Sunday, December 30, 2007

And You?

Once again Christmas has come and gone and I hope it was as enjoyable for you and your's as it was for us. Thank you for your Christmas wishes and the lovely comments on my Christmas post.

The New Year is quickly approaching and for me it is time to pay some attention to my January 1 start. Why a New Year's Day start you ask? Well it's like this. At the end of November one of my SP friends told us about a stitching tradition to start a new project on the first day of every year. Those of us who didn't know about this tradition could hardly wait to add it to our stitching rituals and of your course our whole group immediately started thinking/talking about what our 01/01 start would be. In the meantime we have all made our choices and they are as diverse as this great group of women.

Below is the picture which brought me to my new project. This is DH's nutcracker collection at the time it was removed from it's storage place. They were arranged in our front hallway for a picture prior to being displayed around our home. The collection has been expanded again this year as there are always so many interesting new nutcrackers to choose from and they make such great Christmas gifts. You will have to wait until Christmas 2008 to see the additions.

Suddenly it hit me. This past year I received a pattern for a nutcracker sampler from a friend when she heard about DH's collection. So here it is - my January 1 start.

The name of the sampler is "A Suite of Nutcrackers" and it will be stitched 1/2 on 32 ct opalescent white Lugana. Today I'll be preparing the fabric and pulling the colors so that I can be ready to place those first few stitches on New Year's Day. Exciting!!!!

And how about you? Were you aware of this stitching tradition? Do you have a January 1 start planned? I would sure love to hear all about it.

HAPPY 2008

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

I have a list of people I know
All written in a book
And every year at Christmastime
I go and take a look
And that is when I realize
That those names are a part
Not of the book they're written in
But of my very heart
For each name stands for someone
Who has crossed my path some time
And in that meeting they've become
A treasured friend of mine
And once you've met some people
The years can not erase
The memory of a pleasant word
Or of a friendly face
So when I send a Christmas card
That is addressed to you
It's because you're on that list
Of folk I'm indebted to
And you are one of many folk who
In times past I've met
And happen to be one of those
I don't want to forget
And whether I have known you for
Many years or few
In some way you have a part in
Shaping things I do
This, the spirit of Christmas, that
Forever and ever endures
May it leave it richest blessing
In the hearts of you and yours.
- Anonymous -

Friday, December 21, 2007

Finally Framed

Nearly a year ago I took a mounting and framing course. The teacher was fantastic and the technique amazing. I was all set!! However being the worry wart I am about things not being absolutely perfect I put off trying my hand at it myself and as the months passed and the finished pile of stitching projects increased I found myself unwilling to attempt my newly learned skills.

Several times this past year 'A' asked me when I was actually going to put her lessons into practice. About a month ago she suggested bringing a project over to her house and she would advise as I was working on it. I took her up on her offer and here are my first framed pieces.

The Tea Room was mounted and framed with A's guidance.

County Cottage Needleworks "The Tea Room"

'A' cut the mat for this reindeer but I mounted and framed it myself the following day.

The Workbasket "Quaker Reindeer"
JCS Christmas Ornaments 2006

A week later I mounted and framed this piece myself.

The Prairie Schooler 'O Christmas Tree'

I am thrilled to finally be framing my own pieces. Now all I have to remember is that practise makes perfect and just get at that large pile of stitching just begging to be framed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Gifts and exchanges

It is 2:30 a.m. and since I'm awake anyway this is a good opportunity to finally sit down and post. It has taken about a month and a half but I think I've finally caught up on all the work I had to put off during the time I had the UTI. Thank you all for your concern and good thoughts. I hope that the idea of time spent together out on the balcony was as much fun for you as it was for me. It is so good to share with friends.

To catch you up on all the stitching news at one time would produce a post no one would every finish reading so today will be dedicated to gifts and exchanges.

The biggest gift came first of all - a visit from our DD all the way from Holland. We had such a wonderful time chatting, laughing and reminising. We even managed to get away to Arizona for a few days and visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Montezuma's Castle. The weather was perfect for the time of the year and we had a great trip. It was very difficult saying goodbye but I realize that is all part of having grown children as they have lives of their own. What a joy it was to have you here E - we loved every minute of your visit.

November brought another special visitor - Deb She was in town meeting her little grandson Jack for the first time and took precious time away from him to meet Juls and myself. We met up at Stitcher's Paradise early Saturday afternoon and let me assure you Deb is truly just as she appears on her blog - a tiny woman with a big personality. We chatted and shopped and chatted some more until the store closed at 4:00 p.m. and then moved on to Starbucks at the nearest Barnes & Noble and of course chatted some more. It was a wonderful afternoon Deb and a real treat to meet you in person. I am looking forward to seeing you again in May.

When I came home from the afternoon with Deb and Juls the mailman had delivered the most adorable little envelope with a Belgian stamp on it. Inside was a skein of Mistletoe floss by Sampler Threads and a card. I was thrilled to receive this anonymous gift and since receiving it have seen these wonderful envelopes popping up on many blogs.

Dear secret Santa - I thought I had it all figured out who you are but unless some very nice people are fibbing I guess I really don't know. Whoever you are - thank you!! Some day I hope to thank you in person.

In Round Three of Fair and Square Hannah was my partner and she made me the cutest square. I don't know how you figured out I love houses Hannah but I'm sure glad you stitched this for me.

Hannah also sent along some goodies which I am looking forward to using. The pattern is called 'Autumn Arches' and will make a great addition to my autumn wall. She also enclosed some lovely Weeks Dye Works floss which will be just right for this pattern. Thank you for everything Hannah.

Another great gift from a dear friend. Thank you so much Alison the lovely craft magazine. It has so many fun ideas and cute patterns and like I told you, the 'Seasonal Sampler' is sure to be stitched by next Christmas.

Alison and I are planning a SAL for next year. We are currently in the process of picking our pattern and I am looking forward to sharing the SAL experience with her.

The last picture for today is of my round 4 fair squares for Georgie The pattern is called 'French Inspired Heart' and is a complimentary pattern from The Gift of Stitching Magazine (yes you are right Lili, it is the same one. I love this pattern). It was stitched on 32 count oyster linen using Simply Shaker 'Old Red Paint' Sampler Threads. Georgie said that she loves hearts, birds, samplers and antiques. To me this combined all four.

The day before yesterday another wonderful gift arrived - our DS who lives in Germany. We are so happy that he will be spending the holiday season with us and we are all looking forward to a fun time.

I'll be back soon with some pictures of project progress, finishes and framing.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

PS Any mistakes made are due to the time of day. I'll re-read in the morning and adjust where needed.(LOL)