Ornaments, plus a couple other goodies

Well, I’ve been scarce, haven’t I? Part of it was not feeling like blogging, and part of it was Webshots changing over to Smile. That completely discombobulated me. I’m still pouting that all my linked photos are gone.

I hope you had a happy, blessed holiday season.

I may have been hiding, but I was stitching while doing so! So, pictures, pictures, pictures!

First: June Monthly Sampler finished into a flat fold. Yes, I finished stitching it in ’07. Yes, I have many more flat folds to complete. Don’t judge me.

Next is God Bless Those by Shakespeare’s Peddler. I ordered this as a gift to myself and stitched it up straight away. Now it needs to be finished, as my many previously mentioned monthly samplers do.

God Bless Those by Shakespeare’s Peddler
Stitched with included supplies as charted on 40-ct linen provided; key charm added where stitched key was charted.

Now the ornaments. 🙂

I finished the Shepherd’s Bush Merry Be pincushion as an ornament. The fabric you see was used as backing. The red isn’t that bright, but you get the idea. When I try to darken photos, Picasa gets upset. I was going to ruche the ribbon like the model, but I liked it plain. I like the knotted ribbon, too. Amazing ideas can come from impatience and laziness. I liked the plain finish so much that I didn’t bother to cover the slice I put into it with a seam ripper. I’m learning to be wabi sabi about my stitching. Sort of. You can see where the slice was, but I’m not helping you find it. 😀

Hardanger Poinsettia by Carole Rodgers for Cross Stitch & Country Crafts, April 1994. This was stitched on 32-ct Picture this Plus Phoenix linen. The flash was really bright on this. The red is darker. The splotch is pink, which I really like. That only took eighteen years.

He’s a Flake by Little House Needlework. I stitched twins. One for an exchange partner, one for myself, because I lurve him. They were stitched on 32-count linen (I think Rue Green) with the recommended colors, except the red. I don’t remember what I used. It was less brick-y, but not really bright.

Christmas Beer, front and back. This is modified from Christmas Cheer by Heart in Hand, as appeared in the JCS Ornament issue, 2001. I removed the year, moved the stars, and used the hearts from a different ornament on that page (I can’t remember the designer offhand. You don’t want me to procrastinate posting this to go check, do you?). The beer stein was modified from a picture of an old design I had saved on my computer. This was stitched on 32-count linen, Rue Green.  I’ve been planning this for forever, too. This ornament has great family sentiment behind it. It’s based on a carol my husband “wrote” while enjoying Christmas cheer. Here are the lyrics:

A McGinty Carol

Christmas cheer
For Christmas beer
Christmas is
Our time of year!

{You’re welcome. 😉 }

I’m thrilled I finished two ornaments that have been on the back burner for so many years. You know how it is: so many ideas, so little time. And so many distractions.  Nod, nod

Happy Stitching, and all the best in 2013.

All set for next Halloween

I finally finished Pumpkin House as a flat fold, and had a camera to take pictures. Yay!

pumpkin house flatfold 11.08

I didn’t like using some of these fibers.  It took me awhile to understand how they worked.  So, not my best stitching.  The instructions say to use Janice Love’s Hardanger books as a reference for the hardanger stitches, but used different names for the stitches.  Um.  Dumb.  Bad instructions, actually.  I’m bothered that the top left corner is a bit wonky, and I think I’m going to add more orange berries.   I fussed and bit my nails over the embellishments on this piece more than you would think.  I wanted *more,* but every time I added that “more,” I didn’t like it.  In the end, I was tired of it.  I still think it’s missing something, but I’m more glad to put this in the “done” column.

Pumpkin House
Designed by Patricia Andrle for Kreinik.  Stitched with fibers included in kit on 28-ct linen.  I think the color is bittersweet.
Changes: I used 2 Just Nan spider charms instead of stitching the spiders.

April Sampler

It’s almost April!  I’ve finished my mini-sampler for April.  I was so pleased with the way the March sampler turned out, I was worried about finishing April.  I’m pleased, though.  I decided that since April’s birthstone is a diamond, the finishing should be all about BLING!  I gave myself fits picking out the beads.  Started off with bad color choices, then how to arrange the danglies, how many danglies, how long, and on and on.  I’m happy with the result, though.

april sampler flat fold 03.07

Time to start worrying about May. 😉

It’s March!

jcs-monthly-samplers-mar-apr.jpgCome with me in the Wayback Machine to 1995.  I had a subscription to JCS mag.  That year, the magazine ran a year-long series of mini-samplers designed by Linda P Reeves of La Broderie (sadly, now defunct).  I fell in love with them from the start, and dreamed of stitching one for every year.  I never got around to it. 

Sometime last year, I decided Now Is The Time.  I gathered the materials I would need for the entire year.  It wasn’t always an easy task.  Each month uses a different Caron Waterlilies floss.  My LNS doesn’t carry the entire line.  I wasn’t sure they weren’t discontinued.  Research ensued.  Weird thing was, a lot of stores didn’t carry Mountain Meadow.  A special order was easy; Caron still makes it.  I was just surprised many stores didn’t carry it.  Each month uses a different bead embellishment.  Some months used Mill Hill; that was easy.  Some months used ‘attachments’ from Access Commodities.  That’s where it got hard.  There were ONS that carried what I needed.  I would have to buy whole ‘vials,’ and it wasn’t always easy to determine how many of each ‘attachment’ were in a vial.  One company I emailed never responded.  Their prices were good, but maybe that’s b/c they’re a fly-by-night company?  Another company was expensive.  My LNS had some of the embellishments I needed, but said that for them to order the ones they didn’t have, they’d have to place a really large order, and there’s no guaranteeing when they’d be placing a large order.  They suggested I bring the charts in so they could help me find suitable substitutes.  The first time, I only brought my working copies–five minutes before they closed.  They thought it would be easier to find substitutes if they could see what they were looking for (and, unspoken, if it wasn’t when they were getting read to go home).  They were really helpful when I finally brought in the magazines with the pictures.   I’m not sure every substitute will work, but I’m optimistic.

At first, I thought I’d stitch each month’s sampler during its month–starting with January in January.  I thought better of it.   It would be too easy to stitch the sampler, and then procrastinate on getting it finished.  Another puzzler: how to finish them?  Framing is expensive, even for tiny little things.  Was something I intended to display only one month at a time worth the expense of framing?  Not to mention the challenges involved in storing framed items!  I thought I’d make bell pulls.  I’d have a single hook, and I could rotate each month very easily.  I’ve never made a bell pull.  I could learn!  You know what?  They can wrinkle.  Then I thought: flat folds store easily.  I’ve made a flat fold.  I was on to something.   They are flat, they store easily enough, I just have to take care with the embellishments.  This was my solution.  I was very excited.  I had my supplies; I had a plan.

I set up a schedule that involves stitching a new sampler each month, finishing a new sampler each month, and displaying a new sampler each month.  The start-to-finish schedule will take longer than a year (I need an extra month for making February’s flat fold), but if I keep on schedule, I’ll have stitched all twelve months this calendar year.  In January, I stitched “March.”  In February, I stitched “April” and assembled the “March” flat fold.  In March, it’s “May” stitching and “April” flat-folding.  And “March” displaying.
march sampler finished 02.07