Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Where does the time go. I knew I had not posted in a while but it has been close to a month. I did not post because I really have not accomplished all that much. We had a nice class at my EGA guild in February and I finished it.  It was a petite project by Mary Waldsmith. I am sure you have seen this many places recently. I pretty much followed the suggested threads and it was fun to do.

I also finished my crewel project by Barbara Jackson, Berry Bandit, offered through the Shining Needle Society.  I am not sure crewel is my thing but it was an interesting class. I have no desire to finish this on my own so another project in the to be finished pile. 

I also had a nice Sunday with my ANG guild. We went to the presidents house and had an afternoon of stitching and snacks. I really did not accomplish all that much but even a few leaves on my project is better than nothing. 

I have been very good on my nutrition program and power yoga. I am on the aging program so not really trying to loses weight. I would be happy losing 5 pounds but that is not the main purpose of my program. My husband has started parts of the program as well which was my main reason for doing this whole thing. I have lost inches and my clothes do fit better.  My skin and nails are clear and strong so that is an added bonus. I want to rock a swim suit by the time I get to go on vacation. I won't say I will wear a bikini because after a certain age that is just not right and I am beyond the bikini age.

Well my next post should be more interesting. My EGA guild is having a retreat in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, on that weekend I will have some progress on my Edie and Ginger frog with a stitch guide by Tony Minieri.

Hope you all have an awesome week with lots of beautiful stitches.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Thanks for reading and commenting on my rant about my husband last week. He did go to two doctors this week and has an appointment with an allergist next week. They think part of his problem might be related to allergies. I have decided just let him take care of himself and let him sit around and be a bump by himself. I am going to live my life and enjoy myself. I start a nutrition program next week. I am hoping it will help me lose a few pounds so I can look terrific on the beach when I finally get to go on vacation.  Hopefully, I will go on a March/April vacation and I hope to go someplace out of the country in June. If my husband is better, he can join me on either trip but he does have to take care of his health and overcome being an ass before I am going on any trips with him. Also on my positive life, I am eating better because I am eating at home and I am doing hot yoga three days a week. I am kind of getting into this working at home thing for the good things it I am getting out of it.

Onto my stitching. You would think I could conquer the stash I have collected over the years but I just keep a slow plug along. It would be helpful if I did not keep adding classes to the stash. I can be a class junkie. More about the new mini class next week but they still take time to complete.

I spent Saturday with the ladies from my guild and I did get a fair amount accomplished. The group stitching days are fun. You may get a little more done in your own nest but you also get to see the beautiful work everyone else is working on.  Here is a picture of my Shinning Needle class crewel project this week:

I worked on the strawberries and the groups of three leaves at the guild.  I hope to get a little more done this weekend.

Sunday was one of those days where thinking about long and short was not going to cut it. I spent the day doing French and colonial knots.  I finished the Ghost, the green corners and started the purple boarder. It may not look like much but that is quite a few knots. 
This actually looks better in person than in the picture. The picture is from my IPhone and it is pretty close up. I need to keep this in mind when I do before and after pictures of me for the nutritional program I am starting.  Yikes, that could be scary.

This weekend does not have much going on. A friend may come over for Champagne after her spa treatments this afternoon. She is sailing in the Caribbean for the next two weeks. I am thinking about running some errands in the suburbs on Saturday and a friend is having his 40th birthday party on Saturday night. I have nothing planned for the Super Bowl. I really don't care about the game so most likely I will not even turn it on.  

Hope you have a terrific weekend with lots for fun and stitching!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

This is a stitching blog but I have another issue today that I just don't know how to deal with. My husband has been ill. Nothing life threatening but it does require some medications that have some side effects like being moody and sometimes really tired. Today he was so exhausted he could not sit up at the table. When he got up, he fell over the back of the couch and his feet were over his head and it took him a couple of minutes to get upright. I wanted to call 911. He would not let me call 911 or his doctor. I told him to call the doctor himself and he won't do that either. I don't know what is left to do.  I am thinking about packing my hospital bag and waiting for him to force me to call 911 because I cannot pick up his 210 pound body. He just lied to me and said he called for an appointment but he didn't because I have been within earshot all afternoon.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with an obstinate 50 year old, please let me know.

Thanks for the rant it did make me feel better, now onto stitching. I really have not done much this week. I have had things going on like doctor appointments and my handyman was here all day yesterday sealing the stone in  my bathrooms and some general maintenance. I did finish my first two lessons on my crewel project. I think it turned out pretty good. I am still reading over the instructions and building up the courage to start the third set of instructions. The instructions are not overly clear to me and some of the drawings are different or not part of my line drawing. Fortunately, I have been stitching long enough I can wing some of this. The class is for all levels but I think a beginner would be more scared of this project than me. Here is a picture of my progress (today is a gloomy day so no natural light):

This weekend only has EGA going on. We have a meeting about the regional seminar in 2017, then the rest of the day will be a stitch-in with all the ladies. I am not sure the lighting is good enough in the room for the crewel project but I have plenty of other projects that can entertain me for the day.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A return to blogging

Hi, Remember me?  I have been out of the blogging world for a couple of years but I thought I might come back. While I love Needlepoint Nation and all the beautiful work people post, I am not that comfortable with posting a bunch on Facebook and to be honest most of my friends are just not interested in my needlework.  I really should not care whether or not they like my needlework, I don't care to hear about their political views (right or left) or the many pithy sayings.

Also, my work has changed and frankly I could use some new friends. I am working at home about 95% of the time so I am trying to do some things so I can still communicate with people when I get out in the world. I have only been working at home for the past couple of weeks and I think I like it. For years, I have worked two days a week at home but the firm is cutting out about 10 floors and I have to reserve a space to go into the office. Reserving a space is not an issue, the issue with going in comes from not even having a drawer in the office. There is no place for a few personal items such as a note book, Kleenex, antibacterial wipes, a computer lock, a hairbrush etc. I walk about a half mile to the office and I have to haul all this stuff over every time I go into the office. I have decided to go into the office a couple times a month when my house is being cleaned or if I have a meeting in the office.

Let me get back into blogging by showing you my recent finishes.

The blue ornament is by Princess and Me. This was my traveling project over the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. 
Golfing Santa is by Libby Sturdy. I worked on this project over the summer. When I can move out of the cold north and onto a golf course in the south, this can be a holiday stand-up.
 This pretty little flower ornament was a travel project done in San Antonio when I went to the EGA National Seminar.
 This is an EGA project to teach us Or Nue'. It is a fun technique. 

The two Halloween projects are small ornaments by Janet Z Casey. My husband was sick in the fall and I was working on the casket in the ICU. He was no where near in need of a casket but I really had to think if it was in good taste to work on this in such a somber place but it was my travel project at the time. In my defense, the visit to the hospital was a surprise and I did not have time to pick a more appropriate project.

Coyote in the Afternoon is designed by Barbara Elmore and taught at EGA National in Phoenix. The picture below is a postcard from the original artist. I am pretty proud of this needlepoint and I am happy I was able to finish it. Barbara is a fun teacher and fabulous designer.

Now lets move on to what is in process. Some of these projects you may see for a while because they are big.  Please do not think this is all I have in process but these are the ones currently catching my attention.
 The Frog is by Edie and Ginger. I took this as a class with a stitch guide by Tony Minieri.  This project was also chosen by the Guild Ladies as my challenge project to have completed by January 2017. At one point in November, I hoped to do a flower a week and get this project done.  HaHaHa! We will have to wait and see the progress in 2016.
 Sometimes I just need knots. This is a French knot and Colonial knot project by Teresa Layman. I have had this project in process for a while but it did not take off until the Christmas/New Year holiday break. It is a little rough on the hands but making all the knots is good for the soul.
 Daisy Delight is a class from EGA National Seminar in San Antonio. This will be a Japanese Embroidery purse taught and designed by Mary Alice Sinton.  It was a great class! The purse is beautiful when it is done.
Finally, this came in the mail today so this may get my focus for the next few weeks. The Berry Bandit is a crewel project offered through the Shining Needle Society and designed by Barbara Jackson.  I have never done any crewel work so this will be a new experience. It was designed for all levels so hopefully I will be able to successfully complete this project.

Well this is enough about me. I will have some more things to share shortly. Windy City EGA is planning the regional seminar in Chicago in 2017 so we have lots of fun things going on and I cannot wait to see the classes the ladies picked. I have high hopes there will be something different from the usual offerings.

Please drop me a note and let me know people are still following the blogs. Rumor on Facebook is people still like blogs. If you have a blog, let me know your site and I can start following you as well.

Take care and Happy Stitching,


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hi!  I thought I would pop back into the blogging world.  I was working at home on Monday and we had some sunlight so I got some pictures of the projects I have been working on.

 Since I last wrote, I went to the EGA National Seminar in Louisville.  This year I only went for four days but I think I could have stayed longer at this seminar because I was having a good time.  I had a fun class with Gary Clark and two days of studio time.  I had an enormous suite at the hotel but it did not have any natural light so it was difficult to stitch or hang out in.  I have pre-registered for next years EGA seminar in Phoenix and I am planning on going to ANG as well since it is in Chicago and there is not much excuse not to go.  If enough people sign up, I am going to get to pilot one of Kay Stanis' ANG projects in April which sounds like lots of fun. 

Here are pictures from my class with Gary Clark.  The first picture is of his instructions.  The purple and green piece will be the scissor fob.  The purple and gold piece is done and it will be a needle case.  Gary had his finished as a picture book with a heavy paper in the middle.  I am not a fan of using paper with a piece of needlework that I spent so much time on to complete.  I think I will buy some nice felt/wool to make pages on the inside.  A cool part of his design is at the top of the picture you can see kind of purple and gold circles.  This makes up the side of the book, like a book binding in a real book.  The final piece is the scissor holder.  This piece is still a work in progress.  I was making good progress then Thanksgiving got in the way. 

 In my last post I was working on the Gingerbread House.  Donna commented on my post that she did not think the suggested purple background was right, so I was off to the store to see what I could find.  At Northshore Needleworks, they helped me pick out a Plant Earth blue silk with sparkles.  I am happy with the color and blue does make a lot more sense for a sky.  Thanks for the suggestion Donna!  I get in a rut and heaven forbid I do not follow the stitch guide.  I did use a blue stamp on the background so the white canvas would not show through. 
I have two little projects that I completed.  The first is a little embroidered witch which hold Tic-Tac's.  Everyone really needs a Tic-Tac holder for the holiday:)  It was the October Spooky Surprise project from my EGA guild.  My other project is Stitch and Zip project that I got off of Ebay.  It was a good throw in the bag project but those Stitch and Zip projects are a bigger pain than they are worth.  It is so difficult to get into the seam areas.  I think at some point this one will get donated to a fundraising basket. 

Finally, here are two of my WIPs that I have been working on lately.  First is my Grizzly Bear in needle painting.  This bad boy is my challenge piece and is supposed to be completed by the January Guild meeting.  I think I decided that needle painting is not really for me.  I will need a little more time pressure to get this one done.  It is a lot of thread changes and repetitive stitches. 

My next ornament was my car project on the way to Thanksgiving.  We have a three hour drive to get to the town I grew up in and where my family still lives.  I did get most of the box and more or the background done since this picture.  I want to get this ornament done so I can start a new one before the holiday break. 

Next Friday I am starting my holiday break until the New Year.  I am going to spend ten days in Florida, then come back for the family Christmas dinners, and a few days on my own.  I have big plans for my needlepoint and reading but most likely it will be more about shopping, eating, friends, family, and wine.  Fortunately, the condo is about ten miles from the newly expanded Needlepoint in Paradise.  I can't wait to see the changes.  I have not been down to the Florida condo in over a year.  I have been to Florida a few times but I was on the Miami side of the state. 
Well if I don't get back to my blog before the holidays, I hope everyone has very Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Excuses

Well I have been gone for five months again.  Life has been going on and it has not been crazy busy.  I just have not been blogging.  We have had some fun events like a wedding at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach and we just returned from a family vacation in Islamorada which is in the Florida Keys.  I have a couple of more summer trips planned for summer with a wedding in New York and the EGA National Seminar in Louisville which is sneaking up on me. 

Let's get to the fun stuff that a stitching blog is all about.  I may not have been blogging but I have been stitching this summer.  I finished a couple of old but beautiful projects.  The first project is the completed Funky Rose by Terri Dryden.  This project is from an ANG National Seminar a couple of years ago.  I believe it might have been in Columbus.  I am not sure how I am going to have this finished so right now it is hanging in a closet. 

 Below is my completed Mayan Lighting by Dianne Herrmann.  This was a pilot class but I did not get this project done in a very timely basis.  I think I want this finished in a shinny black box but right now it is hanging on the same hanger with Funky Rose.


The Prague ornament was bought last year at the EGA Seminar.  This is a hand painted ornament by Silver Needle.  The picture does not do this ornament any justice.  It is all done in Planet Earth silk, Accentuate, and Kreinik Metallic threads.  I have bought Dupioni Silk in royal blue for finishing the back. 

The New York Taxi Cab is by Princess and Me.  I had fun stitching this ornament.  The hub caps are great!  The yellow is a Jessica stitch and the inside is a cross stitch in silver Kreinik ribbon.  The windows are ribbon floss in Opal and  I am very happy with the look.  The finishing for this one is bright yellow Dupioni Silk. 

My poor Flamingo project is in need of an iron.  This is a Teresa Layman project that was created for the EGA Seminar in Naples a couple of years ago.  It is stitched with thousands of French and colonial knots.  I find these projects very relaxing and I usually have one of Teresa's projects going.  I am still working on kitting my next project from Teresa. 

To make sure you don't think I am an overachiever, here are some of my works in process.  Above is a Margaret Kinsey Rozashi project.  We were lucky enough to have Margaret at our guild back in June teaching these stitches and sharing this project with us.  I do some crazy small work but I find this work is hard on my eyes.  I will finish this project but I am not sure this is a stitch type that I will do a lot of in the future. 

Above is another Princess and Me ornament.  This was my project last week in the Florida Keys.  I have most of the bottom part of the house done.  I am thinking about the background on this project and I would welcome any suggestions.  The stitch guide says to use basket weave in DMC 550 - dark purple.  The picture that came with the canvas looks like she used Kreinik in the background.  I have the DMC and purple Kreinik or I could use the DMC floss and a purple Accentuate.  What I don't want to do is basket weave in the background.  This project already has a lot of basket weave and it takes a while to do a background in basket weave.  Any suggestions on other stitches that would look good with this lovely little house.  I would also be happy to use any combination of threads to achieve a nice background look.  I have been flipping though my books but the right thing has not hit me yet. 

I am getting ready for a fun weekend and hopefully we will have warm weather.  Tonight is a fund raiser for a local park and this weekend a friend from Singapore is in town and maybe a Cubs game.  My final picture is what I view when I am at my outside nest.  They middle flowers are about on their last leg but they have given me many hours of prettiness over the summer. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and endless hours of stitching. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Lowery Stand vs. The System 4

Hi,  Once again I have been away for a while so happy you have come back to read my blog.  I have been gone every weekend since the end of January and I am thrilled to be home this weekend.  This blog is for my friend.  She wanted me to bring my stands to the Guild Retreat but I had to miss the retreat.  So here are my pros and cons to two of the more popular stands, the Lowery and the System 4. 
My Nest
This is my usual stitching chair in my bedroom.  I have my own TV and DVR so I am set for hour of stitching goodness.  I would say this chair has normal sized arm rests which is important to consider when looking at stands.  I think your most important factor when investing in a stand is to think about the chair you will most often be working at.  If you have a Lazy Boy type of chair or one of the Italian leather chairs with the round bottoms, the System 4 may not work for you. 

This is my chaise with my Lowery stand and the long arm attachment.  I am demonstrating with a project that is on 11x11 stretcher bars and I would consider this to be a medium size project.  Notice with the long arm, the project is about at the middle of my chair so this is very comfortable to work on. 

Here is the same project with the short arm that comes with the Lowery stand.  I very rarely use this arm because I have to cuddle into the arm to get to my piece but this arm would work fine if you have an armless chair or working in a banquet or folding chair. 
Here you can see the difference in the size of the arms.  The daisy holder will work on either arm and the arms are very easy to change by just sliding them into the base.  The Lowery stand can be adjusted to the height you want by moving a pin in the bottom of the stand.  The next picture has a good view of the pin.  If I recall correctly, the long arm was another $100 dollars.  I got it for a Christmas present which mom did not think was all that impressive but bought it any way.  If you are luckily, I have heard of people getting their talented husbands or friends to make them a long arm. 

The down side to the Lowery is the base is not that stable.  I fixed my problem by adding a little used weight to the base on my stand.  When you get a heavy piece on the top the stand becomes top heavy and tilts over.  This is not very good for when you have to leave your chair for more tea or a restroom break.  I have heard that they have made the base a little bigger so this my not be an issue with the newer stands.  The Lowery base is flat so it would work well with a chair with little clearance.  This chair is off the floor about 3 inches and both stands work. 

Now lets move on to the System 4.  I bought the System 4 folding stand for travel.  Mainly because I was taking a big project at one of the National Seminars.  I think the regular stands will work pretty much the same way other than it will not fold up.  I personally really like the fact that this folds up and I have it stored above in a yoga mat bag.  I really like the Hug Me bags but I have not brought myself to spend as much money on a bag as the stand itself.  My yoga mat bag was something like $25.00 on Amazon and it stores my yoga mat when I am not traveling with my stand. 


This picture is my System 4 with my chair.  It is really not long enough to work with this chair.  Again I am cuddled into the corner with this stand. 

I do love this stand when I work with a chair like my folding chair and it works well with my office chair.  These pictures show how it can be used on the side of the chair or in front.  The Lowery will do this as well.  I have had a teacher say the feet on these stands are all over the place and they are easy to trip on.  Since the feet are all over the place, it is a very stable stand and does not require the weights I have to use with the Lowery.  The base of the System 4 is 1.5 inches so make sure this will fit under your chair. 

Both stands will hold large stretcher bars (I think I have gone up to 18 inch) or little projects like the 4 inch hoop on the stand above. 

My other stitching chair has taller arms and only has about 2.5 inches from the bottom of the chair to the floor and the System 4 works with this chair.  The Lowery with the long arm is better because you don't have to curl up into the arm.  You can also work from the front in this chair. 

Okay that is my take on the two stands.  I am lucky to have both stands.  They both have there advantages and disadvantages.  These are not small purchases so look around for the best prices.  I don't remember much about buying the Lowery but with the System 4, I wanted to support a local shop.  She was $100 dollars more than what I found from a lady on the West Coast and a shop in Florida so needless to say, the local shop did not get my business. 

BTW... For little projects like the Teresa Layman French knot project, I like my K's lap frame. 

Now that you have seen my toys, I can show you that I actually used my stands.  This is a project that I finished from the 2012 EGA seminar.  This is Dawn Donnelly's Cool Yule.  To finish this project, I used my folding chair, my System 4, and my bed to hold my beads to complete this project. 
I also completed a couple of book marks for the Guild literacy project with the library.  The top book mark is an EGA Petite project with reversible black work.  I don't see too many reversible black work pieces in my future. 

Well there are many other things going on in life right now but I think I have had a long enough post.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend.  I am sure looking forward to being home.