Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Special Delivery", and My Room

Happy Sunday, everybody! Are you ready for a pic heavy post? Coming right up!

First on the docket is my finish of Special Delivery (pics should be clickable... I'm pretty sure I did it right this time!):

Special Delivery
Blackbird Designs
40ct. cream linen, and Gentle Arts threads

It turned out just as well as I could have hoped for. The spacing on the letters could be a tad better (the "y's" and the "W" seem to be hanging out on their own a bit), but I am very happy with the overall effect.

I did have to make one thread swap - the chart called for GA Barn Grey and GA Banker's Grey on the left hand bird. I saw that they were very very close in color as soon as I pulled them, but as I started stitching Mr. Birdie I realized that they were so close in color as to be the same, offering zero contrast. So, I frogged, then I pulled out a dark steel grey DMC I have in my stash and subbed that in. Oh, and that specialty black fiber running through the heart next to the "M"? That is Fur de Roscoe. I didn't even notice it until I started looking at the pics on my PC while prepping for this post... I guess when it's everywhere all the time, my eyes just sort of bounce right off it, and don't even register its presence, lol!

The scissors in the top pic are a pair I came across in my adventures yesterday. They were $8, and are not particularly useable except to look pretty. But, they fit the bill perfectly for me. :)

My DH really blessed me (again) this weekend... see, he works as a retail manager, so entire weekends off are a rarity for him. He was off work all weekend (and has a couple more days to go) and decided to give me a mommy weekend. Just what the doctor ordered!!

So, yesterday I set off on a mission to get some more pretties for "my room". I hit Home Goods, the library, Michaels, a couple antique marts (OK, so they aren't exactly what you'd call 'high brow' and while some folks would look down on them with noses lifted, I know you all aren't amongst that company!), and Joann's before heading home with my loot. I got a couple of things (and already had a few) that needed some painterly love in order to fit in to the "feel" of my room, so I did that, then hit the hay.

Today, amongst laundry and other assorted mommy tasks, I finished Special Delivery and got everything in place in my room so that I could do a little show and tell.

So, grab your drinks and come along with me on a tour of my little haven of peace (Special Note - If you've got sweet tea, please transfer it to a sippy cup before entering - hehe) (Oh... another special note - The concept of "come along with me for a tour" has been shamelessly stolen from the fabulous Terri)...
Ah, here we are. Just inside the door and looking to the right. The gothic looking mirror was picked up at the local Cracker Barrel a few years ago, and was just hung up (note to self... go to the Cracker Barrel store more often... and, hang things up as soon as you get them!). The table under the white cloth is actually my grandmother's sewing machine (it's in one of those integrated sewing tables. Let me tell you what - even aside from the sentimental value - There isn't enough money on earth to get me to part with it. It can sew through about 5 layers of upholstery fabric. Worth it's weight in gold, I tell you!!). The paint treatment on the walls was done shortly after we built out this room (it was already framed out, and we had a friend drywall it, and add more outlets, and the closet) by moi. I saw the idea in an issue of BH&G and immediately set out to get the supplies. I stenciled, and paper ragged for several days. Very happy with the result is me! Let's move along, shall we?

This is my stitching corner. The trunk belonged to my DH's grandmother - I love how it's rough around the edges. It was obviously well loved and well used! On top of that is my trusty stereo which my DH purchased for the stockroom of his last store, and which I promptly appropriated for myself. :) The WIP on top of the stereo is going to be for my mom (if I ever finish it), and the item on the wall above is our wedding invitation lovingly framed and matted by my great aunt who has a gallery and frame shop in Biloxi, MS. The chair is my glider from Leah's nursery. Another piece of sentimental mush. I couldn't even begin to estimate the number of hours I spent in that chair nursing her, or singing to her, or just rocking her (and myself!) to sleep. She was NOT very pleased when I brought it downstairs from her nursery (which she hasn't slept in in two years, lol!!) for use in this room. When I explained that it wasn't being used, and that I needed a place to sit and stitch in my room, she desperately tried to convince me that there is room in her big girl room (on top of her bed, maybe??), or alternatively, that I should rock her to sleep in it every night in the nursery - anything to keep it in her sphere. She has adjusted to the trauma, though.

And, here's one of my favorite things to look at. This bookcase (also brought down from Leah's nursery) holds my chart stash, various stitching and quilting books, most of my fabric stash (lots of jelly rolls, layer cakes, fat quarters, and charm packs, lol - I am utterly unable to resist their lure!!), and my current stack of audio books from the library (I am fortunate that our library system has a HUGE selection of them). The ceramic artichoke and the tiny little fruit cup on the top shelf (which will eventually become a pincushion) were picked up along the retail therapy trail yesterday. On top is a collection of some of my favorite B/W photos of Leah with various people in my family. In front of the shelves, on the floor, we find the most crucial element in the entire room - trust me. If not for this little gem, I would never spend any time in there at all. My heater. Aaaah, my heater.

Moving right along, you see my current sewing machine (a gift from my dad and step-mom for Christmas a couple years ago) on top of one of my new storage bins.

And, here's the crafting table. One great thing about this room is that it is south-southwest facing which means it gets LOTS of sunlight. The shades were picked up at Target on sale when we first finished out the room. They are heavy enough that you can't see through them from the outside, but they still let in tons of light. Perfect.

And the other side of the windows along with the matching sconce (the other is on the other side of the windows) which received some paint and what was supposed to be a specialty finish last night (they were black), and the edge of the closet door.
Almost all the way around. Does anyone need to take a minute to sip their drink? OK. I love the shape of this little corner. It holds my floor stand (which I haven't used in ages, but might when I take on a bigger project), and a bunch of hooks to hold my q-snaps (the white ones also received the "specialty" paint last night), and a couple of plates (picked up yesterday) - the smaller plate was a serious "score!!" in my book. It is a Haviland Limoges, in absolutely perfect condition, and I got it for (are you ready??) a whopping $1!! Limoges is my absolute favorite! I saw others this size yesterday that were $30, or more. I picked up the plaque that is on the other wall at Hobby Lobby when I went to Muncie last year (not the trip earier this month). It is one of my favorite biblical verses.

And, here we are at the end of the tour. I hope you enjoyed yourselves!!

Well, I don't know about you folks, but I am SOOOO ready for spring!!! Reading all of your posts where you mention what's blooming in your neck of the woods, then listening to my current audio book with fabulous descriptions of all the spring bloomers, plus the really warm temps (it felt like it may have hit 50 degrees!!) today made me feel the need to get outside and dig around in the dirt, do some pre-season pruning. Then I looked outside. And saw the 3 feet of snow (that's down from nearly 6 ft - everything that came off the sidewalk and our parking spots went onto our postage stamp sized front lawn) still in our yard. Yeah. So much for a plan, lol!! It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so that along with temps in the 40s should put us well on our way to being able to see the grass. :) I don't think there will have ever been a year I'll have been so happy to see my daffodils poke their noses out of the ground! I do love snow (it sure beats just being cold - at least with snow there's something pretty to look at while you freeze your tuckus off!), but good grief, I'm done with this winter!

Well, that's it for me tonight! I'm not sure if I'm going to go start a new project, or continue putting my threads on tags, or what, but regardless - thanks for reading and commenting!! I just love sharing the joy of this craft with you all. :) Until next time...

May you all have numb hineys (uh... is that offensive??),

Monday, February 15, 2010



I am pleased to report that me & mine have come through the "one two punch" weather wise with very few battle scars! Man, I love me some snow, but that was just a tad on the ridiculous side, lol!! 30+ inches on Fri/ Sat, then another foot on Wednesday? Yeesh!! Leah's daycare was closed all week last week, as well as today. Which meant she spent the entire day with me at work Friday, and the afternoon there with me today. Poor kid... she is sooo ready to get back to her friends and her regular routine

There were several bright spots though, that more than made up for the hunkered down state we found ourselves in. The main one being we never lost power (thank God for underground power lines!!), not even a flicker!

We got to spend lots of quality time together - Leah and I hung pictures up in her room (that's been waiting to happen for about 2yrs now), which was a lot of fun. It's so cute to see her "design sense" coming out. Of course, she is 4 so her design sense = 1 small picture on each wall, lol. I tried to gently suggest to her that it looked a tad empty that way but she assured me that "Oh no mommy. That's the way it's supposed to be. That way there's plenty of room for you to make beautiful projects for me!" LOLOL I guess she told me, huh?

We played Barbies and Ponies and games and watched movies out the wazoo... I knew she needed a change of scenery Thursday when what she came up with during our play time together was a Barbie/ My Little Pony/ Killer Lambie theme. Not kidding!! Yeah, she was going a little stir crazy... Heeeeeeeeere's Leah!! (Please know I am totally kidding around w/ that last part - she is just about the sweetest kid you could meet - headstrong as all get out [absolutely NO idea where that comes from, BTW] but still sweet as can be).

I was able to keep pretty well on top of commenting on all of your lovely blogs - I think I was even the first commenter (instead of my usual dead last!) on one of your posts.

And, because I was able to do so much during the day, I got pretty consistent time in my stitchy chair in the evenings after my sweet girl went to bed. As a result, this is where I am with Special Delivery:

All I have left to do is finish the flower, do the big & little "T", then chart out and stitch her full name and birth date. I actually think the part that will take the longest (b/c it while drive me straight around the bend every time I look at it if it is not perfectly centered) is charting her name and DOB. I remember now why the birth sampler I did for my friend made me so crazy, lol!! I've really enjoyed this one, and although it will have taken me 3 calendar weeks to finish (That's the plan anyway!! Have it done NLT 2/21.), it feels like it has gone more quickly than almost any other I've done. It's kind of funny - for the first couple sessions with this piece, I found myself checking the fabric against a "this is for sure 40ct" fabric b/c the stitches looked GIGANTIC compared to the last one I did! I was having nightmares about running out of fabric b/c I had pulled the wrong count fabric and calculated "this is how much I need" incorrectly. My eyes have re-adjusted themselves, though :).

Sunday my DH & Leah really blessed me for Valentine's Day - they took me to my (sort of) LNS and let me buy things!! I was very pleased with what I came away with:

The top piece of fabric (all are Lakeside Linens 40ct.) is a stitchers' 1/4 of Pearled Barley; in the middle is a 1/2 of Light Examplar; and on the bottom is a 1/2 of Strawflower. The blue/ cream/ brown threads are Soie D'Alger and are for the Workbasket's "Stitch in Time" chart. I finally found a piece of brown linen that will work for this! Yay! The model was stitched on LL Cattail Brown, but that dye was discontinued and I couldn't find it anywhere (I didn't know this when I bought the chart, of course). While I was at the LNS I saw a piece of LL Nutmeg - score!! It's almost the exact same shade!! The green/ brown/ rust threads are NPI and are for Carriage House Sampling's "The Garden Glade" - they didn't have all the colors I need for the chart in stock, but that's okay. I got what I could b/c all of this was 20% off. They had had to postpone their annual Super Bowl sale due to blizzard #1 - worked out perfectly for me!! There is no way in Hades I would've been able to drag Mr. Money Bags... er... I mean, my DH... out there during the Super Bowl, lol!!

I've also gotten some organizing done in "my room"... bought a couple more drawer bins, hung some pics on the walls... it's looking much more tidy now, but also strangely empty and sterile... hmmm... I feel some trips to Home Goods coming in my future! Still plenty of room on the walls for me to hang the gajillion (cough cough) projects I will complete this year. I'll post some pics of the room as soon as it is looking a bit more cozy.

I am sooo looking forward to the Nashville Market haul that my LNS brings back!! I'm already plotting the sizable dent that will be made in my bank account! I am especially looking forward to the "Elizabethan" pieces from Plum Street Samplers. Liz I is my absolute favorite historical figure, and I cannot wait to get my grubby little paws on those charts (and the supplies to complete them, of course!)!! I also saw a pair of spider web looking scissors that I may need to add to my (still quite small) scissor collection. What are some items you are looking forward to in particular? I'd love to hear your "can't wait for..." items! This way I can be sure I don't miss an opp. to spend my cash, lol!

Well, that's it for me tonight. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments!! I love and appreciate each and every one of them. It's so great to have peeps to "talk to" about this obsession I have with thread and fabric.

Wishing you all numb butts,


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thank You, Snowtorious B.I.G., a Finish, and Progress

Hi there, everyone! I hope you are all warm, and dry, and enjoying your weekend!

First I want to say thank you so much for your kind words re: my grandpa's passing... It was such a comfort to read all your comments! He was a wonderful man, and we will all miss him. Mercifully, his final decline was of relatively short duration. In answer to Deb's question, that picture was of him holding Leah when she was about 3 or 4 months old. Tricked ya w/ the B&W photo, didn't I?

Stitchy pictures to follow, but first...

As most of you have probably heard, we are currently getting SLAMMED here in the Mid Atlantic by what our local NBC affiliate termed "Snowtorious B.I.G." - I seriously LOL'ed when I read that. I went out to shovel last night at about 12:30 and we had nearly a foot on the ground already. After about 45 minutes to get my steps and the sidewalk in front of our house cleared (we live in a TH, so that's only about 20 ft. of sidewalk), what I had just shoveled already had a good 2 inches, or more. When I got up this morning and looked out the window at what I had shoveled a short 10 hours prior, I swear I heard the sidewalk laughing it's hiney off at me... it may have even been pointing at me as it laughed! We have close to 30" on the ground at my house, and may get 5" (or more??!!) more before it's all said and done.

And the worst part is... I think this may be my fault... I left this little gem hanging after we took the Christmas decorations down:

Yeah... I've learned my lesson!!! :)

Here are some pics of the 'hood (or, as Leah likes to call it, our village) about 2 hrs ago:
Note the snow that has drifted high enough to nearly cover the hoods of the cars across the street... They've plowed our street a few times already, so hopefully we won't be trapped for too long. I looove snow, but it isn't really my idea of the greatest way to burn vacation days from work!

This is my front "stoop"... it was down to bare pavement when I went inside last night, and is sheltered pretty well from the wind. Oy!

And here's Leah and her daddy preparing to go for a walk around the neighborhood... the call of the snow was irresistable to them both. They lasted about 10 minutes. I think the wind slapping the snow into their faces is what did it. Leah came in begging for hot cocoa, and a warm bed, lol!

We haven't lost power, but I hear that thousands in our area have - I hope those folks are all staying snuggled up and staying warm(ish) and dry inside their houses!

On to stitchy things... :)

I finished (really!!) The Sewing Clamp Sampler Bits stitching, and here she is:

Stitched on provided 40ct "Muffin" linen over 1 thread with provided DMC thread

The one over one was not too bad once my eyes adjusted, but, especially with such dark thread, it was a bit hard to tell what I was stitching. There were times I just stabbed at what I hoped was the appropriate hole! I'm hoping to finish finish this little doo-dad in the next few weeks, but who knows if I will get to it that quickly, or not.

One note on this kit - The kit description claims that the clamp part is wrought iron, and that made sense to me given the price. It is NOT wrought iron. It is a heavy metal, painted with a powdery dark brown paint. I discovered this when I was loosening the clamp to attach it to something (to see how well it would clamp) and little bits of paint started flaking off into my hand, and silver started to show up. I don't mind per se that it isn't wrought iron, and I probably would have wanted it/ bought it even knowing up front that it wasn't... however, I feel as though I was intentionally misled, and I do not care for that. I will not be buying any kits that include "hardware" from this designer again, for that reason. She also has a pair of scissors for sale, which I was considering purchasing, but due to what happened with the clamp, I don't feel I can trust the description on those, either.

On to happier things!!

I started Blackbird Designs' Special Delivery Girl's Birth Sampler on the way to IN, and here is where I am:

I was looking through blog updates last night (but not commenting - I'll do that as soon as I post this) and saw, to my amazement and amusement that Siobhan had posted her pic of this finish! All I can say is... that Siobhan sure does have good taste!! :) I'm working it on 40 ct. generic cream linen with the called for threads. I love this pattern and have been wanting to/ meaning to complete it for some time now. It seems to be going somewhat quickly, and if I could just get some consistent time in my stitchy chair, it would get done pretty soon, I think!

Well, that's it for me for now... I'm considering spending the rest of my day hanging pictures in Leah's room & bathroom, and maybe finally putting some pics up in my "Nest" (aka, my craft room, my throne room, the room for none but she who rules this home)... maybe if I do that, it will motivate me to do the little bit of organizing I need to do in there and take some pics and post them on here for all to see? Hmm... we'll see!

Until next time,