Friday 31 December 2021

December Smalls and 2021 Highliights


Mary at Mary's Thread hosts the Smalls SAL. On the last Friday of the month we share our small stitching items that we have completed but not necessarily fully finished. Mary has a link up post on her blog so we can pop over to see everyone's work. Thank you Mary for hosting Smalls SAl in 2021. 

My first two smalls are the final two days of my Jardin Prive 12 Days of Christmas. I'm so pleased with them, I'm adding one a day to my ornament tree until January 5th. Today is day 7. 

This small is my favourite ornament of the year. It's Mistletoe Kisses by Faby Reilly and I made it for our daughter and her partner. It's the first time I've made a humbug.

Here's my 2021 orts Ornie, it's filled with all my orts from this year. The design is from a Christmas Keepsakes chart my friend Gifted me for Christmas. 

My other smalls are the final two days for my Plum Street Sampler 12 Days of Christmas. They are perfect hanging on our mantle for the festive season. 

I completed over 60 projects in 2021, it sounds good but 24 of those were the 12 Days. I love all the projects I've done, they have nearly all been gifts or exchanges. I'd just like to share again my favourites from the last year.

I loved stitching this unusual wedding Sampler for our daughter's best friend who got married in September. She and her hubby are surfers so this was the perfect design. I was so proud too that our daughter was one of her bridesmaids.

My first tissue pocket was for my very good friend Cathy who lives in the USA. The design was a challenge on Needlecraft Haven and I had the perfect matching fabric in my stash. It was fiddly, I'm not good at making things you turn but it worked out perfect.

I had such fun stitching these gift tags for my friend's sister wedding. A rainbow wedding needed rainbow gifts tags for the guests goody bags, it also meant they had a wedding keepsake.

Our friends celebrated their Ruby Anniversary earlier in the year. Unbelievably we have physically seen them just once all year although we have enjoyed many online quiz nights.

A long job for our daughter's birthday, a cake band of candles. For the first time ever I did not bake her a cake as she lives in Wales and with restrictions we could not meet up. Instead I made a cake band and sent her a parcel including a new cake time and special toppings. She didn't have to make her own cake though as her lovely partner ordered her a bespoke vegan one, he's a star.

This was my first ornament of 2021, my orts ornie. It was lovely hanging this on the tree this year knowing it was filled with 2020 orts.

This was my first stitch for the Topsy Turvy SAL. I wish you all a Happy New Year and plenty of busy needles in 2022.

Wednesday 29 December 2021

2021 Orts

Although I don't follow TUSAL I do collect my orts. Initially they go into a little pot in my sewing box. It's an mini jam jar that fits perfectly in my converted watch box and the lid makes a very good pin cushion/needle keeper. I made the original box in 2014 but had to make a new one in 2017 as the lid came loose ... you can read the full story here but this is an old photo of my little orts jar and the new cover I stitched. I love my box, it comes with me on every holiday and sometimes on days out too. 

Once my little jar is full I put the orts into my beautiful bonbon jar that my MIL bought me many years ago. We used to have a holiday static caravan on the west coast of Wales and spent many happy holidays there. On one trip to the nearest town when Hubby's mum and partner were staying with us I spotted this jar in a charity shop window. I love cut glass and knew immediately what I would use it for. It wasn't an expensive gift but years on with MIL now in a care home I remember with a smile the day she bought it for me. 

What do you do with your orts? It is certainly quite a collection over a year, the colours remind me of each project so it's always nice to look at them one more time. I know some stitchers put them out for the birds to use for nesting, how colourful the nests must be.

I use mine to stuff my final ornament of the year. I usually start it on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and finish in time for the ornament to hang on our tree for a few days. I never know which chart to do until I see how many orts I have. One year I did stitch an ornament a little to big so it has saggy stuffing. 

I was absolutely delighted this year to discover the perfect chart on Christmas Day, my friend Deb in New York state sent me a beautiful card and a Christmas Keepsakes chart. It was just right to be my orts ornament, and to add to the stars being aligned I had bought some Christmas tree ribbon whilst in Cornwall, no idea what for I just fancied it.

It stitched up quite quickly and so yesterday I managed to finish it with a burgundy and gold fabric for the backing and gold cording for the edge. To be honest it was a tight squeeze for the orts but they are all in and it's hanging on our tree. 

My little jam jar and my big bonbon jar are both now empty ready for me to fill with new orts from my 2022 stitching. I wonder what projects they will be and what colours will fill the jar, my next task is to plan this coming year's stitching ...  fun times!

Monday 27 December 2021

Christmas Thank You

We've had a quiet Christmas Day with our son, my mum and stepdad. It was our second Christmas really as we'd celebrated already with our daughter and her partner when we were in Falmouth. 

I've had some lovely gifts from friends and family including lovely new pjs and a make up mirror from our daughter, champagne from her partner (he knows us so well) and my favourite perfume from my Hubby. 

Our son bought me a super new travel craft bag, plenty of pockets for taking my sewing box, stitching, books, diary and pens on holiday.

My crafting friends have been so kind too: a scarf from Christine which I think she hand dyed, a memo pad and candles from Julie, socks and a mini kit from Brenda, notepad from Niki and a super little chart from Deb. 

We have two new jigsaws and a bottle of port from our holiday friends so that's the winter months sorted! They also gave us two beautiful robin coasters.

I have two pieces of stitching I want to finish before New Year, I can't believe how many things I've stitched this year, my 2021 Finishes page is quite long. 

Thank you to everyone for my cards and gifts, they are all lovely and very much appreciated. 

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Advent Blog Hop 2021 - Day 22

Blogland is a lovely place full of very clever stitchers and crafters, helping us all enjoy our blogs more is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching. She is amazing at organizing Gifted Gorgeousness every month and so many Blog Hops throughout the year. Christmas is time for the Advent Blog Hop, there have been some amazing posts each day, pop over to Jo's blog to discover them all: it's my turn for Day 22. 

Jo asked us to share some Christmas stitching and answer this year's question 'all about Christmas trees'. My stitching can be shared today as although it is a gift it has now been given. We are on holiday in the south of England with our son, daughter and her partner. Yesterday was Hubby's 60th birthday so we're here for a big celebration all together, you can read about his big day at Aimetu's - wine, food and travel, lots of photos!

Today we are having our Christmas Day as this year our daughter will be celebrating Christmas with her partner's family, they were with us last year so this year they are with his family. My stitching to share is a mistletoe humbug I stitched for them and by now they will have opened. It's a design by Faby Reilly and is the first humbug I have made. 

Christmas Trees? Well there is only one answer ... my church trees. Every year St Laurence's Church, Ansley holds a Christmas Tree Festival and for nearly every year since 2008 I have decorated a tree using a theme. St Laurence's is my family church, my Grandfather sang in the choir and was involved in the church all his life.

The Christmas Tree decorating began in 2008 when I used ornaments I had stitched and ornaments I had received from around the world. It was a tree admired by everyone with so many questions about my stitching. 

The following years took on different themes; 2009 was special as my late Dad came up with the theme, a clever play on words. Dad passed away in 2012 so it seemed perfect to do a Family Tree, a repeated this theme in 2016.

I have linked the tree caption to the original post if you'd like to know more about each tree. They are all wonderful and mean so much to me, especially the Bouquet of Flowers, thank you so much to everyone who helped me make such a beautiful tree. 

A Fine Needle Tree

I have loved doing each tree and will be doing another tree in 2022. I have a few ideas and I know many bloggers and stitchers have asked about helping again - look out for details in January. 

Thank you Jo for all you do for us, thank you to everyone for your comments they are very much appreciated. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Gifted Gorgeousness in December

The 15th of each month means it's Gifted Gorgeousness time. These can be gifts given or received, or any item made using fabric, threads, buttons, ribbon, chart, backing fabric that has been gifted.

This great idea is hosted each month by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching,  if you visit her blog you'll find the links to everyone's Gifted Gorgeousness posts.

Huge thank you Jo for hosting another great year of GG posts - wishing you a Merry Christmas๐ŸŽ„

My first gift is from Christine for Needlecraft Haven's Christmas Ornament Exchange. It's always a fun exchange, we delayed opening day slightly as Postie was a little slow which added to the excitement. It's a secret exchange but I guessed my orna,ent was from Christine thanks to the lovely chocolate she included. 

I sent to Melanie and decided to stitch Little Robin by Durene Jones, isn't he cute. I included some Cadbury Little Robins and fudge as a treat.

My other GG items are from last month. My original Halloween Exchange bookmark is still with Postie so I stitched a second one which did arrive with Christine. My first bookmark was the black cat, surprisingly tricky to stitch and make up although it looks quite simple. I had great fun making the spider. 

My replacement bookmark was the gnomes, they were quick to do which was good and thankfully Postie delivered them safely. 

I have lots of gifts to share in January, they are Christmas gifts so shhhh just now. I'm busy trying to get my 12 Days finished, they are a gift to our house, hopefully I will finish them in time for Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ๐ŸŽ„