Friday, March 23, 2012

Progress at last!

This week has seen the completion of the back pack.  I don't have a pic of it as it didn't show up well due to the dark fabric.  Nonetheless, it is winging it's way to Nashville.  Hope Kayla enjoys it!

The Bible cover is coming along nicely. 

I've used the Sticky Fabri-Solvy to place the design on the cotton fabric then ran a small basting stitch around the edge of the solvy to keep it from lifting.  This is a new product to me and so far I am delighted with it.  It is a wash-away stabilizer that one can run through one's printer instead of laboriously copying the design onto the fabric itself.  It is only slightly more difficult to push a needle through for embroidering than it would be to just sew through the cotton.   Without using the fabri-solvy, it would have taken several hours to transfer the design using any of the established methods.

Since there is so much fabric to the left of the design (to go around to the back of the Bible) i decided to dig out my old scroll frame instead of using a hoop.  While it is not a slate frame or any of the wonderful stretcher bar frames it is doing a good job and is serving the purpose of keeping the fabric taut!  I think i need to put a set of washers on the back of the frame though.  I can only tighten the wing nuts to a certain point before the screw starts turning so I'm going to try to put some washers on the back between the screw head and the frame itself.  Lacing the fabric around the side bars (only in this view it's the top and bottom bars) is adding some extra tension and makes stitching nice.

I've only made a little progress on my lilies cross stitch project due to working on the Bible cover.  I need to get to the store today and get some more Floche, 3 blues and three golds ( stash building at it's finest!).  In the meantime i have been doodling around with stitches to determine what other stitches I'm going to use on this cover.

I'm still working on a fabric covered box.  As usual I'm running into some snags, but hey it's my first one like this.  Yuk,  I don't enjoy all this gluing....but hot glue would be even worse i think.  I do not like using hot glue too much; it gets HOT!!! and burns the fingers.  I have most of the fabric glued to the cardboard pieces and am almost ready to put them together.  I need to get some ribbons and lace for trim in the decorating step though.  the instructions call for nine different kinds/sizes of ribbon and three kinds of lace....oh no!!  another stash to organize...sigh.  Pics will follow. 

The quest for organization is i should hire a professional organizer--- ;-}.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How do you.....?

As people who do hand work, be it sewing, knitting, crocheting, beading, scrapbooking, etc., etc., we all collect Stash!!  Yes that's right,


Let's define stash:

Used as a verb:  To hide or store away for later use.
Used as a noun:  A collection  sometimes hidden; a reserve. or  A secret place where something is hidden or stored or something, such as money or an illegal drug, that has been hidden or stored.

So how does our stash qualify under the above definitions? 

We definitely store it away for further use (whether it ever gets used or not).

Sometimes we hide it away so it doesn't appear to exist and we definitely spend money on it and at times it seems as if it is almost as addictive as an illegal!

It's tools of our trade, it's supplies we need and some that we don't need, but basically I think it's simply that we want it, need it, and just gotta have it.  We KNOW we will never live long enough to use our stash!  So, we stash it in drawers, we stash it in boxes, we stash it on shelves, we even stash it in stacks on a table and at times we just move it from one place to another to get it out of our way so we can actually do something with some of it.  We go to our stash to get something specific that we need for use in a current project and before you know it, we've rooted around and spent 45 minutes just looking at stash!   We could get  buried in stash, so: 

How do you organize your stash?

Do you surf the net looking for the right suggestion or idea on how to organize your stash?  Do you hit up the craft/sewing shops for organizational items?  Do you go to the office supply stores looking for inspiration?  Do you go to the hardware store looking for help with stash?  Do you save empty jars because you just KNOW you'll find something to put in them?

Do you have an actual studio or just a corner of the living room or a large walkin closet that nobody uses? Are you supremely organized, not organized at all or fall somewhere in between?  Do you work at organization?  Do you control your stash or does it control you?  Does the stash just keep piling up until you scream, pull your hair, knock your head against the wall, curse a blue streak and stomp around the room because you can't find what you need.  Then after you go out and buy whatever item you're looking for only to take it to your stash and put it away in the same spot you put the first one in but hadn't looked there because "it just couldn't be there cause you put it somewhere else?"  Does any of this sound familiar?  Are you laughing with me yet?  I hope so!

To me, all these things add up to STASH and headache number 435!

So lets find out how we all organize stash.

I cross stitch, A LOT!

This is how I organize my floss stash.   Hey! This is very good you might say, but, yes, there's always a BUT!!  What you don't see are the baggies full of floss that haven't made it to bobbins.  The plastic boxes full of floss that I've pulled out of the main floss box that i'm currently using for any one of five cross stitch pieces that are in progress.  Nor do you see the envelopes (numbered and filed in another box) filled with floss that are elsewhere.  Not to mention the stash of metallic and  silk threads, Mill Hill beads, etc.

So how do we tame this beast?  I don't know.  I'll come up with an idea and try to use it but at some point I decide it's not working.  Then there I stand amidst all the mess I've created, wondering when I'm going to have the energy and inspiration to do something else with the mess and still trying to figure out how to organize it. 

I also sew/quilt, so I've got a fabric stash. How small a piece of fabric is too small to keep?   There is also a thread stash; pattern stash two sewing machines of mine and one for the gdaughter and tools, more tools!

Then there's the knitting and crocheting so there's a yarn stash, pattern stash, knitting needles: straight, nine inch, fourteen inch, double pointed and circular; crochet hooks and more books.

I also make the occasional piece of jewelry which means a stash for beads, wire, threads, patterns, books and tools.

Then there's the stained glass stash consisting of glass, solder, wire, bevels, jewels, etc.,  and MORE TOOLS!

Mustn't forget the book cases and boxes full of books and magazines. 

I've been trying to organize my stash  for over a year and haven't got there yet, but I keep working at it.

My husband says that one can't touch anything without knocking something else over.  Of course he's one of those revoltingly organized people who hasn't changed the location of the socks in his dresser drawer in 40 years of marriage.

So hear my cry for HELP!!!

Tell me how you organize your stash!!!  Give me some ideas I haven't already tried!  Maybe something will just click and my stash will become a wonderous thing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sunny and Brisk

The start of a new month and the weather is improving.  Sunny and a brisk 42 degrees....yayyyy!


I'm slowly making progress on the Stargazer Bouquet by Solaria.  I'm about at the half-way point.  This is done on 18 ct aida.  I've just started on a new page of the chart and only have five pages and a bit more to go before the finish.  I really love this piece and when it's finished it'll join the other three pieces I have on my walls.  I've been doing counted cross stitch for oh about 30 years and only have three pieces hanging on my own walls; everything else has been given away as gifts.

The K - Since I goofed when I printed this design on the Sticky Fabri-Solvy and it came out bigger than I wanted it to  I'm now calling it my doodle cloth.  Also I'm experimenting with different stitches and colors to decide what I want to do on the actual design.  The sheen you see on the fabric is actually the Sticky Fabri-Solvy gleaming.  I'm using a cotton fabric with no sheen for the base fabric.

Since I kind of really like the size it printed out to be, I think I'm going to use the size for the actual piece.  I'll not be able to use a hoop though and will have to put it on  stretcher bars or a scroll frame to keep from squashing the satin stitches in the circle.  Although it's an 8 1/2 inch hoop it is too small and moving it around would really mess up the satin stitches in the circle.

The fibers used so far are Floche and DMC stranded cotton floss.  It's my first time using Floche.  I really like it.   So far I've decided on doing the padded satin stitch in the outer ring.  I was at a store called A Stitch Above the other day to buy the floche and the lady suggested I use regular DMC floss as my padding as the floche is  DMC and the colors match the cotton floss colors exactly.  That will cut down on how much Floche I will need to buy for the circle which in turn will cut down on my costs.  The upper section stitched  of the circle was done using Floche as the padding and was using a 24 inch strand.  The lower section was used with three strands of DMC floss for the padding and one 24 inch strand of Floche for the satin stitching.  As you can see the Floche over the DMC went a little farther.  I need help figuring out how much Floche I'll need to buy.  DMC is really good about their dye lots but I don't want to take the risk of getting half way around the circle, running out of Floche, buying more and have it not match.  Are there any math wizzards out there who can tell me how to figure out how many strands of the Floche I'm going to need to use to fill in the entire circle?  That type of math is way beyond my any help in this area is appreciated.

The stems of the flower and the one flower completed are using stem stitch.  I tried a disconnected chain (otherwise known as the lazy daisy)  stitch for one leaf and satin stitch for another and so far I think I'll go with the satin stitch rather than the /chain/daisy.

Haven't decided on any other stitches but do have my colors picked out, FINALLY!  The flowers are going to be the beautiful pink used on the doodle cloth.  The circle with be a lucsious medium dark purple.  The french knots in the flowers are giong be a clear light yellow and I think the K itself will be blue.  I think I want to use a gold metal/mettalic thread as accents on the K and possibly use some gold pearl purl or lizardine for around the K itself.

Haven't decided whether to fill in the background of this design or not.  The diameter of the circle is about 8 1/2 inches so that would be a lot of work.

Anyway, that's it for today.  It's not much of a start, well actually it's not really a start just doodling but considering how indecisive I've been lately at least it's moving forward by baby