Tuesday, May 17, 2016

St. Michaels....always a great time!

Well, I have survived!  Our annual retreat to St. Michaels was, as always, too much fun!  I'm still recovering from sore ribs from laughing so much.  Where do I begin?

I don't have a picture of all of us from the retreat yet, still waiting for the pic from Astrid...but I will post one from a while ago, the only one not in this picture is Astrid... 

Here are some of the projects we worked on....I just have to comment on the first picture here....this is an antique glass divided tray.  One of the ladies finds these and puts a little pincushion in the corner.  What a handy dandy little tray this would be to have!  I wonder if I could get her to make one for me....I love it!!!

And here are the three I worked on...I actually finished the top panel of the needlework casket

And started a SAL that was offered on this blog...

And started this piece too, and hope to finish soon! I think it's called Quaker Diamond... 

Our dear friend, Ms. P, who has had a rough year, was pranked a few times during the weekend....but I don't think she minded at all!  She loves minions...and all of us have been sending minion things to her here and there....but at one point while she was out of the room, some pretty cool looking minions showed up at her place at the table.  The creative, Ms. A, made these for her out of lemon pudding cups....aren't they adorable?

Another time while she was out of the room, we all donned minion glasses and were waiting for her to arrive.  We had a pair for her as well...and she joined in the fun....what a laugh we had!!

We had an ornament exchange, and here are all the ornaments that we did exchange.  I do have some pretty talented friends, don't I?  

The place we go is so peaceful, and there is always something amazing outside our cabin door....

Our weekends are too few and far between, but I guess that's what makes them so special.  I'm already plotting for next year....only 363 days to go!! 


Sunday, May 15, 2016

May Gifted Gorgeousness

Happy May!  I know I'm late, but I hope you that are Mothers here in the US and Canada have had a wonderful Mother's Day!  I was truly spoiled by my guys by being taken out to dinner after church, and then taken to see the new Captain America: Civil War movie.  They also made me a cake.  Am I spoiled or what?

First off, I have a few items to show you for the gifted gorgeousness challenge that is going on over at Serendipitous Stitching.  If you are interested in signing up, I think you can join up at any time but you can find the rules here.  And if you want to see what everyone is posting, you can visit the homepage of her blog here.  Thank you, Jo, for all your hard work in keeping track of us!  This challenge has kept me on the straight and narrow, I'm thankful for the gentle push for keeping up with my goals.

First up is the Snowflower Diaries SAL piece for May.  This is a free SAL being offered on Facebook and also on her blog which you can find here.  I have been stitching these on DMC antique mocha 32 ct. over one using DMC floss.

I was able to finish up another Advent number, but only one so far this month.  Here is the number 18.  You can find the free patterns for these here.  They are designed by Ellen Maurer-Stroh.  I've stitched this on 32 ct. natural linen over one.  Yes, I know I'm crazy!  LOL

I worked on another Round Robin through the Friendly Stitchers Round Robin group.  This one belongs to Christine, so here is the entire piece, and the square I stitched.

I am headed to a retreat this weekend, and I have a few gifts I'm giving while I'm there.  This post should show up after I arrive so by then it won't matter if these show up here.  So here is Beach Combin', for the person who organizes the retreat.

I've made these crocheted and stitched sachets for each lady who is going.  They are filled with mulberry pot puree and I just love the smell!!

I also made this little teacup pincushion for one of the ladies...it's a rooster, and there is a whole inside joke that goes with this.  I can't wait to see her face when she opens this package!  This pattern came from a book called 2001 cross stitch patterns and was stitched on 40 ct. over two.

We are having a Christmas ornament exchange at this retreat, and this is the ornament I made.  It was a free pattern called Silent Night by Barbara Ana Designs that was given on the Candy Cane stitchers group on Facebook.  It was done on 28 ct. over one and finished by me.  I've been asked if I stamped the back of the ornament, the answer is no, the fabric came that way and I centered it on the back.


 I have more stitching, but I'll leave that for another time.  I still have tons of things to do before I leave for the weekend, but I'm sure I'll have more stitching to show you after I return.  

Last week I had the privilege of visiting a home for unwed mothers with some members of my church and decorating for Mother's Day.  If ever you are feeling that your life is difficult, I urge you to volunteer someplace like this and I guarantee your life will look so much better.  

I once volunteered at a clothing give away at an elementary school in a poor neighborhood outside Baltimore.  A man stood looking at a suit hanging on the wall.  I asked if he wanted to try it on, and when he did it fit him perfectly.  With tears in his eyes he told me he had a job interview the next morning and didn't have anything to wear, he had been praying for the Lord's provision, and there was that suit...  I never knew if he got the job or not, but my guess is, if the Lord provided a suit, he probably provided a job for that family.  When I feel anxious about anything, I just remember that day...

I've had quite a month since the last time I posted.  My family and I made two trips to Georgia within a week of each other to say goodbye to my husband's brother.  Another life claimed by cancer.  Cancer....oh how I hate that word. I had news recently that someone I know was pronounced 100% cancer free, someone else was placed in hospice, I've had a few friends and relatives pass away, I know some fighting stage IV right now, and someone that got good and bad results from their tests last week. I've been on that journey myself...and though I've been in remission for 5 years, there is always that threat that it could come back, but there's always the "scars" left behind in the toll it takes on your body from fighting it. Let's lift those battling cancer up right now, pray for encouragement and strength, and pray for the families who are watching their loved ones, and those families who have lost loved ones. It is such an ugly disease, it can bring out the worst in people, but it can also bring out the best, if we let it. 

I'll leave you with this picture of my azalea bush blossoming in my front yard.  I love spring, just the fact that beauty comes after the long winter months, life is cyclical and we always have hope that there will be a "spring" after the harsh winter.

Friday, April 15, 2016

April Gifted Gorgeousness...and then some...

I am a little early this month, but I'm going to have a busy weekend so I thought I'd get this written up early.  It's been a busy 30 days since I last posted....lots going on so I'll get started.

First off, I have a few items to show you for the gifted gorgeousness challenge that is going on over at Serendipitous Stitching.  If you are interested in signing up, I think you can join up at any time but you can find the rules here.  And if you want to see what everyone is posting, you can visit the homepage of her blog here.  Thank you, Jo, for all your hard work in keeping track of us!  This challenge has kept me on the straight and narrow, I'm thankful for the gentle push for keeping up with my goals.

So....let's see...what can I show you?  First off is another Advent number finished.  I'm slacking a little here, but it's been insanely busy in my neck of the woods.  Here is number 19.  These are freebies that can be found at this site.  There are lots of really nice free patterns here!  I just love Ellen Maurer-Stroh patterns! 

I made up one of the Advent numbers that I had finished, but I didn't like the way it was done, so I redid it.  I like this finish much better....but as I've been stitching these up, I think I've decided to finish them all a little differently.  Hopefully I'll have a couple more done by this time next month to show you!

I showed you last month the piece I stitched for my cousin.  I still haven't got it in the frame, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  But I did finish another piece for her sister.  This is Enter into His Gates by My Big Toe.  It's stitched on 32ct Jobelin over one.  I just love this, and I will be stitching one for me when I get a minute to start another one...

I stitched a Betty Boop for my friend's Mom.   I've been friends with this lady since I was 7 years old, and her Mom is a sweetheart.  When I heard she liked Betty, I searched for a long time before I found this pattern.  It is actually a crochet pattern, so I had to pick the colors and play around with it before I liked how it looked.  It's stitched on 40 ct. over two, using one strand of floss for most of the colors, but two strands for the black.  UGH!!  Never again...LOL  It's just too hard to get two strands to get through 40 count...well too hard for me I guess.  I hope she likes it, and I'm still trying to figure out how to finish it off...frame or bell pull...decisions, decisions...  

I was able to stitch up April from The Snowflower Diaries SAL.  These patterns are so much fun!!  These are freebies and you can find them here.

I have two other things I've stitched and finished, but because they are gifts for other people I'm reluctant to show them now.  I should be able to post them next month...so watch this space!
 I'm not sure if this counts as a gifted gorgeousness entry, but I'm taking part in a Round Robin, and this is my part of the piece that was sent to me.  I just love stitching for other people, and these Round Robins have been a joy to stitch!

I have been working hard to keep up with the goals I've set for myself. Though I fell a little behind on the  Advent numbers, I've been able to keep up with the Country Cottage Needleworks monthly cottages.  Here is March....


In case you are not sports fans, or have your head buried in the ground, it's baseball season again!  We love our Orioles here in Maryland!!  We counted it all up, and this is our 10th year attending Opening Day.  Of course it was cold....but we always have fun.  We had two rain delays, the wind was whipping up a storm...literally...and I nearly froze my cheeks off, but it was worth it to see the Orioles win!  We are always hopeful for a good season...knock on wood.  Let's Go O's!  Here are my boys relishing in the day!

I'll leave you with some pictures I took around my house today.  It was so beautiful outdoors, even if it was a bit chilly.  I just love spring, don't you?



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Gifted Gorgeousness

It's been an interesting month since I last posted for Gifted Gorgeousness.  I sure do enjoy this challenge!!  Not only am I pulling things out of the mothballs that I've had sitting here for ages, but I'm finding things to stitch for other folks.  I realized the other day that whether or not people like what I've made them, I think of them the entire time I'm stitching, more often than not they creep into my prayers, so if I've made anything for you recently, consider yourself prayed over and thought of dearly!

This challenge is organized by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching and you can see what others have been stitching by visiting this page, or read the rules on this page.  From the looks of things you can sign up at any time, so come join the fun! 

So...here is what I've been gifted with this month...

I took part in an exchange for Stitcher's Day and I received this from Amy.  Now you know my real name...so don't spread it around...LOL!!  Not only is the front beautifully stitched...

but the back is beautifully finished.  I just love it Amy!  Thank you so very  much!!

I received a few patterns in the mail from winning the drawing at the end of the Gifted Gorgeousness challenge last year.  I forgot to take a picture, but I'll get them posted next time.  Thanks again, Jo and the generous people who shared their charts with you to gift to us!  There are several I'm hoping to stitch up just as soon as I finish my challenges for this year.  Is there ever enough time to stitch?

I've decided to stitch a few things for other people.  Two of my cousins will be beneficiaries this year.  I stitched this for my cousin Dianne,

and this one is going to my other cousin, Susan.

I finished up the letters for Merry Christmas from the Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet.  I'm still trying to figure out how to attach them to the blocks I have.  I'll show pictures once I've decided what to do.  Another challenge complete for this year!  Woo hoo!

I'm still working on Aurora Cabin, though slowly.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  Here is my progress pic.

I finished up another number in the Advent series I'm working on.  Still hoping to get two more done this month.  Wish me luck! 

I also finished up March from the Snowflower Diaries.

I'm still working on that Christmas ornament, it's slow going...

I'll leave you with some flowers we recently found.  I wanted it to look Spring like here in my house!  Even the orchid Astrid gave me is in bloom.  I just love Spring, don't you?