Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh Joy!

Another ornament, this time by Val's Stuff.  This one isn't so Christmassy that I can't leave it out all winter . . . if I get it finished!  The design is from the 2010 JCS Christmas Ornament issue.  It took me an entire evening to stitch the snowman face, and I ended up with a terribly painful shoulder.  (In July, I started having pain in it, which varies in intensity.  Since I've had this same type of pain before, I'm sure it's "just" fibromyalgia, especially since I haven't injured it.)

My mom is having surgery for two ruptured disks on Wednesday, so maybe I'll get some stitching done when I go over to help my dad care for her (or give him a chance to get out of the house for a while).  I'm going to schedule one more post for the end of the week, so I'll see you then!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Bit of Stitching

There has been a bit of stitching since my last post.  I stitched a gift, but you won't be seeing that for a long while.  And I still have one more gift to stitch, so I'm not sure what I'll be showing you while I'm working on that one.

My plan is to continue stitching ornaments throughout the year; we'll see how that goes.  For now, though, I have almost completed Frosty in the Firs by Blue Ribbon Designs.  It's from the 2011 JCS Christmas Ornaments issue.  Although the snowman shows up well in the photograph, in real life, it doesn't, so I've been trying to find a floss color to outline him.  I tried a white, but it didn't work, so I have pulled a light grey, but haven't had an opportunity to try it yet.  I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Finish of 2012

This one has taken me a while to post because I've been playing with the pictures in My Memories software, which I won in a giveaway.

Deer in a Forest
Niky's Creations
from the 2011 JCS Ornament Issue

I stitched this on 18 count white Aida (the instructions called for 36 count linen) with DMC floss, and might finish it as an oval as I framed it in the above photo.

I'm hard (?) at work on another ornament, after which I have some gifts I need to stitch. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Birthday Card

My father was a Christmas baby.  I remembered at the last minute that I needed to make him a card, and since I didn't have much time, I made a simple card.

I used my Bic Mark-It permanent markers to color the image.  A little coloring, a little layering, and a little ribbon, and the result is a quick, masculine card.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Gifts

Continuing with my Christmas theme of the week, I wanted to show some of the thoughtful gifts I received. 

This knitted Christmas tree is filled with potpourri, and was knitted by my daughter, Sarah.  And to be truthful, the tree is for my husband and me, as are . . .

Next up are these adorable snowmen

Aren't they cute?  Sarah stitched these.  I'll have to find a special place for them.

Sarah did good this year.  She also found these . . .

. . . when she went to buy me a gift certificate to a local, privately owned fabric store.  There aren't any markings on them, so I don't know which company made them, but they're so cute!  And I love the fob she made to go with them, which is nice and long, just as I like them. 

My sweet husband bought me what no one else has in the years I've asked for them:  a cross stitch chart!  He chose this one by The Drawn Thread.

Here are some close-ups of the chart front:

I can't wait to get started on one of these!

I also received a set of Spellbinder's dies, which I'm sure will see a lot of use.

Happy crafting to me!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A bit of Christmas Decorating

I love decorating my home for Christmas and the winter.  I have an extensive snowman collection, which despite their objections, they keep adding to, and which stays up until the end of March.  And unlike many, I like to leave my Christmas decorations up until mid to late January, at which time I am sick of them.  It's usually cold, snowy, and overcast here, and I find the lights help me deal with it. 

I don't remember where I found this cute basket.  I have put it in my front entry for many years now, and after seeing this idea, I added the mini lights this year. 


I'd like to thank Heidi of The Cranberry Chronicle for helping me with my Christmas centerpiece.  For a long time, I've thought of purchasing a hurricane vase, and I finally broke down and did it.  After some back and forth in my mind, and discussion with Heidi, I decided to put some table salt in the bottom of the vase, insert my candle, and carefully put two layers of small ball ornaments around it.  I did break an ornament in the process . . .

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Ornaments Completed

I stitched this design in 2010, but never did the final finishing on it, so when I saw it languishing in my pile, I knew I had to remedy the situation.  So here's my finish of JBW's Christmas Tree.

I also did the final finishing on Fresh Fallen Snow, which is by Little House Needleworks, and was published in the 2011 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue.  I purchased the wool felt on Black Friday and didn't have the stitching with me, so I was thrilled when the green I chose was perfect.  I probably should have used white instead of off-white on the back piece, but I still like the final effect.

My plan is to continue stitching ornaments throughout the year.  We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Frugal Wrapping

Sarah and I placed a joint order to The Container Store late this autumn, and when it came, there was plenty of brown packing paper in the huge box.  I told Sarah to keep it, since I might come up with a use for it.  During my Internet browsing, I came upon this idea for wrapping gifts.  I knew I had doilies, - some more than 20 years old - and I remembered I had some red raffia with my craft supplies.  Here's my take on this frugal gift wrapping idea.

I'll be looking for other frugal and simple gift wrapping ideas during the year, leaving the fancy wrapping paper (of which there is plenty!) for the rest of the family.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Last Finish of 2011

I have one last finish from 2011.

 This is a freebie, available here.  Scroll down to 5 December 2009 for the chart.  I stitched this on a pink 28 count Monaco evenweave (I'm not sure they still make this color), and used DMC 3687 for the words, DMC 3685 for the flowers, and 3362 for the vines. 

I  will finish this either as a hanging pillow or do a pinkeep finish.

This was a fun stitch, and a great way to finish the year! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In her Dear Friends letter in the latest issue of Sew Beautiful magazine (issue No. 140), Martha Pullen included the words to a song by Frances Ridley Havergal, which she wrote in 1874.  The tune to which it is commonly sung is by Samuel S. Wesley; you can hear it here.

At this time when many will be making resolutions and setting goals for 2012, I want this to be my prayer.  I want this to be a year of living for my Lord and fulfilling His desires for me, not focusing on a bunch of goals I might pull out of thin air. 

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.