The Crazy January Challenge: Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa: The last time I worked on one of Sue Hillis' Charmed Santas, I actually stitched four in a row, picking up the next as soon as I finished one. These pieces are addictive ... probably because they supply the instant gratification of lots of small finishes within a finish. For example, on Tuesday, I finished the cookie jar in one before-work sitting and on Wednesday, I finished the tray of cookies on the same shelf of the kitchen work bench. I like to backstitch discrete sections as I go along which increases that sense of completion. The tray of cookies was a bit of a pain to stitch: 12 color changes in a small area [approx 30x15 stitches], not quite confetti stitching, but darn close. I continued to stitch on this through the later part of the week, whenever I had the time ... and, consequently made some pretty impressive progress. It should be finished early in February and then it is on to the Day 2 Crazy Challenge piece, The Ice Dragon's Kingdom from Dragon Dreams.
Aury's Red, White and Blue Quaker Heart: I managed to finish the stitching on this one Tuesday morning before going into work. I really enjoy stitching Aury's designs ... quick stitches but with just enough complexity to be a challenge suitable to a "travel" project ... neither too hard nor too easy. Since I now need a new small and portable travel piece, I'll be moving one of my UFO's, the Fertile Circle's Needlebook, back into the rotation. The Crazy January Challenge has me a bit worried about ending 2011 with twice as many WIPs and UFOs than 2010, so I am making a conscious effort to keep some of the older stuff in the rotation as well.
And, the continuing back-order saga: no joy as yet on the floss needed to finish Dragon Dreams The Ice Dragon's Kingdom [Day 2 project of the Crazy January Challenge] which was ordered from The Stitchery Row ... I really need to call them and ask how that is going. But I did get an e-mail from Needle in a Haystack, letting me know that all but one of the back-ordered Perfect Palette flosses needed for Primitive Needles' Black'd Skie [Day 15 project of the Crazy January Challenge] are on the way. In both cases, I have enough of the needed materials to make substantial progress on these projects. It's just annoying to know that I placed the orders in mid-December and am still waiting. I blame the economy since I suspect small businesses can no longer afford to carry very deep inventories. Consequently, rarely called-for specialty flosses and new and unproven brand lines tend not to be readily available. I don't think I would have had this problem ten, or even five, years ago.