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The Joy of Books

If you haven’t seen this video yet, you simply must. It’s so charming, delightful, and wonderful. It makes me ever so happy. It will make you happy, too.

 

Exchange Day Came Early

Because we couldn’t wait (kiddies, much?), because all ornaments had been received, the exchange moderator moved the opening day to yesterday. I gasped and squealed when I saw my giftie. It was on my to-stitch list. I’d admired it on other blogs. And now I don’t have to stitch it, or think about how I want to stitch it someday, because I have it! I’m thrilled to bits. Thank you, Carmen. :)

exchange from Carmen

Joy of the Snowflake by Litlle by Little from the 2011 JCS Ornament issue. How perfect is that trim? It’s whimsical and gives the ornament movement and life. Carmen attached it with matching beads.  Just gorgeous. Did I mention I love it? Because I do. :D

Here is what I stitched for Lyn, and previewed the other day–

Love was Born 12.11

She says she likes it, and I’m relieved. Exchanges always tie me in knots, which is why I don’t participate in them often. And then they’re over, and I’m so happy I did it.

Lizzie Kate, JCS Ornament issue from the 90’s, 32-ct shell linen, recommended fibers, flat finish. And stuff. I’ll likely edit it with proper info later, but you get the gist.

Happy Stitching! :)

Another Christmas

Come and gone. Sigh.

Welcome to my tidy blog. My sister recently visited my blog and told me it’s quite tidy. So, thanks for that, Sissy M! Um, I think. Hope. Accept. I yam who I yam.

I had a wonderful Christmas, and hope you did, as well. It was a small, quiet affair, just me, the husband and the boy. December was filled with Christmas stitching and fun.

 Stitched by me, for me

One piece I stitched for myself was Atalie’s Decembre 2007 biscornu. I finished it fairly early in December, but I was waiting for the ornament from Wendy and didn’t get around to posting a picture. I like the teeny beads in the same color as the tree’s ornaments on the seam. I originally planned to cover some wooden beads with the red beads and attach them to the top “corners.” I didn’t bc I decided the shape wasn’t quite right. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. If I’d thought they would work, I would have kept trying until I was satisfied. I admit I’m sort of glad I didn’t like it, haha.

Decembre 2007 Biscornu by Atalie 12.10

Vitals:
Decembre 2007 biscornu, designed by Martine Viard Ligier  of Atalie.
Stitched on 32-ct Little Boy Blue linen w provided silk fibers.

I also stitched myself an ornament from the 1998 JCS Ornament issue. The plan was to finish before the Night Before Christmas, but I came down with a HumBug. It wasn’t the kind where you don’t have Christmas spirit, but the one where you are sick. I was so fatigued. At one point I sat down to stitch the girl’s hair, and only got in two stitches before I stopped. I snapped to several minutes later. I’d been staring into space, about to doze off. It was after Christmas before I managed to finish. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it as an ornament or a flat fold. We’ll see what inspiration I get.

Night Before Christmas 12.10

This was a lot of fun to stitch. The dark blue night wasn’t even tedious. No, really! It took forever, but I didn’t mind. I’ve admired this for so long. I feel so lucky to have it! I’m so goofy. ;)

Vitals:
Night Before Christmas by Birds of a Feather as appeared in JCS Ornament issue, 1998.
Stitched on 32-ct Shell linen instead of Raw linen and with recommended fibers except the following substitutions: GAST Soot instead of WDW Charcoal, GAST Mistletoe instead of WDW Emerald, WDW Peach Fuzz for WDW Mexicali,DMC 4240 for WDW Navy, CC Lettuce Leaf for WDW Aqua, and WDW White Lightning in Santa’s beard and WDW Icicle for GAST Oatmeal.

Here’s a snippet of my lovely stitchy Christmas:

In addition to the pieces I stitched for myself, you can see my stitchy gifts and the card Wendy made me for our exchange. The pink fabric is the nearly impossible to find 24-ct congress cloth in rose. Had I known “rose” meant pink, I don’t think I would have been so nervous about getting the “just right” fabric (canvas). The husband was told that congress cloth isn’t made anymore, as it’s too fine for needlepoint. He managed to find a supply about 40 miles from home at Homestead Needlearts. Apparently, Theresa is rolling in congress cloth. She had to check to make sure she had a big enough piece of rose, but she was enthusiastic when she said she has congress cloth. Hooray! and Huzzah! for the husband. Now I can begin Bargello Symphony. I’m excited and a bit nervous. You can see I also got two Shepherd’s Bush kits–the new Merry Be pincushion and the Take Joy kit, along with the box that Take Joy is designed to go in. The box is hinged. The way it’s painted, I thought it was metal. It’s not. :D I also got a gift certificate from The Rocking Horse, my favorite LNS. That’s it on top of the congress cloth–they slip the certificate into a giant die-cut flos bobbin wound with different colors of yarn. How fun!

The other stitched piece you see is a gift from my dear friend, Jay. She stitched this for her mother many years ago. It’s Christiana Campbell’s in Williamsburg, VA. Jay told me her mother loved the tavern, especially the oyster stew and huge checkerboard napkins. I’ve only been to Williamsburg once, and never visited the tavern. If I make it to Williamsburg again, I’ll make a point of visiting Christiana Campbell’s. Jay has been slowly parting with her late mother’s things, and thought I would appreciate the gift. She was right. Thank you, Jay.

In the interest of full-disclosure, and too keep a reminder for myself, I share a picture of my bead-covered bead misstep.

I need to get my goals for next year organized. If I should refrain from posting until after the New Year, please have yourself a safe and festive New Year. I hope to see you next year. Happy stitching. :)

Gifted

I recently sent Berit my used copy of WindowGarden’s Watermelon Sampler.  As a thank you, she stitched me Cross Stitch Happy’s Quaker Style Scissors Fob, a freebie available on her blog.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Berit told me she stitched it on a scrap of 32-ct. linen, and she believes she used Crescent Colors Bedazzled floss.  A fitting name for the floss, as I’m bedazzled by Berit’s amazing gift.  I am so lucky. 

Thank you, Berit!

Quaker Style fob from Berit 09.09

Look at that pretty beadwork! I adore this.

Loving stitching again

I’ve escaped from the funny farm that is Missing You.  I wasn’t loving it, I was making myself crazy about it.  I don’t need help with the being crazy.  I stitch to escape that delightful feature of my personality, thank you.

I began BBD’s Loose Feathers #18, Strawberry Garden.

strawberrygarden

The whole time I was in my straitjacket, I was thinking about how very much I couldn’t wait to stitch this.  I’ve enjoyed stitching this completely so far.  I adore it.  Progress:

strawberry-garden-wip-05-04-09425

I thought this photo was a better representation of the fabric color.  I was wrong.  I’m using 32-ct Lakeside Linens Magnolia, which has a yellow hue.  Here’s a close-up of the basket, just because it’s been fun to stitch so far:

strawberry-garden-close-05-04-09-425

In other stitching news, webshots featured the photo I posted of my framed Pots of Love.  I think it was yesterday, unless webshots features more than one picture on each of its channels daily.  I didn’t know they had multiple channels until I received an email telling me about a comment from another user congratulating me for being featured.  SURPRISE!  I don’t much care for surprises, unless they’re unexpected happy surprises like that.

Home & Garden >> Crafts channel:
http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/tag/crafts

My featured picture:

Pots of Love 2/06

The boy was thinking of me

Want to know how I know?  It was written on the card that came with these yesterday:

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He saved to send them to me, and picked a date at random, b/c he wanted it to be “just because.”  He gave up a new video game to send these to me.

How old is this darling?  Twelve.

I am still verklempt. :)

Catching up

I discovered facebook just before Christmas, and new ways to waste time.  Unfortunately, my blog suffered.  I’ve missed it.

I’m going to start with the good stuff: a Christmas surprise! A while back, I posted about my love at first sight for a pair of scissors by Kelmscott designs.  It went on my wish list straight away, and there it stayed.  Until–My father read my blog and ordered them for me!  Talk about the magic of Christmas!  I didn’t even think to mention these scissors to anyone.  Happy, happy, joy, joy! :)

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It wasn’t the only stitchy gift I received, but it won this year’s prize for most bestest surprise.  Such a treat.  You think you’re too old for this stuff, and then you find out you’re wrong.

I started a new project on New Year’s Day: Patty Parsley by Carriage House Samplings.  I started stitching it over one on 28-ct. black fabric.  An insane choice.  Stitching on black is hard enough, I have to try to do it over one?  I think I’m going back to my original choice: over two on 40-ct.  Another mistake was using floss that was too long.  It stretched out and looks ugly, which, thankfully, you can’t discern in this photo. Here’s what I managed to stitch on New Year’s Day:

Patty Parsley wip 01-01-09

In my Meme for the New Year post, I mentioned that I’ve started Missing You by Prairie Moon.  I lamented my fabric choice.  Sharon mentioned in her comment to the post that she’s interested in seeing my color choices.  Sorry to keep you waiting so long, Sharon.  I have no excuse.  I haven’t managed to take a good picture, unfortunately.  I’m stitching it on Lavender Bliss, and I think it’s too stark, especially with the mustard-colored floss (whose proper name escapes me at the moment) in the center of the sun and cross.  I wish I had a better picture.  It does look better in natural light than under my daylight lamp, but I’m not loving it.  I think I’d be better off with a more standard neutral color.

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This picture isn’t very sharp or well-lighted.  It looks better in the photo than IRL.

Last year I began working on the Carriage House Alphabet Blocks.  I plan to stitch each as  a pillow ornament.  Yes, I’m stitching front and back.  Yes, I’m mad, mad I tell you!  This is what I accomplished last year, sometime in July.  I don’t believe I posted this picture on the blog.

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For the rest of this month, I’ve been working on D, E and F.  I started getting sick of it.  Every time I’d start stitching, I’d think, “Yes, but what I really want to stitch is PINK!”  So I found something pink and finished it last weekend.  I’m not sure I’m over my need for pink.  I’ve been making very slow progress on the alphabet blocks.  Creeping along, stitch by stitch.

New Love by Blackbird Designs:
New Love 01.09

Stitched one over one on 32-ct. Bo Peep Linen using WDW Romance floss.

Next time (maybe even tomorrow!) I’ll share the wonderfulness that is my son, and how it shone today.

Angel on high

My mother always made Norman Rockwell Christmases.  Mad Skilz, I’m telling you.

For my tree, I’ve had a few toppers over the years.  Mostly stars, as I recall, because I love stars.  I never had anything that I felt attached to, that simply must top my tree until a few years ago.  My mother had two angel dolls in her china cabinet that I admired.  Once, she told me if I was good, she’d make me one.  She forgot about the promise (or I wasn’t good? *gasp*).   When I asked her about it again, she told me she would definitely make me one.  She didn’t.

She sent me her angels.  She was decluttering her home on a massive scale, and I don’t think she was well enough to bother making a new angel.  My forever tree topper is now one of these angels.   I look forward to stuffing a tree branch up her dress every year.  I’m reminded of the best of my mother when I see that angel.

This year, the boy had one item on his Wish List.  Well, three, but they’re all related to the main item: a Sony PSP.  I wrapped a couple of presents for him to shake.  One is tube-shaped.  It’s driving him bonkers.  He can’t imagine what it might be.  I told him I got him a PSP, took it out of the box, and put it in the tube.  He doesn’t believe me, but I know he wants it to be true.  In our home, we open one present on Christmas Eve.  I know what he’ll be opening tonight!

Last night, I told him my best Christmas Eve present story.  I was an adult, visiting my mother.  There was a small, oddly shaped present under the tree for me.  I was sooo curious.  Was it the small size?  The odd shape?  I don’t know.  I could not imagine what it might be.   When it was time to open our presents, that was the one I chose.  It was a pair of embroidery scissors!  It was the bestest ever!  I never, ever came close to guessing.

Tonight, we’ll learn if the tube has a PSP, embroidery scissors, or something else.  It’s going to be so fun.  And my mother will be there.

angel-close-425

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

angel-250

My presents

Lookie what I got! The boy made these for me.  The step-daughter sent me a beautiful bouquet of carnations in a cupcake vase (TOO cute!), but I was too lazy absent-minded to take a picture.

Wolf 11.08     Mario Pumpkin 11.08

Mario Pumpkin and wolf 11.08

Wolf on Mario Pumpkin shelf

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday!  The boy and I  took a very early flight to San Diego today.  It was a day of firsts for traveling today.   We had a theme-park experience at the Detroit airport.  I usually fly Northwest, but today we took Delta.  The walk to the Delta concourse was very entertaining.   Coming down the escalator, we saw a huge blue circle on the floor.  Then we could hear electronic music.  It was evocative of space and underwater exploration.  The walls resembled water, but there were bright colors that changed in time with the music.  It was like getting out of the heat in a long theme park ride line and entering the building to begin the attraction experience.  Who knew an airport could be so exciting?  We took a very small plane to Cincinatti, where we walked down stairs to get off the plane instead of using a jetway.  Very retro.  The boy was impressed.  For the flight to San Diego, we were assigned the last row, which turned out to be a bonus.  The flight wasn’t completely full, and the boy and I each had three seats to ourselves.  BONUS!  We squandered the room by napping.  “Mom, it was a day of firsts!”  Indeed.  Everything that could have gone wrong, didn’t go wrong.  Happy Birthday to me. :o)  I suppose the worst part  is that the husband had to go to work, but meh.  We’re together.

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This is my birthday card from the boy.  I was going to upload a photo of my gift, but I can’t find the husband’s USB cord.  *sigh*  I purposely didn’t bring any of my extra USB cords, b/c my sweetheart had one at his apartment.  grr.  Maybe he’ll find it, and I can upload pics tomorrow.  Or I’ll get him his own USB cord.   

butterfly-fairy-425

This is my birthday present to me, bought on clearance from ABC Stitch Therapy.  I’ve admired her for a long time, but she was too rich for my blood.  Now she’s mine.  I have plans for her, which knowing my track record, should only take a few years to finish.

Now, everyone celebrate!

Did you vote?

I did.  I was voter #446 for my precinct.  I always get excited by voting, including when I’ve known I was voting for a sure loser.  So, what’s a girl to do when she’s got all that nervous energy?  Celebrate by going to her LNS, of course!  I got some floss I needed and some stuff I don’t exactly need, but couldn’t bear to leave behind.  Good times.

I want to share a Tiki Fox comic with you today.  This was entirely the boy’s idea, and he asked his Social Studies teacher if he could make the comic for school.  She was glad for his idea, because she wanted to do something for Election Day, but didn’t have ideas. She was very excited to see what he turned in–he said she hopped up and down.  I loved it, too.  I meant to scan/copy it to post today, but I forgot, so I made him re-do it for my blog today.  “FINE!  But I’m making bigger panels, since I don’t have to leave room for the voting!”  Ooookay, dear one.

vote-425

OMG, LOVE!

Every once in a while, you see something that completely grabs you.  These scissors qualify for me.  When I saw them, I was filled with wishing for them.  So much so, I actually contemplated making an unplanned visit to see my brother this weekend so I could visit the Silver Needle booth at Celebration of Needlework show in Louisville.  That’s just nutty, not to mention expensive.  I can daydream, though.   I’m not one for collecting scissors.  I have more than one pair, sure, but I don’t remember ever having been overwhelmed with scissor-love at first sight.  Until today. 

In other stitchy news, I picked up a couple of framed pieces today.  *clap, clap*

Dandelion Clock framed

Dandelion Clock by Margaret Sherry framed with our dwarf hamsters

Betsy framed 10.08

Betsy by Sheepish Designs.  I LOVE this frame.

I hope you have a good stitching day, too.

22, 7+, 1,858, 232/574, 12, 6, 1

Our road trip by the numbers–

22: is the number of days our trip lasted.

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

7+: is the number of states we visited (+ the District of Columbia). Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, DC, Maryland and Pennsylvania. North Carolina and Maryland were first-time visits for the boy.

1,858: is the approximate number of miles traveled. Not the actual number driven, of course. I didn’t keep track of that.

232/574: is the number of miles my husband rode (232) out of the number planned (574). His back went out severely after he rode 127 miles (of 469) on the Blue Ridge Parkway. He was down for a week, and then he rode the entire Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National park (105 miles).

 

12: is the number of hotels we stayed in.


Oak Park Inn in Waynesville, NC.

6: is the number of bears we sighted on the trip.


Mama bear and cub, Shenandoah National Park, Luray, Virginia

1: is the number of cross-stitch projects I completed.

Vitals:
Shepherd’s Bush 2008 fob
Used supplies included in kit:
32-ct Peach Whisper linen
DMC and WDW cotton floss, button

A, B, C, and an award for me!

On Yahoo’s Carriage House Samplings group, there is a VERY informal SAL going on for CHS’ Alphabet Blocks.  I decided I would stitch each letter as a pillow ornament.  Thinking in a very biscornu fashion, I thought about what I’d stitch for the back of each cushion.  I mentioned this onlist, and someone sensibly asked me why I decided to stitch the backs instead of using fabric.  You know, like a normal person.  *head desk*  Oh, b/c it never ocurred to me.  I don’t think I mentioned my lapse on the list, I think I smoothly covered with the idea that maybe I’d do some with stitching and some with fabric, I don’t know.  I confess the truth to you now, though.  Sometimes my brain plays tricks on me, and I fall for them!!  Gullible, much? ;)

See, my big plan was to be random with the fronts and backs.  Stitch each front and 26 backs.  Put each in a separate bag, and pull them out to be stitched together, without planning a match for front A beforehand.  I had a devil of a time completing the third back, though, and I’m not sure how far this over-the-top plan will go.  Here is my current progress:

CHS alphabet blocks A, B and C

The real reason I got off my lazy unmotivated butt and put this image together for a post is because Monique nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award!  Thank you, Monique!

Here are the rules of the award:
1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.
2. Put a link to the person you got the award from.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to the blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

It’s hard to make choices.  I look forward to reading many blogs. 

1. Wendy
2. Renee 
3. Jackie
4. Carla
5. Kim

And a bonus:
6. Stitch Pink

Happy Stitching, all!

Bingo

Yes, Bingo’s gone, but when I tried to find these pictures the other day, my camera lied and said it didn’t have them.  Can you see why we had to save him? 

Bingo

Bingo and bottle

iGoogle

My computer seriously crashed, and I’m putting it back together (s-l-o-w-l-y).  One thing about the putting back together is the looking at stuff I never pay attention to, like iGoogle. At the moment, my iGoogle has a “how to” section on it, and one of them is how to cross stitch! 

It doesn’t take much to excite me, which gives you a little insight into my daily grind. ;o)

Here is the how to link from iGoogle: http://www.wikihow.com/Cross-Stitch

As for the crashing, all I can say is this: I’m grateful I paid for an extended warranty, and I’m grateful I backed up my computer in the morning of the very day it crashed.  The final result of all my tech support maze negotiating is that my monitor is mostly kaput, and my DVD+RW is a goner, too.  *sigh*  It could be worse. 

But: waiting for Mozy is like watching paint dry, and so is my older back-up, StorageSync.  Eh.  I’ll get there.  I have much experience with the long-time-taking projects. ;o)

Christmas Goodies

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We did around here.  My gift was tickets to see Wicked in Chicago in February!  Squeee!

I participated in an ornament exchange on Yahoo’s Bent Creek and Trilogy group.  Here’s the lovely ornament Nancy stitched for me:
Ornament from Nancy 12.07
It’s all over one.  Note the perfect lazy daisy stocking hanger (just to point out one feature of the beautiful stitching).

Here it is on my tree:
ornie from Nancy on tree 12.07

If I’d been more clever, I’d have made a point of including the pretty Santa ornament Melita stitched for me in July in the picture.   They aren’t very far from each other.  Alas, I’m not more clever. But, here’s a clickable thumbnail to remind you:
Santa from Melita 06.07

Here’s the ornament I stitched for Renee:
Ornament for Renee front/back 12.07
Bad pictures, sorry.  It’s Star of Wonder by Forgets-Me-Nots in Stitches, from the 2001 JCS ornament issue.  The fabric is lighter yellow than the model, and I changed the stitching colors b/c Renee said she likes those colors.  I like her colors, too, don’t you?

I also got some yummy stash!
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Two charts from the French company, Tournicoton (now being carried by Down Sunshine Lane! *clap, clap*),  and a Kelmscott Needleminder, fabric to stitch GPA’s A Canadian Journey Sewing Necessaire, a French book of motifs and a book on temari! *sigh*  I love temari, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a finished piece! LOL :D

Here’s a toast for all of you, wishing you a very Happy New Year!

In Memoriam

Marianne Dolores Sanchez
9/13/62-5/24/01

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She was my best friend.  She only lived 38 years.  She would have turned 45 this year.  I planned to finish this memorial crane mobile as a birthday present, but things didn’t work out that way.  I don’t guess she’d be upset over a one-month belated birthday present.   

The mobile is done, it’s hanging beside my bed.  There are 38 cranes, one for each birthday.  Each has a quote of some sort in it.  If you’re curious about them, you can find them here.  I also made 4 wishing stars for the mobile.  Because they’re paper, and wishing stars, after all, I wrote a little something in each of those.  They reflect what was on the iPod at the time more than anything else. I intend for the Memorial Crane page to eventually tell the mobile’s story, but I’m not up for that now.  Heh.  Don’t hold your breath.  If you want to read more, the story can be found in my “grief” category.

Here she is.  A little bit late, a little bit lopsided, but no less a labor of love.

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 Mrs. Wonderful suggested this be tagged “wonderfulness.”  With a name like Mrs. Wonderful, I believe she would know. 

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