Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Plans

It's that time of year to think about what we're stitching next year. I'm going to try and keep my new starts to a minimum, but I would like to start something new this weekend. A lot of stitchers have a New Year's Day tradition, but I'll likely start on December 31st because of how the weekend is this year. :)

It's been a busy holiday season, but I have a decent update on AAN's Spider Banner. Here's where it was a few months ago:

And now:

I have a few plans for 2017 too. I'm going to try and stick with ideas I planned out in October in this post. The first week of the month will be for BAPs/HAEDs, and that includes any partial weeks to start the month. I'm debating about what to work on first in January. I would like a new start, so I think I might pull out one of my new HAEDs. 

or maybe this older one. 
I won the chance to buy Realgar fabric from Chromatic Alchemy and I think this would look really good with this one and take out a huge chunk of the stitching, maybe 2/5? 

I chose a couple nice hand-dyed fabrics for the others as well, so I'm not sure which one will get the call tomorrow. All three need some background removal sort of... so I'll have to figure that out tonight. 

The second week of the month will be for SALs. I have the frog SAL from KLT Charting, the Fantasy SAL from Lakeside Needlecraft that I'm stitching with Kate, plus the Under the Sea one from Lakeside that I haven't purchased yet, and the See Ya Later Alligator SAL from Jodyri Designs. I think that's it, although I'm thinking about trying to stitch a small monthly design to send to my Grandma, and ideally it should only take 1-2 days, so this might be a good place to put that project too. 

I haven't decided if I'm going to stitch the monthly patterns from Palko-Lap, or maybe some Durene Jones designs. I bought a few several from her Etsy store, but most of them are Xmas-themed. :)

The third week will be WIPs, and I currently have slightly over 50...!!! But 2 are really small and almost done, so I'm saying 49 real, will take multiple days, WIPs. I have 3 focus WIPs to complete first:

AAN Spider Banner - see above

Somebunny to Love - aiming for Valentine's Day

and letters S,H, and G:

That takes us to the 4th week of the month and that will be anything I want. I already have a few new starts I'm interested in, and I'm not sure if I'll start one in January or not, depending on how well Somebunny is going by the end of week 3. 

Here are some of the new starts I'm considering:

Stained Glass Butterflies - Cross Stitch Gold December 2016

I have a piece of fabric called Bridget's Garden from Chromatic Alchemy that almost matches the background. That would make it a little faster. Plus, DH dislikes the purple border, so I'll try and do blue on the border like the blue butterfly. 

Bugs for DD - Cross Stitch Crazy February 2017:

Moon Hare - WOXS Sept/Oct 2015

So no set plans, no marathon of starts, mostly working to get my WIP pile down in 2017 and not buy too much more stash. I'd like to organize what I have and start printing some of the digital files to put in binders as a backup copy. 

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year! 


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Objective Complete!

As the time wound down, I wasn't sure if I could Autumn/Christmas Elegance fully finished into a pillow and At Our House as a cube finish. But I did! 

I managed to complete At Our House on Sunday and then spent Monday and Tuesday finishing it into this:

I used a large piece of styrofoam and stainless steel pins and pinned the stitching over some felt padding, then some dark brown fabric to the back. I also used a brown ribbon to hide the join. I tried to make a peaked roof like Jo had suggested, but I didn't have any stiff card and couldn't quite figure out how to make it work. I think they'll be happy with it anyway. I even remembered to sign it! 

Last night I really wasn't sure if I'd have time to finish Autumn/Christmas Elegance because I had to make sure everything else was wrapped and organized. Plus our computer system died at work and DH dropped everything to come and fix it, fortunately my parents were here and could babysit! He was at work until 10pm, and I had to drive back and get him then. But I used this tutorial when we came home and managed to complete the pillow in about 30 minutes. 

For whatever reason, I found that tutorial made everything click into place for me. I often find I lose focus with all the steps included in some tutorials, but this one was perfect for me. 

I did a fairly decent job on the seams of the envelope closing. One is a little better than the other, and that is the inside one. :)

Thank you so much for all your encouragement and suggestions, it really helps!

And Happy Holidays and Happy Stitching everyone!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Advent Calendar Blog Hop Day 16

Thanks for visiting and joining in Jo's Advent Calendar Blog Hop this year! I've been thinking about what I want to post all month since I posted an Xmas one for Jo's Birthday Blog Hop it was tough to find something I hadn't already posted about on my blog. 

I included this in a multiple photo top ten post about 18 months ago, so hopefully it will seem newish to most of you!

Angelic Melody - completed in 2012: 

This was one of the largest finishes I'd had at the time. It's 11x15 and was gifted to my MIL. The metallics weren't too bad to deal with, and neither was the fabric too stiff even though this is a Dimensions kit. I was really happy to have completed it. My cording could use work, but hey, first time for everything!

And Jo's question this year is: Decorations - do you have a favourite decoration you must have on display every year, maybe an heirloom, one the children made or something with a special story behind it?

The only decoration I have that is always out is a stocking knitted by my Grandma. She made one for each grandchild way back while I was in undergrad and each one has a different design. Then she knitted one for our significant others, and for our children. She actually has knit 2 for DD because she forgot she had made one. I think that's about 17 total? They all get hung up when the Xmas decorations go up, then filled on Xmas Eve. :) 

Happy Holidays everyone!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - December Edition

I made it all the way through the year! And I mostly posted on time, so I'm pretty impressed with that as well. It's been really fun meeting new bloggers and crafters and I always enjoy reading your GG posts. 

For the last time this year, GG is the brainchild of the brainy Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. There's a link-up on her GG post and you can check out everyone's gifted and shoe-horned stitching. :) 

Since the last GG post I've managed to fully finish the Song of the Weather hardanger lapghan and given it to my Grandma:

I'm well ahead on At Our House by LK:

I'm showing 2 photos so you can see the whole thing so far. There are 2 more lines of text under the dark blue squares and that's it! I think I can finish on the weekend and get it finished-finished by Thursday to give it to the recipient. 

Rejoice Tree is fully finished as well as a cube style finish:

And that's all I have to show stitching wise. However, I was gifted a few charts in the after Thanksgiving HAED sale, and I need to figure out how to start these 3 next year:
 Mini Autumns Promise
 Mini Among the Cherry Blossoms
Mini Computer Catastrophes

I think I can figure out a way to start all of these. I'm thinking I can remove the background on the 2 dragon ones and use a hand-dyed fabric and that will work perfectly! Plus I will probably tent stitch because I need to get an HAED finished some day! 

I hope you've all had a great month and I hope Jo feels up to doing this again next year. Thanks for being an awesome host Jo!

Happy Stitching,


Friday, December 9, 2016

Finally Friday!

It's been another busy week for me and I hope it hasn't been too busy for the rest of you!

I have some progress on At Your House, and I'm over halfway done. I didn't quite get it finished by the end of this week as I was hoping, but I'm well on the way. I have to work tomorrow, but not Sunday, so there's still some hope I'll get it complete over the weekend. 

I have a little more completed, but I haven't taken a new photo yet. Things at work have been busy, so I've been stitching and stitching and then go straight to bed. It's so nice to have stitching as a release valve! I'm really looking forward to finally a day off on Sunday. I'm also getting 4 days off over Xmas, so I also can't wait for that break. 

I think right now I'm going with getting At Our House complete and one Frosty Friend before Xmas. I still need to put the bargello pillow together and I'll need to decide how to finish this one as well. I was wondering what you all thought about a vertical pillow? Versus a framed piece. The recipients tend not to get around to hanging things very quickly. 

Have a good weekend, and thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last post!

Happy Stitching,


Friday, December 2, 2016

Catching Up and Xmas Plans

Thank you for all your great comments on my Rejoice Tree finish. Grandma liked it, although a lot of people weren't sure what it was? They had laid it down sideways one time when I went to visit Grandma after I had set it up correctly. Hopefully they know now. 

And the blanket was successfully fully finished in good time. I will admit to still tying knots in the fringe on our way to our friends house, but that was still a good 3 days early. :)

Here's the finish:

It wasn't difficult to do the fringe, you only have to remove the horizontal threads on each side, then tie the vertical threads in knots. If you try this yourself, have 4 inches or so to make it easy on yourself!

Sewing the black fabric on the back so it didn't fray too much wasn't terribly difficult, but a little scary for me since it was my first "real" project for someone else. One seam was really teeny, but we managed to complete the seams without destroying the hardanger squares or the afghan, so that's something!

I'm not showing photos because it's not pretty, but it doesn't have to be, it's the back! and black on black stitching, so you'd have to really work to see it anyway.. I hope.

Grandma modeling her new lap-ghan. :)

I managed to get a decent amount of work done on At Our House as well. This is the mostly updated photo:

I'm working on the upper part/page 1 first and I'm a little farther ahead than this photo, but I haven't had a chance to take a new photo since we got back, or time to stitch. I'm also fighting off a cold, so haven't been up to much in the evenings. 

It's really fun to stitch, although since I have to hold my Qsnaps in hand I have to be careful not to stitch too long or my left hand cramps up from holding the frame. 

That meant I switched out and worked on my other travel piece as well:

This should be an easy finish with another hour or so to work on it. 

I also brought along my Frosty Friends, but I only did a line or so on one of them, so not much to show there. My Xmas goal is to finish all 6 of them. We'll see if that happens. ;)

Does anyone else like Advent calendars? It was a tradition in my house when I was growing up and we're rejuvenating it for DD again this year. I think she'll get into it a little more than she did last year. 

Kate was amazing and sent me some Moo Free advent calendars from the UK! Their chocolate is so good compared to what dairy free stuff I can find here. 

There is one missing as of last night. It was too early this morning to have my chocolate, so it will wait until I get home. DH and DD have one too, plus DD has a Thomas the Tank Engine one from her grandparents. I hope she enjoys it!

I think this post is long enough for now, hope you all had good weeks!

Happy Stitching,


Monday, November 21, 2016

A Fully Finished Object and a New Start

It's been a very busy week, as my lack of posts likely indicates. I have managed to fully finish Rejoice Tree after discarding several methods of finishing and sort of making up my own. 

Instead of a cube finish, I ended up using a large piece of styrofoam and I kind of made up my own finish. I didn't find a good sized ribbon to use, and since I had purchased stainless steel pins, I decided I liked how it looked all pinned up. 

What do you think?

close up of the pins

Thank you for all your comments on my decision regarding Vermont and At Our House for my co-worker. As most of you mentioned, cross stitching is about something we enjoy, and I unexpectedly received the chart just in time for Xmas, and since I had first seen it I had though of stitching it for him and his family. 

Therefore, Vermont will go back in the WIP file and I started on At Our House, even though the fabric was all wrinkled and necessitated a little washing. 

Here's the model stitch again:
My floss toss:

The colours are pretty similar, but I'm using a dark purple (WDW Taffeta) instead of brown for the lettering. I'm not a huge fan of brown in general, so I tend to change it out. 

As I said, I even made a start!

And then I decided I should be good and iron it, so I tried, and tried, and tried, and tried, and finally decided to throw it in the washer. The fabric is hand-dyed, but colour fast, so I wrapped it in a towel and washed it with a very little bit of laundry detergent. The detergent we use is free of scents, dyes, etc. 

It came out really well! I was always terrified to try this, but those creases were impossible!!!

I wish I'd taken photos, but it's flat now, and that's the important thing. I've also learned a valuable lesson in ironing first, before stitching, no matter how impatient I am. Especially if it will be a gift for someone else. :)

This is not a new photo, but I also finished the stitching around the squares on the Song of the Weather hardanger afghan! The only difference is the blank areas are filled in, so I didn't bother with another photo. 

The plan now is to use my sewing machine to do a quick stitch on the black fabric I've stitched the afghan to and keep the edge from fraying. I hope to manage that tonight and then tomorrow I can finish the edge of the afghan itself. 

To make sure I'm up to the task I practiced with my sewing machine over the weekend and I made a project bag. I loosely used The Twisted Stitcher's tutorial here. I didn't have the right size of interface to put between my fabric, so I only used fabric. I forgot to take a photo, but I had some longish fabric and I managed to make a project bag large enough to store my two scroll frames, so it works! And it was great practice. 

DH is actually a lot more comfortable with the sewing machine than I am since he took Home Ec. and I took Parenting (easy credit). He was able to teach me a lot of the finer details. 

Wish me luck and thank you for all your wonderful comments!

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - November Edition and Some Help Please!

Here we are at our second-last or penultimate Gifted Gorgeousness link-up! I have always loved that word and its iterations, like anti-penultimate, which is 3rd last. :) I think it keeps adding "anti"s after that, so 4th last is anti-anti-penultimate, etc. 

Hosted as always by the marvelous Jo aka "speedy needles" for her finishes this year (okay, that's maybe my inner voice talking) this is our monthly showcase for all the things we've worked on that are somehow related to gifts. So if we're giving them to someone or have received them for someone or it's a free pattern and therefore a "gift" from the designer, however you can shoehorn your work in, go for it! 

My summary since last month is:

Halloween Monster, a FFO!

Halloween Bat by Durene Jones, free from her Facebook page
Somebunny - for DD

I feel like somehow Somebunny looks like a weird ghost Goofy right now, but it will get completed for Xmas. I was disappointed to not get finished by the weekend, but I had to spend 2 nights on photo orders for Xmas gifts and they had to be done last week or they wouldn't be delivered on time, so not much I could do about it.

DD doesn't really know or care at this point either, but I'm a little disappointed in myself. 

Song of the Weather Hardanger Lap Afghan

for individual photos check the 2015 Completions tab

Almost done! I just have 4 more bands to attach to the backing, then either YouTube or DH will help me figure out how to use my sewing machine to make the backing a little prettier. Then I hope to make a fringed outer perimeter. You pull out out all the horizontal threads, then sort of tie the vertical ones together. Fingers crossed I can pull it off before I go visit my Grandma. She turned 93 yesterday... 93! 

If you're a follower you know she's had a lot of issues this year, and currently she's dealing with some severe back pain. They don't know if it's stress fractures or neuropathic, but they've upped her pain meds. Of course that has other side effects and my cousins and I are trying to prepare ourselves that she may not have much longer, but I don't think it will matter. We're going to be wrecks. 

She has been the most meaningful family member in my life. Always there, always willing to interact with us, fiercely protective of us, to the point where one day when my Grandpa said something she thought could be misconstrued she made him call me to apologize! Wow.. She's knitted I don't know how many amazing sweaters for us, taught me how to knit, just an amazing person. She's given so much of herself to so many people. I even made DD's middle name the same as hers, only turns out she's always hated it!! She's always had a great sense of humour too, and has kept it even though she's in pain pretty much every day right now. 

So I'd also like to finish off Rejoice Tree for her as an Xmas present. I'm debating about a cube finish that could be put on a table since apparently it's hard to get anything hung up in her nursing home. 

Last thing is, I kind of dislike working on Vermont.. and I'm debating about a new start. Your advice, as always, is appreciated! This is Vermont:

and this is the new start I'm considering:

A friend on the Cross Stitch Forum was de-stashing and passed along the chart. I'd always thought of stitching this for my co-worker's family and now I own it! I don't know if I have the fabric, but I might have something similar. I'm also expecting my FOTM from Chromatic Alchemy (new website, check it out, wish lists!) which is Florin and might work well for this pattern if it's large enough. 

I wanted to change the lettering colour anyway, but I think the other elements might still work on this fabric. 

I've started Vermont, although not much:

and I haven't started the other, but it looks fairly quick. 

Suggestions are very welcome, and thank you if you made it all the way through this long post. Clearly I had some things to talk about. :)

Happy Stitching,


Halfway Through May

Here we are, halfway through May and I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath on what this month's project will be? I deci...