Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Smalls SAL

This month, I have made two Christmas ornaments, which will be Christmas gifts for my great-niece and great-nephew (siblings).  Had it not been for my commitment to participate in this SAL, it is extremely unlikely that I would have yet made a start on my Christmas gift stitching (I'd still be obsessively stitching on Christmas Dreams).  So, I am very happy to be part of this SAL.

I will be making at least one Christmas ornament until at least November this year.  Next month I'll be making ornaments for another great-niece and great-nephew (first cousins).

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A page finish - and an intermission

My second page (page 45) of HAED Christmas Dreams  is finished.  Santa's hot chocolate (or coffee?) cup is quite clear now - even if sideways on the frame. I'll take a little break now, to stitch an ornament or two. I think I'll start with some free-form Christmas Trees - my favourites.  No chart required, and I can use the floss in my basket, so no kitting up.  Hopefully I'll have a couple of finished Christmas ornaments to show by Thursday, for the Smalls SAL.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - January report

I'm a little late for this first report of the year - I do hope that's not going to set a precedent for my reporting.  I was so engrossed in stitching my Christmas Dreams that I didn't start on the Christmas ornament (a Christmas gift for a close friend) that I had planned to stitch this month.  Then I remembered that I had actually purchased the chart, fabric, and some of the floss for Christmas Dreams using my birthday money - so I think I can sneak Christmas Dreams in as a GG project, even though it is actually an indulgence just for me!

I started Christmas Dreams on January 1.  There's a picture of  Christmas Dreams (as mine will look - hopefully - sometime in the far distant future) on the right hand side-bar. I'm stitching mine sideways, which is a slight chalenge to an older brain.  The chart is full of upright, downfacing, right, left, heavy, light arrows and other ambiguous symbols.  Luckily I ordered the large print charts, and so far I have only had three lots of symbol errors, all easily fixed. Because it's a sideways stitch, I started at the bottom right hand corner of the picture, which was a partial page.  I have stitched that one and I'm a bit over halfway through the second page - I've reached the end of the second page at the  bottom corner.

Here's where I am up to now:

HAED Christmas Dreams (Gelsinger/Sayetta) Jan 19 2016

I am hoping to working on page 3 at the next GG report.

I plan to stitch some other projects this year - all will be gifts, so I'll be posting pics each month - if things go as planned!  I have a list of my 'to do' stitching list in the right hand sidebar.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A new journey begins ...

I have started the New Year with a new project - HAED's Christmas Dreams (artwork by Dona Gelsinger, cross stitch adaptation by Michele Sayetta).

It is the largest project I have ever undertaken. I am stitching on 22 count, so the finished design will be 72 cm wide x 48 cm high (28.5" x 19").  I was quite daunted when I downloaded the chart, and got 74 A4 pages printed.  Luckily, there were only 66 pages of chart.  My floor frame wasn't wide enough to accommodate the fabric, so I have turned the project sideways. I started my project at the bottom left hand corner, on chart page 56, which I have just completed, and I have now moved on to page 45.

Christmas Dreams, 10/1/16

My aim is to complete a page a month this year, and also to stitch one or two Christmas ornaments per month.  It's pretty fluid.  I'll see how it pans out!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

My very last 2015 stitching

I know I have said it before this year, but these two little ornaments are my final finishes for 2015.  I stitched at my sister's request for a friend of hers, whose very precious twins are due to be born early next year.   Mother is so organised that babies even have their names allocated.

The little stocking design is heavily modified from a design in LA's Christmas Caboodle #4 leaflet (1986).  I changed the size of the stocking, floss colours, pattern, and contents, and reversed the design for the pink one.  The tiny bear is adapted from Graphworks Mini Motif Designs Christmas Vol 8 (1987).  I changed the floss colours, and added the neck ribbon.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Advent Blog Hop post

Here we are already at 18th December (well, at least it is here already in Australia where I live), and that's my day for posting on Jo's Christmas Advent Blog Hop.  Christmas is big in my life, so I am most happy to be here to share it with you.

The cross stitch picture I am putting up is L&L's Angel of Love.  I chose her, not because she was a new piece this year, but because of her story.

In 2004, Patti K from Canada and I were both members of an on-line cross stitch group, and one day she posted "I wish someone would take this angel off my hands", and put up a pic of a partially stitched Angel of Love.  She had started it at the request of her sister in law in 2000, and had stitched the Angel's head, wings, and sleeves, and a little of the top of the cape.  Her sister in law then changed her mind about wanting the angel, and she had sat in Patti's work basket for nearly 5 years.  I'd never stitched anything as big as a L&L before, never stitched with beads, and never stitched on linen. But I put up my hand, and just before Christmas 2004, I got a lovely package from Canada which contained the part-stitched angel on beautiful linen fabric, all the floss and beads that Patti had kitted up for it, the original chart, and a soft padded project bag.  I was so excited!  Unfortunately, I was having health problems at the time - flu-like symptoms, tiredness, aching painful swollen joints especially my hands.  At the time I was unable to fasten my own car seat-belt or do something as simple as put on socks or do up a bra. To cut a long story short, I was very soon after diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I immediately was put on to methotrexate, which for me was a miracle drug, but it's a drug that takes a while to build up in the body to therapeutic levels, and for me it took just on 6 months before it got the symptoms under control. Despite this, I was keen to get started on the Angel, and started her just after Christmas 2005.  I can still recall sitting in tears trying to pick up a bead with my needle, and sometimes it would take me half an hour to get just 1 or 2 beads stitched on that skirt.  But, being somewhat stubborn and quite compulsive about my hobbies, I persisted, and put in my final stitches in the Angel of Love before the end of May 2005.  I stitched (in gold Mill Hill petite beads) Patti's initials and her starting year of 2000, and my initials and my finishing year of 2005 on the bottom, and sent her for framing.  When I sent a photo over to Patti, she was thrilled to see her finished and framed, and said it brought tears to her eyes.  A more generous person may have sent the finished piece back to Patti, but to be honest, that was never going to happen!  Since then, the Angel of Love has spent January to mid November hanging on the wall of my lounge room, and the festive season hanging wherever my angels are being displayed - for the past few years in my dining room.  I have since stitched L&L's Angels of Grace and Hope, and many Santas I love them all, but none of my cross stitched items is as special to me as the Angel of Love.

As I said, I'm into Christmas in a big way.  I stitch all year for Christmas. I decorate the entire house for Christmas, including changing all the art works and the contents of the display cupboards.  It takes me (with a lot of help, and very little sleep) at least three weeks to transition into Christmas, and at least one week to change back after Christmas. I like to have the house back to its usual state by New Years Day, and so far I have always managed to do it, but this year I have my doubts!  From Dec 1 to Dec 24 I have lots of Christmas visitors. Many of them are children, accompanied by assorted relatives.  Some families I see only at Christmas.  I usually stitch a Christmas ornament for any child I know will be visiting, and I also have little take-home gifts, gingerbreads, and handmade angels for the children, and most adults.  I really enjoy my Christmas visits!  The few days before Christmas are the most popular visiting times (after school is finished for the year), so by Christmas Eve I am pretty tired.  After I see off the last of my Christmas visitors, I sit and watch the Christmas Carols by Candlelight on TV, and relax.  My extended family has its Christmas party early, usually on the weekend before Christmas.  On Christmas Day I trot across the road to my sister's house for Christmas brunch, and that signals for me the end of Christmas.  I come home and start packing things away. An anti-climax, really.  It's like saying goodbye to old friends, as I wrap and pack the Santas, angels, and other decorations. But it's nice to have the old house back!  I usually swear I'll never do it again, and that holds till about August, when I start to think how nice it will be to have all my Christmas things around me - and the cycle starts again!

Today, if you came to my front door and stepped inside, this is what you would see:

Thank you for your Christmas Advent visit!  Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.  I hope 2016 brings for each of you a year of good health, good fortune, peace and contentment - and lots of joy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December Gifted Gorgeousness Report

Well, I thought I had finished my 2015 stitching - until my sister arrived and requested ornaments for the yet-to-be-born twins of a friend.  So, the basket came back down and I started stitching again.  I still have the back of the pink ornament to stitch, and both ornaments to make up.  My job for tonight. 

This is what I have stitched so far.  Despite evidence to the contrary, the pink and blue ornaments are the same size exactly!

These will definitely be my final offerings for 2015!

I have so enjoyed being part of this lovely group, and I'll be back next year, God willing!  Thank you all for enriching my year.