WIP: Winter Window

Old Man Winter is still holding on, heedless of the calendar. I had a lovely weekend full of stitching, reading, crocheting, and relaxing (read: binge watching TV shows).

Here’s my progress on Susan Bates’ “Winter Window”:

My plan this week is to get the top half of this curtain filled in. I’m not tired of this area…yet. 🙂 However, I just put in an order for the “Spring Window” materials to keep my momentum going.

Stay warm, and happy Stitching!

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WIP: Halloween Fairy

Definitely stretching my stitching muscles with this one!

And new needleminders shopping!

Kitting Up

One of my favorite things about stitching: organizing and kitting up materials for new starts! Yesterday I kitted up TWO new projects.


First up is another Ink Circles- “Get Kraken.” I am using most of her DMC substitutions for the silk with two WWD. I found beautiful linen called “Wren” by Picture this Plus (40 ct.). Ive even picked out some beads to try with this pattern. I love this designer’s sense of humor!


The next new start is a really special pattern: Nora Corbett’s Halloween Fairy (though I’ve heard it referred to as the Trick or Treat Fairy). When I saw it on Pinterest, I fell in LOVE. I downloaded this pattern directly from the magazine company (Herrschners) this first appeared in. My mom is actually going to stitch along with me, so I’m really excited about that- her first time with evenweave, beads, and “special” hand dyed fabric. I am using all the charted threads, but I will stitching on BEAUTIFUL linen also from Picture this Plus called “Haunted.” I’m over the moon with this start, so I think At the Met will not be my first Mirabilia/Nora Corbett. 

And speaking of At the Met– I messed up big time, and it’s kind of embarrassing. I had recently ordered the extra packets of beads thought I needed (I’m still waiting of the package). But while kitting up the other two patterns, I found that I had actually ordered the beads back in January. Whoops. I guess I need to keep another crafty notebook dedicated just to purchases to keep track of EVERYTHING CRAFTY THING I BUY. C’est la vie!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week, and happy stitching!

Stitches in Lowcountry, SC

Hello all! Thank you for all the wedding well-wishes! It was a wonderful day and peaceful wedding, and it was short. Just back from the honeymoon and back to life: moving- packing when we still have no clue what city OR state we’re going (all interviews are in these next two weeks).

We went to Georgetown and Charleston, SC. It was beautiful and wonderful  but too muggy for me. We did so much and had some crafty encounters. The whole culture is crafty: the Gullah’s sweetgrass baskets, hammock weaving, gardens, architecture, sculpture.

I like to collect needleminders that remind me of the places I’ve been (when there is an actual brick needlework store). Vegas’ needleminder was a flamingo because they are kitschy and bold like the lovely city itself. I got an owl at our beach. This trip’s needleminder is an alligator, because they are EVERYWHERE with no fence between us and them. I have seen almost twenty of them within a three day period. Not a hyperbole, folks.

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Alligator and statue at Brookgreen Gardens- Murrells Inlet, SC

We also saw beautiful colonial clothes and needlework at the Old Exchange Post & Provost Dungeon in Charleston.

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Sampler- “October 13, 1795,” by Elizabeth Cobia Making- at Charleston’s Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon (sorry for glare)

I love looking at old needlework, because I feel such a pride and connection to them- whether the ladies liked to embroider or not- something I always wonder while looking at the piece (I know society’s views on such “female arts” have changed thankfully).

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At Brookgreen Gardens (Old Kitchen)

Although I had a blast, I’m ready to get back to some semblance of routine (and starting to weed out and pack) and stitching. I’m also more than ready to see my dogs who are still at my parents’. Mom has had to send many pics of them and updates throughout the trip because I’m homesick for them. And yes, I FaceTime my dogs. It’s fine- my dad has made fun enough of me for the whole world. 🙂 That’s another trip THIS week! We can’t seem to stay off the road lately.

Happy stitching!

Catch Up

Long time, no see! Though I’ve been M.I.A., I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and WIPs during the Thanksgiving break! I’m also currently OBSESSED with reading The Spinster Stitcher‘s blog. Seriously- I’m in 2010 in her posts; she’s hilarious with lovely projects. And I feel like our dogs could be BFFs.

Things have been pretty slow stitching-wise. Other than needlework blog reading, I’ve only been able to pick up my projects a handful of times- I managed to complete the alphabet in “Fibery Friends” and started the bottom half of the piece… a few weeks ago. Still enjoying this one!   The top project on my list needs to be “Knee High” as it’s my dad’s Christmas present. I FINALLY got my missing color replaced and can FINALLY get into the home stretch on that one. When I’m off Thursday and Friday, I’m going to be INVINCIBLE and marathon stitch that project to completion (or at least very near to completion)! Well, that’s the plan anyway. 🙂 I’m sure Belle will be none too amused at having to act like a lady while I stitch for awhile. I think a trip to the dog park will be necessary for me to even be able to get any “decent” amount of stitching done.

The baby Belle

During Thanksgiving, I was able to go home and visit my parents. As always I sweet talked my mom (not too hard to do as she’s just in love with xstitch as me) into taking a trip to the local needlework store. My BF and five year old niece were our chauffeurs to make sure we behaved and didn’t go overboard there. Side note: Soon the BF will be the only sane anchor in our stitchy pursuits as my niece is a budding xstitcher and made out with quite a nice haul if I do say so myself (and I’m gifting her with more for Christmas). While there I saw “And Heaven and Nature Sing”  by Kathy Barrick and my mom caved in and bought it for me. She also talked me into trying silk threads for the first time ever for that project. I’m so excited about trying a non-cotton thread. I feel so grown up in the cross stitch world! 🙂 So I’m patiently awaiting my package of 40ct (yikes!) linen and silk thread and will begin on this endeavor AFTER “Knee High.” Really, call me out if I start this Goliath before I finish it…. In the meantime, I’m researching to death how to use silk thread so I don’t mess up.

In other crafty news, I made my own happy place- a.k.a. my own stitchy corner! I got an OttLite on sale a while ago and haven’t been able to use it as I wanted to. So I got an $8 TV table, and the rest is history. I’m serious— I’m going to hermit in this spot all Thursday and Friday.  This new arrangement will hopefully help my posture, eyesight, and amount of time I can pick up my needlework.

Thanks for reading my hefty update. I know I’m late, but I have to say my Thanksgiving “what I’m thankful for,” craft edition: I’m really grateful for this community that blogging has opened up to me. On the internet and in “the real world” if you stitch/craft, you’re automatically the best person ever to me. It’s all been one big stitchy sisterhood to share and learn. Thanks for inspiring!

Bilbo chillin’!

 So I hope some of your stitchy dreams come true this week, and Happy Stitching!

Messing Up, Or Fifty Shades of White

Hello Stitchers!

My niece’s pattern is turning out to be quite the headache! There are many shades of white, and I have had to cut out and start over because of so many mistakes. My mantra for this project: my niece NEEDS this cross stitch. I’m even jazzing the pattern up with some glitter thread and Mill Hill beads. I am determined to make this a keepsake for her that she will love. 

While pursuing my locally owned craft store for the aforementioned beads, I became overwhelmed and got the glorious idea to try a bigger knitting project. My grandma gave me this afghan pattern a few years ago along with her latest (unfinished) afghan so that I could try my hand at more interesting patterns:
It is a two-colored pattern with just purls and knit stitches and some k2tog thrown in. I chickened out big time and just bound off what she gave me. It is a lovely lap blanket/shawl-thingy. So then and there at the craft store, I dialed my grandma asking how many skeins I would need to make the full sized afghan from her favorite pattern.

I was so determined that I even decided that I would make the afghan with three stripes instead of two. Because I like to make things more complicated for myself apparently. So I chose three colors that aren’t too girly to appease the male members of the house (I was totally going for mustard yellow, red, and some Fall beige). It took me FOREVER to decide on these colors. I was even describing the colors over the phone to my ever patient grand-duchess, saint grandmother Patricia.

This yarn is from the Ole Faithful brand of Red Heart Super Saver in Grey Heather, Lavender, and Windsor Blue. 

I can’t wait to begin, but I’m nervous. I’ve never knitted anything this size before. And as I’ve said, I’ve always chickened out on this pattern.

Funny how I was upset last post about having to cancel some projects because I got too stressed! I guess you can’t stop inspiration or the need for creative outlets.

Happy stitching and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Stitching Schedules and Planner Love

Happy Fall, y’all! It’s been a rainy start, but that’s just perfect for some stitching and reading.

I have so much to stitch before Christmas that I created a schedule:

As you can see, I’ve already had to change some dates around with whiteout, and I’ll probably have to do it again. Have you had any luck in setting dates with your stitching and actually accomplishing it?

I am working hard on “Knee High” so that it can be done by Friday (cue screechy horror sounds). I’m cross stitching in all my spare time to get this one completed. Here’s a snap of my progress during Saturday’s dinner break at work:

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In non-xstitchy news, Belle is happily settling into her new home. She’s in love with Bilbo. Bilbo…he’ll get there. 🙂 She’s definitely the annoying little sister.
  

She follows him everywhere and won’t do anything without him. Bilbo just rolls his eyes and tries to find a spot of alone time from her.

My new obsession is designing my own planner. After research (read: devouring and pinning planner blogs), I decided on a Midori style planner and purchased a “fauxdori” from etsy. I added inserts from etsy and also Moleskine. Here’s a snap of my planner box with all the goodies. Note: Next month, I’m on an craft spending ban!

My beautiful, handmade fauxdori- “Messydori”

One of my inserts is of course a crafting notebook. I’m keeping copies of my grandma’s knitting patterns in there, cross stitch wish list, and my stitching schedule. I’m also trying to figure a good format for start and end dates, problems, stats for my xstitch projects. Any ideas?        

Last week, I also received a lovely surprise from my parents to help boost my morale. I’m in love with sunflowers right now:

Complete with Belle’s chew toy and my planner box not far behind.

I hope everyone’s Monday is wonderful and that you have some lovely xstitchy plans for this week! I hope to have an awesome progress post for WIP Wednesday. Happy stitching!

My New Crafting Love

Dear xstitchers,

Don’t despise me,  but I’ve fallen completely head-over-heels in love with shuttle tatting! I’m taking an online shuttle tatting class from Craftsy with Marilee Rockley. I’m still in the beginning stages of learning so I’m not going to post many pictures until my big order of Lizbeth thread gets here. Then I’m going to go crazy! All of those antique patterns to make! Dreamy!

Here are some pictures of my practice pieces:  
  
I used to think cross stitcher were few and far between, but then I found you all! However, I’m discovering the majority of people around me haven’t even heard of tatting at all! It’s relatively new- Victorian era, I believe. But this craft is just beautiful! I CANNOT wait to figure out how to incorporate tatting pieces into my cross stitch projects!

 And (finally) speaking of cross stitch- it’s coming along. I have a glorious feeling that I will finish “Knee High” within a week or two. I haven’t started any Christmas ornaments,  but I hope to remedy that soon!

   
 My knitting has also been getting better! Better enough that I went crazy buying more yarn! That new pattern from my grandma is easy peasy! …Thanks to several times of ripping everything out, even when I’d gotten to the end! Happily, knitting is becoming less and less intimidating

Bilbo even likes knitting! He loves getting tangled up and chewing. Again, we seriously believe he was raised by cats….

  
I hope everyone has time to stitch and craft during this wonderful weekend!
Happy stitching!

Weekend WIP and Christmas Shopping

Oh, weekend, how fast thou doth flee! After working seven days straight (mostly 2nd shift), I was in need of some serious rest. I spent Saturday vegging out binge watching Mountain Men and cross stitching…and had about a five hour “nap.” Today I binged Keeping Up With Appearances and NCIS- all of course while cross stitching.    Dad’s present is coming along, but I’m beginning to think that this will be more of a Christmas present. These colors are making me daydream of Fall weather! Sweaters! Hot tea! The smell of falling leaves! …BUT speaking of Christmas, I bought all my Christmas presents today (well all but one)! I just need to make them; almost everyone is getting a Mill Hill ornament this year. YAY, homemade Christmas! Very proud of myself that I will most definitely get all my presents finished in time.

And speaking of presents, my mom bought me a lovely pair of Gingher scissors as a “Happy Employment” gift. 🙂 I’m in love with them.

Also to brighten any impending Monday blues, here is an angry Bilbo picture. This was taken by my boyfriend after he gave Bilbo a bath. He said that no matter what he said or did Bilbo refused to look at him! We swear he’s part cat or was raised by them before we adopted him!

 Happy stitching!