I put the finishing stitches in the 2014 Advent SAL (iStitch) or maybe not. I am so pleased with how it turned out and thoroughly enjoyed being able to complete a block of it on a daily basis. The best part was 24 days later I had a lovely finished piece. Well - let's be honest - it took me a bit longer. I had 3 blocks left to stitch but did not have time to work on it. I did, however, finish all 3 blocks in one session when I did get back to it. I've yet to do the finish work on it as I'm still trying to decide if I want to stitch an all red border around the outside to make the white pop a bit more. I'm thinking yes!
I enjoyed the SAL so much that I decided to start the 2013 Advent SAL that I had purchased from iStitch in 2013 but never got around to stitching. It is a lovely design and Carol provided the option of stitching all in cross stitch or some specialty stitches she provided. I'm being adventurous this time around and am using the specialty stitches. I'm so glad I made that decision as they really add to the design. I'm stitching on a piece of 36 count natural raw linen using DMC white, Cupid (CC) and Balsam Fir (CC) for my colors. I'm hoping to finish this one by January 24th. It is a special day and would like to finish it on that day.
This is my start of The Little Stitcher's freebie, Miss Mushroom. She has the most adorable designs available in her Etsy shop. I'm stitching this on a piece of 28 count Desert Stone using DMC colors 869, 938, 945, 3031, 3371, 3777, 3865. I'm using 28 count on this piece as it is the piece I'm currently taking while my dad is in his radiation therapy appointment.
It promotes conversation and I spend a few minutes chatting with a fellow stitcher while she waits to go in for appointment. In fact, she has recommended a lovely design that would be a good wedding/house warming sampler.
I'm still waiting to exchange Christmas gifts with my dear friend, Harriet so this is all you get of the completed piece for her. Unfortunately, with it being the time of year for illness we have not yet been able to get together. We laugh as we may start of new tradition this year of Christmas exchange with our birthdays in June/July.
I pulled out my book in print of my blog for the past year to review where the year had taken me, goals I had set. It made me smile when I discovered at this exact same time last year I was shoveling/blowing snow in bitterly cold and windy conditions. I still enjoyed it as it was our first "real" snowstorm of the year and I LOVE THE SNOW! I just put on my Carhartt bibs and leather mittens in the bitterly cold and go about clearing the walks and driveway with a song in my heart! Isn't my husband sweet helping get pictures of me for my blog (one of my goals as I'm usually operating the camera) from the warmth of the house.
The holidays for my family were very loving and relaxed. We really enjoyed each others company. Although at the end of Christmas day my grand nephew was just about done....
....but my son was full of energy and ready to get on with the taking down of the Christmas decorations. Sigh! I did manage to get him to wait until December 26th but it was the first thing we got started on after breakfast. He was right though - it was lovely having the house back in order.
In reviewing my 2014 goals I have this to say....
1. I did get many more photos taken of myself to use in my blog and family Christmas card. A couple of them were even good photos.
2. I did continue to live a more healthy lifestyle. I continue to workout at the Y on weekday mornings. I have continued with my treadmill workouts and the Body Pump Class and have added the Pilates Class to my workouts. I also continue to try and eat "cleaner". It seems to be paying off as I realized in December that I've gone down an entire size in clothing. Yippee! The best part is that it is a gradual lifestyle change as opposed to a drastic diet and exercise regime all at once. It is something I know I can continue on a long term basis.
3. I continued to spend my year stitching quite a bit from my stash although not 100%. Let's face it who can resist a new pattern every now and again. I have, however, managed to be able to use fabrics and fibers from my stash which is great.
4. In the stitching ornaments for my tree goal I'm afraid I did not do very good. The ornaments I stitched in 2013 are still in my pile to be finished.
5. I set a goal of reading 36 books during 2014 and I did accomplish this goal.
MY GOALS 2015....
1. I will continue to ask my family and friends help to get photos of myself to use in my blog and family Christmas card. Hoping for more than 2 good ones this year!
2. I am going to continue living a more healthy lifestyle. I will continue working out at the Y and my goal for this year is to try one or two new classes. I'm thinking cycling and Pi-Yo if I can find classes in the morning. I will continue to strive for eating "cleaner" and keeping the processed foods to a minimum.
3. I am still stitching from my stash and am going to streamline my stitching this year to stitch several of the patterns I purchased from Etsy as they are mostly PDF's. I am also going to spend some time really sorting and organizing my stash and sell the designs I know I am not going to stitch. My criteria for this purge will be "am I going to stitch this for my home or will this be the perfect gift for someone". If it does not meet one of the two, it is gone. Teresa, I have one box ready for shipping I will be in touch soon!
4. This is a new goal for me. I am going to try some other form of needlework this year. My Aunt Nanc gifted me with the pattern for the needle nook which is all needlework I am unfamiliar. I ordered the kit that goes with the pattern and it is my goal to make one needle nook before the end of the year.
5. I don't know why the stitching ornaments for my tree goal seems to evade completion each and every year. I think I will make this goal a bit more specific for me. I will stitch two ornaments for myself and I will finish these into ornaments no later than July 31st.
6. I set a goal to read 50 books this year. It might be a bit high but I can read/listen to a book while walking on the treadmill so I have hopes to get somewhere close.
I did finally manage to bake a batch of Sour Cream cookies. I missed the holidays completely this year but they sure were tasty on the snow day.
I also tried a new recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup that was delicious and so easy to make. I will put it up on the blog as soon as I decide if I'm going to keep my cooking blog or just create a subsection on this blog for recipes.