Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Look what I picked up yesterday!

I made a decision last year that I would start framing some of my favorite pieces so I could look at them rather than leave them rolled up in a box in my closet.  I couldn't wait to frame my little caroler Chanson de Noel by Ekaterina Chaykovskaya once I had her finished.  Didn't she turn out lovely?  I have her hanging in my dining room where we eat all our meals, so I see her at least three times a day!  I bought a companion piece when I bought her so I'll have to dig around and see if I can find that one and stitch her too.

This next piece is Victorine Marker 1897, a SAL I found here.  It was unfinished for a long time because I was interrupted while stitching it, and didn't get the last few pages.  If you visit the link above you'll see the last few pages are still missing.  Luckily for me most that was left was border and I was able to do the mirror image from the side that I did have the pieces for.  I also searched around until I found the exact alphabet and was able to fill in the last few letters.  Where there's a will, there's a way so they say!  I guess I can't understand why some designers don't allow you to finish something you've put so much time, effort, and materials in just because life gets in the way.  It's free to begin with...I just don't get it.  Anyway, here it is framed and I love it.

And now, if you don't like reading about "real life" you can stop reading here.  I had a very rough weekend.  A friend of mine took her husband to the emergency room Friday for what she thought was something that needed treatment but didn't think it would require admittance.  Turns out it was cancer, and he lost his life yesterday.  My mind is reeling over this horrific turn of events.  Also over the weekend, Ben's girlfriend's step dad was admitted to the hospital and they are recommending Hospice care for him.  Another friend's daughter -in-law lost a baby she was carrying for the past 6 months over the weekend.  I have to say, it's almost like PTSD with all that Katie went through during the last few months of her life and losing my Mom so suddenly earlier this year.  It seems lately that you can never be too comfortable with your life when it seems to be going well, because things could change in the blink of an eye.  It would be so easy to sit here and yell at God and blame Him for all the heartache and evil in the world...or wonder why He hasn't heard my prayers and saved the life of such a godly man and healed relationships in a family torn apart by tragedy.  I guess this is where faith comes in, and honestly I've seen Him perform great miracles, but I'm angry He didn't perform them here and now.  I guess I'll understand one day, but today is not that day.  Lord, help me in my unbelief.  If you can, would you help me pray for those involved in all these situations, and pray I have the right words and actions to help those who are hurting today?  Thank you from the bottom of a weary prayer warrior's heart.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September Gifted Gorgeousness

Whew!  The past few weeks have been crazy, but I finally have a few minutes for a breather....thank heavens!  My poor body was beginning to feel the stress!  It's on the 15th and already I have caught up on all the challenges for this month!  Yippee!  That means I can stitch on some things I've had sitting around here begging for my attention!

So....if you are interested in knowing what Gifted Gorgeousness is, please take a little trip over to Jo's blog Serendipitous Stitching.  You can read about the challenge here.  Or you can go to her page here and see what everyone is up to.  And if you feel like participating, please do....I have to thank Jo because I've been working through all the gifts I've been given and it gives me incentive to get-er-done!

First off, I've been working on a Christmas ornament challenge, and going through Just Cross Stitch back issues of the ornament specials.  My husband bought me all the discs that are available with back issues of JCS magazine.  I love tripping through them looking for just the right ornaments that fit the challenge I'm participating in.  So I consider all the ornaments I'm stitching as gifted gorgeousness items.  So...here is the first one,  1999 Ornament by Vermillion Stitchery from the 1999 JCS ornament issue

Next is the Holy Family by Cathy Livingston from the 1993 JCS ornament issue.

Next is Bless The Lord by My big Toe from the 2018 JCS ornament issue.

Next are three of the 12 Days of Christmas from the March 1989 issue of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine....I'm skipping ahead because I wanted to finish these up long before Christmas!  All of them are stitched on 28 count over one on white fabric.  Funny how the fabric looks different colors under different light.  Here is 9 Ladies Dancing

10 Lords a Leaping

11 Pipers Piping

And 12 Drummers Drumming!  All done and in time for Christmas!

Next is the 2010 Ornament by The Sweetheart Tree from the 2010 JCS ornament issue.  This was stitched on 32 count natural opalescent over two.  I wish you could see the sparkles in the fabric!!  I've stitched this a few times, but it's such a fun stitch, I don't mind doing it over and over!

Last is a gift I stitched for a friend of mine.  I stitched this for a give away at St. Michaels this year, and she loved it so much she suggested an exchange.  So I was supposed to stitch this for her, while she stitched something else for me.  Once I have it framed, I can pass it on to her (hopefully by our monthly stitch day later this month.  This is Take Time To Stitch by Jeanette Doughlas.  

I guess that's it for this post.  Happy Stitching everyone!

Friday, September 13, 2019

An Unexpected Finish

I'm thrilled to post my finish of the Christmas Quaker Bellpull by Wiehenburg Designs!  I had challenged myself through our LNS to finish up certain items (one a month) that I have listed on a separate page.  The challenge for the month of June was to finish Christmas Quaker Bellpull.  I was in NY for most of the month and didn't get a chance to stitch much, so wasn't able to finish it.  Since then I've made this my  WIP Wednesday project, hoping to finish it before the end of the year.  I'm so excited to say, I have finally finished this piece!  I had to look back in my blog posts to see when I actually started this.  It was part of the Ultimate Crazy Challenge when we started something new every day in January in the year 2012.  So...I started this January 16, 2012.  I thought I had started it in 2010....so I guess 7 years 9 months isn't as bad as the 9 years 9 months I had originally thought...haha.  Here it is in all it's glory!  Now, to decide how to finish it.  Decisions, decisions....(can you hear the theme song to Jeopardy playing in the background?)

Sadly, as I was looking back, I found waaaaay too many WIPs I have not finished.  I'm thinking of checking out my stash and getting things together for next year and make that the year of the WIP Wiper.  (I'm going to wipe those WIPs right outta my hair).  I know, I'm deluding myself, but it's worth a shot.  If I keep on track with the LNS challenge, I'll wipe a few of them out this year!  Wish me luck!

Until later, happy stitching!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Fairly good news!

So.....I've been super busy BUT I moved my schedule around and made time to drop a few items off at the Maryland State Fair!  I've thought about this for years but I was never in the right place at the right time.  After talking to a few of my online stitching friends, they convinced me I should enter.  I entered 4 items, and received 4 blue ribbons and a President's Award.  (The President of the fair committee will chose an item from one area of the fair that is a personal favorite of hers.  I'm honored that she chose one of mine!)  Here are pictures of the items I submitted...

Royal Garden by Debbee's Designs.  This won the President's award along with a blue ribbon and is one of my favorite finishes I've had.  It was a challenging piece but I was so happy with the finish!!

Blue Poppy Learning Sampler by Tempting Tangles.  I loved stitching on this one too, all the different stitches were a fun challenge to learn!

Mystery Spot Sampler by Wiehenburg Designs.  This was stitched on 36 count over one with a Gloriana Silk floss.  I LOVED how this one turned out too....using overdyed thread is challenging to make it look "even" and was hard to make it look good to my eye.

And last was the Mill Hill Kit nativity I finished stitching on fabric and finishing into stuffed stand up characters.  I can hardly wait for Christmas so I can display this one this year!!

Now the stitching begins for next year!  I honestly was hoping for at least one ribbon, I never expected to do this well....so I hope it doesn't come across as bragging....isn't it true that we are our own worst critics?  I hope this gives you courage to go out and enter something in a fair near you!

I've been taking part in a challenge at the Stitching Post, our LNS near Baltimore.  I have a special page (the tab is located at the top) and will also post this there, but I finished the piece that was on my list to finish this month.  This is Let It Snow by Blackberry Lane designs.  I changed a few of the things, the outline on the letters is a little lighter than they called for, and I couched the swirls instead of back stitching and whip stitching like it suggested.  I think I like it better that way!  This was a fun stitch!  

Now I'm on to finishing the last ornament I have on my challenge for this month.  I'll be finished with that soon....then whatever will I stitch?  I'll be all caught up!  LOL

I hope you are safe and dry wherever you are.  I know the East Coast was a little rattled this past week with a visit from Dorian.  Thankfully it didn't hit Florida where a lot of our relatives live and our North Carolina relatives are safe too.  Now....off to get more stitching done....Happy Stitching!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Making Progress!

In just the past week, I've been a stitching machine!  After all those months at the beginning of the year not getting a lot of stitching done, it feels good to actually see some progress!  I've been rotating things around a bit, trying to finish up some challenges and some REALLY old WIPs.  

I'm really hoping to finish up Christmas Quaker Bellpull from Weihenburg designs before Christmas this year.  I think I started this back in 2010 or 2011 (I'll have to go back and look that up).  I'm almost down to the last page.  Here is where I am right now....

I've also been working on this freebie I found on Charting Creations Facebook group.  I love this design (even though you can't see all of it here, I think you can get an idea what it will look like finished...think Santa and his sleigh).  I signed up for the SAL but it looks like I won't finish by the end of the challenge.  *sigh*  I have finished pages 6, 11 and 12.  It's called Merry Christmas Freebie.

I finished Take Time to Stitch by Jeanette Douglas.  This is the third one I've stitched and I still have to make one more for me!  I'll probably be posting this picture again in September for the Gifted Gorgeousness post.  I made this for an exchange for St. Michaels last year.  One lady loved it so much that I promised to make one for her in exchange for something she would stitch me.  I tried to have it finished and framed for her for our monthly stitch day last week, but didn't finish it in time.  Hopefully I can get it framed and back to her for the next stitch day in September.  (I'm hoping I'll be around for that one....now that most of the work is done in NY, my husband has been making plans for trips here and there.)  This is actually a fun thing to stitch, I love all the different stitches and it really doesn't take much time.  I love that I've been able to stitch all these on one package size of material, and there was enough silk floss to make all the ones I've stitched!  

I've finished two Christmas ornaments too!  But I'm not going to post them until next month as they are all part of a challenge I'm participating in.  Next up will be a wedding sampler the kids have picked out.    Back to work on another ornament I started.  Happy Stitching everyone!!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

August (August Already??) Gifted Gorgeousness

My goodness this year is flying by at a fast and furious pace!  I can't believe it's August already.  I feel like I've been on a treadmill travelling 90 miles an hour and getting absolutely NOWHERE!  Oh well, on with the show!

If you haven't got a clue what Gifted Gorgeousness is, why haven't you visited my blog before??  Just kidding!!  I enjoy this challenge so much!  We are encouraged to showcase stitching things that are gifted.  It could be fabric, a special floss, a pattern, something we made for someone else or something someone made for us.  Pretty much everything goes in the gift department!  If you want the official rules, head on over and see Jo from Serendipitous Stitching.  If you click HERE it will take you to the page where you can sign up.  But....if you click HERE, you can see the amazing things Jo is stitching and find the links to see what everyone else is stitching too!  The reason I love this challenge so much is because it encourages me to sift through all that stash I have hanging around and stitch something someone has generously given me.  (My husband likes it too, because it keeps me out of the LNS and out of his pocket!  LOL)  I rarely go to the store anymore, and that makes me sad because I've become good friends with most of the ladies who work there!  Gee, I keep taking tangents...ok....on with the show (where have I heard that before?)

Let's see....first up is  Christmas Morning Goodies by The Frosted Pumpkin.  This was an ornament from the 2018 JCS Ornament Issue and is part of a challenge I'm doing.  I didn't stitch the border because I really didn't like it that much, and I decided I would finish it in a circular manner and the border would have looked a bit odd.  The fabric for this was a gift from my friend Mouse who lives in England.  We've exchanged Christmas and Birthday gifts for years.  Thanks Mouse!!  This was stitched on 32 count Glacier Blue Sparklies fabric over one.

Next is 8 Maids a Milking from the 1989 May issue of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine.

Next is  Snowman Mitten by Ursula Michael from the 2005 JCS Ornament issue, part of the same challenge as above.

Last is 1999 Christmas Ornament by The Vermillion Stitchery from the 1999 JCS Ornament Issue.  It's still a work in progress but I hope to finish up in the next day or so.  Can you tell what it is?  

All four of these are stitched on 28 count over one except the first which was stitched on 32 count over one and the magazines were gift subscriptions from my husband over the years.  They are all challenge pieces and you can see which areas they are from by visiting the 2019 goals page above.  

Ooops, I almost forgot!!  My son's fiance was here a week or so ago and told me she was having problems with her scissors poking through her bag while she was carrying her project back and forth....we can't have THAT now can we?  I had this Alice Peterson Kit on standby for emergencies when I have to quickly make a gift for an exchange...so that weekend I whipped this up for her.  Now this is needlepoint, and it's already made into the scissor case, all you have to do is stitch it up and zip it up and voila!  Hopefully now she won't have any more mishaps with her scissors poking through her bag!

I'm editing this to post this last item that was a gift from a friend.  I have only stitched the top portion, there is more in the pattern to do.  This is Sarah Elliot's Sewing Chest.  I just love this serene scene!  All the sheep were supposed to be white, but I couldn't resist putting a little me in there.  Can you find the black sheep?  Don't confuse him with the black dog...hahah.  I took a poll and it was unanimous that I put a little black sheep in there to represent me.  This was my LNS challenge piece for July and I finished just in time!  I will be doing more from the series as time allows.  I'm having so much fun!  Thank you to my friend who gifted this to me.  I'm honored, and so excited to finally be working on it!  It has so many things in there that I love.  A light house, whales, and that beautiful tall ship.  

I'm still working on the challenge my LNS is hosting, but trying to finish up WIPs we've had going or new patterns we've had lying around for ages that we truly want to stitch.  So far I've finished all but one!  I'm still working on that and really hope to finish before the year is up!

Til next time....Happy Stitching everyone!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Happy Dancing!

Whew....my last post had me secluding myself and having a bit of a hermit moment from society...or what I thought would be hermitting...haha.  I should have known better than to think I could hide myself away for any length of time.  I have made stitching more of a priority, do you find it clears your mind too?  Something about creating something out of a few fibers and scraps of fabric just seems to sweep the cobwebs away, bring out the sunshine, and soothe the soul.  Anyway, I should have known my family wouldn't let me tuck myself away for long!  

Wedding plans are in full tilt, and no, Jo I haven't found a hat yet...haha.  They are planning a beach wedding, and I can just see myself charging full tilt down the beach with my skirt hiked up around my knees chasing a wayward hat into the surf.  Which makes me think, should I wear flats, high heels, or flip flops to a beach wedding?  I'll have to ponder that for a while.  The lovely bride found her dress, and she is going to look FABULOUS!!  We all laughed when she went in with a list of things she didn't want and found that THAT was exactly what looked best on her.  Once she picks her colors, then we can discuss decorations....and what dress I should wear.

You may wonder why I'm posting a day ahead of Gifted Gorgeousness.  Weeeeellll.......I have a finish that I want to polish my dancing skills over and since she wasn't a gift in any way shape or form, I can't post about her tomorrow....can I?  This is Chanson de Noel by Ekatrina Chaykouskaya.  I've had her in my stash for quite a while, she was a chart I found at a retreat some time ago.  I don't remember when I started her, it was quite some time ago as well, and it feels good to have a long time WIP finished.  

Don't you just love her face?

I would love to thank the designer, but I don't speak Russian!  She is an amazing designer!

So....I guess I'll have more pictures for you tomorrow.  Back to my stitching spot to work on my Wednesday WIP.  I'll have pictures another time of my Christmas Quaker Bellpull which is my Wednesday WIP for now until I finish it.  It was my challenge piece for June when I was in NY and couldn't finish.  Happy Stitching everyone!