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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Where I live it's just 45 minutes to the end of this year, so as I wait for the Sydney firework display to start (on the TV) my mind turned to thought of my goals for 2010. I am actually philosophically opposed to the concept of making resolutions. Of course, I am also philosophically opposed to firework displays, but that doesn't stop me watching and enjoying them - though I always do feel guilty about that, and do spend a few minutes regretting the damage to the environment, the distress of domestic pets, birds and other wildlife, and the animals at Taronga Park zoo, and the waste of public money which could have been put to better use. Anyway - I decided no NY resolutions for 2010.

I do however have some stitching goals:
  • finish L&L's Angel of Grace and have it framed for Christmas 2010
  • complete another 6 pages of HAED Jolly Old Fellow
  • stitch and finish Christmas ornaments for Dylan, Dylan's yet to be born brother or sister, Olivia, Emma, Grace, Thomas, Brittany, Jackson, Matthew, Daniel, Georgia, Alex
  • stitch framed Christmas gifts for Gayle, Rohan, Leah, Wendy
  • stitch and frame 24 little bead decorated trees

The fireworks will be starting soon. I'm already starting to feel the guilt enveloping me. It won't stop me from enjoying the show, I'm sure ...

Happy New Year!

PS - the fireworks were spectacular

Monday, December 28, 2009

I got the best ever Christmas gift ...

it rained! Lots of rain - lovely soaking rain! And more promised for the rest of this week. The lawn has greened up already, the treeferns (whose upper fronds have been browned and dried by the sun despite frequent watering) now look as if they may survive another year, and the flowers are smiling again. Of course, this being a country of weather extremes, there has already been too much rain causing flooding in some areas (not here), and other parts of the country are on fire. It is very reminiscent of the situation of almost a year ago.

Christmas is over now -and my house has now returned to its non-Christmas state. It looks so uncluttered and dull in comparison - it always takes me a week or so to adjust each year. This year it took just under 4 days to do the transformation - a record time. I always like to have the house back to its natural state by New Years Day. So, now my lounge room stereo corner looks like this:when just a few days ago. it looked like this:

I do love Christmas! Just another 10.5 months, and I'll be getting excited about getting out my Christmas treasures again.

Now that Christmas is over, my Angel of Hope has found a new home in the study, watching over me as I sit at the computer. To accommodate her, we had to do three artwork relocations, but it was worth it - she looks right at home now.

I am keen to start the Angel of Grace, my 2010 Christmas Project - I dug out my lap-frame, and collected the fabric and floss tonight, and right now it's sitting near my stitchin chair waiting for my attention. I may get in the first few stitches tonight.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My final ornament for 2009

and it will probably also be my final 'finish' for 2009. This is a Christmas gift for my niece Melissa for her baby which is due in July 2010. The stocking is adapted from LA's Christmas Caboodle Leaflet 432 from way back in 1986. I replaced the doll in the charted stocking with a teddy bear adapted from Graphworks Mini Motif Designs Christmas Vol 8 Leaflet 36 (1987). I finished this in the nick of time - my family's Christmas gathering is less than 10 hours away.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


My jar has made it to the end of the TUSAL year, and I still have some room to spare. I did have to press the contents down quite severely, cause at one stage it looked like the jar wasn't going to make it, and I did have to upgrade to a larger jar mid-way through the year. Since my last photo I've collected lots of white green and red threads and several broken needles from Angel of Hope; blues, reds and white toned threads and more broken needles from Jolly Old Fellow; and lots of Christmas coloured threads from the ornaments I've made. All in all, the TUSAL jar holds the discards from the 89 projects I've worked on this year (2 WIPs and 87 finished projects) and I have really quite enjoyed collecting all this stitching waste. I'm sure my stitching corner has been much cleaner and more organised this year as a result of the TUSAL. I haven't yet decided what to do with the jar contents - it seems so wasteful just to discard them now. It's highly likely that I'm going to continue collecting my threads next year - I've got quite fond of my TUSAL container over the year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Santas

This is some of my soft Santa (and one reindeer) collection. This year they ae peeping through the bannisters on the top level landing. The "Merry Christmas" sign was made for me by my sister Wendy about 23 yrs ago. The letters are made from bread dough.

I keep all my nice Santa cards and display them each year. These ones are on the door to a spare bedroom. They're pegged with tiny gold painted pegs to ribbon tied around the door. I have 2 other doors decorated with saved Santa cards, and another 2 doors decorated with cards received this year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jolly Old Fellow update

Progress has been very slow - not much stitching happening at all lately. I'm about 2/3 of the way through page 8 now, and I doubt that I'll get much more stitching finished on JOF this month. I did want to get page 8 finished this year, but right now it doesn't look as if that will happen.
Right now I'm stitching a last-minute Christmas ornament for my niece's new baby. It will be a Baby's Prenatal Christmas ornie, as baby isn't expected to arrive until July 2010. And I have started kitting up my 2010 Christmas SAL project - L&L's Angel of Grace. I have the chart and most of the floss, and I have ordered the rest of the floss, which will be here well before Christmas. I still have to decide on the fabric.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santas again

This is a close-up of my Santa tree, on the landing of the bedroom level. The top of the tree is missing - I just couldn't get it all in the shot. I do particularly love this tree, and I have so many lovely memories of the Santas on it - where I got them from, and when. Some I have had for over 30 years, a very few are new this year. I try to get my Santas in sets of two so I can have the tree sort-of symetrical. On this tree I have Santas that I bought all over Australia, and in USA, Hong Kong, China and New Zealand, and Santas that have been sent to me from UK and Ireland. There are also some I painted or stitched. Beneath the tree is my collection of Christmas tins. I particularly like tins with Santa on them, and especially older tins and tiny tins.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas visits

This is the landing at the top of the stairs - the bedroom level. This year I hung my Santa ornaments and a few other special ornaments on the linen press door, and it really brightened up the area! The large Santa on the table is one of my favorites (I seem to have lots of favourites!) - he came home with us from a trip to USA in 1994. The Santa mask on the wall is another one I particularly like. He was a birthday gift around 10 yrs ago.

I am so enjoying the month of December! I always feel good when I have my Santas and Angels around me, and quite frankly, it's the only time of the year that I seem to be social. Already this year I have had so many visitors! I feel very honoured. Earlier this week I had a lovely visit from a friend I first met in the mid 1960s when we both trained as nurses at a local hospital. Trish later moved to New Zealand and we lost touch for a while, but now she is living half an hour drive from me. She brought her adult daughter (a Kiwi) with her. It was so nice to catch up with Trish and Sara. We had a lovely lunch and lots of chatting.

A frequent visitor is my sister Wendy, who told me of a recent funny experience. She was walking through a local antique centre and noticed something familiar. On closer inspection she realised that it was a framed Christmas cross stitched piece that she had stitched in 2003 as a gift for a friend. She does very little cross stitch, so it was memorable. She bought the cross stitched piece from the antique dealer, and now it is hanging in her home as part of her Christmas decor.

I'm expecting more visitors tomorrow - a group of 4 including 9 yr old twin sisters in the afternoon, and a larger group of friends for a casual BBQ dinner in the evening.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advents and Nativity

Here's my Santa Advent tree - on December 7 if I've counted the Santas correctly. This tree is one of my favourite Christmas things. I made it in 1998, and I have since made lots of them for family and friends.

Here's my basket of Advent gifts - I get one each day from Dec 1 to Dec 24.

Here's DP's Advent gifts. I bought this Advent gift tree in Hong Kong in about 1990, and it's been part of my Christmas since then.

and this is one of my absolute favourites - my African Nativity. It's made of terracotta. I've had these out on display each Christmas for the past 20 yrs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Children's Corner

I have lots of children visiting my house in December, and most of the house is a no-touch zone. So I have a collection of soft Santas, decorations, ornaments, games and books that children can pull out and play with. When there are no children visiting these things are housed in the Children's Corner. but as soon as children arrive, the big stockingfilled with Christmas soft-toys, the toy basket and whatever else the children fancy come out into the lounge room to be played with. The clock isn't one of the playthings - it's very precious to me!

Christmas in the littlest room

A row of little snowmen sit on a collection of old white jars on the windowsill above the downstairs loo. These jars are special in that they are the only decorative items in my house that maintain their position all year. Everything else in the house is on display either at Christmas or during the rest of the year. These jars have a reprieve because I like the way the snowmen look sitting on the jars.
My collection of Santa jumping jacks and 2 little elves (who used to be Pinocchios but became Christmas elves when I pulled their noses out).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas in the Study

These Santas are sitting on my filing cabinet. My collection of Santa pens is in the Santa mug at front right, and my 3 little Santa erasers are there too.
Here's the right-hand corner of my desk. All the cross stitch here was stitched for me as gifts by my niece Aislinn over the past 5 years. It's hard to see on this photo, but my everyday pens are sitting in a Santa mug.

This gorgeous pair are made from 2 litre bleach bottles, and they sit by the filing cabinet guarding the doorway to the downstairs loo. I bought them from the maker at a local market 20 yrs ago.