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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Five Little Finishes - & Smalls Report for June

The year is half gone, and I am pleased to see that I am more than half-way through my 2016 Stitching List. I'm focusing on the positives, because this has not been a good stitching month for me. I had not a lot of time available for stitching, because of an assortment of circumstances including my rheumatoid arthritis playing up, a very bad chest infection that lingered for much longer than I would have thought possible, and a trip away in the van that overlapped the chest infection - not my best decision!  Anyway, that's all in the past now, and I'm planning to knuckle down and be more productive in July.

I did manage to stitch and finish up five Christmas ornaments.  Two more initial Santas (adapted from LA's Alphabets Galore booklet) - for two much loved four-legged family members (if you have good eyesight and a flexible imagination, you might see beaded bones on the back of the ornaments).




Another "Memories Keep Christmas In Our Hearts" ornament (adapted from the design in 2015 JCS Ornament Issue) for a special friend and her husband.



Baby's First Christmas ornament for a new honorary great-niece (born yesterday).  The teddy is a freebie from the DMC site - I changed all the colours.




And a Christmas ornament for the granddaughter of an old friend.  This little Annabelle lives in New Zealand.  The stocking design is an old favourite, adapted from a chart in LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet - I changed the size, colour, & pattern of the stocking, parts of the doll's design, and the rest of the stocking contents.


So, that's it for June.  I'm hoping July will be a more productive stitching month.  Though I have to admit I have a want to do some crochet, and it's likely I'll give in to the impulse, so my stitching may have to wait a little longer.

Monday, June 6, 2016

GG Report for June (very early - I'll be outback without computer access on 15th)

As well as being early, this is also gong to be a short report.

I made this crochet poncho and hat for my great-niece Annabelle - isn't she a cutie!  She is 9 months old. I didn't have a pattern and guessed at the size, so I was quite happy with the result.   think she will grow into the outfit by the end of winter, but her Mum says it is just right for her. She wore it today to her library group.

 

Annabelle is obviously a hat baby - I'm going to have to get that crochet hook out again and make her some more hats!

I also finished some more Christmas ornaments, all destined to be Christmas gifts this year.

Fronts
 'Memories' adapted from JCS 2015 Christmas Ornament issue design, 
Santa teddy adapted from a Dale Burdett design, 
Santa initial adapted from LA Alphabets Galore Santa Alphabet

Backs

Fronts
adapted from LA's Alphabet Galore Santa Alphabet

Backs

I'll be away from the computer till the end of June, so I will be delayed in viewing all the June posts - but I will be there as soon as I get computer access again! If you are wondering about Christmas Dreams - I'm afraid no progress to report.  I will be starting back on it in July.

Friday, June 3, 2016

My first ever crochet cap

I made this little hat to match the poncho I made for my great-niece.   The colour is best in the top pic. I didn't have a pattern, so I just went let the crochet hook lead the way.  It took me about three hours - and that did include some pulling out and restitching time.  I used two strands of the 8 ply wool, as one strand didn't seem firm enough. Of course, it would have been sensible to get some measurements from Annabelle's mum before I started working on it - hindsight is a wonderful thing! I do hope it fits. Though if it doesn't, it's no problem to pull it out and start again - that's the real beauty of crochet!










Thursday, June 2, 2016

A crochet break


I made this for my newest great-niece, Annabelle Grace, who is 9 months old.  She had a very difficult start to life, and spent her first 3 months in Neonatal Intensive Care while surgeons repaired the gastroschisis with which she was born.  (Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The baby's intestines stick outside of the baby's body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also stick outside of the baby's body.) She is a most delightful baby, very active and bright, and a real little heart-tugger,  Her parents have been through so much with her, and I really feel for them.  So when I saw a really pretty soft 8 ply wool in the colours that suit Annabelle so well, I was inspired to crochet something for her.  I decided on a poncho.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a pattern for one, so I trawled the internet looking at pictures, and then just sat and crocheted. I am hoping I guessed at the right sizing!

My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 17. I took to it like a duck to water. For the next 30 years, apart from meal-times and when at work, I rarely sat in a chair without a crochet hook in my hand.  I learned to crochet using fine Milward cotton (60 and 40 were my regulars), and made many a cheval set, doily, table runner and the like - all given away as gifts. Then in the 1970s I started working with wool.  I stitched away on baby layettes, baby shawls, toddler dresses, children's woollies, afghans and anything else that took my fancy - again, mostly given as gifts.  I did make myself a granny-square jacket in browns and creams, and a long coat that I loved and wore for years. And then when I turned 40, I found cross stitch.  And that pretty much took over.  I have made a few little crocheted lavender sachets over the years, but I rarely picked up my hook.  So I was amazed at just how happy I felt with wool and a crochet hook in my hand!  This little poncho took just 100gm (less than 4 ounces) of 8 ply wool, and took me just 2 days to stitch.  It would have taken less time had I not unpulled it twice to change the design. And it cost me under $4 to make - the wool was a half-price special.

I have decided to go back tomorrow and get more wool to make a matching hat for Annabelle. It's a shame the sale is over, but that will teach me to buy more than I think I need next time! In my internet searching I found free charts lovely little toddler dresses and matching hats - I think Annabelle may be getting a set or two for Christmas this year.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Smalls Report for May

It's just one month today since we lost MIL, dear Joan. It has been quite a disturbed month in my household, and I didn't get as much stitching time as usual.  I have managed to stitch six Christmas ornaments, and I have finished up four of them.

These two ornaments, as you can see, are not yet finished - I will add beads to the cross stitched border, and hopefully finish them up in the next day or so.  They will be heading overseas shortly for the two grandsons of an old friend.  Nanna is going to deliver them for me when she visits her daughter in England in July.
The Santa initial is from LA's Alphabets Galore booklet (I am stitching a few of these this year!)

And here are the four I did finish up - front and back views.

I used the Alphabets Galore Santa Alphabet chart for the "Alex" ornament, but omitted the Santa and changed the height of the letters.The "Memories" ornament uses the verse from Susan Greening Davis's ornament in JCS 2015 Christmas ornaments magazine.  I added the border. The teddy is an old favourite, a  Dale Burdett design  from A Mini Christmas booklet. And  of course the little Santa A is from LA's Alphabets Galore. The kangaroo on the back is adapted from Marianne Portener's design in her Emblems of Australia book.

And that is the extent of my May stitching, and the finish of my May Smalls SAL report.  See you in June (hopefully).

I have popped back in to add the pics of the two ornaments I finished up today.

It will not surprise you when I say that the Santa initials are adapted from the Santa alphabet chart in LA's Alphabets Galore.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for May

There's not been much stitching happening in my house recently, though I should be able to settle down with my needle more often now that things are getting back to what passes for normal here.  It has been an emotional few weeks, but things are more under control now.

I did make up all the ornaments I had stitched by the April report.
Teddy is a freebie from DMC website (colours changed).
Santa initials from Santa alphabet in LA's Alphabets Galore 
(colours changed and some changes to design).
The beaded trees are my own design.

I have stitched (but not yet made up) three more Christmas ornaments.  The first is destined to be a Christmas gift for a one year old Aussie-American great nephew living in New York. The front is on the right, the back is on the left.
The teddy is a Dale Burdett design, from 'A Mini Christmas' 
booklet (floss colours changed).
The kangaroo is from the 'Emblems of Australia in Cross Stitch' book,
 designer Marianne J Porteners (floss colours changed).

The other two Christmas ornaments are Christmas gifts for two little English brothers, grandchildren of an old friend. This time, the front is on the left, and the back is on the right.  Despite evidence to the contrary, the ornaments are the same size.

The Santa initials are from the Santa alphabet in LA's Alphabets Galore booklet (1998).
As usual, I changed the floss colours, and I also filled in the blank areas on Santa's sleeve.

Way back in the last 2 weeks of April (it seems like ages ago) I did work on Christmas Dreams (chart, fabric, and most of the floss purchased with birthday money).  I finished my seventh page, but I haven't touched it at all in May - in fact, I banished it upstairs while my house was filled with visitors, and it hasn't yet made its way downstairs to my stitching chair.. I hope to have some progress to show next month - maybe. Here's what it looked like when I took it upstairs.

That's it for me.  I'm keen to look at all the lovely blogs to see what everyone has been stitching in the past month.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Smalls SAL April report (a little late)

It's been a difficult month for my family.  My MIL passed away peacefully this week. It was not unexpected - she was 91 and had multiple health problems - but it is still distressing.  Most of her relatives are country people, and our house is their city base.  We have a few visitors to date, but are expecting in excess of 20 to arrive Thursday for Friday's funeral.  Hence my delayed and short report. I will try and get in to look at the other Smalls reports, but it may not be until later in the month when things get back to what passes for normal here.

I have made and finished these ornaments in the past month:

The teddy design s a freebie on the DMC website.
The initial Santas are adapted from the Santa alphabet in LAs  Alphabets Galore booklet.
 The  bead decorated trees are my own design.