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.