Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ye Olde BAP

Here is the latest progress pic of Block 12. I had to take a break from filling in the black background and mix it up a bit with some grey headstones. I know it's a cemetery and it's not supposed to be warm and inviting, but it sure could use some cheerful yellows! Maybe a splash of red or blue?

I've also been working on Prairie Schooler's July sampler but I don't have a picture of it because it's downstairs and I'm upstairs. 'Nuff said.

Laziness your name is Paisley!

Thank you for the comments on the "frame work" in my last post! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have finally branched out into actually finishing some of my unfinished projects!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The FOCOESI Report

I held the closing ceremonies for the First Official Chicken Ottoman Empire Stitch-In Saturday evening, declaring it a smashing success. Not only did I finish two small projects, but I also framed the last two of my Lizzie Kate Coffee Crazy pieces. 

Coffee Crazy

Love My Coffee

Here's a group shoot of all three...

I'm so pleased with how these turned out! I have overcome my fear of framing!

I worked on two other projects during the FOCOESI and will share pictures of my progress on those later this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Stitch-In 2014 Continues

It is Day 2 of the First Official Chicken Ottoman Empire Stitch-In and I have another finish to share!

Charlotte is modeling her July Woolly Tyme blanket, designed by Sandra Sullivan of Homespun Elegance and stitched by yours truly! Way to rock that fringe, Charlotte!

The sunflower centers were supposed to be filled in with Colonial Knots but seeing as how I find it challenging to make even one remotely well formed knot, I opted to use little black beads instead. Apparently I also find it challenging to find the center of stitched flowers because my beads are... well... less than centered.

You may notice Charlotte's "deer-in-the-headlights" stare. That's because only a few feet away from where she had her photo shoot was this scene of carnage...

Pinky... may he rest...

Housework is done (except for the above mess which will have to wait until the drool has dried before I touch it) and the laundry is underway so it's time to plop down in the stitching chair and continue with my FOCOESI!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stitch-In 2014

Liberty Zipper
Bent Creek
stitched on 28-ct. Raw Linen
with DMC & WDW threads

I am having myself a Stitch-In while Phil is off on a solo adventure! Three days of nuthin' but stitchy related fun!

This is my first official Stitch-In finish, a Bent Creek Zipper kit I started last month before our trip to New York. It came with a piece of 18-ct. linen that you were supposed to use all six strands of thread on. I never have much luck getting that many strands to lay nicely so I swapped it out for a comparable piece of linen from my stash and used the usual two strands. No muss, no fuss! My little star charms are doing all sorts of weird calisthenics since I sewed them on so I'm hoping they learn to relax soon and just dangle like they're supposed to.

Next I'm hoping to finish up my little Woolly Tyme sheep blanket for July. That way Charlotte (my stuffed sheep) will get to display it for a couple of weeks before she's totally out of style and then stares blankly at her closet for several minutes before declaring she has nothing to wear. Which she doesn't because I haven't stitched the August blanket yet. 

So right! The freezer is stocked with Lean Cuisines, there's Pepsi chillin' in the fridge, I have plenty of chick flicks queued up to watch, and a gazillion stitchy projects calling my name! Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Upstairs, Downstairs

I have two spots where I like to stitch at home.

The first is upstairs...

This is where I am working on my VoHRH. I can set up my floor stand here and not have to worry about it being too much in the way. This is also home to the Chicken Ottoman Empire where I do all my sewing and store my stitchy stash!

My other spot is downstairs...

I work on smaller projects here where I can watch TV and be close to the kitchen when I have something cooking. It's very cozy in the evenings with a fire in the fireplace (yes, even in summer!) and my sweetheart sitting next to me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sweet Liberty

Look at me! My second framed piece! This one didn't go as smoothly as the first because the linen was a little heavier and didn't want to stretch when I was pinning it to the foam board, but I think it still turned out super cute! You may recognize it as an old Lizzie Kate design. I stitched this during my pre-blogging days, waaaay back in the summer of 2000. The kit came with the frame but I never did more than just sorta squash it in and hide the back. (I had done enough tuck style pillows to consider this an acceptable way to finish a project.) I feel all grown up now that I'm actually framing things properly! Woohoo!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Filling In

I have started filling in some of the black on Block 12. There has been no real rhyme or reason to where I stitch. I just pick a spot to fill in and the continue on to the next nearest spot. I've never done any of the Heaven and Earth Designs so if there is a proper way I should be doing this please let me know! In the meantime I'll just plod along with my no-real-technique technique!

More news from the garden...

After several days of steady drizzle, my broccoli has taken off! I've never been this far in my broccoli growing attempts so I am super happy that I can recognize that this is indeed BROCCOLI! 

I had been waiting patiently for just the right time to pick the two strawberries I had growing when one day they were gone! Vanished! Into thin air! Or into the fur-lined pockets of my gardening arch enemy, Squirkle! I will have to hire better security!

That's all I have to share today! We are heading into another sunny weekend here! Gotta love lake life!

Have a faaaaabulous weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vintage Shepherd's Bush

Gentle Hearts Pillow
Shepherd's Bush 
Stitched on Valentina fabric with DMC

I don't think this is (was!) my oldest UFO but it has to be pretty close. The copyright on the pattern is 1988 and I had to have started it 'round about that time. I remember working on it at a Chuck E. Cheese type place while my first two kids flailed around in the ball pit. Chances are I was pregnant with number three at the time and hoping to have this done and sewn into a pillow for the nursery. Now some 25 years later it is finished and off to the Fuppie box to wait for that first grandbaby.

Monday, June 09, 2014


This is my first real attempt at framing and I am quite pleased with how it turned out! This is one of the Lizzie Kate Coffee Crazy designs that I finished last year. I had planned to frame them right away and, honestly, I'm thinking a year later isn't all that bad! Considering the age of most of my Fuppies, I got this one framed in record time! 

Friday, June 06, 2014

Man vs. Squirrel

Once again I have started a little container-type garden on the back deck. Last years attempt yielded a bushel of jalapeno peppers and one green bell pepper but that was it. I think the reason the pepper plants survived was because the critters were too full after eating my broccoli and basil.

My challenge this year is with a certain furry critter we've named Squirkle. Last winter we would find him foraging for food on the deck. Bleeding heart that I am, I started putting out a dish of pecans for him. Pre-cracked, no less! He also gets a steady diet of dried corn.

Here he is back in February... 

Poor little fella!

Or so I thought until I caught him knee deep in one of my pots, digging furiously and making a huge mess on the deck.

Then there was this...

I had been watering these little guys for a couple of weeks and then it finally hit me, it wasn't anything I had planted... these were trees sprouting from seeds the darn squirrel had buried! In my pot! 

The final straw was when Phil pointed out that Squirkle had a greener thumb than I did. And technically he doesn't even have thumbs!

So yeah, buddy... it's a Garden Showdown!

 Who will be the ultimate victor???

Man? (well, woman...)

 Broccoli! Yes!

 Strawberries! Woohoo!

Or squirrel?



To be fair I have been watering Squirkle's two entries in the competition. But I've also hired some security...


Happy Friday! Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Two and a Half Bats

And so begins Block 12! I've been working on it "in hand" while watching TV downstairs but I think it's time to put it in the ole Q-snaps and get it on my needlework stand. The original plan was to get all the "bits" done and then work on filling in the black but I think now I'm going to go ahead and get started on it. You can see I did some earlier and, yeah, it's a bit tedious. I'm also not too thrilled with the color of the moon. It blends in with the leaves too much so that might need to be restitched in another color. (I have yet to restitch the dog that blended in too much with the fence so we can all see where this is going!)

And if solid black stitching isn't enough to kill all desire to work on a project, try outlining blocks. Actually it's not that bad working on this while I'm watching baseball. But now that I think about it, it's no wonder I fall asleep in my chair every night!

Here's hoping you're enjoying this Wednesday. We're having a bit of rain and cloudy skies here in SW Michigan so I'm planning to get a pot of chicken and dumplings going for tonight's dinner. It just feels more Fall than Spring here today.

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Weekend Report

Now that the weather is warmer, we seem determined to squeeze as much into a weekend as we possibly can! By Sunday evening we're falling asleep in our chairs but we're bound to do it all over again this weekend!

Saturday was spent cleaning up the lakefront. We haven't put the boat or Waverunners in the water yet but we did carry the kayaks down and did some leisurely paddling around the lake. 

 I like the way they looked sitting together on the grass. My daughter and I have been trying to perfect a way to get in and out of them without getting our feet wet. I think the only sure way to do that is to leave them on dry land, haha!

I braved the grocery store on a Saturday so we could grill shish kebabs for dinner. I had to be skimpy with the peppers because at $1.99 each you almost need a co-signer to buy them! I heard there was a shortage of limes, but peppers too? Anyway, they were absolutely delicious, served with some wild rice and extra pineapple. We stayed out on the deck and enjoyed the evening until the sun went down and the mosquitoes chased us in.

Sunday morning we went to Mass, then did some shopping and had an early lunch before heading back home. Phil worked on my daughter's car brakes while we did a couple of craft projects inside. Sarah has been wanting to learn to sew (apparently all they did in Home Ec. was cook) and I had some leftover fabric from another project (which I will show you as soon!) so we set about making a couple of mug-mats-slash-trivets-slash-whatzits. They came out about as well as could be expected considering our limited sewing abilities. 

This one is mine since Sarah took hers home with her. Please ignore the terrible job I did stitching up the bottom turnie-hole-thing. You would think I've never had a needle and thread in my hands! It's still kinda cute. (Just don't turn it over! This is the "good side"!)

Next is a wreath I've been dying to make ever since I saw it online last year. I bought all the materials but never quite got around to putting it all together. I like having a sidekick while I'm crafting so I took advantage of Sarah being here and the internet being out! 

I'm still amazed that this came out as well as it did! I did the painting and gluing while Sarah folded the pinwheels. If you want to see my inspiration, Google-ing "wreath frame pinwheels" should bring up a photo and actual instructions. Phil likes it so much he doesn't want me to hang it on the front door lest the elements destroy it. I may have to carry it with me everywhere I go just so people can see it!

I have some stitching to show you but that will have to wait for another post!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

One for the Fuppie Box

"Spring House"
Bent Creek Zipper kit
Stitched on 18-ct. Natural Light linen
with #5 perle cotton

This was super fun to stitch and went so fast once I got going on it. The linen is very stiff, however, and if I ever do another one of these kits I will more than likely substitute another fabric. 

I've already chosen my next "older than dirt" WIP and will hopefully have it finished before too long! I also finished my super cute skirt so I'll snap a picture of it and get it posted soon!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

There's Something About Harry

 ... that prevents me from ever being too productive...