Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome, 2010! May this new year be the start of many lovely things for all of my friends!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas thoughts

These past few weeks before the holidays I've entertained myself by perusing other folk's stitching blogs. While I was looking for ornament ideas and admiring all of the fabulous trees and decorations that people created in their own homes, I realized something very surprising – I haven't a single ornament that I stitched myself on my own tree! All of the ones I have made over the years I have gifted out to others. So I decided that next year I would choose a design and do one just for me! :)

My own Christmas tree is decorated with a variety of things that I have collected over time, and changes very little from year to year. I could never seem to stick to just one "theme" for a tree, and so have amassed inexpensive old-fashioned glass ornaments, wind-up musical boxes shaped like instruments, simple wooden toys that evoke childhood memories, a heap of santas and snowmen of every variety and manufacture, and even some tiny sparkly jeweled shoes! Not to mention all the lovely package and floral decorations that were just too pretty to throw away that now nestle happily within the branches, adding glamour and glitz to the greenery.

But I think my favorite decoration is still the "walnut". This little item, inexpertly painted red to look like a strawberry and adorned with a green felt "leaf" and a simple twine hanging loop, was made long ago in an elementary school art class by one of my sister's kids. I had always thought that my nephew made it, but during her visit last month my niece claimed all of the artistic credit. :) Regardless of its origin it has always represented family to me more than any other bauble. It is the first thing I place on my tree each year – right at the top next to where the star will go, and the last thing I take off the tree when it's time to take everything down. Once all of the other ornaments are safely wrapped in tissue and packed into their compartments I make sure to place the walnut on the very top before the decorations box is sealed. That way each year when I open the box I once more remember what Christmas is all about for me. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Be Merry" Ornament

I just finished this tiny hanging ornament for my dear niece. For gift-giving I popped it into a small premade paper-covered box from the crafts store, which I enhanced with an added scrapbook sticker that says "forever joyful" – which is how I think of her. :)

Val's Stuff "Be Merry"
Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments 2007 magazine
25-ct. Dublin Linen Light Blue, DMC floss (substituted for Weeks Dye Works)
Stitch count: 40W x 35H
Start 12/18/09 - finish 12/21/09

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Merry Kitty Klaus" completed

Finished the kitty ornament last evening as a stuffed pillow hanging, backed with a piece of dark red printed cotton and using some silky green cording for the hanging loop. And made a tiny white pom pom out of floss for the hat.

Val's Stuff "A Merry Kitty Klaus"
Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments 2007 magazine
18-ct. Oatmeal Fiddlers Cloth, DMC floss as charted (mostly)
Stitch count: 48W x 49H
Start 12/10/09 - finish 12/19/09

Monday, December 14, 2009

Inching along

<-- I'm only a little bit farther along on the Merry Kitty Klaus ornament. Real life job has kept me busier this week, and earning dollars outweighs stitching for pleasure every time! One good thing, since this ornament is being given in person I don't have to worry about finishing and mailing it early.

The pattern calls for Wisper floss (a fuzzy blend of mohair and nylon thread) for the "fur" on the Santa hat – which is actually something I'd never heard of before this chart! – but I am skipping that bit. It is possible that I have a tiny jingle bell somewhere in my sewing basket for the tip of the hat, and, if not, I will use a homemade pom pom instead – if I have time to make one!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Found my stork scissors!

I am a happy camper once again – I found my favorite embroidery scissors hidden away in the deepest recesses of my couch yesterday! I had to turn the furniture over and rip some of the dust cover off to get at them, but it was all worthwhile. And now see how pretty they look wearing their new handmade beaded scissors fob? :) I am going to give these babies a good sharpen and then take very good care of them from now on, I promise!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fa la la

Sympathetic Threads blog has gone all Christmasy for the holidays. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Kitty Klaus

Last evening I started working on a new ornament for gifting. I had a little scrap of 18-count fabric that I wanted to use up, so I dug out my teensiest embroidery hoop which, as Goldilocks would say, was "just right"!

I got this "Merry Kitty Klaus" chart by Valerie Danish of Val's Stuff from the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments 2007 magazine that big sis lent to me recently. It should be a quick and easy stitch over just a few nights.

Monday, December 7, 2009

New beaded scissors fob

Made a little present for my big sis for Christmas. While she was here I asked her to select the beads and colors she liked so I could make her an item and she suggested that I make a scissors fob once she saw the one I'd made for myself. I was happy to oblige. There will also be a little something else in her package, but I haven't finished that yet. ;) I hope to get things done and mailed in time for the holiday! At this rate it may be a race to the finish.

Still working on my Mary Wigham reproduction sampler, as my hands permit me. Even though I love working on it because of all the different motifs my progress has been very slow. Too few hours in the day for these things! I've been sticking mostly to the color palette provided, but have occasionally made changes here and there. I've also collected many of the images that other stitchers have provided to Needleprint so that I can compare their revisions and see what I should like to incorporate into my own version. For example, I have already decided to use my own family's initials on the piece, but as I intend to stitch those last it may be many months before I get to that point. :)

Side note: I STILL haven't found that favorite pair of embroidery scissors that I lost a month ago! I may yet break down and get myself a pair of 4-inch Gingher scissors if they never reappear.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Punch needle goodies

Big sis came to visit this week and brought me some needlework goodies that I can't wait to use! Not only did she hand me her spare punch needle tool, but she also gave me the cute all-in-one kit shown here containing cotton thread, printed fabric and easy beginner instructions. Now I can finally try some punch needle embroidery, which I've long wanted to learn how to do.

Sis also presented me with a mini basket full of a marvelous selection of colorful cross stitch fabrics in various counts, and shared her stack of cross stitch magazines focusing on Christmas ornaments with me. So I now have lots of inspiration for holiday needlework. :)