Category Archives: Stash Report

It was not the…

…world’s best week here in the north country–at least for this particular northerner.  But it had it bright spots like a surprise visit from a dear friend, a good prognosis for another friend and even some stitching time.  It just goes to show that silver lining thing is NOT a myth! And if you’re in need of a silver lining or just a morning smile, take yourself to Liv ‘n Laf to read about the adventures of Ms. Gabby- a mischievous, somewhat naughty and very lucky kitty. This is a blog well worth reading on a daily basis, but today that smile was a special  treasure–thank you Gabby’s mommy for sharing!

Since I am heading for work shortly I will share what I’ve been working on this week. Remember that post a few weeks back about picking up some canvaswork again? Well, I dug in my closet (which bears remarkable similarities to Mr. McGee’s (Fibber) of some fame) and found another one of my Kimonos by Jinice. These come as a line drawn canvas.  Work starts by picking a colorway in Caron Watercolours then selecting all the other fibers based on that color.  The fibers are totally fun, a lot of Rainbow Gallery, some Medici Wool (shows this canvas is far from new), some ribbon floss and a couple of glitzy metallics.  This was one of my first classes in needlepoint and it has been in the closet lo these many intervening years. I decided it’s high time it got done. I do find myself pulling out already worked sections because my skills have improved, but I still love the colors and the stitching.  I have finished one of these kimonos which now graces my mom’s house, and have two others in the stash pile.  It’s a good thing I like them 🙂

Here is my progress through yesterday morning:

Full body

Full body

And a couple of detail shots:

Detail 1

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 2

I think the part I enjoy the most about these pieces is watching the colors come together. The one that’s finished uses ‘Flame’ Watercolours and is done in reds. If anyone is interested in seeing a photo, I believe there is one on my webshots albums. I will also post one here next week when I am out east for T-Day!  I do  plan to take this canvas with me on vacation so stay tuned for updates.

I also got a lot done (3 movies and one football game’s worth) on my Colinette Meadow afghan. This last repeat is taking FOREVER, but I am soooo close! I will post a photo when I’m done. That way I have something to work towards.

Lastly, another segment of ‘Recommended Reading‘:  I was at the knitting shop last weekend with aforementioned visiting friend. She held me down on the floor and twisted my arm until I was forced to buy Nicky Epstein’s new book ‘Knitting on Top of the World’ This book is eye candy pure and simple, but the photos and instructions are so good, I might yet venture one of her master knitter patterns even though I can lay no claim to that lofty title. I also need to keep working on a ‘slightly’ altered body to wear some of her beautiful creations…either that or one of my nieces is going to be a VERY lucky young lady. The text is clear and informative, the photos are glorious and this is definitely one for any knitter’s library. I am really glad I was ‘forced’ into this purchase! 🙂

For me it is off to work, so in the words of the immortal Jim Reeves–‘may your troubles all be small ones and your fortune ten times ten, may the Good Lord bless and keep you, ’til we meet again! (Actually, he’s the one who recorded it, I”m not sure who wrote it, but the sentiment is beautiful.

Have a wonderful and stitch-filled day!

Blessings,

Julie

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Hello, again….hello

…..and the good news is I’m OVER my blahs, at least insofar as needlework is concerned.  In fact, I have a finish to report:  Yes, Color Cubes by Laura Perin is done and at the framer’s. Can you say HAPPY DANCE!!!  Here is is:

Color Cubes

And a close up:

Color Cubes Close up

This was an incredibly fun and easy stitch.  I switched the color of the Overture to a more jewel-toned overdye (to match my living room) and used a single strand of #8 braid where the pattern called for 2 strands of Petite Treasure braid.  I love how it turned out.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again—Laura Perin’s designs are fabulous.  Her use of stitches and color are wonderful, her stitch diagrams clear and easy to follow and above all, they are so fun to stitch!

Now, as for my plans for selling stash. I will try and get the For Sale/Trade pages updated this week. I know, I know…you’ve heard that before, but I will try.  Also,  I have responded to everyone who has left a question…but please, when you contact me, give me a day or two to get back to you. Sometimes my days get a little nuts. 🙂 (Just like everyone else’s)

As to why’s of pairing down my stash…well I still love stitching (and knitting and quilting) and still love pretty much everything I’m trying to sell.  But the truth of the matter is, I want SOMEONE to stitch these pieces and I am NOT going to get them all done…well, unless I set some kind of record for smoking needles.  So please, check and see if there’s anything you’ve been wanting on my pages.  Most everything is a least half off retail and most are more.  If you want to buy several and feel we should talk about price, please do e-mail me.  And most of all, wish me well in stitching the hundreds of pieces that still inhabit my closet.

It is so GOOD to be back. I hope everyone else has skipped the stitching slump season!  I look forward to getting back to blog reading.  I’ve missed seeing everyone’s beautiful stitches.

Blessings,

Julie

The key to change is to let go of fear  –Roseanne Cash

It’s been a long time…

…and it seems even longer. I’ve had company (hi Janet and Mom!), had my yearly battle with a spring cold and have done little to no stitching. It seems my heart just isn’t in it and I know part of the problem is I have so much stash it is simply difficult to choose what to work on to even make a dent.

I have decided to set a goal that is different from any others. I want to sell about 90% of my kits, WIP’s, fabrics, threads and leaflets. If you have an interest, please check the stash for sale page. I will start adding new things tomorrow (Wednesday, April 23rd).

Perhaps doing this will help me focus my energies on the projects I truly love and will make me eager to pick up a needle again. I sure hope so.

For now, thank you all for your kind comments and for stopping by to read.

Blessings,

Julie

I am spending more time…

…getting organized to stitch than stitching. And, scarily enough, that’s the story of my life…that and bouncing down bunny trails.

Some of you know my sad story: I sit down in my comfy chair and turn on my light. Soft music is playing, my fabric and fibers are at my side, I have several hours to devote to this beautiful piece in front of me. It seems as though I’ve found a bit of Heaven right here on Earth.

Only…drat! Foiled before I even start. My 11×17 q-snaps have disappeared. I have 17×17, 11×11, 8×8 and 6×6 all in a row next to my stand, but nothing in the size I need. I have at least two pair of them, so…where can they have gotten too? Perhaps I actually put them away. Confident I can solve this mystery quickly, I turn off my light, push my chair back and venture into Fibber McGee’s closet to find said q-snaps. (Perhaps here is where I should mention I should own Rubbermaid or at least controlling shares)

I have dozens of stacked, neatly labeled bins and in no time have located the right one…the one labeled ‘Hoops, stretcher bars, q-snaps, and scroll frames‘ (No, I am not kidding!). So this should be a piece of cake, right?

WRONG!

Opening the lid, I immediately find half a q-snap pair in the right size. Half? What’s with this? Where’s the other half? Well, before anything else, I obviously need to go on a search and rescue mission. Mess ensues. But an hour later, I can claim victory. The bin is neat and I have found the rest of my q-snap.

Only…something is not quite right. In the bin that is only supposed to be for fabric stretching apparatus (apparati?), I also find the fibers for a chart I have kitted with fabric…somewhere. I remember that chart. I put it in a special place because I was missing the threads. But where? Search ensues.

Hours later, no stitching is done, but bins are much more organized. Happily, I put my appropriately sized q-snap beside my project for next time, pat myself on the back and walk away.

See why I don’t have more in the ‘finished’ column? I am a compulsive organizer when it comes to my stash. Now, lest you think you’ve got me figured, I have dust bunnies that are scary beneath my beds. But as long as they stay in their territory…well, let’s just say we have an uneasy truce. However, if they venture into my well organized stash…then there will be war.

So…you may ask…if you are so well organized why isn’t it ever just done? Bite your tongue. Why isn’t it done? Well, first of all, I need to use my stash. Threads get disarranged, I find a kit for a friend, I spill a box of buttons and decide I’d rather watch ‘Iron Chef America‘ than crawl around on a closet floor. And secondly…somehow…without really intending to, I seem to be good at adding to my stash. More to catalog, more to sort and more to put in bins. (Sometimes more bins, too)

So this year I’m resolved. Less stash buying, less stash organizing and MORE stitching.

But hold on just a gol-durned minute. Before I can resolve such a thing, I have to get organized. 🙂 So to that end, I have come up with an exhaustive WIP list, which is posted on the page bearing that title. I did this so I could be VERY aware of the folly of starting anything new.

And then, in a superb act of defiance, I also created a list of the projects I plan to start this year. 🙂 Illogic at its finest!

To balance it all and because the New Year is a time of New Hope for the Alliance…oops…that’s Star Wars. Ahem…start over….Because the New Year brings new life to old resolutions (better) , I created a page for my 2008 finishes. Ah…hope springs eternal.

And, just to keep you all posted on how successful I am at stitching as opposed to playing with my stash, I’ve created yet another page (gosh this cyber world is a wonderful place) to track my hours engaged in actually plying a threaded needle.

Can you see a pattern emerging? 🙂 Do I need serious therapy? Probably. But in the meanwhile I wish you all bright hours filled with blissful stashing and frog-less stitches.

Blessings,

Julie (recovering CSO-compulsive stash organizer)

A change of pace…

Needlepoint…counted canvas and in this particular case, a Laura Perin. To be even more precise, one of her wonderful, fun and easy quilt patterns called Western Skies.

Since my surgery, I’ve looked for things to inspire me in my (extensive) (too extensive) (totally out of control) WIP pile and a couple of weeks ago I found the piece mentioned in the preceding paragraph. I inherited this piece, just started, so I didn’t pick the colors. And, for a long time it just sat because I wasn’t sold on the pinks and purples of the Watercolour thread.

But after finding it (hiding behind the stash closet door, still carefully wrapped), I decided to work on it just to see if it grew on me. And guess what? It has. So much so I haven’t yet rotated to the next project. Heck, I don’t even know what the next project is…apart from something I’ve already started. 🙂 (Just for the record I’m thinking Mystery X needs some attention)

Now, without further ado, here is the latest progress photo on Western Skies:

Western Skis-Laura Perin Desgins

I do love this pattern. What do you all think of the colors? My own taste would have been to pick a Watercolors fiber in autumn shades or in the tones found in the desert southwest, but the shades in this one are really lovely.

It has also occurred to me that if I work on it for a few more days I might have another finish for 2007. And another piece stripped from my list of WIPS/UFOS.

One of the things I’ve considered posting here is that (extensive) (too extensive) (totally out of control) list. That way I can track my stripping progress. The biggest drawback? Well, my sad little secret will be out. The whole world…or at least the part of the world that reads this blog…will see I have a terminal case of ‘startitis’. 🙂 HORRORS! Although, perhaps the embarrassment factor…hmmmm….

Anyway, speaking of startitis…there is yet another project waiting in the wings. (So much for the embarrassment factor) I received a wonderful stash acquisition yesterday.

Margreet Beemsterboer’s Motifs from Marken

This is Margreet Beemsterboer’s Sampler of Motifs from Marken, the new Needleprint Gold pattern. It is WONDERFUL and I can already think of great uses for all these bands. I plan to order VC silks for the sampler (she has a conversion done). I love working with her fibers and the cost is very reasonable.

I guess there is only one conclusion to draw from all this: I’d better shift into overdrive and get stitching!

Best blessings to all,

Julie

Recommended reading & stash from ‘down under’

This Friday evening is going by far too quickly. I have a lot both stitching wise and life-wise I want and need to get accomplished. It has been a lovely spring day here and I’m glad to say I was out and about and able to enjoy some of it.

One thing the beautiful weather means is I was able to make my weekly WtR goal (see sidebar). And that doesn’t even include the walk we’ve planned for tomorrow (My week runs Sun-Sat). Wooo-weee!

Next up…another ‘recommended reading’ segment. I love books that are as much a treat for the eyes as they are good teaching material. This new (to me and to the market) book qualifies as a favorite in both catagories.

beginners-guide-to-goldwork-ruth-chamberlin.jpg

A Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberlin (pub. 2006, Search Press Needlecrafts) is both an overview of the art of goldwork and a gallery of the author’s exquisite finished work. In tacit acknowledgement of the instructional nature of the book, Ms. Chamberlin not only shares her own pieces but concisely covers the basics needed to get started on a first project.

Progressing through the first few chapters, there are sections on the materials used in goldwork, the equipment needed and a small discussion of design. In addition, she takes the reader through the intricies of framing up, transferring the artwork to the ground cloth, and even techniques for beginning and ending stitches.

And she doesn’t stop there. She covers in some detail the basic goldwork techniques and stitches. The photography is both stunning and detailed. The book includes several projects, including a sampler for anyone who is a fairly independent and adventurous stitcher. (I don’t believe the projects suitable for a novice in needlework. Her instructions assume a basic knowledge of stitchery and allow a great deal of latitude for artistic interpretation.)

I think this book is a wise purchase for any needleworker interested in adding goldwork to their skill set or for anyone who just wants a peek at some beautiful examples of this art.

If anyone has questions about this book, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.

Another wonderful part of today was mail call. I received two kits from Colour Streams (see my sidebar for the link) both designed by Helan Pearce.

I ordered a Persian Teardrop, which I intend to use as a scissor fob and a Persian Slipper which is intended as a gift if I can bear to part with it. 🙂 The colors are absolutely beautiful. It makes me anxious to see the rest of Robyn’s line of silks in person. (She does weights equivalent to #5 and # 8 Pearl Cotton, a six stranded silk floss and wonderful silk ribbons!) I can just picture a garden scene done in her colors. Anybody up for a trip to Australia?

I need a patron…sigh………………………..

Here’s a peek at my goodies. The scanner won’t do them justice, but I’ve included both the front of the packaging with the picture of the finished piece and the back, so you can see the materials.

color-streams-order-pictures.jpg

and:

slipper-left-teardrop-right.jpg

As you can well imagine, I want to start this RIGHT NOW! And…I may give in as soon as my church is done. Yes, I’m still working the church. Those rice-stitched trees take forever (but boy-oh-boy do they look cool)! I will post an update soon.

In the meanwhile, if any of you are so inclined, I’d strongly recommend a trip to the Colour Streams website. Enjoy!

I will leave you with my best wishes for a wonderful and stitchy weekend with no froggy-froggy blues.

Blessings,

Julie

An update on the ‘Hood

It is a lovely day here in the north country. All those piles of snow are no more and the ice has gone out on the lake. Isn’t spring a season of miracles??? It is…glorious! I will shoot a few photos one day soon, so you can see the transformation of not only my deck, but my whole back yard. I am excited because this summer I am going plant a container garden and hope for the best. I plan to put in some vegetables and some flowers. I don’t have a particularly green thumb, but someone special to me is a master gardener and I hope to emulate the example. 🙂

On the stitching front I promised a photograph of Judy’s neighborhood. I am plugging along on the Village Church for her small town Minnesota scene. The primary pattern I’m using is Elizabeth’s Designs ‘Old Stone Church‘.

Old Stone Church-Elizabeth’s Designs

I am just starting the satin stitch blocks that outline the building. I’m hoping to finish those up tonight. The trees in the background are rice stitch and each one of them takes about an hour to do, but the look is so cool…very textural.

And then…bad Julie…I went to my LNS (local needlework shop) to pick up a skein of Watercolours. I picked up three. But before I got out of there this jumped into my bag:

Dragonfly Hand Painted Canvas with threads

This is a hand painted canvas and the threads I picked are all silks or silk blends (with wool). The color saturation in these fibers is INCREDIBLE! The red is for the eyes and, while you can’t see it, there’s a little glitz in the skein so the eyes should sparkle. The colors at the top left that look black are the most beautiful shades of royal blue and royal purple. I jazzed up the green a little and have a skein of variagated yellow silk I’m going to use for the flower buds.

So…I guess you could say this little guy just reached out and forced me into taking it home. Sigh…………..

Tonight I’m going to do laundry and I’m hoping to have some time at my needlework frame as I have to get Judy’s neighborhood mailed sometime soon and the end of this week is going to be a total bust stitching-wise.

On a more positive note, you all need to check out Kali’s Creations (see sidebar). She has FINISHED…yes, FINISHED the brand new Jim Wurth ornament that I pictured here last week. It’s wonderful. I am…so in awe.

Well, for now laundry calls and I have to get dinner started. I hope everyone is having a good monday.

Blessings,

Julie

Mmmmm….Spring!

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows–where oxlips and the nodding violet grows–William Shakespeare

Yes, my spirit is tuning itself to spring. I love these days when I can feel the first softening of the breeze, see the first greens of the season and even wake to the sound of Canadian Geese honking out on our lake. (Okay-Okay…my husband would have me tell you that these two had their little feathery butts frozen to the ice, but it didn’t fit in with the mood I’m trying to build :-))

I love spring and in fact, I tried to stitch ‘Spring’ yesterday. I pulled out the Pine Mountain Spring Tie On and went to work. 10 ct. Tula, cotton floss…easy, right? To make a long story short, I mis-positioned the piece and in the process of frogging (see previous post) I CUT the Tula. Not in one place but in TWO. I have news for you. Tula unravels very well! 😦

I need a new Spring pillow. I need to start over. Sigh. After more than thirty years of doing needlework in some form, why is it this still happens?????

Now, in MUCH MORE wonderful news, I have a birthday coming up tomorrow and with my birthday came a wonderful gift and of course, a little bit of stash acquistion.

First and best, Carol, a friend, a wonderful and inspiring stitcher and blog writer extraordinaire made my day with the most wonderful surprise. She made me a scissor fob. It’s by Glory Bee and is perfect in every detail, down to both of our initials on the back and the silver flower charm. I have to share it here:

Glory Bee Scissor Fob from Carol

and here:Glory Bee Scissor fob/Gingher collectable scissors

It is just perfect and I love it. Thank you, Carol!

And for stash I received…sort of in time for my birthday…my newest Jim Wurth Dodecagon-Hearts and Flowers. This is not my favorite of the bunch, but it did come with a lot of yummy fibers and is stitched on black canvas. I guess I’m still partial to last month’s Monrovia! I’m very jealous because Kimberly
has finished Monrovia already! Actually, she’s finished all four of them so far. What an inspiration! Here’s a peek at the new one:

jim-wurth-hearts-and-flowers.JPG

Then something a little different for me. I have a lovely new–well, newer anway–sewing machine and wanted a good project to try it out. I found a Block of the Month quilt from Honeysuckle Cottage called Leanne’s House. It combines surface embroidery and quilting and doesn’t look too intimidating. This was my gift to myself for living 49 years. I got my first installment on Friday.

leannes-house-block-of-the-month.JPG

I just love the colors in this piece. It will go VERY well in our bedroom.

I will be stitching this week Northstar Neighborhood Round Robin. I have Judy’s neighborhood now, which she’s entitled “Small Town-Minnesota”. She specifically requested a Village Church and so my primary source for a pattern this month will be the brand spanking new Elizabeth’s Designs Old Stone Church. I love most of Betsy’s work and this pattern is no exception. A lot of fun stitches and not too large. In fact, I will have to fill in at the edges of the block a bit, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Old Stone Church-Elizabeth’s Designs

I am not going to take a picture of my stitching today–as it’s just a blob of green and a blob of gray. But I will post a progress picture tomorrow evening.

Well, this has been kind of a rambling, picture-filled post, but it was a fun mail day Friday and still pretty guilt free. And, despite my ruined pillow, it has still been a lovely few days.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful, productive and frog-less weekend!

Blessings,

Julie


Grapes, grapes and more grapes, but no sour grapes!

I LOVE grapes. I adore grapes. And, well, it’s a good thing. Because you HAVE to LOVE grapes if you want to work on the Bordeaux Sampler by Sampler Cove. The aforementioned grapes are all rhodes stitches and are so much fun to do. In fact, the whole durned thing is fun to do. Some specialty stitches combined with a little over one and the ubiquitous cross means it doesn’t get boring. The Vicki Clayton silks are wonderful to use and Diane has selected gorgeous colors! (Taro Leaf, Malt and Diane’s Rouge). To top it off, 36 Ct. Edinborough Linen is just about my favorite. So this was bound to be a success.

Thank you to Carol for allowing me to be a shirt tail participant in this SAL!

Here is my progress photo for the last few days:

Bordeaux Sampler by Sampler Cove

I am a slow stitcher, but this goes suprisingly fast. It’s a terrific project if anyone is interested.

Gulp. Now I have to admit to a little stash aquisition, but very little and well…I bought it from a friend. Several years ago in Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly, Merry Cox published a Lady’s Sewing Roll project and she made the kit (all fabrics, fibers, everything for finishing and the scrim ruler and laying tool) available for a limited time. I love this project and I’ve always kicked myself for not ordering the finishing kit. Well, as it turns out, my friend Vicki didn’t think she’d ever do it and so I um…acquired it from her in exchange for an equitable amount of legal tender.

Lady’s Sewing Roll Kit by Merry Cox

The project uses Thread Gatherer silks, 35 count linen and silk finishing material. Isn’t it gorgeous? I have to make the time to do this one! Thank you, Vicki!

Next up in rotation, the Indigo Rose Folding Cross Needlebook (Guild project) and my current addition to Judy’s Neighborhood Round Robin.

And now it’s time for me to hit the hay. I hope all your stitches have been happy ones!

Blessings,

Julie

Promised stash report

This will be my last stash report for a while as I am…somewhat…firmly ensconced on the wagon. I will still get my monthlies by Jim Wurth and supplies that are necessary to my projects, but I have so many beautiful things waiting, I need to do more stitching and less buying.

Having said that, I’m going out with a ‘bang’. 🙂 I am thrilled to have gotten two new Rae Iverson kits. Her work and her kits are wonderful. (As are her instructions).

May I present the ‘Things that Go Bump in the Night’ Etui. This project is fully kitted down to the crinoline and velvet needed to make the pin cushion.  I love all the beasties, the plants and the usefulness of this design:

Things that Go Bump in the Night

Rae’s Company is Moss Creek Designs and this is the web address.  http://www.mosscreekdesigns.com/catalog/

All her published designs can be purchased on line and may also be available from your LNS.

The second kit I got also comes from Moss Creek Designs. It’s called Dogwood Stitchery and is a set of needlework smalls done on two colors of linen.

I can’t overemphasize the beautiful quality of these kits (and no, Rae is no relation and I have no business interest in her company, just great admiration for her designs and the materials she uses.)

Dogwood Stitchery

And, last but not least I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Needlework Casket for the SANQ chest (from their hardcover book published in the mid-nineties). I don’t have a picture yet, but this beautiful wooden chest is going to be a treasure and the needlework inserts will be yet another 2007 start.

So, that’s it for stash reporting for a while. I have PLENTY to do to keep me busy.

Blessings to all,

Julie