Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in Stitches

Hello dear friends. It’s that time of year again, with only a day to go to welcome the new year, time to wrap things up. Here’s a rundown of finishes in 2015 (you can click on the title for the complete finish post)
Oriental Lady by Joan Elliott from A Cross Stitcher’s Oriental Odyssey, January
Let it Snow and Be Jolly by Joan Elliott from Wit and Wisdom, February
Houses of Love from Cross Country Stitching Mag October 2010 issue, March
Polka Dot Alphabet Sampler from Cross Country Stitching Mag 2005, April
Summer Breeze by Prairie Schooler, June
Ziggy “Follow your dreams” by Paragon Needlecraft, July
Abby Angel “Be the One” by Craftways, August
12 Days of Christmas by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, August
Jellyfish bookmark, free chart download, September
The Branch by Barbara Ana Designs, October
Hope and Comfort sampler from Cross Country Stitching Mag February 2010 issue, December
Contented Cat from Cross Country Stitching Mag Spring 2002 issue, December
Happy Day (kit), December
Reindeer Games by Country Cottage Needleworks, December
Merry Christmas from Cross Country Stitching Mag, December

15 finishes in 2015, not bad:)
Petal Fairy, started in April, will (hopefully) come back next year. 

And Summer Fragrance, started in February, will be finished by January, I was only able to finish the half stitches and now on the backstitch (sigh), 4 more colors to go.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting on my stitchy goals. Stay tuned.
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Look who's back!

Hello dear blogging friends. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day. Mine was quietly spent with just DH and me because had to stay for work, but I will see my nieces next week for New year's eve so that's something to look forward to.
Okay, let's get down to business. Now that I've finished my WIPs one by one, I sensed the battle brewing in my WIP drawer, between a Fairy and a Lady. Guess who won? (actually by TKO decision, haha)
Do you remember Summer Fragrance? Her last photo, shown above, was taken last May. Yup, after a 7-month absence, she finally graced us with her presence on the stitching table:
I remember getting bored with the remaining half-stitches that's why she had to take a long vacation. But now that my other WIPs are complete, there's no other choice but to take this one up. I'm reserving new starts for 2016. So far I've made it almost halfway and about to start the left side. I'm ambitiously trying to get her finished next week. So there you have it, my Summer in December:)
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Advent Calendar Blog Hop - Day 21

Welcome, dear bloggers, to my first ever hop participation! Fresh from celebrating my first blogaversary this month, I decided to take the plunge (I actually planned to join one next year as part of my 2016 goals, but I’m just too excited to be part of Jo’s Advent Calendar fun, and I was given a 3-week head start, thanks Jo:)

We were asked how we celebrate Christmas Eve. When I was young, it was spent cooking the whole day. We grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, parents worked in the same government office and kids went to almost the same schools. To me, I think each mom eagerly waited for this day to cook their special recipes. A close-to-midnight mass is held at our village chapel (this is a good time to sneak in those gifts for the little ones by whoever is left at home). After mass, we would gather around the table and eat, then open gifts (or vice versa, haha). It is not unfamiliar that you hear someone at your gate at this late hour, one by one, neighbors bringing a helping of their sumptuous cooking, it’s like a gift exchange of food, so you get to taste every neighbor’s feast! And that’s why you also have to cook a lot, lol.

Fast forward to the married me. Christmas eve was spent at the in-laws’ (New Year’s at my parents’). My father-in-law (rest his soul) was head of the kitchen while ladies did the groceries, decorations, gift shopping and wrapping. Christmas morning after hearing mass, relatives and neighbors start pouring in. Nieces, nephews, godchildren all come visit in one day, sometimes they come straight from the midnight mass. So many relatives on hubby’s side. I think he’s got 15 godchildren, while each his sisters have 25 something. It is customary in our culture to give presents to your godchildren (plus their siblings in tow, if you can) on Christmas day. So you better be done wrapping presents on the 24th.

Since migrating here in the US, Christmas is now spent much quieter. The 24th is marked with calls to our families back home where Christmas comes earlier by almost half a day. Depends too if it’s my off-day for the year. This year I’m on-call, so me and DH have to stay home eve and Christmas day, otherwise the 25th is spent with my sister and her family playing boardgames the entire morning because nobody wants to accept defeat (last year's game was Cranium).

Okay, after that newbie's long story, let me make up for it with Christmas stitchy goodies (you can click on the design title to see my finish post):
from Cross Country Stitching Magazine
Finished March 2015
This is part of the magazine's Christmas Houses series. I plan to stitch "Peace" next year (I don't have the 2 other issues - Hope and Faith). I used beads instead of french knots on the wreath. 
from Wit and Wisdom by Joan Elliott
Finished February 2015
These were actually meant to be ornaments, but I'm still reluctant to try. I just recently started framing :) I'm bringing this one to work today.
by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
Finished August 2015
Part of the birthday haul, I'm guilty of making a lot of color changes to suit the glittery fabric. Despite all the frogging, I enjoyed this cute and charming design tremendously:) 
Reindeer Games
by Country Cottage Needleworks
Finished December 2015
A result of impeccable timing, I just finished all that twinkling snow last week! I replaced the white with gold for the trimming on the tree, Light Effects for the silvery snowflakes and white snow, I didn't bother stitching the border.
I'm still in the mood for Christmas stitching, I started a small one which will be a secret for now. 
I hope you enjoyed your hop today and please continue to do so, Jo of Serendipitous Stitching has organized a team of wonderful stitchers and crafters to bring us these presents everyday. Have a blessed Christmas everyone:)  

Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2 Framed Finishes

Hello again dear friends. Just a quick post.
Yesterday was spent framing some pieces. 
This is the $3.50 clearance frame for Cat. It's scratched grayish brown or brownish gray, whatever, lol.
And for mini sampler, white shadowbox type I found at Michael's also bargain priced, it has one screw missing at the back but I fixed it with glue. Last time I showed the finish photo on this, I didn't realize that there were more french knots on the bottom half! Good thing I checked before I framed, lol.
I framed one more finished project but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Please tune in tomorrow to see what it is. I'm so excited for my next post:)
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Dance Day!

Hello dear friends.
I did it! I completed the backstitch on Happy Day.

Remember the brown signboard that says "Floral Flower"? I decided to put Jelly's Shoppe - a reminder of the funny story with my niece believing it was a jellyfish instead of a boy's cap.  She so wanted this piece thinking it was going to be an aquarium when I was just starting.

Now that it's done, I've shifted to Reindeer Games. Working double time, I'm done on the snow on the upper portion, just the lower portion remaining, isn't that wonderful progress, hooray for day-off!

I love the shimmering results of the white Light effects thread and I backstitched a baby blue satin floss on top of it.

Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Contented Cat Finish

Hello dear friends.
I have continued my backstitch journey this week in pursuit of getting WIPs done before 2015 comes to a close. 

Without further ado...
 Contented Cat
from Cross Country Stitching, Spring 2002 Special Issue
16ct. Natural Aida
Love the words on this one:)
I can finally use the frame I bought for a bargain, but before anything else, I made a commitment to finish Happy Day and Reindeer Games first. I would probably frame Cat and Mini Sampler this weekend, that is if I can keep up with my stitching schedule. I'll be off from work tomorrow but have a morning appointment with the primary doctor regarding my stress test results, hope I aced it!
Okay, I'm taking cat's wise words- be content...
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Snowflakes and a Finish

Hello dear blogging friends. A fruitful weekend I'm having.
It's snowflakes galore on Reindeer Games:)
 I'm quite thrilled at how the Light effects thread shines on the pale fabric, it's a little harder to manipulate though, that's why some are uneven... just don't look too close, haha.

Now take a step back to yesterday...
What happens if I backstitch fulltime? 
Mini Sampler Mission: Complete!
 I noticed that I had an easier time with the letters and branches as they do not touch the full cross stitches, so it was smooth sailing for me:) I even braved the french knots:
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy Day and Cat

Hello dear friends.
This week saw me doing a stress test, phew! I ran 10minutes on treadmill upto 3.5mph. I didn't realize my heartbeat could go that fast. The cardiologist said "everything" looked good on his monitor (while I was catching my breath, pining for a seat and mentally wanting to grab his collar, lol), we'll see what he reports back to my primary doc.
Okay, enough with the stressy stuff. Here's some relaxing stories to share:
 Backstitch breakthrough, my girl is complete! Then...
Backstitch setback:
Do you see the white words? Umph, all these cross stitches scream flowers to me, why the need to spell it out 3x in one page, haha. I'll try to come up with words that can fit that brown signboard. In the meantime, I've started the boy's side to backstitch.
Not to be outdone is Contented Cat (don't want that to become Discontented Cat, lol)  
 What a fun ride as all xstitches finally done! Yipee!
3 colors achieved- med. antique blue (background), vy. light mahogany, and white.
Just backstitch remaining on these two WIPs. I plan to "commit" my day-off next week to do just that. For nighttime stitching, I'll grab the other two - mini sampler and Reindeer Games (which definitely needs my attention right now).
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2 WIPs update again

Hello dear blogging friends.
I'm happy to give you a hefty serving of progress on my Magazine pieces! I can already feel these will be finished before 2016 comes rushing in...
I did the running stitch (814) and finished off the basket on Contented Cat. Major progress on mini sampler, 8 colors added:
This week I'm using my off-day to get some tests done, nothing major, just your annual/routine checkup. Then maybe do something about that Christmas list after the tests, so scrap that whole-day-sitting-with-my-needle idea:(
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Happy Day & Cat

Hello dear friends.
It's already December! Christmas is just around the corner:) Things are really getting a bit busier here. Frankly, I haven't crossed off much from the gift list, I was able to buy only for those who live far and need to mail them before the end of this week. For those around me, I could always do some last minute shopping:( Good news is, at work I have a lot of PTO hours that I need to use before yearend (or else it's forfeited). Bad news is, since it's busier, I can only take one off day a week, or go home earlier (so that sounds good too, I get to stitch earlier when I come home, haha).
 Contented Cat got some good lovin' on the stitching table.
Red and green stitching (#817 and #987). Lovin' those apples:
 Since I spent most of my stitching time with Cat, I only got snippets of backstitching on Happy Day:

 That's where I stopped, I didn't even finish the bottom of her purse! I'm moving on to Reindeer Games, I really have to finish this piece now that the Christmas countdown has begun.
Thanks for visiting. Happy Stitching!