Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stars and Evening WIPs

Seems that once a month blogging has become my new normal. I'd like to do better, but I lack motivation.

But, I have been stitching.

I'm participating in a SAL for Tony Mineri's Stars for the New Millennium which started in October and will run for 24 months (one square every two months) to allow plenty of time for all of us to keep up and still work on other projects. Last night I finished the first square, Marilyn Monroe (all squares are named for movie stars who have a connection with the other squares it touches).

Stars- Marilyn Monroe as of 110512

Most of the stitches so far have been familiar to me, which is good for confidence building. I'm sure there will be unfamiliar stitches in future squares. I do love the textures created by the different fibers. It's pretty awesome!

And, now I am returning to Chatelaine Designs Evening in the Park. I've made considerable progress. In fact, it's entirely possible that I may finish the stitching of this design by the end of 2012. I started this back in the days before I learned the hard lesson of beading as I go on Chatelaines. So, all the beading will be done at the end of the stitching. I'll be happy to have this one finished and off my WIP list!

Evening in the Park 110512

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Marie has ARRIVED!

This year marks the third for the Chatelaine Smalls Exchange. I've so enjoyed both making and receiving a gorgeous project from a Chatelaine design. Planning the design element and the finishing technique are always a fun creative endeavor for me. Can't reveal my creation yet, as it has to travel internationally to reach its new home. BUT, the other really, really awesome part of the exchange is that you RECEIVE a completely wonderful finished small in return. Lucky me, mine arrived today. For your viewing pleasure (click to biggify):

A close up of the fabulousness of the skirt!

Marie's dress was stitched and sewn so beautifully by Missy Ann AL from the Chatelaine Designs Yuku community in our 2012 exchange. She is amazing (Missy Ann and Marie!)!! What perfection.  Oh, and Missy Ann and I share a love of nail polish, so she also included L'Oreal's The Temptress' Power (a color she knew I'd love) in the package. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?!

I feel like the luckiest person ever! I just adore Marie! Thank you Missy Ann!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


*** removes, shakes out, and folds dust covers...looks around to see if everything is still in place***

Greetings! I don't know if anyone still visits me after all this time. I've been kinda busy. Diva daughter graduated from high school mid-May. So all my time and money have now gone to college and the preparations there for.

But you don't really care about that. You just want the pictures. Finished Egypt Garden by Chatelaine Designs at the end of July. It is now framed and hanging on DH's office wall downtown. The blue of his office walls are a perfect match for the color family used in the design. We decided not to mat it, but do a rather spectacular (IMHO) frame, instead. The photographic evidence (clicking should biggify):

And, an angled shot to show more of the frame:

Today, I finished another HUGE project. My very first big-girl quilt. It's a t-shirt quilt I designed (using instructions from a wonderful friend - thanks Melissa!) for Diva using many of her high school t-shirts. Hopefully, the flannel fabrics I used will also help to keep her warm now that the Southern Diva has moved to the Mid-West (culture shock anyone?).  Here is a pic of the finished top (81x86 inches)!

While not perfect in execution (the t-shirts motifs were not "square" and the flannel kinda grew), I'm rather proud of my effort. I must confess that I had completion anxiety with this. Because I knew once I finished that Diva was really not in high school anymore. And yes, there were tears as I finished today. I immediately took it to the quilt shop to avoid another bout of completion anxiety. Hope that when it comes home in October I can get the binding on quickly as I think Diva will have need of it then.

Until next time (more pics to come - I have been busy. ;) )

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Oh, Does She Know You!

"Oh, does she KNOW you!" - as stated by my DH when I opened a most wonderful, exciting, beautimous gift from my dear friend, Annette. She made me this full of awesome scarf in EXACTLY MY COLORS! See it modeled by my *almost* new winter coat:

Now, I must confess, this delightful gift arrived right around Easter. Timing was perfect as I was in need of a major pick-me-up just then. But, unfortunately, Diva Daughter was in need of my camera just then as hers had gone MIA and, well, "Mom, it's my senior year, I HAVE to have a camera everywhere I go!" Thankfully, Diva's camera has re-appeared by some magic known only to happen to teenagers and DHs. So, I can now share my bounty with you. I did, of course, thank Annette privately for such a special prize. But, I am really happy to show it off to all of you, finally. I love it not only because the colors are such a perfect autumn palette, but perhaps most especially because it is hand made. Annette knows that I often lament that "big needles" and I do not get on well together. I could never in a million years make something like this for myself. Just makes it that much more special!

While I had the camera out, I decided to snap a quick photo of my current progress on Egypt Garden:

I swear, one day I will take a photo of this that shows the pale yellow fabric true. But, the blues seem to be just right, so there you go. I'm definitely getting there. Herons and flowers are two-thirds complete. Then, I just have the corner bracelet bands to go. Don't know if I'll be able to get it finished by the end of next month. But, I'm definitely going to try!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

And Then There Were SIX!

...as in six WIPs! I finished Diamond Delights 9 by DebBee's Designs over the weekend. While Dana, Wendy, and Melissa GTG'd at my house, I finished the "squiggles" and started beading. And kept beading, and beading, and then decided more bling was called for. What can I say, my inner crow must be heard!

Diamond Delights 9 finished 040112

Stitched on 18 ct mono canvas in ecru with gold metallic. The color scheme is my own based on Silk 'n Colors Burnt Toast. My squiggles are diamond shaped rather than circular as the pattern called for. I just thought diamond shapes were more in keeping with the spirit of the design. Beading and crystal embellishments all my own. I learned a LOT of new stitches and worked with fibers I never have before. Will likely frame this at some point. The colors are wonderful for my great room.

I also have an updated photo of Egypt Garden to share.

Egypt Garden  as of 040312

All four pyramids are now complete. The "cat shelves" are well underway. It will be a near thing to see if I can finish by the end of May for the Chatelaine WIP Slayer Contest. Even if I don't make it, I will certainly finish this year.

Finishing EG would get my WIP count to FIVE. That's only one short of my goal to have an on-going rotation of four WIPs. Could this be the year? Umm, probably not since I am going to start Stars for the New Millenium in October. LOL! But, I am getting there!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Finish...and a PLAN!

Yes, I've been finishing off projects! Here's the last of my lingering smalls. It's Penguin Hugs by Paw Printings from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. I'm not normally one for *cute* but this one got me. I don't remember how many years ago I started him (guessing maybe six years), but he lacked only backstitching, border, and charms.

Penguin Hugs 031512 finished

Stitched on a random, unknown lugana (32ct, I think) from a Silkweaver's grab bag. Don't know why it took me so long to finish. I must have been distracted by something shiny.

As I mentioned, the little guy is the last of my smalls I needed to finish up. This brings my current WIP count to SEVEN! Yay!! Haven't had a WIP count that low in more years than I care to think about. Here's the current list:

1. Egypt Garden (Chatelaine Designs) - BAP - 75% complete
2. Evening in the Park (Chatelaine Designs) - BAP - 66% complete
3. Misty Morning Vineyard (Chatelaine Designs) - BAP - 5% complete
4. Elizabethan Sweete Bag (Chatelaine Designs) - medium - 75% complete
5. English Garden Sampler (Teresa Wentzler) - BAP - 15% complete
6. Diamond Delights 9 (DebBee's Designs) - medium/large - 90% complete
7. Pineapple Stitches (Jeannette Douglas Designs) - medium) - 5% complete

Egypt is my focus piece right now. I'm using it for the Chatelaine WIP Slayers Contest and trying for a finish by the end of May. Will be close, but I just might make it. DD9 is really close to finished, too. My goal is to have it finished by the end of March.

My plan for April and May is to focus on Egypt and use either EGS or Pineapple Stitches as my "break" from Egypt when needed. I'm not making any specific plans beyond May. But, it sure would be nice to end the year closer to my ultimate goal of a rotation of four WIPs.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Next Stop for the Travelling Pattern

Well, I got caught out stitching and failed to make the draw for the next destination for the Stitcherhood's Travelling Pattern. Life's a Stitch will next stop at Susan's Afford Your Passions home in Texas. I know Susan herself is travelling this week, so hopefully I can get this sent to her so it will be in her mailbox when she arrives home. I can't wait to see her version of this design!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Egypt and Diamonds

Can't believe I'm actually posting for the third time in a week! Something must be wrong. Actually, it probably has something to do with procrastinating work.

I took a canvas work class with Debbie Rowley of DebBee's Designs last month. And, I don't think I shared my progress. This is her Diamond Delights 9 in a colorway of my choosing:

DD9 progress after class

I enjoyed the class. Debbie is a lovely person - very knowledgeable and approachable. I am hoping if I just do a few diamonds each month, I will finish before I start the big canvas work project SAL in which I plan to participate beginning this fall. More details on that in another post. For March, I hope to finish the two diamonds that are only partially worked and also complete two additional diamonds. That's fairly ambitious as some of the diamonds take a long time to work. Most of them are worked with multiple needles and are techniques I've not encountered before. I'm definitely learning a lot.

So, I tried to make better photos of my Egypt Garden. I did finish pyramid #3 as planned last night. I even put yellow paper underneath the fabric when I snapped the photos. The fabric is a pale but bright yellow (Shortbread by Country Stitch) that looks like I imagine bright sunlight on the sand dunes would appear.

Egypt Garden as of 030812

Egypt Garden 030812 close up

I hope to finish the last pyramid this month. Then, I'm in the home stretch. Finishing this WIP is a huge goal for this year! I'm hoping the Chatelaine WIP Slayer contest will help me get there.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Just after I finished my Stitcherhood piece, I picked up an older WIP in need of a bit of love to finally come to a finish. I thought it most appropriate to stitch and finish in this Year of the Dragon. The design is Red Dragon Bookmark by Dracolair. I have never in my entire life stitched something so small with so many fractional stitches. Honestly, it makes me feel like stitching a Mirabilia or something with big blocks of the same color! Hahaha!

It is stitched on 32ct Golden Harvest belfast by Silkweavers. I subbed DMC light effects of the same number for DMC 321. Never again will I use that fiber. Completely vile (shreds horribly, rubs rough patches in the needle eye, and is generally stiff and yucky). However, I am pleased with the effect of the added sparkle. Dragon scales should sparkle. :D Best part is that I've killed another WIP! I'm really trying to be better about finishing things.

Getting a good photo was a challenge I failed, sorry. Some day I am going to learn how to make good photos of my needlework. I wish I knew the secret. The fibers look pretty true to color, but the fabric is actually a golden brown rather than the white/pale blue that it appears to be on my monitor.

red dragon bookmark 022812

I will finish him as an ornament rather than bookmark. Since I only read my Kindle and not paper books these days, he'll see more use that way.

Since finishing Red Dragon, I've been working on Egypt's third pyramid. Hoping to finish it tonight. Um, it looks pretty much like the other two, but I'll likely take a photo anyway in an effort to attempt photographing my yellow fabric as actually yellow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Life's A Stitch Travelling Pattern

Less than two weeks ago, Annette shared the happy news with me that I was the next member of the Stitcherhood of the Travelling Pattern! How fun is that?!?! Part of the deal is that you have to drop everything and stitch the design right away. So, of course, I did. :D I had a lot of fun playing in my stash to find fabric and fibers to use. Because, you know, I can't ever stitch anything without changing something. I changed a *few* somethings. ;) The fabric is 32ct. Haystack belfast linen from Country Stitch, and I used various fibers from my collection of Dinky Dyes opps packs, plus Purple Vampire Bat from Hand Dyed Fibers. All fibers are silk or silk perle. I also changed the border from the designed satin stitches to a sort of modified eyelet stitch. And the centers of the flowers are rhodes stitches. It was a very fun and quick stitch. The colors I chose happen to match my office/hobby room. I'm planning to finish it as a drawer pull/ornament using leftover fabric from my window treatments in said room.

Here is my result:

life's a stitch 022712

The lovely stitching by my eleven predecessor "Stitcherhood" members can be found here:

Hooked On Stitches
Old Ragged Threads
Loretta Stitching Blog
Reflections In The Pond
Erica’s Places
My New Perspective
Buttons & Stitches
Kate’s Floss Box
Serendipitous Stitching
Measi’s Musings
Annette's Acre

I really do love that everyone has stitched a unique version of this design. That just adds to the fun, I think.

Well, this is a Traveling Pattern, so it's time for it to journey to another stitcher. Drawing time!

If you would like to be a part of the Stitcherhood for this Traveling Pattern, here are the rules:

1. Comment on this post, saying you would like to be part of the Stitcherhood.

2. You agree (if you are chosen) to stitch the design and send it along to the next person in a timely manner. If this means dropping everything in your rotation to concentrate on this project…so be it. If you can’t bring yourself to do this ~ don’t sign up.

3. You must have an active blog to participate. If you have a blog but never post to it ~ you won’t be chosen to be the next stitcher.

4. This is a giveaway-type Travelling Pattern. That means you must follow it from blogger to blogger to enter each time it is ready to send along. Commenting on this post doesn’t make you a guaranteed part of the Stitcherhood.

Just for fun – also tell me the one design you are dying to START!

If you want to be considered, act fast – I’ll only take names until Saturday, March 10th. I’ll do the drawing on Sunday morning, and hopefully have the piece en route to its next location the next day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Of Dragons and Pyramids

Been stitching. My Egypt Garden now sports two completed pyramids!

Egypt Garden WIP as of 022012

Close up of some bling:
Egypt Garden 022012 beading

And, because I can never enabling any and all of my stitching friends, I want to be sure to point out the Chatelaine WIP-Slayer Contest that is about to commence on the Chatelaine Yuku Community. Contest Guidelines found here. Contest beginning photos found here. Enjoy the photos even if you are not going to play with us. :-)

Love me some pyramids, but they are intense stitching. So, after two pyramids, I decided to take a little break and stitch on and old, old WIP, Dracolair's Red Dragon Bookmark.

Red Dragon WIP as of 022012

Cross stitching is nearly done, but he's got quite a lot of back stitching. Good thing I don't mind back stitching. Can't really tell from the photo, but I subbed DMC Light Effects for DMC 321. I can honestly say I've never stitched such a small design with SO FREAKIN' MANY quarter stitches. OMG.

In happy stitchy news, I am the next "initiate" of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pattern. So, I've been playing in my stash to see what fabric and fiber I want to use when the pattern arrives in my mailbox. Definitely a chance to use something fun from those Dinky Dyes oops packs I've acquired over the years. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Dance x2!

I finished something. Two somethings, even. Admittedly, neither is a very large project. BUT, my WIP count now goes from 10 to 8. Quite satisfying.

Here's Autumn Leaves (by From Nancy's Needle), the counted canvas work project I referred to in yesterday's post. Belinda has definitely enabled me. I think I'm glad.

Autumn Leaves 011012 complete

I did change the Overture overdyed fiber to Caron's Wildflowers in Fiesta because I wanted more of an autumn palette. I did follow the directions so that each of the leaves show near identical color changes, but I did not do so for the rest of the design. I wanted a more random look.

My other finish is Block B2 of Celtic Quilt by Chatelaine Designs.

Celtic Quilt B2 block 010412 complete

Stitched on 32ct Silkweaver solo to match the other blocks. Stitched as charted except for subbing Eterna minitwist silk for the NPI solid color silks (which regular readers know I dislike in texture, sheen and expense).  I'm stitching these as individual blocks and then will make them into an actual quilt rather than stitching this as one huge design. I now have six of sixteen blocks completed.

As I said, I now have 8 WIPs. One I can probably finish in an evening, should I be so motivated. I'm trying to tell myself I have to finish it before I can start the preparatory stitching on the DebBee's Designs class project I signed up for yesterday. Three finishes in one month are definitely worth a new start, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Obsession

And, this one is not my fault. It's Belinda's. After seeing her wonderful finish of Autumn Leaves designed by From Nancy's Needle (scroll down her blog page to see it), I *had* to stitch it. If all goes according to plan, you will see a HD of my rendition of the same design tomorrow. I just couldn't stay awake long enough to finish last night. LSU's dismal performance just sucked the energy out of me.

Autumn Leaves is my first real venture into counted canvas work. I'd wanted to try it for a while, and just never made the leap. I've really enjoyed this piece. It's a good first one. But, in typical Cheryl style, I find myself wanting the next canvas work project to be more challenging. So, today, I found myself signing up for this class to be taught at my LNS that specializes in needlepoint:

debbees designs diamond delight 9

Isn't it fabulous? It's Diamond Delight 9 by DebBee's Designs. The LNS owner is going to help me change the colors to more autumn tones as the purple really isn't my style. However, I really love the different techniques and stitches. And, I'll be using a wide variety of fibers, some of which I've never used before. I should get the supplies to do the prestitching sometime next week. I'm super excited!!!

Thus, a new obsession is born. :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Stitching Goals - EPIC FAIL; 2012???

So, the only 2011 goal I managed to achieve was to attend 4 Moonlight Stitching events at my LNS. The rest? Well, let's call it a "rebuilding year". After all, that's what the NFL teams say when they have a disappointing season, right? Yeah.

Of course, a status report on 2011 goals brings the question of what to do for 2012 to the fore. I can honestly say I have no real idea. There, I said it. I have no real stitching goals. With so many of my friends participating in various WIPocalypse and other SALs and posting lofty goals (on which they are likely to make excellent progress), I feel woefully inadequate.

I've never made so little progress on my goals as I did in 2011. Most of them I never touched on. I realize this is my hobby and it's about the fun. I've never met all of my goals, but I usually bat at least .500 if not better. But, in the vein of "if you first do not succeed, try, try again", here goes nothing.

2012 Stitching/Crafting Goals

~ Make a t-shirt quilt for Diva as a graduation gift.
~ Finish Egypt Garden for DH.
~ Stitch and finish some smalls, new starts and current WIPs.
~ Net reduction in WIPs by year end.
~ Attend bi-monthly Moonlight Stitching at the LNS at least 4 times.

That's all I'm committing to. ;-) The quilt project should be interesting. I'm sort of a newbie quilter. I've been sewing since I was a teenager, but never quilted really. An awesome stitching friend, who also is an amazing quilter, helped me find the t-shirt quilt instructions. They seem easy to follow and fairly simple, so I think I can handle it. And, if I get stuck, I just might know someone who can give me some helpful hints. LOL.

Here's to a more successful stitching year in 2012. I hope it is for all of you, too!