Friday, February 1, 2013

Renewed Interests

I always find the last weeks of January to be a bit of a downer...the excitement of the holidays has passed, along with the thrill of making resolutions for a better life.  Instead, it's just the reality of daily life, and the realization that (once again) the list of resolutions has been conveniently put aside! 

I've turned to thoughts of pleasurable activities of the past, and I'm wondering why I ever stopped doing those things that gave me so much pleasure.  I have new things that fill my creative tank with joy, but there are many hours in each day, and I've been finding that full retirement is not as exciting and fulfilling as I'd hoped.  I do make jewelry, but not for myself.  I don't go to the office every day, so there's no need.  And I have been very busy crocheting (at night, while watching previous episodes of "Boardwalk Empire"...where have I BEEN?'s riveting!) and making artist trading cards. 

After Christmas, while putting away the ornaments and holiday decorations, my sweet son-in-law took pictures of the Christmas stockings I cross-stitched for my daughter (in 1992) and my granddaughter (in 2005), and he e-mailed the pictures to me.  I've been looking at those pictures and wondering why I ever put aside my many hours of stitching joy! 

Now I can't wait to get started again...I certainly have plenty of wips (works in progress) from months and years ago.  Isn't it funny how the brain works?  This productive pursuit feels new to me again!  Here, take a look at the stockings...they come out every year to hang on the mantle, and are very much loved by the ladies they were made for.
These are old patterns, from the now-defunct "Cross Stitch and Country Crafts" magazine.  Every year they offered a pattern for a different Christmas stocking.  The patterns are very involved, extremely detailed, and loaded with fractional stitches.  But the result is so, so lovely.  I didn't realize that I'd used even-weave fabric with more stitches to the inch for Lisa's's quite a bit smaller than Emma's stocking.  (I don't think Emma minds...)  Back in the day, I also made needlepoint Christmas stockings for my two boys, and they are still in use today. 
I think I might spend this evening with a needle in my hand!


  1. OMG OMG OMG. I've been looking EVERYWHERE for those patterns! I used to have a ton of them, an entire series, and I made two stockings and LOST the patterns! Do you know where I can buy them?

  2. I honestly don't know where they can be bought, but I believe I have several of them in my box of craft magazine articles I've saved over the past 35 years. Yes, I know what this says about me, but I don't care! I will most happily make color copies for you and send them to MD to live with you. Do you want all that I can find, or do you have some specific patterns in mind? Now that I think about it, I believe there's a book of all the stocking patterns that was published years ago. I think that defunct magazine was part of the Better Homes & Gardens family. I LOVE those stockings!


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