Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Finishes ~ in collage

A few of the ladies are putting up collages of their finishes for the past year. It's a great idea. I did this last year also, so I thought I'd join along and show you my finishes for 2009. Su from Contemplating My Needle And Thread is having a stitching 'year in review' party as well, so make sure to drop by and see her 2009 finishes along with others who have left a link.

2009 Finishes

Now when I say finishes, I don't always mean finished to the end. As in finished off as a pinkeep, needle holder, ornament, etc. They're just my stitchings that I have completed the main design and are waiting to be turned into something or framed. Though there was a couple of pieces I did manage to finish off. Mainly my Stacy Nash 2009 Group kit that I got in January - Heart Pinkeep and Strawberry Emery. Also a French design by Creations de Chrystelle called Chocolat. This one I finished as a mini cushion pinkeep and filled it with dried lavender. My confidence with finishing is not the best, so I usually get the most enjoyment from just stitching a design. One day I'm sure, when I get more creative, I'll have an abundance of needlework on hand that I can turn into pinkeeps and the like.

My favourite stitched pieces for 2009 would probably be the first and last ones I did. Recently is Miss Snow Fairy. This whimsical design was so fun to do. Had a little indecision at first on what thread to use for the white, but after that I was able to enjoy it. The other one I remember loving it at the time (and still do) is Life And Liberty. All the small motifs throughout it were a pleasure to stitch, and I love the person carrying the American flag. Anything with a bit of Americana always captures my eye.

There's others I enjoyed and some that I appreciate more after I've stitched them than during. One that was slightly more of a challenge was Chocolat because I did this, one over one. It seems to take you twice as long to stitch when doing over one I find. It really tests my patience too! Then I just worked out my own way of finishing it into a cushion. I just love the way it's turned out though. So soft and pretty.

It's so nice to go back over the memories that each piece brings with it. Some hold more meaning than others. I must say though that this year has produced the most finishes I have ever done before! When I first started to cross stitch, I would do about one piece a year. This past year I have completed 17 (or 18 if you separate the SN pinkeep and fob). The main thing I can put it down to is the support and interest I get from the people who look and comment on my blog. It's truly inspiring. So I just want to thank you all very much! I've enjoyed stopping by your blogs and seeing the wonderful creativeness out there also. These too are inspiring.

So here we come to the end of another year. May your New Year celebrations be safe and happy, and I wish you all a fantastic 2010! I look forward to seeing some wonderful finishes, from me and you, over the next 12 months.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too Much Christmas Pudding!

My fur babies after Christmas celebrations...



Monday, December 28, 2009

A Christmas Finish ~ Miss Snow Fairy

Miss Snow Fairy finished...

PATTERN - Miss Snow Fairy
FABRIC - WDW 35ct Parchment
THREADS - DMC (substituted 3865 for 712), 1 over 2
STARTED - 4 December 2009
FINISHED - 27 December 2009

I wanted to finish her over the Christmas break, so I stitched yesterday afternoon and into the night (12 midnight!) to complete her. I so loved doing this one. It would have to be one of my favourites that I've stitched for the year.

I changed the white thread to a paler version because I didn't want the snow to be the main feature, and I wanted a softer look to the design. If you lived in an area where you get snow, then you may want to go with the original thread of 3865. This will bring up the white a lot more as it's a lot brighter in tone.

I adore the whimsical look to this piece, and the colours are a great combination. It's a Christmas design without being too obvious or over the top. I love it!

I haven't decided how to finish this one off. I'll probably have it framed eventually. I think it's one I'd like to hang on the wall during the year and bring it out to a more prominent spot for Christmas.

This is probably going to be my last finish for the year. This year I mainly tried to stick to stitching by the seasons and celebrations. Next year I may do it differently. I'll have to wait and see how the mood takes me.

Thanks so much for all your Christmas wishes. I had a lovely Christmas Day. I was so tired when I got home though, that I had to have a nap on the lounge! I think all the build up to the day catches up with you and you suddenly hit a wall. I'm still feeling not very energetic, but I have to go back to work tomorrow for only a couple of days this week. Then I have another four days off! Gotta love this time of year.

I hope you're all getting over the Christmas celebrations and are gearing up for a new year of wonderful stitching. I know, I know, just have to get over the New Year celebrations first!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

I hope everyone's having a lovely Christmas Eve. I'm going to be watching Carols By Candlelight on TV while wrapping presents. It's a little tradition I've started doing over the past few years. I feel it's more like Christmas with carols in the background along with presents being wrapped. I'm sure you all have your own type of tradition this time of year.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve... one more sleep to go!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

As promised, here is a picture of my Christmas tree.

Christmas 2009

It's not a real one unfortunately, but I've compensated for that with ornaments. I've been adding more to it since I put it up, with some decorations bought only recently and some over the past ten or more years.

decorations on my tree

Guess what showed up today? My package from the US which had Mum's and Dad's Christmas present in! I'm sure they'll get a thrill when they see it because it's the type of bird feeder they've had before and are unable to get it here anymore. Now all I have to do is wrap it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Joy

This is what I'm getting from this design. Total enjoyment from a cute, whimsical, Christmas pattern. I am so pleased that I decided to do this one and the colours of it are coming up a treat!

I've now completed Miss Snow and all I have to do is place her wings on so she becomes a fairy. I really didn't get bogged down with the solid colours on her dress, and since she's not what I would call big, I was able to complete most of her yesterday and into the night. A little stitching was done on Friday night to start her off.

Miss Snow Fairy - 19 December 2009

The Father Christmas decoration I got from a clothing shop of all places just recently. I thought he looked a bit whimsical and was ideal for this set of photos.

Christmas presents are bought, cards written (sorry, none are going overseas this year - just haven't got around to it), and just getting down to the last minute things now. Mum's and Dad's present is coming from the US this year. I still haven't received it but I know it's cleared through customs in Australia last Thursday. We've had a postal strike here last week for two or three days. This has caused a backlog of mail that will be delayed being delivered. Just as long as they sort Mum's and Dad's package (a bird feeder with accessories that you can't get here) and get it delivered to me by Christmas Eve at the latest! Otherwise it's going to be an IOU a present on Christmas Day. :)

I know most of you are freezing your little ball balls off right now, but we had a really hot day the other day here. It's a bit more temperate now and I don't think Christmas Day will be too hot either. Where I live you can have your heating on one day then the next you may need the cooling on! It can be so hard to plan things ahead, especially if you're doing activities outside. Still, you certainly get a variety of weather - four seasons in one day, sometimes.

I hope you're all getting your Christmas festivities sorted out and are not in too much of a flurry. Some of the decorated trees I've been seeing on other blogs are just fantastic. I love to see all the different varieties and types of decorations used. Mine has been up for a while now and I've been adding more and more decorations to it since. I must get a picture of it and show you before Christmas. It's just a fake tree as the real ones are too much for me to organise. Still does the job though, just without the smell of a real one. My youngest cat, Charlotte, has even been behaving herself with the decorations. She hasn't broken any yet!

Monday, December 14, 2009

~ Noel ~

I finished the hill on Miss Snow Fairy yesterday. I thought it was going to be a bit of a mountain, but it turned out to be a mole hill instead since it didn't take as long as I thought it would to complete.
My creativity's been overflowing and I took some pictures tonight after I got home from work, in the warm glow of the sun. A Christmas decoration adds to the look.

Miss Snow Fairy - 13 December 2009

While I was stitching yesterday, I had some relaxing Christmas music playing in the background. It was Kenny G's - Miracles: The Holiday Album. It's a CD I've had for quite a while and love to listen to it this time of year. So I had a relaxing stitching session yesterday.

This is why I like cross stitching. It makes you slow down and enjoy the moment. Takes you back to a time where things were done at a slower pace. Handmade with love.

x - x - x - x - x - x - x - x

Eleven more sleeps to go!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Bit of Colour

It's amazing how some colour can add such interest to a piece. The white was looking a bit bland on its own, so I'm glad I decided to work on another area of the design. I just love this holly sticking out of the urn. The colours are so gorgeous too.

Miss Snow Fairy - 11 December 2009

You know, I contemplated changing the red colour for a moment. Then decided to stick with the original one. I thought it may have been too orange but I'm happy with it now I've seen it on the fabric. This design is really testing my decision making. I needn't make it so hard for myself. I'm now content with the white I've chosen for it.

Christmas is fast approaching now. It's funny how there's this big long lead up to the Day, then it's all over in a flash. So much preparation goes into it: trying to get families together, decorating the house, present buying, arranging what food to have and who will bring what, even down to what to wear to the occasion! It's busier in the shops, everything is selling out, and if you don't grab that item you were thinking of getting for who knows who, then you just know you'll miss out next time you go looking for it. Only yesterday was I thinking that 'wouldn't it be nice if you could jet off to another country for a holiday this time of year, and avoid getting caught up in all the hype, while seeing how others celebrate Christmas'. Then I was quickly jolted back to reality and got back to work! Ah, Merry Christmas. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not a lot to show

I've completed the border and have been working on the snow hill of Miss Snow Fairy. No matter how quick you think hills will be, they always end up taking forever to do! Not that I've put a lot of time into this piece so far. A couple of hours here and there. Somehow though, I think it will take longer to do than I had first imagined. All good things come to those who wait, they say. I may start on some colours next to bring a bit of interest to it. Different colours always make things come to life.

Miss Snow Fairy - 8 December 2009

Hopefully my next progress picture will be a bit more interesting.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Got My Act Together

You'll be happy that I've finally made a decision on Miss Snow Fairy. I've decided to go with my original idea and have stuck with the DMC 712 for the white. I'm still going to do it 1 over 2, since I tried stitching a bit with 2 threads and didn't like the heaviness of it. I am wanting a soft, delicate look for this chart and the one thread will achieve it I feel. Thanks to all who gave me their thoughts. It was lovely to get some input on it.

Miss Snow Fairy - 5 December 2009

I have done most of the border, just the top part to go. I am so looking forward to see how this one will stitch up in the end. I'm sure I'll be really happy with it. The design is so cute.

While I was stitching last night I watched Titanic on TV. I hadn't seen it for a while and it was lovely to watch it again. When it got to the end, of course, I was in tears. The cats were wondering what was wrong with me. :)

Well, back to work again tomorrow. My how the weekends go so fast!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

So Indecisive

I'm having trouble trying to work out which way to go with Snow Fairy. After consideration on the white thread, I'd decided to go with DMC 712 (instead of 3865). I pondered over people's suggestion of Weeks Whitewash, but thought it was still too bright for the look I wanted. So last night I got everything out to make a start.

I'm working on 35ct Weeks Parchment Linen which is paler than the Dirty Linen that the chart calls for, and stitching 1 over 2. As I began stitching with the 712 thread, I began thinking that maybe it was too light! The thread that is. Then I thought maybe it's not the thread, and perhaps I need to change the fabric! What a state I was getting myself into. I'm still not 100% sure which way I'll go (although I do have an idea), but this was as far as I got with it. Really shows the amount of thinking I was doing, instead of stitching. :)

Miss Snow Fairy - started (maybe) 4 December 2009

The chart is in colour which is fantastic. It really makes it easy to know which colour thread to look for. I also noticed, that on the chart itself they've called it Miss Snow Flurry. Don't know whether this is a printing error or whether it's deliberate. I think the Flurry suits it better really. So stick with me to see which direction I take this project in. You'll never know which way it will end up! (I bet Tina's not having this much trouble with hers.)

I've mentioned previously that I was waiting for some new stash to arrive. It showed up on Thursday. All Shepherd's Bush kits that I bought online from The Rocking Horse. Barb had a sale on with 20% off, so I took advantage of this. She always puts a sale on before Christmas, so it's a good opportunity to buy gifts for others or even for yourself. These are all for myself this time. (If you want to know when she has her sales on, you need to join their email list.)

Shepherd's Bush kits (from bottom left clockwise) - Finch Song, Holly And Ivy, Into The Night, Thanks A Lot, Patriotic Snowman, and in front Remember.

Holly And Ivy's one of their new ones, with Patriotic Snowman an older one. Thanks A Lot was what I was going to do if it had have arrived earlier. I wanted to do this one over the Thanksgiving period. We don't celebrate this holiday in Australia but I feel like we do in a way through stitching. Lots of American holidays are celebrated through their cross stitch patterns. The SB Thanks A Lot kit could be thanks for any occasion though.

Well I mustn't stay on this computer for too long if I want to try to work out what to do with Miss Snow Fairy. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Plan B

Well, I'm still waiting for my latest stash order which has the next project I was going to do in it. I think I'll have to leave that one to another time now. So I'm having to resort to 'plan b'. I loved this chart when I got it so I may as well make a start on it. It's called Miss Snow Fairy by With Thy Needle & Thread.

By coincidence, Tina from Shepherd's Bush mentioned on their blog that she's going to stitch this one as well. So in my own mind I'm doing a SAL with her. How cool is that? I don't even care that she doesn't know about it. As long as I know, that's the main thing. :)

I'm just deciding whether to substitute the white thread with a more toned down version. I know it's supposed to be snow but it's quite bright. Here we go again - decisions, decisions!

Many thanks to all for your kind words on my Bug Ball finish. Thanks again to Loraine for joining me in a SAL. It really was fun to do. I also love finding various decorating items I have at home to place in the photos I take of my finishes too. It's like a mini challenge to pick something that goes with the stitched item I've just done. All part of the fun.

I'm also glad that you like my new Christmas theme blog. I did something similar last year, and it's nice to get you into the Christmas spirit. Since it's the start of December I thought I would change my music to some Chrissy songs too. Hope you enjoy them.