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!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12th Day of Christmas

I'm kind of sad this is the last day of our 12 Days of Christmas exchange.  It's been such fun getting to know the ladies of the Stitcher's Circle Yahoo Group.  We've been chatting and ooohing and aaaahing over all the lovely little gifts.  But...there is always next year!!

So today I received this lovely needle holder for needles and other things I might need while using yarn.  In my case Crochet, because I can't Knit to save my life!!  What a lovely gift, and I know I will put it to good use.  Thank you so much, Marcy!!

My gift to Lynne today was a teacup pincushion.  I had made this in the summer for this exchange, and then found out I was sending to Scotland.  YIKES.  I tried to pack it as best I could and it looks like it made it there in one piece.  

Ok, off to battle the crowds again today.  Yesterday was a nightmare, standing in lines everywhere I went.  But I must say, I had several pleasant conversations along the way.  At least the people I chatted with yesterday are in the Christmas spirit...although I think I might have offended someone when I wished them a Merry Christmas.  How politically uncorrect of me...hahaha  So I guess I'll do it again.  To all my friends here, Have a Merry Christmas!!  If you celebrate another holiday, I hope yours is Merry as well!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, December 11, 2017

11th Day of Christmas

So today I had to laugh when I saw my gift.  It was a frog measuring tape and a seam ripper.  I don't have to explain why the two of them went together...and I know they will come in handy.  My partner sure has a sense of humor!!  LOL

I wasn't too original with my gifts, but seeing what others have been given has given me ideas for next year.  I hope my partner enjoyed the gifts I gave her, and honestly, I can't wait for her to see what is there tomorrow....I think I saved the best for last!  Here is what she received today...

I can't tell you what a huge sigh of relief I felt when I finished the 2017 Mystery Sampler from Linen & Threads.  I'll post that in a few days.  I'm trying to decide if I should do the 2018 sampler...I'll be keeping that in the back of my head for now.  I still have these 4 from Tempting Tangles that I am working on.  I was able to catch up on two yesterday.  Here is This Corner of Earth

This is  Springtime Easter Delight

I am hoping to work on the other two later today, but for now I must get ready to go shopping and to the post office.  My car is still covered with snow so I'm dragging my feet hoping the shining sun will take care of part of the issue!  Haha.  Living where we do, the sun doesn't hit the front part of our house for very long, so our plants don't thrive, our parking spots freeze and stay frozen, and our front steps can be hazardous to navigate once they melt and refreeze.  Oh the joys of winter...NOT!!  The snow sure looked pretty over the weekend though.  It kept me home so I was able to finish decorating the big tree, set up my Christmas village, and write out my Christmas cards.  Quite the productive weekend!  

Yesterday was The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting for families who have lost children.  We lit a candle for Katie last night.  My heart breaks every time I think of her.  Someone posted a song they had chosen for their first dance at their wedding and I heard it for the first time this morning.  Katie's song  It was perfect for them......Katie we miss you!!!

Ok, enough dragging my feet, off to run my errands.  Cherish your loved ones...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's the 10th day of Stitchmas and my stitch friend gave to me.....a beautiful pattern from Summer House Stitch Workes.  All along I've been given, floss, fabric, and and even trim to make this little cushion!  Now I have everything I need to make this, isn't that thoughtful?  I truly have been spoiled rotten!!

Today my partner, Lynne, received a retractable tape measure.  I hope she enjoys using it, she mentioned she didn't have one that rolled itself up.  Aren't we Americans spoiled?

Yesterday my husband decided he was tired of dodging boxes in the living room, and got me started decorating the house for real.  I'm only posting a few of the decorations we have around...but I assembled my village, finally put the ornaments on the tree and even decorated the mantle.  I guess he was having a wee bit of cabin fever because it was snowing and he didn't want to go anywhere.  Haha...ah well, it's done now...

I even had time to FINALLY finish the Linen & Threads Mystery SAL, but that shall remain a mystery for you until the 15th.  I'll unveil it then for Gifted Gorgeousness.  Now all I have left to do is finish shopping, get my cards and a couple packages in the mail, and get everything wrapped.  Monday is going to be a fun day!

I'm taking a break today though, and trying to get my other SAL's caught up.  We'll see how that goes!  haha  I hope you are having a restful Sunday and enjoying the season!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas

It's the 9th day of Christmas and my stitch partner gave to me...TWO Christmas nail files.  Are these not the cutest??  They literally made me chuckle.  I don't know where Marcy found all these Christmas themed things, but they are the best!  Thanks, Marcy!!

I missed posting Day 8 of my gifts for Lynne yesterday so I'll post 8 and 9 today.  Day 8 was a magnetic notepad...

Day 9 was a retractable sharpie.

Yesterday my son got tickets for us to see the new Jumanji movie, a sneak peek....and I loved it!!  There were some "inappropriate humor" for little kids, I guess that's why it's PG13, but I really did enjoy it, and for the first time in a long time there was applause at the end of the movie!  I'm putting it on my Christmas list for next year!

I worked a wee bit on my Linen & Threads Mystery SAL.  I just don't have time, my family keeps running me from here to there...haha.  But hopefully I'll finish by the 15th for Gifted Gorgeousness.  Keep your fingers crossed that I have enough red thread...I'm getting close to running out!!

I'm still enjoying the online Advent Calendar over on Serendipitous Stitching.  Jo has such fun activities, I enjoy visiting her blog!  She has even been hosting a Blogger of the Week.