Monday, August 30, 2010

Victoria Sampler Christmas Humbug Contest

Victoria Sampler is having another contest, so of course I had to make up an entry. This is it, my Christmas Humbug. A humbug is constructed from a rectangle of fabric, and turns out looking like a pyramid, actually quite a nifty little thing. So far there have been lots of entries, and each one is quite unique and beautiful.

I didn't want to use traditional Christmas colors, so had to really hunt through my stash to find threads and fabric that really spoke to me. I ended up with 32 ct. Star Sapphire linen, Dusty Rose (I think) Kreinik ribbon, and for the eyelet stitches, Needle Necessities metallic braid in Passion Flower (too bad this metallic doesn't really show up in the pictures, cause it really adds a lot to it). Plus some matching DMC threads. It was so much fun to do, and I was really pleased  with the way it turned out. And, I have a new ornament for my tree. I try to do at least one each year.

Calis has grown!

Calis is almost six months old now, and he has really grown a lot! He is a very adventurous cat, but also very loving and funny. I got a few pictures of him up in the tree in our front yard the other day. He loves climbing trees. What would have been the best picture was marred by me cutting the top of his head off, so this one will have to do. He moves so fast that it is hard to get a good picture. Hahaha!

The other cats have come to accept him a little more, but they are still not friends. That will take a little longer I am afraid. But he has a special love/hate relationship with Ming. Of course he loves to jump on her, chase her, all those good things. And she acts like she hates it. But she will also follow him around and act as if she wants his attention when she doesn't have it. Very funny together. I think they will become close friends eventually, and this is just their testing period. And his kitten period, of course.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Update on Donovan, and other things.

I am sorry that I have not posted for so long, and also sorry that I have left you in suspense about my son, Donovan's, condition. He spent three weeks in the hospital recovering from pneumonia and diabetic ketoacidosis. He was really sick, but is now just about fully recovered, back to his old self. But when he got home, he required a lot of care, and really kept me busy. So, that is why I haven't written any posts in a while.

Since I last posted, I have been doing a lot of stitching too. No photos yet, but will get some up in a few days. Also got a new phone, a Blackberry Pearl, and have just about figured out how to use it now. Sure is complicated, but now I don't know how I ever did without it.

Also had to search for a new background for my blog. When I came back, the old one was gone. Not sure I like this one yet because the other one was really perfect. I really need to find some other websites with blog backgrounds to search for another "perfect" background. Well, perfect to me anyway.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Donovan and Calis

Here is a picture of Calis with my son Donovan. Calis has grown quite a bit since this picture was taken, but I wanted to add one with Donovan in it. He is very sick right now. We had to take him to the hospital this past Monday, and found out that he has a very bad case of pneumonia. He is also diabetic, and that complicates things too. He is in the ICU and is hardly aware of what is going on around him. It is so hard to see him this way because he is normally such an active, engaging and intelligent person. We are all hoping and praying for his speedy and complete recovery. I will try to keep this updated on his condition.

Monday, April 19, 2010

We got a new kitten!

We got a new kitten yesterday! He is so cute, 8 weeks old but tiny for his age, and just so sweet. We named him Calis, from a character in a Raymond E Feist book. We just really needed another cat, what with having four already. What were we thinking! Hopefully the others will eventually get used to having him around. Right now they are warily watching him, and hissing and growling when he gets too close. That is my son, Kevin, holding him. Sorry Kevin, sort of cut your head off, but we really did want a close-up of Calis.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new design.

This is what I am currently working on. It is a new, original design, and I am really getting excited about the way it looks. It is the first asymmetrical design I have ever done, and it has a new stitch in it that I developed. At least I think it is new, I have never seen anything like it before. 

The nice thing about this design is that there are so many possibilities for it, several different ways that it can be done - bookmark, doily, with a lacy edge. Love it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Victoria Sampler's Spring Biscornu Contest - My entry

Once again, Victoria Sampler is having a Spring biscornu contest. Speaking of tulips, this one is full of them and other spring flowers, a real garden. I was so excited to see somethig springy, and had so many color ideas running through my head that I really had a hard time deciding on them. So I finally ended up using two color schemes, one for each side. The first one is a white linen background, with pinks and blues, and of course yellows to tie the two sides together. The other side is actually a pale yellow linen with yellow klosters and needleweaving. And the "garden" is of course the same colors as the first side. I'm not sure which side I like better. This was such a fun stitching project, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Thea for another great design, and for having another contest to challenge us all. To me, it doesn't matter who wins, it is just so interesting to see what everybody comes up with - such a creative bunch of stitchers!

Looks like Spring is finally here!

In my last post, I showed a picture of snow on the patio table. I think that was winter's last hurrah. Yeah, we had some minor flurries and more cold temperatures, but when April arrived, everything changed. This is the earliest spring I have ever seen in this area! In fact, it has been the shortest, mildest winter according to the weathermen. We had no snow in November (unheard of around here) and in March we actually had no snow either as all the snow in that picture actually fell in February. They say it is because of the El Nino conditions. I hope that is all, and not  due to global warming. But regardless, I am enjoying every minute of it, even the thunderstorms. This is my favorite time of year. Just can't wait to see all of the flowering trees and tulips, etc. Wow!

Monday, March 1, 2010

We've got snow!

After a relatively mild January and February (for us) we finally got some snow. The weathermen said we had about 17 inches, but this looks more like 30 inches if you ask me. And it is not a drift on the table, as it is in other parts of the picture.

While the snow is pretty to look at, I could really do without it. My favorite time of year is spring, when all the trees are flowering and flowers blooming everywhere. I am a warm weather person!

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My Sons' Bookmarks

These are the two bookmarks that I stitched for my sons Donovan and Kevin. I finished Donovan's by turning the fabric to the back while Kevin's was finished by gluing it to some ultrasuede. Kevin's is about two years old now and has been used a lot, and washed a couple of times so it does show a little wear. I thought it would be interesting to show them side by side though, to show how different they look in different colors and finishings. I really like this pattern, but it is so difficult to stitch with blended needles and full, half and over-one stitches! I thought I would go crazy stitching them, but I made it - twice!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Donovan's Dragon Bookmark

Tonight I finally finished the stitching on a bookmark for my son, Donovan. I think I started it back in October. Normally something small like a bookmark wouldn't take me very long to stitch, but this is no ordinary pattern. It is Dragon Knot Bookmark by Dracolair Creations ( It is done in cross stitch, half cross stitch, and many over-one stitches too. Enough to drive a person crazy! It also uses blended threads, so even the over-one stitches have to be stitched with two strands of thread. I used 28 count black linen, first time I had ever stitched anything on black, but did not really find it as difficult to work on as I would have thought. To top it all off, I used Kreinik #12 Very Fine Braid for the backstitching to give it a little sparkle. Oh, did that stuff ever break and fray! I used a whole spool of it, with only about a foot left. Whew, glad I didn't run out before it was finished.

A couple of years ago, I made the same bookmark for my younger son, Kevin, and at the time swore I would never do anything like it again. Well, that was until Donovan saw it and wanted one in blues and oranges. I really do think they are trying to drive me crazy! When Kevin gets home from work, I will ask him to let me borrow his bookmark long enough to scan it, after which I will post it too.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Victoria Sampler contest - Winter Biscornu

Recently, Victoria Sampler had another contest, this one a Winter Bicsornu. I was preparing to submit my version of this design, but then got sick. Just a bad cold, but did not feel like doing anything, so did not get my stitching finished on time. But I still like the way my biscornu turned out, and thought I would post it here.

The front was done following the pattern, and for the back I used an adaptation of Thea's Holly Quilt Block free design. Since this needed to be on the diagonal, and the pattern was on the straight grain of the fabric, I really had to change it quite a bit, but it still resembles the original design.

The fabric I used was Silkweaver's Precious Metals, 32 count. This is a gorgeous light brown linen fabric with metallic flecks all through it, and is one of my favorites. For the stitching I used Kreinik Silk Serica, Silk Mori, and metallic braids. Made for a really sparkly design!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cell Phone Pocket in new colors

After seeing my cell phone pocket, a friend asked me to make one for her also. So, this was my Christmas present to her. I just love the way the different colors look, and how it changes the whole look of the design. My friend has a pink Blackberry Pearl phone, so I had to adjust the size to fit the phone, and the color matches the phone. She is delighted with it!