Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sundays are Made for Stitching

At least this Sunday was. I spent many content hours stitching and listening to podcasts. I can recommend Making Oprah. It's a three part documentary revealing the inside story of how The Oprah Winfrey Show was made. It also has three mini-episodes that follow, and a follow-up show on the making of Donahue. Good listening.

While listening and enjoying, I stitched. The border is finished. The grassy background is about half done. I decided to use a half-cross-stitch for the grass. It's working well. It gives more visual weight to the lamb and the flowers and less weight to the grass in the background. If I change my mind once the white ground fabric is filled in, I can complete the crosses on another pass. I'm pretty satisfied with this look.

This chart has been a very, very enjoyable stitch. It's funny how some charts are a joy and others are really stinky to stitch. I have a sunflower bookmark that I've stitched several times simply because it's a joy to stitch. Gosh. Looking at the picture of it makes me want to stitch it again! Why not? Apparently it's been 10 years since I last stitched it.

My brain has been like this all day ... jumping from one subject to another. What the heck? I'm blaming it on winter and being slightly stir-crazy ... wanting sunshine, blue skies, and green plants.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Kings Bring Bling

Look what my sister Eleanore sent me as an Epiphany gift! It's so pretty and sparkly!

It's a ceramic bowl that fits in the palm of my hand. It looks like a geode on the inside.

It may work just right as a place to park my needles as I work on my stitchery.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Meet the Press

Ben Franklin's Printing Office and Bindery
Philadelphia, PA

click for larger image

This was one of my favorite outings when visiting Philly. I had experience working in a small press in college where I gained a love of the print process. The librarian in me can't get enough of books and the ideas they contain. 

Ben was such a genius.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Rosie - Part 2

I've made great progress on Rosie over the last couple evenings. This is a fun one to stitch.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rosie - Part 1

Now that Ho! Ho! Ho! is finished and framed, I've moved on to the next design in the 2006 Cross-Stitch Calendar, Rosie the Lamb.

This one makes me smile. I love the colors. The piece is helping me look forward to the sunny days of Spring as I trudge through these winter days. (Though I must admit that yesterday was lovely because it was sunny and nearly balmy at 38 degrees).

I was able to get a small start on the stitching last night. I plan to cocoon for the next few days and stitch a lot.

I find that I'm in a bit of a creative slump right now, especially where photography is concerned. This morning I started reading Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. It's a book I've been meaning to read for well over a decade. I've made it a priority to read one chapter each day as part of my morning routine. I've also bought two of her subsequent books that I hope to work through: It's Never Too Late to Begin Again and Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance.

One of my 18 Goals in 2018 is to go on a retreat. Perhaps I'll look for a retreat/workshop based on the principles in these books. In the forward to The Artist's Way, Julia reveals that her teachings began as workshops, then were gathered and compiled into a book.  It would be great to be on a retreat with like-minded people finding their path into their artistry.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Finish and a Milestone!

My milestone? This is post number 3,000 on my blog! Who knew, 10+  years ago, that I would still be blogging in 2018? I do love this format. It's a daily scrapbook of my creative life that I choose to share. It's enjoyable to browse back through the years and watch as my skills progress and my interests expand.

The finish?

Today I finished and framed Ho! Ho! Ho! by Kam Snyder and Barbara Stark. I really enjoy the mats that came with the calendar / charts. They add a nice punch to the finished piece.

This cart called for three buttons - two stars and a square - to add to the brim of Santa's hat. In my stash I found three teeny tiny buttons to use instead. These buttons are less than half the size of the fingernail on my pinky finger. It took a bit to find a needle that was small enough to go through the buttonholes!

The specialty stitches used in this chart are the Smyrna cross and satin stitches. Smyrna cross is used as the red thread in Santa's hat, his eyes, and his mouth. A larger version of that stitch is used in the tan thread in the corners of the border. The brim of Santa's hat is done in satin stitch.

I used a simple black plastic frame from the Dollar Tree. Since this is a seasonal piece that will be stored for most of the year, I didn't want to put much expense into the frame.