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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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I completed something

It’s tiny. Don’t laugh. It’s something. 425 vive noel_0001   It’s called Vive Noel. It’s a kit I got on one of my stashquisition adventures. It’s a mysterious item. It appears to be part of a series called Miniatures d’Alphabets by a French company called Alphabets. What I do know is that it’s stitched over one on 40-ct. linen with the included supplies, and I didn’t stitch the entire design for two reasons–I made some sort of counting error and my project is two stitches too narrow and I didn’t feel like dealing with figuring out where to make the compensation in the bottom portion of the design, AND it seemed done to me. This was the part of the design I was drawn to. I guess maybe I should have found a place for my initials and the year, but, meh.

Vitals: Vive Noel kit by Alphabets Stitched one over one on provided 40-ct linen

 

P.S. WordPress seems to have gotten buggy in my absence. It didn’t accept my photo opening in a new window, like it invited me to request, and then it squished everything into one paragraph. Rebellious little platform, isn’t it? 😮

Happy Stitching! 🙂

Final sharing from 2013

It’s time to clean up the hanging threads of 2013 and make sure I’ve shared everything I’ve meant to share. I’ve been a neglectful blogger this year, so I have a few pictures I haven’t yet posted.

425 bone appetit 11 13

Bone Appetit from Lizzie Kate’s Halloween Thrillogy. I finished this a few days after Halloween.

425 pieta framed 11 13

Later in November, I got Pieta framed. I took a quick picture to show my father before Christmas. He was traveling for the holidays, so I’ll be sending this off to him shortly. I never did get a better picture than this. Dad joked I should take a picture with my phone. I thought it was a good suggestion. That one wasn’t better.

After I sent Wendy her ornament, I started working on ornaments for myself that I’ve wanted to stitch for a very long time–Brightneedle’s “To Thee” stockings from JCS Ornament issues. I stitched them on 28-ct. Country Cream Vintage linen. I used all DMC for each ornament.

425 to thee love           425 to thee hope

To Thee Love, from the 2004 JCS Ornament Issue, and To Thee Hope, from the 2006 JCS Ornament Issue.

425 to thee peace 12 21 13                     425 to thee a very merry

To Thee Peace from the 2003 JCS Ornament Issue, and To Thee a Very Merry from the 2008 JCS Ornament Issue.

I rotated the colors in Peace to give her a pink dress instead of pink accents. For A Very Merry, I added the year and moved around the eyelet stitches above the year to fit. I also had fun with the eyelets. Many of them are off center.

Finally, I made progress on 272 Words by Primrose Needleworks. I’m not quite done with the first page. Instead of GAST Nutmeg for the text, I’m using soot by Nina’s Threads, which I ordered from The Thread Basket.

425 272 words 12 30 13

That does it for 2013. I’m going to participate in the Sampler World Snoot Parrots SAL 2014 on Facebook, so I’ll have another WIP very soon.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year.  Happy Stitching! 🙂

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. 🙂

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have a brown thumb, so I grow mine one stitch at a time. 😀 Here are the pieces awaiting assembly. At a quick glance, you can see the pink pieces appear to have seam allowances that are too small. If any parts are going to end up in difficulty, these are the pieces you’d predict. You’ll soon see that wasn’t the case.

425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 top diamonds  425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 middle diamonds  425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 bottom diamonds

Assembly in progress~~

425 how does your garden grow collage

The top and bottom pieces stitched together…

425 wip patchwork garden 08 06 13 chain chomp

At this stage of assembly, the boy and I agreed it looked like a Chain Chomp from Super Mario World. You might also be able to see that in addition to interface, I lined each piece with quilt batting. I had two reasons for this. First, I came across the idea on this blog while looking for photos of other stitchers’ completed balls. That post’s pictures didn’t load for me, ironically. I was intrigued by the recommendation to use batting. I’ve never had the experience with lumpy fiberfill she mentioned, but that seemed a good reason to try it. My second reason for using the batting is that I love this project so much, I wanted to prolong the experience.  Eventually, though, it was finished…

425 patchwork garden complete collage

I love it. There are a few wonky things “wrong” with it. But I love this piece so completely, I don’t even care. That’s so uncharacteristic of me. Here’s the wonkiest part~~

425 patchwork garden complete 08 06 13 top shreddy

I’m not sure how/why that happened. That’s the white fabric, which puzzlingly, had the largest seam allowances of all of the linen colors. It’s DMC brand. It had the loosest weave and was the stiffest fabric I used. The stiffness was nice for finger pressing, but something went wrong with the stuffing. I chalk it up to the loose weave. I would ordinarily flip out over this. But Fray Check is my friend, the ball is safe and I am wabi-sabi about the whole thing. As I said, uncharacteristic. Love is blind. 😉

425 patchwork garden complete 08 06 13 heart

Happy Stitching! 🙂

February Catch-up

This is what I was up to in February:
425 peace on earth finished front back 02 13

Vitals:
Peace on Earth by Victoria’s Sampler as appeared in 2011 JCS Ornaments issue. Stitched on 28-ct Cafe Mocha linen.

I love this little purse so much. It was fun to stitch.

425 think snow 02 13

Vitals:
Think Snow by Sweetheart Tree. Stitched with recommended fibers and beads on 32-ct Blue Ice linen.

I’m not going to mention how many times I’ve lost and found this chart, mmkay? I think I love the final choice of linen color, though I do occasionally wish I’d used the opalescent gray I bought for it, because it was sparkly. But the icy blue makes me happy without opalescence, so it’s all good.

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.