Monday, December 30, 2013

Surprises Past and Future

First of all I'm happy to report that the little care package I sent to Kaye at Kitten Stitching has been received! Kaye's been going through some hard times recently and I thought I'd show her a little love this holiday season (I'm using her pictures because I've apparently lost the ability to take pictures of things before I send them off! Urgh).

I stitched a teeny tiny biscornu on 18-count Aida with DMC 4130 and 797. I knew Kaye collects thimbles, so I sent her one from Dubai and one from Germany. I added some small charts, a couple of needles, and floss from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.

My second bit of news: a finish! I found this adorable freebie on Cross Stitch Happy.

I finished it off as a stuffed ornament, with lace and a fabric that has what looks like buttons on it.

I've got big plans for this cutie, so stay tuned!

Happy xxx's,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Exchanges with Shirlee

Shirlee (from the Easily Influenced Stitcher) and I decided a while ago to have an exchange. She really wanted something Christmas-y, but I don't celebrate so I asked for something more Americana. So we split the bill and this is what we came up with!

I made Shirlee two little pincushions out of Rosewood Manor freebie charts. I stitched them up on white 18-count Aida and attached tiny little gold beads everywhere. Then I backed them with some great festive fabrics I found:

I also included a Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe chart, some linen fabric, bobbinated DMC flosses, and a Camel Company notebook. I forgot to take a picture of it all before I sent it off, unfortunately.

In turn, Shirlee sent me:

I love it so much! It's the most amazing little primitive patriotic pincushion. And it's backed with this great Pledge of Allegiance fabric:

She also sent me this great Bent Creek Zipper kit and a pretty My Big Toe Designs needle threader. Here's a group shot:

I love it all, Shirlee, thank you so much! :D

Spoiled silly,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Trying Something New

I've taken a break from cross-stitching to pick up my knitting needles again. My mom gave me a couple of yarn balls for my birthday a little while ago, and I decided to play around with one of them and make something I've never tried before: an infinity scarf.

I used one ball of the Red Heart Boutique Midnight in Aura and cast on 20 stitches on 5 mm needles. I found a link on Pinterest here that shows you how to knit a scarf normally and then attach the ends together, which I thought would be easier than learning how to knit on circular needles.

I'm so happy with it! It's cute and warm and I love the color changes in the yarn. I might actually try this again with the other ball of yarn...

Snuggling with my knitting,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Down by the Bay is Done!

Woohoo! This whole down-with-the-flu business has certainly paid off, as I've actually managed to finish Down by the Bay a lot sooner than expected!

All I had left to do was to finish up the border, which is a much simpler version than the original charted version (see left sidebar for comparison). I just felt, since the watermelon was so gigantic, that the border didn't need to be too fussy. Anyway, that's just my style, I guess. We're all free to change our stitching to suit our personal tastes, right?

I thought this would take a lot longer to stitch up! I started it the last week of October, so it took about a month and a half (you can see my start here). It was stitched on 32 count Ivory Lugana using NPI silks, and it was a lot of fun! I bought another great La-D-Da design the same time I bought this one, so I'll probably start on it next.

So now that you see the whole piece, here's how the rhyme goes, for those who aren't familiar with it:

Down by the bay
Where the watermelon grows
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother would say
"Have you ever seen a whale hugging a snail?" (or another equally strange rhyming animal activity)
Down by the bay

I loved this rhyme when I was a kid! I'm so glad I stitched this up - it's so cute and quirky, and it's full of happy childhood memories.

Hope you all enjoyed this too!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cough, Cough, Cough

Good news, I'm feeling much better! I've got this racking cough that literally wakes me up in the middle of the night, but other than that I'm good: no more fever, no more chills, no more runny nose or sore throat. Thanks for all the love and well wishes and happy thoughts you sent my way!

Being sick really helps with stitching progress, I find. Here's the latest on Down by the Bay:

I've finished all the little motifs on the bottom and I've started on the border. I think I'm actually going to be able to finish this sooner than I thought!

So I have a conundrum: I'm the eldest of four sisters, and my second-eldest sister is getting married in March. As she's the first of my sisters to get married, I'm really not sure what to get her as a wedding present. Her bridal shower is in February, so I've got a little time. I don't want to get her a vase or set of plates or anything impersonal like that; she'll have plenty of other people giving her house things. Any ideas on something personal I could get her? What do you guys usually go for with family weddings?

Browsing through Etsy as we speak,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Under the Weather

Oh, man, I am really not feeling well. I've been under the weather for days. I had to call in sick to work a couple of days ago, but yesterday I felt well enough to get up and teach my classes. I thought I was finally getting better, but nope - I had a hard time going to sleep last night because of all the coughing, and today I seem to have lost my voice!

One good thing about being home sick for days is plenty of time for stitching! I made a lot of progress on Down by the Bay:

I've FINALLY finished stitching that watermelon, the word "go" underneath, and the motif in the corner. I've got a few more motifs along that bottom line, and then the border.

Hope you're all healthy and happy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Birthday Report and Stash

Whew, what a weekend! I think we went a little overboard - I'm exhausted, I have the beginnings of a cold, and I am covered in bruises.

Our double birthday weekend started off with a massive laser tag war with a bunch of our friends (his, mine, and mutual). During said war, I proved to the world just how big a klutz I am by continuing to trip, fall, inexplicably break my equipment, and bang my knee really badly into a wall. I was limping for two days afterwards. But it really was a LOT of fun. Then we all had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, which is delicious.

The next day we had dinner with my sisters-in-law at The Butcher Shop and Grill (also delicious) and then out of the blue decided to go play mini-golf. Hilarious fun, considering I scored the worst! At midnight we exchanged presents and opened everyone else's gifts too. I got so many lovely goodies, mostly clothes and books, but I wanted to show you all some goodies delivered to our house, birthday presents from my mother overseas:

Look at these beauties!  She sent me two Dimensions kits, Fredrick the Literate and the Savannah Birth Record (this may be a hint for me to get going on the baby front). She also sent some Charles Craft 14-count Aida fabric and two balls of yarn, the Red Heart Midnight Boutique in Aura and the Lion Brand Tweed Stripes in Woodlands. They're such beautiful yarns and I can't wait to knit them up!

Happy December, everybody!