28 November 2019

Thanksgiving Wishes

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

(The stitchy finish is available in this Etsy shop in a set of four seasonal designs. I made a few changes to it, but I'm too lazy to type them all out now. I promise I'll post a better photograph and share my changes, when I recover from Thanksgiving!)

19 November 2019

A Finish & A Tip for Stitching Eyes

I ran across this little snowman and his friends while window shopping on Etsy and couldn't resist (available in this shop as either hard copy or pdf). I stitched him with the recommended DMC on 28 ct. Snow linen by Fabric Flair (available at 123 Stitch) and just added a few beads from my stash.

I also added this super cute, tiny candy cane, which I also found at 123. 

While I was stitching, it occurred to me to snap a few "in progress" pictures to share a tip for stitching eyes. Eyes are usually stitched in dark thread against a lighter background, which makes the "x" very obvious, even if you railroad. Those x-shaped eyes remind me of old cartoons where someone has been cracked on the head and knocked out cold, and their eyes turn into little x's. So to avoid my stitched folks looking like they're unconscious, I use a Smyrna stitch for their eyes instead. Below, you can see the difference. The eye on your left is a Smyrna stitch and the eye on your right is a regular cross stitch. 

I also used a Smyrna stitch for the snowman's buttons, the eyes on the bird and the reindeer, and the reindeer's nose. Any time I want a stitch that looks more rounded, that's what I use.

For those not familiar with this stitch, it's simple. After you make your "x" stitch, just stitch a "+" on top of it. Just as you would always stitch the top leg of your cross stitches in the same direction, if you're using multiple Smyrna stitches, make sure the top leg of your "+" lies in the same direction, either horizontal or vertical. (I always make the horizontal leg my top leg.)

I'm happy and very relieved to say I've finally finished my Christmas Open House projects, the finishing is done, the photography is done, and all that remains is the blogging. I actually have a couple of weeks now to work on some fall stitching... amazing. It's so nice to stitch without a deadline. I hate stitching to a deadline and usually avoid it at all costs, but this year, with the move, it was unavoidable. But now it's done and I can goof off for the rest of the year and stitch whatever I want, when I want. As it should be.

Happy (no pressure) Stitching!

12 November 2019

A Snowy, Blustery Veterans Day

Veterans Day at our house was quiet and cozy inside and cold and snowy outside. Tiger Lily snuggled down in one of her many winter baskets, our favorite veteran Mr. Wonderful studied in his library, and I stitched away on a non-Christmas Open House project, because I am finally done stitching those! Hooray! It's been a challenging year, and there were times I wondered if I'd get them done, but I did. I hope to get most of the finishing done this week... fingers crossed. It's so nice to be stitching something without a deadline! 

Remember Mr. Bun from this summer? (see this post) He still visits his spot almost every day, even in snowy weather. I open the front door a bit and talk to him every morning. We're friends. Can you see him?

Here's my little project. Every now and then in my wanderings around the interwebs I stumble across something I have to stitch yesterday. This is one of those projects. The adorableness was irresistible. I hope to have a finish to show you later this week.

Tiger Lily and I will be unsupervised for a couple of days this week while Mr. Wonderful goes off to help protect the country. No telling what we'll get up to. Stay tuned! And stay warm!

01 November 2019

Fancy Pumpkins Finish!

I took a break from Christmas Open House work to finish up this gorgeous little pumpkin piece I've been dipping into here and there, between other projects. (Link to purchase this chart in this post.) I stitched it on 28 ct. Dirty linen with the recommended DMC, but I did make some changes.

*I omitted the crow and the word "pumpkins."
*I didn't use the 522 (pumpkin stems) or the 368 (vine on white pumpkin). Instead I used 470 for both.
*I substituted 3854 for 3705 for the berries on the white pumpkin.
*I used beads instead of French knots on the black pumpkin.
*I used two strands of floss to backstitch the mouth on the white jack-o-lantern, instead of one.
*I stitched the flowers in the border using 3853 & 3854, with 3855 centers, instead of the 3865 called for. I wanted to pick up more of that gorgeous, glowing orange.

It sounds like a lot for such a small design, but all I really did was some editing: fewer design elements and fewer colors.

Mr. Wonderful and I had our annual Halloween party. We are extremely low-key, so by "party" I mean eating stuff with lots of carbs and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. For the first time in the history of ever, we ran out of candy. In 30 minutes. Four big bags. I've never seen so many trick-or-treaters in my life, and I will be ready for them next year! (Although I did think I was ready this year!)

Anyway, we had baked ham and Swiss sandwiches.

And a little Halloween cake (half a Spice cake mix but a whole container of vanilla frosting!).  I thought I had overdone it with the sprinkles, but Mr. Wonderful said it's not possible to overdo sprinkles.

And a cold weather tradition, my mom's hot Percolator Punch (recipe in this post). 

In between laundry and cooking, I managed to get in some stitching and finish up Fancy Pumpkins, with the help of my little homemade Bride of Frankenstein needle minder. I call her Elsa, after Elsa Lanchester, the actress who played the role in the 1935 classic. We watched it again last night and I'm always amazed by her performance. Probably less than 5 minutes on the screen, and yet she created a classic character.

Too much going on at my house this year to get any fun Halloween stitching done, but I've saved this cute little freebie for next year, and thought I'd share it in case y'all missed it.

Happy Stitching!