The View Above

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The past few months it seems I’ve been stitching on a series of things that I couldn’t share – but now they can be revealed!  In early December, I attended the annual Tudor Rose Sampler Guild holiday party.  I’ve enjoyed attending each year but always find that I’m down to the wire getting my ornament stitched and finished for the ornament exchange I participate in.  This year I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to stitch, but when I stumbled across this Little By Little angel called “The View Above”, I knew it would be a good choice.  I thought it was a nice little nod to the Tulip Angel I stitched in 2009 for the exchange too.  She was a fun little stitch.  Finishing, on the other hand, ugh!  Twisted cording is my nemesis.  
Anyway, the party was fun, as usual.  This year instead of holding the party at a member’s home, we held it at our usual meeting place.  Our Programs Chair printed off these delightful little caskets on cardstock as a party favor – they were a freebie on Tricia Nguyen’s blog in December.  So cute!  I may color mine before I assemble it.  We’ll see!
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I wanted to show a few of the ornaments that particularly caught my eye – you know I can’t say no to a Blackbird Designs piece, right?
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I never think to stitch LHN ornaments until I see them and then I fall in love with the cute.  Love how this one was finished with that pretty (I think it may have been velveteen) red fabric and green cording (why can’t my cording look like that???).  Excuse the random red ribbon peeking out from under there – once we tore open the wrapping there were bits everywhere!
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This was a sweet, simple design but look how cute with the chenille trim, gold jingle bells in the corners and red cording for the hanger.  (again, the red ribbon photobombs my pic)
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This one really caught my eye and the photo doesn’t do it justice.  It’s by The Primitive Hare and was in the 2013 JCS issue, I think.  
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And this sweet little one – a Jeannette Douglas design.  Look at the pretty beaded edge and the tiny little over one bird.  So so cute.  (and the red ribbon is now beginning to resemble some sort of sea monster tentacles).
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Here’s a shot of all the ornaments together.  I meant to get closeups of some others, but it didn’t happen.  I’m completely in love with that Stacy Nash Silent Night one.  And that Ewe & Eye & Friends down at the bottom reminded me that I went completely gaga over seeing these stitched up on a blog a while back and meant to stitch them…clearly that plan fell by the wayside.  
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And finally, here are the ornaments I came home with.  Bonus this year – I ended up with two!  They are the sweetest little things too.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing the ornaments – every year I’m amazed at how varied the ornaments are – both in choice and in finishing.  Even when we have so many stitchers choosing ornaments out of the same magazine, we never end up with two the same.  I always come away inspired and with a long list of new ornaments to stitch.  
I am grateful for sweet little reindeer and sheep and birds.  

A Rainy Monday in September

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for Fall.  While I hate the fact that this year seems to be going by so quickly, yesterday’s 105 degree temps had me yearning for some cooler days.  I know it’s been awhile since I shared any stitching progress with you, and lest you think I am only sewing I thought I’d show you my progress on John Reed.  I am really pleased with how it’s turning out despite a few challenges along the way.  The chart is handwritten, and at times makes it difficult to discern what the designer intended.  I also had a few issues with the roof color for the house.  The called for AVAS was really more of a seafoam green.  And I was for sure not putting a seafoam green roof on my house.  I ended up going with the DMC equivalent she’d listed on the chart (was definitely not seafoam green, so not sure what was going on there) but had to go a couple of shades darker due to the fabric I’m using.  It’s kind of a grey green. 
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But, I’m getting closer to finishing this sampler up.  I’d intended to finish up the grass last night, but I ran out of thread!  So frustrating!!!! So, I’ll be out picking up another skein of AVAS as soon as possible.  And since I need that green for the grass, the border, the trees…I was a bit frustrated last night.  
So, I started something new. 
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I have spent all year working on just John Reed for the most part, granted some months my stitching was almost zilch.  So I decided at the spur of the moment to start my second start for the year – and I wanted something appropriately fall-like since it was September 1st after all )and I’d been looking at eleventy-billion Instagram photos of Pumpkin Spice Lattes).  I just happened to have this little beauty in my stitching bag, and it was already kitted with threads, fabric and even a needle included.  It’s like the universe was enabling me to start something new. 
This is a sweet little sampler a friend of mine designed and gifted me with last fall.  I’m excited to finally be starting it.  And today’s rainy overcast day seems like the perfect day to snuggle under a quilt (with the A/C on – because it’s still 98 degrees outside and I’m not stupid) and stitch on this. 
My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and it has been so fun finally getting some time away from work and spending time with some friends.  Speaking of my talented friend who designs lovely things, I got to spend an afternoon stitching with her the other day after we had a fabulous lunch together.  I also had the chance to meet up with another friend for dinner one night and then we went to see the City of Bones/Mortal Instruments movie – so good!!!  And I have to share a couple of beautiful gifts I received for my birthday too.  
This little pincushion is a design by Little House Needleworks called Heart and Home Sampler.  It was stitched over one and finished into this adorable pincushion.  And she finished it with these beautiful ribbons and trims that she brought home from her trip to Paris.  I love it!  She and I had a lovely day out together last weekend and went to lunch and hit a couple of quilt shops.  So much fun. 
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And a package also arrived from Sylvia.  She made me another stitch wallet and look at the fabulous sugar skull fabric she used!  Reminds me a bit of the birthday gift my friend Lori gave me last year.  Sylvia also knitted this beautiful Honey Cowl for me.  When she was here in December last year, we went over to Madtosh Crafts and I showed her this cowl I’d been coveting made out of Madeline Tosh Tannenbaum yarn.  And she made me one!!!  She used a different, lighter weight yarn (since I do live in Texas), but in the same beautiful green I fell in love with.  I cannot wait to wear it!
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If you look closely at my John Reed sampler, you will see some unfortunate holes in the linen.  Luckily the house covered up the worst of the areas.  Months ago, my scissors got loose from their sheath in my stitching wallet and poked some holes in my linen.  None of the threads were cut, but the holes of the fabric were horribly pulled out of shape.  I’ve been joking with Sylvia that my scissors need to have their own “scissor jail” to keep them from causing more trouble with my sampler.  And guess what!  My new stitching wallet comes complete with an attached scissor jail!!!  Perfect for my scissors and threads.  How cute is that?!
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Sylvia also kitted up this chart for me.  Don’t you just love her thread drops?!  We’d gotten to talking not too long ago about Americana samplers when we saw this post on Laura’s blog.  And look what she sent me.  Love it so much!!
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Thanks as always for continuing to stop by to check in on my blog, especially since I’ve been so awol this entire year.  It’s been kind of a rough one so far.  But, I’m feeling like I’m finally getting some time for myself back and boy it’s a wonder what a difference sleep makes!!  
I am grateful for a wonderful birthday and some wonderful friends who helped me celebrate it!