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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Floss Toss!

This is the floss toss for my parent's 50th anniversary sampler. The fabric is hand dyed Saharah from Enchanted fabrics. The main color flosses are Dinky Dyes, Kreinick gold braid and blending filament, and gold silk mori. I got the Dinky Dyes today so layed them all on the fabric to see how it would look. I think it is perfect and it is going to be gorgeous! The picture below is a closeup of the floss and is clickable. It is a fairly large image, but it shows the shine and color variations of the Dinky Dye floss. I am so so happy with the colors Jo reccomended and the fabric that Lori of enchanted fabrics reccomended. They look wonderful together! Now here's hoping I don't screw it up. lol

This is the finished picture of the chart I am doing. The hearts will be done in gold (see inset) as it is for a 50th anniversary, not a 25th. This chart is by Lois Winston, from The Cross Stitcher magazine June 2006.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pain and Stitching

First, I am sorry but I don't have any pictures for this post. I am in a great deal of pain today and am about to go sit in bed and stitch to see if that can help me control it or at least ignore it.

I am just doing the back stitching for the PM square for WOCS and I have completed a doily that I started a LONG time ago. I was quite surprised that I completed it and it looks just like the picture in the chart! I need to wash it before I show a picture of it here and (pain level willing) hopefully I can do that tomorrow and post it.

I am asking that you keep my daughter in your thoughts and prayers. She is going to have a major surgery on her back on Aug. 1st. A fusion of L5-S1, pulling her spine back to where it should be and having rods placed to keep it there (correcting spondylolysis I spelling is probably wrong). Hopefully this surgery will make it possible for her to at least work, though the doctors have said she is half disabled and can not hold a job that requires her to stand on her feet. I'm hoping that the surgery keeps her from being permanently disabled. It was hard to learn I was disabled and I don't want my DD to suffer the same emotional and mental pain I did. It is hard enough to accept that she will have pain for the rest of her life as it is. I just hope the surgery goes well and she is better when it is over.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Organizing My Magazine Stash

A while back I did a seasonal exchange and had to find a chart that fit specific directions (70x70 stitches if I remember right) for the season of Summer. I spent hours going through my magazines to try and find a chart that would fit, that I thought my partner would like, and could be easily altered to fit the dimensions. It drove me crazy going through all those magazines and also reminded me of all these charts that I had forgotten I had and wanted to stitch. Since then I kept the idea of organizing the magazines somehow to make it easier to find something I wanted, and to remember charts I wanted to stitch, in the back of my mind. Of course I wanted something that wouldn't take long to set up and would be easy to maintain. Sadly, I couldn't think of anything "easy" but realized that if I kept waiting the job was only going to get harder as my magazine collection grew. So I sat down and created categories. The ones I chose are:
  1. Winter/Xmas (all Xmas designs, winter designs, winter holidays)
  2. Spring/Easter
  3. Summer (summer holidays, flowers, insects)
  4. Autumn/Halloween (this includes Thanksgiving)
  5. Children/Birth Announcements (Birthdays, kid designs etc)
  6. Anniversaries/Weddings
  7. Misc. (everything that doesn't fit in the other categories)
  8. Household (kitchen, bathroom, tablecloths etc that don't fit in a holiday)
  9. Samplers (don't fit in holidays/seasons, hardanger)
  10. Animals (animal designs that don't fit in a holiday/season)
  11. Articles (articles to learn new stitches, techniques etc)
To help myself on the first page is a list of acronyms and the full name of each magazine, in case I forget what one of them stands for. I have some magazines that are from the 1980's, given to me by my mother in law. Since they are no longer in print, I have forgotten their names at times and get pleasantly surprised when I see them if I go through my magazines. Here are the acronyms I use:
  1. CCS: Cross Country Stitching
  2. CS+N: Cross Stitch and Needlework
  3. TCS: The Cross Stitcher
  4. JCS: Just Cross Stitch
  5. C4CS: Crazy For Cross Stitch
  6. SCS: Simply Cross Stitch
  7. 4"heart"CS: For The Love Of Cross Stitch
  8. SHI: Special Holiday Issue
  9. CQ: Cross Quick
  10. CS4AS: Cross Stitch For All Seasons
  11. ACSC: A Cross Stitch Christmas
  12. CS+CC: Cross Stitch and Country Crafts
  13. ADCSC: American Designs Cross Stitch Collectibles
  14. SW: Stitchers World
  15. BHG CSC: Better Homes & Garden Cross Stitch Christmas (not the hardcovers)
  16. CS: Country Stitch
With my bad memory, and to keep myself from having too many categories ( I wanted to keep this fairly simple), I created a small list of where I put some designs that I don't have a lot of so I can easily find them. This list is on the same page as the acronyms for the magazines.
  1. Friendship (Misc)
  2. Mother's Day (Spring)
  3. Father's Day (Summer)
  4. Graduation (Misc)
  5. Fantasy (Misc)
  6. Bookmarks (Misc)
  7. Jewelry/Wearable (Misc)
  8. Sports (Misc)
  9. Alphabets (Misc)
  10. Borders (Misc)
  11. Food (Kitchen)
  12. Houses (misc)
  13. Quilts (misc)
  14. Blackwork (samplers)
  15. Teacher/School/Back To School (Autumn)
The last "table" is a key to help me easily find a pattern that I want to stitch. A star is for a pattern I want to stitch, 2 stars is one I want to do first. *G is for a chart I wanted to stitch as a gift and *e is for a chart I think would work well for an exchange.

I use a 3 ring binder, loose leaf paper, and those page dividers with the little plastic tabs that you can slide small papers with a category name in on the right sides. Here are the first few entries under Winter/Xmas to show how I put them in

  1. CS+N 7/00 p15 Patriotic Santa Stocking (Santa colored as Uncle Sam Xmas stocking)
  2. CS+N 9/07 p47 All Hearts Come Home For Xmas Stocking (door w/wreath, tree in window, kids playing in window, snowman out front)
  3. C4CS 1/02 p9 Xmas Silhouette (3 bookmarks of silhouette stitching; 1:shepherd, star, baby Jesus 2: tree in front of window 3: star over Bethlehem)
The numbers are put to the left of the red margin with the stars next to them so they are easy to see. I put a small description so I have an idea of what is in the design to help me decide if that particular design may work or not without having to dig out every magazine to look at the chart.

Not all my magazines have been entered. I am currently half way through. I work on putting in at least 3 magazines per day and when a new magazine arrives it gets entered before I put it away on the shelf.

When the directory is done I plan on getting those boxes to store magazines on shelves, or three ring binders with the little sleeves for magazines (I'm not sure which one yet), and storing them by name and dated order so it will be easy to find the issue I need and will be easy to put the issue back when I am done.

For those who are good at making computer programs they can probably create a database program that does something similar by just pointing and clicking to select the magazine name and then has data entry fields to type in the other information. I, however, can't do that so stuck with paper and pen. lol

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Christmas In July Exchange and SBQ

I joined an exchange on the San Man Originals board called Christmas in July. It is a surprise gift exchange, so long as the gift is stitchy in nature. It can be any kind of stitchy item, not necessarily a stitched and finished piece. I received my package on Saturday and had a lot of fun unwrapping the presents. I had that same feeling of anticipation and surprise that I get on Christmas morning. My partner is Donna and she sent me some beautiful things!

This is a picture of all the lovely presents Donna sent me! My first ever pinkeep and it is gorgeous! On the back is says "Christmas in July" and has a ribbon with "handmade by Donna" embroidered on it, which is such a nice touch. In the little blue bag are beads that look like Christmas lights and heart charms that say "hand made with love" on them. I think those will be wonderful additions to future pieces that I do. She also sent 6 strands sweets floss in black currant, it is a gorgeous color! There is a package of sticky gems, a mini snow globe key chain that lets you insert your own item into the center and 3 charts . 2 of them are teddy bears: One is a tattered teddy design and the other is a Gloria and Pat design, a bear dressed in clothing that looks like it belongs in 17 or 1800's. The third pattern is a baby announcement and it is gorgeous! (Now to find a baby to stitch it for lol)

Thank you so much Donna, I love everything! I have been positively spoiled in this exchange and am grateful for all of it.

I hope you enjoy the package I send you. It will go into the mail on Tuesday the 15Th at the latest.

As usual I am behind on SBQ so here are the ones I have missed:
May 14, 2008

Define a stitching term or acronym for new stitchers.

For newbies: What stitching term or acronym would you like defined?

WIP: Works in progress Frogging: ripping stitches out

May 29, 2008

Do you ever get to a point working on a project that you've had for so long, you start to wonder what possessed you to start it in the first place?

I am usually pretty good at remembering why I started a project though that doesn't stop me from losing interest for periods of time with the larger or complicated designs (such as TW Design Works) so that I have to take a break from them for a while.

June 18, 2008
Do you currently subscribe to any stitching publications or have you in the past? (Either in print or online) If so, which ones?

Yes. I receive Just Cross Stitch, The Cross Stitcher, Cross Stitch and Needlework and The Gift Of Stitching (e-zine).

July 9, 2008

How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc.?

I try to make sure I get at least 1 to 2 hours of stitching time a day, usually after dinner because by then most of the chores are done so there are fewer interruptions. Since I have to rest every 15 minutes (due to my low back and pelvis issues) or so while I am cleaning I sometimes use those 15 minutes as a stitching break. As much as I enjoy stitching however, if an emergency arises ( or even a non-emergency but some other family issue) then the stitching is set aside. My family is my #1 priority so if they need me for anything, they get all ofmy attention.

Well that catches me up so I'm going to put my back pain in bed. Have a great day everyone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Enchanted Fabrics and Customer Service

I ordered a peice of fabric from Enchanted Fabrics. It is for the 50th wedding anniversary sampler I am kitting up for my parents. I chose Painted Champagne Cocktail. When the fabric arrived and I looked at it under my Ottlite, it had a peachish pink cast to it that clashed with the floss colors and gold metallics. So I called Enchanted Fabric to see if they had a color that is closer to pale parchment. I had not heard from them until I received an email today asking if I had gotten her message. Lori had called me back the very next day, but got the answering machine. I was very pleasantly surprised that she tried to reach me via email when the telephone had failed rather than to just let it go. To me, that is wonderful customer service! She recommended a different color (saharah) so I looked it up and it does look more like what I wanted, so I ordered it. I don't blame Lori for this as I realize that hand dyed fabrics do vary with each peice, and that pictures online do not always show exact colors clearly. I feel that she went out of her way to assist me with this project and I greatly appreciate it! I will definitely be ordering more fabric from her in the future!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Stash and Dinky Dyes

I have ordered some new floss and fabric for my stash. I have a design called "Wedding Anniversary Sampler" by Lois Winston from "The Cross Stitcher" magazine June 2006. It is for either the 25th or 50th wedding anniversary. My parents celebrated their 50th on June 1, 2008 so I chose to do this design for them. I can't find a picture so I'll have to describe it. It has a border around it of gold hearts (done with metallic floss). At the top there is a larger heart with 50 years and two small flowers inside it. The heart and numbers are gold braid. Throughout the design are small flowers and smaller hearts. The verse is "Love is a second life. It grows into the soul, warms every vein, and beats in every pulse." Then there is space for both names and the date of their marriage underneath the names. It is fairly simple but quite beautiful and the flowers are the exact color scheme my mother uses when decorating her home.

My DH wants me to stitch it in silk floss as this peice will represent a very important event and I agreed with him. So I started looking for conversion charts from DMC to Dinky Dyes as I really love Jo's silk thread. I am not real good with color conversions so I sent an email to Jo asking if she could reccomend colors to replace the DMC for this design. I was not expecting an answer as I am sure she is a very busy person and must get a lot of similar requests. I was very happily surprised to get an email back from her that not only gave the conversion I wanted but also made sure the tones of each color would work well together. I really appreciate her taking the time to answer my request. Her warmth and willingness to assist her customers is one of the reasons I like her threads so much. Her colors are gorgeous and the silk (and cotton also) threads are just beautiful and a dream to stitch with. If you like stitching with silk, give Dinky Dyes a try, they are wonderful. I can't wait to get my order and do this chart as I think it will be beautiful!

I did get some more stitching done today on the Precious Moments peice, filling in the remainder of the angel's white gown. I'll try to post a picture of my progress tomorrow. I am hoping to have it completed by the end of the week as there really isn't much left.