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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Au revoir to 2014

Christmas is over for another year.  A quiet time here for DH and myself, we knew this would  be so this year as my family had plans for other things.  We decided to buy ourselves a seasonal jigsaw puzzle to while away some of the time. 

A lovely old fashioned picture of families having fun, we had fun putting it together although there was a squabble who would put the final piece in!

I was very lucky and received wonderful goodies from online friends.  Thank you so much to Barb, Clare, Angi, Christine, Maggie and Karan for your kindness.  Here's what the lovely ladies sent to me.

I sent out two handmade gifts, you may remember at the beginning of December I said I was making a fantastic patchwork project that I couldn't share with you.  I can now .....

They are Origami Fabric Christmas Trees.  A lady at the Craftshare group showed us the instructions and that was it, I was hooked and loved every stitch that went into them.  They look so complicated but are in fact quite easy to make.

Here's a close up of the little triangles.....

Boxing Day we saw some snow in the evening.  Snow at Christmas.....perfect.  Just a sprinkling but so lovely to watch in the evening.  I was pleased to be inside and not having to venture out though.  I hope it didn't cause any of you troubles as you travelled this festive season.  Since then its been really cold and the frosts have been spectacular to wake up to, although I'm not sure those that have been back to work have loved them as I can hear them scraping their windscreens each morning.

The last Sunday of December has gone and that means its time to reveal the final Christmas ornament challenge of the year.  A challenge at Needlecraft Haven that Christine organises for us each month.  I've managed to stitch all 12 this year, some were sent as gifts and some adorn my own tree.  Decembers was just a small design of a pine cone, very effective though. 

Here we are now the very last day of 2014 and time to think back and contemplate what I've been up to over the last 12 months.

I've been looking back at my finishes for this year.   There have been 75 in all, a mixture of knitting, crochet, stitching and sewing.  Some sent as gifts, some as exchanges and a few purely for me to learn new and practice my sewing skills.   That was due to the start of the Crafthare group at our community centre - I've learnt a lot there.

One highlight was the SAL I did with Gillie of Elizabeth Designs Nature's Alphabet, that chart had been in my 'to do' pile for such a very long time.  Our SAL ended for me with a lovely meet up with Gillie when she came over from the USA for a visit to the UK, that's was real treat.

I've had a new sewing machine this year too, so hopefully next year will see me get to grips more with that. It did mean that I could finish off my Santa Village into the bunting I had hoped to make with it when I started stitching this with friends, that was started almost 2 years ago.  I think this is my most favourite piece of the year, it's taken so long to complete and looks splendid across my conservatory windows.

My book borrowers group is following a new pathway but I have still been reading for a short while both at the beginning and end of each day.  A lovely way to slowly start your day and finish it all calm and peaceful.  I finished my current book this morning so a new start for tonight and the start of the new year.  I notched up 49 books read this year, quite impressive i think and quite a selection of different reads too, not quite one a week.   I've read authors I would never have dreamed of picking up being part of the monthly book challenge at Needlecraft Haven - thank you ladies for your recommendations and thank you to Clare who runs the group.  I'm lucky and have had quite a few coffee mornings with Clare over the last year as she lives quite close to me.

Two lovely meet ups with online friends happened over the year.  It's always nice to meet friends you chat with who have the same hobby and enjoy the same things and another visit from an overseas lady, Dusty was at our autumn meet up.

Blog reading has been lovely too.  I'm all caught up with that and have seen some wonderful things come to life that you have all been working on.  Shared good times and bad times with you as you walk your own pathways.  My thanks to you for visiting here with me over the past twelve months and for your support when things have not been so good and comments and encouragement on my finishes/WIP's.

DH and I have had a few trips away this year.  Just a few days at a time but we have seen some wonderful sights and enjoyed some beautiful scenery and its nice to just relax and enjoy soaking up the peace and quiet.

As I enter this new year, I'm still undergoing some health issues that need resolving, life is going along at a much slower pace and I hope that I can make it a bit simpler as the days/weeks move forward. 

Craftingwise I have only one project that remains unfinished to carry over from this year.  Irish Garden my UFO that became a WIP project for a while that I carried over from 2013 - ooops, that didn't get finished but progress was made.  Here's where it stands now .....

....still another outer border all the way round to add and then I can pass on the chart to Dusty, she's been waiting a while for it.  Think positive and get on with it at the beginning of the year ... that's what i've told myself - will it happen?

My current WIP project is a pair of socks for DH. The gorgeous blue faced Leicester sheep wool was purchased at the NEC in November when I had a lovely trip to the hobbycraft show.  I started these over the Christmas holidays so they are my current knitting project, so not really a leftover WIP.  

I'm planning a new stitchy start for tomorrow, don't we all have a new start January 1st?  I have so many things in my stash that I want to do that like a lot of you I will not be buying anything new in 2015 unless I really need it and it's going to be stitched/used straight away, no point it gathering dust in a cupboard with all the other things I have.  There's also the monthly ornament challenge starting again this year and I have an exchange to stitch that needs to be received for opening beginning of February, my stitching/crafting diary has entries in already to try and keep me on track.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and craft filled 2015 with lots of good times ahead.  I look forward to visiting with each of you as the year progresses.

love and blessings to you all



  1. 2014 was certainly a full and exciting year, wishing you and all your family a Happy New Year and a 2015 full of good health and happiness x x

  2. Oh Julie, this is the year for the Irish Garden!
    Love the new socks.

  3. Wow! What a fabulous year of creativity you've had, Julie... Seriously--you are so talented on so many levels with your knitting, crocheting, stitching, etc. I love visiting your blog each time you post as I know I'm in for a treat :)

    My favorite finish is your Nature's Alphabet SAL that you and Gillie did as I finished (and actually had framed!) that one, too. And I've met Gillie in person so I feel like I've (almost) met you, too--ha ha!!

    Anyway, I do hope your health issues get resolved in 2015... It's never easy when something is not quite right with our health, is it? I wish you much love, laughter, and happiness in the New Year, my friend...

  4. What a lovely post - Happy New Year to you Julie xx

  5. What a wonderful 2014! Here's hoping 2015 is full of creativity and happiness for you and your family.

  6. Such a wonderful post, Julie! I enjoyed reading it, as well as all of your posts. : )

    You received some lovely gifts from friends, and had some really lovely finishes--I especially love the Origami Fabric Christmas Trees!!

    Happy New Year!!

  7. What a nice year you've had! May 2015 bring you even more wonderful trips, projects, and happy days!

  8. You have had some wonderful finishes again Julie, well done :-)
    I loved the bunting and Amy's stocking from your last post, congrats for getting them both finished in time for Christmas :-)
    You beat me on the reading, I'm afraid I came in at around 35.

    I hope you get your health issues sorted soon, wishing you and your family a health & happy new year.

    love...Maggie XX

  9. Happy New Year , I really hope it is a good one for you. Your trees are amazing .

  10. I love that Origami Fabric Christmas Tree! Its so cool ad unique! :)

  11. You had a wonderful 2014 and I wish you all the best for 2015 !

  12. Lovely post Julie. I just love your bunting it's quite something.
    Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy & peaceful new year x

  13. well at least I know who to shout to when I need help with the wee tree too ... that's on my to do list for next year .... soooo pleased you got to see Gillie too and love the jigsaw you did with DH ... wishing you a wonderful stitchy new year and good luck with the not getting much stash in the new year love mouse xxxxx

  14. o those trees look fabulous! I have never heard of oragami fabric so now I have to look up something new haha. Whenever our family does a puzzle, you can be sure that near the end, one piece (or two or three) has mysteriously disappeared for a sneaky final input.

    You had a wonderful 2014 so your 2015 will be even better! I'm looking forward to new starts on the 1st too. :D

  15. I love your origami fabric trees,they look amazing.
    A lovely post.Wishing you a Happy New Year and hoping your health issues are resolved.

  16. Oooooo, those xmas trees do look tricky! So lovely though. I can see why you were obsessed with them.
    You had a really busy, fruitful year! Onward to 2015. Happy holidays! :)

  17. I loved to read your wrap-up post and it's so great what you have managed to work on and to finish. Nature's Alphabet is such a beauty and I have also admired the Origami Christmas trees. I am very curious to see what you will be sewing with your new sewing machine this year. And wow, so many books read, that's a very impressive number. So much more impressive than mine, I didn't even read half as many as you did. But I start the new reading year with the best plans to imrove that, just like last year, lol.

    I hope that this new year will bring you more health than the last one. Happy New Year to you and your husband!

  18. What a great post! I love those origami trees, they look rather complicated to me! Are they double sided squares folded in a special way then sewn together?
    You know how much I enjoyed seeing your alphabet grow this year so it is lovely for it to have one more outing. I'm also looking forward to following the Irish Garden next year.
    The meet ups look like so much fun. Any chance of a private name check for the photo so I can put faces to names?
    Happy New Year!

  19. A lovely post, Julie!
    Happy New Year and all the best in 2015!

  20. I just love your Origami Fabric Christmas Trees. Happy New Year!

  21. What a productive year you have had Julie, some beautiful work there.
    I hope that your health issues improve in 2015, I certainly agree with you about simplifying life!
    I also agree about reading, I am reading each morning when I wake and finding it very relaxing especially as it is sometimes very early.
    I hope that 2015 is good for you and look forward to reading your blog.

  22. What a lovely post, I love your finishes especially the trees and bunting. Have a wonderful 2015 xxx

  23. I loved reading this post, Julie. It was a beautiful recap on your year. I hope 2015 is kind to you and your family.

  24. A lovely post Julie, full of so much creativity. I hope 2015 is year full of good things for you.


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