Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Friends and A Dance

Do you like my new header? I received it earlier this month but was assured it was not a Christmas present and I was to open immediately - and when I did it was definitely a wow for me. It was made by my dear friend Ann but as I have made so many friends both through being here blogging and from the couple of chat rooms I belong too (Jaynes Attic Stitch and Stash and A Crafty Natter), I knew at once that I wanted it for my header. For me this is what blogging is all about - Friends.

Here is another stunning gift I received a couple of days ago and it was my prize for winning the Blogoversary draw on Dani's blog a while back. It is hanging on my living room wall at the moment, too nice to be hidden away on the tree. Dani chose this for me as I had admired it on her blog a while back. Isn't is beautiful and once again Thank You Dani.

Last but certainly not least in the Friends catagory is the picture of all the stitching stash I received at Christmas. The Fiskars Scissor Sharpeners and the Floss away bags were part of my present from my son and his wife but the rest are all from friends. I must make mention of the beautiful hand stitched items, needleroll from dear friend Terri, little box with hand stitched lid from our own Colly (Col's Creations) and new scissors with a lovely fob (that is a great match for the needleroll) from the lovely Rachael. I felt so very spoilt.
The dance of the title is for my happy dance as I finished "Off To Plough" yesterday. I will not be framing this one for a while as I have another two (First Post and On the Beat) to do and would also like to get a couple more of these too and I want to frame them all the same so they can hang as a group. I actually bought this as a kit but because I hate Aida and because the other two I had managed to get as "chart only" bargains I have not used anything from the kit. Its DMC threads which I have and I substituted the fabric for a 28 count DMC linen. I have enough to do them all but would not recommend this linen as I found it quite difficult to stitch on. It is far finer than any other linen I have used which meant that you could see through it and I found that this meant it was distracting to stitch on, though thankfully the holes are quite distinct which is a bit of a bonus on a Heritage Chart. I find that Heritage uses a lot of horizontal and verticle half stitches which while not difficult seem very time consuming but the results are really good. Where else on such a small chart would you get the movement that you can almost see in the horses and their leader. LOL just sitting here typing and I glanced at the picture and realised I have not added the long stitches lol. Still there are very few of them so for the now I will leave it. Oh well an almost HD. Also an almost HD though I do not think it will make it now is the Hardanger Tissue Box. I was feeling very content as I put the last stitch (or so I thought) in the body of the work - just the buttonhole stitching round the edge to do!!!! before I realised I had not done all the tiny algerian eyes. I have done three sets of them this afternoon but my eyes do not deal well with white on white so no stitching on this one tonight. So it will go away for a few days and come out to be my first finish for 2009 I hope. Tomorrow our little darling is coming to stay and spend the night so that he will be here when all the family arrive for dinner on New Years Day. This means that not much stitching will get done and also I really want to start on my Neighbourhood tomorrow, getting all the prep finished and maybe even making a start on the verse.
Oh I almost forgot that I was to tell you my plans for next years stitching. I am going to try to concentrate on I Still Do, Water Tiger and My Neighbourhood Village to start with. I know that with two new babies due (the Christmas Day one has decided its too cold to arrive yet) things may get a little side tracked. Also I will fit in some of my smaller and quicker projects I have been wanting to do for so long. I will continue working mainly with these three projects as and when I please up until my holidays (mid feb) and then will have a review again. I guess at the moment that means all my WIPs have become UFOs as there will certainly be a couple of months when they stay in their box in the dark - but I hope to draw these in a little at a time.
I have happily worked on a rota system for over 10 years and for me it worked - or it did until last year when for some reason I just felt as though I was getting nowhere fast and began to get rather despondant about the whole stitching thing. It was not doing the stitching but the projects themsleves that I was getting bogged down with. As soon as I started on something instead of relaxing and enjoying the stitching a niggly little worm in the back of my head was saying - get on with the next one this is taking too long - and so the thought came that it was time for a change. I am sure I will return to the rota but my problem is I like big projects and as I have now been working on at least one of them for 5 years it was getting out of hand. I could bring in a small project and complete it but instead of feeling the elation that once accompanied these HDs it was more a feeling of guilt for not getting on with the big projects - so as guilt and hobby are not two words I wish to put together - well time for a new approach and see how things go.
I want to take this opportunity for wishing you all a VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2009
and to thank you once again for visiting and reading my blog. Also to the many of you who I have over the last few years come to call Friend, thank you from the bottom of my heart - you are all treasures.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Some Bits To Show ....

.. at long last.

The secret stitching got done. Well almost done, I gave up on the last one, it was for my daughter but I can stitch it for her birthday in April when I hopefully will have more time.

One thing I can show if the ornament I stitched for Mum as it is now hanging on her tree.

I cannot remember where the chart was from now but i am sure it was a freebie I ran off back in the summer. I know I replaced one of the little green trees with a charm and I loved stitching this as it was a mixture of stitches, 1 over 2, 1 over 1 and speciality stitches, a real easy and fun stitch. I never thought to take a pic of the back but it was a dark green fabric with light green trees and holly and little penquines on it.

Last weekend was Hardanger day and we started a Tissue Box Cover, its a really pretty design and I have enjoyed stitching on it though it has had to go away for a short while because I want to get another small design finished and out the way too. Here is how far I have got with it so far. I just love the fact that hardanger grows so quickly.

I have another WIP but it is so close to being finished I thought that I would leave it and show you when its done. Depending on the amount of time I have to stitch I am hoping it will be done in the next few days. Its only a very small design but if I tell you its a Heritage design then you will guess at just how much work its taken. Thankfully I am now past all the quarter stitches and elongated horizontal and vertical half stitches and all that is left is 1 over 2 in nice plain crosses.

Over the Christmas holidays I am hoping to a) get the Heritage finished, b) finish preping my neighbourhood so that I will be ready to Start on the 31st and c) get some more done on the tissue box. Though with two new babies due, one Christmas Day and one New Years Eve, I may have to put things aside for the stitching I have planned for them.

I have made my stitchy plans for the start of the year but I will tell you more about those in my next post. For now I just want to



and last but not least -

may your frogs stay in their ponds.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Just a Quickie

I have been so so busy but thought I would just give a quick post to let you know that I am in the land of the living still.

I had a wonderful day yesterday when my friend Nicola came for a visit. We had a fun morning at my house and then went off to our friend Colly's for lunch. We ended up spending the rest of the day at Colly's laughing and joking and sharing stories. No stitching from any of us which considering the amount I still have to do before Christmas was naughty but nice (just like the cream cakes).

Tonight I have been to see my darling grandson in his school play and that was another non-stitchy but very enjoyable time.

As I have no stitching pictures I thought I would show you some flowers. Despite the frost and cold these are flowering outside my door and these pictures were taken yesterday.

Please accept my sincere apologies for not visiting blogs over the last few days. I know you are all beavering away at your stitching projects just like me and I will catch up as soon as I have my pressies finished.
Also thank you for visiting me and for taking the time as so many of you do to leave a little comment, it is really appreciated.
may your frogs stay in their ponds