Cross Stitch Update – August 2018

Let’s start with a big finale. Norfolk Diligence Sampler, stitched on 40 ct. linen is finally finished! I started it in 2014 and got about halfway done, then put it away in 2016 since I had 5 Christmas stockings to do. It came back out early 2017 and I’ve been working on only on weekends. Once I finished the octagons along the bottom (all stitched over 1 thread), it was easier to make progress.

Here is the bottom all completed.

And here is the whole project. I’m thrilled to have it done!

I also finished stitched to bottom of the Main St. Box. I have the bottom sewn together, but am having problems with the top. It’s so hard to hold onto the tiny corners and try to do any cross stitches.

I’ve made progress on Emmi’s stocking as well. About 4″ to go. I’m glad I’m able to backstitch around things as I go. Looks nicer and I don’t have to worry about doing it all at once.

Since the Norfolk Sampler is done, I needed to pick a new project to work on for the weekends. I have about 5-6 that I want to work on, so it wasn’t an easy choice. But I decided to pull out Love You Still by Glendon Place. I’m changing all the colors to blue and copper. Here’s where it is today:

When I finish the word Still, I’ll be able to start on the borders around the piece, working my way up to the top. Should have some good progress to report next month.

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Needlepoint Update – August 2018

I’ve done well with the stocking for DH’s granddaughter. And I’ve tried to work on a couple other projects, but haven’t gotten very far.

Teddy Bear Stocking – The second bear is done completely done with Interlocking Goblin. It really went quickly too, thank goodness. So I’m up to the tree branches now. That will be challenging, but I think I have a plan ready to go.

I wanted to finish the C for the Cheryl Schaeffer C-A-T, but ran out of black Whisper and don’t have any white to finish the face. They’ve been ordered. I’ve finished the background for the letter and started on the cat.

And I’ve started the last of the 3 Fancy Hat Snowmen. I’m using white Neon Rays, lighter blue Fyre Werks, and darker blue Silk Lame Braid. It will eventually get done. Not much energy in the evenings right now.

Trying to get this finished in August so all 3 ornaments can be made into ornaments.

Cross Stitch Update – July 2018

I’ve worked on 4 projects this month and completed one of them.

The Main Street Box bottom is just over half done now. I know the stitching will be done by next month. Here’s hoping I can figure out how to make the box when the stitching is done.

I’m also past the halfway point on the Forest Friends stocking for Emmi. This is really a cute pattern and I love working on it.

I decided that I really wanted to finish the Norfolk Diligence Sampler, so I’ve been working on that weekends. I want to have it completed next month. And you can see how close I am to actually getting it done.

And I finished the Queen Anne House. I couldn’t believe how many beads I had to sew on this piece! But I really love it now that it’s done.

I’ve told you that I’m writing a cozy mystery. The main character of the book moves to a small town on the California coast and buys a Queen Anne house that has been partially renovated. This is my inspiration to keep working on it. I’m enjoying the writing and even waking up some mornings with a complete scene in my head. It’s fun too.

Needlepoint Update – June 2018

A needlepoint update at long last! I’ve made progress on three projects, one a finish.

Fancy Hat Snowman #2 – finished last night. No fancy stitches, since I’m still working my way back after a long break. This is by C.A.Huckaby.

And I’ve been working on the Teddy Bear Stocking. I finished the bottom section, except for the candy canes. Since I’m working on a scroll frame, I can’t do the beads on the candy canes until the rest of the stocking is done. I tried several different stitches for the bear, but his feet and legs are so small that I gave up, tore everything out and just used Basketweave.

Then I started on the middle section. The bear is being stitched with Interlocking Gobelin over 2 threads. One leg is completed already and it moves along well. The rocking chair showing on the right side is done and there is a little more to do on the left. I’ve started the background using Nobuko stitch. I decided to just do all of it in one color of blue, easier for me since I’m behind schedule on this.

And, finally, I’ve made some progress on my Persian Qum rug. It’s slow going, but is now getting about 3 hours of attention each week. In the rust colored arch, I’ve added another set of small flowers and filled in more background. The border for the arch is taller as well. In the center, I have one set of flowers done (leaves still to stitch) and will start on the right side this week. You won’t see him again for a couple of months – that’s how long it take to make visible progress.

 

A final word – I started this blog 10 years ago, come October. So I feel it’s time to let it go. I’ll be shutting it down in October. Thank you for 10 wonderful years!

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Cross Stitch Update – June 2018

Actual progress at long last. I’ve started the back of the Main Street Box. There is a small design, but most of it is just the overdyed thread. I know it isn’t centered, but this is the way it is on the pattern. I hope I can get it done and the box put together by next month’s progress report.

I also started another small project – the Queen Anne house from Mill Hill. I have most of the cross stitches for the house done and need to add a tree on each side. When cross stitches are done, I’ll get all the beads added. This one has special meaning for me, which I’ll share when it is complete (Hopefully by next month as well).

Finally, I did a lot on the Forest Friends stocking for Emmy. I’m half done now. The little bear and the branch and needles are done and all the backstitching for these parts have been done as well.

The area on the right above the scarf and branch will be a deer with a wreath around it’s neck. Above the bear’s head is the large snowman. I’m hoping to have those two areas done for next time.

It’s good to be stitching every day again, though only for 2 or so hours. I need to step up on the smaller needlepoint projects now. They haven’t been touched for 3 months. I’ll get there…

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When I’m not stitching…

There are times when I can’t stitch: when my hands hurt when holding a project and stitching and when I’m taking care of DH (or worrying about him). But DH is all better now and the stress has gone away.

In January, my hands bothered me a lot and even the wax bath wasn’t relieving the pain for more than a day or two. I needed something else to occupy my time. I’ve always wanted to write, so I bought a couple books about starting to write to see if that would occupy my mind. It really took off!

I started a quick 5-page outline of a story that came quickly to mind. By the beginning of February, I had added to it, changed lots of things, but still had no ending. Hmmm. I kept reading books about plot, conflict, developing characters, etc. By the end of February I had a detailed 25-page outline of the book (the ending still not written).

I started writing the book at this point. I had a couple chapters done by mid-March when I went to Tennessee to meet my new granddaughter Emmi. Then DH had his knee replacement and you know how all that went. But sitting here the last six weeks taking care of DH and keeping track of all the medications, I had a lot of free time. I tried stitching, but never got more than 30 minutes at a time. So I picked up the outline for my book and went back to writing.

I read a lot of Cozy Mysteries, shorter books (150-250 pages usually), that don’t have violence or swearing. A body is found and the mystery needs to be solved. That is the type of book I’m working on. I worked on it most days and my goal was 500 words a day. But I really got into it and I found that most days I was writing over 1,000 words a day and the last week before DH was released from all medication, I wrote 13,000 words – and I have an ending, finally. The first draft of the manuscript is 37,000 words and 174 pages.

I know it’s a mess. It needs more conflict, better chapter endings, more detail about many of the characters. There are more scenes to add, some to delete, and a million other things. BUT, I’ve had a ball writing this! Ideas for improving it pop up all the time, so I keep a 5×7 folio with me all the time. I jot down ideas, even write a short scene sometimes. I don’t know when this will be ready for anyone else to read, but I’m going to keep at it. I’m really enjoying writing.

And my hands haven’t hurt even one day for the last month or so!

And I’ve gotten back to a stitching schedule again as well. Last Friday was the first day working upstairs in the morning, working on my rug for two mornings and Penelope’s stocking for two days. No needlepoint report this month, but I’ll have lots for next month, I promise. Cross stitch downstairs has also picked up some. I’ll show that to you on June 15th. It feels good to have things back to “normal.”

Cross Stitch Update – May 2018

I’ve actually made progress on some things this month. Yeah!

The small box that I started last month now has a finished top. It’s just over three inches square. The overdyed thread around the edges will be folded back and stitched to make the top. The bottom is mostly the overdyed thread with a small rectangular design. I’ll try to do a little of that each evening while I’m watching TV. No pattern to refer to for most of it. Nice and easy.

The Christmas stocking for Emmi is slowly coming along. I’ve started the black bear cub that will be the heel of the stocking. The little bits of blue you see will be the long, blue scarf on the bear. Long ways to go, but I’d like to finish the heel of the stocking by the next cross stitch post.

The chaos at our home will finally go away Tuesday after doctor appointment. Hopefully, we’ll get lots of good news then. And our normal, quiet life can get back to normal (with more needlepoint stitching, I hope).