Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Finishes, RAKs, & Thanks a Lot Vonna!!!

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands."
Psalm 19:1

I took this photo from my front porch one morning about 2 weeks ago, looking over to the east of our property.  I did not enhance it at all.  It's funny that just a little before noticing this sunrise, I was reading a book & Psalm 19:1 was mentioned.  It's neat when things happen like that   : )

I caught up on blog reading this morning & decided I had better post my January finishes before I blinked my eyes & March was here!

You might remember this first design.  I actually started it in early December but then set it aside so I could stitch a few more gift items.  It is my first finish of 2014.  You might notice that I left off the black back stitching around the snowmen.  I thought it looked okay in the magazine photo, but when I did it in real life I just wasn't happy with it.  
   Designer:  Dames of the Needle
Design:  Windy Night from
2013 JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer

I really love this next design & stitched 2 of them for exchanges in 2012 & 2013.  This one is mine come hell or high water   : )
Designer:  The Sampler Girl
Design:  Good Tidings to You from
2011 JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine
Fabric:  40 ct Newcastle natural linen
Floss:  DMC

I made just a small change on this next ornament.  Instead of using Colonial knots for eyes, I used 2 black seed beads.  I would have gone ahead & driven myself crazy with the Colonial knots, but since I have enough tries & fails making them with regular floss, I didn't dare want to put myself through trying to make them using silk ... lol!  Also, the design calls for a small heart button stitched to the snowshepherd's chest.  I'll need to hunt around for one of those.  
 Designer:  SamSarah Design Studio Inc.
Design:  Holy Night from
2013 JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer
Do you notice the strange light stripes framing both the Holy Night & Windy Night designs?  I can't say this for sure, but I wonder if this was maybe caused by my Q-Snap clamps being snapped on & off the designs at each sitting???  I used padding underneath them though, so it really doesn't make sense for the clamps to have done this.  Any thoughts?
You might want to sit down for this next finish because I not only changed a color, I changed the design!!!  First off, the designer suggested DMC 918, Red Copper DK, for the snowman's scarf & mittens & for the tree's planting pot.  It was more rust than red.  I just didnt' like it, so I changed it to DMC 3777, whatever that color name is.  I also didn't care for the gold stripe on his top hat so I stitched that with 3777 as well.  I kept looking at that big red planting pot with the gold bow & decided I really didn't care for that coloring either.  I asked Mr. Color Sense for his suggestion.  His response was "I'd hate that pot & bow no matter what color they were!  Why not just make the tree standing in some snow?"  Well, I decided that was a good idea, so I just lengthened the tree trunk a bit & stitched some snow.  It's not the best arrangement of snow I could have done, but I'm happy with it   : )
Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Design:  He's A Flake
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer
except I changed DMC 918 to DMC 3777

As I started working on this next design, John took a look at the model photo & said "I hope you're not going to put that bow on there!"  I decided at this point to keep model photos away from John for fear of him wanting me to redesign everything I choose to stitch!  The bow, by the way, was part of the finish.  I don't see anything wrong with it.  By next Christmas I'm sure he'll forget all about it, & if my illustrious finisher decides to finish the ornament with such a bow, he will probably indicate how wonderful it is.  Men!  Incidentally, it took me ... no kidding ... about 2 hours to make those 2 Colonial knot eyes.  It was 2 hours of making an eye, taking it out, making it again, taking it out again, over & over & over.  I actually decided to give up at one point & use seed beads, but the beads I had were too big.  I finally got the knots to where I was happy with them.  I'm too much of a perfectionist for my own good sometimes   : (
 Designer:  Country Cottage Needleworks
Design:  Snow Birds from
2013 JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer
I would have finished this next design except I ran into a snag.  There is a planting pot ... an urn really ... that has this branch coming out of it upon which the bird is sitting, & the designer wants it stitched with WDW Peach.  The WDW Peach used in the model photo looks fine, but the skein I have in my collection is rather poorly dyed.  It has about 6" of dark peach, then it suddenly changes to about 6" of light pink, then back & forth like that again & again.  It just doesn't look good at all.  I tried all the conversions that I have.  They all fall flat.  If you have any ideas for a color I can try instead, please let me know   : )
Designer:  With Thy Needle & Thread
Design:  Snow Bird
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer ... thus far

I'm working on another ornament now which should be  finished in another couple days.  Not bad considering where I was last year at this time & how it put me off stitching for 7 weeks.  You can learn what prompted those 7 weeks of stitchlessness by clicking here.
Last week I received 2 wonderful RAKs in the mail!!!  The first was from my dear friend Lisa ... this wonderful My Big Toe design, He Holds Tomorrow, & the WDW threads with which to stitch it!  Gorgeous colors, by the way   : )  Thank you again Lisa ... I'm really looking forward to stitching this!
And KimM gifted me with the most wonderful scissor fob that she made using beautiful blue beads & a wonderful snowflake charm!!!  It's an absolutely perfect design for me   : )   I don't know if you know this or not, but I'm a sucker for scissor fobs!  Thank you again Kim, for your kindness & thoughtfulness!  I really love this!!!
You are probably wondering what I'm thanking Vonna for.  Last week she made the following post ... A Stitching Story ... wherein she described her stitching areas & her love for her Vera Bradley Kiss & Make-up clutch which she uses as a stitching tote.  Well, you know I'm the first to admit how easily influenced I am.  I immediately made my way over to eBay & ordered one ... & here it is!  As I said in my comment to Vonna on that post, yes ... I'm pathetic   : )
Vonna also influenced me to purchase a Lizzie*Kate kit called A Little Snow.  That one is still in my 123 Stitch cart   : )

I may as well share another purchase with you.  This is what I bought from The Silver Needle's New Year's Eve sale.
I know you really can't see much of anything here, but there's the Ultra-Slim Magnifying Lamp by the Daylight Company, & that round thing on the white box on the right is the base for my candle screen frame which is used for LHN's Warm Winter Woolens design.  I couldn't get it back in the box with the rest of the frame after I took it out.  I've had the design in my stash for maybe 2 years now but haven't stitched it as I've been waiting to get the frame.  Here's a photo if you're not familiar with the design. 
Okay ... back to The Silver Needle.  I thought the balloon tissue paper wrapping some of my order was a really special touch, especially considering how swamped they no doubt were with orders at the time!  Not only that, but they sent me two thank-you gifts for placing my order!  One was a little wooden needle keeper box, & the other was a set of 6 Limited Edition GAST threads!
You are probably thinking "tell us what was wrapped in that balloon tissue paper!"  Well, there were 10 little wooden hornbooks (perfect to use for an ornament design I have), some tapestry threaders, an extra bulb for magnifying light, & the following charts:
Country Cottage Needleworks
Snowman Trio
Plum Street Samplers
Wintertide Friends
Heartstring Samplery
Three Little Proverbs
With My Needle
Cherished Workes
Sheepish Designs

Needless to say, I haven't joined the Stitch From Stash group this year   : )

Since I'm still feeling rather out of it since being sick last month, I saw my doctor on Wednesday & am now taking antibiotics for a sinus infection.  John isn't feeling quite right yet either.  He called his doctor on Thursday & they told him to come in the following day, so yesterday we headed off to Louisville.  He didn't receive any medication ... his doctor just told him that this illness that's been going around this year takes a while to get over & he should be fine in a couple weeks.  I get a little perturbed with his doctor ... she never seems to think anything is anything, if you know what I mean.  I guess this is the difference between a doctor who works for the Veterans Administration & one who works in private practice.
By the way, my no-reply status should not be a problem any longer.  If you notice me showing up as no-reply again when I comment on your blogs, please do let me know.  
Well, this has been a lengthy post, hasn't it   : )   I have more photos to show you ... & more stash acquisitions if I am so inclined ... but I will save all that for another day.  John's birthday is on Monday.  He wants to go out for an Italian dinner but that's the only plan for now.  For the remainder of this weekend, I think I will just stitch & eat   : )


Jackie said...

Not pathetic at all to snatch up a Kiss & Make up Clutch - I think you were rather smart! Goodness, probably half of Vonna's readers did the same thing.

I really like the Snow Birds ornament. I'm never inspired by the magazine photos like I am when I see it stitched on someones blog!

Glad you're not lighting any fires this year!

Melody said...

What a nice long post! Your ornaments are great. I also like your choices in new charts. I've ordered from the Silver Needle several times and have always been pleased with the good service. It makes it feel special when they wrap up your purchases, it's like a present to yourself!! Happy Birthday to John. Have a good weekend.

Krista said...

So many sweet ornaments in the works! I think the snow birds are my fave! Enjoy your weekend, Shirlee!

Dawn said...

Wow, you've been a busy lady Shirlee! So happy to see a wonderful post and goodies for January.

gracie said...

Wonderful stitching...wonderful post today.

Beth said...

What an interesting post Shirley. I do love Holy Night, and all your purchases too.

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

LOL! I wanted to go find a Kiss and Makeup Clutch, too. LOL! And I love all your finishes - WOW! You have been a busy, busy girl! Aren't Silver Needle orders fun? I love how they wrap things. It makes you feel so special. And freebies, too! How nice!!

As for stitching and eating this weekend, well, I think I have the eating part down ;) ... now to work on the stitching part!

The sunrise was GORGEOUS. Our God is such an incomparable painter!!



Robin said...

Wow, Shirlee! What wonderful pictures you shared from the glorious sunrise to all your finishes. I like the changes you made to them. Good going!

Enjoy your weekend!

Robin in Virginia

Judy said...

Congratulations went for changes and you did a fantastic job! All of your ornaments look perfect. That sunrise was amazing. And some sweet purchases! Sounds like a great weekend of stitching and eating..what more could there possibly be to want!!

Judy Heartland stitcher

Linda said...

What an awesome post Shirlee. Great new stash and I love all your finishes.


Sarah in Stitches said...

Great finishes! They're all so lovely and sweet. So proud of you for changing the design and thread color to suit your tastes, too - I do it all the time! Excellent purchases as well. No wonder they sent you some complimentary goodies! :D

Stitchy Mc Floss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vickie said...

Oh what a glorious sky!
My oh my, haven't you been busy?!
Such lovely new goodies. I really, really like Betsy. =)
Are you being naughty with food? ;)

Karen said...

What fabulous finishes... you certainly had a productive month! Happy stitching...

Shebafudge said...

What beautiful stitching. Love all the changes you made and good for you for having the confidence to do it. It always scares me changing something from the design, I'm a coward.

Carol said...

Oh, my, Shirlee!! You have been one busy stitcher... They are all so cute and I love the new charts that you bought, too. I have three of them myself--we must have the same taste :)

Beautiful sunset--you are so lucky to see them. We are down in a valley and never see a single one... Hope you are feeling all better now! Happy February to you :)

Pam in IL said...

Beautiful sunrise and a wonderful post! I must say, Vonna is certainly an enabler! I had to order "A Little Snow" too. Now that I think about it, tho, I think Mother Nature thought I wanted real snow. I must have made her mad because I have snow drifts deeper than I am tall that I had to shovel through just to get out my front door!

Great post!

Pam in IL said...

I have the Snow Bird design from With Thy Needle and I used the recommended colors and thought they were fine.

marly said...

Great stitching selections and linen colors. Nice haul from SN!! What a beautiful sunrise.

Maggee said...

Great post buddy! From a beautiful picture of God's handiworks to samples of yours! Then presents and stash! Who could ask for anything more! The snows back to back here has kept life interesting, to say the least! Thought of you! Hugs!

Barb said...

oh Shirlee you are a one, I love the finishes the pictures the stand for your Woolen sheep and I want one lol. I have a few of the charts that you do too, and a few more there I would like hmmmm a visit to a Needlework site is in order I think.
Hope John gets over it quickly we have had the same thing 4 weeks it lasted. You would think with the cold weather it would kill all the bugs off, mind you we just have had rain and more rain. Lovely post to cheer a person up.

Sherry said...

I love all your ornaments! You got alot done last month. Your picture is beautiful. I was out side early one morning and got one like that. You got some great new goodies too. I hope you both feel better soon. Happy birthday to John.

Peggy Lee said...

We also had a perfect view of the sunrise and sunsets from where we lived in that area. It's beautiful here when the sun sets over the lake. Lots of eye candy in this post! I'm going back for another look.

Chris said...

So glad to catch up with you Shirlee! I hope that you and John are feeling normal again soon! This has been an awful year for infections.
First on your stitching, beads a re a good thing and the finish looks great. I think leaving the lines off the snowmen was a good choice too. Look at you!! You are making great decisions where your stitching is concerned.
Wonderful glorious stash!!
That sunrise is so gorgeous and special.
I hope that you have a great upcoming week!

Catherine said...

What a great post, Shirlee!! That sunrise is a stunner! Wonderful stitches and goodies ~ I may have to read this again to make sure I didn't miss something!

Anne said...

That first photo is stunning Shirlee! What a sunrise. So majestic and indeed, reminds us of God! Wonderful finishes for January. You have been busy with the needle!! I think the Snow Birds look great. Too bad about how long it took you with the knots. I just do French knots, wind it twice around and plop it into the fabric. It works for me! Although, I really disliked my finish of the snow birds. I'm sure yours will be stellar! Great new charts you picked up too! I hope you and John are better now...and that the no-reply thingy is fixed. I don't seem to have a problem replying to you though! HUGS and prayers :D

Kaisievic said...

Oh Shirlee, I love your long, long posts and all of your so gorgeous finishes, RAK gifts and your purchases. Please wish John a very Happy Birthday from me and enjoy your Italian dinner!

Julie said...

A lovely post full of lots of beautiful things.

Sally said...

Wow, wow, wow! Al, those beautiful finishes and new stash! I'm coming to your house for a cuppa and a fondle of all your new stuff lol! Can you put me up?!

I was gifted Warm Winter Woolens with the threads to stitch it with which was such a lovely surprise. I still haven't worked out who did it! Fancy a SAL when we've finished Snow Angel?

Hope John is feeling much better now. Drs annoy me sometimes too!

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

That was a post worth waiting for! So many lovely designs and the year's most popular chart - The Snow Seagulls. That's what they look like to me anyway.

All the way though I kept thinking "I bet she's not doing Stitch from Stash" this year and I was right!

I hope John enjoyed his birthday in the Firey Mouth of the Hellgate. That's where the photo was taken, right?

Simply Victoria said...

Gorgeous sunrise!
Your busy hands have created some lovely finishes. Fun new charts to stitch too.