Friday, December 30, 2011

My Stitching Review

Do you ever get to the end of the year and wonder what you achieved in that year? I have this fear of wasting time......everyone else seems to be doing so many things - not so much great things, but just doing things. So as this year comes to a close, I've decided to go through all the stitching that I did this year to prove to myself, that I did something!

So here's some pictures of this year's stitching. Most of them you will have seen before. I do have some other stitching that I have done, but can't show just yet! Never mind, all will be revealed in the New Year, so not long to wait.


My biggest and most complicated finish for 2011...

Some smaller finishes.....








 Never again will I stitch the same design multiple times!!!


 And you know how I love my penguins!


My cute little egg cosy penguin who now sits at my desk as his cheeky little face makes me smile!


I'm still working on Dieter's Prayer and will show you an update in my next post.

I've got some great things to go on my website in the new year and am busy trying to get everything prepared for that. I'll have some new designs and stitching to show soon. I also want to add some new pages to my blog so I'm going to be a busy little beaver over the next few days and weeks.

I'd like to thank everyone who became followers of my blog. I never thought I would make such wonderful friends when I started blogging almost a year ago......perhaps a giveaway is in order to mark this milestone?!!! Watch this space!! lol

So as the new year approaches I'd like to wish you all health and happiness for 2012.

Until next year...happy stitching.

Rhona

Monday, December 26, 2011

Stitchers are amazing people!

Well that's it all over for another year! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I had a fantastic time with both my son and daughter being home from uni for their winter break. It was nice being together as a family once again! We were also  able to Skype our family back in the UK - so much better than a phone call, but we do miss them all terribly!

Anyway, on to some stitchy news. I had the most wonderful Christmas gift from someone I don't even know! I joined the Secret Santa on a cross stitch forum  and just had to share with you the amazing gift my secret Santa sent me....


Look at all those goodies!

This is the first time I have ever had anything cross stitched by someone! I can't believe how lucky I am, isn't the stitching beautiful! Not only did she stitch something for me but she did dragonflies....my favourite! You can't see the top of the dragonfly hanging as it's draped over so that I could take the picture. And as for that 'I love Scotland' coaster....could I ask for anything better? Being a tea drinking Scottish lass, it's perfect. There's also some dragonfly stickers for card making, a dragonfly hanger and magnetic needle holder with, you've guessed it, dragonflies! And for when I need a burst of energy for those late night stitching sessions, the only chocolate I like -  white chocolate! (And lots of it! lol) There was also a beautiful hand made dragonfly card which I forgot to put in the picture as it is sitting at my desk - it's stunning!
Wow, what an amazing gift!

I don't think my secret Santa reads this blog but I was so touched by her generosity that I wanted to share it with you. Stitchers truly are amazing people!

Hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Saturday, December 24, 2011

TUSAL

Ah, the last TUSAL for the year! I have to say that I have really enjoyed doing this - I never realized how much ort's I collected every month and especially over the year - this was a real eye opener! A big thank you has to go to Daffycat for organizing this. If you haven't heard, the TUSAL will be running again next year so get those ort jars at the ready and start collecting, photographing and posting!

So here's this month's collection....


All those lovely colours from the Dieter's Prayer. And here's the jar with my year's collection....


 Looking forward to doing it all over again in 2012 - thanks Daffycat!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When will I learn?

Just a quick post as I'm sure everyone is trying to get all those last minute things done for Christmas! I've finally got the tree decorated (thanks Eirinn!) and can now feel like it's Christmas! I've just got to get those presents wrapped while everyone is out of the house!

Not much progress on the stitching of the Dieter's Prayers. This is how you saw it last time....


And this is how it looks today...


I had hope to get a fair bit of it stitched yesterday while my daughter had the last surgery on her jaw, but in true Rhona style, I took everything except  my glasses. This may sound familiar to some readers as this happened before.....same doctor, same surgery! You can laugh about it  read about it here. When will I learn? I'll not tell you how long it took me to backstitch the lettering without the old specs! lol For some strange reason, I've decided to do the backstitching as I go along rather than leaving it to the end. Anyone else do their backstitching this way?

Anyway, I'm sure I will have it completed by the time all the Christmas and New Year munchies are finished ....perfect timing!

I'm off to wrap those presents!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feeling Festive!

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas in my house! I finally put the tree up, but I have to add, that there's only lights on it - nothing else! I'm waiting till both kiddos are back from uni so we can decorate together. It just doesn't seem right to do it myself.....guess I'm getting old and sentimental! What would Christmas be without the two of them fighting over the candy canes! With DS being 6'1" he can hide his at the top of the tree where his 5'1" sister can't reach them! Ah, the joys of Christmas!

I have been trying to catch up with all my blog reading and dutifully leaving a comment! Hope you didn't feel that after my last post you had to comment! 

Stitching wise, I haven't really done very much! I think like most people, I have been running around trying to get organized for Christmas day - still got lots of shopping to do! Yikes, wish me luck!

This is what I have been working on....


You know how I love my penguins! lol

I made him into a little egg cosy, but he could be used for a card or an ornament etc. I was thinking it would be nice to have a set of them made for Christmas....but I know there's no way that I could do it for this Christmas! So I'm going to say that I have already made a start on my Christmas 2012 stitching! lol That makes me feel good!

I've put the chart on my website so if you want to join me in starting your 2012 Christmas stitching, we can stitch this together!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why you should always leave a comment!

Who loves to get comments on their blog? As I scan over blogland I see that everyone has their hand up, so I would say that without a doubt, it's a resounding yes - we all love to get comments. For me, it makes me realize that I'm not just talking to myself (although I do that too!) When I first started blogging I wasn't always sure what to write when commenting about a post....'that's nice' didn't seem adequate! But the more I read, and the more comments that were left on my blog, I began to realize that even a 'that's nice' can make someone's day. So other than making the blogger feel very happy that someone is reading their blog and taking time to leave a comment, you just never know what that comment will lead to! It could lead to this...

A lovely surprise I found waiting at my front door! And inside was this...



It's a beautiful cross stitch kit from www.yiotas-xstitch.com .  And all because I left a comment on someone's blog! The blogger had been stitching one of Yiota's kits and I had commented saying that I liked the design. Yiota emailed me and asked if I would like to review one of her kits. Of course, it took me all of half a second to say yes! It took me soooo much longer to decide which kit to review! If you go to her site, be prepared to spend a long time there as she has the most amazing selection of cross stitch kits. So let me tell you about the kit -  I chose A lady Dancing by Mucha (one of my favourite artists).



 The kit comes with a colour picture on the front showing the design and inside there is a black and white chart which is printed over two sheets of quality A3 sized paper. The key lists Madeira threads but also has DMC conversion which is very handy if you plan to stitch this design more than once. The threads are all wound on bobbins and are labelled with the thread numbers which makes life so much easier, as we all know how difficult it is to try to figure out which colour is which! 14 count aida and a needle are also included in the kit.
Just look at all those wonderful thread colours!




Thanks Yiota, I can't wait to get started stitching this.

So, always remember to make someone's day by leaving a comment, you never know what it might lead to!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa - I was good! Honestly!

And I have a photograph to prove it!

Remember in my last post I had finished the last skein of thread and had to go to JoAnn's to get some more? Well, how many of you believed that I would actually buy just the one thread and nothing else? I know I didn't!! Well, this is what I came home with...


Yes, surprisingly, just the one thread! I put the receipt in the picture to prove that I only bought the one item. I don't think I have ever spent so little cash in a store...especially a craft store!

I think from that action alone I should be on Santa's 'Good' list - don't you?

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis the seaon....

....to be stressed out! Anyone else feel like that? I've been looking at all these wonderful websites and blogs about how to make you house festive for the season and boy...do they push the boat out! I really wonder how many people actually have houses like those pictured in the magazines or if there are more like mine with the fairy perched precariously on the top of the tree, the kids fighting over the candy canes, the parcels wrapped without co-ordinating paper, fancy bows and elaborate tags and the chocolates all eaten from the advent calendar way before Christmas eve! lol

So, as I said I have been checking out all these wonderful Christmas ideas online to see if I can get any inspiration for making gifts from my cross stitch. Sadly there really isn't much around. If you do know of any good sites please let me know! I have to share with you one of the worst home made Christmas gift ideas that I found (I'm sure there's plenty more but this one was todays' winner!)
http://www.marthastewart.com/275134/handmade-gifts-for-her/@center/307035/santas-workshop#/167285  oh Martha! What were you thinking?! Were you thinking?!

And since this is a cross stitch blog, I had better show you some stitching! Not much progress I'm afraid. I have been working on a piece for one of the magazines and, of course, can't let you see it just yet! But here's where the Dieters Prayer is at...

I was really enjoying stitching this one. It's one of those designs that you can stitch while watching TV or listening to a book on cd as there's plenty of bits that don't need too much counting or concentration. I'm really looking forward to getting back to this one!

Anyway, I have to go to the craft store as I have run out of thread for the design I'm stitching just now. So the question of the day is...will I come back with only the required thread or will some other goodies have jumped into the shopping basket?!!! I'll let you know!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dieter's Prayer update

Not much progress to show you on the Dieter's Prayer!

We had a wonderful weekend  and had some friends over for dinner, so most of my time was spent getting the house tidied up and, of course, preparing the food. So, very little stitching got done this weekend, but having a break like that does make me want to get stitching again.
Here's how my stitching is looking just now....


...along with the obligatory tangle of threads and part of a recipe I had written out hiding under the stitching!
Hopefully there will be more to show you next time!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December already?

Yikes! Where has the time gone? Guess it's time for me to make those long Christmas 'to-do' lists!

Anyway, here's a picture of my current stitching.


It's the Dieter's Prayer from my web site. I'm stitching it for myself to hang in the kitchen as a reminder to be 'good'...but of course I deliberately  sadly won't get it finished until after all the Christmas and New Year festivities, so I can indulge (guilt free) in all the wonderfully decadent goodies that the season has to offer!

I'm off to start making those lists!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, November 24, 2011

TUSAL

Well it's 'that time' again! Time to show my little ort collection, and here it is....


I forgot to take a picture of the larger ort jar - it's nearly full! I can't believe how many bits of thread you can collect over the course of a year!

Now you may remember the little Santa's bags of coal that I had stitched earlier, (click here if you missed the post) well I found the most perfect chocolates to put in these little bags!


How perfect is that?!! So, of course, I had a to take a picture of the bag and the chocolate together!


Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Joy!

As if there wasn't enough joy in my last post, I bring even more this time!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh my! What have I done?

Oh, my goodness...what came over me? Whatever possessed me? Did I really just do this.....



bought one of these.....




Yup, I surely did! (Sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before giving you such a shock.) Yes, the woman who professes to hate sharp needles and claims she can't sew, finally broke down and bought herself an early Christmas gift! It seemed a good idea at the time! (I blame all my fellow bloggers who can create the most amazing things using these scary contraptions...you know who you are.) As I stood there in the store pretending that I knew what I was looking at, reading all the boxes as if I were making an educated choice as to which machine would serve my purpose best, I was just hoping and praying that no-one would ask my advice (or even ask anything!) as then my whole pretense of being a knowledgeable shopper would come crashing down!

So I came rushing home with all these wonderful ideas in my head of what I would be able to whip up with  my new toy. I could make Christmas ornaments, cushion covers, heck I could even start quilting...the sky's the limit, there's no stopping me now! So I get home, open the box, gasp at the thickness of the instruction manual, but undaunted charge on....I will conquer this...and then I realized....I'd  forgotten  to buy some thread! Duh!

So, after a second trip to the store this is what I made...


Ok, so a drawstring bag isn't exactly heirloom quilting but it's a start!
So let me tell you about these little bags...they are from Santa. So have you been naughty or nice? If you have been naughty, then you know that Santa will bring you a bag of coal. How many times have you threatened that (or been threatened with that!)? I know I have used that threat many a time! So now you can actually follow through with that threat! Bags of coal from Santa! Don't worry though, you're not going to break anyone's heart or have to pay for years of therapy because you scarred someone for life....these bags are filled with candy! Can you imagine these little bags under your Christmas tree or in someone's Christmas stocking?Wouldn't they make awesome classroom gifts or party favors? Even adults would chuckle at these little gifts. They make great inexpensive and fun gifts for co-workers too. Why should the kids have all the fun?!!

Here's a closer look at each of the bags and the designs. The first one is for those people who hate sewing, you can stitch up the design and cut it to size and attach it to a pre-made felt bag that you can buy from most stores.


I used some little red buttons to attach the stitching. I thought it made the whole thing pop!

Then using my new toy I whipped up some drawstring bags. Actually it was more like aerobics as I had to keep jumping up from the sewing machine and dash through to the computer to follow the instructions that I had googled!

The first one, from the North Pole Coal Company, has a string on the outside...


The last one, from the Santa Claus Coal company, is a basic drawstring bag...


The charts for the designs for Santa's bag of coal can be found here  under the Christmas section, and the instruction for making the bag will be under the 'Project of the Month' (that's still on my to-do list!)

Anyway, aren't they adorable? And can you guess what my kids are getting for Christmas?  lol

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TUSAL

Although I feel like I have done lots of stitching, there really isn't that much in the orts jar this month...guess I must have been more economical  (or should that be frugal?!!) with the thread!

Here the collection for this month.....


And  here's this months collection with the total year's collection...


Who would have guessed that you could 'collect' so many orts in one year! I have read that some people save their orts and then use them to stuff biscornus, which I thought was a rather good idea.  Any other suggestion? Do let me know!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bits 'n' bobs

Well last week was one of 'those' weeks. You know the type....nothing goes right and you feel like you're running around like a headless chicken. It was so manic that I didn't even get time to update my blog...or get around to reading and commenting on anyone else's blog. So this week is going to be a kind of catch up with all the little bits that have been left unfinished ...including some stitching projects.

So the first 'bit' is that I have had my Samurai framed. And here he is...


I was really pleased with how it came out with regard to the matts and the frame. I chose two different shades of green for the matts and they are very close to the greens in the tree.

As some of you may remember, this was supposed to be an anniversary present for my hubby but since I didn't get it finished in time it then became a Christmas gift.... last year!  Ah well, better late than never eh?!!And if I do say so myself, it was worth waiting for!

And my second 'bit' would be the follow up to the Christmas stitching - you remember the one with the metallic threads? Here it is made up in to a card. I had a really hard time trying to photograph this so that the metallics sparkled the way they do in real life.

It doesn't look very sparkly, does it?

Here it is again from a different angle.

Still not sparkly!

This is about as sparkly a picture as I could get.


It's such a shame as it is really beautiful. It's stitched on a very pale sage green coloured aida called 'Light Seafoam'  (the middle picture is about the closest to being the correct colour) and the metallics thread is DMC Jewel Effects E135. The nice thing about this design is that it could be stitched using different coloured fabrics and threads for a very different and dramatic look. Can you imagine it on black aida with gold metallic thread...how christmassy would that be?!!

I'm trying to pluck up my courage and make it into an ornament, but as you know, that would involve some sewing with sharp needles. For the record....sharp needles are not my idea of fun!

And for my last 'bit' (or should the last one be the 'bob'?!!)

Here's a delicious calorie free cupcake!


I decided to do a couple of things differently with this design. First, I decided to make the card a top fold - for no particular reason other than I wanted to make it like that! Secondly, I decided to use some slightly more masculine colours for the card. The browns and blues were already in the design so worked wonderfully. Made using these colours, this would be a great card to give to either a male or a female, and we all know how hard it is to get designs for males! For the sprinkles on the cupcake, you could easily use up all those little odds and ends of threads you have in your thread box.

Or......
Use some coloured seed beads! 

The charts for these designs are available here at my website.

So here's wishing you all a week (not just a day!) sprinkled with fun!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona