About Me

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I love anything creative...I am a busy mom of three (+4 dogs, 1 bird, 1 bunny, and 1 sweet husband) who sometimes wishes I had more time/energy/talent to devote to just being creative!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mish-Mash May

Mish Mash: noun- a confused mixture or jumble. 

I feel like that perfectly describes the end of the school year at our house, and my crafting this month.

I finished July Word-Play, and love it! I plan on making it into a pillow for one of my stitching chairs, and am on the hunt for some anchor fabric to back it with. I changed some of the colors on this one, but tried to stay close to the photo on the chart.

 I have already jumped right into the next chart for August, and have made some good progress. All of the words are done on it, and the gardener's dress. I have all of the little areas now to finish. I plan to also do this as a pillow, and am picturing some sort of bee themed fabric for it.
 I also managed a finish this week putting my total number of WIP's at 29. Yay, I am officially under 30 WIP's. My goal for the next 3 months is to finish 5 more. By the end of 2017 I would like to have less than 20 WIP's, so I am inching my way towards that lofty goal. This one is Birds of a Feather "Schoolhouse Sampler". I loved the lettering on this one, but have no idea how I am going to finish it.
 Here is how I spent last weekend. In addition to reducing my total number of WIP's I am also trying to be a little more organized in my crafting. I have been gifted several peoples stash over the years, and wound up with a ton of DMC floss, some of which is probably as old as I am. Well I started taking it to work with me and winding bobbins while at my desk. I filled a 5 gallon ziploc bag with bobbins. So I spent Saturday night sorting them, and putting them in my thread cases. I now have 11 thread cases in numerical order, and should NEVER have to go buy thread again.
Here is my May wall. I decided it was time to take down all the cute spring, but wasn't quite ready to move on to patriotic summer stitches yet. So my theme this month is flowers. Several of these stitches are ones I did when I first started stitching years ago.

This one is a more recent finish. Cricket Collection "Violets"
An older one, that was out of a kit. No idea what the name of it was, and I think it may be older than my oldest child. 

This one was not stitched by me, it was an Ebay purchase. Sorry I couldn't manage a better photo without all the glare. I love the navy fabric this was stitched on. 

 Another kit I did many many years ago. It's funny that when I first started stitching I had no idea there was anything other than Aida fabric and kits from Michael's or Jo-Ann's. Now there are so many patterns online, and so many beautiful hand-dyed fabrics to stitch them on.
 Another kit from long ago. I love the ombre blue background on this one. All of these frames are Goodwill finds, that I framed myself at home. This one was from Ikea, and was already painted blue when I bought it. I think it suits this piece perfectly.

And my last kit is a Dimensions one, called "Watering Can Geraniums". I at least ventured away from  plain white Aida on this one, as the kit came with a very pretty light green Aida. 

And here are my menfolk helping with the framing. Anytime my husband is working on something, my little boy runs to get his toolbox to help. I have to share a funny about my husband. He went with me to Attic Needlework last weekend for more threads, and has been vicariously watching floss tube with me. So as we are in the store, he points to a Hawk Run Hollow piece on the wall, and says "that's the one the lady changed so the cemetery wasn't next to the school". I actually heard another  woman in the store hold back a giggle at his needlepoint knowledge. I was impressed he recognized the design, as most of the time he doesn't watch floss-tube with me, but listens while he is doing his own thing. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

First finish of Summer

Yay! I finished LK "Summer" banner last night while watching Project Runway with my husband. He grumbled over watching it, but then got into the episodes and which designers we thought would or should have won the challenges. I giggled a bit hearing his opinion on women's fashions, but it was a fun way to spend a Saturday night. As usual I changed most of the colors on this one to whatever I had in my stash. I also changed one of the fish to a clown fish, we watch Finding Nemo and Finding Dory a lot in my house! I stitched it on a scrap that I think is big enough to fit at least two more of these on, so I may wait to actually display it until I have the other ones done. 

A little more progress on July Word Play by Country Stitches. I am a little confused on these charts. They are designed by Brenda Gervais of "With Thy Needle and Thread". They didn't come out that long ago so I don't know why they are "Country Stitches" instead of "With thy Needle". I bought the little charms to the left at Michael's and plan to use the anchor charm instead of stitching it.

I did find more of the charts on 123 Stitch, all I am missing now is February and August. So I will be on the hunt for those, as I would definitely like to stitch all of them. I love December with the cute Santa, and April with the bunny in the wagon. One thing about the charts that irked me though, was she uses many of the same colors but changes the symbol for them between the charts. Why not just use the same symbol throughout? 
Lastly here is my progress on Ashley. I feel like I got a lot done this last week. All of the flowers above her to the left are new, and I did more of her skirt. The big difference is of course her face, I couldn't wait any longer, and did all of the back-stitching on her neck/shoulders and face. She is so pretty! Makes me excited to finish her.

And lastly a shot of our summer bird feeder. I know I have posted pictures of the lovebirds in our neighborhood before, but I think it's so funny to have flocks of wild parrots in our neighborhood. They are not much bigger than parakeets, and are bright green with red faces. From what I understand they were originally from Africa, and are well suited to the heat. They live in pretty large flocks, and we always see them in groups of two or three at the feeder.

What I am reading this week: I just finished "Lost in a Book" by Jennifer Donnelly. If you have a tween-teenage daughter in your house, I highly recommend this book! I loved it. It is based off of the Beauty and the Beast story. I bought it for my oldest's daughter, and I borrowed it from her after she had read it. I finished it in one night it was so good. Very imaginative addition to the original fairy-tale. 

What I am watching: Well besides old Project Runway episodes, we watched "The Boy" this weekend. A PG-13 horror movie starring Lauren Cohen (of Walking Dead fame). She is a nanny hired by an older couple to care for a doll who they treat as their son. It was creepy, and actually a well-thought out horror story- not just blood and gore (actually really not much blood-more just creepy old mansion and creepy looking doll). Both my husband and I thought it was a good scary movie.

I've also fallen into watching floss tube and love it! I can listen/watch while stitching, and who doesn't love seeing other stitcher's gorgeous finishes! I had to giggle to myself when I realized I had been pronouncing Lugana wrong all these years! I've been saying it La-goona when apparently it it Lew-ghana, after all these years stitching I still have lots to learn. Now I am trying to think back if I have ever gone into my  LNS and asked for it that way.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Goodbye Spring, Hello Summer!

Teensy bit of progress on Ashley this week, mostly more filling in of the white on her dress. Boring! But still loving her all together, and hopeful to actually finish her this year and not banish her to the WIP pile. I refuse to call anything I have stitched on a UFO as I remain determined to finish them all someday. 

 Here is what has been distracting me this week from Ashley. I started on Country Stitches "Wordplay-July". I won four of the months on Ebay, and love them. I did hedge my bets though, and instead of starting May started a little further out with July. Most of the colors are the ones charted, but I did change the Merman's tail to a greener blue (the chart had a weird stripe in his tail that I didn't love, and I changed the water to "Caribbean" by WDW. So all the words are done on this, I just have the ship in the middle and the fish along the sides.
These two I purchased from another blogger "Nicole's Needlework". I thought they were both so cute, and the Bent Creek chart I already had in my stash, but it was low on the new project list. It is a very cute winter pattern, and the LK I plan to finish into a little pillow ornament. The pink gingham linen she stitched it on is adorable!

So here in Arizona we are saying goodbye to Spring and rushing headlong into summertime with temps in the 100's today. I dipped into our pool for the first time last week, and the girls have been swimming the last few weeks already! But I realize I didn't post any pictures of my spring display for Easter, so wanted to show them before taking it all down and replacing it with summer stitching. 

Here is all of it, this wall is in our dining room. I like to change it out for the different seasons.

This is a "With thy Needle and Thread" piece I stitched two? years ago. Just a simple square frame from Michael's for it. 

This one was not stitched by me, but found by my husband in an antique mall in Kentucky five years ago. According to the date on it, this one is turning 21 this year!

A Prairie Schooler I just got framed last spring. Love the rows of baby chicks on it. I did not get glass put in on it and now I kind of wish I had. 

This pillow was stitched for me through the HOE blog for a spring exchange some years ago. The little LK pillow I stitched, and my mom was kind enough to do the finishing for me. It has a purple eyelet trim around the outside of it. 

Bent Creek "Hip Hop", stitched at least 6 years ago by me. 

Another Bent Creek "Uber Egg", I messed up somewhere in the middle so my egg is a little lopsided!

A little LK pillow, and a quilt kit done by me years ago. My finishing skills were not that great for quilting, but I love the colors of it. 

And all of my little ornaments underneath. "Happy Spring" and "Happy Easter" by LK. Bent Creek bunny changed from brown to white, and "A Spring Day" from Heart in Hand I think? 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Rats, Cats and Ravens

I took a mini-break last week from Ashley's Roses, and pulled this one from the bottom of my stitching basket. I enjoy the simplicity of just stitching one color sometimes, kind of a palate cleanser. This one is many, many years old, i've been working on it about 5 years I would guess. So this round I managed to finish the cat, the raven and the little rat at the bottom. Please excuse my ankles in the above photo, I tried to crop it but for some reason it wouldn't save that way, but at least I shaved my legs today (it's shorts weather already here).

And I am back to working on Ashley's Roses. I did more of the roses above her, more of the grass below her, and a little bit of her skirt. 

Sweet Spring is also coming along. I finished the row of vegetables under the bunny. 

My oldest turned 14 last week, and her cousin turned 8. She loves Batman, so I did my best with the cake. I used food coloring to make the chocolate frosting black, but didn't realize it would also turn everyone's teeth black also!

What i'm reading this week: Mary Kay Andrews "Summer Rental", another fun read from her. I have been on a streak reading her books. I also finished "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. I read it in one night, it was a short book but the story was interesting. They are coming out with a television series based on it shortly, starring Elizabeth Moss. 

What i'm watching this week: "Into the Forest" starring Ellen Page (Inception/Juno) and Evan Rachel Wood. It's an end of the world story, about two sister trying to survive alone in the woods once the power goes out. No zombies or anything, so the film wasn't overly scary. But they made such bad decisions trying to survive that the story was disturbing. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Life is too short to stitch things you don't love!

I restarted Satsuma Street "Sweet Spring", I was stitching it on a 30 ct WDW linen, that was the most gorgeous color but my stitches were looking like a hot mess on it! I was not enjoying it at all, even though I love how cute the little bunny is. So I went out and got myself some tried and true 28 ct Lugana evenweave, dyed it myself (it came out much brighter than the called for linen-but I still like it) and am now happily starting over. Especially for a smaller piece like this, where no one in my house will even care what I stitched it on, why would I make myself miserable trying to finish it on the linen. 

Still working on Ashley. I filled in more of the grass last week, and a little more of the roses above her. 
And a little bit of a new start, that is almost done already. I wanted something bright, and was avoiding Sweet Spring while I figured out what to do with it. So I pulled this out of my stash of charts. Lizzie Kate is always my go to for cute and bright. I of course changed most of the colors on it to use whatever I had already. I love the color of the little starfish. I used Purple Iris by Crescent Colors. 

Other than lots of stitching I had a pretty dull week. I worked a lot last week, and my mom had hip surgery. It felt like I spent the whole week going between the hospital and my office. I am looking forward to a slower week ahead! My mom seems to be settling in to the rehab facility, and is already walking again using a walker. I know she is eager to be home again. She is 80 this year, but has always been very independent. I think having nurses checking on her all the time is getting on her nerves. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A complete and utter lack of self-control

 And i'm back up to THIRTY wip's again. Blame it on the bunny, she was too cute! This was another of my Christmas presents, so at least I didn't buy anymore stash. My family even bought me the linen and threads for the chart, the linen is a 30 ct. WDW called "Seafoam" and it is a pretty light blue-green. All of the threads are just DMC, which I appreciate. Variegated threads are so pretty, but sometimes I like just simple DMC. The chart is of course a Satsuma Street design, kind of a new designer, and I love the funkiness of her patterns.
But at least I am still working on Ashley too. I actually got a non-blurry photo of her for once, though it still doesn't show the true linen color. I am working on her underskirts, which are a very pretty blue/turquoise/teal gingham below a layer of pink/coral gingham. I also started filling in some of the green grass below her dress too. 

And this is how we spent our Saturday afternoon, at the last Spring training game of the season. Our little boy was all about the hot-dogs and running up and down the grass hill (we had lawn seats in the outfield). And my two girls were all about trying to get on the jumbo-tron screen when they would scan the crowd. It was such a fun weekend outing, and we aren't huge baseball fans. My husband grew up playing it, so I think he was the only one of us who truly appreciated the game.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Exchange arrived

My HOE exchange piece arrived from Christina of Whilst Iris Naps just last night, and it is AMAZING! She did such lovely work finishing it, with the beaded trim around the outside, and the beaded hanger that matched the design so perfectly. This is a Shepherd's Bush design, call "Fa La La", and it is so cute. The grass along the bottom which is satin stitched, and then the cute lettering above the sheep. She did an awesome job on this. 

She also sent along some unexpected goodies. A LK kit called "Little Snow" which is very cute and now I want to stitch it right away (i'm not even going to open it though or I would start it and have to add another WIP to my list!), and a bit of 28 ct Zwiegart linen, and the prettiest little pink scissor fob with a tiny snowflake charm on the end, along with some beads and needles, and wow! Carol and Christina really made this exchange so fun. I hate to put both their ornaments away until Christmas time now! I am thinking of trying to organize maybe a spring or summer exchange on the HOE blog if anyone would be interested? 
Here is what I stitched for Christina, it is part of the Winter Sampler which is a Janlynn kit. I loved the little ice-skate with the pretty pink roses in it. I added a little lace trim to the sides, and some little pink beads around the edge of it.

Here is my progress on fickle fickle Ashley. I took her outside this morning to try and get a better photo of the linen color. Please excuse the wrinkles on her, I just wanted a quick progress photo. She is coming along nicely, though I really should put her down to work on more of my WIPs. 

And here is what happens when you stitch with dogs. We have three large ones, and when I stitch outside in the evenings they like to sit right next to me with their head over my shoulders. This is the coveted spot in our house. So do you see the little spot to the left of my stitching? Wanna guess what that is? It's dog drool! Yuck yuck yuck! I set my stitching down on my lap for a second and turned to mark off the chart, and when I picked it back up found this. Poor Ashley, so far she has been subjected to coffee and dog drool, what's next! I shouldn't jinx myself. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Dancing

So tonight I officially reached my 1st quarter WIP goal for 2017. I have completed 9 WIPs in the first 3 months, putting the final stitches in the final two just last night. And with three days left in the month too, not to brag or anything! Lately Ashley has taken up all my stitching time, and led my wandering eyes away from the goal. 
The little red witch above is from the "Autumn Sampler", a Janlynn Kit that is also on my WIP list. But I liked her so much, I wanted to do a smaller ornament of just her. There was a ton of back-stitching left to do on her. I am not quite thrilled with the little black cats face, but I am going to let it go and move her out of my stitching basket.

 And here is my second finish, "Autumn" by Cricket Collection. All I needed to get done on this one was the apple and cat-tail stems, and the eyes of all the little critters. Why do I let projects like this languish in my WIP pile for so long, when it literally took me twenty minutes to get this done. I love the crows and the jack-o'lantern on this one, and may make a smaller ornament out of just them later on.
And in honor of meeting my stitching goal, I went ahead and prepped my list for the next  three months. I have gone from 51 projects total to just 29. I organize them by theme, the top box is miscellaneous, the second box is Halloween projects, the third is Fall themed projects, and the box on the right hand side is all of my BIG projects. So my goal for the next three months is 5 more WIPs done, or about two a month. How easy is that? Now if only I can keep myself from adding any new WIPs to the list. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In like a lamb, out like a lion?

Thank you to everyone who posed an answer on what a bell ringer was in my last post. All of your answers made sense, and I can now say I learned a new phrase from an otherwise pretty easy book. Some months I like to read horror or crime novels, and some months all I can handle is easy fluff books.

Above is my progress on Ashley. I have the worst time getting a good photo of her! The fabric is hand-dyed by me, using a RIT dye called Kentucky Sky, and it is the prettiest shade of light blue. But does it show up at all in any of my photos? No, it just looks like a yucky grey. I need to take her outside in the full sunlight to see if I can really get a good picture of how bright and cheery she is. It probably doesn't help that I am using my cell phone for photos instead of an actual camera, I may have to dig out my camera to get a true to color picture of her. 

And here is the ornament  I received from Carol on the Hooked on Exchanging blog. Obviously a Prairie Schooler Santa, I love the simplicity of their designs. I managed to mail mine out last week, and can't wait to show what I stitched here. That is my favorite part of doing exchanges, hoping the person I am stitching for loves what I stitched as much as I did. 

Last week was my birthday (I won't scare you with how old I am- or how old I feel), and my DH and middle daughter picked out the most beautiful bouquet. My daughter called them tangerine tulips. The blooms went from almost a coral color on the bottom to pink and yellow on the tips. So pretty! Each of my daughters made me a birthday card, and DH picked out two new charts from my wish list. Mirabilia "Garden Party" and Lavender & Lace "Celtic Summer". I can't wait to get started stitching on both of these, but I am still trying to be strong and finish off more of my WIP list. 

And here is a little stash I picked up for myself, a new Bent Creek- Oodles of Autumn. I loved the little fox and raccoon and you all know how much I love anything fall of course! Also Fall Basket by Imaginating. I just finished off their Harvest Lantern design earlier this year. The colors on this one, between the turquoise bird house and the purple flowers and golden sunflowers are so pretty!