Monday, December 31, 2012

A Stitchy New Year's Eve

After a fun and, as usual, chaotic, Christmas with my family, I'm happy to be home again.  Yes, I'm a homebody and proud of it.  Lester and Otis have settled down and all is right with the world.  I've even managed to start my New Year's Resolution to stitch more, a little early!

Don't ever be fooled into thinking that just because a project is small that it will be a quick stitch! This little Button and Beaded kit from Mill Hill has seemingly taken forever! But I finished it this afternoon while screaming at the TV.  I love watching the bowl games, but my NCSU Wolfpack turned the ball over almost as many times as I dropped a  bead. It was miserable...for all of us.  But I finished this little piece and can now move on.

After almost twenty years, I'm finally going to stitch one of my all-time favorite samplers.  "Virtue Outshines the Stars" by The Needle's Prayse is a class example of Darleen O'Steen's amazing work.  It's charted for DMC, but I'm converting it to silks which will delay the start just a little, but I'll enjoy it so much more. It's full of Queen stitches, so I'll have to forego my favored 40 count linen for 36 count. 
In the meantime, I'll be stitching this little beauty.  A good friend of mine has had her house on the market for over a year and it has recently sold. So she'll be moving away very soon. :(  I decided this little sampler would be just perfect for her.
Tomorrow the Christmas decorations come down and my tree skirt gets packed away for another year, but tonight I stitch!  I am such a party animal!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas 
and a new year full of fabulous stitching!

This photo is the covered bridge at Old Salem in my hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., decorated with the traditional illuminated Moravian Stars.  

You can learn more about the Moravian star here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Tradition Continues

When my husband and I first married, we lived thousands of miles from our families and rarely spent the holidays with them. So I endeavored to create some traditions of our own.  I had already been cross stitching ornaments for family and friends for several years, but I rarely had time to stitch the larger Christmas designs that I love so much.
At the time, I was working full time (and then some) for Boeing.  Boeing closed the plants down for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, so we had the whole week off.  And that's when I would indulge myself by stitching one of those larger Christmas designs.  But instead of framing them, I created a very personal tree skirt. I started with heavy duty red felt, trimmed in green grosgrain ribbon.  Every year I crudely appliqued my stitched piece, with the year included somewhere on the design, on the tree skirt.  Sometimes the chosen design had some significance. Other years, it was just something I wanted to stitch. I even let my husband choose his favorite (among my preselected choices, lol).  They are randomly placed and of various sizes and shapes.

Last year I realized there was no more space for the larger designs and I was prepared to abandon a thirty year tradition!  Then, while searching for ornament designs to stitch, I had an epiphany.  The Prairie Schooler "Christmas Alphabet" provides a way to continue the tradition. So I stitched the "R" design, which is my husband's initial. This year I'm stitching the "T".  Since we have no children, my husband suggested that the upcoming years should be our dog's initials. That gets us through 2017.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stitching for Fun

The Christmas deadline stitching is done and now, what little stitching time I have, is for FUN! Woohoo!  I bought this Mill Hill button and beaded kit last year and never got around to it. Last week a computer-free friend asked me to order three frames for some of these kits, so I ordered the frame for this one at the same time.  And logically, since I have the frame, I should stitch the piece.  I have to admit to more frogging than I normally fall prey to, but perhaps that's because I rarely stitch pictures these days. Most of my samplers don't involve this much 'confetti' stitching.  Now I'm wondering if my love of samplers may be, in part, based on my increasing inability to count!  Whatever....

Can you see the cardinal and the trees? The mailbox and ribbons are not recognizable yet. I know this because my husband thought the ribbons (the red area near the bottom) might be a face!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Ornaments 2012

 I promised ornament pics and here they are!  All are stitched on perforated paper with Watercolors from The Caron Collection.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stitching for Friends

Well, I think I'm going to make it.  Christmas stitching is completed! I even managed to get ornies done even though I was sure that wasn't even within the realm of possibility. Okay, so I stitched some really easy ones, but the 30+ year streak is unbroken! More importantly, I won't be disowned.  Those pics are forthcoming.

The other stitching deadline was my stitch group Christmas party.  Last Wednesday night we had dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant with our favorite waiter and yummy food and drink.  The best part was, of course, the sharing of stories and laughs with my extended family.  I try to make something for them every year.  I've made scissor fobs (which is what started my Etsy shop), beaded needlecases, needlebooks... This year I made pin pillows. 

You've seen a few of them as I was working on them, but here's the whole bunch. All Periwinkle Promises Designs and so fun to stitch. Although I have to admit, making those itsy bitsy tassels, was slight aggravating. They make the tassels on my scissor fobs look gargantuan!

Rumor has it that at least a couple of them won't be used, just displayed. I guess that's their prerogative, but a few pins aren't going to hurt anything.  But I hope they're enjoyed in any case.