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Friday, December 31, 2010

Complete!


And the series is complete!  I really like this one even though the snowman is all googly eyed thanks to my mad skillz with french knots.  :o)  I thought the December sampler looked so good on the blue fabric I decided to use it for January as well.  Thank you all for encouraging me through this series.  I will admit it became tedious at times but I am so happy I stuck with it.  I now have a monthly piece to display for many years to come.

I am all prepared to start stitching the first block of Shores of Hawk Run Hollow to ring in the New Year.  I have made no promises to myself as to when I will finish this massive piece (I am stitching it on 32 count) but I will say I would be happy if it is done in 2 years.  I decided I can't abandon the smalls I love to stitch nor the little gifts I love to send so those will be done in the New Year alongside Shores.  I hope you will all keep encouraging me to keep stitching on it as I am certain I will tire of it at some point.

I want to wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year filled with whatever your heart desires and thank you once again for stopping by my little corner of the universe for a visit.  Here's to 2011!



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

 "Hare's Christmas" by Plum Street Samplers ~~~ 32 ct linen, DMC floss~~~ Quilted Wallhanging Finish



I hung this on the wall a little after midnight Christmas Eve.  I enjoyed every minute of this design.  As I was stitching it I knew it was going to be too large for an ornament so it was either a pillow, frame, or wallhanging.  As you can see I went with the wallhanging.  :o)  I used the sawtooth star pattern to mimic the star pattern on the sleigh and was able to find all of the fabrics I needed in my stash.  A big thank you to Amy for the holly fabric that provided the perfect background for my Christmas star and another big thank you to Mary for gifting me with such a delightful pattern.  Not one to leave well enough alone, I added some yo-yo's with jingle bells in the center to help carry out the snowflakes and jingle theme.  I discovered my quiltmaking skills are very rusty, perhaps I will have to make a few more quilted finishes in the new year.

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful day with family and friends.  We are anxiously awaiting this "winter storm" that is predicted to give us a white Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

T'was the week before Christmas...

...and I landed in the dentist's chair on Monday.  Arrrggghhh!  After suffering with a toothache all weekend I couldn't wait to get to the dentist's office.  It was either the dreaded root canal or pull the dang thing and since it was a rear molar I said "off with it's head!".  (Not very Christmasy prose is it?)  It is now Tuesday and my mouth doesn't feel a whole lot better but I am determined to make the best of it.  Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen is my friend right now.  :o)

While in my pain induced stupor Monday, I sent my husband to the mailbox and just look at the treasures he delivered direct to the sofa.  :o)
How could I not manage a crooked smile when this little guy revealed himself?  You might recognize Carol's impeccable stitching in this sweet little Prairie Schooler ornament.  I just love everything about it, especially the little cardinal at his feet!  Thank you so much Carol for such a gorgeous ornament that arrived just when I needed a smile.  It is hanging front and center on my tree for all to see and admire.

Then I opened a package from Canada to see that Cathey sent me a wonderful black cat ornament for my Halloween tree.  I love it too and I am sure I will enjoy stitching my first beaded ornament.  Thank you Cathey for bringing another crooked smile to this face.  :o)

I have been enjoying visiting all of your blogs and seeing all the last minute Christmas finishes and preparations.  You are all so inspiring with your wonderful stories and beautiful pictures.  I am working on a last minute Christmas finish that I hope will be complete before the big day so I can hang it on my wall.  Here is a sneak peek:
Only 3 days left and I haven't even decided on a menu for the big day!  I'd best get crackin'!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Diva and Gifts

Glitter would like to thank each and every one of you for your comments on my last post.  Now she really is "Diva-ing" it up around here and giving Ziggy the old raspberry every time she sees him at the door.  :o)

I have been very fortunate to receive a couple of lovely stitchy gifts this week.  First, from dear Becky I am now the proud owner of one of her little cupcake pincushions.
 Isn't it so pretty and delicate?  And, it has a bird!  Thank you so much Becky, you know I will treasure it and think of you every time I see it.
Then today this little beauty arrived from Julianne.  That little bell is just the cutest and the trim and backing fabric are just gorgeous.  (Notice the wonderful card with cardinals and chocolates too.)  Thank you so much Julianne - the ornament is already being proudly displayed on my little tree. 

We had a bit of snow and ice here this week but the weather is supposed to be nice all the way into next week.  I am sure the bad weather put a damper on a lot of folks plans for Christmas shopping.  I hope you are all finished with your shopping and don't have to fight the crowds that are sure to be out this weekend.

Only 1 week until Christmas.  Can you believe it?!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretty Cardinals

I wanted to show you what I stitched for Raffaella for our private ornament exchange.  I haven't heard from her yet but according to the delivery confirmation it was delivered Thursday so I feel safe in posting a photo.
I used the design from Just Nan's Snow Tin and made it into a round ornament using those metal finishing forms.  It is stitched with DMC on 32 ct Antique Blue Linen.  This is my favorite cardinal design so far and I hope Raffaella loves it as much as I do.  I have the tin I stitched last year displayed under my tree but I just have to stitch this again into an ornament to hang on my tree.

As you can see I didn't have the correct bead frame and bead for the center (it was used on my tin last year) so I improvised with a seed bead and a larger red bead that I had in my stash.  I looked everywhere for a bead frame similar to the original but had absolutely no luck in finding it.  If anyone knows where these might be available I would like to add a couple to my stash for future stitches of this design.  :o)

Glitter wanted me to let you know she does occasionally pose for a photo.  I finally managed to catch her awake and she stayed still for a full 15 seconds so I could snap this picture of her.  I can't believe she is 11-1/2 years old now.

  We hope you are staying warm wherever you are and are logging many hours of quality stitching time with plenty of cat naps in between.  :o)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lots to share

Hello Friends!  I have found my way out of the funk that was the nasty virus thing I had last weekend.  UGH!  It seems to be sweeping the country and my little workplace is no exception.  Nearly everyone there has missed at least one day of work due to the achey, sneezy, stuffy head, fever mess.  I suppose I was fortunate that I had the weekend to recover and didn't miss too much work.  I am happy to say I am back to normal now.

Raffaella and I did a private Christmas exchange and just feast your eyes on this gorgeous ornament.
The picture really doesn't do it justice.  The velvet ribbon is so elegant and the beads on the tree add just the right touch of sparkle.  I am not sure of the designer but it is really a gorgeous piece.  She also sent along several wonderful goodies including the cutest gingerbread pattern that will make a wonderful addition to my decorating next year.  Thank you Raffaella for such a wonderful exchange that I will treasure for years to come.  :o)
 This little cutie arrived this week from Amy.  Now you know I love me some birds and especially red ones and it just thrills me to be able to add this to my collection.  Amy hosted a stitch-in last weekend which I had planned for the last 2 or 3 months to attend.  Since Scrooge McNastyFluBug hit me I wasn't able to make it but Amy was so kind and sent along this little pillow and a treat bag of goodies.  I was so disappointed that I didn't make it, my husband had planned to drive down with me so he spent Saturday trying to figure out what to do with himself while I coughed and hacked on the sofa.  Thank you so much Amy!  I really appreciate the goodies and your kind thoughtfulness.  Head over to Amy's blog and check out the other lovely ornaments she has made.
 The first of my Christmas RAK's has arrived so I can now show it to you.  This little candle mat made it's way to Mary's house for the holidays.  I know Mary loves candles and since Christmas is a holiday filled with lights and candles I just couldn't let it pass without making a Christmas themed mat for her candles. 
Speaking of Mary, while I was sick I accomplished quite a bit on the "Hare's Christmas" design she sent me and thought I should take a progress picture.  Doncha just love this cute family riding along in their sleigh?  I am not sure how I will finish it but I hope to have it done by Christmas. 

Our company Christmas party is tonight so I better get busy and try to find something appropriate to wear.  I hope you are all being blessed with the spirit and joy that is Christmas.  I know I am.  :o)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Finish

"December Monthly Sampler"
Little House Needleworks
32 ct Silkweaver Enchantment/CC Floss

I put the last stitches in this one the last night of November and framed it today.  I decided to change this one up a bit and used a piece of the fabric I won in the generous giveaway from Jennifer.  The blue mottled fabric really makes this look like a snowy scene, doesn't it?  You might notice I "left a light on" in one of my lower windows.  I just didn't like the thought of ALL the windows being dark and you just have to have a light on to welcome all your visitors, right?   I still have to finish the January sampler as I didn't start this series until  February.  I am happy that I was able to stick with it throughout the year and now I have a seasonal piece to display every month. 

 I have been itching to start "Hare's Christmas" that  Mary sent to me and am hoping to be able to finish it before Christmas actually arrives.  I think I will do just that after I have some soup - I have developed a scratchy throat and a bit of a fever today.  :o(  I sure hope I'm not getting the bug that is making it's way through our office.

Isn't this bulldog ornament the cutest?!  It is one of my most favorite store bought Christmas ornaments.  :o)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birds Galore

Hi dear friends!  I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Can you believe with all the cooking I do around this place I have never cooked a turkey?  We have always gone to either my mother's or my mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving and Christms dinner so I have never had to cook a turkey.  This year, we stayed home for Thanksgiving and I made my first turkey.
Ain't she a beauty?!  LOL  I cooked her on our grill and was very pleased with the result.  She weighed 13 pounds and only took 2-1/2 hours to cook.  I highly recommend cooking turkey on the grill as it was much moister and flavorful than oven roasted turkey.

 Yesterday, I hauled out the decorations and started decking the halls.  I made a few of these cardinals using a coloring book page for the pattern and painted the details onto the fabric.  This one is displayed in an arrangement of pine, cedar, and holly I collected from our yard and arranged in a trifle bowl.
 And this one is the topper for my 4 foot Christmas tree.  I love cardinals!
 I also made a few of these skate ornaments from the "Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle" book by Tone Finnanger.  They were a bit fiddly but worth the effort in the end.

I also managed to finish this ornament that I stitched last year.  The design is "A Spot of Christmas" by Milady's Needle from the JCS 2009 Christmas Ornament preview issue.  Doncha just love the little blue bird and the reindeer on this one?

Stitching continues on the LHN December Sampler.  I just can't seem to finish stitching this one.  Do you think maybe it is because I keep getting distracted by birds?  And skates?  :o)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Design by Primitive Betty

I hope you and your family have an extra special Thanksgiving filled with lots of love and laughter.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Saturday!

Ahhh, it is Saturday and I didn't have to work today.  I still got a call at 7:15 this morning because the computers wouldn't boot up but at least I didn't have to go in and deal with it.  HA!   This week was another tough one, still trying to hash out all the quirks of the new system.  Several of my co-workers bodies succummed to the stress and 3 of them were out sick with cold/flu and even the owner was out with a stomach bug.  I am dodging it as best I can - I don't have time to be sick!  Each week promises to be a little better if I could just keep everyone at work.  :o) 

A few weeks ago Daffycat posted a fabulous needleminder tutorial on her blog.  I am always searching my lap and table for my needle and I NEEDED a needleminder.  (say that 10 times very fast) 
 I am just thrilled with the way mine finished up.  I stitched the first one over 2 with DMC on 30 WDW linen and liked it so much I stitched another one over 1.  I backed them both with the red fabric.  Now maybe DH will stop "finding" my needles on the floor.  :o)  Thank you Sharon for sharing your tutorial!
And here is yet another one from the "vault".  LOL  I have searched and searched and know I still have this pattern somewhere but I can't remember the designer.  This was a self-framed piece and was in a plain brown frame.  I popped it out of that one and put it into this pretty one that Raffaella sent me for my birthday.  I don't know if it will stay here but I am pleased with it for now.  This design uses drawn thread work, specialty stitches, and beads.

I have cleaned house all evening - now it is time to sit down for some sewing and stitching.  I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back a little more

While in the storage building this weekend, I unearthed a few more treasures.  Again, it was difficult to get good pictures because these were all professionally framed with glass.



As you can see, these were stitched in 1993.  (How can I possibly be this old?!?)  My boys were 6 years old then and I wonder how I had the time or patience to stitch these with twin 6 year old boys running around the house.   These are from the Leisure Arts Leaflet "The Seasons in Samplers" by Linda Culp Calhoun.  They incorporate a variety of techniques - specialty stitches, drawn thread, and cross stitch.
Now, how would you hang these to display them?  In a row of four?  A cross pattern - 1 on top and bottom with 2 in the center?  Two by two?  I really want to put them on a wall but can't decide.  Please help. 

Again, this leaflet is up for grabs if anyone is interested.  If more than one person is interested I'll draw names from a hat.  :o)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flashback

Before I get to the flashback part, several of you asked about the Dirty Santa game I mentioned in my last post.  The way we play it at our company Christmas party is a bit different than the original but it sure is fun. Everyone brings five wrapped gifts, each valued at around $1.00. Then we take turns rolling a set of dice. If you roll a 7 or 11 you get to choose a gift OR you can steal a gift from someone else. We usually play quite a few rounds before we start stealing gifts and sometimes there are a couple of the $1.00 gifts that are quite coveted. It makes for a good hour of fun and fellowship after our meal without a lot of expense. I have played it before where each person brings one larger gift valued around $20.00 and the premise is the same.  When it is your turn you can choose a wrapped gift or steal someone else's gift.  So there you have it - Dirty Santa in a nutshell.  Now, what were you thinking?  ;o)

This weekend my son and I ventured into our storage building in an attempt to find our Lord of The Rings books.  He decided he wanted to read them again and I just knew they were in that building somewhere.  After opening and inspecting every box there were no LOtR books to be found but I did come across this:


Back in the early 1990's I enjoyed drawn thread work.  This is "Miniature Drawn Thread Sampler" by Linda Driskell stitched on 25 ct Dublin Linen using two sizes of pearl cotton.  I finished this one in 1994 and is one of the few pieces I have had professionally framed complete with suede mats.   I don't know why it has the word miniature in the title as it is far from mini in my book - the piece measures 6" x 14".
It was really tough to get a good picture through the glass but this closeup gives you some idea of how intricate this thing really is.  I can hardly believe I stitched it myself and I am still very proud of it.  It is now hanging on a wall in my dining room.  
I did a little googling and found that this book is still in print.  I have my old, battered, been in storage for 16 years copy and if anyone wants to give it a try I would be happy to send it along to you.  I know I won't be stitching another of these anytime in the near or distant future. 

P.S.  I ended up requesting the Lord Of The Rings books from Paperbackswap.com. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Better Week

Hello dear friends!  Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers for me this past week.  I am happy to say it was a better week at work though not any less stressful.  We are all working well as a team and helping each other through the transition to the new software. 

Yesterday, DH and I made a road trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up some coffee for our Tassimo machine and you know the car just navigated to JoAnn's as well.  :o)  No big purchases but I did find some nice trims and buttons and some neat $1.00 items for the dirty Santa game at our hospital Christmas party.  We ended the trip with lunch at Olive Garden.  I just love their salad and ate my fill while there.  It was nice to get out and about with my husband for a change and just enjoy the day.

As you can see I managed to finish the "Hearts Come Home" design into a pillow ornament.  I tea dyed the pom pom fringe to closer match the linen and the button was one of the purchases at JoAnn's yesterday.  It is a bit larger than I had originally envisioned but will still work well on a full sized tree or as a doorknob hanger.  I fluffed up his beard with a small brush as it is stitched with Rainbow Gallery's Fuzzy Stuff. 


In the little time I have had for stitching this week I have been working on my LHN December Sampler.  I hope to get it finished this week as I am itching to start on the Hare's Christmas kit Mary gave me.  I have also been working on some needleminders using Daffycat's tutorial but the magnets I have just aren't strong enough.  I guess that will mean a trip to Hobby Lobby sometime in the near future.  :o) 

I hope you all had a great weekend and will have an even better week ahead!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What a Week!

Happy Sunday Dear Friends!  This has been a crazy week for me - we installed new software at work and I am exhausted.  I have a huge learning curve to overcome as I have been using our current software for 10 years.  With the old software, I didn't even need to look at the screen to do most things.  I knew exactly how many clicks of the mouse, tabs, and enters I needed and didn't have to think about it.  Long hours this week didn't allow for much stitchy/sewing time so I spent most of today in the sewing room.

I am working on finishing up this ornament and trying to decide on buttons, trim, and hanger.  I do know that some tea dyed pom pom trim will be involved.  :o) 
This is a Homespun Elegance design - Wooly Tyme Club December.

I also worked on some of the zippered project bags as it is about time for another little giveaway soon and those seem to be very popular in my giveaways.  Stay tuned...

There was an extra special delivery this week as well.  On Friday when I really needed a little pick me up this beauty arrived in the mail as a belated birthday gift from Mary.
Isn't is gorgeous?  It is an Erica Michaels design, Random Thoughts of Autumn and I had admired it when Mary posted it as a WIP on her blog.  The picture really doesn't do it justice - there are pretty beads, the ribbon is just gorgous, and those little bows atop the pumpkins are so cute!  She also gifted me with 2 charts from my wish list - Hare's Christmas with linen and floss and Dog Lessons for People.  I squealed more than once when opening these lovelies.  Thank you so much Mary - you really surprised me and I am delighted with everything.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  If you have some good thoughts to send my way I (and my poor co-workers) am probably going to need them.  :o) 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ziggy Helps





Happy Sunday Everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

From Gaudy to Good

 I believe I have succeeded in making the gaudiest Halloween ornament ever.   But then, Halloween is all about dressing up - isn't it?  This is "Boo" by the Stitcherhood with DMC 4130 on my dyed 32 count linen.
I finished the stitching on LHN's November sampler and just need to get it ready to pop into the frame.  At first I didn't care for this design but once I started and the colors came together I think it may be one of my favorites from the series. 

Does anyone know what those little things just underneath and to the right of the pumpkin are?  Leaves or bugs?

I was tickled pink (pun intended) to have won Pumpkin's Stitch Pink giveaway.  I have been looking for one in my not so local JoAnn's and they do not have them.  I was also very pleasantly surprised that she included a fistful of some gorgeous pink DMC floss and a pretty pink ribbon scarf.  Thank you so much Cathey!
And here is the final picture of my Halloween tree.  Even DH is impressed with how well it turned out with the help of my blogging friends and told me he had been talking about it to his co-workers.  :o)  Thanks once again to all who contributed to making my tree such a huge success!  I don't even want to think about having to pack these treasures away until next year.

I hope you all have a great weekend and
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just another lazy Sunday

Lola decided to take advantage of the beautiful Autumn sunshine today by working on her tan.  :o)

I decided to try to squeeze in one more Halloween stitch before next weekend.  I am going to give the WDW Trick or Treat floss Julianne sent me with my Autumn exchange a try on this purple fabric I dyed today.  While I was at it I purpleized a piece of black and white fabric and just for giggles I tossed in some white pom pom trim.  The purple is pretty intense and I may end up coffee staining it as well. 

 Speaking of sweet Julianne , look what arrived in my mailbox earlier this week!   She sent me another ornament for my Halloween tree.  It is a PS design and it is wonderful.  I am especially fond of the golden yellow linen she used, I think it really shows the design nicely.
And check out the cute fabric she used on the back.  Those bats make me smile.  :o)  Thank you so much Julianne for such a wonderful surprise.  A larger Halloween tree is definitely in order for next year.  Either that or I will have to get a bigger bed since I am sleeping with all my pretty gifts.  ;o)

Ya'll just don't know how blessed I feel to have met so many caring, fun, interesting, giving people through this blog.   You have all inspired me in so many ways and I am so very thankful for your friendships and camaraderie. 

I am thisclose to finishing the LHN November sampler and if I could stop looking at all the pretty things you are showing on your blogs I just might get it done.  :o)  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and will have a wonderful week ahead.