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The last day of April–can you believe it? The year is one third over! I’m back with some stitching and a life update and I hope this finds you all doing well. Who else is finding stitching time to be in short supply at this point in the year? I think I stitched a total of about two hours over the past week (but I do have a good excuse for that which I’ll go into later on in this post). 

For those of you who know me only as that dedicated “one ornament a month” or small pillow stitcher, you’ll probably be a bit surprised by this new finish. I began “A Stitch In Time” by The Workbasket back in July 2020 when we were in California quarantining before our grandson came into the world. I worked on it from time to time since then and finally finished it completely in early March. I’ve had this chart in my stash for years (it is from 2005) and I’m glad I finally took the plunge and stitched it.

“A Stitch In Time” finish

It’s been an entire month since my last post! Did you miss me? I know I missed a lot of news in the cross stitch blogging world and I hope to catch up with each of you soon. Although I returned from visiting my grandbaby in California over a week ago, jet lag and problems with a vaccination left me with little energy and no desire to sit down and write a blog post. And no–not “that” vaccination (my Covid vaccines were both fine)! It was a pneumonia vaccination that I got last Friday which left me with a very swollen sore arm, a rash, fever, chills, and general tiredness. But, I’m finally feeling normal again so here I am! 

Our visit with Baby B in San Diego was delightful and I’ll tell you about that further on in this post. But, first, let me share the very limited stitching that I’ve been working on. I had finished my Christmas ornament for March before our trip to California and it’s a good thing, because I got virtually no stitching done while out there. I was just too busy (trying) to keep up with one very busy 9-month-old! This pretty design is by Ewe & Eye & Friends and is called “White Christmas.” 

Ewe & Eye & Friends: “White Christmas”

The plan for the rotation this month was to work on my focus project for the first three weeks of the month and then to switch to A Stitch In Time for the last week of the month. The focus project was Just Be and I had and end of row partial to finish off and then the 6 partial pages of the last row. My goal was to be halfway through the bottom row by the end of those three weeks which would leave me looking at a finish when it was next out on rotation in May.

That was the plan.

What actually happened is that I got onto a bit of a roll with it. By the end of the two weeks I was halfway through that last row of pages. By the end of the third week I was onto the last two pages of the project and it seemed pointless stopping at that point and putting it away until May. So I continued and on Friday 26th March I finished Just Be.

Whew! It’s been a busy first two weeks of March for me… I think I’ve left my house more over the past two weeks than I did over the entire past year! (Well, not really, as there were trips to visit my mom and my grandson last year, but you get the idea). This was my “self-care” time of the year when I schedule all the doctors’  appointments that I can manage into two weeks. I went for my annual physical, my eye appointment, my dental check-up, my mammogram, my bone density scan, and had my blood and urine tested at the lab. Throw in a much-needed haircut and color and it was a productive, if tiring, couple of weeks. Thankfully, all my appointments went well. (Although when you suffer from osteoporosis like I do, the results of my bone density scans are never what you want to see… In spite of all my exercise, my bones continue to grow weaker. For me, it’s genetic, both mom and grandma had severe osteoporosis, too). 

I have had a bit of time to stitch–though not as much as I would have liked. As you can see below, my St. Patrick’s Day display has been brightening up the kitchen. Although I have no Irish blood, I really love the cheery green of these pieces–they just say spring to me and they’re a perfect transition from frosty snowmen to frolicking bunnies. I purchased the little pitcher and two matching cups adorned with shamrocks at Goodwill over a year ago (BC–before Covid). I thought they would be a perfect addition to my Irish-themed basket. And do you see the green checked “placemat” that everything is resting on? It is an extra-large men’s shirt that I also purchased at Goodwill to cut up and use in finishing and in my displays. Since all the shirts are the same price, why not look for the “extra-large” size, right!?

Lots of green goodies in my St. Patrick’s Day display

Finally for the month A Stitch In Time to complete the confetti hat trick. I knew with those pink flowers again I’d be spending a lot of time switching colours I’m used to it by now. On the whole it wasn’t too bad apart from a couple of evenings where I struggled to concentrate fully.

By the weekend I was back listening to audiobooks and beginning to feel as it I was getting somewhere on the page. I also managed to tip over the 3,000 stitch mark. That was partly because I’m finally getting into the vignette on this page and there’s some blocks of blue in the sky that I’ve just started on. As well as that there’s a book spine on the right hand side of the page so at the moment that is mostly blocks of 3 colours. Eventually that incorporates another pink flower that will be a nice challenge for next time.

By the end of the month I’d also decided on the projects in my adapted rotation so that maybe played a part as well. This project will still be out as one of the one week projects but it will only be stitched every other month. It will be next month though because I’ve paired it with Just Be which will mostly be blocks of colours as I’m rapidly heading to the last row of partial pages. Being so close to a finish is perhaps another reason that I’m so unsettled with my other projects. The other focus piece is Trick or Treat and I’m really looking forward to seeing some progress with that one as it is one of my favourites. The last spot in the rotation is going to A Little Light Reading because I love stitching on those Draglings and this one has some blockier areas which will be a nice balance to the confetti in Trick or Treat.

February is going to be a month of confetti stitching for me as I switch over to working on Unicorn from Geckorouge for a week. The pastel shades are very different for me to work with and I also have my usual nemesis of stitching white thread on white fabrics. There wasn’t so much of that to start with though just lots of changing colours stitching the flowers an the mane.

I didn’t quite manage to do 3000 stitches which is my usual goal for one week but I did get close. Thinking again about adjusting the rotation and this project is one that will be put onto the back burner for now. I’ve decided to trim things to just two full coverage projects each month with three weeks on a focus piece and one week on another project but I’ll be sticking with two focus pieces which leaves space for two one week projects. But this one will be out again, if not this year then next year it will be out and most likely as a focus piece.

Unicorn Feb 2021

I’ve had a very slow start to the month. I have managed to stitch every day but I’m finding it difficult to concentrate which is never good when it’s paired with changing colours so much on a project.

I had hoped to get further through the page but those leaves take a lot of time and concentration. I think I’m done with most of them now on this page so it should be a fairly straightforward run through to a page finish now. It did get me thinking though that I’m rotating through too many projects at the moment. I do want to work on all of my full coverage pieces but I think I’m stretching myself a bit thin at the moment especially with work being so busy and my needing to concentrate so much on that.

So I started to plan what my rotation could look like from March and I started with a list of the projects that I really want to work on as much as possible. This one is on that list.

Good morning, good morning! How is everyone doing on this final day of February? I always feel like we’re turning a corner when February is over and it certainly seems like it with our weather this weekend. With temperatures reaching the 50’s here in western Pennsylvania, our snow is finally melting and I’ve even seen a few green shoots appearing here and there. It will be another month or two until we begin to see flowers, but just knowing that they’re on their way brings so much hope, doesn’t it? 

My stitching has taken a back seat this month as I seem to be spending more time doing some serious spring cleaning and refreshing things around my house–puttering is one of my favorite activities in the world! I just put on some music and begin rearranging shelves, displays, plants, etc. for fun. Nothing big like rearranging the furniture, though… Oh, my mom was a great one for that–I swear us kids would come home from school to a newly rearranged living room at least every other month! I remember exclaiming, “Mom, can’t you just leave things the same way for once?!” I think that’s why the furniture arrangement in my rooms stays the same–how about you? 

Well, enough of my rambling… You’re here to see what little stitching I’ve done, right? I stitched my second Christmas ornament for 2021 and I love it! I mean, who can resist a miniature snowman being lifted up by a skating Santa to place his shiny, gold star at the top of the Christmas tree? Too cute! This is “Merry Friends” by Plum Street Samplers stitched “over one” on 28 ct. black Monaco. I changed virtually every color except for the red in Santa’s robe and hat. The biggest change was using an icy blue for the snowflake centers and the tiny snowman’s hat instead of the suggested gold color.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are spending the day doing something you love or spending it with someone you love! I intended to get this blog post written and posted much earlier in the day, but as luck would have it, the new rug for our family room was delivered and we spent the entire morning moving furniture, removing the old rug, cleaning the hardwood floors, and then putting everything back in place.  If I can get some decent photos (in other words, if the sun ever shines again!), I’ll post a couple of photos for you if you’d like to see them…

I’ve made it my practice to stitch a couple new Valentine’s piece each year and 2021 was no exception. Isn’t this love letter carrying bird a sweet piece? I used DMC 115 on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen and bordered it with the same color ruched ribbon. To add a bit more interest, I hung a little heart-shaped charm from the bird’s beak topped with a bow of the same DMC floss.

Love the variegation of DMC 115!

My last full coverage project for the month was A Stitch In Time from Heaven and Earth Designs artwork by Aimee Stewart. I think back in December I managed to finish page 3 and set to working on the bottom half of page 4 which I had started before I decided that I was going to travel across to page 1 and work in order. Finishing this page would mean that I had joined page 1 to pages 5 and 6 and over half the way through the top row of pages.

I wasn’t fully expecting to get the page finished during the 6 days I spent on it this piece is very deceptive with progress but as it got to the end of the week I began to be more confident that I would be able to get it finished. So another of the ladies made an appearance sitting in front of her fireplace working on her needlework.

I even had a little time to make a tiny part on page 7. The goal this year to to finish the top row of pages. I’ve deliberately set it to a small goal just because I know how full of confetti these pages can get, I don’t have a finish date in mind for it right now I’m just happy plugging away at it for a week each month.