Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's That Time

Well, it's that time of the week. You know what I mean. It's time to show my updated poppies. I was able to work on them every day this past week including Saturday (which is a rarity for me). The more I stitch on them, the more I want to stitch them. I just love the colors in them. They look so lifelike and real. I finally showed them to Don earlier in the week and he loved it. Said they were just what he was wanting.
I've also made some progress on the Lizzie Kate. I find myself being more and more drawn to the retro 60"s look. Maybe it harkins back to a time when life was simpler and I didn't have so many things to juggle. When I was younger, my only responsiblities were doing well in school and a few chores around the house. My friends and I would spend hours playing outdoors. It was an easier way of life. That's what this Lizzie Kate reminds me of. This one is mine. It's not going anywhere!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Random Thought

I was reading another blog and the writer said how she if she gives a cross stitched gift to someone she does it with no strings attached and without adding her ego into the gift. Boy, do I wish I could feel that way about my stitching. I'm not sure I give things with strings attached to them but I do let my ego get quite involved. When I invest a lot of time and effort and sometimes blood, sweat and tears (see China) into a piece of stitching, I would like to know that the party receiving it appreciates it. Perhaps this is why I no longer stitch for people unless 1). they have asked me to stitch a certain piece or 2). I am absolutely sure that the piece will be loved and appreciated (once again, see China). I once stitched a grandchild design for someone. I had made several phone calls to get the birth dates and the correct spelling of all the names of the grandkids. I presented it to the person and that was the end of it. Six months later I walked into their house and it was just then being hung on the wall. It reminded me of Aunt Martha's elephant foot umbrella holder that's only brought down from the attic when Aunt Martha comes to visit. I have never stitched anything else for that person. I also remember stitching a boxtop for my mother with a cat on it. She was the original cat lady with ten of them. I thought she would find it cute and useful (she had already said she didn't want anything more for her walls). When I called to see if she had received it, I was told she didn't need it cause she already had a box. To rescue the situation, my dad said he really liked it and would use it. Since Dad passed away, the box has come back to me and I am considering giving it to my daughter, another cat lover. Once again, I never stitched anything else for my parents. It makes me feel sad that people just considered what I gave them as dust catchers. On the other hand, Don is really looking forward to getting his poppies. I'm really enjoying stitching them partly because I know the person I stitching it for will appreciate them. I also stitch for my daughter. Actually I stitch for myself and if it's got a cat on it, she claims it. There's only been one cat that she has let me keep. It's a counted needlepoint piece all done in peaches and grays with a turquoise background. She really didn't care for that one so I got to keep it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wish I could be more detached about the things I stitch. But they're like my babies. Yes, I can let them go but there will always be a string or two that ties them to me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Sunday Update

Gee, the time seems really like it's flying. It's already Sunday again so here's another update to my stitching progress. I made some real progress this week. The weather was so bad here that I didn't even go in on Thursday. The shop was open but I had finished all of my work and the road that I take to work was chock full of accidents that the manager called and told me just to stay home. So I curled up with a couple of old movies and started stitching. The Lizzie Kate is turning out real cute. But it occured to me today as I was taking a picture of it that the "S" looks like it's upside down. Now it doesn't bother me but it does seem a little weird. I'm having lots of fun with the poppies. I think this is just the project I needed to get me out of my four-year long slump. I love the colors. They're so bright and cheerful, I just can't help but smile when I see them.
I've also made some progress on my other resolutions, not just my stitchy ones. I finished cleaning my craft room. I do have some magazines to go through but for the most part, it is presentable. I also started working out with Wii Active again and hope to get into a little better shape. I'll probably never get back to where I was 5 years or so ago but if I can lose 10 pounds the doctor says that will help a lot of my physical problems.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Update

This is the Sunday update on the poppies. It really is fun to see it start to take shape. But sometime I have problems seeing if I stitched an area or not because the reds are so close. I haven't made any major screw-up yet (knock on wood), just some minor frogging when I've miscounted. My Wednesday project was still the Lizzie Kate. I really like how it's turning out so I decided to keep stitching on it till it's done. I didn't take a picure of it cause I haven't gotten too much further on it. Maybe I'll have enough done on it next week and will post a picture then.

Equal Time

Well, a few days ago I showed you the view from my front door. Today I'm showing the view from my back door. This is a picture of the sunrise yesterday. I know there's a front coming in and that's why the sky looked like it did, but whatever the reason, it was gorgeous. This is why we live in Arizona. Makes all the summers worth it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sharing A Sunset

I just thought I'd share a few pictures of the view out of my front door. A couple of days ago, Dave called me on his way home and told me to go ohh & aww with him. This is the sight of what greeted me when I got outside. I have to say this about Arizona. We do have some spectacular sunsets.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Progress Report

Well, I finished one of the poppies and actually started on a second one. I really like the way this one is looking. I never knew there were so many different reds! At first I wasn't sure I liked it but the more I work on it, the more it appeals to me. The other piece is Lizzie Kate's Live Simple. I love the color of the background fabric even if it is hard for me to see. I'm torn between concentrating on just these 2 projects or sticking with the idea of a rotation of 4 different designs. I can see myself finishing the Lizzie Kate in a couple of weeks. But I also like the idea of working on several different designs at the same time. Of course, that could be why I haven't finished much of anything lately. I've just gotten too distracted by all the projects I have that are calling my name.We'll see how I feel when Wednesday comes around again.
I also really want to do a graduation sampler for Sherrie. I made one for Chris and Annette when they graduated so I'd like to do one for her. I have the Stoney Creek one with the ivy all over it but I also thought I'd like to do one that has her school colors on it. I guess I'll have to peruse Hoffman's catalog and see if there is anything that I like and order it before I run out of time. Ideally I'd like to have it done by May but her actual diploma will have a December date on it. She wants to walk in May with all her friends but still will have her student teaching to do so won't actually graduate until December. So technically I have a year to stitch a graduation sampler for her.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Love Gadgets!

Now first let me start off by saying I'm not associated with this company except for the fact that we carry her products in our shop. She also sells online so I recommend anyone who's interested to check out her website, Puffin & Company. Dianne is very sweet to work with and her products are the cutest things I've seen come along in a long time. Okay, now that all the "official stuff" is dealt with, I have got to say that I'm a gadget freak. I absolutely love them! Anything new that comes along, I'm right there. Gotta have it. I have a ton of scissors and each one has their own fob. I have totes. I have organizers. Little boxes, bigger boxes, marking pins. You name it and I've probably got it. Now I've been stitching for 30 years and frankly not too much new has come along lately. But we discovered these last year and I think these are the neatest things to come along in, well, forever. I have the sheep needleminder, the kitty thread organizer, the 2 kitties scissor sitter and what I think is the neatest thing of all, the moon strand separator. Not only are these functional but they are like little works of art. They are made by women in a village in Thailand so I can feel good about buying them too. The expression on the sheep's face is priceless. I haven't been this excited about gadgets in since I don't know when. I just had to share them with everyone.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm All Set

Well, I thought I was going to get a ton of stitching done yesterday but when Sherrie and I got home from church and grocery shopping, David offered to take us out to lunch and to see the movie Avatar. So who could refuse an offer like that? Then when we got home, there were lunches and cookies to be made and the tree to be taken down. So I figured the poppies could wait one more day. Sherrie and I went shopping today and I'm finally ready to settle down to stitch. But maybe I'll take a nap first. Just kidding! I did take a few minutes to set up my rotation for Wednesdays. I decided that Wednesdays would be a good day to work on my small/UFO projects. It will break up the week so I'm not feeling overwhelmed by the poppies. The four projects I've chosen to work on first are:

Michael Powell's Windmill (this is the UFO-it only needs the rest of the backstitching to be finished)

Bent Creek's Uber Egg (need to stitch something for Easter)

Lizzie Kate's Live Simply (very retro looking-for some reason the 60's look is really appealing to me)

Lizzie Kate's Time for God (love the sentiment on this one)

Well, that's the plan. Of course, I do reserve the right to change it or my mind at any time. I'm sure I'll need to stitch gifts or the graduation sampler for my daughter in the spring. In fact, I probably should pick one out for her. May will come only too soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stitching Rotation

I've been thinking a lot lately on how I want to do a rotation of my smaller projects. I've been reading a lot of blogs and it seems as though 2010 will be the year of finishing UFO's. Now I have lots of UFO"s, so many that I won't admit to a number. So how can I incorporate them into the stitching rotation? I've decided that I will concentrate on my large project, in this case, the impossibly red poppies. But I will take one day a week and work on a rotation of four smaller projects. One of them will be a UFO that I'll pull out and work on until it's done. I chose four for the number of smaller projects since I can do a different one every week and in a month I will have worked on all of them. That way I won't get too many into rotation and feel like I'll never be able to finish any of them. I have a couple of Lizzie Kate's that I'm anxious to start so those will go into rotation. I haven't been able to get into my craft room since it's being used as a second guest room for the holidays. But as soon as my son leaves for Flagstaff today, I'll get in there and pull out my UFO drawer and decide on what will go into the rotation. That is, after I take down the tree, bake another batch of cookies and put away all of the Christmas decorations. I'll kinda be glad when this holiday is over. It's been wonderful having everyone here, but I'm ready to return to my routines now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Start Of A New Year

In keeping with my stitchy resolutions, this is the project that I'm trying to finish first. It's a kit from Maia for Don, my friend from work. He loves poppies and several people have needlepointed some for him which he has had made into pillows. This one, according to him, is going to be framed. Now, I'm not crazy about kits but this one is a quality one. Yes, it has aida cloth but I have no problem stitching on either aida or linen. All of the threads are Anchor which I prefer to DMC (although I use both). I'm really anxious to get this done. I love the colors. Red poppies are his favorite and I keep telling him it's really red. Hopefully now that our Christmas company is almost gone, I'll have more stitching time and can get this out rather quickly. Of course, I thought that about the China piece as well!