Good Tidings

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Every year for the past several years I have started a new stitching project on New Year’s Day.  And somehow giving a piece that distinction makes it special to me.  I suppose for me it’s a way of celebrating and honoring the new year.  Some of my past New Year’s starts have been Mystery IX Jardin du Roi (2006), Mermaids of the Deep Blue (2008), At Home with Jane Austen (2009), And They Sinned (2010), Paradise Lost (2011), and A Return to the Sea with Jane Austen (2013).  I’ve had a couple of years where I chose to keep going on a WIP rather than start something new (most notably on Margaret Cottam, which allowed me to finish her on January 7 of 2012), but for the most part it’s a new start.

You may notice that two of those NYD starts were companion pieces from The Sampler Girl, At Home with Jane Austen and A Return to the Sea with Jane Austen.  Both were very enjoyable stitches and I finished them within a month or so of starting them.  Which brings us to my NYD start for 2014.  Tanya was having a sale on many of her patterns last year and I took the opportunity to get the third companion piece for the Jane Austen series that At Home and Return to the Sea are part of, Good Tidings with Jane Austen. 

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This piece really was a joy to stitch, as were the other two.  It made me happy to turn to this piece each evening and see it come to life.  I loved the little reindeer and the tree.  I had to set it aside for a short while to pick up a few colors of thread I was missing, but once they arrived it was a quick finish.  I finished it on January 28th, just a few short days before I got on a plane for Europe.   
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I absolutely love how this turned out and someday I’ll get these three framed.  This one was stitched on 32ct Creme Brulee instead of the 28ct Light Mocha the other two are stitched on.  Since I will likely display this one seasonally, it didn’t bother me to stitch it on a slightly higher count linen.  I used the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads.  And here they all are together. 
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I really had the most wonderful NYD too.  I shared this photo on Instagram – I had my two boys on my lap, I was stitching on a new start, and finally getting to watch Season 3 of Downton Abbey.  An absolutely perfect day. 

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And speaking of Downton Abbey, I was a little late for the party on this mystery quilt that was offered in a Facebook group at the end of last year, but I still managed to get enabled!  I ordered the book with the pattern from the designer (Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios) and all the fabrics I needed for it (minus what I need for borders and backing).  I can’t wait to get started on this one.  I chose the Lady Mary version of the quilt and her fabrics from the Downton Abbey line. 
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I am glad to finally be sharing my NYD start and first finish of the year.  I’ve been working along on a few pieces, including two new starts, that I can’t wait to post about.

I am grateful for cookie butter.

Mademoiselle Victorine

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Remember back on New Year’s Eve, when I showed you the photo above of these beautiful silks? Remember when I said they were my New Year’s Day start? Ah, good times.

Well, on January 1 I made an executive decision that instead of starting a new piece as planned, I wanted to continue on with Margaret Cottam. I finished her a week into the new year but it was a few more weeks until I started my new piece.

So, allow me to present, Victorine Delacroix by The Essamplaire.

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I love her. I love stitching with those luscious silks. I love her drab little flowers offset by that bright “pistachio” vine. I can hardly wait to get some blue added to her. Isn’t she fun? Love that lacey little basket too.

And on top of her being a new start, she’s also been part of something else new. I mentioned in this post that I would be trying out my new Hardwicke Manor hoop on her. So far I am loving it. Of course, the real challenge is going to be having to put the hoop over my stitches. Quelle horreur! But, eventually I will run out of space in my little six inch hoop and then it will be like sailing off the edge of the world. Courage!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to – not stitching on anything I’m supposed to be stitching on, and instead spending time with a lovely little lady from Philadelphia with a sweet French name.
And in my last post, I neglected to mention something else that I am especially grateful for at Valentine’s Day…

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My handsome Othello. I adopted him sixteen years ago in February, and last February you may remember we almost lost him. So, this Valentine’s Day I was particularly grateful to spend it with him. And you may notice, he has white whiskers on only one side – just like Owen.

I am grateful for moments of respite.

Auld Lang Syne

2011 Finishes

Can you believe another year has come and gone? I thought I’d squeak in a final post for the year and do a little recap of 2011. Above you can see my finishes for 2011. A couple of quilts, some beading, some finishing, and a few medium-sized pieces.

They are (from left to right):

Camille’s French Sampler, Holly Wool Biscornu, Snow Garden, Be Mine
Indulgence, 2000 Years Ago, Joyful Night, Valentine Rose
Dash Away All, a beaded fob, Day of the Dead earrings, Sweet Treats Block 1 and Border
Stars & Stripes, Honfleur Sampler, Angel of Tulips, Garden of Eerie
Penny Angel, Mele Kalikimaka, Hand & Heart, Joy

I linked each of those to the associated blog post so you can get more info on them if you want. I’m pleased with my finishes for the year, although I’d hoped to have more. But, isn’t that the way it always is?

As for the books I read this year, here’s my little list for that as well…

City of Bones
The Forgery of Venus*
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet*
Parrot & Olivier in America*
Lover Mine
A Northern Light
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
The Hare with Amber Eyes*
Living Dead in Dallas
Heaven is for Real
The Help
Lover Unleashed
An Object of Beauty*
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Club Dead
Soulless
The Paris Wife*
The books with asterisks are book club books.

And I thought I’d share with you a look at my ort jar. I’ve been letting these bits pile up for awhile (much longer than just the past year – they are packed in there really well), and decided that tomorrow will be a fresh new start across the board.

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After my stitching today, I’ll empty this out and begin anew on January 1.

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I’d really like to also finish Margaret Cottam, but that may not happen before the ball drops at midnight. I would love to see another “1” on that corner though!

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And tomorrow, I will have a new start, as part of my New Year’s Day tradition. I can’t wait!

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Happy New Year!

I am grateful for new beginnings.