Monday, December 31, 2012

Taking stock

Wow, exactly one year ago, I started this blog, and what a year it has been! On the personal front, we started out last year with my mom and her five critters living with us as she recovered from a major health crisis. After transitioning to a local apartment, Mom is once again living in her newly remodeled house, with all but one of the five critters she came with. Sabrina, who Mom had taken in right before she got sick, is now my cat. ;)

My "little" guy, Tanner turned 11 this year, and will probably be taller than me by the end of the new year. He got his first pair of glasses, and he broke his first (and, hopefully, last) bone this year, his left ankle, and spent three weeks in a wheelchair at school. He is now walking pretty well without his stabilizing boot, and has hopefully learned his lesson about riding his bike in the dark!

On the stitching front, I started out the year with high hopes of no new starts and lots of WIP finishes; hmm, that turned out to be even harder than I thought it would be. Of the twenty WIPs I chose to start with, I completed six of them (although number seven is getting close):

Lady Alexandra, 1/8/12:

Percy Pig, 1/17/12:

Treats Collage, 1/23/12:

Pretty Wicked, 2/12 (along w/Maple Ravens, a new start and finish):

Halloween Rules, 5/28/12:

Dog Lessons for People, 12/21/12:

I also stitched three models for Rosewood Manor this past year, but the only one that I can share is Halloween Quilt Sampler:

Unable to resist making new starts, here are the pieces that I started and finished this year:

Ladyslipper, 1/27/12 - 2/19/12:

Gorjuss Laundry Day, 2/23/12 - 3/3/12:

Christmas Kitty, 3/12 (along with a previous year's ornament):

Very Scary bonus designs, 10/15/12 - 10/19/12:

Very Scary, 6/28/12 - 12/14/12:

Faerie Winter Dream, 11/16/12 - 12/6/12:

Snow Faces, 12/25/12:

Amazingly enough, I think I only had two starts this year that I haven't completed; one is the Passione Ricamo Fairy Mystery SAL. I just received part 7, but I've only stitched the first two parts. However, it still has five parts to go, so technically, I couldn't have finished it this year, anyway! The second is Silver Moon Tea, which is probably about half finished; not too bad! ;)

Wow, seems like quite a bit when they're all together like that! I also want to say thank you to all of you who have shared my journey this past year. I read and enjoy every comment, and just love knowing that this amazing craft is shared by so many people all over the world. 

I hope everyone has a terrific new year, filled with family, friends and, of course, lots of stitchy stash (and time to enjoy it!)!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas stitching

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, filled with family and friends and lots of stitchy stash! My mom came for a few days, but has to leave today to get home and take care of her kitties. Here is a picture of her with my son, Tanner, and Mom's Sadie, who is very rarely NOT in any picture with my mom (since she is glued to her side almost all the time!):

Since it was Christmas, I couldn't very well bury myself in my craft room and stitch, so I picked a small project that I could easily work on in the kitchen/living room while visiting and making dinner. I stitched up Just Nan's Snow Faces during Christmas day:

And put it in a little Whimzi frame this morning:

When I can get back to my craft room, I'll be working on Nora Corbett's Pincushion Fairy, although I'm starting to doubt that I'll be able to finish her before the new year. Here is how she looked when I picked her up again:

Quite a bit left to do; we'll see how she looks on New Year's Eve!

I've also been doing a bit of year-end organizing in my craft room; filing patterns away properly, restoring threads to their rightful places, ironing finished projects (and deciding which ones to get framed with the gift certificate my wonderful husband gave me for Christmas!) and updating my stitching journal:

I started keeping a journal in 2006, and I really like being able to see what I've accomplished over time. I just wish I'd started keeping one sooner, as I stitched for almost 20 years before I started keeping track!

ETA: As I've already had two comments about the journal I use, here is a link to one: journal. They come in either blue or rust, and can usually be ordered from your local shop. HTH!

Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to Missy, who is having an awesome giveaway of two pairs of Gingher scissors on her blog. Someone is going to get very lucky in the new year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm shocked...

...shocked, I tell you, that the world is still here! I guess I should be glad that I didn't sell all my stitchy stash to fund a trip to that mountain in France where the aliens were going to come up and save the chosen few; the only UFOs here are the "Un-Finished Objects" in my bucket o'WIPs. ;)

I am happy to say that I did finish one more of the WIPs on the list that I made at the start of the year; Lizzie*Kate's Dog Lessons for People is now complete:

That sparkly little dog next to the dog house is the needle minder I used while stitching this piece; as I've stated many times before, I love bling!

So, six of the 20 WIPs I started with are done, and I'm wondering if I can possibly pull out one more finish before the year ends; I guess I'll see how far along Pincushion Fairy is!

Here is another cute picture of my faithful craft room companion, Maxie; as you can tell, our animals have a really rough life here with us:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend, and a wonderful Christmas!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Giveaway winners, and another finish

The winners of the Cross Stitch & Needlework magazines are Monique and Dena; congratulations ladies! Please send your mailing addresses to me at rrowe @ (remove the spaces), and I will get these in the mail to you. Thanks to everyone who commented. :)

While I have been busy trying to get ready for Christmas, I have still been trying to stitch a little bit here and there, and this morning I was able to finish Lizzie*Kate's Very Scary mystery SAL:

This was a very fun stitch, although I still think I might stitch it again someday on a different fabric. I mean, it's not like I already have a lifetime's worth of other stuff to stitch! ;)

It seems like I often post pictures of my kitties here, so today I decided to share my sweet little Chloe Rose, instead:

Although, sometimes I think that she thinks she's a kitty, since she's been surrounded by cats since she came to live with us. She loves to bask in the sun like a cat, but she can only do it for a short time before becoming overheated!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Dancing!!

I finished "Faerie Winter Dream" at 2:20 this morning, which was pretty late/early, so I saved my happy dance until a more reasonable time this morning! It seems like the majority of Mirabilia designs that I stitch are completed in the wee hours of the morning; after a bit of thought, I decided that it must just be the thrill of  putting that last bead (almost always a bead on a Mira!) on that keeps me going long past my usual bedtime.

I stitched her on a Silkweaver opal Belfast solo, and I did make a few minor changes. The pattern calls for Caron Wildflowers, but I used the corresponding colors of Waterlilies, instead. I changed the color of the outer portion of the wings, to differentiate them a bit more from the dress, and I used Kreinik braid for backstitching the wings and antennae; I figured a winter faerie can never have too much sparkle! ;)

So, here she is, in all her bling-tastic glory:

I would like to have a small giveaway to celebrate my happy dance: I bought two extra copies of this issue, and I would like to send them to a couple of people who would like to stitch this design, but are having trouble getting the magazine (Cross Stitch & Needlework, January 2013). I will send one to a person in the US, and one to a person anywhere else in the world, and all you have to do is leave a comment saying that you would like to be in the giveaway; in your comment, please note either "in US" or "outside US". 

I will draw the winners on Friday, December 14, and announce them here. Please note that you are responsible for checking back to see if you won; I will put my email in the post announcing the winners, who will then be responsible for contacting me. You'll have until December 21 to respond; if you don't contact me within that time, I will pick another winner. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Now I am off to start on some of the housework I've been neglecting during my stitching frenzy. I hope everyone (else) has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wings, bling and bs!

I just put the last stitches into Faerie Winter Dream's dress, so now I just have to finish stitching the wings, add some backstitching and then attach all that glorious bling!

Depending on how much time I get this weekend, I'm hoping to have her finished by the early part of next week. This is actually the part of a project that is the most difficult for me to get through; I'm almost done, but not quite close enough to really push forward and finish. Hopefully I'll get through it, and get more excited once those big wings are done!

I'm starting to get used to the absence of Keishu and Mai Ling in my craft room, especially since my Maxie has taken pity on me and started to hang out with me quite a bit. She usually starts out by sitting on the ottoman next to me, asking to be petted:

After an appropriate amount of petting, she settles down for a rest:

And when she really wants to sleep, she heads for the drawer across from my stitching table, where she settles in for long, cozy naps:

It's impossible to be lonely with such a wonderful companion. ;)

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, November 23, 2012


I have decided that I am going to finish "Faerie Winter Dream" before moving on to my next project, come what may! I have been working on her for a week, now, and am hoping that I can finish her in another week, or so:

Nora will be releasing three more seasonal faeries through Wichelt Imports, and I am already looking forward to stitching them. ;)

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a wonderful day, filled with family and food. My mom joined us yesterday, and we remembered that at this time last year she still had a hole in her throat from where the trach tube had been. Now she has recovered completely, and is even moving back into her house for a few years. That means that I will be losing my two craft room companions, Mai Ling and Keishu, as they will now be going home with their "real mom". They are leaving tomorrow morning, and I know that I am going to cry, even though I'm so happy that they'll be going back to their own home. I guess I'll just have to plan on visiting them...uh, I mean, visiting my mom... often! ;D

Here are a couple pictures of them; in the first, they're in the chair behind my stitching chair, and in the second they are in the bed on the floor of my craft room:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Winter stitching

I guess it's the right time of year for winter stitching, although it was so nice outside today that I went out and trimmed back our butterfly bush for the winter. I need to get some more yard work done...and cleaning...and Thanksgiving is right around the corner...and... I'm getting tired already!

Friday morning I finished up the model for Karen, and got it in the mail. Now I have a very short window of "for me" stitching time, because Karen already has my next project ready to be mailed to me. So I decided to start Nora Corbett's "Faerie Winter Dream", which is in the Jan. 2013 issue of Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine. I chose a Silkweaver solo on opal Belfast to stitch her on, because I thought it looked very wintry and icy:

The pattern calls for two colors of Caron Wildflowers, but I'm using Waterlilies, instead, as I didn't like the thought of the texture difference. The beading on this piece is going to be gorgeous; I'm already looking forward to getting to that part!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, with lots of stitching time after the big meal!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Door County retreat

This weekend, Kendra, the owner of The Stitching Bee in Green Bay, hosted an awesome stitching retreat in Egg Harbor, WI. It was so much fun, and I spent so much time stitching, that I needed a 3-hour nap when I got home this afternoon, just to recover!

The dinners were yummy, and my room (really a mini-condo) was very comfortable. Also, free WiFi, so I could keep up with the boards on my down time! Here is a pic of the terrific goodie bag that Kendra put together:

We played "Name That Tune" for door prizes on Saturday night, with much fun had by all. :)  Next year will be the tenth anniversary of this retreat, so I'm already looking forward to that!

I also have to do a shout-out to Monica, who recognized me (or my blog, anyway) when she saw my Lizzie*Kate bonus pieces all stitched up; it was very fun to meet someone from the blogosphere. Also, to Donna, who I really enjoyed chatting with. :)

Since the piece that I'm stitching for Karen has gotten too large to travel with comfortably, I decided to take along my Mirabilia "Silver Moon Tea", and I was able to finish the entire moon!



Now when I get back to stitching on her, I'll be able to fill in her body before I move on to more background!

For now, it's back to my model, which should be finished this week; it's always a nice feeling of accomplishment to put one of those in the mail. :)

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My craft room walls...

...are getting pretty crowded! Last Wednesday I received the first batch of framed Nora Corbett Holiday fairies, and today the last three arrived, so I have spent the last hour hanging and re-hanging pictures. It's difficult to get good pictures, with all of the reflections, but at least they give some idea of what I look at while I'm stitching:

When the first box arrived, I was a bit worried as one of the corners was ripped and bulging out, but Jill's helper did an amazing packing job; I think they could ship anywhere in the world and get it there intact! To give you some idea of the packaging, here is Keishu rustling around in the box full of the packing paper:

And paper from the first box has been well-used this past week by just about all of the kitties!



And Callie:

The white blur on the right side of Tailor's picture is actually Callie's whisker, as she came to me to see what I was doing. She then promptly booted Tailor from the paper tent and got in herself, as if to say that I should take her picture!

No new stitching to share, as I'm still working on a model. I am really hoping to have it done before the stitching retreat in just under two weeks, but I'm not sure if I can do it. Better get back to work!