Friday, August 29, 2014

Other stitches

Hi All!

If you're like me, your obsession passion for cross stitch has lead you to attempt stitches other than the basic X.  For me, it's because I've developed an addiction fondness for band samplers.  Some of these stitches seem may seem too difficult to even contemplate attempting.  Believe me, they're not!  Here are some of them that I've heard complaints about:

  • French Knots.  This has to be the one I see the most complaints about.  They're not really that difficult.  I can do them just fine but I don't.  Why?  Because I've found the colonial knot to be even easier and it produces more uniform results.  Here's a YouTube video on the colonial knot.
  • Lazy Daisies.  These are actually rather fun to do and look so cool.  Here's a great video on the lazy daisy.
  • Backstitch.  I'm sorry, this one is easy but so tedious.  The finished effort does make it worth doing (sigh).
  • Hardanger.  This is more of an embroidery style than a single stitch.  What really intimidates people with this is cutting the fabric.  Yes, making that first cut is scary!  I follow the rule of quadruple-check where you are supposed to cut before you actually do!  Once you've made the first cut, I'd love to say that it's easy going.  It's not, depending on the pattern.  The ones that I've done have required a lot of cutting.  The where becomes second nature.  The doing it becomes really tiring on the hands.
I hope this post helps with some of the non-X stitches.  If you have a stitch you don't like or are afraid to attempt, post it in the comments and I'll see about doing an expanded post.

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

La Belle Dame progress photo

Usually, I try to get out of my sewing room no later than 11pm.  Last night, I made an exception because I really wanted to finish up the page I was working on.   

La Belle Dame Sans Merci now has one more page completed!  That means 11 pages done only 29 to go!  To be honest, pages 33-40 are only 8 stitches high.

Here's what the first 11 pages look like:

I don't know what I'm going to work on next in my rotation.  I have a meeting tonight, so I may not get a chance to stitch.  As soon as I get a chance to have my randomizer app pick my next project, I'll be sure to post what it is.

Happy Stitching!


Daily Progress photos - round 4

And here are the final progress photos.  Yes, that means that I finished it!  While I did get it done in time to show in my county fair, I didn't bother to frame it in time.  That's kind of sad, 'cause I already have the frame and mats!  Oh, well, at least the stitching's done.

Ta-da!  Here it is completed:

I did sign and date it, I just didn't bother to photograph that bit.

Happy Stitching!


Daily Progress photos, round 3

My apologies for taking so long to post these!

Here is round three of my daily progress on Sisters Three:

Next post will show the final photos!

Happy Stitching!


Monday, August 11, 2014

County Fair - ribbons!

Hi Everyone!

This year I entered 7 cross stitch items in my county fair.  While I did expect to get some blue ribbons (1st place), I also expected a white (3rd place).  Thankfully, I was quite wrong on the white!

Here's what I entered and won:
  • Mystic Garden - HAED BB SAL from last year:  Blue
  • QS Hummingbird - HAEDBlue
  • Whitework Sampler - from the Gift of Stitching online magazine (retired):  Blue
  • Autumn Days - freebie pattern from Enchanted Needle Designs:  Blue
  • Faith, Family, Friends - from Just Cross Stitch (I think):  Blue
  • 12 Days of Christmas - by Teresa WentzlerBlue, Best of Section (purple), 2nd place Best of Show (red rosette)
  • Heirloom Christmas Sampler - from The Victoria SamplerBlue, Best of Section (purple), 1st place Best of Show (blue rosette)
The Heirloom Christmas Sampler is the one I expected to get a white ribbon.  According to one of the ladies who aided the judges, it was the detail of the Christmas tree that decided that one was first place and the 12 Days was second.  :-)

I took a photo of just the ribbons because all but one of the projects have acrylic over them and would cause a glare.  Here's all my ribbons:

Happy Stitching!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Laundry Soap

I was running low on laundry detergent and finally got to the store (Bi-Mart) to get the ingredients to make another batch.  If you've never made your own laundry detergent, why not?  It's less expensive than pre-packaged, lasts longer and is so easy to do.  Yes, you can use it in HE machines...not that I have one (sigh).  The last batch I made lasted me 11 months and cost me $15.50.

I got the recipe from Being Creative.  The first batch that I made did not have the washing soda because Bi-Mart didn't stock it then.  I also couldn't find Fels-Naptha soap so I used Ivory.  This time, I was able to get the soda and Fels-Naptha!

Here's what it cost me for the ingredients:
  • Borax - $3.79
  • Washing Soda - $3.99
  • Fels-Naptha - $2.97
  • Sun Oxi-clean - $4.98
  • Baking Soda - $4.36
  • sales tax - $1.73
That puts the grand total at $21.82.  This also made more than the last batch so instead of 2 jars, I have 2½ jars.  Well, actually 3 jars but one is about half the size of the others.  I kept the little scoops from the oxi-clean to use as my measuring cup for each load.  For a regular load, I use ½ a scoop.  For a really tough load, I use a full scoop.

I bought the jars at Bi-Mart last year. I decorated the two jars using stickers as stencils and used paint pens to apply the black.  I then removed the stickers to leave the clear areas.

The laundry room smells really good right now 'cause I just finished mixing it all up and putting it in the jars.  I shouldn't need to buy or make detergent for over a year!

Here's my lovely detergent:

Happy Stitching and washing!