Finished, Almost Finished and Several Random Works in Progress

I was sorting through a stitching basket and discovered two projects that were stitched but the finishing was not done.  The first was from a La D Da class.  My notes say the class was at the Lebanon Cross Stitch Show (Mom and Me) in 2005 but I didn’t start stitching – or finish it – until 2006. 

If you look closely the charted design did not match the picture.  That always bothered me, but never enough to try recharting it myself.  (Lazy!)  When I found it in the basket, I debated ripping out some of the bird and re-stitching.  In the end I filled in the empty spots with two over-one hearts and declared it to be DONE.  The design is called Be True.

The class kit included the 32 count platinum Belfast linen, Needlepoint Silks, beads for the tassel and the large metal button.  If I remember correctly, we made the cording and tassels during class.  When finishing I discovered there was not enough cording to go around the project and make a loop for a hanger, so I opted for just the hanger.

The kit also included graph paper to chart your initials for the back of the design.  After several miserable attempts I asked Lori for some advice and she charted my initials for me.  Sweet! 

I love how it turned out!  If you ever get the chance to take a class with Lori, don’t hesitate.  She’s awesome!

The second stitched but unfinished project in the basket was from a retreat at Stitcher’s Express in Mattoon, IL.  The project is a Still Stitching with Susan Greening Davis design called Still Stitching by the Sea.  I am still not sure why we were stitching a “sea” project at a retreat in IL, surrounded by corn and bean fields, but hey – why not?  Susan was a fun teacher and brought lots of her other class projects for us to purchase. 

I stitched the project during the Crazy January Challenge last year.  (Proof!)  This was my first attempt at ruching and overall it went well. I need to extend a BIG thank-you to Ilene and Kathy for finding the ribbon for me at Paducah and also to Nicki at Plush for her ruched ribbon tutorial.

I found just the right fabric in my quilting stash for the backing.  I love how this turned out!  The project was designed to be a large fob for sewing scissors but I think it will serve me well as a pincushion or just to display.  The pretty ribbon really jazzes it up!  On a sad note, Stitcher’s Express closed this summer; the owners retired.  I wish them well but oh how I will miss their lovely shop and fun retreats!

That concludes the Finished portion of my post today.  Now on to the Almost Finished portion!

This project is stitched but I still need to complete the finishing.  It is Death by Candy Corn, a fun design by The Scarlett House.  I am going to finish it into a pillow.  The black fabric is the backing and the huge rick rack will go into the seam for decoration.  All of the finishing materials are from my stash.  Life is good!

About the stitching, this was a super fun project!  I opted for 40 count 18th Century Brown fabric instead of the lighter fabric called for.  The stitching is over-two for the words and “dots” and tent stitch for the candy corn.  This will be a gift for a family member, so I need to get busy with the finishing!

In the Someday category I have several WIPs that I thought you’d like to see. 

I am making slow progress on my work project, Home Sweet Home by La D Da.  There hasn’t been much time to stitch during work this summer.  I’m hoping for more stitching progress in the fall and winter months.

I am almost half way finished.  I love, love, love how it is turning out!

This is E and E and F – Petite Exemplary #2.  I am stitching all four of the Petite Exemplary designs in a column on 35 (could be 36!) count mystery linen from my stash.

The spider-web roses were a first for me.  They are easy to stitch but I think I made a few too many rounds and they are a little messy.  (Not so messy that they need to be restitched – heavens no!)  I have the border for PE #3 ready to go.  It’s nice to have these little projects to work on in between some of the bigger ones.  The specialty stitches are extra fun!

Last but not least, this is Quaker Floral by Midnight Stitching.  This project comes with an interesting story.  Monique started this and gets all of the credit for choosing pretty evenweave fabric and gorgeous green floss, Olives from Carrie’s Creation

Monique sold the project to Linda M. at a stitch in, and she enjoyed stitching it until she realized the alphabet did not include the letter “I.”  This really bothered her so she sold the project to me!  I am thrilled to have it, and love the fact that two stitching friend have worked on it.

That is all for now,  I’m off to stitch and visit with friends at the potluck today at Mom and Me Forever.  Can’t wait!


Smoke Flower

I finished “Smoke Flower” by Prairie Moon.  It is stitched on 32 count Mockingbird with the floss called for, mostly Weeks.

I love how it turned out!  The fabric is very striking in person.  It isn’t what the design calls for, but I couldn’t ask for a better substitute.

“Smoke Flower” is the companion to “Chimney Flower,” which I stitched in 2004.  Here is a picture. 

The design is similar, but of course the colors are dramatically different.  These were fun designs to stitch!

I started “Death by Candy Corn” by The Scarlett House.  It will be a gift so I’m in a hurry to get it finished.  I don’t have much to show yet, so no picture.  The design is stitched over one and over two and I am really enjoying it! 

Diane Puts On A Few Pounds

From time to time, Diane gets a makeover.  I sort through her contents and pull out projects that I still love but have decided to return to the stash stacks.  Sometimes nothing comes out, but more kitted projects go in.  This is one of those times. 

This is “Topsy Turvy Bunnies” by Val’s Stuff.  So cute, bright and fun.  Mom & Me Forever has the models on display and I fell in love with the pillow.

I planned to use fabric similar in color and count to the model – until I found this bit of bright yellow Cashel in my stash.  That changed everything.  The fabric is just a scrap, so I’ll be stitching over one.

“The Bunny Collection” from JBW Designs caught my eye recently.  The Flowered Bunny is my favorite of the bunch, but I would like to stitch them all eventually.

Those pinks and greens look yummy on 36 count white Belfast.  This one will be stitched over two.

That’s two bunny projects in a row.  Let’s shake things up with “Not Forgotted” by Plum Street Samplers.  I am not into halloween, but this design makes me laugh out loud.  Lucky for me it was left out of the JCS special halloween issue and available for free on their website.  Score!

The fabric is 28 count Mocha Java.  If I stitch over one I can get several out of this piece of fabric.  Who am I kidding, I’m lucky to get ANY project stitched once!

I can’t wait to start this one, “Death by Candy Corn” from The Scarlett House.  It calls for 40 count but I settled on this piece of 36 count off-white mystery fabric. 

The fabric color I chose isn’t even close to what it calls for, but it looks similar to the picture so it works for me.  This is another over one project.

Super cute little Lizzie Kate “Farm Sampler!”  I will be stitching on 30 count WDW Straw fabric, just what the chart calls for.  Isn’t that a shocker!

There are a few things I’m going to redesign on this project.  Details when it happens.

Lizzie Kate’s “Prayer Connection” will be stitched over 2 on 32 count African Daisy Jobelan.

Close friends and family members will be amazed that 1) I had any yellow fabric in my stash at all, and 2) I’ve selected yellow fabric for not one but two projects in this group.  In the past I’ve been anti-yellow.  I can’t seriously claim to be pro-yellow, but my resistance is slipping.

This Workbasket freebie is called Blue Flower and you can get it here along with a ton of other great designs.  I saw this finished and framed at Stitcher’s Station but instead of blues the flower was done in purple and yellow.  I admired it very loudly, so Mary sent me the conversion info.  (Thanks Mary!)  I took the conversion a step further (trying to kit from my stash) and here’s what I came up with.

I think the colors will look great on this 32 count Oyster color MCG Textiles fabric.

I saw this finished and framed at Stitches, Etc. and loved it!  It is “Lazy Alphabet” by La-D-Da and Jeanne stitched it on 28 count Blue Jean Gingham linen. 

Quite a change from the original, isnt’ it?  I made some modifications of my own, so we’ll see how this turns out.

This project , “Quilt VI” by Designs by Linda Myers, has been in my stash for quite a while.  When I was a member of a local quilt guild I fell in love with (the idea of) the Dear Jane quilt, so this project is a must-do.

I will be stitching on 28 count Bone Jobelan, over two.  I even have the frame for this one, squirreled away somewhere in the basement.  This is as close as I will ever come to reproducing Dear Jane.  I’m sorry I didn’t take all of that DMC out of the bags for the picture.  Lazy!

It’s going to be a jolly holiday stitching this Mary Poppins design!  I have 32 count Country Mocha Belfast pulled out but I can’t settle on what fiber(s) to use.  I think blue would look great on the fabric.  I took it with me to Mom & Me last night (stitch night!) to get opinions.  The consensus is DMC in the 930’s range.  (The chart calls for 2 colors.)  While I like the way it looks, it seems a bit dull.  Or very 1980’s.

I want to stitch with solid colors of floss because the fabric is already busy.  I also like the idea of a dark(ish) silhouette vs. something bright – but not black or dark brown!  (I’m still recovering from all of the 310 I used in Terre De France.)   I have a few more stitching gatherings coming up in the next couple of weeks, so more opinions will be sought.  Decisions will be made.  Feel free to weigh in here with your own ideas.  All suggestions are welcome!

Did you notice all of the DMC I’ve been kitting with?  I still like my plain ol’ floss the best.  That’s all for now.

Birds, Bunnies and a Blast of Winter

This one missed the “finished” list last time I posted.  It is “Precariously Perched” by Sheepish Designs.


It is stitched on 32 count Meltaway Gray linen with overdyed floss as charted.  The picture doesn’t do it justice!

I also finished the stitching on “Bunnies in the Garden” by With My Needle.  I love how it turned out and I’m almost (but not quite) looking forward to putting it together. 

Ginger found a workable letter “M” for my initial on the needlebook – thanks Ginger! 

I also redesigned the needle page to meet my needs.  No need to stand on your head, I’ve flipped it over for you. 

This ornament is for an ornament kit exchange – so I get to keep it!  It was my first attempt sewing ric rac in the seam.

It turned out better than I expected!  It is “Just a Little Flaky” by Val’s Stuff from the 2011 JCS Ornament Magazine.
Here is my progress on “Merry Christmas” by Madame la Fee. 
I am about half finished.  The rest should be easier – or more fun – than the trees and ribbon.  Bring on the skaters!
Finally enough to show, this is “Reindeer X-Mess” by AuryTM.
I love how quirky this design is – a hunk of Quaker at the bottom, a wisp of whimsy at the top and a little traditional toy train in the middle. 
No progress pictures of “Home Sweet Home” by La-D-Da.  I am making slow progress.  I don’t have as much time to stitch on the job during the busy summer months.
I am watching my WIP pile slowly dissolve.  The key word is slowly!  I’m hoping it won’t be long until it’s time to stash dive in Diane.  The last time I started something new it was February, and that feels like a long, long time ago.

The House That Grew

In March I wrote a blog post but didn’t have pictures yet, so I dawdled around…and then it was May.  Here’s what happened in March…

Time marches on here at Chez Toadlily.  Pardon the old, tired March pun.  I get like that sometimes.

Lots of stitching going on this month.  I’ve had a few finishes, taken some (unintentional) creative license, and started a new work project.  First, the finishes:

La-D-Da – A Big Flower Sampler – This is stitched as charted on 32 count Queen Ann’s Lace with GAST.

The center/blue of the flowers is Aged Pewter and the pale green of the letters is Lexington Green.  These are my two new favorite colors!  The Aged Pewter has traces of brown in it that echo the Tarnished Gold.  Amazing!  Edited to add:  I pulled back on the photo so you could see all of that luscious fabric around the edges – yum!

On a less happy note, I ran out of Tin Bucket.  Luckily I had finished the entire border, so I just frogged out the letters and started over with a new skein.  The skeins didn’t exactly match, but this way it didn’t matter.  I stitched the year under my initials (’12) but it looked so cluttered and goofy that I immediately ripped it out.  I LOVED stitching this project, watching the colors evolve and the design come together.  The border is simple yet stunning.  Lori, you rock! 

Bent Creek – Bee Strong Zipper – I finished this fun zipper in just a few days.

I skipped the letter charms that spell “Bee Strong.”  They just didn’t work for me;  you have my permission to bee whatever you want. 

For a new work project I started Home Sweet Home by La-D-Da.  (I had to have another Lori design in the works!)  I’ve changed it up in a BIG way.

I am stitching it on 20 count Summer Khaki over two with Watercolours.  This is not at all how it is designed, but I want a large finish similar to Bless This House.   I don’t have much to show, just part of the first “E” in Sweet.  I am not sure how my color choices are going to work.  Time will tell.  ETA:  As you can see I have “SWE” now and the colors are fabulous!

I’ve been working on Lady Champagne by Lilybet this month.  My skein of Weeks for the main house color is a bit brighter on the fabric than I anticipated, so I’ve been calling her Lady Egg Yolk.  Lady Champagne’s revenge was swift and sweet.  After finishing the house (except for the backstitching) and the smoky numbers I started on the tree.  I spent an entire evening trying to figure out why the tree was too short.  Everything checked out.  Repeatedly.  I whined.  A lot. 

Mark offered to look at it.  As I handed it to him he asked, “Are you sure it isn’t the house?”  WHAT?  How could it be the house?  The roof came together perfectly, exactly as charted.  All of the windows matched up with the door, etc.  Be serious!  So I pulled out the picture of the design, just to see.  (Thank you Lilybet for a fantastic cover photo!  You can see individual stitches!)  Um, how did I end up with too many rows between the windows on each side?  But what about the door in the middle?  That means it is wrong too, and I stitched that when I started this project…in January of last year.

Has all of this incredible wrongness been lurking smack in the middle of this project for over a year?  Yes, sadly it has.  And no, I won’t be remodeling.  It’s wrong, but it looks fine.  We’ll see what happens when I backstitch the wrought iron around the windows.  With luck it will still look fine!

ETA:  Here it is, all finished, and it really does look fine.  I decided to skip the metallic floss for the star and instead of French knots on the tree I used Smyrna crosses.  Lilybet designs are always fun to stitch!  So sad that they are no longer designing. 

Flash forward to May.  I’ve been working on Merry Christmas by Madame la Fee and I can’t seem to put it down.  It is a nice mix of confetti stitching and boring borders.  I hope to tell you all about it sometime soon…with timely pictures.  Famous last words…

Where Did February Go?

Even with the extra day for leap year, I missed posting in February altogether.  I have a few finishes to share.  This is the Val’s Stuff design from the JCS 2011 ornament issue.  It is for the Christmas in July ornament kit exchange at Violet Threads.  I made a few color changes so it would work better with fabric from my stash.  I have until the end of July to get the finishing completed.  Knowing me, I’ll still be finishing it at the last possible minute. 

The Cocoa Samsarah Stocking is finished.  The cocoa in those cups looks like it has an oil slick on it – just awful – but I like the cuff.  I have moved on to the Bent Creek Bee Strong Zipper to stitch while I work.  In fact, it is almost finished.  It’s a really small, really easy zipper. 

An update on Prairie Moon’s Smoke flower – I love this fabric!  It is even more obnoxious in person.  The whimsy of this designs just makes me smile. 

For Mom’s birthday, this is JBW’s Country French lamb.  It stitched up quickly.  I left off the horn.  I ordered a frame for it from The Rusty Roof, via Amazon.  It was a fast, relatively inexpensive way to get a 6 x 6 frame in a style that I liked.  The project turned out fine and Mom says she loves it, but I’m not 100% happy with the way the frame was put together.  I would probably order from The Rusty Roof one more time, but for now I consider them to be on probation.  Has anyone else done business with them? 

Sweetpea Sampler by The Needle’s Notion – This one is really rocking now that I have some more color on there.  I know this doesn’t look like my normal “thing” but eventually there will be giant pea pods hanging over the little girl’s head.  Trust me, it will get kooky.

This was another birthday gift for Mom.  It is the letter C for Cat from the country alphabet in BH&G’s 2001 Cross Stitch Designs book.  The cat was charted black and grey, but I switched the colors to make it look like Mom’s cat Sassy.  Joy thinks I got it right.  Hope Mom thinks so too!   Cute little frame, huh?

Last night I finished La-D-Da’s A Big Flower Sampler.  I absolutely love how it turned out.  I’ll post a picture when the Bee Strong zipper is finished and kill two birds with one big rock.  
Thanks to all hearty souls who still read my blog!

Last Gasp of 2011

If I hurry, I can squeeze in one more blog post this year.  Here is a run-down of my unblogged finishes for 2011.

First, Birdy Birdy by Sheepish Designs.  So much fun to stitch, all DMC all the time, and a simple yet inspired border.  Love this one!  Resides at Stitcher’s Station, awaiting a frame.

I posted a picture previously of Comfort and Joy by Blue Ribbon Designs, but it was a wrinkled mess.  I wish the picture showed how beautiful the border is.  It almost looks like suede.  I debated about stitching the border, and I am so glad I did.  The chart is up for grabs.  Anyone?

This is how Reindeer Stocking by SamSarah turned out.  I am not loving the bulls eye noses, but it is what it is.  Frogging = not an option.

Mom and Me Forever hosted a Cherry Wood Design Studios trunk show a few months ago.  That’s where I got this cute freebie.  The word “Boo” is stitched with glow-in-the-dark Kreinik.  Fun! 

This may be my favorite finish this year, Sow Good Seeds by Full Circle Designs.  Specialty stitches, cute buttons and wool applique added up to a really fun project.  I also enjoyed the gingham fabric, and honestly I didn’t expect to.  There are several projects in this series, and I highly recommend them!

French Country Teddy Bear by JBW Designs was stitched for a friend.  I still need to do the finishing (deciding on how to finish it will be Step 1) and mail it to her.  When Mom saw it at Thanksgiving she remarked that it looks like lace.  Indeed it does!  It is stitched with Slate Blue Light Gloriana silk, one of the more delicious brands of silk in my stash.  Thanks Joy for the fabric!

By the Grace of God is an Olde Willow Design Works chart from the February 2004 Just Cross Stitch magazine.  It is a project that Jeanne gave me from Sue’s estate, and it included the September Stars linen from Lakeside Linen as well as all of the OWD fibers.  The fabric is pale blue with white stars scattered across it.  I really enjoyed stitching this one!

The Shepherd’s Bush Garden Needleroll I started in January is stitched but not finished into a needleroll.  The charm hasn’t been attached yet.  I think the fabric is a little short on one end, so I have been hesitant to tackle the hemstitching.  (Sometimes “hesitant” means “I’d rather give up chocolate than endure this odious task.”)

As 2011 ends, here is my CJC status:

Brightneedle – Can You Spy? – I think the tree in the center is done.  I haven’t see it in a while.  It is over one, and I love over one but…hmmm, that is all.

Ewe & Eye & Friends – Petite Exemplary #1 – #4 – I only finished #1.  The remaining 3 will give me fun small projects to work on in 2012.

Full Circle Designs – Sow Good Seeds – Done!  This is one of those projects that you have to see in person, I think, to fully appreciate.

Goode Huswife – Reuben Rooster – Done, framed and on the bookcase in the living room.

La-D-Da – A Big Flower Sampler – All stems, no flowers.  Looking forward to this in 2012.

Lilybet Designs – Lady Champagne – Very little done but eager to pull it out soon.

Lizzie Kate – Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle – Stitched, no finishing.

The Needle’s Notion – Sweet Pea Sampler – The girl in the middle is mostly done.  Miles to go on this one, but I am still excited about it.

Olde Willow Design Works – By the Grace of God – Done, currently resides in the finishes bin.  (Finishes no longer live in the cedar chest.  We call this “progress.”)

Prairie Moon – Smoke Flower – Almost finished with the house in this design.  The house is the largest motif and once it is done the rest should sail right along.

Sheepish Designs – Precariously Perched – this project got switched to Birdy Birdy, which is Done!  Precariously Perched?  Not done.

Shepherd’s Bush – Garden Needleroll – Stitched and not rolled.

Still Stitching with Susan Greening Davis – Stitched and still unfobbed.

Sweetheart Tree – Bountiful Acorns – Done!  Framed!  Fabulous!  Literally hanging on the wall!

With My Needle – Bunnies in the Garden – High on my list for 2012 finishes.

Final CJC score:   9 finished, 9 not finished.  I didn’t really expect to finish them all, and frankly half is more than I really thought I would manage.  So hurrah for me! 

I am ending the year with 13 WIPs and 15 finishes.  Not too shabby!  The non-CJC WIPs that remain are:

Aury’s Reindeer X-Mess – this one snuck into my stitching basket in September.  I have no idea how it happened.  Honest.

Madame la Fee – Merry Christmas – hardly touched in 2011, I am sad to say.  It is a beautiful design, but requires more intensive chart-reading than the primitive projects in my stash.  Too many nights my brain just can’t wrap itself around multiple color changes; bring on simple.

SamSarah – Cocoa Stocking – still my work project.  I am making progress on the toe and still have the cuff to do.  I will take a stocking break when this one is finished.  I don’t want to burn myself out on these – there are three more to go!
Sheepish Designs – Precariously Perched – the CJC project that wasn’t.  It has hardly been touched since it was started, but it will make a nice “break” design between some of the bigger projects on the list.
The plan for 2012 is to do my own version of Measi’s WIPocalypse 2012.  I never say never when it comes to starting something new (see Aury project above) but I will focus on finishing my WIPs.
So that wraps things up for 2011.  I leave you with a peek at this cute towel that Kristin stitched for me.
It was a surprise and it is so cheery it always brings a smile to my face when I see it.  Love you, girl!

Happy New Year, everyone!  See you in 2012!

A Few Framed Finishes

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last blog entry.  I took a class this fall and that has cut down on my free time.  I guess I spent my free time stitching instead of blogging.

Over the summer I took several finishes to Stitcher’s Station for framing and they did a fantastic job, as usual.  I took the framed pieces traveling with me over Thanksgiving weekend and my Dad took some really great pictures of them for me.  Thanks Dad!

This is Bountiful Acorns, a Sweetheart Tree needleroll design.  I love how it looks framed!

This is a French freebie (Quaker a 6 Mains, I think)  from the dim and distant past that took me approximately 1 million years to finish.  It was tough to find a frame that looked right.  Maybe it is the chocolate color of the fabric?  It is difficult to tell from the photo, but the frame has a bit of a sheen, almost a mother-of-pearl look.  Love it!

I turned this BOAF Happy Hearts design into a family sampler, and the frame is perfect for it.

At long last, My Home Town by CHS is framed.  I can’t believe how the dark frame enhances the stitching.  I am really happy with how this turned out!

Other than the framing, stitching is going along pretty much as planned.  I will never get all of my Crazy January Challenge projects finished this year, but I knew from the beginning that for me it was more about getting things started rather than getting things finished. 

I just took a peak at my last blog post to see where I left off.  I am still stitching on the Samsarah stockings while I work.  I finished the reindeer and I am currently on stocking #3, the cups of cocoa.   I decided to stitch the border on Comfort and Joy by Blue Ribbon Designs, and it looks really good.  (The chart is up for grabs, if anyone is interested.) 

I made a muddle of the finishing for the Windows of Faith, Hope and Peace ornament but since we were exchanging ornament kits and not the ornaments themselves, I was saved from complete humiliation.  Mostly.  I finished Birdy Birdy by Sheepish Designs, and it is at Stitcher’s Station for framing.

I have also started several other projects along the way, including a JBW for a friend with a new grandbaby and Aury’s Reindeer X-mess.

That’s about it!  I am hoping with my class almost over I can sneak in one more (or maybe two!) blog posts before the end of the year.  I would love to get some pictures of the finishes I mentioned above. 

Any rumors out there about what the crazy challenges will be this year?  I may need to participate in a WIP finishing challenge this time around.  I have way too many large projects in my stitching basket.

Sweet Sevens

Everything is coming up sevens right now.  I’ve finished 7 projects this year.  I currently have 17 works in progress.  Carol asked (a really, really long time ago) how many kitted-up projects I have sitting in the Diane bag – that magic number is 47.  See all of those sevens?  It must be time to rise above my apparent inability to blog on a regular basis and chat about stitching! 

While I wish I had more finishes to report, I really can’t complain too much.  I am still stitching while I work (although it is much, much less during the summer months) and I get at least a few stitches onto the fabric most evenings.  Life does get in the way now and then, but that’s normal.  Right?

So where did I leave off?  I was working on “Smoke Flower” by Prairie Moon and didn’t post a picture.  Here is how the house currently looks.  Love this!

I started the Reindeer stocking by SamSarah and it is coming along slowly.  The reindeer at the heel is done and I am just getting started on the reindeer at the toe.  The Caron Watercolours I am using are beautiful and nicely variegated but I am stitching the reindeer noses in a circular fashion and I’m not sure I love the look.  I do know I don’t want them to look striped.  I’m just not sure the circles work for me either.  Oh, and toe reindeer has an eyeball that is off by one stitch.  I am debating eye surgery.  I’ll keep you posted.

I thought I finished the Blue Ribbon Designs “Comfort and Joy” design, but then I realized it called for a border.  Later that same week I decided to skip the border and call it done.  Yahoo!  Um, wait a minute. I took it to Rainbow Stitchers to show it off and decided it probably needed the border after all.  I’ve flipped more times than a pancake over this design.  My current thought is that I should go ahead and stitch the border.  It will make the framing easier and will probably look better.  I also have 3 skeins of floss to use for the border that aren’t likely to get used any other way.  The border is specialty stitches, so while it will eat up the floss, it will be fun and shouldn’t take too long.  Famous last words.  Here it is, sans border…while I continue to ponder.  Warning!  Wrinkles ahead!

I am leading a Just Cross Stitch ornament kit exchange at Violet Threads.  We are stitching from the 2010 ornament issue and I stitched the Primrose Needleworks design “Windows of Faith, Hope and Peace.”  I used the recommended fabric and floss but I made it with all snowflakes instead of using the words.  The finishing still needs to be done and I have all of the supplies ready to go.  I seem to be lacking mojo.  I need to rustle some up, and soon!  We exchange ornament kits in less than two weeks.  Oh. My. Goodness.

My most recent finish is by Lizzie Kate, “Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle.”  Finished at last!  It looks like the perfect ornament, except it is bigger than ornament size.  I can testify that it does not stitch up as quickly as you might think.  But don’t let that discourage you, if you are thinking of giving it a go.  It is fun and I love the non-traditional colors.  It will make a nice little pillow.

I also finished “Bountiful Acorns” by The Sweetheart Tree.   May I rave (in a good way!) about Sweetheart Tree for a moment?  This design is one of their manila colored cards, printed in black with instructions on both sides.  I bet you have at least one in your stash, and maybe quite a few.  These are amazing designs in a deceptively simple presentation.  The directions are always great, the specialty stitches are fun, the fibers are gorgeous and the beads, treasures, etc. add just the right amount of bling.  “Bountiful Acorns” is designed to be finished as a needleroll, but plan to frame mine.  It is beautiful!  If you haven’t stitched a Sweetheart Tree design, give them a try. 

While I really should be working on one of my large CJC projects, I find myself drawn to “Birdy, Birdy” by Sheepish Designs.  I love the colors a lot.  You might notice the shading in the blue and golden brown letters.  It is stitched with different DMC colors, not a variegated/overdyed thread.  Ah, the good old days!  How silly is that?  Notice too that I have already stitching the year on this project.  Even sillier!

I must confess that most of this post was written several days ago.  Since then I have kitted up a few more projects, BUT they are not in Diane yet so officially the count is still 47.  That is my story.  I am sticking to it!

Bunny Do-Over and Other News

My head is spinning as I try to remember all of my stitching news.  I guess it is better than having no stitching news at all!

I’ve made progress on several CJC projects.  I completed the tree in the middle of Brightneedle’s “Can You Spy?” design.  The picture is rather off-center, but it is more true to color than the others I took.
Can you spy the “mistakes” in the tree?  This is an awesome design.
My title for this post refers to “Bunnies in the Garden” by With My Needle.  So what’s up with the Bunnies?  Do-over?  Yup.  I love Summer Khaki fabric, but it was not making my socks roll up and down for this project.  I ripped out what I started in January and restarted.
When Joy was here in February she gave me some fabric (thanks, Sis!) and I put a piece of it to work here.  It is 32 count linen from MCG Textiles, the color is Oyster.  Normally I am a fan of sparse, scratchy linen, but I like the nubby texture and heavier weight for this project. Plus it looks fantastic!  My only worry now is whether or not I will have enough Olde Willow floss – in the right dye lots – to complete all of the pieces.  I can’t wait to actually stitch a bunny!  We have a crop of baby bunnies in our back yard and they are a hoot to watch.
The next contestant is Full Circle Designs “Sow Good Seeds.”  This is so cute!
The roof will be a wool applique, so the house will be roof-free until the bitter end.  It sure looks funny with that chimney hanging in the middle of nothing!
This week I have been working on “Smoke Flower” by Prairie Moon.  Sorry, no picture this time!  I’m focusing on the house for now and will be ready to move on to something new – a new start, in fact – very soon.
A CJC finish!  Be amazed!  This is “Still Stitching by the Sea,” a class project by Susan Greening Davis.
This was a great little project.  It is full of specialty stitches, has some over one, and the colors are a wee bit outside of my comfort zone.  The ribbon in the picture came with the kit, and is to be ruched for use as a hanger.  I adore the ribbon, but sadly I think it is too dark and “heavy” looking for the lighter, beachy colors in the project.  The good news is that Kathy and Ilene found some ribbon for me at Paducah.  Thanks girls!  I can’t wait to see it.  I almost forgot to mention, the “sea” behind the house is done with a woven plait stitch.  It was my favorite part of the project.
Ta Da!  The stitching is done on the Sugarplum stocking.  The picture doesn’t do the colors justice. 
I have moved on to the Reindeer stocking. No picture this time, but I am making good progress.

My framed finish, “Garden of Life” by Blackbird Designs almost didn’t make it to the guild challenge.  The sky was ugly and storms were on the way.  I wrapped it up in a pillow case to keep it safe…and left it safe and sound on the kitchen table!  I didn’t miss it until I started unpacking the car at guild.  Groan!  My husband the hero came out in the storm and met me half way.

I was thrilled to win 1st place in the Stitchery category!  Susan’s theme for the challenge was “Oh to be a Bride Again” and she made garters for ribbons.  She is so creative, and the garter is adorable.  Big hugs for Mark, you really are my hero!

I think that wraps things up for now.  It’s time to stitch!