Monday, March 31, 2008

Gifts & Exchanges

I have lots to share tonight :-) It was a good mail day... both received by me and received by others from me... I didn't finish my Christmas Ornament for the SAL until around 10 PM tonight, so I cannot get a good photo of it until tomorrow anyhow... so I am happy I can show all of this tonight instead:

I actually received this one a few days ago, but with our dreary weather, I could not get a decent photo until today. My dear friend Karen sent me a huge package of belated Christmas gifts - tons of lovely treats! The above pinkeep is the stitched part. Isn't it gorgeous?? Karen has not been finishing for long at all... you can't tell, can you? Thanks again Karen, I just love it!

Today I received an SBEBB Spring Quaker Exchange from Stephanie - and she really spoiled me! She stitched me a really pretty scissor pocket using a freebie by The Workbasket, and it is so neat! And... she was overly generous with her goodies - Quaker Turtles by With My Needle (I love it!), a quaker coaster by Ackworth, two cuts of Moda fabric, several skeins of DMC Color Variations floss, a spool of pretty spring ribbon, seeds for my garden, and a blackberry bath bar that I want to eat - it smells just amazing!
Here is the inside of the scissor pocket - with Kelmscott scissors and cute fob, and a set of marking pins that she made herself. Wow, I am lucky! Thanks so much Stephanie! I will enjoy every last bit of it.

At the other end of the post were two packages I mailed out that were received today - first was a birthday package for Katrina - Katrina loves needlerolls, and we both love Indigo Rose.. so I stitched one of Indigo Rose's small band samplers and made it into a needleroll for her. I sent her a packet of goodies, but will share the stitched part - Happy Birthday Katrina - I am so glad you like it, as it was a lot of fun to make!
Aunt Jack Needle Roll

Indigo Rose

32 ct Cream Belfast Linen, DMC Floss

And, Valerie received the HoE Pinkeep Exchange that I sent to her. I had to think for a while to come up with what I wanted to stitch for Valerie. I noticed she likes samplers based on items in her wish list... and the colors in this chart reminded me of her youthfulness. She sent me the sweetest email tonight, so I think she likes it:
Remember Me Pinkeep

Praiseworthy Stitches

28 ct Platinum Cashel Linen, GAST Floss

I had fun choosing treats for Valerie too... some are based on her wishlist... I sent her some of Bath & Body Works' new Enchanted Orchid body lotion in her package - if you haven't smelled this, you are missing something soooo nice! I am glad you like your exchange Valerie - it was wonderful to stitch for you! Enjoy!!

**Thank you to those who bought fabrics from me today - I sooooo appreciate it! There are a few still left (see yesterday's entry) if anyone is interested! Thank you!!

Stitched on today: Finished Christmas ornament, and stitched on Here's To Ewe Exchange **Mailed out SBBC replacement gift today, and mailed out a PIF gift today

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lots and Lots of Hand-Dyed Fabrics for Sale

I cleaned out a bit of my stash yesterday and am putting up many pieces of hand-dyed fabrics, mostly linen, for sale. It has been a rough winter and as a fee-for-service mental health provider, my income was hit pretty hard by the bad weather and the subsequent difficulties my indigent, impoverished clients have had with getting to their therapy appointments. I am able to pay my bills, of course, but I have no fun money right now. So... please help me! Below are my available fabrics and their prices are listed (I set them low to sell) - please email me at carolsutcliffe @ comcast dot net (omit spaces and don't spell out dot) with your choices. I will calculate reasonable postage with you. I accept PayPal, money orders, checks, cash... International buyers, PayPal only. Thank you!! I hope you see something you like!

Row One:
Silkweaver Evergreen 36 ct Edinburgh Linen, 18” x 18”, $10
Silkweaver Solo 36 ct Edinburgh Linen, 17” x 18”, $10
Enchanted Fabrics CafĂ© Mocha 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 27”, $20
Silkweaver Romantic Interlude 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 26”, $20
Row Two:
Enchanted Fabrics Spring Meadow 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 27”, $20
Silkweaver Elegance 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 26”, $20
Enchanted Fabrics Magic’s Kiss 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 27”, $20
Enchated Fabrics Celadon 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 27”, $20
Silkweaver Days Gone By 28 ct Lugana, 18” x 26”, $18
Row Three:
Silkweaver Spring Garden 32 ct Belfast Linen, 18” x 26”, $20
Green Mountain Linens Basil 32 ct Linen, 18” x 27”, $24
Silkweaver Starquest 28 ct Cashel Linen, 18” x 26”, $20
Silkweaver Desert Sky 28 ct Cashel Linen, 18” x 26”, $20
Silkweaver Jubilation 28 ct Lugana, 18” x 26”, $18

I spent most of my stitching time today on a Christmas ornament for the Christmas Ornament SAL - I got the stitching done, but need to do the finishing tomorrow afternoon before I can show it. I did find some time to work a little on Spring Ride again tonight. I want to keep this in my Sunday night routine again...

Stitched on today: Started a Christmas ornament, and stitched on Spring Ride

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Almost one down

I can't show the PIF that I spent much of today working on (and I did finish it), but I can show my progress on House Samplings. I worked on this during the Red Sox exhibition game tonight. I finished the house itself and its landscaping - just needs letters I-Q stitched above the house before I can move on to another. It's a fun stitch. Barbara made me laugh in her comment that I must be a "frustrated architect." Well, I don't know what it is, really. I do seem to be stitching a lot of houses lately, but I think it is because I like a lot of charts with houses on them. Truth be told, I don't actually like stitching houses often - the roofs and sometimes the walls of the house can be repetitive and make me lose focus/interest. These little houses on House Samplings move along so quickly though...

Stitched on today: Finished a PIF gift, and stitched on House Samplings

Friday, March 28, 2008

House Samplings

As I mentioned last night, I was in the mood to start a new small/medium project for myself. I dug around in my stash for a little while this morning, and rediscovered that I had House Samplings by Hillside Samplings fully kitted up - it looked just perfect to start today. It is packed with specialty stitches and uses only one strand of floss on 32 ct linen... very delicate, and I am just loving it already. I am stitching it on the called for R&R Reproductions 32 ct Creek Bed Brown linen with DMC floss.

Mother Nature just is not happy at all - this is what I woke to this morning... and to think, in just over a week the Red Sox return to Fenway Park - they can't play in the snow, so I hope Mother Nature gets over her crankiness soon!

Stitched on today: Started SBEBB Here's to Ewe Exchange, started a PIF gift, and started House Samplings **Mailed out HoE Pinkeep Exchange today

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Got that itch to start something new...

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow made it back out of the WIP drawer tonight :-) As I said a few days ago, I want to finish it this year, and since I enjoy stitching it, there is no reason not to give it attention. I am not sure if some of what I stitched tonight is even visible... the ecru silk used to frame inside the windows doesn't show well (I did half the windows, then got a little bored and moved on to more bricks).

OK, I have that urge to start another small to medium sized project again. What will it be? Hmmm.... I have a ton of such projects upstairs, and I have a few in particular already in mind - I just need to make sure to choose one that is all kitted up. I am not likely to run to any LNS or craft store tomorrow, with 3-6" of snow forecasted for the day tomorrow. We'll see - maybe I will have something new to show tomorrow ;-)

And, on a final note and just in my own humble opinion - Donald Trump did not make the right choice tonight. Trace Adkins should be the Celebrity Apprentice - he played the game fairly and without playing the nasty card... Oh well.

Stitched on today: Finished HoE Pinkeep Exchange, and stitched on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Biscornu Exchange for Sharon

I heard from Sharon today that she has received the HoE Biscornu Exchange that I sent to her. Sharon's original stitcher fell ill and had to leave the exchange. I was happy to put a new exchange together for Sharon, and am so happy that she likes my choices:

Twilight Biscornu

Indigo Rose

Silkweaver 32 ct Solo Lugana, Crescent Colours Floss

...and the rest of the exchange that I sent to her...

I spent today/tonight stitching a replacement gift for my Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club partner. Her birthday was January 25, and I put together a gift package and mailed it to her on January 14. It never arrived :-( I kept hoping it would, as I really loved what I had stitched for her... but alas, time to send a replacement. I hope to finish re-buying her goodies and get the new package out in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, somewhere in Canada is my original exchange...

Thank you all for the positive feedback on the re-positioning of the 8 on A Quaker Christmas. I like how it turned out too :-)

Stitched on today: Stitched a replacement gift for SBBC

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A newly located 8

Ah, I got the answer I expected! The vast majority of you said "move that 8!" I agree. Now, I also agree with Bonnie - in quaker tradition, only God is perfect, so leave mistakes in. And I have left most of the charting errors alone (there are a few in this chart). However, I just could not justify trying to place the 8 in an appealing manner as a mistake. Sharon M. is adorable - she was up early watching the baseball from Tokyo - and re-charted the 8 twice for me! Aw, thanks Sharon!! I worked on it again tonight, and I moved the 8 twice, finally ending up here... and I think I like it. Does it look right? The 8 is only 4 stitches wide and a little hard to place in an area also designed for wider numbers. I thought of someone's suggestion to move the little motif to the right of the 8 over, but there are only 4 threads between the small motif and a large one that goes to the right of that one, so that was a no-go. So... unless you all tell me it looks bad, I think the 8 has been relocated.... Thank you, everyone, for your help!!!

I didn't get up early for the Red Sox, by the way. Some asked :-) Well, OK, I did get up 10 minutes early - at the first alarm rather than waiting for the snooze alarm. I went into my stash room and turned on the TV - I think they were in the 3rd inning at the time. I heard it all the way to work on the radio, and when Brandon Moss hit his home room to tie the game in the top of the 9th, I was just pulling into my office parking lot. I have never run into my building and ascended to the fifth floor to my office so fast - had to get my computer going and hear the rest of the very exciting game. LOL. I am as passionate about the Red Sox as I am about stitching, I can't help myself :-)

Stitched on today: Stitched on HoE Pinkeep Exchange, and A Quaker Christmas

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where to put the 8...

I stitched for a bit tonight on A Quaker Christmas. I stitched the year on it tonight, and I started first with the 8. I looked at where the 7 was charted, and put the 8 in the only logical place that would give it the proper spacing from the star-like motif to its right. Then I did 200... and now think the 8 should come up one stitch (two threads)... but that will ruin the pattern of the spacing of two threads between each number... I think the issue is that the 8 is a straight up and down number, while the 7 and most of the other numbers lean and take up more width... I will think on it for a bit, but your opinion would be helpful ;-) Thanks! And, if the motif to the left of the 2008 looks a bit empty, it still is - I have to add a pair of birds to it next time.

I do feel better today, and thank you for the well wishes. I am slowly getting caught up again on blogs and emails.... thank you, friends :-)

So... should I get up at 6 AM tomorrow to watch the first few at-bats of the Red Sox game before work, or should I sleep to 7:15, as usual? This is a tough decision as I know I would feel it later in the afternoon. I do have the DVR set for the game to watch it later, but nothing beats live baseball... I don't like this Tokyo thing, not fair to those of us who have to work - LOL!

Stitched on today: Started HoE Pinkeep Exchange project, and stitched on A Quaker Christmas **Mailed out a gift today

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Greetings

Happy Easter to all of my dear friends!

It was a quiet day here. Still really trying to get back to feeling "normal" again, and expect that I shall be fine by tomorrow. In the meantime, I finished a very important birthday gift today and then I dug out another one of my very neglected WIPS - perhaps she is not even recognized any longer? This is Spring Ride :-) It is definitely time to stop ignoring her - it is spring, on the calender at least, if not showing by our current cold temperatures, and therefore, it is time to finish her up! (This is also only the second appearance of 2008 for Spring Ride).

I wanted to say that I am amazed, but not surprised, at how many of you are reading or have read The Other Boleyn Girl. Oh yes, you are all right - it is a fantastic read. I am making very quick progress on it... guess what I am about to go and do right now?? :-)

Oh, and before I forget! My primary care doctor asked me to revise my diet a little and to change my exercise routine (not an increase, as I exercise a bit anyhow... just more cardio) in order to decrease my cholesterol - no surprise as I am a low carb type of person... I have followed his orders for the past month, and today, on a whim, I tried on my slim jeans... and they were loose :-) I couldn't wear them and feel comfortable in them a month ago.

Stitched on today: Finished a gift, and stitched on Spring Ride

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dawn is Back Again

It's about time - I pulled Dawn back out again today. And I just realized by my photo file that this is only the second appearance of Dawn in 2008. What a shame. I finished her other lower wing and a bit of the bottom of her dress. I hope to get more reliable with her again now that I realize how long it has been (January 11th, I think it said...).

Dawn is not the only thing that is back - my stomach bug from last Wednesday made a return today... I owe a ton of email replies but couldn't bring myself to sit at the computer much today - hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Stitched on today: Stitched on a gift, and Dawn, Fairy Spirit of Grace **Mailed out HoE Biscornu Exchange replacement exchange today

Friday, March 21, 2008

Excellent Mail Day

I had a great mail day today - two absolutely gorgeous exchanges arrived at my door early this morning. These are so beautiful!

First is the HoE Biscornu Exchange that I received from Margie - Margie totally spoiled me. She went with an Easter basket theme, and I was so excited. I have not received an Easter basket in years... maybe 25 years? Maybe more? She stitched me such a delicate biscornu - pale peach and green on white with freshwater pearl like beads... and oh so perfectly stitched and finished... and then the amazing Easter basket - a crocus grow kit, a pretty piece of Silkweaver belfast linen, Reese's pieces (for Mike) and sugar free berry mints (for me), cute colorful post its.... and then the eggs! Margie filled the basket with plastic eggs, each of which holds a fun stitching treat - Vikki Clayton silks, buttons, beads, needles, embellishments! What fun! Thank you Margie, this was such a treat and you are a very special lady :-)

I also received this gorgeous Crazy Exchange return exchange from the adorable Sandie in The Netherlands (no blog...). She says this is her first pinkeep - and it is perfect in every way. So perfectly stitched and finished... and one of my favorite new freebies too! I immediately hung this beauty on one of the knobs of our barrister bookcase in our living room. Lovely job Sandie - you are awesome. And she sent me bath stuff too - she must have read how much I love bath products. Oh Sandie, thank you so much.

I have precious little of my own stitching to show today. I worked most of the day today on finishing up a replacement biscornu exchange for the HoE Biscornu Exchange - we had a member drop out yesterday, and mailing date was today. I managed to finish it and went to AC Moore with Mike earlier today and got some goodies to go with it, along with treats from my exchange goodie drawer here at the house... now I can mail it tomorrow. So, all I can show is part of the brown motif on the right left side of Serenity - not much personal stitching today.

Stitched on today: Finished replacement biscornu for HoE Biscornu Exchange, and stitched on Serenity

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just a little update of AQC

I worked on A Quaker Christmas for a little while again tonight, and I was able to add some of the smaller motifs and start the next larger sized one. I was looking forward to putting some good time in on this tonight, but I received an email this morning from one of the stitchers in the HoE Biscornu Exchange, letting me know she had to drop out of the exchange on the eve of the mailing date. Since I am leading that group, I needed to take over stitching a biscornu for her person. I spent a while this afternoon going through charts and gathering fabric and fibers to start a replacement biscornu. I was able to get a few stitches in on it too, and plan to get that done this weekend and out in the mail by Monday (the latest) so that the recipient will still receive it on time.

KarenV, the color I am using for the lettering on HOHRH is Fire Dragon by Vikki Clayton (I am sure you remember that I am using one of Vikki's original conversions for that sampler). It really is a pretty color - good eye you have there. I don't know, though, if Vikki still dyes that color.

I am off now to start my new book - The Other Boleyn Girl :-) I finished the rather silly "Plum Lovin'" last night... not exactly ever going to be on any literary lists! LOL However, The Other Boleyn Girl has come to me highly recommended - thank you! - so off I go! ;-)

Stitched on today: Started a replacement biscornu for the HoE Biscornu Exchange, and stitched on A Quaker Christmas

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow Update

I knew it had been a while, but I was suprised to see that it has been over a month (Feb 19th) since I last stitched on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. Now, how am I ever going to finish this one this year if I don't keep active with it? I went right back at it tonight.

Today was an extremely rare sick day for me from work. I awoke with a terribly sore throat, congestion and nausea. I am OK - much improved during the day. I enjoyed starting a birthday gift for a friend and watching Enchanted and Atonement on DVD. Atonement was much better as a movie. Although one of my dear friends loved the novel, I felt the writing style really bogged the story down. That had little impact on the film, and I enjoyed it quite a lot, although it was truly a shorter story - of course! Friend who liked the book - I think you will enjoy the movie too... (and Enchanted was as wonderful as I knew it would be).

Stitched on today: Started a gift, and Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crazy Exchange for Wendy Jo

I just read a few moments ago that Wendy Jo (no blog, but known to many of us) has received the little Crazy Exchange that I put together for her - she sounds so excited :-) Welcome to Crazy Exchange, Wendy Jo - I will answer your email tomorrow when I have a little bit of time...

Garden Alphabet W Fob

Prairie Schooler

Silkweaver 32 ct Solo Belfast Linen, DMC Floss

The entire exchange for Wendy - some hand dyed lugana by Enchanted Fabrics, variegated DMC Floss, and Estee Lauder lotion....

I worked on A Quaker Christmas for the past two nights now... and here it is, starting to grow pretty well now! I noticed the letter Q is charted for the gold color, but that didn't seem right to me, and I peeked at the cover photo on the chart.. nope, red. So, I thought about it and went with the red :-)

Spring is just over 24 hours away, and we are still in winter's grip here...

Stitched on today: A Quaker Christmas

Monday, March 17, 2008

Memories is Finished (+ Exchanges and a Gift)


Just Nan

28 ct Silvery Moon Cashel Linen, DMC Floss

Stitched 2/25/08 - 3/17/08

Along with my finish of Memories, today was a BIG mail day...

I received this wonderful Winter Exchange from Sharon for the Seasonal Exchangers group. And, as usual, she spoiled me! She stitched the cutest flat fold using a chart by by JABC.... she calls this "Winter with Attitude," and I just love it - plus, look at all the treats!!! Thank you Sharon!!
Then, I also received this pretty SBEBB Tea Time Exchange from Cheryl - she stitched me this cute pincushion and also sent some wonderful goodies too - thank you Cheryl :-)

At the other end, one of my gifts that I sent out back on February 11th has arrived safe and sound with Anne in Australia - what a relief! Here is the stitched portion of what I sent her for her birthday. Unfortunately, I did not notice that I had not pinched the beads in the border into alignment before I took the photo! And, I see that the biscornu got a bit squished on its journey to her post office box too (I see that in the photo in her blog) - I hope she can squish it back together...

Italian Ice Biscornu

Just Nan

32 ct Natural Belfast Linen, DMC Floss, Mill Hill Beads on border

OK, then... now I will work for a bit on A Quaker Christmas - there are enough photos in this post, so I won't likely photograph that one tonight...

Stitched on today: Finished Memories, and stitched on A Quaker Christmas **Mailed out HoE Biscornu Exchange today

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Found my way to the bottom....

I found my way to the bottom of Memories tonight. I am far from done... a little more of this white lace work with perle cotton and then I get to add some roses. And then, of course, add the embellishments. But that won't take me too much longer - then back to Spring Ride on Sundays, I think.

I finally finished my biscornu today for the HoE Biscornu Exchange - it is pretty colors on black jobelan, and neither Mike nor I could get a decent, focused photo of it today. I had the same problem with the Heartfelt biscornu on black linen a couple of weeks ago. Hmmm. I figure I will try one more time in morning light before work tomorrow, before I package it up and mail it off to its new home. I hope to get at least one decent photo of it before it goes.

Oh, and I got my confirmation letter yesterday for my classes at Celebration of Needlework in May. I was able to get into both classes that I wanted - excellent!!!

And... thank you all for your kind help with ST's Victorian Floral Needle Roll. The ebay seller has stepped up and is sending me a new chart in the AM. Sandie Cox Vanosdall, the designer, is out of charts, but is willing to help me out if I return the defective one - I will do that if the ebay one does not arrive. However, I received some lovely offers from my friends - thank you, dear ones! I appreciate you all :-)

Stitched on today: Finished biscornu for HoE Biscornu Exchange, and stitched on Memories

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Quaker Exchange for Becky K.

The postal system within the United States is still pretty quick. Becky has let me know that she has already received the SBEBB Spring Quaker Exchange that I sent off to her only a couple of days ago. I chose to make her a wooden box, and when I first saw the design, it felt very spring-like to me. As I was stitching it, it felt more summer-like. However, we do get our perennial strawberries (see strawberry in bottom left of the design) in early June here, which is late spring, so I have decided to roll with this design being a "Late Spring Quaker" exchange! The camera seems to have picked up a crease in the linen that was not so obvious in real life - dratted camera :-)

My Pink House Box

Blackbird Designs

Silkweaver 32 ct Solo Belfast Linen, Weeks Dye Works Floss

Above is the entire exchange that I put together for Becky. I was hoping she was a gardener. Nothing makes me think of spring more than gardening and flowers. But, alas, she is not a gardener. She sweetly said she could plant the glads amongst her bed of irises, though. They are easy enough - just make sure to put the bulbs with the points facing up :-) I hope you enjoy your exchange!!

Well now, I am off to work on the biscornu for the HoE Biscornu Exchange... still! I chose one that is two-sided and on black jobelan... a bit tedious, but worth it! I would love to finish it this weekend and send it on its way on Monday!

PS - I was wondering if anyone has Victorian Floral Needle Roll by The Sweetheart Tree? I would love to borrow the chart, if at all possible. I just bought it on ebay, and was putting supplies together, ready to start earlier today... only to see that the backside of my chart is not printed - stitch diagrams and the directions for various bands on the NR are missing from my chart. I emailed the seller to see if I could swap it for another she has, but no reply as of yet... How frustrating. Any help would be so appreciated!! Thanks :-)

Stitched on today: Stitched on biscornu for HoE Biscornu Exchange **Mailed out a new Crazy Exchange today