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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

My stocking journey........

 My Mom is a wonderful knitter, and has knitted amazing things.  When my kids were small she knitted them each a stocking.  When Dawn came into my life when my hubby and I married, it was so important that she feel like part of the family.  So I decided to knit her a socking.  As you can see, my talents weren't all that good, but my heart was in it, and she loved it.    Over the years I offered to re-do the stocking as my knitting improved, but she kept this one.

When may sister had her kids, my Mom had decided after knitting 5 stockings she was over it and not doing anymore.  So wanting my nephew and then niece to feel like they were loved, I offered to do stocking.

I was into cross stitching by then and decided to try my talents at doing a duplicate stitch stocking, which was very popular in the  late 80's, early 90's.  I did the snowman for my nephew and the teddy bear for my niece.

By the time my niece Emily arrived I have found Shepard Bush stockings and decided that was the way to go and I've not turned back.  My first stocking was completed in maybe 1996. Emily was born in November and the socking make its appearance for her first Christmas.

In 2000 I did a socking for my grandson, Michael.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of that stocking, it has been misplaced :(  But hopefully will show up, I believe it's in one of many boxes in our house.  Around that time I also did 2 stockings for a possible daughter-in-law and son-in-law, which never happened, so they are extra's that are use for unexpected guests at Christmas.

I also did a stocking for my hubby, which again is packed away someplace.  Hopefully it will be found and used once again next year.

Then came along Granddaughter #1 Donna, and she got this stocking.  Not sure if you can see it or not, but there are charms from Dawn's Mother's charm bracelet on it.  I loved doing this stocking.  I used a different fabric and color, heatherfield, which was nice to work with, so soft.

After Donna came grandson #2 - Addison.  His stocking has a pin that belonged to his grandfather and again I used heatherfield.

After Addison came granddaughter #2 - Arwen.  Her's was one of the first with the over-dyed threads.  I added a charm to hers that I got from a local bead shop.  I wanted something special on it, so it would be her own.

Grandniece #1 was next in line and I went old school with one of SB's earlier stockings.  I liked the design and color and thought it would make a nice stocking.

The same year Grandniece #2 put in an appearance a little bit earlier than expected.  Her's was the first stocking that wasn't delivered for her first Christmas.  I felt bad about that, but given she arrived about 8 weeks early, I'm not going to beat myself up too much.  The stocking was there for her 2nd Christmas.

I've added a close up of the added pictures in some little charms that my sister did for her.  They are pictures of her shortly after she was born and so very tiny.

The next stocking was going to be for a nephew's first baby, but since he and his wife don't celebrate Christmas, I decided not to send it.  He got the traditional rag quilt, but no stocking.

So this stocking has been set aside for another baby one day.  And finally I decided that since I had a male stocking I would add a female stocking, which is one of my current WIP's.   Of course my brother's daughter-in-law is expecting a little sister for Olivia, so this one might find a home quickly.  The baby is due in March.  With my WIP, that will make 11 Shepherd Bush stockings that I have completed!!

I like Barbara Bush, I would love to have several completed and waiting for the next generation of grandchildren.  Sure glad that I have several charts still in my stash and they continue to add new ones annually.

I guess all of these stockings explains why I don't have any Christmas themed X-stitches around :(

My needlepoint nativity is as close as it get.  The designer was supposed to add an angel, but that never happened.  Maybe one day I'll find something that will fit in, until then we'll be happen.

So here is to my Stocking journey, I'm loving my successes, and have learned from my failures.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Pre December "where am I now" check in

I can't believe we are already at the end of November - the turkey, which was a capon, has been deboned and is waiting left over meals.  The rest of the food has either been tossed or eaten.

This was basically a very relaxing holiday for me, we begged out of our only possible family event - figured my sister-in--law really didn't want to share taking her granddaughter to Disneyland for the first time with anyone else, I know I didn't when I took Donna.  So it was like having 3 Saturdays in a row!!  What more would you want?

The question this month is what New stitches or stitching techniques did you learn?  Well that is a very simple question - NONE   Unfortunately this year I wasn't very adventurous in my stitching.  I plan on correcting that failure next year by working a couple of canvases I have that came with stitch guides.  I'm hoping there will be new stitches to learn or techniques.

I did spend Thursday morning, Friday Morning and most of Saturday stitching away!!  Needed the time to get a few finishes this year!!  And to have something to show today.

So what did I finish?

First up is the owl, which I actually finished last month, but I put it in it's coin purse so I could take it home when I went to visit my parents.  It was for my Mom who stopped carrying a purse years ago.  I thought she would enjoy carrying it around with her cash in her pocket as it's not very large.  She loved the owl and all the sparkles, and then quickly put it away :(  Oh well, maybe one day she will re-discover it and decide to use it, along with the various bookmakers I've made for her.   Please don't get my wrong, she really appreciate it's, but doesn't want to damage it, so she doesn't use them.

I managed to get my little lady bugs done and will put it into another similar coin purse.  The lady bugs are for my granddaughter.  Her Mom loved lady bugs, so wanted her to know that while her Mom isn't here, she is always with her and loves her.

 The last finish is a small circle that will go into a purse for my youngest daughter.  I had ordered another canvas and purse for my middle daughter, but the shop hasn't called to say it's in and it's been close to 8 weeks now!!  I left them a message, I was hoping they would be open on Small business day Saturday, but they weren't.  So will need to wait until Tuesday for them to return my call.

On the WIP front I am working on the toe section on my SB stocking.  It won't be done before the end of the year, but I'm OK with that as the baby won't be here until July :)   Sorry for the sideways picture.

The last one is an oldie, but goodie from my WIP stash.  I didn't do much on him, filled in two sections of gray, which will be the background.  I will start taking this one to work with me after I'm done with my Glenda canvas, which didn't get any loving this month.

The Wiz has been calling my name and wanting to come out and play.  The crystal that goes on his staff has long since been lost - most likely someplace, just don't know where :(    I'm not happy with the owl, but not going to change it just yet, will work on it a little bit more before I decide if I need to ripppppppp or if it's OK.

I also worked on my Angel of Peace, but since its just more wing, didn't take a picture.  In my mind it looks exactly like it did last month.  I need to focus more on this, and will devote at last 4 hours a month on it.  Won't get it done fast, but it will get done.

Hope you are doing well and can't wait to see what everyone has accomplished the end of next month :)  I'm also looking forward to 2019 and already planning what I'll be working on, and what I hope to get done.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

2018 WIPocalpse check in toime

Well folks the year is coming to an end, this is the 10th check-in if you count by months, only two more and I should have something done......should is the optimal word here :(   If you want to see what others have accomplished, check here:

So this month's question, which is the whole reason I even do this challenge obviously:

Do you do some kind of rotation or one at a time?

I do my own kind of rotation, which can be working on one thing until it's done, but most of the time I like working on a variety different things.  I don't have any set time between changing projects, but rather I change projects when I feel like working on something else.

I belong to a stitching group, which meet up once a week at different locations.  While I generally only make one a month, I always take no less than 3 projects and often 4 - so I can work on each one for a few hours.

So for this month's update.  I did manage a small finish, the owl.  It will go into a coin purse.  The musical notes will go into a leather purse, it should be done by next check in :)   I will have that one finished before the next check in and hopefully mounted along with the Lady bug from last check in and the owl.  I have also ordered one other small canvas, a dog for my middle daughter's purse, will take a picture of the purses for next check in.

My SB stocking got some loving yesterday, I am going to move down to the toe section next, but need to swap out the q-snaps for something a little bit wider.  

I also worked on my Angel of Peace by L&L.  I think I make some nice progress on the left wing as you look at her.  I would love to get get one wing done so I can move on to something a little more fun.  The wings are getting old really fast!!

The last picture is an angel that will be started after Peace angel is done.  She is called the Angel of Dreams and is so pretty.  I don't think she will be done on the dark blue linen, but I'm sure I will find something in my stash.

Hope everyone else had a great month, can't wait to see everyone else updates.


Monday, October 15, 2018

A little ranting

First let me say that I really do love my husband.  We've been married for 34 years and been together for over 40 (I married him for his Blue Cross Card, just ask him)

Right now as retirement looms in the near horizon, we have decided to reduce our expenses, so we share a car :)  Most of the time this works out well because I have it most of the time.  However every once in a while hubby takes it for a day.  When he does this is how I get the car back, those - - - is where it generally shows how many miles are left in the tank.  Needless to say my first stop was the nearest gas station.

So I just keep saying my mantra.........I love my husband, I love my husband, I love my husband, but boy will he get a tongue lashing if I run out gas.....

So to go on with my rant, last weekend I went to one of the nearby needlepoint shops to get some thread so I could finish up canvas I was working on.  While there I got a few other things that I "needed", to have with the thread. After all you can't just get ONE skein of thread and go home :)  So I got some really neat thread for a small lady bug and a new small canvas that will slip into a purse.  I also ordered a second purse for my other daughter along with the canvas.

Anyways, came home and pulled out the lady bug canvas so i could try that really neat thread and discovered I had completely missed getting enough thread to finish the back ground....... so this one has been put aside until what I ordered comes in.  Hopefully that will be in another week or so.  I'm not doing anything fancy on these small canvases because they will go into a coin purse and meant for the pocket.  Wish you could see how much the large lady bug shimmers, love it.

I have some other rants hanging out there, but those are best kept to myself for now.

I need to get back to stitching so I have something to show on the last Sunday for the month :)


Sunday, September 30, 2018

WIPocalypse check in Sunday

Is anyone else still looking for Summer let alone September?  This year is just flying by and I'm not sure its taking me with it, or leaving me behind.  At any rate, tomorrow is October and my work life is getting ready to get extremely busy again.

This month's questions is how to your organize you stash?  Well I'm not as organized as I used to be when I actually had my own craft room.   However I do try to keep myself semi organized.  My WIPs are kept either on the couch within easy reach, but also in my footstool and a bin in our guest room.   My charts that live with me (and they are some that don't), are kept on a bookshelf with my quilting books and stitching books and some of my threads.   And then the rest of my stash is tucked neatly in the guest closet (thank goodness I'm not a clothes hound), and under the bed (which is up on risers).

Then I keep track of my canvases and charts in an excel spreadsheet, so I know what I have, just not always where I have it.

This weekend was our annual stitching retreat for the Southern CA Stitchers.  The first 2 years of retreat I went for the whole weekend and so enjoyed myself.  This year I wasn't sure how my job was going to go and decided not to commit for the whole weekend, which I would have, but there weren't any room available.  So I went for the day on Saturday and managed to get about 9 hrs of stitching time, OK didn't actually stitch for 9 hours, but I could have if I hadn't spent time seeing what others were doing and catching up with people.

So here is what I've been working on, not a lot of progress but some.... I managed to get more of the balloons done and more of the crown, but not sure I like the crown, so we'll see.  I tried doing hair last week, but ended up taking it out, didn't like how it looked.  Need to re-think what I'm going to do.  She is fun to work on.

My SB stocking got a few minutes of time, but I can't remember for sure if that was after last check in or not.  She needs to get more loving over the next month.

EarthDancer got some lovings yesterday.  She also needs to get more time.  She is an easy stitch, but not always feeling her, so she spends a lot of time in the footstool's storage area.

I also worked a little bit on my Family Tree - it has 10 houses on it, which will be my parents, hubby's parents, hubby and me and then our 4 kids.  So my start isn't very much and this is the first time this has been out in ages!!  it is fun to work on, so maybe I will spend more time on it over the next few months.

The last is the new canvas I got which will go into a coin purse for my Mom.  No fancy stitching on it, just basket weave, so it's kind of a mindless stitch which is nice.  I have the lady bugs too to do, these will become my work project for lunch house starting next week.  Look for a finish hopefully by the next WIPocalypse

Monday, September 24, 2018

I'm still alive

One of my hopes this year was to become a better blogger, or at least write more often, but it seems that I'm not doing a very good job.  I'd love to say that life is getting in the way with lots of fun things, but truth is life is getting in the way, but not in a very nice way :(  (frown face)  Work has been so hectic, but with two new people joining our group I'm hopeful things will bet better soon.

My sister-in-law passed away aa few weeks back.  For us this meant a trip back home to MI, and a side trip to KY to see family (our kids and grandkids).

While in KY I talked my middle daughter into going and painting ceramics with me.  I find it relaxing and you get to spend time just talking to each other while you paint.  She said she wasn't sure it as something she wanted to do, but ended up have a great time too.

My daughter did the hand - I just love the eye.  She will put this on her dresser and will be putting rings and bracelets on it.

I ventured out with a sugar skull.  Didn't turn out exactly like I had thought, but was lots of fun to do.  I experimented with some different kinds of paint, the paints they don't tell you about, you have to just look around and find them on your own.  I liked this place better than the one in our neighborhood here - they didn't limit you to 4 colors, but just said - the paints are over there, help yourself.

I'm trying to get back into stitching and still doing a little knitting on the side.  While on the flight back home (it takes about 5 hours of actual flying time), I knitted on the left over yarn from my little bumblebee baby hat.  I need to make a pompom for the top since I ran out of yarn before it was done.  I think it turns out pretty cute :)  I have one more to knit, which is Nemo, but I have to figure out what I did with the kit, it's around someplace.

Lastly, my meager work on one of my painted canvases.  I'd really like to get this one done before Christmas.  This will be the 3rd Wizard of Oz designs I've completed.  I have several more to go.

Hoping to have lots to show after this weekend - while I didn't sign up for the whole retreat this year our stitching group does, I did ask to attend for the day on Saturday, so need to figure out what to take.  When I go for the weekend, I take no less than 10-12 different projects.  I like to stitch a little bit on a lot of different things.  So only going for 1 day I need to trim that back to maybe 3 things.   There are actually people who just bring ONE thing to work on for the WHOLE weekend.  I'd probably get more done limiting myself to one or two projects at a time, but that just isn't my style.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Must be karma - the original WIPocalypse check in at the full Moon and the new check-in on the Last Sunday

have converged into the same day!!  So it must be a good omen if you believe in such things, so go here to see who else is stitching their projects.

The question this month is:

Do you enjoy the stitching or the finishing most?

Good question, if I had to choose one, it would be the finish.  Once I get down to the last 10% of the project, its like I can't put it down because I can "feel" the finish and can check it off my WIP list.   However for me the best part of my stitching journey is picking out the perfect project.  I stitch mainly for other people, although in the last few years I've been doing more with me in mind.

Generally it's seeing something and thinking, wouldn't that perfect for (fill in the blank).  Like when I did SamSarah's The Flock of Birds - it was perfect for my sister who was battling cancer at the time.  Her daughter just hung the picture in her new house.  Anyways, I think about the project, pick out the perfect linen and count and get the floss.  Then I put in those first all important stitches and its like.....look there is a new shiny object over there.....and I'm off on another project.  I think I need more discipline in my hobby and not go off in another direction every time I see a new project that is begging to be stitched.  But then on the other hand, I can't die until I have everything stitched right?

This past month has not been much on the stitching front for me.  I went on vacation to spend time with our daughters and see my parents.  I had a great time and even got in a little shopping therapy.  While my daughters talked me in to new clothes, I also able to find a few minutes to spend at my favorite shop in Saginaw and got the following charts.

Ink Circles "Three Little Kittens" is my new shiny object :)  I will have to look in my thread supple to see what I have available, and then figure out what I'll need to get.  It's not very big, so maybe it will stitch quickly.  Half temped to start at the bottom and work my way up :)

The L*K charts will be rotated into my at work projects once my current needlepoint is done (working on Glenda).  They should stitch up fast because I spend about 45 minutes 5 days a week working on my "at work" projects.

The last one "Arc of White", I saw sometime ago, and think I even carried it around for while at a shop, but then put it back at the last minute.  Decided to get it this time - don't think I'll use the over dyed floss because this one will most likely be for me.

 When I travel, while I will take one or two (dozen) x-stitch & needlepoint projects with me, I tend to enjoy knitting.  I don't knit complicated things, so it's easy to pull it out of my carry on and knit while waiting to board or while in the air.  So to that end I managed to finish two baby hats that I posted in my last post and also did this one with the left over yarn.  I will do the same with the left over yarn from the bumblebee.

I also finished my second sock, so the pair is ready to send off to its new owner shortly.  Again I had some yarn left over, but not enough for another full pair of socks, so I'm doing a baby's pair.

But fear not, yesterday was the Southern Cal stitching GTG and I played hooky from home and work and went and stitched for several hours.

When I started with the group, there was a lady Debbie, who would bring a project that she knew she needed to finish, but really didn't want to work on.  Debbie's spirit is still with our group (she passed away), so in her honor I have started to pull a project that I know I need to finish, but really don't enjoy stitching anymore for one reason or another.  The project that will continue to be part of these GTG for me will be Nora Corbett's Letter A Mermaid.  It's not that I don't like the design or the designer, but I am just way over doing all of those stupid waves around the A and the mermaid.  I figure if I spend even 2 hours a month on this one, it will get done at some point.  Then it can be framed in hung next to the Letter D Mermaid.

I brought another such project, but decided that my limit is ONE such project in a stitching day, so put it away quickly and pulled out my SB stocking.  I'm enjoying stitching on this one, once the angel is done, I figure I'll be about 50% done.  So I'll be close to tasting the finish and will get my stitching mojo in high gear.

Sadly on my vacation home we had to see our beloved Sadie across the rainbow bridge.  We had Sadie for 14 1/2 years.  She watched over our oldest grandson and granddaughter in her prime.  She provided lots of love and friendship to us as well.  She was a rescue dog when we got her, and hopefully we provided her with a wonderful life.  We will miss her with all of our hearts.   The picture is Sadie and our grandson Michael, they grew up together.

I hope you all had wonderful time stitching this past month and that weather is getting cooler.  While I live in sunny california, I really do miss the cool falls and cold winters.  You can take the person out of Michigan, but you can't take the Michigan out of the person.