THE BUZZ FROM THE HIVE

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our "throw away" Society

Need a little venting space!!!

My beloved Husqvarna machine, which has served me so well, is on the fritz!!! It won't feed the material and so I have taken it to 2 repair shops.... so far. I am on a mission!!!

The first said they wouldn't even look at it, that it's TOO old and they can't get parts. The owner actually said I was lucky it lasted as long as it has and at my age, if I buy a new one, it will last me the rest of my life!!!  The second guy, very nice, said it's a circuit board issue and he's old school and hasn't been trained in that. He was very apologetic and understanding. Of course, he doesn't SELL sewing machines and didn't have ulterior motives. I've now called 3 different people today, one won't even look at it, one will but said it's doubtful he can get parts and I'm probably looking at a new machine ( he also sells machines) and I'm waiting to hear back from the repair guy at my local JoAnns, but not feeling very hopeful.

The long and short of it is...  I don't want a new machine..thank you very much. I am extremely comfortable with my old machine; it has been my sewing companion for 28 years and I know all its ins and outs. Is 28 years old really that old in sewing machine years? I have a Featherweight from 1952 and it still purrs!!! In fact, I have been using it while my Viking has been ill. I know the newer machines are made with plastic, not metal, and the computer features are wonderful but evidently don't hold up. It just seems that everything today is made for planned obsolescence. Now truth be told, this wouldn't bother me as much if it was a vacuum cleaner or dishwasher but it's my Viking..my good ole buddy, ole pal!!!

So, I will continue on my mission to save my friend. Please keep your fingers crossed for me... and thanks for allowing me to vent! Will keep you posted!

Stasi

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mums the Word.............

So, I said I'd be back with a cute Halloween piece, so here I am!!!

I have had this chart in my stash since 1997...always wanted to stitch it..never did! Then, last year I found this adorable "coffin" at Hobby Lobby after Halloween (80 % off) and succumbed to it. It's been ruminating (yes my 12 years of Catholic school has paid off) around in my mind for awhile as to what to do with it. Then, the proverbial "light bulb" went off a few weeks ago and I remembered Scary Scraps-the Mummy from Mosey N Me.  I did some figuring and knew I had to stitch over one to make it fit. The original was stitched on a  27 count hot pink fabric, but I didn't like the way that looked with the orange ribbons on the box. So, I had a piece of 28 count lime green R&R (don't know the exact name) that would work perfectly. I changed the overdyes and used ones I had on hand and totally left out the metallics that were called for. I also added an inch of stitching to his legs so he would taller and fill the coffin better--he's about 2 1/2" X 5 1/2 ". I made a mattress style liner for the coffin with some black dupioni silk and teeny orange buttons. I also added a moon button to the mattress and a bat on Scraps head, both from JABCO. I am so tickled with how it all turned out--he's so darn stinkin' cute!!!!
Here's the original on pink















Outside of coffin

Inside of coffin


Scraps

backside of Scraps

Scraps in his "bed"
Scraps will definitely be part of my Halloween decorating from now on!!!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Stasi

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quaker Sewing Roll Finish

 I did manage to get the Travel-sized Quaker Sewing Roll  by Catherine Theron put together. However, the fabric was so stiff, it didn't want to "roll", so I've just folded it and tied together with the cording. I love the colors on this--very traditional Williamsburg colors. This was a kit you could get as a group from a Guild and came with the tiny Bohin scissors. 

outside of roll


inside of roll with needlecase and pocket at the bottom

Needlecase opened and back side of scissor fob

Closed roll and front side of scissor fob



Since this blog was to include my "grandblessings", here are photos of the first day of school.
Our toothless boy

future fashion model...perhaps????


I should be back in the next day or so with so my Halloween project, so be on the lookout!!!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Stasi

Monday, September 22, 2014

North to Alaska........

I know I have been away for a bit, but I do have good reason!!!  My hubby and I took off for a trip of a lifetime to Alaska for our 40th anniversary. It was a fabulous and memorable trip from start to finish (about 2 weeks) with dear friends of ours. Karen (who I've been friends since grade school, well over 50 years) and her hubby were the perfect travelling companions ...and yes we're still friends!!!! I won't bore you with a ton of photos but did want to post a few of my favorites.

First stop--Anchorage...and as luck would have it, we parked right across the street from this shop!!!
 
We got to visit with the sled dogs at a lodge where we stayed-they were so sweet!!!

Did a little hiking in Girdwood one day and had to hand pull ourselves across that gorge in this little cage!!!

A beautiful backdrop!

Glacier

Out on a whale watching boat and we did see quite a few along with seals. porpoises and bald eagles.

Our new friend!
 
Mt. McKinley is behind that left puff of clouds! It's hard to tell from the picture but we could see it.

The tundra with mountains in the distance.

A special thank you to a fellow blogger (Cathy from With Needle and Thread) who helped us navigate the MSP airport when we only had a 25 minute layover. Stitchers are the best!!!!

Now on to some stitching related news. I did take a small project to work on while away, the Samsarah calendar, and I got two more pieces (well almost) done----very easy to see and portable!!!


I had also made my friend, who loves turtles, this little necklace to take on our trip.
This was a little freebie design I found on line...don't ask me where!!!

Then, since I've been home, I finished up the Catherine Theron class piece I've been working on. I added my hubby and daughters initials and instead of stitching something on the underside of the needlebook, I added a tiny doilly with a button in the middle. Think I'll start putting it together tonight and hopefully be able to share in the next few days. 
Outside of piece

scissor fob at top...needlebook at bottom
I've also been working on a special box for Halloween. I finished it up today and am so tickled with it. I'll share in the next day or so and see what you think!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!!!

Stasi


Monday, August 11, 2014

Under the sea...Under the sea.....

I can't get that song from The Little Mermaid out of my head and this is why!!!!




I've been working on the finishing for this off and on all weekend and finally have it done. This has been in progress for almost 2 years... but so worth the wait!!! This is Under the Deep Blue Sea  by Sue Hillis Designs. It was an exclusive project for a stitching cruise Sue did in 2012, but was later released to everyone. I changed the fabric to 28 count crystal Icon from ColorScapes because it had some "sparkle" to it--sadly you can't see that in the photo. I did stick with the DMC fibers however.

 I couldn't find the purple grossgrain ribbon that was called for around the top, but had just bought this adorable tiny pom-pom ribbon last week at a quilt shop and it filled the bill. It was a pretty large "gap" that had to be filled and cording would have had to be huge!!!

Here is the inside! There is a needlebook, scissor case and pocket (behind the top band). I also stitched the needlebook down around three sides, so it is also a small pocket. A friend had given me a box of beautiful turquoise beads and I made a scissor fob with them--thanks Deb!!! Note the turquoise anchor at the bottom right--so cute! The basket is lined with felted wool and I just attached with double stick tape after adding interfacing to the back.


Here are the additional smalls: a pincushion and a thread keeper.

I bought a small vial and am going to fill it with Ocean City sand the next time I'm there.

What next???

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Stasi

Friday, August 8, 2014

I'm missing the beach...............

.........so a little ocean themed project was in order!!! My hubby and I usually sneak away in late summer for a few days at the beach. We literally sit  under an umbrella all day relaxing, reading and being mesmerized by the ocean. We will jump into the ocean to cool off periodically and take a stroll on the boardwalk for lunch, but then it's back to the beach chairs to chill. The beach is the one place I can totally relax and it so pleases all my senses--feeling the warmth of the sun, smelling the salt air, watching the waves and an occasional dolphin, being lulled by the small planes flying up and down the coast and burying my toes in the sand. I get to the beach a number of the times during the year for stitching events, but that is usually off season and there isn't time for sitting on the actual beach. So I treasure these quiet times with my hubby but alas, this year we won't be going. Now I'm not going to be too upset about this because we are heading to Alaska for 2 weeks in honor of our 40th anniversary. We are going with another couple (she and I have been friends since grade school) and we're doing a land tour, on our own, and then taking a cruise. So my senses, this year, will be stimulated with new and different types of sights and sounds that will definitely make up for, but not replace, the beach!

Enough back story..... let's get to the project!!! This was a little needlepoint kit I got from Salty Yarns, called Annie's Shells, that you inserted in a seashell as a pincushion. I do have to say it turned out pretty cute but was a bit of a bear to finish. It's very tough to get it glued in place and hold it there while it dried. My shell opening just wasn't cooperating so I wound up hot gluing the stitching in place---- e-gads!!! . I did it a little section at a time and stuffed the fiberfill behind it as I went along. I cut one finger on the shell, burned another with the hot glue but DID manage to finally get the little bugger in place. I made some cording to go around the edge, added a crab charm and voila...a shell pincushion!!! The two seashell pins came with the kit and I added the tiny orange fish (thanks Paola). 



I also have been working on a travel project in the car-- the top of a Whiskey Creek perforated box. I finished the top and here it is:




I wanted to share a new designer I stumbled across last week--I think on Facebook. The company is called The Little Stitcher. She has some incredibly wonderful designs and you can pay with paypal and download immediately. There are mermaid designs, a really cute Wizard of Oz piece and her newest, The Queen of the Bees (you know I got that one)! Here's a link to her etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/LittleStitcherShop



That's it for now--hope all have a great weekend!!!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Stasi


Saturday, August 2, 2014

One down...............47 more to go!!!!!!

My hubby and I do a lot of driving to visit family, friends, etc.. So, I am always on the lookout for projects I can work on in the car. It's funny because I can't read in the car without feeling car sick, but I can stitch...if it's on a larger count fabric.  I think it has something to do with the fact that when you read, your eyes are moving back and forth, but when you stitch, you are focusing on one particular spot. I could be wrong, but this is my theory and I'm sticking to it!!! Now I don't particularly like working on larger count fabrics but have found some projects over the years that fit the bill---mainly Shepherds Bush stockings, a couple Ewe and Eye and Friends Santa and Snowman and Bent Creek kits---all stitched on 18 count linen over two. Well, I've run out of those designs (at least until I get my future adopted grand kids who will need Xmas stockings) and had to find another path. Well, that I did...the Samsarah Calendar series, Fun Every Day!!! They are done on 14 count perforated paper, so I can definitely see it in the car, and very portable. I've kitted up the first three months for our vacation, but had to get one stitched right away. I'm being very anal and starting with January, then will work my way through the year, month by month. Who knows how long this will take, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the journey.

Here is the January design, an adorable little penguin (maybe I'll see one in Alaska)!!!

Before I got distracted by this little guy, I was working on a class kit by Catherine Theron, Travel-sized Quaker Sewing Roll. This is stitched on 40 count linen in what I call "Williamsburg" colors. I have the front stitched and am doing the nun stitch around the edge. This is taking a lot of time and is extremely boring, but I am plodding along. Next will be the needlebook and nun stitching the linen lining. And, yes my name is upside down ( and no I have not been imbibing) because that will be folded up to the inside as a "pocket".


I got a little forgotten surprise in the mail yesterday, a LE kit from the Silver Needle. It's The Charming House of Lindy Mouse by Just Nan. I really, really wasn't going to buy it and then I read the four seasonal description and folded. I'm not fond of mice, but figure I can tolerate this one! After all, another of Just Nan's mice won a judges choice award at Woodlawn!!!! Still trying to figure that one out!!!

That's it from my tiny part of the stitching world. Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Stasi