5-23-2018: a WIP & some blog housekeeping

WIP — U.S. Sampler by Glory Bee (Just Cross Stitch magazine, Aug. 2012 issue) — I wanted to get some more practice stitching in-hand using the sewing method before I started on the Strawberry Fields Forever pattern, so this is my practice piece. I’m not stitching every day, and I’m a slow stitcher no matter whether I’m stabbing or sewing :P, but I’m hoping to finish this sampler this month. I’m stitching on 14-ct Aida, using 3 strands of the called-for colors of DMC.




Newly-Added Pages —  I created Pages for “Books Read,” “Patterns Stitched: Cross-Stitch,” and “Patterns Stitched: Embroidery.”

For “Books Read,” the info is from 2017-forward (since I didn’t start tracking my reading until 2017). For “Patterns Stitched,” the info is from 2008-forward.

As of now, none of the book titles nor the pattern names contain links. However, as time allows, I plan to make all of those clickable. For the patterns, I’m thinking about making them clickable to the pattern designer or seller as well as to my blog post of my finished project.

A link to each Page is underneath my blog header, as well as under the “Books Read & Patterns Stitched” title in my sidebar.

FlossTube Channels I’m Watching — I bumped this over to a list in my blog’s sidebar and, going forward, will be updating the sidebar list when needed rather than putting this info within my blog posts. (Although I only have a dozen-ish channels in my sidebar list, I actually do watch more channels when I have time!)

Podcasts I’m Listening To — I’ve also bumped this info into a sidebar list. I prefer to keep my podcasts list to not more than a dozen shows, so there won’t be too much in the way of additions or deletions to this list from month to month.


5-6-2018 WIPs

Already I’ve changed my mind about just posting monthly :P. Maybe weekly-ish WIP updates, yes? Yes!!

NOT-SO-MINI SANTA — This is a larger version of the cute Mini Santa freebie pattern by CozyBlue Handmade that I finished in tiny hoops as gifts last Christmas. This Santa is about 4″ in diameter. I’m taking my time and experimenting with different ways of fill-stitching. I’m using chain-stitch (3 strands) for the hat (using Corinne’s (SoSeptember) gorgeously-stitched version of her Mr. Rogers pattern as inspiration for beautiful, textural fill-stitching). French knots (3 strands) for his beard. Straight stitches (2 strands) for his nose. Since the finished piece looks best with no fabric showing beyond the edge of the design, instead of looking for a 4″ hoop, I’m thinking about finishing this as a round ornament of some sort. It would be a good opportunity to dust off my sewing machine and, since I’m not in a rush to get this finished, have a go at some finishing options…possibly using Vonna’s shaped-ornament-finishing tutorial.



“STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER” — This chart was gifted to me by a friend who had an extra copy of the chart. Yesterday I picked up the DMC floss options called for in the chart, along with some “Lite Oatmeal” 14-ct Fiddler’s Aida — I love the texture of this Aida, and it has a slight color variation, almost as it would look if it’d been ever so lightly tea- or coffee-dyed. I’m going to try stitching in hand using the sewing method on this one, and I learned from my abandoned Dachshund Book-Ends project that 3 strands of floss, rather than 2, are better on this Aida if I don’t want a lot of the fabric showing through.



CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS ON SILVER PERFORATED PAPER — I’d picked up this silver perforated paper several months ago, with no specific pattern in mind for it. I’m going to look through my Just Cross Stitch “Christmas Ornaments” dvd and find a small project or two to stitch up on this paper. As with my embroidery project above, this is a good time of year to experiment with different holiday-themed projects, when I’m not rushing myself to have something ready as a gift :P. We don’t have a local LNS, and neither of our local craft stores carry Mill Hill beads, but I do have some beads left over from finished Mill Hill kits and I can dip into those if I want to use them for dimension.



April 2018 Wrap-Up

NEEDLEWORK & OTHER CRAFTS: 1 cross-stitch FFO; a set of needleminders for myself; 1 abandoned embroidery project; 1 abandoned cross-stitch project

Mill Hill “Holiday Stamp” beaded cross-stitch kit — A quickie stitch for this month. I added felt and an eye pin to the back of the project so it can hang from our Christmas tree. My only quibble is I don’t like how the eye and mustache turned out — he’s supposed to be in profile, but I couldn’t quite get that effect. Hopefully that won’t be so noticeable when this is nestled into Christmas tree branches!

04-2018 mill hill postmark santa

Needleminders — I made these after watching Stitcherista’s needleminder tutorial. These all came from the charms/jewelry section of Hobby Lobby. I purchased a couple sets of THESE rare earth magnets (there are 3 sizes included, and I used all 3 sizes). These were SO fun to make!!

04-2018 Needleminders for Me

Cozy Blue Stitch Club: March 2018 Embroidery Kit [frogged and abandoned for now] — I stitched everything except the leaves and just was not enjoying the project, so I frogged it all and packed the kit away for another day :P. I love this dark fabric, and I love the flosses Liz chose for the kit. The sticking point for me seems to be that I really need to use 1 strand of floss for certain parts of the design, and I just flat-out don’t like using 1 strand of floss for needlework. The result is beautiful, but it’s hard on my eyes and fingers to work with 1 strand. This picture is from the first night I stitched on the design. I went on and completed all the yellow, red, and blue parts, and then decided to frog it all :P. I’ll pick it back up another day, probably sooner than later, and will try some other types of stitches, using more strands of floss.


Dachshund Cross-Stitch Bookends [abandoned for now] — This design is from Cross-Stitcher magazine, June 2015. I’m stitching it on 14-ct Fiddler’s Aida, using 2 strands of DMC. This piece is my guinea-pig project for practicing stitching in hand AND for practicing the sewing method (rather than stab-stitching), and I’m liking both well enough to want to make both my go-to choices for cross-stitching. I finished stitching the pup’s head but am not liking how much fabric shows through when using 2 strands of floss, so I’ve set it aside for now. If I pick it up at a later date, I’ll use 3 strands of floss.




HAUL:  3 books; 1 cross-stitch pattern received as a gift; 1 cross-stitch kit purchased from eBay

Needlework Books — We no longer have a bookstore or fabric store in our city, so when my husband and I took a day trip to a bigger city in April we stopped by JoAnn Fabrics and I was delighted to discover they had several shelves of crafting books, including lots of embroidery and cross-stitch books. (We also stopped by a bookstore, but, sadly, they had zero-zip-zilch-nada books for embroidery or cross-stitch.) Below are the needlework books I scored, along with the Fox blank journal I now use as my Books-Read log. I love all three of the needlework books, but What Delilah Did‘s “Secret Garden Embroidery” book is, by far, my favorite because she’s interwoven a charming tale throughout the book.


“Strawberry Fields Forever” by Blackbird Designs — This was gifted to me via a giveaway by a friend who had two copies of the chart. For my eyes’ sake, I’ll be stitching this on 14-ct Aida; for my wallet’s sake, I’ll be using DMC rather than fancy floss. I’m planning to start stitching this in May.


“Earth Gatherers” by Shepherd’s Bush — I saw this finished cross-stitch on Leslie Hurley’s flosstube and fell in love with it. I obtained the chart and embellishments packet by way of eBay, and will stitch the design on 14-ct Aida using DMC floss. I’m not sure if I’ll start on it in May or if I’ll wait until I finish Strawberry Fields Forever…..I tend to be a monogamous stitcher, but S.F.F. is a bigger chart than I usually stitch…..so we’ll see if I remain a monogamous stitcher or if I have multiple WIPs by the time end of May rolls around :D.



FLOSSTUBE (new-to-me channels):

  • AmyLovesToads
  • Jen’sStitchingNiche
  • KittenStitcher  –  This is one of the most positive flosstubes I’ve come across, and I’m always happy to see a new Theresa video showing up in my subscriptions. As a newbie to needlework samplers, I’ve been enjoying learning about samplers from watching Theresa’s videos and delving into some of the samplers’ books she’s mentioned. I’m also enjoying her tutorials.
  • LeslieHurley
  • SuzyReno
  • (nail art, not flosstube) Kelli Marissa



2018 April - Books Read


TV SERIES I WATCHED IN FULL (or to the current season):

  • LOST — I’m partway through the last season, so will probably finish the series in May.
  • The Five
  • Big Dreams, Small Spaces (netflix) — This British series is just as much of a feel-good watch as the Great British Bake-Off. Most of the yards/gardens featured in this series are small or downright tiny, and I enjoyed seeing how the spaces were maximized.




PODCASTS:  I used to listen to these, but lost track of them when I replaced my computer. They’re now back in my regular rotation.


COOKED & BAKED (new-to-me recipes):









Jan. thru Mar. 2018 Happenings (other than needlework/crafting)

My plan is to do once-a-month blog posts, recapping what I’ve made, what I’ve read, and other happenings from that month. This post recaps Jan. thru Mar. 2018 happenings, other than needlework/crafting which I already posted about HERE.

BOOKS:  (I use THIS coptic-bound journal by Studio Oh.) The Neil Gaiman books were in audiobook format because…Neil Gaiman’s voice! He is such a fantastic storyteller.

2018 Jan thru Mar - Books Read




TV SERIES I WATCHED IN FULL (or to the current season):  


PODCASTS (oldies but goodies):


COOKED & BAKED (new-to-me recipes):









2017 Books I Read

Reading is my favorite hobby and always has been. However, 2017 was my first year to track everything I read, and I’m so glad I did!! I loosely used Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge to help me choose several of the books I read that I might not have otherwise steered towards.

The volume of books I’m able to read is in direct proportion to if my free time is spent crafting or if I’m hooked into an interesting tv series. For example, I watched Game of Thrones S1 thru S7 over a several month period in 2017, and my book-reading was noticeably lessened during those particular months. Overall, I finished a lot of books in 2017, and I ended up with a handful I loved and which stuck with me long after I finished them.

I tried several methods of tracking what I read: Excel, Trello, and pen & paper. By far my favorite method, and the method which I actually used the entire year, was pen and paper. Earlier this month I picked up a beautiful coptic-bound journal by Studio Oh and transferred my 2017 and 1st quarter 2018 books-read lists into it.

Here’s the journal cover — wouldn’t it convert beautifully to embroidery?!! The page edges and binding are a lovely deep green, and the pages themselves have a distressed look.

Books-Read Journal (4-2018)

Below are the lists of the books I read in 2017. I only kept track of the books I finished, and for non-fiction I don’t keep track of things like cookbooks, crafting books, or coffee table books. Books with a heart next to them landed on my favorites list for 2017. I enjoyed many of the books I read, but the ones that landed on my favorites list especially appealed to me in one way or another.

2017 Books Read - pg 1

2017 Books Read - pg 2

2017 Books Read - pg 3

2017 Books Read - pg 4

2017 Books Read - pg 5

2017 Books Read - pg 6

I wish I’d started tracking my reading in a consistent manner sooner than 2017! It would be so interesting to go back each year and skim prior years’ lists. I’m diligently tracking my reading for 2018 and look forward to seeing how this year’s lists round out…..I’m crafting more this year, and I’ve been working my way through several tv series, so I anticipate my book totals for this year will be less than 2017, but we shall see!!