Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Latest Stitching Companions

As I keep stitching my latest project, I'm noticing something that I usually don't see on light-color fabric.  Lots of cat hair.  Our three cats come in many different colors and tend to shed quite a bit.  We do our best to keep this under control by brushing them and then using a very good vacuum on the house.  But we still see the fur flying.  Also not flying.  This is especially true when I wear black pants.  And when I stitch on black fabric, like I'm doing now.  So I have to keep these two little accessories close by when I'm working on Folk Eggs.  It's my Clover tweezers and a sticky roller!  The tweezers are amazingly accurate and have very sharp points, perfect for pulling that cat hair out of a stitch.  I use the sticky roller for going over the whole piece very lightly to get the worst of it off.  So now I have found the major drawback of stitching on a dark color.  I'm sure it's there when I stitch on white, off white or beige.  And I do realize that cat hair is often considered a "specialty fiber", but I don't need that much of it here.  So these little tools are helping immensely!

I've made some progress on "Folk Eggs", completing another egg!  I'm enjoying the basic colors that are used in this chart, and the actual stitching on the dark fabric is still a breeze for me.  My photo doesn't do this project justice.  The colors are actually much warmer in person.

I thought I'd share a photo of Sheila's latest crafty adventure.  We bought the beads for these necklace kits when we went to the bead show a couple of weeks ago.  Here's her almost-finished product.  It just needs the clasp.  I'd say she did a very good job on it, wouldn't you?

Cosmo is doing fine on his new diet, and he will visit the vet this week for another glucose test.  At that time we shall see if diet alone will be enough and if we'll be able to discontinue the insulin shots for good.  That's what we're hoping for!

This week I'll be embarking on two non-stitching projects!  I hope to have some progress to share soon.  I'm also continuing my craft room organization - slowly - but it is getting done.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Here it is, February 21st, the new moon.  That means it's time for TUSAL!  That's "Totally Useless Stitch-A- Long", for those of you who don't know.  It's kind of fun to see your ort jar fill up, and it's a little work of art in itself. 
More info can be found on Daffycat's blog.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Found Something I Didn't Even Know I Had Lost

A rainy afternoon seemed like the perfect time to do a little more straightening and organizing in my craft room.  I had one container that held cross stitch odds and ends.  It was pretty disorganized and the lid didn't quite fit on it, so I thought that would be a good one to start with.  In it I found some Mill Hill Halloween kits, a breadcloth, several bookmarks, a weird thread holder and a needle threader, among other things.  There was one plastic bag that appeared to hold some ribbon, trim and metallic thread.  But upon opening it, what I saw was kind of a surprise.  Three completed stitched projects ready to be made into ornaments and one WIP ornament.  My first thought was, "When did I stitch these?".  Well, duh, probably in 1997, don't you think?  Plus, I would guess that the bottom three in the photo might just be from the 1997 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue.  I don't have this issue anymore, but that's a story for another time.  The WIP (shown on the top in the photo) is called Snowflakes and Berries, and is a Carol Mullane Design for Rainbow Gallery.  It's stitched on mono canvas using Flair and Fyre Werks threads by Rainbow Gallery.

Maybe I stopped working on this because another project came along, but why I didn't pick it up again is a mystery!  I actually have about half of it done.  It's coming along very nicely and looks easy to stitch, so now I'm looking forward to completing it and turning it into an ornament.  Which is exactly what I will do with the other three.  What a fun find!  See?  This is what happens when I finally decide to do some cleaning.  It's raining again today so maybe I'll do a little more.  Who knows what I'll find!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Stitching Challenge?

My progress on Folk Eggs
As I continue to work on Folk Eggs, I've heard some comments about my stitching it on black fabric.  Mostly surprise and amazement that I would stitch anything on black!  The common belief is that it is difficult, but I'm not finding that to be the case.  Honestly, I find it more of a challenge to stitch on anything smaller than 32 count!  Any color!  This is my third project on a very dark color and I'm enjoying it very much.  Maybe all eyes are different.  While I find stitching on 40 count nearly impossible, someone else might shy away from my 28 count black lugana.  To each his own.  But if the idea of stitching on black fabric is something you'd like to try, go ahead!  Do a small project and see what you think.

Prairie Schooler sure knows how to choose colors to make them "pop" on black!  "Color pop" is such an over-used phrase, I know, but so true in this case.  I already finished one egg - seven to go!

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day.  Mark surprised me with carryout from our favorite Mexican restaurant, which was nice since we both got home from work at the same time.  And he also surprised me with a tulip terrarium.  This was a new one on me!  When I first got it, you couldn't see the flowers, but they're really blooming now! 

Last Saturday was our Stitch Day at The Stitch Store.  As always, it was a fun day that sped by too fast!  I'd  like to chronicle what goes on at our stitch days, and I just might do that next month.  Maybe get some photos of our stitchers and the beautiful work they do.  It would also be fun to include our crazy gift exchange!  I'll thank Sheila for that idea!

Peggy's Tea Cozy
One of our fellow stitchers is also a talented seamstress and she came up with a cute idea for tea cozies.  I just had to get one of these for when life demands a whole pot of hot tea!

I found a wonderful new blog this week:  Learn To Finish With The Twisted Stitcher.  Vonna (aka The Twisted Stitcher), is generously sharing her finishing techniques with anyone who would like them.  What a great resource!  I've often looked at her blog and wondered, "Now how did she do that finishing?".  Now I can find out!  Take a look for some great ideas, and please give Vonna credit where credit is due!

And now for a Cosmo update.  We kept him (and his fellow cats) on the low carb diet and got accustomed to giving the insulin shots to Cosmo.  Then on Monday it was back to the vet for a glucose test.  The vet called me in the afternoon and was a little concerned because his sugar level was too low throughout the day!  It seems that the insulin was doing too good a job.  So now he is off the insulin and we're trying to maintain a good sugar level through diet alone.  The vet says that it is possible to do this and she's seen it before.  He goes back in two weeks for another test to see if this new method is working.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

How do you like my blog's new look?  Keep the comments coming and share my blog with others.  More followers are always good!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Projects Of Three

Most stitchers love starting new projects and I can completely understand this phenomena.  It's a joy to gather all of your materials and eventually put in that first stitch.  In keeping with my new plan to always have three stitching projects going, I started a new one this week.  It's Prairie Schooler's "Folk Eggs".  I've also been thinking a lot about spring lately, so this fits right in.  I don't know why I'm thinking about spring when this winter has been so mild.  Anyway, it's being stitched on 28 count black Lugana over 2 threads all on one piece of fabric. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a wall hanging, but I could still change my mind and frame it. And don't wrinkle up your nose at stitching on black -- it's really not difficult and the result is very pretty, especially with the thread colors used in this project.

Sheila and I went to the Intergalactic Bead Show last weekend.  I hadn't been to one of these in a long time, so it was nice to see what was new.  Judging from the attendance, I could see that beading is still a very popular hobby.  I bought a kit to make a woven bead and pearl necklace, and some centerpiece pendants.  It was interesting talking to the vendors and even other jewelry makers, and I even learned a few new things.  This visit might just spark a new interest in jewelry making for me!

Here is another one of Mark's lathework creations.  I came home one day to find it on the table and it took me a while to realize what it was because my first thought was, "Now where did Mark get that?".  It's very well done, don't you think?  I think he's found his woodworking niche.   

All this fuss makes Cosmo plum tuckered out.
This past week has been pretty busy and a little stressful because we just learned that our oldest cat, Cosmo, has diabetes.  A simple change in his diet and two insulin injections a day should regulate this well, but it's still a little weird.  And it means a whole new routine for us because the shots have to be 12 hours apart.  After a few days of this, the shots have been getting a little easier and don't appear to hurt him at all.  Oh, he would let us know if it did!  And I only poked myself in the finger once!  Yay for me!  Cosmo goes in for a some kind of testing on Monday, so we'll know a little more about how well all of this is working.  Wish us luck. 

I'm looking forward to Saturday Stitch Day at The Stitch Store this week!  It's always fun to get together with these ladies and see what we're all stitching.  Amazing how quickly that day passes!  I plan to work on "Folk Eggs" and will post my progress!