Thursday, October 25, 2012

Time to Stitch on Snowy Days

Time for my weekly update now :)  I've managed to finish the last stitches and little details on several pieces this week.

The backstitching on High Hill Farm is finished now and I'll see about framing this next week, as a companion piece to Cragside Farm that I stitched and framed last year.  This has been a pleasure to stitch and I'm looking forward to seeing it hanging on the wall soon.  It reminds me of one of Beatrix Potter's farms in the Lake District - I almost expect to see Benjamin Bunny hopping along the lane. 

High Hill Farm - Derwentwater Designs (Rose Swalwell)
Tristan Brooks' Christmas Sampler Trio - first ornament
  Some of my Christmas stitching is coming along well - several of them will be finished off as ornaments, others placed into little frames - some will be given away, others kept for our own home.   The first is one of the Christmas Sampler Trio from Tristan Brooks - I may do a second of this design with a word change to Peace on Earth, and I'll decide soon whether to do the other two designs in this series as well for this year.  

These two small pieces are from Homespun Elegance:  Snow Much Joy, and Reindeer A Waiting.  They were easy to stitch and will be fun to finish off as gifts, using quilting remnants as backing.   
Reindeer A Waiting - Homespun Elegance
Snow Much Joy - Homespun Elegance
Monasterium's Four Seasons Quaker

 And at the same time, I'm continuing to stitch on my Monasterium's Four Seasons Quaker - moving into the autumn section now, using Belle Soie's Terra Potta, a beautifully variegated silk thread.  The little bit of blue to the left of it is the test section of the "Winter" colour, Belle Soie's Babbling Brook.

All being well, next week's update should see more completed on this Autumn section, a glimpse at a small new piece that I've already started (and might have completed by then), and some stitches put into my most challenging project to date,  a group teaching sampler from Amy Mitten.

Off now to make some Curried Ginger Scones - the ginger syrup for these is already prepared, and the pungent scent of the scones baking will be welcome on this snowy autumn day - more snow in the forecast for tonight and the next two days, adding to the half a foot of snow we already have on the ground. 

Till next time :)  

Friday, October 19, 2012

A little progress

We've had family staying here for a couple of weeks, so I haven't been able to stitch quite as much as usual.  However, I've completed another section of a long-time UFO, Monasterium's Four Seasons Quaker.  I've finished the Summer section, using Gloriana's Baby Corn silk.  I'd already finished the Spring section, stitched in Belle Soie's Shepherd's Pasture.   Some readers may recall that I'm stitching this piece in very muted shades, and although it may not be everyone's "cup of tea", I'm loving how this is working out (the original information on what I'm doing is posted here.)  The linen is proving to be beautiful, but not easy to work on, as it's very close-woven.  Here's the updated photo:

Monasterium's Four Seasons - Spring and Summer completed

I was also able to add a few stitches to the little Christmas Sampler ornament - a little Blackwork section, some French knots, and a row of "pins" stitch, a tiny satin-type stitch.  About 60% finished - maybe I'll be able to finish up with it this next week, although I'm also aiming to have High Hill Farm finished too.  Stay tuned ........

Christmas Sampler Trio Ornament (Tristan Brooks) - Goodwill to Men

 We've had mostly pleasant weather lately, with some brilliant autumn days.  On one excursion we drove out towards the mountains - here's a quick snap I took on the way through the front window of the car - can you see the snow on the mountains in the distance?   The snow was sparkling and brilliant, though just on the higher peaks so far.  Round hay bales were ready to be picked up soon in the harvested fields, and the colours of the trees and shrubs, though past their peak, were still warm and intense with the golds and rusts common to this area, made even more beautiful by the dark green firs and the blue autumn sky with high white clouds that day. 

Looking to the West
Till next week, happy stitching :) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On a snowy autumn day it's time to show some progress :)

After a full summer and early fall, with two trips out of town, lots of company, and just Life in general, I'm finally able to concentrate again on my stitching and on some sharing of a few recent finishes and progress. 

Here's today outside my front window - very fine rain last night turned to snow, and a white covering still remains on the ground even this afternoon.  I'm sure it will disappear by tomorrow, but in the meantime we're reminded what's just around the corner :)  

As for stitching, I've been moving along on several pieces.  High Hill Farm isn't yet complete, but is now a lot more recognizable.  Mostly the cloud detail, the roadway, and the backstitching to finish ...... Although I seldom stitch "pictures" or work predominantly in cross-stitch, I do like the way this one is coming along, a companion piece to Cragside Farm that I completed last year.  

And with Advent and Christmas close on the horizon (barely six weeks till Advent Sunday), I'm working on several small ornaments.  I'll save my Advent stitching for a separate post, but these little Christmas tree ornaments are either finished or within a day or so of being completed:

This first ornament was from a small kit produced about 15 years ago - the pattern calls for the date and initials on either side of the row below the crown, but I think I'll leave this as-is and consider it as my  Diamond Jubilee ornament in honour of Queen Elizabeth's 60 years.  (maybe a small 2012 underneath the crown, what do you think?)   The beads were a nice addition, but I won't be doing a major beading project anytime soon LOL  

This Drawn Thread freebie, First Snow, is one of my favorites, in spite of every  one of those falling snowflakes being a Smyrna Cross stitch (on 36-ct Silver Fir linen) - my magnifier stood me in good stead here.  The threads are a mixture of Gentle Arts Sampler Thread, Weeks Dye Works, Soie D'Alger, and Fibers to Dye For (Amy Mitten's silk) - these ornaments are great for using up small amounts of thread. 

And this little piece to the right is what I've stitched so far of the Tristan  Brooks Christmas Sampler Trio - each ornament is a tiny sampler in itself, with more detail than I'd usually include (that little row of gold eyelet stitches, for example!) but the stitches are a good challenge, and I love working with the beautiful colours of the Pearsall's Silk that were included. 

The finishing off of these ornaments always trips me up, but hopefully I've learned more in this past year and can show you some completed pieces before the Christmas season is here.