Thursday, November 30, 2006

To knot or not (SBQ) and other stuff

This week's SBQ asks:
How do you secure your thread when you begin a new one? Specifically, do you or have you ever used a waste knot?

I do use a waste knot form time to time, usually when I feel I'm running low on floss and want to conserve every millimeter of floss for stitching. For a while I used it all the time because I hated trying to "catch" the tail in my stitching. But now I usually just run my needle under some existing stitches nearby when starting a new thread.

The only time I leave a tail and then stitch over it to catch it is when I'm starting a brand new project, or starting in an area where there isn't much stitching already done to run the needle under.

Now, onto the rest of the post. Sorry I haven't been on much lately but the past few days has seen a household full of "sickies" here chez moi. All 4 of us have caught a rather nasty strain of the cold. This is our second go-round in the past few weeks, so I've been spending any extra time that I'm not looking after the kidlets recouperating. Unfortunately that means not much stitching going on either. I've spent much of my time sleeping lately. *grin* Luckily Jason doesn't mind looking after the little ones. I seem to have gotten the worst of it this time around. Last time I only had a stuffy nose for about a day and a half, but I think I more than made up for it this time. It almost feels like half cold/half flu. I've got the cough and stuffy/runny nose of a cold, and the aches and pains and fatigue that go with the flu.

I finally got a little bit of stitching done last night. I started the lettering for the back of the two ornaments on Monday night and last night I finally got Rachel's Ornament finished. I still have to work on the beading tonight so I won't be posting a progress picture until the that is done. After that I'll try and get them finished into ornaments. This is my first time "finishing" a project, so it should be interesting. I found a little tutorial on how to make the braid that goes around the ornament out of floss. I was planning on buying standart white braid to use, but now I think I might try making my own out of the pink and purple shades of floss that I used to stitch the mittens and scarves. I think it would be cute to have all 4 shades in there. Of course that means I'll have to pick up more floss too because I have very little left of most of those colours.

I'm so excited about Saturday. We're going shopping in Moncton. Now this thought usually brings dreadful thoughts of a packed Walmart and trying to find a parking space at the mall without having to walk 10 minutes to get to the front doors dragging screaming kids behind you all the while.

But what is so exciting this time is that Jason and I are going SOLO! Yes, that's right Jason's mom is watching Olivia and Mom is watching Rachel. We've got the whole day to shop without having to stop every 5 minutes for pee breaks, or bottle breaks, or dirty diaper breaks...

We can actually go to lunch somewhere that doesn't give out toys with their meals.

I can actually stop at a craft store and poke around for a minute without worrying whether or not the baby is in the car with Jason screaming her face off the whole time. (something that has actually happened once or twice)

I'm so excited thinking about it that I'm almost ready to get up and dance around the room...

(I know, I know... What's stopping me, right? It is good cardio after all.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Olivia's Sparkling Snowman

I finished stitching another "small" last night. It's the Christmas Onrnament that I mentioned in my last post -- or rather, it WILL be a Christmas ornament once I finish it. I plan on stitching Olivia's name and age along with the year on a back piece before finishing it into an ornament for her. Maybe something like:

Stitched by Mommy
for Olivia
3 Years Old

We'll see how it turns out. I need to go through my books and magazines to find a lettering that I like. I know I have a couple of them that are cute, I'm just not sure how many I have that are small enough for this. The stitched area is only 48w x 58h (including all the beading) so it's a fairly small area for lettering.

Speaking of beading, this is the first projet I've ever used beads on. I've had a few packs of Mill Hill beads a few years ago but never used them. (I bought them for Scrapbooking) So when this pattern called for 4mm ribbon french knots, which I desperately hate doing, I decided to put some beads on in their place. It's cute. It almost l0oks like sparkling snowflakes falling, whereas before the knots were green ribbon... not very "snow like".

I changed up the colours for the pattern quite a lot. The scarf and hat were supposed to in shades of blue and the mits and ear muffs were in green. Also, the ecru stitching around the edges of the snowman were supposed to be in DMC silver metallic, but I started stitching and ripped it out completely a few minutes later. I HATE HATE HATE working with that stuff... I've never worked with the Krienik metallics though, are they any easier to work with than the DMC? I hope so because I love the metallic look, but refuse to use it unless I absolutely have to. Besides, I thought the ecru was more authentic looking. I still get the "sparkle" from the beads, so I'm quite happy with it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Small Happy Dance and SBQ catch up.

I finished a quickie project last night. It took about two days (stitching at my pace -- slow) to finish this towel up. The design is from Better Homes and Gardens Cross Stitch Christmas Magazine (I'm not sure which year offhand, I've got 3 or 4 of them) It's the perfect size for a hand towel.

I stitched it with the intention of giving it to Olivia's Dance Teacher at their last class before Christmas, but now I'm not so sure. I think it's very cute, and don't know if I'm going to give it away or not. *lol* I finish so few projects that when I do get one done I don't want to give it away. Maybe once I get a few more finishes under my belt I might be better at parting with them.

I haven't gotten around to answering very many of the SBQ (Stitching Blogger's Question) lately so I've decided to play a bit of Catch-up for at least the last few weeks.

Do you stitch Christmas ornaments? If so, how many do you stitch each year and for whom? If not, why not?

I'm actually currently working on my very first Christmas Ornaments. I never stitched them before because we always had a very "coordinated" tree. It is always decorated in Red, White and Silver, and I never saw a lot of patterns that matched this theme that I liked, so I always stayed away from them since the ones I liked didn't "match" our tree.

But since Olivia was born we've slowly been collecting more and more "non-themed" and kid-friendly ornaments, and this year Olivia saw a cute snowman ornament I had in one of my magazines and said she wanted me to stitch it for her. There are two there, so I decided to stitch one for each of the girls and to find one to stitch for Jason and I as well. I've decided I'm going to try and make it an annual thing. Make three ornament every year. One for each girl and one for us every year. And when the girls leave home, they've already got their start on a Christmas Ornament stash for their own Christmas Tree.

How many different brands of “complete” embroidery floss sets do you own? How do you keep track of it? (i.e., spread sheet program, index cards, palm pilot, etc.)

I don't own ANY complete sets of floss. I use mainly DMC, but I buy floss as I need it. I'll pick up one or two that I don't have every time I get a chance, which until recently wasn't often since I can't buy DMC floss in Fredericton anymore (only Anchor -- at Walmart) and I rarely get to Saint John or Moncton. So hopefully someday soon I'll end up with close to a complete collection of DMC. That would be nice.

Or rather I should say I don't THINK you can get DMC in F'ton anymore... the two places I used to get my floss and Cross stitch patterns in F'ton have both closed down. Trimmings was a small-ish craft store with TONS of stuff for Cross-stitch, Beading, Sewing and Quilting plus some stuff for other crafts, but those seemed to be the main focus. They closed down, oh, probably two years ago now, and Lewiscraft in the Mall closed down probably around 6 months ago and there aren't any LNS that I know of at all in Fredericton.

A small home based shop opened up in my town a month or so ago and they carry DMC floss, but not the complete collection of colours, and their distributer doesn't carry a lot of the big names in patterns like L&L and Miribilia etc etc. Their distributer only carries "kits" and I hate buying kits, especially now that I've discovered stitching on higher count fabrics. (Linnen and Lugana, pref 28 count) I desperately hate stitching on 14 count Aida fabric, and that's usually what kits include for fabric.

How did you decide on the title of your stitching blog? Was it random, or does it have a special meaning to you or about you?

Well, until earlier today my blog was just called "Christine's Little World" I guess reading this SBQ a few weeks ago kind of got me thinking about how uninspired that sounds. *grin* So, I've been mulling it around in the back of my head and finally came up with the name Ramblings of a Scattered Mind, which pretty much sums up everything going on in this blog. There is no unifying "theme" to my posts. They mainly seem to focus around my stitching and my family... for this month, but knowing me I'll completely switch gears in another month or so and will be posting about something completely different... So it seems to fit...

However that being said, the title has absolutely NOTHING to do with stitching. I don't have enough ambition to keep one blog going steady, let alone two. In other words, my life isn't interesting enough that if I don't put my stitching stuff on my main blog I'd have nothing to say. *lol*

I think that's enough for now... hopefully I can keep up with doing this on a weekly, or at least bi-weekly basis so I don't have to type this much all at once again.

Getting There (Fairy Celebration)

I decided not to take a picture of my progress at 15 hours because I was so close to finishing the fairy portion. So instead I'm posting a pic I took at 17 hours after I finished Ariana and her wand completely. This was taken a few days ago, but I guess an update is better late than never.

I'm nearly done the border now and once it's done, I'll begin working on the script around the border. The border is going fairly quickly since it's only one stitch wide (with the exception of the embelishments at the corners) The script however will take a bit longer because I changed it somewhat.

The original pattern calls for the words "Fairy Live Here" but I changed it to say "Faeries Live Here". It needed to be plural to make sense, so I plotted it out by taking the letters from elsewhere in the script and copying them to make sure it looks close enough to her original. There was only one letter that wasn't in the original pattern, the "s". I had to try and plot one out that fits. IMHO it looks pretty good, but then again it's only on paper so far. Hopefully it'll look ok with the rest of the letters.

It's also taking a bit longer to finish since I've been working on a few smaller cross stitches for the past few days. I put this one away while I did that because I wanted to make sure I had them done for Christmas, so they take a bit higher priority.

I've got a post with pics of a towel I stitched for Christmas coming up in a few minutes. I would have put them all in one post, but I had the other almost finished when I realized that I never published this post, just saved it as a draft. I came back to finish and post this one first.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My beautiful girls

Here are a few of the pictures I took yesterday of Olivia and Rachel in their Christmas Dresses. Aren't they gorgeous! The photo session didn't last long because of a pre-nap meltdown from Rachel and an "everyday" meltdown by both Olivia and me, but I got a few good pics that might be ok to tuck into the Christmas cards.

I borrowed some black faux velvet from Kerri, and draped it over the couch. The girls are sitting on the floor with their backs to the couch. I turned it around so it faced the window, then I turned on my stitching lamp so it was facing them. It supposedly has a "natural light" light bulb. Personally, I think it's much more blue tinted than natural light is, but it's not nearly as yellow as a normal bulb and does look quite a bit closer to natural light than anything else I have in the house. Unfortunately I forgot to turn off my flash and I still ended up with a bunch of pictures that had a bad glare on their skin and I had to fix the red eye in nearly every picture I took...

I think I might try it again later, but with either the white or the navy velvet that I borrowed from her as well. Hopefully this time I remember to turn off my flash.

I had this one cropped in nice and close to a vertical picture, but for
some reason Blogger won't let me upload it. Baaaaad Blogger!

This is the one Janice thinks I should use for the Christmas Pic.
I'm not quite sure which one it'll end up being though.

This one isn't in the running for the Christmas picture since
Rachel isn't in it, but I just wanted to post it because it's such
a nice picture of Olivia.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Need your Help

Hey everyone, I need a bit of help finding a product I saw on the web, but I'm not sure where to buy it at... Anyone know where I can find this mirror at??

Fairy Celebration Update... finally!

Ok, I'll admit it, in addition to ignoring my blogging obligations I've also been ignoring my stitching lately.

I put it off for a few days because I had other projects on the go, and once I finished them I just never seemed to pick it back up. It's been nearly a month since I last posted a progress pic and I've only completed a measley 5 hours on my Fairy Celebration X-stitch... but at least I now have another picture to show... and hopefully will have another in just a few more day.

Fairy Celebration or "Ariana" as I call her at 10 hours work

I call her Ariana after the fairy collection that Partylite carries in their "home party" catalogues. I used to be a Partylite consultant back in the 1999/2000 timeframe and absolutely fell in love with the original Ariana piece (see pic below) but just never got around to picking it up. The Cross Stitch fairy reminds me of her for some reason... Here's a few pics I found on Ebay of the Ariana piece I always wanted. Maybe I should tell Jason. There's always someone looking for ideas for Christmas presents... maybe this would be a good one.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More pics missed from October

I've decided to post a few more pictures that I should have posted in October. (and two from even earlier than that. I wasn't sure if I had posted them before or not and I was too lazy to check *lol*)

April 26: This was taken on Rachel's first day home from the hospital.

August 26: We went out for the day and Rachel needed a little nap. I thought this picture was so cute with her cuddling the cow. We call her "Bessie". (The cow, not Rachel *lol*)

October 1: Olivia has been facinated with making funny faces lately.

October 1: Here's another funny face.

October: Here is a picture of the painting we had done for my grandfather's 75th birthday. It's a painting done of his house by a local artist. Click on the picture to see a larger version and see if you can find the cardinal. (She puts one in every painting she does.)

Here's the original picture (taken last year by my uncle) that the artist worked from for the painting. Isn't she an great artist. BTW, she didn't paint the roof colour wrong. She thought it was grey as it looks like in the picture, but she took a drive out to his house to double check on something and found that it's acutally green.

October 6: Olivia taking a rest on the lawn while playing outside.

October 6: We had my uncle come over and take some pictures hoping to get a good family picture we could put on some Christmas cards. I love this picture, but it wasn't quite focused and it's a bit too blury for printing. Most of the others didn't turn out because, well, any of you with kids know how hard it is to get two of them looking in the same direction at the same time. *lol*

October 7: Olivia bowling for the first time. My cousin had her daughter Josie's birthday party at the local bowling alley. Olivia had a blast!

October 8: Rachel grinning from ear to ear. Get a look at those two pearly whites!

October 11: Roasting marshmallows on a campfire in our back yard. Strangely enough after one marshmallow Olivia didn't want to eat any more. She liked roasting them, but didn't want to eat them... Strange... if I didn't know better I'd wonder if she were really mine. *lol*

October 19: No story behind this picture. I just love her expression.

October 23: Rachel was 6 months old this day and we started feeding her solids.

October 24: Olivia's 3rd birthday and she started figure skating today. She LOVES it!

October 31: It's Halloween and here are Mommy and her girls all dressed up at a Halloween Party that morning.

October 31: Candy Day. As you can tell Olivia is pretty wired. This was our last stop at Nannies house before we went home for the night.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Long time no see...

I know, I know. I've been a baaaad girl lately. I haven't been keeping up with my blogging at all. My last post was about Olivia's birthday and that was 2 1/2 weeks ago.

I've also realized that I haven't been posting as many pictures of the kids as I had intended either, so most of this post will be back pictures of the kids, then if I have time I'll post a bit more... The pictures always take the longest because It takes so long to upload them to blogger.

Here's a few from November.

November 1: Rachel eating her first vegetable. PEAS!!

November 1: After the peas were done. Messy girl!

November 2: Olivia cuddling up on the couch, smiling for the camera.

November 2: Rachel having some "tummy time"

November 5: Here's a picture of Olivia writing a letter to Santa. (Yes it's that time of year already!!) She has decided to ask him for a Scooter for Christmas this year.

November 7: Here's Olivia helping to feed Rachel her baby cereal.

November 7: And here's Rachel after she was done. *lol*

November 12: This final picture was taken this morning. I was getting her cereal ready and I looked over and saw her sucking on her bib. Apparently I wasn't quick enough with her breakfast and she decided to try eating something else. *grin*

Some (but not all) blinkies adopted from:

Others found randomly around the net and put here to use for my own nefarious purposes! Muahahahaha. (*J/K*)