Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wool and Wabbits

Today I washed a load of wool from a shelf. I have been storing my extra in the basement and the cats have been using it as a bed. So, I throw the worst pieces away and wash the rest, then I am storing it in drawers and putting the dyed wools on the shelfs in my room.

This is what I got out of the dryer today. This pile is undyed wools, all thrifts. Some are so dark, I will not dye it, but use as is.
It is not the best for hooking, but some can be dyed and used to hook and some will go into wool sewing projects.

This is already dyed, pieces I shelved, or some from previous projects. So it is a mix of thrift and new wools. Once I get all the wool washed and semi organized, I will reorganize it again into piles for hooking and sewing. Some of the wool has been washed several times, so it is too thick, but works great for small projects.

I worked on my new cross stitch and messed up by grabbing the wrong blue. So, I spent a lot of time taking out stitches.
For a break, I sit on the porch with my coffee. I love it in the early evening and the bunnies come out to play and enjoy the clover.

And for those of you who wanted to know what the inside of Lauri's cabin looks like, she sent me a photo. She is thinking about renting it out. It is perfect for a getaway and central to a lot of areas in Maine. The stairs lead to a loft, where we slept, it is really nice and cozy, with all the amenities, so much better than a stuffy hotel.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A New Teaser

I made up some projects to take on my trip, I never made got done with the first one;)
So, I started the new cross stitch piece and thought you might like to see a teaser.
I am making this to look like an old fraktur, so I am using black to outline the main designs.
I have already messed up by missing some stitches on one side, but I am too lazy to go all the way back and redo it.
Luckily she will just be a little shorter;)

I will also get back to redoing the adam and eve piece, so the pattern matches the finished piece.

For the trip finale, we stopped at the outlets on the way home. I was not impressed with the prices, but I do love my sketchers, so I got a new pair of sneakers and bill bought himself a good pair of work boots. I also needed new kayak boots for the summer, so I was able to find my brand at the sports store there.

Since we were going through Massachusetts, I just had to stop by the quilted crow, a treat for me. I have been looking for some tan homespuns and they had what I needed, now I wish I had bought yardage, it will be for an outer section on a quilt I plan on making and not sure I have enough, guess I will have to go back, lol. I fell in love with the fat quarter bundle, it is Moda Cross weave, will be fun to make a quilt with and love the shades. And of course some hand dyed gold to go into some simple amish style quilts. And yes I know, they never use gold in their quilts, but I do;)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Paddling in Maine

I love kayaking in Maine. The lakes are so clean and clear and you are always surrounded by forest and mountains.
We decided to try a lake close by called Mousam lake outside the town of Sanford. Another thing I love is that most of the lakes have little islands. They are fun to paddle around and great wind blockers.

There are also lots of small rivers that are fun to explore.

Sometimes it is hard to find a landing to stop and take a rest. A lot of the land is owned by people, but we found a sandy spot in the middle of the lake that was marked with rocks.

On the way back to our cabin, I wanted to take a swim at the town park in Sanford. The water is so crisp and clean, but it was perfect for a hot day and the views on the river are gorgeous. There is a place to put in at the park, so next time I want to paddle along the river and take a hike on the trail that goes around the area. And as to whether we had lobster? Of course we did. Lauri and Dick made us a wonderful lobster dinner, complete with steamers, corn and potato salad. And I will say it was the best seafood dinner I have had.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vacation Fun!

Today was my husband's last day off, so I threw a load of laundry in the washer and left the rest of the mess for later;)
We went to the state park for a paddle, it was a beautiful day, not too humid and the water at the lake was warm, so we got to get in some swimming too.

We start at the launch site and paddle along the shoreline which takes us past the campgrounds and lots of little coves.

We always take a break when we get around to the other side. There is a little beach where the old campgrounds were, so it is a nice spot to take a lunch break and go for another swim, before we paddle back across.

And now for more of Maine. We didn't want to overdo it, or travel too far, so we decided to check out the area from wells, down to York. I have to admit, it was not my kind of place, a lot of traffic and tourists and mostly open coastline. I prefer the areas with islands and less people. But it was a nice day and we ended up taking a walking trail that follows the shore.

This area had lots of rocky coastline.

Lots of coves and more rocks.

The walk goes on until you reach the Ogunguit beach area. It was hot as heck and I wish I had know they had little beaches on the walk. I could have thrown my suit on and enjoyed a cool dip in the ocean.

The beach is large and long. The whole area is basically one beach after another, so if you love to go to the ocean, it is a wonderful place to visit or stay. I did not get any pictures of the inside of our cabin or Lauri's house. Tomorrow I will have photos of our kayak trip. Nothing exciting, but we spent our time relaxing this time, so no big adventures;)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too Good to be True!

Remember the grand hotel and the beautiful seaside suite we reserved?
Well, they didn't mention that the points only covered half of the rental and we had to pay an additional 300.00 a night for the suite. Nothing like finding yourself without your dream vacation on your anniversary.

Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who lives in Maine and was nice enough to let two people she never met in person, come and stay in her cabin. Lauri was a wonderful host and what could have been a disaster, turned into a wonderful vacation for us.
This was the cabin we stayed in, part of a historic home site that they renovated and turned into a charming cottage.

At night we enjoyed sitting outside and enjoying the wildlife that frequents their property. This little fawn was having a ball romping about the yard. My husband has one more day off, so we plan on enjoying a beautiful day at home, by paddling at our state park. More photos and vacation adventures to follow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Dog

Today was hot, so I waited until later in the afternoon to go out.
I did get my colors picked for the new cross stitch.
Casey was in his element, he loves to go outside, even if it is just to watch me water the garden.
We did get some Ball throwing in, though. Can you believe he is 10 this year, he still acts like a puppy.

This is the expression I got when I asked him if he wanted a biscuit. He knew I didn't have one, so he tilted his head and arched his brow at me, with his, "yeh right", look. Of course the minute I snap the photo, he lost the actual look, but it is funny, he has tons of expressions.

We walked around the yard and I was surprised when I found rasberries growing in the bushes around the shed. Not sure if I want to pick them, there are tons of poison oak bushes mixed in. I do love rasberries though.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dog days of summer

Today I had to go out and get some supplies for our trip.
We have a good health food store, so I got some goodies that I can eat without cooking.
Then I cooked and spent the rest of the day working on my new cross stitch pattern.
It does take a lot of work and that is just working it up in the program. Next I will stitch it and make changes where needed.
Then I will redo the pattern to match, so there are a lot of steps and time put into making the patterns, but worth it.

We had a nice breeze today, even though it was a bit humid, so I sat on the porch for breaks.
Casey loves to go outside. This is his, aren't you coming look.

He decided to give up and just enjoy the day, while I sat on my butt, on the deck.
But he still had hopes that I would join him in some play time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Teaser

I spent the day working on new cross stitch designs that I can take with me, on the trip.
I am trying some of the gravestone images and a new one that I have been wanting to make into something.
So hopefully, I can make some decent patterns and finish the others for those who have been asking.

I thought I would show you another teaser of where we are staying, lol.
We do not go to fancy places, but we had free points and this one has a kitchen, so that is why only 3 days, it ate up more points.
This is the hotel and area. We are staying in the smaller building on the water.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Business Cards

I was playing around today and trying to make my own business cards.
I have print shop, so I can make lots of fun things with it and figured, I should use it.
Sometimes people ask me for one, and this way I will have some with me, even if they aren't perfect.
The problem is when I printed them, they lettering is small, so want the info to be seen.

I used my pirate photo and a ship from the program and used a wood background, I like the look of this one.
But, the lettering is harder to see, so need to work on that. I had to save it as a jpg, so they came out small, hopefully you can see them.

I also tried it in white and rearranged the pictures. I think the wood looks nicer, but the white is easier to read on.
On the printouts, I had vanilla card stock, so maybe I can find a better textured card stock and use that as the background.
Would use less ink too.

And this is the hotel we are staying in. This is the marina suite, it has kitchens, which I need that because of my special diet.
I could never afford a place like this, but with the hotel points, we got 3 free nights, so just right for an anniversary getaway;)
Bill has been sick with a bad cold, lets hope I don't get it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fraktur Bird Stitchery

I wanted to try this one in a stitchery.
This is another gravestone image. Not all images are scary or creepy;)
I made this one for a bird lover, so I hope she doesn't mind a crooked piece.
I have another I put onto backing, but I plan on saving it for my trip. It has two birds and lots of lines.
I also noticed there are some old graveyards in our vacation area. When I mentioned it, I got "the look" from my husband, lol.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Anniversary Sale!

Starting tonight and running till next saturday, I will be having a sale on all of my patterns.
Two patterns for only 10 dollars, all patterns are included.
This is your chance to try some of my patterns and make some wonderful items for yourself or as gifts, or for sale.

On the 21st of June, my husband and I will be celebrating our 35th anniversary.
We are taking a much needed mini vacation and it did not cost a cent, love those hotel points;)
Hopefully a change of pace and some fresh air and I will be back with new ideas and I will have new patterns for all those who have been waiting.

To take advantage of this offer, email me with your choices and I will send a bill with the correct pricing.
The rug shown is from my pattern booklet; Fraktur Horses. You can find my patterns with the link in the left column, at ecrater.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Stitchery Pillows

I think I am getting carried away with these stitcheries, lol.
It is helping my hand though, it still hurts, but less than before.
I may do some pennies and wool pieces next, need a break soon.

These pillows are both from Tiffany of Twigs n Sprigs.
I decided to add a border on these to make them into quilted pillows.
The one of the left is one of Tiffany's designs.

Then I decided to try another gravestone. This time I used two layers of batting, but still not the look I wanted.
I might have to try a different thread, maybe something thicker. I still have pieces to finish and two new ones I drew up, so I might take a break and do some finishing on my other quilting.

One thing I am doing differently with the designs, is that I am using my black ink pen to put the design onto the fabric.
I am using my faber castell artist pen, an older one, so it goes on black but not as heavy as the new ink does. I also ironed on a piece of freezer paper, so that I could draw the lines more smoothly. This way I just sew over the thin line and you cannot see it. Much easier than trying to get the blue chalk off and it will be great for making up pieces to take on my trip.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grave Angels Stitchery

I was in my usual lazy mood and needed something different to stitch.
So, I looked through my files and decided to try a stitchery from an old gravestone.
I used the angels and added here and there, since the stone was worn and chipped.
Then I decided to add a date and some grave type motifs.

My idea was to give it the look of carving with depth, by using batting as I stitched.
I think it would work better if I used two layers of batting and machine stitched to get a deeper outline.
I also used my lana wool thread, it is a greenish brown shade, so nice for this piece.
I used walnut, but decided to spot a bit of the java on, to give it the greenish black aging.
Not sure if I like the extra motifs and whether it would look better with just the angels and an outline stitch?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

This and That Sunday

I have no finished pieces to show you, but I have started something new today.
Some simple stitcheries I am trying, using some gravestone images I liked.
So, that will be something new and I am going to try some cross stitch with them too, that way there will be something for everyone on the patterns.

I take pictures sometimes, just because, so here they are.

Bill is putting wood down in my office, which will be my daughters room again. She is moving back, poor me;)
I have things on shelves and in a cabinet, things I collect and this piece is something I started years ago and never finished.
Someday I will finish it.

This one is my neighbor's barn. It is slated to be torn down, they might fall down on their own, at this rate.
But, I thought I would get one more shot because they really need to be made into a future design.

This is what Izzy and Dora do on hot days, argue about who gets to sit in the window, by my chair.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fraktur Pillow

I wanted to try a fabric painted stitchery, with a fraktur design.
With my frakturs I use watercolor and wanted to try the same look.
I used my watercolor pencils and then small amounts of water.
It wasn't what I was hoping for, so need to try other watercolor mediums.
With this piece, I used the walnut stain and dried, then sprinkled water on it and let it air dry.

I have also been asked about my stitcheries and if they were for sale.
I have been making them for fun, so planned on gifting them, but if you are interested, feel free to email me.
I am enjoying making them and have some ideas for new designs that I can make into sets.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Prizes and New Stitchery

I entered a contest a week ago and was surprised when I actually won.
The contest was sponsored by Baby Cakes ... Merry Whatever and consisted of five prizes, I got two today. The really neat folk art ornament is done by Kim Owens of Folk Art From The Heart. She does the most wonderful folk art pieces. The second prize is from Lisa of Skunk Hollow Country Store, a pair of wonderful stitched pillows for Halloween. As you can see the theme was holidays, so I will be getting gifts from different holidays, what fun.

Today I finished another stitchery. This is another design by Twigs n Sprigs, so if you like the pieces I have been making, be sure to visit Tiffany's site and check out all of the wonderful designs that you can make. I decided to try a little of my own hand stitchery on the border, what do you think? I also learned something new on this piece. I ran out of the cheap acrylic batting, which is what I was using on my pieces and started using the nice cotton one. What I learned is, when you use walnut spray, it comes out differently with cotton batting. On acrylic it soaks in and stays, so I have to spray heavier. But on the cotton, as it dried it left really dark spots, so I had to wash it down and do a lighter spray so you could see the design. Something to consider when using walnut spray, different battings will react differently to the stain.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Stitcheries

I have been working on finishing stitcheries, but still not finished with the little quilts.
Sometimes I am lazy and just want to sit in my chair, so I make more stitcheries, lol.
Tiffany sent me some of her newest designs that are coming out and I decided to make two of them into small pillows.
I used floral material this time and left them under stuffed to have that feed sack look.

I love the look of these and think it would be fun to do a wall hanging and there will be punched pieces too, so look for them in the future. I think they would be nice with dates and stitches around the edge, but I forgot about that, lol.