Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mandela Progress

I am trying very hard to be good this weekend. I'm trying very hard not to start a new project or pick up another WIP. Instead, I'm plugging away on the Chatelaine Designs Knot Garden.

Chatelaine Designs Knot Garden 2x2 HDF and SNC
on 30ct Legacy Dower Linen Coconut Cream

I really enjoy working on this piece, for all my grumbling. But I think it is more the tactile enjoyment of the quality of the materials rather than being in love with the design. I'm using HDF instead of DMC and the fabric is 30ct Legacy Dower Linen - one of my favorite linens - great hand, soft but not limp - a nice substantial linen.

I'm doing this piece as a companion to the Convent Herb Garden. I'm hoping to frame them as a pair (yeah right - when was the last time I framed ANYTHING?)

On another note, I picked up enough of Kristen Fox's Celtic Letters from Stab and Stash to spell out welcome in Gaelic (Failte).

I have a Failte sign in my front entry but I'd like to put up a stitched on instead. I didn't realize the letters are 150x150 (or about 7.5"x7.5" 2x on 40 ct) bringing the entire sign to 38" - looks like another BAP to me. But I think I will substitute an overdyed silk for the multi-color confetti stitches and do each letter in a different color - I'm thinking I'll use 40ct PTP Relic if I can get a cut that will work. I'll use a dark green overdyed for the leaves and maybe a bluish silk for the circular motifs. Another BAP to kit up - like I need another one!

It's warm and windy here today - one of those odd January days you can get in the midwest - so I'm off to get a little sunshine!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wintertime Exchange

Here is my first "real" exchange package - shipped out first class today! The theme was Wintertime Blues (or really, chase away the wintertime blues) so i sent some springy things to my exchange partner. I spent WAY to much time worrying about this package - too much running around! I hope she likes it - I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

I sent her a Brittercup Springtime Friends chart, the GAST thread and two JABC buttons for the pattern, a piece of 30ct Dower Linen, a green/pink scissor fob, two 1/4 yard spring fabrics and a bar of lavender/sage soap that's made locally. The package should smell really good when it arrives!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stalking the mailman

Waiting for the Mail - Grant Wright Christian, 1937-38

Two posts in one week? Well, not really. This is more of a whine. But where better to whine than your blog?

Ok, here goes:

I hate waiting on mail. I have become so spoiled by vendors who ship quickly and shipping companies that get it right out that I can hardly stand it when I know something is on the way but I have to WAIT. And of course, I'm waiting on stitchy stuff. Really good stitchy stuff!

My Christmas gift from my sister is the kit and pattern for the Chatelaine Japanese Mandela. The kit and pattern were available just recently so my sister placed the order. When she checked back, Cindy at Europeanxs told here that one of the fibers was backordered and it would ship as soon as they came in. Cindy usually ships so fast that she doesn't need to send a notice that something shipped. The fabric came last week ( 32ct Star Sapphire linen from 123stitch). The waiting is driving me crazy!

(Ok, I have to admit it - I can't even start this anytime soon. I have WAY too many WIPS right now and I'm committed (or as committed as I can be) to finishing at least one BAP before I start another. I just want to play with the threads.)

AND then I have a linen of the month coming from Shakespeare's Peddler. It's an auto-ship but I know it's on its way because Teresa charged my card last week.

The worst part - I lost my mailbox key (somewhere in the house) so I can't check the mail when I get home. My husband gets the mail when he gets home - which means I have to wait AN HOUR till he gets there and then he knows what I bought (doubly bad!)

Ok, done whining. Sort of. For now.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Blessing Ball I - Girly and Gaudy

The pictures are not too great (it's late and I had to use my Iphone to photograph it under my Ott Lite) but you can get the idea of the start of the ball. It's much more "pastel" IRL.

I put the baby's name, birthdate, and weight/height after that, then rolled it up and tied it with an itsy bitsy ribbon.

The Celtic Blessing inside reads:

May strong arms hold you
Loving hands tend you
And love await you at every step.

The blessing and bell were put inside a scooped out 3" styrofoam ball that has been wrapped (temari style) with yarn and thread. The ball was then wrapped with an overdyed silk ribbon in pink/blue/green/lavender and then a 1/2" pink organza ribbon over that to tone down the colors. (The photograph makes the ribbon look much more vivid than in IRL).

The ball has (so far) been stitched with Waterlilies silk to make the vines and then decorated with silk ribbon leaves, 2 kinds of silk ribbon flowers, glass flowers and leaves and petite seed beads in clear and mauve (to make the buds at the base of the ribbon leaves).

I am going to string a bunch of crystal beads to hang in a bunch from the bottom with overdyed pink ribbons. I have embroidered some organza ribbon with the same vines as on the ball then beaded in clear and mauve to make the hanger. I'll probably put some ribbons or beads at the top to hide where the hanger is stitched on. I'm hoping to finish it this week and then get it off into the mail!

It's girly and gaudy (totally not my style) but I hope my friend (who is very girly) likes it. The next one will be a bit more toned down with greens, yellows, white and butterflies.

On another note, I can't resist posting these pictures of our crazy kitten Charger. He's about six months now and such a trip. He squeezes himself into the oddest places and then justs crashes. Gotta love kitty crashes.

(You'll notice that he's sleeping in my stitching corner - notice the scissors - under my Ott Lite.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Goodies Goodies!

Lookie what I found at the most wonderful little store today. Overdyed silk ribbons, beads, little flowers, overdyed yarns - oh my! She has the coolest things at that store - ribbons, yarns, beads, and everything you need to crazy quilt (except the quilt fabric). Embellishment heaven!

I drove about thirty minutes to a wonderful fiber arts store in Parkville, Missouri this afternoon. I had spend the morning finishing my youngest son's pinewood derby car (why, in a housefull of motorhead men do *I* wind up making the car every year I'll never know) and decided I deserved a treat.

I have to make two blessing balls for friends who recently had daughters. The balls are like temari balls except they are wrapped in silk ribbon and embelished with beads and bows and all kinds of girly things. Kind of like a ball shaped crazy quilte.

The ball is hollowed out and a bell and a blessing is put inside before it is wrapped. Every time the bell rings, the baby is blessed.

I'm going to do one in pinks and yellows - very frilly, very girly. The other I am planning to do like a garden - all kinds of greens, leaves a few flowers peeping out, little crystal beads of dew and a butterfly or two. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to get one started. Tonight we finished up the car and my fingertips are too coated with super glue to do any fine work.

Meanwhile, I can gaze at this pile of goodies and sigh happily.

P.S. The store is called Florilegium - if you ever get within an hour of Parkville, Missouri (a norther suburb of Kansas City - you *must* make a visit!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January Blahs

I started my first blog post with a picture of our dog Winston who looks perpetually depressed. So, in the interests of equal time, I am starting the new year with a picture of one of our Maine Coons - this is Franklin (get it? - Winston (Churchill) and Franklin (Roosevelt)). Franklin is the most mellow boy - he only gets exercised when our new kitten - Charger - decides its time to annoy the big brother. Isn't he a handsome boy?

Seems like the holidays just slipped by this year and we're back into the winter doldrums. Usually I start a new project right after Christmas, but this year I have so many BAPs working that I thought I should just keep plugging away on them.

HDF and SNC 2x2 on 30ct Legacy Dower Linen Coconut Cream

I am now working on Chatelaine Designs Knotgarden Mandela. I'm always a bit torn when I do a Chatelaine Mandela - I'm not always fond of the individual bits but always in love with them all put together. So I'm reserving judgment on this one until I get a bit more done.

Chatelaine Taj Mahal Mandela - HDF, Dinky Dyes,
and Waterlilies on antique blue 32ct Jobelin

I finally got the Chatelaine Designs Taj Mahal Mandela kitted up. It took almost six weeks for some of the threads to arrive. Some ONS seem to have a problem letting you know if there is a back order - you just wait and wait and then they seem offended when, weeks later, you ask about the status of the order. I think I've become spoiled from the super-fast shipping at 123Stitch and Hand-Dyed Fibers.

Finally, Friday I photographed some of my older finishes. Some of them are on my Webshots page (link at right) but here are a couple that I really love. The first is Theresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry, probably my largest finish to date. I had started it, and was working on it, when my father died about eight years ago. I had put it away for a number of years and, last year, took it out and finished it. I still need to get it framed but here it is . . .

Theresa Wentzler Peacock Tapestry - DMC on linen

This is the piece I did in remembrance of my mother - she absolutely loved hummingbirds. After she passed away, I did this piece from Dimples Designs. I still love how it turned out.

Dimples Designs Zippy's Favorite Flower - DMC 1 x 1 on 28ct evenweave

Think warm thoughts! Til later, Chele.