Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011

Can anyone tell me what happened to the rest of 2011?  I would really like to find it as it seems that this year flew by so quickly I am bound to be missing a week or two somewhere.  My mother always told me the older you get the faster time seems to go by and although I didn't believe her at the time I really do think she was right. 

The past week brought a couple of new treasures to my mailbox.

Mary sent me this wonderful Yankee Candle tea light holder.  It is gorgeous and I just love it.  Mary said in her note she hoped it wasn't cardinal overkill and I had to laugh.  Can anyone ever have too many cardinals?  I do believe I am now officially a collector of cardinals as I just love them so.   

Then an envelope arrived from dear Marylin in France with this little cutie tucked inside.  Marylin, your stitching and finishing is just gorgeous!  I honestly don't know how you ladies make such tiny perfect stitches on those small linen counts.  Another one to be treasured.

Then for Christmas I was introduced to two new loves in my life.  :o)

 This was one of my gifts to my husband but I have fallen in love with it.  From coffee and tea to apple cider and everything in between I am enjoying a cuppa of everything and love it all!
And then this dark, handsome thing strolled in and my life has not been the same since.
 (How did that monster hand sneak in there? Ack!)

I wasted no time in stitching him up some suitable attire for him to match my handbag.  His sleek nakedness was just too much of a distraction you know and besides, he needed to be protected.

I love that this case opens like a book.  I altered the pattern a bit to insure a proper fit and added a velcro closure instead of the button one on the pattern.  Now Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome can be tucked away all safe and sound.

In anticipation of my New Year start of Halloween Rules and my year long SAL with Mindi and anyone else that wants to join in I made myself another stitching tote.  I simplified this one a bit and didn't add as many pockets.

I also made a spider needleminder especially for this tote.  I really like to have these lengthy projects organized into their own little package so everything is there when I need it.  The purple scissors that Chris gifted me in the Harvest Fob kit are perfect for this project. 

Whew!  That was a lengthy post, wasn't it?  If you are still with me thank you and thank you for being with me this year and leaving pretty comments and wonderful words of encouragement.  I think you are all very pretty.  :o)

I would like to wish each and every one of you a heartfelt wish for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and stitch filled New Year!  (Just as soon as I can find those missing weeks of 2011, I will celebrate along with you.)  :o)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Final TUSAL of 2011

These orts are really crammed in my little jar. 
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Heart Is Full

The generosity and kindness of friends in this blogging community just makes me so happy.  I was fortunate to receive 3 wonderful gifts this week that just filled my heart with joy.
 I admired this design in the JCS Christmas issue this year and had it on my list as one I wanted to stitch.  I couldn't have been more thrilled to find it in my mailbox finished to perfection by sweet Faye.  She is a genius when it comes to finishing.  This little beauty is in a boxtop!  I wish I had taken a picture of the back as it is a gorgeous Christmas plaid that compliments this design nicely.  Add that lucious chenille trim and a masterpiece it is!
Then my dear friend Carol sent this gorgeous ornament along with the little dish and tea towel.  She knows I love me some cardinals and this tiny one is one of the prettiest I have seen.  Her stitching and finishing is beyond compare.  I have said it before and I'll say it again - I want to be able to stitch like Carol when I grow up!

The dish is gorgeous too!

My sweet friend Norma gifted me with this precious little felt ornament.  I just love the vintage look of this one.  Aren't those little girls the sweetest things?  Norma and I "met" many moons ago on an art quilting forum and although I don't do much mixed media/art quilting now, she and I have remained good friends.

Ladies, I find it difficult to express in words how much I treasure these gifts.  They will always have a special place in my home (as you will in my heart). Thank you!  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Wonderland Exchange

I participated in the Winter Wonderland Exchange at Stitched With Love Exchanges .  I had Coleen as my partner and this is what I stitched for her:
Freebie from Gazette 94

 And these are all the extra goodies I put into her package.  :o)  She said she was very happy with everything I sent and I am so happy to have met another blogging friend.  I had never visited Colleen's blog before and am so glad to have found her through this exchange.

Catherine  had my name.  :o)  It was a secret exchange and we weren't supposed to reveal who we were to our partner until after everyone had received their packages.  When I saw the return address, I knew it looked familiar.  A quick look inside my address book and I figured out which little elf was mine.  LOL  Here is the before opening: 
Isn't it all so pretty?

This is the piece she stitched for me.  I love it!  It is from an old JCS magazine and is a design by Little by Little.  Catherine's stitching and finishing is just superb!

I just had to take a picture of this gorgeous cardinal ornament she sent along as well.  Love the pinecones!

 And look at all the extras she sent!  A shopping bag with cardinals,  my first Kelmscott needleminder, a gorgeous pattern with cardinals, some 40 ct Lakeside Linen, and a whole fistful of red overdyed flosses.  She truly spoiled me and gave me a Cardinal Christmas!

If you have a chance, pop over to the Stitched With Love Exchange blog.  We have also been sharing recipes, favorite Christmas stitches, traditions, and pictures of our homes at Christmastime.  Lots of fun being had there and if you think you want to participate in an exchange I highly recommend this group.

I am woefully behind on email and blog reading.  Too many things going on in this week leading up to Christmas and not enough hours in the day.  Thank you all for the comments on my last post and I hope to get caught up Friday when I will have the day off work.

I have received a few special gifts from some special friends this week and am waiting for the yukky rain outside to subside so I can get some decent pictures.  More on that in my next blog post.  :o)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Tree

I just can't seem to get a good picture of my Christmas tree.  I see these gorgeous photos of your wonderful trees on your blogs - how do you do it?
 (See that blue box on the left?  It's for me and has the Amazon swoosh on the name tag.  :o)  :o)  :o))
This is my $20 tree.  Yep, I found a new 7 ft slim pre-lit tree for $20 at a wholesale place.  I was just thrilled with it and I think the price makes it even prettier.  :o)  (I just wish my pictures could capture how pretty it really is.)

 A quick shot of my mantle.  I keep changing things around on it.  Of course when we decide to start a fire, most of it has to come down anyway.

I have managed a few little finishes this week.
 This design is a popular one and I just loved the way Becky finished hers.  So.... I stole borrowed her idea.  :o)  It is by Primitive Traditions stitched on 32 ct raw linen.
Here is a  little snowflake stitched on 32 ct Ruby Wine Belfast and finished with some pearl trim inside a bottle cap.  The design is a freebie from .

And last but not least is this little prim pinkeep I made for Faye.  I changed the colors up a bit and stitched it on a scrap of mystery linen.  This is a freebie by Pineberry Lane that I found in Attic Needlework's newsletter but it is also being offered for free at Pattern Mart.

Whew!  That was a long post and if you have made it this far THANK YOU!  I also want to thank everyone who send get well wishes.  I am feeling better today although the cough remains.  DH  is now sick and I am hoping we will recover completely this week so we can enjoy the holiday without all the coughing and hacking.

Are ya'll ready for Christmas?

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Crud Before Christmas

Yes, dear friends, once again I have managed to catch the crud right before Christmas.  I missed two days of work earlier this week and am not feeling a whole lot better today.  UGH!  I told DH if I HAD to get sick right before Christmas (which I seem to do every stinking year) I am glad it was this week and not the very week before Christmas.

While I was lying on the sofa trying to figure out whether to sleep or watch TV a wonderful package arrived from my friend Vera.

 This little bird on the pincushion is tiny!  Vera's stitching is just gorgeous.

And isn't this just cute!?  I hung it on my Christmas tree right away.

So what are you up to the weekend?  I plan to stay in and try to get rid of this cold/flu whatever it is so I will be ready for Christmas next week.  Can you believe it?  Only 8 days until Christmas.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Super Saturday

Yesterday I met Chris for lunch at Saffron in Greensboro.  Saffron specializes in Indian cuisine and it was my first experience with Indian food.  Let me just say that it was delicious!  I honestly have no idea what most of it was called but I do know that I really like Butter Chicken and Palak Paneer.   :o)

After we finished gorging ourselves ate we exchanged Christmas gifts.

 Isn't this ornament gorgeous??!!  I couldn't wait to get home and place it on my tree.  It is made of glass and the picture just doesn't show the lovely iridescence of the finish.
 And just look at these other goodies - a huge bundle of Northern Lights silk floss, a cute birdie notepad, and this wonderful little pottery piece from a local potter.  Chris said she envisioned it as a pincushion base and I think that would be gorgeous.  Now to find the right pattern to go with the motif and fit inside.
I couldn't resist taking a close up shot of the floss.  Aren't flosses pretty when bundled all together?

And since I am speaking of Chris...remember the Shepherd's Bush Harvest Fob kit she gifted me?
I finished it up this morning.  :o)

I had said before I am not a huge fan of SB designs but this one has me rethinking that .  I just love the purple along with the the autumnal colors and those little vegetables are just the cutest things.  I truly enjoyed every little stitch in this one.

I also love that there was a different design for the back.  Now, the back is a happy accident as the instructions said to count out so many threads from the design and pull that thread from the linen to give you a nice straight line to trim the linen for your fob.  I did that to the front design and then I did it to the back design too.   I never stopped to think that the design for the back was smaller than the design for the front.  Ugh!  What to do now?  Well, I took a strand of the perle cotton for the cording and stitched across every 3 threads around the design where I had pulled the thread from the linen.  Whew!  Stitchy catastrophe averted.  :o)

  Cute, cute, cute carrots, turnips, and onions!

Chris, thank you so much for making my Saturday a Super one!