Monday, March 29, 2010

Quaker Diamonds, Go!

This weekend, I made my start on Quaker Diamonds, which you may recall was a RAK from BeckySC.

Today, like all of the last 7 (or so it seems) is a very grey and rainy one, so please excuse the quality.

The Valdani perle is such a joy to stitch with. I decided to stick with the recommended PTP Mello in 28 ct. Cashel, and I'm glad I did. The wonderful colour aside, their Cashel seems to have a really dense, stand-up-to-it quality that takes the perle well. I think I looser linen would be pushed around too much. So, for me Valdani perle + PTP is a must. I wonder what linen Becky used for her Quakers and Quilts WiP. She would be better qualified to make recommendations regarding suitable linens for the perle than I am.

Here's a bonus shot from our trip to Mitsuwa marketplace, a wonderful Japanese shopping center which just might be the happiest of all my happy places. :D

Look at those darling bunny containers! :D The sweets contained within are in front to the far left. The Japanese see a rabbit (or 2) in the moon making traditional mochi, a sweet rice cake made by pounding and turning cooked rice outdoors with a mallet (mochi-tsuki), flouring and sweetening as you go. So I'm pretty certain that this is packed in a rabbit more because of the fact that the sweets inside are rice cakes than the fact that spring is approaching.

It's from the gift counter, which has imported sweets with regional, seasonal themes. Very expensive, they are souvenirs brought back from traveling (omiyage), gifts for taking along on a visit to someone's home, gifts for your boss or those who have helped you in the past season. (It's traditional to give such things at 2 points in the year: New Year's and I forget the other; possibly golden week. Birthdays are much less important than they are here.) These are all facts from memory, so my apologies if you happen to know better than I and I've made a mistake there.

Well, spring's coming on slowly but surely, yet I do wish it'd hurry up! Or, just go back to winter. No more gloomy rain, Please! Hope all is well with you and yours--I'm back to my cake in the oven and Quaker Diamonds! Thanks again, Becky! I can't tell you how enjoyable this one is to work on! :D

Yours Spring Feverishly,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Exchange Arrival Rings in Spring!

Just look at this amazing pillow Lindsay sent me for the Easter Holiday Exchange!

Cherckerboard Bunny Freebie from Waxing Moon Designs
on unknown pale blue linen
using GAST with some substitutions.
Stitched by Lindsay

The bunny is such an nice colour--I LOVE him!! :D

Her stitching is so neat--I wish I could make such nice french knots!! I only recently learned, and, well...

Other fun goodies were also included: A sunny notepad, some of that scented floss (I've been curious about wanting to try it), and some chocolates which missed the picture because I've put them in the fridge to re-solidify so that we can eat them! The LLV (That's what the boxy mail trucks in US are called; short for "Long-Life Vehicle") must have been pretty warm today 'cause they got a little melty--fortunately Lindsay had the clever thought to seal them in a bag just in case! :D

Thank You so much Lindsay; I'm so excited to have some spring stitching! I've been doing lots of fall/winter stuff lately (which I love), but I also love pastels! :D I'll be enjoying each warm spring day (as we get them) together with this darling pin pillow! :D

Friday, March 19, 2010

Longer Days

...are here again in the US. The time switch (whether it be "springing forward" or "falling back") always throws me: I realized that I'd been suffering horribly the previous week from seasonal depression. Insufferable winter blues--what nerve they have to elbow their way in as the gloomy weather ends!

Fox Forest

Please pardon the "away waste knots" I always use them. Do you? I hate stopping stitching to tidy them up, but when I begin a session I really enjoy weaving them in--makes me feel as though I must have accomplished a lot last time. Fills one with a sense of industrious pride. lol

Redbird Sampler

As she has stood for what seems like weeks! To the left, 2 strands of green needles. To the Right, only one. 2 are called-for on the chart, but the chart also specifies a much lower (28?) count linen. I used 36/2. Everyone I've asked seems to like the double strand, but I can't quite give up the idea of a single. Opinions, please? The sooner I finish this baby the sooner I can pass the chart on to a lucky reader. ;)

Easter Holiday Exchange

Modified motif from "Strawberry Summer Sampler" by C Street Samplerworks, as published in the Summer 2003 edition of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly. Stitched 2/2 on 28 ct. Cashel "Fog" by PTP.

This image shows the colours a little bit more clearly; it was a hideously overcast day when I took these photos.

This is my first pynkeepe, and I was very nervous that Bonnie should like it! I am pleased with the first attempt, and hope that she is too. :) I sent another exchange (Arbor Day) at the same time, but as we're still waiting on that one's arrival I can't show the pictures yet.

What's next:

• Finishing that Darned Fox Forest. I seriously love this piece. So much that I could stitch on it forever and never finish it! As it's a chart loan, however, I'm cracking the whip. All the foxes are now in and all that remains is the alphabet and me deciding how to sign it. And If I'm gonna add some other stuff (Like a phrase beneath it).

• Secret Project! Can tell this much, however: All it lacks is a bit of ironing, some perimeter stitching and a few perfect buttons/beads/baubles.

• Finally was able to order linen for Quaker Diamonds, and it is in the mail!! Oh, the joy! I think I'm going to start a monthly thing with myself on this one; otherwise HOW can I finish it. It's my "first" BAP. (Not the first to plan, but the first to start, I think. I planned another quaker, but when the fabric came in it was a total bust.) I need to block the design off into monthly sections, methinks.

• I *wish* I could start JB's Christmas Sampler, which I've had for a while now, but idk if I can handle more winter right now! Can I wait 'till next year!? :D

• Did you see Staci's gift for Paula?? I swear; I'm stricken with the compulsion to copy half the stuff she rolls off her presses! :D

Thanks to everyone for all your kind comments on my last post! Sorry I've been somewhat absent lately. I've got about a dozen of your blogs open in tabs in my browser awaiting comment. But, my computer time for this afternoon is now up! ;)

Have a great weekend, all!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eat Your Carrot(s)!

On Monday morning, while sleepily checking my email/reader, I saw that Tanya of The Sampler Girl had released a new freebie: "eat your carrots".

Because it was such a glorious, spring-y,sunny morning, and because I've been doing fall stitching most of the winter (which I love, but don't want to do winter all spring...), and because Marc's nickname for me is some form of the word "Bunny", and because I LOVE pastel colours (I'm happy as a pig in, umn, mud when the spring comes because I can just roll in pastels, eyelet lace, and seersucker regardless of whether or not anyone I know's got a baby.), I decided this would be an easy, fast spring make which I could then finish and enjoy as spring comes on. I think we all need a little cheering up from the winter blues. So, at some length, I finished, and "finish-finished" it.

"eat your carrots"
The Sampler Girl
Start: 01 March 2010
End: 03 March 2010
Fabric: 1/2 on Mystery White Linen
Fibers: GAST Straw Basket, Grape Leaf, Avocado, Bayberry; DMC 3854, Anchor 305

I used some of that ubiquitous pink-bud seersucker (gosh, how I love that type of fabric!!), and some taupe stripe ticking (another favorite) as the complimentary fabrics. I wanted a half pastel-half prim look, and I'm reasonably satisfied with the result. Too bad almost I stuffed and/or ironed almost all the "seer" out of the "sucker", but I still find this rather saccharin print a guilty pleasure. :D

I noticed this morning that this finish has yarn hair. Not unlike a Cabbage Patch. I think it's the "pig tails". I'll do something about those guys later on; maybe tie more knots in them...or castrate them. It might be all in my own head, as I was too rough turning the pillow to begin with and thus endowed it with "ears", and so planting the seed of the idea that it's a plush with a "head" which is now sporting yarn hair, lol. What think you, Gentle Reader?

Well, It's time for me to slink back to the warm nest I've made of the couch. That fleeting Sunny Morning is long gone, but I still have my Sunbeam Blanket, so all will be well even if I am a bit under the weather this week. Happy stitches to you all, and Thanks for stopping by. If you see a creepy little doll peering at you from the upstairs window as you leave my house, don't worry, it's just my pillow-finish. :D

Your Couch-Dweller,