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The Pumpkins Are Complete!

Wow… I’m writing a blog post!

This momentous event is due to the fact that I actually finally finished a project.  The Sweetheart Tree Pumpkin Biscornu is finally finished!  I started it… like… a year ago.  Anyway, I hated it while working on it, but of course, like it now, so here it is in all of its glory!

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Isn’t it cute?  Check out the little spiders on the second pic!

I’ve done some other stitching on and off – primarily on Chatelaine’s Alhambra…

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The colors on that should actually appear a little brighter…. and the fabric is white as opposed to a lavenderish color, but I’m too lazy to try a new picture.  🙂

So other updates, miraculously, I still have my job. That’s all I’ll say about that, besides the fact that I recently updated my resume and took calls from recruiters.

I’m going to Grand Rapids tomorrow to see Les Miserables… for the 6th time. I just can’t help myself! Its only two hours away… I must go.

So, not sure when I’ll blog again, so I hope everybody has a great holiday season!

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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:

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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….

Fall Stitching and a Giveaway!

I just got started on the Sweetheart Tree Halloween Pumpkins biscornu.  I’m not a huge fan of halloween stitching, but I do like pumpkins… so there you go.

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I also stitched up a couple of little autumn scissor fobs. This is a freebie from the Drawn Thread and is about 1.5″ x 1.5″. Super cute, easy, and fast.  They are lightly stuffed and weighted.  I just used thread from my stash as I didn’t have what the pattern called for and I think it turned out OK.

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I stitched 3 of these, but am showing two in the pic so that you can see what the back looks like. Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing which will occur on Tuesday, October 26. Scissors not included. 😀

Happy Fall Stitching!

Sweetheart Tree Finish and Opinions Needed!

I finally finished up the Sweetheart Tree Stitcher’s Favorite Biscornu last night!

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I modified the back, as I normally do if the back is a repeat of the front. I also usually like to do a beaded edge on my biscornus, but I had some leftover teeny buttons and decided I wanted those on the corners, so just stitched up the edges without beads. I’m pretty happy with it! I also stitched up the matching fob as part of the 2009 Christmas Ornament Project:

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So…. my brother and his wife are having their first baby girl (after 3 boys) later this month and I was suddenly struck by the desire to do a birth sampler for her. Her name will be Sadie Grace and she’ll be my first neice. So, of course, I immediately thought of the Victoria Sampler Heirloom Birth Sampler and remembered that I had started it many years ago and just never finished it. I had started it for a boy, though, and as you can see from the pics below, the “leaves” in the rose wreath at the top are a teal color, and the rest of the color on the piece is a matching teal.  If it had been started for a girl, it was charted with pink leaves with matching pink for the rest of the sampler. I would want to use peach or lavender for a girl, but I’m wondering if I can get away with just using either of these colors for the rest (would replace the teal band, which is just ribbon woven through the hemstitching).  Leaves ARE green/teal, afterall, but I would need to find a way to tie in the peach or lavender used in the rest of the piece to the top wreath.   One idea is to do an additional ribbon rose in the center of the wreath in the right color.  Pulling out the leaves that are already stitched is just not an option….  I’d have to take out the beads too, and I think the fabric would just look terrible…  I’m trying to find a way to NOT have to start over.   The fabric here is actually platinum, but it looks much lighter in real life!

All opinions/advice are appreciated… even if you think I need to just start over!

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Back from Vacation – San Francisco/Northern California

Last week I went to San Francisco and had a wonderful vacation! I’d never been there before and went with my latest beau. The primary reason for the trip was because he wanted to visit and spend some time with his life long best friend, who lives in Petaluma. I’ve never been there before and thought that a visit to a new city would be a great idea for a vacation.

Saturday

We slept in due to arriving very very early Saturday morning, then stepped out to walk down to the waterfront. On the way down, I got my first view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which now rivals my very favorite bridge of all time (St. John’s Bridge near Portland, OR).

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We spent most of the afternoon walking around along the waterfront and enjoying the blue skies and beautiful weather.

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We met Anton’s BFF Greg and his girlfriend Roberta for coffee, then headed back to our hotel and had dinner.

Sunday

We headed out to the city again early and visited the Cable Car Museum. Maybe I’m a geek, but thought this was fascinating. I didn’t actually realize that they are called Cable Cars because they grip on to cables that are running under the street…. seems obvious, I know… lol. Anyway, there are four cable lines that run around the city that are powered by four engines that drive giant pulleys and angled, directional shieves. The descriptions of how the cars brake, splicing of frayed cables, and how the cars make corners were all really well explained. Really very cool and highly recommended!

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We walked through China Town, then caught a bus to Coit Tower. We rode the evelvator to the top and saw great 360 views of the city and the bay. The windows had plexiglass over them, but there was enough room that people had slipped coins through the windows to sit on the ledge…

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Friends picked us up at Coit Tower and we went over the Golden Gate Bridge (love love love) and over to the Marin Headlands for a hike. It was another beautiful day and there were wonderful views of the city, the bridge, and the Pacific.

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Sunday night we drove to a new hotel in Petaluma and had a really nice dinner at Roberta’s house.

Monday

Monday was cold and rainy. Greg invited us to his place for breakfast and we hung out with him most of the day chatting. We went to a movie later, and walked around Petaluma during a late afternoon break from the rain. Petaluma has a really nice downtown and seems like a nice place to live. We headed back to the hotel, then met Greg later in the evening for dinner.

Tuesday

The wine country!!! Wow.. beautiful… and … tasty. Greg has worked at one of the wineries in the area so all of our wine tasting with him was complimentary. We visited the Valley of the Moon, Benziger, and Imagery Wineries. The service at Benziger was really great so I bought a bottle there. I also liked Imagery. They hold contests every year for the art that goes on the bottles. It was a nice place and they had original paintings of the label art hung all around which was fun to look at. I’d like to go back sometime when they are processing the wine, but maybe I’ll check that out at Michigan wineries in the fall. Here we are at Imagery… I feel (and look) quite done with wine tasting… lol…

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Wednesday

We got up and drove to the Avenue of the Giants a couple hours north of Petaluma. Seeing some redwoods was one of my primary objectives for the trip and it was incredible! I love trees. I tend to stitch patterns of that have trees in them too… I’ve noticed. Anyway, we went for a couple of short hikes when we arrived, saw some huge trees, then checked into our teeny tiny cute cabin (which I forgot to take a picture of!)

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Thursday

We did another hike along the Avenue of the Giants that lead to this nice little sandy beach along the Eel River. There were some deer tracks in the sand that lead from the trail to the water… The great thing about our visit to the Avenue was that it is so early in the season that we were mostly the only people on the hiking trails! The hikes really reminded me of a lot of the hikes I’ve done in Washington and Oregon.

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We headed back to Petaluma later in the afternoon and decided to drive down a portion of Route 1, which hugs the coast.

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Friday

We headed back to a hotel in San Francisco Friday morning and stopped at Muir Woods. John Muir was one of the primary advocates for national parks, forests, monuments, and conservation. He was featured in a recent documentary on PBS called The National Parks – America’s Best Idea. We did a three mile loop hike which was really nice.

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We also had plans on Friday night to take a tour of Alcatraz, but it was cold and kind of rainy, so we cancelled and hung out in the hotel. When we had to check out Saturday morning, we went to his friends house and hung around most of the afternoon until we had to leave for our flight home.

During the downtime, I managed to get in some stitching and finished up side one of Sweetheart Tree’s Stitcher’s Favorite Biscornu. I love the colors and the teeny tiny buttons on this…

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It was another great vacation to a beautiful place!

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.

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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?

A Sweet Little Finish…

Here is Sweetheart Tree’s “Pink Flowers on Gingham” finished as a biscornu:

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These aren’t really the best pictures, but I took about 20 of them and then decided just to do the best with what I had. 🙂  I stitched up the side using the pink beads on every other stitch.  Its not obvious in these pictures, but this is stitched on pretty pink and white gingham linen  Besides the linen though, it didn’t call for anything special.. just DMC and mill hill beads.  It was a fun, quick stitch and a perfect pick-me-up for my unemployed status and also for impending spring.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I stitched this again someday as an ornament or a pincushion.