Thanks again for all of your very kind comments about I Sigh Not for Beauty -- Ruth Ann Russell really deserves all the credit for designing such a beautiful sampler!
I'm moving on to another project. Two weeks from this Wednesday, I will be taking my first ever class from Jackie du Plessis. She is teaching at the Needlework Guild of Minnesota retreat. I have never been to this retreat before and decided this year to give it a go. It is so reasonably priced and to have the opportunity to learn from a nationally known teacher and designer - I couldn't pass it up! Jackie is offering four different classes; I am taking one of them - Briar Rose Etui.
I started my pre-work last night and made pretty good progress. The entire project is stitched over one (what was I thinking???) Here's what I've done so far:
You can barely see the outline of the project; the thread color blends in with the linen -- very hard to see! It was much easier stitching the vine with the green silk thread. I am going to finish the outline before I start the roses. Amy at Thread in Hand is also working on this project; visit her blog to see what mine will look like in two weeks!
I fear you may be tired of seeing photos of this one; I promise this will be the last post. My framer finished this in record time. I dropped it off on Thursday morning and it was ready for pick-up on Friday night. Wow.
Here she is, one last time in all her framed glory! I Sigh Not For Beauty from C Street Samplerworks...
Thank you for all of your kind comments over the past few posts. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
It was too hot to do anything outside today and I had plenty of laundry and cleaning to keep me busy inside. In between all of the housework I found time to finish this Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers project. The stitching for the box top was done last year. A few months ago I stitched the alphabet that goes around the sides of the lid. It's kind of funny, I have "2011" stitched on the top and "2012" stitched in the band that goes around the edge!
I'm not a big fan of painting, but I followed their instructions and used the techniques that Barb and Alma taught us when they were at the Stitchville retreat back in 2010. The last coat was Bri-wax and you apply it liberally and then use a soft towel to take most of it off. Reminded me of the movie Karate Kid - "wax on, wax off"...
It looks pretty good but I have to admit that I'm not 100% happy with it...I had never worked with Wonder Under before and it didn't quite do what it was supposed to do (might have been user error.) I've got to let go and not be such a perfectionist!
Here's a shot of the box:
And here's a closeup of the side of the box, you can see how the paint is crackled:
That little acorn button was my own addition!
Before I go, I want to share with you two gifts that I received this weekend. First, this cute pincushion from Wendy Jo. The design is from Primitivebetty! Thank you so much Wendy Jo; it was a nice surprise in my mailbox on Saturday.
And from my friend Judy (no blog) this cute little case for a stitch starter! The fabric is from Blackbird Designs and the case was made by Belinda from Blue Ribbon Designs (she sells these on her Etsy site!) I love it. Thank you for this surprise Judy!
As much as I'd like to stay and chat (aka read your blogs) or stitch awhile longer in my chair, I need to head to bed. I'm working the early shift tomorrow and that means the alarm is going to go off at five bells!
It's hot and humid again...thank goodness I had a place to escape to this morning! The second Saturday of every month, a group of us gather at Stitchville for what we call "Sip and Stitch". We arrive at about 9:30am and stitch until 12:30pm (well and then there are days that we don't leave until 1:30pm or 2:00pm - like today!) Stitchville has a new classroom at their new home and we were the first group to christen it!
The group obliged and let me take pictures of them this morning...
Vicki, Dorothy, Virginia, and Karen:
Pam, Maryanne, Mary, Joyce:
Chris, Yours Truly, and Judy:
We always have a good time, lots of laughs, and of course, we do a fair amount of stash enhancing! If any of you are reading this, thanks for being such a fun group to stitch with!
While there today, I nearly finished a project that has been languishing in my WIP pile for quite a long time. After I arrived home, I put in the final over one stitches and voila it is finished!
Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler
With Thy Needle and Thread
35ct WDW Confederate Gray
Okay...Have you ever done this? Danced like a crazy fool celebrating a needlework finish only to realize later that you weren't really finished? I seem to be making a habit of this. I did it once last year when I finished (or shall I say "thought I finished") Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler, only to realize that I had a little bit more to stitch. Boy, did I look like a crazy fool dancing around the hotel room in Virginia beach that night. Well, it happened to me again today. I took "I Sigh Not for Beauty" to my framer and had made my frame selection and was ready to make my purchase and all of sudden a little voice in my head said, "There are supposed to be satin stitches in that sawtooth border!"
I placed the order for my frame and said I'd be back in a few days with the finished piece. Boy did I ever feel silly. Better to discover it now rather than later. Oh my, what would my hero (the designer) Ruth Ann Russell have thought had I forgot to put in the satin stitches? Guess what I will be doing tonight?
Gotta run...but have to shout out to my Chicago friends who were stitching with Linda from Chessie and Me and Lori from La D Da today. Hope y'all had fun!
I didn't know what to stitch on last night, so I went digging in the WIP basket and came up with this...Stripes from Shepherd's Bush. I can't even tell you when I started this one; I'm going to have to go digging back in the archives!
I finished five or six bands last night. A couple more nights of stitching and this one will be finished!
Thanks all for your kind comments about I Sigh Not For Beauty. I can't wait to get it framed and up on my walls!
I remember 10 or 12 years ago when we used to have five or six different cross-stitch/needlework shops in the Twin Cities area. Similar to what the quilt shops do today, they shop owners organized an annual needlework shop-hop and what fun that was!
Today in the Twin Cities our choices are limited and there is only one shop that has it all - Stitchville. Earlier this spring, Deb was faced with an important and difficult decision; either she had to find a new location or close the shop. Like many of her patrons, I'm so grateful that she chose the first option, but I know it has been a stressful time and a huge amount of work for her and her staff. Stitchville was closed for two weeks in June and re-opened last Sunday (July 1) in a new, bigger and better space.
I had planned for weeks to be there on opening day (don't want to miss out on anything you know) but woke with a little "bug" that kept me in bed most of the day (thanks to my dear son!) I had talked to friends who were there and even saw some pictures that had been taken by another friend, but I couldn't wait to see it for myself. Yesterday morning I got in my car and headed for the new Stitchville!
The new location isn't too far from the old location; it's about 40 minutes for me from my home to the shop each way. The new location is located in a strip mall just across the street from a major mall. The new entrance to Stitchville:
Check out all the windows! Lots of natural light inside the shop. If you've ever visited the old shop, you know that every inch of space was jam packed with all kinds of stitching related supplies. This new shop has room to grow -- there is space to move around! I was there shortly after they opened yesterday morning and there were quite a few stitchers there already performing their stash enhancement exercises.
From the inside looking out those front windows:
Here are pictures of just SOME of the fibers; when Deb decides to carry a line of fibers, she carries the entire line; it's all or nothing! I just love all the glorious color in one place!
The Christmas wall in the back was all set up and the models were hung with care (in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there? - no that's a different story.)
And from the back of the store looking forward to the front of the store:
One thing I've always liked about Stitchville is that you can get up close and actually touch the fabrics. Many of the most popular linens are already pre-cut in various sizes. If you are trying to kit something up you can take the fabric over to the fiber wall and lay everything out and see how the colors work together. Here's the fabric wall:
Any of the Stitchville employees will help you with a custom cut of fabric too. Pat was working at the cutting table yesterday...I warned her that this was going on my blog! Check out the models on the wall.
A few more shots...
The gals at the shop still have quite a bit of work to do; there still are a number of stitched models that need to go up on the walls. As Deb said to me, "it's kind of like moving into a new house; it takes a little while to settle in and figure out where everything needs to go."
It's a great location and a great shop and I'm so glad that Stitchville will continue to be around for me and other stitchers to make our stitching purchases. It's easy to shop at the online stores, but there's nothing like a brick and mortar business when you want to see and feel what the design, colors, and textures will be like! Congratulations to Stitchville on their brand new home!
So a week or so ago I had to have a little chat with my 80-year old mother. I told her that her birthday was over and she needed to get back to work. Summertime was not just for baseball and lolly-gagging in her garden...I needed her to tat! :)
Okay, you all know me well enough - I love my mom and that's not how the conversation went! She's been busy enjoying herself. She loves legion baseball and she loves tending to her small vegetable garden and taking care of the numerous scattered flower pots in her yard. Fortunately for me, its been really warm here in MN and she's been spending more time inside, and she's been tatting. Bonus for me. Look at these little treasures that she dropped off the other day:
These medallions are smaller than some of the others she's made for me in the past and so rather than pincushions we have petite size tartlets!
I told her it was going to be hot for a few more days and she should really stay inside and stay cool. After all, I'm just looking out for her well-being, and it wouldn't hurt if she tatted a little bit more, right? (For those of you who know my mother, you know this is like talking to a brick wall. She will do as she pleases!)
Here's another plate of them that I made a couple weeks ago - these have been gifted to some friends.
I have some larger medallions from her that are waiting to be transformed into larger pincushions. Will post pictures of those too when they are complete!
My "I Sigh Not For Beauty" finish is so close I can taste it. There's going to be a big celebration this weekend I think.
I am the granddaughter of Hungarian immigrants who came to the United States in search of new opportunities - while both worked very hard their entire life to provide for their family, I believe they got what they came for - a better life in America.
Two of my uncles and three of my brothers served in the military; they believed in what this country stands for - today I give thanks to all our military who for the past 236+ years have defended the ideals and beliefs of this nation; because of them, we enjoy many freedoms.
I have had the good fortune in my life to travel to many countries all over this great world of ours, but can honestly say, "There's no place like home." I'm proud to be an American. Happy Birthday USA.
Please excuse the wrinkles; I didn't take time to press this beauty which I am growing rather fond of especially since the two blue birds in the tree were added!
I'm going to put this one away for awhile now. Tonight I put a few more over one stitches in "I Sigh." I'm thinking I'd like to do a little patriotic stitching this week...
Before I forget, Beth asked me how I attached the chenille to the pincushion (post from 26June) - I sew my chenille trim on; I believe it's called a "couching stitch". If you match your thread color closely to the color of the chenille you won't even notice the thread. I usually try to twist the chenille as I go. I have also glued the chenille down on some of my other finishes.
Hope you are all staying cool -- it's much warmer here than it normally is. On days like this I am reminded of why I like our winters so much!