Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween - Fall & Christmas Finishes

 BBD "Cast A Spell"
32ct Belfast Linen Natural
WDW - Jack-O-Lantern & DMC threads

Hello bloggers! Welcome to all my followers and to my new followers. We have had the most beautiful weather here in Northern California (Bay Area 69 degrees) - all sunshine. Hope all of my blogging friends are safe and warm. I pray for your safety.

After seeing everyone's wonderful Halloween Ornaments I wanted to share my one Halloween project I did with you. Last year I stitched this design from BBD. Now mind you I had no blog last year and had just started cross-stitching again. I choose to randomly place the designs from the booklet with intentions of adding more to it this year. Nope didn't get done. No idea how I am going to finish this. So to the pile to be done with others it goes for now:) 

 Fall SAL - By The Bay
32ct Belfast Linen hand dyed by me - Lt Grey
Used Rhodes stitches for the as suggested by Donna. 

All Finished.

 Someone had taken a photo of their Fall sal project from this view and I thought it showed the specialty stitches really well. So I tried taking a photo from the same angle.

Do you like my silk flowers? Picked them up from Dollar Tree store. The frame I got from our thrift store for 80cents and 35% off (store wide closing sale) that. Unfortunately our Hospice Thrift store is moving to another town. But I sure shopped & stocked up for frames for my cross stitch projects before they closed.
 Now to decide where to display? I love that I now have Two completed projects from
By the Bay and framed. So I was experimenting as to where to put it.

 This is where I ended up placing it for now.  I enjoy seeing it in the corner of the kitchen.

 2012 JCS Christmas Ornament Issue
Mosey N' Me - "Santa's Helper" pg 62
32ct Flax Natural Linen 
Threads: All the Gentle Arts Simply Shaker Sampler threads reccomended & WDW

This month I participated in an Holiday Ornament exchange thru Ellen Maurer-Stroh Cross Stitch Forum or as we refer to it as EMS. My partner Alexia has received it and now I can share with you. This design caught my eye from the first time I opened the magazine. When I first started stitching it (the threads & fabric I picked up while at Needle in a Haystack) I hadn't  realized that their were 2 different specialty stitches. Let alone that I had not done these stitches before.  

 Triple Tied cross stitch - Vertical band on sheep 
Mosaic stitch - Horizontal band on sheep

One is called Triple Tied cross stitch and the other is Mosaic Stitch. In the back of the magazine their are Stitch Illustrations........Hump... I really had to study these and of course I Googled the stitches to learn more. Well make a long story short the illustrations provided in the magazine are very good. But still I needed more information or more pictures to go by. What I looked at was here at Arts and Designs.com. I had not seen this website before and I loved the glossary of stitches they provide.
In the Sheeps body I used Gentle Art Simply Wool - Tradewind (Needle In a Haystack didn't have the color Oatmeal). It's a beautiful thin wool for needlework. I was comfortable with these new stitches after I trained my eye to follow the pattern. It went really fast and it turned out to be FUN.

 First time I made a twisted cord of any sort. I know you are thinking "OH THAT'S EASY" - Not for me it was. This was challenging enough. I'm always impressed with how the rest of you make those gorgeous twisted cords.

And finally the finished ornament. Alexia said she likes it and plans to hang it on display in her new house. It was my pleasure Alexia:)) Sorry this photo was taken at night. I had finished sewing it and then wrapped it up and packaged it. Went out in the mail the next morning. If I didn't get it in the mail ASAP I was afraid I wouldn't want to part with it:))) I really love this ornament. I'm sure I will stitch this again for me - sometime....     Hope everyone has safe time tomorrow. I have stocked up on many bags of my favorite candy - Snickers, Reeses Cups, Kit Kats, Baby Ruth Bars, Twix & Milky Ways. I do not want my house Tee Peed the night after Halloween (just kidding). We got over 85 trick or treaters last year. I hope we get more this year.
Always with my Love and Appreciation - Annette

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"By the Bay Needlearts" Fall Sal & New Stash

 Free Fall Sal,  By the Bay Needleart - click here for info.
32 ct Belgium Linen - Hand Dyed by Me:) lt grey
Threads: Variegated DMC 4130 for leaves & The Thread Gatherer Silk - Carmel Chocolate
rest of threads used were the recommended.

Since I enjoyed "By the Bay Needlearts" Summer SAL, I couldn't wait to begin to stitch Donna's Fall SAL. This is part 1. Parts 2 & 3 have come out but I'm a bit behind. I've been working on several projects and completed one (a birthday gift) today. Donna recommended a light grey for the fabric and I didn't have any grey in my stash. So I Googled "What colors to use to get light grey by Rit?" and found it on line, then did it.  I am pleased with how the fabric coloring turned out for this project.

I also decided to incorporate Rhodes stitches as Donna suggests in the pdf download of part 1.
I treated myself and finally went in person to "Needle in a Haystack" store in Alameda, about 50minutes from me where I live. I took my camera and I didn't take 1 photo - Yes it was in my handbag to. Oh my goodness I haven't stepped in a cross stitch store for at least 8 or 9 years.
I know right? I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see all the different lines of threads in person. Needle in a Haystack is a HUGE store and has tons of our type of pretties:)  The ladies who work there are all so very nice. Well with birthday money in hand here is some stash I brought home with me.

 I had seen this pattern "Gingerbread Street" by Sue Hillis Designs on line. Thought "Oh that's cute". But didn't order it (I have always ordered my supplies on line). Well.....the photo lets you know what happened.

  The fabrics are what caught my eye. They are so pretty (pink - yes I thought of you Vickie).
I tried to photograph the sparkles in the variegated pinks fabric. I will enjoy stitching this one.

 Now this book is by Monica Ferris (she writes A Needlework Mystery series) I had checked out the library. Included in the book (towards the end) is a cross stitch chart. I'm not going to explain about the design - because it would be a spoiler (there is no photo of the design to show you - till I stitch it). Now mind you, part of the pleasure going to a cross stitch store in person, is you get help and the ladies that work there and are so knowledgeable with colors and brands. The threads in the above photo are all silks. Yes even the gold ones on the spools (which I had never seen, brand Kreinik). Even though a few threads that I needed were not in stock (only 2) of the recommended for the chart - the lady suggested a different color but very close to what was listed - Perfect.

 Trebizond Silks: Gillyflower & Garnet

 These are Trebizond Silks. Have you been to Mary Corbert's blog - Needle N' Thread? This is were I learned of this silk. Had to pick up a few of them to tryout  & play with (some time in the near future).

I did walk in to the store with a list of supplies I needed. I was very good girl. And I did get all items expect a few. Mostly I picked up fabric and threads. It was sure Fantastic to get to go to Needle in a Haystack. And it feels good to get to share photos with you.
The weather here in the Bay Area has been warm (in the high 80's). Some days hot and we had to turn on our AC. Really weird weather this time of year here.  I wish you all a wonderful weekend - I will be stitching!
Always with Love and Appreciation - Annette

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remarkable Stitching Accessories

                                            Victorian footed pin cushion, tassel fob and a  Pin Whimsy
                                                                                       made buy Lee

Last week was my birthday.  I had received a package from New Zealand 4 days before my actual birthday. I was a good girl and didn't open it till the morning of my birthday.  And let me tell you I'm so glad I waited - what  amazing treasures I received from Lee - Notes from under the Mountain blog.
Each of these spectacular stitcher's accessories, that she stitched, were individually wrapped all in one box. I took my time as I opened each one. I opened the Victorian footed pin cushion first. When I unwrapped it and had seen what Lee made for me - I was in AWE - completely speechless. It was like time totally slowed down for me. It took me about 25 -35 minutes opening her gifts - all that came in one small box. I just couldn't believe every one was for me.

                                                                Victorian footed Pin Cushion
How Lee stitched (and I don't see the stitches anywhere on this) the trim on is a MYSTERY to me.
Can you see the perfectly thread covered beads on the bottom?   

 When I opened this Pomegranate fob I started crying. Lee knew I loved & been attracted to Pomegranates and look what she made for me. AMAZING!!!
              This beautiful bullion rose is stitched on each side of this fob attached to the tassel.

                                                Can you believe these tiny stitches?

 These are the lovely note cards that were attached to each gift by Lee. They are soo pretty - I had to share with you. And the Charms!!! I love them. I am so truly Blessed and I Cherish all these amazing wonderful gifts Lee made for me. THANK YOU LEE FOR EVERYTHING. I've said it before and I will say it again "Don't you think that everyone of these items should be in a Embroidery Museum or Hall of Embroidery Fame?" I do. I appreciate how much time and hours and hard work that goes in to every small project Lee stitched for me.  I will always Cherish & Treasure them. I still can't believe they are mine:)))))))))))))))))))))      If you have not been to Lee's blog - Please do so. Lee posted and explains & describes each of the pieces she made for me.

My lovely sister Nicole knitted these beautiful scarfs for my Birthday present. Mom had taught her to knit. Thank you Nicole I love them.

Oh my goodness last week was a emotional roller coaster for me. It was my first birthday without my mom. I didn't know what to expect and sure enough it was hard. I did not want or had any party.  Just couldn't celebrate like that. But I know that mom would of have said "Each birthday is a blessing". 

I have been stitching just about every day. I've been working on a project for Lee's up coming birthday:))) And I have more to share with you regarding what I bought with some of my birthday money - Stitching stuff of course. I sure hope I've done some justice photographing what Lee made for me. So many details that I had to include many photos of her remarkable craftsmanship.
Thank you all for visiting. Much love and always with appreciation - Annette

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My First Pouches

Designer - Appleseed Prim For Free Pattern click here
35ct color - Linen by Lakeside Linens
Threads:  Vintage brown silk - The Thread Gatherer
Yellow Green D - Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
Rust - WDW & DMC 815

 THANK YOU ALL for helping me & teaching me to position the photos & paragraphs in posting here in blog land.  Oh my goodness. My eyes are still adjusting to these new changes. I really appreciate all the help I received and I sure needed it. So the more posts I do the more practice I will get:)

I had been wanting something nice to store my cross stitch projects in other than zip-locks. So I had this free Apple Tree design (sorry I've hunted on the blogs and web to look where I had gotten this design from and couldn't find it. If you do know whose design this is, please let me know and I will list where find it) and stitched it with in mind to to create a Fall Pouch.

Here is my first large project pouch. Thank you Lisa from the Inspired Stitcher so very much for giving me the name of the designer and pattern. I bought the pattern from Ebay (photo of pattern at the end of this post). The apples I sketched freehand and cut them using wool felts.

 I found a bag of laces in my moms collection of sewing stash. And I decided to use some. It sure took some time to hand stitch the laces but I think it looks so pretty. Just a little piece of lace. When I look at this fall pouch I made, I think of all the times my mom and dad took us to Apple Hill in Placerville California. Apple Hill is a Growers assoc of about 40-50 barns that offer everything made with apples. Every barn offers something different but all sell APPLES! We've been going for over 30 years ( since I was little) and thinking of it brings back great happy memories.

 This is my Christmas project pouch I sewed. Someone (I won't say who) came in the kitchen and laid a  plastic bag near the iron I had out and on. Naturally the gold print of the plastic bag rubbed on the bottom of the iron. The nameless person didn't know, and neither did I, that the bag melted some on the iron. So when I went to iron the burgundy fabric I noticed there was specks of yellow on the fabric. Then I looked on the bottom of the iron......Arggg
This is why I added the plaid ribbon to the pouch. You can still see some yellow specks below under the zipper. I made the best of it and kept going.

I took out my Big Shot machine and selected a Tim Holtz die (tattered roses) and cut some flowers (had to add some pink on the pouch) from wool felt. I free hand cut the leaves and stitched them, the flowers and a button in the middle of the flowers.

This piece of lace is also from my moms collection. I remember when we took a trip to San Francisco Jessica McClintock's outlet called "The Gunny Sax" - this was years ago. Mom paid .50 cents for the one piece of lace I used in the above photo (such a bargain).

This is a small zipper pouch I had first stitched after watching a tutorial on You Tube here.
Afterward I had made this little pouch,  then I learned & bought the pattern for pouches that Lisa recommended and made the large project pouches:)

My very first time sewing a zipper ever. I am so proud. 

This is the pattern I used. This has been a great way of using up fabrics in my stash. Also a great excuse to go pretty fabric shopping:))))) Love it. And Thank you Lisa Again.

Thank you for visiting me. With Love and Appreciation  - Annette

Friday, October 5, 2012

My new Ruler & Help please!

 Last week I went to a Quilt and Sew Festival in Pleasanton Ca at their fair grounds. I walked by (really heading out the door) this one booth and saw this lit ruler and had to stop. I asked "Does this take batteries?" The lady laughed and very kindly said "No it doesn't". I learned that this ruler, mostly used for quilting, was made using a florescent color and it does not cast a shadow.  
The main purpose of this ruler is to get a more accurate 
alignment when cutting. I love how bright the markings are.
Now only if my rotary cutter would cooperate with my hand coordination...lol

Size is 6x17
Link is here if you would like to read more about it.

Anyways I had to have this ruler. And Yes it did come home with me.
We all cut fabrics when finishing our cross stitching projects. I know some of you quilt and sew other projects as well.  My first and only cutting ruler is over 20 years old. So when I remembered that I didn't feel guilty at all for purchasing it:)
Just wanted to share with you.   
This ruler is Way Cool!   I love it.

 I need some help!!! Blogger page for posting has changed since the last time I posted. And this post is taken me lots of time to see if I can manage a decent posting. Notice the first two photos above my wording is centered? I couldn't get it to align on the right side. I can't find the button to click on for that option on the new post page. And it I don't know why the wording right under this last photo IS aligning to the right. No idea what I did to do it. SO my question is "Where is that option???" I know once one of you points it out to me, I will feel really silly for not seeing it. I do have more to share with you some of my latest finished projects. That will be my next post. I just need to get familiar with these new changes.
Always With Love and Appreciation - Annette