Saturday, September 10, 2016

WIP Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Good Day to you.

Thanks for stopping by here. I know I haven't been around here much lately, and I miss my blogging world.

I am now back to work very much full time and then some, and it's quite a change after fourteen months of not working. I love my job though, so that makes it easier. I feel extremely fortunate to do what I love as a profession. Every day at work is uplifting, although not always easy.

I haven't had much time to stitch, but I have made a bit of progress on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow.

Here it is:

I was able to get a lot of projects done while I wasn't working. I know that an abundance of stitching will have to wait until my next big break in work, or retirement.  

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow WIP

I wish I could say I've had lots of time to stitch.  It seems I haven't, but that is just how it goes.

Summer has been busy with a small vacation, celebrations, and fun.  So that's a great way to go, isn't it?

I've also been preparing to return to work. This takes up a large chunk of my time. Today I have a large project looming ahead of me, all for work.

Here is my progress at this point.  I have a lot of filling in to do, that's for sure.  I have changed the wording of this block, in case you wondered.

Thanks for looking.

On a relaxing note, some views from a restaurant we enjoyed while on vacation. 

Thanks for coming by today!

Monday, June 20, 2016

WIP - Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Time seems to fly by so quickly. I have continued working on the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I am enjoying it, and wish I had  more time to stitch!

Here is the first square finished:

I've worked a bit on the square directly above it, too.  Here it is:

I am working exclusively on this piece, don't know how long I can continue to be a one-piece stitcher.  

Thanks for stopping by today! 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Bit of Progress- Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

I am slowly stitching away at Carriage House Samplings "Houses of Hawk Run Hollow".  I have been stunned at the size of this piece.  It is utterly amazing, truly.

I am stitching this on 32 count Belfast Linen. I now wish I had gone with a higher count, but I am not about to start over.  This is the only piece I am working on at the present time.

After about a month's work I am still not quite done with the first square.  There are twelve squares total! This may end up being an abbreviated version of the twelve square piece. We will see.

I do not stitch every day, but I am keeping track of stitching hours on this one.  This first square has taken many, many hours.

I am using DMC threads, and the colors are looking great to me. Here it is:

Last week I cooked minestrone for dinner one evening.  It was so delicious! If you're interested in cooking up some, here's the recipe.  It's been nice and cool around here lately, which is unusual this time of year. I'm enjoying the cool air immensely.

Finally, a photo of some flowers from Mother's Day.  It was a tough day--the first Mother's Day without my mom.  And so it goes...

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, April 29, 2016

A New Start- Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

I am not one who enjoys starting projects. I know that puts me in a minority, it seems, but that's the truth. It's not so much that I don't like starting, it's that I don't like gathering materials and putting it all together. I prefer just stitching on them!  I did, amazing as it is,  start and finish Mary Ann Blackburn already this year, so I am in a full swing stitching frenzy compared to my usual self.

Just about two weeks ago I started the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow.  It's been a lot of fun so far. I am tracking my hours of stitching on this one. This is something I used to do all the time, starting way back in the days of being an active participant in the Yuku Rotation Stitch Board.  That was long, long ago.

I'm amazed at how large this project will be in the end.  I started with the block that's in the second row, third to the right. The houses I am thus working on are rather small compared to the houses that are in many of the other blocks.  I truly had no concept of the size of this until starting. I love the hot air balloon in this block, and look forward to getting to that at some point in the next few weeks or so.

Here's a few photos to show the project, threads, and progress so far.

The completed project:

All the DMC colors for the project. I had to buy quite a few, even though my floss collection is quite large! 

My very first stitches on  this project look rather forlorn at this point. 

A bit more progress: 

Here's how it looked this morning when I finished a small stitching session:

Finally, I wanted to share this photo of Quaker Diamonds framed and hanging. For  years we had my great-great grandma's 1839 sampler hanging where Quaker Diamonds is now displayed. For now I will keep it this way.  I moved my great-great grandma's sampler to another part of the living room. This is my 'stitchy view' while in this room of the house.  Our television is to the right, and our front window is off directly to my left.  It's a very relaxing place to spend time. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Finished~~ Wedding Ring Bouquet by Paula Vaughan

I finally finished Wedding Ring Bouquet.  I started it on March 16, 2003 and finished it on April 14, 2016.  Thirteen years!

I did work on other projects during this time.

I started it 'on a whim' as I had the 22 count hardanger fabric in my fabric drawer, as well as the pattern. I'd picked it up somewhere for just $1.00.  I also had stitched two other PV patterns back in the late 80s, and I enjoyed stitching those immensely.  Thus I barreled ahead with this project.

At times I didn't enjoy the very small count of fabric, but in the end it wasn't too bad.  The entire design isn't very large at around five tall by seven inches wide.

Phew. It's done. Framing will come later.

One more photo, with scissors for size reference:

I did start a new project on Saturday.  So excited about that one, more details at a later time.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I've been stitching a bit on Paula Vaughan's Wedding Ring Bouquet.  Someday soon I will share a project picture. All I have left is a bit more white for the curtain, and some backstiching and 'shading' provided by half stitches.  I will be so happy to finish this one!

Last week I picked up three pieces from the framer's shop. What a delight it is to have these pieces up in our home. 

First, here is Summer Queen.  I started it in 2003 and finished the piece in 2015.  

I'm very happy with how it turned out. and for now the piece is in our family room. Eventually Summer Queen will probably be moved to our bedroom. It is very large, and it makes me happy to see this piece in our home. 

I also picked up Mary Ann Blackburn. I stitched it this year in the course of six to eight weeks, off and on.  Instead of the called for wording I used our wedding date.  I chose a rustic looking frame for this one.  The sampler is hanging in the living room right now, but I am not sure where I will move it to next.

Finally, I am glad to have Rosewood Manor's Quaker Diamonds framed. I started this in the summer of 2013 and finished it in 2015.  I hung it in the living room, next to our fireplace. It is also above our antique spinning wheel that came over from Norway in 1888 or so. I had to move my great- great grandma's antique 1839 sampler (stitched in Switzerland, from the other side of the family) to hang it there, but for now I enjoy looking at Quaker Diamonds by the spinning wheel and hearth.  I moved my great- great grandma's sampler to a different spot in the living room for the time being.  I am honored to have my ancestors' love for all things needle.  I have never tried spinning, and I doubt the spinning wheel works still, but it is a joy to have this family heirloom.

And now, Quaker Diamonds: 

My two WIPs are now Paula Vaughan's Wedding Ring Bouquet and Teresa Wentzler's Fruit Bellpull.  
Last week I also bought fabric for another WIP that will be started soon.  More news on that another time! I can't wait to get that one going. 

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Finished! Mary Ann Blackburn

I am so pleased to have finished Mary Ann Blackburn by Blackbird Designs..  Believe it or not, the piece is already at the framer's shop. I finished it on Tuesday evening and had it at the framer's LNS by the next day.

I used our wedding date at the bottom instead of using my grandma's name or Mary Ann's name. It was just something I decided to do.

Here it is:

I am now back at Paula Vaughan's Wedding Ring Bouquet. I started this in 2002 or so, so I think it's high time I finish it.  It's done on 22 count hardanger with one thread over one. 

I don't have that much left, really. Just a bit of backstitching and the white curtain (ugh, so much white to do) on the left side of the piece.  

Lately I have been using my hoop a bit. I bought the hoop back in 1974, and it's still as good as new.  It's plastic though, and is  not one of the much talked about Queen wooden hoops. When I started crosstitching I was told to NEVER use a hoop. I don't know why I was told that, and I don't know why I listened for so long.  For years I stitched in hand, and then I went to Q-snaps, and finally I added a lap stand.   

Do you use a hoop, Q-snaps, scroll rod, some other stitch accessory, or do you stitch in hand?  I would love to hear how you prefer to do your stitching. 

I ended up finishing off my Mary Ann Blackburn piece with stitching in hand, with the occasional use of a hoop. I  just got tired of the lap stand--all that cumbersome stuff gets to me. 

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

White Chocolate Party Mix

One of our holiday and celebration traditions is to prepare a White Chocolate Party Mix.  I highly recommend it.  The chocolate's sweet taste mixes so well with the salty ingredients.
White Chocolate Party Mix- This batch shows extra white chocolate added.

White Chocolate Party Mix    
+This can be divided in ½. This full batch is very large. I recently made half a batch, but used one and half bags of white chocolate chips for the half batch, instead of just one bag.*

1 package (10 ounces) mini pretzels- the curled kind work best
5 cups Cheerios
5 cups Corn Chex
2 cups salted peanuts- I use dry roasted peanuts
1 pound M & M’s
2 packages (12 ozs. Each)
     vanilla chips
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a huge bowl (When I make a full batch, I use two large pots and divide the ingredients evenly in the two) combine first 5 ingredients; set aside.  In a microwave-safe bowl heat chips and oil on medium-high for two minutes, stirring after the first minute. Microwave on high for 10 seconds, stir until smooth. Pour onto the dry ingredients that are set aside, stir well.   Spread onto 3 waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool. (I set each cookie sheet in the freezer for five minutes to harden it quickly.) Break apart. Store in an airtight container. Full recipe makes 5 quarts. * 

* I often times use more of the white chocolate chip/oil combination than called for in the recipe.  I find it makes for a better chocolate coverage in the finished snack mix. 

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Embroidered Pieces

Last month in the world of Facebook there has been yet another 'challenge'.  This particular challenge asked for stitchers to share their needlework for seven days.  On one of the days I shared a collage of my surface/stamped embroidery work.  My grandma taught me how to embroider in 1974, and I recently came upon a photo of me stitching for the first time along side my grandma. At that time my grandma was 84 years old! She was fortunate, and lived a full life and was in her own home until the end of her life, passing away when she was 96.  I miss her to this day. 

 This collage shows a bunch of pieces I stitched between 1975 and 2015 or so: 

I still own the cut-off shorts and chambray shirt, but it's for sure they don't fit me anymore.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

MaryAnn Blackburn WIP

I've been stitching just a little bit on MaryAnn Blackburn by Blackbird Designs.  It's a fun one to stitch!

I'm not sure what is next on my list after this one is done (or before?), but before I start anything else I will revisit my Fruit Bellpull by Teresa Wentzler, as well as my very old WIP Wedding Ring Bouquet by Paula Vaughan.  

As a complete splurge ( but using some gift cards) I ordered three DVDs that contain all of the issues of the magazine Antique Sampler and Needlework Quarterly.  What a great collection of stitching to do, as well as dozens of fantastic articles to enjoy.  This magazine is no longer being published.  I have spent hours just looking through these beautiful issues and making lists of possible project ideas for the near future.  I think my first piece will be the Susan Rambo sampler.  It's a beauty! If not, I will choose something smaller to stitch.  Decisions, decisions. 

Thanks for stopping by today, and happy stitching. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Framing Commences At Long Last!

I finally took Summer Queen and Quaker Diamonds to my framer Kerry today.  I know she will do a super job, and I promise to share the pieces here when I get them back from her.

In other stitching news, I'm busy working on my Blackbird Designs piece. I will have to share an update soon.

Here the finished pieces are, ready to be framed:
Summer Queen- Stitched on White--forgive the odd coloring of this photo

Quaker Diamonds- Not sure on the fabric, but I used the recommended Valdani threads

Another look at Summer Queen

Thanks for stopping by today, and Happy Stitching to you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More Mary Ann Blackburn WIP

It was wonderfully cool and brisk here a few weeks ago, and we found that to be very enjoyable. Now that has changed completely. Today it got up to ninety degrees.

I am still working on Mary Ann Blackburn.  I'm enjoying this one, and it will be done in a relatively short time compared to my pieces that are over a decade old.

Here it is now:

I think I am actually past the halfway done point on this one!

We did get a nice crop of lemons and avocados on Sunday.  These trees in our backyard are quite wonderful, and have been there for years and years.  There are still dozens of lemons on the tree, so I'll be picking more tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mary Ann Blackburn Update

Springtime in our Yard- 2013

Looking forward to spring as it's been truly cool lately in our area.  I hope the yard blooms as it did a few years ago, as shown above. Flowers in our yard make my heart soar!

We are not accustomed to temperatures that approach freezing around here. (overnight, not during the day, of course)  I am not used to even wearing long sleeves, much less sweaters in the house. Crop pants are my cup of tea, in fact. 

 On a stitchy note, I've been working happily along on Mary Ann Blackburn. Yesterday I got to stitch along nicely while watching Jane Austen's Persuasion on YouTube.  

The colors of this piece are turning out so nicely, and I must drag out the finer camera to take a better photo for my next update.   Sharing my progress today as taken on my 'simpler' camera:

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New WIP- At Last! Mary Ann Blackburn by Blackbird Designs

I truly have not started a new project since 2012.  Can that be true? I think so.  I am not overly fond of gathering up items for a project.  I know that is unusual as many have said they LOVE to kit up new projects. Anyway. since I only had two WIPs, (that are super old) I decided to start something new. I was happy to get this book:

This is the first pattern I am stitching by Blackbird Designs.  I so love their patterns!

Here is my fabric with the threads I'll be using.  A few of the threads are substitutions as my local store did not carry all the 'called for' colors. We found nice colors to take their place.  The store I shop at is great, and they're very helpful with this sort of thing.  I also chose a 28 count fabric, and I think the color is mocha, or light mocha perhaps. I felt many different linens, but I chose this one as it was softer than many of the others.

Here is the design I'm stitching.

It's going really well, and here are some progress pictures: 

I see now that the colors on my project look nothing like the leaflet, but that is perhaps a photo thing. Either way, I am pleased with these colors.

Thanks for stopping by today, and happy stitching! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sitting and Doing That Long Piece of Needlework

I really like inspirational or witty quotes.  I've been this way since I was a kid, and I used to enjoy looking and reading my parents' book of Familar Quotes when I was quite small.  Fun reading for a somewhat serious sort of  kid, I guess.

Anyway I have recently started reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.   I  have also been listening to this novel in Audiobook form while I am doing chores around the house, etc.  I'm primarily doing this as a challenge to myself as I find it hard to listen and pay attention, and I want to get better at it. It's becoming easier for me as time goes on, thankfully.

I heard a needlework quote from the novel today that made me laugh out loud.  I am sorry to say I don't recall reading it in the book. That's not surprising as I do all my book reading very late at night, so I was probably half asleep when I read it.  I decided to make a visual of the quotation and share it . Here's your humor for the day.

This sounds good to me, except for the 'no beauty' part.  Also, I don't think I need to be nicely dressed to sit and do needlework.

On a sidenote, the lovely fabric shown behind the quotation and the threads are from my latest project by Blackbird designs.  More on that another day.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fruit Bellpull by Teresa Wentzler ~ A Bit of Work Done

Fruit Bellpull Progress
Designer: Teresa Wentzler
Lately I've had more time to stitch, and it sure has been great to see some progress. First, I worked a bit on Paula Vaughan's Wedding Ring Bouquet.  I'm stitching this on 22 count hardanger fabric, and I started it back in 2002 or so on a whim.  Here are a few photos of it. The first one shows how it looked awhile ago, and the second one shows how it looked when I tucked it away to 'rest' a week ago. At this point I have a lot of backstitching to do, as well as stitching the white curtain that's in the background.  I hope to FINALLY  finish this piece this year.

I worked some on my Fruit Bellpull. I also started this one back in 2002 or so.  Can you believe it? I am not even 1/3 done with this.  It has so many colors and blends, as do all of Teresa Wentzler's beautiful patterns.  I love working on it, but progress is slow due to the amazing color changes and shading of them.  Here are some photos, and they show progress going back in time and not just my most recent progress.

Here are the colors for this project:

This is how I store the blends for the project. I created this little box back in 2002 or so when I started this one. I bet that folks do it in a much cuter manner now, or perhaps in a more efficient way. This works fine for me. 

These are the peaches that I finished years ago. The peaches are in the top square of the design, and there are six fruits total in the design. Each depicted fruit is surrounded by a border of satin stitched flowers on vines. The leaves' colors are blended threads in the border, too.  The blends are gorgeous, but for me it makes the whole process much slower.   

If you have tips on how to make it go faster with the blends, please do leave a comment and explain it to me. :)  I would really appreciate it!

Here's a photo of the grapes that I took long ago. There are so many blends and colors that I found this bunch of grapes to be very challenging. 

Here you'll see a bit of progress in the grapes and leaves.

Last but not least, here is the project's appearance when I tucked it away for a well-deserved rest. I just can't work on this one exclusively.   I have finished all the backstitching of the grapes and its leaves, but I next need to work on that border that surrounds the grapes. Then I will move on to the apples. 

Here's a photo of the finished project. Instead of finishing mine as a bellpull, I plan on having it framed. I've seen a few framed online, and they look fantastic.  At this time due to its complexity of design I am toying with the idea of just doing three squares instead of six squares. I wonder how that would look? Well, knowing me I will do all six squares. Each square is so lovely, and I hate to skip three of them.  Here is the design, finished as a bellpull:

New Project News
I have never just had two projects going, so I had to start a new one.  Besides the low number of WIPs I had, they were both started so long, long ago. I haven't had a new start since 2012, so I figured it was time, right? We all need to look at some fresh work. 

I could have used a pattern I already owned, but instead I went out and purchased a leaflet by Blackbird Designs.  I have just started that project, and will share that with you next time.  I am finding it to be a joy to stitch. Instead of using DMC threads, I am stitching with the called for overdyed threads. That has been fun, too. 

Thanks for stopping by today.