Thursday, 31 December 2015

End of year review 2015

Here we are - the last day of 2015! I hope this year has been a good one for you all.

I had a good year stitching - wise. I don't think I shared this photo before but here's my favourite finish of 2015 - right at the start of the year!

Cut Thru North Pole House 
by Bothy Threads 
Started 29th August 2013
Finished 10th January 2015

Other highlights of the year...

Taking part in Debbie's Crazy January Challenge in honour of SoCal Debbie who sadly passed away in 2014. I finished 12 of my 15 new starts. Here's a favourite finish...



Meeting fellow stitchers Ingrid (Mii Stitch) and Rachel (Ten Hour Stitcher) in April for a day's stitching and chatting at Nimble Thimble in Oswestry, and then again for our very own Stitching Retreat at Dairy Cottage! No photos as we're all camera shy but here's a special stitch - chart gifted by Rachel on our first meet up, and stitched by me on our retreat!

Stitchers make the Best Friends by My Big Toe Designs
Started 16th October 2015, finished 17th October 2015

"Killing off" four UFOs which in my heart I knew I would never finish, leaving me with a leaner list from which to choose in 2016. Here's just one that bit the dust...

The top left hand corner of Treasure Hunt Bookshelf
by Aimee Stewart (HAED)

I start 2016 with 11 WIPs / UFOs and my intention for the year is to reduce that number to just 5. I'm cutting back on SAL commitments and won't be joining Crazy January Challenge this year.  I intend to enjoy my stitching and hopefully finish some projects, particularly those I started for my sons, who are quickly growing up! I hope you won't get bored of seeing the same things and will continue to cheer me on as you have done in 2015.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and creative 2016!

Justine 
Thursday, 24 December 2015

Advent Calendar Blog Hop Day 24

The day before the big day is finally here!  And here's the last door to open in the Advent Calendar Blog Hop organised as ever by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching.  If you haven't opened all the other doors then here's a LINK to the whole Advent Calendar - go on, have a look, I'll wait for you!

Being last certainly isn't easy after all the gorgeous finishes that have been on display throughout December.  I have two finishes to share with you which between them to me just sum up Christmas.


...and they shall seek Him
by Just Another Button Company
Stitched on Fabric Flair 28ct evenweave Cloud Brown
with recommended DMC threads



En Retard by Madame Chantilly
Stitched on Fabric Flair 28ct evenweave
Snowfall with sparkles
with recommended DMC threads

These were both an absolute joy to stitch. For En Retard I adapted the design slightly and instead of stitching snowflakes and stars I used this gorgeous fabric from Fabric Flair. This was a bit adventurous for me but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I also altered the front reindeer's nose as my younger son pointed out that Rudolph should lead the sleigh! 

Like many others who took part in the Blog Hop this year, our Christmas Eve plans are quite low key.  I go out early to collect our Christmas dinner from Marks and Spencer (other Christmas dinners are available) and then I usually treat myself to a quiet coffee in the cafe before returning home just in time for everyone else to wake up!  My husband usually works on Christmas Eve so I'll have a relaxing day at home with my sons who are 6 and 7 years old this Christmas.  In the evening we'll go to Mass and then leave out a mince pie for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer.  The boys will no doubt remind me of the Christmas morning that I was cross with Santa for leaving his dirty plate and glass on the table instead of putting them by the sink ready for washing!

Thanks again to Jo for organising our Advent Calendar.  I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday, however you celebrate, and have a stitch and stash-filled Happy New Year!

Justine
Monday, 14 December 2015

Lots of gifts and another finish

Dear friends

I will definitely be on Santa's Naughty List this year after receiving so many lovely gifts from friends and not sharing with you all!

Back in October I won a giveaway on Maggee's blog and she made this beautiful cube finish for me...


Isn't it gorgeous?  Maggee hand-dyed the lace to achieve the right colour.  Now that's attention to detail.  Thank you Maggee I absolutely love it.

Then I was the recipient of one of the many Christmas ornaments that Jacquie has been sending round the blogosphere...


Here it is already on our tree.  Thank you Jacquie, it looks so pretty and smells absolutely delicious too!

Then last week Sally had a clear out of some Halloween ornaments and fabric, and knowing that I didn't have much in the way of Halloween designs, sent them all to me!


Thank you Sally - I know you said I could pass them on but I really don't think I will!  The pumpkin face is already a favourite with my boys and I'm sure I can put the fabric to good use next year.

And then my dear friend Ingrid of Mii Stitch sent this beauty along with some Christmas gifts...



Thank you Ingrid - you know I love everything and am already planning to buy more of those cute Flip-It designs!

Ingrid also sent a gift to our friend Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher.  Please do check out the photos on Ingrid's blog here as they are much better than mine, plus my gift looks great side-by-side with it's stitchy twin!

As promised, I also have a finish of my own to share, and here it is!  Started as one of my Crazy January Challenge pieces this year in memory of SoCal Debbie, this is Pretty Little Paris.

Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street
Started 7th January 2015, finished 2nd December 2015
Stitched on 16 count Rustico aida
with recommended DMC threads


I'm very happy with how it turned out, it's so bright and colourful!  I made a few adjustments to the bridge running along the bottom as it was charted unevenly and my tidy brain couldn't cope with that!  Apart from that it was stitched just as charted with the recommended colours.

This one is my 12th finish of the 15 new starts I had back in January and sadly I will have to carry the remaining 3 over into 2016.  I plan to finish at least 2 of them next year but more of that later!

I am busy stitching on Christmas goodies now which I will share on December 24th as part of Jo's Advent Blog Hop.  See you then!

Justine