Fun Give-Aways

I have come across a couple of fun give-aways during my blog reading, and I thought I would share them with you, along with the great blogs they are on.

Seasons of My Mind is having a Pay-It-Forward give-away of 12 LHN Christmas Ornament patterns.  You can find her give-away on this post.

Stitchers Anon (I love that name!) has a give-away here.  Her blog is so positive and uplifting, I enjoyed going back and reading more posts.

So go check them out! :o)

Hermitting Weekend

This weekend was the last International Hermit & Stitch weekend of 2011, so I took full advantage of it. :o)  I stitched on the January Cottage from Country Cottage Needleworks, and it is a very enjoyable stitch.  My progress:

I didn’t want to quit stitching, but I have to get up and go to work in the morning.  At least I have only a 3 day work week next week. :o)

I also worked on kitting up my projects for the 2012 Crazy January Challenge.  That is a lot of fun too, and I’m looking forward to starting all of them!  As soon as I get them organized, I will be posting about them.

Christmas Tree Grove

I finished my grove of 40 Christmas Trees right on time last week for our Christmas party.  Everyone seemed to really like the, which made me feel very good. :o)  They were a lot of fun to make, although I must confess that I did get tired of them after a while.  They took me about 4 weeks to make all of them.  My husband made the little stands that they are on.

Here they are, cut out and sewn together, ready to be stuffed and put on their stands.  I used a sparkly pom pom for the “star” on top of them. 

Here they are, my mighty grove!  They really looked pretty all together, all sparkly and blinged out.

Some close ups.  Aren’t the little stands neat?  They are precut plaques from Hobby Lobby that my husband drilled holes in, put in a dowel, and then painted.  He did a great job!

All boxed up and ready for the trek to my office. :o)  (I hand to clean up that corner before I could take this picture.)

And here they are at the party, with the candy bags behind them.

I really am proud that I actually finished them on time without having to work on them all night before the party! LOL  It felt very weird last weekend not having a Christmas tree n my hand, beading madly.  But I’m glad to be able to get back to my other projects now. :o)

Progress from my Hermitting Weekend

I got four trees done this weekend, so that is marvelous progress!  I have 14 now, but DH didn’t get any of my stands made.  Sigh…I’m thinking I will have to get the whip out. :o)

Here are my trees from this weekend:

And I thought I would add some furbaby cuteness.  Here is my lazy Lacey.

And my ever-happy Flea.  I wish I could be as happy as she is all the time!

And His Evilness Himself, the Kitty Baby.  He’s showing me his belly with all the cute curls, just daring me to rub it. :o)

Hermitting and Stitching Weekend

This is my first International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW), and I’m really looking forward to it.  As if I needed an excuse to shut out the world and stitch. :o)  It’s a little cool and cloudy this morning, but we are supposed to have a nice afternoon.  I may even take my hermitting outside for a while. :o)

I’m working on my grove of Christmas trees that I volunteered to make as happies for our office Christmas party.  At my office, we have a “Gift Fund” that you can be a part of if you want to participate in birthdays, sending flowers for illnesses, and the Christmas party, and I am on the committee that plans all that this year.  I thought it would be nice to have a better happy for the Christmas party than some cheap little thing from the dollar store, so I showed my fellow committee members a little handmade Christmas tree to see if they liked it.  And they did, so I committed myself to making 40 of them.  But they are really fun to make.  I have 12 beaded so far.  Here is my grove this morning.

I will be working hard on my trees this weekend.  When finished, they will be on little stands and be about 6 or 7 inches tall.  DH is helping me with the stands.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have a finished one to share!

We had our office sponsered Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  Everyone who wanted to participate brought a dish or contributed to the turkey.  Then we brought our food back to our desks to eat.  I eat with my office buddies in one of my friend’s cubicles because she has a work table in her cube.  I decided we should be festive, and her favortie color is pink, so I decorated our dinner table. :o)

And here we are enjoying our Thanksgiving dinner together.  That’s me on the right.

I am very thankful for these ladies, as they are good friends and make work a lot of fun! :o)

Happy IHSW everyone!

HAED progress

I have worked on my HAED, All Hallows Eve, this past week.  I am really close to having the first page of the pattern done!  Since there are only 6 1/2 pages to this design, I’m very encouraged by that progress. :o)

I really wanted to keep working on it until I finished this page, but I have to put it aside for now.  I volunteered to make the little gifts for our office Christmas party.  I’m going to make little felt Christmas trees that are decorated with embroidery and beads.  As soon as I have one done, I will post a picture.  I have to make 40 of them by 12/2, so I have to get crackin’!  

My Oldest UFO

EvalinaMaria of This and That blog has posted an invite to do an Oldest UFO SAL.  She has challenged her readers to dig out their oldest UFO to stitch on and post their progress on the last day of the month.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

So I dug through my boxes of projects (6 very big boxes…sigh) to see if I could tell which was my oldest UFO.  Now in my defense, not every project in the boxes has been started, so they aren’t all UFOs.  A lot of them aren’t started at all, so technically they are stash.  Hmmm…I wonder if that makes it better or worse?  Anyways, I found an old a vintage Aunt Martha mushroom pattern that I started a very, very long time ago.  When I picked it up, I had a flashback to sitting in my mom’s living room with her and my aunt, talking about stitching the mushrooms to go in my mom’s kitchen, and picking out colors.  I was about 15 or 16, because this was before I started working at the Pizza Hut.  That makes this UFO 33 or 34 years old. OMG  Now I feel really old.

Here it is, complete, with yellowed masking tape around the edge and rust spots because I left the needle in the fabric.

I was going to make a set for my mom.  Here are the other two pieces that were folded up with the one I started all those eons ago.

And look at the price on the threads at the bottom.  10 cents!  And the brand is American Thread Co.

Yeah, I’m definitely feeling a little vintage myself right now.

So how old is YOUR oldest UFO?

Happy Halloween!

I cannot believe it is already the end of October.  Where did the year go?  And I haven’t blogged since January! Whoops! :o)

I have been stitching a lot, but not finishing anything. That means I have been making lots of new beginnings, which I am so good at!  I am actually concentrating on three projects right now, so I thought I would post pictures of what I am working on.

I went to EGA’s national seminar in September, and was able to take a class with Jane Nicholas, who is one of my all time favorite embroidery designers.  She specializes in stumpwork.  The class I took with her is called Wild Pea and Longhorn Moth.  I just love it, and it is going to have the honor of being the very first seminar piece that I finish! :o)

Here is where I am at now:

These are parts of the main flower waiting to be attached and the other pea pod I have started:

And these are leaves that are ready to be attached:

The pretty ribbon will be the border around the piece.  Jane had us do a little practice piece so we would remember how to do it when the time came to add the border.  I HOPE I remember, anyways! :o)

I am working on my very first Heaven and Earth Design, called All Hallow’s Eve (click if you would like to see it).  It is one of their freebies.  The following represents a couple of weeks worth of work.  What you are seeing is the beginning of the moon.  I very naively thought I would have this finished before Halloween.  Not! :o)

And finally, I have also been working on a piece from an online Gay Ann Rogers class I took, called Echoes of Elizabeth Sewing Case.  Here is where I am now; this is the front and back of the case.  I still have to stitch the inside of the case.

I have a sad tale to go with my needle case. :o(  Last night I started putting the beads on the side where you see the rectangle bead and the two little pearls.  To me, beading on my needlework is like icing on the cake.  It is my favorite part!  So I start putting my beads on, sitting on the couch in my stitching nest, with my bead tray on a TV tray beside me.  I lean over to tend to a dog, my knee hits the TV tray, and bead tray and pearls go flying.  I let out a shriek that would raise the dead and scared my poor husband.  So I’m fussing, swearing, wringing hands, and lamenting, on my hands and knees searching for my pearls.  I find all but one.  One lone, lost little pearl.  I swept the whole floor, I moved furniture, I picked up the rug, I patted down furbabies…no pearl.  And of course this was a kit and I had only 8 pearls of this size, no spares.  So I will be making a trip to our bead store to see if I can find one to match.  If not, I will be figuring out another arrangement of my pearls. :o(

Well, I hope you all have had a Happy Halloween!  I will leave you with a photo of the Witch in residence at my house.


Castles in the Air

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. (Henry David Thoreau)

This is the inspirational quote on my calendar at work for the month of January. It has really touched something deep inside of me, and I have been thinking about all my castles I have built in the air.

First, let me tell you, I am a MASTER air castle builder. I can dream big with the best of them. What I have a problem with is following through on those dreams and actually accomplishing something. I tend to defeat myself before I even begin. So this will be the year I start to put foundations under some of my castles in the air.

As part of this process, I have been thinking about which of my castles I should begin foundation construction on. My health and my needlework are both near and dear to my heart, and I have decided to work on these areas.

I have already begun working on my health, and I use SparkPeople to set my healthy goals, including watching what I eat and exercising more. I am using Weight Watchers’ Points Plus program to bring my weight down into a healthier range.

So that leaves my needlework. One of the things I want to become better at is finishing my projects. I start far more projects than I finish. So my overall goal for 2011 is to finish more projects than I start. I have looked through my WIPs and UFOs, and I have come up with a list to start off with. All of these pieces except one have due dates, so hopefully setting weekly goals and blogging my progress will help me meet these due dates.

1. Pilot for an ANG Chapter Book Project, due 3/15 (in process)
2. EGA retired GCC – White Queen, due 8/15 (in process)
3. EGA retired GCC – Swiss Sampler, due 8/15 (not started)
4. EGA retired GCC – Tiramisu, due 9/15 (not started)
5. EGA GCC – Silk Ribbon Pond, due 6/15 (not started)
6. Echoes of Elizabeth Sewing Case (in process)

I am also working on a Block-A-Month crocheted afghan through Ravelry, and I would love to be able to keep up with that each month. I have started the January block.

I am going to concentrate on the ANG Chapter Book project this week. My goals in minutes are:

ANG Chapter Book Project – 315 minutes
January block – 140 minutes

Setting my goal for exercise in minutes works for me to motivate me to exercise every day, so we shall see how it works for my needlework projects. Hopefully I will have progress to report next Sunday!