Friday, April 15, 2016

April Gifted Gorgeousness...and then some...

I am a little early this month, but I'm going to have a busy weekend so I thought I'd get this written up early.  It's been a busy 30 days since I last posted....lots going on so I'll get started.

First off, I have a few items to show you for the gifted gorgeousness challenge that is going on over at Serendipitous Stitching.  If you are interested in signing up, I think you can join up at any time but you can find the rules here.  And if you want to see what everyone is posting, you can visit the homepage of her blog here.  Thank you, Jo, for all your hard work in keeping track of us!  This challenge has kept me on the straight and narrow, I'm thankful for the gentle push for keeping up with my goals.

So....let's see...what can I show you?  First off is another Advent number finished.  I'm slacking a little here, but it's been insanely busy in my neck of the woods.  Here is number 19.  These are freebies that can be found at this site.  There are lots of really nice free patterns here!  I just love Ellen Maurer-Stroh patterns! 




I made up one of the Advent numbers that I had finished, but I didn't like the way it was done, so I redid it.  I like this finish much better....but as I've been stitching these up, I think I've decided to finish them all a little differently.  Hopefully I'll have a couple more done by this time next month to show you!


I showed you last month the piece I stitched for my cousin.  I still haven't got it in the frame, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  But I did finish another piece for her sister.  This is Enter into His Gates by My Big Toe.  It's stitched on 32ct Jobelin over one.  I just love this, and I will be stitching one for me when I get a minute to start another one...



I stitched a Betty Boop for my friend's Mom.   I've been friends with this lady since I was 7 years old, and her Mom is a sweetheart.  When I heard she liked Betty, I searched for a long time before I found this pattern.  It is actually a crochet pattern, so I had to pick the colors and play around with it before I liked how it looked.  It's stitched on 40 ct. over two, using one strand of floss for most of the colors, but two strands for the black.  UGH!!  Never again...LOL  It's just too hard to get two strands to get through 40 count...well too hard for me I guess.  I hope she likes it, and I'm still trying to figure out how to finish it off...frame or bell pull...decisions, decisions...  



I was able to stitch up April from The Snowflower Diaries SAL.  These patterns are so much fun!!  These are freebies and you can find them here.



I have two other things I've stitched and finished, but because they are gifts for other people I'm reluctant to show them now.  I should be able to post them next month...so watch this space!
 
 I'm not sure if this counts as a gifted gorgeousness entry, but I'm taking part in a Round Robin, and this is my part of the piece that was sent to me.  I just love stitching for other people, and these Round Robins have been a joy to stitch!




I have been working hard to keep up with the goals I've set for myself. Though I fell a little behind on the  Advent numbers, I've been able to keep up with the Country Cottage Needleworks monthly cottages.  Here is March....

 

In case you are not sports fans, or have your head buried in the ground, it's baseball season again!  We love our Orioles here in Maryland!!  We counted it all up, and this is our 10th year attending Opening Day.  Of course it was cold....but we always have fun.  We had two rain delays, the wind was whipping up a storm...literally...and I nearly froze my cheeks off, but it was worth it to see the Orioles win!  We are always hopeful for a good season...knock on wood.  Let's Go O's!  Here are my boys relishing in the day!



I'll leave you with some pictures I took around my house today.  It was so beautiful outdoors, even if it was a bit chilly.  I just love spring, don't you?


 


 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Gifted Gorgeousness

It's been an interesting month since I last posted for Gifted Gorgeousness.  I sure do enjoy this challenge!!  Not only am I pulling things out of the mothballs that I've had sitting here for ages, but I'm finding things to stitch for other folks.  I realized the other day that whether or not people like what I've made them, I think of them the entire time I'm stitching, more often than not they creep into my prayers, so if I've made anything for you recently, consider yourself prayed over and thought of dearly!

This challenge is organized by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching and you can see what others have been stitching by visiting this page, or read the rules on this page.  From the looks of things you can sign up at any time, so come join the fun! 

So...here is what I've been gifted with this month...

I took part in an exchange for Stitcher's Day and I received this from Amy.  Now you know my real name...so don't spread it around...LOL!!  Not only is the front beautifully stitched...



but the back is beautifully finished.  I just love it Amy!  Thank you so very  much!!



I received a few patterns in the mail from winning the drawing at the end of the Gifted Gorgeousness challenge last year.  I forgot to take a picture, but I'll get them posted next time.  Thanks again, Jo and the generous people who shared their charts with you to gift to us!  There are several I'm hoping to stitch up just as soon as I finish my challenges for this year.  Is there ever enough time to stitch?

I've decided to stitch a few things for other people.  Two of my cousins will be beneficiaries this year.  I stitched this for my cousin Dianne,



and this one is going to my other cousin, Susan.



I finished up the letters for Merry Christmas from the Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet.  I'm still trying to figure out how to attach them to the blocks I have.  I'll show pictures once I've decided what to do.  Another challenge complete for this year!  Woo hoo!








I'm still working on Aurora Cabin, though slowly.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  Here is my progress pic.



I finished up another number in the Advent series I'm working on.  Still hoping to get two more done this month.  Wish me luck! 



I also finished up March from the Snowflower Diaries.



I'm still working on that Christmas ornament, it's slow going...


 
I'll leave you with some flowers we recently found.  I wanted it to look Spring like here in my house!  Even the orchid Astrid gave me is in bloom.  I just love Spring, don't you?



 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Puttering...

Ever have one of THOSE days?  I call it puttering...where I flit from one thing to another not really settling on one thing or finishing anything?  So far today I've worked briefly on a puzzle, worked on getting the Sunday School materials ready for the month of March (I know...the first weekend of the month is TOMORROW...I'm not usually a procrastinator, but here I am when I realized I don't have all the activity sheets for one week...ugh!!), sorted threads and fabric for the next three advent calendar pieces, checked e-mail, and then decided my blog needed updating.  You want to see what I'm up to, don't you?  LOL!!   Of course that meant taking pictures and getting them organized.  And guess what?  It's been about a week since I've worked on my Needlework Casket, and I couldn't find it at first.  Maybe I should think about organizing my room instead of my pictures!  LOL  It's now 3:00 PM and I'm still in my pj's.  DH will be home soon and I really need a shower, but my blog really needs updating, don't you think?

Here is how far I've gotten on the Needlework Casket.  I still need to do the vine and the bullion knots on the fence.  Procrastination at it's finest!  LOL

 

I haven't decided if I should put something in the right front section next to the boy and the cat.  It seems kind of empty but I'm unsure what to put there....any ideas?

My, where has the time gone?  Wasn't it just February the other day?  Well, I guess it IS a short month!  I have few things to show you that I accomplished though...

I finished off an exchange piece for my partner in France, Mary.  I just received confirmation that she received it today, so here it is all finished up.  I made it into a flat fold, but it wasn't what I had envisioned.  She said she likes it, and I sincerely hope she does, but I'm a little disappointed...I know it needed something but I just couldn't figure it out.  I do love the pattern though, it's called Stitcher's Apron and it's by Sue Hillis Designs.  I just love all the little things a stitcher would need, the floss, the scissors, pincushion and strawberry, glasses, fabric, hoops and scroll rods along with the pattern, and the little frog hanging out of her pocket.  LOL  I hope I didn't send the frogs to you, Mary, but I'll have to admit, I frogged quite a bit on this little item, and it wasn't easy to frog as it was stitched on 54 count (over two)!




I finished an Advent number into a little hanging ornament.  You can find her patterns here.  I know it needs something so I may take it apart and do something a little different when I figure out what it needs.  I know it  needs trim around the edges, but what?  I'm so bad at finishing...



I finished stitching another Advent number, this one makes 6 that I have finished.  I had set a goal of 2 a month, but so far I've stitched three each month!  I hope I can keep it up!



I finished March from the Snowflower Diaries.  You can find her patterns here.  Just in time too, I guess, she just announced that the next one is coming out  next week!  I love these little guys, I just need to figure out how to finish it.  There I go again...ugh...finishing is the bane of my existence!  



I've decided to start a SAL being offered in one of the yahoo groups I belong to.  I haven't settled on the fabric yet, but the first section is already out....one of these days I might just catch up with my bad self...till then I'll be in my room, puttering...

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hermitting Weekend

I haven't joined any organized group, but I decided to self impose a hermitting weekend.  I was able to get quite a bit of stitching in.  

I'll begin with Aurora Cabin.  I have a before and after picture taken, just to show you what I've done this weekend, along with a close up of the cabin.  I spent a LOT of time backstitching this cabin...did I mention I HATE backstitching?  LOL!!










 I finished up a couple of pieces just for fun...an ornament...(which I can't show because it's a gift).

And I think I'll turn this into a scissors fob.  (I can't show this because it's also a gift).  I chose to include that I stitched these, because I just wanted to let you know all that I stitched this weekend.   I'll show these later once I've given them to the people they are intended for. 

Last, but not least, is the top panel of the needlework casket I'm working on.  I came to an impasse.  Because I've chosen to stitch this on 20 count, with one strand of floss, lazy daisy stitches aren't turning out like they have for me in the past.  I'm not sure I like where this is going.  Another concern I have is the bullion knots for the flowers in the vine on the fence.  I'm thinking of substituting a different stitch for the flowers.  I sincerely need opinions...I considered spider roses...does anyone have any suggestions as a substitute?  I'm truly in a quandary here.



Last week I hoped to get some finishes done, but I wound up with a sleepless week, and was too tired to think.  I think I actually got some restorative sleep this weekend...so hopefully today I'll get those finishes done.  I'll let you know soon!

I hope you all had a wonderful, productive weekend!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gifts Galore!

I'm almost on a first name basis with the Post Lady here in Maryland!  It's been a busy month for her!  Between exchanges I've been a part of, Round Robins that have been arriving from every corner of the world, and belated birthday/Christmas gifts, I've been receiving packages quite frequently.  I'm still waiting on one more, a box of goodies that I won from Gifted Gorgeousness last year.  I'm feeling pretty lucky right about now!

Let's start out with the things I'm stitching for Gifted Gorgeousness.  





The rules can be found here.  If you are interested I think you can sign up any time!  And if you want to see what the rest of us have been submitting, you can find the links for February here.  Thank you, once again, Jo, for hosting this!  I really enjoy searching and stitching for this challenge.  It keeps me searching through patterns and things to post for this challenge!

I'm still working on the Needlework Casket that was in a book I was gifted with from a good friend of mine.  I had to restart because the last one I stitched on 36 count and it was coming out a wee bit too large to fit in the casket I have.  So here is what I've done on the new one, stitched on 40 count.  I've learned a lot since restarting.  The satin stitch is done differently, and covers much better.  The herringbone stitch is also done a little different to make the roof look more consistent and more like shingles.  I just love this piece!!






I've done a few more letters from Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet that was also gifted from another friend.  These are stitched on 28 count over two.  I've decided to try and do four letters a month to finish up earlier so I can move on to other things.  I was hoping to do two a month until all were done, but they stitch up faster than I imagined.  Here are Y, C, H, R.



I've done a couple more of the numbers of the EMS Advent calendar.  I stitched up the 24 because it was the largest and hopefully soon (before the end of the month) I can get them finished up.  When I was stitching this I thought...why aren't I stitching the big ones first?  As it gets closer to Christmas I'll have less time, so it will be quicker to stitch the smaller ones then...so from now on I'll be going in reverse order.  So here are 24 and 23 stitched on 32 ct over one.  They are freebies from Ellen Maurer-Stroh that you can find here.  




 February has been released from The Snowflower Diaries SAL.  Here is mine done on 32 ct. over one.  March has also been released and you can find all the patterns on her blog here.



I'm participating in a round robin with a few ladies from Friendly Stitchers.  When I was in NY I missed a couple, so I've received two recently, one from the midwest that was sent on to England....




And one from England that was sent on to Canada....




With these two I think I'm caught up.  I think that makes three (four if you count mine) out of seven that I've stitched on.  Just three more to go before I receive mine!  I just love participating in these!

Now...on to the gifts I've received.  From a private Valentine's exchange I received this...



It's a small project bag, and is stitched so beautifully.  The fabric of the bag is so soft too.  I just love it and will be using it for small projects.  Thank you so much Amy!

My pen pal and stitch pal from England, Mouse, sent me these beautifully stitched and finished pieces.  The thread keeper is a small project bag as well and I can't wait to use it!



The Huswife has three separate pockets and will work perfectly for things I like to carry with me wherever I go to stitch.  I can't wait to put them to good use.  Thank you so much  Mouse!!  I feel well and truly spoiled by all these lovely gifts!



So what else have I been stitching on?  I've been making very sloooooow progress on Aurora Cabin.  Through Friendly Stitchers I've been making it a point to stitch on Sundays.  Unfortunately it seems my husband keeps making plans so I've haven't made much progress...but here is what I've done since the last picture.



I started working on a Christmas ornament that was supposed to be a gift.  I decided it probably would be an appropriate pattern for what it was intended for,  so I'm going to finish it, but not give it there.  



One of the other things I'm hoping to keep up with is finishing each of these months from Country Cottage Needleworks.  Here is February.  This one is done on 32 ct over two.  



I'm hoping to start getting these made in to cube stand-ups tomorrow.  I'm setting aside tomorrow as a "finishing" day.  I have a couple of things I would love to get made up....one is actually a gift and I need to get it sent off...wish me luck!

 I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day.  I was well and truly spoiled by the two men in my life...DH and DS.  I was treated to a movie and dinner and a small box of chocolates from DH, and a Downton Abbey puzzle from DS.  I've already started it, and it's been a lovely treat.  The only drawback is to see all my favorite characters from the series staring back at me from my work table...hahahaha.  Truly, it's hard to draw myself away from it.  If only I could keep Thomas (my cat) off the table, I'll be doing well!!



Off to spend time with the guys, they have today off for President's day.  It's another snowy day here today, so I doubt we'll be going anywhere, let's hope we don't get the 6 inches they are threatening us with!  It sure looks pretty from this side of the window though!