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!

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!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bell Ringing?

Had a little time this weekend to do some finishing. I worked on my HOE ornaments (eek everyone else has their ornaments mailed out already-I am of course the slow one) so I can't show those yet. But I also did some fussing with Alice. I found the little keys in the dollar bins at Michael's and wanted to do a border of black and white beads around the white trim. Unfortunately the trim, combined with the linen and the fabric is super hard to stitch through so the beading didn't work. So now I am letting it sit for a while hoping inspiration will strike me for how to finish it off.

A tiny bit of progress on Ashley, I worked mostly on her bouquet last night which was very slow stitching. There must be over a dozen different shades of pink in the flowers, so much confetti stitching! At least the pinks are pretty I guess.

And here is my newest reading selection, and I have a question for someone with a little more culture than me maybe. The book is set outside of London, and she uses a few slang phrases that I am not familiar with. Most I figured out, like what a chat-up line was. But she called an ex-boyfriend a "bell ringer"? I'll quote the book and maybe someone can help me figure out what it meant...
"And he completely forgot to mention the bell-ringing. -- How could I have gone out with someone for six months and not known they were a secret bell-ringer?"
So I googled bell ringing and it of course gave me the obvious answer of someone who rings a bell, but it was such a weird phrase, anyone out there with a better answer than google? 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy first day of Spring!

Happy first day of Spring, though here it is starting to feel like summer. It has been in the low 90's here in Arizona, which is too hot for me. All of my children have been asking when the pool will be warm enough to swim in, and I had to let them dip their toes in to prove it was not warm enough yet.

Ashley is coming along, gathering roses for the spring-time. I have decided to do all of the grey in her dress first, and all of the white of her dress last to try and keep it as clean as possible. I'm sure I will regret this choice when I am going blind from all that white. I have to share how well my husband knows me. I ran in the kitchen the other day and frantically put her under the cold tap after spilling coffee on her (EEK!) and my husband asked which piece it was. When I said it was my Mirabilia he had the good sense to say "Oh no! Not that one". Luckily it was only a few drops of coffee and a quick rinse under the cold water did the trick. Silly me stitching before I have finished my morning coffee.

Here is how we spent this warm weekend. We drove up north for a little hiking, and to see this beautiful waterfall. It was really flowing with the snow-melt from up north. Our little one was convinced we were in the woods looking for bears, wolves, or snakes. Luckily none were to be found along our little hike, just a very pretty herd of deer (who did not seem the least concerned with us). 

My fitbit said we had climbed 50 floors on the hike and went a bit under 3 miles along the trail. I would like to note also that I carried the littlest one most of the way back up the trail after he exhausted himself playing by the waterfall, and I could definitely feel it in my back and calves today. Made me feel like all those mornings at the gym were paying off. And below is pre-hike, I made my husband pull over so we would get a picture in front of the cherry trees. Prescott has a few streets of beautiful old houses, and each block was lined with these trees full of pink and white blossoms. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Marching along

Forgive me, not the most original title-but it's early and the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet. Still stitching along on Ashley's Roses. Lots of white in her dress, which is not as bad as the confetti of pinks in her bouquet and her hair. Darn all that pink is so pretty once it's done though! 

Christina of Whilst Iris Naps commented about having to look up what she would look like finished. She is an older Mirabilia design (1998) and I do have the original chart but it was missing the photo so i'm sorry I can't show you what she will look like here. How I came to purchase the chart is actually a funny story. I bought this chart, and about 20 other Mirabilia's off of a Craigslist post of a sad looking box of patterns and a tangle of thread. Well, when I got to the house it was a man selling off his mother's stash who had unfortunately passed away. He showed me the box that was in the original posting on CL of mostly patterns from the 80's and old magazines that I wasn't sure I would find anything to stitch out of. He then asked if I cross stitched, and if I would be interested in seeing the other stitching stuff she had. He hauled out this big steamer trunk, full of her half stitched projects, some in bags with charts/threads, and some just tossed in randomly. Then he brought out two other cardboard boxes with a folder full of Mirabilia patterns, another full of Teresa Wentzler, and several others beautiful patterns. From the first look in the boxes, I was almost hopping up and down with excitement. I bought the whole lot up, and could barely fit it all in my husband's Jeep. Now I worry if I will ever do her half-done projects justice, she had many that were half started and I can't imagine how many hours of love went into each.

Here is my new reading start this week. I have talked about how much I love Mary Kay Andrews books, and this is her writing mysteries under a different name. We shall see if it measures up to her more romancey types books.  We also did some Netflix watching this week. Finally got to see The Reader with Kate Winslet. You may remember I just got around to reading the book in January. I must say the movie was just as good as the book. Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes really did their characters justice. Another movie we watched that I can highly recommend is the Accountant starring Ben Afleck. I really liked him in The Town, and this again is another action movie. The story though was interesting, and not the typical car-chase shoot em up action movie. 
And this weekend was my sweet husband's and I's fourth anniversary. My girls look so young in the above photo. I'd like to say we don't look too much older yet, but the years (and wrinkles) do sneak up on you. For our anniversary we had a wonderful date night with grandpa babysitting our little guy at home. We did a couples massage (a first for my husband) and then went out to dinner at the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant (which was a first for me). 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March madness!

So Lizzie Kate's "Luck" is done. I simply hemmed around the design, frayed the edges a bit, and mounted it on a cute piece of fabric in the frame. Love the design, but wish I had chosen a darker linen to stitch it on so the white stitching would have shown up better,

And here is my 6th finish for the year. This WIP was sooo old, I started it 13 years ago I think! The Aida I stitched it on was so grimy too, but with a good rinsing in some soapy water it now looks clean again, This is a pattern out of a magazine, so I am not sure who the designer is. 

And here is my little bit of March madness. You know how I have been trying so hard to reduce the amount of WIPs I have? I have been restraining myself to only starting one new project a month (LK Luck was my Feb start and finish). So for March my fingers were itching to start a huge Mirabilia that I have no hope of finishing anytime soon while still trying to show love to all my other WIP's. But I just couldn't help myself, so I present to you my start on "Ashley's Roses", and man is she big- 202 by 262 stitches. She is a perfect Spring/Summer stitch to counter all of the Halloween WIPs I am trying to get through.

And here is my littlest one helping me pick lemons in the yard. We got a full laundry basket full of lemons off of our neighbor's two trees, and juiced 4 pitchers full of lemon juice. We also planted our tomato garden for spring already, but with all the rain we have been having our little plants are looking a little battered.

I'll leave you with one of our roses on the trellis outside of our bedroom patio. These are called Fourth of July roses, and I love the white and pink stripes of them. They are not very fragrant, but they do grow nicely over the trellis, this particular bush is up to about 11 feet tall, and puts out blooms for much of the year. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Feeling Lucky?

I couldn't resist a teeny-tiny new start, I mean really it doesn't even count does it?!? Above is Lizzie Kate's St. Patrick's Day chart for this year. All I need to finish is the threads for my leprechaun's face and the gold for the border. Quick, cute stitch and a good break from all of my Halloween stitches.

Here's where I am at on "Remember Me". I completed the row of houses (just need roofs on them), dug half of a grave (all that dark stitching is tedious) and my witch now has a dress and a pumpkin companion. I messed up the skeletons toes, so am hemming and hawing over how much I will have to frog to make them right. This linen is very bumpy/uneven, and I went over three somewhere when it should have been over two. Now the only problem is finding which little stitch threw me off! 

Below is my SIXTH finish for the year, Drawn Thread's "Halloween Sampler". I changed many of the colors on this one, but overall am really happy with how it turned out. I have organized my WIP list into categories (I know how nerdy am I?) so about 25% of my projects are Fall/Autumn, 25% are Halloween, 25% are miscellaneous, and the last group is all of my big-big projects. My goal for the first three months of this year was 25% of my WIP basket done, or 9 projects. So with six done already and one more month to go I am right on track. Well, as long as I stop adding new projects like ahem the LK at the top of this post. Look away, look away--I just can't help myself apparently!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Skeletons coming out of my closet

I'll start with my most recent finish, Alice is done! This was a very quick stitch for me, and I loved the softness of the colors in it. This was my first time stitching a Jardin Prive design, and I have to say I enjoyed the chart too (easy to read, just DMC thread and no blended colors). I am still debating making this into a pillow or a wall hanging, pillows in our house tend to be well-loved!

And here is my not so new start. Birds of A Feather "Remember Me On Halloween".
I say not so new, because when I went looking back for my starting progress photo I had to go way way back in the archives. The date under the cat says 2011, which means I probably started this in 2010. I don't think I have stitched at all on this in the last five years, so it was time for it to see some attention.You'll notice the edges are taped with blue painters tape, and I was very brave in leaving very little margin around my stitching. It is funny how much I have learned in my stitching over the years. The skeleton is again stitched in glow in the dark white (my favorite for Halloween pieces), and I have changed every single color from the chart to suit what I had available in my thread stash. 

And here is what I have been reading this week. Watership Down was recommended by a friend of mine, and is a children's classic about a warren of rabbits. At first I was not sure how much I would enjoy it, but it wound up being one of those books I wished would not end. The Reader was my other finish this week. I have not seen the movie yet (starring Kate Winslet), so went into this book knowing only a little of the story. I did like the story, it was a short read, only 200 pages. I looked up some of the reviews of it after finishing it, and it gave me pause to think about the characters in the story. It is about a Nazi prison guard put on trial for war crimes after the war, and her motivations for what she did. I highly recommend both books, but am now immersing myself in lighter fare of Mary Kay Andrews, I love her books for how just light and fun they are. She just came out with a new one called "Save the Date" about a wedding planner who finds love. One of my New Years goals is to read two books a month this year, so finishing these two in the last week of January puts me right on track.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Alice is almost in Wonderland!

So I have a good feeling Alice will be finish #5 for the year. Here is where she is as of this weekend. I got a good bit of stitching time in on her as husband was out of town visiting family. I found the fabric on ebay, and think I am going to make Alice into some sort of small wall quilt or pillow. Isn't the clock fabric perfect for her though?!? Sorry Alice is so wrinkly, I took her off my stitching hoop just to get a quick progress photo.
And while husband was away I did a little thrift shopping over the weekend, and look what I found! It was half off Saturday at the Goodwill's in our area, and I found the above spool of kind of an eyelet lace trim for $4. I actually wanted trim for  Alice's pillow, but I honestly have no idea what I will do with quite this much of it. The spool is about 8 inches across, and on the bottom it says "365" not sure if that is in feet or yards. If it is yards that's like a half mile of trim! (please don't check my math i'm terrible at it) So I now own a lifetime supply of trim. FYI you can expect to see this on ALL of my future finishes.

And here was my BIG purchase for the weekend, a new outside stitchy spot. We have an awesome back porch at this house, and used to have a very old-very cheap futon that too many foster dogs had halfway destroyed and I would not longer sit on (they ripped the stuffing out of half of it). Now that we are on hiatus from dog fostering for a bit, I decided it was time for me to have a comfy stitchy spot again. I love stitching outside in the natural light, and being able to hear birds and the wind in the trees. Here in Arizona this is the perfect time of year to be outside too, it was in the high 60's this weekend. So I found the above daybed on Craigslist (for $100 bucks less than it was still on sale for at World Market) and all of the pillows on it for less than $10 at Goodwill (half off day again). The only thing new I had to buy was the mattress for it (I just can't see buying a used mattress). So I am one happy stitcher again to have an outdoor spot again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A few more finishes and oops! one new start

So I did start something new amidst continuing to try and thin out my stitching basket a bit. This one was a Christmas present from my family, and I loved it so much I just couldn't wait to start on it. And for less than 2 weeks of stitching, I'd say I have made a good start on it. The design is "Alice au Pays des Merveilles" by Jardin Prive. My husband picked it out and then had my two daughters help him gather all the threads needed for it, so it truly was a family gift. I love the design, especially the white rabbit and the flowered tea cups/tea pot along the bottom.

I have had some recent finishes too. Finish # 2 for the year is Lizzie Kate's September block. For such a tiny piece this one sure took me a long time to get done. I ahem, started it back in September with the delusion of getting it done in September--how is it January already!

 And Cricket Collections "Playing with Jacks" got the final stitches and back-stitching put in it. I originally was only going to stitch the black pumpkin on the right hand side of this design, but am now so glad I went ahead and stitched the whole thing.
And finish #4 for the month (that puts me ahead by one if your counting-my goal was 3 finishes a month) is Trilogy "Secret Flowerbed". This was another small that took me forever to get done. I did little french knots for the bunnies tail, and the used tiny green seed beads for the caterpillar. Pretty happy with how this one came out, but no idea how I will actually finish it. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

2 more finishes for the New Year

Busy busy start to my New Year, we have lots of winter birthdays in our family, so it feels like the holiday celebrations have stretched on and on. But things are finally calming down a bit (knock on wood). I am slowly working on my WIP basket, my goal for last year was to complete 25% of my unfinished projects, and I succeeded. I finished 13 cross stitch projects in the last 3 months of 2016. So my goal for the first 3 months of 2017 is the same, but a slightly smaller number. To finish 25% of my WIP basket I will need to finish 9 projects or 3 per month. This month I have already completed 2, so only 1 more to meet my goal for this month. Normally I have never cared how many projects I have going at once, but I must admit it does feel nice to have a slightly smaller stitching basket.