30 July 2016

The Keeping Christmas Project

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I have been feeling increasingly weighed down lately by the things going on in my country and in the rest of the world. I find myself not wanting to look too far forward, in apprehension of what may be coming. A few days ago, while going through a stack of my Christmas designs, I had an idea for a project to lift my spirits and keep me looking and moving forward, focused on the JOY and BLESSINGS in life. 

If you've been visiting my blog for a while, you know I love Christmas and stitching Christmas ornaments. I've shown all my stitched ornaments, and the Christmas tree they decorate (if you need to catch up, click on any of the Christmas labels in the right sidebar). So I have quite a stack of ornament-sized designs... not to mention every issue of the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue. 

While looking at my collection--and chastising myself for not having more of them stitched--my mind wandered (as it often does) to wondering how many I could get done before Christmas. This led me to check a calendar to see how many weeks it is until Christmas (21, if you were wondering, too). Then I started daydreaming about how cool it would be to stitch an ornament every week until Christmas. And I connected that to how I've been feeling lately, and thought what a great way that would be to push back against the negative thoughts and emotions I've been having.

Naturally, I would have to blog my progress. Then I started worrying about not being able to get an ornament done every week. And about what to call it. A Christmas ornament "challenge"? I pondered all this for a day or two and realized that stressing over how many ornaments I could actually get done and calling it a "challenge" were both the wrong approach. The goal is to focus on JOY and BLESSINGS... not to freak out over finishes and certainly not to consider it a "challenge" (too much pressure!). 

And so, "The Keeping Christmas Project" was born: a leisurely, five-month stroll toward Christmas, stitching as many ornaments as I can along the way. Will I stitch 21 ornaments by Christmas? Nope. Do I care? Nope. My Keeping Christmas Project is already fulfilling its purpose. I'm looking forward to stitching some beautiful ornaments and sharing them here, hopefully bringing a little joy (and enabling) to others as well. I am already pushing back, and it feels good.

This isn't a challenge or a SAL, but if you'd like to join me--in a leisurely, no-stress-allowed way--please do! Leave a link to your blog in the comments so I can see your ornaments.

Here's a start, a freebie available here.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

23 July 2016

A Fox Forest Finish!

Finished last night! Stitched with suggested Weeks (with the addition of GAST Oatmeal) on 28 ct. PTP Sand.

I also slightly changed the border, stitching it with Caron Wildflowers in Moss. Wildflowers does the prettiest job for this type of border, if you ask me.

On to Halloween!

20 July 2016

Closing in on a Fox Forest finish

All the little foxes are present and accounted for. All that's left is a tree and the border.

A few details: satin stitched trees, smyrna cross eyes and nose, and Rhodes stitch flower centers.

Hoping to finish this up this weekend. My next project is a classic Halloween design and it's calling my name!

12 July 2016

Fabric Hoard Update!


I confess. I did it. I bought more fabric. And I'm not even sorry. I'd do it again. And I will do it again during the Picture This Plus Christmas in July sale later this month. And I won't be sorry for that, either. My fabric hoard is gradually out-growing the storage spot I've assigned to it, so I'm going to have to do some re-arranging in my sewing room to accommodate it. 

My latest haul is a selection of Wichelt hand-dyed Jobelan. I have very little Jobelan in my stash, but I couldn't resist these scrumptious colors. Left to right: Sandcastle, Bittersweet, Watercress, Babbling Brook, Cornflower, Stormy Grey, Dense Fog

See, here's what happened. I found a really cool fox design on Etsy, and I bought it. It's full of unusual colors (for a fox design) and the fabric selection was going to be tricky. I pretty much never stitch on white or ivory, so that was out. A neutral, like a raw/natural linen, seemed a little "blah" for this design, but because it's "busy," I'd have to be careful choosing a hand-dyed fabric with too much mottling. I just happened to stumble across Bittersweet, the soft orange second from the left. Here's a partial floss toss:

I think it'll be pretty. But it's the next next project after I finish Fox Forest, so y'all will have to wait to see what it is.

I also tried a new-to-me fabric dyer, Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie. I placed a small order (three colors) and am happy with the fabric. In fact, I think I'll be using one of her fabrics for my next project. Here's an interesting color that I bought just because. It's called Melody and has soft shades of lots of colors. Not sure what I'll do with it, but I'll find something! Be aware that it takes a while to receive an order (as she says on her website).

My LNS finally got the "new" DMC Coloris floss! It's not really "new." DMC rolled this new floss out last year in Europe and it has taken this long to show up in the US market. I've been waiting and waiting! Twenty-five colors that are a little different from other variegated threads as each color is a mix of four DMC solid colors. I picked a few of my favorites.

And finally, a progress update on Fox Forest.

I would love to be able to get to the border by this weekend, but that might be a little too ambitious for this week. It's coming along quickly, even though I've only worked on it on weekends. 

Happy Stitching!