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!!


2017 & 1st Quarter 2018 Projects

I did a lot of reading and FlossTube watching during 2017, but very little crafting. However, the crafting itch kicked in towards the end of 2017 and carried over into 2018.

OCT. 2017 — FINGER-KNITTING:  I have tried knitting (and crocheting) several different times, and disliked it every single time. Finger-knitting, however, I can do!! I followed a Finger-Flux YouTube tutorial and used an inexpensive yarn from Hobby Lobby for my trial run. This whipped up quickly, with no choice words flying around at all during the process ;-). Doubled-up, it made a cute scarf. However, the yarn was too scratchy for me to be able to wear, so instead I laid this in a figure-8 style on top of our mantle during the holidays and nestled glass ball ornaments in the circles of the figure-8’s.

10-2017 finger-knot scarf 001

10-2017 finger-knit scarf 002

DEC. 2017 — EMBROIDERED ORNAMENTS:  The State ornaments were inspired by a variety of similar embroidered projects on Instagram. The mini-Santa ornaments were from a freebie design by CozyBlue Handmade, which I inserted into tiny little wooden hoops I found at Hobby Lobby.

12-2017 State hoops.jpg

12-2017 cozyblue pattern mini-santa.jpg

JAN. & FEB. 2018 — COZY BLUE STITCH CLUB:  I signed up for the CozyBlue (embroidery) Stitch Club, beginning with the January 2018 kit. I love that the design is pre-printed on the fabric and the floss is included, so that I can just pop the fabric into a hoop and start stitching…no muss, no fuss. It’s also been neat to get inspiration from following the “cozybluestitchclub” hashtag on Instagram and seeing how other stitchers complete their design.

Thus far, I’ve completed the Jan. 2018 kit (which I completed using the provided floss) & the Feb. 2018 kit (which I opted to crayon-tint & then swap in my own floss color choices).

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 001

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 002

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 003

02-2018 cozybluestitchclub Feb 2018 kit - 001

02-2018 cozybluestitchclub Feb 2018 - 002

FEB. 2018 — EVERGREEN SLEIGH:  I have a handful of small Mill Hill beaded cross-stitch kits I’ve been working on here and there last year and this year. (In addition to the sleigh below, I completed the honey pot and the sea turtle designs, but deleted their photos from my phone before saving copies to my PC :::pfft:::.) The below design is finished with felt on the back and an eye-pin so it can hang from our Christmas tree. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the red section of the sleigh contains lots of red beads, which create great dimension.

02-2018 Mill Hill Sleigh Ride 001

02-2018 Mill Hill Sleigh Ride 002

MAR. 2018 — SWEET TOOTH:  This adorable little design is from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Since I was stitching on light-colored fabric, I opted to use a tooth charm I found at Hobby Lobby, in place of white floss. This cutie lives on a metal stand I found at Michael’s. The stand turns, so I can put projects and/or needleminders on the other side, as well. I used an idea I’ve seen Priscilla Blain frequently do, which is to attach magnets to the back of the project so it’s easy to swap projects on and off the item to which they’re mounted.

Fabric used:  14-ct “Silver Dusted” Aida (Charles Craft)

DMC used:  601, 603, 666, 3845, 310, 801, 434, B5200 (2 strands of all, except 4 strands for backstitch)

02-2018 Sweet Tooth (FPS) 001.jpg

02-2018 Sweet Tooth (FPS) 002.jpg

02-2018 Sweet Tooth (FPS) 003

FEB. 2018 — WITH YOU I AM HOME:  This was a freebie design offered by Hands On Design. It’s clipped on to a frame from Michael’s.

Fabric used:  14-ct “Silver Dusted” Aida (Charles Craft)

DMC used:  820, 972, 321 (3 strands of all)

02-2018 With You (HandsOnDesign) 001

02-2018 With You (HandsOnDesign) 002


I find I prefer the plumper look of using 3 strands of floss on the 14-ct Aida as on the “With You…” piece, as compared to 2 strands as was used on the Sweet Tooth piece.)

And with this post, my blog is now current when it comes to needlework and crafting projects! 😀



2016 Projects

No stitching happened in 2016; instead, an interest in drawing, watercoloring, and card-making took front and center.

Some (but, by no means, all) of the resources I utilized for classes and for inspiration for drawing, watercoloring, and card-making were:


The first two projects below were from the Whimsical Sketching class mentioned above. The third project was a Lilipopo freebie coloring page which I used to play around with watercoloring. And then I’ve included a handful of the cards I made, which is a small fraction of how many I made in 2016….I handmade cards for EVERYONE in our address book that holiday season!! I enjoyed doing it, but it was rather like a one-woman card-making sweatshop in our living room for a short period of time ;-).

01-2016 sandy allnock class 1

02-2016 Whimsical Sketching - Class 4

2016 watercolor

09-2016 Julie's Bday 001

Christmas - Andrew & Rodney

Christmas - for Andrew's cousins - close up

Christmas - Paula

Thanksgiving - Julie

Thanksgiving - Kristi

Christmas - Loli

Christmas - Rex & family

Christmas - Ron & family