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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Holiday Updates

 Hello Internet People. I hope everyone made it through the holiday without too much family drama.  We had a very quiet, and very pleasant day, just my husband and I and our two youngest children.  We had one of the neighbors over for dinner, he just went through a nasty break-up and has no family in the area and I didn't want him to be alone on Christmas.  It was nice to have company without the stress of wondering when the conflict will start.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we had already decided not to do the whole Christmas presents thing this year, so there were no presents to unwrap, except a few for the boys from their oldest brother.  The boys also each got a little Tablet computer from Dad, and I spent a week putting games and books on them, but that was the grand total of our Christmas.  And you know what?  Every body was just fine with it.  There were no groans, complaints, or whining of any kind, the boys knew it was going to be that way and they really didn't mind at all.  I sure do have some great kids.  And you know what else was really quite amazing to me?  Not once during the entire day did I ever hear either kid say a word about being bored!  Every Christmas for the last 20 years somebody has uttered those words to me before the end of Christmas day, but not this year. 

As for me, I managed to make it through (so far) without any major breakdowns or emotional collapses, so I am calling it a successful holiday season.  I finished most of the stitching on my Dragon that I have been working on, he still needs some work on his eye, but I think I will need to do that by hand to get it to work out right.  He still needs to be framed out and mounted, but I have rolled him back up and put him away again for now to start on my next project.  Here are a couple of pictures of the Dragon:

I had so much fun stitching in all of the scales on this guy that I decided I needed to spend some more time practicing my machine stitching control.  So, now I am working on a Drake.  I didn't feel like trying to "draw" something to work on so I found a picture in my library that I printed out on a laser printer transparency.  I took some of this awesome stabilizer stuff that I found and traced the pattern onto it.  The stuff I used has an adhesive on one side, but is totally water soluble.  So you can stick it to any fabric, stitch thru it and then squirt it with some water and its gone!  I originally bought the stuff when I was trying to embroider on some vintage hankies, instead of hooping the delicate fabric of the handkerchiefs I just hooped the stabilizer and then stuck the hankies down on top with the adhesive. This is what I use:

Ken's Sewing Adhesive Sew N Wash Embroidery Stabilizer

I think I found a similar product at an online discount sewing supply place last week, but this is the brand I am using, and I do love the stuff.  I have found dozens of uses for it since I bought it, and this is yet another one.

Anyway, I traced the pattern using a pencil because I wasn't sure what the liquid in a pen might do to the stabilizer, probably would have worked fine, but I didn't feel like messing with it, so I used a pencil.   Then I just peeled off the paper backing of the stabilizer and laid it down on the fabric.  I put another piece of a tear away adhesive backed stabilizer behind the fabric for additional support since I plan on doing a LOT of stitching on this thing, and I actually put the whole thing in an embroidery hoop, which is something I don't generally do, but I wanted to try it to see if it would help or not.  So far so good on that, it does give me a little more control I think, and it is definitely keeping the fabric from puckering, I just need a bigger hoop.  Here are a couple of pictures of the stuff I used, the Drake pattern drawn out on the stabilizer, and the fabric he is being stitched on:













Next time I will try to get you all some more pictures of him in progress.  He is stuck in the machine (not "stuck" really, but I am in the middle of stitching something) and I can't take him out yet, so you will have to wait for those.  So far he is coming along pretty well, time consuming as all hell, but that was kind of the point.  He is another project designed solely to keep my mind occupied so that I don't go off fixating on all the negative thoughts that I have to battle at this time of the year.  And he is doing his job very well.


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