Dec 16, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Exchange

Each year, I participate in the 12 Days of Christmas Exchange hosted by one of the Yahoo groups I'm a member of.  It works like this:  12 small gifts worth $2 are purchased, wrapped, and sent to the assigned partner.  On December 1st, one gift is opened each day and posted to the group.  It is a lot of fun!

On the first day of Christmas, my partner gave to me... three skeins of beautiful Mandarin floss and a scissor keep kit.  I see a new start in my future.

On the second day of Christmas, my partner gave to me... a beautiful jar of homemade apple jelly.  I cannot wait to try this.  Yummo!!

On the third day of Christmas, my partner gave to me... a limited edition Cherished Heart kit, two cards of Wisper floss (lavender and yellow), and two cards of Fuzzy Stuff floss (blue and pink).  Ideas are swirling in my head as to what I can do with this.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my partner gave to me.... Miniature Christmas Ornaments kit and a pair of Little Gems Scissors.  Look how TINY those ornaments are!!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my partner sent to me... a jar of homemade applesauce.  I can't wait to try it!  Having made applesauce for the first time this summer, I know what goes into canning it!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my partner sent to me... four skeins of pearl cotton, three more cards of Mandarin floss, and one card of Nordic Gold.  Look at those pretty colors!  I love them.

On the 7th Day of Christmas, my partner sent to me... the LARGEST bag of hot cocoa I've ever seen!  It's the Swiss Miss Chocolatier Series Dark Chocolate.  I've included one of my coffee cups to show the size of the bag.  The beverage was quite tasty, I must say!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my partner sent to me... 28ct hand-painted Jobelan fabric by Jar Designs and two skeins of GAST.  I've never used hand-painted fabric so I'm so excited to find a project to try it on.  And the GAST.... so pretty!

On the 9th day of Christmas, my partner sent to me... a book called, "Threads of Grace" by Kelly Long, a Mary Engelbreight bookmark, and LOTS a tea.  There are several flavors I've never tried so I'm looking forward to it.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my partner sent to me... lots of good stuff!  Several designs in the April 2004 Stoney Creek magazine caught my eye.  Wild Adventures has lots of gorgeous animal designs.  I also received two other charts that can be adapted into smaller designs.  As if it weren't enough, my partner also sent three skeins of Belle Soie silk floss.  I've never used these before so I'm looking forward to trying them out.  How fun is this?!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my partner gave to me... four packages of beads, two packages of crystal treasures, one skein of Caron Waterlilies silk floss, one skein of Dinky Dyes silk, a package of needles and a bunch of DMC plastic bobbins.  What a great gift package!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my partner gave to me... more tea (Can you ever have too much tea?!) and a cute little Kreinik Ornament of the Month kit... so, so CUTE!

Because my partner thinks of a dozen as a "Baker's Dozen", she sent me a 13th gift package.  How sweet of her!  The Baker's Dozen gift package was filled with lots of goodies:  Two stocking leaflets, a Christmas Treasures leaflet (all by Stoney Creek), two skeins of Gloriana floss, and MORE TEA!  I have all sorts of new tea flavors to try.  I can't wait!

I have truly been spoiled with this exchange.  I've been so busy at work that each day's gift was truly a highlight.  A big THANK YOU goes out to Shirley in KY.  I appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into my packages.

Until Next Time...

Dec 5, 2017

Just Around The Corner...

... old man Winter awaits.  We received our first snowfall on November 11th.  It didn't last long and here in the Midwest, we've had a roller coaster of unseasonably warm weather, rainy weather, and today bitterly cold weather.  Yesterday, it was was 61 degrees with gusting southerly winds.  Today, it's 29 degrees with bitterly cold northerly winds.  Yep, Winter is a-coming!

First Snow of 2017 at The Homestead

I went to a retreat in October where I had two finishes.  One is an FFO (fully finished object) that I can show.  The other isn't finished yet, so no photos (sorry!).  The stitching fits beneath glass.  To finish the fabric, I had to learn the nun stitch.  It wasn't bad once I got the hang of it!  I really like how this turned out.

Design:  Full Moon
Designer:  The Drawn Thread
Fabric:  32ct Linen
Fibers:  DMC, GAST, WDW

The box above is one of the finishing alternatives shown with the chart.  It's by Cottage Garden.  If you are looking to use this box for finishing, SHOP AROUND!  I bought two of these on Amazon for $12 each.  The next day, the vendor increased the price to $20.  Some LNS sell the box for $28.  Prices on Amazon range from $15 to $20 and come in a variety of colors (black, white, brown).

I had another finish besides the two mentioned above.  I had a piece of pretty blue aida that I thought would work perfectly for this design.  Originally, I had intended to make an ornament but it turned out larger than I anticipated.  Hmmm... where have I heard that before?  That brings me to another thought:  Has anyone noticed that a lot of the ornaments in the JCS issues are way larger than one would expect for ornaments?  Anyway...

Design:  Outside My Window
Designer:  Diane Graebner of Lynn's Prints
Magazine:  JCS Ornament Issue 2005
Fabric:  14ct Baby Blue Aida*
Fibers:  DMC
Embellishments:  Handmade Cording, Pearl Rice Beads

Originally, I'd posted a fabric toss on Facebook asking for opinions whether I should use a red fabric or a blue one.  Overwhelmingly, the consensus was red!  However, one person suggested I use blue and put a red cording around the blue stitched fabric.  I took it a step further and chose the red of the birds and the silver gray of the stars to make coordinated cording.  It turned out so nice... I'm very pleased.

*I don't use much aida anymore although I have a boatload of it.  So every now and then, I pull a piece out and stitch something on it.  Stitching goes faster and it's easier on the eyes.  And, look!  I made a cute pillow... with aida!

Until Next Time...

Dec 4, 2017

Ornament Exchanges

I participated in two Christmas Ornament exchanges this year.

This one went to Marina in Canada.  I received the sweetest 'thank you' email from her telling me she has it hanging in her kitchen for all to see.

Design:  Let It Snow
Designer:  Casey Buonaugurio
Magazine:  JCS Christmas Issue 2008
Fabric: 28ct White Cashel Linen
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: Handmade Cording, Mitten Button,
Wood Snowflake Ornament

This one went to Christina in FL.  It turned out a bit bigger than I anticipated, so I made it into a little pillow instead.

Design:  Love and Dreams
Designer:  Jan Fate of Angel Stitchin
Magazine:  JCS Christmas Ornament Issue 2007
Fabric:  28ct Linen
Fibers: Carries Creations, GAST
Embellishments:  Gold Beads

I received two beautifully beaded ornaments from Marcy in WI.  I really am impressed with those who do beaded projects as it's not my forte.

Thank you, Marcy!

Kim E. in IA also sent me a beaded ornament.  I stocking with a little snowman embellished with a star.

Thank you, Kim!

Until next time...

Painting and Stitching...

... not necessarily in that order.

Summer and Fall has flown by so fast... reminded by my brother who I hadn't seen since March.  It's been a really busy summer. Every weekend, I've been off on little adventures that I have yet to blog about.  

I set aside my Etegami endeavors for a bit.  My aunt went gaga over the sunflower etagami I did in class.  Apparently, I'd promised to do one for her and forgot.  She reminded me the other day...  Instead of doing an etegami, I did an actual painting for her.

About half way through doing the painting, I had my doubts it was going to turn out.  The dark spot in the middle was a combination of yellow, red, and violet.  I did not like it at all!  The bottom seemed like a mottled mess.  The only part I truly liked were the petals.  I continued on because if there's anything I learned from the watercolor class last March it's that you never know how it's going to turn out.  Plus, it's only paper and paint after all.  So, moving forward I was really happy with how it turned out!

I'm not sure what brand of watercolor paper I used as it was laying in a pile of scraps I had.  I used Staedtler, Qor, and Daler Rowney watercolors. India ink.  7 x 9 3/4"

I did a second one. I like the leaves better in this one, but like the sunflower better in the first one.

I have a finish! I visited my second Mom in Virginia earlier this year (I also have to blog about this, too!) and she stitched this same design while I was there. Then she let me borrow the chart to stitch it.  We both changed the colors from the original design.  Here's my rendition:

I found the perfect frame while thrift store shopping.

I can honestly say, "I'm abundantly blessed."

Until Next Time...