Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Little Late...

It looks like we are well into 2014 and I have been very late in welcoming in the new year.  2013 was a year full of stress and change and new beginnings.  2014, while off to a somewhat rough start, seems to hold the hope of good things ahead and new adventures.

I am also late in posting 3 ornaments that I finally "finished" just in time for Christmas.  I finished stitching all of them around 2008, but, they have long sat in my box of "finishing" and I had just never gotten around to the task of making them complete.  Finished just in time for Christmas!



Santa Claus
By:  Sekas & Co. (free design on back of an old needlework shop newsletter)
Used called for fabric & threads, ceramic train button and small blue beads for eyes




 Snow Bunny
By:  Hobb Nobb (no longer in business - loved their buttons & cute designs)
Stitched on Blue Heatherfield - cannot remember threads used



2004 Christmas Ornament
By:  Blackbird Designs
2004 Just Cross-stitch Christmas Ornament Issue
Stitched over 1 on scrap hand-dyed linen w/called for threads

Projects to work on/finish up this year (we'll see what gets finished):
  • Birth Announcement for niece's 2nd daughter (born in Aug 2013, still not finished)
  • SAL piece w/Sharon - Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick and the Treat (very slow on progress here)
  • RR piece w/Clare & Lynda - Blackbird's Beneath the Sunlit Sky (got it back, need to finish tiny bit of my stitching)
  • Start new RR piece w/Clare & Lynda - Blackbird's Pumpkin Farm
  • Alphabet Blocks by Carriage House Samplings - started by a friend and "gifted" to me
  • Some random ornaments
  • My Winter Olympic Project - Winter Snapperland by Bent Creek
  • Nautical Fence by Raise the Roof

Year End Movie Thoughts:

Favorites of 2013:
  • Hunger Games:  Catching Fire
  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor:  The Dark World
  • The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug (what great computer animation on the dragon!!!)
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Now You See Me 
  • Saving Mr Banks
  • Frozen
  • Monsters University
  • Planes
Honorable Mentions:
  • Safe Haven
  • Warm Bodies
  • Despicable Me 2
  • The Wolverine
Worth Noting:
  • The Host - was really surprised I liked this
Disappointments:
  • Oz The Great and Powerful - while I somewhat enjoyed this movie, I left the theater with mixed feelings on it and felt ultimately disappointed
  • The Lone Ranger - same comments as Oz
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - this was beyond a disaster, it was downright awful!

 Movies I am looking forward to in 2014:

  • Divergent 
  • Captain America:  The Winter Soldier
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • X-Men:  Days of Future Past
  • The Fault in Our Stars (I'm packing tissues already!)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Maze Runner
  • Hunger Games:  Mockingjay, Part 1
  • The Hobbit:  There and Back Again

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A HUGE Christmas finish!

Dear Stitching Friends, please excuse my very long absence.  I have been very busy trying to finish my massive train project.  As some of you know, this is a project that has been 10 years in the making and I swore it would not go past the 10 year mark!  It was set aside many times due to things of life getting in the way and sometimes out of pure frustration. But, alas, it is finally finished!

May I present...drumroll, please...








Holiday Express
by
Stardust
Stitched on 28 ct Pewter Jobelyn 
Used called for threads, beads & blending filament
Stitched from June 2003 - December 24, 2013



Please, ignore all the wrinkles!  I was trying to get it finished, in a box and wrapped before my husband got home from work on Christmas Eve.  He came home while I was putting it in the box.  ;-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Start of Summer Finish

Well, everyone, it is summer!  And here in Florida it means a lot of sun & fun.  But, it also means one other thing...it is HOT!!!  I have lived in Florida most of my life and cannot imagine not living near the water, seeing pine trees, having all the greenery, but, I just don't know if one can get used to the heat.  Where the humidity stays in the 80-100% range,  where you break a sweat walking to the store from the car, where you can forget about your hair looking decent.  But, I guess compared to having a horrible, bitterly cold and icy winters of the north...I'll take the hot summers.


Life here has been super busy.  My son graduated from high school last month and is all in preparation to start college.  He goes to orientation next week and starts classes in late August.  But, boy was May a whirlwind!

I did manage, since my last posting, to complete a piece.  Here it is....


Design:  Promise Me
Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Fabric:  a scrap piece of 28ct ivory linen

Color Changes:  
Called for                    My color choice                 Location
GAST Wood Trail        CC Portabella          Lines 1 & 3
WDW Cocoa      GAST Mountain Mist    Lines 2 & 4
WDW Whiskey         GAST Gold Leaf         all gold/yellow
GAST Antique Rose       WDW Red Pear           all pink
GAST Endive        WDW Scuppernong        all green
WDW Cocoa           GAST Nutmeg       owl & bird branch
GAST Wood Trail    GAST Toasted Barley    owl branch
WDW Blue Heron        GAST Blue Jay                bird
WDW Pecan          WDW Pelican Gray         basket

Other Changes:
  • Used my initials & small hearts in place of large heart - upper right corner
  • Did not stitch the called for blue stitches on the green clovers - lower right 
  • Stitched some small hearts to "fill in"  - lower right
  • Added date - lower right
This was a great, fun piece to stitch.  It might be a while before I get it framed, but, I love it!  It is one of my favorite quotes from Winnie the Pooh.

I started stitching on Raise the Roof's Nautical Fence during our "Graduation Trip".  I didn't get much accomplished, so I will not bore you with a shot of that.  We were much too busy and when I did sit down, I was much too tired to pick up a needle.

I am still stitching away on my train project.  I am hoping to have it done this year.  One stitch at a time, right?!!!

Here are my latest movie thoughts:
  • Iron Man 3 - The first time I saw this movie, I wasn't sure what to think.  It went in such a different direction than I thought it would, that I just really needed to sit back and process it for a while.  Upon second viewing, I must say that I really, really enjoyed it tremendously.  Let me just say...the trailers misled me completely.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness - I thoroughly enjoyed it.  A great sequel to the first movie.  

Well, off to do some stitching or enjoy the summer or catch a movie.  So, grab a glass of sweet tea, or a margarita or whatever tickles your fancy and enjoy your summer!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Now It's Spring!

I know, I know!  I promised an update soon and here it is almost 8 months later and I am just now updating!  All I can say is that life has been challenging.  But, on to better things!

I think I have back most of my stitching mojo!!!  YAY!!!  Or at least a good bit of it.  Despite all the craziness that has been going on in my life in the last 8 months or so, I have managed to get some stitching done! 

I finished stitching my niece's wedding piece and then stitched a birth announcement for the beautiful baby girl she had born the following year, but, did I take a picture before I mailed them?!  No!!!  So, unfortunately I can't show those 2 pieces to you.  If I ever remember when I am down visiting her, I will take a picture to post here.

Here is my long overdue Olympic Finish:


Design:  Warm Water Wash
Designer:  Raise the Roof
Fabric: 28 ct Zephyr by Picture This Plus
Changes:
  • Several color changes (sand, basket, bucket, center of sun, clothesline)
  • Made bucket & shovel smaller
  • Used a free pattern for sandcastle (with a couple very tiny changes)
  • Added some different buttons and rearranged placement of others

Another piece I finished around Halloween:
Design:  Vlad's Vash Day
Designer:  Raise the Roof
Fabric:  28 ct Heather by Picture This Plus *
Changes:
  • A couple color changes (words, ribbon for medal, colored zig-zag in undies)
  • Did not add flower, bat or heart buttons
  • Changed placement of some buttons
*The piece of fabric was purchased several years ago and looks quite different from the Heather I have seen recently.  My piece is gray with purple places in it.  The ones I have seen more recently are darker gray with larger, darker purple places in them.

 I have been continuing to work on my large train project and am coming closer to finishing it with each stitch.  I have also been working on Promise Me by Lizzie Kate (with some color changes), my SAL with Sharon of Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick and the Treat (not much progress there) and starting a new baby sampler for the above mentioned niece as she is expecting (surprise!) another baby in late summer this year (only in very beginning stages here with fabric choice and design, no stitching started).  

Here are my latest movie thoughts.

 Favorite Movies of 2012:  
 
The Avengers
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Hunger Games
Wreck-It Ralph
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Rise of the Guardians
The Lucky One
The Dark Knight Rises
Honorable Mention:
  
The Woman in Black
The Vow
Hotel Transylvania
Silver Linings Playbook

Disappointments of the Year:
Brave - beautiful animation & enjoyable, but, least favorite of Pixar movies.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - somewhat enjoyable, but, least favorite of series probably
Dark Shadows - just disappointing all around!

Movies thus far in 2013:
  •  Oz The Great and Powerful - somewhat enjoyable, but, left feeling overall somewhat disappointed.  Makes me want to read all the original books and see how true the movies are.
  • Safe Haven - really enjoyed it.  Wish it had done better at the box office.  I think a lot of people missed out on this one.  If you like other Nicholas Sparks movies, you should enjoy this one by him as well.
  • Warm Bodies - my son drug me to this one and I must say I enjoyed it.  Surprisingly.
  • Beautiful Creatures - enjoyable, if you like supernatural type movies.  I had not read the book before I went to movie (a friend wanted me to go), but, since reading the book, they changed quite a lot.  So, I guess it was probably disappointing for a lover of the books.  I was surprised it didn't do better with the teenage/preteen set, especially those that loved Twilight.  Go figure!
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - Just disappointing on so many levels.  I enjoy Steve Carrel and Jim Carrey can really surprise me at times, but, this was just so not good.  Though I will admit I liked the illusion they did at the end.
  • The Host - I really enjoyed this, but, it is a very slow, cerebral type movie with a lot of inner monologue going on, so it can be boring to those that want action.  Never could get past the first chapter of the book, but, this has made me want to try & read it again.
 Movies I am looking forward to in the rest of 2013:
  • Iron Man 3
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Monsters University
  • Man of Steel
  • The Wolverine
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


Well, off to possibly work on some stitching.  I will do my best to post again soon.  ;-)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Where Did Summer Go?!!!

It's hard to believe that summer is ending and school is starting so soon.  Summer at my house has been busy, though I can't overly name anything exciting to report.  My son starts back to school next Monday and will be starting his senior year.  Where did the time go?!!!  He was just a baby a little bit ago. 

I have been enjoying the Olympics and been doing a good bit of stitching while doing so.  I had been debating back & forth about what project to make my "Olympic Project" and could never decide on anything.  The morning of the Opening Ceremonies I was agonizing over this.  Finally I decided to just focus on a couple WIPs for the Olympics and get them done.  I am almost finished with my first one.  Was hoping to get it finished last night, but, it just didn't happen.  Tonight for sure.  Then on to my next one with the goal of finishing it by Closing Ceremonies.  Let's see if it happens. 

As for the Olympics themselves...I have enjoyed the swimming (go Michael Phelps & Missy Franklin), diving, beach volleyball (go Misty & Kerri - keep it up!), tennis (Serena & Andy were amazing), & gymnastics (go Gabby, Danell & women's team).  Wanted to give a huge hug to John Orozco, all of the men of our gymnastic's team & that poor fencing girl from South Korea.  Very excited for the Great Britain men's team in gymnastics!!!  Wish they could have gotten silver, did not agree with the awarding of points to the Japanese guy on that pommel horse dismount.  But, the IOC didn't ask for my opinion and I am sure they aren't losing sleep over it (just like with the fencing decision for the SK girl).  Oh, well.  Enjoy what you can.

I have been meaning to post a pic of the RR piece I had finished up (my part) for Lynda.  Here is a pic.  It will be off to Clare soon.  Please excuse the big crease in the middle.  Did not feel like dragging the iron out.  I know...lazy!  :-)




Recent Movie Thoughts

  • The Avengers - Loved it!!!
  • The Amazing Spider Man - Loved it!!!  Loved Andrew Garfield, loved the tone of the movie, the villain, the love interest, etc.  No disrespect to the Tobey McGuire series, which I really liked, but, I love this one.
  • Brave - enjoyed it, but, probably not as much as other Pixar movies.  Enjoyed the short, La Luna, in front of it. 
  • Madagascar 3 - enjoyed it - better than the last one, for sure.
  • Mirror, Mirror - enjoyable, but, nothing to overly write home about.
  • Snow White & the Huntsman - interesting take on Snow White.  Charlize Theron was amazing.  Very dark and some unexpected quirky bits that I wasn't sure about.  There definitely seemed to be a twist on the love interest.  With all the stuff coming out about Kristen Stewart and the director you wonder if they will continue with the planned trilogy on this.
  • People Like Us - pretty good, interesting movie.  
  • Rock of Ages - enjoyable, especially if you love 80s music.  I thought Tom Cruise did a really good job.  Always enjoy Julianne Hough.
  • The Dark Knight Rises - my favorite of the trilogy!!!  Loved the ending.

Well, not much other news here.  Hope to have a couple of finished pieces to show you by the end of the Olympics.  :-)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

My New RR - Beneath the Sunlit Sky


Designer:  Blackbird Designs - Loose Feathers
Design:  Beneath the Sunlit Sky
Fabric:  28 ct Celadon


Here is the start of my new RR piece I am doing with my stitching friends Lynda and Clare.  I love the way it has started out.  Clare will do the next part & then it will go to Lynda.  We decided this year to pick a piece out of our stash that could easily be divided into 3 parts.  I have had all the supplies for this piece for a couple years and knew I wanted it to be my chosen piece.  

I just started the piece Lynda has selected for hers and will post a picture of it once I all of my portion completed on it.

I also started a SAL with my friend Sharon.  We are stitching Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick & the Treat.  I have not stitched much on my piece at all.  I have chosen to stitch my piece on WDW's Carrot using basic DMC 310.  I love the stark contrast of the orange and the black.  Very Halloween!!!  Sharon is stitching her's on a gorgeous blue fabric called Blue Moon Java using GAST Onyx.  It is gorgeous! 

The little stitch group that meets at my house once a month recently went on a Stitching Road Trip.  We had such a great time!  We went left early last Friday and drove to Ocean Springs, MS.  We had lunch at a great Italian place called Al Fresco.  After browsing in a couple little charming shops located nearby we then went to Thread Needle Street.  The last time I was at Thread Needle Street's shop it was in a smaller, much less charming location.  The new shop is much larger, has more light and has so much more charm.  After doing a little shopping we hit the road again and drove to Hattiesburg.  After checking into our hotel we had dinner at the Crescent City Grill.  The menu definitely had a Cajun twist and was wonderful.  Most of us had some gumbo, chowder or fried green tomatoes for an appetizer and then shrimp and grits for our main course.  After dinner we went back to the hotel and all gathered together for some stitching time.  The next morning we set off to Shakespeare's Peddler, the shop owned by Shakespeare's Peddler & Raise the Roof designer Theresa Venette.  Theresa was such a delightful woman!  Her little shop is jam packed with all her wonderful designs, all types of stitching accessories, and a wonderful selection of fabrics and threads.  After 2 1/2 hours of shopping we all left with our wallets stripped bare.  :-)  Needless to say, we are all wanting to head back to Theresa's shop again before long.  We could not have had a more fun weekend!!!

As you can see I somewhat seem to be coming out of my stitching funk.  My train project is still waiting in the wings.  The last bits of beading have been put on my niece's wedding piece (yes, I know it is a year late) and I am about half way through the sampler for my niece's new baby.  I also dusted off a couple other WIPs and hope to work on them this summer as well.  My main problem of late has been having the energy to stitch.  I have been so tired from working that I just seem to want to completely relax once I finally sit down (after dinner, housework, etc).  Not to mention that the main tv has been moved to a different room and the chairs in that room do not seem to be overly conducive to being comfortable for stitching.  I think they will not be staying in there long term, but, do not see different ones fitting in the budget anytime soon.  I will have to try and work something out. 

Well...that's it for now.  Hope to have some new stuff to show soon. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's already Spring!

I can't believe that winter has gone and that spring is here.  Where did the time go?!!

I have actually been a hair productive lately.  I finished my first box!  I think it turned out quite nicely for the first time.  I did this for a friend of mine who's mother passed away.  I made all the pins for the box top as well.


 Design:  Freebie pattern by Blackbird Designs
Fabric:  28 ct evenweave scrap in a very pale taupy pink
Thread:  Gentle Arts Sampler Thread - cannot find label for color name



 Inside of box 
Magnetic area on lid for pins
pocket inside bottom holds a stitch ruler


Scissor fob I made to go with it


I also have finished up my stitching for my new RR.  Will post pics of that next time.  

Recent Movie Thoughts:  
  • The Vow - really enjoyed it - had seen interview about 10 yrs ago with the "real" couple this movie is based on.  Very interesting and thought it stayed true to what I remembered of the interview.
  • The Woman in Black - Great little haunted house/ghost movie.  No gore, just scare!  Of course, it has been keeping me awake at night.
  • The Descendants - hmmmmmm...not sure what to say here.  The movie was interesting, but, in a dull/daily life type way.  George Clooney gave a very understated performance that definitely fit the role, but, I can't say I thought it was Oscar worthy, nor did I think the movie was.  I thought the girl that played his daughter (Shailene Woodley) deserved more the Oscar credit than the movie or GC, but, again...can't overly say that she deserved a nomination either.
  • The Hunger Games - Loved it!!!  These books swept me away fairly recently and it has become my second favorite series after Harry Potter.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought the did a great job with it.  If you have not read this series and you enjoyed HP, then go out and get these books and read them!!!
Oscar thoughts:

  •  Was glad that Octavia Spencer won for Supporting Acress
  •  While I like Meryl Streep and think she is a fine actress, I wanted Viola Davis to win Best Actress since I thought she was the true heart of The Help

Until next time.