Silver Lining

Early Morning Tulips 2

Well, all I can say is that I am grateful last week is over. I took my final exam on Friday and did well. All that remains is scheduling and taking my certification exam. But that final exam studying required me to lock myself away completely the previous weekend as well as all throughout last week. Thank goodness it is done. I gave myself a break this weekend and relaxed. Today, the studying begins anew, as I’m hoping to get my certification exam scheduled for later this week.

I took full advantage of my “weekend off” though. Friday, I continued stitching on my Secret Stitcher piece. I almost have the stitching done, and I think the finishing will be very quick once I do. I will work on getting the finishing done this weekend. Unfortunately, of course, I can’t show it to you! But, trust me, it’s pretty. I’m trying to figure out how to stitch one for myself on the leftover fabric.

Saturday, I decided to go visit my parents. I’d had to take a raincheck last week on Mother’s Day, due to studying for my final. So, I spent the afternoon with them and watched the Preakness. What fun. I’m a little sad that Super Saver didn’t win, but I think he was pretty tired out still from the Derby.

Sunday, I spent with my nose stuck in the book I started on Friday, one of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. But, when I was able to pull myself away from it, Eric and I caught up on episodes of America: The Story of Us that has been on the History Channel. It’s really good, if you get a chance to catch any of the episodes. We’re up to the Civil War now. But, it was a welcome and rare afternoon that the two of us could spend just watching some tv and enjoying each other’s company. We probably would have made it through more episodes, but we kept stopping it to talk about Eric’s ancestors on the Mayflower or discuss Jamestown, etc. So fun!

While we watched our shows, I decided to pull out the much-neglected And They Sinned to stitch on. When last we left our heroine, Fred and George had joined her but were running the risk of getting clubbed on their little heads. Now, Fred is getting surrounded by the cloud. I hope he’s not claustrophobic.

ATS 051610

I’m pretty happy with how much I managed to get done on that cloud in one afternoon. I’ll have to go back and fill in the motifs once I get a little farther. I probably could have gotten a little more done, but I may have gotten distracted by watching Oprah’s Twilight show on the DVR while Eric was out at a photography class last night. But, I’m not admitting to anything.

Oh, and where did I get that beautiful scissor fob I have there? Why, thank you for asking! You may remember a few years ago, I participated in a Neighborhood Round Robin with several lovely ladies. Over the weekend, I received a stunning surprise in the mail. Kathy had sent me this gorgeous beaded scissor fob as a thank you for stitching on her RR. Such a sweetheart!! If you want to see the lighthouse block I stitched for her up close and personal, you can see it here. But, don’t miss clicking over to Kathy’s blog to see her RR completely finished! I love how she finished it into a pillow.

So, that’s it for me today. I’m sure I’ve talked your ear off, but honestly it feels so good to have had a little break.

I am grateful for a relaxing weekend and being almost done with school.

A Cemetery, Bones & Raising the Dead

Jenny Bean 101909

I’ve managed to get a good amount done on Jenny Bean in the past few days. Of course, you can see the house is finished, as is the cemetery and I’ve moved onto the tree. The tree is finished minus its leaves. And the colors for this sampler, especially since mine were a guess, are kinda crazy – at least with respect to the tree. I think it will be kind of fun though to eventually see a bunch of these finished, because they will all probably look totally different. But, I’m going with it. Who knows what this week will bring with regard to stitching time, but last week was kind of a fluke. But, all in all, this sampler is so much fun to stitch and it seems to be moving along pretty quickly for me. I have a feeling that border may be a different story though.

I’ve also finished another book from my book challenge. That makes two out of twelve done.

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones was a gift from my friend, Sherri. This was definitely a book I would have never chosen for myself, but it was sooooo good. I could not put this book down. And I definitely feel like this is a story that will stay with me. One of the things I’ve been thinking about too is the amount of books I have in my possession. I’d really like to whittle that down, and one of the things I’ve thought about is that I’d like to have a personal library of sorts that contains books that I love, books that touched me, books that stayed with me, books that I would read again over and over. So, I’ve gone through my books and starting weeding through the books that should stay and the books that can go. This book is definitely one for my library.

And because this book was so good, I’ve had a problem starting a new book. I’ve been carrying a new book around with me for a week almost now, and haven’t cracked it open. Sometimes, when I read a book that is so good, I have a hard time coming back out of that story, or that world. And until I can kind of let it go, starting a new book is almost impossible. I wish all books were like that. Anyway, my next choice, also off my challenge list, is The Host. If I can ever start it, I think it will be good.

And over the weekend, I spent some quality time with the pile of stuff that was slowly overtaking my desk. I found a pattern that I had pulled out with the thought of starting it soon, and also found my notes on threads and fabric I had wanted to use for it, based on this gorgeous piece. I’d left this on my desk because I needed fabric and threads. But, when I picked up the note and saw the fabric I’d wanted to use was Vintage Meadow Rue…the lightbulb went off and I realized I had some Meadow Rue in my possession. In fact, I have a stitcher’s half of it, that was for my first Neighborhood RR. And after all the heartache with this piece, it’s just been shoved in the back of my closet still in the FedEx package, because I didn’t know what to do with it.

Plan B for Neighborhood RR fabric

Well, now I know. I’m going to rip out the stitching that was done and re-use this piece for Where My Heart Blooms. I think it’s an excellent way of making lemonade out of lemons. And I am sure that the rest of the fabric that I end up with as leftover will be put to good use too. But, first for the ripping out. I think it will be good for me…a way to let go of it.

Hope this week brings lots of stitching and some good news.

I am grateful for Eric – always, every day.

Mailbox Joy


Monday there was no mail, due to it being a holiday. But on Tuesday, boy howdy, the mail came flooding in! When I arrived home Tuesday night, my desk was full of packages. And of course, I must show you the most important and lovely of them first!!

My Halloween Neighborhood RR arrived home safe and sound! Annemarie finished stitching up her cute Just Nan block with an addition of the Gatekeeper (Mr. Skeleton there). I love it! Thank you so much, Annemarie!! I am so thrilled to have my piece home. Now comes the work I want to do on it. First off is to stitch my block down in the right-hand bottom corner. I’ll be stitching the cemetery from Village of Hawk Run Hollow. You can see what my block will look like here. But since that first ill-fated RR was kept and then returned, I had to start on a new piece of fabric. So, I’ll restitch my cemetery. I have also planned a road to wind through my neighborhood, so there is that to stitch as well. I’m also thinking of adding a few little extras, like a pumpkin patch maybe, or a couple more houses. Primitive Needle had a great freebie called By the Light of the Moon that I might add in, as well as a Halloween house by Maryse. Anyway, there’s work to be done still on this neighborhood! I may work on that after finishing Jane Austen. A huge round of thanks for everyone who stitched on my piece: Judith, Cathy, Kathy, Erin, Carol, Annemarie and Katrina. Thank you all so much!!

My New Year’s Day order from Stitching Bits and Bobs arrived on Tuesday as well. I took advantage of their sale and ordered Adam & Eve by CHS as well as all the GAST threads for And They Sinned. I am hoping to make a start on both pieces this year. I’d love to have an Adam & Eve wall like Siobhan does! Look at all those gorgeous threads!!!

And I also received an amazing RAK from Annemiek, who is a member of the Stacy Nash Groupies Yahoo group I also belong to. I mentioned recently in the group that I had ordered the Gentle Arts Simply Wool threads to stitch The Sampler Girl’s At Plimoth freebie back at HALLOWEEN. The threads STILL have not come in. I had hoped to stitch that piece up for Thanksgiving no less, and here it is January. They had one color I needed, Midnight, but the other three had to be ordered. Well, anyway, I mentioned this in the group because someone’s finish reminded me of it. Well, sweetheart that she is, Annemiek offered to send me the threads herself. I am so grateful to her for her sweet generosity. So, I’ll be stitching At Plimoth up soon, and report back on how I like the Simply Wool thread. Thanks, Annemiek!!!
Next up, I had a box to open. In it was a new addition to my Harmony Kingdom collection. This is the 2009 Romance Annual piece, called Hearts A Flutter. It features two Lovebirds, as you can see. Inside are little carved hearts. So sweet.
And finally, I received the latest issue of Cross-stitch & Needlework magazine. I settled in to flip through it Tuesday night and came across this beautiful piece. It’s a reproduction of an antique Valentine postcard. I thinks it’s beautiful. The designer is listed as Barbara Sestok.
So that’s what was in my mailbox!! I do apologize for the dark photos today that all took place on the floor. At 10pm at night, it’s the best I could do.
I am grateful for ginger ale.

Highlights

I have so much to show you today! First with the finishes…

I finally finished my block on Judith’s Neighborhood RR, albeit a week late. Judith chose to have us stitch Maryse’s monthly freebie houses, which was such a cute idea. Since my birthday month was already chosen (August), I decided to stitch December. I’m already getting into the Christmas groove, so this block was a lot of fun to stitch. And I just love the fabric Judith chose – it’s so fabulous…almost like an aged papyrus color.
Judith’s NeighborhoodNeighborhood Round Robin – Round 8
Maryse’s December Maison
DMC on some gorgeous fabric
Finished 11/23/08
Here’s her whole neighborhood so far. It is on its way to Erin and then I believe it goes home to Judith. I hope she is as happy with it as I am!
Secondly, after finishing up Judith’s RR, I pulled out a little piece I’ve been working on for awhile. I actually started this back in April of this year. It is heading to my finisher today, along with Peace to be magically transformed into something wonderful.
Snow Bunnies
Little House Needleworks
From the JCS Ornament Issue 2007
DMC on 28ct Smoky Blue Lugana by Silkweaver
Finished 11/23/08
And, I was thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, and wanted a project to bring along with me to my parents’ house. Sometimes stitching isn’t the best answer, since I can’t count and talk at the same time. So, I decided to bring something relatively mindless with me. I got my Kimono quilt back from the quilter a few weeks ago, so on Saturday, I cut my binding and sewed it on, so that I could do the hand sewing part of attaching it on Thursday. I also prepped my label for the back, but I need embroidery thread to match my backing fabric, so the actual embroidery has to wait (and the attaching of the label too). And, since this is going to be a wall-hanging in our dining room, I made myself a sleeve for the back of the quilt for the hanging rod to slide through. It will have to be attached by hand, so I have that to do too. So, I am all set for Thursday, and hopefully by next weekend I will have another finished quilt to share!
Let’s see, what else. Oh yes… last weekend I finally lived up to my end of the SAL bargain, and I pulled out Mermaids of the Deep Blue to stitch on. She now has highlights in her hair. I was inspired by Missy’s progress on her Bluebeard’s Princess. Here’s a look back at how she looked before. I think Anna and I will be continuing our Mermaid SAL in 2009, and hopefully we will both have finishes before you know it!
And, I have some goodies to share…
I won a giveaway on Nancy’s blog for her chart of Mercy Me. (Go look at her great finish!!) Nancy also snuck in these gorgeous Hand Dyed Fibers silks. Thank you so much, Nancy!! I am one spoiled girl!

I also purchased the quilt fabric from Jane Timmers to use for the Martha’s Sewing Basket set. I was really wanting to do it in the red colorway, so I’m happy Jane still had a set left! I purchased the charts through my guild and can’t wait to get started on these. It’s a huswif, a pocket and a basket liner. They’re just lovely!
And finally, my automatic of the Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers came from Elegant Stitch. Since, this piece is stitched in silks rather than the regular Weeks or GAST threads, Lois did something I think is great to try to cut down on the cost. She sent half skeins of each of the silks, which will give you more than you need, but still keep the cost down. Since I am on automatics for the chart, fabric and thread – that was a big help! Such a pretty set. It looks like I’ll be going to Hobby Lobby in search of the box soon too!
Thanks so much for checking in, I hope you didn’t mind all the lovely things I wanted to share today. And if you’re curious what else I did this weekend…
Until next time…
I am grateful for Muse.

Fall Leaves

Red Thread: County Fair
Bent Creek

DMC, Weeks and GAST on 32ct Light Mocha
Finished 11/7/08

If you can possibly believe it, I have TWO finishes to share today! I’ve been working very hard to catch up with my stitching, and on Friday I finished up my September block for the Red Thread SAL with my friend, Sherri. This one is called County Fair. Eric and I did go to the fair this year, for his birthday, so I’ll have to share those photos with you soon. We had a great time, as usual. And this block is perfect for this time of year. Don’t you just love the pig suspended from a balloon? Anyway, on Friday I was taking a look at the Red Thread SAL blog, which I haven’t taken part in, but I check in on from time to time. One of the stitchers there mentioned how glad she is that these blocks stitch up in a few hours. Wow! I am now officially the slowest stitcher!!! So, I took that as a personal challenge, and Friday night I started stitching on my October block, Wreath. I stitched on it Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. I did finish it up Sunday afternoon, which was a super fast finish for me, but it was not anywhere close to a couple of hours! LOL! Anyway, here is finish two…


Red Thread: Wreath
Bent Creek
DMC, Weeks and GAST on 32ct Light Mocha
Finished 11/9/08

I think this may be my absolute favorite block of the bunch (so far). Maybe it’s the time of year I’m stitching it, but I just love the colors. I love the sort of abstract nature of the wreath itself, and the acorns are so perfect. Love that little bird too! In case you can’t tell, he has a black snap for his body. Love it!!!

So, here are my two weekend finishes together.

And here is the whole thing so far. I have November and December’s blocks to stitch, as well as the border. I intend to have this completely finished by December 31st! I love how it is turning out, and I am so glad that Sherri and I jumped into this great project together. It’s been fun stitching along with her.

And speaking of finishes…Katrina has posted up photos of my Neighborhood RR that she completed over the weekend. It will now go back to Annemarie, for her to finish it up. Then, home to me!!


I just love what Katrina stitched here….isn’t it wonderful! That witch is perfect!


Thank you so much, Katrina. I hope you don’t mind me borrowing your photos to share!

I am stitching away on Judith’s RR and should have it done in plenty of time for the mailout date of November 15th. That’s my last RR to stitch on, then I just wait for mine to come home. Oh, and I did a little bit of Fall decorating this weekend too, if you’d like to see it.

I am grateful for knowing I can do it!