Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Smalls SAL post

My first Smalls SAL post! I am unreasonably excited about this.

This is the small design from a By the Bay Needleart pattern set called Chilly Winter. The first image below is pretty true to color. It's stitched on a scrap of 32 count cloth, not sure by whom; the color is called "Fanci Blue." The charted house color was very...dark-mustard-y, and I didn't care for it. I went with a lighter yellow. I also restitched the two-tone smoke poof a few times until I liked the darker color (I settled on a blend of white and gray, one thread each).

I also attempted to make it up into an ornament. It turned out all right, I guess? I used gray felt, white rick-rack, and a couple of pearly buttons I had in a bag 'o buttons. It could be better. But it works for me for now.

Other small projects I finished this month:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A little heart, and a little fox

I finally got the rest of the Gentle Arts threads I had ordered for January and February of the Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL, and I made a lot of progress. Actually, I finished January. :D

I really like these patterns, though they are a challenge. I've never used quite this high a count fabric before, and my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. I had to use pins to help me count the long rows of stitches; I had to REALLY pay attention as I was stitching (I had to frog the tall flower stem twice because I was watching tv while stitching and messed up); I stitched over three on accident several times; and man, the eyelet stitch was tedious. My first time doing eyelet stitches, though. I think they turned out all right.

I'm looking forward to starting February!

Meanwhile, I put aside Mos Eisley and worked on a small heart thingie this past week. It's a freebie by Barbi from here. I'm not super happy with the colors. If I stitch it again, I'll choose different colors - brighter colors. But it's still a sweet little design.

More first-time stitches: satin stitch, and woven spider wheel stitch.

If I have any time to stitch tomorrow, I'm going to try to finish the last couple of leaves on Tall Oaks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I've made progress on my January goals. Tall Oaks looked a bit wintery a couple of weeks ago, but it has quite a few more leaves now:
I had to frog bits of the top-most branches and haven't put them back yet, but I still think I'll make my goal of finishing the tree, the leaves, and the critters in the tree (just have the bird yet to do). Next month I'll work toward finishing the roots, the birdsnest and the foxes, and get a start on the lettering in the border.
I've made progress on the redo of Bless This Home - Mos Eisley Edition, but I don't think I'll finish it by the end of the month. I'm getting tired of working on it, possibly because I'm restitching what I've already stitched before (if that makes sense). If I can get the rest of the little flower/heart bands done by end of month, I'll be happy.

No picture right now, but I also finished the border on the Joyful World SAL 'January' pattern, and even completed the name of the month. I think I'll get more done on this one than anticipated. I really like it. I'm enjoying stitching with the overdyed threads and on the very high count fabric; it's a departure from everything else I've done lately.

January goals updated:
  • finish something for the Smalls SAL done
  • finish the top of the reboot of Bless This Home - Mos Eisley Edition (this is my take-to-work project)
  • finish the tree, leaves, and critters in the tree on Tall Oaks
  • stitch the border, word, and flowers on the Joyful World SAL 'January' pattern
It's very cold here (high of 11*F yesterday, wind chill in the negatives) and we're supposed to get some snow tonight (yay snow! But not-yay having to take a vacation day if I can't get my car up my hill in the morning). My dog makes me very jealous in the morning. As I'm dragging myself out of bed, he's all:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

This is not stitchery but

I'm really pleased with it so I am going to share! I did a painting class last night; subject was a winter landscape. I really like how mine turned out.
(That is a UFO, yes. I felt the painting needed it. :) Not my frame, though. The teacher had us all put our paintings in the frame at the end to see how they would look all dressed up.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

And a plan for stitching big(ger) projects in 2016

I finally got the fabric and first set of threads for the Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL, and started on it last night. I also came to a decision. I'm going to go ahead and use the Gentle Arts threads for the project.

This means 2 things:

1. I won't be able to keep up with monthly completions, because I have to order the threads, and I'll need to know at least a couple of months worth of threads before it will be worth ordering them. I feel like I'm probably not keep the spirit of a SAL, but without a complete threadlist upfront, I have to wait until I've got enough to order to make the cost of shipping worth it.

2. Those threads are stupid-expensive, so the rest of my stitching this year will use either fabric/specialty thread I have already, or DMC floss/inexpensive fabric that I can get from Michaels/Joanns/Hobby Lobby.

That helped me decide what I am going to work on this year, though, so yay! Besides the smalls I already have planned for the Smalls SAL (which I had already planned to do per #2 above), my next bigger projects, after I finish Tall Oaks, and until I'm in the mood to get back to the Crossed Wing Collection snowmen, will be:

I'll be doing the group of 4 sheep. I got the fabric for this last spring, but got stalled immediately because the cross stitch shop gave me the wrong count linen. Instead of being 18 count floba, it's a larger count - maybe 14, or 12? I don't know for sure. But thanks to all of the stitchy people on blogger, I've now heard of over-one stitching on linen, so I'm going to do that; I'm pretty sure the design will fit the fabric that way. And it's all DMC thread, w00t.

And then while I'm basking in the glow of having completed both Tall Oaks AND Woolen Sheep in one year, and feeling like I can totally commit to a truly major project, I'll start this one:
Angel of Light - Lavender and Lace
I also have the fabric for this. Rather than the shade of brown the model is stitched on, I've got a nice, moody gray. I'm really excited about that, actually. I think it will look great; the whites and the rich colors will really pop. It's all DMC, plus some gold thread which I either have, or have something close to.

I'm also trying to set shorter-term goals. So my January goals:
  • finish something for the Smalls SAL
  • finish the reboot of Bless This Home - Mos Eisley Edition (this is my take-to-work project)
  • finish the tree, leaves, and critters in the tree on Tall Oaks
  • stitch the border and white bits on the Joyful World SAL 'January' pattern

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I finished a thing, woo

Last week Brownie's Chair posted a link to this freebie, and then yesterday it snowed and got incredibly cold here and it just seemed like the right time to stitch it.

I used a scrap of 30 or 32 count glittery white linen that I picked up in a bin at the stitch shop that closed last December; I didn't have the charted threads, so I used 519, 742 & 907. I really like how it turned out. It's going in my pile of Things I Will Probably Turn Into Christmas Ornaments.

In also did some work on Tall Oaks. For some reason this is a very satisfying project to work on. I think it's partly because if I get tired of working on, say, leaves, I can go stitch an animal for a while instead. And no matter how much I jump around on the design, I make progress.

I ordered fabric and a couple of threads for the Snowflower Diaries' Joyful World SAL, and should get them tomorrow. I'm doing the full calendar all on one piece of fabric, which means this will be my first time starting a pattern by measuring out from a corner, rather than starting in the center of the design. I reeeeeeally hope I don't screw it up.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wretched Fail

Here's something I was working on last month that I completely messed up: geeky Star Wars themed thing called "Bless This House - Mos Eisley Edition."

Via Etsy, here
There's supposed to be another section below, a rendering of Mos Eisley spaceport, but as may or may not be evident in the photo, I epically mis-cut the fabric and improperly centered the design. If I continued, the bottom section would be maybe a half-inch from the right edge, and who knows how close to the bottom. I don't know what I was doing when I cut (look at that wonky sloping right side! ugh) and started this. Probably multi-tasking.

I have another piece of fabric that I can use for this, that is both a bit larger and also cut straight. I don't know if it's worth it to frog all of the stitches from this one so that I could reuse the fabric for something else later, or...what. I hate to just toss it. I'm thinking of maybe finishing the top portion and possibly giving it to a friend? I don't know.

I did finish stitching something last night, but no picture yet. It's my wee January Smalls SAL thing. It took longer than it should have due to a weird charted floss color I ended up replacing. But I really like it.

And, I joined one more SAL (the only other one I'm going to join, for serious): Snowflower Diaries "Joyful World" SAL. It was initially a Facebook SAL, but she's sharing the patterns on her blog as well. I haven't started yet, since I don't have fabric, and I'm not sure if I'm going to do individual pieces or one big grid. But it looks like the patterns will be small and cute so yay.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Old to New

My son spent New Year's at a friends, so it was just me and the zoo last night. I had a nice, quiet evening of pizza, wine, "Agatha Christie's Poirot" on Netflix, and cross stitching. This morning I got up and made cookies (the Cinnamon Hot Chocolate cookies are the best).

It's finally cold here, so it feels like Christmas should be right around the corner. Instead I'll be taking down Christmas things today. Weird. I'm up on a cliff top with a view of the Missouri River, and can see the flooded fields on the other side. I don't know anyone personally who has been affected by the flooding, but it has been grim, seeing the photos, and driving past areas that are or were under water. If we get this kind of rain again in the Spring, it's going to happen all over again. The ground will be far too saturated to absorb the usual Spring rains. I hope we're prepared for it.


I never did post photos of the other things I stitched in 2015, so here they are. I'm sure that these are all familiar to any stitchers in the blogosphere, since I found them via blogs. Links in the captions, where relevent. All of these little guys are on 14 count black Aida except for the first one, which is on a tea-dyed linen of...some count. Possibly 28. Or 32. Not sure.

"Fa la la" - freebie from Plum Pudding Needleart

Freebies from here & here
(The colors in the two above and the one directly below are actually the same, but my cell phone doesn't take the best pictures.)

 I made some changes to the above - instead of a little heart on the ground next to the tree, I stitched a little bird; and I left off the bottom of the second pattern (it also said "Noel," and I had 2 "Noel"s already).
freebie from here
This is my other "Noel". I made a few changes - I did the house in yellow and white, with a light gray roof, to go with my actual yellow house. And the chimney smoke looks more heart-like in the original pattern, but that was one heart too many for me so I reversed one of the curls. 
From 2015 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue
 And then, I got the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue, and stitched the Prairie Schooler pattern.

I haven't done anything with these yet, but they'll all be turned into ornaments over the next year.

For 2016, I have started a pattern called "Tall Oaks" by Cross-Eyed Cricket. It's a birth announcement type thing that I'm doing for my now-17-year-old. He was surprisingly pleased when I told him about it. I've made decent progress over the last couple of days:

I start back to work next week so I won't have nearly as much time to stitch as I've had these past couple weeks, but I think I'll get this one done in the first quarter of the year.

I'm putting my Cross-Wing Collection snowmen on hold for a while. I haven't decided yet if I want to put it away entirely to free up the scroll frame, or if I want to just poke at it when I'm in the mood.

I got the fabric and floss ready for my January "small" for the Smalls SAL. I suspect I'll have no problem keeping up with the SAL - I can only take small projects to work to stitch on at lunch, so I won't get distracted from the monthly SAL by whatever bigger project I'm working on. (Hopefully I haven't just jinxed myself...)

Happy New Year!


Between work, stress, and sore hands/wrists, I am not getting much stitching done lately. I'm working on the next square of "Frolic...