Merry Be

I had an urge for something new. This project won. The model looks like so. I didn’t care for the fabric included in the kit, so I went stash diving and came up with 28-ct. Country French Wheaten. I’d gotten a bit of two stockings and then the branch when I decided I didn’t like the size. It was too big. I plan to make an ornament rather than a pincushion, and it seemed huge. I also realized that the light color for the right stocking was nearly the same color as the fabric. I frogged the stitching. I was too lazy/impatient to look for a new fabric, so I decided to stitch over one. I switched out the creamy color for NPI white. It was handy in my Shores WIP. Easy choice. I’ve been anti-word stitching lately. It’s weird, because I might ordinarily tell you I enjoy stitching words. Not lately. Hence, no “Merry Merry Be” atop the branch, but a couple of extra stitched stars. I wonder if my “None of the Words” mood is why I’m procrastinating the last two blocks on Shores? I could have used the star button that came with the kit, but I didn’t want to. I had to change a couple of the specialty stitches due to the over one stitching. The berries are French knots instead of Smyrna crosses. The squares in the right stocking are Smyrna crosses instead of the modified Rhodes stitches that were charted. I also omitted the Quaker star motif and the bottom of the design. Just felt like it. I really liked the trees, but I don’t love sheep the way the Shepherd’s Bush gals do. It felt done. As my son enjoys saying, “I’m not even sorry!” 😀

From Cross Stitch 2012

Merry Be Pincushion kit by Shepherd’s Bush. Stitched 1 over 1 on 28-ct. Country French Wheaten with floss supplied in kit, except for the cream color. NPI white was substituted. Adaptations were made due to its size and my mood.

Who knows, I might even finish it into an ornament before Christmas. Heh.

Happy Stitching! 🙂

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

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. 😉

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. 🙂

Catching up

I discovered facebook just before Christmas, and new ways to waste time.  Unfortunately, my blog suffered.  I’ve missed it.

I’m going to start with the good stuff: a Christmas surprise! A while back, I posted about my love at first sight for a pair of scissors by Kelmscott designs.  It went on my wish list straight away, and there it stayed.  Until–My father read my blog and ordered them for me!  Talk about the magic of Christmas!  I didn’t even think to mention these scissors to anyone.  Happy, happy, joy, joy! 🙂


It wasn’t the only stitchy gift I received, but it won this year’s prize for most bestest surprise.  Such a treat.  You think you’re too old for this stuff, and then you find out you’re wrong.

I started a new project on New Year’s Day: Patty Parsley by Carriage House Samplings.  I started stitching it over one on 28-ct. black fabric.  An insane choice.  Stitching on black is hard enough, I have to try to do it over one?  I think I’m going back to my original choice: over two on 40-ct.  Another mistake was using floss that was too long.  It stretched out and looks ugly, which, thankfully, you can’t discern in this photo. Here’s what I managed to stitch on New Year’s Day:

Patty Parsley wip 01-01-09

In my Meme for the New Year post, I mentioned that I’ve started Missing You by Prairie Moon.  I lamented my fabric choice.  Sharon mentioned in her comment to the post that she’s interested in seeing my color choices.  Sorry to keep you waiting so long, Sharon.  I have no excuse.  I haven’t managed to take a good picture, unfortunately.  I’m stitching it on Lavender Bliss, and I think it’s too stark, especially with the mustard-colored floss (whose proper name escapes me at the moment) in the center of the sun and cross.  I wish I had a better picture.  It does look better in natural light than under my daylight lamp, but I’m not loving it.  I think I’d be better off with a more standard neutral color.


This picture isn’t very sharp or well-lighted.  It looks better in the photo than IRL.

Last year I began working on the Carriage House Alphabet Blocks.  I plan to stitch each as  a pillow ornament.  Yes, I’m stitching front and back.  Yes, I’m mad, mad I tell you!  This is what I accomplished last year, sometime in July.  I don’t believe I posted this picture on the blog.


For the rest of this month, I’ve been working on D, E and F.  I started getting sick of it.  Every time I’d start stitching, I’d think, “Yes, but what I really want to stitch is PINK!”  So I found something pink and finished it last weekend.  I’m not sure I’m over my need for pink.  I’ve been making very slow progress on the alphabet blocks.  Creeping along, stitch by stitch.

New Love by Blackbird Designs:
New Love 01.09

Stitched one over one on 32-ct. Bo Peep Linen using WDW Romance floss.

Next time (maybe even tomorrow!) I’ll share the wonderfulness that is my son, and how it shone today.

Angel on high

My mother always made Norman Rockwell Christmases.  Mad Skilz, I’m telling you.

For my tree, I’ve had a few toppers over the years.  Mostly stars, as I recall, because I love stars.  I never had anything that I felt attached to, that simply must top my tree until a few years ago.  My mother had two angel dolls in her china cabinet that I admired.  Once, she told me if I was good, she’d make me one.  She forgot about the promise (or I wasn’t good? *gasp*).   When I asked her about it again, she told me she would definitely make me one.  She didn’t.

She sent me her angels.  She was decluttering her home on a massive scale, and I don’t think she was well enough to bother making a new angel.  My forever tree topper is now one of these angels.   I look forward to stuffing a tree branch up her dress every year.  I’m reminded of the best of my mother when I see that angel.

This year, the boy had one item on his Wish List.  Well, three, but they’re all related to the main item: a Sony PSP.  I wrapped a couple of presents for him to shake.  One is tube-shaped.  It’s driving him bonkers.  He can’t imagine what it might be.  I told him I got him a PSP, took it out of the box, and put it in the tube.  He doesn’t believe me, but I know he wants it to be true.  In our home, we open one present on Christmas Eve.  I know what he’ll be opening tonight!

Last night, I told him my best Christmas Eve present story.  I was an adult, visiting my mother.  There was a small, oddly shaped present under the tree for me.  I was sooo curious.  Was it the small size?  The odd shape?  I don’t know.  I could not imagine what it might be.   When it was time to open our presents, that was the one I chose.  It was a pair of embroidery scissors!  It was the bestest ever!  I never, ever came close to guessing.

Tonight, we’ll learn if the tube has a PSP, embroidery scissors, or something else.  It’s going to be so fun.  And my mother will be there.


I wish all of you a Merry Christmas.