Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: January 30, 2011

I can't believe it's been a week and a day since I last posted. Normally, I post my Weekend Progress Report on Sunday evening, but I was just too tired to do so last night. It's been a very busy work week with less time for stitching than I would have liked. The usual 12 hour workdays at the beginning of the week were followed by more hours than usual in the later part of the week. I had to give up the better part of my usual Friday day-off to the annual archdiocesan consultation luncheon, a three hour event with an hour commute on either end. And Saturday, which usually ends at 10:30am after morning classes, ended up being extended to 3:00pm for Confirmation interviews. I suppose this balances out, in part, the snow days in the past two weeks. The weather forecasters are predicting another storm for Tues/Wed, adding another 2-5 inches of snow followed by significant icing. Normally a prediction of 2-5 inches of snow would have me concerned but at this point, it seems mere icing on the cake. The "significant icing" is far more worrying since it will cause many traffic accidents and, probably, accidents due to falls and slips, as well. At this rate, I don't expect to see bare ground in my backyard and above the retaining wall till June ... well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration ... but there is already an 18 inch layer of snow in the backyard at present, accumulated over the past three storms ... and it just keeps getting higher and higher. We had two days with temperatures above freezing this weekend, but are back to temps in the teens again today.

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.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: January 23, 2011

Before I discuss actual stitching, I want to do a little stitch-related happy dancing. As a 40th wedding anniversary gift, my husband has enrolled me in the Sturbridge Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat scheduled for this summer. Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler will be the instructor ... it'll be my second time with her, a real bonus to my way of thinking ... she is a phenomenally gifted designer AND teacher. Those two skill sets do not always go together. The setting will include an historic hotel and possibly, a trip to Old Sturbridge Village's back rooms where they keep the antique textiles and embroideries. Whatever the added field trip is, I know it will be imaginative ... Sue Donnelly runs the best events I have ever attended ... and I have been to several CATS and one or two EGA events ... so I do have a standard of comparison! Anyway, what could be a better gift than a stitching retreat? And, because he didn't want to be empty-handed on the day of the anniversary, he gave me a box of Godiva chocolates, as well! What a guy!

Yesterday, we celebrated two First Confession liturgies in the parish ... so a workday that normally ends at Noon was extended till 3:00pm ... resulting in a little less stitching time than usual ... Saturday afternoon after work/before dinner is usually primo stitching time. I have been trying to limit my rotation to five projects that I work on steadily. It is my attempt to avoid morphing any of the Crazy Challenge pieces into UFOs and to still manage to work on the WIPs and UFOs from 2010.

But such as it is, here are photos of progress since my last post.

Crazy Challenge Day 1: Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa. Steady progress on this. It has been my focus piece since Wednesday, so I have gotten quite a bit done. I am doing the back-stitching as I finish a significant section. I tend to like the immediate gratification of seeing the finished look of a project ... even before I have earned it with a real finish. I am reasonably confident I can finish this Crazy Challenge piece by the end of January or very early in February. The second challenge piece on the list is Dragon Dreams' The Ice Dragon's Kingdom. I look forward to getting back to work on that piece although two of the flosses needed [one of the Anchor Marlitts and one of the Kreinik VF Braids] are still on backorder. Even so, I am hopeful that I can work with what I have ... I'll make a gentle reminder phone call this week to the shop that has the flosses back-ordered. If they can't promise delivery within a week or two, I'll cancel and look for another source. I had really hoped to do all the challenge pieces in order. But some of them require such unusual [for me] flosses that this may be problematic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Picking up where I left off

As I have noted several times, the hardest part of the Crazy January Challenge was putting a piece down just as I became interested in it. So I was delighted to be able to return to one of my Crazy January Projects. Since I had Martin Luther King Day off [Monday, for my international readers] and then had the added bonus of a day off Tuesday because of weather related school closings, I was able to devote an unusually large amount of time to stitching in the early part of the week.

Crazy January Challenge: Day 1 Project: Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa. I completed the cross-stitching portion of the border and began working on the table and the flour sack.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: January 16, 2011

Just a word about my other WIPs ... you know, the ones left over from 2010! I have been making intermitent progress on these and will continue to do so by just working the Crazy January starts into the rotation one or two at a time.

Workbasket's Quaker Sampler. I am really pleased with the progress made on this. I finished the gold motif and the two letters, C & D, stitched in gold. I see this piece becoming a year-long companion, with one motif and its companion letters worked each month. Since this piece is being done on 40ct linen, it's not a candidate for a travel piece. I can only work on it in very good light ... so I'll be tethered to my Ott light when working on this,

Aury's Red, White and Blue Quaker Heart. This is my current travel piece, small enough to fit in my purse and pull out when waiting in line, or at the drive-thru at the bank or pharmacy, or in a doctor's waiting room. I do want to focus on this a bit more in the next few days because I would like to have it finished and assembled in time to hang on the Valentine's Day tree. When I last worked on this, only half of the blue stitching had been completed. Yesterday, I was able to complete the blue section as well as all of the red areas. This is being stitched on a 28ct linen from Silkweaver called Starquest, using Belle Soie silks Blue Lagoon, Rose of Sharon and Icing. I just love Belle Soie silks ... such a pleasure to stitch with. I can recommend these reasonably priced silks wholeheartedly. I'll continue to use this little Quaker as my travel project for the coming week and hope to have it stitched and assembled before Friday.

And since this will be a long weekend due to Martin Luther King Day, I'll be deferring the first Crazy January start to return to my stitching rotation, Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa, till Monday. I was hoping to work through the challenge projects in chronological order but some of the flosses and fibers I ordered way back in mid-December for a few of the projects [notably, The Ice Dragon's Kingdom and Black'd Skie] are still on back order. I expect I'll have to do some skipping about. Not a hardship ... I really love all the pieces I selected for the challenge and will be delighted to return to each and every one of them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crazy January Challenge Days 13, 14 & 15

The last three Crazy January Challenges

January 13: La D Da's Town Square School House. I was able to put in a solid hour before work and managed another half hour at my lunch break and a little more time after supper. So, it is moving along fairly nicely.

January 14: WDW's Town Square Town Hall. I got quite a bit of this done, stitching on and off throughout the day. In fact, I am nearly done with the main part of the facade stitched in WDW Lancaster Red.

All four of the Town Square SAL pieces that I included in this challenge happen to be ornament size and so will stitch up relatively quickly. This is a nice bonus since two of the other challenge pieces [Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa and Dragon Dreams' The Ice Dragon's Kingdom] qualify as large projects and one [Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie] might even qualify as a BAP .

January 15: Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie. This one doesn't even warrant a picture since I have done a very minimalist start on this, merely binding the edge of the fabric and marking my starting place at the lower left corner. I am still waiting for half of the floss to arrive ... I really dislike backorders. Why can't all needlework shop owners be like the lady in Wiscasset, Maine whose philosophy is to carry the "whole" line of any floss or fiber she carries. Unfortunately, she did not happen to carry a line called The Perfect Palette ... which I had to order from another shop which shall remain nameless as I wait impatiently for my back ordered floss.

And one last photo on this topic: the Crazy January Challenge Tote. I hope to be able to stitch these in chronological order, though I may have to skip around a wee bit since I still have some threads on back order. First up, tomorrow, will be Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa. I have set up a side bar and I will note the date of each finish as I accomplish it. Next year, I think I will do as many others have done and adapt this challenge to work on UFOs and WIPs though I sincerely hope that throughout the course of this year I will have whittled my current UFO list [also a sidebar] down to a mere half dozen or so.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crazy January Challenge: Days 10, 11 & 12

January 10: TW's Tracery Dragons. I wanted to pick out something rather special for this day since it is my 40th wedding anniversary ... something big and wonderful and especially challenging to stitch. I thought this would fit the bill.
I am using the recommended DMC and Kreinik fibers but have substituted a 32ct Belfast linen, Silkweaver's Romance, for the recommended fabric. I am determined to stitch as much from stash as possible this year. I received this chart as a Christmas gift from my daughter in 2009 and it has been calling my name ever since. I realize this doesn't look like much of a start, the really interesting stitching won't happen till I have the border done and even then it won't look like much till I do the back-stitching ... such is the nature of a Teresa Wentzler piece.

January 11: Town Square SAL Knotted Tree Needle Art's Post Office. This looks like it will be another ornament sized piece, albeit a bit large at 4 1/2" by 4", like the Fire Station. Now that I have taken the time to really browse through the whole set of charts, I realize that the vast majority of them are sized for ornaments. It was just a weird coincidence that the first four I chose to stitch were not. So rather than re-chart design after design as quilt block size, I am going to deal with reality and stitch the pieces as charted. Next year, I hope to add a Small Town Americana-themed tree to my Christmas decor, decorated with these ornaments and some red, white and blue miniature lights as well as my red, white and blue Quaker hearts and any other ornaments from my collection that seem to fit into the theme. Those few pieces that are larger ... well, I am going to borrow an idea from Rachel [of the What Seems Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day blog] and finish those as cubes with dark blue fabric printed with white stars and elaborate red, white and blue bows so that they will look like presents placed under the tree.

January 12: Town Square SAL Church by DeeBee's Designs. Another large ornament. I didn't get very far at all on this one since I started it at 9:00pm and only worked about half an hour on the piece ... and that included time spent kitting it up. I know a lot of folks kitted up all their 15 challenge projects way back in December. I, on the other hand, am proud of the fact that I managed to put all the charts in one binder and ordered whatever floss I needed back in December. Of course, some of that floss is still on back order ... including some I will need for my Day 2 project. Worse comes to worse, I'll just have to stitch my challenge products out of chronological order. Not a hardship, since I love them all.

We are coming down to the home stretch on this Crazy January Challenge and I have to admit that I had my doubts early on as to whether I'd be able to start 15 projects ... it is really irritating having to abandon a piece to the newly dubbed Challenge tote just as I have gained some momentum on it ... it has also been disappointing to make so little progress on WIPs and UFOs left over from 2010 over the past few weeks ... but soon all that will be a thing of the past and I shall return to my normal stitching routines. I do wonder how long it will take to work through all the Challenge pieces ... some are quite small to be sure, but others are rather complex. I hope to complete Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa in January. It had been my original intention to work through the remaining challenge pieces in chronological order ... such a rational plan, don't you think ... but I foresee the need to skip around a bit. The Bird in Hand and The Gilded Cage are quite insistent about being moved to the head of the queue.

Today is another snow day, so again I was able to get in a bit more work on some 2010 WIPs instead of devoting all my stitching time to a new start:

I finished stitching the back of my Workbasket Quaker Santa Bride's Tree SAL ornament and assembled it. So consider that one stitching and one sewing finish. It was a bit of a disappointment not to have all of my Bride's Tree SAL ornaments done in time for this year. I still have to stitch the November Angel but though I Have a vision of the finished ornament in my head, I haven't had time to sit down and turn that vision into a usable chart.

I then picked up the Town Square SAL Fire Station. I had started this in December but never got around to finishing it. It is stitched on 28ct linen in a color called Meditation using the recommended overdyed floss. I will finish it as a padded flat ornament and trim it with handmade braided cord. I believe I have some bright navy fabric printed with pale blue stars in my fabric stash to use as a backing fabric.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Giveaway Winner & Sundry Other Stuff

And the winner is Nancy of Glory Bee. Everyone had a 1 in 5 chance of winning since there were very few participants. But I think karma was operating here since I had recently won a back issue of SANQ from Nancy ... and now I'll be sending her some nautical charts.

On the stitching front, I got very little else done since Monday was an 11 hour workday and since I have another 11 hour workday on Tuesday and a parish advisory board meeting on Wednesday evening, it seems those will be long days as well. So, all in all, not a good week for stitching ... at least, not at the beginning.

After starting my Day 10 project, I reverted to Day 7, and photocopied the stitching finish of the Connecticut heart so I could enlarge it slightly and make cardboard backings for a flat padded ornament. When I got home from work, I glued some heavy duty interfacing to the cardboard. Tomorrow morning, before heading out to work, I will select some fabric for the back and get started on my ornament finish. Then I will have to move on to my Day 11 start.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: January 9, 2011 [Crazy January Challenge]

This will be a very long and picture heavy entry ... I have got a bit of catching up to do.

First an answer to a comment. When commenting on Zucca [the Day 5 Project], Rachel asked if the Thread Gatherer Sheep's Silk is wool. Yes, it is a wool so finely spun that it can be used, strand for strand, just like silk. It has a higher loft though and sits higher on the fabric, giving the piece a bit of a dimensional look. The wool is surprisingly sturdy though it looks as though it would shred if you so much as breathe on it. It's probably most frequently used for crewel embroidery, but I liked it for this project. And, hey, the name of the color, Pheonix Rising, just pleases me inordinately.

Next up, a problem: In my cleaning frenzy before Christmas, I put away a half yard of 28ct linen [Country French Latte] that I had intended to use for three of my Crazy Challenge projects, the three Quaker animals from Workbasket leaflets. Unfortunately, I put it away so haphazardly that I have absolutely no memory of where it might be. So I have had to substitute three other pieces for those Quakers. I will find the linen eventually and put those pieces into rotation, perhaps later this year ... but for now, I am moving forward with new selections for January 7, 8 and 9.

Now, for some more Crazy January Challenge photos:

January 7: The Victoria Sampler's Hearts of America: Connecticut. This a kit and it includes 25ct antique white Laguna. DMC floss and Kreinik VFB. A quick stitch, I actually finished all the stitching in one 24 hour period, early afternoon Friday thru Saturday morning! I will finish it as an ornament to hang on my table top tree now decorated with heart ornaments in honor of my wedding anniversary [Jan. 10 - 40 years] and Valentine's Day ... since I just put away the Christmas ornaments after Little Christmas. Eventually I would like to acquire the charts for New York, Virginia, Maryland and Maine from this series ... it would be a nice way of documenting my husband's and my life journey together: the places we have lived and the places we have especially loved to vacation.

January 8: Blackbird Designs A Bird in Hand. In keeping with my determination to stitch as much as possible from stash, I have substituted 32 ct Belfast linen in the color Flax and Gentle Arts Sampler Thread Raspberry Parfait instead of the recommended fabric and floss. This is a smallish piece, only 71x75 stitches ... so it ought to finish up pretty quickly once I return to it. I plan to finish it as a small pin pillow for my smalls basket.

January 9: Jean Greenoff's Blackwork Collection: Owl. This came as a kit so I am using the enclosed mystery ecru evenweave and the DMC 310 and gold metallic thread included. This is another small piece. I'll be finishing it up as an ornament for my Halloween tree.

And, I couldn't leave out this photo of the continued progress on Day 6's project, The Gilded Cage. The photo on my original post showed only the progress made in the morning, when I actually started that little lovely. But I continued to stitch on it in the evening when I got home from work and into the morning of Day 7. As I keep repeating, I am having quite a bit of difficulty letting go of each project. I guess I have some serious stitching separation anxiety going on here. This bodes well for the future, giving me confidence that I will happily pick up these pieces again and finish them before the year is out ... but I am not too happy at the moment.

And with the cancellation of classes due to snow this Saturday, I was able to spend some time on some WIPs leftover from 2010:

Workbasket's Quaker Sampler. Got one more motif nearly done. Now all the colors being used in this project are represented. This is a bit of a slow go since I am stitching this on a 40ct Silkweaver linen called Mississippi Mud. A beautiful fabric but as the day turns to evening, my eyes get a bit weary stitching on the 40 ct.

Last, but certainly not least, is this little lovely that was just lacking embellishments ... my friends at The Stitchery Row finally found three brass Bee buttons that suit it perfectly. I plan on finishing this up as a pillow or a stand-up to use in my living room during the summer months. I'll have to give it some though. The chart, Heart in Hands Wee Bee, was a PIF from an overseas blogging friend, Nic, who doesn't seem to be blogging much anymore, I am sorry to say ... I always enjoyed reading her blog entries on Girl As Mad As Birds. I hope she is well.

All in all, not a bad bit of stitching for the past three days!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Crazy January Challenge: Days 3, 4, 5 and 6

January 3: Homespun Elegance's The Stitcher, stitched on 28ct cashel linen, Silkweaver Sundown, in the recommended DMC floss. I was able to stitch for 2 and 1/2 hours before heading into work and so was able to make a fairly respectable start on this piece. At any rate, I got more done on this than on my previous two pieces and am now reluctant to let it go. When I first signed on for this challenge I thought it would be great fun to start so many pieces that have been languishing in my stash, pieces I truly love and have wanted to stitch for quite a while now. Maybe that's the problem: I really love these designs and don't want to put them down after just an hour or two of stitching. I will look at the positive aspect though" I will be all the more eager to pick them up again once the intial pandemonium of 15 days of starts is over.

January 4: Homespun Elegance's Witches Stitch, Too, stitched on 28ct cashel linen, Silkweaver Summer Sundown, in the charted overdyed flosses. There's not much done on this piece since Tuesday is my longest workday of the week at 11 hours. All I managed was about 1 and 1/4 rows of the floor ... which still qualifies as a start, if not a very impressive one.

January 5: Alessandra Adelaide's Zucca, stitched on 40ct Newcastle linen, Silkweaver Mississippi Mud [a limited edition color] in Thread Gatherer's Sheep's Silk, Pheonix Rising, and a green silk yet to be determined. I am really enjoying using the Sheep's Silk fiber. It gives a bit of a dimensional look to the piece since its loft makes it sit up from the fabric more than cotton or silk. And, I do confess, I stitched on this into January 6 ... if only because I wanted to finish out a length of thread already in my needle. I believe this is the most challenging piece I have started thus far ... counting with absolute accuracy will be essential to maintaining the symmetry of this design.

January 6: Barrick's Sampler's The Gilded Cage, stitched on 32 ct Flax linen, in the recommended Needlepoint Silks. This is the third piece so far with a border ... it doesn't make for a very interesting start photo. I received this chart from a blogging friend who offerred it to me when I expressed my admiration for the piece as she documented her progress on her own blog ... I am most grateful ... and I know I will derive a lot of pleasure from this project.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January Giveaway

I am getting closer and closer to some blogging landmarks: my 100th follower [currently at 99] and my 500th post. The 500th post will definitely be celebrated on Feb 4 ... only 12 posts to go, a situation entirely within my control. But I am not quite there yet. So for this month's giveaway, it will again be gently used charts: this time two charts with a nautical theme. The first is called Fishermen's Sampler and the second, simply called Maine, is a chart of a Friendship sloop by a designer native to the Boothbay area ... her charts were carried in the now defunct Willow's End Shop.

If you wish to enter your name for this giveaway, the usual conditions will apply:
-- open to all stitchers
-- leave a comment below as to why you are interested in the giveaway
-- include an e-mail address in your post if clicking on your name will not lead me to an e-mail link
-- a winner will be selected on the 10th of the month and informed by e-mail
-- winners are asked to commit to PIF charts to other stitchers through message boards, guilds or stitching groups or to donate the charts to a women's shelter or prison, a nursing home or some other venue where a stitcher would enjoy them.

Good luck to all who enter.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Weekend Progress Report: January 2, 2011

Documenting the first two days of the Crazy January 2011 Challenge:

January 1: Sue Hillis' Cookie Santa. For the past several years now, I have started a Christmas project on the first day of the New Year ... my way of extending the Christmas season a bit longer. I didn't see any reason to deviate from this practice during the Crazy January Challenge. I usually choose a Sue Hillis or Prairie Schooler piece. This year it's the fifth in the Charmed Santa series by Sue Hillis, stitched on a 28ct Silkweaver linen called Desert Sky using the recommended DMC floss. A respectable start, if I do say so myself, with a good bit of the border done. Once I have completed my 15 starts, this is the piece I shall return to first, hoping for a January finish.

January 2: Dragon Dream's The Ice Dragon's Kingdom. Another piece that starts with a border. While I love Jennifer Aiken Smith's designs, I am not crazy about using rayon floss ... and I am learning I really dislike Anchor Marlitt floss. I am not entirely certain that the final result is worth all the irritation. I have stitched another of the large Dragon Dreams dragons, Storm Bringer, which proved to me that the designer really knows what she is doing ... in spite of my personal preferences. I am stitching this on another piece cut from my 28ct cashel Silkweaver [Desert Sky] using the recommended floss. I have one of the needed Kreinik and one of the Marlitt on back order along with some Mill Hill beads. Otherwise this is all kitted up ... at least I have what's needed to start it all off and I should have the rest of the materials by the time I am ready to pick it up again in February.
The biggest problem I am having with this challenge ... yes, I am already having problems at day 2 ... is that I don't have startitis as badly as I thought I did. Starting a new project each day means that just as I get interested in a project, it is time to move on and start the next one. Most irritating! Even though tomorrow's project is Homespun Elegance's The Stitcher which I have wanted to do for ages ... I don't want to put The Ice Dragon's Kingdom down until I have completed the bottom leg of the border, at least.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blogaversary Prize

I have word that Barbara received her prize, so here are the photos. She had asked for a patriotic piece and I thought this filled the bill quite nicely: Glory Bee's Flag and Liberty. I substituted silks for the recommended cotton overdyes, keeping the colors in the suggested muted palette. I remember Barbara once mentioning on her own blog that she thought Buckeye Scarlet was a really distasteful red. Keeping that in mind, I discarded any thought of going with a traditional bright red, white and blue colorway. Instead, my chosen colorway: Cranberry, Blue Lagoon and Oatmeal Scone from Belle Soie. I also dug out a tiny brass Liberty Bell charm that I have had for ages. This is the perfect piece for it. I toyed with different finish ideas but settled on a small pillow finish. I stuffed it with ground walnut shells and lined it with muslin, so it could double as a pin pillow. However, as my grandson treats all my pin pillows as bean bags, it's possible Barbara's youngest son may do the same. Anyone who has visited Barbara's blog, mainely stitching, knows from all the photos that she incorporates many different stitching smalls and antiques and folk art pieces into her decor. I am hoping this little pillow finds a place among all her other treasures. I have photographed the pillow over a swatch of the backing fabric ... a print from one of my favorite fabric "collections" which also includes a larger plaid and a smaller print in the same colorway.

1-1-11: 2011 Goals

A Happy and Healthy New Year to all.
These will be my goals for 2011 ... as I look at them, I realize they are amazingly self-centered this year. With the exception of the stockings [BAPs], all the other goals involve projects that will stay at home. It is probably a reaction against the Round Robin that consumed so much of my stitching in 2010. We'll just have to see how long it takes me to recover my generosity of spirit ... at least, when it comes to stitching.:
  • Participate in the Crazy January 2011 Challenge. This will mean starting a new project everyday from Jan 1-15 and then completing said projects during the remainder of the year.
  • Continue to limit purchases of charts to five per year. This has been working well for me.
  • Continue to blog every other day.
  • Complete two BAPs: Christmas Stockings for Liam and Piper: TW's Woodland Angel and Dimensions Woodland Maiden.
    Complete a medium project each month: concentrating on Halloween, Quaker animal and fantasy dragon charts.
  • Complete a Town Square SAL chart each month.
  • Get to the bottom of the UFO basket.
  • Get to the bottom of the finishing basket. I want to get this area of my stitching under control to the point that the finishing basket becomes a finishing drawer that contains only those pieces that I am accumulating for a quilt or those that need to be brought to a professional framer. And, even the to-be-framed pieces shouldn't languish in the drawer longer than a month or two. In 2010, I did manage to do the sewing/assembly finish of each cross-stitching project [with the exception of my two Workbasket Mermaids Singing pieces] right away. I'd like to maintain that practice
  • Make some more anniversary/Valentine ornaments ... sufficient to keep the table top ornament tree up in the entry hall through February 14.
  • Paint the walls of the stitching-room-to-be as well as re-finish some of the furniture that will eventually reside there. If I get this much done, I'll be able to start using the room even before I have it fully fitted up as per my grand vision.
  • I still want to learn to knit properly.