Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Completions for 2014

2014 was a fun year for cross stitching for me.  One of my friends took it upon herself to organize a series of exchanges scattered throughout the year and I had a blast working on smaller designs than I have for the past few years.  It was especially fun to actually FINISH something relatively quickly as opposed to the 2-4 year stitching time I've gotten accustomed to.

Valentine Exchange 2014

I put the first stitch into the 18 count bookmark on January 7th and the last stitch went in on the 10th.

The little hearts and the alphabet came out of "Shaded Lettering" by True Colors.  The rose is "Oregold" from the Jeanette Crews Designs, Inc book "Everything's Coming Up Roses".

Julie gifted me with some lovely surprises and that adorable little Be Mine dragon pillow that I'm still trying to keep out of the hands of a certain 7 year old who is convinced it was made specifically for her!

Mystic Stitch's "Call of the Wild"

Look who finally hit completion after nearly FOUR AND A HALF YEARS of clinging to WIP status.  Granted, there were stretches of months at a time where this poor boy never got touched, but as of now, he's still my longest stitch.

I put the first stitch into him on September 3rd, 2009 and he was finished January 12th, 2014.  I used 18 count aida and 65 colors.  He still hasn't been framed, but I'm working on saving up the funds to have Jill Rensel frame him so I can make him the proper gift he deserves to be.

As you can imagine, there are a ton of WIP images, and even some update text when I was being diligent with my old web domain.  As soon as I get that page together, I'll make sure to add a link so everyone can peek and snicker at my stitching journey.

"Spring Butterfly" by Alessandra Adelaide
March/April 2013 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine

I began this design on February 3, 2014 for our spring exchange.  As is pretty typical of me, I figured I'd be done before March only to discover that I really don't stitch at warp speed after all.  The last stitch was applied on April 25th.

Believe it or not, the fabric it was stitched on was 28 count Mint Green Jubilee from Zweigart, despite it looking blue in the image.  I stitched over 1 using DMC 4100 for the wings and 781 for the body.

This was such a fun stitch and I have already picked out the fabric and colors I'll be using for the butterfly that stays in my home. :)

My exchange partner, Leslie, sent me these awesome gifts.  I can't remember what I included in my box to her, but I do remember they didn't measure up. LOL!

Frankenbunny, who still sports a bandage after donating his stuffing for that pin cushion I use every day now, sits on one of my computer speakers keeping me company while I putter around on the internet.

"Lemons Towel" by Marie Barber
August 2001 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine

I always associate citrus fruits and lemonade with summer so this was my choice for our summer exchange.  I started it April 25th and finished it May 8th.

It was stitched over 2 on what Zweigart labelled as 28 count Victorian Green Annabelle.

My gift box from Marsha was such a sweet surprise!  The candies and tea packs didn't survive the evening and the lotion and candle have been put to quite a bit of use. :)

Those seeds already have their spot in my flowerbed picked out and we're anxiously waiting for spring to put them into the ground.

Of course, the little stitched flower was just the cutest thing and is currently waiting to be put onto the cover of a stitching book I want to put together.

"Welcome Fall"
Summer 2011 Stoney Creek magazine

I find myself drawn to the delicate leafy and flowery welcome samplers and this one really caught my attention when I saw it.  I loved stitching it and it is yet another project that will be stitched again to hang on my wall.

I started stitching July 30th on a piece of Silkweaver fabric that was labelled as Mottled Brown 32 count evenweave, and it was completed on the 17th of August.

Because I won some cosmic lottery somewhere in the craft world, my fall exchange partner ended up being our much beloved Patsy.  Of course, she instantly put my pitiful little exchange gift bag to shame with these amazing items.  We actually ended up exchanging our items at a stitching get together and I spent the weekend running back to my room to bring out that personalized bag that Patsy put together.  It's stunning and sturdy and has become one of my prized stitchy possessions.  Having said that, those scarecrows will have places of honor on my mantle every fall as they are the absolute cutest!  And you see that big book there?  It's actually a box and was crammed with loads of goodies that I assimilated into my stash before I was smart enough to get a picture of it.  I did remember that beautiful little enamel "Lucky Frog" though. He sits with the rest of my frog figurines and statues that I seem to be accumulating on the hutch above my computer.

"Royal Velvet" by Marc Saastad

A few members of our Xchange group got together to participate in a first test run of a "mystery exchange" during the now annual North Texas GTG.   We each put together a box filled with items that satisfied a list of ingredients intended to surprise, entertain, and benefit the recipients while revealing bits of our personalities along the way. None of us knew who would get our boxes, nor whose box we would receive.  It was quite an enjoyable exchange and I'm really hoping it becomes a tradition at the GTG as more people hear about it and have the opportunity to join us.

My choice for a stitched piece was a Silver Lining chart.  And once again, this is something that will get stitched again so I can keep one in my home. LOL!  The color of the fabric, something called "18th century nickel", really made the roses leap out and I plan to use a very similar color on mine. I began stitching on the 32 count hand-dyed linen on August 18th and managed to get the last stitch put in about an hour before we exchanged boxes on the 24th of October. *blush*  Since I'd been working on it at the GTG (without telling anyone what it was for), everyone had already seen it and made me feel pretty darned confident about my work.  Lynn sure seemed happy with it when she found it in my box and that was enough for me.

The mystery box I chose turned out to have been put together by Barbara and I couldn't have been more pleased with the goodies.  That little angel bear has already been claimed by my daughter who wants to put her onto one of Barbara's tuck pillows.  I'm more partial to protecting her behind a frame so that's likely what's going to happen, but we'll see.

While I don't drink coffee, you should have seen Steve's face when I pulled that mug out of the box.  "Oh no. Do you really need that much hot chocolate in one sitting??"


"Elegant Ornament Quartet" by Sharon Pope
December 2014 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine

This little project chosen for our winter and final exchange very nearly became a train wreck.  I had intended to stitch one of the other ornaments, but wasn't paying attention and ended up following the chart on the page that had the color key instead of the chart on the page I'd actually wanted.  *twitch*

Lucky for me, all of the ornaments are beautiful so I just shrugged it off and kept going.

I chose some 18 count white aida and began on November 3rd, then completed it November 14th.

Marie sent me a wonderful little box with some adorable fabric swatches I can't wait to put to use.  The winter stag chart is going to get used repeatedly as is the cup and crayons, although the cup and crayons got stolen from me within moments of the box being opened.  Derned kids.

I was never one to collect those little pouches, but you know... I've managed to use each and every one of the pouches gifted to me through these exchanges and I've been on the lookout for more of them.   You enablers, you!

As you can see, 2014 has actually been a fairly productive year for me in the cross stitch department.  I'm currently trying to finish up a project I promised to a friend at church and preparing to start another gift for another church friend once he approves my charting job.

Then there's "Night Moves" from HAED.  That I started in January of 2014.  And has been soundly ignored for pretty much the entire year.


(Originally typed up in 2014)


Whenever possible, I will create a link for the project title and designer in case anyone wishes to add anything to their stash.  Most times, an active link will direct you to 1-2-3 Stitch!'s online store as I've never had a bad customer service experience with this company and I tend to be loyal to a fault.  If the item is no longer for sale through Joanne, I will do my best to find another active seller, but please be forgiving if something goes out of print and my links lead you on a wild goose chase before I'm aware of their shenanigans.

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