Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Finished It (In Time!)

Hurray! I finished the lovely Christmas box in time to give it to my mother on Christmas Eve. She loved it. It is a Just Nan design that was available from the Silver Needle. Here are a few pictures:

I love opening it to see all the little tools with charms on the pockets and that adorable Christmas tree pincushion in the center. I had been right to be nervous about putting it together - it was not easy. The directions were good, though, and despite a few near disasters, it all worked out in the end.
We have had a wonderful Christmas week with family, friends, and lots and lots of food. Now that things are quieting down, I have been spending some time stitching to my heart's content and planning my 2008 stitching goals. Stitching and doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There's Always Next Year

I have been writing what I hope are humorous pieces about my stitching life. I will share one every once in a while here in my blog. Hope you enjoy this first one!

A cozy fire is crackling in the fireplace draped with festive greenery and the cheerful sounds of carols play. The family is gathered round, sipping hot cocoa and munching holiday goodies as they open the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree. Everyone oohs and aahs as yet another breathtakingly beautiful cross-stitched heirloom is unwrapped. The chorus of wonder and amazement fills the starry night as the stitcher basks in the happy glow of knowing she completed all of her holiday projects several weeks before Christmas arrived.

Are you laughing yet? Or maybe you're just shaking your head sadly and wondering how much eggnog I've had to drink? Let's face it - we all know this pretty scene is a fantasy straight out of a stitcher's dream, don't we? Let's take a peek at my holiday stitching journal to see what really happens:

September 23
Lovely, crisp autumn day. When I went to the mailbox today, I was surprised to see it tilting to one side. I guess it was the weight of the 17 Christmas catalogs crammed inside. It must be time to start thinking about this year's holiday gift-giving. I immediately pulled all of the cross-stitching catalogs out of the pile and threw the rest into the recycling bin without a second glance. Browsing through the stitching catalogs over a cup of tea, I found oh, so many projects that would be just PERFECT for the people on my gift list. I'm sure I'll even be able to save all kinds of money by using threads and fabric I already have in my stash. I'm going to get on the computer this evening and start ordering!

October 9
The packages I ordered have started arriving! I already have three Christmas projects underway. Boy, my holiday stitching is off to a great start this year. The only glitch is that I didn't actually
save money but spent a little more than I intended. I've never understood how that always seems to happen when I'm ordering cross-stitching supplies...

November 1
Goodness, October just flew by this year! I haven't gotten much Christmas stitching done recently. I had found the cutest little Halloween project while I was ordering all of those holiday stitching supplies back in September and thought it would be nice to get that stitched up first. Didn't quite get it finished but I'm sure I'll have it done for next Halloween. Now I can really focus all of my attention on my Christmas projects.

November 27
We are all stuffed with turkey and now I'm looking through my Christmas projects. I really need to get organized. I think I may have to save some of these projects to do as gifts for next year. It looks like I'm going to have to spend the next few weeks stitching like mad. I'll get started right after I have another piece of pumpkin pie.

December 3
Someone just said there are only 22 days left until Christmas! How did that happen? I can still finish the two projects that are the farthest along. At least, I
think I can...

December 12
Haven't had much time to stitch - I'm too busy shopping, baking, wrapping, and decorating. I'm planning to get some stitching done this afternoon, though, right after I address all of the Christmas cards, go to the post office for stamps, and untangle 73 1/2 feet of tree lights.

December 23
Had to run to the mall today to buy a gift since it looks as though I'm only going to be able to finish one of the two projects I'm still trying to stitch. Wish I could have gotten some stitching done while I spent three hours standing in lines.

December 24 (11:30 p.m.)
It's finished! Too tired to write more.

December 25
My grandmother loved her stitched gift! Just wish I could have gotten all the other projects done. Well, there's always next year! In fact, my New Year's resolution is to start stitching next year's Christmas gifts in January. Of course, there are a few birthday gifts that I wasn't able to get stitched up this year that I'm planning on completing as birthday gifts for next year. I'll just finish those up first. Oh, I almost forgot about that wonderful Easter piece I haven't finished and well, goodness, there are those two cute Valentine projects I've started! I'll just get all of those taken care of and then I'll get right to the Christmas projects. I'm sure I'll have them all sewed up before I want to have that Fourth of July piece finished...

And so it goes! If this journal sounds all too familiar to you, take heart - you are not alone! On the other hand, if you're one of those stitchers who does get it all done...nah, who am I kidding - nobody gets it ALL done!

So as we head into another Christmas season, I would like to wish everyone many happy, peaceful hours of holiday stitching. And don't worry if you don't get it finished. There's always next year!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Holiday WIPs and a Finish

Here is my big December WIP. I am stitching this Just Nan Christmas Workshop box for my Mom for Christmas. I am almost done stitching all of the sides and just need to do the stitching on the bottom pieces. Then I can assemble it. (That's going to be a little scary!) Here is a close-up of one of the outer triangles. I haven't added the beads yet.
This is the ornament I am currently stitching from the JCS Ornament issue. I have two others already stitched up and will post pictures once I have finished them into ornaments.
Here is my Thanksgiving finish. I stitched this design from Twisted Threads over the long Thanksgiving weekend. My fellow Stitcher's Corner get-together ladies might recognize this pattern - I picked up this chart and the threads for it that day.
I'm planning on spending the day stitching away on my projects, watching football, and eating Christmas cookies while we wait for the snow to start to fly. I just love this time of year!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My First Blog

Welcome to my first blog! Since this blog will be about my stitching life and right now I am specifically focused on holiday stitching, I thought I would share pictures of a few of my Christmas finishes (from 2005 and 2006). This first picture is an ornament I did using the DMC Light Effects thread. The pattern was included in the booklet that came with the thread collection. I was very pleased with the way it came out and the threads were pretty easy to stitch with.
This Spool Tree is a Sue Hillis design. This was so much fun to stitch. I love the itty-bitty buttons that came with the chart.
My current holiday stitching projects are well under way. I am working hard on stitching the Christmas Workshop box from the Silver Needle. It is going to be a Christmas gift for my Mom. I have also stitched two ornaments from this year's JCS Ornament issue and am working on a third. I will try to get photos of these WIPs posted soon. Also, I've been working on writing some humorous stitching articles and will start sharing those soon.
Enjoy your holiday stitching!