Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Fur is Finished!

I had one goal in my stitching this week and that was to finish the fur on Santa's coat on my Christmas  Parade canvas. Thanks to some early Ryder Cup golf on television on Saturday morning, I settled down for some concentrated Turkey Work. In no time at all, I put in the last loop! Of course, I had stitched all week to get to that place on Saturday where I could put in that last loop!

Out came my favorite pair of Friskars embroidery scissors which seem so well suited for the cutting step of Turkey Work.

The cutting and trimming of the Turkey Work is a necessarily time consuming process. The fur created by the Turkey Work is very (!) dense and it becomes more difficult to cut as you get closer to the canvas surface. You don't want any cuts that go to deep. I moved the canvas to the dining room table so that I could move the canvas around to check how the cutting was going from all sides. After about an hour of careful cutting, this was the result -

Amy suggested french knots along the edges of the candy cane walking stick and around the head and neck of the goose. Otherwise, the fur would overwhelm both areas. Great idea! Now that the fur has been completed, I really see the finish line in sight with this fun project!

Mehitabel received some attention this week, too. I worked on several of the background sections as you can see.

She's the perfect project to stitch when my cat decides she needs to sleep in my lap in the evenings. The Creepy Characters are easy projects to pick up and stitch on for a few minutes at a time.

I signed up for two needlepoint clubs this week! I can look forward to the Faberge eggs from The Needle House and Melissa Shirley's Golden Crackers club from Fireside Stitchery. I'll have a nice selection of small projects to stitch over the next year. Can't wait to get started on them!

That's it on the stitching front for me this week. Hope you have a great week ahead!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meet Miss July 2012

I had a fun, pint-size finish this week as Miss July 2012 came off the stretcher bars.

Miss July is from a series of July 4th children designed by Melissa Shirley. Carolyn Hedge Baird wrote a great stitch guide for this series. Thank you, Melissa and Carolyn! I wish the photograph could do justice to her sparkly personality. She has hex shaped beads on her dress which really pick up the light. I added some star sequins at each corner that I purchased from Amy's Golden Strand this summer. They also add some extra sparkle. The big, blue bow in her hair is the icing on the cake! I have a companion piece from this series that I want to stitch - a little boy holding a flag - so that they can be finished together (whatever that may be).

Last week, I promised you some pictures of the Christmas Parade. This parade just keeps on keeping on! I am so close to finishing it but I think it still has another couple of weeks on the stretcher bars. The bottom border seems to stretch on forever. I haven't worked on it every day this week but it has taken me a week just to get half way across.

I took a break from the border and started the turkey work on the bottom border of Santa's coat. I'm thinking I probably don't need loops as large as I have made them but I suppose it's better to have larger loops with too much thread than small ones and not enough to work with. Larger loops just mean a little more thread is required and a little more cutting and trimming. I must be ready to wrap up this project because right now every section I stitch seems to drag on into infinity! Do you ever feel like that with a project? No matter how much you love a project or have enjoyed the work put into it, there comes a time when you are just ready to be finished. That's where I am with Christmas Parade.

What's the upcoming Halloween season without a Halloween project to stitch? This season's project is Mehitabel from NeedleDeeva. I made a good start on her last night while watching the Georgia-Vanderbilt game. Go Dawgs! Mehitabel has a winning smile that is sure to make her the belle of the Halloween Ball this year!

Robin King has written the best stitch guides for the Creepy Characters of which Mehitabel is a part. Several of her fellow Characters are off at the finisher as I write. Hope they make it home for Halloween this year!

Here in Georgia, our first weekend of Autumn is off to a beautiful start with cool nights and warm days. At Publix yesterday, I bought a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers and eucalyptus to welcome the first day of fall. Pretty, isn't it?

Well, time to go get the slow cooker ready for the Boston butt pork roast that will cook all afternoon. I'll have barbecue pulled pork on the menu for the rest of the week - not a bad thing!

Hope you have a great week ahead!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Bottle of Frog's Breath

I took a little break from blogging last week to visit with my son and daughter-in-law who were in town to pick up some furniture they bought here over the Labor Day weekend. A locally owned furniture store is having an unbelievable sale and it was exciting to see Andrew and Anna  load up a rental truck with all the elements of a brand new living room.

While the blogging was on hold last week, the stitching was not. I finished my Kirk & Hamilton Frog's Breath Poison Bottle canvas. The stitch guide is by Amy Bunger.

This one will be off to the finisher tomorrow in hopes that it might come back to me before Halloweeen. I'll have it finished as a standup. I was doing a little Halloween shopping at JoAnn's this week and they had some cute "poison" bottles for sale in their Halloween decor area but none had the character of the Frog's Breath bottle.

I was on a mission to JoAnn's this week to buy two specific pieces to add to my Halloween decorations. On an earlier trip there, I had come across a stack of two "books" - Curses and Spells - that I wanted as props for my Halloweenie characters. I held off buying them until I had two coupons that amounted to 60% off. I don't think the ink had dried on my printed out coupon before I was out the door to buy my books.

It's a good thing that Amy's Home Study only included eight characters or else I would have needed a larger mantle on which to display them. I don't think there are any more additions that can be made to the mantle's Halloween display. There's no more room!

If you are looking to add some new pieces to your Halloween decorations, don't miss trips to Pier One and JoAnn's. They both have a fun variety of decorations.

My other addition to my Halloween decor was this witch's hat wreath from a favorite local store, Cudos. It's almost as big as my back door!

My work on the Christmas Parade continues. Each week there are fewer and fewer open spaces left to stitch. I've finished the snowy ground and the trees and have moved on to the final details. I'll have a picture for you next week.

If you are wondering about the header photo I am using for the next few weeks, that's the "Boo" canvas by & More Designs with a stitch guide by Amy Bunger.

Well, friends, that's it from Halloween Central for this week. Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Equal Opportunity Holiday Stitcher

I thought it might be a nice break from Christmas Parade to show you some other holiday canvases that I am working on. The Parade has been front and center for a while now but I have found some time to work on a couple of smaller canvases for Halloween and July 4th.

I showed you the Kirk & Hamilton Frog's Breath bottle a few weeks ago.  I have been stitching black on black for a large part of the bottle so there really isn't too much to see other than the fact that I have finished the black areas. Now I can work on adding the frog's fingers, toes, and tongue. I started on the lettering this week and had hoped to get that part finished but I didn't quite get to the finish line.

My little July 4th girl is really coming along. It took a while to stitch that head full of curls. I used Twisted Lazy Daisy stitches for the curls. She has a big, navy ribbon bow in her hair that will be added towards the end of my stitching. This week I finished her blue dress (except for the white beads) and red and white sash. I'll probably work on the background over the next couple of days and then move on to the border.

I added two more canvases to my Kelly Clark Heritage Series of Christmas ornaments this week. I found these on eBay.

Hope you're enjoying the Labor Day holiday and can settle in for a nice weekend of stitching! My Ott Light bulb burned out last night after many years of use so I'll be off to Joann's today to replace it. I'm too dependent on that light  - my primary source of stitching light - to go for too long without it.

Have a good week ahead!