Sunday, January 21, 2018

Titles Are Hard Today

I've currently got a massive head that is making it difficult to think. In a few minutes I'm going to go sit in a dark room for a while, but I wanted to get this posted before I forgot.

The little snowman is finished. No sure if he's going to get framed or turned into an ornament.

I"m still irritated with the mistake on the black bear piece, so I started something new that's been in the stash for a while. This wolf is the companion piece to a grizzly bear I did for FuzzyHusband years ago. So far so good with this one.

My sister loves antique shops and recently found some mini pieces. She repainted the rocking chair and table herself and cleaned up the brass pieces. Her hobby is refinishing and repainting life-sized furniture, so little leftover amounts of paint are perfect for minis that she finds. I've got some special plans for these.


And Miss Ellie's lip is doing much, much better. The hair is slowly coming back now. Soon it will be like nothing happened. Now if we can just keep her from landing on her face when she jumps. Silly wee thing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Back to Black Bear

I dug out the Black Bear cross stitch that I hadn't touched in apparently four years. Whoops. Anyways, this is what it looked like the last time I played with it.

And this is what it looks like today.

I went from being very pleased to firmly irritated very quickly. Those trees on the right hand side should be over two stitches to the right. Somehow I lost count whilst putting in the sky and that threw everything off in the tree tops. And of course I didn't figure it out until trying to flesh out the last large tree before the faint tree line across the bears back. *sigh*

So what has to happen now it I finish all but the last large tree and then sort of fill in the spaces for the last tree, omitting a column of stitching that's 2 stitches by maybe 20 stitches. After that, I'll have to alter the stitched frame around the whole scene.

If the kit had clear DMC labels on the floss, I'd probably rip out that upper corner and restitch it, but it doesn't. So now it's either throw it away in frustration, which I'm not a fan of, or work around the problem. Thus stitching becomes a metaphor for life.

FuzzyHusband suggested that I pull out a small kit and work it up just so I could do a small thing to be happier with. I took his advice and started this snowman.


Just a few more cross stitches to fill him in and then the back stitching and French knots. I will also say that Ellie makes it very difficult to do hand work. This is her current, and favorite, position these days.

That's all for now. I need to get back to catching up with laundry and get the leftovers from dinner put away. See you next weekend!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year!

I'm just now starting to feel human again. Apparently the cold running around our area right now likes to hang on for almost 2 weeks.

Speaking of cold, -6 degrees F as a "high" is for the birds. Specifically penguins. This was my view for days.


Staying in bed was pretty much the rule last week.

Here's hoping this coming week is better than the last.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Good Intentions As Paving Stones

I'd planned on doing an early blog post last week to commemorate FuzzyHusband's and my 10th wedding anniversary, but things were just too busy. I was too busy trying to finish this piece and neither of us wanted to deal with holiday crowds, so we've opted to wait until after the holidays to have a nice dinner out somewhere.




I did get the vest done and delivered on Saturday. Kinda bummed that I'm still too sick to see it being worn on New Year's Eve.

FH bought me some beautiful jewelry, which is a rare and wonderful treat reserved for special occasions.

He also picked flowers that were the same type he used to buy me when we were poor college students and just starting to date. So sentimental! <3 p="">

Saturday was busy right up until I passed out from exhaustion. I had a cake to bake, a wreath to finish, bags to pack, critters to prep... all kinds of things needed doing. The last wreath of the season got done whilst waiting on the cake layers to cool. I designed it for my mother-in-law specially because she loves nutcrackers.



Then I wanted to make a post for Christmas Eve/Day, but again life was filled with wonderful things that were more important.





Tuesday morning I woke up with a fever and very little voice. When we finally got home that afternoon, Ellie Bean was injured and we had to rush to the vet. She'd somehow injured her lip, and the vet (not our regular one) wasn't sure how so he gave us antibiotics and sent us home.

I slept through most of Wednesday and Thursday as the lurgy symptoms got worse. Thankfully all signs point to it being a nasty cold and not an infection.

We went back to the vet Friday, in a snowstorm, because her lip looked worse. FH was home around 2:30 after swinging by the grocery store and passing 5 wrecks in 3 miles. The roads were heinous. It took us a while to get there and I'm glad we left way early for the appointment.


 This time we saw our regular vet and she's seen this type of injury before. Apparently Ellie likely failed to stick a landing after jumping down from something, landed on her faced, and skidded. The vet was impressed that her lip didn't tear away from her face. Confident that we weren't dealing with a potential abscess next to her jaw, Ellie and I headed home in the storm.

It was still coming down late yesterday evening. I haven't even gone near the door today as I woke up coughing and have no voice. Himself has been taking care of me all day. I've slept through most of it, as rest and fluids are about all one can do for a virus.

I figured I'm likely to sleep through most of tomorrow too, but since I was awake now I'd go ahead and update the blog. So Happy New Year to all. May 2018 be kinder to the world than 2017 has been.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cleaning, Baking, Decking, Etc...

Been a busy week here. My adopted nephew wanted to surprise his mm by showing up while he was on leave from the military... along with his new fiance... and they enlisted my help in the surprise.

So FuzzyHusband and I cleaned, baked, and waited. Of course FH didn't know who was coming to visit... he just knew we had to clean everything. Nephew asked that I keep it a surprise for all.

I baked some cookies fr us to snack on once they arrived. These in the picture are all that's left! Or at least were left when I took the photo. ;-)

The surprise went well and many happy tears were shed. My "sister from another mister" is very excited to be welcoming a new daughter into her life and said young lady fits right into the family as if she was made for us.

Onto the hall decking... There's been a severe run of drought for the last several years, so the availability of real trees for the holiday were slim to none. I managed to find this slim profile artificial tree on sale and picked it up. It will be a nice back up until we can have real trees again. Plus the little tree I put together will sit quite nicely next to it, making a tiny festive grove.


And Pixel really likes the box it came in!

Ellie also has a fondness for boxes and claimed this one that the new light sets arrived in.

That's all for this week. I've got a sewing commission that needs finished before Friday, so I'll be making up for time spent with family this weekend. See you later!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Progress Photos

I started a new wreath as a gift for someone. Not saying who just in case. ;-) 







There's still a bit of work to do. What I need to do next is make the bow and then readjust the other elements around it.

I also have this combination to use if I feel like more white and greenery is needed.

We'll see if I get it done this week. I've got a bunch of sewing to do now that the house is MUCH cleaner than it was. See you next time!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

With A Little Help From A Bean

An Ellie Bean, of course. ;-)


The place we normally cut our trees from has experienced drought for the last few years, so pickings are slim. And I'm waiting for larger trees to drop in price before I go after the one I have in mind for a new, big artificial tree. Using all my crazy Fesitval skills, I put together a new "table top" size tree for us.

If you can get a well done lit tree on clearance, do it. But I liked the look of this little tree that was unlit. One 100-light strand of twinkle lights was more than enough for it, but bigger trees can get pricey to light on your own.

Lay our everything you've collected for the project so you can see what you're working with. You might decide to nix some items and you may have forgotten what you purchased already.

Always make your own floral units. Way cheaper, more fun, and you can get more for your money when they're on sale. And before you say you can't do that, yes you can. You may need to practice and play for a bit, but I have faith in your creative abilities. Larger bushes of flowers or greenery can be cut apart to add a bit more oomph to a unit.

In this case, I had the gold magnolia leave and berries picked out, but decided to and sprigs from a frosted greenery bunch. Gave it more of a winter feel as opposed to fall.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box. The larger candy cane was actually a novelty pen that I found at the pharmacy 3 for $1. The smaller ones I aid a lot more for at Michaels. Also leave yourself some stem lengths so you have something to anchor the units to the tree branches.

Do a dry run for your topper to see what you like and don't like. Take some time to play around and have fun!

If you fall in love with a ribbon that isn't wired, make sure you pair it with a wired ribbon to make your like easier during bow-making. And make sure you have a good length of wire when securing the bow so you have leverage when placing it on the tree.

Always work with a single element at a time so you can get even placement. Work from the inside of the tree outward, because it's easier to layer that way. I preferred to add my feature ornaments last on this tree, because they're fabric and needed to be towards the ends of the limbs. I found the tutorial for the fabric ornaments here, and made them in several sizes. All of them came from 2 fat quarters of fabric.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Post With Text?!?

My crazy busy season is now complete. The fall burlesque show was last night and went very well. The bras held up (pun totally intended) beautifully during the ladies' dance number. The picture isn't the greatest, but cameras are not allowed backstage for obvious reasons. The Fuzzy Husband was working security for the show and was all the way in the back of the theater when he took this. There will eventually be better photos posted on Lock and Key Burlesque's Facebook page.


And today was the final day for our local Festival of Trees, which is a charity auction that benefits our local crisis nursery. This is the event that I helped out with a dollhouse for the past two years. Then I was asked to join the design committee for trees, which was amazing. I met and worked with some lovely ladies and I cannot wait for our next season of work to start!

Here's a few of the 47 trees that I helped design and create. The 8 wreathes, and "I lost count of" centerpieces were mainly worked on when I wasn't int he shop, so I don't have pictures of my own of them. We started work in late June and finished the last and largest tree last Monday.





I'm kicking myself for not being at the shop when we finished the tree these handmade ornaments went on. One of our committee made the prototypes and three of us made three sets (only 2 sets pictured) of these lovely card ornaments. They're high resolution scans of vintage Christmas cards that we layered with glittered cardstock. Was so much fun! Cookies and wine might have been involved as well.


Sadly, the economy here has been affected by a certain major employer moving jobs out of the area, so some of the larger trees did not sell. But this was the best looking Festival in the nine years that it's been held, so hopefully we will figure out the sweet spot with our new economic normal. Plus we're getting the word out to the public that the event even exists, so ticket sales to come in and view the trees will go up more and more.

Finally I started work on a new dress for myself. It just needs a hem at this point, but it has pockets!!!



An this is what happened when I was marking the dart for this bodice section. *cough* I didn't plan it, but the comedic effect was too fun not to share! ;-)

Now all I have left is to finish my dress, make the bolero that coordinates with it, make a waistcoat for a commission, and play with whatever strikes my fancy until the end of the year.