Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Final Post for 2013

The final hours of 2013 are quickly disappearing and it won't be long before we ring in the New Year. Some of you already have at this point in time. To all of you I wish all the best in 2014. May it be a year of good health, prosperity, peace and many blessings.

I leave you with my final two finishes for 2013. I have one ornament remaining that I'm still stitching but seeing how I'm going to be celebrating with the neighbours very shortly I don't see how it will be finished before year's end.  However I did manage to finish up a couple of bigger projects during the past two days.

First is Plum Street Samplers Ghoul Tidings. This was so close to a finish I just knew I could squeak it in on time.

This was a really fun stitch and it makes me want to start another of her designs soon.

My final finish is Torah Stitch By Stitch. I had hoped to have this one complete in the fall but I grew tired of it once the script was stitched and put it aside for awhile. When I picked it up again to stitch the border I found that I had bit off more than I could chew. The border wasn't difficult but time consuming and I was itching to start other designs. I also think I had problems because I'm not used to stitching in hand and the side borders really had to be stitched that way. I'm glad I stuck with it because I think it turned out quite nicely.

For those of you not familiar with the Torah Stitch, this is an international project originating out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They want to stitch the complete Torah and need some help. Stitchers of any nationality and any religious belief are welcome to join in. I know that there have been a few others who have seen my progress and ordered their own kits to stitch. If you are interested at all, click on this link for the info. 

This brings a grand total of 39 pieces stitched this year! I'm pleased with my finishes and over the next couple of days I'll begin to choose patterns I'd like to stitch during the coming year.

Wherever you are, enjoy your New Year's celebrations and I'll see you next year!

Monday, 30 December 2013

December's Ornies

I surprised myself this month in that I manage to stitch not one but two ornies. The first was earmarked for the Ornament SAL and was finished up pretty early on in the month. The second one was a spur of the moment start and I was happy that despite all the bustle of Christmas preparations I managed to complete this pretty addition as well.

First up, Little House Needleworks Seven Pines. This sweet little ornament was offered as a Christmas freebie gift. I stitched it up over one on the same fabric I used for Peppermint Twist.

I'm hoping to finish this one as a pillow ornament. It's a darling little design and I thank Diane of LHN for the wonderful addition to our tree.

The second ornament is one of the Box Ornaments from Country Garden Stitchery. I've stitched one other of these in the past and loved the delicate look of them.

Just one more remaining in this trio for me to tackle. The next one I want to stitch on a white opalescent using a red and green overdyed floss. They finish up very nicely.

I can't believe that brings me to the end of the year's commitment. I'm so happy that I was able to keep up and managed to stitch at least one ornament a month. Thank you so much Heather for organizing this SAL and I can't wait for next year's smalls!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Sending out my wishes to all my family and friends in the blogging community for a very Merry Christmas. May you enjoy the warmth and peace of this season of rebirth in the company of those you love most. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A Victorian Christmas

Recently, following one of my husband's choir performances, we were invited back to the home of one of the choir members. Our friend moved into this home several years ago and at that time it had sat vacant for several years and was in pretty bad shape. Dan went about having the house fixed up and restored to some of its former glory. We have been very fortunate in that he has hosted the choir at his home at Christmas for three years. What a beautiful setting to get you into the Christmas mood! 
This year I asked Dan if he minded if I posted some pics of his home on my blog and he graciously told me to go ahead. Welcome to a Victorian Christmas!

I don't think I've ever seen nativity figures that are more realistic. I was amazed by the sheep wrapped around the shepherd and the headgear worn by the kings.

All of the stockings in the above picture are needlepoint of course!

Love the porcelain face and hands on this Santa as well as the tree topper below. The fur muff she uses reminds me of one which I had as a child. 

As you may have already guessed, Dan also collects antiques which is almost a necessity when living in a home such as this. Take a close look at the little girl in the next portrait and see what she is doing. Does it look familiar to anyone?

 Dan also has an appreciation of needlework and proudly showed me this fireplace screen which he found last year. Look closely and you will see a woman's face at the top centre of the design.

Look at the sweet little choir boy candles at the base of this lamp.

It was a lovely evening and certainly put me in the Christmas mood.
Here is a pic of our host and one of his foster children who celebrated his birthday that evening. Thank you again Dan for a fabulous time!

To all of my stitching friends and family I wish the merriest of Christmases and all the best for the New Year. A special welcome to all of my new followers as well. I am touched by all of your comments and feel so very blessed to be a part of the blogging community. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Final WIPocalypse post for 2013

It's here! Whether we're ready or not, the full moon has arrived once more and it's time for the final WIPocalypse report of 2013. I had a look back at what I set out to do this year and I'm pretty pleased with my progress. So far I have 35 designs completed and I know that I'll have one more ornament completed by this weekend which makes a total of 36 finishes for 2013. I know that I didn't complete several of my choices on my first list but that's always a rough draft for me. My tastes and feelings change as the year passes and I don't always feel like stitching some of my original picks.  This year I stitched more large pieces as compared to last year so I'm very happy with the finished pieces.

Here's where I am with this past month's progress:

These two ornaments are designed by The Sunflower House and the second one is meant to be the backing for the first. However I have decided to finish each as a separate ornament.

I finished Plum Street Sampler's Mary's Sampler II which was a Christmas gift SAL from Paulette.

My ornie commitment for November was Little House Needleworks Peppermint Twist.

I have one other ornament finish which is also a Little House Needleworks design. I will post that on the last Wednesday of this month since it is for my ornament SAL.

In addition I started two other new ornaments.

First up The Primitive Hare Santa's Welcome - Ho, Ho, Ho
This one is being stitched over one so that it won't end up being too big.

The second ornament is Country Garden Stitchery Box Ornament III. I only have 4 more rows of stitches on this one and I know it will be complete before year's end. It stitches up very quickly despite its looks. There will also be some beading added to this one.

Last but certainly not least is my Torah Stitch By Stitch project. My portion of this project is nearing completion. The bottom border is nearly complete which only leaves one remaining side border. I will also be extending the border on the left to reach the edge of the bottom border.

Certainly it has been both a successful month of stitching and a successful year's worth! If you want to see all of my completions for this past year, just click on the title 2013 Finishes at the head of my blog.

Christmas is fast approaching now and I'm just about ready. Tomorrow I'll do a bit of baking, Sunday after church we are picking up the necessary food supplies for the meal and Monday is the final choir practice for Christmas Eve. I finished wrapping my gifts this morning and my cards are all out. 
I am very grateful to my son Daniel for all his help with decorating the house. Due to my hip issues I'm not able to get up and down on my stepladder to decorate the tree so he spent last Friday with me and we got the job done.

Here are some pictures of the results.

Lots of freezing rain is expected here this weekend so I plan on staying indoors, snug as a bug. I'll be back with another post of some of our recent Christmas festivities. Until then stay safe and stay warm!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The lure of the ornaments

Okay, so I finally succumbed. The lure of the ornaments was too great and I put aside my Torah stitch to finish and start several ornaments. I had two finishes but can only show you the one right now. The other is for my monthly ornament commitment and I will post that the last Wednesday of the month.  So here's The Sunflower Seed Good Will to Men.

This is meant to be the backing of the ornament Peace on Earth. However I've decided to finish them as separate ornaments. When they're hanging on the tree you never get to see the backs of the ornaments. I would like to do a little more final finishing of Christmas ornaments but it will have to wait until next week when I'm not as busy.

I started two more new ornies today. Very little progress on either so far.
First is The Country Garden Stitchery Box ornament 3 followed by The Primitive Hare Welcome Santa, Ho Ho Ho.

A few years ago I stitched one of the other box ornaments by TCGS. The chart contains three different parcels and they're all so pretty! Here's Box ornament 1. It's difficult to tell from this picture but there is also beading on these ornaments.

I love doing these on opalescent fabrics with one overdyed floss. This time I'm using a Silkweaver solo opalescent I found in my stash and the floss is Caron Waterlilies Cherry. The next one I plan on stitching on a white opalescent with an overdyed red and green floss.

The Primitive Hare design is being stitched over one on 30ct because otherwise the finished piece was larger than I wanted. Stitched over one it will make a nice sized ornament for the tree.
I hope that by next week's WIPocalypse post I will have more progress to show on both of these.

Last night I went into Ottawa to stitch and once more pulled out the Torah Stitch. Here's where I'm at now with the border.

I'd say I'm a little past the halfway point on this now.

That's this week's stitching update. I do have something else to show you that is not stitching related but it will have to wait until I have more time to upload the photos. See you later!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Final TUSAL of 2013

So here it is. The last new moon of 2013 and my last TUSAL post for the year as well. Lots of blues from the border on my Torah stitch and a few stray reds, golds and browns from Mary's Sampler and my Peppermint Twist. All in all I accomplished more last month than I expected to. I don't expect to be all that productive this month with all the holiday preparations. Speaking of holidays, where is my TUSAL jar hiding this month? With Santa of course!

This jolly fellow hangs on the front of our home just before the front entrance. When Christmas is over he is replaced with a similar planter of a snowman.

Here are some pics of all the orts I've accumulated from 2013.

A fair amount I'd say. It was definitely a productive year and the year isn't quite over yet. Still a few weeks left to add to the accumulation. I have enjoyed participating in this year's TUSAL and I want to pass on a big thank you to Daffycat for all her work in organizing this. It is much appreciated!

Monday, 2 December 2013

A Finishing Frenzy!

As I promised on my last post, I have pictures of my weekend finishing frenzy. I know many of you were looking forward to seeing the finishes of my recently completed ornaments but I had a drawer full waiting for me from last year! Saturday I set my mind to getting them done. My friend Pam came over to keep me company which meant that I only completed two ornaments while we chatted. However I managed to finish off the remainder during the late afternoon and evening. Here are the results.

 One of the above two smalls may end up adorning the tree. I just haven't made up my mind yet. I have hangers picked out for both just in case. I'm still not that great with stuffing the pillows. I either underfill or overfill. I can't seem to stitch them closed without that gathered look either but I've come much further in my finishing than when I first started. 

I'm so pleased with how these turned out. A portion of these will hang on the tree and the remainder are smalls which will fill my dough bowl display for the holiday. I have several more which I'd like to stitch for both tree and bowl but they will have to wait until the next year. I'm committed to finishing up my Torah stitch at this point. 

I've stitched the border going down the one side. It will be extended slightly to meet the edge of the border across the bottom of the design.I think I bit off more than I can chew with this bottom border. Not that it's difficult, it's just time consuming and I'm anxious to be finished with this so I can move on to other projects.

My finished Christmas stitch for this year is Plum Street Samplers Mary's Sampler II. This was the SAL which Paulette released weekly on Sundays for the previous nine weeks. My friend Thea has offered to finish this into another of her lovely wall hangings for me. If time is on our hands it will be hanging on my wall for Christmas.

Until that time, I have another previously stitched Christmas piece which will adorn my wall for the first time. Blackbird Designs 'Tis The Season came back from the framer this fall and I've been so anxious to hang it! It has a special spot which I've kept for it over the deacon's bench in our entry. That way everyone will see it upon entering our home. The place of honour if you will!

The framer did such a lovely job with this. It may not be apparent in the picture but the inner edging of the gold frame has been brushed with a small amount of red which really highlights the cardinal and brings out the inner mat.

As for the mat, I couldn't decide which colour would be best for this so I left it up to John to decide. John is the one who stretches all of my work and formerly worked at our local cross stitch shop prior to its closing. He asked what colour the wall was where I was planning to hang it. I told him sage green and the mat was his choice. He said they tried several colours but this one seemed to work the best and they always came back to it. I think he did a fabulous job!

That about sums up all of my recent stitching. I have pretty well finished up all of my gift buying for Christmas. I wanted to get out there early before all the crowds and snow arrived. I can't do much walking on my hip at all now and tire easily from it after a day of shopping. I'm meeting with the surgeon this week for him to examine me and then I should know exactly how much longer I have to wait.
I managed to finish up that shopping none too soon. Last Tuesday we got our first dump of the season and it was a pretty good one too! I'll leave you with a few pics from it.  Have a super week!

What the heck! It's frozen! You expect me to eat this?