Thursday, 28 January 2016

A new year of small stitches

I've lost track now of how many years I have participated in the Smalls SAL but I believe this is my third year. It has done wonders in encouraging me to stitch all those small projects I kept meaning to get done but which always got put to the side. 

Following all of my Autumn and Christmas finishes I have been looking forward to starting off the new year with a change and hopefully a leaning towards spring.
My first small finish for this year is Country Rustic Primitives Grow Old With Me designed by Jenny Hoffman.


I love Jenny's sweet little stitches and they make such lovely pinkeeps. The finishing on this one is not complete but I am hoping to incorporate some sort of lace into the finish. I have a few more Valentine smalls that I want to finish up in the next week or so. Then I'll do the finishing on all of them at the same time. Jenny's sister, Shelly Auen, is also a designer and I've just started one of her Valentine smalls as a companion to this one. They will make a lovely addition to my bowl of smalls and I hope to have a pic of the latest one soon.

Here's some of my Valentine smalls that I have out on display.



The two at the back are designed by my friend Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives




 The above two are also designs of Jenny Hoffman which I stitched last year for the Smalls SAL.
The two below were designed, finished and gifted to me by my friend Theresa Meloon of Dulaney Woods Treasures who produces some awesome primitive finishes. 



 I hope all those of you who were impacted by the recent blizzard have managed to dig yourself out and weathered the storm without any damage of sorts. This one managed to bypass us and to date we have had only one significant snowfall which I think is a record on its own for our area. Happy stitching and I'll see you next month!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A new year and another WIPocalypse

This year I have decided not to make a list of proposed finishes because it seems that with the exception of one or two I don't bother sticking to my list. I always start out well but then switch gears and start stitching on other projects than the ones I chose initially. There are just too many new releases and other projects calling my name. However I have left a few starts unfinished from last year which I'm trying to get done at some point within the coming year. These include Plum Street Samplers Autumn Fraktur, Stacy Nash Thistles and Spells  and Carriage House Samplings And Heaven And Nature Sing. I started all three of these last fall and just didn't get in as much stitching time as usual. Plus I just didn't feel like doing needlework for a number of weeks perhaps because I'd been ill for much of the season. In any case I got myself in gear and started off with PSS Autumn Fraktur. To my surprise I had it finished off within a couple of weeks!

Here's a before and after pic of it.

 Before

 After




I have quite a few Halloween finishes but very few autumn ones so this will be a welcome addition in my home next fall. I love the rich colours in this one.

Next on the agenda..... Stacy Nash Thistles and Spells Pinkeep


Here's where I left off:


Progress as of yesterday:


I figure there is only another day or two of stitching left on this. After completing the monument at the upper left all that remains is the vine border.

That leaves CHS And Heaven and Nature Sing. I love this one and would be a lot further along if it hadn't been for running out of a crucial floss. I'm using Hand Dyed Fibre's Silks in Kodiak Brown. This particular colour was available in 3 varying shades. I say "was" because this floss is no longer being produced or sold any longer. I figured that with what I had left it would be close for finishing but it's very difficult to determine when the thread is on a spool. So very soon into the stitching of the deer I resorted to another plan to save on thread. I stitched the first portion of my crosses with a similar brown and then crossed in the other direction with the Kodiak Brown. This was going really well until I ran out of the Kodiak brown just short of finishing up the last leg of the deer.




  I still have one antler left to finish up in the same colour. The lettering in the piece was also to have been stitched using this but I had already decided on an alternate colour for that. What to do, what to do?

After putting out a call for help to some of my fellow stitchers, I have located a spool of the correct colour which is on its way to me as I write this. I can't thank my fellow stitching friend, Kathy Born, enough for her help in this! So hopefully this will be back in my rotation in a couple of weeks.

Just after Christmas I received a call that a frame I had ordered for one of my stitches which was on back order was now in and the piece was completed. Although it wasn't up in time for Christmas Day, it's one of those pieces that can remain up all year if desired and it's still up on my dining room wall at this time.

Here is Plum Street Samplers Promised Lamb.

 
As of today I've started another small piece for my Smalls SAL this month which should take only a day or so to complete. Pictures will follow on my next post. 

I hope that all my friends who are in the path of the current winter blizzard are safe and warm. It's a perfect time for stitching!

 

Friday, 1 January 2016

WIPocalypse Year's End with some Smalls

Wow, 2016 is almost here! Another full year of stitching is complete too. I've spent what little time I've had the past month stitching on all my small projects. I completed 4 new smalls but only managed to do the final finished on one of the four.  Here they are!


 Notforgotten Farm Sleigh Bells

Threadwork Primitives Let It Snow



Stacy Nash Snowed In


Sub Rosa Designs Christmas Blessings

 The Stacy Nash piece was a Christmas gift for a friend who hinted very strongly that she would love to have one of my small tin finishes, lol! She got her wish!

There has been no stitching put into my two larger pieces recently but I will return to them once the holidays are over.

I did receive two lovely gifts from some stitching friends. Pat sent me the prettiest floss keep along with 2 Christmas colours of floss. The floss keep says Stitch Every Day. She is so thoughtful and I loved it.


Theresa made me the sweetest little stitched stocking. It looks right at home on my twig tree.



As you can see from the first pic, she also sent me 2 skeins of Valdani floss, a pair of scissors and some lovely antique buttons. I am so very blessed to have such great friends!

Earlier in the month I took one of previously stitched Little House Needlework ornaments and finished it off for one of my husband's choir members. Dan is an avid admirer of needlework and has a couple of antique pieces in his home. He told me how much he admired my work and that some day he hoped he could have a small momento of my needles at work. Here is what I gave him. I'm so glad that he liked it and I promised another next year.

 Little House Needleworks Bringing Home The Tree



Another of my previous finishes finally met up with the framer and came home in time to grace my wall for Christmas. This is Plum Street Samplers Mary's Sampler, a mystery sampler from a couple of years ago.


That pretty well wraps things up here.  My family are all arriving here tomorrow to celebrate our belated Christmas. I have spent all day preparing food for the meal despite being knocked out with another cold. I certainly hope that this year brings me much better health than last year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year and nothing but the best for 2016!! 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Greetings


A very Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends and family both near and far. May the peace of the season fill your heart with joy!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

November Small SAL and WIPocalypse

The full moon (WIPocalypse) and Smalls SAL both fall on the same date this month for reporting so this will be a combined report. I'll start off with the smalls.

It's been a few years since I have stitched any ornaments for my granddaughters so I decided that I should get back to that this year.
They're getting older and are more interested in my stitching now. I decided to do 2 ornaments taken from the Prairie Schooler Evergreen leaflet.



The girls were here this past weekend for a visit so I gave them to them to take home so they could put them on their tree before Christmas rather than wait until they saw me during the Christmas holiday. They loved them and have already picked out which ornies they want me to stitch next year!

My next small finish was a new design by Lori Ripley of Homespun Prims. It's called A White Christmas and I plan on making it into a pin pillow.


In addition to stitching the above designs, I finished off two designs that I had stitched sometime during the past 2 years. I found these sweet little tins in my friend's gift shop. They actually had chalkboards in the center for writing a message but as soon as I saw them I knew they would work for a cross stitch finish.



This is Little Women Christmas by The Sampler Girl. I finished this for a birthday gift for a stitching friend. Unfortunately I don't think these designs are available any longer.

 
 This is So This Is Christmas, designed by Jenny Hoffman of Country Rustic Primitives.

When I saw how easily these finishes came together, I headed back to my friend's shop and bought the remainder of her tins. I plan on doing several more of these.

For WIPocalypse this month I have concentrated on two designs......Plum Street Samplers Autumn Fraktur and Kathy Barrick And Heaven and Nature Sing. Here are some updated progress pics.

 



And Heaven and Nature Sing is part of a SAL which I'm doing with some of the stitchers from the Facebook group Prim Stitchers Society. This piece is done in Needlepoint Silks. I chose to use up some Vikki Clayton silks that I had in my stash. It didn't take me long to figure out that I was going to run out of the dark brown silk. So what I have done is to stitch in one direction with a slightly lighter brown silk and then go back over it with the darker brown. It's working out pretty well so far and I should have just enough silk to finish this off but it will be close! I will be using red beads instead of stitches for some of the area within the wreath around the deer's neck.

That's pretty much it as far as stitching is concerned for this month. As the holiday season creeps nearer and nearer there will be less time for stitching. I will probably just work on some more small finishes until the new year.

We were treated to a rare sight this past week. Our area is on the flight path for the migration of the Snow Goose so we often see them flying over or at a distance in a farmer's field. This year though they decided to settle in a pond at a gravel pit just up the highway from us. They were there several days in a row so I managed to get some great pics.







It was a real treat to get so close to these beautiful birds as they make their way south for the winter. I look forward to seeing them on the return trip again in the spring.

Last weekend my son and granddaughters dropped by so that we could celebrate the youngest's birthday. Summer will be 9 on the 27th. I was supposed to drive to their home (a 3 hr drive) but as some of you may know I have been ill off and on since late September. A cold and sinus infection lowered my immunity and then things progressed into viral pneumonia and bronchitis. I'm slowly recovering but I'm trying to avoid crowds right now so I don't pick up anything else. So Jeff and the girls landed in Saturday night and we had a very short but sweet visit.



 







I will take this time to wish all of my friends and family in the U.S. a very Happy Thanksgiving!! We Canadians celebrated ours in October but I know I always looked forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on T.V. I know there were several times when we played sick as kids so that we could stay home from school and watch it!  Enjoy your day my friends!!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

October WIPocalypse and Smalls SAL

It seems like it's been quite a while since I last posted. I had hoped to be back here sooner but life got in the way, more specifically I've been knocked flat by a miserable virus. It's been 4 weeks now and I've still not rid myself of it entirely but I am feeling much more human now than I was earlier.
I've decided to post my WIPocalypse and Smalls post on the same day since they fall only a day apart this month. I actually do have some stitching to report although a good portion of it has occurred in the past 4 days or so. I'm making up for lost time!  

I'll start with my WIP. Since my last post I have been working on three projects. I started two of them on the same day right at the end of September. The first is Plum Street Samplers Autumn Fraktur.


I'm stitching this on 32ct Picture This Plus Mello. Once the leaves and vine are done I'll get into stitching the two colourful birds in this piece.
Once I had stitched a leaf or two on this I switched over to my second start which is Stacy Nash Thistles and Spells Pinkeep.


I'm really loving this fabric which is another Picture This Plus called Shale. Of course this will never be complete by this Halloween but next year is just fine.

My third new start is as a result of participating in a SAL on Prim Stitchers Society Facebook group. I can't remember the exact number but I know there are more than 200 of us who on Oct. 15 started stitching Kathy Barrick's new design And Heaven And Nature Sing. The recommended floss on this is NPI silks but I'm using a number of silks I found in my stash including some Vikki Clayton and Belle Soie. I am using the recommended fabric, Lakeside Linen Vintage Pecan Butter.


Of course I also completed a small finish for my commitment as part of the Smalls SAL. For me it couldn't be anything except a Halloween finish. Here is The Little Stitcher Pickety Witch!


Again I used the PTP Shale for this stitch. The finished piece fits right in with my existing Halloween decor. Love it!

October is also the month in which Canada celebrates their Thanksgiving. So on the second Monday of the month our family gathered to celebrate. My eldest and his family were unable to join us however this year we had an extra member at the table. My sister Laurie, who lives in the U.S., joined us as part of a week long visit. We all have so much to be thankful for including the wonderful meal we feasted on. Everyone had a hand in helping!


The others at the table included my son Dan, hubby Bob, and my son Chris with his girlfriend Violet. The boys had a great time catching up with their aunt.


How nice for Laurie too. Since she lives in the U.S. she gets to celebrate Thanksgiving twice this year!

My final photo is of a Halloween finish from 2013. I finally had this one stretched and hopefully it will be framed in the coming year. This is Plum Street Samplers Ghoul Tidings. Love those cats!



I'm hoping that by this month's end I'll be feeling 100% improved and this virus will be history. That should lead to plenty more stitching in the coming month. See you soon!

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