Sunday, March 31, 2013

Welcome Easter!

Happy Easter morning to everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day planned with friends or family! I have a day of stitching and reading planned and look forward to every minute of it.

I made some nice progress this week on the latest From Russia with Love egg. Even though I don't enjoy working with the heavy Coronet Braid that is used on most of these eggs, it really is worth the trouble and the sore fingers once I have finished with the sections where it is used. Fortunately, the braid doesn't have to be pulled through the canvas too often as it is couched in most areas. Despite using a needle with a larger eye when I threaded up this braid, I snapped a needle just trying to get it through the canvas last night. Once I finished couching the braid in the middle section of the egg, I decided to take a break from the braid and just focus on some mindless background.

Finishing up the Gift Cracker is on hold until some beads arrive from Fireside Stitchery so I have nothing new to show you this week on the cracker project.

I was saddened to learn this week via Facebook that our stitching friend, Sue VanderNoor, passed away earlier in the week. I had never had the pleasure of meeting Sue in person but we had a common love of needlepoint that brought us together through the internet. We enjoyed many of the same designers and stitched the same projects. She was always a cheerleader for me as I stitched my way through the Halloweenies Home Study projects leaving encouraging comments on the blog for me each week. My condolences go out to her family and friends. We will miss you, Sue!

Again, Easter greetings to everyone! Have a lovely, spring day!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Small Spring Treats

The Easter bunny made an early visit to my house this year and brought me two fabulous scissor fobs from Paprika Pi in Texas. I had such a hard time choosing the one I wanted that I decided to buy the two I liked the most. I ordered these from The Needle Works in Houston, Texas.

The fobs are made of a baked polymer clay and fashioned into the cutest beads that are accented with other crystals, charms, and beads. The bee hive fob may be my favorite. Love the hive itself and the very detailed bee beads. Both the the bee hive and the flower pot allow you to stick the end of your scissors into them to protect the points. You can learn more about Paprika Pi by checking out their page on Facebook.

What's a post these days without an update on the latest From Russia with Love egg? Egg #7 - the Green and Fuchsia egg - arrived this week. I started stitching on this one while I watched the Arnold Palmer golf tournament at Bay Hill this weekend. I have really enjoyed the gold work on these eggs. It gives them a very rich, elegant look.

I haven't shown you my latest canvas (the Gift Cracker) in the Melissa Shirley Golden Cracker club from Fireside Stitchery. I had begun this piece several weeks ago by stitching the white trees on each side of the cracker. I could never get the stitching sequence right on this section so I put it away and was thoroughly disgusted with myself for not being able to stitch it correctly. I finally pulled it out again this week and immediately cut out the offending stitches and started over again. I was happy with my efforts this time and have quickly moved on to stitch most of the cracker. I was disappointed, however, to find that the Miyuki beads needed for the borders were not included in my kit. I need to remember to check each kit when it arrives to make sure everything has been included that should be.

Hope Spring is making an appearance in your area. It turned cold and rainy again here in Georgia this week which was no fun at all. My azaleas are showing signs of color and the dogwoods are almost ready to burst into bloom. It should be a beautiful Easter followed by Masters week. Here in Augusta, we tend to obsess over our azaleas peaking during Masters week. This year that might actually happen.

Maybe Spring will return this week with some warmer weather for all of us. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Another Finish for 2013!

Top o' the Morning, my fellow stitchers! Hope your St. Patrick's Day is off to a good start!

I'm stopping by with a quick post this morning to show off my latest From Russia with Love finish.

This is egg # 6 - the lovely white egg with the amber crystals. I can't believe that I've already stitched six of these beauties. Egg # 7 should be on its way to me this week. I would love to think that the four eggs I sent off to be finished at the end of January might make it home in time for Easter. Let's hope!

My poor July 4th March saw no stitching this week. Maybe tonight since I have no egg to stitch!

Lots to do today so it's a short and sweet post. Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

When is a March a Crawl?

A March becomes a crawl when you don't spend a lot of your spare time stitching and when you do stitch it is only on the background. That pretty much sums up where I am at the moment with the July 4th March.

When we were last together, I showed you the beginning of the blue field on the flag that is stitched in a Gloriana silk. That part is now finished and I am so pleased with the color variations in the shading. A few white sequin stars and gold beads will be the perfect finishing touches for this part of the flag. I'm not quite ready to tackle the stripes on the flag and will leave that until later in this project.

Before moving on to the regal eagle, I decided to work some of the background. I wanted to get a feel for how to approach this pattern. Half of the pattern I stitched in one diagonal direction and the other half in the opposite diagonal direction. Amy calls this a pinwheel with stars pattern. The stars will be stitched in a Kreinik in those open squares. I want to stitch more of the pattern in the darker portion of the sky before I move on to the eagle. Maybe a little golf action on television this afternoon will help me accomplish that.

My sixth egg in the From Russia with Love series arrived in mid-February. This one is another beauty - white and gold with amber colored crystals. The background is alternating continental which I'm finding a little tiresome. I also wish that with the extra stitching effort that the pattern were more visible. Good old basketweave would have been a better choice (for me, anyway) for this background.

My excuse for not posting the last two weeks is that I was busy preparing for a huge yard sale that I had last Saturday. I spent some of my spare time over the last two months cleaning out closets and drawers and getting things priced. Andrew and Anna drove up from Jacksonville to help me. I couldn't possibly have done this by myself and they braved the windy, cloudy, sprinkly 33 degree morning of the sale with me. The sale started an hour earlier than planned. People started showing up at 6:30 AM when we were just starting to bring things outside. It was over by 11:30 AM and the remainders were packed up and taken to Goodwill by 12:00 PM. It was a successful sale and my house is hundreds of pounds lighter than before the sale. It's a wonderful feeling!

I've moved on from the house to the yard this weekend cleaning out pots and planters and getting the yard ready for Spring. My hydrangeas are starting to leaf out and the buds on the azaleas are almost ready to open. So many of our flowering trees bloomed earlier in February and now the forsythia, dogwoods, and azaleas are awaiting their turn to show off.

Hope Spring is beginning to make itself known where you live!