Friday, December 17, 2010

Since I am working at home and the sun is shinning, I am able to get a pretty good picture of Safari. I finished the Cheetah spots and cream and gray woven area. Last night I started filling in a couple of the purple diamonds in the woven area. I think I am making some pretty good progress on this project.

I just had The Beauty Girl, Nicole, in to go through my make-up. I basically found out about some new products and I am not off base with the products I use. Now I am going buy some of the products she suggested when I get to Florida next week. It was cool to have her in and suggest ways to fix problem areas. She also shared tricks to make your face brighter. She suggested products from the high end department stores to your local drug store. Most things could be bought at a Sephora.

We only have one Christmas party this weekend. I do need to do a little bit of Christmas shopping over the weekend. I have not really worked myself up over Christmas this year. No one needs anything so I am not getting them much. It is almost an exchange of cash which seems a little ridiculous. Mom likes to see presents so I guess we will go on wrapping gift certificates.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Happy Stitching.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stitchers are so kind

All these ornaments are being sent to a family that lost their home to a gas explosion last December 23rd. The Windy City Chapter of The EGA donated all these ornaments. They are spectacular! I am sure the family will enjoy these ornaments for many years to come. They currently living with family so hopefully, by next year they can be in a new home of their own.

Thank you, ladies of the Guild for all your hard work!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lucy is Done

Lucy was finished last weekend. Even though I only seemed to have a little bit of work left on her, it took me several hours to finish the background. I think I will have her made into a Spring Pillow. The instructions said she was finished with pink with white polka dot material.

This is the Santacicle canvas I took at ANG. My stand made a hole in the canvas so I ordered a new canvas and I am taking this as a class through the Shinning Needle Society. I am not sure I like the red sparkly stuff I am putting in his hat. That is why I stopped on this project until I could see it in the light of day. With the petite very velvet it looks crowded. I may skip this stuff and just add the beads.

You may not be able to see my progress because it was only a few hours of work. I put in four lengths of thread around the brown spots. I put in a couple more lengths of sea grass in the area below the spots. I need to get in the sea grass so I can tell where to put in my spots. This piece is my challenge piece for my local guild. I think it could be possible to finish this piece by the second week in January. This piece is too big to travel with but I am off of work and home 8 days at the end of the month. I may travel with Santacicles. (Yet another opportunity to trash this canvas) :)

I have a few new followers that I would like to welcome. Longtime or new followers I would like to thank you for joining me on my stitching blog. If I don't follow your blog or if you start a new blog, leave me a comment or an email and I will be happy to follow your blog.

This weekend is the big party weekend. Both parties should be fun. I am blowing off my Guild Meeting tomorrow morning because I am afraid there could be a fine line between the party tonight and Saturday morning. The EGA party is also in a far away suburb and the weather could be icy tomorrow morning.

I hope everyone has a warm and stitchy weekend.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Easter

I know wrong month and wrong holiday but look how close I am to being done with Lucy. I wanted to finish her today but work was busy and I did not have time. I will finish her this weekend and post a final picture. The background was great to work on while visiting my parents over the Thanksgiving break.

Over Thanksgiving I did get to go to Needlepoint in Paradise. I bought a few threads for Fred and Ginger and a nice big project bag. I also drove up north to Port Charlotte and visited The Golden Needle. I had never been to this shop. It is mainly cross stitch. The store had a good selection of patterns and tons of beautiful linen. The owner told me that she was providing the store at EGA next summer. I did not buy much at this store just because I did not need anything.

Like the holiday background? This is about the extent of my holiday decorating this year. We decided not to put up the tree. It is just a pain in the a$$ with no real good reason to put it up. We are going to parties on the weekends leading up to Christmas, we are not having a Christmas party, I will be traveling between Christmas and New Year's, and I don't have many presents up north. Most of my shopping was done in Naples and I left them there. I am not being a bah-hum-bug, I just really do not get all that fired up about decorating. I will hang some of my needlepoint ornaments around and I put two Christmas tree cross stitch pictures up in place of the Halloween pictures that were still sitting around.

It is supposed to snow this weekend so it will be a good time to stitch. I may go shopping with a friend tomorrow and DH's cousins are coming over tonight for drinks.

Happy stitching.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I really should not talk about my pathetic stitching progress but I wanted to post something before the holiday. Yesterday I needed something brainless to work on so I worked on the large mushroom that is part of Beautie Spot. That went ok until I got bored with my DVR and decided to get a manicure, pedicure and eyebrow wax. Now I have pretty sparkly toes for the holiday.

Margie wanted me to post the bunny. She took a field trip to my desk and helped me figure out the leaves on this canvas. They are a raised closed herringbone. It is a pretty neat stitch for leaves. They are done in a sparkly, chartreuse Kreinik braid.

Here is my attempt at finishing. I really do not enjoy finishing and it really should be left up to the professionals. I had to do this one myself because I have an ornament exchange in a couple of weeks and just did not have time to get it finished any other way. My finishing skills are far from good but sometimes you have to make do.

I am all ready to take off for the holiday. I will get to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather in Florida. I still need to gather my projects and pack my carry-on entertainment but that is fun packing. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with lots of good food and time for stitching.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to stitchy stuff

I have not had time to stitch much lately but I sent my husband to Inspired Needle to pick up my finishing. The finisher did a very nice job and was reasonably priced. Most of the ornaments are going to my friends whose house blew up last December due to a gas leak. I was going to give one of the needlebooks and scissor fobs to another friend for a thank you gift for hosting a party but the finishing was too expensive for a hostess gift at a pot luck dinner so I think I am going to keep the multi colored set for myself. I love the silk she used on the needlebook and the fob. Since I am happy with this finishing, I will take my Teresa Layman set to her for finishing. I did buy my own silk for that project so I know it is what I want. For the projects pictured below, I left everything up to the discretion of the finisher.

On another happy note and not something you hear everyday, Needlework in Paradise
in Naples, Florida is expanding their shop to the adjacent store. If you are going to EGA Seminar next year, this is a nice store to visit. This store does not have the best reputation but get your bitch on and this store is fine. I am planning on visiting then next week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and many hours of stitching.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This is a long post without stitching...

We are home from Brazil. It was a fun trip and very relaxing. We did not see or do a lot other than enjoy our friends, good food and good fun. Our flight was delayed by 12 hours due to mechanical problems in Miami so we did not get into Sao Paulo until late Friday night. On Saturday we went to Central Market and ate the famous Mortadella sandwich at the Bar Do Mane. It was just a huge, amount of deli meat on bread. Since I am not a fan of deli meat, I only had one bite but there were these other little fried delights called pasteis. They are filled with all kinds of meat, cheeses, hearts of palm, or fish. Some of the best were filled with a white fish. On Saturday night we went to a really nice Italian restaurant with some friends. The gnocchi was the best I have ever eaten and one friend hit his private collection of wine and shared some very nice bottles. After dinner we went to a hotel bar to listen to some music. Finally the night ended at a bakery where we bought a cake for Sunday.
On Sunday we had a traditional family day with lots of meat. Above is a picture of some of our friends that attended the cookout. One of the first things that came off the grill was chicken hearts on a stick. The kids ate this stuff like it was a real treat. I wanted to try one but I could not get past the smell. Below is the bread my husband was cooking in the outside pizza oven. One little girl carried a loaf around like a baby doll. It was delicious.

We spent most of our time in the pool. The days did not start early and we were up late about every night so the jet lag never hit us. If we went to bed at 2:00 am it was like going to bed at 10 in Chicago. Dinner was usually not until 10:00 pm or later.

Above is bamboo in Parque Ibirapuera and below are some of the birds in the park.

On Friday we flew to Rio. We stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach. Below are pictures from the pool. Madonna rents out this hotel when she visits her new boy toy in Rio. Friday night we had dinner at a place that served basically a stew for dinner. Leaving this place was the only time I was truly scared in Brazil. They have one lane streets that go both up and down the hill. We were 3/4 of the way down and a group of young men came up the hill. They should have backed down but they were not giving up. Cars started piling up after them and behind us. Our driver ended up having to back clear up the hill. This would have been a great place to get car jacked or kidnapped. The driver was from the hotel so we are not sure if he was armed but this car was not armored. Fortunately, we got back to the hotel safely.

I am in the back. Pretty bold of me to post a picture of me in a swimsuit on a blog...

Brazil is incredibly expensive and I really do not get how this works. The people for the most part are have or have not's. A house keeper is paid $600 dollars a month and works 6 days a week. If you are on the have not side of things, life would be difficult. They have a national credit card. You can pay by debit and it comes directly out of your account. If you pay by credit, the full balance is paid on the first of the month out of your account. If you buy a $100 dollar shirt, for example, you can pay for it over 4 monthly installments of $25 dollars each or you can pay for the whole thing. Items produced in Brazil are reasonable but not many things are made there. A car is taxed at 135% of the purchase price and I won't shop in Chicago because of 10% taxes.

Overall we had a fun trip. I would go back to visit our friends. I am happy to be back in my relatively safe, inner city neighborhood with my sparkly jewelry which had to stay at home. On a stitchy note, I did teach my friend to cross stitch. She made a picture for her brothers Christmas present. She even designed a second project that she is starting on shortly. We may have another stitcher among us:)

Finally, I thought I would share a baby picture. I did not get to meet this baby because he was born on the day we flew out. This is a baby St. Bernard. The mommy is not very motherly and stepped on 4 of the 6 and killed them. The father of these puppies passed away very young so they replaced him with another male St. Bernard that was 3 months old. Solomon was so cute but he could knock me over even being a puppy. Brazilians are not into fixing pets. These big dogs do live on a weekend farm in the mountains. They have household staff to meet their every need so if they can stay out of mom's way, their life will be good.

My husband went out to the suburbs yesterday and picked up some finishing for me so I will get some pictures posted soon. I also won a nice drawing that I will have to post. Not a lot of stitching has been taking place. I leave for Naples, FL next week so not much will get done there either.

Happy Stitching.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I don't have any pictures downloaded yet but I thought I would drop in and say HI. We have had a very relaxing trip and enjoyed our friends house. They have a wonderful pool that is great to float around on and a outdoor pizza oven. It is a little cool today so I have been laying around reading and playing on their computers.

The lifestyle down here is very different than what I am used to. We have walked around some, we went to the park, we have eaten out which all seems normal. What is not normal to us in the U.S. is I have been in armored cars with armed drivers in case we are car jacked, friends hired the owner of a restaurant to come in their home and make 6 of us sushi, we have a guard in front of the house 24/7 and we are sleeping behind a bullet proof door for the upstairs bedrooms. I am not freaked out by any of this and I have felt safe but thieves target Americans, wealthy Brazilians, and their good stuff so extra precautions are necessary.

We have another day in Sao Paulo and then we are going to Rio. When I get back I will post pictures and tell you more about our experiences.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I did not get around to posting last week but I was busy making progress on Mayan Lighting. It is amazing what you can get done when you have the house to yourself. I have chosen not to compensate at the ends and stitch outside the lines. I figured it is going to be covered in matting or put into something so going outside the lines was easier than diagonal compensation. The dashed line was the original line Diane put on the canvas. It is not the right size so I am ignoring that line but I left it so I could show her since this is a pilot class. The colors in this piece are so bright and pretty!!

It may be a week or so before I post again and I may not have much to show. We leave for Brazil tomorrow afternoon. For this trip, you travel overnight and hopefully sleep most of the way. Going down will be fine since we are in business class with lay flat chairs. The flight back is full so we are stuck in coach. I have not really started packing or getting ready to go. I have tonight and tomorrow morning which is plenty of time. We figured the weather will be like southern Florida so when we get home we will wash clothes and pack them back for our trip to Florida for Thanksgiving. Our poor cat will miss us but he has a sitter that will spend some nights with him and our neighbors are going to come over to play.

DH has a second job interview today. Maybe he will get a full time job instead of consulting. A full time job will cramp his travel schedule but he can suck it up like the rest of us. My job has a very generous PTO and holiday benefit so I get off close to two months a year so I know I am very lucky to be able to travel often. No kids in my life so that also helps...

Until next time. Happy stitching.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Once again Photography issues

I have been working on Mayan Lightning. This picture needs to be rotated and I cannot make it turn even in the edit section. The picture is from my IPhone so I have even less knowledge about what I am doing. The colors in this piece are very pretty in person. I was so hooked on the yellow last night I stayed up to close to midnight working on it. Keep in mind the yellow is rayon and that awful thread can usually run me off to bed.

The reason I don't have more control over the camera is because it is on holiday in Mexico with my husband. His consulting job was up so he decided to go down and scuba dive with some friends. The good news is this means my evenings are free to do what I want. Last night it was blue cheese, crackers and a glass of wine for dinner. OK not the most healthy dinner but the cleanup was easy which left more stitching time. I have done all my household jobs. I just have to maintain a few little things and the rest of my time is fairly free.

This is a short post because not much is going on. Maybe I will have more to show as the week goes on. Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not One but Two Finishes this weekend!!

My Teresa Layman French know set is done. I could obviously use an iron and someone else will finish this for me but I will enjoy this set. In case you have not been following me or are not familiar with Teresa's designs, this is a scissor case, a needle book and a scissor fob. Some people find French knot more horrid than going to the dentist but I love these projects. The French knots became so addicting that I bought two more kits. I will take a break for now and work on some of my other projects. One day when I need comfort, I will pull out a Teresa Layman FK project.

My second finish this weekend is my Orna Willis project from seminar. I really cannot see myself wearing this piece but I think it will look cute on my Christmas tree even if the colors are not traditional. Orna gave me a second kit that I might also make into an ornament and give it away at an ornament exchange. With the other one, I may change some of the colors to make them more traditional holiday. Not everyone in our ornament exchange is Christian but some that celebrate Chanukah participate so I don't like to do ornaments that have religious meaning.

It was amazing that I got anything done at all this weekend. We had 15 people over for dinner on Saturday night. This required me to clean which is not my usual gig. After the cleaning I had to buy a few things like 6 more place settings so everyone could eat on a glass plate without making me hand wash my china. Once all the mundane things were done, I was off to a sample sale for a new sweater and the nail salon for a mani/pedi. The party went late but I think everyone had a good time. Yesterday was cleaning-up. Mainly all that was left to do was empty the dishwasher and refill it with glasses that did not fit the night before. I still have to do sheets from friends that spent the night. The cleaning lady can take care of the floors and other hard work when she comes tomorrow.

The upcoming week should be much quieter than last week where I had stuff going on every night. This week I will pick a project to play with and hopefully, I will have some progress to show you later this week.

Happy stitching.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Small Packing Tragedy Strikes

I am back from Seminar and about recovered. I was one of the younger seminar goers and I found the week to be exhausting. I met one lady who had an ANG number in the 300's, who drove herself from Pennsylvania, had two fingers in a splint, and was well up in her senior years. She was amazing! Me...I have an ANG number in the 40k+, flew, two perfectly working hands, and in my 40's and this week kicked me in the butt. I am still going to bed at 8 pm. To be fair, I think I have a mild cold or allergies and I partied like a biker most of the weekend.

I had a small tragedy. I think my stand went through my canvas. I was packing my stand in the hotel lobby and did not put it on the bottom of my suitcase and I think it went through Santa. Fortunately, I do not have much work done on this canvas and I can buy a new canvas from Janet or try to draw this on a new canvas. I know some of you would repair this because it will be hidden in the finishing. Most likely, not going to happen!!

I wanted to show you a better picture of Frog Stew. Still love this class and Debbie. I found out Debbie Stiehler is my friends NAN sponsor so maybe our paths will cross again. BTW...Her peacock feather piece at ANG Seminar next year is amazing in person.

This is what I accomplished in two days on Funky Rose by Terry Dryden. I really enjoyed painting/coloring the canvas. I am not a huge fan of silk ribbon embroidery yet. This is the reason to take classes so you can learn new techniques. Some people finished the rose in class. I picked most of mine out in class. Maybe if I work on this in my own environment, I will enjoy this process more. I love the piece and I will continue to work on this. The colors are so me!!

On Wednesday afternoon, I had a class with Orna Willis. I heard she was one hot mess in the morning class but she pulled everything together for the afternoon. My kit was short some threads but she gave me a new kit, in a different colorway to make up for it which was very kind of her. I like Orna's designs and I would enjoy another class with her in the future.

I thought I would share some of my stash enhancements. First, Shapes of Needlepoint, by Sandy Author (I apologize, I had the wrong last name yesterday) was "The Hot Book" of the show. It is nice especially if you have a circle, square or rectangular area to fill in. However, more than likely you have all these stitches in one of your other books, just not organized in this way. I bought a Tekobari laying tool. I had heard so much about Tekobari laying tools and how hard they are to get. I mentioned to Janet Perry that it is about like my BLT and she came back with Shay Pendray is a Japanese Needlepoint artist and the BLT is basically a Tekobari. It is OK with me. It fed my obsession with laying tools and my Tekobari is a little smaller than the BLT so it may be a little more comfortable for me. Finally, the white thing on the chair is a mini Ott light that came from Joann's. With the coupon, this cost $10.00. This looks perfect for traveling. I have a couple of trips coming up out of the US so the batteries and the size should work great.

My regular EGA Guild meet on Saturday. Our group has Spooky Surprise in October. It is usually a quick project with a Halloween theme. This year we made the scissor fob. Mine is done!! Mentally, this is about all the stitching I could take this week. I have not done anything since I finished this on Monday night.

After my long post, I thought I would share my progress on my French Knot scissor case. I am so close to done. I have some finishing to pick up next weekend. If I can get this done, maybe I will turn this in for finishing. We are having a big dinner party on Saturday night so I may not have much time this weekend. We have friends in from San Francisco and Brazil.

Finally, I would like to welcome my new followers and say Thanks to my other faithful followers. It is kind of you to read my weekly drivel and comment. I am not the worlds fastest stitcher but I do enjoy my projects. The blog keeps me working on my projects because I want something stitchy related to say. Someday, maybe I will even be able to take a decent picture:) Also, keep updating your blogs. I may not always have time to comment but I am out here lurking and enjoying all your projects.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Half way done

Seminar is a blast!! I have just finished 2.5 days of classes. Two and a half days left. I arrived on Sunday afternoon. I unpacked and hurried up to the book store and the shop. I only picked up a couple of threads at the shop and nothing at the book store. My shopping is being held back because my bag weighted 49 pounds. Never fear... I still have room in my carry on and UPS is available if I need to ship home my dirty clothes. Sunday night was the banquet which was ok. We were served typical, banquet, dried out chicken. They did try to class it up some by adding blue cheese to the salad and feta and olives to the chicken even though those really do not go together. Half the salads at my table were returned because people would not eat blue cheese. The real crime was the chicken but it was what I have come to expect at a big dinner. After dinner, the awards for the judged pieces were awarded. There are many beautiful pieces in the show. I have not spent a lot of time looking at the juried pieces nor next years classes. That is a field trip in a little while.

Monday and Tuesday was Full Moon Frog Stew by Debbie Stiehler. I made some good progress. Debbie is a wonderful teacher. She teaches with so much personality and makes everyone feel good in her class! If you ever have a chance to take one of her classes, run to it. The stitches are not that difficult but she shared some great ideas. Notice the beautiful sky and the grass. When I finish the frogs, they will have their little tongues sticking out. Monday night I meet up with a friend from Chicago and she said there was a bus trip to Dublin, OH. The bus dropped us off at What's the Point. It is the cutest little stone cottage full of needlepoint and they even served dinner and wine to the seminar ladies. They do offer a 10% discount to ANG members so good for mail order too. Tuesday night was the auction. There are many talented ladies in this organization. I did not buy anything but I do have some regret that I did not bid up a monkey. Many of the pieces were selling for $200-$300 dollars and many of the pieces had that much or more in supplies and finishing. (Sorry for the crap pictures. My first pictures with my i Phone.)

Today was Santacicle's by Janet Zigler Casey. It was a fun class. This one has hope to be finished sooner rather than later. This afternoon I have class with Orna Williams. Tonight is the Teacher's Showcase and tomorrow is Expo Night so this is where my bags could become full.

Between all of this, I have been working 4 or 5 hours a day for my real job. I want to keep the job so I can go to seminar next year. It is an exhausting week but so much fun!! If you have never been to a seminar, save your pennies and go.

Off to shop and my duties as a Class Angel this afternoon. I miss keeping up on all the blogs but not enough hours in the day to do everything. More posts and better pictures soon!! Happy stitching.

Friday, October 1, 2010

ANG Seminar, here I come

Seminar is just about here!! I cannot wait. I am slowly collecting my things in the second bedroom and tomorrow I will get everything into the suitcase. Hopefully, I will be able to manage with one suitcase and a good size carry on. I am going to have to do some work while at seminar so I will have to bring my laptop. The good news is that I will be able to blog and show my progress while I am gone. I will be taking pictures with my IPhone which could be interesting since I have never done this.

I have had a really busy week between work and my personal life so no stitching has been accomplished since last weekend. Above is what I got done on my Bee Scissor Case. I finished the blue area at the top, the ivory background in the main area, some of the boarder and a little bit in the bottom section. I had high hopes for a finish but that is not going to happen.

Last night we went to see Billy Elliott. I knew nothing about the musical or the fact that it is a movie. I really enjoyed the musical. We were third row center so the tickets could not have been better. It was hysterical watching all these gay men trying to be burly and blue collar while they are singing and dancing in a musical. Everyone was much more comfortable when they all put on their tutu's at the end.

Hopefully, I will be able to share some fun posts next week. Until then, happy stitching.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I can take on some crazy projects...

but this is nuts! The twin girls in the picture are friends of ours and they were in a wedding last month. They got to be the flower girls. These dresses are a cream raw silk with hand embroidered black dots. Can you imagine sitting around and hand embroidering all those dots? The dresses are the cutest things and hopefully they will still fit come Christmas.

I hope everyone has a fun filled, stitchy weekend.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New project

The past weekend was the pilot class for Mayan Lightning. This is being blogged about with Diane Herrmann's permission and will be a half day class at NAN in early March. We got up early on Saturday morning and stitched on black and with rayon. You never do your best work in a classroom setting so I am excited to stitch on this under less stressful conditions. Don't you just love the colors? Diane finished hers in a black lacquered box lid.

This weekend was busy. After the class, we went to the Sox game. Our tickets were so good. We were next to the Detroit dugout about directly across from home plate and in the third row. It is a shame such good tickets were wasted on me. I could really careless about baseball. I consider baseball games a cover charge to drink so it would have been nice if they would have taken my BIL instead of me because he is a Sox fan. I own a Sox sweatshirt because it was part of a Halloween costume many years ago.

Yesterday we had 11 people over for dinner. DH made gumbo and red beans and rice. Today is his birthday so I bought him a rice cooker. I know you are not supposed to give appliances for birthday gifts. He has wanted one and I did not have a gift idea so this worked out perfectly. Tonight, seven of us are going to Girl and the Goat. This is Stephanie Izard's new restaurant. Stephanie won Top Chef a few years ago. It is one of the hottest restaurants in town right now. It took me a month to get reservations on a Monday night. You can get in easier with smaller parties.

Here is my update on Lucy. I got in a little more black basket weave and the yellow flower in Nobuko. The leaves are a stitch that I have yet to master. I need to pull out my stitching books and figure this out.

Finally, I thought I would leave you with a picture of the chocolate, pecan pie DH made for last nights dinner. It looks good but I don't eat many sweets so I did not have any. I might try a piece with lunch today.

Hopefully, I can get a something done this week and give another update later in the week. Happy stitching!