Monday, June 29, 2009

Framing Day

It's Monday, so that means multiple loads of laundry. In between doing that, I managed to frame Sarah Hartley. I had a harder time than usual choosing the frame. I can usually zero right in on something. I can't be more pleased at how it turned out though. The molding is mottled in various colors. For added interest, I chose to have a coppery colored fillet inserted in the frame. It is so not my usual style, but it really compliments the deer. I took a close up, so maybe that will give a better view.
I finished Margaret a few days ago. For this one, I went with a simple cherry wood frame. I thought it looked the best with all of the pinks in the border.

The newest sampler, Rebecca Robinson, is hard for me to put down. I am so in love with this one, especially now that the giant house is done. I'll post a picture in a day or so.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Very Big House

In addition to starting A Friendship Sampler, I've also started Rebecca Robinson. I have a special fondness for this type of schoolgirl sampler. I like the fact that it is also from Pennsylvania. My family settled in PA., after migrating from Germany. As you can see, I'm done with the very big house house in the middle. I'm not a huge fan of all the filling in that was required, but I love the way it looks. After using mostly pale colors in my last couple of projects, it's wonderful to be using the deep golds, greens, and blue. There's not much linen left bare on this sampler, but I'm using 40ct. vintage Buttercream from Lakeside. It's a yummy color, and I think the silks will compliment it nicely. It's all straight cross-stitch, no over one or specialty stitches. As big as it is, I'm happy for that. The stitch count is 330 wide by 250 high.
The best part is that it already has a home on a wall. For once, I know exactly where I'm going to put it. It's going to hang over my headboard in the master bedroom.
I've been trying to find inspiration to paint some new needle case sets. I'm a moody artist, and sometimes, the mood just escapes me. I wish I could just sit down and the ideas would appear out of thin air. Hopefully, I'll get back to it soon.
Thanks for the wonderful comments about Sarah and Margaret. I appreciate them all. It's seems that a lot of you are being afflicted by the contagious "Startitis" disease. I've had it myself. Let's blame it on the heat and the long days of summer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dog days of summer

Just look at these two lazy girls curled up on my bed. When they are worn out from chasing the beloved spitty ball, you can find them here. Ruby is on the left, and she looks none too happy to have her nap interrupted. That's Scarlett on the right.

Sarah Hartley 1827
by Historic Stitches
45ct. vintage Sand Dune by Lakeside
NPI, Inc. silks
Margaret Simcock
by The Sampler Company
40ct. cream Newcastle linen which I aged with Ritz Liquid Dye
Boy, am I glad to have these two finished. I've started A Friendship Sampler by Plum Street Samplers. Not enough progress to show yet, but it's very sweet. Believe it or not, I'm even enjoying the border. I'm fighting the urge to rummage through my stash for something else to work on, now that I'm a rotation stitcher, lol. I have found that it's nice to switch back and forth between a couple, so I may start Rebecca Robinson by The Scarlet Letter, or Do Unto Others by With Humble Heart. Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Down to the wire

All that's left is the verse for Margaret Simcock. I'm so glad to be almost done with her. Now, I need to finish Sarah Hartley. In the meantime, I've started A Friendship Sampler by Plum Street Samplers. I am getting dangerously close to having a rotation, lol. That is something I've always resisted against. I usually finish something before allowing myself a new start. I'm finding myself totally without willpower lately. Earlier today, I was thinking about the days, many, many years ago, when my "stash" consisted of the fabric I was currently using, a half full plastic box of DMC, and maybe a chart or two waiting in the wings. My how things have changed!

Here's a new needle case set going on Etsy.

By the way, if you made my muffins, let me know how you liked them. There are a lot of rhubarb lovers out there. To those of you who haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? Suzanne, your comment about the two women fighting over rhubarb at the market just cracked me up. I wasn't there, I swear.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You asked for it

Some of you have asked for my rhubarb muffin recipe. I'm happy to share, so here you are:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk * see my note
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chopped rhubarb

In a medium bowl, combine flour, b. soda, salt, and brown sugar. In another bowl, beat the egg, stir in melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the egg mixture all at once. Stir until just blended. Fold in rhubarb. Spoon into greased muffin tins.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs. melted butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
I also add either chopped pecans or walnuts to the topping, about 1 cup. Totally optional.
Combine these together, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 24 medium sized muffins.

* I never have buttermilk on hand. To make your own, put 1 tbs. of lemon juice in a measuring cup, add milk to the 1 cup mark. Let it sit for a few minutes. I usually do this before I start everything else.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rhubarb Heaven

Right about now, you're going "rhubarb heaven?" Huh? What's that have to do with stitching? Nothing actually, but if you read my whole post it will make sense. Here's more progress on Sarah Hartley 1827. I am sure taking my sweet time on this. I love how it looks on the 45ct., but it does make my eyes tired if I stitch too long on her. I'm almost finished with Margaret Simcock. Hopefully, I can show a picture in a day or so. I'm totally sick of pastels, and most especially pink, even though it is a pretty sampler. I'm mulling over what I'll do next. Most definitely something with deeper, richer colors. The over one verse went surprisingly fast by doing the tent stitch.
I squeezed in a little painting yesterday. This set will be on Etsy.

And now for the rest of the story. This is the scene in my kitchen today, and the reason why I'm a happy girl. Our local grocery stores are starting to get rhubarb in. If you know me at all, you know how I love it. One would have to be crazy about it to name a dog, Rhubarb, right? We seem to call her Ruby most of the time, but that's her registered name. Anyway, I have been baking my favorite muffins. There is nothing better than one with a cup of coffee or tea. It kind of annoys me that I pay $3.00 a lb. for something that grows like weeds in the Midwest. Ah well, if I'm honest, I'd pay even more if I had to. After all, what's a rhubarb lover to do?
From here
to here
to this...