Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and another Beautiful Finish

It's almost Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying the Festive Season and that your preparations are going well! Here are a few pics of our Christmas Tree, featuring some handmade ornaments:
Here it is with the lights on:
I had another wonderful email this week of Vinniey's finish of my Merry Christmas Freebie! She finished it as a cute mini pillow - I absolutely love it! I think it's a finish I should try in the future :) It is stitched one over one on a 32ct Platinum Belfast Linen in Anchor threads, similar to the recommended DMC shades. Thank you for the photo Vinniey!
A very Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope it is a time of peace and joy, spent with family!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ornament Freebie and a Finish

Can you believe it's only a few days until Christmas? Here is a little heart with candles that I designed for a last minute Christmas stitch.
Click on the image below for the free chart:
I also have a finish just in time for Christmas! I finished Winter Winds by the Prairie Schooler a few days ago. It is not going to be framed/finished in time for Christmas, but at least the stitching is done!
I really enjoyed this piece and the subtle colours used.

I will post about my new start soon - I know I should have picked up a WIP, but I just could not resist :)
Enjoy the run up to Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beautiful finishes by Joan and Brigitte!

It has been such a treat to open my inbox this week! I have had photos from both Joan and Brigitte of their Merry Christmas ornaments!

Joan stitched it on a 36ct fabric and used 1 thread DMC. She added beads to the Christmas tree and the Holly. I just love the red braid she finished it with :) Thank you so much Joan - it looks great!

Here is Brigitte's cute pillow finish. I love the styling on the patchwork star with the snowy village in the background. Thank you Brigitte - it is lovely!
I hope everyone is enjoying their preparations for Christmas and getting a few stitches in along the way! Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Christmas Stitching

With Christmas rapidly approaching I thought it would be a good time to show you all my handmade Christmas ornaments. Some are very recent and some have been around for years. I absolutely LOVE Christmas stitching, I have been making ornaments for years and I still have so many Christmas pieces that I want to stitch!

Here is my 'collection':
All the ornaments are displayed on a Christmas Tree Skirt that my mom stitched a few years ago. It is a Dimensions chart by Barbara Mock, called 'Old Tyme Holiday'. I just love the snowy Christmas village - it has such a lovely atmosphere to it! (As you can see, it has not been finished into a tree skirt yet - can you imagine putting that on the floor to actually use it as a tree skirt! I don't know what we are going to do with it yet, but hopefully it will be out on display in coming years!)
Here is a break down of the ornaments:
These ornaments are mostly very recent, but a few of them have been around for a few years.
I made these emeries last year - they are so much fun to stitch and finish and look beautiful on the tree. They are all from Anita's Little Stitches. I hope to make a few more next year.
This little Hardanger angel is designed by Emie Bishop. I stitched it a few years ago on 32 ct cream Belfast linen and 'dressed' this little porcelain doll to turn her into a Christmas Angel. (I won't mention that a have the charts and fabric for a few more, but guess what - I can't find matching porcelain dolls anywhere!)
These are Mill Hill kits. I absolutely loved stitching them and I love Mill Hill kits - they are such a treat - I love unpacking all the little treasures that come with each kit, like the little Teddy button on the bell pull :)
For the past few years I have stitched a plastic canvas ornament each year. The finishing is so easy - just cut them out and add a tag! The designs are taken from various cross stitching magazines.
I stitched this 'Joy' Christmas sampler when I was sixteen. It is an Emie Bishop design (guess who likes her Christmas designs!) and has cross stitching and Hardanger bands. This is one of my favourite pieces of all time and is on display in our home year round!
Here are a few 'non-stitched' hand made Christmas ornaments. The little beaded stars look great on the tree!
That's it for now! I will post a picture of the decorated Christmas tree and a few other Christmassy things soon.
My little free "Merry Christmas" chart is still available - Please remember to leave me your email address in a comment if you want it! (Barbara C - I would like your email address please - I would love to get the chart to you as soon as possible)
Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Beautiful Finish by Mylene!

I had a lovely surprise waiting for me in my inbox this weekend! Mylene stitched my free Christmas design and was kind enough to let me have a pic to show you. It is so beautifully stitched and finished - I think that red ribbon finishes it off perfectly :)

For more photos of this ornament and her other ornament finishes for the year visit Mylene's blog!
This design is still available for free, all you have to do is leave me a comment here or on the original post or send me an email - my email address is on my profile. (If you leave a comment - please remember to leave your email address if it is not on your profile, so that I can get the chart to you as soon as possible!)

Have a great week with lots of stitching!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Team Effort Christmas Ornament Finish

I have been up to some Christmas stitching and finishing since my last post. My mom and I both wanted to stitch Carol R's Sew Noel, so I stitched it in green and she stitched it in red!
It is stitched in DMC stranded cotton, 1 over 1 on a white 22 count Oslo Hardanger fabric.
It is finished as a "double sided" flatfold, so that, when appropriately displayed, both sides can be appreciated. Here I tried to "capture" both sides in one photo:
We also added charms to finish it off - a star charm on the green one and a snowflake charm on the red one.
I stitched Spot of Winter by The Drawn Thread earlier this year and it is now finished as a little pillow and ready to be displayed for Christmas.
I hope to have some more Christmas ornament finishes to show you soon. We will be putting our Christmas tree up this weekend - it is something I always look forward to - I absolutely love Christmas!
Enjoy the rest of the week and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Free Christmas Chart

Here it is! My free "Merry Christmas" chart is available as a pdf to you. If you would like a copy of the chart, please leave me a comment with your email address or send me an email (my email address is on my profile).
I finished the piece as a flatfold - I just love this type of finish - it makes it so easy to display seasonal smalls.
The backing fabric is a beautiful Moda red swirl - perfect for Christmas finishing! Unfortunately you can't see the colour accurately on this pic - it is actually a very deep red - not a dark orange as it appears here!
Hope you have a good week and Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Ornament Finish and a RAK

Long time no blogging! I have not had much stitching time these past two weeks, but at least I have a small finish to show you. It is the "Russian Christmas Doll" by Sofia of GPA.

I replaced the recommended threads with DMC stranded cotton and Madeira Metallic Gold. This was such a fun stitch - I have always wanted to stitch a Russian Doll , so a Russian Doll Christmas Ornament was a real treat!
I have made a little progress on Prairie Schooler's "Winter Winds" and still hope to finish it in time for Christmas - it is also a fun stitch!
I was lucky enough to receive this RAK from a friend. It is 32 ct Harvest Beige Minster Linen. It is so beautiful - I need to find something to stitch on it!

I hope to have another free chart available later in the week. It is a small Christmas design that can be finished as an ornament or flatfold. Here is a sneak peek....

That's it for now - have a great week and Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A New Start!

The start of a new week and a new month! Firstly, thank you to everyone for the kind birthday wishes - I had a lovely day!

Now, it's confession time - I stopped working on the Linda Gillum Christmas Stocking. I was very eager to finish it for Christmas, but as soon as I started stitching, I remembered why I stopped working on it the previous time! Beautiful as it may be, it is extremely tedious stitching with many fractional stitches, so the picture takes a long time to 'develop'.

So, there was only one way to get my stitching mojo back - a new start! It is 'Winter Wind' by The Prairie Schooler. It is not really a Christmas sampler, but with the theme and colours it is close enough! It should be a quick stitch - I hope :)
Here you can see how little progress I made on the Christmas Stocking - I didn't even feel like finishing the bear and he's such a cute fellow. I still love the design, so I'll probably work on it again - maybe during the year when it's not so close to Christmas.
That's it for now - hope to have more to show you next time :)
Enjoy the week and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Free Birthday Chart

Hi! As promised, here is a picture of the piece I designed for my birthday (today). If you want the free chart, all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post with your email address and I will send you a pdf of the chart. It does not matter if you have never left a comment on this blog before and you don't have to be a follower either. You can also leave a comment as long as this post remains available, so it doesn't have to be on the exact date.

I hope you like it! If you stitch it - feel free to email a photo to me - I would love to put it on my blog! I stitched it in DMC threads on a 28ct white evenweave, but you can change it as much as you like :)
Here is a pic of some of the sweet treats we had for dessert - chocolate and strawberries - what's not to love!
Some of the beautiful flowers I received.
Isn't this little posy too cute?
That's it for now, have a good week with lots of stitching!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Free Sampler Sneak Preview

Hello from a hot and humid Cape Town! As promised, here is a sneak preview of the little Alphabet Sampler I designed as a free chart for my birthday this coming Sunday. As you can see, I had a lot of fun playing with ribbons to style this piece :)
The model stitching is done and the chart needs a bit of tweaking, so it will be ready in time. If you are interested in the chart, just stop by again and leave a comment on Sunday's post.
Enjoy the rest of the week and remember the most important thing - tomorrow is Friday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Train Birth Sampler

Finally I can share this! I stitched this train as a birth sampler for my boyfriend's sister's son (I guess that would make him his nephew), Michael, earlier this year. I didn't know when the Christening would be, so I finished it soon after his birth in April and guess what - the Christening was yesterday! The poor sampler was 'hiding' in the cupboard for five months!

Here you can see it laced over board - it is up to his parents to choose a frame. I made a Noah's Ark birth sampler for Michael's older sister, Emma, two years ago, but unfortunately I don't have a photo of it.
I stitched it on antique white Jubilee from a chart in a magazine (I think it was a Cross Stitcher).

There is such a lot of detail in this piece, here are a few close up pics:
The elephant is probably my favourite. There was also a lot of backstitch!

Look at this cute fellow! Did I mention all the backstitching and that I hate backstitching? (Don't worry - the fractional stitches were not far behind!)

Here is another friendly guy. All that backstitch (which I hate) really finishes it off!

And one more in the last carriage! What a difference all the fractional stitches and backstitches make!

You might notice that I did not precisely enjoy stitching this piece, but the end product is well worth it. (Did I mention all the backstitch?)
Well, it is my birthday in less than a week - next Sunday to be precise. I have been 'playing' with charting for years now, but have only shared it with friends and family up to now. I have also done lots of photo charting as a service and have stitched some of my own - unfortunately given as gifts, so no photos!
I have finally decided to share some of my own charting with others. I will have a free chart giveaway on my birthday for everyone who leaves a comment on that post - Sunday 25 October, so watch this space! (It is an alphabet sampler - I will try to post a sneak preview later in the week.)
Enjoy the rest of the week and happy stitching!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Christmas Stocking WIP

Hi from a cold and wet Cape Town! It is storming here today - very unusual for this time of year!

Since my Mary Wigham is having a 'rest' again, I decided to resume work on a Christmas WIP. I started it last year, but didn't get too far :) It is a stocking out of the book 'Donna Kooler's Ultimate Stocking Collection'. It is a lovely book and contains 15 beautiful stockings by various designers.

This one is called 'Teddy the Bear & Friends' and is designed by Linda Gillum.

This is just a photo to show you how much I still have to do on it! I hope to finish it this time and have it ready for Christmas.
The animals have a lot of detail and, yes, a lot of backstitch! I backstitched this bird when I was working on it last year - the backstitching really brings it to life. (You will notice that backstitch is my enemy - I have loads of finished projects just waiting for their backstitch - I certainly hope this piece won't fall into that category when I get the cross stitching done!)
I am also still working on Scheherazade, but I'm still not on her dress! I am trying to build a solid base for the dress before I work towards the top again, but it takes a lot of stitching without seeing a picture :( That is the problem with starting at the bottom! At least I'm still enjoying it very much :)
That's it for now - have a great week!