Thursday, August 30, 2012

the power of community

last night was the wednesday stitch-in hosted by the french knot. i was so excited to go, as we don't have a weekly group like this in new orleans, and i was unsure of what to expect.

i was immediately reassured when i was welcomed by sweet melinda and the entire group! it was such a treat to be surrounded by such talented women and stitchers. as a woman in my mid-twenties, the feeling of walking into a room without judgement was overwhelming.

i truly enjoyed the camaraderie and fellowship around the table. everyone showing their progress and ooh-ing and aah-ing over stitch and thread choices. i found that i didn't make very much progress at all on my own piece, as i was enraptured by what everyone else was working on!

on the drive home, i got to thinking about how the stitching community has impacted my life. how amazing it is that this large group of women shower each other with praise, encouragement and support. when someone has hit a rough patch in their project, there is always someone to offer ideas and be your cheerleader. there is no discrimination on where you are in your stitch journey.

ok, for everyone that hasn't had the pleasure of visiting the french knot in person, i snapped a quick picture of their petei santa tree.

apparently some of the gentlemen were not listening when i said "say cheese"...

walls and walls of thread? you got it!

judy was working on one of the sides for this precious longhorn pudgie, sold exclusively at the shop. this is the finished shop model. 

that's a lot of brown burmilana! go girl!

mary beth was working on this angel that is to die for! excuse the drool stain...

i had so much fun and came away with a new set of stitchy friends! i will always have a special place in my heart for the french knot, it's where i first learned how to needlepoint!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

riding it out in texas...

it's been devastating to watch the coverage of my beloved city. it's even more devastating that it falls on the anniversary of that bitch katrina. 

thankfully my parents have provided a very swanky and comfortable refugee camp for me here in fort worth. no word yet on when exactly i will be returning, as most of the city and surrounding areas have lost power. 

i am super excited to be attending the stitch-in at the french knot tonight! i went in yesterday to get some great purple burmilana for hubby's tcu belt. (after all, they know that color better than anyone!)

 thank you all so much for your support, i am so blessed to have such a great community of friends!

Monday, August 27, 2012

well it's official, i'm evacuating...

to my parents' home in fort worth. this weekend saw tropical storm isaac take a turn straight for our coast, and since i'd rather not stay and take my chances, i'm hitting the road! my evacuation stitching bag is stocked and cricket's diaper bag is packed. 

prior to our hurrication, i did manage to finish this...

Linda Lahm beach totes

i love love love it!

Linda Lahm beach totes

the flowers are my favorite. colonial knots in neon rays. 

blogging may be few and far between for the next few days, but i will do my best to keep you posted! texas here we come!

Friday, August 24, 2012

lazy stitching

i've been lazily stitching away on my tote bag. no deadline, no pressure...and it's been perfect. i am typically so OCD about finishing projects, so i've given myself permission to be lazy. 

will i stitch this weekend? probably. but i'm not going to put extra pressure on myself. 

Linda Lahm beach totes

here's where i am currently am (i finished a little more after this photo). since this is mine, i went with my fave background, le pavilion diamonds. the yellow flowers under the chair will be last. 

i have some ideas on how to tackle the poinsettia leaves this weekend. i am SO ready to move on to more exciting areas!

hope your weekend is wonderful and filled with fun! we're going to be on pins and needles with the impending doom of hurricane isaac. cross your fingers!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a break from the leaves

Linda Lahm beach totes

instead of fretting about the leaf dramz for another night, i picked up this old friend. i need to clear my mind, take a pause, and focus on something else for a while. 

since the adirondack chair is my tote bag, i'm not in a hurry to finish it before christmas, but it would be an extra bonus if i did. i lurve the diamonds for the background!

Linda Lahm beach totes

here's everything that's going to the finishers this weekend. i'm making a detailed list of which river silk goes with which canvas for the hanging straps. i'm printing off a few images for reference so they know what i want. 

Linda Lahm beach totes

Linda Lahm beach totes

i'm really happy with how these turned out and can't wait to see them finished! the small sizes on these make them addicting to stitch. 

perhaps this weekend i'll check in with my lady, but i'm merrily plugging along on the remaining bags!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

how about this one?

still trying to find the perfect stitch for the poinsettia leaves. this was the latest effort. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

i liked it better last night, but i'm still not quite in love. may try some different thread, the coverage just isn't where i want it. 

also got some lovelies in the mail from the needleworks!

Carol Dupree OU candy cane

Carol Dupree TCU candy cane

Carol Dupree UT candy cane

these will be my mom and dad's christmas presents for next year. they represent where both they, and their children all went to school. i have loved watching how fast they stitch up, and can't wait to pull them out for next year!

please feel free to voice your opinions on the me vs. poinsettia leaf case. i do love all your ideas!

Monday, August 20, 2012

rainy days and mondays

it rained non-stop this weekend and makes me want to go climb back in bed this morning
(or maybe it was those two hurricanes from pat o'briens)

saturday night was spent in the french quarter for a friend's last night in new orleans (she's moving to washington dc for another job opportunity) so we had a girls' night out. fast forward to yesterday where i spent 92% of the day on the couch not stitching. hah!

it's a miracle that i actually have progress to show!

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

thank you for all the sweet comments on her dress, i really love how it turned out. i like how it picks up the shape at the top of her crown and adds a really nice subtle effect. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

started fiddling around with a leaf stitch on the flower. i'm not crazy about the coverage/size so i'll continue exploring. 

hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

sneak peek...

almost there with the bottom of my lady's dress, but i wanted to give a little sneak peek...

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

what do you think?

happy friday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

this little piggy came home!

it's no secret that we all love getting stitchy treats in the mail, and when i see "amy's" on the return address, i tear into that box like it's christmas morning!

look at the yummy threads jill pulled for my little pig! 

can't wait to get started on this guy! do i dare bump him up in the stash line-up? 

i'm almost done with the lady's dress, i'm going to stitch like a madwoman tonight while watching the new "project runway".  make it work!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

baby sleeping

no i'm not pregnant, but one of my friends was! she had a baby boy a few months ago and i wanted to see what she did with the nursery before i stitched something for le bebe. 

luckily his nursery is covered in giraffes so this j child canvas was perfect!

J. Child baby sleeping

the giraffe is in petite very velvet and is so soft! background stitch is one of the sky stitches from the landscape book. the star glows in the dark!

J. Child baby sleeping

this gift is in the mail and on its way to adorning a precious baby boy's door!

J. Child baby sleeping

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

lunch lady land...

i worked on the queen's hair and with the help of diana from my lns, we decided that a varied version of the buttonhole stitch would look fitting for the snood, or woven hairnet. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

the tent stitch on her hair worried me at first, i thought it would look too plain. i'm glad i didn't listen to my gut because the buttonhole overlay is the star, and the hair is just a supporting role. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

after picking myself off the floor following le bead meltdown...and with jane's encouragement, i came to the conclusion that trying to add beads on the bodice was too much. one of the issues that i've been forced to come to terms with is that there are so many opportunities for decorative stitches and complicated techniques, but there's a very delicate balance on when to use them.

sometimes the simple option is the best one. like using memory thread for the laces, and securing them with a bit of krenik. i can't over-think the stitches and i can't stress out if the right answer doesn't appear to me instantly. 

only one more piece of her dress before we move on to the next destination!

ps. if you are confused by today's blog title, please watch this masterpiece by sandler and farley. i had this stuck in my head the whole time i worked on the hairnet. enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

more fabulous finishing!

i picked up some long lost friends back from the finisher this weekend! it's true that a project is never really complete until it comes back from the finisher, it makes all the difference!

Petei Kiss Me Santa

first up is petei's "kiss me santa" with stitch guide by diana bosworth from the french knot

Petei Kiss Me Santa

close-up detail of the coat.

Petei Kiss Me Santa

this was a fun, quick project. i received the kit as a gift last christmas and couldn't wait to start! diana's stitch guides are so easy to read and fun to follow!

last but not least, this beautiful fort worth round by kathy schenkel.

Kathy Schenkel Fort Worth round

stitch guide by the talented diana bosworth from the french knot. 

Kathy Schenkel Fort Worth round

love the little longhorn!

Kathy Schenkel Fort Worth round

and the skyline...

hope you had a great weekend! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

i'm going to poke my eye out with my laying tool...

i'm serious. 

i worked on mostly beading last night, and adding in more gold trim. i decided that i would test out some options for the beads on the queen's dress.

and they suck.

they just plain suck.

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

avert your eyes from the terror that was formerly known as a bodice. don't get me wrong, j'adore swarovski beads. but the color is wrong. the size is wrong. and i went to bed wanting to poke my eyes out.

now let's turn our attention to the crown, the inside of the jessicas and the scepter. pas mal?

the "rubies" came from an sj designs christmas cocktail mix that i had leftover from another project. they're nice and shiny and i like the funky shape. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

started on the trim under her bodice and around the skirt. it's starting to come together!

so, after another emergency bead trip this weekend and perhaps a big girl drink, i will continue the saga that is my stocking. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

is it a bird? a plane?'s super stitcher!

stitching faster than a speeding bullet and laughing in the face of christmas deadlines

muah ha ha......

Linda Lahm beach totes

but in all seriousness i think it was the "dance moms" marathon that pulled me across the finish line last night.

the double brick stitch was was the beading on the crab that was my kryptonite. 

now off i go with my trusty laying tool and needle minder, solving my abundant needlepoint stash problems one canvas at a time...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

fabulous finishing...

don't you just love getting those phone calls saying your finishing is ready to pick up?!

michelle at acadian corner always does a brilliant job with framing, it takes all the stress off of me because i know my work is in the best hands. 

sorry for the craptacular quality of my pictures. i've come to terms with it. don't cry for me argentina. 

this is country cottage needlework's "beach cottage." it's a birthday gift for my aunt, who is the one that introduced our family to the beaches of sanibel. she loves to go shelling and i thought this would be a cute token of appreciation for sharing her love of the ocean with us. 

this is jbw designs' "french country pig" and i'm not quite sure what i'll do with him. this was the first cross stitch piece i ever attempted (so please forgive me) and i went back and forth over whether or not to frame him since i knew i can do better.

i'll probably end up giving it as a gift for someone, and then doing it in a different color scheme for our house. i am in love with every single french country piece by jbw designs, and i love the small size of them. since i'm not a huge fan of hanging the framed work on the wall, the smaller size allows me to put the frame on an easel and move it wherever i want!

guess what else got finished this weekend?

Linda Lahm beach totes

this guy!

i did the kennan stitch for the background, tent stitched the sand dollar (with a few french knots in a darker shade) and then beaded the middle. i wanted to give it some depth and i've been adding 3 dimensional touches to each one. 

Linda Lahm beach totes

this is awful color quality but you can see the sand dollar a bit better. 

i'm still plugging away on the next tote bag so i can get these to the finisher. and then it's quality time with the queen!

Monday, August 6, 2012

case of the mondays

i was bad and didn't get ANY pictures of my progress over the weekend! i definitely have a case of the mondays.

the good news is, there is lots to show, so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

switching gears

i had mild heart palpitations yesterday when i realized it was august 1! the holiday finishing deadlines are officially upon us so i switched gears from the nutcracker back to my tote bags. 

Linda Lahm beach totes

my apologies for the crappy lighting!

i finished the padding and river silk for the straps, and moved on the background. i chose to go with the kennan stitch just to mix up the variety of all the different bags. i was able to finish the entire right side and move to the middle before calling it a night. 

i'm confident i can finish this baby up this weekend while also devoting more time to the nutcracker queen. 

stay tuned...