Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year-End Wrap Up

Thanks to everyone who stopped by recently and left a comment. I'm embarrassed, because my visits to your blogs lately are just "drive bys." Allow me to answer some questions that some of you asked in your comments to recent posts.

Staci asked - "really, you don't have to pay as close attention with those???" (the Hardanger) Well, I guess I do have to sort of pay attention to what I'm doing, even with hardanger, but it's easier because I'm not changing thread colors very often (if at all) and particularly with these ornaments, I think I have the pattern memorized! LOL! Also, I have read the Monica Ferris books - love 'em!

Holly asked - "did you do something to stiffen them for hanging on the tree?" I stitched them on 22 count Hardanger fabric which is already kind of stiff. When I'm done stitching and cutting, I put them stitching side down on a thick towel, then I spray them with sizing, cover with a white kitchen cotton towel, and press with a hot iron. It's important to have the right side of the stitching face the fluffy towel so that your stitches are not "flattened."

Thanks again for all of your wonderful comments!

2008 Stitching in Review

This was the first time that I really kept close track of how many pieces I stitched. It helped me to keep a monthly list in the sidebar of my blog. I have since removed the lists to make room for 2009 finishes, but here's a summary (mostly for my own future reference!)

54 total pieces stitched (wowzers!)
  • 36 for exchanges (including Fair & Square)
  • 11 squares on Neighborhood RRs
  • 4 gifts
  • 3 pieces for ME

Like many other stitching bloggers have said, I'm going to be a little bit selfish in 2009 and stitch more for myself, family, friends and participate in fewer exchanges. Don't get me wrong, I love exchanging and it has been such a joy getting to meet so many new friends from all over the world. I have tons of stuff in my stash and I'd really like to complete some of the stitching projects I have purchased over the past few years. So we'll see how it goes, as you can see from my sidebar, I do still have a few exchange commitments for 2009!

Before I go settle in my stitching chair for the rest of the evening, let me wish you a

Happy New Year! Happy Stitching in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Couple More Things...

First of all, let me share with you a better picture of the tablerunner my SIL made for me for Christmas. She said that it's a "quilt as you go" pattern...

Also, I didn't blog much in December about stitching. It's because I was busy stitching these:

These were Christmas gifts for co-workers and family members. I need to do more hardanger; I enjoy it because it doesn't require me to pay such close attention!

Finally, I finished another book! I've been reading a chapter or two before bed each night. This series has been an easy read, I don't have to concentrate too much to follow the story. All these knitting books that I have been reading lately make me want to learn how to knit!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Birthday Gifts

My birthday was in November after Thanksgiving, but it gets so hectic between Thanksgiving and Christmas that our little group of stitching friends did not see each other until last Friday night. Jill and Joan surprised me with birthday presents!

Joan made one of her famous project bags for me. I love this fabric, it has a stitchy theme to it. She also gave me a really cool wagon/basket which will be great for displaying needlework smalls. I apologize, I didn't get a picture taken of the wagon!

Jill stitched a scissor fob for me -- the 2007 Shepherd's Bush fob. Here it is pictured with the Julia Gingher (I think!) Jill noticed that the pattern/kit was on my wishlist and stitched it up for me. I love it! Thanks Jill!

I really enjoy stitching with this group of friends on Friday nights and am grateful to Joan for inviting me to join in the fun.

Speaking of Shepherd's Bush fobs, the updated post on their blog today indicates that their 2009 fob will be available soon -- I'm not sure which scissors it will be paired up with though, perhaps Roberta? The 2008 fob was designed to go with Bianca.

That's it for today....have a great week!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Missing Table....Found

Yes, it has been a productive day thus far...this morning I conducted minor surgery on an ornament oops (see earlier post - Joan's ornament); then after lunch I was on the hunt to find my dining room table. It was quite literally buried under boxes, bags and piles of stuff. Here's a before photo:

After emptying the bags and boxes and breaking down the cardboard for recycling, then putting things away, we finally uncovered our table which has been lost for about two weeks! Here's the after photo:

Looks much better don't you think? I have to remember to take a photo of the table runner - my sister in law quilted it and gave it to me for Christmas. It's really pretty.

Now I'm trying to conquer the clutter in the kitchen. Wish me luck!

Ornament for Joan

December was Joan's month with the Christmas Ornament swap group. I stitched my ornament early in the month but ran out of time and never got it finished. When we arrived home on Christmas Day evening, I pulled it out and finished it up quick because I knew I would be seeing Joan last night. I finished it up, admired my work and snapped up a picture. Last night I proudly presented it to Joan! Only, there was a slight problem; can you see it? Here's the before photo:

Needless to say, Joan's ornament came home with me last night so I could make a minor alteration. Here's the after photo:

Have you figured out what I did? Yes, I finished it with the reindeer upside down! How embarrassing! Ah well, good thing that there was no mailing involved. I will stop by Joan's today and drop it off (again!)
By coincidence, I received this little pretty from Lelia the day before Christmas. (The two of us have very similar tastes!) I love the color changes that she made. I am just thrilled to own a piece of Lelia's handwork!

My day today is going to be spent trying to find the dining room table. Yes, it seems to be lost amidst bags and boxes and piles of stuff. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Fruits of My Labor

Just had to share with you that I did get some baking done I packaged up about 20 of these tins filled with chocolate fudge, peanut butter kiss cookies, Rolo turtles, and salted nut roll bars. Yum.

That's all I have for you! Stay warm (below zero temps here with lots of snow on the ground!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Wonderful Stitching Blog

So, last night I posted to my blog; first post in a loooooong time. A stitcher by the name of Melissa left a message and this morning I decided to check out her blog. Wow! How did I miss visiting Melissa's blog before? She's only been blogging since September, but has posted some lovely stitchy pictures.

If you have a few extra minutes today, please check out Melissa's blog. If you only have time for a "drive-by" then make sure you look at her collection of samplers on the post from September 22, 2008! Lots of beautiful BOAF and Blackbird Designs finishes, as well as other beautiful finishes.

I wish you all a wonderful day. The snow here has started falling; today we're expecting six to eight inches of that fluffy white stuff!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bad Blogger

Dear Friends - I'm sure you're wondering where I've been lately. It seems like since Thanksgiving the days and weeks have just flown by. Not much stitching going on at my house; just busy trying to get things ready for Christmas. I might actually do some baking (my close friends will think I am ill when they read this - cooking and baking are not my favorite things to do!)

Since I have no stitching to share, let me share with you a book I just finished reading. The story is about a woman who learns to knit and relies on a weekly knitting group to help her cope with her grief after losing her 5 year old daughter to meningitis.

If tomorrow's baking is successful, maybe I'll share some pictures with you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 05, 2008


Well, when I told you to stay tuned for pictures, I didn't expect it to take five days for me to get them posted - sorry about that!

Here's a snapshot front and back of the wonderful scissors fob I received from Carol for my birthday. She has stitched many of these from her Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet chart and I've admired them; now I have one of my own! Thank you Carol! (As I was taking this picture of the fob modeled with Gingher Lanell, wouldn't it be gool if Gingher came out with a Christmas scissors?)

Carolyn was the recipient of this month's ornaments in the Christmas Ornament Exchange group. I stitched this LHN design called "Paix" or Peace. This design was designed as a fundraiser for Unicef. I stitched this on some 36 ct fabric in my stash; otherwise it would have been a bit lrge (IMHO); the hanger is some wire that I affixed in the corners. I'm going to have to stitch this one again for myself!

That's all I have for you today! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Moi'

Stay tuned for some stitching pictures ----

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gift of Gratitude

Just want to share with you this beautiful scissor fob I received from Barbara recently. It's one of the ice pendants created by Deborah Thorpe (Midsummer Night Musings). Barbara re-fashioned it as a scissor fob. It's really pretty. It was so kind of Barbara to send this to me; she is one of the first bloggers I connected with when I first got into this blogging thing! Thanks Barbara!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I have two wonderful neighborhood RRs to share with you today!

The first neighborhood is one that I've been stitching on for the past few days. This one belongs to Debbi; our group chose an LHN theme. The house is from the City Stitcher, Country Stitcher; the other elements are from a variety of different charts. I think Debbi's neighborhood is coming along nicely, don't you?

The second neighborhood is my own! It was returned to me after making it's way across the U.S. and Canada and to the Netherlands twice! Doesn't it look great? Now our group had some minor problems, so that's the reason for the empty space. My dear friend Vonna offered to stitch that block so I'm sending it off to her today (I told her to wait until after the holidays to do the stitching!) When this comes back to me, I have some borders that I am going to stitch in-between and around the blocks.

Here's the group that stitched on my RR. Top Row, Left to Right: An, (blank - Vonna), Carol. Middle Row, Left to Right: Erin, Me, Michelle. Bottom Row, Left to Right: Kathy, Judith, Katrina.

I asked everyone to stitch a house that was typical for their state or country and to include other elements that were typical to their area. I love it! Thanks everyone for your beautiful stitching. If you would like to see more of these neighborhoods, please visit the Hello Neighbor blog. Thank you Carol, for setting up this RR!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Long Time No Post

This time of year gets so busy with the holidays and shopping; it's hard to believe that next week we celebrate Thanksgiving. Before long it will be Christmas and we'll be starting a New Year. Yikes!

I'm happy to report that an exchange I sent out a few weeks ago finally made it to its destination. This LHN/CC threadpack design is finished as a pinkeep; I sent it to Outi for the SBEBB Pumpkin Patch exchange.

Here are a couple more of the Thanksgiving exchanges that were received recently:

Jill stitched this great cube finish for Marie (pictures here and here)
Sharon stitched this great flat fold for Vonna (pictures here)

Have a great evening everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Floss Tag from Sharon

Here's the floss tag I received from Sharon this week as part of the HoE Floss Tag exchange -- isn't it great?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Brrrr, It's Cold Here!

Here in Minnesota, it's been snowing on and off all day - nothing like the storms that they had in the Dakotas yesterday though! It's still too warm for the white stuff to stick, but it's just a matter of time. Lot's to share with you in today's post!

First, a small group of us did a Thanksgiving exchange this fall. Marie was my partner and she sent me this wonderful turkey ornament! The design is either Heart in Hand or Bent Creek and of course, her finishing is superb. Don't you love the brown jingle bells at the bottom? Marie spoiled me with many goodies. Thanks so much Marie!

On this same exchange, I sent to Jill (well truthfully, I had it hand delivered via Joan!) I stitched this Lizzie Kate design and finished it as a cube. I thought it might look nice on an end table or similiar. Hmmm...might have to stitch this one again for myself.

Jill also had a birthday recently so I wanted to stitch something special for her to mark the occasion. This fob will look perfect on her Gingher Roberta scissors, don't you think? This pattern was designed by Sharon and can be found on her Cross Stitch Happy blog. The colors complement the scissors beautifully!

Finally, Marjean posted that she received the Floss Tag that I sent to her on the recent HoE exchange. Many of you will recognize this design from Blackbird Designs. It was my first ever floss tag!

Before I let you go, check out some of these other great Thanksgiving exchanges:

Joan stitched and finished a pillow for Becky. (move down a little to the post from Nov 7)
Vonna stitched and finished this flat fold for Goldie.
Becky stitched and finished this pinkeep for Sharon. (move down to post from Nov 6)
Heather stitched a cute ornament for Joan.
Goldie stitched and finished a box for Carol. (move down to Nov 5 post)
Carol stitched a pinkeep for Heather.

There are a few more Thanksgiving exchanges in transit. I'll post links to them once they are received and pictures are posted!

Whew, that's it!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Exchange

Look at the pumpkin pillow I received from Nicki for the Pumpkin Patch exchange! This is really a unique and wonderful gift. She combined embroidery and crazy quilting to creat this beauty. The design is from Crabapple Hill - I can tell that she put a lot of work into it. It's quite wonderful!

Please be sure to visit Nicki's blog for some additional photos! (She's a better photographer than I am!)

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Should Be Dancing!

Cranky - that's the best word I can use to describe me tonight...I'm not used to being crabby and cranky, it's just not my nature. I took a little stumble down the stairs on Saturday afternoon and now my right foot is swollen and sore. That makes me cranky.

On the bright side though, since I had to stay off the foot Saturday night and all day yesterday, I got some serious stitching done! Wahoo! Please do a happy dance for me because I can't dance right now!

Here's finish #1 -- LHN Counting House. This has been in my UFO pile for awhile. I started it last year (or maybe it was the year before?) I used the recommended fabric and fibers.

And finish #2 -- Lizzie Kate's Here Comes Santa Claus. I just started this one about a week ago but it's been in my stash all kitted up for a cuple of years.

And lets not forget about Edgar's ornament - I should have posted this picture last week. Edgar was the recipient of our monthly ornament exchange for October. The design is by Annemiek of the Needle's Content. Edgar loves reindeer.

That's it for tonight. Check back tomorrow night. I received a really cool exchange from Nicki for the SBEBB Pumpkin Patch exchange. Too late, too dark to take a picture tonight...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Carol's Neighborhood RR

I had the pleasure of stitching the final square on Carol's Neighborhood RR. Doesn't her RR look terrific? Our group started in July of 2007 and this RR has made it's way around the US and Canada and to the Netherlands twice! My square is top center (the blue house). I combined LHN and Prairie Schooler patterns.

I think it is really gorgeous! (Photo is a bit overexposed; had to use a flash. It's cloudy and snowing here in MN today!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Finish of My Own

Look at what I finished up the other night - Thread Gathering by LHN! I had purchased the special edition kit when it came out a few years ago. I've been longing to stitch it and so I pulled it out a few weeks ago and got it started. It's been a long time since I've stitched something for myself (it feels good!)

I've also managed to find time for some reading lately - has anyone else read the knitting mysteries from Maggie Sefton? I'm currently reading the fifth book in the series "Dyer Consequences." Just some nice light reading before bed!

A couple of you asked about the Hardanger piece behind the needleroll in my last post. It's a pillow (or cushion) that I stitched as part of a class back when I was first learning Hardanger. The pattern is not published and the woman that designed it has since died. At the moment I can't think of her name, but she was a long time member of EGA and a very well respected Hardanger teacher here in the Midwest.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Needleroll - HoE Exchange

Look at the beautiful needleroll Ina stitched and finished for me! She said that it is her first ever -- let me tell you though, her finishing is the best I've ever seen. The seam on the back is perfect (I think it's called a "French seam.") Anyway, here's a picture:

I apologize for the dark photo - it's dark in the morning when I leave and it's dark when I return home - not conducive to picture taking! I try to find the brighest light and snap a photo - what can I say....but I digress...Ina sent a wonderful package of goodies including a Dutch needlework magazine which I will enjoy reading! Thank you Ina!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nicki's LHN RR and Scissors!

I've been working on Nicki's LHN RR on and off for a few weeks now. Sometimes when I receive an RR to work on, I know exactly what I want to stitch on it. With others, I ponder it for awhile and then stitch. Nicki's was kind of a work in progress - I'd stitch a little, then ponder some, stitch a little more, ponder a little more....I'm happy with the end result.

Nicki's theme is friendship/house and garden. She wanted a house in the middle square and then lots of garden themes in the adjoining squares. My design is primarily taken from the City Stitcher Country Stitcher chart (what better example of friendship?) and the Two Sheep freebie. The birds and the crow are from other LHN charts. I like it. I hope Nicki does too!

Got Sarah?

Got Roberta?

I'm pretty certain that Sarah is a JoAnn exclusive. They started showing up at our local JoAnn stores on Thursday last week. Roberta is available through needlework stores or you can obtain one at Mike and Carol's Internet Store.