Friday, August 31, 2012

WIPocalypse update #9? Well, at least it's a stitching update!

Hmmm, was I supposed to be working on old, unfinished projects this month?  Did I commit to doing that all year long?  Whoops, must have slipped my mind!

Well, it didn't really slip my mind, it's just that this month has offered quite a few distractions from stitching on old stuff, and I find myself at the end of the month with nothing WIPocalypsy (yes, I just made that up) to share.

But never fear, for my needle has been flying through the linen all the same, and I now have permission to share at least some of what I've been working on.  This month found me working on 3 models for Cherished Stitches, 2 of which will be released next weekend at the Baltimore needlework market.  Since they are so close to making their debut, I've been given the go ahead to share my not-so-professional snaps of the designs I stitched on.  First up is "The Sign of the Gravedigger".  This isn't the best photo, as my work is unironed and therefore quite bubbly, but you can get a bit of an idea of what she's created:
I love that name, "Berry Yew".  I just think it's too cute.  And perfect for this Halloween season that is so quickly approaching.  And speaking of Halloween, here's a photo of the other model I can share, called "Enter if You Dare":
A very quick and fun stitch!  The other piece I'm working on won't be released at this market, so I haven't been given the go ahead to share it, sadly.  And I think another design will be coming home with me on Sunday.  Good thing I like all these pieces she's got me working on, because they are taking up a good chunck of my stitching time!  : )

I did find the time to do some non-model stitching this month.  Lori of Notforgotten Farm shared a cute little freebie on her blog and challenged her readers to find a creative way of finishing the piece up.  I don't know how creative my end product truly is, but I had a ton of fun putting it all together.  I stitched the pattern on a piece of 36 count fabric from PictureThisPlus (the name escapes me at the moment) using a mishmash of various brands of overdyed cotton threads (so I totally jacked up Lori's color scheme).  Here's my finished stitching:
And here's how I finished it:
I've been thinking for a while that I would like to blend my scrapbooking and stitching hobbies together, and had actually been trying to conceptualize a Valentine-themed hanging piece for a while.  When I read Lori's challenge to come up with a unique finish for Tophat Jack, I decided to try out my hybrid banner idea with a Halloween theme first.  Here are closeups of each letter (sorry, I know they're a bit out of focus, I'm not really sure why I didn't notice that til after the banner was strung and my camera put away):

 Well, that's all for today.  I have that 3rd model to put the finishing touches on, a Halloween exchange piece to work on, and there are 2 or three Halloweenish pieces in my WIPocalypse pile.  Hopefully I can finish off at least two of them before the next update is due.  Oh, and I'm almost finished with my Aloha bridal shower mini album.  I hope to share photos of that early next week.

Til next time, I hope everyone in the US has a great Labor Day weekend, and the rest of you have a great, nonholiday weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Bachelorette party

If you're looking for stitchy photos, you can skip this post.  It's all about scrapbooking today.  For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on a small, 8x8 album documenting my bachelorette party last March.  The party was a total blast, and the album was fun too make too.  I made the album using the "Fashionista" and "Let's Celebrate" lines from Websters Pages.  I was able to use loads of bright, fun papers for this album, more so than I usually seem too, and I really enjoyed the change of pace.  So without further blather, here are a few of the layouts:
We all posed for one photo at the end of the adventure:

 We started with a limo ride from Lumberton to Fayetteville.  It took a ridiculous amount of time to get there, but we didn't care.

We were quite jammed into the limo.  We sang along to 80's music, played at full blast.

 Fortunately, we had some delicious drinks to enjoy during the long ride.

 At the spa, there was delicious food, massages , mani/pedis, and gifts.

 You can't tell from our expressions how much fun we were all having, can you?

Not all of the layouts are posted here so as not to overwhelm you, but I wanted to share a taste of our fun, silly afternoon.  It was just what I needed to relax from the stress of wrapping up my caseload, moving, and planning a wedding in such a whirlwind.  I love these women.  They took such wonderful care of me during my 10 1/2 years in Lumberton.

That's all for today.  Scrapwise, I'm moving on to another mini album for my Hawaiian themed shower.  Stitchwise, I've been doing a good bit of model stitching.  I think everything will be released by the middle of next week so I can hopefully share some photos by the end of the month.  Til then, I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ort Report for August and an annoying accident

Hello, everyone!  Hope you're having a wonderful, relaxing weekend.  There have been happenings since last I posted, and I have been far too grumpy and listless to post an update until today.  Two days after my last blog post, I fell down the stairs while carrying a load of laundry.  I could not bear to put any weight on my left foot, and the pain was quite unbearable, so I drug my husband home from work and had him take me to urgent care.  I have what appears to be a fractured toe and a sprained/strained foot.  For two or three days, I could do nothing but sit on the couch and sulk (well, I only sulked a little bit, but I just didn't feel energetic enough to even stitch.  Pathetic, I know).  Fortunately, my foot seems to be slowly mending and I can move around in my little boot, as long as I don't do too much at one time.

On Monday after I fell, I was thrilled to get my receive my kit of threads and goodies for the Cabinet of Curiosities course that I've signed up for.  I won't share any photos, in case anyone reading this is also taking the course and doesn't have their package yet.  Let me just say that it was a wonderful treat to brighten up a rather gloomy day!

Once I got back to stitching, I mostly worked on models for Mom.  I can't show any of  them yet, but hopefully I'll be able to share by the end of the month.  If you look at the state of my ort jar this month, you may notice that the top is full of lots and lots of black threads (think Halloween, hint, hint):
See the birdfeeder in the background?  It provides hours of entertainment to myself and the cats.  Earlier this week, I went out to refill it, and as I hobbled back into the house, I realized that the impatient birds weren't even waiting for me to retreat before swooping in for a snack.  Usually, they are too shy to tolerate my presence on the deck.  Remember how punky I told you the juvie cardinals look?  See for yourself:
I just love his little ragged crest on the top of his head!  And the hummingbirds were not to be outdone in bravery.  I heard the whirring of rapidly beating wings just before I spied this fellow at his feeder:

 It's mating season, so the hummingbirds are going a little nuts, whizzing around the yard as they chase one another away from the feeder.  It is amazing to watch.
I have been doing a little scrapbooking as well as stitching, I even made it to the scrapbooking convention in Charlotte last weekend (it was exhausting on this stupid foot, but I still managed to enjoy myself).  I think I'll save those photos for my next post, though.

The cats have been enjoying my disability.  I suspect that they are happiest when I lie still and allow myself to be used as a pillow.  Of course, when I'm not in the mood for cuddling, Scout might snuggle up with a good read:
At least he has good taste.  I have started rereading The Stand by Stephen King while I'm mostly couchbound.  Good stuff!

That's it for today.  Til next time, have a wonderfully creative day (and be careful on the stairs!).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Everything but the Kitchen Sink (August WIPocalypse #!)

I've got a little of everything to share in this post, but I'll start with my WIPocalypse update.  What's the WIPocalypse you ask?  Read about it here. 

This month I have not one, but TWO finishes to share.  Hooray!  First up, Sous le Soleil de la Lune is done. As a reminder, here is where I was at the start of 2012:
And here she is all stitched up:
I stitched this piece with the called for silks on 40 count "Linen" linen from Weeks Dye Works.  I love the little cherubs at the top and the middle vase!

My second finish was not on my original WIPocalypse list.  I pulled it out in June when Mom and I were sorting through my stuff to do some framing.  I started Janet Gibson shortly after she was released (2006, maybe?  I'm not sure).  I finished her up this week:
I love everything about this sampler, from the house, to the color pallette.  My two favorite bits are the swan:

and Adam and Eve.  It was Adam and Eve that took me so long to finish.  Look at the hair in this last photo. It's a bit of braided cording and it totally intimidated me!  I finally took the plunge last week, and it only took about an hour to finish the whole thing off.  I can't wait to get this one framed and on the wall.
Speaking of framing, Sarah Hatton McPhail is all framed up:
That's it for the stitchy updates.  I'm working on a model for mom for the next week or two, and then I'll probably turn back to the giraffe sampler.  
I also finished one scrapbook project this week.  This is a wall hanging that came from a project kit I bought a couple of years ago.  Eventually, I will put this up in our bonus room/my craft room.

And finally, I leave you with three more images.  Lucky being his usual adorable self:
 Spike chilling in the window (while Lucky supervises):
And a surprise visitor in our backyard near sunset last week.  I was trying to feed the squirrels in order to keep them away from my garden and instead attracted this:
And by the way, my plan to distract the animals failed miserably.  They have taken all the cantaloupes.  : (  There's another batch of tomatoes growing away right now, but I don't think it's very likely that we'll be the ones eating them.  Sigh.  I don't know how to stop them.

That's all for now.  Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics and has a great week!