God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Friday, February 28, 2014

February Finishes

I am quite surprised at the number of finishes I have for February.  Six!  Six ornaments stitched to be gifted or to grace my own tree next Christmas which, if you can see my countdown counter, is only 299 days away!!!  Happy dance, happy dance!!!

You saw a bit of this first finish in my post about my January finishes.  I had hit a bit of a snag with the floss color suggested for the planting pot ... WDW Peach.  Although it looked lovely on the model photo, the skein I had was very stripey with about 6" of dark peach suddenly turning into 6" of light pink. It looked terrible.  I asked for suggestions & played around on my own & came up with using DMC 3773.  I am quite happy with the result   : )
Designer:  With Thy Needle & Thread
Design:  Snow Bird
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer with the
exception noted above

I next tackled an ornament which appeared in the 1999 issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments (hereafter referred to as JCSCO).  Once again I asked for help ... click here ... because the white suggested for the house & church was just not showing up well when I attempted the stars & border.  I received many suggestions (including one I didn't publish that told me to stop whining ... thank you very much) & I decided to stitch one large star & a few smaller stars using DMC 3045 (already suggested for other design elements) & leave off the border entirely.  I didn't much care for it anyway.  I made a few other adjustments to the original design including swapping out the gray color used for the church roof, doors, & windows.  I'm sure the designer had a reason for choosing that color for those particular design elements, but what?  I decided to give the church a brown (wooden) door, brown shingles on the roof, & stained glass windows.  These were fun to figure out.  Since they are designed with very few stitches, I didn't have much room to work with ... but I thought a cross in the center of each one would be perfect   : )   
 Designer:  Threads Through Time
Design:  Christmas Village from 
1999 JCSCO
Fabric:  40 count natural linen
Floss:  DMC as suggested

Because Christmas Village was rather fiddly, I decided to choose something simple for my next ornament ... another JCSCO design.  I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this!  It's just a wee bit large for an ornament, but it would make a perfect little pillow or branch tuck   : )
Designer:  La-D-Da
Design:  Merry Christmas from
2009 JCSCO
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  Gloriana Silk as suggested by designer

The next ornament I chose to stitch was another JCSCO offering.  This one really puzzled me.  I kitted the majority of these ornaments prior to & just after my heart surgery in September, so unless the chart copy included a colored picture of the finished ornament, I had no idea what it would look like.  As I have always tried to do, I used the exact same fabric & floss suggested by the designer.  Crescent Colours floss was suggested here.  There is a leafy branch included in the design & the floss color suggested was Green Onion.  I thought it was odd that the designer wanted me to stitch a leafy branch with off-yellow floss, but the ornament was rather nontraditional in color anyway so I tried not to give it another thought.  It really haunted me though.  After finishing the ornament, I retrieved the magazine from my files & my eyes were met with a medium green colored leafy branch.  Now I know that dye lots vary, but one lot medium green, another off-yellow?  How do you explain that?  I did make one small alteration to the design.  I am not big on dates so I replaced the date in the bottom left corner with a small cross. I think it goes with the theme of the ornament quite nicely   : ) 
Designer:  Knotted Tree NeedleArt
Design:  Peace in 2008 from 
2008 JCSCO
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer

My next choice was very simple & an absolute delight to stitch!  It's off center because of the large slub in the center of the fabric that refused to be picked out. 
 Designer:  My Big Toe Designs
Design:  Merry Christmas from
2013 JCSCO
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer

I ended February's ornament choices with a design I've been wanting to stitch since I first saw it.  It turned out to be an exercise in patience though.  The two hand-dyed colors suggested for the angel's wings & dress were basically identical.  You had to look very, very, very closely to notice any shade difference.  I decided I would use the DMC equivalents instead, but this only added to my frustration because the dress was showing up as an extremely pale blue & the wings pale green ... absolutely nothing like the magazine photo.  Now before anyone tells me that designers can't be responsible for the way their colors show up in magazine photos, let me tell you that I worked in the publishing field for many years.  Professional photographers take dozens of photos to ensure the perfect representation of the subject(s) being photographed.  Also, I have stitched other ornaments from this particular magazine page & the colors match perfectly.  Okay ... now that that's off my chest, I will move on   : )   Naturally the hand-dyed floss companies are at fault here.  I gave up on trying to attain the same look as the original ornament & opted for gold flowers & a red dress (Crescent Colours Ruby Red) for a Christmas angel.  I detest stitching with metallic thread so opted to use WDW Whiskey for the star.  If I were to stitch this again, I would redo the entire color palette, but despite the frustration, I think this one still looks pretty.
       Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  Glory to God from
2008 JCSCO
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer with
substitutions as stated above

Now begins the March stitching   : )

My husband went to town this morning to pick up a few prescriptions for me at the drug store.  I told him I was in the mood for something sweet & asked if he would bring me back a little treat.  He came home with a humongous Valentine heart filled with chocolates & two little M&M hearts.  His reasoning?  "They were on sale!"  I should have asked him to bring me home a piece of jewelry   : )
It's bigger than my butt!  For now   : )
Happy Friday!!!

30 comments:

Vickie said...

hahaha! I would be real happy with John's choices in those yummy gifts! ;)

I am so proud of you! Look how many changes you have made. And no fires!

Good to know about Glory To God. I have had that one planned to stitch for a few years for my mother.

Mii Stitch said...

Great stitchy finishes and yummy looking chocolate!!!

Bev said...

You've been a busy bee in February some beautiful finishes I especially love the La De Da one especially the colour of the silk x

butterfly said...


Love all your stitching every one is beautiful, but love the first one it is so sweet.
WOW that is one big heart I shall be thinking of you when I eat my one chocolate each night I always have a choc after my tea, hugs.

Natasha said...

I love thw With Thy Needle finish. Very pretty.

I am currently stitching Glory to God and went with the DMC conversions. I am still working on the border right now but I am thinking of making her dress a lavender. I think the red angle turned out great :)

Have a great day

Karen said...

Congratulations on all your finishes! They are all lovely.

Melissa Field said...

Wow you've been a busy stitcher for sure!!! I need some of your mojo :)

Kevin said...

Love all of your ornaments! I especially love that Christmas Village - what a neat design! I need to hunt for that one in my old JCS ornament issues I have lying around here. ;-)
ENJOY that HUGE box of chocolates!! I think I could polish that off in about .. mmm.. ten minutes! LOL!! Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Oh my goodness! What awesome finishes!!
That is the biggest box of candy I have ever seen! I could probably eat it all, too.

Shebafudge said...

Gorgeous finishes despite trials and tribulations with colours. What a big heart!!

Edgar said...

What lovely ornaments!! I love the changes and agree with the reasoning! That's why I shift and change colours all the time - it's either too light or too dark or just too abrupt in colour.

April said...

That is one BIG @$$ box of chocolates Shirley!! Sorry had to say that! lol I love the stitching, just beautiful! That dancing Snoopy made me smile before I read your post and seen that huge box of chocolates... Then I was laughing!

Sarah in Stitches said...

Beautiful stitching, Shirlee! You must be so happy to get so many done :D I like all your substitutions - way to go!

Krista said...

So many sweet finishes!! Congrats, Shirlee! That sure is a LOT of chocolate :)

Maggee said...

Congrats on all these finishes--I like them all. The variations for the angel's dress are especially pretty--I skipped that one without even thinking about a change in the colors that I didn't especially like! I have stitched a few of the other ones from that particular issue...it is a good one. Thanks for the inspiration, albeit early for ME! Hugs!

pam said...

Guess that chocolate heart will be next months finish! Ornaments are very nice

Linda said...

Congrats on all the great ornament finishes Shirlee. Love the pic of you with the heart.

Linda

Marie said...

Who would post "stop whining" that's nuts!

Okay, that is one HUGE box of chocolates. Seriously, I have never seen a box that big. Yum.

You certainly have been productive. Congrats on all those finishes. I am glad that you resolved the "stars" problem on that design. They show up nicely and look great.

Marie said...

Oh, I meant to say that your wall color is VERY much like the color painted in 2 of my bedrooms. :-)

Sherry said...

Love all your finishes! What a great box of candy! If you are going to get something sweet, go all the way! lol.

Kathy L. said...

Love all your beautiful stitches. Is the first design from the limited edition ornament? It is such a pretty one.

I think I need to get some sale candy. I might have to sent dh to the store too.

Kathy

Simply Victoria said...

Hooray for you with all your finishes. My favorite is the La-D-Da one; the thread is gorgeous.
Nice "little treat!"

Marilyn said...

Wow Shirlee, you've been busy!
I think my favorite is the one with the houses, very nice.
That's one big heart John got you!
Take care.
Marilyn
P.S. It's your blog, so I guess you can whine as much as you want! lol

Peggy Lee said...

Lots of beautiful stitches here! I totally agree with your changes. Sometimes I'm afraid to dive in and just do it but I'm usually happy with the end result.
Now that's a box of chocolates! Points for John!!

Julie said...

Super ornament stitching.
WOW... that's a box and a half of choccies....

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Wow Shirlee ~ You have been stitchin' busy!!!
Wish I could stitch that fast!
Holy cow that's one big box of chocolates ~ enjoy!
Prim Blessings
Robin

Myra said...

Wow! You were busy Shirlee. Fabulous finishes. That heart box is huge! LOL John spoiled you good.

Pam in IL said...

Wonderful finishes! That is one HUGE heart full of chocolates. My Hubby would pick up one of those too, maybe even two of them since they were on clearance, lol.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Oh do stop whining!!

How rude is that? Some of us only tune in for the whining LOL.

Anyway, you have some beautiful finished pieces this week. I love the little village, just my sort of design. You have made some great colour choices too, very adventurous!

Love your huge chocolate box, I will have to show hubby the photo and drop a hint. Here are some pictures of my giant Easter Eggs.
http://serendipitousstitching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/sign-up-here-for-my-blogaversary-easter.html
We used to have a wholesalers' card and these were intended as raffle prizes for use in pubs. Hubby bought them for me!

Catherine said...

Lovely finishes! Any chocolates left from that big box!?!