Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Maggie the Messmaker update

I've been working on this for the last few days. This was a UFO for a long time, but it's my next targeted WIP for finishing (though I'll work on other pieces here and there).

Here's my last pic and how it will eventually look.

I've decided to start Teresa Wentzler's Castle Sampler. The Wagon is having a stitch-along, and since I finished my last TW, I need a new one! I've had the kit for this for a long time, so I think it's due for a start. I'm looking at some hospital time, so the border would be perfect for some easy stitching without having to continuously look at the chart.

Halloween exchange revealed

Back to it then! Monday Carol emailed me that she had received her Halloween exchange pieces for the SBEBB. Apparently she really liked them! I had so much fun doing this. I could have gone even more nuts, but I don't want these people to think I'm crazy. ;-)

I stitched Spooky Time! pinkeep, Spooky Time wallhanging, and Boo Pumpkin ornament. You can check the links for the specs. I also sent her a bunch of Halloween stuff (and also Jeannette Douglas' Acorn Stitches, very drool worthy). I love the little witch's hat trinket box I found on eBay. I considered getting one for myself. ;-)

The pinkeep was my first, and it took me a while to figure out how to get it that thick. I glued several layers of batting together to get it thick enough that the ribbon would fit. I usually prefer to stitch pieces if I can, but I wound up having to glue the ribbon on. I carefully placed glue on the edge of the piece and put the ribbon on. I didn't want the glue to soak through the ribbon and get it all stiff, so I had to be careful not to use too much Aleene's.

I was very pleased at how everything turned out. I even sewed the wallhanging myself, rather than get my mom to do it (lol). It was a small one, so it was a good one for me to do.

On the way back from the hospital yesterday, we stopped by the LNS, and I picked up the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. Yes, I was staggering and had hospital bracelets and bandages on, and I still went in! They were out of the preview issue, but the owner is going to get more in and send me a copy as a baby present. How sweet! I love looking through the magazine, but honestly I don't think there are any I'm going to stitch. I have a bunch of finished ornaments, and it's always difficult to display them for Christmas. I have glass ornaments for the tree.

I'm feeling OK: I actually slept most of the night. I thought for sure I'd hear the baby's heartbeat in my sleep after 11 hours of the fetal monitor yesterday. My back isn't hurting as badly, though I'm sure it will get worse during the day. Even though we got no baby yesterday, I was so happy to get home and have some supper. You could hear my stomach growling on the fetal monitor. I had two of Matt's wonderful grilled burgers, and he even let me have some M&Ms. (He brought a pound bag to the hospital, which I had requested as my reward for giving birth. I figured I deserved a little chocolate for the good effort.) So now Matt has to go back to work. My mom's here for two weeks, baby or no. It just means she'll have less time with her grandson, which is a bummer. At least she can help me get through this week, which will probably be kind of rough on my body. It was so good having both Matt and my mom there to help me through yesterday. I'm so lucky. I'd go on, but then I'd have to start crying.

Sci-fi: We've been watching Torchwood, a spin-off of Doctor Who. I must say, the last episode was rather adult. You'd never see that kind of thing on Doctor Who. I had to remind myself that I wasn't actually watching Doctor Who. All in all, I think I like the original much better, but I'll keep watching.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No luck

The doctor induced labor, but we had no luck. I was there from 6 a.m. to about 5 p.m. They gave me pitocin, and I went through mild contractions, but my cervix never changed. My back was the worst part. It hurt like hell no matter how I lay. Even the nurse checking my cervix twice and the IV (and one failed try) didn't bother me as much. The doctor gave me a prescription for meds for the back pain (apparently it's only for a few days so should be safe), and I'm going to see about a chiropractor tomorrow.

We're going to try again next Tuesday. Ugh. I'm exhausted!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Off to the hospital tomorrow

This is my last post before we go off to the hospital tomorrow to have the baby. I'm scared, but I'm so ready to have this baby. I can barely move because my back hurts so bad. When next I post, we should have a little boy safely at home. :-D

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Birth sampler HD

This one's not for's for a friend that just had a baby. I hope she likes it. I need to bring it in to be framed...not sure when, though. The chart is called Baby's Keepsake Treasures and Birth Sampler by Patricia Ann Designs. Click the pic; Blogger doesn't like my scanner pics. All of those white stitches are smyrna crosses or rhodes stitches.

I didn't plan to finish this one this soon, but I'm getting bored. My sciatica is flaring up, and there's so little I can do at this point.

Baby update: Mom arrived yesterday. We're still scheduled for the induced labor Tuesday. I went in to the doctor Friday. He did a stress test again, and the baby was sound asleep (they want to check his heartbeat when he moves). After half an hour flat on my back, I told them I'd had enough. My back was killing me. Then the doctor had to check my cervix, which entailed him feeling inside and pushing down on my belly. I couldn't help but cry out because it was pure agony. I'm especially sensitive in that area. He couldn't tell how my cervix was doing, but we're still going to try induction. It may or may not work. Great. He then did an ultrasound to see how big the baby is, and he said 7 pounds, but the estimate is very rough. Fortunately Matt had come with me to the appointment and helped calm me down and get me back into the truck. I'm trying not to think about labor and get myself all worked up again. Every time the doctor hurts me, he asks if I'm getting an epidural. Duh!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Horrified HD

I was going to save this one for later, but I just couldn't resist. It's been sitting on my desk, and I've been looking at it....

I'm also working on a baby announcement for the friend that just had a baby. It uses mostly perle cotton to make smyrna crosses, so it's taking a while. It's not nearly as simple as I thought when I saw the pattern online. Still, it will be very pretty when done.

I haven't stitched a baby announcement for myself. Not sure why.

Becky asked if I could have stitched the cording on Porcelain Nosegay. The cording has to be attached to both the piece and the frame to hold it firmly in place. Double-stick tape holds the piece in the frame, but the edges flop a little. And to stitch the cording to the frame would probably cause the satin to run. Good thought, though, Becky! :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Porcelain Nosegay framed

I framed this piece today. I had bought one of the Just Nan Easy Easel kits and wanted to try it out. If I had known that I'd have to glue the cording to the piece, I probably wouldn't have bothered. At least this was a small piece that would be easy to restitch if I had to, and I don't have to spend a ton getting it framed.

Baby stuff: Matt's family gave us a nice baby shower last night. It was good seeing them again. The baby kicked a lot and very violently while we were there. I guess he's not used to hearing that many voices!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Angel Procession HD

The beading didn't take as long as I had feared. I had exactly the right number of beads. I had to actually search the floor for the last one because I inevitably spill beads. Be sure to click on the pic--the real pic is large but gives more detail.

Matt pointed out that I started this one the month we met, five years ago. Wow! I guess he distracted me. ;-)

Time to take inventory:

HAED Eternal Promise
Magnificent Wizard
Maggie the Messmaker
Rose and Butterfly Quilt
A Fish Tale

Angel of Summer (for mom)

TW Castle Sampler
Chatelaine Convent's Herbal Garden
TW Futurecast
Lady Scarlet box

Things I finished since my last look (August 1):
The Awakening
Angel Procession
Winter Stitches
Halloween exchange
Harvest exchange
Porcelain Nosegay
Thoughts of Mom
Holly Band ornament
Poor Jack
12 Days of Christmas (bellpull finishing)

Poor Jack HD

Here's a little Just Nan Whimzi I stitched last night while we watched Doctor Who and Thin Blue Line (British comedy). This was a freebie I found online somewhere. I think I managed to align this one better than others. Rather than moving the iron over the interfacing, I just sort of stamped it down. Like the instructions say, duh.

I also have Horrified to stitch at some point. I'll keep that one to mix in with larger projects. These small projects are nice little rewards.

I started working on the beading of Angel Procession, and it's going pretty quickly. I might even finish today.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Angel Procession HD except for beads

Hurray, I finally finished this monster! I began it in 2002, and it was a UFO for a long time. I hated the lazy daisy stitches, and DH got to hear me complain about them while I finished the border. Also, I did this one on 32-count Graziano Very Vintage from Color Blooms. I think this was too small a count for the way I generally do my quarter stitches--one is a 1/4 stitch, and the one next to it is a 3/4 stitch. I probably should have made them both 1/4 stitches for this count. This piece, more than most Teresa Wentzlers, has tons of quarter stitches. The chart is also hand drawn (at least the original one was), which made it very hard to follow. Plus I fell out of love with the design. I'm not much for angels. And these...did they get dressed in the dark?

So is that enough reason for this to be a UFO? ;-) I am very glad it's done, and I think it looks pretty good. I'll work on a small Just Nan before I move on to beading. I'm not a big fan of beading, and the border is full of it.

That's one of my three UFOs done this year! I suspect that's the only one that will get done. The other two UFOs are Dimensions pieces, which is a whole other rant.

My poor husband: Matt got a really bad sunburn on his face last Friday. His forehead peeled, and his face got really swollen, especially around his eyes. The doctor gave him some goop to apply topically and some steroids for the swelling. He missed a few days of work because he was having trouble seeing with all the swelling around his eyes. I wish we had thought to have him bring a hat. He did use some SPF 40 sunscreen, but I suspect he sweated it all off.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Holly Band HD and bellpull finish

Two things to show off today... The first is the ornament I have been working on here and there. It's Holly Band ornament, a freebie from Jean Farish's website. It has three panels stitched together, and I did it on a white opalescent fabric I had leftover. I had seen a pic on someone's blog somewhere...and I thought it was the most beautiful ornament. I wish I'd had some better ribbon, but I wasn't up to waiting. Thus my quest for more ribbon and cording stash!

I also finished off the bellpull of my Just Nan round robin piece. My mom stitched the bellpull during one of her previous trips, and I needed Matt to work on the homemade bellpull hardware for me. My mom found the fabric in just the right color. It has wisemen on it, but the pattern isn't overwhelming. I may wind up hand quilting around the opening so it sits a little better.

And now onto TW's Angel Procession. I'm not keen to work on it right now, but I am keen to finish it!

Friend stuff: My best friend from high school called me last night, and I was thrilled! I had lost contact with her a few years ago. She went to our class reunion a week ago, so she had to update me. I couldn't go, of course, because I'm pregnant. I never really got along with my classmates (much angst during my teenage years), but it would have been nice to have seen how people turned out.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Terri's HAED RR

I received Terri's round robin piece early and got it done just in time. This is the dragon from Reone Silver Dragon by Linda Tso. Again, click on the pic for a better image. And this completes the HAED RRs I'm stitching on!

I had worried that the dragon wouldn't show up at all, but I'm satisfied with it. I would have liked a little more definition, but the original artwork is like this too. This is one of my favorite dragons.

I woke at 3 a.m., and after dreaming about stitching on the piece, I gave up and did just that. Not only am I sleeping at all odd hours of the day, the cat decides to howl at about 4 a.m. every morning. I don't know what his deal is. He gets his food from the dispenser, so he's not howling for food. Attention maybe? Whatever it is, he's driving us up the wall.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Good news about the black spots

I think the black spots all came out of The Awakening. I haven't found any so far, and the ones on the unstitched fabric are mostly out, except for a very few faint spots. I'll probably take a magnifier to it so that I don't find spots after I have it framed. I have been almost afraid to look at the piece but finally did this morning. I am so relieved, I can't tell you.

The bad news is that my current magnifier is starting to shed black dust as well. I know I move my gooseneck magnifier a lot, especially during confetti, but surely I'm not the only one! The Daylight company said they had never gotten a complaint, and then I never heard anything else. I'm going to have to take a photo and send it to them. I also never heard back from the Gripit people (the screw hole was definitely corroded on my clamp) or received my order for the new clamp. Sigh. The new magnifier has already fallen off my cheap backup stand and chipped in three little places.

Anyway...I have to say thank you to all the people who have commented on my finish! I am very excited about it, and I'm glad I can share that with you guys. The support I receive online keeps me stitching (not to mention Matt's support--I'm so lucky).

I'm about halfway through my HAED RR stitching, and I hope to finish it this weekend. I'm also almost done with a little ornament, which I've decided to keep. Pics soon!

I recently bought a pair of Gingher Julia shears, which I just love. It was one of those items I had asked my LNS to order and never got. When I read about Mike and Carol's eBay store and I saw the shears, I had to have them! A reasonable price and fast shipping--what's not to love? The shears match my smaller scissors I use for my stitching. I gave my mom my pair of Sophia shears. Since she's a quilter, I know she'll get some use out of them (and all I used them for was to cut my cross stitch fabric, so they're in good shape).

Baby stuff: The doctor's appointment went fine yesterday. He wants to start seeing me twice a week now and do a stress test each time. It's so painful lying on my back for 15+ minutes, and the baby kicks like crazy during it. He even kicked the nurse when she was putting the monitor on my belly. But at least he's doing well!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Awakening HD

Here's my biggest happy dance ever! I put in the last stitch a minute ago. It took me a year and a half and 196,350 stitches.

Asa is the one who first posted about this pattern on a bulletin board and got me hooked on HAEDs. I owe her!

So now my girl is due for a long bath in Orvus. I'm hoping the black marks will come out. If not, I will have to rip out those stitches, one by one, figure out the color, and restitch. I'm really hoping that won't be necessary. Then I want to get her professionally framed, though I haven't figured out mats or anything, and I'll be a little nervous about parting with her.

I have Eternal Promise as a WIP, and I may start Pearl Princess. For the near future, however, I'm going to work on the HAED RR and Teresa Wentzler's Angel Procession.


The Awakening Page 42

Another page done. I just have a very small page left to do, which I think I can finish today. But first, a nap!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Awakening Page 47

Another page down. I finished this page last night while we watched Night at the Museum (a sweet, fun movie).

Mom left for home this morning. We had a nice visit, and I miss her already of course. Three more weeks and I'll see her when the baby is delivered!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Awakening Page 41

Here is the last full page! I just have three partial pages left.

I received the last installment of the HAED round robins the other day. So now I'm torn--finish The Awakening or get the RR done. I'm going to try to do both before the baby arrives.

Mom's pillow

Mom is visiting for the long Labor Day weekend, so I was able to give her the little present I had made for her a while back. This is Thoughts of Mom by Pine Mountain Designs. I bought the pillow and kit at a stitching retreat several months back. I changed the pattern to add "granny."

Mom will also help me with the finishing of my Harvest exchange piece. Convenient timing! :-)

Baby stuff: Mom's friends had a baby shower for her, so I received the presents today. I'm overwhelmed! I do have more newborn clothes than I need, so some things may get returned for larger sizes.

Rant: Apparently if an item is over $25 and you don't have a receipt, Target won't even give you store credit. And if a gift was ordered online, you have to mail it back, not return it to the store. What a major pain! I'm going to have to rethink shopping there.