Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow was a no show here...yikes !!!!!

Yikes....because I listened to the weatherman on Monday and figured there would be no school due to a blizzard, I told Michael to stay up and watch the "Sons of Liberty" on the History Channel, as we just finished studying that in his history class.  I even said, "if it doesn't snow just come in a couple of hours late," of course I was certain there would be enough snow for us to stay home.  Unfortunately for us, History Channel put that show  on at 9:00 p.m., which is when Michael is usually going to bed.  But Sara, also thinking we were going to have a snow day, O.K'd his staying up.  Imagine my dismay when at 2:00 a.m., Tuesday morning,  I looked out the door and saw nothing but a little frost on the car.  I knew then I was in trouble sleep wise.  Michael woke up at his normal time and we had school on schedule.  Darn that weather channel.  With the Superbowl approaching, the blizzard forecasted brought to mind the blizzard we actually had a few years ago Superbowl Weekend.  We had our 3 groups of retreaters staying at the hotel for the weekend and wondered if they would even come with the blizzard in the forecast.  Bless their hearts, the entire Pennsylvania crew showed up, and I'm pretty certain Stacy Stinson came and we had so much fun that weekend.  I told the stitchers to come to the shop on Saturday in the p.j's since I knew no one would be driving in that weather and so we'd be alone in the shop.  Sara made food and brought it in and we had a p.j. shopping party all day.  While I knew we weren't in for that much snow even if the blizzard of 2015 arrived, the memories were so warm and fuzzy I wouldn't have cared if it did come.  We haven't had a p.j. party in Salty Yarns since.    I've been busy getting things done for the weekend.  I finally got Something Wicked by Sam Sarah Designs "finished" and put on it's metal stand.  I just love it.  Now it was an easy finish...thank God!!!!!  Since I was finished with a gift I was stitching (so I can't show it here yet), I decided to pull out "Jingle All the Way" which was a special edition kit from Lizzie Kate for Christmas.  While I don't usually stitch Christmas after the actual holiday, at least not until sometime near the end of summer, I decided to get it out of the "to do" tote and just have a fun, fast and easy stitch.  I was able to finish the stitch, and made it into a small pillow in one day.  Win, Win!!!!  The fabric comes with the kit, not only Jobelyn (28ct), but the front and back fabric as well so I didn't have to pull any bins out (win win for me).  Lizzie Kate's pillows are always so easy to finish...Thank You!  Fast and easy is still my motto, my goal and my everything.  I was debating putting the small ball edging on this one, but we didn't have the right color in the shop so I stuck with the jingle bells included in the kit.  I think it turned out cute and now I'm ahead of 2015 Christmas stitching.  Of course, once that was done it was time to think about moving on to a new project (oh, heart started beating faster -- can that be considered my cardio for the day?)  Since I have started cleaning up my stitching room (yes again!) I unearthed a hornbook piece from Milady's Designs,( I had finished the stitch portion but never put it on the hornbook) and decided to finish it.  The designer instructed you to finish it by lacing card stock behind the linen with some padding (which is why it was still sitting in the sitting room unfinished), however, I have done many hornbooks by now and several of them finish with just a nun's stitch and then are attached so that's what I'm doing.  But first I had to do the nun stitch so before I let myself start something new.....I finished the nun's stitch and now it's a matter of cutting out the piece and attaching it to the hornbook, easy peasy.  Then I let myself start my Sherri Jones class prestitch, "Patriotic Patty."  I'm a patriotic fanatic, love just about all stitching for our red, white and blue, so Patriotic Patty is right up my alley.  I was riding the fence about stitching her at first but then I saw it finished last year when Sherri was here and that just pushed me over the line.  Had to have her and the fabulous box she goes with.  So before Michael got here Wednesday morning I got the fabric ready and I've begun the stitch.  It's really a fun stitch, not too intense, lots of different stitches but they are fun stitches so this is a pleasure to work on.  Well, I think I better get to my finishing....2 projects to finish and then I can get back to stitching.  Still working on the Lizzie Kate, 2014 Mystery Sampler, "Things Unseen".    Have a great weekend.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another finish I forgot to post....

I actually finished this before Christmas, actually before Thanksgiving but I was waiting until all the stars were stitched on.  Well, they still aren't stitched on as I misplaced the stars that came with the first chart (this design comes in 3 charts), and while I got a 2nd set at the shop and brought them home, well I've misplaced those as well, so I've decided to post it anyway. ( I know I'll find them in the stitching bags I stashed to get the house ready for Christmas).   I loved this design with the Harvest Moon and couldn't wait to stitch it.  I had never stitched on the polka dot linen, and I had a few issues with it (I found that the dark dots showed up through the lighter stitched areas) and quite honestly I think it distracts from the design, so if I had to do it again I'd use regular linen....nothing should fight with the design.  Another area I had a problem with was the lettering which I loved and would not consider changing.  But I got so frustrated, Sara finally said to give it to her and while she's done that before with other things I'm bitching about, this time I gave in and let her try it. Normally I get through it without help, a lot of bitching, but I get it done.    She was able to do it quickly, and with no bitching.  But she agreed it wasn't the easiest thing to do.  It's really more embroidery than cross stitch.  But I don't care if I gave up, I love it anyway.  The design is called "Something Wicked" and it's from Sam Sarah Designs.  Their designs are quirky, colorful and fun to stitch.  Lots going on in these designs.  Now I have to get it finished!  Last night with Michael moved home, I worked on the latest Lizzie Kate mystery sampler.  I made good headway and will continue working on this, since all parts are now in house, until I finish it.  Lizzie Kate designs are fun and easy designs and are a thrill to work on in between more difficult pieces.  Since I put the finishes on "Sweet Heart of Mine,"  I felt I deserved a fun and fast piece.  Around 9:00 p.m. I got a text from Michael.  While at my house, he sleep in the guest room with no T.V.  At home he has a T.V., along with ever text device on the market.   Keep in mind Michael is a 13 year old boy.  His text read,  "It's not the same with no T.V. in my room and no you."   He is such a sweetheart, I miss him too, but also thrilled to have my castle back to myself.  I haven't watched Moonshiners, Gold Rush or Duck Dynasty since he left (I think I'm getting back to my old self).  Saturday I'm back in the shop as Camp Wannastitch is down....all 130 of them.  While we never see all of them, we see many of them and it's a fun weekend with them in town.  So I'll get my rest now and talk to you later.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Christmas is really over and this time I'm certain.................

I forgot earlier that I hadn't finished the Maryland Crab pillow I stitched for Michael, which wasn't ready by Christmas...finishing is my enemy...but before he moved back home I wanted to make sure I got it done to give him.  He was thrilled as he had picked out the pattern when it arrived in the shop.  It's from Samplers Revisited's, Pat Yergey.  While Pat worked the model on 36 ct. linen, I opted for 18 ct. over 2 to make it as big for Michael as possible.  Mine measures about 13" x 14".    The stitching was the easy part on this one.  For some reason the finishing, which shouldn't have been difficult, was problematic for me, and I think I know why.  I just didn't want to do it so everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  But in the end I got a pillow made and Michael went away happy, and isn't that all that counts with a gift?  At 3:30 p.m. today,  Sara picked Michael up and I'm teenager free.  While he was a pretty easy houseguest, I'm thrilled to have my castle back to myself.  I was so tired of eating out (now I can't believe I'm saying that), in fact last night I asked him if he "really" wanted to eat out or would he like to have me cook something?  He said, "I was thinking Nan,  do you feel like going to Ruth Chris'."  At first I said, Oh, Michael I really don't feel like it, but then I thought, it's his last night with me, so I got dressed and headed to Ruth Chris.  Had a wonderful dinner, then it was home for Moonshiners and Duck Dynasty....oh, my God...will this madness never end?  He went to bed around 9:30 and I hate to admit this, I watched the rest of the show without him in the room (I am almost embarrassed to admit that, but let's just say I was too lazy to change channels.)  So this afternoon and tonight will be spent cleaning up and stitching.  I am putting the finishing touches on Sweet Heart of Mine and it will be done tonight...whoppee!!!!  Then it's on to Lizzie Kates Mystery Sampler (2014) as part 3 has arrived so now the piece can be finished.  I started it in the shop but didn't get very far with it.  I also want to start my Sherri Jones piece, Patriotic Patty.  This is so darn cute, I can't wait.  And this time I will actually be taking the class.  Sara doesn't feel I'm any longer capable of working the shop during an event when there is another group in town who will be in the shop at the same time....I think she may be right so I don't mind.  Plus that means I get to keep the piece....well as soon as I take the old dirt nap Sara will be inheriting all my stash as well as my treasures.  So I am only holding these for her (shall we say).  Got to get to my stitching....oh, the rain finally ended, while you got snow we had steady rain, either pouring or misting all day yesterday so seeing the sun was a welcome sight today.  The forecast is calling for a nice weekend, thank goodness, as Camp Wannastitch is in town for the weekend.  Welcome folks we're waiting for you! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I forgot to show you my Shepherd's Fold finish.  I had most of it finished before the Jamboree but after that I did the ribbon edging on the pin cushion and I finished the fob.  I stitched the fob over one, they are just too darn cute over one and then because I had the ribbon for this piece I used it instead of making cording.   This was such a wonderful series, I'm hoping there's more to come, but if this happens to be the end,  I'm planning to finish the inside of the box and add a few things myself.  We got the JABCO pins (shown, sticking in the pin cushion,) made just for the Shepherd's Fold and of course I had to have those, and since  we sell them in the store I just snatched a set for me.   Most of the editing I did on this piece took place on the piece that goes in the lid.    For some reason I missed the explanation of the words on the pieces and couldn't understand why we were stitching those particular words or what they were suppose to I left them off.  After stitching the box lid and the pin cushion, I realized what it all meant, but I had already stitched the first two pieces and then stitched the fob and I wasn't going back.  I loved the Merry Cox saying for the etui I had just finished for a gift, and the phrase she used was  so perfect  with one word changed I put the verse on this box as well.   I didn't stitch the flower basket on the top because it threw me off, so I just mirrored the fence and moved the bee skeps over and was done. The flower basket I left off the design I'm going to stitch and put it on the inside, either as the inside bottom of the box or under the lid.   This was a fun and easy stitch, once I made up my mind about how to edit the lid design.  .  Usually other than the lettering the ladies from Shepherds Bush now use (I loved their old lettering),  I don't change anything on their pieces because I just love their designs so much.  And every time I change the lettering, I change it to the old Shepherds Bush lettering, so is that really cheating?  In fact I have just about everything they have designed, either in my stash or stitched.  I think you could say I'm a Shepherds Bush stalker!    But sometimes you just have to step out of the box. As usual I whined about the flower basket to Sara so much she was screaming, "For God's sake, please just take it off and stitch something else."  It took me forever since I felt I was being disloyal to the Ladies of  Shepherds Bush but once I did make the change I was thrilled as I love the piece so much.  Last night I stitched the accessory pieces to the "Sweet Heart of Mine." and finished the Bargello heart.  The heart  really is so lovely to stitch, my mind keeps racing to find other ways to use the same heart.  I really can't wait to show you.  Between being frozen by the time I get home from the shop, and Michael, I'm not getting much stitching done.  This heart should have been done in one night and it's taking more time.   But today is Tuesday so it's a no shop day, just a school day.  In fact, yesterday also became just a school day because when I got up it was raining and between rain and cold I decided to keep the shop closed.  It is really too difficult keeping Michael busy while we are in the shop.  So between my whining and was easier to stay home.  Keeping a 13 year old occupied is not the easiest task, however, as I've said a million times, Michael is eager to please (certainly not the typical teenager) so when he senses I'm about to go over the edge he finds something to do so I get a break.  He loves to go out to eat, so I told him we'd eat out while he was with me.   This is as much for my benefit  though as it is for him, for two reasons.  I didn't want to cook an entire meal every night and so going out was easier.  So Friday night we picked Sunset Grille (duh, as if you couldn't guess), and then we were going to Walmart to get his "beats".  Michael's big gift from me for Christmas were "beats" by Dr. Dre. ( He wanted them wireless, which was information that his mother failed to pass on to me, but was apparently the most important part.)  So before Christmas, Mary and I were shopping at Best Buy and I looked at the Beats and decided to upgrade to the Solos to make the gift more fabulous.  So I went from $199 to $265, but I wasn't really satisfied with this purchase because I don't understand why they cost that much, or even what difference there was in the 2 that I was choosing between, but it was for Michael for Christmas so I just did it.   Christmas morning he opened the box, shouted "yes, I got my Beats", and of course   after a few seconds looked at me and said, "are these wireless."  To which I  replied, "Well at that price I would certainly hope so."  But, of course, they were not.   So while he acted grateful, (you know when a 13 yr. old is disappointed because of his face and body language) so I told him we would go to Walmart or Best Buy and get him the beats that he wanted and since Brian was salivating over the Beats, I gave them to Brian with Michael's permission.    So after Christmas I took Michael to Walmart where we looked at the other headphones and were told by the sales clerk that they were all wireless.  I said to her, "first I know for a fact that the solo's aren't wireless because I already bought a pair and they weren't."  She kept saying they were all wireless and I kept saying they weren't and Michael was getting to the point where he was saying he'd take them anyway (after I gave the others to Brian...I don't think so).  To prove they  weren't wireless I purchased a pair, opened the box, showed it to the girl and said, Now I'm returning them because they aren't wireless.)  The man working at the register (his first return, of course) wasn't sure how to do a return and this became a 15 minute fiasco and a supervisor had to be called.  She walked him through it and then left, before he was finished.  So the man looks at me and says, O.K. come again.  I said, excuse me but I should be given a receipt of the return.  He said no, you don't get one, I said yes I do, he said no you don't  and then I make the fatal mistake, and said, "When I have had to return something in the past I always get the original receipt along with the return slip."  And then this jackass says, "So you buy a lot and then just keep returning it?" and this idiot was serious, not joking.   I walked away before I took a flying leap at this idiot and sent him to the ER.  You know if I landed on him he was going to require some serious help from the paramedics.  Anyway, I then went to customer service and asked if I should have received a receipt of the return.  This woman said, no you don't get one.  I said, "Really,because when I've returned to you in the past, which I've only done 2 times and nothing in the last 2 years, I was always given a slip showing the return had been made."  She said, "Well they  do give you back the original receipt with a slip showing the return." (isn't that what I just asked her?)  So she called back to electronics and informed the other clerk I should have gotten the original receipt back, which I hadn't, and a slip showing the return.  He came running up and said, "Oh, I was trying to find you to give you this."  It was just the slip showing the return and at that point I just took it and left.  OMG, I hate our local Walmart.  While I thought the Super Walmart would be great, it isn't.  I try never to shop in that store, and this experience only highlights why. But I was back to no "beats."  However, Sara, Michael and Vernon were going to Baltimore and stopping at the Annapolis Mall so Michael asked if he could get them there.  I said yes because that got me out of going to different shops trying to find wireless.  So I handed him $300 and was grateful to be done with it.  Of course, Michael came back from Annapolis because the beats he wanted were $375 and he thought that was too much.   So on  Friday while discussing what he'd like for dinner, Michael said "can we go to Walmart to get my beats because I've decided I do what them and I looked on line and they do have them. I'd really like to have them to take to the rec  program on Saturday."    OMG not Walmart again, but since I'm the grandparent I said I'd think about it.  But first we had to go to dinner.  We get to Sunset and find that they are closed for the week...CRAP!!!!  Can this day get any worse (and of course it can).  So I decided we'd go the Walmart and get the damn Beats and then find a place to eat.   We get to Walmart, thank God the other 2 clerks from before weren't there and we begin our quest.  The young woman there felt they were all wireless, so I went through the whole thing over again, with Michael chiming in so she looked it up on her phone.  She felt they were wireless regardless because she could see the connection on the picture.  However, that wasn't to charge them that was to connect them to your other device.    So after a brief discussion I said, "come on Michael we're going to Salisbury."  Meanwhile I didn't want to go to Berlin, let alone Salisbury.  But off we go and we went to Best Buy first where I gratefully paid a total with tax of  $402 for those idiot head phones. (I have to wonder who the idiot is...the person who is selling them and the person buying them...uh, oh...I think I found the idiot.)   Then Michael decided on Applebees for dinner, so off we go.  He brought his beats into Applebees but after a few minutes decided to put them in the car.  So he went out and took what I felt was way too long to return so I started panicing with visions of Michael being kidnapped and what the hell was I going to tell Sara, in my head.  I have always imagined the worse.  If I didn't hear from the girls when they were away I always had visions of them dead on the side of the highway and would panic over it.  After what felt like 30 minutes, but was probably about 5, I decided to see if he was just standing outside or was missing and there he is sitting in the car talking on his phone. He takes one look at me and hears me screaming at him and rightly decides he better get off the phone.  After a major discussion (one sided since I'm lecturing him rather loudly) he starts to cry and wants to go home.  But we had already put our name in with the hostess at Applebee so I said, stop it and come on.  Amazingly enough, when food is involved, Michael forgets everything else and we had dinner after which we went home.  I thought my day from hell was over, but no, not quite!  At home Michael tries to connect his beats to his phone and finds he needs a newer cell phone to do this.  I just looked at him and said, "I'm done.  You know your mother says you can't get a new phone until your birthday in March (I already made the mistake of asking her if I could get him the IPhone 6 for Christmas) and you are just going to have to wait and we're not taking those beats back!"  They did connect to his Ipad so he was still somewhat thrilled as the sound was great and at least he could use them.  My day is over, now it's just sit like a log and watch Gold Rush...I think I can do this.   Then Saturday morning he discovered he could hook the "beats"  to his phone if he used the cord, he had just received in the mail which has 3 different connections on it, so while he cannot become wireless with his phone until March, he seems to be satisfied.  I am now done with Christmas, once and for all.  Thank you Jesus!  Now can someone explain to me why a set of headphones costs $402.00 with tax?  OMG....I'm sounding more and more like my father....and that's not a good thing.  Talk to you soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas just keeps on coming.....

This is just one of my Christmas gifts from Sara.  She delivered it to me a couple of days ago.  She told me on Christmas I had another gift coming, but she hadn't quite finished it.  And even though I told her to keep it, finish it and give it to me for my Birthday, she still gave it to me as a late Christmas gift.  Let me say, my two girls way oversend for Christmas gifts for me.  I sometimes look at my pile and it seems bigger than any of the grandchildren's piles, so one gift not given would not be noticed by me.  But I absolutely am thrilled she didn't wait.  I love Quaker designs, I do not know how this became such a thing with me, but I do.  So when the Delaware Sampler Guild (I believe) showed it on their website as a chart you could order and gave the information on where to send for it, I asked Sara to get it for me.  When I asked her about it later she just said she had heard nothing back from the person and I sort of dropped it thinking I'd never see it.  So imagine my surprise when at least 5 years later, I open a box and discover my Quaker Scissor keeper,  It's done over two in some places and over one in others.  She and Debbie Liming picked the colors and she did the finishing so well it looks like she may have reached professional status.  Looks like all the finishing classes have worked their magic.  I couldn't have been more thrilled with the gift, but as it turned out there were two more gifts inside.  The two wooden pieces you see with it, a scissor sheath that holds the scissors so tightly they will not fall out even if it's turned upside down, and the other piece pictured which is a needle holder.   The girls always go above and beyond my expectations...I get more gifts than even the children, but a stitched gift is such a wonderful surprise I think, don't you?  Thank you's perfect and gorgeous!

Since it's time to put away Christmas, I thought I'd show you what I do with my precious hand stitched ornaments.  I no longer put up a tree because quite frankly the lights are too darn frustrating.  And before you say, "why don't you just buy a pre-lit tree, " let me remind you that I did just that about 6 or so years ago and found that at the end of the holiday it was too heavy for me to lift and sat on the floor in my living room until March when Sara finally got Vernon to come over and put it in the garage where it has lived since.  (She got embarrassed when I blogged everyday and showed the tree every day laying on the floor.  It may take some time but eventually someone catches on and comes to my house to take care of the situation.)  Anyway, after that I gave serious consideration to "no tree" holidays.  Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, so this was really a very hard decision for me.  I have collected ornaments from every place I ever visited.  My children have given me many ornaments and friends have also given me the most beautiful stitched ornaments, so my dismay was really about what to do with all of this.  So the first year "tree-less" I got a couple of cases of greens and had bowls, vases, you name it and I stuck greens around it, just so the feel of the tree and Christmas would be in the house.  I also hung a wreath on every door inside and outside.  The first year the wreaths were all fresh so I attached regular ornaments on them (inside wreaths that is), but it gave me a glimpse of how to utilize my hand stitched ornaments.  Then 2 years ago I started getting artificial wreaths and would run a ribbon through the wreath and then attach my stitched ornaments on the wreaths and hang them on the doors.  Since I already have stitched pieces hung on the doors the hanger was already there so it was a no brainer.   I loved the look, but especially loved seeing my hand stitched ornaments again.  And with the artificial wreaths I didn't have to worry about any sap, or dirt getting on the, win!  The two I pictured are hanging on the inside door on my enclosed porch and the 2nd wreath shown is hanging on the inside of the door so when you look at the door from inside you aren't seeing the back of the other wreath.  So I'm seeing the ornaments every time I go through the door.  Plus, the doors inside have wreaths with hand stitched ornaments as well.  I really hate to put them away, but will do it so it's special again next Christmas.  But that and the weather is really making this a sad day for me.  I know a lot of you are dealing with tons of snow, and we just had a few flakes Tuesday that didn't even land, so I feel a little whiney to even say this, but it's cold and bleak here.  We don't see these temperatures often, but at night it's falling near or below 0 with the wind child and during the day it's not getting that much warmer ('s hard to think warm when you are in the teens with wind chill).  So pardon me for whining, but it's depressing for me.  But the good news is I'm almost finished with my "Sweet Heart of Mine," the piece by Barbara Jackson.  It has really been such a wonderful stitch.  36 ct. linen over 2, except for the wording which is over one, so tonight I hope to get the case finished and then it's a sweet ride with just the scissor pocket and one other small to complete, and then the finishing..oh, oh.  You know that's the least favorite part of these pieces for me.  And Michael will be here for the week, so not sure that my frustration will allow me to do the finish until he's back home.    I don't even have his room ready since I'm moving him from the kid's room (I figure he's outgrown that in more ways than one) and moving him to the regular bedroom with a double bed.  Meanwhile I've been using that room for my gift wrapping room, my ironing room and the place I keep all the finishes waiting for framing or whatever.  I hate to clean everything up, but a girls got to do what a girls got to do.  Meanwhile I was thinking Friday and he announced Wednesday while we were having lunch that he's going to be here tomorrow night.  At first I looked at him like he was nuts...oh, my a day early?  But when he told me Sara was leaving at 3:00 a.m. Friday I realized he had to be right so tonight will be the only time for me to get that darn room free of extra crap.  Damn, is there no rest for the weary?  What we do for grandchildren!  I'm really not sure if I'll make a week.  With homeschooling him there are days when I can't wait to close the door behind him and take a nap.  I can get as frustrated with him as he gets when he can't seem to grasp a concept.  But thank God, Michael is a sweet and loving young man and is as nice to me as anyone could be, so he's usually very easy to be around, but we're talking 24 hours a day when I'm use to living alone, doing what I want when I want.  I can't imagine being a grandparent who has to take over raising their grandchild. And of course this means watching "Moonshiners, Gold or whatever Discovery is showing and Duck Dynasty every single Night."   Sara has obviously been lecturing him about this because he always says, "You can watch whatever you want Nana, it's ok," but I always say, "no it's ok, and the next moment there is Moonshiners or one of the others on an endless loop.  We did one night of Duck Dynasty from beginning to end and last time he spent the night, it was Moonshiners,  an entire season.  Good Lord.  The worst part was I started to pay attention and started to know who was who.  Then I'd get aggravated because he loves to talk through every program so then I'd have to rewatch it when he wasn't here to see what the hell he was talking about.  Oh, My God...what is wrong with me?    That's scary!  Now every night they are on I get a text from Michael telling me what time to tune them in.  Since I no longer watch the "Housewife" franchises on Bravo religiously, there are some open slots for trash on my viewing schedule....but moonshiners.  I just have to wonder what do the normal people do at night?   But I will rest restrain  on Sunday night because Downton Abbey is back and Sunday night is mine.  I just love that fact I have the DVD's for the first 4 seasons so I can have a Downton Abbey marathon the first snow (O.K., I really did just say snow but I don't mind if it doesn't snow I can wait to watch the series at some other time, perhaps a hard rain day when there  is no school.)  I've watch The Dutchess of Duke Street(another British show set over the course of time) several times and I could still watch it again and I'm talking about 4 days worth of watching....I love the British shows.  Have to go start getting Michael's new room ready.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Still in the glow of Christmas.....

I just love my new Christmas gifts lovingly stitched by friends. While I received more from each of these ladies (oh, my,  look out Sunset Grille, I'm on my way) I'm just talking about the stitched gifts they gave me.  But let me just say Thank you one and all, I appreciate and love you for the time you put into this at the busiest time of the year, and I love what wasn't stitched as well.   Our Judy Brunclik stitched for me  me the 1st piece pictured which she then finished in a Sudberry circular wooden coaster like frame.  Now this is the dearest design, and I can't remember seeing it before so  I can't help you with that (should you want to stitch it), but I love this little guy and the Mistletoe soap which I have sitting in it was also part of the gift.  Perfect for the holidays, but I intend to leave it out year round.  He's just too cute. Thanks Judy...I love it, and a great finishing job.  Next,  "Friends" is one of the pin cushions designed by "Hands on Design."  They published 3 charts each with 3 pin cushion designs."  Another "to do" item for me to stitch but now I have a head start, one done.  Thanks to our Stacy Stinson, I love it and you did a great job in finishing it.  Stacy's mother use to do all Stacy's finishing, but for over a year now Stacy seems to be finishing all her own work.  Kudo's!   And the last picture was part of my gift from our Pat Weker.  Pat loves knitting but is not a big fan of counted cross stitch, but you would never know it because she always stitches something fabulous for me.  This was a Jeannette Douglas piece, also in my "to do" pile.  Thank God I can now remove some charts from my "to do" pile, which gets bigger by the minute..  Anyway, how perfect is this for me?  Ocean City...crabs...well,  it's a no brainer.  And the crabs are really well done, don't you think?  Some crabs,especially small ones, seem a little wonky to me, but Jeannette's is perfect.  And the shape is  a  little different biscornu shape.  Really cute and finished again, perfectly.  Pat has had a hard year as her mother has been in the hospital, but she still managed to stitch and it makes me feel really special,  so thanks so much Pat.  I love it .   No wonder I love

Christmas so much.  I will have these items sitting on my side table so I can play with them before they go on the display shelves.  Perfect.  Oh, before I forget....for those who come to Stitch 'n Bitch, we will not be meeting next Tuesday, the 13th, but have moved the meeting to the 20th.    Sara's decision to go back to Jamaica again has Michael staying with me and  I am uncomfortable leaving Michael alone to go to the shop for several hours at night so I felt it was better to move the meeting one week.  Thanks for your understanding.  I'm sure he would have been fine, but it would have been a distraction for me and we know the last thing I need is a distraction!  I can barely focus now on one thing. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thanks for joining me in 2015.....

First let me wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope that 2015 will be better than 2014, healthier, happier, and more prosperous for you all.  I had a wonderful holiday, and somewhat dreaded what came on Monday....back to my reality.  Yes I began my school of teaching Michael once again.  Having off since December 9th had spoiled me...but I knew that I could get back on the horse and be on track in short order, but having off, even with the hubbub of the holidays was sweet.  I got all my holiday stitching done, yes, delivered my hardest finish on Christmas Eve to Renee and was thrilled to be done.  I actually finished the stitching on the pillow you see here for Sara before Christmas, however,  I actually put it together after Christmas and presented it to her on Friday at the shop.  The design is by Widgets and Wool Primitives and is designed for a smaller count, but you know how I love big pillows and therefore stitched it on 18 ct. linen over 2 which made it even bigger and ended up with an 11" x 8 1/4" pillow....fabulous!  Sara loved it when the design first arrived in the shop 2-3 years ago and it's been in my "to do" pile ever since.  Since I was running late on stitching something for her, I picked it because I felt sure I could get it done in time (I had less than a week to get it done).   I was close and here close counts.  The second picture is a piece stitched by our Candi Conner.   She and her mother, Linda, stitch, get the finished piece framed and then drop most of  the finished pieces  off to us for display (thanks ladies, your kindness is appreciated).  Anyway, the design was Candi's first needlepoint piece, and she did a beautiful job of stitching.  The colors are so gorgeous, just perfect.  The design is from Needle Delights Originals and uses a number of specialty stitches all explained in the chart pack.  Fun Project!  Candi used their color selection which I loved, but if you love other colors you can always change the colors because this is a canvaswork piece and comes as chart only.   The only thing I didn't finish in 2014,  that I thought I would get done was my Welsh Cottage, so now I've decided to use the 2014,  I so boldly stitched,  to commemorate the beginning of the stitch and then I'll add 2015 somewhere to show the date finished.  Since I have the front, back and one side done I assume I can get the chimney and the 4th side (1/2 done already)  stitched by the end of 2015.  While I could have finished the stitching between 12/26 and 12/31,  I was so worn out with Christmas stitching I changed gears and started a new piece (let's not discuss all the partially started pieces I have).  Since I just got the finial Ladies Prim Society kit, a Blackbird Stocking, I decided to stitch it.  I scheduled 3 days for the stitch and met the goal.   I have to put it together so I'm not showing it yet, but hopefully I'll have it done this week along with Michael's Maryland Crab pillow that wasn't put together for Christmas.  It will become an after Christmas gift.  Since I finished the Blackbird Stocking, I pulled another kit out of the bag in the living room, (to eliminate clutter with family in for dinner I moved 4 bags of "to do" things from the living room to the closet).   It is Barbara Jackson's Sweet Heart of Mine.  It was a Shining Society piece and Sara got it for me as a gift...Thanks Sara... you will be rewarded for your generosity. It's been a fun and really a fast stitch so far.  Barbara does like to baste a lot, but I thought I'd do it this time to see if there is a reason I need to do all the basting.  While I do generally baste my areas on the fabric, I'm not sure it was necessary on this piece.  I don't waste fabric, if anything I go too close to the edge, so I knew spacing for that would not be the problem, however, I took the time and basted anyway.  I've almost finished the inside panel and since it's over 2 it's going quickly, although I did have issues with her alphabet, which is over one.  Most of it was fine, but "Y" which is difficult and her "g" were too big, in my opinion, but I stitched her alphabet since I was too lazy and too tired to redo.  Also she stitched her "h" 2 different ways which drove me crazy so after I noticed it I stuck with just one way.  There were a couple of other letters which were done 2 different ways but once I noticed it I changed all of them so they were the same ( I didn't go back though and change the 2nd one so that could drive me crazy in the end since everything has to match in my world).  Anyway, having fun with that. The colors are beautiful and it's a piece I can assemble so win-win.  I've started the Lizzie Kate mystery sampler, "Things Unseen" and will be working on it only in the shop.  So far I'm working the border so things are going smoothly.  I stitched her other 2 mystery samplers with no problems, so I think I'll be fine.  I do wish Linda would add a photo of the finished section to each packet so I can see what it should look like.  I sometimes have to look at the chart and picture to answer a question I might have.   Anyway, we're still here and can't wait to see you in the new year.  Have a great day