Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Friday, December 31, 2010

Stitching it all Up at the End of the Year

Hope you all had a very merry holiday.  I did not.  I've been sick since Christmas Eve.  I managed to get through Christmas dinner; the guys cleaned up.  That night, I lost my voice.  I self-medicated for 6 days and steadily got worse each day.  Finally I went to the doctor's office.  I really like my doctor's office.  They are brilliant.  Last year they opened a clinic for patients.  If you're sick, you go in; no appointment necessary.  If you are just "sick" you get to see a nurse-practitioner.  If you really have something wrong with you, they put you in with one of the doctors.  It has worked out well for us - this was the third time now for the family.  Anyway, they take my blood pressure as a matter of course.  The nurse looks at me and asks if I'm on blood pressure medication?  Nope.  She goes out; moments later, nurse-practitioner comes in and looks at my chart and says my blood pressure is really high, am I on medication?  Nope.  Then I tell her what over the counter medication I've been taking for six days.  She looks at me very seriously and tells me no more of that.  So, when she checked me out, she said "Wow" and "you've certainly waited this thing out".  Then she put me on three medications.  My voice has only just come back today and what I mean by "come back" is that I can actually produce sound.  It's not sound like I usually make, but it means we don't have to play charades anymore.  Today is also the first day I've felt like my head isn't going to explode.

First thing out of my chair, I wanted to make my final entry for the year.

First of all, want to let you know, I found Spirit of America - somehow she got in with the finished needlework.  So, she's being worked on now - and doesn't count as one of the "finishes" - more on that later.

I've been in my chair for a while now, and have finished quite a lot.  First up is Spirit of Christmas Stitching.

Here she is with the background all done.  I showed you a preview of what I was doing last time.  You can see on the chart that she was supposed to have wings.  Well, since she's the Spirit of Christmas Stitching, I decided that she should have a quilt instead.  So I filled in all that white background - thought I would go CRAZY! - and then stitched on the poinsettia design from one side of the wings.

I left one stitch-width of the fabric undone between the woman and the quilt; that made it look more dimensional to me.

 Here she is with all her doo-dads that will go on the strings when I put her together.  That "sampler" (on the lower right) was a bear  to do.

I like the designs that Brooke Nolan does.  BUT, I think she needs to put more attention toward what symbols she uses on the charts.  Both in the light and dark of the symbols and on the shape itself.  On that sampler the same exact triangle was used twice - it was turned one way for one color and one way for another color - right next to each other - A LOT!  It was so bad my eyes got crossed; I'm not kidding!

Finally, I had to resort to the color photograph to do the stitching.  But, I did get through it.

I put this photo in so you can see how small the doo-dads are - scaled against a U.S. penny!  All the extras are stitched on either antique brown or gold perforated paper, but the Spirit herself is on fabric.

Next up is Adam Names the Creatures - with my floss and color changes.  It's finished and I just LOVE it!  My husband really likes it too which is saying a lot.  He doesn't usually go out of his way to comment much on my stitching; other than, "that's nice".  This one he kept saying to me - now, that one we're keeping right?

This one shows how I did the birds at the top; changed the ones on either side to robins and made the peacock a little different.

This one shows my little Nehi.  I charted him out and put him in instead of the unidentifiable animal that was there.  When he saw this, my husband teared up.

And finally, here's the whole thing in all its glory.  I am really, really super happy with the way it turned out.  There was so much going on with it that I decided it did not need the final outer border.  That and the fact that I didn't have enough Steamed Broccoli to finish said border.

Now, I have something embarrassing to tell you . . . I have spent all year stitching like mad.  But, when it came to doing something with what I stitched - well, when I opened my "Finished Stitching" bin last week, I discovered I've been very bad . . .

There are Blackbird Designs 2008 Mystery Sampler, Windy Ridge Designs Bee Line March Sampler, Prairie Schooler July Sampler, Prairie Schooler Christmas Eve, With My Needle Token of Love, Prairie Schooler March, Windy Ridge Designs Marry Me Brittany, Prairie Schooler Country Seasons - Autumn, Prairier Schooler Rain Rain Go Away, Brooke's Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching, Prairie Schooler Farmer's Almanac, Prairie Schooler Country Seasons - Winter, Prairie Schooler Weatherwise - Red Sky, Homespun Elegance Flag Sampler, Scissors Keeper, Prairie Schooler Weatherwise - Sunshiney Shower, Prairie Schooler Home Sweet Home, Prairie Schooler Daffodils, Prairie Schooler Adam Names the Creatures, Giulia Punti Antiqui Canadian Journey and With My Needle, et al Petit Etui.  

All those listed in bold were finished this past year, but some of the others were completed back in 2008!  Good Grief!  So, I've made a decision.  While some have encouraged me to participate in the Crazy January Challenge, I must demur.  I have my projects for the coming year already set -

Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart
Lizzie Kate Christmas Rules (in time for next Christmas?)

I have purchased the charts for Brooke's Books Spirits of Christmas Baking, and have all the necessary materials.  They may go onto the to do list and they may not.  What I AM going to do this year is get those things in the bin taken care of.  Golly Days!  One of them is even a wedding gift!  Now, we were unemployed for a lengthy time and couldn't afford to do framing, but I think that one is going to be first on the list to be done so I can finally get it off to those two kids.  They've had a baby already!  And no, it wasn't one of those kinds of weddings, it's just been almost two years since they got married.  YIKES!  Poor Ellen at With My Needle has been patiently waiting for a photo of the etui for at least a year and a half!  And those of you who pay close attention will have noticed that all those ornaments that I've stitched over the year - were not put into that list.  So, I have all those to do as well.  It's all fun and games until the stitching stops; now it's time to put my nose to the finalizing grindstone!

Hope you enjoyed.  Happy New Year to you all, may all your stitches be without knots and twists!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Progress on Spirit of Christmas Stitching and Something Fun

Here's my progress up to this week . . .

You probably think I'm crazy; why didn't I just use white linen?  All will be revealed.

My husband took me to Falls Church last weekend.  Along the way, we saw this cute "bug".  The gal driving thought it was a hoot when we circled back around to take pictures of her car.  I'm pretty sure that she's gotten some comments on her decor, but just as sure that no one's ever taken pictures of her while driving it.  I had a '66 bug and would have LOVED to do something like this.  Turns out that the car antlers - plus red nose - are available from Taylor Gifts.  Cute, cute, cute!

This is my last post before the holidays, so have a  
VERY Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Progress on Spirit of Christmas Stitching

Went down to Strausburg, Virginia yesterday with my stitching friends.  We called ourselves the Stephen's City Hookers a few years ago.  We first got together hooking rugs.  We were really punch-ruggers, but Hookers sounded so much more dilettante.  Since our supply of rug wool from Paternayan has pretty much dried up (more on that in another post) we have just been stitching together for the last year.  We're good friends now - would call on each other in dire straights and you just can't beat that.

So anyway, they really enjoy the occasional road trip and have been hankering for one over the last few months.  So it was decided we'd go to Strasburg - which I always confuse with Staunton, goodness knows why.  One of the compadres had been to a restaurant there called CHRISTINA'S and said it was wonderful food.  I had a BLT on wheat with a cup of the soup of the day - Pumpkin with Roasted Red Peppers and I'm tellin' you, that soup was GOOD!  A BLT is a BLT is a BLT, but this one was large and yummy and went very well with that soup.  I was torn between the sandwich and the spinach - cheese quiche.  The lady behind me later ordered the quiche and it smelled divine!  One of my friends had the specialty salad that comes with candied pecans and cilantro dressing amongst other things.  She really loves that salad. 

Then of course, we had to have dessert.  On the table were red velvet cake, a chocolate brownie and I had the ginger cookies that were very gingery - almost on the edge of being too gingery.  But, I brought some home.

We exchanged some of our Christmas gifts.  I gave the girls thread winders from Gift of Stitching.  I ordered them all the way from Australia and think I got a fabulous deal.  The cost of duty and shipping are all included in the price of the tread winders for one thing.  For another, they are much bigger than I expected them to be.  I was thinking they'd be about the size of a 50 cent piece.  Nope, they're bigger than a silver dollar!  Well made too.  So, if you have been dithering on whether or not to get some, just know that I was satisfied and will continue to get them.

We also visited the Strasburg Emporium.  Found a nice selection of stitchy stuff in one of the booths.  Picked up some old issues of cross stitch magazines for $2 a piece.  If anyone's looking for an antique set of 3 sewing scissors, they have one there; in their own case; for $135.00.  They were pretty, but I didn't need them.  They also had some vintage buttons.  I saw in another booth a chair ticketed as a "French Wing Chair".  It had an unusual shape and beautiful carved wood on the wings, arm faces and legs.  It also had some unfortunate upholstery.  It was comfortable to sit in too.  The chair would be gorgeous reupholstered, but the price was too high to make that possible.

On the way back to our meeting place, we drove a two lane road instead of the highway.  Drove right under Signal Knob - made famous in the Civil War.  I decided I like the way that mountain looks.  Mountains, you may or may not know, do something for me.  Some people it's the sea, some people it's valley's or fall trees or ski slopes.  But, for me, it's mountains.  I just get this visceral emotion looking at some mountains.  There's a gap when you come from Frederick, Maryland toward Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.  It always does it to me.  Yesterday I had that feeling when I looked at Signal Knob.  Sometimes I wonder if it's something like a genetic memory - some of my ancestors passed that way in their migration south and west.  I don't know what it is, but the thought in my head yesterday was that I could look at that mountain for the rest of my life.

Had a meeting that kept me out last night until nine and fell into bed when I got home.  However, up at 4AM because I've been waking up too hot and can't get back to sleep.  This has got to stop.  Anyway, came downstairs and stitched while I finished watching Helen Mirren in The Queen.  Fabulous!  And, here's my progress on the Spirit of Christmas Stitching.  Hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I'm Working on Now - And Mr. and Mrs. Eden Update

I have run out of Scuppernong.  That's the Week's overdye that I'm using for stems along the outside of Mr. and Mrs. Eden.  I have decided to hold off doing more until my additional Scuppernong comes home.  So, here's the progress picture I promised to have up by last weekend - there's a road paved somewhere with my good intentions - more like a highway, actually.

I mentioned this last year - that I think turquoise is a great neutral.  Once again, I think I'm right.  I LOVE how it looks as the words on this sampler.  Really livens things up.  Here are some closeups of the animals . . .

Alligator and Camel

I am particularly pleased with the way the Canada Goose came out.  I had to blend overdyes to get the colors to come out the way I wanted them on the horse.  The very first horse I ever saw in my life was a palamino and it was love at first sight.  I still enjoy seeing them in the Tournament of Roses Parade which is coming up just around the corner on New Year's Day.  I just have the dog, vegetation and birds along the top to do.  Remember, I'm redoing an animal that I can't identify to look like my Jack Russell, Nehi - to remember him.

Meanwhile, since I can't just SIT and watch T.V. in the evenings, I've picked up Brooke's Book's Spirit of Christmas Stitching to work on.  Yes, I'm still working on Spirit of America, but that's been put somewhere "safe" for now.  I think you know what that means.  Anyway, this one is seasonal and pretty too.  Hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just a Quick Post

Yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day - the anniversary of the attack 69 years ago.  When I looked out the window at sunrise I was amazed to see this:

 Now, is it my imagination, or does that look like a red, white and blue sunrise?  And sort of like a waving flag?  Call me crazy, but that's what went through my mind.  There's been more progress on Mr. & Mrs. Eden; hopefully a picture by the end of the week.  Hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Progress on Mr. and Mrs. Eden

When last you saw them, they were almost alone in Eden - with only a snake and a few birds to keep them company . . . .

Progress at End of November
Ibex and Hare

Ibex, Raccoon and Chicken

Sheep, Lion and Hippo
I have decided that not only am I changing the colors, I'm changing the color of what each animal is.  What I mean is originally on the chart the elephant and hippo are both the same gray. But really, don't you expect a water horse to be a blue gray and an elephant to be a different color of gray?  Hope you enjoyed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Secret Message Doll

Here's the finished Malinda doll.  She's got on her Civil War era dress - complete with buttons! - and her apron.

So that they would be able to get the secret message in and out of the back of her head, I decided not to make the bonnet that came with her dress.

I'm still not terribly happy with her hair.  Out of desperation I glued three or four strands along the brown hairline.  I can see that more will have to be done, but she had to make an appearance at the historical society.

Her message reads: "Gen'l Jackson - Union troops marching on Martinsburg RR - Tonite! - La Belle Rebel"  I wrote it on a piece of fabric.   I thought that would be more authentic (and secretive) than a piece of paper.  If they were to inspect the doll, I thought, paper would crinkle.  Fabric is soft and quiet, and feels just like part of the stuffing in the head.  Well, that's what I would do if I was smuggling REAL secret messages in MY doll's head.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

This is Malinda.  She is a doll made from a pre-printed panel.  This year the theme at the historical society is dolls, dollhouses and model trains.

Someone said that Belle Boyd may have sent secret messages in the head of her maid's doll during the Civil War.  So when the committee was gearing up they asked if I could make a similar doll.  It was one of those times when I said "yes" and had no idea how I was going to fulfill the request.

Then the Keepsake Quilting catalog arrived in my mailbox.  I was going through it, turned the page and there was this pre-printed panel called the "Melinda Dalton Doll".  There was one panel for the doll and her undergarments and one panel for her dress.  Then came the Nancy's Notion's catalog.  They were selling the exact same panels, but had a "wardrobe" of clothing for her that included her Sunday Best Dress.  WOW!  I have dealt with Nancy's Notions for years so right away ordered the three panel set from their website.  And waited for it to arrive.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, ten days after placing my order I called and asked - What Up?  I was told that the items were on back order.  Back Order?  I asked why that hadn't been mentioned in the email they sent me confirming my order?  I was snappily told that I would have appeared on the bottom of the screen when I placed my order.  So I repeated my question about why it hadn't been mentioned in my order confirmation email.  I was told they don't do it that way.  And then she told me that the order was set to be filled the first week in December.

Now, usually I'm not a problem person when it comes to back orders.  When it comes, it comes.  But this time, I had a deadline.  The house (museum) opens for the Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving.  That means I have to have dolly done before then.  So I said to the woman that I was sorry, but that really wasn't going to work for me.  You're canceling the order?  she says to me.  I'm afraid so, I said.  Fine.  Thank you.  Bye.  Click.  Someone was apparently not having a good day - and that really surprised me too, because I've never talked to anyone there who was less than nice.

So, I got online again and went to the Keepsake Quilting site.  And found the doll panels - doll and everyday dress.  And ordered them - for $5 more than I had originally paid Nancy.  But, now it was a problem and I was willing to pay the extra five bucks.  And this time I made sure to read all the page told me when I was placing the order.  It actually said "Item in Stock".  So I clicked checkout and was done.    Oh, forgot to say that I paid for regular shipping because express shipping was just WAY out of sight.

Two days later, package in the mailbox from Keepsake Quilting!  And get this - the panels that came were the doll, the everyday dress and the Sunday dress!  The whole wardrobe!

So, this weekend I sat down (nothing like leaving things to the last minute) to whip up this doll.  She's supposed to have 3-D feet - i.e., the foot has a bottom - but darned if I could get THAT bottom to fit on THAT foot.  I finally gave up and sewed the two sides together!  The hair was also a frustrating business.  The instructions say "when you've wrapped the yarn around the cardboard about 50 times, cut it at one end".  Doesn't say anything about the SIZE of the cardboard.  So, I made two wigs - one wrong and then one right.  Attaching it was another fun time.  The thing I don't like is that you aren't going to be able to find yarn that exactly matches the color of brown that they've printed on the face as the hairline.  So, they might as well not have printed the hairline because I think it looks a little goofy.  I also think that her facial features look too old and made up.

But, at this point, I don't care, I just need to get her done.  Today I'm working on the everyday dress.  Sunday dress will have to wait until some time in the future.  Oh!  I did make her so she has a secret compartment for messages in her head.  I'll try and get a picture of that the next time.  I am going to print a message on a piece of fabric and stick it in there.  Belle Boyd is famous for sending messages to General Jackson - what do you suppose she should be telling him?  Hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Eden

I am determined not to start stitching on BBD's AotH until Christmas.  Having finished the stitching on Spirit of America, I have to keep myself busy.  So, I've begun on Adam Names the Creatures by Prairie Schooler.

Mr. & Mrs. Eden (a.k.a. Adam and Eve)

I am not going to start stitching a whole bunch of AandE's as many wonderful stitchers have done.  I sort of fell into this one, finding the older chart at a shop that I occasionally visit.  I have it more because it's a PS than because it's an A/E.

It is being stitched on Lambswool Jobelan, like the chart model was.  Mine is 14 count.  It just so happened that I had this hunk of fabric and I wasn't planning on using it since I prefer linen.  But, when I decided to stitch the chart, I went ahead with the Jobelan.  That's where I parted with PS choices for stitching though.  The country colors have just gotten too gray for me anymore.  So, as I did with the PS ABC's, so I did with Mr. & Mrs. Eden.  First I converted the original colors to more clear DMC's.  Then I converted the DMC's to Weeks or Crescent (I'm trying to use up supply to make more room for my Gentle Art).

You may have noticed that Adam and Eve aren't the same color.  I decided that they could be different.  After all, she's been hanging out under the tree, conversing with the snake and Adam's been strolling around in the garden, under the Mesopotamian sun.  Eve is also a little hipper - I cinched in her waist a bit more to give her a figure.  And I decided last year that I really like a splash of turquoise, so I've made those birds blue.  That'll be about the only blue there is in the piece.  Oh, and we all know how men are with food of any kind, so Adam, instead of standing there empty handed (and supposedly innocent) as in the chart - he's got an apple core in his hand!  Go FIGure!  Color changes available on request - hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Progress on Spirit of America

Started stitching on this about two weeks ago; this was actually my progress about a week ago; I'm that behind in taking pictures, downloading them and putting them up.

Here she is with my newly acquired scissors.  I got these from Anita's Little Stitches.  I have to say the price was wonderful and the service exemplary.  She has a terrific selection of scissors if you're looking to add to your collection!  Back to stitching - -
This piece was also designed by Brooke Nolan of Brooke's Books (she did the witches I was working on last month).  This time I decided to stitch on fabric instead of paper.  It just so happened I had a hunk of Picture This Plus "Fossil" 28 count linen and I thought it looked very close to the Antique Brown perforated paper that the model was stitched on.  I am very happy with the results and love this piece even more than I did in the chart picture.

Currently I am finishing up adding the beading and final stitches (making up for ones I missed) and have also started Prairie Schooler's "Adam Names the Creatures" (Book 31) using overdyed flosses.  Hopefully more pictures soon.  Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Comes Again

Back in 2007 I picked up Prairie Schooler's Thanksgiving Comes Again (book # 141).  It features PS's well known verse/scene theme for this month's big family holiday.  Back then I was doing a lot of stitching for sale; time was of the essence; abbreviation was required.

I finally settled on this:

Basically I stitched a part of the scene on the bottom of the sampler and then a couple of words.  Added a few more geese to fill in space too.  I also wanted to speed up the framing process.  I picked up the frames, really nice coppery colored ones, on sale.  They are 8x10 photo size - that gives you an idea of scale.

I stretched WDW overdyed wool in Wine over foam core board and then cut my linen to a size that was smaller than the field of the background.

I then fringed about a half inch of the linen on all sides and laid it out on top of the wool.  I didn't even have to tack it because the wool grabs the linen and keeps it in place - like a flannel design wall grabs your quilt squares.

Then I just closed up the frames and covered the back with some very pretty scrapbook paper (they were small enough for that).

I thought you guys might like to see this way of decreasing the amount of stitching and saving money on framing.  I'm glad I did this post because I'd forgotten about my version of this - need to pull it out of the basement and hang it up since it IS that time of year again!  Hope you like it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Sampler - Framed

Went into Michael's today and picked up this nice 8x10 frame.  Gives the sampler a cottagey feel; I thought they went well together.

Micahel's is having a great framing sale, by the way.  Several are buy one - get one for a penny.  This one was among the deal.

Last Batch of Kris Kringles are Done

The Kris Kringles I've been stitching up on the small bits of fabric are finally done.  I did two of the designs over again.  Here they all are again - - -

 Not keen on this one - it's pretty boring with Santa just holding that darn tree; may add some beads or something to spruce him up.

 I call this one Santa of the Birds - he was supposed to have something else on top of his staff, but I added a goldfinch instead.

 This is Santa of the Geese and is done on patterned linen.

 First Santa of the Nutcrackers I did was using WDW - Ladybug as the red.  Not too sure about the result, so, I did it again . . .

 This time using WDW - Liberty.  I also changed the top of this staff to be a miniature nutcracker!

 This is Santa of the Robins.  He's also done on a patterned linen.

 Santa of the Swans.  Pretty sure I stuck to a DMC color here for the blue.  In fact, in most cases, I used DMC colors - but changed them all from the Prairie Schooler selections that contain a gray haze to more pure colors.  Still have the same feel.

This is Santa of the Sweaters (to differentiate him from Santa of the Birds); shows what the original staff looked like.  I really liked the pattern on his robe.  Haven't completely decided how I'm going to finish these, but I'm thinking oval shapes.  We'll see how it works out.  I've moved on to stitching Brooke's Books "Spirit of America"; saving my AotH to begin between Christmas and New Year's.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wedding Sampler - Modified from BBD 2008 Mystery Sampler

When I was stitching the BBD 2008 Mystery Sampler, I got to the second chart and imagined it in different colors.  All of the sudden I saw a wedding sampler.  So I have this acquintance who was recently married and I thought, this would be perfect for her!

I did the top and left side following the pattern from the first chart in the mystery sampler, then the center medallion from the second chart in the mystery sampler.  The right side sort of mirrors the left side.  The bottom is the word LOVE, using the letters in the first chart.  I fiddled with a lot of the berrys - actually had to take some out to make room for the medallion and stars over top of it.  If I had to do it again I would probably start out with left green vine first, then stitch the medallion; that way there'd be less taking out of berrys.

As far as colors go, the darker green was supposed to be WDW Moss.  Well, I'd run out of that, so I made the DMC substitution; 469 I think.  Then used the WDW Olive that was called for in the chart.  The blackbirds along the edges are done in Flax.  I used a light purple and a dark purple instead of the Peacock called for in the chart.  Purple is the bride's favorite color.  Then the blackbirds over the medallion, instead of making them black, they're now done in Gentle Art Chalk - which makes them into doves!

This was super easy to do.  I am a fast stitcher.  I began on Friday night.  I felt punky on Sunday, so sat down to stitch a couple of times during the day - that day only.  Otherwise, my stitching is done early in the morning and in the evening when I'm watching T.V.  So, it could be banged out in a week if you needed a quick present for a bride and groom.  It's stitched on R&R Old Mill Java and came out to be about 5 x 7 inches.  That means I can find a nice 8 x 10 photo frame to put it in and viola!  Hope you like it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Two More Frogs to Share

I think at this point, I have to say I have enough.  Well, maybe.  It was Deb who got me started on these darn things!  Anyhow, these aren't being used, just for decoration; I'm WAY too much in love with my DragonKeeper (do you suppose the dragons will actually PROTECT the scissors from those in this house who would go against my wishes and warnings and use them for snipping anything BUT embroidery?) . . .

I digress. First up is the Russian lacquer bowl with clear glass frog.  I love red and this was my favorite one until the turquoise dragons came along. 

Next up is this green gem -I love how this tall frog sits up proud above the bowl; it almost looks like some sort of berry. 

Although the maker of the frog is not marked on it, it does have impressed on it "Patent Apld For"  It is different from most other glass frogs I've seen.  The bowl is 4 -1/4 inches diameter and although not marked, was labeled as Anchor Hocking Glass Co., Forest Green Sandwich Glass.  It is really pretty.

Bronny wrote me a nice comment on my last  post about the DragonKeeper that it was a Fenton remake of an older design.  I thought that was neat since Fenton is a West Virginia glass company and I live in WV. 

I have two more frogs that need bottoms and then I really MUST be done.

Under the better late than never heading; my son sent me the above picture of a glass pumpkin he got at a farmer's market in the Puyallup, WA area.  I think it's gorgeous!

My youngest son and I have been fighting off a stomach bug since mid-last-week.  It's a very persistent one.  My husband says a lot of people at work have been coming down with it.  Over the weekend though, son came down with back, neck and head ache and a slight temp - none of the symptoms I've had.  This morning, he insisted that he be taken to see a doctor (he has aged out of his pediatrician's office so this meant starting afresh at the practice his father and I go to).  Of course, I'm too OLD to have accumulated any common sense about these sorts of illnesses; that they just have to run their course.  Naturally, while at the doctor's office, the subject of meningitis came up and although I admitted that the thought had crossed my mind, I said that I felt his symptoms just weren't enough to cause alarm.  Well, turns out mom knew best.  Just a virus, has to run its course, be sure to drink liquids, etc. etc. etc. And by the time we got home, he felt well enough to go to work.  By golly, that doctor was a true healer!

Finally, a lot of my pictures lately have had my quilted runner as a background - I made it years ago - with set in seams no less!  The blocks were so difficult to make that I stopped after making five of them; and that was just enough for a runner.

Going to go sip my watered down OJ and work some more on my Modified BBD 2008 Mystery (Wedding) Sampler; hope to have progress pics soon.  Thanks for coming to visit!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

There Be Dragons Here

Been keeping my eyes out for frogs and containers to fit frogs as I go out and about.  Found a really big clear glass frog early on in a foray at the Past & Present antiques shop in Winchester.  As I went through the rest of the cavernous building, I tested each pretty glass, pottery or wooden container I came across to see if the frog would fit in the top of it.

I turned and looked at this shelf that had some very posh glassware on it.  The turquoise container was sitting right there before my eyes.  It has a top - makes it a really nice candy dish - and the finial on the top is a seashell.  Very Miami Beach looking and not really my cup of tea.  But then I got a look at its legs.  Dragons!  So I put it on a nearby table and took the lid off and popped in the glass frog.  It was if it had been made to go with.  

I have put the lid safely away in the china cabinet.  My younger son loves dragons; so at some point in the future he will probably get rid of the frog and reunite lid and dish to use for something else that pleases him.  For now, my scissors are being contained very upscale.  And, like I noticed last winter, turquoise seems to go with everything.

Keeping with the dragon theme - last summer my friend gave me a bunch of her mother's old sewing things that I said I'd share over time.  Here is another one.  She kept wooden bobbins (not the same manufacturer) of waxed cotton thread in this box.

Note that they are manufactured in Fall River, Mass. and Willimantic, Conn.  Kinda cool, huh?

Now I have a quilting question - related to fabric.  Has anyone ever ordered fabric from the Connecting Threads catalog?  I have been receiving this catalog a couple of years now, but have never used it.  I think that the company is actually some offshoot of Joann's (don't ask me why, it's just a hunch).  I didn't request the catalog, nor have I used them on line.  But, they do have some interesting fabrics.  So, I was wondering if anyone knows if it's good quality quilting fabric?  I have ordered online from Hoffman's of Paducah and a few other places like Fat Quarter Shop - and been very pleased, but hesitate to use this one.

Thanks bunches!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whitman's Sampler Boxes

Went antiquing last week with my girlfriends and found these . . .

They are the cardboard version of the boxes.  Both are in great shape inside too.  I remember when I was a kid and my mom would get these - I loved to look at the "map" to see which chocolates were which.  I think that these boxes are pretty old, because I don't remember a lot of these candy flavors - and there's a lot of pineapple; I don't remember that.  Two different sizes, the larger one in the back was $2.50 and the smaller one was $1.50.  I snapped them up, remembering that there is some project out there that uses these boxes.

The one I was thinking about was Sue Hillis' A Sweet Stitch, which chart is available from Silver Needle for $20.  I'm not sure I want that chart that much.

The other project I was able to find was by Stitching Parlor - My First Sewing Box.  But, I just don't like this one that much.  So, looks like I'll have to come up with something on my own.
The boxes are still really cute and in great shape.  Also, I don't really have to do anything with them; after all they DO have sampler designs on them.  They could just be used as they are to store threads, or tools, or whatever. 

Then I thought, wait a minute, didn't my friend GIVE me one of those tin sampler boxes back a few years ago?

Turns out, I was sort of right - it wasn't a Whitman's Sampler box, but it WAS a tin candy box, which is pretty cool.  The lid is nice and heavy too.  So, I can use my cardboard boxes for stuff that I won't be into alot (that way they won't get abused and out of shape much) and I can set the tin one aside to make one of those charming needlework tool boxes.  Love it!