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 11, 2013

Another two ornaments finished

Christmas ornaments for two young neighbours.  The angel is a Pat Waters design, and the Santa chart came from an old issue of BH&G's Christmas Ideas magazine.

That leaves just one more ornament to stitch for this year.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A special Christmas ornament

This ornament is for my niece's much-loved dog, Tilly, who will be celebrating her second Christmas this year.  If you have very good eyesight and use a little imagination, you might see (as I do) doggy treat bones decorating the wreath.

No designer to credit for this one - it's one that just grew as I stitched.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another two ornaments finished

These are for Georgia and her new baby sister Elsie, great-nieces of a good friend.

The little stocking is adapted from the stocking design in LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet, and the teddy is one of Dale Burdett's designs.

This brings my Christmas ornament total for 2013 to 38.  I have decided to stitch four more ornaments, three for neighbour children, and one for my niece's beloved dog Tilly.  Then I will definitely put my ornie stitching basket away for the year.  I do have one more thing on my stitching list for 2013 - a wedding sampler for my niece Ciara and her fiance Johnny.  I hope to start that soon, but I don't yet have the chart.  Ciara's sister Aislinn is designing the sampler, and I fear the design is still in the development stage.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I found three more ornaments to stitch

and now they're stitched and made up.  These ornaments will be Christmas gifts for three gorgeous young Irish-Aussie sisters who will, I hope, visit me this Christmas.

The angel design is very loosely based on TIAG's Amish Angel freebie.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another three ornaments finished

These are the last of the ornaments on my stitching list for 2013.  They are for three young sisters who quite like a little bling on their Christmas ornaments.  If my calculations are right, that makes 33 ornaments finished this year.

The little Santa is adapted from a chart in an old issue of BH&G's Christmas Ideas magazine (possibly 1974 issue).

Miss Maddie is still doing very well.  Apart from our twice daily battle of wills about taking her tablets (I do make sure I always win that one) she is very settled and seems to be quite contented.  Here she is in her basket.  She loves her sheepskin - she's lets me know she's not happy when it's in the wash,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My third recycled angel

I never thought I would have a use for the tiny black acrylic stars I have had in my bead box for ages - but they were just right for this angel!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Two new angels

They didn't start their lives as angels, but it's amazing what a pair of wings and some Christmas bling will do! Both these dolls were rescued from garage sales, and they are now going to have a second life in my house.

 I'll be making another set of wings shortly, for the third rescued angel-to-be.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy News

I am so pleased to report that Miss Maddie is much improved, and almost back to her usual self.  She has responded well to her new medications, and her heart is pumping more strongly now.  Although she tires easily, and needs more frequent periods of sleep during the day, behaviourally she is just the way she was before she got sick.  In fact, she is eating better and certainly drinking more. Even the Vet admits she is improved, and she has now graduated to monthly vet checks instead of the weekly visits we have been having.  I am so happy!  Here are some pics I took tonight.

And I have even managed some stitching.  Here are four ornaments I finished up today.  The little Santa design is adapted from a chart that I saw in an old issue of BH&G's Christmas Ideas magazine - I think it was the 1974 issue.  The tree is adapted from a Dale Burdett chart.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Two more little finishes

They are stitched over 1 on 22 count hardanger.  The trees are adapted from Dale Burdett's Country Tree design (from her booklet DB 132, A Mini Christmas, 1990).  I have to admit to stitching this design frequently - it's one of my favourites.  I do usually change the tree decorations.

On a sadder note, my Madalyn (14 yr old Maltese Terrier) has been very ill in the past week.  Last Tuesday she was very distressed, with laboured rapid breathing, racing heartbeat, and distended abdomen.   As I was getting  ready to take her to the vet she fitted.  It's not the first time she has had a fit, but I have never seen her as physically distressed as she was that morning.  I rushed her to the vet's surgery, and she was admitted for treatment of heart failure and pulmonary oedema.  They gave her a medications and oxygen, and took an X-Ray which showed her heart was enlarged, there was a lot of fluid in and around her lungs, and also her liver, spleen, kidney, and lymph nodes were all enlarged.  The vet was doubtful she would survive the day. She spent the morning in a humidicrib having oxygen, and surprisingly, she responded to the combination of treatment.  The vet was negative about her chances of pulling through, but we decided to bring her home on oral heart and fluid tablets, and an analgesic. She was like a little rag doll, but gradually improved, and today she is almost back to normal behaviourally, though her breathing is still fast at times.  She goes back to see the vet on Monday, so I'm keen to get his opinion of her progress.  I am very pleased with how she is coming along. I hope that now she is on medication for her heart we can keep her heart failure under control. This is the first time she's had a problem with her heart.

This is one of my favourite recent photos of Maddie - it's not the most flattering, but it does capture her charm - or am I just biased?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Three little ornaments finished

Happy me!  I am going upstairs right now to sort out my stitching basket and get organised for the next batch of ornaments. I've had enough of this sitting around being unproductive!  Looks like the pain-killers and iron tablets have kicked in - I am feeling much more like my old self these days!

These three ornaments include elements adapted from designs in Sam Hawkins '50 Santas to Cross Stitch' booklet (1993), and the 'Believe' motif is adapted from the BH&G '101 Christmas Designs' booklet.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A little progress - well, at least it's a start!

At last - I've picked up my needle again, and stitched that ornament I've been thinking about for so long.  Just stitched - not yet finished up.  That's a project for the coming week, along with the other two stitched ornaments that have been sitting in my work basket for so long.

The Santas are adapted from Sam Hawkins designs, and the 'Believe' design is adapted from BH&G's '101 Christmas Cross-Stitch Designs' booklet.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Back again - its been a while

It's quite some time since I updated my blog.  There's been no stitching progress to speak of in the intervening months.  This is most unusual for me, it must be years since I've had such a stitching slump.  I have stitched two ornaments that have been waiting to be made up for some months now.  This week  I have started stitching another ornament, but progress is slow. I do need to get stitching again, as I still have a lot of ornaments on my stitching list.  I plan to finish stitching the current ornament this month, and also make up the three ornaments. 

I took this photo in my front garden at 1am this morning.  It's a tawny frogmouth, and I was so pleased to see him, as he was hit by a car several months ago and returned to health by the local wildlife carers.  I had been watching out for him but this was the first time I got a clear view of him.  He seemed to be posing for me.  He waited while I got Maddie inside (she was out for her last toileting before bed) and found my camera, then sat there while I took several photos.


And, just so she doesn't get jealous, here's a recent photo of Maddie, doing what she does best - sleeping in her basket.
 and here she is just thinking about getting up for a drink of water.
That's all for now.  I should be back before the end of the month with stitching pics to show.

Friday, April 19, 2013

At last - some stitching progress!

I finally managed to get the ornament I stitched in March finished up.
The design is heavily adapted from LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet stocking design.

In April I also stitched and have just finished up another four ornaments.
This one is from a very old Christmas Miniatures leaflet (I changed all the floss colours).
This next one is a Sam Hawkins design.
And this one is from adapted from a Dale Burdett design.

and this last one has a teddy bear greeting from an old Christmas Miniatures leaflet, and the rest just grew as I stitched.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Progress Report

Progress?  Not much stitching this month, I'm afraid.  I did manage to stitch up one Christmas ornament, for Sarben, a new arrival in the extended family, but I haven't yet added beads or made it up.  Here it is:
The design is loosely based on the little stocking ornament in LA's Christmas Caboodle leafket from way back in the 1980s. 
So much has happened this month, it has just flown by, and I really hadn't noticed that no stitching was getting done.  My partner's mother has moved into her aged care hostel, and absolutely settled in incredibly fast.  She just loves it - loves the company, the activities, the food, the staff, and her room and little garden.  We found her an old-fashioned phone with large number pad that took 13 speed dial numbers, and she is managing to use that, which is a great relief. The small phone she had before was way too hard for her to manage, and as her two remaining sisters live a 6 hr drive away it means she can still have phone contact with them.  So, apart from settling her into her new home, we have been preparing her unit for sale - clearing the contents and cleaning.  As lots of her items ended up in our house, this also involved cleaning and repacking all the storage areas in my house (pantry, all the  kitchen cupboards, buffet, linen press, assorted trunks and boxes, the study cupboard, and my filing cabinet).  We have taken car loads of items to the local charity shop, and the job is just about finished.  Her unit still has its furniture, but all the cupboard contents are gone, and it's clean and ready for sale.  Here's hoping it sells quickly!
Here's a pic of Joan in her new room:
Joan is holding a reluctant Madalyn on her knee.  Miss Maddie now has two aged care facilities on her visiting list, and she is very popular whenever she arrives at either!  It seems as if every resident who ever owned a dog is excited to see her and wanting to talk to her and pat her.  Maddie tolerates it with good grace, but often I get the sense that it's not her favourite part of the day. There is a resident dog, Cameo, at Joan's hoste, and it is very friendly.  Whenever she sees me there with Maddie she comes over to sit with us for a while.  Maddie's favourie place in Joan;s hostel is Joans garden.  She always asks to go out and explore it whenever we're there.  It's a nice little area, which linls to all the other garden that surrounds the hostel.  We were able to take in lots of Joan's garden items ( eg table and chairs, pot plants, bird bath) to make the garden feel familiar for her.  Here's a pic:

It would have been convenient if Joan and my Dad were both in the same aged care facility, but they're not - they are at opposite ends of town!  So the car is getting quite a workout these days.  My Dad is not doing so well, physically.  He is tired and although he says he is not in pain, he looks as if he is.  Often he is in bed when I visit these days, and that's unusual for him. His appetite is not so good, and he is so breathless on exertion.  Often I still manage to get him to come out for a drive and an ice-cream, but the coffee shop visits had to stop as the exertion was too much for him, even with the wheelchair for transport from car to table. 
We also managed to squeeze in a 3-day trip to Melbourne which included a visit to Melbourne zoo and an up close encounter with the meerkats.  Such a treat! Here's the pic to prove it (that's me in the sunglasses on the left):
So that's my story for March.  I hope April is a quieter month and that I can get back to some stitching! 
Measi - hope all is well and that your family is healthy and having a happy time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February progress report

I managed to finish up the Sam Hawkins heart Santa tonight.  I think I prefer this one to the one I stitched in January over 2 on 24 count evenweave. 

So, in February I stitched and finished a total of 11 ornaments - 10 angels and one Santa.

These are the Angels:

A Santa stitched

It's the second time I've stitched this (Sam Hawkins heart) Santa this year, but this one is much more compact, as I stitched it over 1 on 22 count using two strands of floss and Continental stitch.  It's going to be a Christmas ornament, a gift for the lovely mother (& MIL) of the young couple for whom I stitched the other Santa earlier this year.  The stitched ornament isn't really as distorted in shape as the picture suggests!  I hope to finish the ornament up tomorrow, time permitting.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The last of my February angel ornaments

I am so pleased to have finished making up my angels.  Now I recall why I usually restrict my batch of ornaments to four or five - ten to make up is a little overwhelming.

Yesterday we had a really lovely experience.  I was concerned about how my partner's mother would react when we viewed her room at the hostel, but my concerns were  totally unwarranted.  The room was being painted when we visited, but we were able to measure up and make decisions about what furniture to bring.  Joan loved the whole experience, and said several times "I think I'm going to be very happy here",  She was thrilled to find her room opens onto her own little garden area (actually that was one of the major factors involved in our choice of this hostel), and she was very pleased to hear that one of the residents is looking for a Scrabble partner - Joan's favourite game.  She met some of the residents and got involved in activities, and it all went so well.  So, it's all stations go now.  She'll be moving in next Wednesday, and it will take us from now to then to label clothes and pack.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Five more angel ornaments finished

They're all adapted from TIAG's 1986 Christmas angel freebie .  I still have three to make up - I'll do them as soon as I can.  Then I'm having a rest from angels - back to Santas I think!

Life is pretty hectic in my world.  My Dad's renal and cardiac failure is progressing, and he is so very tired and often confused and a little aggressive.  It is so hard to see him suffer.  He says he has no pain, but I think he must.  In the past he has had three heart attacks without any complaints of pain at all.  He has had enough of this struggle to live.

And today we heard that my partner's mother has been offered a room in the aged care hostel she has chosen to move to.  As soon as we told her the bed was available, she protested that she;s not ready yet - but really, she is.  She has no short term memory at all, and we are starting to be very concerned for her safety as she lives alone and has refused to move in here.  Tomorrow (well, technically today, as I just noticed my clock says 3.52am) we're all going over to view the room and look at what furniture etc can fit in it.  Wish us luck!  It's not going to be an easy time for any of us.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two down - just 8 more to go

I finished these two tonight.

I'm aiming at finishing two each day for the next four days.  Time will tell!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Six more little angels stitched

Once again, they're (rather heavily) adapted from TIAG's Amish Angel (1986 freebie).  So that makes ten angels stitched  - and none made up into ornaments yet (though I do have all the backs stitched and ready to go).  I now need to make up the ornaments before it all gets out of control!  So I guess that will keep me safely out of mischief for the next week or so.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Four little angels stitched

These little angels will become gifts for four special girls this Christmas. As you can see, the fourth angel hasn't yet had her border stitched, but that will happen soon.  These angels are Told in A Garden freebies - from 1986  and 1987 .  I changed some of the floss colours, substituted hair for the cap on the 1986 angel, added back-stitching, and changed some of the dress detail.  I also used beads for the wings.  I'll be stitching another angel in this batch, and then I'll make all five up into ornaments.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The last of the January ornaments are now made up

I finished up the two Dale Burdett Christmas Teddies today.

So now I can kit up some angel designs for my February ornaments.

My Dad is much weaker today, more confused, but quite happily resting in bed in his pyjamas and enjoying the extra TLC his weakened condition entitles him to.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Another January ornament finished up

This is the Sam Hawkins heart Santa.  It's a Christmas gift for a delightful young couple who married earlier this month.

Just the two Christmas teddies to finish up now, and then I can start on my February ornaments.

I'm feeling very sad today, so it's been good to have something to work on to take my mind off my troubles.  My Dad's doctor rang today to tell me that his renal function is now severely impaired.  He is 90 (though he believes that he has turned 100, and there is no dissuading him from this delusion), and has had chronic renal failure and severe heart failure for many years, so it didn't come as a total surprise.  My Dad also has dementia, and has been in an aged care facility for the past 3 years.  His quality of life is not great, and I know he is tired of the struggle to keep going.  His lips are purple all the time, and he is breathless on the slightest exertion, though he still manages to walk short distances.  He is so very weary.  I am his guardian,  and today I signed the papers authorising palliative care only, and no aggressive medical treatment for his renal and cardiac failure. I know this decision is the right one for my Dad, and I have the support of my five siblings and assorted adult nieces, nephews and cousins, and my Dad's doctor.  But that doesn't make me feel any better about making it, and signing those papers.  Sometimes logic just doesn't help. So I've had no sleep at all, and my mind is running wild.  I hope it settles down soon.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The two Donna Kooler Santa ornaments

Today I added the bead border to the larger Donna Kooler Santa, and made up both ornaments   The larger one was stitched as a gift for a Christmas visitor, but there's a strong chance it may stay in my Santa ornament collection.  I do like it very much, and I haven't stitched this Santa before.  The crescent Santa ornament is for my youngest sister, Wendy. I have stitched an ornament for her each year since 1982 (which is when I first started to cross stitch), so she has quite a collection, but this will be her first crescent Santa.  I always stitch a Christmas message on the back of Wendy's ornament - here's the back of this one:

Tomorrow I will start finishing the Sam Hawkins heart Santa, and by the end of the weekend the two Dale Burdett Christmas teddies should also be finished up.  In February I will be stitching ornaments for some little girls - perhaps some angels.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Ornament SAL Report for January

I have stitched five Christmas ornaments in January, but I haven'r yet made them up.  I'll be doing that in the next week.    Here are my ornaments:

A Donna Kooler Santa (from her paperback 555 Christmas Designs to Cross Stitch, 2000):

Another Donna Kooler Santa (crescent Santa) from the same book, and two of Dale Burdett's Santa Teddies;
 And lasy but not least, a Sam Hawkins Santa:

I'll be getting out my beads tonight and starting the finishing (my favourite part of ornament making!)