Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 just around the corner

There has been too much coming and going in this house over the past week and I pretty much haven’t managed any stitching at all! I can feel myself starting to have withdrawal symptoms, I need to get a needle in one hand and fabric in the other and take myself off to a corner to stitch. Some of my lack of stitching is that I’m having a hard time deciding what project to start. As things got busier leading up to Christmas it seemed like all I had the time to do was smaller projects, somehow it was just so much easier to pick up something small. Now I’m getting past that and have the urge to get into something a bit larger but I seem to be going in circles with exactly what I’d like to start. Of course, add in the whole ‘start of another year’ thing and, while I’m not really one for making huge resolutions, there is no doubt that stitching plans come to mind. You know the ones …. finish those WIPS, work on patterns you already have, make a resolution to stay on the stash wagon and not buy any new stitching stash until you’ve made a dent in the mountain of supplies you already have. To that end, just in case I hit midnight tonight and have a moment of madness and decide to go with the no new stash thought, let me share some post-Christmas purchases that I have sneaked in before 2010 arrives!! First off, this fabric. Given my love of splodgy, tea-dyed fabric and how it never goes to waste in my fabric stash this has been a perfect choice. It arrived this afternoon and as soon as I opened the envelope I just fell in love with its yummy, splodgy, tea-dyedness and can’t wait to stitch on it.

32ct Puck hand dyed linen by Katie Trendell

Then, another purchase that I’ve been thinking about this past little while and decided it was time to treat myself…….

A Perpetually Engaging Diary from the Collection of Micheal & Elizabeth Feller and
Ackworth Memory Book

I can’t say that I’m completely resolution-less, the old chestnut of an ornament a month still raises its head with me each year and this coming year I’ve got company to help me try to do that. Cari and I are going to give it a go and see what we can achieve. Let’s see if we can keep each other going!

I do want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! DH and I have no grand plans for tonight, in all likelihood us ‘oldies’ will spend this evening watching tv and leave the celebrating to our offspring who are heading out. Maybe I can even tie my brain down to deciding just what would be the perfect 2010 stitching start for me. Before I go though, I do want to say that although I have only been blogging for a few months it has turned into one of my best decisions in 2009 and I’m so glad that I finally plucked up the courage to do it. To those who have welcomed me so warmly, to those who take time to visit my blog, to those who leave comments which I enjoy reading so much, can I wish you all health and happiness in 2010 with lots of love, laughter, friendship and stitching!

Until next time ....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Almost Christmas

I was beginning to think that I’d run out of time to make one final post before Christmas but looks like I’m going to make it! The last week seems to have flown in and I’ve managed to reach the 24th and have everything bought, wrapped and groceries organised. So, suddenly here I am and today looks like it will be one that isn’t full of stresses and battling through queues of last minute shoppers. Instead it will be spent at home enjoying having a full house again. Our eldest son arrived home Saturday night, our daughter arrived last night and both of them were very lucky and managed to avoid having any major flight delays with the icy weather that has been going on here. It’s lovely to have everyone home, we’re all looking forward to Christmas and I’m going to leave you with one final finish that I managed to squeeze in.

ornament from Christmas by Jardin Prive using suggested DMC threads and finished as a pinkeep

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas however you are spending it.

Until next time….

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Winter

Here is HE’s Merry Winter stitched and finished. I have the feeling this is probably going to be my last Christmas finish for this year. I have a couple of ornaments that may or may not be put together before the 25th but, if they’re not, that does give me a headstart for Christmas next year! Back to Merry Winter, I did enjoy stitching this one, I like that I can keep this out on display even once Christmas is over.

Homespun Elegance A Quaker Year: Merry Winter on 32ct Lakeside Linen light examplar using CC Belle Soie in Cranberry and WDW Cocoa (I thnk!).

My cards are written and sent, my tree is up and I only have a little bit of Christmas shopping left to do. There’s the inevitable grocery shopping to be done at some point next week and the dreaded queues in the supermarket but, other than that, I’m looking forward to our two sons and daughter coming home for Christmas. Our youngest son, who’s at university in the north-east of England, will be the first home; he arrives tomorrow evening and will be here for almost a month. I’m looking forward to having him home for a while.

Only just over a week until Christmas. It will be here before we know it!

Until next time …..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas .....ornaments......time for the tree

Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s only two weeks and a day until Christmas. Is anyone else finding the month of December flying in? I do have some Christmas things up around the house but I still have cards to write and a tree to put up (the boxes with the decorations have been staring at me forlornly for a couple of days) not to mention some gifts still to buy. But, I’ll get there.

This time round I have pictures to share of the lovely gift I received in the Christmas exchange I was part of. This gorgeous stocking ornament was stitched for me by Sarah (no blog). It’s a freebie design from this blog and I just love it.

She also included this lovely mug mat which she’d stitched and is from this blog.

Then, as my package has now been received by my partner I can share a picture of the ornament I stitched for her.

Blue Ribbon Designs freebie

Fabric: 32ct Light Examplar

Using suggested threads

Stitching-wise, well there's still some procrastinating going on around here but I have made a start! HE's Merry Winter is over half-way to being put together and I should have pics next time.

DH and I are back to just the two of us rattling around at home. The weekend went by far too quickly and the house seems quiet now but, in a couple of weeks, everyone will be home for Christmas so we’re both looking forward to that.

Finally, I just want to say ‘thank you’ for all your comments and for visiting my blog. Hope all is well with you and yours and your Christmas preparations are stress free! Now for my tree.....

Until next time ……

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some Christmas finishing procrastination going on.

Well, my Christmas stitching mojo may be in full swing but my Christmas stitching ornament finishing mojo certainly isn’t!!! I could stitch quite happily on a seasonal theme but actually getting round to turning things into finished articles?!?! This, of course, is where I start to wish I’d kept to that idea that I have every year of stitching (and finishing!) an ornament each month….. maybe 2010 will be the year I finally keep to that schedule (don't hold your breath, I've been talking of doing this for years!). So, no ornament finishing to show this time round but I have added a couple of Christmas designs to my stash. Here’s a pattern from Jardin Prive that as soon as I saw it knew I had to order.

Then when I was blog-hopping I came across this and knew it was another ‘must-have’.

So, both have made their way into my stash pile.

This past week we have had two birthdays in our family, my DD and my DH. My DD turned 24 last Friday, she has lived and worked in England for just over a year so wasn’t here at home on the day. She is coming home this weekend though and will be here until Tuesday. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to spending some time with her as it’s been several months since she was home. Then DH’s birthday was yesterday. We’ll just leave it that he’s a good bit older than 24!! ;) We went out for dinner last night, to one of our favourite restaurants, and had a lovely meal but that was about the height of the excitement. Still, it meant I didn’t have to make dinner and a break from that is always nice. For years now I’ve always felt that once those two birthdays are out of the way then I can really start to think ‘Christmas’. So, onwards and upwards and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have organised myself into a ‘finishing day’ by the next time I write!

Until next time ….

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quaker Heart finished & getting a little Christmassy

Hi everyone! I can’t believe Monday has rolled around again and we’re into another week. First off ….. the last stitches have been put in, the button and beads have been added and SB Quaker Heart can be reported as a finish. I am in two minds about how to finish this one, I probably will err on the side of caution and just have it framed but I’ve also seen it finished as a heart-shape ornament and like that too. However, me finishing something in a heart shape?!?!?!?! I am very much finishing-challenged. I can just about manage a passable attempt when something has straight lines and corners but head into other shapes and well, my blood runs cold! I see me taking the easy option on this and just having it framed.

SB Quaker Heart on 32ct Irish Creme linen using the suggested silks

Up next? Well, I saw this on Staci's blog and it reminded me that I had this pattern in my stash but had never got round to stitching it last year. I reckoned this would be the perfect one for the Cranberry Belle Soie fix I was looking for. So, a little taster on how this is turning out, it’s almost done, I only have the reindeer left to stitch on the far right hand side and then I shall be putting my finishing skills to task. My Christmas stitching mojo is in full flow so once this is done I’ll be picking something else that’s Christmassy.

Homespun Elegance A Quaker Year: Merry Winter
on 32ct LL light examplar using CC Belle Soie in Cranberry

Thank you to Melissa for awarding me my first blog award! I know I’m meant to pick 5 blogs but please consider yourselves all as recipients of this award from me as a thank you for the warm welcome and your wonderful blogs that I love to visit and where I see far too many things that I know will have to make their way into my stash!

Last but not least, may I wish my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Until next time……

Friday, November 13, 2009

The latest stitching goings-on around here

I can’t believe Friday has rolled round again. Where do the days go too? Below is a picture of my progress on SB’s Quaker Heart. I only picked this up again yesterday afternoon but it is stitching up so quickly that this should be a finish by the next time I blog. It’s the first SB kit I’ve worked on in a while and I’m loving stitching this. I love the design, I love the colours, I love the fabric, but, most of all? I love the silks. It’s made me realise it’s been too long since I stitched with silks and I’m not ready to stop stitching with them just yet. Christmas ……. ornaments ……..Cranberry Belle Soie …….think that’s the direction I’ll be headed once Quaker Heart is completed.

Latest progress on SB's Quaker Heart

The only other stitching news is that I’ve finished the ornament I was working on for the exchange but I’m keeping that under wraps for now. I’ll share a picture at a later date as I was pleased with how it turned out.

Thanks for all your lovely comments about my framed EE&F Love Letters. I definitely think this framer is a keeper and, aside from doing a great job, she didn’t charge me the earth! Another very definite plus! And, after my complaining about the rain last time? This week has been somewhat better. We’ve still had rain but it hasn’t felt like it was incessant and there have been several mornings that once it was daylight there was blue sky and sun. Makes such a difference! Have a good weekend everyone and hope all is well in your part of the world.

Until next time…..

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rain, rain go away .....

Seriously, I’ve had enough of rain. This certainly has been a wet autumn so far. I suppose I should look at it that here we are into November and the temps haven’t dropped that much but, I’m starting to feel like we’re all going to start growing webbed feet around here soon! Through this past week we’ve had a couple of blinks of sun and blue sky but most days you get up, look out the window in the vain hope that the rain won’t be falling only to have those hoped dashed. Dull, dreary, damp days. Ugh!

News on the stitching front isn’t that much. I’ve been working this week on a Christmas ornament for an exchange so don’t want to share pics just yet. I have a little more stitching to do on that and then I’ll be putting it together. I did finish the Ninth Month of the PSS Quaker Calendars . Now, when I say finished ..... I’d love to tell you that it’s completely and utterly finished and put together as a pinkeep but no, I just mean I’ve finished the stitching! I’ve everything gathered together for the Tenth Month and will start that when I finish this Christmas ornament.

Earlier in the week I had a phone call from the framers to say my piece was ready to be collected. I’d left EE&F’s Love Letters in with her and here are a couple of pics. I stitched this earlier this year and did change the piece slightly, in the design the year is stitched under the wording ‘be kind’ to the right of the large heart in the middle but I decided not to put that in and stitched another heart in its place. This is the first piece I’ve given to this framer and I’m really pleased with what she’s done. I haven’t had anything framed in several years, good framers are few and far between in my part of the world, and have quite a few pieces that I know will now be heading her way.

Ewe & Eye & Friends Love Letters using 32ct Permin lambswool and the recommended DMC threads

Close up of frame

Thank you all for your continuing lovely comments and visits to my blog. May everyone’s days be ones that are not rain-filled! Until next time……

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A finish, a start and a WIP

Yes, I have a finish to report! I put the final stitches in Betsy late yesterday afternoon but thought I'd wait until today to share my happy dance in the hope that I could get a better picture in natural daylight. Unfortunately the weather is not co-operating, it's another one of those autumn days that we've been having lately, dark and dreary, raining on and off and any chance of natural daylight today is remote given that the lights have stayed on ever from I got up this morning and they're likely to stay on the rest of the day. So, please excuse my picture-taking skills or lack thereof! I'm so pleased that I have this finished. I plan on getting it framed at some point. I am waiting for my first piece back from a new-to-me framer and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I might have finally found a framer who's on the same wavelength as me when it comes to framing needlework pieces. Anyway, here is Betsy in all her finished glory!

Sheepish Designs Betsy stitched on 32ct Belfast linen Light Sand using recommended DMC

Next is a pic of SB's Quaker Heart. I only got round to adding this to my stash about a month ago and couldn't resist doing a few stitches when it first arrived. I love the colours in this one. I am a long-time SB fan, a lot of the framed pieces on my walls are of the older SB band samplers and I just love the colours they use in their designs. While I don't plan to concentrate solely on this one for the next little while I think it will work up quite quickly.

SB Quaker Heart kit stitched on 32ct Irish Creme using Au Ver a Soie Gloriana & Soie Belle Silks

Finally, let me share a WIP. I am attempting to stitch the relevant Plum Street Samplers Quaker Calendar for each month and was managing to do quite well at keeping up with my plan until I reached the summer. Unfortunately then I hit a blip and they were put to one side for a little while. So, yes, I'm working on the September one, the one for October is but a glint in my eye and we'll not think about November just yet! However, I have to say, this is probably the first 'series' that I have started out in January determined to stitch one each month and I've managed to sort of keep on track and not fall by the wayside around March! So far I have up to June finished as pinkeeps and have them displayed in a bowl. Okay, yes, I am somewhat behind on finishing them as pinkeeps but, hopefully in the not too distant future I'll set aside a 'finishing' day and get a few more put together.

Plum Street Samplings Quaker Calendar V stitched on 32ct Belfast linen Antique Ivory using recommended DMC

So, that's what's been going on in my part of the world lately. In amongst Quaker Hearts and Quaker Calendars I'm deciding on a Christmas ornament to stitch for an exchange and I'd like to try and make a decision today on which one to work on and get started on it.
Until next time ......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just to say .......

....... thank you to everyone who has left comments and welcomed me so warmly to blogging. I had quite the surprise when I checked my blog and saw that comments had risen to double figures on my last post and I’d more followers! Seeing my dear friend Siobhan’s name mentioned sent me heading straight to her wonderful blog and, sure enough, she had indeed pointed people in my direction. I may have been hesitant at the start but now that I’ve dived in I am really enjoying the experience and I’m looking forward to visiting, commenting and getting to know you all. I love seeing what people are working on. Often I come across a design that I’ll only have glanced at when it’s first been released only to see progress pictures on a blog and realise that it’s a ‘must have’.

No progress picture of Betsy with this post - headless sheep aren’t the best look and that’s where I left off stitching yesterday! This is more me dropping in because I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciated your welcome! Thank you!

Until next time…..

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This and that

Hey all! Thanks so much for the encouraging comments! Those of you that know me know that I’m one of those ‘let me blend in’ kind of people. If there’s a crowd, I’ll be the one in the middle or at the back trying not to be noticed! It’s not in my nature to be at the front and, although I’ve been contemplating doing this for a while, there’s no doubt that the thought of actually putting myself and my thoughts out there in blog-land somehow felt to me like standing way out on my own waving my arms wildly saying ‘look at me’!! But, now that I’ve done it I’m realising that everything is still fine in my world, I’m not going to be struck down by lightening and in the vast expanse of blogging out there I’m very much ‘one of the crowd’ and I should just settle in and enjoy it.

Stitching-wise you’ll see I’m still working on Betsy. I always have been, and probably always will be, a ‘one project at a time and work on it until it’s finished’ person although my stash is not totally free of UFO’s (DT’s Toccata I comes to mind straightaway but let’s not talk about that this time!). The word ‘rotation’ is yet to be in my stitching vocabulary. I see how it can work well but I have this mental image of me going round and round in circles and never actually finishing anything! Now, in truth, I do slip the occasional smaller project in and I’m starting to hear those words that should only be whispered when we’re still in October …… Christmas stitching ….. perish the thought! However, I know that I need to start thinking about it now and then I’ll actually get some done. Can someone please tell me why 2009 seems to be going so quickly?!?!?!?!

Okay, let me leave you with a picture of my progress on Betsy.

Until next time…..

Friday, October 16, 2009

So here I go with a picture

Having surprised myself with actually managing to do a post yesterday I'm taking the next step and doing this post with a picture! Here is my progress on Sheepish Designs Betsy. I'm stitching this on 32ct Belfast Light Sand and using the listed DMC. I love the colours in this one. Today I plan to stitch more of the alphabet and maybe make a start on the tree on the far right hand side. I still need to decide how to stitch the 9 in the year. I am not the fastest of stitchers but I try and stitch a little every day. Some days I can be on a roll and get a good chunk of time to stitch, other days it's just a case of a few threads. Mind you, even if it's only a few threads you still see some progress. I haven't had much time to do more than a couple of threads in the last two days so today I plan to remedy that and get a good chunk of stitching time in!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1, 2, 3 .......jump

On the encouragment of several stitching friends, having mentioned I was considering doing a blog, I've finally taken the plunge and set this up. I'm not sure how this will go. To be honest, I'm amazed I've actually managed to get this far without needing help!! So, this is my blog, one that will mostly be about my stitching exploits and a way for me to keep track of what I actually achieve in my stitching. Currently I'm working on Sheepish Designs Betsy which has been very kindly lent to me by a stitching friend. Why I never bought this when it was available is beyond me. Lesson learnt ....... if I like a pattern, buy it because you never know when it will become OOP. Of course, perfect reason for me to buy more stash, something that I have more than enough of already. But, I think that's a very familiar story with stitchers! I'm not going to attempt to post a picture of my progress on this piece today. I think I've managed to do well enough getting this written! A picture to follow, hopefully in my next post!