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November 2013
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December 2013

Christmas Recovery

After all that  hype, Christmas is gone.  It always goes by way too fast.  I feel like I didn't even have time to enjoy all the decorations, the lights, the snowflakes that fell here and there during December.

My mom, sis and I ventured into Philly early in December to see the light show at Wanamakers...and it also happened to snow quite a bit that day.  More than any weatherman predicted.  I shoulda worn boots.


We were able to escape for a bit in the Irish Pub for some delicious eats...


And we did a little window shopping....


And saw the giant tree in Liberty Two...


So much to do, and only 25 measly days to do it. 

Handmade cards to send out...


Decorating contests at work (our division's theme was Pirate Christmas...)....


And shopping to finish...


 I do keep my decorations up until the Ephiphany (fun fact - the Twelve Days of Christmas are actually the twelve days after Christmas leading up to the isn't technally really over yet....), so I can enjoy them for a little bit longer...



I hope you all  had a wonderful Christmas :-)  Time to make some tea, relax, watch a movie, and have a little stitch therapy to recover....


Two Days Till Christmas! | Cross Stitch

Via Instagram, I've been kindly reminding everyone every few days how many days left there are until Christmas.  It's a "holy shit that's all there is left and I'm totally not ready so I'm gonna pretend I'm ready and send out reminders for everyone else" kinda reminder.  Then my friend, Catherine, threatens to slap me after such reminders.  Ah, the holidays.  Love abounds.

I've been working feverishly on way too many things (i somehow managed to finish 50 handmade Christmas cards to send out 4 days before Christmas...THAT, my friends, is a Christmas miracle...), but my main stitching project has been Quaker Christmas II.

I bring you today an update of said project.  I'm so close to being done, I can almost taste it.


It's a skosh dark, but do you see that small, empty corner in the right??  That's all I have left to do, folks.  One year and a few days, and that's all I have left.  

I will tell ya, I've about had it with the Quaker themed motifs.  I'm over the stars, the flowers, the zig-zags.  Over it all.  Until, you know, I decide it's time to do the companion piece - the first Quaker Christmas.

But right now, I'm over it.

My friend, Sue, is also working on this piece.  She decided to stitch hers on a lighter 32 ct. fabric (as opposed to my 40 ct. Cider), and also changed up the fibers.

She was kind enough to let me take a pic of her progress so far so you can see the difference - 


Pretty freaking cool, huh?!  She totally changed the feel of the piece!  The gold against the reds and greens!  The one fiber she has is a red/green variegated.  Her piece feels softer with the lighter fabric and the light greens.  Love it.

Proof positive that straying from the prescribed colors and fabrics on the graph can give the piece a totally different feel, where you can feel the soul of the stitcher through the work.

That was deep.

The soul of the stitcher.

Someone get me another glass of wine - I'm getting deep with my posts.

Two days till Christmas.....are you ready??? ;-)



Another Ornament! | Cross Stitch

I love stitching smalls, such as ornaments, for the sheer fact that they give me a sense of instant gratification.  

I mean, let's be serious.  When you're working on something of the magnitude of Quaker Christmas II (on 40 ct., no less, because that's how I roll), you need something here and there to make you feel like you've accomplished something.

Ornaments are the perfect way to give youself this sense of accomplishment, and it's even better when you get to make it personalized for an adorable baby's first Christmas!

Last year, I offered Amy Green, owner of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free (for my newer followers, this crazy Philly girl needs to steer clear of gluten.  and grains.  and well, pretty much anything fun, except maple syrup, which i tend to put on more things than should be legal, just so i don't binge on an entire box of gluten free cereal.  ahem.), to do a personalized Baby's First ornament for her little guy, Nate.  

This year, she put in her order for her newest baby, Luke, and I couldn't wait to get started.

I chose another adorable Lizzie Kate pattern, which seems to be pretty fitting, since we've already had quite a bunch of that white nonsense falling from the sky this year.


The white pom-pom for a snowball!  I die. 

It's tough to tell, but I used a 32 count opalescent for the stitching, just to keep it interesting and not bland Light Mocha or white.  Blah.  Plus, it adds sparkle for the sparkly time of year!!  

Doing the same thing as last year - using letters from various Lizzie Kate projects to personalize this ornament, I stitched Luke's name and year on the back.


And there you have it!  Thank you again, Amy, for trusting me with this keepsake for your sweet Luke!  I had so much fun stitching it for him!!


Just a quick note - I updated my Floss & Fabrics page to include hyperlinks to the blog posts for the pieces which are listed. Now it's easier to see what the deuce I'm talking about!

December Daily - Day One. Sorta. | Scrapbooking

This is the part of my December Daily album that gets tricky.  Well, at this point anyway.  

I don't have a photo fact, I don't have a printer at all (it's a long story), but have been eyeing up a Canon all-in-one on Amazon that I might just have to get for I can't just run downstairs to my office from my craft room to print pics and then run back up and put them right into my album.  So, I'll have to wait till I have about a week's worth of pics, then order them (my fav place to get exceptional quality prints is Persnickety Prints - they are AMAYYYYZING).

BUT, in the meantime, I can at least space out my pages until the pics arrive.

I decided to start the section of the album for this year with my friend Lucie's wedding from 30 November.  She and I used to work together about 8-9 years ago, and I used to tutor her daughter in Spanish when she was in high school.  Feels like a lifetime ago.

I saved the "Save the Date" card, and a few other things from the wedding day, and made them the first pages in the album.


Then, I added the pamphlet from the ceremony, 


and the menu from dinner...which was TO DIE....


The opposing page to the one with the pamphlet from the ceremony will have pics (which need to be printed....hang tight....), one of which will be this one of me and Sam (Lucie's daughter) from the reception -


 I posted this on Saturday to Instagram, and later realized something - I'm not one to post pics of myself (I feel ridic taking selfies) so people probably have NO IDEA which one is me!!!

I'm on the left, wearing my favorite color, purple.  :-)  Sam was one of the bridesmaids, and she looked gorgeous, as always.  Love that girl.


December Daily - The Beginning | Scrapbooking

I don't know how many of you stitchers also scrap, but there's this fun concept called a December Daily album, of which the intent is to document the holiday season each day.  This way, you can capture all the fun Christmas moments like baking Christmas cookies, decorating the tree, watching your favorite Christmas movie, and also documenting the ordinary things you do during the holidays.   

My first impression of this concept was that it wasn't for me.  Every album I saw on blogs was of people with their kids.

I might act like a 10-year-old sometimes, like this entire month because I'm obsessed with Christmas, and when I watch Disney movies (whatever. don't judge.  you know you love Aladdin just as much as i do. and The Lion King.  annnnnd Sleeping Beauty.  yeah that's right.), but since I don't have kids to take pics of every 30 seconds, I wasn't sold on the whole December Daily idea.

But I do fun stuff during Christmas, like go to NYC.  And downtown Philly.  And hang out with friends.  And I make stuff like, every day, but have hardly any proof of the stuff I make, because it all flies out the door almost as quick as I make it (read: my Christmas cards).  Oh, and I BAKE.  A LOT.

Bingo.  I will document ALL THAT STUFF.

So, I started gathering pics from last year, and since there weren't that many, I decided to have them in the front of my album for this year.  No harm, right?  Especially since I took some pretty cool pics last year when I was up in NYC two days in a row about two weeks before Christmas.

There really is nothing like Christmas in NYC.  The lights and decorations are outrageous.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit NYC during December, DO IT.

December Daily albums are meant to be small, so this is a SN@P album from Simple Stories (which you can find at your local Michaels with your 40% off coup), which I got in red (duh) and just got to it.


The building on the left?  Cartier.  Wrapped like a gift.  Those glowing blobs on the side & roof??  Jaguars.  I died when I saw this.  The pic on the right is Macy's.  


For this page, since my pics are all Instagram snaps cut to 3x3, and the instapockets in the page protectors are 4x4, I just took a piece of glitter paper, cut it to 6x8 (the size of this album), and stuck the pics on like a collage.   Then, I added the snowflakes.  Just 'cuz.  From top to bottom, that's Fendi, Radio City Music Hall, inside a mall in Columbus Circle, and the tree in Bryant Park.  I put those little thingies (yes, that's the technical name) on the edges to have them be on the rings like the rest of the protectors, and viola.


On this page, I took paper, cut it to 4x6 to fit the protector, then attached these lil' pics on front.  I plan on adding embellies later, but wanted to at least get these into the album.  One of the days I was in NYC last year, I went to brunch with one of my friends, and Maison is the restaurant where we ate.  The bottom pic is a restaurant in Bryant Park, which looked very cozy and warm, since it was a disgusting, drizzly, dreary day when we were there.

So, that's all I got for December from last year.  At least at the moment.  I may have some more pics hidden on my computer I can order and add later, but I'm happy I was able to start my album with these fun NYC pics!!

Do you document December?  Do you just document Christmas Eve or Christmas Day??  I'd love to hear how you do your memory keeping for the holidays!!  If you want to know more about the December Daily album concept, visit Ali Edwards' site - she's amazing.

Much love ~~~


May the Joyous Season Begin! And the giveaway winner...



If it wasn't already obvious by my screaming at you like Will Ferrell in "Elf" ("SANTA!!!!  I KNOW HIM!!!"), I LOVE CHRISTMAS.   I live for it every year.  OMG.  I love it.

There is nothing quite like seeing this each Christmas season ~~


For those of you not familiar with this light extravaganza, this is from the light show in the old Wanamaker's building, which is now Macy's.  I took this on Friday when I was downtown, and this is at the end of the show, when all the lights are on at the same time.  The entire show is set to Christmas music, and narrated by one of my all-time favorite people ever, Julie Andrews.  The original recording was done by John Facenda.  The lights are covering up the pipes of the pipe organ in the building, which is the largest pipe organ in the world.  The end of the show features the organist playing Christmas music, and it's all just so magical and wonderful.  I love it all. 

And more from Wanamakers...I mean, Macy's....



Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.


Love.  it.  all.

I hope you're all getting into the holiday spirit!!!

Before I announce the winner (which was chosen at random), I must tell you - I LOVED reading all of your comments.  Loved every one.  I've actually gone back and read them again a few times.  The stitching community is so full of wonderful, giving people, and it's obvious in the comments left on the post.  I love all my readers, old and new :-)

Now, without further ado, I announce the giveaway winner from my Pay it Forward giveaway.  

The winner is ~~~~

sew~amy said...

HI Jacki, I'm stitching on my first piece of 40 count right now (Mary's Sampler). I love working with the higher count linen. I am grateful for so many things, my family, friends, my job, my health. I'm grateful that my husband has a hobby so I have time to do my hobby... stitching. I would use the fabric for the pile of patterns I have yet to stitch. :)

Please email me your address, and I'll get your package in the mail asap.

Thank you all SO MUCH for participating in my giveaway!!  

Stay tuned for Christmas shenanigans - I'm doing a December Daily album this year, so I hope to keep you updated on the planning & scrapping of the Christmas craziness!! That of course requires me to actually reign in my ADD to sit and write a post about all that insanity, but that's neither here nor there......

Much love ~~~