

Thank you to all my wonderful followers.   I do enjoy each and every comment as well as I do enjoy visiting each of you back.   Happy Stitching and have a GREAT September!  I know I plan to!

Latest Plan of Attack

I am sure there are more than a few of my fellow stitchers that kind of have a dilemma when one project is finished and have to decide which one to start next.........some you may identify with this.    My next (self-imposed) stitching challenge is a rotation of three that I love and one that I loved at one time.  I have four projects that are either band sampler or motif based designs and I decided I would work on each one until a completed a band or motif and then move on to the next.

Here's the line up..........
My Stitching Treasures/Jeannette Douglas - A WIP  from my list.  I have had this in my stash forever.  I love the fibers Jeannette puts together.  I started this as part of the Crazy January 2011 Challenge and you can side tracked.    I plan to work on this by completing one or two motifs before putting it aside to rest and picking up one of the other three in my rotation.  Just the fibers alone will make me want to get my assignment on the other three done so I can get back to this one.   I will starting saving my $$ for the Stitching Treasures Box that this goes to.

A Little Quakeresque/Blue Ribbon Designs - A WIP from my list.  I WAS in love with this when I started it and I know I will fall back in love again.   The reason I waiver.....DRAT, I thought this would go so much faster.  I started this one year on Retreat, 2011 I think.   Remember those aptitude tests we took in Middle School?   My results said the best job for me would be in Actuary.   Really?   I didn't know what an Actuary was back then......but I have found that since I try to mathematically calculated all things, those tests were right.  Don't even have me work on a spreadsheet or database.....I sort and manipulate the information all kinds of ways to review probabilities, search for trends, weird huh?  And how does that relate?  With this design in particular, it was easy to calculate the amount of time it would take until completion.   I based my calculations all different ways - stitching one motif a day/stitching 3 per week/etc. arriving at projected completion dates.  Just let me say that the projected completion date no matter which calculation I chose has come and long gone.  I guess that is why I am not totally  in love with this any more.  It is a sore reminder of my failed calculation.   But alas, I am back at it and will cautiously predict a finish something in 2013!

The Huswif Sampler/Ellen Chester - Ahhhhhh, a class piece, from just this past April.   I really showed restraint by not throwing myself head over heels into this one right way.  My whole plan of attack to finish WIP's went out the window with this start....but then again, it is a class piece so it does get an exemption in my book.     Not much to look at here.   Once I took my ABC's of Aging off my frame, I mounted this fabulous linen and starting laying in the closed herringbone.   This tiny line of stitches in found below the first floral band and I thought putting these in would work well as a point of reference for the stitches to come above it.  Hopefully the next time I share this, there will be a completed line and some of the floral band in place.

Random Thoughts/Drawn Thread - A WIP from my list.  This is another piece that I have wanted to stitch in like forever.  I started this on Retreat last October and really only had up to the "d" with part of the house completed.   I picked it up this weekend when I devised this crazy rotation and have managed to get a bit of stitching in........

.....but frogging is in my future.   I placed the "G" four threads too low which means I laid in the white on the bird also four threads to low.   I will persevere and frog and restitch and complete the section before moving on.

I see one small problem to my plan....none of these travel well and I have 11 of 15 in my 15-sided biscournu completed.....hmmmm, does that mean I need to find something new to start and to carry with?   Oh I am shameless and truly capable of justifying ANYTHING!

Happy stitching all.....