I’m seeing red!

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stockingoct28a

I have been working on the toe of the stocking, which is all done in 4 strands of red, using half cross stitches. After doing the outline, it was actually a nice treat to be able to sit down and stitch without counting or without changing colors. My goal was to fill in the outline over the weekend, but I didn’t quite make it. I completed the toe on Monday afternoon.

 stockingoct28

Now we are getting somewhere! The orange colored parts of the chart are the parts that have been stitched. These photos were taken with my digital camera – such a difference from the iPhone!

XXX
Carrie


Progress

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I have been stitching like crazy! Finally Joseph, a shepherd, and some palm trees are visible. I think I will work on the rest of the grass next and then move on to the huge solid red toe. Once I get the outline done I won’t have to count, so it should go pretty quickly.

I also finally found my long lost digital camera, so after I get the battery charged up I can stop taking pictures on my phone. The quality of the picture below is really bad compared to what the project looks like in real life.

XXX
Carrie

stocking7


2 months until Christmas!

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October has been a very hectic month. My son celebrated his tenth birthday, had his yearly doctor visit, and has had trips to the orthodontist. The braces come off October 28! So only one more visit to go until for now. After all of his baby molars fall out and the adult ones come in, we get to start “phase two”. Jim and I have also been busy making Halloween costumes for the kids (but he won’t let me say what they are until after Halloween; he is paranoid about someone stealing his great ideas!) So the stitching has been a bit slower than usual. I did get a good deal of the sky done, as well as Joseph and part of a shepherd in the Nativity scene. But it hit me today that Christmas is just over two months away. When you figure in the time needed to actually assemble the stocking, I figure I need to have the cross stitch done exactly two months from today to have it ready in time for Christmas morning. I still think I can do it, but it will be pushing it. I can’t wait to get this done so that I can get on with a new project. Summer Ball will be the one I start immediately, but I also have my eye on this one from John Clayton’s Elegance series:

charles

It reminds me so much of Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice, I just have to stitch this one as well. I already have the chart, but have not kitted it up yet. The only problem is, I cannot find a suitable lady to accompany this chart. John Clayton has such a large range of designs, but none of his ladies are in the Regency period, at least not that I can tell. Perhaps after stitching this one I will have to just chart my own?

I would love to get Summer Ball done in one year, but I am not going to push myself so hard that I start to dislike stitching it. I also want to get the deer in the woods finished for Jim (I really started to hate working on that one, so it has been put away for quite some time) and Peacock Tapestry has also been set aside for longer than I would have liked. As they say, so many stitches, so little time!

XXX
Carrie


A Feeling of Accomplishment

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october12014

Tonight I finally made some real progress on the angel stocking. Other than the backstitch, the angel herself is complete. Notice that there is a blank row at the very top of the stocking, under the green row of stitches. The multicolored pattern will go there, but it was such a pain to stitch that I had to take a break from it after completing the first row. There will also be a row of that pattern at the heel and at the toe.

I am a bit worried about the name at the top. It looked great when I stitched it, but when I took the project off of the scroll rods to get a picture, the entire piece was warped out of shape. Hopefully I will be able to press it into shape when it is all done, but I don’t know if the long stitches on the name will be okay. I might have to take them down with some couching stitches. Worst case scenario, I will have to rip the name out and do it again at the very end.

XXX
Carrie


An almost complete angel

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I have not taken photos of my progress on the Heavenly Herald stocking in a while, but I have been working on it. I am pleased to say that the angel is almost finished! Except for the backstitch, that is. If the kids give me a bit of time tonight I should be able to finish up the last cross stitch part of her dress. After that, it is onto the rest of the sky, which should go fast since it is all half stitch. I can’t wait to get this stocking done!

XXX
Carrie





Ran out of room

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stockingjuly28

I have done just about all of the cross stitching I can do on this stocking, unless I want to move my Q Snaps, which I am not thrilled about. I really don’t want to put the clamps on top of some of the stitching I have already done. I tried working on some of the backstitch, but it is AWFUL! You can see some of it (done in black) at the bottom of the yellow and purple sash of the angel’s robe). None of the stitches actually follow any kind of path. It is like working on the Margaret Sherry hedgehog all over again. So I think I might have to give up on this project for the next two weeks and just get back to it when I am home and have my scroll frame set up. Even then, I will probably just wing it – the stitches all cover cross stitches, they don’t actually go around the stitches. So I don’t think anyone would even notice if I just did the outlining freehand. I did happen to bring some Hardanger supplies with me on vacation; maybe I will have a go at that. After all, I can’t not have something to work on!

XXX
Carrie




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The angel is really taking shape now! The blue sky and stars on the left is the very left edge of the stocking. The area above the angel’s head will be the top part where my daughter’s name will go. I am going to work on the rest of the angel’s robe now because I am running out of room on my Q Snaps. I don’t want to ruin any of the stitching I have already done, so I am going to do as much as possible on the fabric that is showing. When I get home in about 3 weeks I will transfer to my scroll frame which will give me access to the sides and very top to work on. These areas are covered by the Q Snap clamps right now.

angel1

XXX
Carrie



Starting on the Stocking

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Heavenly Herald Stocking

Adrienne’s Christmas stocking is coming along slowly but surely. You can make out the peach colored angel’s hands praying, plus the sleeve of her robe and part of the robe hanging down. I am going to continue with the robe and then work my way up to her face and hair, and then the wings. After that, the top part of the stocking with the name should be a nice monotonous stitch. I am hoping I can have this done by Christmas. No, I *MUST* have this done by Christmas! This will be Adrienne’s 6th Christmas (even though she is currently only 4 years old) and she really needs to have a nice stocking of her own. The navy Aida and the 18 count are not as bad as I thought they would be to work on. I think the biggest problem is that the fabric given in the kit doesn’t have any extra room to it, so the stitching is going to go almost to the edge. I am going to do as much as I can using my Q-Snaps, but then I will have to switch to a scroll frame to do the edges.

XXX
Carrie


UFO #4

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whirligigsantaMy fourth UFO was this Whirligig Santa, designed by the Need’l Love Company. It is from leaflet #27, Jingle Bells. I found this project inside a bag of Aida and linen fabrics that I bought at Goodwill serveral years ago. Santa’s hat and most of his face were complete, as was the top tree and part of the top arm. I decided that since it was such an easy project, and a photocopied chart accompanied it, I would complete it. It only took a few days of stitching. I think there might be an error on the chart, because I happen to have this same leaflet in my store, and therefore could see what the design was supposed to look like on the cover. The photo appears to have more backstitch than what is shown on the actual chart, but I decided to just stitch it as indicated on the chart. I don’t know yet how I will finish this, but it will probably end up in a frame. I am a bit disappointed about the white floss, which took on a reddish hue. No matter how careful I was, the red DMC 815 kept making the white floss discolored. Another challenge I faced was that this stitcher worked the opposite way I do, and so I had to make all of my stitches backward in order to make all of the stitches face the same direction. I did end up with a neat appearance on the back, though. Whoever started this project was certainly advanced in technique and very careful about not having knots or loose tails on the back.


Friends Forever – UFO #1

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I have decided that I have way too many unfinished projects, and I am going to be strict and not allow myself to start anything new until most of these are completed. So I went through my stash and picked out a couple things to work on. This Santa and snowman banner is not actually one of my cross stitch pieces; I believe it was in with the inventory of a shop that I purchased. The chart was with it, and the only thing left to be done was the black beads on the snowman’s face, the snowflakes (made from seed and bugle beads) and the finishing. So I worked on this over the weekend and am pleased with how it turned out.

banner

Sorry for the bad photo, I took it with my iPod and the quality is pretty low. I will take a better photo once I get it hung up, closer to Christmas. I am so glad I didn’t have to do the actual stitching on this; the blue fabric was really hard to work with. I had to keep holding it up to the lamp to see where the holes were to attach the beads.

And here is the “before” photo, which I had shown you several months ago on another post. You’ll notice that the jingle bell I used on Santa’s cap is bigger than in the photo that came with the chart – it was all I had on hand. And there were no charms for either side of the word “friends”, so I just left them off.

friendsforever

XXX
Carrie


Just Cross Stitch 2013 Special Christmas Issue

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2013ornamentsThe 2013 special issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments is out! I know, it’s only September. But I am excited to get some Christmas stitching done. I would like to stitch an ornament for each of my son’s 4th grade teachers this year (he has two; one for reading and writing and one for math and science). I love the Be Jolly Santa from Angel Stitchin and the Snowman from Needle Bling Designs. Both are featured on the cover. They look like fun and quick projects.

I don’t have this issue in stock yet but it should arrive next week. The price is $9.99 and it features 76 projects, on 115 pages. But for now I have my subscription copy and can get stitching. Well, after the two Halloween projects I have on my to-do list, that is! Tonight the kids will spend the night at grandma’s house which is a treat for them but for me as well. I can go to bed whenever I want, which means I get some STITCHING TIME! I know exactly what I am going to work on – a hedgehog Halloween design by Margaret Sherry. I just can’t get enough of her cute little hedgehogs. The design is from the current issue of World of Cross Stitch.

XXX
Carrie


Whirligig Santa

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Here is another project I found amongst some linen fabrics at a thrift store. Not much has been done on it, but I think I will try to finish it up at some point. If the items I found are from someone who passed away, I like to think that they would be happy that someone finished them after their family members got rid of their stash. And if it was just from someone who got bored with the project and decided to do some spring cleaning, oh well.

XXX
Carrie


Friends Forever

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This is another project I found somewhere, can’t recall where. I have no idea who stitched it. But it will go in my “to finish” pile, since it is so close to being done. All that’s left is some charms and beaded snowflakes, and then the ends have to be finished off with a tassel and the hanger. Super cute! We STILL have snow, so I am thinking it is definitely not too soon to be thinking Christmas! 

XXX
Carrie


Plugging Along

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I have finally been able to get some work done on Autumn Leaves:

Autumn Leaves

I am giving myself 10 days to finish this. Whether that is realistic or not, I don’t know. What I DO know is that it is January 7th and the Christmas tree is still up. In my defense, yesterday was Epiphany, so it couldn’t come down until then anyway. But I know I have to kick things into gear and get stitching. As soon as this one is done, I have to get to work on my daughter’s Christmas stocking. She will be 4 next Christmas, and I am determined to have a hand stitched stocking for her, like everyone else has. Not only was her stocking dismally plain in comparison this year, it didn’t even face the same way as the other three. It seems that all Christmas stockings sold in the stores point one way, while most cross stitch patterns create stockings pointing in the opposite direction. Go figure.

Autumn Leaves will definitely be a project I won’t forget. I started it because the crow in the picture reminded me of my uncle Dan, and now the unthinkable has happened. My aunt Wendy (his wife) has just been diagnosed with leukemia. It’s a different type than my uncle had, and the doctors are hopeful that she will make a full recovery. But still… being diagnosed with this disease only a year after your late husband was, is a shock to say the least.

XXX
Carrie


Where has the time gone?

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I can’t believe it has been a month since I have posted. Or worked on Autumn Leaves. I am not one to get into New Years resolutions, but I think 2013 will be the year I start. I guess I have an excuse; Christmas shopping and wrapping gifts and putting up the tree and baking goodies is… well, tiring. In the last couple of weeks I haven’t even felt like cross stitching once. Or blogging. Or exercising, for that matter 🙂  Even right now, the day after Christmas, my mind is full of fluff. Is it time for bed yet? I feel like I could sleep for a week. But I don’t think the kids (or the hubby) would like that too much! So for now, I won’t worry about it, and hopefully once the new year hits I will have been bitten by the stitching bug once again. And I better be in the mood for Christmas for a long time to come, because I still need to finish my daughter’s stocking. It’s a kit from Dimensions called Heavenly Hearld Stocking. Gorgeous, but lots of work:

Heavenly Herald Stocking

XXX
Carrie


Too many projects

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In the last few days, numerous cross stitch magazines have come into my mailbox. The World of Cross Stitching is a wonderful British publication. It always has at least one free gift (usually a kit) and sometimes a free chart too. Just Cross Stitch is my favorite American magazine. I also subscribe to Cross Stitch & Needlework and Sampler & Antique Needlework. All of these came in the mail within a few days of each other, and I also received notice that the latest issue of Cross Stitch Crazy (which I subscribe to as an iPad edition) was ready to download. I LOVE my stitching magazines. I also receive hard copies of Cross Stitch Gold (British) and the  iPad edition of Cross Stitch Collection (also British). Then there are the hundreds of magazines I have picked up at garage sales, thrift stores, or eBay. And then of course, there are the leaflets and books… If I live to be 1,000 I will never be able to complete all of the projects that I have. But yet I can’t seem to part with any of them. You never know when you might need something! In this latest issue of Just Cross Stitch there is a gorgeous Christmas pattern that features three ornaments stitched in jewel tones, complete with metallic threads. They are shown hanging from an elegant black wrought iron hanger. This design immediately caught my attention, and I wanted to stitch it. But in the end I decided that my stash is taking over, and something has to be done. I am not going to get rid of any of my precious magazines or charts, but something has to be done about the projects I have started and not completed. My daughter is 3 and still doesn’t have her Christmas stocking done. I started a pretty picture of hummingbirds and flowers while on vacation a year and a half ago and it has sat in a drawer since I returned. Theresa Wentlzer’s Peacock Tapestry is so huge that it will probably never get finished. The woodland deer pattern was only started a few months ago, but I tired of all the drab colors and needed a break from it. And the backstitched vareigated heart was a magazine project that I started while on vacation this past summer. The chart ended up being too hard to follow, so I decided to photocopy it when I got home, so that I could mark it up as I went along and not ruin my magazine. But that never happened. I am going to take stock of all of my UFOs and as soon as Autumn Leaves is finished, start one one of them. My goal is to not start ANY new projects until they are all done (with the exception of the Peacock Tapestry, which could take years).  My goal is probably unrealistic, but we’ll see how it goes! At any rate, going through my stash to see what I have should be fun.

XXX
Carrie