Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh so Pretty!

Stitching this sampler just makes me want to break out in song! 
I Feel Pretty
Oh so Pretty
I Feel Pretty and Witty and Bright! 

The sampler is Marlene's sampler by Romy in Austria. Here is my progress.
 

See what I mean? She is not a very big sampler (127 x 127) but she is packed with stitching and lovely colours!  I have a tiny floss dilemma. Compare the first photo with the next photo which is what the finished piece should look like.

The alphabets are stitched in OWS' Cats Eyes. The problem is my floss does not have much of varigation in it so the letters just disappear into the linen (see lower right). I didn't really notice that until I turned the OTT light off! So, I'm not sure what I will do yet.  What do you think? 

Oh yeah, and while you're comparing the photos, note the basket in mine is not all blue. *sigh* By the time I noticed that the basket was all done in that light brown and I did not have the heart to frog it all out. Instead  I made up for it by filling it in with the blue.

Here on the home front it's been a weird week. Sometimes life hands you some worries and one has to ride them out!  We have some sunshine today which is a good thing!  We have signs green sprouting everywhere! 

Thank you for visiting with me. Your comments are always a gift! Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January Rose

Hello, all you winter bunnies! I hope you are keeping warm and dry. We've had such cold, chilly weather that we all started to get the sore throat this week. So far the bugs are being held off with garlands of garlic (not really) but not sure how long will last.

I have my first finish of the year!
Lo, how a Rose
by Brightneedle
from the book "A Cross-Stitch Christmas - Celebrations in Stitches" 
by Better Homes and Gardens

I'm very happy with how it turned out.  It's stitched on 35 ct WDW "Linen" linen, with recommended WDW floss but I threw it a few odds and ends colours from my stash. The colours in real life are actually brighter than what the photo is showing.

Now, because you were all so kind with your compliments about my sampler wall, I'm going to torture show you another photo which I was able to take without all the glare. I didn't realize the previous shots I took were also a bit fuzzy too. 

That's a bit better! 
Now, I just started my next project last night, not much to show. I will do that next week. I won't even tell you what it is because I might change my mind!  I'm thirsting for colour though! And the colour I want is RED! 

Red Samplers I heart:
  • Ann Rayner - broke down yesterday and ordered it, complete with silks from Attic
  • Ann Grant - waiting for the release from Nashville Market
  • Jane Tindall - have the chart, now I got to get silks and linen together
  • Sarah Elizabeth Brookes - this is one that the talented Tanya showed  as the lovely early Christmas she got and may be reproduced one day soon! Yes, please! 
Yes, you can see a common theme here, can't you? Tanya, a very talented stitcher indeed and now that she has gotten into reproducing old samplers, aren't we all the better for it? Check out her latest - Maria Tilley.  (I just realized that sounds like a marketing plug or something but it isn't!)


Anyway, dreaming of these Red samplers keeps me going through the dull days of winter! 


Now, a couple of photos of cuteness.



For some reason, Julius always go on the man-chair, and Daisy, my chair!  Oh, I need to learn how to relax like those kitties!


Thanks again for stopping by! Enjoy the last week of January!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Sampler Wall 2011

I picked up  2 more framed pieces yesterday. Then the fun began trying to put together another sampler wall!  Here we go with the photos!
The above frame is just lovely and really complements the stitched piece. I just love my framer! This was quite an expensive frame but she gave me a great price on it.


The above is the 're-purposed' frame that I had shown you last week. I'm very happy with it. It only cost me $10 labour so that was a great deal!  

The creative process of putting together the right pieces for the sampler wall, placement etc took us yesterday afternoon and this morning. We played with the arrangement on the floor first. My DH has now become quite an "art director" when it comes to arranging the pieces together, with definite strong opinions! ;-) I believe he quite enjoys the process too!
 

Then finally they went up on the wall with a slightly different arrangement than what was on the floor.  I'm very hoppity-happy with it! (I'm glad I took the photo of the arrangement on the floor as I couldn't get a photo of the wall without any reflections showing!)



Starting from the top left hand corner and ending with the piece in the center:
  1. Hanna Lovin Joslin 1856, from book "Honeysuckle Manor" by Blackbird Designs
  2. Tis the Season, from book "Joyeux Noel" by Blackbird Designs
  3. Mary's Best Handwork by With Thy Needle and Thread
  4. Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs
  5. Quaker Graden by Blackbird Designs
  6. Isabella Johnstone 1854 from SANQ summer 2010 issue
  7. A Very Fine Sampler by Birds of a Feather 
Here is my progress on Lo, How a Rose. It's getting close!
 
Thank you for your help with the magnifiers. It was interesting to read about what you are using (or not needing to use - very lucky). I will hunt around locally and see what I can find. 

For all of you who joined the Crazy January Challenge - congratulations and many thanks for posting on your blogs. It was great fun to see all the different designs, many of which I've never seen before! I know, it was very tempting to go and buy something new! 

News of Nashville Market releases are starting to come through. I read in one newsletter that Paulette will have a Noah themed design "The Flood" to complement Paradise Lost! Won't that be exciting?! 

Here it is Sunday evening (raining, raining) and it's almost time to start getting dinner ready, then wind down... just to get wind up for another busy work week. 

Hope you are staying well and happy! Thank you for dropping by! Have a great week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let there be Light!

Good Sunday morning! It's a beautiful sunny morning here and there's snow in the forecast. Whether it will happen is another matter. We have had a full week of rain though. Whether that was conducive to returning to work, I don't know. What I can tell you is that on the first day of returning to work, Tuesday, everybody was in a daze. It was really funny and we all laughed about it. But by Wednesday, everyone woke up and realized how much work we had put aside and that there is major catch up to do! Ahhhh, can't have some fun without some payback! 

Meanwhile, a bit of stitchy progress to show you. 
I started adding in some other colours yesterday when I realized the linen I picked was on the 'blue' side and therefore wasn't very good for the warm tones of the pinks and greens that were on the recommended list. You may not be able to see the difference in the photo but I could and it bothered me. Finally when I swapped in some brighter colours that was in tone  with the linen, I felt better. Funny isn't it that we can feel when a piece is just humming along, or when something isn't quite right? 

Some of you asked me where this design comes from. It's from a book called "Better Homes and Gardens A Cross-Stitch Christmas, Celebrations in Stitches".   It's out of print but you can check amazon.com here and find copies.  

 The next photo is of an old framed piece that I found in a drawer when I was going through tidy-up in December. It is from 1994, on aida. 
Although it's a nice design, I am going to re-use the frame for something current. I did a re-use last year of another frame and it turned out really well. Funny enough it's from the same framer!  You can tell I'm very loyal once I find someone I like!  Hopefully next week I will be able to show you the new piece, along with another something else I took in which I'm very excited to see!

During the Christmas break, I was saying to my husband I wanted more light in the room where I do stitching, yoga, whatever. We were looking to get a brighter light in the ceiling but it turned out I got a good table lamp at Home Depot, of all places!  Here is a photo and you can see how it throws light above and below. 

Having this extra light in the room has made a huge difference! You hear about some people having a difficult time in the winter months due to lack of sunshine. Now I can begin to understand what that means! 

Now I have a question for you. Do you use a magnifier of some type when you stitch? I am thinking of getting a good one for when I have to stitch "over one". Please let me know if you have something that works for you. 

Thank you for your well wishes about my neck and returning to work. The week was busy but not too bad. I find now that I'm trying to do things like stretches/exercise to keep my neck/shoulder/back issues at bay, that I have to change my schedule and my habits! The latter being the more challenging but I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to wake up and make changes before things get so bad that I can't!

That's it for this week. Thank you for visiting! Have a wonderful week ahead.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Start for 2011

Hello, all you happy and crazy stitchers! Crazier still if you are in the January Crazy Challenge, or some variation of it. I'm enjoying seeing all these wonderful starts. It's a real test to the ole' willpower though because I am seeing lots that I think I want to start! Noooooo!

I did start on a new piece - Lo, How a Rose sampler by Brightneedle. You can see Lee's beautiful finish here

Gosh, now that I look at Lee's, my version looks so faded! I am using the recommended over-dyed WDW floss, on 35 ct WDW "Linen" linen. The colours are a bit brighter than the photo is showing. I am enjoying this one.

Even though I've had 2 weeks off work, I've scaled back my stitching and even computer time. My neck and back are feeling better just because I've given it rest and  not driving and sitting on the computer all day helps too. Slowly, but surely!

Speaking of which, back to work tomorrow (collective groan here) which also means lots of stuff I have to do today!  I will leave you with a couple of photos of the kitties over the holidays - Julius, snoozing happily and Daisy doing what she loves best - hiding!


Hope you are enjoying the start of a new year! Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!