Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend Progress Report #5

I am going to try to post my weekend progress reports on Sunday nights [or, at least, no later than Monday morning] for the remainder of the year. January was an unsettled month what with all I was trying to accomplish but even so ... posting a "weekend" progress report on a Wednesday is somewhat ludicrous.
The Current Rotation:
Focus Project: Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie. I'd like to say I have been flying on this one but that would be one big fat lie. In fact, pressures of work and personal errands have kept me from working on this piece nearly all week. I keep it on my stitching stand and can work on it only at home. I just haven't had much leisure time at home this week. It seems like this week I came home only to sleep and eat. Well, at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, I carried my stitching stand down to the living room and settled in for a few hours in front of the tube watching some Stargate episodes from my DVD collection. Bill and I are up to season eight. The first photo [left - rather dark because my only light source was my Ott light] shows the whole piece and the second photo [right] is a detail shot showing what progress I have made in the borders: all the outermost backstitching is done as well as the backstitching in the corners between the round and square borders and yet another "blended" stitch has been added to the small leaves in the square border ... leaves which will only look like leaves after some more backstitching is done. Once the leaves and remaining backstitching are done, I'll have to get back to the main design since all that will be left in the border is the beading ... which, of course, will have to wait till the very end. I know it doesn't look like very much but it actually represents four or five hours of work ... I know two-handed stitching is supposed to go faster but I am still mastering the skill and am definitely not "up to speed".
Travel Project: Heartstring's Noah's Ark Santa. I got a fair amount done on this during the last few days ... mainly because I had to spend five hours in the auto dealer's waiting room while I had scheduled maintenance that was supposed to take only two hours ... but they kept telling me it would take just "another 1/2 hour" once the first three hours were up. Apparently, they have a relatively small service area and the person just ahead of me who'd come in for a state inspection had a whole list of things wrong that had to be fixed before he could pass inspection. I guess I am not the only one who tends to overestimate how much I can accomplish in an hour!

Sewing Finishes: still none, sadly.
Since the Heartstring's Santa is moving along nicely, I'll need to pick another travel project very soon. I think I'll kill two birds with one stone and choose the Peacock Biscornu which is both a conveniently sized project for travel and a project from the UFO Countdown list. That way I shall be tackling my February goals in a systematic fashion.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January was Guilt-Free but ...

... I can't help myself: I am still doing an assessment! I'm not an INTJ in the 97%ile on the Meyers-Briggs scale for nothing!!!

January Projects:
  1. The Focus Project: Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie: clearly this will continue to be the focus project in February as well. I have moved along on it but ever so slowly.
  2. One Christmas Ornament: Bride's Tree SAL House ornament using the Workbasket Christmas House from an old JCS ornament issue ... with a few modifications. I still need to stitch a back with the word "Protection" and the date and my R rune before assembling this as a fringed pillow ornament.
  3. One Thanksgiving Ornament: Done - Let Us Give Thanks from BHG 1001 Cross-stitch Motifs.
  4. Smalls: PS 2000 Annual card Santa, Handblessing's Autumn Lace Bookmark.
  5. UFO Countdown project: Mill Hill Bead Kit Sail Away from the Spring Bouquet series.
  6. Sewing Finishes: this has been more problematic seeing as how the dining room table has been co-opted by Mom's stash
  7. Then, there was the whole Mom's Stash Inventory and Giveaway thing ... this took up hours and hours of my time.

February Goals:
  1. Focus on Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie
  2. Complete Bride Tree SAL February [Heart] Christmas Ornament
  3. Complete one Thanksgiving ornament: The Pilgrim Boy and Girl from the BH&G 1001 Cross Stitch Motifs
  4. Continue to work on one medium project: Brightneedle's Ghost and Ghoulies Etui
  5. Finish up Heartstring's Noah's Ark Santa as the February Small Project
  6. UFO Countdown project: Peacock Biscornu
  7. Sewing Finishes: Try to generate another Finishing Frenzy during the Winter recess ... one to equal the Autumn frenzy of 2009.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Anna and her craft bag craft bags makes one think ...

... about all the "someday" projects for which one accumulates and stores stuff. Recently on her blog, Stitch Bitch, she made mention of a stash of plastic bags from craft stores that she had been saving to make fusible plastic tote bags for her craft projects. Apparently, the notion of a craft bag made from craft bags had a certain appeal for her. But she has brought them to the recyclers in an attempt to start uncluttering her craft room.

Well, I have this huge ball of two inch wide strips torn from blue jeans as well as a milk crate full of blue jeans that have yet to be torn. [I included my camera case in the photo to give you a sense of scale.] The theory is that I am going to make a braided rug which will then be used to cover the floor of the craft-room-to-be-but-is-currently-the-junk-room. I once saw a rug made from faded denim reclaimed from worn out jeans at one of the local historical society's craft demonstration days and fell in love with all the shades of blue blending to make a perfect whole. Jeans were the iconic clothing for my generation ... so what could be a better choice for making the floor covering of an aging hippie's private retreat.

I also have a stash of lightweight cotton circles that someday will be a yo-yo quilt wall hanging ... well, when I get to it, look at the colors available to me and come up with either a representational or abstract design that pleases me ... maybe ... someday.
And then there is that 34 year old crazy quilt top that was intended to be finished as my youngest sister's 16th birthday present but may [emphasis on mere possibility] be the best gag gift at her 50th birthday celebration this coming June.
But the really sad thing is that, unlike Anna, I am as yet unwilling to bow to reality and exorcize one or more of these ghosts-of-projects-future.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekend Progress Report #4

The focus project remains TW's Autumn Faerie. I have gotten in a bit more stitching time on it this week than last ... partly because I have come down to the final phase of the Great Mom's Stash Giveaway ... but also because I have reclaimed much of my stitching time in an effort to preserve my sanity and maintain a reasonable blood pressure rate ... not to mention my marriage. My poor husband has noticed that the crankiness factor has increased in direct proportion to the clutter factor in the dining and living rooms. He has asked that I take some proactive steps. It'd be a shame to throw our relationship out the window after just celebrating a 39th anniversary. Even so, when it comes to this TW piece, I am still concentrating my attention on the border where I am less likely to make a mistake ... the stress and distraction of Mom's stash project has me too befuddled to stitch the actual faerie ... much too complex for the moment. Better, far better, to concentrate on the regularly repeating motifs and back-stitching in the borders. The side benefit is that I am seeing greater progress this way and remain highly motivated to focus on the piece.

My current small project: The Handblessing Autumn Lace bookmark has been stitched. I will do the sewing finish slightly differently from my other Handblessing bookmark [see Nov. 29 post] though I will use the same backing fabric. Thus I will have a set: one bookmark sized for hardcover books and one sized for paperbacks. I recently visited the Handblessing site and noted that these two complimentary charts are not available at this time. In fact her complimentary charts are available only through LNS' that carry her line. If anyone is interested in these charts, I suggest you either e-mail Handblessings or contact an LNS that might have the older complimentary charts on file.

The first item in the UFO Countdown [see sidebar]: Mill Hill Bead Kit Sail Away has been stitched and assembled, though as an ornament rather than as a pin [as per the kit] ... I started with the easiest UFO on the list. This little kit was a gift from a fellow stitcher when we met for a GTG last summer. I started it right away but it was such a little thing that it fell to the bottom of the stitching bag I was using at the time. I found it when I took inventory of my UFOs last month. I am pleased with it but probably will not be buying more similar kits ... my hands are mildly arthritic and I found it uncomfortable to hold and stitch in hand on the perforated paper on which it was stitched ... this bodes ill for the Tokens and Trifles projects I have in my stash as well. I'll have to try one of them soon. If I have the same difficulty with that sort of perforated paper project, I foresee a giveaway of Tokens and Trifles cards at some point in the future. It is just easier for me to hold hoops and scroll rods at this stage in my life.

Since the Mill Hill kit didn't take very long to stitch, I need to select my next travel piece. I have several options:
--Finish The Sweetheart Tree's Holly & Hearts Sampler [which is almost half complete] ... though quite portable on 12" scroll rods, this is more of a focus piece: a multi-page chart and lots of specialty stitches and beading.
--Start one of my two remaining Heartstring Santas ... this would involve some stash diving to kit up the piece.
--Start the Cookie Baking Santa from Sue Hillis ... again some stash diving and kitting up would be involved.
--Frog out my error on the Peacock Biscornu and pick up where I left off ... another project on 12" scroll rods, easily carried about and, as a bonus, another project from the UFO countdown.
Okay, I have decided on the Heartstring's Noah's Ark Santa. Since my grandson is named Liam Noah, I have decided my theme for his annual Christmas ornament will be Noah's Ark. His first ornament was the Homespun Elegance Noah's Ark Santa ornament [I think it was the 2005 ornament] and this will be his second.

And as the end of January approaches, I need to do some stitching housekeeping.
--Since a Teresa Wentzler pieces really puts a dent in the old DMC stash, I need to look at what needs replenishing ... after all I have two more Teresa Wentzler BAPs on the program for this year: The Woodland Angel Stocking for Liam and the Winter Faerie for Angela. Yes, yes ... I know I am again falling into the trap of imagining I am capable of doing so much more than I can reasonably expect to do. But I am a dreamer and an optimist.
--I also need to order some 32 ct and 36 ct natural linen so that I can continue to stitch my Bride SAL ornaments on similar fabric ... I do want this SAL to look very much like an intentional set
--I also need to browse through my collection of charts to select and kit up the next Christmas ornament in my Bride's Tree SAL. February's motif is a Heart signifying, obviously, Love. I have several in my Gift of Stitching back issues but I also want to look at my Workbasket charts ... particularly the Quaker Odds and the Quaker Evens ... if I remember correctly, there is a lovely Quaker heart in one of those charts. And it would be very much in the same style as my House [also a Workbasket chart]. I find myself wondering if I can manage to complete the entire SAL in Workbasket charts, or at least, charts very similar in style. Something to think about.
--I have decided that my next Thanksgiving ornament will be the BH&G 1001 Cross Stitch Motifs' Pilgrim Boy and Girl. I will need to kit that up for February stitching.

Sewing & Assembly finishes: None this weekend, since the dining room table [aka sewing center] is still in use for the Mom's Stash Giveaway. I hope to be able to return to sewing finishes by next weekend. My goal is to completely catch up with my sewing finishes before February 28. Since my class schedule will be less stressful [winter recess falls in the month of February] this just might be an achievable goal. The photo on the left shows that I have finally managed to reduce all the uncataloged/un-sorted/un-photographed stash to one place: the dining room table. The end is in sight. But even more importantly, I can finally take down all the Christmas decorations in the living room and give it a thorough cleaning. I am well on the way to reclaiming my home, thanks be to God!

Mom's Great Stash Giveaway: I have packed up a large number of boxes and have managed to catalogue all but three groups of laces and trims, the fabrics and sewing notions, the tiny fabric flowers, and the UFOs & kits [needlepoint & Swedish weave]. I still have another 5 or 6 boxes to pack up before I am done. But, as my luck would have it, somehow my husband who was commissioned over the weekend to pick up more flat rate boxes from the post office never actually managed to bring them in from his car. I shall have to wait until tonight after work to get them. I am grateful to all who have responded to this giveaway since I couldn't just throw it all away. I will post a photo of all I am keeping in early February ... just so people know I am not a totally ungrateful daughter who re-gifted the whole stash. What I am keeping fills a fair sized bin.

So, that's it: the past week has been documented and the next week is plotted out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Weekend Progress Report #3

I can't believe I am two days late for my third weekend progress report of 2010 and that I have so little stitching progress to actually report. The bulk of my stitching time has been spent sorting through and creating an inventory of my mother's stash, deciding what to keep and what to give away. And then creating the blog posts announcing the giveaways, complete with photos and detailed descriptions. I have devoted my usual morning before work stitching time to this task and I have also devoted most of my evening stitching time to it as well. The stuff has taken over my living room as well as the dining room. To complicate matters, the stash was sent over to my home before I had time to take down all my Christmas decorations. The result is that I don't really have a livable home until I manage to eliminate all this clutter. Otherwise, I would never have given up my precious stitching time to such a chore!

Also, I know that observant people will notice that the date on my recent Lace Trim and Ribbon post doesn't reflect reality. Instead of making up new posts as I completely catalog and photograph new types of lace, I have simply been going in to the old post and adding pictures and lists as I complete them.

In any case, here are photos of my current rotation of three WIPs and, if truth be told, the photos depict yesterday's lunchtime stitching and this morning's before-work-ease-into-the-day stitching as well.
The Focus Project for January: T. Wentzler's Autumn Faerie. I managed to complete the inner circular border and started on the ecru [barely visible] diagonal stripe fill of the corners between the circular and square borders. This is the easy part of a Teresa Wentzler piece. And as long as I haven't finished the Mom's stash giveaway project ... which apparently is going to be a month long project ... I will be sticking to the easy border stitching. While my concentration is so divided, I just don't want to risk errors in the more complex main design. Frogging a TW piece with all the blended threads, the half, quarter and three-quarter stitches is just not something I could face right now.

Handblessings Autumn Lace Bookmark: finished one of the sides and started on the other. This is my travel project and I got this last bit done yesterday at lunchtime. I hope to finish the lacy border at lunchtime today. The linen is a 32ct Silkweaver, Autumn Sunrise, and the variegated cotton floss is Firebrand from a small dye house called Dragon Floss. I received the floss in an exchange and I must say I am loving it. The photo doesn't do the colors justice [though clicking to enlarge does give you a better idea]. They are clear, bright pastels ... very vibrant ... and the gradation is very suble. The overall effect is as intricate as I could possibly wish for ... accenting the delicacy of the Handblessing design. I'll be using DMC 3771 to stitch the center leaf motif repeats ... I figure the the solid pastel orange will brighten the whole piece. This is the second Handblessing bookmark I have stitched and I am enjoying it as thoroughly as the first. I highly recommend this designer to anyone who enjoys doing "smalls" but still wants a bit of a challenge ... or at least, something that requires an intermediate skill level.
The January Bride's Tree SAL ornament: a house symbolizing protection and shelter. I have chosen to stitch Workbasket's Christmas House from 2007 JCS ornament issue. I substituted Belle Soie silks for the suggested Crescent Colors overdyed cottons and I used a 32 ct Silkweaver linen. I have finished the front though I did simplify both color scheme and some of the design elements to make the piece less busy ... and a touch more primitive-looking. I need to stitch the word protection on the back as well as a monogram and date. The final ornament is going to be a bit larger than the ornaments I usually make [about 3 1/2 inches square] but I plan to make the whole set to that scale ... I think it will have more dramatic impact that way. To be honest, this represents the only actual weekend progress in this whole post. I worked on this steadily Sunday afternoon and MLK Day afternoon.

As you can see, the stitching progress this past week has been pitiful ...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mom's Stash: Ribbon and Lace Trims Giveaway: Part II

Refer to yesterday's post for conditions of this giveaway. Today, I am moving on to the rest of the laces and all of the ribbons, cords and other trims. Click on photos to enlarge and to see greater detail.

Group 5: Deep Rose, Maroon and Red LacesGroup 6: Blue, Black and Grey LacesGroup 7: White Laces
Group 8: Ivory Laces [photos & lists posted 1/21]
First Photo
a] 2 & 1/2 yds of 1 1/4" wide flat ivory lace
b] 1 yd of 1 & 1/2" wide flat ivory lace
c] 5 yds of 1 & 7/16" wide ivory lace
d] 15 yds of 3/4" wide flat ivory lace
e] 3 & 1/2 yds of 1/2" wide flat ivory lace

Second Photo
f] 2 yds of 1/2" wide ruffled ivory lace
g] 1/3 yd of 3/4" wide ruffled ivory lace
h] 1 & 1/2 yds of 2 & 1/2" wide ruffled ivory lace
i] 1 & 1/2 yds of 2" wide ruffled ivory lace
j] 3 & 1/2 yds of 1/2" wide ruffled ivory lace

Third Photo [note: though I took these photos under my Ott lite, the colors are definitely not true]
k] 4 yds of 2" wide ruffled ivory lace with flat braid
l] 2 yds of 1 & 3/4" wide yellow lace
m] 1/2 yd of 1" wide yellow lace
n] 1/2 yd of 2" wide double ruffle yellow lace
o] 2 yds of 1/2" wide ruffled yellow lace

Group 9: Extra Wide Laces
First Photo: The first two items area flat laces with straight top edges and scalloped bottom edges . The last is a ruffled lace with openings through which you may run a 1/8" wnide ribbon.1/3 yd of 5" wide ecru lace
1/2 yd of 4 & 3/4" wide light taupe lace
2/3 yd of 5" wide ecru lace

Second Photo: This item is one piece of lace fabric but it appears that Mom has cut into it
22" square piece of white lace
Third Photo: This piece of eyelet is very delicate, the fabric is so thin it is almost transparent.
1 & 1/2 yds of 12" wide white eyelet, batisse weight
Fourth Photo: the measurement of the bottom lace in this photo includes the seam binding.
1 & 1/3yds 5 & 1/2" white ruffled eyelet, muslin weight
1 yd 2" wide white crocheted lace with seam binding.
Fifth Photo
2 & 1/3 yd of 7" wide white lace
6th photo
1 & 1/2 yds of 7" wide light taupe lace
1/3 yd of 4 & 1/2" wide ecru lace with rose pink satin ribbon

Group 10: Lace Fabric
a] 2 yds of 45" wide black and silver lace, rose pattern

b] 1 yd of 60" wide lace [see the small piece pulled from the fold for design]

c] 4 yds 60"wide white lace with scalloped selvages [see photo against blue seat of my sewing bench for design]

RIBBONS: I am not photographing or measuring these items ... we all know what a spool of ribbon looks like. I am also stating for the record that most of these spools have been "started" though there are quite a few untouched ones as well. Unless otherwise noted, ribbons are satin with a plain edge.
1/8" Ribbon5 spools white
1 card and 1 spool pale yellow
1 spool yellow gold
1 spool antique gold
1 spool and 1 card apricot
2 spools pale pink
1 spool pink
2 spools pale lavender
1 spool light purple
3 spools pale mint green
1 spool light green with gold metallic edging
1 spool pistachio green
1 spool dark green
2 spools pale blue
2 spools light blue
4 spools metallic gold

3/16" Ribbon
3 spools pink with picot edging
1 spool medium blue green
1 spool light blue green
1 spool pistachio green
1 spool navy blue
1 card medium blue with picot edging
1 spool royal blue
1 spool purple with gold edging
1 spool metallic gold

5/16" Ribbon
2 spools metallic gold
1 spool metallic silver
1 spool pink tafetta with satin edges
1 spool red
2 spools mint green with picot edges
1 spool apricot
1 spool blue with gold metallic edges
1 spool dark green with gold metallic edges
2 spools maroon with gold metallic edges

5/8" ribbons
1 spool brown tafetta
1 spool brown
1 spool gold tafetta with gold metallic edges
1 spool gold metallic
1 spool turquoise

1" and wider ribbons
1 spool white
1 spool sheer black
1 cut length [approx. 2 yds] baby blue
1 cut length [approx. 1 yd] baby pink

1 & 1/2" ribbon
1 cut length [approx. 1 yd] cranberry
1 spool white grosgrain with lace edges

Novelty Christmas ribbon: this one I will photograph and will offer to one person as a complete grab bag

Flat Braids and Other Flat Trims: These are useful for trimming pinkeeps or free-standing items.
First Photo: Left Row: Top to Bottom
a] 6 yds of 3/8" wide bright gold metallic flat braid
b] 8 & 1/2 yds of 3/8" wide silver metallic flat braid
c] 2 & 1/2 yds of 1/4" wide silver metallic flat braid
Center Row: Top to Bottom
d] 10 yds of 1/4" wide dull gold metallic flat braid
e] 5 yds of 1/4" wide red/green/gold flat braid
f] 3 yds of 1/4" wide white/gold flat braid
g] 1/2 yd each of red/green/silver & red/green/gold flat braid
Right Row: Top to Bottom
h] 5 yds of 1/4" dark green flat braid
i] 1 & 1/2 yds of 3/16" wide gold with cranberry ribbon flat braid
j] 2 yds of 1/4" wide dull & brigh gold flat braid
k] 3 yds of 1/8" wide red and gold flat braid
Second Photo: Left Row: Top to Bottom
l] 3 yds of 3/8" wide white satin rick-rack with gold trim
m] 2 yds of 1/4" wide black & gold rick-rack with red trim
n] 2 & 1/4 yds of 1/4" wide black & gold rick-rack with green trim
o] 3 & 1/2 yds of 1/4" wide black & gold rick-rack with maroon trim
Center Row: Top to Bottom
p] 3 & 1/2 yds of 1/2" wide gold metallic ruched ribbon
q] 2 yds of 1/2" wide rose pink satin ruched ribbon
r] 4 yds of 1/2" wide red satin ruched ribbon
s] 1/2 yd of 1/2" wide gold edged red ruched ribbon
Right Row: Top to Bottomt] 1 & 2/3 yds of 3/8" wide cranbverry cord piping
u] 3 & 1/3yds of 1/4" wide wine polished cotton piping
v] 1 & 1/3 yds of 1/4" wide dusty rose polished cotton piping

Left row: top to bottom
a] 9 yds of 1/8" gold metallic cord
b] 3 & 1/3 yds of 1/16" gold metallic cord
c] 3 yds of 1/8" rose pink cord
d] 3 yds of 3/16" bright green cord
e] 2 & 1/3 yds of 3/16" lavendar pink cord
Center row: top to bottom
f] 2 yds of 3/16" white cord
g] 2 yds of 1/3" red/green/gold wool & metallic cord
h] 10 yds of 1/16" green/gold cord
i] 11 & 1/2 yds of 1/8" gold & metallic gold cord
Right row: top to bottom
j] 2 & 1/2 yds of 1/16" red/gold cord
k] 8 yds of 1/8" brown & irridescent metallic cord
l] 4 yds of 1/4" metallic red and green "rose" cord
m] 5 & 1/2 yds of 1/4" baby blue "rose" cord
n] 11 yds of 1/4" blue and white "rose" cord

If I ever show signs of taking on a project like this again - making an inventory and staging a giveaway of another crafter's life-long stash - someone, anyone, please give me one "upside the head" as they say in da Bronx!!! There's still all the sewing fabric and notions to catalog and photograph and post. I simply dread going through all that and am tempted to just pack it up and hide it in a closet. My husband has suggested that as my mother sent it to me, I should send it to my daughter. He has a very cruel sense of humor. Besides, if I don't keep my vow to stitch from stash, that poor girl is going to have to go through all my own stash someday. This whole experience has strengthened my resolve to stitch from my own stash so Ange never has to face this sort of thing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mom's Stash: Ribbons and Lace Trims Giveaway

I have tried to sort all of these by type, width and color and then photograph them in the appropriate groupings. Some spools are untouched, others are partially used. For mailing purposes, the trims will be removed from their plastic reels and sealed in zip-loc bags but the ribbon will be left on the spools [also sealed in zip-loc bags]. Just as with the doll making stash, I am asking for postage costs only. Leave your wish lists in the comments section along with an e-mail address so that I can contact you for a snail mail address. Obviously, this giveaway is open to all ... not just the doll makers as in the previous post ... those of us who make ornaments and other small finishes out of our cross-stitched pieces will find this an attractive giveaway. Since I anticipate a larger response to this particular offer than I had to the dollmaking stash, I am limiting folks to 15 yards of trims and cords and 2 spools of ribbon. Please specify exactly what you want, e.g.: 2yds of 1a and 3 yds of 2b [trim and cord] or 1 spool of 1/4 inch apricot ribbon. This giveaway will be mailed in manilla envelopes with the contents sealed inside in zip-loc bags to prevent water damage. I will be filling orders first come-first serve until I run out of materials [or requests, whichever comes first]. All measurements are approximate, using the distance from fingertips to nose as a yard ... as you scroll through all these photos, I think you will understand why I took the easy and fast way to measure this stash ... making up and photographing this inventory is really eating into my stitching time!! By the way, all photos are clickable for a better view of lace details.

Okay, here are the photos:

Group 1: Eyelet Trims
From top left, clockwise:

a] on the card, 6 yds of 2" wide white flat eyelet [both edges finished]
b] 1 & 1/3 yds of 1 " wide ruffled eyelet trim
c] 1/2 yd of 1 & 1/2" wide ruffled eyelet with white satin ribbon trim
d] 1/4 yd of 1" wide peach ruffled eyelet trim
e] 1 & 1/3 yd of 1" wide mint green eyelet trim
f] 1/4 yd of 5" wide white flat eyelet [bottom edge finished]
g] 3 & 1/2 yds 8" wide white flat eyelet [bottom edge finished]
h] 2 yds of 1" wide ivory ruffled eyelet trim
i] 1/2 yd. of 4 & 1/2" wide white ruffled eyelet trim
And not photographed [this is what happens when you try to do a complicated task before your first cup of tea at 5:30am]
k] 1/2 yd of 1" wide white eyelet printed with deep pink hearts
l] 1/2 yard of 1 & 1/2 " wide white eyelet with variegated pastel embroidered flowers
m] 2 yds of 1" wide ruffled ivory eyelet
n] 1/3 yd of 2 & 1/2" wide ruffled ivory eyelet
o] 1yd of 3/4" white ruffled eyelet attached to white double fold bias tape
p] 1 yd of 2" wide white ruffled eyelet with triangle points instead of the usual scallop
q] 1 yd of 1 & 1/2" wide ruffled white eyelet
r] 2/3 yd of 2 & 1/2" wide white ruffled eyelet
s] 1 & 1/2 yds of 2" wide white ruffled white eyelet

Group 2" : White Laces with Gold metallic embelishment
Left, top to bottom:
a] 2 yds 1/2" wide ruffled lace
b] 1 & 1/2 yds 1/2" wide flat lace
c] 2 & 1/2 yds 2" wide ruffled lace
d] 2 & 1/2 yds 3/4" wide ruffled lace
e] 2 yds 1" wide ruffled lace
Right, top to bottom
f] 3 yds 1/2" wide ruffled lace
g] 1 & 1/2 yds 1" wide ruffled lace w gold flower motif
h] 1/2 yd of 1 & 1/2" wide ruffled lace with gold ribbon edge
i] 7 yds 3/4" white flat lace w gold metallic lozenge motif

Group 3: Green Lace
Left: Top to Bottom
a] 15 yds of 1 & 3/4" wide white lace trimmed with 1/4" emerald green satin ribbon b] 1 yd of 1 & 3/4" wide double ruffled lace: white over turquoise green
c] 1 yd of 1/3/4" wide double ruffled lace: white over dark green
d] 2 yds of 1" wide white and pale green ruffled lace [a kind of hand-painted effect]
e] 2 & 1/4 yds of 1 & 3/4" wide pale green lace
Right: Top to Bottom
f] 1 yd of 1" wide pale green lace
g] 1 yd of 3" wide pale green lace
h] 2 yds of 1" wide turquoise-green lace
i] 1 yd of 1" wide medium green lace
j] 1 & 1/2yds 1" wide medium green lace with red metallic embellishment
Second Photo
Left: Top to Bottom
k] 2 yds of 1 & 1/2" wide medium green ruffled lace
l] 2 yds of 1" wide medium green ruffled lace
Right: Top to Bottom
m] 4 yds of 3/4" wide medium green ruffled lace
n] 1 yd of 1 & 1/2" wide dark green ruffled lace

Group 4: Pink, Peach and Rose Laces
Left: Top to Bottom
a] 1 yd of 1 & 3/4" wide white ruffled lace with 1/2" wide pink satin ribbon
b] 10 yds white 1/2" wide white flat lace with salmon pink embroidery
c] 1 yd of 3/4" wide flat ivory lace with 1/2" mauve pink satin ribbon
d] 1 yd of 1" wide pale pink ruffled lace
e] 3 yds of 1/2" wide pale pink nylon eyelet style lace
Right: top to bottom
f] 1 yd 1" widelight pink filet style lace
g] 1yd of 1" wide pale peach eyelet style lace
h] 1 yd of 1" wide light peach crochet style lace
i] 2 yds of 3/4" wide light peach ruffled lace
j] 1 yd of 3/4" wide ivory lace with rose pink embroidery
Left: top to bottom
k] 2 yds 1/2" wide pink flat tassell trim
l] 2yds 1" wide pale pink filet lace
m] 1yd 1" wide pale pink ruffled lace
n] 3 yds 1 & 3/4" wide double ruffle lace: white over fuschia
Right: top to bottom
o] 2 yds 1" wide dusty rose ruffled lace
p] 1 yd 1 & 1/2" wide medium pink ruffled lace
q] 3 & 1/2yds 1 & 1/2" wide mauve pink ruffled lace
r] 1 yd 1" wide fuschia lace
s] 2yds 1 & 1/2" wide dusty rose flat lace.

I will have to photograph and load the rest of the laces tomorrow: I still have blue, black, red, white and ivory laces, novelty Christmas laces, very delicate extra-wide laces as well as flat braid and cording not to mention approximately 100 spools of ribbon. This is all taking so much longer than I had anticipated. I can only hope it is worth the effort and that people take advantage of my offer ... I really need to move this stuff out of my house ... but it is all such good stash that I just cannot in good conscience throw it away.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trying to tread water and stay above the flood ...

... metaphorically speaking, that is. My mother's stash has been creeping from the dining room ... where I still have the doll-making items spread over the dining room table and various bins and boxes as yet unpacked spread on the floor ... into the living room where I am sorting and photographing the laces, cords, braids and other trims. I am hoping to post photos for that giveaway tomorrow but the whole process is taken so much longer than I anticipated.
So far, I have found very little that I wish to keep ... either because I already have a sufficient quantity of the items in question or because my tastes and Mom's differ somewhat ... mine tending toward country/primitive and hers tending toward traditional and Victorian.
The worst part of it all is that I have no time for stitching ... spending all my free time sorting and cataloging and photographing. Mom was very cunning: she told me she just had a few bags and boxes ["oh, not more than 4 or 5"]. I should have known better - after all, this woman has been gently stretching the truth for all the 59 years I have known her and no doubt for the 20 or so years before that as well! She wanted to clean out her house into mine ... and, fool that I am, I let her. My husband is still grumbling about it ... he just doesn't understand the mother-daughter dynamic at work here. The wonderful thing about Mom is that she honestly believes she did a lovely thing for me ... and, even if I come up with no more than one shoe box full of stash I will keep, I am inclined to agree with her. We are that much alike in our thinking processes ... we credit the intention of the giver even if the gift itself doesn't always please. And I keep telling myself, that once Project Mom's Stash Giveaway is done, she will have made many many other people happy as well!

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Weekend Progress Report # 2

Since this has been a very busy week at work characterized by working straight through my lunch hours and gulping down a container of soup at my desk, there hasn't been any lunchtime stitching nor any progress on my stitching bag projects. The Handblessing Autumn Lace bookmark is just as last pictured.

But the weekend was another story. I managed to put in a about six hours on TW's Autumn Faerie during Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. As is usual for me, I expected to be a little further along at the end of the weekend than I am ... I had hoped to fill in the design areas between the square and circular borders as well as completing the circular border itself. Even so, I have made substantial progress and am encouraged by the way the design is appearing on the cloth. I know most people like to stitch a page at a time of multi-page designs but I prefer to follow a design element and stitch it till complete no matter how much page-shuffling results. So, I have been working with all four pages of the design and find that keeping it in a soft vinyl binder on a book stand facilitates the process.

Well today, it is off to the post office as soon as it opens to purchase four flat rate boxes so I can send off the doll making stash to those that requested it at the same time I mail out my regular monthly giveaway.

A winner

Since today is my wedding anniversary, I asked my husband of 39 years to choose a winner. We used a very high tech method" pick a number between 1 and 15. He choose 13. So, the winner of my monthly giveaway is stichinfiend.

I have e-mailed her for a snail mail address and will send things out within a week of receiving it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Mother's Stash Giveaway, Part I ... and my own WIPs

My 80 something Mom has macular degeneration and is no longer able to do all the sewing and embroidery crafts she once enjoyed so much: crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch and doll making. As a consequence, she has sent me nearly all her stash ... one of my sisters who knits got to pick over her wool and scarf up the good stuff ... but the rest came to me. Now, I am not a doll-maker so the first thing I did was cull all the doll-making materials from the car load of stuff that my husband unloaded last night [a Ford 500 trunk and back seat and front passenger seat full ... to give you an idea of the scope].

My mother's dollmaking stash was spread over my dining room table to take this photo. If you click on it, you will see that[working from lower left and up and around clockwise] there are numerous packages of chenille doll hair in shades of brown, blonde, strawberry blonde and raggedy Ann red; all sorts of doll hats; dolls and stuffed bunnies in various stages of completion; spools of netting in red, white and pink [apparently used like crinoline slips when making doll dresses]; a cosmetic case literally filled with small silk flowers for trimming doll hats; a vast collection of patterns for making all sorts of dolls and stuffed animals and teddy bears; and in the center a box filled with bisque finish porcelain doll heads in various sizes [mostly lady heads but one child head] wooden heads, doll disc joints, doll glasses and sunglasses. There are also doll stands in two sizes and some music buttons that play Fur Elise, Happy Birthday, Love Story and Mary Had a Little Lamb. I will try to get an exact inventory of this lot done tonight when I come home from work. Over the next few days, I will post photos of other stash that I'll be giving away ... all for postage costs only ... there are two large bins of reels of lace and trim, a box of rick-rack and bias tape, spools and spools of ribbon, a variety of fabrics ... I just need to sort through those to determine what I wish to keep and what I wish to give away. Anyone wishing to receive any of this stuff should leave a post in the comments section, including your e-mail address. All I ask is that you agree to pay the postage costs either with a US Postal Money Order, a 123stitch gift certificate or well-concealed cash. I plan on using the US mail priority boxes unless a person's request list require a larger box ... so guesstimate your postage costs accordingly.
Since I spent the better part of Wednesday morning in a waiting room, I brought along two of my smaller stitching bag "travel" projects: the first of my monthly Thanksgiving ornaments and my Handblessing Autumn Lace bookmark. I actually finished the ornament and began work on the bookmark. The ornament is a motif from BHG 1001 Cross Stitch Motifs [a hardcover book] and it is stitched on Silkweaver 36ct Days Gone By in the suggested DMC cotton floss. The bookmark is a Handblessing free chart and I am stitching it on Silkweaver 36 ct Autumn Sunset in Dragon Floss Firebrand. I have stitched the companion bookmark Autumn Leaves and was so delighted with it that I had to do this one as well.

And, here is a photo of recent progress on TW's Autumn Faerie. Granted, not much has been accomplished since the Weekend Progress photos: I am still working on the border. But it feels like progress to me since larger areas of the design are coming to life beneath my hands. I don't think I ever mentioned that I am stitching this on a 25ct white evenweave, over two, using all the suggested DMC cotton flosses. I am enjoying working on it when I have the time ... which, unfortunately, is not very often ... just about an hour each morning before going to work. It requires concentration and care, so I seldom stitch on it late in the evening after work. It was supposed to be my BAP for 2009 but it languished as a UFO until mid-December. I had hoped to accomplish more than I did during the Christmas recess with an eye to giving it to my daughter as a birthday present in late January. I don't think that's going to happen either! But I have made it my focus project for home stitching [since it is on 14" scroll rods, it isn't exactly the most portable project in my rotation] ... so it should be done in time for the Spring Equinox.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Weekend Progress Report #1

Since Monday was the fourth of the month ... the day I regularly announce my monthly giveaway ... I deferred this post to Tuesday. I am hoping to post a Weekend Progress Report for all 52 weeks this year ... that is assuming that there is actual progress to report. Although, it is Tuesday, the photos were taken at 6:30 am Monday morning. Don't you just love the "Schedule" option in blogging?

The First Finish of 2010: Prairie Schooler's Annual Santa Card: 2000. The book is entitled Good Boys and Girls, so I guess Santa is planning his route for Christmas Eve. I made a few changes to this design: the candle and the stripes in the robes showing beneath Santa's coat were supposed to be red but I thought there was already quite enough red in the design already and substituted white and green respectively. The candle flame was also supposed to be yellow and white. I substituted a blend of gold & red and gold instead.

My Current Focus Project: Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie. I have temporarily shifted my focus to the border since I got tired of changing my needle every dozen or so stitches. I do feel like I am progressing more quickly on this piece now ... at least, the progress is more visible. I have been following another blogger's [Arthemis] progress on Teresa Wentzler pieces over the past few months and she puts me to shame with the speed with which she stitched the faeries. I remind myself that "it is not a race" but I do envy her just a little bit.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January Giveaway

This month's giveaway will be a totally unrelated miscellany of 12 new and/or gently-used charts forming what I suppose can only be called a mystery grab bag. That will give the recipient one chart for each month of 2010. What with last month's hectic schedule, I have been unable to come up with anything more creative.

The usual conditions will apply:
-- open to all stitchers
-- leave a comment below as to why you are interested in the giveaway
-- include an e-mail address in your post if clicking on your name will not lead me to an e-mail link
-- a winner will be selected on the 10th of the month and informed by e-mail
-- winners are asked to commit to PIF charts to other stitchers through message boards, guilds or stitching groups or to donate the charts to a women's shelter or prison, a nursing home or some other venue where a stitcher would enjoy them
Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck to all who choose to enter.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The New Sidebar

Observant readers will notice that I have added a new sidebar to my blog: a UFO Countdown. In 2009, I made a commitment to work assiduously on sewing finishes and managed to sew the final finish on 55 cross-stitched and needle-pointed pieces. I still have 22 pieces in my sewing basket but I hope to have them completed by the end of February. But even though I haven't yet caught up with my sewing finishes, I shall try to devote 5 hours a month to my UFOs as well. I am happy to say that I don't have too many UFOs, only fourteen including two non-cross-stitch, actually. I rarely buy and start to stitch a project unless I am highly motivated to finish it. But every once in a while I bite off more than I can chew. This mostly happens with class pieces. I take classes when I want to learn a new technique or explore a new stitching style. Consequently, most of my class projects tend to be complex and ambitious ... at least, from my perspective. In the sidebar you will see evidence of that: Victoria Sampler's hardanger, Lori Birmingham's dimensional and wired embroidery, Catherine Jordan's picot edging, Karen Bovard's filet lace, Phyllis Maurer's Kogin embroidery. Another category in my UFO list: pieces on which I have made exasperating mistakes that I haven't the patience to deal with at the time... this would include Papillion Creations Peacock Square, TW's logo dragon chart, the Midnight Moogies and the Jacobean coverlet. On others, I have simply run out of steam: my own adaptation of a SNN design that is now out of print and a piece stitched on gingham with native American motifs. And finally, one item on my UFO list, the Mill Hill bead kit, simply fell to the bottom of a stitching bag and was forgotten. I have also added two non-cross-stitch pieces to the list: a peyote stitch bracelet and a quilt top completed in time for my youngest sister's 16th birthday but never assembled ... if I get it done by June, it'll be the very most impressive gag gift at her 50th birthday celebration. Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of a belated birthday gift, doesn't it??!!??

I believe I will resurrect the Mill Hill kit first since it promises to be a quick and easy finish and will make a nice addition to my summertime ornament collection.

In future months, I will choose a project from the list and add it to my rotation of WIPs until I have finished it. Perhaps, by the end of 2010 I will have made as substantial a dent in my UFOs as I did in my sewing finishes in 2009.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Stitching Statistics

As I delete my 2009 Cross Stitch and Sewing Finish lists, I want to record the following statistics:

Total Cross Stitch Finishes for 2009: 52
The Breakdown:
15 Mid-size projects
25 Ornaments
11 Biscornus and other smalls

Total Sewing Finishes for 2009: 55
The Breakdown:
5 Totes
3 Wall Hangings
4 Bell Pulls
2 Biscornus
33 Ornaments
8 Other [fobs, pin cushions, needlebooks, etc.]

Professional Framing Finish: 8.

It is odd to see my sewing finishes outnumbering the cross stitch finishes this year but of course, finishing was one of my major goals for 2009.

But the really odd thing is that
  • I started off 2009 with 27 pieces requiring a sewing finish in my sewing basket
  • I completed 55 sewing finishes in the course of the year
  • I currently have 22 pieces in the basket requiring sewing finishes in 2010
I am beginning to believe that the only way to completely catch up is to suspend all cross-stitching until the sewing basket is empty ... a draconian solution I am unwilling to try. And things will probably not be much better in this area in 2010 since two of my planned BAPs are stockings requiring, you guessed it, a sewing finish! Then there is the plan to stitch one Christmas and one Thanksgiving ornament each month producing another 2 pieces each month requiring a sewing finish, for a total of 24 through the course of the year. All but one of the Christmas pieces I have planned for 2010 will require professional framing finishes so at least they won't swell the number in the sewing basket though they may seriously deplete the checking account. But the Halloween pieces will, for the most part, require finishing as pillows and flat folds so I can expect the sewing basket to continue to be a source of projects throughout 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Project

On a message board I frequent, it has become customary to start a new project on New Year's Day and to stitch on it throughout the day, posting progress photos every so often.

I will be stitching the Prairie Schooler 2000 Santa from their annual card series on 36ct Silkweaver linen Days Gone By using the suggested DMC colors with one exception: I will be substituting a gold for the charted DMC 67 [yellow] which I do not have. I will reopen and edit this post by adding photos of progress made throughout the day.

Progress at Noon

Progress at Bedtime