Step One: The Sky

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I have started on John Clayton’s “The Pyramids”, which I am excited about. Here is 4 days worth of stitching. So far it is just two shades of periwinkle. I can’t wait to get the sky done and get started on the pyramids! This is a nice easy project to work on in the evenings while watching TV.

pyramids1

XXX
Carrie


His Name Is Jesus

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Done at last! I thought this would be a quick stitch but with kids, work, volunteering at school, physical therapy and exercise, it just didn’t happen. I finally finished this today. It needs to be washed and ironed, and then I am going to check out Hobby Lobby for a frame and mats, and will do the actual framing myself.

hisname

I did change the word “saviour” to “savior”, to be more American.

This pattern can be found here, for free: http://www.joyfulexpressions.us/HTML/FreePatterns.html

Now for my next project… I think I need to get my little hedgehog pincushion put together. And that deer in the woods is not getting finished just sitting in a drawer. That might need to be a summer project, though, as the counting and similar colors are horrible. I desperately want to start on John Clayton’s pyramids. And it should be an easier project, with huge blocks of one color and extremely small amounts of backstitch. Time to look through my stash again and see what other treasures I have set aside that I forgot about!

XXX
Carrie




A Must-Stitch

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A couple of days ago I received an issue of The World of Cross Stitching in the mail, and it had this adorable Furry Tales St. Patrick’s Day mouse in it. Because I get the magazines a couple of months after they come out in the UK, that doesn’t leave much time for stitching this little cutie. One week, to be precise! I started working on her last night and will have to stitch all weekend to get it stitched and framed in time. I have just recently found out who my Irish ancestors were through ancestry.com, so I have never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day before, apart from maybe wearing green. This year I will actually be able to say that I am Irish!

To protect Lucie Heaton’s copyright, I have blurred out the chart, as there is never a photo of the finished project in the Furry Tales section of the magazine. But I will post a photo of my finished stitch so you can really see what this cutie looks like!

furrytales

XXX
Carrie


Fun times!

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I love how this is turning out! What a fun and easy pattern for a change. A Summer Ball is a gorgeous chart, but requires so much counting. The deer in the woods has so many similar colors and the fabric is impossible to keep tight in my frame. But this is a nice relaxing project and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it is finished. I think it would look good in a silver frame with two shades of purple matting.

jesus2

XXX
Carrie



Loving my new start

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I have been working on His Name is Jesus for a few days now and loving it! This pattern is so easy to follow, quick, and fun. There is no backstitch or fractionals, and it only consists of three colors. I have decided to do shades of purple, because of a finished piece I saw online. I liked that better than any of the other versions of this that I had seen, and boy, are there a lot of them out there! It seems like everyone has stitched this. I am hoping I can get in a lot of stitching time this winter and get this done in no time.

Progress pics to come soon!

XXX
Carrie


2016 Goals

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In 2015 my goal was to “stitch from stash” and get some things cleared out. I did stitch quite a few little cards, but I didn’t have as much fun as I would have if I had been stitching things I really wanted to make. So for 2016, my stitching goals are projects that I really want to do and have had on my to-do list for a while. Of course, I will never get all of these done this year. But these are the projects that have been in the back of my mind for some time now:

pyramids

Pyramids by John Clayton

 

godsegypt

The Gods of Egypt from Mary Hickmott’s New Stitches issues 121, 122, and 123. Sadly I only have the first and third issues and have not been able to find issue 122 anywhere, even eBay. But I could stitch the middle and right side and stitch the left side portion later.

 

charles

Charles from John Clayton’s Elegance series.

 

jesus

His Name is Jesus. This was a free chart I got online and I think I will use variegated threads for it.

 

summerball

A Summer Ball (almost 1/5 complete so far).

 

deer

The deer in the woods, which I have been working on for years and really want to get done with.

XXX
Carrie


Where has the time gone?

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Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since I last posted. So much has gone on here, although not much of it was stitching-related. It started just before Halloween when my daughter Adrienne got strep throat. After that, there was so much sickness in this house. Our son Aaron got it the end of November, and then my husband Jim, and then me. Aaron was not responding to the antibiotics, so they switched his to something more powerful. Jim took his round but then had to take another round after that. And Aaron ended up getting strep again about 2 weeks after finishing his meds. During the Christmas holidays we lost power due to strong winds. We were without power for 4 days, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I actually did get some stitching in during that time, because there wasn’t much else to do. But I could only stitch when there was enough light in the front window, which wasn’t for more than a couple of hours per day. I finished my hedgehogs, but have not had a chance to sew them together yet. I then started working on the deer in the woods again, not because I love that project so much but because it would have been too difficult to find supplies for a new project in the dark! On January 3 we were without power once again, but this time it went out at midnight and was back on by the time we came home from church. The kids went back to school today, which means I can finally get caught up on some work. I suppose the Christmas tree should come down, but I don’t feel too motivated to do that yet.

Looking back on last year, I suppose I got a good amount of stitching done, considering my hectic lifestyle. I am hoping that 2016 brings even more free time so I can do what I love to do the most. Happy New Year!

XXX
Carrie


Another hedgehog

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The other day when my 6 year old wanted to work on her cross stitch, I decided to get out a new project. A Summer Ball is lots of fun to work on, but difficult when you have to stop every couple of minutes. I looked through my “work in progress” tote and found a project I had completely forgotten about. I had not started it yet, but had the materials ready to go. It is a cute little hedgehog which is stitched in two parts and then put together to make a pincushion. It was a free cover kit from a recent British magazine, but as I subscribe to the digital edition, I don’t get the kit. Fortunately, the chart was inside the magazine and I just had to find my own supplies. The design is stitching up very quickly, and I already have most of the first half of the little critter done. The other side is basically the same thing, only in reverse. I can’t wait to get this one done!

I haven’t taken a photo yet, but here is what he will look like. I even managed to find the same pins, although they are a different color.

hedgehogcushion

XXX
Carrie


Summer Ball week #???

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When I first started on A Summer Ball, I posted progress pictures every Sunday for several weeks. Then I put it aside to work on other things, and I am just now getting back into working on this. So I honestly have no idea how many weeks worth of stitching this is. I do know, however, that I am getting closer and closer to being done with pages 1 and 2 (out of 10). So when I finish these pages, I will be 1/5 of the way done. Wow, that sounds daunting! This is by far the largest project I have ever attempted. But I am really enjoying working on it. The Easy Count Guideline is helping so much. I can quickly glance down at the fabric and know where I need to begin stitching a new color. I mostly get to work on this in the evenings for about a half hour, and then possibly a bit more on the weekends. I had hoped to have the entire project done in just over a year, but I know that is not possible now. My new goal is to have the first two pages done by Halloween, and then one more full page done by Christmas. I am going to keep working on this until I tire of it, and then put it away and get out another WIP, such as the deer in the woods.

summerball4

summerball3

XXX
Carrie


Stash Finish #12, Framed

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Willow Tree House Sampler, designed by Catherine Theron for Kreinik. Just Cross Stitch magazine, June 1999 issue. Stitched on 30 count linen with Kreinik Silk Mori for the cross stitch and Northern Lights silk for the grass. I did change the color of the lettering and house door and shutters because I did not have the right color on hand.

willow1

I am really pleased with how this piece was finished. I found the frame at Hobby Lobby, on clearance for $3. It doesn’t have any hanging hardware, so I will have to add some. For now, I will display it propped up on my dresser.

I used acid free foam board and silk pins to mount the stitching:

willow2

willow3

willow4

Then I used pearl cotton to lace the back.

willow5

willow5b

I then added two more layers of foam board to fill in the extra space, and finally glued kraft paper to the back.(I didn’t take a photo of the kraft paper)

willow6

I normally don’t take this much care with my framing. Actually, most projects I finish don’t even get framed – they end up in a box with all of the others. Now that my walls are pretty much filled up, I like the therapeutic value to stitching more than just making something to decorate the home!

XXX
Carrie


Stash Finish #12

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Finally done! I was afraid the slanted stitch on the grass would take forever, because it is over 1 thread. But it actually went a lot faster than I expected. I am really pleased with how this turned out. And just in time! We leave for Disney World in a few days and then it is back home to Michigan.

willowtreesampler

The color is a bit off from my camera, and it is badly wrinkled. I will have to wait until I get home to wash, iron, and frame this piece.

XXX
Carrie


Nearing the End

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virtue

I finally got back to working on this project. The last bit of cross stitch (the pink flowers) went very quickly. Now the only thing that remains is the grass. And there is a LOT of it! After Labor Day the kids go back to school, so hopefully I will have more time to stitch then. All summer we have been so busy doing things, stitching has been put on hold. Today, for instance, we went to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida and watched the Blue Angels practice. Next week we will be at Disney World. I need some stitching time!

XXX
Carrie


Stash Finish #11

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Finally, mouse #3 is done! He is stash finish #11 for 2015.

stashfinish11

I have stitched all three designs on the long piece of fabric that came with the kit. I am not sure if I am going to cut them apart and put them in cards (which came in the kit) or leave it all together and frame it or finish as a bell pull. If I do leave it together, I think I will need to find a design to stitch in between the mice. Perhaps a small sprig of holly and ivy?

stashfinish11b

XXX
Carrie




Christmas in July

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mice1

My new project is a set of 3 Christmas mice designed by Margaret Sherry. I adore her hedgehogs, and her mice are just as cute! The fabric that came with these charts is one long piece, and you are supposed to cut it apart to make 3 cards. But I think I am going to stitch them with the fabric intact, and then decide if I want to keep them together or not. Instead of cards, I might actually make this into a bell pull or possibly a framed piece.

Since I didn’t have any floss bobbins on hand, I decided to improvise and use a cut up cereal box! It worked out pretty well to keep these floss colors sorted. There are quite a few of them.

Here’s my progress so far on the little guy that’s chasing a star.

mice2

mice3

XXX
Carrie


A Summer Ball Update

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After finishing that last card, I decided to get A Summer Ball out again and do a bit on it. Not as much as I would have liked, but I am pleased that I worked on it (and that I enjoyed working on it!) Now it is time for vacation, and this one definitely won’t be coming with me, as it is too large. So it is back to some of the free magazine cover kits I have in my stash.

summerball3

XXX
Carrie


Stash Finish #8

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Finally. This evil bunny is FINALLY done! I can honestly say that I have never hated working on a project as much as this one. It probably took me three times as long to complete as it should have, but the chart was horrible to work from and the colors all looked the same. I also hate how it looks like one ear is not finished. Bebunni, I will never stitch you again. Never.

bebunni

On the plus side, this was my “try out Thread Heaven” project and I must say I don’t think I will stitch without it again. I am still a bit worried that 30 years from now the threads will have deteriorated or discolored a bit, but I think I will still use it anyway. I just don’t think I will use it on the projects I am currently working on, because I don’t want them to be half with and half without it. But wow, what a difference for threads tangling. I didn’t have any issues at all on this card in terms of knotting and twisting. Thread Heaven will definitely be going in my stitching bag.

Now for a nice cleansing breath, and to start thinking about what I will work on next. I suppose I should finish up the Willow Tree Sampler, because I have come so far on it. And it has been a long time since I have worked on Summer Ball. I would also like to get the woodland deer out of the way, but all of that green and brown was getting tiresome.

XXX
Carrie


Something a little different

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It seems like my stitching time has been nonexistent lately. But today my daughter wanted to do some beading (basically, stringing beads onto cord to make necklaces) and I figured that would be a great time to do some beadwork of my own. I had picked out some beautiful glass beads months ago in the hopes of making a scissors fob but never actually got around to constructing it.

fob1

It only took a few minutes and voila! I think this turned out pretty well. It helped that I have done quite a bit of jewelry making and had the necessary equipment, like pliers and crimp beads. The lobster claw clasps that I had were not quite big enough to fit my usual pair of scissors, so I had to attach this to my pair of Hardanger “Lil Snips”. But that worked out pretty well because these scissors are so small, they are easy to lose. The beads are glass, so hopefully they won’t get chipped. I would like to get some bigger clasps (or even pretty ribbons) and make more fobs for my other scissors. The hardest part is deciding what beads to use and what order to arrange them in!

fob2

XXX
Carrie



Slow Progress

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Progress has been slow on this willow tree sampler. I got my braces on Wednesday and so my teeth have been hurting for the last 4 days. I haven’t felt much like stitching, but here is what I have done since my last post. The roof was really difficult. I am using two strands of Silk Mori even though the directions call for one, because I am using a different count fabric (28 instead of 32). The roof is not done in cross stitch, but a slanted stitch. It turned out really well and definitely gives the look of real shingles. But it was difficult to find the holes in the fabric on all of the partial stitches. The grass is also going to be done in this stitch, but worked all the way across, not start and stop every few stitches like the roof. So that will be a lot easier. The colors on this are a bit different from what the pattern called for, but it was what I had on hand. I didn’t want to order more colors when I had some that were good enough.

willowtree2

XXX
Carrie