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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Still not happy ...

I discovered what my problem was on Jolly Old Fellow - I've somehow added a stitch to the top of page 3. Right at the top, close to the start of page 3. And I've carried the error right down through the sky. I only discovered it when I tried to follow the chart for the hat, and kept running into trouble. I'd like to say I immediately ripped out all the stitches I finished this week to correct the error. I didn't. I decided that I (and possibly you?) would be the only one(s) to pick the error when it's framed and sitting on the wall. And I can live with that. So, I started stitching up from the bottom of the page and by the time I get to where the top and bottom halves join I am confident I can adjust my stitches to make it all fit. Then I will drop a stitch from the beginning of page 4 from the rows that have an extra stitch. Because it's mostly sky I don't think it will be noticeable at all. That's my story, and I'm stitcking to it!

I'm wishing I'd taken Yoyo's advice to grid my fabric - I never have in the past, but I can see the advantage ... another lesson learned ...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I've had a very nasty visitor ...

and I do so wish he'd move on - he has created havoc with my stitching, and I am not a happy pussycat tonight! I am, of course talking of the Slimy Green One. He hasn't visited me in such a long time, and I really wish he had stayed away. I'm in such a state now that I can't even work out where I've gone wrong . I'm off to bed now, hopeful that during the night my unwelcome visitor will take himself off - hopefully for a long swim south to Antarctica. I hope that in the morning I will see where the problem is and be able to work out a plan of attack to remedy this mess that I have on my fabric.

Btw Yoyo - there aren't really 230 000 stitches in the HAED JOF - it's 203 600 stitches. I just got a bit carried away - I'm blaming that frog!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Totally Useless SAL

Here's my Totally Useless SAL jar. I think I met the challenge to double its contents in the past month. I am totally amazed at the quantity of stitching waste I create. I find it fascinating to have a stitching trail - looking at the jar I can re-create in my mind my stitching progress in 2009. At the bottom there are the red, green, and gold threads from the tiny Christmas designs I stitched in January including an empty reel of DMC fil or, then all the floss tags from kitting up Jolly Old Fellow, then masses of sky-coloured threads, then more Christmas colours from the February ornies I stitched, and finally the threads from JOF's hat - reds, oranges, pinks, cream and white. Is there a 12 step program for ort addiction? - I may need to find out one day...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Win a lovely quilted bag

from Judi at Green Fairy Quilts.


Check it out.

My new second-best friend

Here's a pic of my new chart magnets in use. Of course you're only seeing the top magnet - the other one is hiding under the fabric. I'm really quite attached to them. They're so helpful when I'm stitching, holding the chart in situ and also when required my neeedle or my scissors. When not in use they sit quietly on my filing cabinet, looking pretty.

Progress pic HAED Jolly Old Fellow

This pic shows my progress on HAED Jolly Old Fellow (my only current WIP). I'm part-way through the red (or perhaps more correctly orange) section of his hat. I estimate that I'm about one-third of the way through page 3.

This project has taught me so much about myself, and also changed my stitching habits. I've already admitted discovering that what I thought was a love of stitching is really a love of completing projects. That was a huge revelation to me. In the past 20+ years I stitched one project (or a batch of like little projects such as Christmas ornaments) at a time, finishing each before moving on to the next project. I was just 2 weeks into Jolly Old Fellow when I realised that I would have to make a change to my stitching pattern, or say goodbye to my sanity. So, I resolved to rest Jolly Old Fellow one week each month to allow me to stitch on (and finish!) other things in that week. So far that's working well for me. Next week will be a JOF-free week - my second one. I'm planning to stitch 2 Christmas ornaments and maybe a quilt square.

I've also had to start marking off the symbols on my chart as I stitch. This is something I've never done before, but I was getting into such a state that I thought I'd try it, and it has helped remarkably. I think I'll keep doing it on all my bigger projects. It certainly makes it easier to find my place at the beginning of each new stitching session. I also bought a set of magnets which I use to hold the chart on my fabric. They also act as a temporary needle holder - very handy. I'm very happy with them. No more chasing the chart each time I turn the frame to start/finish a thread. And the final change I've made is to thread my floss-symbol card onto a ribbon and tie it to my floor-frame. No more hunting through my workbasket to find it each time there's a floss change. I don't know why it's taken me 20 yrs to work that one out.

So, taking the jump into a huge project has paid off for me already - it's made me think about what I'm doing and why. That's got to be a good thing, hasn't it?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Making progress...

I have been stitching away on page 3 of Jolly Old Fellow, and I am so pleased to report that I have now stitched all the sky on page 3, and have started on the red portion of Santa's hat. Yay! Though the sky stitches up quicker, being composed of large solid colour blocks with only small sections requiring frequent colour changes, I do find it tedious, and I much prefer stitching the coloured parts of the chart. The frequent floss changes make it more interesting for me - and it certainly provides more thread ends for my Totally Useless SAL jar! I love seeing the shading develop as I stitch.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Page 2 is finished

and I am pleased to report that there are lots of non-sky-colored threads in my Totally Useless SAL jar (Totally Useless SAL).

I've now worked on Jolly Old Fellow for a total of 177 hours. There's only a small amount of sky at the top of page 3, and that's where I'll start stitching tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to my next week of stitching. Towards the end of the week I should start to see Santa's hat developing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home again ... and loving it

It's nice to be home again. We got home yesterday, but this is the first chance I had to come on-line. We had a lovely week in the campervan at a truly beautiful coastal town, with good friends for company, and I did enjoy my holiday. The weather was incredible - the first few days were 40+C (over 100F) heatwaves and for the rest of the week we had strong chilly winds and unrelenting torrential rain. That's Australia for you. I stitched some little things during the week - three Christmas ornaments and 9 tiny bead decorated wreaths which I have made up in tiny gold frames as fridge magnets. I did the finishing on the ornies and magnets last night. The first ornament features a manger design from Graphworks Mini Motif Designs for Christmas Vol 1. The second ornament (for my great-nephew Dylan) is adapted from Alma Lynne's Christmas Alphabet, and the third ornament just evolved as I stitched.
There's no progress to report on my Jolly Old Fellow. It had a rest this week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Three weeks of stitching

and this is what I've stitched. I'm about three-quarters of the way through page 2 on HAED Jolly Old Fellow. It's taken me 148 hrs of stitching - 60 of them in the last week.

The exciting news is that there'll be red DMC in my needle before I finish page 2. The unstitched area under the curve on the bottom right is part of Santa's cap.

I'm having a break from this project in the coming week, to stitch an ornament or two, but I'm very confident that I'll be well into page 3 by the end of this month.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I am so 'over' stitching the sky. I'm in the third week now, and the only relief from sky has been a few stars. To remind me that there is more interesting stitching ahead, I've put in the sidebar the pic from the Jolly old Fellow chart. That will be my motivation to stitch my way out of the sky and into the Santa, eventually.