Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stitching away on gifts

No, not Christmas gifts, but birthday gifts. Ellen Chester of With My Needle posted about whether you set goals for your stitching or not. I don't anymore. I do have a few loose goals, I would like to stitch more and be more consistent with putting in a daily strand. Every little bit helps. I want to continue to stitch from my stash especially from my extensive WIP pile. I think the only real goal I have is to do more finishing of the things I finish stitching. I have so many things that need to be finished into something I want to spend some time working on some of those things. I did finish a bell pull today and my very old sewing machine seems to be doing okay. I have been toying with getting a new one but my old one is not doing as badly as it was there for a while the whole underside would knot up.
I would like to stitch some Christmas ornaments and joined the LHN ornament of the month club with Elegant Stitch. The first one is kitted up and ready to go soon as I finish the Santa one I am doing now. I am out of a piece of Wisper so it is on hold right now. I decided I wanted to stitch more ornaments this year so pulled several from my stash, kitted them up and ordered what I needed to have them ready to go. With little items like that I like to have them where I just just pull them out and start when I am ready. I hate having to wait for package to arrive to work on something. Plus it isn't worth it to have just one piece of floss mailed to me up here. I think I will feel more productive if I add more smalls in this year.
Hope you are having a stitchy day. Marjo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow for Christmas

The view from the front porch. You can see how deep the snow is as you look at the top of the garage. Methinks I need to get the shovel out or no one will be visiting us.
Kori, snow dog extraordinaire, playing in the snow as he absolutely loves to do. There is no such thing as too much snow for this dog.
The tree in the front covered in ice and snow.
Kori on yet another adventure. Who knows what needs to be rescued from the snow in the back yard but our intrepid explorer will find them.
Am stitching on birthday gifts so can't share a photo but thought you might like to see our latest Christmas time snowfall. Definitely a white Christmas here. The dog is the photo is our 100 lb Chocolate lab up to his nose in the snow. He loves it.
Have a great stitchy day. Marjo

In answer to your comments, we won't stay home, it will be off to work as usual. The roads will be plowed and you drive slow but there is no such thing as a snow day in Alaska. Coming from Georgia it was a huge learning curve for me to even think about driving in it but now I do it regularly. And as to the comment on dogs and snow, this one thinks there is nothing better to plow through the deepest part of snow he can get to. He absolutely loves the snow. Thank you for the sweet comments.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stitching update for December

I am working on a birthday gift I don't want to post a picture as I am not sure if my friends look at this blog or not. I have made great progress on it. I really need to set aside a week of my rotation to do gift stitching. If not I get too far behind and don't get anything done on time. I am halfway done with Homespun Elegance ornament from last year. I have put a few strands in CHS Alphabets and I don't think I ever posted my finish of Where your Heart blooms by BBD. It is in the picture of a couple of posts ago about our retreat but this is closer up. I am making progress on SAIL Away the SAL. Finally some progress on another long term design that I really want hanging on my wall. I have a possible Christmas start in the offing that I am looking forward to. Again, so much to stitch so little time. Hope your day is full of stitching. Marjo

Christmas stitching party

This is the center piece Jeannette made for her lovely table. I love the colors of the flowers.
Gretchen, ever playing the clown decided to model her mesh bag.
Another wonderful dessert by Betty.
Jeannette made us each tote bags personalized for each individual and Betty made us each a fabric mesh stitching bag. Wonderful. We got many sweet gifts to make the season bright.
We had our stitching group party this last week for Christmas. We had a great time. You couldn't ask for a better group of friends to share a hobby with. We had lots of luscious foods and much laughter as always. Jeannette hosted the party this year and set a beautiful table complete with flowers she arranged herself for the occasion. A wonderful time had by all. Merry Christmas.

Hope your season is bright and much time for stitching and friends to share it with.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas stitching

I have been contemplating a new start for Christmas this year. I have not made many new starts this year but have been mostly working on items from my WIP pile which is embarrassing large. Even so, I want to stitch on something new for Christmas, maybe even a Christmas pattern. I have all I need already for two of the Joyous Noel from BBD patterns and one of those seem like a good idea. I also have several other kits put together to choose from when I decide to move to something new. For the most part I think I will continue to work on patterns that I started already during 2010 as they are all things I want to stitch. My stitching time is limited enough that I don't have many finishes. None the less, I may choose something new for Christmas.
I have made some progress on Sail Away the SAL that finished with me still out at sea. My son is home for Christmas (excited and happy mama here) so it seemed a good time to try to finish this one. I love the needlebook that was part of the SAL for all the members. It is a sweet and beautiful piece that had a lot of thought and effort put into it. Thank you so much for including me. I hope to get some time to get this piece finished as I really love the design and what it means to me.
I am also working on CHS Alphabets as my strand a day project. It is moving along as well. I will try to post pictures this week.
I want to kit up a few Christmas ornaments this year and work on them and hopefully finish one a month. I love having handmade ornaments for special gifts for Christmas. My goal is also to get all the BBD stockings done - stitched and finished in 2010. I have neglected stitching gifts for my stitching buddies and this next year I hope to remedy that. I have some great ideas for each of them, now if I can stay on schedule to get them done. I have made a good start on the January birthday and have the February birthday design kitted up and ready to go.
I have gotten some threads and a couple of pieces of fabric to stitch some patterns I already have but other than that not many purchases. I am trying to be wise about my purchases. I do find it frustrating to not be able to work on something because I am short on a piece of thread or embellishments. Living where I do it is always hard to find more than just the basics. We did have a shop but she moved the business into her home so getting there for those of us that work is challenging. She keeps a lot of threads but not much silk and very little Lakeside Linen or R&R. It is actually cheaper for me to buy online as she is a small establishment and passes on all the shipping costs to the buyer. So I can get items faster and cheaper online which is sad but it is the reality of living in Alaska. One of my stitching buddies made a trip to the Lower 48 for Thanksgiving and got to a store and got several threads I needed. It is great when it works.
So what about you, are you starting something new for the holidays? Christmas or a New Year's Day start? I am always curious to see what everyone else is planning with their stitching.
Have a great stitchy type day. Marjo

Pictures of retreat

This post is heavy with pictures, just to warn you.

Busy doing what we love to do.
Intent on their stitching.
This is a comparison shot of both the Blackbird Designs Where my heart blooms. The one on the right is Betty's. She handdyed her own fabric and used called for colors. I used fabric called for and used more red than the pattern suggested.
This is the group of happy stitchers.
Picking out a sleeping spot. This is just one of the rooms we could sleep in. Everyone in the group has a favorite spot.
Werewolves, many scary werewolves. All of the folks bake a lot but Betty has a special talent for making fun stuff.
This s where we ate breakfast every morning. We are smack dab in the middle of 20 acres and so although there are people around we don't see or hear them.
Some serious stitching going on with a beautiful sunset in the background. It is a cozy place to settle in for stitching for us all.
Gretchen cosying up to the werewolfe right before she ate him.
Some of our luncheon and snack spread. All that stitching makes you hungry.
This is the area before we settle in for some serious stitching.