Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blizzard Stitching!

So....after a few hours of shoveling, and keeping the guys entertained...I was able to get some stitching done.....actually quite a lot!!  Where do I begin?

Let's see, I have an exchange coming up.  I'm going to show a couple of pictures from what I'm making, but I'm still kicking around ideas on how to finish.  I've got some really interesting ideas how I should do it, but that will remain a secret until I actually send it on it's way.  This is stitched on 54 count fabric over two.  I would hate to stitch anything really big on this count, because the stitches turned out quite tight in there, and took much longer than it probably should have.  I had nothing better to do anyway, so I just kept at it.




Next up is one of the pieces I'm stitching for a RR.  This one belongs to Mouse and you can see her blog here.  This fabric is from Sparklies, and was such a joy to stitch on...really!  I wish I could browse their stall at Harrogate...maybe one year I'll get there.  We'll see...




I have been participating in the Joyful World SAL from The Snowflower Diaries.  They sent out February's chart, so I thought I would squeeze it in and finish it up this month. This is stitched on 32 count over one.  I've been trying to figure out a way to finish, finish it so I can include it in a challenge Friendly Stitchers is having.  I think I have an idea, but it's still on the back burner.  Watch this space because I have to do something with it before the end of the month!



 In trying to stick to my schedule, I went ahead and stitched two letter Rs from Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet.  My goal was to stitch two letters a month spelling out Merry Christmas, but these two only took about 3 hours, so I may just go ahead and stitch a few more.  The more I stitch, the sooner I finish.  I'm looking forward to getting these on blocks.  I have other patterns and might stitch small blocks to spell out Welcome, or another holiday, we'll see.




I edited this to include the Valentine's exchange piece I did.  I happened to be in Michaels and stumbled across this frame that I thought would be perfect for the piece I had stitched.  I wasn't planning on framing it, but this frame had a ribbon to hang it with and a lovely scrollwork design on it that fit perfect with the theme.  My partner in the exchange said she loved it and thought it looked perfect too, so here it is finished!  So glad you liked it!




Looks like I'll have to put my needlework casket on hold.  As I was stitching I realized it was going to be too big for the opening in the box.  A few friends tried to convince me to just go ahead and not worry if some things are covered.  UGH!!  I would be so disappointed every time I looked at it and decided to go back and buy a higher count fabric and start over.  It was so discouraging that I haven't had the desire to get back into it...soon though!  Aurora Cabin is languishing on the sidelines calling to me...funny I haven't picked it up because all that shoveling left my arms aching...so it's hard to hold anything big right now...maybe in a couple of days.

I haven't started London either...I just can't seem to get on to the big stuff right now...hoping my mojo for the bigger projects comes back soon!!  The fabric came in just before the storm hit.  I'm going to stitch it on 40 ct. over two, but I will have to set up my floor frame and right now I'm not sure where I'm going to put it...sometimes I wish I could hang it from the ceiling and lower it when I needed it!  LOL!!

I'm off to stitch on some advent numbers...we'll see how they turn out.  I think I'll stitch 24 next as that's the biggest one, and then I can decide how to finish them off.  That way I can finish them as I go, and make them similar in size.  Wish me luck!

I hope those who were in the path of the storm are doing okay.  We have a window leaking like a sieve...I'm not sure what to do about that at this point....ugh!!  My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones, and for the people on the West coast who are dealing with the storms there.  It just seems there are so many tragedies going on out there in the world...it puts problems like misunderstandings between friends, or family members, being snowed in for a couple of days, leaky windows, and the like in perspective.  So my final words are these....forgive quickly, learn to speak gently, love unconditionally, pray for others who you feel have wronged you, and seek peace.  If all else fails...move on, if they can't get over their disappointment in you, (because let's face it, we're all human and make mistakes), then they weren't meant to stay in your life anyway.  Getting even, being snide or nasty, excluding others, doesn't make them look bad, it makes you look bad and it doesn't hurt anyone else but you.  The only person who can rob you of your joy is YOU!  As for me, I choose joy!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

And the shoveling begins...

Well, we survived, with power, sanity and back intact!  I've been out helping DH shovel this morning.  I'm hoping we can shovel the 29.2 inches we got in stages, and soon, before it compacts and gets too heavy to maneuver.  The problem is...there's no where to put it!  With a front yard the size of a postage stamp, the best you can do is pile it high!  I'm betting we don't see our front yard until summer at lease!  LOL!




I took a picture late last night before I went to bed....and one late this morning.  I'm not sure what time it finished showing, but I'm guessing around 10 PM.  They (you know...the big THEY) are not allowing people out on the roads without snow tires or chains so  I don't plan on going anywhere, but it was nice to get some fresh air!  Still you gotta clean off those cars in case there's an emergency...and the guys are hoping to go to work tomorrow.  We shall see.  The last time we got this type of storm we were housebound for 7 days!!!





Yes there's a car under there...or I should say a minivan.  I'm hoping I'll see it sometime in June...LOL!!

Ok, off to get more stitching done.  I thought I would get more done yesterday, but I was too busy keeping you know who entertained...LOL

Stay safe and warm wherever you are!

Friday, January 22, 2016

And SNOW it begins...

Yes, here we go again.  It was 5 years ago that the big Snowmageddon happened (you can see pictures of that storm here) and according to the news tonight, this storm is going to be historic.  Does that mean it will be worse?  Not sure, but I hope we are prepared.  It has been snowing about 4 hours now and already the ground is covered and the brunt isn't even supposed to hit us until tomorrow.  They are saying it's supposed to be a 48 hour event with the heaviest snow starting around 6 tomorrow morning.

I decided to show what it looked like before any snow started falling...so here we are around noon today.  



About an hour later, I got a call from my husband that they were getting off work early, and would be home soon.  What normally takes about 15 minutes took them an hour and a half to get home, and at that time it was only flurrying.  I guess everyone had the same idea to head home as the storm was starting rather than waiting for the roads to get slick.  That's life in the burbs I guess!   Here is what it looked like 4 hours later...



So...what will I be stitching on during the Big Kahuna?  I started this for a Stitch Day exchange....we'll see if I can get it finished, since I'm only about half way there.  This is stitched on 45 count over two.  Yep, you read that right, 45 count.  I stopped in Sea Needles on my way home from Rehoboth last weekend to find something to stitch, and after I collected the pattern and the floss...guess what....they didn't have 40 count fabrid.  Nor did they have 36 count...so what's a body to do?  LOL  I didn't want it too big, and it won't be that's for sure!  Once it's done, and I'm shoveled out and my partner gets it, I'll show you what it turned into.



Did I mention that we went to Rehoboth last weekend?  My dear husband promised me a weekend away after I came home from NY.  I found a groupon coupon for a hotel close to the beach so we decided, since neither of us had been there, that we would go.  It was a great time away from the hustle and bustle, and a much needed break.  Little did we know it would snow...and turn bitter cold...but that didn't stop DH from wearing shorts to the beach...



It was a lovely day traveling home though...so we took this shot on the beach the next day, when DH so wisely changed from shorts to jeans.  The sun was bright but it is deceptive how cold it was...with the wind chill it was just barely above 0 degrees!






Well I'm keeping my fingers crossed we keep our power, and if so, I'll be back with an update when the snow finishes falling, and hopefully I'll have some stitching pictures to show you!  For those of you in the path of the storm, good luck and stay safe!  For those of you watching from afar, keep those warm thoughts coming!

Friday, January 15, 2016

New Beginnings and Gifted Gorgeousness...

It's been an interesting week!  I've had extremely busy days, and days when I could stitch to my hearts content!  I've been trying to "downsize" both my belongings and myself (I could really lose some weight...wish me luck!)  So...I've been trying to get a certain number of steps in each day, and still trying to get in so much stitching time each day.  It's a war within!  LOL  But so far I'm happy with the results.

Another year of Gifted Gorgeousness is planned by Jo.  If you would like to join or know more information about this SAL you can find the rules here.  If you would like to see what everyone else is stitching on  you can see their entries here.  Thank you so much Jo for hosting this again, I really enjoyed it so much last year!

I was able to start and finish two of the advent numbers for this month.  I'm counting these under Gifted Gorgeousness as they are free patterns offered on the internet on Ellen Maurer-Stroh's website you can find here.  I bought the threads with a gift card I received from my dear husband for Christmas as well.  I hope to finish at least two each month.  Wish me luck!  These are stitched on 28 count over one.




I was able to finish January in the series being offered through The Snowflower Diaries as a free SAL.  You can find them on her website here.  I have all the materials to start February too, I just  need to find the time!  LOL  I'm counting this as a Gifted Gorgeousness as well, as these are being offered for free this year.  This is stitched on 32 count over one.



I've been stitching the letters for Merry Christmas, and they will be attached to wooden squares hopefully in time for Christmas.  I'm hoping to do two letters a month.  They stitch up quick, I finished both of these in one day!  There are Christmas Alphabet by Prairie Schooler.  








I've made progress on my Needlework Casket, but as I was working I thought to myself, this is going to be a bit big...I'm not sure if the fabric was mismarked, if it stretched when I put it in the Q-snaps when I began stitching, or what.  I'm going to finish this, and see if it is fitting in the opening or is just an illusion right now (I've measured it and it does measure bigger than it's supposed to).  I'll be so disappointed if I do have to stitch it again, but I am determined to have it look just right...I will always be thinking it's just not right if I let it go as it is right now.  




I've made progress on Aurora Cabin too.  I sighed up for a challenge with Friendly Stitchers to work on a WIP until it's finished this year.  I tried to do that with this last year, but got hung up on it when I had to go to NY for 6 weeks.  It's coming along quite well so hopefully I will finish it this year.  Here it is before...

 And now...




I stitched an exchange piece for someone for Valentine's day.  I couldn't think how to finish it off, so I found this darling frame at Michaels and decided that would have to do.  I love it so much, I may make one for me!  I will post pictures when she tells me she has received it.

Off to get started on another exchange I'm doing in March for Stitch Day.  Do I have any idea what I should stitch...no I don't...or how I should finish...no I don't...but I'm sure I'll come up with something soon.  I'm hoping to make more entries in my blog this year.  We'll see if I can keep up with all my lofty goals this year...the road of my life is paved in good intentions...LOL  Till then, happy stitching!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

And Sew Begins 2016

Happy New Year!

I just love "firsts"...the first of the year, the first day of school, the first day of a new job, having your first baby (hm...maybe that's why I only had one?  LOL), their first steps, their first...well you get the idea.  There is something so unique and exciting about the first time you accomplish something new!   I guess that's why I always start the New Year with a new project.  This year I set two aside to work on just for this particular year.  Luckily for me, I can consider them Gifted Gorgeousness patterns because one was a kit that was gifted to me, the other is a Needlework Casket that I bought, but when looking for a pattern, a dear friend (Thank you so much Ms. P!!) gave me the book the pattern that I had settled on was printed in.  I bought the fabric, but the threads were bought with a gift card I had received from DH.

So....here is a picture of London by Thea Gouverneur



And the Needlework Casket from the book Sampler and Antique Needlework Vol. 1




I started the casket on the first day of the year...and here is what I've accomplished so far.  There are all kinds of specialty stitches, a few you can see here are the Queen stitch, French knot, and the Satin stitch.  I am excited to see how this one progresses, and I will be personalizing it as I go, I just need to think how I will make this one "my own".




I will be posting my goals for this year under 2016 Goals tab at the top.  I tried setting goals for myself last year, and am pleased to report that I was able to finish a good many of them.  I ran into issues when my Mother took ill and needed surgery and some constant help and attention at the end of October.  I was there with her (with the exceptions of a few days when I traveled home) until the middle of December.  I put around 4,000 miles on my van with all the traveling!!  Whew!  I am so happy to be home, but I will say I hit the ground running when I returned leaving all the holiday prep work until I was here to take care of things.  It's been a wild ride!  I am finally now getting back into stitching.  I will admit, I was beginning to twitch from withdrawal!  I did get the last two months of the Cottage Garden Samplings series finished before the end of the year!  They were also one of the goals I set!

Here is November's Chrysanthemum by Cottage Garden Samplings



And here is December's Holly by Cottage Garden Samplings



I tried choosing two projects last year, and although I did finish one of them, the other is still a work in progress.  I do hope to finish Aurora Cabin this year.  I nearly made it half way through last year.  So....here is where I'm starting this year...




I attribute my goal accomplishments to participating in the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL last year.  I tried to reach my monthly goals by the 15th of each month so I could post in a timely manner.  I think that helped keep me on track, so I chose to sign up again this year.  If you are interested in participating you can click on the picture here or in the sidebar.   It's been a challenge and a lot of fun looking through my stash to find things that qualify.  I hope you'll join us!


http://serendipitousstitching.blogspot.com/p/gifted-gorgeousness-2016-sign-up.html


Here's to a less hectic and enjoyable year for all of us!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Gifted Gorgeousness

Well, here it is December...Whew what a wild ride the past 6 weeks have been!!  I don't have much to show you, and I fell off my scheduled stitching band wagon...but oh well, as my Mom always said, "That's the way the mop flops"!

Gifted Gorgeousness

I THINK this is the last month for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL I was participating in.  I have REALLY enjoyed this SAL.  Not only because I got to search and stitch a lot of patterns I was gifted with, but because it also made me think more about gifting others with my stitching.  Even if Jo doesn't do this again next year, I just might continue on my own.  I like the idea of searching patterns and making something for other people.  Just so you know, here are the rules...

And here is where folks are posting what they've been stitching for this SAL...

So...Where do I begin?  Let's see, I made another square for Mouse's Birthday quilt.  She asked me to stitch a purple butterfly, in honor of her Dad.  So...I took part of a larger pattern, changed the color of one of the butterflies and stitched this...here it is before...






BUT...it just didn't look quite right SO...I Fretted, Fudged, and Finaggled until I added a little bit to make it fit into a square a little bit better... and from her reaction, I think I got it just about right!  It will be in the mail to you soon, Mouse!!


In case you didn't know, I have been helping my Mom out at her house in NY...nearly 500 miles from my home.  She had surgery on her leg and needed quite a bit of care.  I'm very fortunate I had the time to spend with her, and that my husband is so understanding and supportive of me and my Mom.  She is doing much better, and though she still can't drive, she is able to take care of her daily needs so I felt comfortable coming home.  Over the course of 6 weeks, I drove to NY twice (2,000 miles), and to Burlington, Vermont 4 times from her home in NY (another 2,000 miles).  Yes, I've spent a lot of time in my van...so not much time for stitching, and not much room to take large projects...so all I was able to accomplish were two ornaments, so here they are...

This one is a Shepherd's Bush from a Christmas issue of JCS a few years ago...don't let the frame fool you, it was one I had hanging around from a sale I stumbled across.



This one is a Brittercup design from a JCS Christmas issue a few years ago as well.



I also worked a wee bit on the hummingbird pattern I was making for my Mom.  NO it's not upside down, anyone that knows me, knows I always work from the bottom up...so this is the bottom and the objects just appear to be flying upside down...LOL!!



One last little thing, I have stitched this Santa a couple of times, and always placed him in this little frame.  I gave two away already, but love how it looks so much, I made this for me and I'm hanging it on my tree this year!



I feel a little guilty as I haven't had time to make anyone an ornament this year.  I've made several but haven't finished any into ornaments but these three, and I made these for myself.  If I hadn't been driving like a mad woman for the past 6 weeks, I would have been a wee bit more organized.  So...there you have it.  I kind of fizzled out at the end, but at least I have a wee bit to show you for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL.

Thank you again, Jo, for organizing this SAL.  I enjoyed every second of it, I only wish I had more time over the past month to stitch more!  Unless I can get all my shopping, wrapping and partying done in record time, I probably won't post until Christmas...or even the New Year.  So...if I'm not back here beforehand, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and many rich and wonderful blessings in the coming New Year!

I just want to add a little bit here...and if you are of the type that doesn't like to read personal stuff, you shouldn't read this next bit.  I just feel like writing it here as a reminder to live life to the fullest, no matter what the circumstances.  I was getting my list ready to send out Christmas cards (gee I'm really late this year!!  sorry folks!!) and ran across a person I hadn't heard from in a few years.  I wasn't sure the address was correct, so I looked her up on the internet (where I find you can run, but you can't hide...scary, huh?) and found her new address and a phone number.  I wanted to make sure it was her, so I gave her a call....and found out that after 15 years in remission, her breast cancer had returned.  She is a fellow stitcher, in fact she taught me hardanger many years ago, and owned a shop for quite a while.  It was wonderful reconnecting with her...but bitter sweet.  Adversity changes people, some for the good, others not so much.  I try to always look for the silver lining, it's just how I operate.  I can't live without hope, so search for it no matter what the circumstances.  I'm heartbroken to find she has lost her sparkle.  If you are of the praying kind,  please offer prayers for the lovely, talented, kind-hearted Ms. C...and all the others I know battling the cruel and destructive cancer beast.  I hate that it robs people of loved ones, but more than that, it robs people of their lively spirit.  You are in my thoughts and prayers, Ms. C!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prayers for Paris

It is with a heavy heart I write this post.  I've been thinking about what I wanted to say for a few days.  I like my blog to be about happy things, about creativity and the fun I have with my guys.  But I also want to record events that touch me, and so I'm going to write about Paris, and my reaction to the horror that has happened there.

Many of you know my husband was in the military and he was stationed in Germany when the events of September 11, 2001 happened.  Someone called me (it was the middle of the day there) and told me the US was under attack.  I turned on my TV in time to see the second tower hit.  I couldn't not watch, just as I couldn't not watch when they showed pictures of the chaos in Paris. My thoughts immediately went to how I felt that day, the fear and uncertainty, wondering how people could do something so horrendous in the name of "god".  I don't understand it, I will never understand it.  But I do know that the only thing I can do at times like this is pray to God and ask Him to help the people of France, to guide the leaders in what they must do next, to relieve suffering both physically and mentally, and to fill me with compassion for those affected by this tragedy.  Not just the victims and their families, but also for those who committed these violent acts.  I do not hate Muslims, nor terrorists, nor anyone else who doesn't share the beliefs I hold dear, but I don't condone what they have done either.  We are called to love them, and so I shall with God's help.  And so to the people of France I send my heartfelt condolences, and offer fervent prayers for your safety, for healing, and for hope and peace.