Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome Summer

The calendar and the outside temperature may say Summer has finally arrived but my stitching this week says it is Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day. There has also been a little bit of a summer theme this week with some work on Sunflower and Berries.

I want to get the lavender Confetti Streamers finished in the background so that I can stitch the vines on top of them where necessary. I like this NeedleDeeva canvas so much. Robin King did a great job with a nice mix of simple but effective stitches. It has such a nice airy look to it. Perfect stitching on a hot summer evening.

With the Christmas Banner behind me (and thank you so much for your very kind comments this week on the banner!), I have felt a little more free to stitch on a variety of projects this week. Continuing the Christmas theme with Christmas Parade, I have started stitching the wooden wagon being pulled by the polar bear.

The Weeks Dye Works cotton floss colors that Amy chose for the wagon are perfect choices for stitching wood. I'm using Swiss Chocolate and Kris' BonBon.

Last weekend I finished stitching the moon and worked on the sky for a little bit. There's still a lot of sky still to be stitched. I am stitching all the right slanting rows of pattern first so that when I turn the canvas to stitch the left slanting pattern, I have a few stitches to run my threads under as I move from one "lozenge" to another so that I'm not carrying the thread across open space.

My easy stitching this week was this little heart from Associated Talents. It is one of the hearts from the club at Fireside Stitchery. I could put my feet up in the recliner, my cat, Little Girl, could sleep in my lap, and I could stitch in comfort. It's nice to have a little project like this that can be easily picked up and put down and, before you know it, it's finished. I aspire to having a Valentine tree full of little hearts like this at some point.

What's a week without a little stash enhancement? These two canvases/stitch guides/thread kits arrived from Amy's this week.

These are just two of the poison bottles from Kirk and Hamilton. Amy has a great picture of her finished Frog's Breath bottle. The bottle's "feet" are little green frog's feet - so cute!

Amy and Jill have been tempting me with all of the new canvas photos from the TNNA show they have been posting on Facebook this weekend. My list of stitching projects is growing by the day!

I have a little bit of work I need to do at my desk today but I hope to get in lots of Sunday stitching time. Making a tomato pie is at the top of my list, however. Very few ingredients - pie crust, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese. Paula Deen made it on her show this week. I have made it in the past but had forgotten how good it is. I'm looking forward to eating that throughout next week!

Hope you had a great first week of summer! Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Drum Roll, Please!





Wow! The stitching momentum really picked up this week on the banner as I inched toward the end of the 6th and last reel of Kreinik Size 4 #3231 and the end of my stitching. I stitched faster and faster as that last reel of Kreinik began to run out. Why I stitched more quickly as the thread ran out, I don't know. I suppose I was hoping that if I stitched more quickly that the area needing stitches would run out before the thread did. And, it did. I finished with about 2 inches of Kreinik left.

The gathered ribbon on three of the leaves were actually the last stitches. The icing on the cake! 

The Christmas Banner is the second of Amy Bunger's home studies in which I have participated. Let me just say to anyone who has ever considered one of Amy's Home Study projects and has not taken the plunge, please take the plunge! You will enjoy it and learn so much! Amy has everything so beautifully planned out and organized - you can't help but succeed. The selection of threads and stitches is breathtaking. As usual, Amy's creativity exceeded my expectations and she has helped me create an heirloom that I hope many generations of my family will enjoy bringing out at future Christmases. Thank you Amy! And let me also thank Jill Wilensky at Amy's who organized the stitch guides and threads  and sent them to us each month. Not once was a page out of place or a thread missing. Thank you Jill!

A big Thank You also goes to all of my stitching friends who looked at my pictures and read the blog each week and encouraged me along the way. That means a lot to me! If you ever wondered how there could be so many letters in the word Christmas and would I ever run out of letters to stitch so that you could look at some other stitching that didn't involve pears or letters, thank you for keeping that to yourself! Your kind words instead were so appreciated.

This blog post is beginning to sound like an Academy Awards acceptance speech! But, I do want you to know that as I sit and stitch by myself each night that I value each of you who stop by the blog and read about my stitching.

I actually stitched a little on Christmas Parade and Sunflower and Berries this week as well.  Christmas Parade has the moon and a little more background completed. Sunflower and Berries has a few more leaves and background Confetti streamers completed. Those streamers are slow-going! I'll have pictures to show you next week but by now you realize where my stitching was focused this week.

Well, this was a really good stitching week! I hope your upcoming week is great as well!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stitching a Polar Bear

I was determined to stitch more this week and stress less about work. I'm happy to say I accomplished both! The work load isn't going away anytime soon so it's better to just accept it and move on. On the stitching front, I have tried to work on the background of the Christmas Banner a little every day even if no other projects have been touched. I could stitch those Fly Stitch brackets in my sleep! I think that's what makes it so easy to devote a little time to the banner each evening - it has become mindless stitching. I still feel that I am on track to completely finish the banner by the end of June. Looking forward to that last stitch!

Now, from the Christmas Banner to the Christmas Parade -

The polar bear has a fur coat this week! That's what a Saturday's worth of stitching got me and I'm very pleased with the way he turned out. I just realized that the sunlight shining on the rug behind the canvas is showing through in the photo. That's not the Northern Lights making an appearance on the canvas.

There was additional stitching on the Parade this week but it no longer exists. It was ripped out - very carefully, I might add. I stitched the snow on the branches of the Christmas tree. The snow is stitched with one strand of Soft Sensations on top of the straight stitches of the Chevron and Point pattern on the tree. I really hated the thought of removing that thread from the already stitched tree but leaving the snowy stitches was a worse option. After an email consultation with Amy, I'll try putting the stitches in at a different angle to see if that will be the look I am going for.

My Bestitched "Whimsy" canvas by Melissa Shirley arrived this week. I love the canvas which Melissa designed exclusively for Bestitched. The threads, beads, and sequins are perfect. I have enjoyed watching Margaret Payne's, my stitching friend from the Sunflower & Berries class, progress on Whimsy on Facebook this week. Margaret dove right in to this project as soon as it arrived this week and she has already completed quite a few of the flowers. Her needle has really been flying!

It's a rainy Sunday here in Georgia. A perfect day for stitching but first there's some work at my desk calling my name.

I hope there's no work calling your name today and that there is lots of time for stitching instead! Have a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A June Christmas Tree

Earlier this week I wasn't even sure I would have any Christmas Parade progress to show you. It was a crazy, stressful week at work that didn't leave me with much energy - physical or mental - for stitching in the evenings. But, Thursday evening I decided to get to work on the Parade and chose the Christmas tree to stitch this weekend. Amy selected a Chevron and Point Stitch for the tree. It was a little tricky getting it right especially since I started the pattern at the top of the tree - the smallest area in which to establish a pattern (I told you I didn't have a lot of mental energy for stitching this week!). I kept making mistakes so after removing the upper stitching twice, I switched to establishing the pattern in the lower, larger part of the tree and worked my way back up to the top. The tree is stitched in Splendor and Gloriana Silk which has some beautiful shading in it.

The next step for the tree is to add the star at the top, the snowy branches using Soft Sensations, and lots of red beads which will really give a festive look to the tree. The snowman's scarf was added as well as the little sprig of holly on his hat. Red beads will be added to the holly sprig.

I'm not sure where my stitching will take me next on the Parade - maybe Santa's coat, the snow on the tree, or the snowman's wagon. Stay tuned....

I am enjoying watching the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on the BBC this morning. It's a shame the weather isn't better. It looks like a very cool, rainy, windy June day to be out on the Thames. I'm sure it is an amazing spectacle to see and hear in person. Love the pageantry of all of this!

Well, I'm hoping for a better week ahead than this past one. A little less stress and a lot more stitching  would be welcome! Hope you have a great week as well!