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Sunday, October 12, 2014

More organizing going on

My stitching room is a shambles, and that is being polite. I have been working for a long time to get it cleaned up and straightened out. It isn't easy. I posted a few days ago that I had made some progress. One of the things I did manage to do was to get a good start on getting my threads organized and a very small start with my charts. As far as the threads were concerned I had originally had them on large rings alphabetically and then stored in a box that was lined in acid free material. I was not happy with that but it worked until I found something I liked better. I decided to go with the floss away bags and some pretty boxes I got with coupons from Joann's.

 The floss away bags fit perfectly inside the box and the box was big enough to hold my entire collection of Cresent Colors silks Belle Soie and the Cotton colors in a second one. The lid closes magnetically and I will label the end of the box so I know which box hold which threads.
 Once I figured out the boxes were a good size for the floss away bags I made several trips to Joann's to stock up. After all I still have GAST and WDW plus some NPI and AVAS silks to sort and store somewhere. I am thinking these boxes will work just fine for all my threads. They fit nicely on my restored shelving cabinet that lives in my stitching room.




I have finally gotten a small bookshelf moved into the room and placed in the closet so I can move all my needlework related books in there. I have a four draw filing cabinet to be moved next and that will take its  place next to the bookshelf in the closet. I am sorting my charts by designer to be filed in the drawers for easy access. I am using 3in wide hanging file folders that have been reinforced to hold all the charts and kits. Then I will either use the top drawer for WIP storage or the large trunk that I used to carry all my stuff back and forth to college to store them. Just depends on how much room I need in the file cabinet. My fear is that I will need a second file cabinet. 
I have gotten rid of most of the fabric that I had purchased over the years. I am not a sewer but a stitcher and really there was no need to think this was going to change any time soon. I save a good bit but I got rid of 4 boxes of fabric. I will probably end up weeding out even more. 
Next comes sorting out the magazines that I have collected over the years. I am not getting rid of all of them because I like going back and looking at them but really I have more than is even reasonable
mostly because I have several that people have given me as they have moved out of state. I gave 4 large rubbermaid boxes to a lady who took over running a stitching group for the local homeschoolers but still the number I have is overwhelming. I am keeping Stoney Creek, Piecework, Inspirations, a few Just Cross Stitch, all my SANQ and a few others that have patterns I particularly like. Jane Greenoff had a magazine for a while that I especially liked and the few copies of it that I own I plan to keep as well. The others are going to new homes or the recycle as a last resort. The large repurposed cabinet  (a gift from a friend moving out of state) has sections on the bottom that will hold the magazines I plan to keep and if not I have found some white wooden magazine holders that will work just fine. I hope to make a dent in that chore this weekend. 
 I have almost finished sorting the cross stitch fabric. I am rehoming some of that as well. It is sorted by count into big versions of the boxes I bought for thread. I will stack those under my open sewing machine and will be able to look for the size fabric count I want in a short check as opposed to hunting for hours for that "piece I know I bought" somewhere in that room. 
I already have a cozy chair and decent lighting so that is a plus. Once it is straightened up it will be a cozy place to do my favorite thing stitch. 
So there you have my current plan for digging out the stitching room for those that asked. When it is all done I will take pictures. Before shots would be just too embarrassing. 
Hope this weekend brings lots of stitchy time to your day. 
Marjo

Friday, October 10, 2014

Denali in the Fall

Every year we try to visit Denali National Park in the Fall. Having lived most of my life where there are 4 seasons it was a  huge change to come somewhere that has very lopsided seasons with Winter being the longest and Spring and Fall lasting a short time if we are lucky..some years they have lasted less than a week. There is not much easing in and out of our winters but summer is almost always worth it. For me to get my color fix for Fall we tend to head to the Mountain.
We were able to stay at a different hotel this year. We were lucky enough to win the road lottery so we could drive our car through and linger wherever we wanted to as we drove. We have won the road lottery many times and we never get tired of the drive. Always something beautiful to see.


We realized too late that we had forgotten our flashlights and realized that we probably needed to make more noise than we normally would as we walked in the pitch black back to our hotel room at night. Since the hotels cater to the tourists parking is not well provided for and we often have to park far from our room no matter where we stay. We are some loud sober people walking back to the room when we can't see what is out there with us.

This grizzly was asleep outside the building at the stop we made at Toklat River. I say building but in reality it is a large tent right on the river where there is a ranger and a small bookstore (we always hit all the bookstores). He was far too close for comfort for me and we looked at him from the car after this picture was taken. He on the other hand seemed totally oblivious of all the people gawking at him and was more interested in digging up roots to eat. Thank goodness.
A glimpse of Denali as we were driving back towards it.
 This artwork is in the Visitor's Center at Denali. I love the texture to it. There is a large wolf pack in the park and the place where the artist in residence stays during there time there is near where the pack is frequently seen.

 There is a large kennel of dogs for the dog teams that pull the sleds for the Rangers as they travel throughout  the park in the Winter. This is the latest new pup. He was cute but not interested in posing for the camera. He was isolated from the other dogs and hanging out with his mom.
Another bear we passed along the way. Eating of course as it is close to time for their hibernation.
 This picture was taken with my phone so not the best capture of a rainbow. I could actually see if as a full end to end rainbow but could not get a full picture. It was a nice end to our trip. Look forward to the next one as always. 

I always take my stitching along but am usually too tired to do much stitching. I hope however that your days are full of stitchy time. 
Marjo





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stitching on the Home Front

Well, it has been forever since I updated the blog and today seemed like a good day to get that done. I have been reading a lot of blog posts lately and it seemed a shame not to update my own. I have not gotten a lot of stitching done lately. Just too tired by the time I get home to get it done. I am on a push to improve my health and have added walking as my form of exercise to the calendar. Sometimes by the time I get a walk in, get dinner done and cleaned up, read a bit then it is time to go to bed. Stitching has been confined to the Thursday night stitch group. I love, love, love having a group of ladies to stitch with each week. Several of our group have moved away but one has been able to come back for visits (no easy feat when you are talking about travel to Alaska) and that has been a real blessing to me. I am so blessed by our group. We are planning an all day stitch in next Sunday so I will have lots of pictures to update for WIP and probably a tada knowing those ladies.
I am still working on the map. Sad to say I was unable to get it done by the wedding. My DIL was most gracious about it. Just not enough hours in the day to get it done but I am still stitching on it. In fact the map is just about all I am stitching on lately. I did do two quick stitches, one for them and one for a friend and am still working on the ornaments for them as a travel project but most of my stitching has been connected to the map. I hope to make a lot of progress on our retreat day.
Sue Hillis Map of America

Home by Brooke's Books


The next two small ones are a Lizzie Kate Forgive Quickly, and the other is Nurse by Heinzit. I just have to get these framed.
Lizzie Kate 

Heinzit NURSE

Besides almost no stitching getting done I have been able to get some organizing done in my stash room. It is still a total mess but less a mess than it has been. I did get the fabric that was for sewing that I was never going to use donated to the proper places. I ended up with 4 boxes of fabric going out of here. Excessive considering how much I still have left. I have almost completed sorting all the fabric that is cross stitch and I am sending some of that to new homes as well. I have pulled out all the magazines I have and sorted them. I am trying to find new homes besides the landfill for them. I did get all of my crescent color threads, cotton and silks sorted, bagged and into lovely new boxes that I found at Joann's.

Still so much to do but enough done to know I am making progress. Sigh. I will do the Weeks Dye Works and then Sampler Threads next. I bought all of that size box they had at Joann's. They assured me they would get more. Next I will need to do the last of the miscellaneous silks that I have. Then the fabrics, threads, and magazines will be done. I am moving a 4 drawer file cabinet into the closet of that room beside an old short bookcase and there I will store all my charts. I bought file folders that are 3 inches wide to accommodate the different designers as I tend to stitch a lot from the same folks. I will do some by themes as well but have started unloading. The sale box is filling up as I sort and go through stuff.
Since last we spoke we have had a beautiful wedding celebration, a trip to Denali and now the snow is coming. I will do some Alaska pictures this week for those of you that like to see life on my side of the Last Frontier. Until then I hope you have some stitchy time in your day. 
Marjo

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Maps

Several months ago my DIL- to- be asked me to stitch a map of the USA for their wedding sampler from me. After a couple of false starts I have been stitching away: my stitching has been exclusively on this piece. I doubt I will get it done before the wedding as between work and life my stitching time is limited no matter how hard I try to fit more time in it just never seems to happen.   I am hoping that it will go faster now that I am down to the little bits but even though small they do take a lot of time with color changes. I am using DMC on a 36 count flax linen supplied by Cathy from The Inspired Needle. She made a great choice as I was trying to get the fabric color the same while changing from aida cloth as the pattern called for. Sue Hillis the designer graciously corresponded with me in regards to getting started with this. I appreciate it when designers will answer questions about their designs. Since I am stitching on a deadline I decided I would limit what I was stitching until this was done, even so I don't think it will be done in time. But I am giving it my best shot.
 The Northeast section is completed. and I am farther along than this with the South but have not yet taken a picture.
I did decide that I needed to have a small carry around project for my lunch break as I do get a few minutes to stitch and the map is not conducive to hauling back and forth to work. This is by Lizzie Kate called Forgive Quickly, Kiss slowly. Cute little design I have done before as a gift for a friend's son who was getting married. Was late with that one as well. Sigh. This one will be for my son and DIL as a shower gift. I already have a frame for it so once the stitching is done I will be good to go.
 After I get that one done I want to do this small Heinzit chart Nurse for a young friend who just graduated nursing school. Being a nurse myself, I am always partial to those who choose the same path. Teal seems to be the in color for the younger set so Teal it is though the shades of teal between the two are different by one shade. I wanted to be sure I had enough to do both pieces so I pulled the consecutive DMC shades to kit them up. I


Marjo

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Final 2013 stitching update

I fully got away from the rotation this year. I got off on a bunch of tangents and have not made my way back to getting in line with the schedule. I have been very busy at work and am too tired to even pick up needle and thread when I get home. I did have a few small finishes that I shared with you a couple of posts prior to this one but not near as many as I wish I had gotten done.
Dorothy Walpole Scarlet Letter
This is my progress on Dorothy Walpole by Scarlet Letter. I fell in love with her when I first saw her and I enjoy every stitch. Too big to carry with me I can only stitch on her at home which limits the amount of time she gets. She is definitely my comfort stitch and I find myself trying to sneak in at least a few stitches around the others I am working on.

I am following the Shepherd's Bush stitch along for LHN monthly sheep virtues. I am behind on them. They are my travel piece as they are more portable. Loving it. I am not very far along but am enjoying the journey.
Sheep Virtues by LHN

Next is my bright cheerful Six Fat Men. This is fun. I have the ladies to do as well. We will see. This is definitely my sitting and waiting project so this may not show much more progress than when last I shared it.

Lizzie Kate 6 Fat Men
I am working on a set of the Bride's Tree Ornaments for my son and his fiancee for their first Christmas together. I am enjoying stitching  them though I had to wait for the rest of the threads to be able to move on. That is the worst thing about living where I do. No ability to go get what I need when I have time to use it. Though  I must admit how blessed I am to be able to contact my favorite shops and they are willing to help, always.

Bride's Tree Ornament Home by Brooke's Books
His fiance wants me to stitch a map of the US as a wedding sampler. I finally with some help from Cathy at Inspired Needle got some fabric that will work and the DMC's from stash or Joann's I have started. The only problem is she really wants the state of Alaska to be in the correct geographical position on the map so I have had to chart that in myself. Won't be perfect but close at least. I hope. I had some input from designer of the graph and so I am working on that. It will have to be my must stitch piece and all else will be on the back burner in order for it to get done in time for their next summer wedding. Wish me luck on this one......

So that is the progress on the stitching front. Not bad considering how little stitching time there is in my day. No where close to the rotation I started the year off intending to stitch but all from my stash except the map. It will all come.

Thanks for stopping by and as always hope you find some stitchy time in your day. Marjo



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Denali in the Fall

Every year we go to Denali in the Fall. The colors always seem brighter there for the short Fall season that we have. The colors were beautiful this year and we enjoyed being there as always. 
Denali, the mountain was out for our entire stay. Always so impressive as it towers over the other mountains.

 Fireweed going to seed. True sign that summer has past and Fall is here. I love this the white fluff blows off like the fluff from a dandelion does in the spring. That is the seed pod on it's way.
 Pretty parts of the landscape as we drove through the park.

 The colors were unusually bright this year.

 This is one of the many braided rivers that run through the park. No fish in them.

 I love this sign, the gouge marks on it are where the bears will chew on it. Not sure why this particular sign is attractive to them but the rangers actually put nails through it and they still rub up against it. You can often see tufts of hair attached to it.

 This is the Murie cabin. Each summer they choose an artist who can stay here while they create a piece of artwork that they then must leave for use in the park Museum. I am always interested to see what they do. Many times it involves the wolves as this area is home to the wolf pack.

                                                               Just more of the colors.
So that was one of the trips that used up my September and kept me from being as diligent about the blog. Thanks for bearing with me through vacation pics. I do love Denali and never get tired of it. 
hope you have some stitchy time in your day.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

More Progress

I have another finish. I was on a roll with the Just Nan little pieces. This is Be Scary and it was a cute stitch. I  have quite an extensive WIP list. I still want to stitch them all and hope to be able to eventually get them all done. Next up to stitch  is a small piece by Lizzie Kate that I have been working on off and off, recently more off than on. I haven't worked on it forever so I decided to set it aside  for my Thursday night stitching. As we move into the dark part of the year here bright and cheerful stitching is in order. I will post an update on it soon.


Dorothy has been sadly neglected but I love her and continue to go back to her as my comfort stitch. I seem to find some project, usually huge, that makes me happy when I am stitching it. Don't get me wrong, I love to stitch and I am always happy to put needle and thread to linen but some just speak louder than others. Dorothy is currently that piece for me. She is a reproduction from Scarlett Letter.


This small finish is a Just Nan piece Irises. I actually found the frame for it and now that my friend has received it I can show a picture on the blog. Of course I could not for the life of me get it to be straight in the frame (straight is a perennial problem for me) so I mailed it to her to frame. Pretty lame but best I could do.  I love Just Nan.


I did however finish this into a needle roll for her. She has a beautiful bread bowl heirloom that she wants to add smalls to so I wanted to help her with filling it. This was the first addition from me. I have several more I want to do but that would involve me actually getting the stitching done of course. 
 This is the August birthday needleroll from Victoria Sampler, another of my favorite designers. I did press it and add the ribbon through the drawn sections but failed to take a picture prior to mailing it out.
This small piece was stitched for my friend's son and his new bride as a quick gift. This was a fun, fun stitch and I changed the color to blue as that is her favorite color. I could not find a frame up here (pickings are slim in Alaska unless you want a custom frame and even then not so many do needlework) His mom was willing to find a frame for it. This is also by Lizzie Kate. Totally quick stitch. Something I need every once in a while since my samplers are always huge and years in the making.
 One last is the framing of the hummingbirds you have seen in the past that I stitched for my sister. We have very different tastes so I sent it to her to be framed (I paid for the framing) but wanted her to choose what she would like. She was pleased with it and I am glad she liked it. She loves hummingbirds and I will eventually do some more for her.

Sorry for the long delay between posts. These are all from summer for summer birthdays. I will post some pictures next of our Fall trips which took up September and October  (which is why you haven't seen any posts from me) I will try to be better about it and thanks for the comments and following along. Hope you find some stitchy time in your day. Marjo