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! 

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!

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. 

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.