A Bright Spot on a Rainy Day

Mercy me, has it really been almost 6 months since my last post?  Time flies when you are having fun working.  Ack!

The “powers that be” at work gave me some unexpected time off today and I am trying to use that time wisely.  I work from home and have been in my “new” office for months now…and I have nothing on the walls except a clock.  Seriously.  So I decided today was the day to drive a few nails and brighten up my décor.

I found this at an “antique mall” a while back and frankly it couldn’t be less “antiquey.”  With the fun colors and polka dots and stripes it looks like it would be perfect…in a baby or toddler’s room.  Right?  Nah, I LOVE it!  It makes me smile.  And it was almost free.


Here it is again, covered with needlework.  I made half of the projects here, the other half were either gifts or exchanges.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!


Thought for the day:  Happiness is having your own tool box!

A Really Small “Small”

My friend Jane asked me to make a pillow/sofa cushion for her doll house.  She gave me a few examples so I could make them the right size.



I’m sure she wanted something simple, but my thoughts raced and I went a wee bit mad as I considered the possibilities.  Hmmm…I could get more detail if I stitched over one…what about shape?  Could I really make a biscornu that small?


This is Summer Flowers Biscornu designed by Samplerbird Stitchery.   The design is available free of charge on the “All About Smalls” Facebook group.  I stitched on 40 count white linen with DMC 368, 720 and 823.  I still need to stitch the back and attempt the finishing.  Yikes!  But fun!

You may have noticed that my old blog posts from Blogger are here.  Monique pointed me in the right direction, and voila!  I am super happy to have them here in WordPress land.  In related news I am going to try to use the blog reader here in WordPress as well.  I was using Feed Demon and it ate my entire list.  I am crushed, but doing my best to recreate and improve it.  I am hopeful!

2015? Already?

My life has been calm and serene a blur lately.  I suspect you can relate.  In my mind it should still be September of 2014 with loads of time left to enjoy the fall season, Thanksgiving, and prepare for Christmas.  Nope.  Happy New Year!

The Christmas stitching I did turned out fine and was graciously received.  As we were loading the car I realized…I didn’t take a single picture of a single thing.  I shouldn’t be surprised, I did most of it at the 11th hour.  I finished stitching the last ornament at 12:05 A.M. on Christmas morning.  Somehow I managed to get it “ornamentalized” and wrapped in time.  I’ll see if the family can snap a few pictures for me before things get packed up for next year.

On the home front, I hosted a stitching day on the 30th.

Jeanne, Lee and Pat
Jeanne, Lee and Pat

I kind of lost track of how many were here, I think there were 16 of us at some point.

Ginger, Cathy and Liz
Ginger, Cathy and Liz

Everybody brought snacks and we had food delivered twice.

Janice and Harriet
Janice and Harriet

There was a lot of laughter and we actually got some stitching done!

I received a K’s Creations Z Lap Frame for Christmas and had to try it out.  I started Monique’s “Saltbox Strawberry Fob” – The Primitive Jewel.

Starting "Saltbox Strawberry Fob" in my new K's Creations Z Lap Frame
Starting a project in my new K’s Creations Z Lap Frame – lucky, lucky me!

I love the frame and I love the project.  (Shameless plug:  Monique comes up with the cutest designs.  Have you seen her Quaker Banana Fob?  I am not kidding, it is cuteness overload!)  My LNS didn’t have the “Red Pear” Weeks fabric that the design called for so I used “Arbor” from Picture This Plus.

The Primitive Jewel "Saltbox Strawberry Fob"
The Primitive Jewel  “Saltbox Strawberry Fob”

I also stitched Smyrna crosses in the grass instead of the over-4 cross stitches that were charted.  Blame it on a year full of Dorothy, I now expect to see specialty stitches everywhere.  It feels great to have a finish at the beginning of the year!

So that’s it, a whole page of blogging WITH pictures.  Happy New Year!

Making Progress

So the blog looks a little less bleak.  And I finished stitching an ornament.  Astounding progress, right?

The ornament is a free design stitched with 3021 J&P Coats floss (free!) on a scrap of MCG Textiles Oyster fabric (from my stash, and a really nasty excuse for linen I must say…) and ready to be finished.

L 'R de Rein Blog - Noel
L ‘R de Rein Blog – Noel

What’s next?  I am working on my next ornament, Grumpy Kitty by Brooke’s Books.  I should be done in the next few days.  Progress!

Thank you, Google, for the new WordPress blog

I realized today that one of the main reasons I don’t blog is because Google has made it nearly impossible to break into my own blog.  As much as I loved having the history and content of my old blog, it is time to move on.  So here I am, starting over on WordPress.  There will be a learning curve, but I think I’m up for it.

Dorothy Walpole 1774 by The Scarlet Letter

So HEY!  Time to talk stitching, right?  As you may know from Facebook, I finished Dorothy on Turkey Day.  Woot!  I am currently working on Christmas presents.  The stitching is finished on one and nearly finished on another.  There will be four or maybe five total.  So far so good!  I have 2 weeks left, right?  Eek!

Off to work some Christmas magic…and see if I can figure out how to edit the title font.  Ew.

Dorothy. I Think I Love You.

I have a list – a long list – of projects that need to be photographed and blogged about.  I just haven’t been inspired to blog until I snapped a few pictures today of Dorothy Walpole. What, you ask, is a Dorothy Walpole?  She is a beautiful sampler reproduced by The Scarlet Letter, an Irish Quaker sampler from 1774 with lots of fun specialty stitches and pretty colors.  Hubba hubba!!

From the pictures you would never know I touched up Dorothy with the iron.  Groan!  The first two photos were taken in sunlight.

How about a close-up?

The wrinkles hardly show with indoor lighting.

I am trying to stitch from my stash, so the fabric is something labeled Country French, 32 count, and the floss is DMC.  The fabric called for was 40 count, but alas I didn’t have anything in my stash that worked with the DMC colors.

With the extra framing fabric at the top and bottom, Dorothy is – gasp – a YARD long. 

She’s going to be a beauty!

Summer? What Happened to Summer?

I sure don’t understand how time flies past so quickly.  One minute it’s spring and the next it’s fall.  I had grand plans to show another round of finishes.  I even took the pictures, and that’s usually the sticking point for me.  So how about if we get right to the pictures?

I started Sampler aux Bouquet I by Jardin Prive in January as part of a stitch-along at Sampler World.

I am stitching over one on white Cashel and I’m really happy with how it is turning out.  I plan to stitch all 3 parts, so it is going to be a long and skinny project.  Love it!

I saw this Val’s Stuff design stitched up at the Mom & Me Forever shop (now closed, boo hoo!) and planned to stitch it on a low count fabric with perle cottons – like a Bent Creek Zipper.  That plan went sideways when I tossed the floss on a tiny scrap of bright yellow fabric in my stash.

Hello, Topsy Turvy Bunnies!  This project is also over one on Cashel.  Can you see the bunnies?  There is a bunny face on the diagonal in each corner with their ears pointing to the center of the square.  Love the carrots in between! 

The bunnies project will eventually become a little fob or ornament, and I thought it called for fun, bright beads.  I went to Michael’s with Ginger and Amy and found exactly zero beads that were even vaguely appropriate.  I was disappointed and decided to look elsewhere.  I wandered through the clearance section on my way out, and look what I found!

What you see on the left is (reportedly) a napkin ring, with perfect beads!  The bowl of perfect orange beads started out as a napkin ring (really?) as well.  It took a little work to snip through the wire of the napkin rings, but it was well worth it…and a bargain too!

Next on the list is a Bent Creek Zipper, Cabin Snowglobe.

You know how much I love Zippers!  The snow globes are always fun to stitch, and I love how this one turned out.

My last project has a story to tell.  Monique started it, and she chose a beautiful thread color for this monochrome design – Carrie’s Creation floss in Olive.  The design is Midnight Stitching’s Quaker Floral.  At some point Monique grew weary of it ( I never did hear the full story on that!) and sold the whole kit-n-caboodle to our friend Linda at a stitch-in. 

Linda loved the color too, and thoroughly enjoyed stitching it until…she realized the alphabet in the middle was missing the letter I.  This bothered her every time she looked at it, so she sold it to me at the next stitch-in. 

I am thrilled to have it!  I love the idea of finishing something that two of my friends have stitched  on.  The first time I sat down to work on it I started to stitch and had to stop.  Something was not right.  That’s when it occurred to me that both friends cross their stitches the “right” way and I cross mine backwards.  Ack!  In the  end I turned the project 1/4 turn and stitched it that way so all of the stitches would be in the same direction.  Harmony!  In Olive! 

Thanks to everyone who continues to follow my sporadic blog posts and to those who leave comments!  I really appreciate it!

What? Another Post Already?

Time for a little more catching up. 

My stitch-at-work project was Home Sweet Home by La D Da.  I stitched on 20 count Summer Khaki linen over two with a Watercolours conversion.

I included my stork scissors in the picture so you can see just how huge it is.  Yowza!

Next up is Petite Exemplary #1 – #4 by Ewe and Eye and Friends.  These charts were sold separately but I loved the idea of stitching them together.  The specialty stitches added a lot of interest to this project.

My notes say I stitched on a piece of 35 (maybe 36?) count mystery fabric from my stash with Anchor floss.  The frame has been picked up at Stitcher’s Station, so soon it will be framed and on its way to Mom’s house where it will live happily ever after. 

I borrowed this Little House Needleworks design (Frosty Flakes) from Joy (thanks Sis!) and it was a fun, fast stitch.  I used 30 count Straw WDW fabric with the floss called for.  I love the subtle shading that gives the snowman rosy cheeks.  Great designing!

At some point I spotted this design somewhere on the internet stitched in blues instead of greens and now I may have to stitch it again!  I love the greens, but the blue would be fabulous too.

One more, this is Winter Swirl by Heart in Hand.  It is a kit from a four season series.  All of the seasons have the same interesting border design.

I wasn’t jazzed about how some specialty stitches were used so I made a few changes.  I’m stitching each design during the “right” season, so I’m working on Spring now.  These would be cute on a single piece of fabric, but the kits came with individual cuts of fabric so I’m sticking with it.
So what’s next?  Would you believe another post with finishes?  Needle = on fire.  
After the finishes I’ll move on to WIP updates.  If you’re getting the impression I’ve had time to stitch…you would be correct!

Well Hello, 2013

I was going to start with a somewhat lengthy (and hopelessly dry) narrative about where I’ve been for the past 5 months, but instead I feel inspired to GET ON WITH IT and talk about stitching!  If this decision saddens you in any way, I sincerely hope you get over it and move along with the rest of us to the next paragraph.  (Thank you for playing.)

Let’s start with some unfinished business from last year.  In November Ginger finally received the ornament I stitched for her birthday…in 2010.  This is Nickademus from Raise the Roof, an ornament in the 2010 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Magazine.

 For backing I used this cute ric rac theme fabric from my stash and a piece of ric rac for the hanger.

Yes, the photos were taken in the car.  The actual finishing took place…in the car.  No, I never wait until the last minute for anything.  Ever.

I spent a lot of time at the end of the year fussing about Christmas stockings.  Mark’s family embraces the use of holiday stockings with vigor!  I decided it was time to take the whole pile of stockings to a professional machine embroiderer and have names put on them, doing away with the sticky-label identification method that had been used for years. 

A simple idea turned out to be impossible to execute.  In the end I hand embroidered names on two of the stockings and sewed two brand new stockings.  Do I have pictures of any of this?  Why, no.  Of course, I do not.  All projects were finished at the 11th hour (do you see a trend here?) and pictures didn’t occur to me until the stockings were packed away (post-Christmas) in boxes in the attic of the in-laws.  See you  in December ’13, stockings!

What I do have is a really bad picture of the stocking I made as a prototype.  (I had to find out if I was competent to cut into the really good fabric and sew it into something I wouldn’t be ashamed to look at every Christmas for years to come.)  I found an outstanding (and amazingly easy) stocking pattern at Sew Like My Mom

The stocking is lined, has a cuff and the design is simple genius.

I dropped out of the TNT Guild last year but made a point to attend the annual auction fund raiser in November.  It is always a great time!  I decided to donate a little something.

It was really all about the cute frame – the hats are on springs. Very festive!

This is Isaiah 53:6, charted by me then stitched over 1 on 36 count Sand linen with Dried Thyme Silk ‘N Colors.

I am really please with how it turned out!  It was much more difficult to chart and stitch than I anticipated.  It was a gift for my Dad’s birthday, and was a labor of love for sure.

That’s all for now.  I took a zillion pictures today so it’s just a matter of uploading them to the blog.  It is always the ironing and pictures that takes the longest!

Food Theme

I have a few finishes to share!  There seems to be a food theme.  It would be weird, except HELLO it’s me.

The biggest of the bunch is Sweet Pea Sampler from The Needle’s Notion.  How cute is that?  And just enough wacky elements to keep it from being too sweet.  (Beware the dangling pea pods!)

I love the colors.  The design called for Kreinik #4 braid in an emerald color.  Metallic is not my thing so I just substituted a similar floss color.  The Rhodes stitches across the top and bottom look like peas and are my favorite part of the design!

This is Death by Candy Corn by The Scarlett House, finished into a pillow then rushed to the post office for Nicole’s birthday.  Pardon the picture, there was no time for fancy photography.  Or even good photography, apparently.

I used giant-sized rick rack for the trim.  It didn’t turn out exactly like I expected, but Nicole seems to like it and that’s what counts.

Finally, this is Good Tidings and Great Joy by Plum Street Samplers from the 2012 JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine.

I stitched it for Mom and Me Forever.  It is on 35 count R & R Liberty Gathering Gray using the GAST called for.  I found that the shutter color blended into the house color so I used Apple Cider instead and changed the door to Mulberry.  I don’t have a before and after picture, but trust me, it is better.  Like mileage, your dye lots may vary.

Thanks to Joy for providing the sisterly peer pressure that seems to be necessary for me to blog.