Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blue Ribbon

I got my cross stitch back from the fair.  Blue ribbon!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stitch from Stash - August Update

I figured I should post my Stitch from Stash update before I get caught up in everything.  I spent next to nothing this month, even with the bonus $25 (which nets me $0 for this month).  We just haven't had the extra money in the budget for string.

Strangely enough, everything that I worked on this month, I finished.  All four pieces.  So, here they are:

Pumpkin Sampler
Jeannette Douglas Designs

Mickey Mouse Wreath
Leisure Arts

The Wrapper
Full Circle Designs

Marsh Marigolds on Logan's Creek
Brigitte Kozma

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Getting Rid of a WIP *Edited*

Today I got rid of a WIP by finishing it!  I was able to finish up "Marsh Marigolds on Logan's Creek" this afternoon and now I am just looking for a frame to fit it.

*Hey, I had to push the submit button and get the kids to the supper table so I wasn't able to finish this post.  Anyway, I think this piece turned out great.  It is out of an 1989 Cross Stitch and Country Crafts and is by a designer named Brigitte Kozma.  She was a painter before she started cross stitching and you can definitely see this in her work.  Logan's Creek is actually in Wisconsin, north of where I lived so I think that's kind of cool.

I start my clinical teaching on Monday so I won't be home all day anymore.  I will also be homeschooling my stepdaughter this year too (just finished writing her English curriculum today) so I will probably not be on the blog much.  Look for me to be back at stitching and blogging in December sometime.

See y'all in December.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday Progress

Today, I was able to get some work done on Logan's Creek.  I am almost completed with it.  I just have to stitch up to the top and then do some minor backstitching

Monday, August 18, 2014

Behind the String: Amazing Grace or How I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew

I have talked about this piece before but it bears repeating with more details.

Amazing Grace was the second piece that I ever stitched (although it was the third piece I finished).  I had finished the Learn a Craft stamped cross stitch frog that summer which taught me how to stitch.  I was in the local craft store, Accents (an independent craft store that is sadly out of business now) and I saw the kit for this piece.  It was just after Thanksgiving and I thought "hey, that would make a nice Christmas present for Mom."  So, I bought it and brought it home to start it.  It is stitched over 2 on 28 count evenweave, which I had never done.  I had to read the instructions in the kit to figure out how to do much of the stitching.  By Christmas, I only had the border around the words in the middle stitched.  I was also keeping this a surprise for Mom so I had to work on it when she wasn't around.  I would stitch on it in my room all the time and have a pillow handy to throw over it if she walked in so she wouldn't see it.

Instead of having it done by Christmas, I had to done by summer and then got it professionally framed.  The backstitching of the notes and the staff and the lyrics took as much time as stitching the border.

My Mom loved it and it hangs over her bed.

And that's the story behind the string.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mickey Completed!

I worked diligently on Mickey all day today and finally finished it.  Here's a picture.

Also, I wanted to put up a picture of the washcloth I made for Angela and our exchange.  It's the first washcloth I've ever knitted.

Mickey Progress

I have slowly but surely been making progress on good old Mickey Mouse.  I don't know why this ornament has been taking so long, but it has.  I suspect the fractional stitches on Aida might be what's slowing me down.

I entered God is Love in the fair today.  My grandma used to enter her pieces but I never have and I figured this was the year to try.

I also started the South Beach Diet today.  Our family doctor recommended it for my husband and I have decided to join him on it.  The first two weeks will probably be rough and I won't be able to have a cookie for quite some time, however, I think I might fare better with it since you can eat when you're hungry as long as you eat from the approved food list.  I had issues with counting calories because I found I was extremely hungry and I couldn't stand the feeling.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Exchange Received!

Today, my washcloth exchange from Angela arrived.  I am hoping that mine arrives in Canada tomorrow or Thursday.  She knitted me a very nice patterned washcloth.

Today, I took some time to work on "The Wrapper" because I finished up class last week and I have two weeks of freedom until student teaching starts.  I am going to be teaching in first grade and the special education resource room so it should be a learning experience.  This semester will be slightly busier than I originally anticipated due to some recent decisions that we made that I can't really go into now.  I have been working on the prep work for that and enjoying my last few weeks as a stay at home mom before I head off to school.

I had a small helper today to help me wind some new DMC on bobbins (because, just when I think I have every color, I find that I don't).

So, after a good day's work, here's what the Wrapper looks like.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Behind the String: The Worst Mounting Job Ever!

Sadly, today's Behind the String does not have a picture so you will have to use your imagination.  Ready?  Go!

First, picture a stamped cross stitch piece.

The piece is a wedding sampler with two bears on it.  Think cutsy.

Now, take the piece, roughly wrap the fabric around a 8x10 piece of cardboard and stuff it in a cheap 8x10 frame.

You cringed, didn't you.

So, this was a piece that one of my friends made for one of my other friends as a wedding present.  It was hanging on the wall in her dining room and in addition to being horribly mounted, I discovered it was also stained.  The friend that stitched the piece actually was my roommate at one point and I know that she would eat sometimes while stitching, so this didn't surprise me.

After starting at it through several D&D sessions over at the house, I asked my friend if I could take the piece and attempt to clean and remount it.  After all, it was nice of her to stitch it but apparently she didn't know a lot about mounting a finished piece.  My friend agreed, so I took the piece back to my dorm room.

I set about disassembling the piece.  It had been taped on the cardboard with masking tape (shudder, shudder).  I soaked the piece for awhile and most of the stain came out.  There was a lot of excess fabric, so I trimmed that off and carefully remounted the piece on a piece of sticky board (probably not the best choice, I admit, but I did not know how to lace and mount at that point in time).

It looked 10 times better after being re-framed.

The moral of the story: if you are going to take the time to stitch a thoughtful present for someone but you don't know how to mount it, for heaven's sake, ASK FOR HELP!

And that's the story behind the string.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Some Ornament Progress

I wanted to share some progress I have made on the ornaments I am currently working on.

First, Mickey is still plugging along although it is taking longer than I expected.

I also started another ornament called "The Wrapper."  There is not much to see yet (it is a snowman if you hadn't guessed)

Behind the String: Bert and Ernie

I finished my final masters class yesterday before student teaching (!) and I decided that this blog needs a new segment.  Last year, I guest blogged several times over at Stitching The Night Away, but once the masters degree started in full swing, I just did not have the time to do any more.

One of my favorite pieces that I did while guest blogging was "How to Create a UFO in 13 Easy Steps".  It told the tale of how "Do Not Meddle" went from being an awesome piece to becoming a UFO at the bottom of my stash box.  I realized that a lot of the pieces I have done, both knitted and cross stitched, have their own "story" behind them.  So, I give you, for your consideration, "Behind the String."

Behind the String: Bert and Ernie (or how I discovered that fractional stitches don't work well on Aida)

My childhood took place during the late 80s and early 90s, so, of course, I watched Sesame Street every day along with Mr. Rogers.  In the days before Disney Junior and Nick Jr., PBS was the only television station with children's educational programming on it, so there really wasn't much choice.

With those fond childhood memories in mind, fast forward a couple of years later.  When I first started stitching, I exclusively stitched kits.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that I didn't realize that cross stitch was available without a kit.  Anyway, my mom's next door neighbor was Catholic and in charge of the rummage sale at her Catholic church.  When I started cross stitching, she would bring home cross stitch kits that had been donated to the rummage (generally when they didn't sell at the end of the rummage).  One of the first ones that I was ever given was a Jan Lynn kit of Bert and Ernie.  I know it was a bit childish considering I was 18 or so at the time but I liked Bert and Ernie so I set to work on stitching the kit.

Now, most stitchers will agree that kits do not always contain the highest quality materials and this kit was no exception.  The Aida, especially is generally stiff and harder to work with than the stuff you buy separately.  I think this may have been the first time that I had ever dealt with fractional stitches and it was not a pleasant experience.  The Aida was so unyielding to having a needle poked through its center that I had to take one of my sewing pins and poke it through the center just to get a hole started.  That's the only time I've ever had to do that.  Besides that, the piece turned out fine.

That would be the end of the story, except, now it needed a frame.  The kit included one of those really cheap plastic frames (emphasis on cheap) but it was so cheap that I couldn't use it to frame the piece anyway.  Fortunately, an alternate frame presented myself.  My college boyfriend had decided to dump me over the phone while I was working in Colorado so I took his picture out of them frame that it was in and put Bert and Ernie in its place.

I think it turned out rather smashing.

And that's the story behind the string.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Newly Framed Finishes

I was finally able to frame Autumn Harvest that I completed at the beginning of the year.  I also finished Pumpkin Sampler and framed it today.  I think they look rather nice.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pumpkin Sampler

I reached the bottom of the Pumpkin sampler.  Now, I just need to go to the middle and work my way up to the top.