Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I am home by myself opening the door for the trick or treaters. My children are out with their friends -- my daughter decided to trick or treat as herself because I failed as a parent and did not order her the whoopee cushion costume in time for Halloween. My son has been trying to think of things to claim to be as he trick or treats in his regular clothes -- I suggested a high school student but he said that was too obvious. He was trying to decide between child molester and serial killer when he left with his friends.
As the evening goes on, the trick or treaters at my door get older and fewer of them show up in costume -- it is a little cold out so in some cases the costumes may be covered up by jackets or sweat shirts. I have succeeded in giving out all of the candy that no one in the house will eat. So I can feel the evening has been a success. I also made popcorn in a pot on the stove for the first time -- I have always used the microwave bags or an air popper before. I managed to only burn a few kernels on the bottom of the pan.
I am also trying to transfer an address list from Palm format from a Treo to Outlook so I can have it on this computer. I am trying to decide how long is a reasonable time to wait before I assume it froze and will never finish.
I have been reading. I finished Crazy Aunt Purl's book Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair over the weekend and have been thinking about the community of needlework bloggers. I have also been looking at the referrers that show up in my site statistics and found out that there are some blogs that link back to this post. The fact that technorati does not pick them up is a technical issue that I will look into later but it is cool to know that my comments have influenced someone else's work or that someone else has found my blog interesting enough to refer someone else. When I decided to start my blog, I wasn't sure anyone would read it. Almost 300 visitors a month seems outstanding.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Creative Embroidery piece

I finished my first piece for Susan Sorrell's Creative Embroidery - Organic Design class. The class is offered through Joggles. Her style of embroidery is very interesting -- much freer than anything that I have done before. This piece is supposed to be a Zen embroidery piece -- an abstract design using different stitches and threads. I used a variety of silks, appleton wools, cotton threads, and some DMC linen in various threads on a piece of hand dyed quilting cotton. Quite a departure from the rest of the charted cross stitch that I have done this month.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Stitching for exchanges

I have been stitching for exchanges. I posted my biscornu pictures last week. Here are pictures of my Halloween Treat Bag based on a pattern in a British magazine and of a pincushion from a Halloween Quaker Exchange. The pincushion is based on a motif in the Tsunami Sampler. I used a beaded border inspired by the fringe patterns in the Bead Embroidery book that I recently bought. The beads are brighter in person but I could not get them to show up properly on the photograph.

I also finished my first pair of knitted socks. I now have two rainbow ripple socks. I have started my second pair of socks using yarn from the Art Walk Sock Club and the Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks from Cat Bordhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. The socks look good so far -- I will post pictures soon. I will have a lot of opportunities to work on my knitting this year since
we have added indoor Lacrosse to our winter sports schedule.
I have even done some reading this week -- I finished Small Island and am now reading the latest Thursday Next mystery, First Among Sequels.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Biscornu exchange

I made a biscornu using Chatelaine's free pattern Manuela's Sunflowers stitched on 32 count Silkweaver Forest Haven Belfast Linen. This biscornu will be heading out in the mail soon to its new home.

In return, I got this biscornu from Clare. She did a beautiful job picking out wonderful fall colors. She included some thread, needles, a tape measure, straight pins, a Whitman sampler tin and a chocolate bar.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mom's Macrame Necklace . . .

After sharing my discovery of my mother's macrame book on the used book shelf at the public library for $1. I thought I would share a picture of my mother's macrame necklace. My mother got the pattern for this necklace from Dona Meilach's Macrame book. She wore it quite a bit at one time and made a number of other pieces of macrame. This is the only one that I currently have. It was last worn by a friend of mine at a 1970's party.

I have purchased some more embroidery books recently including The Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques by Pauline Brown, The Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques by Sally Saunders, and A Maryland Sampling by Gloria Seaman Allen.

I also received my autumn exchange package with a needle roll, fabric, various fibers and an weighted bag for the arm of a chair. I will have to check and see if my exchange made it to its new home. I love all of the fall colors and signed up for some other Halloween and Fall themed exchanges. Pictures will be coming soon. The leaves are even starting to change color but the temperatures are more like summer than fall.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

September Flowers

I thought I would share some pictures of the flowers in my garden at the end of the season. The bees and other insects are quite happy that we have so many flowers. This bright green insect shown on the yellow chrysanthemum is harmless, but one of the furry bumble bees bit me on my leg while I was clearing weeds out of the garden. The swelling around the bite took a week to come down. The Firecracker climbing rose is one of the prettier end of season blooms.

I have been stitching too but I don't have any finished things to share right now. I am knitting my second sock, working on parts 5 and 6 of Chatelaine's Elizabethan Sweet Bag and I finished another row of over one stitching on Anne Depauw. I should have some things to share later in the week.

Recently, I purchased some new books. I found a copy of Macrame: Creative Design in Knotting by Dona Meilach on the Friends of the Library used book shelf for $1.00. It has the Berry Knot necklace my mother made in the 1970s on page 150. I still have my mother's necklace. I also bought Bead Embroidery: The Complete Guide by Jane Davis at JoAnn's fabrics. It contains different methods of attaching beads to fabric, beaded fringe patterns and beads incorporated into surface embroidery and pulled thread embroidery stitches.