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.