cross stitch, friendship, gift giving, gifts, sewing

poke update

June is knocking on the door, six months into the new year & about 180 days into my sewing goal.

20170116_200943-1_resized_2I thought I would give you a quick update on20170414_202404-1_resized (1) my pin cushion project of 2017.

 

 

 

In case you need to catch up, zip over to this post.    I decided to stitch birthday pin cushions this year.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/a-good-luck-poke/

 

To date I have made & given 8 pin cushions.  Another one is sitting in a basket waiting for 20170427_100224_resized20170103_144545-1_resized (1)backing fabric and a new one is currently being stitched.

So we are almost 6 months into the year and I have 10 pin cushions almost under my belt.

 

 

Some observations so far this year:

  1.  I have not given one cushion in person. Giving hand-made gifts that you don’t get to see the person open, is over rated.  Most likely won’t do again (except my grands and family).
  2. I have a love of handmade stitchy gifts/projects, that is not the case with most everyone else.
  3. It is way more time (hours & hours, even a few days), energy, effort then I calculated.  Hard to stay motivated at times.  To mail in a timely fashion, I have to prepare and stitch a month or so before the person’s birthday.
  4. Making two the same is not that thrilling.
  5. I love choosing the perfect buttons.
  6. I have had to put some other larger counted cross stitch projects on the back burner, while I attempt to make all these pin cushions.
  7. Being thoughtful is at times, hard work.
    20170322_080402_resized

I think I needed this project to remind myself to be more kind and thoughtful towards others, even when I don’t feel like it.   A lesson I won’t soon forget.

I would love to hear what gifts you are making for friends.  Maybe we could encourage each other?

Please share,  in this together friends.

 

cross stitch, gifts, pure goodness, Uncategorized

secret clues stitched

Today being Thursday,  I will finish this, (28 count linen) “Sepia Sampler” by Notforgotten Farm, designed by Lori Brechlin……….right between Work in Progress Wednesday and Friday Finish.20161222_075541-1_resized

Once again, in years to come, when the kids are deciding which things to sell at a yard sale for 25 or 75 cents, I hope they hang on to a couple handiwork pieces.

As you know, I hide clues in my work,  fingers crossed this piece will be chosen by our youngest son.

By changing the year to 85, highlighting the initials GW & birth date 20, I am hoping to catch the attention of Gabe.

This particular piece is fashioned after an original sampler from 1863.   So you will note:  a missing letter J and Q.  (Unlike written samplers were to teach the actual alphabet, stitched samplers were to teach the shape of letters and you can garner those shapes from other letters.)

Yes, I have already given framed pieces to both Daughter in Laws.  Some  pieces I keep and enjoy for a time.  Those particular pieces I stitch initials or dates or secret clues. In the last few years, in place of my initials (who stitched it) I chose a family member and use theirs.

I enjoy the stitching process.  I love the planning, the choosing of thread.  You know I am giddy with that first X.  Then like a really good book, I am thrilled and a little bit sad to put the final stitch in place and put that particular pattern away.

Oh, look, what a pretty little bird in a nest………. and just like that, a new project has begun.

Love to see what you are creating.  Please share.

In this together, folks.

PS.  After I published this post, it has been brought to my attention that not only is there a 25 and 75 cent table, there is actually going to be a $2.00 table for the “good stuff”.   Does a mom’s heart good to know.

 

cross stitch, gifts, love, Uncategorized

a secret stitch

By noticing the dates worked into my counted cross stitch pieces you can tell where I was in life and what I was doing. 20161130_080450-1_resized

Some pieces are dated during those Home Schooling years.  I would pull out my stitchery and sit at the table while the boys were working on writing projects or reading.  They didn’t really need my help, more they needed direction and for me to be quiet so they could flourish.

As an Army wife, while the movers took an entire day to pack our belongings at each duty station, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything, so, out came my stitching.

In the days, long before the TSA had their silly rules about tiny scissors, oh and as well as me needing bright sunshine or my stitching lamp, I used to stitch while I waited in airports or while travelling by plane. (yes, I can use a dental floss holder to cut my thread.)

Today, nightly, Mr. Right spends an hour making juice for the next day.    I sit on the other side of the counter and we talk about the days events.   His hands are busy washing and preparing vegetables and fruits.  My hands are kept busy with needle and thread.

Yes, I have made beautifully large pieces for my daughter in-laws.  I have given many pieces away.  Believe it or not, a few years back, I started keeping a couple of pieces for myself.

I tease my kids, that while I enjoy and use my china & beautiful pieces of Wedgwood, I am quite sure some of the “priceless” pieces  will be sold at a yard sale for 25 cents, fingers crossed some will go for $1.00.

20161130_074613-1_resizedHowever, when it comes to pieces of stitchery, I hope that because I have secretly slipped in a birth date, or highlighted certain family members initials into other pieces…..that those will be kept as treasured heirlooms.  A snippet of family history that is theirs to keep and tend to for a while.

Pieces of thread that binds them as a family and their history.

Today, a six-year-old little grandgirlie is not interested in a20161129_113122-1_resized stuffy sampler.  30 years from now, when she spies her birth year under glass, stitched into a beautiful piece…..she will know it was stitched with her in mind….. A few more evenings of stitching the flower and this piece will be ready to be framed.

 

I love stitching special pieces for a celebration or person.

20161130_074654-1-1_resizedA pin cushion to celebrate a retirement

An ornament to celebrate a life

A beautiful bird for a Christmas treasure

A pillow for a birthday gift  ………….

I use samplers to celebrate my family.  Every stitch, making the ties that bind so tightly woven that it will be nearly impossible to take apart.

I know it is not popular.  I understand there is no glossy advertisement about buying fabric and thread.  My guess is that you are quietly making things for your family.

I would love to see what you are creating.

Secretly we are using needle and thread to stitch a piece of our family history.

In this together,

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crafts, cross stitching, Uncategorized

slight switch

I recently read about a sweet little girl.  Whenever she saw something, instead of pointing and saying “look”.  From the beginning, her parents taught her to say, “behold” and use her hand instead of pointing with one finger.  Adorable.

When our boys were young, we didn’t care for the word “sucks” so we changed the word to “hoovers” like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.  None the wiser, that is the word they used.  It wasn’t until they were older did they understand just how “creative” their parents were.  ha

I have a friend who didn’t care for her children using the word, “but”. So she replaced it with the word, “however”.  You can imagine, how that played out.  Now, as adults they still use the word “however”.  Adorable, silly, however, got the job done. 20161019_111108-1-2_resized

A year or so ago, visiting Victoria B.C.,  I was in a stitching shop and fell in love with a Sampler pattern. I loved the look, the colors and the shape, however, I did not care to stitch one of the words.20161019_134311-1_resized

While I mean absolutely no disrespect to Carl Von Clausewitz, whom is credited with this partial quote of his, I had to be creative & 20161019_111436-1_resizedchange it.  Otherwise, forever cringe each and every time I saw this piece.

WIP… work in progress, Wednesday report:  Day four of working on this new project, with a stitch here and there on 30 count Irish linen, I am sailing right along and smiling not cringing with each tiny stitch.

Love to hear about a project that you are working on, maybe made a slight change to.  Sort of an internet show n tell.  We can and will build each other up and cheer each other on.

Making time in my day to work on something so fine and calming is good for my soul.  Every stitch is good for my mental health. Somehow, the thread and rhythm of pulling the needle through, the counting…… counter acts the ugly and stress that we all feel and hear.

Balance.

In this together, here’s to our good mental health.

Chat tomorrow.

 

 

 

cross stitch, goodness, grace, Uncategorized

boris

Every single solitary time I see a new construction site, I make the comment, “Oh goodie, it might be a cross stitch shop!” Even if the site is quite obviously 3 stories tall.  “Jeepers, that is going to be a cross stitch emporium!!!!!”

Sadly, it never is.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t embrace shops that cater to handicrafts.  Sure, sure, there is a small quilt shop here or there.  In a very strange twist of the business world, somehow, The Tandy Leather shop still keeps going.  The popularity of counted cross stitch has faded and that means the brick and mortar stores have gone by the way side.

Thank goodness for the internet.  I visit cross stitch shops regularly.  I put on background shopping music and quietly slip into the shop and look around.

I belong to a counted cross stitch group on-line.  We share patterns, ideas, tips and pictures.

Ah, the pictures.

I am learning.  I LOVE to look at others hand work.  I admire the time, the skill level, the creativity.  I gather such inspiration from their pieces, I know in my heart of hearts that I must share my pieces now and then as well.  It is just like show n tell.  We all like to be in the audience. However, every now and then, it is our turn to be up in front of the class.

stabbing

hahahaha….cross stitch humor…….“Cross stitch for the times when you need to stab something 10,000 times”

It is the polite thing to do.  Think of it as grace & goodness.  Work up your courage and be kind enough to share with others.

If I don’t share a picture, a suggestion or a review now and then……..well I am just a taker, a stalker really.  A person who skims through, pushes “like” now and then and flits away. I don’t want to be a taker.  I sincerely want to be a part of the group.  One that gives and takes.

Last night, after the sun had gone down, I put the last stitches into my latest sampler.  I told our golden retriever.  She lifted her head and with sleepy eyes, gave what I thought was a look of “good job” before she put her head back down.  It was a bit anti-climatic.  I texted a couple of friends.

Before I started the next project (fabric cut, thread chosen, needle threaded) I took a couple of pictures.  To share.

20160623_080312I saw “him” on a wall in Victoria, B.C. last summer.  I was with Mr. Right and Miss Florida on holiday.  As those two meandered through the shop, I meant business.  I was so thrilled to be in an actual handiwork shop, I was giddy.  I was picking and choosing charts like there was no tomorrow.  The shop lady said, “oh Boris.  He is popular.  haha”

So yes, I stitched my way around Boris.

Here are the details:  32 count linen (what that actually means, there are 32 threads per inch on that particular piece of linen)….. I stitch over two threads….. I use two strands of hand dyed thread for each X.  The pattern is a Plum Street Sampler design. 20160622_185530-1

Everything about Boris makes me giggle. I love his  early Monday morning attitude.

Sharing bits and pieces of your soul though your art makes me fall in love with your being just a little bit more each time.  Every single time you share a painted rock or a bottle cap glued to a peace sign, every cookie you bake & decorate, every poodle dog toilet paper cover you crochet, every quilt you make, every single cross stitch you do backwards, every apron you sew a Superman S upon, every single jar of honey lotion you make…..my heart expands just a smidgen. You splash a little goodness on me & I get a glimpse of the extra sparkly, gooey part that makes you, you.

It’s hard to dislike someone when you know about the extra gooey part of them. That my friends is how the world becomes a better place.

If you share, I promise to share.

Cross my Heart.

 

 

haPPY, secrets

kind secrets

I have been stitching with my hands for about 43 years now.  For some reason, I am drawn like a magnet to a huge chunk of metal to fabric & thread.  My heart and soul is drawn magically to the fiber arts.

I am not sure if it is the complete control over how I will change a blank piece of fabric or a skein of thread and turn it into something glorious or if it is just to keep my hands busy.  Maybe it is the excitement as I begin a new project or the thrill of putting in that final stitch?  Maybe it is the feeling of accomplishment?

Side note:  I have stuck to my New Year’s Resolution.  I have had a completed piece framed each month.  Instead of the pile of unframed projects, the pile has dwindled down to 2.  Feels wonderful to place value on each piece and walk it through to completion.

20150922_154301-1

A general rule of thumb is that I stitch 6 days a week for about 50 minutes. (That would be the amount of time it takes Mr. Right to make our daily juice.)  Oh sure, I stitch more on some days or if the sun is shining and I sneak outdoors for 30 minutes and add a few letters or a leaf on a vine.  Once in a while, I stitch for 30 minutes when Mr. Right watches Jeopardy.  I listen as my fingers and needle fly.

Over the years, I have heard family members get into nasty altercations about what they “deserve” when someone older moves into a care facility or have passed on.  If the person didn’t leave specific wishes, then I guess it is a mystery. “She would have wanted me to have this.”   Notice how there are no fights or discussions about Uncle Gary’s stacks and stacks of National Geographic magazines?

Samplers are by far my favorite counted cross stitch item to work on.  The hobby of counting stitches has fallen by the way side.   So I seek and find comradery of fellow stitchers on-line.  Yes, the great big technology world we live in, actually connects me with others who value the fine art of stitchery.  Oh sure I would adore having a “sew and tell” in person with hot cups of coffee.  However, it is just not in the cards.

Oh sure, Mr. Right listens with what looks like real interest.  However, I have this funny feeling he is thinking, what the20150923_115023-1 heck do I know about 1/2 stitches or hand dyed threads?

I do think things through & of course solve the world’s problems while adding a stitch here or there, sometimes however,  my mind wonders.  I figure out little ways to add secrets to my pieces.  Sometimes, I stitch one child’s birthday as the date I place upon the piece.  Sometimes, I use another person’s initials instead of my own.  Sometimes, I stitch into the actual design the year of one daughter in law’s birth year. 20150922_175709-1

Yes, I give a few as gifts.  Once in a while I add a special charm to the back or I include a hidden favorite animal in the finished piece.  There are a few special people in my life that I like to mark in my heart.  I have stitched a beach scene for a friend who finds peace near the water’s edge.  I have stitched a beautiful heart for a friend who, well, has a beautiful heart.  Yes, for each of our grands I have stitched a birth sampler.

I would like to think, instead of a heated discussion or gasp, one of my pieces being tossed into the “give to Charity” box…. I would like to think that my family will discover the secret codes and figure out the pieces that were made with them in mind.

“Be to others kind and true as you’d have others be to you.”

cross stitching, grace, grateful, sewing

soul birds

We all have people in our lives that we want to remember. Deep down, honestly, we all want to be remembered.  We want some amazing story or wonderful piece of stitchery to remind our loved ones of our lives.

Some people touched our lives deep to our souls.  When I listen to stories about people like that, I get a lump in my throat.   Somehow, the heartfelt passion that was shared, spills over onto me and I am moved to celebrate with them.

I came across this new cross stitch pattern,  http://www.strawberrysampler.com/detail.cfm?ID=14537    The pattern comes with several bird choices and the alphabet in script.

I just knew it was something that I would use over and over.  It came in the mail two days ago.  I finished my first soul bird last night.

20140826_162543 To share the housekeeping portion of this project:  I used 30 count even-weave, I used two strands of hand dyed Sampler Thread in cranberry.  It took about 4 hours to complete.

I made my first soul bird for a friend to help her remember her Aunt Barbara.  Barbara was a seamstress and had a jaunty, cheerful yellow kitchen.  I tried to do my very best work in her honor. (seamstress to seamstress, I had to rip out a couple of stitches, go back and make them right, I have a feeling this will make you smile)

I will send the completed cross stitched piece onto Florida.  Then my friend will use a piece of fabric and some filling  to sew this little gem into a mini pillow/sachet.  I will include a couple of buttons and a charm or two.  I will include some fabric.  I will include some home-grown lavender.   However, if my friend has a button that reminds her of her aunt or some piece of fabric that just speaks to her….. then that is what she will use. 20140827_110913 (1)

I would love for this little mini pillow to get tucked somewhere.  One day, when stumbled upon, Aunt Barbara will be remembered with a huge smile and a full heart.

To be able to share in the memory of someone so dear is truly a privilege and honor.  20140827_110809

I wish I had known Aunt Barbara.

In a way, I did/do.  She was the Grace in the fabric of my friend’s life.  Aunt Barbara helped shape and fashion my friend into the kind spirited, talented, wonderful, loving person she is today.

So in a lovely, twirly way, I know a bit about Aunt Barbara.

Yes, we will remember you, always.

I am so lucky and deeply honored to be able to help celebrate her.

I feel bathed in Grace and Goodness, just to be able to share part of this amazing project.

Thank you Miss Florida for sharing your Aunt with me.

When this you see, Remember me. soul