When all of the Christmas presents were wrapped and the cards sent this year I found that I actually had some time left for myself. It had been a while since I had picked up a stitching project and I was missing it more than I realized. I had started Random Thoughts by Cynthia Zittel (The Drawn Thread) a couple of years ago and it caught my eye again. There really wasn't much work left on it, so I finished it off before Christmas. What a fun piece to stitch! (http://www.drawnthread.com/Chart%20Pages/randomthoughts.html)

When I was at the regional meeting in Montreal , I had purchased a kit for a sweet little Christmas ornament from Carolyn Mitchell and it was my second completed piece before Christmas and even made it to our tree. (http://www.mrstwitchett.mb.ca)



Then I got inspired by Kathy Taylor's blog entry about giving herself a gift of a new project, and decided it was time to start "Catherine Agnes". I had first seen this piece by Indigo Rose at Seminar 2011 as an entry in the Member's Show, stitched by Pam Benckhuysen. I finally found the pattern and purchased it this summer. A visit to Traditional Stitches (http://www.traditionalstitches.com) this fall was just what I needed to get my own colour scheme. Someone asked me once if I ever used the suggested colours in anything I ever stitched... well... probably not!! 

So, now that Christmas 2011 is a memory, I've settled in for an enjoyable time with Catherine Agnes. The snow is falling outside my window. My "To Do List" can wait for a few more days. May you all be able to snatch some time from your hectic schedules to enjoy our shared hobby.

Happy New Year!!

Joyce Gill

Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends, and I am delighted to be spending the time with my son and his family.  I’m really looking forward to watching our 2-year-old grandson, Henry, open his presents. (Yes, I got him one!).




 I love the Christmas season for the memories that come to me as I put special ornaments on the tree, and hang my Christmas stitching.

Those memories have been enriched in the years since I became a member of EAC.  Spending time with like-minded women where I live, at Seminar, at EAC meetings, and through challenges and email has provided me with many irreplaceable moments to remember.


A very special thank you goes to Joyce Davis who came to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, to introduce EAC to what is now the Pine Needle Arts Guild.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.  Enjoy making more memories.

Sue.

A little EAC business to start off.  I just want to remind everyone that the EAC membership dues will be going up as of 01 Jan 2012.  The new dues will be:  Canadian - $40/year; International USA - $50/year; and International outside of the USA - $60/year.  All membership payments are due in Canadian dollars.

                  We are into that hectic time of year when time to sit and leisurely stitch seems elusive.  When I think back to my youth, my favourite memories of Christmas are of the lull after the excitement of opening gifts.  Mum always made sure we got something to do whether it be colouring book, paint by number, doodle art or whatever was the latest craze.  I am sure it was just a coping measure, hoping we would have something to keep us quiet and entertained while she prepared Christmas dinner.  For many years I lost that euphoric post-madness feeling as I became the one either preparing or assisting in preparing the Christmas dinner.  About 10 years ago I found a way to get that feeling back.  Every year under the tree is a gift from me, to me.  It is a new stitching project to start complete with fabric, threads, hoop and accessories.  It may be an old pattern which has waited for years or a new acquisition, but it serves to drag out the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning until I can sit down to stitch and then I am just happy to be working on something new.  These projects don’t necessarily get completed right away as they often have to be put away after a few days so I can concentrate on something I need to get finished for a gift, but to the best of my recollection, only 2 of them have reached the UFO pile, one of them being the project from last year which I don’t think technically qualifies it for UFO status yet.  Maybe I should start a new tradition and use New Years day to revisit any unfinished projects from previous Christmases…

From our house to yours, a very Merry Christmas and much health and happiness in 2012!

Kathy Taylor
It is a beautiful sunny day here in Lakefield; difficult to believe Christmas is only two weeks away.
I am delighted to tell you that we have a new web master Tara Kohinski. Tara is a long time member from Winnipeg with great website skills and has volunteered to look after our website.
 Tara is busy reformatting our website and wants to include as many photographs of needlework as possible. Could you take a few moments and photograph some of your pieces  and send them to Tara at webmaster@eac.ca? This would help to make our site look more visually appealing.

I just looked at the Hearts for Christchurch web-site again - I haven't looked for some time. What an amazing number of hearts they received. The display is wonderful to look at. Go to Hearts for Christchurch  to see the display and hearts sent from around the world, including from EAC .

Enjoy this day

Sue

Eight, nine, ten, eleven... mark… twenty-three, twenty-four… mark….
Yes, I Can count, but letting you know that is not the purpose of this message.

Did you notice the lovely ornaments on Lisa’s tree included in the last post? Did you look at them? …. not just look at them, did you Look at them? Do You see what I See? Different shapes and techniques … such diversity… have you even wondered why your friend choose That particular item to stitch and Why she choose the technique(s) she worked the piece in?

I recall a conversation I had sometime ago with someone who creates the most wonderful pieces.. all of which are done with surface stitches. She shared that counted work is not what she prefers. In fact I think she would go to just about any length to avoid counted work. … for others, oh Dear, you want Me to do That? Referencing a piece that does not come with a grid chart. Then there are those of us who are content to stitch both,

It seems that for many, sharing their creativity is part of the practices of this time of year. Christmas trees, wreaths, snowmen  .. and the list goes on. I am sure most of you have browsed through more than one Christmas Ornament magazine. There are many ready to stitch projects for those who prefer to stitch the things they see and like. These same projects can be the starting point for those who like to personalize their pieces.. make them ‘an original’ but, for whatever reason, they do not start with a blank piece of fabric and a threaded needle wondering what they might end up with, but as they begin to stitch (or sketch, depending on the individual).  For those who are not yet ready to try their hand at designing, the ready to stitch projects are perfect; and when someone gets an idea for modifying the pattern to make it uniquely theirs, that is good. For others they might browse through the project magazines, but when the time comes to stitch .. they like to see what they can design, be it a simple tree shaped Christmas ornament or a more complex project.

Such were the end products brought to the Alderney Needlearts Guild Christmas lunch and ornament exchange. Ten of us arrived with our stitched pieces for sharing. Do you see the many techniques, surface work, beaded work, some are from Christmas Ornament magazines from past years, some are a compilation of stitches and ideas from several different ornaments and projects and yet others are the result of the stitcher starting with a blank piece of paper.. and an idea. No matter how you decide to stitch a piece, a little bit of yourself gets stitched into the piece. When we give a gift of stitched Christmas ornament, a little bit or ourselves go along with it, and in years to come, when they are unwrapped, thoughts will wonder back to the time and person who gave that ornament.

As we approach the winter solstice and the many holidays that are clustered around that date.. may you and yours enjoy a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah,  Blessed Kwanzaa..
And hopefully winter will be good to all of us, dropping some extra time for stitching in our laps!

Marie Cron



This week our guild had their Christmas Holiday Parties.  I am a member of the Toronto Guild of Stitchery.  Our guild has both a day and evening group therefore we celebrate twice.  I’ve been a member since 1995 however due to employment I have never been able to attend the day group.  Now that I am retired with my husband I had the opportunity to attend both celebrations.

Traditionally our group exchanges hand stitched ornaments.  The process by which we select our gifts is by receiving half a playing card, the other half goes into a hat.  When your card is drawn you select a gift from the pile being sure not to open the gift until everyone has selected their gift.  After opening your gift one person begins by speaking about the wonderful gift they have received.  They then ask “who made the gift”?  The stitcher acknowledges that he or she has made it.   Expressions of gratitude are exchanged and that person explains about the gift they have received.

This year in the evening group instead of half a playing card we received a word.  My word was “pipe”.  One of our eloquent members read the Christmas classic story “The night before Christmas”.  As your word came up in the story you went to select your gift.  What I found especially wonderful was that everyone enjoyed the story so much that after everyone had received their gifts our group asked the reader to continue reading the story to the end.  There was such a peaceful appreciation for being together and enjoying the moment.

As I decorated my tree I looked at all the beautiful stitched ornaments that I had received over the years from different people.  Every piece of stitching we do expresses our personalities, interests and sense of flair.  To receive a stitched gift is an especially wonderful thing for a stitcher.  Stitching and sharing brightens our days and our lives.

As you celebrate your traditions I want to wish you and your loved ones a happy and joyous Holiday.

Lisa Carlin


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About EAC

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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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