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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Dancing (but no picture!)

I was so excited that I finished Fantasy Remembered late last night! It's my first completed stumpwork piece, and I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

I wish I could share a picture. :-(

I couldn't wait to get it to the framer, so I took it in today. Unfortunately, I failed to take a picture of it before I dropped it off to be framed. Oops!

Well, my LNS is the frame shop, so I'll try to sneak into the back workroom to take a picture while I'm there for stitch night on Thursday.

At long last, this is my second finish for the WIP-loss challenge!

WIP-loss challenge status: 2 down, 8 to go

It's progress, plus the mystery sampler isn't far behind!! :-)

Kitchen design comments

Thank you to all who commented on my kitchen design. I'm so glad my baker's rack was identifiable! If it wasn't or if I wasn't so attached to the idea of the baker's rack, I'd gladly take up the idea of making it into a buffet. Since it is identifiable, and I am attached to it, it will remain a baker's rack.

All of the ideas are wonderful. I love the canister idea, and am contemplating a row of different-sized canisters. A friend suggested a bread box, so I'm debating between that and the teapot. I'm going to try to work in a houseplant and a hand towel, too.

Kathryn, as for the question about the faucet lining up with the center of the window: that bothered me at first, too. Then I realized that the lower cabinet is not centered over a thread but over two threads, and the faucet is centered around one and the window around the other. (Does that make sense?) If I were to move the window to the left a thread, it would look off-center to the cabinet, plus the faucet would run into the curtain. There's a price to be paid for trying to stitch things at small scale! :-) I really appreciate the honest comment, though!!

Anyway, stay tuned as I continue to accessorize the kitchen!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Kitchen advice needed!

In trying to actually meet some of my goals for this month, I decided on Friday evening to spend a bit of time on the kitchen of my GAR redwork mystery. Since I thought the kitchen, as charted, was a bit too symmetrical, I wanted to "redecorate" it.

Here's what I came up with:What do you think? Can you tell what the piece of furniture on the left side is? This room doesn't scream "KITCHEN" at me, plus it has some large empty spots. What can I add? DH suggested I remove the window and add a pot rack. (And he hadn't seen the original design!) If I do that, how do I keep the pans from resembling tennis rackets? Plus, doesn't everybody need to have a window in the kitchen?

I do want this window to balance the rest of the piece, so here's an overall pic so far.

Please comment with your suggestions!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good stuff in the mail!

I've had packages waiting for me when I returned home from work over the past two days. Last week, I also received some goodies! Best of all, three of the four packages weren't new projects - they were returning GCCs.

Last week my Luck of the Irish and Tiramisu returned home. These were taken to the LNS for framing this past Thursday. I'll be sure to share pics of the framing!

Yesterday, Fantasy Remembered was on my doorstep. I should be able to finish it in the near future. Stay tuned!

Of course, the remaining package was my order from Gay Ann Rogers. The box was surprisingly heavy! I soon found out why! Gay Ann is so thorough in her instructions that each design has dozens of pages to describe the intricate stitch sequences.

Take Flower Girl, for example. The paperwork for this consists of 4 oversize (11" x 17") charts, a color picture, 3 pages of introduction, and 67 pages of instructions! The entire pile of paper in the box, for 6 pieces, was over 2 inches thick! I can't wait to work on these, but wait I must, as I have plenty to finish before I can start something new.

Hmmm..... maybe I can find a few projects that don't have a lot of work left to do, and count those toward the challenge... so much for my list!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I've been tagged!

If you read the comments on my last post, you'll see that Cynthia has tagged me for my first ever 'tag' meme.

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
  4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.
So here goes nothing...
  1. I try to keep my blog specifically about stitching. I didn't think that was so weird when I started, but it seems to be a rarity! Plus, I'm obviously deviating from that today!

  2. DH and I were high-school sweethearts. We broke up for a bit during college, but that didn't last too long.

  3. My pets are two retired racing greyhounds named Sophie and Tucker. No, they were not named for Sophie Tucker the vaudeville actress. Sophie was Sophie when we got her, and Tucker was named Lucky. Since he had already been returned to the greyhound adoption group once and was very ill when he first showed up, we decided he wasn't so Lucky! We wanted something that sounded somewhat similar, so he became Tucker. (I didn't find out about Sophie Tucker until later, but DH claims he knew the name!)

  4. I have always hated watermelon. The fastest way to ruin a fruit salad, in my opinion, is to add watermelon to it - then everything tastes like watermelon!

  5. I would rather drive in a snowstorm than on a rainy night. In a snowstorm, at least, other drivers (usually) slow down. In the dark and rain, it's almost as difficult to see because of the glare, but nobody slows down.

  6. I went to an all-girls high school, graduated in a class of 45 girls. I then went on to major in engineering in college, where my basic Chem class had over 200 people in it, with only about 10 women. Talk about culture shock!

  7. My first childhood dog was only 4 days younger than me. My parents were dealing with a six-week old infant and six-week old puppy at the same time!

I'm going to break rule #3 of the meme, and not tag anybody. If you want to participate, consider yourself tagged, and please leave a comment with a link to your post!

Monday, October 22, 2007

WIP: Examplar IV

This weekend, I picked up Catherine Theron's Examplar IV for the first time since early June. I took this class at our EGA regional seminar in May, and have barely looked at it since!

Instead of alternating between bits of the border and parts of the middle, I've decided to actually work in the order prescribed in the instructions. That means border first, then the center motifs. It's weird, but I feel like I'm accomplishing something this way, and I won't have the thought of "I've still got to do the border" hanging over my head while I'm trying to enjoy the middle.

Because of this decision, I picked up at the first unfinished part in the instructions. I worked on the leaves in the border. So far, I've finished the queen stitch leaves along the bottom and left sides, and the smyrna cross leaves on the top and right are almost done.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know Gay Ann Rogers as the designer of the mystery sampler I'm stitching. But did you know that Gay Ann is currently holding a sale she calls "E-Merchandise Week"? To see what she has for sale, visit her blog, and look at the September and October (2007) entries.

My apologies for not posting about the sale earlier this week. You only have a few days left to decide and send an email to Gay Ann. She'll then send you the total amount, including shipping. Here's the catch: all checks must be postmarked by Monday 10/22. If you're interested in anything, don't delay!

What did I buy? Given the number of projects I have in my stash, I had no business buying anything! But why would that stop me? I have been coveting the 4 seasonal girls (Acorn, Strawberry, Flower, and Snowflake) ever since I saw them made into a lampshade(!) on ANG's website, so I picked them up. (Hint - Gay Ann gives you a price break if you buy all four!) I also purchased Diamond Roundabout and a kit called 'Ruskin Garden Square', of which she only had 1 kit, so the blog post disappeared quickly.

Now, for my disclaimer: I have absolutely no financial interest in the success of this sale. I do, however, want designers like Gay Ann to be successful, so they continue providing us with wonderful things to stitch! :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Stitching Room

Over this past weekend I finished another room in the GAR mystery sampler! Here is the Stitching Room.

Now I just need to wait for next month's window and to redesign the kitchen. I can't quite figure out what bugs me about it. Maybe it's too symmetrical. Is it blasphemy for an engineer to think something's too symmetrical? Maybe my right brain is looking for a challenge!

** Edited Thursday evening to add pictures!

An update on my recent stitching

Ok, yes, I am very delinquent in updating my blog. It's been over a week! On the plus side, this is the first of two posts today.

I have been working a tiny bit on some of my ongoing projects, but some of my stitching time is being taken up by two other endeavors:

  • Kissing Pillows. These are small (~5" square) pillows with a cross-stitched front and a patriotic fabric for the back. They are given to troop deployments so that a soldier's loved ones can kiss it, and the soldier takes it with him or her. They also works the other way around, too. The soldier can kiss several and give them to family members (especially children). That way both sides will have a remembrance and a kiss from their loved ones who are half a world away. The project was started by an EGA member in Texas, and each pillow must have a very specific cross-stitch design on it - the words "I love you" in a heart with two stitched stars. So far I've stitched 1-1/2, and have several more to do. Check out the above link for a picture.
  • Stitch Samples. Designer Jane Zimmerman will be coming out with a new 2-volume encyclopedia of canvas stitches in early 2008. A request for sample stitchers was sent to one of my email groups. I replied, and a package arrived last week with instructions, floss, and a 10" x 10" piece of canvas. So if you pick up this new book next year, look for my stitching on pages 164 and 174!
In case you're wondering, I'm not counting these against my challenge. I figure the pillows are gifts, and the samples aren't really a project - they're just... samples!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Dining Room

Instead of actually watching the Yankees go down in flames last night, I listened to the game. I think I was much more productive than the team, since I actually accomplished my goal. The dining room is done, and I started the stitching room on the GAR mystery sampler!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Library (and Radio Room!)

This weekend I finished another "window" in the GAR mystery sampler! Here is the library, with some modifications. I replaced the wall hangings with a NY Yankees pennant and my DH's ham radio call sign. (Some of the call sign is blanked out for privacy reasons. With the entire sign, it's easy to look up names and addresses!) I also replaced the top row of books with radios. It gave me a new appreciation of how Gay Ann was able to miniaturize all these pieces. It's tough to make a realistic representation in such a small space!

I'm also proud to say I finally finished all of the borders! This week I'll work on finishing the dining room (started in the lower left corner) and the stitching room (upper left corner). Then I'll see if I can redecorate the kitchen (left side) and add that. Early next month I'll get the last mystery window, and this piece will be done!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

One dead lamp

When I sat down Monday evening to stitch, my 18W Ott-Lite floor lamp took longer than the normal 2 seconds to illuminate. I was talking to DH, and had actually forgotten that I switched the lamp on, and it suddenly lit up. It took a few minutes to light!

On Tuesday, I thought we were in for a repeat performance. I switched on the lamp and waited. And waited. And waited. Apparently for something that was not going to happen. Well, it's probably the bulb, although these bulbs are supposed to last 10000 hours, and I haven't used it nearly that long since I bought the lamp. So, I trucked off to JoAnn Fabrics to buy a bulb, coupon in hand.

Armed with a new bulb, I sat down again in my stitching nest. I installed the new bulb, and hit the switch. And waited. Well, apparently it wasn't the bulb. This lamp is DEAD. I decided I should look for the receipt for the lamp.

Wait a minute - when did I buy the lamp? I remember that I walked into JoAnn's and they were on sale for a very good price, so I called MIL, and ended up buying one for each of us. It had to be within the past year. Luckily, I keep an accordion file of my bills and larger receipts for the past year. I don't think it was snowing when I walked out of JoAnn's with the two lamps, so I checked the spring records. Nope. Ok, let's go through month by month. Nothing. Time to hit the "to be shredded" shoebox where the records go when they come out of the accordion file. Ah ha! Ok, so it wasn't in the past year. It was last August. (At least I remember the "not snowing" part right!)

I sent a note to Ott-Lite customer service, and got a very helpful email back. There's no way to replace the likely bad part on this lamp. I need a whole new lamp. But, they can warantee the lamp for up to 15 months if I have proof of purchase. It's a good thing I found that receipt! I sent a picture of the receipt to the customer service lady.

The latest note says that I need to send a picture of the lamp completely disabled - with the cord cut. I suppose that's reasonable. After all, the lamp's dead already. It's not going to make it more dead if I cut the cord. And that way the company knows I'm not scamming them. Then I just need to pay $10 shipping, and a new lamp will be on its way to me!

So here goes nothing... off in search of wire cutters or a junky pair of scissors!

(In the meantime, I've been stitching with my old high-intensity incandescent lamp. Wow, that light is so much more yellow! I'm looking forward to getting my true color lamp back!)

Monday, October 1, 2007

September recap & October goals

Don't look now - we're three-quarters through the year! Here were my goals for September. I actually accomplished some of them:

  • Complete enough of Fantasy Remembered so I can send it in for evaluation. DONE! I finished all but the last big leaf. I'll stitch that and the attach the wired elements when it returns home
  • Catch up on the GAR mystery sampler. Well, I worked a tiny bit on the borders, but I'm FAR from catching up!
  • Start Christmas ornament for my cousin's little girl (remember, gift stitching is an exception to my WIP-loss challenge). DONE! It's almost finished, too. I just have to do the cuff on the back of the stocking.
  • Work on some of the other pieces in my challenge list (or other WIPs/UFOs). Yes, I stitched a bit on Scottlee and the Ninja Squirrel Sampler.
I thought I kept the list pretty simple this month, but still didn't meet all my goals. Oh - but I had fun stitching what I did work on! I had some pretty good stash enhancement, too, with the Walmart DMC closeout and the Las Vegas trip.

For October, here are my goals:
  • Blog more!
  • Let's try this again: Catch up on the GAR mystery sampler.
  • Complete Christmas ornament for my cousin's little girl, and turn it in to the finisher.
  • Since I started a tiny penny rug as an EGA program tonight, I have to turn it into a gift, since gift stitching is an exception to my WIP-loss challenge. Since it will match my sister's kitchen, it sounds like it's for her! I'd like to finish it this month.
  • Work on some of the other pieces in my challenge list (or other WIPs/UFOs).
I feel like I'm getting nowhere on my challenge. I really need to get moving on some of these larger pieces!