January is half over and I haven't even popped in to wish you all a Happy New Year yet! I hope your 2023 is off to a great start... All is fine here and tomorrow I'll be celebrating yet another birthday. How can that be? It feels as though I just wrote about my 67th birthday and here I am 365 days later... Yes, I'm turning 68 tomorrow--just two years left until the big one! I've received some lovely birthday gifts and cards which I'll share with you in my next post. Today, I want to concentrate on the last of my stitching for 2022--the gifts I sent to friends around the world. As I've said, many times, I so wish I could send out more gifts, but I am only human. Perhaps if I could exist on two hours of sleep each night? Anyway... I hope you enjoy these and, perhaps, get some inspiration for stitching gifts of your own.
This JBW Designs star is from a chart called "French Country Ornaments." I left off the word "star" that was on the original chart and finished it as a simple round ornament. This one is stitched on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen with one strand of Sulky thread 1169 (which is similar in color to DMC 221). I made some cording using DMC 221 and added a gingham bow and gold star charm to the bottom of the ornament.
|JBW Designs "French Country Ornaments"|
The Prairie Schooler deer design is one I've stitched before--a couple of times in fact! It is from the 1998 Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine and is called "Two by Two: Deer." It was stitched on a piece of 40 ct. mystery linen with the suggested DMC colors. Again, I made some cording and added a gingham bow (have you noticed how much I love little gingham bows?!).
|Prairie Schooler "Two by Two: Deer"|
This pair of Prairie Schooler Santas will also look familiar as they among my favorites to stitch for gifts. I've stitched this one at least six times, I think! One of these was a Christmas gift, one was a thank you gift and, I'm happy to say, both were very well received. This Santa is from the Prairie Schooler "Kris Kringle" (book no. 62) and was finished into an oval. I believe these were stitched on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen--not quite sure as I forgot to write it down.
|Prairie Schooler "Kris Kringle" (book no. 62)|
Another design that I've stitched several times before is the JBW Designs "Christmas Motif Sampler II." These are such fun pieces to stitch with all the miniature motifs charted to form a Christmas tree. I stitched it "over one" on 25 ct. Victorian green Lugana using DMC 3865. I did make one change and substituted another bunny for the deer that was charted underneath the tree. I liked the symmetry of the two rabbits facing each other (of course!). The two-toned cording and satin bow finished it off quite nicely, don't you think?
|JBW Designs "Christmas Motif Sampler II" |
This sweet cardinal stitched on black is one of my favorites! He is from the Plum Pudding Needleart "Winter's Song" chart. For this one, I used 28 ct. black Monaco and the suggested DMC colors. Such a cheerful little ornament!
|Plum Pudding Needleart "Winter's Song"|
My final stitched gifts were made into cards for various friends. The three on the right you'll recognize because I stitched that design for my November 2022 ornament, too. It is by Heart In Hand and is called "Pocket Round: December 25." It's stitched on 40 ct Vintage Country Mocha Newcastle using a mixture of DMC and overdyed threads. The pink design (using DMC 3326) is a freebie from L'R de rien which you can find right here. I used 40 ct. white Newcastle to make it small enough to fit into the card opening. Finally, the card on the bottom left may look familiar because it is a smaller version of my ornament from December (which you can find more information about here). It is a sweet motif from Madame Chantilly's "Celebrate Winter" chart and is stitched on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen using most of the suggested DMC colors.
| Stitched cards sent to friends around the world|
Last, but certainly not least--I stitched an ornament for my 2 1/2 year old grandson's third Christmas. I thought this Annie Beez Folk Art design was so adorable with that cute snowman trying to sell his wagon full of snowballs for 5 cents each! It is part 4 of her "Snowy 9 Patch" designs. The original had a square red zig-zag border, but I wanted a round ornament so I gave the poor one-armed snowman another arm and left off the border. This was the first time I had stitched on the 32 ct. petit point raw/white Belfast linen and, to my surprise, I rather enjoyed it! The coverage of the white printed dots was quite good using two strands of thread. I stitched Mister B's name "over one" using black DMC thread and it looks so cute. For privacy, though, I've covered up most of the name.
|Annie Beez Folk Art "Snowy 9 Patch" (block 4)|
And here is a photo of the little elf himself "fixing" the tree at our belated Christmas celebration last Sunday in Maryland. He rearranged the ornaments many, many times as you can imagine! I just can't get over how tall he has grown--very "long and lean" as they say. What a change from the little baby shown in this photo on his very first Christmas back in 2020!
|Santa's little helper--Mister B!|
Thank goodness I snapped a photo of him in his Santa suit early on as that hat didn't last long! Here he is again with Nonna and Pompaw before opening presents. We had such a fun morning watching him open his gifts! He was so excited over each and every little thing (well, except for the clothes--ha ha!). My youngest son and his girlfriend were also able to join us as they live just 40 minutes away from my grandson and his family in the heart of Washington, DC. We all enjoyed a tasty brunch of blueberry pancakes, French toast casserole, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, and orange juice before opening gifts. I'm already looking forward to next Christmas when everyone will be here!
|Belated Christmas in Maryland|
I meant to share the following photos with you in my last post, but it slipped my mind. After I take the "Parade of Ornaments" pictures each year, I move my dozen new ornaments to my Christmas tree. But, I certainly don't want to leave the stairway garland bare so I've begun filling it with ornaments I have been given over the years. Some are from long ago friends who no longer blog, some are from current stitchers and Instagram friends. Chances are, if you've ever sent me an ornament--it is on this garland. I love seeing these beautiful reminders of stitching friendships that started from the time I began blogging in 2009. Thank you one and all--these mean so much to me!
|Ornaments from stitching friends around the world!|
Giveaway winner... Thank you for joining in on the fun and answering the last "Getting to Know You" question! I enjoyed reading about your goals and resolutions for this new year. So far, I'm not doing very well on my goal of getting out of bed earlier--it's just too cold! I want to snuggle under the covers and read the morning away! I hope you are all achieving your own goals a bit better... I had several entries for the Waxing Moon winter chart and the winner is...
Kathy H. from New Hampshire
|Kathy H.--you are the winner of the "Winter Things" chart. Please email me with your address and I'll get the chart off to you this week! |
If you are a Christmas ornament stitcher, you may wish to join me in my #12in23ornament stitch along over on Instagram. The goal is to stitch and finish one ornament each month in order to have a dozen new ornaments for your tree (or to give as gifts) by year's end. It's so much fun to see the cute finishes from stitchers around the world each month and it's a wonderful way to "meet" new stitching friends. No need to sign up--just add the hashtag #12in23ornamentstitchalong to your ornament posts on Instagram. This is our third year creating ornaments for the stitch along and we'd love to have you join us!
|A new year--a new ornament stitch along begins!|
My views on January have definitely changed over the past few years... I used to hate the month and dread the way its gray days and cold nights seemed to drag on forever. But now I relish the peace and quiet of the month after the hustle-bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I enjoy the soft blues and whites in my more limited decorations and I truly enjoy the extra time I have to stitch, read, and just putter around the house. Who else loves to putter (or potter as they say in England!)? There is nothing better than a day with no outside commitments where you can just stay inside and do whatever makes you smile! So, January--forgive me... for so long I viewed you as my least favorite month. Now you've jumped near the top of the list!
|My grandma's dough bowl is filled with lots of pale blue and white ornaments and is sitting on a vintage quilt from my husband's family. The whole vignette makes for a cozy winter scene on our kitchen table this month!|
And that wraps up the first post of the new year! Did you know that January 24th will mark the 14th anniversary of my blog? The world of blogging has seen many changes since I began "Stitching Dreams" in 2009, hasn't it? Reading blogs has definitely become less popular, but I still view it as my primary connection to cross stitchers. The relationships formed are stronger and much less superficial than those made on other social media platforms. So, thank you--each one of you, who has left a comment or sent an email my way because of "Stitching Dreams." You've touched my life in such wonderful ways. Here's to another year of successful blogging and stitching--I hope you'll join me! Bye for now...