Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Shopping, Finishes and a "New" WIP

This year, I've been challenged with a hurt foot, so Christmas shopping had to be done from my computer desk. It was just awful... sitting in a comfortable chair, sipping coffee and in my favorite warm clothes and slippers. Dang - it was so awful missing all the crowds and not being able to go from store to store just to find everything I want is either gone or the retailer doesn't carry what I want. I did all my shopping, finding everything I wanted, and I now have almost everything in hand. Only one more package to arrive. Next year, I'll be doing all my shopping online again. No more crazy crowds for me.


After all that web surfing for the correct gifts, I took some down time to stitch. There's nothing as relaxing as working on a piece that you really enjoy stitching. So, after all that exhausting shopping, I have 2 finishes to report.

First is Prairie Schooler's "Summer Ornament". I originally was going to stitch these as separate ornaments, and change them out every season. After working on the first one, and then finding that the rest were the exact same size, I changed my mind. I'm now stitching all the ornaments together to make a bell pull. They are being stitched on 18 count off-white aida. Since the ornaments are solid stitching, most of the aida won't be visible, so I decided to save my linen for something that would show it off more.

My next finish was a very old WIP. I don't even remember when I started it, but I finally put the finishing stitches in this week. I had put it away because the lighting and my eyesight didn't get along well with the fabric. Since then, I've gotten an Ott light and magnifier, so I'm back in business and pulling out all my old WIP's.

So, here it is..... Introducing my very old project... Hillside Sampling's "Letter Snow! Letter Snow! Letter Snow!" It was stitched on 28 count Blue Wing linen. I love snowmen and cardinals, so this design really appealed to me. The play on the song was another draw to it. I thought the whole "package" was cute. I just wish I could have gotten it finished a lot sooner now. Just think, I could have enjoyed it all this time, instead if it sitting in a box waiting for me to finally start working on it again.

"New" Old WIP

While I was rummaging through the WIP box, I came across another piece that I had put away because of my light and sight issue. The only time I was able to work on my stitching (at that time) was at night after the kids went off to bed, so some of the finer fabrics didn't show up well under the lights we had. I had to put those things off until daytime, and with 2 young'uns home all the time being home schooled, daytime usually wasn't an option to stitch. This project was started in 2000, and with the specialty stitches and over ones, I really had some issues. It seemed like I was frogging as much as I was gaining, so I put it aside for when I could sit in daylight and do it. It appears that day was forgotten about - until I came across it in the bottom of the box.

This is the second in the Breast Cancer Needle roll series that Lois M. Bear designed. It's called "From the Heart" and is being stitched on 30 count off white Northern Cross linen. When I pulled it out of the box 2 days ago, it looked like this:

This morning, it now looks like this:

It is amazing how much difference a light and magnifying glass can make! I'm now starting the last band at the bottom, and will start the top. I'm excited to think that in a couple of days, it will be done and stuffed. I love needle rolls, and I really need to get back into making them. They are just so pretty and look gorgeous when displayed.

One Last Note

I have been lurking on a few cross stitch boards every now and then, and one thing I find fascinating, is the opinion about what makes someone a "real" cross stitcher. My Step-MIL stitches on printed pillow cases and blankets, etc. According to the boards, she is not a real cross stitcher. Her X's are even and the piece is always beautiful when finished. If I work on a printed piece, my stitches are not nice or the same size. On this note, I think she is better than I am.

Another opinion is that those that stitch on aida are less experienced and are considered beginners. I'm sorry, but some of those pieces that are stitched on aida are difficult pieces like HAED's and other computer generated patterns that cover the whole piece of aida. I'm sorry - those patterns that are listed in the expert level won't be any better on linen.

Then there are those that make fun of the gals that stitch the primitives. I'm sorry, but I just don't understand it all. We all love to craft. We all love to create things. We all know how heart and soul is poured into a piece of our work, so why the criticisms and snobbery? We all have different tastes and preferences, so why is everyone expected to like and work on the same things?

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