Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mystery Sampler, Kumihimo and the Bear

Welcome new members!  And thank you every one for the wonderful comments.

From the other posts I've read today, it looks like just about everyone is doing laundry today.  So am I while I blog.  It's going to be lots of topics.  We have had lots of company in and out all weekend too.

Been a busy weekend catching up on things around the house like cleaning and ironing.   Yesterday, I tried  a new recipe for Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins for my daughter.  They turned out decent.  The secret is Xanthun Gum which helps things stick together, taking the place of gluten.  I got the recipe off the King Arthur flour website.  I used some of their gluten free flour.  She was happy with them, "Do you know how long its been since I had muffins."  I also got some bread flour that I may try this week.

I have been really enjoying the Mystery Sampler and it is turning out cute.  (The picture is a little shakey, sorry about that.) When you have the little motifs, it goes pretty fast. I can't wait for the second part to come.

 Then, I finished the Kumihimo bracelet.  I think that turned out really great!  The colors look even better in real life.  I used copper hardware and added a faceted garnet bead.  I am really happy with how that turned out.  It really goes fast.  I took longer for the glue to dry than it did to make the bracelet.
 Just another view.
If you are a animal rights activist, don't go any further!

Now, if you have been looking at my blog, you will have seen the recipe for bear bolognese sauce.
Since you don't get a bear tag easily or shoot a bear for that matter, you also need a trophy.  Bob had a rug made out of it.  It just came back from the taxidermist.  It turned out great.
 It really is beautiful.
 I even agreed to let him hang it on a wall.

Thanks for stopping.  Have a great week.  Keep on stitching.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Would Someone Work on Something for Two Years? and an update

Welcome new members!  Glad you have joined me in my ramblings.
Stitching Group was at my house last night.  We recapped our road trip and were talking about the Stitching Bee. Shop owner, Kendra was working on Carriage House Samplings Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow. She made the comment she has been working on it for two years and only has the last two squares to finish. ( It is gorgeous and someday I may decide to do one Hawk Run Hollow pieces myself. )  One of the group members, was amazed that someone would work on something that long.  "Why would anyone want to work on something that big?"  She was amazed how much the silks for such a piece costs.  Obviously, she is not an obsessive cross stitcher.  We have threatened (not seriously) because for a long time she didn't have a project to work on.  Only within the last six months, she started knitting wash cloths.  I did explain that she hasn't been working on that project steady for two years and usually stitchers will intersperse smaller projects.

So what makes us so obsessive?  I have been this way since I was a kid.  I started by appropriating my mom's sewing thread.  I was introduced to floss when I thirteen/fourteen years old.  I have had of love affair with thread since then.  Its the thrill of finding a new pattern, buying thread "just because its pretty"  and then touching it.  It isn't that different than a first grader getting a new box of crayons.  It is a passion with me.  What I don't understand isn't spending $300+ dollars on silk floss for one of those projects but, not having something you are passionate about.  When life stinks, your job sucks, you can think about that next project you are going to kit up or how that small will be finished off or the next envelop that is coming with the overdyes you need for a project.

Okay, whew!!  Here is the latest update.  I have been finishing up some secret things so I haven't been working on Strawberry Hill.  I did get the L*K Mystery Sampler and started that last night. 

  It is a lot of fun and the floss colors are beautiful.  There is an extra project in each pattern that I will probably do as a small.  

I also like to do a little beading.  I recently learned how to do Kumihimo beading.  I have been working on that too this week.  I need to back up some beads since my daughter Katy says it may too long to put a toggle clasp on.  It should only take a couple minutes to do it.  I will post a pic once I have it off the form and the hardware on it.  This picture is a little shakey because the bobbins were still moving.  
 I love the colors of these beads:  blue, black, copper, silver and purple.  I'm going to use copper hardware to finish it off.
   Thanks, as always for the comments.  I love hearing from everyone.  Keep on stitching.  I know I will since I am obsessive and glad of it!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Now that my kids are going to be Sophmores in college, I think about when they were little.  And now that it is getting close to my birthday, I think about the homemade presents.  I thought I would blog about some of the truly great ones, the ones you hold dear and keep in special places to look at.  

I'm not sure what grade Ed was in when he made this book mark.  I think it may have been his alter-ego Ted.  It is laminated.  He was really proud that it was laminated.    I'm not sure he really wanted to give it to me but, he did.  It marks the popover recipe in my Fannie Farmer cookbook.  My favorite cookbook and a recipe that is a family favorite. 
He made the bean wreath in first grade.  I got it as a Christmas present and it hangs in the kitchen under the cabinet, near the coffee maker.  I can imagine his little hands making it.  It looks really good yet.  It has to be thirteen years old.  I hope it lasts a lot longer.  

 I came back from a Needle work convention and had made a scissors fob in a class.  Katy had to make one for me out of cotton cord and pony beads.  I put it on a pair of scissors I keep in the basket in the table next to my chair.  It comes in handy and I can always find it with looking just by feeling for the beaded fob. I might not be able to find any other scissors but, I can find this one.
 She made these stitch markers for me one year.  She had seen beaded ones in the Patternworks catalog and made some me some for Christmas. I was just as pleased at how they turned out as much as she.  I tried using them but, the ends of the wire snag on the yarn.  I thought now that she has gotten more adept at beading I would have her re-do them so I could use them.  I think I like them just the way they are.  They make me smile.
Last years Christmas present just to show you how much better she has gotten and this isn't the most ornate thing she has done.  She is quite the master of wire work.
Thanks for stopping.  And as always, I appreciate the comments.  Keep on stitching.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What a Fun Day

It is always really great to spend a day with such fun people.  I am really tired and sore today.  We put on a lot of miles.  It usually takes about an hour and forty minutes to get to Green Bay.  The ride always goes really fast when you talk and laugh the entire time.   My ride in the driveway. 

First stop is the Stitching Bee.  I consider this my LNS even though it is a 100 miles away.  The joint was jumping yesterday.  It is really cozy on the inside.  It was chocked full of all kinds of goodies.  I could spend alot more than what I really do.  It is too hard to restrain myself.  
I got my first installment of the Very Scary Mystery Sampler from Lizzie*Kate.  I had the threads so I just needed the pattern and fabric.
 Picked up some overdyes for a few patterns in the JCS Halloween Issue.
 I have been contemplating the Thimble Purse.  I decided what the heck and picked one up.  I think this is such a cute idea.  Not sure what fibers I will need hopefully I have them.
The next stop was a quilt store.  We stopped at a place called "My Favorite Quilt Shop"  It was a rabbit warren of a shop and she definitely had a large selection of fabric.  The shopkeeper kind of had the personality of a lump.  I did pick up some fat quarters to finish cross stitch projects.

Here is the collection of fat quarters.  I like to have some pieces on hand so if I need them I have them.

These two pieces were so cute for Halloween.  I hope you can see the witches, bats, stars and pumpkins.  I liked both colors.  I may be sending one off in an ornament exchange.  
Stopped at Joann's and got some great deals.  My friend Patty got a circular needle kit for half price with a coupon. Patty, Ann and Arttie were all buying yarn and knitting related things.  Ann did get a really cute Rooster watering can.  Don't know what she's going to do with it but, it is cute.  I should have taken a picture of it.  I had my camera but, forgot to take pictures.  

 I picked up some beads to make a Kumihimo bracelet.  I got to stop learning how to do different things.   There isn't enough time as it is.  

Stopped at Panera for a quick lunch.  I can highly recommend the Thai Chopped Chicken salad.  It has a kick.
 Arttie, our driver.  Got a good picture there.  Someone is having a good time.

 After lunch, we headed to Hobby Lobby.  Patty was looking for a certain Afghan book and found it there. More yarn

We stopped at the mall to pick up a few more things.   Starbucks for a caffeine and sugar infusion before heading home. I'm telling you, we put on the miles.  The trip home whizzed by....gabbing again.  Plans for another trip in the fall.....but who knows.  We all get so busy.

Thanks for all the lovely comments.  Glad you stopped.  Keep cool and keep stitching.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Quickie Before the Road Trip

I have a few minutes to kill so I thought I would zip off a quickie before the carriage arrives for the Road Trip!!!!

I took me a while to make these two decisions.  The first was I wasn't too sure about the Lizzie*Kate Mystery sampler.  When I saw a post after someone had finished the first part, I decided I would get it. I emailed Kendra at the Stitching Bee since I was there the day she was packing them up.  I should have peeked then.  She had the pattern and the fabric.  She is holding it for me and I will pick it up today.  Then I ordered the thread from 123 Stitch.  I often order from them.  Service is amazing!  I can't complain about some of the other places I order from.

 The thread came earlier in the week.  I also had gotten the JCS Halloween Issue and Prairie Schooler: Farmers Alphabet, Adam Named the Animals and Reindeer Roundup.  I saw at Edgar's Blacksheep's Bit of the Web and ornament he made using the Farmer's Alphabet I loved, so had to get it.
 Then, Lori at Not Forgotten Farm had dyed some 28 count linen.  I usually prefer 30 or 32 count so I didn't order any of the.  A short time later, she announced she was going to dye some 30 and 32 count.  I thought about it for a day and then pre-ordered some.  I recently opened a Paypal and I learned a lot from this experience.  The fabric came yesterday with a few sprigs of her homegrown lavandar.  What a treat.  It smelled divine. 
The pictures definitely don't do it justice.  It has an amazing amount of character.  My daughter even said, "That is a beautiful piece of linen."

Well, I best finish getting ready so I don't miss the boat.  I have my lists, maps and extra shopping bag ready to go.  May take the camera too so I have pics to post tomorrow other than stash.

Have a great day.  Thanks for stopping.  A BIG WELCOME to my new member.  Love to see you.  Thanks for the comments too!  Keep on stitching

Friday, July 20, 2012


Here is my TUSAL for the month.  
 I anticipate, once I do go back to work, it won't fill as fast.
I had to find something besides my ORT jar that my husband has filled with pens and pencils. I was going to post more,but when I sat down to do this, my husband was watching the news about the shootings at the movie theater in Colorado. I'm just too upset by that. Pray for the families. Monica

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Strawberry Hill Update

Welcome new members.  Thanks for all the wonderful comments.  Buster was especially pleased you mentioned him.  He wants you to know he has a blog.  (We are a weird family).  If you are interested here is the link to his blog, Totally Buster:  Totally Buster.  My daughter started this last year and everyone has become part of it.

Here is the update on Strawberry Hill.  I am nearly done with the top of the box.  I need to do one more group of leaves, a Quaker motif on the side and a little bit of grass.

 This really is going pretty fast.
I said I was done with the stitching for the Stitching Groups Christmas present.  I decided I didn't like something with the directions so I have decided to do some more stitching.  So, I am back to working on that.  Still can't show anything.

The Stitching group is planning a road trip this Saturday for some stash enhancement.  We have a stop planned for the Stitching Bee, Joanne's, Hobby Lobby and Arttie has been given the assignment of locating a quilt store.  Lunch is up for grabs at this point.  I'm sure there will be other stops.  I printed some coupons today for Younkers.  

The weather is typical this time of the year.  We were sweltering on Monday:  98 degrees and right now it is 65, and raining.  It is damp and kind of raw.  We get these days, which is often a welcomed reprieve from the heat.  Never fear, it is suppose to be 85 again tomorrow and 90 by Sunday.

I was going to post my TUSAL but, since no one has posted that I know of, I didn't want to be the first.  I will do it later or tomorrow.

Off to do my knee exercises.  Yesterday, he added two minutes standing, trying to balance on the surgical leg without holding on to anything.  Boy was that horrible.  Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Corner of the Stitching Universe

Blog 6 from Stitching the Night Away

Some of us have a favorite chair that we sit in to stitch, others prefer to enjoy a steaming mug of tea while they stitch. Maybe you need to get comfortable and put on your pajamas before you pick up your needle or you simply must rearrange all the sofa pillows before you sit down. Sometimes the ritual is in the clean up when we’re done and everything must go in a certain place. What sort of stitching rituals do you have when you sit down to work on your projects?

I don't know that I can really expound any more than what others have so eloquently stated.  It is amazing how similar we all are.   

I don't know that I would call them rituals.  I do have a favorite chair.  It would be my lazy boy.  I need to have my light on the left side since I'm right handed which, got my chair positioned directly infront of the TV.

 The table on my left has my thread catching things.  The one with the pens in it started out life for ORTS but, since my husband has started Sudokos, it has ended up with pens and pencils.
 My favorite pair of stork scissors he got me for my first birthday together.  I think it is the best gift he ever got me because he knew how much I love cross stitch.
This is the table to the right of my chair.  I usually leave my stitching on this when I walk away.  It becomes a catch all for a lot of things.  I'm not that obsessed as I should be with protecting my work.
Sometimes I have to share the table with Buster.  This is one of his favorite perches to guard the neighborhood.  
Inside the table is a Longerberger picnic basket.  It is great for holding the tools I use occasionally.  Things like thread cards, hole punch to punch a ring hole in overdyes, and rings.  There are lots of other things in there too.  One thing I always do as I get ready for a project is if I'm using DMC, I get a thread card ready with the number and the pattern symbol on it.  If I'm using overdyes, I just put them on a ring and re-loop the thread on the original card.  
My SIL is a Longerberger rep, so I have had to buy a few over the years.  I just have bought ones I knew I had a use for.  This is the magazine basket and it holds projects really well once they have been kitted up and in the queue.  
My space doesn't deviate too much.  Maybe that in itself is my rituals.  
Thanks for stopping.  Keep on stitching.  

 Check out the other blogs at Stitching the Night Away Blog 6.  For the life of my I can never get this to do the same thing every posting.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Got Side Tracked by a Torturing Therapist

 I  think I have been making really good progress in my rehabilitation process.  It has been eight weeks since my total knee replacement.  I have been doing my home exercises twice a day and going to physical therapy three times a week.  I just last week was able to pedal all the way around on an exercise bike.  I now can go into my basement rec room and get on my recumbent exercise bike and do it for six minutes twice a day.  Do I

Friday's therapy was especially difficult.  I didn't take a pain pill like they tell me to because, I had to drive myself since my daughter the chauffeur wasn't feeling well.  I did everything and then some.  I iced my knee when I got home.  It was feeling okay.  I thought I would just try Tylenol at bed time since it was still feeling okay.  Let me tell you, at two o'clock in the morning, my left leg was so sore I couldn't stand it.  I remembered what I had done with three pound weights that day and figured that was the culprit.  The PT kept pushing me...WITH NO BREAKS!

So at two a.m. I started plotting.  I had to think of something to reward his efforts.  This is what I came up with:
 I used Weeks Works Bethlehem.  It is a varigated thread in blues, purples, red, pink, beige and green.  Kind of the colors one would see on a bruise.  In case you can't read the lettering:  The Taskmaster and under it is ouch.
 The fabric on the back side.   I made the cord out of DMC:  738, 791, 917 and 3362, attached with the 738, which was close to the color of the 32 count linen I used:  expresso
A little bit of a close up shot.  The border around it barbed wire I found at this website:  I did it in the Bethlehem and DMC 310 for that extra torture touch.

I think when I go to therapy tomorrow, if he isn't sitting at his desk, I'm just going to hang it from his bulletin board and remain anonymous. I wonder if he will think it was me.

I just want to welcome all the new people to my blog.  A BIG THANK YOU for the wonderful comments about my BBD finish.  Thanks for stopping by again.  
Keep on stitching.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

TA DA the Birthday Reveal a Blackbird Design

Finally, my sister opened her birthday present.  She was in Toronto for business and didn't get back to yesterday and in the office until this morning.  Now, I can finally post it!! 
It is The Tulip House Stitching Companion by Blackbird Design from A Stitcher's Journey Book.  
I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.  
 I had to order rick rack, seam twill tape and Briwax from Amazon.  Amazon sent me to other providers.  So now I have 20 yards of white rick rack, 72 yards of cotton seam twill tape and a one pound container of Briwax.  It was still cheaper than ordering from cross stitch sites.  I am in love with the Briwax and have several projects I will be using it on.  The buttons I had salvedged from the in-laws clean out last summer.  I have three tins full of buttons.
 I hand dyed the rick rack, tape and chenille per directions in the book with tan Rit dye.
 The parts before they are all put together.  It was such a fun stitch.  I love this book and plan on making more projects from it.
 I was going to make some cording with floss and a drill but, when I saw how Brenda Gervais from With Thy Needle and Thread had finished the thimble purses with the button fringe, I thought that would be a good way to finish the scissors fob.  I used more twill tape on it.

 The Briwax really changes the color of the paint.  I used the dark brown and it added depth and dimension to the paint.  It also gives it a nice shiny, glow.  I really love this stuff.
 The top glued into place on the box.
 The art shot.
 The inside of the box.  A small pin cushion, rings for thread, the fob fits right in.
 Then, I took the longest straight pins I could find and used Bead Loc to glue some pretty Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearls with silver seed beads.  I just can't get a good picture of these.

 Initially, I had the pin cushioned tied in with a bow.  It was too much so, I just tied a simple square knot and I much preferred that one.
 One more peek at the finished product.
 TA DA, It is finished and posted.  She loved it!
 Update on Strawberry Hill.  I don't iron anything until the stitching is done.  This is coming along rather nicely.
 I wasn't so sure about using a single strand of floss on 35 count linen.
I can keep you updated on this one as I progress.

Thanks for stopping.  I love getting all the wonderful comments.
Keep on stitching.