Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Bisco Diamond?

I've been in the mood to try new and unusual finishes, so here's my latest attempt:

I stitched this on 14-count beige Aida, using warm DMC autumn colors: dark green, dark red, and a gold Light Effects, and then I attached some tiny gold beads. The pieces were sewn together with biscornu-type stitching. The designs you can find here.

I don't think I'll make another one. It was so much work! It was like a bunch of tiny biscornus attached to one another. Though I am glad I finally tried making it.

On to more stitching adventures,

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quilt Square 48

And some more progress on the American Flag Quilt...

This newest block is Oklahoma, the Sooner State, which joined the union on November 16, 1907, making it the 46th state. Which means...I only have 4 states left!!

I love this piece so much. I really have no idea what to do with myself once I'm done with it. I'm going to have to find an equally big project to keep me busy. Hmm... Any suggestions?

Big hugs,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quilt Square 47

I'm still stitching on the American Flag Quilt. It's a good way to while away the hours...

So this newest block is Utah, the Beehive State. It joined the union on January 4, 1896, making it the 45th state. (Seriously, only 5 left?!)

So I thought I'd give you guys a better picture of how Ramadan has been going this year: we sleep all day long (my husband's still on leave recovering from his arm surgery, and I'm on summer vacation, so this part is easy!). By the time we wake up, we've only got a few hours to kill before sundown.

Then it's cooking time. Ramadan has a menu entirely of its own, very different from our meals the rest of the year. We break our fast with buttermilk, some dates, soup, and different kinds of samosas. At this point I'm usually full - when you haven't eaten all day, your stomach shrinks. We wait about an hour and then have a normal meal, where I'll make lasagne or a casserole or a stew, whatever. We'll eat little things off and on all night, staying up until dawn, when we have one more meal, usually a kind of breakfast food, before we have to stop. Then it's to bed to start all over again!

Wish us luck!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quilt Square 46

Well, after a long time away from it, I've finally picked the American Flag Quilt back up. I can't believe it's been more than a month since I've stitched on this!

This newest square is Wyoming, the Equality State. This is the 44th state, admitted into the union on July 10, 1890. Wow, that means I've only got six states left!

I certainly have missed stitching on this piece and watching it grow. The fabric is, I think, officially my favorite ever. It's just so soft and a delight to stitch on!

Last Wednesday was the start of Ramadan. That's our holy month, kind of like Lent, I suppose, except that we fast completely from sun-up until sun-down. No food, no drinks, no foul language, no inappropriate activities. I can't even kiss my own husband all day!

But definitely the hardest part is the heat. Ramadan changes from year to year, gradually moving up the calendar ten days a year. This year, it happened to land on the absolute hottest part of the summer. Temperatures have been in the high 40s, nudging the back end of 50 degrees. It's been unbelievable. This is supposed to be a holy month filled with prayer and introspection, to really feel the plight of our fellow man in his hunger and poverty, but it's hard to focus when you just want a drink of water.

Anyway. On to some stitching distraction: I've signed up for Mii's Summer Holiday Exchange. If you haven't yet, do head on over there and join in! I think she's closing it on the 15th, tomorrow, so you still have a little time. It's so much fun!

Huge hugs,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Exchanges with Emma

Emma from Emma's Bloglet and I decided to have an exchange, and the only condition we gave ourselves was to make a stuffed finishing. That gave us a lot to work with - biscornus, pillows, needlerolls...

I decided to make a little stuffed hanging. This is Homespun Happiness, which I stitched on beige 14-count Aida, from the August 1989 issue of Just CrossStitch. I used some pretty, light purple fabric for the backing, and I attached a little silver key charm to the corner of the towel rack.

I also included a couple of little charts, a pack of tapestry needles, some thread-covered beads, and some really fantastic camel milk chocolate. I completely forgot to take a picture of it all before I sent it, though!

I was so happy when Emma got it all, safe and sound. Here's the hanging living with her:

And this is what she made me: a sweet little peacock pincushion.

She also sent me a great Crossed Wing Collection chart, some Anchor thread, and a Norwich tea towel.

I loved this exchange! Definitely looking forward to doing another one with Emma. So much fun!

Lots of love,

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Biscornu Madness Ends

First things first... My husband's surgery went better than expected. He was out of the operating room in an hour, wide awake and joking around. I, however, seemed to have gotten the raw end of the deal: while they were preparing him for surgery, they were hooking him up to an IV drip. And bless those ladies, they were really good with the needle and caused him a minimum of pain doing it. What no one in the room realized was how severe my reaction is to seeing needles sliding into skin. I'd even forgotten this - the last time I had a reaction was 13 years ago!

So anyway, the ladies are putting the IV into his arm, and next thing I know I'm on the floor surrounded by ten nurses. I'd fainted. Clear off my chair, slamming my head into the tiled floor. To say that I was the laughing stock of the day is an understatement. But hey, at least I lightened the mood a little!

My husband was discharged two hours after the surgery, so I did have the rest of the day to finish up the multicolored biscornu I'd stitched the other day. Here it is:

I decided to use purple thread to stitch it closed, just for a change. I put a bright yellow star button on top and a plain orange button on the bottom, using matching thread for each. But it's so small!

That's enough of the biscornus for a while, I think. I've made three in a row and I'm starting to miss "normal" stitching, if you know what I mean.

In other news: I won Kaye's Traveling Pattern draw! Woohoo! This is the cutest Little House Needleworks design, and I can't wait to stitch it up. If you haven't entered Kaye's 2nd Blogoversary giveaway yet, you definitely should. Also, Lija over at Stitching in Crosses and More is having a 100 follower giveaway. Give her a visit and sign up!

Big hugs,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Bits of Biscornus

Hey everyone! Well, my sister's been keeping me crazy busy. Over the past week we went to the Dolphinarium, the beach, shopping, rock-climbing, to the water park... It's been so much fun, though! And it's been good to catch up with her. I left home for college when I was 17 and she was 7, so we never really got a chance to get to know one another. She goes back home tomorrow, and the apartment's going to be very quiet without her.

Anyway, there have been pockets of quiet time this past week, and I managed to stitch up another biscornu. Haven't put it together yet, though:

I found the design here, on Pontos e Cruzinhas, for free. It's so pretty and colorful! It's definitely small, though. It's only about 3.5 x 3.5 inches - half the size of the two I just finished.

Bit of worrisome news: a few days my husband found a lump on his arm. He went to the doctor and was told he needed to have surgery to remove it. Once they remove it, they'll run some tests and found out if it's benign or not. I've been trying to keep calm so far, reminding myself that as of now there's nothing to freak out about. The surgery's on Sunday - they'll tell us the exact time tomorrow. I don't know yet if my husband will have to spend the night at the hospital. I guess that depends on what time the surgery is and how long it takes.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Busy with Biscornus

The second of the two cross-cultural biscornus!

So, again, I managed to find a few minutes here and there to finish this off. The first one I finished up here.

I put these two together for the next craft fair, hoping they'll appeal to people. I don't know, what do you guys think? These two are definitely the biggest biscornus I've ever put together, at about 7x7 inches.

I think I'll go through my stash and find another one to put together, actually! I'm on a bit of a biscornu roll here...

Big hugs,