In Stitches

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Holidays

This is my last day at work until January 3, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to say "Happy Holidays" .... or Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. ;) In whatever your language of choice is, I wish you many happy returns and a fun end of the year. :D

I am making good progress on the Valentine Medley. Here's an update, it will be finished and made into a wall hanging next time you see it. ;p

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I did have troubles with the colors that were intended for this one, when you go w/ non-white it gets tricky. The colors that were suggested were too light or blended in too much so I had to do substitutions. Them's the breaks. It still looks great and I enjoy experimenting with different colors.

I know all my friends in France are already enjoying their them...
"wish I could be there" and
"don't have too much fun without me" AND
"if you do, take pictures!" LOL, LOL
(Lili: NO, not the incriminating kind. ;D)

We did our annual office gift exchange yesterday and it was so hilarious! Both bosses (boss, and bosses boss) ended up giving each of us neck scarves. The funny part was that my co-worker and I both got the EXACT THE SAME COLOR from both bosses. It was too hilarious. There are only 4 of us in the office (big boss, boss and 2 worker bees) so the other lady that works here and I traded colors on one set just to break it up. A lot of fun and laughs. :D

Hope all of you have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs the rest of the holiday season! I may not be back online till Jan. 3, we will see if I can wrestle the computer away from Greg. ;p

Take care! Safe travels!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sparkly Stuff

Look at what Isabelle sent me!

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She is just the sweetest! The package came with a beautiful stitched card (on right) and stitched red twinkly snowflake ornament and a wonderful French Christmas cross stitch project that I can do up for next year. She also included a little canister of tea, which I promptly opened and spilt all over the kitchen. LOL Not all of it, but still...did I feel silly. ;D Thanks again, Isabelle! :D

I decided to start on my next Valentines project. I found the cutest fabric this weekend and will make this into a wall hanging when finished. It's Heart in Hand's Valentine Medley. So easy and so adorable! I had this purple fabric and it seemed a perfect fit.

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I almost used a lilac Jobelan that Lili sent me. But decided that since I haven't stitched on evenweave before this might not be the one to start on...too many spaces between candies. ;)

Greg has been inspired by a package we received from Lili this weekend. She sent some more fabric for Greg and a wonderful pattern w/ small holiday projects. One of them she said looked like a "drunken" santa because of his big red nose. We had a good laugh over that one! And Greg was so inspired by that comment that he HAD to stitch that Santa...NOW. LOL So that's what he's working on. He says he'll post pics on his blog when he gets a bit more done on it.

But the funniest part of the story, is that when I was buying fabric for my Valentine projects, guess what I found? Fabric that had that SAME SANTA on it! No, I'm not kidding. It's nearly identical! So of course I had to buy it so I could stitch his project into a pillow. It's just a small world. :D

Only a few days till Christmas, hope everyone is having a good time and not stressing out too much!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Well Allrighty Then...

You know I always KNEW I wasn't a winter person and trying to install that template just PROVES it. For some reason it will work great on Mozilla Firefox, but it sucks wind on Internet Explorer. YEA MICROSOFT! (insert loud raspberry sound) So in order not to cut you IE people off at the knees, we are going back to FALL. (loud cheering and clapping) Yes I know we all could do w/ some Fall weather right now, so here you go. :D Sorry if the blog has been squirrelly the last few, I've been doing the template tug of war. ;P Thank you for your indulgence!

Friday Happy Dance!

First off, if you hadn't noticed, I changed my template! I thought this winter one was appropriate considering the weather lately. I got the template from Free Blogger Templates and then modified it to work the way I wanted it too. I'm not overly crazy about the colors, but will leave it up for a while and then I've got another kewl one that I have ready to go. I was glad to finally have time to fiddle around w/ revamping a template instead of just using the ones from Blogger. :D

My second happy dance is that I finished Valentine Row! Woo Hoo! I got it done last night, about time too. ;) Here are a couple of pics:

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I changed the tree, it was supposed to say Me Heart You, but I was trying to come up w/ a clever way to sign it and so I changed it to Greg Heart Kim. LOL I think it turned out very nice, if I do say so myself. :D Now I think I will turn it into a cute pillow that I can use to bop Greg over the head w/ when he forgets to bring me flowers on Valentines Day. LOL Oh okay, you're right he won't forget...not after this. ;p

I just wanted to say THANKS to everybody that left comments on my last post! Thanks so much y'all make MY day. :D Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ever Seen Santa in His PJs?

NO? Well you are in for a treat! Here he is, Mr. Claus, PJs and T. Bear ready for a nap after delivering all those goodies. ;p

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LOL Isn't this the *cutest* thing? (Hmmmph...I know what you are thinking, Greg.) BUT - I think it is. :D I got this last night while out picking up the bosses Xmas gift. It's by Lori C. Mitchell. She creates the cutest folk art figures I've ever seen. They had tons of the Xmas ones at my favorite shop. I had seen this one before and wanted to get it cuz it's just so darn unique! Those toothpick legs just make me laugh. I love off the wall Xmas decorations, what can I say? ;P So now he's plopped on the table amonst all Xmas cards, looking like he needs a nap. :D

I've been bad about answering the SBQ's, seems just when I get ready to answer it's time for the next week's question. But this week, I'm not only on top of it, it's a question that I really would like to answer. :D


Take a minute to reflect on your blog reading habits and preferences. What do you prefer to read in stitching blogs? (Progress, tips, family life, experiences, etc.) How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers?

Thanks to AngelSan for suggesting this question! This is a great question and I've had a lot of fun reading all the various answers that have been given out there.

First off, what do I prefer to read in stitching blogs?


That's right, anything that the stitcher wants to talk about I'll read it. It's their blog. If they want to talk about their kids, cats, dogs, spouses, flying saucers spotted...I don't care. It's all part of their personality and it's a blog not a stitching magazine. I want the human touch. I don't want page after page of JUST stats and linen counts. When we share a bit of ourselves we open the door just a crack to let others in and share our world. And I think most of us at heart are down right curious about our fellow stitchers. We don't want to know *everything*, but who minds sharing happy news or consoling a friend in a time of need? I also love seeing the stitching and the updates, even the most minute updates are fun. I love the tips, hints, triumphs, failures. I love it all. Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me and given me the privilege and pleasure of reading and chatting w/ some of the nicest people you'd ever hope to meet. (As an aside I have to thank San for that, she convinced me to blog...Thanks San!) When I first started blogging I thought it was silly, what did I have to say and who the heck would want to read it? Surprise on both counts and thanks to those of you who do read and those who comment. I wouldn't stop stitching or blogging if no one commented, but it's a whole lot more fun when people do. :D

How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers?

I'd say a lot. I'll often decide whether I want to stitch something or not based on what a stitcher has to say. I look at certain designers when someone recommends them. And I've found great information on finishing techniques and other how to's that have made my life easier. Through blogging I've discovered some of the best online shopping spots, what types of fabrics are great, found opinions on every aspect of stitching. It's a wonderful resource and a handy place to get help on problems I've encountered. I've been online for many years and I have to say that the stitching community has the nicest group of people I've ever encountered. Thanks to all of you who take the time to share, it means the world to me!

Happy stitching!

Oh and FYI - Greg has a new post up. What? Of course I'm going to shamelessly plug him! ;p

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Row Update

I have been working away on Valentine Row, but not w/ a lot of enthusiasm. I think that all the holiday stuff is just wearing me down a bit. ;) Plus I haven't been feeling 100% So this morning I took a pic of Val Row which is fast nearing completion!

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I think I will make this into a pillow instead of a cube. I saw some fun trim that I'd like to try w/ it if I can find some great fabric.

I can't believe that Xmas is 11 days away. Why is it that some years it's more difficult to get in the holiday mood than others? Some years are just magical and everything is sparkly and perfect and other years just fall flat. LOL I guess I just have too many "non-holiday" things to worry about which puts a damper on it all.

Well despite my "blah" mood, I hope everyone else is having fun getting ready for Xmas! Maybe I'll watch Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn this week, that's a fun holiday movie and I love the song White Christmas.... ;)

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Snow Cube

Work was so busy yesterday that I didn't get to post my Sunday finishings. ;) I was finally in the mood to finish up Winter Row and got Greg's Lillies framed. :) Winter row turned out great!

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The fabric is just want I wanted and I love the ribbon and snowman for the top.

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I did have to do some modifications to the snowman, as he had a "Merry Christmas" sign stuck up his butt. LOL It's supposed to be a tree ornament and I bought it specifically for the snowman, not the I had to "detach" the sign. You should've seen the look on Greg's face, I wish I'd had the camera. LOL, LOL

Greg had a great idea for the feet, so I bought some snowflake ornaments and glued them to regular wooden craft balls that I had painted white. Gives it an extra touch, which of course you can't see, without a close up. ;)

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We also framed out the Lillies. We had bought this frame at a local craft shop many months ago, because we liked it and it was cheap. LOL Well it came in handy, as Greg was inspired to use it for the Lillies. It's a perfect match and though the picture doesn't do it justice, in real life it is so pretty!

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Why is it that the "one" picture you want to come out clear as a bell always is fuzzy? On the camera it looked fine, but when I brought it up in IrfanView it was dark and a bit fuzzy. Oh well... I have the real thing to look at and it's gorgeous! It gets a place of honor in the living room where I can see it every day. :D

I just want to say thanks to those of you who have visited Greg's blog and who have given him plugs on your own blogs. He's very excited to start work on his Red Bike project, once he completes his current one.

Hope everyone's week is going well!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I got home last night to find Greg hoarding (giggle) two packages that had come in for me. He innocently says "I *had* to open them to make sure they were safe." LOL This is the only downside to having a stitching husband, he *wants* all my stash! LOL, LOL

The first package came from Anneke who has been so kind to constantly visit my blog from when it first started. She has always given me kind words of encouragement and they are greatly appreciated. I decided to surprise her with a packet a while back and now she has surprised me! I feel so lucky! Thanks so much Anneke!

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The card is so beautiful! It's says Merry Christmas in Dutch and I just love it! The second item is a beautiful snowman cross stitch project. Anneke loves snowmen, so I am honored that she was willing to part with this delightful project. :D

The other package I received was from Lili! What a nice surprise! And this is the one that Greg wanted to make off with! It has some beautiful fabric in it that he just drooled over. LOL, LOL

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Isn't that cat great! I love this pattern, so simple but so sweet! And those fabrics are just wonderful! But to top it all off she sent me a Bastet cat charm! Lili didn't know but I am a fan of the Egyptian cat god Bastet and happen to have a larger version sitting right on my night stand.

Here is a pic of my Bastet and the one Lili sent.

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They are almost identical, isn't that just funny? It is truly a small world. :) And I just happen to have a lovely cat pattern that I will save this little Bastet for! :D

Thanks again to Lili and Anneke! You are the best!

In other news Greg has decided to open his own blog! How exciting! He hopes to update all his cross stitch projects there as well talk about his other passion (no not me) bicycling. :) His link is: The bent Needle This name is a reference to his biking and stitching, as Greg's favorite bicycle happens to be a recumbent (bent) bicycle. Go here Other Stuff to see a picture of our bikes.

I am going to post this pic of his current project, even if he does so on his site:

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I believe he will post his progress pics on his site, but he may ask me to post some as well, we will see! :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells...

(hee, hee) What? I *know* some of you out there sang that as a kid, don't *even* try to fool me. ;P

Today I'm posting pics of my Xmas decorations. I made them small but it may take a while to load, so if you don't want to wait, I won't be offended. :)

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I found these this year and they remind me very much of Give and Take by Mosey 'n Me. This is a project I did in 2004 and love it very much.

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I also got these crazy penguins this year, for some reason I think of Madagascar when I see them.

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The snoman on the unicycle is also new this year. How could I resist that red umbrella? ;p

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This is my version of a Xmas tree, it's really all I have room for.

It's really not as overwhelming as at Halloween, I keep thinking I need pine garland all over everything. LOL

What I really miss though is the Xmas tree. Like many of you I have fond memories of dark rooms w/ trees lit by sparkling lights. But space being what it is it's just not practical. My other favorite memory of Xmas time as a kid, is getting a big box of oranges and those big bags of mixed nuts and spending toasty afternoons indoors w/ the smell of oranges in the air and fighting my brothers for the nutcracker. LOL

Hope everyone is staying warm! It's still around -2 here and more snow on the way.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Not Forgotten

In my rush to get pictures taken of my pillows and the mini crisis of the horn I forgot to show the little cube I made on Sunday. It was something I stitched last year but didn't have time to finish, it sat w/ my Xmas stuff until I unpacked it Saturday. So here it is:

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It turned out so cute. In case you can't tell, I put a snowflake ornament in the back and a snowman in the front of the bow. :) I finished it and put it in it's place of honor, which is why I forgot to snap a pic.

I figured since I was showing this, I might as well do an update of Valentine Row. It's going pretty well if I didn't keep getting distracted.

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It snowed again last night, about 2 inches added to what we already have. The snow isn't so bad, but the cold is. It's -4F with a windchill of -20F, that is COLD for December. Hope it's nicer where you are. :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

What is it I Hear in the Distance?

Perhaps my CAR horn blaring it's self senseless at 4pm yesterday... "Oh no," you say.... OH YES it's true. I got the horn button fixed on Saturday, it then proceeded to snow 3 inches so the car sat parked all day and all day Sunday. Someone knocks on the door at 4 and asks "do you own a ... car"

"Yes," we say

"I think your car alarm is going off," they say.

We look at each other, "I don't HAVE a car alarm," I say now a bit fearful

We go out and lo and behold, it is MY car wailing itself sick. I rush across the snow to get the door open, touch the horn button and it stops. The neighbors cheer. (Hey they might have, it was pretty loud.) I am disturbed. I start the car, it does so sluggishly. I turn it off and it doesn't want to start easily. GREAT. Road trip. So off we go for a late afternoon drive around town getting the battery charged up, with me alternately honking each horn button (too loosen them up of course) and Greg trying to cower down in his seat every time I do (that horn is *very* loud). LOL I have no idea why it decided to kick loose when it did, but am glad the neighbor figured out it was our car and this morning car started no problems and no blaring horn. W E I R D. Nuff said. ;p

Did I mention it *snowed* on Saturday? We were headed to Greg's dad's house and basically ran into a BLIZZARD...exaggeration...but it wasn't fun. So we decided it was a good time to stay home and decorate for Xmas. LOL Actually *I* decided it was time to decorate Greg just glared at me and toted tubs of lovely "stuff" all day. What a guy! :D

While decorating I realized that I may want to consider pairing down the 'ol Halloween decorations. Either I suck at packing them, or they cloned themselves since I put them out. I don't remember them taking up that much room when I got them out. The Xmas decorations are no where near as overwhelming as the Halloween stuff... And I seem to have a penchant for snowmen, although if I remember right it's not me that has the snowmen tastes it's Greg. He has a fair amount of animosity for the big red guy. ;p

So not only did I get the decorating done, but I got a couple of pillows made up. It should've been more, but my sewing machine only speaks some odd Chinese dialect that I have yet to decipher so it took a while to figure out what the hell was wrong with it... Let's not go there.

I got the kitty pillow finished, not exactly like I wanted, but it's cute nonetheless! :)

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Your eyes are not going bonkers if it looks like the pillow is suspended in the air, I turned the photo sideways so you could see that it can actually be used front or back for a decoration. It's just the way the fabric was cut soooo...

The next pillow I made was my Santa Claus from Birds of a Feather and I have to say I am mighty proud of this pillow. It is better than I had ever dreamed! I got this fabric at my mom's house, it's something I had bought years ago and had stashed there. It's a tapestry fabric of ornaments. I put a border of blue around the project w/ leftover fabric from the Be Ever Kind flanged pillow. This pillow took a while to make, but it LOOKS fantastic. :)

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In it's place of honor:
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I got this rocking chair from my mom and my dad crocheted the afghan on the back of it. The pillow fits in perfectly!

I also got a bit of stitching done on Valentine Row:

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Someone asked if I hand dyed this fabric, yes I did. It's a beautiful color on 16ct aida. I did this a few weeks ago when I did up a batch of all different counts of aida. I tried this on hand dyed 22 count, but it just looked too squished for my tastes.

And I saved the best for last! I got a pic of Greg's project all finished. It's not framed yet cuz we didn't get to his dad's to cut the board for it. But it will be done soon. :)

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Isn't it just BEAUTIFUL! He did such a fantastic job with it! The backstitching really brings it all out. It looks like black thread, but it's actually a shade of green which I thought was very unique. :)

Well that's my weekend...I'll be around to read about yours! And HAPPY SINTERKLAAS! To those of you who celebrate this fun holiday!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Sweetheart Tree

No, I'm not referring to the cross stitch company, although they do have some nice patterns. :D I'm talking about Valentine Row! I got the tree done! Why am I excited? Dunno... just seemed the thing to do... As always Bent Creek patterns are simple and fun to stitch. :) Something I realized about myself though is that I like stitching on larger count fabrics. I was going to try stitching this one on 22 ct fabric. I have some I hand dyed and thought it would be perfect. It wasn't. The stitches looked squashed and I had a hard time making the stitches look uniform. I was trying to use 2 threads, but I think in the future if I go that small I will use 1 thread and get some very skinny needles. It definately takes more patience to stitch on those smaller counts. I found I couldn't stitch nearly as fast as I normally do. So I switched off to 16 ct and it's going smoothly. I still want to try smaller counts and even some evenweaves but when I do I'm picking something that's teeny tiny so I can get the hang of it before tackling bigger projects. :)

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I still don't have a pic of Greg's finished lillies. He made off w/ them before I could get a pic. Hopefully I'll get pics this weekend. I'm anxious to see it framed! :)

SBQ's I didn't get a chance to answer the SBQ I submitted last week .... so here it is along w/ the one that San submitted this week:

Do you always sign your projects? If not, why? If so, do you use your first name, initials or what?

I didn't always sign my projects. When I started back stitching I found an old project that I had stitched years ago and it didn't have any type of signature or date on it. I was sorely disappointed because, although I knew I had stitched it, I had no idea when I had stitched it. From then on I decided that I would always incorporate my signature into my stitching. I have tried to be creative in how I add it, sometimes it works and other times not. But my main goal is to let people know that I stitched it....or at some time in the future that someone stitched it. There are just too many machines out there that can simulate hand stitching...why shouldn't we get credit for all our hard work? I have read some people feel it takes away from the design, but I disagree. I find that seeing the stitcher's signature on a piece is the best part of reviewing their hard work. There are many creative ways one can sign a work and I encourage all of you to find fun and creative ways of adding your signatures to your work. :)

Do you have rules in the way you stitch? (i.e., Do you start in the middle? Do you determine which blocks to stitch first? Do you always start from the top or the bottom? Do you have special paths to prevent wasting thread?)

I'm not a big fan of rules and am notorious for ignoring them. Like a lot of people I do have a routine I follow to start stitching. I fold my fabric so that I can find the exact middle then I put a tiny mark w/ a colored pencil so that I know exactly where to start and I hoop over it. I'm sure some people would be horrified at this but it's the best way for me to get the exact middle of where I want to start...besides the first stitch covers up the pencil and it will rinse out. ;D On my pattern copy...I always make a copy of the pattern to work off of....I find the center and color in the first square. I work from there (no matter the color) in rows from left to right. I also try to fill in blocks of color as I go, but I don't like to "count away". I've had problems w/ that so I will switch colors when necessary. I don' t have any special tricks to save thread and I suppose I can sometimes be wasteful w/ it if I have to be. I also don't use the loop method to tack down my ends. I only just learned about that but haven't tried it. Someone a long time ago taught me to weave the ends under the threads of the fabric and that's what I do. It works great and looks neat and tidy. But as w/ everything I'm still learning. :)

Tomorrow I get my horn button fixed! And will try to get Xmas decorations out...let's hope I can get it all organized. ;) Happy stitching.