Sunday, August 21, 2016

B is for Blackbird....

August's installment of my
Prairie Schooler
ABC's sampler.....

PS "B is for Blackbird"
stitched on Lakeside Linen 40ct with DMC

This one had a lot of solid blocks of color
and was not one of my favorite blocks.
Glad to have this done and moving on to
something fun for the rest of the month.


Only 19 more to go.....

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Hubby and I took a little adventure to
the northwest corner of our state and I took
the opportunity to visit a new to me
Cross Stitch/Bead store.

Panda's Crossing is located in Mauldin, SC
and about 25% of the store was cross stitch.
Hubby had me on a time clock so I
only had a few moments to browse and did
find some new to me designs from Erica Michaels.


I am a sucker for anything seasonal and
couldn't find Random Thoughts of Winter but
it will eventually be added to the fold.

Let me just say that if you have the
slightest interest in beads and/or beading,
you will definitely be in awe of this store. 
I had seconds to take a quick peek and
oh my goodness.  I will definitely be
back soon and without hubby....
to take it all in leisurely.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Well I am off to stitch something other
than Prairie Schooler and DMC 3371!

Thanks for visithing....

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Stitchy Finishes and Finishing.....

Summer is moving right along and
I have had a good stitchy one thus far....

After the 4th holiday, I pulled out
CHS "Matter's Choice".
I love everything about this piece.

CHS "Matter's Choice" stitched on 40ct Meadow Rue
with Victorian Motto "1840 Cranberry Rainbow"

I did change it a little bit and added
my initials and the year at the bottom. 


~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

I reached into my big bag of WIPS and
this was the lucky draw.
As you can imagine, I couldn't help but
hum that favorite hymn as I stitched.


 Silver Creek Samplers "Blessings"
stitched on 40ct PTP Mello with Victorian Motto threads

I am blessed to be married to my
best friend so I added
mine and my hubby's initials.


The colors were so soothing to stitch
and I truly enjoyed this one.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

With the beginning of August I couldn't
resist spending some time with Miss Martha.
The colors in this one just pop and
the combination of the teal blue and
golden mustard work perfectly together.

Kathy Barrick "Miss Martha's Potting Shed"
stitched on 40ct. PTP Tycho
with Victorian Motto threads.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

I needed a quick gift for a friend and
decided the bonus chart from
Lizzie Kate's Things Unseen Mystery Sampler
would be perfect. 

LK "Things Unseen" bonus chart
stitched on 40ct PTP Sand with
Victorian Motto threads

The original design was charted to be
rectangular but it was easy to alter
into a square shape for the perfect no-sew finish.

The base for this finish is a little wooden
plaque from Hobby Lobby, and with a
little paint and Briwax, finishing
couldn't have been easier.

While at Hobby Lobby, I spotted a
galvanized plaque that I thought would
be perfect for another recent finish I had.
A little more paint and I have the perfect 
backdrop for this cute design.

Oh....I still am in love with that fabric...
WDW Red Pear...got to find some more.

LK Selfie Sampler kit

I loved this design the first time I saw it and
I am happy to have it in my office so that
I can be reminded often to have a great day.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Well I hope you are staying cool and
crossing many stitches.
Thanks as always for visiting my
small corner of the stitching universe
and happy stitching.....

Sunday, July 10, 2016

When it's hot......


....you stitch.

July 4th weekend was just too hot
for much else but stitching.
It was too hot (for me at least)
to even cookout.

I finished this month's installment of the
Prairie Schooler alphabet first thing.


Prairie Schooler "A is for Anchor"
stitched on Lakeside Linen w/DMC

This was definitely the easiest block
so far with no big blocks of color.
Not sure why but I really like
this block.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

I picked up one of my
Stitchmaynia starts and focused
on finishing it.  Saturday I was lucky
to meet up with some stitching
friends, old and new, at the
Stitch & Frame
for some shopping, stitching,
eating and laughter.
With a little help from them, I have
had a good stitching weekend.

This was the first installment of this
year's Dyeing to Stitch
Colonial Gatherings Club kit.

Plum Street Samplers "Pennsylvania Fraktur"
Colonial Gatherings kit
stitched on R&R 36ct Ligonier Latte with
WDW, GAST and Classic Colorworks

Hubby and I vacationed in June in Pittsburgh
and was my first visit to Pennsylvania.
We had a great time, which may be
surprising to some, and Pittsburgh
had some neat things to do and see.

Fittingly, the design is a sweet tribute
to the founding of Pennsylvania
with the state's birth date and state motto.
I will definitely be reminded of my
wonderful trip.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Decisions, decisions, decisions....
what to stitch next?
I am itching to start something new
.......so I think I will.

Happy stitching and thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Catching up: Finally June....


Yes....I am officially caught up on my
stitching endeavors over the past months.
Thank you for all of your wonderful
comments and for sticking with me.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

June stitching was limited with a week
away for vacation, food poisoning,
just summer fun that takes you outside
and, of course, some summer stitch-alongs.

First up....was Whine and WIPS.
The  Stitchmaynia Facebook group was 
sponsoring this event for June.
Simple....work on something
that makes you whine.
It can be something that makes you
whine when you stitch it or makes you
whine when you can't stitch it.

I chose a WIP that has been languishing
since December 2013.  I love this
design and I bought the project after seeing
the model at The Attic Needlework
during a trip.  I bought the supplies,
came home and promptly started it.   
What about this beautiful design
makes me whine????

*****    40ct black linen  *****

OMG....I have the brightest light I can take,
wear 2 pair of readers and I still have a
difficult time distinguishing those little
holes.  This was a good excuse to
bring it back out and work on it. 

I did give it the old college try and made
great progress on the border. 
This is where I started.....

Scarlett House "Ann Topley"
stitched on 40ct with recommended threads

And this is where I have ended up.....


I can't promise every stitch is over 2
holes but I don't see any glaring
mistakes.  I have made myself work on this
in hopes it would spur a finish but I
just can't take it anymore. 
So away it has gone again.  

I will keep plugging away and know
eventually I will finish it & love it. 

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Cross Stitch Finish Line on Facebook
was also hosting a stitch-along that sounded fun.  

Vintage SAL required you start or
stitch a design that was from the 90's o
r earlier.  Having stitched and stashed
for 30+ years, I had tons in my stash
that would fit this bill.   I decided to
finally start something I have loved
from the first day I saw it.

The Heart's Content "Rose Marriage Sampler" 
circa 1990
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with DMC

I just love this design and figured I should get
going on it after 22 years of marriage. 


My start was meager but at least I have it
started now so I have no excuse to not stitch it.
Hopefully I will have it done by
our 25th anniversary.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~ 

My Prairie Schooler alphabet design 
this month is my sixth and that
means I am at least 20%
done with this project. 

Prairie Schooler "S*T*U"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with
recommended DMC

All six designs so far....

I still love stitching it and this is one I
want to be completed now....
oh well, back to stitching.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

And lastly...
I had two finishes just under the wire.
Both were Stitchmaynia starts
and both were a joy to stitch.

WTNT "Grand Olde Flag"
stitched on 40ct PTP Sand with
Victorian Motto thread conversions


The Drawn Thread "Free and Brave"
stitched on 32ct PTP Legacy with
Victorian Motto thread conversions

I use a lot of Victorian Motto thread...
I have built up quite a collection
and just love it.
Many have asked about how I convert
designs to Victorian Motto and it
is quite simple.   I just compare them to
the model picture or DMC conversion
(if available) and just pick the colors I like.
Sometimes it works and sometimes
I am constantly changing my mind
until I find what I like.

If you haven't tried Nancy's thread,
I urge you to give it a try. 
It such a great bargain
and the colors are beautiful.

~    *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~
Hopefully I will be able to keep up
with more timely posts.
You can find me on Instagram daily too at

@karenshandiwork

I love seeing everyone's stitching
progress so if you are on Instagram,
please let me know in a comment so
I can make sure I am following you.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

For those in the States, I hope you
had a nice, relaxing July 4th.

As always thanks and happy stitching....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Catching up: May......


May can only mean one thing...

.......STITCHMAYNIA.......

If you watch Flosstube, then you
know exactly what I mean.
In the same vein as the Crazy January
challenge, you start 15 projects in 15 days. 
Some do more....some do less.
Once again, I was on the band wagon.  
Unlike most, I decided to do a start
every other day and spread it over
the entire month.  I kitted up 15 projects
and went on my merry way. 

Here is my lineup...

WTNT "Grand Olde Flag"
stitched on 40ct PTP Sand with
Victorian Motto thread conversion

***************
Kathy Barrick "Miss Martha's Potting Shed"
stitched on 40ct PTP Fog
with Victorian Motto thread conversion

These threads are just yummy!!!

****************

Notforgotten Farm "Bee Sampler"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen Vintage Porcelain
with Victorian Motto thread conversion

and we had a finish......


This will soon have a place of honor on
my Bee Wall in my kitchen.

******************

Lila's Studio "Bee Sampler"
stitched on Lakeside Linen 40ct Vintage Porcelain
with my thread conversion

*****************


Drawn Thread "Free & Brave"
stitched on 32ct PTP Legacy
with Victorian Motto thread conversion

****************

Notforgotten Farms PSS 2016 Retreat kit

.......and finished!

****************

Plum Street "Pennsylvania Fraktur"
Colonial Gatherings club piece

************

Notforgotten Farms "Sepia Sampler"
stitched on 40ct Khaki linen
with recommended DMC

************

Primitive Needle "Hornbook Angel"
stitched on 40ct WDW Straw with
my DMC thread conversion

*****************

Lizzie Kate "Selfie Sampler" kit
stitched on 32ct WDW Red Pear
with recommended threads

....and another finished!  
I just love the fabric in this kit....sweetest color.

I was excited to have three finishes so that only
added 7 more to my WIP pile.   I now
have 20+ projects to choose from
so I shouldn't get bored anytime soon.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

I still found time for my monthly
Prairie Schooler project.  These designs
take me about a week to stitch so that
did eat into my Stitchmaynia plans. 
No problem...just happy to have another done.

Prairie Schooler "S*R*T"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with recommended DMC

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Well if you stuck with me this long,
thank you ever so much!
Happy stitching....


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Catching up: April.....

I hope I'm not boring you with all
of the posts but it has
been fun to reminisce about
what I have been up to the last
few months.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Fifty Shades of Gray....
this took on a whole new meaning in April
as I celebrated my 50th birthday.

I tried to celebrate quietly but my
family and co-workers had other plans. 
I am just glad I was here to celebrate with them.


~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

While browsing through my Blackbird Designs,
I saw this one and had to instantly
start it.  There is just something about
it I love so start I did.

Blackbird Designs "Button Box"
from In Friendship's Way booklet
stitched on  hand-dyed 40ct Buttercream from DixieSamplar
with Victorian Motto threads

I love the yellow tones to this piece and
do plan to finish as sewing box.....one day.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

I had to travel to Denver for a conference
and decided to take something small for the plane trip.  
The Prim Society's retreat kit from

Summer House Stitche Workes "Prim Tapestry"
PSS 2016 Retreat kit

I was a little unsure about the rusty star
included ...looked a little big.  Obviously
Beth knows what she is doing
because it was just the right touch.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

And yes there was another
Prairie Schooler alphabet finish....

Prairie Schooler "S*R*T"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with recommended DMC

I loved this block especially the
measuring tape border detail.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

That's it from my little stitchy
corner of the universe.
Not too many more and I will
be officially caught up.
Happy stitching....

Monday, June 27, 2016

Catching up: March.....


A few goodies from March.....

While at the Pals Stitching at the
Beach retreat last October, I discovered
Silver Creek Sampler's wonderful
designs.  This was one of my favorites
so it had to be stitched first.

The sentiment is a nice reminder
we are not alone....

Silver Creek Samplers "Shadow of My Wings"
stitched on 40ct PTP Fog with recommended threads

~    *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

March's Prairie Schooler alphabet
design was "L"....

Prairie Schooler "J*K*L"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with recommended DMC

I really like stitching on this monthly and
could see myself focusing on this one project. 
My fear is I will burn out so I am
restraining myself and sticking to one a month.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~


Some of my stitched goodies
have now become
framed goodies.....

BBD Sweetheart Sampler

BBD Sunflower House

Goode Huswife "Tree of Life"

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

The end of March was an exciting time
as I prepared to attend the
Prim Stitchers Society Retreat in Marietta.

It was a wonderful time packed with
classes, stitching, gabbing and laughing.

I did participate in the Exchange and
decided to try something new. 
Threadwork Primitives' "Bee Gathering"
was perfect to be finished as a drum,
my first, and I was so happy with the result.

Threadwork Primitives "Bee Gathering"
stitched on 40ct mystery linen with Victorian Motto threads

I had this fabric in my stash and it
was perfect for the mood and color of the design.
I took a lot of liberties with the finishing
but loved once done.


My most favorite detail was the little
bee pin I stuck in the top.

I received a wonderful piece with a
very unique finish in exchange.
  I am not sure if this is an old biscuit
cutter or butter mold, but it just
suited for this sweet design.





Perfect addition with all of my thread bobbins.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *  ~   *   ~

As always thanks for visiting and
happy stitching.....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Catching Up: February......


Stitching commenced in January and
I had a few finishes from my Crazy January starts.

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

I have always loved this design and it was
just perfect as Valentine's day
quickly approached.  I did my own
colorway and just love the color combination
of chocolate and cherry on the linen.  
Yummy....


BBD "Sweetheart Sampler"
Stitched on WDW 30ct w/ Victorian Motto

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

One goal this year was to stitch more ornaments
so I joined a monthly SAL.  My first
finish was this older design from
a Shepherd's Bush newsletter.


SB "Be Jolly"
stitched on 25ct evenweave with hand-dyed threads

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~  *   ~   *   ~  *   ~

With Valentine's Day approaching, I
decided to stitch this sweet holiday
design from years ago.   I just loved all of the
Be Atitude series and am happy
to have finish added to my collection.

SB "Be True"
Stitched on 32ct white linen with recommended threads

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Another goal I set for myself was to
stitch the Prairie Schooler's ABC series. 
I have had the designs for several
years and decided I wasn't going
to wait any longer.

I am stitching mine all together with three
rows of nine designs.  Even though
the chart indicates the design
size to be 70 x 70, a review revealed
this was not the case for most of them.  
I was obsessed with making sure
the alignment is even.  
I have counted, counted again,
sketched it out on paper, counted again,
and then counted again
to insure I have enough spacing between
them without running out of fabric.

Since the second row would be the longest
(few were 70 stitches wide) I decided
to start with "J", which would be the
first design in that row.  
Oh my goodness....I never thought that
pumpkin would end.  It seemed like it took
forever to stitch but I got it done.


Prairie Schooler "J*K*L"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with recommended DMC

If I had it to do over again, I would
have changed the color of the pumpkin
but I can live with it now.

I not very happy with the coverage even
though this is 40ct but I will wash this
once done and hope the weave will
tighten up a bit.

Since I planned to finish a block a month,
I carried on to catch up and stitched
the next one for this month.


Prairie Schooler "J*K*L"
stitched on 40ct Lakeside Linen with recommended DMC

~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~  *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

And my last finish for the month was
another Crazy January start.
So glad I finally have this sweet design stitched.

CHS "Be My Love"
Stitched on PTP Legacy w/ DMC

She is now framed and ready to be added
to the George and Martha wall....



~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *   ~

Thanks for visiting & happy stitching.......