Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mermaids & Sea Monsters

It's been a while since my last post, but I have another new project to share. My newest WIP is Maria Diaz's "Seafarer's Globe". It was featured in an issue of the UK magazine CrossStitcher a couple years ago. I came across it by accident while looking for a different issue. As soon as I saw it, the piece called to me for some reason. I bought & downloaded the pattern from the designer's website and went to the store the next day to get the supplies.

Maria Diaz's "Seafarer's Globe". The picture is linked to designer's site, where the pattern was purchased.

It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing (no pun intended). Sometimes I feel like I frog more than I stitch and that's led to me putting it down and not picking it up for 2-3 days. I'm not sure why it's been so hard to get everything placed right, but there were several spots that I ended up sitching, frogging and restitching several times. The mermaid has been my favorite thing to stich so far. I love the colors, it's subtle but there are 3 greens in the hair, 4 pinks & peaches in the skin and 5 blues & purples in the tail!

Here is a picture of all the blocks of Lizzie Kate's Boo Club. I finished it a couple weeks ago and now it just needs the buttons. I'm waiting for the candy corn buttons to put them all on at once.

Hope everyone has had a great week so far! I've been trying to catch up on everyone's blogs, so many great projects to see! Nick

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

Boyd's Bears Starsley Family. Robert, Chase, Adele, Lucy w Munchkin, Sara Lynn, Tessa and Corey

I hope everyone is having a nice Memorial Day weekend! The rain and cooler temps the past couple days have given way to sunny & 80* temps today. While we enjoy our family, friends & cook-outs, hopefully we all remember to take a moment and remember and thank all of those who have served our country!

I finished Lizzie Kate's Boo Club, but forgot to take a picture! All the blocks and borders are done, all it needs are the buttons! As soon as I have it completely finished, I'll be sure to get a picture.

SanMan SAL Calendar October, November & December

While doing some "cleaning" (more like rummaging, but cleaning makes it sound like I was getting someone accomplished) I found the 2010 SanMan calendar piece I had been working on last year. I had finished up to September and when we moved, it got packed away and forgotten about. Luckily sometime after moving I saved the October, November & December patterns when they were released. The last month I shared here was July. I had August & September done and then finished the year off by finishing October, November & December this weekend.

SanMan 2010 SAL Calendar Bell Pull

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend & thanks for stopping by! Nick

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blind Frankenstein

I've been stitching up a storm with all my extra free time this week. I finished two more blocks of Boo Club, Brew and Monster. I also just about caught the borders up to the current block. For now poor Frankenstein is blind, until I finish all the blocks and add the buttons.

Lizzie Kate's Boo Club - Fright, Brew & Monster

I was begining to fear Boo Club might join the ever growing pile of unfished projects but I think I found my Halloween mojo again! There are only two blocks left, Ghost and Halloween. I might be making another trip to the framers sooner than I thought!

Just Another Button Company now offers button packs for several of the Lizzie Kate Flip-It series, including Boo Club. Buttons replace a stitched motif here and there in each block. Had I not already been 1/2 way through the blocks when they came out I would have tried it out. Speaking of JABC, does anyone have any recomendations for stores that sell their buttons? I want to replace the candy corns in the bottom part of border with JABC candy corn buttons, but haven't really had any luck finding them.

Hope everyone has been having a great week, it's almost the weekend! Thanks for stopping by! Nick

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Whoa, where did the first half of May go?!? Things have definitely been hectic this month, especially with work. So much drama and all that fun stuff, to make a long story short, I am officially on the hunt for a new job! Any crossed fingers on the job search would be really appreciated!

I picked Biff up from the framers today! I have to admit I was a little nervous to see him finish, finished! I was sort of second guessing the mat colors, and having the yellow on top of the blue, since it's such a more prominent color than the dark blue. In the end though, I think he turned out great! I was so happy they had a blue wood frame that matched the blue in the piece.

"Biff the Wolverine"
Started March 08
Finished April 31
DMC on 14 ct. Oatmeal Fiddler's Aida

Since my last post, I've also started and finished a small project. I found this Mickey Mouse Sketch kit on clearance at JoAnns. I've seen the kit before and really liked it, so when I saw it on clearance for $4.97, I had to pick it up! I started and finished it over 2 days, it's all done in backstitches with a couple half stitches for the eyes, nose & heart shading. I think it will look really nice in just a simple black frame.

Started May 05
Finished May 06
DMC on 14 ct. Aida

I'm a huge Disney nut, I have been since I can remember. I grew up during "The Renaissance" (The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, etc). My parents always bought us each Disney VHS when they were released, so I also grew up watching all the old, classic Disney movies as well. When I was young, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always a Disney animator. I still hold a soft spot for Disney movies and see them in the theater when they come out. I can't wait for the new Winnie the Pooh movie coming out in July.

I also finished the next block of Boo Club, Fright, but don't have a picture. I have two new starts as well, "Santaberry Pudding" by Shepherd's Bush and a Dimensions kit, "Shell Collection". I'm not really feeling "Shell Collection" though, the actual colors don't look anything like the picture on the front of the kit. The colors are really dull and some of the colors used for some of the backstitching literally blends in with the stitches behind it so much, you can't tell there is any backstitching. I don't really see that one turning into a finish, which is disappointing because I really like the design.

Hope everyone had a great weekend & thanks for stopping by! Nick

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Maize & Blue Finish

Last night, shortly after 12 AM, I put the last stitches in Biff the Wolverine! I finished the hat Friday night and filled in teh block M last night. He took just short of 2 months to finish (I started him the first week of March). He was a fun stitch and I can't wait to take him to be matted and framed Tuesday! :D

Here are all the progress pictures I posted of Biff along the way. Hard to believe he was ever just an eye and some nose!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend - we're enjoying another weekend of wonderful, Spring weather here in Michigan! Thanks for stopping by! Nick

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope every had a wonderful Easter yesterday! We were lucky enough to get a break from the gloomy, gray & rainy weather we've been having lately. The sun was out all day long and it warmed up to almost 60 degrees! I spent the day with my family, we watched movies and had a wonderful dinner. Honey ham, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, corn, fruit salad & deviled eggs, not to mention a turtle pie for desert! Needless to say, I'm still full! lol

The Easter Bunny made a late delivery today. This little fella was delivered this morning from Williams-Sonoma - a felt & mohair Steiff chick.

So much detail & love for a such a little thing! He was created from the pattern of a chick made by Steiff in 1951. The pieces were all hand cut and sewn together, with hand airbrushed detailing. He was an Easter treat to myself, a little pricey, but sometimes you have to indulge!

I worked on Biff some more since my last post, but didn't quite finish him. The only thing left is the blue part on the top of the hat and the blue block M! Excuse the wrinkles, I didn't think to iron it before I snapped the picture. He should definitely be finished this week. I also put a hand full of stitches into Boo Club, but not enough to take a picture. I started the haunted house, but most of the stitches were extending the black & white border down to the next block.

I think I found my next project. While on a long overdue trip to Barnes & Noble Friday I came across a sampler in Just Cross Stitch. It's called "Four Seasons Band Sampler" by Sally Hesketh. There is a new season in each issue, starting with Spring in the March/April issue. Luckily B&N not only had the May/June issue with Summer's pattern, but a copy of the March/April issue with Spring. I think I'm going to order the kit (reccomended fabric & Anchor floss) from Just Cross Stitch. The only places near by that sell cross stitch supplies are Hobby Lobby & JoAnne's and they don't have the best selection of colors and counts when it comes to cross stitch fabrics.

Hope everyone has a great weekend & thanks for stopping by! Nick

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All You Need Is A Hat!

The title says it all, the only thing Biff needs is his block M hat! I'm hoping to be finished by the end of the weekend, most of the hat is just big solid blocks of blue or yellow stitches, so it won't take too much counting, just a little tedious. I can't wait until he is finished so I can take him to be matted and framed.

I wanted to share this video that I saw posted on the blog, Purple Peacock. It's about the Royal School of Embroidery in England, and it's really cool. I would love to go and take a tour and take part in a class!

Thanks for stopping by! Nick

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's hard to believe it's been a little over 2 weeks since I last updated! Between work and life it's been hard to fit in stitching time. Every time I pick something up it seems like I put it down after only putting in a couple dozen stitches. I haven't touched Boo Club in what seems like forever, I need to find a new spark to get the last couple blocks done, hopefully once Biff is done. Speaking of Biff, that has been the piece I've been concentrating on. I got a big chunck of the left side of his face and around his eye.

I actually took the picture several days ago in an attempt to get an update posted, but that didn't happen. Since then I've finished the face, so now the only thing left is the hat. Hopefully it won't be much longer until Biff is done! I thought about seeing about having it double matted (blue & yellow) and having the mat cut to trace the outline around Biff.

Hope everyone had a great weekend & thanks for visiting! Nick

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Lost Week

Wow, it's been almost 2 weeks since my last update! I feel like I completely lost last week, I was sick all week so when I wasn't at work I was dead to the world. I had a horrible headache and the worst body aches for several days and then that turned into a bad cold, complete with runny nose, sore throat and all that fun stuff.

The past couple days though I have been on a roll with Biff. I finished his nose, mouth & chin. Now I have the left side of his face & hat to finish. Michigan beat Tenesee to move on to the third round of the NCAA tournament but then lost to Duke. It was a great run while it lasted, their season looked like it was in trouble at the end of January so it was surprising they turned it around and got several rounds into the tournament.

I added a little bit to my stash as well. I picked up the Sue Hillis pattern, "America the Beautiful", which I've had my eye on for a while. It's a map of the United States with state names, capitals & little symbols representing the things each state is known for. I was surprised to get the chart and see it was one big piece of paper instead of spread out over several pages. I had originally thought about just stitching the state outlines along with the names and capitals but I'm not sure if that's how I will do it now. I decided to wait until either Biff or Boo Club is finished to attempt to start it, that way I don't end up with too many {more} unfinished projects! lol

Thanks for stopping by! Nick

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's been a very busy week since my last post but I have managed some stitching time. I finished the Pumpkin block of Boo Club and worked some more on Biff.

Once all the blocks are done I will add the buttons, so the pumpkin will get his eyes eventually. The next block is one of my favorite, "Fright" with a haunted house.

Biff is really starting to come along. I finished the left side of his face and started filling in his nose. I'm hoping to finish off his nose and mouth tomorrow while watching some more NCAA tournament games since I have the day off. Michigan plays in the afternoon against Tennessee. GO BLUE!

Last week a seller on eBay listed several prototype and archive sample Annette Funicello bears. There were several I bid on but I only won this one set. These 3 mohair bears are archive samples, but I don't believe they were ever produced. They don't have names, style numbers or edition numbers. Each one is wearing a lace apron with a little corked bottle on a beaded chain around their neck. They are very detailed, the aprons are hung over their shoulders and tied in the back with the same ribbon as the bows on their heads, and are also attached in the back with the little rosettes. My favorite part is the shaved muzzles and matching colored noses and suede paw pads. After I won this set the seller listed some more prototypes and samples including this set in gold, cream & grey.

Hope everyone has a good weekend & thanks for stopping by! Nick

Friday, March 11, 2011


TGIF! This week has been pretty hectic, we lost several closers at work so I have been there almost every night this week, today is my first day off since Sunday. In the thime that I have found to stitch, usually in the mornings/afternoon before going to work, I've been working on Biff the Wolverine. I got the other eye done and started the right side of his face and muzzle. It's a fun stitch but several areas of the chart aren't printed in the boxes right, so sometimes it's difficult and takes a little bit of guess work to know which stitch is which color. He's really starting to fill in and you can kind of see what he's supposed to be now!

My what big eyes you have, Biff! Progress on Biff from 03/07-03/11

I also worked on the next block of Boo Club - Pumpkin. I didn't take a picture because it's just the first couple letters in the word pumpkin. I had planned to work on it more and finish it, but I've really been into stitching Biff. I'm going to get back to the Big Ten quarterfinals, only a few minutes left in the game and Michigan's down by several points to Illinois. We need this win to make it to the next round! GO BLUE!

Update: Michigan came back to beat Illinois 60-55, now we play #1 OSU tomorrow in the semi-finals! GO BLUE!

Hope everyone has a great weekend & thanks for stopping by! Nick

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Old School Maize & Blue

Last week while searching eBay for U of M memorabilia I came across a really cool old cross stitch pattern. As soon as I saw it had a buy it now, I couldn't click buy fast enough, especially since it was only $4.95. I've never seen it before, it looks like it's from the 80s and the main design is the vintage U of M wolverine logo that I call "Biff". The back has a U of M basketball design and a maize & blue rose design. I started the pattern on Sunday and it is a lot larger than I expected. So far I've managed to stitch his right eye, around the nose and some of the space between the other eye. I'm going to stitch just the head and not the block 'M' behind it.

The wolverine face logo was originally from the 1922 and was used again for some merchandise, such as t-shirts and pennants, in the late 80s and early 90s. He has made sort of a comeback in the last few years thanks to Adidas College Vault merchandise. I have several shirts, a hat and a hooded sweatshirt with Biff's face on it. Because the image is rarely used and popular with big U of M fans the stuff is hard to find, most stores that carried the Adidas College Vault clothing sold out. I purchased all of my stuff in Ann Arbor through out the last football season and am glad I did because most of it I haven't seen available since.

I call the old wolverine logo Biff because that was the name of one of the live wolverines from the 1927 season. Michigan doesn't have an actual mascot, they are just called "The Wolverines". They actually use the block M as their logo. During the 1927 season though they had 2 live wolverines from the Detroit Zoo brought to the stadium for big games and they were named Biff and Bennie. They were only used for that one season, and they have never had wolverines in the stadium since. Since then many fans, including myself, refer to wolverines that appear in merchandise as Biff.

Bennie & Biff being carried into the Big House - Bentley Historical Library

Hope everyone had a great weekend & enjoyed the mini Michigan history lesson. Nick

Friday, March 4, 2011

The 6 Days of Christmas

After finishing Creepy, Lizzie Kate's Boo Club is halfway done - 6 blocks down, 6 more to go! After stitching the grass on the sides of the tree and the orange blocks under the word, I realized that everything was a row off, so I had to frog that stuff and re-stitch it a row down. I added the "RIP" to the headstone because I thought it looked a little empty. Once all the blocks are done and I add the buttons the owl will get his eyes. lol

I actually took these pictures Tuesday, but I can't seem to find the cord to upload the pictures to computer, so I had to wait until I could go to my dad's house and use his computer, since it has a memory card port on tower. Since Tuesday I've extended the black and white checkered border and yellow inside border down to Creepy. I also started the next block, Pumpkin, so I should finish that up over the weekend.

Boo Club Block #6 - Creepy

While looking for a pattern I came across this unfinished piece that I started about a year and a half ago. It's Prairie Schooler's "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It's charted to be stitched as 2 rows with 6 blocks in each, but I thought it would be cool to stitch it as one long row. The first 6 days are (almost) done. I would like to finish the last 6 days and get it matted and framed by Christmas.

Prairie Schooler's "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Hope everyone has a great weekend & thanks for stopping by! Nick

Friday, February 25, 2011

Frogging Frogs

Lizzie Kate's Boo Club is moving right along. I got the Spiders and Eek! blocks done this week. I love those little spiders, especially the little legs for some reason. Once the buttons are added there will be two more spiders and the frog will have eyes. Speaking of frogs, that frog was something else, I swear I stitched and re-stitched the right side of his body at least 4 times! There were either not enough stitches, too many stitches or something wasn't in the right place! lol The next block is Creppy, with a little owl sitting in a tree over a headstone.

Spiders & Eek!

The first 5 blocks, Spooky, Treats, Black Cat, Spiders & Eek!

While going through a box of framed pictures, I came across this piece. It's a Dimesnions kit called "A Year of Events" that I stitched in the Spring of 2009. I'm a sucker for monthly samplers and I really liked this one because of the bright colors. The subtle color differences used for shading make it look really detailed, even though it was a simple stitch. I actually stretched this piece myself and it made me realize why I just pay to have pieces stretched and framed! lol

"A Year of Events"

Hope everyone has a great weekend, thanks for stopping by! Nick

Friday, February 18, 2011

Black Cat & Teddy Bears

Well, I started and finished the Black Cat block of Lizzie Kate's Boo Club on Sunday. The poor black cat is temporarily blind, his eyes are a pair of white button, which I will add when all the blocks are finished. Each block comes with a set of black or white buttons. Unfortunately I haven't stitched anything else since. Hopefully I can start the next block, Spiders, this weekend.

Reading Karen's blog entry about rediscovering her Ziggy collection, reminded me of a collection I rediscovered myself. When I was growing up my mom collected Annette Funicello Teddy Bears for me. Annette would host shows and sell them on the shopping channel QVC. I used to love those little teddy bears growing up and always looked forward to getting a new one. As I grew up though they became a forgotten nick-knack that occupied a curio cabinet in our house. Shortly after I graduated high school we moved and they were packed away in their boxes and forgotten. Recently while going through some boxes in our garage I came across a box of these bears. It was like being a 10 year old kid all over again! Several of my favorite sets of bears have found a new home in our living room, treasured just as much as before.

This is one of my all time favorite sets, called the Soda Pop collection, each is 5" mohair bear. They were sold on QVC through an auto-delivery program. You signed up and paid for the first bear and then every other month a new bear would be shipped automatically to you. After receiving so many bears, you also received the wooden soda crate to put them in. Each one is a different soda flavor, Cherry Pop Fizz (red), Orange Spritzer (orange), Cream Soda (yellow), Lime Divine (green), Grape Swizzle (purple) and Rootbear Bubbbly (brown). I remember how exciting it was when a new bear would be delivered. I even remember the time we moved and before we could change the shipping address, one of the bears had been shipped to our old house. I frantically had my parents go to our old house to pick up the package when the new owners called to say a package had been delivered there for us. They now sit in their wooden crate on top of a bookcase in the living room.

My second favorite set is called Sushi Platter, and was also purchased from QVC. Three mohair panda bears, Sushi (black), Sushimi (red) and Wasabi (green) sit on a ceramic sushi platter, that has green bamboo stalks painted on it. When I took these out the box, I also found a postcard inside, that apparently QVC had mailed to us to let us know about the upcoming show, that advertised this set on the back. They sit on top of our digital cable box in the living room now.

After I rediscovered these bears I did some research online and, sadly, found out that due to the failing health of Annete, who has MS, the collection was discontinued in 2004. As with anything "collectible" right now, they aren't worth much, not even what they sold for originally. Of course, these were never purchased to be an "investment" and I would love them just as much if I could only sell them for $5. For those that are interested in collecting though, it's the perfect time to add new pieces to your collection, even the smaller mohair bears like these that would normally retail for $30-40 can be found for $10-20 on eBay.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and thanks for sharing in a treasured childhood memory. Nick

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spooky Treats

First, I want to say "Thank You" to all of you who commented on my last blog post! It was very encouraging to read all of your comments. I've started to check out all of your wonderful blogs again and can't wait to start sharing in your progress and finishes!

I've been able to work on Lizzie Kate's Boo Club and finished the first two blocks, Spooky and Treats. I love these kind of projects because you get to have that "finish experience" several times, each complete block gives you that excitment of a finish. The fabric is a little darker than it shows in the picture. I didn't get it quite as dark as I wanted, but it does help make the white & yellows pop more.

The next block is Black Cat, which I will be starting today, as well as extending the border on each side. I would rather put the border off, since it isn't as fun to stitch as the blocks, but I know if I don't keep the border going as I stich the blocks I will put something in the wrong place! lol

Thanks for stopping by & hope you are all enjoying your weekend! Nick

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lost & Found

Wait, what, I was supposed be updating my blog? lol Holy moly, where did the last 6 months go?!?! It was unbelievable to me when I logged in to Blogger and saw that my last post was at the end of July and that I had started this blog almost a year ago. I didn't fall off the face of the Earth, or forget about stitching & blogging...well, maybe I did for a little bit, but I found my way back. Even after being lost.

The last 6 months have defenitly been something else, full of many ups & downs. Not too long after my last blog post a new chapter in my life started, and not necessarily by my own willingness. After almost 22 years of marriage my parents decided to seperate. That was really the start of my blogging & stitching hiatus. My attention was turned to packing and moving, and in a way, starting a new part of my life. I now share an apartment with my mom, I help out with rent and bills until we fully get back on our feet. Sometimes it takes a radical shake up to realize how truly lucky we are to have the things & people we have in our lives. It hasn't been the easiest six months, but we've survived!

Work has been another major obstacle. Twords the end of summer and into the fall, I started disliking my job more, and more. I'm at the point now where I completly dread the thought of going in almost every day. I only stay out of neccessity. I've tired applying several places, before Christmas and in the last few weeks, but never hear anything back. I started training as a manager but little has come of it. They did a massive overhaul of all the stores in our district, replacing our general manger and several of our shift managers. We also lost many employess to transfers, fireings and quits. I think only about 3 or 4 people are still there that were there when I started almost 9 months ago. Since all of this has happened, my managment training has been put on the back burner.

Since then I've rarely thought about stitching. I haven't worked on any pieces, started any new ones, or even purchased anything new. In fact, I don't even know where a majority of my stash is. It's unbelievable how many boxes it takes to pack almost 21 years of your life in! lol

Some things, not even the unpleasentries of life can spoil. My dad & I enjoyed another season of Michigan football. Though is wasn't a perfect season, despite the amazing start, it was full of wonderful memories. We were able to make it to Ann Arbor for 4 games, the opener against Connecticut, and the games against Iowa, Illinois & Wisconsin. You couldn't give me a million dollars to spend Saturday with any other person (my dad), in any other place (Ann Arbor). We've been saving out extra pennies and are looking forward to purchasing season tickets this year. GO BLUE!

The new press box and one side of the new box suites & luxury seats at The Big House.

At the end of October I celebrated my 21st birthday. I loving being able to order a beer with my Big House Burger on game days! lol This past Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving we didn't spend as a family, in fact my dad was out of town for Thanksgiving. We did spend Christmas together and we enjoyed it. It was hard to get into the spirit at first, sually I'm the first person to put up the lights, start theChristmas music and go overboard with the decorations, but this year was a little harder. I manged to find my Christmas spirit and did the best that I could with what I had to work with. It actually takes a little more ingenuity to go from decorating a large yard & house to an apartment balcony.

A scaled down vesion of my Precious Moments Nativity display.

Just before Thanksgiving we adpoted a kitty from a local cat shelter. He's black with a white belly and paws, and a little white mustache. I named him Bo Schembechler, after the legendary Michigan football coach. We usually just call him Bo or "Schems". He's grown into quite a spoiled stinker, he likes to jump and climb on top and everything, but I love him!

Bo Schems, sitting in a box. He thinks he needs to climb into/ontop of everything! lol

Recently, maybe now that we are more settled in, I have had an itch to get stitching again. I didn't really feel like pulling out an old project, I wanted a fresh start of sorts. The heavens must have lined up because at the exact same time, I stumbled across a great deal on the Lizzie Kate "Boo Club" set. This set has been on my wishlist since it came out, so I figured it was a sign to get back into stitching with a project I really like. The couldn't find a piece of the fabrics I picked out, long enough to stitch the entire piece, so I decided to color my own fabric. I wanted a brown shade to really show off the black and white border around the set. I took a piece of white aida and coffee died it a nice shade of brown. It's drying as I type, so hopefully I will be able to start soon! :) I also found some candy corn buttons from Just Another Button Company that I think I will get to replace the stitched candy corns at the bottom of the border.

Lizzie Kate's "Boo Club"

This week I started visiting all the wonderful blogs that I used to check daily. It really lights a fire under me to once again see so many amazing projects. I can't wait to get back into the swing of things. Thanks for taking the time to catch back up, I'll make sure it won't be another 6 months.


"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
-Oscar Wilde