Monday, December 30, 2013

Last finish of the year...

I can't believe the year is almost over.  Where did 2013 go?  It was chock full of excitement, with my son's graduation, an extended visit from my mother, and surgery for me.  Two trips for my son, his being hired permanently with the agency he interned for, my husband getting a new position at work, and a lovely vacation to New York for the two of us.  It's been a very good year for all of us.  I'm so very thankful!

I received this lovely ornament from Ally of Friendly Stitchers fame.  Isn't it lovely?  I propped it up next to a gift Astrid had given me.  I thought the two belonged together since the wine gums came from Harrogate's sweet shop.  You ladies who have attended the needlework show in Harrogate will have to tell me if there is a sweet shop there, or if this came from a different Harrogate!  According to Astrid, this is the closest we will come to getting to the needlework show there, at least for now.   

I've done a lot of stitching as well.  I've had 13 major finishes this year, not many of them were WIPs I've had floating around here for some time.  Maybe next year?  haha

I've done  a little more on The Nativity...but only a little's my progress

My husband gave me the Forget Me Not Sampler by Brenda Gervais for Christmas.  I couldn't wait to get started, so the day after I started The Nativity, I started Forget Me Not.  Today, just four days later, I was able to finish.  I love this pattern!  I didn't use the fabric that came with the kit.  It needed to be "distressed" and I was unsure how to go about that.  So I rummaged through my fabric and found 40 ct. flax.  I guess the fabric should have been a wee bit darker, but I'm happy with the way it came out.  This is stitched over two linen threads except where the pattern indicates that it should be stitched over one.

With this finish, that made 13 for the year, not counting any ornaments I stitched for folks for Christmas.  Here are the others.

Hope Blooms

God's Gifts Sampler

Au Point de Croix SAL

Wedding Sampler

Matter's Choice

Soie Surfine Silken Bird Spledor XXIV

Friendship Blooms

Sweet flowers

Count Your Blessings

The Three Wise Men

Sleeping Beauty


Nearly forgot Mary's Sampler

Hopefully I will finish more WIPs from a few years ago next year...lets keep our fingers crossed!!

I hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year, however you choose to celebrate.  We plan to go see a Christmas light display on New Year's Day, and hopefully I'll get some pictures...wish me luck!  So until then, happy stitching! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

I do wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  (Even if I am a day late!)

I stitched this pattern many years ago, but it so exemplifies my feeling about the season.  I hope my first thought at Christmas is about the One who humbled himself and came to dwell among us, offering salvation and peace on earth for those who choose to accept his amazing and gracious gift.  Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus!

It's has been crazy here at DJ's Digs.  I love this time of year, but it's exhausting!  We were quite busy with church activities and then yesterday, it was all quiet on the western front!  I love Christmas day here at our house.  Though we are up relatively early, and the most work we do all day is cooking dinner, we really enjoy each other's company.  We usually get a new game for Christmas and this year we got Mah Jongg, the card game.  Most people think it's a matching game, but in reality, Mah Jongg is a lot like Bridge, where you make certain hands before you can lay down your cards, then you steal points from other players.  It was a wonderful time to spend together, I love it that we like to play games and enjoy each others company.  I hope it is always that way!!  In the end we went to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks, a really good heart warming story, that both my guys and I enjoyed! 

 I was fortunate this year to have received some wonderful gifts from stitchy friends.  Astrid knows me too well!!  She really spoiled me this year, so along with a few goodies she gave me a few things to enhance my nativity collection.  Thank you Astrid, they are both lovely and meaningful and they will be displayed throughout the year!

I participated in a Secret Santa exchange this year.  What fun!!  I sent two charts to my partner, and someone sent me two charts, both from the same needlework store.  Too funny!!  Stitching Bits and Bobs was wonderful in that they included a lovely note explaining the charts were from my Secret Santa, and included a few freebies along with A Red Cottage, and Simple Gifts-Courage.  My fingers are itching to get started on these!!

Now that everyone has their gifts, I can show you what I've been busy stitching!  First off is a gift to my ornament exchange partner, Ally.  I sent her two but I only have pictures of one of them.

Next are two things I stitched for Astrid.  I loved this ornament so much, I plan to stitch one for myself too!  She is also a Saints fan, so I stitched this little pin for her.

I stitched a little ornament for Gillie as well.  She stopped by just after Thanksgiving so I was able to give her her gift in person though she chose to wait for Christmas to open hers!

As far as the little stitching I've been able to fit in here and there, here is my progress onRenouveau

A scarf I learned to make watching a youtube video.  It matches my coat perfectly and my guess is (since it's so easy to make) they might make good gifts next year!   

And my start on the amazing pattern my husband gave me for Christmas.  It is a nativity design from HAED.  He hunted down all the floss and I even had a piece of fabric big enough to stitch it hanging around the house!  I've decided to stitch it on 32 count over one.  Will you visit me in the looney bin when I'm finally driven there?

I know there is probably more I should write about, but my mind is still trying to process all the events of the past couple of weeks.  You probably won't hear from me again until 2014, but I hope and pray you enjoy the holidays and time spent with people you love and care for.  For those who have lost loved ones this year, heartfelt prayers are being offered up for you.  My prayer for all of you is that you are blessed beyond measure in the coming New Year.  *Hugs*

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's getting close, my list is getting shorter, my days are getting busier, and there is VERY LITTLE time for stitching!!  I love this time of year, when winter storms pop up causing folks to stay bundled up at home, parties are popping up everywhere, thinking of others as you shop for the perfect gift, and the FOOD!!  Lets not forget all that yummy food!!  My hips DO NOT thank you but my lips are smacking!  LOL

I've been decorating the house, the first time I've felt like doing all the extra work in a few years.  I've given out a few gifts, went to an ornament exchange last night (and no I didn't take a hand made ornament...shame on me?), spent a day with Astrid as she baked, and she graciously sent me home with some absolutely delicious cookies, made a few more fans of buckeye balls (they are a hit wherever I go!), and generally have enjoyed the Christmas spirit.

I have gotten a bit of stitching done.  I gave an ornament to Astrid, and forgot to take a picture...RATS!  Hopefully she'll post a picture on her blog and send a copy to me.  I have a few decorations I put up each year that I've stitched, and will show a few of my favorite Christmas ornaments I have on my tree...

The  Nativity at the top was given to me from Astrid.  Made from Olive wood, it's one of my more meaningful Nativities.  The second little snowman is one I stitched.  The next two are from Holland and Germany, can you guess which one came from where?  I've always loved the German hand carved ornaments, and the second angel is from the company that makes Hummels.  The last bear is one I made with my Mom.  We used to do crafts together a lot when I was growing up.  I miss living close to her and crafting with her.  Lots of memories on my tree.  The last two pictures are of the nativity I acquired in Oberammergau while living in Germany.  I leave it up all year round!

I have a few things I cross stitched and framed...

The kneeling Santa...

This picture of the Wise Men...

And my Mele Kalikimaka.  If you haven't heard the song, it means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian.

Last is the latest project I'm stitching on.  I haven't stitched much, there just isn't time.  Hopefully when the next storm hits I'll be able to get a bit more done.  This is Renouveau. I love the little characters doing different things in this sampler.  I can't wait to really sink my teeth in and get some serious stitching done.

I had a thought (I know, scarey right?) that maybe as a personal challenge to myself I would stitch at least one ornament a month so that when December rolls around I won't be so stressed making them.  Anyone want to join me?  We could start a blog and encourage one another.  Any thoughts?  Just leave a comment and I'll put my thinking cap on! 

That's all the news for now.  I'll leave you with a picture of the crazy weather in Maryland.  We had an ice storm one day, then snow the next.  Today they are predicting snow, ice, sleet, rain, and freezing rain.  We'll see what the day brings.  Stay safe and warm wherever you are!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

'Tis The Season...

As I sit here typing, there are a few snowflakes floating outside my window.  The world seems muted as it's a Sunday, hardly any traffic (especially since there is a winter storm approaching) and folks are settled in their homes awaiting the storm.  It's cozy and warm, and slowly the house is being decorated for Christmas.  My favorite Nativity is displayed all year, and came from Oberammergau, Germany.  Part of it is pictured above.  I love to be reminded throughout the year of our Savior's birth and try to remember this time of year, the reason for the season. 

The past week I haven't had much time for stitching, and for me it's like a drug withdrawal.  Odd how stitching centers my thoughts and emotions and when I don't have time to stitch, I feel "off balance".

I love the holidays, when people come together to socialize and try to bring each other a little joy.  I enjoyed shopping with friends this week, finding a few treasures that I hope will make their recipients smile!  And I love to give and to receive handmade gifts.  I've been stitching as fast as I can and have sent most of those gifts off but I still have a few more underway.  Here is one I am working on...

I was able to finish Violet's Blue this week.  I love this pattern, now if only I could find the time/resources to get it framed.  That will have to wait until after Christmas now.  Thank you again, Mouse, for the lovely pattern!  This has been a joy to stitch!!  Here are a few pictures... 

I finished part 4 of La Pensee Positive, a free SAL that can be found on Les Marottes de Nathalie blog.  I absolutely LOVE this pattern, the saying, the colors, and just working on it in general.  It makes me smile...and think positively!  I can't wait to get this framed and hung on my wall.  The last part comes out in January.  

Gillie kindly offered to sign me up for another SAL that begins in 2014.  I couldn't wait to get the I pulled the DMC and found this lovely 40 ct fabric, which to the relief of many...I will be stitching over two threads.  I am itching to get started on this one!

I was lucky enough to win this pattern on a Facebook giveaway being offered by Norden.  They have been giving away quite a few patterns...I feel so fortunate to have received this one!  I think after the holidays I'll see about making this one.  Isn't she lovely?

I've been remiss on posting this picture of a gift someone gave me for allowing them to borrow a couple of my patterns a few months ago.  I was surprised she was so kind to give them to me.  I love these counting pins, and she chose purple, my favorite color!!  The packaging is just wonderful!  Thank you Denise!  It certainly wasn't necessary, but I do love them very much!  It was so kind of you!

Here is what I've been stitching on (when I can catch a break).  Here is Renouveau...or just a small corner of it.  LOL  I love the hand dyed fabric I've been working it on, but it's slow going as I am stitching on 32 count over one.  I love how it is small when I finish, but I must admit it's driving my eyes bananas!  

I'm going to leave you with a picture of some visitors to my back yard.  Silly beasts!!  I hope they enjoyed eating the plants in my garden!  But I guess all God's creatures need to eat, I just wish they wouldn't pick my favorite plants!  Keep in mind these guys are less than ten feet from my back door!!  I hope you are enjoying the season and not over stressing.  If you are in the path of the storm, I pray you stay safe and warm.  Till next time...happy stitching!