Monday, October 07, 2013

Halloween...

 
~ ~ Ghoulish Greetings ~ ~
friends and stitching buddies, I hope you are enjoying a fiendishly, fallish, fun day :)
 
This past week...
our A/C went out. Of course it was during a hot and muggy upswing of Indiana weather (never fails). So in order to stay relatively cool, it forced me down in our basement. Our basement is "unfinished" but we have it sort of "homey" with a TV, couch and my sewing/craft space in the large central room. So it wasn't a hardship to be down there in my craft area.
 
Being down there...
I realized my patterns, works in progress, threads etc, needed a general "good" cleaning and organization effort. I had the time since our A/C was out and all I was doing was waiting on calls and visits from our repairman. So I got down to work organizing.
 
Six hours later...
I had gone through three Longaberger Picnic baskets that housed various works in progress that dated back to the 1990's ( for heaven's sake), I sorted and organized all my over-dyes, all my patterns, all my DMC threads, and came to one conclusion - I need to STOP the insanity!
 
So...
I realistically went through each WIP I had. Let's face it, our taste changes. Sometimes the things that we cannot live without one day, is not what we had in mind the next. Décor changes, life changes...everything changes. I had to face facts, there were projects in there that I KNEW I was never going to stitch. 
 
So, I did it...
Yes I did! On some, I cut out the stitching part threw it away and saved the linen, others I cut out the stitching part to make ornaments and saved the linen and some yes...I just plain tossed. GASP! It was hard at the time, but to be honest, it was freeing and brought some measure of relief! I posted about this on Facebook and hit a real nerve with some of my stitching friends. I wonder what response I'll get now, from the general stitching public? No matter if you agree or disagree, it was a good thing for me. I'm sort of a cut and dry or black and white individual. It renews me to renew my life. Others aren't like that, and its OK ~ that's what makes the world go 'round.
 
I also became aware...
that there was no way on this green earth that I would ever be able to stitch everything I had in my stash in my lifetime. I also found out that I need to finish a project one at a time. If I get too many going at once, you might as well forget it, as there is always someone prettier waiting on the corner in a shop or store front. Ha ha! :)
 
Am I on the stash wagon...
oh, lets be real! No, but I am going to be more selective, more discerning on my choices. I mean, this is my only hobby, I do finish a lot of things that I start. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't buy a lot of clothing, we don't eat out a lot, I'm not a Starbuck fanatic, I'm not a huge jewelry nut or have collections of any other kind. So everyone is deserving of a guilty pleasure, right?! And, stitching/creating is mine ~ no harm, no foul. It's all good!
 
But a bit more...
discerning eyes, I'm going to have to have. As it is almost gluttony or hoarding levels that I have reached with my cross stitch stash :)
 
To make myself feel better...
because I did get a little depressed going through everything. (you know thinking I could have taken a 6 month European vacation with the money I had spent on cross stitch patterns and accoutrements!!)
:)
I pulled out a very old WIP that I had started in 2008. This was an all-inclusive kit that had been gifted to me from a blogging friend ~ Julie A. Sadly she no longer blogs, but I do keep in contact with her via Facebook and Pinterest.
 
May I present:
 
2008 Halloween Shop Hop Special Kit
Designed by: The Sunflower Seed
Stitched with DMC on 28 ct. Desert Sand Linen from Wichelt
(I really liked the feel and color of this linen!)
 
Halloween
 
The kit came with the orange ball fringe and I think you were supposed to make an ornament out of it, as it also came with a backing piece of orange swirly material and a length of orange ribbon. But I have another door in my house that was hollering for a little fall decoration, and I made another wall/door hanger.
 
Halloween 2
 
It turned out pretty cute and just perfect for the door I have it hanging on! Don't you just love those JABCO buttons? They really did jazz up the design and make it all sweet and interesting!
The patterned material is by Debbie Mumm and I found it a couple of years ago at Joann's. I loved it then and it was perfect for this finish!
 
All that organizing...
had me of course thinking about keeping things together and filed and perfect. So I made some of these Project Envelopes. I had seen a project sheet about a nook book cover at my Sewing Machine Store. And as I was organizing my craft room I kept thinking about it. When I got done I pulled out an old paper grocery sack. Drew a pattern, cut it out and there you go: homemade pattern! Before I knew it, I had made five and they work perfectly!
 
Here they are:
 
Project Envelopes
 
I can see more of these in my future! They are about 14 inches wide and about 12 inches tall. They have a Velcro closure and hold your pattern, fabric and threads...everything that is essential to your project and then store neatly away in your project bag/basket/box. Perfect! I have made a list of things I cannot live without stitching (all from my stash!) and they are all kitted up in my new envelopes and ready to go!
 
Well...
I have certainly been on a roll of late! If I didn't know any better I would think I'm about ready to give birth...ha ha! You know that last rush right before you go into labor? Well it seems I've had about 20 of those in the past month! Ha ha! :)  Now it is back to model stitching. Hopefully I won't be gone too long and come back with something to show you real soon!
 
Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God just like always! Join me!
 
Love in stitches,
 
Vonna  xxx

65 comments:

  1. I'm with you. Sometimes you just have to cut something loose and it does free you! I'm that way too.
    Love the project envelope idea!!

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  2. Brava!!! You go girl.... I think we all get that way, we buy cause it's cute, we but cause it's fun, we buy cause its' gonna change our stitching or we buy because it's small and will be a quick stitch...... but at some point it just gets to be too much!! I have really quit buying any stash that I don't think I can stitch in the next couple of years...... and now I need to go back and weed out my big 3 ring binders (5 of them)..... another gigantic job that looms in my future.

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  3. Hooray! Very inspirational Vonna! I am ever thoughtful and careful with my few pattern purchases yearly. I made myself a project envelope at the top of the year, and yes, it is so much fun to be organized!

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  4. Vonna: You remind me of myself last winter, I too did some organizing and found the same thing, I need to finish what I have before I buy anymore and bury myself.
    I have finished lots of goodies including sewing projects, I just need to do the finishing work.
    I am happy I am not alone with this wonderful addiction.
    Happy Stitching.
    Catherine

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  5. WTG on your WIP cleaning. I have done the same thing. The things I knew I would never do I just put what was already stitched along with the pattern and gave to the Goodwill. I'm glad to see that I am not alone. I get depressed too when I look at all the stash and I have and yet I buy more. *sigh* Congrats on your finish, very cute. Your project bags are adorable too.

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  6. Fun post!!!!! And I totally get what you are saying, had the same conversation with my husband this weekend ;-). Great minds think alike, LOL.

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  7. So cute Vonna!! And I hear ya on the stash acquisition! I'm more discerning too! I need to go through some old wips too - I do it every now and then.

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  8. Good for you! I have no problem throwing things out, including food (which drives my inlaws nuts!). It's why you and I will never be on the show Hoarders.

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  9. I have also cut WAY back on buying and buying more and more charts. Unlike you - I do also hook, knit and do some needlepoint. So I have an entire room devoted to all my loves. I am going to have that grand make-over one day. I have heard so many people say it is liberating to clean out and throw out - not sure I can do that but I do intend to make a donation pile and a give away/sell/donate pile. LOVE your little Halloween door hanger - precious and I love the Debbie Mumm material.

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  10. Congratulations on your organizational spurt and purge! I need to do some of that myself. Fall seems like a good time for this. I am a one project at a time girl also, in fact I'm busy working on the eagle sampler now! Thanks, dear friend!

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  11. Congratulations on your clear out Vonna. I'm not a hoarder but seem to have acquired quite a stash. A tidy house leads to a tidy mind (or something like that...)

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  12. You have made me think that I should be doing this very same thing really soon.

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  13. I too have thrown away wips that I knew I would never finish, but I didn't have the guts to tell anyone else, lol! Your finishes are always so cute - love looking at them!

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  14. Way to go on the purging. Sometimes somethings just have to go. :)
    Love those project envelopes. I need something like that! If only I could figure out how to make them. heh
    Enjoy your organized stash!

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  15. Love your Halloween finish ! It's great you cleaned out what you aren't going to stitch .. too many things to make and not enough hands :)

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  16. Vonna, way to go on clearing out stash! I too have some from the 1990's! It always feels good to edit and clear out projects that you know you won't do. Love the project envelopes--so creative!

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  17. Good for you. I'm from the 'if it feels good, do it' generation and I also think one should never get too attached to material things. It's true that I usually don't tell the world when I throw out perfectly good things, but if you can take the heat, then, by all means, stay in the kitchen!

    Love the finish with the pom pom trim! Another cutie you can save for the fair!

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  18. Vonna -- Great post! I've done exactly what you did by going through stuff and tossing it or saving what I could -- I felt so good when I was done! I understand completely what you mean about having too much stash:)) But it makes me happy:)))

    Great finish -- just in time for Halloween. I hope you finish your model stitching and can get back to stitching something for yourself!

    Take care my friend.

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  19. Vonna -- Great post! I've done exactly what you did -- tossed things I knew I would never finish and saved what I could. It's such a great feeling when you are done! I have too much stash too but it saves my sanity and is much one true indulgence and it makes me happy:)))

    Love your finish!! Just in time for Halloween. Hope you finish your model stitching soon so you can stitch something for yourself.

    Take care my friend.

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  20. The halloween finish is adorable! Denise

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  21. Yup. I, too, will throw away a WIP that no longer appeals to me. Mine are usually stuff that are on Aida from my rookie days! As for my stash, wow! For 2014, I've made a vow to stitch from the stash. As usual, your finish is wonderful!

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  22. I am with you Vonna! I did the same thing not too long ago and I do try to go through my stuff at least every 6 months or so. I have tossed linen that I won't finish but I do have a hard time parting with patterns. There are some that I just won't part with and some designers too. I have cut way back purchasing though. I'm asking myself if I have something similar in my stash. And I've swung back to being a one finish at a time girl. I found that too many WIPs gave me "hives".
    I love your project bags. They are wonderful. I've made myself a few and really need to make more.
    Enjoy your new found stash (I always am amazed what I "find" when I do the big "purge".) :)

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  23. I'm right there with you. I am trying very hard to be a little more picky when buying patterns (I have way too many already)! Also I have started buying white or off white aida and using your baste and bake tutorial to get the color I want rather than buying a lot of specialty colors. I amy even try dying it. I would love to make some of those project envelopes. I'm not sure if I can figure them out though. Enjoy Autumn!!

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  24. Purging is a good thing. Love the envelops, I made some for myself much like those, they are wonderful to have. Love the door decoration, so fun and fancy finish

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  25. What a spooky, fun wall hanging! That fabric and pompom trim make it perfect!

    No worries about tossing stuff you won't finish. I say, if it causes any kind of stress it needs to go! I've junked my fair share of stitching stuff!

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  26. I am right there with you. I will never live long enough to stitch everything.
    I love the little Halloween ornament.

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  27. Fantastic finish! Great project envelopes too! Good for you for cleaning up your stash. I'm afraid to tackle mine. lol! Talk about out of control! I'm trying my best not to buy or order anymore. Let's hope I can keep it up. Hope that AC is fixed now -- ours went out one summer at the hottest time too. Ugh.

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  28. Just want you to know that you are not alone in the hoarder/collector of cross stitch "stuff". We're all that way, well, except my friend that I taught to cross stitch....she only has one project and will not start another one until this one is done. Hummmm, maybe she knows something I don't?

    Love your project bags that you made. Were they hard to do?

    May you have enjoyable days stitching.....

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  29. Culling the stash or WIP pile is hard to do! I've been working on doing it in my quilting but need to take a hard look at my stitching including the stash I have. It's small but if I've fallen out of love with it, it's time to move it on to someone who will love it.

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  30. Yay, Vonna! Good for you to slash your stash!! : ) I really like your project envelopes, too!! I think I'll bookmark your post for furture reference!!

    Tricia

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  31. Inspiring wish I had your time and energy! Well done!

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  32. I love your project! The orange pompom ribbon just is too adorable and really sets it off! I don't blame you a bit for the purging. We all have to do what works for us so we can move forward.

    Your project pockets are adorable and I love them! What a great idea!

    Blessings - Julie

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  33. Vonna,
    I applaud you for your strength...You did a good job...I don't blame you one bit for letting somethings go...It's okay...It had to be done...I am still a fan of yours...Love those project envelopes...Very cute...do I see a tutorial in the near future?

    Happy Fall to you!

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  34. I think we all go through our creative spaces organizing and purging. Your project bags are so cute. Enjoy your model stitching! I can't wait to see what you're working on.

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  35. That wall hangar is adorable, and those project envelopes are the perfect combination of cute and functional. You are so talented! Congrats on the de-stashing :)

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  36. Bravo, Vonna, for having the courage to get rid of things you will never use or finish! I look around my house and know I need to do the same.

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  37. Congrats on finishing a 2008 project! And its wonderful! Great project pouches too! Getting stash organized feels so nice. Hope you get you A/C up and running. love Annette

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  38. What a delightful post! There was a reason for your AC to fail that very day...it lead to a life change surely. I congratulate you on your sorting, finishing, and creating. Your Halloween stitchy is lovely, as are your new envelopes!
    Sending hugs your way ...
    Judy

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  39. Always love seeing your finished items. I have learned from you. Your instructions on finishing is so good. I am not that great yet, but love to try and be able to say I did it. I go though my stash and organize a little each month.
    I love seeing and reading about your family.

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  40. Oh girl I so need to do what you have just done!!!!! I have been nibbling at WIP stack and yes I too have been able to file some in file 13 (aka trash) but I still find I have a bit of a hording problem :( I just need to buckle down and focus to complete the organization and bulldoze my way through my craft room! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  41. Vonna, you are a fabulous writer. I love this post, as I could relate to most of it. It's so therapeutic to go through things, and get rid of that which we know we won't ever use! I support you 100%. I have never thrown away a project, but I've given projects away, and I've found it really helps me feel better. One year, (back when I seemed to have endless time), I sold a bunch of stuff on Ebay and made over $1000.00. We went on a cruise to Mexico with the money. I should do that again, because I know there is no way I will ever get to 3/4 of the stash I have currently. It's really pathetic.
    Have a great week, and I hope you get your AC fixed soon! Take Care.

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  42. It's such a good thing to go through our stuff, reorganize, repurpose, and purge! Great job, Vonna :) I love your little Halloweeny finish--so cute!!

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  43. Great job on your purge. Sometimes it needs to be done. A gorgeous finish. Love the project pouches you made.

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  44. I'm proud of you! That's a major undertaking, but if it relieves stress I say GO for it. That's what keeps me, basically, a one-at-a-timer! Your project bags look like the perfect thing, and that Halloween hanger is adorable. Love the black checked bow and fabric combo.

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  45. Yeah! It's good to have a good old clean up. If you don't like it ... get rid! Life's too short for clutter. Love the project bags and your Halloween finish.

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  46. You are totaly right... sometimes we have to organize, so you did a great job !!!

    I love your halloween finishing.

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  47. Great finish Vonna! I think many of us are in the same boat! I really like your project bags... will you put up a tutorial for them?

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  48. I think the fun of cleaning stuff is to see what used to make us happy to purchase and we just "had to have it" at the time and there it sits! Then what makes us happy today and we just "have to get it" - it shows our progress in stitching I think. Its fun to just sit and clean and sort and think about what was going on at the time in our lives the things were purchased, or stitched, or stopped or whatever. Now I want to go and clean my own space!!! Love the envelopes and would also love to see a tutorial for them as well.

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  49. I haven't stitched in a year. My DH had a bad accident in June '12 and I've been his caregiver all this time. About a week ago or so I got out my stitching stuff and went through it and discovered exactly what you said about liking something when you buy it but later discover not-so-much now. I have a lot of patterns that I know I'll never make even though I still like them. There just isn't time to do them all. I'm also a quilter and now our church group is making knit/crochet Prayer shawls and we'll be having a sewing day to make pillowcases. I've been trying to squeeze in some time to make some quilted Christmas gifts, too. Whew...I'm exhausted just talking about it :)

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  50. Good for you Vonna for letting stuff go! I have found that as much as I want everything, I don't have the room to keep it all and you're right tastes change and if I know I am not going to stitch it, it's gotta go.
    Maureen
    stitchorizeit.wordpress.com

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  51. Another beautiful finish Vonna. Your project bags looks great too!

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  52. Oh Vonna-you outdo yourself! I love the post below-everything about it. And I love this post too-those project envelopes are GENIUS! I am going to make myself some too. What a great idea! You go!

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  53. Sometimes you just have to go through stuff and decide what stays and what goes. Sounds like you accomplished a lot. I like your plan to be more discerning about what you buy. I've actually started to do that also! The project envelopes are great!
    Cathy
    CraftyCat

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  54. Vonna, congratulations on your stash organization and clean-up. Your Halloween finish is just adorable and I love the project envelopes. I think I will put that on my to-do-list. I also try to keep my current stitching down to 1 or 2 projects at a time.

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  55. I think that how you handled your stash was very brave and also very necessary. I'm in the same boat as you were. Although I don't have as many WIPs, I have waaaay too much stash and I really have to be more selective. I think we all know we'll never stitch all those patterns in our lifetime and I'm starting to ask myself if I really need a particular design especially if I already have a similar one. Kudos to you on a job well done!
    Your latest finish is so cute and will be a great touch as a doorhanger. I adore your project envelopes too. I really need to expand my sewing skills, lol!

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  56. Cute finish & congratulations on the organisation

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  57. I totally agree with what you've done Vonna. It wouldn't be the first time I've binned a WIP or cut off what I'd stitched and saved the fabric. Sometimes it's something you just have to do isn't it? As much as I love my HAED Guardian WIP I have to admit I feel like doing it with that as it's so time consuming but not sure I have the heart to do it!

    I need to be more discerning too. Next year I plan to just buy the CCN Frosty Forest series and I shall be very proud of myself if I can do just that. This year it was supposed to be just the Little Sheep Virtues but after my Dad died I found my stashing a bit of a comfort. My bank balance doesn't like it though!

    Love those project envelopes. I could do with making some of those myself! I do have three that have been a gift and blog winnings and I love them.

    Love your finish! It's so cute!

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  58. I have been thinking of doing the exact same thing...organizing my craft/sewing room. If you saw my walk in craft closet you would understand....I email you a pic! :-)
    You project bags are great!
    Nice job on the Halloween kit.

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  59. Oh dear Vonna, you made me smile today! I can so relate to this post. I need to do this to my stash in the very worst way. I wonder if moods like this have anything to do with the big "M?" Not sayin' you are old enough for the big "M" or anything...but in my case....well, you know, anything's possible! LOL!

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  60. I hope that you can hear the applause all the way from Melbourne, Australia to Indiana - well done, Vonna!

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  61. P.S. I love the little Halloween door hanger.

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  62. Nothing wrong with clearing out stash and wips you are never going to use! I do the very same things--cut out the stitched part and save the rest of the linen. In fact I have done two additional projects on one piece of fabric that I decided I did not want to stitch after all. It is your prerogative--your fabric and patterns. I don't get why people who disagree bother to comment. You did a great job on that halloween piece--the orange trim just pops! Hugs!

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  63. I so need to do this!!! Love your finish and the project pouches.

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  64. Actually its rather liberating have a good clean out and even throwing WIPs away! I used to sell my half done cross stitches on ebay, I sold every one of them! people love to buy WIPs. I love your stitching , it is so beautifully finished :)

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The Twisted Stitcher