Monday, February 19, 2024

A rambling post

I will start this by saying that my mom has had three hospitalizations since January 25, all three of which involved many hours in the ER before admission (two of them starting in the evening, with one going until 2:30 and the other until 3:30am). She is currently getting her strength back in a rehab facility so that she can go home, so things are better, but I am well and truly frazzled from weeks of stress with very few days where I was able to just be home and retreat to my craft room for any appreciable amount of stitch therapy. I'm almost to the point where I couldn't make myself start this post because it seems like too much work to even try to remember what I've been working on sporadically for these past weeks, but I decided it wasn't going to get any better for a while so I might as well bite the bullet and try to get myself back on track. Bear with me if I start to ramble...

I finally received approval for the last of three Nora Corbett models before things blew up, so they were safely back in the hands of the folks at Wichelt and thankfully I didn't have to worry about them anymore. Then I stitched my first Tiny Town model for Heart in Hand, which will be released at Nashville Market next month; it is called Frosty Tiny Town:

There are some embellishments that Cecilia added when she got it back, and it is finished as the drum shown on the chart cover:

There is also a Frosty Frill that goes with this design, so when I stitch it for myself I'll be adding this cute little guy to the town:

I ended up with a PayPal balance after Cecilia paid me for the model and I had won a $50 GC from The Thread Gatherer a few months ago so I decided to try a little retail therapy to soothe some stress. I was able to get all of these gorgeous silks from their Silk'n Colors line for what felt like $30:


I then had some fun working on some color paths that I might use for conversions in future projects:


There were a few nights when I would wake up at midnight or 1am and not be able to get back to sleep. At that time of the morning I didn't feel up to working on anything too complicated, so luckily I had this Mill Hill kit that I had started back in October on a layover on my trip home from a retreat; it was perfect for those mornings. I actually finished this at 3:30 one morning; it's called Spooky and Friend:


It had a LOT of beads; this is what it looked like once the stitching was done but before any beads were added:


I have also made a start on another Mill Hill kit, which I worked on while sitting in the hospital room last week:


I really like these Mill Hill kits for "stitching on the go"; the perforated paper is easy to work with without a hoop/frame and the holes are easy to see, they usually don't have a lot of different floss colors and they aren't so intricate that you can't keep track of your place even when you get distracted periodically while working on them.

After I had finished the Frosty Tiny Town I pulled fabric and floss for Harvest Tiny Town, which I've had for a while now but didn't want to start until the Wichelt models were finished. I started it on a piece of PTP 40ct linen from PTP called Chalice, and this is where I left off a while back:


The three flowers between the houses are the corresponding Harvest Frill that goes along with this design, which of course I had to incorporate. I was trying to get this one done so I could send it along with three other towns to my finisher, but then I got distracted by some new Nora Corbett designs that were released last month. They are from a new series called The Dark Forest and I just think they are as cute as can be:


One of the days that I was really stressed I spent some time going through my fabric stash and decided on the pieces in the photo, and I pulled all of the floss needed for all three designs. I really meant to finish Harvest Tiny Town before I started one of these, but I just couldn't resist seeing how Miss Pink Mushroom was going to look on the fabric I chose for her. I wasn't sure how much I liked it with the first few colors stitched, but now that I'm further along I am liking it much better:


I am really enjoying working with these colors on this fabric right now, and the sassy little mushroom girl is just such a mood lifter; I'm hoping to continue on with this one for a while at least, in between chores, errands and appointments.

I think that is about it for now, though it would be pretty surprising to me if I haven't forgotten something. At least I feel better for having gotten this all in some kind of order; I really like having this blog to look back on and keep track of projects, so it's good to feel like I made some positive progress today.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Brrr!!!

We've had a pretty mild winter here in Wisconsin up until recently, but between the snow we got last week and the polar vortex that has settled in it has definitely taken a turn for the worse! Lows in the negatives, highs in the single digits and wind are making it feel awful, and here is our current snow situation:


Roxie and Murphy are having a horrible time trying to get their business done before their feet freeze, poor babies. I think we're supposed to get back to 30F in a week, which will feel almost tropical at this point!

On the plus side, I've had a lot of extra stitching time while I've been hunkered down avoiding the cold as much as possible. I finished the third of three models last Monday, then had a couple of days to work on Fairy Idyll while I waited for another model. I completed the stone face at the top of the design; it was a time-consuming process, but it turned out beautifully:

The drapery is stitching up much more quickly and I look forward to getting back to it when the current model is done. It's a Tiny Town that arrived last Thursday afternoon and I'm already past the halfway point, so I'm hoping to finish it by Wednesday or Thursday.

I also recently received a chart that I've been looking for off and on for probably 10+ years and I've already kitted it up so I can start when I have the time and inclination. It's called Princess Wandabee and I've just always thought it was so cute; there's something about the expression on the face of the frog that she's kissing that just makes me smile:


Hope everyone has a great stitchy week, and stay warm if you're in the polar vortex!

Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and has had a good start to this new year. I know a lot of people make a new stitchy start on January 1 but it's not something I've ever done; however, yesterday was 123123 day (12/31/23) as my son pointed out to me, and for some reason the thought of making a completely new start on a once-in-my-lifetime day was too compelling to ignore. I'd already been toying with the idea of kitting up Mirabilia's Fairy Idyll because I've been seeing some WIP and finishes photos on FB, and then I bought this gorgeous piece of fabric (Charmes on Edinburgh linen) from NicholasFlamelDesign and when it arrived I immediately thought that it would be a great background for Fairy Idyll. That was about a week ago, but I'd still been resisting doing anything about it because I really meant to finish the last of the three models and maybe a current WIP or two; then 123123 day happened and I just had to do it! This is what I pulled together yesterday morning:


And here is where I left it last night:


The colors in the first photo are more accurate than the closeup, and I'm hoping give it the feel of nighttime in a fairy bower. I think I'll work on this for one more day and see if I can get the stone face at the top finished or almost finished.

After that it'll be back to work on the final model; the second one is done but I'm still waiting for it to be approved. I'm hoping the last one will only take another week or two, but I'm still horrible at estimating how long projects will take, so who knows?!

After 12 days the Silks4U Christmas advent box was empty, and it was a lot of fun opening all the goodies for almost two weeks:


Hope everyone has a great stitchy New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2023

SewMuch2Luv!

Last Monday my custom bag arrived from Karen at SewMuch2Luv and I am thrilled with how it turned out!



The quality is top notch and I love the fabric choices Karen gave me to coordinate with the stitched piece and the retreat fabric. I now have a really special memento of a great retreat. This is the second time I've used Karen's services, with the first being this fun project bag:


I highly recommend SewMuch2Luv if you're looking for a well-made and useful finish for a stitched piece!

I've been making good progress on the second model lately, though I lost most of a day when Nora made some changes after seeing an area stitched--frogging and then restitching always seems to take so long, and then you're just back where you started! I am hoping to finish this one by the end of the year and then I'll just have one more to go and almost three months left to do it, so I'm feeling better about my progress now.

I've been having fun opening the 12 Days of Christmas goodies from Silks4U; the theme this year is gemstones:


Six presents opened, six to go...

Wishing those who celebrates it a very Merry Christmas, and to everyone all the best in the New Year!

Monday, December 11, 2023

Time to buckle down

I'm happy to say that model stitching is back on track now; I got an answer to a question about the first one, made the changes required and it has now been approved, so one is completely done. I received the revised chart for the second one and made good progress over the weekend, especially considering I spent a good part of yesterday putting up the Christmas tree. The revised chart for the third one should be arriving any day, and then hopefully things will go more smoothly for a while!

Last week while I was waiting for the chart(s) to arrive I spent some time charting out Nora Corbett's latest Patreon chart, Starry Starry Christmas Eve. It's another artist-inspired tree like last year's Klimt Tree, and it's going to be stunning!

I'm waiting on a skein of Sable Waterlilies, so it's not in the photo, and I couldn't figure out how to chart the bugle beads in the tree within the tree, but this at least gives an idea of what it will look like. I think I have an idea of how to do the bugle beads now, so next time I'll be ready; every time I work on one of Nora's Patreon charts I learn new things to use on the next one. I won't be able to work on this for a while, but hoping to get back to it once the models are done. If you've thought about subscribing to Nora's Patreon, now would be a good time; there are several charts from this past year that are still available until the end of this year.

Speaking of models, a Rosewood Manor that I stitched a while back has been released; it's called Dreaming of Violets:

The project bag that I had made from the Queen City Retreat project is finished and should arrive today. Karen didn't send a photo, so I'm excited to open the package and see how it turned out; tune in next week for photos.

Now that the Christmas tree is up, I'm going to spend part of today wrapping presents and getting an idea of whether I'm done shopping or if I need to pick up a few more little things. At this time last year, I was still waiting for biopsy results and feeling very scared and fragile, so I am especially grateful as I get ready for another Christmas.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, December 4, 2023

Frustrated

While I love model stitching, it can be frustrating at times when I have a question (or several) and it takes almost two weeks to get a response. I had pretty much finished the first of three models but had to wait for a reply to completely finish it, then the reply was a bit ambiguous so I'm back to waiting to see if it's really done or if I need to make some more changes.

In the midst of that process, I decided to start the second model, but fairly early on had a question about it and was told that they need to redo the section I asked about and add something else that had been forgotten, so I need to wait until they send a new chart before I can get back to that one. Then it was on to the third model, which I started last Friday--until a question popped up right away and I knew there was no way I'd get a response until today at the earliest--sigh!

So, I decided to spend my weekend stitching time working on Needle Fairy, who now has her feet as well as her arms:

I realized that I had never shared the goodies from the Friendstitch Needlework Pop-Up event that took place in October:


Everything came in that great metal tin, and it was a lot of fun to open and explore the contents. The people behind these events (the designers of Heart in Hand and Bent Creek) do such a great job with them, and I am really looking forward to next year's event, which will be the fifth anniversary of Friendstitch.

I have another fun box to look forward to as well, which is a 12 Days of Christmas box from Silks4U:


There's one package to open for each day, starting on the 13th and ending on Christmas Day; I'm going to be good and not open everything at once, but it's hard not to!

I think I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping, except for picking up some little things to put in stockings, but I still need to wrap presents and put the tree up. It's always a relief to have those two things done so I'll probably try to do them this week, and then I'll be able to focus on stitching again. Can't believe Christmas is only three weeks away!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Nora's Christmas Stocking

Around nine years ago Nora Corbett designed a little stocking ornament for a charity stitching group on Facebook. I joined the group and saved the chart but never stitched it, and actually didn't even know what it would look like when it was done. Someone asked about obscure Mirabilia/Nora Corbett charts recently, and it reminded me of the stocking ornament, so I decided to pull it out and stitch it. I was thinking it would take a couple of days, but for a small design it's fairly intricate and it ended up taking about five days (though I haven't had a lot of stitching time lately). It's a cute little design, and I'm hoping I'll get the urge to make it into an ornament in the near future:


The fabric is an old remnant that I no longer know the name of, but it looks like it's 32ct opal Lugana. I messaged Nora about the chart and she had me send it to Wichelt so that it can be offered as a freebie in the near future, so keep an eye on the Mirabilia site if you'd like to stitch this.

I sent my Queen City Retreat piece to SewMuch2Luv on Etsy, and just received a photo with a rough idea of what the finish will look like:


I'm really looking forward to seeing the actual finish. If anyone is interested, the retreat design has been posted and can be found here. The Queen City Stitch Retreat has their own site now, and they announced that the guest for next year is Autumn Lane Stitchery. The plan right now is to have another Mirabilia retreat in 2025, so hopefully that will happen.

Three Nora Corbett models arrived while I was in North Carolina, so I've been working on the first one for just over a month now. Stitching time will continue to be a bit limited with Thanksgiving this week, and then starting some Christmas decorating, but I'm hoping to have a finish within a couple of weeks. 

I'm not sure why but this past weekend I had a sudden urge to pull out Nora's Needle Fairy and put a few stitches in. I haven't touched her since 2013, but after Saturday she finally has some arms:



She's the third in a series of six Stitching Fairies, and probably my least favorite of the six. I've completed Floss Fairy and Pincushion Fairy (my favorite of the six):



The remaining three are Linen, Bead and Thimble Fairies. I'm going to try to work on Needle Fairy one or two days a week, just a length or two of floss at a time and see if I can get some decent progress on her.

Hope those who celebrate it have a wonderful Thanksgiving this Thursday!