Tuesday, December 30, 2008

“Chimney Santa” by Heartstring Designs -- December 30, 2008

I’m very pleased that I’ve finished stitching the design on my Heartstrings “Chimney Santa”!


When you purchase a Heartstrings design, Pat Thode includes a stitch guide with lots of fun stitch and thread suggestions. This was a fun stitch and I stitched it pretty much as suggested by Pat.

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do for the background stitching. I’ll put it aside for now while I consider my different options.

The PC is finally back up and running so I’ll be able to post more in the next few days. Thank goodness! I’m way behind on my blog reading. :-)

Enjoy!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Technical Difficulties in Windy Meadow - Please Stand By!

We are currently having computer technical problems in Windy Meadow.  

Actually, we've been having computer technical difficulties since before Christmas.  Sigh...

Dear Husband decided that the main computer needed to go in for service.  Well, that's been one adventure after another.  They started working on it before Christmas and due to construction next door, they lost power for hours.  Sigh.  

Then it was time for the Holidays so everyone went home for the day, especially since they still didn't have power.  They finished everything they needed to do yesterday, but the new hard drive had not arrived.  DH went over today to pick it up so it can be used until the new hard drive arrives.  Guess what won't connect to the internet today?  Yep, the main computer.  We are now all sharing the laptops and I'm on the Apple which I usually don't use.  Right now, DH is NOT a happy camper. 

I'm slowly catching up on everyone's blogs and I've been enjoying reading about everyone's Holiday's and/or your current stitching projects.  I'll catch up with comments soon.  :-)

I've been stitching and I have lot's of pictures of stitching projects, stitching gifts, previously stitched projects, and Christmas trees to share with everyone.  The pictures will have to wait until the main PC is back up and running as I don't want to load them here and then have to move them later.

In the meanwhile, I hope everyone is having fun, spending lot's of time with family, received lot's of stitching goodies, and that you are finding time to relax with your stitching!

Back to stitching and having fun with the family.

See ya soon!!!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!




Merry Christmas!



Twas the night before Christmas, and, oh, I was weary.
My stitching unfinished, my eyes getting bleary.
The stockings weren't finished, the chimney was bare.
And I knew that morning soon would be there.

My children and husband were tucked in their beds,
But visions of backstitches ran through my head.
I'd stitched ornaments and presents and gifts by the ton,
And now, I was finally, almost, almost done.

As I poised my needle for one more backstitch,
I heard something outside that made my hand twitch.
I jumped up from my stitching, and flew to the door,
Pressed my eye to the peephole, tip-toed off the floor.

My stitching forgotten, I peered into the night.
When suddenly, I got a terrible fright.
On my porch appeared Santa, holding his sack.
He knocked softly, and I took a giant step back.

I unlocked the deadbolt, and let Santa in,
He entered and gave a mischievous grin.
"Hope you don't mind if I come in the door?"
"Coming down the chimney can be quite a chore."

He said, "You're up late. Still working I see."
"Do you know how tired you're going to be?"
"I know, Santa," I said, with a sigh,
"But I'm still backstitching the 
stars in the sky,"

"And the fields on that stocking look blobby you know,
I need to backstitch the drifts in the snow.
I've been stitching and stitching and stitching, no rest.
I just tried to finish stitching too much, I guess."

"I know what you mean," he said with a smile.
"This is my busiest time of the year, by a mile."
He stooped down by the tree, and he opened his sack,
And began to pull presents out of his pack.

"I've got some things here I think you might like,
An oak stitching frame, and a brand new Ott-Light.
A bundle of floss, and a great big mat cutter,"
I smiled and felt my heart go a-flutter.

He put down gifts for us all, then he waved his right hand.
"Go to bed," he said, glancing at my floor stand.
He gave me a wink, and stepped out the door.
I just stood there a moment, glued to the floor.

After he'd left, I turned back to my chair,
Picked up the stockings, and started to stare.
The backstitching was done! The stars lit the sky!
And on my son's stocking angels sung on high.

I ran to thank Santa for this final gift,
And watched as his sleigh started to lift.
I heard him exclaim as he pulled out of sight,
"Merry stitching to all, and to all a good night!"

Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

“Cats & Bats and a Pumpkin!” -- December 17, 2008

A while ago…

Actually it was in October of 2008, that Laura of Laura J. Perin Designs posted a free design, “Cats & Bats” on her website. Of course I decided that I needed to stitch this new design, and I was determined to have it done by Thanksgiving.

I rummaged through the stash (we will not mention here that I was distracted for several hours). I finally selected some lovely black canvas to use. Eventually I found my DMC #5 perle cotton (more updates on the stash reorganizing adventure soon) and I was stitching away.

The border worked up very quickly and then I ran into my stumbling block. Why oh why did I use black canvas???

Because I thought it was a good idea at the time she says while thumping herself on her forehead.

You see, Laura’s two center elements for this design are a black cat or a black bat. Please note that these will not show up very well on black canvas. No, I am not yelling, just speaking with lot’s of emphasis. Sigh…

So here I sat, looking at my canvas, going “now what” as I put on my thinking cap or should that be a sorting hat? Do I stitch a purple cat or a purple bat, how about adding a sparkly thread to the black DMC #5, or should I design my own element for the center. Hmmm… all of these have possibilities.

I then decided to visit my local large box craft store and my local LNS to see what type of buttons or other fun objects would go in the center. No, I wasn’t looking for excuses for another shopping trip! Please don’t notice the crossed fingers behind my back… After lots of stash enhancement, I had a nice collection of possibilities.

About this time, I decided to catch up on my blog reading and talk about perfect timing! Laura had just updated her blog with the
“Border Bits” entry, which had another sample of the stitched chart with a pumpkin in the center! I was excited that the orange pumpkin would work with my border on would show up on the black canvas. As you can see below, the pumpkin worked out beautifully!



Oh, you asked what I’m going to do with all of the buttons and things I picked up as possibilities? Well, I like some of them so much I’m planning on stitching up a few more “Cats & Bats” ornaments. This time I’ll be using ecru and lavender/purple canvas and maybe another one on black. I’m still intrigued with the idea of a purple bat and cat. So yes, they will eventually be used.

Laura’s blog is the
“Two-Handed Stitcher” which I highly recommend!

Glad you stopped by!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Monday, December 15, 2008

“Snow Cone Santa” -- December 15, 2008

Janet Zickler Casey’s “Snow Cone Santa” is being offered through the Shining Needle Society. As you know, I love Janet’s designs and had to add this one to my collection. :-)

Since this is offered as a class through the Shining Needle Society, I was determined to keep up with the class lessons for this Santa!

Well, I started off great as you can see by the picture below. I was able to quickly stitch Santa’s face. I took a picture at this point and started working on the next steps which are his beard and his hat.

I took pictures of our Santa (note the picture above) and several other progress pictures of my other projects to share with you, my dear readers. That’s when I ran into my “challenge”.

My dear daughter left last week to volunteer at a school run outdoor school for sixth graders. She was one of the counselors and she would be away for the whole week. This past Sunday she was having troubles getting her camera to work. Of course, like any other doting mother, I told her she could take my camera if she couldn’t get hers to work. Please note, that I said this while busy with other activities and while forgetting all of the recent lovely pictures that I had taken that weekend. So off goes dear daughter to camp… with my camera. I then drove myself nuts for several minutes trying to find the camera to upload pictures before I remembered that she probably had it up at camp. Sigh…

I think dear daughter will be getting a new camera soon that works!

Both dear daughter and camera have safely returned from camp. The camera was fine but did I hear stories of weather as we had over an inch plus of rain in about 36 hours last week.

I will now be able to share my recent (okay, I know, they are over a week old), pictures with everyone.

Glad to see that you all enjoyed “Merry”.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“Merry” -- November 25, 2008

“Merry” was put in my travel bag in mid-October, 2008. I have all of the kits in this series and I’m enjoying working on them!

“Merry” worked up quickly. As you can see, the cross stitches have been completed. I’ll pick it back up again one evening at home to stitch on all of the beads as beads don’t travel well!



“Frosty” has been put into my travel bag and I’m making great progress so you’ll be seeing him soon!

During my reorganization efforts, I found lot’s of Mill Hill kits that I’ve stitched but that I’ve never finished into ornaments or pins. I’m planning on having a finishing party sometime after the Holiday’s. It’s easier to finish a bunch at one time then to do them individually. :-)

Have fun visiting with “Merry”!

I’ve enjoyed reading the different comments about the Bargello Monthly club. The fun thing with this club is that these are small ornaments. And unlike food they don’t spoil so if you can’t stitch a project during the month it’s released, it’s still good later! And please don’t look in that container over there where I have all of my monthly club canvases/kits. Yes, I’ll get to them! And, no I don’t feel a bit guilty! :-)

If I remember correctly, the kit prices ranged from $6.00 to slightly less than $20.00 per month.

Glad to enable those who have decided to look into the club!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Saturday, November 22, 2008

“Stars in the Sky” -- November 22, 2008

I’ve finished the May, 2008 Canvas of the Month club. This one is by Margaret Bendig and is offered by the Rainbow Gallery.

I enjoyed stitching this design and it worked up very quickly. I added two additional rows of basketweave using the Old Gold for finishing.


I’ve had several questions about the Canvas of the Month projects. These were offered by The Stitching Post which is located in Catonsville, Maryland. They will be offering a Bargello Christmas Ornament Club again next year. This time you will be able to choose between 18 count canvas or 18 count linen. You can read about the club in their quarterly newsletter at;

http://www.the-stitching-post.com/documents/Newsletter-December2008.pdf

I’ll be signing up for the 2009 club but I need to get the rest of this year’s ornaments done. On to June’s ornament!!!


Comments, Questions, and Answers:

Pierrette,
Since I usually do rotation stitching, the Heartstrings “Chimney Santa” will probably not be finished by the Holidays. He’s actually not that little. He’s apx. 5” by 7” and that doesn’t include the background. Though I might decide to pull him back out again soon! :-)

Thanks for stopping by and I enjoy reading everyone’s comments!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Sunday, November 16, 2008

“Heartstrings Chimney Santa” -- November 16, 2008

I’ve been able to make some progress on my Heartstrings Chimney Santa!

When you last saw him, I had finished the face and was working on his coat. I was able to finish his coat and the fur on his coat last week! I’m planning on stitching his mittens, stocking, tree, and the star during his turn in the rotation.




Pat writes great stitch guides and even though I’m comfortable choosing my own stitches for painted canvases I usually follow her stitch guides.

The main reason that I make changes to a stitch guide is that I like full stitch coverage on my canvases. Now, before you all comment that lighter stitch coverage is perfectly acceptable and that it allows the painting to show through let me add that this is a personal preference and that I prefer to cover most of the canvas. And, yes, I’ve tried lighter stitches but I just don’t like them. :-)

I’ve modified my rotation a little bit as I’ve been playing with different options during the last few months. I’ve already discussed that rotating based on a set time doesn’t work as I can’t sit down for an hour at a time. What I’ve found that is really working is to stitch a section or sections on a project when its turn comes up in the rotation. During another post I’ll share with you how many projects I actually have in my rotation. It’s quite a few! LOL!!!

A quick note about the Mill Hill kits as I’ve been receiving some questions. For those who are interested in these kits and who have not tried them before, they are very well written and are a quick and easy stitch. The line is now carried by Wichelt Imports, Inc. To find a retailer near you, visit the Mill Hill site at;
http://www.millhill.com/

I’ve been stitching and collecting the Mill Hill kits for many years. When the Holiday decorations come out of storage again, I’ll share my finished pieces with everyone!

Madonna,
The stitch on the cuff of the “Peppermint Stripes” stocking was called Woven Ribbons. I’m not sure if it’s in Father B’s stitch book as right now my copy is deep in the reorganizing pile!

Beth,
Yes, I love the Mill Hill kits and I’ll be sharing a picture of “Merry” soon!

Jane,
Yes, the “Moonlight Ghost” is a Mill Hill kit. If you can’t find them locally, you can view the line at the Mill Hill link above.

Judy,
Thanks for letting me know about the new pens and your high tech testing methods! If they don’t run after all of the things that you have tried, they should be safe! :-)

Thanks for all of your comments and emails and for stopping by and visiting my blog!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Thursday, November 13, 2008

“Moonlight Ghost” -- November 13, 2008

I started Moonlight Ghost in the summer as I was going to stitch him as a travel project. I spend a lot of time waiting for our children at different events and I like to have at least two to three small projects in my tote bag for those moments. I had added Moonlight Ghost to my travel bag but I quickly found out that he was not a good travel project. I’m usually stitching in low light conditions and since he’s stitched on black perforated paper well, this was just not working! :-(


Ghostie was quickly promoted from a travel bag project to a table project. I finally had a chance to pick him back up last week and I was able to quickly finish all of his cross stitches. Beth, I didn’t forget him!

The next time that you see him, he’ll be beaded as doesn’t every ghost need a little bling? :-)

Have fun visiting with Moonlight Ghost!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

“Boo and Stash Enhancement” -- November 11, 2008

I belong to several ANG Chapters including the San Bernardino Chapter.

I’m a long distance member and they are very supportive of those who can not attend meetings. They offer many different programs, classes and projects through out the year and many of these are open to their long distance members who are referred to as “Ghosts” for the classes. Very appropriate for this post! :-)

They recently offered several classes and projects by Janet Zickler Casey. Since I enjoy stitching her designs, I ordered several;

“Boo!”

“Trick or Treat” A Spooky House”

“Along Came a Spider”
No picture available.

They all arrived at my house in time for Halloween. I wanted to add one to my rotation so I finally decided on “Boo!”. I quickly put "Boo!" on stretcher bars and began stitching. I decided that I would stitch Boo’s eyes and mouth during this rotation. The eyes worked up quickly though it took me several try’s to get the outline of the month just so. Okay, I’m picky! :-)

My teenagers did not trick or treat this year so they were taking turn’s answering the door. This has been my job for many years as I enjoy seeing all of the children’s costumes while DH would take our children around the neighborhood!

We decorate the outside of the house and play fun spooky music out through an open window. The inside of the house by the front door was dark except for my stitching light. I was sitting by the light quietly stitching until we heard someone coming up the walk. I would quickly turn out the light as one of the kids answered the door so the inside of the house would be dark. Since my kids were now the “official” door answerers, I had to peek around the corner to see the children in their costumes. Once we were done, I would return to my stitching corner and turn back on my light.

This was lots of fun and what made it even more fun was that the white portion of the eyes and the center of Boo’s mouth were stitched with Kreinik glow in the dark threads. Yep, they really glow! We thoroughly tested them that night!

Enjoy my start on “Boo!”

I hope you had a fun Halloween or at least had some great candy!!!

Glad you could visit! :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Monday, October 20, 2008

“A Tale of Two Finishes” -- October 21, 2008

I’ve been able to finish all of the stitching on two of my current projects.

Two Happy Dances!

The first one is “Santa” by Cheryl Schaeffer. This was the project for the July, 2004 Canvas of the Month Club from the Stitching Post in Catonsville, Maryland.

When we last left this project… I had admitted to some reading confusion where we learned that I had misread the pattern and I had mixed up the Alabaster and the Fancy Fur threads. Sigh…

I was able to easily pick up more of the Alabaster but I had to order the Fancy Fur from my N-LNS (not local needlework store). Once the Fancy Fur arrived it took several weeks before I could put this project back on the table but now it’s done!

The pompom was stitched with alternating Tent and French Knot stitches. I’m pleased with how it has turned out!

The second finish was the “Peppermint Stripes” stocking by Joan Lohr. This project was the April, 2008 Canvas of the Month Club from the Stitching Post in Catonsville, Maryland. It’s been a while since you last saw this project as it took quite a while to stitch the body of the stocking. The silver and red vertical stripes worked up very quickly. The green stripe is done with the Fern stitch which takes a little longer as I have to carefully lay all of the threads. It’s worth the time and effort as it’s very pretty when it’s done.



I outlined each project with two rows of Basketweave using Splendor S802. This will help with the finishing.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest finishes. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

“Blog Redesign & Comments, Questions and Answers” -- October 20, 2008

Thanks for all of the positive comments about the blog redesign! It took quite a while to do but I’m glad it’s done as it will be easier for me to update the sections on the right. I was also able to take a picture of fall at Windy Meadow this past Sunday. The leaves are starting are getting quite colorful! We are going to be having high winds tomorrow into Wednesday so I’m not sure what will be left to turn brighter colors over the next week or so. If it does get more colorful, I’ll take another picture to share with everyone. In the meanwhile, Enjoy Fall at Windy Meadow!

I received several great comments and emails about the Shenandoah Valley Chapter’s “Stitching for the Cure” event which will be held Saturday, November 22, 2008 at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, VA. Don’t’ forget that even if you can’t attend the event, you can order the pattern and have it sent to you!


I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s comments on my recent posts so I thought it would be time for another episode of “Comments, Questions, and Answers”!

Helen:
You are making a wonderful contribution by volunteering to be part of a control group for Ovarian Cancer! With the help of you and many others, hopefully they will quickly find a screening test for this awful disease.

Becky:
Please share with us pictures and information about the EGA workshop with Pat Thode in November. I’d love to hear all about it! Will you be stitching
“Gillian” HS2123? I have her in my stash!

Beth:
North Star Santa was finished by a professional finisher through my not so local needlework shop! I usually send my completed items out for finishing as I rather spend the time stitching. Though there are a few things that I will finish myself. Hmmm... I'll have to create a post with some finishing ideas/instructions. :-)

I’ve been able to finish two projects in the last several weeks and I have two more new starts. More info with pictures tomorrow! :-)

I do enjoy reading everyone’s comments! Knowing that you are visiting and commenting on my blog leaves me with a big grin on my face!

Thanks for visiting!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Friday, October 10, 2008

“Blog Redesign” -- October 10, 2008

I’ve been spending some time redesigning my blog.

I’ve put a summer picture of Windy Meadow at the top. The leaves are beginning to turn and I’ll put up a new picture once they are bright and colorful.

I’ve also spent some time redoing the lists on the right. I haven’t liked how I originally posted my 2008 projects so after some research and effort I’ve posted a new list using a different format. I think this helps so that you (and me) can see what I’m working on and what I’ve finished. I’ve also added links to the names of the projects so you can see the projects if they are available online. I’ve also added a date stamp on the bottom so that you can see when I last updated the list.

Let me know what you think about the new look! :-)

I plan on adding my completed 2007 projects soon to the lists on the right. This will be more for my benefit so that I can see what I’ve finished! LOL!

Did you notice that I finished another 2008 project? Yep, it’s the “Santa” canvas by Cheryl Schaeffer for Rainbow Gallery. This was the July, 2004 Canvas of the Month Club which was offered by The Stitching Post in Catonsville, Maryland.

I’m also real close (and I mean really close) to finishing the “Peppermint Stripes” stocking by Joan Lohr for Rainbow Gallery. This was the April, 2008 Canvas of the Month Club which was offered by The Stitching Post in Catonsville, Maryland. I’m planning on finishing this project this weekend so I’ll have two new pictures for you!

I was planning on posting some new pictures this past weekend but DD went off to the Renaissance Festival with my camera! I also worked on Sunday so I didn’t have a lot of time to take and post pictures. I’ll have pictures this weekend, especially since I’ll be off on Monday and I plan on spending the whole day stitching as the kids will be at school. Wahoo!!! Mommy play day! :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“Freebies, etc.!” Blog -- October 8, 2008

Needlepoint designer, Judy Harper, has started a new blog called, “Freebies, etc.!” She plans on sharing patterns and tutorials that she has developed over the years.

She’s already posted several examples and designs already.

http://needle-crafts.blogspot.com/

Have fun! :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Friday, September 26, 2008

“Stitch for the Cure” -- September 26, 2008

The Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild has announced their third annual “Stitch for the Cure” event which will be held Saturday, November 22, 2008 at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, VA.

For the last two years, the Shenandoah Valley Chapter has worked with a national known needlepoint designer to create a new design which is first offered at the “Stitch for the Cure” event. The 2007 project was “Abigail” which was designed by Ro Pace. The 2006 project was “”Celebration” which was designed by Sue Reed.

This year’s project, “Gibor”, was designed by Orna Willis and is available in several different color options.

You can read all of the details for the 2008 “Stitch for the Cure” event at;
http://www.scribd.com/doc/6136943/Stitch-for-the-Cure

The “Needlepoint Now” magazine published an article on the “Stitch for the Cure” event in the July/August 2008 issue. You can see this issue at;
http://www.needlepointnow.com/Magazines/2008-07/Magazine.htm

Not only do you spend the day stitching, you do so in the Virginia Quilt Museum which is located in the historic Warren/Sipe House in Harrisonburg, VA. You can also register to have lunch at Mrs. Hardesty’s Tea Room. My daughter and I stopped in for lunch this past summer at Mrs. Hardesty’s Tea Room and we had a lovely time enjoying the food, the tea, and each other’s company!

The article mentioned that the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of ANG is already planning their future “Stitch for the Cure” events as follows;

2009 – Susan Kerndt
2010 – Kathleen “Charly” Brennan
2011 – Carole Lake
2012 – Gay Ann Rogers

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this year’s event but I hope to attend in 2009!

If you attended in the past, please comment and let us know how much you enjoyed the “Stitch for the Cure” event. I would also like to hear from anyone who attends this year’s!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting! :-)
Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Summer Crossing 2008 -- September 11, 2008

Summer Crossing is an older Girl Scout weekend event that is held right before school starts at the end of August. The girls range in age from entering seventh grade (apx. 12) to girls entering 12 grade (apx. 17). We all go up to a local parks and recreations camping facility and have a fun filled weekend that is just for the older scouts. The intent is to have a lot of fun and to get them excited about Girl Scouts for the next school year.

I’ve been volunteering for several years and I'm in charge of the Needlework area. Now being in charge means I have lot's of responsibilities... Yep... I'm the one who takes roll! :-)

This year there were two of us who had volunteered. Janet was teaching huck weaving and knitting. I was teaching cross stitch and embroidery. Both Janet and I have volunteered for many years and each year we try to offer different options for the girls though knitting and cross stitch are offered every year. We teach five sessions on Saturday and each session is one hour and fifteen minutes.

This year we were expecting a good turn out for the needlework area but the weather was gorgeous so several of the girls decided they wanted to do some of the outside activities. Usually in August it is very hot and humid so the cooler, dryer temperatures were unusual. The girls sign up before the event for the different activities but once they arrive they are allowed to change their activities as long as there is room in that particular session. We still had a respectable turnout but the other options were geo-caching, low ropes, archery, swimming, computers, leather, etc. So with that for competition I think we were doing pretty good that we still had a lot of the girls join us at for needlework!

We encourage the scouts who sign up for needlework to try an activity that they don't already know how to do or that they don't have someone in their family or circle of friends who can teach them. For every session throughout the day, Pat and I may both be teaching or only one of us may be teaching. It just depends on what the girls would like to learn. We are always excited when the girls say that they already know about one of the needlework techniques and would like to learn another technique!

We make sure that we send them home with materials to finish the project and with ideas of where to purchase more materials if they want to continue learning and working with the needlework technique. For example, Pat makes sure that she has knitting needles for the girls to take with them to keep and we both make sure that we have instructions sheets for the different techniques that we offer. We also have a large selection of small cross stitch kits that both Pat and I have been collecting over the years. If a girl (or an adult) would like to pick out a kit, they are more than welcome.

We both work hard on the basics so that the girl can continue learning once she returns home. For example, I spend time at the beginning of my sessions teaching the proper way to thread the needle (no licking or spitting at my table!), and how to make a waste knot. Pat spends a lot of time on the basics of huck weaving and knitting.

This year, when I had a free session, I was working on developing an embroidered bookmark and a felt pincushion for next year. I started with making several 6” by 1” strips of felt. The example will show all of the stages of a sample design. For example, the first strip has the center flower. The next strip has the center flower and the stem. The third strip has the center flower, the stem, and the leaves. At the end I’ll have each step stitched with the final example being the bookmark with its backing and edging. The girls will be able to select the colors of the felt, threads, beads, and a needle so that they can continue to work on their bookmark during their free time and at home after the event. I’ll be doing the same process with all of the steps to make a felted pincushion. Lot’s of fun!

We are both excited when we have a girl who visited us last year return for another session at the needlework area. This year there were several who returned. We also love that they remember what we taught them last year and are willing to learn more! It’s also fun to see how many girls have already worked with different needlework techniques either in school, with friends, or with family!

This year we had several of the adult volunteers stop by and stitch with us for a while. In particular, one of the food volunteers was able to sit with us for several hours and she completed her bookmark! She loved the idea and plans on taking it back to the girls both within and without scouts that she knows.

We have a wonderful time and the location is gorgeous. Picture us in the rolling hills of central Maryland with trees and wildlife all around. Wonderful even if we don’t have air conditioning which can be challenging with the fibers sometimes! In years past it's been quite hot but this year the temperatures just climbed to the mid 80's and the humidity was very reasonable for Maryland in summer.

Unfortunately we don't have pictures as we get so busy teaching we forget to take pictures! We'll have to work on that next year...

We have a fun time with each other, and we enjoy sharing our respective needlework crafts with the girls. It's a wonderful feeling when you see that they finally get it! You might want to try teaching your needlework craft to someone younger. You will have a lot of fun!!!

Recent Comments:

If you are visiting, I’d love to hear a comment even if it’s just a simple Hello. :-)
If not, not a problem (one of my phrases that I find myself using a lot), thank you for visiting my blog!

Jane – I’m used to worrying about the kids not Mom, and yes, I can just imagine my Mom in her 80’s! Lot’s of fun. What’s really funny is when I see my daughter, who does high adventure camping activities, chasing after and worrying about my mother and what she’s up to! That’s really funny! We aren’t a sports or very athletic family but we do like the outdoors and those type of activities.

Please do check out Pat’s HeartStrings designs. I know that she is very popular but you don’t hear much about her on the blogs or on the discussion lists. I’ll be adding more of her pieces which I’ve finished and which I’m stitching to my blog over the next few weeks. I think she does an outstanding job on the designs but she is truly talented on picking threads and stitches which enhance her designs.

Coni – Let me know what you pick up when you visit the City Stitcher. I have many of Pat’s canvases so maybe we can have a Stitch-A-Long (SAL). I’m just looking for an excuse to pick up the 2008 Limited Santa or the Flag canvas! :-)

Madonna – I’m blaming my absence on the family but in a nice way! :-) Glad to be back and it’s nice that things are settling down again now that school has started again.

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Monday, September 8, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy – But not with Stitching Projects -- September 8, 2008

The last few weeks have been very busy. My daughter and I attended Summer Crossing which is an older girl camping weekend. She volunteers and I teach embroidery and cross stitch to teens and I’ll be blogging about this later.

We then went on a very late summer vacation this year. Due to all of the family activities we didn’t go on vacation until the last week of summer vacation which was also during the Summer Olympics. We had a lot of fun but we all decided that we did not want to go on vacation this late in the summer again! It was hard to relax when we knew all of the school activities would start the next week!

You should see how many needlework projects my daughter and I both packed! It was so funny to see the bags, especially since she didn’t work on any projects and I only stitched for about one hour on one day. We also thought that Fay would come up the East Coast and we wanted to be prepared. LOL!

We did visit two quilt shops which are lot’s of fun with all of the fabrics and the colors. My DD wanted to try quilting, so we picked out the supplies for a beginner small quilt. She hasn’t had a chance to work on it yet but hopefully during one of the long weekends she’ll be able to start.

I should add that when we go on vacation we don’t sit around. We visit museums, have dinner, play putt-putt golf, etc. We don’t sit on the beach or by the pool, or at least not for long! Quite the energetic family!

This year my mother joined us for the first several days. We took her to an indoor water park and we had a wonderful time. The kids are old enough that I can turn them loose. My mother was the one who actually wore me out! She’s 70+ and she wanted to try everything! You think you worry about your kids but imagine trying out all of the water park activities with your mother and making sure that she has fun and doesn’t get hurt! The one life guard summed it up well when he found out her apx. age. “Hmmm… 70+ years old but the mind and spirit of a 7 year old”! Yep, that’s my mom! I finally had to put my foot down and tell her that she was not allowed to go on the water flume! I thought it would be too dangerous for older bones as you ride down a tube with gushing water flat on your back without a raft. She only pouted a little and then she was sliding down one of the water slides! My daughter was walking around with her at one point
and went by me mouthing “Help Me”! My mother was wearing out my daughter! :-)

Earlier in the week, my husband and the two kids took my mother river tubing. I didn’t go as I don’t like to be in the sun for that long as I burn very easily. I had told both of the kids and my husband to watch out for Mom. Well, they got to the river and my mother was first in her tube and down the river she went. The others couldn’t catch up and didn’t see her for the rest of the trip! :-) This is when I should add that DH, within the first five minutes, shredded the palm of his hand on a river rock. The cuts were not bad enough for stitches but bad enough that he couldn’t golf the rest of the week. He was not happy! LOL!

We had a wonderful time, and all joking aside, my mother is a lot of fun and enjoyed her first visit to a water park. My son has decided that Mom is, in his own words, “Awesome”, which is a great compliment from a male teenager!!!

I was only able to stitch for about an hour while they were river tubing. Among the many projects I took was a Heartstrings Bittie, “Pumpkin”. My goal was to stitch the whole project during the week as its only 2.75” round. Well I only stitched the stem, the star, and the black dots as you can see below;





Obviously this is a pitiful start especially since I didn’t meet my goal! :-)

Pat is one of my favorite designers and you can see the Heartstrings line at;
http://www.artistscollection.net/Artists_Collection/HeartStrings_Gallery.html

I have many of her canvases in my stash and I’m looking forward to stitching them all!

We came home from vacation on a Sunday and school started on that Tuesday. The first week or so of school is quite busy with paperwork and the starting up of various activities. Things are beginning to settle down now and I’ll have some more stitching progress to share with everyone soon!

I think I’ve caught up with all of my blog comments and emails.

Beth – I sent you an email about your Candy Swirl Santa question.
Coni – I left you a comment about a replacement for the “project that should not be mentioned”.
Everyone else - If you haven’t heard back from me, please let me know! Thanks! :-)

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!!!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blog Awards -- August 11, 2008

Helen, The Stitching Granny, gave me the “Kreativ Blogger” award! Thank you Helen!!!

I enjoy visiting Helen’s blog and she truly deserved her “Kreativ Blogger” award. :-)

http://stitchingranny.blogspot.com/

Then Laura, The Two-Handed Stitcher, gave me the Brillante Weblog Award!
This is indeed an honor as Laura is a needlepointer with her own design company. She is the designer behind Laura J. Perin Designs.

Laura’s blog is at;

http://two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/

And you can see her designs at;

http://laurajperindesigns.tripod.com/index.htm

I’m supposed to pass the award on to other bloggers but instead I would like to encourage everyone to visit the blogs on my blog roll. Instead of visiting shops which you would do on a “Shop Hop”, have fun taking time out of your busy schedules and go on a “Blog Hop”. Have Fun and don’t forget to come back and visit!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

“Comments, Questions and Answers” -- July 30, 2008

I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s comments on my recent posts so I thought it would be time for another episode of “Comments, Questions, and Answers”!

Rotation Stitching

Oh my, I didn’t expect all of the responses and you all are soooo funny!

My purpose in writing the article was to give an over view of rotation stitching and to give some guidelines so that anyone who is interested can develop their own rotation stitching. There have been many posts on different discussion lists and on blogs about specific rotation systems. These are all well and good, but they might not work for everyone as I found they don’t work for me! :-) I need a more flexible system especially since I usually can’t stitch for a set time period. I grab stitching time when I can!

I’m glad that you found my article to be informative (and non-threatening) and it’s been a hoot to read how rotation stitching won’t work for any of you who commented! LOL!!!

I’ve also enjoyed reading about how you organize or don’t organize your stitching and it sounds like all of you are having a lot of fun which is what this is all about! Isn’t it? :-)

I’ve admitted that it took me a while to decide to use a stitching rotation and I must admit that I don’t always follow it. That’s why I finally added a “Random Project” category so when I want to just grab something else I can say that I’m actually following my rotation! :-)

I have found that it has helped with all of those distractions of wanting to stitch other projects. Those “Oh Shiny” moments! :-)

I also know that I don’t get as overwhelmed with everything in my stash as I know I’m making progress and I’ll get there eventually!

Yes, Kathryn I would call your “Yearly Goals” a modified rotation system as you will be working through different projects throughout the year as you work on different projects in different locations even if you aren’t actually rotating through a set of projects.

Pierrette, your system is working for you as you stitch and complete a tremendous amount of projects every year.

Pat, yes I know, I’m working on that hat! More pictures soon!

Carolyn, only three projects? I’m glad that works for you but I have to admit that I need more or I start getting antsy. LOL

Vonna, but look at what you stitch every year! Your system is working for you and that’s all that matters!

Coni, all I can say is I was laughing out loud when I read your comment, especially “Lather, rinse, repeat”!!! Maybe Stewey needs to set up your rotation for you! ROFLOL!!!

Holiday Patches

Jeanne asked how the fabric patches were attached.

The first step is to take your piece of fabric and iron on fusible webbing to the back.

The second step is to cut a piece of felt, in this case green, slightly smaller than the area that will be covered by fabric. This is stitched to the canvas.

The third step is to cut the fabric slightly bigger than the felt but slightly smaller than the border. In other words, the unfinished edges of the fabric will fall right in the center of the border stitching. The fabric is then stitched to the canvas.

The fourth step is to stitch the border all around the fabric which covers the unfinished edge of the fabric.

The fifth step is to enhance the fabric with decorative thread, stitches, beads, etc.

This was a lot of fun even though it seemed like it took forever to get to the stitching!

We have so many wonderful techniques with needlework now than we did thirty years ago.

If you are interested in exploring different needlework techniques I would recommend “New Twists on Needlework Embellishment” by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson. Wonderful book!


Bargello Stocking

Yes, this was lots of fun and it’s very interesting that even though Janet and I used the same line we came up with totally different designs!

Ruth, Bruin Colors? LOL! No, I hate to say that I just picked those colors because I liked them. My High School colors were green and gold, very pretty. My college colors were dark purple and dark gold, not so pretty. Since I’m in Ravens and Orioles country, I should be using purple and black or black and orange! :-)

Pat asked if I was going to finish this myself? ROFLOL!!!
I can do just about anything with a needle in my hand but using a sewing machine… Nope, not going to happen as I find the whole experience very frustrating and my language becomes quite questionable! :-)

The Bargello stocking will be sent to my not so local needlework shop for professional finishing!

This is frustrating for me as my grandmother was an outstanding seamstress. I was the only grandchild who showed any interest in sewing but since she was left handed and I’m right handed I was able to learn certain skills but not others such as sewing with a machine. I have found that I’m very comfortable helping anyone who is left handed learn to stitch as I can translate the stitching techniques and stitches for them quite easily.

My DD is actually right handed but left eye dominant so she writes with her right hand but will do other things with her left hand.

For anyone who is thinking about doing a bargello piece please go ahead. Once you stitch the base line, it’s very soothing and fun! If you do a bargello piece, please let us know as I’d love to see what you come up with!!!

Stitching Goals

Yes, I know they are a lot but it’s what keeps me motivated. LOL!

Stitching Update

I thought I would post my progress on my 2008 goals since it was past the half way mark for the year. I can’t believe that it’s almost August! Where has the year gone?!

I enjoyed writing that post and it helped to see what I had accomplished so far this year. It’s very easy to get mentally bogged down on what is left to do as opposed to what has been accomplished. Especially when you haven’t finished a project in a while.

I hope to finish one of my projects by this weekend and I’ll be posting updated pictures.

My DD is also now done with her high adventure camping event (12 days backpacking in New Mexico) and has made a lot of progress on several of her WIP’s. I’ll be posting those pictures soon.

Comments

I do appreciate your comments and it’s a lot of fun to know that I have needlework friends visiting my blog! Especially since I know that you are taking time out of your busy schedules to stop by. Thank you!

Windy Meadow is about to get very windy as a thunderstorm is just about here so I’ll say by for now. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Monday, July 21, 2008

“Stitching Update” -- July 21, 2008

I’ve finally had a chance to take some pictures so I can share some progress on my stitching projects. Enjoy!

2. Medium Project: “Candy Swirl Santa” by Janet Zickler Casey
Status: I’ve made some progress on the hat. The first swirl is done and I have the second swirl about ½ done.




3. Small Project:
“Peppermint Stripes” stocking by Joan Lohr April, 2008 Canvas of the Month Club
Status: I’m still working on the body of the stocking. The silver and red vertical stripes work up very quickly. The green stripe is the Fern stitch which takes a little longer as I have to carefully lay all of the threads. It’s worth the time and effort as it’s very pretty when it’s done.




“Santa” by Cheryl Schaeffer
I started working on this project last Spring but I had to stop as I mixed up two of the threads and had to order both threads. The Alabaster has come in so I was able to finish the mustache and beard. I’m still waiting on the Fancy Fur to finish the pompom on the top of his hat. Since the border is raised, while I’m waiting on the Fancy Fur, I’m stitching about three rows on basket weave so that finisher has a smoother flatter edge for finishing.
Status: Finished mustache and beard.
Started stitching basket weave edge.



8. Gift Stitching
Status: In the last two + weeks I was able to work on DD’s and DH’s ornaments. Pictures and details in January, 2009! :-)

9. Cross Stitch – Yes it’s a sheep!
I started this little piece which is a monthly kit from my LNS and on an earlier post I asked everyone to guess what it was. Kathryn was the first one to guess that it was a sheep! It’s a free chart from Bent Creek “The Little Sheep that Could”. LOL!
Status: I finished the sheep and I’m stitching the swirls on the background.



11. Random Project
“Uncle Sam” by Janet Zickler Casey
I’m a member of the Shining Needle Society and Gay Ann Rogers in her classroom challenged everyone to stitch at least one hour on a project on July 4, 2008. I wanted to stitch on something with a July 4 theme so I pulled out “Uncle Sam”. I took this class from Janet at the 2001 ANG Seminar in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, “Uncle Sam” and my other class piece “North Star Santa” were put away as after I came home, I became sick. :-(

The first picture is how we looked when I pulled him back out again. The second picture is what I was able to complete this past week. He’s going to be put away again, but not for long! :-)
Status: Face completed.

Progress after class completed.


Progress this week.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you were able to stitch a lot! Thanks for visiting my

blog!!! :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Friday, July 11, 2008

“Rotation Stitching” -- July 11, 2008

Rotation Stitching is a hot topic on many blogs these days and since I’ve received some general questions about rotation stitching I thought I would spend a moment or two and write a quick explanation. :-)

Rotation Stitching is a technique used by many stitchers to “rotate” among different needlework projects. The needle worker stitches on one project for a set time period or until they complete a specific section. They then put this project away and start on the next project in the rotation. This continues until the needle worker finishes stitching on the last project in the rotation when they then start over again at the beginning with the first project.

If a project is completed during its turn in the rotation, it’s moved out of the rotation and another project is added to the rotation in its place. There must be at least two projects in a rotation, but there is no limit except for personal preference, on how many projects are in the rotation.

There are many benefits of rotation stitching including but not limited to;

1. Minimizes potential for boredom
Which may occur if you are stitching on only one project.

2. Minimizes “Stitch Me, No Stitch Me”, call from other projects.
You can tell those other projects that they have to wait their turn and you’ll get to them soon!

3. Progress can be made on several projects as opposed to just one.
At the end of the rotation you can “see” all of your wonderful progress.

Rotation stitching is a wonderful tool which can help with some of the anxiety that you may be feeling about soooo many projects in your stash.

How do you decide on a rotation strategy? There are as many different rotation stitching strategies as there are different stitchers! I do have some helpful hints that I’ve learned while setting up and evolving my stitching rotation. :-)

Before you start a stitching rotation you need to figure out what projects are in your stash that still need to be stitched. These can be projects that just need a few hours of work or projects that are brand new. You also need to figure out what projects have already been stitched that might just need to be finished into something as you don’t want to add a project that you have completed stitching to your rotation.

The first recommendation I would make is to list what you have accomplished. Lay those projects out on a table or on your bed and go "Wahoo! Look at what I've finished stitching!" :-)

Now make a pot of coffee, a cup of tea, or a nice iced cold beverage and then lay out all of the projects that you want to stitch and go "Wahoo! Look at all of the fun I'm going to have!" :-)

I've found that this helps me when my mind starts whirring about all of the stuff that I have to stitch and how in the world am I going to get it all done! If I list or mentally review my accomplishments/finished projects, I can then, with more positive thoughts, focus on what I need to do. Also by listing what I need to stitch, this helps the mind focus on the specific items as opposed to worrying about everything! :-)

Sometimes this process involves making lists and crossing the items off, or lining up my projects up and going "Cynthia you are GOOD!" LOL

The first decision with rotation stitching is "What are my categories for rotation?"So gather up your projects and separate them into categories. I have several suggestions of categories that you might want to start with;

- Gift Stitching or Projects that will be Presents

- Almost Done Projects

- Small Sized Projects

- Medium Sized Projects

- Large Sized Projects

- Planning Next Project/Organizing Projects (choosing fibers and stitches).

- Organizing Stash

- Community/Charity Stitching

- Canvases from a specific Designer/Canvasses from a Series

- Any other Categories?

Once you've selected your categories you can then decide on the order in which you want to rotate through these categories. Don’t spend too much time on this step as you will be eventually rotating through all of the categories.

You might also want to consider if you should spend twice as much time on any of the categories or add that category twice into the rotation. For example, let’s say that you have a lot of ornaments that you want to stitch for presents this year. This falls into the category of “Gift Stitching”. You can decide to have two “Gift Stitching” categories if you want to be working on two different ornaments at the same time or you can decide that you want to spend twice as long on this category as the other categories.

The second decision with rotation stitching is, "How are you going to rotate between your projects?" In other words, would you rotate projects?

- after a set amount of time on each project?

- after a set amount done on each project?
For example, rotate after you have completed one area on the project such as a face or a square of the design before moving on to the next category.

- when the next category calls to you?

- when you are tired of this project?

There is no right way to rotate among projects. After reading many different needlework blogs, I have seen examples of many different styles of rotation. One needleworker stitches one needle full of thread for a project and then moves on to the next project. Several work until they complete a section. Many set different time limits from ½ hour, one evening, to one week per project. There is also no right way to select categories for the rotation.

What I have noticed after reading many different blogs is that most needleworkers who rotate their stitching like to have a variety in their rotation such as several smaller, medium, and larger projects to help maintain interest in the projects and in stitching. The needleworker can then have several smaller finishes while they are working on that very large piece.

Now look at your progress so far. You have decided your rotation strategy and you have grouped your projects into different categories. Now comes the fun part! :-)

Begin separating your projects into your categories. Don't worry if one of the piles is a lot bigger than the other! Have fun thinking about all of the fun stitching time that you are going to have. Yes, I know this can be difficult and we all get overwhelmed at what we have in our stashes, but you'll be surprised at how quickly you will be able to finish up some of these projects! :-)

As you do this, remove any projects that you have decided that you will never finish stitching. These can be set aside to be donated or to be sold. Removing these projects from your stash will help you concentrate on what you want to complete and will help reduce your stash. You will also have a better knowledge of what projects are in your stash which will help you decide if you want to purchase additional canvases. This may actually help with limiting the amount of new projects that you buy if you know that you have so many wonderful projects already in your stash. Okay, this doesn’t usually help me but it’s a thought! LOL

Now that you have your projects separated into categories, you are now going to prioritize your projects. Pick out the three that you want to complete first in each category. For the medium and large sized projects you might want to pick the top two projects that you want to complete first. These should be stored close to yourstitching area so as you complete a project the next one is right there and ready to be worked. Notice that I said “projects that you want to complete first”. The goal of a stitching rotation is to finish a project before replacing it with a new project. It is not to keep adding projects to your stitching list. :-)

Now that you've selected your current stitching projects, keeping the other projects in their categories, place them in more "long term" storage. Make sure that you do store them by category as you don't want to have to go through the sorting process every time you add a new project to your rotation as you want to spend your time stitching, not organizing! You will also be able to place newly purchased projects in their respective category so that they can be added to the rotation when appropriate. Labeled plastic containers will help with this part of the process. Don't worry about the projects that you are putting away as you will be getting to them later when it’s their turn in the rotation. They are just being put away temporarily. :-)

Pick your first project for each category and place these in or near your stitching area. You are now ready to begin your rotation! :-)

Have fun and remember that your rotation system is just a tool. If you find that your current rotation process is not working for you, then feel free to modify your rotation. For example, I've modified my rotation system and added two new categories. One is for "Cross Stitch" projects and the other is "Random Projects". I have a lot of cross stitch projects so I wanted to add a category for this type of projects. The random project category is for those times when every once in a while I like to mix things up by stitching on something outside of my normal rotation. There may not be a set project in this category as this category may include several different projects. To prevent these projects from being added to my rotation list and expanding my categories, I work through my rotation at least twice before I stitch on one of my random projects.

One additional tool that I've added is a simple chart where I've listed on the left side of the chart my different categories in a simple table. Because of my busy schedule (working full time, wife, and mother of two teenagers) I've found that I can't cycle through my categories one after the other. There are times when I'm just too tired to work on a complicated project that night even if it is time for it in my rotation. As I work on each category, I make a check mark for that category. This helps me to see where I'm spending a lot of time and where I might need to spend more time. Since I teach needlework to children and teens, there are times when I need to spend a lot of time prepping materials for those activities. I can then see that I've been spending time on these categories (several check marks) and it's time to move back to stitching for me. :-)

Please note that I've added a category for planning your next project or organizing projects. As you work down through the projects, you will need to select new projects to add to the rotation. You are going to find projects that may need more or new fibers (especially since we have soooo many new fibers now), or you may want to rethink about how you are going to stitch that project. As we develop as stitchers and as we become comfortable with new stitches and fibers, we may not want to use the stitches or fibers that we previously planned for a project.

Also, if you enjoy writing your own stitch guides, allocate time for planning the next project. If you don't enjoy writing your own stitch guides, and you decide you need help with a project, please consider sending the canvas(s) to a needlepoint shop. Many needlework shops will help design a stitch guide for free for a canvas if that canvas was purchased at that shop. There are also needlework shops who for a fee, will design a stitch guide and pull fibers for a canvas or set of canvases even if they were not purchased through that shop. If you have a set of canvases in a series such as a circus scene or a set of flowers in the same style, I would consider sending them all to the same shop so that as they write the stitch guides, they will also reuse fibers for the different canvases which would help with the cost of the project. The canvases in the series or set will also have the same look and feel. You might also want to contact different shops as there may be shops who have already written stitch guides for that particular line of canvases. Even though you didn't purchase the canvases through them, they may be willing to sell you their stitch guides and the fibers that they used.

There are many different needleworkers who have blogged about their rotation systems and many have labeled these posts. Start with your favorite blogs and search to see if they have labeled any posts with organizing, or rotation stitching. If you don't have any favorite blogs that you read regularly, you might want to start with my blog. I have several entries about my rotation system. In addition, I have links to many other blogs where the needleworkers "talk" about their rotation system.

You might also want to consider creating a needlework blog. Since I enjoy reading other needlework blogs, I decided to create one of my own. I’ve found that my blog has actually helped me to focus on my rotation stitching as I need to have pictures of projects for my blog! You can imagine this conversation with my family, “Not right now as I need to stitch so that I have something to post this weekend!” Well it doesn’t always work, but I try!!! LOL

Have fun!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

“Stitching Update” -- July 9, 2008

Over the last several weeks I’ve been mainly working on my gift stitching and my Bargello Challenge. I’ve already shared pictures of my Bargello Challenge with you last week. Since family members read my blog, I’ll share pictures of my gift stitching in January, 2009 after the projects are given as gifts.

In the meanwhile, what else have I been up to?

I’ll have more details after this weekend as I have several projects that I want to get just a little bit more done before I share a picture. In the meanwhile, I thought I would share a wee picture of a cross stitch picture that I started.

Can anyone guess what it is? Kathryn and Ruth, this one is for you! :-)


Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Saturday, July 5, 2008

2008 Stitching Goals Update -- July 5, 2008

I posted a list of 2008 stitching goals last January and since June has just ended I thought I would see how I was doing. You can read detailed descriptions of each of the original projects in my rotation on my January 3, 2008 post at;
http://cyns-stitches.blogspot.com/2008/05/2008-stitching-goals-january-3-2008.html

One of the first things I did was shortly after starting my rotation I decided to redo my categories of projects. Instead of rotating between specific projects I created categories of types of projects. I found that I had too many large projects and my original rotation system wasn’t working.

1. Large Project: “Holiday Patches” by Susan Krendt
Status: 13 of 24 squares completed.
3 squares are almost completed.

This is a wonderful piece that I started as a class at the ANG Baltimore Seminar in August,

2007. You can still the piece on ANG’s website at;
http://www.needlepoint.org/Seminar-07/classes/4day/42711.php

2. Medium Project #2: “Candy Swirl Santa” by Janet Zickler Casey
Status: Face is done and working on hat.
http://www.jzcdesigns.com/candy%20swirl%20santa.htm

ANG Auction Project A Collection of Design’s “Pumpkin Boy”
Status: Completed!

Medium Project: “North Star Santa” by Janet Zickler Casey
Status: Completed!
http://www.jzcdesigns.com/north%20star%20santa.htm

3. Small Project: April, 2008 Canvas of the Month Club
“Peppermint Stripes” stocking by Joan Lohr
Status: Started body of Stocking.

Canvas of the Month Club – July 2004
“Santa” by Cheryl Schaeffer for Rainbow Gallery
Status: I stopped working on this project as I misread the directions and used the wrong fiber

for the wrong section. I ordered more fiber but had to wait till it arrived. I’ll put this
back in the rotation to finish this project this summer.

Canvas of the Month Club – January, 2008
“Medallions” by Joan Lohr for Rainbow Gallery
Status: Completed!

Canvas of the Month Club – October, 2004
“Hearts for the Holidays” by Joan Lohr for Rainbow Gallery
Status: Completed!

Canvas of the Month Club – February, 2008
“Christmas Fantasy” by David McCaskill for Rainbow Gallery
Status: Completed!

Canvas of the Month Club – August, 2004
“O’ Tannenbaum” by Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren of Shear Creations for Rainbow

Gallery.
Status: Completed!

Canvas of the Month Club – March, 2008
“Tiny Treasures” was designed by Cathy Lyon and Marian Morton for Rainbow Gallery
Status: Completed!

4. Community Stitching (Charity)/Teaching Needlework
This category is for community (charity) stitching. I’ve also added into this category the time

I spend on preparing and teaching needlework to children and teens. This also includes the
time that I spend organizing needlework kits that are used to teach needlework at different
events.
Status: Replenished Needlepoint Magnets & Cross Stitch kits.
Need to restock supplies for above kits.
Need to prepare for August camp-in event.

5. Organizing Needlework Stash
Status: Lot’s of progress.
Three boxes have been shipped to be sold on eBay.
Lot’s of canvases have been sorted and inventoried.
Lot’s of fibers have been sorted and inventoried.
Lot’s more to do!

6. Household Stitching
This is misc. stitching such as repairing household items and sewing on scouting patches. The

biggest challenge for me is to keep up with the scouting patches, especially since they receive
a bunch that they’ve earned in the previous months all at one time! :-)
Status: Kept up with those received since January, 2008.
Need to sew on the ones that they received at the end of the year or at the last Court

of Awards/Honor.

7. Beaded Project: “Moonlight Ghost” (2008) MH188205
Status: Have stitched three colors. About 1/3 - ½ done.

8. Gift Stitching
These are needlework gifts for family members. The challenge is to find time to stitch on

them when the respective family member is not at home. I recently reorganized how I store
these projects so it’s much easier to pull them out and work on them. I’m taking pictures as I
work and I’ll share them with everyone in January, 2009.

Daughter’s Christmas Ornament
Status: I’ve made some progress on this project but progress is slow as I can’t stitch while

she’s home. She will be going away soon for several weeks so I expect to make a lot
of progress while she’s gone.

Husband’s Christmas Ornament
Status: I’ve made some progress on this project but progress has been slow. I can stitch on

this while he’s home but I just haven’t had time and I need to concentrate on dear
daughter’s as she will come by to see what I’m working on. I can stitch in front of my
husband him and he wouldn’t probably notice what I’m working on where my
daughter will notice. LOL

Son’s Christmas Ornament
Status: I’ve made some progress on this project but progress has been slow.
Dear son will be going to camp and I’ll concentrate on his ornament while he’s gone.

9. Cross Stitch
I decided to add a cross stitch project to my rotation as I enjoy doing cross stitch and I have
lot’s and I do mean lot’s of projects in my stash!
Status: Current project is half done. Picture to be shared on next bi-weekly update.

10. Travel Piece
Barbara Fox’s “Noel Star”
Status: A little bit of progress since January, 2008.
I’m doing the background in basket weave so this is my “I’m too tired to think or traveling

piece”. I haven’t been traveling so this piece hasn’t been worked on much since
January, 2008.

11. Random Project
I decided to add this category as just sometimes I need to shake things up a bit! The pieces
in this category will be worked on for brief periods until they go back to wait their turn for
the above categories!

12. Almost Done Works in Progress
As I’m organizing my stash, I’m finding lot’s of projects that for one reason or another I set

aside when they were almost completed or at least they are 90% done. I’m going to add
another category to my rotation so that I can start completing these projects. The projects
that are placed in this category will only take one to two hours to complete. Or at least that’s
what I’ll estimate that they’ll need! :-)

“A Collection of Designs” Firecracker Cookie
Status: I set this project aside as I didn’t like the fiber that I selected for the medium blue.

I’ve picked out new possibilities for the medium blue. Once I solve this problem, I expect
that this project will work up in about one to two hours.

Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) or Projects in Waiting (PIW’s)

Listed below are the projects that I wanted to complete when I created my original list in January, 2008. They’ll be added to the categories listed above when a previous project has been completed.

1. My Son’s Strictly Christmas Stocking
Status: No progress since January, 2008.

2. “Heartstrings Chimney Santa”
Status: No progress since January, 2008.

3. “Cobblefield Road” Cyber Workshop
Status: No progress since January, 2008.

I’m very pleased with the progress that I’ve made in the first six months of 2008. I’m especially with how I am organizing my needlework projects, rotation, and supplies. This has helped to clean up the stitching area and has made it a lot easier to pick up a project when I have time. I’ve also enjoyed finding many projects that quite frankly, I forgot that I had. I’ve finished the stitching on many of these projects but I’ve also found a lot of projects that I set aside for one reason or another that won’t take too much time to finish.

My completion status is:
Medium Projects: 2
Small Projects: 5

I’m quite pleased with the projects that I’ve completed so far this year and I’m looking forward to completing many more projects in the second half of 2008!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my progress and my rotation. Thank you for visiting my blog and I enjoy reading your comments!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

“Bargello Challenge #2” -- July 1, 2008

Janet designed the Bargello line for the challenge and after I received a copy of the line I had a lot of fun designing my stocking!

The first think I did was design a stocking shape. I usually do this by laying DMC #5 on the canvas. I then manipulate the thread till I get the shape that I want. I then stitch the outline of the shape. I’ve pasted a picture below of the outline of my stocking. I wasn’t thinking about taking pictures when I did this so the outline is in white but I think you can still see it in the picture.


I then stitched a border between the body of my stocking and the cuff of the stocking. I first stitched a
Smryna Cross using Kreinik silver braid followed by two tent stitches one on top of the other using a Kreinik pearl braid.


Since I’m currently working on several Holiday pieces that are in red and green, I decided that I wanted to give my stocking a slightly different look. While visiting my LNS I decided to use Silk and Ivory in blue, cream and yellow as it fills in wonderfully with Bargello stitches on 18 count canvas. I also added a silver Kreinik ribbon to add some texture and visual interest. I selected an ecru canvas as I think it helps when stitching Bargello projects to pick a canvas color that disappears behind the colors of the thread. After completing the body of the stocking, I then stitched the cuff using the first four stitches of the Bargello line in Rainbow Gallery’s white Fuzzy Stuff using two strands.


Once I finished the stocking I added two rows of tent stitch around the stitched stocking in the same color of the canvas which in this case is ecru. This gives the finisher something to stitch on when they are finishing the project and helps keep the Bargello stitches from being pulled during the finishing. Of course, always check with your finisher to see what they would prefer! :-)


I think it’s very interesting that both Janet and I stitched a stocking using the same Bargello line and they turned out so different. We both selected blue for our projects, though we didn’t discuss our color selections before we stitched our stockings. Even though both stockings are stitched using blue threads, they both look so different and both turned out beautifully!

If you decide to use Janet’s line to create your own Bargello project such as another stocking, a star, or any other shape, please let Janet and I know where we can see your project. You can reach Janet at; napaneedlepoint@gmail.com

I had a lot of fun designing and stitching my stocking and I wanted to thank Janet for visiting my blog on her blog tour!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

"Bargello Challenge #1" -- July 1, 2008

Janet Perry has just published a new book, “Bargello Revisited”. She began a Bargello blog tour several weeks ago and has visited many different blogs which you can read about on her blog; http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/.

As part of her blog tour she asked if anyone would be willing to participate in a Bargello Challenge and I volunteered! I’m going to turn my blog over to Janet so she can talk about her project for the Bargello Challenge and then I’ll talk about mine. Enjoy!

Here’s Janet!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cyn and I did a Bargello Challenge this month. Because Bargello lines can be varied easily and because there aren't any set colors, a challenge is a fun way to do Bargello as a group.
The principle is very simple. Find (or make) a simple Bargello line. Give it to everyone who is participating in the challenge.



Each person chooses colors and, if wanted, varies the line. Then the fun begins. Each Bargello is stitched. While Cyn and I both did mini-socks, you don't have to all have the same shape.



I decided to make outlined shapes (the solid blue violet) by offsetting the lines. I had thought about doing something like this for quite awhile and I'm glad I did. While the picture doesn't show it and the metallic obscures it, the stitches aren't all the same length in the center. I'm thinking that I need to explore this idea more to see what characteristics the line needs to have to make pretty fills.

But back to the mini-sock itself. I found this charming color of Gloriana's Lorikeet. Lorikeet is one of my favorite threads for Bargello because it is a fine wool, Four strands fill up of 18 mesh canvas beautifully and the colors are so lush. This one is called Monet's Garden. To this I added the blue-violet (Silk & Ivory - another favorite) and Crescent Colours floss in a very subtle hand-dyed watery blue). The final touch was a metallic ribbon from Kreinik.

I really like the soft shading of the non-metallics against the more forward metallic. Because the metallic is not a solid color, it is less harsh and, I think, more interesting.

I loved doing the challenge and am looking forward to doing one again.

If you want some additional ideas about variations in Bargello, find the book Bargello Magic. There is a section in that where the same pattern is colored in many different ways. You need to get past the garish 70's colors and see the different and wonderful patterns which emerge from one basic diamond pattern.

Keep Stitching,
Janet M. Perry
napaneedlepoint@gmail.com
http://www.napaneedlepoint.com/
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/ - blog

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for visiting my blog Janet!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Saturday, June 21, 2008

“Additions to Blog Roll” -- June 21, 2008

I’ve made some additions to my needlepoint and cross stitch blog rolls. When I find a new blog, I read every entry including the comments. Yep, every one! By the time I’ve read every entry and comment, I can then decide if I want to keep visiting the blog and if I want to add them to my blog roll. Now, I have very loose criteria but one of them is to update occasionally, and by that I mean at least several times a year. I’m not expecting professional writing but I do like to see pictures of projects. If they do needlepoint and other forms of embroidery, I add the blog to my needlepoint blog roll. If they stitch cross stitch and other embroidery designs, they are added to my cross stitch blog roll.

I’ve just added Kathryn’s blog, “Threads of Desire”. Kathryn does both needlepoint and cross stitch. Kathryn is working on some lovely designs and helps to organize fan conventions. Kathryn spends most of her time in either Las Vegas or in Hawaii and writes wonderful reviews of new technical products.

I’ve also added Ruth’s blog, “The Musing Badger”. Ruth does both needlepoint and cross stitch. She is active in several exchanges and I don’t know where she finds the time to stitch all of the projects that she does every year! She is a very entertaining writer with a dry wit and is a fun read.

Pam’s blog, “The Left Handed Stitcher” has also been added. Pam is a young mother and I’m not sure where she finds the time to stitch everything that she does as I remember how busy those days were when my children were young! Pam is also a member of EGA and does both needlepoint and cross stitch. She just designed her first Biscornu pattern and I think she did a wonderful job!

I’ve also added Coni, “The Spinster Stitcher”. Coni does both needlepoint and cross stitch, is new to blogging, and has a lot of pictures of projects in her blog’s slide show! Her dog Stewey might not be as pleased with her blogging adventures as she has the pictures of him with his baby teeth at the top of her blog. The last we heard from him he was discussing this situation with “his people” to see if “his people” needed to talk to “her people”!

Madonna of the “Frontrange Stitcher” blog is also new to blogging. She stitches primarily needlepoint but does enjoy other forms of embroidery. She was a recent stop on Janet Perry’s Bargello virtual book tour.

I’ve also just added Jan, “Stitchlady’s Weblog” to my blog roll. Jan is very new to blogging and is currently working on a Joan Thomasson Santa, “Colonial Santa”.

Vonna from “The Twisted Stitcher” has also been added to my cross stitch blog roll. Vonna is primarily a cross stitcher and posts frequently to her blog. She is very involved in many different exchanges, thirty last year! She also plays music on her blog so don’t be surprised if your computer starts singing to you!

I’ve also added Debby from the “Stitch Wizard” to my cross stitch blog roll. Debby lives in Texas and has been a frequent poster over the last several years. Lot’s of entries to read which is always fun!

Please have fun visiting the new additions to my blog roll, especially the newest additions to the needlework blogging community. We want to keep them posting with news and with pictures because if you don’t have time to stitch, the next best thing is reading about stitching! :-)

I’ve added other stitchers to my blog rolls since I started my new blog on Blog Spot but since I can’t remember who I added when, please have fun and visit all of them!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate and read every comment!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow