Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Better late than never, right? I did intend to post prior to the big day, but you know how that goes. I wanted to thank everyone for their warm wishes and to send out my own to everyone who reads or follows this blog. I hope your day was enjoyable and spent just how you wanted to spend it, with no dramas and nothing but good food, good company and good memories. Here's how I spent my Christmas with my husband, kids, sister, nieces and parents:

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ornament finishes #2

OK, so a while back I decided my little gift this year to the calisthenics ladies I coach would be a stitched ornament each. Back then I thought I had oodles of time to get all 8 done, but the day of our end-of-year break up saw me madly ornament-ifying the last one or two. Thanks to my participation on the "Christmas All Year Round" blog challenge, I had a few stitched - but not finished - and I had to use one of those to make up the numbers. Here they all are:

Here's the details of them all:

Free reindeer design by

Moon Santa by Donna Kooler from the book 555 Christmas Cross Stitch  Designs

Sleepy Koala by Carrol Neilsen 

Free Xmas Assisi Sampler by Kell Smurthwaite

Free Noel design by La Comtesse

Christmas cracker design from an old issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine

Joy by San Man Originals

Free reindeer from Stickeule

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ornament finishes #1

For end-of-year gifts for my youngest DS's teachers, I decided to make them an ornament each. Just to complicate things, this year he has 3 teachers as his classroom is a double one, with 2 classes in it. Mr P takes the other class, and DS's class is taught by Mrs M & Mrs H - they job share. Therefore 3 in total. The star santa was an old finish as I ran out of time to stitch another one.

Owl for Mr P, Santa for Mrs M & Star for Mrs H

I also gave them a nice glass jar with either coconut ice or fudge in it.

Along with a plant each as well. Here are the gifts all together:

I also chose to make one for Mrs R who is the parent of one of DS's fellow students. She is very involved in classroom activities and each year she makes every student in her children's class a gift of a bauble with their name & year written in glitter pen on it. Quite impressive as she has had 6 kids!! Anyway, DS has 4 baubles for each of the last 4 years he has been in the same class as this boy. I decided to return the favour and give her a stitched ornament. This one was a rushed finishing job - ornament-ified in 30 minutes in time to give it to her personally.

Here's the details on the designs if anyone is interested:
  • Name of the design is Santa Owl
  • Chart is from designer Carrol Neilsen
  • Fabric is an off cut of white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is the called for DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 66 x 56 
  • Started & completed way back in 2011 - made into an ornament in December 2013

  • Name of the design is Star Santa
  • Chart is from the book "555 Christmas Cross Stitch Designs" from Donna Kooler
  • Fabric is an off cut of white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is the called for DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 43 x 48
  • Started & completed in May 2013 - made into an ornament in December 2013
  • Name of the design is Twinkle 
  • Chart is from the booklet "Ornaments Galore vol 2" by Ursula Michael for Leisure Arts
  • Fabric is a one-off piece of 28 count monaco from Fabtastic Fabrics
  • Thread is the called for DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 45 x 50
  • Started & completed in December 2013
  • Name of the design is Christmas Bouquet
  • Chart is a freebie from ABC Cross Stitch Patterns but I can't seem to find it there anymore
  • Fabric is an off cut of white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is the called for DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 66 X 56
  • Started & completed in December 2013
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

November blogoversary winner

is........Lisa V! I have emailed you Lisa, and will do my best to get a package out ASAP. One more winner to go before the year long contest is over. Stay tuned, and don't forget to comment in Decxember to have a chance.
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Awesome karate news!

I have some exciting news on the karate front. Last weekend my 11 year old son graded for his first dan rank, one level above black belt. In our association, the gradings are quite long and hard, which they should be to attain such a high level. They start by doing a 5 hour session on Friday night, which is a lockdown type session - you drop your kids off and you can't stay to watch, they will be released when they are finished. Of course your mind starts to imagine all kinds of things the longer you wait and it's a sense of relief - on child and parents part - when you pick them up unscathed. However, DS was a little scathed. He almost passed out during one part and was checked over by a physio (he hurt his neck during a headlock type manoeuvre) and was able to continue on after resting a while.

Then they go back the next morning for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before a lunch break, and back into it for a couple more hours, followed by a presentation. As DS already has a black belt, he was given a "hakama" - a floor length pair of black wide leg pants that look like a skirt, and requires a degree in engineering to put on. He also received a new certificate which is hanging proudly next to his black belt certificate above his bed. Next step? 2nd dan in 2 years time if he is ready, willing and able.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Some Christmas stash - for me!

I recently took advantage of a Christmas ornament fabric pack sale from one of my favourite hand dyed companies - Fabtatstic Hand Dyed Fabrics. Joni started up this company not long ago and has built her business up to a very high standard in a very short amount of time. I do believe I was her very first customer and will continue to buy from her as long as she can feed my addiction for hand dyed monaco fabric - my absolute favourite fabric to stitch on. Oh, and she is super friendly to deal with and will do her best to dye something to your specific needs too. Anyway, enough advertising for now :-).

The ornament pack was $12 US, plus very reasonable postage, and in return I got 6 pieces of mystery hand dyed monaco in sizes suitable for ornaments. Here they are, I am very happy with all of them and will use them all at some point.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas ornament exchange

It's been all quiet on the blogging front here. I have been busier than usual and things have had to be put on the back burner. I do have a few things to post about but I'll start with just one for now - the famous ornament exchange organised by "Elsue" I signed up for a while back on the 123stitch message board. My partner said she liked reindeer so I found what I thought was a cute one and adapted it a little to suit some frilly lacy stuff I wanted to use to finish it. In my mind I pictured a cute stuffed ornament but in reality that was too hard - I couldn't work out how to keep the frilly edging straight. I finally decided to finish it off as a flat ornament. I can't say I'm especially happy with the result but my partner Sharona seemed to like it. Here it is, with some wooden ornaments featuring reindeer and some tim tam biscuits I sent:

  • Name of the design is "Dancing reindeer"
  • Chart is a freebie from JB Cross Stitch. I changed the hat and bow tie to black and white (from red and white) to suit the frilly stuff
  • Fabric is an off cut of white evenweave fabric
  • Thread is the called for DMC threads
  • Stitch count is
  • Started in early October 2013
  • Completed in mid October 2013 some time
Here's the cute mouse Sharona sent to me:

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