Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - Welcome 2011!

Greetings! I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas holiday! We celebrated with family and friends; it was kind of low-key, but sometimes low-key is good. Now we await the arrival of 2011! 2010 was a challenging year on a number of fronts; I'm glad for a new year, a fresh beginning.

I was home today and spent much of it doing laundry and putzing around the house. I changed up my blog a little bit - wish I was more computer saavy. Now, I'm about ready to escape to my chair for the evening, but wanted to say hello to you first.

As crazy as it sounds, I have joined in the Crazy Challenge and plan to start 15 new projects in January - I'll post my list tomorrow for you to see. Nearly all were in my stash and they are all projects I have been wanting to stitch for sometime.

Before we start next year's projects though, let's take a look at some of my favorite finishes from 2010! In no particular order...

LHN - Remember Me

BBD -Evening Shades the Garden

BBD- Class piece from Stitchville Retreat

Mary Garry - When I Was Young and in My Prime

Goode Huswife - Three Crows

CCN - Peace

Miss Crescent's Crowne - Merry

Hands to Work - This is the Day

Shakespeare's Peddler - Jenny Bean's Pin Tuffet

C Street Samplerworks - Tree of Life Sampler

BBD Class Piece - Silver Needle Retreat

Shepherd's Bush -- Fobs

With My Needle - A Token of Friendship

Appropriate that I end with A Token of Friendship...many thanks for your stitching support throughout the year. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Hello stitching friends - Merry Christmas to all! I've been quiet of late - not much stitching going on; too busy preparing for the Christmas holiday.

We have had one of our snowiest Decembers on record here in Minnesota. A fresh blanket of fluffy white stuff fell during the night; I think we got about five more inches. The trees in the picture above are heavy laden with snow.

As you can see, our mailbox is almost buried!

Poor Zeta, our chocolate lab, can barely navigate the snow in the front yard! The snow is about three or four feet deep in some places!

The kids are out shoveling the driveway and the sidewalk this morning; they also took care of a neighbor's driveway - it's a heavy job, but they are having fun. DD and our yellow lab Maggie were playing in the snow!

Thanks for stopping by - wishing you and yours a joyous Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Still Snowing...

What a dreadful day for anyone that needed to travel outside! We've received 20 inches of snow! No choice but to stay home today - my kitchen, dining room, and living room are clean and in a little bit I am going to plant myself in my stitching chair and will stay there for the rest of the evening.

Here are some more photos of our front yard. If you look at the driveway across the street, you will note that our neighbor's car is practically buried!

And then this shot from the front door - the snow is blowing so much I can't get a clear photo!

But inside it is nice and cozy. DD and I will be settling in to watch The Santa Claus trilogy of movies...

Dining room is clean too...

For supper, nothing tastes better on a cold day than bread dumplings (like my grandmother used to make) and beef stew with carrots!

Finally, let me leave you with this sweet gift that arrived in the mail from Jill yesterday. It's a stitched bobbin holder for a ball of perle cotton! One side says A, B, C - the other side says 1, 2, 3. The 3rd and 4th sides have these cute coordinating buttons. Jill put a lot of work into this and I am lucky to have received it from her. Thanks Jill!

Well -- off to the stitching chair. Wherever you are - stay warm!

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful...

The weekend is here and we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a snowstorm! It started snowing at about 11pm last night and by 8am this morning we had about six inches of that fluffy white stuff on the ground. It's going to continue to snow throughout the day - we're expecting 12 inches or more when all is said and done. I'm glad that I don't have to go anywhere today!

This is Maggie, our yellow lab/golden retriever mix. She's keeping an eye on the front yard. You can kind of see where the road should be - it was plowed once already, really early this morning.

This is a picture off the deck on the back side of the house. The wind has really picked up and it is blowing the snow around like crazy. My DH shoveled the deck once already, but the snow is starting to accumulate again.

I'm going to take advantage of this time at home today to catch up on laundry and cleaning and hopefully squeeze in some stitching!

Watch for another post later -- I received a delightful package in the mail yesterday from my friend Jill!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Weekend and Great Framing!

The weekend came and went far too fast. My mom had a table at another church boutique this weekend where she sold more of her tatting. I was there to help her all day Saturday and on Sunday morning. She did quite well. A lot of people stopped and were interested to learn more about tatting. Of course, my mom enjoys telling them all about it too! Here's a picture of her at the table; she gets a kick out of seeing her picture on my blog!

By the way, the ornaments hanging on the tree, pictured in the header for my blog, were tatted by my mom!

When I arrived at work today, I had a phone message from JoAnn's advising that my framing was done. There was a sale the two days after Thanksgiving and their framing was almost 70% off (60% + 10%). Couldn't pass up that deal. I have a drawer of finished stitching and I try to get a few pieces framed every now and then. Two of these pieces are very happy to have escaped "the drawer"!

I'd have to dig way back in the archives of my blog to see when I stitched this one. Maybe 2007 or 2008? Anyway, you will recognize this one for sure. It's from LHN and it is called "The Counting House". It was stitched using the recommended linen and fibers.

And this one is one of my very favorite La D Da pieces! I just love the verse on this chart titled "My Sunshine". I'm going to have to spend some time in the blog archives trying to figure out what year I stitched this. I know that I worked on it at the cabin one summer; perhaps the summer before my Auntie Florence passed away. I remember her being there when I was working on it. This piece was also stitched using the recommended linen and fibers.

Last but not least - one final look at This is the Day all framed up! This was a recent finish (just last month!) I knew exactly where I wanted to hang it in our home and that's why it didn't have to languish in the dreaded drawer!

Hope you have a great week. I'm off to my stitching chair as I have a few more ornaments to finish!

Friday, December 03, 2010

More Snow? And a Wonderful Gift...

More snow? Yes! Mother Nature is in the process of dumping more fluffy white stuff on us. It took me about three times longer to drive home from work tonight, but I made it home safely and that's all that matters. Here's a picture of Mr. Snowman in our front yard; you can see that there are snowflakes falling all around him!

A package from a very special friend was waiting for me when I arrived home tonight. Wendy Jo sent this cute pinkeep. It's finished beautifully and I love the verse! This is from a Pine Mountain design. The fabric used to finish the back of the pinkeep is also cute! Thank you Wendy Jo.

I have a couple more stitchy gifts to share, but I'll save those for another post.

Hopefully you won't think I'm crazy, but I'm thinking about jumping on the bandwagon and joining the Crazy 2011 Stitching Challenge
You pick 15 projects, start one new project each of the first 15 days of January, and then try to finish all 15 before the end of the year. Crazy, huh? Probably, but it also sounds like fun. I am probably going to include a couple of my WIPs in my 15. Wish me luck!

I want to thank everyone who commented on my recent ornament finishes, both the Hardanger and the "Merry" ornaments. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some Hardanger for Christmas

All good things must come to an end - after being on vacation all of last week, I return to work today. It was nice to be off. I was able to prepare for our Thanksgiving celebration at a relaxed pace, did a little bit of Christmas shopping, and got quite a bit of Christmas stitching done.

In addition to all the "merry" ornaments (previous post) I had the supplies at home to whip up a couple of these hardanger ornaments. The design from the Nordic Needle can be found in the 2010 JCS Ornament magazine.

(Wish the picture was better, but hey - I live in Minnesota and we're having another overcast, dreary day. More snow is coming!)

I also want to show you a couple of spools I picked up at a craft boutique that I visited on Saturday. I couldn't pass them up - they were in great condition. I especially like the one in the middle with the holes running up the middle.

On my last post, Annemiek asked where I found the little red bells - I found mine at Michael's Arts & Crafts but I think you would also be able to find them at JoAnn's. Any craft store should have them - they were in with the other Christmas decorations. Sharon asked about the wire - it's a 20 gauge black colored copper wire; found it in the beading supply section at JoAnn's.

Gotta run - work is calling! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rejoice and Be Merry!

Lots of "merry" going on here today and believe me, I am rejoicing! I've been on a finishing frenzy the past few days, and today, I put the finishing touches on these ornaments.

The design is from Miss Crescent's Crown and can be found in the 2010 JCS Ornament issue.

I did not put bells on all of them, only one pictured here. I still have more to finish and will put bells on the remaining ones.

One more day left in the holiday weekend...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a Green Jello Day!

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends in the U.S. My family will be gathering later today to share in a feast of turkey, dressing, wild rice, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, pumpkin pie.... and green jello!

When I was in high school, I worked part time at a local butcher shop/grocery store. It was only 8 blocks from my house so I could easily walk to and from work. Technically, I was the cashier, but it was such a small business that everyone pretty much did everything. I stocked shelves and learned how to package produce in addition to my cashiering duties.

The customers were all "neighborhood" people; people who had shopped at this butcher shop their entire lives. Since I worked there all through high school and on weekends and summers during college, I got to know the customers pretty well.

There was one little old lady who frequently shopped there for her groceries and her meat. Her name was Lauretta Reilly. Now, I have no idea how we got on the topic of jello, but one day Lauretta walked in with a yellow index card and written on it was her "Lime Jell-o Salad" recipe. She wanted to make sure that I had a copy of it I guess.

Those who have known me for quite some time know that I am not much of a cook - oh, I can cook when I want to, but I'd much rather be stitching than cooking, so I don't cook any more than I have to. My family knows this and so over the years, when we've had family gatherings, they don't trust me with the important things, they only trust me with the jello. Of course the jello that I make each and every time --- Lauretta Reilly's Lime Jell-o Salad! (It's kind of become a joke in our family; believe me though, when there's no green jello they are disappointed!) So, today, being one of those important days when our family gathers, it's important that we have green jello.

Lauretta Reilly's Lime Jell-o Salad

1 large or 2 small packages of lime Jell-o
1 cup boiling water
1 pint cottage cheese
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/2 pint whipping cream (I use 8oz Cool Whip)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup diced maraschino cherries (I use more!)

Dissolve Jell-o in boling water. Chill until it begins to thicken. Then whip until light and frothy. Add cottage cheese, pineapple, nuts and cherries. Mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into bowl or mold and chill until set.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Re-Visiting an Old Friend...

Yes, Sampler Game Board from The Drawn Thread is my old friend. Lelia and I started stitching it together on January 1, 2006. I originally planned to stitch it on 25ct Dublin (as called for in the design.) After stitching a fare amount of it, I made the decision in April of the same year to stitch it on a larger count fabric - so I started over! This time on 35 ct Ivory. I've stitched quite a bit on it since that time (as you can see) but grew tired of it and moved on to other projects. I pulled it out the other night and realized that I really don't have too much more to go - maybe three rows plus the rest of the border. I've stitched 5 or 6 new blocks since pulling it out on Sunday night and plan to keep going - maybe I could have this one finished by the end of the year? :)

I'm also still finishing Merry ornaments - these two are finished without the bells; I still need to add a hanger.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Fruits of My Labor

I spent a good portion of my day on some finishing. One of the designs in this year's JCS Ornament magazine caught my eye - it's from Miss Crescent's Crowne and the picture can be found on page 60.

Here's my version of this sweet, oh-so-quick-to-stitch design:

It's stitched on the recommended WDW 30 ct Scuppernog with CC Red Currant and CC Snowball. I substituted a snowflake button in place of the snowman button. It's finished as a flat ornament with ruched ribbon on all four sides. The red jingle bells seemed like the perfect compliment for this design! Whatcha think?

It took me a few hours to finish...I have nine more of these stitched up. Ugh! But they will be so gosh darn cute!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Finally Finished!

This is the Day
Tracy Riffle/Hands to Work
Just CrossStitch - February 2009
35 ct WDW Cappucino

Will you dance with me? I never thought I would get this one finished, but it's done. Woot! Isn't she gorgeous?

And the Winner Is....

#12 Veronica!

My trusty assistant (my daughter) ran the numbers through Random Integer Generator and #12 came out on top! The three ornaments will go to Veronica! Veronica, if you are reading this, please contact me with your address information.

Now, since the response was overwhelming, we decided to pick two more winners; they will each receive a tatted item of our choice from my mother's stash.

#23 Melody
#9 Jeanne

Melody and Jeanne, please contact me with your address information.

Congratulations all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Check This Out

I hate to share this with you; it's such a fabulous giveaway (I'd rather not share so that the odds are better that I might win!) But I promised to post about it.

Please check out Belinda's giveaway here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Because You Are All so Nice....

Because you are all so nice, my mom sent three of her tatted ornaments home with me today from the boutique so that we can have a giveaway. All three will be given to one lucky winner. If you would like to be included in this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post only.

If you have a blog and it includes a link to your email - you're all set. If you don't have a blog and/or your email link is not included on your blog, then please include your email address so that I am able to contact you if you are the lucky winner. U.S., Canada, International - all are welcome to participate.

We will draw a name on Friday, November 19 - keep your fingers crossed, the winner could be you!

Stitching and Stashing with Friends....Priceless

Still trying to stay warm in Minnesota...our weather made the national news this morning!

On Friday (the day before the snow came!) I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Joan and one of our blogging friends, Pam. Pam doesn't have a blog, but many of you know her because she probably has visited your blog and left a comment. Joan and I met Pam in Tulsa at the Silver Needle retreat and we agreed to meet up at Stitchville next time Pam was in town. It just so happened that this was the weekend - Pam and her non-stitching sister, Cheryl drove up for shopping and stashing at the Mall of America and Stitchville!

Pam is so sweet - she gifted Joan and I with some cotton knit washcloths. And they were packaged so nice! Pam's birthday is next Tuesday, and I gave her a package of Minnesota wild rice, some Pearson's Salted Nut Rolls (made in Minnestoa), and a Hardanger ornament for her tree. We had lunch at Old Chicago and then spent a significant amount of time stashing at Stitchville.

Cute packaging!

Here' a picture of the three of us (L to r: Joan, Pam, Cathy):

I made some purchases (can't go to Stitchville and not buy something!). The new LK Winter fob kit and the Blue House Primer from With My Needle:

And look what I found in the clearance bins! BOAF My Betrothed (half price), another old BOAF charf (50 cents!) and M Designs Sampler Girls (half price). You can't imagine how excited I was to find those BOAF charts!

We had a great time on Friday! Well, I need to get moving - the boutique sale today opens up at 9am and I need to be there to help my mom set things up!