Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Christmas Exchange #1

This year for the first time I dipped my toe into the World of Exchange (WOE). As the acronymn suggests I have been harboring fears that my exchange partner would end up being disappointed in the box I would send.

But, thru an exchange board, I met Lorrie, another exchange newbie, who was sharing my same nervous concerns. We decided to do a private exchange. And look at my box full of goodies! (please excuse the bad picture-I had 2 and this was the best one)

The actual box is in the upper left hand corner-Lorrie painted it and put a copy of one of my samplers on it--that was a delight to see! She made me a beautiful pillowcase with my favorite color-pink-as the accent. Every item she included was a delight and more than I could possibly deserve.

Thanks so much again, Lorrie! (Did I tell you that I have already used the HDF overdye silk on a new project? Tune in tomorrow to see it!)

Click HERE to see the box I sent to Lorrie.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Project List

After much pulling of charts and putting back of charts and pulling threads and making lists and changing my mind, here is the list of projects for the Crazy January Challenge 2011. In no particular order-

1. Homespun Elegance Holiest of Nights

2. Plum Street Samplers Rejoice

3. Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler 2009-see Giovanna's here

4. Raise the Roof Happy Camper

5. Hawkins House-Apple Tree Sampler

6. Praiseworthy Stitches Tiny Pumpkin Etui-scroll down

7. With Thy Needle & Thread Give Thanks

8. Little House Needleworks Needle & Thread

9. Praiseworthy Stitches Sunflower Friends

10. Blackbird Designs Spring Fling

11. BrightNeedle Pretty in Pink Pinkeep and Fob-scroll down

12. Petite Sampling Etui-collarboration by Cherished Stitches, Priaseworthy Stitches, The Stitching Parlor and With My Needle

13. With My Needle Quaker Hornbook

14. Sheepish Designs Temptation

15. Needle Delights-Rainforest Crunch-scroll down to 15th item

16. Renaissance Designs Five Christmas Trees Shimmering

A careful combination of small, medium and large projects by a broad selection of designers.

Did I tell you the initial 22 charts that I pulled turned into 23 charts? Then I had to reduce and that was the hardest part of this challenge so far! Despite my best efforts, I could only get to 16 charts. :) The criteria I had to use was sometimes bizarre.

For example, I had a different box-type project that I wanted to stitch (from Antique & Sampler Quarterly magazine). But I had all the Vikki Clayton silks for Petite Sampling Etui in my stash and I would have had to order a bunch of Gloriana and NPI silks for the other project. So, considering my budget, I went with PSE.

All of the fabric is cut and the last threads needed are on order. I'm anxious to get started, but still stitching to finish some small items for 2010.

More tomorrow!

Edited: The link to this amazing challenge is here and on my sidebar. It will take you to the original site and all the explanations (very simple).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 5

My first attempt to "stage" my picture. Hmmm... I think I better keep trying. :)

Here are the latest finished ornaments.

The larger one is a Kelly Clark needlepoint angel. I used several metallic threads including red, gold, silver, and white Snow. The rest of the angel was stitched with my favorite needlepoint thread-Vineyard Silk.

The small one is a cute design by Belinda Karls-Nace of Blue Ribbon Designs. It is Established With Love. This design was #3 in the SYHO series in 2010. It was stitched on 36 ct linen instead of the called-for 32 ct. So it is a little smaller than it is supposed to be and it makes the angel look bigger!
I got this chart in an exchange with a wonderful new stitching friend-thanks again, Lorrie!

(More about our exchange coming soon to this stitchy blog.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crazy January Challenge 2011

It's Official! I am participating in the Crazy January Challenge 2011!

At first I thought 15 New Projects??!!

Then I started counting what I finished this year-(41 so far, but yes that includes all these smalls-ornaments, pin cushions, etc :)

So I started pulling out kits that I really want to start...

and charts that I already had kitted up...

and charts I really want to get to soon...

and a few needlepoint projects...

and a gift for the grandson...

and, well you see where I am going.

I had 22 projects pulled out!

How will I ever cut that down to ONLY 15???!!!

Here is DD#1's cross stitch snowman all finished as a flat-fold. It turned out so cute and this was her first time trying this finish. All her co-workers wanted her to give it to them. :) Thank you, Vonna, for your wonderful tutorial!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pincushions Finish-Finished

Blackbird Designs (l to r)
Small Token
Buttons & Pins
Bird in Hand

Ever since I bought myself a pumpkin pincushion for my birthday, I have been on a little bit of a "pincushion" kick. Here are my pincushions for 2010-All Finished! Since I always seem to be out of at least one of the called-for threads a few substitutions were made-Small Token-I used GAST Dungarees for the blue bird; Bird in Hand-I used GAST Buckeye Scarlet and a Christmas fabric for backing; and Buttons and Pins-I didn't chain stitch the whole body of the vase, just the handles and GAST Cherry Wine for the flowers .

Today's high is supposed to get to 19 degrees-pretty cold for us! I'm heading back to the fire!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 4

Here are my Blackbird Designs Christmas stockings for this year.

It is snowing here in western Washington. Time to build a fire and fix some hot chocolate!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 3

Today's ornaments are from a personal exchange. Check out the beautiful ornament I received from Vonna-The Twisted Stitcher. Nativities are my favorite Christmas decoration and this ornament will fit in so beautifully with my home decorations. I don't have any Prairie Schooler ornaments AND I love the use of non-traditional colors. Wow! You hit a home run, Vonna! Thank You!

Of course, I forgot to photograph the ornament I made for her. I know that she has received it so I will share this ornament that is the same pattern that I used for her ornament. I fell in love with her ornament as I stitched it and stitched one for myself. :) This is my version of the Windows of Faith, Hope and Peace ornament in the JCS 2010 Christmas issue. I used DMC #3809 because I had these fantastic matching beads that I wanted to use on the edging. Vonna's ornament is finished differently.

It is almost the weekend!
Have a good one!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 2

Here is the second installment of ornaments for this year. These are all pillow-type finishes. Top row (l to r)-LHN Fa La La and LHN Pear Tree. I would have beaded the edges of these two ornaments also, but I didn't have extra matching fabric for the backs.

Bottom row (l to r) Aury's 2009 and 2010 Fourth of July ornaments. Tip:When finishing a heart shaped ornament, don't leave the slit for turning next to the tip. It could end up like mine--a little crooked at the tip. I am thinking about removing the blue gingham ribbon on the small one and putting a trim all the way around. It would hide the tip somewhat. What do you think?

Here is the backing fabric-
More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 1

For some reason I have been really stitching Christmas ornaments this year. I think I have stitched more ornaments this year than several past years combined. These are the first ones to share (from l to r):Blackbird Designs from JCS Christmas 2010 magazine, Country Cottage Needleworks Visions of Sugar Plums, LHN He's A Flake, and Blue Ribbon Designs freebie Noel.

These are all finished with a beaded edge-a new finishing technique that I just learned this year. See my first effort-a freebie scissor fob by Brooke's Book here. I love the way they turn out! Sorry for the poor quality of my picture-just click on it for a better view.

I decided not to start another project this year. I want to finish up another WIP if possible. So I pulled out Mary Wigham and worked on her last night. I'll post an update on her soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Dance!

Little House Needleworks
Traveling Stitcher
32 ct mystery linen
Called for Crescent Colours threads

Another 2010 finish! Now on to "finish-finish" some more items that I will be sharing soon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beaded Ornament Finish & New Start

There was stitching going on this weekend at my house! This is what I can share-

You saw this one before when I finished stitching her. But, today she is "finish finished." This pattern is a LHN Freebie, but I didn't write down where I found it. :( And I wrote Christmas Girl on the pattern but I'm not sure that is the name of the pattern.

If anyone recognizes this pattern and will email me, I will post the info and link, if possible. She is my second experiment with beaded edging and this one went much smoother than my first try. Thanks to Snippets and Stash for her tutorial and to Carol at Stitching Dreams for pointing the way to the tutorial.

I actually have some blue/green beads that I want to use for a beaded edging so I picked out an overdye thread that matched pretty well and now all I need is a pattern for a Christmas ornament that would look great monochromatic. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Here is my new start-it is LHN Traveling Stitcher. The needlebook is finished and the rest has a good start.

I am wanting to stitch the LHN boy skater ornament in JCS 2010 ornament issue. But I don't have the pattern for the girl skater ornament. Does someone have that pattern I could borrow or trade for?

Hey, did you hear about the Crazy January Challenge 2011? Check this out-I am thinking seriously about joining in!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October ANG SOTM

This is the ANG Stitch of the Month thru October. I wasn't planning to do a Christmas themed piece. But it certainly looks like it.

I marked the outside border wrong. It is one row too small. But luckily the marks will be covered up with the stitching. Now on to November!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Dear Katy!

Happy Birthday, Dear Katy!
Here you are on your wedding day-2007
You are at such a great age-24
And the newest member of the family to learn to cross-stitch
Here is how I think of you- Halloween 1994
We love you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two Updates & A Birthday Gift to Myself

Here is the latest on Gay Ann Roger's Snowflake Girl. I got temporarily distracted from her, but finally finished the prework. This is not for a class, but the instructions had a prework section. I love her already!

Sylvia's SAL is almost finished! The November block was quick to stitch and the whole thing is just cute. Talk about monthly instant gratification for those of us who get bogged down in big projects.

Lastly is my birthday gift to myself. It is a pumpkin pincushion that I bought off of Etsy from GlassDragonBearsEtc. It measures approx 3 1/2" X 3 1/2".

Now you see where I got the desire for Tiny Pumpkin Etui. I got mine from Denise at Threadneedle Street. She still has a couple more for sale-$24.
Edit:Thank you, Marlene, for pointing out that everybody doesn't know when my birthday is :) It was Halloween.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Stash and 2 Finishes!

Here is the latest stash I have accumulated. The small pumpkin is Tiny Pumpkin Etui by Praiseworthy Stitches. It is a kit to stitch and finish a pumpkin pincushion. My LNS told me to be careful or I will be a collector of pumpkins. Too late :) I got the last of the Carriage House Samplings I was admiring as Kathy will be retiring soon. She will be missed.

Here is more stash. I have become an admirer of Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle & Thread after I saw the Gathering Acorns finished on Becky Bee's Stitching Hive. That Becky is such a stitching inspiration-wow!

Here is my first beaded edge finish. It is a scissor fob. There were a couple of little boo-boos on the corners and I don't think the ribbon is quite centered, but I learned and am anxious to try it again! The pattern is a freebie by Brooke's Books.
I used the called-for DMC floss and 32 ct belfast linen and think 36 ct would have made it a little smaller and more "scissor fob" size.

And last but not least, This is the Day by Hands to Work is finished! I filled in the number box at the bottom of the sampler and thought it turned out nice. But the alphabet at the top doesn't have any filling except on the crown. Don't the leaves on the tree make a big difference? And I love the way the over 1 stitching in the box at the middle left turned out-thank goodness for lighted magnifiers!