November 30, 2005

Christmas Goodies

Well, the notice from the post man was a wonderful box from Paula in Scotland. This is the gorgeous ornament she stitched for me for the SBEBB Ornament exchange. I'm so thrilled with it. Her stitching is perfect and the finishing is too. She also included some yummy Cadbury chocolates, a Marks & Spencer Christmas pudding (this won't last until Christmas!), a hand stitched card, two wonderful gold frames, some lovely red and gold ribbon that will be perfect for the frames and a lovely variegated skein of Pearsall's silk in green - my favorite color. Can you tell I'm thrilled? LOL I feel like it's Christmas morning already.

This was my first exchange with the SBEBB group and it went very smoothly. We had plenty of time to stitch our piece and everyone did a lovely job with the ornaments. It's always so interesting to see the variety of designs and finishing methods. It will be lovely to see Paula's ornament every year at Christmas - although I'm probably going to leave it out all year round! Thank you Paula!

November 29, 2005

Wait a minute Mr. Postman

I had a notice in my mailbox this evening from the post office that I have a package on hold - wahoo! I bet it's my SBEBB ornament exchange. You can be that I will be rocketing to the post office on my lunch hour tomorrow to see what has been delivere to me. Thank you Mr. Postman and Mystery Sender for brightening my tough Tuesday!

November 28, 2005

Do you ever....

read the security verification letters on comments to see if they sound like a real word? Do you ever click that little box up in the right hand corner that says Next Blog just to see where it may take you? You should! It's a strange and wonderous world out there and people blog about anything and everything. I love to click that Next Blog button just to see where in the world it might take me. Remember, life is an adventure so enjoy it!

That said and if you're still with me, here is a picture of the stitching I managed to work on yesterday. It is GH Angel of Tulips again. I completed the outside frame part and will probably continue working on the inside. The only color silk I haven't used yet is the lighter rose color for the stars on the wings so maybe I will work on that this evening.

With my SBEBB ornament sent out and recieved and my Legacy sampler house piece completed, my stitching is my own. However, I have begun mulling over what to stitch for my first SBEBB Birthday exchanger. It is Karen V and her birthday is in February which will be quickly approaching. I'm going to put my sleuthing hat on and stalk her for a while to see if I get any great ideas! Feel free to leave any suggestions - you too Karen!

November 27, 2005

What I did on my Thanksgiving Vacation

And it wasn't a whole lot of stitching! I painted my kitchen. I've been trying to get motivated to tackle the project since the weather cooled off but I just don't like painting. I love the results but hate the process as I'm just a mess at room painting. But with an extra long weekend, I decided to bite the bullet and get out the paint brushes. And I'm very, very pleased with the results of TWO days work! Two coats of primer and two coats of paint and I'm finished. Whew what a job. The color is called Southwest Potter by Benjamin Moore and it's a warm reddish brown color. It looks great with the hardwood floor in the kitchen.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I know for some, family members were dearly missed but I hope good memories and the warmth of existing family helped you be thankful. I had a wonderful time at my sister's and got to see some of my BILs family who visited from Ohio. We had an amazing day with two turkeys and lots of laughter. I can't wait to repeat the visit at Christmas time - only 4 short weeks away! And we had snow - at least 4 inches in New Hampshire when it was done - not as much here in Maine but enough to make it a white Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy turkey day to you and yours. I hope if you are traveling that you are safe and if not, cozy at home.

November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve

It's wicked cold here this evening and they are forecasting some snow. They had some farther north today but I'm hoping that if we get anything, it will be just a little. I don't want it to come but I always like to have that first day of driving in snow behind me - to get my snow legs so to speak! I don't think I'll ever be truly comfortable driving in snow. Give me a torrential downpour any day!

Tonight I put the finishing touches on the back piece of my Legacy sampler piece so it's ready to be put together which won't take very long. Here is the back in progress. I plan to finish this over the weekend. Next up is some work on my UFO. I did make some more progress on Sunday and maybe, just maybe I can finish it before the end of the year after all!

November 22, 2005

B is for Bird

Here is my progress on my CHS Alphabet piece. This chart is working up quite quickly. I hope to start filling in the bottom area tomorrow as I'm too tired to stitch over one this evening. I went to a lovely birthday dinner for my boss's DH and a glass of wine means no energy to stitch. Probably better off that way as I hate frogging over one!

I've also finally decided on a finishing technique for my Legacy exchange piece and the front is done. Now I need to go through my stash and get another piece of fabric for the backing so I can personalize it and begin putting things together. I will probably do that sometime during the upcoming long weekend. I may leave work early tomorrow and get a head start on stitching.

November 20, 2005

Bored with Black!

On at least three of the projects I'm currently working on, I'm using black. WDW Onyx, GAST Black Crow and DMC 310. Ugh! I'm really getting tired of black. Here is my progress on my UFO after this week. Not a lot accomplished unfortunately. I managed to fill in the two arms? on the design and started on the black outline today in the center - not shown in this photo. I'm also working on my over one CHS alphabet piece and my Legacy exchange piece - all using shades of black!

I've started to give some thought about 2006 stitching goals. This year was all about finishing some UFOs started in 2004 and I've managed to finish two pieces. My BOAF is the third but I doubt I'll be able to finish it before the end of the year. Next year, I really would like to work on some smaller pieces instead of BAPs. I think I need to sit down with my stash and see what cries out to be started. I know at least one will be CHS Dainty Housewren as it's been kitted up for a good 3 months but not yet started. And I'll continue to work on my UFOs and CHS alphabet piece for sure. I definitely don't want to end up with a bunch of UFOs as I did at the end of 2004. It takes too darn long to turn them into finished objects!

November 16, 2005


That is the sound of relief in having mailed off my SBEBB Christmas ornament today! I took the day off today as my boss wasn't going to be in the office. That gave me some extra time to wrap up my goodies and take them to the post office. They should arrive at their destination towards the end of next week I'm thinking! I just realized that I neglected to take any photos - duh! Hopefully the recipient will be able to post a picture.

Being in exchanges is fabulous but also a bit stressful as you are stitching to a deadline. The rewards are wonderful because you get a great gift in exchange but I must be mindful of managing the number of exchanges I sign up for as my enthusiasm can get me involved in way too many projects with deadlines and take the fun out of stitching. I know others have recently commented about this on their blogs as well. I signed up for another round of the Legacy sampler house exchanges and am happy to say that I should finish my stitching this evening and I plan to go straight to the finishing this weekend so that I can mark that off my list well before the Dec. 10th mail date.

Regarding comments to my blog, thank you to everyone who takes the time to write a note. I forget to mention it often enough but I do appreciate it! And it's wonderful to meet some new people along with those who are becoming wonderful friends. Carol, we will get together soon I hope! And Anna I do believe Colonial Needleworks will stay open around the holidays. They don't have a website as yet but you can call them at 603-472-8828 to check. They are down by the Ethan Allen store on 101 in Bedford - in the same building as a bridal salon. It's well worth going to visit.

This week I'm also UFO stitching again on BOAF Happy Hearts. Here is a photo at the start of my week on Sunday. I plan to work on this through Saturday so I'll post my progress again this Sunday.

November 12, 2005

Tiny Finish and Start

This is a photo of my CHS Alphabet piece. I'm working this with Vivian who has completed far, far more of the letters than I but she's stitching them individually so that's the excuse I'm going to stick with. Once I get going on this piece, it's hard to put down. I love how tiny each letter turns out. I've finished A as you can see and started B is for Bird.

Today I went down to NH for a haircut and stopped at a new cross stitch shop, Colonial Needleworks, in Bedford, NH on my way back. It was quite a nice shop, open, spacious and well organized which I love. I also got to see my friend Ann who has done a lot of framing for me which was an extra bonus. I was very good and only came out with things for my two exchange packages. That's not to say I wasn't tempted but I was strong!

November 9, 2005

Wonderful Exchange from Aniza

Yippee! I picked up my Sampler House exchange piece from Aniza today at the post office. I have a funny story to tell (now it's funny) in addition to sharing photos of her wonderful work. I left work a bit early yesterday to go grocery shopping to make myself a nice dinner. I planned to try a new recipe and purchased a bottle of wine to go with my dinner as a treat. I did my shopping and came home and dropped the bag in the kitchen. I then went immediately to the porch to check my mail as has been my habit these days. I found a slip from the PO saying I had a package and I just new it had to be my sampler piece. I went to put the slip in my purse so I could run to the PO on my lunch hour today and guess what? No purse! Yep, you can imagine my panic. I can't believe I did this but I left my purse sitting in the shopping cart in the parking lot at the grocery store. Yikes! I went racing back to the store and customer service and they were just getting ready to call me. A kind citizen had turned my purse in, fully intact! LOL So whenever I used Aniza's wonderful piece, I will get a chuckle about my adventure!

Tonight I cooked that wonderful dinner I had planned for last night - I was too frazzled to attempt a new recipe then - and had glass of wine and admired my needle/thread keeper from Aniza. She also sent a lovely Old Willow thread and some really beautiful batick fabric in purples and greens which I don't think my photos truly show off correctly. Without further ado, here is my wonderful exchange from Aniza! Thank you again Aniza - it was soooo worth the wait.

November 7, 2005

Coming up Tulips?

Here is my progress on my GH Angel of Tulips. Boy was it wishful thinking that Danielle and I would finish it in one week's time! We both have been busy with exchange pieces, she more than I, and as a result I at least have not finished my piece. But I don' t have too much to go and it's not planned as a gift yet so I'm not worried about it.

I did finish putting together my SBEBB ornament tonight. I'm not 100% thrilled with the finished results but it's still turned out very nicely I think. I have to stop being such a perfectionist with my pieces. They are homemade and they should look like they are, not as if they were made by a machine. But I so want anything I send out to another stitcher to be perfect! Do you know what I mean?

Tonight I hope to put in the starting stitches for my holiday sampler house. I already know what I'm going to stitch so that's a good thing. Our Legacy organizer had us post a list of likes so I also have some ideas for what to include in my package to my partner. That's a definite plus as I hate shopping!

November 5, 2005

Little Pink Houses for You and Me...

Today I stitched and finished the latest Essy's Friends Kit which is a Pink House fob. It is absolutely the cutest thing. It went together quite easily until I had to attach the ribbon. You insert the ribbon and whip stitch it but the instructions say for the bead to be on top of the ribbon. It took me a while to figure out how to get this to lay right and I ended up with two beads on top because I wanted to make sure the ribbon stays secured. Here is a close up so you can see the bead detail.

I went to Walmart this morning and of course they didn't have what I needed but I did buy a piece of foam core poster board and used that for finishing my ornament. It's probably going to be thicker than what was used in the directions but I just couldn't drive to Portland for just one thing. I have two more steps to finish it off which I hope to do this evening.

I also spent two hours raking and bagging leaves so my yard is once again clean but I have no expectation that it will stay that way for long. The trees in my yard are pretty much bare but my neighbor has an oak and they always hold onto their leaves the longest. Hopefully they will stay in her yard and not cross over the line!

November 4, 2005

Ornament Exchange HD

Tonight I finished my ornament for the SBEBB Christmas Ornament exchange! I need to pick up some foam core board before I can finish it. I'm going to go to Walmart tomorrow morning and I hope they have what I need because if they don't it means a trip to Portland and AC Moore. I really don't want to have to travel 40 minutes each way just for one item. The traffic will be horrendous around the mall on a Saturday.

I've also decided to use the same design for another exchange so it will be a bit before I can show a photo. I've cut another piece of fabric so it's all ready to start. However, I think tonight I will start the new Essy's Friends kit that came in the mail today. Yippee! It's really cute and I love the fabric color. If you haven't seen it, here is a link to Pink House which is this month's kit. I don't think it will take too long to stitch and I'm familiar with the finishing technique so that's a plus. I'm off to start my house....

November 3, 2005

Stitch group night

Tonight was my weekly stitching night at the quilt shop in town. It is such a highlight of my week, a chance to get together with a really nice group of ladies and laugh and talk and stitch. The group is mainly quilters but they also knit, crochet and do penny rugs so there's always a lot of variety to see every week. I'm so glad I found the group - the store is literally across the street from me so it's close and convenient. By the time Thursday rolls around, I really need stitch night. My project tonight was my Christmas ornament so I can't show you a picture but it's now about 2/3rds of the way done. I really like the design and I may even get it finished this evening. Definitely done by Saturday so I am going to do the finishing and get that out of the way. Then it's on to another Legacay sampler house and some more ornaments!

November 1, 2005

Angel of Tulips

Here is my progress as of Sunday on my SAL with Danielle on GH's Angel of Tulips. I probably won't get any more time on this piece until the weekend as I'm now dilligently stitching on my SBEBB Christmas ornament exchange. I really like the new design I'm working on. It only calls for three colors but they are so crisp and sharp on the fabric which is 32 ct. Lambswool - one of my favorite fabrics to work with. I think I will need to stitch this one for myself too!