Apr 26, 2014

Stitch from Stash - April

Time to report on April's Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The purpose of SFS is to stitch from our stash in order to reduce spending.  A side effect is reducing my accumulation of stash.

During the month of April, I was a very good girl and spent nothing. Yay for me!

I worked on three projects since I did my last SFS report:
1.  Japanese Garden
2.  Spring/Easter Mailart
3.  Petal Pincushion
Photos of all the projects can be seen in my previous post.
Until next time,

Apr 19, 2014

Where Does One Start?

Ever have trouble getting a blog update started?  It's not like I don't have things to say.  I just don't know where to start.  The past couple days have been difficult (more on that later).  I guess I'll start with a bit of humor...

Last night, I went to the thrift store to see if I could find a purse and a belt.  The belt I've been using literally fell apart one day last week.  I did find a belt.  No purse, though.  Also picked up a couple of books for $0.99 each and a nice 11x14 ornate frame with a mat in it.  I figure I can use it for a future stitching project.  I don't know what it is with me and frames (must be the photographer in me).  It's either frames or office supplies.  Yes, I have a fetish for office supplies, lol.  Note pads, post-its, paperclips, pens, markers, pencils, etc.  You're probably wondering what it is I found amusing at the thrift store, right?  I can hear you, "Get on with it, lady!"

I spied a still-in-the-package bottle of Fray Check.  I use the stuff for sealing the edges of my fabric to keep it from fraying while I stitch.  Sometimes, if I'm not too lazy... I'll use the sewing machine, but fray check is easier.  So, I saw the bottle and picked it up.  And yes, I thought this was funny.  Not "Ha Ha" funny, but stupid funny like "Seriously?"

New Price:  $2.59

Thrift Store Price: $2.99
As hard as it was (she says sarcastically), I opted to leave the fray check on the shelf.  I can get the stuff for 40% off with coupon at JoAnn Fabrics.  Now that's a deal!
Last week started out with snow on Monday.  Can you believe it?  Snow!  This has been the longest winter ever.  Even though it snowed all day, we only ended up with a dusting of accumulation.

These were taken during my commute to work.  Despite the 40 minutes it takes, it is a beautiful drive (now that the "Tunnels of Terror" have disappeared).  This weekend, temperatures are supposed to get to the upper 60's with beautiful sunshine.  Yay!
After my last Petal Pincushion update, I realized I didn't cut the fabric correctly for four of the panels.  I based my size on the size of the chart and added an inch.  Makes sense, right?  However, that is incorrect.  There are three different charts for the project.  One for the button, one for the inside panels (which is the correct size) and one for outside panels.  Apparently, one is supposed to assume that the fabric for the outside panels would be the same as for the inside panels despite the chart dimensions being different.  This girl did not assume and cut the fabric according to the chart sizes.  Christina from A Stitchers Work and I are doing this as a SAL and are sharing photos.  After seeing her initial WIP photos, it occurred to me that my outside panels didn't look quite right.  Wouldn't you know, those are the panels I stitched first.  I had two done before I realized the error of my ways.  I've cut new pieces of fabric.  Thank goodness I have a huge piece of it!

The light half circle line isn't actually on the fabric pieces.  It's a reflection of sunlight from the camera lens.  Oddest thing... In all the years I've been doing photography, I've never had it happen before.
I thought I'd pull together the finishing supplies I found in my stash that'll be used to create the pincushion.  I forgot to include the 1/8" satin ribbon... it's the same dark purple as the stitched flowers.

See the cost of the button covers?  29cents!  I don't even remember where I got them, but I've had them forever.  I estimate they're probably from the 1960's or 70's.
The pincushion project is basically a mattress pincushion inside a pyramid box made from the stitched pieces.  I've been kicking around which fabric I should use for the mattress and bottom of the pyramind.  Pink or Purple?  I dug through my stash and came up with these purple choices:

I'm kinda leaning toward the upper left fabric, but I don't know if it's too "busy".  The bottom one looks too light and the dark purple in the upper right looks too dark.  What do you think?
I am really happy with the third panel I'm stitching on.  Believe it or not, I've used three different dye lots of DMC 704 (green) to stitch it.  I had small amounts of each on different bobbins and wanted to use them up.  So I blended two strands together and alternated with dye lots I stitched with.

Can't tell, can you?
I received word earlier this week that Anne of Doll's Musings received the Easter/Spring mailart I created for her. 

The designs came from two different sources:
"Happy Easter" lettering - Cottage Garden Samplings
Duck, bunnies, and basket - Cross Stitch Crazy, Issue 109 (March 2008)
Fabric:  18ct Hand-dyed Aida (purple, turquoise, yellow)
Floss: DMC
Embellishments: 1/8" purple ribbon, buttons, seed bead
Anne loves the little details I add to my mailart and said it was "darling". I'm glad she liked it.  She wants to learn how to add the border fabric and suggested I do a tutorial.  So, when I do my next mailart, I will do a tutorial.  Meantime, I do have my "plain" mailart tutorial on the sidebar to the left.
I haven't done much on Japanese Garden, but I do have an update.  I think when I last left off, I said that I will run out of the green Eterna silk floss.  In looking at a conversion chart, I found that DMC 369 is a very-very close match.  So, I ripped out some of the silk floss I'd stitched in the corner ornament.  I did this very carefully as I wanted to save and reuse as much as possible.  I re-stitched a section blending one strand of silk with one strand of DMC.  One strand of silk is just enough to give it the sheen the rest of the project has.  I showed the BF and he couldn't tell a difference.  So, I ripped out the rest of the silk thread and restitched it.  I'm hoping I haven enough silk to finish the other corner.  It will be close, that's for sure!

On April 7th, my Dad asked me if I could drive him to the VA hospital because he was scheduled for a biopsy.  The nearest VA hospital is about an hour and a half from my parents and two hours for me.  Two months ago, he found a lump.  They did a needle biopsy which didn't tell anything.  The lump grew to almost twice the size so they scheduled a biopsy.
Fast forward to two days ago.  My youngest brother called me to tell me he'd visited my parents the day before and found out the results.  I think my Mom said something because Dad wasn't going to tell anyone until after next Monday.  My Dad has cancer.  Cancer!  I asked what kind, and he said they don't know.  How can they not know?  How do they form a treatment plan if they don't know? 
On Monday, there is a consultation with the surgeon and radiologist.  I am going with my parents because they never ask questions about anything and sometimes I think they don't understand what doctors tell them.  They just go along with whatever the doctors say.  I try not to think of the ramifications... of course, I don't always succeed.  The last few days have been difficult, to say the least. 
I had a massage therapy appointment this morning and the therapist said, "This is going to be a stupid question, but are you having a lot of stress at work?"  Then, she proceeded to tell me that both my shoulders were really, really tight.  I said, "Not at work, but I've been under stress the past few days."  Apparently, I'm carrying the stress in my shoulders.  Rather than cancel my appointment in two weeks, I decided to keep it seeing as I've been internalizing what's been going on.
If you're interested, you can read a little about my Dad HERE.
I don't want to sign off on a downer, so I want to wish everyone who celebrates... a Happy Easter. 

I won't be doing anything special.  I brought work home so I can make up the hours I'll miss on Monday.  While putting some things in the attic last month, I came across my only Easter decorations.  It's been over a decade since I set these out.  If you look close, you can see that the tree lights up.

Until next time,