WIP wednesday

I have a cross stitch finish this week and 3 or 4 works in progress.

First, my finish.  I stitched it on a piece of scrap 36 count linen, using my new Yoctosun jewelers magnifying glasses.  36 threads to an inch are tiny to my eyes!

I used the moth motif from the pattern “a walk in the woods” by The Cricket Collection.

I didn’t have any phusis (means “nature” in Greek) pins, so I used a sewing pin instead.

I just love the seventh-grade biology “feel” of this project.  Makes me smile.

Next piece is a housewarming gift.  It was the second time and hopefully many, many more to come, I chose to work with Silk thread.  Oh, la la.  Such a beautiful medium.

20180706_214851-1_resizedI stitched the piece on 28 count evenweave. I found this pattern on Etsy.  Paid and printed.  Such a charming shape.

Then I passed it along to my friend, unfinished.

She is an expert at searching Vintage shops and thrift stores for old, crusty, beautiful, great character frames.   Then we will put it all together and give to the new homeowners.  We both get to sign the card.  I love being part of a collaborative project to create such a wonderful gift.

My other work in progress is “Awake My Soul” by La-D-Da.  I am stitching on the palest of blue, 28 count evenweave.   I ran out of thread and it has been ordered.  I am working around those spaces.  I am toying with the idea of adding initials throughout to turn this into a family sampler of sorts.

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Here’s to creating beautiful things.  I would love to see what you are creating with your hands.  It will be our own private “Show n Share”.

Except when you have to get out the seam ripper and undo a few stitches, may you stitch your stress away.  🙂

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

and a forest grew and grew

20180502_063223-1_resizedHere we are again, another, Work In Progress, Wednesday.

The forest is growing & growing.

 

I began stitching this Karen Kluba designed piece in August 2017.20180502_082812-1_resized

 

I am stitching on 28 count fabric, using 2 threads over 2 threads.

If you forget where it started you can hop back to the post where I shared the first pictures.  https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/and-a-forest-grew/

 

For this update, I decided to have Mr. Right snap a picture of me holding my current work in progress.   (Before I lost my courage, I jumped up from my stitching chair, left my stitching glasses on and asked him to quickly snap a photo.)

Folks, this is a major milestone!  I connected all four sides.  I smiled while it happened last night and when I was typing that, just now.  🙂
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This photo shows me holding up the piece.  That way you can get a true feeling for the overall size.

At times, this piece is mighty overwhelming and I have had to put it down for a day or two.  However, most days, I try to put in at least a small animal or mini tree. The satisfaction of watching it grow bit by bit outweigh the oppressive size.

20180502_074140-1_resizedIt grows by tiny motifs to big involved trees.  Some days I garner great satisfaction from the completion of one simple butterfly.  Other days, I love to scramble so far down the rabbit hole, I forget to worry & fret about everyday life and simply enjoy the process of creating an exquisite tree trunk to branches to fruit.

 Please consider sharing your current work in progress. I would love to see what you are creating with your hands.  We can lift each other up and inspire one another by sharing.  needle and thread

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

coffee wip

Work in Progress, Wednesday.  20180228_072722-1_resized

For my birthday last May, Mr. Right gave me this pattern, fabric and fancy floss.   I am still plugging away.  I do enjoy the process.  Each motif really gives me the satisfaction of completing a small portion.  20180228_072703-1_resized

It is called Coffee Quaker by Heartstring Samplery.

I am stitching on 32 count Lugana Fabric in Light Taupe.

This is the first time I have ever used this new gadget called the “Star De-Tailor”.  You use20180228_073020-1_resized it on the back of your project to grab small tails of thread to weave under.  Such a wonderful, inexpensive invention.

Yes, I am extremely careful while drinking coffee or hot cocoa around this or any of my counted cross stitch projects.

How on earth could I stitch this without drinking coffee?

20180227_212941_resizedLove to hear about or see your latest handiwork progress.  It is a pleasure to show and tell with others.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

first friday finish

…and just like that, 27 hours later, the stitching of Ellie Mae is complete.

I have visions of an ornate frame with Belly Dancer bells hanging from the piece.

Question?  Why do I have such a tricky time taking photos with true colors?  In real life, she is juicy and rich and beautiful.  The fabric is a gorgeous warm golden color.  I guess you will have to take my word for it or just stop by for coffee sometime and I promise to show n tell.

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The pattern is from the book, all Creatures Stitched and Small by Lori Markovic.

I used 28 count Monaco that I dyed myself with coffee, tea and turmeric.

This year I am keeping a journal of my stitching, sewing and crocheting.  Names, supplies and hours.  Years ago, I kept track of hours spent hand quilting.  I thought it would be a boost to my self-esteem at the end of the year to see what I had accomplished and be surprised by the hours spent.  20180112_074456-1_resized (1)

Of course, you know she is finished.  She has on her Swarovski jewelry and ready for a night on the town.

 

keeping you on pins & needles

I am sure you have been on pins & needles for a while now.  Did she or did she not achieve her goal of this year?  When will she give us an update?  Will she ever in a million years do something like this again?

2017 the year I proclaimed the year of the pincushion has come to a close. Thankfully.

Holy Toledo, I learned more than I ever imagined.  It took more time than I ever estimated.  My original goal was to cross stitch 12 pincushions for gifts.  I completed and gave 16.

I was able to give three of those beauties in person.

Now, before you fret, yes, I have a beautiful,  rather large pincushion of my own.  I have used it almost daily for quite a few years now.   I stitched the tower to remember our trip to Paris.

If you remember, here was my original challenged issued to me.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/poke/

To make it even more interesting, I added another element, pins.

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

 

I used an entire bag of crushed walnut shells to fill each.  I had to go and buy a second bag to fill the last two.

All of the pins I glued beads onto were used and my button jar came in mighty handy this year.

What did I learn?

I still enjoy counted cross stitch.

I liked personalizing the pin keeps to each person.

I learned that I most likely will never, ever do a project like that again.  It requires a whole bunch of heart & soul and time & effort.

I wanted to lovingly, slowly stitch goodness into each, piece, however, the deadlines and mailing times sort of took the fun out of making each.

My plan was to stitch each cushion and fill it with grace and well wishes for the other person.  Not everyone is excited or appreciates handmade gifts nor do many understand the hours it takes to produce them.

I put more good karma, energy, time, effort, money into each than need be.

I figured out, that while I was not looking for a “proper thank you note”, of which I received four, I was secretly hoping for a personal connection.  A conversation.  Some type of tie to the person I gave the gift to.  A reason to talk and spend time with the person.  A way to jump-start a conversation that would linger and fill us each with a wonderful memory. That did not happen.

If I ever do a counted cross stitch piece for anyone other than family, I will most likely keep track and share the number of hours it took to complete.  Not to be boastful, but to share the time that was spent on that person. I came to realize that folks that do not do handiwork, have no concept or understanding of how long each project takes.

I learned for Christmas this year, I am buying gifts.

The only handmade gifts I am making are for our Grands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was going to say, I will most likely never cross stitch another pin cushion again.  However………I already have a person in mind (she herself is a beautiful cross stitcher) that I might like to make a pin cushion as a surprise in 2018.  We will see.

So here are a few of my 16.  Some, I forgot to take a picture.  One, I took a picture of the back and promptly deleted the front picture after it was already in the mail.  sigh.

Thanks for following along and keeping me company this past year.

I would dearly love to have a conversation about gift giving and making/giving handmade gifts.

I have a counted cross stitch pattern, thread, and fabric all ready to begin January 1, 2018, for me!

Also, we have a new GRANDBABY on the way in 2018 so my hands will be flying as I make oodles of goodness for the new one in our life.

Here’s to accomplishing my goal and then some!  Setting a goal and working towards completion is very satisfying.

In the coming year, I hope you are planning and setting a goal or two of your own.  Would love to hear your plans.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a forest grew

This morning it is pouring down rain with dark clouds all around me. To me, the ideal morning for stitching & drinking steaming hot coffee.  The sound of the rain, the aroma of dark, rich coffee, the feel of the fabric, and thread in my hand……doesn’t get much better.

Today I wanted to share my latest counted cross stitch project.  I made the first stitch on August 16, 2017.  The fabric is 28 count, cream-colored linen.  I stitch 2 threads over 2 threads.  I use a size 26 needle by Bohin.

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I will share updates now and then.  This piece will most likely take quite a few months to complete.  I work on several different pieces at once.  It is such a pleasure to work on, I will venture a guess and predict this will come up in the rotation more often than not.

This beautiful piece designed by Karen Kluba will be my biggest project to 20170616_100630-1_resizeddate.

(side note) Stephanie Webb of Lindy Stitches on Etsy charted different words.  I prefer her more uplifting and happy word selection.

“You will go out in Joy and be led forth in Peace, the mountains and the hills will burst into song before You, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands!”

 

By using one of the trees, a bird and a bunny from this pattern, I stitched & traded a pincushion for her graph of the new charted words.  I really enjoy the graceful art of bartering. We both felt like we got a good deal so we were equally pleased and happy.

For this piece, I am learning and trying a new method.  Whereas I split apart the threads of each stitch with my needle before making the stitch.  This causes the threads to lay flat and not be twisted. 20170919_075412-1_resized

I really fell head over heels in love with this design.  All of the whimsical birds and animals tickled my fancy right away.  The trees are unique and just different enough to hold my interest.  Up to and to include several shades of green, there are 105 colors of thread that will be used to complete this piece.

 

As my forest begins to grow, here is a picture from this morning.

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I love share ‘n tell.  I’ve been brave enough to share and talk about my current work in progress.  I would really appreciate and enjoy seeing what handwork you are working on.

Yes, I know you are “busy”.  However, it does your heart and soul such good to make something with your hands, then share the beauty.  So whether it is baking or knitting, card making or quilting, by sharing our solitary craft endeavors, the journey will feel less lonely.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

bee happy

Two weeks ago today, I fell in love with a piece of 28 count linen in a beautiful color called, Buttermilk. (fyi, 28 count means that there are 28 threads per inch)20170727_153913-1_resized

I adore this pattern.  It was a quick, happy stitch.  The designer’s name is Annie Blecher and she is Annie Beez Folk Art.   I had a hiccup mid-week, as I ran out of that lush gold color.  52 cents later, I was back in business.

Sharing/teaching is a beautiful, happy thing.

Sometimes in the work place, folks don’t want to share information?  They feel puffed up and important by not sharing knowledge.  The “I know something you don’t know” game is very uninspired and sad.

Sharing makes you feel wonderful & it is very uplifting. Everything about it is HAPPY!

I am passing on the goodness, the happy.  Over the years, I have taught a couple of people how to cross stitch.  I am doing it again.  Next month, I am teaching two young tween girls the art of counted cross stitch.  Who know’s, it may be the beginning of a beautiful hobby they enjoy in which they pursue happiness for the rest of their lives?  I could have a hand in that!  How exciting and wonderful and uplifting!

Hobbies help our souls and mental health.  Yes, certain days our hobbies can aggravate the tar out of us, yet, for the most part, they help us create our own  “HAPPY”.

One of the things mental health counselors often ask right off the bat?  What are your hobbies?  (no, sorry, watching television is not a hobby)   Side note: I understand having a hobby will not “fix, cure” all mental health issues.  However, for me and many others, having a hobby brings us great personal joy and balance as we navigate life. 

Helping to cultivate a hobby is a beautiful gift. Both the student and the teacher garner so much happy.   We all benefit.   Our neighborhood, our world, heck our workplace is better when we are kind and share what we know.

For the class, I have gathered both pattern and fabric.  We will be starting with 14 count Aida cloth. (You guessed it, that is 14 threads per inch.  You are catching on. )  Each kit I make up will have the called for threads and of course a needle.  20170728_074813_resized (1)

Part of the lesson will also include a baking break.  Girls who stitch NEED to take a break to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I thought everyone knew that!

I will give a gentle suggestion/life lesson:  After baking, we need to wash our hands (no one wants chocolate on their white Aida cloth, no one)

Love to hear about your hobbies.  I would appreciate hearing how you fit in and find time to make your hobby a priority.  Love to hear about you sharing.

I would really enjoy hearing about you sharing and teaching your hobby to someone else. Have you passed on the Happy?

In this together friends, here’s to our mental, happy health!

chat soon