Looking Back: What I Stitched and Painted in 2023
Every year, I love to take a look back near the end of December at what I accomplished in that year. This year is no exception. I started the year off with lots of painting, that gradually morphed into lots of stitching!
In mid-January, I started a painting challenge to paint every day for a month. I didn't quite make it, but I did have fun painting about 18 small oil paint studies on Kraft paper. I really enjoyed this exercise and it was fun to simply play with paint and to not be so concerned about creating a finished painting every day. I definitely have a few favorites in this group; the first bunny, the daffodils, and the painting of kitty Mushu looking out the window!
I painted a watercolor header every month for my journal, something I've been doing since 2021. I choose a 2 ½" x 7" format as it fit the page well, yet allowed me room on the journal page for other information I wanted to include. For reference, I used photos I had taken through the years and made sure to choose ones from the month I was painting for. I really love seeing them all together like this! Now to decide what theme I want to use for 2024! I'm thinking flowers or gardens...
During the warmer months of the year, I make regular trips to the mountains. Sometimes I hike, but a lot of the time, I find a place where I can sit and paint and take in the silence of being outdoors in nature to renew my spirits. I managed to finish two sketchbooks this past summer that had been only partially filled in previous years! I posted a video of one of them on my YouTube channel here: Sketchbook Tour
As the year moved on into autumn, I found my focus shifting back to crazy quilting after a long hiatus. The crazy quilting videos always performed the best on my YouTube channel, so I decided to focus on those by doing a "Stitching Rambles" series of videos. I suppose they are more of a stitching vlog rather than a full on project or tutorial video, and that makes them a little bit easier to edit, which means I can turn them out a little quicker.
FYI, I'm going to be doing a Q&A in January to celebrate reaching 5,000 subscribers! Leave your questions for me to answer in the comments below!
My next project was to finish a round robin project begun way back in 2011! I had one block to stitch and a few changes to make on a couple of the blocks so they all went together a bit better. I've finished this one, but the last couple of videos will show in January, so I'm not going to give too much away here!
Next up was a crazy quilted Christmas Tree. I purchased a kit for this wool tree at a quilt shop in 2015 while in the Kansas City area for a retreat. I pieced the wool tree together shortly after that, but I wasn't thrilled with the suggested seams and so I set it aside as I wasn't sure how I wanted to resolve it. Then I found some pretty white star beads and I knew immediately what I wanted to do! So this has been the December Stitching Rambles project, though I'm not going to get it done by the end of the year, so it may also be a January finish!
There have been a couple of other stitching projects in the works as well. One is a project I've been working on for a couple of years. When I was downsizing my stitching and craft supplies, I found a bag of projects of my mother's that I kept after she passed away. One of those was a Cathedral Window project. I've been working on it in bits and pieces and it is nearing completion. There will be a video about it once it is complete!
The other one is a mixed crazy quilting/English paper piecing project I started about 5 years ago. I had done most of it, but then gotten stuck when I couldn't figure out what it needed next. While taking inventory of all my projects recently, I came across it, laid it out on the table, and instantly saw what it needed. So I've been working on it in the background. There will be a video on it as well once it is finished.
In addition to art and stitching, I spent a lot of time in the garden and added some new beds this past year! I may share a separate post on that at some point. I'm sure there are many other things I missed, but those are some of the major accomplishments this year!