Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Been a While....

So.....first I had computer problems....then I had camera I seem to have ALL of those resolved, so I am finally posting some pictures of my finished Christmas ornaments.

First off are all my Prairie Schooler Santas - I know I've mentioned previously that my siblings are all hockey fans (I'm not - funny how that happens! LOL). We're originally from Chicago, and last year the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time in almost 50 years. So even though stitching the same ornament FIVE times was not my idea of fun....I did it for them! Here is the finished product. The first one I stitched came out a little too big for an ornament. So, I finished it the same way as the ornaments but with a longer hanger, figuring that my sister (who has a small apartment, and doesn't really feel she has room for a tree) could hang it on an interior door knob or hook or something. She seemed to be happy with it..

Next up is an ornament from the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. I made some changes to it. The original pattern called for the house, roof, and the lettering were all in black. I felt that was too severe for the ornament, so I changed the colors up a bit. I used a grayish blue for the house, a dark gray for the roof, and did the lettering in the same green as some of the decorations on the house. Hopefully, I remained true enough to the original pattern....but made it my own at the same time! This one went to my dad and step-mom.

And now my two cute / too cute Mill Hill kits. These are for my niece and her family. With four kids, I'm sure there are Naughty days and Nice days.....and probabably some days that are a blending of both! These were a ball to stitch, and I plan on doing more like this in the future. The beads don't show up real well, but each letter has one row lengthwise of beads...and all of the lights on the strings of lights are beads.
Last but not least, this one may not seem very Christmas-sy. But Las Vegas has a lot of special memories for my mother and me, so I stitched this one up for her. She hadn't gotten it yet when I talked to her on Christmas, so hopefully it will show up in her mail box tomorrow.

That last onrnament has some other emotional significance for me. A stitching friend that I've been blessed to meet on line, and then was lucky enough to get to meet twice in person lives in Las Vegas. We have recently found out that she is very ill, and not expected to survive much longer. She is in my thoughts with every stitch, and my prayers are with her and her family. Loss is never easy, and particularly at holiday times.

This holiday season - hold your loved ones for an extra second or two, and make sure to tell them how much they mean to you......

Thanks for checking out my blog! And I promise it won't be four months before I post again!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

BIG stitching news! (Well, big for me!)

Well....I finally did it.....yep, I did it....and I was going to try to upload a video of Snoopy happy dancing but obviously, Snoopy happy dancing is copyright protected, so.....picture Snoppy happy dancing all over the place. may be wondering what I finally did. Now, in the big scheme of things, it's not a life-changing event or anything. But I did finish something that I posted my first progress picture of a little bit over 2 1/2 years ago - January 2008.

Have you figured it out yet? If you have, then you've obviously followed my blog for a while....if not, here it is - ANGEL OF CROSS STITCH!

The bottom picture is obviously me with the finished product. Not the best ever picture of me, but you should be looking at the project, not at me anyway!

Last weekend I picked up the fabric for two more projects - one is by "The Needle's Content" and it's the Spanish Geometric Sampler (I think that's the name - all greens and purples) and the other is Just Nan's Queen of the Needle. Haven't kitted them up yet (going to use the DMC equivalents not the specialty flosses, and I can get those locally - just have to travel a little ways to get fabric). Meanwhile, I'm working on ornaments, ornaments, and more ornaments. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I'm stitching last year's Prairie Schooler Santa FIVE times for my hockey fan siblings (our home town team won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 45+ years), and I'm on number 4. Plus yesterday I started a Mill Hill Christmas ornament for my niece (who hates hockey with a PASSION).

So...all is well in my neck of the woods. Thank you for checking out my blog - and for those of you who have been following my progress on Angel for 2 1/2 years....can you believe it's actually DONE?

A Little Finish

I finished this a couple of weeks ago, but my computer I have a new laptop (YEA!) soI could actually get the picture OFF my camera card and ONTO my blog. I'm still figuring out how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to make this into a Christmas ornament. I'll figure out in the next four months! Hope all is well with everyone - thanks for checking out my blog. next entry will have BIG stitching news...and I'll be posting that entry momentarily, so most of you will see this in backwards order anyway! :-)
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

A little Finish

This isn't the best picture - neither setting on my camera seemed to be "right" - this was on "Auto". I sometimes take my stitching pictures on close up, but the ones I took on close up weren't any better....

Oh well - this was a quick project I did - I still have charms to attach. I did a little changing - it's for a friend that we play bingo with whose birthday is October 27, 1949. So...I changed the B ball to 10, the I ball to 27, and the G ball to 49. All ten digits appeared somewhere, I just shuffled them around a bit.

Anyway, thanks for checking it out!

Need your opinion....

Above is the picture of the golfing nutcracker on the pattern....

Below is the one I stitched....

My question is...does the one I stitched look Christmas-sy enough to be a Christmas ornament without the border around it? Be honest - I can take it! I'm going back and forth on whether or not the border adds anything or just makes it too busy!
Thanks for casting your ballot!

Why I've been missing....

So....I haven't posted much nor I have I updated my blog, and here's why! We had a family reunion in Wisconsin last weekend, and I'm still trying to get caught up. Between lost sleep, tons of e-mails and stuff, and trying to get back in the swing of things, I've just been BUSY!!!!

But after a quick stitching session this afternoon at the mall (my new weekly Sunday routine), I plan on posting two more things to my blog, as well as responding to some individual e-mails that I just haven't gotten to. Don't mean to be ignoring you....just frazzled! LOL

Yes, I am in that picture somewhere. I'm hiding under the umbrella (this is kind of like a "Where's Waldo" puzzle, isn't it). All you can really see is my face. My niece is in a black shirt, my sister is in a dark blue and white striped shirt, and between them are two women - one is me, and one is my other sister.

The group is (believe it or not) just the offspring of two step-mom and her sister. There are seven of us in our family, and my aunt has three kids. Then there's the next generation! And we're actually missing a couple of people - my uncle didn't make it, nor did my Mike, my sister's hubby, and my one male cousin from that family. The neat thing was that even though Scott didn't make it, his wife and their three kids were there. We had a great time - most of my family is out here in California (except my brother, whose cottage we were at) and all of the cousins are in the midwest. So we don't get to see them very often!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another little finish (literally!) and Frederick Update

Well, I finished my second hockey Santa - the first picture is the one I just finished (on 28 count over 1), and the second one is the comparison of the first one I finished (on 36 count over 2) and the small one. I put the ruler in the picture for comparison purposes.
And here is my latest progress on Frederick the Literate...I'm onto his legs and tail, so that's a good thing!!!
Thank you all for checking on my blog - I haven't been posting much on the groups - it just seems like there's been a lot going on lately and I end up debating between stitching and posting....and stitching wins!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Two New Starts

With the completion of my two Lizzie Kates, there was a sudden hole in my rotation - two of them actually!!! So I've started two new projects:

The first one will be a quickie - it's pretty obvious what it is. It's the iconic "Welcome to Vegas" sign. As much as it might not seem so obvious, I'm going to try to figure out how to make this into a Christmas ornament. My mother LOVES Vegas (I think it's hereditary) so I'm going to try to figure out a way to make this into something she can hang on her tree! I changed one thing - the words "To Fabulous" and "Nevada" (no, you're not blind - the "Nevada" won't get stitched until the bottom half of the sign is filled in) were supposed to be in a turquoise blue color. It was too light and didn't show up very well, so I decided to wing it!

The second project is looking very exciting so far - NOT! It's a Blue Ribbon Designs pattern, this one is for St. Patrick's Day. I decided to do all the boring gridwork first, so that I can just fill in the motifs and the letters later. The little tail in the top left hand corner is because there is another row of stitches further out to finish off the border (and then you fill it in with a specialty stitch) and I figured if I did that little diagonal line I might actually stand a chance of remembering the top left hand corner!

Thanks for checking out my blog! Coming soon will hopefully be finish number two on my hockey playing Santas! This time on 28 count over one.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Christmas ABC's

Well, this was my "bigger" finish for this week - Lizzie Kate's Christmas ABC's. My plan is to get this one and the ABC Lessons one both framed...the Lessons will hang on the wall 11 months out of the year, and then the Christmas ABC's will be there the other month! LOL It was so much fun to stitch this one.

My smaller finish was my first Prairie Schooler Santa - I say first, because I'll be stitching it a total of 5 times. This one is on 36 count over 18. It's too big for what I wanted to do with it - I wanted to make it into an ornament. And yes, I figured out how big it was, but somehow seeing it stitched it looks bigger! LOL So then I tried stitching it over one on the 36 count. I COULD do it, but it was going to irritate me too I pulled out some 28 count and I'm doing that over 1. I think it will make it a more reasonable size for an ornament. We shall see!

Now I need to add a couple of projects into my home rotation - All that's in it right now is Frederick and Angel of Cross Stitch. This week Frederick is up - and then the next week I'm either going to start on a Blue Ribbon Designs St. Patrick's Day project OR Christmas ornaments OTHER than Hockey Santa. Hockey Santa(s) are my travel project!

Thanks for checking out my blog!
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Angel of Cross Stitch Update

Well, I've reached a landmark on Angel of Cross Stitch - the cross stitching is DONE!!!! Now, of course, here comes the backstitching. At least the backstitching is only a couple of colors - this one had so many confetti stitches and color changes I'm looking forward to one or two colors! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this one come alive!

Thanks for checking out my blog!
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Another Lizzie Kate Finish

I guess I've been on a roll finishing Lizzie Kate's! This time it was ABC Lessons - I'm really happy with how this one turned out. I think I'm going to frame it and keep it for my very own self! LOL

I think my Blue Ribbon Designs St. Patricks Day design is going to take its place in the rotation....probably...unless I change my mind before I'm ready to start on it! Who knows?

Thanks for checking out my blog!
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Finished my Travel Project

I finished my Lizzie Kate travel project - I'm happy with how it turned out. I think I'm going to make it into either a flat fold or somehow finish it to where it can hang off of a door knob at my office or something....not sure yet.

You can't really tell from the picture - but the white on Santa's hat, cuff, beard, and mustache and the tan on the moose's scarf are all Wisper floss - so they're fuzzy! It was the first time I ever used Wisper, and I was nervous about doing it, but it was pretty easy. I used a bigger needle than I usually use (so the thread would fit thru it) and kept the lengths fairly short, but no big complications.

Thanks for checking out my blog!
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Frederick Update

Stitching Update
I stitched on Frederick this week - got the blue and burgundy book finished up, and stitched the gold colored book...and then started on the cat's rear-end! LOL When I had it in the Q-Snaps, Mike didn't recognize it as being the back end of the cat (because the front end didn't show).....but now he gets it!!

Challenge Update
Well, I was doing the 100 stitch a day challenge this month, along with my own 30 minutes of back-stitching, and I'm going to make it just fine! I had a VERY stitch-filled week this past week, with a couple of long uninterrupted stitching sessions - so I averaged 192 stitches per day (month-to-date I'm at 126 stitches per day). I averaged 32 minutes per day of back-stitching (month-to-date is 34 minutes). So I will finish the month out fine.

Someone asked (either in a blog comment or on one of my groups) if I actually count my stitches. I don't (usually), I was just doing it for this month. And with a couple of the projects in my rotation it's been really easy - my Christmas ABC's and my ABC Lessons are very "count" friendly because I usually only stop at a point where I have finished a block letter or a word or a picture, so I know right where I started. This project (Frederick) it depends on what I was stitching. The books are easy to count - the cat, not so in the case of the cat, I only counted full rows. I marked which was the last full row from the last time I stitched, and then the last full row that I stopped on. That might mean that I didn't give myself credit for some straggler stitches one day, but would have given myself credit the next day! LOL

Anyway, that's it for this week - hope all of my US friends are enjoying their long weekend, and taking a moment out to remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms (in between shopping all the Memorial Day sales).

Thanks for checking out my blog!
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Christmas ABC's

Christmas ABC Update
Well, got quite a bit done on my Christmas ABC''s such a fun project to stitch on, so it goes fast! I just have five more words to stitch and a few more little pictures and then it will be done!!!

Stitching Challenge
Because I was stitching on such a fun (read - EASY) project I made a boat load of progress on my stiching challenge. I actually caught up to the 100 stitch per day I've been TRYING to average - for the week I was at 188 stitches per day and 41 minutes of backstitching (my target is 100 stitches and 30 minutes of back stitching). Month to date I am at 105 stitches per day and 35 minutes of backstitching. We shall see how the month wraps up!

That's about all the news from here....thanks for checking out my blog!
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Angel of Cross Stitch Update (and other stuff)

Stitching Progress
Well, it's hard to see in this picture, but I'm not QUITE done yet.....I still have to fill in the centers of about 16 flowers...the top half or so of the left hand side and three or four along the top on the left hand side. And then, of course, it's the dreaded back stitching! But it will get done! And hopefully this year! LOL

Stitching Challenge
Thanks to this lovely piece, I am still behind on the stitching challenge! Friday evening I stitched for about 2 hours - and I only got 43 stitches done! That was HORRIBLE, but when you never do more than four stitches of one color, it tends to go very ssssllllloooowwwwlllllyyyyyyy. Hopefully the week coming up will be better since my project will be Lizzie Kate's Christmas ABC's and that's an easier stitch.

This week I averaged 55 stitches per day (my goal is 100) and for the whole month so far I have 66 stitches per day. However, I am ahead of the curve on my backstitching goal - this week was an average of 46 minutes (my goal is 30 minutes per day), and for the month so far I'm averaging 46.

Stash Enhancement
We had a birthday party to go to yesterday in the vicinity of my LNS - so what better excuse to stop and see if they had anything I had to have.......I picked up two patterns - Shamrock Row by Bent Creek and the 2009 Prairie Schooler Santa. Most of my family are hockey fans (myself excluded) including a nephew and a brother who both play. So, I thought I could make a couple of Christmas ornaments or something out of it. I also bought a piece of pretty blue fabric that was in the already cut bin. It's a pretty blue that will be nice for something where I want it to look like sky.

Anthony Update
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will remember my nephew (actually great-nephew, my niece's youngest son) Anthony. Almost two years ago he spent most of his summer in the hospital being treated for kidney cancer (a childhood form). He is doing AWESOME, is considered to be in full remission, although he has to continue to be tested regularly, etc. But the really cool thing is because he is a child who was impacted by a life threatening disease, he was referred to Make A Wish. As part of thier "World Make a Wish" Day, he was granted a wish! He made a wish for an electric scooter (the riding kind, not the wheelchair kind) so that he could ride with his little friend Tyler. He not only got that, but because he had mentioned wanting to meet John Cena (I guess he's a wrestler....I know NOTHING) he got a bunch of autographed goodies from him. It was a great experience for their family, and they are so eternally grateful. My niece said it best - they already had their wish granted - Anthony is healthy!!! He'll start kindergarten this fall....and is just a cutie. Here he is:

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

ABC Lessons / 100 Stitch Challenge

First the progress report:
Here is my progress on ABC Lessons. I stitched on it for two weeks since the middle weekend I was in Vegas and didn't get any stitching done at all....getting there, I only have a few words left and a bee hive thing. Might get it done the next time it comes up in the rotation!

And the 100 Stitch Challenge:
Not one, but two of my stitching groups are doing 100 stitch challenges for the month of May. Nothing formal, just the concept of getting 100 stitches done in a day and then you make quite a bit of progress without even realizing it! I'm not sure how other people are working it - my goal is to average 100 stitches per day for the month - I know I won't do a minimum of 100 stitches each day because there are days I don't get to stitch at all. I also set myself another goal of averaging 30 minutes of backstitching per day - my travel project (dollhouse) is down to the backstitching, and I try to get an hour in at lunch time each day during the week (at work).

So far, I'm averaging 76 stitches per day and 21 minutes of backstitching. The first few days of the month we were out of town (in Vegas) so I didn't get any stitches at all done those couple of days. So hopefully now that I'm back to a "normal" schedule I can catch up this week. Although my project for this week is Angel of Cross Stitch, and I'm on the border on it...which means TONS of color changes, so no fast progress! We shall see!!!

And Vegas:
We went to Vegas with our bowling league, as we do twice a year. We bowled badly, and gambled badly (LOL) but we had fun. Met up with Rene from my ILCS group, and had a very nice lunch at Sam's Town. It's the second time we've met, and it's always enjoyable!! I'm mad - I brought my camera, and then forgot to take any pictures!!! Sigh!

And the Thanks:
As always, thanks for checking out my blog! I do appreciate it!
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Frederick the Literate

Here is my progress for another week of stitching on Frederick the Literate. I got the whole rust colored book done (the second from the right - the area that looks empty on it really is stitched with black), plus the start of the blue book. It's a two page pattern, with two bookshelves, and the rust colored book is split half and half between the two I've now moved to the second page (although I still have the whole SECOND shelf to do on the first page! LOL).

One of my stitching groups is doing a challenge for the month of May to try to average 100 stitches per day. I haven't decided for sure whether to join in....I probably will, but I'm going to be starting out at a disadvantage - I'll be out of town May 1st-3rd, and won't get any stitching done while I'm gone....but we'll see!!!

Anyway - thanks for checking out my blog...and as usual, thanks for all the comments!!
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Christmas ABC's

Well, another week on Christmas ABC's.....Lizzie Kate, if it isn't obvious! I love Lizzie Kate patterns - they're nice easy stitching, and they're cute!

Somewhere in the row that says "King, Lights, Mistletoe" I got off by a half a row. I'm stitching over 2, and on the next row noticed that I was an odd number of threads away by the time I got the t in Ornament.'s not very noticeable, and I know if I frog it, I'll end up leaving red marks where I've taken out the red threads. I figure if I even out the "Quiet, Reindeer, Snowman" line (keep the bottom of that row lined up) then I can finish the "Nutcracker, Ornament" line using the line below it as a reference point. If it was perfect, it wouldn't be homemade, right?

Thanks for checking out my blog - and thanks for all your comments!
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Backstitching Difference

This is one side of the dollhouse roof - after I did the backstitching on it. It makes the shingles look like shingles, and the ornate little doodads on the top look more polished. I'm not done with the backstitching on the room yet, but I can see how it makes the wood scallops (or whatever you want to call them) stand out.

Here is a comparable piece of the roof (the other side of the house) without the backstitching. I think it really drives home the point of how the backstitching makes the piece come to life!

Thanks for checking out the pictures.....and for all your comments!
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Angel of Cross Stitch

Well, I'm another two weeks into Angel of Cross Stitch. I didn't do a lot of stitching the week before last since I had a cold so I was going to bed early and stuff. So, I decided to keep stitching on Angel for a second week....I still have border left to do....sigh.....just flowers now. The top half of the left hand side and most of the top. I THINK (famous last words) that I should be able to finish the border the next time it comes up in my rotation. Although I think I might have said that last time! LOL Then it will be backstitching time! I always debate with myself whether to do the backstitching as I go or leave it until the end. I usuallly end up leaving it until the very end, I love watching it make the design come alive. But when I'm getting bored with backstitching, I end up regretting the decision! LOL

Thanks for checking it out, and thanks for your comments!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dollhouse cross stitching is DONE

Well, as I projected, I finished the cross-stitching for the dollhouse - now it's just the outlining (and LOTS of it!). I've already started it - I have the first piece of the roof done (on the left hand side), and I can already see a difference. I'm going to try to remember to bring it in the house and take a picture of each roof section close up - one with the backstitching done, and one without it. The backstitching will be worth it, it's just going to take a while....ho hum!!!!
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Monday, March 29, 2010

ABC Lessons

Well, another week down on ABC's coming along, I'm thinking maybe two more appearances in the rotation and it might just be done! This one is so much fun to stitch - I really love Lizzie Kate designs!

Not much else going on - I'm thinking that within the next couple of days I will have all the cross-stitching done on the dollhouse project. Then it will be backstitching time! When I get the cross-stitching done, I will definitely post a picture of it before I start the backstitching...just because I love the way backstitching makes designs POP!

Meanwhile, I'm fighting a cold...I thought I was thru the worst of it, and then it kind of came back with a vengeance today...I ended up leaving work a little early today just because I was really tired from the cold. No fever, so I know it's just a cold, not the flu or anything...but it is tiring...and oh yeah, my nose hurts! LOL

Thanks for checking out my blog - I do appreciate it, and I appreciate all the comments!
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two updates!

Well, this picture should have been posted two weeks ago - on the 7th...that was when I took it off the Q-Snaps and put it away for a while and picked up the next project in the rotation. This is such a fun project to stitch on - I love most of the Lizzie Kate patterns -the kind of irregular lettering and stuff just make them fun to stitch.

Then for the last two weeks i've been stitching on Frederick the Literate. I usually only spend one week on each project, but in this case I was enjoying stitching on it, and wasn't bored yet, so I decided to keep going. I'm almost 1/4 of the way done. If you're not familiar with the picture, it's two bookshelves, this is the left hand half of the top shelf. The mid point is about six or eight stitches beyond the last book spine I've i figure when I get there, I'll be half way done with the top shelf. It's fun, Frederick actually looks like a cat now! LOL

This week it will be ABC Lessons - probably just for a week, but we'll see!

Thanks for checking out my blog - I do appreciate it, and I appreciate all your comments!