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.


Line said...

It's amazing how much you can do! I teach aat college level, & I cannot even do a quarter of what you do every weekend!
Anyway, I didn't receive any email from you about the lace & trim giveaway. Could you please just confirm this is normal?
Thanks a lot.
Havec a nice day!

stitchinfiend said...

WOw I am impressed with what you have achieved. It is good to reclaim your space. Your TW fairie is coming along beautifully and I love the little summer Mill Hill kit you finished.

Vonna said...

OH WOW...look at all those boxes :)
And must say that all your stitching looks GREAT!

Cole said...

Great progress & finishes! You've managed quite a bit even with all the organizing you've had to do.

riona said...

Line: I have tried to e-mail you using the information given and the e-mail has been returned as undeliverable ... nor do I see a usable e-mail address on your profile. Please contactme directly at regmaracc at optonline dot net.

Carol said...

Isn't organizing a great feeling, Riona? Looks like you are doing a great job...

As for my vote as to what you should stitch next? Of course it is the "Cookie Baking Santa!"

mainely stitching said...

Wow, what gorgeous stitching you're keeping busy with!! :D

Paula C. said...

I just noticed today that the post-it note on the top box has my email address on it. If you will email me privately, I will sent you my snail mail addy. I don't know why I had a feeling to even look but I'm glad I did. I looked at your profile to email you but it wasn't available. Thanks =)