Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cross stitching update and a little rant.

How time flies when most of what you have in life is work and the commute to and from. I'll let you in on a secret, I don't like to drive. I like to take trips, Oh yes... Packing and planning and all of the things that I don't need but remember to bring. But the daily grind, yuck! I have a 1 hour drive now and man oh man I do not look forward to it. Once I arrive at work I'm great, work is fun and I am enjoying the new people all around me. When it's time to go *sigh* my shoulders sag a little and back into the car I go for my 1 hour drive. Although it has given me a chance to listen to some older CD's from my collection of 90's rock but even then... the drive, the traffic, the monotony. Most unfortunately public transit is not on my side considering the hours that I work. 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM PST. (slight light at the end of the tunnel will be changing in the start of November to 10:30 AM to 7:00PM PST) Otherwise I would just sit back and stitch away riding the light rail.
Needless to say, perhaps my bit of whining was a little unnecessary. I have made some progress on my Cross stitch wizard.

Anywhoo.. I also wanted to share a project that I bring out each year. The story behind my creepy little house is that one year I dressed as the Wicked witch of the East... East right? You know the one, Dorothy's house landed on her. Well this was the house-hat I made for myself that year. Since then it is part of they little Halloween village that is slowly becoming more recognizable as a village. Honestly I have been quite pleased with my handy work on this little house that I thought that given the season I would share it with you all.

I spent a bunch of time explaining what I was supposed to be that year. Given that our theme was Wizard of OZ I thought it would be obvious... House on my head... Dressed as a witch... Guess not. Now it is part of my yearly tiny Halloween village, My son loves it (he's almost 8) and now he wants to make one too.

Well hope to post again before too long.

Till then... keep on stitching!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kitchen towels for Mother and a cross stitch update

How to break this down? I thought that I could do 1 post per day but I don't think that I am patient enough to wait all 7 days for them all... So I think that I will cover it all here in this post, huge as it will be.
My dear Mother never asks for any sort of stitchy items, she always remarks on what I show her and she is always interested in hearing about my most current projects. When I did the chickens for my neighbor I caught the strong vibe from her that she would like her own set of towels. After searching through my collection of patterns via my computer, I found what I felt to be the perfect set for her. Day of the week flowers, and I set about getting them all stitched up one by one.
I honestly do not know whom the maker of the patterns are, I had to enlarge them prior to printing them, after I printed I found that the lines were not very sharp at all due to my enlargement so I went over them in black fine felt tip to get a nice crisp pattern from them. I don't use a fabric pencil for my tracing, I rig up a sort of poor-woman's light box to trace them onto my fabric using a standard #2 pencil a glass coffee table and an old desk lamp that is bendy and that I can face upward towards the glass. I think that when I have a chance I will scan my patterns into the computer and post them here so that they can be shared, I would normally reference where I located them but honestly I can't remember what blog/web site I pulled them from.
Onto the stitchery... let the insanity begin.

Starting with Saturday as it is Saturday today... still.

I think that I'm in love with how Sunday turned out.

Monday looking lovely.

Tuesday is another of my favorites.

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. I think it's the floss I chose for the writing but I just could not find a variegated floss color that looked right.

Thursday, I may do some bookmarks with this design I got quite a few compliments on the colors that I used for it.

Friday is so bright and cheery to finish out the week.

Here they all are ready to be given to my Mother.

She loved them, she even had tears in her eyes and told me that Grandma Lefa would be very pleased to see the hard work and would not know what to say. But that they reminded her more of what my Grandma Lois would have stitched up... it means so much to me to hear that, Grandma Lois taught me to embroider when I was around 7 or 8. I often think of her when I embroider and thought of her very much during the stitching of these towels. Here is the ugly truth though... My mother doesn't want to use them, afraid to ruin them! And to share another tid-bit... the chickens I made for my neighbor... she won't use her's either!
After all that work, I just feel a bit sad to think of them laying in a drawer for years not really being enjoyed. I'm proud to have made items for people that hold their gift in such high regard but I think that they are more honored in usage. I know that they are pretty and mom used the words keep-sake. But really, I made them to be enjoyed, touched and used.
I have a set of towels that I made for my kitchen and I use them all of the time... they make me smile and add a little personality to my kitchen.
They live here if you wish to see all 6 just view the embroidery set:


How about a cross stitch update...?

Keep stitching my stitchy peeps! I know I will!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm sure I can learn a few more... Crafts

Long ago when I was more than a little young my Grandma had tried to teach me to Crochet, I'm not sure if I was just not patient enough or if I just didn't want to learn but I was never able to quite get the concept. Started a couple pot holders but never finished anything I started, and really never started much of anything.

Jump into the recent past... after my former department transferred to new management I met a lady that would turn out to be a wonderful friend.. well, more than one person turned into a friend but this lady knows how to crochet and did it in her spare time at work. We would sit in our cubicles her crocheting and I embroidering. Anyways we agreed that I needed to learn how to Crochet and so began my revived effort.

The very first try I ended up pulling all apart. It was wonky in every way, starting wide and getting narrow and then wide again then narrow (the second try did too... see below) but as I had intended it to be a snowman scarf I decided that I didn't care. The yarn was too rough to be used for anything very nice and the only stitch that I have learned so far is the double Crochet.

I used the entire Package of yarn on it, so it is long and wonky.

I chose a much prettier yarn for my scarf that I intend to wear and enjoy, I also used the entire package of yarn on it. My second try turned out nicer, much less wonky and very soft.

My sweet son has chosen rainbow yarn for his scarf, I'm poking along on his and I think it should be done by the time he needs it for fall. I'm going to make his much shorter as he is only almost 8. (Starts 2nd grade tomorrow!)

In Other News...

Sadly my Garden was a failure this year. Nothing wanted to grow and we just didn't try very hard to make it work. I did however get lovely rhubarb again, it was growing here when we moved into the house and I just love having it. Not everyone likes rhubarb but I find it tart and tasty. It always reminds me of my Grandma Lefa. I use her recipe to make mine every year. This year I'm making 2 more, one to bake and one to freeze for Chistmas. I'll take it out of the freezer and pop it into the oven... I will let you all know how that works out come December.

What would summer be without Shortcake?

And Finally....

I bet you thought I forgot all about my stitching... Nope not yet. I have finished my Mother's gift and just need to photograph and present to her, so watch for those posts. More recently I started a cross stitch, I don't cross stitch often but I find that the neat squares in their proper order is relaxing to me, soothing in a chaotic world. I purchased this kit a while back and had tucked it away in my crafting supplies earmarked ad "rainy day project" My son loves Harry Potter and we agreed that the Wizard reminds us of Prof. Dumbledore with Harry's owl flying along. It's not really but I don't think it matters. I'll stitch it up and frame it for his room.

Progress shot so far.

Happy stitching to one and all!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Flowers, garden... and weeds.

If only life were as simple as it is in movies, spending my day whiling away my hours stitching, trimming my garden and waiting for a rich man to come and ask for my hand... Yes. I have been daydreaming about life in Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Needless to say my garden looks nothing like those in that fantasy world. I did however manage to grab a few pictures of some flowers in between rainstorms. It has rained 21 days straight and yesterday was our first dry day! I weeded will my arm was sunburned and my back ached, there is still a monster waiting for me but in a few short weeks I will have more time to spend making everything lovely.

My stitchy project is moving along quite nicely but I have to hold off on posting pictures as I don't want to spoil the surprise for my mother. :)

I actually managed to get to the garden center on their Fuschia sale and got this tiny variety. I think they are sweet.

With all the rain it is sort of amazing that these are going red, 5 years ago I has bunches of them at this time of the year. This year... not so much.

My garden has patches of forget-me-nots, I believe they are hitchhikers from my compost. I really don't mind them in the garden, I find that the bees love them too. :)

And the un-weeded zone. Aeahhhhh!! I must say clover has become the bane of my existence, creeping and twining in and out of the strawberry plants.
I will never again let me garden go for a year! Bad! Bad Mrs.Kitty!

Clamtis looking healthy this year.

I just adore Columbine I actually have a few other varieties but did not get pictures before they were all gone.

I just had to cut some of these and take them to the office, I wish that Ponies were not so temporary.

Just to add in... My neighbor loved these so much!

Keep stitching!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Rooster and A Chicken and their Love

I apologize to my friends and readers for being so elusive in the recent months. As mentioned before I have been overly enamored with games and books and stitching has been going ever so slowly. My brother in-law came to live with us and I found that my routine was tossed into the air and nothing has been getting done the way I'm used to . Although in all fairness it took me quite a long time getting my pictures even taken. This poor couple has been done for almost a month.

My neighbors are the coolest people, they are fun and I love spending time with them. She had (at that time) recently re-done her kitchen and while I was over she proudly showed me this large glass rooster, the kind that has oil and beans and chick peas layered inside. Her curtains were these great vintage inspired chicken and rooster print in red and golden yellow and I knew that I had some perfect patterns to use for her new kitchen set up. I stitched these to match her color scheme and I still have not yet given them to her... I hope she loves them. Admittedly I have not done the last 2 patterns in the set but I may go back to do them for a Christmas gift perhaps or something for the summer.

Mr.Rooster looks so sharp with his hat and cane. I tried a few different ideas with his tail feathers but I kept feeling that it was over complicated. Simplify. That was what I chose to do and I like how they are colored but not over stitched in comparison to the other elements in the design.
Mrs.Hen Looks to me to be just a little snooty, with her delicate beak up in the air. I chose a lighter color for her bottom feathers and I just love how they turned out... fluffy. ( I know I have some "fluff" too) Hehe
I did all of the flowers in the set to match using 2 colors for the petals, they are brighter this way I think and I just really like them this round.

I used a teeny but of satin stitch on the hearts popping out of their heads.

Fluffy bottom again, just makes me giggle a little.

I started to feel like I was never going to stitch anything but chickens again and is really why I chose to stop at 4 rather then do 5 and 6. The next scene is them walking home from the market with a basket of food and flowers, followed by pattern 6 and is of them and their baby chicks.
I've moved onto another project and have the 1st in the set all done and am 3/4 done with the 2nd, they are for my mom though. And on occasion she checks this blog... I'll have to wait on those till I have them ready to give before I can post them. (Sorry mom... love you). The waiting will drive her crazy, my mom can not keep a surprise secret where as I can. I suppose I could hand them over as I complete them but I think it would be more fun to hand over all at once.

And lastly on a note of other news, I recently found out that my company will be closing it's doors. I have mixed feelings about this turn of events. On one side this is my chance to go back to school to get my Associates in Horticulture. On the other side I'm worried about us getting by, as my Husband worked for the same company and we are both out of work soon. I still have 30 days left so hopefully I can acquire a part time job at a nursery or a greenhouse to help while I return to school, he has 60 days before his final day too. If anyone is knowledgeable about Horticulture please feel free to share any thoughts on my diving into this field, I love to garden though you can hardly tell by my yard. I spend so much time at work and driving to and from that there just is not enough hours to spend outside to make it as beautiful as I would prefer.

I'm not afraid of this change just apprehensive, I don't know what to expect. Here I am 31 and starting all over again.

Sigh* Just keep stitching. Stitching, stitching, stitching...