Each year our sampler guild (Bay Area Sampler Guild, BASG) does a gift exchange. And if you want to participate in it, you draw a name and keep it secret. You agree to make a stitched gift for the person whose name you drew and then give it to them (usually at the holiday party in November)
I got Dorita. When I first joined the guild (still now, actually), whenever someone would call out her name, I would think it was ME they were talking to. LOL Apparently she does the same. haha
I just love gifts and things that have a PURPOSE.
So I came up with this letter D initial...found some really cute and colorful fabric...proceeded to change all the colors in my chart so they would match my fabric... and then added little French knots, scattered to mimic the fabric.
Do you know I've not picked up my stitching a single time since getting this sweet little, rambunctious puppy?!
I do plan to...
Really, I do.
I'm really starting to miss sewing!!!!
(I do believe she's figured out the housebreaking thing now and let me tell you, I'm sooo happy about that!!!!! )
Next week I am going to speak at the Women's Club luncheon in my town. I'm going to take bunches of my finishes and show them. I think the ladies will like seeing them because I believe that most of them aren't aware at just how lovely cross stitch can actually be. Especially nowadays with all the pretty variegated silks, tiny crystals and beads and colorful fabrics.
(if you're wondering, my puppy's name is Ruby and she is a 10 week old Dobie)
I don't plan to crop her ears. I love her just the way she is!
I actually entered some things in the fair this year!
The last, and only other time I entered something in the fair, was 11 years ago. They were brutal! ...told me my "skill set" wasn't up for the design I chose. Wah!!
Hurt my feelers and made me not want to EVER do that again.
But in all fairness, it taught me to have what I coined, "Stitch Envy" for these other people that had these simply PERFECT stitches, and to learn just HOW they did them. (Which is Railroading, by the way) OF course I railroad every stitch now. lol
A couple years ago I joined the Women's Club. Figured its the thing to do when one starts to get old... HAHA
So last spring I offered to be one of the speakers during this next season, Sept. to May. There were 5 slots open and they had 13 to choose from. So, the members all voted for the speakers they wanted. I never heard anything back from the lady in charge of speakers for FOUR MONTHS. So I just thought they didn't choose me. BUT THEN! She called me and told me that YES, they DO want me to talk at one of the luncheons, in fact, she wanted me to be the speaker to start the year off on a nice note. I wasn't going to be able to come to that September meeting, so we agreed on November.
Then I started thinking, well...if I enter some things in the fair and IF I happened to get a ribbon for one of them, then it would be really neat to show the ladies in the Women's Club.
So I pulled up my big girl panties, got brave and did it!
Of course we went to the fair on the opening day. I wanted to see right away what the news was.
I was really nervous. Really nervous.
With me was my husband, a friend, and my dad and Dad's gf. My husband was pushing my dad's gf in a wheelchair, so he was behind a bit. I couldn't wait, so I walked on ahead and was looking, looking for my things. We came in a side door.
THERE THEY WERE!
Right beside the front door.
People were gathered around them.
Oh my gosh! I saw "Flower Power" THERE WAS A BLUE RIBBON THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got tears in my eyes. I rushed back to tell my husband! Then I wanted to go see what that other ribbon was right beside it.
Oh wow, BEST IN SECTION!!!
And, wait! TWO MORE BLUE RIBBONS!
Ok, so now I really have tears in my eyes.
So I rush back to my husband and start to tell him but the words wouldn't come out because I started crying. "What's wrong?! What's wrong?!" he asked me.
Nothing was wrong.
Everything was just wonderful.
They liked me! lol
I've got a bit of an update on the guild sampler piece. (I really have a lot more done but, its in the frame and its such a pain to get it out!)
So here's a little something. I'm satin stitching over my X's to give more dimension to the fruit. (I know I'm going to need to add another X over the bottom branch areas where the fruit connects, its looking a little lost in there)
OH! And guess what, I decided to enter some things in the fair! The fair is in a couple weeks, so we will see then if anything good happens :)
I finished Miss Kitty!!!
And Vilma is going to be so happy because she was sooo sweet to send me the tinchart and little kitty pin and finally now she gets to see mine!
Vilma bought one for each of us. She finished hers quicker than I did, though.
Here's an extra little something I did to mine
I spy some of my "specialty fibers" lol gotta love kitty fur on the Miss Kitty pin cube, right?!
So, what I did on this cute little cube that was different than "normal" are a few things:
I added Rainbow Gallery petite braid in gold ( I love gold)
I added Swarovski crystals (different colors each side)
I put French Knots in the centers
I stitched beads on the bottom to make into legs
I put pearl beads in each corner
I put some cardboard inside to make the sides stiffish
I put bunches of lizard gravel/walnut shells in for weight
There are a few layers of cardboard on the bottom to hold it firm
Also, I put 2 tiny silver magnets under the top center to help hold needles
(I actually stitched them into 2 pieces of wool felt so they wouldn't move)
Remember my little sweet kitten?
She grew up.
She's here with her Uncle Romeo.
When Angel arrived, the other kitties were NOT pleased. Except for Romeo.
She was so tiny, almost fit in the palm of my hand. She was so tiny she couldn't even get into the kitty bed. Or the litter box...
Can you imagine?
How could Sadie be so cranky over such a little thing?
Sadie was the worst.
Probably because Sadie was the boss.
Romeo was the youngest.
Romeo is the only cat I've EVER EVER EVER had that was
N O C T U R N A L.
sigh. What a challenge he was to live with.
Truly a wild thing! We called him "The White Tiger." (Those few of you that play World of Warcraft will understand the name. lol)
Anyway, long story short, Romeo taught her how to be.
Romeo is also the only cat I've ever had that makes sounds almost all the time. They are sounds like "Hmmmm? Hmmm?"--that go up the scale. And then he jumps down, he makes the "Hmmm!!!" sound. Its hilarious. (like a female tennis player, serving, sort of grunt)
Romeo taught Angel to make those sounds, too.
OMG, so precious.
He also taught her to be wild and free and how to pester the other kitties. And how to chase after poor Annabelle (who I think will get a new, pretty pink collar today with spikes on it, to protect her poor neck)
We have one of those really tall kitty tree stands in our bedroom. (Seems there must be invisible writing on it that says "Only for Angel & Romeo!"
It is so fun to watch them on it. They climb up the side from the floor to the top and swing around the post... They will jump down from the top to the bed, a good 5 feet!
They play together so well. As you can see in the picture, they truly love each other. (so I guess I did need another cat...)
I have been so lax at posting...
This has got to be the busiest set of months I've had in my whole life!
I decided this is the year I am going to learn new things and have new experiences. Gosh, have I... So much so that I've not taken an update picture in weeks and weeks. In fact, these pictures I am showing you now, are totally outdated. lol The bottom one is closer to the truth. Though I've since stitched the border around both sides and have completed the alphabet.
As you can see from the earlier picture, I changed the navy blue flowers into periwinkle Forget-Me-Nots. Plus I may have changed that center border a bit, as well...
I hope you're all enjoying your stitching. I can't wait to get back to mine (I've been really enjoying stitching Just Nan's Miss Kitty cube--a gift from my friend, Vilma) ty Vilma!!! (We are stitching them together)
I swear... Pictures just never do our stitching justice!
This is stitched on the prettiest mauveish pink 32 ct linen with sparkly Rainbow Gallery braid (you KNOW how I just HAVE to add the sparkle touch!!!!!)
My friend, Vilma surprised me with it. The plan is that we are both going to stitch it.
I wonder how much Vilma's done so far. Yesterday was my birthday and I didn't get dressed until 4 p.m. LOL but as you can see, I did a lot. haha
I've been silent.
I've been stitching!
But this is not my progress picture, this is the goal.
Our sampler guild is working on this design, specially created just for us.
The top will say "San Francisco Bay Area Sampler Guild" (not the poem).
Teresa designed it using things that are native to our area..the flowers, the trees, the fruit, the deer, the quail (California's state bird) as well as the yellow state flower, the California poppy.
I decided to change the dark blue flowers out for a periwinkle like shade, with yellow centers--Forget-Me-Knots, since they grow in my "garden."
I'm also going to change out some of those center borders and make them more ME like.
One of these days I will take a progress picture of it for you to see. I just don't like showing you pictures that are full of wrinkles. And then I'm not overly fond of getting out the ironing board and ironing... hence, the lack of a current picture!
I added a felt to the inside and padded it, like a real tummy! (sorta)
The only thing I did different was I scattered filament here and there so it would be "glisteny" and I added those beads, rather than beading all along the edge of the fabric (too busy for my taste)
My mom kitted him and had started stitching him. I just had to finish him, considering how cute he was going to come out.
I just love where we live.
You would never know we live on the coast and less than 10 miles away are lovely mountains. Ones that my adventurous daughter loves to climb.
I thought she ONLY used a rope when she climbed. But nooooooo. I found this by way of a link someone had posted on her facebook page...a link to the newspaper article with her picture here. lol Great...
We decided to go on a picnic for Mother's Day.
Just the 2 of us.
The place we often go, Lock Lomond (see below)
was closed, due to the shortage of water in our area. I love to go there and rent a rowboat and row around. And have a picnic. Such a calm, peaceful place. I love the mountains, as you might have guessed.
Instead, we took a drive up the way to a place called Big Basin.
The redwood trees there are amazing.
Being as its a state park, there were lots of people around. But the place is huge.
Holly put her 2 backpacks on the back of the car to rearrange them so I didn't have to carry one. lol I've never owned a backpack and only just bought a pair of hiking shoes so I could go "for a walk" with her. So there she is, stuff all spread out. I want to help, so I say, "Shall I put this sweater in the car?" She looks at me all hesitant and says, "Well, I was going to bring it."
I wrinkle my brow. Its plenty hot out. I reply, "you won't need it." So she says ok and I toss it in the back seat.
Then we start walking and she tells me, "Oh no, I don't have my compass with me, but I have a first aid kit and I have things in case you get a blister."
Ok. Wait. Whaaaa?
"Holly. We aren't going to get lost because we aren't going that far" LOL
So we're walking along and I realize how stupid I must look, carrying my purse.
Now, Oprah says "The bigger the purse, the smaller your butt looks." So, its not a small purse. I'm so not an outdoor girl...
We walked along the creek. Finally came to a nice table, hidden away from everyone. Beautiful. One wouldn't even know there were many people around, had it not been for the loud child someone in the trees. (After they left, we could hear the buzzing of the forest, so still and peaceful)
Then Holly says "these mosquitos are bugging me!" They don't like me for some reason (except the one that bit me on the ankle...but that was ok, for days its been reminding me of the nice day I had with my girl). Then Holly said, "I know! I have a bananna!" I'm like "oh?" So she peels it and rubs the skin on her arm. That seemed to help. Go figure. I love how our Earth takes care of us and everything we really need it here for us, if only we how to use what. Guess those outdoor survival classes shes been taking are paying off! lol
We're sitting there, enjoying this wonderful lunch she made. And I remarked, "gosh, its actually a little chilly," as she swatted at another mosquito. Then I looked at her and said, "...too bad you don't have your sweater..."
HAHA. Gosh did we laugh. Ever since she was tiny, we would always make each other laugh.
And yes, that's a lizard in her hand...
I hope all you mothers got to have a wonderful day with your children.
I've been working away on her alllll month long. And now that I have the sides finished (remember, I am not stitching the entire picture, just the pretty part) I could actually be "done" whenever I want. But I do want to keep stitching her and so, I am not done.
My focus is going to switch for a bit to the new Bay Area Sampler Guild's Sampler chart. So you won't see as much progress each month on her, but I will keep her out. (You know, once they go in their box...there's no telling how long they will stay there!)
I just love this fabric. I found it in the fabric store and had to have a slice. I had no idea what to do with it... then I found this sweet little bird and thought,"Gosh! That would be perfect to make into a cover (on the back) for that dusty magnifying lamp of mine!!"
I did end up stitching some of the flowers THREE different times while trying to get the colors "just right." But I like 'em now!
I was thinking about joining the "Stitch from your stash" blog but I didn't find out about it until it was too late. But I did find this stitching blog called :
"Stitch like its the end of the world"
LOL. It looks like the only real requirements are to post a picture of my work at the Full Moon each month.
Well, that's pretty doable.
Especially since I already have that Moon thingy at the bottom of my page!
And... there are not really any RULES. AND, anyone can join!
Each month there is a topic to talk about.
I'm not clear where we are to post about that, but I think its to be done on each of our blogs. So that is what I will do.
April's topic is to tell how you store your stash.
Well, mine's a big mess right now and I don't really have it very organized.
The fabric is in plastic boxes, separated by count...the DMC is rolled on those little spools--except the extras are in another box, sort of organized in baggies. Charts are organized in a file box by topic. Kits are in yet another box. Already started things in another box. And most of those boxes are stacked on top of each other and rather difficult to get to as they are "hiding" (NOT!) behind my rocking chair.
I sooooooooo need to reorganize.
How do YOU store YOUR stash?
Please do share, maybe I can get inspired by your ideas.
p.s. Aileen, please email me, I can't find your email anywhere.
I've been stitching away on my queen and am so excited because I now have a right hand side edge.
The original design has a LOT more dark background that I think is just not necessary to stitch. My version is a cropped version. I couldn't figure out where I wanted the right hand side to end at until I got the shoulder started on the horse.
...then I discovered last night that the dark grey in the lower mane, is the wrong color. I wondered why it just didn't look right to me! So I picked it all out last night and will reput it in tonight.
Next time you see her, the upper right will be filled in because that is my next goal.
Happy Stitching Stitching Friends! (and thank you so much for coming to my blog and leaving me a comment, I love them so much)
I just came across this design that I must stitch!
(..uh...so much from "stitching from stash and finishing only what I already have") --I probably didn't REALLY mean I should do that.
This lady is called Banbury Cross and it's from X's and Oh's.
I've ordered the chart and am thinking about what would be the perfect fabric, because if I do it, shes going to have a bit more ethereal/lively colors and I won't be stitching the black background. Maybe her dress will be in light shades of lavender...
I'm betting my friend, Paula at The Crossed Wing will have a lovely fabric for me for her. I just LOVE the way she dyes her fabrics!
I'm thinking about some sort of a background that is "foresty" or "twilight like."
So, as you know... my mom really loved to stitch. And she really loved to start new things to stitch. Can you imagine? Starting something new and not finishing your "other" project first?
I think she must have had this secret, unsaid rule that she followed that required she only stitch half the design, and then move on to another. lol
Though.... I have come across some real lovely Silver Lining Designs (like the fuchsias) that she did complete all the way . That was her favorite designer.
Anyway, I came across this beautiful iris (Mom's name was Iris) and it was half way finished. Its rather small, so this is one over one. The whole frame measures maybe 4 inches or so high. (I'd measure it, but I took it to the framers to get a piece of glass for it) I found the frame in the tiny basket. Happy me!
So I put an "I" for her and an "N" for me in the lower border.
I'm having fun finding things and finishing them.
One of these days I'm going to tackle the stack of misc. things from her (well, just the ones I actually brought home, there are many more at her house still! lol) and maybe (probably) make one of those lists of unfinished things that many stitchers make at the beginning of each year. We'll see when that happens...
Isn't this just the cutest bunny you've ever seen?! (Or at least one of them?)
I found it listed as a freebie but there was no designer info. I would soooooo love to find out who that designer is and give her some money!
(the only changes I did was: pick a blue cloud like fabric instead of white, put French Knots in certain areas instead of cross stitches, and then I added gold braid because we all know Easter Eggs need to be fancy!)
Oh look what I found in my mother's things!
Pretty pink fuchsias!
Growing up there were fuchsias growing alongside our home. I always thought they looked like ballerinas.
When going through some of my mother's things, I found this lovely stitched piece. I did not even remember her stitching them. Maybe she stitched them as a gift for me...knowing how much I would love them. Especially because I love the colors.
I found this pretty frame in the bargain bin of my frame shop and I had my favorite lady, Donna pick out this lovely suede mat (which looks darker in this picture, and not near as pretty as it REALLY is). I wanted her to cut the mat to match the designs in the frame somewhat. So we played on her computer and came up with this. I just love it.
I've framed up Alpine Seasons.
I just loved this design when I saw it. Years ago. Several.
Its been stitched and folded up neatly in my "finished" basket.
I had visions of stitching it on a hand dyed fabric that resembled clouds.
It might be hard to see in this picture, but it came out just like I wanted.
The mat I chose is suede. I just love the richness of suede mats.
I imagine you've noticed I use lots of them!
It took a bit of looking for the perfect frame, but I think I found it! I wanted it to look rustic, like the cabin.
Now, if you are a "regular" with Chatelaine things, you might notice that mine doesn't look exactly like most of them. I left of the outer border because I wanted to be different. I liked the idea of a hexagon mat. The other big thing I did that was a deviation from the original is, I changed the colors of the flowers around the center so they would better reflect the changing of the seasons.
You probably noticed that the trees have more snow in the winter section and the amount of water in the streams are different, as are the snow on the hills. (Hence the name, Alpine Seasons)
I will attach a picture below this that will show the center much closer so you can get an idea.
I have run out of room on my walls, as you can probably imagine (This framed piece is like 25 inches square, maybe bigger with the mat, actually...) so I told my sister that she was welcome to take it home to her house for awhile. It fits her house look. She seemed really happy about it. I haven't been there yet to see where she put it, but I shall soon.
Ha. If you look at the bottom part of the framed piece, you can probably see my kitty, Alicon's reflection in the glass. lol
He was very interested!
I just love blue fabric that is painted to look like clouds.
I am so glad the days of using white Aida cloth are over! There are simply sooooo many possibilities nowadays!!!!!
This little darling is over one, of course. Because we all know how much easier it is to do over one with only one thread. There is no railroading involved!
And of course, the added bonus, you use less of the pretty fabric. Less thread...a SMALLER, less expensive FRAME for it and if you added a mat, well, a smaller mat, costs less! And not to mention, its easier to find a space on the wall to PUT it. BONUS BONUS BONUS.
And you know me, gotta add sparkle. So lots of blending filament because Hummingbirds are beautiful little things.
I plan to frame this. Its to be a gift for my Auntie. Her birthday is in May. She's to be 92 this time.
OH and a tiny change, I changed the color of the flowers. We don't have any fuchsias here that have blue on them. (Oh and French knots, too. I love French knots now because my friend, Ria showed me how to do them. Thank you Ria!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Back then, I was really poor and I framed her the best way I knew how and could afford.
Recently I noticed her mat was just not very pretty (it faded, which means she didn't have any UVA glass, OMG!), and I wasn't overly fond of the frame I had for her.
I also noticed she was looking a little "wavy" under the glass.
So, I took her apart and to my....uh...hmmmmm... horror...astonishment...amazement...? OK, we will leave it at amazement... To my amazement, I saw that I had used DUCT TAPE to tape the fabric to the flimsy piece of the cardboard that was in that cheap frame I had acquired. lol
I must apologize for the flash in the picture. I just could not get an accurate color without the flash. (And I have no idea what that line is on the lower left corner...)
You know, framing options have come a long way since I framed her. I don't think they had suede mats available then. I know I could not have afforded one then. Also, if you can see closely, the inner gold mat I have has sparkle to it. I LOVE! that mat.
I also love the mat cut. Once I did something with an arch, so I kind of had that idea in my mind. When I saw this cut, I was excited.
Well, truth be known, I was excited about the whole thing!!!!
And I had to wait THREE WHOLE WEEKS for that sparkly gold mat to come in because it was out of stock. (I know, right, everyone wanted it!)
I shall attach Eleanor's "before" picture below so you can see my poor queen before she got her new look. If you look closely, you can see a tiny bit of her frame.
Enjoy your week! I'm heading for my couch and my stitching, and the fire that is already waiting there for me. (I sure my love my honey, he's so good to me)
I bet it never occurred to you that I like birds. haha
But it's true, I do.
I was going to tell you which designer this came from but I have spent the morning (well, not the WHOLE morning) trying to figure it out. But nooooooooo. I don't remember. And I can't find it wherever I have looked. (If one of you really wants to know, I *do* have a box someplace that has all my previously stitched charts in it and I will look there for you)
Part of the problem is that I stitched it years ago. And the reason I haven't shown it to you before now is because I never finish finished it. And I put it away in my cupboard where I stored lots of other pretties. I was originally going to frame it and I tried to find a frame that I liked but I just couldn't figure out the right color to go with it. So then I thought I would turn it into a box cover. But then, THAT never happened either because I couldn't figure out which color trims to use. LOL
Recently, as you know, I've been pulling these things out of their "finished basket" and taking them to my friend at the frame shop. We work super well together. She picks the prettiest colors for mats, things I wouldn't have thought of. And then that makes me think of something else. This is the mat she found. But the frame she had was too modern. So we fiddled around with frames until I came across this one.
I'm so into frames and the very last little details.
I was so excited to find this frame because the leaf design in the frame matches the leaves on the branches absolutely PERFECTLY!
I'm so excited to have Medieval Town all framed and on the wall in the living room!
Much better than on a wrapping paper roll, hidden away in the corner (where it was "lost" for a full year, hiding there)
The frame I chose for this one, I just love it to pieces!
So much so that I am going to add another picture below this one so you, too can get the full effect.
I think the frame looks very "Tudor-like" and I love how it looks with the roofs and all the other things going on.
I was so excited the day I came home after choosing what I wanted for which picture.
Just you wait...
I have several others I shall be posting soon!
I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My mom was so awesome. I found the kit to this in her things and since I love the Tudor times, I stitched it right up. Of course I had to add my favorite Rainbow Gallery gold braid to give it extra sparkles...you know how I am with the sparklie things.
I found the greatest thing to back bookmarks with!!
Its strap fabric off the rollie thing in the trim department.
The best things about the strap fabric is:
1. Its the perfect width
2. Its firm but not too firm
3. Its not too thick at all
4. And the edges are finished, so no extra bulk!
I did add a tiny strip of Skirtex (love that product) inside so the bookmark wouldn't be floppy. I just don't care for floppy bookmarks.
This is the first bookmark I've ever done. And I'm really happy with it. :)
A little (literally) gift I made for Diane, my dad's gf's bd. She loves British things and I came across this "small cushion" chart that was a pdf on Etsy, designed by Sheena Rogers Designs. She has some really great things in her Etsy shop.
They are planned to be needlepoints, so I chose blue fabric and eliminated a lot of tiny X's!
(And of course I added gold Rainbow Gallery, because I must use gold...) Oh and I made "a mistake" and did the center flower outline in black instead of grey and when I discovered that was a mistake, I was quite happy with it because I feel it really shows the design better that way. Plus I knew I was going to put it in a black fame...
Here's the full picture.
I didn't add a mat because I wanted the fabric to show. As always, Chatelaines look much better in person.( I think its looking a little washed out with the glare of the light coming through the window.)
My daughter loved it when I gave it to her. She cried the moment she saw it, before it was even all the way unwrapped!!!!! Such a happy Christmas.
Here's a portion of it. We have 4 different sides. The title of this lovely design is called Deep Blue Sea, by Chatelaine Designs. I had the fabric dyed specially for this. Paula, from Crossed Wing did it for me. I LOVE the way she dyes her fabrics. Very soft blends, no drastic, splotchyness.
A year ago, I posted a picture of the whole piece, if you are interested in seeing it. Its very large, like...30" square, or so. The finished stitched part is "only" 25".
I almost forgot to show you a Christmas gift I made for a friend of mine. It looks much bigger than it is. I stitched it one over one on 25 ct (I love 25 ct over one!) I think the frame is 4".
Its mounted on one of those painting canvases and placed on a tiny easel. (I stained the wood so it would match the brown on the roof top)
I think I found the design in the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. The only change was to outline the banner and bird--they just blended into the blue too much. Plus I didn't stitch my initials in the upper corner, I added another heart.