Saturday, July 30, 2011

Joyful Summer

This past week turned out to be a busy one, so not much time for creativity or craftiness. I did get a little stitching during the season premier of Project Runway. Quit laughing.

One highlight of the week was movie day at Sheila's! Emily, Grace, Sheila and I spent a fun afternoon eating popcorn and watching the Beatles movie Help! The girls had never seen the movie before, and Sheila and I hadn't seen it in a long time. It was as good as I remembered it and it was easy to see why the Beatles were so popular in their heyday and still are. Emily and Grace even opted for a double feature -- of Help! I guess they enjoyed it!

I also got to spend a couple of days working at The Stitch Store. It was a pleasure spending the days helping so many nice people. The store was visited by some "regulars", along with a few new faces! Needless to say, my scissors were busy cutting a whole lot of fabric! People seemed to be in the stitching mode during the last couple of days.

Hopefully I can get a little time this weekend to work on my current project, Joyful Summer by Country Cottage Needleworks. I'm stitching it on "Summer Sky" Jobelan, which is a fabric I love.Pretty floss colors and a summery fabric make this a good project to work on at this time of year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two Patriotic Finishes

This must be the year of finishes. I don't think I've ever completed so many cross-stitch projects in one year. And it's not like I'm stitching all day, every day. Wait, I did stitch all day last Saturday, but that's not the norm for me. Maybe my needle is just going faster?

This first finish is not cross-stitch at all! It's some very cute cupcake creations that were made by Grace and Emily on the fourth of July. Now this is creativity! I have to say that these are very well done!

I put the last stitch in "America" by Little House Needleworks last Friday.

With all of these finishes, I really need to start doing some framing. With that thought, I wonder how many stitchers frame as they complete, how many complete and never frame, and how many just frame some projects. I'm in a fourth category: I have a few finishes, and will most likely frame all of them. More about that in an upcoming blog.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Priceless Day Stitching With Friends

This past Saturday was a Stitch-In day at The Stitch Store . Sheila and I hadn't been to one in a while, so this was something we'd been looking forward to. As usual, it was a lovely day stitching with a group of wonderful ladies. The attendees vary from Stitch-In to Stitch-In, but that doesn't change the fun level. As I thought about our day, I realized that we stitchers vary in so many aspects: age, where we're from, children or no children, married or not, education, employment, etc. But it seems that we all like to talk, laugh, eat and most importantly, stitch. It's the thread that holds us together, pun intended. We probably disagree on things too, but those things are trivial when we're working with fabric and thread.

There's a Glory Bee chart called Stitching With Friends that expresses this perfectly. It says "spending an afternoon stitching with friends is priceless". How true!

So, Terrie, thanks for the day at your store and for all that you do for us. And the cake. Oh yes, the cake.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Makes A UFO?

Before you start thinking I've gone a little kooky and am going to start talking about aliens and flying saucers, just wait a minute. If you keep reading, you'll find that the UFO's I'm referring to are known to us stitchers (and maybe other crafters) as UnFinished Objects. Do we all have them? Probably not all of us, but my guess is that many stitchers have a UFO or two hiding out somewhere in their stash.

Now, a Work In Progress (WIP) is a totally different thing than a UFO. In my book anyway. A WIP is something you're actively working on. You may not have picked it up in a couple of months, but it's an ongoing project that you intend to complete. The UFO, though, is more likely to be years old and your needle has not passed through that fabric in an embarrassingly long time. Nor are you sure that you will ever finish it. They're not necessarily bad projects; there is just something about them that makes it a) not fun; or b) difficult to work on. Maybe you've just come up with things to do that are more interesting. Or it's possible that the fabric you chose is suddenly a challenge for your aging eyes.

Case in point: my two UFO's: English Cottage Sampler by Theresa Wentzler and Angel of Divinity Stocking kit by Dimensions. When I bought the TW chart, I didn't know how, um, involved these can be. They're beautiful and that beauty comes with a price: blended threads, 7 shades of green, tons and tons of backstitching. And the stocking, well, it may look like it's almost done, but no. It's one of these designs that's 100% stitched over the surface, so there's so much more to do.

It's not totally out of the realm of possibility that I'll someday pick these up and start stitching, which is the reason I haven't thrown them out or given them away. I just have so many other things, I'd like to stitch in the meantime. So, alas, these two will just have to retain their UFO status for a while. But who knows? I might surprise you, and myself, someday.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Little Creativity

I should know better, but I bought some beads. Doesn't sound like a big deal, does it? If you saw my collection, however, you'd surely tell me that I should not buy any more beads. I found myself in Joann Etc. and saw these pretty mother of pearl looking flower pendants and knew that something had to be made with it. This is not the best photo in the world, but you get the idea. I hadn't made any jewelry lately, so it was fun getting back into working with beads and findings.

Also, the surprise of the week for me is the little pin cushion I made from my Blackbird Designs "Breath of Spring" cross stitch which I featured in an earlier blog. I knew I wanted to make it into a pin cushion as was suggested in the instructions in the chart, but decided to change the lace trim for a gathered ribbon effect called ruching. I found some pretty green sheer ribbon and ruched (is that a word?) away. Also interesting about this is that the pin cushion is filled with crushed walnut shells. This was also recommended in the directions. I had to go to the pet store to get these and then buy this giant bag. Apparently birds use these for something. But look! They make excellent pin cushion filling! Almost like a little beanbag. I'm really happy with the way this project turned out. My husband even remarked on my finishing work. Huh.