Saturday, March 30, 2013

April Stitch-alongs starting soon!

April showers bring May flowers, but April also has the distinction of being a busy month ahead for me in the way of several SAL's and an online counted canvas-work class I've signed up to take.  Guess I better get these taxes out of the way TODAY!

First off, on April 1st, there is a SAL starting for Bygone Stitches' design, "One Nation."  This is a great design featuring a US Flag comprised of the names of all fifty states forming the red and white stripes. The model is stitched on 28 ct Ale linen by Picture This Plus (a great, hand dyed linen!) and uses Crescent Colours over dyed flosses to stitch the design -- Blacksmith Blue (3 skeins), Cupid (9 skeins), and Antique Lace (12 skeins!)  You could use another fabric of your choice and any red, white and blue flosses, but you may not obtain the variegated, weathered look of the model.
One Nation by Bygone Stitches

On April 15th, another great SAL begins (same group, "The Stitchalong" on Facebook) honoring the designs by Glendon Place.  This should be fun to see all the different designs people choose to stitch from Glendon Place's repertoire!  As for me, I'll be choosing one of their A-Maze-Ing Dessert Mandala designs.  I really love the geometric symmetry of this series, as well as the awesome hand-dyed fabrics used for the models along with the wonderful Dinky Dyes flosses.   If you're on Facebook and you'd like to join in any of these or browse the long list of many future SAL's planned, come on by!  

Grasshopper Pie

Baked Alaska

Cherries Jubilee


Strawberry Shortcake

Pumpkin Swirl

Plum Pudding

Friday, March 29, 2013

The 2013 Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

The 2013 Easter Treasure Blog Hop


"Hoppy" Easter! 
Your next stop on the hippity hoppity blog hunt is:

Don't forget to return to Serendipitous Stitching blog once you're done with the bunny trail! 
Good luck! 
And have a Happy Easter, everyone!

The cute summery ewe above, with the lobster and crab hitching a ride,
Is from Bent Creek, titled "Ewe Summer"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sail Away

My mom was just here for a visit. I'm glad I got to see her and spend a few days with her. I was finally able to give her the birthday gift I stitched for her - Shepherd's Bush "Sail Away." I sent it to Jill Rensel for framing, and I'm so glad I did that. It turned out beautiful, if I do say so myself, and my mom really seemed to love it.

My mom has had a very tough year.  Hurricane Sandy was unkind to my hometown of Monmouth Beach, NJ.  Presently, the majority of the townspeople there are still not returned to their homes, as flood waters from the Shrewsbury River and the Atlantic Ocean wreaked havoc on most of the town's
 homes.  My mom had about four feet of water in her house, which resulted in ruined walls, hardwood floors, furniture, appliances, clothing, mementos, photos, etc...  


My brother lives across the street from my mom, and his place was equally destroyed.  He's working hard on getting my mother's house ready for her to return to (we're hoping for May) but then he also has the backbreaking task of getting his own home repaired -- all new flooring, Sheetrock for the walls, new furniture, clothing, tools, appliances, etc...  

We had always known the force of the sea and the rising waters, but we had always been fortunate enough to escape flooding of our homes in the past.  I can still remember our school grounds being swallowed up by storm waters, and even remember our principal and PE teacher carrying us, one by one, through the flooded schoolyard across to the safety of the nearby church center on higher ground.  Currently, the school is closed down as it undergoes major repairs - all the Monmouth Beach  children are farmed out to nearby towns' schools until MB school is safe for them to return. 

I know it's a rough time for everyone along the New Jersey coast and up into New York, but these are the times when the people of my hometown and the other shore communities pull together and help each other get back on their feet.  Friends have opened their homes to families without a home, and people like my sister organized drives to make sure the children still had a Christmas this past year.  It's a long road ahead, but someday Monmouth Beach will be standing proudly again.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Fling Giveaway!

Check out this link for a breath of Spring air and a chance to enter a super giveaway!

Read the rules on the post for how you can earn extra entries!  Happy St Patrick's Day! May the luck o'the Irish be with ye!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Something old and something new

My new Millenium Frame arrived on Friday, and I wasted no time in getting a project set up on it (SO EASY!!)  I was debating back and forth about what to stitch first on my new frame!
Friday and Saturday I worked on Cornelia Vsnderveer from The Scarlet Letter.  Today I broke down and attached the hand dyed fabric for Mirabilia's Siren and the Shipwreck.  I love this design, and I was dying to stitch something on the Murky Waters Lugana I had purchased a while back from Stephanie Bishop. :-)

If you notice, Seamus is nearby.  He's very intrigued by this new contraption and I think he's actually a little jealous that it's been getting more attention than him!

I've even figured out how to "strategically" position my chart so I can watch/listen to the TV while stitching!  Two of my favorite pasttimes. 

Today I found a UFO which I hadn't worked on in YEARS! I started this Drawn Thread project, Tocatta #2, years ago in a special weekend class offered at Cross Stitch Cupboard in Fort Lauderdale. 
I started having some trouble with the Japanese gold fibers, and stashed it away.  But now that I'm older, wiser and braver, I'm really eager to get back to working on this one! 

I'm up to Area 19 out of a total of 39 Areas on the design.  It really is pretty in person. I plan to work on this in conjunction with my mermaid (Mira's Siren and the Shipwreck) and Scarlet Letter's Cornelia Vanderveer sampler. 

This morning's post in Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year

Since I just finished a novel on Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year blog, I figured I'd use the old "copy and paste" here onto my personal blog this morning.  Here ya go!

I have to credit looking at other Stitcher's blogs, and Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year particularly, for inspiring me to purchase my first Scarlet Letter project and for opening the door to this exciting new branch of stitching.  (Well, new to me, anyhow!)

I think I may have glanced "briefly" at the samplers on The Scarlet Letter another time in the past, but truly I never thought of buying one of these to stitch myself until I started browsing blogs in preparation of starting my own blog last month or so.   I kept seeing the Scarlet Letter Year insignia/link over and over on the blogs I was browsing - and finally clicked on it to see just what I might be missing out on here! Lol

Lo and behold - I'd been missing out on quite a lot!!  Now here I was thinking I was Mr. Informed as far as new charts being released.  In fact, on a certain Facebook group I belong to, I'd been labeled as "an enabler" due to my constant excitement and frequent re-postings of new charts available for sale. They even had a Stitch-along in my "honor" titled "Blame It On Kevin!" because I guess I had, ahem (cough cough) inspired other stitchers to add to their own heaps o'stash!  LOL!

OK, OK, I'll admit that I can sometimes be a bit childish or pre-adolescent in my enthusiasm and lack of concentration when it comes to shiny new objects!! "Did you see THIS!? OHH -- look at this one, wha? Owwww -- now THAT one I just HAVE to have!!"  So, you can kind of get the idea of my reaction when stumbling across THIS blog and seeing all the beauties people are working on! (And yes, I know I overuse that punctuation mark known as the exclamation point - because although you can't hear me as I Ohhh and Ahhhh over each new thing that appeals to me, I feel I have to do my utmost duty to impart said enthusiasm to anyone willing to spend a few minutes skimming a post I've written!  (Oops, did it again.)

And as for will-power...well, let me just confess openly here -- I HAVE NONE! ZERO! ZIP! BIG OLE GOOSE EGG!!  Here's an embarrassing example:  last year I had "one" yes, ONE sole kit by Shepherd's Bush in my stash.  I thought it was ok, but not something I was dying to stitch. Then, a friend started posting her finishes of her Shepherd's Bush kits.  Lookout! I suddenly was on a roll - scouring eBay (yes, I love anything I can buy on sale or discount!) and bidding and buying and building up my Shepherd Bush stash to a staggering .... Oh no, I can't even admit the number of their kits and charts I've amassed.  Then, it was onto Blackbird Designs.  Carriage House Samplings followed after that.  You get the gist. it's no surprise, I'm sure, that Scarlet Letter and reproduction sampler charts in general are in my crosshairs!

Well, I've rambled on quite long enough here.  Bottom line - thank you all for opening this new door into reproduction samplers.  I love seeing everyone's work and I aspire to reach your level of expertise in stitching and also hope to gain your knowledge regarding these samplers and their history.   Look who's enabling who now!  :-)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The never-ending shopping spree!

Well, just as I suspected, the Nashville Market has released yet more projects than my weak will can  resist.   Now, when I will ever have the time to stitch all of these, I don't know.  But isn't there an expression that goes, "The heart wants what the heart wants" ?

In my case, it's more like "the stitcher wants what the STITCHER wants!"

Luckily - Marty is offering all the new Nashville releases at for 15% off through Sunday, March 10th!!  Gotta love Marty - she's like my "dealer" when I need my stitching "fix!"   LOL!!

New Limited Edition kit (includes flosses, but not fabric) from Little House Needleworks.
 I like the term "Needleworker" better than "stitcher," but I'm not sure why! 
"Grande Olde Flag Sampler" by Chessie and Me
 (love that willow tree - plus I love houses and birds, and of course our flag!) 

Baked Alaska - Part of the A-Maze-ing Dessert Series by Glendon Place
LOVE THESE DESIGNS - I have all of them now, and this one
is tied with Grasshopper Pie as my favorite! (Dinky Dyes silks on PTP Aeriel linen)
Tirimisu - A-Maze-ing Dessert Series by Glendon Place
This series is stitched with Dinky Dyes silks on PTP fabric (Mesa is used for this design)
Rachel Howells by The Scarlett House
Again - LOVE those birds and the house!  Adam and Eve are in there as well.
Maria Selby Humphrey - 1831 by Blackbird Designs
There are very few of these Blackbird Designs charts that I don't like!
Honeybee Hill by Blackbird Designs
I love that Blackbird includes clear finishing directions for their "craft-y" projects.
I have purchased many of the crafting materials, but have I "finished" any yet? Nah!
Be Attitude by Shepherd's Bush (chart only, not a kit)
I LOVE the kits made by Shepherd's Bush - awesome silks and linens included with them.
This design is just the chart - but I couldn't resist buying it.

These two are by Kathy Barrick, whom I'm VERY happy is designing charts again!!
I actually stitched the model for Crowned Heart - my first model stitching "gig" - and boy was
I ever happy that it was for Kathy! I'm a huge FAN!!  :)
And last, but not LEAST, I just received another Scarlet Letter kit in the mail -- really
love this one and am now debating which SL sampler to stitch first!
Elizabeth Sheffield
Have a great day -- and happy stitching (and shopping?) everyone!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

To Market, to Market.....

Wish I was in Nashville right now, drooling over all the new releases coming out.  I did give Marty from Stitch and Frog a shopping list, of course!  I just knew of several upcoming releases that I knew I'd have to have!

New Release from Shepherd's Bush 
Gratitude Sampler kit
Grey Snowman kit by Shepherd's Bush
Winter Quaker by Rosewood Manor and Valdani silks
Spring at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings
Hare Apparent by Long Dog Samplers

Well, these are just a few from recent releases that I'll be adding to my stash.  Actually, I already have Spring at Hawk Run Hollow and Hare Apparent, which I received over the last few days. 
My new Necessaire stand is all set up and ready to start stitching some new projects!! Waiting eagerly for the Millenium Frame to arrive now.  Hopefully this week??

Friday, March 1, 2013

Clearing confusion about the WIPocalypse

THIS is how you prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse:

Lock the doors! 

Buy an RV - preferably stocked with food, water, first aid supplies, and ammo

Make some friends with serious fighting skills



The 2013 WIPocalypse

Came across this blog post this morning (can't remember what path brought me to it, but I can easily get lost in blog land for hours if I'm not careful!)

If you're a stitcher, and if you're reading this blog you most likely are,  I'm sure you've told yourself something along the lines of, "THIS year, I'm really going to finish up ______!"  You can insert the name there of whichever piece it is that you've been promising yourself you'd get done. Or like me, you may have multiple unfinished works.

Well, I'm drawing close to a (gasp!) finish of Hawk Run Hollow here, so it's time to seriously take stock of what is lying about or stashed out of view that really needs to get some love and attention this year.

Here's a list of WIPs I hope to work on this year, 2013 (not complete list):

         1.  The Drawn Thread "Toccatta #2"
         2.  Chatelaine "Persian Iris Garden"
         3.  Chatelaine "King's Vegetable Garden"
         4.  Chatelaine "Victorian Garden"
         5.  Carriage House Samplings "Village of Hawk Run Hollow"
         6.  Lizzie Kate "Very Scary Mystery Sampler 2012"
         7.  Lizzie Kate  "Six Fat Men"
         8.  ByGone Stitches "Christmas Quaker 2- Songs of the Season"
         9.  Dames Examplar "And They Sinned"
        10. Scarlet Letter  "Cornelia VanDerveer 18__"
        11. RK Portfolio "Palm"
        12. Shepherd's Bush "Peter's Patch"
        13. Shepherd's Bush "Grey Snowman"
        14. Scarlet Letter "Elizabeth Simon"
        15. Brightneedle "Key West Sampler"
        16. Little House Needleworks "Little Sheep Virtues"
        17. Country Cottage Needleworks "Santa's Village"
        18. SamSarah monthly calendar tags (can't think of correct title!)

I think there are more stashed away that escape my memory at the moment, but you get the gist -
these are far too many projects to be in a state of unfinished business! So fess up, folks! Now it's your
turn to take stock and think about those WIPs and UFO's hiding out in your homes.  Come on - don't be shy!  Join the WIPocalypse! Or at least make yourself a list to think about the next time you're anxious to start something new. ;-)