Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Stash!

Today has been a lovely day--especially nice since the weekend was rainy and dreary!--and it was topped off with a wonderful package arriving in the mail. I received my latest package from Vikki Clayton which includes the new Jan Houtman chart "Patchwork", several new silk fibers, and loads of what Vikki terms "detritus". This is the fiber "bits" and "pieces" that is left over from the dying process--pieces that are too short to skein, pieces that are experiments in colors or dying, etc. I received some of the most gorgeous colors and even a couple of full hanks of silks. I have had a ball just sorting through them and playing with it. Vikki may call it "detritus" but I call it "fabulous"! I cannot wait to actually start using some of it. I think it will be perfect for stitching "Patchwork"! But I really cannot start it right away--as much as I would like to. I really have to finish up some of the projects that I have going. I have several wips that I put on hold in order to stitch models and I really need to finish some of them up!

This past weekend I did get back to FAS for some good solid stitching and that was a joy. This piece is really going to be huge! Knowing the dimensions of a design and actually *seeing* it are two different things! I will take to get a photo update for you soon. Till later...

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Ultimate Needlebook

Judy Odell has just debuted a new project called The Ultimate Needlebook and it is wonderful. It is reminicent of Quaker style and it is a stitching toy--so something for everyone! I got mine back from Judy last week and ever since then I have been bursting at the seams to share. Now I can. This is going to be a class project--for more information go to Just A Thought

I stitched mine on white Belfast using Needle Necessites and DMC and added seed pearls to the centers of the *flowers*. It measures approximately 4" x 10" closed. It has needle pages on both sides and there at the bottom right is a Needle Custodian. This is a small emory pouch to clean your needles. It was so much fun to stitch and didn't really take that long. I am thinking about doing another one-- You know one to actually USE!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Day Dreaming

Today has been a more relaxed day for me. I have stitched quite a bit but have done absolutely nothing else. I decided to take a *day off* from everything! I haven't even turned on the TV. I have just been sitting and stitching and contemplating life--well actually I have been day-dreaming about re-doing my kitchen and family room. My wonderful son who is an expert painter and a fair handyman came in the other day and stated that it was time to bring my 1970's kitchen into the 21st century! When I asked who was going to pay for all this he said..."Mom, you'd be surprized at what a little paint will do and it won't break the bank." So we got to talking about things and he said he will do all the work--strip off the wallpaper, paint the ceiling and walls, resurface the cabinets and replace all the hardware so I can get rid of the rubber bands holding the cabinet doors closed. Since most of my appliances are fairly new that will leave only the countertops and microwave to replace. So I am going to try to figure out a way to get those. I wonder how fast I can modelstitch?!!!!!

Then in the family room he is going to paint the ceiling and walls and get rid of the dark paneling which is there now. So I will only need to decide what to do about the floor and window treatments. I can't afford to replace carpet or install my desired hardwood floors right now so I guess that will just have to wait. But I have been looking for fabric for draperies for a while now so I guess I need to make some decisions about those. Thank goodness I can sew them myself! I think if I just take things a little at a time I should be able to accomplish a lot. The countertops will be my biggest expense right now--so I am going to do some research and find out approximately what that will cost me.

The funniest thing about this whole day-dreaming thing is I have spent more time thinking about what to stitch for my new kitchen walls--and I haven't yet decided 100% on paint color! Can you tell I am a real stitcher?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My beautiful Box...

I just received the most wonderful package in the mail! It is the finished Japanese Octagonal Box designed by Martina Weber of ©Chatelaine Designs. It was professionally finished by Judy Odell of ©Just a Thought who also designed the finishing technique of this box. It was stitched on Ice Blue Belfast using a variety of silk fibers, Petite Treasure Braid, Delics Beads, Swarovski Crystals and Cultured Pearls sent to me from Thailand by a special friend while she was over there. Thank you, Becky for these treasures. The finishing is done using Black Dupioni Silk and includes the box itself, a scissors case for my sewing scissors and a scissors fob for my embroidery scissors. I enjoyed stitching this so much (I also stitched Martina's Model for this box.) but I was totally unprepared for just how beautiful it is. The photos do not do this justice. I am still dancing around the room and cannot take my eyes off it! I hope you enjoy looking at it also.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Peace Quaker

Peace Quaker, originally uploaded by The Mad Stitcher.

Today has been a very eventful day. I got a lovely call from Vilma of Examplars from the Heart and she graciously gave me permission to preview her latest two designs that I model stitched for her. The first one is Peace from her Quaker series.

Prosperity Quaker

Prosperity Quaker, originally uploaded by The Mad Stitcher.

This is the second model for Vilma of Examplars of the Heart. It is Prosperity from the Quaker Series. Each of these models were stitched on 40 ct linen in Light Sand using Vikki Clayton Silks

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rambling Again

Recently several people have asked me about my book The Ramblings of a Mad Stitcher. So I thought that I would take a few minutes here to tell you about it and answer some of the questions I have been asked.

I have been journaling since I was a young girl with her first *diary*. Over the years I have found it to be both helpful and therapeutic. It has been a way to chronicle all the things that happen in one's lifetime and also helps to relieve the stress from many of these things--my grandmother called them *Life Happenings*. Therefore, this has just become a part of my life. I will admit though, that I prefer paper and pen over the computer--it just seems more intimate somehow.

A few years ago I was going through a remarkabley stressful *Life Happening* and I was using my journal a a sounding board. On a particularly bad day I chose to share one entry with some friends on the Teresa Wentzler BB. Over a few weeks I began sharing more and more and one day I realized that many people were avidly awaiting my daily posts. So I began Rambling every day. It was suggested that I write a book. I have always enjoyed writing and had dreamed of one day being a famous author! Even so I knew I would never be a professional so I just kept on with my little stories. As my husband's condition worsened and I began seeing similar symptoms in my Mom I wanted to do something to help fight Alzeimer's. So I compiled my litttle stories and did a bit of editing and finishing and printed them up into a *book* that I made for sale to benefit the Alzeimer's Foundation. It is a self published, spiral bound, softback book and all profits go to benefit Alzeimer's research. If you are interested in ordering one of these books send me an email at mad_stitcher@yahoo.com or leave a comment here including your email address.

Thanks to everyone who has shown interest in this project. It has proven to be more therapeutic than I ever could have imagined.

Several people have also asked me how I became the *Mad Stitcher*--well that is for another day!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feeling Better

Well I slept all day yesterday and I am feeling a bit better today. Hopefully the worse is over. The second model for Vilma is almost finished. Hopefully by tomorrow it it will be done. I have enjoyed stitching these designs and can't wait for them to be revealed so that I can share them with all of you. If you like Quakers you will love these. These are a bit different from my normal type of stitching but it has been fun doing some plain cross stitch for a change. And of course, working with Vikki's silks is always a treat.

When this is done I must get back to my Persian Iris Garden. I have been putting in about an hour a day on it (the black fabric is *killing* me!) but I really must try to do better. I have never taken this long to get a model done before and although there is no deadline, I still feel a bit guilty about it. At least I know now to never agree to stitching on black fabric again so that is a valuable lesson. I also have another of Martina's models to do shortly--as soon as I get all the materials--and Vilma has asked me to do some more for her. So now I will be able to alternate between the complex and the more simple designs so maybe they will all go faster.

I must go to bed now and try to get a good night sleep. So till tomorrow.....sweet dreams.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Update....and more

Well, I haven't conquered the world but I did manage to start the second model for Vilma. I am taking lots of naps and still feeling yucky! This is the first really bad cold I've had in about 3 years so I guess I am really lucky that way but I just don't like feeling this way.

Tonight I am working on the model and watching Harry Potter movies. I love Harry Potter and am looking forward to July for the last book to be released. Am also looking forward to the next movie. Anyone else love Harry?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This cold has really taken it's toll on me and I am accomplishing nothing! I did manage to finish up the first model for Vilma but that's it. I went to bed and have stayed there. Maybe tomorrow morning I will feel like conquering the world but for now...back to bed!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Today I have been fighting a cold and haven't felt good at all. All I want to do is sleep! But I really cannot afford to do that. There is just so very much I need to do. However I just got the best pick-me-up. I received word from Vikki that my Patchwork Sampler has arrived. I am not sure what has attracted me to this one as I usually don't do samplers but I really like this one. It is designed by Jan Houtman and if you like Samplers he has done some of the best I have seen.

The first of the two models from Vilma is almost finished so I am hoping to complete it tonight. Then I want to start the second one. It really is so much fun to stitch and is looking nice on the 40 ct linen.

I think I will go take a nap and then get started.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lovely morning

I spent a lovely morning yesterday talking with Vilma (Examplars from the Heart) discussing upcoming designs, 40 ct linen, Vikki Clayton silks, and many other things. I find it so interesting that she lives only about 40 miles from me and I am just now discovering her. She is a lovely person and hope to be meeting her in person soon.

I also spent some time playing with my Silk Tags--trying to do a conversion for a new project that I want to start sometime in the near future. It was so much fun just fonding the textures and visulaizing the colors of all the VC silks. If you have never tried them, do yourself a big favor and do so-- Vikki Clayton Silks. They are exquisite both in quality of silk and all the gorgeous colors. I can just loose myself in them. And if you want a really big treat, try the premium floss. It is bigger diameter than the regular floss (about the size of two strands) so you can use only one strand on 28-34 ct fabrics. My favorite color, of course, is Dragon Blood ( a rich varigated red) but Dragon Opal (a beautiful dark, rich green and black varigated) is a close second--with many others following very closely behind. I managed to get most of the conversion done but will have to ask Vikki about 4 of them.

I am looking forward to some new designs which have just been released at Market and am planning the fabrics and fibers to stitch them. Now all I have to do is find out where I can order some more TIME !!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Catching my Breath

Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I posted here! But for the last two weeks I have been fighting the clock trying to get a model ready for the Nashville Market. I finally got it into the mail on Thursday--expressed directly to the Hotel! So now I can finally breathe again.

But a lot has happened over these last two weeks so I will try to catch you up on my wild ride!

First of all, I have been introduced to a new designer (for me) to do some model stitching. She is Vilma from Examplars From The Heart and if you would like to see some of her designs you can view them here (just click on conversions/assortments and scroll down) or here. She is best known probably for And They Sinned but she has done many wonderful designs and I feel blessed to be asked to stitch these models for her.

I have also been introduced to 40 ct linen. I had never tried it before--was always afraid I couldn't see it or that I wouldn't enjoy it. But let me tell you, once you adjust a bit it is wonderful! I can see myself fast becoming addicted to it. I sure hope these old eyes will hold up.

I also have a couple of new Chatelaine Designs to do as well as getting back to my FAS so I will be busy for a while--but then I love to be busy.

This past weekend was supposed to be our get-together weekend with my Stitching Sisters but a couple were sick and couldn't make it. But Kiki came and we had a wonderful time stitching and talking together for 2 and a half days (almost non-stop!)

She arrived Friday afternoon about 12:30 pm and we immediately began the job of *catching up*. She brought me several surprises (we are always picking up small gifts for each other). She brought me A new yardstick (I had broken mine), a quilters ruler and a rotary cutter (getting me ready for my Crazy Quilt), a serge protector with a long cord (which I haven't been able to find, and a channel lock wrench, vice grip pliers and screwdrivers (small size) for my stitching bag. Now you may think that some of these things are a bit strange for a stitching bag but they really aren't. I am always needing to tighten nuts or screws on my light/magnifier, chart holder or some such --or to tighten screws in my eyeglasses--or a variety of such things! So I am as pleased as punch! She also brought me fresh apples and STRAWBERRIES!!! which were quite good considering they were a greenhouse variety. Can't wait for April when our strawberries come into season! I had made a big pot of vegetable soup so for supper we had veggie soup and cornbread and for dessert we had vanilla ice cream with strawberries. Simply wonderful.

On Friday night we both went to bed early as we were very tired for some reason but we were up early Saturday and started in stitching again. We really got a lot accomplished and never ran out of things to talk about. Kiki worked on Chatelaine's Pompeii Garden and I worked on my newest model. We barely stopped long enough to eat. We finally looked up and realized that it was 2:30 am! So decided we better call it a night!

Sunday moning started bright and early with a leaisurely breakfast and then we settled in once more to begin stitching for the day. I really hated for it to come to an end but Kiki had to leave about 5:00 pm so that she could attend her hand bells rehearsal at her church. After we said our goodbyes I checked out my emails and then back to stitching. It is so nice to have stitching buddies with whom you can share your love of needlework!