Friday, December 29, 2006

I've been thinking about 2007...

What do I want to accomplish and where do I want to be at the end of 2007?

Those are the questions that have been roaming around in my head the past week. In 2006 I finished a few crazy quilt blocks and projects and started a few more. I took SharonB's (if the link doesn't work, she is having problems with her blog) encrusted Crazy Quilting class in the spring, had fun with the "100 Details in 100 Days" that she held later in the year and then took her "Personal Library of Stitches" class this fall. I learned alot but have decided that I need a better plan of attack for 2007.

Back in November, I sort of had a plan:

1. Organize the workroom so it is easy to use.
2. Create each morning before leaving for work.
3. Continue thinking about my project during the day.
4. Utilize a visual journal (again!)
5. Take classes and join a guild to push the envelope.

Well, the workroom is almost done... it has been a long slog, going through many boxes and bags of artsy craftsy stuff, organizing most of it and tossing some of it. I think creating each morning before work will get to be an enjoyable habit after a few weeks and I already think about projects during the day. I've started using my visual journal again and plan on attending the January meeting of a local art quilt guild. So... I'm on my way as far as these goals are concerned; however, I need to decide exactly what I want to create in the realization of these goals.

In other words... what will I be creating during those morning sessions and what will I be thinking about during the day? First of all, I have joined SharonB's "Take a Stitch Tuesdays" Challenge (link to be added later). Each Tuesday in 2007, Sharon Boggon will present a special embroidery stitch and show a few different ways of addressing it. Then each of us will take that stitch and spend some time during the week to put our own spin on it... different threads, different sizes, some with beads and some without... maybe we'll turn it upside down and backwards... but the key is to make it your own... learn it thoroughly and make it stick.

At first I wanted to make a crazy quilt and use the stitches in the making of the quilt; however, I think a sampler format would be a better way to go. Doing a sampler gives me the freedom to concentrate solely on the stitches and what I want to do with them, not their position and purpose in a Crazy Quilt. I also want to be able to refer to the stitches I learn on a continuing basis and the sampler will be the way to make that easy. Allie, of "Works in Progress" has outlined how she will be approaching the challenge and I think I will probably be doing pretty much the same thing. I'll have to find a binder and some document protectors first... I wonder if they come in a smaller size than 8 1/2 x 11? Will have to check.

Anyway... this leads me to another problem... although I will be learning embroidery stitches and their many permutations, I won't be creating anything specific. This is where some more traditional quilting comes in. I've decided to make a quilt for our master bedroom, as well as a complementary wall hanging. I also volunteered (via Debra Spincic) to make a woman's Quilt of Valor . That will be a good start for me during 2007... I'm sure there will be other things that reach out to grab me during the year, but this will do for now.

So... for 2007 I'll be learning many lovely embroidery stitches without the pressure of deciding how, when and where to use them in a Crazy Quilt, I'll be making some much needed quilty additions to my home, I'll be volunteering for a cause that is close to my heart.... and I'll be blogging it all!

2007 should be a good year. ;0)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unplanned blogging break

Sorry for the unplanned blogging break... every moment has been filled with trying to get the kid's Christmas out the door. I uploaded pictures to Flickr earlier this week with intentions of sitting down and posting but somehow it didn't get done. But I'm here now! :0)

Thanks for all the comments on Becky's crazy quilt pillows. It is a good story, isn't it? I answered Debra's question about the background via email but for anyone else who is interested, the background of my blog is the birthday CQ wall hanging I made for my granddaughter, Sophia. If you would like to see more of it, it is on my Flickr site at .

I actually got quite a bit of organizing done in my workroom last weekend. I found most of my stash of different threads and organized them into 4 different color groups. Then I went and bought a four drawer set of plastic bins that I thought would be perfect. I took the grouped threads andd popped them in the bins; however, it was immediately obvious that I would have a terrible mess on my hands and that I needed to rethink things. So... I once again organized the threads, only this time it was by single colors. See?
Sorted threads
Yummy! That bit in the center is a skein of Noro Sakura yarn... OMG, it is gorgeous! I'm going to use it somehow... probably couching it on. Now I just have to find the perfect container to hold everything. It will need to have 12-14 drawers in it... I've been looking around at various office supply stores but so far haven't found anything. Oh, well, guess I need to keep shopping!

Then I moved on to the buttons. I had these sorted out but then a recent trip to the local Brass Armadillo Antique Mall yielded some more buttons so I had to rearrange the colors a bit. Then I went through all the little containers I have been using to hold project bits and pieces and put away all those buttons. More organization!
Sorry for the glare. I have another one of these containers up on the wall that I am going to try and use for my smaller beads. The hope is to get that done this weekend.

We also picked more pecans up this weekend. Our pecan tree has been dropping them fairly steadily the past month, but a lot of wind came through the other day and quite a few had dropped. Once we had them gathered I put them into an old dough bowl of my grandmother's and just had to take a picture to show.
Dec 2006 Pecans
They are very good... I was afraid they wouldn't be all filled out; however, the flood irrigation appears to do it's job very well. They were nice full, sweet pecans. Yay!

I have also been doing some Christmas baking to include in the Christmas boxes to the kids.
Christmas baking
Here we have Pumpkin Marmalade Bread and Toffee Sugar Cookies. Yummy, again! I don't bake as much as I used to... mainly because then Glenn and I eat it... well, y'know... quality control and all that!! ;0)

Now I just have to bake 20 small loaves of Pumpkin Marmalade Bread to include in the little gift bags for all Glenn's "kids" at work. He is the supervisor for 20 employees, mostly younger people, and "we" are putting together goody bags for them.

Once that is done, I can enjoy my five day weekend! Unfortunately, Glenn has to work a double shift on Christmas... sigh... but he is trying to get the 26th and 27th off so we can goof-off together. Either way, a goodly portion of this weekend will be spent... wait for it... getting my workroom organized! Hee!

In case I don't get back here before Christmas... let me just say Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa (is that right? must look that up) and any other happy and merry type activities you have planned around the Solstice! ENJOY!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Family CQ

I haven't been doing any of my own stitching this week. The mess that is the workroom has finally made me crazy enough that I have had to start getting it seriously organized. There does come a time when even I can't stand the clutter anymore and this weekend was that time. I've made a lot of progress but not enough for pictures yet. Hope to have the unveiling this weekend (although I think I've said that at least twice in the past few months!).

While I was going through and organizing my fabric, I found these pillow tops. These were made probably in the '30s or '40s by my mother's cousin, Becky. Becky was unlucky enough to be born with the umbilicle cord wrapped around her neck and due to the resulting lack of oxygen, her mind never really progressed past childhood. Every few months for many years I can remember my mother receiving letters from Becky in a child-like scrawl that was just barely legible. Becky died some years ago, but these beauties live on.

Becky's pillow 1

Becky's pillow 2

There are four of them, two backed in red and two backed in orange, each about 14" square. They appear to be made out of men's ties, the patches are handstitched to the muslin backing and the seam treatments are all variations of feather stitch, I believe. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) They are very simple in execution, yet the pairings of fabrics are quite sophisticated. I would assume she had some help with this, or, possibly it was one of those instances where this part of her brain worked quite well. At any rate, this is where my fascination with crazy quilts started. I plan to frame and hang them in my workroom for inspiration.

Becky's pillow 3

Becky's pillow 4

Click for a better look at the fabrics... I love these and will enjoy having them in my workroom with me!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Movin' on up to Beta Blogger

Well, I took the plunge. Last night I switched over to Beta Blogger and spent a couple of hours choosing a template and then tweaking it... including figuring out how to personalize the background. That took forever since I know zilch about HTML! I kept substituting my picture for anything on the template that had a url ending in jpg and finally found the right one! Yay me! ;0)

I like the new template and the ease in moving bits around but I haven't tried to upload pictures yet since I have no new pictures to show. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have some real content to show you. I still need to update my blogroll with all the ones I'm reading now... that's gonna take some time!

Please let me know how it looks to you and if you see any tweaking that needs to be done. I changed my fonts and colors so if you have trouble reading them I would like to know so I can change them.

Talk to you in a day or so!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Week 5 - Slipped Cable Chain Stitch Sampler Done

Thanks for the comments, ladies!

Here is the finished sampler ornament.
Week 5 - ornament finished
I added another row of slipped cable chain stitch in Kreinik silver metallic braid at the bottom, then filled in the areas between the center row and the top and bottom rows with two different variations using silk floss (starting with two rows of cable chain stitch on each side) and metallic DMC thread. Then, I added a backing of matching wool felt and buttonhole stitched around the edges. I'll set it aside and do some other ones and then figure out how I'll use them.

Allison - here is a link provided by Google to the cable chain stitch and then you just work the "slipped" part through the cables between the chain stitches. It is a wonderful stitch and I just love the variations that are possible with it!

Off to find another stitch to practice before the lesson for Week 6 (the last one!) comes out tomorrow!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Week 5 - Slipped cable chain stitch

OK, so maybe I needed more than a day off from blogging! ;0)

I read over the lesson for Personal Library of Stitches Week 5 and started playing around with ideas for a "sampler." I wanted to use the cable chain stitch because I just plain love that stitch. I also like the variations that SharonB came up with in her lesson. She wanted us to explore the stitches and find different ways of varying them. So... since it is Christmas and you can never have too many Christmas ornaments, this is what I came up with.
Week 5 - ornament
This is a variation on slipped cable chain stitch worked in #3 perle cotton on wool felt. I drew out the ornament shape (it's about 6" across) on graph paper, transferred it to cardboard, got a sore hand from cutting it out of the cardboard and then traced around it on the wool felt. Across the top of the ornament I have started another variation of slipped cable chain stitch using Kreinik silver metallic braid.

Here's a closeup of the stitch... click on either picture to embiggen.
Week 5 - ornament closeup
There are so many possiblities with this stitch... yum!!

I'm going to continue on this ornament and some others I have drawn and see where I end up. Should be fun!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

NaBloMoPo --- I DID IT!!!



It was easier than I thought...

I had more to say than I realized...

But boy, do I need a day off from blogging!


WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Thanks, ladies, for the great comments...

Jane Ann - "But, been there, done that crap... I'll be damned if I'm going to waste what good time I have left stalking dust bunnies and vacuuming 4 times a week." I almost spewed diet Coke all over the computer screen... thanks for the laugh and all the other good things you said.

Jo - "he is also on first name terms with the vacuum (I don't even know its surname!)." Hee!!... a vacuum with a name... Hee!

Rian - "To not create would be like stopping breathing. Impossible." Oh, you are so right lady... so right!

Allison - "Sounds like yours is one of the great marriages" Well, it's pretty damn good I must say... it took a LONG time for us to train each other, though... ;0)

Seriously, thanks for understanding what I was trying to say... I read it through about 3 times last night and it seemed to make sense; however, I was rather afraid to read it over again this morning!! Amazingly enough it STILL made sense!

Oh... and boy, when Sharon mentions you on her blog, you really get lots more visitors!! WooHoo!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Honoring your talent

Jo in New Zealand said this in a comment left on my last post, "These posts, and the forum {that would be the Joggles forum for the Personal Library of Stitches}, have taken another turn for me, and have created discussion and thought on honoring your own talent and accomplishments. Do you have any thoughts on that?"

Well... I can address that a little bit... I think maybe others would have a more educated answer than I, but I'll speak from my experience. I can't say that I have always appreciated my artistic and creative talent. My husband always appeciated it more than I. He loved to show off the results of my artistic endeavors (still does) and it took me a long time to be comfortable with that. Actually, I'm still rather uncomfortable with it... something I really need to work on!

A few years ago my SIL referred to me as "Super Woman" and I was totally, and I mean totally, dumfounded. I have always thought of myself as barely getting by, as being only an "OK" mother and an adequate wife... and here is this woman, who keeps an immaculate house (something I can never, ever, claim) calling me "Super Woman." I thought about it long and hard and came to realize that it was because I did all these different things... I cooked supper every night, I gardened, we renovated the house and I was always "crafting" in one way or another... I was just plain driven to try, at the very least... to do it all, and creation was a big part of that. I absolutely had to create in one way or another and I was always searching to find a way to do that.

I would ignore the dishes and the laundry... leave the dust bunnies and animal hair to multiply under the couch... and I would create. I would create until the clutter and chores waiting to be done would make me want to implode and then I would have a small (well, think Mt. St. Helens here) meltdown and Glenn would calm me down and then we would do a thorough clean-up... and then the cycle would start all over again. I wouldn't recommend that route for everyone but it did work! It resulted in 3 pretty damn good sons, a husband who does most of the housecleaning (we share the laundry and I do the cooking), an enduring marriage of 32 years and someone who feels confident in tackling almost any creative challenge. Don't ask me how the hell it happened, but it did!

I guess where I'm going with all this blather is that both Glenn and I honored my talent simply by acknowledging it's existence, by (let's face it) indulging me, myself and I in my constant need to create, and growing through the whole rocky experience. I don't know if this answered your question, Jo, but know this... a creative person has to create just like they have to breathe. It is totally a part of what they are, how they think, and where they are going. Hang on and enjoy the ride!!

Oh, and by the way, Glenn hasn't totally suffered throughout this... he gets fresh, hot coffee in bed every morning of his life... a more than adequate trade-off in his eyes! :0)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nurturing Creativity

The past couple of days have seen some thought provoking posts about creativity, the artist within us, and how to nurture and grow in our creativity. The posts I'm talking about are at Sharon Boggon's blog, and Rissa's Pieces , another great blog.

For a long time, during the prime kidlet rearing years, I managed to squeeze in time to be creative, in one way or another. Sometimes it was fiber related, but many times my creativity was poured out into my cooking, gardening, decorating, home renovation and work. There wasn't time or space enough to give my muse the room it needed, so sometimes it would just show up and give me a nudge (or more likely, a kick in the butt). Then I would finally take the time to indulge the creative being inside me with weaving, needlepoint, cross-stitch, knitting, crocheting and stained glass. At least until the kitchen was overflowing with dishes and there were no clean clothes in the house!

I never took the time to become really proficient at any one craft and as I look back on it, I think it was because each thing I made had to have a reason for being made. Of all the beautiful items I made over the years, I have only a handful to show for it. Nearly all of them were made and then given away as gifts. That way, you see, I could justify the time and expense of my crafts... my art. I needed to be able to have a completed project so I went for the simple, albeit beautiful... then gave it away. Hmmmmm.... interesting what you find out when you stop and really think about it.

So, now I am at a stage in life where I can "indulge" myself and feed my creativity, set aside a room in the house as a workroom, build a stash up so I have what I need at my fingertips and make something purely for the sake of making something beautiful, and then... learn from it... explore it and keep it! What a concept! ;0)

So... in keeping with the 5 Ways to Nurture Creativity in Sharon's post... here are my five goals for upping the creativity quotient in myself.

1. Organize the workroom so it is easy to use.
2. Create each morning before leaving for work.
3. Continue thinking about my project during the day.
4. Utilize a visual journal (again!)
5. Take classes and join a guild to push the envelope.

There... 2007 - here I come!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Further progress on Week 3

I wanted to get a bit more done with concepts from Week 3 before I jumped into Week 4. I tried playing around with some density concepts today as I added more to the Personal stitches sampler. This is how it stands now:
Week 3 - more filling

and here's a closer look at the little bit I got done today:
Week 3 - more filling close

I'm still playing with it but I'll probably move on to Week 4 since Week 5 is only a few days away! I don't have enough printer paper to print out the entire lesson so I have to wait till tomorrow. I like to sit down and read thru the lesson at least twice before I dig in. I kind of have to pick and choose what portions I want to play with immediatly since there is so much information offered... I just don't have enough hours in the day to give the full lesson the attention it deserves. I hope to sit down and do a full blown study of each lesson sometime in the spring.

One can always hope!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The last of the leftovers :0(

Well, we polished off the Thanksgiving turkey today. Not much happened on the stitching front since I made stock with the turkey bones which turned into a turkey mushroom soup that came out pretty good. I used Shitaki and button mushrooms, but next time I think I'll use twice the number of mushrooms... it wasn't quite mushroomy enough.
Turkey mushroom soup

And then, because we had already finished off the pumpkin pie... and... well, see there was this third empty, lonely pie shell in the fridge and we decided that it needed to be a pumpkin pie, too. It was very good...
Pumpkin pie in duplicate
It'll be even better for breakfast with a tall, cold glass of milk.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Back to "Personal Library of Stitches"

I got a chance to get some work done on my sampler for Week 2 and 3 of Sharon Boggon's class at
Week 3 - more
I am using #3 perle cotton, #12 perle cotton, silk floss and novelty knitting yarn so far on this sampler.

Here is a closeup of my favorite portion so far.
Week 3 - closeup
On the current additions I have used cable chain stitch to do some of the swooping lines, french knots and long straight stitches also.

Since it's a long weekend I'll be able to get some more done and hopefully dig into Week 4's lesson.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

To everyone of you that reads my blog and comments, to those who read it and don't comment (you know who you are!! Lurkers! HEE!) and to all the other textile bloggers out there who make our blogosphere a great place to be... a heartfelt thanks for each one of you!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wanna see how our Thanksgiving went?

At 4:00 pm... ya got your roast turkey, your homemade sage/bread stuffing, your mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and your Grammy's cranberry salad:
Turkey Stuffing Potatoes
I made the pictures small cuz there's a few more coming... click to embiggen!

Here's the full table:
Full table

At 4:15 pm ya got this:
Done! Dishes
Hurray for dishwashers!!

And... of course, later ya got pumpkin pie!
Pumpkin pie
Have a happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I like the sound of that!

I found this little quiz yesterday while wandering amongst the NaBloPoMo blogs. I liked the answer I got so I thought I'd share.

Long years ago, when I had 3 teen age boys, 6 dogs, 4 cats, a full-time job and a husband that worked way, way too many hours every week, I had a nick-name. My family called me "Queen B*tch of the Universe." For good reason, I might add!

I like this title better, thank you very much!

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dining room...

Quick post tonight as I need to get started on the stuffing for Thanksgiving. Glenn got the turquoise fabric panel up in the dining room. See?
Fabric panel - Turq - in situ B

I've been collecting the glass for awhile and lately have picked up a couple extra pieces. Some of it is vintage Viking glass. I want to add a round red piece on the left side of the credenza but haven't found just the right one yet.

The furniture is Danish Modern, probably from the sixties. There are a couple more views on my flickr page.

I love it!

Monday, November 20, 2006

More Mid-century fabric

No stitching tonight, I had decorating on my mind. Our oldest son is coming down from Colorado for Thanksgiving so we have been trying to tie up loose ends and make the old hacienda presentable. We are slowly putting some things up on the walls, a little bit here and a little bit there. We have waited until most of the "stuff" has been sorted out and furniture bought before putting anything up. Earlier this month I showed the livingroom curtains I made out of vintage mid-century fabric. Well, next in line is a piece of vintage fabric we made into a panel tonight (Glenn made the frame and I stretched the fabric) to help pull the "entertainment center" together.

Here is the panel:
Fabric panel - blk&wht

And here it is in it's role of pulling the various pieces of the "entertainment center" together.
Fabric panel - blk&wht - in situ
Hmmm... guess I should have picked up some the stuff off the credenza... oh, well!

Someday, when the prices of flat-panel LCD TV's come within striking range of our budget, we'll get a nice one to replace the current model and it will all fill out nicely. Until then, good enuff!!

Here is another piece of Mid-century fabric that is my favorite of the bunch.
Fabric panel - Turq etc
I really, really... really... like this piece of fabric. It's framed but not hung. Plans are to hang it tomorrow after work and if it gets done, I'll put a piccie of it up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Week 2 & 3 progress

Apparently I'm going to just keep on using this same piece of fabric and add week 3 bits to week 2 bits and see what happens. I used a ring off an old bit of costume jewelry and made a snowflake around it using #12 varigated perle cotton:
Week 2 - snowflake
I love the way it came out, but there isn't as much of a contrast as I would like with the fabric.

Here is another large double circle point:
Point 3
On this one I used #3 perle cotton, using circular button hole stitch in the center, a running stitch around the outside and then lacing with another color of thread. I like the concept but the execution in this instance leaves a bit to be desired.

Then, I added lines from week 3:
Week 3 -  beginning
This is some novelty knitting yarn couched down with perle cotton and then button hole stitches hugging the couched yarn. More pink button hole stitches are needed to finish it off, but this is where I got to tonight.

Hope to get more done tomorrow, see you then!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Granny Gran's quilt

Glenn's grandmother made this quilt in the seventies, by hand. She made quilts like this to earn enough money to keep body and soul together for herself (she buried three husbands!) when she got older - money was verra short. She would cut various pieces of fabric and old clothes into squares, fold the square into a triangle and stuff with polyester batting. Then she would bottonhole stitch the triangles closed. When she had a bunch made, she'd sit and start putting them together into squares until she had a quilt. Then she'd sell it and start another one. She gave each of her many grandchildren a quilt over the years, and this is ours.

Here it is full-size:
GrannyGran quilt

and here's a closeup:
GrannyGran quilt - closeup
We're going to put it up at the end of the hall by the bedrooms, it will fit perfectly there. It's a simple quilt but made with loving hands, so it is precious to us.

Tomorrow I hope to get started on the lesson for Week 3 in the Library of Personal Stitches class. We're trying like crazy to get the house FINALLY put together this weekend but, one way or another, I'll be putting my butt in that recliner and doing some serious stitching tomorrow!!

See ya'!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Meme

Well, I got the lesson read but haven't had time to start so what you get from me tonight is a meme I ripped off from several knitting blogs. Enjoy!!



1. Yourself: freckled
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): understanding
3. Your hair: curly
4. Your mother: controlling
5. Your Father: stubborn
6. Your favorite Item: earrings
7. Your dream last night: confusing
8. Your favorite drink: Jack
9. Your dream car: classic
10. The room you are in: cluttered
11. Your Ex: none
12. Your fear: death
13. What you want to be in 10 years? retired
14. Who you hung out with last night? Glenn
15. What you're not? stupid
16. Muffins: poppyseed
17. One of your wish list items: money
18. Time: stretched
19. The last thing you did: ate
20. What you are wearing: jeans
21. Your favorite weather: rain
22. Your favorite book: long
23. The last thing you ate: popcorn
24. Your life: happy
25. Your mood: relaxed
26. Your best friend: Glenn
27. What are you thinking about right now? bed
28. Your car: red
29. What are you doing at the moment? vegging
30. Your summer: hot
31. Your relationship status: enduring
32. What is on your TV? history
33. What is the weather like? wonderful
34. When is the last time you laughed? tonight

OK... that's mine... who wants to be next?

C'mon!!!! ;0)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Week 2 with Week 3 coming up from behind

Thanks so much for the well wishes... after a little extra sleep last night I'm feeling better. Luckily I didn't have to resort to the onion, Allison! I started on anibiotics last weekend but they didn't fully kick-in until today and I was fried. I'm still not at full force yet, but I'm getting there. :0)

I laid out a line of points along a curve. They are in this picture, but are rather hard to see.
Week 2 - points

Anyway, I started with another of the large points... boy, I really like these double circles... they really have lots of opportunities for playing!
Week 2 - 2nd point
This is done using #3 perle cotton and I really like it!

Here is a whipped stitch done in a #12 perle cotton:
Week 2 - whipped stitch

Then, I tried a vintage bead... it's an oval so it didn't work quite as well but I think it is OK and I got to play with this concept.
Week 2 - whipped bead
I used silk floss for it but it would definitely work much better using perle cotton. Like SharonB said, perle cotton is really the way to go on these kind of stitches. The floss just lays too flat.

I still have so much more to cover in this lesson and the lesson for Week 3 is already here! Gah! Hopefully I'll be able to catch up, but if not, I'll just work on it later! Now... I'm off to read this week's lesson.

Nighty night!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Pause...

I have been felled by an inner-ear infection and believe I shall wait until tomorrow to do a real post. I'm posting because I'm participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, and I have actually managed to post every day so far this month... I don't want to screw with my record!

See you tomorrow, hopefully feeling a bit more like myself.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Starting Week 2 sampler over...

Well, after reading SharonB's suggestion in the Joggles class forum that I try circles on linen and then taking a good look at my circle on Aida... I'm going with the linen. I think I'll start fresh on the Week 2 sampler (from the Personal Library of Stitches class), using the hand-dyed linen I got originally:
28ct quaker linen

Luckily I haven't done much yet on the Aida!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

A small detour...

to another of my textile loves... mid-century fabrics. I automatically gravitate to fabric, can't help it - don't want to. Fabrics of all types, shapes, sizes and ages. When we moved into a house built in 1956 in Colorado, I started to explore the culture and architecture of the 1950's via magazines, books, etc.

Being a textile freak I started watching for mid-century textiles at yard sales and on eBay and did some reading about them. Since we moved to Phoenix and decided to once again buy a mid-century home, I've been slowly gathering a small collection. The past few months, since we bought our 1950 brick ranch, have been filled with fitting all of our stuff into this house. Although this house isn't really a mid-century modern home, we are incorporating aspects of that style of decorating with some of the other pieces we have collected over the years. We found some Danish Modern dining room furniture from the fifties and now I have finally started to pull out my fabrics to do some decorating.

I'm not crazy about alot of the fabrics from that era, but some of them are VERY nice... at least in my eyes! This is a length of fabric off of eBay that someone made into curtains sometime during the fifties. It's not really a barkcloth, but I do think it is a cotton blend. Here's a closeup:
Liv Rm curtains - close
It's a cool off-white backround with green, taupe, brown, pink and coral figures.

Unfortunately, our couch is a warm off-white and they really don't match well. See?
Liv Rm curtains - full
It's all good, though, having an off-white couch in this house is an exercise in futility so I'll probably reupholster the couch to match the curtains.

Not that I've ever upholstered anything... :0)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Beginning Week 2

We worked a good bit on the house this weekend so I didn't have too much time left to get some work done on the lesson for Week 2, but I did get a start.

I had some 14 count Aida that I decided to play with on this lesson. I cut it in two pieces and then couldn't find my pen that dissolves when spritzed with water anywhere, sooooo... I just grabbed the chalk pencil and played with that.
Week 2 - curve
As I made the curve across the piece of fabric, I just kept going until I got a curve I liked. Hopefully this mess will wash out... if not, lesson learned! I did finally manage to find the dissolving pen, oddly enuff, it was in my sewing basket... imagine that! Hee!

I took the same type of curve and laid it out on the other piece of Aida fabric, this time just with a few points, using the dissolving pen. Then I added a few of the double circles from the lesson along the curve and started stitching:
Week 2 - points

I only got one of the double circles done tonight, but it's a start!
Week 2 - 1st point

All for now... thanks so much for the comments, especially on the Veteran's Day post... it means alot to me.

Nite, nite!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day

Today is Veterans Day in the US; Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries.

I am a veteran of the US Navy. I joined in 1970 and was honorably discharged in 1976. I am what is called a Vietnam-era veteran. I didn't see combat like many of the guys did. Neither did Glenn, thankfully. He was also in the Navy, 1970-1979. During our time in the Navy we were stationed in many different places. I was stationed in Maryland and Virginia, met and married Glenn while serving in Puerto Rico, went to school in New Jersey and finally spent 3 years in Hawaii. I grew up alot during those years!

A few years later, I went to work at Fort Polk, Louisiana for the US Army. I worked there for nearly 10 years, 1989-1998, supporting the support system of the soldiers and their families. I worked there thru the first Gulf war and watched the bombing of Baghdad from the Colonel's office in the security building.

Now I work for a Department of Defense contractor that designs and makes the robots that search for IEDs in suspicious areas along the roadsides of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I tip my hat and raise a cheer for all those who have served, in all countries, in all wars, both overseas and at home. May you return safely to your family.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Week 1 - Stitching done

I finished the last bit of embroidery on the Week 1 Sampler for the Personal Library of Stitches class at

Week 1 - stitching done

The border is Portuguese stitch in #3 Perle Cotton. Once I got the hang of it, I really like this stitch and it goes pretty quickly. It's a nice, beefy stitch that could carry quite a bit of impact on a Crazy Quilt block. I will probably add something under the date because that looks rather empty and I'm quite sure that some beads will brighten up this sampler before I'm done.

I've been thinking about lesson 2 off and on all day. Working with points should make an interesting sampler!

We did quite a bit of work tonight on the craft room. Glenn said he would help get it straightened out if he got at least one flat surface in the room to call his own. I thought it was pretty nervy of him to ask for a corner to play in but I finally gave in... LOL!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No stitching to report on today; however, I will answer a couple of questions from the comments to the last couple of posts.

Chloe, I did try to use combinations of stitches that echoed American Indian motifs that are probably very similar to Aztec motifs. The colors, including the linen, are colors that are associated with the American Southwest so it all kind of works together.

Elizabet, the very bottom line of stitches is simply three rows of alternating running stitch, but it all combines with the lines above to become Guilloche stitch.

Conni, Yes!!! '52 was a very good year! LOL! And thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, it was so nice to see my in box fill up with all the comments!

I'm working on finishing the last bits of this sampler so I can move onto the next lesson. Hope to have something to show everyone tomorrow.

Nite, nite!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Further progress!


I have made more progress on my sampler for the Personal Library of Stitches class...

Week 1 - progress
Threads used are #3 perle cotton, silk and cotton floss, and Caron Impressions (cotton, I think). The top stitch is another variation on Guilloche stitch... I like the size and heft of the stitch done this way; however, I think you would have to be careful where you used it as it might overwhelm other, more delicate stitches. It would make a great border though!

I'm going to do some more couching, and probably another variation on the Portuguese stitch, as I like the Portuguese stitch and want to do some more experimenting with it. The next lesson should be out tomorrow!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today, in 1952...

this little freckle-faced girl was born.
Me & Mom in 1953
Here I am with my Mom in 1953.

My Dad had a jingle he would say when I had a temper tantrum...

"There was a little girl,
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good...
and when she was bad she was horrid."

'Nuff said!!

Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Last week, while wandering around Phoenix after an estate sale where I bought some very cool Swarovski crystals, I chanced upon another estate sale that yielded an interesting jacket. Here's the front...
B-W jacket - front

and the back...
B-W jacket - back

It has a very cool closing...
B-W jacket - clasp

and very nice finishing treatment wherein all the seams are covered in black seam binding...
B-W jacket - finishing

Now... if I was a size... ummm 10, this would fit quite well; however, since I'm far from it (oh, so far from it) this will be a purse/handbag soon.

Pretty cool, huh? ;0)