Friday, December 30, 2016

December Smalls and TUSAL and a bit of a recap

Right up front, I have the BEST brother-in-law in the world!!  He set up the most wonderful surprise for all of us by flying my son in from Vermont.  I hadn't seen him in about six years and was not expecting to see him until my nephew's wedding this summer - best Christmas present ever.

We are halfway through the twelve days of Christmas -  I hope you are enjoying yours.  Our weather is much more like the 12 Days of March, but I suppose that's not all bad.

I put together a to-do list for my two week vacation thinking I wouldn't get through even half of it - I have managed to cross seven things off the list already.  I suppose I will just have to stitch if I cross everything off the list before the end of my time off. :-)

I did a little stitching while I was at my sister's.  This is Winter Wonderland from The Silver Needle's Secret Needle Night.

These are great kits that contain everything you need to stitch the design, including needles.  If you buy the finishing kit, it too has everything you need, except glue, to finish the piece.  I hope to finish it before the end of the year.

Now that the gift is delivered, I can show you the piece I finished back in November.

This is She Feeds from The Scarlett House.  It's done on 40-count Vintage Cedar Plank by Lakeside Linens with their DMC conversion.

It's time for the final Smalls SAL for 2016.  Heather at Stitching Lotus hosts the Smalls SAL.  If you're interested in participating for 2017, click here to see all the "rules". Don't let that word scare you off, this is a very low stress SAL.  I had a 6-month break but managed nine small finishes this year.  You've seen my final three but I'll show it again to make it official for the check-in:

Days four, eight and twelve were finished in December.  The top photo is the complete finished piece.  I think I found a frame for it too.  Michael's had "Christmas" frames on sale for $5.99 USD.  I'm not sure what is Christmas about the frame I picked out, but for that price I'll call it Christmas.  I haven't done any measuring so not sure it will fit, but will find something to do with the frame if it doesn't.

It is also time for the final TUSAL .  Daffycat at It's Daffycat hosts the group.  It couldn't be simpler, just save all those little bits and pieces of thread or what-have-you in a container, take a picture and post.  Simple right?  Lots of people are very artsy with their photos - me?  I set my jar next to an irritated cat (this is Trouble) and hope she doesn't knock it over.

In case you're interested, Jo at Serendipitous Stitching has posted the sign-up page for Gifted Gorgeousness.  This group provides a place for us to thank the people that have given us something stitching related or to show things we are stitching for gifts.

My last post has the majority of my 2016 recap, but I thought I would wait until closer to the end of the year for my SAL recap.  I signed up for four SALs for 2016: Gifted Gorgeousness; WIPocalypse; TUSAL; and, Smalls.  For two of them I was perfect and pretty good respectively.  For two of them, not so good:

Gifted Gorgeousness - 12/12
WIPocalypse - 9/12
Smalls - 5/12
TUSAL - 5/12

I also hermitted with IHSW twice this year.

My vague stitching plans have solidified and are listed in the WIPocalypse Project List and 2017 Stitching Plan tab.  They aren't too different than the vague ones I posted in my last post.

My plans for the next couple of days is to bobbinate all the threads for my kitted Heaven and Earth Designs projects, straighten up the craft area and stitch a bit.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness, WIPocalypse and stuff

All the cookies and nibbles are baked, packaged and delivered. All the packages are wrapped.  All the decorating I'm going to do this year is done, so all that is left is to pack up the truck and drive to my sister's on Saturday.  Yes, I made the semi-last minute decision to spend Christmas with my parents, and my sister and her family this year.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone again.

In case you're suffering from Christmas let down already, don't worry, Valentine's Day is not far away if thisis any indication.  My son is a butcher/meat department manager and saw this box in the grocery warehouse the other day.

It's time to take stock of 2016 and start planning for 2017.  The WIPocalypse question will take care of the taking stock part and strangely enough for me, I haven't started planning my 2017 stitching.  Usually, I have everything planned out already, but not this year.  I have some vague thoughts, but haven't not made a definite plan yet. 

Before I get to WIPocalypse, let me post my Gifted Gorgeousness update.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  It is a way to thank those that have gifted us with stitching lovelies or to show items that we are going to gift.  I have two to show this month.

The first is 12 Days from Plum Street Samplings.

Yes, it is finally finished.  These were freebies from the designer, so I am counting them as gifts.  I put the final stitch into Fourth Day last night.  The fabric is Vintage Autumn Gold from Lakeside Linens and the threads are from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.

The second is To Have and To Hold Bridal Sampler:

I also finished-finished the stocking I completed last month:

Jo is hosting Gifted Gorgeousness 2017, so pop on over to her blog for all the rules - well they're more like guidelines and there aren't many.

WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings.  This is another low stress SAL, as all you have to do is stitch on work-in-progress and post about it on the full moon.  She also gives us blogging questions if you're in need of something to talk about.  WIPocalypse is going to continue into 2017 with one change - the check in will be the last Sunday of each month rather than the full moon.  You can find out everything you need to know here.

For this month, the blogging question is:  Recap your accomplishments for the year.

I had nine projects on my WIPocalypse tab.  I had two finishes, Christmas Presence and Secret Victorian Garden

and progress on three additional pieces:

Shakespearean Fantasy

It's About Time:

and Santa and the Mouse:

It's About Time and Santa and the Mouse were new starts this year, so there is no "before" photo.

I had some framing done over the last couple of months too.

This is Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts Sampler. 

And this is Holly by Mirabilia:

I told the framer I wanted something holiday/icy feeling and she came up with this combination.  I love how the silver mat sets off the beads and sparkles in the fabric. 

It wasn't my best stitching year as far as finishes is concerned, but I am happy with what I did accomplish and there is still time to finish a small piece or two.

I started by saying that I had no stitching plan for next year, but I do plan to continue with these two SALs and Heather at Stitching Lotus has posted the information for the 2017 Smalls SAL, so that is three.  I just found a link to a Stitch from Stash Facebook group on Melissa's blog and may give that a run too.  If you're interested in quilting, Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville's Quips and Snips is currently running a mystery QAL entitled En Provence .  I have been downloading the directions and plan to give quilting a try again.   I also have plans to make one or two Christmas cards a month rather then do them all in a few days in November or December (I say that EVERY year, but maybe this will be the year I actually do!!).  And finally, I am planning a January 1 start, Dimple Designs' Enchantment of Winter.

So those are my "vague thoughts for a 2017 stitching plan".

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day 6 of 2016 Advent Calendar

Welcome to day 6 of Advent Calendar Blog Hop Serendipitous Stitching's 2016 Online Advent Calendar.  Advent Central can be reached by clicking the link, hop on over so you can catch up with all the previous posts.

Before I do my post, I have to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister, Nancy and niece-to-be niece-in-law-to-be? Michelle.  There are a lot of birthdays in my and my husband's families between October and December and I really do appreciate Michelle sharing one as it is much easier to keep track of and besides she and Nancy are guaranteed to have at least one birthday wish each.

So onto the reason you hopped over here.  Jo asked us to talk about a favorite decoration.  I will admit that I have never seen a Christmas decoration I haven't fallen in love with.  Fortunately, I am very picky about what I add to the collection, so you won't be seeing my on Hoarders or at least not for Christmas decorations.  All that means is that I have lots of favorite ornaments, but the one that goes on the tree first every year is this Santa:

I honestly don't know too much about him.  My Mom gave him to me, but I don't remember if it was from her family or if it's a first generation heirloom. 

Also, the holidays can't start until this wreath:

And this Santa:

are hung.  My Mom made the wreath sometime in the 1980s.  It's not as crisp as it used to be and it takes a bit more twiddling to get it to lay just right, but it isn't Christmas without it.  The Santa is Gift of Peace by Lavender and Lace.  I finished him in 1990 and he was one of the first pieces I framed myself.  I remember thinking it rather daring to use a blue mat.

Thank you for stopping by and don't forget to check out the other days.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Small TUSAL post

 FINALLY!  I have something to show for the Smalls SAL check-in. The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus and is a wonderful low-stress SAL.  All you have to do is stitch a small, you define what is small, and post on the last Thursday of the month. As last Thursday was Thanksgiving in the US, Heather was a wonderful host and thought some of us would be a bit too busy to post and so pushed it off a week.  I can usually keep up with this SAL, so I can count on 12 finishes a year, but this year has not been a good small year.  I have not finished a small since March.  Pitiful!  But I have two finishes, Tenth and Eleventh Day, and good progress on a third block, Twelfth Day for this month.

Stitched on 40-count Vintage Autumn Gold with Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads

This photo is the closest to the actual fabric color of any of my previous photos.  Now that I have the cards and all the other paper-crafting items for Christmas finished, I should be able to sit down and work on this.  I am aiming for a finish in the next couple of weeks.  Heather has said she is going to continue the SAL for 2017 and will have sign-up information sometime around the 5th of December.  I have a bunch of smalls lined up for next year, so I was very happy to read that she will be continuing the SAL.

The next SAL is TUSAL.  TUSAL is hosted by It's Daffycat.  It doesn't help you finish anything or stitch a piece, or work through a problem, but it does give you a SAL that is super easy to participate in and if you stitch, quilt, sew or do anything that requires trimming, you have all the materials you need.  Save all those little bits of thread that you would normally have sticking to your clothes, rug or pet throw away and put them in a container of some sort - clear is preferable as you want to see all the pretty colors - and post a picture on the new moon.  Here's an example:

Most people are a bit more artistic with their photos, but I'm just so thrilled to be almost on time with my post that I took a picture in my jar's natural setting.

And one last picture.  We had a weather front roll through a week or so ago and it got very cloudy and dark; however, there was a brief moment when the sun poked through the clouds and I snapped this:

We live in a bit of a gully, so the setting sun only hit the tops of the trees, but against the dark cloud backdrop they glowed.  No filters or retouching - just right place at the right time.   I did about break my leg tripping over the cats trying to get outside to take the picture, but I am so glad I did as just a few minutes later and the clouds closed up and it was dark again.