Monday, July 30, 2007

New Yarn and WIPs

Here's an updated pic of my Halloween Fairy from my Friday Fairy SAL - I'll be really glad when the green in the wings is done - hopefully in two more sessions! After all that green, I HAD to do some of the outlining on the wings - LOL.

Saturday afternoon I went to get a refresher on my socks at my local yarn store. When I put them down over a year ago I has just finished the heal. I got started again and managed to stitch a little over an inch - I'm anxious to get these done - and to start a new pair! LOL There are so many wonderful sock yarns out there, and I want to play all of them!

I also got some more yarn from Jodi - she sent me two skeins of this Lion Brand Fun Fetti in Rainbow Black - I think it would be great as the top of a tote bag! I also bought a ball Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in ecru - it's SO soft. I'm going to try to make myself a headband out of it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Finish and a Late Present

Tonight I finished the ornament that Ming sent around for our Ornament RR. It's Woodland Snowfall by Little House Needleworks from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. I started it shortly after receiving it in the mail, but I didn't get much done before my conscience got the better of me and I went back to birthday stitching - LOL. Yesterday I finished up one of the gifts I was making so I decided to treat myself to this - I got most of the stitching done and only had about 45 minutes left to do on it tonight. Now to do the finishing! LOL

I also received word that a VERY late birthday present was received by Veronica. Veronica loves mice and Peg found this adorable chart and did the stitching and sent it to me for the finishing. I really wanted to hang charms off the corners and the order I made from an internet place was short one of the charms. I kept trying to contact them to get the missing charm sent, but they were unresponsive - bummer too because the place had such cute charms! I looked all over town for mice charms and couldn't find any, so I asked Jodi and she was able to find me some. I think it was worth the wait! LOL

Monday, July 23, 2007

Birthday Gifts and Laughing Gas! LOL

Well, I had my dental appointment today, and for the first time I was given laughing gas - great stuff! LOL I was so relaxed they had a much easier time working on me - I even fell asleep for part of it. They ran out of time and still have more work to do, but at least I won't be a freaked out to go next time if I know they'll give me the gas! My mouth still hurts, but not near as bad as last time!

I also got word that two birthday presents were received over the weekend.

For Peg I stitched the thread pallet from Cherished Works by With My Needle and mounted it on a pallet made by Jodi's dad from Bloom Woodworks.

And Jodi stitched this piece she took from the same chart and I made it into a pinkeep for Peg.

For Jodi's birthday, she said I could make her some jewelry instead of stitching something, so I took her up on the offer! LOL

This bracelet is the Oglala Butterfly Bracelet from the July-August issue of Step by Step Beads. It was a lot of fun to make once I got the peyote base finished. I'm still not that great at working peyote.
This choker was from a kit I ordered from BEADiful. It's called Bijoux Tattoo and I made one for myself in purple.

This Black Floral Pendant Necklace is from the leaflet Modern Beading Techniques, and I have to admit that I made myself one at the same time.

I also made her two different color watches with Swarovoski crystal bracelet kits and watch faces. The kits came with materials for matching earrings as well.

And these bracelets were made from pieces of a broken necklace Jodi sent me because she thought the parts could be used to make something else. I joked that I'd make something from it and send it back for her birthday. On the five strand bracelet, all I had to do was add a clasp, and then I made the memory wire bracelet with the flower and pearl dangles and some added beads. I also made her DD a little stretchy bracelet because she was with Jodi when she bought it. And I made a pair of matching earrings :) I had so much fun putting all this together for Jodi! She may tell me to go back to stitching for her though - ROFLOL.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Garage Sale, Friday's Fairy and Harry Potter!

Boy am I pooped! LOL Hauling all those books and tables and stuff around yesterday really wore me out! But, I got rid of a fair amount of stuff (truthfully, not as much as I thought I would) and I net $200, which isn't too shabby! We moved everything that didn't sell into Vicky's workshop in the back and well have another garage sale later this summer. It's a holiday weekend here in Utah - Tuesday is Pioneer Day and I'm sure a lot of people were out of town. DH has tomorrow off too (so he gets a 4-day weekend), but I have to work half the day - I'm going in for more Dental Torture tomorrow afternoon - two crowns and three fillings - all repair work, no new cavities, but I don't react well to the dentist! I decided that since I was able to clear off so much shelf space in my craft room, I want to put some kind of storage dividers in the shelves to hold yarn like the yarn stores do so I can see everything and it can be a little decorative.

Friday I was able to get in a couple of hours on my Halloween Fairy - I did the requisite 1 full length of green on the wing. Next Friday I should be able to put in more time on her. Jen and I have gotten a few more people to join our Friday Fairy SAL - Cheryl and Marilynne are stitching the Christmas Fairy with us.

And my big news for the day is I picked up the new Harry Potter book at Sam's Club this afternoon! I'm trying to decide if I should hurry and read it as quickly as I can, forsaking everything else, or savor it and make it last as long as possible. DH is voting for the latter - LOL. And he's teasing me saying he's going to read the last few pages and torture me with the knowledge. So, I might actually get into bed a little earlier than normal tonight so I can start reading it!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Whew! What a week, but WHAT a mail day!

I am pretty glad it's Friday, but I'll be even more glad when it's Saturday afternoon! It's been a busy week at work with deadlines, plus I had three after hours work-related events. I am NOT a shmooser - I'm really bad a talking to people I don't know and I had over 6 hours of that this week! It wears me out! LOL

So besides that, what has really made this week busy is that I'm going in with my boss and another co-worker on a garage sale tomorrow. I've spent every evening this week going through stuff (mostly craft stuff!) for the sale. So far I've got 8 boxes and 6 grocery bags full of books and kits and fabric and magazines and... you get the idea! LOL I'm going to try to get through some more stuff tonight, but I'm also going to treat myself to at least an hour of stitching on my Halloween Fairy for Friday Fairy night. If the sale goes well, we might have another one towards the end of summer and that will give me the opportunity to hopefully purge even more.

So with all that on my mind, I was thrilled to come home to a mail box literally overflowing!

The first package I opened was from Veronica. She made me an adorable peacock key chain! She actually made if for me twice! The first time she sent it in a regular envelope with a card and it ripped through and fell out on the way - all that was left was the ring and a tiny piece of the plastic, so it must have gotten crushed. This time it came in a well padded envelope marked DO NOT BEND! I collect peacocks, so this is very welcome!

The next package was from Jodi, who sent me YARN! She sent three more skins of that yummy Yarn Bee Featherwisp in Creamsickle so I can make a wrap, and three skeins of Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist in Fresco which I think would make a great Halloween scarf! She also sent another vampire book for me to read - this one's called Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson. She picks great books and luckily she passes them on to me when she's done! The rest of what she sent is for a birthday present ;)

The final package was from the Swan Sampler Stitchers. It was their annual Christmas ornament designed by Elizabeth Talledo of Dames of the Needle/Finger Work. I hope to get this stitched for this Christmas - it's so pretty! I also received a present from the annual Christmas in July party, which was a Pin Wheelie by Olde Colonial Designs. I haven't seen this design yet, so I was pretty excited!

So thanks to Veronica, Jodi and the Swans for making my day!! Now I'd better go see what else I can put in the garage sale, then hopefully get some stitching in!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

So Much for Sleeping In!

After staying up 'till 1:00 a.m., we were awoken at 8:00 this morning by some really loud noises. DH thought something was hitting the side of the house and when he looked out the bedroom window he saw a couple of guys up on the top of the hill behind our house - they were skeet shooting TOWARDS the houses! We couldn't believe it! They just stopped in the middle of the county road (which is dirt) and were throwing the clay pigeons down the hill toward our house (and our neighbors) and shooting at them - so the loud sounds we heard we shotguns! DH called the police and both the Sheriff and the city police came. I was watching them through the binoculars before the cops got there and it was a little unnerving looking at someone point a shotgun at me at pull the trigger. I know that they were far enough away that nothing would actually hit us - but you just DON'T shoot towards houses! I was secretly hoping that they'd get hauled in, but the cops just made them pick up all the pigeons they had thrown around and leave. I would have LOVED to have heard the conversation!

Anyway, here's my progress from last nights Friday Fairy SAL with Jennifer. I finished off the hair and got to start on a wing! Jen is right that stitching all that same green gets a little boring - I'm aiming for one full length of thread (split into three) each Friday night, then I can move on to another part of the pattern. I also did the finishing of a birthday gift last night, but I can't show pictures until it arrives at the recipient's house later this week.

On Thursday I finished knitting one of the scarves with the wool that my neighbor gave me a few weeks ago . I was debating which of two scarf patterns to knit, and I decided to do one of each and let her decide which one she wants and I'll keep the other. The one I finished was the Elongated Brick pattern - I still need to weave in the ends and add the fringe - and I'm wondering about blocking. I've never blocked anything before, but I'm wondering if that will make the pattern look nicer - can any of the knitters out there give me any advice on this? And if I block it, do I do so before or after adding the fringe? The scarf was entirely knit in the car - a wonderful use of time! LOL This afternoon, I started the second scarf, using the Zig Zag pattern - I've only gotten one repeat done, but so far, it's really fun to knit!

Also, I've been working on and off for the past few weeks on Jodi's RR. Her theme is a Quaker book and it's stitched over one with a variety of pretty colors. I can't wait to see what it will look like when it's all put together. The first picture is the front page that Jodi stitched. Peg stitched the second page and I added the alphabet and her initials around what she stitched to make it the same size as Jodi's. The last page is the one I stitched using about four or five different Quaker charts from my stash.

Now I'm off to go work on some more birthday gifts - and to try to stay cool!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pay it Forward - "Should I" Won! LOL

I've spent all morning trying to decide "should I or shouldn't I" sign up for the PIF exchange on Jennifer's blog - LOL. I really didn't have to think THAT hard about it - it's such a neat idea! So, here's how it works:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 5 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I have no idea what that gift will be and only promise that you will receive it within the next 365 days. The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog (or - in your life - if you happen to be blog-less). I hope you will join me in this exchange. All I need is 5 interested stitchers .

So, there it is! Let's see who signs up!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Round Robins and Mail

Today was another good mail day. I received my first package for the Ornament RR from Ming. She chose Woodland Snowfall by Little House Needleworks from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue, which is great because it was on my "want to stitch" list! I hope to get a chance to start this soon - it should be a quick stitch.

The other package I received was another one from Jodi - she sent some more card making/ general craft stuff (ribbons, alphabet tiles, and cute square buttons!) and the cutest fabric with French kitties on it - I have no idea what I'll use it for, but I think it's adorable!

Yesterday I finished the stitching on a birthday gift for later this month (now I just have to do the actual finishing!), and so I pulled out the current round on my RR - I've got Leigh's Drawn Thread House RR right now, and because I love Halloween so much, Leigh thought I should stitch Halloween House and here's my progress so far. I had to shorten the house a little (about 10 stitches) because it was way bigger than the other two that are on there now (Jodi's and Peg's), but I think it'll work out OK. I'm hoping to also fit in part of the tree, and of course, the cat! The mail date on this is August 1st, so I should be able to finish it on time :)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Doin' the Continental!

I had to work this morning, and I decided when I was done that I'd head over to the new location of my local yarn shop, Yarn Today. I haven't been there since I took a sock class last March (and I mean 2006!) and I haven't finished my socks yet either!! Knitting Rita told me to come in next Saturday with my socks and she'd get me on track again, then she showed me a poncho she was working on - it was love at first sight - LOL. So, I ended up buying the book that the pattern was in, eight skeins of yarn and new needles so I could sit down and start it immediately!
The book is called Modular Knits: New Techniques for Today's Knitters by Iris Schreier and the poncho I'm making is the Lace Ribbon Poncho. The yarn I bought is Boku by Plymouth Yarns in Color 4. I also got some amazing knitting needles by Lantern Moon! They're rosewood with palm wood tops and they are beautiful. I've never paid so much for a pair of needles, but I'm really enjoying them, and besides, I like what purchasing them supports.

Rita got me started on the poncho, and as I was knitting, the inevitable question came up from her "Have you ever thought of learning to knit Continental?" LOL - Well, of course I've thought of it, but I figured it was just too late to try to learn a new way to knit. Then Rita told me she had learned at age 65 after 50 years of knitting English style - SO, I gave it a try! I'm slow, and not very graceful looking, but I'm doing it!! It really make the yarn overs easier - and I think with practice it could really improved my speed!

I ended up spending several hours at the shop and had a nice start, then I found I had made a huge mistake and had to start over - LOL - but I got some more done when I got home - and I made another big mistake that I couldn't figure out and started again. Well, third time's a charm, and I think I've got the hang of the pattern now. There will be four squares for this poncho, and I don't think I'll run the ribbon through when it's done - I think it'll have enough going on with all the color changes.

And last night was Friday Fairy SAL night with Jen. Not too much progress, but I got that face done - LOL. I hope to start on the wings next week.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy 4th of July!!

I hope everyone in the States had a great 4th of July yesterday. My dad's birthday was the 2nd, so we celebrated yesterday with a BBQ. He said he wanted a "BIG Strawberry Shortcake", so I made him this Summer Shortcake from Martha Stewart Living. BOY was it good!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More Great Mail

I got a couple of great packages today! They were both from Jodi - she sent me some really pretty yarn that is SO soft! Both are by Yarn Bee - one is Paradox in the color Snowblush and the other is Featherwisp in the color Creamsickle. I'd love to make a wrap with one of these yarns! And she sent a pattern from Carolina Country House for a hat and scarf. She also sent some cardmaking stuff - some rhinestone flower brads and some alphabet buttons - they should be fun to work with!! The other stuff she sent is a secrete for now :) Thank you Jodi!!! I always look forward to packages from you!

Tomorrow is Independence Day, so I thought I'd share a picture of my 4th of July tree. I have a tree that I keep up year-round and decorate for different holidays, mostly with stitched ornaments. This is my second year for my tree, so so far this holiday only has two stitched ornaments - the star one was made for me last year by Jennifer and I made the Pine Mountain Designs pillow. There are also two little birds that Jodi sent me from her trip last Christmas. I love having my holiday tree!

Monday, July 2, 2007

MORE Beads and IKEA!

Yesterday I went to Salt Lake City with my boss, Vicky, for the Gem Faire and HOLY COW!! This show was about 10 times larger than the one I went to last weekend. We walked around for 4 1/2 hours looking and buying and drooling - LOL.

We went in with the strategy of quickly looking at all the booths, then going back to buy the things we really wanted, but that didn't last long!! I was surprised that Vicky was the one to break first, but I soon followed (at the same booth, actually - LOL). I got the blue stones to make something for my step mother and I was thrilled to find some red tiger-eye! The hearts I picked up for some earrings from the book Making Designer Seed Bead, Stone, and Crystal Jewelry and the rest of the stuff I bought just because I thought it was pretty :)

One of the things I was specifically looking for was a cabochon (or two - LOL) because I bought a book a few weeks ago called Beading with Cabochons: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Jewelry and I want to try some of the pieces in the book - I picked out three pretty cabs from the next booth and proceeded to find a bunch more stuff! I got two donuts, 10 strings of seed beads and three cool paua shell bracelets. You can cut the elastic cord in the bracelet and make it a necklace. I'd also like to try taking off two of the links and making matching earrings.

At the next booth I found some fun glass beads in different shapes - my favorites are the kitties, of course!

Then I found more seed beads, some cording and some brick-shaped stones that I'm hoping to make into a bracelet from the book Dazzling Beaded Jewelry.

I LOVE opals, especially Australian opals, and I was able to buy a pendant and two loose hearts that are so pretty. This picture turned out badly, but I just couldn't get the lighting right. At another booth I found a silver chain for the pendant - and the links are little hearts! I also got these GREAT earring from a place called Bellpepper - they're silver and hand made in the Himalayas. One of the twisty things and part of the chain actually go through your ear and it hangs on either side of your lobe. I was kind of afraid to put them in - and I couldn't look in the mirror while I did it - LOL - and I was even more afraid to take them out tonight, but I got lots of complements on the today!

Then I found some more fun shaped beads - I just loved these jack-o-lanterns for some reason - LOL. And I thought I just needed the stone goddess bead, although I have no idea what I'll do with her :)

My coolest find of the show wasn't even a bead - it was a tea pot!! I collect dragons and one booth had these wonderful little tea pots from China. This is actually used to brew tea - there's a screen in the spout to strain out your tea leaves - and the neatest thing about it is the steam from the tea makes the dragon's head and tongue pop out! How cool is that?

We were only about 15 minutes drive from the new IKEA that just opened in Draper, so we decided to go down there after the bead show - even though we were wiped out! LOL I'd never been to an IKEA before, and OMG!!! That place was HUGE and FILLED with all kinds of wonderful things! We ate dinner there in the cafe - I had Swedish Meatballs and some Swedish Apple Cake - YUMMY Then we spent the next three hours walking around the store! I managed to get out of there with spending less that $40, but I found tons of stuff I want. I did get myself a wonderful tray that I can use for beading!! It'll fit nicely over my lap and has lots of room. I also got myself a new comfy pillow, and as soon as I put it on the bed Akasha curled up in the middle of it and went to sleep - she stayed there 'till 3:00 a.m.! I should have bought the king sized pillow so we could share - LOL I wanted to get some of their grocery items to take home, but by the time we hit that area, I was so tired I couldn't even think straight! LOL The Gem Faire will happen again in September, so we'll probably go back and hit IKEA again too - this time I'll have a shopping list!