Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lagoon Day 07/23/2011

07/23/11 was my annual work sponsored day at out local amusement park, Lagoon.  A summer day spent at Lagoon was the season's treat for me as a child and I know my daughter feels the same way.  This year she was able to treat her friend and her aunt.  It was much anticipated and the three of them had a great time.  I was the tag along adult who was only there for the money and the access I could provide.  It is quite alright and understandable that my thirteen year old didn't want to hang out with Mom!  In fact, I didn't want to hang out with her.  I had abdominal surgery a little over a month ago and knew I wasn't up to their youthful exuberance.

Antique Shoe Collection

I planned a day of stitching.  I had been teasing my co-workers for a week that I planned on setting up a craft station and getting some cross stitch done.  Sure enough, Saturday morning dawned.  I packed a cooler with soda, sandwich makings and grapes.  We had a bag of water bottles, sun screen, chapstick and wipes.  I took care of my special supply bag.

Hat Collage

It consisted of my Z Frame Table Stand with Clamp, my clip on magnifier, my pattern holder and a table model magnifier and battery operated light. I had my project, my needlebook, my floss ring. The floss ring contains the embroidery floss for the entire project separated into baggies labelled with the floss number and color.  I had my seam ripper and my scissors.  I also had approximately 10 hours to get some marathon stitching in.
After the tickets were bought and we entered the park it was quite a hike to the reserved pavilion. Once there we agreed on a check in time and the kids were off on their adventure.  I set up my work station.  Those of you who followed my earlier blog know that I have a 3 piece project that I am working for my daughter.  It is the Hat Collage, Purse Collection and Antique Shoe Collection.  The Hat Collage is done and I am currently working on the Purse Collection.

Purse Collection
I haven't had much time for it lately, so I enthusiastically started stitching.  Almost immediately, I noticed a young girl watching me.  She started inching closer and closer.  I smiled at her encouragingly.  She wasn't paying any attention to her family which was setting up lunch but she was watching every move I made. 

After a few more minutes, I asked her if she wanted to see what I was doing. Alexandria was taking it all in and asking questions.  I am working the project on 18 count Aida fabric, so I showed her how she could look in the magnifying glass and see the holes in the fabric.  She wanted to know if the needles were sharp so I showed her one of the tapestry needles and explained since I didn't have to make holes in the fabric I didn't need a sharp needle.  She asked how I could make the picture and I explained that I made a cross stitch on every square and the pattern told me what color to put there.  I had to let her see the pattern too.  It was also being magnified.  Alexandria and her family came back to the rest area several times and each time she came back she watched me just as carefully and wanted to know my progress.

Throughout the day, I had several adults ask to see what I was working on.  Some commented on the magnifying glasses.  Some commented on how much work it was.  A couple wanted to know if I thought my daughter would appreciate the work.  It was good for a laugh and one answered her own question by saying she probably would not appreciate the work at least until she had made one of her own.

The fun was the kids.  One little boy kept asking me if I wanted a skittle so he could watch me.  He asked me if I was an artist. I told him that some people might call me an artist, but what I really was is a needleworker.  Another young man exclaimed, "Wow, you are so good!"  I think the high point was when a young lady, probably around 10 years old, came in and said "That's cool!" She was very excited and I told her all about the process too.

This picture shows what I was able to accomplish in approximately 10 hours of marathon stitching.  I thought I would get more done, but I am happy with the work. I especially like the handkerchief that is falling out of the purse.  I have some plans to make some of these.
Purse Collection 07/24/11

This picture shows the current progress on the piece. 
It was a very good Lagoon Day!

Business Card Holder

Business Card Holder Group Picture

I particpated in a fun project at StitchMAP.  If you are interested in learning more about needlework see the right side bar for a link.  The project was for a Business Card Holder.  It was meant as a case for my member business cards but is also perfect for credit cards or gift cards.  We had a due date but no other parameters.  We could be as creative as we wished.

I had recently found some linen at a thrift store.  Nice big pieces of both pale pink and cream.  I knew I wanted to use my pink linen.  My first thought was to do a cross stich motif, but after 3 or 4 mistakes I abandoned the idea.  I was having too much difficulty with spacing. 

 The light bulb went off when I thought that this might be a good opportunity to use the bullion stitch and make some roses.  I pulled out my reference book, "A-Z of Bullions".  I had been excited to win the bid on this book on an e-Bay auction.  I won for $23.95 and I had seen the book at Amazon for over $100.  It contained some nice motifs that I knew I could adapt.

I had to practice the stitch, but I succeeded in making recognizable bullion roses.

Card Holder 1

My goal for the first one I completed was to have a design that did not need an orientation as I wasn't sure what the front of the holder would be.  One of the mentoring tips I received was to baste a large X on the front of the piece to find the center. That worked very well but I should have measured and gridded for the other elements.  I added the rose buds at the end hoping that it would distract  from the uneven placement.  Also, there wasn't room for a button closure so I settled for a velcro closure.
Card Holder 2

 On the second one, I chose a spray pattern.  It was a good opportunity to add some bullion loop flowers to the roses.  I added some yellow french knots and some detached daisy chain leaves.  I think it looks very dainty.

The third has more elaborate foliage.  I wish that it were more symmetrical but I have learned not to scoff at preplanning.  I used more muted colors and I believe that it does make it look older, more vintage.  This card holder has a special meaning for me. One of my girlfriends has survived a divorce. I am so proud of the actions she has taken to improve her life including her health and her social life.  This cardholder will hold little personal cards that she gave give out if she meets someone she would like to know better.

Card Holder 3

Here are some articles about calling cards.