Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Stitching, Christmas, & A Star

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, and I'm sure it is by you as well. It seems like once Thanksgiving is over, it's everything Christmas. I'm not complaining. It's just different from what it was like when I was a kid. We didn't start decorating until about mid-December back then. As I get older, I'm finding that the concept of "editing" my decorating helps. Over the years I've collected a LOT of decorations and it's just not realistic to put everything out. So I edit. And it's sort of a relief to say "OK, it's enough". 

This year's tree

But we still decorate because it makes us happy. Here's a little cat-proof decoration.

 I've also been stitching.

Apple Blossom Sampler by The Drawn Thread

Basket of Cherries by Blackbird Designs

Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor

I'm using the Lowery Stand for Quaker Diamonds. This stand has proved to be a huge help for me. No more having to hold the scroll frame! Rolaframes are very light but the larger size can be a little awkward to hold and stitch at the same time. 

And for a little different crafting, I made this little star ornament.

I enjoy making these, but they take quite a bit of time. This is only the second one I've made and both were for gifts. I will be making one for me next!

A sewing project was up next, but since this was for a gift that hasn't been given yet I can't post a photo. That will happen in my next post!

Another thing that I'm working on is forming a local stitch group! I became aware that there are stitchers in my county who want a group to get together with other stitchers. So to test the waters, I formed a Facebook group and very quickly we had 33 members! Sheila (my sister) is working on this with me. We quickly found out that finding places to get together to stitch that don't cost anything is very difficult. We talked to a very nice library employee who explained how to reserve a meeting room there. She told us that the library is the only place in our county to reserve a no-cost room! Thankfully, our library system currently has four branches, so the chances of getting a room on the date we want it is pretty good. So we have our first stitching meetup on January 20. I'll keep you posted on that.

I may not be back here before Christmas (but you never know), so I hope you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. And I hope you find time during this fun and busy season to relax with some stitching! Until next time!

Monday, October 30, 2023

October Stitching & Much More!

What I'd like to know is where October went to. Here we are, right at the end and I don't know how a whole month flew by. But happily at least I got some stitching and crafting accomplished.

I did quite a bit of stitching on Rainbow Row by CW Designs.

I am currently "building" the yellow house and stitching that tree in front of it. Of all my WIPs, this is the one that's most like coloring to me. Like Crayola coloring. Maybe it's because there is so much shading. I love it. I'm stitching this on 32 count white Jobelan with all of the (many) DMC flosses.

Bee...Biscourno! by Crocette a Gogo was up next.

It's the first biscourno I'm attempting. The fabric is some kind of overdyed 36 count evenweave and the threads are all DMC. 

Are you ready for some finishes?

I completed the ornament for my son and daughter in law. It's a tradition for me to stitch an ornament for them each year. This one is called Christmas Bullfinch by Punochka. You can find the chart in the 2019 issue of the JCS Christmas issue.

I stitched this with all of the called-for DMC on Vintage Country Mocha evenweave. I did use two strands of floss for the snowflakes, even though it called for one strand. I really like that Christmas-y plaid I used on the back. The chenille trim is by Victorian Motto.

And a bonus FFO ornament! I'm giving this to Matt & Steph as well.

This is God With Us by A New Creation, and you can find the chart on Etsy. You should go there and see all of her beautifully designed patterns. This one is stitched on 28 count black Jobelan with DMC. And it just fit into this little hoop. I wanted to cover the wooden hoop with ribbon like I saw someone had done and posted a photo on Instagram. Just by accident, I bought elastic ribbon which made wrapping it around the hoop so easy! Happy accident! I also glued a tiny jewel in the center of the star. 

One more finish.

I got it done. It's my crochet project, the Perfect Pockets Shawl by Sonja Hood on Etsy. The fact that I'm a loose crocheter AND that I'm short made this extra long on me. I'm thinking that this will be an "around the house" shawl for me. I do love it though and feel confident that I could make another one and make it so that it's a better fit for me. 

Oh wait! One more FFO!

Berry Heart by UB Designs is finally framed! This one had been sitting in my "Finished Stitching" box for far too long. I didn't want to spend a lot, and was happy to find this whitewashed frame on Amazon for a great price. I have glued a red ribbon on it for a hanger after taking this photo.

I also baked some jalapeno cheddar scones. New territory for me - I've never made scones.

They're very good, and even better re-heated in the oven! Here's a link to the recipe if you're interested: Jalapeno Cheddar Scones

Last weekend Mark and I went on a drive. We started at a coffee place in Ball Ground, GA, then went to one of our favorite farm stand places, and ended up having an early dinner in Jasper, GA. We basically made a loop around a section of North Georgia. The fall colors were beautiful.

I have no idea where this bottom photo was taken. I was just snapping pictures as we went. 

Thank you for visiting today! I hope you enjoyed seeing what I've been up to in the past month. Happy stitching!

Saturday, September 30, 2023

September Stitching & A Tale of Woe

And here's my September post, just under the buzzer! September has been a good month and strange month all wrapped up in one.

My stitch group had our monthly stitch day and it was kind of low key with just four of us. But enjoyable nonetheless. I worked on Philanthropic Pumpkin by Hands on Design.

Even though I'm making good progress on this, I doubt I'll have it done to display this autumn season. That's ok. It's a fun project to stitch and I'm looking forward to finishing it into its pumpkin shape using materials that I'll gather.

I also worked on my biggest project, Cardinal Points by Long Dog Samplers. 

This one is being stitched on 36 count white linen with all of the called-for Gentle Arts threads. I use my Lowery stand for this project and it really speeds up the stitching. I can stitch two-handed and not have to constantly keep shifting the Rolaframe. Even though I stitched a lot on this, it will definitely be a long term project.

I did a little finishing as well. I previously showed you Gathering Acorns by Luminous Fiber Arts. As fall was approaching, I wanted to get this one fully finished!


It's a cute, simple little pillow with a fallish backing. Just in time to display for the fall season.

Next is a stitching finish! It's Christmas Bullfinch by Punochka. I found the chart in the 2019 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue.

This sweet little ornament was stitched in the called-for DMC on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha Lugana. I'm thinking about finishing it as a pillow ornament. Not sure yet. That bird is the cutest.

So I said that September was both good and strange. We finally got to go on a vacation with our son and daughter in law. The last one we planned was to Hawaii in March of 2020. Yes, March of 2020. Well, that one never happened and circumstances prevented us from going on any vacation til recently. Luckily United Airlines let us use our credit from the doomed trip. So we got to go to Maine. I found something out -- I love Maine. I want to move there. We spent a few glorious days in Boothbay Harbor, just seeing the sights and eating seafood. It was wonderful spending time with Matt & Steph. Then Hurricane Lee threatened and cut our trip short by a day. This is where the "strange" starts. We had to hurriedly book an earlier flight back home and so did everyone else. Super crowded flights, everyone tense, to the point of obnoxious. I was so glad when we landed in Atlanta after a stop in Newark. Did I mention how crowded these flights were? Ugh. That was on a Saturday, and by Monday afternoon I started to feel sick. On Tuesday morning I tested positive for covid. Ugh again. This is the first time I'd had it. I have to say that while it was yucky, it really wasn't much more than a bad cold. Mark got sick too, but negative for covid. His was diagnosed as a sinus infection. So we're both recovering at the present time. I continue to feel better each day with only some lingering tiredness. OK, so now I got that over with and can get back to my regular life! But I will say that was one great vacation. We'll be going back.

Now we move to October. Where has this year gone? Family members are already talking about the upcoming holidays. We're making plans. I'm going to keep stitching and will keep you updated. Oh, and my shawl is coming along nicely. I just have to do the rows of trim on the other side, the pockets, and the fringe. I'll be sure to post a photo next time.

Thanks for visiting and listening to my tale of woe. I hope you enjoyed the stitching photos. I will see you soon!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

All Kinds of Crafty Starts

I wanted to get in another post before the end of August and I'm almost at the wire! Aside from stitching, I've also started a crochet project and wanted to show that to you. Let's get started.

First is a finish! It's Gathering Acorns by Luminous Fiber Arts. I stitched this on a neutral linen in 32 count. The floss I chose caused some drama because it was kind of old. OK, maybe really old, I think about ten years old. Plus I didn't plan ahead. I just chose the floss because I liked it. It's Terra Cotta by Weeks Dye Works. So the old dye lot didn't match the new ones and I knew I was going to run out. After pleas to fellow stitchers to see if they in fact owned old Terra Cotta floss by Weeks, I received some from a kind person. But it was still very light. Then the light bulb went on in my head: why not do color blending? I found some Terra Cotta by Gentle Arts which was too dark, combined the two and there it was! The perfect solution!

The difference is not noticeable at all. So, after that long explanation, lesson learned. Plan ahead. Sorry about the non-ironed status of this project. I think I'll finish it as a pillow. I've already looked in my fabric collection and found a couple of good possibilities for the backing.

Next, a new stitching start. This is the time of year I start thinking about what kind of ornament I'll make for Matt & Steph, my son and daughter in law. As I flipped through the 2019 issue of the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Issue, I found this sweet little bird. It's Christmas Bullfinch by Punochka.

It's being stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha lugana in the called for DMC. I think that the snowflakes will show up really well on this fabric. What a sweet, simple pattern. Not sure how I'll finish it yet.

I remembered this project that I started a few years ago. Fresh Pumpkins by That's So Kelly is such a cute fall pattern that uses a very unique color, a kind of turquoise-ish blue.

I'm stitching this on a light color lugana and it might be 36 count. It actually seems somewhere in the middle of 32 and 36 count. I really need to keep better track of the fabric I use. I did a major color conversion to use flosses I had. It will be finished very similarly to what's pictured.

Last but not least is my crochet start! This is Perfect Pockets Shawl by Sonja Hood. It's still available on Etsy. I saw this online last fall and bought the pattern right away. 

It uses half double crochet and double crochet stitches and is so easy so far. Yay! Perfect for a non expert crocheter like me. The yarn is a taupe color Yarn Bee yarn from Hobby Lobby. I'm going to put it away for a while because it's pretty hot here and as this shawl grows it's extremely warm on my lap!

Finally, Rigby had a rough day yesterday. Her day started off with a routine vet visit that included three shots. I was told that she might be lethargic. Then, to top it off, we got some stormy weather that included a LOT of thunder, one of her least favorite things. 

She hasn't been a lap cat at all since coming to live with us, so this was a surprise. She's back to normal today. But this was kind of sweet.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to ask any questions and leave comments. Thank you for visiting!


Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Finishing Frenzy!

 I've put in a lot of stitches on a lot of projects lately, but today I'm going to show you some finishes. Yes, finishes plural! These three projects are ones I've been working on for a while and could see the finish line on each. So once I picked it up to work on it, I decided to stitch to the finish!

The first is Christmas Tiny Town by Heart In Hand.

I stitched this on some kind of linen in the called-for flosses. Do you think I can get it fully finished before Christmas?

The next finish is Seasonal Bouquets by The Sunflower Seed. This pattern is an oldie and I don't know if it's available anymore. Charts for a bouquet for each season are included, along with little triangle buttons to decorate the vases.

This is my first project on 40 count linen. I wanted to see if I could do it. It's by Colour & Cotton and the color is Taupe. I know. It looks light gray. But I like it a lot and I think that the light color of the fabric made it easy to stitch on the 40 count. I used the called-for DMC flosses. It's so tiny. I painted a little square frame white and this will fit perfectly. My plan is to stitch each season and change them out accordingly. I hope to have a full finish for my next post.

And last but definitely not least is Small Animal Sampler by Bobbie G Designs.

I'm so glad to have this done. It's stitched on 28 count black Jobelan which is the perfect fabric for this. Buy I'm not gonna lie - stitching on dark fabric is not easy for me. It was so easy to get one thread off and there are a few mistakes in this project. It's stitched with the called for DMC. I'll frame this one.

Now that I have more finishes, I really need to get to fully finishing these and the other projects I have in my "Finished Cross Stitch" box. Yes, there are a few more in there!

For those of you who like Flosstube videos, I just posted my video #84. Hard to believe that I've been making videos for 6 years. So if you're interested, I'll post my channel HERE.

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you liked seeing my finishes. See you soon.


Monday, July 17, 2023

The Block 8 Conundrum

This blog is a place where I post about all of the crafty type of things that I do. It's heavy on the cross stitch because that's my main hobby, but you'll also see sewing, crochet, beadwork, and whatever else I'm working on.

Today I want to talk about crochet. You see, I've come across a little issue in a project that's currently in my crochet WIP pile. A few years ago, I subscribed to Annie's Block of the Month Stitch Sampler Afghan Club. Each month they sent yarn and an instruction booklet for three crocheted blocks. The initial kit also contained the crochet hooks needed for the project. I chose the beige colorway which is made up of four different shades. The kit even included a board for blocking.

I consider myself a solid intermediate crocheter and this project seemed like a perfect fit for my skill level. So I got started and whipped up blocks 1 through 7 with no problem. In fact, it was a lot of fun watching each one form with its own unique crochet stitch. Let me add right now that there are instruction videos for each block that are very helpful. Until I came to block 8.

Blocks 1-7, and 9, in no particular order

Block 8 confused me from the very start. I followed the written instructions. I watched the video. Watched it again. And again. Still my block looked like a confused mess. I asked people who completed this afghan and got some good advice. One person told me to write the instructions in list form (in the instruction booklet they're in paragraph form). Another advised me to skip this one for the time being and go on to block 9. I could go back to it at the end. Someone else said to just crochet this block using the instructions for one I already did successfully in the block 8 color.  

So I went on to block 9 with great success! I will go back to #8 at some point and if it doesn't work, I'll substitute a different one. But I'm asking anyone who is reading this if you've crocheted this afghan, and if you also had trouble with this difficult block. Or is it just me? Please let me know. I will keep you posted.

After I put my crochet away, I decided to do some stitching. 

I've been working on Small Animal Sampler by Bobbie G Designs for quite a while and I'm ready for it to be finished. So I think I'm going to stitch til I finish it. It's being stitched on 28 count black Jobelan with the called-for DMC colors. Only some of the border and all of the backstitching in the border left to do!

Thanks for visiting today and letting me vent about the elusive Block 8. I'll take any advice, even if you haven't crocheted this particular afghan. I plan to be back soon with more stitching goodness. Until then, happy stitching!


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Back To Blogging!

I'm back. I know, I know. How do I explain an almost three year absence from blogging? Not going to make excuses. It seems that blogging has somewhat fallen out of favor with some crafters. I say some because when I look at my list of blogs I'm following, I see many that have been blogging for a long time and still are keeping this mode of communication alive. So I'm jumping back in with a tiny splash.

I've updated the look of my blog (that took a while because I haven't done any layout fixes in a long time and Blogger has changed some of their methods), and am now ready to get back into blogging regularly. Oh and I know that my Cat of the Month already says "July" but it will be July soon, and I couldn't find my June cat. I'll get better.

Since I last posted, a lot has changed in my life. I'm now retired. Hopefully this time it will stick. We've come out of the pandemic, thank goodness. That was getting really old. We lost our little cat, Moxie and then adopted two more cats because we didn't like being cat-less.

Rigby and Casper

Rigby is three years old, and Casper is a year and a half. They're both very good cats with personalities like no other cat we've ever had. We adopted both of them from the Feral Cat Program of Georgia. 

One thing that hasn't changed for me is stitching and crafting. As some of you may know, I have a Flosstube channel. Now I know that not everyone likes Flosstube and that's fine with me. I get it. I still enjoy reading stitching blogs as well as watching Flosstube videos. Here's the link to my Flosstube channel, CraftyCat Stitcher:  https://www.youtube.com/@craftycatstitcher6658/featured .

So as far as the stitching goes, it's still my favorite hobby and I devote lots of time to it. I still consider myself the slowest stitcher in the world. Ha ha. But that doesn't put a damper on my enjoyment of cross stitch! I also continue to collect new charts because there are soooo many beautiful ones out there. Do you agree?

Sewing and crafting are also favorites of mine. I consider finishing a cross stitch project in a non-framed way pretty crafty. And I enjoy it. My latest sewing project is this lovely flag.


It took only an afternoon to make this, and what took the most time was sewing the buttons on. I was very happy that I had all of the materials in my craft room for this. Would you like to make one? You can find the instructions for this on the Instagram page @teamegner. It's in her DIY section on her profile page. The one shown in the instructions is quilted and is lovely. However, I'm not a quilter and just wanted this to be an easy project for me so I opted to skip that part. 

So this is my comeback to blogging. I hope you enjoyed what you saw here. My goal is to share all of my stitching with you, along with anything else crafty that I do. If you're reading this, please leave a comment so I'll know I'm reaching fellow stitchers. Please consider subscribing as well. I do appreciate it.

I'll see you soon. Happy stitching.