Thursday, December 22, 2016

CHRISTMAS IS COMING !

I figured if I didn't make a blog post today - it might not get done and I actually have quite a few finishes to show you today and some WIP's of course.  Not to mention a new start !

First up is my exchange gift for our duClay EGA chapter annual Christmas luncheon.  This is Basket of Cherries by BBD.  I did the finishing myself although I'll admit it is minimal finishing - still people!  Give me a break - I am SUCH a non-finisher.  However I really worked myself and stretched myself the past couple of months by finishing a few things.  The was a treenware board I bought at Dixie Darlin in Tenn.  It worked perfect for this piece.

 Next up is the exchange gift my mom stitched.  It is finished exactly like it was in the BBD - My Friendships or something like that.  My apologies to any BBD experts - It is my mom's book and I don't remember the exact name.  Anyway  - I did all the finishing, YEP - I ordered the paint, the Briwax , the trim and I used Vonna's excellent tutorials for flat finish mounting to accomplish this feat.  Please visit The Twisted Stitcher and give Vonna's floss tube instructional videos a try.  They are immensely helpful.  She doesn't leave out a single detail.  VONNA ROCKS!
You can't see the lining of the box very well but I used rug hooking plaid wool that matched perfectly.  Guess what,  guess who got this box?   ME ME ME !!!!!!!!!  I was so excited that no one chose my mom's gift and once it came my turn to pick - it was still there so I snatched it up pronto.  My thoughts were to give it to my mom but she said she wanted me to have it since I worked so hard on it.  I didn't argue much because I don't think I have anything in my house that my mom has stitched.  I have loads of stuff my dad has stitched, oh yes I have a HO HO HO piece by Lizzie Kate my mom did many years ago in a treasured Hog River frame.  Can't say I don't have a thing but I will have to task her for a sampler of hers.  Maybe even a loan.
 
So - the Santa next to the box - yes he is holding a hooked rug!  This lovely Santa is signed and dated and I'm quite sure the gentleman who carved him by hand is no longer with us. I met his wife at a rug camp in Sebring many years ago.  She was taking orders for him and of course I ordered one.  I never heard from her again until one day about 2 years later, I got an email from this woman and she said her husband had come down with a rare form of Parkinsons and was struggling to get thru the list of people who wanted this Santa.  She said - you may not want him because his work has suffered and he doesn't feel it's nearly as good as before.  I said - I'm thrilled to hear from you and YES I do want him.  I should have taken a photo of just him - he is so perfect and amazing and I treasure him.  There is a little hand woven basket next to him that also came from that area of Florida near Sebring.  All treasures in my mind.

Next is the beautiful Christmas ornament that Kathy Rees taught to duClay EGA back in November.  I'm sorry it's not "finished" yet but I'm gathering up my courage to do this one.  I've only finished two prior canvas pieces, both of them done in finishing classes at the now closed French Knot np shop in Savannah Ga.  I sure miss that lovely shop.  So I'll show it when it gets "finished"  It was sure fun, Kathy encouraged us to raid our stash and find fibers to use.  I used 4 fibers, Gloriana floss, Fyre Works, Watercolors and a hand dyed boucle type stuff from Color Complements in Canada.


Another finish by MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!   It was pretty easy to finish except I sliced a big gash in my wrist with the rotary cutter on this one.  I am not that familiar with a rotary cutter, have avoided buying one for years but with all this fancy finishing and watching Vonna's tutorials - I figured I had to have all the "stuff" or I couldn't be successful.  Lesson learned - I've bought a bigger wider ruler and hopefully won't run the cutter into my body parts.  This is LHN Merry Christmas 2016.  I used PTP Crystal Earthen, all from Dixie Darlin in Tenn.  It is mounted on yep you guessed it - rug hooking wool.  This wool is actually used in my rug Santa and Ewe - it was perfect for this ornament.
Simple but sweet and it's hanging on my tree!
Once my exchange and EGA challenge obligations were done a couple of weeks ago, it's like a bird out of a cage.  What fun rummaging thru new charts and old WIP's looking for what I want to add to  my challenge next year and what I want to work on right now.  It's completely guilt free for about a month or so until reality sets in and I have to get back to work on my assigned projects for 2017.
 
Here is an ornament canvas I found in my stash,  like a long forgotten friend - Santa came riding into my hands on Rudolph.  This canvas was purchased from the Bristly Thistle which is about an hour north of me. This is Onward Ho by Mile High Princess and it came with a stitch guide.  I have gathered most of the threads suggested by the guide.  A few of them were new to me like Entice, Kreinik Hot Wire and Gloriana Duchess Silk. There's sequins, beads oh my !  I'll change a few things but this is going to be fun!
 


I'm sorry to say that 2016 was another bummer year for rug hooking around my house.  Sad that another Off the Ocean rug camp exhibit will come up next month and I won't have a finish to show.
This rug could have been finished so easily but as you can see - it's languishing - not finished at yet another Christmastide.  So sad - he is so fun.  One thing that has kept me from plowing thru is that big space under the house.  There is two snowflake thingys drawn there and I don't want to hook them because they won't show on this background.  I wish I could draw another deer there but even another pine tree would be better than a big blank space.  This is a combination of two With Thy Needle and Thread designs, yes I do have the charts and no I have not stitched them and probably won't stitch them.  Maybe next Christmas he'll be done.  The color plan was done by my DF Dianne Kelly of the Woolen Cottage in Ohio.
Oh yes there's knitting - there is always knitting !  This is a special Christmas colorway offered by The Loopy Ewe last season.  I started it and worked on it until Christmas and then put it away and never looked at it again till I uncovered the bag a few weeks ago and thought AWWWW - another forgotten toy.  So I pulled it out and have been enjoying the pattern Fractal Danger by Martina Behm , a designer in Germany.  The yarn dyer is Blue Moon and it's just gorgeous yarn to work with.

Another WIP I've been working on is Jujuy by Joji.  It uses 3 colors and I chose Madeline Tosh Merino Light.  I've never used MT ML before, it's a very popular fingering single ply yarn.  The first colorway is a very drab grayish brownish tanish color called Kitten - finally the 2nd color Well Water is appearing and then one more color will be added for the border.  It's a fun easy relaxing pattern that I can work on when I am tired, brain dead and can't see to stitch.

Oh , last up is a finish I also forgot to show you.  This is tree #2 in the Fanciful Forest club which I participated in year before last with The Needlepointer in WA.  I'm going to start another tree and then I am going to tackle finishing the 2 I already have done.  I have some finishing ideas - it's just putting them into production that is the problem.  I'm determined to try and do some things myself, after all - I have a big birthday coming up in 2017 and I figured I have to pull up my big girl panties some time in my life right !
 
Fibers and stitches all by The Needlepointer.  This tree was fun and easy to pick up and put down.


Well friends - that concludes my Christmas tour, I hope you have your halls decked and your bells a jingling because Christmas is almost upon us.  I love the music and the special treats, I miss how things used to be.  I miss the fact that friends have fallen away, some have passed and some have just moved on, I miss my dear grandmother and my husbands dear grandmother and mother, we try to cling to things we've always done at holiday time but you can't ignore that things have changed and I guess will keep on changing.  I'm very thankful I have my dear folks to cling to at holiday time, I love them so much and they make everything we do so special.  I'm grateful for friends both near and far, those who are so dear to me and those I've never met but are still dear and special just the same.

I wish you and yours all the joy this season has to offer, I give thanks to the Lord our God for this season and for sending this son.  It's HIS birth we celebrate - don't forget the reason for the season !
MERRY CHRISTMAS , God bless us every one ! 

6 comments:

Rugs and Pugs said...

You have been busy! So many wonderful projects.
Oh, I do love that carved Santa!!!
Merry, merry Christmas.
Hugs :)
Lauren

Susan said...

What a great post, Mel! Your finishing looks wonderful and you've inspired me to try more finishing next year. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Merry Christmas, Mel! Great finishing! Enjoy your memories of times past. Friends and family may be no longer with us but we can always visit them again through what we remember.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Love all your sharing today. You do pretty work. Merry Christmas, Mel!

Jackie said...

You are certainly NOT a novice finisher any more Mel! Seriously!

I love that you got your mom's exchange gift and that it was a collaborative project. I know you'll treasure it! It's gorgeous and was the piece you made for the exchange! Your trees look so sweet! Any ideas on how you're going to finish them?

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe holiday!

Margaret said...

It's Boxing Day but I'm still wishing you a Merry Christmas. Hope you had a good one with your family. Love seeing everything you finished and your WIPs. Your finishing is amazing! I'm so impressed by your talent! Ouch on the rotary cutter though. Those things are dangerous! I've cut myself at least once with those things and use extra caution around them at all times! Anyway, your finishes are all lovely, as are your WIPs. Love that Santa too -- it looks perfect to me. So sad that the gentleman has Parkinson's. Enjoy the rest of the Holiday season!