Monday, April 30, 2012

A quandry...

As promised, here are the pics. First up is my newest finish: the tulip pattern:

The picture appears a bit fuzzy, sorry about that. This was a quick finish but quite enjoyable. I didn't have to do any frogging!  I will probably finish into a small pillow, after I find some suitable finishing fabric.

I've also begun another freebie design from alioka blog. It's a darling daisy pattern that has three different options for colors. This will be a Mother's Day gift so I chose the white daisy version since my Mom loves white daisies. I made a few changes to some of the colors. Some of the small daisies I stitched in a lavender--as well as the heart-- and added a few yellow stitches to the bottom of the of the design. I should be finished with it in a couple of days. This will also
be finished into a small pillow. I enjoyed this design so much I plan on stitching it in one of the alternate colored versions. I very seldom stitch a design more than once!

And now to the quandary I mentioned in the title. In the past I have created my own cross stitch patterns, and even for a time in my youth, attempted to sell them. I haven't done so for many years, mostly because with recently getting married and returning to school I just haven't had the time. However, recently I have come across one of my own designs that I had partially stitched sometime in the late 1980's. I abandoned it because I wasn't completely satisfied with it. Parts of it were quite lovely, but I decided to expand the design and wasn't happy with the results-- and there was just one design problem I couldn't solve. Anyway, here is a picture:

I like most of it, especially the fountain!  But the large tree on the left side bothers me. It leans too far over especially when compared to the straight lines on the right side. I've ripped it all out and was going to just change the color but it needs more than that. I think I have to re-design it all together. I also don't like the clouds and am planning on ripping that all out as well and redoing them.

I am also undecided about going on with the addition. This is a picture of the whole piece including the addition in the foreground:

I'm not sure I like the addition of the garden in the foreground. And then there's the problem of what to put in the middle: a pool, statue, birdbath, etc??

So, if anyone out there has some suggestions please let me know. what do you like or dislike about the design. I really need some help because I want to complete this!

Thanks and happy stitching!

Brightest Blessings,

Beth b.

Great news!

No pics this post, but hopefully later on tonight when I'm home and can take pictures. I've got another finish to share and also a pattern of my own design that I need advice on. I also have a new project to show you as well. Wow! sounds like I've been busy rather than slacking off! I will be deliriously busy over the next three or four months...and this is why:

My husband and I are in the process of buying a house!  We are so excited, and head is spinning thinking of everything we need to do!  The house is a charming bungalow in a small town near to my husband's job. It also has a creek on the property! ( no worries, it doesn't flood so we don't have to deal with that or buying expensive flood insurance!)

Ever since I read the Anne of Green Gable series I have always wanted a house near a creek. In case you haven't already noticed I'm very romantic and sentimental! We need to do some minor work to it: mainly painting, refinishing the hardwood floors and other small repairs. We will be doing most of these activities before we move into the house.

So, for a short time period, this cross stitching blog will become a home restoration blog!  I promise to keep stitching but I probably won't get as much accomplished-- but it will be worth it in the end. The house has enough room to accommodate a craft room, library and also a "man-cave" for my husband. Although I told him he can't call it a man-cave because--well--I hate that term. I also have more wall space for, er...finished cross stitch projects!

Before I forget, thank you to all my new followers! I am so very pleased that you've joined us. May you find many pleasant moments here!

Happy Stitching!

Beth B.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ornament finishes, a new needlecase and a beginning!

This past weekend was devoted to taking some of my small completions and finishing them into useful and decorative items. And while I didn't get everything I wanted done (who ever does?) I am happy with my progress.

Before I get to the good stuff-- i. e. the pictures--I wanted to make a personal observation. I have noticed there is a flow to my cross stitch activity. I like to do a lot of smalls but then when my to "finish pile" gets rather large, and the guilt of not finishing them in a timely manner gets too overwhelming; I tend to switch gears and work on larger stitchery patterns just so I have time to do finishing.

Right now, since my "to finish" pile is  large and therefore I am itching to work on my larger WIP's. However, that may not happen anytime soon since I still have a couple of small exchange projects to do plus a Mother's Day gift I need to start.

Personal observations aside, I do have some finishes to show you!  First up is the needlecase I made with the Flowering Crown chart by Just Nan. Although it isn't perfect I still love it! It's the first needlecase I have ever completed and it turned out nice. I have learned from the mistakes I made on this particular case and will be sure to make any future attempts better! So here it is:

 When I saw this design I immediately thought it would make a gorgeous needlecase. I used pink fabric with sparkles for the inside of the case, added pink ribbons and used iridescent gold trim. Here is a look at the inside:

I have saved fabric ribbon for decades and finally found a use for this lovely pink/mauve ribbon I received on a Christmas package. I used it as an area for holding needles. Eventually the bottom of the case will have some magnetic strips-- also used for holding needles. All in all this was a fun project and I will definitely be making more!

On to more finishes:

This is the front of the Peppermint ornament from Little House Needleworks--and this is the back:

I actually used the same adorable pink  fabric that I used on the back of the Flowering Crown needlecase.

This is another ornament from LHN. I thought this design was so cute and like all LHN designs a joy to stitch. This is the back:

Seriously, I have enough of this Christmas plaid fabric to use on a zillion ornaments. Get used to seeing it because you will see it a lot over the years...

Yes, I even have a new project to show you! The design is from a blog entitled Alioka and the website address is She has so many delightful free designs on her website. It is well worth your time to peruse her blog pages. I had a hard time deciding which pattern to stitch up first, but finally settled on this particular one:

Very timely for Spring....

That's it for now. Happy stitching!

Brightest Blessings!

Beth B.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stitching deja vu

Ahhh..there's nothing like getting nostalgic for your youth. I've been thinking recently about my younger years and while I ponder how fast the decades have flown by I also marvel at how much I've learned. I was so utterly clueless back "in the day".  I'm not so sure I want to return to my teenage or young adult years and all the angst they brought. I feel content now and while my face is lightly lined with wrinkles and there is an occasional ache in these weathered joints I wouldn't  trade my maturity for anything. Well..maturity may be stretching a borrowed virtue too far, especially since I have many child-like and playful moments.

At any rate, I recently came across a picture of my first stitching project. In fact, I still have it--and forgot about it. I now have it displayed prominently in my craft room. It's a very diminutive and simple design, but I love it so. You see it was not only the first cross stitch I ever attempted, but also my dear Great Aunt Kay helped me with it. She had sewn beautiful large cross stitch projects for years: mostly of fruits, flowers and owls. I had admired them from afar. Once my Mother had purchased a small kit at a gift shop, I finally felt brave enough to ask Kay for help.

I made some mistakes, and had to frog a few stitches. Backstitching gave me fits and its quite possible that sometime in the future it may come apart. Confession time again: in a fit of frustration I just snipped an offending stitch and just continued on without re-anchoring it! GASP!! Oh the horror! is a picture of my first ever stitching project:
Pretty cute, aye?

Hmmm..sort of looks familiar. Kinda close to my new finish: lil' Miss Dewdrop!

Apparently my choice in project themes hasn't changed much in 26 years. Dewdrop was another wonderful stitch. The flower bead and "dewdrop" beads add so much character!

So, now I am left without a project. I've done so many smalls that I'm "itching" to dive into a larger project. Perhaps one of my WIP's. Although, there are still a number of smalls that are calling me, and I need to complete a pillow for an exchange. It's time for bed so I'll figure it all out tomorrow.

Good night all. Pleasant!


Beth B.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Confessions of a multi-cultural loving stitch fiend

I'm not Catholic but I recognize the benefits of confessing your sins. Well, okay, maybe not horrible sins..but  obsessions. I don't really know whether obsessions are sins or not--I'll leave that determination to someone else.

But I do have a confession to make; I'm not only addicted to cross stitch but also to cross stitching blogs.  Of course, that can  remain unsaid since I've started one, but let me be more specific. I  absolutely adore my English speaking cross stitch blogs but I am fascinated with non-English speaking ones. I started off by perusing those beautifully chic French ones then found numerous German blogs. Inevitably that lead me to the stylistic Scandinavian stitching blogs. Since then I have found Japanese, Turkish and now Russian!  I am soooo in my happy place!

As an additional bonus some of them even give away free charts!  Be still my beating heart! And to add even more bliss to my over-flowing Yankee heart many of them include sayings in their native language! Now, I know I can translate these pages into English, but really, where's the fun in that?!!! I love trying to figure out what the script means based on the images of the design!  I even fancy I might be able to learn another language through cross stitch. Er...on second thought, maybe I don't quite have enough free time to do that!

I also love to see if I can navigate my way through these blogs. I actually do pretty well and sometimes I even pick up a few words or two as I travel through the internet world. Interestingly, I am struck by the fact that we as stitchers-- and as people: no matter where we call home, have so much in common.

It is a small world after all!

No new projects to share with you today, but I'll post a finish of an old project. It's a design by Crossed Wing Collection. I must have completed it sometime in the late 1980's. (no fair trying to guess my age--let's just say I'm younger than Tupperware but older than the World Wide Web.) I finished it in a crystal box purchased from Anne Brinkley Designs. Is that company still around?

That's if for now. Happy stitching!

Brightest Blessings!

Beth B.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back from CT

My hubby and I just came back from a spontaneous trip to Hartford, Connecticut. Just out of the blue my hubby asked me if I wanted to stay overnight at a motel on Friday night. We were going to visit his sister on Saturday anyways-- so who am I to refuse a chance to get out of town for a little while?

Going to Hartford also means visiting a wonderful needlework shop in Glastonbury called Thistle Needleworks.  Needless to say I added to my large pile of stash. I was going to take pictures of the store but forgot where I put my camera! Oh well, we'll be in Glastonbury next month so I'll take pictures then. However, a picture of my new additions is below:
 I purchased two cottages of the month from Country Cottage Needleworks; February and April, Floral Fifteen from Just Nan (I've been wanting it ever since it came out!), The Rabbit's Big Day by Cross-Eyed Cricket, Squirrelly a kit by Mill Hill Beads (he is so cute--I can't wait to start him!), Night Owl; a Button and Bead kit by mill Hill Beads, Hooty; a kit by Mill Hill Beads, a Little Love; a kit by Lizzie Kate, Snow Day by Lizzie Kate (one of the Six Fat Men series), and A Sampling in the Square by Blue Ribbon Designs. I also got some gorgeous pastel colored fabric and some threads by Weeks Dye Works.

I am in love with Blue Ribbon Designs! I stitched up one of her Autumn sampling square designs recently and it was such an enjoyable stitch! I'll share a photo at some point. I love that she designs many pieces so that the stitcher can choose to stitch individual motifs as small finishes: either as scissor fobs, pillows, pin keeps or needle cases. This particular design has a peacock in it so I am planning on doing that one and finishing it as a magnetic needle holder.

I have another picture of my new finish. Flowering Crown is now done. This was such an easy and enjoyable stitch. I had very little frogging to do. It came together very quickly and the beads set it off so beautifully!

The plans are to finish this piece into a large magnetic needle case. Much like the one shown in my friend Becky's blog. Below you can find a link to her blog and the inspiration for the intended finish of my completed design:.

I love her finish and I think "The Queen of the Needle" will look splendid when completed in a similar fashion. Let me know what you think! By the way, if you aren't already familiar with Becky's blog: Becky's Stitching Hive, I encourage you to check it out. Her finishes are extra special and you can get tons of inspiration from her pages!  I literally drool every time I read her blog!

And now time for a new project! I must be on a Just Nan and rabbit kick because the new project is Dewdrop by Just Nan:
Shucks..the pic is not tilting the right way. I'll have to fix that later tonight. You get the idea at least!

That's it for now. My tummy is grumbling so it's off to make dinner. Wherever you are I hope you are having a blissful day!

Brightest Blessings!

Beth B.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

First finish...and the second--well, almost!

There's a lot to celebrate today. First things first...I have my first follower. Thank you to Nurdan for joining my stitching exploits!    I've perused your fabulous blog and am awestruck by your beautiful work. She is new to blogging to so if you would like to see her exquisite embroidery the link to her blog is below.  I think it is important to promote fellow stitcher's blogs and support the beautiful handiwork we all do!

Secondly, I have my first finish since joining the stitching blog world. (I almost finished my Just Nan design, and was even ready to show it off, but alas, I found some stitches I missed!  I should hang my head and stand quietly in the stitcher's corner. Not that I would mind a wit--I could do more stitching!)

 Actually, this piece has been finished for years, it's just that I have just now gotten around to finishing it into a pillow. What do you think?  I'm pleased with the way it turned out and happy it was finished in time to be displayed on Easter.

It's a design by Bent Creek entitled Easter Row. It was done on an unknown color of 28ct. linen. The buttons are all from Just Another Button Company. You could choose to stitch it without the buttons but they are all so cute and together add caboodle's  of charm. We could all use a bit more charm in our lives, I dare say!

My Easter was fabulous, but a bit low key. I actually had to work so it wasn't as relaxing as it could be. But my Mother and Father dropped off a gorgeous hydrangea on Saturday. I was so surprised!  I love blue hydrangeas, along with a host of other flowers; including iris, pansies, yellow roses, columbine, foxglove and forget-me-not. When I lived in the country I loved to garden, but now that I live in the city there's no room to grow a garden. Any way, here's a picture of the lovely hydrangea:

And, if the hydrangea wasn't enough floral finery for Easter, my dear husband surprised me with a stunning bouquet:

The large purple "flower" in the middle isn't a flower at all; it looks like some sort of leafy cabbage!  Here's a close-up of it:

Whatever it is, it is sure pretty!  If anyone knows the correct terminology for this beauty please let me know!

Additionally, I have made some progress with the Just Nan "Flowering Crown" piece I've been working on. As I previously stated I am almost done, except for a few small rogue stitches. I will talk more about this piece once it's completed. I have had a great time working on this design!

I am pleased with the way the sparkles show up in this picture.  Initially, when I picked the fabric from my LNS I was afraid it was too dark, since some of the flowers were stitched with a light pink. But I'm happy with the end result and the pink still shows up.

That's it for now. Thank you for reading my blog..and please--leave comments. I'd love to hear from you!

Brightest Blessings,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The First post!

I love cross stitch. I have loved cross stitch since I was 18 years old. My first finish was a small rabbit that I still have today. One of these days I will share a picture with you. It was a quick and easy pattern and I was so proud of it, especially once it was finished in a small oval frame. I had no idea that such a simple project would materialize into such a life long passion.

Here I am, at 45 years old still cross stitching. Recently, I have come across the wonderful world of  stitching blogs and have received so much inspiration that I have decided to start my own.

Along with sharing my recent cross stitch projects I also plan on sharing some of my own designs--at least once I figure out how to do it!  Additionally, I paint and do many other crafts so I hope to share those as well.

Onto my current project, which, coincidentally also has a rabbit in it---actually two rabbits. It's a new design by Just Nan entitled "Flowering Crown". This has been an enjoyable stitch and it doesn't take long to see a lot of progress!

I've chosen a beautiful 32ct. fabric from Picture This Plus. It's called Crystal Sorbet and has iridescent threads running through it. I've never used glittery fabric before and I think I may be addicted!

That's it for this post.Welcome to my blog and I hope you find some pleasure and inspiration from these pages. Happy Spring!