Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another finish!

I finished the Time and Season Sampler! Yay!!

I used 40ct Earthen linen by Picture This Plus with the called for DMC -- except for the light yellow. My local AC Moore didn't have the called for light yellow so I subbed as best I could.

This was a fast stitch, despite it not looking like it was. It was fun to stitch too.

People have asked if the girl child had a real fireplace in her freshman year dorm room. The answer is yes and no. The dorms on campus are very old and thus some rooms have real fireplaces. But I assume that like this one, most do not actually work -- they've been made into fake fireplaces. So yes, there was a mantelpiece and all, but just a nice finished space where you would normally put a fire. The girl child was very lucky and had a nice dorm room for her freshman year.

It'll be busy around here the next couple of days. We're getting ready to send the girl child off to Spain for a month of study abroad. I think both she and I are nervous -- she fixes the nerves by playing WoW (World of Warcraft) and generally not getting ready. :D And I fix the nerves by being nervous and thinking of more and more things to do to get ready. I think our methods tend to conflict. As always. A procrastinator and an early bird just don't mix well together. Sigh.

In other news, is anyone else into tennis?? French Open time!!!! :D :D

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freedom, stitching, stash and etc.

We spent the day yesterday helping the girl child pack up her belongings at college and bring them home for the summer. I think this says it all for the students at the end of the year:

This is me and my large behind going into the girl child's dorm. So flattering!

The father type all set to help with the packing. (He tends to be the camera guy on adventures like this.)


I took the following picture. I thought it was rather symbolic. The last things to leave the dorm room: the girl child's wallet -- complete with iphone, id, money and keys, her laptop, and her two most loved stuffed animals from the time she was tiny.

In other news, because of the packing, I didn't get much stitching done. At least I got that bottom vine done.

And a bit of one tree.

I feel like these trees will be my downfall......

But enough of those trees. Guess what was waiting for me in the mail when we got home from the college move? My lovely quilt scraps from Kim (KwiltyKim)! I won Kim's scrap fabric giveaway! As you can see, she gave me huge scraps of fabric -- I bet I could make a whole quilt out of them! Plus a little fabric bundle of wool, a little journal or notebook, and -- AND! -- the pattern for the eagle applique that she made a while back (which also contains patterns for some other little quilts too!)!!!

Thank you soooo much, Kim! You're the best! And BTW, Kim has a great ebay thing going if you're looking for fabric. There's a link on her blog. I'm already planning on buying at least 3 different fabric lines that are coming out -- not a good thing, especially since 1. I haven't made a quilt in 3 years, and 2. I don't have a working sewing machine at the moment since mine are busted. :( But that hasn't stopped me yet!

A last little picture here that I'm rather proud of. Rechelle, the Country Doctor's Wife, whose blog is now called My Sister's Farmhouse, is having a fun giveaway. Really fun to do. I shouldn't be telling you about this since you all will decide to enter too and ruin my chances of winning. But what the heck. :D You get a group of similar items together, name the group of similar items, and send the picture in to Rechelle. Here's my entry, of which I am rather proud, as I have stated.

It's -- ready? -- a Flourish of Musical Instruments! Isn't that great? The father type helped me come up with the name. Now what do you win if you win, you ask? Truth to tell, I have no clue! lol! It was just such fun to make something up! If you want to see what Rechelle and those who have entered the contest have come up with, go to Rechelle's blog. There are lots of fun ones. And I would go to Rechelle's blog anyway. It's one of my favorites!

Now I'm off to tackle the 3 huge garbage bags of laundry which came home in the car with us from college. The girl child would be doing it all herself if it weren't for this thing she has coming up late next week. More on that later...... Sigh....... Enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Time and Season and dancing

I've been neglectful about posting but here I am. It's been busy around here, but I've still managed to get stitching time in. Here's my Time and Season as it stands now.

I love the colors so much!

As I said, it's been busy around here, both on the boy child's and on the girl child's account. Last weekend was both the boy child's NYSSMA audition and the girl child's alumni dance for her old dance school's dance recital. We got the boy child's grade back from his NYSSMA audition this week -- he got an A or a 95. This may or may not get him into the Area All State Orchestra in the fall. We'll have to wait and see. If you get an A+ (97 or above) you're pretty much guaranteed to get in. An A means it's possible. So we'll see!

The girl child was of course in all 3 shows for her old dance school. And of course, being the volunteer-spirited child that she is, she also ended up helping out a lot backstage. Here she is onstage doing the alumni dance.

It's nice that every year some alums come back for this little dance and that they do get a chance to come back and participate and say hi to everyone.

This weekend, the boy child is off with his school orchestra for their annual Memorial Day Weekend trip. This year they've gone to Virginia Beach and will be competing in some festival or other down there today. And then they get to play -- as in having fun, as opposed to playing their instruments. They won't be home till late Sunday night. The girl child has to go back to college for her final final exam at 9am Saturday morning (whoever heard of a Saturday exam, for Pete's sake!). Then sometime either Saturday or Sunday, whenever she's all packed up, the father type and I get to trek down there and pick her and all her belongings up from school for the summer! Oh boy! NOT! lol! I won't even mention what's in store for next week. May is turning out to be a very looooooooooong month. I'm hoping June will calm down.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I guess in the UK it's happy bank holiday?? Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

So I got distracted.... -- and the big bass

You've probably guessed from the title of this post. Yep, I got distracted. Couldn't take all that monochrome. I think I've lost my stitching-in-one-color mojo. So I've moved on for now. I realized while being bored with Mouline Rouge that there were a few designers that I've always wanted to stitch. So I pulled out a design from one of them and started stitching.

Do you know what it is? It's the Time and Season Sampler by Moira Blackburn.

I love her designs so much and have always wanted to stitch one. So I'm a happy camper! This is how far I've gotten so far. I'm using 40ct Earthen by PTP with the called for DMC.

In other news, this past Sunday (Mother's Day for Pete's Sake!) was the boy child's spring concert with his orchestra. This is the orchestra that's not associated with his school, for which one has to audition and attend rehearsals every week, and for which one has to dress up when it's concert time. As usual, we discovered that the boy child has grown since the last time he wore his suit for the winter concert in December. That keeps happening! But he still looked decent.

Here he is on stage with his double bass. (Yes, it's a total pain to lug that thing around. In fact, the next time we buy a car, I'm going to have to take that thing into account -- have to be able to fit a double bass in the car after all!)

And here we are after the concert. Thank goodness the boy child has gotten used to carrying his bass around -- and up and down stairs, and etc etc.

The next evening, when there's usually rehearsal for the orchestra, the boy child had to audition once again. He's moving up to the next orchestra -- there's an elementary age orchestra, a junior level orchestra, and the high school symphony level orchestra. And it's time for him to be in that high school group. So it was a dry run of his audition piece for NYSSMA, which is this coming weekend. He did fine -- and made the symphony. Yay! It'll be fun to have him in the symphony orchestra -- I love symphony orchestras!

And you know, since the boy child has been doing this double bass and bass guitar stuff, I've gotten a much greater appreciation of what the double bass and bass guitar contribute to music. Bass power!!! :D

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mouline Rouge redux

You'll never guess what I've picked up again. That's right, Mouline Rouge!

After I finished Rachel Hyde, I sat there wondering what I wanted to pick up next to work on. And I had this overwhelming feeling of having no clue what should come next. It was quite terrible! Then I thought -- hey, what about that Mouline Rouge thing? I could do that..... So I did. I'm doing the 40ct Antique White and NPI 636 that I'd gotten for my 4th try. What do you think of it?

All I know is I'm really sick of this motif:

And for that matter, I'm sick of this one too:

And I have to say that I still don't know if this is the ultimate red. Isn't that awful? But hopefully it's good enough.

Now that I've gotten this far, I'm sitting here wondering if I have the will power to keep going. I have to admit, working with just one color is a bit boring. And since I've stopped around this point so many times already, it's easy to feel that pull to drop Mouline Rouge once again and find something else to interest me.

I wonder what's going to happen......

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rachel Hyde is finished!!

Well, despite the fact that I'm madly cleaning the house in preparation for house guests, I managed to scrape together enough time to finish Rachel!!

But I thought I'd tease you with artsy shots first. :D

I'm very pleased with my Rachel. Oh, and lots of people have been asking about Rachel. She is OOP, I'm afraid. And my chart is already spoken for. Sorry!

Rachel Hyde is by Threads Through Time. She was stitched on 40ct. Zweigart Summer Khaki linen with the DMC threads called for.

In other news, a while ago, Deborah Thorpe of Midsummer Night Designs posted in her blog about her new designs. One of them didn't have a name and she was looking for suggestions. Well, I suggested a name, and she liked it! And she told me she would send me the chart I'd named as a thank you! I was thrilled! But when the package came in the mail, it was awfully thick. I thought it was a bit too thick for just one chart. And I was right! Deborah sent me all three of her new designs! I was thrilled to bits! (I named the one called "Peace Inside.")

Thank you so much Deborah! You're so generous!!

I'm off to do some more house cleaning. Talk about Spring cleaning! lol!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rachel Hyde -- or going slowly......

Well, if you're sick of Rachel Hyde by now, I do apologize. All I can say is she sure takes a lot of stitching. Add to that a busy few weeks of visiting, classes, and visitors, and poor Rachel will take that much longer. Oh well. But here she is in all her glory. I finished the beautiful scene on the bottom and I love it!

As I said before, Rachel did all her over one stitching in tent stitch, for which I am eternally grateful. The beast, bird and little flowers/berries are all in over one tent stitch, as are the various over one words in the piece.

I like how the chart identifies the animal as a "beast." Sure is puzzling to figure out what the beast is! A bear? A kangaroo? -- except that kangaroos don't live in America. Hmmmmm....

And here is where I am now on the piece as a whole. Just the repeat of all the flowers and grapes left to do! That's all! lol!

As usual, I'm already thinking about what to tackle next. And I'm not close to finishing Rachel yet! Have to stop doing that!

On the not doing that front, one of the ways I battle the "I want to work on something else" blues is to listen to audiobooks while I'm stitching. Keeps all the distractions away, and makes the stitching go much faster! But one of the sad facts of life is that not all the books one wants to read are on audiobook. I've slowly been reading (as opposed to listening to) "Drood" by Dan Simmons for quite a while now. I love Charles Dickens, and this is one of what seems to be a bunch of books based on Charles Dickens and his last novel or his last years. Pretty weird. It's a pretty good read, and I'm getting there slowly. I've noticed at least two other books in this field or subject. One is "The Last Dickens" by Matthew Pearl -- which I'm glad to say is in audiobook format. The other is one that was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, "Girl in a Blue Dress" by Gaynor Arnold. I'm looking forward to reading them once I finish "Drood." I've been rereading Dickens'novels as well.

I've also been on a Bronte kick, which has been fun. There are various books out or coming out that are about the Brontes as well, including one by Jude Morgan which I want to get. And then a bunch of my favorite authors are coming out with new books: Kazuo Ishiguro, AS Byatt, Sarah Waters, and Kate Grenville, to name a few. Plus a new author for me, Hilary Mantel, who's written a book about Cromwell. And only one of them have I noticed having an audiobook!! Argh!!! What's a stitching girl to do? Spend more time actually reading as opposed to stitching and listening, I guess!

Have a great weekend, everyone!