Monday, December 12, 2016

SAL mania!

I have never been a big fan of SALs, as I tend to be a "moody" stitcher; that is, I work on whichever design I am in the mood to work on on any given day. But the three that I'm currently working on (and actually keeping up with, even more surprisingly!) have small enough parts that it is much easier to stay current; once I fall behind I tend to put the whole project away and forget about it.

The first one I started was Tempting Tangles' Welcome SAL, which has now released seven parts; the next part will take us to the halfway point:

The second one that called to me was Ship's Manor's Beautiful Sea SAL. I tried to resist this one, but after seeing the first couple of parts I caved in and signed up, and I'm glad I did because I really like it. It has now had five parts released:

The last one to join the line-up was Kitty & Me Designs' Never Ending Sampler SAL, which called to me because I love to play with colors and specialty stitches. This one is now up to six bands, with the next one coming out soon:

Pam Kellogg, who is offering this SAL for no charge, has a Go Fund Me page set up for her husband's cancer treatment. It would be nice if people who are enjoying the SAL could donate even $5 or $10 towards Scott's treatment. There are currently 216 members in the FB group, and this doesn't include those stitchers who aren't on FB; that would add up pretty quickly.

In other stitchy news, I finally started on my first Nora Corbett model this past Saturday, and made good progress over the weekend while watching season 2 of Poldark. I put off starting this for a few days after I was ready because I was actually kind of scared! I know it's silly, but I feel like my work is not going to be good enough for the designer who has been my absolute favorite for over 20 years. I feel better now that I have jumped in and started, and hopefully will get positive feedback when I send them in.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Oops, I did it again!

Started a new SAL, that is. Pam Kellogg of Kitty & Me Designs is offering a free SAL on her blog (the link to the Never Ending Sampler SAL can be found on the right side of my blog, under the Mirabilia slide show) and I couldn't resist it! She'll be releasing bands that are only about 6" across every few days until your piece gets to be about 18" long, then you start a new piece. I guess it will go until Pam gets tired of doing it!

Yesterday I finished up the model (yay!!), so I was able to get the first three bands stitched in the afternoon and evening. I'm using The Thread Gatherer's Silk'n Colors in a color called From Dawn To Dusk, on SW Tanzanite Belfast:

In the second band there are supposed to be either French Knots or beads at the bottom of the straight stitches in the diamond shapes, but I like it without, so I am caught up until Pam releases the next band in the next few days.

The next parts in the Welcome and Beautiful Seas SALs were released last Friday, so I'm going to get those stitched up before I start the next models. I also need to do some cleaning, get the Christmas tree up and do some shopping and wrapping, so stitching will slow down here for a bit.

As I mentioned, I've also been working on getting my craft room organized a bit better, and in that vein I have to share this bead storage system that I found out about in a Mira FB group. It's called the Tiny Container Bead Storage Tray, and it is awesome! I spent quite a while last week transferring my beads into it, until I ran out of room and had to order more. Each tray holds 78 containers, which snap shut firmly to prevent spillage:

The containers hold about three packages of the size 11 Mill Hill beads, and it comes with labels for the tops:

I might end up labeling the front of each box, but I'll try it for a while to see if I really need to do that.

You can also buy different sizes of containers that fit in the box, and they also have a tray that comes with some different sizes. I bought four from, and then ordered three more through Amazon when I ran out of room. Here is a picture of the box, so you can Google them if you decide you might be interested in this type of storage:

I should be getting my Amazon order today, so I can finally finish getting my beads transferred; I always hate having to stop in the middle of a project!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 28, 2016

SAL update

Not much to share this week, as I have been working hard on a model, which I'm hoping to finish up before or during this coming weekend. I'm getting anxious to start one of the Nora Corbett models now that I'm getting close to a finish!

I did get caught up on the Tempting Tangles Welcome SAL, and am ready for the next part to be released this Friday:

The first part of the Tempting Tangles Freedom SAL was released last Friday, but I'm trying to exercise some restraint and not start it until I get some "work" done.

I haven't put up our Christmas tree yet, but I did pull out some of my Just Nan Christmas pieces this past weekend to start the decorating process:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 21, 2016

My happy place

About 13 years ago when we had our basement finished, most of it was devoted to being a play/family room for our son (those little-kid toys sure take up a lot of room!). There is also an office for my husband who works from home when he's not travelling (so, not very much) and a craft room for me. Over that time my organization has become pretty haphazard, so this past Friday and Saturday I had a thorough cleaning out and reorganizing.

About 10 years ago I went through a scrapbooking phase, so I pulled all that out of the closet and made more room for my first and true love, stitching! I'm not completely finished, but I have new storage in place and will work on further organization over the winter.

I got these cubicles and bins at Target, and the bin on the left says it all:

Saturday evening I finally sat down to stitch in my nice clean space and lit a candle for a little ambiance, and the light hit my newly acquired needle minder board and made the minders sparkle like a Christmas decoration:

With the time I spent on that project, I wasn't able to complete both of the SAL pieces that were released last Friday, though I'll finish the second one today. I completed part 4 of The Beautiful Sea SAL yesterday:

For the Welcome SAL I was able to complete the letters in part 6, and just need to complete the vines and flowers today:

Tempting Tangles is also starting another SAL this Friday, the Freedom Mystery SAL, which has it's own FB group. Deb has added me to the group, but I'm not yet sure whether I'll try to keep up with this one, as I have "work" stitching that needs to be done. I may not be able to resist, though, once the parts start getting released.

For those who celebrate it, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and to everyone a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Snippet of a new design

There were no new releases in either of the SALs I'm participating in, so I've been making good progress on the Rosewood Manor model and don't have any stitching I can share because of that. However, Deb at Tempting Tangles has released a bit of the picture of the model I stitched for her in one of her FB groups, and she gave me permission to share it here:

The design is called Moment In Time, and will be released in 2017. It was a very nice stitch, as it only has two floss colors, a dark brown and a variegated Dinky Dyes silk.

Last week I received a free chart from Cheryl Granda of Glendon Place called Gingerbread Grove, which I got to name:

 Cheryl had posted in her FB group about her Christmas releases for this year, and she was looking for a name for this one; she was going to call it Gingerbread Village if nothing else appealed to her. When she chose Gingerbread Grove, she kindly sent me a free chart for helping with the name:

Now if I could just find the time to actually stitch it!

In a bit of other news, I should finally be receiving my first Nora Corbett models to stitch soon, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Two stitch alongs

Last Friday saw the release of part 5 of the Tempting Tangles Welcome SAL, and part 3 of the Ship's Manor Beautiful Sea SAL, so I spent a couple of days getting caught up. Both of them have a bit more charted than I have stitched, but I'm waiting for the next parts before I stitch those areas.

Here is Welcome:

And here is Beautiful Sea:

I'm playing with the colors on both of these designs, so it's fun to see what each new part looks like and then choose my own version. I can't believe I'm now keeping up with two SALS!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I was very pleased to be able to finish Lizzie*Kate's Spooked before Halloween this year, with two days to spare:

The fabric is Silkweaver's Halloween Haunting on Belfast, which I just loved for this design. I have a fat eighth left over, so I might try to combine all the bonus charts that came with these into one design and stitch them on the same fabric.

I'm going to wait one more day to start the next model so I can finish up the first two parts of Ship's Manor's Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL. I'd been trying to resist buying this, but I finally gave in last week and ordered the chart and thread pack. However, I didn't feel like waiting for the threads to arrive, so yesterday I went stash diving and came up with my own colors and a Silkweaver solo on Belfast for the fabric. I should be able to get caught up today; here is where I left off last night:

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween, and a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Keeping up!

I have finally found a SAL that I can keep up with, which is the Tempting Tangles Welcome SAL. Each part so far has been nice and small, and with two weeks between releases it's been very easy to keep up. Deb has hinted that parts 5 - 8 will be more challenging, so we'll see how they go when we get to them. Here are the first four parts, on a SW solo 32ct piece of Lugana:

I have made some more progress on Stone Roses, but this one is a bit difficult because the colors are so similar, which makes keeping count harder. So I work on it for a while, and then I switch to a less complicated piece with more colors. Here is the latest update:

As Halloween is just a week away, the other design I've been working on is Lizzie*Kate's Spooked. I'm hoping that I can get it done before Halloween, but it will be cutting it close. Here is where I left off last night:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Started an oldie...

...but a goodie, Stone Roses by Mirabilia. I have to admit, this isn't one of Nora's designs that grabbed my attention right away like a lot of her others, but after seeing some WIP and finishes pictures over the years I've come to like it a lot. Then about a month ago I received this great piece of fabric from Polstitches, called Dapple, on 32ct opal linen; the design is actually printed onto the fabric, so each piece should look the same:

To me it looks like a watercolor painting of a garden, and ever since I got it I've been trying to think of which Mira I should stitch on it. Then a few days ago it hit me that Stone Roses was meant to be a statue in a garden, and the two came together like they were meant to be! The background has color and movement, and will be a nice contrast to the muted tones of the design:

The main color in the statue is white, but I've replaced it with Waterlilies Opal, which has just a hint of pastel colors and made me think of marble. Here is my progress after the weekend:

I'm hoping to get a lot done on this in the next couple of weeks, then I'll have to get to work on a model for a while.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Small finishes

I'm making good progress on the Tempting Tangles model, so once in a while I take some time for myself to work on my own things. One of these I've already shared--it's JBW Designs French Country Witch, but now it's been ironed and a better picture taken. This was stitched on a leftover piece of SW Swirling Storms Belfast, using Silk'n'Colors Limehouse:

Also stitched on the same fabric is JBW Designs The Witch's Hat, this time using Silk'n'Colors Halloween Confetti, which is my absolute favorite Halloween floss:

The Thread Gatherer is having a contest in which you use any one color of their threads to stitch one of five JBW Designs charts, and these are my entries. The winner gets $100 to spend on their threads, so that would be be a great prize!

I also finished the third part of the Tempting Tangles Welcome SAL, which was released last Friday:

This is a really easy piece to keep up with, as the parts are small and come out every two weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing the next part now.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Got a couple of models back

As mentioned in my last post, Karen was sending a couple of my Rosewood Manor models back, and last week I had the fun of opening the big box to see which ones they were. The first was Bucklebury Sampler, which is probably one of my favorites:

The second was Spring Has Come, which was released as a three-part mystery:

This one was done on a pre-printed fabric from Fabric Flair called Yorkshire Roses, which was neat to work with:

Last week I was able to finish up JBW Designs French Country Witch, which I stitched on a SW Swirling Storms Belfast remnant using Silk'n Colors Limehouse (I still need to iron it, so excuse the wrinkles):

I've been working on the Tempting Tangles model since last Thursday, but I did take yesterday off to work on Deb's Welcome SAL. She has a FB group for this 16-part stitch-along; you pay $5 for the whole thing, and post in the group as you progress (you don't have to be in the group to get the charts, just contact Deb at Two parts have been released so far, and I was able to get caught up in one day:

I'm having fun playing with colors on this one; it lends itself nicely to personalization.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, September 26, 2016

A small start

I finally finished the model I was working on yesterday, so last night I treated myself to a Halloween design start. I'm actually going to stitch up both of these JBW Designs charts, as they are pretty small, and should go quickly; then I plan to finish them as one ornament:

I'm going to start a model for Tempting Tangles in a couple of days, so probably won't have much stitching to share for a while again. Today I received the chart for a reproduction sampler that I stitched for Karen Kluba last year:

I've never stitched a reproduction piece before, and it was kind of neat to think about the original stitcher as I worked. I'm not sure what the two little things are above the house, but they sure look like flying turtles to me (and the larger motif to the right of these might be a space alien!):

These were stitched over one thread on 40ct, which was not an easy feat at my age; the entire verse was also worked over-1:

This one definitely felt like a big accomplishment when it was done! Karen said that she would be sending some more of my finished models back to me soon, so I'm anxious to see which ones they are. Of course, I don't have much more room to hang anything--this is the sight that still greets me when I sit down in my craft room:

On the new kitten front, we had to have a name change. When I took Sophie in for her rabies vaccination, the vet informed me that "she" was actually a "he"! Now that the shock has worn off, I'm happy to finally have a male cat, as I've never had one in the past 19 years of cat ownership. He is really affectionate, sweet and yet still pretty ornery; here he is (now named Bobby, as Sophie just wouldn't do!), laying on top of his sister Scout earlier today:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Two framed, one finished

Last Tuesday I got the call that I had been waiting for, letting me know that my framed pieces were ready to pick up; within half an hour I was at the gallery!

First I'll share Wherefore Art Thou, which I absolutely love! When I chose the fabric for this, I wanted it to look like a stone balcony in the moonlight, and I tried to keep to that look for the framing. I chose a suede outer mat in a darker shade than the fabric, to maintain the texture in the fabric and make it look like darkened stone in the background, and a silver inner mat to highlight Juliet, almost like a spotlight in a stage production. The frame was chosen to complement the colors and give the feel of a carved balcony:

It's almost anticlimactic to share The Blossom Collector, which I had framed without mats because the fabric provided enough interest by itself:

This past Saturday I received my Curtis Boehringer Happy Halloween piece finished by Sue Hillis, and she did an amazing job with it:

Both Gracie and Sophie approve of it (though I have to make sure to put it somewhere they can't get to it and rip those ribbons to shreds!):

To those in the US, hope you have a relaxing Labor Day, and to everyone a great stitchy week!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Another cool finishing idea

Last week I received the October 2016 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine, which has some Halloween ornaments in it, and I fell in love with the way Praiseworthy Stitches finished their piece. They used a wooden box shaped like a book (with a "spine" that pulls out as a drawer), which they painted and then glued their design to. As I recently acquired The Goode Huswife's pattern The Book of Spells, I immediately thought that this would be a great way to finish that design:

As I would want the drawer available to open, I'd either have to stitch the spine separately, or just write on the painted spine. When I get some time, I'll have to pull the pattern out and start figuring out what count of fabric will work best. For those interested, you can find information about the box here.

I'm still working on a model, so I don't have any new stitching that I can share. I did take Wherefore Art Thou and The Blossom Collector to my framer almost three weeks ago, so I am hoping to get a call from them any time now, then I can share the framed pieces.

I took the weekend off in order to clean up my craft room, and it feels much nicer now. I also pulled out my stitching journal, which hasn't been updated since December 2014--oops! Here's a glimpse into the process:

It's been so long that I've lost track of some of the details; I need to be better about keeping up. Plus, I had so many finishes that I ran out of room and discovered that I didn't have a new journal put away, so now I have to wait for a new one to come in the mail. For anyone interested, the journal I like to use can be found here.

I'll close with a couple of pictures of Scout and Sophie, who are now completely at home with us. In the first one they are sitting in the chair behind mine in my craft room, learning how to be good stitchy companions:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!