Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Here's the annual photo of my Halloween table top tree.  There are a few new ornaments added since last year: note the two Stitcher's Hideaway pieces toward the front.  I particularly like the witch's hat.  I enjoy making oddly shaped ornaments; circles, squares and rectangles can get so boring after awhile.

Next year, I believe I'll have to purchase a larger tree.  I have five stitched but not sewn ornaments on my sewing table and another one in the spring tension hoop.  I think I'll look for one of those spooky bare branch trees though I am hoping I can find one in wrought iron rather than wood or, worse yet, plastic.

Now for the treat part of the program:
I promised I would announce the winners of the chart giveaway and here they are:
Chart #1: Lavender Wings' Santa's Helper [8 contestants].  Donna won this chart.
Chart #2: Calico Crossroads' Share Your Heart Stocking [2 contestants].  Julie is the winner.
Chart #3: GPA's #1 Cottage stocking.[1 contestant]. Pinwheel gets this one.
Chart #4: Rosewood Manor's Snowflake Tree [1 contestant]  Pam gets this one.
Chart #5: Beary Merry Christmas 2013 ornament [2 contestants]  Rossana is the winner
Chart #6: Lavender Wings' Stacked Pumpkins [6 contestants]  Tina gets this chart.

I will be e-mailing the winners to get mailing addresses sometime after work today or on my day off tomorrow.  Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who participated in my little giveaway.  The next giveaway will come sometime in November, whenever I reach my 1,000th post.  It'll be for a $25 gift certificate to 123stitch.  November is another of those "post every day" months.  Depending on whether I manage to do so, the giveaway could come as early as 11/14 but will be later more likely.  I don't believe posting everyday will be an option while I am away on retreat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Assessing October Goals, Setting November Goals

I had decided to pare down my goals during October down to a mere two:
BAPs: Continue to concentrate on TWs Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking.  I am really quite pleased with my progress on this piece.  Except for the over-one face stitching and the embellishments, the body of the stocking is done.  The Celtic knotwotk border is done and the name is started.
Class Project: Pre-work on Victoria Sampler's Mystic Christmas Sampler.  Well, the pre-work did get done, though not before class.  I even managed to stitch a bit more, namely: the assignment for the first morning's class.  Although other participants went home with a nearly completed project, I still have quite a ways to go.  Still, I am happy with it.
Some Off Goal Stitching:  Having been bitten by the Seasonal Stitching Bug, I started Peg Bowen's Columbus Day on the appropriate day and finished it up before the end of the month.  Shortly after started Columbus DayI was casting about for something to stitch on the road trip to Mystic and chose a charming little primitive Halloween piece from Plum Street Sampler which I managed to finish before the 31st.   And then, because I had silks in a Halloween colorway out anyway, I picked up Not Forgotten Farms' Rotted But Not Forgotted and finished stitching that as well.

NOVEMBER GOALS: Since I am really quite close to finishing Liam's stocking, I think I'll expand my reach a bit and attempt to reach four modest goals this month.
BAPS: Finish the stitching and the sewing assembly of Teresa Wentzler's The Woodland Angel Stocking.  If possible, start Piper's stocking.
Class Project:  Resume work on Mystic Smalls
Town Square SAL: Stitch The Framing Shop.  Assemble the Fiber Shop and the Framing Shop ornaments.
WIPs: Resume work on the English Band Sampler.

I seem to have recovered my stitching momentum.  So, I shall take advantage of this development to work on a few more projects than last month.  It would be soooo nice to add a few more stitching finishes to my paltry sidebar list of 2013 finishes.    When I started blogging just six years ago, I averaged about 70-80 finishes a year.  Of course, many were smaller and simpler pieces than I am tackling now but still ... I find I wax nostalgic for the big numbers.

Now, I know that stitching should be a pleasure not a contest or a numbers game.  But once an A-type personality, always an A-type personality.  I can't help myself: I just keep competing with my past self, goading my future self to exceed the most outrageously unrealistic expectations conjured by my present self.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Random Stuff

I got the Not Forgotten Farms' ornament done at lunchtime today.  It is a lot more colorful than originally charted but I like it that way.  The deep red and the yellow gold give it just enough autumnal pop.  The black and green and grey are still suitably funereal for Halloween.  It seems a perfect marriage of bright and dark.  I may turn this into a flat ornament for my own Halloween tree or for an exchange.  I wasn't particularly attracted to this chart at first ... the English teacher in me was not too pleased with the forgotted bit.  I had seriously considered changing the wording to Rotten but not Forgotten, but that would have destroyed the primitive whimsy of the ornament.

Then I did a quick shift back to the Celtic knot work border on the Woodland Angel stocking.  Here is a  shot of recent progress.  I was only able to devote an hour to this after work.  I did manage to do the back stitching of the knot work I had already stitched and then continue with the border till I turned the corner.  While this section is very clearly charted, I find I have to stitch slowly and carefully to make sure all the quarter stitches are neatly and correctly placed.  Given my slowed down pace, I figure it will take another 2-3 hours of serious stitching to finish the border.  Still, I am getting close to a finish.  I am almost tempted to draw the process out a little longer.  This has been such a wonderful piece to stitch, I hate to be done with it.  On the other hand, I have to sew it up, trim it, stuff it and mail it to the West Coast.  So perhaps, I'd better keep the momentum going.

However, I think I'll steal the time to stitch one more Halloween ornament, Primitive Needle's By the Light of the Moon, before the month is done. I'll use that piece of purple linen on which I stitched two other Halloween ornaments earlier this month.  The deep purple will make a suitably spooky night sky background for the piece.  I don't think I am quite over my Seasonal Stitching Disorder yet!

In mid November, I'll be going on another retreat: this one will be a spiritual retreat instead of a stitching retreat, though.  Even so, I always pack a few stitching projects to work on in my down time - I can't stay on the psyche's equivalent of mountain tops all the day long - too intense for a mere mortal like myself.  I'm already thinking about what I will take along.  Certainly the Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking, if it is not finished by then.  Also, The English Band Sampler.  But I will also want something small:  I am close to a finish on my Fertile Circles Needlebook or I could work on my older son's Name Tree ornament.  Then, there is The Framing Shop from the Town Square SAL to be considered if I haven't finished it by the time I leave for the monastery.  But there is also the lure of all the new items brought home from Mystic as well as a few charts  given to me as anniversary gifts by my husband that are calling my name rather insistently.  It's just a Sunday evening into Tuesday morning, so I'll only need stitching for two nights.  But if I run true to form, I'll pack more stitching than clothes.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

One More Halloween Ornament

As long as I had the Perfect Palette silks out for the Plum Street Sampler Halloween challenge piece, I thought I'd use them on the Not Forgotten Farms ornament from the JCS 2012 Halloween special issue.  I started this ornament only this morning and stitched on it intermittently throughout the day.  I am quite pleased with my progress since the piece is very nearly done.  Obviously I changed the color scheme somewhat to use the silks left over from my Primitive Needle sampler.  I'll be using the deep red for the remaining circles and for the flowers at the top of the vines as well as for the floral motif across the bottom.  I'll use a silver grey to fill in the wings and skull and a pale yellow orange to fill in the trapezoid shape at the top.  Otherwise, I stuck with  black and green where originally charted ... though not the exact black and green called for.  It is stitching up quickly and should be finished by tomorrow evening.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Few October Smalls

I know these weren't on my monthly goals but I seem to have caught a touch of Seasonal Stitching Disorder from Sue Donnelly at the recent Stitcher's Hideaway.  Now, ordinarily, I have no problem stitching Christmas items in February, Easter designs in November or a St. Patrick's Day project in July, but somehow this month I had to stitch something appropriate to October.  I don't know why.  Just a whim, I guess!

This first piece is a small Columbus Day design, shared with me by a stitching friend, Peggy Bowe, who designed it for a feisty little old Italian woman who declared that a certain seasonal series Peg had stitched for her was incomplete because it didn't include a Columbus Day piece.  Being as accommodating as she is talented, Peg designed and stitched one.  She has since shared it with friends she knows to be of Italian descent.  I'll be very happy to be able to add this to my basket of smalls once I finish it as a small pin pillow.  Happily enough, I actually started stitching this on Columbus Day.

And the second piece will serve as my annual Halloween piece for 2013.  It is a challenge piece from Plum Street Samplers but I didn't participate in the challenge having missed the deadline.  I used some 14ct banding in eggshell trimmed in a muted green that has been kicking around in my stash for a while.  I paired the banding with Perfect Palette & Needlepoint Inc Silks Inc. left over from a Primitive Needle Project.  And instead of stitching the number 13 or 31, I attached a small sterling witch charm in the semi-circle.  I also replaced some of the stitches in the border with beads.  I will finish it as a small Treat bag that I will use for one of my grandchildren next year.

After all, I couldn't let October pass completely by without stitching something autumnal!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More About the Stitcher's Hideaway

One of my favorite things about the Stitcher's Hideaway is the final night's festivities culminating in a Show & Tell.  There is always such an amazing variety of projects to view when stitchers get together.  One woman displayed four etuis: one shaped like a church with a steeple, two more in a more conventional box shape and one stitcher's pocket.  A mother daughter pair displayed their own interpretations of Thea's carousel pin cushion.  There was lots of hardanger and even a quilt and some knitting.  Plenty of samplers and even a few Teresa Wentzler pieces.  It was great fun to see what other folks were working on.  These are just a few photos of some of the lovely projects displayed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I Kept

It's always a joy to receive gifts and these gifts, brought home from Sue Donnelly's recent Stitcher's Hideaway in Mystic Ct, were especially delightful.  Between the well-stuffed Swag Bag that marked each stitcher's place and the door prizes, I came home with some real treasures

Some interesting floss from the Swag Bag:  Here you see some Threadworx in a rich Victorian Christmas Red and a selection of DMC flosses: #3 and #5 Perle cottons in gold and lavender pink, a rayon floss in Christmas green, a pale gold graduated cotton and an even paler gold color infusion.  All lovely additions to my floss stash.

Also in the Swag Bag: A useful new tool and a pin cushion: The corner gauge will be most useful both in my stitching and my quilting.  The pincushion is made from a sweet little silk-screened bit of Victorianna.

From the Swag Bag: this kit is from Nan's Hands and uses some specialty stitches to make a very simple and quick ornament.

Also from the Swag Bag:  The next is a charming Prairie Schooler promotional card.  While I don't actively seek out and collect these cards, I do keep every one I come across.  They make great charts for use in exchanges and small gifts.  I will definitely find time to stitch this one before Christmas.

And a number of charts that I will definitely stitch:

This chart was a door prize. donated by Glory Bee,  it is one in her clever, witty and whimsical series of Christmas sayings.  This one warns "When you stop believing in Santa, you get underwear".  I have used other charts from this series to make Christmas gift bags.  I can see this one holding a gag gift of underwear for one of my children in Christmas 2014.

From the Swag Bag: Sue Donnelly's own design.  She designs a chart and makes up a kit for every hideaway she hosts.  I have stitched all of the charts for the hideaways I have attended and this one will be no different.  I think this design might actually fit inside one of my cut-out Christmas Cards.  I could finish it as an ornament and insert it in the cut-out for mailing and then the recipient could use it on her tree.  I am thinking this might make a lovely token gift for my husband's cousin.  We have long since agreed not to buy expensive gifts for one another but I always like to give a small token of some sort. 

And another door prize, this one donated by Stitcher's Hideaway, is a Brightneedle kit with a lovely tuck pocket for carrying a cell phone or other electronic device or a small memo book.  I already have one in which I keep the calculator I carry in my purse.  It will be nice to stitch this one up and use it for my phone or my notebook.

A second keeper from the Swag Bag is this Just Nan chart called Needle Flitters.  I was especially delighted to see this chart in the swag bag since I had been intrigued by the Needle Tweets that started this whole series going a few years back.  At the time, I thought the Tweets way too pricey for what they were, darling little gifts to tuck into an exchange.  You can read about my thoughts on the Tweets here.  Finding the Needle Flitters in my swag  bag was a very pleasant surprise indeed.

So, there you have it: the reason I felt no need to buy charts while on retreat.  I felt free to concentrate on floss and scissors precisely because I had been given such a fine array of charts that I will absolutely enjoy stitching.  These are all relatively simple and easy charts, perfect for interspersing within my current rotation of complicated class projects and WIPs.  What could be better?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Door Prize Giveaways

Having reached SABLE [Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy] or as near as makes no difference, I find that I can give away door prizes and other goodies without the slightest twinge of regret.  I know that the charts listed below, however lovely, will never be stitched by me.  They are simply not my style.  So I offer them to you, my readers.  In the comments below choose one chart you would like to stitch and tell me why.  I'll choose the winners on Halloween: a treat instead of a trick.  I apologize for the bit of glare on the photos.  I snapped all these shots under my stitching lamp and did my best to position the lamp so the bright spot didn't obscure the design but so that the photo was still light enough to give a faithful photo of the design itself.

Chart #1  Lavender Wings' Santa's Helper, a reproduction of the art work of Stewart Sherwood.  I do stitch Santas but I tend to prefer the Prairie Schooler and Homespun Elegance style Santas to the more usual depictions of St. Nicholas.  Any traditionalists itching to stitch this Santa?

Chart #2:  Calico Crossroads' Share Your Heart Christmas Stocking.  Again, I do stitch stockings, as anyone who has been following this blog recently knows quite well.  Just not this sort of stocking.  However, I am sure someone out there would enjoy this one.  Any Band Sampler and specialty stitch fans out there?

Chart #3:  Giana Punti Antichi Wood Stockings Collection #1 Cottage.  Even though this piece was designed to be finished on the wooden stocking shaped floss sorter, I am sure this could easily be finished as a mini-stocking or as a Christmas Tree ornament.  Is there a stitcher interested in giving this little cottage a home?

Chart #4:  Rosewood Manor's Snowflake Trees.  There is no photo of this one.  Anyone familiar with this designer knows that photos of a stitched model just aren't to be found on her card shaped charts.  This lovely little chart could easily be finished as a biscornu or as a Christmas Tree ornament.

Chart #5:And another Christmas Tree ornament: this one is Beary Merry Christmas 2013.  I no longer stitch teddy bears having overdosed on them during my daughter's childhood.  She collected teddy bears, loved them to death and asked for many stitched items with that theme.  Once she grew out of teddy bear mania, I swore off them for life, thank you very much.  Still he is a sweet little guy and if you haven't been traumatized by over-bear-ing as I have been, you may enjoy stitching this ornament.

Chart # 6: Lavendar Wings' Littl Bitz series: Stacked Pumpkins: Switching gears, I have this little Halloween chart to offer.  Pumpkin  and black cat lovers might want to stitch this one.  Any takers?

Good luck to all who enter my little giveaway!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Lot of Stitching Going On

First, on my way to the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway, I stitched on this little Halloween project which will eventually be a small "goodie" bag for a grandchild's special Halloween treat.

The retreat was taught by Thea of Victoria Sampler, one of my  favorite instructors.  She is a clever woman possessed of great personal charm and an endearing sense of self-deprecating humour.  She is also a phenomenal instructor and a gifted designer.  I have taken two classes with her prior to this one and have thoroughly enjoyed them.

Once classes started, I began the pre-work that I didn't have time to do prior to the retreat.  It went slowly, since I unstitched very nearly as much as I stitched.  This project was only my second hardanger piece and my Kloster blocks looked wonky as often as not.  Hence the frequent unstitching!  It didn't help help that I was allergic to something in the Connecticut air: leaf mold, pollen, something.   The resulting sinus pressure and headaches made precise stitching somewhat problematic.  Things improved when I switched out the magnifier I had been using [the one on the stem of my Brite Lite stitching lamp] for a simple pair of clip-ons for my eyeglasses.  The "better" magnifier had been reflecting the glare of the neon ceiling  fixtures into my eyes, making my headache worse.  As soon as I switched, things got much more comfortable and my stitching improved dramatically.  Even so, I didn't get very much done on the project.  I kept pausing to watch the instructional videos that Thea had made, not wanting to miss any details even though I was so far behind every one else.

The retreat was the first serious spate of stitching I had managed in about two weeks.  It was wonderful to feel a needle in my hand again.  The discipline of doing the Kloster blocks must have blown away all the mental fog that lingered from my recent glucose numbers spike.  The Celtic knot border on my TW stocking that had been giving me fits just two weeks ago, was clarity itself when I picked it up on Friday evening after class for a change of pace.  Considering the number of quarter stitches in this small strip of bordering, I am very pleased with the single hour's progress across the bottom of the border.

While at the retreat, I availed myself of the opportunity to shop Chris' Collection.  Chris will be retiring in November and closing up shop.  She had set up shop in one of the motel rooms and had put everything on sale for 50% off.  I resisted the urge to buy charts though there were many attractive ones on display.  I went straight to the Glorianna and bought $290 worth of silk [33 skeins] for a mere $145 ...
... and then bought a pair of Gingher scissors for $20 marked down from $40 and an adorable tiny little "airplane-friendly" pair of scissors for $5.75 marked down from $11.50.  Needless to say, I was delighted with my haul.  

There were the usual goodie bags and door prizes.  I loved my door prizes: a lovely stitchable phone case and a Glory Bee chart that announced that people who didn't believe in Santa anymore got underwear for Christmas gifts.  The motto was much more succinct and clever than that but I can't remember the exact wording as I type.  The goodie bags contained some lovely charts that I'll be offering as giveaways because I know I'll never stitch them.  Very pretty but just not my style.  The only chart I'll be keeping from the goodie bag is the Just Nan Needle Flitters: they will be fun to stitch as gifts for stitching buddies.  But more on that on another post.

As usual, the meals were lovely; the company fantastic, and the entire weekend a complete pleasure.  Sue's retreats are always a delight and I recommend them highly.

Friday, October 18, 2013


I finally decided to open up the folder from the Stitcher's Hideaway and take a look at the required pre-work.    I am here at the retreat and have been unable to get any of the pre-work done.  The past two weeks have been stitch-free due to health issues.  Well, I will just have to try and catch up with the rest of the class.  I will put up photos when I get home.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Show & Tell

Since I haven't had very many finishes this year, I'd thought I'd bring a series that is still in progress for my Show & Tell participation in the Stitcher's Hideaway: the Indy 2006 Town Square charts I am working up as Christmas Tree ornaments.  I have stitched some 17 of the 40+ charts and hope to stitch at least three dozen in total so as to have a small town America themed tree.  I see the whole series as a sort of poor man's Hawk Run Hollow.  But in the course of gathering the finished ornaments up [all of which may be seen here and below], I realized that I had never photographed my most recent finish in this series.  I have yet to do the assembly finish but it will be finished as all the others as a flat ornament, backed with navy blue fabric studded with tiny white stars and trimmed with handmade cording in blue.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Momentum Has Broken

I have not stitched at all for three days.  My sugar numbers spiked, which will happen when a Type II diabetic forgets to take her medicine for two days in a row.   They spiked so high that I didn't make it into work on Monday.  I have been unable to concentrate, have had terrible headaches and feel mildly queasy.  Not the best condition for stitching a TW Celtic knot work border replete with quarter stitches and precise twists and crossovers.  

So don't be expecting any marvelous progress photos from me this week.  I may find some project in WIP basket that has some simple repetitive filling stitching going on just to keep my hands busy.  But the TW will have to be set aside for a few more days until I am ready to deal with its complexities.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Some new stash

I know that one of my annual goals is to reduce my purchases to just what I need to complete existing projects and that is precisely what I have done.  What you see in this photo are the beads and metallic braid needed to finish the Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking in addition to a few skeins of DMC that will replenish the bobbins that have been nearly emptied while stitching the stocking.

What you don't see, because it is on back-order, is a single chart from Homespun Elegance: a recent re-issue of a number of Sandra's Santa ornaments.  This is only the second cross-stitch chart I have purchased all year.  I ordered this chart because I had given away my chart for one of the annual Santa ornaments that I had stitched for myself.  Since I rarely stitch the same design twice, I felt safe in giving away the chart.  It was a favorite, a Santa face and beard shaped like a crescent moon.  Fast forward to two years ago, when my grandson visited [with my son, my daughter-in-law and his baby sister, of course], and I fell prey to the soulful look of longing in his eyes when he saw it.  Naturally, I gave it to him.   What doting grandmother wouldn't? This was the same Christmas when the same sweet little grandson appropriated the reclining sheep from my creche set.  Gotta watch very small people in Osh Kosh cover-alls: too many pockets and not enough fully formed concepts of ownership.  Happily, he has outgrown these felonious impulses and is now a perfectly law-abiding first grader.

But back to my original point: I was left without the chart and without the ornament.   So, I was thrilled when Sandra re-issued some of her Santa ornaments in a collection which included my favorite.  You can be certain I shall stitch another for myself as soon as the chart arrives.  And I won't be giving this chart away anytime soon.  If I recall correctly, I stitched this ornament with most of the charted colors though I may have switched out the recommended red with  something I already had on hand.  The second time around I'll make the beard a little more white > ecru rather than the ecru > tan pictured to the left.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our of the Woods

I have completed the last bit of back-stitching of the trees, I'll be starting the knot work border and focusing on that for the rest of the week.  As fussy as it is, I expect it to take the full week.  Here are my usual two progress photos: the whole stocking and a close-up of recent work.

Very soon, I shall have to take a short break from the stocking to do some of the pre-work for an upcoming class.  Though I am excited about the class, I almost begrudge the time away from the stocking.  It has been such a wonderful stitch, I simply don't want to put it aside.  I'll have to get the pre-work done quickly so I can get back to it.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

We Have Lift Off

I was right in my previous post: I did finish the second wing on Thursday.  I spent Friday and today working on some of the back-stitching, the trees between angel and bird as well as the bird itself and the remaining trees.  The first photo shows the whole stocking.  The second is a close-up photo of my most recent progress.  So, the angel now has both wings and there is a second bird in flight. as well.   I have been moving along at a pretty good speed.  All that is left of Sections 1 and 2 is the Celtic Knotwork border, the over one stitching of the name and face, and the back-stitching of the trees.  I hope to have  finished the back stitching by Sunday afternoon.  I should be able to begin the Celtic knot work border of Sections 1 and 2 by Sunday evening.   It will be my main focus for the remainder of the week.  Although it is rather fussy and will require careful counting, I hope to have the border done by Friday.

Once that is done, I'll have to take a little time to chart Liam's name into the space.  I haven't decided whether to use the alphabet included in this chart or use the same alphabet as I used for my son Sean's stocking.   If the second alphabet [which is over two] fits in the space, I'll go for it rather than the over one alphabet included in the chart.  It would speed things up a bit and serve visually to tie in Sean's stocking with Liam's ... and later on, Piper's, Rocco's and Christina's.

Here is a photo of Sean's stocking:  I am going for a woodland theme here. Click on it to see an enlargement that gives you a better view of the alphabet.  This was stitched about 15 years ago.  I don't have a photo of the sewn finish and the stocking now resides some 3000 miles away so it is unlikely I will ever get one.  I backed it with green upholstery weight velvet and trimmed it with gold braided cord.  Sean [my son] has the woodland Santa, Liam [my oldest grandson] will have the Woodland Angel, Piper [my granddaughter] will have the Woodland Maiden, Rocco [my youngest grandson] will have a woodland Prince or minstrel from the Best of TW Fantasy book, and I have yet to figure out something for my daughter-in-law, Christina.  I want something dramatic and lovely for her, either a Mother Nature figure or a woodland fairy.  I am leaning toward Mother Nature.  If I manage one stocking a year, I'll have outfitted the whole family by Christmas 2016.

I continue to enjoy working on Liam's stocking and look forward to picking it up again everyday.  I'll have to pull some other Wentzler designs out of my stash to work on once this is done.  Even if I go back to a rotation, it would be a shame not to include a Wentzler design in the mix.  Her work gives me so much pleasure!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tossing Some More Confetti About

Now it's the left wing that has me counting out my confetti stitches ever so carefully.  The other wing took me a solid day to stitch  But I'll be able to devote at least two hours on Wednesday and again on Thursday to this so I may start my three day weekend with another wing completed and ready for back stitching.  We shall see.  This progress shot shows the completed and back stitched right wing, the back stitching of the robe and drape and hair - or at least as much as I could do without compromising the over one area of the face - and the first four confetti colors of the left wing.

At the rate I am going, I had better get my act together and order the braid and beads I will need for embellishing this piece.  I'll be at that stage by late October or early November at the very latest.  It would be a shame if the finish were delayed for want of the right materials.

I know I am at least a month. away from a finish but I am already beginning to feel a bit melancholy at the thought of not stitching my angel.  For the moment nothing in my WIP/UFO basket is calling to me and I am not sure what I shall pick up next.  Probably the old and new Thea Dueck Mystic pieces: the stitching pocket and accessories from the past retreat and the Christmas Sampler from this year's retreat.  I have gotten into the habit of doing one project at a time.  I wonder if that habit will stick once I am finished with the stocking.. There is also the possibility of starting a stocking for my granddaughter, Piper ... a Woodland Maiden to be a companion to the Woodland Angel.  But first I have to covert the colorway of the name and maiden's dress from blue to pink