Monday, 30 December 2013

New Year stitching plans

Hello to all my readers old and new.  I only stated blogging this year and have been so grateful for all of your comments.  I really feel that I have made new stitchy friends.

I hope you all had a good Christmas and are looking forward to 2014. I love Christmas but I also like this in-between time when I start to plan for next year.  Kevin's blog post earlier today really resonated with me.  I too like to make plans but not resolutions.  Life throws challenges in our way and plans can change.  It's much better to plan but be flexible than to make resolutions and beat ourselves up when we don't meet them.

On that note,  my stitchy plans for 2014 are still subject to change.  I am committed to the Bothy Threads cut thru SAL every Monday with Debbie, Linda and many others, and to Frosty Forest Fridays on the CCN blog. I had planned to do Crazy January Challenge 2014 but the group is moving from yahoo to Facebook and I don't use Facebook for reasons too long and boring to go into here.  I'm not sure whether I should just go it alone.

The other challenge I'm really excited about is Stitch from Stash.  Check out the button on the sidebar for more info.

Here's my progress on the Cut thru North Pole House.  Not much but every little counts!



I found this in the bottom of my craft bag...


I have no idea how long it's been there but it needs a tiny bit of back stitch and it's finished! I'm all holed up in bed with a heavy cold so might finish this tomorrow.

Here's my Frosty Forest progress.  Almost finished part 1 the Raccoon cabin..


The photo is a bit blurry so you can't see that my raccoon is a bit cross-eyed! I unpicked the French knot eyes twice and was in danger of damaging the cross stitches underneath so he may have to stay that way.

I also need to find a new framer! The shop I used to take my cross stitch to, in Lancashire, has stopped framing.  So if anyone can recommend a framer close to Manchester, England, or that does mail order please let me know.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve, whatever you have planned, and I look forward to stitching along with you in 2014!

Justine


Sunday, 22 December 2013

A little bit of Christmas stitching!

Hello everyone and hope you are all feeling merry and in the festive spirit.  For those of you that aren't, well I'm not either!  Still got lots of wrapping to do and food shopping.

I've been stitching on this lovely to try to get in the mood...


Jingle as ye enter
Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

It's a lovely stitch.  Nancy included some of her hand-dyed threads with the chart and they slide through the fabric so smoothly, I think I'm going to have to treat myself to some more!

However, I've recently signed up for Stitch from Stash 2014 over on Mel's blog Epic Stitching.  For those of you who need/want to save money next year why not take a look?  Stitching spends are limited to $25 per month.  I'm not sure how much that equates to in English money but it won't be much!

I am also doing the Crazy January Challenge 2014 - start one chart a day for the first 15 days of the New Year and try to finish them by the end of the year.  I've made my selection except for the last chart which will be a mystery one depending on how I'm feeling - I might even put it out to a vote for suggestions!  See the tab at the top of this post to see what I plan on stitching.

This might be my last post before Christmas so I hope you all have a wonderful time filled with love and happiness.

Justine
Saturday, 14 December 2013

Advent Blog Hop - it's the 14th!

Welcome to Day 14 of the Advent Blog Hop hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  Without further ado, may I open the door of the advent calendar and present my stitching...



There is a story behind this piece which makes it very special to me.  I was away from the church for many years.  When my children were born my faith was reborn and  being a stitcher I wanted to make something special to show the true meaning of Christmas.

I found this chart in an old issue of Cross Stitcher and duly stitched all the figures on plastic canvas as recommended.  The background was to be downloaded from the magazine website.  Unfortunately, when I'd finished my figures I found to my horror that the background was no longer available (it was quite an old magazine).  So I asked my Dad to paint one for me.  He is the artistic one in our family.  I think it came out pretty well.

It means all the more to me because my Dad is not in the least bit religious, but he put much love and care into painting this picture for our collaboration.  I know it will be a family heirloom as my boys love it too.

Jo asked us for a story about Christmas food traditions.  We are none of us very good or enthusiastic cooks so I have a funny story to share instead.  When I was still living at home with my parents, I had a temporary job one Christmas in a bingo club.  All the customers were given frozen turkeys as prizes in the run up to Christmas, and as there were some left over, the staff members were allowed to take one home each on Christmas Eve.  Me and my friends had decided to go out for a drink after work that night, so we took our turkeys out with us.  My mum was not pleased to be woken up at midnight by a drunken daughter and a part-defrosted 10lb turkey!

Thank you Jo for allowing me to join your blog hop.  I'm finding new blogs and really enjoying seeing everyone's stitching.  I hope you all have a happy, peaceful and meaningful Christmas.

Justine
Friday, 13 December 2013

I name this ship....finished!

I'm so thrilled to be able to show you....

Tall Ship, Niagara
Heritage Classics
Stitched on 28 count Zweigart Quaker Fabric
DMC threads
(Started 1/10/13 - finished 12/12/13)

The backstitch/longstitch was a nightmare.  That's all I'm saying.  Now to get it framed in time for my Dad's 70th birthday on 27th January 2014.

While on the subject of birthdays, I realised yesterday that I actually have two other special birthdays to celebrate next year.  First up is my dear friend Katy's 40th birthday on January 11th.  I've known Katy for about 12 years.  I met her when I went for a job interview (she was meeting/greeting all the candidates) and I actually got the job and ended up being her boss for a while!  She is a true friend and I realised with shame yesterday that in all the years I have known her I have never stitched anything for her.  So....I have challenged myself to finish this before her birthday...(yes, that's January 11th folks - less than a month away)


From new issue of Cross Stitcher magazine
We do like our cocktails!

Then on April 6th it's my brother's 40th birthday.  I have no idea whether/what to stitch for him.  He is a biker and I think cross stitch might ruin his street cred!

Thanks for sharing my finish.  Please pop back tomorrow as it's my day on Jo's advent blog hop and I have an old finish to share with you.

Justine
Thursday, 12 December 2013

Giveaway gifts

Hello all - I'm back!

Sadly not with any stitching to show you.  I have been very busy at work and catching up on the dreaded housework and ironing so have been falling into bed of an evening and not stitching much!

I did have time to stitch my very first ornament to enter into the ornament finishing contest over at the CCN showcase blog.  If you haven't already, please pop over there and cast a vote for your favourite ornament.  You only have until tomorrow to vote!  I have been surprised and pleased to receive some votes.  The standard is very high!

I do have some stitchy photos for you, but not of anything I've made.  I was recently lucky enough to win a giveaway on Heather's blog, and received a lovely parcel in the post this week.  Heather had very generously included a couple of extra charts as she had been ill and unable to post the parcel - so generous of her.  Here are some pictures of the goodies...

such a generous giveaway - look at those gorgeous threads!


a closer look at the extra charts - can't wait to get stitching!

and best of all, Heather included this gorgeous hand-stitched Christmas card...


So pretty...I love everything.  Thank you Heather!

I am a bit down in the dumps today as it's my work Christmas party and I'm unable to go.  It's a long story that I won't bore you with but I missed last year's as well.  So I am going to treat myself to a lovely stitchy day until it's time to pick my boys up from school.  I hope to have a finish to show you very soon!

Until next time (and please don't forget to vote for your favourite ornament!)

Justine