Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Inching Towards an Umbrella Finish

Oh my goodness, I'm so close to finishing Falling Star's umbrella I can taste it! I'm absolutely determined to finish it off before I start another big project, so I'm soldiering on. Here it is so far:

More done on the never-ending umbrella, and I've stitched the word "falling" on the left.

A bit of personal news: my father-in-law, who's a diplomat, has been living in Yemen for about three years now waiting for his next assignment. That's how they do it, apparently: they send them out to a country for four years, but then they've got to come back home and spend a few years there before they're sent out again. My husband and his family have lived in Jordan, London, Berlin, Vienna... Anyway, they've just announced his next country, and it's Tokyo, Japan!! Everyone is so excited. They're moving there this summer, so I really hope we get a chance to visit them once they've settled in. That would be amazing!

What are your summer plans?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hot Sun, Big Umbrella

Well, I'm very happy to report that I had plenty of time to relax this weekend (Sunday is the first day of the working week here, so the weekend's already over). On Friday I had to drag my husband to the mall to buy new clothes, which he hates doing. On Saturday we went to my sister-in-law's building, which has a lovely pool on the roof, and we spent a couple of hours swimming and baking in the sun. I've got a bit of a sunburn, but nothing that can't be covered by makeup!

And I had some time to make progress on Falling Star:

More done on the umbrella, and I've stitched the word "star" on the left!

I'm still having problems with Blogger - I'm not getting everyone's emails! I'm not sure how to fix this, either. If you've commented and haven't received a reply, I'm really sorry. :(

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Umbrella as Stress Relief

My goodness, it's been such an exhausting week. Nothing really special, I guess, but a lot of classes to teach, a lot of driving back and forth, and very little time for a personal life. I should have posted this hours ago, but I had six straight hours of classes with only five minute breaks to eat a quick something, and then I came home, collapsed on the bed, and took a quick nap. Result: very groggy and grumpy.

Anyway, now that the excitement of the traveling pattern is behind us, I've picked up La-D-Da's Falling Star again. Here's where I am now:

I put in more work on the umbrella, and then stitched the "&" on the left. Not much, I know, but I'm hoping to get more done this weekend.

Hope you're all doing well! I'm going to go put some food in my belly and then make the rounds on your blogs. Can't wait to see what you've been up to!

Big hugs,

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Life's a Stitch" Off to See the World Again!

Hey folks! First of all, I wanted to apologize. Blogger is being weird again - I'm not getting all of the email notifications when someone comments on a blog post. I'm getting some of them, but not all. I realized it when I went back to my post to count how many people were interested in the traveling pattern, and I saw that the number of comments was far more than the emails I'd received! Anyway, if you commented on the post and I didn't reply (as I normally do, even if it's just to say thanks) blame Blogger!

Before I announce where Life's a Stitch is going next, I wanted to show you how I finished it off:

I sewed it into a sweet little pillow using that floral fabric: black background with soft pinks and greens. I thought it was perfect!

Without further ado, the person who will have the pleasure of stitching this little guy up is.......

Yay! This was so much fun. I absolutely love traveling patterns. Thank you all for your sweet comments and for joining in the fun!

Lots of love,

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Life's a Stitch" Traveling Pattern, Anyone?

This was such a quick stitch! I received the traveling pattern from the lovely Lulu from Crafting across Continents on Tuesday and immediately started on it.

I stitched this on 28-count beige evenweave with the recommended DMC threads. It was so refreshing to stitch this - it was quick and easy and the colors go together so nicely! I did have to frog the entire right line of satin stitches, though, when I realized that I'd missed two lines.

So now it's ready to move on! If you're interested in stitching this little beauty for yourself, please let me know as a comment to this post. I'll draw a name on Monday morning, how does that sound?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Umbrella Update

Forging ahead on Falling Star! Here's where I am now:

More, of course, on the endless umbrella, and I stitched the word "put" on the left.

Still with me? Didn't fall asleep from boredom? Good! I also have a mail goodie to post about: the traveling pattern has arrived!

Lulu from Crafting across Continents was the last recipient of the Lizzie Kate Life's a Stitch traveling pattern, and she has passed it on to me! This should be a really quick stitch, so if you're interested in stitching it next, watch this space! I'll get to work on it right away so I can pass it on quickly.

Happy xxx's,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Back to the Umbrella

That's what I'm going to call Falling Star from now on - because it's really all about the giant umbrella. I've picked it back up and made more minute progress:

Since last we saw it, I've stitched the word "it" on the left and gotten more done on the umbrella. We're at the halfway point! Woohoo!

I also got a lovely surprise in the mail. Ariadne (Ariadne from Greece) won a giveaway from Kim (Wisdom with Needle and Thread) recently, and part of the prize was she got to pick a friend to receive some goodies too. And she picked me! I was thrilled. I just received Kim's package, and look at all the goodies she sent me:

She sent one of her handmade four-leaf clover thread keepers, a bee scissor fob, a couple of adorable cross-stitched gift tags, and some beautiful oil painting prints. Isn't it all lovely? Thanks again, Kim and Ariadne!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Egg-Change

A little while ago, Ingrid over at Mii Stitch hosted a lovely spring Easter Egg-change. We were given random partners to send packages to, the only rules being that we had to cross-stitch and finish an Easter item and include some Easter chocolate.

I drew Kay (no blog). I found the cutest pattern on Pinterest, which took me to Matrioshka Biscornu, a great blog with lots of freebie designs. I stitched this one on beige 14-count Aida with DMC threads and finished it off with a floral fabric and a little "handmade" charm in the corner.

I also knitted her one of my favorite things to make: a little bunny! I used some Nako Jelibon yarn and gave it a cotton tail, white button eyes, and a blue ribbon. If you'd like the instructions for this little guy, you can find them here.

I also sent her a Crossed Wing Collection chart, some fabric fat-eighths, a little pack of chocolate Easter eggs, and a little pack of chocolate-covered dates (I had to send her something authentically local!) Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it all together.

Albena (blog here) sent her package to me, and it was filled with lovely goodies!

She sent me some pink linen, some floral fabric, a beautiful variegated floss, a little baggie of charms, Lindt chocolate rabbits, the cutest little memo pads, and of course a cross-stitched Easter pillow. Here's a close-up of the pillow - isn't the stitching perfect?

This was such a fun exchange! Thanks again, Ingrid, for putting it all together!

Big hugs,

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Foray into the Infinity

The infinity scarf, that is! I have not yet learned how to knit in the round, but I saw a few pictures on Pinterest of how to knit an infinity scarf without knitting in the round, and I was sold! Here's the final product:

This was stitched with two balls of Lion Brand's Tweed Stripes yarn in Woodlands, a beautiful variegated yarn that my mom bought me for my last birthday. I just had to play with it! I knitted this up on 5mm straight needles using the basic garter stitch, knitting and knitting and knitting away, until I was satisfied with the length. And then I sewed the two ends together! Isn't that a brilliant cheat?

I'm so happy with it! The only tricky part was trying to match the colorways of the two ends - I had to stop knitting when I hit the right color and shade. But I'm so happy with it, and it's so cozy and warm. And summer just started. Perfect timing, right?

Keep those needles clicking!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enough of the Umbrella?

More super-slow progress on La-D-Da's Falling Star:

Slowly and surely, folks! I stitched on the umbrella some more, and added the word "your" on the left. I think I'm going to put this aside for a couple of days now and pick up my knitting needles next - I'm a little bored of the umbrella, to be honest!

The last two weeks of work have been pure hell, with my husband away, extended working hours, and a "Total Immersion" student (he was here for two weeks, and he wanted to do the same amount of material it normally takes six months to do). That's done, thank God, so I should be going back to normal hours next week.

Happier news: the Quilt and Stitch Art show is back on! Registration just opened, and I've submitted the pictures and details of two pieces for consideration. I entered this last year, with my Teddy Bear Quilt, but didn't win anything. Let's see if I get accepted first!

Lots of love,