Saturday, December 27, 2008

My 1st cube pinkeep

You must be thinking, No, it can't be true, she just finished like three things This MONTH!

I know!!! I'm wondering just exactly what is in that Jamaican coffee???

I got the one-nighter fever last night and dug this The Trilogy cutie called "Cardiology" out of my PIG* pile. All the stitching was completed, that's right, COMPLETED, in one evening. I'm pretty sure my new nickname should be Robo-stitcher. The finish work did not require any sewing (yeah!), just syrofoam, quilt batting, ribbons and straight pins. Many thanks to Hannah's wonderful online tuturial! I love the technique. I'm sure I'll be using it again!

This little cube is for a neice who's first language was sign language. Although she was born hearing, both parents are deaf. I'll be stitching another one just like it for her little sister. They are my XSDNs, extra special darling nieces (stolen from my husband's side of the family). I actually have 5 XSDNs, two in NC and three in TX. Next up on the stitching gift schedule is a Sekas dragonfly checkerboard for my favorite little cowgirls in Texas. Who knows, maybe I'll just stitch that up tonight! (how's that for optimism?)
*PIG=project in a grocery sack


Now for the hard part. To frame or not to frame? I'm thinking box top. Patience is NOT one of my vitures (if you haven't figured that out already), so I'll have to fight the urge to rush this up to the framers, in order to allow myself the time to find a custom box maker. I say custom because wouldn't you know, the design is 5 and a little x 5 and a little more. Not 5x5, or even 5.25 x 5.25. Oh well. It's good to have so many stitching friends, for many reasons, but in this case, one of my BSFFs has already given me a lead on one such woodworker. I'll give a call next week and see what we can work out.
Must. Wait. Do. Not. Frame. Yet. Where's my hypnotist when I need him?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Momma's lil' baby loves shortenin'

A true and simple pleasure it is to bake a batch (or two) of scratch cookies on Christmas night, in a quieted house, for a contented family (and canine). Paula Deen's Snickerdoodles may not be as good as "shortening bread", but they are a delightful way to end your Christmas day or anyday. Soooooo good they make me wonder why I ever go to all the trouble of chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, raisins, zest, etc. As a matter of fact, the sound of my oven timer reminds me I need to go and make sure the second batch turned out as well as the first...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All through the house...

My Christmas Spirit has finally shown up.
Sharing a bit of it with you...and hoping you all enjoy a beautiful holiday with the people who mean the most to you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wounded Warrier

Okay, I promise I'll never put socks on the dog again and laugh with side-splitting gusto and she attempts to walk around the living room. My new found sympathy does not stem from some enlightened sense of what is right and wrong in the world, but from trying to stitch with a bandaged finger today! Wow, what a PITA! I couldn't feel the canvas, thread OR needle. How's that for a trifecta? And right in the middle of such a great "hell with everything else, I'm close to finishing this baby" roll. So, now sportsfans, I'm afraid it will be Christmas evening before I get the chance to cuddle back up to my new favorite WIP because I can actually hear the fat man rounding the corner now and I've yet to make the first list or consider what to feed the "fam" next week.
Wonder which of my unsuspecting WIPs will be next...? AAAhhhhha ha ha hhaa hhhaaaaa
Until then, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Friday, December 12, 2008

the upside?

I guess if there is an upside to being away from home AND not able to sleep, it's being able to turn on the light and stitch for a few pre-dawn hours. Here's last night's progress on the 4 way bargello.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

new WIP

Look at me, getting cocky. I guess I must think that just because I've finished one UFO/extended WIP (the wine bag) this year, I might as well knock out another. I kinda feel like Rocky Balboa, or whoever sang "Mama said knock you out!" I'm ON A ROLLLLLL sportsfans and actually ignoring all those pesky holiday responsibilities with ease. Who says therapy is a waste of money? Of course, when one is out of town, one feels like there is no tomorrow and is capable of stitching for two, three hours straight. Sadly, there is a tomorrow and I'll be packing tomorrow night in order to fly home Friday. Then, I'm sure my little bubble "O'fantasy" will be burst by the many prickly holiday responsibilities awaiting me. But, for now, I leave you with my latest UFO/WIP status report (Marion Scoular, 4 way bargello, peacock design):

Saturday, December 6, 2008

fun with Italian tassels

I ask, have you ever seen such Chunky-Funky tassels? I had the pleasure of learning these from a very sweet young Italian lady named Anna Maria at the National EGA seminar in Louisville several months ago. Although Anna Maria was just learning English, and very nervous, she was charming teacher. Meeting her was one of the highlights of my week in Louisville. The all ecru tassel is the "classic" tassel she made, with an "Amor" Deruta bead and kitchen string! Being the lover of color that I am, I picked a Watercolour that matched my Deruta bead and let 'r rip. If you are looking for an unusal, unique and beautiful Christmas gift for your BHTBFSFF*, check out Giulia Manfredini of Giulia Punti Antichi for a great selection of Deruta stitching accessories.
* Best Hard To Buy For Stitching Friend Forever
Footnote: if you make the time to share a bottle of wine with your BHTBFSFF, save the cork - it makes an excellent scissors tip protector!

Christmas Exchange finish

I should know better by now than to rush myself. I thought this little sweet bag would be just the thing for my stitching Winter Wonderland Christmas party exchange, but having to rush to finish it (again with the electrified sewing machine), didn't do it any favors. Hopefully, the receiver won't notice the crooked seams and strange construction techniques. Me thinks filling it with a ton of white chocolate truffles will be just the right distraction from the less than perfect finish work! The fabric in the background is also the lining and backside of bag.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

oldie but goodie

This old Better Homes and Gardens pattern for a box lid is truly one of my favorite finishes (but aren't they all). The plums and pear, holly and gourd seem to go together so well, just as if the fine folks at BHG planned it that way. I think it was stitched around 1998 or '99 (last century anyway!) when I was a dyed in the wool cross stitch puritan. I remember feeling so renegade when I stitched the long straight stitches (pine needles?). Can they do that?, I pondered. What happens if one gets snagged? I just don't know about these long straight stitches, I puzzled. Then, the "what the hell" took over and, voila, a terrific end product. Sometimes, as much as it pains me to say so, it's better to just do what you're told. Then on the other hand, some French knots would have been nice.