Catching up…

I haven’t posted in almost a month!  I haven’t really been stitching and have been depressed about continued unemployment, winter, loneliness, relationship issues, etc.

However, I’m pretty happy right now because I GOT A JOB!  It was through a former industry contact and I’m really excited about it.  🙂  I’m supposed to start Wednesday, but I’ve been sick sick sick, with what my Dr says is a virus, since last Tuesday and am wondering if I’m going to have to put off my start date by a few days.  I have wicked sore throat, hurts to talk, turn my head, plus a lovely uncontrollable cough and as of this morning, an earache on top.  I don’t remember the last time I felt this bad.  I don’t think its just a common cold though because I don’t really have any sort of head congestion.

So the only stitching I’ve done since my last post was work on the Sweetheart Tree Pumpkin biscornu…  Here’s my progress so far:


I’m just not feeling very inspired to work on this, but I kind of hate to put it away until its finished, especiallly since I know it won’t really take that long. What I really want to work on is the Lizzie Kate Noel Squared pattern I picked up at my last LNS trip. I already had the gingham fabric.

I figure for sure I’ll start it when I go to visit my parents for Christmas.  I may also bring the Lizzie Kate Banner that I started back in the spring.  I normally am not really a fan of LK (too simplistic), but I want something easy to stitch right now.  I can’t even think about picking up a chatelaine!!

I’m kind of bummed about not putting up a tree this year.  I’ll be gone from the 21st to the 28th so it seems a little pointless.  🙂  I have still yet to hang all of my 2009 Christmas Ornaments!  Maybe next year….

Sweetheart Tree Biscornu Progress

Here is my current progress on the Sweetheart Tree Stitchers Favorite Biscornu.  I really love the ivy border!  This kit, in addition to beads, came with teeny little buttons that you sew on.  I finished the fob version of this as part of the 2009 Ornament project.

So far, this has been a travel piece if I’m out of town on the weekend or on vacation.  I’ll be going to San Fransisco in a couple of weeks, so I’ll probably get more done then.

Sweetheart Tree Stitchers Favorite Biscornu

I’ve made a little more progress on VS HSS, but mainly the over one viney border around the upper alphabet – not really enough to post a new picture.

I’m contemplating starting the Lizzie Kate Living With Charm double flip banner.  I’ve got fabric but not all of the overdyes that are called for.  I’m seriously considering just using DMC to stitch this.  It calls for 5 skeins of Gentle Art and 16 skeins of Weeks and I’m estimating it would be around $40 for fibers.  That doesn’t seem unreasonable, but I’m on a limited income right now and think about how far I could take that in a grocery store.  🙂  In pics I’ve seen online, I do see some variation in colors, but not so much that I think that the final product would seriously suffer from lack of overdyes.  What do you think?

2009 Ornament Project Finished!

I finished my last (December) ornament on New Year’s Day!  I would say it was probably one of the more ambitious ornaments as it is 4″ in diameter and solid stitching.  Here it is:


The pins were a last minute idea and stuck in while the glue was drying. It needed something, I thought, and I didn’t feel like getting out the cording drill. 🙂

So, my 2009 Ornament Project is finished! Here they all are:


Yay! Will there be a 2010 ornament project?? Um.. no. I’d actually like to focus on my larger projects in 2010. I’m still got Alpine Seasons going and I made a really wimpy start on Alhambra:



I might also like to start a VS sampler too, but haven’t decided which one. I have a couple of smaller WIPS hanging around that I can work on when I get tired of the big stuff.

I’ve been in a bit of a stitching slump the last several months, but now that the snow is falling and I have a non-existant social life, I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot more stitching.

Happy New Year everybody!

Are you tired of my ornaments yet?

Stitched and finished my November ornament over the weekend:

Victoria Sampler Wreath Hearts

What a quick stitch and a beautiful ornament.. I liked the fact that it has a lot of yellow and isn’t the traditional red and green like most other ornaments have been.  The great thing about this ornament too is that it would be really easy to adapt to another color scheme, as it only has 3 colors to begin with.  I’m thinking some sort of overdye on the klosters would be particularly awesome.

I also finished an ornament stitched earlier in the year:

Lizzie Kate Holly

Woo Hoo!  Only one ornament for the year left to go!  I just gotta figure out what its going to be and try to finish it up ASAP.  I’m pleased with all of the new ornaments I have for my tree, but I’m kind of tired of finishing ornaments.  🙂

Keep any eye out and visit often as I’m planning to do a give-away to celebrate finishing the 2009 Ornament Project!

October Ornament and More 2009 Ornament Finishing

Friday I got the accessory kit I ordered for the Victoria Sampler Gingerbread Scissor Keep published in the 2009 JCS Ornament magazine.  I managed to stitch and finish it up over the weekend!  I used the template provided in the magazine for the final shape of it, but just finished as an ornament and not as a scissor keep.  On this one, I really wanted to join the cording at the base, but couldn’t figure out how to do it and have it look nice, so this ornament ended up with a tassle:

Victoria Sampler Gingerbread Scissor Keep

While I had my finishing supplies out, I decided to finish one more ornament that I’d stitched earlier in the year:

Just Nan A Little Joy

So… I’m approaching the end of my 2009 Ornament Project.  I have two more ornaments to stitch and finish, then one last stitched ornament that needs to be finished up!

September Ornament and Ornament Project Update

I finished up my September ornament over the weekend!


Sweetheart Tree’s Stichers Favorite Scissor Fob Front and Back

I also did some finishing of ornaments I stitched earlier in the year:



The Prairie Schooler’s Snowy Night Front and Back


Country Cottage Needlework’s Snowy Eve Front and Back

Plus I finished the Brittercup Poinsettia in the previous post. So, for my 2009 Ornament Project, I have three more to stitch and two that just need to be finished.

How To Finish an Ornament Using Aluminum Ornament Forms

Have you ever avoided stitching a round ornament because you weren’t sure how you were going to finish it??  Aluminum ornament forms are the solution…  its super easy to do and they always look great, and more importantly, perfectly round, when you’re finished.

Ornament Forms

I’ve seen these at a couple of different LNSs.  I most frequently buy them from The Silver Needle in Tulsa, but I also know that House of Stitches carries them too.

I was finishing up some ornaments today and thought I’d take some pics of how I used the ornament forms for anyone who is curious about trying these out.

You Will Need:

  • Stitched ornament
  • Pair of ornament forms  that fit the stitched piece
  • Backing Fabric
  • Thin batting
  • Tacky Glue
  • Strong thread and a needle (I usually use #8 perle cotton)
  • Trim (ribbon or cording)

I like my finished ornaments to have a little padding, so I squirt some glue on the convex side of the ornaments, stick some rough cut batting on them, then trim away the excess batting using the outside of the form as a guide:



Using your ornament forms as a loose guide, trim both your backing fabric and your stitched ornament to about 3/4″ beyond the circumference of the ornament form.

Thread your needle with some sturdy thread (I use perle cotton) and stitch a running stitch near the edge of your trimmed fabric.  As you can see from my pic below, there’s no need to create a perfect circle with your running stitch or even have the stitches be nice and even!  When finished, make sure that the tails of your thread end up at the front of your stitched piece.


Next, place one of the ornament forms, batting side down, on the back of your stitching. Do your best to center the form on the stitching.  Pull the tails of the running stitch to cinch up the fabric around the form. Think of it kind of like cinching up a draw string bag. Tie the tails with a square knot, then put a little dab of glue over the knot:


Turn the form over and make any small adjustments needed to be sure the stitching is centered on the ornament form.  The batting should be betwen your stitching and the convex side of the ornament form.

Do the same with the backing fabric on the other form:


Don’t worry about the fabric bulk created by the cinching. Because the ornament forms have a rounded surface, there is plenty of space for the fabric bulk to be contained within the hollow space at the center of your ornament.

Next, dab a small amount of glue around the edge of the form that is fitted with backing fabric:


Pick up both halves of the ornament and line the edges up and press firmly together. If you want a ribbon hanger (click here for a pic of ornaments that I finished this way), you would want to slip the ends of the ribbon at the top of the ornament before pressing together. I chose cording for this ornament, so no need for this step:


Wipe away any excess glue then put the ornament under a book or other heavy object for the glue to set.

Twisted cording is the next step. I make a little puddle of glue on some scrap paper or fabric, then use the end of a pin to run glue along the seam between the back and front of the ornament. Using the pin helps you avoid putting too much glue that will squeeze out from under the cording, and also gives you more control over where the glue goes.

Arrange your cording around the ornament, leaving room at the top to create a hanger, and gently run the cording along the glue line between the front and the back of the ornament:


Take some thread that matches your cording and wrap around the cording at the base of the hanger and the point where the cording joins at the bottom of the ornament. This helps secure the tension on the cording while the glue sets and also just looks nice. 🙂

Clip the ends of the cording at the bottom then untwist and separate the threads to make a tassle.  Trim the tassle threads so that they are all the same length:


You are finished!

August Ornament – Just In Time

Sunday I went to visit some of the Wisconsin stitchers and we had a fun GTG.  It so much fun to hang out with smart, beautiful, and strong women!  Between my job and home life, I don’t get a whole lot of “Girl Time.”

I brought my August ornament to the GTG and managed to finish it off:

Lizzie Kate “Christmas Spirit with Charm Holly/Stocking”

The colors are off a bit in the pic, but I’m feeling too lazy tonight to fiddle with it any further.  🙂 I’m not totally crazy about this – but I needed something quick.  It seems like it needs something – some sparkle or something.  If anyone would like the pattern, which also includes the “stocking” design (and the charm for that one), e-mail me with your address and I’d be glad to put it in the mail to you.  First come/first served.

I’m looking forward to this month’s release of the JCS Ornaments issue.  I’m not feeling inspired by any of the ornaments I’d planned to stitch this year, so maybe something in there will grab my attention for the September ornament??

After finishing the ornament, I picked up a partially finished Sweetheart Tree biscornu that’s been an on-again-off-again project and put a few more stitches in it:
Sweetheart Tree Lavender Blossoms Biscornu Kit

I also recently noticed that Sweetheart Tree has a pumpkin biscornu kit out!  I’ll have to pick that up sometimes as I love All Things Fall.

I want to finish up my scarf knitting project – then get back to work on Alpine Seasons.

I’m taking Thursday off work to go to Cedar Point!  I LOVE rollercoasters and this is the place to go.  I went earlier in the summer, but didn’t get to do everything I wanted to, so I’m going back.   Millennium Force is my absolute favorite – 96 mph and perfectly smooth.  If you go to the site, you can watch Point of View videos of the rides.  Not nearly as much fun as the wind in your hair, but if you love coasters, its worth a look.

Knots, Knots, Knots…..

So, I took the plunge and started Teresa Layman‘s Snow White Rose Red this weekend…


It started a little rough (see white stitches on the roof), but I’m now getting pretty good at colonial knots… after never having done them before. I could never figure out the stitch diagram and couldn’t figure out why so many people claim that they are so much easier than french knots…. Anyway… I’m pretty happy with this and it’s not really as tedious as I thought it would be. Its kind of nice not to have to count anything. 😀 I’m not totally happy with the door, which is filled in completely with french knots. There is lots of detail on there with lines, cross braces, handles and bolts in the door… but it is-what-it-is as these buggers are a PITA to pull out.   There’s also a bench underneath the left window that isn’t showing up too well.

I just remembered that I signed up for a knitting class that starts tomorrow! The class is at Erica’s Craft and Sewing Center in South Bend.  The class project is a scarf.  I bought the yarn required a couple of weeks ago and got something that I thought would match my winter coat, which is kind of a chocolate brown color:


I’m kind of surprised that it only calls for two skeins…  Anyway I can kind of knit, but can’t cast on.  I can do entire rows of knit stitches and purl stitches, but can’t alternate between the two without a knotted mess.  So, I figure some instructions and hands-on guidance will help.

Went and saw Funny People last night… pretty good and kind of interesting to see Adam Sandler in a more serious role, even though it was still a funny movie.  Man…. he’s starting to look older tho!

July Ornament!!

This is Mill Hill’s Icy Snowflake:
I love these ornaments….. they stitch up quick and are easy to finish.  (I did one of these for my February Ornament also)  The kit actually came with a pretty crystal to go in the center, which I promply lost and had to replace it with another mill hill blue treasure that I had in my stash.  It matched, and I’m happy with it.  I noticed that there’s now a series of these type of designs that are halloween themed.

I’ve got a vacation planned in a couple of weeks and will probably work on my August ornament during the trip.  I’ve got a couple designs in mind, but today started toying with doing this design by Teresa Layman:

Yep…. that’s all french and colonial knots.  I know… its insane, but I love the design and and I saw a model stitched up when I bought the kit.  🙂  I’d recommend visiting her page (linked above) and reading about her.  Pretty interesting…  I took a bullion class from her at Celebration of Needlework so in addition to the neat stuff about her on her page, he’s also a nice person and a patient teacher.  Anyway, the instructions say that there are approximately 1100 knots per square inch and its 3-1/2 by 2-5/8 inches.  The pattern is actually printed on the fabric, so no counting or anything…. just lots of knots!  We’ll see how long my patience lasts….