Saturday, December 31, 2016

Out with the with the New...

It's New Year's Eve!  I wish for the New Year, health, happiness, and all things stitchy for all my family and friends.  I hope the New Year is kinder to folks than 2016.  It's been a tough one for many that I know.  So let's look forward with hopeful thoughts!

I wanted to post one final post for this year with a few last minute finishes.  Here is "Benjamin" from Mill Hills Nativity Trilogy.  With only 3 more to go now (out of nine) I feel really good about almost accomplishing my goals this year, considering there was about 3 months when I wasn't able to stitch at all!  If you want to see all that I finished last year, you can check the 2016 goals tab at the top and see them all!

I also finished another Frosty the Snowman by JBW designs.  This one is for Mouse, who agreed to assemble the two I stitched as long as I sent the fabric, and she can have one of them!  They will be winging their way to you as soon as I get all my ducks in a row, Mouse!

I didn't finish any of the WIPs I had planned to, nor did I start London by Thea Gouverneur.  But I did finish up many of the ones I had planned, the Snowflower Diaries series, the Advent Calendar, the Merry Christmas blocks and Jan-April of the Country Cottage Needleworks months.  Considering the way the year went, I am pleased with the 86 finishes I did have!  I've added the ones I didn't finish or start to next years list....and hope 2017 will end with a lot of old finishes!  Wish me luck!

I also plan to participate in a different kind of Round Robin where we will send and receive individual smalls to stitch, then send back to the original owner to finish.  I'll be sending out some strawberries to work on.  I can't wait to receive the ones from the will be interesting to see what they will choose.  I'm also participating in a stitcher's day exchange.  I have everything ready to go for that too (I went to an end of year sale I'm all ready to rock and roll!)  Tomorrow I'll be starting Leave a light on by Teresa Layman Designs.  I can't wait! 

Until next time....may your stitches be many and your frogs be few!  See ya next year!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Don't you just love that perfect pear?  A friend of mine stitched it for me as an exchange this past spring at our annual St. Michaels weekend.  I was the lucky recipient of this beautiful ornament, that is sitting in my tree.

Yes, I'm one of those folks who love Christmas.  I shop all year round looking for the perfect gifts.  My Dad was always the hardest one to buy for...and the most fun to search for...and I very nearly managed to get something he loved every year!  He would always say, "You find the neatest things...where on earth did you find this?"  I truly miss him but especially at Christmas.  See my Dad used to dress up as Santa.  He would show up on Christmas Eve at the houses of friends with little kids and they would mysteriously catch him placing gifts under their trees.  We caught him one year....the best Christmas of my life!  My sister wouldn't leave her bed to go see him, I guess she was afraid she wouldn't get what she wished for...but that didn't matter to me, I wanted to give Santa a hug....he was always good to me every year!  We didn't even notice that Dad was missing...hahaha.

I like to stitch for Christmas, decorating the house is one of my favorite things I look forward to every year.  As we get older, though, it's been a bit harder to get my act together.  This year went together the smoothest of all.  All the decorations are out, the gift buying/wrapping was done earlier this year, and I've had time to really reflect on the true reason of the season.  So I'm thankful.....for my family, for my friends, for the life I lead which at times can be difficult to navigate but when you look at it in it's entirety, it's been a pretty good life!  But what I'm most thankful for is the Love our God has showered on us by sacrificing his one and only Son.  He came to earth to bear the sins of the world, to die on the cross as our sacrificial Lamb to atone for all our sins.  What perfect, amazing, unselfish love!!  I pray that as life goes along, I will mirror that perfect's not perfect yet, I'm still working on it, but hopefully moving in the right direction.  May the Love of Christmas fill your hearts today, and all the year through!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve...

Are your stockings hung?  Do you have a glass of eggnog?  Are your presents wrapped?  My Advent calendar tells me it's Christmas Eve...are you ready?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Almost there...

I think this is the first Christmas in many years that I am finished early getting everything ready!  I will have some baking to do Saturday, but other than that I have all the gifts wrapped and all the ornaments made, and all the decorations out!  It sure feels good to go into the holidays feeling relaxed and rested.  But...poor DH...I think he caught the flu.  He didn't have a very restful night last night...let's hope he gets better before the big day!

We are going to our son's girlfriend's house Christmas afternoon.  I love my kid, but he is a last minute kinda guy...and didn't tell us until last week that we were going.  That meant presents for her family...but no worries, it was a one day deal finding gifts for them.  But...I made his GF an I had to make the others one too, right?  The last couple of days I've been stitching my fingers to the bone!  (So much so that my light bulb on my stitching lamp died last night...but thankfully I had stitched my last ornament!)  I may have to battle the masses looking for a Verilux light bulb today...I have other lights, but this one is my favorite!

Anyway, I thought I would show you what the last couple of days have produced...I was having such a blast stitching, I stitched some for my own tree too!  Here are the finishes...

This was a free pattern found here...

Not my best finishing, but I have trouble with the larger ones...I hope she likes it, she loves anything Paris!

This was a Permin of Copenhagen Christmas House card pattern, I stitched it first on 40 ct. over one...I might have to wait a while before I try this again, and give my eyes time to uncross!  LOL  I have these little frames I was looking for something small enough to go in them...

I love the pattern so much, I tried it again on 40 ct. over two...and I thought it looked pretty good in this frame...

I stitched this one for an exchange, but I made a mistake....however, I loved it even though it's not perfect, so decided to finish it anyway.  I made another one for my stitch partner, and saved this one in my "vault of unfinished ornaments".  It was stitched on 36ct over two.  It was found in the 2010 JCS Christmas ornament issue.

I have too much time on my hands...LOL  So...who knows what I'll get up to in the next couple of days, especially if I have to take care of a man with the flu...wish me luck.  I may have to find some good medicine that knocks him out, and retreat to my stitch cave while he recuperates.  Let's just hope the rest of us don't get it!!  Happy Stitching!!

Saturday, December 17, 2016


What a perfect day to sit, sip something warm, and watch the ice build up on the trees and things outside my window!  The BGE guy finally arrived Thursday (did I tell you our thermostat was broken?) and replaced our old thermostat (which hasn't worked properly since we moved in here 10 years ago) so now it will shut off when it reaches the so ordered temperature.  We were bouncing from HOT (surface of the sun BROILING) to COLD (Antarctica FREEZE)!!  We finally turned the crazy thing off while sleeping and woke to a balmy 62 degrees every morning.  Thank heavens we don't live north of the Mason Dixon line!!  And thank heavens we don't have an end unit townhouse!!  AND thank heavens we don't have to go anywhere today!  Driving in snow is one thing...but ice...NO THANK YOU!!

We had to go to the local mall last night.  I try to avoid the mall this time of's parking, people are unfriendly (and that's putting it mildly) and clerks are harried.  Why did we have to go?  DH dropped his cell phone and needed a new one.  It was crazy, the screen was completely blank, but it would randomly call people...and play music when if felt so inclined.  But it turned out to be not so bad...we found parking near the Best Buy store, found a friendly, chatty clerk, left with a $300.00 gift card (that would couldn't use toward the price of the phone...go figure??) and free "virtual reality glasses".  It all went so well we decided to stay and see a movie.  Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.  LOVED IT!!!

So...stitching is on the agenda today!  And we are one week away...are you ready?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December Gifted Gorgeousness

It's kind of bitter sweet that I type this it's the last Gifted Gorgeousness for the year.  I have to say, it's been an odd year, and though I've tried to update monthly, there were a few months I had to skip because I wasn't home.  I have loved this challenge because I've had to reach down deep in my grab bag of stash to find things there were given to me, or were gifts for others.  It also keeps me blogging at least once a month.  Thank you, Jo, for all your kind comments, and for organizing the challenge.  As always, it's been a great year!  If you want to see what others have done for the challenge, you can visit Jo's blog here.

I made a few Christmas ornaments this year as exchanges.  Here are a few I made...

This one was from JCS 2010 Ornament Issue, and was designed by Victoria Sampler.  It was for my private exchange partner, Amy.  It was stitched on 32 ct. over two on Natural Linen.

This one was also from a JCS Christmas Ornament issue, but I don't remember the year.  I stitched this one on 14 ct. white plastic canvas, and finished the back with red felt.  I stitched this for a Friendly Stitchers exchange for Joyce.

This was stitched on 28 ct. white fabric over one and was found in a Cross Stitch Collection magazine for Mouse from Friendly Stitchers.

I've been stitching a lot, hoping to finish a few things I had for goals this year.  I finished stitching up the last 4 Snowflower Diaries months in the past month.  Yippee!!  Next goal is to get them finished so I can display each month.  Here they are...





I also had the Mill Hills Trilogy Nativity kits I was hoping to finish.  These were a gift from DH two years ago.  I collect nativities, so thought I would finish these on fabric and as cubes.  I had three done (Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus) and I still have four to go, but finished these two this month.  I'm going to concentrate on finishing these in the early months of next year so I can display them next December!



I finished stitching this ornament as a to get it finished.  This was a freebie that I found here... 

I finished all the advent calendar pieces and got them  finished into ornaments before the first of December.  I'll show you how I'm displaying them...

Here are all of them...

And here they are in different stages of being finished.  It was a time consuming process, as I had to gather them around a round form, then sew the lace on the front piece, then lace the back, then sew the hanging loop on.  I gathered the backing fabric to a separate round form, then laced it, and then glued the two pieces together.  Each one took about 45 minutes to finish.  It was my goal to stitch them all and finish them so I could use them this December.  

I'm thrilled I was able to accomplish this...I wasn't sure I would be able to with all that went on this year so it was really satisfying to actually accomplish so many goals that I had set for myself!

 I'm looking forward to stitching on some WIP's next year....I really need to finish up some of the stuff floating around here.  It really does feel good to finish up a larger project.  Wish me luck!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

All I want for cross stitch...

Is anybody with me?  Some might say it's an  I just like creating things with my hands...and most are given as gifts!  It's one of the few things I like to do and I think I do well.  But...I thought I'd share some of the goodies I have received recently in exchanges...and some of the things that make a regular appearance on my trees every year.

This year I received a lovely ornament from Mouse.  It's hard to see the colors but they are my favorite, lavender and white.  And the ribbon that looks pink is actually an iridescent white.

I also received this beauty from Amy.  Her finishing is always so beautiful!

And last, but not least, is the one I received from Joyce.  It's so cute!

I've received a few over the years...

This one is from Ravensong.  She hand-dyed the fabric and the threads.  I just love the little gold snowflake in the middle!

My pal Astrid has made these cute mittens, they are on my tree every year!

Dawn sent me this many years ago...I just love it!!

The rest I've made over the years...some cross stitch...

Some needlepoint....

Some just crafted...

But my absolute favorite that I stitched many years ago is this one....

 And this is how I decorated this Christmas village

My small tree of mostly hand made ornaments....

Our big tree.

I finished up my Advent Numbers, and here they are displayed so far....

I leave you with a picture of my crazy DH.  He wore this to a church event this weekend and as he walked by a young boy of about 5, he told DH to say Hi to Santa for him.  LOL  I wonder if he really thought he was Buddy?

Only two more weeks to go!   Are you ready?