Thanks, everyone, for weighing in with votes and evaluations of the Santa & Friends PS charts I asked about on the last post--BeckySC kindly double-checked her copy: They are indeed foxes! :D :D :D Be sure that I placed an order with Anita the very next day. Of course, I ordered a couple of other charts, too so that Santa (and his friends) won't get lonely in that envelope!
Did I say this post was over-due? "Recent" Stash acquisition from the aforementioned Anita:
Frederika by CHS (she's been on order since before retirement and I'm so glad she came in, uniting The Freds at last in my collection), Homespun Elegance's 2010 Snowman Ornament: "Snowmen 'A Gathering" (I am not a snowman fan, but as I consider this a "companion ornament to "Santa Arrives Tonight" how could I pass it up! Love those colours!), Hallow's Eve by Stacy Nash (Been wanting this one since I first saw it at Valie's--love at first sight!), and finally the Loose Feather that has the final section of the Mystery Sampler.
Now, the point of the post: I was blessed to be invited to participate in an Autumn Private Exchange early in the Summer, and I am just so thrilled by the outcome of the whole thing--beyond words, so, let's let the pictures suffice!
I'll start by showing mine, which I made and sent to Faye, because once you see what I received, you'll have eyes only for it--but as a teaser Edgar made it.
I had such fun gathering the materials for this: charmeuse silk ribbon (oh, I do love taupe!), BoaF Barn Owl 40 ct., WDW Straw 30 ct., stripe ticking, MoP buttons, Acorn Charm...
Designer: Homespun Elegance
Fibers: WDW: Red Rocks, Terra Cotta, Indian Summer; CC: Almost Auburn; DMC for finishing.
I wanted to make something "Red and Quaker-y", yet very Autumnal because I read in Faye's blog that those 2 things are favorites of hers. I must say, I like them, too!
The back is a motif, I think, from an Ackworth sampler. I added in the year and Faye's initials. :) I really liked this color combination and may use it again if I ever get around to stitching a larger quaker. :) More (though not better) photos can be seen on my album, and the ones Faye took and put on her blog are just super--I am so pleased that she liked it enough to include it on her tree! As you all know, Faye is such a talented and high-profile blogger--I was rather nervous preparing this exchange. I really enjoyed getting to know her via her blog backlog, and counted this exchange a complete success. I was also beyond flattered when the designer of the piece asked me if she could include it in a blog post--OF COURSE! So, I successfully made my first hanging pillow (all those seams/different count linen were wrestled into cooperation with only one or two noticeably "prim" spots on the finishing), Faye liked it (best part), and even the designer and exchange moderator went out of their way to compliment me. How could it get any better? Well...
A couple of days later, a mysterious box was mixed in with the anticipated vitamin shipments on my doorstep. Plucking it from the pile, I mused, "Ah; that's right, the Exchange for me is still out." A glance to the return direction in the corner--"You're Kidding!!!", I cried aloud. Perching there was Edgar's name! Now, you may recall that I was lucky enough to have him stitch for me in the Valentine's Exchange earlier this year, as well. Lightning DOES strike twice, stitchers!
From "November" by Prairie Schooler
Fibers: Recommended DMC
Fabric: Mystery 32 ct. Linen
Stitched and finished as painted fabric-lined box by Edgar
Is it not perfect? I carried it around with me for several days and talked myself out of sleeping with it beside me on the pillow with great difficulty. :P
Pictures do not do it justice--I never thought I'd be lucky enough to receive one of Edgar's Incomparable Boxes! I've no idea how he managed to part with it.
My favorite part: It has a Red Fox!
Edgar knows that I've been fox-crazy for quite a while, he loaned me a copy of his Fox Forest by Workbasket (which is mere stitches--plus finishing--away from completion and showing off. I really want to find the perfect basket to use with it), and I also got the "idea" of stitching PS's "Fox & Grapes", which is my favorite of the PS Fox designs (and that's saying something!), from him.
Dear Marc also REALLY likes this one; he's mentioned points about it on several occasions and even brought it up himself out of the blue--he said it's "beautiful". His favorite part is the stark, twiggy branches of the trees with their last leaves clinging.
There was, perhaps, a slight issue, however...this design has Canadian Geese. Three of them, to be precise. Marc was born and raised in Canada (the child of parents recently immigrated from the Philippines), and he famously (half jokingly) loathes The Canada Goose. Something about them being the playground scourge of his youth--where they go destruction (and defecation) follow in their wake. I suspect it's also a bit of homesickness; If the best of Canada isn't to be had here in the States (Coffee Crisp bars by Nestlé) why is the worst?
So, when I saw the geese, I wondered if it would put him off the whole thing. "Surely he can't be so unreasonable...." I dubiously assured myself.
He did love it, though, and (true to form) commented with several sure-to-become humorous Marc-isms of family lore.
"*aggressive breathing from throat* What are they doing here!?! Interlopers!!! They are in my house!!!"
"That Giant Owl should just eat them!!" (Previously the programmer in him had been musing on how the too-large owl wouldn't fit inside the house, so this plan showed a shift in sympathies--an alliance with the Oversized Owl.)
Generally, it was a 10 minute performance of his usual trash-talk for them; his usual epithets and geese-centric threats. My favorite has something to do with "kicking them in the bitch-head", and is a well-established Marc-ism with roots in a particular roadside altercation with a few of their species. Something about their aggressive posturing makes Marc want to respond by running right up and punting them in the head with the flat of his foot. Perhaps it's the way their heads sit upon their necks like golf balls upon an oversized tee. Anyway, with apologies for the language, one does not just kick them, no--the proper way to "bring the pain to" or "open and can on" a goose is by kicking him in the "bitch head". It's worthy of noting that neither pregnant female dogs nor human ladies of any state of being have "bitch heads"; only Canadian Geese do. :D
The interior is lined and slightly plush. The novelty print is just perfect!
Spoiled with goodies, to boot: Hallowe'en pop rocks, Great Pumpkin Hot Chocolate, candy corn ribbon, fallen leaves novelty shank buttons, and "B" stationery set comprised of stickers, magnet, and notecards.
Thank you, Edgar, for absolutely making my season! :D I will treasure this beautiful work you made always.
Stop in and enter Edgar's 3rd Annual Birthday Hobbit Drawing! I know he included a piece of his stitching in this super event last year, so if you win you might even get to own your own piece of his work!
So, for now I'm finishing up a secret project and that PS Santa, too, preparing to mail out a trade/loan, contemplating whether or not "When Witches Go Riding" is done, considering the making of a present, awaiting a stash order from Anita--that's just stitching!
I'm also contemplating the change in season, fretting about the state I've let the house descend to while sick, and perhaps most "important" of all preparing to take an exam the first week in December. It's a foreign language exam, and I have wanted to attempt it for many years...but...it's been reformatted and so no one is entirely certain how to study for it anymore. Between that and my perfectionism I must be careful not to disappoint myself by letting the opportunity to "really try" slip away from me. I have a regrettably entrenched MO of waiting for the "perfect time" to "do it perfectly" before I get anything done. Or, I expend the time fretting about trying to make the planets align perfectly before doing the thing instead of actually doing it.
My wisest teacher always used to advise that we must "Plan your work and work your plan." So, now I'm just trying to "forgive" myself, relax, and get on with doing that piece by piece.
I hope all is well with you this fall, and that you've exciting (and slightly challenging) stitches and events waiting to take you through to the end of this year.
I do hope to step up my blog reading a bit, though I might be a somewhat absent until after the exam is held.
Happy Almost-Autumn, Stitchers!