Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Hello, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! With the big day here and gone, I finally have a few spare moments to post. I am still kind of in the midst of the stitching blahs, but I did manage to accomplish a few things, Christmas-related and otherwise.

I whipped up a couple of these scottie dogs for the kids' stockings (from the most recent JCS issue) and managed to put Chester into tote form for my DD.

My sewing skills are still a little shaky but she seems to like him.

Kiddies got a Wii for Christmas so I have had more time than usual to stitch, but I have had a hard time deciding what I want to work on...I have emptied my basket of stash and examined patterns one by one more times than I can count these past few weeks, but much of it is unappealing right now, don't know why...I have been on a bit of a primitive stitching kick lately, starting with this cutie from Stacy Nash, Liberty Sewing Pouch, one of my few finishes. I did this with the recommended DMC on a grayish Silkweaver evenweave and am very pleased how it turned out.

I also started Lanaster County from Notforgotten Farm on a very pretty 40-count brown linen from R&R. I had planned to make this for my parents (who live in Lanaster County) for Christmas but it didn't quite work out. I am hoping that the 300+ days til next Christmas will give me enough time to finish it but the way I flit from one project to another, who knows.

Other than that I put a few stitches (very few) into Rest and Be Thankful, on which I am showing off one of my favorite presents, Dovos which the kiddies insist on borrowing....
Speaking of the kiddies, I thought I would show some of the things they made me for Christmas. They are a creative lot! DD found a book called "Stray Sock Sewing" or something like that, and has been on a roll lately creating these little animals.

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year. Thank you for all comments, they keep me inspired!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

your very contagious stitching slump

One of my favorite things to do lately has been to read other people's blogs, which is usually inspiring, but lately folks been posting mostly about their lack of stitching mojo, and this has now infested the Pumpkin Patch. Consequently, although I have turned out a few more ornaments, I haven't had much desire to work on anything else. Instead, I started digging in my large basket of stitched but unfinished items and have actually begun finishing them (I know, unique concept).

These houses are from an old cross stitch magazine (Cross Stitch and Country Crafts, I think) and since this is about the fifth year they have been sitting in my basket I decided to drag them out and do something with them; I found weighted papier mache house shapes at Michaels and after some very minimal backstitching (which I hate) they will be shipped off to my mom for Christmas.

This snowman is I think just about as old as the houses and has been sitting around so long I forgot who the designer is--I want to say Diane Arthurs but I'm not sure. I made him into a (very long) pillow with vintage lace from an old pillowcase that my cat managed to destroy.

And as much as I love BBD, I think I am about to give up on Bittersweet Moon. I did put some more stitches into it but all the colors seem off to me--the house looks green instead of blue, the alphabet has the charming color of dried blood, and the tree is red instead of the brown in the photo of the model, and I just don't feel like frogging it all and switching out the colors. Am I wrong to want what I stitch to look like the model? After all, I liked the way the model looked, that's why I bought the thing in the first place!

That's about it for this week. I'm hoping my mojo returns after Christmas, or soon at any rate; although my desire to stitch has deserted me, my need to acquire new patterns has not...

Julius says, remember to relax and enjoythe holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

finally finished something

I'm back from another absence from blogworld due to computer unavailability (otherwise known as Thanksgiving break). I'll keep my complaining to a minimum and get to the finishes:

Currants, Coxcomb and Rose, done with recommended threads on a sparkly Silkweaver solo. I really like the way this turned out, it looks Christmas-y to me!

And here is proof that UFO Tuesday really works, Chester, one of The Goode Huswife cats, done with recommneded threads on white aida (yuk) in all his unironed glory. Modified the border a bit to make it more narrow since I hate working on borders. I did work on him on days other than Tuesday since I wanted him to be a Christmas gift for DD. I plan to incorporate him into a tote/bookbag instead of framing him, since one of my birthday gifts to myself was to have this repaired.

My old Brother machine had been sitting in a closet for years and I really missed having a working sewing machine. The man at the repair shop said that someone had apparently dropped a quarter into one of the openings on the machine which caused it to jam. Thanks kids!

I used to be a quilter and maybe I will pick up that hobby again too, but right now I'm a little rusty so I'm going to start off with small stuff.

Other than that I have been working on some Christmas smalls

Penny Angel by Primitive Needle from the Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue. This was also my first effort to make a fabric-covered box--directions are on the Blackbird Designs blog. Barb and Alma make everything look easy. It was not easy and it caused me to chuck my spray adhesive out the window. It looks OK from a distance though.

I'm also trying to finish ornies for kiddies' teachers:

This was a Debbie Draper freebie. One down, three to go.

My next UFO Tuesday effort will be a Shepard's Bush stocking which I began last Christmas.

That's all the news that's fit to report. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and survives the Christmas shopping frenzy. Thank you for all comments!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

stitching ADHD

Ahh, finally some computer time for mom! I have been wanting to post for a week or more, but my DD is now in middle school with the workload to prove it--she has been asking me to wake her up in the mornings at 6:00 or 6:30 (believe me, this is waay early for her) so she can finish her work for that day. Unfortunately, this cuts into my computer time, as early morning is (usually) about the only time I don't have competition for the thing! Note to Santa: please bring me a laptop (don't tell my kids).

My stitching ADHD has reasserted itself. I have been going from one project to the other, to the next, not satisfied with anything....
I started this freebie from Carol R. at iStitch which I planned to finish as an ornie for one of the kid's teachers--I make ornies every Christmas which can take up a bit of time as some years they have had as many as seven teachers between the two of them. I started stitching this over one and then decided that stitching over one isn't anything I can tolerate for long.

I got a start on Rest and Be Thankful from The Cricket Collection, which has been in my stash for years. I decided that this was going to be the year I finally started it, but now that I have I am having doubts about my fabric choice (its Silkweavers' Poltergeist which I purchased, though I'm not a big fan of purple, 'cause I liked the name). I think it might look OK once it's completed so I am not quite ready to frog it out yet.

This is the project I have spent the most time with lately--I have gotten even further with it since this picture was taken and may be able to show off the completed piece soon. This is another old, long out of print and very hard to find Goode Huswife chart, Currants, Coxcomb and Rose. I searched eBay for an eternity before I found this gem, and have been enjoying it tremendously.
Ah, where would be all be without eBay? (I for one would have a lot more cash in my pocket).

And here is another one I am not sure I like--another I have been wanting to do for a long time, BBD's Bittersweet Moon. The house in the photograph of the model for this one appears to be a light blue, but my particular batch of WDW Cadet looks to me like a bluish-green. I checked several times to see if I had purchased the right color, and the color I have is Cadet, but...I just don't know. The bulk of the house is stitched so I guess I will carry on with this project too and see how it turns out.

I have been the recipient of some goodies too--I won one of Jolene at Dip Diddly Design's Halloween drawings--meant to post this a while ago but for the above-noted computer access issues. I would post a picture of my winnings but for some reason Blogger wants the picture to be turned sideways! Jolene has an awesome blog which should not be missed.
I also received my piece for the BBD exchange...
this is the Blackbird Designs ornie from the 2009 Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue. It is very pretty though I was not able to get a good picture of it. Thanks partner!

UFO Tuesday has been resurrected at the ILCS Yahoo group I belong to, and given my propensity to start one project after another and then toss them to the side, I figured I needed some encouragement to actually finish something! Here is my pick
for this endeavor--Chester, another Good Huswife oldie..

I know why I stopped working on this one--he was begun at a time when I only stitched on 14 count white Aida, and now that I have been exposed to the wide world of cross stitch fabric choices, I hate 14 count white Aida. That, and the yellows in the pattern seem too bright to me. However, I think if he has a good coffee/tea dye after he is finished, he'll be fine. I am hoping to finish him for my DD for Christmas--she has a collection of Goode Huswife cats in her bedroom (I know, what tween girl doesn't?)

Speaking of my DD, I leave you with this snap of the back of her front. She is now 12, which is somewhat astounding to me 'cause it seems like she was just born a few years ago, and hates having her picture taken...I don't know where she acquired this trait, but it is true that there are precious few pictures of me around that haven't mysteriously disappeared.

Until we next meet, hope you get lots of stitchy time. Thank for for all past & future comments!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

isn't it ironic...or is it?

I always get confused as to what constitutes irony as opposed to coincidence. For instance, if a kid is carving a barfing jack-o-lantern (you know, the kind with the gaping mouth with the pumpkin innards spilling out of it) and then runs into the bathroom and throws up, is that just coincidental or is it irony? That's my DD, she picks the best times to become ill, this time on Halloween eve. Not quite as bad as when she got sick the morning of her 7th birthday, when I spent hours trying to reach her guests to tell them not to bother showing up to her party. *sigh*

Anyhoo, on to own personal random number generator (DS) has told me that the winner of the giveaway is Meari--Meari, please shoot me an e-mail with your info. Feel free to poke me repeatedly until I respond. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night.

I will probably have another giveaway shortly, since I have lots of charts I will probably never stitch or never stitch again, and for some reason I keep buying until then, have a good stitchy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

finishing frenzy and a giveaway

Well, as the title indicates, I have been finishing off things like crazy--quite out of character for me since finishing is my least favorite part of stitching. Since my last post, Matter's Choice, the Bent Creek houses, the Partridge and Farmer's Alphabet were all framed and have gone off to the auction. I would like to show pictures of them in all their framed glory, but that would require a level of forethought that I am apparently not capable of (which is to say, I forgot to take pictures before sending them off). They all looked good in my humble opinion, despite my mediocre framing skills. The one that I could not bear to part with was Christmas Tea by Plum Street Samplers. This is now being added to my own stash of Christmas decorations.

Also finished (but not re-homed) was some of my recent Halloweeny stitching. I think this Blackbird Designs one is my favorite, I loved this design from the moment I saw it.

This is another design from the Trix or Treat booklet which I used for the top of one of my multitude of little wooden boxes.

Another wooden box, not yet finished. I stitched this from a design in a cross stitch magazine years ago.

My DS spotted the perfect frame for Scared Silly at Michael's.

Finally, I turned another piece I stitched a long while ago into a needlebook.
My sewing skills are not even on a par with my framing skills so I
will be keeping this one for myself too. This design is Corn Crows and Cats, an old one from The Goode Huswife.

Which brings me to my first-ever giveaway in celebration of DD's (and her mom's) birthdays. This is not something you would be likely to find in your local LNS (at least I don't think so) since it's been out of print for quite a while, and I don't think the designer has re-released it-- The 1824 Penny Rug Sampler from The Goode Huswife. Penny rugs seem very cozy and Christmas-y to me, so I figured this would be a good choice for the season. This will come to the winner fully kitted up--the chart calls for DMC with no suggested conversions, but I know some of you like to work with silks, so if you want silks instead, let me know and I will try to figure something out. I may add some random Christmas things as well (just don't ask what 'cause I haven't figured that out yet).
To keep things simple, in order to enter just leave a comment on this post, one entry per person. You don't have to be or become a follower (unless *you like really really like me* as the Flying Nun once said) and you don't have to advertise my blog on your blog. I will draw a winner in one week on Halloween!
Until then, happy stitching! Thanks again for all past and future comments!
(*I wanted to add...this chart is "used" in that I have stitched this design, but it is completely unmarked and has been sitting in a plastic baggie for the past few years.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

giveaway alert

Hi folks,

Jaz over at Octoberfarm ( my favorite non-stitchy site, is having a terrific giveaway. Whether or not you enter, her blog is well worth checking out for the awesome pics of her trip to Salem!

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and have a giveaway myself to celebrate DD's birthday and my own (which are 3 days apart) so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

farewell Jasmine and other news

Well, dear Jasmine has gone on to her new home. I had quite a time getting her there, however. The weekend following my last post, with about a week to finish this project, I became deathly ill with some horrible flu-like illness and spent about 3 days literally unable to get out of bed, much less stitch. When I finally emerged from my mental fog, I looked for Jasmine and could not find her. Anywhere. Rest assured I do not have a cavernous house to search--it's more the equivalent of a shoebox--and all my WIPs are kept, in separate baggies, in one large basket. I started to worry that I would not be able to use my favorite mommy line on the kids--"Well, (fill in the blank) didn't disappear into thin air..." since my stuff was, in fact, disappearing into thin air. Then finally late Wednesday night I found her, in her baggie, wedged into the space in between my bed and the wall. I still have no idea how she got there. I suppose in my flu-induced delusional state I took her to bed with the idea of stitching in between bouts of throwing up? Somehow I managed to finish her in the remaining two days before the party--I left out some of the backstitching, which I didn't like the look of anyway, some beads and some details on the dress, but she turned out O.K. anyway--at least she has legs now. Unfortunately, since I was still stitching until within about half an hour before we had to leave for the kid's party, I only had time for one photo, which is not that great,'s all I have to show!

I also managed to get through the first round of the LHN exchange, and the exchange piece was received by my partner, but...can't show that either, since I forgot to take a photo, and said piece is now in Belgium. But this is what I received from Jennifer. Is
cute, no?

I think I am addicted to exchanging. I signed up
for the second round of the LHN exchange, joined a BBD exchange and a biscornu exchange which should be interesting since I've never made a biscornu before. Hopefully my partner for that one will have a sense of humor.

I finally have some Halloween stitching to show as well--Scared Silly by Birds of a Feather, done with the recommended Weeks threads on Silkweaver Starquest laguna. I also broke my stash diet and picked up some Halloween charts

one of which I could not
resist starting. I definitely need some more Primitve Needle charts.

I got a start on Hallow's Nigh by Notforgotten Farm too, but this one has come to a crashing halt as I misplaced this pattern--seems to be a recurring theme with me these past few weeks. If my senioritis continues to progress at this rate I'll be in an assisted living facility by Christmas, lol.

Anyhow, as you may have surmised by my last post, my kiddies and I love their school. Around this time each year the school has its one and only fundraiser, an auction of various items donated by families & friends. I see this as a prime opportunity to re-home some of my finished items--these are the ones I am thinking about donating this year...

Matter's Choice (Carriage House Samplings)

Farmer's Alphabet (Prairie Schooler)

Black Bird and Blue Bird (Bent Creek)

Quaker Heart (Ink Circles) Christmas Tea (Plum Street

and Partridge (Designs by Pamela). I don't have any very large pieces finished so I thought I would pick 3 or 4 of these & have them framed or otherwise suitably finished (by which I mean I will probably take time to pick off all the cat hairs).

That's all my news for the time being. Thanks all for visiting!

Friday, September 18, 2009

ladies I love and some who annoy me, and some changes

I guess I shall start with the obvious. My repeat visitors (if any there are) will notice that I changed the name of the blog. This I did because I belatedly thought of a name a liked better, but was too lazy to set up another blog. Also, A Twisted Stitcher was too close to the name of Vonna's blog, The Twisted Stitcher (not that Vonna seemed to mind too much, she was very gracious about the whole thing, but I was rather annoyed with myself for my unintentional lack of originality). OK, The Pumpkin Patch Stitcher is not terribly original either, but it suits me better because:

1. I grow pumpkins

2. I stitch pumpkins

3. I decorate with pumpkins

4. I cook with pumpkins; and therefore

5. I occassionally look like a pumpkin (but I am not putting a picture of that on the interwebs).
That being said, if anyone out there in blogland knows of another Pumpkin Patch Stitcher, please don't tell me.
On to the ladies. The first is my newest finish, The Sampler Lady from Little House. She was part of my recent and very self-indulgent stash haul (please forgive the pics. I am camera-challenged today).

I switched out some of the colors for the GAST threads I had on hand--I'm trying very hard to stick to the stash diet by avoiding the LNS at all costs (there are a ton of new Halloween-type charts out which would be just too hard to resist). I didn't do the border because it seemed a little boring but I thought about putting a row of spools (not boring) along the top to balance it out a little. What do you think?

I actually finished another WIP last night right after The Sampler Lady
instead of immediately starting something new--Trix or Treat from Blackbird Designs (it's actually a few stitches away from completion in this photo, but I was in a rush this morning--still haven't figured out why I have less time for stitching, and everything else for that matter, now that the kids are back in school, than I had when they were home in the summer). True, it was almost finished, but still--I don't often have two finishes in one day.

Unfortunately I now have to do something with a lady I'm not too crazy about.

I started Jasmine over the summer, and as I mentioned in a previous post it was intended for a friend's daughter's birthday. Well, said birthday is Sept. 27 and although I have only about a week to get it finished and framed, I just can't get into it. I suppose I'll force myself, otherwise it'll be sitting around for another year.

And here is the final lady who's giving me fits, Mary w.

I still love this project but the vastness of it is overwhelming sometimes. This is why I so admire those of you who tackle HAEDs or the like that take years to complete. Anyway, I did decide on a recipient for it, which will hope will keep me on track. I plan to change "Ackworth School" to the name of my kids' school and gift it to said school when they graduate. We will have been at the school for about 13 years by the time my youngest graduates from 8th grade, and they love the school (originally a Quaker school when it was founded many years ago) so I figured it might be a good "thank you". Or, I'll finish it and stuff it in a drawer to be company for my numerous other finishes.

Speaking of finishes, and since I am very wordy today, I thought I would show a few of my finished finishes. Sometimes these things sit around for years before I decide what to do with them, but this week I completed some older pieces...

I found these small unfinished wood trays at Michaels, painted or stained them and fitted a few smalls inside. These are now in my kitchen. Finally, I stuffed Ida Mae Crow (the Goode Huswife) which I stitched at the beginning of the year into the top of my floss storage box.

For those who have managed to stay awake this long, happy stitching! Thanks in advance for comments, I do appreciate them.