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About the blog

Welcome to my blog. The main focus of this blog is to share my explorations into handmade goods, mostly of the needlework kind. My interests are varied and include reading fantasy and urban paranormal romance, cross stitching and keeping hamsters. I must inform you that all of the pics and text on this blog are copyright protected unless otherwise stated and are not to be used in any other written or pictorial form without written permission from me. I give credit to the creator of the chart or the publication that published them in the caption. If you feel I have infringed on a copyright, please contact me ASAP. Whew..OK, now on to the fun...Thank you and Welcome.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stitching from Stash and Pin Cushion SAL and other stuff

Hello all (I like to pretend that there are more than three people on the planet reading my blog), hope you are all surviving the coming of spring. For those of you that are dealing with flooding and those that are still seeing snow, my prayers are for your safety and strength to see you through this.

As always, I will start with my stitching stuff and leave the boring journaling to later on.

JCS Petal Pin Cushion 
The picture below is not very good, its what happens when you are taking pics of a yellow fabric in a yellow house with a yellow light. Nothing I did with the camera could correct this. OK, so the question is do I finish the bottom of the pincushion with the colorful fabric or the matching yellow?



SFS 2014
I am having such a blast with this. This is my April submission. This month I am working on the pin cushion as my stitch from stash project. I am also still working on Major Tree. I did spend $ 9 on a yard of 36 ct linen at Joann Fabrics...I know. It never occurred to me to buy suiting linen for my stitching. Someone suggested this and I just remembered it and so I went with my 50% off coupon and voila, a whole yard of linen! Who knew? Does anyone know of any drawbacks to stitching with this stuff? I did notice that the crosses aren't square.

So far, during this challenge:

Jan- spent 0
Feb - spent 0
March - spent $4
April - spent $9

I do have a tip to share about how I stay well within my limit: I still do visit the web sites and read their newsletters, and then I fill up the on-line carts with all the stuff that I want and then, then...I hit the delete button and make it all go away. Crazy, I know, but I get that rush of picking stuff out and thinking about it but without the cost.

Another tip is that I have stuff already kitted and ready to go, so no real reason to shop for anything.

Anyway, that's it for now. Hope to have pics of Major Tree (in daylight) soon.

Boring Journaling Stuff
My kids are taking their FCATs this week. They are stressing about it but I told them that they had done the work that all they could do now is take the test and hope for the best. I try to think back on what I went thru for testing but I was a nerd at school and studied all of the time. Testing didn't stress me out - I knew the material. I was an honor student due to incredible study skills. Problem now is you can't just memorize stuff anymore, and of course, the education is different. Kids are sat in front of a computer reading "articles" that might be 3 paragraphs long, and then spit out answers on a computer. Very odd. I do agree that institutions are investing in the "dumbing down" of America. I am watching it before my very eyes, seemingly powerless to stop it. I augment the "education" with other activities - use of a microscope, cataloging specimens and talking about science and the cosmos. Competitive edge? There isn't one apparently, unless you are in the upper economic class. My girls are cute though, so maybe that will get them through life, for a while anyway.



Christina

Saturday, March 8, 2014

STitch From Stash 2014 Update

I know! Another update but there aren't any rules really....Anyway here is a pic of current progress on Major Tree.

Stitch From Stash 2014 - Below are my supplies for the petal pincushion featured in JCS magazine, May/June issue 2014. This is my Stitch from Stash Project for March.  For March, I spent $1.99 for the fabric and $1.99 for the buttons. I had found some buttons from my stash but I liked these better. 

I spent nothing in January and February and this month I spent $ 4. Yahoo! 

I am using 32 count yellow linen from Wichelt. The green and pink floss are DMC Variations, the brown floss is DMC Linen and the ric rac is form my stash as well as the green ribbon. I think this is going to turn out quite pretty. A bit different from the one in the magazine but still nice. Oh, I almost forgot, I have two bunny buttons that I bought somewhere last year and I thought one of them would look really cute on the inside of the pincushion.  I can't wait to start this, but am waiting until a fellow stitcher will be able to stitch along with me. 


Well that's it for now. Hope everyone is having fun stitching. 

Until the next time...adios!

Christina 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Work in progress Update

Hello stitching friends, here is a short update with a pic of my progress to date on Major Tree by AAN. So far, so good. I do have a counting error towards the bottom of the tree, can't find it, but I know its there. This means continuing to work up and then right and then down, so I can accommodate one less row towards the bottom. I'm an expert in accommodating errors, you see!


Well, its March and I hope to finish this by the end of the month. It would be cool indeed to finish a project every month or so! I will be starting that lovely little pin cushion on the cover of JCS magazine. I have the supplies except for the matching fabric for the bottom...soon, soon.

Anyway, hope everyone is doing well and for those of you still in the thrall of winter, hang in there, Spring will be here soon.

Keep safe,
Hugs, Christina

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another stitchy update and SFS2014

Hello folks, well, it seems that Jack Frost decided to take a vacation in the "South". Snow in SC accompanied with sleet, and frozen roads, power outages. Quite a mess! Hope everyone being impacted stays nice and warm and safe.

OK,here are the pics as promised.


Nora Corbet's Sunflower Fairy, whole. =)

Nice pics of the beading...sort of.

Major Tree by Alessandra Adelaide. Very colorful orange tree with round decorations and birds. This is stitching up quite quickly but I haven't stitched on it in a few days. I am really enjoying this stitch. Below is pic of what it will look like.

The Major Tree is my project for Stitch From Stash 2014 for the month of February. I had kitted this up last year. I have most of the DMC colors and quite a bit of fabric. I've put this on a 28 count white evenweave. The pattern calls for 25 count but I've never even seen that count of fabric. For February I spent nothing on stash ...so far so good. I spent nothing in January, as well. I am doing really good!

I almost put this on 22 count Aida but I didn't want to fuss with that tiny of a count...but the 28 count makes this a pretty big project...hard to frame by myself. 

Major Tree by Alessandra Adelaide.

And below is are pics of my progress on the Mill Hill scissor pocket. I like working with beads but can't do it at night which is when I mostly stitch. Hope to finish it this coming weekend. This also came from my Stash. At this rate, I won't have any stash left come Christmas! Yay!



Well, that's it for now folks! 

Happy stitching to all! 

Hugs,
Christina

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stitching update and SFS2014 for February

Hello fellow stitchers, I have completed Sunflower Fariy using Vickie Clayton's HDF. Am really surprised it turned out as well as it did. I was stitching this for my SFS2014 January Challenge. Pic below: I would have more pics but I somehow managed to delete 250 pics from my husbands phone while trying to make room for more pics of my stitching...and yes, I am in the dog house. Praying and hoping that a friend of mine that works in IT can recover some of the files.

The I also substituted with beads that I had on hand which worked out perfectly. I added yellow beads around the hem because the pattern only called for the orange ones but it seemed off balance. I didn't have the Kreinik I need either but I think the colors I used on her wings worked out perfectly. Wish I could show you more but like I said, I lost everything and just don't have the heart to try for another pic. (Spent the whole night crying last night due to this.)



Above is my project from my Stitch from Stash Challenge. Its a Scissor Pocket from Mill Hill. Easy enough to stitch but it's adorned with a beaded fringe and the necklace part is also all beaded and suspect that this will take uninterrupted to time to finish. Let's see how this works. 

SFS 2014 Month of February:
Mill Hill Plum Opal Sampler Scissor pocke. I have had this kit for years, maybe like 6 years!  (if I finish this quickly, I will work on Adelaide Alessandra's Major Tree - more later if and when I actually start it. =)
$ spent: 0 so far, will update if I have spent anything else.

Anyway, that's it for me.  Hope everyone is staying warm and healthy this winter season...oh, and safe too!

Hugs,
Christina

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stitch from Stash 2014


Hello my fellow stitchers, I have joined the Stitch from Stash 2014 Challenge graciously hosted by Mel from Epic Stitching blog. The challenge is to spend no more than $25 a month on stitching related items and to work from one's stash of goodies. She will also be awarding prizes to some of  those that meet the challenge criteria. Click on the link above to see the other wonderful stitchers that are participating (and their blogs, too.) Below are pics of my first stitch from stash project started during the first week of January. I had this kitted up and ready to go so it was easy to start. This chart can be found in the Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine September 2009  issue . The chart is by Nora Corbet.


This the pic from the magazine. Mine will look very different as I am substituting everying.


Here's what mine looks like so far. I am substituting with HDF silks. The original pattern called for Valdani threads. These come in a three-ply ball and you stitch with one ply.

Close up of HDF Fibers. I purchased these when I used to be wealthy. Vickie Clayton offers a program where you are sent a few fibers on a monthly basis. I got about 75% of the variegated regular silk floss. This was a great investment. As you can see, over the year or so, she was trying out different ways of packeging the threads.  My favorite way was just the simple tag with one hole cut out to put the floss thru, noted on the upper left corner. The spools tend to roll away and can't be put on ring.
Another shot of progress with floss. I had to frog the entire stem on the right. Oh, well.

Anyway, that's my Stash from Stitch 2014 Challenge project so far. I won't even start thinking about the next one until I am done with this one.

Hope all the other participants are enjoying their projects.

Happy Stitching from Christina.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Stuff plus a few pics

Hello all, hope everyone has a very safe New Year celebration and that the new year is blessed with many wonderful things.

I want to start with a few pics so those that don't want to read my rant (below), won't have to.


This was free stitch along by Plum Street Samplers. This was offered in nine parts. Am proud to say that I kept up with the parts and finished on time. I made quite a bit of substitutions as I am very committed to working from my stash. =  )

The above is the evil, stupid biscornu that some of you of heard me whine about. Despite it'apparent simplicity, I made many, many, many mistakes requiring just as much time frogging as I did stitching. Some projects are like this for me. I don't have the name of the designer for this one. I stitched it on light green 14 ct aida and substituted all of the colors. The center is a little star fish button from My Favorite Things available at Michaels.


Above is my progress on Sheperd's Bush "Finch Song". This was fated to become a UFO but I buckled down and started stitchng on it again last week. Am glad I did as it is almost finished. There was not sufficient silks to finish, so I substituted with HDF and even some coton floss from WDW. Working with the silk threads in one strand was very difficult. The fine threads frayed and knotted. Someone suggested using Thread Heaven, duh! and I did and that helped remarkeably! 

A few issues with this design was that the chart was done by hand, which made the symbols hard for me to see. Also, the designer leaves blanks in some of design and instructs you to fill them in, but when I am focusing on following a chart, I don't recall those types of things. The design should have been entirely filled in...after all, filling in the blanks would not have added more work for her but have spared all of us the hassle of going back to finish it properly. Another problem was that this came as a kit with none of the threads identified by color or manufactorer nor were they separated into groups. Some kits have similar colors separated into groups or they tell you the number of skeins so you can differentiate them, well, this kit did not. It had 5 different greans that were so similar I couldn't tell them apart. Turns out I used the wrong green on the hill as a result. All of the negatives with this kit will make it hard for me to purchase another. I have bought small kits from Sheperd's Bush such as for key fobs and whatnot but for big kits like this, if they don't separate out the colors and provide enough to finish, it just won't be worth the price or effort.




The top three are from JBW designs. Very simple and cute, almost nostalgic for me. I used threads and beads from my stash. Yay! 


Well, this is it for the stitching up date! Hope everyone has had lot's of time to finish things and make some progress, as I have! Happy New Year All!!

Now for the non-stitching stuff ----I hope 2014 is better all around, but especially that those in authority start respecting those of us that put them there. I hope for many wonderful blessings for everyone. Here in the US, we could use a few blessings as a nation, and a people and also individually. My most earnest prayer is for Congress and the President of the US and his adminstration. Both appear to have lost sight of their purpose and what they symbolize. I pray for the Supreme Court, that they not disregard the principles and laws in the constitution in the name of political expediency. (Remember Animal Farm? I always thought it was about communism, but now I understand, it's about any government that forgets the people, including democratic republics.)  I pray for my neighbors and co-workers that face the unknown on a daily basis. I pray for hope for the young men of Dade County here in South Florida. Despite all the benefits and privileges available to them, purchased by others' unceasing work and sacrifice, they continue to kill and murder each other and many innocents, for nothing more than a few dollars. I pray for the policemen here as well, who have forgotten their purpose, too...that is, to serve and protect. Instead, they have no discipline and no accountability. Many have died at their hands that shouldn't have. I could go on and on, but won't, as it seems rather overwhelming. The thing that helps me is focusing on raising godly children and staying the course and not losing faith. I have come to the realization however, that I must leave this town.

Anyway, whatever you are facing, my prayer for you is that you overcome it, stay kind and decent, don't give in to despair and be a light onto the world. And if you can't be a light right now, that you  find someone to light you up, like a bonfire! God bless!

Christina