- Stitch from stash ... purchasing no more than five new charts.
- Blog every other day.
- Maintain reasonable monthly goals.
- Complete 3 BAPs: TW's Woodland Angel stocking for Liam and Dimensions Woodland Enchantress converted to a stocking for Piper ... to work with the Woodland Santa stocking I made for their Dad. In 2011, I shall have to come up with something equally woodsy for my daughter-in-law Christina to complete the set. I also want to complete Angela's set of four Teresa Wentzler faeries by stitching the Winter Faerie.
- Complete 1 medium project a month, concentrating on Christmas and Halloween projects wth forays into Quakers.
- Get to the bottom of the finishing basket and then keep up with sewing finishes each month.
- Stitch one or two ornaments a month, concentrating on Christmas and Thanksgiving ornaments this year.
- Inventory and prioritize all UFOs [discarding those that are truly lost causes] and stitch at least five hours a month on UFOs.
- Do more work on my own design ideas.
- Finally back and quilt the feather-stitched crazy quilt top in time for Mary's 50th birthday in June ... after all, it was originally intended for her 16th birthday ... giving a whole new meaning to the the term belated. At least all those crazy colors from the 1970s are back in style again.
- Continue to work on fitting up a stitching room.
- Learn to knit.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
- Goal #1: Limit purchases of new charts to five. This was probably a lost cause from the get-go. In any case, I purchased 12 charts.
- Goal #2: Blog at least every other day. Not quite, though at 139 posts this year it averages out to a little over one post every two and two/third days.
- Goal #3: Complete two BAPs: TW's Autumn Faerie and Woodland Angel Stocking. This was not one of my bigger successes but I think it still qualifies as a pale green since I have made substantial progress on the Autumn Faerie even if I never did start the stocking for Liam.
- Goal #4: Maintain reasonable monthly goals. Well, my goal lists are getting shorter and there are more achieved at the end of each month than not. I therefore conclude that I am getting closer to understanding the meaning of "reasonable".
- Goal #5: Keep up with sewing finishes and work on the backlog of finishes [at least two a month]. Now here is where I really succeeded, with a whopping 55 sewing finishes this year. While I haven't emptied the finishing basket quite yet, I am getting to the point that I actually believe I will.
- Goal #6: Complete one medium project each month, concentrating on Dragon Dreams, Sue Hillis and Prairie Schooler charts already in my stash. A qualified yes. I did complete thirteen projects, though not necessarily by the designers listed in my goal: one Sue Hillis, seven Workbasket, one Not Forgotten Farms, one Brightneedle, one Prairie Schooler, one Primitive Needle and one Homespun Elegance. No Dragon Dreams. It seems I concentrated on the Workbasket Quaker Animals for my quilt.
- Goal #7: Stitch one Christmas ornament monthly. Absolutely. I have stitched fourteen Christmas ornaments, as well as ten Halloween ornaments, one Thanksgiving ornament and one Fourth of July ornament.
- Goal #8: Inventory and prioritize all UFOs and try to stitch on UFOs at least five hours a month. Not this year. This goal will have to carry over into 2010. Perhaps when I have found the bottom of the finishing basket, I will rename it the UFO basket.
- Goal #9: Do more work on my own designs, particularly the Ghandi quote sampler. Another qualified "Yes" ... while I didn't do any further work on the Ghandi quote, I did design the Fertile Circles needlebook and the Beach Find Pansies piece.
- Goal #10: Convert the junk room to a stitching room. Life got in the way.
Monday, December 28, 2009
MMMMM!! Three NOs and one NOT QUITE! And here I thought I had finally mastered the skill of setting reasonable goals.
I think January should be goal free ... I plan on picking up any project that suits my fancy. Usually, my fancy in January involves clinging to the Christmas spirit by stitching Christmas projects for the whole month ... which will give me a nice jump on Christmas 2010. I have a Sue Hillis Santa, two Heartstring Santas and one PS Santa just waiting to be kitted up. I could also seek out a few more heart ornaments for my Valentine's Day display on the ornament tree I keep in my entryway. I only have four and could use at least four more to give a little fullness to the tree.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Since I plan to stitch a Christmas ornament a month in 2010, I think I'll start by pulling out the old Glory Bee charts [Joy, Peace. Love, Home] that I had used for my pillow [see 12/22 post] and stitching them as ornaments as originally intended. I believe I'll use 36ct linen and finish them as fringed pillow ornaments ... it'll mean stitching each design twice to make a front and a back, but they are all such simple designs, that the duplication will go quickly enough. Then there are plenty of Christmas ornament charts that I had liked from that one year subscription to Gift of Stitching [an e-zine] I had won at my very first Stitcher's Hideaway. Another idea I have had for a themed Christmas Tree is to stitch a whole flock of cardinals in scarves from a chart in one of my old JCS ornament issues. I believe the chart is from La-D-Da. I have more than enough cranberry and deep red linen to make several dozen of the little guys ... another really quick stitch, since the bird is simply outlined and the scarf is the only solidly stitched bit of the design. I could either sew them together beak-to-tail with some pretty beads in between to make a strand and then fill the tree in with all my other bird ornaments ... or ... I could finish them separately as individual birds and use my wooden cranberry strands on the tree. I might also try and seek out some wooden popcorn strands to accent a bird tree next year. Then there is my plan to stitch Thanksgiving ornaments this year. I only have two at present and would like to make more so that I can keep the ornament tree up between Halloween and Christmas. I have made a working copy of the page with Thanksgiving designs from my BHG 1001 Cross-Stitch Motifs hard cover which will net me at least five more charts, then there are various freebies on blogs [notably Nic's Girl As Mad As Birds] and of course, I have some autumn-themed Prairie Schooler charts that have motifs [turkey, harvest wagon] that will pull out nicely and serve as ornaments, especially if stitched over one. There is also a sprite subtly worked into a fiery maple leaf chart [see Dani's blog] that I would love to stitch up for my Thanksgiving tree ... I'll just have to scroll back through the comments section of her blog to get the name of the chart.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
- the novelty of doing needlepoint after a very long hiatus
- the sheer pleasure of working with Caron Watercolours: such a buttery soft yarn like cotton
- the fantastic colorway of the Caron fiber: the colorway is called Royal Jewels
- the way the Kreinik High Lustre Gold braid makes the colors in the Caron fiber pop
- the easy finish: just blanket stitching the two sides together
I also particularly enjoyed stitching the Prairie Schooler Peace Angel and the Prairie Schooler Partridge in a Pear Tree and, with one notable exception [see 12/16 post], I thoroughly enjoyed all the other ornaments I have stitched this year whether the themes were Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Patriotic or Valentine's Day. I don't stitch what I don't like. I have enjoyed experimenting with different finishing techniques. And I have enjoyed giving a large number of ornaments to the people I know and care for ... relatives, friends, stitching buddies. But somehow, the Byzantine ornament stands head and shoulders above them all.
Friday, December 18, 2009
In the upstairs hallway, I have a small artificial tree displaying the ornaments purchased as souvenirs of vacations. It is very eclectic but each piece is a reminder of a place my husband and I have enjoyed visiting. These ornaments remind us of trips to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, to Gettysburg, Pa., to The Sagamore Hotel in upstate New York, to Fredricksburg, Md., to Amish country in Pa., Williamsburg, Va. and to Fire Island, LI, NY. There is even a steamboat ornament to call up memories of our 8 day cruise on the Mississippi Queen. Unfortunately, we have not purchased a souvenir ornament from every place we have been but I will certainly make sure to do so in the future. I rather like the idea of a Vacation theme tree. Normally, the hooks on the hall tree hold my husband's baseball caps and my hats and scarves but in keeping with the travel theme I hung one of my husband's Hallmark classic car ornaments from each hook. The bottom looks a little bare. So, in keeping with the travel theme, I will have to dig out my two crackle glaze candle globes in red and green to place beside the tree ... to mimic Port and Starboard lights.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Since I am now simplifying my life and de-cluttering my space, I will be offering a number of my two steamer trunk-loads of ornaments to my children for their own trees. I believe I am going to stick to "theme" trees in the future. This year, my entryway wrought iron tree will be used to display my favorite cross-stitched and needlepoint ornaments and the 36" artificial tree [made with a real tree trunk & artificial branches] will be used in the upstairs hallway to display souvenir ornaments from our various vacations over the years. Given my collection of ornaments, I can see angel trees and nativity scene trees and bird themed trees in the future. But now, for the first time in about a decade, I'll be buying a 5 or 6 footer, artificial and narrow [the kind designed for apartment dwellers] to set up in the living room ... after all, there will be grandchildren in the house this year ... and I need a place to set up the Brio train set for my grandson. If I can't find the right artificial tree, I am thinking of picking up one of those Shaker style trees made of dowels wrapped in cloth. This last tree will be decorated with the remaining ornaments as well as my wooden cranberry strands. I'll ask my daughter-in-law and daughter if they would like to have my white poinsettia light sets and mini light sets. If they don't I'll bring them to work to use on the PREP Christmas tree next year. Either way I want to cull down my three trunk collection of decorations down to two ... and that includes two trunks of ornaments as well as one more with my Santa and nutcracker figurine collection, the stocking holders and stockings, and the music boxes. This does not include the odds and ends that are scattered around in various closets and boxes holding candles and candle holders, wreathes, baskets and wooden sleds. My husband and I are trying to eliminate some of the stuff that has overtaken our small 6 room townhouse ... it's amazing what one accumulates in 30 years in the same place! Something has to go ... right now, the rooms I want to convert into a sewing room and into an office [the children's former bedrooms] are filled with the detritus of our own lives and, since my husband's mother's death in March 2007, his parents' lives. Sentimental value aside, we need the living space and I just can't stand looking at the mess any longer. My husband [who is both a pack rat and a slob of the Oscar Madison type] will just have to deal with the fact that we can't hang onto everything and we will only keep what we can actually use.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Byzantine Ornament [needlepoint complimentary chart from Caron] stitched on 18ct mono canvas with Caron Watercolours Jewels and Kreinik Very Fine Braid 002HL. This is the completed front of the ornament: I think the Kreinik makes the Caron colors pop. The second photo is the back of the ornament, nearly completed. When done, I'll blanket stitch the pieces together with a bit of fleece batting in between. Add a metallic gold narrow ribbon loop at the top, and I'll have one more ornament for my entryway tree. It's been great fun to work on a needlepoint project again. Needlepoint was my entry into textile arts over 35 years ago. And, while it hasn't been my main focus in over 20 years, I have done a needlepoint project every so often over the years ... though less and less frequently lately. I have three more needlepoint projects in my stash ... two Halloween pieces and one Owl, done sampler style with lots of specialty stitches ... and I can see myself working them into my rotations fairly soon. There are also a few more complimentary needlepoint charts on the Caron site that I'd like to stitch. Since I have more than enough canvas both in 18ct and 10ct mono, I expect a needlepoint project will be added to my stitching pleasure every other month or so. It'll just be a matter of getting the right fibers for the projects. I don't have much of a stash of needlepoint yarns, just a few Caron Watercolours, some odds and ends of various Rainbow Gallery fibers, some ThreadGatherer wool and wool blends and a very basic stash of Paternayan yarns [kind of like the 18 ct Crayola crayon box in color range].
TW's Autumn Faerie: Since I haven't had much quality stitching time at home and since this piece is on my stitching stand, progress has been non-existent. But that's okay, starting Dec. 23, I'll have ten days off and lots of stitching time since I'll be home bound most of the holiday. I am lending my car to my oldest son who is flying home with his wife and two children for the holidays. His in-laws have provided him with a car service to and from the airport so I figure lending him the car during their stay is the least I can do and a very light price to pay for the joy of spoiling my two grandchildren.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Next are some photos of crewel ornaments I did about 15 years ago. These were given as Christmas gifts to my 1996 volunteer catechists. The crewel ornaments came from a Butterick pattern and were an awful lot of fun to stitch ... not to mention that it was a great way to use up odds and ends of floss left over from other projects. I stitched a total of 50 of these little guys and backed them with stiffened felt ... but these two pictures give you an idea of the different designs ... the rest were the same designs done in different colorways. Of course, I had the pattern for nearly a decade before I finally stitched them ... after all, crewel was all the rage in the 80s and I stitched these in the early 90s ... I was never one to be a slave to trends. Or, to put it another way, I am often the last to jump on the bandwagon or catch up with fashions and fads.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I have also gotten quite a bit more done on The Primitive Needle piece since my 123stitch order did include the Old Crow I had been working around. The bottom band is done with all the black lettering and stars completed and I have moved onto the witch in the main panel. It's great to have reached this point since I will no longer have to flip between three pages and four overlapping charts ... Halloween Revelry is one of those dreaded magazine charts [JCS September 2009] that are printed in pieces in order to fit magazine lay-out. There are two more charts in that issue that I plan on stitching: the two blackwork ornaments.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Finish Brightneedle's Esmeralda's House: Finally finished on 11/17.
Finish TW's Autumn Faerie: NO, see 11/29 post for explanation.
Stitch at least one Christmas or Halloween ornament: Well over my goal, with five. Pinecone ornament for Rachel, from Gift of Stitching online magazine, finished 11/8. Prairie Schooler Old Fashioned Christmas Tree ornament, finished 11/8. Elizabeth Needlework Designs Have a Jolly Halloween ornament on 11/10. And on 11/13, finished Cherry Wood Studio's Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet as well as The Stitcherhoods' Give Thanks [twice, since I am finishing it as a fringed pillow ornament and stitched a back that was a negative image of the front].
Resume work on The Sweetheart Tree's Holly and Hearts Sampler: even if it was only one row, it still counts as resuming work ... that's my story and I am sticking to it.
Make Sara's wedding veil: Yes, though at the 11th hour [or more precisely the day before the wedding ... I am not sure she will wear it ... waiting for me to get done may have made her nervouse enough to come up with an alternative plan. ]
Spend at least 5 hours on sewing finishes: Well over my five hours. On 11/1: The Prairie Schooler Partridge in a Pear Tree [JCS 2005] and the Stitcher's Hideaway Spooky Retreat souvenir ornament. On 11/10, finished a fringed pillow ornament, Pinecone [GOS 2007]. On 11/13, finished the Monster bubbles Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun as a mini wall hanging, the PS Christmas Tree and END Have a Jolly Halloween as padded flat ornaments and stitched 3 scraps of 32ct linen together for a flea market style project, the subject of which is yet to be determined. On 11/14, finished Give Thanks from the Stitcherhood as a fringed pillow ornament. On 11/16, finished the Trick or Treat piece as a Halloween ornament and the witch's hat motif from this chart as a change purse. On 11/29, the Autumn Leaves bookmark and the Sailor's Jig Book Tote. I aslo did some assembly line stitching preparing the fronts of three more totes using cross stitched pieces: a red squirrel, In the Garden [designed by Erynne of Be-Stitched], and a teddy bear that I stitched when my now 32 year old daughter was only 8 or 9, intending to make it up as a stuffed stand-up.