October 16, 2009

Several months ago, I joined ANG. I had been intrigued by the group for a while, but was ultimately inspired to join when I saw the “Heart of the Cabin” course being offered. I cannot be happier with this decision, and I am clearly loving the course, and I’ve also been able to listen to, and at times partake in, interested conversations through the Yahoo group.

Today, I joined Cyberpointers, the online chapter of ANG. Just as before, I had been contemplating this decision for months, and was drawn out of the woodwork by a course offering. This time, it’s Ro Pace’s Memories of Tide Pools (the blue one on this page). When I saw this piece, I knew I had to stitch it. I’ll wait until my membership is confirmed, then join right up for the course. I am also excited to join the new Yahoo groups that being a member of Cyberpointers will open for me. I love becoming a part of the online needlepointers community!

Now, back to stitching and baseball

Block 2

October 14, 2009

2 down, 14 to go ๐Ÿ™‚

Block 2 started with a simple scotch stitch (light blue), which I overlayed with Kreinik cord in gold. This is the thread I alluded to in my last post. The cord gave a beautiful shine to the thread, and I love that I can place it exactly where I want. I will definitely be picking up other cords to be using in the future!

block 2 - scotch

In this (blurry) picture, the Krienik Cord has been stitched on the left, but not on the top-right.

As for the rest of the block:

block 2 - 10-13-09 - finished

I love the dark blue woven stitch on the top, and the Rhodes circles in light blue. How fun!

All together, blocks 1 and 2:

Lesson 1 - 10-16-09 - finished

You can definitely see the dark diagonal forming. The color variations are what define the heart in the center and the dark blue diagonal border.

This has been so much fun! Now, what do to until Nov 1???

Goal: figure out a stitch for the Dragon3 background.

Block 1

October 7, 2009

Well that was quick! I finished Block 1.

block1 - 100609 - finished

The second half of the block used the dark threads. That will become a theme in this piece, as half of each block is light and half is dark.

In terms of materials, this time I got to play with floss, silk, metalics, overdyes, and beads.

In the small log, the corner is a Rice Stitch. Ironically, my friend pointed this stitch out from a book a few days ago and said that she loved it. I thought it was nice, but commented that I couldn’t imagine where I would ever use it…well, here it is! And I like it!

As for the beading, I love the look of it, but it was definitely a pain when I tried to stitch the surrounding logs afterward. I think from now on I’ll wait and stitch the beads at the end of the piece (as difficult as it will be for me to wait!)

I started Block 2 tonight…I’ll post pics later, but for now I must say that Kreinik cord may be my new favorite needlepoint product!

Cabin Progess – 1

October 4, 2009

I started the Heart of the Cabin yesterday. I did the center part of the first two blocks, and then the first 3 logs. It’s been a lot of fun working with different threads and new stitches, and I’m only just beginning!

100309 - far away

For the first log, I used Rachel and Frosty Rays. Though the stitch guide called for Flair, the color I picked out just didn’t work. I was able to use some Frosty Rays I had from another project and I love the color. This thread doesnโ€™t have the smooth finish that the Flair does, but it actually gives a nice contrast to the flair, and I love the color combo.

Threadworx, the overdyed used in the second log, was also a ton of fun to work with. I really like the color change, and the thread is super-soft. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it just felt nice to work with.

The third log was worked in Renaisance. It was supposed to be alternating blocks between Pure & Simple and Sprinkles. I apparently only picked up 1 type of thread, which was shimmer. Although I like the look of it, it wasn’t the most fun to work with. This thread was very slippery! But, it’s worth the pain for the effect the thread gives the stitch.

100309 - close up

Next up, my first log with beading…but I’m a little confused as to what thread to use when stringing the beads. I’ll have to contact the list for advice before I move on!

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookie Recipe

October 4, 2009

I’ve had several requests for the cookie recipe, and so with Sunday Baker‘s permission, I am posting the recipe

The Recipe (with Sharon’s Notes):

1 stick butter (softened)
2 cups flour
3 cups old fashioned oats
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup craisins
5 oz high quality white chocolate chips or chopped up bar

preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl
in large bowl, cream butter, eggs, both sugars, and vanilla until light and fuffy. stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until well mixed.
add in oats, craisins, and white chocolate chips
use medium cookie scoop to drop cookies on to lined baking sheet.

bake approx 12 minutes, until golden but still moist. let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

if you want to drizzle white chocolate on the tops of, or coat the bottoms of the cookies, just melt it on a heating plate or in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring between each one. i used a spoon to drizzle and coat them since dipping them in seemed to put too much on them and was not even.
i ended up having to cook them for a couple minutes longer than it called for on a couple trays, but it was fairly accurate. i put the dipped cookies in the fridge for about ten minutes to cool.

Mick’s Notes:

I used whole wheat flour, so my dough was pretty dry. To compensate for this, I added only 2 cups of oats rather than 3.

I used 6 oz of Craisins (1 small package) and 6 oz of white chocolate chips (1/2 package).

They also only took 10 minutes in my oven, but my oven tends to cook things extremely quickly

Needlepointing + Baking = Good Evening!

October 2, 2009

Today, the ANG class started!!! FINALLY!!!!

I got the email just after 5am this morning, and had the presence of mind not to act on it until after I got home from work. Boy did that take some willpower. In the email, Sue outlined which parts of the piece we will be working on during each lesson, and gave us helpful hints on each stitch. This evening, I annotated each page of the booklet with the lesson number. I also cut the email into pieces and taped each lesson tip onto that lesson page. Finally, I pulled the threads that I will use during lesson 1 and put them a thread organizer I have (read: bead box). I really need to get another one, so that will be on my shopping list this weekend. I was about to start, but then I realized that I was very tired and didn’t want to make a mistake on day one. I’ll start tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before I stared the with the needlepoint, however, I did a little baking. It’s my co-teacher’s birthday tomorrow, and she requested white chocolate cranberry cookies. Because I’ve never made these before, I called in help by sending a message to my favorite baker, who passed along a great recipe. I’ll check with her to see if I can post it here if anyone is interested. Based on my obviously necessary taste tests of both the raw dough and a finished cookie, and in my own humble opinion, they’re fantastic! I hope they hold up overnight and that everyone at works likes them as much as I do!

cookie plate

cookie plate 2

cookie plate 3