Homespun Gathering

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Summer's End

Thank you ladies for your sweet comments.  The turtle does not have a name since it is wild and my imagination isn't.  I'm sure someone out there is creative enough to christen our sweet little turtle.

Well, the shelf saga continues.  We did send the Shaker shelf back, and I decided not to attempt buying another one.  The local shelf was finished and picked up by my husband.  I love this family business.  They have been in business 30 years this month, and I'm thrilled to have another piece from them.  Unfortunately, I wasn't clear enough with what I thought I was asking for.  I thought I was getting a completely navy piece with a plate rail.  Sadly, no plate rail and the stain bead board.  Let me say this again.  I take full responsibility for the lack of clarity.  I know how much heart and soul goes into each handmade piece, and it nearly killed me to take it back.  I can't tell you how good they were to me.  I'll just leave it there.  This family is amazing.  I'm just glad these shelves sell like hot cakes.  For the record, my husband and son both like the two-toned look (sigh).

Is it up yet?  Nope, I was so happy to pick up the re-made shelf that I completely forgot to have the piece signed and dated.  It will be Saturday before it stops raining long enough for me to bring it back.  But if there are breaks in the clouds when I'm home during business hours . . . guess where I'm going. :-)

This month I took in Ghoultide (Autumn) Welcome for framing.  I absolutely love the frame.  It's still in the packaging since I've been taking it places for Show and Tell.  Autumn doesn't begin until September 22nd anyway.

Paulette Stewart
Plum Street Samplers
Ghoultide Welcome
Wichelt-Permin linen, 32 count, Lambswool

With a sparkle in her eye (I could hear over the phone) my mother told me she had found some things of mine while going through the closet in my old room.  Honestly, I thought I had cleared all that out 22 years ago when I got married.   Nope.  Of course there were the innocuous things like a sad little tennis racket.  I'm not sure how much use it got.  Doesn't one have to actually make contact with the ball for wear to occur?

The shocker of the day was a few too many letters from several love interests in my single days.  What's a girl to do?  This one decided to have a boyfriend bonfire to destroy the evidence.  Nothing but ashes left, and I feel so much better. :-)  My fire pit is on it's last leg, so I'm really glad she held up for at least this one last mission of mercy.

Were you able to enjoy the eclipse this month?  Mom wasn't all that excited and decided to defrost her mother's standing freezer since the day was so hot.   I, on the other hand, was very excited and had an app that told me what was happening and when--very cool.  The dog was a bit anxious, but the cat was predictably unimpressed

I figured I was safe to take this one with my phone if I protected the lens with my glasses.  I did make sure my phone blocked my eyes from the sun.  Safety first, kids.

Now, what stitcher doesn't want to stitch during an eclipse?  I took full advantage of this and I was able to stitch during the middle of a sunny day without sunglasses or squinting--what a thrill.

I did finish the house, and the only thing that doesn't remind me of dessert is the green foundation.

Speculaas cookie siding
Marshmallow window frames and corner quoins
Licorice window panes and shingles
Black Cherry door and chimineys
And she's done.  I'm still a little confused how a project can be stitched in a month.  When I show you the framed piece in December I'll give you the color changes I made in the siding and reds.
Polly Brown
SubRosa Design
Our Homespun Gathering was this past Saturday. It was a delight as usual--amazing food offerings.  Dutch Beauty even made a much anticipated appearance by one of our stitchers.  That one is in my stash, and It was wonderful to see it stitched up.  She's about 95% finished.  

Cathy had several lovely projects, but this is one that caught my eye.  I could totally do this.  She stitched it to wool with ties on either side.  And . . . it might encourage me to finish another small--not my strong suit.

Okay, this picture will be doing double duty.  I took it without realizing my fuzzy slippers were included.  Anne hooked this rug for a small set of wood movable steps she has at home.  When I grow up, I too will punch and hook rugs. :-)

So, back to the fuzzy puppy slippers.  The meeting room we use at the library is famous for being cold enough to hang meat in the summer.  At our last meeting my feet were extremely cold, so this past weekend I brought my cute fuzzy slippers that have only been worn for Fun Feet Day with my preschoolers.  When I was packing up to leave Cathy very sweetly asked if I was planning on wearing them out to the parking lot. Um, well, no not exactly.  Good friends don't allow friends to wear fuzzy slippers into the parking lot.  

So now that I've worked through the last two projects on the stitching list, I'm finally able to begin my homework for the October retreat in Myrtle Beach.  I'm taking a class on making a drum pinkeep from Beth at Summer House Stitche Workes.  I've desperately needed this, and I feel very blessed to get to learn this skill in person.  I'll also taking a berry making class, but those cuties will have to wait until the drum stitching is done.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Welcome Finish

Oh my goodness, where were my manners in the last post, y'all.  I had meant to thank you so much for your sweet comments on my "Yuletide Progress" from early July.  So without further ado the backyard suburban turtle and I would like to thank you so much for those sweet comments.  I never take my stitching friends for granted.  I know how blessed I am, and boy am I grateful for them.  The shelf saga continues, but more on that next post.

When last we met I had taken the Brenda Keyes sampler to my framer.  I wish I had been able to post a better photo of the before, but at the time of that finish I had a very cheap camera and a flip phone.  Lynne has graciously agreed to take a photo of my samplers before putting them in the museum glass, so here she is all framed.  Whahoo . . . Happy Dance!  I've decided to put this one in my office nook.  It will be the first cross stitch piece in there, and I'm thinking maybe it will encourage me to use my desk more often.  Maybe?  That office chair is pretty but might need one of those blow up rubber circle cushion thingies so I last longer than 20 minutes.  Age is not for whimps.

Brenda Keyes
The Sailor's Wife
Wichelt-Permin linen, 32 count, Lambswool

After talking with the Homespun Ladies in June I had convinced myself to go with a different linen.  Whoah, not so fast.  I started to think about it again and googled "His Eye is on the Sparrow".  The first picture that came up was a Instagram photo one of my Homespun friends had posted of her Sparrow progress.  Okay, maybe the called for linen isn't that bad.  Judy, put your big girl panties on, and just order it.  There are a lot of motifs.  That should tone down the contrast right?  So I ordered.

Yeh, I think I might actually like this linen.

With around 25 overdyeds there were A LOT of threads to buy, but I don't think I can do this one with DMC.  It just wouldn't feel right.  The plan, for now, is to stitch one over two.  There isn't much coverage that way, but so many historic samplers were stitched like this, and I absolutely love a homespun historic sampler, y'all.  I'm still short a color, but maybe it will be back in stock at 123stitch by the time I'm ready to start, or I can find it somewhere else.

I've lived with my Needle Needs Millennium frame for a while now, and we are getting to know each other.  What I'm learning  . . .
*Well, I guess this 40" frame actually does bow a bit.  See below picture.
*Bowing or not the tension is still REALLY good all the way through.
*Unlike my Rolaframes, the bars don't budge or loosen with use.
*I still will need my Rolaframes for a small projects, and maybe that will encourage me to actually do some small projects. 
*Yes, I can get the fabric drum tight, but be advised.  The horizontal linen fibers will begin to separate a bit at the bars.
*I don't need drum tight tension to be completely happy.  
*It is incredibly important to square up the fabric by pulling threads before placing it on the frame.
*I may have a favorite style frame, and this one is it.  Oh dear.

I learned a really cool feature with my phone's camera.  Even with readers I couldn't tell what the color was supposed to be for the over one lettering on Yuletide.  I suppose I should just guess, but I would rather know the actual color.  Thanks to the zoom feature on my phone I was able to figure out which skein of DMC to pull. Great timing.  My husband had been having difficulty reading the ingredients on food items even with his readers.  Now he can just use his phone.  Yippee for the "old folks" at home. :-)

The preschool where I teach has a mascot for each classroom.  Before this year I was the Peacock Teacher.  As the Peacock teacher I wanted my kiddos to know all about peacocks, so I did a little research.   First, only the males are peacocks.  The females are called peahens.  As a whole the birds are called peafowl.  I love how Paulette designed two peacocks.  Each offered a rose to the single peahen.    I suppose one could interpret this many ways, but this is my take.  The peacock is the same lover but at two different times of his life--young and old.  I'm sure I'm plagiarizing someone (but who?), but the verse that keep running through my head was  . . . 

I loved you once
I love you still 
I loved you first 
And always will

It's slightly romantic on my side of the fence.

I'm not much of a flower grower, but if I could grow some in a pot they would look like these.

One thing we have talked about at the Gathering is all these little girls who are stitching samplers at such young ages--8, 10, 12 years old.  I started to think about it.  Well, why not.  Development hasn't changed in the last 200 years, so why wouldn't I be able to start teaching little girls how to stitch.  The plan is to gather with three girls and their moms for some regular stitching time.  I have taught all three of these girls, aged 5-7, and have a special connection with them and mom.  I already have a yes from one.  I will be asking the next two soon.  

I love the photo below.  I reminds me of a couple of weeks ago when I took my stitch to a Sunday evening ice cream social at church.  My five year old girl from above got to try out some stitching on Yuletide, and decided she would like to learn how to cross stitch.  While we sat there a 4 year old boy and his sister came by and were mesmerized.  The little boy was 4 and wanted to try, so why not?  His stitches are in there too.   After talking with the boy's mom I found out a needle and thread were already in his genes, and she was going to get him some tools to maybe begin a new hobby.  What a great night.  

After we got home our son made an observation.  "Mom I don't want to offend you.  I actually mean this as a compliment.  You attract preschoolers like an old lady attracts cats.  Except you give the preschoolers back."  LOL, he might be right.  Preschoolers are definitely where my heart is.

Here is the completed "Yuletide Welcome" by Plum Street Samplers and a couple of my modifications.  She'll go visit Lynne in September for her final makeover in the frame shop.

My sister and family came in to visit this past month.  It seems whenever they come down from Upstate New York, Tennessee has a heat advisory.  They made it through and we had a nice visit.  I was tasked with a few dishes including apple pie.  My pie crust was recipe I've been using for several years now.  Buying dessert or any element in it isn't how I roll.  The pie filling came from America's Test Kitchen, and it called for 4 pounds of sliced and pealed apples--4 pounds, y'all.  That is a bunch of apples.  I wasn't all that convinced they would all fit in my regular pie plate let alone my Dutch oven.   They did fit in the Dutch oven for cooking down, but I chickened out and made the pie in a cast iron skillet.  Hmm, that was pretty smart.  Think I'll do that again.  :-)

I did learn one thing though.  When a recipe calls for 4 pounds of apples cut your pie slices a lot smaller.  I could have gotten 10-12 slices out of the pie without skimping.  That first slice was huge.

My parents used to raise emus on the farm.  The emus are long gone but the post that used to provide a gate hinge make a great holder for my water bottle while I get the lawn mower ready for  cutting the fields.

Mom has agreed to let me buy her a new safety can for the riding lawn mower.  Her current 5 gallon can is plastic, no top, and not fire arrester for safety.  In a couple of months I think I'll sneak in a 2.5 gallon safety can for the push mowers.   Below is the one my dad used to fill the tractor.  That tractor spent a lot of time in the fields until it just wouldn't run anymore.  After Dad died Mom was able to find a buyer for it.  He was thrilled to get it, and mom was thrilled to sell it to him.  Dad and I spent many an hour on that aging work horse of a red tractor.  I remember getting around the field 2 or 3 times before having to fill the radiator back up.  I also remember where every one of those thorn trees were on the edge of the back field.  Good times.  That sweet tractor is now in a field up north somewhere with about 100 other tractors.  May she rest in peace.

Time is limited during the school year, so during the summer my needles tend to be flying.  Now that Yuletide is completed it was time to begin Polly Brown from SubRosa Designs.

I'm so in love with this linen--36 count Edinburgh Ale by Picture this Plus.  I have a little more difficulty seeing the holes due to color but not enough to give up.  The colors are phenomenal, and in true Judy style I'm stitching methodically again with my color blocking method.

It is so much fun to watch this design grow.

I have such a love for red that I changed out her reds (WDW Baked Apple and Cinnabar) for GA Country Redwood--so pretty.

The design calls for Oak for the siding on the house.  This color shows up in her picture but on my linen it all but disappears a few feet away.  

So after I rip off the oak siding I'll put up the new.  There is a possibility the foundation color may also change to coordinate with the siding, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.  No doubt I'm in love with this one, and I've already picked out the frame.  I'm really hoping it works.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.