Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WIP Progress

Lizzie Stitching Wallet:

I fixed the error on the interior piece of the wallet (the center motif was too far to the right).

I also finished parts 9C and 9B of the design. They are the pocket, which will go beneath the right-most motif shown above:
And the strap:

At this point, all of the wallet pieces are stitched. Part 10 is a scissor fob. I don't know if I want to pause to assemble the wallet, or stitch the scissor fob first...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

August finished

I finished The Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL "August" this morning before work.
I like how it turned out. I changed a white butterfly to the Monarch - white doesn't show up well on my fabric, so I thought I'd stitch my favorite autumn butterfly. I got a bit excessive in the details, but with all of the pops of color and detail in the rest of the months I don't think it stands out too badly. I did try to balance things a little in this block by adding a tiny bit of backstitch to the blue and white butterfly (or is it a dragonfly?) on the right. And the darker bunch of flowers on the right helps too, I think.

I've picked out most of the center motif of the Lizzie Stitching Wallet interior. I've also worked out where the motif needs to be, so when I'm less annoyed and ready to restitch, I will know where to start.

Since it's March 1, I can pull out my Smalls SAL piece and work on the third block. Is it ridiculous that I'm really excited about that? I guess limiting my work on that project to one small section per month makes it feel like a special treat.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

WIP progress

Well,I thought I had parts 7 - 9a of the inside of the Lizzie Stitching Wallet done, but I've realized that the center motif is too far to the right. The fold line, and therefore the backstitch that I'll put in along the fold line during finishing, will cut across the right-most leaf in that section. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Frogging and restitching will happen in the future when I'm less depressed about it.
On the positive side, I can use the leaf to hold the 3 needles I've been using for this project, instead of storing them in my fabric!

I've also made progress on the Joyful World "August" section, but it won't be finished before the end of February as I'd hoped. This is partly because I decided to make the dog a brindle like my dog, and had to try a couple of different color combinations before I settled on one I like; and partly because the lazy daisy stitches are taking forever to do.

Friday, February 23, 2018

February Smalls post & an FFO

For Heather of Stitching Lotus's Smalls SAL, I stitched another square of Frolic in the Foliage by Blue Ribbon Designs, the blue house square:
I ended up buying one of the called-for Weeks threads, "Pumpkin." It replaces the DMC 721 that I was using for the dark orange. In this square, it's used for the border. The difference is hard to see here, but the subtle shading makes it look less glaringly orange to me. 

I'm enjoying the incremental approach to this pattern. It's nice to know when it will be done, and to know the ultimate finish can be accomplished via attainable monthly goals.


I got a sewing machine over Christmas, and just got it set up this past weekend. My first ever pillow-style finish:
The design is In Every Nest by Raise the Roof Designs; I stitched it last year.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day, Lizzie Kate, & a piece of American history

You know, I never really paid attention to Valentine's Day until I got back into stitching. Now I'm all "oh look at all the adorable heart patterns!"

My wee collection of heart stitches, to wish you a Happy Heart Day:

So sad to hear that Lizzie Kate is retiring. It's wonderful for her, but sad for stitchers. I still have a couple of her first patterns, purchased when I started stitching in the '90s. I haven't decided yet if I'll join the flurry to purchase last-chance patterns. There are several that I really like, but that's true of a lot of designers. I should probably just enjoy stitching the ones I have.

Lizzie Kates I have stitched so far (not many, gosh):

I started one of the older patterns for Stitch Maynia last year; I think I'll make that a finish goal this year, in honor.


So the other day when I was walking my dogs, I spotted a roughly two-inch diameter round metal disk in the middle of the road. It was gross and corroded, but my inner magpie took over and I picked it up and dropped it in my pocket. I tried soaking it in a vinegar solution, thinking the issue was rust, but very little of the crud came off.

However, enough came off that I could see that I had found a 1795 American Liberty dollar.


It's in horrible condition, and after a smidge more cleaning (with baking soda, which is supposed to clean silver) I'm pretty sure that the face on the front is completely worn off and would be impossible to make out even if I could get it clean.

But yeah, I found a 200+ year old coin, minted when my country's first president was still in office, in the middle of the street. Weird. (I know 200 years is nothing to most of the rest of the world, but for a young Republic, it's nearly ancient history.)

Here's what it looks like. The link below the photos shows what it would look like if it wasn't a hot mess.

Monday, February 5, 2018

WIP progress and RIP stash diet

Snowflower Diaries 2016 free SAL "Joyful World" - I picked it back up last month and finished July.

I changed the border color from GAST Apple Cider to GAST Wood Smoke, and added the bent leg to the right-most flamingo. 

Here's the whole thing so far, in all its rumpled glory:
Also, I'm giving up on Stitch from Stash. I'm having trouble with the 'fake money' element - the fact that I add money to my budget for finishes, but on one hand I don't always feel like the amount aligns with the effort I put in, and on the other (more significant) hand, it's not real money so it feels meaningless.

So I decided to give up on that, and just track finishes, and keep my pattern library at top of mind so that I'm not tempted to buy things when I already have something to scratch the itch.

Of course, I decided that, and then there was a sale this past weekend at my local-est needle shop (2 hours away) and I went and bought a bunch of stuff. Derp.

I got the threads I went for (including some hard-to-find Wisper thread that I haven't been able to find online, and a couple of discontinued Thread Gatherer threads, all of which are called for in old patterns in my stash.

And then...I bought a bunch of patterns and kits. Everything was either 20% or 50% off, I couldn't pass it up. ๐Ÿ˜–

New stash:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Old art, new frame

I have a painting I did back in high school that I've always liked, and I finally got around to popping it into a frame.
The assignment was to paint, in enlarged format, a small section of a photo or artwork, in oil paint. My teacher chose a painting by Paul Gauguin for me, which explains the orange pigs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looking at this always makes me wish I'd kept up with painting. But on the other hand, this is the best piece I ever did, so maybe I quit while I was ahead? ๐Ÿ˜„ At any rate, I'm very proud of my teenage self from decades ago, and glad to have this displayed.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Smalls SAL: January

My January stitch for Stitching Lotus's Smalls SAL:

This year, instead of doing miscellaneous smalls, I decided to work on individual pieces of one larger pattern throughout the year. The design is "Frolic in the Foliage" by Blue Ribbon Designs:

I've broken it down by the nine squares, plus each set of words. Unless I skip ahead or fall behind, I'll be done in November. I'm stitching entirely from stash, too, and kitting it up was interesting since I have none of the Weeks Dye Works threads called for. :/

One other small thing stitched this month: a heart from the book "Sweet Stitches from the Heart" by Anne Sohier-Fournel, Agnes Delage-Calvet, and Isabelle Leloup.
I just felt like stitching a heart? It's stitched on a scrap of 32 count linen with a VMSS thread.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

WIP Progress

I made some progress on a SAL from last year, the Lizzie Stitching Wallet by Faby Reilly. This is parts 1 - 6, comprising the outside cover of the wallet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


After spending several months enjoying cozy British mystery fiction - "Father Brown" on Netflix, and the Lord Peter Wimsey and Royal Spyness books, etc etc - I have finally switched genres.

I have two books going: 
  • "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss - epic fantasy, but not in the 'sword & sorcerers' or Lord of the Rings style. The style of writing is more relaxed, and the characters are regular sort of folks (even when they are not regular people, if that makes sense).
  • "The Odyssey" translated by Emily Wilson - the first translation of The Odyssey by a woman; and her approach sounds incredibly interesting. She has evidently worked the translation with the idea that while there are stylistic elements to follow in order to make it Homer's Odyssey (rather than "a modern translation of" or "homage to"), it doesn't need to be done in the traditionally high-style, grandiose 'classical-ese' (I just made that word up, by the way) that most translations have favored. I'm currently reading the author's Introduction, and already love her writing style and her perspective.

On Netflix, I'm almost done with the "Marvel's Defenders" mini-series. So much fun! It has captured my imagination so strongly that I've actually watched it without cross-stitching or playing games on my phone during. ;)

The story is about 4 Marvel-Netflix series characters coming (reluctantly) together to fight bad guys and argue a lot. Luke Cage (bullet-proof and super-strong) is a mature, level-headed individual who just got out of jail; Daredevil (blind ninja, pro-bono lawyer) is angry and depressed; Jessica Jones (super-strong, private detective) is...well, also angry and depressed, but also sarcastic and alcoholic and suffering from PTSD; and the Iron Fist (rich white kid who can channel his chi into his fist) (yeah, it's weird) is an annoying little twit with a really great side-kick. Sigourney Weaver plays the main villain. It's GREAT.

I watched the first season of "Daredevil" a couple of years ago; and part of the first season of "Jessica Jones" when it came out, but either they really were too gritty for me or I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for them at the time, because I never went back.

After this, though, I'm going to go back and watch them, as well as "Luke Cage." Maaaaaaaaybe also "Iron Fist," although based on the character as shown in "Defenders," he really is as self-centered and whiny as the negative reviews of his series said. So far I only like him when he's fighting or unconscious. We'll see.

I also finally watched "Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2" and loved it. It wasn't as good as the first one - the story was a bit underwhelming, and certain characters were underused. But! It was still adorable, and fun, and looked great, and still had that wonderful dysfunctional family dynamic among the characters that the first one had (plus some, thanks to Nebula!), so it made me happy.

Next month, "Black Panther" hits theaters. CANNOT WAIT. I hope it's as good as it looks.

Monday, January 8, 2018

First finish of 2018

Holmsey Hare's Winter Wonderland by Stitchers Anon is finished:
This is stitched on Chesapeake Bay 32 count linen by Under the Sea Fabrics, mostly with the charted colors. This was a Stitch Maynia 2017 start, so yay, I knocked out another one of them.

I made a lot of changes.
  • Firstly, there were a couple of errors in the chart - one of the green sprigs in the upper left corner was charted slightly wrong, so I fixed that. And then, the snowflake border on the right started with the same snowflake as the top border ends with, instead of the opposite flake; and the bottom border had the same style snowflake for flake #5 & #6. So I frogged most of the right side border to fix that, and adjusted the bottom border. This way, the snowflake border has an every-other-snowflake pattern all around. (If that makes sense.)
  • Then, for part three, I wanted the snow to appear in drifts similar to part one, so I altered the horizon line. 
  • I swapped out 834 (a brassy gold) for 739 for the hedgehog's face/feet and 746 for the hare's chest/tail.
  • I felt like the two little trees under the donkey's chin looked crowded then, so I changed the style of them. 
  • I also wanted the bird to be a dark-eyed junco - my favorite local winter bird - instead of another European robin. 
  • The right-most tree in part three looked a bit odd, so I fussed with that. 
  • Then, probably because of the junco, the colors in part three seemed too muted compared to the colors in the other parts, so I added some holly berries to the center tree and had the junco collecting them on its tree stump.
  • And THEN I felt like the yellow star in part one looked out of place, being the only big bright yellow spot in the whole pattern, so I frogged it and stitched a snowflake in its place. I liked how that balanced out the color palette overall; and I like that the animals in part one are now looking up at the snowfall, rather than at the star - makes it feel more wintry rather than Christmasy to me.

There are also some stitcher errors that I just left because I didn't mind them.

I'm going to take care of my small for this month, and then work on finishing parts five & six of Faby Reilly's Lizzie Stitching Wallet SAL. That is, if overtime doesn't kick in this week. Fingers crossed.

WIP Progress

Lizzie Stitching Wallet: I fixed the error on the interior piece of the wallet (the center motif was too far to the right). Before: ...