Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Smalls SAL - Final Post of 2014

December 31....the last day of 2014 and my final post for not only this year but the Smalls SAL. I have really enjoyed being a part of this group over the past year and have added my name to the growing list of participants for 2015. If you haven't already done so sign up and join us. It's a lot of fun and encourages you to increase your number of completed small stitches or ornaments. You can join us here.

I finished up my final small on Christmas Day in the evening after all the excitement of the day had settled and the drowsiness of a satisfying meal was drifting over us. 
This design is called So This Is Christmas (pretty self explanatory!) and has been designed by Jenny Hoffman of Country Rustic Primitives .

I'll be staining this one with either some coffee or walnut stain to make it a bit more primitive. Then it will be finished up into a small pin pillow.

Speaking of pin pillows, here are the bunch which I finished up for display this year. Only the larger pillow with the Merry Christmas and the 2 deer was finished last year. The rest were all either stitched or filled this year. I am now using a mix of walnut shavings and crushed walnut shell to fill my pillows. In addition I added ground balsam shavings to these for that extra Christmas touch. They smell wonderful!

These pillows from lt to rt are as follows: Threadwork Primitives Be Ye Merry, The Little Stitcher Merry Christmas Deer, Blackbird Designs Floral Gift, Gettysburg Homestead Merry Christmas, and in front, Primitive Acorn Keep Christ in Christmas and Jenny Hoffman's Ornaments for Christmas. I love displaying these as part of my decor and have received so many compliments in regards to them. Some of my stitching friends have asked if I could host a day of finishing in the new year so they could learn how to do their own. It should be fun!

That's it as far as it goes for small finishes. I'm continuing to plug away on Promised Lamb hoping to complete the better part of this one before the end of the year. As of yesterday I seem to be winning the battle. I would like to have to carry very little of this one over into the New Year.

My hubby and I have both been ill with colds and flu so we have not been going anywhere lately. These pics were taken the morning of Dec. 30 and I am already further ahead on this one than it shows in these pics. The lettering has all been completed now and I'm working on finishing up the final motifs so that only the left hand border will remain by the end of Dec. 31. That will leave me open to several new starts in the New Year. I've already picked and kitted up my small for the month of January. Bring it on!

I wish each and every one of you of very Happy New Year and look forward to meeting up with you again in 2015.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Sending Merry Christmas greetings to each and every one of my blogging friends. May you enjoy your day in the company of those you love and keep in mind that it was He who came down to give us the gift of eternal love.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

December SFS

I can't believe that this is my final SFS post for 2014. How quickly a year seems to pass by anymore! It's been a wonderful first year and I have very much enjoyed being a part of this group. Thank you Mel for all the hard work you have put into making this work. I very much appreciate all your efforts!

This month I have been working on a new start, Plum Street Samplers Promised Lamb. It's a lovely Christmas design that was a gift last year. I know that I won't have it finished in time to display this year but I look forward to having it grace my walls next year.
Here's where I am at this point in time.

I've also finished the stitching on three more ornaments. Two of them can be seen here on my last post. I will post a pic of the third one on my final Small SAL post at the end of the month.

I ordered 2 patterns this month. One is for my Smalls SAL which you will see on the next post. Cost - $7.50. The other is a new release by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle & Thread called Heap on the Wood. Cost - $13.00. So my total for this month is within the $25.00 limit.

I wanted to show you a pic of some needlepoint that I spotted at a friend's home last week. My husband directs 2 community choirs and following the concert of one we were invited back to the home of one of the choir members, Dan. Dan lives in a lovely Victorian style home and collects antiques. I found this beautiful piece hanging on the wall in the powder room.  The frame is gorgeous! Click on the pic for a better view.

Dan loves antique needlework and has several other pieces throughout his home.

Christmas preparations leave very little time for stitching during the month of December. I decorated my home 2 weeks ago with the exception of the 2 trees which went up this week. Here's a pic of my twig tree on which I display cross stitched ornaments along with a few other small ones. The 2 porcelain cat ornaments were a Christmas gift last year from a dear friend. They're unusual and soooo cute!

Here are a few more pics of Christmas decor.

 I love bottle brush trees because they remind me of Christmas as a child. My grandmother had one or two but she also had several of the bottle brush wreaths which I have been unable to find.

All that remains now is to put out my Nativity scene. It didn't get put away in its usual spot last year and I just found it yesterday.

Now I'm off to finish wrapping gifts and to get started at some Christmas baking. I'd like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the season!!


Saturday, 6 December 2014

December WIPocalypse

I can't believe it but the year is almost over. This is the last WIPocalypse report for 2014. December is in full swing now with very little time for stitching.The above picture was taken less than an hour ago and signals the end of daylight for today. The day was mild although overcast and I'm not sure that we're going to see that full moon tonight. 

I don't have a lot of stitching to report since last month. I've completed a couple of smalls and started a larger project. My small finishes include Teresa Murgida's Keep Christ in Christmas and Jenny Hoffman's Ornaments for Christmas. Neither has its final finishing complete yet.

My new start and larger project is Plum Street Samplers Promised Lamb. I'm stitching this one on 35 ct WDW Confederate Grey. Not much to show yet but hopefully I'll have made much more progress by the new year.

I have a couple of other smalls that I want to start before Christmas but I'm not sure how much time I'll have.

This week my local village craft group got together as usual but we gathered for a potluck first. It's a Christmas lunch but our hearts were heavy this year since just days before one of the group passed away.

 Joyce was a breast cancer survivor of 13 years but just one month ago her cancer returned. I was shocked when I heard she was gone so fast. She was an amazing woman who loved crafting and loved sharing and teaching it to others. She had cross stitched many years ago but she loved quilting and knitting. She shared this love with so many children both at the campsite in summer and at her winter home in the south. When once asked how many children she had she replied, "As many as 100!". Rest in peace Joyce. We'll miss your ruddy cheeks and that precious smile.

We decided that our lunch would be a tribute to Joyce so we had a toast in her honour and then continued with our regular get together. I'm the only cross stitcher in the group. A lot of the ladies love to quilt, crochet and knit. Here's a small sampling of their current projects.

Beate with her crocheted German Christmas curtain

Lois' beautiful afghan

Monique putting together her sweater

Andrée's lacy ribbon scarf

Helen modelling her mitten

Virly's baby sweater

Virly is the lady on the left in the above picture. She's the oldest member of our group. I don't remember her exact age but I do know that she is over 90. She is not sewing and quilting as much now that she's moved into a retirement residence but here is a pic of the bag she completed last summer. Love those purples!

 So our lunch on Wednesday was the second of three potlucks I'm participating in this week. The final one will take place tomorrow night following my husband's choir concert. For each of these I've taken the same thing - pumpkin butterscotch gingerbread trifle. 

  It's been a big hit and I'm sure it will go over well tomorrow as well. Yummy!!

Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back with another post soon.

Friday, 28 November 2014

November Stitch From Stash

So I'm just squeaking in under the wire on this post too. We just haven't been home long enough for me to put in any time either on stitching or the computer. 
If you check my previous post you can see my ornament finish by Blackbird Designs which I found in my 2010 issue of the Just CrossStitch ornaments. I have every issue of these ornaments since they started publishing them and it's great fun to pull them out and go through them each year. 

I had two finishes this past month. The first was Fancey Blackett's Brooms by Pineberry Lane which can be seen here. The second was Blackbird Designs House on Acorn Hill. Here is a pic of the finish.

  I purchased 2 new charts over the past month - Threadwork Primitives Give Thanks and Christmas Fruit Basket. I was on a recent road trip with the designer, Nan Lewis, and she was kind enough to bring the one pattern with her so that I didn't have to pay shipping costs to Canada. Thanks Nan!!
The cost of these charts amounted to $23.48. 

So that pretty well sums up my spending for the month. 

I also wanted to share a pic of my Carriage House Samplings Pumpkin Farm which returned from the framer this month. I was so pleased with it as was my friend Thea for whom I stitched this one.


Not much else to report for the month. I'm going to sit down and stitch tonight for the first time in several days. I'm starting one from my stash by Plum Street Samplers, Promised Lamb. I know it won't be down before Christmas but hopefully it will be well on its way. I'll also be stitching up another ornament or two. 
Now I'm off to pull out my stitching. Yeah!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

November Smalls SAL

I barely squeaked in my finish this month. I had very little time for stitching and only started this ornament this past weekend on the 22nd.I finished it up this morning. Here is Blackbird Designs Floral Gift from the 2010 Just CrossStitch Christmas ornament issue.

I found the perfect fabric to finish this off while I was away 2 weeks ago. I took a road trip to Akron, Ohio. The purpose of the trip was to attend the From Our Hands & Hearts show in Peninsula, Ohio. Now this show takes place quite a ways away from my home in Ontario but I combined the trip with a visit home to Windsor to see my Mom as well as a visit to Michigan to see my sister. Most of all, this trip was an opportunity to connect with several stitchers that I had been in contact with on Facebook for awhile. Pat, Jim, Jodi, Nan and Tee, it was a real pleasure to finally meet all of you. I had soooo much fun and look forward to connecting again in the future.

We had an awesome time! The show took place at Boston Township Hall, the site of a former high school. It was the perfect venue for this.

I tried taking photos during the event but there were so many people that it was difficult and many of my photos were blurred. To see some photos of the booths and items for sale just click on the link above for the From Our Hands site.

Here's a group photo taken of all of us while visiting a local quilt/needlework shop, The Fabric Peddler. As you can see, none of us walked out empty handed! A special thank you goes out to the owner, Barb Miller Moore, for making us feel so welcome.

lt to rt - Pat, Jim, Jodi, Nan, me and Theresa
 A special highlight of the event was meeting Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  Thank you Pat S. for sharing this pic with us.

Lori was delightful and made everyone feel so welcome. I loved her booth and all of her handmade items. I came away with a couple of her punch needle ornament finishes which will be hung on my little twig tree this Christmas.

Although I tried punch needle with not much success a few years ago, my stitching friends have convinced me to give it another try.

At the tail end of my trip, while visiting with my sister in Michigan, I got word that my MIL had died just 10 hrs short of her 96th birthday. I was to have joined her for lunch at her retirement home on her birthday. So instead I returned home to Windsor to help my husband's family prepare for her funeral while my husband caught a flight from Ottawa to join us. She was a remarkable woman and I have a lot more to speak of her but I will leave that for another post. It's getting late and my eyes are growing heavy.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my American friends and family a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family time and try not to get swallowed up by all that Black Friday madness!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

November WIPocalypse and morning visitors


So Halloween has flown by already and the start of the Christmas season is in full force. We had a lovely fall evening for our trick or treaters and several of our neighbourhood kids dropped by. Loved these little fairies! I wish I'd taken a pic of their wings. They were awesome! As of today there is still about 6 more weeks of autumn but winter is definitely creeping around the corner!

It won't be long before this year has drawn to a close. I'm pretty much stitching as much as I did last year but I've varied from my original choices as I knew I would. My stitching tends to go with my moods. Also new releases often easily sway me into veering away from my first choices. This month I stuck to stitching charts that have been hiding in my stash for a bit.

Two of those charts were finished in the past week. The first is a freebie design from The Primitive Hare called Witch's Kitchen and can be seen on my previous post here.
The second finish is my first of the Fancey Blackett series by Pineberry Lane called Fancey Blackett's Brooms. It's also my first stitch on 40 ct fabric.

I loved stitching this one and it won't be the last Fancey Blackett that I stitch!

The rest of the past month was spent putting in more time on my Blackbird Design, House on Acorn Hill. I've spent a lot of time making colour substitutions on this one because the dye lots of floss for my leaves were just too similar. I wanted more variation and I'm happy with the looks of things so far.

  Just the border remains to be stitched and this will be finished too. Mind you, that border is full of acorns and will take me awhile yet!

 Now my mind has turned to choosing some Christmas designs for smalls and one larger project. Nothing decided yet.
Next week I'm taking a girls' jaunt and meeting up with some of the stitchers and bloggers that I have been chatting with for some time now. I'm so excited! We are meeting up at the From Our Hands show in Peninsula, Ohio.  Two of the designers participating in the show include Stacy Nash and Lori Brechlin (Not Forgotten Farm). Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives is also attending and will be rooming down the hall from me. There are also several other blogging and F/B friends attending that I'm so anxious to meet! It should be awesome!!  I'll try and get some great pics to share with you upon my return.

The title of this post refers to some morning visitors who landed in at our place. Literally! Bob went out to change the seed in our feeder and suddenly they were flying in from all directions. Here's a few pics I snapped in the process.

This is the first that we've seen of the female cardinal since spring. In past years she always arrived with her mate around sundown to visit the feeder. This summer he came alone and we wondered if something had happened to her. This morning she was back with hubby in tow.

 The next visitor was a bit of a surprise. We've had woodpeckers visit us before but always the Downeys. For the first time we had the Hairy Woodpeckers visit. I first saw the female on the far side of the suet. I mentioned to my husband that this woodpecker was quite a bit larger and didn't look like it needed any food. 

Then I clued in when the male arrived that these were indeed Hairy woodpeckers. They average about 3-4 inches more in size than the Downeys.

Next Mr. Robin arrived. I think he should be travelling a little further south at this point!

I'm not sure but I think this little fellow is a Nuthatch. 
See you all soon!