I'm sitting in the shop looking out at the Atlantic Ocean, people walking dogs on the boardwalk, others sitting on the benches just taking in the view, the suns shining and the weather is perfect for a fabulous day outside. It just doesn't get any better than this. I pray that your Thanksgiving was as peaceful, calm, drama free and filled with food and family as mine was. While on Thursday it was a small gathering, but the day after Thanksgiving my sister and niece came down and treated everyone to dinner at Ruth Chris where we had another wonderful dinner, all 11 of us including my sister and niece so it wasn't very quiet but the food was excellent). And the next night we did "Thanksgiving do-over to get rid of all the food from Thursday. Three nights of eating...yes a dream come true. But now I'm back to working 4 days a week as we start the race to Christmas Day. And as the children get older it gets harder to find the gifts that they may like, except for Michael who asked me to get him new rims for his truck. . Honestly it has me wishing for the years of Fisher Price toys. But at least he had a list even though only one thing was on it. I'm also working on Christmas Gifts every night. I was sifting through bags of stuff trying to locate all Christmas and I can't believe some of the items I've started then abandoned. Remember the tree shaped etui from Blue Ribbon Designs? Heck Blue Ribbon isn't even doing counted cross stitch anymore, which is a shame because her designs were fabulous. I remember Debbie Liming and I both made plans to stitch it. I even got the smalls done for it the same year it came out. I had 3/4 of the top lid done, but that's all I had done, before I stuck it back in a tote. I found the finishing daunting and I think that's what made me stop, but after locating it again I decided to drag it out and work on it again. Again I'm finding all the pieces daunting. The stitching is easy so I'm going to at least get more stitching done before I again put it in a bag and abandon the whole thing. At that point I'll just leave it for Sara to find after I'm gone. Perhaps she will finish it for me. And of course I had to stitch a few more sleds for a wreath for Salty Yarns. How appropriate is this with designs from Sue Hillis' "Christmas for the Stitcher" leaflet. I made very few changes in color....stitched on 32 ct. white Lugana, using DMC fibers. Where there were pins shown, I did change to a silver metallic thread (Krenick #4 or #8 works well-color 01 Silver) and then used a petite bead for the head of the bead. Then with the stacked spools of thread I used a real needle in place of a stitched one. On the bird clamp I used red and green to make it more Christmas so it would match the other sleds more. I think Sue had used a yellowish or gold color for the bird. I also used a dark grey for the clamp and made that pin cushion green. Other than that I used the called for colors. Then purchased a $4 wreath from Michaels and the wreath you see here was born. Oh, I did purchase some holly berry sprigs to add in. But then that is it. Easy peasy. And as I've said before the directions Sue Hillis gives in the chart are spot on, can't go wrong (well, in theory at least)...but I've had no problems doing the finishing so I'm sure you will be fine.
Of course there were 2 designs I was anxiously waiting to arrive and they both have so I've moved on to those. Of course I just had to stitch the new Brenda Gervais papier mache box top design, "Jingle all the Way". It's a perfect box to slip some favorite candies in for someone or a special pair of scissors, well just anything really. If you did the one she designed for Halloween you will definitely want this one for Christmas. The size of the box is approx. 3" x 5". I've stitched two of these and basically used the colors she recommends, except I did use just one of the reds, Cherry Cobbler, for the santa as our Chili Pepper dot lot looked a little too orange to me. Then in place of the stitched berries I used petite beads. I don't like to ever stitch anything more than once normally, but as I said I've already stitched this one twice and I'm thinking I might do it a third time. It is an easy 2 day stitch which is why I don't mind repeating the stitch too much. I haven't shown it yet because I have to get the paint for the box, oyster white and knaki...hope to get it today and get these finished.
Then the 2nd Brenda Gervais I'm working on is her devided tray design, "Oh Tannenbaum"...love it. I feel like I haven't stitched something to be framed in forever, but I love these different ways of finishing and have been drawn to those designs. I started with the lower left design and should finish it tonight...more of a 3 day stitch for me because I didn't stitch one night at all (don't know why, just didn't) and then last night I was helping Judy with her project so I didn't stitch then either. But I figure no more than 3 nights on 4 of the designs and the center should take 1 night. Keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out that way and by then perhaps we will have the trays in. Fingers crossed. While I may not ever stitch this more than once, each of the designs here can be used individually and I may do that. The ideas are spinning around in my head. Perhaps on one of the little wooden totes I love so much. It could be used as a holiday card holder...oh, so cute. Well, I have to finish the tray first. So how is your Christmas stitching coming? FYI-we are now on Winter Hours, open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10-4