Friday, April 27, 2018

Smalls SAL April 2018

No idea what the Smalls SAL is all about? Click the graphic above to learn more!

Most of you have probably seen this small already, since I used it for Jo's Easter Blog Hop, but since I BARELY finished it in March, I figured it could count for April. Plus, I somehow took a thousand pictures of the bunny's left side, but none of her right, I thought she needed another glamour shot, with the help of my lovely assistant.

I don't have a "good" side...they're both good.

I just might manage another small finish in May, but it won't be stitching! Ooo, such a tease....

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Atlanta Blooms 2018

Let's take another break from stitching and look at some lovely tulips! Every year, the Atlanta Botanical Garden plants thousands of bulbs.

They generally bloom from mid-February through the end of March. This makes early March a particularly good time to visit the Garden, since Orchid Daze, which starts in February, is also still going on. The pictures in this post were taken on March 10th this year. Some of the tulips had already finished blooming, and there were a few that still had not bloomed.

I love the ombre effect they created around the great lawn.

Here's a closeup. I'm not usually a fan of orange, but I love these orange/pink tulips.

You can still have color even if you are constrained to container gardening!

The flower walk back to the fabulous new Skyline Garden was my favorite this year, though.

There were some really amazing varieties of tulips back there. Time for the pictures to do the talking....

It was a real rainbow of colors!

I love the frilly pink edges of these tulips!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some highlights of Atlanta Blooms!

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Actual End of the Madness

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To start off the final week of March Madness, I drew the ever-popular blank slip of paper, which lets me stitch on anything I want! However, because I was feeling brain dead, I asked Michael what I should stitch. His reply was, "America!" LOL! "OK," I said immediately, "upstairs America or downstairs America?" Which completely makes sense because I have a sort of split stash right now; part is upstairs and part is downstairs. He chose upstairs.
This is an Attic silk conversion of In Full Glory by Blackbird Designs on some teensy count of fabric.

March 26th brought us back to Moss Creek, where I did some chain stitch borders.
Wow, I have a lot of Moss Creek projects in progress!

The next day I didn't actually work on a project. I lost heart because this chosen piece of knitting had been nibbled by moths a couple places, despite the cedar wood I keep with it!
This was a class I took with Cornelia Hamilton, and although I love the colors (I have several skeins of Noro I'm rotating among), it seems like a weird size to me. Too wide to be a scarf and too narrow to be a shawl (the kacha counter is for scale). Maybe if I felted it when it was done? It's pretty tightly knit, though, so I'm not sure it would shrink much. Not knowing what to do with this is not making me excited to work on it. And I just couldn't face trying to fix those holes!

The next day we were back to hardanger!
This is another project I should really finish....

Next it was Christmas in...April with Victoria Sampler's Heirloom Christmas Sampler.

On Good Friday, I was too exhausted to stitch at the end of the day, so I took a break. The final day of March Madness, the SCOD once again coughed up a blank slip of paper! What a finale!! And what did I choose to stitch? Prancer!

I have decided to make Prancer a WIP Wednesday project to take a break once a week from the breakneck speed knitting I'm going to have to do to finish Loopy Academy Senior Year. I am looking at the projects I chose and saying, "WHAT WAS I THINKING??!?!!!"

So there it is, folks, the final March Madness post. What do you think...could you do this for a month? I think I need to do some mad weekends every now and then. The SCOD gets really lonely between Marches.

I really think I should get a prize for not starting anything new when the Sparkly Compote of Decree gave me not one but TWO blank slips of paper AND a project I'd already completed. I am a paragon of virtue, I tell you (says the woman with too many WIPs to count).

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The End of the Madness, Part 1!

Buckle up, me beauties, because there be a bevy of March Madness to wrap up!


Sorry, I have no idea why I started talking like a pirate for a moment. It won't, at least for the rest of this post. Probably.

Anyway! Before a glorious Easter and some lovely orchids invaded the blog, we were in the throes of March Madness, where an inanimate object dictates my stitching for the month. Winding up to the final week, the SCOD decided to go on a run of unusual techniques. First up was some Teneriffe Lace.
This was a class I took many moons ago. So close to finishing! This one went in a pile that I might work on once I get back to a rotation.

Next up was a Kumihimo necklace that is almost finished!
In fact, when I got it out to work on it, I realized that all I needed to do was tie it off and attach the hardware...which I had even remembered to put with the necklace! Could it be?? An actual finish during March Madness?? For the first time ever???!??? I could not find my E6000 glue. :( So, I decided to work on another Kumihimo braid that I started when I was helping some friends learn. I got the pattern from this site (careful, it's addicting!)

This design uses...a few more bobbins than the beaded necklace! Here's what the braid looks like:
R2-D2 is a needle minder that I used as a weight to start the braid. The alternative would have been to try and keep tension on the braid with a couple fingers while also holding on to the kumihimo disk in the same hand. So since I don't own fancy kumihimo weights, R2-D2 only hope. (See what I did there? Eh??)

March 22nd brought me some hardanger to work on.
I had already done the preparation work for a motif, so I was able to finish it that night!
Those are eight little woven wheels, one around each wrapped bar. This was a teaching piece by Linda Driskell. The sad thing is, I remember her finished sampler having a beautiful top and bottom, but it must have been charted separately, because it's not part of my class kit! I can't even find a picture of it to try to recreate it (although I went down some very pleasant rabbit holes on Google trying to find one!)

After this trio, we went back to some "normal" cross stitch, with Autumn Queen by Mirabilia.
This caused many exciting trips up and down the stairs where I tried to find my longer Q-Snaps. Aerobic crafting. Excellent.

The next day, I drew a project out of the Sparkly Compote of Decree that I actually finished last year! I looked at Michael and said, "Wow! Who knows what happens when I draw a project that I already finished?" His reply was, "No one knows what happens when you draw a project you've finished." Smart aleck. I figured that meant I needed to start a new project, but then I remembered that the Easter blog hop was coming up and I needed to be all responsible and stitch on something for that. If you were here last week, you saw what it was...Just Nan's Strawberry Bunny.

I think I'll save the final week for another post. Until then, fair weather (we could all use it!) and flying needles be with you!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2018

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Hello! If you arrived at my blog through Jo's wonderful blog hop, welcome! If you didn't, you might want to visit Jo to see what's going on.

So what's an Easter blog hop without a hopping bunny, I ask you??
This little bunny is hopping past some of my Spring-y temari. The two in the back are from Japan and feature cherry blossoms (sakura), a sure sign of Spring!

Since March is almost over, the SCOD decided to masquerade as an Easter basket.
Hmmm, I'm not sure it's fooling anyone!

The bunny is designed by Just Nan, and her fluffy tail is pink because she just finished hopping through a strawberry patch. But wait, it looks like she's found something else while hopping amongst my temari...
It's your next letter in the blog hop! That's right, your next letter is A.

I hope you have an Amazing, Awesome Easter, and that you'll be singing Alleluia Along with me!

For your next letter, please hop over to Mary's Thread! Enjoy the hop and Happy Easter!

Welcome, welcome! If you're new here, you may be wondering what a "SCOD" is! That stands for "Sparkly Compote of Decree", and every day in March I draw a slip of paper from it, and that tells me which of my WIPs I will work on that day. That's right, a different WIP each day in March! You can visit some of my earlier posts this month to see what I've been working on so far, or come back early next week to see the thrilling conclusion of "March Madness"!

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Break from the Madness: Orchid Daze 2018

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Let's take a break from stitching and look at some beautiful orchids, shall we?
The Atlanta Botanical Garden's annual Orchid Daze is happening right now, through April 8th, so you still have some time to immerse yourself in the piles of orchids...
...mounds of orchids!
There's no "theme" this year as there has been in years past, but that's fine, because it lets the orchids really shine.

One cool thing they did this year is to try to help you tie together which different orchids are part of the same species. I'm not sure if you can see it well in this shot, but some of the orchids are displayed on 3D wireform shapes. Then, throughout both orchid houses (regular and high elevation), there are signs of the same shape (triangle, octagon, etc.) next to the orchids of the same family.
There are hanging orchids, orchids in pots,
orchids peeking out from behind leaves...
Compared to the main display area, it's really like a treasure hunt in the high elevation house.
But your efforts are amply rewarded!

I highly recommend visiting the Garden during Orchid Daze, because not only will you see tons of beautiful orchids, you'll also get the benefit of Atlanta Blooms, where there are literally thousands of tulips blooming.
I know, I'm such a tease, but there will be tulips pictures...right after another March Madness update!

A little break from March Madness with some beautiful orchids!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Madness Marches On...

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When we last left March Madness, I was casting on with some laceweight yarn. That brought us up to March 14th, where the SCOD* went right back to its Moss Creek Designs kick and chose Blackwork Band Sampler (if you follow me on instagram, you've already seen this one):
This was a class piece; the cutwork section was done in class, so I've been working on the blackwork bands and the borders.

March 15th we went to see "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. It was a really entertaining musical (if a little dark). Eight roles were played by one actor, and he was amazing! I went straight to the theater from work, and to bed soon after that, so I didn't stitch at all that day. I was going to try, but the project I pulled out of the SCOD turned out to be missing its tacks!
I gave up. Zzzzzz...

Now if you'd REALLY been paying attention to the picture of the SCOD in my last March Madness post, you might have seen that slip of paper off to the side that struck terror in my heart...Les Rubans Anciennes! (dun dun DUN!!)
I saved this one for a Friday! This is a four-day class with Tony Minieri; you can see a picture of it on his webpage, but not in the colorway I am doing. (Side note: Oh my goodness, I want to do the one with the peacock on it!!) Here is a closeup of the section I worked on...

Sunday the SCOD found my missing tacks...
In actuality, I think the tacks I stole from poor Santa up there are in a different project. But the SCOD was certainly feeling "projects mounted on frames". When I started this stumpwork class, I could not find any "real" stretcher bars, so I bought some artist's canvas stretcher bars. Eh, they seem to be working OK! I kind of dreaded working on this piece, too, but it turned out I had more done than I thought. Here's a closeup, with some 4" embroidery scissors for scale:

This brings us up to Monday (the 19th), where I was determined to overcome my March Monday slump, even though the project was the (HUGE) Peacock Tapestry.
Wouldn't it be nice if I got that all done in one night? (I...did not).

What kind of Springy projects are in store for me in the coming week?? Only the SCOD knows....

More March Madness stitching, with a good variety of techniques!!

*SCOD = Sparkly Compote of Decree...It can be glimpsed in previous March Madness posts.

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