Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn Private Exchange 2010

How overdue this post feels! I must say I blame how much busier I've gotten lately (Was not at all busy before, and am only slightly busy now, but consider the percentage of increase!) Good "time management" is something I only have when working vigilantly to maintain.

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...

"Joyful Autumn"
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'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!


Barbeeque4 said...

I am still blushing at all that gushing - you are so sweet with your praise and I thank you!!


Catherine said...

What a fun post Berit!! Your finish for Faye is wonderful - I saw it on her blog previously.

Great new stash - love them all. Isn't new stash great? I'm afraid there's going to be too much that I will like from the latest market.

What a stunning finish and goodies from Edgar!! His things always look fantastic - a treasure for always! Enjoy!

Deborah said...

The hanging pillow you made for Faye is gorgeous! I love the ribbon. The box you recieved from Edgar is beyond words. Just beautiful. You are a lucky girl.

BeckySC said...

What a great post friend :) I am SO happy you enjoyed the autumn exchange and thank you so much for taking part :) You sent and received a gorgeous exchange :)

OOOOH...I am loving your new stash...ESPECIALLY the Stacy Nash :)

I look forward to seeing WWGR :) :) :)

Wishing you a most lovely week :)

BeckySC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

Oh my! I love both what you made for Faye and what Edgar made for you! So wonderful! I don't blame you for being so thrilled!

Patti said...

What you sent and what you received are both beyond words. They are utterly gorgeous. Love the ribbon you used for the hanging pillow and the Quaker one too. Loved the ticking used - so simple yet utterly gorgeous. I'm not surprised you were asked to do a private exchange. Your work is just stupendous.
Lots and Lots of Love
Patti xxx

Anonymous said...

WOW, what a post full of goodies! Edgar really is a ninja at the finishing, as is Faye...I would be intimidated too! Gorgeous work all around. :)

Myra said...

OMG, I nearly laughed my head off at your Marc-isms. Too cute! I admired your exchange piece on Faye's blog - you made another stunner girl and I know Faye is super pleased. All the little details you added really make it special. I love the box you received from Edgar too - he does such beautiful work.

carol fun said...

Both of the piece you stitched and the one you received are simply gorgeous! So much beautiful stitching.

I along with several other members of my family share Marc's feelings about Canada geese -- the scourge of our street!!

Good luck with the studying and happy stitching!

Karen said...

What great exchanges. I just love the finish for Faye...that design is perfect and your finishing great to match!

Patty C. said...

Beautiful exchanges - Great stash :)

Terry punto e a croce!!! said...

beautiful autumn.Teresa

Anonymous said...

Both exchanges are beautiful! I really love the details in your exchange for Faye and your choice of colours and materials is perfect.

Good luck with your forthcoming exam :)

Sally said...

What a gorgeous hanging you made for Faye. It is truly beautiful.

The box you received fron Edgar is gorgeous!

Nice new stash. Looking forward to seeing your WIPs on these:)

Carol said...

Still laughing at your Canadian Geese story, Berit! My husband shares Marc's feelings exactly--they are such pests. Lovely to look at, but you don't want to walk anywhere near where they've been recently!

I just love your gift to Faye--that wide ribbon adds so much to the finish--great touch! And your box from Edgar is spectacular--lucky you :)

АннеттА said...

Какие красивые осенние работы! Очень красиво!

Daffycat said...

Oooo, I can't believe you got Edgar ~ twice! Lovely package, enjoy!

Blu said...

Gorgeous exchange! Both sent and received!

I feel that (in this general air of disapproval of the bird) I should stand up for the Canadian Goose, but considering that my path to the bus stop is currently littered with them and their gifts, that'd just be hypocritical!

Siobhan said...

Oh my goodness! What fantastic exchanges. You both put so much work and effort into them, and it shows.

mainely stitching said...

What a fabulous exchange - both what you sent and what you received! ENJOY! :D

Christina said...

Hi Berit, I just love, love, love how you finished your exchange to Faye, I saw it on her blog first and fell head over heels with that beautiful brown ribbon. Brown is a much maligned colour, but I for one love it! In fact, brown was the theme colour at my wedding! Well, chocolate brown to be precise (sounds so much nicer if you add the word 'chocolate'!)
How hilarious Marc's reaction to Canadian Geese is! I can only compare it to my own feelings regarding pigeons. Do you get lots of them (pigeons) in the states? They drive me mad, eating my bird seed and scaring away much prettier birds! And EXTREMELY annoying when they 'coo' outside my window at 5am!

Hazel said...

Oooooh love your post! Gorgeous stash is making me drool. Lovely exchange from Edgar - very thoughtful. x

MyLifesAStitch said...

Berit, the finishing on Faye's piece is fabulous! You are really really good at it, gf!!

And the box from Edgar - W.O.W. Just beautiful!!

As far as everything else you've got going on, I am totally with you! And I know exactly what you mean about the fretting for the perfectly perfect time to do something, etc. It certainly can make things stressful, can't it? I am positive that you will do just wonderfully on the exam!! AS far as getting the house back in order... I used to do Flylady when Leah was an infant. I don't anymore, and honestly, I feel like a lot of it is a bit over the top. But a couple things stick with me, and I remind myself of these two things most frequently: Jump in where you are, and baby steps (do what you can but don't burn out on it). Those two things have become my housekeeping mantra.

Blah blah blah, I really yakked on this one, didn't I?? Have a great weekend!!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely stunning exchanges - both given and received! Not sure if you've seen, but there is a new design just released at St Charles market with a fox on it:
I'm new to your blog, and have really enjoyed my visit today :D

Elaine said...

Your exchange pillow for Faye is gorgeous and what a beautiful box from Edward.
Wonderful new stash to play with.
Happy Stitching!

Bonnie said...

I love the pillow you stitched for Faye. I like the pillow ticking. I have some and am waiting for the perfect design to come along so I can use it.
Isn't Edgar the greatest? His stitching is to die for. Lucky you!

Stitch Wizard said...

Berit, I have just thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog here! You have got some really beautiful stitching here and I can' believe how much prettier your Prairie Schooler When Witches Go Riding looks than what it looks like for the chart. Yours is sooooooooooo pretty with the fabric you are using and I hardly recognized it when I saw the chart. All of your stitching is just totally awesome! Thank you for sharing! You inspire me!!

Cindy F. said...

OH BERIT!! First...I love your "geese" story and the amazingly beautiful treasure from Edgar!! You are sooo lucky girl!!
Your stash are all "most haves"!! Love them all!
Congrats on your first hanging pillow!! It is sooo beautifully stitched and finished!! WOW girl!!
Good job!!