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End of year report

This has been a rough year all around. No stitching or blogging mojo was just the start. On the plus side, I’ve had a sleep study and discovered why my CPAP machine wasn’t helping me. 🙂 Now I have a new machine, with a new pressure, and I’m sleeping better. I’ve decided it’s a sign of good things to come in the New Year.

On the stitching front, I’ve received a sweet, sweet ornament from Wendy. She and I have had a private ornament exchange the past couple of years, and I was determined not to miss it this year. Here’s what she sent me–

Wendy ornament 2014 425

I always enjoy reading her blog posts about her garden and the birds that visit there. She made this one because she has robins visit her, and they make the sweetest song. I loved the ornament without the story. It’s that much more special now.

This is what I made her–

Star for Wendy 425

It’s a freebie I found on a blog somewhere. I’m not sure where. I’m usually better about noting sources. Wendy was organized and early with my ornament. I was unmotivated and late with mine. The good part about that is that after I finished my ornament, I was able to photograph both of them together.

robin and star together

I love that I was able to get this photo.

The one thing I managed to do last year was read, quite a bit more than I normally read. It’s nice to feel I accomplished something for myself during a rough patch. This year, I’m going to participate in Book Riot‘s Read Harder Challenge. There are 24 tasks, that run the gamut from reading a book according to an author’s age when published, to where the book takes place, to specific genres, to self-help (traditional to non-traditional, which is inspiring people in the Goodreads group to read cookbooks to help them and other non-traditional books to help themselves). It’s a very loose challenge, so if you don’t normally read 24 books in a year, a book can cover two or more categories to accomplish all the tasks. It’s entirely up to you. I’ll have the hardest time with the poetry task.  I’m excited for the New Year to begin so I can get started. Like cross-stitch, I seem to think I can finish the challenge in five minutes. I have a list of selections for each category (with some books listed in multiple categories). My goal is to read books I already own or to check out titles from the library. I don’t want to purchase books specifically to complete a task. Unless I simple can’t resist…

Happy New Year to all and happy stitching!

🙂

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Merry Christmas

I participated in an ornament exchange with Wendy this year.  She sent hers early, but I had to wait to open it. Like all things this autumn/winter, finishing and sending Wendy’s ornament took longer than it should have. Here’s what she sent me:

425 Fresh Fallen Snow from Wendy 12 13It’s the gorgeous Fresh Fallen Snow by Little House Needleworks, which was published in the JCS 2011 Ornament issue. It was quite easy to verify the particulars, because this was on my list of ornaments to stitch–

to stitch list

I’ve got a few ornaments rated 10 before I move on to the ones I’ve rated 9 (or lower), but I don’t have to wait for this one. I’m so lucky! Thank you, Wendy. I love it.

Here is the ornament I stitched for Wendy. It arrived before Christmas, and we opened our packages sort of together on Facebook. That was nice. 🙂

425 Tweet Gift 12 13

A “Tweet,” Merry Christmas and Healthy, Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

Happy Stitching. 🙂

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.

Vitals:
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.

Exchange Day Came Early

Because we couldn’t wait (kiddies, much?), because all ornaments had been received, the exchange moderator moved the opening day to yesterday. I gasped and squealed when I saw my giftie. It was on my to-stitch list. I’d admired it on other blogs. And now I don’t have to stitch it, or think about how I want to stitch it someday, because I have it! I’m thrilled to bits. Thank you, Carmen. 🙂

exchange from Carmen

Joy of the Snowflake by Litlle by Little from the 2011 JCS Ornament issue. How perfect is that trim? It’s whimsical and gives the ornament movement and life. Carmen attached it with matching beads.  Just gorgeous. Did I mention I love it? Because I do. 😀

Here is what I stitched for Lyn, and previewed the other day–

Love was Born 12.11

She says she likes it, and I’m relieved. Exchanges always tie me in knots, which is why I don’t participate in them often. And then they’re over, and I’m so happy I did it.

Lizzie Kate, JCS Ornament issue from the 90’s, 32-ct shell linen, recommended fibers, flat finish. And stuff. I’ll likely edit it with proper info later, but you get the gist.

Happy Stitching! 🙂

Jacks are Wild

The men in my life known as the husband and the boy are both named Jack. This meant stitching Waxing Moons Designs’ Jacks are Wild was inevitable. I began this project with big, speedy plans. I would finish stitching before Halloween. Stop laughing! OK, laugh. I know you share my delusions. I’ll enjoy laughing at you when it’s your turn.

Jacks are Wild 11.11

I had fun with this project. I used DMC Glow-in-the-Dark for the lightning bolts, DMC Rayon (I think they call it Satin now) for the sunglasses and DMC Memory Thread for the spirals. I figured if the Jacks were wild, the stitching should be, too. 😀

Vitals:
Jacks are Wild by Waxing Moon Designs
Stitched 2 over 2 on 32-ct Silkweaver Superstition Reflections
Stitched with the following substitutions: instead of GAST Black Crow, I used Raven, and DMC Satin for the sunglasses; instead of GASS Butternut Squash, I used DMC memory thread for the spirals; and instead of GASS Picket Fence, I used DMC glow-in-the-dark.

I took of this picture of the project in the dark to test the glow-in-the-dark threads. They glow, with varying results. I don’t know if you can tell, but if you look at the center Jack’s teeth, some stitches are brighter than others. The brighter stitches are glowing. I used a photo editor to brighten the photo, so it doesn’t appear to have been shot in the dark, but it was. The lightning bolt on the bottom right doesn’t stand out in regular light, because that part of the fabric is white, too. It is detectable in the dark, though, just like in this photo.

Silly fun.

My birthday was yesterday. In addition to stitchy goodness, I also received a lovely drawing from the husband. I don’t know which is more moving: the sentiment or the drawing.

 

Happy Stitching! 🙂

Gifts for a Graduate

I stitched a few things for my step-daughter, who recently graduated from nursing school.
Christmas Mosaic Ornament 05.11

First up is the ornament I shared earlier, Christmas Mosaic by M Designs.

Merry Christmas stocking 05.11

I also stitched Merry Christmas Stocking by Blackbird Designs.

Best Wishes Freebie Sachet 05.11
Last is a sachet. It’s a freebie from the blog, Broderies Passion Martine 290. It was published 20 November, 2011. It was charted to say, “best wishes,” but I changed it a bit to suit my needs. It’s stuffed with walnut shells and lavender. This diploma is a scrapbooking brad.

Another Christmas

Come and gone. Sigh.

Welcome to my tidy blog. My sister recently visited my blog and told me it’s quite tidy. So, thanks for that, Sissy M! Um, I think. Hope. Accept. I yam who I yam.

I had a wonderful Christmas, and hope you did, as well. It was a small, quiet affair, just me, the husband and the boy. December was filled with Christmas stitching and fun.

 Stitched by me, for me

One piece I stitched for myself was Atalie’s Decembre 2007 biscornu. I finished it fairly early in December, but I was waiting for the ornament from Wendy and didn’t get around to posting a picture. I like the teeny beads in the same color as the tree’s ornaments on the seam. I originally planned to cover some wooden beads with the red beads and attach them to the top “corners.” I didn’t bc I decided the shape wasn’t quite right. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. If I’d thought they would work, I would have kept trying until I was satisfied. I admit I’m sort of glad I didn’t like it, haha.

Decembre 2007 Biscornu by Atalie 12.10

Vitals:
Decembre 2007 biscornu, designed by Martine Viard Ligier  of Atalie.
Stitched on 32-ct Little Boy Blue linen w provided silk fibers.

I also stitched myself an ornament from the 1998 JCS Ornament issue. The plan was to finish before the Night Before Christmas, but I came down with a HumBug. It wasn’t the kind where you don’t have Christmas spirit, but the one where you are sick. I was so fatigued. At one point I sat down to stitch the girl’s hair, and only got in two stitches before I stopped. I snapped to several minutes later. I’d been staring into space, about to doze off. It was after Christmas before I managed to finish. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it as an ornament or a flat fold. We’ll see what inspiration I get.

Night Before Christmas 12.10

This was a lot of fun to stitch. The dark blue night wasn’t even tedious. No, really! It took forever, but I didn’t mind. I’ve admired this for so long. I feel so lucky to have it! I’m so goofy. 😉

Vitals:
Night Before Christmas by Birds of a Feather as appeared in JCS Ornament issue, 1998.
Stitched on 32-ct Shell linen instead of Raw linen and with recommended fibers except the following substitutions: GAST Soot instead of WDW Charcoal, GAST Mistletoe instead of WDW Emerald, WDW Peach Fuzz for WDW Mexicali,DMC 4240 for WDW Navy, CC Lettuce Leaf for WDW Aqua, and WDW White Lightning in Santa’s beard and WDW Icicle for GAST Oatmeal.

Here’s a snippet of my lovely stitchy Christmas:

In addition to the pieces I stitched for myself, you can see my stitchy gifts and the card Wendy made me for our exchange. The pink fabric is the nearly impossible to find 24-ct congress cloth in rose. Had I known “rose” meant pink, I don’t think I would have been so nervous about getting the “just right” fabric (canvas). The husband was told that congress cloth isn’t made anymore, as it’s too fine for needlepoint. He managed to find a supply about 40 miles from home at Homestead Needlearts. Apparently, Theresa is rolling in congress cloth. She had to check to make sure she had a big enough piece of rose, but she was enthusiastic when she said she has congress cloth. Hooray! and Huzzah! for the husband. Now I can begin Bargello Symphony. I’m excited and a bit nervous. You can see I also got two Shepherd’s Bush kits–the new Merry Be pincushion and the Take Joy kit, along with the box that Take Joy is designed to go in. The box is hinged. The way it’s painted, I thought it was metal. It’s not. 😀 I also got a gift certificate from The Rocking Horse, my favorite LNS. That’s it on top of the congress cloth–they slip the certificate into a giant die-cut flos bobbin wound with different colors of yarn. How fun!

The other stitched piece you see is a gift from my dear friend, Jay. She stitched this for her mother many years ago. It’s Christiana Campbell’s in Williamsburg, VA. Jay told me her mother loved the tavern, especially the oyster stew and huge checkerboard napkins. I’ve only been to Williamsburg once, and never visited the tavern. If I make it to Williamsburg again, I’ll make a point of visiting Christiana Campbell’s. Jay has been slowly parting with her late mother’s things, and thought I would appreciate the gift. She was right. Thank you, Jay.

In the interest of full-disclosure, and too keep a reminder for myself, I share a picture of my bead-covered bead misstep.

I need to get my goals for next year organized. If I should refrain from posting until after the New Year, please have yourself a safe and festive New Year. I hope to see you next year. Happy stitching. 🙂