Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Making the moments count...

Whew!  It's been a busy time here at DJ's digs.  So much to do, so little time!!  I don't know why all of a sudden my stitching goals have become my priority.  I know deep down that I SHOULD be doing other things, but I feel so good when I get stitchy things done each month and I can check them off my list!  I've had a productive month...so that makes me feel good.  I wish I were so disciplined with other goals (like losing weight, making more home cooked meals, and keeping my house more organized and clean)...maybe next year I'll start a blog about that and maybe that will become a reality too.

Anyhooo...my goal has been to stitch 2 items each month that are winter/Christmas related.  So far I've been able to do that!  (Now if only I could get them finished so I can display them...but hopefully that will come soon!)  This month I've stitched a Mill Hill kit, Holiday Stamp.  I'm not sure if many of you knew I collected stamps.  It's been an off and on type of thing....and last year I made ornaments for the guys and had intended to make this one for myself.  I'm only two months late...hahaha

I also stitched a Christmas Memories Silhouette called Sharing the Christmas Story a Handblessings design by Eileen Gurak.  I love this one because there  is a nativity under the tree...and finding unique nativities is something else I enjoy collecting.  Because I've lived in many different states and a few different countries, I have quite a collection.  Last September I even found an Eskimo nativity, complete with Igloo and animals native to Alaska!!

I finished stitching the Matzah cover I was making for my friend.  Now to decide how I should complete the finishing on it.  I guess I should do a little more research.  

I've started stitching my March Christmas item.  This was a Christmas gift from my husband and is another Mill Hill kit called Baby Jesus.  There were three different Trilogies of these kits.  This trilogy is Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  I've decided to stitch them on fabric so I can make standups when I'm finished.  I have all the Wise Men, two Shepherds, and the Holy Family.  I think there is an Angel somewhere but I don't have that kit.  I'll have another nativity to add to my collection when all is said and done.  I may try to make at least one each month so I'll have them for next Christmas.  I'm hoping to finish it by the 15th of next month so it will be my Gifted Gorgeousness item.  Wish me luck!!

I had a visit from Astrid last week.  There must be something about folks who love Tigger that I'm attracted to.  I bought this jacket for my husband many years ago, and he pulls it out of the closet on really cold days (despite it's appearance it's a very warm coat).  He is a Tigger lover from way back.  Little did I know that Astrid is too...and they happened to be wearing their Tigger apparel on the same day!  Of course I had to get a picture of the two of them...and look who joined in the fun...I'm not sure if Thomas likes Tigger or not, but they are both bouncy, trouncy, bouncy, trouncy,  full of fun, fun. fun!  

I guess the picture taking was too much for him....he retreated to his box shortly after for a nap...LOL!!  He's not looking so bouncy, trouncy or fun at the moment....

Ok, off to get things settled for tomorrow...that's the big day...so I'll be out of commission for a little bit while I recover from surgery.  I just have a few little things I need to take care of today.  I hope you all are staying warm and safe....if you're like me you're anticipating spring, it's been a challenging winter to say the least!  We broke a recorded cold temperature here last week...YIKES!  But it will soon be over, I hope!  See you soon! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness part 2...and then some!

And another month bites the dust...where is the time going??  

Before I forget I'll get the Gifted Gorgeousness post done (I nearly forgot about it last month!!)  So...I have two pictures to show today...

The first is one a friend had given me to stitch.  This is the February Garden Journal Series from Garden Samplings.  I'm trying to finish each month, during the same month.  So far I've been on point!  Wish me luck!!

The second is a gift I'm giving to someone else.  I was ecstatic to use only threads I had here at home, fabric someone had given me a while back, keeping up with my "stitch from stash" resolution, and hope to get it in a frame and off to my friend sometime soon.  I finally found a frame last week, I just need to get it pinned and secured in the frame.  It was for a friend's birthday and part of my Pay It Forward project I have going this year.  This is a A Mon Ami Pierre pattern.

My other SAL I'm participating in is the Get It Done SAL 2015.  I have two patterns I've been striving to finish this year.  I've made progress on both, and am so excited to show them to you now.  I'm actually half way done on my Bent Creek Red Thread piece!!  

The other is Aurora Cabin and is a Dimensions kit.  I have been working a bit on this but got sidetracked...I'll show you why in a minute.

I have been invited to a friend's house for Passover this year.  I am a Christian, but my friend from college is Jewish, and she invited us to her Passover Seder this year.  I am incredibly honored, and so excited to take part in her celebrations.  I've always wanted to participate in a Seder, and am so thrilled she asked me.  I asked what I could bring, and she said she would give it some thought, but in the meanwhile, I found this lovely Matzoh cover to stitch, and though she probably has one already, I thought she might appreciate the sentiment.  I love this pattern, and am nearly halfway done now.  I am not sure how this is actually used so if you know how I should finish this off, I would appreciate your input!!

I still have half a month left to go...I hope to finish the Matzoh cover, and hope there will still be time left over to finish two winter/Christmas themed projects to keep up with my goals for this year.  Wish me luck!!  I will be having surgery toward the end of the month so with all the appointments I am running out of time.  Off to get some stitching done while we are "iced in" today!  I'll leave you with a picture of a little visitor yesterday, who braved the sub zero wind chill to pay me a visit.  Doesn't he look chilly???



Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Jewels

Hello folks!

Where has the time gone?  Insanity seems to reign supreme in my little world.  I've amazed myself at how much stitching I've been able to achieve, but then they have been little projects here and there.

A little while back I posted something on Facebook about Pay It Forward.  

"Pay It Forward..." First 5 people to comment on this status with "I'm in" will receive a surprise from me at some point during the year - anything from a book, a ticket, something homemade, a postcard...
There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Once my first five have commented "I'm in" I will forward this message to you privately, so that you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status, (don't share it) so that we can form a web of connection of kindness.
Let's do more nice and loving things in 2015, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here's to a more enjoyable and friendly, and love filled year....Who's in? 

No one signed up...really??  LOL!!  In the past, especially during my cancer treatment, people were so generous, with threads, patterns, kits, cards, driving me here and there, meals, and the list goes on.  They all insisted they wouldn't take anything in return, so...with that in mind, I decided I would  pick 5 people and gift them with something, and I'm not even going to ask them to pay it forward...and for those I do pick, please...I really don't want anything in return, and you can just pay it forward!  

My first one is to Gillie.  Her birthday was last week, and I hoped to finish it in time...well I DID finish stitching it, but haven't had it framed yet.  Pictures to follow after she has it in her hand...hopefully soon!

I have tried in the past to stitch two Christmas/Winter pieces a month...and so here are the two I've finished this month.  Both of these patterns were gifts from friends.

A Little Christmas by Lizzie Kate 

A Little Snow by Lizzie Kate

I've also challenged myself to stitch the "My Garden Journal" and hope to finish each month during the month.  I finished stitching January's Snowdrop today!  Whew, just barely squeaked in!  It was stitched on 28 count Lambswool over one!  Thanks Astrid, for lending them to me!

I'm participating in another Friendly Stitcher's Round Robin.  This past week I stitched on Mouse's.  Ironically I stitched the M, with a little mouse peeking around the pumpkin....on her birthday!  I'll have it in the mail soon, Gillie, I'll let you know when!  Starting tomorrow, I'll have to get back to stitching on my "Get it Done" pieces!!

I had a wonderful surprise in the mail last week!  Mouse sent back some patterns I let her borrow.  In the package were a couple little gifts...this lovely purple fabric (my favorite color!!) and a kit to make an Alphabet Scissor Stand & Needleroll!  What a lovely surprise!  It even includes the scissors and the wooden spool!  Thanks ever so much, Dear Mouse!!  I will have to make these for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL!

Off to get threads together for Feburary's Garden Cottage pattern, and see what I want to stitch for the Super Bowl party I'm attending tomorrow.  But first, I'm meeting some fellow stitchers for a Super Bowl Sale at my LNS.  So much to do....so little time!  Have a great weekend!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Rolling along...and Gifted Gorgeousness Entry

It's been a busy year so far...and though I'm behind in a couple of SAL's, I'm keeping up with a few goals.  I started a little encouragement group that hopefully will help me keep focused on finishing two projects I started this month...with the hopes to finish by the end of the year.  So far I'm going well on one of them, but struggling with another.

I began the Red Thread by Bent Creek New Year's day.  I've stitched the first four little squares (each one represents one month....and because I'm backwards...I finished December, November, October, and September.)  It's been a very quick stitch and I have no doubt I'll finish before the year is up.  Here's my progress so far.

I started Aurora Cabin...a kit by Dimensions.  The first color of blue called for six strands.  YIKES!!  It was so hard to pull the thread through, the fabric would pop each time I drew the needle through.  The next color also called for six strands, but I decided to use only four.  It's covering fine, and is much easier to pull through...so...I'll use the six strands for the other color, but anywhere else I'm using four!!  Craziness!!  Here's my progress so far.

My last project here I started this morning, and finished tonight.  It was a very quick stitch, and such fun!!  A friend gave me her pattern.  She had used the materials that came in the kit, so I chose some fabric, and found a heart that I loved.  I'm pretty sure the heart is bigger than the one in the kit, but I thought it was pretty.  I hope it doesn't look too big...what do you think?  This is A Little Christmas by Lizzie Kate.  Another goal this year is to try and finish two Christmas/Winter themed pieces each month.  Only one more to go!!  This is this months "Gifted Gorgeousness SAL" entry.

I've been a little preoccupied for the last two weeks.  Last January my Mom was rushed to the hospital by helicopter with a ruptured aneurysm.  Thankfully she survived and I was able to spent 6 weeks with her helping her adjust back home.  This year...nearly exactly one year later, she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance to a larger hospital 70+ miles away, with a mysterious ailment that they  never did figure out.  This time I stayed put in Maryland.  Whew!!  She was sent home a couple  of days later, and seems to be okay.  It's hard living so far from her.  Hopefully she'll stay  healthy now!

There have been a few other things occupying my mind and my time...but hopefully I'll still find time to get some stitching done!  I'll keep you posted!  

I was invited to a stitch day yesterday and as always, had fun with my stitching friends.  It is always fun to meet up with these ladies, the laughter and stories that fly sure make my day!  Stitching buds really are the best!

Off to get more stitching done.  Take care!

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year...New Start

It's a new year...time to turn over a new leaf!  Right?  Let's hope so!  I have a good feeling about the year 2015!!  I'm so ready to leave 2014 in the dust!

I've started a couple of big projects I hope to finish this year.  They are substantial, but ones I truly WANT to finish and frame.  I started them both on New Year's day, so lets see if my wishes will come true!

The first is Aurora Cabin, a Dimensions Gold Treasure Kit.  It is stitched on 16 ct. Aida that came in the kit.  Wish me luck, as I HATE Aida...we'll see if my fingers can deal with this...as the first part I started stitching has me pulling SIX strands of floss through those little unyielding holes.  OUCH!!  Thankfully this is only half cross stitches, and only in a good portion of the sky.  If I can get past this part, the rest should be a breeze...keep your fingers crossed!

The second is The Red Thread by Bent Creek.  It is stitched on 32 ct linen over two...no Gillie...these are not stitched on 40 over one...feel better now?  LOL!!  I've already realized I didn't buy enough floss...ugh!!  I was hoping this would be the year I would stitch from stash.  I will forgive myself a few skeins of floss here and there, but I am determined to save money this year and only buy what I absolutely NEED...not want!!!

I finished up The Weather Vane by Little House Needleworks on New Years Eve...and that became my last finish for the year 2014!  I loved stitching this!!

I received a couple of cross stitch gifts for Christmas.  If all goes as planned, I hope to stitch up some characters from the nativity (Mill Hill Bead kits...8 of them so far...I hope to find and get the angel later as a belated Christmas gift from DH.)  I am going to stitch them on fabric, then make "cubes" out of them so I can have a new Nativity for my collection next Christmas.  Wish  me luck!! 

I also hope to finish two Christmas ornaments a month.  I tried to do that last year...and actually finished quite a few.  I lost track towards the end of the year, but I'm pretty sure I stitched at least 12...if not more.  It helped at the end of the year not to have such a crunch to get things done and out on time.

I'm also participating in another RR this year.  I posted pictures last time of the first one I've stitched on.  It's ready and waiting to go in the mail, as soon as I get my buns in gear.  Hopefully tomorrow!

Lastly, I hope to finish up some WIPS I have floating around here.  It is so unlike me to not finish something I started, but I am totally in over my head with some of the UFOs I started and then set aside.  One BIGGIE...is the afghan I started for my Mom.  I hope to finish that this month.  *fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes crossed*  Yes...I do look like  a demented pretzel in this position, and it makes it hard to stitch...so wish me luck...will you?

We squeezed in a little trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore the day after Christmas.  It's always a good time with my guys...they keep me in stitches! 

I've been reflecting on the past year, mainly because each year we write a letter for our Christmas cards, and it always amazes me how much we do, and how far we come in a year.  It's been a busy year for us, one full of ups and downs, trials and treasures.  I will say, as difficult as this year was for us, there were some really wonderful treats thrown in.  This year marked a month away from home caring for my Mom who suffered a ruptured aneurysm last January.  I made her promise not to get sick in the dead of winter again.  I was away for 6 weeks while the snow piled up around us...not my cup of tea anymore!  LOL  She is doing great since though!  I say it's because of  my amazing nursing skills, but actually her Dr. can take most of the credit.  He was amazing!!  We lost my MIL near the middle of the year.  Through the sadness and tears, we did connect with family members we hadn't seen in quite a long while, and healing took place too.  I'm a firm believer that out of every circumstance, good or bad, something good comes.  We learned my BIL has cancer and has been undergoing treatment, but at last report there has not been any spread of the disease, and he seems to be doing well.  There was a wedding in the family!  We were able to visit my cousin in NC briefly, and heard that her long lost brother was recently found and reconnected with the family.  We haven't heard from him in literally decades!!  We learned that there will be two new members of our family in the new year (a niece and a nephew's wife will be having babies), so we are rejoicing with them!  DH and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a life long dream of an Alaskan adventure.  The guys totally spoiled me on my birthday with a weekend trip out of town...we took in a dinner theater AND...got to attend a "meet and greet" of two of my favorite TV personalities...Jason Hawes and Steve Gonzalves.  What fun!!  Our son became a full time employee, received a raise and a promotion and finished his first two college courses with good grades.  He took a missions trip to Puerto Rico this year, which he paid fully on his own...so proud of the man he has become!  He has a heart for those in need and acts on it!  Sadly, he is making plans to move out with a couple of his friends.  The thought of being an empty-nester doesn't appeal to me so we are doing as much as we can with him while he still lives with us.  I'm happy he will be moving on, progress is a good thing, yet my heart is breaking a little too.  Yes...the good far outweighs the bad...and we enter into 2015 with high hopes of more good times ahead.  So...on that note...I wish you many blessings in the coming New Year, and hopes of lots of stitching progress!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Gift...

Wow, I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I updated my blog...where in the world did the time go???  I've been busy, but with nothing much to show for it!  I need a vacation from life...how about you?

It's a glorious foggy day here in Maryland this morning.  I just love the fog!!  Here's a picture from my front window...

So...I have very little stitching to show you since I've been running from pillar to post with little rest in between.  But it has been a lovely wild ride!!

First off, I have finished another year long SAL that Gillie so kindly bought for me...I loved stitching on it and really love the outcome.  I changed the wording in the center a little since it was originally in French.  Thanks again, Gillie, it was a wonderful stitch!

Next are a few last minute ornaments I made that were used in an ornament exchange.  Sadly I think one of the recipients wasn't too happy that he got a hand stitched ornament...oh well.    Next year I'll bring store bought and give my hand made ornaments to someone who will appreciate them.

I just finished up last night  my part in a RR that a group of 8 of us just got started in November.  This one promises to be lovely when she gets it finished.  It was so much fun being the first to choose which one I wanted to stitch!  Hope she likes my stitching!!

Last is something I made for a friend in England.  Her nickname is Mouse, and when I saw this pattern, I just had to make it for her.  She has shown pictures of her stitching room, and it has a fireplace that looks similar to this one.  As soon as I have finished framing it, it will be winging it's way to Merry Ol' England...but only after the holidays are over.

I've been working like a fiend on my Mom's afghan (which I did not finish in time for Christmas).  Unfortunately the afghan was taking more time than I anticipated, but I figure I only have about 20 more hours to stitch all the rows together and get the border around the edge done.  Um...if you're lucky, you  may get it by next year, Mom!!  Sorry!!!!! 

What has been keeping me so busy?  Well, my friend Astrid has been moving into her new home, and a few days I've been over there finger her stash ah...I mean, helping her to organize her stitching room.  One day we went shopping...and made donuts...but mostly I've been busy shopping for the holidays.  I did happen to do some Christmassy stuff, such as go to the Festival of Trees with my good friend, Ms. M.  I also saw the Russian Ballet perform the Nutcracker for the first time.  It was a lovely evening with three other ladies.  We received a DVD and an actual Nutcracker with our tickets to the ballet.  Afterwards we had dinner, then drove to Federal Hill in Baltimore to view the Inner Harbor from the park there.  It was a wonderful evening, one I will not forget!

The Ballet was just what I needed to allow me to catch my breath and enjoy the wonderful time of year we are celebrating.  I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed, Happy and Healthy New Year!  I do hope you'll find peace and rest during this season and remember why we celebrate...the timeless and wonderful gift from God, the Prince of Peace, His one and only Son, Jesus.