Back to Normal and TUSAL

The tree is finally down and my stitching/reading area is back in place. I love Christmas but normal is good too. This is my stitching area. There are a few finishes for inspiration and a cross stitch clock to keep track of time. I have my scissors, a couple of homemade pincushions, a little bowl for floss bobbins, and my ORT jar. It is mostly empty because I start fresh at the beginning of the year.

   This is side and birds eye view. These pictures are first in a monthly TUSAL (totally useless stitch-a-long) held by Daffycat. We put our old ratty threads (ORTs) from cross stitching in a jar and see how many we have as time goes on.  On the other side, same chair, is where I read.

Actually my books are in the bookshelf in front of me. Most of them are still packed away in the garage in boxes. The house doesn’t have that library feel that we love so much but we make do!

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Stitching Goals for 2011 and Christmas Stash.

I must admit, there were not many finishes in 2010. I worked on several WIP’s and did a couple small projects, but not many finished.  This year I want it all. To start new projects, finish WIP’s, and do some stitch-a-longs. One of the most positive things I did was switch online stitching stores. My last one was so slow and at the end took several weeks to get products. That slowed down the pace a lot. I now use 1-2-3 Stitch and am very happy with their service. I order something on Monday and get it on Thursday!

My husband got me a chart and kit for Christmas, bless him. I had been looking for a nice 12 Days of Christmas chart for quite a while and couldn’t find one that suited me. Until I saw this gorgeous one from Jim Shore.

I love all the colors. Doesn’t it look like it’s all been stitched on one piece of fabric? But no. Each day is a full-sized pattern.

I must admit I was a little disappointed but I still love it. Maybe I can do a wall quilt or something.  He also gave me this sweet little Needlework Shop kit from Mill Hill. It’s one in a Christmas town series and my first. I love it!

Ok so here is my list.

Starts:

Baby Garden by Just Nan

Valentine Folio by Shepherd’s Bush

Home by Shepherd’s Bush

Apron Strings by Cricket Collection

Autumn in the Square by Just Nan

12 Days of Christmas by Jim Shore (probably start with Partridge in a Pear Tree)

Needlework Shop by Mill Hill

Fruit of the Spirit by Plum Street Samplers

WIP’s:

Queen of the Needle by Just Nan

Old McMary’s by The Workbasket

Ice Angel by Lavender and Lace

Grandmother’s House by Told in a Garden

I’m feeling ambitious obviously. I’ve also joined a fun little stitch-a-long by Daffycat. It’s called a Totally Useless Stitch-a-Long. You save all your ORT’s (old ratty threads) in a glass and take a picture of them once a month. It sounds weird but if you have ever saved your threads like this, after a while it looks very pretty, like a unique work of art.

I also do stitch-a-longs on Facebook with the Cross Stitch Club. We post what we have worked on over the weekend. It’s very low-key and fun. I love seeing what everyone else is working on.

Stitch-a-long Update, a Finish, and Some New Books

I haven’t gotten much done on my Queen of the Needle this month. The little verse here is stitched using ONE thread at a time, not the usual one whole stitch. I have to be careful when working this. I am also working on my bookmark for the Secret Stitcher Bookmark Exchange so I’m not going to say anything about that right now.

I do have a small finish. This is a Shepherd’s Bush, and I framed it myself as you can see. I need to redo it though, the crooked is driving me crazy! And this picture makes it look wrinkled, which it isn’t. I have no idea how that came to be! So I will show it again at some point looking better I hope.

Although I never mentioned this, I have a slight, very slight heart problem. It stems from a heart murmur and for the most part, there is nothing to it. However, once in a while it rears its ugly head and my blood pressure skyrockets, I have chest pains, dizzy spells, and the ensuing panic that a heart attack is imminent.  Yes, this was the month for heart fun. So I didn’t go down to L.A. as planned for the Festival of Books and I missed some school as well. Sigh.

A real bummer. But last Saturday Jim and I went to B&N and came home with a few books to make up for the loss. I’ve already read and reviewed The Dud Avocado and a couple of those ghost stories as well.  Among the authors of The Virago Book of Ghost Stories are Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, May Sinclair, and Edith Wharton. I enjoyed The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell and will be reviewing it soon. 

I don’t know anything about The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) but anything by Vine is so hard to find that I just grabbed it when I saw it.  The top book is Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple, and is about a good marriage being destroyed when a young woman arrives on the scene.  These should keep me busy for a while. Hopefully I will fully recover soon and get on with my life.

Cross Stitch Update

So this is what I got done last weekend. It doesn’t look like much but actually took alot of time because there are so many different colors. The colors had to be changed after just a few stitches. I like the way it looks but my word, the tedius work involved! The part I’m working on now requires fewer colors so hopefully next weekend there will be more to show.