Monday, January 08, 2018

Kicking off the 2018 WIPocalypse

So, introduction first...I'm Erin.  I'm a college librarian, mom, juvenile diabetic, Renaissance Faire geek, oboe player, and terrible housekeeper.  I've attempted to join the WIPocalypse in 2012 and 2015, and always failed to keep up.  But its a new year!  I'm blindly optimistic!  Here goes!

My projects:
1) Mirabilia's Mermaids of the Deep Blue.  Ha. Haha.  Hahahahahahaha.  Yeah, this one was started back in.....2007? 2008?  It got packed away when we moved, then I got pregnant, then we moved again, then parenting happened....poor girls.  I may just pretend this one doesn't exist. And on that note...
2)...Dragon Dreams' Dragon Virtues afghan.  I started this in 2002, after we got married, and vowed I would not contemplate procreating until it was finished.  I have a 7 year old.  It is not finished.
3) Nora Corbett's Letters from Nora - M Fairy.  There IS hope for this one.  It will be my daughter's when finished.
4) Told in a Garden's Family Treasure III.  I like this one, so again, it might get finished.  There is just a LOT of confetti, especially for a band-style sampler.
(I've also made changes - for example, those lazy daisies.  In the chart, they are just cross-stitched hearts, which looked way too 1985 for my taste.)
5) Ship's Manor's Beautiful Sea.  I joined the SAL in 2016, but obviously didn't manage to complete it on schedule.  However, this is the piece that is currently getting most of my attention.

Those five - and especially the last 3 - are the ones I really want to focus on.  I'm also participating in the Smalls SAL again, so there should be at least 12 little finishes scattered in amongst the big projects this year!  And you never know what else I might find as I clean out various bags, bins, and cubbies...

And now for a bit of a confession. I've had a rough patch with a certain friend, and for some reason when that happens I start quilting.  Maybe the colors and lines just soothe my soul a bit, I don't know....but whatever the reason, I've started not one but TWO projects.  LOL 
First up is what is quickly becoming a DC superhero quilt for my husband.  Those three large panels with the quotes are approximately 20 inches square, so I'm envisioning something about 45 inches wide by 65 inches long, depending on borders and such.  Here's my start (the only thing actually sewn together on the left side is the black border around the comic book page).
And at the top of the stash picture, you can see the fabrics that will become what I have named my "disappearing nerd-patch."
This one will be all mine when it is finished!!  I have no idea what size it will be, I'm just playing and having fun.  I started with a nine-patch made of 6-inch squares, so it will grow pretty quickly.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Etsy Comes Through!

My little tombstone arrived today (and it may have been for sale on Etsy, but the stamp on the bottom said "Department 56"...oh well), so I finished putting this together!
The metal shadow box was a post-Halloween sale item from Michael's, along with the Spanish moss.  The bat was a dollar store earring.  My little zombie girl juuuust fit in here, and I love the way it turned out!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

New Year Planning

So I'm a little behind with my new year's greeting - I hope everyone is off to a good start in 2018!  It has been brutally cold here, and I head back to work tomorrow.  In the meantime, I've done a bit of thinking about my stitching and crafting goals, and I think this is as good a time as any to share.

1) I've enjoyed the Smalls SAL for the past 3 years, and see no reason not to continue participating.  I like the small finishes, and I've found great inspiration for ornaments and other non-traditional finishing ideas!
2) I think it might be time to join the WIPocalypse again.  I did it years ago, and then completely fell off the wagon...  I've been slowly collecting projects from various nooks and crannies, and will document them in detail at the first check-in next week.
3) I've been on Facebook for years now, but have finally jumped onto the Instagram craze as well.  You can find me there under the username ekfrenchknots.  I must admit, it is fun to quickly upload a picture there and browse everyone else's things!
4) I did cave and make one new start for the year - Marbek/Serendipity's "Seaside Angel."  Here she is, on 32-ct. "Sky, Sea, Sand" fabric from Sunny Dyes.
I always start at the middle, so this little green blob is the bit of gown under/to the right of her left hand.  No telling how long progress on this one will take.

As I always enjoy saying, may your year be floss-filled and frog-free!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Smalls SAL - December

One last finish for the year!
This was a freebie from Modern Folk Embroidery.  I stitched it on some 28-ct. natural evenweave, using a mystery variegated floss from the stash of a stitcher who passed father got all her things very cheaply at an estate sale.  I love the way this looks, and I hope she is smiling on it, too.

I really love the Smalls SAL - although I missed one check-in, I had at least 12 small finishes this year as a result of my participation.  I had about 20 finishes in all, but none of them were terribly "large."  Smalls are fun, too!  They give me more creative finishing ideas than big things.  It seems to me that with all the time that goes into large finishes, they somehow "deserve" framing...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Just a Little Out-of-Season...

Today my daughter went to the YMCA, to spend some time with friends.  I used to feel guilty about sending her to "day care" when I was home for the day, but really, this is good for BOTH of us.  We're starting to drive each other crazy!  And she needs some time to run around and play - hard to do in our little house (and it is only about 5 degrees outside, so outdoor play isn't really a thing right now).  So I could have cleaned things...but instead I stitched.  I was determined to have another finish or 2 this year, and I achieved that!
"The Zombie Woods"
by The Floss Box

I stitched this mostly as charted, although I did leave off what I *think*  were 2 more bats inside the trees.  I think they were supposed to look like their wings were up instead of out, and (IMHO) they ended up looking like 2 black hearts.  I also added beads to the front of her dress....because beads.  You know me.
I've started putting together my finishing idea for this piece, too, and should have something to show pretty soon.  If only there were still Halloween accessories in the craft stores, I wouldn't have had to order from Etsy...  :)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Every year at this time, I read everyone's lovely posts about their holiday preparations, their decor, their crafts, their family traditions, and I start to feel....less.  My house is small and cluttered, and my decorations quickly get lost in my daughter's "Lego Funtown" or my husband's mountains of DVDs and gaming accoutrements.    I try to clean and organize - we all do - but there just isn't room or time (or really the motivation) to do it.  And the voice in the back of my head reminds me that my daughter gets older every day, and all too soon Lego Funtown will be relegated to some storage bins.  We have our fun, and that is what we will all remember and treasure - not whether or not Mom's cross stitch things had a magazine-worthy display.
And yet.
This little picture and the ornament on its corner hangs on the wall of my basement "craft room" ( it isn't that much of a "craft" room, since I basically just put craft stuff in the old hair salon cabinets and added a desk).  And every so often I imagine.....a real craft room.  Shelving where I can put my pretty things, and only my pretty things, not pretty things surrounded by DVDs and Legos.  A Christmas tree holding years of handmade ornaments, and preferably one that doesn't look like a well-used bottle brush.
Everything in time, right?
I could stitch, but I have to go read with the founder, mayor and architect of Lego Funtown.  (Who, by the way, is also an excellent egg-cracker - in case you are in need of help with your cookie making.)  Pardon the mess.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Finished Star Angel

Here she is, in all her bling-y glory.
 "Star Angel", by Marbek/Serendipity Designs, stitched on 28-ct. Cobblestone linen with DMC floss.   I used some of the gold filament that was in the kit, but also substituted some beads (I used beads in place of all the turquoise filament).  I also stitched the skin over-one, although I still feel like her hands aren't terribly...hand-like....