In Stitches

Thursday, August 31, 2006

In Which the Cat Says...

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...why are you bothering me, insignificant human?

Here is another update of my current block.

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I love how those diamonds turned out, very striking. :D And so I decided to get another pic of the whole project's progress.

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It's finally filling up! I never thought I'd get this top row finished and now it's really getting there. :D I do think though that I'm going to have to go back at the end to fill in the black on Block 6. It's just too pale and hard to see without it.

The latest SBQ: How do you share your finished pieces with others? Do you frame them, scan and/or photograph them, or do you have another method that you would like to share?

Typically I just photograph them and put them in my gallery or on this blog. I also frame and finish them for display at home or as gifts. I really enjoy finishing things and bringing them to work to show to the ladies I work with. They get a kick out of seeing what I make and how I finish it. Showing off the work is a reward in itself, the praise I get keeps me motivated! :D

I got the following from Jenna's blog. Very fun and quite accurate about my personality. ;)

Dark Purple

To others, you seem a bit dark, mysterious, and moody.

In truth, you are just a very unique person who doesn't care what others think.

And you really enjoy your offbeat interests and friends.

You've decided that life is about living for yourself - simple as that.

What Color Purple Are You?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Forgotten

I couldn't believe that I hadn't taken a final pic of the 6th block of HoHRH that I finished. Scandalous, just scandalous! LOL

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It's sad, but true that every time I finish a block I declare that this is "my favorite one". Maybe it's just that I'm so glad to have one more finished? Anyhoo, this one definately looks great with the addition of leaves to the trees.

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Here is Greg's witch with feet. She is just so cute! I can't wait for her to be finished so I can make her into a pillow. :D

Thanks for all the nice comments! I really appreciate them! I get a bit discouraged about HoHRH at times as it's such a big project and it's hard to appreciate it when you have it sitting under your nose for hours at a time. There is a lot of satisfaction in finishing off each box and then the rush to start the next one. ;) I will be at once sad and estatic when I finish the last stitch of the last box.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Let's Go Trick or Treating!

Well I tried to do an update post on Friday, but Blogger was tempermental so I gave up. So here are progress pics from then:

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I finished this block off and am onto the next one. I'm now on block 7 (or 3 if you follow them in order). And this next block is going faster than I had expected. :D

Greg has finished the witches feet and started on the pumpkin, but had to detour for a birthday present. I will try to get updated pics of both these projects for tomorrow. :D

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Here's my progress on Block 3. I like the diamond motif, it's very nice looking and so far easy to stitch. I got a lot of stitching done over the weekend watching the HBO series Rome on dvd. There are 10 episodes and all are very well done. I enjoyed it a lot and hope that when they do a second season that it also appears on dvd at the rental place. :D

Here is a pic of my newest Halloween stuff! I found these while shopping yesterday and HAD to have them...sadly I couldn't afford to bring the *whole* party home...a kitty, some ghosts and a skeleton had to stay behind. ;)

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Aren't they just the cutest! They are ready for lots of chocolate, although one of the pumpkin boys looks like he could cut back a bit. ;)

Hope your week is starting out great!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Taming the Hoop Marks

I got an interesting question from Munchkin about how to remove stubborn hoop marks.

First off, I realize a lot of you probably do not use hoops and might even strongly recommend against their use... That said, I LOVE my hoop. I have tried other methods and just can't get away from the hoop. I especially love my spring hoop, it's the pink one you occasionally see in my pictures. I love it cuz it's easy to move around on the project and doesn't leave really nasty hoop marks.

SO for those of you that do use hoops, here are the things I do to minimize hoop marks and to remove them when finished stitching.

Don't leave the hoop on your project for extended periods of time, i.e., DAYS and DAYS or MONTHS and MONTHS. :D I try to take the hoop off every time I finish stitching for the day. I don't always remember but I do try. This tends to reduce the amount of and depth of the hoop marks.

Removing the marks once the project is finished can be tricky, but there are a couple of methods I use. First, I try just ironing them out. If that works, then YEA I'm finished. If not, it's onto method two, *steaming* them out. This one generally works for me and is easy, just use the steam setting on your iron and a soft cloth. Put your project right side down on the cloth and steam the back. It can take some patience but this method generally works for me.

If steaming doesn't work then I gently wash the project in lukewarm water and then iron dry right side down on a soft cloth. This will definately take out hoop marks and should remove any dirty spots. Personally, I generally don't wash my projects unless I find them to have spots or something on them. I don't travel with my projects and only work on them at home, but it's a personal choice. Now Greg's projects typically always have to be washed. He carries them with him to stitch on at lunch and here and there and so they tend to accumulate a lot of dirt. Fortunately I have only had one "incident" with washing one of his projects and that was because he had used a hand dyed thread that bled out unexpectedly. Which of course led me to be much more careful... LOL

So there you have it, my "unexpert" advise. Basically it's trial and error to find what works best for you. The only thing I will again stress (it was stressed to me early in my stitching career) don't leave the hoop on your project except when stitching. This definately makes it easier to get hoop marks out cuz they aren't as "beat" into the fabric. ;)

If anyone else has suggestions, feel free to comment away. I always hearing what other people have tried. :D

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another One Down

1 more down and 7 to go... Sheesh, it sounds kind of overwhelming when put like that... Ah well, I knew this one would be HUGE going in and it doesn't help getting distracted by other things. The stitching is relatively easy, it's the overall size that's slightly intimidating. ;)

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Greg charted out my name for me, as I am not so good at that kind of thing. I think it fits perfectly. I'm onto the next block, let's see if I can get focused. ;)

Greg is working away on the witch. It looks so cute! And it's going rather fast. :D

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And thanks for all the nice comments! Yes, I am lucky to have such a sweet hubby. He's normally so caught up stitching things for other people that I don't like to ask him to stitch things for me, but I REALLY, REALLY wanted this one and I *knew* he could stitch it fast and beautifully. (Yes, I am sucking up.) c:) I will have to start looking for some great Halloween fabric for this cuz I want to make it into a pillow.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Yes it's true, even *I* will resort to it (bribery) to get something I want but am too lazy to do myself. ;)

This weekend we ended up at Barnes and Noble. I always dread going there cuz I know I will come out with a sack load of stuff that I could probably live without. This trip was no different. I found a cross stitch magazine that I just HAD to have. It had the CUTEST projects in it and I couldn't live another day without possessing it. ;) BUT do I have time to stitch any of them...that would be NO. I am still mired down by my HOHRH. Not that I mind being mired in it, but I am single minded in my pursuit to finish it BEFORE stitching anything else. (Yes, I'm anal that way.) So instead of lusting after this project and then putting it away to be forgotten. I begged, pleaded and then *bribed* Greg to stitch it for me. When begging and pleading doesn't work, new CD's will. (muu hhaaa haaaa)

So now Greg is stitching this delightful little witch for me:

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And this is his progress since yesterday:

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Let me just say right now that this is not as small a project as it appears. It's about 4x8 (all hat) and it's a lot of color changes, something just up Greg's alley. LOL And isn't he doing a fantastic job? YES he is. :D Thanks Greg! :X

It's just the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. It's designed by Mary Engelbreit so not a surprise.

I also got the roof finished on my house and a few details done. I'm nearly finished with block 1!

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So all in all not a bad weekend! How was yours? :D

Friday, August 11, 2006

Finding Balance and Stash

Thanks for all the nice comments about Greg's project! He's been working on it about 3 weeks, but it's a HUGE project, something like 10x15 when it's all finished. :D Greg was a bit worried about the colors cuz they don't exactly match the picture on the package, but I think they are fine. He's switching to another project for a while so I'm not sure when we'll get another update pic.

I finally got my July 7 order from Stitching Bits and Bobs. This took forever, must've had trouble tracking down patterns?? The stuff that I ordered just a few days ago is already being sent out. I guess it pays to pick popular and just released stuff. ;) LOL

Here are a couple of pics of my stash:

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There is Pride and Prejudice (Sampler Girl), French Country IV (Trail Creek Farm), Wee Pumpkins (Heart in Hand), Emma's Garden (Lavender and Lace) and Children's Garden (Butternut Road)

Of all these Emma's Garden and Children's Garden were the best bargains. I found these on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $1.75 each. What a steal! :D I am most excited to stitch Pride and Prejudice though, I love these patterns from Sampler Girl. They are so FUN! :D

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These three patterns are all from Dragon Dreams and Greg really wanted them. They are all so adorable and will be fun to stitch.

I also bought a new chest of drawers for my fabric. I had it stuffed into a basket (which was bursting at the seams) and needed more room. I had my eye on this one but initially it was just too expensive. It went on deep discount for 70% off, which seemed much more reasonable to me so I snapped it up. It works great, although I could still use a few more drawers (how does this happen ;p).

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Lastly, here is an update of my repaired house from the first block on HOHRH. I had to do some creative "cutting and pasting" but I think it looks much better. I'm sure I could've left it as it was and no one would've noticed, except ME. LOL I'm just too fussy with these things and it was driving me batty. I won't have the same problem with the next blocks as the houses are more toward the middle and I will be better able to judge starting and stopping points. ;) I love the sort of patchwork effect of this house, even if it's a bit odd to stitch. The colors go well together, but I will be glad to finish and move to the next block. I think that I may take a mini break to stitch my newest pumpkin patterns though. I desperately want to make some new fall projects, but I don't want to stop on this project. These mini projects wouldn't take much time so it might be a nice compromise. I'm not good at working on multiple projects, too single minded I guess. ;)

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Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Orange Glow of Evangeline

LOL I hope Greg forgives me for that title. I had mentioned that he has been working away on his project and how it looks so great and Jenna asked to see a pic. So here is his latest update.

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It looks like a lot doesn't it? But in reality this is less than 1/3 of the pattern. I was thinking that he'd gotten a BIG chunk of it done until he unfolded the entire pattern. Still, it's significant progress! AND it looks fantastic. So much more pretty in person. The fabric color just doesn't photograph well. Greg is just an amazing stitcher! It is so true that some people just have a natural talent for certain things. :D

On the housing front, I did some repairs last night and I think that I got my house worked around to where the windows don't look so bizarre. I will take a pic tonite, but all in all I am happy w/ the revised look. :D

Annemarie: I have had a passion (no pun intended) for romance novels since I was a teenager. But I usually don't share that info with others as I have been teased for this penchant. I guess I am finally at an age where I don't care what people think and freely admit that I am just a big 'ol romantic softy at heart. I even have a love for soap operas, which most people think are just cheesy junk. I actually find romance novels renew my appreciation for my own relationship by reminding me of what that first blush of love is like all over again. AND nearly all of them have a happy ending and I think we can all reap a lot of positive energy from a good 'ol fashioned happy ending. :D

Monday, August 07, 2006

Requiring Repairs

That's what my house needs, some repairs. Somewhere I got off a bit on the white and now I am having trouble making the start of the roof look normal. At this point I would take normal. LOL

Sadly this is all related to the fact that my blocks are about 2-3 stitches wider than they should be. I counted and counted and counted but still they are off. So now I am paying for it with this type of problem. I am sure I will be able to compensate but this is one of the reasons I don't like stitching outlines around designs and will go out of my way to leave them off. ;)

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Other than that I made decent progress on this. I always think things look easier than they are and this house is no exception. Ah well, it's a learning curve. :D

You should see Greg's Evangeline! It's so stunning...amazing! This is definately *his* hobby cuz he is so good at it. :D Sadly I'll never be half as good.

Not much else going on, except that we finally got that project done here at work so things are more normal, now we wait to hear the outcome. I think waiting is probably worse than working to get something done, at least the work is a distraction. ;)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So it's August...

AND I'm still not making significant progress. I could blame it on the heat, but I think it's just laziness at this point. Also I've been distracted by books. I go through these reading phases several times a year and once they've got me I just have to read till it's out of my system. ;) And in case you think that this "productive" reading...nope, nada. I am (and always have been) addicted to romance novels. LOL What can I say sometimes a good 'ol romance novel is just what the doctor ordered, especially if it involves time travel. (hee, hee) I discovered Karen Marie Moning several weeks ago while perusing magazines at the grocery store. The novel they had looked intriguing, but I resisted...for a few days. Finally I broke down and bought it...well okay...I bought it after checking her out on the web and discovering her plots were the kind of thing that I *love* to read. I read it and then went out and bought 3 more. LOL, LOL So I've been stuck in Scottish time travel romance novels for the last couple of weeks, and honestly it wasn't that bad a place to be. ;D

I did manage to do a bit of stitching and am up to the house level of block one. These houses are just never as easy as they look. I had to rip the first line of the house about 4 times before I got it right. I kept starting at the wrong spot and each time I'd start over I'd still be one off. Finally I got it and did get a bit of it finished.

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I'm sure that I will settle down and get cranking on these again soon. In the mean time I indulged in a little bit of stash! Mirabilia has a new one out that I just couldn't resist. I haven't stitched one of theirs, but I thought I might be able to coerce Greg into doing it for me. ;D
It's called Autumn in My Garden and I just LOVE it. I also got a new one by Prarie Schooler called Autumn Leaves and Bent Creek's new Wedding Row. All are definately a whim purchase, but so hard to resist. Especially the Autumn stuff. I am a sucker for those. :D

Well I hope everyone has been staying cool, it's not easy when it's over 100F out there. Fortunately the temp dropped to a balmy 88F today. LOL