Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2019 Ornaments for the Grands (Stroll 526-529)

Greetings from Christmas Central where gifts are being finished, wrapped, shipped or categorized for Christmas day giving. Whew, I think I am a bit ahead of the game...for now. Still debating on whether I'm going to make my usual amounts of cookies, or scale back a bit since we don't need to eat them all!!

I wanted to stop by and share the ornaments for the grands this year and , if you ever hear me say "needlepoint" again, just SHOOT me. These took a LOT longer than anticipated and I quickly remembered why I gave up needlepoint years ago. Now I have always stitched needlepoint in hand so blocking was always an issue. But these being small, I put them on stretcher bars and they came out perfectly straight--now that is a plus! And, they all did turn out very cute and were a bargain at 50 cents a canvas, so I won't complain too much. Here are the four of them together:

and then individually......

James....who lives and breathes soccer. He is #1 on his team and that happened to be the # on the shirt--perfect! I stitched the shirt in his school team colors and  found the soccer ball charm at Hobby Lobby. This had a stitched back, too, with a soccer shoe and balls but I forgot to take a photo. :(

Asher.... I added tiny red buttons for the noses and hung red bell at bottom. Design goes all around the piece--8 reindeer!

Esther....Added white pop-pom, red beads for the year and carrot nose.

Cora....added JABCO holly button and red velveteen trim, which melted when I went to press it after handing for stuffing. Drats..won't make that mistake again!!!

Merry Christmas to all and thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Post Thanksgiving...Pre-Christmas

Greetings! Are you in the midst of the crazy holiday rush? I am trying hard to remain calm, cool and collected but as Christmas nears, I am getting a little tense......time to break out the CBD oil??? I am all decorated but still have shopping to do, cookies to bake, meal planning and driving to Baltimore to bring my parents down for Christmas. What will be, will be is the mantra I am trying to follow!!! :)

I'll start with a little recap of our week in Black Mountain, NC. We have stayed at High Rock Rentals three times now and it is a beautiful, relaxing spot. This year we stayed at a new, larger cabin to accommodate our expanding family and pulled in just in time to see out SIL struggling to get up the steepest hill ever!!! He kept spinning out on the gravel road (they have front wheel drive) and finally had to back up, pull over and let us try with our all wheel drive. We made it, but had to unload their van, carry everything from it up the steep hill and then without the weight in the back, he was able to make it up the rest of the way. Not the best way to start our week but it was uphill (pun intended) after that!! Here's a shot of the hill and the 90 degree turn towards the end!!!

Looking down hill from the 90 degree turn--picture doesn't do justice!
90 degree turn just as you get to the top steep hill

Here is a shot of the cabin from across the holler....

From there it was a week of beautiful sunrises....




This was my stitching chair.....

Stitching on the porch...

Ping pong tournaments....
Hot tubbing....

Camp fires with s'mores....

And a delicious Thanksgiving dinner lovingly prepared by our SIL, Alex....

All in all a grand week relaxing, bonding and joy!!! I did get quite a bit of stitching done while there. I did manage, on our last day, to squeak in a visit to Sassy Jacks. I didn't get much but was very pleased when my younger daughter bought a kit to try...maybe there is still hope!!! Here is what I bought:

While in NC I finished another Xmas ornament and got about 3/4 of the last one done ( I did finish that one later at home). Now to finish-finish all four!!!

Last weekend on the FB page, Our Sampler Years- Yesterday's Needlework for Today, people were sharing their perforated paper pieces. This prompted me to pull out some Tokens and Trinkets I had bought when they were closing down. I got this little stocking done--isn't it sweet? It was a chart by Wendy White for Redefined, Inc. I stitched it with DMC 75, a variegated red and changed the wording to figure out what to do with it.

I've also been working on a few gifts, but they will have to wait until after Christmas to share.

I was lucky to take a class yesterday, offered by the VGN, from Simona of Mani di Donna. It is called Winter Harmony Basket. Here is Simona's model:

Last, but not least, I was able to go to the boutique at Christmas in Williamsburg last Friday. I mainly bought gifts, so sadly can't share those, but did want to share some of the lovely decorations we saw while strolling Duke of Gloucester Street. They are made from natural materials and items that would have been available in colonial times....always so pretty!

Thanks for hanging in with me for this long post. I hope to be back before Christmas but can't guarantee it so, if not, please have a very Merry and blessed Christmas/holiday season and...thanks, as always, for your "twisted threads" of friendship!




Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Little Strolling Before it Gets Too Crazy ...(523-525)

Before I start my stitchy news, I just want to say that I had the opportunity to see Hamilton last night as part of the Richmond Broadway series and was totally captivated for 2 hours and 45 minutes. I can only imagine what it was like to see on Broadway in NYC because this cast was spectacular!!! This has been on my wish list for awhile and I was totally blown I want to find out more about Alexander, Eliza and Angelica. If you ever get the opportunity...go for it!!!

I've been feverishly working to get my pilgrims done for Thanksgiving and  made it in the nick of time. I've been struggling with to "bow" to or not to "bow" and a friend has convinced me not to, as she felt they distracted from the stitching. I am usually a "less is more" person, so I'm not sure why I thought adding bows was a good thing except they were shown on the pattern with ones made from straw and ribbon. What is your opinion? Here is A Pair of Pilgrims by Lizzie Kate...stitched on 28 count Lambswool Jobelan wth a combo of GAST, WDW and Anchor flosses. The buttons are from JABCO. 

Fabric on back of Miles and Priscilla

I've been working on my annual ornaments for the Grands and decided on needlepoint ones for this year. I was at a 'new to me' store here in Richmond called RVA Scraps and they had some very reasonable needlepoint canvases...reasonable being 50 cents a piece...that I couldn't resist, especially since one had a soccer theme for James. I have his stitched and am working on the one for Cora, an ice skate.

Here are the other two for Asher and Esther...yet to be started.

The Santa canvas came with the stitch guide and had a price tag of $58 on it

 I need to get moving on these, but my fingers are hurting from pulling the needle through the canvas. I've tried a larger eye needle...still hurts after awhile. Suck it up buttercup!!!

I finished my Pumpkns for Sale on the top of the tin box provided us at Jamboree. Sally was kind enough to already have the tape and charm attached to the box. I added the pop-pom trim and cording.

I finally got my Inspirations book of Betsy Morgan designs. It is so beautifully done, but I haven't had time to really peruse it yet.....may have to wait until after the holidays when things calm down. It has eight of Betsy's previous designs/class pieces in it and one brand new one. Love, love , love it...maybe a Christmas gift idea???

 Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving with friends and/or loved ones. I know I have a lot to be thankful for and will be celebrating in NC with my daughters and their families. Luckily for me my SIL is a chef and he has volunteered to make our dinner. I'm sure the rest of us will be helping out....I need to pull some recipes...okay...just added to my ever growing list to pack. 

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


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center Visit

I had the wonderful opportunity, this past Friday, to tour the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center and thought you'd like to visit along with me. We were able to see finished garments, garments in progress and speak to the talented crafts people that create these costumes. They provided us with a little fact sheet and I'll be quoting from that for some fats. First, there are only 10-13 people staffing the operations unit of the design center at this time, due to cutbacks, and they are responsible for dressing over "600 staff members for 1122 different positions"....mind blowing!!! There are additionaI employees in the laundry, issuance, accessories, research and development and inventory departments. I was very impressed with the obvious enthusiasm these sewers/tailors have for their art...and I was happy to see some younger costumers working there.

Upon entry,we immediately noticed a laundry counter and rotating racks like you'd see in a commercial laundry. The Laundry Counter provides dry cleaning and laundry services for the costumes and inspects/repairs articles daily.

 Then there is an Issuance Dpeartment that  "keeps track both physically and electronically of an inventory of 59,746 costume items". Wow!!!

As we wound our way through the building, we were able to get 'up close and personal' with some costumes and were allowed to touch and ask questions about their process and construction.  This first photo is of George Washington's complete and one on the cutting table. 

The wools are from England and luscious!!!

Close up of cuffs
The buttonholes are hand sewn with metallic thread, the pile of brown buttons were all hand wrapped with thread and there were some dorset buttons in upper right corner  

A dress in progress for Martha Washington.  Most of the underskirt is done on machine (they can't keep up otherwise) but the outside layers were hand stitched.

I'm pretty sure I remember them saying the dress was based on an original of Martha's

This delicate silver dress (above) had unique ruffling around the neck and sleeves. It is accomplished with a pinking iron. They would take the metal semi circular metal tools (shown above) and hammer with a mallet...up to five times each create the lovely scalloped edge. The lady who worked with these said it was 'migraine inducing' when these punches were in use!!!

These "flies" were hand tied on some pre-made trim

An elegant pair
For the common man/woman      
Now, some undergarments....not sure I'd want to be wearing these, but they are lovely.

It's a shame this was hidden underneath....

Some embroidery techniques.....

Silk ribbon embroidery

Some machine tambour work

Hand tambour work
The Accessory Department.....lots of shoes and tricorn hats but I forgot to take a photo of them


Men's wallet
Upstairs was their Inventory Department....lots of fabric, thread, buttons, etc.. Sorry, my phone ran out of juice after this photo! :(

 There was also a Yard Sale going on where the public could purchase retired costumes, shoes, etc. That was extremely popular and had very long lines!!! I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on this adventure; it is an annual event and I'm planning on returning next year.

On to some stitching...I did have a finish this week....Pumpkins for Sale by Sally Rutka. This was the second kit Sally designed for Salty Yarn's Jamboree. It will be a quick FFO since it gets finished on top of a small, provided tin. Stitched over one on 32 ct. Pampas linen with called for threads. I did substitute red for the wagon.

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