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Thursday, October 28, 2010

My muse is running amouck!

I love to be creative, however I think my muse is on overdrive or my self diagnosed ADD is taking control of my interests.
I have 2 quilts so close to being done but aren't, my St. Petersburg bracelet only needs a clasp to call her done (but I can't find my beading kit which contains it), the counted cross stitch projects (4 of them) are all stitched, they just need to be finished as pillows, hangings, cubes or flatfolds, and then even a Halloween pillow that I helped PGD#1, age 5 now, try her first bit of hand sewing with a ribbon is waiting for me to get my act together.

With all that hanging over my head and all so close to being finished, I think I'll just pour me a glass of wine and call it a night. How's that for procrastinating? I'm tired just listing them all, I know, pathetic aren't I?

Good Night,
Jane

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So many giveaways and some of my past projects

Want to win an accuquilt GO! There are several giveaways on the net. I mentioned one my friend, Micki over at Irish Muses was hosting in my last post. I just came across a couple more here, Alderwood Quitls and at Quilt Taffy. Good Luck all.


Check out this festive candle PGS#2 and PGD#1 made yesteday afternoon.


Here's a peek at one wall in the Dining Room:
We decorated with crows, spiders and rats throughout the house but they're most densely accumulated in this room.

This is a little quilt was made years ago. Some friends wanted to use the fusible grid and make wallhangings. Since it was in the fall, I thought of using a witch's silhouette with a moon background for my project so I went to my scrap basket and found whatever golden colors that could work for my moon and viola! Found aclip art of a witch and made it work with Ultrasuede. The quilting is done with a glow in the dark thread that I wanted to play with when they first came out, that's how old this piece is! I haul out each year for every Halloween.


Next is Greta the Witch who is about 20 years old. She is made from painted wood, spools, blocks, rope, hardware and to finish her, a cloth outfit and quilling paper hair. Her hair seems to be getting "rattier" each year (No pun intended with the silhouette over the door), but she is still looks festive enough.


This wallhanging was finished last year and I love it. The cutting on the fusible pattern was labor intensive which of course also became a labor intensive machine quilting but so worth it, IMHO. The pattern is still readily available, I got mine from Keepsake Quilting.


This wall hanging was one I did about 30 years ago and is done by needlepoint. At the time it seemed to take forever, but looking at it now it seems like it would be quick enough to stitch, guess I was really busy back then with a growing family and too many distractions. Remembering back, the hardest part was finding the whiskers and a pefect nose button for the cat. She too comes out once a year to play.




As for quilting, I have my alien invasion ready to press so I can get to the quilting. I'm a thinking I'll try to rent a long arm and try my hand at it. So when I know I can use that machine, I'll have it pressed and ready to go. SO, I guess I need to clean up my cutting area and start piecing the backing for my Patience Corners quilt. The top measures 106 x 106" and I found a wonderful digitized pattern that a longarmer with a computerized system purchased for me explicitely for this quilt so I need to stop putting it off! What is that mantra I had a bit ago, "the dreading is worse than the doing". Enough already, Get to it.

PGD#1 got here late today. Usually she is here for an hour which gives us time to have breakfast, watch a little tv (SpongeBob Squarepants)and then clean up to catch the bus. Well, she arrived 35 minutes late (Mom and Dad overslept) and then she told me her doll, Darla has a birthday today, could we make cupcakes? So we did as Emeril says and kicked it up a notch and got them done. Phew! All in a half hours time. While waiting for the bus and I looked down and surprise, she still had a little smear of chocolate cake mix on her chin. Glad I caught it, off it went and then the bus arrived lickity split. OMG I am soo bad. LOL

Enjoy your day,
Jane

PS: Oh that reminds me, I still have the "Jacko Lantern" Chinese Lantern floral arrangement stored in the garage over my work bench I need to haul out. Now where am I going to display that?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting decorated for Halloween and giveaway of an Accuquilt Go!

I finally am getting more decorated for Halloween. Two weeks ago when I went to my Doctor he ordered an Attends Unit to help me alleviate the continuous pain I live with. So I was instructed on what to do and did follow the directions strictly the next day.
Can I say OUCH! OMG! I couldn't use my arms, hands or walk. DH was asking, "So, how is that helping you?" Can I mention now that he always said this after each Physical therapy Treatment I went to since the exercises crippled me until the next appoint during the week.
I've been told by different physicians that I need to use arms and leg muscles otherwise I'll lose them. Anytime I try to push anything other than light housework and do something I always used to before I herniated my cervical discs I am a very sore and crippled unit. The herniation impinges my spinal cord which affect my neuromuscular anatomy so if I am able to win an Accuquilt Go! would be absolutely heaven sent!

So I have been laid up with pain because of this new treatment again. I called the medical representative and told him this unit was killin* me and that I was hurting so bad. So his advice was to just do the first portion of it and not the muscle stimulation portion. Even that makes it hurt a bit. The best comforts are the hot tub jets massaging the area or an actual massage, when I take the medicine, which helps I turn into a sleeping idiot that can't think or talk. I'm out cold. So it is a rough balance between functioning and being tolerable with the pain. Since I deal with this continuously my typical Halloween decorations were put off. Glad I was able to get to it recently when PGD#1 and PGS#2 stopped by after school and they helped.

Now, since I mentioned the Accuquilt there is a giveaway over at Micki's (a friend in Connemara) blog - Irish Muses. She is fortunate enough to have won an Accuquilt GO! AND now she is able to host a giveaway of another Accuquilt GO! The drawing is on November 5th. So close to my Birthday, wouldn't that be sweet to win something like that so I really shouldn't be spreading the word but I love to share good news, whenever I can.

Stay Well and good luck!
Jane

Friday, October 15, 2010

CXS Update


The little cross stitch of Boo Thyme from Sandra of Homespun Elegance was a quick stitch. Here again I used the 2ct. Milan Natural with 2/2 using DMC 310. Didn't take long so now to finish it up. Leaning towards a pillow, but haven't decided what type yet. The other completed "Halloween" was one I purchased through ebay from a lady in Florida, so I'm not sure of the pattern or source though I do remember seeing it someplace. Thanks Marianne. This one is screaming at me to become a pillow.

Now which pattern will I pick up to stitch next? Not sure of that so I'll have to poke around my patterns and see what one is inspiring me.

Jane

Jane

A finish.

Happy Dancing here, a finish of a Lazy Girl Pattern - Miranda Bag. Awhile back I showed you the quilting I was doing on this bag last month, but was waiting for an order to be received from Sew Thankful with the lazy girl tabs for purse handles and the pexiglass insert for the bottom so I could finish it.

I Absolutely Love It! The Bag with a magnetic closure that happened to match that chartreuse color perfectly:



The Interior with all of it's 9 pockets, several for reading and sun glasses:



The magnetic closure decorated with a dragonfly pin that I picked a couple of years ago while visiting my Mom in Florida at a flea market commonly known as the Market of Marion. They had so many great deals and very cheap prices. I think I paid $20 or $25.00 for an assortment of (maybe a total of 8-10) rhinestone pins. This dragonfly was one and I loved the details in it besides the looking ball on the top of the dragonfly. Reminds me of my Grandmother's flower garden.



You can click on any of the pictures to get a closer look. Besides the magnetic closure I did change the batting to timetex in the pockets area only. That way the bag won't fold down and will maintain it's shape and "stand up". The handles were actually a find at Joann's and they were perfect that I scarfed the pair as soon as I saw them.

Enjoy your evening. A nor'easter is going through our area and we're getting loads of rain. Hope it doesn't cause flooding.

Jane

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Upon reflection and DMC,

After my post on Sunday, I did ponder how I ever got started on my collectives and why.

After much thought, (quite deep and it hurt just a little.. VBG) I think I have figured out the why of some of it. I have always led a rural life which is one I am blessed to have grown up in and also have raised my family in. As far as great and big selections available locally though, there are limitations in many areas not just threads. So, up to that point I just planned ahead and waited until I went to town to purchase the required pieces needed to do my craft. Then it changed in the summer of 1983 or perhaps some year quite close to that.
I was doing CXS and when finishing a project, I would quickly want to stitch something else. I used to always try to keep my hands busy and actually had trouble stopping and just being at that point in my life. Too much to go into the whys of that now, perhaps a bit of my self proclaimed ADD or OCD was kicking in. Anyways, it was a major hindrance when I didn't have the required threads in stock at home and wouldn't be going into town for several more days. To compensate for that I would routinely buy 10 or 20 skeins of colors I knew I didn't have (courtesy of keeping track on the little DMC cards they used to have available) to have the full collection of their skeins. Then a little vacation to Myrtle Beach and did you know about their Wakauma Pottery and their prices? Egad,You'd think I had died and went to heaven.
They had DMC threads priced at 6/$1.00 a too good to be true cost, so at that time I finished my collections of DMC. And you know what they say....THE REST IS HISTORY! Here is my stack of boxes of regular DMC and some of the Kreineks for cross stitch.



The DMC 8 is in another tote in my sewing studio fro crazy quilting. Now mind you, they have all different sorts of threads, brands and I continue to do my part in supporting our nations economy, but perhaps I'll challenge myself to brazen away from following these charts so closely and start making the stitchings MY OWN. The next photo is how I organized my other "cross stitch" threads.



The rings seem to work the best. On ebay I found a seller that was auctioning off some thread tuxes. The tuxes are actually a long thin bag to hold a skein of thread with a punch hole in it to pull the thread from. That would work for storing, but with a plastic baggie the thread package would be slip siding every witch way. Not great in my mind's thinking. With storing my threads on these rings in a large plastic bag, I can locate what I need quickly (If I have it) and then it can slip on to my thread ring of the current project I'm working on. I did punch an additional hole into the cardboard tags that the threads came on to slip the parts used back onto the bobbin.




Of course with working on a couple of quick Halloween items, I became aware of the Kreinek Glow in the Dark and the DMC Glow in the Dark threads so I did order the Kreinek filament blenders in all the available colours besides a couple of Prairie Schooler patterns, and 2 pairs Kelmscott scissors of LOVE and spiderweb. Drool!

Check out how cute they are next to my recent find at Michaels. When I saw it I though Eeeks! a seasonal pincushion. Isn't that sweet, oops I meant kreepy! LOL



Now I'll have to try to wip up an appropriate scissor fob to complete "the package". This is what I'm currently working on.


It a freebie called Boo Thyme from Sandra S. of Homespun Elegance. Love the look of this and sinec it has a key too, it just appealed to me. Thanks to Berit from the blog of Along the Paths of Pins and Needles is where I found a link to it after my webbing from blog to blog.

And lastly, I just have to share about a fantastic giveaway of HalloweenY items and treasures be given away over at Missy and Annette's ~ 31 Days of Halloween Giveaway!



Check them out for your selves and good luck! They are both really creative and have alot of eye candy to check out.

Jane

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10



Have I got your at*TEN*tion? I Love the number 10! Ever since I was a younster, this number has always been good to me and I have been forever fond of it ever since. It also happens to be the day I was born but not in October. My brother though is celebrating his 56th birthday today. Happy Birthday Doug! I think perhaps I'll buy a lottery ticket today.


The organizing saga continues. I have been listing and organizing my threads. Remember last month working on my buttons, that was completed and I did use the plastic bags for sorting colors and some styles thanks to the friendly visitors commenting on that post.
What a great feeling with that done and it's already paying off effort and timewise. While beading with friends, I grabbed several bags of buttons that I thought might work on the St. Petersburg bracelet and didn't need to bring the whole box. Whoa though is me, since I am not content with the buttons I have with that particular bracelet, so am thinking I'll make a button out of beads. Still pondering this idea, but am leaning heavily in that direction.
While working on inventory lists in excell on the types of thread and the colours on hand, I ran across some of my Halloween cross stitch patterns I purchased through ebay last year. Figured that I'd try to rip 1 or 2 out before the holiday gets here.
So I started this on Friday night. A nice quick stitch.




It's Just Nan's Scream Girls. Using 2/2 on a 28 ct Milan - Natural with the listed DMC threads. Used DMC colors B5200, 310, 550, 581, 900, 971, 972, 3819 and 3833
in this and didn't deviate from the pattern at all. That is so not like me. Especially with all the other hobbies I enjoy, it alwasy seems like a bit of a rebel comes out of me. SO with this and I follow along so strictly with my counted cross stitch really has me bewildered. Go figure! Also while doing Scream Girls, I accomplished my first Smyrna Cross and it was super easy. Yeah me!

With the different internet and sewing groups I belong too, I am learning more and more about CXS every day and little tips to make the stitching easier. Some tips are so simple that it's amazing I didn't think of them myself. Like doing a half stitch while you can focus on the pattern and count thr threads without interuptions so you can fill them in later while visiting. Or the way people grid off the 10 count pattern with basting thread or even disappearing inks on the linen (as long as you plan on using a colorfast thread) making it easier to find your way on the cloth. Another is actually marking on your pattern to keep track of where you stitch with a highlighter or such. (I have a problem with this though, but I could make my own working copy and mark on that.) I hate to treat things incorrectly, it's one of my pet peeves.



I do wish there was a LNS near where I live, but the closest one is about 2.5 hours away and very quaint. I guess that means I'll just have to plan on googling and visiting some when I visit family members for the holidays while traveling to other states.



This frame was purchased because of it's size and my thift. The whimzy frames which are really cute and go so well with this whimsy pattern, but for $16 to $18 dollars and then pay shipping on top of that seemd a bit steep. Thank goodness the local Michael's had a perfect size frame that would work, but the finish wasn't the best. Ohh I can fix that... drumroll, here comes a can of spray paint in a rubbed bronze finish to make it what it needed to be. So here's the final product.



While I was cutting into my yard of linen, I was able to kit up a couple of other Halloween patterns too. I have many in and you can tell I was drawn to that designer last year. This year I just love Prairie Schooler, Blackbird designs, Carraige House Samplings, Little House Needleworks, Country Cottage Needleworks, Shepherds Bush, Lizzie Kate, Good Huswife and Birds of a Feather.
Yikes! am I in trouble. I tend to have a collectors addiction in which ever hobby that holds my attention. Perhaps a No-buy is in order until I get 5 charts stitched up. Ebay is way too convenient, especially when my back is hurting so bad and I can't sleep due to the pain, pins and needles and everything.

Sorry to double some of the photos, but my feeble attempts at photography couldn't get a decent picture. Any hints on focusing up close and without getting any flashbacks? TTFN
Jane