Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stitching Trials & Tribulations

   Well, I got hold of Marj at Hinzeit and found out what the 'error/miss-print' was in the Charmed Shuttle-Believe pattern I'd stitched.  I did mine on 28ct over two.  You think I would have also gone to her website and looked under corrections, but no .. that would have made sense and I'm just not that kind of stitcher.  If you have not yet stitched any of the Charmed Shuttle designs, please note: FABRIC IS 18 CT AIDA: SUMMER KHAKI !!
   I WILL stitch this one again, but am thinking of stitching it differently thanks to Petra Dennis from NM.  Petra had sent me an email with the photo attached of the "Believe" she'd stitched.  Yep .. she did hers on 28ct too, only to find like I did, that it wouldn't fit the Shuttle frame.
She says: "I found a piece of an overdyed blue--about DMC 926--just the right size in my stash and set to stitching. Got it finished and started to put it in the shuttle, and it was too big. So, another discussion with LNS owner and I decided to unstitch the end sections and make the snowflake sections curved, and that fit. No stars but you can't have everything! I love it."
Petra .. I love it too!   I've now got a couple of colors of 36ct Linen coming, one from Lakeside Linens and the other from Picture This Plus to play around with.  I showed your pic to another stitcher, and she wants to see my colors of 36ct linen when it comes in so she can do her's like you did .. but WITH the end sections stitched.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

.. singing .. "I'll NEVER Stitch Again" .....

well, probably I'll stitch again, probably tonight, but .... the way I'm feeling right now I could happily throw out my Q-Snaps into tonight's coming snowstorm!
I have no one to blame but for me (drat it all anyway).  There were some typos on the chart directions, but rather than triple and quadruple check, I only calculated and calculated yet again .. and instead of driving the whole 5 minutes from my house to the shop to really make sure, I picked up needle, threaded it and happily began!

Starting Hinzeit's "Charmed Shuttles" and the "Believe" design (which I've been absolutely in love with ever since seeing it stitched up in person at St.Charles Market - LOVE LOVE that shuttle frame!).
Got the fabric .. 28ct Summer Khaki Cashel .. got the DMC flosses .. put fabric in lap Q-Stand after measuring down 3" and in 3" so I'd have adequate margins.  Then, picked up chart to begin.
Wait a minute!  The design says "stitched on 28ct Aida: Summer Khaki over 1 thread using 2 ply thread."  Ok .. sitting back, 2 ply on 28ct over 1 thread is going to be waaay too thick to my way of thinking.  The pattern says 28ct Aida.  I'll bet that it was copied from another word program and instead of saying 14ct Aida, 2 ply over 1 really means 28ct Linen, 2 ply over 2.
Maybe I should calculate this out .. so I took the stitch count of 18h x 153w and divided it by 14 (if stitching over 2) and also divided it by 28 (if stitching over 1).  Man, the 28ct over 1 dimensions look way too short for that frame.  I think the 28ct over 2 looks more like it ... trying to picture the frame (which is in stock in the shop!) in my mind.  Pondered, pondered, pondered .. wasting stitching time trying to figure this out. 
So .. rather than get in the car and drive to the shop and measure the dratted shuttle frame opening, I begin stitching.  And this is looking really cool!  Finished it up last night and brought it into the shop today to frame.

Got the Shuttle Frame.  My stitchery is TOO big for the opening in the frame! 

But still, when you calculate the 28ct over 1 size, it comes out measuring smaller than what the cover picture looks like!!
The frame opening is 9 1/4"l ... over one on 28 works out to be just slightly under 5 1/2"l.   That would leave 1.875" margin on either side of the design.  Looking at the cover model, I just don't see it that wide.  IF it was stitched on 25ct instead, there would be 1.565" on either side.   I don't know!!!
I'm going to have to call Hinzeit on Monday just to double check what I should be doing and what she did.
Then to decide IF I will stitch this one again.  I mean, I really really fell in love when I saw it, and really want it as a model for the shop and eventually in my home ... BUT ... I absolutely detest the idea of stitching anything more than once!
     deep sigh

Friday, December 10, 2010

Finally, a Christmas movie ...

... and another completed project out of the way!
   I'd been griping about not being able to see ANY of my Christmas movies because we no longer have a VCR player (it died quite dramatically) and those tape thingies just will NOT fit into a DVD slot.  So, went over to mom's for her grocery shopping (it was another very confused day for her, sigh) and stopped at Blockbuster to 're-add' to my movie stash.
Nada .. nothing .. only cartoon Christmas movies for 'sale' ... and "Home Alone" ... not the classics I need to see every year.
   But Sunday night, "Scrooged" with Bill Murray was on, so I did get to 'stitch' while watching that one.  (I just love Carol Kane .. she's such a riot as The Ghost Of Christmas Present!  Of course, I loved her as Simka on Taxi too!)  I was able to go to sleep happily afterwards!

  Did finish my two poodles I was needle felting.  The customer had provided me with the actual 'hair' from both dogs (Mojo and Licky) .. but .. it was the clipped curls, not the brushed out coat I was expecting.  Once animal fiber has been cut, it just will NOT felt!  So, wrapped the base armature with black wool, then started 'laying the clipped curls' on the body and then, again having to pull black wool whisper thin, I had to place the whisper thin wool over the curls and needle into place.  Then when done, had to pull a bit here and there with the needle to get the curls to start standing up a bit again, but not hard enough to make them 'loose'.  That was a PAIN .. but Dave really thought they turned out pretty cool!

Black is SO darned hard to photograph.  One of the poodles has a 'smooth' muzzle, the other is 'curly' per my customer's pictures and requests.  I wrote their name on a JABCo little dog bone button and attached it to a red ribbon and a blue ribbon around each neck .. also as per the photo.   :)    Now I have just the smooth coated Dachshund to do and I believe my felting that 'must be done' will be complete!

Christmas cards, wrapping gifts and shipping some out are the next items on my agenda.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Day .. another try ...

.. for the kind of day I expect it to turn into!
Yesterday morning I'd posted on Facebook: 
Ok .. up, had breakfast & MUGS of coffee .. updated 12 Days Specials .. caught up on Facebook .. read/answered e-mails .. now to exercise for MONDO amounts of time (had pizza last night!) .. then finish felting poodle dog .. then continue stitching for rest of day! Cold outside, warm inside, life is good!

    Well, I did have breakfast and my much needed/mandatory mugs of coffee.  I did update my 12 Days of Christmas specials. I did get caught up on Facebook and my emails. THEN .. I went into the bedroom to exercise. 
   Turned on my WiiFit Plus program and once again, it was WRONG!!  On Sunday, the little person who lives inside the Wii told me that I'd lost 7 1/2 pounds (since Thursday)!!  I knew that was wrong .. obviously wrong, but how do you convince a little talking computer scale that it doesn't know what it's talking about!  So here I am on Wednesday .. being told that I've GAINED 8 pounds since Sunday, and being questioned by same little talking computer scale as to IF I knew what had caused that weight gain!  Yeah I know .. you're wrong!  So, shut it down, started it up and did weigh in again.  This time I've only gained 7 pounds since Sunday.  Took the Wii platform OFF the height extension (that I use for step aerobics), and repeated the weigh in .. same result.  Now I KNOW the batteries are good ... I just replaced them and they were part of the 8 pack of batteries I purchased (and used 4 of in the Wii already a couple of months ago) .. so ignored the whole thing.  Did my exercising but now I was in a bad mood about exercising .. and that didn't go away.
   Did finish the 2nd of the poodle dogs I was felting for a commissioned job and while dog #2 turned out a bit larger than dog #1, it did turn out well!
   Now .. to stitch! And what better than to stitch to a good Christmas movie or two?!   Nothing on tv .. any other day of the week they are showing Christmas movies already.  NOT on Wednesday!  So, into my DVD drawer to find something to watch.  NOTHING on DVDs ... everything Christmas I own is on VCR tapes.  And, our VCR no longer works!!!!!  Threw a couple of hissy fits, threw (gently) the remote controller back to Dave and told him to watch whatever he wanted, and mumble, mumble, mumble, went back to stitching. Poor Dave!  I did get quite a bit completed on Hinzeit's "Charmed (Believe) Shuttle" and then it was time for dinner.  We watched a DVD then that I'd rented ... Nicholas Cage in "The Sorcerers' Apprentice" ... and it was good!  So good I didn't stitch while that was on .. wanted to enjoy it without missing anything in it.
   Now, need to exercise again this morning, then go over to mom's (don't want to leave the house, but ... !), then back home to stitch some more and/or/and do online banking/bill paying for the shop.  Ohhhh epiphany ... maybe I'll stop off at Blockbuster before I come back home and see if they have any 'cheap' Christmas movies I can buy!!!  Now there's an idea!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Day, Another Felting Job

   The woman that had commissioned me to needle felt her Wire Haired Doxie "Bean" came into the shop Saturday to pick 'Baby Bean' up.  And ... She LOVED It!!!  I had really stressed over this .. it's different if you're doing something from a picture for sale than it is from your imagination for sale.  You can only do so much with wool, and especially the color wool you need.  I had a base coat of darkest brown, then a tan/reddish that was perfect color, but since is was 'top' and not 'batt', there were all kinds of flyaways everywhere .. and you can only clip so much.  Found another brown and laid wisper thin layers over the dog, and that calmed the flyaways down quite a bit.  You can see how fuzzy it was when you look at the muzzle .. it was perfect for his whiskers!
Then she told me that she'd been telling a friend about my doing "Bean in wool" and her friend wondered if I would do her doxen for her ... it's a smooth coated standard black with tan ... and she presented me with a picture of that dog.  So, after I get done with the *2* black poodles I have to do next, I'll be doing another dauschund!  The poodles will be covered with 'their own real hair' ... which should be much easier to work with than golden retriever hair (too soft to needle felt - shows all the needle jabs in it).

Here's the picture of my Christmas tree for 2010 ... antique tin icicles, vintage ornaments and all the rest of the ornaments are stitched .. those I've stitched, those that were previously gifts to my mom and dad for their tree, those that were gifts I've received.

My favorite of this assortment is from one of the past Just Cross Stitch Ornament issues ... from Sandi at The Sweetheart Tree ... stitched for the Millennium

Kitties have not destroyed anything ... yet.
But there's time before the Big Day actually gets here!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Decorating ..

.. well, my tree is up and decorated!
     It's my tall skinny artificial alpine tree of years past, but I decorated it a bit differently this year.  Used Dave's mother's Teal Green glass ornaments, my vintage metal icicles and a few of Dave's grandmother's glass blown ornaments, and ... all of the hand-made ornaments I've either made or received over the years.  
     Some are made of felt applique, one is knitted over a glass bulb, a couple are wood and painted to commemorate our first Christmas together, or first Christmas in our home, two are Hardanger, and the rest are all cross stitched (all of the ones I'd made for my mom & dad are part of this collection too)!  My camera, of course, is at the shop .. so IF I remember to bring it home with me tomorrow, I'll take and post pictures here so you can see my Antique & Needlework Tree.
    And, when you see my pics and IF you don't happen to see an ornament you may have stitched for me ... well, it's probably because it was one that our renegade squirrel (squirrels) made off with and/or destroyed!  deep sigh   
   I also put my ceramic nativity up and a couple of accent pieces here and there, but think I'm going to 'stop' decorating with those.  I hate to decorate entirely and then have to put everything away again in just over a month.  So, I guess my stitched Christmas framed pieces are going to stay in storage, as well as a bunch of other stuffs for this holiday season.   Besides, as Dave says, I have the house covered with my Santa collection on shelves and completely in one huge curio cabinet and it already kind of looks like Christmas year round here.  LOL
     Killer headache today ... love weather changes, not!  So, am going to call mom and see if I can 'skip out of' doing her grocery shopping today ... if she has enough to get her through till Sunday, that is.  Then will do some felting in the comfort of my cozy chair parked right here by the comfy wood stove heat!  (with this headache, I don't even want to think about trying to 'focus' on linen and a chart for stitching today!)