Thursday, September 22, 2011


Like many of you, my annual Christmas Ornament Issue from Just Cross-Stitch magazine has arrived.  I am interested to read all of your critiques and recommendations.  I admire those who are able to give a critique of a particular chart, pattern or magazine.  I am one of those over-emotional, highly sensitive people that does not take criticism well.  Therefore, I do not hand it out much toward others.  To me, everything is lovely in it's own way, although I have picked a few favorites.  Many an "x"has been made in the past few days, but there are a few other interests that have come along as well.
Color of any sort has always fascinated me.  Natural dying has become a "fad" lately.  How our great-grandmother's would laugh over this.  It is a marvel to me how so many things done of necessity have now become "hobbies" to present day crafters.  Ah, I even hesitate to use the word "craft" as there seems to be an ongoing battle of Art v. Craft.  I personally see no difference between the two.  Though many will disagree with this assessment, again it refers back to my fear of insulting anyone or hurting any one's feelings.  Much as the oil painter considers himself an artist, I am sure the person who makes toilet paper cozies out of plastic canvas considers them art as well.  So be it.
Off the soap-box and on to the dying.  Here is my attempt at a "recipe from a wonderful book new to our local library:  Harvesting Color.  This is a batch of tickseed from the field behind my house.  I dyed a scrap piece of 28ct linen.  I didn't get a very intense orange, but I didn't use a mordant agent.  I'm still perfecting my techniques and terminology.  I've seen alum mordant in little bottle on Etsy, so I may try that next time.

Two other new books from the local library.  Not much success with either of these new ventures.  I do so want to make my own cheese.  The consumption of cheese in this household is astronomical, so it can only be of benefit to make my own.  Again a lack of skill, terminology and supplies held me back.

On to the ornaments!  I do lean toward certain designs/designers in my selections for cross-stitch.  I'm a huge Prairie Schooler fan, but this year's ornament did nothing for me.  I tend to go on the visual impression first and then when I look up the chart I am surprised to find the name of the designer is one I usually pick anyway!
Jolly by Miss Crescent's Crown was the first one done.  The colors immediately caught my eye as something that would be perfect for my 13 year old niece.  I also have an ample supply of lime green fuzzy yarn to use as trim.

 Next up was Tanya's (The Sampler Girl) lovely design Good Tidings To You.  I know Christmas ornaments are all about Santa's and snowmen, which I do like, but I just love animals in Christmas designs.  Now one would expect a deer or some forest birds, but this rabbit is just so cute and a bit unexpected

 Here is a lovely Christmas fox (again a break from snowmen and Santa Clauses).  He is from a very old Cross-Stitch and Country Crafts magazine.  I made him as a frame piece for my mothers years ago.  She tore him out of the frame over my August visit and requested him as an ornament instead.  She said he just doesn't get enough exposure sitting in that frame.

 I added a little sterling silver pine cone charm on one of the pine branches.
 Next ornament is Fresh Fallen Snow by Little House Needleworks.  It has seen been fully stitched.  All the ornament finishes now sit around waiting to be stitched to their backings and properly completed.
It's so nice to have a little needle in my hand again.  The socks have been set aside for a bit, although not to far out of reach.  They will be my travelling companions today as I set off for Indianapolis for the Region 5 Gymnastics Congress. A geek-fest extraordinaire of all things gymnastics.  But mostly an anxiety-fest for me as I have to leave my pets behind again.  Joe will care for them of course, but the worry never ceases for me when I travel.  Well, I must 'see and be seen' in order to get good judging assignments this competitive season.  Time to be a big girl for a few days. 


  1. Natural dyeing, that's awesome!
    I love all of your ornaments that you've started and finished too...
    Good going you!

  2. Love the ornament choices - and the natural dyeing... stupendous!!!

  3. You have such a wonderful style of writing! I really like your blog!