Thursday, February 15, 2018

Goodbye, Linda

You can see my life is filled with good intentions. This was my plan from the beginning, and you can see that I have failed you, (I should be on blog post #5.)

But I'm here with the sad news that Lizzie * Kate is retiring. Below is a little retrospective of the pieces I've stitched of hers. I know there are some I am missing. I've always loved her simple stuff. Fortunately, we can start hoarding.

The Ho Ho Ho (Santa) is one I stitched at the beginning of my stitching career, at the point where I started going to specialty stores for patterns and supplies. It is pattern #22. (She's going out on #190.) Have I been stitching so long? As long as a career? 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January in the Books

In January, I set out to work on the following pieces.
  1. Nunavut Santa--got pretty far along
  2. Lapland Santa--a modicum of success followed by an unfortunate amputation, which has been scheduled
  3. Four Fat Friends--no
  4. Elizabethan Rose--no
  5. Deruta Biscornu--no
  6. Special K's Ornament--no
  7. Sweet Baby Ray's Ornament--started (to the left)
I seem to have fizzled after a strong start.

Books may be the reason. The dude and I signed up for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge this year. There are 25 categories of books to read to get you out of your reading comfort zone. I haven't gotten that far out of it yet. I've completed #3 a classic of genre fiction, Death at the Vicarage (Miss Marple) and #12 celebrity memoir, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I'm working on 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created for #14, a book of social science. But it does take some time away from the needle and floss!

In February, I hope to figure out a way to balance the reading and stitching. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I plan to stitch some anniversary pieces:
  1. Forty-seven Hearts
  2. Our Souls
  3. To Thee My Heart
  4. 2018 Anniversary Sampler 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Still with the Perforated Paper

Things began so promisingly, didn't they? Two and a half weeks ago, I took this picture for you of my Lapland Santa. Things aren't going well for this guy. His reindeer pal needs to have an amputation of that hind leg. It's off--again--by a different stitch somewhere.Nevertheless, there has been some forward momentum; you can see what he looked like last time here.

And then...movies, drinks, reading, marching, stamping.

No stitching. No blogging. No visiting the bloggers.
My friend Nicole had a birthday and she made us all do crafts. I tie-dyed this scarf. it looks like three or more colors but that's just the way the purple dye shook out. I feel like I made out on this deal because this was super-easy (fold in half, twist into a spiral, bind, squirt, done) but it looks pretty good though I say it myself.

I got my hair done on Tuesday, and took out Sweet Baby Ray's ornament, so I am back to stitching. Let's hope I can keep some momentum on the stitching and have something to show you again soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Button Up Your Overcoat!

Hello, friends! Thank you for your encouraging words on my pathetic output of last year. You are a wonder.

Although the weather outside is frightful (Below zero in southeastern Pennsylvania? Crazy talk!), I haven't stitched quite as much as I might have sitting here bundled up on the couch like Bob Cratchit (stocking cap, scarf, fingerless gloves). I did continue to work on Nunavut Santa as promised. I think one more round ought to do it!

Speaking of ornaments, the tree is down and the little glitter lights that I love to watch in the afterwork hours (and dine by) have disappeared. I'll have to find another way to add some sparkle into these dark cold (cold cold cold) nights.

Stay warm; unless you're near the equator. And if you are, you might not want to mention it to people on the east coast of America right now.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year!

Here we are, 2018. Before we look forward, a stocktaking. Though there wasn't much stock to take. I finished five pieces--Ortilda the Witch, Tada Santa and Snowman, Wabbit's Wonder, and Christian's Stocking.

Stitching did pick up in the latter half of the year, so I am hoping that is the trend for the future.

I am joining Stitching Lotus's Smalls SAL for real this year! (Last year I said I would stitch smalls but I didn't even change the link from 2016 to 2017. But look, it says 2018!) I plan to do a rotation, but I think I'm going to do fewer pieces for an extra day so seven pieces for four days each instead of ten pieces for three days with occasional theme months, like in February (Valentine's Day!) I'm going to focus on anniversary pieces*, and of course, Craft Month in March.

I also plan to blog more, and visit your blogs more often too.

For my January rotation, I'm going to start with seven smaller pieces so I can feel like I'm making headway!
  1. Nunavut Santa
  2. Lapland Santa
  3. Four Fat Friends
  4. Elizabethan Rose
  5. Deruta Biscornu
  6. Special K's Ornament
  7. Sweet Baby Ray's Ornament
What are your plans for the year?

*There are three unfinished--47 Hearts ('17), Our Souls ('14), and To Thee My Heart ('10).

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Arctic Santas

After Christmas, I was able to get back to stitching partly because of the arctic cold we were having. (We accidentally went to the Franklin Institute on what must have been the coldest day of the year, to see the Terracotta Warriors, and I'm pretty sure my face froze off!) I managed a few hours on both Lapland Santa (top) and Nunavut Santa.

Here's what Lapland looked like in November.

Nunavut got a lot of action! Here's what my polar bear friend looked like the last time.

I plan to take some time tomorrow and visit all of you and leave some notes. I want, like so many others, to get back to blogging. (I only wrote 60 posts in all of 2017!) And stitching! But more on my plans tomorrow.

Happy new year, everyone!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

O Christmas Tree

I've definitely been collecting things to show you even if I haven't been able to post.

The weekend after we got back from DC, we went with my sister and the girls to Longwood Gardens to see their trees. Fabulous as always! (The girls are three and a half now.) We saw so many trees with unusual color combos. This one was (advertised as) "Tiffany blue" and had some copper accents. Another one was red and lemon yellow--it worked!
Then we put up our own trees. The snowman tree, last year (because we were heading to Florida) we bought a new artificial tree--black tinsel!--we got it back out this year because I was too sick to want to wander around tree lots. We didn't put it up until the Monday before Christmas when I was shamed into it at work. The dude helped so much over this period. He doesn't usually love all the Christmas brouhaha, but he really pitched in, buying presents, decorating, cooking, baking. I found a good one!

This is the handmade tree. Almost all the ornaments were stitched (or made) by me (there are a few by you too!). When we were at Winterthur, there was a tree of needlepoint ornaments that rotated. (I don't know how I managed to miss a photo of it!) The dude said we'll have to get one of those for this tree. Ha ha!

My collection of Sandy Cozzolino ornaments, growing slowly. I posted this photo on her Facebook page, and she said two in the middle, the Santa with holding the tree and the teddy bear Santa, are among the earliest ones she designed!
I did get the trees for the mugs that I set out to do over Thanksgiving break. I bought that huge gold tree at Target. (It is in there straight; I don't know what went wrong with this picture.) A fun little vignette. I shared it on Facebook and lots of people have these mugs. I think they might be looking for trees to stick inside during the sales!
For my aunt's December 27th birthday, we headed to Winterthur to see their trees. Although I should have photographed the needlepoint tree, I took this one instead. For the past 30 years, Winterthur has had a dried flower tree. All of the flowers are grown and preserved on the property and saved for this tree, which was HUGE. I think you can tell if you look at some of the flowers, like the sunflowers or the hydrangea. Pretty amazing!

I hope you were able to enjoy lots of lovely Christmas trees--if that's your thing. I do love the sparkly lights in this dark time of year.