Thursday, December 15, 2016

The December Gifted Gorgeousness SAL, and a Bit of Berries

Yep, it's time for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL again! This is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's baby - we stitch on something that's been gifted to us through exchanges or giveaways, whether a pattern, kit, fabric, floss, whatever, and post on the 15th of the month.

Last month I started SamSarah's 3D Fresh Apple to add to my fruit bowl, and I've managed to make a little more progress on it:

Not much, but I really only had an hour or so in the evenings to work on it this week. It's been busy around here - we're having my baby's birthday party on Saturday! Technically his birthday's next week, but we had to schedule it on a day when our friends and family could come. It's just been a whirlwind of buying decorations and ordering the cake and sending out the invite...when did it get this complicated to have a party?!

Last weekend I had time to stitch on Blackberry House a little:

You can see my last progress here. Just a couple of berries and a leaf added to it. I'm making my way from the right side to the top now.

Well, that's all I've got today! Thanks for stopping by!

Big hugs,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 16 - Finished!

Happy December, everyone! My birthday was on the 2nd, when I stared the big 3-0 in the face and survived. Okay, I'm being a little dramatic, but it was a pretty big deal for me.

Unfortunately, the weather here hasn't realized that it's December yet. It's only 28 degrees here (that's 82 degrees F). Still humid and muggy and gross. Joy.

I managed to carve out some time this week to do the final finishing on Courage, the latest sheep installment for the Little Sheep Virtues SAL:

I finished it off the same way I did the previous ones, as a little pillow with twine around the edges. Here's the fabric I used for the backing:

Isn't it cute? I knew I wanted to use it when I first started this sheep, because of all the purple in the design. I'm so happy with how it all looks! And here is my whole flock together:

And all their finishing fabrics:

I can't believe I've finished eight of them already - only four more to go! Although finishing those four might take me another two years, at the rate I'm going. Oh well - what's the rush, right?

Lots of love,

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 15, and a Berry Dilemma

Hi folks! I hope you're all having a wonderful week. The weather is finally getting cooler here, which is a welcome relief. Time to dig out the sweaters! For someone who lives in a hot sandpit, I have an addiction to buying sweaters - wishful thinking, I guess - and nothing makes me happier than sweater weather!

All right, some stitching has been happening. Here's Blackberry House:

You can see my last progress update here. I've stitched another leaf and a couple of berries, and I've started to go back and highlight the other berries with the suggested colors. Weeks ago I had a problem with the smaller berries, the ones with the maroon outline, because three little stitches were charted in bright pink, even though the model shows them highlighted in white. So I frogged that bit out. Now, the bigger berries are annoying me. I went back and filled in the holes with the suggested color, but it just looks so dark!

You can see what I mean here. I've filled in the lowest berry and the one under the bird's wing. Do they look alright to you? I'm trying to decide how much this bothers me, if it's worth frogging or not.

I've also got a finish for the Little Sheep Virtues SAL!

This is Courage at a little more than 1400 stitches. I've finished the little sheep, which I stitched in a dark brown Wisper, and attached the two little buttons. I need to get out my Bunka brush and do some final finishing, and then it can join my flock!

So strange how the color of the fabric is so different in these two pictures, which I took right after each other in the exact same spot. The first one is more true to real life.

Happy xxx's!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 14, and the Bird is Done!

Wow, I hadn't realized it had been a few weeks since I posted about my Blackberry House progress! I've been so busy posting about my exchange with Chiara and the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL that it totally slipped my mind. I've been stitching, though! Here's my progress so far:

I finished the body and the second wing of the bird, plus two more berries and two more leaves. You can see my last progress here. It's growing so nicely!

I'm also almost done with Courage, my latest Little Virtues Sheep:

This is Courage at 1400. I finished the word "Courage" - so it doesn't say "Rage" anymore! - and I've started the little sheep. I decided to make him dark brown, and I like how it looks with all the purple.

I've been trying to write this post all day, and it finally happened - whew! Little baby is 11 months old this week, and he's started walking! To say the least, he's unstoppable now.

Huge hugs,

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The November Gifted Gorgeousness SAL

It's already mid-November, and I'm a couple of days late for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL again! This is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's baby - we stitch on something that's been gifted to us through exchanges or giveaways, whether a pattern, kit, fabric, floss, whatever, and post on the 15th of the month...or the 17th, apparently.

A couple of years ago I stitched up SamSarah's Melon and Berry 3D designs. The lovely Emma (from Emma's Bloglet) sent me another fruit in the series during our exchange last year: Apple!

I'm stitching this on 28 count Christmas Red Jobelan, the same fabric and count that I stitched the other fruit on, though of course it's a different color. It's a much brighter red than the model on the cover, but a red apple is a red apple, right?

I'm stitching this with the recommended WDW and GAST floss. It shouldn't take long at all to stitch, but finishing the last two fruit pieces was a tense process, so hopefully this one goes smoothly!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Exchanges with Chiara

All right, so, years ago Chiara (from the grey tail) and I started talking about doing a sheep-themed exchange, we sent our packages out months ago, and we're finally getting our acts together enough to blog about it. But maybe good things really do come to those who wait, because our packages were both dripping with goodness - we'd both taken the time to get some awesome goodies for each other!

Here is what I sent her. I completely forgot to take a single picture before I shipped it out, so I'm borrowing this one from Chiara's blog:

I stitched a sheep-y Bent Creek design called Wooley on 32-count Dark Cobblestone Lugana and finished off with some coordinating fabric and a bit of lace. I added some wooden spoons I found that were painted with little sheep, some King Cole Merino (from sheep!) yarn in a lovely rose color, and a Bent Creek sheep pattern. I had to include some souvenirs from good ol' Dubai, of course, so in went some local tea packs and a very Arab pencil.

And this is what she sent me, all wrapped up:

And unwrapped:

She'd stitched us both adorable little scissor fobs from a Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery design called "Wool Ewe Be My Neighbour?" She also gave me some Wisper and DMC wool and a cute little Mill Hill sheep kit.

But the most awesome part - she'd bought us both the Jardin Prive's "History of Sheep" series! She sent me everything I'll need to stitch it up, including linen and floss from Nina's Threads. I'm so excited about this project, but I have no idea when we'll start it.

I love it all, Chiara, thank you! We've got to do another exchange soon!

Happy xxx's,

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 13, and a Tiny Bird Wing

Hey all! I hope you're having a wonderful start to November. Nothing much to report here - everything's going well, baby's enjoying his swim classes, I'm trying to keep my head above water (no pun intended!) with life stuff... Same old, same old.

On to the stitching! Loving Blackberry House:

Another couple of berries, and I've stitched one of the bird's wings. It's such a pretty color! (You can see my last progress update here) I think I'm running out of Endive, though, the color of most of the leaves, so I might have to make a stash order soon (yippee!)

Also, my weekly check-in on the Little Sheep Virtues SAL:

This is Courage at 1300 stitches. Finished that vine underlining "Courage" along the bottom, and started stitching the word. It was only when I was taking pictures that I realized I've spelled out "Rage" - LOL! Not exactly the intended message.

That's all I've got for you today!

Huge hugs,

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 12, and Back to Blackberry

Oh my goodness, it's been such a busy week! My sister is on vacation, so she swung by and spent a couple of days with us on her way from the States (where she's living now with my mom and our youngest sister) to Kuwait (where my third sister is living with her husband and new baby). And then  laptop, after serving me for 3-4 years, finally called it quits. It had been slowly dying anyway over the past few months, but it was time to call a spade a spade and go get a new one. So I did! And I'm absolutely in love with my nice new shiny machine, but the keys are slightly different, so my pinkie finger keeps hitting the "up" key instead of the "shift" key. This will take some getting used to...

Anyways, you're here for the stitching! Honestly it's getting harder and harder to find time to stitch, but I'm glad I'm sticking with it. It gives me something to do that is not baby-related. The problem is my son (now 10 months old!) has to be the worst sleeper on earth. I'm talking 45-minute naps, max. It doesn't give me a lot of "me" time.

Here's where I am on Blackberry House:

I managed to stitch another leaf and a couple of berries on the bottom. Also, I was looking at the berries I had finished last time at the top (you can see my last progress post here) and I just didn't like one of the colors. There were three little stitches on each one, kind of like highlighting the berries, but they were bright pink. It looked so strange to me and I decided last night that I couldn't live with it so I pulled them out. I don't know what I'll replace it with, but I'll figure that out later.

Also, some stitching on the Little Sheep Virtues SAL:

This is Courage at 1200 stitches. I've finished the border!! Serious happy dance just for that milestone. Now I can concentrate on the fun stuff...

Lots of love,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The October Gifted Gorgeousness SAL (a Final Finish!)

How how how how is it mid-October already? I don't understand where the days are going. I'm late for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL again! This is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's baby - we stitch on something that's been gifted to us through exchanges or giveaways, whether a pattern, kit, fabric, floss, whatever, and post on the 15th of the month...or as close as possible to the 15th!

A few months ago I started working on Plum Street Sampler's Party Tarts, which was technically a birthday present from my father. You can see my last update here, when I finished stitching them up. Well, I've got a final finish to show you!

I just barely managed to get these done last night when the baby went to bed. I bought the exact same mini tart pans used in the model picture (Wilton 4.75" from, if anyone's interested) but mine don't look nearly as nice and neat as the model picture. Not even close!

These took me forever to finish up. I tried to follow the instructions: The tart pans have a removable base, so I took it out, wrapped the fabric around it, and then stuffed it full of poly-fil until it was nice and plump. So far so good! Then I attempted to stitch the bottom closed...oh the agony...the fabric started clumping up and creasing and puckering and doing all sorts of weird things around the edges. It was nearly impossible to keep the base still, and every time the base slipped the poly-fil would go nuts. A lot of cursing and whip stitching later, it sorta-kinda looked right. But then the bottom was a mess!

So I took out a bit of red felt I had on hand, cut it to fit the bottom, grabbed some fabric glue, and stuck it on. Then I glued it to the inside rim of the tart pan. The red isn't nearly this bright in real life, I don't know what's going on in the picture.

Anyway, they're done! And just in time for the elections in a few days. Speaking of which, I've got my absentee voter ballot all finished, I just need to scan it and email it in.

Happy xxx's!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 11, and a Couple More Berries...

Super, super, super quick update. Baby's being really fussy today and I'm not sure how long this nap's going to last. He's definitely teething - I can see a little tooth pushing its way out of his top gum. He already has his two front bottom ones!

So, first off, I've managed a little more on Blackberry House:

Stitching the leaves on the bottom and a couple more berries at the top. The colors are so vibrant in real life, I don't know if they're coming across in the pictures. You can see last week's progress here.

And another 100 stitches done on the Little Sheep Virtues SAL:

This is Courage at 1100 stitches. I've just been concentrating on the border the last couple of weeks. As we all know, it's my least favorite part of this series (even though it looks so sweet when it's finished!) It just takes forever to stitch and is so repetitive. Anyways, almost done!

Huge hugs,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Courage Sheep Update 10, and Blackberry House is Really Blooming Now!

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well. Not much to report here. The weather is finally cooling down - you can actually be outside for more than two minutes! My husband is coming home tonight. He'd been in Ottawa, Canada the past week, at the One Young World summit. Super big deal, apparently, though I'd never heard of it before. I know the baby will be incredibly happy to see him again! I'm useful to have around in the feeding, cleaning, keeping-him-alive sense, but his father makes him laugh so much. I've tried, but I never get that same amazing baby belly-laugh.

It's been a productive week, stitching-wise. Here's where I am with the PSS Blackberry House:

I've finished the stem and two more berries at the top. You can see last week's progress here.

And the weekly check-in for the Little Sheep Virtues SAL:

This is Courage at 1000 stitches. Yep, that's what 1000 stitches looks like. I just worked on the border some more this week.

That's all I've got to show for myself! Gotta go water some plants, sort some laundry, make some lunch.

Lots and lots and lots of love to you all!