Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Magic Garden Sampler

Finally I pulled out Magic Garden Sampler by Shakespeare's Peddler.  I kitted this up years ago.  All the way back when we did the Crazy January Challenge back in 2011.  The pattern was brand new then.  While I completed all the challenge pieces, I had more kits assembled than the required number to play along.  So, it's not that I didn't succeed in the challenge, I just never pulled this piece out when selecting my original 15. 

This piece is another of the Jenny Bean Sampler's designed by Shakespeare's Peddler.  I loved the Jenny Bean Christmas Sampler and have it beautifully framed in my dining room where it hangs year round.  I enjoyed stitching every motif.  But, this one?  Not so much.

A quick reminder of what Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler looks like.

The first problem I encountered was that there are two symbols missing from the key.  I looked and looked online for a correction but never found one.  I did find a list of threads on a retailer's website.  So, from there I could figure out that the two missing colors were GA's Gingersnap and Toasted Barley.  From the picture I could then determine that Gingersnap was this symbol: 0 and Toasted Barley: 5.

A pet peeve of mine with patterns that use stylized numbers to stitch the year is that they don't include the additional numbers in the event you don't completely stitch it the year it was published. It's pretty thoughtless.  I just had to chart the '6' in the year 2016 the best I could.

Another thing I didn't like is that I found the colors unappealing.  I guess I should take more control and change things but I couldn't always figure out what to change.  I couldn't even always figure out what the object was let alone what color it should be.

I did change the flowers along the left border.  They were supposed to be stitched in Onyx...the same color as the letters.  I thought they were irises so I pulled every dark purple over dyed thread and ended up using Grape Arbor by Gentle Arts.

The quality of the pattern was pretty poor, too. This pattern is just on regular old printer paper so mine looks like this.

I started stitching in the dark ages.  Back before every house had a copier/printer/fax.  Having a pattern copied just wasn't possible if you were just a high school kid.  Therefore, making a working copy has never been part of my process.  I have been using this pattern for about 6 weeks.  Seems like it should have been on better quality paper.

Anyhow, minus all the complaints, I'm happy to have another finish.  I will stitch June's small then see what else is kitted and ready to stitch.  I've had a bit of 'start-itis' lately and kitted all sorts of things and even started a couple.  Those are for another day and won't be what replaces Magic Garden.

I have recently discovered Floss Tube.  Thanks Lee!  I am addicted and have been really inspired by some of the projects stitched by other cross stitch lovers.  I have to blame Floss Tube on some of the mistakes leading to frogging on this Jenny Bean project.  Once I discover someone new I want to watch them from the beginning until the current day.  So fun to see their projects develop in warp speed.  But, oh, what a time eater!  At first I tried to only watch when on my treadmill but there are simply too many stitchers 'talking' their blogs for that.  Having so many posts to catch up on might mean a bumper year for cross stitch projects for me.

In the mean time....happy stitching.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Summer comes.

With the start of summer I have a patriotic table cloth quilt ready to enjoy.

This was a spur of the moment start when I really had no business starting something new.  I guess I just wanted to work on something patriotic.  It took me about 2 weeks to complete.  I actually thought it would be quicker. Naturally!

The pattern is called Summer Picnic by Hen House Designs.  When I looked online to see if I could link it the etsy shop appears to no longer offer it.  Sorry.  It's been in my stash for a few years.

I am late at getting to the rhubarb this spring.  Of course, it was snowing as recently as May 15th and cold enough prior to that.  Then it was close to 100 last weekend.  Finally, we are enjoying some spring/summer so I got busy with some rhubarb jam.

This is such a simple jam.  Rhubarb, sugar, and pectin.  It makes a small batch so everything is manageable.  I will probably make another one or two.  We don't actually eat that much jam but I like having it on hand for little gifts or for making oatmeal jam bars.  Or toast.  Or thumb print cookies.  Ice cream?  If I ate it, yes!