THE BUZZ FROM THE HIVE

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

And They Sinned Update

It's a SNOW DAY!!!! At least as much as I can make it one! I still have to answer our business phone and pay some taxes (yuck) and make some phone calls, but in my mind and heart....it's a SNOW DAY!!!

I wanted to update on my progress  And They Sinned. I have been working most nights on this wonderful project and am enjoying it immensely. My fabric is not quite showing  true, it'a a darker golden brown..I wanted an "antique-y" look. I think I am at about the halfway point..maybe a little less. This piece will be about 40 inches tall when I'm finished.


I also started a new project ---haven't gotten very far but wanted to get those beginning stitches in. It is Common Thread Stitchers Mat by Threadwork Primitives. This was a Ladies Prim Society kit from Dyeing to Stitch. I had asked to see my friend  Sally's last fall, so I could decide if I wanted to hunt it down on E-Bay at some point. She graciously gifted the kit to me for Christmas--thanks Sal!!!


My Start

I've been remiss in posting this project which I began last fall at a stitching weekend. It's been in my "away" bag since then and will go with me this weekend (more on that later). This is Love My Stitching by Hands On Design. It will eventually become a project bag. I was lucky enough to find the actual finishing fabric used in the photo. This is on 28 count fabric so a good travel project, when I'm not sure of lighting.

 



I've also begun my February pieces for the Samsarah calendar.These are reserved for the car since it's about the only thing I can do while riding and I can't stand just sitting there on long trips. Can't read and can't stitch on small count. Just finished this one on a trip to see the grand kiddies!!!

........ and speaking of the grand kiddies--here's a photo of them playing in their 1/2 inch of snow! Don't get much snow , so they are very excited!




And speaking of snow.....I am scheduled to travel to Ocean City,MD for the weekend. A group of friends meet there very year to stitch and attend the Salty Yarns Super Bowl Sale. I'm planning to leave on Thursday but snow is forecast here for Thursday and Friday, so things are a little "iffy" now. If it's not much I can handle it, if it's BIG, then I have to rethink. So, fingers, toes, eyes and any other body parts I can, are crossed in hopes I can make a go of it! I'm moving forward with packing and thinking positive thoughts!!!! 

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

Stasi


Friday, January 9, 2015

First Stitch and Finish of 2015

Eight days in and I've already got my first stitch and finish for the year--yippee!!! You all must know I love "bee"s and so do all my stitching pals. This kit was passed on to me by my friend, Syd. She had gotten it from the Prim Ladies Club from Country Sampler, and knowing how much I loved bees, asked me if I'd like it. Well YEA!!!! So, Needlewoman Bust as a Busy Bee  by The Primitive HAre came to be in my possession. Thanks again, Syd!

This was such fun to stitch-- the colors are so "ME"!  I pretty much followed the chart and did add the buttons as in the original. I also found a really cute crown charm at Hobby Lobby and added that at the bottom in the row of buttons. Now the finishing instructions.....well,  let's just say it's a good thing I've been sewing since I was 10! :) 


I also wanted to show what I've accomplished on my Samsarah calendar pieces. I've just been working on these in the car, doctor's offices, etc..  I can "see" the holes fairly easy and the size is so small, it's quite portable. I keep it all in a little project bag that I can stuff into my purse if needed.
Here is January:


And, yes, I have been working on And They Sinned.  I have almost completed another band. woo-hoo!!!



This is usually the slow time of year with our business, so I'm able to get a bit more stitching done. I love curling up in my stitching nest with a cuppa, turning on Netflix and stitching up a storm! 

I also wanted to share one of my Christmas gifts from my friend, Sally. Like I said, my buds all know I love bees! Isn't it the perfect accoutrement? Thanks, Sal!!!



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

Stasi


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Parking Your Needle...........

The other day I was reading Mary Corbet's blog and she was discussing various methods to store/park your needles. It reminded me that I have the "ultimate" needle storage system that I stitched years ago--2007 to be exact--by Judy O'dell of Just a Thought Designs. It is called The Ultimate Needle book..Simply Green.  Now I stitched this and promptly stored it in my display case.

 I don't usually have trouble distinguishing sizes of needles, but I do have trouble, once they're all mixed up, telling brands apart. My favorite needle is definitely a Bohin 28, even though I tend to "bend" them when I do the sewing method. But, they go through fabric so smoothly, I don't mind that I am constantly replacing them. But I digress---I really just want to share what I should be aspiring to use for needle storage and the method I actually use.

First up--the Cadillac of needle storage:



Front
Back
Inside
Inside with flap closed
































Next up, my actual method used:

 This is My Stitching Chair Necessaire by Hillside Samplings. I also stitched this many years ago, early 2000's. I have used this every day since I completed it. It sits on the arm of my stitching chair and holds my needles, scissors and other helpful tools. You can see my "menagerie" of needles (I just threw away the pile of orts), so not much organization here! But a major downside to using this beautiful piece is this:



Sadly, my bottom edge has totally frayed, actually up to the hem stitching. Also, in the bottom photo, you can see my needle magnet (I park my scissors there) has worked it's way through the linen. So, here's the dilemma....do you use your finished pieces and chance this type of "wear" or do they remain in the display case to be admired from afar? I love the necessaire and so enjoy keeping it near me while I'm stitching. I often wonder if I should stitch it again..not to be "used". What is your opinion?

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

Stasi



Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Start to 2015....and the project that just keeps on giving!!!

Of course I had to start a new project today for the new year. After much consideration I decided on Needlewoman..busy as a bee! by The Primitive Hare (thanks Syd). Here is what I have done so far:


This is moving along quickly and I'll hope to have it finished soon and move on to another new project.

I also set up a  goal for this year (actually by June) to finish stitching And They Sinned by Examplar Dames. I started this mammoth piece in 2002 thinking that if I started at the bottom (where the densest stitching is) and worked my way up, I'd just sail along. Well.......that didn't happen and the piece has been pulled out and put away numerous times over the years. In fact my goal a few years ago was to get it done and again, it didn't happen. I'm not sure what my issue is as I really love this piece. I can remember the year it came out at the Charlotte needlework market and was displayed in the Gentle Arts booth. I kept walking by and walking by, staring at it, loving all the colors and motifs. At the time it cost $36 and that was astronomical for a chart then but I had to have it. So why does it languish in my to do pile??? Well I saw someone post about it on FB and that renewed my conviction!!! So here is what I have done so far---let's see if I can reach my goal of getting it done by June!!! My main motivator for this time frame is that I'm going to Cincinnati in June and would have our trusted framer from Twisted Threads, Bowmans Backdoor Framing, do the framing for me. Fingers crossed...or should I say stitching!!!! :)
The unstitched area at the bottom is where I'll put in the year I finished it!

Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Stasi

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Final Finishes for 2014

I've managed to have a few quiet days to get some finishing done before the year rolls over. It is always amazing to look back and see how much I've accomplished. Somehow, it doesn't seem like that much during the actual year....and that's because there is always so much more I want to get to. There are so many wonderful designers and teachers and classes and retreats and clubs.....if only!!!

But here are my final finishes to share...first up is A Stitchers Name Tag by La-D-Da. Igot this limited edition kit at The Attic last November and am thrilled to have it finished to wear to classes/seminars. I opted for only my first name so I could fit a beehive. I added some Twisted Threads Bees to buzz around the hive and flower and a bee pin my Mom gave me. I also added a little fairy pin, from my friend Paola, at the bottom right. Otherwise, done as it came in the kit. 
Up close bee pin

Up close fairy pin

Next is the Coverlet Candle Mat by The Scarlett House. This was one of the Colonial Gatherings kits from Dyeing to Stitch. This was stitched and finished as called for. Not sure I want to sit a candle on it, but once the Xmas decorations are down, I'll find a spot and see what works.

This is another Colonial Gatherings kit called Strawberry House, again from The Scarlett House. I only had to stuff this, so it was a quickie!!!

Next up is a make it, take it from Jackie du Plessis called Stitcher's Pouch. Stitched as called for though I haven't been able to figure out how a piece of wool goes on the front. Hoping to see it finished in person one day so I can figure it out! :) (Although I'm happy with how it looks as is!)

Finally, is Pin Skep by Kathy Schmitz. Now I'm not real happy with how this turned out. It was supposed to be a "drum" shape but mine is short and squatty. It didn't say on the pattern if a seam allowance was included ...or not.. and so I assumed (and you know what they say when you do that) that the seam allowance was included in the pattern top/bottom. I think I should have added it....because my top  and bottom pieces did not fit the cylinder section and I have major puckers/pleats that I didn't want. Now I know I could have taken it apart and fixed all this, but was afraid the linen would unravel too much....and I'd have to restitch the top and didn't have enough fabric. The original called for some chenille trim around the top but I don't think that will work on my finished shape.  So...............it will remain as is, as a reminder to me to think things through better before I act! And the JABCO bee buttons kind of spruce it up!!! 


So now I have to ponder what I want to work on in 2015..always a lot of fun to start new projects. Have some ideas and will share soon!

Last but not least, I wanted to share a couple photos of the grand kids at Christmas. So here they are with some of their favorite gifts!


Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship! Be safe tonight if you're heading out!
Stasi

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A few more ornaments............just in time!!!

This will be a quick post...I promise! I've finished up some more ornaments I'd like to share.

First up is this years ornament for my grandson. He is obsessed with baseball and plays catch with himself(and anybody else he can con into playing) pretty much all day long. He bounces small soft balls off his bedroom wall and dives for them on the floor. He is a "ball" of energy (pardon the pun)!!! So, I was very happy when I found this Mill Hill kit called Baseball Mitt. Luckily my favorite shop, Salty Yarns, had one in stock and sent it right to me. It is perfect!!!

Next up is an ornament for my newest great nephew. I'm going to meet him for the first time tomorrow and was clamoring to get this done in time. His family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah so I did a double sided ornament with Santa on one side and a menorah on the other. Santa is from an old Leisure Arts book called 250 Christmas Quickies and I found the menorah on line as a free chart by Connie G. Barwick. I stitched it on 32 count Blue Spruce linen and thought the motifs looked nice against that background color. I'm loving this mini pom-pom trim as an edging!!!


 Last but not least, are three I've done for some other grand nephews and  a grand niece. These reminded me of our recent trip to Alaska and were very cute. They are from an old Better Homes and Gardens chart called Polar Cap Stars. I added the red bells instead of the tassel shown on the chart.

fronts

backs
Well, I think I'm finished with my Christmas stitching. Now on to cookies and candies!!!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May it be filled with family, friends and lots of stitching!!!

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

Stasi





Monday, December 15, 2014

Busy as a Bee...............

Life has been very hectic lately. We have either been away or had company at home the last 4 weekends. On top of that, there is the frenzy of Christmas .....decorating, gift shopping, gift making, cookie baking, etc.... you all know the routine. I've also had a milestone in my life (perhaps one I'd like to forget) and am now eligible for social security!!! I don't feel that old, but I sure wish I could get some of those years back as I have so much more I want to stitch!!!! I'm jealous of younger stitchers and often wonder about all the fabulous things to come in the needlework world!! Oh well, I will just satisfy myself with the tons of things I already have to work on and push through it all!!!

So,here's my past month (buckle up for the ride)! I'm starting out with some shots of my granddaughters birthday. It was a Frozen theme and I think my daughter had some very fun ideas for the party.





 They even had an indoor snowball fight with white balls of yarn!!!











Next up was Thanksgiving at my house. We even had real snow for the kids to play in, so it was perfect. Our oldest daughter and family came up from VA, our younger daughter from NC, and my parents and various siblings from MD. It was hectic but fun-- I am very thankful for my family!!!
The next weekend w we were back to VA to babysit the grandkids, but it was a quick visit...down one day, back the next.

This past weekend, we drove to Baltimore for the annual aunts/cousins lunch with my Dad's side of the family. We had a big turnout (36 peeps) and it was so good to see everyone. Here is a shot of the whole group.....and keep in mind, we were still missing some relatives!

In between all this commotion my hubby managed to get himself a new, bigger motorcycle. Here's the happy guy with his new wheels!!!
Now yes, I have been getting some stitching done. Some are gifts and I'll have to share those later, but here is my granddaughter's ornament for this year. I'm still working on my grandsons.


As I mentioned earlier I celebrated my birthday last week. I had to share the wonderful gifts I received from my dear friend, Paola. She knew I would be taking Sherri Jones's Button Book class in April and sent me the most beautiful glass and pearl buttons from Paris. I can't wait to add them to my "book"!!!





Don't you just love the face button?















Paola also made me a beautiful Victorian styled needle book out of perforated paper. It is so delicate and lovely and I can only imagine the patience needed to cut out all the small details. Thanks Paola--you know I love it!!!

Well, I think that will be it for today; I hopefully haven't bored you to tears! I'll try to post again before Christmas, but if I don't, I wish you and yours a most festive and blessed Christmas/holiday season!

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

Stasi