Friday, 30 November 2018

November Smalls

November has been a very good month for me in terms of stitching. In addition to the larger WIPs on my previous post that I worked on, I managed to complete two small projects. Both are ornaments and with December's arrival tomorrow, the push is on to get the rest of my gift ornaments finished. 

The first is a sweet design by Blackbird Designs called Peace which was published in the 2012 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments edition. I have been trying to get this one fit in for several years now. I've loved it ever since I first saw it!

My second finish was as of this morning! I always stitch a Christmas ornament for each of my granddaughters. The past couple of years I've done a Prairie Schooler ornie for them. This year I was browsing through my collection of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazines and spotted a sweet little one by Full Circle Designs which I knew I had stitched but never finished. Sure enough I found it in my drawer of stitched projects. When I looked it up I discovered that I had stitched it in 2012! That's a long time to sit without the final finishing.
 I knew that there was a companion ornament in one of the other issues. I browsed through them all until I found it. It stitched up very quickly and is sooo sweet!

Here is Tweet Gift by Full Circle Designs.

I've also included a pic of the original ornament, also by Full Circle Designs, called A Christmas Song.

Finishing on all of these will come at a later date. I want to get all the stitching done first and then I'll finish them all off sort of like an assembly line.

To get me into the Christmas mood I dropped by favourite shop during the holidays. Tinseltown is just down the street from where my hubby works. The young man who owns the shop is the same age as my youngest son and has been obsessed with Christmas since he was a boy. According to his mother he used to sleep with a Christmas tree in his bedroom year round!

I wish I had taken some shots of the inside of the shop. Next time I drop by I'll ask them if they mind. They have just about everything Christmas that you could think of including all the vintage things like the bubble lights, vintage tinsel and lots of vintage ornaments. They also carry lots of ribbon candy. 
I add one new glass ornament to the tree every year. This year they had a sweet little bee. It reminds me of my time spent this summer at the home of my beekeeper friend Cathy.

I hope to be back next month with at least a couple more ornament finishes. See you then!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

November WIPocalypse

November has been a great month for catching up on my WIP. I made a fair amount of progress on Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon, more than I expected. 

All the stitching of the hill and grass was completed and I stitched the border with one exception. As you can see from the top of the piece, each border on the three sides must be filled in with the mustard coloured floss. It's time consuming and boring to boot! I got partway through the top portion and by that time Halloween had just passed and I quickly lost interest. Christmas stitches were  occupying my thoughts at that point so I have put this one aside for now. With what little remains I know that it will be complete by next Halloween.

Next I picked up a Christmas stitch from last year that I had lost patience with....Plum Street Samplers Pomegranate Santa. This is where I had left off partway through this year.

Here is this month's progress:

I probably would have been further along except for the fact that some frogging had to take place. I don't know what it is about this piece but I keep screwing up in my counting. As soon as I picked this up once more I realized why I had put it aside. Santa's stick and sack were both off. I had to completely frog them out and restart. Partway through I realized that I was repeating the same mistake! Duh!!! Frog and repeat a second time!
Finally I managed to get things done right and could move on to stitching Santa. It's moving along fairly well now but I have some ornaments for gifts that I want to get working on so it will sit for now. However I don't think it will be too long before I pick it up once more.

Winter has arrived here a little sooner than usual as you can see from my pics. Shortly after the snow fell there was an arctic front which brought in some record breaking frigid temperatures. Consequently the snow remains for now. It's starting to warm up and rain is forecast over the next few days so I'm hoping this white stuff disappears for a spell. Below is Clarisse's reaction to the whole thing.

To all my US family and friends I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all had your fill of the gobble, gobble and without too many added pounds. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

October WIPocalypse

Happy Halloween everyone! I love fall and in particular, Halloween, and it only seemed fitting to continue stitching on Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon. Time was not kind to me this month though and life left little time for me to sit with needle in hand. Unfortunately this sweet design will be not be completed in time for the holiday this year. Instead I get to enjoy the journey for a little while longer. 
What time I had for stitching was taken up in filling in the bottom landscaping of hills and grass. I've posted the before pic where I left off last month followed by this month's progress.

At this point I can finally start on the border of the piece which is stitched on the remaining three sides. The bottom remains as is. 

Perhaps it's the time change and the colder weather but I'm having a hard time to get motivated this month. This hasn't helped in my stitching and I'm also a bit behind in my Halloween preparations. Usually by now I have my little handout bags all ready to go and my Jack O' Lanterns are carved and ready. I'm almost finished preparing the candy bags but I have no motivation to get started on my carving. I usually carve more than one but this year I only purchased the one pumpkin. Who knows, I might even cheat and go for one of the lazy man pumpkins. Have you seen them yet? Apparently they have minimal carving however for me it's the cleaning out of the pulp that is the worst part.

Here's a few pics of my carvings from the last few years. 

The carvings are fun but are a lot of work. I just might take a break this year. Stay tuned to my next post and see whether or not I cave, lol! Until then have a safe and Happy Halloween!

October Smalls

The celebration of all things spooky is upon us and I chose to stitch a new design for my small finish in honour of Halloween.

Meet Vintage Jack.....a new design by Tina Woltman of Early Workings. Tina has lots of small designs which are perfect if you love primitive stitching.

With all that solid stitching Jack took me a lot longer to complete than I expected. I'm hoping to finish him into a pillow tuck but with a twine hanger. I would love to hang him from the door of my dry sink cupboard.

That's all that I had time to stitch this month. My nephew's wedding which was out of town, followed by our Canadian Thanksgiving, took up a good chunk of my free time this month. I do love fall weddings!! I leave you with a few pics: the first is the table decorations at the head table of the wedding I attended and the second is to celebrate the first anniversary of my son's wedding which took place last October on Friday the 13th. My son is a writer and a horror film aficionado. We knew that there had to be a spoof from some horror film showing up somewhere, lol! (Photos courtesy of Shawn Descarie)

Sunday, 30 September 2018

September WIPocalypse

 Although it's officially only the start of fall, the chill in the air here along with overcast skies tends to suggest.....dare I think it!..... that W word! The forecast for next week however looks like a typical fall thank goodness. 

In keeping with the fall theme I brought out a WIP from last fall hoping to complete it. Last weekend I was successful. This is a really cute design by With Thy Needle & Thread called Acorn Gathering Sewing Roll. The first pick is where I had left off when I dug this out on Aug. 22nd. 

I intend on finishing it as a sewing roll as the pattern calls for.
This is what got me to thinking about this design and pulling it out again. I spotted this little fella when we stopped for gas on a drive into Ottawa.

Next I decided to continue working on another WIP, also started last fall. This one is an OOP design by The Primitive Needle called Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon. 

I've spent most of the past month working on this piece. There's a lot more work to it than I expected. The grass under the houses is taking me forever. I've only got 3 lines in and still have about 6 more to go. After that point I can begin to work on the border. It's a detailed border and covers 3 sides so it should take me a fair amount of time.  Then I still have a few more lines on the bottom to be added to connect it to the border. With the amount of stitching still left there is a good possibility that this won't be complete by Halloween but I'll just be happy if it's done by the end of this year. Plus I tend to get bored working on borders and often put it aside in favour of another piece.

I have a few other designs by the Primitive Needle that I'd like to get started on over the next few years. I love her designs!

I'll leave you with a few pics from one of the Ottawa markets. My favourite time to visit there is in the fall!


Friday, 28 September 2018

September Smalls

As of last week our temperatures have taken a plunge and the colours, scents and foliage all indicate that autumn has truly arrived. On my evening walks I smell the smoke from the wood stoves and a definite chill has lead to my bringing out the sweaters once more. I still have a hard time giving up my sandals though and most days I can still be found in least until it's so cold that I break down and cover the toes.

Cooler days bring out an instinct to cocoon with stitching in hand. That's exactly what I've been doing although I've concentrated on some larger pieces this month. The only small that I managed to complete is by Jenny Hoffman of Country Rustic Primitives and is called Autumn Greetings.

I have several other fall and Halloween smalls that I want to get started on and I hope to have at least a couple completed by next month. Tomorrow I'll be found at my sewing machine doing the final finishing on a number of previously stitched smalls including the above finish. I'll have a post next week on my larger autumn pieces that I've been spending all my time with. See you then!

Friday, 31 August 2018

July and August Smalls and Stitching Friends

I really don't know how I managed to miss my July posting other than the fact that I've been on the go so much this summer. I was only home for about 10 days during the month of August as well so it's amazing to me that I got done any stitching at all! All of the following pillow finishes were completed in July.

Both of my granddaughters had requested a small stitched finish. You may recall from a post last year that I stitched a hamster for Oceanne at her request. Due to unfortunate cirmcumstances that pillow finish was lost and so I restitched the hamster and a sweet hedgehog for her sister, Summer. 

Here are the girls showing off their pillows along with Oceanne's real hamster.

After I finished stitching these and sending them off I realized that I had two remaining birthday stitches to be completed before I left for a visit to Sudbury with my stitching friends. I only had 2 weeks remaining to get both stitched and finished before I left! I don't know how I managed to do it with everything else that I had going on but when I left for Sudbury they were packed and in my suitcase. These two stitches are from the 2017 Fragments in Time series by Summer House Stitche Workes.

I like how these turned out so much that I've just finished purchasing a few more from this series and the 2018 Fragments in Time series so that I can do a few for myself and some other gifts.

As I mentioned, I spent part of my holidays in Sudbury, Ontario gathered together with my stitching buddies from Canada and the US. We were hosted by Cathy Tonelli and family and we had the most amazing time! It was a first visit to Canada for several of the ladies but it certainly won't be the last. During the day we went on several road trips throughout Sudbury and to Manitoulin Island. In the evenings we spent our time stitching and gabbing. On one of the afternoons our friend Theresa or Tee as we call her, gave us a tutorial on how to use our stitching to cover tape measures. Tee is a very talented stitcher and finisher and is the designer behind Dulaney Woods Treasures. We each chose a design to stitch which she provided and with her excellent guidance we took our finishes and wrapped and sewed them onto tape measures. 

I ended up finishing mine at home because as it turned out, the fabric I had chosen for the edging of my tape measure just wouldn't stick. We figured that there had to be too much sizing in the fabric. So I took it home, washed and dried it and tried it again. This time it worked like a charm! So my finish is not in the group photo but this is my small finish for August.

Here are a few more pictures from our trip. As I mentioned in the previous post, Cathy and her husband are also bee keepers and showed us their hives.

Cathy's hubby Wayne, with Nan and JoAnn

Cathy's sister-in-law Donna also joined us on several days. Donna cross stitches but much prefers punch needle. She does excellent work as evidenced in the next pic of her recent finish.

I was very fortunate to purchase one of Donna's finishes from her. She finished this on an antique brass candlestick holder.

He is just so cool and I love him!!

When we first arrived at Cathy's we presented the American girls with some Canadian visors to designate them as honourary Canadians for the week.

My friends Nan and Tee

Bev, Jo and Jenn

No trip is complete without a visit to Tim Horton's or Timmies as we refer to it.

Bev, Tee and yours truly

We also paid a visit to a lovely shop which sold soaps, candles, linens and lavender. I stocked up on the lavender which I use when stuffing my pillow finishes.

Pam, Donna, Cathy and Jenn

All in all it was a fabulous trip, one which we hope to repeat next summer. There's nothing better than spending time with good friends, unless it's family of course. Next post I'll have a few pics from my trip to Lake Muskoka and home for my mother's birthday celebration. 

So all in all, lots of small finishes over the last two months. Now I'm on the hunt for some smalls for the upcoming fall season.