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.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jo's Advent Blog Hop - Day 11

11th December - my turn to put in a post on Jo's Advent Blog Hop.  The picture I have chosen is of my Craft Tree - the Christmas Tree on which I have displayed my stitched Christmas ornaments and my beaded angels.  If you want to see some angels, enlarge the picture and look carefully between the branches. My beaded angels vary from about 1 cm to about 15 cm tall (0.5" to 6" tall) , and there are over 100 scattered over the tree.  The tree itself is a 1990s tree which was rescued after it had been abandoned by its family.  It is the first time I have put up a tree just for my handiwork.  In all, I have 7 large Christmas trees in my house this year, and this one is my favourite.

More views of the tree:

Boxing Day - here in Australia there are two things strongly associated with Boxing Day, and they are hot dry weather (I'm talking high 30s to 40s C -over 100 F), and sport.  On Boxing Day there are two big sporting events: it's Day 1 of  a cricket Test match; and the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.  In my house it is also Day 1 of the unpacking of Christmas and return of the house (freshly cleaned) to its usual state.  So, I will be knee deep in tissue paper and boxes, wrapping up Santas and Angels that are like old friends, and packing them for storage until next November, and in the background will be the cricket and yachting reports on the TV. It about 2 weeks to complete the transformation.  I used to like to have the house back to its normal state by New Year's Day, but these days I am much slower.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for November

Yes, late again - honestly, I just don't know what I do with my time these days - but it seems my ability to stick to a schedule has become most unreliable.  I really need to do some work on it. That sounds like the start of a New Year's resolution, but really, I don't want to go there yet.

I thought I had finished all my cross stitch Christmas gifts, but I've just added another five to my list.  No stitching to show yet, but I will be back next month with the finished ornaments.  However, I can show you a picture of most of the ornaments I have stitched this year.  It's not a perfect picture - I did consider taking them out of their plastic bags to get rid of the glare from the plastic, but I decided that was too much work. They have now all been wrapped or placed in gift bags ready for giving.

I did make some crocheted booties for my newest great-niece.  She is 3 months old now, and a very long thin baby with long feet.  Her mother (my niece) complained that she was having problems with footwear - anything long enough in the foot to fit Sarah was way too big around her ankles.  So I made some booties with long narrow soles and adjustable at the ankles.  I used 8 ply wool, scraps that I had in the house.

So, a relatively unproductive month for me.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Smalls SAL report for October

I'm happy to be able to make a Smalls SAL report this month.  It seems like quite a while since my last one.  I have stitched and finished four little Christmas ornaments in the past couple of weeks.  First, a Baby's First Christmas ornament for my niece's new daughter.

 Teddy is a DMC on-line freebie

And three Christmas ornaments for three young pre-school boys who are first cousins.

The candy cane design is from a monthly calendar printed in a very old issue of
an  American cross stitch magazine (Just Cross  Stitch I think)

This will probably be my final Smalls Report for this year, as I have now reached the end of my stitching list for 2017.  I'll be back in 2018.  I have enjoyed being part of the Smalls SAL.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Finishes and then more finishes ... and a very late GG report

It's been a while since I have posted. I won't bore you with the details; suffice to say that I am not happy all with my body, various areas of which seem to be taking turns to go on strike. The latest issue, however, was a broken arm, for which I can blame no-one but myself.  I came upstairs with my hands full of empty coffee mugs and assorted debris, stopped to look at something in the dining room, stepped back to get a better perspective, unknowingly stepping right into the dog's (empty) dish, lost my balance, and the next thing I knew I was in a heap on the floor, with a very odd looking arm.  It's been sorted now, and I have graduated to a removable splint.  I now have the use of my fingers, which has allowed me to finish up the 20+ stitched Christmas ornaments that were sitting in my work basket (all destined to be Christmas gifts).

So, here are my finished ornaments.

The angel design is from Graphworks #16, Mini Motif Designs for Christmas Vol III, 1983
The Santa design is from BH&G's 101 Chrstmas Cross Stitch Designs, 1999

The snowpeople designs are from BH&G's 101 Christmas Designs, 1999

Adapted from BH&G's Treasury of Christmas Cross Stitch, 2003

 Santa is a Sam Hawkins design
The border is adapted from Give Love for Christmas ornament in JCS Christmas Ornament Issue 2015

Teddy is adapted from a DMC on-line freebie

JOY, the trees, and some of the small backstitched designs are adapted from BH&G's on-line heart freebie;
the angels are adapted from a Pat Waters design, A Christmas Collection, 1986;
The 'Memories' verse is from a design in 2015 JCS Annual Ornament Issue

Santa is from BH&G's Christmas Cross Stitch Designs, 1999

The stocking is (rather heavily) adapted from a stocking design in LA's Christmas Caboodle #4, 1986

JOY, the trees, and some of the small backstitched designs are adapted from BH&G's on-line heart freebie

Adapted (very heavily) from The Drawn Thread's First Snow on-line freebie

JOY and the trees are adapted from BH&G's on-line heart freebie

Dale Burdett's teddy (with minor changes) from A Mini Christmas, 1990

Adapted from TIAG's Amish Angel (1986 on-line freebie)

Teddy is adapted from a DMC on-line freebie

And now my 'finishing frenzy' is over. And most of the items on my stitching 'to do' list are completed  Just 5 or 6 more ornaments, and my stitching work for 2017 will be done.  I didn't get as much of Christmas Dreams stitched as I had hoped ... hardly a surprise to me!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

GG Report for July

I have been stitching most days as I sit in my recliner, which is pretty much what I am allowed to do these days.  I have an appointment to see a neurologist n Wednesday, so hopefully I will know more then, and maybe even have a plan for the future.  So, no finishes to show (there are now 17 in my basket waiting to be finished - hopefully soon).  But I do have some stitched Christmas ornaments to show.  They are all destined to be Christmas gifts for family members.

I stitched this little teddy for our latest family member, a great-nephew born this week.

Teddy is a DMC on-line freebie.
  I changed the floss colours and added some backstitching.

This teddy is for another great-nephew born earlier in the year.  I have at least one more of these to make this year, for a niece's baby due in late August.  Baby's gender is a mystery at present, so I may be seeking out the blue or the pink fabric for teddy.

Teddy is a DMC on-line freebie.
  I changed the floss colours and added some back-stitching.

And I stitched two more teddies - this time a Dale Burdett design, a real favourite of mine. I think every baby born into the extended family or friendship group with the past 20 years will have one of these teddies hanging on the Christmas Tree before they trot off to school. These are for two first cousins who will be having their second Christmas this year.

Dale Burdett design.  Floss colours changed.

I'll be hopping around to check progress of other GG'ers.

Thanks for popping by.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Smalls SAL Report for June

It's been a difficult month for me.  An unexpected health issue which left me immobile for some weeks and has left me with restrictive mobility limitations and the prospect of spinal surgery in the not too distant future.  At the same time, and for totally unrelated reasons beyond my control,  I was without phone and internet service. I was not a happy pussy cat! One of the things I can not do is stand in one place, and this has interrupted my creative flow.  Usually I stitch up a batch of 4-6 ornaments, then make them up.  My ornament count is now 13 stitched, nil finished up.  I am hopeful I'll be able to launder a few stitched ornaments soon so I can finish them up.

Most of the ornaments I have stitched are shown in the post below. So, I will just show you the two finished most recently.

I stitched this one for my second oldest niece.  I know she will like this Santa, as she stitched and framed  a very similar Santa for me about 6 years ago as a Christmas present.
Santa is a BH&G design

I stitched this one for a much loved nephew and his partner, who like the colour blue but really are not great fans of Christmas, despite my best efforts!
Some of the elements in this ornament (JOY, trees) came from designs in the 
Love Heart freebie on the BH&G website

I am unable to sit in my computer chair for more than 10 minutes at a time, so I;m off to the recliner now.  I will pop in to see the Smalls SAL reports when I can.

Friday, June 23, 2017

My very late Gifted Gorgeousness Report for Jume

It feels as if so many things have conspired to stop me from completing my June Gifted Gorgeousness Report, but here I am at last. For most of this month I have had no telephone or internet service, and I was so pleased to discover tonight that my service has been restored.  My whole area has been out because of line issues at the exchange.  It's good to know the problem has been fixed at last. I have also had a few health issues which have limited my mobility, but that is improving too.

As usual, all my stitching qualifies for GG, since everything I have stitched in the past month will be gifted.  I have stitched 9 Christmas ornaments and crocheted a couple of little hats.  I'll start with the crochet:

The pink one is for my 2 yr old great-niece Annabelle, and the small one is for Annabelle's baby brother or sister, expected any time now.

And nine Christmas ornaments, stitched and waiting to be finished up:

I have pushed past my limit at the computer tonight, so I will have to leave it at that.  I will come back and visit the blogs so I can see all the GG progress.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Smalls SAL report for May

It's time, once again, for the monthy Smalls SAL. I didn't post last month, as I was enjoying a relaxing camping holiday with very limited access to power and none at all to the computer.

I have stitched three small projects this month.  This one is the smallest - it fits into one of the little gold frames (just a tad over 2.5cm or 1" square) I've been using lately.  A truly tiny finish.

Santa adapted from a chart in BH&G's treasury of Cross-Stitch booklet

My other two finishes are snowmen, which will be finished as Christmas ornaments to be given as Christmas gifts to English brothers, grandchildren of an old friend.  I've not stitched many snowpeople, as I live in an area where snow just doesn't happen, and we don't associate snowpeople with Christmas in the way that is common in the northern hemisphere.  It has been a pleasure to stitch this little pair, so I think I will stitch a third, for a young member of our extended family who lives in New York.  The charts for these little snowmen came from BH&G's 101 Christmas Cross-Stitch Designs booklet, published in 1999. I changed the floss colours and some of the facial features.

Thanks for popping by.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yay! Some finishes for May

In the last few days I have finished up the ornaments I stitched on my camping holiday and after my return.  So now I am happy!

This one is my favourite.  It will find itself hanging on one of my Christmas trees this year, instead of wrapped for delivery to its intended recipient.  Such is life! Love Heart freebie (with a few changes)

Two ornaments, one each for two gorgeous little Kiwi sisters, grandchildren of an old friend.

Santa Alphabet from LA's Alphabets Galore book

 I have decided to give this one to my youngest sister.  She has one of my stitched Christmas ornaments or framed Christmas designs  for each year since 1985.

 The Drawn Thread freebie First Snow, with lots of changes
 (fabric, floss, hearts instead of birds, snow omitted, greeting added)

I stitched this for the dog belonging to the family of my oldest niece.  If you have excellent vision and a very good imagination, you might see a row of bones across the middle of the ornament.

Santa Hat Alphabet from Jeanette Crews Designs Christmas Alphabets and Borders booklet

This ornament will now become a Christmas gift for my oldest nephew and his wife.

This one contains bits and pieces of designs from a variety of sources
Santa is from BH&G Treasury of Cross Stitch; 
the bow garland is adapted from Jeanette Crews '59 Christmas Motifs';
'JOY' and the Christmas trees from BH&G Love Heart freebie;
the angels are adapted from Pat Waters 'A Christmas Collection'.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for May

Two months since I last posted - and not  much stitching done in that time-frame. I did, however, have a lovely camping holiday that I enjoyed very much.  We traveled south, and camped by several rivers and lakes.  I saw many beautiful sunsets, and a few majestic sunrises (I'm sure there were more, but I slept through them), stunning night skies, and beautiful bird life.  This is a snap taken at Lake Cargelligo in western NSW, the last of our campsites.  From the camper van door I could touch these trees. The most amazing thing for me about Lake Cargelligo (apart from the most beautiful sunrises, which spanned 360 deg around the lake) was that when I stood on the edge of the lake and looked right around it, all i saw was natural vegetation - no development at all.  Of course, there was a small town just 3 km behind me, but I was able to block that from my thoughts!

So, my stitching, such as it is. No progress at all to report on Christmas Dreams - Santa is still resting. I did stitch five ornaments which I have not yet made up, and four more tiny  Christmas cross stitched designs which I have framed in tiny frames.

The teddy bear design is adapted from a chart in LA's Christmas Miniatures leaflet.

 These ornaments are for Kiwi sisters,grandchildren of an old friend.  I still have a little stitching to do on the back of Annabelle's ornament.

 Santa Alphabet from LA's Ultimate Alphabets book.

I stitched this for one of my nieces. I changed the colours, made a few adjustments to the design to define the areas more strongly, and to accommodate my finishing method, and added the beads.
Better Homes & Gardens on-line freebie from

This ornament is for my youngest sister.  It's a mix of designs from a variety of sources.  The Santa chart is in BH&G Treasury of Christmas Cross Stitch 2003; 'JOY' and the tree shapes are from the BH&G heart freebie (above); and the angels are from Pat Waters 'A Christmas Collection 1986.

This one is for another niece.  It's adapted from The Drawn Thread's on-line freebie First Snow.  I changed the birds to hearts, omitted the snow flakes and snow, and added the star button and the greeting.  And of course I chose my own fabric and floss (I was hundreds of km from the nearest needlework shop - I had to use what I had with me).

So, there it is. Not much to show for two months work, but  all I have.  I will be finishing these ornaments in the next week or so, and then I think I will stitch a few more of the ornaments on this year;s 'To Do' list.   I fear that there'll be no progress on Christmas Dreams at the June report.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for March

It;s time for the Gifted Gorgeousness Report for March.  Somehow it always catches me by surprise.  My days are flying past this year, and I'm hoping it slows down sometime soon.

All my stitching in the past month qualifies for the GG report one way or another.  I stitched and framed six little wreaths to add to my gift basket for Christmas visitors.  The heart shaped wreath design is adapted from a Pat Waters design, from her Christmas Memories leaflet that I have had in my stash for many years.  I changed all the floss colours and added the beads and buttons.  The Christmas tree hiding among the wreaths is the one I stitched in February.  I have been looking for a frame to suit it but when I had no luck I decided to  make a few little changes to it so it would (almost!) fit in one of the tiny oval frames.

Early in March I finished up the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit growth sampler for my great nephew.  I actually unpicked some of the blue flourish at the bottom, because to my eye it was too unbalanced. The timing was good, as Angus's big boy bed arrives this week, and his room is in the process of being redecorated. This kit was given to my niece as a baby shower gift, and she asked me to stitch it for her.  I was very pleased to hand over the completed sampler yesterday - but I will be getting it back when it's time to add more age details to the chart, and when it needs a wash.  Angus is expecting a little brother or sister in August, so I will be looking for a different growth sampler to stitch for the new baby.

I have also made a little progress on Christmas Dreams.  I am now about a quarter through my 20th page (just 46 & 3/4 more pages to go). I took this pic with the fabric still on my floor frame, so it's only showing the bit I am working on now.  I will celebrate each 'row' finish by taking the fabric off the frame, and getting a pic of the whole thing.  Don't hold your breath - at my current rate of progress it is going to be ages till I finish this row!  I have only another week to work on Christmas Dreams, them I will be unable to work on it for the next 6 weeks or so.  So it will be the May GG report when I next show progress on Christmas Dreams. I hope to have my 20th page finished by then.

So that is my story for the month.  Thank you for visiting.  I am keen to see all the lovely GG reports.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Smalls SAL For February

This year is disappearing super-fast.  Already time for the second Smalls SAL report.  Most of my stitching time in the past month has been spent on my SantaWIP, but I did manage to stitch up another 9 tiny Christmas trees to decorate and frame.  I'll be adding these to my gift basket for Christmas visitors this year.

Here are the naked trees:

And here they are again, decorated with buttons and/or beads:

And now framed in their tiny frames:

And here is one more slightly larger tree I have decorated.  It is waiting for an appropriately sized frame, but it will still be only the around 5cm mark.

So, that's my 'smalls' stitching for February.  I'll enjoy visiting blogs of other Smalls SAL'ers to see what lovely things have been created in February.