Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

It's hard to believe today's the last day of 2012! It's been a good year for my family, with buying a new house, both me and hubby getting new jobs, my daughter going into 1st grade at her new school and my son growing bigger by the's hoping 2013 is an even better year!

2012 also saw me return to cross-stitching after a long hiatus. Granted, it's only been about six months since I came back into the stitching world, but I'm definitely back with a vengeance! This week or so off with Christmas holidays and the family fighting the flu has been hard without stitching. I'm eager to get back to it!

So at the beginning of each month, I tend to look back over my last month's goals and make goals for the next month. This being December 31st, I'm going to do something a little differently...let's look at my year in review!

2012 brought with it five finishes, four of which were done for World of Charity Stitching:
Knotted Hearts - WOCS Project - 7/23/12 - 7/26/12
Have a Heart - WOCS Project - 7/27/12 - 7/28/12
Birdhouse Neighborhood - WOCS Project - 8/8/12 - 8/18/12
May Lily of the Valley Teacup - WOCS Project - 10/14/12 - 11/10/12
Tribal Penguin - 10/28/12 - 11/17/12
This year also saw me start six other WIP's that will carry over into next year:
Christmas Countdown - Dimensions
Flames of Desire by Lee Ann Seed - Heaven and Earth Designs
Italian Vista - Dimensions Gold Collection

European Bistro - Dimensions Gold Collection
My Witch's Brew - Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love by Thomas Kinkade - Candamar Designs Disney Dreams Collection
I have met many new stitchy friends on blogs and facebook. I've been exposed to a TON of new designers and websites I never knew about before and have learned more about stitching than what comes in a kit. I have fallen in love with hand dyed fabrics and with stitching on something other than Aida. I have enjoyed documenting my own stitchy journey in this blog and in pictures. I've absolutely loved it all!

So, goals for 2013...

1. Year of the Stash - I'm dedicating 2013 to being the Year of the Stash - I have added several patterns to my collection this year and I have tons of DMC thread already. In 2013, I want to expand my horizons. I've signed up for three Fabric of the Month Clubs for hand dyed fabrics (so far). I'm going to be looking at using different threads and beading techniques in my pieces. I want to use the groups I'm a part of to be exposed to more new designers and patterns and projects. I want to increase my stash to help increase my choices of what I want to work on and create!

2. Crazy January Challenge - I want to successfully start all 15 projects in 15 days and will be very pleased if I can finish at least 1/3 of the projects in 2013. I have some small projects that I think are very doable to complete this year...the rest, perhaps not so much, but that's okay!

3. Finish at least one of my 6 WIP's from 2012 - not sure which one it will be, but I'd like to finish at least one of them this year!

I plan on making more goals on a monthly basis as I always do...but I think these three big themes are a good start for the year! Can't wait to see what 2013 brings! Happy New Year!

Until next time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Break

I think it's safe to say that Christmas and family will consume my week this week with my sister in town and all the fun things that go on during the holidays, so I am going to be officially taking a stitching break until January 1st when I start the Crazy January Challenge! I just need to print out my last few remaining patterns and I'm good to go! I can hardly wait!

Christmas Countdown has been put away until it's next turn in the rotation. Here is where we started this week:
Christmas Countdown - Start of Rotation Week - 12/16/12

And here's where we ended the week:
Christmas Countdown - End of Rotation Week - 12/22/12

Not as much progress as I would have liked, but I blame sickness and holidays. Hopefully next time I can make more progress! I definitely think I'm going to start on more of the scene on the top half of the pattern next time, though...the red bored me quickly and it proved hard to be motivated to do much else with it, especially with the other craziness going on in my life!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, laughter and happiness and that 2013 is a wonderful year for you! See you on January 1st!

Until next time!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The World Hasn't Ended Yet...

And I don't think it's going to...whew, that was close!! ;-)

Again, life has been crazy this's hard to believe we only have a single handful of days left until Christmas! I have too much wrapping left to do! Ack!

I have a couple of night's worth of progress to share tonight...lots and lots of red.

Here is where I ended last night:
As of 12/19/12

And here's where I am tonight:
As of 12/20/12
Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm going to do much else on this piece this week. Tomorrow night and Saturday are my days to get ready for our family Christmas Eve-Eve party on Sunday, and I want to have all of my wrapping done, all laundry put away, and the house completely ready when I go to bed on Saturday night...stitching may not happen while I tend to that! We'll see! This has kinda been a flop of a stitching week, anyway!

Until next time

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sorry I've Been Quiet

Life has been insane of job...Christmas preparations...dealing with the last days of school for my daughter...and being sick on top of it all has made time for both stitching and blogging scarce of late. I did get a few stitches into Christmas Countdown last night, though...
As of 12/17/12
 Mindless stitching of the border has its benefits and its downfalls...on the plus side, since I'm tired and not feeling great, knowing that I just have to do lots and lots of red for the moment is an easy and relaxing process. On the down side, it's not exciting, which sometimes makes it hard to get motivated to do it. I think the next time I pick this piece up, I may do some of the stitching of the scene rather than finish the outlining of the frame as I had planned. This week, though, all I have the mental capacity for is the mindless stitching, so red border it is!

I plan on sitting down with it again tonight after I finish Christmas Cards...wish me luck!

Until next time!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Hate Being Sick

Thursday night, I didn't feel that great...Friday, the weather front completely settled over my house and made me miserable enough to go to the urgent care clinic after Girl Scouts, and yesterday I was resting off and on most of the day. It is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, and so far, it's been primarily hermiting and not a lot of stitching. The only thing I really felt up to when I was awake was a few stitches here and there...I actually made more progress than I thought, but here is the final report on Flames of Desire for this rotation week.

I started here:
Flames of Desire - Start of Rotation Week - 12/9/12

And ended here:
Flames of Desire - End of Rotation Week - 12/15/12

I'm definitely into the second page now, and there is a lot more to work on in this second page, so I'm going to take the rest of the page by columns. I'm kind of sad to put it away because I don't think it got the love it deserved this week since I was sick, but it will come back again soon enough.

This week is going to be filled with the hustle and bustle of finalizing things for Christmas...I plan on working on Christmas cards today (I usually have them out WELL before this, but oh well, I've been sick), ordering the last gifts I need to get, and start wrapping what I have. We have a big family party scheduled for a week from today, so I want to make sure I have everything ready to go!

It is appropriate, then, that the piece I'm working on this week is Christmas Countdown! And luckily, right now, I'm really working on mindless border stitching. I think that's actually a good thing this week - between my already packed meeting schedule at work and getting ready for Christmas, I think mindless stitching is just the kind of stitching I'll need! Here is where Christmas Countdown stands as of this morning:
Christmas Countdown - Start of Rotation Week
Ornaments are done, so it's just the border I'll be working on this week. Maybe if I'm luckily I'll finish the border! We'll see! Mindless stitching can also be fast stitching!

Until next time!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last TUSAL of 2012

No stitching tonight - being far too tired with a sinus headache and an inability to concentrate did not lend itself to stitching tonight, but I did want to share my TUSAL for the month, especially since it's the last TUSAL of the year!

As always, I'll start off with my TUSAL jar from last month. Here is where we were in November:
TUSAL Jar - November 13, 2012
And here is my last TUSAL for the year:
TUSAL Jar - December 13, 2012

And from the top! Here is November:
TUSAL Jar - November 13, 2012
And December:
TUSAL Jar - December 13, 2012

I bet you know where all those pretty oranges and reds on the top are from! In fact, I added ORT's this month from not only Flames of Desire, but also Tribal Penguin, My Witch's Brew, European Bistro, and Italian Vista. So, now the question becomes, what to do with all of these ORT's...six months worth to be exact...and I knew the perfect answer!

My 2012 TUSAL ORT ornament! Isn't it pretty?? I got all those ORTs compacted into one ornament and I think it's just beautiful! I love seeing the colors of the threads, especially those from earlier projects that I haven't worked on because they were completed a long time ago. It's already hanging on my tree and this will definitely be a new tradition every year!

Thank you for all of your kind comments on my Advent Calendar Blog Post - I love those stockings and I'm glad you do too!

Until next time!

Advent Calendar Blog Hop - Day 13!

Just a brief break from Flames of Desire to welcome you to Day 13 of the Advent Calendar Blog Hop, hosted by the lovely Jo of Serendipitous Stitching! I have to admit I was very excited to get Day 13 as 13 has always been my lucky number!

This year's theme is Stocking, Sack or Something Else - I think my stitchy picture will clearly give away my answer!
Stockings all the way! Stockings were actually my initial inspiration to get into cross-stitching in the first place nearly 20 years ago! My aunt was big into stitching at the time and she had created a pair of beautiful cross-stitched stockings for her and her husband, and I knew right then and there that when I grew up, I'd make stockings for me and my family, and I did! Mine and my husbands were finished in time for our second Christmas together, and I started the ones for each of my kids as soon as we started trying to get pregnant with each of them because these suckers took me about 18 months a piece to finish!

I grew up with stockings, I never knew about sacks or something else! In our house, Santa brings small gifts for under the tree but is primarily responsible for filling up the stockings with goodies of all sorts! Over the years, Santa has brought our kids everything from pacifiers and teething toys to My Little Pony and Spiderman toys! Santa also fills my stocking, while Mrs. Claus is responsible for filling up my husband's. Can't wait to see what Santa brings this year!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this addition to the 2012 Advent Calendar Blog Hop!

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On To Page Two!

So I started working on page two tonight...I didn't get too far as I was completely exhausted after a nearly 12 hour work day today, but it's progress!
Start of Page Two!
Tomorrow is the last TUSAL for the year as well as my day in the Advent Calendar Blog Hop! I have a post all ready to go to be posted in the morning for the calendar and will come back tomorrow evening with the TUSAL update for the year, including my TUSAL ornament for 2012!

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Page Finish!

My first ever HAED page finish! Granted, I have 24 or so pages left in this piece, but I'm rather pleased just the same!
Page One Finished!
I have decided to work in numerical order, so page two to the right of this page will be next up - lots of sparkly moon in this page, but we'll also eventually see the head of the piece begin to form as well!

Until next time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Long Day...

Long and a bit overwhelming but good! I've definitely realized today I'm no longer a manager, I am a director, and I get all the perks and drawbacks that go with that title, haha! It was nice to unwind tonight with some stitching, though I'm exhausted and am about to crash!

Here is my progress for tonight:
As of 12/10/12
I also received a wonderful parcel from Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie with pieces of fabric for my Crazy January Challenge!
The top two (Fairy Dance and Isolde) and the bottom right (Lady of the Lake) are going to be used in the Crazy January Challenge. I had planned on using the bottom left one (Mulled Cider) too, and though I think it's absolutely gorgeous, it's going to be a bit too dark for the piece that I wanted it for after looking at the threads against the fabric, so I'm ordering another fabric and will put that beautiful piece to the side for another day! Nothing wrong with starting a hand dyed fabric collection - I've joined a couple Fabric of the Month clubs for next year, so I know this won't be the last fabric to add to the collection!

Off to bed for me!

Until next time!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Love the Flames

Truly, I think in my rotation at this point, this is my favorite piece. Yes, I nearly go blind with the 25 count linen fabric whose color blends in with some of the threads and whose stitches are done over one, but I just absolutely love this piece. Here is my progress as of today:
As of 12/9/12
I don't think it will be a problem to finish up the page this week. The main areas still left to stitch in the flame wings are primarily made up of only a few colors. Hopefully I'll be able to go through them quickly!

Off to bed for me - I feel like it's the night before the first day of school all over again with my new job starting tomorrow! I'm excited and nervous all at once!

Until next time!

End of the Rotation Week

I didn't get any more stitching done on Italian Vista yesterday because I was worn out after a wonderful family filled day, so here is the end of the week report!

We started Italian Vista at this point:
Italian Vista - Start of Rotation Week - 12/2/12

And ended the week with Italian Vista looking like this:
Italian Vista - End of Rotation Week - 12/8/12
Definitely some good progress this week! I'm excited to be moving onto the next piece of the rotation though - Flames of Desire! This is where we last left this beautiful piece:
Flames of Desire - Start of Rotation Week

It's my hope that despite starting a new job this week that I can have my first page finish on my first HAED. Wish me luck!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Another Late Night

I'm taking advantage of these last couple of evenings before I have to go back to work to stitch until my eyes can't stay open anymore, which means no posting until the morning!

Here's my progress as of last night:
As of 12/7/12
I'm not sure how much I'll get done today. The women on my mom's side of the family, from my grandmother down to my daughter (ten of us in all), are all going out today to celebrate my mom's birthday and to take the little girls on a holiday adventure at the American Girl's Store here in daughter is so excited! You know I love her when I spent three hours the other night washing and combing the tangled mess of hair her doll had so she can look nice and pretty for the outing today, haha!

I did complete one other goal of mine for this week off. The Crazy January Challenge is completely bobbinated, separated and ready to go! I went from this:
Floss Batch #1
Floss Batch #2


To this!
So pretty!
Each floss box holds between one to three sets of thread for a project, and all the beads are in the top left bead box! Yay! I also opened the kits and got them ready to go as well. All I need at this point is the last bits of hand dyed fabric I ordered (which I know are being worked on and will ship shortly!) and I need to copy the patterns from the various magazines for working copies, but that won't take long. I'm just very pleased that I'm pretty much ready to go! So excited!

Until next time!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Late Night Stitching...

But it was too late for posting! I got on a roll last night and didn't stop until my eyes started getting dry and I realized it was WAY past my bedtime, haha. Here's the progress from last night!
As of 12/6/12
I'm not sure how much stitching I'll get done today, as it's my last day of vacation and I have Girl Scouts to prepare for tonight, but we'll see!

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lounging in the Vista

So for the past couple of days, I've been spending my time shopping, cleaning, decorating, relaxing, getting a massage and pedicure, and just enjoying these days off. The activity yesterday was so much (primarily shopping) that by the time I had time to stitch, it was late, I was tired, so I didn't pick up a needle yesterday. I did, however, pick it up today and spent a little more time lounging in the vista.
As of 12/5/12
Sorry for the blurriness! Tomorrow I'm having lunch with a former coworker and preparing for Girl Scouts, but I also hope to finish the last of the bobbinating for the CJC, as I picked up a few bobbins today to complete the process! Here's hoping!

Until next time!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Lazy, Stitch Filled Day and Unexpected Giveaway

So I am off of work this week. I ended my old job this past Friday and start my new one a week from today and this week, I'm just relaxing...well, not just relaxing, I have a lot of personal things to do like get the house ready for the holidays, finish my shopping, get Christmas cards out, etc., but it's a definite respite to clear my mind from one job before I begin the next.

Today is the one day I had absolutely nothing planned, so once the hubby was off to work and the kids were off to school, I relaxed. I spent a couple of hours working on bobbinating my threads for the Crazy January Challenge (almost done!) and I also put some good time into Italian Vista today:
As of 12/3/12
I'm  loving the pinks in the flowers! I love the colors of this piece overall, but the pinks really stand out among the blues, greens and browns. I'm very pleased!

Also, I was contacted today by the winner of my Traveling Tribal Penguin giveaway. Come to find out, she had actually ordered the piece from overseas herself and had forgotten about it until it arrived today! Luckily, she contacted me before I made a trip to the post office so I am able to pick another person to receive the pattern, and that lucky person is....

Christine from The Alchymyst's Study!

Congratulations! I'll contact you for mailing information!

Until next time!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Picture Heavy Post!

A little bit of everything in today's post...first, Italian Vista!

Here's where we were at when we last saw Italian Vista:
Italian Vista - Start of Rotation Week
And here we are today after a bit of work:
As of 12/2/12

I also finally started cleaning out my mom cave. When we moved, I insisted I would get a room all to myself for my things that I can escape to, work on crafts, or at the very least, keep everything organized! Since we moved in back in June, this has been a catch all room for junk, but I started clearing some of it out. I have one corner organized for now...I won't dare show you the rest of the room, but here's what I have at this point!

This is the corner as a whole at this point:

A better shot of the bookshelf. The bottom row of books are filled with beautiful hard leather bound and gold edged classics that I inherited from my grandfather, plus a few other classics. The middle row are my  two favorite series of books that I wanted to keep in hard copy  even after downloading electronic versions. The top row is stash! From the blue binder to the right are all of my materials (at this point) for my Crazy January Challenge. The binders and magazines on the left are other patterns.

Top of the bookshelf with a lamp, one of my penguins, thread stash not being used in any other project right now, and some printed out and divided HAED patterns that need to be filed away:

My stash pot, haha! This pot holds fabrics, patterns, kits, etc., that I'm not currently working on that I can sort through when I'm looking for something.

A better shot of the pot. This is actually a flower pot that my daughter's kindergarten class mod podged last year as part of a school fundraiser entry in a silent auction. I had to have it!

One last thing! Tonight I went to my mom's for dinner, and she has her house nearly completely decorated for Christmas, which I love. Back when my husband and I got married in 2002, we were fresh out of college with basic entry level jobs and no real money for Christmas gifts, so I found an inexpensive plastic canvas kit and made this for my mother for Christmas that year:
Ho, ho, ho!
She has it displayed with her big Santa collection every year and told me again tonight how much she loves this piece. It's usually under glass and propped up on display. Add this to the list of old finishes with no other information, but I love it!

Until next time!