Sunday, November 30, 2008

Engelbreit Yellow

I have been stitching and stitching and stitching and stitching some more with DMC 444 which I have affectionately? renamed "Engelbreit Yellow." Progress is being made, however, on the border. I have finished the bottom part, which is the thickest and have passed the halfway point. I apologize for these photos. I took them three times, but the colors are still washed out. Perhaps my camera needs new batteries, or perhaps the light is just not good today. Here is a close-up of the bottom part of the border with its multitude of little yellow stitches...around 1500, but who's counting?

Here are some international blog posts that will make an enjoyable visit this week:

Argante at Il Filo Incantato stitched The Thread Gathering by Victoria Sampler and finished it into a top for a box where she can store her various threads.

Maria at Un punto e una croce has finished Winter Sampler by Little House Needleworks. It is so cute with the little gingerbread man. She also has pictures of finishes of the others in this seasonal sampler series.

And look at what Gisele made with her finish of Noel 2008! She has finished it into a gorgeous bag. I love the colors that she used on this free SAL pattern from Chez Brodyzen.

Finally, I wanted to show you this finish by Amaryllis at My Workbasket of a beautiful Wolf. This blog is all in Russian and thus I can't read it, but she has some beautiful stitching, including some Teresa Wentzler.

And lastly, I wanted to show another new design that I have fallen in love with. This one is Peppermint Twist by Blue Ribbon Designs. I really need to finish something so I can start something new.

And the new pattern I mentioned last week by Tournicoton, Pere Noel Charmant, and other Tournicoton patterns can be purchased simply and easily by Americans at Violarium. I have placed orders with them several times, and their shipping to the US is both inexpensive and quick, and everything is done in excellent English.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas is Coming!

As I wandered around from blog to blog this week, I was enveloped in the Christmas spirit. So many of you are working on Christmas projects, ornaments are everywhere, Christmas decor abounded, and many in the Northern Hemisphere were blessed with their first snow of the year. I saw snow pictures from all over the world. Blogs were also beginning to get winter or christmas-themed backgrounds. Christmas and winter are definitely in the air!

No less so here, although we have no snow. I worked on The North Pole piece some more this week. I am now on the fourth floor of the design which seems to be the room of the doll maker. The brown checkerboard thing is the beginning of an easy chair.

I also stitched quite a bit on Mary Engelbreit's To a Friend's House the Road is Never Long, but I am so close to finishing the bottom border that I have decided to wait and finish that before I post a picture.

In the new design area, have you seen this new one by Tournicoton? I don't usually stitch too many ornaments or smalls, but I really like this one. It is called Pere Noel Charmant.

And finally, here are some blog posts that caught my eye this week:

First of all, Val at Jum's Blog really did now finish her Blackbird, I Thee Wed. She substituted the suggested threads with DMC, and the result is truly beautiful.

At Le Blog d'Alineka, there is another lovely Blackbird finish. This one is Strawberry Garden.

For a wintry finish, take a peek at Brodev's Hiver Nordique. She has stitched a gorgeous wintry scene.

Well, I had another to share, but I am looking at the clock and see that it is time for me to go to church, so I'll get to it next time. Oh, and I want to mention that I think I fixed the problem with comments from people who do not have blogger accounts. Now you should be able to comment with Open ID. Sorry about that problem.

To my American readers, have a Happy Thanksgiving! And to all others, have a great week!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Saturday Night SAL

After a week of no stitching due to a slight injury to my hand, I was glad to start up again by participating in the Saturday Night SAL sponsored by the Only One Ewe cross stitch forum. I had a great night of stitching, due in part to my state of mind after returning from a stressful all-day swim meet. Those of you who have kids involved in competitive swimming will understand, but to those who do not, let me explain. Pools are usually not set up as a spectactor sport, so for many meets, parents bring their own folding chairs and space is always an issue. This year, perhaps because of Michael Phelps, it is nearly impossible to find a place to even set up your chair. This made parents cranky and unfriendly. In addition, indoor pool buildings are heated to a level for the swimmers' comfort, who are running around in wet swimsuits. So for parents, who are not in swimsuits or wet, it is uncomfortably warm. Then there is the smell and taste of chlorine in the air, and the echoey nature of almost all indoor pools that seem to amplify sound and bounce it all around all the walls, increasing its volume fourfold, I'm certain. Add to this lovely environment, about 250 excited, pumped-up, carb-filled 9 to 12 year olds, and you may begin to get the picture.

So when I got home, I was very happy to sit in my comfortable chair, and cross stitch away on the North Pole while watching The Lake House on TV. Cross stitching helps me to de-stress, and I had a lot that to accomplish :-).

I got the toolbox on the left side done, the icicle on the right side roof, and all the light brown stitching in the ceiling part. I continue to love this design and hate the fabric that I am using, but felt in my Q-Snaps helps tremendously. Here is the progress picture:

I also had a good stash week. Two separate orders, from two different stores arrived. One of the orders arrived promptly, but the other was placed nearly 9 weeks ago and I had all but given up on it ever arriving. I received Blue Bird Sampler and Christmas Row by Bent Creek, and Blessings & Kind Wishes which is a Loose Feather design from Blackbird. There were also some Weeks Dye Works threads which are for a another Blackbird design, Awake the Dawning Day, that I want to start, probably after Christmas.

And I also received Winter Wonderland by Crown & Thistle, which I have to tell you, I would never have purchased had I not seen one finished. The picture on the pattern really does not do it justice. In this package was also The 4th Day of Christmas by Prairie Moon, a designer that I am becoming more and more fond of, who actually lives near here. I have to say, though, I am still a little shell-shocked from perusing the thread list on this design-- a whopping 22 different GAST threads. Finally, there were three Lizzie Kate monthly flip-its from a few years ago.
I have been busy surfing many beautiful blogs this week. Here are a few that had some wonderful finishes:

At Jum's Blog, there is a beautiful finish of Blackbird's I Thee Wed. The colors on this one are spectacular! Edited to say that Val at Jum's Blog emailed to point out that this is not yet finished, there is a bit left to stitch.

There is also a cute finish at Roses et Caramel. Charline has stitched Winter Row by Bent Creek. I have seen several splendid Bent Creek "Row" design finishes in the last month, and it is really making me want to stitch one myself.

And at Croix Begood, there is a stunningly beautiful picture of her finish of Momenti di Vita.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mon Beau Chalet

I have developed a strong attraction to French designs. I like many of their popular designers: Isabelle Vautier, Tournicoton, Bleu de Chine, Madame La Fee, Tralala, Perrette Samouiloff, and A Mon a Pierre. I am also building a library of French stitching magazines and books. The very first one of these magazines that I owned was De Fil en Aiguille, Hors Serie Alpin, which is a special issue themed on the alps. This design that I am stitching, Mon Beau Chalet, comes from that magazine. I grew up skiing and backpacking in the Sierra Mountains of California, and these chalet-style designs evoke in me the memory and aura of those happy childhood times.

Here is my recent progress picture on this design:

I have also been surfing stitching blogs. If I stitched as much as I surfed, I might actually finish some stuff. Anyway, here are some of the blog posts that really got my attention this week:

Petite Croix & Compagnie there is a post depicting her progress on a lovely work in blue called "la trousse de Jeanne". It is gorgeous!

At Bienvenue Chez Virginie, Virginie has finished stitching the beautiful Coeur Chalet by Bleu de Chine with a SAL. One of these days, I want to join one of these French SALs where they break the design up into parts and everyone stitches the same part in the same week.

At Il Mio Mondo...di crocette, Tina has finished stitching Autumn Row by Bent Creek and made it into a nice pillow. I love all these Row designs by Bent Creek. It is only a matter time before I try one myself.

Well, now it is back to stitching. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Drum Roll Please......

The winner of the Winter Cardinal pattern giveaway draw is.....

Debby of StitchWizard

Congratulations Debby! If you could please send me an email with your address and I will send the pattern in the post tomorrow. My email address is in my profile.

Thanks to all who entered my first ever pattern giveaway. I am sure there will be more in the future.

As today is Election Day here in the United States, let me just remind my fellow Americans to:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saturday Night Stitching II

I participated in another Saturday Night Stitch-Along and once again I chose to work on my Cricket Collection North Pole design. It is really three different designs combined to make one project: First Story, Second Story, and Third Story; but I find those titles quite unsatisfying, so I'm calling it The North Pole. I am getting close to finishing up the Second Story. Next Saturday should see it done, I think. Then there are just two more rooms for me to finish.

For those of you who entered the drawing for the Winter Cardinal pattern, I am going to draw a name tomorrow, November 4th, in the afternoon.
That's all for now. Have a great week!