Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Small Gift

Today is Carol's birthday! Happy Birthday friend! Carol is always the first to send a birthday gift to many of the stitching bloggers out there so it is only fitting that she receive some stitched goodies on her birthday. I stitched up this little pinkeep for her; the design is from Chessie & Me and it's called Flag over Chessie. I also set her one of my Hardanger suncatcher ornaments but I failed to take a picture of it!

Thank you to all the stitchers out there who have nominated me for blogging awards. I don't get around visiting blogs like I used to, so I appreciate the fact that there are bloggers out there who still visit mine!

That's it for tonight - hope you have a floss filled weekend!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On the Bottom of the List: Update Blog

Every time I spend a weekend at the lake I find myself behind and trying to catch up. Don't get me wrong, I love those weekends - there's nothing like hearing the loons calling early in the morning and at dusk. It's so quiet and peaceful there...but then I come home and have to play "catch up" -- catch up the laundry and the housecleaning, pay the bills, and somewhere at the bottom of my list is "update blog." So hear you go -- put your seat belt on. It's going to be a long one.

While at the lake this weekend, I visited with an old friend. Remember my Gameboard Sampler from The Drawn Thread? I started this puppy on New Year's Day in 2006! Then about four months later (May 2006) I re-started it. I didn't like stitching on the 25 ct and decided to switch to a 36 ct linen. I worked on it on and off in 2006 and maybe a little bit in 2007, but sometime in 2007 I became disinterested in working on it...but now - here it is again. Over the weekend I stitched the three houses and the little birdie on the bottom row (the little birdie still needs a beak!) I think you'll see more of this one; it sure would be nice to finish it!

Can I show you my favorite tool that I use at the lake? It's a clamp on lamp with a magnifying lens! My eyes are not what they used to be and I find that my stitching is much more enjoyable when it is magnified. This little lamp is easy to transport and easily clamps on to the table which sits on the screened in porch overlooking the water!

Look at the lovely exchange that I received today from Olga for the HoE Quaker Exchange! Olga mounted her stitched Quaker design to the top of this wooden box. The inside of the box is finished too and included a matching thread/stitch counter some coordinated thread bobbins, a scissors with a stitched fob that was personalized with our initials and the year. Olga must have figured out that I also enjoy Hardanger - she included some pearl cotton, and finally she included some 32 count linen in an oyster color. I think she put a lot of thought and effort into putting this one together. Thanks so much Olga!

Finally, I received word that the Fair & Square blocks that I sent to Peg were received. Peg likes quaker designs so I stitched his freebie for her in some beautiful pink floss that Aniza had sent to me awhile ago.

Well, I think that's it. I have another piece that I stitched over the weekend, but it needs to be ironed and then I have some buttons to sew on - I'll save that for another day. I also mailed a few things today that I will post photos of later in the week. I'm still working on finishing my Quaker exchange piece - it needs to be mailed by Friday (stitching is done; just need to finish the finishing!)

If you made it to the bottom of this post - congratulations! And thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Exchanges Sent & Received

After a relaxing weekend at the lake filled with stitching and playing cards, I'm back! Thanks to so many of you who commented about my "bad hair day" finish! It really was the only way to describe those wild, crazy ribbons!

Just before I left on Friday, the postman left a package in my mailbox. To my surprise it was my Summer House exchange from the SBEBB, and it was from Carol! I was delighted to see her name on the return address label. Look at this beauty that was wrapped up inside - the design is from The Drawn Thread and it is called Summer Scene. The pattern was in the August 2000 issue of Just Cross Stitch. Carol finished it as a mattress pincushion (her finishing is perfect!) She spoiled me with lots of goodies which I am grateful for. Carol, thank you so much - this was a wonderful surprise from you!

Today I received a note from Paula in Scotland that she received a little package over the weekend from me. I felt badly - you see, Paula had participated in a Valentine's Day exchange on the SBEBB this past winter. I'm not quite sure what happened to her exchange or the partner that was supposed to send it. We had good communication going back and forth, but no exchange ever materialized. I just don't like it when someone doesn't receive their exchange, so I needed to make this right; I'm only sorry that Paula had to wait so long. I stitched "Peace" one of the LHN/CC Thread Packs and finished it as a flange pillow (I'm kind of on a pillow kick lately!) My goodies were kind of sparse - some sampler fabric, DMC fibers, and a tin of chocolate (which didn't travel so well) but Paula tells me she's happy with everything just the same!

I'm working on exchanges that need to get out in the near future, so I hope to have more pictures for you soon. Hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where Have I Been?

I disappeared for a few days. Sorry about that. I really was here; I just didn't take time to post. We had some family in town from Canada and it just got a little crazy around here!

As promised, here's another up close shot of one of my finishes from my finishing frenzy two Saturday's ago. The design is from The Drawn Thread. The was was a project that our needlework guild worked on together. The thread colors were changed to give this a "fall" look. The birds now are crows instead of robins! We did a box finish. Rather than using a styrofoam form, we used several pieces of foam core board cut to the same size and taped together. The coordinator supplied us with lots of ribbon to make a big fancy bow for the top. I'm not very good at making bows so I just kind of tied them all together and cut them short for what I call the "bad hair day" effect. I think it looks okay!

As many of you know, Vonna celebrated a birthday two weeks ago. I was very late in getting a gift off to her, but I think it's okay to extend the celebration a few days longer. (Mama Joan thinks its okay to extend birthday celebrations by weeks and months! LOL!) Here's the little pillow I stitched and finished for Vonna, our 5th of July birthday girl! Happy belated birthday Vonna!

I sent a few other packages out on Monday so hopefully there will be more pictures to share in a few days! Have a great evening and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another Finish from My Finishing Frenzy Day

Here's another close up look at one of my finishes from Saturday. Now, I can't take credit for the stitching on this one. Oh, yes - I had started stitching it but quickly determined that I really don't like stitching over one on 40 ct linen. (I'm not particularly fond of stitching over one on any count linen!) So, my friend Chris, who stitches in our Friday night sitching group, offered to finish it for me. To be honest with you, she stitched the whole thing (I think she took out what I had stitched and started over!) Anyway, here she is - Miss Mary Mack (all dressed in black) stitched over one on 40 count linen and finished as a tin pin. I plan to wear this as a necklace and need to find a chain for it yet.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Stitchers are Special People

If you stopped by my blog yesterday then you saw my reference to special surprises that were waiting in my mailbox yesterday.

Surprise #1 was a box from Needlecraft Corner. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was or why I was receiving it - I hadn't ordered anything recently! To my surprise, Brigitte had ordered a couple additional things to go with her LHN exchange for me. With the scissor case she stitched for me she included a note saying that she really wasn't happy with the scissors that she had ordered, but there was no time to order another one. I wasn't disappointed at all - the scissor case all by itself was superbly done! Brigitte must not have been happy because in the box from Needlecraft Corner was a Hardwick Scissors from Kelmscott Designs and a chart from my wishlist - Jingle all the Way! Brigitte, you are a special lady and I thank you for your kindness! Here's a picture of her entire package with both sets of goodies:

Surprise #2 was an envelope from Margaret in New Zealand. Margaret sent me a sweet thank you for the time and effort that I put into assisting Carol with the Hooked on Exchanging blog. Aw, Margaret, how thoughtful of you! Enclosed was the most beautiful, delicate hardanger needlecase I have ever seen. The pictures below really don't do it justice. This is really a lovely piece and I will treasure it always! Thanks for your unexpected act of kindness Margaret!
Here's the front:

Here's the inside:

Here's the back:

Well, that's it for tonight. Maybe more finishing pictures tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 07, 2008

LHN Exchange Received

Gaby emailed me to let me know that my HoE LHN exchange for her arrived today! Let me tell you, I had a hard time parting with this one. It turned out even better than I could have imagined. The LHN design that I selected is Paper Whites and I finished it as a pillow for Gaby. Isn't it wonderful when things turn out better than you planned?

There were a couple of unexpected surprises in my mailbox today. I'll tell you about them tomorrow!

Until then - happy stitching!

Today's Featured Finish

In my post yesterday, I promised to share with you my finishes, one each day for the next week (get's me posting more frequently!) Here's the one that received the most comments - Autumn Tulip from Blackbird Designs.

This was one of our class pieces at the Hands to Work Retreat last fall, although I think it is also included in their new Thank You Sarah Tobias book.

We were provided with all of the finishing materials. Some tan rick rack is hand stitched all around the piece to cover the seam. The pinkeep is filled with fine ground walnut shells (also provided). I love this pinkeep!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

HoE LHN Exchange

My LHN exchange from Brigitte arrived yesterday! She used elements from the Morning Berries chart to create this beautiful scissor case! Isn't it wonderful? So delicate - stitched and finished perfectly! Brigitte send along a stork scissors for the case, a German chart with the floss, some wonderful linen, and a notepad with a cross stitch design on it. She totally spoiled me! Vielen Dank for a wonderful exchange Brigitte. Es ist wunderbar! Here are pictures of this delectable scissor case:

Saturday's Finishing Frenzy!

I don't know what got into me yesterday, but I was determined to finish all those little stitched things that have been sitting around waiting to be made into something special. I succeeded in finishing everything that was not Christmas related! A total of eight items! Now only six of them are pictured here because two of them are gifts, but you will see all of them eventually. Here's a group photo. I'm going to save the individual shots for during the week (that way I'll have something to post each day! LOL)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Christmas in July from Simone!

Here's the lovely ornament I received from Simone. Id like to know the designer - will you tell us that Simone? Anyway it's finished like a pinkeep in a wonderful triangular shape with ribbon around the edge that says "Happy Holly Days!"

Here's the entire package.

Thanks so much for your gifts Simone. The ornament will make a great addition to my tree this year! And thanks too for organizing this exchange. Much easier (less pressure) to stitch ornaments in July!