Monday, May 30, 2011

The promise of things to come

Good morning everyone!

It's Memorial day...and we have plans, but I just couldn't help updating my blog just one more time in May!

Looking out my window into the garden in the back, I see these little blossoms peeking out. I love this rose bush, and when it's taken care of properly, it blossoms all summer long. The fragrance from these blooms is so sweet, I usually cut a few at a time and have them in the house to bring the freshness inside. Can you see how many buds there are just waiting to open? I guess with all the rain we had this spring, it just fed the plants like crazy. I've never seen Maryland this green! There are so many blossoms on the bushes this year, it's going to be a blaze of color in a day or two (if not later today) that I just had to share them with you.

Another promise coming soon, is the finish of my Snowflake Serenade. I'm so close to finishing now I can almost taste it! LOL I've been trying to steal some stitching time in this weekend but I haven't been too successful. Between dashing to church services, dashing to teen events, spending time with my DH and sleeping round the clock last night (I actually slept 12 hours!!) I just haven't had time to stitch. I'll be leaving for a picnic at a co-workers house in a little bit so no time for stitching today either. This week promises to be busy as well...oh well, you know what they rest for the wicked! LOL

I hesitate to mention this now, in case my plans fall through, but near the end of June, my church is participating in sending some folks to Alabama to help with relief efforts there. They sent a group a little while ago and the stories they told is just heartbreaking. My son would like to go, and so would I, but I seriously wonder if I have the stamina just yet. I'll be working out in the gym every other day for now (started Saturday!) and will be getting the necessary shots. If you are inclined, please pray for my son and myself, for the decision we have to make and that we have clear direction. My heart is breaking for the people who have suffered such loss lately and I truly want to help any way that I can.

Off to get ready for the picnic...Happy Memorial Day everyone! *Hugs*

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I finished another UFO!!

Hello needlework fans wherever you may be!

I'm so thankful for The Friendly Stitchers Yahoo group!! Dear Mouse wields the wet noodle on Thursdays if we haven't worked on our UFO's during the week, and because I fear the lashings, I do my best to stitch on a UFO (unfinished object) at some point during each week. This has been (and will continue to be) a very busy week for me, and since I was meeting Astrid for a few hours of stitching yesterday, I decided I would work on my ABC "Marquoir Victorine 1897" found on I was able to finish the last few stitches while watching Dancing with the Stars last night! This will be my third UFO finish for the year, and I know it's because Mouse keeps us rolling on our unfinished pieces. Thanks Mouse!! And here is the finished piece! I can't believe it has taken over two years to finish this piece! I started it back in April 2009 using DMC floss 310, 355, 830, 832, and 926. It was stitched on 32ct Meadow Rue over one linen thread. The hardest part about finishing another UFO is trying to decide which one to tackle next! They have been circling my stitching chair crying for attention for a few years now...I guess I'll pick a name out of a hat. LOL

I must confess I don't know much about this piece except what I could translate from the blog that was offering the patterns, that she had found this antique sampler rolled up in a drawer and decided to chart it so we could make the reproduction. It's lovely isn't it? When I showed it to Astrid, she keyed in on Le Chambon. I've been trying to find out more about the area ever since. What I've learned intrigues me, since this small area in France was became a shelther for Jewish refugees who were fleeing persecution during World War II. I am going to do more research on that, as I'm thrilled to learn that Christians living in the town were able to take these people in and shelter them from the Nazi's. What God fearing and courageous people they must have been! The only thing is that the date on the sampler was from well before World War II. I wonder if Victorine was born in 1897 and if she was one of the people of the town who helped rescue Jewish people, or if she was a teenager when she stitched the piece in 1897. If only inanimate objects could talk, eh?

I've been working on Snowflake Serenade by Little House Needleworks here and there. This is another of the crazies and has proved to be quite a fast stitch! I really have enjoyed stitching on this piece!

The crazies are dwindling...I have 4 left counting this one, but of the last three, two are SALs so I'm at the mercy of the people supplying the charts for those. Someone in one of my yahoo groups is already rounding up what she'll start next year for the same challenge. Oddly enough I've been doing the same thing. LOL I've been contemplating stitching something for Woodlawn too, and I found a pattern to help teach Astrid some hardanger. Either I need a clone, or I better live till I'm over 100 (while keeping my eyesight.. LOL) so I can accomplish all I want to do. Wish me luck!

Just a little personal note here, I am back on antibiotics UGH!! Last Friday, after my iron infusion, I noticed a red spot above my incision. It continued to grow over the weekend, so I called the Plastic Surgeon on Monday and he saw me that afternoon. After drawing a lovely circle around it in purple ink, he prescribed antibiotics and wants to see me in a week. I'm not sure what he was thinking when he drew the circle (which of course, rubbed off on my clothes grrrrr) because, after all, I DO take a daily shower. It's only been two days and it's already a faded memory. LOL He did say I could use a sharpie should it come off, but he didn't think it would. Which gives me pause to wonder how often HE takes a shower! MEN....honestly!!! Anyway...I saw the cardiologist today and I saw him do a double take looking at the faded purple mark...I started giggling because I can only imagine what he must have thought! After all, I did say once I was going to play "connect the dot" with all my scars when I had finished the last surgery! I explained, but he still looked at me like I'd lost my marbles...which, by the way, you haven't seen have you? Please return them if you have, I'll pay the postage! LOL Tomorrow I'll have a CT scan then will see my's going to be a LONG day...but Friday, Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise...I'll get to spend time with Sonya! Can't wait!

I know this will sound a bit strange...but I spent a little time clothes shopping today. I can't remember if I mentioned that DH has made plans for a surprise for me. DS will be going on a trip with the youth group at church in the near future, and DH made arrangements to take me out of town. All I know is that it will take 3 hours to get there by car. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out where he'll be taking me, but he's being very good not to let the cat out of the bag. Since the surgery, my clothes just don't seem to fit they way they used to...not that I've gained that much weight, but the proportions just aren't the same, if you know what I mean. So...I decided I needed a few things to wear for the trip (sounds logical doesn't it? and besides...a little retail therapy never hurt anyone...just the purse strings! LOL) I found a sale...BOGO half off. So...I chose a few things, and headed to the check out. While there, the clerk and I realized that one of the items wasn't being marked half off in the computer. On inspection we discovered some clothes hanging in the wrong place. So I chose another. In the meanwhile another customer checking out next to me had arrived at the checkout. She had "Daisy Dollars" which are coupons for money off your purchases over a certain amount. She had two of them that she couldn't use and gave them to me. Not only did I get those sale items, I got an additional $10.00 off!! In the end, I got two garments free with the amount that I saved! If I hadn't been delayed from choosing the wrong garment that wasn't on sale, I wouldn't have been RAK'd by the other customer. Everything happens for a reason! And even the clerk was pleasant about the whole thing!

The last thing I wanted to mention today, is that my prayer list has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. First, for the people of Japan, there are STILL people missing there, AND, they are finally coming "clean" about the true state of their nuclear reactors. I fear those people are going to be seeing the effects well into the future...especially the children. I'm still praying for the people of Alabama, I think of Babs often, and her children that were affected by those violent storms. I check her blog often hoping to hear how they are doing. It's been weeks since she posted and I am concerned! Then the people of Joplin, MO who were bombarded this week, and last night Oklahoma. I can't help but wonder about all these natural disasters wrecking havoc around the world. I'm thankful every day that I haven't had to face such loss and devastation, and keep praying that those people will find comfort and support. Some people from our church have been to Alabama with supplies and assistance and plan to go back in the near future. I only wish I were well enough to go with them. The stories of the people there helping one another and praising the Lord for the blessings in their lives even though they've lost all their possessions is truly uplifting.

Well, if you've made it this far, you're a trooper! Thanks for visiting...have a great day! If you are here in the US, enjoy your holiday weekend! *Hugs*

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Precious Gems

I was surfing the blog world today, looking for instructions on how to stitch a picot stitch and ran across a neat blog entitled "Avoiding the Laundry"! LOL Now THAT'S my kind of blog! Not only did she have detailed instructions on how to do some hardanger stitches, but she had a little blurb about my favorite gemstone...which also happens to be my birthstone...the Opal.

I can't explain exactly why I love opals so much, other than the fact that it was also the birthstone of my favorite Aunt...a wonderful lady who I admired very much. She was probably the kindest person I've ever met. She had a fabulous opal ring that I simply fell in love with and that began my love affair with opals. So I have loved them from a very early age.

When I read this story on her blog, I think it deepened my love of them even further, so I want to share it here on my blog as well. She had read a book by Isobel Kuhn, titled Stones of Fire comparing the author's life to a gem being worked on by a Master Lapidary. The stone is an Opal.

"Do you know that lovely fact about the opal? That in the first place, it is only made of desert dust, sand, and silica, and owes it's beauty and preciousness to a defect. It is a stone with a broken heart. It is full of minute fissures which admit air, and the air refracts the light. Hence it's lovely hues and that sweet lamp of fire that ever burns at it's heart, for the breath of the Lord God is in it.

"You are only conscious of the cracks and desert dust, but so He makes His precious opal. We must be broken in ourselves before we can give back the lovely hues of His light, and the lamp of the temple can burn in us and never go out." Ellice Hopkins

I've often said that everything happens for a reason...all the hardship we endure is for a purpose. It's like the gold refinement process, enduring incredible heat so the "dross" can be skimmed off and only the precious metal left behind. So are the cracks in the opal meant to reflect our Savior's light. My opals have a whole new meaning to me now!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

UFO Thursday

It's Thursday and I'm actually stitching on my UFO today! Finally, a Thursday that was free of appointments!! So as you can see, I haven't accomplished a lot but I did put a few stitches in my Victorine sampler that can be found on this blog

I've also been busy stitching on another crazy, Snowflake Serenade from Country Cottage Needleworks. Here is a link to what the finished product should look like.

My last picture here is of the next installment of Sampler Romantique. I am happy to report that I could finish stitching this in two days! The last installment was very involved and took me quite some time, and was a wee bit difficult since I had just had surgery. I'm glad I will have a little break and hopefully finish up another of the crazies!

It's been an interesting few days since I updated my blog on May 15th. I've had an iron infusion which helped somewhat (will have another one tomorrow). I visited with a friend I hadn't seen in a while and agreed to help her frame some artwork next week. I will visit with another friend I haven't seen in over a month tomorrow (can't wait!!) Saw my doctor who assured me I'm not crazy (is there a blood test for that because I'm not fully convinced...and neither should YOU be! LOL) I've accomplished some stitching. I've had some interesting conversations with my son, and (not that I'm partial or anything) I think he's turning into a remarkable young man...and sometimes I wish I didn't have to be a parent so I could be a friend...he's a neat person! Life is good, and sometimes I think I will hate interrupting it to go back to work!!

While visiting my friends new apartment, she showed me a poem she had printed and framed. I think I may try to chart this out and stitch it, because I think it has some valuable lessons. I also think it reminds me of my husband...what a treat it would be to stitch this for him!

"What Constitutes Success"
by Bessie Stanley (1905)

He has achieved success who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who has left the world better than he found it,
whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty
or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others
and given them the best he had;
whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

Ok, I think that's all the news that's fit to print. It promises to be a busy weekend (iron infusion tomorrow, lunch with a friend, baseball game in the evening, and tons of things to do over the weekend!) so I don't know when I'll be posting again. See you when I get another spare moment! *Hugs*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More Crazy Finishes!

Hi folks!

I honestly didn't have much to do to finish up these two projects and so spent a little time last night and today completing the stitching.

I didn't finish the complete pattern for this Buff-Bellied Hummingbird from Cross Winged Collection. The border around the edge didn't thrill me to my toes..LOL And I know my Mom would feel the same, so it's done, now for the framing! I guess I need to go back to work now so I can finish this off myself! LOL

I tried to get a close up shot so you could see the blending filament I used around his head and throat, but the sparkly just wouldn't show up *sigh* so I guess you'll have to use your imagination. This was the 11th of my crazy challenges that I have finished. YAY!

I also finished the Little Lace Hardanger learning project. I almost forgot the beads...until I saw them in my box with the thread. I guess at 2 AM I wasn't seeing the pattern too clearly! Regardless, I did see them and finished this off. Once I was done I realized I cut away some threads I shouldn't have and there should have been additional stitching in the tiny little cut out squares you see here. Oopps...well I guess I could fix it, but overall I like the look of it as it is. Maybe one day I'll make this again and do it properly. Thanks again Abi from the Stitch Specialists Yahoo group! I truly enjoyed stitching this.

My friend, Astrid, is hoping to learn hardanger so I'll be looking for a small and easy project to teach her with on one of our stitching days. Abi certainly took the "hard" out of hardanger with her excellent directions. I do have a pattern for a gingerbread house, Astrid...but I would hate to teach you hardanger on that...we'll see what I can come up with. I to stitch on the Romantique Sampler SAL as I've had the pattern for the next sections for 5 days now and it usually takes me quite some time to finish the section...

Oh and before I forget, next week promises to be another hectic week, so with my luck I'll see you next weekend! *Hugs*

Friday, May 13, 2011

Traveling stash is traveling again!

Hi Everyone!

It's funny how you go through your life, your blog gets very little interest or so it seems...and then you get a phone call from a friend who is concerned because you didn't update your blog. I have to chuckle sometimes because I often wonder if anyone reads my posts. I had someone mention in a yahoo group that I belong to that they had better hide their Lighthouse Sampler from By the Bay Needleart that they had just finished from me because I liked lighthouses...and yet...I've been working on mine since January and have a picture of the finished piece in a post just two weeks ago. Sometimes I think people are tired of hearing my medical saga, so perhaps have stopped reading, and then I have people asking me where I am in my treatment and what is going on with me. I like to think people read my blog because sometimes I have something humorous to say...but lately that hasn't been happening as much. So...why do I keep blogging? Hm...I don't know...sometimes I think it's cathartic, and therapeutic and it DOES keep me off the streets, gives my eyes a break from stitching, and irritates my teenager (and isn't that a Mother's job anyway?) LOL So, until I really DON'T want to write anymore, you'll still find me blogging away, when I can. BUT...if you don't see me, don't panic...I just may not have anything worthwhile to say! friend, Sonya, was wondering where I've been. Well...between medical appointments, family time, and resting, I spent part of a day stitching with Astrid! *waving madly to Astrid* We don't see each other nearly enough, and let me tell you what Astrid has done... she read that I got a Keurig coffee maker for Mother's day and showed up with a box full of various K-cups for me to try. I've been picking out something new each day to try and have really enjoyed the different tastes that are available. I could REALLY become addicted to coffee this way!! Thanks again, Astrid, we are enjoying your treat very much and I enjoyed the gab fest even more! I worked on this Crazy January Challenge piece that day and am finished with the cross stitching, only the outlining is left. I left off part of the pattern, it just wasn't thrilling me, the name and the border, so just left the "innards" and should be able to finish in a few days. I think it will be a birthday gift for my Mom (who never reads my blog so I'm safe!) if I can finish it, frame it, and get it sent to Northern NY in time for her birthday next month. Wish me luck!!

I was going to stitch on my UFO on Thursday, but I ran into a few snags. I had to be out and about early that day as I had to have a sonogram of another lump they found under my arm. Fortunately it turned out to be nothing! Then I did a little shopping for new undergarments...let's just say that was an exercise in futility, as I don't think they make them the size I am now...*sigh* Then the guys decided they wanted to go to the ballgame last night and convinced me I should go to. It was the perfect night for a game, the temperature was cool, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the Orioles one, which swept that series! Unfortunately it was a LONG game, as there were no runs until the 13th inning...yep you read that right...13th inning. I was beginning to wonder if the game would end the same day it started! LOL It turned out to be quite an exciting game! Needless to say, there wasn't a spare moment to stitch

I made up for it today! I've been working on this UFO that I started quite some time ago! It can be found on this website but I must say I'm having great difficulties with this pattern. Somewhere along the way, the designer has confused me. The pattern has become quite a challenge for me to follow. Ok...I can hear you now...YES I'm cross-stitchingly challenged...LOL I've had to fudge this pattern more than once, I'm nearly ready to toss it out the window. If I didn't love the colors, the fabric and the overall look of the thing, I would have tossed it by now. I'm nearly finished now though, and actually it has taught me that I DON'T have to be picture perfect, as long as it pleases my eye (and it's not a gift) then who cares? Just finish the darned thing and get it hung on a wall!! I think that will happen in the very near future as I'm getting quite close to the end now!

I also took a minute to stitch up the 9th part of the Tree of Stitches offered in the Stitch Specialists yahoo group. If you click on the closeup picture, you will get a bigger picture and therefore a better look at some of the specialty stitches. I love working on this, it's been so much fun learning the different stitches.

I was able to run to the post office today and mail the traveling stash. It's on the way Lynn, so be on the lookout, they told me it should be there early next week! Mouse, there's a letter in the mail for you too!

Lastly, just a little medical update...they found that my iron stores are still very low so I will be receiving an iron IV infusion next week...Monday and Friday. Hopefully that will give me a little more energy. Part of me is a wee bit worried, but the other part of me is hoping it will work wonders as I can barely put one foot in front of the other lately. The Gastro enterologist is concerned now and has ordered two more tests to find out why I'm "losing" iron. This means, more appointments, more doctors to see, and if this keeps up I'll be glowing in the dark again! *sigh* On a more humorous note, my hair is growing in very curly. I've had straight hair all my life, and I have no idea what to do with this kinky curly hair! I have "bed head" all day now, even after I've washed my hair and tried to tame the curls. *giggle* I USED to wish for wavy I just want my straight hair back!! Hopefully when it grows out a bit more, the weight of it will pull it a bit straighter.

Ok, off to take a nap, it was another eventful day and I'm beat. See you again soon! *Hugs*

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Congratulations Lynn!

Just a quick update here to let you know that Lynn won the drawing for the traveling stash. I've e-mailed her, and left a note on her blog, but in case she didn't see either of those, I'm leaving a message here too. Congratulations, Lynn, please hit return on the e-mail I sent you (it might be in your spam folder, so check there too) and send me your mailing address and I'll get it in the mail as soon as possible!

I'm still running to doctors appointments and each time I go to one, they sign me up for MORE tests. I'm ready for all this to be done! BUT...since they still can't get my iron levels back to normal even taking iron pills TWICE a day for months now, I'll be having two doses of IV iron in the coming weeks, and hopefully then I'll have more energy. A few more tests have been ordered to see why my iron stores have been depleted we'll see if they can finally find the answers. Till then, I guess I'll still be running to appointments. *sigh* Wish me luck!

Off to catch Dancing with the Stars to see who will be eliminated this week...all my favorite dancers are left, it will be hard to see any of them go! Have a good night! *Hugs*

Monday, May 9, 2011

Belated Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother's Day! It was a busy weekend, thanks to my guys, but it was a good weekend! Mother's day was Sunday and my guys surprised me with a Keurig coffee machine, the movie "Secretariat" and Lindt chocolates. I tell you I'm truly spoiled! They also took me out to a local Italian restaurant (Momma Roma's) for dinner. Thanks guys, you made my day very special! I hope your family spoiled you too!

Honestly, I guess I didn't do that much this weekend, and I didn't get much stitching accomplished over the weekend either. Sitting here right now I can't remember when I updated my blog last, but I did get some stitching done last week to show you.

The first week of the month tends to be busy (for my printer at least! LOL) as I'm participating in a number of SAL's and the new parts are published the first week of the month. I try to finish them as soon as possible because I know the Sampler Romantique will be appearing in my mailbox on the 10th and I want to be ready to stitch it when it arrives.

So without further ado, I'll show you what I've been up to.

First off is the Friendly Stitchers yahoo group SAL that teaches us a new stitch each month. This month we learned the Overlapped Cross Box stitch. It's a fun stitch to work, and didn't take much time at all.

Next is my UFO. I worked on this last Friday as I had doctor's appointments on Thursday. I decided not to frog my mistake, since this is stitched over one (I tried to take some of it out, but it was fuzzing the I think it won't show as long as both sides are even at the bottom). It will be interesting to see how it finally turns out. This pattern was found on this website but you will have to search to find all the bits. The last page was never published, but I think I can figure out the rest. Wish me luck!

The Star Sampler can be found on this website and has been a very relaxing and fun piece to stitch. All the pieces can still be found if you would like to give it a go!

The Oakhaven yahoo group is having this adorable Owl SAL. I haven't been listing the months underneath the pattern as they suggest, and I've decided to put them all on one piece of fabric. I love the one for this month...don't you?

The Stitch Specialists yahoo group is hosting two SAL's at the moment, one is the tree of stitches shown in a previous post, and this little hardanger learning piece. Our last lesson was cutting the threads. I took a deep breath, counted threads and began cutting. Thankfully I think I escaped with only the threads cut that were meant to be cut. I'm loving this piece and it has been a joy to stitch.

The last thing I wanted to show you was this bird that visited our feeder yesterday. I would love to identify it, it's colors were most unusual. If you know what kind of bird it is, I would love to know. Please leave me a message if you know what it is!! Thank you!

Tomorrow I will have the drawing for the traveling stash. I spent part of the weekend searching through my stash and I've come up with a few things to pass on. See you tomorrow!


Monday, May 2, 2011

St. Michael's Weekend...

Hi there! The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity...with so much going on and so much to tell you, I hope you have a little time to spend reminiscing with me! I just had the best weekend in quite a long time!! I just have to say (especially for the women who are my friends that I just spent time with) I'm so thankful you are in my life! You have been there every step of the way through the ups and downs of the past few years that has been the most difficult time in my life. How can I thank you for all the encouragement, listening ears, special treats, laughter and hugs? You have kept me going and I'll be eternally grateful! Thank you guys!!

Our St. Michael's weekend is one we look forward to from the day we leave from the most recent weekend. St. Michael's is a unique place on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The place we gather is on the water (near the home of a beautiful wild swan). It is quiet and peaceful and like stepping into an alternate universe where your cares fall away and you leave the world behind. The ladies who attend this retreat are the kindest, most caring, truest friends I've ever had. We all lend a helping hand with meals, cleaning up, supplying threads where needed, give advice on life and stitching. But the absolute best part, is that we laugh until our sides hurt!! It's truly magical!!

We started the weekend with Alice showing up at the door to pick Sonya and I up wearing a hat she had made for the Royal Wedding. Alice is the most creative person I've ever met. She is a finisher for the LNS and has more talent in her little finger than I do in my entire body!! Most of us had turned on the TV to watch a bit to see the pomp and circumstance of the Royals today, to take a peek at the hats, dresses, carriages, and of course Kate's dress! Alice had a brainstorm that morning, and created this adorable hat (inspired by some of the hats seen that looked like paper plates to us!)

Here are two of the projects she was working on and finished over the weekend.

Alice made this little humbug for us too...isn't it cute? It has two counting pins sticking out of's just lovely, Alice! Told you she was talented!

Sonya, of course, was there for the weekend. There are so many talented women who attend the weekend, and each have different tastes, but I love the projects that Sonya and Pat pick. They are like walking encyclopedias with their knowledge of antique samplers and needlework, and are constantly studying and learning more. Sonya LOVES reproducing antique samplers and here are the two that she was working on over the weekend. I honestly don't know how these ladies do such exquisite work in hand. Mine doesn't look that good and I use q-snaps! Amazing, Sonya...really!!

Now Pat is an amazing woman. I don't know how she finds the time to take care of her aging mother, her husband, work, and still stitch these amazing pieces, along with stitching other pieces that she does for exchanges! I'm convinced she doesn't sleep! Pat's projects range from huge samplers stitched on HIGHER than 40 count most times, to small needlebooks and things. Her stitching is flawless!! She can do these amazing stitches that just take your breath away, I wish I lived closer because I would LOVE to learn what she knows! I don't see her often enough....would you care to move, Pat? Or can I just come and live with you? LOL Here was one of the things she was working on. Will you look at that detail? WOW!!

Debbie is our fearless leader. She is the one who coordinates the cabins, suggests who brings what, plans the little exchanges we have during the weekend, and is the one who is quickest to laugh! She's usually the last one to bed and the first one up!! Truly a caring and loving person. I admire Debbie, she adopted several children, some with special needs, and has the biggest heart! Here is what she was working on...

Emma is Debbie's daughter. She's the youngest of our group, and has a character I admire greatly. I can't explain what it is that attracts me to her, it's this gentle spirit that is so accepting of people no matter what their flaws or hangups. She is a wonderful Mom, and is great with children. And out of the blue, she will come out with these pearls of wisdom that blow me away. I love what she was working on, the colors seemed to draw me in. A scissors by any other name was the name of the piece I think, and all the names were scissors in different languages. Lovely, isn't it?

Kathy, Val, and Peggy are ladies who I don't know very well. I only see them on our St. Micheal's weekend, but they are a hoot! Kathy usually leads the charge in the humor department and is the one that keeps us in stitches!! She is a quilter and was working on the most amazing quilt all hand done!!

She and Val are buddies and the two of them have adventures you can only dream about! Val was working on something for her daughter's graduation from Pharmacy school this month.

And Peggy is also a quilter. I only overheard bits and pieces of what she is working on, but I think each small colored block is a different flower from each state...I'm not sure if she is doing all 50 states, I'm sorry I missed out on that conversation. Her quilting is also hand done. This picture doesn't do it justice,'s a beauty!

And then, there's me! I only took two projects, I didn't finish either one, but I was able to finish my lighthouse sampler this here is my progress as of this moment. Someone ring the bell!! (Alice brings a bell with her, and when someone finishes a project, the bell is rung!) The first is the Lighthouse Sampler from By the Bay Needleart stitched on 28 count star sapphire over one linen thread. This is my tenth finish from the Crazy January Challenge. I think, since the rest of the projects are either SALs or BAPs, it will be a while before I finish another one. So...since I'm almost a third of the way through the year, and two thirds of the way through the challenge, perhaps I will be able to finish this year? I'll be crossing my fingers and toes from this point on (which may make it hard to stitch! LOL)

The second is Cirque des Carreaux from Ink Circles using 32 count Maritime White over one and Carries Creation silk thread Epiphany.

We usually have an "exchange" during our stay over the weekend, we all bring a little something to stick in a little bag. We also have a session of yankee trader, and here is my haul from all the things we exchanged over the weekend. The little basket is an annual tradition. Debbie's husband makes each of us a basket. He's so talented, and I'm getting quite a collection!

Thank you ladies for such a great weekend! Only 362 days left until we meet again! I can't wait!!

Last I'm going to leave you with a couple of pictures I've taken. The first is a lovely that has been visiting my flowers on my deck. I'm fortunate to have gotten this picture, it was a busy little butterfly that day!

And they say you are what you eat...if that's so...then... son is a Crabby House Nut! LOL