Friday, January 31, 2014

Crazy January start #26

Day #26 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is The Sorceress.  I always like to stitch the face first.  This will be about 5" x 7" on 14 ct ivory Aida.
The Sorceress
Of course, the companion piece is The Sorcerer!  I've been stitching on this one off and on since 2011.  Today I stitched more purple and navy on the left side of his cloak.  I'm making both of these for my best friend and I want to get them framed together.
The Sorcerer update #10

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Crazy January start #25

Day #25 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Easter Egg Towel, a free design from Favecrafts.  There will be 7 Easter eggs in the 9.5" x 2.5" Aida section of this yellow hand towel.
Easter Egg Towel
Last year I also started stitching the Hamburger & French Fries design on a kitchen towel.  This chart is in the StitchWorld X-Stitch Incredible Edibles booklet.  The Aida section is 4" x 5.5".  Today I finished the top of the hamburger bun.
Incredible Edibles (Hamburger & French Fries) update #1
This is my first time stitching on towels.  I think it's fun!  Have you ever cross stitched on a towel before?

Crazy January start #24

Day #24 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Best of Friends, a cross stitch kit from China.  It is called "accurate cross stitch" where each square of the Aida is printed with the symbol from the chart.  I stitched 3 strands of light brown starting in the lower left corner.  It is so easy to follow the symbols.  I love it!  This is based on a painting by Emile Vernon.
Best of Friends
Best of Friends
After you finish stitching the entire design, you soak the fabric in water and all the printed ink will disappear.

It comes with presorted floss and a color chart with DMC numbers also.  The entire kit was only $19 with free shipping.  This will be 25" x 20" on 11 ct Aida.

Another cute design with little girls from my WIPocalypse list is Ring Around the Rosie, a Hummel picture.  I started this last January and never touched it again after the first day.  Today I stitched the dark gray in the little girl's dress.  This will be 14" x 14" on 14 ct Aida.
Ring Around the Rosie update #1
I'm stitching both of these pictures for my mom.  She has a huge doll collection and these designs would fit right in at her house!  See a few photos HERE.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Smalls SAL and TUSAL - January

It's the last Wednesday of the month and time for the Smalls SAL!  This is my first finish of 2014, Life's a Stitch by Lizzie*Kate.  This is a traveling pattern and now I'll send the chart to Virpi in Finland.
Life's a Stitch - FINISHED!
"Life's a Stitch"
14 ct Desert Rose Rustico Aida
Started 1/3/2014, Finished 1/29/2014

It's also time for the Totally Useless Stitch-Along (TUSAL).  Here is a pic of my ORT jar this month.  I'll keep adding all those little bits of floss to it all year long!  Be sure to check in on Daffycat's blog with a link to your TUSAL blog post, too!
TUSAL 2014 #2
Here is a picture of all 3 of my cats, Billy, Blueberrie, and Bubbles (top to bottom). Blueberrie has been wearing a cone for two weeks because he was scratching his ear so much, he broke a blood vessel and got a hematoma and his ear swelled up. The vet had to do surgery on his ear.  We still don't know why he was so itchy in the first place.  No fleas, no ear mites, no infection.  She guessed it must be allergies, but we don't know what he's allergic to!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Crazy January start #23

Day #23 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Boo-gie Fever by Sue Hillis Designs.  I finished one skeleton.  I'm using glow-in-the-dark floss by DMC, which is so much nicer and softer and easier to stitch with than the glow-in-the-dark from Kreinik.  I highly recommend it!  I'm stitching on black 14 ct Aida and it will be about 7" x 9".
Boo-gie Fever
Boo-gie Fever
Since I'm stitching skeletons, I pulled out another skeleton from my WIPocalypse list, Skel on Bike. I bought this chart from Witch Stitch 'n' Bits but the designer has retired and the website is closed now.  I started this in 2012 and never touched it again after the first day.  Today I stitched more of the bike frame.  This will be 12.25" x 13" on 22 ct evenweave that I dyed black (but not very dark).
Skel on Bike update #1

Monday, January 27, 2014

Crazy January start #22

Day #22 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Believe by Mary Engelbreit.  This chart is in the book, Mary Engelbreit Christmas Ideas, Make Good Cheer!  I'm stitching on 28 ct black Cashel linen and it will be about 11" x 16".  I started in the middle on Santa's coat, which has 4 different shades of red.  Most of the colors in the design are tweeded, or blended, 2 strands of one color and 1 strand of another color.  I really enjoyed stitching on this linen!
I also stitched on another Christmas design from my WIPocalypse list, Candy Cane Christmas by Ursula Michael.  I started this for the Crazy January Challenge last year but never stitched on it again after the first day.  Today I stitched on the letter "M" in Merry.  I'm using very sparkly Charles Craft Stardust silver-dusted 14 ct Aida and it will be 11" x 8".
Candy Cane Christmas update #1
It's always time for Christmas stitching!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stitch From Stash January

Stitch From Stash Group 2014
Mel from Epic Stitching started a Stitch From Stash group to encourage us to stay on a budget of less than $25 per month for cross stitching.  Click the link to see the list of blogs that are participating.  This challenge has already saved me money, since I thought twice about buying some new kits "for the future" that I didn't really need. Here is my check-in for January:

Amount Spent:  $0.00, ZERO! ZILCH! NADA!

New Starts from Stash: Wicked Witch, Count Your Blessings, Life's a Stitch, Happy Easter, Hungarian Peacock Sampler, Snow Bear and Sleigh, Collection, Nesting Season, Wolf, The Wizard of Oz, Alice from Resident Evil, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Boos Brothers, Spring Sampler, Cats in Hats - Samantha, Jacks are Wild, October Witch Snowlady, Trick or Treat Greeting, Disney Princesses Pixel People, Woodland Splendor, Penguins at Play.

WIPs or UFOs worked on: Universal Unity, I'll Get You My Pretty, Basket of Fruit, Very Scary, Easter Hang-Up, Merci, Out for a Ride, The IT Crowd, Bird Nest (No 2), Bear, Star Wars, Pac-Man, Eeyore and Butterfly, Boo! Club (Fright), La Pensée Positive, Gatitos, Triple Jack-O-Lanterns, Shiver Me Timbers, Holiday Cheer, Disney Princess Birth Announcement, Autumn Heart, Gallinas, Candy Cane Christmas.

I'm still a few days behind in my Crazy January starts, or my list would have been longer!  No finishes this month yet.  I'll include the end of January info in my February post next month.

I loved Tricia's idea (The Stamper's Stitches) of showing what she didn't buy this month.  Here is what I was tempted to get "just because" but I resisted and didn't spend a penny!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Crazy January start #21

Day #21 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Penguins At Play by Witchykitt Designs.  There are actually 3 different penguins charts that I am stitching all together.  This is part 3.  I am stitching on 14 ct white Aida and it will be 12" x 4".
Penguins At Play
I found a similar UFO in my WIPocalypse list to stitch on today also.  What else to match up with funny penguins than funny chickens?  I found this free chart, Gallinas (Spanish for chickens) on a Spanish website,  I started this one in the Crazy January Challenge 2012.  Today I started stitching the white on the chicken and her head.  There is a lot of white in this design so I chose to use 14 ct ivory Aida and this will be 14" x 8.5".
Gallinas update #2
Now it's time to get back to stitching!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog

Good morning/afternoon/evening to all the cross stitchers and bloggers out there in blogland!  Welcome to the Grow Your Blog party hosted by Vicki of 2 Bags Full blog.

My name is Debbie and I live in Sunny Southern California, so I use the nickname SoCal Debbie.  I used to be a one-at-a-time stitcher but after joining the Crazy January Challenge in 2011, I went crazy for cross stitch!  We started 15 new projects in the first 15 days of January.  Then in 2012, 2013, and now 2014, I was in the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge and started something new every day in January!  I haven't finished them all yet, but I certainly intend to some day.  All of my current WIPs are listed on my WIPocalypse page.

This is my very first cross stitch project that I made in the 1970s when I was 11 years old.
Truth & Honor
I didn't stitch anything after that until high school, when I started this needlepoint project, Stained Glass Nativity, in 1980.
Stained Glass Nativity
I started Universal Unity, a Dimensions Gold Collection kit, in 1997, but sadly, it sat unloved in a box for 15 years until I picked it up again in 2012.
Universal Unity
These are my two oldest WIPs and I really hope to finish them this year!  The rest of my WIPs were started in 2011 or later and now I stitch every day.  No more waiting 10+ years in between!

Here are some of my favorite finished pieces:

My first big finish in 2011 was A Paris Kiss, a Vervaco kit from Belgium.  This was my first time stitching on 28 ct linen.
A Paris Kiss
In 2012, I finished my first Ursula Michael design, Trick or Treat.  There are many more of her designs in my WIP list now.
Trick or Treat
In 2013, I finished Cut Thru' Igloo by Bothy Threads.  Check out the Cut Thru' SAL page on my blog and also our Facebook group to see lots and lots of other Cut Thru' designs.  I have 2 more started and 3 more in my stash for the future.
Cut Thru' Igloo
Thank you so much for visiting my blog today!  If you'd like to watch my progress and cheer me on, please become a follower!  I'd love to help out another stitcher to add some much-needed stash to her supply by offering a $20 gift certificate to  Please leave a comment if you'd like to be entered in the drawing.  Anyone can win anywhere in the world!  I will choose a winner on February 15.

I can't wait to visit all the other blogs in the Grow Your Blog party!  Happy Stitching, everyone!

Crazy January start #20

Day #20 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Woodland Splendor by The Sweetheart Tree.  A very nice stitcher on Facebook gave me this chart and I'm going to pass it on to another as soon as I finish.  I used Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Variegated Pumpkin Medium floss for the border.  This is on 14 ct Ecru Aida and will be about 3" x 3".  The acorns will be done in satin stitches.
Woodland Splendor
I also started another fall-themed heart last year, Autumn Heart, a freebie from a French blog, Anne les Petites Croix.  Today I started the row of green leaves across the top.
Autumn Heart update #1
I hope to find the perfect fall fabric and make these into flatfolds or ornaments following Vonna's tutorials!

Crazy January start #19

Day #19 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Disney Princesses by Wee Little Stitches.  Have you seen all 11 of these movies?  I haven't seen the last 4.  Jasmine from "Aladdin" is finished.  I'm stitching on pink cotton candy opalescent 14 ct Aida and it will be about 11" x 3".
Disney Princesses
Here is another Disney Princess design that I started in 2012.  Today I stitched more of Cinderella's skin and gloves.
Disney Princess Birth Announcement update #6
Happy Stitching, everyone!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crazy January start #18

Day #18 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Trick or Treat Greeting by Ursula Michael.  I bought this PDF download on which I learned about from another cross stitcher, Vilemoo in Poland.  She was able to buy several charts by Ursula Michael on this website and not have to worry about postage and wait for shipping.  This chart uses glow-in-the-dark Kreinik floss.  I'm stitching on 14 ct Ecru Aida and it will be 11" x 6".
Trick or Treat Greeting
The companion piece from my WIPocalypse list is Holiday Cheer, also by Ursula Michael.  I started this in January 2012 for the Crazy January Challenge but never touched it again.  Today I stitched the snowflake and started filling in the letter P. This chart was in the January 2012 issue of Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine.
Holiday Cheer update #1
I buy all my matching Q-snap covers from Christine's Q-Snap Huggies!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Crazy January start #17

Day #17 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is the October Witch Snowlady from The Vermillion Stitchery 2008 Snowmen series.  All these designs are so cute! Which one is your favorite?  I'm stitching over 2 on 28 ct Ivory Jobelan.  There are tons of quarter-stitches in this design, so the 28 ct makes it so much easier!  It will be 3-3/4" x 4-1/2".
October Witch Snowlady
Another snowman from my WIPocalypse list is Shiver Me Timbers by Sue Hillis Designs.  I started this last January and never touched it again.  Today I started stitching the snowman and his buttons, just like the snowlady above!  This is on 18 ct light blue Aida and will be 7" x 5-1/2".
Shiver Me Timbers update #1

Monday, January 20, 2014

Crazy January start #16 and traveling pattern winner!

Day #16 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Jacks are Wild from Waxing Moon Designs.  I won this chart from Ingrid of Mii Stitch blog.  I started to stitch it on off-white Aida, but ripped it out and started over again on 28 ct tan linen over 2.  The yellow swirls and white zigzags will show up so much better!  The finished size will be 12" x 5".  Since it is long and skinny, I have the linen turned sideways and it looks like the lines are vertical instead of horizontal.  Does it look OK to you?  This is the same linen I used for Jolly Jack and Quaker Moon, which used 9" x 9" pieces and this piece is 9" x 18".
Jacks are Wild
The perfect matching piece from my WIPocalypse list is Triple Jack-o-Lanterns, which I haven't touched since last May.  Today I stitched more stripes on the center pumpkin.
Triple Jack-o-Lanterns update #2
The winner of the traveling pattern, Life's a Stitch, is Virpi!  I have left a comment on her blog to send me her address since she has noreply-comment so I can't send her an email.  I hope she sees it and contacts me.  She lives in Finland.  Wow!  This traveling pattern sure gets around!  It has been stitched in Canada, South Africa, France, California, and now to Finland as soon as I finish stitching it myself.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

VMSS Valentine giveaway!

Nancy from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is at it again!  She is having a Valentine's Day giveaway of red floss, trims, lace, buttons, charms, an Alphabet Ornament chart with your initial, and the Treasured Friend red heart pattern! Enter HERE and tell Nancy that I sent you!  Drawing on Valentine's Day, February 14. Good luck!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Crazy January start #15

Day #15 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Samantha from the Cats in Hats series by Kitty and Me Designs.  I'm making this one for my mom.  She has a white cat with two different colored eyes so I will try to make the changes in this chart to show the different eye colors.  I'm stitching on 18 ct light blue Aida and it will be about 3" x 4".
Cats in Hats - Samantha
This is a more accurate picture of the blue fabric.
Cats in Hats - Samantha

I found another cute kitty chart in my WIPocalypse list that I started for the Crazy January Challenge in 2012.  This is Gatitos (Spanish for kittens), a free chart from a Spanish website,  I stitched more pink in the bow but I'm missing the darkest pink color for the border.  I think I'll have to dip into my Stitch from Stash budget for this one! This will be 4" x 12" on 16 ct white Aida.
Gatitos update #2
The month is half over!  Only 16 more new starts to go!

Friday, January 17, 2014

January WIPocalypse introduction

Happy 2014, everyone!  This is my first WIPocalypse posting for the new year.  This month's topic is to introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year.  You can find links to everyone's January WIPocalypse check-in on Measi's Musings blog.

Hi!  I'm Debbie and I live in Southern California, so I use the nickname SoCal Debbie. I did some stitching in the 1990s but just got back to it three years ago, when I started this blog.  I stitched a wedding design for my best friend and she picked it up from my house.  The next day, I was going to meet her for lunch and I was in a car accident (hit by a drunk driver) in December 2010.  Thank goodness I wasn't delivering it to her that day because the car totally burned up, along with a different cross stitch project in the back seat that I was making for my grandma.  I ended up printing out a photo of the almost finished piece and framed that for her instead of starting over again!  Then I learned about the Crazy January Challenge 2011, and started 15 new projects in the first 15 days of January.  I was off work for six months recovering after the car accident and had plenty of time to stitch every day and be inspired by all the amazing blogs out there!  For the next three years, I was in the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge, where I started something new every day in January.

I work from home as a medical transcriptionist, so I don't have to commute or worry about the weather.  I have two dogs and three cats, which you might see pictures of in my blog sometime.   I'm in the SoCal Cross Stitchers Yahoo Group, so I get to meet other members at stitching get-togethers about once a month.

I have listed all of my WIPs (works-in-progress) on my WIPocalypse page, which is now up to 82.  Whenever I finish something, I will take it off that page and add it to the Finishes 2014 page.  After I start all my new ones in January, I will concentrate on 10 WIPs that I chose for the Turtle Trot SAL and post updates on them once a month. They are mostly BAPs so I only expect to finish a couple of them this year.  I'm also in several SALs (stitch-a-longs) where I stitch a certain project on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  I'll also try to finish a small design each month for the 2014 Smalls SAL.  I can also stitch anything else from my WIP list whenever I feel like it.

Now I'm going to visit the January WIPocalypse check-in to learn all about the rest of you!

Crazy January start #14

Day #14 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Spring Sampler from Dinky-Dyes Designs.  This chart pack came with all the Dinky-Dyes variegated floss and I'm using 28 ct white linen.  The finished size will be 4" x 5".  This floss is so pretty!
Spring Sampler
The companion piece from my WIPocalypse list is La Pensée Positive (Positive Thinking) from Jardin Privé.  This was a free SAL that started in September with one part per month but I only finished the first part.  Today I started the lettering in part 2. I'm stitching on 18 ct baby pink Aida with Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe floss and Cosmo Seasons variegated floss for the letters.
La Pensée Positive update #2
There is a new SAL (stitch-a-long) group on Facebook called Positive Thoughts SAL for stitchers just starting this design.  You can download all 5 parts of this free pattern on Les Marottes de Nathalie blog.  It comes in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German versions!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Crazy January start #13

Day #13 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Boos Brothers from the Halloweenies chart by Sue Hillis Designs.  I've only stitched their hats and sunglasses.  Do you think I should use glow-in-the-dark floss for their bodies?  This is stitched on 14 ct black Aida and will be 3.5" x 5.5".
Halloweenies (Boos Brothers)
Looking through my WIPocalypse list, I found Boo! Club hasn't been stitched on since last July.  Today I started "Fright" which is part 8 of this 12-part design.  I stitched part of the border and the yellow moon.
Boo! Club (Fright)
We had two earthquakes the last two nights, at 1:35 a.m. and then 1:50 a.m. the next night.  The epicenter was less than a mile from my home so they felt a lot bigger than they actually were, 4.4 and 3.2 magnitude, actually bouncing the bed off the floor!  It's also been very windy and hot in the 80s.  A wildfire started this morning, grew from 50 acres to over 1700 acres in a few hours and is burning down houses.  This is about 25 miles away.  How is the weather where you live?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Crazy January start #12

Day #12 of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a Disney kit.  I only did a block of 100 yellow stitches in her dress.  This will be a pretty big design, about 12" x 10" on 18 ct white Aida.  When I get back to this one, I'll go downwards and start stitching on Bashful.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
From my WIPocalypse list, I picked out another Disney kit that I started back in 2012 and never touched again, Eeyore and Butterfly.  I stitched more purple on Eeyore, but mostly half stitches.  I still need to go back over and finish the X's.  My mom asked me to stitch this for her neighbor who has an Eeyore collection.
Eeyore and Butterfly update #1
Both of these designs will be a nice change from something more complicated, since there are such huge blocks of a single color.