What Are Those New Buttons About?

If you’re like me, you are more likely to hit the button links on blogs than sifting through lengthy blog rolls.  In fact, some reading I’ve done suggests it’s not a great idea to have blog rolls on your site.  Why encourage people to leave your site, after all?!  That’s why you don’t see such lists on my blogs.  You will find references and resources as that is part of my mission with my blogs.

But buttons…they’re a bit different in my opinion.  To me they are links to community sharing and community building.  A good thing.  Blogging and computing can be such isolating activities so it’s important to find some connection to others, for your

            • sanity
            • creativity nurturing
            • perspective
            • education
            • giggles

With giggles in mind, let me tell you about the TUSAL button.  TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitch Along.  Yup.  Totally Useless!  I love it!  Once a month you post a picture of the container you store your orts in.  What is an ort you might ask?

ORT
noun
Usually, orts. a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.
Origin:  1400–50; late Middle English;  cognate with Low German ort, early
Dutch oorete;  compare Old English or- out-, ǣt  food (see eat)

Stitchers use this term to mean the scraps and morsels of thread, floss, ribbon, etc left over when working a project.  They are typically thought to be totally useless.  So instead of “stitching along”  with one another on a project, this SAL is all about saving something thought to be useless!  Hence TUSAL!  Want to know more, click the button!

So, what about the other button?  WIPocalypse!  Sounds scary, right?

WIP = “Works In Progress”

a·poc·a·lypse
noun
3.  a prophetic revelation especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil.
Origin: 1125-75; Middle English   Late Latin apocalypsis   Greek apokálypsis  revelation, equivalent to
apokalýp (tein ) to uncover, reveal kalýptein  to cover, conceal) + -sis 

You’ll notice that Measi made a new word using WIP and apocalypse.  But what does it mean?

Most family members and friends of stitchers view the various works in progress and new starts as a kind of horror story.  It is not uncommon to hear, “but you haven’t finished x, y, or z yet” when a new project begins.  One’s home may actually look like a bomb has gone off when the stitcher sorts through the ‘stash’ of stitching patterns, projects, and paraphernalia.

On the other hand, per the dictionary definition #3 the forces of good (intentions) can overcome the forces of evil (stitching stagnation)!  Through WIPocalypse we stitchers can unit and REVEAL our WIPs and the actual PROGRESS part of “WIP”!
Not scary after all!  No, very exciting in fact!  Join the revelation, push the button!
I’m participating in both.  Here are my photo updates.
Ort Jar

My ort jar

Ort Jar close up

Stitching memories, almost as pretty as the completed pieces.

Blackwork Thread Sampler book cover

Should I redo the last line? Julie should go left, I think

Erna Scheppulius in Weeks Dye Works peony

Erna Scheppulius, CA 1900 to date, two more lines of text and two more borders to go!

New Year’s Resolution: So Far So Good!

How are things going with your New Year’s resolutions or contracts you’ve made with yourself?  Good, I hope!  Things are going pretty good here, too!

Update on Contract With Me
  • My schedule is working!  There is structure, yet it is not so rigid that failure is even possible.  And I feel like I’ve accomplished lots every day.  In fact, I accomplish more than I even plan!
  • I have made the goals I planned to make.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I will be able to actually collecting data to monitor progress on January 15 as planned.  Loyal readers will find reports here about my Artist’s Dates in the future as well as news on how the schedule is amended as projects are completed and new projects added.
Project Updates

I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but here’s what’s included in this week’s projects*:

*  If you would like to see the model images you can check out the links included in the legend in the previous post about scheduling time for creativity. These links are just for the home pages of the copyright owners of the patterns.
†  I unstitched the the top larger heart motif once and the left upper square side once as I was off by one stitch.  I am pleased that the shadow from the previous stitching is fading the more I stitch over.
‡  This link is for the image of the stitching completed by me for Christmas this year.  Two more families need one!

Have you made any stitching resolutions for this year?  How’s it going for you?  Still on target?  Going to restart?  Given up?  Tell us your story!

Hurricane Sandy Embroidery Pattern Giveaway

I’m slowing but surely getting back to regular life given traveling, the leg injury, and frozen shoulder—just like those effected and affected by Frankenstorm Sandy.

I have purchased an extra of a charming pattern created over at The Floss Box to help support the financial efforts of recovery from Sandy.  This is the image:

Pattern from The Floss Box

This pattern is being sold as a fund raiser for Frankenstorm Sandy survivors.

I will give my extra copy to the 13th person to like and/or comment on this post.

For those of you who would like to do the same on your blogs, here is the link to the page at The Floss Box.

http://www.theflossbox.com/store/pattern/sandy-cross-stitch

The Beat Goes On

Blue Button Badge of Courage

Stitching this week’s Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge was a challenge, for me, until I got the rhythm and then, as the song says, the beat goes on.  It could go on and on.  I should have taken pics of all my attempts so you might not feel as dense as I did while getting the lovely Beaded Hedebo Edging down.

Here are some tips I gathered while unstitching:

  1. Most important—Don’t just look at the pretty pictures, read the directions!
  2. Use a thread that does not “shed.”  I did one swag in Kreinik Braid.  It did not go well.  The frequency that you are pulling the braid through loops is excessive and pulls the metallic thread from the base thread leaving you with something that looks old and worn out.
  3. Sharon’s directions say to pull snug.  They do not say strangle the base threads!  You can see in my photo that the section on the left has that strangled appearance.

I need to practice this stitch more and really focus on conformity from one section to the next.  But I like the stitch and can see the Beaded Hedebo Edging becoming an old, faithful, friend.

Close up of beaded hedebo edging on the blue button badge of courage

I need more practice. The bottom left looks like the neck of a chicken I strangled for Sunday dinner!

While looking for other information about “Hedebo,” I found out that

“Hedebo Embroidery is the common name of seven different embroidery variations which were developed sequentially and used in Denmark in parallel from the end of the 1700s to the mid 1900-century. Hedebo Embroidery is named after Hedebo area, where they were sewn.

Hedebo Region is a geographical area of Copenhagen, Køge and Roskilde, Denmark, where the soil is very fertile.”

You can find this information at the Greve Museum website featuring Hedebo Embroidery, A World of Variations.  This site includes video instructions for doing six types of white work affiliated with this Danish fiber art.  Spend a little time looking at all the info on this site.  I’m sure you’ll find the practical application information inspirational to your own work. Especially if you do any historical re-enactments.

When you’re done there you might be interested in the PDF Classic Books title:  The Needlecraft Practical Journal of Danish Hedebo Embroidery, 1st Series.  This booklet was published around 1900 and has some really cool motifs you  can master and use in  your family linens done in Hedebo.  One day…

NOTICE

Will everyone who complimented me on the Autumn sampler stitching Please Take Note:

I did not stitch this!  Now go to Janet Granger’s blog and compliment her.  I REBLOGGED her post because of the method she uses to keep track of the time she spends on projects.  I made a PDF of her method and filed it here under References so you can use it, too.

Now, I’m going to go finish my own posts.

Whole Lotta Stitchin’ Goin’ On

Thursday, September 27 PM

I’ve been stitching and been stitched on in the past 24 hours! Maybe I should back up a little.

Monday, September 24

When I was at the laundromat the other day, I practiced a few TAST Week 38 Drizzle Stitch.  I was glad to hear that this Brazilian Embroidery stitch is often stitched with rayon threads.  I just happen to have some rayon floss and some metallic floss that I hate stitching with.  While it is pretty and shiny, it is unruly and knots and slips about and is hard to keep threaded.  I was thinking about giving it away.  But that seems kind of cruel.  I thought about sending it to Fireside Stitchery so they could sell it on their E Bay service, but I kept thinking that is the coward’s way out.

Thanks to the Drizzle Stitch and other Brazilian Embroidery stitches, I have found a way to use these threads and take advantage of their lovely sheen and sparkle!  Unfortunately, the sampling I did at the laundromat, was not exactly “pretty,” so I didn’t photograph it to present in the weekly TAST review over at Pin Tangle.  I thought maybe I would just incorporate it into a sample I work up for other TAST challenges.

Who knew the opportunity would come so quickly!

Tuesday, September 25

Every Tuesday Sharon Boggon announces the new stitch challenge, hence the moniker “Take a Stitch Tuesday!”  This week was no different.  The Week 39 challenge is the Knotted Buttonhole Stitch.  And, like every week, I start thinking about where I might see a similar shape or pattern in nature or in general.  I think about where it might have fit into previous stitching I’ve done.  I consider what colors and thread textures would really stand out with this stitch.

Wednesday, September 26

I’ve found a button that would go very nice with the thread I want to use for the Knotted Buttonhole Stitch.  I’ve been enjoying using the DMC Color Variations perle cotton and will use it yet again.  I had just finished hand stitching the lining of Katie’s Stocking to the stocking and was about start working with the Knotted Buttonhole Stitch when I went outside to try to catch my neighbor before she closed up for the night.  Almost immediately I found myself slanting towards the ground and hugging the propane tanks to avoid falling to the ground. It felt like my leg was wedged into the trailer hitch.   The pain was incredible.  The fact that I could stand suggested the leg was not broken.  But the amount of blood I could feel pouring down my leg suggested this was more than a bit of a boo-boo.  Jeff had a good description of the wound, it looked like someone took an ice cream scoop and dug out most of the front of my leg.  All the ER doctor would say is, “this is really a challenge.”  He said it more than once.  It took over two hours for him to stitch the leg back together.  There are 35 stitches on the inside and I don’t know how many on the inside just to try to get the top closer together.   Luckily, Dr. McClung was up for the challenge.  He even listened to my stupid jokes/stories.  Knowing some are sensitive to such images I’m not posting the pic, but if you want to see the Doc’s wonderful stitching, you can click on the last hyper-linked text.

Blue Badge of Courage

Vintage button surrounded by Knotted Buttonhole Stitch and Drizzle Stitch fringe all attached to grey fleece.

So, Knotted Buttonhole stitch.  I ended up making a badge for myself.  It is a combination of my attachment series and my patch series of stitch samples.  It has not only the Knotted Buttonhole stitch, but also the Drizzle stitch to make the little fringe at the bottom of the button.  It’s to congratulate myself on surviving what was akin to surgery without anesthesia or pain medication until the actual stitching began and Lidocaine  was injected into raw tissue.

It’s about all I can accomplish at this point.  It’s taken me three days just to write this post.  And I’m ready to go back to bed now.  I’m not supposed to be up and about as there is every danger that the stitches will tear through the thin skin, especially since quite a bit of the subcutaneous tissue sloughed away during the injury.

So, I’m going to bed.  You may not hear from me for a couple weeks.

Pistil Stitch Pomander Patch

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Challenge

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Patch with Pistil Stitches, and French knots on Organza and muslin

Pistil Stitch Pomander Patch—say that five times real fast!

(Aside:  I do love alliteration!)  The Pistil Stitch is this week’s TAST challenge where one can learn the stitch or, if familiar with it, go crazy using it.  As you can see I didn’t get crazy with it, but I did mess around a bit.

You will not see the Pistil Stitch in a lot of my work.

Mainly because I don’t love making French knots.  And as you know (or can see), the Pistil stitch is basically a straight stitch which is finished in a French knot. Fancy name for two not so fancy stitches.

But patches…you will begin to see more of.

From me, at least.  It is my latest way to make my TAST samples functional.  (The other two—so far—are the TAST 2012 Sampler and the TAST Attachment Quilt Blocks.)  For me, it is important to have an end product.  I don’t need any more bit and pieces of stuff to collect.  I know!  What are patches but more bits and pieces?!  But these are bits and pieces with a future.

I have been making some clothing and sorting through fabrics in storage.  As I find a piece that is too small to do something useful with, I consider if it would make an interesting background for an embroidery stitch of some sort.  If the answer is, “yes,” then I have added the piece to my trailer embroidery fabric stash.  If the answer is, “no,” then I ditch the piece of fabric.  All part of my seasonal reorganization for on the road crafting.

When I have collected a few patches I will begin to stitch them together to make a patch-worked wall hanging.  I already have two patches.  The background fabric in the following is a scrap of leftover binding I made for a kaftan I made for Jeff.  (One day I’ll get him to model it for a photo!)

Cast On and Sheaf Stitch

Poppy Field–Cast on stitch poppies and sheaf stitch stems

The patch I did this week has a scrap of muslin leftover from the lining of Katie’s Christmas stocking.  The bow is made from a scrap of ribbon that my best friend used on a birthday gift she gave to me years ago.  The orange organza is a remnant that I couldn’t pass up at JoAnn’s.  I mean, really—it was on sale and I had a card for 10% off the sale price, too!  I picked up a couple other remnants the same day.  You’ll see them sometime in the future I’m pretty sure!

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Challenge

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Challenge

A better look at the pistil stifches

Closer view of the Pistil Stitches

When the wall hanging is completed, I will assemble the posts that tell about the provenance of the “bits and pieces,” the patches.  That might make I nice little gift-y, or even a blog give-away.

Or maybe I should just make the individual patches blog give-aways?  What do you think?

Attachment to Guilt Can Kill Creativity

Cast On and Sheaf Stitch

Poppy Field

I’ve been feeling pretty guilty these days.  I don’t like feeling that way.  And why do I feel guilty?  Because I committed to participating in Sharon Boggon‘s Take A Stitch Tuesday at the beginning of the year and back on Week 24, I got hung up and have not been able to catch up.  Look at this list of stitches!  There are 12 of them!  Do you get overwhelmed looking at it?  I do!

(Note:  Click on the stitch name to go to Sharon Boggon’s Tutorial page for the stitch)

Not only that, I’ve started yet two more projects which means I’m adding insult to injury! (Project 1 & Project 2)
And then there’s all those UFOs!

It’s no wonder I’m having “bad food days” and “bad brain days”!

So how does one get past this block?  Well, my Mother, the inveterate no-nonsense Vermonter, would simply say, “Knock it off!”  The Buddhist translation is: “become free from your attachment to suffering!”  Begin by accepting that you have this feeling.  Then you are free to release it.

I’m releasing the guilt by taking action—by considering what I have accomplished and determining what I CAN do to accomplish what is left to be done.

First:  I have color coded the word “Week” in the following list.

RED= Completed, yea!
GREEN= Completed & posted about earlier
Black= Yet to be done

Here are photos of what I have been doing with the exception of a Caftan that I created for Jeff, a dress I’ve cut out for myself, and Blackwork Lessons details some of what I’ve been up to as well.

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And Second:

Wow!  There are only four more stitches to go on the list and I already know where I’m putting them.  I’m going to layer three of them along the Linked Double Chain at the bottom of the TAST 2012 Sample.  The Up and Down Buttonhole stitch will become the rays on the sun in the “Sunshine and Lollipops” piece.  How about that!

Finally, Third:

There!  No longer attached to guilt!   I feel so much better!  How about you?!

Return to TAST 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Take A Stitch Tuesday stitching.  I’ve been designing my flag for the Prayer Flag Installation next month.  And working on a Christmas project for my youngest great-niece (a Shepherd’s Bush Stocking!)  I’ve determined it will take a minimum of 175 hours to complete this project for her.  I’ve never figured out my time in a project before, always just done an approximation at the end.    You should try to calculate your stitch per minute some time.  Your stitching will take on a whole new value for you!  You will be awed by yourself.  AND SHOULD BE!

While I have not stitched Sharon Boggon’s TAST selection for this week, the Pekinese Stitch, I have stitched it before.  And here it is:

Pekinese Stitch on CyberPointers Ruby Ribbons

The Pekinese Stitch
AKA
the Chinese Stitch, the Forbidden Stitch, the Laced Backstitch, and
the Blind Stitch

While I was a member of the cyber chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, I participated in the project to celebrate ANG’s 40th (or Ruby) Anniversary.  The final, framed four panel piece will be auctioned off at the National Conference in Philadelphia later this month.  The project piece was called Ruby Ribbon and was based upon a ribbon patterned quilt block, something like  Celtic knotwork.

One quarter of the quilt block is represented in each of four panels to make a whole block when appropriately arranged.  (I’d show you the block but can’t due to copyright issues.)  Each of the four panels was divided into 144 squares (12×12 grid) about 1.5 inches each.  Participants were told what value of what color to use in each block.  Then it was up to each stitcher to decide what stitch to do (there were to be no duplicate stitches!) and what thread to accomplish the goal.  The colors were different values of red, white, grey, and black.  It was kind of nice because you could sign up for a block based upon what threads you had available in your stash so it would not be cost prohibitive to participate in the project. Last I heard, CyberPointers was working on compiling directions for the piece to be sold as a fund raiser for the group.  Keep an eye out on their web site store page to see the completed piece and to get the pattern if you like.

My Pekinese block was supposed to be a Dark Grey, akin to DMC 413.  So I just used DMC 413 for the backstitching.  Then I used Rainbow Gallery’s Fuzzy Stuff in #19 for the lacing.  It gave an incredible texture, fluffy and soft.  Here are a couple photos of the block in context with several other blocks I stitched near the Pekinese square to give you an idea of how textures and shades worked together.

Pekinese Stitch, French Stitch, and my own padded combination stitch

Padded Stitch Combination in Black…Watercolours Midnight and Kreinik black
French Stitch in Very Dark Grey…DMC # 3799
Pekinese Stitch already described

Fern Stitch in Grey done in DMC #414
(The smidgen of red was stitched by someone else)

I really enjoyed the effect of the stitch, but using the Fuzzy Stuff was a bit of a challenge.  I would, however, do it again.  This was a great choice for Santa’s beard or stuffed animal representations or animal fur.  I look forward to using it some more in some of the Buddhist images I’ve been sketching on muslin to embroider.

I wonder?  Is anyone else as far behind in TAST as I am?  I got hung up way back on the buttonhole wheel.  I’ll finish it, I promise!  It’s pretty bad when a stitching sample becomes a UFO!