Friday, June 18, 2010

The Summer Exchange

Well, Everyone, I hope you are all doing well! It seems like so many stitchers I know have one challenge or another going on this Idyllic June--so let's just do what we can and then stitch through it! :) You are in my thoughts and I hope we all have a greater weekend that we were expecting.

Today I'm sharing pics of the Summer Exchange I participated in through the Holiday Exchange run by BeckySC. Somehow I was lucky enough to have my name assigned to Christina, who sent me an unbelievably enormous pile of treasure! Christina is a great blogger and talented stitcher who hails from England. Seriously, you all should mosey over and check her out--if nothing else because she has clear, understandable pics of this wonderful exchange! Her blog is a good stop; I love the clever title, "Whilst Iris Naps". Now, "whilst" is a wonderful word, but as an American I simply don't have the panache to carry off using it properly. I'm so glad that I can experience using it, even vicariously by reading Christina's blog! :D

The whole shebang! Wow!! I know it's darkness in there; more pics are coming. The sun and the camera were in league against me, I tell you!

I said to Marc, somewhat stupidly, "Why are there 5 exchanges in this exchange??" They were all charmingly individually wrapped, and more beautiful stitching just kept popping out at me!

Some of the Backs: There's another cupcake there!

Christina said her ideal image summer is having tea and cupcakes at a favorite shop--sounds like a plan to me! :D I decided to celebrate my resolution to get this awesome exchange photographed with a nice cup of my favorite tea, "French Breakfast Tea" by Mariage Frères. With cream. Not milk, Cream.

Reader, you must try this tea (If you like tea at all). I've been planning to wax poetic (or is it just long ;) on this subject ever since I received some as a souvenir of a friend's business trip. When he gave it to me I thought, "Well, isn't this sweet; he remembered I like tea." Examining the wrap: "Humn; 'Mariage Fre'--Yes, 'Brothers Somethingoranother'--Ah, it was from France--poor thing, he got hosed." Browsing the types in the 3-tin box, "French Breakfast Tea--what do the French know about TEA!?" Tea drinkers of the gallery will know that there is "Irish Breakfast Tea" and "English Breakfast Tea", both storied tea offerings of Weight and Experience. Who is this upstart company to put forth their candidate styled as though it deserves to stand up next to them??!

It is the most singular and amazing black tea I've ever tasted. I try to keep away from Tea Snobbery, but this is just the tops. It's even a shame to spoil it with additives--no sugar or cream required! (Although I do add that delicious dairy rather often, I confess.)

Moving along--

Even the card was stitched! 0_o

Wow, a Chart! And Button! Previously, I couldn't understand what all the buzz was about these buttons--but now I see how well-made the JABCos are. If one peeks from the corner of the eye, doesn't the arrangement of the "M's" make the caption read as "Suffer"? lol That's what summer reminds me of in Oklahoma's sweltering humidity: 90-100 Fahrenheit 3 months of the year, roflol! I think I've got a good idea for re-charting the "M's" when stitching time rolls around! ;P

Back of the Rain, Rain Pynkeepe--Just Gorgeous!

Back of PS Fob; this thing has THE most scrumptious ribbon ever!! I'm a sucker for Grosgrain ribbon. :D

To close, my favorite shot--this little fob has been keeping me company tucked into my companion box at my stitching station. And, yes, in the Scissors spot are the Stewebs from Kelmscott that Christina sent!

Let me say that I'd had a rather unpleasant "happening" earlier in the week that had left me somewhat off-balance ever since. When I opened these scissors, after which I'd been panting ever since their Market debut, I thought, "Oh, yes, this item is very nice--they put me in mind of...those scissors from earlier in the year. That's what it is. *nods*" I had to look at them for way too long before I somehow worked out that they WERE the scissors I'd pined for since the winter. lol! Do you have those days (weeks)? I really couldn't think why they were in there; or how she'd Known. Then, I re-read the card to see that she mentioned my wish list! Reader, keep an online wish list. Previously, I didn't because it seemed somehow greedy. "What; I'm supposed to just blog up everything my greedy little eyes covet for people to read??" But it helps you keep track of what you're thinking of, and prioritize, and even see how your tastes change. And, for anyone who gets you as an exchange partner or wants to send you a RAK, it lets them know where your tastes lie. If I'm reading your wishlist, I'm getting an idea about what you like that goes beyond the WiP you're slogging through. I get to see not just where you are or where you've been with your stitching but where you are headed. :)

If that's what's been holding you back from making one, I hope you will re-think it, Reader.

I also have my own exchange to share, but it's Weekend-Ho!, so I'll keep it for Next Time (Perhaps it can keep the pics of Sailboat-Biscornu-No-I-haven't-forgotten-you-requested-it company!)

Yours Disconnectedly,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ciseaux Heart Freebie for Becky

Dear Becky has let me know that the little pyn pillow I sent to her arrived safely (and thankfully she liked it!), so I can now share it here. I took WAY too many pics of it, and I can somehow only narrow it down to eight to post here--maybe you can look through them, pick a favorite, and then pretend that you never saw the others? Thanks. :)

Colors pretty accurate here.

Shows the little impurity/striation in the (mop?) button at the right next to my signature.

Love that brassy antiqued button!

A bit of a gleam from its companion--a nice, thick mop button! Or is it no different that the above. Maybe I just love that comforter. I LOVE that yellow duvet cover. So much that it's still out. In June. Some nights it's cold, you know. Right. Down-requiring cold.

I used an irregular pattern for attaching the perimeter red mill hills (3 types left over from some Christmas ornament kits).

I love how the red looks on this teal/cream bedspread. Too bad I bought it rather than making it! I really need to learn how to quilt.

I somehow marshaled the restraint to delete the other pics of the back from the to-be-blogged folder. I had a great time using some tan rit dye to overdye this red stripe ticking. :)

Fabric: 32 ct. Vintage Antique Ivory
Fiber: DMC 115 & 434, stitched 2/2
Other: Mill Hill Beads, buttons from stash.
Filled with crushed walnut shells for weight.

Other-Other: I drew SO much inspiration and instruction from Staci this time: I used not only her idea of making a little beaded pin pillow out of this freebie, but also directly referenced her instructions for dyeing with Rit and adding a beaded edge. Unfortunately I can't find where the pattern came from, having only remembered it when I saw her blog about the one she made for an exchange.

Thanks also go to Becky for her gift of 115; I had been looking for some and asked her where she gets it and she sent me a big fistful of it. Of course, I had to use some of it NOW. Also, of course having stitched 2 (but done the finishing of none) of these freebies, I wanted nothing more than to further spurn my WiPs pile and make ANOTHER one! Seriously, I enjoy this stitch. It also served as great research for what linen to use for "Good Morning". I liked it so much that I went with the same.

Next time: Pics of my finish-finished Sailboat Biscornu and perhaps some links to cool stuff I like/want to make soon. :)

Happy Mid-week, Everyone!