Thursday, July 18, 2013

Prairie Schooler Santas

Let me just say, I love July! 

July 4th is one of my favorite holidays - I love being at ball games and hearing the National Anthem being played this month.  

July also starts to slow down at our house - well, a little bit.  The boys are only playing baseball on the weekends which frees me up just a little bit to catch up on things.  

Over Christmas vacation I started stitching The Prairie Schooler Santa collections.  I only have 8 done to this point, but decided to put the backing on them this afternoon.  

I am going to be SO happy come December that I have these 8 done.  Maybe I can get a few more stitched before it's time to decorate for Christmas.  

I chose to do the envelope method of backing - when you are done there's no stitching the opening closed.  

Thank you Marly for all your inspiration and help with these.  

 Put my Kindred Spirits piece in its frame last night.  So happy I could save this piece.

 I think I'm losing it!  I shared with you the wonderful Flosses by The Gentle Art....

well, guess what I found while digging through my stitching baskets today?

A floss kit for the pattern I'm currently stitching ......Autumn on Marigold Lane.  I had purchased this sometime during the winter and didn't need to purchase it again!  I'll need to find more patterns to stitch with these lovely flosses.  

Have a great weekend!  I'm off with our oldest son for a weekend Tournament in Indiana,  Dad/Coach and the youngest son will be staying home for a 12U tournament our baseball association puts on.   

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A new obsession

Like so many of you, I started Cross Stitching in the 80's.  My first project in the summer of 1987 was a Teddy Bear alphabet wall hanging that I made, intending to give to the first grandchild on my side of the family, who was set to arrive in October 1987.  I took that project with me to my boyfriend's softball games and would stitch in between games. In the end, my Mom wouldn't let me give it to my new born nephew - I needed to save it for my own kids. Mom said I had way too much work in that piece to give it away.  That boyfriend became my husband, 10 years later we had our daughter and I hated that cross stitch piece! I'm now saying that I'm saving it for our grandchildren.  

Shortly after starting the Cross Stitch obsession, I decided on the Floss*A*Way bags as my way to organize my growing collection of DMC threads.  

When JoAnn's had floss 4/$1.00 back in the early 1990's I would buy several skeins on each visit.  Did I really need to have every single color?  Have I ever used every single color?  

NO!  But I have them, just in case.....  

Move aside DMC

I've found a new love (maybe I should be real and say addiction)

 Simply Shaker Threads.
Oh Wow! is all I can say about these threads.  They are dyed to give a slight variation in the color in stitching projects.  It's a very subtle variation that I will compare to highlighting and shading in painting.  

My collection at the moment is only about 20 skeins, but I will be adding to it!  

One of my favorite designers is Pineberry Lane.  Most of Wendy's patterns that I have use the Simply Shaker Threads.  My current project is Autumn on Marigold Lane by Pineberry Lane.  The flowers in the big urn are stitched with just one thread color - Autumn Leaves and they are so pretty in person.

If you are looking for a source for the Simply Shaker Threads, may I suggest Rachelle of The Cottage Needle, found on Etsy HERE.  Rachelle is wonderful, she has a great selection of patterns, fabrics and threads.  

Thought I'd show you a mistake that I made.  I stained this piece just a "tad" too dark with coffee.  I was just sick, as I can't even tell where my stitching is or what it's supposed to say.  UGH.  How many hours did I spend on this one?  I couldn't even think about it.  

"Kindred Spirits" by Primitive Needle

 I was so afraid after baking the piece in the oven that the coffee stain would be permanently set.  What did I have to lose?  I took it to the sink and started running room temperature water over the piece.  Enough of the stain washed out that I can now see my stitching!  YAY!  Happy Day.   

I have a frame ready for this, just need to mount it on the mat board - my least favorite part of finishing.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Some First's and Some Last's

Oh, My Goodness!  Where have I been? It has been over 3 months since I last posted.

These last few months have brought about several changes at our household:  

The last time I have to buy a prom dress, it will just be tuxedo's from now on.    

The dress was the easy part - the shoes were a nightmare to find.  We were down to days prior to the big event before we found "the pair".  It doesn't help when we live an hour from the nearest shopping centers.  

I'm sure I'll still have to buy dresses like the one on the left, but what a day we had.  Carrie needed 2 dresses; one for scholarship interviews and a different one for the awards ceremony/graduation. We spent the entire day at the mall looking for "the outfit".  Wouldn't you know it was the last store we went into!    

At one point we were laughing so hard in the fitting room I was in tears.  I can't picture this happening with the boys!


Then there was the No Graduation Party Party.  In January she decided she didn't want a party, by February she thought she would, March back to no.  Late in April she changed her mind AGAIN.  And she had very specific requests.  
1. Mom's roll out cookies decorated like flowers
2.  Mom's smoked pulled pork

My husband put his foot down and said I didn't have time to smoke all the pork - Thank you!  He called and ordered it from a local guy who does this as a business. 

The cookies were another story.  I made 2 batches of my roll out cookies, decorated them and put them into the freezer.  On Memorial Day we spent 12 hours making more.  

It dawned on my after making the first batch on Memorial Day that the first 2 batches I'd made were egg-less ( I wondered at the time why they weren't puffy).  I forgot to put in the eggs!  Oh, My Gosh!  I don't have this kind of time.  
The recipe for these cookies can be found in this POST

The Graduate

Another Last - our youngest son is done with Little League Baseball - he moves on to a bigger field next year in Jr. High.  Kind of a sad day to say good bye to this level of ball.  

I love this picture of him in his catcher's gear.  His Dad was a catcher in both high school and college.  It's fun to see him follow in Dad's footsteps.  Spring is always busy with baseball for us - in the month of June we had just 3 days without a ball game.  But there's no where else I'd rather be!  

I guess this next one is a "second".  Son #1 now has his permit.  I will miss our daughter in so many ways when she heads off to college in the fall - one of those ways is her hauling the younger 2 around.  There will be a 3 month period, after she leaves before he can get his license.  UGH. 

I'll be back soon - I promise!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hanging some Hooking

 Finally a weekend without every single minute filled!  After the long basketball season with our middle child it was nice to have a weekend at home.  (9 straight weekends were Friday AND Saturday night games....whew)  

A couple of projects that I wanted done.....

saltbox hooked mat,  cat hooked mat, antique flowers hooked mat
My 3 most recent hooking projects hung.  Not sure they will all stay here, but I liked them grouped together for the time being.  

This narrow wall space is at the base of our stairs, sandwiched between the front door and the windows of our "music" room - the room where the piano collects dust.  It adds some interest to this forgotten wall.  

Last year when we were moving my Mom, one of the treasures that I saved from the dumpster were several of my Grandmother's hooked rugs.  I wish I knew how many rugs my Grandmother hooked during her lifetime.  I was only 9 when she died, so my time with her was limited.  We lived several hours apart and didn't see each other very often.  I think it might have to do with the fact that she and her son (my Dad) butted heads and she and my Mom didn't see eye to eye either.  

But to me she was Kack, my loving grandmother.   She baked the BEST molasses cookies,  her "cookie jar" - it was a gallon jug - like a pickle jar was always full of these wonderful cookies.   She taught me how to crochet a chain - which I still have, it's green and I keep it in my sewing basket.   I remember the day I said something to my Mom about Kack smoking and my Mom dropping what she was doing to ask me how I knew that!  Well, Mother, her house smells like cigarette smoke. My Grandfather had died several year before so there was only one person it could be.   I guess it was a deep dark secret that we were supposed to ignore! 

One of several room sized rugs that Kack hooked.... 

I'm not sure how I feel about it on the wall.  It's REALLY big and not quite what I had pictured in my head of how it would look.  My initial reaction was to take it right back down.  We left it up, I'll give it a few more days to grow on me and to give my husband some time to realize he may have to take it back down and fill the holes in the wall!  My thought now is it will go on the floor in our bedroom. 

 I think this one is my favorite. 
autumn leaves hooked rug

 Kack's shading is just perfect in this. She dyed her own wool, all of which was recycled clothing and blankets.  The colors look so nice with our kitchen floor and this old cabinet.  (That's the cat food container on the left!) I have 5 more rugs to find homes for - I wonder how my husband will feel about testing one out on another wall...above the piano maybe??
Over the weekend while we were watching March madness, I worked on this freebie from Not Forgotten Farms.  I'll show you the finished piece later in the week.  


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thank you!

 I recently won this beeswax basket from Misi at Gable House Goods.  It smells heavenly!  I love all of Misi's creations - this basket joins several other of her pieces in my house.  (I still have pumpkins out that I purchased from her last fall. They smell so good, I can't put them away!)  Misi still has some of these baskets left, visit her by clicking the link above to go to her blog.  

Thank you Misi!

I also won floss from Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  Nancy is having another giveaway right now, follow the link I've provided and you can sign up.  I won some floss from Nancy last year and then purchased more.  I'm so happy to add to my hand dyed stash.  Her photos are much better on her blog and show the floss off much better.  

Thank you Nancy! 

Do you remember in my last post that I had a certain cat (Frito) who knocked a basket off one of my cupboards and broke it?  Well guess what has happened now......

This is my Iphone charger.  Or I guess I should say it was my Iphone charger.  

Frito was NOT happy that I was accusing him again!  Look at that face.  What he didn't realize when I was questioning him was I knew he didn't do it.  Nope, he doesn't do really naughty things.  I didn't even need to swab the DNA left behind.  

I KNOW who chewed through my charger....It's this little beast. 

The Graybinator.  

This is not the first cord he's chewed through.  You'd think we'd learn!  


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rug Finish & A BAD CAT

 I just finished Posies in the Middle by Humble Rugs.  I picked up the pattern at The Rug Show at Sauder Village in August.  For some time, I've been debating the colors to use and how to handle the tongues.  I used 4 different golds for the tongue outline and 2 different wools for the middle row.  The middle row of each tongue is the same wool.  I'm happy with how this turned out.  

 The current home of this rug is on top of a standing cupboard in our dining room.  The funny thing is, both cats have decided they need to test it out as a sleeping spot.  Actually it's not funny - this story takes a BAD turn.....
If you have followed my blog for at least the last 6 months you know I had an egg basket with a broken handle. You can see the post about this basket HERE I finally fixed the basket back in June of 2012.  All was good.  
If you look closely at the photo above you will see the handle is broken - AGAIN - and to top it off, it broke in 2 completely different spots.  

 The broken handle......

I KNOW who did this.....

Look at that guilty face.....

Next, he tried to play the "I'm so cute" card.  It didn't work.  Frito, I know you knocked the basket off the cupboard and broke the handle.  

In a huff, he simply turned his back on me and

 proceeded to point his paw at someone else.....

The Graybinator!  Easily believed, but, for once completely untrue. 

Now I have to repair the basket again - thanks so much Frito.  

Have you been over to my basket blog?  I'm having a basket giveaway if you follow the link to the right.  Oh, and the basket doesn't have a broken handle!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Confession: I'm a X Stitch Snob!

I started Cross Stitching when I was in college in 1987.  There was a cross stitch store in the small city where I went to college, full of charts of teddy bears and hearts and 14 count aida in a rainbow of colors.  Should I have studied more and cross stitched less?    


After stitching for years on 14 count, I made the change to higher count linen.  I loved my new  stitching look and discarded all my left over 14 count cloth.   

Recently someone gifted me a piece of 18 count.  I was never a fan of 18 count, what was I going to do with it? 

 I had printed out Pamela's free chart "BELIEVE"  (found HERE at Our Pioneer Homestead)  
I used 3 strands of hand dyed floss, stitched over 2 threads and backed the pillow with felted wool.  By stitching this way, the design measures approximately 5 1/2" by 15".  This was a perfect use for the 18 count!  Thank you Pam.  

Back to my usual higher count linen for this Stacy Nash design - Netty's Sampler Pinkeep Drum.  

This one still needs a bath in coffee to darken it a little bit.  

October word play by With thy Needle and Thread stitched on 32 count linen.  
I used hand-dyed floss on this pillow too - floss from Victorian Motto Sampler Shop - HERE

Here's the confession part - 
1.  There aren't enough hours in the day for me to keep up with my blog friend Marly of Samplers and Santas.  
2.  Her post showing off her Prairie Schooler Santas (found HERE) still has me drooling.  You MUST click the link and see her wonderful tree.  
3.  I haven't stitched on 14 count in at least 15 years, remember I'm a cross stitch snob!   

Using the Father Christmas Chart and 14 count I stitched my first 8 Santa's.  

I actually enjoyed stitching on 14 count again.  I think it might have something to do with the fact that I need bifocals....  

The Santa's are now sitting in my UFO pile.  I've come to the conclusion I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have a UFO pile!