gift giving, gifts, goodness, grace

keeping you on pins & needles

I am sure you have been on pins & needles for a while now.  Did she or did she not achieve her goal of this year?  When will she give us an update?  Will she ever in a million years do something like this again?

2017 the year I proclaimed the year of the pincushion has come to a close. Thankfully.

Holy Toledo, I learned more than I ever imagined.  It took more time than I ever estimated.  My original goal was to cross stitch 12 pincushions for gifts.  I completed and gave 16.

I was able to give three of those beauties in person.

Now, before you fret, yes, I have a beautiful,  rather large pincushion of my own.  I have used it almost daily for quite a few years now.   I stitched the tower to remember our trip to Paris.

If you remember, here was my original challenged issued to me.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/poke/

To make it even more interesting, I added another element, pins.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/a-good-luck-poke/

 

I used an entire bag of crushed walnut shells to fill each.  I had to go and buy a second bag to fill the last two.

All of the pins I glued beads onto were used and my button jar came in mighty handy this year.

What did I learn?

I still enjoy counted cross stitch.

I liked personalizing the pin keeps to each person.

I learned that I most likely will never, ever do a project like that again.  It requires a whole bunch of heart & soul and time & effort.

I wanted to lovingly, slowly stitch goodness into each, piece, however, the deadlines and mailing times sort of took the fun out of making each.

My plan was to stitch each cushion and fill it with grace and well wishes for the other person.  Not everyone is excited or appreciates handmade gifts nor do many understand the hours it takes to produce them.

I put more good karma, energy, time, effort, money into each than need be.

I figured out, that while I was not looking for a “proper thank you note”, of which I received four, I was secretly hoping for a personal connection.  A conversation.  Some type of tie to the person I gave the gift to.  A reason to talk and spend time with the person.  A way to jump-start a conversation that would linger and fill us each with a wonderful memory. That did not happen.

If I ever do a counted cross stitch piece for anyone other than family, I will most likely keep track and share the number of hours it took to complete.  Not to be boastful, but to share the time that was spent on that person. I came to realize that folks that do not do handiwork, have no concept or understanding of how long each project takes.

I learned for Christmas this year, I am buying gifts.

The only handmade gifts I am making are for our Grands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was going to say, I will most likely never cross stitch another pin cushion again.  However………I already have a person in mind (she herself is a beautiful cross stitcher) that I might like to make a pin cushion as a surprise in 2018.  We will see.

So here are a few of my 16.  Some, I forgot to take a picture.  One, I took a picture of the back and promptly deleted the front picture after it was already in the mail.  sigh.

Thanks for following along and keeping me company this past year.

I would dearly love to have a conversation about gift giving and making/giving handmade gifts.

I have a counted cross stitch pattern, thread, and fabric all ready to begin January 1, 2018, for me!

Also, we have a new GRANDBABY on the way in 2018 so my hands will be flying as I make oodles of goodness for the new one in our life.

Here’s to accomplishing my goal and then some!  Setting a goal and working towards completion is very satisfying.

In the coming year, I hope you are planning and setting a goal or two of your own.  Would love to hear your plans.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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crafts, cross stitch, cross stitching, haPPY

and a forest grew

This morning it is pouring down rain with dark clouds all around me. To me, the ideal morning for stitching & drinking steaming hot coffee.  The sound of the rain, the aroma of dark, rich coffee, the feel of the fabric, and thread in my hand……doesn’t get much better.

Today I wanted to share my latest counted cross stitch project.  I made the first stitch on August 16, 2017.  The fabric is 28 count, cream-colored linen.  I stitch 2 threads over 2 threads.  I use a size 26 needle by Bohin.

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I will share updates now and then.  This piece will most likely take quite a few months to complete.  I work on several different pieces at once.  It is such a pleasure to work on, I will venture a guess and predict this will come up in the rotation more often than not.

This beautiful piece designed by Karen Kluba will be my biggest project to 20170616_100630-1_resizeddate.

(side note) Stephanie Webb of Lindy Stitches on Etsy charted different words.  I prefer her more uplifting and happy word selection.

“You will go out in Joy and be led forth in Peace, the mountains and the hills will burst into song before You, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands!”

 

By using one of the trees, a bird and a bunny from this pattern, I stitched & traded a pincushion for her graph of the new charted words.  I really enjoy the graceful art of bartering. We both felt like we got a good deal so we were equally pleased and happy.

For this piece, I am learning and trying a new method.  Whereas I split apart the threads of each stitch with my needle before making the stitch.  This causes the threads to lay flat and not be twisted. 20170919_075412-1_resized

I really fell head over heels in love with this design.  All of the whimsical birds and animals tickled my fancy right away.  The trees are unique and just different enough to hold my interest.  Up to and to include several shades of green, there are 105 colors of thread that will be used to complete this piece.

 

As my forest begins to grow, here is a picture from this morning.

20170920_090701-1_resized

I love share ‘n tell.  I’ve been brave enough to share and talk about my current work in progress.  I would really appreciate and enjoy seeing what handwork you are working on.

Yes, I know you are “busy”.  However, it does your heart and soul such good to make something with your hands, then share the beauty.  So whether it is baking or knitting, card making or quilting, by sharing our solitary craft endeavors, the journey will feel less lonely.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

cross stitch, haPPY

bee happy

Two weeks ago today, I fell in love with a piece of 28 count linen in a beautiful color called, Buttermilk. (fyi, 28 count means that there are 28 threads per inch)20170727_153913-1_resized

I adore this pattern.  It was a quick, happy stitch.  The designer’s name is Annie Blecher and she is Annie Beez Folk Art.   I had a hiccup mid-week, as I ran out of that lush gold color.  52 cents later, I was back in business.

Sharing/teaching is a beautiful, happy thing.

Sometimes in the work place, folks don’t want to share information?  They feel puffed up and important by not sharing knowledge.  The “I know something you don’t know” game is very uninspired and sad.

Sharing makes you feel wonderful & it is very uplifting. Everything about it is HAPPY!

I am passing on the goodness, the happy.  Over the years, I have taught a couple of people how to cross stitch.  I am doing it again.  Next month, I am teaching two young tween girls the art of counted cross stitch.  Who know’s, it may be the beginning of a beautiful hobby they enjoy in which they pursue happiness for the rest of their lives?  I could have a hand in that!  How exciting and wonderful and uplifting!

Hobbies help our souls and mental health.  Yes, certain days our hobbies can aggravate the tar out of us, yet, for the most part, they help us create our own  “HAPPY”.

One of the things mental health counselors often ask right off the bat?  What are your hobbies?  (no, sorry, watching television is not a hobby)   Side note: I understand having a hobby will not “fix, cure” all mental health issues.  However, for me and many others, having a hobby brings us great personal joy and balance as we navigate life. 

Helping to cultivate a hobby is a beautiful gift. Both the student and the teacher garner so much happy.   We all benefit.   Our neighborhood, our world, heck our workplace is better when we are kind and share what we know.

For the class, I have gathered both pattern and fabric.  We will be starting with 14 count Aida cloth. (You guessed it, that is 14 threads per inch.  You are catching on. )  Each kit I make up will have the called for threads and of course a needle.  20170728_074813_resized (1)

Part of the lesson will also include a baking break.  Girls who stitch NEED to take a break to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I thought everyone knew that!

I will give a gentle suggestion/life lesson:  After baking, we need to wash our hands (no one wants chocolate on their white Aida cloth, no one)

Love to hear about your hobbies.  I would appreciate hearing how you fit in and find time to make your hobby a priority.  Love to hear about you sharing.

I would really enjoy hearing about you sharing and teaching your hobby to someone else. Have you passed on the Happy?

In this together friends, here’s to our mental, happy health!

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

cooking, crochet, cross stitching, haPPY

wwip

Hello, Wednesday.

Better known around these parts as Wednesday Works in Progress.

Do you ever jot down a list right before bed time?  Sort of lifts my spirits now and then.  I jot down a list of all the things I have done or working on during the day.  Do you ever put a couple of stars on the calendar just for you and a couple things you accomplished?  It’s very gratifying to see those stars.

Wednesdays are similar.  I jot down a list or try to remember to take pictures of my works in progress. I try and take a moment to be happy about what I am working on.

My health & wellness is a work in progress.  Ha, no, I am not going to start taking a Wednesday selfie.  That would be weird.

Let’s see………kitchen cabinet update.  Yippee!  Time for a half celebration!  The entire upper section is done! Each cupboard has fresh paint, new hardware, new stoppers. Inside two of the cupboards have chalkboard paint (so stinkin’ cute).  I am officially taking today off from painting.  Tomorrow, I will start the bottom half.

The quote I chose for the soffit:

they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.  acts 2:46

Counted cross stitch update.  I am in love with both pieces I am working on.  I love the sparkle thread in the bee’s crown.  I was not tickled with it while I was stitching.

 

We bought another half a flat of raspberries this past weekend.  I have only two boxes left.  The Rhubarb Raspberry Galette baked in cast iron, turned out wonderful.  The crust was a bit crisp, the Rhubarb tart and the Raspberries were sweet as could be.  A wonderful combination.

 

Friends are having twins.  I wanted to be prepared for the gender reveal this week.  So I crocheted FOUR sweet little hats.  I guessed girl, girl.  Mr. Right guessed boy, boy. Our niece guessed one of each.

I made four.  I gave the two blue hats to the parents to be.  I donated the two pink hats to charity.  We are celebrating their works in progress!

 

Hope you are having a productive and happy Wednesday.

I would love to hear about your works in progress.

Please share about your Wednesday, after all, we are…..

in this together.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cross stitching, haPPY, Uncategorized

grab/crab life

WIP (work in progress) Wednesday.

I started this counted cross stitch piece four days ago.  Working on the piece for about 1 and half hours each day, I decided to take a picture to show my progress.

This is a very happy, small stitch for me.   Here is the low down:  It is a Hands on Design, created by Cathy Habermann. ( This is the second piece I have stitched by this artist.)  I am stitching it on 32 count Lugana fabric, two over two threads and using the called for Gentle Arts thread.20170625_080909_resized

This is for my laundry room.  I know right?  HAPPY!

I have a beautiful poster that is framed.  From the moment I saw it, at our local fish market, Northern Fish…….I loved it so much, I wrote to the company to find out about their marketing poster!  How’s that for falling love??

I even matched wall color paint (to that poster)  that I will be painting that room, next.

Makes me almost giddy. Well, except for the fact that no matter how much “happy” I put into that room, I still have to fold laundry.  20170627_090936_resized

We framed a picture that our Grand Z painted when she was 2.  I ADORE this picture. 20170627_090950_resized

I finished painting the cabinets in the laundry room a couple of days ago.  I promise to share those on my next blog post.

Here’s to a Crabby, Happy Wednesday!

In this together, friends.

Love to see what you are creating.

chat soon.

 

 

cross stitch, friendship, gift giving, gifts, sewing

poke update

June is knocking on the door, six months into the new year & about 180 days into my sewing goal.

20170116_200943-1_resized_2I thought I would give you a quick update on20170414_202404-1_resized (1) my pin cushion project of 2017.

 

 

 

In case you need to catch up, zip over to this post.    I decided to stitch birthday pin cushions this year.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/a-good-luck-poke/

 

To date I have made & given 8 pin cushions.  Another one is sitting in a basket waiting for 20170427_100224_resized20170103_144545-1_resized (1)backing fabric and a new one is currently being stitched.

So we are almost 6 months into the year and I have 10 pin cushions almost under my belt.

 

 

Some observations so far this year:

  1.  I have not given one cushion in person. Giving hand-made gifts that you don’t get to see the person open, is over rated.  Most likely won’t do again (except my grands and family).
  2. I have a love of handmade stitchy gifts/projects, that is not the case with most everyone else.
  3. It is way more time (hours & hours, even a few days), energy, effort then I calculated.  Hard to stay motivated at times.  To mail in a timely fashion, I have to prepare and stitch a month or so before the person’s birthday.
  4. Making two the same is not that thrilling.
  5. I love choosing the perfect buttons.
  6. I have had to put some other larger counted cross stitch projects on the back burner, while I attempt to make all these pin cushions.
  7. Being thoughtful is at times, hard work.
    20170322_080402_resized

I think I needed this project to remind myself to be more kind and thoughtful towards others, even when I don’t feel like it.   A lesson I won’t soon forget.

I would love to hear what gifts you are making for friends.  Maybe we could encourage each other?

Please share,  in this together friends.

 

cross stitch, gifts, pure goodness, Uncategorized

secret clues stitched

Today being Thursday,  I will finish this, (28 count linen) “Sepia Sampler” by Notforgotten Farm, designed by Lori Brechlin……….right between Work in Progress Wednesday and Friday Finish.20161222_075541-1_resized

Once again, in years to come, when the kids are deciding which things to sell at a yard sale for 25 or 75 cents, I hope they hang on to a couple handiwork pieces.

As you know, I hide clues in my work,  fingers crossed this piece will be chosen by our youngest son.

By changing the year to 85, highlighting the initials GW & birth date 20, I am hoping to catch the attention of Gabe.

This particular piece is fashioned after an original sampler from 1863.   So you will note:  a missing letter J and Q.  (Unlike written samplers were to teach the actual alphabet, stitched samplers were to teach the shape of letters and you can garner those shapes from other letters.)

Yes, I have already given framed pieces to both Daughter in Laws.  Some  pieces I keep and enjoy for a time.  Those particular pieces I stitch initials or dates or secret clues. In the last few years, in place of my initials (who stitched it) I chose a family member and use theirs.

I enjoy the stitching process.  I love the planning, the choosing of thread.  You know I am giddy with that first X.  Then like a really good book, I am thrilled and a little bit sad to put the final stitch in place and put that particular pattern away.

Oh, look, what a pretty little bird in a nest………. and just like that, a new project has begun.

Love to see what you are creating.  Please share.

In this together, folks.

PS.  After I published this post, it has been brought to my attention that not only is there a 25 and 75 cent table, there is actually going to be a $2.00 table for the “good stuff”.   Does a mom’s heart good to know.