Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving....and a little craftastic fun!

I would like to wish everyone celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Last year was a very different feeling to the holiday.  Ben was engaged and we were finally meeting her family for the first time.  While it was a little nerve wracking trying to get our house in order, we really enjoyed getting to know them and welcome them into our family.  So while this holiday feels a little sad, I still can't help feeling thankful for all the blessings we do have.  We participate in a church activity once a month called Be More Caring where we take food and clothing to the homeless living in Baltimore.  Tuesday night was our night, and it's very humbling to be wearing warm clothing while feeling full from a good meal to go and pass out food to hungry people.  It's getting cold here in Maryland, sometimes dipping below freezing.  There were so many looking for warm clothing, hats, gloves, scarves, even soap and toothpaste.  It's heartbreaking to know there are folks living outside in this weather.  I wish I could do more, but all I can do is donate my tine and feel grateful and thankful that I have a warm place to live and warm clothes and food daily.  It's a bitter sweet Thanksgiving, but I can honestly say, I'm thankful for all I've been graced with in my life.  

Finally...I feel like I can breathe a little!!  I've been stitching and finishing like a whirling dervish!  I guess I bit off a little more than I could chew...and with everything going a little sideways in my life, I wasn't sure I could get it all done...but...well most things are coming together like they should finally.  I stitched a few angels earlier in the year, and while contemplating how to finish them, I hit a road block mentally.  I finally decided I needed to get these done and in the mail, so I took a few days, took my time, took a deep breath and went for it. Here is the fruit of my labors.

All of these angels are free on the internet.  You can find them here.  I asked a couple house guests who visited this year to pick one they would like me to stitch and Teresa chose this one...

I was fretting from the time she picked it, how on earth I would finish it.  So...I took the finished piece, laid it on the printer, and printed the piece onto a piece of paper.  I then measured and drew lines around the area where I wanted to finish it.  Cut it out, cut the backing and the foam core....padded the foam core and laced the stitched piece and the backing fabric to the prospective pieces and sewed them together, along with the rickrack.  I am surprised (and pleased) how nicely it came out.  You can't see in the picture but the rickrack and the stitched piece are kind of sparkly.  She's lucky I love her so much or I would have kept this for myself!  hahaha

Donna chose these two.  I have loved these patterns for a long time and it was fun stitching them for her.   Now that I see how nicely they finish, I really need to stitch them for myself.  I have to say, I love how they are finished, and now that I know I can do it, I'll have to make some for myself.  I used a combination of tutorials for these.  But mostly they came from Vonna over at the Twisted Stitcher and you can find her tutorials here.  With a wonderful suggesting by the lovely Ms. Mouse, I added bells to the bows in the corners because when you hear a bell ring, an angel gets it's wings.

Our church had a craft night last weekend, so I went and got my "craft" on.  I was pretty tired from a busy week....and a busy day helping someone decorate their home after a move, so my brain was a little fried.  I did the best I could and would like to try this again, because it was pretty fun!  Here is a snowman, and a candle holder we made.  Can you believe it only too two hours to make both of these?

So...I finally got caught up on my Linen & Threads SAL.  I didn't stitch a bit on it during the month of October, so I had two months to stitch when I finally got the chance.  I'm happy I have a little breathing room before the final part comes out next week!  You can find the free patterns here.

I also got caught up on the three Tempting Tangles SALs I'm participating in.  These are little snippets that are published every other week it seems, but only take a short time to stitch.  They can be found on Tempting Tangles Etsy page for only $5.00 while the SAL in going on.  There are only two pieces left for This Corner of Earth, and I really love how this one is coming out.  You can find them here.

Here is This Corner of Earth

Here is  Wildflower Woodland Quaker, I just love that little owl!!!  Yes they are of the same pattern, it's just a difference of the light that makes the fabric look like a different color.  It's been so dreary here, it's hard to get good pictures!

Here is Springtime Easter  Delight and believe it or not the fabric is a bright white.  Dreary days are the pits for taking pictures!!

And last here is a little something I started as a Birthday gift for a friend.  She doesn't know about it, and I'm going to be really late getting it to her, but I hope she will forgive me anyway...I hope she thinks it will be worth it!  LOL

And that is all I have for now.  I have some gifts on the way to some folks and will have to wait to show what I sent them.  I'm hoping I find a little more time to stitch now that things have calmed down.  I feel pretty good about what I've been accomplishing lately though!  I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving, those who are celebrating!  Happy Stitching!  And I hope your Thanksgiving is full of good food, good fun, and the love of family and friends!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November...Gifted Gorgeousness and more...

I cannot believe it's the middle of November already.  It's been a wild and wacky year and it has not turned out anything like I thought it would.  But...that's life, right?  

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster, trying to get things made and out the door for several exchanges I signed up for.  I probably should have given myself a break this year, but it was nice to have other things to think about other than the reality I've been living.  

I don't have as much stitching as I would have liked, but here's what I have for the Gifted Gorgeousness.  Now if you haven't heard about this challenge, you can read all about it over on Jo who can't think of a clever nickname's blogHere is where you can sign up for this challenge (and it's never to late to join in the fun!) or if you want to see what everyone else is up to, you can visit this page.  The challenge is to stitch a gift.  It can be a gift of a pattern, fabric or floss from someone to you, or it can be a gift to someone else.  I consider freebies from designers to be a gift to us, so first up is the free Linen and Threads 2017 SAL.

I haven't had much time to stitch on this, so I have just finished October, and put a few stitches in the November band.  I'm hoping to catch up on this before December, but we shall see.

I have stitched a few ornaments, I will show two of them here.  I'll have to wait until the others  have been delivered before I show them.

That's it for the stitching.  The rest of this post will be about our Veteran's Day excursion.  I had read about an exhibit at the Sackler Gallery in DC and wanted to see it.  Little did I know that it was not the only exhibit being shown at the time.  I really enjoyed seeing art from China, Iraq, and Egypt.  

The bell exhibit from China was so interesting, we even got t ring a few!  

The Iraqi art was incredible too, and so different from the Chinese art. 

And we all know how much Mike would enjoy the Divine Felines:  Cats of Ancient Egypt.  What is it they say?  In ancient times cats were revered as gods...they have not forgotten this?  LOL Just ask Thomas!!  LOL

But I will say, the Buddha artwork was really beautiful and so peaceful to gaze at.  It's amazing the influence depending on where the art was created.  You can see they had visitors from many countries and depicted it in their artwork.  Amazing!!

 From there we went to the Smithsonian castle ...

And on to the Natural History Museum where we saw the Hope Diamond.

We stopped to admire some of the architecture of the city along the way!

We stopped on the mall to see the Gutenberg Gates which have been touring the country in anticipation of the opening of the Museum of the Bible scheduled for the 17th of this month.  I've been watching the progress on Facebook and can't wait to go see it!!

And last we went to the Capital One area to watch the Washington Capitals win against the Pittsburgh Penquins!   C - A - P - S   Caps Caps Caps!

Quite a day, so much fun spending time with my guys!!   Hopefully I'll be back soon with some stitching updates.  I need my world to slow down!!  Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Good Heavens, where do I begin?

Last weekend, Astrid and I went on an adventure.  It started Thursday night when she invited me to stay overnight so we could get up bright and early the next morning to attend an annual Craft Fair.  All I can say is, thank heavens I have a mini van!!  Haha!!  We had to have a golf cart haul our goodies out of there that day!  

I've been looking for one of these lawn Nativities forever!  I couldn't believe I finally found one and bought it immediately.  I didn't realize I was going to have to haul it all the way to Pennsylvania and back...haha.  Oh well, it all made it without damage.

I also found this  box, I can't believe how cheap it was, and you know me and boxes, I just had to give it a good home.  Isn't it lovely?

I also found this skate.  Now I looked at one of these several years ago, and passed it by.  I have been kicking myself ever since.  I think they are just too cute, so it also found it's way out to my van.

And that was only the beginning!!  Off we went to our stitch retreat in Allentown, PA.

It was the first one I've attended where I only knew one other person.  I can't believe how much fun we had!  We had some wonderful people at our table, and the conversation was lively.  I especially had fun with the person sitting next to me, a school teacher from Long Island who kept me in stitches talking about....moon pies...   And horses...  And her escapades in Virginia in the most delightful Long Island accent.  Two other ladies who were friends kept us entertained with their stories of visiting Bethlehem and all the shops and goodies they found.  I hope I meet up with our table mates at another retreat, they were all delightful and full of fun!

There were two "shops" set up for us to spend our money at....Silkweavers was there with their fabrics, patterns, needle keepers, etc.  

And then, my bag obsession was fed by these lovely project bags in every shape, size, and fabric combination.  I bought...ahem....a few and then ordered one to a specific size.  Oh my...I could become good friends with these ladies!!

Here is what leaped into my bag...

I tried to stitch, but at times I was laughing so hard, tears were rolling and I could barely see what I was stitching.  I managed to finish up "Snow" while I was there...

And caught up on three SALs I have been working on.  These are all Tempting Tangles designs...This Corner of Earth...

Wildflower Woodland Quaker....

and Springtime Easter Delight....

You can find all of these on Deborah Dick's Etsy page, and they are all $5.00 while the SAL is still ongoing!  I've already corrupted encouraged a few and they have joined in the SAL's...haha.  I think Deb should offer me a commission! 

I also got a few stitches in the Linen and Threads SAL.  The patterns are still available for all the months here.  I am working on 28 count black using vintage Bucilla floss.  I have found some substitutes in case you are interested.  DMC 355, and 612, and Anchor 903.  I felt like a celebrity, as a few of the folks there are on the SAL Facebook page and they stopped by to take a look at my stitching.  I didn't get far on this piece, I'm still working on October.  I need to get a move on, I hate falling behind.  Plus I want to finish if I'm going to start the 2018 one in January!  Here is where I am so far.

But as I'm stitching along, and you know, after hours of giggling and little sleep you begin to see things that aren't there...I noticed that part of the pattern was beginning to look a little like baby Groot.  If you've seen the super hero movies (I get dragged by my guys to them) you might recognize the little guy from Guardians of the Galaxy.  Here's a picture ... what do YOU think?

There were lots of other entertainment at the retreat, like silly slipper is my entry, slippers that Astrid had given me.  I was no where near close to winning, but I had my moment on the runway which was fun!

And one night out at Red Robin which was just across the parking long.  Of course we had to have our picture taken with Robin...right?  Thank heavens it wasn't Texas Roadhouse and a seat on the saddle!!!  Hahaha.

Last, but not least, I have to tell about the moon pies.  I brought a tin of them I had found at Walmart. They came in this awesome anniversary tin...celebrating 100 years!

I haven't had them in years, and seriously, I just wanted the tin, but I thought it would also be a fun treat.  Astrid had never had them, but our table mate had...and she told tales of some she had had in the past.  So I offered her one from the tin.  We all had one....but to my dismay, they tasted dry and like they were 100 years old themselves!!!  Sorry ladies, I hope you haven't given up on Moon Pies forever, I don't know what happened to this batch.  Maybe that's a good thing because...have you seen me lately?  I REALLY shouldn't be eating them anyway!  LOL

Ok I've bored you with enough silly tales, I'll leave you with a picture of the last ornament I finished up.  This one is for an exchange for someone who loves Christmas trains.  This is LHN Main Street Station from her Hometown Holiday series.  It's stitched on 32 count over one....whew....THAT was a challenge.  

I hope wherever you are you are warm, dry and getting ready to celebrate being thankful for all the goodness in this world.  Happy Stitching...until we meet again!