Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Pretty Little Scarf

Just so everyone knows, I do more than just cross stitch.  I haven't been able to show what I am currently stitching because both projects are gifts and I don't want to reveal them until I've been able to give them to their respective recipients.  So I thought I'd show you what else I can do.
Most people who know me know I like to do all kinds of needlework.  One of my favorites is knitting.  I learned to knit when I was about 9 years old.  It was summer vacation and I was bored.  To keep me occupied, my mom taught me to knit.  My first project was an awful purply-mauve dress for my Barbie doll.  I was so proud of it!  I've come a long way since then.  I seem to knit in spurts though.  I knit when I move to colder climes.  I knit a lot in Pennsylvania then slowed down considerably in Arizona.  Since moving to Denver, I find myself picking up my yarn and needles more and more.  It also helps me to stay awake at night while watching tv.   This is what I am currently working on.  A pretty little scarf for next winter.  I saw a model made up in the LYS and decided I had to make it.  I didn't have the correct size needles but knew I could find some yarn in my vast stash.  So the needles and pattern came home with me.  I dug out a skein of yarn from the basement and this is what I have so far.  The yarn is a sock yarn and there is enough in the skein to knit the whole scarf.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet and Greet Friday

Since this is the first day of spring for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm participating in the Meet and Greet post started by Madame Samm over at Sew We Stitch.  This is a chance for stitchers from around the world to come and visit blogs that they may have never noticed before.  I thought this would be a fun way to connect with stitchers who may be new to my blog.  So without further ado, welcome to my blog.

A little about myself for those of you who are new to Reflections of a Desert Rat.  I've lived in Phoenix for over 20 years, hence the name.  We recently moved to Denver and while it's beautiful here, my heart is still in Arizona.  I guess it's a case of once a desert rat, always a desert rat.  I worked in 3 different LNS's over the course of 20 years and I really miss not going to work every day and seeing all the lovely fabrics and threads.

I do (and have done) all kinds of crafts but my favorites are knitting/crochet, jewelry making and most of all, counted cross stitch.  I have been cross stitching for almost 36 years.  I learned shortly after I was married and I haven't stopped since.  I have found that my tastes have changed over the many years that I have been stitching, but my current favorite designers are Lizzie Kate, Ink Circles, Prairie Schooler, Blackbird Designs, old-style Shepherd's Bush, The Drawn Thread and Margaret Sherry (I just adore her little animals!).  I'm sure there are many more that I like but these are the ones that come to mind.  Some of my favorite subjects I like to stitch are flowers (I love EMS Designs for her wonderful flowers), cute little animals (in addition to Margaret Sherry, I love the Country Companions series), and some of the primitive designs.

Here are several of my favorite pieces that I have stitched.


Summer Bouquet by EMS Designs

I absolutely love this design.  I love the color, I love the arrangement.  I love the framing.  There just isn't anything I don't like about the finished product.  Stitching it was another matter.  There were times when I wanted to toss the whole thing in the trash.  But I persevered and I'm so glad I did.


 
Prairie Garden by The Drawn Thread

This is a very special piece to me.  It was stitched for my by a very dear friend back in Phoenix.  I was asked to help her pick out the framing never knowing that it was a gift for me.  It was such a surprise when she gave it to me.  She always made me feel like her granddaughter so that makes it even more precious to me.


Bee Keeper by Shepherd's Bush

I love Shepherd's Bush.  Old school that is.  I am definitely not a fan of their new style of writing.  In my not so humble opinion, it's rather difficult to read.  Lucky for me, I still have plenty of their old kits just waiting to be stitched.  I love their use of color, it's so soft.  And their designs are so whimsical.  Combine all that with a mat from Jill Rensel and you definitely have a winning combination.

Well, I do have lots more pictures but I think I'll save them for some future posts.  I hope you'll come back to visit me and perhaps choose to become a follower.  I welcome all comments and would love to make some new friends.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Coming Up

On March 20 (the first day of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere), I'll be participating in the Meet and Greet event from Sew and Stitch This is a fun way to meet other stitchers from around the world and see some of the creative works that they are most proud of.  I'm excited to be showing off some of my cross stitch pieces.  Some have been hanging in a shop for years and I never got the chance to display them here.  So come on and visit me on Friday then spend some time touring the other blogs which have signed up.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
May the luck of the Irish be with all of you today and every day.  Keep searching for the end of the rainbow and you may find your own pot of gold!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday



It's time for another Throwback Thursday.  These are some poppies I made for my best friend at the last shop I worked at.  Don loves poppies; they are his favorite flower.  I wanted to do something special for him so I found this kit from Maia and knew I had to make it for him.  Now I know some stitchers will never even think about using a kit but honestly this was a quality one.  It did come with aida cloth but it was a really nice fabric and since I am basically cheap  thrifty, I couldn't see not using it.  It also had Anchor thread which I absolutely love using.  I did have it framed for Don and he loved it.  It's really nice giving stitching to someone who really appreciates it.  

Friday, March 6, 2015

I Found a New Favorite!


I found a new favorite toy.  Now I think I've mentioned it before but I love gadgets.  I love any kind of small tool that I can use in my stitching or hobby playtime.  And I have found some some really neat ones lately.  I'll post some more later about one of my favorite companies but right now I have a new favorite.  I discovered it just a couple of weeks ago and wondered why no one had done anything like it before.  It's a Thread Hopper from My Big Toe Designs.

This simple little gadget helps you when you need to count over a long (and I do mean LONG) row of stitches.  Just mark your starting place, count 10 (or 15 or 20) stitches over and place the first counter.  Count 10 more stitches and place the second counter.  Then take the first counter and hop (hence its name) over the second to count 10 more stitches.  Before you know it you've counted all your stitches and you can mark the end of the row.  Easy peasy!  It's fun, it's cute and it makes so much sense.  I just have one more thing to say about it.  Why on earth didn't I think of something like it?!

BTW, in case anyone's wondering, I'm not affiliated at all with My Big Toe Designs.  I just like to share what I find with other stitchers.  And maybe help out the designers as well.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things

Several years ago when I started this blog, I knew I wanted it to be more than just about my stitching.  I also wanted people to learn a little more about me.  I'm more than just a stitcher, although that is a big part of my life.  But I have a few other favorite things too.  So I occasionally will post about one of my favorite things and today I thought I would post about my love for cats.


Squeak Our Calico Kitty

I have been a cat person since I was a little girl.  I grew up wanting a cat to call my own (I do realize that you don't own a cat, it owns you).  But for some reason my mother would never let me have a kitty.  Later when I had grown and left home, she ended up with 10 of them but that's a whole nother story.  So after we had kids, Dave and I added a kitten to our brood (which consisted of 3 kids and 2 dogs).  Tiffany was the quintessential  cat.  She was aloof and regal and occasionally grumpy.  She would only sit on my lap and had to be carried up the stairs every night in order to sleep with us.  But we all loved her and were devastated when she left us to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

When Tiffany left us, I knew I had to get another kitty.  So off we went to the pet adoption event and Squeak crawled her way into our hearts and has been there ever since.  Squeak can be the sweetest cat in the world then in the next second be so ornery that you wonder if it's the same cat.  But I guess that why I love her (and all kitties) because they keep you on your toes.  She's almost 11 now and I hope she stays around for a long time.

So cats are cool.  They do what they want, go where they please (within the confines of the house), love whom they want.  Who wouldn't want a cat?