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).

Needlepoint Update – April 2018

Once again, I have done very little needlepoint over the last month. I’ve only worked upstairs about 3-4 days all month. But I’ve made a little progress on the Bear Stocking. The darker section of the floor is finished, one rocker on the rocking chair is done, and I’ve started on the first teddy bear. The pads on his feet and one arm were stitched with Diagonal Mosaic. Once the feet are stitched, I’ll use Backstitch to go around the pads. I’m using 3 shades in the caramel family for this teddy and stitching it with a variation of the Corduroy stitch. I worked on one arm this morning to see if I like it and hopefully will find a day or two next week to continue.

I didn’t want to mess up the cat on the Letter C, so I picked up the second of the Fancy Hat Snowmen to work on once in a while in the evening if I had the energy. Simple threads and stitches – the greens are Pebbly Perle and the red is Splendor.

 

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Cross Stitch Update – April 2018

Things are slowly getting back to normal and I’m able to stitch for a few hours each week now.

When I went to Tennessee to meet my newest granddaughter, I took a small cross stitch kit from Whiskey Creek. This little 3″ box is called Main Street Box. I have the top about half done now. There will be some top stitching when it’s all competed. Then I’ll have to stitch the bottom of the box as well. Here’s what it look like today.

The overdyed rows on the top and sides are to be folded down and stitched to create the top of the box. All the threads for this project are from my stash.

The other project I’ve been able to work on is the stocking for the new granddaughter, Emmi. I had just started the small stocking on the toe of the stocking last month. The little stocking is now done, the two chipmunks are done, but their scarves are not finished yet.

I’ll finish their scarves, do more of the leaves around the top and then do the back stitching to make everything easier to see. Then I can move to the right and do the design on the heel of the stocking.

I also hope to get time to work on the Norfolk Sampler, so I can get it completed.

If all goes well, life should be back to normal and boring in another 4 weeks. Each week has been packed with too many things to do and we hope that eases off soon.

A New Toy

Sorry, no cross stitch today. Dealing with a difficult situation right now.

This arrived today – a belated birthday present from DH. This is the new tablet holder from K’s Creations. In the photo below, I have opened a cross stitch pattern for a Christmas ornament. This is going to be wonderful for stitching.

There is an app called ezPDF Reader than enables me to highlight the areas that I have stitched, so I always know where I am in a pattern. I’m going to play with all this tomorrow. It should be a lot of fun! I really needed something good to happen at the end of this very rough week.

It only took about 5 minutes to take the stand apart, install the tablet holder, and put things back together again. Maybe you could use one too.

Needlepoint Update – March 2018

As I said in my last post, lots going on here. I haven’t done any needlepoint for over two weeks, but hope to get back to work on the stocking on Monday. (A week with my new granddaughter was wonderful!!)

Before I left, I did get a little more done on the stocking – very little. I finished the second ornament o the left side and I started on the darker, shaded section of the floor on the right side. I’m playing with beads for the candy canes – not sure about it yet.

I’d like to finish the candy canes and ornaments along the bottom in April and start on the chair on the left and the teddy bear on the right. I really hope I’ll have lots of time to work on this over the next month.

I haven’t shown you the Persian Qum rug at all this year! I work on it one week each month and that doesn’t make a lot of progress. After 3 months now, I feel there is enough done to show you.

I’ve added more to the branches and flowers in the rust archway on each side. I finished the vase and started the background in the center section. The pink French Knots to the left of the vase will be 4 pink flowers. Stems and leaves will be stitched on top of the cream background once the flowers are done. There will also be a sprig of flowers on each side at the base of the vase.

I completed the white background on the C piece by Cheryl Shaeffer, but didnt’ take a photo. I want to stitch the yarn that is hanging down on the C and start working on the cat during April.

I’ve started cross stitching over the last two days, so there will be things to show you in the next post on the 15th of April.