Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some Summer Finishes

Hello Everyone!

Ahhh summer.  So many distractions, so little time.  I am still stitching away here in toasty warm Massachusetts, but I've sadly been neglecting all my followers and not updating you on the progress.  What can I say?  Is a picture worth 1000 words?

Sorry to say the computer just doesn't make it down to the beach or the pool - sand, water, electronics - bad combination.  But, now that I'm back at my desk I can diligently share with you all the wonderful progress I'm making on my never-ending list of projects.

Mill Hill Dragonfly

Such a summery little guy.  Although a close up would be better you can kind of get an idea of the excellent teal and lime green colors on this one.

Lizzie Kate Green Flip-It Save Water

The third one I've finished in the series - I should have bought all 6 patterns!  I think this one goes in the kids bathroom.  Every little reminder I can get in before they jump in the shower for 30 minutes is worth a try.

Lanarte Quartet of Penguins

If you've been following my other posts, first there were 2, then 3, now 4 little penguins.  A little And Then There Were None in reverse.  I'm not really sure if there was a single penguin in the series, but if so, it's one of the few patterns produced that's not sitting in my stash.  So, I'm officially finished posting pictures of penguins - that is until I manage to kit up the Cross-Stitch Christmas Skating Penguins pattern.

Lizzie Kate Summer-Licious Boxer

This was a quick start and finish in just a couple days.  Just love the sun with shades up there and the little bees with their button wings.  Very cute little kit.

Now for some new starts to share with you.

Lizzie Kate 4th of July Flip-It

My daughter's selection for a new start this month.

Little House Needleworks Music & Books

My pick for a new start this month.

I'm enjoying most of what I have in progress at the moment so hopefully I can keep the stitching mojo going and share some more with you soon.  Maybe even share some of the progress on the larger projects in the works.

Until then I'm off to enjoy these long summer days!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Update

Hello Friends,

I haven't disappeared permanently, just on a brief hiatus due to start of summer activities.  I must admit my stitching has taken a big hit with visitors, travel and time outdoors, but I think those are all important items as well.  We entertained my father visiting from Las Vegas with a few of his grandchildren as well as my sister and my adorable nephew for a few days.

It was so awfully hot while they were here so most of the time was spent out at the pool, but there was a quick trip into Boston to check that off the list and fortunately an early morning allowed us to get out and do some late-season strawberry picking!

Then, quickly headed into the final figure skating competition of the season for my daughter, sailing camp for the boys and a whirlwind Fourth of July week of vacation.  We had a wonderful time visiting some friends at the Cape and returned home a bit too crispy for my taste so a few days indoors was required.  Fortunately that did allow me a couple of hours of stitching so I was able to get back to some of those WIPs. The first project I picked up was The Swimming Hole.

You can just start to see the little mouse taking shape here.  This is stitched on 28 ct Antique White Linen, although it looks a bit more natural here.  The design just perfectly captures summer.

Also, made a little progress on Moose Lodge (Designs by Lisa).

I'm back to work this week and camps are all settling in for the kids so I'm going to try to be more consistent with my updates and my stitching!  I hope you all are enjoying your summer as well.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pre-Father's Day Check-in

I hope all of you celebrating with the fathers in your life have a wonderful weekend coming up.  We're just grateful there is some hope of sun this weekend.  It's been so cold and wet for June so far that even mid-70s sounds fabulous as long as there is some sun.

I thought I'd try a quick pre-weekend check-in and quick update on some of the in-progress pieces.

My little dragonfly is coming along nicely.  The turquoise threads and beads are beautiful on this little guy.  Hopefully if the sun comes out this weekend we'll see some of the real ones flitting around the garden!

Green Flip-It Save Water (Lizzie Kate)

This one is coming along nicely as well.  Just have to finish up that watering hole at the bottom and this can join my Eat Locally finish on the kitchen wall.  Although maybe it belongs in the kids bathroom right near the shower...

Quartet of Penguins (Lanarte)

Yes, there will eventually be 4 penguins on here.  Three in progress so far.

Parade of Wild Animals (Lanarte)

Not sure if this is the best thing to post given that I have the front end of the rhino and the back end of the elephant only so far, but oh well, had to share. Another silhouette - working with the single color is just great.  I can stick this one in my bag and pull it out to stitch a few rows almost anywhere.  So far, all the progress has been completed waiting in the parent pick-up line at school!

So, reviewing this post, I think I see a theme here.  Animals much?  Really not deliberate.  Let's see what else there is in the pile.

Any guesses? Yet another new spontaneous start yesterday.  Flip-Flop Frenzy (Dimensions)

At least it's not yet another animal project.  I pulled this out because the flip-flops just look so cute and my daughter is a huge fan.  But, then reading through it I realized the finishing trim on each pair is really cool so I'm pretty excited about getting the basic stitching out of the way.  I was so surprised that working on Aida was suddenly tough for me.  I started stitching 20 years ago as a teenager and could only work with Aida & DMC floss - was just terrified of any other evenweave and knew nothing about all the incredible threads out there.  Now in the past year as I get back into the stitching, I've started playing with so many different fabrics and threads that going back to these basic kits is actually almost difficult.  I'm committed though - this will be done this summer! (Unlike Frederick the Literate which is being woefully ignored :( )

Well, I think that's enough for a pre-weekend update (and the third post in a week! yay!).  Happy Father's Day to all the fathers in your families and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Setting a Record

Two posts in three days!  Yes, I do believe this is a record.  I have been merrily stitching along and finished my little blue owl.

Blue Owl on Branch (Cherry Hill Stitchery)

He's just so adorable.  The lighting here gives this a pink/orange look, but it's actually a light gray Jobelan.  I really do like this fabric.  It's so soft that it works well whether I use the frame or just roll it as I'm stitching.  I imagine this might be more difficult with large projects, but for these small projects it's really great.

As soon as I finished this up, I just had to go digging through my stash to see what new project I could start to fill in the space in my WIPs bag.  Of course I replaced one project with two new ones.

First up.

Dragonfly Ornament (Mill Hill)

Summer themes continuing here. I think I put in about 30 minutes on this sorting thread and getting the basic stitches done. The majority of what remains is the beadwork and backstitch.  When I saw how quickly this would go, I figured, hey, I'm going to be done so quickly with this, I should probably start another one, right?

The Swimming Hole (Oehlenschlager Designs)

Again with the summer thing.  And apparently little mice.  As I was sorting through my stash to identify the next project, I found myself gravitating to little animal patterns.  You can't see this little guy yet, but that little bit of brown is his hear and the start of the face.  Again, this one looks like it will move along nicely - I'm hoping so.  It will be a nice addition to the sun porch as you head out to the pool.

And, last, another one for summer.

Stars and Stripes Forever (Bent Creek)

Didn't get too far on this one. It is 32 ct Vintage Linen so it's rather difficult for me to work it late at night in dim lighting.  I need to stick to 28 ct or Aida for my night time stitching.  But, the colors are absolutely phenomenal on this one.  Love, love, love the Lancaster Red and Deep Sea threads.  I'm hoping to get it up for July 4th.  Let's see if it can be done.

That's all for my progress updates.  I'm looking forward to the weekend to try to get a bit more stitching done.  Give that it's Father's Day here, I'm thinking we might be just relaxing at home and enjoying the family, which usually means some good stitching time for me.  We'll see.

Until we "meet" again...

Monday, June 10, 2013

June at the 1/3rd Mark

So, June 10th has arrived.  I'm officially 1/3 of the way through the month and I think I've got a whopping one post so far. Not really living up to my plans to keep regular updates coming...hmmm.  Seems like a good goal to keep working on.  In that spirit, here's the progress for the month so far.  There are quite a few pictures here so be warned.

A few new finishes.

Honey Pot (Mill Hill)

What can I say?  It just feels like summer to me when I look at this design.  Love the little bee charm as well.  The only challenge was the crazy small gold beads with full cross stitches through them.  I had my doubts as to whether I would finish them - so frustrating sometimes when I can't get that second half of the stitch through the bead.

Flip-It June (Lizzie Kate)

Yep, another one.  So far that's February, March, April, May and June completed (I missed January so that's a 2014 project).

Laundry Wahine Style (Silver Needle)

This is the first Secret Needle Night project I've stitched from Silver Needle.  It was really fun to use the different threads for a change - some perle cotton and fyre werks metallic ribbon.  And that grass skirt - so cool.  They even included real Hawaiian shells and little "coconuts" for the trees.   Check it out.

Now I still need to finish-finish this one and I do need a bit more of that dark pink perle cotton for the bikini top, but I'm calling it a completion for the month until I find time to get it mounted.

Now for the in-progress updates.

My little blue owl is coming along nicely - just a bit more to do on him.

And Just Dance has gotten at least a little bit of attention.  Hoping to see some more progress on this one this week.

Moose Lodge (Designs by Lisa)

Here's another one that's in progress that I'm hoping will move along a bit this month.

That's all for now folks.  More to come this week!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wrapping Up May and Kicking Off June

Hello fellow stitchers! I hope you all had a great weekend.  It was toasty warm here in MA this past weekend.  Since I refuse to turn the A/C on in the house before July (it is New England after all), it was a whopping 90 degrees in our house on Saturday.  Quite warm. But, we are back to 70 degrees, overcast skies and some rain today.  In all seriousness, it was a great weekend to be outside sitting at the pool and the kids had a blast swimming this early in the season.  We were also busy with some other activities including my daughter's bridging ceremony for Girl Scouts up to Juniors.  I can't believe she'll be in 4th grade next year! Yikes!  All this is by way of explanation for the lateness of my May wrap-up post.  So I'm combining the wrap-up with a kick-off for June.

In stitching news, May was in fact the biggest month for finishes this year for me.  Eleven in total!  Yay!!!  So, for the year the record looks like:

January: 7
February: 5
March: 4
April: 3 (yep, the slacking shows here)
May: 11
June: 1 (so far)

I've still got the bug so I think it will be another good showing this month. At least, here on June 3rd I'm feeling optimistic.  So, what were the last two May finishes? And, what's up next?

I think I started this back in 2009 on an airplane to California.  It took forever for me to finally come back to it. But, I'm pleased to say it's finally done and hanging in the hall where the dog's crate is.

Cat at Window (Permin)

This was a spontaneous start very late in May that I just couldn't put down.  Must have been the cat theme I was going for as I finished the month....

And, I did manage to frame and hang one other piece...
It looks quite yellow here so I think a better picture is required, but I'm just thrilled with the frame and how it complements the stitching colors.

Now, for June's first finish.

Funky Shoes (Anchor)

Clearly, my picture-taking skills let me down again - sorry it's a bit blurry.  I can't say I'm a fan of the Anchor kits.  I have a few in my stash and that will be the end of them.  Although this one came out quite cute despite all the French knots, backstitch and glue on sequins.  It will look cute in my daughter's pink room - she's always been an aspiring Imelda Marcos.

I've got a few new starts so far this month as well.  It was great to clear out some of the in progress projects last month to allow me to tackle some new fun!

Can you guess what this is?  Moroccan Monkey (Lanarte)  I'm still looking for the elephant that's also in the series.  Perhaps someday I'll find it.

Flip-It June (Lizzie Kate)

Just Dance (Designs by Lisa)

Blue Owl on Branch (Cherry Hill Stitchery)

I think I'll try to mix it up a bit this month and show some of the progress on the other items sitting in the to be worked pile.  Stay tuned for more progress in June!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Update

It was just so incredibly wonderful to have a 3 day weekend. Despite some lingering mild illness we were able to finally make some progress on a variety of projects at home, including the dreaded house-cleaning.  And on top of that I was able to continue on my stitching marathon for the month of May.

First, I did manage to get a few pieces framed and hung.  So excited to see them up on the walls finally!

Not the greatest of photos nor necessarily the best mounting job, particularly on the little ones, but it's huge progress for me so I'm very pleased.

Also, a few new finishes this weekend (bringing the May total to 9 so far!).

Fresh Watermelon (Little House Needleworks)

Ok, so it took a year to finally finish this one.  I blame it on the very soft linen and lack of a snap frame (what an unbelievable help that was when I finally broke down and purchased one this month!). I am missing the little black bird for the top of the watermelon slice, but I think it looks very cute even without that added touch.  I'm still undecided as to whether I will add it. Those large buttons make it much more difficult to frame with glass and this linen will definitely show signs of dust in no time in our house!

Promise Me (Lizzie Kate)

I just love this Winnie the Pooh quote! And the colors on this are fabulous.  Unfortunately the picture doesn't really do it justice.

Ballet Silhouette #4 (Vervaco)

The second one I've completed in the series.  I have the third queued up for the next rotation. Can't wait to get the three of them finish-finished!

And, last but not least.

Prince (Mill Hill Nutcracker Series)

I'm closing in on a complete series here.  Clara (check!), Drosselmayer (check!), Mouse King (check!), Prince (check!).  Up next, the Nutcracker.  And, hopefully, somewhere out there I can find the Sugar Plum Fairy kit which amazingly I never purchased with the rest of them.

That's all for now folks.  Happy Stitching!