Friday, September 28, 2012

It's been a long time

For a long time, seems like forever, I've not been able to get into my account here to update my blog.  Messing around, trying to get into my hubby's gmail account, and hit the wrong button, and Wow, here I am.  Sorry Honey, but you'll have to wait a few minutes.

I have tons of pictures to show, finished projects, family pictures, and I really do need to  update you about my youngest Grandbaby Chloe who is now almost 2 years old.  Actually 2 in early January.  She's the cutest and smartest little redhead!   She loves to take off her clothes so Mom has to put her clothes on backwards. So funny.  She's pretty good at trying to dress herself and she can get her shoes on the correct feet.  OH, and I need to introduce you to our new puppy, Luna.  She's a little thing, part poodle, part shih tzu, and part dachshund, and all lovable.  Of course, not sure how to spell that.

Sorry it has been so long, and really sorry that Google now has blogger.  I really hate learning how to do something in a different way.  Just feels so unfamiliar, so foreign.  Anyway, now that I know how to get here, I'll get my pictures on the computer and get some posted.  Glad to be back.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Autumn Everyone

So this time it's been longer than two months. Way longer. I do have an excuse, and a pretty good one at that. My hard drive crashed, had to get a new hard drive, and the woman who 'fixed' my computer did install a new, much larger hard drive but messed up the computer pretty bad. I'm still trying to install fixes, patches and programs, so much doesn't work that should, and I've just been trying in my own inept way to get things fixed up--so many times I've prayed for a family member that was a computer geek.

While I've been working on the computer, (it was down about two weeks) I've also been stitching and framing, and reading. Well, no reading for the last week because I was way too busy. This post is heavy with pictures, so if you think you might need to warm up your coffee, go ahead. We'll wait.

First up is what I call my 'Dad Project'. Yes, Jean, I did get it finished, finally. I started this project a few years ago, so I guess I have a finished UFO. It seemed to take me forever. But, now that it's finished, I really like how it turned out. This past week has been a frenzy of framing so that I could give this 'project' to my father at his 75th birthday celebration. Here it is. Do you think he'll like it?

These next two are Halloween finishes. One you've already seen, the Lizzie Kate October piece. (I still have to finish the over one piece into a fob, boo, hiss.) The other was a kit, 'Come in for a bite' by Hillside Samplings. I just love how it turned out. I would have made an over one except the wording is already over one. I made these both for my son Chad, who loves Halloween all year round and decorates that way.

The next three finishes are all Little House Needleworks pieces. Simple Joys, Tall Pines and Singing the Blues. I changed the wording on Tall Pines to reflect the vacation the family took, all together, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One of the best times of my life. Simple Joys was done as a SAL with a friend Linda. It was amazing how fast we both got finished working together. Singing the blues, well, that was finished long ago, right around my birthday in July, but just now finally got framed. This is such a sweet piece. Of all these pieces, I think I love Simple Joys the best though. Just love how the colors look.

I spent the entire summer reading and I'm totally shocked with how much I've read. I read all of Kathy Reichs' books, all the books by Tess Gerritson (Rizzolli and Isles) and a ton more, including the trilogy of 'The girl with the dragon tatoo". I've worked on my Shepherd's Bush piece, 'into the night' and worked on my LHN Neighborhood. I think you can say, I've kept busy.

I have, on the other hand, kept up with all of you. Going to retreats, stitching, stashing, antiquing, vacations, redoing craft rooms, and been entertained by all that all of you have done. Living vicariously through all of you.

Right now, I'm stitching on 'Be Merry, Belle Pepper' by LHN. Have only gotten the house done so far, and I've done some changing on the colors. I love this piece but it was kind of drab, in my opinion, so I'm taking out one of the browns, adding a very pale blue for the stars and doing all of the lettering with the dark green. And have you seen Diane's new sampler? The row by row piece? Oh, wow, it's so totally gorgeous, with lovely deep reds.

So when did blogger change the way one places pictures? They are still uploaded to the top of the post, but I can't seem to move them the way we used to--drop and drag? If anyone can give me some advice on this--let me put it this way, it took me 3 hours to move all these pictures around so that they were where they were supposed to be. And can you believe we only have two months until Christmas? Where did the time go?

I am definitely going to try to make more posts and I apologize for taking so long with this one. Stitch on, dear friends, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


No, it can't be. Two months since my last post? And I was whining about hot weather then too? Okay, so it's been hot, very hot and humid here since Spring. What's up with that? No nippy nights, cool mornings and warm afternoons. Just heat. Ick. I just don't like the intense heat. I can't seem to think. Maybe that's why I've been missing in action.

The truth really is that I didn't have much to say or share. I don't go out much, or do much but sit at home and stitch while the tv is on, or read, or go visit the grandkids, or have them visit me. I do house cleaning as little as is humanly possible, but the dog sheds so I have to vac sometimes. So, I do try to keep the house clean, which is now possible with DH going back on the road. I didn't remember him to be such a slob until he was home every day. And going back on the road, he's making more money and the bills are finally getting caught up.

So, what have I been doing these past two months? Hmm. Can't remember doing much in June at all. Some stitching, some reading, and all that. But in July, we had a family wedding. My niece Cate was married in Holland, Michigan on July 3rd. Oh, she did us so proud. She was a beautiful bride. She planned out her reception at the Piper Restaurant on the night they would be doing fireworks. DH and I went up to Holland and stayed that weekend with my parents and had just a wonderful time. As hot as it was during the day, it was cool at night, with the breezes coming off Lake Michigan, and through all the pine trees.

Then my new granddaughter Angel had her 4th birthday, that was fun. Grama and Grampa got her a big baby doll and clothes, and a diaper bag, with all the goodies. I think she sang Happy Birthday to herself for three days straight. She is so adorable. She's going to have a new Sibling for a Christmas present.

That brings us to this week. Monday, I had a birthday. Number 57. Why would that age hit me so hard? 50 didn't do it. 55 didn't do it. But this one kind of hit me in the head. I had a great birthday. My youngest son and his wife gave me two lovely tops and a hardcover book, which I jusst finished reading. Oldest son gave me a mini party on Monday. He and his wife brought over a cake, pizza and presents. It was so thoughtful of them. (the presents were Boyd's Treasure boxes. I've been collecting them since they first came out.) Saturday DH is taking me shopping so I can pick out my gift (s). Hope he's prepared.

Stitching. Yes, I have been doing some stitching. My last post I showed LHN's Needle and Thread, the completed stitching and the finished fob. I used the larger piece for a box topper and it looks like this:

Took me nearly a week to get the finish on the box the way I wanted it. I've done nothing inside except for stain and seal, want to line the bottom with fabric, and perhaps some fabric loops to hold scissors, threads, a pin cushion, etc. I plan on making all of my granddaughters some kind of sewing box.

I started stitching on LHN's Little House Neighborhood, but I'm a bit stalled about half way. So, as this was my 'birthday weekend', I picked up LHN's Singing the Blues and have that nearly done. It was so nice getting back to the silks. So, here is where I am with those two projects:

And I've gotten two packages from my friend in France, Marylin. The first package she sent was pretty much missing in action and we both figured it had been destroyed, so she sent me another one. But, after many many weeks, the first package arrived, via Argentina, so here is a picture of the things she sent, and the lovely stitching she made me:

Isn't this little girl the sweetest thing you've ever seen? And Marylin did such a great finishing job with it, the ribbon on the sides. It is proudly residing in my china cabinet on display.

Then yesterday, my best friend sent me a birthday package, and this was what was inside:

I was so totally shocked. These are handmade coffee mugs, from the fragrant mushroom , a store where she works, pouring candles. Aren't these the most gorgeous mugs you've ever seen? She said she sent two so DH would have one also, but I told her, absolutely NOT. He takes his mugs outside so I'd just save the extra for when she comes to visit. She also sent me a Shepherd's Bush kit that was on my wish list, Blue Snowman.

So, all in all, I had a wonderful Birthday, summer isn't going too bad, and I'm getting caught up on my reading. I'm just ready to start Stieg Larrson's "The girl who kicked the hornets nest", picked it up at the library yesterday. I wasn't sure I was going to like this trilogy when I started the first one, but WOW, these books can haunt you. It seemed like I had to wait forever for this book to get back to the library.

Now I'm going to try and download all my photos, and once again, apologize for how horrible my picture taking is. I'm sorry it took me so long to get this update done and I'll try not to let it go this long again. Happy stitching everyone!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Needle and Thread, a finish.

Its been a hot few days and I do NOT do well with the heat. After a month of rain, this heat brings on the humidity. Most people take advantage of the nice weather to get outside. I use this heat as an excuse to stay inside. (Okay, so I went out and played softball with my Granddaughter on Sunday then hurried back inside.)

I think I mentioned on my last post that I was in the process of working on Little House Needlework's Needle and Thread, and that the fob stitching was finished. It's all done, and I'm now looking for a box to top with the main stitched piece. The fob has been finished into a scissor fob. I did not stitch this fob on the fabric Diane chose for it. I used the 32 count fabric, color unknown, that I used for the main piece. I think it made a very acceptable size. I filled the fob with plastic pellets for weight.

Last weekend I pulled all the DMC for Little House Neighborhood and got started on that. It's coming along nicely. I have two houses nearly finished. I'm stitching it on 32 count R & R Cotton and doing it as a SAL with a friend in Scotland.

Thank you for all the encouraging comments you left on my last post. It was a very difficult time for me, and you all helped more than you know. I have heard from that person since then. Isn't it crazy how close you can feel to someone you have never met? I think blogging does that for us. Allows us to meet and get to know so many different kinds of people. And we are all as varied as the designs we like to stitch. Thank you, all of you, for being my friend, for visiting my blog and leaving comments. YOU ALL ROCK!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Moonlit Garden Framed, finally!

Well, I finally got the frame made for this piece and everything put together the other day. Since its been so long since last I posted, I had another finish so went ahead and framed that one also. So, here is my rendition of Moonlit Garden by Blackbird Designs, and Rose Hill Plantation by Little House Needleworks:

Whatcha think? I decided to go with a 'carved' look for the Moonlit Garden frame but wasn't at all happy with the quality of the molding. (I'll just never buy it again.) I had the suggestion, from Patti, I think, about the color it should be--oaky--and chose English Oak stain. Several coats of clear and it was finished. By the time the frame was completed and dry enough to put the stitched piece into, I had Rose Hill finished. Went ahead and made that frame, used my old stand by molding and Rosewood stain, and framed them both on the same day. I'm definitely going to have to learn to cut mats for my pieces--they just look so plain compared to what all of you guys are putting on your walls.

Forgot to mention that I changed up the fabric color--used Vintage Examplar light, and changed all the colors to Crescent color cottons, except for one DMC she used. That was one color I couldn't find a substitute for since I don't have all the CC colors. I enjoy the look of the overdyes. Don't those 'roses' look like the 60's hippy flowers?

While waiting for the frame for Rose Hill to be ready, I started stitching the LHN piece that previewed at Nashville Market, Needle and Thread. The scissor fob is stitched and tonight should see the finish for the larger piece. I did not buy the mattress that went with this piece--I'm thinking more along the lines of a box top, if I can find one the right size. Maybe use beads to make little bun feet, and then put the scissor and fob inside. Just a thought.

The weather has been crazy here but not as crazy as it's been in other parts with all the tornadoes running amok. We get hot weather, then cold weather. Sun and then rain. Last night brought tornado warnings, (a blast from the warning horn) thunderstorms and high winds. Had several storms blow through here last night. Seems like we've had some kind of rain every other day this week and most of last week, too. Positively creepy, though I must admit to liking the nights when we had frost warnings. I am NOT looking forward to the hot summer.

I've had something on my mind for several months, and it's really been bothering me. Have you ever lost a friend and not known why? No argument, no disagreement, just silence where once were phone calls, letters and emails exchanged on nearly a daily basis? No explanation, just . . . . nothing. I had a wonderful friendship with this lovely person. We talked on the phone almost every day, sometimes more than once a day. We exchanged emails, notes, letters, packages often. Then, for some reason, I became 'persona non grata'. Phone calls were not answered, or returned. Emails not returned. Letters not answered. I did get a Christmas card with just her signature on it. I feel like I must have committed some heinous crime but for the life of me, don't know what it was. I never gossiped about her. Never shared any secrets she shared with me. If it wasn't for her continuing to add pictures to her album, I would have thought she died. I really hate to give up on her but it's now been something like 6 months, and nothing. Last time I wrote her, I requested that she return something she'd been working on for me, and that hasn't been done either. (It was a Lorrie Birmingham kit, a needle book in a heart shape, for my daughter-in-law. I didn't think I could do the hardanger.) My heart hurts over the loss of this person and I don't know what to do anymore. In doing this in this way, it did bring home to me something that I did to someone else. I had an email buddy that I stopped writing to, for no particular reason. I have since re-established that friendship and apologized for the hurt I caused her. Nothing like having it done to you, eh?

So, there you have it. I've got it off my chest. It's why I've been so slow in posting, having so much on my mind. In other news, my eldest son just shared with us that his wife is pregnant, about a month along. It will be his first child and he's grinning like a baboon! They already have names picked out, can you believe that? I was still picking and choosing at the hospital after he'd been born. And here is what else I've done in these last few weeks. He picked up this water color at a yard sale last year. I did some cleaning on it, fixed it up a bit and framed it for his new apartment.

Not sure what will be next for me. Maybe I'll just go back and finish the Shepherd's Bush halloween piece I was working on before I got sidetracked. I have been saving my pennies to pick up LHN's Virtues chart--I really like that one.

Stitch on, my friends! Thank you for all the comments you leave, the encouragement you give! It is all much appreciated.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Moonlit Garden, a finish

Howdy friends, this is a drive-by posting. Forgive the haste, but I have to run to the grocery store, and then continue to help my son Chad in his quest. He's in the process of moving into an apartment, and he's been working on it two weeks now. You'd never believe the tons of movies and cd's he has--not to mention books, furniture, clothing, etc. He has scoured our house to fill up his own place and I'm hoping to see an end to the moving this weekend.

My finish is Moonlit Garden by Blackbird Designs. I used the charted thread colors by Weeks Work but changed out the color of the fabric. Had a piece of Prairie Moon that I thought went really well with the thread colors. The lettering below the house and stars is a Bible verse so I added the book, chapter and verse, and to balance that, added my name to the other side. Oh, and the middle of the flowers were stitched in Smyrna stitch, along with the period and dots for the "i"'s. What do you think?

Does anyone have a suggestion to frame color? And should I tart the frame up or leave it plain? All suggestions will be considered so. . . . have at it!

I was happy to have this piece finished--those stars were driving me nuts. So many of them, and very few were charted the same. But, I'm happy to say that I have pulled threads out for my next project, which will be--drum roll, please--Little House Needleworks, Rose Hill Plantation. I pulled the threads yesterday, and I've decided to use Crescent colours for all the threads but one. Couldn't find a good match for one of the DMC threads, so I'll go ahead and use that one DMC color. I'm stitching it on 32 count Vintage Examplar with one strand of thread. Got the roof done and while the one thread is not covering as well as I usually like, it's looking sort of old and faded. And I do like that.

Okay, off to add pictures to this post and then to the grocery store. (I so hate spending money on food but its a necessary evil!) Stitch on, my friends and have yourselves a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And now it's MARCH?

This year is flying by, isn't it? I can't believe that March is half over already. Soon it will be spring, the snow will be melting, and leaving mud pits all over the place. See, I look at it that way because of dogs coming in with muddy paws.

I had planned this update a lot sooner than it is taking place. We've had nearly two weeks of rain and gloom, where the sun didn't show its face and made it difficult to get pictures. Of course, there was some lazy in there too, or too tired, or too distracted, or plain just too much to do.

I forgot to take a picture, but I'm 3/4ths done with BBD Moonlit Garden. The house is done, the pumpkin is done, the lettering is done and half the stars are done. I'll just wait and show you a finished piece, ok? Now, I have Befores and Afters.

BEFORE: My tea cozy, stitched on the linen that came on the finished piece. As I told you before, I couldn't figure out how to stitch the blasted thing while it was all together so I took it apart. Here are all the pieces, after I ironed the stitching. Couldn't really fit the words "The Tea Room" on it because of how they cut the linen for the ruffle.

BEFORE: Shepherd's Bush MY PINS pincushion. Here it is, stitched up with all the finishing supplies. Took me an hour to find that envelope with the fabric, as I had placed it some place to keep it safe. Yeah, even safe from me, it seems.

AFTER: My tea cozy, all put together. If I had been smart, I'd have checked the size because it doesn't fit over any of my normal sized teapots. Seriously! It only fits over the 1-2 cup pots. Anyway, here is how it looks all sewn up--or sewn back together.

AFTER: Shepherd's Bush MY PINS. I hate it. As you can probably tell, I did NOT stuff it, or fill it with anything. That giant rick rack was a major pain, and I'm taking it apart, sewing it back without the rick rack and then will apply the rick rack to the outside by hand. Just what is wrong with cording or ribbon, or even tiny ruffles? Rick rack? ICK!

I don't remember if I even said I was stitching this one, but my son thought he would surprise me (knowing that the money doesn't stretch to stitching stash) and pick up this little Lizzie Kate flip-it. He even bought me two pieces of fabric, one for the over 2 stitching and a piece for an over 1 for a fob. So that is exactly what I did. I'll frame up the larger one and give it to him, as he likes all things Halloweeny, and I'll make a fob out of the tiny one. As you can see, nothing has been done on the finish finishing but I'll get to that soon. And last weekend, when he was out shopping, he picked up the newer LHN piece, "Battle Hymn of the Republic". Isn't he a sweetie? He is in the process of moving into his own apartment so I'd best get some framing done so he has something for his walls.

This is LizzieKate's October Flip-it, done with the recommended threads.

On the home front, hubby is waiting for a call for a job he applied for, that would mean more money and probably shorter hours. I'm really hoping he gets it. Right now he's working upwards of 65 hours a week and not getting paid for overtime. And his schedule seems to be different every single day which is incredibly wearying.

Dinner is nearly ready and after clean up, I get to stitch while my shows are on. Stitch on my friends. I am thinking of you while I ply my needle. Thank you for the kind comments you leave, for the encouragement, and the prayers.