This week on the homefront

Trees are up…
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House is decorated with Santas and more….

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Cookies are baked and iced….

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Packages are wrapped…

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Snow and cold outside…

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Time to stitch….Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and all through the holidays! ttfn…sue

Hope Everyone had a great holiday…

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Chanukah, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate.
Our family was all together (minus one, but he was in our hearts and we talked to him.) My second son did his magic in the kitchen and we all gorged ourselves Christmas Eve. We do not exchange Christmas gifts but rather make ornaments

but a few of our ornaments...reindeer were big this year.

but a few of our ornaments…reindeer were big this year.

and have game of who gets the ornament. My ornament (see last post was a success and stolen twice (the limit); there were great ornaments this year, think we’ll do the same next year.
Grandma & Grandpa get to give presents…we are allowed to spoil the Grandchildren…and anyway an ornament isn’t much fun when your little.
12-26-12 tri santa

This is the needlepoint Santa for this year. It is a Deborah Forney Class (http://www.deborahforney.com/Resume.htm), Ho Ho Ho Santa. Great class I recommend it to anyone and Deborah is a great teacher.

This year’s Poinsettia. 2012 poinsettia

Thought I posted about this but could not find so I will briefly fill you in. Every year, I purchase a poinsettia from a friend whose PEO group sells them as their fundraiser. AND every year I manage to kill it. Last year the poinsettia somehow managed to survive until spring and by early summer my oldest son had taken over garden management and kept the plant alive and thriving. This fall we brought it in and did the dark light thing you are supposed to do to make them turn red again. Someone told us it takes two years to turn it red and so we just left it in the house and thought we’d try again next year. BUT Christmas morning we had our own miracle…
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Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today and the rest of the holidays!
ttfn…sue

Quick point

Does anyone do Quick Point anymore? I do, only when my niece asked me to stitch a stocking for her new daughter-in-law. (Keep in mind, I seldom do quick-point and even less often do I do Christmas stockings. But this was a tradition stared by her mother-in –law and I do do traditions…plus I’m a pushover when a niece asks for something…remember me, only child Mother of three sons and six grandsons…I live in a male world. Okay, I have three lovely daughter-in-laws and three granddaughters but we are still a minority! I digress…)

My niece and I decided that all the in-laws would have the same sex appropriate stocking with their names…boy or girl snow people. We had a boy, left over from 12-6-12 balletthe 1st set…I just could not bring myself to stitch a snowman for my niece and so I had a ballerina with red hair painted for her. But of course we needed a girl snowperson, and as my luck would have it, none had been painted, but it was a good idea and one could be done. Great! So late last spring our new girl arrived… only now Paternayan yarns were out of production and it was unknown if they would ever produce again. Even the tapestry yarn was limited and I tried to stitch with other threads but did not like the look. I finally decided to bite the bullet and head for a yarn shop, but that did not seem to work either. The thick yarns seemed to fray easily or they did not have the bright colors to blend with the other stockings. Dismayed I fretted through the summer and had about decided a trip to Lawrence Kansas and the Yarn Barn (www.yarnbarnks.com/) was in order…maybe they could $pin and dye the color$ I needed. I figured I would have to get enough to do at least the background color for all five possible future stockings. Before I headed to Lawrence I happen to stop by JoAnn’s Fabric and craft and came across a couple yarns I thought might work if they would hold up and not fray. Their Chenille (http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/newchenille.html) would have been great for the snow people but it did not stitch well, frayed. Hometown USA

yarn

yarn

(http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/hometownUSA.html?categoryKey=1694622&start=0&pageLength=15) seemed the best choice for my needs. The colors were mostly clear and crisp, it did not fray or pill while stitching. The white stitched well but would the dark blue do as well without painting? Quick try of the dark blue and I was off to buy yarns.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to do some decorative stitches and so I experimented in the margins. I always like to have extra space around the canvas to play…a doodle place of sorts. I tried plying the strand; there are 4 ply to each strand. I stitched with 2 ply successfully and used this method on the apron and hat.  The top of the hat is stitched using 2 ply light blue in a reversing continental, the bottom is 1 strand light blue in an

Hat and eyes

Hat and eyes

Encroaching Gobelin. The area is separated with 2 ply green stitched in an outline stitch.

The eyes are 2 ply black Rice Stitches and the mouth is 2 ply French knots

The Apron is three colors of yarn: light blue, green and bright blue. The edgings are

Apron

Apron

overlapping cross stitches and the plaid at the bottem is filled with cross stitches in green and light blue . All used a full strand except cross stitches, they were 2 ply.

The arms are wrapped fly stitches using a full strand of yarn and pulled snugly.  The candy cane is a full strand of yarn stitched over a padding thread used to raise the candy cane to appear as high as the arms. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The wreath was going to be 2 stands of green French Knots filled with a strand of the yellow French Knots but it looked skimpy so I redid using a full strand of the green yarn. The bow was tied on after all French knots are in place and I anchored the knot wit two over stitches and also anchored the ends with French knots.

wreath

wreath

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Snow girls is embellished with a store bought button for the hat and twisted DMC Memory Thread for her nose.

Finished and hanging by Christmas is not going to happen but it is stitched. I safety pined it to a bag so it can hang and have a present added…after Christmas will send to finisher. I have a friend who stitches pieces and gives to someone for one occasion and then has it finished for another occasion…pretty smart idea considering the cost of some needlepoint…maybe she could stretch it to three occasion gift by giving canvas and threads first, then stitched, then finished…Humm, I wonder if I could try that?

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This is the end of my Christmas stitching for this year with one exception, I’ll show you that Christmas day. It’s a surprise! I hope this little project helps anyone with a quick point piece in their stash to find the yarn to stitch their piece. My biggest hope is that the company that has purchased the Paternayan rights will also produce Quick point yarn too. I can dream, but if not I hope Lion brand does not discontinue their bulky line.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Beaded edging

or how I really spent Thanksgiving week-end. Did minimal shopping but had a relaxing time just beading.

11-29-12 bead aA friend gave me this beading mat last summer and I have not had a chance to try it until now. I don’t know where you can get it but I bet a local needlework or bead store could help you but here are a couple references I found:

http://www.amazon.com/Beadsmith-BMS1-Sticky-Bead-Mat/dp/B003SRGE5M

http://www.widgetsupply.com/product/BDH10.html?gclid=CNOv7eiZ8rMCFQVgMgod7G0Arg

Even found this Double sized mat, but I thought the smaller one was just right for needlepoint:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/95260015/sticky-bead-mat-xl-double-sided?utm_source=googleproduct&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=GPS&gclid=CMjE5YmZ8rMCFc5cMgod7i8AIQ

shows how few beads fell off ...but I did not shake it just turned on side.

shows how few beads fell off …but I did not shake it just turned on side.

I love this thing, kept the beads in place and allowed me to have the beads close as I stitched around the piece. I had seen this finishing technique at an EGA meeting last spring and filled a mental picture away for later use.

After stitching the needlepoint I finished two separate pieces over archival safe illustration board (or whatever you use. It has to have some weight

5 beads was the width of my ornament ...yours ma be different

5 beads was the width of my ornament …yours ma be different

to it to support the beads and needlepoint, but I thought foam core would be too bulky) I used a piece of extra fluffy batting to give some padding to both sides.  I also did not glue the pieces on but laced them to each illustration board, then I stitched the two sided together. My beading was 5 beads to cover (depending on the size of you bead and your backing board yours may be different.) Each time I put another row of beads on I went through a

be sure to bring needle out in correct spot or your beading will be uneven.

be sure to bring needle out in correct spot or your beading will be uneven.

previous row of beads and when I began or ended a thread I went through several rows of beads and the buried the thread in the center. When I completed the beading around I made a beaded loop for the hanger.

That’s how I spent last week-end and now my niece has an ornament for her philanthropic group Christmas ornament exchange.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

11-29-12 bead f11-29-12 bead h11-29-12 bead g

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Tis that time of year…

It is that time of year…I have this theory about the shopping malls and parking lots this time of year…I think that somewhere in every city there are buildings (more than two or three) full of cars and robots that are only activated between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve (around Easter they release about 1/3 of these robots and cars) …these robots look like you and me except they never smile and they rush here and there. Most are carrying packages, and pushing and shoving around the malls. Their cars are parked in every parking spot in the mall lot and only one robot (okay sometimes two, but never more than three) to a car. They will cut right in front of you to get a parking space and then wave at you with one finger. (I think most of these robots only have one finger on each hand and I’m hoping it is the “HI” sign, especially this time of year). I think the best way to handle these robots is to smile pleasantly and wish them a “Merry Christmas.”

I only did shopping for 4 presents in stores this year and two of those were done by my son and husband and the other two I got at the grocery store. For the rest I let my fingers do the walking and did all my shopping online. It was easy and effortless; saved gas, tax, and most of all TIME. AND when I ordered from Amazon to get free shipping just had to add an item for me to get free shipping. Two Amazon orders, two gifts for me…um-m-m, no I did not plan this; I thought I was going to buy another gift at the store and at the last minute decided item online was nicer than the one I was going out to buy. Next year I am doing all my shopping online and sneaking mine in there too…well I am saving the shipping and gas.

Have been baking cookies for the last two weeks and so far have made 25 dozen cookies. About 8 dozen have already found a home for the holidays, the majority of the rest are leaving this week-end and then I’ll do the ones for my family.

Tree, bells, Santa’s and Nativities are up; still have the Angels (but I put them up very last because I leave them up until February and Valentine’s day (never have too many cupids floating around.) This year I even had time to put out my sewing room decorations. I love these decorations…

they are some of the last my Mother made for me. She made this sewing box with cards of threads and tied spools of thread on the branches with ribbon and beads. She bought all the sewing related ornaments and decorations.

The small tree in the bathroom is a guild favor, I love the buttons it is too cute.

 

My other thing this time of year is to collect these perfume sample cards. I open one and place it in the trash basket in my bathroom every time I change the bag. The small basket is in my closet and every time I open the closet door I get a pleasant puff of scent…When these run out I just use a quick spray of my favorite spray or DHs aftershave on a tissue.

Am getting to stitch occasionally, but nothing to show yet….. BUT I think I might go drive by the shopping center mall and laugh!

Hope I and everyone has time to stitch today and any day until Christmas!  ttfn…sue

Hallmark cards

I want to preface this post by telling everyone that I think my home town newspaper and TV news medias are the worst. All of them can report the worst of the news but when it comes to events that are worth doing or seeing, both medias will only do so if time and space permits AND only after they have reported all the bad news.

Some where in the recesses of my mind, I remember my Grandmother telling me if you only look for the worst, the worst is what you will get. I would rather look for the beauty and happiness in the world… and thanks to Ann Martin in Delaware and her blog, All things Paper http://allthingspaper-annmartin.blogspot.com/ I found a little glimpse of it in my own hometown.

Because of her post I spent a few lucky hours taking pictures the Halls stores on the Plaza and Crown Center. It was such fun to see all the wonderful decorations that were created by some truly creative people. Everything was fun and everywhere you looked there are cards to see.  Each store had a dress I thought was incredible, the pajama guys were fun and the shoes and the hat were something to see. I especially liked the trees and wreaths but I think the flowers, were my favorite.  

Not only were the decorations wonderful but I also met the president of Halls stores, Mr. Kelly Cole. He happened upon me taking pictures and stopped to chat. He was so nice, took the time to tell me about the decorations and pointed out some that I should not miss. He is a walking ambassador for his stores; a breath of fresh air in this hustle-bustle world. You could tell just by listening to him he enjoys what he does. It was really refreshing to meet someone who enjoys what he does and who takes the time to share his joy with others.

I’ve post a few of my favorites here and all of them in my Flicker account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudukc/sets/72157625678390104/ or http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudukc/

You might also enjoy seeing the how to’s of these creations

http://blog.halls.com/2010/12/behind-the-scenes-of-the-2010-halls-holiday-displays/

http://blog.halls.com/2010/12/holiday-windows-at-halls-at-crown-center-2010/

http://blog.halls.com/2010/12/holiday-windows-at-halls-on-the-plaza-2010/

What a fun experience, thank you Ann Matin and Kelly Cole, you brightened my holiday. If you live anywhere close to Kansas City, give yourself a treat and go see this incredible display.

And hope in 2011 news medias will try and report something good every day…

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Rescued

Remember I said we had a house guest? Well we helped a young lady out who needed a place to stay for two weeks…because of circumstances beyond her control that 2 weeks turned into 2 ½ months. I’m sure our Grandson ,who lives with us, would also think twice before asking again…he spent 2 ½ months sleeping in 2 overstuffed chairs and ottoman pushed together in the sitting room of our bedroom.  It was an interesting experience; one I am not sure I would repeat again, but I have learned not to say “Never”.

In the course of having her live with us I visited a couple of nearby thrift shops…you can find some interesting things in thrift shops. My friend who lives in Colorado finds great stuff, I guess I just wasn’t looking that hard. But one day, in the Christmas section (I was giving some thought to this season, not really I was just aimlessly walking around) I saw these two needlepoint ornaments. $1.00 each! I made the comment to my grandson that I hoped my needlepoint never ended up in a thrift store (although I am a realist and realize that it is not Smithsonian bound) and I would come back and “haunt” him if he put any of my needlework in a thrift store.

But to make this a shorter blog…I left these two ornaments there; even though I knew they were good canvases (Lee, I think), stitched with Kreinik threads n probably professional finished at a shop. Then it happened…I thought about those ornaments and how someone had lovingly stitched them for someone, how much time and effort had gone into them …and how now they were laying in a thrift store unwanted. Well, in my mind I made up this fantasy of how they were lost and needed to be rescued and rehabbed. I kept thinking about these ornaments and one day about two weeks later, I happened to be driving by the thrift store and decided to stop and see if they were still there. They were and so I bought them and brought them home. I was going to try and refurbish them, but have decided that I will place them on the tree just as they are to remind me that some things are worth saving and especially people. This must have been my season of rescuing: a young lady in need of a place to stay and these two ornaments.

 

Merry Christmas to all…

ttfn… …sue