Wednesday, December 21, 2011

 Hi,  I am back from the Turks and Caicos.  Considering I have been traveling every other week this month, I have a lot of stitching to show.  My first picture is of Beautie Spot.  I am currently working on the bunny and the boarder.  The bunny is a little creepy without his eye and his ears.  They are soon to come.  Hopefully the next time I blog about Beautie, it will be done and ironed. 
 Santa was my pool buddy on vacation.  I spent my mornings under cover and stitched on this Princess and Me Santa.  I have him finished down to the background which I hope to finish up on Friday so I can take another ornament to Naples.  I might have finished him but security did not like my little kid scissors so they took them away.  Some countries don't allow points so these had rounded ends but they were too big.  No big loss.  I only carry on scissors that I don't care if they are taken away.  Hopefully the scissors will be donated to some school kid.  The poverty is pretty bad on the island. 
 Before I left I finished this Princess and Me Snowman.  He is so cute with his fringed scarf.  My finishing bill early next year will be huge. 

Finally, let me leave you with a couple of pictures from the Turks.  The water in the Turks is beautiful.  DH got in 9 dives on this trip so I had a lot of time at the adult pool.  I did spend a couple of  days on the beach but I am really more of a pool person because I don't like the sand in everything and on me.  We stayed at the Veranda which turned out to be condos.  It was nice to have a washer and dryer in the unit.  This was an all-inclusive vacation.  The food was good and the booze was top shelf.  We meet a lovely couple from Chicago and we shared many bottles of Champagne by the pool one afternoon. 

While my mornings were spent with Santa. My afternoons were spent with Kindle.  Let me just say that I love that the library loans books on Kindle.  All three books I read came from the Chicago Public library.  My first book was a little older, The Story of Edgar Sawtell.  It was pretty good.  I had a hard time with this book because I kept waiting on the dog to die.  The death of animals makes me cry and I knew this was going to be part of the book.  I will not read Marley and Me because I heard the dog dies.  The second book was The Night Circus.  I really enjoyed this book.  Finally, I read Girls in White Dresses.  This is a girly book and this is not my usual genre.  I only read this because the author was from Chicago.  This book is good if you are looking for this type of read. 

I leave on Saturday for Naples for a week.  I am done with my Christmas shopping however most of the gifts involve cash, checks, or gift certificates.  DH ordered his own Christmas present before the Turks.  He got a dive computer which he used on vacation.  The only other gifts I bought were for my parents.  Part of those are already in Florida and I will bring down a few gifts.  New Years Eve is a stitching day with the guild ladies and we are hosting a wine tasting party for a small group of friends. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season.  Enjoy your family and friends but I hope you can find a little time to stitch.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

 Hi,  I am back from my trip to Florida and trying to catch up with every one's blogs.  Thank you for the kind comments on my last post.  I did not respond to everyone individually because I did not even look at the blogs for about a week.  I am getting caught up and everything is pretty much under control.

I did get a lot of stitching done on this trip.  I started the snowman ornament that is pictured above on my plane ride down.  He turned out really cute.  I still have the background to work on but that is a good task for my next trip. 

I got to visit Needlepoint in Paradise while I was in Naples.   They are having a fun trunk show with Edie and Ginger frogs.  I did contain myself so far but I am bidding on Ebay for a frog.  I bought the thread to work on the flamingo scissor fob from the EGA National Seminar.  This is done on 40 count silk gauze with one strand of Splendor.  I added one strand of Accentuate to the blurry, blue swirls.  These may be famous last words, but this project is moving along quickly.  I should have the motifs done shortly and then I will have to work on filling in the background.  This whole picture will only be around 2 inches by two inces when complete. 

While I was in Florida, a professional sand castle event was going on.  The sand castles and artists are amazing.  Here is a sample of my favorites. 

A nod to the Chicago Blackhawks

Time to get back to work.  This work stuff allows me to afford what I want to do but boy would I rather be stitching:)   Happy stitching. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 I finished Hog Wash by Teresa Laymen in the past week.  The pink fabric will be used for the finishing.  I just love dupioni silk for finishing.  I usually buy my own so the finisher has the color I want and it may be more expensive than what a finisher wants to charge. 
 I made progress with Beautie Spot.  I spent the week working on the final bunny motif.  I also did some of the boarder that you can see in the picture.  For me, this was a big week. 

I did pick up some finishing over the weekend.  I gave these projects plus some others to the finisher last March.  She did a nice job but since it took so long she did not even charge me for the finishing.  She did have four more pieces to finish but she did not even get to those. I asked for my other pieces back because eight months is ridiculous.  I got to worrying about never getting my projects back.  I will let my friend finish my pieces and she will have them back to me in a month or so. 

I am all packed and project ready to go to Florida tomorrow.  I have some very high expectations for the projects.  I spent more time gathering projects than I spent on packing.  Plus, I have three library books for the trip.  The evenings are quiet and there is not much to do after we eat on Thanksgiving so I might manage to get some things done.    We are going to the Club for dinner so no one has to cook or clean but the food is not the same as homemade.  My husband usually does all the cooking but he has to stay home due to work.  I am grateful he has a job but I like it better when he consults because he does not work as much and can play with me. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with lots of good food, family, and friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let me show you the bird and the bride!

 First, I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and notes on my last post.  I have never had that many comments on one post in my year of blogging!!  It was so exciting.  I got tons of comments on my Long Dog Sampler, Beautie Spot.  The Dodo was much more painful than he should have been but he was completed last night.  Now I am on to the final large motif and some finishing touches including the boarder, initials, dates and spangles. 

I did not get much stitching done over the weekend because of my oldest nieces wedding.  The bride was beautiful and the other picture has six of my older nieces and nephews.  It was an adult only reception.  I have seven more nieces and nephews not in the picture.  The three on the left were in the wedding party.  I loved the brown bridesmaid dresses.  We also had a baptism on Sunday for my neighbor's baby.   Anna was a real cutie in her white dress but I failed to get a picture of her.  Her gown was from the train of her mother's wedding dress. 

That is about as exciting as it gets around here.  I am almost done with my French knot Pig but I want to save that for another riveting post in the future.  Have a fabulous week! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Libby Sturdy Class

 Hi!  This was a big stitching week for me.  I did not have much going on most of the week and worked on my stitching in the evenings.  Saturday was a class on Windy City Santa with Libby Sturdy.  I had a lot of what she was teaching done but it was a good class.  It help build my confidence and I will get this piece done.  It may take a while but I am not as intimidated by this piece as I once was.
 Early in the week I worked on Frog Stew.  I finished couching the moon and the cauldron.  I added the logs and flames below the cauldron.  (One of my logs looks like a boy's private parts.  I really need to change that!!)   Finally, I worked on some of the blue sky.  That stitch covers a large area of this piece so I thought I could start working on some of the completed areas and not leave this all for the end.

Finally, I did spend a bit of time with Beautie Spot.  I am working on the Dodo bird.  I made a mistake somewhere and I am having to stitch my way through this mistake.  It has turned me off this piece and right now it is a chore to work on. Once this bird is done, I only have one more big motif.  This is my Guild Challenge piece so this needs to be done by January.  

I am not sure how much progress I will continue to get done between now and the New Year.  I have two trips to Florida planned and one to the Turks.  I am busy buying books and I have to pull together a travel project.  Speaking of books, I read Skeletons at the Feast last week and really enjoyed the book.  It is about WWII so not a real uplifting book but very well written.  It was my first upload for the Kindle from the public library.  It worked well and I uploaded a new book to read this week.  I am debating if I want to join Amazon Prime for there new offer of a free book a month.  I am not sure I need their other services available with Prime so I am just not sure if it is worth it for me.  

Well that is about all going on around here.  Tonight is the Bears game.  I know we are having a friend over so I may not get to stitch.  Boo.  Then again, he is a good friend and I may just let the boys drink, watch football and I will stitch.  Have a great week.   

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  My blog is looking a little more like Christmas than Halloween.  I have had a big couple of weeks of stitching but my picture taking is more limited than my stitching.  On Saturday, my Guild had a stitching day at the Oak Park Library.  My friend that finishes for me was there so I wanted to get this ornament done.  I don't care if she has it done by Christmas but it gave me a goal to get the stitching finished. 

 The same goal applies to Hog Wash but a week later.  Next Saturday is our Libby Sturdy, Windy City Santa class and my finishing friend will be there so I want this one done by next Saturday.  As you can see from my current picture and how it looked two weeks ago, I did get a lot done for me. 


Two week's ago
I have also been working on Frog Stew and my Long Dog Sampler but I had an early morning meeting and did not have a chance to take new pictures of my progress.  That is fine, because it will give me an excuse to blog about these projects. 

My weekend was filled with stitching and very little else.  This should be a good thing but I did go a little stir crazy just hanging around the house.  I have three trips booked between Thanksgiving and New Year's so I should take advantage of this down time.

Enjoy your Halloween and the little Ghosts and Goblins that will hit the streets tonight!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Monday morning!!  I feel like I have already put in a full day and in reality it is not even lunch time yet.  DH had early morning calls with Asia and another with Europe so we were up early.  Actually, I stayed in bed and read while he was getting ready.  I will finish A Discovery of Witches today.  I am really enjoying this book and I have heard others say they enjoyed it as well.  It is a 600 page Vampire/Witch book so be prepared to spend some time with these creatures. 

Speaking of Witches, Frog Stew is coming along.  We had a very quiet week and weekend last week so I got a lot of needlepoint done.  Last week, I finished her vest, hat, Frogs (other than beaded eyes and back stitching which is done at the end), the moon other than the lower left hand side still needs to be couched and the cauldron which also needs to be couched.  I think I will continue to work on her through Halloween and see what I can accomplish. 
 Hog Wash got a few more knots.  I did some of the pink flowers in the boarder and some more grass. 

 On Friday's, I typically work at home.  I had our bed torn apart and I was washing the bedding.  I had the sheets done and was waiting on the blankets to dry.  I walk into the bedroom and laying on my bed pillow at the end of my chase lounge was my little old man enjoying the down pillow.  He is 17 years old so he gets to do what he wants and I have mismatched pillow cases on my bed this week.  It is good to be the King!
Have a great stitching week.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Be Merry and Be Happy

Hi,  I am happy to report that the last couple of weeks have been pretty big stitching weeks for me.  I worked on my French Knot Pig.  Since the last time I showed this project, I finished the sky, all the flowers at the pig's feet and some more of the green, grass.  I love doing the FK projects!! 
 Windy City Santa has been around for several years.  I know I am going to look like a kiss ass, but this is going to be a class I am taking with Libby Sturdy at the beginning of November.   For some reason the top part of his lapel was confusing me.  I wanted to get this in before the class because I knew I could do it if I would think about it a bit.  Since the project was out, I finished the bronze stitching along the bottom because it was about half done.  Then I did the shoes because that was mainly basket weave and up right crosses.  I started the mittens but I think I will put this away until the class.  I will be well behaved in class and work on the beard if I am ahead of the others.  The beard is not done because I am not sure if I am doing it right.  In Libby's picture you can see the gray outline.  If I use all that thick wool, then the outline will not show so I am at a loss.
 I got a couple pieces back from the finisher.  Be Happy was finished into a scissors fob and Be Merry is a little stand up.  Both turned out so cute.  

Last weekend was the Windy City EGA Chapter's 30th Anniversary party. We had a very nice lunch and several former members were able to join us. We even got a couple of the ladies to come back to the Guild after a few years. Most were still stitching or working at their other art forms.

My weekend should be fairly quiet. I have our regular Guild meeting tomorrow and Sunday is the Chicago Marathon. I live at the half way mark so it is easy to get out and cheer the people on. I have no desire to run a marathon but I have a few friends running. After most runners are through mile 13, Bloody's and Mimosa's will be served. It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. It may be our last really good one until Spring!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back from EGA

Hi,  I am back from the EGA seminar and caught up enough with life to post.   You may want to grab a cup of tea because this could be a long post.  My first day, I got settled into the condo and took a run down to the hotel to see how long it would take and to go to dinner and shopping with some friends.  They wanted to buy food for their hotel rooms. 

Day two was Winning Ways.  This is a lecture by four designers on how you would judge different techniques.  This year one person spoke about beading, another about smocking, one about lace, and the final speaker talked about multi media.  The real goal is to get people to go through the judging program with EGA but most of the people in the class were national teachers and others that just wanted to improve on their own skills.  This was a very interesting class, reasonably price, and an enjoyable day even if you have no intention of judging or even doing a technique.  (Smocking for example, I cannot for the life of me figure this sport out.  It is fine on baby clothes but once a kid is old enough to pick out their own clothes, there will not be any more smocking and someone suggested nightgowns.  If I live to be 100, I still don't think I would be old enough to wear a smocked night gown.)

Monday and Tuesday was the Tropical Beading Box.  Marsha Papay-Gomola is a wonderful teacher and if you enjoy stump work you should take one of her classes.  Even if you can't get to a National Conference, she will be teaching with the Shining Needle Society in the upcoming year but in person would be the best.  This class is a stretch of my abilities.  I had never done the long and short stitch.  I am improving.  I may redo part of the wing below because the blue looks a lot better than the red section.  Marsha brought tons of models to class and they were spectacular.  She is a very talented lady. 

Wednesday was spent at the Outlet Mall and the pool.  It was great to have a break.  In the past, I have taken five days of classes and that is a lot.  I don't think I will ever take five days of classes in a row again. BTW... It is also nicer to stay at the hotel with everyone but free beat out the convenience of the hotel this year. 

Thursday and Friday was Ivory by Carolyn Standing Webb.  Carolyn was another wonderful teacher.  I took a pulled work class because I did not pull tight enough on my first piece and the second piece is just going to get pitched.  My first two pieces were not designed well and they did not use the right linen for pulled work.  This class was a whole new experience.  The linen is lovely, I can get good, uniform holes but the photograph is crap. 

Friday night my husband came back to Naples from the Key's where scuba dived all week.  That evening we did Happy Hour at the Club and meet some of the neighbors.  Saturday was a little more shopping at the Outlet mall and Coconut Point Mall.  In the afternoon, I worked a bit on Ivory.  That evening we went to the beach with our neighbors and I was devoured by sand fleas.  Those are nasty little bugs.  We agreed that was our last sunset at the beach.  Sunday was brunch and cleaning up so we could go back to Chicago. 

Below is the bit of stash enhancement I picked up.  I love silk gauze and French knots so I could not pass up these little projects.  They will make good little travel projects and cute ornaments for the tree in Florida. 

Finally, I have a couple of financial issues to discuss.  First, I went to the library to day and got a library card.  Wow, that place is a treasure trove of free.  I know, it has been this way for years and I should have caught on.  The library is not in a convenient location for me so returning books is a pain and I don't deal with things that are just a pain in my ass.  Now they have Kindle and you can order books on line.  They also have audio books that can be downloaded to I Pod.  Now they are a little short on number of copies but in time I bet they work this out. 

My second financial issue, is not so happy.  What is up with Needlepoint Now?  The new issue has a really nice piece that is a memorial piece to 9/11.  This is not necessarily a piece that I would do but it was mentioned on a blog today so I looked it up.  This canvas is $300 dollars discounted!!  I also know the Leigh piece will be expensive.  If I loved a piece, $300 would not be out of the question mind you, but this is a magazine and they should have mass appeal.  One would think they would do something that many people would want to do and could afford to do no matter what canvas they choose to highlight.  Sure a few people will get a nice stitch guide for the price of the magazine.  Maybe this is just my issue and people could choose to do one of the pieces they can draw on the canvas at a much lower cost.  I should just look at the stitch guide, see the threads and stitches that were used and glean knowledge for future pieces. 

That is about all for today.  I am working on dinner reservations for Saturday which is pretty short notice.  Tonight is the Patricia Locke jewelry sale and book club so I better play in the makeup so I look alive. 

Have a great week. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello!  Finally I  have some stitching to show.  My "Full Moon" witch has a face and the glowy orange in the picture were added over Labor Day weekend.  The orange is truly not as neon as it appears in the picture.  It is a very nice Halloween orange in Flair.  I also worked a bit on the vest so I could get rid of some spaghetti strings that were hanging around. 

The reason I got some stitching done was that we had a four day weekend for Labor Day and I had Stanley Steamer come in and clean.  I sat on the front balcony and stitched while they cleaned.  They are huge on up selling but I am so pleased with what they did.  Now some pieces really cannot be saved like some of the furniture that needs to be recovered and the carpet is going to be replaced but even if they are kind of trashed, they are clean. The most impressive thing they did was deep clean the hardwood floors.  I was going to have them stripped and redone when I replace the bedroom carpet but this deep cleaning made them look like new.  They shine!  They had 10 years of soap buildup that I did not realize was there.  We did have a big party on Saturday but things stayed relatively clean.  Fortunately, the kids were happy with Apple products, XBox and the park.

I leave tomorrow for EGA National Seminar in Naples.  I have been packed since Wednesday.  The condo is open and the car services are arranged.  I cannot wait for the fun to begin.  I hope to learn a lot, stitch often, shop, and relax.  I will try to remember to take pictures and I will post if I can.  I am not sure if there is a laptop or if I can post from the IPad. 

Have a nice weekend. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

 Since my stitching is pretty much non-existent, I thought I would show my flowers this year.  The ones above are on the back terrace.  Can you see the air in my pictures?  It is in the 90's and humid today.  The 311 building (high rise between the buildings) is about 8 blocks away and looks like it is living in a cloud today.  My flowers in the back did not turn out as well as I would have liked.  The potato vine and the pink bushes I planted about took over this year.  Every year is different so I will try something different next year. 
 The front balcony is a whole different story.  The two planters up front are absolutely beautiful.  I have the perfect spot for Inpatients.  There are three flats of flowers in my two 40 inch planters so that is 72 Inpatients and 10 ivy plants in the two boxes.  My only issue is these were supposed to be red, orange and purple but the red and orange grew up to be almost identical in color.  Next year I will replace the red with another color.  To highlight my pretty flowers I bought a little bistro table for the balcony.  This is one of the few bistro tables that I found that is actually comfortable to sit in. 
Well the weekend is about upon us.  I have one more work call and then we are off for a four day weekend.  The weekend is being kicked off with Happy Hour(s) with friends.  Tomorrow the boy's from Stanley Steamer are coming in and cleaning the carpets and the furniture.  Saturday, DH invited his work team and their family's over for a party and the rest of the weekend is ours.  I am pretty sure Sunday and Monday will fill up with more food and fun. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.  Cheers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hey!  Still not much stitching going on but I thought I would update my blog with the bits I got done.  I finished the wreath, the candy canes and started the background.  After I finish the background, I will go back in and add French knot snow flakes and I need to add beads for the berries on the wreath.  I love the wreath.  It really stands out on the canvas. 

I am pretty much done with family for the summer.  I only have a bridal shower for my niece on Saturday.  Three weekends of family is more than enough:)  The Cubs/Cardinal game last Saturday was fun and the kids and my brother got to go on their first subway ride to Wrigley.  Sunday we spent a beautiful day on a friends rooftop deck watching the air show.  It is amazing how quickly summer is going by. 

Well things are not real exciting around here so this is a short post.  I hope everyone is enjoying summer and avoiding earthquakes and pending hurricanes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer is not made for stitching

Hi,  I have been a little lax on posting lately mainly because I have not had much to show.  Yesterday, I did make some progress.  I finally finished the roof on Gretel's House.  The stitch guide called for the Souffle stitch and I could not make that look right.  Instead I used Nobuko.  First I layed three strands of white DMC then I went back over the stitches with white opal Ribbon Floss.  I like the look now.  I know people can do DMC and Ribbon Floss at the same time but mine looked like crap.  I like my snow now.  Yesterday I also finished the door and started the wreath.  The wreath is going to be cool.  The ladies in Needlepoint in Paradise had me buy Boucle'.  The wreath is all French knots and you know I love doing French knots.  The red berries are going to be beads.  Maybe I can finish the wreath tonight. 

My parents were in town this past weekend.  We had a good time but having someone around all weekend is a lot of work.  Friday they went shopping on Michigan Ave. while I finished up my work week.  Friday night we went to Via Carducci in Bucktown because I had a Groupon that was expiring on Saturday.  It was a nice restaurant.  It was crowded so I think everyone was there trying to use up their Groupon's as well because I don't typically think summer and Italian food.   Saturday Mom and I spent the day shopping in Oak Brook and my Dad and husband golfed.  Saturday we ate at home and DH made biscuits and gravy for Sunday breakfast which were delicious. 

The month of August is turning out to be all about family.  Next weekend my brother and his family are coming to town and the following weekend is my nieces bridal shower.  I will be ready for Labor Day and no family:)  Then the following weekend starts ten days in Naples for EGA and vacation.  I cannot wait for that week. 

Hope you have a wonderful week with lots of stitching.  Thanks for reading my blog. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tail Feathers

 Can you believe that it is already August.  Where is summer going?  My letters for Seminar supplies are coming in, I won't see my Guild friends until Naples, I am planning weekends through September, and soon I will have to start booking my tickets for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I did manage to get in a few stitches into Beautie Spot.  I finished up the individual flower on the left hand side.  I finished the tail feathers and I am outlining the back end of the Dodo bird. 
This is a little travel project that I decided to work on.  This was our Guild's project last month.  I wanted to take the class because I have a pulled work class at Seminar and I wanted some practice.  At one point I was not going to finish this project because the directions are a little wonky and the finishing is making this into a pin cushion using an empty tuna fish can.  Seriously, I just could not see myself living with a used tuna fish as a pin cushion.  Just kind of grosses me out.  I know about reusing and re purposing but I would have been happier with a crushed pineapple can instead of tuna.   Anyway a Guild friend said to make it an ornament instead with lame as a lining to bring out the holes in the pulled work.  That seems like a much better idea, plus I only have to  see this one month a year instead of year round. 

Our house has been a revolving door of friends and dinner parties.  Last night I finally had to say enough and no one can come over.  Hopefully, that pattern can hold for tonight as well.   My husband is dealing with some eye issues and he will be off work this afternoon but that will not necessarily slow him down from cooking and inviting people over. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a wonderful week. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Beautie

Beautie Spot

 I have been working on Beautie Spot over the weekend.  I showed my progress on the blue star a couple of weeks ago and now it is finished.  I have the black outline done on the flower so it needs to be filled in with color and you can see a tiny black line for the tail of the Dodo Bird.  I have the Dodo, the bunny, the boarder and a few touches like spangles and initials to finish for the Guild Challenge at the end of the year. 

I have also been able to get in a few French and Colonial knots into my pig project.  I worked on the flowers and some of the sky. 

I did read a wonderful book this week.  It is Mudbound by Hillary Jordon.  It was her first novel and it took her seven years to write this book.  Her second book is coming out in October.  This book reminded me of The Help because each chapter was the voice of one of the main characters.  A question has been going around Facebook:  What book has kept you up way past your bedtime reading?  This could be one of those books.  I did not stay up but I did finish this in about a day.  I also read Mockingjay over the weekend.  This is the final book in the Hunger Game trilogy.  This series could also keep me up past my bedtime.  What book kept you up past your bedtime?  I would love to hear about any great books you have read. 

Last night I apparently gave up on walking.  I live in a soft loft (bedrooms have walls and doors) and it has exposed duct work.  When we do laundry in the summer, condensation forms and it drips on the hallway floor.  I was walking down the hall in flip-flops and fell flat on my bottom.  I was not hurt other than a bruise on my knee and a little jar to the body.  So today I decide to wear sensible shoes and I have tripped no less than 4 times today.  Seriously?  Am I determined to land on my ass again only this time in public? 

My husband has a business dinner tonight which does not happen very often.  I am planning my evening.  I am going to do my household chores like water the poor plants that are subjected to this 100 degree weather, make a quick dinner, and curl up in the stitching chair with my projects and DVR.  I am not home alone all that often so it is something to look forward to. 

Hope you have a wonderful day with at least a little stitching time.