Saturday, January 23, 2016

This Year's Resolutions

Well, my resolutions are very different this year!  Here goes...

1. To buy no more stitch supplies unless I need them to finish an ongoing UFO.  This may be unrealistic, so I will make a backup - no more than one purchase a month.
2. To work exclusively on UFOs - again slightly unrealistic but I will finish two UFOs at least for every new item I start.
3. MAJOR DE-STASH!  This one is already started and there are currently about ten boxes sitting by the front door waiting to go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store when I find someone who will take them for me.  I have done in my shoulder so can't carry them myself right now.

You know this is serious stuff because there are no photos in this post.  I don't believe in posts without photos so if a post is words only they are hopefully words to live by.
As I finish the UFOs I will post lots of photos and also ones of works in progress - as soon as I figure out how to stitch with only one arm while hopped up on painkillers.  Always something isn't it?!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Upcycling a Bit of Stitching

 I found this cloth at the local thrift store and was charmed by the hardanger motifs on it.  I think it was a cloth napkin but not entirely sure.  It had stains on it but nothing near the motifs so it was fair game for upcycling in my eyes.
 One corner had the larger hardanger motif - very nicely stitched.
 Kitty corner to that motif was this smaller one which was a nice compliment to the other.
 The edges of the cloth were nicely finished and fringed so I decided how large I wanted it and added nun stitch to the unfinished sides to create a stable fringed edge all the way around.  A bit of felt and silk ribbon from the stash and I had a nice needlebook.
I used the smaller motif and more nun stitching to create a scissor fob using stash threads to create the twisted cord and the tassel.  It made a nice little gift for a stitching friend!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Another Round Robin Project ...

Believe it or not, I am finally catching up here!  The advantage to having given up on housework during the renovations seems to be more stitching time - yay!
So, another round robin project caught up and mailed off.  I found some 17th century stitching patterns from an old issue of Linen Quarterly, part of a sampler there, and used those so here is what my addition looked like...
 It was a lovely stitch and I actually think I will do the same bands on another sampler round robin I am involved in - I liked stitching it that much!
This is how the round robin project is shaping up so far.  The eyelet border was started by the person whose project it is and will be completed by her at the end.  Do check out the lovely band of needlewoven trees someone added at the bottom - they are to die for!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Renovation H-E-double hockey sticks

 I wonder if it is only Canadian kids who say that - H-E-double hockey sticks?  Anyway, one way or another, it has been renovation hell around here the last couple weeks!
Here is "the Man" taking up the original flooring in the great room downstairs.  Since the church was built in the very early 1900's, these boards have seen over 100 years of use and they didn't owe anybody anything.  We had them refinished about 20 years ago but there wasn't enough wood left to sand them down again.
 So, up they all came...then the paper lining under them, and all the dirt that had seeped down over 100 years.  So, if you ever gave any thought to where all the topsoil blew away to during the Dirty Thirties, wonder no more - it was all under my floor boards!  After this was done, the Man laid the new subfloor down.  The plan now is to wait until the walls are all repaired, washed and painted before the new flooring goes down.  Hopefully this will all happen during this month of December.
Now, here is the hell part of the renovation.  Working on one side of the great room at a time everything from had to be shoved over to the other side, then moved back when he worked on the second side.  Two bookshelves had to be emptied so they could be moved, the poor fish in the aquarium spent a week in barely enough water to cover their fins, china cabinet emptied and moved and all my stitching paraphernalia and paperwork shuffled back and forth before ending up on the dining room table for the duration.   Now of course it all has to be sorted and sifted through and find new homes, only to have to move it all again later in the month.  I think I am giving up on housework until this project is over!  Good idea - stitch instead!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Counted Thread Round Robin

This is part of a table runner making the rounds in a counted thread round robin I am in.  There are three offset rectangular shapes outlined on each end of the runner so what you are looking at here is one end.  I was the third to contribute to this piece.  Here is what was already done:
The first section done was a section of pattern darning.  Since it was open to any form of counted work this was a great idea - the colour looked very bold.

 The second section was pulled thread work which was another great idea - I would have thought it would be too difficult to do on this fabric.  It is Chinese silk and has quite a loose weave but as you can see it turned out very nicely.
And, last but not least, my own contribution to the piece which is a section of a blackwork filling stitch.  Not as adventurous as the others but done and off in the mail without being too late.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Neighbours and Squatters

 As I mentioned in a previous post, I am just getting used to being home again after working away for five months.  Being away that long, you can expect a few changes in the neighbourhood - folks moving in, folks moving out...
So, this is my new neighbour who has moved into the tree on the other side of my front yard.  He might not look like much here but when he spreads his wings and flies across the yard, he is pretty impressive.  I haven't got close enough yet to determine what kind of owl he is for sure but he seems to be making himself at home which is fine with me as long as he doesn't start eyeing up the cats or my little 5 lb Pom!  They aren't going outside unsupervised anymore.
Yesterday I met the newest addition - a muskrat!  It has been so dry around here most of the ponds have dried up so I guess he is adapting.  While I was sitting on my porch I watched him scamper across the front yard.  My heart did a little flip because at first he looked like a rat!  We don't have rats here in Alberta (long story involving a rat patrol, etc) so thinking you see one is a big deal.  I continued to watch him as he scampered around, then across the yard and under the porch.  
When my husband got home from work, I told him we had a muskrat under the porch and we both thought that was pretty interesting.  Later that evening though we heard enough noise from the cellar to realize it wasn't the porch he was living under, it was the house!  So, of course we named him.  And now that we know Muskrat Sally is down there we can hear him moving around all evening long, banging against the furnace vents. It remains to be seen how the new tenant works out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wonderful Hallowe'en Embroidery Piece!

 I received such a treat in the mail last week from my Secret Stitcher!  This is an exchange we have on EAC Virtual Threads, the online chapter of The Embroiderers' Association of Canada.  It is like a traditional secret sister exchange except, of course, we are all stitchers and that is reflected in the gifts we exchange.
I love Hallowe'en and decorate the house and yard every year even though we get very few trick-or-treaters coming to the door.
Isn't this embroidered bellpull to die for?  The front features three cross stitch pieces on a spider web background fabric. The back is pieced with so many wonderful Hallowe'en fabrics - I love it!
 The top section of embroidery is two adorable trick-or-treaters.  I love their little loot pails!
The second section is just as spooky - pumpkins, jack-o-lantern, bats and crows!

Then at the bottom of the bell pull this wonderful piece with dancing skeletons, ghosts and more!

I really wish I could take credit for making this but I can't.  Huge thank yous going out to my Secret Stitcher!  She really outdid herself with this and couldn't have found anything I would like more.  I LOVE IT!!