Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ornament Exchange with Melissa and Cool Christmas conversions

I'm finally back with the pictures of the ornament exchange I did with Melissa.  She sent me this adorable Snowman, which my lack of photography skills do not show to its best advantage.  I tried with and without flash, but this was the best I could do.  I really need to invest in a better camera and/or a tripod.  All pictures *should* be clickable for a closer view.

I sent Melissa Lizzie*Kate's "My Favorite Time" stitched one over 2 on 40 count Lakeside Linens Vintage Light Exemplar using the DMC conversion.  The only color change I made was for the single X at the top of the ornament.  I stitched it in the same brown as the branch because the gold blended into the linen.  It was finished as a simple pillow with a feather-edged ribbon hanger and embellished with buttons my kids picked from my stash.  I added a fringed patch with my initials and the year to the back and did a rough blanket stitch around the edge to finish it off. The postman must have really liked this one, because it took a week for it to go "priority" within the US.  I was seriously getting worried that I'd have to restitch it, especially since I sent Vonna's at the same time and hers arrived in two days and she lives one state farther east than Melissa.  Too bad it's not possible to email packages!



For those who might be interested in the conversions I used a few posts back on Fresh Threads Studio's "Cool Christmas" from the JCS 2010 ornament preview issue, here are most of them.  I forgot to write down the blues I used for the last one.  I'm pretty sure these are accurate, I did keep changing my mind on some of the colors as I stitched, but I tried to write down the final colors. 
Symbol charted
DMC charted
50/50 circle

For the silver on all of them, I "made do" with a double strand of Talon American metallic sewing thread from my stash because I didn't have the Kreinik and I couldn't find my silver DMC.


I have done the bulk of the stitching and restitching of the Cat's Whiskers "On Christmas Day" sampler.  I haven't decided whether I want to bead it or not, so I haven't stitched the small snowflakes (which I'm not entirely sold on either) yet.  It is in serious need of a press before I can show a picture of the progress/possible final product.  I stitch in hand and it's been rolled from all directions as I've stitched, so no matter what I try the ends curl in too much to get even a halfway decent shot.  Maybe I'll break out the iron and board over the next few nights and take a pic or two and get your opinions on whether to bead or call it done!


In the great likelihood that I don't post here before the new week begins, I want to wish everyone the happiest of new years, and may 2011 bring you all the blessings you deserve!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Exchanges received

Melissa and I also participated in a personal Christmas ornament exchange.  My exchange to her arrived last Wednesday and hers to me arrived on Friday. 

It looks like I will have to post pictures at another time because Blogger is not playing nice right now and I also forgot my camera with the pictures of what Melissa sent to me.

To be continued...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fabulous exchange received!

I had the great fortune of being at the right place at the right time a few months ago when Vonna posted that she was looking to do a personal Christmas ornament exchange.  I didn't do any of my usual hemming and hawing and I dashed off an email telling her I'd be a willing participant if she still had an opening.  The ornament she stitched for me arrived yesterday and, boy, is it a beauty! 

Wanna see?  Ha ha!  Silly question!

JBW French Country Star
1/1 with Belle Soie Sister Scarlett on 32 ct

Even the back is gorgeous!

The ornament I stitched for Vonna arrived in her mailbox today.  Here's what I sent her.

1/2 with called-for DMC on 40 ct Lakeside Linens Vintage Light Exemplar
Mill Hill beads in called-for color, petite-size

The back
Blogger is driving me crazy.  My pictures keep jumping around and the fonts keep changing.  I have to run to pick up my son from school, but I wanted to share before the day was over.

Happy holidays to all!

Monday, September 27, 2010

JCS Ornament Preview results - Quick post!

Sorry I'm late.  I got swamped at work on Friday and didn't get a chance to run the randomizer or post.  It's been busy today too, but I just caught a break and entered the names of everyone who said they wanted to be included in the list randomizer in the order that the comments were received, hit Randomize, and here are the results:

List Randomizer

There were 4 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Elaine
  2. Blu
  3. KarenV
  4. Sherry
Timestamp: 2010-09-27 18:08:36 UTC

Congratulations to Elaine and Blu!  Please email me your snail mail addresses.  My email address is in my profile.  I will also post a comment on each of your blogs, in case you don't wander back through here and see this.

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments about the ornaments and mystery sampler and commiseration about my tremendous blunder.  The restitch is coming along.  I haven't have quite as much stitch time as usual because my son started back to school and the Homework Wars have resumed.  I think I'm on track to be ready for part three, though, when it's released at the end of the week.  Would you believe that I had to re-restich about 3/4 of the green inner border because I was out by one thread in each direction?  Believe it.  AAAARRRRGGGG!!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Further proof of my inability to follow a chart

Late last month I started working on the Cat's Whiskers mystery sampler that began in the August 2010 issue of The Gift of Stitching.  I started with the center section, first the verse and then its outline.  Then I started stitching the snowflakes.  Here's a picture I took a night or two in:

I only stitched a few of the snowflakes but I wasn't thrilled with  the placement as they were charted, so I decided not to stitch any more of them until the next installment was released a week or so later.  I wanted to see if there was a reason the partial large flakes on the sides weren't the same as the partial ones along the top.  (I won't be stitching the small ones until I do the beading at the end.)  So I moved on to the outer border and the words there.  Once the second installment came out, I stitched pretty much everything released to date, made some assumptions that the bottom will match the top and went to town with my stitching, saving the snowflakes and the center of the top right medallion for last.  This is where I am today:
Cat's Whiskers "On Christmas Day" mystery sampler
32 ct. Wichelt Permin Prairie Grain
(true color of the linen is somewhere between the first photo and this one, more green than grey or brown)
DMC in 3052 green, 3866 white, 3721 red, 221 dark red (for my initials) - 2 over 2

I love it!  Except for one small problem...  I miscounted when I started on the outer sections, and the entire outer section, including the bloody snowflakes, should have been one stitch to the right.  See?  No?  Here's a close up of the left side:

and the right:

See it now?  Yeah, I didn't either.  Until I was stitching the very last one of those blasted snowflakes that I decided had to be moved for my sanity's sake, and found that it didn't align to the inner section's corner the way that it should have.  I don't know how I missed it on the other side.  ????!!!!????  There are 7 stitches/14 threads between the green line and the center motif on the left side and only 5 stitches/10 threads on the right.  Trust me, I've recounted it about fiftyleven times since I discovered the screw up on Wednesday and, sadly, the elves didn't come in and fix it overnight, or the second night, or the night after that...  Do you think I could possibly leave it be?  We're talking me here, people.  Me, who had to move the stinking snowflakes down by a stitch.  Um, yeah.  Ain't gonna happen.  So what am I gonna do, you ask.  Based on the lack of love for the snowflakes (which you may have already noticed) I will be unpicking the entire red and green center section and CAREFULLY restitching it one stitch to the left.  I don't know what it is between me and those snowflakes, but I didn't enjoy stitching them the first time, or the second, and I refuse to do them a third!  Much as I hate the thought of restitching basically half of the sampler, I can't just let it go.  If I left it, it would bother me forever, so it's either redo it, trash it, or leave it as a UFO.  I like it too much for either of the last two options, so I'll be filling up my orts jar with curly threads this weekend...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cool Christmas and extra JCS ornament preview issues

If you've taken a gander at the 2010 Finishes list in my sidebar lately, you've probably noticed that I fell hard for Fresh Threads Studio's contribution to this year's Just Cross Stitch ornament preview issue, with a few twists.  I stitched all of mine on 36 ct. antique white Edinburgh linen, and so far I have not purchased the crystal stars.  I started out by stitching it in the colors charted.  When I showed it to my daughter, she promptly snatched it and said, "Thanks!" 

Which led me to stitch #2.

While stitching #2, I got to wondering what it would look like in shades of orange.

Then I thought it would look great in shades of other colors, too, like blue.

While I was stitching blues, my son requested black and red.  Here is the result:

After that, I got back to my thoughts of pinks

and purples.

Then I decided to twist the black and red to red and black.

I had enough of the fat quarter left for one more, and I decided on darker blues with yummy DMC 995 as the main tree color. 

I love stitching ornaments.  They're so portable and they stitch up so quickly that it's almost instant gratification.  If I ever get my act together and make all the ones I've stitched into actual ornaments, there just might be enough to pretty well fill a small tree.  Or maybe the tree in Rockefeller Center.  The stack keeps growing...

Speaking of stacks, I suddenly find myself the proud owner of not one, not two, but three copies of the 2010 JCS Ornament Preview issue in which Cool Christmas is featured.  Since I only need one, I am putting the other two up for grabs.  If you haven't already acquired a copy, please leave a comment specifying that you would like to be added to the drawing, and I will leave it up to the fates randomizer on Friday September 24.  Entries will close at noon Pacific Daylight Savings Time.  (Open to all, domestic and international, and you do not have to be a follower to enter.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Me + Electronics = Bad Things

So, the new computer?  Yeah.  Not working. 

The Blackberry?  The hourglass spins every time I look at it, much less touch it.  No call log, no texts, spotty on the emails, can't get on the 'net.

The computers at work?  We were on dial up from Friday to sometime Monday afternoon, and it took two tries just to get it to start this morning.  The printer wouldn't work either, I had to unplug it to reset it.

The DVR?  While watching "live" TV, it pauses until about the time I get from the couch to the kitchen, then jumps ahead to "real time" as if I had just changed to that station, so no rewinding to see what I missed.  Or, if it does actually pause, it has no sound when I restart, so I have to turn the durn thing off and lose what I wanted to see.  No better on recorded shows.  Won't fast forward, spotty sound, and tiling.

I don't know if I have some magnetic field thing going on around me, or there are sun spots happening,  or what, but I'm getting really sick of this.

Maybe it's best that I can't find my camera at the moment...  Updates soon, I hope. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Has this ever happened to you?

Okay, so I started Joy Sampler by Lizzie*Kate a while back.  I had about half of the top border stitched when my ADD reared its ugly head and I moved on to something else.  I finally remembered it picked it up again yesterday and continued stitching the top border, then did a couple little areas with the same symbol on the chart - only it turns out it wasn't all the SAME symbol.  Some of it was the same symbol turned upside down.  GRRRR!!!  I didn't even pick up on it until I looked at the photo and noticed that the colors on the model didn't match what I'd already stitched.  My dyslexic little pea brain had only registered an open triangle on the chart, not its orientation.  So I have stitched the top border, one of the lights on the string, and the bow on the candy cane in WDW Sky instead of WDW Hunter.  And they're going to stay that way, and the bottom border will be stitched in Sky to match the top.

So here's the thing.  There are only 12 symbols on the whole design.  Do you mean to tell me that the designer couldn't have come up with 12 unique symbols to represent the colors?  C'mon!  She didn't use a filled in triangle, a heart, any numbers or letters (beyond the stylized LK), or any other typical keyboard symbols at all. And not an oval, circle, rectangle, hexagon, octagon, or other polygon except a solid square is to be found on the whole chart.  :(  Designers, take note: please use as many DISSIMILAR symbols as possible when you create your charts! I know I would appreciate it, and I don't think I'm alone in this.  Stitchers (and designers), please feel free to weigh in, whether you agree or disagree.  I'd love to hear your experiences and opinions.

On a side note, I already foresee a problem when I get to the Chestnut and Whiskey, because one is a forward slash and the other is a back slash.  *Sigh*

In other news, I hope to be able to update more.  I finally bit the bullet and bought MYSELF a laptop.  My son monopolizes the old one to play online games and has managed to break off one key, make others stick, and mess up all three USB ports.  It has been so frustrating to try to post from it, and I can't download pictures to it from my camera, so I just gave up.  I've been spending my lunch hours stitching, so no updates here except for the sidebar.  I'm sure there are probably things in the sidebar that are out of date, too, since I've only been changing the WIPs, UFOs, and Finishes.  I'm aiming for Sunday to bring things current, but I won't swear to it.  Thanks for hanging in there!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Results of the Birthday Giveaway

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for the warm birthday wishes!  It was a very low-key day, just the way I like it!  My son had a showcase with his acting class* in the afternoon and my daughter's friend had her birthday party in the evening, so we didn't plan anything as a family on the day.  We went to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure the next day instead. That was a blast, as always!  Temps were in the high 70s to low 80s, so it was pretty crowded (though not NEARLY as bad as around Christmas when the kids have their birthdays), but we were able to ride a few favorite rides and had a yummy dinner at the Pacific Wharf Cafe.  Sadly, we left before the fireworks because it was a work and school night.  But enough about that, I know what you really came here for! :o)

I entered everyone's** names in the list randomizer at Random.org and the winner is...

List Randomizer
There were 20 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
1.      Deb
2.      Sherry
3.      awikkidwomanswords
4.      Parsley
5.      Marjorie
6.      Pilar
7.      Catherine
8.      Janaina
9.      Robin
10.  Lorrie
11.  Sharlotte
12.  Blu
13.  Kathy
14.  Carol R
15.  Despina
16.  Terrie
17.  Kim R
18.  mimi'sdarlins
19.  Stef
20.  Ukka
Timestamp: 2010-03-31 17:00:53 UTC

Congratulations, Deb!  I will contact you via email for your snail mail address.

I have been stitching, but not on Summer Blessings.  I put a few more Xes into it, then moved on to some quick ornaments.  I was going to post pictures of the ones I've finished stitching, but the battery is drained on the camera and the charger is at home.  So I'm diving back into the archives for a few more pics from our New York trip.  These were taken at the Central Park Zoo.

Joi and Christian

Joi and Christian


Thanks again to all for visiting my blog and for entering the giveaway.  I have actually added a few more new-to-me blogs to my reader from those of you who have commented recently.  I'm begining to wonder how many subscriptions it will hold before it explodes.  Does anyone know if Google Reader has a limit?  I'm at 966 now, and can't resist adding new ones as I come across them!  Am I the only one with this obsession?

I'll be back soon with more stitchy pics!  Until then, keep on stitching and blogging!

*Christian is in the front row (I don't know why Jeff's blog post is postdated to October)
**I did not include Carol per her comment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday Giveaway!


48 years ago today, at 4:21 AM, my parents welcomed their first born, and both sets of grandparents had their first grandchild - ME!
This sweet card was sent by people I don't remember.

Here's the birth announcement my parents sent:

To commemorate, I am giving away this mattress pincushion, stitched by yours truly:
 Mausimom free design on 32 ct natural linen with NPI silk.

Entry deadline is 11:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time, March 30.  I plan to announce the winner on March 31.  Good luck!