Friday, August 17, 2012

More Progress on Gentle Stitches and Kittens!

Here is my progress on Gentle Stitches. My next update should be a finish! 


I'm on vacation in Canandaigua, NY this week and soon after we arrived a small cat came and greeted us at our rental cottage, loudly begging for food. She was painfully thin but super friendly, so she probably used to be a pet and was abandoned. When I asked the owner of the cottage about her he said that she was just a stray who had been hanging around since February and to "ignore her and she'll go away." Well, that is just not something I could do. I started feeding her wet cat food three times a day, and after two days, we discovered her kittens under a bush! I think she learned to trust us and relocated her litter to our cottage. I couldn't believe that the mama cat had not only stayed alive herself but raised and nursed five chubby, healthy kittens. She really is a survivor and a good mama! I seriously contemplated taking the whole litter back home to Maryland to foster them and adopt them out, but thankfully my aunt found a volunteer organization that was able to place mama and all five kittens in a private foster home here in New York. The volunteer told me that ALL five kittens were female. Can you imagine how many strays that would have been in a few generations?

It was hard to part with them but I have pictures and nice memories of my few days with this beautiful mama and kittens. I'm sure the adorable kittens will have no trouble finding homes, but I told the foster mom to contact me if she has any trouble finding a home for mama. She truly is a special kitty and I would love to give her a home if she is unwanted, although I'm sure my two cats would have a tantrum.

Here are some pictures of mama and babies:

Have a good weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another past finish

I have made quite a bit of progress on Gentle Stitches, but I didn't get pictures taken before I lost the sunlight. I'll make sure to take some tomorrow.

 In the meantime, here is another favorite past finish. This is Milady's Acorn Box by Milady's Needle

This project was released as a kit at the Nashville Needlework market in 2009, and I purchased it from Salty Yarns in Ocean City, Maryland. I don't know if it is still available. It is stitched on 40 count Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens. The threads are Belle Soie silks by Crescent Colours. The darker color is Rustique and the lighter is Red Fox. The finished size is very small, only about 3 inches x 3 inches. I want to finish this as a box top as recommended in the kit. 

These two small pieces will become a two-sided scissor fob when I get around to finishing it:

Hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Progress on Gentle Stitches and Haul from The Stitching Post

As promised, here is my progress on Gentle Stitches by Shakespeare's Peddler. I haven't done a lot of stitching this week because I was quite busy with house buying related errands, but here it is.

I'm really glad I switched to the whiter linen, and I can't wait to get to the prettier pinks and greens in this piece.

I'm using the Thread Heaven for this and I like it. I think it really cuts down on those annoying looped knots you get on the back of your piece when pulling your thread through. The thread does feel like it is dragging less, but that could also be due to the plain Zweigart linen rather than the Lakeside Linens I started on, which was a bit "fuzzier".

I don't know about other stitchers, but I have as much fun going to the stitching shop and planning new projects as I do actually stitching. I got a few things this week at The Stitching Post.

First is this cute "2009 Santa" pattern from The Prairie Schooler:

I'm going to stitch this for my hockey-playing boyfriend and personalize with Washington Capitals colors. I don't know when I'll get to this one, but hopefully in time for Christmas. 

I love Autumn and Autumn colors, so this monochromatic piece by Little House Needleworks caught my eye:

The pattern came with this Belle Soie silk floss:

But I couldn't resist the fall colors of these three silk skeins by The Thread Gatherer Silk N' Colors:

Top to bottom they are Rusty Amber, Apples & Oak Leaves, and Autumn Foliage.

When I got home I did some playing with linens from my stash:

I think I'm going to use the Rusty Amber silk (middle above) and the Summer Khaki linen (top left above) but I don't know, they're all so beautiful and each would give the piece a slightly different feel.

I'm also thinking about stitching this piece, which has been in my stash for MANY years, and would look good in my new kitchen:

I'm going to use the floss below, Highland Garden Dark by Gloriana, and either Summer Khaki (top) or Stone Grey (bottom) Newcastle linen. Again, two different feels based on which linen I choose.

I have a lot of stitching to do! Maybe I should do more actual stitching and less playing with stitching goodies ;)

A Big Thank You!

This post is a BIG thank you to Belinda for the 2006-2010 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments issues I won in a blog giveaway from Blue Ribbon Designs! I've entered several blog giveaways before and this time I won! An added bonus is that many new people found my blog when Belinda announced that I won the contest and linked my blog to her post.

Belinda packaged the magazines so nicely and shipped them right away. She even wrapped them in a Christmas ribbon and included a sweet note!

She sent me a total of five magazines, totaling over 375 ornament patterns! I am so lucky and I can't wait to stitch some of them.

Thank you Belinda!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A recent finish and a start

Hello again!

I'm so thankful that I have two followers, even if one of them is my mom :) Shout out to Belinda of Blue Ribbon Designs for being my first follower! I will work on getting more now that I have a second post and readers can get a better feel for what I will be posting.

Since I have been stitching for about 12 years, I will have to get you caught up on some of my favorite past stitches. The one I want to share with you today is called Glory House '12 by Chessie & Me. Even though this was a very recent finish (just earlier this month, for the Fourth of July), it might be my all-time favorite stitch. I prefer small designs that give quick gratification and I love stitching American flags.

I believe this all-inclusive kit was released at this year's Nashville needlework show, and I purchased it at The Stitching Post in Catonsville, MD. It is stitched on 36 count Vintage Pearled Barley linen by Lakeside Linens with Crescent Colours Belle Soie silks. Everything just came together beautifully for this kit, and the linen and silks were wonderful to stitch with. 

Here is a better look at the top half: 

the Smyrna crosses used for the berry and the outer border and the rice-stitched door: 

and the cute little over-one bluebird: 

The only modifications I made to the pattern were making the right edge of the flag straight rather than giving it a ragged edge and using cross stitch instead of satin stitch for inside the plant pot. Now I have to decide if I want to frame this tiny little piece or make some sort of pinkeep or cushion. Any suggestions on finishing ideas? If I do choose a pinkeep there are all kinds of Americana quilting fabrics that would look so cute for the back of the piece. 

I am anxiously awaiting my Strawberry Collection pattern by Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery and coordinating linen to arrive from the Ye Olde Cross Stitchery website, but it is taking quite awhile since the 40 count Putty linen from Weeks Dye Works is backordered. I hope I like the linen when it finally arrives, since I've never seen the color in person. 

While I wait for my package to arrive, I'm going to try to stitch another relatively quick-looking piece that I've had in my stash. It is "Gentle Stitches" by Shakespeare's Peddler

This design was released as a special Nashville Market Release partial kit with another pattern from Little House Needleworks and five skeins of Crescent Colours cotton floss that work for both pieces. I prefer this pattern but there is enough floss to stitch both pieces. 

Last night I started the project on a piece of 40 count Light Exemplar linen by Lakeside that I had in my stash but I decided I didn't like how it looked. 

So I went to The Stitching Post today and bought some 40 count Antique White Newcastle, which is closer in color to what the pattern actually calls for (Porcelain by Lakeside). 

While the pattern calls for 32 count linen, I am stitching on 40 count because I think the piece will fit nicely into a 5 x 7 dowry box from Olde Colonial Designs. This picture is from their website: 

It will make a nice stitching box with the stitching-themed sampler, and perhaps I will pull some of the motifs from the sampler (buttons, scissors, spools of thread) and make some smalls such as a pin cushion or scissor fob. 

So I restarted the sampler tonight with the new linen, and I am liking it so far. I also purchased some "Thread Heaven", a thread wax or conditioner, because I am so spoiled from stitching my last piece in silks that the cotton feels like it is dragging. I'll let you know how the Thread Heaven works.

Well wow, blogging takes a lot longer than I thought! Better wrap this one up. Next time I'll show you another favorite past stitch, my progress on Gentle Stitches, and review the Thread Heaven. 

Thanks so much for visiting. I really hope this blog will come to be read by lots of my fellow stitchers and give the kind of inspiration that other stitching blogs have given me. 

Until next time, 


Monday, July 23, 2012

First Post!

Instead of agonizing over it forever, as I do with many things, I am simply going to write this first blog post! I have been following cross stitch blogs for about two years and they are a constant source of joy and inspiration for me. I have decided to create a humble little blog of my very own, and I hope it will bring some brightness to other people's days.

A little background about me:

I am a 25-year-old recent graduate of nursing school. I have been cross stitching since the 6th grade, when a local needlework shop-owner started a club at my school and taught me how to cross stitch. I spent many, many hours at that LNS in middle and high school, stitching with wonderful women who, though much older than me, were kindred spirits. At any given time, one of the "regulars" could be found stitching at the shop and you were always welcome to join. It was not just a store, but a community. That LNS has since closed and I have yet to find a stitching community like that again, though hopefully I will someday. Perhaps I will find some kindred stitching spirits in the "blogosphere"!

Other than stitching, currently my days are spent relaxing while I wait for my first nursing job to start in August, spending time with my wonderful boyfriend, and looking forward to my first home--a new construction townhouse that will be finished sometime in October.

I think that about does it for my first post. Next, I have to figure out how to get some readers!

Up next: my past cross stitch finishes and current WIPs

Until next time,