Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

Shall we begin with a little end-of-year stash? I wasn't able to get a good photo of my jewelry from Eric, since it is glass, but here is another gift he got for me - Harry Potter 6 Audiobook. This will get me all ready to go for the new book release, whenever that may be (I've heard rumors of July 07). I also bought myself a small gift of the Cheetah Ginghers from Carol's husband. Love these!

Then, I partook of HAED's year end sale by buying myself Bright Skies by Selena Fenech (I have Dark Waters and the center piece for the two), Mask of Autumn Storykeep by Jessica Galbreth, and Faery Tales by James C. Christensen. I just can't resist those HAED charts!

Next up, I received my pearls from Martina. These are extra embellishments for Pearl Lights. I just love all the colors and shapes. Beautiful and so luxurious!

And finally, I did finish my January blanket so that brings my yearly total up to 25! Hurrah. You will have to wait to see the January blanket until, well, January. So, I thought I would pull out another WIP, dust it off and get to work on it. This is Lemon Meringue Sampler by Casey Buonaugurio. I was able to stitch the white motif in the center, and then the lemon slice yesterday.

I feel like I've done a lot this year...I got married, we went to Rome, we moved, we went to see King Tut in Chicago, I paid off my debts and began contributing to my 401k and IRA, I got serious about losing weight and getting healthier, I started a blog, and I managed to even get a little stitching, reading, quilting and other crafting in. Not too shabby. I am so thankful for my life and all of those people in it that make it so special.

Since I started the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge this year, I thought it would be good to recap what I've been able to cross off my list this year (I started the challenge on June 21, 2006).
1. Begin contributing to 401k.
7. Stitch Eric's Stocking and make both mine and his into stockings.
25. Hang curtains in kitchen window.
43. Frame one stitched item myself.
47. Get an MP3 Player and get it set up with workout music and audiobooks.
56. Organize office - clean up files.
62. Research starting a blog.
72. Look into credit card balance, close account.
91. Participate in a stitching exchange.
93. Participate in a SAL.

Not too bad. I have several (like 30) that are in progress. So, I should be able to knock some more out soon. Like I said, it's been a great year. Hope you all have had great years as well. Happy New Year! We are having steak with garlic basil linguine for dinner, champagne for later and will be watching Dick Clark's New Year's Eve special on tv.

I am grateful for a year well spent.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Santa's Got a Brand New Beard

As promised, here is a photo of my finished December sheep blanket. Santa finally got his Wisper beard. I received my February and March charts in the mail yesterday, so I will have those to start on when I'm ready. I'd better start collecting my thread soon! I am about halfway finished with January's blanket, so hopefully I will be able to put that on my sheep this weekend. I can't decide how to decorate my mantel for January...I'm just at a loss. We are going to be taking our Christmas tree down this weekend and putting up the decorations. Our tree is looking a little crispy.

In the interest of starting to look back at 2006 and what I have finished this year, I thought I would add a link in my sidebar to my stitching album. You can see this year's stitched pieces as well as previous years. So, take a look! My WIPs are not up to date, but the finishes should be.

My finishes so far this year have been:
1. Chalet – Bent Creek
2. First Snow – The Drawn Thread
3. Ze Rink – Bent Creek
4. March Hare – Just Nan
5. The Angels Sang – Shepherd’s Bush
6. In the Pink – Midsummer Night Designs
7. Flower Girls – Just Nan
8. July Woolly Tyme – Homespun Elegance
9. Quaker Hedgehog – The Workbasket
10. August Woolly Tyme – Homespun Elegance
11. Quaker Garden – Blackbird Designs
12. September Woolly Tyme – Homespun Elegance
13. Crazy Cat Lady Exchange Needlebook
14. Texas Cow
15. October Woolly Tyme – Homespun Elegance
16. Halloween Sweetbag Exchange (Chartlets: Cat) – Sisters and Best Friends
17. November Woolly Tyme – Homespun Elegance
18. Just Nan RR – Round 1 (Angi’s)
19. Just Nan RR – Round 2 (Kari’s)
20. Harry’s Stocking
21. The Villa – Bent Creek
22. 1st Day of Christmas – Teresa Wentzler
23. Walking in a Winter Snapperland – Bent Creek
24. December Woolly Tyme – Homespun Elegance

I definitely need one more to round it out. This is no where near the amount of finishes I hoped to have this year, and many of those I hoped to finish are not on this list. But, I think it is a good amount anyway. oh yeah, I also beaded my wedding purse. Last year, I only had 13 finishes, so at least I upped the ante a little bit. I would like to have some bigger pieces finished in 2007, including at least one HAED and one Chatelaine. Back to my January blanket now. Thank you all for your wonderful responses to all of my finishes of late, they really spur me on to finish more!

I am grateful for allergy medicine.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thank You Stars

I hope everyone has had a great holiday! Mine was fabulous and relaxing. Eric gave me the most gorgeous Venetian glass heart earrings and necklace. They are just exquisite! And aside from that, here is the best gift I received.

My best friend, Julia, who lives in Rhode Island is an amazing quilter. For her birthday this year, I gave her a selection of 200 squares of fabric from Keepsake Quilting. She used those 200 squares and made matching quilts for herself and for me. Isn't this the most gorgeous thing?! You can see how big it is because that is Eric holding it up. She included a flanged border on it as well that is three-dimensional. I cried when I opened up the package and I have been carrying it with me all over the house (I feel like Linus). She titled the quilt "Thank You Stars", and I cannot be more thankful for it. My photo here does not even do it justice, it is so vibrant and beautiful.

In stitching news, I finished up Winter Snapperland last night. I am so pleased to have this finished before the end of the year. I started it on January 2nd, so I was determined to get it finished before the year ended. I am so glad I did. It really is cute, even though they used essentially the same chart for the first and last. I also actually signed and dated this (discreetly), which I have never done on a piece before (unless you count Quaker Garden, which had my initials and year in the design). I plan to find a frame for this soon so that I can enjoy it for at least another month. I am now working on my January sheep blanket, in the hopes that I can finish it before January starts. Where, you might ask, is the December blanket? It is finished and I will show it to you tomorrow. I have to break up the pretties.... And Arthemise has decided to join our little Barnabee's Quest SAL in February. I need to get my fabric on order soon probably, so that I am ready to go! That's about it for today - have a great rest of the week!

I am grateful for losing 1.8 pounds over the week of Christmas! Go me! (That makes a total of 15.8!)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

On the 1st Day of Christmas

I finished up my ornament this afternoon. I am so pleased to have this finished in time to give it to Eric tomorrow night. This is my secret stitching that I have been doing (secret from him). I used a beautiful green fabric on the back of the piece and I love the way it turned out. This is my first Teresa Wentzler piece and my first ornament. I added the year on it as this is for our first married Christmas together. The whole thing is stitched over one except of the two square borders, which are over two. I just cannot tell you how excited I am about this piece! And to continue my excitement, I finally got my Wisper thread in the mail. Now, I can finish my December sheep blanket! I am hoping to get that finished up before the end of the month. I haven't even started on January's blanket either! But, at least I have all the threads for it.

I also got my backordered Barnabee's Quest Part 2 and my beautiful brown Treasure Braid. I am all set now for the SAL on Barnabee, except for my fabric. I will probably order that in January. I also received the last two charts in the Autumn Snapperland series - Pumpkin Hunt and Turkey Farm. They are both really cute. But that ends the last of the seasonal snapperland charts. I have all four! Silver Needle also sent me a couple of Just Nan freebies, that I am hoping will come in hand on my RR. I just cannot tell you how good it feels to take two things off my WIP list - Eric's stocking and the ornament! Hurrah! I am hoping to have a finish on Winter Snapperland soon too. I have almost 3/4 of the border done. I would like to have a finish on that before the end of the year. Also, I got to cross another item off of my 101 Things in 1001 Days list - #7 Stitch Eric's stocking and make both mine and his into stockings. So, I am plugging away at my to do lists! And I am knocking things off of my WIP list too. I am pleased with that. Thanks everyone for your compliments on the stockings. I do sit and look at them a lot. We will probably not fill them up with gifts, although I do have a gift for Eric in his. They really do look great. Merry Christmas and Happy Yule to everyone. Warm and happy thoughts for you!

I am grateful for spending an evening looking at Christmas lights.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Stockings Were Hung

I can hardly believe I've finished them. Just in the nick of time! Instead of doing cording, I decided to do binding, like I would on a quilt. I think they came out nice. Here's the back...

The inside of mine has red fabric that matches the binding on Eric's and the inside of his has the same fabric as is on the back of his. He chose his fabrics. I am enjoying my vacation so far, although my stitching time has been broken up by appointments and my workouts. But, I am enjoying myself. I have Harry Potter 1 on at the moment, and I am getting ready to work on finishing up the stitching on the Partridge ornament. I would like to have that to give Eric on Christmas Eve. Wish me luck. I hope you're all having a fabulous week. Thank you so much for all of the encouragement and compliments you've given me on these stockings since I started this project. I really appreciate it!

I am grateful for finished stockings.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Villa

The Villa is finished! I finished it up on Saturday afternoon, and got started on the border. Here's the whole thing before I started on the border.
I am pleased to be making some progress on this. Thank you everyone for your compliments on my beaded handbag. The beading itself wasn't hard, just took a lot of time. Actually putting the purse together and attaching it to the frame was the hard part. I had to sew in a lining and then attach it to the frame. That was exasperating. But, it turned out pretty! Today is my first official day of vacation. I had to get my allergy shots this morning, then I went over to my LNS to buy a little something for a gift. I ended up buying gifts for myself too...I'm so bad.
I love Fox Forest. I have never seen another sampler with foxes in it, so I thought it was unusual too. I also had to have Birth of Jesus, because I've been watching Glenna's gorgeous progress on this piece. Last night Eric got the lights on the tree, and the Polar Express train set up underneath. Tonight, we'll put on the ornaments. I am excited. I worked on our stockings today. I got them both cut out and the lining and backing fabrics cut too. Unfortunately, I cut Eric's first going by the outline on the chart, and then cut mine. They are two different sizes. Mine is a good inch to two inches bigger than his. Urgh. I hope it's ok, because I can't fix it now. The outline of the stockings in the chart have you setting your seam pretty close to the stitching, so oh well. Maybe it won't be that noticeable once they're hung up? I can hope. I also finished reading Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and it was really good. I've started Eragon just this morning. So far, so good!

I am grateful for going and working out even though I'm on vacation.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Sorry everyone that my posts have been so sporadic of late. This week has been really tiring. I finished up my class module and now have three weeks off, which I can sure use. I have been continuing with my weights in my workouts. I am also officially on vacation for a week (I go back to work the day after Christmas) as of 5 o'clock today. I am just so tired. I haven't stitched at all this week since Monday. Does that tell you how tired I am? But, here is my progress on my Winter Snapperland so far. I am almost finished with this part. I have the trees, some smoke, and stars to do (plus eyes on my snowman). And you have to go and take a look at this French blog. She turned her Winter Snapperland into a cube. I love this idea!

I will probably end up just framing mine. But, she even gives you a tutorial on this blog so you can make one too! And since I have no progress to show you really, I thought I would throw in another finish from earlier in the year. I made this purse for my wedding. I beaded the entire thing and then attached the frame. I've never done beading to this extent before, and I've never attached a purse frame to anything. So this was a reall learning experience.
I stitched on satin with little seed pearls and then used gold delicas for the initials. The fabric it is laying on is fabric for my wedding quilt which I intend to get around to one of these days.
Also, I just wanted to make everyone aware of two things...first, I (among others) am unable to leave comments on beta blogs for some reason. I can only do it if your blog allows anonymous comments. Someone please tell me I don't have to sign up for a freaking Google password in order to fix this. Secondly, I appreciate all of my fellow bloggers and I have so much respect for those of you that are stitching gifts or even sending cards to each other this season. I am not doing either, so I hope that no one is disappointed or feels neglected if you don't get something from me. I am doing good to get gifts for my family. And my time is so precious these days, that I just can't spread myself any thinner. So, I hope you all understand. That's all I know for today...I am off to try to finish reading Labyrinth (it's good, go get it).

I am grateful for the love of my life.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Beardless Wonder

Sad, isn't it? Santa has no beard. I am still waiting on my Wisper thread to arrive. The rest of the stitching is finished though. I think this is twice now I've had to wait on thread to finish the blanket, the other being July. I think I have everything I need for January's blanket though, so I'll be able to start that one while I'm on vacation. If I can get the partridge ornament done before the 15th, then I will have hit all of my deadlines for stitching. Woohoo!
This is my Fabric of the Month package from Silkweaver - Everglade and Oyster. I love them both! And I thought I'd show you pics of the HAED charts I bought - All Hallow's Eve and Zap of Zest.
Love them! I am stitching on my Winter Snapperland in the evenings to see if I can make some good progress on it. I am maybe half way done with the last block. I promise a progress photo soon. This weekend for our Oscar movie we watched Going my Way with Bing Crosby. It was really enjoyable. On the same disc was Holiday Inn, so we watched that as well. Another good one. Next up is 1945's The Lost Weekend. Well, I'm off to stitch. Happy Monday!

I am grateful for my best friend.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Eric's Stocking

I finally finished it yesterday morning. I put the snowflake row on and Eric's name and voila - finished! We went out yesterday afternoon and bought the fabric so that I can put our stockings together. I think I will be able to get them both done by Christmas, but I don't know if I am going to make my December 15th deadline. Anyway, I think it turned out pretty cute and I just love these Shepherd's Bush stockings. This is Harry's Stocking of their line of stockings, and it was stitched on 18ct. Raw Linen with DMC. I purchased the charm pack for the stocking and the charms are pretty cute too. On the train there is a heart, a heart with a bow, a rocking horse, a teddy bear, a wreath and a bell. Plus there are buttons and stars up above. I am really pleased with how this came out. Eric picked some great fabric to go on his stocking too! Not too much else going on here this weekend. Eric put some Christmas lights outside, some pretty blue ones. They are not too much. Yesterday we also went to see The Trains at NorthPark. Every year they set up a huge model train display with different environments, like a New York city scene, a Dallas scene, a Christmas scene, etc. Today I mainly did housework and stitched a tiny bit on my December sheep blanket. It is all finished except for the Wisper I am waiting on. I'll show you a pic next time. Hope you all had a great weekend!

I am grateful for finishing Eric's stocking!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Stashy Stash

I had goodies in the mail today! I received my fabric for Autumn Snapperland. I decided to just go with the recommended natural linen. The rest of the goodies are part of two different orders. I had placed a thread order for a bunch of Rainbow Gallery threads (including the Wisper I need to finish my sheep blanket), and these are the two that have come in so far. I ordered a Star Detailor to give it a try and see how it works on my loose thread ends. And, with the Barnabee's Quest SAL on the horizon, I ordered charts 2 and 3. As you can see, 2 is still on backorder. I gotta tell you though, that pink treasure braid is beautiful! It's like fairy wings! I also took advantage of the HAED sale that is going on right now and purchased two new charts (yeah yeah I know...maybe I should actually stitch one). I got Jessica Galbreth's All Hallow's Eve and Brigid Ashwood's Zap. I couldn't resist either of these...and boy are they at opposite ends of the spectrum, huh? All Hallow's Eve I love because it's dark and gothic. Zap I love because it's cute and girlie and has lemon meringue pie! Thanks everyone for your compliments on the stocking. I ran out of two threads last night, so I had to make an emergency run to Michael's tonight on the way home. I am working on finishing up the vine band and then will move on to the snowflakes. Wish me luck! Hope you all have a great weekend. I am hoping to get more stitching and some more Christmas decorating done!

I am grateful for making it through two workouts with weights.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Naked Sheep

You may want to avert your eyes...

I know, it is a terrible fate for a sheep, to be blanket-less in December. I am steadily stitching away on the 8 million projects that need to be done right now, but no blanket yet. Also, since I have now added weights into my workout routine, I may be stitching slightly less until my arms get over being sore...ugh. But, as I mentioned to Jenna a few days ago, I am taking a week off of work before Christmas in order to have some rest and relaxation time. I should have all of my must-do stitching done before then, so I will be able to stitch on whatever I want. Heaven. And speaking of Jenna...lookie what I got in the mail...

Jenna sent me these as part of the Great Scissors Giveaway. Aren't they gorgeous?! They are a beautiful ruby red and almost look a little Celtic in their design. Thank you, Jenna!! I have been stitching along merrily on Eric's stocking since I finished the RR. I have all the backstitching done and just have the top three bands to do (the top band being Eric's name...thank goodness it is short!). We are going on Saturday to pick out fabric for both stockings, so I would like to have as much done on this as possible, so that we can pick colors.

And don't you just love my thumb in the photo? I just had to show off my cool Rockette red polish! I love the way this stocking is looking, too cute! And finally, I have to update you on my progress on the 101 Things list. I was just able to cross off another item, #47 (Get an MP3 player, put workout music and audiobooks on it). As you know, I got an iPod for my birthday in August and have had the workout music on it. I finally got two audiobooks on there - Harry Potter 5 and The DaVinci Code. So, that is one more crossed off the list. I think I am up to 8 or so completed, but I have about 20 that are in hopefully I will have more to cross off soon! We picked up our wedding album (FINALLY!) tonight, and it looks beautiful. I am very pleased with it. Tomorrow is eight months married, I can hardly believe it!

I am grateful for beautiful wedding photos.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Just Nan RR, Round 2

Here is Round 2 of the Just Nan Round Robin I am participating in. This is Kari's piece. Sorry for the wonky angle I seemed to have taken the photo at. This is my part. I stitched the Lavender Fields from Barnabee's Quest, a Herringbone stitch, a two-color Rice stitch, the rose band from Nan's Garden, and a two-color Diamond Cross stitch. I really wanted to give my bands a garden feel to mix in with Kari's top motif and with Angi's flower band. I also wanted to incorporate the blues into my part to tie in the blue Kari used in her lettering and beads. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I hope Kari likes it!

Here is the whole thing...

Unfortunately, you don't get a good sense of the colors from the photos, but it is very pretty. This is due to be mailed out on the 15th, so I am pleased to be done with it with about ten days to spare. I will be back to working on the stocking tonight, and hope to make some good headway on it. Last night we watched Casablanca as part of our Academy Award list. It's been awhile since I've seen it, and I did enjoy it. Those people drank more champagne than you could shake a stick at though. Made me long for a set of those beautiful champagne glasses, not the flutes, the other kind (is there a name for those?). Well, off to stitch some stars on the stocking. And yes, I will be adding the charms to the stocking. I've already got them in hand, so they're ready to be put on when the time comes. Wish me speedy stitching!

I am grateful for fuzzy socks.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

First Snow

I have to apologize for not blogging more frequently. At this time of the year, I am sure you can all relate, it is busy! I was thrown off my schedule a little bit last week because of the weather. On Thursday, we got snow - actual snow! Snow is pretty rare in Dallas, we tend to get ice, but no snow. So, it was a rare treat, one that only lasted until Friday morning. We also got some ice too, so getting to and from work was a little tricky. In honor of our first snow of the year, I thought I would share with you my first finish of 2006. I finished this one at the end of January. It is a freebie from The Drawn Thread. Today I also had another first...Eric brought home our first Christmas tree! I've never had a real tree before. I started pulling out my Christmas decorations and am excited to start some decorating. Yesterday we went to see the Rockettes in their Christmas Spectacular. It was a lot of fun and such a great show. It made me miss my days of dancing. In stitching news, I have been working really hard on my Round Robin piece and hope to have it finished up tonight. That will allow me to get back to work on Eric's stocking. I had hoped to have my December sheep blanket done too, but I am missing one thread for it and I just haven't had the time to work on it. I should be able to free up some time though, once this RR is done and once Eric's stocking is done. I am shooting for having Eric's stocking done next weekend, and ready to be sewn up. Cross your fingers! Hope you've all had a fantastic weekend. I appreciate all of your comments, and welcome to anyone new to my blog!

I am grateful for snowflakes.