Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stitching Year in Review

This year I completed twelve (mostly little toolie things) smalls in the 2014 Smalls Stitch-A-Long.  I finished quite a few ornaments. I made an epp hexagon runner, a hexagon bag, and a hexagon travel jewelry holder, plus made a lot of progress on the big quilt.

I love my little sampler stitch bag (thanks, Margaret!)

I had three things on my New Year Resolution list to finish – the Moon Dragon that I finished.


The Queen, that is nearly finished.  I got stuck on the last of the beads, for her necklace.


Twelve crazy quilt blocks, that didn’t get started.  I did complete my crazy quilt hussif and I am very pleased with it! I also finished the little bit crazy bag.

I was fortunate to be able to attend classes at the Royal School of Needlework and the Bath Summer Textile School in August.  I had a month or two in the fall, after my surgery, when I didn’t feel much like stitching, but I guess that couldn’t be helped.  All in all, I think I accomplished quite a bit with my stitching. Check out this link to see all of my finishes this year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Smalls Stitch Along and Needlequest Finish - Miniature Pillow

This month the Needlequest challenge is Miniature Work. Miniature is also small, so this is my December Smalls SAL, too.   I finished this one inch bargello pillow with twisted cord edging made from DMC floss.


There will be a 2015 Smalls Stitch A Long and it’s not too late to sign up.  In 2014 I tried to stitch different little toolie things.  The little pillow was fun, so in 2015, I want to stitch some miniature things, just in case I ever have another doll house.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Thanks for a Great Birthday Month!

I’ve had a great birthday/month this year. I really appreciate everyone who helped me celebrate and who remembered me and sent wonderful birthday wishes.  Thank you all!



Inside says: "Welcome to the age where pretty much anyplace is a good place for a nap."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kanji of the Year 2014

Each year there is a competition to chose the Kanji of the year.  On December 12th, the head monk at Kyoto’s famous Kiyomizu Temple announces the winner, which is meant to represent situations and events (both domestic and global) that took place that year. I told you about the Kanji of the year for 2013 here. 

This year the Kanji of the Year is pronounced zei, which means “tax”.


This is in reference to the April tax hike in Japan, with the possibility of another next year.  Runners up in the contest were (netsu) meaning “heat” or “fever” maybe in reference to the Ebola outbreak, and (uso) which means “lie” probably aimed at the disgraced scientists involved in the STAP cell scandal over the first half of the year.
Maybe next year, a happier sounding kanji will be chosen!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Some Small Stitched Gifts

Here are a few small stitched gifts I made this year.  I was waiting to show them until they were received.


Friday, December 26, 2014

The Conversation Ladies and a Young Santa

Last week I enjoyed a nice end of the year lunch in Sapporo with my English Conversation Ladies.

Later that day I was surprised when Santa showed up at my door for his English lesson.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dreamin' of a White Christmas?


The weather website has posted a map to show the probability of a snowy Christmas in each of the prefectures in Japan. The numbers on the map show how often snow fell on Christmas Eve from 1984 to 2013.  The center of Hokkaido, where I live, has snow 100 percent of the time, while areas in the south of Japan never have snow on Christmas.  I don’t mind not having snow for Christmas where I am this year because I’ll have plenty of snow for months to come after this vacation!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Friday, my husband was Santa san at the neighborhood kindergarten, as he has been every December that we’ve been here. This Santa has to remember to say North Pole and not North Carolina when the children ask where he is from.

After handing out presents to the little ones, he came to my university class. Everyone told Santa they had been good this year, so Santa gave them each some Christmas cake (really a little Choco-pie).
before Santa's arrival


Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Morning Star Count - Travel Jewelry Holder

I bought this fabric in August when I was in England with the idea to make a travel jewelry holder with hexagons as a gift, but I hadn’t figured out the details for it at that time. When I got home, I cut the fabric and basted the hexagons, then started stitching them together.  It’s all hand stitched. I was making it up as I went along and wanted the inside and outside to match, so I couldn’t use the machine and get it right. I don’t have any jewelry to travel with, so I don’t know if it is at all practical, but I hope the person I gave it to likes it anyway.

Here are the inside and the outside, hanging with a loop from the top. The ribbon to tie it closed is anchored to the center of one of the hexagon diamonds.

There are three large pockets, two with snaps.  There are six small pockets for rings and earrings. I made a strap across to hold necklaces or bracelets, which can go in the pocket below it.

This is what it looks like when closed and tied.

This was fun to make.  I almost want some jewelry so I can make one for myself.