Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2018

Happy Halloween Everybody!!!  

Today's the day all the ghosts and goblins come out to play...and we get to celebrate Halloween with Jo's Trick or Treat Blog Hop over at Serendipitous Stitching!  I have the lucky position of being in last place, so I'll be sending you back over to Jo so you can post the Spooky Phrase you made from collecting all the letters posted on the previous blogs.  Here are a few Halloween pieces I've made....

And one I was given, I just love how this was finished!!

And now the letter you've all been waiting for....drum roll please.....

Now it's your turn!!  Head on over to Serendipitous Stitching and post your phrase!  Good luck!  

Friday, October 26, 2018

In Remembrance...

Whew....I can't believe the end of October is in sight.  I feel like I blinked and the year flashed by in an instant.  I've been so busy I feel like I haven't caught my breath in ages.

While trying not to dwell on the negative, I just want to preface this post by saying, I'm going to get some feelings out on the screen.  It's always been cathartic for me to write.  I know a few folks have been wondering where I've been.  I will say I've had a hard time dealing with being around other people.  I don't think it's unusual for some people to grieve this way.  I may have hurt some feelings along the way, and that was never my intention.  I'm actually shaking my head that I did, I didn't really think by hiding away that anyone would miss me or misinterpret my actions.  I swear on a stack of Bibles that I wasn't avoiding any one person in particular, that it was nothing personal against anyone, and that sometimes I become a hermit when I don't know how to cope with my feelings.  It's me, that's the way I am, and I guess if you want to take it personally, that's your problem, not mine.

I have to apologize to folks who have stopped by and left messages.  I've been trying to keep up but it's nearly impossible.  Let me back up and say that the last few months of 2017 and all that has transpired this year were the worst of my life.  With all that went on with Dear Katie, and the aftermath of her passing, then my Mother being in and out of the hospital, and trips to NY, with a few vacations thrown in and then getting ready for a retreat that required a TON of stitching and planning, my life has been one giant hamster wheel with me running at top speed and not getting anywhere.  I guess, in a way, it was good to keep busy, but I'm bone weary and mentally exhausted.  It's been barely a year since we lost Katie, and I think I threw myself headlong into projects that kept me away from other people and from thinking about all that went on.  I can't and won't talk about the issues that went on during that time, just know there was a lot to deal with and I had to shove a lot of anger and other emotions down deep so I didn't hurt other people who were grieving too.  Watching what my son went through afterward was difficult for this Mom to see, feeling so helpless that I couldn't protect him from the hurt he was feeling and the hurt others were inflicting on him.  I tried talking to friends, but they just didn't understand because they have never been through it themselves, so I gave up.  Perhaps it's selfish, but I couldn't deal with anyone else's problems while dealing with all this too.  It's possible I looked unsympathetic, but you have to understand I was deep in a fog of grief and anguish.  I tried so hard not to show it, and obviously I succeeded because someone even said, "I know you are doing ok, but how are Mike and Ben coping."  I think my jaw must have hit the floor, I can't even remember how I replied.  Word of caution, never say that to someone who just lost a loved one.  I remember going home and crying for the rest of the day.

Last weekend was the anniversary of Katie's passing.  She left us the day after my birthday so it's a date we will always remember.  In honor of her, we participated in a 5K event at the Baltimore Runfest that we raised funds for Cystic Fibrosis.  I carried a little Winston on my wristband that I wear in honor of Katie.  Winston is a puppet that Mike had that he used to tease Katie with and I had a smaller version of him with a clip.   It was a personal challenge for me to do this and she was never far from my thoughts while I was walking.  I'm thrilled I could finish it to honor her.  Mike took his medal and left it at Katie's resting place.  It's kind of poetic that this last year has felt like a race, a challenge, an obstacle we had to endure and a fitting end to our year of remembrance for Katie.  Sadly we had been invited to TWO weddings that weekend.  One in Florida, the other in Colorado.  One a family member, the other a friend's son...a friend I've know for 40 years.  I'm so sad I had to miss their weddings and those happy occasions.  

I've finally come up for air.  I feel like I can breathe a little bit.  And I've been trying to reconnect with friends.  Funny how much can change in a year.  So...I'm grateful to those who stuck around and have been supportive.  I'm grieving now the loss of others I thought were friends but I now see are not.  It's like waking up from a dream and finding the world has tilted on it's axis and everything looks different.  I'll try to keep up with emails, and commenting on blogs, and life will continue.  Thank you to the ones who have stuck around!  I'm indebted.

Now back to our scheduled stitching.  I promise I won't have a "downer" post next time.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October Gifted Gorgeousness

Good Morning!

It's a crisp and cloudy fall day here today.  Seems we've had a lot of those lately.  I really miss the sunshine, but I'm thankful for the cooler days.  Don't you love curling up with a warm blanket, a cup of something warm, and your stitching in hand?  I know I do!!

It's time for Gifted Gorgeousness, a challenge organized by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching.  Here is where we showcase gifts that we have either given or received.  If you want to know the rules, you can read about them here.  Or if you want to see what folks have been posting about, you can see who has contributed and visit their blogs from here.  As always, I give a big shout out to Jo, who creates all these lovely challenges and who makes blogging fun!  Thank you Jo!  

I've been so busy getting ready for the retreat, vacation (which I still haven't blogged about, shame on me!!) and now another exchange I'm working on, that I haven't had much time to stitch for myself.  S0...I don't have much I can show (as some are gifts) but I can show a few things.  

First off (and I was hoping I would finish this year) is a gift my husband gave me for Christmas a few years back.  This is Winter's Majesty a Maia kit.  She still has a lot more to do, but she's getting there.  She was my WIP Wednesday piece for most of the year, but I think I'm going to set her aside next month, just for a break.  I'll show before and after pictures here of my work for the past month.

Next is a gift a stitch friend gave me that she picked up at the Silver Needle.  It was an exclusive to their shopt.  This friend goes all over to retreats (isn't she a lucky duck??) and when I heard she was going there I asked her to pick up this pattern.  Then she wouldn't let me pay her for it!!  It really has "ME" written all over it.  This is Stitching in the Garden by Blackberry Lane Designs.  There are two sides to the finished pillow, here is the first side and I'm working on the second side.

Next is Through the Window by Ship's Manor.  It is a SAL my husband bought for me last Christmas and each piece comes out at the beginning of the month.  I can hardly wait to stitch the next installment when it arrives!

Next is Blue Poppy Learning Sampler, a SAL by Tempting Tangles.  I just LOVE this piece!  I am a month behind right now, but I was a month behind last time too.  It comes out on the 10th of the month so I never have time to get it ready for this post.  This was also a gift from my husband for Mother's Day.  This is a SAL offered by Tempting Tangles which is only $12.00 while the SAL is going on.  You can find this here.

I think I may have shown this in a previous post, but this is Holy Nativity, a gift from another friend of mine.  It was a gold collection petite kit.  I finished this while I was at the retreat.  I have plans how I want to finish it, and have all the materials to do just that, so hopefully by next month I'll be able to show you the final finish!

I am participating in an exchange in December.  This is one of the things I'm stitching for her.  It isn't finished and I don't think you can tell from this what the finished piece will look like, so I'll be showing this here.  I won't be able to show the finished project until maybe January.  

I have a friend who is having a "milestone" birthday next month.  She never looks at my blog...but just in case....I'll have to show what I'm making for her next month, but here is a little snippit....

I have a few things that were gifted to me that will probably be finding their way on the hoop soon.  Here is a gift from my son for my anniversary, 

a gift from DH for our anniversary (a Chatelaine Design you can view here) which I'm itching to start VERY soon,

and a finished gift and some kits from my exchange partner at the retreat.  Can't wait!!

Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway in the last post!!  I have found more fobs, so there may be more than 2 winners!!  

I think that's all I can show for the time being.  I hope you all are enjoying your fall weather and looking forward to some lovely stitching days at home, curled up in your favorite stitching spot!  Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 11, 2018


And as promised, I'm here with a giveaway!!  I've made two scissor fobs...that means there will be two winners!  So here's how you enter.

Make a comment below telling me when you had your last breast exam.  It can be from your doctor, your annual mammogram, or even your self exam.  If it's been less than a year, you are entered!!  I will hold the drawing on the 31st of the month.  That gives you 19 days to get your exam and enter!  Ready....set....GO!!

Friday, October 5, 2018


Where do I begin?  Let's start by saing....I had fun!!  I can't believe I didn't get much stitching done, I was too busy running around like a crazy woman!!  There were vendors galore, and I couldn't help but add to my stash, I'll explain in a minute.

Before the retreat we were given a stitch exchange partner.  Mine REALLY outdid herself and I was truly spoiled!!  She made this lovely pouch, stitched the piece on the front and finished it herself (I think I need sewing lessons from this lady!!).  It was full of all kinds of goodies, a needle case, a pair of scissors, and this snow buddies stitch etui.  I can't wait to get started on that, but I will have to wait until I get my Christmas stitching done first!  She also threw in 4 kits, you can see one of them there.  Aren't I a lucky duck??

Mine that I gave paled in comparison, here is a picture of the box I gave her.  There are a few things in there, like my name tag, that weren't hers.  I hope she liked it!  There was a stitched stand up, a pair of scissors, a scissor fob, a project bag full of a pattern, fabric and floss to complete it.

I was flabbergasted when I won TWO prizes.  Whoo hoo!!  One was a gift certificate to Needleworkers Delight vendors....ironically I had just ordered some fabric that I have had a hard time finding.  They laughed when I won, but I was able to treat myself to these goodies!

The second was this zippered hooded was even my size!!!  I had contemplated ordering one, but decided to save my money for goodies at the retreat.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed I would win.  Yay me!!

I took a class from Pat Carson.  She retired after these last two classes that she gave.  Here are the goodies we got from her class.  I am going to stitch the kits as soon as I finish Christmas stitching.  I learned some really valuable things in her class, picked up this lovely needle nanny that was specially made for our class, and got to meet the designer of the first projects I ever stitched.  She is such a lovely person!! 

Ok, the ladies from Stitching from Stash only are going to blow a gasket, but I just HAD to order a few things.  I saw these fabrics from Under the Sea Fabrics, and fell in love.  Can you see the glitter?  These ladies were so nice, and even offered to go home and dye more fabric if I wasn't happy with this piece.  I'll make do!!  I have a project in mind for these....To be seen AFTER Christmas.....haha  I have some patterns that I want to stitch on one piece of fabric and didn't have one that was just right.  Am I forgiven??

I also saw my buddy, Peggy who is one of the ladies who owns BFF pouches.  She and her business partner hand make these lovely stitch bags.  I bought some at the first retreat I attended and just HAD to get more!  Aren't they lovely?  And they practically sold out at this retreat!!  People know quality when they see it!!  I made some ornaments for her and was able to give them to her then too!  Can you see all that glittery goodness in the one bag?  That was a bag of bits we got from Kreinik who happened to stop by with those for us!  I used some of them to stitch my pumpkins!

At the retreat they had what they called "a pumpkin carving station".  This lady sold her charts and if you brought a pumpkin she would drill holes for you to stitch her patterns on your pumpkin.  I brought 3 pumpkins, but only had holes drilled for two.  I'm hoping my friend's husband will be able to drill holes when he gets his new dremel!  Aren't they awesome!! with all that going on, I really didn't have much time for stitching.  I was able to finish Holy Nativity...and now I'll be looking for fabric to finish it as a flat fold.  I'll be able to decorate for Christmas with it then, and tuck it away easily when the holidays are over.  

I started on this pattern from Nebby Needle and finished it when I got home.

I also finished another Nebby Needle pattern after I got home, I've had both of these in my stash forever!!

While I was away, the rest of my materials to start a Chatelaine Design Mandala arrived.  Here are all the lovely fibers and beads.  It's going to be spectacular.  And I got to meet Meanne from Bush Mountain who actually had the 32 ct. Black Lugana I have been searching for.  She brought the fabric to the retreat and I was able to pick it up from here.  It's all here now (a gift from my husband for our Anniversary in August).  You'll be seeing this on the hoop soon!!  Can't wait!!

I guess that's all the news that's fit to print.  I'll be back soon with pictures from our vacation soon.  Happy Stitching everbody!!  PS....did you get your annual breast exam?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness 2018

Hello my friends!  It's the first of October, and you know what that means!?!?!  Yes, I'm here to nag you about those pesky exams.  Every year someone writes that they WON'T get squished.  I know it's uncomfortable, believe me I've been poked and prodded, cut and sewn (believe me I would love to give a certain surgeon some lessons on sewing!!) so I get it being uncomfortable.  But  (you knew there would be a but, right?) I kind of enjoy walking on the earth, smelling the roses, listening to the birds sing and kids laughing.  

I don't know where I would be today if it hadn't been for them finding my breast cancer early.  I wrote about my experience when they found the cancer.  Now I kind of hesitate to share the post again, but I have to say, the initial mammogram was NOT this uncomfortable.  When they called me back to confirm their suspicions was when the procedure got more uncomfortable.  If you want a laugh, you can read my original post here.

I usually have a give away in October.  I haven't quite decided what to give this year.  It will probably be a scissor fob.  There will be something, and when I decide what that will be I will post it, so stay tuned!  In the meanwhile, please, for the sake of those you love and who love you in return, go and get your annual exam and perform your monthly exam!!  Your loved ones will thank you!  And please, share this post so others will be encouraged to keep checking!  Here is a link to  a page that will tell you how to do a breast exam.  

Stay healthy, my friends!!