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, December 16, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for December

15th December -  it's time for the final Gifted Gorgeousness report for 2022. GG is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.

 I have just a few things to show this month. I stitched and framed a birth sampler for my youngest greatnephew. I used the same Clare Crompton dinosaur alphabet that I used in the birth samplers I made for his older brother and first cousin.

I also made a few more Christmas ornaments. The large wreath is a Clare Cromoton design; the teddy was an old DMC freebie; the Santa stocking is adapted from Kooler's Littlest Stocking design; and the two small wreaths are adapted from designs in an old Pat Wade leaflet called (I think) Christmas Collection II.

I have now finished all my gift stitching for 2022, and I have sorted out my floss and fabric ready for 2023.  

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Advent Blog Hop - December 11

 Here in Australia we have reached December 11, though I know in many places it's still December 10.  Nevertheless, here is my contribution to the Advent Blog Hop for the December 11 door.  The Advent Blog Hop is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  This blog hop is the one I enjoy most each year. Anyone who knows me will understand why.   I am a great fan of Christmas  and I do attempt to keep Christmas alive in my house all year.  This year Jo has given us two tasks: to show something Christmas or winter related, and to discuss Christmas meal 'afters'.

I have lots of my Christmas craft projects which I could show, and all of them are currently on display in the house. There are dozens of framed Christmas cross stitches, literally hundreds of beaded angels, a smaller number of painted Santas, some crocheted angels, a few Christmas trees,  and dozens of stitched ornaments.  On a whim I have rejected all of those, and selected some wreaths I have made over the years.

This is the first wreath I made, many years ago. I wasn't planning to make a wreath.  My task at the time was to reorganise my craft room. In the process I found an old cane wreath base, the foliage from a discarded artificial Christmas tree, and a box of very old Christmas baubles, many of which had lost their hangers. On the spur of the moment I decided to put them all together and with the help of a hot glue gun that is exactly what I did. This wreath is about 60 cm (2ft) in diameter. At present it is hanging in the back stairwell (from kitchen level to laundry).

The next wreath is currently hanging at the top of the main stairs. It is larger than the first wreath I made, about 75 cm (2'6") in diameter. My motivation for making this wreath was to reduce the amount of pre-loved Christmas baubles I had collected. I used an old cane wreath for the base.

My third wreath is my favourite, and my latest. I made it to hang near my angels  and used an old  heart shaped wreath base I found at a garage sale, and baubles from my collection. It is currently hanging in my loungeroom, near my Angel tree. It is the smallest of the wreaths I have made, and measures about 45cm (18") at its longest point.

When it comes to Christmas  'afters', it's complicated.  For us, Christmas is in summer, and it's usual to have temperatures hovering around 40 deg C (over 100 deg F). While some (mainly older) people do the full cooked Christmas meal thing, the majority (including my extended family), will opt for seafood, cold meats, and salads for Christmas lunch, which in our family would usually be served around 2pm.  When it comes to 'afters', it's anything goes.  

My contribution is always gingerbread babies. I usually bake 4 or 5 batches in December, and each batch makes about 140 gingerbreads, which I package up in bags and tins for distribution to family and friends.  I  also make a double  batch of hazlenut biscotti because my youngest sister loves them. 

Usually the 'afters' would appear 2 or 3 hours after Christmas lunch finished and often would be the last food of the day.  Our Christmas sweets table will always offer warm Christmas Pudding (made each year by my Irish-born brother-in-law using his late mother's recipe) served with a choice of brandy custard, vanilla custard, icecream and whipped cream;  a large bowl of sherry trifle (layered sherry drizzled cake, chopped jelly, custard, fruit & whipped cream) made to my late mother's recipe; shortbread, biscotti, and gingerbread biscuits; and a large fresh tropical fruit platter. It sounds like a lot of food, and it is, but we have quite a large extended family, and there are always lots of leftovers, which get packaged up and sent home with family groups.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Smalls Report for November

 I have six little finishes to show today.  Four ornaments which I have added to my take-home gift basket, and two ornaments requested by a friend who has two new puppies in her extended family.

These are the two ornaments I stitched for the puppies:

The bunny design was in the Premier issue of LA's Celebrations magazine. I reversed the design to stitch the right-facing bunny, and changed floss colours.

These are the ornaments I added to my gift basket.  The angel wings and sleeves are taken from L&L's 1986 Christmas angel freebie.

To catch up on the Smalls stitching for November, head on over to Mary's blog.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for November

 Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, on the 15th of each month. Most of my stitching qualifies for inclusion,  as it is either stitched to be gifted, or stitched with gifted supplies.

I finished my Shannon Christine 12 Days of Christmas set, and I have to admit that I adore it. The colours are so pretty. I now have six completed 12 Days of Christmas sets, but that doesn't seem enough. I am hunting for a set to stitch next year. 

I made my final batch of Christmas ornaments for 2022.  I just have one more gift left to stitch this year - a birth sampler for a great nephew. I have stitched dinosaur birth samplers for all the boys in that branch of the family, so that's what I am planning for Louis.  I was about to start it yesterday but my fabric was not large enough, so I will have to wait till  the fabric I have ordered arrived. I may make a couple more ornaments for my Christmas visitor gift basket while I am waiting.

Here are my completed ornaments:

Three Clare Crompton wreaths, for two of my sisters and a niece.

DMC teddy for a new cousin

L&L's 1987 Angel freebie for a much loved Aunt

Two beaded Christmas Tree ornaments for my  Christmas visitor gift basket

Hopefully I will be back next month with a completed birth sampler to show. In the meantime I will enjoy seeing the GG stitching from other participants.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Smalls Report, October

 Mary at  Mary's Thread hosts the Smalls SAL on the last Friday of each month. Any small projects completed in the month are eligible for inclusion.

This month I stitched 14 more tiny designs and framed them in little gold-coloured frames at a niece's request. She is going to gift them at Christmas. The little Santa is a Sam Hawkins design, and it's a Kooler angel (with a few modifications). The others just grew as I stitched.

This month I also stitched and finished up six little beaded Christmas tree ornaments, to add to my take-home gift basket for Christmas visitors.

I should have some Smalls to show next month, but I am almost at the end of my 2022 stitching list. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

October Gifted Gorgeousness Report

 I'm late (again) with my Gifted Gorgeousness Report.  The days are just slipping away way too quickly.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching on the 15th of each month, and pretty much anything stitched with gifted supplies, or destined to be gifted, qualifies for inclusion. 

I've not got much to show this month. I did finish Days 9 & 10 of Shannon Christine's 12 Days of Christmas set, and I am trying to be patient as I wait for the arrival of the charts for the final two days so that I can complete the set.


A niece asked me to make some tiny stitched Christmas items she can use as small gifts, so I stitched some little designs and framed them in some tiny frames I have had in my stash for over 10 years.  

I hope to make up at least another box or two  (6 frames per box) for my niece.  I'll probably go with all trees, as they are my favourites.

I also made a batch of 20 beaded angels to add to my take-home gift basket for Christmas visitors. These angels are about 7cm (nearly 3") long. The bodies are clear cut glass, and colour up beautifully as they catch the light.

And that's all I have to show this month.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Smalls Report for September

I'm either late or early for the Smalls SAL, deoending on whether it's due on the 2nd last or last Friday of the month. I used to have a reliable memory for details like that, but I suspect those days are long gone now.  Anyway, here goes. Mary at Mary's Thread hosts the Smalls SAL, and has all the details.

It's been a quiet stitching month, as I've had lots of medical stuff going on.  I have managed to keep on track with my Shannon Christine 12 Days of Christmas SAL, stitching and finishing up Days 7 & 8 in September.  

I also stitched and finished up two Need'l Love Christmas Love ornaments, which are destined to be Christmas gifts for two nieces.

I had almost reached the end of my 2022 stitching list (just Days 9 - 12 of Shannon Christine's 12 Day set, and a Birth Sampler left to stitch), but a niece has just begged for some extra ornaments to give as gifts, so now I will be stitching at least till the end of November. I expect that I will have Smalls to show next month.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

September Gifted Gorgeousness Report

 It's been an unusual and quite stressful month, and cross stitch hasn't really been high on my priority list. My routine annual breast cancer check in late August didn't go quite to plan. The breast that had the cancer 4 years ago was fine, but they found a new lesion in the other breast. I had it removed early in September, and this week I got the biopsy results, which weren't great, but certainly could have been much worse. The next step is a course of 20 sessions of radiation, probably starting mid October.  The timing is not great, as my partner is battling a terminal cancer at present, and is not feeling so good.  I haven't picked up my cross stitch at all in September.  In the last two weeks of August I finished up a few things I had stitched earlier.


These two snowflake Christmas Trees (CrosstitchingForFun on eBay) are for my youngest sister and her son.  The trees are actually the same size, but I used a smaller frame for the one that has to travel half way across Australia. I really enjoyed stitching this design. 


This little cat ( a Barbara Monk design, floss colours changed) is for a cat-obsessed member of my extended family.

I finished up Days 5 & 6 of Shannon Christine's 12 Days of Christmas set ( stitched for me with gifted supplies).

I made another little Santa stocking for the older cousin of the twins for whom I made little Santa stockings a month or so ago. The Santa on the stocking is adapted from Kooler's Littlest Stocking design.

And I stitched, but have not yet finished up, two of these Heart Wreaths (The Need'l Love Company) for two nieces.

That is all I have to show this time.  I am hoping to stitch Days 7 & 8 of Shannon Christine's 12 Day set before the end of September, and I still have a baby sampler to stitch before December, so I am willing myself to pick up a needle and start stitching again. 

Pop over to Jo's blog Serendipitous Stitching to find the links to the other Gifted Gorgeousness reports. Anything stitched with gifted supplies, or stitched to be gifted qualifies for inclusion in the GG report.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness Report, August 2022

 I have just a few pictures to show for this month's Gifted Gorgeousness report.  GG is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching on the 15th of each month. Anything stitched with gifted supplies, or stitched to be gifted, qualifies for inclusion.

First up, Unicorn Kiss from Belle & Boo, which I stitched for my greatniece Sarah's fifth birthday. Sarah has an enduring fascination with unicorns, and when I saw this design I immediately wanted to stitch it for her. I did change floss colours to bring it in line with Sarah's preferences. I also omitted some of the backstitching. I framed it in a purchased frame with a 20cm x 25 cm (8" x 10") mount.  It was a great hit with Miss Sarah.

This little cat will be turned into a Christmas ornament for a cat-loving member of my extended family.  The chart is in Barbara Mock's Christmas Quickies booklet (Dimensions #175, 1990).

The only other stitching I have done is for me, but stitched with gifted charts, fabric, and floss: Days 5 and 6 of Shannon Christine's 12 Days of Christmas set. I am loving stitching this set.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness Report, July

July already. I'm not ready for it! Strictly speaking, I've missed the Gifted Gorgeousness reporting day, but fortunately for me, in most of the world it's still the 15th July, so I will just sneak in my report.  GG is hosted by Jo at  Serendipitous Stitching.

I stitched tiny Christmas stocking ornaments for the 6 year old twins of a new friend. If you've visited here before you will recognise the Santa stockings, as I have stitched many over the last few years. The chart I started with is Kooler Design Studio's 'Littlest Stockings', charted for plastic canvas. I smoothed out all the edges, made a few changes to the face, stitched a 'cuff', and added a back to make a real little stocking, just big enough to hold one of my beaded Christmas angels.

In June I joined Shannon Christine's Christmas Club, and stitched Days 1 and 2 of her 12 Days of Christmas set. I have now also stitched Days 3 and 4, and I have made all 4 up into Christmas ornaments 

My photography needs some work.  Despite appearances, all four are stitched on the same fabric, which is closer in colour to the bottom set than the top one, but not as dull looking as the bottom set. We are getting the charts 2 per month. I'm expecting Days 5 & 6 to arrive on August 1. My aim is to stitch and make up each set of 2 in the month I receive the charts, and also to stitch the external borders and the ornament backs for the next set of charts.  

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Smalls Report for June

 I'm late with my Smalls Report this month - the last Friday in June just slipped by un-noticed by me.  It's been that sort of month!

I have joined Shannon Christine's Christmas Club, which provides two 12 Days of Christmas charts each month June to November. I decided to try to stitch and finish each set of 2 ornaments before the next set of charts arrives. So far I'm on track. This month I have stitched Days 1 & 2, and I have 4 more days to finish them up before I get the the charts for Days 3 & 4.

I swapped white delica 11/0 beads for some of the cross stitches in the border; used gold delica 11/0 beads instead of the charted Mill Hill beads; substituted beads for gold cross stitched numbers; and used DMC fil or instead of the charted Kreinik VFB. I do regret not choosing a darker fabric for this set, butI think I can live with it. The white floss shows up clearer than in the photos.

And that is all I have to show this month. The Smalls Report is hosted by Mary at Mary's Thread.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness Report, June

 It's been a slow stitching month again, and once again I was surprised to see the date on the calendar.  15th June has three significances for me this year, some better than others.  My partner is off for another brain MRI looking for more metastatic cancers; it's my sister Gayle's birthday; and it's time for the monthly Gifted Gorgeousness report hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching .

It's a short GG report from me, though I did make up all the ornaments work basket at the end of May. The photos are in my last blog post. In June I have stitched and made up three little Santa Christmas ornaments.  The designer is Donna Vermillion Giampa, who designed the most gorgeous Santa faces. I love stitching her Santas, and I have stitched many over the years, all larger than this little set, but the chart for this set made it very hard work. The chart was printed in colour (not my favourite), with lots of duplicated symbols on slightly varying colours, and there were 37 floss colours, if you don't count the Kreinik charted. 

I have kitted up yet another 12 Days of Christmas set, and am about to start Day 1. I didn't intend to stitch another set, but when I saw Shannon Christine's beautiful 12 Day set I just couldn't stop myself from joining the SAL  particularly when I was offered the charts as a birthday gift. I've decided to stitch it on a pale blue fabric, which I already have in my work basket, left over from my last 12 Day set. I am excited to start this set. The floss colours are so pretty.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Smalls SAL, May


Very soon May 2022 will be just a memory. This year is slipping away at an alarming rate. I have a few Smalls 'finishes' to show this month. Mary from Mary's Thread is our host for the Smalls SAL, on the final Friday of each month.

I spent last week finishing off all the stitched designs in my work basket - well, all the ornament sized ones. I still have three waiting for framing.  

I have finished my 12 Days of Christmas set.  I stitched mine as individual ornaments, although the designer Barbara Sestok charted it as a single project.  I made a few little changes to the charted design, including removing the charted borders, and moving the numbers.  I made a few floss colour changes too.

And I also finished up these other ornaments, all of which will be Christmas gifts.

That's all I have to show this month. I'm hoping to be back in June with a few more finished ornaments (there are just 6 more on my stitching list for 2022).

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness report for May

 Last time I looked it was May 10. And now it's May 18. How did that happen! I certainly can't blame my stitching for my tardiness in writing my GG report. It's not been a very productive month.  I have little to show this time. 

I did stitch some little angels which will be Christmas gifts for a cousin and her 4 grand-daughters. The angel charts are L&L Christmas freebies from 1986 & 1987. I did give the Amish angels hair instead of caps  and I changed some floss colours.

I stitched a Sam Hawkins design for my cousin's grandson.

And as my cousin has a much-loved puppy, I stitched another gift-bearing rabbit design for Buddy. It's the same chart I used for a friend's puppies last month, and I really like the design, which I found in the premiere edition of LA's Celebrations magazine.

I stitched the rest of Barbara Sestok's 12 Days of Christmas designs. Hopefully next month I can show the set of 12 finished ornaments. As it stands now, just 4 have been finished up, and eight are waiting to be made up - along with another 11 stitched designs also requiring finishing into ornaments, and another two waiting to be framed. 

I hope to have lots of finished ornaments to show in the June GG report. Our host for Gifted Gorgeousness is Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  Most of my stitching qualifies for inclusion in GG  as it is either stitched to be gifted, or stitched with gifted supplies.

Friday, April 29, 2022

April Smalls Report

 It's been a slow stitching month for me. A busy month, but not as much stitching time as I would have liked. 

I did stitch a tiny Christmas stocking ornament. I think I may keep this one to hang on my own tree this Christmas.  As I have done before, I smoothed out the edges on Kooler's Littlest Stocking chart, and backed it to make it into a real little stocking.

I stitched two little Christmas ornaments for a friend's puppies.  I found the chart in the premier issue of LA's Celebrations magazine. 


I also stitched Day 10 of Barbara Sestok's 12 Day set. 

And I stitched three L& L Angel freebies (1986  & 1987).

I changed the floss colours, and swapped hair for the cap on the Amish Angel. I have another two to make - I'm thinking yellow and blue, maybe on ice blue floss. 

The Smalls  SAL is hosted by Mary at Mary's Thread, usually on the final Friday of each month.