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. 🙂

Stashing, not stitching

I haven’t had much stitching mojo.  I’ve mentioned it before, but now something else is aggravating the blahs.  I got a new toy, and it’s sort of an obsession.  I have missed stitching despite not getting anything done. I recently went to my LNS to browse and get inspiration.  It worked a little bit.  I started stitching, but I keep going back to my  apps.  I have been stashing a lot more than I should lately.  Here’s a picture of a little bit of what I’ve accumulated.  I have embarrassed myself by the total of what I’ve acquired.  I shall remain on the Nile by refusing to show you everything.  Besides, I can’t show you everything, b/c it hasn’t all arrived yet.  Yeah, that’s it.

 stash 10 13 425

I’ll stitch all of these tomorrow, because I’m that amazing.  Um.  Yeah.

I have managed to make a bit of progress on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow:

shores wip 10 13 425

That pink lovely in the corner is my Dell Mini.  Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink! it makes me squeal (silently, fortunately for the masses).  This block is a design that seems intimidating and overwhelming, and is simultaneously fun to work on.  The intimidating part makes it easy to forgo for iPhone fun, alas.

I started a new project on Tuesday, because having too much to do never prevented any stitcher worth their salt from starting something new.  I was itching to stitch something autumnal.  This is what I chose from my existing stash, not my new stash:


Pumpkin Harvest kit, a store exclusive from my LNS, The Rocking Horse.  They have quite a few adorable designs.  Go check them out.  It’s OK.  I’m not going anywhere.  I’ll wait.

I don’t have a progress picture.  I haven’t made much progress as yet.

Before we went to San Diego for the summer, the boy made an Etsy purchase of an amigurumi werewolf doll from a seller in the Phillippines.  It never got forwarded to us, but returned to her instead.  She sent it back, and it arrived yesterday.  His name is Huey, the boy adores him, and already the wolfeh has stolen something from me! 

huey sits on chair

Huey is so cute!

When I told the boy that Huey may sit in my chair, but the wolfeh does not have license to move it, he reminded me that I “need” to make him a chair yet.  Nag, nag, nag.  Yeah, that’s going to happen next week. Not.

Time to get back to stitching.  Or bed, considering the time.  Maybe I’ll watch Project Runway again.

Happy Holidays…

So, um, Merry Christmas!  Early…late…your choice. 🙂  I stitched this piece in 2006, assembled it last autumn, and finally, finally attached trim to it this week!  I used DMC specialty fibers for fun.  You know how they say they heart wants what it wants?  Well, so does the imagination.  My brain forced me to use boa yarn for the trim.  Bossy cow, that brain of mine.  I’m glad I listened.  The boy wanted me to use a traditional trim, but the brain said, “No.”  I think it’s more fun this way, and doesn’t highlight the lopsidedness of the ornament.  I thought for sure I measured and cut the board symmetrically–front and back, yes.  Each side, not so much.  Truth:  it bugs me that it’s not even.  Bigger truth: it doesn’t bug me so much that I started over again.  I think my camera’s beginning to fail.  I don’t seem to be able to get sharp pictures lately.

loopity tree ornament finished 02.09

Loopity Tree Ornament, designed by Twisted Oaks from the 2005 JCS Ornament issue.
Stitched on 28-ct white evenweave with DMC Color Variations, Fluorescent (bird) and Light Effects (tree).  I made a counting error and was able to fit my initials on the tree.  Happy accident.

Continuing in the holiday theme, today I received a new chart from Monique of My Mark Designs.  I ordered it from her Etsy shop, and she included a mystery skein of Vikki Clayton’s silk.  Thank you, Monique! 🙂


If I don’t get back here before Saturday, Happy Valentine’s Day!  ♥ ♥

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.

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday!  The boy and I  took a very early flight to San Diego today.  It was a day of firsts for traveling today.   We had a theme-park experience at the Detroit airport.  I usually fly Northwest, but today we took Delta.  The walk to the Delta concourse was very entertaining.   Coming down the escalator, we saw a huge blue circle on the floor.  Then we could hear electronic music.  It was evocative of space and underwater exploration.  The walls resembled water, but there were bright colors that changed in time with the music.  It was like getting out of the heat in a long theme park ride line and entering the building to begin the attraction experience.  Who knew an airport could be so exciting?  We took a very small plane to Cincinatti, where we walked down stairs to get off the plane instead of using a jetway.  Very retro.  The boy was impressed.  For the flight to San Diego, we were assigned the last row, which turned out to be a bonus.  The flight wasn’t completely full, and the boy and I each had three seats to ourselves.  BONUS!  We squandered the room by napping.  “Mom, it was a day of firsts!”  Indeed.  Everything that could have gone wrong, didn’t go wrong.  Happy Birthday to me. :o)  I suppose the worst part  is that the husband had to go to work, but meh.  We’re together.


This is my birthday card from the boy.  I was going to upload a photo of my gift, but I can’t find the husband’s USB cord.  *sigh*  I purposely didn’t bring any of my extra USB cords, b/c my sweetheart had one at his apartment.  grr.  Maybe he’ll find it, and I can upload pics tomorrow.  Or I’ll get him his own USB cord.   


This is my birthday present to me, bought on clearance from ABC Stitch Therapy.  I’ve admired her for a long time, but she was too rich for my blood.  Now she’s mine.  I have plans for her, which knowing my track record, should only take a few years to finish.

Now, everyone celebrate!

An improvement

Last weekend, we braved the rain to drive to Midland, MI, where we purchased a trikke for our son.   The dealer assembled it for us, and since it was going to take awhile, he suggested we go to the mall for an hour or so.  We left the boy there to practice and took off.  We’re not mall wanderers, so I suggested an adventure.  There is a cross-stitch store listed on the Hoffman site not too far from here!  Let’s go see if it’s still there.  The husband didn’t mind, and off we went.  It was there. 🙂

The Stitching Well in Bay City, MI (No website).

It was a very big store–a converted house, I believe.  It had some yarn, some needlepoint, a framing section, a room for Christmas, a room for samplers, a room for animals, Mirabilia in a hallway (which led to a necessary bathroom), and fiber, fiber, fiber!!  When the husband asked if I’d be OK if he left me there, I told him I’d manage.  Truth is, I had to cut short my leisurely investigation.  I enjoyed myself tremendously. 

Remember my picture of the completed Dandelion Clock?  And how I used dark gray Wisper thread b/c I didn’t want to go to my LNS to acquire a new color of Wisper b/c I’d spend too much money?  Well, lucky me, I got to spend too much money at a brand-new LNS and get a new color of Wisper!!  Here’s a shot of the stash I got, including a new skein of Wisper.

This week I frogged the gray Wisper and replaced it with the yummy, new stuff.  I do believe it was worth the too much spending. 😉

An improvement, yes?  Now I need to decide if I’m going to get it framed, or if I’ll incorporate some of our pet hamsters into the finished product.  I finished this just days before our beloved Ridley, father to our babies, died (9-13-08).  He was also the inspiration for the tail-stubbing of this design.

Watermelon on the brain


So I’m stitching this nearly-finished Karate Project, and I’m struck by how much this color combination looks like a watermelon.  Watermelon on the brain, that’s what it is.   I’ve also learned the danger of taking macro photos: I have spotted an area where I didn’t meet the previous row’s holes, leaving more linen “seeds” than there should be.  I *hate* knowing that.  I’m not going to re-stitch it, but I *hate* knowing.  ETA: Hmmm…maybe not.  Maybe the tension is too a bit tight there. 

 In the car today, the boy and I were talking about Fairly Odd Parents, and some YouTube silliness, and he asked me if I’m secretly a 4-year-old.  I told him, no, I’m secretly nine. 😀 

I got stash in the mail today.  When I opened it, the boy asked me why I got a pattern of Princess Peach.  Um…she’s pretty?  And I’m secretly nine.

{Queen of Hearts by Ewe & Eye & Friends}

Holy Cow!

Did you see this??

I totally snagged this photo from ABC Stitch Therapy.  Here’s the gory details:

After I’d basted the fabric for The Cat’s Whisker’s first chair, I was thinking I wish I’d chosen a different color than the original design.  It’s not because I don’t like the original’s colors; I do.  It’s that once I started stitching, I started thinking maybe I might want something reddish or pinkish.  I love Dinky Dyes’ Raspberry Ripple.  I was guessing, heck, I was SURE, there was going to be a new chair, and LOOK!  I love these colors.  They’re similar to the colors I was wishing I’d chosen for the chair I’m stitching now.  What’s a stitcher to do?  Be glad I’ve only basted and stitched a tiny bit, and start over?  Yeah, maybe I should.  You might be right.  I’ll have to think about this a little bit.  Green fabric?  Ivory?  Blue? Something else?  Hm…

Oh, I’m a sucker for this.  LOOK at that parasol, will you?  *swoon*

Christmas Goodies

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We did around here.  My gift was tickets to see Wicked in Chicago in February!  Squeee!

I participated in an ornament exchange on Yahoo’s Bent Creek and Trilogy group.  Here’s the lovely ornament Nancy stitched for me:
Ornament from Nancy 12.07
It’s all over one.  Note the perfect lazy daisy stocking hanger (just to point out one feature of the beautiful stitching).

Here it is on my tree:
ornie from Nancy on tree 12.07

If I’d been more clever, I’d have made a point of including the pretty Santa ornament Melita stitched for me in July in the picture.   They aren’t very far from each other.  Alas, I’m not more clever. But, here’s a clickable thumbnail to remind you:
Santa from Melita 06.07

Here’s the ornament I stitched for Renee:
Ornament for Renee front/back 12.07
Bad pictures, sorry.  It’s Star of Wonder by Forgets-Me-Nots in Stitches, from the 2001 JCS ornament issue.  The fabric is lighter yellow than the model, and I changed the stitching colors b/c Renee said she likes those colors.  I like her colors, too, don’t you?

I also got some yummy stash!

Two charts from the French company, Tournicoton (now being carried by Down Sunshine Lane! *clap, clap*),  and a Kelmscott Needleminder, fabric to stitch GPA’s A Canadian Journey Sewing Necessaire, a French book of motifs and a book on temari! *sigh*  I love temari, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a finished piece! LOL 😀

Here’s a toast for all of you, wishing you a very Happy New Year!


For a spur-of-the-moment trip, Hershey and CATS was fun!  It’s a shame it was their last show. 😦

I got to see stitched models of a few Cat’s Whiskers designs.  Some of them are bigger than I expected, especially the Peacock Stitching Chair and Feed My Soul Stitches. The Peacock Stitching Chair was especially surprising.  I’ve seen completed projects here and there online, and never got a sense of its size.

At the Silver Needle booth, I saw a beautiful WIP of Threads of Gold’s 1724 MH Sampler, which made me wish I was done with all of my WIPs so’s I could start it!

At the Sweetheart Tree booth, Dave Vanosdall told me they’re starting a biscornu series in January. WooHoo!  He showed me notes on one design of kitties, with notes about adding paws to them–for the bottom piece of the biscornu?  Can’t exactly remember.  And she’s on the lookout for a mousie button!  They’re going to be sooo cute, I just know it.

At the Brit Stitch booth, I got Michael Powell’s Fairy Castle kit for $45.  Considering it’s not on their site, and it’s listed for $56 at Rose Cottage Needle Arts (whose booth I didn’t manage to visit–too crowded)  it’s $54 at ABC Stitch Therapy and $74 at Stitching Bits and Bobs, I think I got quite a deal.  Score!  I have wanted this kit for a long time.  I don’t like it as much as his Pots of Love, but then, I don’t like a lot of things as much as that.

I spent too much money at Chocolate World, and I don’t care. 😛

Motif Love

I got this wonderful French book in the mail this week.  It’s chock-full of wonderful motifs.  Some are borders, some are corners, some are floral, some are animals.  Over half are ideal for biscornus. *SIGH*  I’ve been drooling over the designs for a couple of days.  I hemmed and hawed about buying it.  At $44, it was a steep price point.  Now I’ve got it, though, I’m simply thrilled.  There are so many appealing and charming motifs.  I wish I had ideas and time for all of them.

So me.

Like I would try to resist.  Lynne Nicoletti makes very creative designs.  This one, however, was a must.  I pre-ordered it from Down Sunshine Lane; I can’t wait to get it!

               fortuneteller.jpg           insidefortuneteller.jpg

I was wondering about the Aida fabric requirement.  I’m glad I read her Design Diary for this piece, especially the part where she mentions her failure with a too-floppy fabric.  I love that she publishes some of her design’s journeys.  Now I have to order some Aida.  Or go to the LNS and get some after I get the chart.  Yeah.  That’s it.  A trip to the LNS is always fun. :o)

It’s the Stash Man…

OK, it’s the postman, but if I wanna call him the stash man, why argue?  Here’s what he gave me:  


I am soo excited about the Peacock Chair, I can’t even say how much.  This chair is so adorable, so unique.  And it’s the first in a series!  So I could end up with a complete living room of stitchy furniture!  Heaven, I tell you.  Heaven.

 I love making things out of things I’ve stitched.  I think it’s a satisfying combination of my love of stitching and my love of crafting.  And I love feeling like I’ve nurtured a project from beginning to end.