Sunday, January 31, 2016

4th Blogoversary Giveaway!

Oh my goodness, life is just whizzing by! I finally feel like I'm catching my breath a little. Some days are still really difficult, but the baby is sleeping 3 or 4 hours in one stretch at night, so I'm not crying into my pillow by dawn. I'm sure my husband is relieved about that!

I want to get back in the groove of things a little, and this is a tradition that I love: in a couple of days, on the 3rd of February, it's going to be my fourth year blogoversary! In years past, I'd open the giveaway at least a month in advance, but it was very much the last thing on my mind a month ago. So I'll just leave it open until a month from now! How does that sound? That should give everyone plenty of time to join in.

Okay, so what's on offer?

1. A sweet little snowflake humbug!

I stitched this up on 14-count beige Aida, which I like to use for biscornu-type finishes because it's so stiff and holds the shape nicely. I used DMC 518, a beautiful blue, and finished it off with a teal velvet ribbon.

2. A baggie full of antique wooden spools,

3. GAST floss,

4.  Charles Craft 14-count antique white Aida fabric,

5. A Cross-Eyed Cricket chart called "The Princess and the Pea,"

6. A little Janlynn kit called "Baby Footprints" (I've been gifted more birth announcement charts than I know what to do with!)

7. A beautiful pearl and silver bracelet from Yemen.

There you have it! I'll leave the giveaway open for the next month, so until the 29th of February. The rules are simple:
1. Be a follower of this blog,
2. Have an active blog yourself,
3. Leave a comment on this post.

Good luck!

Monday, January 18, 2016

The January Gifted Gorgeousness SAL

Well, this is a few days late, but life has taken on a new shade of crazy. We moved back to Dubai last week, and between taking care of the baby, unpacking, and doing normal human things like eating and sleeping, I haven't really had a minute to think.

But in an effort to feel like my usual self, here I am! Here's the first Gifted Gorgeousness SAL update of the year. This is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's baby - we stitch on something that's been gifted to us through exchanges or giveaways, whether a pattern, kit, fabric, floss, whatever, and post on the 15th of the month.

For most of last year I was working on Prairie Schooler's Two By Two, gifted to me in an exchange with Emma from Emma's Bloglet a couple of years ago (you can see my last update here). This is what it looks like now. I stitched this a while ago, when I was still pregnant and had lots of time on my hands.

And it's done! The ark is done! Since my last update, I've finished stitching the waves and did all the backstitching. I can finally move on to stitching the animals! Well, not any time soon, but knowing that I can makes me feel better.

That's all for now, folks! I'll try to keep posting. It won't be nearly as often as it used to be, but at least it'll be something.

Lots of love,

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Birth, and a Finish!

Hello, hello, hello! Yep, I'm still alive, but my goodness, it's been an eventful couple of weeks. First off, I finally popped that baby out! My darling baby boy was born just past midnight on the 21st of December, a day early. I'd love to say that delivering him was a breeze, but it really wasn't. I was in labor for 25 hours. By hour 16, I was still only dilated 3 cm and wasn't making any progress at all, so I gave in and went for the epidural, which wasn't in my birth plan. But you know what they say - man plans and God laughs!

But I've been recovering really well, which I'm grateful for, and the little man is so sweet it's hard to be annoyed with him, no matter how many times he wakes me up at night!

I did manage to finish his baby sampler a couple of days before I went into labor, so that was perfect timing. Here it is, all ironed and everything:

I was keeping track throughout, just out of curiosity, and this took just over 11650 stitches. Isn't that crazy? I had to spend a few more hours on the backstitching, which got it all wrinkled up again:

So all I had to do was wait for him to be born so I could fill in the middle part with his details. It took me a long time to catch my breath after the birth and the holidays and all the excitement. I finally sat down yesterday and, after many interruptions and lots of frogging, managed to finish it.

All right, that's all I've got to share! Gotta go do more of the nursing-diaper changing-nursing-diaper changing routine.

Big hugs,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The December Gifted Gorgeousness SAL, and the Monkey is Swinging!

Somehow, when I wasn't looking, December 15th crept up on me. It's the last Gifted Gorgeousness SAL update of the year, folks! This is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's baby - we stitch on something that's been gifted to us through exchanges or giveaways, whether a pattern, kit, fabric, floss, whatever, and post on the 15th of the month (because it's 2015).

For the last few months I've been working on Prairie Schooler's Two By Two, gifted to me last year in an exchange with Emma from Emma's Bloglet (you can see my last update here). This is what it looks like now:

This is at 4000 stitches now. Finally, after months and months of stitching, I'm done with the hull of the ship! Happy dancing here (well, as much as I can with my giant tummy). I've stitched the two peace doves and started on the waves underneath the ship. So close to a finish now!

I'm stitching up a storm on the baby sampler too. I'm officially 39 weeks along as of today, so it's really just a matter of time before I pop. So this is what it looked like first:

Then it looked like this:

And now it looks like this:

I've finished stitching the sun and all the leaves. I've just got to finish the monkey and his brown frame now. I didn't like how they kept charting the animals' eyes blue, so I changed them all to brown (except the elephant, who's blue all over so it didn't look weird). Once I'm done with the stitching I still have all the backstitching to do, but it's really coming along and I should be able to finish soon!

Happy xxx's!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

And a Monkey Peeks Out!

Welcome, all! Yes, I'm still here. I'm 38 and a half weeks along now, I just saw my doctor yesterday, and we're on the home stretch now. Really trying not to think about it (or panic about it!) - I'm just taking it a day at a time, getting my hospital bag ready, making sure I've got everything we'll need for the baby...

Which includes the baby sampler! I'm still not done, but I've got a lot of time on my hands these days, so I have hope that I'll be able to finish it. So since last week, it looked like this first:

Then it looked like this:

And now it looks like this:

Yep, I finally managed to pick up the DMC floss I'd run out of to complete the orange dots on the giraffe. I've started stitching the sun in the corner and the monkey, made progress on the brown frame, and finished the blue frame in the middle and the branch the monkey will be swinging on. So happy with the way this is turning out!

Lots of love,

Monday, December 7, 2015

One More (Tiny) Stashing Confession, and the Giraffe is On Hold

Hi everyone! Well, I'm getting closer and closer to my due date. I'm about 37 and a half weeks along now! It's pretty terrifying, to be honest, so I'm trying not to think too hard about it. But the good news is that my husband is here! He landed Friday evening, so I actually relax now. It's just so nice to know that he's going to be here, like an extra support system.

And the baby sampler is just zipping along! Lots of progress to show. First it looked like this:

Then like this:

And now like this:

I've nearly finished the giraffe, except unfortunately I still haven't bought the DMC 720 I need. I also stitched the little bird sitting on top of his frame, finished the green frame around the giraffe, made some progress on the blue frame in the middle, and started stitching the last frame (that brown bit next to the green).

So last week I spilled the beans on all the stashing I've been doing. I have one more confession: I have ALWAYS wanted a Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe necessaire, so when Nancy started making her latest batch, I knew I had to get one. And I'm so happy with my choice!

Isn't it lovely? And it's full of all sorts of goodies!

Gorgeous lace, a little pouch full of buttons and charms, some of her beautiful hand-dyed floss, a felt needle holder, and a free gift: a zip bag of buttons. I love it all so much. I'll probably never even use any of it, just take it out every once in a while to pet it!

Big hugs,

Monday, November 30, 2015

Stashing Confessions, and the Giraffe Shoots Up!

Hello, hello! I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving this past week. It was pretty quiet in our house - just my mother, my sisters, and a TON of food! We got all dressed up, decorated the house, cooked, ate, and then sat ourselves on the sofa to watch some football. A perfect day, if you ask me!

I've been stitching away on the baby sampler. Since I finished my Gratitude sheep last week, I've been able to dedicate my full time and attention on this one piece. First it looked like this:

And then like this:

And now like this:

The giraffe has grown a lot since last week. Unfortunately, I've completely run out of DMC 720, which I was using for those orange spots, so I'm going to have to work on other bits until I can make it out to a needlework store.

Speaking of needlework stores, since I've been here I've discovered the most amazing LNS I've ever been in! The ones I had in Dubai were okay, but they concentrated mostly on quilting and other crafts, usually with a tiny cross-stitching section, sometimes just a rack of DMC. I had to mail-order most of my supplies. Which is why walking into the Stitch & Frame Shop was like heaven! I went a little nuts...

I bought the next two Little Sheep Virtues I wanted to stitch, Peace and Courage, along with their respective buttons and some of the 28 ct. Coffee Jobelan I've been stitching the series on.

I also bought two Plum Street Samplers charts. I've never stitched a PSS design before, but these two caught my eye. The colors on Blackberry House are gorgeous! And the Party Tarts are just adorable. I checked the back for the finishing details and bought the same tart tins to finish them.

I treated myself to a new pair of scissors, some pretty purple marbleized ones from DMC. And I picked up two random pieces of fabric after poking through their sale basket. Who doesn't need some extra fabric, I ask you?

Happy xxx's!