Farewell To 2014

As I sit here typing this I can hear the fireworks sounding off outside in my neighborhood.  Yes, my city is one of the lucky few in the state that allows this on New Years Eve.  Since I don't venture out on New Years Eve I thought I'd write a last day of the year post.

My weight loss goal has been a bit of a roller coaster this year.  I never did get on my tread mill and do any workouts.  I did however manage to get on my bicycle and ride almost every day from June to October.  I started out at 226 lbs got down to 206 lbs and now at this last day of December I'm back up to 230 lbs.  So starting the first Sunday in January I'll start all over again, and maybe in 2015 I will reach my goal and stay there.

As for any last minute stitching, my Norwegian sampler won't get done by the 7th of January.  I'm afraid it's going to be an IOU birthday gift.  Here's the latest update.

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As for my 2014 ORTS I've decided to keep them in an end of the year bowl.  They're being guarded by Tessa the Turtle.  Next year for my TUSAL posts I'll just show the amount of orts for the month and empty them into the bowl.  Then when the bowl fills up I'll use the orts as stuffing for a biscornu or two.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

A Two For One Posting


Oops, looks like I'm a little late for my last Wipocalypse of the year.  So I thought I'd split the difference and post both my TUSAL and Wipocalypse together.  

But before I get started I'd like to say what a marvelous time I've had.  Not only was I motivated and encouraged by the monthly theme questions.  But also by the new on-line stitching friends I've made through-out the year.  I hope to see you all and your new wip progress in 2015.

Theme: Recap your accomplishments for the year! (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc).

Be sure to click on the pictures to get a bigger view.

First I'll start off with the only finish I had for 2014.  It was a gift for my boyfriend Tony.

A Vikings World
Designer/Publisher: Lisa / © Designs by Lisa
Finished: January 5, 2014
Stitched on Brittney 28ct. Evenweave, Color: Bone using DMC cotton floss. The name at the top of the ship reads as Anthony Jorgen.

And now for the three WIPs I worked on: Camelot Sampler, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Musical Bell Pull. Even though I didn't finish them, two out of the three got a lot of work done on them, and I am closer to the goal of getting them finished.

Camelot Sampler


[My total progress so far.]

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Day Six was the only block I worked on this year.

[My total progress so far.]

Musical Bell Pull


[My total progress so far.]

And last but not least, the two new projects I started this year; my biker's vest patch, and my Norwegian alphabet sampler, along with my little TUSAL beaker to bring this post to a close.

Biker's Vest Patch



Norwegian Alphabet Sampler

If the frame looks familiar that's because it's "Birds of A Feather" by With Thy Needle & Thread.  The center of the sampler will have some original elements.  What they'll be even I don't know at the moment as I'll just stitch them as I go along getting ideas from other samplers I've seen.



And finally......

The latest orts are from the sampler in the above picture.
Thank you all for visiting my blog and becoming my friend in 2014.


November TUSAL Update

Greetings fellow Bloggers and TUSALers.  It's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by since we last posted our ort containers and project updates.
I've been a bit adventurous in the last 2 weeks and tried my hand at dying fabric with coffee.  I followed the instructions on Martha Beth Lewis's page and here's the out come.
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On the left is the original cream color and right is the warm brown/coffee color I ended up with.
As a first try at dying fabric I'm rather proud of myself.  The only mistake I made was putting too much alum in the final dye bath to set the color.  So after the fabric dried for the final time I gave it a quick wash in cold water with orvus to try and get rid of the smell of alum, and it worked.
And for anyone who's interested I used Italian roast dark instant coffee, 8 cups worth.
I've put all my projects away until next year as I have a time sensitive Christmas/birthday present that I need to have done by Jan. 7th.  Here's the progress so far with my newly dyed fabric, along with my little beaker.
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Thanks for stopping by!

November Wipocalypse

Looks like I'm a little late for this month's Wipocalypse posting.  So let's get started.... I put '12 Days of Christmas' by Teresa Wentzler back on the WIP/UFO pile for the foreseeable future.  I've had no progress to show since the last time I posted about 'Day Six' back in April 2014.  The two projects I have progress on are below.

Musical Bell Pull - Mandolin - by Donna Vermillion Giampa

This is what I've done so far since starting the Mandolin section last month.

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My Biker's Vest Patch.

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I tried two different shades of green but the outline just seems to disappear next to the solid lighter green.  So I decided to stick with the darker shade of green.

Now for this month's WIPocalypse question.

Topic:  What are your favorite and least favorite materials to use in your stitching?

Well I guess I'll start off with favorite floss.  I like all types of DMC's cotton floss, linen floss, rayon (aka satin) floss, and pearl cotton floss; Also silk floss and over-dyed floss.  I've never used DMC's light effects floss so can't comment on that. I also like Kreinik blending filaments, braid, and Japanese threads.  On the other hand, I've never been fond of the DMC metallic thread, the old type that came on spools.  It always seemed to fray and unravel too easily. 

The only thing I've use as far as accessories is mill hill glass seed beads.  I've never stitched anything that required buttons or charms so I can't comment on that either. But I do love the way the glass beads give that little extra sparkle to a stitching project.

As for favorite fabric materials that would be hands down Even-Weave.  The thread counts would be 25, 28, and 30.  With my eyesight not the best now days 30 count is a little tough to see with out the help of a 3X magnifier.  Aida I'm neutral on, I neither like nor dislike it.  I started out with Aida learning how to do counted cross stitch, and my favorite fabric counts were - 14, 16, and 18. My least favorite fabric would be linen.  For me I just don't like the look and feel of the fabric, it's so wispy and thin, that and the subs in the weave make it look and feel uneven and hard to stitch on.

That's it for this Blog Blurb, Thanks for stopping by.

A Not So Totally Useless October.

Happy TUSAL everyone!!!

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Well as you can see from my little beaker there are a few bits of blues and greens.  The greens come from my bikers patch I'm working on.

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I'm kinda worried that the green outline I'm using is too dark, and that I need a color closer to the green I've used in the tomato pincushion.  Guess I'll try stitching the other outline with a different green and see what looks better.

I've also started stitching on Musical Bell Pull again.  I haven't gotten that far so I'll wait till my Wipocalypse post before I show an update of that.  I'm working on the mandolin. Here's the model picture with it circled.
That's all for this blog post. Thanks for stopping by....

WIPocalypse for October

It only feels like a few days have past since the last check-in. My stitching mojo is slowly returning to me, it's been helped along with the purchase of two DVDs.


So far I've only read through the first four issues but I've already found a sampler to add to my to-do list.  From autumn 1991 page 29.

As for my stitchy up-dates, well there's not much to see.  I've put in maybe 10 stitches into Day Six of TW's 12 Days of Christmas so there's not much of a difference to see.  But since I really should show something here's what little I've done with my biker's patch.  I've almost finished with the scissors.




Until the problems with my eyes get straighten out I'm going to have to leave off stitching on my over-one WIPS and I'll pull out my Musical Bell Pull and try and work on that.

Now for this month's WIPocalypse question.

Topic:  Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?

It seems I've only stitched two Christmas themed pieces in my life and nothing for Halloween.  I've never really been interested in stitching anything for these two holidays, so in a round about way I guess my answer would be a resounding no.

I hope I'll have more to show you in next month's WIPocalypse update.

Thanks for stopping by.

Totally Useless Tuesday...

Well here it is again my monthly TUSAL update.  Sorry to say I'm still on the look-out for my stitching Mojo, so no stitchery updates yet.  I am however keeping my hands busy winding plastic bobbins with my collection of 24 DMC Color Variations floss that I bought back in 2012. Maybe seeing the new colors will get me motivated to stitch again.

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Catching Up With WIPocalypse and Other Things

Seems I've been MIA around here for a couple of months or more. The last time I posted I was having problems with my back, finances, not finding any work, and my stitching Mojo taking a vacation to parts unknown.  Well nothings really changed except that last month I had cataract surgery on both eyes.  The left eye is fine but the right eye wasn't done properly and I still have astigmatism and secondary cataract issues that need to be dealt with.  So in the mean time I'm trying to stitch with 3X cheaters (Wal-Mart cheap $5.00 reading glasses) and a 36watt OTT Lite floor lamp that I bought from Jo-Ann Fabrics when they had a 50% off sale last month.

I also haven't been keeping up with reading all my favorite stitching blogs and I was saddened to find out from Linda of Linda K's Stitching Corner that a fellow stitcher and blogger Deborah Bryant (aka SoCal Debbie) passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Aug. 29th.  I always enjoyed reading her blog updates and seeing the progress she was making on all her WIPS.  She always found the time to post comments of encouragement on my blog and I on hers. Rest in peace Deb, I and the needlework blog community will miss you deeply.

Now to catch up on Measi's Stitch-Along monthly questions.

July 12 – Topic:  It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

I'm really not a holiday stitcher. I really haven't been interested in Christmas stuff, except of course to finish Teresa Wentzler's 12 days of Christmas that I started back in 2004 and is part of my WIPocalypse list projects.

August 10 – Topic:  Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.

Let's see, my oldest WIP is...

Name: Pegasus and Butterflies
Type: Crewel / Embroidery
Designer/Publisher: Linda k. Powell / Dimensions, Inc. © 1981

I don't have an exact starting date, but I can guess it must have been sometime around the summer of 1999.  As my first update picture is dated Oct. 26, 1999.  Here is my last updated picture on Jan. 27, 2007.

My newest WIP is a biker's patch for my leather vest that I designed myself.  I remember last year when Sharon (aka Daffycat of TUSAL fame) lamented that she couldn't find anything stitching related as a patch to put on her leather biker's vest.  I too ran into the same dilemma.  I wanted to show off my hobby on my vest but could find nothing.  Then I remembered a logo crest that I designed for an on-line stitcher's group on yahoo that is now abandoned.  I simply removed the group's name from the banners and shield, and Voila!!!
It was created with Adobe Illustrator back in 1998.  The picture was printed on Sulky - sticky fabri-solvy using my HP printer.  It's basically a self-adhesive, fabric like water soluble stabilizer.

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So far I've done the shield, spools of thread, and tomato pincushion; currently I'm working on the scissors.  I had an old piece of 14ct. ivory Aida that was in my fabric box so I used that along with DMC thread.

September 9 – Topic:  Who is your favorite person to stitch for, or do you prefer to keep your stitching yourself?

I really don't have a favorite person to stitch for.  My family members and relatives at one time or another have received wedding and birth announcements, anniversary stitching, and the occasional birthday stitching.  This usually meant that stitching for me got set aside for obligation stitching.  Well not anymore.  Now days I work on stitching for myself with a goal of someday finishing all the WIPs on my web site.

Before I end this blog post I'd like to welcome all my new followers and thank the old ones for still hanging around.  I may not have been blog commenting lately but I've tried my best to catch up reading them.

WIPocalypse For June - Full Moon Friday the 13th!!!

I know I've been MIA around here for the last few months.  My stitching Mojo left me and then I started having problems with my back, finances (i.e. Obama Care), and still no work.  So I just slid into a deep depression that only a prescription of anti-depressants could fix.  On the up swing, my depression is under control and I think it allowed my stitching mojo to come back. Although I'm not working on any of my WIPocalypse projects but something really small that I can handle.   You won't be seeing any update pictures as its a biker's patch for my leather vest that I designed myself.

I'll also be off line for the next four days as I'm in the middle of packing up everything again for yet another move.  The phone and internet hopefully should be back on by Monday evening  the 16th.

And now for this month's question.....

June 13 – Topic: Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!

Well I'm afraid I haven't been to either type. But from what I've read on other stitcher's blogs they sound wonderful.  And who knows maybe I might get to one someday.

May Wipocalypse

Sorry to say I haven't done any stitching for weeks now, guess I've reached my burn-out phase. To keep my hands and mind busy I've taken a try at knitting. I've found an easy finger-less glove pattern on the internet and this is my 3rd attempt at the pattern.

And now for this months Wipocalypse topic:

May 14 – Topic: What designs or themes do you really wish you could find? What do you think is missing among stitching designs? 

In a one word answer "None".  I've reached SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy) over ten years ago and I've forced myself to go "On the wagon" as it were and not buy any more charts or kits. There are a lot of designers out there that I admire but one in particular that I have always sought out - Teresa Wentzler. I have always loved her dragons and fantasy themed designs.

As far as something missing from stitching designs, well for me personally it's the level of detail in a design. I have never cared for cute-icy simplistic designs. If you're going to spend a large amount of money on fabric and framing - make sure the design is worth your time and cash. Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum. The computer generated charts from a photo or digital image that's 90 plus pages and has more confetti stitching and the odd random color squares than you could shake a stick at. Come on people the least you can do is clean up that kind of mess before you put it up for sale to the public. OK getting off the soap box now.

Thanks for stopping by and Hello to all my new followers!!!!

A Drive by Posting....

I didn't realize that yesterday was the first Sunday of the month and my weight In posting, and I missed it again.  So I figured I'd do a quick drive by posting as I pump my fist in the air saying "Woot" "Woot"!!!  I managed a whole 6 lbs. last month which drops the scale down to 216 lbs.

I also have a small bit of good news.  I finally have a job interview today.  It's only for a part-time night job but if y'all can cross yer fingers and send a little luck my way I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Update: 4:05pm::  Made it through the initial interview.  20 hours a week 11pm - 7:30am.  Here's hoping I hear back in a couple of days for the second interview round.  Yea!!!

Update: 10th Saturday  12:30pm::  I received a postcard in the mail saying sorry, we are unable to offer you a position at this time.  O well, that sucks big time.

TUSAL for April

It seems my stitching mojo took a walk-about two weeks ago and hasn't found it's way home yet.  So I have no additions for the beaker to show nor any stitchy update.  Hopefully I'll have something next month.

Until next time my friends.....

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April WIPocalypse Topic Question

First off I'm afraid I don't have any progress on "Day Six" of TW's 12 Days of Christmas.  Well not enough to matter with an update picture anyway.  So how about I show you something else....

April 15 – Topic:  How do you keep your stash organized?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so instead of explaining everything here are three  pictures from back in April of 2012 when I was living in an apartment. As you can see I'm a bit of a pack rat when it comes to needlework stash.  The only thing I don't have pictures for are the four green file folder boxes full of fabric for stitching, and pre-finished items to stitch like tablecloths, table runners, kitchen towels, pot holders, etc.

Click for a larger picture to read the print.
Click for a larger picture to read the print.

Click for larger picture to read print.

All the items you see in these pictures are all packed up and in storage except for some of the bobben'ed DMC thread and the nine WIPs listed on the side menu of my blog.

Thanks For Stopping by....