Good morning, all! I plan on making this short and simple today (I can already hear some of you snickering at the idea of me writing a "short" post, but I really am going to "try"!). I'm busily packing away for my stitching retreat this afternoon so I have a bit of a deadline here... After all, I have to get the important stuff packed--the charts, fabrics, threads, needles, and Ott light! I have set aside way too many projects to take with me for what amounts to 2 1/2 days of stitching, but isn't that always the case? If you're anything like me, the thought of not having enough stitching to keep myself busy is one of my worst nightmares. So, I always end up bringing too many projects! I'm so looking forward to seeing my four stitching friends later today as I haven't seen any of them since last year at our retreat. That's pretty sad considering two of them live within an hour and a half of me, but we all lead busy lives and this year was particularly crazy for some of us...
For those of you who are new to my blog (a big welcome to you, first of all!), I have been stitching an ornament a month for my Christmas tree since January of 2010. Creating ornaments really is my first love when it comes to stitching--there is just something special about bringing them out of hiding each December and carefully placing them on the tree. I have three new creations to share with you today for the months of August, September, and October.
For August, I stitched "Winter's Night" by Grandma Kringles. It seems that Grandma Kringles is no longer designing, unfortunately, because she really had some darling ideas. Her blog is gone, but you can still find some of her patterns available online.This one is stitched on 32 ct. dirty Belfast linen with the suggested DMC threads. Although I love the way it turned out, I really struggled with the stitching. I've gotten so I can barely stand to stitch with two strands anymore, which is why you see me mostly stitching on 40 ct. or stitching "over one" on 28 ct. fabric. I stitch so much faster with one thread and there is no worry about the threads twisting up or laying flat. Does anyone else feel that way?
To finish "Winter's Night," I sewed a strip of burgundy gingham on one side, stitched some little x's on top where the two fabrics joined, stretched out a spring (I confess that I needed my husband's help with that chore!) for a hanger and added a strip of the frayed gingham in the corner. Oh, and I added a rusty bell at the tip of Santa's hat... A really simple finish, but I love it!
September brought an ornament finish called, what else, but "Merry Christmas!" This design is from All Through the Night and was stitched over one on 28 ct. white evenweave using DMC 115.
I thought a round finish with some ruched gingham ribbon would be perfect for this one. Many of you have asked about how to ruche ribbon. The way this blogger makes the stitches in her ribbon is how I do it, too: ruched ribbon tutorial. Work slowly and gather the ribbon after you've made the zig-zag stitching on about a two inch length--don't wait until the very end and attempt to gather it all at once! I glue my ruched ribbon on with just a teeny bit of Aleene's Tacky Glue applied sparingly with a toothpick.
And for my October ornament, I couldn't resist making another of the snowmen featured in the "Let It Snow" chart by A Stitcher's Hands. Meet the third jolly snowman that I've stitched from this chart. He is stitched on some sort of mystery 32 ct. linen. Are you smiling now? C'mon--how can you resist that crooked grin of his?
I finished him using fabrics that picked up the blues and greens in his hat and scarf along with a mini-pompom on his hat and some white ric-rak. The blue and green plaid is from a cloth napkin I picked up at Kohl's last spring. I wanted to give all three snowmen a similar finish.
Here are all three together--do you have a favorite? You'll notice that my newest one is wider than the others. Since I used the exact same piece of fabric for all, I can only assume that the fabric wasn't square as this newest guy clocks in at 1/4 inch wider!
Here are my three newest ornaments all together. As you can see, I have rather eclectic taste! You've got a more primitive Santa, a cutesy snowman, and a traditional bird and holly ornament. I really enjoy mixing things up in my stitching and will stitch just about anything except fairies, dragons, or extremely primitive designs. How about you?
Gratitude... To say I was touched and gratified by the number of you who emailed me wanting to help out my friend, Cindy, who lost all of her household belongings and stitching stash due to a deadly black mold infestation, is an understatement. I can't begin to tell you how wonderfully generous the stitching community is--but, then again, I think you already knew that, didn't you?!
I heard from fellow bloggers, both here in the U.S. and overseas; many stitchers that had never before commented on my blog, but must read it (which made me happy!); an EGA group near Binghamton, NY; a New Jersey cross stitch store owner (Where Victoria's Angels Stitch); and a woman who runs a group that accepts donations of stitching stash to pass on to others. Charlene set up this group, Paraclete Designs, which is involved with accepting the donations, sorting, repackaging, and sending them on to various charitable organizations, teachers, and street ministries to spread the love of cross stitching to others. A very interesting mission that I never knew existed! You can read more about it on her website. Each of these people and groups wanted Cindy's address so they could help her rebuild her stash. If there is anyone else interested in helping her out, just email me and I will send you the details. I'm happy to report that Cindy's health is improving day by day, she has begun stitching again, and has just returned to work. I can't help but think that knowing so many fellow stitchers were thinking of her and praying for her recovery is helping her in so many ways...
Have you noticed anything missing from my blog this month? Yes, there is no evidence of Halloween stitching... You see, my dad died on Halloween last year, and I just haven't had it in me to even put out so much as one of my Halloween decorations or pieces of stitching. I know this feeling will pass gradually, but the "missing him" is still a bit too fresh this year. I have enjoyed seeing all of your spooky stitching, though, and I wish you all a very fun Halloween!
Thank you for your well wishes regarding my bone bruise. It really is beginning to feel better and I can walk around the house (and work!) without limping. But, it still hurts to walk any distance so I can't yet use my treadmill. I'm encouraged by the healing that has taken place since my last post, though, so I know I'm on the right track!
Well, so much for a "short post," eh? I tried--I really did! Thank you, thank you for your visit today, and a special thanks to those of you who take the time to comment. I never know how many of you actually read my words or if you just look at the photos, but it's nice to hear from you just the same! Bye for now...