Sunday, August 31, 2008

A True Sampler

Samplers are for learning ... whether it is new stitches, new motifs, or how to use new fibers. And, I am finding Spots of Fun [a Debbie Draper Design free chart] a very real learning experience. In stitching it, I am using many "new-to-me" fibers. Here is a run-down of my reactions so far
Thread Gatherer Silkn Color: a dream to work with ... I will have to add Thread Gatherer to my short list of favorite silks along with Caron Waterlilies and Vikki Clayton silks. By the by, the color I used was Mandarin ... just beautiful
Rainbow Gallery Grandeur: a silk perle comparable to DMC #5 perle in weight. On my 28ct linen stitched over two, this fiber gives a very sculptured effect, which is interesting. However, because it sits so high on the fabric, it tends to overshadow the next linen thread and it is very easy to miscount stitches if the stitcher is not vigilant ... I learned this the hard way and had to frog some 30 stitches because I was one thread off my count. I can't quite call this a drawback because the manufacturer does note that when using this fiber for cross stitch, one should stick to 11 ct aida or 10ct tula. So I was actually using this fiber beyond its recommended range. In any case, I did learn that if one frogs very carefully the fiber is salvageable. The other thing I learned was that I had to change needle sizes ... for most of the silks and cottons on this project I have used a #28 Piecemakers tapestry needle ... for this fiber I used a #24 John James tapestry. Even with the larger eye, the tail tends to fray, so keep tails short to avoid waste. The "twist" of the perle loosens as one stitches so it is important to use relatively short strands of 12-14" to keep the perle look. In short, it is a decent value for the money spent but if money is not an issue, I strongly recommend going with
Thread Gatherer Silken Pearl: a much finer perle than the above, with a higher sheen and a tighter twist. This perle does not loosen as one stitches. I continued to use the larger eyed needle, shorter lengths and a shorter tail just to be on the safe side. This perle is so tightly twisted that the thread in the needle needs to be relaxed frequently [by dangling], and at the beginning of the stitching while the thread is still relatively long, slip knots can form if attention isn't given to properly laying the fiber. But once the stitcher establishes a rhythm, the fiber just flows and glides ... well, like the silk it is. It lays beautifully on the fabric and looks terrific. It also requires very gentle frogging ... and if I had to frog more than ten stitches, I'd probably cut my thread ... for fear I'd lose that beautiful sheen if the fiber passed through the fabric too often. The color I used was Rose Briar.
Mystery Silk labelled only CW 542, a remnant from a CATS class: It breaks my heart that I don't have a better identification for this beautiful fiber ... all I can remember is that the instructor [either Lori Birmingham or Liz Turner Diehl] described it as a Japanese hand-painted silk and used the term color washed. But, oh my, does it ever stitch beautifully... if I ever again run across such fibers in a needlework shop, I shall buy all of my favorite colors.
I have a number of other new fibers kitted up to use in this sampler and I shall report on them as I use them. These include: Caron Watercolors [a 3 ply pima cotton] and Impressions, Thread Gatherer Sheep's Silk, Rainbow Gallery Pebbly Perle, Glorianna Silk Floss and Silk Ribbons and some hand-dyed cotton from Catherine Jordan of Catherine's Designs. Of course, I am using many fibers with which I am quite familiar as well: GAST and WDW overdyed cottons, Caron Wildflowers and Waterlilies, Kreinik Silk Moire, Needle Necessities overdyed cotton, Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff and Mandarin floss [bamboo].
I like the variety of texture and tone using all these fibers is giving to the project ... the light catches each differently ... so the eye is treated to quite a display. I am thinking about adding some Mill Hill Petite Seed beads and glass treasures and a few tiny buttons to the piece as well but I will have to try a few and then judge whether they add or detract from the look of the piece. I am afraid I am one of those folks who actually have to see embellishments in place before I judge whether I want to include them or not ... I don't have the kind of visual imagination that can project how such a thing will look.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SAL: Spots of Fun

I joined a SAL on Handenmaiden's site. We are doing Spots of Fun. I have decided to make mine into a true sampler by using many different fibers for the motifs, trying out fibers I have never used before as well as revisiting some of my favorites. After all the Christmas stitching I have done this year and will continue to do in the months to come, I decided to refresh myself with an autumnal color way for this SAL ... indeed, anything other than deep reds and forest greens would make me very happy.
The start date is 9/1/08 but I cheated a bit this morning by stitching just two small motifs in the upper left corner. I have chosen Silkweaver's 28ct Cashel linen in Autumn Sunrise for my fabric and a wide range a fibers [silks, cottons, blends, bamboos, perles, wools, ribbons] in a wide range of rust and orange tones, some overdyed, some hand-painted, some a straightforwardly single color. Since I have only stitched two rather small motifs, I will wait to get a bit more done before including a photo.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A few more photos: finishes and WIPs

I finally got around to taking photos of my finishes from earlier this week:


Prairie Schooler's 2005 Santa [Quilting]: this is the third in a group of five Prairie Schooler Santas I am stitching this month. I also finished stitching the 2006 Santa [Sewing] but for some reason the picture wouldn't load and I will have to take another tomorrow.




Lizzie Kate's Housework... I couldn't resist this one since it is a sentiment I whole-heartedly endorse ... or at least, I wish I could ... but, until I win a lottery, I'll be doing my own housework.



And now for my current WIPs


The Sweetheart Tree's Pumpkin on Gingham : I am stitching two of these ... one properly "framed by tan gingham stripes [for a Halloween Exchange] and one centered on the remaining gingham which I will have to trim closer as a small pinkeep ornament for myself.
Tomorrow, I shall start the last of my Prairie Schooler Santas: the 2007 Santa [Knitting]. I am going to stitch one of these for my own wall-hanging but I know I will revisit this chart in a little while to stitch gifts for one of my younger sisters and for a friend, both of whom are avid knitters.
Once the Prairie Schooler Santas are all done, I shall pick up my Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway projects again, as per my stated goals for August. I haven't made as much progress on the August goals as I would have liked ... I kept giving in to the temptation to stitch charts that were not on the goal list. About half of the August goals will now become September goals and I will have to stick to the program if I am to get certain Christmas gifts done in time for 2008.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two new starts

Number One: JCS Halloween ornaments.
Ever since I received my copy of the JCS Halloween ornament issue, five of the designs have been calling to me. I finally caved and began work on The Sweetheart Tree's Pumpkin on Gingham. I'll be stitching this design twice: once as an exchange for the 123 stitch Halloween ornament exchange and once as a small pin keep ornament for my own Halloween Tree. Pumpkins are second only to owls and ravens as my favorite Halloween motifs and there are several really lovely pumpkin designs in the issue. The Homespun Elegance Boo Pumpkin is another must stitch. And, of course, the Prairie Schooler Night Owl, The Elizabeth's Designs Spooky Tree and La-D-Da's Smell My Feet are right behind them on the pipeline. All I am waiting for are a few things I need for these designs: some Mill Hill beads and the two bat [Mill Hill Glass Treasures] and some WDW and CC flosses ... then I will treat myself to an orgy of autumnal color and themes. When I get around to Smell My Feet, I am going to replace the green legs with a legs clothed in striped stocking in colors to match a wonderful bit of turqouise and yellow flat braid that I'll use to finish the piece. I hate the whole green witch thing.
Number Two: 2006 Santa [with antique sewing machine] from Prairie Schooler
I have stitched this once before but I gave the framed piece away as a retirement gift for a dear colleague who shares my passion for sewing and who appreciates all the needle arts. I am going to combine this piece with the 2004 [Embroidering], 2005 [Quilting], and 2007 [Knitting] Santas to make a quilted wall hanging. I have also stitched the 1995 Santa ... but that one will be framed with a small easel bracket for tabletop display.
At least the Prairie Schooler Santa is on my August Goals list ... something that can not be said for the Halloween ornaments ... but I found them just irresistible.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Early morning stitching

It's Sunday morning and I put in a couple of early morning stitching hours, between loads of laundry and putterring about the kitchen before Mass. As a result, I am closing in on another finish. All that needs to be done on the Prairie Schooler 2005 Santa are the shears, the quilting hoop, Santa's face and hat ... all of which shouldn't take more than two hours. Since I will be spending two hours as a passenger as my husband and I visit my daughters new home upstate [the trip is approx. 1 hour each way], I expect to take a picture tonight that I can post tomorrow. With any luck, I'll have finished Lizzie Kate's Housework as well and have two pictures to post. Then it will be time to really focus on the 2007 Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway projects: one of which, a scissor fob, would be perfect for this month's finishing challenge. Granted it's the 17th and I don't seem to have made an appreciable dent in the August goals. I have to keep telling myself I am making slow and steady progress ... progress I probably wouldn't make at all without the discipline of a goals list. Without goals, I seem very prone to startitis.
In any case, I treasure my early morning stitching hours ... before Bill gets up, the house is quiet and calm. I can savor my first cup of tea ... today it was a single-estate Darjeeling - and stitch and think and plan the rest of my day. A restful time, before the inevitable hustle bustle of married life ... even the married life of a couple of empty-nesters. I thought it was supposed to get less frantic ...but it is still just as frenetic, only the causes of frenzy have changed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Miscellany

Item 1: I have informed Anna [Stitch Bitch] that as the one and only serious entrant in my PIF for Mandarin floss, she is the uncontested winner [duh]. I await an e-mail with snail mail address and will send her a card of floss in a soft green. Anna mentioned Very Velvet, another Rainbow Gallery fiber, in her entry ... it is a fiber I have enjoyed using as well and one I could recommend highly to anyone who wants to add a bit of texture to a piece.
Item 2: I just received the Halloween ornament issue of JCS and have fallen in love with five of the ornaments: The Sweetheart Tree's Pumpkins on Gingham, The Prairie Schooler Owl, The Homespun Elegance Black Cat, Elizabeth Designs Pumpkins and Raise the Roof's Smell My Feet. I will just have to do all of them ... happily I have some tan gingham linen, the Homespun Elegance Pumpkin with Star Olde Brass button, most of the Mill Hill beads called for in these designs as well as linens that will work quite nicely even if they are not the ones called for by four of the designers. I can see a few more deviations from goal oriented stitching ahead ... but these particular designs are just too tempting to ignore. Besides, I am involved in a Halloween ornament exchange and will use one of these designs for my exchange piece.
Item 3: I did a bit more work on my Prairie Schooler 2005 Santa [The Quilter] and should be able to finish it in a day or two at which time I will post another picture. That will leave only the Knitting and Sewing Santas to stitch before the August 30 deadline ... a manageable goal as long as I don't go on a binge of Halloween stitching.
Item 4: I signed up for a SAL starting Sept 1, Spots of Fun [Debbie Draper Designs]. I haven't decided which linen I shall use as yet. I do know that I will be making it a true sampler by using as many different types of fiber as there are motifs in the design and that I will concentrate on an autumnal color way. It should be fun and if I stitch just one motif a day it shouldn't cut into my time for other projects.

Back from vacation

There wasn't any Internet access where I was staying so I have a bit of catching up to do.

First, the stash enhancement! I took the time to visit Stitch Today, Knot Tomorrow in Prince Frederick, Md: a shop just about 1/2 hour from where we were staying. It's a small jewel of a shop with beautiful shop models, most of which were stitched by the owner, her daughter and even one very fine piece by her 12 year old grand-daughter. The class teaching pieces were so intriguing that I was wistfully contemplating a move to the area for a few very pleasant moments. One in particular that caught my eye was a ribbon embroidery piece. It was designed to showcase the kind of large and colorful [gaudy] brooches that our grandmothers used to wear on their impressive bosoms back in the days when dresses were made of fabrics with substance that didn't sag or run or tear under the weight of such dramatic pieces. Anyway, the sample was a lovely wreath of silk ribbon flowers and greenery and showcased a large hummingbird brooch. Then there was the fiber wall where I fondled and gazed adoringly at all sorts of silks, blends, overdyes and the like ... and, ultimately, bought some $200 worth of floss. One of my finds was two skeins of a lovely chenille overdye in shades of mauve, green and gold ... I have absolutely no idea how I will use it ... but it was just too tempting to pass up ... indeed, I would have bought more skeins had there been any. I also picked up some overdyed evenweaves, one of which I used immediately to stitch Plum Pudding's Blessed Be.

A few pictures:




Finally, I had plenty of time to stitch. I finished Prairie Schooler's 2004 Santa and began the 2005 Santa. I also completed the Cross-Eyed Kat Jolly Roger Cat, the Plum Pudding Blessed Be and the small top for a pink biscornu. Much of the stitching was done on the five hour car trips down and back. But there was some stitching on the beach: a slow and leisurely process, interrupted by the need to gaze placidly out at the bay, counting sailboats, watching several black labs play catch with their humans in the shallows near the sandbar, admiring the smooth glide of canoes and kayaks skimming the shoreline just beyond the sandbar or enjoying the sights and sounds of small children building sandcastles and playing tag with the waves lapping the sandy shore. It wasn't the most productive time but it did restore the soul.

And, now for pictures of current WIPs

Prairie Schooler 2005 Santa [with the quilt]

Lizzie Kate's Housework Never Killed...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back to goal oriented stitching for a while

Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts. But seriously, I believe I am ready to tackle my PS Santas again for a while. It's just that with the Sue Hillis Charmed Santas [all four of them] and her Pair Tree and the 1995 PS Santa, I really needed the relief from Christmas-y color ways for a short time. And the wide variety of smalls I completed in the past two weeks was a welcome change. But I am back, now, pumped and ready to work with deep reds and forest greens for a week or two.
When things get too tough, there is always the Peacock biscornu and the German Garden to offer a different spectrum with which to work ... and still advance the August goals.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Brilliante Award

Eva & Erynne have bestowed upon me the Brilliante Blogger Award - thank you so much. It's so wonderful to receive a compliment like this, especially since I am not a particularly adept technocrat. I long to add visitor tracking, slide shows, music and all sorts of stuff to my blog but I have only just recently mastered adding photos. I feel as though I am way behind on the learning curve but I am doing my best. My only excuse is that, as a 50-nearly-60-something, I was born into the age of the fountain pen not the age of the computer.

The rules for receiving this award are:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Now, it is my turn to nominate 7 others whose blogging efforts have either inspired me, made me laugh, peaked my interest enough to return again & again, educated me or who have exhibited characteristics in keeping with a decent & kind human being. So many of you out there fill this bill! Many of the bloggers whose work I read regularly have already received this award. But here are a few more worthy entries, in no particular order:

Confessions of a Stitch Wraith
Julie's Stitching Studio
Bits of My Own
Stitching in Lobster Land
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day
Stitching on the Edge
Arthemise's [Mostly] Stitching Blog

A variety of topics

Well, I didn't get much stitching done yesterday ... did my first ever stint of babysitting for my grandson who, at just a few days shy of his first birthday, still puts everything in his mouth. I didn't want him to pick up a stray needle or pin or what have you, so I removed all my stitching equipment from the main rooms downstairs after doing way more baby-proofing than I had to. My son, proud Daddy that he is, claimed that Liam had started to crawl and was really zipping about. Well, if snails zip about, then Liam does too. There really wasn't any need for baby gates and safety plugs and the removal of all precious breakables from lower shelves. At least not this time.
Before Liam arrived, I did manage to take pictures and post them on my blog ... of course, the dates are all wrong since the photos were added to posts I had saved as drafts and I forgot to change the dates on them ... but it was a good feeling to finally present evidence of my July progress.
But now for the BIG NEWS
I have an embarrassment of riches, both Eva and Erynne have presented me with the Brilliante Blogger award ... I feel a little inadequate since I have no clue as to how to go about loading the icon I am supposed to post on my own blog though I think I can figure out how to add a list of blogs that I visit frequently [which would definitely include their blogs] to my sidebar ... anyway, how can such a technologically inept blogger be labelled "brilliant" is beyond me ... I write well enough but blogging is more than merely writing ... it's navigating and slide shows and music and fanfare and all the hullabaloo that escapes me ... heck, when I write in my pen and ink journal, I use a fountain pen, for heaven's sake!!! Well, I shall consult with my husband who happens to be the technocrat in this household and see if I can manage to do what I ought. My thanks to both Eva and Erynne for the honor ... I am well and truly thrilled since it wasn't too long ago that I had doubts that anyone read my blog. Maybe I'll even have the icon and list up this afternoon ... one can always hope.
Got a little stitching in this morning on the Prairie Schooler Santa 2004: The Embroiderer but not enough to justify another photo ... just imagine a bit more of his deep red coat filled in and you'll have the proper image. The rest of the day will be spent preparing for the last dinner party before Liam and his parents [much as I love my son and daughter-in-law, they have been demoted to mere adjuncts since Liam's arrival on the scene] return to the West Coast. With luck I'll have all three of my children and their spouses and SOs here tonight. My daughter has been driving cross-country to return to NY and a new job. She should arrive in the area some time this morning and hopes to come to dinner tonight to see her nephew. I just hope she is not too exhausted by the trip she has just made which involved her SO driving a U-Haul with all their worldly goods and towing her car while she drove his truck which contained their six cats and two dogs, all in various states of sedation. My youngest lives nearby and he will have no problem getting here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

PIF: Some Bamboo floss

I have just finished stitching an LHN complimentary chart called Small House Sampler [c2005] with some Rainbow Gallery Mandarin floss left over from another LHN chart I had done several years ago. I had forgotten how lovely this particular fiber really is ... and now I want to share it with others. It has the feel of a blend of silk and wool, a very soft "hand" and a lovely matte sheen as it lays on the fabric. The only caveat to remember is that, like silk, it must be stranded. Otherwise, it will snarl and tangle in the needle.

Another reason I like the idea of Mandarin is that bamboo, being a grass, is a very renewable resource and unlike silk or wool, no living beings suffer during its production. [My husband would interject here a comment about plants "screaming" during experiments he has read about but I am not going to get into that.]

So I am offering both the complimentary chart and one card of RG Mandarin to the person who posts the most fascinating comment about the most unusual fiber they have ever used in any textile art [cross-stitch, needlepoint, surface embroidery, crewel, knitting, crocheting, macrame, weaving, etc] and why they enjoyed using it. Expand my horizons, teach me something new, tweak my curiosity ... and I will send you one of you my current favorite fiber.

August Goals

This being the last month of the summer with its abbreviated work schedule, I figure to get a lot of stitching done for the holidays ... more time off translates to more time stitching.

-- Finish the remaining Prairie Schooler Santas.
--Focus on TW's Autumn Faerie and on the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway projects.
--Stitch up four tea towels with the herbal designs to set aside as a Christmas gift.
--Stitch Miribilia's Halloween Faerie.
--Start Liam's stocking: T. Wentzler's Woodland Angel.
--Start Liz Turner Diehl German Garden.
--Sean's M-Design Name Tree Ornament
--One more Celtic Tarot Card for Angela's deck.
-- Do at least two sewing finishes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Assessing July's Goals

I got a new camera and will be playing with it for the purpose of posting pictures here today. So, if the pictures lack a certain something, be tolerant and know that I will practice, practice, practice till I finally get right.

Crabby All Year is done: Well, I need three more buttons. I have been in contact with Patti A. about an alternative for buttons for the December box: she has agreed to make a piggy bank and a hammer which makes better sense to me than the wildflowers that came in the button pack. Sheesh, we're talking about bills here folks, not a stroll through some pristine meadow! And what's with the smiley face sun in the October "zombies" box ... I'll be replacing that with a moon button. But otherwise, all four charts are finally done and I have sent them on to Debbie in Canada as a PIF.

Just because I couldn't resist a super quick and easy stitch, I worked the I Love to Shop... chart that came as a bonus with my Silver Needle order earlier this week. It was a one-day stitch. Gotta love that instant gratification. I just need to go diving into my fabric stash to find some coordinating material to turn it into a tote bag. I suspect I won't find anything quite right and, oh horrors, I will have to make a trip to The Happy Quilter to purchase some coordinating fabric. Once there, I know I'll just have to make the trip worthwhile by buying many many fabrics for future use as well. That shop is just the best place to browse. I have assembled the Love Ewe that I stitched [I have a sudden quite terrible need for the gratification of quick finishes] as a pinkeep. I'll be giving it as a thank you gift to the organizer of a retreat I'll be attending in the fall ... appropriate since the fabrics came from last year's goodie bag and the chart came from my doorprize: a free subscription to online magazine Gift of Stitching. The other interesting thing about this piece is that I trimmed it in some dull gold flat braid that came from my grandmother's stash which she gave me some 30 years ago. It gives a perfect vintage accent to this folk art piece. Since my grandmother had retired from her job as a sweatshop seamstress some 20 years before she passed her collection of odds and ends to me, I estimate that the braid is somewhere between 50-60 years old. I only have one more piece of flat braid, a few yards of crocheted lace and one dress length of fabric left from Grandma's stash at this point ... but you can imagine how very much I had at one time. I also finished the dreaded "duty stitch" for my sister-in-law ... one of those oh so cute [I am rolling my eyes here] cat charts ... a tabby kitten wrapped in toilet tissue with the message "My name is Stop That! What's yours?" I have to have it framed in time for her birthday by Aug. 26. I have no dignity left, folks, I have been stitching toilet paper for Pete's sake! I have gotten back to stitching the Prairie Schooler Santas ... also relatively quick stitches ... finished the 1995 Santa and started on the 2004 Santa on 7/26.

Then startitis hit yet again, upsetting the planned goal-oriented stitching. I got this really intriguing SSS skein called Jellybean from my Secret Sister this round and ... while I wouldn't ordinarily buy a rainbow over-dyed thread my-monochromatic-self, I have seen so many pictures of finishes or WIPs using wildly variegated floss that look so very lovely that I just had to try this out myself ... the result is this biscornu using the About Cross Stitch Rose Window freebie and augmenting the SSS Jellybean with DMC 502 & 503.


There was a bit left of the Laguna after finishing up the biscornu, so I stitched a real quickie [1 1/2 hours]: an adaptation of Elizabeth's Needlework Designs Peace, meant to be a companion piece to Old Stone Church. I eliminated the word "peace" and the flowers that appear to be suspended in mid-air, surrounded the whole with a border of rice stitches. I plan to finish this off as a floss ring.



Well, one thing led to another! While stash diving for the 25ct mushroom Laguna for the biscornu, I pulled a number of odd scraps of fabric that would be great for small designs. I am using a small piece of country cream overdyed linen [left over from the My Name is Stupid project] to stitch the Time for Tea complimentary chart from Chatelaine Designs, which may be found at http://lachatelainedesigns.homestead.com/teatimechart-ns4.html. I have made a few modifications as is my habit and used GAST Black Crow to give the overall effect of those Victorian style silhouettes.

I also found two pieces of tan and white gingham check linen and a long narrow piece of Zweigart antique teal linen. I am used the smaller piece of the gingham linen for a LHN Small House Sampler Complimentary chart [c2005] and I stitched it with Rainbow Gallery Mandarin floss.

Then I resurrected a UFO, Cross Eyed Kat's Jolly Roger Cat, which may be found at http://www.crosseyedkat.com/ . I had abandoned this soon after starting it because I sufferred eye strain working on the black linen but I seem to be okay with it now. The other pieces of linen I netted in my stash diving will soon be assigned a project: the gingham linen will probably be used for a biscornu with a stitch count that is a multiple of six [the width of the gingham stripe] and the antique teal linen will be used for an angelic cat to be the flip side of the Jolly Roger Cat ... the two charts will make a door knob hanger to warn my daughter's visitors of the moods of her six cats on any given day. I know I have seen charts of angelic cats in the various JCS Christmas ornament issues I have on file. Sooooo, I see more bouts of startitis in the near future ... especially for small and easy finishes.

That's it for the pictures ... no point in photographing the remaining WIPs since I didn't get to stitch on any of them since the last photos earlier this month.
No progress on these July Goals:
--The Peacock Biscornu: Actually negative progress since I have to frog back to an error made early in July before continuing.
--Sean's Name Tree: no progress at all this month. While this project may technically be a small as to size, it feels and stitches like a medium sized one since it is over one and concentration is needed to keep the mirror image perfect.
--Sewing finishes: I haven't touched the backlog but at least I did finish the Love Ewe and the Rose Window biscornu thus avoiding adding to the backlog.

And, no progress on my two serious BAP
--TW's Autumn Faerie ... I haven't stitched on this at all.
--The Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway projects.
And just to round things off, I fell off the wagon when it came to ordering new charts. I just placed an order with Deer Hill Farms Cross Stitch for some fabric for my secret sister's package, the Man in the Moon buttons for Crabby All Year, the floss I needed for the the Lizzie Kate Housework Never Killed Anyone and three of the Jane Austen series of samplers from The Stitching Parlor: Mr. Collins Humble Abode, Rosings, and The Daughters of Longbourn. The floss, the fabric and The Daughters of Longbourn arrived within 24 hours of placing the order. The rest are on back order.