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.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Two little Christmas ornaments

I finished these two Christmas ornaments tonight. They're Christmas gifts for friends. The designs are both favourites of mine. The stocking is adapted from LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet, and stitched over 1 on hardanger. The candycane chart is from the Designs with Scissors Calendar chart in the Feb 1989 issue of Leisure Arts magazine.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More tiny cushions

Front: Back:

Here are two more little 1:12 scale dollhouse cushions I stitched today. Once again the designs are adapted from the 1982 LA leaflet Sachets and Pincushions. These cushions measure 2.5cm square, and are stitched oer 1 on 28 count linen and finished as diamond puffs.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two tiny finishes

These little floral cushions are just 2.5cm (1 inch) square, and are stitched over 1 on 28 count linen, using 1 thread of DMC floss. I finished them using the diamond puff method. I made them to fit a 1:12 scale dollhouse. The designs are from an oldie but a goodie - LA's Leaflet 225, Sachets and Pincushions, designs by Anne Van Wagner Young, published in 1982. This photo shows the fronts: and this photo shows the cushion backs:
I'll be making another of these little floral dollhouse cushions in the next few days.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Deja vu

Yes - it looks almost the same as the one I posted yesterday, but it there are a few tiny differences. The baby I stitched this one for isn't due until January, but I wasn't game to stitch in 'Baby's Prenatal Christmas ' yet - just in case baby decides to make an early appearance. I'll finish this one up closer to Christmas.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another ornament waiting for a name ...

Yes, it's the same stocking design as the last one I posted, but this one is stitched over 1 on 22 count using 1 strand of floss, and the last one was stitched over 2 on 28 count using 2 strands of floss. This one is for a friend's first grandchild, due in October. I am stitching an identical ornament for my friend's other daughter, whose baby is due in January.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almost a finish

I just need to stitch in Baby's name and then stitch this ornie up, but I won't be doing that for a while. baby's not expected to arrive till November, and I have to wait for the name. When I do stitch it up, I'll use green floss and the white beads to lace the back and front together.

The stocking design is from LA's 1986 Christmas Caboodle leaflet. I changed the stocking and cuff width, all the floss colours, the stocking pattern, all stocking contents except the candy cane, and I substituted beads for some of the charted cross stitches.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One last little Christmas tree

Well, the last one for September anyway. This one is my favourite. I love the little (9cm x 6cm) vintage wooden frame I found in a local op shop. I have had such fun making these little trees in the past week. I just love the tiny little star buttons I've used on them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Christmas tree

Another Christmas tree ornament finished tonight.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A batch of beaded trees

I've just fnished this batch of little trees, which I have made up into little gold frames. The picture really doesn't do them justice, I'm afraid.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another ornament finish

This is the second "Santa's Key" ornament I've stitched recently, to make use of a couple of lttle jewelled keys I found in a local discount variety shop. This one will als go to a child living in a chimney-free house.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another little finish

I finished making up this ornament tonight. The design is adapted from LA's 1996
leaflet Christmas Caboodle. It is one of my favourite little designs, and I have stitched it for so many children. Often, I stitch the child's name on the cuff, but this time I stitched JOY as charted. This ornament is stitched on 22 count white hardanger.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Over the top?

Well, maybe just a tiny bit ...

In cleaning out my craft cupboard yesterday, I found a stash of pre-loved Christmas items (extra-large cane wreath, artificial foliage, assorted ornaments and bells), so decided to combine them all into a wreath, which I may (or may not!) have the courage to display this Christmas.

A little finsh

I've just finished making up this Santa ornament. The designer is Donna Vermillion Giampa, and it's my favourite of the Santas in her Nine Santa Sampler. I really enjoyed stitching this one - and it broght back memories of stitching the Nine Santa Sampler in 1996. When I stitched the Sampler, I used 18 count Aida, and stitched it over 2, so my Sampler Santas are so much larger than this one.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A few more angels ...

Not the best pic, I know. The scanner just wouldn't play nice today. The smallest (blue) one is 3 inches (7.5cm) tall. The beads are definitely going away now, and I'll be spending the next hour or so deciding on my next cross stitch project. I feel an ornament coming on ...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Playing with beads ...

I've had some fun with my beads in the last couple of days. Here's a batch of wineglass charms - most will be Christmas gifts or take-home gifts for my Christmas visitors. And here is a batch of handbag or zip 'dangles'. They will also be Christmas gifts.

And just because you can never have too many angles, I made another 6 beaded angels - the large wooden ones at the bottom (and maybe the two brown/gold angels as well) will go on my Angel Christmas tree this year, the others will go nto my take-home gift basket for Christmas visitors.
I've packed the beads away now. Back to the stitching next week - after I finish the book I've been trying to read for ages.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another little finish

I found the jewelled key on my travels, and felt inspired to create a Christmas ornament for it. It will be a pre-Christmas gift for a child who lives in a house with no chimney.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another finish - Santa bellpull

I stitched this gorgeous Santa while I was holidaying in the country in my campervan. It's an oldie - Father Christmas Bellpull from the 1997 issue of BH&G's Cross-Stitch Christmas. The designer is not credited in the magazine. I stitched it on 28 count natural jobelan. I changed all of the charted floss colours, added some shading to the hat and coat, and added some beads (the holly berries, the bell clangers, and the tree decorations). I also added a bead-decorated border. It's 28cm (about 11 inches) long x 8 cm (about 3.5 inches) wide. I'll go looking for some dowelling tomorrow for the top and bottom, and make it up as a wall-hanging.

I had a lovely holiday in the campervan. We were away for just over 2 weeks, and I celebrated yet another birthday while we were away. I'd like to say I feel older and wiser for it, but honestly - it's just older! We travelled over 1200 km, heading north-west to Lightning Ridge, which is a town I have visited before and really like. It's an opal-mining town, but most of the opal has been dug from the area, and the town has diversified to cater for tourists, in a very laid-back eccentric way. Lightning Ridge. Of all the towns I've visited here in Oz and overseas, I consider Lightning Ridge to be the most unusual and interesting. There were three vans in our party - 7 adults and 4 dogs in all. We stayed 3 days longer than our planned week, as the caravan park we chose to stay at was at the end of a long dirt road - only navigable in the dry - and it rained lots towards the end of our first week there. It took the 3 extra days for the road to dry enough for us to tow out our vans, and even then the trip out was a bit slippery and exhilarating, and we brought quite a bit of the red mud with us on the car. We were marooned in the caravan park ankle-deep in red mud, and the dogs, the vans and our annexe got more than their fair share of red mud too. And the caravan park didn't even have a kiosk for emergency suplies (or chocolate!). But it was fun, just the same! We stayed at Narrabri on the way up, and Tamworth on the way home - all very enjoyable, but for me Lightning Ridge was the highlight of the trip.

The holiday is over now. The van is cleaned, washed and back in the garage. Our bags are unpacked, groceries back in the pantry, and the second of 6 loads of washing is in the machine. Tomorrow we'll be back in the real world again.

I almost didn't make the trip, as my 87 yr old moderately demented Dad was not well. In the week before I left on my trip he went off the rails big-time (depression, paranoia, psychosis) and required admission to hospital. In his distressed state, he also did some further damage to his already compromised heart. He got the most amazing care in hospital, and they did a major review of his medications, and started him on a new drug. His mental state is so much better, though at times he is more confused. In the end I did decide to go on the trip, which had been planned for months, as he was improving, and my siblings were able and willing to keep an eye on him. My sisters Wendy and Gayle did a great job of communicating with the medical team and keeping me informed of Dad's progress. Today he was discharged back to his hostel, so I am looking forward to seeing him there tomorrow.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A little finish

This little ornament is for my new great-niece Chloe, who is just one week old. The cute little teddy design is a freebie from the DMC site.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

JOF Progress Pic

Page 8 is well on the way to being finished (that sound you can hear is me cheering in the background...), and I am keen to see what page 9 brings. I'm hoping it's large blocks of solid colours and no confetti stitches, but I doubt that's likely! Of course, I could have checked the chart to discover what's in store for the next few weeks, but I figured there's no point in getting ahead of myself. While I can, I'm going to dream it will be easy stitching for the next page.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Progress on JOF

I can just see my sister Gayle looking at the pic and wondering why I bothered to put in a pic so similar to the one in the last post ... well, to me it looks like progress. It certainly represents hours of work! The reds on the cap are stitched, and I've (only just) started on the cap's fur trim. I am keen to get page 8 stitched, but I'm certainly not holding my breath till it's finshed!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

JOF is back in play

I am, of course, referring to my WIP - Haed Jolly Old Fellow. This is where I stopped last year - midway through page 8.JOF is back down in my stitching corner (aka the longe room), and I have put in the first few stitches. I hope to have the reds of the hat finished in the next day or so - just a small section of what is still to be stitched on page 8, but a start! As I expected, it is taking a while for me to adapt back to the tiny stitches, but I think I'm there now (ever the optimist ...).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yet more angels

I've spent the last few days refining the design for my new angels. These angels ('yoyo angels') were my inspiration. They were designed by Dimity Llewelyn, and I found the pattern in an old issue of Handmade magazine (2008, Volume 26, No. 4).
This is my first attempt at making this style of angel. I made a few changes - both to the materials and the construction method.

This is the front of one of my angels:

and this is the back of the same angel:

And here are all 20 of my yoyo angels. They're designed to hang, but they do sit quite nicely too.

These are my last angels for a while. I'm packing away my beads and fabrics, and getting back to what I am meant to be working on - my Jolly Old Fellow. I meant to start stitching on it again at the beginning of July - and here we are, almost one week of July gone already, and JOF has not even been brought down to the stitching corner. It's almost a year since I packed him away. It will take me a little while to re-adjust to stitching on my lap-frame, but it's time to get moving - I do want to finish this design sometime in the next few years, and that's just not going to happen if I leave JOF sitting upstairs untouched. He'll be my only project for the rest of this month, and then I'll re-assess.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

More Angels

I've just finished a batch of 16 button angels - more Christmas angels! They are actually much cuter than the pic suggests . These little angels either sit or hang.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Angels

Another 31 angels beaded for Christmas 2010. The larger ones and some of the others will be in my Christmas display this year, and the others will go in the take-home gift basket for Christmas visitors.
I'll be packing away the beads now. That's all the angels I plan to make this year. I'll be stocking my stitching basket tomorrow and bringing it down to my stitching corner. I'm thinking of bringing down my HAED Jolly Old Fellow - it's due for some attention, and I had planned to start on it in the first week of July, so I may get an early start.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A batch of Angels

I've been playing with my beads in the past few days, making angels. There are 8 prs earings (for Christmas gifts), and 25 Christmas angels - some will be gifts, and some (well, OK - quite a lot of them) will be part of my Christmas decorating.
I'll probably keep making angels for another day or so - unless I run out of beadcaps, which is on the cards.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another little finish

I stitched this for a Half-way to Christmas SAL on the Life's A Stitch Board. The stocking is adapted from LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet (1986).



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Angel is home from the framer

and now she is hanging on the wall of my study, next to my Angel of Hope. She is, of course, Lavender & Lace's Angel of Grace, the third (and last!) of the L&L Angels I've stitched. At first I was disappointed when I saw her framed, as the framer didn't follow my instructions. I wanted her mounts to be arched at the top, like the ones on the Angel of Hope, and also on my Angel of Love. As you can see, the framer cut the mounts straight across rather than arching the top. The framer did offer to re-frame her, but after really thinking about it, I decided this mount does suit her, so I accepted her as she was.

I'm quite bonded to her now, and think that she may have looked a little unbalanced if she was in an arched mount.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Home again ... and here's where I've been

I really did enjoy my trip to Broome and The Kimberley. Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I came home with. The first one is of one of my favourite places - the bungle Bungle ranges in Purnululu Natinonal Park. This photo was taken from a helicopter.
This one is Chamberlain Gorge, taken from aboard the boat.
This one is from another cruuise - this time on the Ord River, near Kunnanurra.

This one shows the bus crossing theKing Edward River.

This one shows me swimming in the swimming hole at Mitchell Plateau.

I really wasn't ready to come home - I could have stayed in Broome and The Kimberley for much longer. We travelled 35oo km in the 'bus' (actually a specially converted Isuzu truck) on the trip, mostly on unsealed and very rough roads, and also had three long river cruises. Some of it was hard work - long treks over large rocks to get into some of the gorges, for example - but all of it was so much fun. I learned so much about the indigenous and European history of the area, and also about the geological features of the region. It is truly spectacular country.

I'm still on a 'high' from my trip. I'm sure I'll come back to reality sooner or later. I've not picked up a needle at all in the past 3 weeks, and for once I really haven't missed my stitching. I need to stitch a Christmas ornament for a SAL, so I'll have to get moving on that sometime in the near future.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Two little finishes

My last two finishes before I leave on my big adventure - I just managed to finish them up in time. The smaller one is finished as a fridge magnet; the larger one is in a 13cm x 10cm ornate gold frame. These are both original designs.
I won't be stitching at all in the next month. Conditions will be too hot and primitive for needlework, so I'm leaving all my stitching supplies at home. I don't think I've had a stitching-free month in the past 25 years, so I'm not sure how that will go! But I may just get some reading done while I'm not stitching, so I will enjoy that. I love reading, but I get so engrossed in books that I get nothing else done - and I mean nothing , no sleep till the book is read, and no-one even gets fed in my house if I have a book in my hands. So I limit my reading to my holidays. I have packed in my on-flight bag two 'disposable' books (ie ones I don't have to bring home) so that should keep me entertained en route to Broome. The three friends I'm travelling with are all readers, so I'm sure we'll get a book-exchange going before too long.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This is where I will be while I'm MIA

Kimberley Trip
click on the video link half-way down the page

I am so excited! and a trifle scared as well. The trip I'm going on is rated 'challenging' and involves a fair bit of bushwalking in rugged country. I've been in training for a year now, but I was very unfit to start with, so I'm hoping I can make the pace. I've wanted to travel to this area for so long - the far north of Western Australia is the only corner of Australia I've never visited. This trip covers a large area of land - around the size of California, a bit bigger than Germany and Japan, almost twice the size of Britain and New Zealand.

So - see you when I return.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Garden Visitor

I just couldn't resist snapping this gorgeous kookaburra when he visited my front garden this morning. He stayed posed like this for ages - gave me plenty of time to find my camera and take the pic. I consider myself very fortunate to have lots of wild birds visiting each day. As well as the kookaburras I have regular visits from sulphur crested white cockatoos, galahs, lorikeets, rosellas, king parrots, magpies, finches, and willy wagtails. This is probably the same kookaburra, taken later in the day - the angle's not so good on this pic, but the kooka was looking straight at me at the time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Two more ornaments

These are Christmas gifts for two little sisters. Their names are on the back. I used the same candycane design I used for a set of ornaments earlier in the month, but I finished these as diamonds rather than square-shaped.

Friday, May 14, 2010

More little finishes, and May TUSAL

I'll start with my TUSAL jar. I'm not sure of the TUSAL date for May, but it's ages since I put in a TUSAL progress pic, so here goes: The compressed pinkish threads in the bottom half are from Angel of Grace; the multicoloured threads on top are from the assortment of Christmas designs I've stitched in May.

And now for the finishes:

Five more tiny Christmas designs framed in gold frames
And this is my latest 'finish', a Christmas ornament for my 3 year old great-nephew Dylan, whose name for himself is 'D'. The Santa alphabet designer is Donna Vermillion Giampa, and the chart is in her Alphabet Soup leaflet (2005).

I have stitched another two little ornament designs - candy canes again, for two little sisters, and I'll be finishng them up into diamond shaped ornaments this time. I hope to finish them up tomorow.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Three more little finishes

These are Christmas gifts for some special children.

I am so enjoying getting some little projects finished this month.