Monday, December 31, 2007

Out With The Old....

Just a few more hours, and 2007 will just be a memory. This week has been a time for reflection and the excitement of new hopes and dreams. I didn't get as much stitching done as I wanted, but did succeed to have a good garden and was happy with all we put up for this winter.

My stitching "dream" list for 2007 looked like this at the beginning of the year:

1. Bent Creek - Monthly Snappers - January - nope
2. Kats by Kelly Monthy Minis - February - finished
3. HoHRH - House #7 - nope
4. Pam Kellogg - Winterlude - finished
5. Marquoir Story - Part 4 - added to
6. Pam Kellogg - Cinnamon Bear - added to
7. Wizzers - Birdhouse Windchime - finished
8. Breast Cancer fund – From the Heart Needle Roll - added to and almost finished!
9. Diane Arthurs – Happy Everything - added to
10. House Mouse – Apple Seeds - finished
11. Pat Rogers – Hearts & Lace Sampler - nope
12. SanMan Originals - Blooms - added to
13. Sweetheart Tree – Jan. Needle Roll (needs some frogging) - nope
14. Sweetheart Tree – Teenie Tweenies – Spring Has Sprung - nope
15. Teresa Wentzler – Stretch - nope
16. HIH Monthly Mania - February - finished
17. The Drawn Thread - Winter Spot - added to
18. Mirabilia - 1996 Holiday Cherub - finished

(colored comments are what I ended up doing to the list)

My Finished list for the year ended up looking like this:

1. PK - Winterlude..W
2. tss - Sunflower Welcome..W
3. Mirabilia - 1996 Cherub freebie..W
4. SMO - Sunflower Blackwork..N
5. House Mouse - Appleseeds..W
6. 2 Dishcloths
.....Grammy's Favorite..W
.....DW Darrell Waltrip..N
7. 2 Dishcloths
.....Piece of My Heart..N
8. Iowa Cruise Socks for DH..W
9. 2 Dishcloths & Scrubbie
.....Feb. KAL..N
.....4-Corners Dishcloth..N
.....Circular Scrubbie..N
10. Kool-Aid Socks..W
11. UGLY Opal Socks for DS..N
12. Felted Bag..N
13. Trekking 104 Socks..N
14. Hot Socks..N
15. Eleanor Socks..N
16. DOW Dishtowel..W
17. Fair Isle Socks..N
18. 2 Dishcloths
.....Hummingbird Dishcloth..N
.....Garterlace Dishcloth..N
19. Fanny Socks..N
20. Trekking Socks 128..N
21. LHN Season of Hope..N
22. PS Spring Ornament..N
23. DGB Confetti Socks..N
24. Hot Socks #923..N
25. CC KBK - I Love Mew..N
26. Spring Tulip Card..N
27. Wizzers Birdhouse Windchime..W
28. DD's Footies..N
29. DS's Hunting Socks..N
30. 2 Test cloths - DBE..N
31. 2 Dishcloths
.....Test Cloth DBE..N
.....Multi Diagonal..N
32. Dishcloth set finished..N
.....Woozy cloth scrubbie
33. PK Fluffy Puppy..N
34. SH Flurries.....N
35. PS Summer Ornament..N
36. HS Letter Snow!..W
37. HM A Mother's Work..N
38. HIH Monthly Mania February..W

All in all, I'm pleased to have taken some of my WIPs off the list. I started with 47 XS WIPs at the beginning of the year. I had 16 finishes - 9 of them new. I had 8 WIP finishes. This year, I was close to killing off the same amount of WIPs as new starts. This is definitely an improvement from my past. I'm looking forward to a better record next year :)

Now, for my last finishes of the year....

A Mother's Work by House-Mouse Designs. All I need to do is wash and sew up the banner.

And my last finish of 2007 is Heart-In-Hand's Monthly Mania - February. I had started this a couple of years ago, and then put it aside to stitch a model. I never got back to it until just a couple of days ago. It's stitched on 32 count mystery evenweave (purchased in a small cuts grab bag).

Wishing everyone a happy and safe end to 2007. Cheers!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Holidays!

The past few days were busy but filled with wonderful things: family, friends, great food, and much love and laughter. As much as I love the holidays, I am always glad when things come to a close so I can get back to a nice normal and boring life. A party person I am not.

Can you believe it? Not one piece of new XS stash for Mom for Christmas this year. Do you think that's a hint that I need to stitch some of what I have? LOL No complaints, though, as I got a lot of lovely and well thought out presents. One of the nicest things I got was some hand-made stitch markers for my knitting. DD made them all herself.

Actually, DD made all her presents this year. She miscalculated her time though, and didn't get all her knitting projects done, so she gave the WIPs with the promise of finishing them. She said as soon as they are done, she's starting her projects for next Christmas. Hmmmm - sounds like something I suggested she do this past year, but she was sure she had enough time. :)

I gave DS the Gettysburg kit from Dimensions that he really wanted. I thought that I would be stitching it, but he totally blew me away by telling me he wanted to do it himself. It's not a small piece by any means 12" x 14" on 18 ct. It really is a neat piece.

I got lucky, and found the CrossStitcher issue 194 at Borders. It has a sepia tone pattern of Captain Jack Sparrow in it, so I had to get it to stitch for DD. (That is, unless she, too, wants to stitch it herself.)

I did get a bit of time to stitch, even with all the activities, and am thrilled to post this WIP. A Mother's Work is almost finished. All that needs done is back stitching and some lettering - plus a few half stitches to do the bubbles. I'm hoping to be able to post a finish tomorrow.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the fold in the banding (where momma mouse is) will come out when it's washed and pressed. Folds and hoop marks are one of my biggest gripes about aida.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

House-Mouse Progress

I had some time to stitch this morning while the kids slept in. It was wonderful - quiet and relaxing. What a way to start the day! I'm not used to stitching long periods of time any more, and I have some sore fingers to prove it. That, and the needle I'm using isn't my favorite. I need to get to the shop and pick up some more Piecemakers. I use size 28's and this one is bigger and really makes a difference.

The toothbrush and part of the towel on the mice have made an appearance. I'm having a great time working on this piece.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shopping is Finished

Christmas is almost here, and all my shopping is finished. All gifts have arrived safely and with lots of time to spare. Yes, internet shopping is definately the way to go in my book. The kids are finishing up on their homemade gifts, and we have started baking the cookies. The house smells sooooo good these days.


From the Heart Needle Roll is so close to being done. I've only one band and part of one to go. DD used all the fiberfill up, so I won't be able to finish the roll until after we get more. That's ok though.

New Project Start

DH bought me a couple of House-Mouse Designs kits for Christmas last year, and I never started any of them. I overheard him talking one day about them and wondering if I liked them because I didn't do any of them. So, on Saturday, I pulled one out and started. He saw me stitching it, and said he was just thinking about them the other day. Oh really? What a coincidence! LOL!! This is a Banner kit put out by Dimensions called "A Mother's Work".

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?

Thursday, December 06, 2007


With snow here at the beginning of the week, it put me in the mood to want to stitch something to celebrate the change in seasons. I pulled out this cute and quick design by Sue Hillis called "Flurries..."

DD liked the tan snowflake charm better than the one that was included with the chart, so I swapped them. She says it's "cuter" :)

I also finished the first of EZ's "Thick Woodsmen's Socks" for DS. Unfortunately, I won't be starting the second until he comes home because I want to test fit it just to make sure it's OK. That's alright though, as I have more time to XS. I started Prairie Schooler's "Summer Ornament, and am almost 1/4th of the way done.