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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Middy progress

We're back in from our whirlwind trip to Memphis, and I have a little bit of progress to share on Middy. I decided to start her in the lower right hand corner instead of the middle or top left. For some reason I just thought it might be easier to stitch that way.

Mirabilia's A Midsummer Night's Fairy progress

I'm going to head over to the recliner to watch the race (Kenny made it in the 49 car, yay!) and do a little more stitching and relaxing this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm about to be a bad girl :)

I'm now on vacation, yippee! I'll be off for several days, and well, if you have been reading for a while, you know that I've been trying to be good - not starting any new cross stitch projects, especially any large ones.

That just flew out the window this afternoon. I had a mixed day at work - some cool moments when things finally came together and one not-so-cool experience (so much for great expectations). Anyway, I came home and wanted to completely forget about work for the next few days, so I walked into my craft room, and gazed at my wall of kitted-but-yet-to-be-started cross stitch projects. At first, I thought, well, maybe just one little one... but then Mirabilia's A Midsummer Night's Fairy started calling out much more loudly than the rest (especially the little ones).

The only part not kitted was fabric, but I have what I think will be the perfect fabric for her - Colorscapes Tarnish (28 ct. Cashel linen) by Picture This Plus. And it's the perfect size cut too. So it will probably be started tonight, and I shall carry it along with us to Memphis and back. Happy stitching, y'all! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Afternoon Tea, block 8

First off, I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows late Sunday afternoon. Wow, what a roller coaster ride. It was as good as I had hoped I would be, answering some questions, and not others, and I don't want to say any more because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who may not have read it yet but wants to. I decided to go back and start reading the series again from book 1. :)

I got home from work this afternoon and went straight into the craft room where I finally got around to stitching up 3 variations of this month's block for Afternoon Tea. This is the last of the "easy" blocks. The next four all seem quite a bit more detailed or complicated.
Afternoon Tea block 8, 3 variations

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A really quick post

because my Harry Potter book has just arrived, so I'll be settling down to read it right after I hit the "Publish" button...

I finally finished a cross stitch project from my rotation, and so I now very happily present Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm by The Victoria Sampler!
Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm finished

Happy, happy dancing!!! :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A new beaded necklace and a block of the month

I had a gift card for Barnes and Noble, so I bought a couple of books this month, one of which was The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells. From it I learned a new beadweaving technique, spiral rope, this week. I picked out two tubes of seed beads I thought were pretty (some silver-lined sapphire blue and a mix called moonstone, which is composed of a variety of peach, white, and grey) and created a necklace from them. the blue is used as the core and the variety spirals around it. I love the way it looks - for some reason it reminds me of the beach. I used an old button from my button jar for the toggle clasp, and I really love the look.
Spiral Rope necklace in what I consider beachy colors

Today was our regularly-scheduled SSS Block of the Month day at the quilt shop, so I picked up my block (at the same time I dropped off Winter Night for quilting). This month the pattern is Clay's Choice, and as usual, I love the colors and fabrics. The green fabric is especially nice. :)

Block 7, July 2007, Clay's Choice

I got to see the new Harry Potter movie today, and really enjoyed it. There were some changes from the book (obviously, and always to my chagrin), but I thought this movie was much better than the fourth one.

Since there is currently no Battlestar Galactica on (or much of anything else on television that we usually watch except racing), C and I are making our way through the 6th season of 24 (I kept the videotapes I recorded it on through this last season), the 9th season of Friends (again - this series is just classic, in my opinion), and we're about to start Eureka (hooray for a second season of that one, FINALLY!) We've also caught the occasional Inside the Actors Studio, most of which are really enjoyable to watch.

I'm anticipating the release of several of our tv shows on DVD over the next several months: Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (a new B5 movie!), and of course, Smallville, Stargates SG-1 and Atlantis, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica. Many of you, if you even recognize what it is, may laugh at me, but I also recently bought The Best of the Electric Company, and I have really enjoyed watching the episodes on those discs again. Sesame Street and The Electric Company came on tv not long after I was born, and I have very fond memories of them both. I still sing along with Easy Reader Morgan Freeman - was he the coolest, or what?! It's been a nice stroll down memory lane, and whoever decided to release a "Greatest" collection, I just want to thank you! [very big cheesy grin]

I've finished with all the regular cross stitching on the Xmas Tree Farm, and now I'm starting all the backstitching, specialty stitches, beads, etc. It may not be too long before a cross stitch finish... :)

Happy weekend everyone!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Quilt top complete

Just a quick note - Winter Night quilt top is complete, and I just need to seam the backing so that I can take it with me to the quilt shop this Saturday.
Winter Night quilt top complete

Other good news - Smokey got his ear bandage off yesterday. Of course, he was very irritated by his trip to the vet, but he seems to be doing better today. It still has a bit to heal, but it looks better, and I think it should be a-okay soon.

Micky and others - I don't think I shall ever stop stitching completely. There are still some designs I'd really like to start. I just don't want to start too many more (as I've done in the past) knowing that there are so many left to complete already. I'm most likely just in a funk, and I'll come up out of it sooner or later. I'm still stitching on Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm! :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Second bead weaving class

I took my second beadweaving class yesterday, netting. We created another bracelet, and while you can't really see the netting because of the embellishment, trust me, it is there, as the base. I also created beaded beads for the toggle clasp.
Embellished netted bracelet
Embellished netted bracelet on my wrist

Thank you all for your thoughts for Smokey. He got some of his bandages removed Tuesday when we went in for his checkup, but he had to keep the closest one on his ear for another week. We'll go in for a second checkup this Tuesday, and he may get the rest of the bandage removed then, as well as the stitches. He has gotten progressively better over the week, though the bandage that is left still aggravates him.

Cross Stitch: I've spent some time this week working on Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm! It is so close to being finished, I may try to work on it until it is. The bottom area is large, similar to the top area, so it is taking a lot longer than each of the other sections to complete.

I'm in a quandary regarding my rotation. I am very close to finishing a couple of the projects, but it seems lately that I am not very excited about many of the projects in my WIP list at the moment. I would imagine that this, too, shall pass, but it's a little frustrating right now. When I think about pulling out a cross stitch project, I go into my craft room and just stare at my WIPs, feeling a little lost. I guess I'm just flustered because this rarely happens to me, and I hope that I'm not entering a cross-stitch enthusiasm drought! Sigh. And I don't want to get back into the 30+ WIPs situation I was in a couple of years ago, so I am resistant to starting something new, especially something that is larger than one of those little heart projects (or anything that would take longer than a week to finish). I won't push it, it just may help explain why there may not seem to be much progress on my rotation or other WIPs lately.

Quilting: I haven't been able to spend much time on Winter Night, my mother-in-law's quilt, but I plan to work on it as much as I can this week because I would like to finish it by Saturday morning - in time to take it with me to the quilt shop when I pick up my next SSS BOM block.

Knitting: On the 4th of July, I took my brown-and-turquoise knitted cap with me to a cookout and knitted a few more rows. I haven't measured, but I think I only have about 2 more inches to knit before I can seam it up - I should have it finished in time for winter! ;-)

For the person who commented on my square stitch bracelet and asked whether it was done with elastic thread, no, it can be done with either nymo or c-lon thread, both of which are nylon sewing threads with very little stretch. Mine was actually done with c-lon which has even less stretch than nymo. Thanks for asking!

Until next time!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

All kinds of pictures

I finally got around to taking some pictures yesterday of some of the things I've been working on.

Cross Stitch: This is my progress on Mother's Arms - she finally has a face. :)
Mother's Arms

Quilting: A couple of notes for this photo - The bottom row is currently pinned on top of the fourth row, because I didn't start pinning the first blocks high enough on my design wall. I fixed the middle and last block on the second row - the bottom row of squares was going in the wrong direction. I'm so glad I caught that when I did! I pinned the right and left outer borders, but not the top or bottom, just to get an idea of how it is going to look with those fabrics.
Winter Night

The little border blocks will finish at 4" square - those are some tiny pieces! I still have 6 of those blocks to finish before I can put the entire quilt together.

Beadwork: I've made a few bracelets over the past month. In the first picture, I've used the same bead-weaving pattern with different seed and delica beads. When I showed Melanie the turquoise-colored one, she suggested that it might look good as an anklet, and I agreed, thus, the longer one in the photo is my first anklet. In the second and third pictures are bracelets I've made for two of my nieces for Christmas. I modified the pattern used in my square stitch bracelets to make them a little more delicate, but hopefully just as striking. I also made them just a bit smaller because they are only 7 and 10 years old - they should fit for several years. The final photo is my flag amulet bag with a strap. I still have to put on fringe, but I didn't make it to the bead group last week, and I won't be able to do it this week because of the holiday. I think it looks pretty all the same. :)
Beaded bracelets (and one anklet)
Square stitch bracelet for Delaney
Square stitch bracelet for Tori
Beaded amulet purse with strap

Movies: If you haven't seen Night at the Museum, I recommend it - a really good story with plenty of laughs!

Kitties: Stilts has been with us a year now, wow! It doesn't seem like it has been that long already.
Stilts helping Mommy quilt

We had to take Smokey to the vet Saturday because his ear was swollen up pretty bad - it happened overnight, and I thought it was perhaps a bug bite or an allergic reaction to something. Fortunately Dr. McCormick was working, because he told us that it was a hematoma. He had to perform emergency surgery. Smokey is back at home now (I'm so glad he didn't have to stay over the weekend), and we're just trying to keep him as comfortable as we can right now - he's really aggravated by the dressing on his ear, and it is affecting his balance somewhat. Hopefully he'll have the dressing removed when we go back for his checkup on Tuesday. It's so hard to see your babies suffering.

I hope that everyone is having a fabulous weekend - chat with you again soon!