Saturday, February 28, 2015


It snowed! No, it's not feet of snow like up north, but it's enough that my kids were thrilled and spent some time in the backyard playing after school.

Yes, that's a horse in the background between the trees. For all that I tell people that no, not all Texans ride horses and live on ranches and have oil wells in their backyard, there is a small farm property behind us that the horse belongs to. And I live very close to Southfork Ranch of Dallas fame. Anyway, enough of the Texas stereotypes for now! Ha!

All of our weekend activities have been cancelled (though my daughter said she thought playing soccer in the snow would have been fun!), and it's still snowy and icy today with freezing rain covering the metroplex. I don't plan on leaving the house at all, which is great since I have a new start today, and both Story Time Sampler and Walking Through The Stars Zodiac have their next parts coming out this weekend! Yay!

Yesterday, I spent some time working on Italian Vista.

I focused on the water again - the half stitches go quickly and I was very pleased with my progress.

Off to my lovely day full of stitching and staying warm and inside!

Until next time!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flames of Desire and a Sneak Peek

Last night I got to work on Flames of Desire once more.

And here is where I got to last night:

The more I work on this piece, the happier I am that I restarted it. I felt like I was able to make a lot of progress tonight using the tent stitch rather than full crosses. To make my life easier on this page, I took a color that was used quite a bit in the page and just focused on it tonight. I've found that the confetti in the HAED pieces is much easier to deal with when you have big chunks of color to help measure around it. Everything that I've stitched thus far seems to fit together much more smoothly than it did the first time around. Most importantly, I'm still utterly in love with the fabric!

Today, we also got a sneak peek at March's installment of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Story Time Sampler:

The general consensus is that March's block will be Sherlock Holmes! I love the BBC version of the show (and hello, Benedict Cumberbatch is just awesome, both as an actor and just to look at, hehe), and I have a beautiful volume of Sherlock Holmes stories here at home. I can't wait to stitch up this block!

Until next time!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fall Fairy

Just a quick post as I have a lot to do today!

I spent some time on Fall Fairy last night.

While I adore the various shades of orange and yellow, it was nice to see a bright spot of blue when I stopped last night:

The fabric itself is blue and that doesn't reflect well in this picture, but the colors of the piece itself really are that lovely!

Off to work on my to do list!

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

European Bistro

Brrrr I am ready for winter to end and spring to begin! Kids went back to school today despite cold temperatures and snow falling (they were not happy, I was!), and I've decided that I am ready for my hot Texas summers now. I think snowy landscape can be beautiful, but I am not meant to live in the cold. I'm a Southern girl, born and raised, where is my warmth!?

I spent some time trying to mentally escape the ickiness yesterday by working on European Bistro.

This is where I stopped yesterday:

I was excited because it really felt like I was moving onto something new in this piece when I started the doorway arch. I've been working on this section of the window for awhile now, so it's nice to get to something "new"!

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to Mo's Sale. Poor Mo is going through some tough times with her husband's health and medical bills are beginning to pile up. She is throwing a 30% off sale on everything on her website - cotton floss, silks, and fabrics! Just use Promo Code FEB30 (in all caps) at the checkout between now and Monday to take advantage of her lovely offerings!

Until next time!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dreaming of Tuscany

Yesterday was a cold, nasty, icy day and I did not leave the house once. We don't get snow here in Texas often. We get ice, which in my opinion is worse. As I've told many of my northern friends, we don't drive zambonis in Texas and with all the bridges and overpasses we have everywhere, driving is beyond dangerous. Who cares if I can see the grass in my yard if I can't see the ice on my streets!

Today looks like more of the same. Kids are home from school again (they are thrilled, me not so much), but I plan on trying to put them to work today picking up some of their more used areas in preparation for monthly game night Saturday night. Wish me luck on that!

Dreaming of Tuscany was a very appropriate piece to work on yesterday in all the nasty weather.

I was craving a glass of wine last night but seeing as I gave up alcohol for Lent, I just contented myself with focusing on stitching the bottle of wine and corresponding glass instead! Very satisfying stitching, not so successful at quenching the craving!

I will get to continue to spend time in Europe with my cross stitching when I get to it today, but first, time to tackle the chores! Wish me luck!

Until next time!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Doctor Who Clock

A year or two ago, some old friends of mine introduced me to the joy that was British television. Doctor Who and Sherlock quickly became two of my favorite shows and I eagerly binge watched both of them (gotta love Netflix) in order to get caught up. Sherlock is a show that is one of my personal guilty pleasures, but my four year old son quickly fell in love with Doctor Who and eagerly watches it with me. His Doctor is the Twelfth Doctor and his favorite companion is Clara. My friends and I nicknamed him the Wee Ginger Doctor (since he's little and finally, the Doctor would be a ginger!), and last Christmas, he had a very Whovian holiday filled with a play tent TARDIS, a sonic screwdriver, and even his own little plush Dalek to fight. So when he saw this clock when I was exploring the Cloudsfactory website, he quickly and insistently "asked" that I make this for him:

How could I refuse? I have seen this chart on other blogs too and I fell in love with it, so I bought it, found the perfect fabric in my stash, and was ready to go! Here is where I got to yesterday:

I tried to capture the sparkle in this picture, but it does not do the colors justice! I'm stitching this on a 32-count Opal Lugana blue and white jewel from Under The Sea Fabrics because "It looks like it's in the stars, Mommy!"

Now, in the past, I have taken liberties to substitute out flosses for the patterns I've purchased from Cloudsfactory and Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I wasn't going to do that this time because this was for my son and I wanted it to be recognizable to him - not so many variegated threads, stick to the solid colors, etc. But when I got started yesterday, my son asked if I could use "shiny thread for your stitching, Mommy?" Well, with a request like that...

We went through the silks in my collection from Mo's Sale, and this piece when I'm through with it will have the largest number of silks in it that I've used to date! We couldn't find good substitutes for all of the colors - those we didn't will just use the recommended DMC. Despite that, this piece will eventually have more silks in it than any other piece I have worked on to date. We pulled out 23 different silks to use before this piece is said and done: Almanzo, Beetee, Claudius, Coal, Cornucopia, Daisy Mason, Elphaba, Gale, Galinda, Haymitch, Hunger Games, Katniss, Kyle, LuAnn, Mona, Navy, Noah, Sea Breeze, Seneca, Tom Branson, Tribute, Tulip and Waterlily. This will definitely be a "shiny thread" piece!

It's an icy day here in North Texas. School was cancelled and Hubby stayed home to work from home today - we may not get much to fall from the sky compared to our friends up north, but what we do get is usually ice, not snow, and really dangerous as a result. I've got a few things to do around the house (around them, heh), but then I think I will settle down for some good stitching time. What better thing to do on a yucky day like today?

Until next time!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Christmas Countdown

Just a quick post today. I'm fighting a nasty dizzying migraine that I'm really hoping fades soon now that I've taken my meds and am drinking lots of caffeine. Gotta love nasty weather fronts and my PMDD both joining forces to make my head feel like it's going to explode.

I worked on Christmas Countdown yesterday:

I've turned the corner on the border and am working on the top now:

I think I've decided that I'll do all the backstitching of the border once I finish stitching it before delving into the top and bottom of the piece.

Until next time!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Butterfly Rose Cross

Yesterday was dedicated to my second HAED in my rotation, Butterfly Rose Cross:

I was able to complete another column on the first page and start the next one. Lots and lots and lots of blue...

Soccer games for the day are done and I'm staying home to thaw out the rest of the day from the biting wind chill, so we will see how the stitching goes today!

Until next time!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Butterfly Fairy

Yesterday I was able to put some time in on Butterfly Fairy by Joan Elliott.

There is just something about her pieces that I absolutely love. I have MANY of her patterns in my stash and even more on my wish list to acquire. I would love to have a wall in my house dedicated to her fairies - maybe in my stitching haven (that I'm starting to plan out - more on that sometime soon). Here is where I got to last night:

I spent quite a bit of time on the one over one skin of her arm. I think it looks good so far! I've also decided after looking over the pattern for a bit yesterday that I'm going to substitute the kreinik French Knots (the idea of doing those in kreinik makes me cringe) with Mill Hill beads, so I ordered a few  of those last night, too.

As long as I don't bend over, my back is pretty much back to normal. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes! I can now walk without a cane, I don't need the pain meds, I'm just going to crouch to pick things up rather than bend for awhile!

Until next time!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beauty and the Beast Falling In Love

Just a quick post today. Being laid up with a bad back did give me an opportunity to spend some time on Beauty and the Beast Falling In Love:

Here is how things look when I put it away last night:

I am feeling better today but will be taking it easy one more day to be sure. Time to get stitching!

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Floss Filled Fun (And A Little Stitching)!

This is going to be a very floss filled post, but like any avid stitcher, I'm happy to be showing off more stash!

I threw my back out yesterday bending over to pick something up off of the floor, which was less than pleasant. I'm moving better today, but I'm still really slow. Stash mail helped cheer me up, though!

First, I am an avid fan of Mo's Sale hand dyed flosses and silks. I have used several of them in various pieces, and I have an almost complete collection of all of her offerings. I'm playing catch up from a few months when I wasn't on her auto-order list, but I'm getting there! Yesterday, I got my latest stash of what we fans call "Mo Mail"!

Here are the stunning silks (they're even more gorgeous in person):

 Mo even had some extra silks available in the Golden Sun color I'm using for my Zodiac SAL, so now I'm not worried I'm going to run out this year. Yay!

And here are the amazing flosses (also more gorgeous in person):

If you are looking for a new, unique source of hand dyed floss and silk, I totally recommend Mo. She is an absolute doll, her products are of beautiful quality and her prices can't be beat!

This wasn't the only mail I got yesterday. I also got the missing floss for The Little Mermaid! Yay!

Today also happens to be the February TUSAL check-in day. Here are my pictures for the month!

You can definitely see the layers growing of the different colors from the different pieces. I've "squashed" the ORTs down for this month and am ready to add more!

Oh yeah! I did actually do some stitching yesterday. It wasn't as much as I would have liked because I was in so much pain yesterday, but I did put some time in on Angel of Compassion:

Here is where I was able to get to yesterday before the pain was just too much:

I completely finished the second column (so much kreinik!) and that top row now goes all the way across to the edge of the first page. I also put in a few stitches of the confetti on this page in the third column. I'm playing around with trying to do more cross country stitching in this rather than column by column. We'll see how it goes the next time I pick this one up.

Here's hoping for less pain and more stitching success today!

Until next time!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

American Flag Quilt Sampler

Another holiday, another appropriate piece to work on! What better piece to work on for President's Day than the American Flag Quilt Sampler?

I finished the "placeholder" block on the top of the blue section, and I have to admit, this is my favorite of the blocks so far. I can't exactly tell you why, it just is!

I did make a mistake, but I'm not going to tell anyone where. I've already figured out how it will be corrected here on out, and that's what matters! I decided I want to do all of the blue section first since those are the first thirteen states plus the two place holder blocks, so I started the next bit of blue background before packing it in for the evening. Here is where the piece was left as of last night:

Sorry for the less than stellar picture! I'll get a better one next time I pull this piece out, I promise!

Until next time!

Monday, February 16, 2015

All Things Noah

Yesterday I started back at the top of my rotation list with All Things Noah!

I have to admit, it's nice to have gone completely through my (original) rotation and to be back at the start again! I have two pieces that will be new starts when I go through the rotation this time around, but when I picked this up yesterday, it really did make me glad I do a daily rotation because it wasn't too long since I had last worked on this piece and I was able to make some great progress on it yesterday!

I finished outlining the giraffe motif, did the entire turtle motif and then did all of the half stitching for the banner on the bottom of the piece. All that is left in this piece are the top and bottom banners and then the border around the entire piece. I definitely think it's feasible that I will finish stitching this piece this year!

Kids are off school today, it's grey and cold and icky outside, and I'm not feeling super great, so it may just be a day of movies and stitching ahead. Sounds like a plan to me!

Until next time!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wedding Sampler and SAL Check In

How appropriate that on Valentine's Day, I was working on my Wedding Sampler!

Carolyn Manning of Carolyn Manning (CM) Designs designed this especially for me as a wedding gift. She and I met on a fantasy writing website something like fifteen years ago now, give or take, when she was just starting out and working towards being a designer full time. We became great friends over many things, including our mutual love of cross stitch, and I was so honored when she made this piece for me when my hubby and I got married! We lost touch for awhile when life took us our separate ways, but we've recently reconnected and she's just as delightful and sweet as she was when we first met. I'm so proud of all she has done! Check out her blog and her shop to see her wonderful patterns!

I started this once a long time ago and then realized I had really messed up somewhere on it with the counting and put it down for awhile. I started it up again a couple of years ago and it's languished with my missing stitching bug. It was really nice to get back to it! I finished the stitching first page of the border and started on the second:

My plan is to stitch all of the border first and then go back and do the backstitching and the text in the middle. Hubby and I will be married for 13 years this June. It would be really nice to have this done this year!

Today is also the 15th of the month, which means it's time to check in with the Story Time Sampler SAL. You can see my post for this month here. I love following everyone's progress on this piece!

Until next time!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tuscan Greetings

Yesterday I spent some time working on the last of my 'small' pieces in my rotation, Tuscan Greetings:

Yes, yes, another Italian themed piece, are you surprised? This is going to be personalized with our family name and when it's done, I plan on hanging it by our front door.

Here is where it stands as of yesterday:

We have a very busy day ahead of us as a family with two soccer games and my daughter has a Girl Scout Cookie Booth after her game. Oh yeah, and it's Valentine's Day too! I almost forgot! I probably won't be able to stitch much until this evening, but I'll definitely stitch something!

Quick update on the thread issue from the last post - MCG Textiles emailed me yesterday and let me know they put the correct color in the mail to fix the error in my kit! Yay! That's what I call good customer service!

Off to the craziness!

Until next time!

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Little Mermaid

Yesterday I was able to put a little time into my next new start, The Little Mermaid by Thomas Kinkade. This is part of the Disney Collection - there are something like twelve pieces in total in the series so far, give or take a couple, but every one I've seen, I want to do!

Here is how far I was able to get last night:

It's not much, but it's a start!

I have hit one snag with this kit, though. Hopefully I'll get it resolved before it becomes too much of an issue. See, these kits come with all the thread pre-sorted already, which is fantastic. Especially when there are color names like "Very Dark Bright Green" or "Light Dull Purple". I would go mad trying to divide them myself. Though they are divided, the threads are uncut and loose in their cards, so I take some time before starting to cut the threads in half and secure them so I don't lose any floss as I work. The problem was discovered when I was going to secure "Light Bright Purple":

I may have had an issue distinguishing between all the different shades of purples, blues and greens, but this is definitely not purple. It actually matches another color in the pattern, Medium Yellow Grey. The codes for these in the pattern are one number apart - 6337 for Light Bright Purple versus 6237 for the Medium Yellow Grey. I'm assuming the mix up just came from reading the numbers wrong. I've contacted the vendor, MCG Textiles, to see if they can send me the right color. If worse comes to worse, I am sure I can find a shade of purple in my stash that could work, but I'd prefer not to if I can help it. Fingers crossed we can get this resolved!

Until next time!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Walking Through The Stars Zodiac Sampler - Aquarius

I finished Aquarius yesterday and am now completely caught up on this SAL. I will admit, I had the song Age of Aquarius in my head while I was stitching this. Heh.

Here is Aquarius - I used quite a bit of silk with this section. I really like that I substituted the Weeks Dye Works flosses with the silk, I think it's turning out quite lovely:

And here is the entire piece (this is a much better picture of the actual fabric color - thanks phone in non-natural light):

Just like with Capricorn, the designers included some interesting information about Aquarius:

Aquarius – January 20 – February 18  Called by the Greeks Hydrochoos, "the Water-Pourer." "Aquarius" is a Latin translation of the Greek name.

Aquarius sees possibilities at the edge of the future. Many are ahead-of-their-time as visionaries, trendsetters, inventors, genius-artists, eccentrics, humanitarians. Aquarius has a mental sovereignty that gives them distance from the noise of life. They move in networks, and are very social, though also fiercely private.

At the extreme edges, Aquarius is unreachable, fixed in their ideas, condescending.

Aquarius thrives at the cutting edge, and keeps up with the latest in art, movies, technology, music and style.

Constellation: Aquarius
Element: Air
Ruling Planet: Uranus and Saturn
Stone: Amethyst
Metal: Aluminium
Phrase: “I know”
Colors: Sky blue, metallic silver and gold, electric or fluorescent shades of blue, green, violet, purple Animals: tropical birds, dolphins
Birth Flowers: Orchid flowers
Other flowers associated with Aquarius are: Solomon's seal, Golden rain, Goldenrod, Jack-in-the-pulpits, Birds of paradise, Gladiolus, Trillium

Now that I'm completely caught up with this SAL, I'm putting it away and getting back to my normal rotation, which means another new start today. Yay!

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Walking Through The Stars Zodiac Sampler - Capricorn

Yesterday I was very grateful I had picked up the B5200 because it was the color used the most in Capricorn:

The pattern comes with information about each astrological sign, which I found very interesting. I don't place much stock in astrology, but it is always interesting to see what each sign represents! Here is the information that came with Capricorn's pattern:

Capricorn – December 22 – January 19:  Capricornus is a Latin compound of "she-goat" (capra) and "horn" (cornus), which translates the original Greek Aegocerus, "goat-horned."  

Capricorn is the hardest-working sign of the Zodiac. They're apt to work smart, though, and make it clear to others that their time is valuable. Capricorn rises to the top in their field, through dedication, drive, patience and stamina. They're known to age in reverse, growing younger and less burdened as they get older. At the extreme edges, Capricorn is judgmental, an elitist, and humorless. Capricorn has a strong sense of duty, tradition and loyalty to the family line. It takes time to get to know the Goat, who becomes a steadfast mate or friend. They're drawn to the classics, in style, culture and literature.

Constellation: Capricorn
Element: Earth
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Stone: Ruby, Agate
Metal: Lead
Phrase: “I use”
Colors: earth tones, classy navy or gray, black, dark blue/brown, burgundy, gold, rust-orange. Animals: goats and other cloven-foot creatures. The giants of the sea - whales
Birth Flowers: Pansy and Ivy flower. Other special blooms are hyacinth, tulips, black and purple orchid and the desert rose. Flowers and fauna under Capricorn's rule include: Heartsease, Love-lies-bleeding, Knapweed, Hemp, Scotch broom, Trillium, Baby's breath, Camellias.

Onto Aquarius!

Until next time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Walking Through The Stars Zodiac Sampler - Frames Completed

Yesterday I finished all of the inner circle frames as well as the frames for January (Capricorn) and February (Aquarius) and I'm really pleased how they turned out!

The rest of the larger frames come out with each month's installment, or else I would be working on those too! I will admit, it was a bit difficult to get these done at times. Between using silk, which I'm not as good at using, the fact that this is linen and not evenweave and some really (beautifully) darkly dyed parts of fabric, I had my share of frogging and frustrations, but I'm really pleased with how it looks so far. And I just absolutely love this fabric choice! It's going to look great!

I had to order B5200 for this piece and I was planning on just completing what I could while I waited for my order, but each of the four smaller frames for these two months are nearly entirely that color, and January's large frame has a big chunk of that color in it too. I could have waited, or just worked on the other colors of course, but my OCD tendencies with stitching didn't like that idea. So what did I do? Picked up a skein of it today while I was out at Wal-Mart for my weekly grocery run! There were only two skeins of it left in their very meager "needlepoint" section, so I grabbed them both! The rest are coming (I think I needed four in all when I added up everything from my three new starts), so now I'll have a spare or two and I don't have to wait! Yay! January's installment of Capricorn will be my focus later today when I can sit down and stitch. Got a lot to do today before that can happen! Best get started!

Until next time!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Walking Through the Stars Zodiac Sampler

Yesterday I spent some time doing inventory and floss tosses for my three new starts! It took some time to work out the flosses and fabric that I wanted to use for both this piece and Magical Creatures, but I'm very pleased with what I came up with for the Zodiac!

This is another one of those pieces of fabric I had in my stash that I've been saving for the perfect piece, and I think this is it! It is called Black Magic and it is in 32 count Belfast Linen from Under The Sea Fabrics! I also substituted out all of the flosses but black and white using Mo's Sale flosses and silks. I took a little bit of a different approach this time than in my previous substitutions. I am using cotton floss for all of the DMC substitutes and silks for all of the Weekly Dye Works substitutes. I think I made some good and unique substitutions, so I'm eager to see how it goes! The flosses I'm using are (in alphabetical order): Amazon, Apple Cider, Bark, Cherry, Flesh, Green Apple, Light Bulb, Mouse, Poppy and Twilight. Silks are Caroline, Casey Key, Eggplant, Golden Sun, Ink, Mona, Nellie and Noah.

Here is where I was able to get to yesterday in my first day:

I'm going to stitch the twelve circles in the middle first, then tackle January and February, I think. I'm doing the circles in Golden Sun - I am a little worried I may not have enough to last the entire year, but I will deal with that issue if/when it comes! I did have to place an order for some bright white (B5200) and I know that will be used in both January and February's entries, but if I need to I'll just skip that part until it comes in. There is plenty to do in the meantime! Regardless, this piece will stay in my hoop until I'm caught up and then I'll go back to my regular rotation.

Until next time!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sweet Pea Fairy and Adding to the WIP List

Yesterday I spent a lot of time working one over one skin on my Sweet Pea Fairy:

She looks a little creepy right now with how the skin looks right now, but one over one is going to be worth it! Yes, it quadruples the number of stitches for the skin, but I think the effect looks so much nicer - the skin looks smooth and like skin rather than like a cross stitch. Now, this piece has a TON of skin in it, and I may go blind by the end of it, but I think it's going to look awesome when it's done!

Remember how at the beginning of the year I made my list of WIP's and added four new starts to it but said that was it for the year? I lied. I'm adding three more starts from Cloudsfactoryto the list that I absolutely could not resist after seeing them on several blogs and on FB:

1. The Doctor Who Clock - my four year old son is a huge Doctor Who fan like I am (12 is his favorite Doctor and he loves Clara the most of all the Companions). We jokingly call him the wee ginger Doctor, and he even has a TARDIS (tent) and (play) sonic screwdriver and a (stuffed) red Dalek he likes to defeat. He saw this as I was looking at the Cloudsfactory website and started begging for it. Considering how many pieces I have going on that my daughter asked for, I couldn't resist (pus, I love the design):

2. Magical Creatures Calendar - I believe this was the annual SAL from Cloudsfactory last year. I've talked before about my love of fairies and all things fantasy, and I think this will go well with the Once Upon a Time Sampler and the Story Time Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery when it's all said and done:

3. Walking Through the Stars Zodiac Sampler - This is this year's annual SAL from Cloudsfactory. Like the Story Time Sampler, a new section of this comes out once a month for the whole year. I'm a couple of months behind this one and I'm going to pause my standard rotation to get caught up in time for March's release, then I will be doing what I do with the Story Time Sampler and doing this piece as well each month when the new pattern comes out, no matter where I am in the rotation.

This will put my WIP count up to 25, and I think that's a good number to stop at. Doctor Who and Magical Creatures will just go into my normal alphabetical rotation, so they aren't going to come up quite yet. I do plan on using the recommended flosses for Doctor Who for my son's sake, but I'm going to be making substitutions using Mo's Floss for both Magical Creatures and the Zodiac Sampler. Time to go raid my floss and fabric stash!

Until next time!