Cross stitch Feed

Sampler Love.

TGIF, you guys.  Like, fo' realz.  The struggle was real this week.  How is it that short weeks always seem so daggone long?! The long holiday weekend was not long enough.  Just sayin'.  And Monday, we had 4-6 inches of snow which I had to trudge through to get more ground coffee because I ran out.  

I KNOW.  

How is that even possible???!?!?  No idea.  But, my canister is full again and I'm a happy camper.  Bulletproof coffee is my lifeline.  Have you guys tried it yet?! It's wicked good, and a faboo way to get your good fats in before the day gets away from you. 

I decided this week to put down Raven Queen for a hot minute and pick up my Joy Sampler again for the first time in weeks.  Stitching the word "Joy" just about killed me, which is why I needed a break.  I love working on 40 count (I know, I know, I'm crazy for loving such small count fabric), but those letters broke me.  They're about 4 inches high on 40 count, so you can imagine how long that took.

  Joy Sampler #quaker #christmas #sampler #crossstitch

I thought it would never end.

Good news is that these motifs are much quicker to stitch.

Joy Sampler #quaker #sampler #christmas #crossstitch

Much quicker.

Joy Sampler #crossstitch #quaker #sampler #christmas

I'm so in love with the greys and golds up against the dark red.  It's a stray from the normal reds and greens of Christmas pieces, and I love it.

Joy Sampler #quaker #sampler #crossstitch #christmas

And butterflies!  (sigh) Now I want spring like whoa. 


Be Happy, Humble, & Kind

Being snowed in always sounds so wonderful.  Let's watch movies! Let's binge watch tv series we haven't gotten to yet!!  Let's sit and stitch for hours and hours because we can't get out!  Let's read tons of books from our book stack!!!

I'm here to tell you that I'm about ready to lose my mind.  I've been trapped inside since Friday thanks to one of the worst snowstorms DC has seen. I've finished one book, and I'm now bored with reading.  Stitching has almost lost its appeal.

Almost.

Thank God I had the foresight to stop at Starbucks on Friday morning before the sky dumped 30+ inches on us and got more ground coffee, because I wouldn't've survived.  Forget milk, bread, and eggs.  Coffee is the elixir of life.  

Last week, I sent a gift to one of my good friends from high school, who is now a real estate agent, as a thank you for helping me rent out my house when I moved here last year.  It wasn't a great time to sell, so she helped me find renters while I had already moved my life for a job in DC.  She was incredible.  There is absolutely no way I could have done that without her help.  None.  So, I had to make her something to show my gratitude and appreciation for all the work she did to help me while I was three states away.

Knowing her and her decorating style,  I picked a With Thy Needle and Thread piece that I knew would fit perfectly no matter where in her house she decided to hang it.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

I love the blues and greys that make up the color theme of this piece.  

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

Her little shoes!!  I die.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crosstitch #needleworkThe bees! I can't.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

I stitched this on 36 ct. Confederate Grey from WDW.  You all know how I feel about WDW fabric, but I love Confederate Grey, so I muscled through.  It's such a great color, and wonderful for primitive pieces such as this.  It's a really great neutral.  Now, if we could just get them to use a tighter weave fabric for dying......

Happy Wednesday!

Sig


January.

How. the hell. did we arrive at 17 January already?

No, seriously.  I feel like it was twelve seconds ago I was posting about doing a December Daily (which, HAHAHAHAHA....ahhhhhhh......i had such high hopes for everything i wanted to make this christmas season......), and then, poof! It's mid-January.

How was your Christmas? Your New Year's?  Mine were good.  NYE was spent curled up on the couch in leggings and legwarmers (seriously, you guys, you know you're jealous of my legwarmers. AND my mom got me new ones for Christmas. SCORE.), hot water with lemon in hand, watching Kathy Griffin make Anderson Cooper unbelievably uncomfortable all night. 

A while back, I posted some snips of a secret stitching project I was doing; it was a Christmas gift for my mom.  Since it's no to secret anymore, I can show the pics of the finished piece.

This is "Count Your Blessings" by Heartstring Samplery.  White Christmas is hands-down my favorite Christmas movie.  You can have your It's a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Christmas Vacation (although that one does come in a close second...." 'Why is the floor all wet, TODD??' 'I don't know, MARGO.' "), and A Christmas Story.  I'll take White Christmas any day of the week.  The Old Crooner, Rosie, Vera Ellen dancing her ass off, Danny Kaye being ridiculous, I love it all. And Edith Head's costuming! To die.  

Moving on.

Us girls in the fam used to watch White Christmas together after mass on Christmas Eve, and then head to bed.  This piece uses the lyrics from one of the songs in the movie, "Count Your Blessings", to create this lovely sampler.

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

 If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm not a huge fan of traditional samplers.  Not sure why, I'm just not.  Quaker samplers are a different story.  They're A LOT of work, but I love stitching the different motifs and the work is totally worth it in the end.  I have, however, developed an appreciation for reproduction samplers, and when stitched, they're stunning.  To think that girls as young as 7 years old made those samplers with no pattern to follow is incredible.  This small sampler captures the feel of those traditional samplers, complete with a flower and vine border, without being too overwhelming, if that makes any sense at all. 

I'm slightly partial to those scissors....

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

And the tiered cake...

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

I've been working on so many different things lately, I almost can't keep up with myself.  I have a few secret projects I'm working on, plus a couple things for myself (believe it or not), so this winter hibernation period will hopefully be very productive.  Hopefully.  I plan on being better this year about sharing my WIPs and other stuff I'm doing, so here's hoping I can remember to carve out the time to do just that.

What are you guys working on?  Have you started any new projects with the new year?  

Happy Sunday, friends!  Here's to a wonderful long weekend!

Sig


Christmas Stitching.

Bob:  Must be very Vermonty this time of year, all that underwear.
Phil: I guess I should take the electric blanket back.
Bob:  Where you keeping that?
Phil:  Under the underwear....
White Christmas

So.  Here we are, fully entrenched in the Christmas season (with only 4 days left!!!  eeeeeek!!!).  I've been dreaming about gingerbread and shortbread cookies all day, every day.  I mean, gingerbread, you guys.  To die.  And you can only have it during this time of year.  I'm all about Christmas in July and all that jazz, but gingerbread in the middle of summer when it's Africa hot out just isn't the same as when you're curled up on the couch under throw blankets binge watching all your favorite Christmas movies.  

Wait.  Africa hot.  Kinda like it is now.  I don't know about where you guys are, but it's been straight up warm around these parts.  Aroundabout now is when we start hitting temps in the 40's (which is when I start to cry, quite frankly, because I hate the cold like whoa), but these past couple weeks it's been in the 60's.  Last weekend, when I went home for my nephew's 1st birthday party, it was a balmy 73 degrees.  73!!  On December 13th!  I was sweating, windows down, for the 3-hour drive north.  Sweating.  And not because it was freezing outside so I had the heat cranked to 90 degrees in my car.  Not that I actually do that or anything.....

Anyhooter.  As expected, I'm a teensy bit behind already on my December Daily album.  I just haven't done anything particularly Christmassy yet.....except finish my cards, plan out my cookie baking extravaganza, and listen to vintage LPs.....so, long story short (too late): I'm boring.  Well, so far this Christmas season, I've been boring. 

December Daily 2015 cover #dd #decemberdaily #christmas

ALSO.  YOU GUYS.  Tragedy struck my lil' apartment yesterday.  

One of my Christmas travel mugs from Starbucks back in the day.....BROKE.  I can't even explain the devastation.  It had pretty foil paper on the inside, and it was just so festive and fun, and you can't get them like that anymore.  Tears were shed.  

Ok, maybe just a tear.  

Ok, maybe not even that, but more like me saying, "SON OF A BIOTCH!" when it happened.  The latter is probably the most believable of all presented scenarios, and may or may not be what actually happened. ("Would you believe....twice around the bathtub?"  NAME THAT TV SHOW!!! <---- i really, really need to lay off the caffeine...)

On the upside, I get to treat myself to a new Christmas travel mug! I was holding off, because, let's face it, my mug collection is out of control.  But, I'm replacing a broken one, not adding to the mug hoarding mess!  #winning

Since I've been majorly slacking on my December Daily (other than to adorn the cover, as shown above), I figured I'd give you a WIP update on the Christmas stitching I've been doing instead.

Ok?  Ok.

First up is the Joy Quaker Sampler.  This shot shows the entire left side, which is tough to get in all the pics I take, since this piece is turning out pretty big, despite the fact that I'm stitching on my favorite 40 ct madness...

IMG_4868

I apologize for it being a smidge dark...

This next one has a bit more stitching in it, and you can see additional motifs across the top.  The colors showed up a bit better in this one, too.  I'm loving how this is turning out.

IMG_4960
I got a bit bored with that this past weekend, even though I was in full hibernation mode and didn't leave the apartment much, so I started on something a little smaller to give me a sense of instant gratification - the next day in the 12 Days of Christmas - Second Day - from Plum Street Samplers.  A bout of insomnia and one Christmas movie later, viola!

Second Day | 12 Days of Christmas | #crossstitch #plumstreetsamplers #quaker

Like with First Day, I used Currant and Blue Spruce to stitch these ornaments.  I'm trying to use up my scraps, though, so I used a different fabric than for First Day.  This one is 36 count, and is definitely a WDW fabric (although I don't know the color name), which I loathe, but whatever.  I need to use up my scraps, so I suffered through it.  Anyone else out there hate WDW fabric as much as me?????  I cannot stand how limp and lifeless this fabric is, and the weave is so loose it drives me insane.  UGH to the UGH.  

Tonight there will be binge baking and hopefully some DD album building before the big day arrives this Friday!  Are you guys ready for this??  I'm so not.  BUT - thank God for Amazon Prime - I didn't even leave the couch on Saturday (ok, I did for mass....4th sunday of advent and whatnot....) and was still able to order the last of my Christmas gifts, which will be arriving tomorrow!  Queen of Procrastination at her best, my friends.  

Sig


First Day. | Cross Stitch

We're officially in the Christmas season, which makes me beyond giddy.  I mean, Thanksgiving is fantastic with all the food and pumpkin pie and all....but, Christmas.  

Lately, I've been stitching some seriously big pieces, and I needed a break from all that.  So, I decided I needed to incorporate some smalls, like ornaments, into my WIP rotation.

Enter, Plum Street Sampler's fabulous Christmas freebies.

First Day | 12 Days of Christmas by Plum Street Samplers #christmas #12daysofchristmas #crossstitch

Have you guys gotten on this wagon yet??  Paulette has the first six days posted on her website - she's posting them all as freebies! (fun fact:  the twelve days of christmas are actually the twelve days after christmas, leading up to the epiphany, not the days before christmas...)  I'm a huge fan of her designs, and these are no exception.  

She doesn't have specific colors listed in the charts, she just says to use red, green, gold, and black.  This one only calls for red and green, so I used the same two I used for Quaker Christmas II - Currant and Blue Spruce.  They're superb Christmas colors, and I have a ton of them left over, so it's a great excuse to use up some thread in my stash!  

I'm so far behind already, but Christmas comes every year, so here's hoping I can get all twelve all done by next Christmas!

Sig


November.

Did anyone else have the same reaction as I did when I turned my planner page this month?

"Wait.  What?!"  

That's what I said last Monday.  Aloud.  At my desk.  At work.  People stopped and stared.  As if Mondays aren't bad enough.

I mean, clearly, 1 November comes after 31 October, but this year for some reason, I thought my planner was playing silly planner games.  Like, no way was it already November.

No.freaking.way.

BUT.  You DO know what that means, right?  CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!

I cannot even contain my excitement about Christmas.  Literally.cannot.even.  I listened to Christmas music today at work while writing a memo.  I did a chair dance when Mariah's "Oh, Santa!" came on shuffle.

Don't you get all judgy on me.  You know you do the same thing, every time.  Yup.  Every time.

In other news, I actually have a finish!  Score!  AND, it's Halloween-themed!  I was on a Halloween roll there for a while.  I'm over it now, though, because....Christmas.

Anyways.  Halloween!  Witches!  Snakes!  Pumpkins!  Bats!  They're all in this fun piece from Prairie Schooler -

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #halloween

Ooooo....spooky.....

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #halloween

 

Those skulls, tho!

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #halloween

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstich #halloween

 

BOO!!


The Master and The Macabre | Cross Stitch

Well, friends, it's officially fall, which means it's almost hibernation season.  It was downright windy and chilly last night, and I'm not happy about it.  The only thing good about fall is the clothes.  Well, and pumpkin spice bread.  And boots.  I wore my black boots on Friday for the first time since probably March, and it felt awesome.  

It's also time to start living in leggings and big, warm sweatshirts on weekends with a mug of mulled cider (which reminds me...I need to get more mulling spices.....).  I got a pair of leg warmers to help layer and keep me warm (don't you judge me - you know you want a pair...or five...), and oh my god do they work.  As someone who suffers from some degree of joint and muscle pain daily, these things are amazing at keeping my legs warm and from cramping.  They also may or may not make me sing, "FAME! I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER!" to myself while I'm wearing them.

That may or may not happen.

More importantly, fall means I stitch fall things, and this one in particular was incredibly fun to stitch.

The Master and The Macabre.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #needle #thread

HOW COOL IS THIS?????

OMG.  The fabric....just....I can't.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

THAT INKWELL.  I want it.  I also want that raven - I'm pretty sure Poe borrowed him from Maleficent, and I love all things Maleficent (she's the best Disney villain, in my opinion), so, ergo, vis-a-vis, I love that raven and need him.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

THIS HOUSE.  I want to stitch everything in the variegated silk that's in the roof.  I also want a door that looks like this one.  a) it's purple; 2) it has gold around the doorknob; and d) it's purple. 

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

And then, there's the moon, peering over the haunted house.  Just creepin' up there in the corner....lookin' at all his poems come to life....

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

GAH. 

Ok.  So, I've been promising to publish my color changes, and I make good on my promises.

I will say this - I had planned on making A LOT more changes, but as I started stitching, most of them didn't end up working out.  I think because the fabric I chose to stitch this piece on is so drastically different from the model in the picture on the graph, that the changes I wanted to make would have looked great on the suggested fabric, but not so much on this one.  

Changes are as follows:

Fabric used:  32 count Dusk by Picture This Plus

Fiber changes:
DMC 926 is changed to WDW Pewter for the lettering
DMC 3811 is changed to WDW Aqua
DMC 646 is changed to WDW Galvanized for the woman's hair (she's hanging out the window, all strung out) and in the inkwell
DMC 310/black is changed to WDW Mascara for the black in the raven, the inkwell, and the line under the house (special note about the raven: I originally planned on using CC Black Crow for the raven, because, duh, but it actually has too much blue in it.  Because this fabric is such a dark dyed blue, the Black Crow didn't show up as I stitched, so I made the switch to WDW Mascara, which has just enough of a variation to make it look like the sheen of a raven's feathers.)

Note that for all but one of my changes, I only made the change in certain areas, not every place that color is used.  

Again, the biggest reason I didn't make more drastic changes to the fibers is because the fabric I chose made most of the original colors punch you right in the face as you stitched.  No need for dramatic fibers when the fabric is stealing the show.  

It is also important to note that I used all of the Silk'n Colors called for in the graph.  If you decide that might not use the silks, I think that you could get away with the DMC alternative for all of them except two:  Desert Moss and Acorn Woods.  These are the variegated colors in the roof and in the shingles on the side of the house.  They're not variations of a solid color, they actually move between a few different colors (which you should be able to see in the pics above) as you stitch.  If you want the same effect in your roof and house, then I highly suggest you get these two silks, even if you decide not to get the others.

These color changes will be published on my Fabric and Floss page for easy reference, should you want to make the same changes in this piece as I did, and need a quick reference.  If you do, please link back or tag me in your Instagram shots (if you're on IG) so that I can see your progress!  I love seeing everything everyone does.  

Sig


Welcome September! | Cross Stitch

You guys!  September is upon us!  It's Africa hot out there....and I just choked on a cubic foot of humidity.  

But fear not - the stores are filled to the brim with pumpkins and witches and black cats and skulls, so cooler weather is on the horizon.  Well, hopefully.  At the very least, all this means that Halloween will be here before you know it.  

And then....CHRISTMAS.  Which, as you all know, is the season I live for every.single.year.

First though, let's have Halloween.  Because I do love pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin pancakes.  And pumpkin spiced anything.  And my Autumn Wreath Yankee candle....which I may or may not have been burning since 1 September....

ahem.

Let's also talk about my progress on The Master and The Macabre.

It's not exactly a Halloween piece...but it's E.A. Poe, so it's haunted and horrifying....so it fits....

IMG_3826

I mean, how tormented is she?!  Her hair is a hot mess, and she's reaching for someone who's not there...

IMG_3825

And, hello!  Spooky, faded, torn curtains.  Loveloveloving these silks.  I have a greater appreciation these days for silks - yeah, they're more expensive, but look at that variation!  The rotting roof!  The curtains!  I can't.  Totally worth the extra pennies.  Or dollars.  Or my left arm.  Whatever gets me that silk thread.  

IMG_3822

I mean, that fabric though.  I literally can't even right now.

 

Sig


And one week bleeds into another...

Here we are, at the end of August.  Next week is 1 September.  I could cry, if it weren't for the fact that I love fall clothes (but not the cooler temps), and that flare jeans are coming back in style.

Thank Jesus. 

I love me some flares (Gap Long and Leans were my FAVVVV when I worked there all through college and grad school....oh, how I miss them so....), and I'm looking forward to some flares and sweet sweet boot cut to come back to my jeans wardrobe for the fall and winter, taking the place of some of my skinny jeans.  As a former college athlete, my legs and ass are just not built for the skin-tight super-skinny jeans on the market these days.  My sister introduced me to leggings a couple years ago, and I want to wear them all.the.time.  If it were socially acceptable, I'd wear them to work.

I don't think the general would appreciate me attending a meeting wearing those.  Or maybe he would.... 

Still.

Unacceptable for everyday in the office.  Unless it's snowing, then all bets are off.   

Aaaaaanyhooter.

The past couple weeks have been totes cray.  I'll sum it up for you:  a mind-numbing week-long meeting in California, delayed return flights, an unexpected overnight stay at O'Hare airport without my luggage (for the record.....I HATE O'HARE AIRPORT.  thank you for listening.), end-of-year work insanity, and a really, really bad Lyme flare-up.

The good thing is there is therapy in the form of great books and needle and thread.  

And a Starbucks barista who spells your name correctly without even asking how it's spelled.  #winning

IMG_3314

I just finished reading one of Tana French's books, The Secret Place.  Her books are seriously so good.  If you like detective novels, def check her out.  I have holds at the library on the remaining two of her books that I have yet to read, so hopefully soon one of those will be available for download. (if you missed my amazing revelation to you all back over the winter, most local libraries have an ebook collection now, so you can download books from your library to your e-reader and get reading!)

Next up is the Halloween project I started - Cricket Collection "The Master and the Macabre."  I've been working too much with Shores of Hawk Run, apparently, because I found an f-up, and I can't figure out where it originated, so it's in time-out.  My OCD tendencies won't allow me to just keep going and hope no one but me notices the mistake.  So....indefinite time-out until I'm ready to find it.

The Master and the Macabre Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

THAT FABRIC THOUGH.

OBSESSED.

The Master and the Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

I want to stitch everything in that silk that's in the roof of the house.  Like, everything.

Those of you who've been following me for a while know that my most favorite thing to do is take some of these pieces that have been stitched on totally lame and drab fabric and shake that shit up.  Skeleton Crew is the best example - if you're stitching this (or plan to) and you want to make the same changes I did, head on over to my Fabric & Fibers page to see the list of color changes.  

Once this piece is done, I will post all color changes - I have most of them mapped out, but I've changed one so far as I go along from what I'd originally planned.

Fear not, friends.  You will be rewarded for waiting to see the final piece.  That is, of course, if you wish to make the same fabric and fiber choices I did for this spectacularly spooky Cricket Collection piece. 

;-)

Sig

 

 

If you don't have an LNS and you want the supplies to make my changes for Skeleton Crew, call up the gals at The Strawberry Sampler and tell them you want my colors - they will know exactly what you mean.  You could also order online from them - they actually have my changes as an option.  (disclaimer - i get nothing for suggesting you order through TSS - they were my LNS until this year when i moved to the DC area, and they're an amazing bunch of women running a small business, and i'm all about supporting small businesses, especially stitch shops.) 

 


Monday Catch Up.

Did you ever get so behind in reading your blog roll that you just went through each one and cleared the feed without reading any of the articles?

No?  Just me?  Ok.  Well....I just did that.  Last week, I fought what I call The Trifecta: ear infection, sinus infection, and bronchitis.  All of that at the same time.  I'll let you know when that's fun.  When I was able to sit upright for longer than 35 seconds, I made chocolate chia pudding, because, priorities.   And chocolate heals all ailments. 

Since I'd been out of commission for so long, I had wayyyy too many posts in my feed.  So, I just deleted them.  It was liberating.  Now I can start the week fresh with new blog posts I'll (hopefully) have time to read!

I wasn't able to do much last week, being laid up on the couch and all, but I was able to make some serious progress on two of my pieces.

First up, Shores of Hawk Run:

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings

That house was killer to build, and the stone cliff made me want to drink heavily after I was done, just so I could see straight again.  It doesn't look like much...but 40 count is a beast when you're filling in all those squares.  

I also finished The Night Before Christmas from Prairie Schooler:

The Night Before Christmas by Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #christmas

I stitched this on 32 count Smokey White, which is actually a painted linen vice overdyed - the smokey effect is only present on the side it's painted on, rather than variegated through the entire fabric.

btdubs - I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but after this year, the ladies at Prairie Schooler will be retiring, and they will not be reprinting those designs already in print.  So, make sure you get your hands on whatever graphs you want, because once they're gone, they're gone.  This, friends, is precisely why I hoard cross stitch graphs - you never know when one of your favorite designers will retire and you won't be able to get their graphs ever again.  And because, well, some of them I just can't pass up and need to have.  

Ahem.  Moving on.

I don't know about you guys, but have you been watching True Detective?  Are you as completely and utterly confused as I am with this season??  Please tell me I'm not alone.  I finished watching last night's episode just exhausted from trying to piece everything together.  There are only two episodes left and literally no answers.  It's like I'm watching LOST again - every week there are 42 new questions and no friggin answers.  GAH.

Anyhooter.  I'm off to go grab my 5th mug of coffee (yes, 5th) and hopefully make it through this Monday in one piece as I come down the home stretch of recovery from The Trifecta. 

May your Monday be full of sunshine and an endless pot of coffee!! Sig