Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Slow but steady progress

 Last night I officially passed the halfway point of Painted Flowers


Here's the photo:

I am a little concerned with the amount of fabric remaining. I sure hope there is enough to finish!

I am very ready to finish this one!

Hope all of you are enjoying your summer! Looks to be a long hot one!

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Still here plugging away!

This is such a slow stitch! I would estimate that I am a little more than 3/8's of the way through this design.

This is where I am:

I am currently working on the flower in the upper left corner.

As you can see from the leaflet, I have miles to go!

I never dreamed this stitch would take me so long! There are a lot of color changes, every few stitches, plus the difficulty of stitching on black. I will keep plugging away at it for now. I may take a break to do some finishing though.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Seems quite hot even in these early days.

Hope to show some more progress next time.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

I'm making very, very slow progress!

I think I have frogged as much as I have stitched on this project!
This has to be the slowest I have ever stitched.

I had been waiting to have more progress before I posted, but I realized that it had been a long while since my last post, so here it is:

progress on Painted Flowers, using DMC on 20ct Black Aida

Painfully slow going! I have been looking forward to starting my next project, but I'm afraid if I don't finish this one now, it won't ever get done.
This is one of those stitches that needs to be done vertically rather than horizontally. There is a lot of counting, and a lot of color changes with similar colors!

It is a very pretty design, but if you ever decide to stitch it, I strongly suggest that unless you have very good eyesight, to stitch it on a larger count fabric. 20ct aida or 40ct black linen is just too tough for me, anyway. 14 count aida or 28ct linen would be better, even though the design would be bigger.
Hope to be back soon with more progress!

Sunday, April 28, 2024

BIG Framing News!

 Deep Peace is finally framed!

And it only took me twelve years to do it!

I couldn't believe it when I looked at the date on this one. It was 2012!

This was definitely the hardest thing I have ever framed. The weird size made it impossible to find a frame! I wanted it to be gold, to pick up the gold in the pattern. I know I could have brought it to a professional framer, but it wasn't in the budget, and frankly, I just didn't like any of the modern frames. 

I finally found what I thought was the perfect frame at an estate sale. When I got it home however, it turned out to be way too big. I decided to use it anyway, and get a mat. That in itself was hard to figure out because the mat had to be uneven in the top from the sides. Finally, I decided on the color and style, and prayed I got the measurements right!

Yes! Hurray! The size worked out perfectly! By the way, a big shout out to Matboards & More for their great communication.

The frame was not perfect, and most certainly, the framer was not perfect, but at long last, here is Deep Peace:

Deep Peace - Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches Lauren Sauer 1998

If you would like to read more about Deep Peace, click on the link on the right-hand side of the page. It took up a lot of 2012. It was my first time working with real gold, and it was not without its challenges!

I am so glad to have this finally framed!

Now, for some much less dramatic news, I also got the Gaelic Alphabet Sampler framed. This was a much easier task in comparison. I was a little disappointed with the frame. It turned out, it was made of paper, rather than the wood, as advertised on Amazon, but it worked out ok.

The Gaelic Alphabet Sampler

Well, that's all I've got for now. Be back soon!

Seraphina is Stitched!


I still have to turn her into an ornament. She came out a little on the large size for an ornament. I may turn her into a little pillow.

I love her little upturned nose!

It turns out there are two versions of this little pattern. One is slightly smaller than the other. I think this is what confused me initially with the fabric size.

I think I will probably stitch the smaller version also. One of the differences is in her skates. In one version they are much smaller

I made a little progress on Painted Flowers, though I am finding it very difficult to stitch on the 20 ct black aida. I am skipping over some areas that called for some DMC colors I don't have. I really thought I had all the DMC by now, but there are some new colors out there, and this chart calls for 3 of them.

This is what I have so far:

Not very much, I'm afraid.

Well, I do have some big framing news, but I will save that for a separate post.

Hope all of you are having a very pleasant, peaceful Sunday!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

I'll Start with the Good News. . .

I stitched Easter Basket, and finished it without any issues! This was from the Easter Parade chart from Blackbird Designs. I stitched the rabbit some years ago.

Here is how it came out:

Easter Basket by Blackbird Designs
Stitched on 36 ct linen using GAST threads

Of course I still need to find a frame for it. I think if I stitched it again, I might change the colors a bit.

Well, after that, my thinking was that I would fit in a little Christmas ornament before I started a larger project. That is where my troubles began!

I chose Seraphina. This is an oldie that I have had in my stash for a while. The actual chart I had was for a Christmas card.

I have thought about this one for some time. I decided to swop out the aida for 32 ct linen, and the color of her coat from green to red.

Somehow I stupidly miscalculated the size of the linen needed. I didn't realize it until I had half of it stitched! I don't know what I was thinking! Then I realized that the white on her muff and eventually her hat, really didn't show up against the white linen. So I decided to stitch the fuzzy parts with Wisper (Rainbow Gallery). This isn't the easiest to use. You have to keep the lengths short because it frays a lot. I finished the muff, but it doesn't look the way I thought it would. It seems rather worn, rather than the fluffy look I was going for. I don't know whether to frog it or not. Maybe I should just quit, and start again on another color linen. Maybe the third time is the charm! LOL! 

What do you think?

I have stitched some very large, complicated projects that didn't cause me anywhere near the frustration that this little one has!

Okay, concurrently while I was stitching Seraphina, I was also trying to frame a large project that I finished years ago. Finally decided on a frame, even though it was really too big for it. That meant getting a mat. OMG that took me hours to select, and I only pray that I got the dimensions right! I bought it online, and it was expensive!

This is my year of finishing, and stitching from stash, but I did cave into temptation on one chart I have had my eye on.

This came in the mail today.

It is Painted Flowers from Shakespeare's Peddler. I procrastinated as long as I did because it calls for 40 count black linen. For some reason this is not available anywhere! Also, I don't think my poor eyes could handle it! I have ordered some 20ct black aida. I hope this will have a similar enough look to the linen, but I am worried about it. The other choice would be to try to find 20ct black linen, and stitch one over one. I didn't know if the linen would hold up to that.

I will pop back in a few days to let you know my progress.

Friday, March 29, 2024

It's Time for the Annual Easter Treasure Hunt !

This little bunny hop hunt is organized by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching . Frankly, I don't know how she manages it all! It would be way too complicated for me!

The idea is to post a letter that will be a clue to the phrase we are all hunting for. My contribution is:

                                     i  (little i)

Then, you can visit the next blog  - https://lifeoutsidethewashingbasket.blogspot.com/ for the next clue.

If you visit Jo's blog, you will find a list of all the participants.

For me, the selection was easy. Since this is my year for finishing things, I picked The Mini Bunny Egg, that I actually stitched back in 2017. It seems like I stitched it just yesterday! I decided it was time for it to get out of the finishing box.

I added some trim to it, and backed it with pink felt. Here it is finished:

Mini Bunny Egg- Waxing Moon Designs
40 ct hand dyed raspberry linen with white DMC floss

Originally, I didn't think the white stitches showed up enough on the raspberry linen, but the trim actually helped it "pop" a bit. 

It looks a little crooked on the back, but here is :


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Some finishes to show!

 Yay!  Welcome in Bloom is finished and framed!

I sanded and spray painted the frame in a satin navy color. Of course the paint ran and I had to re-sand it, and re-paint it. I don't know when that has not happened. I think it came out ok  in the end though.

Welcome in Bloom

and, . . .  The Gaelic Sampler is finished. This one took longer than it should have because, even though I lined up the letters with the first line, it came out way over to one side. I had to redo the whole second line of the verse! Ugh! I just love frogging one over one stitching!

I think I have a frame for this one, but I have to look for it.

Here it is:

The Gaelic Sampler
"My Sweet Home"

Will be back shortly for the Easter hop, but I just wanted to post these while they were on my mind.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I can't think of St Patrick's Day without thinking of my dad. He was Irish to the core, and believed in celebrating it! Not with bar hopping and carousing, but with family, friends, and good food!

This was a freebie design that I stitched way back in 2011.

Nil aon tintean mar do thintean fein translates to "No hearth like your own hearth", or "Home Sweet Home".

Stitched from a freebie found at http://www.gryphonsmoon.com/, although I do not think it is still available there.

I stitched it on 32ct Natural Irish linen with 4 skeins of DMC 935 (dark green). 

I don't put much stock in New Year's resolutions, but this year I wanted to do some serious finishing! Originally I thought I might frame this, but now I am thinking maybe it would be better as a pillow. Let's hope this is the year I can get this one finished!

Right now, I am working on this little stitch from an old magazine.

The Gaelic Alphabet Sampler

It called for 18 count Floba, and DMC perle, but I decided on32ct natural linen and variegated threads. I am using "Swamp Water" for the brown, and I am a little concerned that I won't have enough. I will have to order another I think.

This is what I have so far:

The verse is done one over one, so that may prove to be a challenge for my eyes. It translates to "My Sweet Home", another variation on the theme! I think I see a trend here! 

Happy St. Pat's everybody! As my dad believed, life is too short, the little days in life need to be celebrated!

Friday, March 15, 2024

Welcome in Bloom is Finished!

Hurray! It was a long distracting week or so, but I finally finished off the back-stitching. I decided to frame it. Originally I was going to frame it the same way it appeared in the magazine. I liked the way it looked with the blue mat. That turned out to be easier said than done!

It would have been an unusual size for both the mat and the frame. Also, it would have grown quite large. I am looking to put this in a small guest room where there isn't a lot of wall space.

I decided to buy an inexpensive frame on Amazon, and then paint it navy blue. I haven't gotten the frame yet. I hope it turns out ok. Remains to be seen I guess. I always forget what a pain in the neck framing is!

I will post the photo when I get it framed, but for now, here it is:

I started working on a new little design, but I don't have that much to show yet.

Will be back in a few days with some photos.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Nearing Febuary's End!

 Hard to believe! I have just about recovered from the Holidays!

I didn't want to start anything large, so I picked this little design. I think it has a sort of "deco" look to it.

Welcome in Bloom by Jennifer Rodriguez

This came out of the August 2008 edition of The Cross Stitcher Magazine.

This is what I have so far:

I have finished all of the cross stitching. Now I have to do the back stitching, and there is quite a lot of it! I made a very small start on the leaves in the upper left.

I have had a lot of trouble concentrating lately. I have an upcoming medical appointment which seems to occupy most of my brain! I will be so glad when it is over!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy St. Valentine's Day Everyone!

 This holiday always presents me with a splendid opportunity to use my pink floss!

This year I took part in the Secret Stitching Sweetheart, sponsored by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching https://serendipitousstitching.blogspot.com.
This is the beautiful little piece I received! 

The finishing is absolutely beautiful!

I will be hopping around the blogs later to find out who the talented stitcher is.

Enjoy the day everybody!

Saturday, February 10, 2024

My Little LOVE Pillow is Finished!

 It has been a while since I have stitched on black linen OMG! My eyes have gotten worse! 32 count black linen is tough to see, so this is not my best work, but it is finished.

"Love" - Ezia Gladstone - New York Dreamer

The backing is unremarkable, but I had trouble finding something that did not detract.

So, this is my St. Valentine's Day display this year:

I know this is a pretty silly holiday, largely made up by the card and candy companies, but I do love pink, so it is a good excuse for me!

We are expecting to get a snow storm on Monday night. We haven't had much snow this winter, but now frankly I hope we don't get any! We have been feeding some feral cats on our deck, and I always worry about where they go when it snows. They have enough trouble with all the raccoons, dogs, possums, and foxes! We have tried to lure them closer, but they are true ferals and are very afraid of humans. To make matters worse, we think one of them is pregnant. 

I almost forgot. I haven't put this out there in a while. This is my TUSAL! I continued it from last year as it wasn't anywhere near full. A lot of what is in there are snippets from my Nut Border Sweater.

I love seeing all of your stitching feats. It keeps me creative!

Friday, February 9, 2024

Where have all the Pussy Willows gone?

Pussy Willows are my all time favorite flower! Some of my favorite memories are finding them unexpectedly along the roadside.

Usually every February I could count on cutting bunches of them. Now when I pass by where I used to find them. they are nowhere to be seen. What has happened to the roadside weeds? They are all mowed down. It seems every bit of roadside has now been thatched, mowed, sprayed with herbicide, or otherwise "landscaped"!

Yesterday my husband came back from Trader Joe's with two beautiful bunches of pussy willows! I was thrilled to see them. 

They are absolutely gorgeous! They are full and beautiful, completely all in bloom, but they have a look of "farmed" florist flowers.

The pussy willows from the side of the road never had so many blooms. They were definitely more scruffy looking, but I do miss my roadside weeds!

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Early Valentine's Finish

I have mixed feelings about this little finish. On the one hand, I am very pleased that is exactly fits in the hand carved little heart dish that my husband gave me several Christmases ago, but I was not super impressed with the kit it came in. The materials were shall we say, on the skimpy side! I'm glad I didn't make any mistakes, or I don't think I would have been able to finish it.

Hopefully I will have time for another Valentine's Day finish soon.

Happy stitching!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

My First Finish of 2024 was . . .

the Nut Border Cardigan, designed by Sasha Kagan. I saved this pattern and squirrelled away the yarn for it years ago. I finally decided to give it a go.

I guess I would give it a passing grade, but not my best work. The color work seems a little sloppy. I had done some color work before, but not with so many changes. It was a learning process!

There's a certain rhythm that you get into when you are working on a project, whether it is stitching, knitting, or anything else. I never got into that rhythm with this project. It was a constant struggle!

Here it is:

Nut Border Cardigan - Design by Sasha Kagan

It came out a little too big, which surprised me because I made the smallest size. I may try to re-block it, but I am not sure that would do much good. It is too large around the neck in particular.

My next project will be a bit of a rest compared to the sweater. I just started Heart Sachet Ornament, an oldie from BH & G.

I made a small start.

This one should finish up soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Still playing catch-up

Hope all of you have had a very nice and memorable time over the holidays.

For me, it was not so great. My husband and I always enjoy this time of the year, but this year, it was marred by a lot of drama from the in-laws. It was unfortunate. It turned out to be really quite unpleasant, and it left me feeling a bit shaken. It is amazing to me that such mature adults have not yet come to appreciate what really matters in life. Petty squabbling over nothing at all!

Oh well, you can only attempt to control what happens in your own life.

I was working on knitting a sweater right up to the holidays. I thought I could finish before the holidays, but realized it would take much longer. When I started working on some ornaments, there wasn't a lot of time. I did manage to finish a few.

Here are some Mill Hill ornaments that I finished up. The candy cane and the ice skates are done on both sides. The elf and Christmas tree are backed with red and green felt.

Mill Hill Ornaments

I have quite a collection of these tiny beaded ornaments. Next year I am going to set up a small table-top tree to display them, as they seem to get lost on the larger tree.

I am still playing catch-up from my recent blogging hiatus. While searching for the ornaments, I found a few more projects that I finished.

'Feed the Birds' had been in my stash for years. I finally got to it in 2022.

Feed the Birds

Also, earlier this year, I finished 'Bluebird Family' No. 4, from Crossed Wing Collection. Here is the photo.

Bluebird Family - Crossed Wing Collection No. 4

For now, I will be working on my sweater. I hope to finish it up soon. It is a cardigan, and I am currently working on the button and button hole bands, always a tricky part.

I am looking forward to saying good bye to this year, and turning the page to the New Year, always a time for a new start!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 9, 2023

Three years gone by were just a blur!

I would be surprised if I have any readers left, but I am going to post this update anyway. I am not going to even try to explain my absence for the last three years. I am not sure I could. I am just going to move forward, which is generally my life philosophy!

I have been crafting during this time however. I will post things sporadically as think of them. Here's about where I left off in 2020. 

I did finish quilting my HST, "In and About my Garden". I just did a simple 'stitch in the ditch' pattern. It is only a double size, so I can't use it on my bed, but I am glad to have it for my spare bedroom.

Some of these came out a little dark, but here are some photos of the finished quilt:

Here is a photo of the label I made up. I have always wanted to make a miniature quilt for the label. Boy, was that a lot of work! Took way longer than I thought it would! Lots of math involved in those tiny HSTs!

I finished the quilting this year, in 2023.

Another from 2020 was this little Halloween cat. I still haven't made it into an ornament.

Another one that didn't get posted:

I am planning to make this Goose into a pillow.

I stitched this tiny little pillow on 40ct linen.

This oldie but goodie needs to be framed.

Gracie and Olllie Needle Keep

This one was special to me. We lost both Gracie and Ollie this year. Ollie had just turned 20 years old, and Gracie was 19 years and 11 months. They died within a month of each other. We got them when they were tiny kittens and could fit in the palm of our hands. I know how lucky we were to have them for so many years! I miss them so much!

Gracie and Ollie (2003 - 2023)


I also finished Garden Friend from the Sue Hill Collection.

After that I stitched "Good Morning" from Prairie Schooler.

I have had this in my stash for years! I am still not sure how I want to finish it though.

Then I moved on to "Waders" from Bothy Threads.

Well, I think that is it for 2020 to 2022, although I am sure I have left some out!

2023 will be next, but I will save that for another post.

Hope all of you have been well and have been stitching away!