Archive for August, 2008

 The Village of Turtle Bay

(You can click on the image to enlarge it.)

Work on the little village of Turtle Bay is finished.  Decided I didn’t care for the first tree I stitched, next to the white cottage, so it was replaced.  Then greenery was added to the village on the hill and the addition of clouds in the sky.  The two little cottages and the silo are stitched using several different woven and needle lace stitches.  For size reference, the little white cottage is approximately ½” tall.

Now to decide whether my next visit in A Crazy World will be to the jungle or the great plains.

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It seems like I’ve had some type of needle in my hand since about the age of 5.  My grandmother always had some needlework project ready for my summer vacation arrival at the farm in Missouri.  One year I had to make enough yo yo’s to cover a pillow and to this day I dislike making them, but I know how.   Between my grandmother and my high school sewing teacher the correct way to stitch/sew something was drilled into my head, they didn’t tolerate my shortcuts.  Now these days I can and do stitch in any manner I feel like, secure in the knowledge that I do know the correct way and that any shortcuts I take don’t compromise or take away from the project.

OK, you’re wondering where the heck is all this information coming from?  I was just sitting here remembering the summer evenings spent with grandma, sitting on the back porch at the farm, stitching, hearing the “preacher” birds and listening to the hunters and their dogs running through the woods.

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The stitching around here has mostly been noise, you know the background stitching that fills in, doesn’t really stand out, but adds to the total picture.  Not terribly exciting on it’s own, so no pics.  Hoping to get to more interesting stitching in the next day or so if I get caught up on things around the house.  Company is coming in a couple of weeks, Hi Eve, so have to get everything ship shape.

In the “that’s interesting” category, I had my eye exam yesterday and told the Dr. that my eyes kept watering all of the time.  Turns out I have a bad case of dry eye syndrome, who would of thought that watering eyes meant they were dry.  

I’ll leave you with an interesting quiz I came across that is, in my case, surprisingly accurate.

NBPS – The Idealist

Nature, Background, Big Picture, and Shape


You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on the hidden treasures of life (the background) and how that fits into the larger picture. You are also particularly drawn towards the shapes around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to ponder ideas and imagine the many possibilities of your life without worrying about the details or specifics. You are in tune with all that is around you and understand your life as part of a larger whole. You prefer a structured environment within which to live and you like things to be predictable.

Take The Perception Personality Image Test at HelloQuizzy

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Yesterday in “A Crazy World” was spent by the seashore.  There is a lighthouse to warn those at sea of the perilous coastline and a small little cottage for the lighthouse keeper and his family.  The thatched roof on the cottage is my first attempt at Hollie Point needlelace and I’m happy with it.  Still needs a few finishing details such as trees, bushes and maybe smoke from the chimney.


Click on the image for a larger view.

For size reference, the cottage is approx. ½” tall.

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I wasn’t totaly happy with the turtle from my last post.  With all of the detail of the leather shell, the simply stitched head and feet just looked wrong.  Wasn’t sure how to go about fixing it and then I remembered I had some extremely soft beige leather, but it was the wrong color.  How do I go about altering the color without changing the hand of the leather?  Oil pastels?  Maybe.  Then I remembered the clearanced sample pack of Shiva Paintsticks that I snagged ridiculously cheap.  Please let there be a suitable green in the package.  Sure enough there was a celadon color in the pack so I cut a small piece off of the leather to test.  First I applied color from the paintstick and rubbed it into the leather with my finger.  Then removed the excess using a scrap of cotton cloth.  Voila!  The perfect shade to use for turtle skin. 

The picture below shows the original color of the leather with a scrap from the paintstick tinted piece on top.

leather- turtle body

The leather is really soft and flexible which is what made it perfect for cutting such small pieces for the head, feet and tail (the feet are only about ¼” wide), but the flexibility is also what made it so frustrating to stitch.  Using the tiniest, sharpest needle I own and one strand of floss, the stitches going down through the leather from the top weren’t too bad, but coming up from the bottom the leather wanted to stretch without the needle piercing it.  After a lot of cursing and perseverance all of the turtle’s extremities were attached.

There is a noticeable improvement in the turtles’s looks and I’m happy now with how he turned out.  His eyes are a little large but they were the smallest seed beads I had, that weren’t black.

turtle - modified

Oh and I’ve decided that the name of this piece is “A Crazy World”.

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There has been actual stitching done around here the past couple of days.  Managed to do a couple of seams, a ship and a turtle.

Seam detail

The above seam is staggered running stitches woven with contrasting thread and the addition of X stitches.

Ship and seam detail

Decided that every ocean needs a ship made of herringbone and cretan stitches.  The seam detail at the top is a new addition.  I’m trying to keep the contrast down between the seams and the background since they aren’t meant to be the main focus of this piece.

We were watching the sharks version of “Mythbusters” the other night and they kept seeing sea turtles, so I decided this piece needed a turtle also.  I tried stitching the shell but wasn’t satisfied with any of the results and the fabric was beginning to look a little worse for wear from all of the unsewing.  Frustrated, I leaned back in my chair and looked up at the shelves above my table and spied the container marked leather.  Surely in that collection of bits and scraps there was a piece that would work for a turtle shell.  I found a large piece of olive green leather that I had purchased cheap, due to it being slightly damaged, and a turtle shell was born.


Had a 40% off coupon for the bookstore burning a hole in my pocket, so yesterday I ventured out to shop on the Saturday before school starts.  I know, crazy, but I had a coupon.  First was Sears to check out some bedding they had advertised.  Didn’t find anything I liked, but they were also having a summer clearance sale.  All of the marked down clearance items were an additional 40% off.  Lucky me managed to snag two tops and two pairs of pants, suitable for lounging/pajamas, and spent less than $20.

Next stop, the bookstore.  I picked up the latest Vogue Knitting because of these mittens and then snagged their last copy of “Stitch” which is one of my favorite embroidery/needlework magazines.  Being a British magazine it is often hard to come by around here and can’t afford $70 for a one year subscription.  Okay, I still have this coupon in my hands and it can’t be used for magazines, so I’m on the hunt for a book to buy.  Don’t want to use it on something I may or may not end up liking and only read once.  Then I remembered Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Been reading rave reviews on recipe sites and blogs, I love bread, there’s no kneading required, what more could I ask for?  Plan to mix up a batch of brioche today then will bake it tomorrow while I can jalapenos.  Yes, we are being overrun with peppers of the hot persuasion.  Tomorrow I will put the peppers, some onions and carrots in jars, cover with hot pickling vinegar, process in a hot water bath and have more than enough jalapenos to last through the winter.  That is, if I can keep them all from being given away.

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I went racing into the sewing room to retrieve a project I’m working on and stopped short with a sharp jab in  my heel.  I had suddenly found the extra large chenille needle that I lost the other day.  For non-stitchers, a chenille needle is used for bulky threads and yarn and this particular one is about 1/16″ wide at the eye end which is the end that entered 1/2″ into the heel of my foot.  It is a gold eye needle and there was no gold showing outside my foot.  Couldn’t grip the needle hard enough with my fingers to pull it out so had to hobble around to find the pliers, which worked.  Hurt more coming out than it did going in.

In other words, when entering a sewing room proceed with caution, especially while barefoot.

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