07 December 2013

Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future

This time of year I can't help but think about Christmases past, and always with a fondness.  I've spent Christmas in countries all around the world, especially when I was in the military.  This year I've decided to share Christmas through my needlework.
Christmas Past
Each year I make ornaments, whether they be to exchange with a stitching friend, or for family to disguise a gift card.  Unfortunately, many of the ornaments I've made have been given away without my taking a picture of them.  I get so caught up in the excitement of wrapping them up and sending them off.  But, here's a few that I've found photos of...

And, a couple other items that hang around the house this time of year...

And of course, we mustn't forget hubby's stocking!
I didn't realize that I'd stitched up so many Christmas items...
Christmas Present
This year I was determined to finish up a holiday sampler, and I found one that worked up so quickly.  This Lizzie Kate design was perfect!
It's all framed up now, and ready to take it's place with the rest of the decorations!
Our EGA chapter, the Chicora Stitchers, had our annual Christmas luncheon today, and the ornament exchange is always a big hit.
This is the ornament that I made, a design from Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler.  This pattern was in the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue, so I knew I just had to stitch it up!  Pat Callahan, our Queen of All Things Gingerbread, was the recipient.
This is the ornament that I received from Connie Hunt.  The stitching is so tiny; it's done on 18 ct. or smaller!  Beautiful stitching!!
I have one more ornament done for this year, but I won't be exchanging it until later on this month, so I can't share it yet...
Christmas Future
Yes, I've already got projects in progress, or WIPs (works in progress) - Surprise! Surprise!  One of them I started a few days ago, and the other I started a few years ago...
Heirloom Christmas Sampler, by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler...  This is only about 1/4 - 1/3 completed, and could take me still quite a bit longer to finish.  It's a stunning design, but that tree is proving to be my nemesis!!
This is the very beginning of the letter W, in what will eventually be a Welcome banner with a snowman accompanying each letter.  Stoney Creek offered this as a free pattern-of-the-month series.
As for other future designs for Christmas, so far I've got one other project planned (and kitted up) - Country Cottage Needlework Santa's Village.
It looks like 2014 is going to keep me busy!
Oh!  I've also got a few Halloween projects in mind, but that's an entirely different blog...
I hope y'all have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!!
Thanks for dropping by!

25 May 2013

2013 Anniversary Meet with Needles 'N Crafts - Fabric House Challenge, Gift Exchange and Goodie Bag - Part Two

In Part One I told you about my contribution to this year's Needles 'N Crafts Anniversary Meet.  Now it's time to show you what I received from the other members who attended.
Note:  I say 'other members who attended', because technically I attended, although briefly, even though I'm in the U.S. and the Meet was held in Malaysia...  How did I accomplish this?  Via Skype!  It's become a 'tradition' over the past few years; I call the host, or one of the other members who brings a laptop to the Meet, and I get to chat with each person there!  It's been wonderful to have that one-on-one time.

The hardest part for me about the Meet is having to wait for my Gift Exchange, Challenge project, and Goodie Bag to be sent out to me.  Since the package is coming from Malaysia, there is the mailing time, as well as time spent in Customs, that I must patiently endure...  And it's agony!!  But, eventually, finally, the package arrives, the mail lady stops her truck at the end of the driveway, I tackle her, she comments on my receiving a package all the way from Malaysia, and ultimately I make my way into the house to tear the package open, and savor its contents.

All of this was in the box, and that's just the beginning!
Each one of these packages and bags had yet to be opened... sigh...
My Gift Exchange/Fabric House Challenge partner was Usha!

She'd cricheted a doily, and a pincushion with matching house needlebook.  I love the pineapple pattern on the doily, and the colors on everything are so vibrant!  Thank you Usha!!
Sabariah sent all these goodies, souvenirs from a recent trip to Turkey:
Thank you Sabariah!
Radha made a nice soft scarf using hairpin lace crochet:
Thank you Radha!
Faizon sent these beautiful batik paintings:
I must consult with my framer how best to show these off!  Thank you Radha!
Nik sent me a needlebook with matching drawstring purse, and a gorgeous red caftan:


Thank you so much, Nik!
MW sent me some green tea that her son had gotten during a trip to China:
I made a small pot of tea, pulled out one of my small teacups, albeit a Japanese teacup, sat back and enjoyed a nice cuppa!  Thanks MW!
Then it was time to lay out all of the items from the Goodie Bag...
Radha made a biscornu for each one us, based on our likes and tastes, Sally made a heart-shaped origami box with several more hearts inside.  There were a few items that were house themed, like the keychain from Bee Ee, a package of buttons with a house, a postcard that was hand painted with a house on it, pincushion, the house tape measuring kit that I'd contributed, and even some candy!
I've already eaten the Milky Way candy bar that was included, and I think it tastes better than the American version.  It tasted like it had more cocoa in it... even hubby liked it better than what we get here.
This was like Christmas in May!  The creativity of our members is just amazing!
Some other blogs that you can check out about the 2013 Anniversary Meet:
I'll edit this list as I get links from other members on their blogs...
I'm already looking forward to next year... and at the same time dreading what MW will come up with for the Challenge project, lol!!
The next Exchange on the 'roster'...??  A pincushion exchange!  I'm off to go do some more stitching on that now.  Who's my partner?  Sorry, you'll have to wait for me to blog on that later this year as it's a secret who my partner is...
Thanks for dropping by!

2013 Anniversary Meet with Needles 'N Crafts - Fabric House Challenge, Gift Exchange and Goodie Bag - Part One

One of the things that I love about the Yahoo! group Needles 'N Crafts is the exchange part of the group, and the exchanges are also my excuse for not blogging very often!
This year's Anniversary Meet Exchange was no exception.  It definitely kept me busy for several months.  Not just the stitching and sewing part, but pondering what to make, how to make it, and then the finishing after the stitching is done.
You see, MW gives us a challenge project each year, based on a 'theme'.  Now, while it seems that this should be an easy challenge, well... it is just that... a challenge!  One year the theme was hearts, another year... birds.  This year's theme was 'house'.  It had to be three dimensional, made out of fabric, not so tiny as to be the size of a thimble, but not so big as to be an actual house that you could move into (there is shipping to be considered, after all).
And there is also the Gift Exchange, a handmade item given to whoever's name is drawn to receive your gift.  That person also receives the challenge project made by you...
So, I pondered for a while, I searched online for a few weeks, questioned my choices several times, and finally started the stitching.

For the Gift Exchange, I found this pattern online, for free:


I decided to make a fabric book cover, using an online tutorial that I'd found during my search, and this is the result:
For my Fabric House Challenge project, I decided on this tutorial:
and this is the result:

Vivian received my Gift Exchange and Fabric House Challenge project this year, and I've been told that her 3-year-old daughter has taken ownership of the house!  She even carried it, very carefully, all the way home after the Meet.  Too cute!
Another part of the Anniversary Meet is the Goodie Bag!  I LOVE to contribute to this, because I get so many interesting items in return!!  The creativity of this group spills over into the Goodie Bag.  One of the requirements for receiving the Goodie Bag is that you must contribute enough items to be put into ALL the Goodie Bags, so that each member receives something in their bag.
In keeping with the house theme, I decided on a house measuring tape, a pattern from Patchwork Pottery:
I assembled the house halves:
and made up kits for everyone to finish up.  I did not include instructions, as this would have violated the copyrights of Patchwork Pottery.  Instead, MW gave a quick class at the Meet on how to finish them, and everyone had to take their own notes.
Nik embroidered 'NNC 6th Anniversary' on the back half of the house.  Thank you Nik!  And MW put in the tape measures (saved a teensy bit on the shipping...) and batting.  Thank you MW!
I've yet to complete my house tape measure, but several of the members have finished theirs.  You can see one of them here.
Well, thanks for dropping by, and I should have Part Two up later today, hopefully...