Monday, June 19, 2017

I am Groot

Well, actually I am Jamie. (love those movies!!)  I say that because I someone emailed me about buying a pattern and addressed me "Dear wife of Scott" which made me laugh but I also realized that it doesn't say my name anywhere on my blog. So there it is. I changed my "about me" thing too.
This weekend Scott and I went to the Canon Beach sandcastle competition. Canon Beach is about 2 hours away. We managed to find a few letterboxes while we were out. We had a lovely time walking up and down the beach - there were so many people there!! There were some lovely sand creations. I tried to find a site that had better pictures than the ones I got but I could only find this article

We had a great time. If you google sand castles and look at images - there are places in the world that have amazing competitions!! Between Scott and I, we have 95 years on this earth - we know you can get sun burnt even on a cloudy day AND I had two bottles of sun screen in the car - doesn't help if you don't use it. We both got pretty burnt  - but Scott got the worst of it - you can see where he rolled his jeans up to walk on the beach. Those legs haven't seen sun in 40 years!! His poor feet.... wearing boots to work today - not fun!! My burn is mostly gone but my face itches like mad!
 Happy Father's Day to this wonderful man. You are my lobster - ha ha - see what I did there?
I have a few stitching things to show
 my silk gauze progress - hard to hold because I can't use a hoop
 Victoria Sampler Christmas Wreath progress - I don't want to do the wreath back stitch in the center so I set it aside.
 Victoria Sampler Sturbridge Box. I did the flag with two strands even though it calls for one - you can hardly see it. Instagram followers mostly thought two was better as well. The person that does all of my framing and decorating - because he has a great eye for this stuff said one, so one it is. Such a pretty pattern!! 
 This fabric is Zweigart Pearl and the color is Antique but looks like oatmeal, it is the only color it comes in. I have only ever found it one place - Acorns and Threads. I think they are out of it right now but she does ship. It is thick and soft and I love it!! It unravels easily though so you have to sew the edge. I bought half a yard last time - I keep thinking I need to buy a yard just to have it but I keep wondering what I will use it for and that holds me back.

I just have to wait for the glue to dry and stitch them together and I will have the lid done. I don't want to make the box part so I will look for one at the craft store and if I can't find one I will ask Scott to make me one.
I start my new job tomorrow, Training is 4 days a week 11am -830pm, not the best hours. Working long shifts is one thing, working them so that they take up to entire day is crap. Why not 6am to 330pm? Then I could be home for dinner. Whatever. I will be working 9pm to 7am so I shouldn't start complaining about the hours now. 
That's it for now kids - thanks for stopping by. Hope you are having a lovely June and remember - WEAR SUNSCREEN!!! Even when it is cloudy damn it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Old Dog - New Trick

It's true - this old dog learned a new stitching trick!! First things first though. I signed up for Scenic Washington emails - once a week they send an email about stuff going on in Washington. I had been signed up for Indiana when we lived there too. It's a great way to get to know an area. A few weeks ago they sent one concerning the Pybus Market in Wenatchee WA. We love love love the West Side Market in Cleveland OH and have been searching for a similar one closer to us. Indianapolis said they had one but it was only a food court - poo. Wenatchee is 3.5 hours away so Scott used some hotel points to get us a free room. We left Friday afternoon. The first stop was Maryhill Stonehenge, yes Washington has a Stonehenge. The story is pretty interesting and the view is wonderful!! Once again letterboxing has led us someplace cool!!

The drive to Wenatchee is beautiful. Some parts reminded us of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. The market was not what we hoped but it was cute anyway. I bought some lotion from KR Farms - I got oatmeal milk and it is wonderful!! Smells light like oatmeal, it's thick and makes my skin so soft!! We bought two of the soaps - orange and tea tree, and a bar of red clover tea.  We bought some flavored oil and vinegar at D'Olivo - they said it's expensive to ship - 20 for one bottle but also 20 for 4, but if you call in the order and get 4 bottles they give a discount. They have great flavors - like cherry balsamic and Tuscan seasoned vinegar - the website has a pairing sheet. We plan on lots of delicious salads with the ones we picked. Saturday we headed home by way of Tacoma but first stopping at Threadneedle Street in Issaquah WA. So, I have been having some stitching issues. I am bored with the big projects even though I am rotating them and I am losing my mojo. Last week I ordered Sullivan's Heirloom Embroidery Scissors - I don't have them yet -  thinking a new accessory would help. At the shop I got a Hardwicke Manor hoop - I have wanted one for awhile - and the twill to wrap around the inner hoop
I got some other accessories including some Bohin needles for all my 25ct 1 over 1 stitching.
On the wall she had Cricket Collection "A walk in the Woods". It looked like it was painted on glass. We asked how she achieved that look and she said it was 40ct gauze. My first thought was - oh scary and too small - too delicate. The piece was so pretty and different. She had a 9x9 piece of gauze and the pattern so I bought it. Of course I started it right away - she said to do half stitches and that is what I did but mine did not look the same as hers. Mine was very light and I was a little disappointed. I emailed her - she sent back two very helpful links. The first is about silk gauze and the second is about continental stitch. Often times small stitching is done with half stitches also called tent stitching or continental stitches. This is the old dog learning a new trick - boy is it hard to do a stitch different after doing it the same way for 27 years - but it is AMAZING how different it turns out!! You would just not think that it would make a difference but look...
top two rows are done as half stitches bottom two rows are done with continental stitches. I am impressed. I ended up tearing out the top two and redoing them with continental stitches. It takes me a minute to figure out which way the stitches have to go but it is worth it!  Silk gauze is actually very easy to stitch on - even 40 count. because it is a mesh and the holes are very pronounced.
It is, however, $130 a yard. Luckily when you convert to 40 count over one the size of the piece is much much smaller so I think it evens out. Dollhouse rugs and pictures are done on this stuff - pretty impressive the amount of detail you can put in. There is a website that sells kits -Bobbie Schoonmakers microstitchery. I am thinking about getting one of the tapestries but what would I do with mini stitchery? Anyway. Denise Davis of Threadneedle Street was very nice and helpful. On the rotation front
I finished C (with some errors) - I almost put it away and when I took it out of the hoop to pack it up I saw how cute the other two were and pushed myself to finish. I finished the top of Autumn at Hawk Run, still don't like the colors,
I finished the flannel rag quilt I started way back in December
and I finished one row on the quilt I am hand quilting - 8 to go. No picture to show.
We had a good time on our night away. We hit a diner from Diner's Drive Ins and Dives but I wasn't impressed. Scott is sick - diverticulitis flare up so he didn't really feel very good on our trip - bummer. He spent most of Sunday at urgent care. Monday he went to his LRS (local record store) and spent some quality time there. I know it is rude that I don't go with him and he goes to needlework shops with me but he can spend 5 hours in his LRS where I am usually done in less than an hour. Hopefully he will feel better soon.
We celebrated Ryder's 24th birthday with a boatload of sushi - literally - (no I don't think it caused Scott to get sick)
 see - it's actually in a boat!!
 Then we had ice cream - Ryder picked the place.

 I tried baking a birthday cake - I believe the problem was that I didn't let it cool long enough in the pan because once they cooled they were pretty stable
and once frosted - you couldn't even tell one layer was in pieces. It is a lemon blueberry layer cake. Pretty good.
I mentioned on one post that I had some bad blood work and then never mentioned it again. I have a rare blood disorder called essential thrombocytopenia cause by a mutation that triggers my bone marrow to make extra red blood cells. It doesn't kill people - I just have to have my red blood cells checked every couple of months and might have to donate platelets to make my levels even out.  At first I was excited to be a mutant - but then I realized that I can't shoot flames from my eyes, read minds or climb walls. My special power is thick blood and extra warm skin. When I get hot and am walking around my feet and hands swell - no fun super powers. One symptom is "unexplained weight loss" It doesn't matter what illness I get that has that symptom - it never happens to me - more like unexplained weight gain (well, probably not so unexplained but come on) My uncle said he knew I was a mutant the minute I was born - HA! Takes one to know one....
 We saw this cute little art piece in Portland Oregon. Another picture of brother cow.
I still don't know if I passed all my tests so still no job offer. Well, I guess I am done chattering on.I hope you are having a nice Spring. Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Framing Tutorial

  Some of my Instagram friends asked for a tutorial on how my husband frames. I hope this helps.
  He gets all of his supplies at craft stores (like Hobby Lobby), and his frames from everywhere!
First you center the ironed stitching (yes, carefully iron it!) on foam board. He uses white or black - depends on how it looks behind the picture. Black makes it darker, but can be useful when there are lots of threads on the back side, showing through light colored fabric.
 Cut the board to fit inside the frame - not tight.

Ignore the mat - he was just showing me how it would look.  Center the picture on the foam - measure measure measure!!!
 Begin pinning the fabric to the sides of the foam board - Scott uses dress makers pins, 1 and 1/16th inches long, and you will need a lot!! Then stretch the fabric tight and put a few pins in the other side - measure and see how it looks to you. You can "eyeball center" pictures without a border, but if the picture has a border, you will want to be as close to perfectly centered as possible.  An unevenly mounted picture with a straight line border stands out like a sore thumb. Put some pins in the top - pull tight, then put some in the bottom and measure to make sure it is still even - and look at it to make sure it looks right. Some pictures may look funny if only measured - really depends on the picture. If you have it on there the way you want start putting in more pins.
  He does a few on one side, then switches to the opposite side, pulling the fabric tight each time.  He does a few pins in each side in this fashion. That way he can make it closer to evenly stretched.

 Once you get it pinned and it looks right and measures right, trim away large pieces of fabric on the side, but leave enough to re-stretch in the future if it should need it. (He didn't trim any off of the picture shown here.) Then use masking tape to tape down the excess. This is just keeping it down - with all those pins the fabric isn't going anywhere.

 Layer the glass (if using any) and the mat (if using one), then the picture into the back of the frame.  Look at it before you secure it, and make sure the picture is facing the way you want it to.  It's amazing how a wood frame with no pattern in the wood will look different, depending on the direction the picture is facing.  He secures it all into the frame using glazier points.

 Put a small amount of wood glue around frame.  He uses wood glue on every frame, even if it's not a wooden frame.  Spreads it flat with his finger.

 Then butcher block paper
 Trimming of excess - this is easier in a straight line if you've got a straight edge to cut against.
 Wipe off extra glue.
 measure for your hanger
 Carefully drill starter hole
 Screw in eyelet, and bend slightly toward the body of the frame.  Keeps it from standing out too far from the wall.

 Framing wire, tied into a small knot, then wound around itself.

 Wrap it around itself and cut off excess.  You want the wire tight, as the weight of the picture will cause it to stretch over time.
  It takes a few tries before you get it right, but it beats what they charge at a framing store!