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, June 6, 2018

A Crochet Fix

The crochet bug has been visiting my house. It happens infrequently these days, but there was a time when crochet was my major craft activity. I'm going back quite some time now, but I was a prolific crocheter for the 23 years before I discovered cross stitch. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 17 (and meant to be studying for my school final exams). I took to it with a vengeance. When I discovered cross stitch, I packed away my crochet hooks. But every now and then something causes me to bring out the crochet hooks, and that's when I quickly remember how much I enjoy crochet. This last week has been such a time.

The stimulus for my crochet binge was my cold ears. It's winter here, and we had a very sudden transition from summery weather to winter (hardly saw autumn at all this year). My hair is short. My ears were very cold. I felt the need for a beanie to keep my ears warm at night. So, the crochet hooks  came out, I found some wool, selected a pattern (Perenni, designed by Deanne Ramsay from Addydae Designs, and before long I had a beanie. Then two identical beanies - one for nights, the other for wearing out and about. I've had a beanie on my head ever since.

The urge to crochet was still with me. So I used the same pattern and some wool scraps to made two little beanies for my youngest great-niece Sarah, who is 10 months old.

My niece (Sarah's mother) was so happy to have the beanies that I decided to stitch a poncho for Sarah.  Unfortunately my first effort was too small (and now donated to a charity shop).  The poncho just grew as I stitched - so there is no designer to credit.

So, after taking a few measurements and some discussion with my niece about preferred wool colours, here is my latest effort for Sarah. Much more sedate in colour, but more in keeping with my niece's taste in baby clothes!

I fear the crochet bug is still hanging around. I find myself sorting out my wool and patterns and trolling the web for more patterns.  Perhaps I need more than 2 beanies. Maybe a scarf? Time will tell!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Nine little finishes - plus (belated)GG and Smalls SAL Report for May

My stitching focus for the month has been (as usual) Christmas ornaments. I have finished nine this month. My 'to stitch' list is slowly disappearing.  As soon as I have stitched all the small things on my list I hope to get back to stitching on my HAED Christmas Dreams.

This rather fuzzy pic doesn't really do justice to the ornament I have stitched for a niece (and god-daughter). The design is by Joy Averitt, published in Graphworks Leaflet 35, Mini Motif Designs Christmas Volume 7.

The next ornament, stitched for another niece, is a Sam Hawkins design published in A S N #3616, 50 Santas to Cross Stitch. I added the borders.

Stitched for another (very special) niece, this personalised feather tree ornament is based on the Country Tree designed by Dale Burdett, but I changed all the decorations, and stitched one of her family member's initials in each of the ornaments.

 This bead decorated Christmas tree (my own design) will be a take-home gift for a special Christmas visitor.

Another of my Christmas trees, this one decorated with tiny buttons and beads, stitched for another niece.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Smalls SAL Report for April

Here in Australia it's already the last Friday in April, so it's time for the Smalls SAL. This month I have just  six Smalls to show, but first here is my lovely LA Santa framed in a pre-loved and newly painted wooden frame, ready for gifting to my nephew & niece this Christmas. The temptation to keep it myself is still lingering, so I have ready wrapped and labelled it ready for mailing. If I want this Santa for myself then I need to stitch it again!

I stitched these Jeremiah Junction nutcracker (from Nutcracker Factory III booklet) Christmas ornaments for three charming young sisters from a Nutcracker-loving family. There will be nine of my stitched JJ Nutcracker ornaments (all different designs) on their family Christmas tree this year.

I also made another three bead & button decorated Christmas trees, to give as take home gifts for Christmas visitors.

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at 
Stitching Lotus.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for April

I am writing this report from my hospital bed - well, actually from a chair right next to it. A couple of days ago I had my second knee replacement surgery for the year. Either my memory misled me or this time there is a lot more pain! I do think it's a case of selective memory. Everything is going well now but it was a rocky start. I spent the first two nights in Intensive Care, which was unexpected.

I have been working my way through my Christmas gift list. My reward for finishing all my Christmas gifts will be bringing my HAED Christmas Dreams out of the craft room and down to my stitching chair. It is getting close to 12 months since I stitched on it, and I am very keen to get it out again.

At the risk of boring anyone who wandered over to see my Smalls report, I am going to put up a few of the finishes I showed there. Starting with this Angel Tree I stitched for my sister Gayle, who has a fondness for
the colour pink,  angels, and a bit of Christmas bling. The Angel Tree is a JBW design but I made quite a few changes, including filling in areas of the faces and dresses that were left without stitches on the chart. I also changed all the floss colours.

I finished off the two little gingerbread ornaments for my two-year old greatnieces.
Also my great-nephew's Feather tree ornament, and a pair of ornaments for children who will visit this Christmas.

I stitched this lovely old Santa for my oldest nephew and his wife - well, to be totally truthful, for his wife - my nephew really isn't that interested in Christmas items!

Santa is from LA's 'Christmas Celebrations' booklet. I stitched him exactly as charted, using DMC threads specified, but used 22 count and stitched over 1, and  I centered the greeting and omitted the suggested charm. I love this Santa. I am trying hard to stick with the plan and gift it. I have found a pretty pre-loved wooden frame which is the perfect size for Santa. My partner kindly repainted it white, and just as soon as I get home from hospital I will be framing it and wrapping it ready for gifting. Don't be surprised if I stitch another Santa for myself and make it up into an ornament. I have kept the floss card just in case.

I am currently stitching a set of nutcracker ornaments for three sisters who will visit at Christmas. This will be the third year I have stitched nutcrackers for them. They share a love for nutcrackers, which feature heavily in their family's Christmas celebrations. The nutcrackers are from Jeremiah Junction's 'The Nutcracker Factory III'. If you are familar with the JJ Nutcrackers you will probably notice that my need for symmetry has led me to reverse the charted colours on one side of each nutcracker. I tried to resist the impulse, but it was quite overwhelming. Sorry about the effect on the designer's carefully placed shading. Despite evidence to the contrary, they are all roughly the same size. I still have two of the borders to stitch.  I'm hoping to finish all the stitching while I am in hospital so that they are ready to make up into ornaments as soon as I get home.

And that is the end of my GG Report for April. I am looking forward to checking outcall the GG Reports.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Blog Hop

Its Good Friday here in Australia, and I am following Jo's instructions for the Easter Blog Hop (check it out here).

My letter is:

Find your next letter at

But before you move on to the next blog, I would like to show you one of my favourite framed cross stitches.  It sort of meets Jo's instruction for inclusion, as it always makes me think of Spring.  This piece was a round robin effort, and it has been half way around the world, having been worked on by stitchers in California USA, Ontario Canada, Victoria BC Canada, and Australia.  It hangs in my study, right near my desk, so I enjoy it every day.  It is one of only four artworks that keep their place in my house all year (the other three are L&L Angels).  All of the other framed works get packed away each year for the Christmas season, but my Baltimore Album Quilt stays put.

Enjoy the rest of the Easter Blog Hop!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Smalls Report for March

This month has just slipped by when I wasn't watching. I have been working on rehab for my L knee, which I had replaced at the end of January,  and preparing for my R knee replacement which is just 2 weeks away now. I have managed to find some stitching time, and I do have some Smalls finishes to show.

I stitched an Angel Tree for my third sister, who has a thing for angels and cherubs, and likes a bit of Christmas bling. It will be her Christmas gift this year. I used a pretty piece of pink linen (pink being my sister's favourite colour).  The base chart is by JBW Designs (Book 10, 'O, Christmas Tree'). I changed all the colours and filled in the areas of the skirts and faces that the chart left unstitched.

I found a small pre-loved wooden frame which was almost the perfect size, and I framed it today. I say almost the perfect size because it cuts off the candles at the edges of the bottom row of angels. I decided I can live with that. My sister is unlikely to worry about it.

I stitched gingerbread girl ornaments for two little great-nieces (first cousins). I used part of a Barbara Mock design printed in 'Christmas Quickies II' booklet.

I stitched a special Feather Tree ornament for my oldest great-nephew.  The actual tree design and star on top is a design by Dale Burdett, from DB#132, A Mini Christmas booklet.  I chose my own floss colours, and replaced the charted ornaments with ornaments of my own design.

I also stitched two little ornaments for siblings who will, I hope, visit me this Christmas. They are my own designs.

That brings me to the end of my March Smalls report. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for March

So, here we are again - the 15th of the month means it is time for Gifted Gorgeousness, hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. All my stitching in the past month is eligible for inclusion in the GG report, as it will all be given as gifts.

I finished up all the ornaments I had stitched for the February report, but I'm not putting in the pics in this report because they are there in the February Smalls report just below this post.

I made two little stocking Christmas ornaments for the English grandsons of an old friend (and first cousins of the Kiwi sisters for whom I stitched stocking Christmas ornaments in February). The Santa is adapted from a Kooler Design Studio chart in LA's Christmas Ornament book.

And a button and bead decorated Christmas tree ornament for my youngest sister, who has a fondness for little buttons.

I made two smaller bead decorated Christmas tree ornaments for sisters who will come to my house for a Christmas visit this year.

These four candy cane ornaments will be Christmas gifts for neighbour children. The chart for the candy cane was in a very old American magazine ( Just Cross Stitch, I think) as part of a monthly seasonal calendar. I changed floss colours and omitted the holly.

I also stitched and finished up a Baby's First Christmas ornament for a new greatnephew.  The teddy is adapted from a DMC on-line freebie chart.

And I have stitched little gingerbread girls for two little greatnieces. I adapted the gingerbread from a design in Barbara Mock's Christmas Quickies II.

That's it for me. I'll be popping by to see all the GG reports.