Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weddings, stockings and floss, O my

Well, I've had a little bit more time to stitch this week. Yesterday I finished up the following sampler as a wedding present. It was a really quick stitch which would be what one would expect since I found the design in Quick & Easy Cross Stitch Gifts part of The Joys of Cross Stitch series published by Oxmoor House. It's definitely not your typical wedding sampler. However, I wanted to make a piece that had some meaning for both of us. The bride and I had a conversation about the worst part about being military was that you made friends but then they (or you) would move away. So I thought the following verse would be perfect for her. There are four parts of the design ... with interchangeable verses and borders. I didn't particularly like the colors in the design, so I picked some colors that I believe the couple is using to decorate. I hope you like it as well.

Design: A Friend (from Quick & Easy Cross Stitch Gifts)
Fabric: 28 ct Flax color
Floss: DMC

Next I have the promised update on my stocking for DH. I haven't made any progress on this in about a week, but plan to try to put some stitches in it tonight after I finish up chores and such around the house. Once I finish the bottom, I can go back up to the top ... which includes the personalization. Then I have to do the backstitching and beads ... though I am going to take it off the frame to do the beading. It should be interesting since this is my first project with beads. So slowly making progress :)

And now for a question to all you dear stitchers. I picked up the floss below to do "Find Your Song" from MyMark . Now my question is what color fabric should I use? I would like something that the white and blue will show up well against. I did find a DMC color that matches the darker blue for the solid color part of the design. However, I am at a loss for fabric color ... too light and the white won't show up at all. I would appreciate any suggestions that you all have.
Yesterday also included a trip to my LNS to pick up some extras for my fair squares exchanges. The main reason to drop by was to drop off the above piece for framing ... so I can't wait to show it to you once I get it back. While there I picked up the above floss and another highly variegated floss (more with some purples and greens). I'm planning to probably stitch the "find your song" for my choir director as well. I was good when I went to the store since the only additions to my stash were the flosses ... the rest of my purchase were for gifts.

I have to take a second to thank Mary Kathyrn from Handcrafts Online. I've placed two orders with her recently. The designs that I ordered came very quickly. I can't praise her enough for her quick response to e-mail. I had also ordered some fabric, which hadn't arrived. When I e-mailed her, she quickly responded to let me know that she was still waiting for it. However, she had another type of similar color that she could send me instead. In addition, when I told her that I didn't know much about the different types of linen, she offered to send some small samples so I could tell the difference. She has great customer service. She was also my first partner for the Fair Square exchange. So thank you Mary Kathryn! I appreciate all of your help!

Well, I'm off to do some grocery shopping and hopefully meet up with a friend for lunch. Have a wonderful Saturday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quick project

I finished this bookmark on Sunday after my parents and roommate had left. It was a really quick stitch. I had picked the kit up during our last trip to Scotland back in 05 and decided that it was time to stitch it up. If you haven't been able to tell, celtic and scottish motifs are some of my favorites. I guess that comes from being part Scottish and mostly English with some other nationalities thrown in for good measure. I love all things celtic, especially music and fantasy stories. I haven't finished the bookmark yet ... the kit included a backing fabric and a tassle. That will come at another time. I love the colors in this piece ... it was fun to stitch with a blended needle for the green part of the flowers (two strands of green with one strand of light purple). I have one other kit from the same company that is a celtic cross. Something else to keep for when I am looking for a quick stitch.
The Scottish Thistle Bookmark
Designed by Anne Orr
Stitched on White Aida

I've made some more progress on my stocking but don't have a current picture. Hopefully I'll get an update up this weekend. I started a small sampler for a friend's wedding last night. It should be a fairly quick stitch ... it's not one with their names or anything but with a verse that I think is very appropriate for our lifestyle (both she and her husband are military as well). I will show it to you when it is all finished. I had fun changing the colors and trying to come up with something that would match their decor.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend, early though it was. Unfortunately my husband was out of town, but my parents and roommate from college were able to come visit. We enjoyed some wonderful meals and just some time spent talking and catching up. Everyone came with me Sunday to church, where I sang with the choir (the first time in a few years since I had traveled home the last two years for Easter). Afterwards we went out for Bar-B-Q which was fantastic. I've got a few more weeks in port before my schedule really starts to get crazy again. Have a great day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Claddagh ... Finished Finished!!

Just wanted to do a quick update ... I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my claddagh that I finished a few months ago. I had wanted to do a tin finish but couldn't find any round tins that I wanted. This weekend I went to AC Moore and had the luck of finding a basket that was just the right size (good thing it's Easter time :)). Thanks to Vonna for her tutorial on lining a basket ... unfortunately I am not in the possession of a sewing machine at the moment so I had to sew by hand. At least it was a small project and not a large one. Without further ado here is the top of the basket.

I decided to braid the ribbon I had gotten to accent it since it was a bit too sheer to hid the gap between the top of the basket and the needlework. I think the color matches perfectly with the darker colors in the heart of the claddagh.

This is the fabric that I used to cover the rest of the lid and line the inside of the basket. I love the blues and greens in it and think that the hearts are more appropriate for the design than shamrocks would have been. What an appropriate finish for today ... Happy St. Patricks Day! I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Near Finish

I know it's been awhile since I have posted any pictures or anything. It's kinda tough to upload pictures when I'm on my ship. I got back last week after being out for about two weeks. Don't worry, I had a little bit of time to stitch (though not much).

However, I do have a lot of photos for you, from before I left and this weekend. My near finish is the dolphins for my husband. All that they are waiting for is the date of qualification, which is still unknown at this point. That should only take me maybe an hour to do (with the graphing and stitching) and then I'll need to get it framed. I have really enjoyed working on this piece. It has gone quickly (only two colors to work with).

This first photo is with all of the light gold done.

This is the progress I made before I went underway.

Designed by Ruth Hiller and Carol Stuffer
Stitched on 14 ct Navy Blue Aida
Threads: DMC

I also heard from my Fair and Square exchange partner that she received my squares. I am finally getting an opportunity to show them to you. I really enjoyed stitching them for Willeke. The mail was cooperating and I think it only took about 10 days to get to her. I designed them based on a quilt block. When I was searching her blog to find out more about her and her likes and dislikes I followed a link to another of her blogs. On that site I found out that we shared a favorite author Jennifer Chiavanni (who writes the Elm Creek Quilt series). The quilt block I picked out was one of the main characters' favorite block. Since some of Willeke's favorite colors are blues and neutrals, that's what I stitched the block in. I hope you like it as much as she did.

Designed by Danica Middlebrook (based on tradition quilt pattern)
28 ct linen (I forget the color)
Threads: DMC

Since I finished the dolphins earlier today, I have been able to put some stitches into hubby's stocking as well. The bottom part is starting to get some more color. I changed my process around a bit from the middle section. I personally like to stitch all of the same color in a section before switching. This time I am doing all of the shades of the same color before switching. It is a lot of fun to come back to. I can't wait to finish and get started on the next.

As for some upcoming projects, the partners for round 6 of Fair and Squares just came out this weekend. This round I am paired up with Laura K. I am still trying to figure out the perfect design for her that fits into her likes. I am also participating in the 4th of July holiday round. Since that round isn't so dependent on whom I am stitching for, I have already picked out a design. I am just waiting for the fabric that I ordered to start. That way it will be done in plenty of time for me to mail it out before the due date since I am going to out and about again for most of the month of May. Other upcoming projects include finishing finishing the claddagh ... I picked up a small basket at AC Moore yesterday that should be perfect. Wish me luck, it will be my first try at doing a finish like this. I also am thinking about doing a small sampler for one of my friends for her wedding (though not a wedding sampler ... I have something different in mind for her).

Well, I think I've caught you all up on stitching news. On other news, I start working with a new group of people on Tuesday. Wish me luck. I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and blessed Holy Week. I have the day off tomorrow (a reward day for no alcohol related offenses for the past month) so should be spending some time stitching. Unfortunately, I need to clean first since my parents are coming down next weekend for Easter. Maybe that will keep me motivated if I don't let myself stitch until I clean. I also need to finish up a scrapbook that was long overdue in the making. So busy day in store tomorrow. Until next time ... happy stitching!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another book post

Here's some thing I stole from Barbara at Mainely Stitching.

Look at the list of (100) books below. Bold the ones you’ve read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. (Movies don’t count.)

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel) (I have tried several times to read this but it puts me to sleep)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I've been working a bit on my dolphins this weekend. I'll post some progress pictures later. Other than that ... enjoying my short weekend on land. Went to a bridal shower yesterday in Williamsburg for a girl whose husband works with mine (they've done the civil ceremony and are doing the wedding and reception in a few months). Have a wonderful night :)