Berry Emery

I stitched Blackbird Designs Berry Emery over the last couple of days. I used the charted fabric and fibers.

425 berry emery 08 22 13Just a quick cutie to break up the Pieta stitching.

425 berry emery fruit bowl 08 22 13

I’m getting a full fruit bowl. 🙂

Berry Emery by Blackbird Designs from It’s Berry Time
Stitched with recommended fibers and fabric

Happy Stitching! 🙂

Gifts for a Graduate

I stitched a few things for my step-daughter, who recently graduated from nursing school.
Christmas Mosaic Ornament 05.11

First up is the ornament I shared earlier, Christmas Mosaic by M Designs.

Merry Christmas stocking 05.11

I also stitched Merry Christmas Stocking by Blackbird Designs.

Best Wishes Freebie Sachet 05.11
Last is a sachet. It’s a freebie from the blog, Broderies Passion Martine 290. It was published 20 November, 2011. It was charted to say, “best wishes,” but I changed it a bit to suit my needs. It’s stuffed with walnut shells and lavender. This diploma is a scrapbooking brad.

Thank you, Wendy!

I participated in an exchange on a Yahoo group I belong to, and Wendy was my partner. We had a bit of a scare, thinking the ornament she stitched me had gotten lost in transit, but patience won out. *PHEW!* Here is the ornament Wendy stitched for me:

I scanned the perfect fabric Wendy used for the back of the ornament, which I used as background for the picture. It’s so adorable. When the husband saw it, he exclaimed, “It’s Michigan!” It’s on our tree now, front and center so I can see it when I watch TV and/or stitch.

Thank you, Wendy. It’s terrific.

This is what I stitched for her:

Noel Stocking front and back 12.10

Souvenir of Paris Stocking. Designed by Barb Adams of Blackbird Designs, as appeared in Joyeux Noel book.
Stitched on 30-ct St Valentine’s Blend linen, as was the model.
Fibers as recommended except I used CC Black Coffee instead of WDW Caper.
Modifications: I used motifs from the design to stitch the back of the stocking, and used an alphabet from the Joyeux Noel sampler (Reproduction adapted by Barb Adams and Alissa Christianson) that appeared in the same book

It was a lot of fun to stitch. I enjoyed every minute of it.

It was a great exchange. I also loved the card Wendy handcrafted for me. Thank you, Wendy, so much. 🙂

New Love pincushion

I finally finished this piece.  😀 I originally planned to embellish it differently.  I’m so glad this inspiration hit me at the last minute.  I love it! This piece is part of Blackbird Designs’ New Love sampler.

New Love pincushion 10.10

Here’s a shot of her in her new home:

 I didn’t notice my Earth fairy bead was upside down until I downloaded the photo.  I need to set her right side up.  My new pincushion is happy and at home in this basket.

Happy Stitching! 🙂

Project Stitchway

astronomy,iStockphoto,Mars,moons,outer space,planets,sciences,skies,stars,universes

I’ve watched a few of the Science Channel’s new program, Through the Wormhole .  The last episode I watched was about how our universe began.  There were these two physicists that theorize that there are infinite parallel universes, and when they bump into each other every few billion years, it creates a new big bang over and over again, since before our universe and will continue to do so waaaay after our universe.  This means there is another dimension beyond the ten that string theorists like Erik Verlinde maintain there are, for a total of eleven.  Hoo-boy.  I can barely manage four.  Oh, and then there was the guy that playfully suggested we’re all Sims. 

What I learned from the show
1. Physics maeks my brayn hert.
2. Physicists’ brains must produce natural hallucinogens.
3. I prefer my parallel universes fictional and stable.

Parallel universe
In one of these fictional parallel universes, I’m sure stitching is more popular than knitting.  So popular, in fact, that there’s a Project Runway clone reality show about stitching…Project Stitchway.  Actually, it probably has a better title, because the parallel stitchers/TV producers are more clever than me.  I can’t imagine any universe where I would audition for a reality show, for a variety of reasons which all boil down to one: I shun the limelight.   Oh, and there’s the fact that when it comes to making my own choices for stitchy projects, I’m slow to make decisions.  The fan blogs would be quick to pick up that I’m too much in my own head.  If there was an incredible fluke and I was cast in a stitchy TV competition show in said parallel universe, and one of the projects was my current one (with the challenge being modify a top designer’s freebie, say), the outcome would have been completely different from what happened.  I would never have had the time to meander through my imagination searching for “just right.”  I would have gone with my first choice, shown below (at least mostly), and crossed my fingers not to be “frogged.”  😉

After selecting four shades of gray, this is what I chose.  I thought it was a good choice for Blackbird Designs’ Souvenir de France, as I modified it to celebrate the Tour de France.  The daily leader/winner of the race is awarded a bright yellow jersey each day–the maillot jaune (French for yellow jersey, heh), or if you’re a hip, cycling American, the Mellow Johnny.  The gray is for the road.  Mile after mile after mile.  Oh, wait, it’s in Europe.  Kilometer after kilometer after kilometer.

Back to the real world
I was excited about stitching this while watching the Tour.  I showed the husband the pattern, fabric and floss before I started.  That’s when a simple idea took a lot of detours, including a dead end.  Oh, did he get excited!  He had ideas–and requests.  Even though I showed him the yellow fabric and told him why I’d chosen it, he wanted the motifs to reflect the jersey colors of the different competitions.  I thought that was a great idea.  Yellow on yellow didn’t appeal to me, but I was married to the yellow fabric idea.  He actually wanted a bike in each color.  Oy.  Getting a bike pattern wasn’t easy.  It had to be stitched over one.  And he expected me to stitch a polka-dot bike?  Stitch it yourself, Mr. Big Idea. 😛 

The dead end.  For my first attempt I found 36-ct Buttercream.  I was happily stitching one over two.  It wasn’t until I’d stitched a fair bit of the design that it occured to me that just because a skein of white fabric shows up nicely on a piece of fabric, it doesn’t mean that one ply will stand out, too. 

Back to the beginning, Vizzini! 
It took me a long time to make a new fabric choice.  What size fabric?  What color?  Should I switch my floss choices for different shades?  I ended up keeping all of my floss choices, and chose 32-ct. Rue Green, which is green like my 1994 Camry was green…meaning not so much.  Oh, sure, in the right light, when you squint, and do a quick-take, maybe green will come to mind.  Whatever the fabric is called, I’m very happy with my choice.

Vitals: Souvenir de France freebie, designed by Barb Adams of Blackbird Designs.
Stitched two over two on Rue Green linen. 
Fibers used: DMC–4045, 4075; GAST–Tin Roof; WDW–Icicle, Romance

The first edition of The Tour de France was held in 1903.  The yellow star is for the yellow jersey awarded to the overall winner.  The green cross is for the sprinting competition.  The pink and white is for the “king of the mountains”–that jersey really has red polka-dots, but it looks pink on TV and I liked the Romance floss.  The half-star is for the best young rider, cyclists 25 and under. 

The next challenge.  I knew from the start I wanted to make this a flat fold finish.  I spent an hour in the fabric store trying to choose the fabric.  Here are two choices that very nearly made it.  I think either choice would have been OK, but neither one felt right.  This is what I mean when I say I’m too much in my own head.  Every choice is important.  I don’t know how designers do it.  I just don’t.

Next on the agenda: Find the patience and time to finish this in the next week or so.

In which my mind wanders

I’ve been working on Peacock Pinkeep these last few days.  I’m really, really enjoying stitching it.  When you’re in “the zone” while stitching and your mind completely relaxes, you never know where you’ll end up.  Me, I was hanging at the beach with these guys:

1900s Beach Beefcake

Oh, yeah!  I mean, could you stitch this and not start thinking about those suits?  Of course not.  This peacock is simultaneously gorgeous and silly.  I’m the gal on the right, by the way.  I mean, if you’re going back in time, you need to be wearing tights and crazy, complicated beach shoes, know what I mean?

Then I was wishing I had the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car…

If you’re disappointed I showed this picture instead of the car, I apologize.  What I couldn’t get out of my head was when Professor Potts came out of the changing tents.   Here’s a consolation picture of Chitty and Potts for both of us:

Then I realized how HUGE this pinkeep is going to be.  I would have abandoned it, but I love the design.  I couldn’t stop stitching.  I got used to the idea of a TREMENDOUS pincushion, er pinkeep.   Then a brainstorm(!) took hold.  We’ll see if the idea goes anywhere.  You know how it is–no end of ideas, limited time.  Not to mention a mind that wanders, gets distracted, and forgets.

Then I started stitching with the green floss, which is Belle Soie’s Tortoise Shell, and you know where that led.  Yep.  Ellen Chester’s Quaker Turtles.  My peacock needs friends, and I don’t own this chart, so I can’t make him the perfect pals.  I’m a delinquent stitcher.  Time to add to my stashy wishlist.  I’ve always thought they were adorable, but managed to resist these fellas.  How, I don’t know.  It’s a mystery.  I mean, look at these adorable guys!

Now that I’ve taken you on an abridged tour of my stitching travels, I’ll show you the end result.  I’ve actually begun the alphabet band, but I’ve not taken a photo of that yet.  I haven’t taken a photo of my current progress, come to that.  This is a scan, which may explain why the gingham color is off.  It’s really a lovely, springtime green. 

Happy stitching, peacocks. 🙂

Strawberry Garden framed

We’ve been busy busy, busy doing nothing.   I haven’t gotten to do any stitching since we’ve gotten here.  I almost did last night.  Sad, ain’t it, when you get happy about almost getting to stitch?

I did get to pick up my framed Strawberry Garden before we left.  I love the top mat.  Accidental BONUS: it matches the entry rug in the hall where I’ve  hung it.

Strawberry Garden framed 06 09

Here’s hoping you (and I) get to really stitch.  🙂

ADDENDUM, 10/31/2009: I have sold this chart.  If you’re hoping to find it, I wish you good luck.

Visiting the LNS

For framing!

Strawberry Garden 06.09

She said it will be done within a week!  While I was stitching, my brain kept telling me a bee needed to be on the lower left flower, so I cooperated.  The bee didn’t want to be there.  I was surprised, since nectar is found in flowers, but who am I to argue with a bee?  Into the fluffy leaves she went.  I’m quite pleased to have her make her home in my Strawberry Garden.

strawberry garden bee charm close

Close-up of the bee.  The picture quality is poor; I snapped them at night.  It’s been cloudy here for many days.

Strawberry Garden by Blackbird Designs, Loose Feathers #18
Stitched on 32-ct. Magnolia linen by Lakeside Linens using recommended fibers, except for letters “T” and “M.”  I used GAST Grecian Gold instead of Crescent Colors Fool’s Gold.  The chart has two “I’s.”  I stitched the second as an “L” to make a complete alphabet.  I changed the bottom border to make it symmetrical.  I also added a bee charm.  Specialty stitches used: eyelet, smyrna cross, buttonhole, lazy daisy.

Progress, peacocks and pillow mints

I was almost done with Strawberry Garden when I decided that *now* was the time to attempt construction of  my Peacock Chair.  I’m not done with that, either.  Nervous Nellie here.  My next update of Strawberry Garden will be a finish photo, guaranteed.  In the meantime, some leaves finished, some not yet:

wip close 06 05 09 425

As for the peacocks and pillow mints…

I’ve been jumping around the chair’s instructions a bit, tackling this bit that I feel brave enough to do, then that bit.  One easy bit was the teeny scissor fob.  When it was completed it reminded me of those favor candies, butter cream pillow mints.  I stuffed it right full.  And peacocks, well, they explain themselves.

peacocks and pillow mints 425 06 06 09

In spite of my attempt to accurately cut the linen for the scissor keep, I failed.  I need to fashion a fix of sorts.  More anxiety.  *sigh*  I can do this, I think.  I have an idea.  I hope it works.  I think it will, it just depends upon me.  I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Meet-up at the border

I’ve closed the border on Strawberry Garden.  I didn’t like the way the border was charted, so I modified it to suit me.  The border gets wonky at the bottom right.  You know, right where there’s foliage in the model photo.  😛  I looked closely at the model photo, and it appears to be stitched as charted.  In the chart, the bottom right corner doesn’t meet up properly.  Part of it is due to a shortened motif (one stitch in the middle instead of two vertical stitches).  My sister once told me that quilt designers will sometimes incorporate an intentional “mistake” in their designs, and I wondered if the border wonkiness is in that vein.  After deciding that may well be the case, I also decided I couldn’t stand it.

There’s always a bit of anxiety when stitching a border, isn’t there?  Will it meet?  Have I counted accurately?  Please, oh, please, oh, please!  This was a successful closing. *phew*

wip 05 29 08 425

Only laizy daizies left!

wip 05 29 08 side view 425

Side view for fun.

Postage Stamp

The outside of Strawberry Garden’s border reminds me of postage stamp perforations.  Speaking of postage stamps, I love the Post Office’s new Love stamp:

love stampCute, yes?  I like the artwork, I like the theme, I like the flowers.  Delightful.

wip 05 26 09 425

Wouldn’t this make a great stamp?  It’s already sort of perforated…;)

buttonhole flowerCrazy, uneven buttonhole flower.  Normally the uneven oval would annoy me.  Not this time.  Breakthrough for me?  Doubtful, considering how much time I wasted unsuccessfully getting this post to look the way I wanted.

I don’t know about you, but when I stitch, I spend quite a bit of time staring at the piece.  When a project is on a scroll frame, I turn it from side to side, admiring the way the light plays with the colors.  It seems impossible to accurately capture in a photo.  I’m not sure if it’s the nature of photography or just my poor photography skills.  One fun thing about rotating a piece on the scroll frame is getting to see the dimensionality of the stitches.

cornerThe laizy daizy stitches in this design especially make my heart flutter.  I love this photo. See how the laizy daizies sit lightly on the fabric, happily floating?  That’s the sort of thing you can’t easily admire once it’s framed.

I can’t get this post to publish the way it looks on the screen.  I give up, and will rely upon your abilities to decipher my meaning.  (I’m also hoping that this disclaimer works in my favor.  I am not above a little voodoo now and then. ETA: OK, so that didn’t work. ETA 2: I forced it to approximate my intent.  Stoopid computers. 😀 )

facebook SAL

I belong to the facebook group Cross Stitch SAL.   I’m a newbie to the group, but I believe they have a weekend SAL once a month.  For my first SAL, I stitched on Strawberry Garden, naturally.   Friday evening, she looked like this:

wip 05 15 09 425

I love working on this project.  It’s so pretty.  I also love the different stitches incorporated in the design–Smyrna, eyelet, lazy daisy (which my fingers wanted to spell, “laizy daizy”).

strongberry specialty stitches 425

I made sure I found a lot of stitching time this weekend.  Now she looks like this:

wip 05 18 09 425

So pretty.  So much fun to stitch.  Lucky me. 🙂

Loving stitching again

I’ve escaped from the funny farm that is Missing You.  I wasn’t loving it, I was making myself crazy about it.  I don’t need help with the being crazy.  I stitch to escape that delightful feature of my personality, thank you.

I began BBD’s Loose Feathers #18, Strawberry Garden.


The whole time I was in my straitjacket, I was thinking about how very much I couldn’t wait to stitch this.  I’ve enjoyed stitching this completely so far.  I adore it.  Progress:


I thought this photo was a better representation of the fabric color.  I was wrong.  I’m using 32-ct Lakeside Linens Magnolia, which has a yellow hue.  Here’s a close-up of the basket, just because it’s been fun to stitch so far:


In other stitching news, webshots featured the photo I posted of my framed Pots of Love.  I think it was yesterday, unless webshots features more than one picture on each of its channels daily.  I didn’t know they had multiple channels until I received an email telling me about a comment from another user congratulating me for being featured.  SURPRISE!  I don’t much care for surprises, unless they’re unexpected happy surprises like that.

Home & Garden >> Crafts channel:

My featured picture:

Pots of Love 2/06