Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What do you suppose it is?

I looked for a pic of anything that looked similar ... couldn't find much...



















....if they were elongated they also seemed to have longer stalks ..this guy had a very short stalk.
















I read that if it grows in your lawn, it is called a "lawn mushroom".  Doesn't seem too informative ... oh, and, apparently most lawn mushrooms are poisonous... great.... guard your kids people!

I think fall is settling in... the miniature crabapples are showing up on my so called 'flowering crab'..which is not supposed to have too many...but, it seems they still haven't quite figured out a way to keep most of the decorative crabs from getting fruit.  Maybe the birds will eat a few over the course of the winter.  I'm leaving them on just in case, seeing as this tree is new to our yard.   Do birds like them?  Don't know.  I'll find out I guess.  Maybe some birds like them...maybe not... I've seen the squirrels stealing the neighbour's big crabapples...maybe they'll take some too....



















About the size of cherries.

















Monday, September 23, 2013

And, now....a third...


... almost completed.  Having the "master sheet" already made up and just being able to cut each piece out and embroider and trim makes it go a lot faster than beginning a new one each time.  Not that it's a race.















There is now just the last row of buttonhole lace stitching around the outside to do.















Wow... that is one of the things that takes me quite a long time and is very tricky.  The thickness of the edges makes it hard to get a needle through it ....and I end up using my haemostats to pull the needle through on many stitches.... it took me an hour's stitching last night just to do about 3/4 of the edge... not that I'm complaining...just sayin' ... and, so ... that means about another hour and a half to finish.  The second row will be simpler, of course, and not difficult to pull through.  It is more just stringing the thread through each stitch now... to finish off the outside neatly and prettily... it makes all the difference in the world to the overall appearance.















See the little soft cotton piece of my vintage hanky with the tatted edge?  Right there along the lower corner?  I still have more left...and I love how it works so well with the embroidery on the pillows... I will continue to use it all ... I may even have enough to do all 6 pillows that will come from the master sheet.

My idea to use a couple small bits of my lacy fabric that I won in Karen's giveway didn't go as easily as I was thinking it would.  I cut some some, placed them and promptly went blank... they didn't look like much and I had no clue what to do ... but, as the days passed...I had a few thoughts...and did a few stitches in other areas while I tried to puzzle it out.

Here's how it looked the first day....















Then, I wondered about just using one and some other stitching.... but, no.....
















So, I continued to puzzle and stitch.... and here's how they look now...















They've come a long way baby!  French knots to hold them in place as well as bulk out the edges; bullion knots to surround them and make them stand out; more French knots as tiny daisy flowers ...

Another little bit of folded lace ( my new stuff I got in the village of Armstrong, B.C. for $1.50 for 5  metres) ... . ... and hey... a second little not so dangly thing-me-bob. I attached it a bit too close to a corner....live and learn.  It then sort of flipped up and looked more like a tab or handle.. so I had to stitch it down after the fact... not an easy feat..  nor is doing a few French knots when you can't get to the back of the fabric...but, I did it...hiding the beginning and end of the threads beneath the lace... tricky that.

The next one?  I make darn sure I remember a few lessons I already learned on my first three pillows.... the fourth should be a little less hassle..... but, ...maybe not.  You know how it goes... try something a bit different yet again and hey...more tricks to learn...  good thing old dogs can so learn new things.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

What the?..

How did I forget to show you my second completed pin pillow?

You know me...all up in your face when I have little successes.... I can't believe I didn't blow my own horn the second I finished it.  Hmmm... must be getting old or forgetful or... something...

I know I showed portions of it...but, here it is now...all finished.















I gave it to my sister when I went to see her last week.  Her reaction was similar to mine when I held Karen's pin pillow in my own hand.    She said ... "I can't believe how tiny all the work and stitches are!" "It looks so much larger in photos" which is exactly what I said.  Even when we say the size..it just makes no impact 'til you see it up close and personal.  This little guy is 3 x 4...

Here are a few more views... this tiny edge on the lower corner (which I think may be tatting) is a tiny piece of a special hanky my Mom gave me when I was a kid...

As Karen says, for all of the projects we are making... why leave our treasures hidden in drawers where nobody sees them ... ever.  Even though we are cutting them ..  we are recycling and repurposing some lovely things...and lots of folks will now be recipients of the new items and be able to perhaps display them or use them.  It's a way to give new life to what was hidden treasure.

I'm thinking Mom would have loved to see these little creations and wouldn't mind at all that I've used my hanky to make them look beautiful.


















Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Smile

"Dude Dog".

Standing in front of a new tube light ...

Is he lifting his rear leg? .... Oh, NO, no....!  Bad dog!  Bad dog!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Did ya miss me?

What??  You didn't even realize I was gone? ...hmpf.....Well.....

But, then, why would you?  I'm so irregular with postings that a week or two here and there wouldn't seem out of place.

So, I was away... visiting my sister in the next province... a 7 hour drive away....

Look what she has been saving for me... of course, for non fabric crafters it won't mean much...but, to the stitching group I belong to ..and those that know about fabrics and crafting with it.... it's a great find!

Two vintage blouses..one hand made.  She had very elderly relatives who used to make their own clothing... they were very frugal ladies ... pioneers in the area many years ago... and learned early on how to sew for themselves and get by on little or nothing, but, still look good doing it..

































This one is a very soft cotton fabric in equally soft yellow colour, with an interesting panel down the front as well as on the sleeves.  You can hardly see the button ..but, they are all still there and are cute little swirls in clear plastic... still in perfect shape.  Somebody hand laundered this blouse at least 973 times, I'm sure. .... it is so soft and fragile feeling... the cotton is pretty much transparent now, but, still plenty sturdy enough to use for pin pillow trim and the like.















We also checked out her local thrift store in the tiny town she is near.  It's always very busy .. plenty of folks in the area shop at thrift and second hand stores... we love to shop there because it's so much fun and hey, we always come away with bargains and stuff we can use.  She likes to buy her "farm clothes" there.  Why buy new stuff to shovel poo or paint fences?  Pants, shirts, boots and jackets that are used but still plenty serviceable are a necessity to farmers.  I like to check out the corner with little trinkets and bits of sewing stuff...this time I got 5 metres of lace for $1.50 !  Then, we went to Winners and found Ralph Lauren slacks for $30 ... it was a pretty good shopping spree....
















Then, we had a sandwich at a local little restaurant, went home to pet cats .... and went for a walk down the road to check out some cute crazy goats.

They look all civilized in the shot below...but, they are totally nuts!  they race up to the fence at breakneck speed... stick their heads out through the squares of wire up to their shoulders and their heads are hard as rocks... if you are standing too close? ... well, you could get hurt....



















They just about had the fencing stretched out of shape...all for a bit of grass.... which, by the way...they had in their enclosure but, preferred the longer, greener, moister stuff...I guess.

Her grandson wasn't taking any chances and I don't blame him.... better safe than head butted...
one tried to eat my camera....


Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm a winner!

A few weeks ago Karen Ruane had a little giveaway on her blog.....and I won!  Good thing my bloggy buddy Mary Ann was not involved...that girl is so lucky nobody else has a chance if she is entered.  I didn't tell her about this one...ahahha...oh, sorry Mary Ann.... not nice I know....but, this time.... nope.  Didn't.

This is what I won.  A piece of lacy fabric that Karen made.  You can check out her blog and her lovely photos on Flickr and see all of her work... she works mainly in whites and I always marvel at how everything is so pristine looking and so well photographed.















And, even though you absolutely get to see it all in her photos, and yes, even very close up ... somehow it is just different to be able to hold a piece in your hands.  To touch it and feel it and see the fabrics themselves.  I'm glad I managed to win this bit so I could see first hand what FME (Free Motion Embroidery) looks like with bits of lace integrated into it.

For instance, look at this portion of it...see the little flower of the bit of lace that was introduced into the piece of fabric being made?















 Here is a different area...















And, look at the base fabric... scrim I think it is ... please correct me if I'm wrong Karen... but, it is still a bit different from the sample of scrim that I have....and totally different from what us girls in Canada and the U.S have to work with when we try this technique ...which is cheesecloth... a huge difference.

I took a photo of cheesecloth versus this background fabric.  Wow...  cheesecloth on the left, of course...how does anybody manage to do some FME on that?  Must try it someday...but, not today....















Today I will do the second row of buttonhole lace stitch around my second pin pillow....woohooo... love it.!  The first row was a bit tricky, because as Karen mentioned...you can't believe how thick things are 'til you attempt to push a needle through it all.... good thing I have a few pairs of haemostats and know how to use them.  And, at one point...luckily I noticed I was bleeding before I got it on my pillow!  I really poked myself a good one.

















Thursday, September 5, 2013

Two posts in the same week

Things are looking up!

Whew!  Another hot one today, just like yesterday.  Forget mad dogs and Englishmen in the noonday sun...around here it is just Crazy Canuck golfers.  Yep... yesterday I golfed in +30C. Came home drenched in sweat.  Just soaked.  Oh, it was soooo  nice to have a cool bath and flop on the bed for half an hour.

Managed to do a bit of work on my pin pillow last night and today.  The guy who was supposed to come to finish off around the skylight... cancelled at the last minute this morning.  Arrgghhh!  It's always something with all of them it seems.  Nobody really wants to work anymore.  It's like pulling hen's teeth just getting them here ..then they look at things and have to go to the hardware store ...then, oh, gee, it's coffee time or lunch.  It all depends on how late they arrived.  Wow.  How did I go through life not ever finding a job like that?  I had to work and work hard at every darn thing I ever tried in my lifetime.  Silly me I guess.

Best laid plans... now he can't come 'til next week... and I have the dentist on Monday, so, it will have to be Tuesday...let's see if he shows ...

I got a bit more stitching done today ..after I worked in the garden 'til it got too stinkin' hot.

Here is the story on these hearts.  I told it on Flickr, but many of you don't go there, so... I'll tell you here as well.
I didn't notice 'til I took off the waste canvas (the grid I use to stitch the little crosses) that the top right hand side X was one space over from where it was supposed to be.  Maybe nobody would have noticed, but I knew, and wanted to change it; so how could I ever get the grid in the proper spot for only two tiny crosses?  And, I didn't want to unpick my little heart.
What did I have to lose if I tried to fix just the top two crosses without using a grid?  If I failed, I could just unpick the whole heart and do it over.   So, I unpicked only the top two X s in order to have thread long enough to knot.  And, did them again, freehand.  You can't even tell.  Happy me.



















Some web stitches and some French knots here and there as well... and a little thingy I cut off a bit of trim at the top right corner... it is loose and lifts up and down... like a tiny bell.



















A couple more hearts above and little lacy ruffle....



















Coming along.  Might be able to get it stitched and ready for outlining with buttonhole lace stitch tomorrow ... fingers crossed....





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wow...I fell off the radar....

Summertime hey? .... everything is turned on its ear.

I heard parents humming this morning...humming that tune...."It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year".... as they put kids on buses...hahhahah.... only 180+ days left kiddies... til next summer.... huh? ..is that all?  Obviously the reason nobody learns to read and write anymore ...well, that and computers...

Anyway..onward with other things.  I've been golfing, and waiting on trades and others to finish up the renovations...that were supposed to be completed by last October....sigh... oh, and dental visits... for complicated things with my mouth that are too technical and involve older implants etc... to bother explaining to most folks.  Easy enough for me to understand after being in dentistry for 20 years.... the hard part is sitting in the chair again.. after not having to do that for years.... I didn't think I'd ever have to go through this again.  But, every body reacts differently to things and mine failed me with a front tooth implant.. and, so ..lots of other work taking place to try to save and fix and replace things.

Recently I also made a master sheet of fabric as Karen calls it.  At least I think I remember her calling it that.  From my second class with her... although, we did take to calling it the class that was not a class as it was supposed to be more a gathering of cloth and embroiderers..but, you know how it goes.  Folks want to know how to do 'stuff'...and she has to show and tell.  The second class was called Simply Stitch and now she has another on the go... Simply Stitch 2 .. head over to her blog to check out her work.

Anyway, when I made my first pin pillow, I just put together tiny bits of fabric and made only one.  This time I'm trying for several at one go.  Not that it is any quicker.  For me, it is actually more confusing it seems.  Trying to get things measured etc..   I don't seem able to piece things and just get on with it. Square off things and use the pieces I squared off.  Nope.  Not me.















Karen also did say she is happy to be of help with any part of what we are doing and if we find our own way of doing ... that means she has succeeded.  Well, Karen, I have this little trick I'm using to help me envision it in the finished stage, because I just can't look at the large piece and see my little pillow area done.















I made up a beautiful piece... FME'd (Free Motion Embroidered) on it... then, cut out some squares from a piece of heavy paper and can move it around to look at which area I want to use for my pillows.  Stick in a few pins to mark the edges, turn it over and then place the cutout on the pinned spots to draw on my squared off lines.  Then, work away on the front with some embroidery, some placement of laces and other bits of trim.  At the end of the embellishment and stitching, I will cut the pieces off the bigger piece of fabric, stitch the front to a silk backing and more embroidery around the edges and voilĂ ... hopefully another pin cushion as beautiful as my first one.

















Sometimes, as we know,  the first is the best.  But, I did learn my lesson with bear and doll making... don't sell or give away the first one til you see how they turn out after that.  You may regret giving away the absolute best one you ever make.  Been there; done that.

And, speaking of Free Motion Embroidery...helpppp!!  I don't know if it is something 'bout my machine or if it is just me or what.... but, when I begin, I want to bring up the bobbin thread so I can hold onto to both threads at the start of machining...however, .....I can't get the lower thread to come up through the fabric...even in test fabric which is much thinner than my doubled up stuff.... what gives?
I am wasting yards of thread just trying to pull the top one and hold the top one etc...to try to coax up a single stitch from below....acckkkkk!  That was the reeeeellly hard part of all of this!  Plus my foot thingy must have something wrong with it as well... can't keep the speed continuous at all right now... it wasn't doing that before....must take it in to have things looked at I guess.....I even took the bobbin holder out from underneath (that was a wrestling match to get back into place!) and cleaned with my tiny brush, etc....no luck so far...

See?...You can get the idea ...sort of from noting where the basting lines are around the outside of the size you decided upon.... but.....



















...with my cutout, I can play with trim and see the actual look of a completed cushion.  So much easier ....for me ....



















Last night I did some web stitches (I love that stitch; my fav I think) some French Knots, and today, hopefully, a few cross stitched hearts will make an appearance.  But, I do have the door and window place on call....and I must drive over to pay up my dues for the Leisure Centre (you can't do it over the phone) ....or they may not let me golf tomorrow...oh, and waiting on the dental office to move my appointments around to accommodate their holidays ....sigh...... how does a person ever just plop down and enjoy some "ME" time?

Probably when the snow flies....nobody will want to do anything then, I'm sure.