WIP Wednesday: Sesquicentennial Edition

Hello, Stitchy Friends! Three posts in one week! I’m on a roll. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, because it is Wednesday, I thought I would share with you the project currently under my needle.

O Canada Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler

This is Victoria Sampler’s O Canada. It is quite an old design, originally released in honour of Canada’s 125th birthday. In fact, I’m stitching from one of those early charts, with the hand-drawn symbols and the Lamplight Designs branding and all. This original chart has the number 125 in the alphabet (following the world Canada), but I will be changing it to say 150 in honour of our sesquicentennial this July.

This is a pretty special year for Canada. I know there are lots of countries much older than us, but then again Canada has actually been around as a thing since at least the 16th century. (Of course, First Nations people were here well before any Europeans.) To simplify things, we were part of British North America, and then became the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. In 1931 we more or less became independent from the UK, with the final ties to the UK parliament being removed in 1981. However, Queen Elizabeth II is still our monarch (one of her titles is indeed Queen of Canada), and on her death (she will never die, shame on you for thinking she might!) her heir will automatically become our monarch.

I have a couple of other Canadian-themed projects I hope to get to this year, and lots more Canadian trivia to share!

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SALs and Mental Health

Oh, the best of intentions. Back in December I wrote about what I was planning to stitch this year. And, now that we are just over two weeks into the new year, my plans are already changing. I started stitching Liz Almond’s Sublime Stitches, but I ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. ๐Ÿ™

Good news, though! I’ve found a new (almost) yearlong SAL to stitch! Stitchrovia’s Quotes to Live By is a 9-part SAL in support of the UK charity mind, which provides advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health issues. Each chart costs just ยฃ1.99 (well within my $25/month Stitch from Stash budget), with proceeds going to mind.

You can find out more information on the SAL Facebook page right here.

And, speaking of supporting mental health, this coming Monday (January 25th), is Bell Let’s Talk day in Canada. Bell Canada is one of our largest telephone/Internet/cable companies, but they also support many charities like Kid’s Help Phone. On Let’s Talk day, Bell donates 5ยข for every tweet, Instagram post, etc with the tag #BellLetsTalk. You can find out all about it right here.

If you need help, check online for a program like mind or Mental Health Helpline in your country.

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5 Comments | Posted in The Outside World |

Smalls SAL 2016 Wrap-Up

Hello, Stitchy Friends! Long time no talk. The year started out great, but I’ve spent the last week terribly under the weather. Unfortunately that meant that I haven’t had time to take care of the last few things required to wrap up the Smalls SAL 2016 until today.

First, I want to say thank you again, so very much, for taking part in the Smalls SAL. We had 376 different check-ins, that means at least 376 different finishes. Actually, there were many, many more than 376 finishes since a lot of you shared more than one small each month. Congratulations! That is a whole lot of stitching!

Like last year, there was an ebb and flow to participation. We started off the year strong with 56 check-ins, and then there was a slow decrease all the way through to August with a low of 20 check-ins, and we bounced back through to the end of the year.

Okay, now I know you are all waiting to hear who won the end of the year draw. The winner is:

Brenda of Time 2 Xstitch

The random number generator selected her check-in for her two beautiful finishes from April. Congratulations, Brenda!

And now on to 2017. The Smalls SAL is returning, and will take place on the final Friday of every month. The first check-in will take place on January 27th. I can’t wait to see what everyone has been working on!

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Flat Diamond House

My first love is cross stitch, as I’m sure is pretty obvious. But, I do love to knit, crochet, and sew when I have some time. I also like to try lots of other weird little crafts and, of course, I love to share cool and interesting things with all of you. I’ve shared “diamond paintings” before, but this one is a little bit different.

Square diamond painting of a snowy house

Most diamond painting come with circular gems and the printed pattern shows through between the diamonds. And, while that doesn’t look bad per say, it isn’t a look that I really like. The newest kit I picked up comes with little faceted squares. They butt up right next to each other completely covering the background.

The resulting picture looks very much like pixel art or a cross stitched picture that was converted from an image. Because I wasn’t sure how much I would like this style of diamond paintings, I picked a small picture with very poor “resolution”. Larger pictures, like larger converted cross stitch pictures, look much clearer and nicer. Nonetheless, these little square pieces make a really pretty picture that catches the light and sparkles.

Close-up of square diamond painting

The little gems are attached using a small stick with a divot in it that comes in the kit. The gems for the colour you are using are dumped into a tray with ridges. Give the tray a shake and the gems (mostly) flip over the right way. You need to place a little bit of sticky stuff on the end of the stick in order to pick up the gems, but it is really a pretty clever system. The stick lets you place the gems exactly where they need to go. The background is printed with a colour code and covered in a thin adhesive sheet. All it takes is a little bit of pressure to get the gems to stick.

I am curious about how well the adhesive will hold the gems as the years go by. It would be a shame to have them all fall off. But, in the meantime, my picture is shaping up pretty nicely.

Square diamond kits like this are available in lots of places. You can find them on Amazon, AliExpress, and elsewhere.

Have you tried a diamond painting? If so, I’d love to hear about it. I’d also love to know if you have tried any other unusual or interesting crafts. Please leave a comment below.

 

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Happy 2017!

Best wishes for a year full of stitching, finished projects, and lots of happy times. Fingers crossed that 2017 is so, so much better than 2016!

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8 Comments | Posted in Site News |

Smalls SAL – December 2016 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! You’ve done it! You’ve successfully made it to the end of 2016, and you have anywhere from one to 12 (or more!!) finished stitched pieces to show for it. See, 2016 wasn’t all bad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I absolutely love all the finishes I’ve seen from all of the participants this year. There were Christmas and Halloween ornaments, cards and other interesting finishes, flowers, hardanger, pulled work, and so much more. It was wonderful.

I stuck mainly to cross stitch, completing all six of Teresa Wentzler’s Byzantium Ornaments (also known as Christmas Ornaments or Stain Glass Ornaments). Once they were done, I chose little kits and other designs that I had hanging around in my stash. I’m pretty happy with what I got accomplished, and I can’t wait to stitch more smalls in 2017. But first, let me share this month’s finish.

Drum, from Mill Hill

This is Drum, a kit from Mill Hill’s Holiday Harmony series. I’ve only got one instrument left to go, and it is on my list to get done at some point during the Smalls SAL 2017. I stitched the drum as charted, using the included perforated paper, DMC thread, and Mill Hill beads. I know that a lot of stitchers don’t care for perforated paper, but I love it! I think it gives the stitching a Victorian feel.

What’s Next?

This is the last check-in for the year. But don’t worry, the Smalls SAL will be back in 2017! You can find all the details and sign-up information right here. The check-in dates will be on the last Friday of every month. With all the holidays and other stitch-alongs, etc. that seemed like the best day. I really hope that you will consider joining in. Remember: you don’t need to take part every month, just whenever you have a small design stitched up and ready to share.

The first check-in for 2017 will take place on Friday, January 27th.

Final 2016 Check-In

And with that it is time to share your final small of the year. Please fill in the form below, being sure to use the perma-link for your post and a picture of your completed small. If you have any problems, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on January 5th, 2017. Also, please consider sharing your finish on Twitter or Instagram with the tag #smallssal2016.

The draw for the end of the year prize will happen on or about January 7th, and I will notify the winner shortly thereafter and also post about it on my blog around the same time. Best of luck to everyone who finished a small this year!

Thank you again, very much, for stitching along with me this year. I hope you will join me again for the Smalls SAL 2017.

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2017 Stitching Plans

Hello, my Stitchy Friends!

I’ll be honest with you: generally speaking I don’t like planning my crafty projects far ahead of time beyond saying “I’ll stitch these things for smalls this year,” or “I really want to get that stocking done.” But, for this coming year, I thought I would get a little more organized. 2017 is a big year in Canada. We will be celebrating 150 years as a nation (yes, we’ve been around much longer, but think of it like we moved out of England’s basement and set out on our own 150 years ago). So, that means lots of Canadian-themed stitching. And, I still have two more Christmas stockings to go, and several other projects I eventually want to get to.

Stocking, Canadian stitching, serenity and more—-my stitching plans for 2017

So, my plan for now is to work on:

  • Joyful World SAL – I still need to finish up October, November, December
  • Enchanted Ornaments Stocking by Dimensions (for me!!)
  • O Canada! Sampler by Thea Dueck
  • Canadian Beauty by Joan Elliot
  • Sublime Stitches – Liz Almond’s new free SAL
  • Serenity by Erica Michaels (to tie in with some personal goals)

And, of course, there is the Smalls SAL. I adore the Smalls SAL, not the least because I get to see all the wonderful things everyone else stitches. It makes me feel like I can stitch, stitch, stitch, and get so much done! And to maximize its magical powers, I went through all the little kits I’ve been collecting for ages and pulled out all the ones that I really, super, mega want to have stitched up and on display. I won’t list them all here since part of the fun of the Smalls SAL is the surprise of seeing what everyone stitched, but below is a little peek at what I’ve pulled out of my stash.

Lots of little kits to work on for the Smalls SAL.

Speaking of stash, I’ve signed up for the newest incarnation of Stitch from Stash, which is running through a Facebook group that you can find right here. The rules are very similar to the old SFS run by Mel of Epic Stitching, with a few twists. You can set your own budget, but no more than US$25 (or equivalent) per month. You can earn credit for finishes, etc, etc. My goal is just to have an accountability group to help me not spend so darn much on stash I don’t need!

So, that’s it. Those are all my stitching plans for next year. (I still need to figure out knitting, sewing, and crochet plans!) I’d love to hear about your’s. Leave a comment, and feel free to link to your planning post if you’ve put one up on your blog.

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