Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 in Review




I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Can you believe the last day of 2019 has already arrived and a new decade will begin in the morning?! 

To all of you that work full-time, care for loved ones and still manage to find time for crafts and blogging, way to go! (I am still struggling to find that balance...)

I am afraid my blogging has been very sporadic this year. I have a few plans to hopefully change that in 2020. We shall see how they work out.

Thanks to a Christmas gift exchange, I finally have a few finishes to share from this year. These zipper coin pouches and tissue case covers were created for my co-workers - a couple of ladies I am very lucky to spend time with each week.





My goals for 2019 (shared in this post) were:

  • Eat more vegetables. - Done! My husband and I completed the Whole 30 Challenge, which helped a lot with this goal. (I ate a mint without thinking about the sugar, so I didn't technically finish the challenge, but my husband did!)
  • Drink more water. - I did well with this for a while, but need to increase my water intake again.
  • Get back into a running routine. - I did this for several months. My son and I even ran in a Color Run this fall. (He let me share the photo above.) Circumstances out of my control required a running break, but I am eager to get back to it!
  • Finish up some unfinished projects. - Some progress was made on 2 projects from my UFO list, but there were no finishes. My cross-stitch projects received the majority of attention.



Thanks to joining the Stitch Along (SAL) hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea, I managed a fair amount of progress on my Heaven and Earth Designs Storykeep Effects of Caffeine (artwork by Randal Spangler.)
January 1, 2019 - 18.55% complete with 4,390 stitches. 

0 of 4 pages finished.

December 31, 2019 - 75.44% complete with 17,850 stitches.

2 of 4 pages finished.

13,460 stitches were added this year. 

If I meet my goal of 650 stitches every 3 weeks, this should be finished by July 12, 2020.





I joined a Stitch Around the World Challenge through the Facebook Stitchtalk HAED Challenges group. The goal was to add 53,855 stitches to one Heaven and Earth Designs cross-stitch chart. My personal goal was to accomplish half that amount on Twilight Duel (artwork by Ruth Thompson.) In reality, I completed just over 20% of the journey and I am thrilled with that progress. 

January 1, 2019 - 38.90% complete with 57,412 stitches.

7 of 24 pages finished.
December 31, 2019 - 46.45% complete with 68,567 stitches.

11,155 stitches were added this year. 

10 of 24 pages finished.








Next year, I hope to have more updates of my Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger to share on the Stitchy Start blog.

January 1, 2019 - 17.15% complete with 29,900 stitches.

4 of 30 pages finished.

December 31, 2019 - 20.58% complete with 35,868 stitches.

5,968 stitches added in 2019.

4 of 30 pages finished.

Next year, I hope to share more photos on Instagram. In 2019, these were the top 9 of the 45 photos shared. (I used the free tool at bestnine(dot)net to find my top 9.)


Happy New Year!
Renee







Sunday, December 15, 2019

SK Effects of Caffeine - SAL Update 17


Since our last Stitch Along (SAL) update, 1,625 stitches have been added to my Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) Storykeep Effects of Caffeine cross-stitch. I really love artwork by Randal Spangler and it is so much fun to watch this piece come together. 



As you can see, the cup is beginning to appear! The photo below shows my progress in our last SAL update. If I meet my goal of 650 stitches every 3 weeks, I will be sharing a finish on July 12, 2020.



Thank you all so much for the sweet comments you left on my last update! To answer Anne's question, yes, there are more books in this series. Randal Spangler has similar artwork featuring cats and dogs, too. You may see more storykeep charts of his work here. A full selection of HAED cross-stitch charts based on his work may be seen here.  

This SAL is organized by Avis of Sewing by the Sea. Each participant chooses their own project to work on and we share our progress every 3rd Sunday. We are all in different time zones, so if a post is not up yet, please check back later.



Just in case you missed these updates last week, several members finished their projects!  

  • Avis finished The Cut Thru Garden Shed by Bothy Threads, as seen here
  • Claire finished Bag Ladies by Dimensions, as seen here.
  • Sunny finished a cherry blossom cross-stitch kit and a darling Edna Looney Santa Banner, as seen here.
  • Jenny finished a couple of very pretty flowers, as seen here.
  • Sharon finished Prickly Owl by Dimensions, as seen here.
  • Anne finished her original work Portsea Cliff, as seen here.
Edited to add:
  • Carole finished Fellowship of the Hooties by PinoyStitch on Etsy, as seen here. (I cannot believe I oopsed and forgot to add this finish to my original post. It is perfect for any fans of Lord of the Rings and I have a family full of those, making it a fun project to watch evolve.)


Our next update will be on January 5th. Thank you so much for visiting!

-Renee

Sunday, November 24, 2019

SK Effects of Caffeine - SAL Update 16


I love Randal Spangler's artwork and it is so much fun watching this Heaven and Earth Designs chart, based on his work, come to life. 

Over the past 3 weeks, 529 stitches were added to Storykeep Effects of Caffeine. It is a little shy of my 650-stitch goal. However, the scales on the arms are full of time consuming confetti.

Another grid row across the chart is now complete. Page 3 is 51.19% done and 66.38% of the project is finished.

This is how it looked in my last update.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays approaching, we shall see if I manage 650 stitches for the next update. I hope so! See the curvy red section on the bottom-left section? That is where steam from the cup of coffee (or is it tea?) will be rising from the cup!

Our next Stitch-Along (SAL) update is on December 15th. 

I do hope you will stop by to visit the other participants in this SAL that Avis so generously organizes for us. You may find more details on her blog through the first link below. Everyone chooses one project to work on and we share our updates every 3rd Sunday. 

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee


Sunday, November 3, 2019

SK Effects of Caffeine - SAL Update 15


Wow! This is my 15th update with the Stitch Along (SAL) hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea. For this SAL, each participant picks a project to work on and we share our progress every 3 weeks. That means I have been a part of this SAL for 45 weeks already! 

Only 90 stitches were added since my last update. (My stitching time has been very limited and I spent most of that time on a crazy quilting project.)


This is how it looked on October 13th. Our next update will be on November 24th.

I began this Heaven and Earth Designs Storykeep Effects of Caffeine cross-stitch as a travel project on October 5, 2015. It received attention when I took relatives to appointments or on a rare trip out of town, so I shared daily updates. When I started working, it became my lunchtime project. Daily updates were not working out. Sharing my progress every 3 weeks was the perfect solution.  


This is how it looked when I decided to join the SAL. 4,390 stitches were complete at that time. 

Thanks to this group of crafty bloggers, 10,787 stitches have been added this year. 

I hope you will visit everyone to see what they have been working on! We want to welcome Connie to our stitch along. Helen is taking a break at the moment. We will also miss Clare, as she has stepped out of the SAL.

Thank you for visiting!
Renee

AvisClaireGunCaroleSue,

ConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindy,
LindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayley,
MeganDeborah, MaryMargaret, JennyCarmela,
JocelynSharonDaisyAnneConnie




Sunday, October 13, 2019

SK Effects of Caffeine - SAL Update 14


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the above photo already. I really love Randal Spangler's artwork!

Over the past 3 weeks, 696 stitches were added to my Heaven and Earth Designs Storykeep Effects of Caffeine cross-stitch project.

Page 3 (of 4) is 41.17% complete.
The project is 63.77% done.

This is how it looked on September 22nd.

Our next update will be on November 3rd.

Participants of this Stitch Along (SAL) each choose one project and share updates of their progress every 3 weeks. 

I hope you will stop in to see what everyone else is working on! We are in different time zones, so if you do not see a post, please check back later. For more details or to join, check in with Avis through the first link below.

Thanks for visiting!
Renee

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

TAST 2019 - Stitches 5 & 17


It has been ages since my last Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) post. I actually completed these stitches in June... (Learn more about the TAST challenge offered by Sharon Boggon at Pintangle.com through the link above.)

Click any image for a larger view.

This seam was added to a crazy quilted Valentine fabric postcard I am creating. It was created with two TAST stitches.

Stitch 5: Feather Stitches were added with a strand of green DMC S909 satin floss.


Stitch 17: Bullion Knot Stitches were added with #48 DMC size 8 variegated perle cotton floss to add flowers to a vine of feather stitches.

For this stitch, the right needle is very important. I struggled with these horribly before reading Sharon's tip to use a milliners needle. 


My 2019 TAST Progress:
Completed Stitches: 1-5, 7, 11 & 17
Need to Stitch: 6, 8-10, 12-16, & 18-36

Thank you for visiting!
Renee

Monday, September 30, 2019

October 2019



Well... I missed my August and September posts. Summer weekends fill up fast and the evenings disappear in a blur of laundry, making dinner, washing dishes, and spending a few treasured moments with my family. 

Thanks to the 3 week SAL hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea, I have managed at least one post a month. My travel project - SK Effects of Caffeine - is the only craft I have made much progress on, so there really has not been much more to share. I am working to change that!

October Goals:
1) Add 650 stitches to SK Effects of Caffeine. (The next update will be shared October 13th.)

2) Create a Christmas gift. 

3) Share a Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) post. (This post is already scheduled to post Tuesday morning. Is that cheating???)

4) Create a mug rug with the Halloween embroidery project shared at the top of this post. 


I am taking a break with my running goals because I tweaked my knee (not running) and am being nice to it right now. That being said, my son and I ran in the Salem Color Run on Saturday, September 28th and had a great time! 



Wishing you all an amazing month!
Renee


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Fractal White Tiger September 2019 Update

The last few updates on my Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger cross-stitch project were shared on the Stitchy Start blog.

This is how it is looking now and I hope to make more progress in October.

The project is 20.58% complete. My goal is to finish pages 11 and 12 by the end of the year.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Renee

Sunday, September 22, 2019

SK Effects of Caffeine - SAL Update 13

I am so excited the dragon is filling in so well! 

1,262 stitches were added since September 1st.

My goal is to add 650 stitches every 3 weeks. This would put me on track to share a finish on our August 2, 2020 SAL update.

This is how it looked on September 1st.

The spine of the book reads:
INVESTIGATING
THE EFFECTS OF
CAFFEINE ON
THE MIND
I. M. DRAGGIN

This Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) pattern, based upon the artwork of Randal Spangler, may be seen here

It is the project I chose to work on for the stitch-along (SAL) hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea. We each select a project to work on and share an update every 3rd week. I hope you will visit the other bloggers to see the progress on their projects. We live in different time zones, so if a post is not up, please visit again later. Susan and Anne, welcome to the SAL!

AvisClaireGunCaroleSue,
ConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindy,
HelenLindaHeidiJackieSunny,
HayleyMeganDeborah, Clare, Mary Margaret,
JennyCarmelaJocelynSharonSusanAnne


Thanks for stopping by!
Renee