Welcome to Brownie's Chair, my blog about all things cross stitch. Feel free to have a look around, and email me if you have any questions or suggestions!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

I am off for the rest of the week, so since the farm still has no internet connection, I wish all of you a happy new year and the best of stitching plans in 2015!  I'll update my progress from the 2015 Crazy Challenge on Monday(ish), so will be catching up at 5 days or so at once. 

Happy stitching everyone!

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Stitching Goals: More and More SALs

Well, I had the epiphany today that it's actually getting pretty close to 2015 now, so I better finish up my 2015 goals series of posts.  So rather than do an introduction post for all of these, I'm going to put them all in one post (so I can actually focus on stitching things for them, haha).

So in addition to the 2015 Flower of the Month SAL I'm hosting, the Crazy January Challenge, and BAP Attack's Turtle Trot, here's what I have planned for the new year.

Daffycat has plans to continue her Totally Useless SAL (TUSAL) into the new year.  I've already emptied my ort jar in anticipation of starting that one.   She hasn't posted (as of this writing) the new info for 2015 yet, but this is the link to her 2014 post explaining this SAL. 

Heather from Stitching Lotus is doing her Smalls SAL again this year.  I think this will be kind of like the MMMM I did in October and November, so I'm excited for this one.  I know I will be able to work on smalls for every month of this year, it will just be a question of finishing them or not...

Measi is hosting WIPocalypse again this year.  This is a very low key SAL that is essentially all about sharing your stitching goals and progress for the year.  It will go along very nicely with Turtle Trot this year I expect.

Mel from Epic Stitching is hosting her Stitch from Stash challenge again.  This year, it will be divided into two parts.  The idea is to spend $25 (or your equivalent currency) or less on stitching stash supplies per month.   When I first heard about this back in May, I was kind of like "who is crazy enough to sign up for something like that?".  And then I spent all summer stashing wayyyyy too much, so I signed up so that I could try to keep control of it next year.  With the cut in pay that came from moving out here to Mississippi, my budget is much, much tighter than it used to be, so I will have to think careful about each and every stitchy purchase I make from now on. 

And last but not least is the D.E.S.I.G.N. of the Month, which stands for Designer Everybody Should Instantly Get to Notice. This is a series of posts that will be done by participants throughout the year showing off a current WIP from a different designer each month, with a series of reoccurring questions answered about said design/designer each month.  The idea is to introduce everyone to new designers we may not have run into/tried on our own that we think others should try (or stay away from I suppose).  I'm super excited about this one; I'm already brainstorm ideas on what to feature. 

Phew!  That's a lot.  Think I bit off more than I can chew?  Maybe so, guess we'll just have to see.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Stitching Goals: Turtle Trot 2015

Well, after seeing all these posts this year labelled "turtle trot" I of course had to find out what they are.  Which leads me to yet another 2015 stitching goals post.

Turtle Trot is a year long SAL hosted by Claudette of BAP Attack.  The idea is that you pick 10 projects (or so) to work on throughout the year, and to post before/after progress pics each month so that everyone can help cheer on your progress.  The rules can be found on the 2015 signups page if you want to join me in signing up to participate. 

I believe we post progress on the 10th of each month, so I will have another post about this coming up in a couple weeks that will have actual pictures.  But since many of my TT pieces I haven't started yet, this post will be pretty boring.

As of right now, I have chosen these for my Turtle Trot 2015 projects:
  1. Halloween Quaker
  2. Tree Frog Trio
  3. Gift of Christmas
  4. Britannia Pillow
  5. Gingerbread Houses SAL
  6. Purple Paisley
  7. Polka Dot Bouquet
  8. Merry and Bright Banner
  9. Reindeer Square
  10. Polar Bear Square
So, with that, come back to see progress pics and my "official" starting post on the 10th!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 2014 TUSAL

I'm a little behind (well, closer to a week actually) in posting a picture of my orts for Daffycat's Totally Useless SAL this month.  I managed to get a cold on Christmas Eve, so needless to say, I haven't been doing much the past few days.  Bleh...

Anyway, here is my last picture of the ort jar for the year.  I've emptied it out and have started collecting for the new year.  Still mostly Christmas colors, as you can see by the over abundance of red everywhere still.  But hey, there's some purple peeking out there too.  Actually, the colors in this photo turned out a little wonky anyway, since there wasn't really any good lighting to be had last night.  Oh well. 

I haven't been stitching much lately either, between being sick and getting ready for the Crazy 2015 challenge next month.  But come January 1st, hopefully there will be much stitchy goodness to be done!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: January Carnations

Hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday.  Today's free cross stitch pattern is being posted in anticipation of the start of the 2015 Flower of the Month SAL I'm hosting next year.  For anyone who is interested in joining, all the rules and details can be found here. 

January's pattern is for some lovely pink carnations.  I've started kitting this one up already, and love all the shades of pink and green in it.  Unfortunately I can't seem to find any 20 count fabric locally (I had planned to make magnets out of these) so I am going to have to rethink my plans for these patterns.  Hmmm...

Head over to the EMS Designs website to download January's free cross stitch pattern, and join our SAL if you're interested.  Look for February's pattern to be posted in a couple weeks.

Happy stitching!

If you ever come across one of my posts that contains a chart that breaks copyright law, please email me and let me know right away. In picking and posting my free cross stitch pattern posts, I make every effort to ensure the designs I share are legitimately free charts.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your family for those of you who celebrate. Here's wishing you lots of wonderful stitching in the coming year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: Christmas Madonna

Since today is the last Friday before Christmas, I have something very Christmas-y for today's free cross stitch pattern.  For me, Christmas is a very fun time with lots of great secular traditions, but in the end it is ultimately also a celebration of God's greatest gift to mankind, the birth of Jesus Christ.  I know not everyone feels the same way about celebrating Christmas as I do, and that's okay, but for me it's something very important.

I really wanted to find a Christ centered pattern I could share for this Friday, and had a hard time finding one that I liked.  But eventually I stumbled upon this Madonna and Child pattern in the shape of an ornament.  It was originally published in 1994 by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum.  It looks great stitched on cloth and framed, but I've also seen it stitched on perforated paper as an actual ornament too and it is just as beautiful.

Head over to the Madonna and Child page on the designers website to download the PDF of this free cross stitch pattern.  And in the meantime, I hope all of you have a happy, safe, beautiful Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year).

Happy stitching!

If you ever come across one of my posts that contains a chart that breaks copyright law, please email me and let me know right away. In picking and posting my free cross stitch pattern posts, I make every effort to ensure the designs I share are legitimately free charts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 Stitching Goals, Part 1: Cross Stitch Crazy Challenge

As it goes closer and closer to the holidays (and right after that, the end of the year) I find myself signing up for more and more stitching projects and goals next year.  So I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts over the next few weeks about each one. 

First up is the 2015 Cross Stitch Crazy Challenge.  I believe this started out as a Yahoo group, but I've since found the group on Facebook.  The idea is to start 15 new projects for the first 15 days of January, and then work on those projects throughout the year.  The project has evolved in several different directions for the participants over the years, but that's the basic idea. 

This year, there's also a spinoff group called Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 2015.  This was started in the memory of Debbie, a cross stitch blogger who passed away earlier this year.  People in this group plan on working on either 31 different projects (one for each day in January) or 59 projects (one for each day in both January and Februrary). 

Well, I've decided to do the Ulimate Crazy Challenge, but I'm going for the lesser level of 31 projects.  I'm also including a few ongoing WIP projects instead of just 31 new starts, and a lot of my projects are smalls too. 

So after making and changing my plans over the last few months on my challenge page (and then changing them again), I think I finally have it worked out to these projects.  Of course, they're subject to change as January actually comes around too.  :)

My 31 projects include (in no particular order):

Four WIPs
1.  Halloween Quaker
2.  Tree Frog Trio kit
3.  Silent Night kit
4.  Gift of Christmas

Six Mill Hill mini kits for Christmas presents next year
5.  Stars and Stripes
6.  Love Potion #9
7.  Coin Purse
8.  Autumn Wreath
9.  Winter Bunnies
10.  Cookies for Santa

Two Stitch-A-Long projects
11.  Gingerbread Houses Facebook SAL
12.  January Carnations from the Flower of the Month SAL

Six Charity Stitching squares
13.  Rainbow Mandala
14.  Perfume
15.  Horse Yin Yange
16.  Singing Owl
17.  Ladybug
18.  Sparrow on Vine

Three new Christmas projects
19.  Reindeer Square
20.  Polar Bear Square
21.  Merry and Bright Banner

Four potential Christmas presents
22.  Purple Paisley
23.  Polka Dot Bouquet
24.  Britannia Pillow
25.  Cat Lady Kit

Six My Little Pony magnets
26.  Rainbow Dash
27.  Rarity
28.  Twilight Sparkle
29.  Pinkie Pie
30.  Apple Jack
31.  Fluttershy

And, as you can see from my Challenge page, I have 25 backup projects in case any of these don't work out for me.  We'll see what happens come January!  Of course in the meantime, I have lots of kitting up to do.  I got a few done already, and it's wayyyyyy more work to organize out 27 new projects (31 - 4 WIPs) than I thought it would be!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Free Pattern Friday (Part 2): Festive Cheer Owl

So now onto my regularly schedule free cross stitch pattern post for this Friday.  Today's pick is a cute and quick little design you can easily stitch up for a card or ornament if you're looking for a last minute gift.

I don't know why, but I am really into owls lately.  Which is good for me right now, because along with foxes apparently they are the new "in" thing.  So when I saw this cute little festive owl with a Santa hat for Christmas, I knew I had to share it.  This lovely design was designed by the talented Holly over at the Holly's Hobbies blog.

Head over to the site to get the PDF chart for this free cross stitch pattern.  If anyone stitches this up, leave me a link, I'd love to see it!

Happy stitching!

If you ever come across one of my posts that contains a chart that breaks copyright law, please email me and let me know right away. In picking and posting my free cross stitch pattern posts, I make every effort to ensure the designs I share are legitimately free charts.

Free Pattern Friday: A Christmas Carol

So I actually have something else planned for this week's Free Pattern Friday, but since I just found a super cool free cross stitch pattern that is only available for a limited time, I'm going to post two today (lucky you!). 

The UK cross stitching magazine Cross Stitch Collection is having a 12 Days of Christmas celebration.  They're going to do a bunch of giveaways for the next 12 days, and today is the first day.  They're giving away this large Victorian Christmas Carol chart by Maria Diaz for Day 1, but it's only available to download until this coming Monday.  So head over to their blog ASAP to get the download link. 

And keep your eye out for another free cross stitch pattern post later today!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Animal Print Mittens: New Start and Progress 12.9.14

I recently discovered something that is both good and bad for my stitching progress: stitching for charity.  I've recently joined two groups that use squares stitched and donated from members to sew up quilts for disadvantaged/sick children and seniors.  I just love the idea of my stitching going to a good cause!  Not that stitching for friends/family isn't a good cause (LOL).

This is a project for one of those groups, World of Charity Stitching.   We are using a free cross stitch mitten pattern with lots of different motifs using the same shape.  I actually wasn't signed up for this project originally because the deadline was shortly after I joined the group, but they posted a couple weeks ago that they needed more squares to finish the quilt, so here I went. 

Since so many of the free patterns had been done already, even though duplicates are allowed I decided to create my own patterns.  There's a cute cow print one that's already been done, so I figured to go along with that we needed something leopard print.  And of course I picked pink leopard print.  :)  Here's the progress so far:

Not much to look at yet.  When I asked my brother what he thought, he said my cloth looked like it had cancer.  Gee, thanks.

I'm still trying to finish up a few Christmas presents left over from MMMM, so I haven't been working too hard on this one yet.  Which in some ways is bad because I only have until the end of the year to finish!  I'm going to be doing a giraffe print after this one is done if I can manage it. 

Anyway, I've signed up for several other charity projects, so you'll probably see several of those popping up here in the next few weeks, especially with the Ultimate Crazy 2015 Challenge coming up next month. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: Sweet Treats

Today is the first Friday in December, so it's onto Christmas themed free cross stitch patterns!

My mother's birthday is the first part of December, so I always end up thinking about Christmas baking way before the actual holiday.  I've always loved to bake since I was a little girl, so when I saw this pattern in a cross stitching magazine awhile back I fell in love with it.  The good news is, when poking around looking for patterns I realized that it's actually posted for free on the publisher's website, so you can stitch this piece even if you don't have the back issue it was published it.

This is intended as a front piece for a baking set, but with some modification I plan on framing it or making a cushion out of it when it (finally) gets added to my very large WIP pile.

Head over to the Cross-stitching.com website to download this cute free cross stitch pattern for yourself.  You'll need to sign up for an account to download it; just advance warning.  

Happy stitching!

If you ever come across one of my posts that contains a chart that breaks copyright law, please email me and let me know right away. In picking and posting my free cross stitch pattern posts, I make every effort to ensure the designs I share are legitimately free charts.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Reverting Back to Blogger Profile

Just wanted to give any readers who are following me using Google+ a heads up, that I'm reverting back to my old Blogger profile.  This is mainly because I don't have many followers on Google+ and my stats seemed to have dropped significantly since enabling it this summer.  Also, it bugs me that I cannot receive replies to my comments with the Google+ platform. 

Perhaps some day in the future I will enable it again, but for now, it's gone.  You can still +1 my pages/posts using the buttons at the bottom of each post if you would like to share my posts that way. 

Thanks for the continued support everyone!

2015 Flower of the Month SAL

A couple weeks ago I had posted about the possibility of forming a SAL in the new year to stitch up the Flower of the Month mini charts done by EMS Designs.  I did get a few "maybes" in response to that post, so I'm going for it and forming a SAL.  Hopefully it won't just be a SAL of one... :)

So this is my own personal official sign up post for my participation in the SAL.  My goal right now is to start each new chart for each new month, although with all the other WIPs I'm planning for the Crazy January Challenge, I know I might not finish them within the month.  But progress is progress!

If you'd like to join the SAL, I have put up an official rules and sign up post in my header, or you can find the link here.  Oh, and there will be prizes for participants too. 

Hope to see some of my stitchy friends there!