Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Monday!

I know, what is so great about Monday, lol. Well today we are having a lovely weather day so it makes it worth getting up and getting the day going. Our temperatures had one of those typical Ohio spring drops over the weekend which included some rain near the weekend making everybody just feeling blah. So waking up to sunshine this morning makes it worth getting up and functioning on a Monday. In addition though to my blah cold weekend I dealt with the beginning of a nasty flare up with my fibromyalgia. YUCK! I should have expected it or seen it coming. I think it was triggered by my fall two and half weeks ago.  Speaking of which. My right wrist is doing much better now. I just wear the brace on it at night when I sleep. However on the downside of that fall.... The day after I fell I went to an urgent care center to get my wrist treated, they also looked at my right knee, pushed around on it but didn't take x-rays and thought it would be fine. In the week that followed, my pain level in the knee began to increase from ouch that sort of smarts to wholly cow that darn thing really hurts and making my blood pressure hit the roof. I ended up in the ER because my blood pressure diastolic number was really getting high, 117 (80 is what it should have been). While I was there I told them about the prior fall and trip to urgent care. They decided to perform a number of x-rays on the knee. When the doctor came back to talk to me he informed me that I had landed on that knee a whole lot harder then I thought. He said  I had to have hit it extremely hard. He told me I have a contusion that is extremely deep down in my knee causing fluid to build up.  They started me on pain meds and made me stay until the meds could kick in and the BP came down to be reasonable and also wrapped my knee up like a  mummy in ace bandaging. The doc was trying to offer me a choice between crutches or a walker. I told him the last time I tried to use crutches I managed to fall 3 more times because of the crutches so that was out. He tried to push to get me to use a walker but I informed him my cane would work just fine. We discussed it for another 5 minutes until he realized just how how stubborn I can be and gave up and consented to my cane while also telling me to stay off the knee. So here I am still hobbling around with a cane a week later. I decided that telling me to stay off my knee and keeping it elevated sounded like a prescription to sit and work on my cross-stitching tapestries. :) So I am working my way through my rotation of cross-stitching projects. I am having fun with this although I am spending more time working on the Earth Song piece designed by Heaven and Earth Designs over the other pieces right now.

Here are photos of the WIPs and SAL in my rotation ATM.

This is a little piece I am doing as a SAL (Stitch a long) through Cross My Heart the needleshop near my home. The charts for it are free so long as I purchased all the supplies for it from the store. It is called "Diamond Quilt" by Handblessings. I love this little piece. It is being stitched on 28 count Jobelan cloth working over 2. The frames around each diamond are stitched with one strand of Watterlillies Nefertiti. I love this thread. The color is gorgeous when you can actually see it being stitched up close. The rest of the threads that are used in the diamonds are all over-dyes. I am all caught up on this projects and nothing really more for me to do until the next three diamonds are released which likely will not be until June. This project really introduced me to Jobelan evenweave cloth and I think this is my new favorite cloth to work on.

This is a current update on my progress of the 1899 Wedding photo tapestry I started three years ago from my great-grandparents wedding photo. I decided to include the original photo in this picture for some comparison. It is really coming along nicely. I am working this on 32 count linen working two over two making the stitched 16 count. I have always said that I wished I had chosen to use silk instead of DMC floss for this project but it is looking good. I am also slowly becoming a fan of working 1 over 1 on 25 count (more about this later) and now wish I would have done that for this tapestry.

Now this is my absolute newest start. I found a really nice photo of the Last Supper painting and turned it into a chart for my own personal use. I am working this on 25 count Lamb's Wool colored Jobelan working 1 over 1 and loving it. It is much easier working 1 over 1 on this evenweave fabric. The last time I worked 1 over 1 it was on linen and the linen had too many blurps (thick areas in the strands) and created a nasty uneven look. The Jobelan evenweave is all precise strands keeping this tapestry uniformed, neat and tidy. I have also found that I love the thickness and softness of the Jobelan cloth.  I think it will be lovely when it is completed. I am limiting my stitching time on this to one day a week for now. I still need to finish gathering all the floss I need for this piece.

This is another SAL that I am spending about 1 day a week on. It is called "Token of Love" and I am working on this through the Yahoo group I changed the color scheme to suit my own taste, dark blue DMC floss #823 on sky blue 18 count Aida. It is a fairly easy stitch and a great take along project.

And here is the early stages of the "Magnolia Tree" tapestry I created from a photo of my own tree. There is a great deal of "confetti" stitching involved in this tapestry so it is very slow going. There are 100 different DMC floss thread colors in this chart. I am limiting my time to one day a week on it.

I guess you could call this my main project here. It is "Earth Song" by Heaven and Earth Designs. I am working this on 18 count Aida using two strands of DMC floss. You will also notice that I am actually using one of my q-snap frames to hold it while I am stitching it. I have never been a q-snap fan, ever. LOL, but I do pull them out from time to time and try to get used to handling them. I just really dislike the weight of them, trying to hold them up high enough to my face to see what I am stitching. I have found that if I tuck pillows around me, I can rest my arms on those to help support them while holding the frame close enough to my face to see to stitch. I have strange eyesight. I wear bifocals but I cannot see well enough through the bifocals to stitch so I take them off to see my stitching then I cannot see the TV to watch the programs. I end up listening to TV more then watching as I prefer my stitching over watching the TV anyhow. :) The thing I will say that I do like about this particular q-snap set up is that I am able to work across the top of several of the pages of the chart at a time and it does hold the fabric at the sides nicely taught verses when I used my table scroll stand. And my table scroll frame also creates issues with my eyesight. I find I have to really lean in over it and then this creates very bad back issues for me. Stitching/embroidering should not be painful so I try different things to try and get is comfortable as I can.

I have set aside the "Old Friends" piece I was working on. I accidentally got yellow highlighter on the fabric and have tried a few things to get it out but not having any luck with it for now. I decided to set it aside for the time being.

I recently made another purchase for my design chart stash. I took advantage of a 30% off sale that Heaven and Earth Designs held a few weeks back and purchased a design I have longed to get. It is the Purple Dragon. I love the look in his eyes as that little bird is sitting on the end of his nose. It always makes me chuckle!

Purple Dragon by Heaven and Earth Designs

This is it for now my friends. Until next time. Peace!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just a few finishes and one of my new starts

I am really pretty happy to be making progress on finishing a few of my projects. I always have such a hard time at finishing my cross-stitching pieces. I really need to get better at it. I have to say it is a wonderful feeling to finally see some of this work on display in my home. In the past, my finished needlework seemed to always get gifted but of late I am finally keeping some goodies for myself. I finished the SAL from 2010 called "My Little Heart" designed by Sylvia Kuhnert. I  love the way this looks. I did some subtle changes here and there in the design. I even managed to frame it. The night we were out shopping for the frame and floss for a new projects was quite eventful. It was stormy when we left here but everything seemed fine when we entered the Hobby Lobby store and did all our shopping. I was accompanied by the hubby and my son Jared. When we were exiting the store, rain was pouring down and the tornado sirens were blaring. They had sounded out while we were in the store but we NEVER heard them because of the store music being played. I don't know about anyone else but I find this very scary to think we could have been swept away and killed in a tornado because of store music taking a priority during a storm! Scary stuff to think about. The other issue was that it was closing time when we were leaving the store and the employees were pushing to get everyone out in spite of the fact that everyone should have been trying to find shelter until the warning was lifted. Traveling home in total blackness was most unpleasant. So anyhow, once we were home safe and sound I did proceed and framed the SAL.

I am glad I went with a simple frame for it. I also manage to download Sylvia's newest SAL which is being released at the turn of each season being that the new SAL is all about the different seasons of the year. I completed the first Season "Spring" on an old piece of rough looking linen and then turned it into a simple flat fold. I have never tried this method of finishing before but I have to say, I love it!

This is just such a simple sweet little piece. It makes me happy and smile just to look over at it. I think the whole thing only took me about two days to stitch and then just a few hours to make it into the flat fold. It could not have been simpler!

Since finishing these items, I have since started a number of new projects. I did work some on my Great-grandparent's 1899 wedding photo piece. It is coming along but I think I will wait until I have more progress to show before I include a new photo of it. I took one of the photos from my magnolia tree and imported it into PCStitch 10 and created a chart and have started work on it working on size 18 count Aida cloth in a sky blue color. Speaking of the chart, I was asked if this was something I could share. I thought it over and I have decided to share the chart freely. Please understand though, the Magnolia Tree is in the process of being tested so if you choose to download it, just understand, it is not fully tested. Also, please do not attempt to upload the PDF to any website nor attempt to sell my chart for profit. I ask that you play fair. You can access the PDF by clicking the title here: Magnolia Tree ©Copyright 2012 By Andrea C. Heslin I will be posting a progress photo of the Magnolia Tree in my next update. As I said, I am working on a number of new projects or rather trying too. I recently put in an order for my very first Heaven and Earth (HAED) design chart. I have to say I was really getting antsy and impatient for my chart to get here. I got my fabric, got all my floss and I even got all the floss wound onto bobbins and organized into it's own project floss caddy and then I waited. I waited and then I waited some more. I called the company and found out that they were having issues with a dead printer. So I waited some more, lol. Finally on the 10th I received notice of it being mailed. Yehaa, so exciting. The morning of the 11th.......... I slipped and wiped out all over the floor while racing to let the dog outside. Banged up my right knee and landed hard on the palm of my right hand. I ignored my hand and was being careful with my knee. I even made sure I walked with my cane to play it safe. I went over to the koala sewing cabinet to retrieve something and when I went to close the door, it fell off the hinge and landed against my left knee. Later when the hubby came home from work, he walked in and saw the koala cabinet door resting against my PC desk and me sitting with both knees elevated. He was cracking up laughing at his wife the klutz! Now this was bad enough but later in the evening, I hobbled to the refrigerator for a drink but when I swung the door open, the rail that went across the lowest shelf in the door flew out followed by all the condiment bottles. What a day! Joe did come in and pick everything up for me. I did have to go to an Urgent Care facility though last night to get four x-rays and a look at my right hand and wrist from the fall. I wound up with this.....
So the doc says I sprained the ligaments in my thumb and wrist area and need to wear this for the next 6 to 8 weeks. WHAT!!!!!  I cannot fathom wearing it that long. I have cross - stitching to do. So......... guess what was in today's mail. Yup, my new design chart I ordered from HAED! Talk about karma biting you in the butt! I decided I would stitch anyhow. I can stitch some left handed. I had the fabric all set up already in my scroll table frame so why not give it a try, right. I tried. It worked until my back started hurting from me leaning in close over it to see what I was doing. I wound up taking it out of the frame and decided I would give my q-snap frame a try. So far not so bad. I figure it will drive me crazy though enough to eventually just move back over to using a hoop. But for now I am going to try and keep using the Q-Snap.  This photo below is my beginning progress on "Earth Song" in 18 count on Aida cloth.

I nearly forgot, I have one more tiny finish to post about. I finally made a biscornu. I have admired these funky little decorative pincushions for a few years now and have always wanted to make one. Well I finally did it this week before the injury, lol. I think it took me two days to complete it. I made a very small one using up some scraps of 18 count Aida cloth for it.
Isn't that just so dainty looking?! I love it!

Well that is about all I can think of to share at this time. I hope to share more about the other new projects I have started in my next posting. TTUL for now.