Smalls SAL – December Check-In

Happy New Year’s Eve and final check-in day! I’m sorry that I’m posting this so late in the day, but, as I mentioned yesterday, things have been extra out of sorts around here. Thankfully, my mom has been given the thumbs up by the doctor and is happily on her way home. The little man is also feeling much better, so thank you for the good wishes for him as well.

Now, on to the small!

Teresa Wentzler's Jeanne Love's Angel

Teresa Wentzler’s Jeanne Love’s Angel

This month I stitched Teresa Wentzler’s Jeanne Love’s Angel, a freebie that is available from her website. I stitched it as per the chart, except for leaving the backstitching off the border. I thought it matched the border of her robe a little better.

What did you stitch this month? Please leave your link in the form below, and leave a comment too if you’d like. All links will be entered into the year end draw, which will take place on January 8th. (I will be closing the link list around 10pm Eastern on January 7th.)

Did you enjoy stitching along with me this year? I sure enjoyed the company, and I’d love to have you join in again in 2015. Check out this page for all the info on next year’s Smalls SAL.


Planning for the New Year

The past week has turned out a little different than I expected. The little man came down with a mild stomach bug on the 23rd which took a few days to clear. (He was mostly unaffected, but we did need to rush to the washroom a couple of times a day.) Also, on Christmas Day my mom ended up in the hospital with a huge kidney stone. It was removed on Saturday morning, but she ended up in emergency again last night with severe pain while she passed a smaller stone. Christmas dinner happened on Boxing Day, minus my mom, and everyone is sleeping at odd hours. So, as you can see, things have been topsy-turvy and a bit off kilter. Mostly we are all ready for life to get back to normal.

Normally, I like to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve making plans for the next year. I’m not really big on resolutions, per say, but I do like to make plans. I had hoped to drag out some cross stitch kits, play in my yarn, and make some notes. But, as they say, life is what happens while you are making other plans.

LWSL Book IG Graphic 2I learned something recently that really helped me cope: The good life isn’t what we think it is. In my case, the good life isn’t a perfect Christmas where I have gotten around to cross stitching everyone’s stockings, where dinner is perfect, and the gifts look fabulous. This year, the good life was being able to make my parents comfortable while they spent several extra days at my home; providing them with a quiet room, good food, and love.

Taking this lesson, and others I have learned from Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup, I’m reevaluating my plans for 2015. I intend to keep up with the Smalls SAL and Stitch from Stash, because both of those mesh with my (simplified) idea of the good life, which include (among other things) stitching, sharing with friends, and reducing my spending on unnecessary items. I also want to knit projects that I love because they bring me pleasure, not because I feel like I should take part in a KAL. Ditto for cross stitch; I want to stitch those stockings I’ve had in my stash for years because I love them, instead of signing up for another mystery SAL because it is what everyone else is doing.

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life from Living Well Spending Less on Vimeo.

If you’d like to learn some secrets of a good life, check out Ruth’s book. You can find a sample of it here. She is also currently offering a great free goal setting workbook and 12 secrets challenge for free. Both are really great.

So, how did your Christmas go? Like you were planning, or did a monkey wrench get thrown in the works? Have you started planning for 2015? Will you be making any big changes?

Smalls SAL: Don’t forget, the final check-in takes place tomorrow. Amazingly, I actually managed to find time to finish this month’s piece. I can’t wait to share it tomorrow.

Stitch From Stash – December Check-In

It is time for the final Stitch from Stash check-in. I’m very glad I participated in this non-stitching SAL because it really helped me to be more intentional about my spending. I did my best to stay within the monthly $25 budget,  and only rarely took advantage of the bonuses.

Stitch from Stash 2014 buttonMy total spent for the year is ~$123, with an additional ~$60 spent that was covered on various bonuses and my exempt month. (I spent $0 this month, for the record.) Now, to be honest, on one hand I’m really happy that I kept my spending that low. Believe me, I spent much more in, well, just about every year previous. But, on the other hand, I really wanted my spending for the year to be lower. But, I was weak when it came to some new Just Nan kits, magazines, etc. *sigh* I am proud of the fact, though, that almost everything I stitched this year was from stash. And, I can truly say:

ISurvivedSFS2014Which brings me to 2015. I will definitely be taking part in Stitch from Stash next year. The rules have changed a bit, with credit being earned with every finish. Because I am really, really trying to reduce my stash, I will likely not take advantage of these credits.

Stitch from Stash 2015ASo, here’s to another year of deliberate, thoughtful purchases and finishing projects that I have started, love, and want to have on my walls.

Smalls for 2015

Over the past few years I’ve chosen a theme for my smalls and ornaments. I’ve stitched one ornament from each JCS ornament issue, Dragon Dreams ornaments, and TW smalls. For 2015 I was planning on making this my theme:


Teresa Wentzler's 12 Days of Christmas (WIP)

Teresa Wentzler’s 12 Days of Christmas (WIP)

Yes, I thought I could actually finish up Teresa Wentzler’s 12 Days of Christmas. And, hey, since two were already finished, I’d have two months to fill with something else. Then I came to my senses. Next year I really want to stitch at least one stocking and a birth sampler. I’d also love to design a Minecraft piece for my little man. The TW ornaments may be small, but they aren’t that small. So, plan B:

2015 Smalls

2015 Smalls

I’ll be working my way through my backlog of Mill Hill ornaments and other little kits. I absolutely adore Mill Hill ornaments, and I love how they look on my Christmas tree. Since I’m a bit short on the 12 I need for the year, I’ll also be stitching some other small kits I’ve collected over the years.

Would you like to join in on the stitching fun? You can learn all about the 2015 Smalls SAL here. If you will be taking part, let me know what you think you will be stitching. (Jo, I know you are going with snakes, right? 😉 )