Earlier this summer I purchased a book of Holiday knitting patterns from the Norwegian Folk Museum that I thought could be easily translated into Cross stitch ornaments. Upon closer examination of the book today I noticed that it is actually an Advent Calendar! Well I have missed the first 8 days but I will really try to keep up with sharing these every day.
Here is today's pattern which says in Norwegian "In December, Anna's Day is marked with a woman's head on prime display. Here is the Virgin Mary with the crown of an old pattern."
Hello blog friends! How are you all? I am doing very well! I'm sorry I've let this blog slip a bit but I have a good excuse and I have still been stitching!
Yesterday we FINALLY received our first snow in Oslo!! I love snow even though it is difficult to push my stroller and little girl around in it. Here is a picture I took today of the 6 + inches that we received yesterday and this morning!
Also, last Saturday I visited the wonderful Christmas Market at the Norwegian Folk Museum with a very good crafty friend and took some cute pictures of all of the booths and wares and got some very nice gifts, but I will share more about that later. For now I'll just show a little teaser that will reveal my big announcement and why I have been too tired to blog lately...
I was able to find a beautiful relatively inexpensive (for Norway) Bunad (Norway's National Costume) for my daughter to wear to celebrate on the Norwegian Holiday of May 17th even though we won't be in Norway anymore by then :( AND I was able to find one for my little BABY BOY who is due in March!!! I am so excited to have another little one join our family even though sometimes the thought of taking care of two children makes me feel overwhelmed at times.
Also I have been busy as we are getting ready to pack up and leave Norway after 3 wonderful years here in about a month. So with being tired carrying my second baby and the stress of moving I haven't been that motivated to blog but I have been stitching little by little!
Here is my progress on "Birds" by Angie Designer. I was doing this in a SAL but I knew I wasn't going to finish it in time so I finally purchased it in September.
I am so close to finishing it I can almost taste it! Actually I have the second set of leaves now completed and I'm halfway done with the second rose in this section. I am hoping to have this finished by the end of the year so that I can take it home with us to Michigan to my favorite framer.
I have also completed I think my 7th Finish for the year! This is a freebie from Kincavel Krosses, and I stitched it for a local gift exchange I am taking part of with the expat community here. I absolutely LOVE these designs and am so grateful to the designer for creating them! My plans are to make one for each of the countries we get to live in. I already stitched the DRC one and now I need to make a Norway one for myself and then I have to do some figuring out for how to make one for our next exotic home but that is a secret for now!
Here are my finished stitched pieces. I was a bit nervous about finishing them into the ornament since I have never actually done anything but frame my finished pieces...but below is my first attempt at ornament finishing.
P.S. It is hanging from the handle of my little girl's rocking horse :) I am not 100% satisfied with how it turned out. Adding the stuffing and the depth made the design turn out much smaller than I had expected, and my finishing technique is far from perfect but I think it is passable for a handmade gift for the gift exchange this week. Plus it was the first time I had ever tried my hand at finishing!
Thank you for reading this! I have been a bad blogger but I have been reading the blogs just not commenting very much when I'm tired (which seems to be most of the time). Thank you all for sticking with me on my journey of crafting and living in foreign lands! Cheers to you!
After finishing my two WOCS pieces I wanted to work on another small project that I can hopefully finish in a timely manner. So I started the Mill Hill Post Office that is on my list of goals to complete this year as a Retirement/Birthday present for my Dad. I think I started this one on September 18th and below is some of my progress on it so far...
I am almost getting to the point where I can start stitching some of the beads but for now I think I might go back to Birds SAL. Thanks for following my progress and Happy Stitching to you!
The first is R is for Redwork it is a freebie from http://www.brookesbooks.com and there is a letter for each letter in the alphabet that will be turned into a beautiful quilt for a deserving person. Here is my finished piece...
It is actually very small piece so I thought it would go a lot quicker than it did. Filling in the cream color in the center seemed to drag on and take forever! But once I was done the backstitching went very fast. This may be the first time in history that I was looking forward to backstitching haha.
The second piece is for a Veggie themed quilt and I chose my favorite veggie...avocado! I found the pattern at http://www.happy-stitch.net/2012/avocado-pillow-chart/. I thought that this one would take longer but I think I might have stitched it in a shorter period of time than the first piece. I stitched it on 28 count evenweave two over two. Here is my first progress picture...
I meant to take a picture after every color but that didn't quite happen...Here is my next image about halfway done.
And here she is all finished!
This design stitched up rather quickly but I had a few small issues. First the chart had symbols that weren't on the color legend so I had to look at the image and kind of guess on some of the colors where they went. The colors of green and yellow are really not my favorite so I am actually looking forward to stitching the pinks and purples on Birds as soon as I can now. Overall I think it turned out pretty good and I was able to get both of these sent away in the mail today so they can reach their destination in time!
Thank you all for reading. I have been a very bad commenter lately. I have been using the Bloglovin app on my phone so I have been viewing all of your posts and work but it makes it too easy for me to be lazy and not comment on your posts. I'm sorry I will try to be more active with the comments again soon.
Well I know I have missed my weekly Friday posts but I have been trying like mad to finish up Part 5 of Birds by the due date of August 10th.
Here is where I was last time...
And yesterday on August 12th only two days after the next deadline I finally finished Part 5!!
Now there are only two parts left and the next one is very large and time consuming. It is the large rose and leaf pattern in the bottom left corner above flipped and located in the upper right corner. But I am taking a small break since I signed up for two small quilt squares for the World of Charity Stitching group I am part of and they need to be done by the end of August so I can send them back to the US in time. Hopefully they will provide a nice break from working on this big piece also. I am hoping to have some progress to show you on Friday, but until then...Happy Stitching!
I am a bit late for my usual Friday update...but here is my progress. I started Part 5 this week and last time I had finally completed all of the birds.
And yesterday I finally got in a small stitching session and was able to finish the first "bracelet" like I had hoped for.
Stitching this part has been slow going since lately when my daughter is taking her nap I decide to try to get a little sleep in too instead of stitching! I am not sure how far I will get this week but the next part comes out August 10th so the clock is ticking...Anyways Happy Stitching Everyone!
Well I got to stitch a bit more than I thought I would this week and I not only finished one of the birds like the goal I set but I finished all of them!!
Here is where I started out last week...
And here is where I am now!
I finally decided to turn the design the right way to take photos since I have so much more of the design completed now. I am hoping that by next week's progress update I will have at least one of the "bracelet" pieces finished but we shall see :)
I also received some stitchy mail this week. I ordered a ton of floss to get started on my first ever Heaven and Earth Design Mom and Baby Turtle and a few other designs for World of Charity Stitching. Here is all of the beautiful floss...
And I also purchased some fabric from Hand Dyed Fabrics from Stephanie so that I can start one the Norway cross stitch on my yearly goals list. Here is my new fabric!
It is so beautiful! I picked this Enchanted color because it has both blue and green colors which I thought would look great with the blue ocean and green land part of the design here. I was also pleasantly surprised when I found out that Stephanie is a Michigan based business so I am supporting someone from my home state.
I can't wait to finish up Birds so that I can get started on some other projects. Well I am off to start Part 5.
So I think this is the 3rd week I have been stuck on Part 4 but I'm not quite sure. I'll admit it I was a little burned out on this design after my big placement error on starting the Birds part of this design. It seemed like ripping out all of the stitches took forever! It got a bit better when I found my seamripper tool from my sewing machine to help with the job though :)
Anyways here is where I was last week...
I hadn't quite finished ripping out all of the stitches.
And here is where I am now!
I really don't know how I did it but I think I had set a goal for myself to complete 2 of the 5 birds and I did it!!! I was dreading starting on this WIP again but once I got started my needle seemed to fly and the birds materialized so quickly. I am hoping that by next week I can maybe have one bird finished. I am not sure though because my wonderful Mother In Law will be staying with us for a visit and I don't know how much stitching I will be able to accomplish. I am very excited about her visit and am eagerly getting ready for her arrival :)
Thank you all for following my progress. Hopefully at some point I will actually catch up with everyone else on this design. But until then Happy Weekend and Happy Stitching!
Hello out there! With all of my other stitching and my little girl skipping naps a few days I didn't get very much done on my Year of the Acronym SAL.
Here is where I was last month...
And I sort of went in reverse again. I had got maybe 1/3rd of the border done in light yellow when I realized I wasn't going to have enough. And I also realized that I liked the Chi and Omega sections better in light yellow than red. So I took out the red in those sections and have started working the border in gold that I purchased locally in Oslo. It is a bit thinner wool but if I do the same stitch 2 or 3 times it matches my other needlepoint stitches.
Anyways here is where I am currently...
Once again I am hoping to have this finished by next month! It is such a quick and easy stitch compared to my other current projects I should just bite the bullet and devote some more time to it. Well I hope that everyone else got more done than me this month :)
Happy Friday Everyone! Well this week I was working on my Birds SAL project and I got about 2.5 of the birds done by Tuesday. BUT...I kept looking at the birds thinking that they looked a bit off. They seemed to be not centered like I thought they would be and a bit to the right. I remember thinking that after I finished the first one but as this design is only given in parts and I cant see how exactly it will fit with the rest of the pieces I figured it would work out. Anyways after I was about half way I had a nagging feeling that things were off so I thought I would check it on the one little piece the designer gives of each part where you can see how other parts interact...and lo and behold my count was off! I was so frustrated but still decided to rip out and start over since this is the center of the design and I don't know if I will be able to fudge the other parts around it.
So unfortunately I've gone backwards. Here is where I was last week...
And here is today as I am still trying to remove all of the birds to start over...
Does anyone have any advice for getting all of the thread fibers out of an area where you have undone your stitching? That is a really annoying part of undoing my work. Oh well hopefully by next week I will have taken out all of the old wrong stitching and will have at least 2 birds done as a goal.
But onto some GOOD NEWS! As I took a break from Birds I was able to finish up my Gingerbread Ornament that I started I think back in March or April? This is my 4th Finish of the year!!
Here she is!
This design is called "Freshly Baked" and it is designed by Sue Hollis Designs. I found it in the 2012 Christmas Ornament edition of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. I substituted the suggested fabric for some beautiful hand-dyed 16 count Melon fabric from Stitchn Momma and used as close threads as I could manage from my stash. I made a few small changes like outlining the rosy cheeks and using 2 threads not one on the writing but I really love this design and may make more for Christmas gifts this year! I am also excited that this fulfills one of my stitching goals this year towards stitching ornaments.
Last night I also finally signed up for my two World of Charity Stitching quilt squares towards my yearly goals. I'll share more about those as I get started though.
Ok, ok I apologize I really have been promising some African pics for awhile but here goes! This is one of the many markets in Kinshasa. It is actually called “Le Marché des Valeurs” or The Value Market but it is more commonly known as “Le Marché des Voleurs” or The Thieves Market.
This was its original location before this area was paved over to make a public square and fountain area for the 2010 50th Anniversary of Independence. (I'll see if I can find some pics eventually of the Panther made of gold leaf that immediately got the gold washed away by the water, but that's another story...)
This market is located at the end of the main road downtown Le Trente Juin or Boulevard of 30th June, and it is definitely not for the faint hearted whatsoever! If you hate to haggle like I do its not very fun, but after a few trips there including one where I accidentally only brought $10 I found it a bit empowering to barter for goods.
You can sort of see in this first photo but there is about two rows of shacks lined with vendor tables sort of making two gauntlets. The first time I went on an extremely hot and humid day (most days were ;)) with my good friend T and her driver Papa Kilutu. When we told him where we wanted to go he promptly told me in French "Madame guard your purse there." But he came with us and acted as sort of our guide/bodyguard. Bodyguard is a bit ironic because Papa Kilutu, (which Kilutu means Older Brother in a local language because he was the older brother of the person who put him in contact with my friend for his driving job) was a somewhat tiny man...standing about maybe 5'3" and possibly 100 lbs. One day I went on a quest to buy charcoal with him and my housekeeper in their neighborhood and we ended up with a GIANT bag that was about 5' tall and a foot and a half in diameter. They joked in French that the charcoal was bigger than Papa Kilutu and I laughed at the joke and then they switched to the local Lingala language after that. But I could communicate with him in French and he could speak quite a few local languages so I always felt safe with him.
I call the rows the gauntlet because once we as "Mundele" or White Expats showed up we were greeted with shouting in chorus of "Madame", "Madame", and "Mommy". The Mommy was a bit hard to take from a complete stranger and that I was childless at this point too. Once you picked up for instance a carved wooden monkey and then passed on it the next tables down the line would all hold up their matching wares to offer you. The price they would first quote would be quite absorbent usually $50 for something that should cost $5 tops so haggling was quite necessary.
If you look carefully in the middle left hand edge of this image you can see cages. In this market you could buy very sickly looking African Grey Parrots and sometimes even Monkeys! If you are an animal lover this visit really wasn't recommended. The animals looked so sad and sick :(
Here you can see a local bus making a pick up stop and some of the paintings for sale outside of the booth areas.
Here is a small crowd of people and goods waiting to use the local taxi system just opposite of the Market. On the day I took these photos I saw two women get into a knock down drag out fight where clothes were even ripped!
Lastly it looks like they were doing a bit of repair work on the road or sewer?
Well I have so many more photos and crazy stories to share from my time in the Congo...but I hope you enjoy this first installment.
Today June 30th is the 53rd Anniversary of the day the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) received its Independence from the Belgians!
To celebrate I challenged myself to design and complete this Patriotic Heart cross stitch based on Kincavel Krosses pattern. And I am happy to report that I finished this project on time! This is also my third finish for this year.
Here she is...
I am so happy with how it turned out! I plan on making some more of these to send to Congo friends and trying out other flag hearts especially the Norwegian flag design.
It felt so odd stitching this on 14 count AIDA after working on 25 count evenweave for so long on Birds SAL. This took a bit longer than I had hoped to complete I started it on last Sunday and worked on it little by little until it was completed on Friday! I hope to make it into an ornament but I will probably make more on a smaller fabric count.
It worked out that I had a scrap of fabric from my original start of the Monkey Birth Sampler that I was able to use and I can stitch at least one more on it.
Anyways if you are interested in learning more about the DRC Independence Day click on this link. I was lucky enough to be living there when they had their 50th Anniversary. In our neighborhood hundreds of flags lined the street along a parade path and we got to observe a marching band playing from the 6th floor of the building I lived in. Luckily it was not a day of rioting as it could have been and the day was celebrated peacefully in 2010. I will always remember this day of Independence mostly because the main boulevard in downtown Kinshasa is named Trente Juin (June 30th in French). There is actually a celebration here in Norway taking place at the Multicultural Museum, but this is also the day of the huge American Independence Day Party in Frogner Park.
Hello there! Thank you to all of you who shared in my joy last time when I finally finished Part 3 of this beautiful design! The lovely designer sent me Part 4 on Sunday but to be honest I really haven't worked on it very much. Another small project has been taking up most of my stitching time...but I'll show you that on June 30th.
Anyways here is where I was on last Sunday...
And here is where I am today...
Not as far as I was hoping but I did finish one of the five birds. So I am 1/5th done with this part! Also this was a milestone because until Part 5 was released on June 25th I was caught up with everyone else on this design :D
I am hoping to be able to complete the other 4 birds and have them finished by next week so I will be caught up again, but we shall see.
Well I waited a bit to post this week because I was hoping to finish up Part 3 and the good news is that I did Finish!! Now I just have to finish up Part 4 and I will finally be caught up with everyone else :)
Here is where I left off last week...
And some progress shots...
And finally here is Part 3 Complete!! It is really starting to look closer to being finished and I can't wait to start the next section as it contains the birds of the design that this is named after.
Thank you for all of the encouragement! At first I started on the "bracelet" section because I was a bit burned out from the previous sections flowers. But once I started this sections much smaller flower design my momentum pulled me to finish up rather quickly :)
I really can't believe I am so close to really getting caught up.
Hello and Happy Friday! I am excited to share with you that I finished the giant section of Part 2 on Tuesday this week!! I am one step closer to of my goal of getting caught up with everyone else on this SAL :)
Well here was where I left off last Friday...
And my daily progress...
Until...ta da the finish of Part 2!!!
Part 3 has two sections the first is a smaller delicate design that reminds me of two very beautiful bracelets and and the other is a much smaller corner flower piece. I was a little burned out on flowers after all of the hard work I just did so I decided to start on the "bracelets."
Here is where I am at now and I am going to enjoy the time during my daughter's nap to get in a few more stitches :) The part on the left side is about halfway done in length. Hopefully by next week I will have completed this part and started the other corner flower section.
Thank you all for sharing my journey on this piece!