Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Birthday Booty...

My birthday was Christmas Eve and I got the Baby Lock Evolve Serger and the Baby Lock Embellisher. The sewing machine store made DH an offer he couldn’t refuse! Woohoo! I sort of suspected I was getting a serger when I "accidentally" discovered the big bag of Maxi-Lock thread. But the embellisher was a complete surprise. I wanted one – even casually mentioned it a few times but didn’t think he was paying attention. This was one of my best birthdays ever!

Here is my first attempt at playing around with the embellisher. I felted some fusible fibers, feathers and a couple little scraps of painted cheesecloth on to some painted lutradur. I tore that (by mistake) and felted the torn pieces onto a piece of Kunin felt. I never had so much fun not knowing what in the world I was doing! The photo doesn't show how sparkly it is.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lesson 6 Detail: Double Drizzle Stitch “Worms”

The double drizzle stitch transported me back to my old macramé days…

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Start on Lesson 6...

Here is the start of my lesson six sampler exploring textures. I still have lots more work to do in the foreground… I found the clear glass star-shaped button and the mother of pearl “washer” in my jar of antique buttons.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lesson 5 Postcard

This postcard is done on wool felt and consists of Spanish feather stitches, (whipped with rayon ribbon floss and plain), Pekinese, fly, detached chain stitches and French knots.

Friday, December 08, 2006

De-decorating the Tree...

I received this link in my mail, today. Here are illustrated instructions for kitties on how to decorate the Christmas tree… My lovely tree is in the process of being de-decorated by my furry crew. Graycee was gleefully running around yesterday with a calico bird she pulled down. And I’ve noticed many of the bulbs and metal icicles are now hanging upside-down (some sort of satanic symbolism, perhaps?). There is also a big (Huckleberry - sized) “hole” in the middle of the tree where there used to be ornaments. DH thinks their destructiveness is cute but he’s not the one who spent hours decorating the tree just right!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Blanford and Euphemia

I think this is it, now, for Santas this season. I had another one nearly finished named Walter - but he had a major wardrobe malfunction - don't ask...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Here's Blanford!

Okay, you can uncover your eyes. Blanford is finally dressed and wigged. No matter how many Santas I make, it never ceases to amaze me just how much the beards shape their final personalities…

Monday, November 27, 2006

Still Working on Santas…

And sweet Graycee is helping.

It’s after Thanksgiving and this ol’ boy isn’t even dressed yet!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another Lesson Three Postcard in Progress…

I took a leap (of faith!) off the Aida cloth and onto some wool felt to play with curves and chain stitches. This is by no means finished but I was so darned tickled with the crested chain stitch (my new favorite stitch, although I’m not certain I’m doing it correctly) that I thought I’d post my progress thus far…

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lesson Three Postcard Sampler

I had decided this postcard would be done in pinks and purples and then I reached right for the reds and greens, again (actually, deep red, olive, teal and black). But I had a good time playing with lacing straight stitches. I have another sampler started in wool felt to explore chain stitch variations but I need to quit sewing and clean the livingroom as the Christmas tree goes up on Thursday! YAY!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lesson Two Postcard Sampler

Christmas is coming and I am just as excited now, at 53, as I was when I was little! Here is the finished postcard sampler for week 2 showing some arrangements of fly, crown, straight and cross stitches with just a sprinkling of holiday bling bling…

Monday, November 13, 2006

And a Little More Progress on Lesson Two…

This is a fly stitch design that could be used as a border or fill.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Little Progress on Lesson Two

Here is my attempt at Sharon’s double fly stitch border pattern on a piece of 18 count Aida cloth. I have Christmas on my mind…

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lesson One Sampler

I think my lesson one sampler postcard is finished (for now, anyway). I used Guilloche, single feather, Portuguese stem, couched novelty yarn with zigzag chain, French knots, fly stitches and beads. On to lesson two…

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Start on Lesson 1

Here is my first attempt at a Guilloche stitch border for a linen postcard-sized sampler for the embroidery class. I may use this to further explore variations of this particular stitch or I may add samples of other border stitches – not sure…

Monday, November 06, 2006

Yancy and Leverett are Going Home…

Yancy, my patriotic Santa, was auctioned on EBAY last night with 100% of the proceeds to go to Homes for Our Troops. This is a wonderful organization that builds and then donates custom homes for handicapped veterans. They also retrofit existing homes to make them more handicap-accessible. The sacrifices that our military families make are truly humbling and I was happy for this opportunity to express, in some small way, my gratitude.

And Leverett was sold from my web site early this morning.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Coming Up for Air…

Sharon’s embroidery class has started and, judging from lesson one, it is going to be wonderful!

And I’m still trying to get a few more Santas done. Here is a vintage postcard that I am attempting to interpret in doll form…

Postmarked 1912

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vintage Halloween Postcards and New Book

There have been quite a few really charming old Halloween postcards added to the pool in my Flickr group, Vintage Holiday Greetings Postcards. I didn’t even realize that people sent Halloween greetings...

I treated myself to an interesting book, Beading on Fabric: Encyclopedia of Bead Stitch Techniques, by Larkin Jean Van Horn. Lots of eye-candy and inspiration there…

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Zinnias: Nature Journal Drawing

The Zinnias are still blooming…

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More Faux Leather

Here’s yet another version of the faux tooled leather technique. I wanted to try red paint but, this time, instead of collaging the textured papers; I just used a single sheet.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Quick Check in...

Things are a bit chaotic here on the business front – well, more chaotic than usual, anyway. Burning the candle at both ends! And I just signed up for Joggle’s Personal Library of Stitches with Sharon B - so I hope things calm down a little by the time class gets underway. I’m just going to have to try to follow along as best I can… Have I mentioned before how much I hate it when work interferes with my playtime?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Goodbye Winslow - Hello Moleskine...

Winslow was sold and will be going home tomorrow! I will miss his wistful little face… I am currently working on a new Santa named Walter, also dressed in vintage pink chenille.

And I christened my first Moleskine sketchbook today with a little watercolor drawing of some dogwood leaves and bright red berries. It’s not the greatest surface for watercolor paints, and Moleskine does manufacture a sketchbook dedicated to watercolor. Might have to give that a try if I can find one. Anyway, now I can join the "Moleskinerie" group on Flickr. That was on my “to do” list for this year.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stitchin' Right Along...

I worked another seam detail on the CQ lingerie case. This is one from day 98, consisting of chevron, fly and chain stitches – and beads. It was a fun treatment to stitch on a long seam, although my stitches are kinda sorta wonky.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

All of Winslow...

We photographed Winslow for my web site, today. More images can be seen can be seen here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Meet Winslow

Here’s my latest Santa, Winslow. His name is Old English for “victory.” He still needs his pictures taken for the Shanty Clauses web site.

It’s still warm outside, but it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in here; working on Santas and listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas music. I especially love her songs, “Emmanuel, God with Us” and “Breath of Heaven.”

I sold my first Santa (Irwin) of the season, today. I think I’ve said before that it’s hard to let them go, but it’s wonderfully gratifying to know that they go on to become a part of people’s holiday traditions.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

And Another Seam...

This is another seam from day 90, consisting of fly stitches, straight stitches and beads.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another Seam...

Here is one of the seam treatments for day 90, consisting of herringbone stitches, bugle and seed beads.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Not Exactly One of the 100 Details, Detail

…But this buttonhole seam treatment is on the same block of Sharon’s as the chain stitch detail for day 58.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another Embellished Seam a la SharonB…

This is my interpretation of the detail for day 47, consisting of chevron, detached chain and straight stitches. I think I’m probably the world’s slowest embroiderer, but I have been savoring every second…

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pizza, Ice-cream, New Book and Yancy…

We went to the boardwalk in Ocean City again Saturday night for Mack and Manco’s pizza (drool…) and Shriver’s Gelato (the most wonderful ice-cream we’ve ever tasted!!!) Oh, I don’t want summer to be over…not yet…

We stopped in at the Atlantic Bookstore and I bought an intriguing-looking embroidery book called THE A-Z OF BULLIONS. I got it for $8.96 – yay!!! The list price is 26.95!

Yesterday, we photographed Yancy’s whole self. You can see more pictures and details here. I’m currently working on a new Santa named “Winslow.”

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Yancy is finally finished - just have to photograph him for the web site.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another Seam Embellished…

Here is my interpretation of Sharon’s day 71 detail, consisting of herringbone, chevron, detached chain stitches and beads.

There's a Frog in My Blog!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More Stitchery with SharonB

This is the Detail for Day 69, consisting of a row of herringbone stitches laced with silk ribbon. Above that row are detached chain stitches and fly stitches anchored with a bugle bead.

What Katydid...


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lesson Three - Creative Embroidery Course

I stitched Lesson 3 of the Creative Embroidery course on a piece of painted and stamped Peltex. My design was based on a magnification of the area on the upper left of a photograph I made of a partially buried wicker basket in the woods.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stitchin’ with Sharon (Day 58)

Here is my interpretation of Sharon’s day 58 detail, consisting of chain, detached chain, straight and (new to me) pistil stitches. This was a fun combination to stitch, and something I would have never dreamed of on my own.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Torn Paper Collage Revisited...

“Try it Tuesdays” has been on hiatus for awhile and so I thought I’d revisit the torn paper collage technique. This time I painted the textured papers with teal acrylic and used antiquing gel on top. This technique really makes paper look and feel like old tooled leather…

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

While My Sitar Gently Weeps...

Well, I couldn’t resist. Here’s my first attempt at a paisley design (on a little scrap of painted peltex). What fun! I could distinctly hear Ravi Shankar playing in the background while I was stitching. Thanks, Jo, for the great tutorial.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Here’s a sneak preview of “Irwin,” my latest Santa. I finished him today.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Painting, Stamping and Glazing…

I spent a little time out in the screenhouse this afternoon playing with paint on Peltex. Here are two possible backgrounds for my Creative Embroidery lessons. I’m sure getting my money’s worth out of my dollar stamps!

Monday, August 07, 2006

More Stitchin' with Sharon...

This is the Day 34 detail: feather stitch and beads.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Beach Peas Gone Wild (WIP)

I've only just started stitching my pea pods... and I signed up for Joggles ATC mini course - don't know how I'm going to fit everything in!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More Work on the Wedding Project…

Here’s my interpretation of Sharon’s Day 40 detail. I used it to embellish a plain grosgrain ribbon. I thought I'd have this little wedding project finished in no time, but the seams seem to be multiplying on this baby...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Beach Peas Gone Wild

This is just the start of lesson 2 of the Creative Embroidery course. I’m a bit behind…

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Freeform Embroidery Sampler (WIP)

This is where I am so far with lesson 1 of Susan Sorrell’s Creative Embroidery class. And I still have miles of stitching to go! I’m thinking it could use some beads, too. I’m going to let it percolate for a little bit, though, and move on to the next lesson. This sure ain’t your mama’s embroidery sampler…

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Here are a couple of pieces of permanently scrunched fabric from the Machine Embellishment course just waiting to be stitched and beaded. I can’t look at fabric, now, without wanting to scrunch it! I’ll probably get myself banned from the local Jo-Ann’s…

Friday, July 21, 2006

Yet More Details…

Here’s the detail from day 19 – Cretan stitch with woven ribbon (I auditioned several cords and they were either too fine or too heavy – the ribbon seemed right.)

Next, I embellished previously sewn chevron stitches a la Sharon’s day 25 detail. I know I should have worked the stitches below the seam line (like Sharon’s example) but I couldn’t because I already had decorated that side. Also, I wanted to add flowers to the top of the stems but the only ones I could find locally were gold metallic and they just called too much attention to themselves way over on the far right of my piece. So I used the same “pearls” I’ve been using and kept the threads really neutral – so it just looks like added texture on the plain fabric.

Lower the Feed Dogs, Darn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!

Here is my first attempt at needlelace "leaves" from the Machine Embellishment class at Quilt U. Free motion stitching is new to me and I think I like it – I’m beginning to really “bond” with my machine!