Happy Easter

Happy Easter

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

ttfn…sue

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Time to stitch

I was reading one of my bookmarked blogs, time to SewDaily (http://www.sewdaily.com/blogs/sewdaily/archive/2013/03/20/how-do-you-find-time-to-sew.aspx) and time seems to be a universal subject. When do I find time to… (fill in with your passion)? Do you getaway (retreat, trip to the lake, etc); take classes (offline…online doesn’t count here); Invite a friend over; get up early; or stay up late? Do you make a set time; take it with you, or just squeeze it in whenever?

This was one of my favorite replies from Luv2cre84u (http://www.etsy.com/people/Luv2cre84u)

She wrote:  You know what they say “A Clean House is a LIfe Un-lived”. I always remember that the house and chores will always be there so I just take time out for ME and sew when I need to. I put some laundry in and get lost in my “Therapy Room” as I call it. It makes me a happier person and I feel like I am creating something instead of feeling like I have not accomplished a thing. Life is too short not to create 🙂

This brought back such memories…I have a friend (mother of 5) and I was always telling her as our children were growing up to stop and smell the roses. I remember one spring day, after a horrible winter  that I thought we all should go to the zoo;  my friend had laundry to do (it must have been Monday…remember the nursery song: This is the way we wash our clothes…all on a Monday morning.) I remember asking her if she would have more laundry the next day and she looked at me like I was nuts…she had 5 kids. I reminded her she would always have laundry BUT today was the only today with her children, she would never have this time/day again…we went to the zoo.

My friend gave me two little signs I still have to this day:

Don’t fret about the mess…It’s my mess and I Love it

And

A messy house is a sign of character—wait tell you see the one who lives here.

And I had an embroidery (my youngest son with 4 kids has this now) that hung by our front door

All though you’ll find our house a mess…

Come in sit down, converse….

It doesn’t always look like this

Sometimes it’ even worse.

Liam I live by those sentiments…this moment in time will never happen again! I know that makes me a procrastinator but you know when I’m gone no one is ever going to remember me for my clean house. They are going to remember me for my friendship, time 13-03-20 easter canvasspent with them and my creativity.

And I agree with the others that were said …”I have more ideas than time to create” and “I do it one step at a time”… (although I may have several projects at different stages of steps.) I have more irons in the fire than time, at any given minute I could find something stitch related to do. Just look Temari Ballsat the pictures I posted…and these are the ones I have at my fingertips. I could go to my closet or the sewing room and find a few hundred more projects. Remember I consider these un-started and unfinished projects as life insurance…I’m going to live long threadsenough to put a dent in all these. 😉 Or I’m going to have the best estate stitch sale someday.

I also thought these sentiments were true and good:

It’s not about finding time…but rather making time…

computer deskIt is important to stitch, it saves your sanity.

And as Lu2cre84u said, “… Life is too short not to create.”

What do you do and how do you find time to stitch?

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

Recipe for Finishing Carrots

Take 30 carrots (10 designs stitched 3 times each). Originally intended for cross stitch from Vicki Hastings , The Cricket Collection( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog21.html ) and I adapted them to needlepoint using 18 count orange canvas.

60 pieces of illustration board (front and back): Cut out, identified (number and or arrows pointing to top) , and trimmed. I try to get both illustration boards to be identical as possible; these are probably the most important yet boring steps in preparing the boards for finishing. The more time you take preparing the basics the easier the rest of the finishing becomes.

  

Cut 60 pieces of quilt batting slightly smaller than the illustration board and attach with glue to bright side of each board. Yes I said glue, I use it. These pieces are going to my grandchildren, not the Smithsonian. They will probably last my lifetime and maybe even one of my grandchildren will have one or two to share with their children but adding glue will not destroy them next week or in a lifetime.

Next I added white material to 30 front side pieces; clip the curves and pull snugly around illustration board, taking care not to distort the boards.  The batting and lining are optional finishing steps but I like the padding and thought the lining was necessary since I did not have a background stitch on the canvases.

I finished 30 pieces with the backing fabric; clip and snugly fitting these also.

Then I carefully centered the needlepoint to front side of pieces with lining…clipping and wrapping boards snugly being careful not to buckle boards.

I allowed all these pieces to set and dry… but when you’re working on 30 ornaments at a time, by the time you get to #30, #1 will be set and dry enough.  I matched the fronts to the backs…remember the numbering I did in the beginning…this is when it pays off especially when you have 30 ornaments all alike! Also at this time take time to make the cording and cut the ribbons.

Next steps are best completed one at a time. Apply glue to both sides of the ornament pair, place ribbons on one side of the ornament and place both sides together. At this time I also applied the cording around each ornament and set aside to dry. I place these ornaments between wax paper with a phone book placed on top to help set them.

After all the ornaments were completed and I recovered from sitting days and hours I tied a bow with one set of ribbons and with the second smaller satin ribbon tied each ornament on the trees with another bow.

Placed Easter eggs and bunny candy around the bases (it was cold and rainy, so no egg hunt at our house this year) and waited for the Grandkids to arrive.

Finishing may not be a four letter word but it could be. BUT…Every time I take on these monumental tasks, it reminds me of how much I really appreciate Finishers.  Yes, Finishers with a capital “F”, because they really do deserve a title and our accolades. So next time you think the cost of finishing is high, remember it took me a 4-5 days working 6-8 hours a day to complete 30 ornaments. AND these ornaments were all the same so I could do each step while your finisher probably is doing one ornament at a time, and even if she is doing 30 round ornaments each will be a bit different. So Finishers of Needlework in the world, you deserve a thank you note every time we pick up a finished piece of needlework. You have made our needlework into a finished piece of art. So from me to all you beautiful, wonderful, talented Finishers of Needlework in the world…

THANK YOU!

Hope everyone has time to stitch today! Me? I’m still recovering from Easter and just reading and resting. ttfn…sue

Back to the carrots & Additions

This is the tree I bought from Pier 1. I have three of these to inspire me to finish the carrots for my Grandchildren. I’d like to believe my stitching means more to them than candy and money…but even I remember being a kid and chocolate and shinny coins outweighed my Grandmother’s hard work. Not that I don’t appreciate all the lovely things she made for me…I still have one of the tea towels (with holes) that I can’t bring myself to throw away. It was the last thing she embroidered for me when I got married and I think I may just have to frame the stitching part. I also have pillow cases she stitched I use on the guest bed and Lord, help the head that ever touches one of these. I even have one or two that I use to keep my larger needlepoint projects safe.  

But I digress; this is turning into another blog for another day…back to the carrots and the tree.

I am trying to complete 3 carrots a day…so far I get one completed and start a second. On a good day I can get almost two stitched. I have 10 completed and 11 almost. I made a copy of the chart, enlarged to 125% and then with my trusty colored pencils I coded the stitches.

Yesterday, I had a discussion with a stitching friend about cross stitch designs. There are some that do not think one should every cross over from one media to another (i.e. using cross stitch designs for needlepoint). I am of the opinion that if you like it, want to try it, go for it. Life would be pretty dull if we all colored in the lines. Anyway, after we decided that we could use any media we chose; my friend pointed out a very interesting observation to me. She said that by doing cross stitch designs she had learned to look at the total design and make decisions on what part of the design to stitch first so she had places to anchor other threads and points of reference. And of course she is right…I just never thought about this.

When I came home I took a moment to look at the design I am stitching and realized I had done this too; kind of an un-thought of knee jerk reaction. Using the design above as an example…Obviously the lower part of this carrot was a no brainer, lots of stitching, place to anchor next thread, etc. But the flowers at the top I did think about and plan but not consciously as my friend does. Well, I guess it was consciously unconscious. I did the long green stem first, followed by the pink flower. Then I did the white flower; petals first then the center.  If I’m off count the center can be adjusted to work…less stitches or add a few…never frog stitch. I did the outside of the blue stitches, more of them and again if I’m off center can be adjusted; and then I added the backstitches.   

I think we can all continue to learn something from each other and I am grateful to this person who helped me to think about what I am doing and why.  From this conversation, we moved on to other things that we all take for granted or learned a long time ago and just do from habit. I’ll write again about these another day…because I need to get back to my carrots. I’m also taking a lunch break to the quilt shop to purchase material for finishing and of course eat lunch.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Additions: 

One morning and early afternoon later: (I need to find a personal shopper who will only purchase what I originally head out to buy!)

Heading for the quilt shop I should drive past the Half Price Book Store, but my car turns into the parking lot and two books later I am back on track. Jill Carter’s book: New Canvaswork has been on my want list for some time and the Complete Color Index just jumped into my hands. I love the box and the two books; and who can pass up a $45 find for $10 bucks?

Back on track, I spent an hour at the quilt shop. As luck would have it the canvas is not an orange, but it’s not a yellow-orange nor peach either. Whatever material I put it with just didn’t speak to me. I finally decided the two in the picture spoke to me best and even if I did go by JoAnn’s on my way (just 10 blocks out of my way, but I am in the area)…I would probably like these best. So my experience is buy them and if nothing else I am collecting a great stash for the garage sale my family will have when I go.

 I decided lunch was in order and my favorite Greek restaurant happens to be directly in my path. They always have a lunch special: Gyro sandwich and salad with a glass of fresh tea…Spoke to me and anyway if I eat lunch I may not buy so-o o much. Oh wait too late and that’s at the grocery store anyway.

 Okay full stomach, off to JoAnn’s. Found 1 fabric that would be okay, but decided I did not like it any better than the ones I had. Okay, going to make it out of JoAnn’s without a purchase…do you feel the earth shaking? Wait, this nice lady is putting out new books. Oh no, I’m not looking for anything in particular, I just have this want list of books in my phone that I carry so whenever I o to a bookstore (new or used) I am prepared!  And low and behold, what does this nice sales lady do? She enables me to the back to look at all the books that have just arrived! One book later off my list as one I really do not need; thinking I am going to escape and feel the earth move; out pops Jacqui McDonald Crewelwork from the Royal School of Needlework. MINE!!! With a 50% off coupon to boot!

Now I’m back home haven’t taken a stitch and am thinking about a nap. Between shopping and lunch I’m pooped!

Hope  I  have time to stitch today! ttfn again…sue

No more stitching

I’m not stitching anymore!

 

 

April Fool

 

I’m really working on stitching carrots for an Easter tree. These are charts from Vicki Hastings , The Cricket Collection( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog21.html ):

No 241 Rabbits’ Big Day( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/241big.jpg ),

No 242Rabbit Garden ( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/242big.jpg ),

No 243 Rabbit’s Delight ( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/243big.jpg),

No 244 Leaping Rabbit ( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/244big.jpg ).

They were designed for linen but have no half or quarter stitches so I am stitching them on 18 count orange canvas. Since I’m on a short time schedual I’m just using the suggested DMC floss and stitching them in basketweave. Well, that’s not exactly true…I did change the coat from green to blue and I am using Threadworx overdyed oranges for the carrots…but other than that staying pretty true to the charts.

I found a tree at Pier 1 that will work. It is very similar to the one in the picture.

So, No Foolin….I’m going to stitch the day and night away…

Hope no one fools you today and you have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Bunny one, bunny two

I finished the Bunny with the basket of tulips and carrots over the week end. I stitched it just like I said I was going to do last week. Started with the carrots, did the leaves second and then the tulips. I first stitched each tulip with a diagonal mosaic stitch and then placed the padding over the areas. All the tulip petals and padding were cut from the same pattern. I secured the padding and then was going to blind stitch the felt tulip petals onto the canvas. Lucky I started with the pink one…remember I said the felt was poor quality…the invisible stitching was not holding and so I reverted to an improvised decorative stitch using clear thread. If I had known I was going to use a decorative stitch on the petals I would have made sure the thread I used for the centers was available in DMC #12 or 8 perle and then used the #12 or 8 perle to stitch the petals. But this worked out and I didn’t have to frog stitch. Then I did the leaves, followed by the veins on leaves, the stems and the carot tops. Finally I stitched the basket and viola! he is completed.

Bunny with Basket will head for the finisher tomorrow. Hope they can finish him in a thick (3 inch or more) box pillow. He will need a piece of black lining behind the piece since the background stitched with an open background. I had fun stitching this piece and it turned out as I pictured it; hope the finisher will finish like I see it too.

I also make a stitch record for the pieces I stitch and if it will fit on a page front and back I also try to diagram the stitches. This way I have a record of what I do. Should I every have to claim a piece for insurances purposes (Heaven forbid) I have a list of the supplies. And should I want to replicate the piece I also have a record of the stitches and threads I used. If you want to see how I keep records here are two PDF files of this piece: Stitch guide side a  and Stitch guide side B

I usually try and contact the designer of the painted canvas I am using on my blog to get permission to use. Painted canvases are copyrighted designs; but in the case of the Bunny with the basket of tulips and carrots I understand from my local shop both these ladies no longer paint canvases. This is too bad because if I remember correctly they had some really cute canvases and most were painted on larger mesh sizes.

I finished the bunny Saturday but was gone all day to a guild stitch-in (aka to DH as Stitch & _itch.) and yesterday of course was Super Bowl. Didn’t care who won the game just cared that it was a good game and not one sided. It was a good game and the “Darth Vader” commercial was too cute. My two young grandsons are into Star Wars right now so they loved it. One said to the other… “Did you see that kid, he levitated his dad’s car.”

I did manage to start a new bunny. This one is another old one of mine but I did contact Brenda Stofft (http://www.brendastofftdesigns.com/) and she gave permission to use on my blog. Brenda also said she has this canvas in her line but the bunny is now painted brown & white but will paint as black and white if requested. My bunny has the number A 113 on it and is two pieces (bunny and ears). I have started him and will blog more this week about the stitches and threads I’m using.

I just looked out my window and the sun in shining (looks like it could be warm…) NOT because there are white flakes falling and glistening in the sunlight. Yes, it is snow flurries…tomorrow expecting 2-4 inches as of noon weather report. I have enough snow on the ground …this is getting old and cold!

Stay warm and safe… AND I hope everyone will have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Eggs…the stitched variety

These are the Easter eggs I’ve stitched.

 

easter-egg-1My design and I also finished can you tell? I did this about 3 years ago and did not keep track of threads, although I think they are Rainbow Gallery (http://rainbowgallery.com/index.html): Purple Cresta d’Ore C27 and Overture Tequila Sunrise and red perle cotton.

 

 

 

easter-egg-2easter-egg-3These are two others I did several years ago and just got back from Patty. I stitched them but never finished. I didn’t like my finishing, so I put them in the finish another year pile. But now they look really spiffy thanks to Patty. The blue one is Silk and Ivory (http://www.brownpaperpackages.com/), Silk, an overdyed rayon tube, and Cresta d’Ore Opal multi C61. The pink is an overdyed silk and silk floss and metallic in pinks. I’ll stitch more for next year and keep better track of threads I use.

 

easter-egg-5a-leeeaster-egg-4-leeThe next eggs are a Lee Needlearts Canvases Hyacinth (na) and Lilly of Valley(XM408). Pocket Full of Stitches has a page of these eggs (http://pfos.com/Needlepoint/Lee/Page11.HTM ) but your local needlepoint store can order for you.  I sure would love to have the Tulips too, but I think it has been discontinued. They are all stitched with Kreinik braids to give that ‘Faberge’ egg look and the background is Rainbow Gallery Splendor blue #856.

 

easter-egg-5b 

I love they way Patty finished all the eggs because I can lay them all in a basket or stand them up individually.

 

 

 

If you ever have trouble viewing pictures here, most pictures are also on my Flicker page. I think you can access it from the right column or here is the http: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudukc/ 

 

Okay, even though my week started off poorly and it is cool and rainy for Easter; I hope everyone has a Happy Bunny and Egg Day and eats lots of chocolate. I’m off to the kitchen to fix food for tomorrow.

 

ttfn…sue