Monday, May 30, 2011

Savannah's Curtsy...Finished

After a big push for the finish line, Savannah is done and it was a pleasure keeping her company.
I started Savannah's Curtsy on February 17, 2011 and placed the last stitch May 27, 2011.


Even though I've finished the stitching, I'd like to complete the visual journal I was keeping.  It will just be a moment...promise.

By May 7th....
I was stitching in the edges of her beautiful petticoat.

There were a lot of blended threads in the flooring.  An effect I like, and a good bridge between colors.

By May 17th....
The petticoat was complete!

Everything but the wording was done!

May 27th...
This was the part I was dreading.  I have never liked alphabet samplers, which I think I mentioned in the Dutch Beauty post, so this was rough going for me.  On top of my dislike for stitching lettering, I was using #8 braid.  It can be a real pain to work with...when it wants to be...and it wanted to be....

Once the "Welcome" was in place I moved on to the final step...the beads.  Beautiful little bits of glass. 
A 'welcome' reward after a trying couple of evenings.
(Okay, sorry, some things just need to be said...)

First, I thought I'd add them with white floss, to match the fabric, but the white was too visible on the bead. 
So I switched over to a color that more closely matched the bead.  The result was practically unnoticeable.
 To add the Mill Hill Beads I used a size 28 tapestry needle.
When I added the petite beads...
I used size 10 Betweens and a needle threader...
Overall, I'm very pleased and have already picked out a place to hang her after framing.  I'll add a photo of the framed project in it's proper place as soon as I get it back from the shop.
For now, this is Savannah's Curtsy...

UPDATE July 8th, 2011:
Savannah is back from the framers and is hanging in my inner entryway.


My scrap jar is feeling less empty now...

Thanks for putting up with another project.  I know they are drawn out posts, but I've discovered that they really help keep me motivated! 

I've really enjoyed looking at all the other cross stitch blogger's posts and hope to get more inspiration over the summer!  Thanks to everyone who so generously shares their stitching online!

I have a busy summer ahead, and may not be here often.  I look forward to long, lazy, lemonade-sipping days and wish the same for you.  Time to put away my tool box and do some relaxing...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blog Backgrounds

I swear, I must change the backgrounds on this poor blog every other month.  For me, it's like getting a new dress.  I like to go "shopping" around the internet for something new to suit my mood.  Sometimes I'm feeling a little wild and crazy, other times mellow, and then there are moments I just want to be in the spirit of the moment...Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July...

While poking around today, I found some sites that had a lot of backgrounds that tickled my fancy.
Thought I'd share, in no particular order...

Hot Bliggity Blog
The Cutest Blog on the Block
Shabby Blogs
The Graphics Fairy

If you find a background that you like, it's pretty easy to install once you've copied your code, at least on Blogger.  All you need to do is go to your Design tab at the top right of your blog, then click Add a Gadget, then find and click HTML/JavaScript,  paste the script into Content box...and Save!  See, easy. 

I'll probably torture this poor page more in future weeks (or likely days...I'm in a mood), but...gosh...what's a girl to do?  And hey, it's cheaper than a new dress!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Honey Spice Bread

M-m-m-m, how's that for an opener?

Today, I thought I'd head back to Grandma's Cookbook, my grandma that is.  If you haven't tripped across my blog before, I occasionally post recipes from my grandmother's 1940's, self-typed, cookbook.  I love browsing through it (though I only possess the photocopy I made).  The more I make from the book, the more I realize how much they made of what they had.  There isn't a fancy ingredient in the whole book, just what they could get their hands on, if they were lucky (rationing considered). 

This is the recipe of the day...
For starters...the ingredients are reminiscent of a Christmas-type bread.  Look at all the lovely spices...

...nothing is better than beautiful amber honey....

...but what I was happiest about is that you can do this whole thing in one bowl and by hand..
Sorry hand mixer, back to cupboard for you....

At one point the directions tell you to let it stand for 1 hour. Why?  I dunno...to me, it looked the same after an hour of sitting.

The next day...the wait is over... 
I'm telling you, it took will power of the most extraordinary kind...and a lot of husband shooing. I don't blame him...I heard the Siren's song all night, too.

Beautiful...dense...delicious...


Notes:
The only real notes I have are...give it a chance.  The first bite I was under impressed, but then it got better and better as I went.  It doesn't need anything (butter, jam, etc...), but if that's what you crave...it can handle it. 
Like most of Grandma's recipes, it's dense, very dense, which makes it super with tea or coffee for breakfast or snack time.  And...it doesn't get stale quickly!  I think it's the honey acting as a preservative.

Bottom line, I really liked it.  It's that simple.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Savannah's Curtsy, Update Two

Feel like I've been riding the famous Japanese bullet trains.

(This is video my daughter took of her bullet train ride.  Near the end of the film, scenery is just zinging by!) 

Family is scattered, but still managing to keep me busy, and there has been some rough news on my mom.
Savannah has become my release and I'm not sure I will ever look at her and not have some emotion attached.  Not all bad or sad, but still there.

Needlework is like that, always has been.  Women through the centuries have poured their lives into the fabric they hold in their hands.  Births, deaths, marriages, separations...they are all there..an emotional release...a remembrance more solid than granite.

Savannah, April 7th...
I really wanted to finish the top of her skirt during this 10 day stretch...


April 17th...
More skirt and...

...another arm!!  Woot.  This arm seemed much easier than the right side arm.  To backstitch, I mean.  Not so many stitches covering three spaces and no tape needed!  I hate trying to find the proper place to sink the needle to get a perfectly straight line over many threads.

April 27th...
Pretty excited about the petticoat of the skirt being completed!
 
 More of those beautiful copper swirls are in place.  I think that's the last of the skirt 'fancy' work, but the "Welcome" at the top is loaded!  Can't wait.


My goal in the next 10 days is to finish the flooring...  Big blocks of color...good for mindless TV watching! 

Think I'll head upstairs, pay some bills, make this yummy Soybean Salad and then...finally...pick up my needle.