30 January 2019

Ten Things You Should Definitely Know About

In no particular order, except for this first thing, which is obviously the most important.

Tiger Lily got a super cool new fort for the move/trip. We never let her loose in hotel rooms, and since we'll be between homes for a bit, we got her a posh fort. (Ever tried to disassemble a hotel bed to get a scared cat out from underneath it? It's a mistake you only make once!) This thing folds flat for travel and pops up in a minute. Awesome.

When it's super cold, the ground does bizarre things. We've had little ice skyscrapers growing in our mulch. So very weird.

These little polka dot scissor sheaths are my current favorite thing. I've found them at a couple different Etsy shops, this one and this one, and have always had good service from both. Be warned, both of these shops have so many stitchy goodies. I've been raiding them for my mini stash!

Toothbrush holders make great fabric containers for travel. When I prepare fabric for a project, I cut the size I need, iron it, and leave it flat until it's ready to go on the q-snaps. All of my projects for my mini stash are small, so they all fit flat in my Super Fancy Hefty Zipper Seal Project Bags except this one, which was too long to fit without folding. Solution? Toothbrush holder.

It's cold and it snowed again.

There's more beautiful snow linen from The Primitive Hare. This one is called White Flakes and it's the reverse of her Snowfall linen: brown flakes on light linen instead of light flakes on brown linen. You can see both in her Etsy shop.

My mini stash that I put together to get me through the upheaval of moving is proving to be a great stress reliever. Thinking about it, playing in it, adding to it... it's a great distraction. I highly recommend putting one together for yourself if you find you're in need of a diversion. I talked about my mini stash in this post and when we get settled in our new home and I've had time to really road test this idea, I may have a much longer post about it. (Note my Super Fancy Hefty Zipper Seal Project Bags. So fancy.)

I have created the world's greatest homemade finishing tool. Behold! From a humble Tupperware orange peeler and a leather thimble pad comes... The Perfect Pin Pusher. Don't we all have a handful of these orange peelers in a kitchen drawer? I discovered I have four, and was about to pitch three of them, and I thought, "Eh, those might be useful for something else, I'll keep 'em." A few days later, I was doing some finishing and sacrificing my finger tips in the process of pushing in pins, when I was attacked by an idea: stick a leather thimble pad on the flat end of an orange peeler. It works like a dream. The greatest thing is that the small, flat end of the peeler is ideal for pushing tiny pinheads in between the folds or cords of trim to hide them. That's hard to do with your fingertips. This is now my favorite finishing tool.

Flowers are good for you.

Tiger Lily is a very good girl.

And now you know lots more stuff than you did a few minutes ago. Sometime next week, I hope to have a post that you might find helpful about preparing needlework for a move. I'm waiting on some supplies to arrive, so stay tuned.

24 January 2019

Christmas Ornament SAL January Finish

A small triumph! Amidst all the hustle and bustle of getting ready to move, I managed to stitch--and finish!--my first ornament for the Christmas Ornament SAL. I'm stitching Theme #3 and this is my January choice from the 2009 JCS Christmas Ornament issue, "Peace 2009" by Sue Hillis. It's pouring rain here and that silvery pink metallic just will not show up in this light, but I don't have time to wait for the weather to cooperate with my photography! 

This is stitched on 28 ct. raw linen with Classic Colorworks Sweetest Heart and Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid Powder Pink PB28. The beads are Mill Hill 3005. I found the trim at Jo Ann Fabrics back in the fall (it's a Christmas trim).

All I have left on my February ornament is the beading and finishing, which I hope to get done this weekend. 

Don't look now, y'all--I'm ahead!

(Aaaaaand I probably just jinxed myself.)

22 January 2019

My Favorite Nose

Lookit that sweet lil button.

Okay, back to your day!

18 January 2019

2018 Blog Book Has Arrived!

Every year I have my year's work on my blog made into a book, using this website (check their Facebook page for discount offers).  My 2018 book just got here.

To see past year's books, check out this post. If you love your blog and put a lot of work into it, I highly recommend treating yourself to blog books. Blogging is about sharing, but a book is just for you. It makes a statement about the value of your work, that it deserves to be preserved. My blog certainly won't be here in 100 years, but there's no reason why my needlework and my books can't be.

16 January 2019

2018 Christmas Ornaments

At our house, we have an annual tradition of choosing our Christmas ornaments from the current Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments issue. We've been doing this since we married in December 2000, so we have... a lot of ornaments!

Mr. Wonderful's 2018 choice:

I found this neat rusty jingle bell/berry garland at JoAnn Fabrics back in the fall. It's definitely not my style, but I had Mr. Wonderful's ornament choice in mind and thought it would work well. I just cut a few bits and wired them together.

Customized cow! Changed the color and fiddled with the face, and added some fluff to the tail. This is stitched on 28 ct. Natural Brown Undyed linen from Wichelt, with Caron Wildflowers in Cinnabar, Copper, Dark Shadows, Ivy, Natural, and Old Gold. I used a smidgeon of light green for the cat's eyes and a bit of a peachy color for the cow's nose.

And here's my 2018 choice:

This is called the Angel of Generosity and the letters on the stockings are supposed to be "G-I-V-E" but I replaced the letters with the year instead.

I should be able to show my January SAL finish soon, so stay tuned!

14 January 2019

A Snowy Weekend

We had our first heavy snowfall over the weekend and it couldn't have been nicer. Just enough snow (7 inches) to make everything pretty and quiet, not enough to cause any trouble.

A little pre-storm baking on Friday.

It started snowing lightly on Saturday afternoon. The texture of the snow was exactly like the pretend snow you can buy for craft projects. It was very dry and very sparkly.

It snowed all Saturday night and all day Sunday.

Saturday morning before the snow started, Mr. Wonderful took me to my LNS. I'm almost finished kitting up all my projects for my Moving Mini Stash (see my previous post) but I needed a few more things. It was bittersweet. I'll probably only be able to visit there one more time before we move--hopefully for Market Day--and I'm going to miss them. Having a LNS is such a blessing. Anyway, as I mentioned last time, I joined a SAL (click on the badge in the right sidebar). I'm working on pink and green Christmas ornaments for my pink tree for my pink and green sewing room! I needed a range of pinks to choose from and chose these. Aren't they pretty? From left to right: GAST Briar Rose, CC Wild Berries, CC Clay Pot, CC Jakey Brown, CC Little House Brown. 

I love green threads (and fabric) so I already have a range of greens to choose from, but I added a couple, along with some sparkly pinks and some touches of lavender.

Stocked up on some of my favorite traditional Christmas greens and reds, since all my Mini Stash projects are Christmas. Here is one of my favorite color combos: GAST Bayberry and GAST Pomegranate.

So that was my weekend. A trip to my LNS and a winter storm. Pretty great. And of course this morning we have the usual gorgeous post-storm "blue morning." Look at that sky!

Last week's moving prep was the entry way, guest bath, laundry area, and coat closet. This week, it's the kitchen. I'm hoping I'll get a little time later in the week to do some finishing. I've finished my January SAL project and I'm halfway through February, plus I've got our 2018 Christmas ornaments that need finishing. Busy week ahead. 

Thanks to everyone for all the kind comments about taking time to stitch while getting ready to move, and even joining a SAL. Y'all understand that stitching is what keeps a lot of us on an even keel! Have a great week, everybody!

04 January 2019

What in the world am I doing?

I'm moving in three months, so I...

...joined a SAL?

I did. 

Me: Let's see, I've got 100 things to do in the next three months. Here's my list that's growing by the day. Now I have to remember to...

Also me: Oooo! New SAL! (*runs wildly off into the woods*)


Here's how this happened. If y'all have been here for a while, you know that the week between Christmas and the New Year is my Stitchy Planning Week: the week I look forward to, the week that's all mine, the week I spend playing in my stash and choosing projects for the coming year. It's a tradition I created for myself that I love.

This year's Planning Week was different, however, since we're moving soon. This year I spent the time kitting up projects to see me through until about June. I am not normally a "kitter-upper." I just gather up my supplies for a project and get going, but that gathering up can take me a while, since I'm usually changing fabric and threads. It's time consuming, but I enjoy it. Since I don't really have the luxury of time to play in my stash right now (or for the foreseeable future), I decided to kit up a bunch of projects so they're ready to go, ready to travel, ready to keep me occupied while waiting for quarters and household goods. They're all pretty small (no pressure! quick finishes!) and they're all Christmas (merry! joy!)! 

So! That leads me to this SAL I signed up for. I stumbled across the Christmas Ornie SAL while checking out the sister site (which is Halloween). I noticed the new themes for 2019 and was immediately taken with Theme #3, which is stitching ornaments from back issues of the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament magazines. I was attacked by an idea, which is the usual way I have ideas. Last year I bought a Christmas tree for my sewing room... rose gold tinsel. So pretty, and so perfect for my pink/green sewing room. I decided to use this SAL as an excuse opportunity to stitch up a bunch of ornaments for my sewing room tree, using pink and green color conversions! Wow, right? It's almost like I'm not moving soon!

Since I was already kitting up small projects, small CHRISTMAS projects, and since my tree needs ornaments, it seemed logical and not-at-all-nuts to sign up for this SAL. I'm excited about it and really looking forward to starting on my January ornament later today. If you love stitching Christmas, check it out. The host, Kaye, is very nice and she says this is a no-pressure SAL, which is the best kind, of course. She has three themes to choose from this year (or you can do all three if you're Wonder Woman), the other two being #1 The Twelve Days of Christmas and #2 Christmas Carols. I'll be posting my finishes here and over there, as well.

Here's January, all ready to go!

01 January 2019

Happy New Year!

Wishing you lots of stitching time and bunches of finishes this year!