Monday, February 22, 2016

Hermitting Weekend

I haven't joined any organized group, but I decided to self impose a hermitting weekend.  I was able to get quite a bit of stitching in.  

I'll begin with Aurora Cabin.  I have a before and after picture taken, just to show you what I've done this weekend, along with a close up of the cabin.  I spent a LOT of time backstitching this cabin...did I mention I HATE backstitching?  LOL!!

 I finished up a couple of pieces just for ornament...(which I can't show because it's a gift).

And I think I'll turn this into a scissors fob.  (I can't show this because it's also a gift).  I chose to include that I stitched these, because I just wanted to let you know all that I stitched this weekend.   I'll show these later once I've given them to the people they are intended for. 

Last, but not least, is the top panel of the needlework casket I'm working on.  I came to an impasse.  Because I've chosen to stitch this on 20 count, with one strand of floss, lazy daisy stitches aren't turning out like they have for me in the past.  I'm not sure I like where this is going.  Another concern I have is the bullion knots for the flowers in the vine on the fence.  I'm thinking of substituting a different stitch for the flowers.  I sincerely need opinions...I considered spider roses...does anyone have any suggestions as a substitute?  I'm truly in a quandary here.

Last week I hoped to get some finishes done, but I wound up with a sleepless week, and was too tired to think.  I think I actually got some restorative sleep this hopefully today I'll get those finishes done.  I'll let you know soon!

I hope you all had a wonderful, productive weekend!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gifts Galore!

I'm almost on a first name basis with the Post Lady here in Maryland!  It's been a busy month for her!  Between exchanges I've been a part of, Round Robins that have been arriving from every corner of the world, and belated birthday/Christmas gifts, I've been receiving packages quite frequently.  I'm still waiting on one more, a box of goodies that I won from Gifted Gorgeousness last year.  I'm feeling pretty lucky right about now!

Let's start out with the things I'm stitching for Gifted Gorgeousness.  

The rules can be found here.  If you are interested I think you can sign up any time!  And if you want to see what the rest of us have been submitting, you can find the links for February here.  Thank you, once again, Jo, for hosting this!  I really enjoy searching and stitching for this challenge.  It keeps me searching through patterns and things to post for this challenge!

I'm still working on the Needlework Casket that was in a book I was gifted with from a good friend of mine.  I had to restart because the last one I stitched on 36 count and it was coming out a wee bit too large to fit in the casket I have.  So here is what I've done on the new one, stitched on 40 count.  I've learned a lot since restarting.  The satin stitch is done differently, and covers much better.  The herringbone stitch is also done a little different to make the roof look more consistent and more like shingles.  I just love this piece!!

I've done a few more letters from Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet that was also gifted from another friend.  These are stitched on 28 count over two.  I've decided to try and do four letters a month to finish up earlier so I can move on to other things.  I was hoping to do two a month until all were done, but they stitch up faster than I imagined.  Here are Y, C, H, R.

I've done a couple more of the numbers of the EMS Advent calendar.  I stitched up the 24 because it was the largest and hopefully soon (before the end of the month) I can get them finished up.  When I was stitching this I thought...why aren't I stitching the big ones first?  As it gets closer to Christmas I'll have less time, so it will be quicker to stitch the smaller ones from now on I'll be going in reverse order.  So here are 24 and 23 stitched on 32 ct over one.  They are freebies from Ellen Maurer-Stroh that you can find here.  

 February has been released from The Snowflower Diaries SAL.  Here is mine done on 32 ct. over one.  March has also been released and you can find all the patterns on her blog here.

I'm participating in a round robin with a few ladies from Friendly Stitchers.  When I was in NY I missed a couple, so I've received two recently, one from the midwest that was sent on to England....

And one from England that was sent on to Canada....

With these two I think I'm caught up.  I think that makes three (four if you count mine) out of seven that I've stitched on.  Just three more to go before I receive mine!  I just love participating in these!

Now...on to the gifts I've received.  From a private Valentine's exchange I received this...

It's a small project bag, and is stitched so beautifully.  The fabric of the bag is so soft too.  I just love it and will be using it for small projects.  Thank you so much Amy!

My pen pal and stitch pal from England, Mouse, sent me these beautifully stitched and finished pieces.  The thread keeper is a small project bag as well and I can't wait to use it!

The Huswife has three separate pockets and will work perfectly for things I like to carry with me wherever I go to stitch.  I can't wait to put them to good use.  Thank you so much  Mouse!!  I feel well and truly spoiled by all these lovely gifts!

So what else have I been stitching on?  I've been making very sloooooow progress on Aurora Cabin.  Through Friendly Stitchers I've been making it a point to stitch on Sundays.  Unfortunately it seems my husband keeps making plans so I've haven't made much progress...but here is what I've done since the last picture.

I started working on a Christmas ornament that was supposed to be a gift.  I decided it probably would be an appropriate pattern for what it was intended for,  so I'm going to finish it, but not give it there.  

One of the other things I'm hoping to keep up with is finishing each of these months from Country Cottage Needleworks.  Here is February.  This one is done on 32 ct over two.  

I'm hoping to start getting these made in to cube stand-ups tomorrow.  I'm setting aside tomorrow as a "finishing" day.  I have a couple of things I would love to get made is actually a gift and I need to get it sent off...wish me luck!

 I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day.  I was well and truly spoiled by the two men in my life...DH and DS.  I was treated to a movie and dinner and a small box of chocolates from DH, and a Downton Abbey puzzle from DS.  I've already started it, and it's been a lovely treat.  The only drawback is to see all my favorite characters from the series staring back at me from my work table...hahahaha.  Truly, it's hard to draw myself away from it.  If only I could keep Thomas (my cat) off the table, I'll be doing well!!

Off to spend time with the guys, they have today off for President's day.  It's another snowy day here today, so I doubt we'll be going anywhere, let's hope we don't get the 6 inches they are threatening us with!  It sure looks pretty from this side of the window though!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Moving right along...

Well, February just seems to be flying by!  Wooosh!!  I've had a few days to get some stitching done, so yay!!  

As you know, I realized after I had more than halfway finished the top section of my Needlework Casket that it wasn't going to fit.  I went almost immediately and bought fabric that I hope will now work, but it took me a while to pick up my needle and thread again.  *Sigh*  But this past week, I decided I couldn't wait any longer, I just need to see how it's going to look on this fabric.  So here is my progress so far.  I'm still hoping I can finish the entire casket this year.  Fingers crossed...

I am so pleased with the way it looks on 40 count now.  I've made a few changes and do like it much better with the changes I've made.  Sorry for the dark picture, the fabric is much lighter.  Hopefully next picture will be a bit better.

I was able to finish up another number in the Advent series I'm working on.  This is the largest in the series and now I can figure out what size to make them all.  I've been kicking around ideas as to finishing them, and once I do and finish the first one I'll finish them as I go along.  Hopefully by the first of December I'll be able to display them!

I've been trying to work on Aurora Cabin each Sunday just to try and finish it up this year.  It's slow going as it seems I'm busy on Sundays lately.  Here is my latest progress, I'll post before and after so you can see.

I finished up a little ornament a made as part of the smalls challenge I'm participating in on Friendly Stitchers.  I just love this little ornament!!

It was a fun but busy weekend.  My guys love hockey, baseball, and my son loves soccer.  They signed us up for a bus trip to NJ to see the Capitals play the Jersey Devils Saturday, so we hopped the fan club bus and traveled to the Devils Den to see the game.  

It was a lot of fun, but it was a loooooong day!  My son can be very vocal, and the Jersey Devil mascot had a few choice gestures he made our way...LOL but it was worth it in the end to see our team win!!  Sunday my son was up early to see his soccer team play (Arsenal) and win.  An hour later the Capitals played on home ice and again they won.  Then we dashed off to Astrid's Superbowl party to see the Broncos (the team we chose to root for) win!  What an exciting time we had....but I will admit, I'm about testosteroned out!  Today I'm watching chick flicks to try and compensate!  LOL 

Off to get some stitching done...hope you are having a fabulous day!