Thursday, January 18, 2018

WIP Wednesday

I know it's a day late, but here I am with pictures of my WIP.  I've done a self-imposed WIP Wednesday challenge for just myself.  I haven't asked anyone to join me, but I'm hoping if I do this I'll be able to get some of the bigger UFOs I have circling my stitching spot finished in this millennium.  Haha!  If anyone wants to join me, let me know.  I had a blog I started ages ago and I can get that up and running again so we can showcase our progress there!

So...this is the big one I'm working on now.  This is Sweet Nectar, it's a piece I started as a gift for my Mom.  I still hope to finish it for her...we'll see!  I started this in October 2015 when she was about to have surgery for her leg.  Gee that sounds like such a long time ago.  It's time I get this finished!!  I would say I'm a little more than half way finished.  I got a lot done yesterday, finishing up the big hummingbird, and more of the outlining on the flowers and some of the background of the plate.  I'll show before and after so you can see what I've been able to accomplish.

Here are a few close ups, this pattern is so involved, it takes a lot of time to go just a short way in the middle of all these flowers and with the hummingbird.

This week I also worked on the Serenity Prayer that Katie gave me.  I'm hoping to finish this up soon.  It shouldn't be long now!!  The fabric isn't that "pink", it's more of a cream.  It's so hard to get a good picture in my house!!  LOL

It's hermitting weekend this weekend.  I'm hoping my guys will chill this weekend and let me stitch.  Knowing them like I do, I will probably be out guys do like to keep busy!!

And now...for my friends who have been encouraging me to come out and play...I will soon!  There has been a lot on my mind, last year was pretty intense, and for now I just need a little more time to sort out  my thoughts and feelings.  I won't be hiding away forever, I just need some processing time.  Thanks for giving me the space I need!  

Monday, January 15, 2018

New Year Gifted Gorgeousness!

Happy New Year!  I know I'm a few days late, but better late than never, right?  I remember a line from an Anne of Green Gables book...each day is a new beginning with no mistakes in it.  I like the idea of turning a page and beginning again.  Here's to a new year, with no mistakes in it.  Let's hope it's a great year for all of us!

I've been busy stitching!  And everything I've been stitching falls under Gifted Gorgeousness.  If you don't know what Gifted Gorgeousness is, you can head on over to Jo's blog, Serendipitous Stitching, and you can sign up here, or see what everyone is stitching for Gifted Gorgeousness here.  I have been stitching patterns that have been given to me and  projects I am giving to others.  This is our chance to dig through our stash and honor those gifts that have been given to us, either pattern, fabric, or threads, and to showcase what we are stitching for others.

I'm going to start with a gift of pattern, fabric and floss I was given for the 12 days of Christmas last month.  I started this on Christmas day...thank you again, Marcy.  I just need a little time to finally finish it...that will be soon, I hope!

My husband gave me 9 Mill Hill kits a few years ago that made up a nativity.  I had finished Mary, Joseph, Jesus, two shepherds and an Angel two years ago, I think.  I only had 3 kings left.  I have finished two so far this year.  Here is Balthasar and Melchior.  I hope to finish Gaspar this year and finally finish them into cubes to make up another nativity to add to my collection!  Watch this space!

For Mother's Day I was given all the patterns for Summer Schoolhouse Lessons from With Thy Needle and Thread.  I tried to keep up with all the projects as they came in.  I'm happy to say, I have finished all of them!  The last three were finished in December and January.  These are being stitched on 28 count over one. 

For my Birthday I was given this kit from Katie.  She had bought it months before my Birthday and had given it to Ben to hold for her.  She wasn't able to give it to me herself as she passed the day after my Birthday, but Ben gave it to me a month later.   I started this on New Year's Day in her honor.  I've been trying to work on it at least one day a week.  This is how far I've been able to get.  I love the pattern, and she knew I loved lighthouses.  She was such a thoughtful soul...I miss her, but she is never far from my thoughts, especially when I work on this.  I swapped the fabric and am stitching this on 40 count over two.

My husband gave me all the 12 Berries of Christmas for my Birthday last year.  I finished the first three last year.  I'm determined to finish the rest  this year.  I've decided to finish the rest backwards.  So last year I finished 12 Drummers Drumming, and so far I've been able to finish 11 Pipers Piping, and 10 Lords a Leaping.  I'm hoping to finish them soon, and a friend of mine who has stitched and finished all 12, has promised to help me finally finish them....I HAVE to get stitching!!  These are being stitched on 32 count over two.

I've been working on this project for years.  This is called Sweet Nectar, it is a Dimensions kit.  It's a gift for my Mom, if I can ever get it finished!!  LOL  I've decided this is a WIP I'm going to finish this year.  I had it on a scroll frame that was heavy and cumbersome.  I recently switched it to a Q-snap frame and it's so much easier to work on.  Wish me luck...I really want to finish it this year.  It doesn't look like much progress, but I've been working on it on Wednesdays (my own self-imposed WIP Wednesday).  Mostly I've been backstitching the flowers, and this takes time!!  It really does make the flowers pop though!  This is being stitched on 36 count over two.

For my Birthday and Christmas this year I was given a few SALs.  I've fallen in love with Tempting Tangles!!  I finished my first TT SAL last year, but the other three I've been given will finish this year and possibly next.  So far I've been able to keep up with them.  

First up is Wildflower Woodland Quaker.  So far the first 9 parts have been published and I am all caught up!  It is being stitched on 40 count over two.

Second is Springtime Easter Delight and the first 10 parts have been published.  I am all caught up with this one as well!  This is being stitched on 40 count over two.

Last is Blue Poppy Learning Sampler.  So far only three parts have been published, and I just finished this up yesterday!  This one is full of specialty stitches and I'm loving it!!  It's being stitched on 32 count over two.

Last is another SAL I was given for Christmas, this one is called Through the Window by Ship's Manor.  I haven't been able to finish all the borders yet, but I was able to finish the first part that was issued January 1st.  I am doing this one over one on 28 count.

The last thing I'm going to post are two gifts I was given for Christmas.  My husband bought the patterns, the fabric and all the floss.  I'm know, I'm spoiled!!  So watch this space!  Though I haven't started them yet, I will be starting them sometime this year.  These are Tempting Tangles patterns, Creation and Before the Fall.  I can't wait to get started!!

And that's all I have to report.  Thank you, Jo, for hosting this challenge again this year.  This really helps to keep me focused and blogging, so I really appreciate your hard work to keep this going!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

Isn't that an inspiring quote?  The author is unknown.  I would have liked to meet them, I like the way they think!  

I haven't been able to finish up much lately as far as stitching goes.  Here are a few things I've worked on lately.

First is one of the Mill Hill Kits that were designed a few years back.  One year for Christmas Mike bought all the kits to make a nativity.  I finished up Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as well as two shepherds and an angel.  I had the three wise men left, and they are chock full of beads.  I guess that's why I hesitated.  But one of my goals for 2017 was to finish them all off and make cubes so I could set them up as a nativity.  This is the only one I was able to finish this year.  Only two left!  Here is Balthasar.

I am going to participate in a few SAL's in 2018.  The first is by Ship's Manor and is called Through the Window.  He sent out the frame for the window earlier in December while the first pattern for a window comes out in January.  I haven't put too much effort into getting started, but will do more once I have the first pattern.

I was able to finish up two parts of the 4th Lesson in Schoolhouse Lessons.  Here they are!

I was able to start and finish a little motif that I was given during the 12 days of Christmas.  This was a fun stitch!!  Thanks again Marcy!

I often get nostalgic at the end of the year, thinking back on the best parts of the year, but usually the cloudy parts are the ones we think of most.   I'm determined to change that this year, so I looked up some inspiriting quotes...and made my own "posters" from pictures I have taken.

With all that being said...I've done my usual, sorting of the projects and setting a few goals for myself.  While I don't have all the patterns chosen for all the goals I'm going to set, I do have a few I'm hoping to finish and some I'm hoping to start.  I'm sure that will change during the year...but here are my thoughts so far.

I want to finish all the SALs I've signed up for.  That would include, Through the Window by Ship's Manor, Wildflower Woodland Quaker, Springtime Easter Delight, and Blue Poppy Learning sampler by Tempting Tangles, and the Linen and Threads 2018 SAL.

I want to finish up the Mill Hills Nativity.  That would include Melchior and Gaspar.

I want to start three new patterns I got for Christmas.  That would include Serenity sampler (which was the last gift Katie gave me),  Creation and Before the Fall.

I want to finish up the 12 Berries of Christmas.  Only 8 more to go!  LOL

I want to stitch something for the auction in August for Equines for Freedom.  I've chosen a Blackberry Lane pattern for that.

I need to stitch a patriotic design for the St. Michaels retreat.  Not sure what to stitch there....

I want to stitch and finish at least three Christmas ornaments a month.

I want to finish the Schoolhouse lessons.  I only have one more section to stitch!

I want to finish at least two UFOs, hopefully more.  Sweet Nectar and Winter's Majesty.

I think that's a pretty good list, and I hope I'm able to meet my goals this year.   Do you have any goals that you've set for yourself?

As usual, I set these goals and then I get sidetracked with gifts for others, challenges I hope to meet, and stuff like that.  Wish me luck, though!  I really hope I'm able to accomplish most of my goals for this year.

On that note, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and may you all enjoy  many blessings in 2018.  Let's leave the old year behind us and press forward to new and better days ahead!  Happy Stitching!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Online Advent Calendar 2017 - Day 24

Here it is, the final day of the Online Advent Calendar 2017!  I've been graced with having "the big one" as Jo put it!  This is a piece I stitched many years ago, full of specialty stitches, beads and metallic threads.  I keep this picture up all year to keep Christmas in my heart.  I love the reason for the season and like to be reminded of Jesus' birth all the time.  

Jo has asked that we answer a question about Boxing day and how we spend it, do we have any traditions surrounding it.  Boxing day is a UK holiday and as such we don't really celebrate it here.  It is traditionally a day when they give gifts to those who perform a service for them throughout the year, such as mail carriers, refuse collectors, etc.  We used to make Christmas cookies and candy and give it to neighbors, landlords, etc.  I haven't done that in a very long time, it's a tradition I really should bring back.  I always enjoyed making goodies for others, and (not to toot my own horn) but many of them would wait in anticipation knowing those goodies were on their way around Christmas!  LOL  Just ask Astrid, she has been the recipient of our Buckeye Balls a few times!  Now we usually try to attend a movie that comes out around the holidays.  We also get new game every year from "Santa" which we all play together while we snack on leftovers.  Having lived far away from family all of our married life, we enjoy the time laughing and enjoying one another's company.  With both the guys working on the day after Christmas, we will not be able to do that this year.  I will start a new cross stitch project, I usually get a nice pattern with all the supplies from DH for Christmas! 

I want to thank Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching for hosting the online Advent Calendar 2017!  It's always fun to take part in her hops, challenges, and other events she has going on over on her blog!  You can still access the calendar it you would like to hop around the other days leading up to Christmas.

I leave you with my advent calendar that I have been counting down the days til Christmas.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and many blessings in the coming New year!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

SAL Mania!

Whew!  I don't know what happened in the last few months, but I think I've signed up for more SAL's in the past few weeks than I have in my entire cross stitch life!  Haha...  I am thoroughly addicted to Tempting Tangles designs.  Her SAL's are easy to keep up with because the sections that she releases can be done in a couple of hours.  I had several going at once, and I can usually catch up in all of them in a day or two.  I'm going to show you a few here that I have going....

From Tempting Tangles I have ...

This Corner of Earth Mystery which I finished this weekend...

Springtime Easter Delight Mystery

Wildflower Woodland Quaker Mystery

The Blue Poppy Sampler

I found all her SALs on her Etsy page which you can find here.  Most of them are $5.00 while the SAL is going on and for a few months after.  The Blue Poppy is a little more but there are lots of specialty stitches and those take a little more explaining and diagramming to prepare so very much worth the extra money.

From Linen & Threads I had the 2017 Mystery SAL which I have finished but if you are interested in the patterns (which are free on their website) you can find them here.  I think the 2018 SAL will be posted on this site as well.

From Ship's Manor I have Through The Window which starts on January 1st, but we have the "frame" pattern already to stitch.  I think for now I'm going to stitch the frame as I go along.  Here is what I have so far...isn't the color of the fabric wonderful?  I had someone say the color wouldn't go with the color scheme in their house, and I guess it wouldn't in my house either, but I can't help it, I LOVE it!!  You can find the information for the SAL and order it here.

I'm hoping to start the 2018 Linen & Threads Mystery in the new year too.  I had a bit of a challenge keeping up with last years, but I love it so much I just can't seem to say no to myself.  I already have the fabric, so now just to figure out what colors to use.  Should I keep the same color scheme?  Decisions, decisions, but I think I'll wait for the new year to decide.

I received the most delightful gift in the mail yesterday!  I participate in a few exchanges at Christmas, and this one is from Christine over at Friendly Stitchers.  I LOVE this ornament she sent.  It's so nicely finished too, but I really love the sentiment on it, she couldn't have picked a better pattern to stitch for me.  Thank you so much, Christine!!  I even got a few  other goodies along with it, look how nicely the ribbon matches the fabric.  And I really needed a needle holder, perfect timing if you ask me!!  I'm truly spoiled!!

And that brings me to this....Each year I try to set some goals for myself.  Last year I failed miserably at reaching any of mine.  I guess because with all that was going on in my life, visitors, wedding planning and then all the rest, I got distracted.  This year I agreed to try and finish up some of my WIPs I have floating around.  And believe me I have enough UFOs to start an entirely new galaxy!!  One person took pictures of all of hers...honestly I'm afraid to do that...haha.  If I could just say NO to a few activities I like to participate in and stay home once in a while, I would get a lot more stitching done.  Hahaha....but that's beside the point.  I'll be back in a few days after I formulate my plans and open a new goal tab at the top.  I actually have to organize and update my 2017 goals page, I'm behind.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope that you are able to relax and enjoy the upcoming celebrations and that you find joy in the season!  Happy Stitching!!

Friday, December 15, 2017

December Gifted Gorgeousness

This year is slipping by so fast.  Why does it seem that the older we get the faster time flies?  I think that, other than wrapping, I'm ready for the holidays!  I think this is the first year I'll be able to spend a little time relaxing before the actual day.   But I will admit, it's been a mad dash up until this point! Haha...

So in case you haven't heard about Gifted Gorgeousness, this is a challenge Jo has masterminded over on her blog Serendipitous Stitching.  Each month, on the 15th, we showcase stitched items that have been or will be, gifted.   It can be a pattern, fabric, floss, or all three.  It can be something given to you or something you are giving to someone else.  I have enjoyed this challenge for the past two years because it has given me incentive to get stitching on things and posting each month.  I like being able to show progress and it's also a kind of nod of thanks to those who have been generous to me.  You can read more about this challenge and sign up here (it's never too late) or if you want to see what others are stitching you can see that here.

Also over on Jo's blog, they are having an online advent calendar.  Each day showcases a different blogger and the emphasis this year is how they spend Boxing Day (the day after Christmas celebrated in other countries) and memories from those days.  I will be adding my two cents later in the month, but  you can see how others have responded and a special picture they have of the holidays here.

Ok, on with the show!!  This is my completed Linen & Threads 2017  Mystery Sampler.  This is stitched on 28 ct black over one using vintage Bucilla floss.  It isn't being made anymore, and I can't find a good conversion chart that has these numbers so I compared them to other floss and found these substitutes.  DMC 355, 612, and Anchor 903.  I'm thinking of using the same colors for the next one starting in 2018.  I already have the fabric, I just need to decide if I'll use the same color scheme.  You can find the free pattern for the 2017 SAL on their website here

I have posted most of the things I have given away or been given in previous posts through last part of November and the first part of December, so I just made a collage of the ones I've been given.  My fingers have been busy stitching and finishing, and so far it seems everyone has enjoyed their gifts.  Or maybe they were just being polite...haha.  

And here are the ones I've been given.

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone, it's that time of year when my brain likes to take holidays.  haha  I'm off to get caught up on some SAL's I'm participating in, I was finally able to get caught up on some just this week, and already the next parts have been released.  No rest for the wicked!  LOL  I hope to be back with an update of something I've finished soon, and the other SAL's I've caught up on.  Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Stitching!