Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Week 11

It's begining to look like Christmas ...

Well, I can see the end in sight, but still got lots to do before we can fill it with goodies. I got a little more done this week. I'd hoped to be further this week, but I didn't like the letters in the original pattern so I spent a little time looking through other books and stuff for ones I liked, then last night I found them ... in the pattern before this stocking in the same book!

This week was also Veteran's Day so hubby had a 4-day holiday and we spent some family time together. He even went with me to the craft store on Friday (Michael's) and Saturday (JoAnn's) so I could pick up some stuff I need for the stocking and to make my nieces a little present for the holidays. My brother is self-employed and they had their first baby 3 months after Jamie ... my mom's second grandchild, a girl! My younger half-sisters, whom he and his wife adopted shortly after they got married and are now considered "nieces" are in college (2) and high school (2), so they voted to just get one big family gift this year instead of individual gifts. Mom makes afgans like crazy, so she's going to pull some that she finished and put away for them. Anyway, they're really great girls and have been a great help to my brother and sister-in-law after a difficult pregnancy, so I wanted to surprise them with something. (My SIL has muscular dystrophy and was off her feet starting at about 3 months I think.)

Anyway, back to the stocking, now I'm ready to get the header done this week and hopefully some of the face ... UGH! I hate the intricacies of faces ... all those half and quarter stitches! Oh, well, hopefully this time next week it'll be over ... then I can concentrate on finishing the filler parts and then the dreaded backstitching!

Week 11 (Nov. 14)

Until our next cup of tea ...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Weeks 9 & 10

Week 10 (Nov. 7)

Well I didn't post a photo last Sunday (Oct. 31) since I hadn't gotten anything done that week. We joined Baby Jamie's godparents at DisneyWorld for Halloween weekend. But that following week I more than made up for it! I feel like I'm in the homestretch now. I just have the face (UGH!), nameplate and filling in to do, to do, then the outlining and sew it into shape! I'll probably be cutting it close, but as long as he has it for Christmas theres no use stressing the rest.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tote-ally Out of Control!

So I finally had time to sit down and play with the sewing & embroidery machine that my husband got me for Christmas. Well, actually, I've been sewing on it sporatically for the past 10 months (as I can fit in now that the baby is getting more mobile.)

Well, I'd only been able to try out the embroidery part once before and I couldn't figure out why the tension was too loose causing big loops during stitching. When my mom came to visit in August she looked it over and I learned I was using the wrong thread weight. Whew! That's an easy fix!

Well, I'm finally getting around to trying it again and "Voila!" it worked! I was embroidering like a fool the last three last night!a Anything I could get my hands on. I actually "destroyed" a neatly organized and color coded bin of fabric looking for anything to embroider on! Unfortunately, I ony had one bobbin left and filled it with the orange I wanted to use for Baby Geo's Halloween tote, so Halloween orange it was!

First I practiced a little and then did a Halloween towel for the kitchen ...

It turned out so cute I got started ... I made his tote, then me a tote, and since I had more orange floss left ... I made a Halloween tote for his godmother & aunt, Mindy. (Since she doesn't visit thie blog I can post it. We surprise her with it tomorrow!) Here they are ...

Baby Geo's Halloween bag

My Halloween "boo" bag



Aunt Mimi's Halloween tiny tote (front & back)

I had so much fun, I looked through my fabric bin and decided to make myself the every day tote I'd been planning but never found time for. I got to play around with some decorative stitches and created a one-of-a-kind pink and chocolate tote, measuring just over 16 inches wide and just shy of 16 inches tall. What do you think?

I have a little "perfecting" to do on the tote, but once I get it figured out I think I'll make one for Mindy and my niece Stepha, my mini-me, for Christmas. I'll post pics when I do.

Until our next cup of tea ...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Week 8

Just chuggin' along! I'm trying to enjoy it rather than panic over how much time I have left. Here is this week's update.

Week 8 (Oct. 25, 2010)

Until our next cup of tea ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Week 7

So another week has gone by, and though I didn't get as much done as I wanted I was happy that I got some time on it. I'm hoping that maybe the next two weeks will have some progress because 1.) The children's playgroup I lead is cancelled for Halloween activities at the location and 2.) I really need to get it done!

Here is this week's progress:

Until our next cup of tea ...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Works in Progress: Cross Stitching

So here is a more indepth list (and some photos) of my cross stitch WIPs. As I was collecting photos for the post I found even more than the original post listing them! Yikes!

Jamie’s Christmas Stocking: hoping to get done in the next few weeks! Various posts recently showing progress.

Army Seal: started in summer 2002, but am stitching on 22-count over 2, set it aside for something more relaxing on the eyes. I have about 85-90% done, but last worked on it every day the 3 months my father-in-law was in the hospital. After he passed it was hard to look at, so it went to the closet. This will be the hardest to complete. (Photo taken: 11/14/2008)

Daisy Tablecloth: this is one of my favorites, but since it is a repeating pattern I usually alternate with other projects. I lost it for a minute when we moved, but found it just as I was starting Jamie's stocking. Definitely want to get it done before next spring. (Photo taken: 4/16/2010)

Rose Quilt Blocks: I bought these quilt blocks in hopes of making it for our spare bed, but then changed my mind. Want to finish and decide what to do with at that point. I think there are 6 panels. (Photo taken: 10/17/2010)

"Lindsey" Stained Glass: This was actually an altered pattern. I think the stained glass was a holiday piece, so I found some lettering that I liked and decided to change it to our last name so we could display all year-long. A friend borrowed the book to stitch a stocking for her husband, but 3 years later returned the book having only done one for her son. Unfortunately the book was returned the week we were moving, so it is on a box somewhere since the craft room had already been packed. When I find to project, I'll post a photo.

Easter Bunny and Egg: My mom bought this pattern and I was excited when she asked me to do it for her, but then she bought those cheap varigated threads from Wal-Mart instead of the WDW specialty threads and I HATE stitching it, but it's been 5 years and she keeps pestering me, so hopefully I can muster the strength to finish for this year. (Photo taken: 1/18/2009)

Roly Poly Santas: I loved these! They were in a cross-stitch magazine and I fell in love. Unfortunately I had one of those totes that you can put photos in, and Sgt. Major took offense to the dog (him) on the bag and pulled if off the closet door and chewed through the bag and one of the Santas while I was at work. I couldn't figure out how to repare the rip, so I set it aside, but hope to finish for next Christmas. (Photos taken: 8/19/2007)

12 Small Christmas Ornaments (former SAL): I am HORRIBLE at stitch-a-longs! Please don't ever let me join. I do good the first month or so, then life happens and I NEVER finish! Maybe that's why every time I do an exchange I send off my piece (I'm good when its for other people) but never get one myself. This has happened 4 time! Anyway, I was doing an ornament one the first two are completed ... the third one, not so much ... and number 4-12 never got started! They are small and its a great set so I am determined to get them done! (Photos taken: 10/17/2010)

Watermelon Dish Towel: a free pattern than came with the towel purchase. I started this one last year and it got packed up in the move from Georgia to Florida. I was stitching on it when we were driving back and forth to Houston (from Florida) for the baby shower last Novemeber, so when I find it, I'll post a photo.

Candy Cane Dish Towel: another free pattern that came with the towel purchase. It was lost among the packing when we move from Louisiana to Georgia (see a pattern?)

Heart Ornaments: I actually just found these. I'd completely forgotten. When my husband was deployed the first time in 2005, I would stitch these when I'd got hide out at my Father-in-laws on weekends. We were only 3 hours away and he was the only one who truly understood what I was going through. I guess I'll finish these up for our red, white and gold tree. (Photos taken: 10/17/2010)

Well, that's the cross stitching WIPs, at least the ones I am aware of. It has taken me 23.5 hours to complete this post! If I find more projects I'll definately post. Soon I will add the sewing WIPs, some of which are cross stitch patterns that need to be "finished".

Until our next cup of tea ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Week 6

So I'm going to try to post this every Monday, but yesterday was a busy day. Hubby was off of work (and again today) so we were out and about enjoying some family time.

Anyway, I don't feel like I got much progress done last week, but something is better than nothing! Here is progress as of Sunday morning ...

I'm hoping this week to get the teddy bear and some of the toys in the center next the to block done this week, finishing the top and rest hopefully by the end of the month and just do the backstitching (which I HATE!) at the beginning of Novemeber. My goal is to have it completely done by end of November sowe can use it with his Christmas pictures.

(Fingers crossed) Hopefully, I can stick to the schedule. I'll keep posting updates.

Until our next cup of tea ...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Starting is the easy part!

“Winning isn't always finishing first. Sometimes winning is just finishing.”

So it is time ... time to face my "beginnings" and the journey to completion. As I look at my list of unfinished projects, I see that the journey to completion is one less traveled. "Unfinished" is a rare place for me. I am a chronic creator who longs to see the final product when it comes to my personal and professional life. As a "creative soul" a professional career in Public Relations and Marketing is wonderful. I can be creative, I am calm, caculated and methodic as I strive to see whatever project I am deeply engrossed in come to live and eventual completion. My collection of teacups and saucers as well as family glass and china heirlooms are carefully catologed as to the nature of when, why and whom gave them to me.

However, when it come to craft project ... cross stitch, sewing, quilting or scrapbooking ... I am totally out of control. They are my kryptonite ... the Mr. Hyde to my Dr. Jekyl. I am a chronic starter. I see something that catches my eye and it consumes me until I start it. I am axious to see it through, imagining how and where it will be desplayed, but then some other "shiny object" catches my attention and I am like a kitten with a ball of yarn.

So here and today, I have vowed to compile a list of my WIPs and set goals to completion. I can't promise that I won't start another project, but I will try to adhere to for every one start, I must match with two finishes. Now that the terms have been set, let's see what the damage is:

Project List 2010
To Be Completed:

Pink and Blue Baby Blanket
Pink and Blue Doll Quilt
Freedom Wallhanging
Purple Quilt Block (ornament for Rita)
Christmas Wreath Pillow
Blue and Gold Heart Quilt
Jamie’s Quilt
Blue and Chocolate floor quilt

Cross Stitch:
Jamie’s Christmas Stocking
Army Seal
Daisy Tablecloth
Rose Quilt Blocks
God Bless Me Pillow
God Bless Me Blanket
Lindsey Stained Glass
Easter Bunny and Egg
Roly Poly Santas
12 Small Christmas Ornaments (former SAL)
Watermelon Dish Towel

Jamie’s Book: Baby Shower
Jamie’s Book: Birth Day
Jamie’s Book: First Bath
Jamie’s Book: Meeting the Godparents
Jamie’s Book: First Easter
Jamie's Book: First 4th of July
Jamie's Book: Meeting the Family, First Road Trip
Jamie's Book: First Halloween

Wow! When you see it all out there, it makes you want to start crossing things off! Right now I am working on Jamie's Christmas stocking. I've got pictures of some of these projects, and will upload by category in the next week. Maybe a little "oohing and aahing" will help motivate me.

Well, I'm off to get some "stitching" done (see already tackling the list!)

Until our next cup of tea ...

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

Friday, October 8, 2010

***Freebie Alert***:Halloween Tea

O.k. So I probably won't do this on a regular basis because I can't promise to always get something posted, but I am deep into holiday mode now that I am stitching Jamie's Christmas stocking.

I came across this Haunted Tea Party cross stitch pattern at Brooke Books Publishing and just HAD to share! I mean as a teacup collector all things "tea" intrique me, but this was just so darn cute!

I don't think I'll get it stitched in time for this year, but if you decide to stitch it, drop me a note and I'll post a link to your blog.

Happy Halloween fellow "witches with stitches",

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Week 5

O.k. So here is another week's worth of work. It's coming along slowly, though I haven't started to freak about it not being done in time for the holidays. Hubby will complete the class he's been taking three nights a week this Saturday, so I'm hoping that he will be willing to watch Jamie a little more so I can work on the stocking.

Five weeks isn't bad for the progress I've made ... or at least looking at everything I'm juggling, I don't think so. I'm actually further now in 5 weeks on this one than I was in the nearly 3 monthsI spent on the first attempt, but then again I didn't have the looming holiday!

Week 5 (Oct. 3, 2010)

I actually haven't done ANYTHING on it this week, so this is exactly what it looks like right now. I am about to head up to bed and stitch a little while hubby does some homework.

Until our next cup of tea ...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Christmas Stocking Update ... Week 4

Here is the update on Jamie's Christmas stocking as of Saturday night. I take photos every Sunday morning, before starting to stitch.

Week 4 (Sept.26, 2010)

I'm really enjoying stitching this and watching it come together as long as I don't think of how much time I have left before Christmas (84 days if you're wondering!)George is pretty excited about Jamie's first Christmas as well, even though Halloween is his favorite holiday.

Today, I loaded Jamie up and after running some errands, headed over to Jo-Ann's Fabrics. I really love craft shopping. It so exhilerating starting a new project ... and I am a perpetual starter. I have to force myslef to finish, especially the larger projects, because something new is always catching my eye and I get excited.

Anyway, today I went looking specifically for fabric to decorate a tote for Jamie for Halloween and tricker-or-treating. While I was there I picked up two more fat quarters for a "vintage" quilt that I was making for me and some fabric for the stocking. This is the Christmas fabric I picked.

It was by sheer chance that I found this. The green matches almost exactly the Santa's suit on the stocking (you'll see part of that in the next update photo.) I was worries that everything would be "Chistmas" reds and greens, and that finding something that more of olives and burgandies would be something that I had to search for. I really like not only the colors, but the pattern as well.

Well, I'm off to get some stitching done before bed, I'll post more follow up photos as well as some updates on other projects.

Until our next cup of tea ...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Creating Christmas Memories!

Anyone who knows me, would not be surprised to hear that Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Growing up with my dad and step-mother who had 12 children between the two of them, left little time or energy to put much effort into Chistmas and as a little girl, even into my teen years, I vowed that when I had chicldren that Christmas would be what it was meant to be ... a magical time of year.

Well, during my whole pregnancy I searched through my cross stitch magazine and book collection, looking for the perfect stocking for our little angel. I finally had it picked out and when he was 3-months-old I started stitching. I spent any free time I had on it, which wasn't much with a newborn. 3 months into it, I realized that despite my hard work, I had managed to miscount when crossing from one page of the pattern to another, leaving a 12-stitch gap. UGH! I had to start over! I was nearly halfway done and the mistake was right in the middle of the whole thing. Rather than cry over it, I started collected what I needed and decided that I would stitch it on 14-count Aida, instead of 28-count, over 2. I prefer the softer look of the smaller count, but it definately harder when working on a larger project and I only had from Septemeber until Novemeber to stitch it and sew it, so we could take his Christmas photos with it.

Well, I'm making progress. I work on it for a few hours each day and am only ehind about a week from where I'd planned to be. So far here is the weekly progress pictures.

Week 1 (Sept. 5, 2010)

Week 2 (Sept. 12, 2010)

Week 3 (Sept. 19, 2010)

I feel like I'm making progress this week, despite Jamie's teething issues. I'll post updates as I go along.

The stocking I chose was "Opening His Pack" by Nancy Rossiin the book, "The Stockings Were Hung." (Sorry for the glare!)

Well, off to get a little stitching done before bedtime!

Until our next cup of tea ...

Monkey's Favorite Spot

So this past summer we went home (Texas) for a month while my husband was out of the country on an assignment. Many of the family members had yet to meet this little guy since the Army deemed it vital to move us to the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE U.S. when I was 8-months pregnant, but that's Army life!

While we were there, our little Monkey, as we like to call this happy and active little gift of our, spent a lot of time being spoiled. As the first grandchild/great grandchild on both sides, he was quite a commodity, though my brother quickly followed up with the second grandchild, first grand-daughter, 3 months after Monkey was born.

So went a day on Pa Frank and Ma Joyce's ranch (my grandparents). While we were there lil man recieved his first "made with love" quilt ... his response was to promptly fall alseep on it ... in nothing but a diaper! (How's that for breaking it in!?!)

Over the past few months he has become quite attached to it ... to the point I have to make sure he doesn't fall out of the recliner in his room when I pull it out. Let me explain ...

Monkey is very good at sitting in the recliner with a toy while I fold his laundry or change his sheets, however, every day after his lunchtime nap, I lay the quilt on the floor, throw some toys on it and we practice sitting, crawling, and other age appropriate activities. Now he's got a small room and with the quilt on the floor nearly the whole room is covered in furniture or something, so as soon as I pull it off the toy box (beside the recliner) and open it up, he flips over on his tummy and pushes off the back of the chair and slides down the front to get to the quilt. Luckily I am there to catch him as his feet hit the floor ... much to his amusement. It is a fun game for him, but mommy still gets nervous. Maybe this game is why he was standing on his own, long before the crawl or sitting were attempted (on his part.)

He is content to play on the quilt for quite a while, unless the puppy walks by and he tries to follow. He's just happy as can be, playing on his quilt ... and mommy is happy becasue she gets to sit doen and relax for a minute!

Until our next cup of tea ...