Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year!

I did not expect to be away for so long! Christmas preparations took so much more time than I expected--and that's with dropping projects all along the way! My father decided he wasn't able to travel this Christmas, so the dude and I went to him. (My mother came up to spend Christmas eve with us.) On Christmas day we all flew to Florida. Over the next couple of days we went to Spanish Point, the Dali Museum, the Italian Market, and shopping--I was visiting my mother after all. Once we were back home, I had to read, read, read to make progress toward my Goodreads Challenge. I tried to read 20 books, but only did 18--which I'm quite happy about since I was only at 11 at the beginning of December.

With the loss of Picasa, I can't make the fabulous collages I've made the past couple of years. Google Photos limits you to nine pics. Here, we have almost all the smalls from this year (No small in September or October). I do have one more to share from December, but I am one strand of Tropical Ocean from being done. 

Most of the finishes
Sadie's Stocking
Light House
Hawaiian Santa
Winter Row
French Country Owl
Ties that Bind
Greenland Santa
Mary's Stocking
Wisteria Snowman
Love Bird

I finished 19 pieces (including the nine smalls) when last year I finished 12 pieces (seven smalls). My goals were to "stick to the rotation and see where I get." Some months I was able to stick to the rotation better than others but I think I did well!

For 2017, I'm going to stick with the rotation again, and sign up for the Smalls SAL. Maybe this year I can get even closer to 12 smalls for the year.

  1. St Nick's Noel
  2. Christian's Stocking
  3. Our Souls
  4. Forty Seven Hearts (new, anniversary present)
  5. Love Me, Love My Dog
  6. Deruta Biscornu
  7. Lapland Santa
  8. small
  9. Ladybug, Ladybug
  10. Tis the Season
I'm also going to celebrate Craft Month with the helpful input you gave me last year. 

Onward, stitchers!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent Blog Hop

Welcome one and all. Special Christmas Cheer if you are visiting for the first time from Jo's Advent Blog Hop. Ten more days! Can someone invent a time machine? I need to go back--I need another month. 

Jo asks:

Do you have a favourite decoration you must have on display every year, maybe an heirloom, one the children made or something with a special story behind it?

I got kind of hung up on the heirloom part of this question when I was thinking about which ornaments, which are decidedly not on the tree, to photograph. I don't really have any Christmas heirlooms. Maggie never had a tree in my memory--or more precisely, she had a ceramic tree about 12" tall that lit up. On my father's side, my great grandmother, when she got Alzheimer's, started throwing away heirlooms--her wedding portrait, other photos, "junk no one wanted." And her daughter always did "theme" trees. The thing with most theme trees, in my experience, especially if they are changed annually, is that you don't really develop an attachment to the ornaments. Unless, of course, you make your own.

When we moved to my childhood home in 1976, my mother had a designer from Ethan Allen come decorate our formal living room. It was blue and gold with touches of pink that were in the oriental rug. So the small tree she put up in that room pulled in those colors too. And for that tree, she made these angels. When we were cleaning out her house thirty three years later, we found enough Christmas ornaments to open up a shop. Most went to the thrift store, but I couldn't let these go. So I guess these are the heirlooms from one crafty lady to her daughter.

But that's not really the question, is it? In the years we haven't decorated (usually we do, even when we are going to England on December 26) I always put out this Santa that I stitched. The pattern is by Heartstrings, and it is stitched with fluffy fibers that Silver Needle kitted up. I loved every stitch, but especially the ones done with Very Velvet!

It was finished (at an incredibly reasonable price) by the fabulous Miss Mona of Magic by Mona. 

It is also something seasonal that I've stitched. Two birds, one stone.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

It's the Most Busiest Time of the Year

Yeah, I know, "Most Busiest" but I was trying to stay with the song lyric flow. Not a lot of three syllable words that have the right rhythm. Moving on!

Last week, I finished my Lovebird by Just Another Button Company. It's an interpretation of their felt pincushion. I used the overdyed flosses that were called for, the buttons that were called for, and if that's not the called for fabric it's very close!

I love this bird! He's so fat and cozy. Just like love...or something.

As I said, it is the busiest time of the year. I know I am not alone in having made an incredibly ambitious list of things to do and purchase and wrap and make and bake and cook and clean and attend...

The dude and I are reorganizing the guest room/study in the midst of all this busyness. The study had two desks (in a room built for one) because we had purchased a desk shortly after we moved in and then about four years ago we inherited one. We just had both in there because the inherited one was too small on its own but it was too sentimentally precious to do away with. Plus it had been shipped across the Atlantic. So now we are trying to find new places for all kinds of crap that we had stored in the big desk. It was a black hole for crap. I've already filled the car once taking stuff to Goodwill from that room. Of course my mother arrives next week (!) so it needs to be done by then. Along with all the other things this time of year! So I'm sorry that I haven't shared the Lovebird with you until now, and I haven't visited and left comments on all your gorgeous work or your advent blog hop entry or your own blogging every day undertakings or your own bitchings and moanings about how hard it is to do it all backwards and in high heels. Until next time, keep on keeping on!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Snowman, Built

Woo hoo! I finished Wisteria Snowman on this round. I really enjoy stitching these kits from Shepherd's Bush.

Wisteria joins Red, Blue, Green, and Black. That leaves Slate, Stone, Grey, Pink, and Purple. (I don't own any of those...some day, maybe.)

Sorry so short, up past my bedtime!

Stitched as kitted.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Month of Blogging Finis

I wasn't sure what I was going to stitch last night that could also serve as my small for today's Small SAL report. I pawed through the stash, reviewed the three Two Hour Cross Stitch books I had, selected and discarded a few items. At last my eye alighted on the Lizzie*Kate pattern Sled Dudes. One of the women sitting next to me at the Strawberry Sampler Stitch In at the beginning of this month was stitching this very piece. She started it and then I looked over again a few minutes later and she had nearly finished it! With this memory in mind, I knew I had found the perfect piece.

I only stitched on it for an hour last night, but I was able to finish-finish it in another hour or so! Since I decided on this piece at the last minute, only two of the flosses are the called-for colors. I used WDW Grasshopper for the green and WDW Peony for the pink, as called for. But the blue is GAST Huckleberry, the white is WDW Whitewash, the black is GAST Wrought Iron and the red is DMC 321 (which is listed as an alternate to Louisiana Hot Sauce). I also used metallic gold perforated paper instead of plain brown; it was all I had. Linking up with Heather of Stitching Lotus who hosts the Smalls SAL.

This is the most fun I have ever had doing NaBloPoMo! I really went back to the roots of the blog for that one, and it worked!  I'll be back to the regular rotation tomorrow.

Wisteria Snowman
Love Bird
Christian's Stocking
Our Souls
Waldorff
Cinnamon Stars
Lapland Santa
small
Ladybug, Ladybug
Tis the Season


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

More Leaves

Last night, I pulled out Great Pumpkin Conspiracy for a tiny bit of stitching. I managed half a leaf and about a dozen stitches toward a pumpkin. Sadly, this one hasn't seen the light of day since 2014.  If someone could tell Santa that I need to win the lottery so I can stay home and stitch, all would be right in my world.

I started a small tonight for tomorrow's SAL check in. (I'm probably going to have to finish it tomorrow, but it's close!)

Until then, comrades!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Over Two on 18 Count

You are all so lenient, so permissive! To allow cheating like that. 😄

Thank you for your kind words on Mary's Stocking. I can't say it was an enjoyable or quick stitch (see Just One July) but I am pleased with how it turned out. After I finished blogging about my huge accomplishment, I did have a moment to work on Christian's Stocking. And every over one on 40 count project should be followed by two projects stitched over two on 18 count! Ha ha. I last stitched this one in September.

Unfortunately, I ran out of navy blue perle. I should be able to replace it easily. If it's not already in the "I've stitched ten of these stockings" perle cotton #5 bag. It may be hiding in there.

We're almost at the end of this blogging project, and I must say it is nice not to hear me complain about the blogging challenge! I can't believe how stress free it's been.