Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One done...more to go!

Hello everyone!

I have been debating whether or not to do a post today, sort of feeling under the weather, therefore I feel this post will not be as good as it could be.  The other reason is I am really not happy with my blurry out of focus photos.  Having a close friend and auntie who are both professional photographers, I feel the need to create half decent photos.  I have thought about getting a camera this year, but it is not a complete necessity, so we will look into one sometime in the future. As for stitching, I managed to sort out the frogging issues on both of my Sajou projects and am happy to say one is complete!! I cannot frame it until this weekend because I need a foam board for the backing.  The frame I am going to use I found in a thrift shop and it fits the piece perfectly!! I love how that happens :D

I loved how "MP's" turned out!! "M's" will be great as well once I stitch a 1 over 1 crown above the "M" and sew it with that lovely crown fabric I have.  I think they will both love their gifts!!  As for the rest of the sewing and stitching I need to accomplish, I will begin a couple of them this weekend as well.  The reason for the wait is I need to go buy some DMC threads that I don't have.  In one pattern, I have only two out of all the DMC threads I have?!!! Seriously, what's with that? Anywho, I'm looking forward to a trip to Michael's.  It's always a good time in a craft store!! My husband's stocking is still in parts.  I got the proper batting I need but I don't feel up to sewing today. 

I've really been loving everyone's posts and stitching for the holidays.  I love how our blogging community is so inspiring and kind with encouragement!! Thank you all for taking the time to visit me.  I will be barraging everyone's blogs this weekend...it's a bit too hard for me to sit up right now!

Off to eat some borscht...just managed to make some...and here's a progress on TBF (Tea Bath Fairy).

Love and hugs!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Finishes for ISHW!

Good evening my lovelies!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Over here in Vancouver, we had a fairly decent sunny, but chilly Saturday, perfect for shopping! I had a delightful day with my cousin-in-law scouring fabrics at Dress Sew.  She is the best to have around, with all her interior design and sewing experience!! I felt a little overwhelmed thinking about my sewing projects and what I needed to get for them, but she calmed me down and helped me work out what I needed.  I don't know why, but for whatever reason, I have to visualize, down to the very last detail, how I am going to make something.  Not just the finished product, but the actual motions and procedures of making it.  As she says, I make things more complicated than necessary and just to trust my skills and creativity.  So true!! It's so good to have an amazing friend!!!! After our fabric frenzy, we marched onwards to H & M.  That was a crazy time! The opening of the Versace line had happened that morning, and the store was still filled to the brim with people.  I had tons of things breaking my arm, hot, overdressed, not finding anything I wanted...not good.  I'm not the best shopper, let's leave it at that.  On the other hand, my friend is amazing at shopping.  She is like my sister...knows what she wants, goes through everything, finds what she wants, and tackles it with gusto! I tried on some things and hated how they made my back end look bigger than it actually is.  Pretty in the front, but horrible in the back.  So I left the store with nothing after I felt deflated. As we were walking to the skytrain, I said "Let's go into the Bay! They just opened up a TopShop!" The Bay....I love the Bay.  My Nana shops there and I have many fond memories of her and I shopping there.  So off we go to TopShop, and lo and behold, it's airy, bright, and spacey! I felt invigorated to try on things again!  I grabbed a couple dresses and put them on with renewed vigor!!  The first one was waaay too big ontop and made me look odd.  The second, a Chinese Cheongsam dress, LOVE THEM!, I couldn't get over my hips...sigh.  Then, I tried the most gorgeous teal, blue dress that was quite sassy and it fit beautifully!! Plus it didn't make me look all that bad either! So I got it! Yay for finding a gorgeous dress!
It's a lot shorter and prettier on and in person.  Looks great with some opaque black tights and silver high heels with some bling on the neck and arm!! Can't wait to wear it for my friend's stagette!!

Onto stitching news.  I managed to do a lot more frogging than stitching. My weekend was the International Frogging Weekend! For whatever reason, I made a mistake on two gifts for my friends.  Those Sajou patterns can be tricky and hard to count.  I don't have a program that can make them bigger to print, so I make do with the tiny charts I print out.  Not good though.  I will have to re-look at where I went wrong when I'm not exhausted from teaching/traveling and rethink how I'm going to fix the mistakes I made EARLY on in the pattern.

(Photos are going to be not so good since I took them right now in bad lighting)

Then, after not much luck with stitching, I decided to attack sewing.  As I was re-watching the Youtube video for making a stocking, I realized I bought the wrong kind of batting.  What I need was polyester thin batting, and what I asked for and got from the lady was "thin" quilting batting, which is still pretty big and kind of hard for me to work with.  I was very frustrated with myself for not writing down the correct materials and making things more difficult for myself in the long run.  So I figured, why not just finish my other Estonian snowflake and that cute PSS ornament?!!  It was a lot of fun picking out all the trims for my ornaments!! At least I'm okay with making them now!! The outcome is fairly good, not professional, but good nonetheless.  Then I noticed, hehe, that I actually didn't finish the pattern on the green Estonian snowflake.  See if you can spot the mistake!!  Now I am going to have to keep the ornament instead of gift it like I planned. 

Hopefully by Wednesday, I will have caught up with my blog reading and comments for all the ISHW participants.  Again, I love each and every one of your comments and really want to be good and respond to each one.

Take care and happy stitching!!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tiny Rose Garden Finished!

Hello my lovelies!

Today I put in the last few beads in Chatelaine's Tiny Rose Garden Mandala!!! Hurrah! I'm so glad it's over.  Beautiful design, but the opalescent fabric drove me mad!! Although the sparkle is divine, the fabric made my stitches all wonky and the thread break multiple times.  Next time I get an opalescent fabric it will be linen!
Love that blur!!
Question: Do you make your beads line up the same way throughout a Chatelaine pattern? I found it quite difficult to do in some sections.
Regardless of imperfections, I think this design will look great in a gold frame over my stitching desk.  I may embark on a larger Chatelaine project next year...we'll see about that though!

Onto squirrels.  Thanks so much for the kind comments on my Chippy.  I know the ornament isn't perfect, but it's cute and no one will see the imperfections on the tree!Funny thing is that both Lynn and Carol posted pictures of squirrels this morning.  The squirrels seem to be popular! I think they're squirrels are adorable, unlike our city squirrels here.  One day, if I'm fast enough, I'll try and post a picture of our scrappy squirrels!

Okay, back to stitching.  I have been pretty busy the past week and weekend to actually start or finish my projects.  I am rethinking some of my Christmas gifts this year.  My mom will still get something stitched, but I think my sister will get something sewn up.  The need for fabric and sewing tools is dire! I ran to the fabric store yesterday to get a bunch of materials I needed for projects and came out only with a few things from my list.  That means I need to make another trip to the downtown fabric store, to get the rest of my materials.  This seems to be the story of my life: running around like a chicken with her head cut off while time runs out! Now my weekends are getting booked fast with upcoming parties: a stagette, a bridal shower, my mom's birthday, our Christmas tree party, etc.  Hopefully, I will create a twin of myself and she can go run around looking for what I need!!  We all wish that!
This is the materials I have for my hubby's Christmas stocking.  He chose the green and the gold/red fabric and he will be drawing his stocking, since he's the better artist out of the two of us. I think it will be a great stocking! Hopefully, I won't screw up sewing this...I am a bit nervous! Must not be scared, must not be scared......

Here's an update of TBF.  I will be working on her and other multiple projects this upcoming ISHW!!!!I think this is the last free weekend I have, so let's get hermitting!! You can visit Joyce's amazing blog and enter your details to join us!!

So this past weekend, I went to an amazing craft fair, Circle Craft, with one of my best friends.  She and I love to stitch and do crafty things.  Funny thing, is we have never done it together! I suggested to her, while we were browsing all the wondrous craft stalls, that we should get together and have a finishing day.  She chooses beautiful designs to stitch but has a hard time to getting them into a frame, box, ornament, you name it.  I think it would be fun to have a craft day: rum, treats, glue and away we go! Um, the glue being USED for projects, nothing else I swear!!!!!!! Here's some delectable cider jelly from the fair.  I'm going to keep the balsamic one for myself, and give the others away!

P.S. Wagapapa is having an amazing first year giveaway!! Click here for the link.

All of you have been so inspiring with your stitching and ornaments, I can't say it enough, thank you!! Hugs to all!!!


Oops, forgot to mention, I found the perfect fabric for that cute Plum Street Sampler ornie!

I want some wooden buttons, but guess what? I don't have any!!! Put those onto the ever growing list for my hologram to buy!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas Ornament Finished!!

Bonjour mes amies!!

I am happy to report that I caugt the finishing bug on the weekend and managed to finish two ornaments!! Chippy is pretty adorable I must say.  I really loved the trim that I used.  I find that while I am stitching, I mentally choose the trims and fabrics I will use to finish the piece.  If it doesn't come to me while I am stitching, like the Plum Street Sampler ornie, the piece usually ends up in my to do pile for awhile. I have to envision the finished ornament before I can make it.  Odd isn't it? What is the process that you go through for finishing a piece? Is it before, during, after....?

The red fabric is on the back of the Snowflake
Estonian snowflake stitched last year

Sometimes I don't have what I need to finish, actually, most of the time I don't have what I need to finish a piece!! For example, all those beautiful designs I stitched through out the year, still need frames or boxes or whatever will work to display them.  While I was busy piecing together Chippy, I pulled out some of my stitching and tried to find at least one frame to use! Alas! Nothing fit or looked right!! I sadly put my pieces back into storage and I think I heard their sad sighs of dismay.  Especially my Geisha girl....insert tears here :(  Tanglewood is sad too.  Really sad.  I really need to save some money and just bite the bullet and get the two of them framed.  Sadness aside, I am quite impressed with my mad skillz and gusto for finishing two ornaments. As for the reindeer fabric, I think I will make a couple of gift bags and perhaps a table runner.  Good thing we have Youtube!! There are some great sewing tutorials on how to make both of those projects.  I'm looking forward to next weekend to sewing up a storm!!

Here's my friend's "M" finished.  I still need to stitch the "P" , then I will be done 1 gift.  I am trying not to freak out so much.  Thank you all for your kind comments and suggestions.  It really helped me organize my list and just work steadily down the list.  I think that if I stay focused, I will get everything done that I need to do!!
Remember this Chatelaine I started awhile ago? Well I got sidetracked from my list and decided to try and finish it.  Nearly done!! Just need to finish the Algerian eyelets, backstitching and beading!!  Hopefully by next weekend it will be complete. 

I hope to visit and comment on everyone's blogs today.  I have to say that there are some of you who are posting everyday, making it difficult for me to keep up!! Even if I haven't commented, I do enjoy reading each and everyone of your posts!!
Take care and happy stitching!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stitching Gifts...Freaking Out!!

Hello everyone!

So here we are in November.  I am sad to say good bye to October since it was such a lovely month of glorious weather, beautiful colours and not so much rain.  I still have high hopes for November though.  Yesterday it was a decent day, albeit blustery, but nice. 

With November beginning, so does the FREAKING OUT!! Eeek!! I feel as though there are FAR too many things to stitch up in time for Christmas.  Yes, I mentioned the "C" word! Maybe I should take a deep breath and focus on one thing at a time.  Perhaps I should set myself a schedule so I won't be freaking out!! I want to stitch ornaments for my mom, sister, Dad, friends, and of course for me and my hubby. The problem is every time I want to finish something, I don't have the materials?!! Yes I have some fabrics, like those cute reindeer ones I bought last week, but they don't match with any of my stitched pieces.  So what should I do with them? I've been wracking my brain thinking of how to use those darling fabrics.  I wish I was a master sewer, or at least have my mom around, since she's an amazing sewer.  If you have any ideas for simple/easy sewing projects, let me know!

Ok, freak out done...onto some stitchy stuff.  First off, since I didn't post a progress pic of TBF (Tea Bath Fairy) in the last post, here's one now.  I've managed to really tackle it over the past few weeks and am pretty pleased with the progress.
Yes! I can see the outline of the cup!!
Seeing as my eyes can handle only so much of teensy stitching, I began to work on two personalized gifts for my girlfriends.  I am using two of the Valdani threads I ordered and I really love the deep wine red colour a lot!! The threads aren't too bad, although I do notice a tad bit of fraying at the ends, but what thread doesn't?! I still have to put in an order for HDF threads and I asked my husband if I could buy some more "strings" that will only cost xx amount and he said yes, if the STRINGS are needed for a project...hehehehe!! And I also mentioned that I need a smaller Qsnap frame and if I could buy that too...you know to help out my wrists.  He's agreed! I love that he's become more agreeable!!
Valdani and DMC threads stitched on 32ct.Sandstone linen
The above design is from the Sajou alphabet.  J'adore SAJOU!!!  The second gift I won't bother posting a picture of because it only has a few stitches on it and is basic black on white.

Now  I started doing another cute Christmas ornament from the JCS magazine.  This one is from Victoria Sampler. It's the squirrel one.  Pause for a squirrel story:

Me and Squirrels

Ever since I was a young girl, I have been know as the squirrel whisperer.  It takes time and patience to become one and only a few are called to this. (Insert sarcasm here).  Anyways, one day, as I was traipsing around the woods behind our home in Prince George, I heard a squirrel chatter nearby.  The squirrel seemed to be trying to tell me something.  Perhaps a secret he wanted to share with a 10 year old girl? As I strolled back to the house, the chattering followed me from behind.  I slowly walked up the stairs,  grabbed some of the chickadees seeds and held it in my hand and crouched down low. The chattering stopped.  There he was, Chippy.  Me: waiting quietly, patiently. Him: unsure, skittish.  Slowly he climbed the stairs to check me out.  I flinched! He skedaddled!!  Sigh...I suppose I'll try again.  For the next few weeks, we played this game...but with each day, he approached closer, and closer, until one day, he ran up to me, grabbed a seed and took off!! Serious patience here for a young girl of 10!! It wasn't until the second week that Chippy found his courage and managed to take seeds from me and NOT run away!! I was ecstatic! After a few more days of building trust, Chippy let me pet him! Then, after more days of gently petting, he let me pick him up!! We became good friends, Chippy and me.  When I would walk around the house, I could see him following me around.  Of course it was just for the seeds I was giving him, but as a young girl I thought he just really wanted to be my friend.  Ever since then, I have been able to feed and pet wild squirrels, not the city squirrels that we have here in Vancouver.  Those squirrels are a different breed altogether.  Like they are part of a squirrel gang called the Tuff Nut Gang.  Those squirrels I wouldn't mess with!!

So with that, I leave you with a picture of The Victorian Sampler's squirrel, which I started yesterday and made me think fondly of Chippy and the other cute squirrels I have fed and petted.

Finally, here are my photos of the pin cushion I stitched for Valerie.  She posted pictures of her package on her blog, so now I can post mine!!

Stitched on unknown 40ct linen with Waterlilies thread Amethyst

I kind of went NUTS with pictures since I LOVE purple and have a lot of purple things to take photos with!!

Take care and happy stitching!!