Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Hello!  How is everyone?  De-Christmas-ed, de-cluttered, etc?  I have been working away the past few days getting my pictures and projects in order to load onto my blog.  I wanted to make sure I had some finished things to show, and not just a parade of works in progress that seem to be trailing all over the house!

I have been fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my crafts lately, and I have to tell you I love it.  My mind is consumed with what I am making or want to make, and it is a nice change from thinking about light fixtures, and hardware store sales, and scouting out all sorts of trades people.

My kids went to school right up until the 23rd of December, so pretty much all of their time off was after Christmas.  While it felt weird at first, it made the break seem extra long as none of the time was taken up with pre-holiday preparations.  We spent most of that time at home, mostly in our pyjamas I'm afraid, but we all felt really rested when it was all over.

I wanted to get some up-coming card occasions taken care of, so December 26 found me with needle and thread stitching away.  My friend moved to a new house on December 27 (can you imagine that?!) and I wanted to stitch a New Home card for her family.

I used a design from a French magazine and I loved the bright colours of the birds.  The original pattern only has two birds charted, but I added a third because they are a family of three.

This same friend celebrates a birthday in February, and I knew if I didn't stitch something now it was likely not going to get finished and mailed on time.  She loves to garden and I know she is spending this time dreaming of what she can do with her new yard.  I thought this little gnome motif from a previous issue of Cross Stitch Crazy was just perfect for her:

I happily started the New Year with a new cross stitch project:  Country Cottage Needleworks 'Winter Welcome'.  This has been on my wishlist for a long time and I am really happy how it turned out.  The frame is one I found at a thrift store, and given the amount of compliments I received on it in my Instagram feed, I think it was the right choice!

I took a bit of a break from cross stitch when I re-discovered a Cath Kidston book on needlework in my collection.  I stitched up this pretty little pin pillow with bits of thrifted tapestry wool I have.

I filled it with polyfil and a bit of dried lavender;  the backing is the fabric you see underneath.

While I could have spent all month stitching away on new things, I realized I have quite a bit of cross stitch on the go already, and it was time to finish some things off that have been languishing around in bins and baskets.

 These stars are not so old, but they were started before Christmas and I thought it would be better to get them finished before next Christmas!  I haven't glued them to the wooden stars underneath yet, because I am still deciding whether or not I want to put something gold between the fabric and the wood.  Once I decide, they will be attached to a garland to spell 'Peace' and decorate my craft room next Christmas.

This little heart only needed a few more stitches to be completed.  I wonder why I ever put it away when it was so close to being called a finish?

Same goes for these two:  I started the spool this summer and only finished it the other day.  The second design only took an evening or two to stitch up, so what was I waiting for?

Getting things off my plate has been applied to my other hobbies as well.  After many months of sitting around I finally finished off my crochet linen stitch scarf:

Becki of Field Lilies had shown some of these last year and I was so excited to make some.  If only I could be so excited to finish things!

In an effort to work down my yarn stash a little bit, I joined a Ravelry group called  'The Biggest Loser Stash Reduction Challenge'.   After each finish you weigh your project and record the grams lost.  You also have to record the grams gained through purchases.  It has been a motivator for sure, and I have had fun hooking up some quick, stash busting projects:

114 grams lost so far!

Finally, as if I didn't have enough crafty goodness to keep me happy, I have taken up knitting!  I had learned the stitches before, but never made anything.  I discovered a cross stitcher on Youtube, who is making knitting tutorials for beginners.  We start off with knitted cowls worked in the round, and move our way to ribbed cowls; house slippers; socks; a pull over sweater and finally a cardigan.
 So far I have to say I am not in love with knitting:  I find it slow and I haven't really seen any projects I am gung-ho to make that I couldn't replicate in crochet.  I keep going because I really want to make the socks:  if those turn out to be a bust then I will retire my needles!

  Here are the two cowls I have made so far:

(Charisma yarn in 'Mulberry Bush' colour way.)

(Charisma yarn in 'Chocolate Cupcake')

And with that, we have come to the end of another lengthy blog post!  I have hopes to update here in tandem with my podcasts, roughly every two to three weeks,  but I will just have to see how that will all work.  I am still finding the right balance between the social media outlets I use, but I know I definitely do not want to walk away from this space.

Thank you all so much for dropping in: I really appreciate the time you take to do so.
 I am anxious to get back to my projects so I will have lots to show you (again!) next time!

Happy Days!

xo, Jenn


mrs. smythe said...

Hi Jenn! Love your cross-stitch cards - so colorful and fun. And, I'm impressed you could just add a bird to a design like that! The Winter Welcome project is just beautiful, and I agree, the frame was a great choice. (I'm always amazed at the things you pick up in the thrift shop!) As always, I'm inspired by you finishing off things that were started a while ago. I have a hat (and several other projects, I'm sure) on knitting needles that needs just an hour or so more to complete, but there it sits, and has sat, for months. And, maybe I should look into "The Biggest Loser Stash Reduction Challenge"! That sounds like a lot of fun. Except, I keep buying yarn, for my current stash busting project, so I'm not sure how much progress I'd make. Hang in there with the knitting. Knitting can get pretty monotonous, depending on the project, so I get what you're saying. But I do love having hand-knit socks. Looking forward to your next update!

Robin in Virginia said...

Hi Jenn! What a fun post to read this afternoon! All your projects look fabulous. I would love more information about the wood stars you are using for the peace garland as well as the name of the designer for you heart. I am glad you aren't giving up on your blog yet especially for those of us not on other forms of social media.

Carol said...

It's always a pleasure to visit you here, Jenn, even though I've seen some of your creations already on IG. You continue to amaze me with the sheer number and variety of things you make each month! WOW! I do love that pretty framed Welcome stitching so much--great find! And your tiny pincushion is adorable.

Well done on learning to knit! I do hope to teach myself (or take some classes) when I retire. Looks like you are catching on quickly and I look forward to seeing what else springs from your knitting needles!

Brigitte said...

So grast, Jenn, to see a new post from you - and with so many wonderful finishes.
The cards you stitched for your friend are just gorgeous and she will enjoy them. I also want to stitch smaller motifs this year in order to use them for cards. But haven't started doing so. Yet :)
You found a great frame for CCN's Welcome finish. And this little pin pillow is really cute.
I know the feeling when you want to start one project after the other. I also feel that at the moment. But I decided to work some more on my WIPs and only start something new occasionally. Your finishes are just gorgeous, and the best thing is that you fully finish them immediately. Great job on the stars, the wonderful heart and the two little pillows.
Great crochet projects, Jenn. These slippers are so cool. And the more you knit the faster it will go.
Glad to read that you want to stay with your blog.

Justine said...

Gosh Jenn you have been busy! I love absolutely everything - I think my favourite though is Winter Welcome. The frame is gorgeous and perfect for your lovely stitching. Crochet and knitting too, is there really no end to your talents?!

Becki said...

Jenn, as usual, your blog post inspires me. Your cross stitch projects are all adorable. And yes, I'd say the frame for the Winter Welcome picture is perfect. :) Thanks for linking to my blog (again, I think) regarding the linen stitch scarves. You know... these scarves are among my favorite things to make. I never seem to tire of coming up with different combinations. I'm curious who you are following along with in learning to knit? I'd love to check him or her out. I'm a beginning knitter still after 6-8 months or so, and I've been thinking lately following a you-tuber's instructions might be the way to move beyond my very basic knitting projects. Good luck on your stash down! While I'm not keeping track, I am trying to more seriously crochet (and knit) from stash this year. Okay... going now to see what flosstube videos you may have created since I last checked. I love everything you do, Jenn!

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