Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where to start?

A few little bits for today…

Firstly, I need some help. This picture is of a piece that is very precious to me as it’s something my mother stitched. My Mum was very ill when I was growing up and I cannot remember her ever stitching. Family members tell me how good a needlewoman she was but sadly this, and another small tablecloth, are the only examples I have of her work. I’m hoping that some family member has a box of her work stashed away in an attic so that I can see some more of her work and then pass them on to my daughter.  Wouldn’t that be lovely!

The reason I need some help is this…..

The ink stain is over the threads and I really don’t know what to do about it. Is there a way to get the ink stain out successfully, or do you think I should  leave it as it is rather than taking the chance of ruining the piece? I would really appreciate any advice!

As for the Mighty samurai, he’s coming along. I’m still stalking the postman in the hope that the threads from Dimensions have arrived….sadly, not yet. I have been working on the peacock and guess what? If you guessed that I’m almost running out of another thread, then you would be correct! Now I really don’t think I’m a wasteful stitcher, after all us Scots are renowned for being thrifty, but it’s at the stage where I can hardly get the needle through the fabric as there is so little thread! It’s a good job I’m working on samples for Tangled Threads otherwise this month's ort jar would be rather like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboards!
Here’s the progress on the peacock.

And this is the whole thing to date.

I got really excited when I saw this in my garden…

I know it’s not much, but it does mean that Spring is definitely on its way. For those of you who don’t know, New York winters seem to go on forever, so the smallest sign of Spring is such a welcome sight. Sadly though, the weathermen are forecasting more snow for this area… between 6 – 10 inches was the last I heard! Can you believe it?!!!

Lastly, I  have to apologize to the people who left comments. My Yahoo account for some reason didn’t send any of the emails I had written – just as I get organized and on top of everything! I just want everyone to know that I do appreciate the fact that you visit my blog and especially that you take the time to comment. I will get cought up on the emails again soon - I promise!

Until next time…happy stitching.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Where did the weekend go?

I guess that’s a question most people ask themselves either Sunday evening or Monday morning. I’m certainly wondering where it went…I think I must have blinked and missed it!

Nothing remotely blogworthy happened, but I guess that’s life!

I’m still stitching away on the Mighty Samurai, and still waiting for Dimensions to send me some thread, although I can’t complain as it’s only been a week since I wrote to them! Patience, as you may have guessed, is not my middle name!

Here’s my stitching progress for the weekend.

The peacock is beginning to take shape! And the bottom of the samurai’s robes are also coming along.

Parts of the robes are done with gold metallic thread so I’m waiting till all the other stitching is done before I tackle that, which is why there are bits left unstitched.

I’m off to do some designing as I have some Christmas commissions to do – just as all the snow has melted and I don’t have to look at it outside my window, I now have to look at it on the computer! Ah, such is life!

Until next time…happy stitching!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thank Heavens for Google!

Not that long ago, what would have meant a trip to the library, pouring over endless books and possibly coming home without an answer, can now be found with just a few simple clicks of the mouse and voila, we have an answer. I am of course referring to the question of what the samurai’s clothes are called.  In about 0.16 seconds Google will produce a list of sites with the answer which , of course, means that you don’t get much stitching done as you visit one web site then another then another!

Any way, the simple answer to what a samurai wears is…a Kimono. But, a kimono is not just a kimono…oh no, that would be too simple! There are various types of kimono depending on the season, the weight of the material etc, etc. The Yukata is a summer weight kimono but according to one of the million sites I visited, these would not be worn with socks – oops our guy is wearing socks (that alone warrants an episode on What Not to Wear).  On another site it stated that kimonos of brighter colours and made from fine silk (that’s my guy!) were worn in the summer. So is our guy wearing a yukata or not?!

Here's a photo taken of the kit so you can see the whole of the Samurai and his clothes. I may be wrong but this is what I found out.

With further investigating it appears that our guy is wearing a Kamishimo, which is a two-piece costume worn over the kimono. The upper piece is called the kataginu, and is essentially a sleeveless jacket or vest with wide shoulders that any member of the cast of ‘Dynasty’ would have killed for! The lower part of the garment, basically the trousers, is called hakama.
Traditionally the samurai's swords were carried through their belt (obi) which was wrapped around the waist and tied in front. The sandals are called waraii and the socks, which have a space to separate the big toe from the other toes so they can slip on their sandals, are called tabi. And to get really personal, beneath his kimono a samurai would be wearing a loincloth, known as a fundoshi.

And as a last piece of totally useless information, kimono makers used one roll of silk measuring about two feet by 20 yards to make one kimono!

So the next time you are playing Trivial Pursuit or watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and the question of what a Samurai wears is asked, you can either thank me because you remember the answer or, more than likely, you’ll be saying “Oo, oo, I know this one, I read it on someone’s stitching blog, what was it again?”

Until next time…happy stitching.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has...

gone on vacation! Yesterday was such a wonderful Spring day, the weather was mild, kids were out playing and there were even the first signs of tulips popping up. Today though..... it's snowing. Can you believe it? I had planned to get some of the garden tidied up today, but I guess I'll just have to sit and stitch instead...such a hard life!!!

So onto the stitching. You will recall that I had a frogging session on the Mighty Samurai, but was feeling good about the fact that it was as it should be. So although the frogs paid a visit, they also returned my mojo! So I was desperate to get back stitching, and my goal for the weekend was to get the Samurai’s garment completed (nobody ever came up with the proper name for whatever it is Samurais wear!) Now with that being said, you just know there’s a ‘but’ coming, and you’d be correct. I would have had this part finished….BUT…. I ran out of thread! Arghhhh! This is how much I have to do to complete that section –

not much!

Unfortunately, the thread from the kit is not DMC, maybe it’s anchor, I’m not sure. I just know that nothing in my stash was even remotely close. So last night, found me hastily scrawling a letter to Dimensions begging for some Dusty Purple thread to finish of the samurai’s clothes. At least I can carry on stitching other parts of the design, so all is not lost.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that Dimension will send some extra thread.

Well, that’s all for today. Thanks for visiting my blog and especially to those of you that take the time to leave a comment, it’s truly appreciated.

Until next time…happy stitching!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

One step forwards...

two steps back. That's my progress on the Mighty Samurai! I had made the decision to stitch a bit on him every night, even if it was only one length of thread as that way there would definitely be progress. Now, you may remember me saying that I had made a mistake somewhere while I was working on the left hand side of the garment so had decided to work from right to left in the hope that I could kind of smudge round the mistake. Well last night I found the mistake and in true perfectionist style decided to unpick the block that was wrong - my only defense is that it seemed a good idea at the time. Suffice to say, I was pulling my hair out shortly thereafter. Let me tell you, it is sooo hard to distinguish the difference between 'red blended with dusty purple' and 'red blended with light dusty purple' etc. I really must learn to listen to that little voice in my head that tells me not to bother as no-one will notice. Anyway, I would show you a picture of the  progress (or lack thereof), with the stitching but my son has borrowed my camera! And since Mondays post was of things being back to normal I thought I had better do my normal Thursday post, otherwise  things wouldn't be back to normal! lol

Since I don't have a picture of the Mighty Samurai, I will give a you a sneaky look at what I'm stitching for Tangled prizes for guessing what it is!

It actually looks scrummier (is that even a word?!!) in real life -  and I have added little sprinkles too!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Normal service has been resumed!

But then again…what is normal? No prizes if you say it’s just a setting on the washer – I like Lizzie*Kate designs too!

So I made a big effort to have some stitching to show you today. I have done some more work on The Mighty Samurai, but he still doesn’t seem near to completion. He’s just soooo slow going (typical male! lol) Anyway, I’ve posted a before and after type set of pictures and there is a difference. Wooohoo! I’m so pleased!



Can you see it?

I also have been working on some designs for Tangled Threads so have some little snippets of the designs to show you. This is what was filling my ort jar up last month. 

No prizes for guessing it's an apple!

And this one's a watermelon.

You'll have to excuse my lack of photography skills! I'm just impressed that I was able to figure out that my little camera had a macro button! Now I just have to learn how to use it properly.

Anyway, I’m off to make some breakfast for my son and his friends (yes I know it’s lunch time, but like typical college kids they don’t emerge from their beds till mid-day!)

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love to know that I'm not just talking away to myself!

Until next time…happy stitching.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How can it be?

A stitchy blog without any stitching? Not good!

As we were away at the end of last week and over the weekend, I’m afraid to say, no stitching got done (hangs head in shame.) My daughter was competing in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Ohio so we had a long road trip. As we have done this type of trip many times before, I usually take some stitching just in case I have some spare time to fill. I don’t think in all the years we have been traveling that I have ever actually had time to do any stitching. So this trip I didn’t pack any stitching, and wouldn’t you know….plenty of time to stitch! I was pulling my hair out!!! Hubby and daughter were fine, they played away on their laptops, but I was soooo bored! I was desperate to have something to do I even tried the GPS to see if they had any needlework stores listed under the ‘Points of Interest’ category. (Must make a complaint to TomTom about the serious error on their system!)

So, I have no stitching to show you today. I do, however, have some pretty cool pictures to share.

So on our trip, we kind of took the scenic route (and boy, was it scenic!) and drove to Niagara Falls.(This was listed under the 'Points of Interest' category on the GPS!!!) We hopped over into Canada for about an hour or so to see the falls from the Canadian side. It was so spectacular…..and so cold, but worth every freezing minute!

The Falls from the American side.

From the Canadian side.

Canadian side again!

I do have a picture of me at the falls but I'm not going to show it as I look like I'm auditioning for the part of Santa's lead reindeer!! lol

As for the competition, we had a great time. Here’s a pic of my daughter as she breaks a board that was ten inches above her head! Pretty cool, huh?

So now that I have caught up with the laundry and all the other household chores, I can get some serious stitching done and have something to show you next time!

Until next time…happy stitching!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The early bird catches....

the thread!?!!!
Yes, I know, I am a bit early for posting this but it was a case of now or never. Well ‘never’ was maybe a bit dramatic, it’s more like now or late! I’m off to Ohio with my daughter for a martial arts tournament and have a million and one things to organize so haven’t had the chance to figure out how to set posts to display automatically. It was so much easier just to post today and add my excuses!

Well the beginning of the month had me in serious contention for the ‘least filled ort jar’ award. I didn’t get much stitching done for one reason or another. Normally this goes unnoticed or at least without guilt, but this time that little jar kept looking at me and crying out to be filled! I know it really doesn’t matter how much we fill the jar each month, but I really didn’t want to post a picture of an empty jar! So this was really good motivation for me, and I managed to end up with quite a bit of threads in there. Some are from The Mighty Samurai and others are from designs for Tangled Threads which I will show you all at a later date.

I still haven’t managed to find a jar for the threads at the end of each month, despite my best intentions of finding the cutest jar ever! So the good old sandwich baggie is coping with the responsibility of all this years threads. Maybe next month I will stun you with the unveiling of a wonderful new jar!

Until next time…happy stitching!