Take A Stitch Tuesday Catch Up

Sampler To Date

Sampler effective March 24, 2012. Looking good!

Now that the Studio Journal as Designer’s Workhorse class is done, I’ve taken the time to catch up on my TAST stitching.  I’ve combined five weeks into the sampler band I’ve done this week.  So what stitches did I use?

Spring is definitely happening here in Southern Alabama and this inspired me to create a little fantasy flower garden and fresh, feathery, green garland.  I tried to follow an idea put forth by Mary Corbet to given my flowers a kind of raised center, but I did not have much success with this.  Guess I’ll have to keep on trying.  But I’m not disappointed with my results.  There is a lot of texture to my flowers.  And I had fun while learning two new stitches!

Fantasy Flower 1 Fantasy Flower 2 Fantasy Flower3
  • Padded Center DMC 3821
  • Detached Chain “spokes” DMC 3814
  • Whipped Wheel DMC 3835
  • Detached Chain surface petals DMC 3607
  • Padded Center DMC 3821
  • Detached Chain “spokes” DMC 3814
  • Whipped Wheel DMC 353
  • Amethyst 11° seed beads around center
  • iridescent Amethyst bugle beads outlining flower
  • Padded Center DMC 3821
  • Running Stitch/Straight Stitch spokes DMC 3814
  • Whipped Wheel DMC 3607
Four TAST Stitches
Garland wrapping three Fantasy Flowers
  • Alternating barred chain interspersed with chain DMC 3814 (1 strand) and DMC 3813 (2 strands)
  • Detached Chain DMC 3821

So what do you think?  Which is your favorite Fantasy Flower?  Or do you like the Garland best?

New Page on The Shop Sampler

I have created a new page.  You’ll find the tab for it on the top bar next to the other pages that are kind of integral to this blog.  I hope you’ll check it out now and then as, like the Sampler Sayings, it will be updated periodically.  Here is the text as I have posted it today:

Noteworthy Stitching Blogs

As I have been taking classes and participating in stitching challenges, I’ve come across some incredible stitchers and beautiful work along the journey.  Too many to include in a blogroll which according to the blog tipsters I read should be kept on the shorter side so your own work can shine.  So, I decided I’ve give these special people their own page on my site with a link to the latest work that they have done that is my favorite for the moment.

So, here are the “winners” (as they say on Dancing With the Stars) in no particular order.  Please, check out the work.  I know you won’t be sorry!

Check this page now and then as I’ll update it regularly.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day and I have little to say or show for myself over the past couple weeks.

I have not been stitching much, or doing anything much in the past two weeks as I’ve been sick.  When a person who has had Bariatric or stomach by-pass surgery has gut pain and vomiting, it’s taken seriously.  So I even spent a day in the ER in a strange new to me hospital in Foley, Alabama undergoing CT scan and other tests and evals to make sure there is no problem related to the Roux En Y surgery I had two years ago this month.  Thankfully (maybe) they could find nothing amiss and sent me on my not so merry way with an Rx for more morphine than I took when I was a fresh post-op!  But that’s what it took to keep the pain at bay.  After two days in bed, I started to feel like a human being again while still not knowing what was wrong.

So, now it’s St. Paddy’s Day.  We will not be eating the traditional (gassy) meal of corned beef and cabbage.  But I thought I’d share three of my favorite St. Pat’s recipes with you.

Irish Potato Pancakes

Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan, If you can’t
make Boxty, You’ll never get a man.

First up, Boxty.  Boxty is a terrific way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.  We make extra just so I can make this recipe.  I make more Boxty than we will eat and wrap up the leftovers in meal sized packets and freeze them until we need a fix.  You reheat them the same as you would frozen tater tots or frozen french fries.  But they are soooo much better!

My Favorite Soda Bread Recipe

My Favorite Soda Bread Recipe

Next, Irish Soda Bread.  I found my favorite recipe in a Gourmet magazine years ago.  The article author traveled around Ireland and reported on the Soda Bread found at various B & B’s.  While several recipes were given, the basic one, plain and simple, was my favorite.  And, I get raves whenever I make it for other people.  You will, too!

Irish Potato Candy

Irish Potato Candy---neither Irish nor Potato, but very delish!

Finally, Irish Potato Candy.  This recipe is neither Irish, nor is there a potato in it.  But it’s fun!  Last year was the first time I made it.  I added macadamia nuts to the recipe, poking them into the little “potato” candies so the nuts looked like eyes in the potato.  Then I got some Easter Basket grass and buried the potatoes in the grass and mounded some on top, too.  Whimsical, effective, deadly sweet confection for spring!

Enjoy!  Tell me which recipe you try, and how you liked it!  If you make changes to make the recipes better, I must know this, too!

TAST Week 9 Meets Studio Journal

Laptop screen after a fan fell on it

Fractured Laptop Screen

A lot has happened since I last posted. We moved from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to Robertsdale, Alabama. It’s very nice here and super weather today—84 degrees with a good breeze. Beautiful trails to walk, so the pups are loving it!  Unfortunately, when we were settling into our new site my laptop was damaged.  The image to the left is what you see on the lower right screen when turned on.  I think I’m going to create a needlepoint design out of the pattern.  Needless to say, this has had an impact on my internet presence!

I’ve started a new class. Sharon Boggon’s Studio Journal: a Designer’s Workhorse.  Yesterday began Week Four.  I have been busy reading, completing the exercises, and working with my journal everyday.  Following is an easy, but fun example of an exercise from the Studio Journal course.  Hopefully in the future you will see designs that flow from the exercises I’ve been doing and from the creativity using the journal inspires!

Cut out from Studio Journal Class Week 3

Smaller cut out

Smaller cut out block duplicated for overall pattern

Smaller cut out block duplicated for overall pattern

TAST has taken a back seat during the weeks for detached chain and chain stitch, but I’m back on track with this week’s Couching Stitch.  Taking the Journal class is pulling a lot of loose ends together for me.  My sample of TAST’s Week 9 stitch led me to pull out an old UFO, Venus de la Mer.

I once did a doodle of a Venus of Willendorf incorporating Chakra points.  I liked the doodle so much I decided to turn it into an embroidery piece.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted her to be represented with elements of Earth, Air, Fire, or Water, so I decided I would do four pieces, one for each element.  I started with Water since I had some cool water fabric to use as a background.

Doodle of Chakra Points done over 10 years ago

A doodle of Chakra Points I did over 10 years ago, then decided to stitch

Crown of Venus de la Mer

Crown of Venus de la Mer, couched eyelash thread and pearl seed beads

I’ve now put the original doodle in my journal where it will be safe and I can easily find it again.  And, I couched the eyelash thread hair in place, using some seed beads for embellishment.  When Jeff looked at it and asked what I was doing and what was I using, I asked him what he thought.  He said, “It looks like weeds.”  Mission Accomplished!!

Freeform Surface Embroidery

Venus de la Mer: Freeform Surface Embroidery

Close up of surface embroidery

Surface embroidery: Venus de la Mer

Snow White Peony

Snow White Peony: An ANG class project due 3.15.12

I’ve also been working like crazy to finish an ANG class, Snow White Peony.  It is due on March 15.  I think I can finish it.  But even if I don’t, I’m going to send it in to the instructor for feedback.  A certificate of completion would be nice, though, especially since I’m interested in pursuing Master Stitcher qualifications.  What do you think?  Is it doable?