Saturday, December 31, 2022

A look back at 2022 and a look forward to 2023!

Just like everyone else, I find myself at the end of a year wondering where the time went! Especially the last two weeks since I'm not ready to go back to work on Monday.

I had one finish since my last post - I had hoped to get it done by Halloween, but I didn't quite make it (it was a fast stitch, but I wasn't getting a whole lot of stitching time). This is "Candy Corn of Mischief" from Bent Creek, which I purchased as a kit and was stitched with pearl cotton over 2 on 20ct raw linen. It was fun to mix things up with a different kind of thread and fabric count that I'm used to!

And I *almost* managed to get "Autumn" by The Cricket Collection done before the end of 2022 - I had originally hoped to get it done before the actual end of autumn itself - but there isn't a whole lot left. Since I'm so close to a finish, I'll just post an update in the new year once I'm done.

Older Works in Progress

Since it's customary on Flosstube to end and/or start a year with a WIP parade, I decided to pull out all of the projects in my WIP basket (and the two that are too big for it) to take progress photos and discovered that I had far fewer on the go than I thought! Although a number of those projects have been in progress for several years so I probably should actually try to make some progress on them in 2023. I think part of the reason I thought there were more things in progress was that I had a couple of projects that I abandoned, mostly to restart because I wasn't happy with how the stitching was coming out on the fabics I had chosen, so they aren't WIPs at the moment. Well, one is, which I'll talk about below.

These two biggies in my WIP pile that I didn't touch last year are the Janlynn "Fairy House" and the Glendon Place "Sleepy Hollow". Part of the reason that Sleepy Hollow has stalled is that I'm still trying to find a comfortable way to stitch on it, so I'm giving Rolaframes a try. Here are the status pics for those two, along with the pictures of what the final version will look like:

And poor "Monlit Kitties" by Mill Hill has managed to go another year with barely any stitching on it (but I *did* do some!) - maybe this would be a good one to try to finally finish next year. I'm not sure why this one is taking me so long, especially given how quickly I make it through the small Mill Hill kits!

I think I stitched a bit on "Tudor Cottage" by Cross My Heart at the beginning of the year, but then set it aside for some reason or another. This is another one that I might try to focus on getting finished next year.

I worked a little more on another of the "Christmas Kitties" kit that I picked up AGES ago. I finished that first cat quite a while ago but then didn't pick it back up to work on any of the other ones until just in the past year or so. (Ignore the slightly yellow-ish tinge to the image - I forgot to color correct for the lamp I had shining on the table.)

I did a little stitching on the Dimensions kit "Mediterranean Flavors", but not a whole lot of progress. This is another that might finish up quickly if I concentrate on it since the part that I *have* stitched didn't take all that long. Although there will be quite a bit of backstitching when I get to that point.

The last two are a couple of things that I haven't done much on at all - the starts were mostly just a test to see if I liked how it looked. The first is the restart of Celtic Seasons, this time with 1 strand of floss instead of two. I'm still not sure how well the backstitch will show up, but I should be able to tell if I like it when I get a bit more of the light green on the right done.

And finally, the 3-D cottage kit that I bought ages ago, but only started recently... although I somehow managed to not put it on my tracking spreadsheet so I'm not exactly sure when. I've really been wanting to try a 3-D stitching project, so I might give this one some more love in 2023.

And last but not least - my ort jar (or bowl) for the year! And because I was amused at what it looked like when I took the threads out, a photo of that too.

Plans for 2023

I would REALLY like to make some progress on both of my really big projects - Sleepy Hollow and Fairy House - and maybe finish up some of the smaller ones, especially the Tudor Cottage magnet and Moonlit Kitties since they both have a fair amount of progress already. Given how few WIPs I have compared to a lot of the stitchers I follow on YouTube and Instagram, I probably shouldn't feel all that guilty about what I have. Although I would say the AGE of some of my WIPs isn't as common, I've noticed. I just chuckle when I hear someone say that have "such an old WIP" and it's from 2019 or so. I have a few things that I'm pretty sure are about 10 years old at this point, and in the past I've had things that were WIPs for even longer!

On new projects, my goal is to do the rest of the Cricket Collection seasons this year, since I've discovered they actually stitch up pretty quickly. And maybe, just maaayyyybbbeeeee, I'll finally start to tackle a Hawk Run Hollow design... most likely Autumn or Year at Hawk Run Hollow.

I'm sure in between some of these larger things will be more Mill Hill kits since I can't resist those and they stitch up so fast! And I've already pulled out a couple of small things to work on after I finish "Autumn" and before the fabric for "Winter" arrives. One is a freebie that I'm going to use to test a potential fabric for a Hawk Run Hollow. I have a feeling that it is going to be too rough and thick for such a large project, but we'll see how I like stitching on it with this small design.

One other thing that I would really like to do is finally get some of my older finished projects *fully* finished, mostly framing. I have 4 or 5 all pinned and ready to go, I just need to choose and/or order the frames. And some of those have now been finished for something like 15 (or more?) years, so it's time to finally get those things on the walls!

I think that's it for 2022! I hope everyone has a good stitching year in 2023 (myself included!)!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Crafty catch-up

I need to start finding more creative titles for these posts. 😁

As I expected, my stitchy/crafty productivity of the early-to-mid pandemic fell off as everything at work started getting back to normal. And by normal, I mean completely hectic. And then I moved in May, which certainly didn't help (especially with a longer commute)! But the positive side of the move is that I finally have a real home office/craftroom/library and I'll eventually post some pictures of that once I get things a little more to the final layout and organization I'm aiming for. It's actually not that far off right now but I'd really like to replace one of the tall cabinets with some shelving instead so I can SEE my stuff all the time. Even if I don't have as much time to use the stuff, I can at least look longingly at it on the days I work from home.


I actually have a few FFOs since my last update, several of which were stitched, finished, and FFOd this year. I also finished and FFOd the Sun and Moon Mask by Olga Antropova that I posted as a WIP back in January. I made a few small changes to the backstitching and extended the beading from the design to make the hanger. You can see that here:

My next set of finishes were my Tiny Van Gogh paintings by XStitch Obsession on Etsy. I decided to do them on perforated paper, so I had to make a small adjustment to the backstitching on Cafe Terrace. They are all backed with felt and made into magnets and are currently stuck on a filing cabiet at work.

And an FFO from just last week - yet another Mill Hill kit! This is the second of their butterfly designs that I've done and I'll be on the lookout for more to go with the ones I've already done.


I have a few stitching finishes that need to be FFOd, but I'm still making decisions about that. So here are the stitched pieces in the meantime!

First up is Wakanda Forever by Parkhopper Bart. I made one main color change since I really wanted to use this fabric and the original yellow (which I changed to green) just completely disappeared on it. I also changed the original white around the Black Panther mask to silver Kreinik braid. This one will probably end up framed eventually, and maybe I can get it to fit in a standard frame size!

Next is a cute little picture I bought on Etsy from Craft Time in Arkham and it will probably end up in a hoop frame and will go to my office. I made a small goof on this and did the backstitching on the dino in black instead of the dark-grey-green-blue it was supposed to be. And I did the lettering with flower thread since it's a little bit thicker.

And finally, Nightmare Before Coffee, from the 2021 Just Cross Stitch Halloween magazine. I had this nice orange-y fabric from Fortnight Fabrics that I really wanted to use for this, but the lettering kind of got a little lost, so I outlined it in a medium orange color. I probably should have used a slightly darker shade, but I think it will show up okay with decent lightling (which I didn't have when I took the photo). This is the one that I'm still trying to decide how to do the final finishing on, but I'm leaning towards a little flatfold since this will probably end up in my office too, over by my little coffee-making area.


I didn't take photos of my WIPs today, but I have a couple of things that I've been working on since I finished the Mill Hill butterfly. I'm still slowly making my way on Mill Hill Moonlit Kitties, which I'm pretty sure I've been plugging away on for about 10 years at this point. (Admittedly, there were several years of almost no stitching while my eyes got gradually worse.) I've also started on a little kit by Bent Creek called Candy Corn of Mischief that I ordered a month or so ago and it just arrived this past Friday. It's stitching up pretty fast so that might be a finish next time!


I won't detail all of the stash aquisitions I've made so far this year - and there has been quite a bit of it - but I did want to mention that joined the Fortnight Fabrics "Oodles of Ornaments" fabric club for 2022 so I've expanded my selection of fabrics for smalls. Expect even more ornaments in the years to come!

That's it for this catch up post. I'll try to get at least one more update in before the end of the year - which is approaching rapidly!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

2021 Wrap-up and 2022 Plans

Happy New Year! Like many of us, I'm happy to say goodbye to 2021 and slightly nervous about what 2022 has in store, but here's hoping that things will get better from here on out.

Catching up on a few things from November and December - here's my completed 2021 Temperature Tree! We ended up with some pretty warm high temps for the last few days of 2021 (low 80s), and true to Texas weather fashion - the high temp the day I'm writing this (Jan 2) was in the upper 40s. Weather whiplash!

And I finished the Charlie Brown Christmas design I started in November. There were stitched snowflakes in the design but I left them off since the sparkly fabric already kind of looked like snow (that's what I was going for when I chose the fabric in the first place).

And I finished the final two Mill Hill instrument ornaments, so now I have a set of all six!

Finally, from 2021 - my ort jar! I had been using a little plastic organizer bin for my thread remnants and then I realized that this little bowl would be perfect! I received it as a thank you gift for an astronomy talk I gave to a gardening club a few years back and I love it.

I have just a couple of new starts/WIPS from December - one of which would have been a finish if I had the right spool of Kreinik, but now it has to wait until my latest 123 Stitch order comes in.

The first is the Sun and Moon Mask by Olga Antropova that I bought through LoLaLottaShop on Etsy (before she moved back to a stand alone site when her Etsy store was hacked). I just need to finish some of the backstitch and the metallics and add a few beads and then this one will be a finish.

And I've made a bit of progress on my Tudor Cottage magnet that I made a small start on earlier in 2021.

Plans for 2022!

I still haven't decided on any big plans for the whole year, so I'll probably try going month-to-month on goals. Although I guess one year-long plan is to keep a stitch journal about what I work on from day-to-day and week-to-week. Given how busy with work I'm likely to be in the spring, it's hard to say how much stitching time I'll get. Although with things being kind of up in the air with respect to the pandemic, who knows! My short term goals are to finish the Sun and Moon mask and to make more progress on the Tudor Cottage and the "Mediterranean Flavors" Dimensions kit.

I'm also going to make more progress on the two big projects in my WIP pile - Fairy House and Sleepy Hollow. I've decided to try some Rollaframe scrollrods for Sleepy Hollow since I was having trouble stitching it on the big q-snaps, so hopefully that will help me make progress on that. I would also like to keep up with fully finishing things, especially some framing. I've got a number of finsihed projects pinned on foam board so now I just need to get mats and frames - most of which will need to be custom sizes, so that might have to be a monthly thing since they are going to cost a little more.

I do want to try to post monthly updates again, but if there isn't much to update about, they might go back to being a little less frequent. Although not the annual "sorry, nothing to see here" posts that I had for a few years while I was trying to get my stitching mojo back (which mostly involved finally getting my eyesight situation sorted...).

Until next time - have a great 2022!