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 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'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 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 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 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 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 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 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!