Monday, March 2, 2020

Fourteen Finishes

It's another creative day, as I have been in my studio working on a large pile of beautiful needlework finishes for a longtime friend and client. These pieces were all stitched by the same busy stitcher - and most were fun to finish (except a couple with less than desirable finishing instructions...for most of these, I was asked by the stitcher to finish as pictured/directed, like the model...and I aim to please, so I did my best to follow the instructions to the letter). I was very pleased with how each of these items turned out...and I have everything wrapped and packaged for shipment tomorrow. I will list the designer details with each photo, just in case you have any questions or want to stitch one of these special designs. I will also note any special supplies I used with each image...

JBW Designs - Candy Cane Pocket
This was a kit and included with the red/white stripe fabric and rick rack...
I made the twisted cord with DMC floss and finished as pictured on the chart package.

JBW Designs - Folk Art Christmas Tree
Finished as shown on the back of the chart.
Hand-dyed Velveteen Backing and Pom Pom Trim from Lady Dot Creates.

Heart In Hand - It's a Cinch! Kit - Noel
Finished my way - flat ornament with fabric in the photo as backing.
DMC Cord, Hand-dyed Rick Rack Trim from Lady Dot Creates and jute bows.

Bent Creek - Holiday Hang-Ups Kit - Joy
Finished exactly as packaging.

Just Nan - Christmas Dragonfly Ornament
Finished as directed - linen back.

Prairie Schooler - Nordic Holiday #191
Finished my way. Backing is fabric shown in photo...DMC cord.

Hands On Designs - Make & Merry Kit
Finished exactly as directed...except, I backed the cross stitch piece
 with the mint snowflake fabric in the photo.

Elegant Stitch - Shoot For The Moon Kit
Finished the pin exactly as kitted
(except hand stitching of the forms and cord instead of glue).

Lucy Beam - Black Sheep Scissor Fob Kit
Finished exactly as kitted.
Side Bar - aren't those sheep scissors CUTE?!

SamSarah Design Studio -  Hope Blooms
Finished as directed for included hanger.
Striped fabric was used as backing.

Summer House Stitche Workes - Home Hive Nest
Finished exactly as kitted/directed.

Summer House Stitche Workes - Home Hive Nest
Finished exactly as kitted/directed.
Additional view.

Nikyscreations Primitives - Tiny Pocket
Finished as directed, except I lined the pocket with the cotton fabric
in the photo and top stitched the pocket flap/point.

La D Da - Sweet Pea
Finished as instructed. Used the beige button fabric
(see upper right image) for backing and bottom.
Gloriana Silk  Ribbon around neck.


Next up, I have a few time sensitive pieces to work on...and then several more large finishing orders before I am back to sewing project bags. Supplies have been rolling in all week - 360 zippers (yes, I said 360), two bolts of fusible fleece, 15-yards of clear laminate (thanks to a dear friend!), yards and yards of 3/4" rick rack in multiple bright colors, and lovely solid lining fabrics from the local quilt shop...plus client packages have been arriving daily - I have been keeping our mail carrier super busy! I guess I better get back to work...

Oh - and to finish up this post - here is a photo that Travis snapped of the kids this morning - they were having an early morning NylaBone tug-of-war session...

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Under My Needle

In twelve years of blogging, I'm pretty sure I haven't blogged on Leap Day - I'd have to go back and do a little research, but I'm pretty sure this is my first Leap Day blog post...and, side bar: did I just say twelve?...twelve years of blogging...WOW!, where does the time go?!

Before I jump back into needlework finishing mode, I thought I would stop by and share some recent finishes from my sewing machine. I tend to work in batches...a batch of project bags, then a batch of needlework finishing, then a batch of quilting - this seems to make me more productive. I also tend to cut and prepare a pile of projects, work on them until complete, then prepare the next batch...kind of like an assembly line process for my studio work. Right before we left for vacation, I was in sewing and quilting mode, so here are just a few pretty client projects that were under my needle...

Pieced Large and Small Project Bags...

Stitching Retreat Mats

Large and Small Project Bags

Large and Small Project Bags

Hands On Design "Love My Stitching" Project Bag, finished "my way"....

With Thy Needle and Thread "Stitcher's Lingo" and "Heart & Hand"
project bags 
that are created from a printed panel by Brenda Gervais
and finished "my way" with a boxed bottom...

With Thy Needle and Thread "Heart & Hand"
project bags 
that are created from a printed panel by Brenda Gervais
and finished "my way" with a flat bottom...

With Thy Needle and Thread "Stitcher's Lingo" and "Heart & Hand"
project bags 
that are created from a printed panel by Brenda Gervais
and finished "my way" with a boxed bottom...

This past week, I have been working on a HUGE batch of needlework finishing...I've finished fourteen pieces over the last couple days, with a few more in this grouping...so, I will share those with you soon. I have also done a couple special projects...and by "special projects", I mean garment sewing - not in my usual wheelhouse, but since I know my way around a sewing machine, I get asked to do things like that quite frequently...and let me be clear, I have to really like you to take on a garment project!...I much rather be quilting or working on home decor sewing. Right now, my client project bins and counters are full - in fact, it is a little overwhelming...but I am steadily working through each order and doing my best to meet all my deadlines - a BIG thank you to my customers for keeping me extremely busy and for being so patient (some of you have been kindly waiting quite a while for your orders - you know who you are, and I truly thank you)....and that is my cue to wrap this up and get back to work! Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Beyond Blessed

A couple weeks ago (right before our vacation), I celebrated a birthday...and while I am still adjusting to life in Kansas and feeling a bit out of the loop, my close friends and family certainly made my day extra special - they made what was an ordinary day (a doctor's appointment, a trip to the pharmacy for a vaccine, a WiFi outage at home, and my husband working long hours) a joyous occasion. I received the sweetest messages, notes and cards...and several packages from my loved ones. Although "my people" are all far away in distance, I felt loved and special. I wanted to share a few of the gifts I received - especially the creative ones...my friends and family showered me with the perfect gifts and cards...they spanned my loves of cross stitch, sewing, quilting and gardening...and they were all wrapped beautifully (in fact, some were almost too pretty to open)!

One of my friends wrapped my gift in owl fabric
and tied it with vintage sewing tape...
How cute is that?!

Inside the owl package was a gorgeous hand crocheted
market bag and a kitchen towel...now I am SUPER excited for
farmer's market season!

Another dear friend sent the most amazing pile of
pretty wrapped packages...

Including all this gorgeous fabric!
A fat quarter stack - Home by Kathy Schmitz for Moda...
and three colorways of adorable squirrel fabric:
Bramble by Gingiber for Moda

Plus, three wonderful needle minders!

...AND this gorgeous cross stitch piece...seriously - it is incredible!
It is on display in my studio where it brings me joy daily!!
Design: Oktober Feast by Brenda Gervais

Another special friend - send my gifts in this fun project bag...
that included fun sewing bandages (plus a plethora of presents not shown)...

...and this fabulous camp mug!! Isn't it perfect?! I have received a TON
of questions on this - it is from Stitched Modern...

My momma sent me two gardening books from my Amazon wish list...
they are two of her favorites that she had recommended to me - she
is a prolific gardener with a remarkable green thumb! She also sent me a
VERY generous gift certificate to our favorite online plant nursery:
Bluestone Perennials

...and Travis's parents sent me a lovely botanical box with a special
bath and body gift set inside...which will definitely be put to good
use after my stressful days!
Yes, I am blessed with an extremely thoughtful circle...and while they aren't located in Kansas, they are all close in my heart.

For now, I am headed to my studio - I will spend my afternoon working on needlework finishing - the piles are growing - five packages arrived yesterday and three more today...my clients are keeping me busy and I couldn't be more grateful...what a joy to be creative every single day!

Side bar - I spoke a little too soon yesterday - I am still feeling the effects of the stomach flu and not at my best today (last night was rough!)...the nausea continues...I truly appreciate all the well wishes...💓

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Travel Tidbits

Greetings friends! As I write this, I am feeling refreshed and replenished...and truthfully, a little frazzled and overwhelmed. We just returned from a wonderful Florida vacation, but now it's back to the grind and I am feeling a bit behind after taking a week off. Travis and I made a trip down to Davenport, Florida (Orlando area) to visit my momma and Dan and get in a little rest and relaxation. I don't really know how much rest we actually achieved, as we were "on the go" the entire time...but we embarked on some fabulous adventures and took in as much as possible in our short time there. Here is a little overview of each day with some of my favorite photos (click on any photo to enlarge)...

Day One - Travel Day

Day Two:
Harry P. Leu Gardens - my mom and I love these gardens!
Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine - we had a lovely table outside for lunch and the food was delicious.
Kilwins Winter Park - best ice cream EVER!
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour - pontoon boat ride on the Winter Park chain of lakes.
We stopped back at the house, dropped off mom and Dan and continued to:
Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf - the winter course is the best mini golf course we have ever played - it was really fun!
Disney Springs - we explored the shops and entertainment...and the LEGO store...














Day Three:
Canaveral National Seashore - we actually arrived quite early for a rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center (SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 5th Mission) - Travis and I walked the beach to the barricades, but it was way too foggy to see...but we sure heard it and felt it!
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - a favorite place to visit and hike.
Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant - a MUST visit when we are in Florida.
Black Point Wildlife Drive (Merritt Island) - a scenic drive, where there was quite a bit of wildlife to see...
Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf - this time we played the summer course (not as impressive) - when we returned our clubs, I mentioned we were disappointed and they let us play the winter course again at no charge.







Day Four:
SeaWorld Orlando - we were there from open to close. We went to all the shows and rode all of the rides and coasters. Manta is my favorite roller coaster of all time (it is a flying roller coaster and you feel like a bird flying through the sky) and my husband loves Mako, which is Florida's tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster - we rode both of them multiple times (we had all day fast passes). Of course Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, is a favorite - after the ride you get to visit the cold weather penguins. This was a fun-filled day!







Day Five:
Clearwater Beach - beautiful white sand beach and boardwalk.
Pier 60 - we always pay to walk out to the end of the fishing pier, where you can see the shore birds up close and personal as they wait for the fisherman to "share the wealth"...
Crabby's Beachwalk Bar & Grill - Mahi Mahi Tacos are yumm-o.
Kilwins Clearwater Beach - again, best ice cream EVER!











Day Six:
Circle Bar B Reserve (Lakeland, FL) - I can't say enough positive things about this nature reserve - it has wonderful trails featuring wildlife, water and wilderness. We hiked the majority of the trails and came across alligators, eagles, great blue herons, great egrets, tree frogs and lizards, all sorts of wading birds and ducks, a couple raccoons, and even the cutest squirrel ever...just to name a few. Truly worth a visit if you are in the area!!
Miller's Ale House - a nice leisurely lunch.
Pool time at the house.
Medievil Times Dinner and Tournament - this was our fist visit and we had a lot of fun - our knight did not win the tournament, but we still cheered him on. I was a little concerned about the "no silverware" and eating with my hands, but the dinner was good and my margarita was even better (I'm pretty sure there weren't margaritas in the 11th century...but who's fact checking)...it was an entertaining night and a fun way to end our visit.









Day Seven - Travel Day

All in all, it was a great time and it was so comforting to spend time with my momma and Dan. We crammed a lot into this vacation and made so many great memories...it makes me wish life was a little easier and we could do things like this more often.

In true Belinda fashion, I was home for about 24-hours, when the stomach flu hit me - insert eye roll here...yep, no matter how many precautions I take while traveling, I always manage to catch something. Good thing is, I am already feeling better...and life is getting back to normal.

I am swamped in the studio and have photos of many finishes to share soon...plus I recently celebrated a birthday and my faraway friends truly made it a special day, so a few photos of happy mail will be posted, as well.

For now, it is back to my sewing and finishing room - I have a pile of needlework finishing calling my name...plus I made a trip to the quilt shop today to pick up lining fabric for piles of project bags and quilting orders. If you need me, I will be in my happy place...