Good morning, my stitching friends! And how is everyone doing in this brand new year? 2015... doesn't it seem like just yesterday that we were celebrating the year 2000 and ringing in a new century? I'll have to admit, January is not my favorite month... I always feel a bit of a letdown after the busy holiday season and this cold, bitter month seems to stretch on forever. Does anyone else feel like that? I think this year it hit me harder than normal because I was going non-stop from the day Dad died on October 31st until the Christmas decorations were finally tucked back into the attic on January 3rd. And all of a sudden everything is quiet again--which is both good and bad. Good because I have more time to read and stitch and putter around the house (I love puttering!). Bad because I have more time to think about and miss my father and worry about certain other friends and family members. I know that once short February rolls around I'll be relieved--after all, by then, the winter's end is in sight!
But, enough of that--I know you're here to see what stitching I have to share with you today. I was so impressed with the goals so many of you made for your stitching year... I'm just not that organized and I'm the type of stitcher who likes to stitch whatever calls to me at the time. My only goal for 2015 is to, once again, create a dozen new ornaments for my poor, overloaded Christmas tree. I try to do one a month and January's is stitched, but not finished, so I'll wait and show you that next time. Today, the only things I can show you are the ornaments I've given away as gifts at Christmas time and for a friend's special birthday.
I stitched and sent 11 ornaments as gifts this year and today I'd like to share those I created for my international friends. Next time, I'll show you the ones that went to friends right here in the United States.
To my friend June, in England, went this piece stitched on 32 ct. black Belfast linen. If you think it looks familiar, you're right! I stitched another for my own tree back in 2012. I don't mind stitching the same design twice if there are a few years in between stitchings, do you? This is called "Candy Canes" and is designed by Sue Hillis. I found the cute candy cane charm in the lower right corner on Etsy.
|"Candy Canes" by Sue Hillis|
This Prairie Schooler Santa, from the "Father Christmas" booklet (No. 43) is now residing with my friend, Lois, in Northern Ireland. For the finish, I used the suggested DMC colors on 40ct. raw natural Newcastle linen. I tied a couple of rusty bells on the hanger and added handmade cording to complete this one.
|Prairie Schooler's "Father Christmas" gold Santa|
To Lynda (no blog), in England, went another Prairie Schooler Santa from the "Father Christmas" booklet (No. 43). Once again, I used the suggested DMC colors on 40ct. raw natural Newcastle linen. I'll definitely be stitching both of the PS Santas that I sent to Lois and Lynda for myself. I just love how relaxing they are to stitch!
|Prairie Schooler's "Father Christmas" blue Santa|
For Nathalie (no blog), in France, I stitched an ornament which I've stitched at least four times! This gingerbread boy is designed by Plum Pudding NeedleArt and is stitched "over one" on 28 ct. Jobelan using the suggested DMC threads. The chart can be found in the "Candy Cane Wishes" booklet which features two other equally adorable designs. I'm sure that won't be the last time I stitch him--he always makes me smile!
|Plum Pudding NeedleArt "Candy Cane Wishes"|
And finally, for Gabi (no blog), in Germany, went another favorite Prairie Schooler design that I've stitched multiple times. The chart for this one was featured in the 1999 Just Cross Stitch ornament magazine. I used 18 ct. sage green aida and backed it with the cute polka dot fabric which coordinated perfectly with the DMC colors in the finish.
|Prairie Schooler "Let It Snow" snowman|
If you'd like to see the gifts that June, Lois, Lynda, Nathalie, and Gabi sent my way, just take a peek at my previous post. I've so enjoyed my friendships with all of you--thank you again for thinking of me at Christmas time!
And there was also a special birthday gift for my friend, Cindy, who turned 50 on January 1st. I chose yet another Prairie Schooler design (are you tired of all these PS designs, yet?!)... This one is from the chart "From the Heart" and is stitched on 40ct. raw natural Newcastle linen. I used the suggested DMC colors, but changed the border to all white and added six little beads to the basket. I thought Cindy could use it for Valentine's Day in a small basket of finishes or just place it on a bookshelf in her home. I previously stitched this for my bowl of February finishes back in 2012, but used a different color scheme in the border, which you can see right here. I actually think I like this all-white border even better!
|Prairie Schooler "From the Heart" finish|
Blogging slowdown? It was so interesting to read your comments and emails on my last post's reflections on the change in the blogging world over the past year. I'm thrilled that so many of you plan on keeping up your blog and a few of you even said you missed the personal contacts that blogging brings and plan to return to it. Yay!! A couple of you emailed and said you were discouraged with blogging because of the lack of comments on your blogs. Well, my answer to that is: "Do you comment on other blogs?" I comment--a lot. I know how a few kind words about a finish or a post can make me feel and I try to bring that same feeling to others. I rarely comment any more on blogs whose authors don't comment on mine. Does that sound childish? Perhaps, but there are only so many hours in the day and I'd rather take the time to comment on those blogger's blogs who reciprocate... A comment can be as simple as "nice work" or "lovely post." It really doesn't take much time out of your busy day. Anyway, it was an interesting conversation and the general consensus seemed to be that blogging offers more of a chance to build real relationships than some other forms of social media.
A little giveaway... I know you're all familiar with that lovely Santa postman in Marly's header on her blog--isn't he the most handsome Santa? I love how Marly finished him, too, and will definitely be adding him to my "must stitch" list one of these years. While doing some organizing last week, I discovered that I had an extra copy of the book that contains that chart as well as over 20 other lovely projects. Who would like to win a copy?
Here is a collage of just some of the charts you can find in this beautiful book including the postman Santa shown in the far right photo. If you would like to win a copy of this Leisure Arts book, please let me know in your comments and I will pick a winner on my birthday on January 16th. I will leave the drawing open until midnight on January 15th.
|Giveaway for "Christmas Portraits" book|
I'll leave you with this photo that doesn't look like much when you first glance at it. But, as I studied it more closely, it took my breath away when I noticed the brilliant reddish orange cardinal perched on the very top of a snow-covered pine tree in my back yard. Can you spot him?
Here is a blurry close-up--such a cheery bird in the middle of winter...
Enjoy your week, my friends... the next time I post, I'll officially be the big 6-0!! Thanks so much for each and every comment; I truly appreciate them! Bye for now...