December 29, 2010

Advent Wrap Up

I hope that you and yours enjoyed a wonderful Christmas holiday and Boxing Day for those who celebrate that day too.  Ours was lovely - quiet and just close family and friends so it was really nice.

Here is a photo of the final gifts from my Advent exchange.  I received a wonderful Stickfee Christmas tree chart, a wonderful little votive wrapper made out of cute snowman fabric and the final gift was a biscournu to match my needlebook, scissor fob and scissor pocket.  Just the prettiest set.

We've finally had our first significant snow of the year and it looks like it should for December in Maine.  I'm not sure how long it will last as it's supposed to warm up towards the end of the week but at least it's seasonal looking for now. 

December 22, 2010

Advent Catching Up

This month is flying by so quickly and I have fallen down on my plan to update my blog daily with the goodies I've been opening every day from my Advent exchange.  It has been so much fun to come home to open up a little gift each night after work and first thing with tea on the weekends.  Here are some of the photos I took.  These are the gifts from Days 12-17.

Day 18 brought this gorgeous scissor pocket which matches the needlebook and scissor fob I received earlier.  Dane does the most beautiful stitching and finishing - I am so blessed!

Day 19 brought more lovely silver ornaments like the ones in the photo above and Day 20 was another great package of beads and yesterday was more yummy chocolates.  Today brought a great package of stickers perfect for scrapbooking.  I will be very sorry to see this "one present a day" thing come to an end but we will definitely be doing it again next year I think.

I'm off to finish some gift wrapping and continue working on some knitted gifts.  There is no hope that they will be done in time for Christmas but maybe not long after if I keep at it. 

December 11, 2010

Advent Day 10 and 11 and some stitching!

My wonderful advent exchange continues with Day 10 and 11.  I opened the wonderful blue scissors yesterday and today was a gorgeous fob that matches the needlebook Dane made me earlier.  Dane's stitching is just lovely and the stork scissors perfectly match the bird theme of the fob and the needlebook.  Thank you Dane!

Today for the first time in at least two weeks I picked up a needle and stitched on the current block of my C@HRH piece.  What grand plans I had when I started this back in January - to be finished in time for Christmas this year!  LOL  So much for plans - once I do, something comes along to throw a monkey wrench into into them.  Maybe 2011 will be the year of no plans or goals whatsoever?  I might end up being more productive.  As tempting as the 15 project fever that's going around the cyber stitching world is, I'm going to sit on the sidelines and observe!

December 9, 2010

Advent Update

I've continued to enjoy opening more advent gifts this week.  Day 6 brought a gorgeous needlebook in my favorite color combo of blue and brown and Day 7 was a skein of wonderful Tentakulum threads in greens and golds which I have the perfect fabric for.  Now I just need to pick a pattern to use them with. 

Days 8 and 9 brought some lovely silver ornaments and some super yummy chocolates from Germany. What could be better?  Nothing I can think of!

I have managed to finish another Christmas gift but there are so many more on the list I'm trying not to get overwhelmed.  I will just do my best to get them done and since it's family, hopefully they will be understanding if they don't arrive on Christmas day.  It will prolong the holiday giving don't you think?

December 5, 2010

Advent Day 4 and 5

Yesterday Barbara and I had a nice get together in Belfast.  When I got home, I unpacked my bag and there was my camera - which of course never made it out of the bag when we were together.  But that's okay because Barbara was stitching on an exchange piece so it still needs to be kept secret. Maybe one or the other of us will remember to get a picture when we get together in January.

Rather than work on stitching, I spent the time knitting on a Christmas gift and got a fair amount done.  I will continue to work on this with the goal of finishing it up by Saturday to start the next planned Christmas gift.  

And here is a photo of my Day 4 and Day 5 Advent gifts.  Day 4 was a great little container of beads that I think I will incorporate into a knitted bracelet project I have been wanting to try and today was some yummy treats which I'm going to try and save until this afternoon with a cup of tea.  Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!  I've got the Christmas CDs going and am putting out my decorations to get into the mood for the holidays. 

December 3, 2010

Advent Day 2 and 3

 So my wonderful Advent adventures continue with Day 2 revealing this wonderful Advent ribbon.  It is absolutely adorable with little Christmas elves, a reindeer and ornaments.  I have to discover the best way to showcase this really wonderful piece.  Day 3 revealed some wonderful Christmas stickers that will be perfect for scrapbooking.  A great end to the work week!

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Belfast to get together with Barbara.  We are hoping to be able to get together at least once per month during this winter so we can get some stitching time together and make the winter go more quickly.  I now Barbara has had some snow but so far we've not been blessed with anything down south but I know it's coming!  Hope you have something fun planned for your weekend.

December 1, 2010

Advent Adventure - Day 1

 I'm in a very fun exchange with a private online stitching group I belong to.  We are doing a 25 days of Christmas exchange just like an Advent calendar.  Above is the wonderful box of goodies I received from Dane in Germany.  Since today is December 1st, I got to open my first present to find this wonderful votive holder nestled into a little fabric holder with two great seasonal fabrics.  Isn't it adorable?  Each box had to include two hand made items.  I'm so looking forward to revealing all the wonderful things Dane sent and I hope you are too!

My box went to Rachel in Utah and I'm hoping she likes everything I included.  Hopefully this will give her some incentive to update her blog!  LOL

I have one other Christmas related item to get out in the mail tomorrow that is a single ornament exchange.  I was supposed to get it in the mail today but I forgot the sweet goodie I have to include so I'm off to get the package sealed up and to the post office tomorrow.

October 28, 2010

My grannie is growing

My granny square afghan I mean.  I've completed two full pattern repeats with one and a half left to go.  I have been trying to put at least 30 minutes into these each night before I go to bed but now that it's gotten larger, I don't always finish a full repeat before turning out the light.  The picture's not the greatest as it was taken with overhead lighting in my bedroom where this afghan is intended to be used.  I think it will complement the coverlet pretty nicely.

And, because he's just so cute and sweet and it never hurts to get a little doggy sweetness, is my Beau looking at his mama and wondering why I am fiddling with the camera and not paying attention to him.  Never mind the 20 minute petting he just had.  What he really wants is to go for another walk but he still has a while to go before the final before bedtime walk.  It seems he feels he should be going out earlier and earlier each night with the loss of daylight happening sooner each evening.  Unfortunately, it's that time of year and a week from Sunday we change back our clocks.  I really hate that part of winter.

October 25, 2010

How does time go by so swiftly?

I have an issue with time, I confess.  I'm beginning to think it's an OCD thing but I feel like I spend each and every day rushing madly around, ruled by time.  Tied to the alarm clock to get up, the rush to get out the door on time, to work on time, to a meeting on time, back to my office to squeeze in some time to get something accomplished, rushing home to try and get some time in on my house or studying or even worse, bringing work home because I didn't have enough time to get it done while I was there. Worrying about how much needs to get done and how little time I have in which to do it.  ARGH!!!  It's crazy to live life this way but I feel like I've been on this train for so long, I don't know how to get off.  I start each day with good intentions of not letting it get to me but it does.  Sheesh, I'm thinking about what time I need to get up tomorrow so I can rush to Farmington for a meeting and rush back to make a veteran's ceremony (which I know I won't make) and get ready for the board meeting I have tomorrow afternoon.  HELP!  How do you get off this train?  Are there things you do to slow yourself down and enjoy your life without feeling its rushing by?

Whew, if your still with me after that rant, here is what I found a little time to work on over the past two weeks.  It's Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow.  I'm finding this a bit easier going than the previous block because there's not as much concentrated stitching in this one.  Although I do seem to be changing colors quite often.  I'd say I'm about 1/3rd of the way through this block. 

Well, I hope your Monday has been a good one.  We're moving into gloomy weather this week with cold and damp and gray.  I'm hoping things will warm up a bit and dry out for Sunday's trick or treat night.  I don't want to be left with all the candy I bought!!!

October 12, 2010

October SBQ

This is the first time I've ever actually posted an answer to Lee's SBQs but I've wanted to.  This one has to do with birth order and how it (if it does) affect your crafting.  Here's the question:

Where do you fall in the birth order of your family?  Do you think that birth order traits have had an effect on your choice of hobby and craft? How so?

I am technically a middle child in that I have an older and younger sister and I do have a lot of the traits of a middle and more specifically, middle born one:  loner, quiet shy, impatient and uptight. Middles are also peacemakers, mediators, able to keep secrets, not spoiled, take risks, are realistic, get along well with others, read people well, independent, loyal to supporters, competitive and imaginative.  I also hate confrontation, am quite suspicious and cynical.   

However, in some ways I am also a first born in that my oldest sister was not in the picture that much while I was growing up and it was my little sister and I for many years so during those years, I was a first born.  And as a result of this, I have many of the "compliant" first born traits:  nurturer, care giver, reliable, conscientious, cooperative, grin and bear it mentality.  I'm also fairly patient, definitely organized and have strong powers of concentration.

How do I think this translates to my choice of crafting?  I think any handwork is sort of a quiet type of pursuit and something loners may be drawn to.  I am most comfortable with structure and stability and there is that in stitching; following a design or pattern brings a soothing sense of uniformity (first born traits).  It definitely requires patience and being organized and you must concentrate on what your working on or you have to frog.  And hand crafts are traditionally seen as women's pursuits and women are traditionally seen as nurturers and caregivers which are first born traits. 

This was an interesting question to answer and I look forward to seeing what others have written about this so please leave me a comment if you've answered this month's SBQ please!

And thanks for your kind comments about my birthday exchange stitching.  I appreciate them!

October 11, 2010

From the archives

After a super busy work week and weekend, I don't have a lot to share stitching wise.  I had a very productive weekend running errands and taking care of yard work - it's leaf raking season - and by the time I sat down at night, I was too tired to concentrate on stitching.  So I decided to share a photo of an exchange I made for a private birthday exchange.  My partner's birthday was in September - the 20th so with everything going on with my dad, I was really pleased to finish this and get it into the mail to arrive on time.

I used Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manner. I took one of the larger motifs and finished it into a diamond wall hanging.  I found a batik fabric at my local quilt shop that was perfect for the backing piece.  The ric rac trim was less than expertly applied - it was hard to get it to do what I wanted and lay flat.  The recipient seemed to like it for which I was very glad.  I used the called for Valdani 3 strand threads on a piece of fabric from my linen.  I must say I did not care for stitching with this thread and I'm not sure why.  Maybe it was the fabric I used - some kind of even weave - or the thickness of the three threads together but I'm not sure I will use them to stitch this chart for myself. 

Anyway, off to see if I can't get some stitching done.  Hope your week started off well!

October 4, 2010

Fall Weather projects

I have been dying to pick up a crochet hook and make a Granny Stripe blanket but I'm trying to use stuff from my stash first.  I have had these colors in my craft closet for at least a year so last week I finally pulled out the project bag and got hooking.  This is my progress so far.  This will be for my bed and it's getting to be the kind of weather where I'm going to be happy for a little extra warmth.

I also put a few more stitches into the Plum Street Samplers ornie from this year's JCS Halloween issue.  I'm really liking how it is coming along. I'm hoping that I can finish it up this weekend but there are lots of leaves that are going to need raking so we shall see on that.  Tis the season!

October 3, 2010

There are winners!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented regarding the giveaways for my belated blogaversary. And for your sympathy on my dad's passing - it is greatly appreciated. Our stitching world is filled with so many kind hearts and I'm glad to be a part of it.

But on to the good stuff! To pick the winners, I assigned everyone a number based on the order of posted comments and if you specified you wanted to win a particular giveaway and then used the random number generator here to pick the following three winners:

Giveaway #1 goes to Connie at Wandering This World

Giveaway #2 goes to Cathey at Pumpkin Patch & Company

Giveaway #3 goes to Sophanne at Becky Knits Too

Connie, Cathey and Sophanne, please leave me a comment with your email address so that I can get in touch for mailing addresses and I will get your packages out to you by the end of this week!

September 26, 2010

Belated Blogaversary Giveaways

First off, thanks for your kind words about my dad's passing, I really appreciate your sympathies. He lived a wonderful life and was surrounded by those that loved him most so I think his passing was as peaceful as possible and for that I feel blessed.

Okay, I'm finally ready to post my blogaversary giveaways even though my anniversary was in August. The pile I had gathered was enough for three giveaways so if you are only interested in a particular giveaway, please note that in your comments. Otherwise I will pick three consecutive winners. Just leave me a comment that you'd like to be entered.

Giveaway #1
Trail Creek Farm Fun Sun Summer, HIH Herbert, June Grigg Designs Easter Egg kit, Bent Creek Waiting for Santa and Prairie Moon Chickens?

Giveaway #2
Lavendar Wings Planted Hearts, Trail Creek Farm Dearest Friends, complimentary chart from Rosewood Manor - Wild Tulip, The Victoria Sampler July birthday needleroll, a pc of 28ct 9x12 Silkweaver linen in Wisteria and assorted threads.

Giveaway #3
HIH Home Sweet Home, Erica Michaels Random Thoughts of Autumn, PS November, Assorted threads & a 9x12 pc of 32ct Lugana in Platinum

I will keep this open until October 3rd before picking a winner. I will probably keep going through my stash to add things in so don't be surprised if you get more than pictured!

September 24, 2010

Block 6

Sometime last week I finally finished up Block 6 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. I love how it turned out but there was a LOT of stitching in this block! Here's the photo of my piece so far.

I've pulled the colors for Block 5 and might even start that this evening. I'm also working on the Plum Street Sampler ornament from the JCS Halloween ornie issue so I might pick that up instead. It's going to be very cute when it's finally finished.

Hope you enjoy a great weekend. I finally photographed the stash for my blogaversary giveaway and there was enough to split it into three packages so I will post the photos of them tomorrow. Off to stitch!

September 20, 2010

William A.Kasmarek

April 30, 1920 to September 19, 2010
We love you dad (also known as g-pop!)

September 16, 2010

My first Halloween finish this year

Smile, it's almost Halloween!

I finished my Halloween ornie on Tuesday evening and immediately started the Plum Street Samplers ornament. I love how quick these stitch up. I'm going to look for some tiny black pom-pom fringe to attach to the outside of this and turn it into a hanging pillow ornament. I hope I can find some around here. Thanks for stopping by! I plan to post about my giveaway on Saturday so please stop by again.

September 13, 2010

It's getting to be the most wonderful time of the year!

I love, love, love fall in New England and especially Halloween. It's taken a cooler turn and today was quite chilly after all the really hot summer weather we had. It's getting time to start putting away the summer things and get out the fall and winter wear.On Friday, I got my JCS Halloween issue and immediately dove into my stash to pull fabric and threads for several of the designs. This is my progress on the first one I started-Casey Buonaugurio's Jack O Lantern. Next after I finish this will be Plum Street Sampler's Halloween Greetings which you can see peeking out on the cover of the magazine in the photo. Such fun to be stitching Halloween things in the cooler weather.
Over the weekend I also received my JCS ornie issue from 123Stitch as well as this great new Plum Street Sampler design Olga and the Crescent Color threads to go with it. I do believe there will be another design coming from Paula at market this month to complement Olga. I hope so!

I hope you are enjoying some fallish weather and getting into the spirit of the season!

September 11, 2010

A birthday treasure

Is this not one of the cutest little stitching treasures you have ever seen? My sister gave it to me for my birthday this year. She found it at a client's house when she went to deliver some chairs. She said the lady had the most unbelievable collection of sewing related items she has ever seen and when she mentioned that I had started collecting things too, the lady sold her this little bird. My sister put in the scissors and I put on the thimble but the spools of thread came with the bird. The little puff on his back is for needles. You see it displayed with some of the other sewing treasures I was gifted with but I will save the details on those for later.
I would guess that maybe this was a homemade gift for another sewer but who knows. I just think it is so enchanting.

September 8, 2010

It's raining acorns... and stash!

It's the time of year when all of the acorns begin to fall from the trees. As you can see from the photo above, they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. When some of the big ones hit you, they can really hurt. I've been collecting them on my walks with the dog and plan to display them in either some glass jars or bowls for the next few months. I love the shapes, colors and textures of acorns. I think they are a much better by product of the oak trees than the leaves that will soon begin to fall in earnest and require raking and bagging.

In addition to raining acorns, it's been raining stash around here as a result of my "retail therapy" to try and distract me from my life these days and the clearance sale that ABC Stitch Therapy has been having. They bought the inventory of a shop that went out of business and have been marking the prices off to get rid of it. I have bought waaaay too much that will be coming in a few more lots but here's what I purchased the first time:
Blue Ribbon Designs Winter White Woodland, Autumn Leaves and Sunflower Seeds and Hugs and Kisses
Primitive Traditions Abigail Colby's Work Basket Accessories, PS December and June
And finally Trilogy's Summer Tree, BBD Loose Feathers #33 Keepsake Box and Pinkeep, My Heart is True, Loose Feathers #38 Summer Basket, Loose Feathers #35 Peacock Pinkeep and PS November which ended up being a duplicate and will be included in my upcoming blog giveaway.

Aye yay yay when do I ever think I'm going to stitch all this???? I'm a bit embarrassed at all I have purchased this past month. I truly need to go on a stash diet for at least another year but there are the remainder of the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart charts and the upcoming market stash that's sure to tempt me. Gotta go get me some will power!

September 6, 2010

Christmas Ornament Finished

Sorry for the lousy photo but I was too lazy to iron this when I got back to my house. This is finished ornament I mentioned in an earlier post - my only finish for August. It's the Midsummer Night Designs ornament from the 2007 JCS ornie issue. I used the called for DMC and some fabric out of my stash - I know it's 32 ct but I'm not sure of the color.

I got back home in time to mow my lawn and water my plants - am I the only one that is tired of watering every day? We haven't had much rain lately and after 3 months, I'm tired of dragging out the hose and winding it back on the holder. But I'm not sure I'm ready to rip everything out and put fall mums in - seems a bit too early for that although they are available in the stores and nurseries in the area. Maybe a few more weeks of watering.....

September 5, 2010

UFO Sunday

Today is UFO Sunday with an email stitching group I belong to. I pulled out Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow before I came down to NH to see if I could regain my interest in stitching on the piece. So that's the piece I'm using for UFO Sunday today. Here is where I was the last time I worked on it.

And here is where I am as of today - not bad for a few days. There's still a lot of fill left for the pond area and the snow under the sleigh but I think I will be able to continue working on this and get it done - at least by the end of the month.

September 4, 2010

The best of intentions

is not necessarily enough to get things done sometimes. I had planned to have a giveaway for my blog anniversary on the 21st of August but life got in the way. A lot has happened over the last month and a half, largely related to my father and his health and that has kept me from doing a lot of the things I intended to do this summer. I have driven back and forth to Pittsburgh 3 times in the last 6 weeks and hope to never have to make that trip again. We have moved my dad to my sister's house in NH and started hospice so it's likely I won't be doing any road trips other than back and forth from my house to her house. I will do the giveaway this month instead but I need to take a photo of the goodies for the giveaway first.

To try and catch up on a few things, I'm going to start with the wonderful birthday gifts I received from my partner in a private online stitching group I belong to. Since my birthday is in July and the 4th is also in July, I requested something patriotic that I could display in my house. I have nothing other than a small pin pillow from an exchange last year or the year before. This is the fantastic wall hanging I received from Jodi who does not have a blog.
Jodi also sent along some stitching related goodies in addition to the wonderful piece she stitched. She sent some great patriotic fabrics that will come in handy if I ever get around to stitching the patriotic items I have in my stash. She also sent the wonderful red strawberry emery which I have displayed with my other stitching related items and some great threads and a lovely heart tin finished by a lady she knows.
My family also surprised me with some wonderful stitching related items to add to my collection but I will show you those in another post. I did manage to get a little bit of stitching done and finished a birthday present that will be mailed out soon. Once it's been received I will show you the piece - I really like how it turned out. And here is a picture of the ornament I managed to start. I did finish it but need to take an updated photo. Can't remember which JCS issue it's out of at the moment and that's back in ME so I will try to confirm that when I get back up there.

July 13, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

It has been very warm here over the past few weeks and some of us are feeling kind of dragged down by the heat and humidity. I never thought this FL girl would mind it but I guess I've lost my heat tolerance living up here. And Beau's not such a big fan either. We've been taking extremely slooooow walks around the block and just hanging in the A/C.
As a result of the heat, I haven't felt like blogging much and there hasn't been an over abundance of stitching or other kinds of crafting either. I must confess I'm getting bored with working on my C@HRH and am contemplating putting it away for a month. Since there's no way I'd be done this piece in time for the Christmas holiday, I'm inclined to do that. Here is where I am on Block 4 at this point. I've really been trying to get it done but it just seems to go on for ever.
In the hopes of jump starting my stitching mojo, I'm going to start working on this - a birthday exchange piece using Valdani 3 strand floss - a first for me. This picture is really lousy because it was very cloudy tonight when I got home. I'm not sure what the fabric is but it's a 28 ct. from my stash - possibly mushroom lugana. The chart I'm stitching calls for using all three strands of the floss on nothing smaller than 28 count. This should prove to be a nice change from the 40ct of C@HRH - maybe I will be able to see it without using cheaters!

Hope you're staying cool where ever you are and thanks for stopping in.

July 2, 2010

June Recap

Well, as far as goals and stitching went, it was not a very productive month for me. While I did make a tremendous amount of progress on the fourth block of C@HRH, I was not able to finish it. I did make a bit more progress on filling in the ice but there's still a fair amount to go. I hope to get some work on it done this weekend and have a better photo to show. Blogger is being uncooperative at the moment.

I only had two June goals and unfortunately, neither of them was accomplished.

1. Stitch a Christmas ornament - already kitted up Midsummer Night's design from the 2007 JCS issue. NOT DONE
2. Stitch Block 4 of C@HRH - NOT DONE

July's goals are going to be very similar to June's with the hope of actually accomplishing at least one!

1. Finish Block 4 of C@HRH
2. Stitch Christmas ornament
3. Finish one pair of UFO socks

I'm at my sister's for 4th of July - lots of family, grilling, libations and dogs with some pool time and celebrating with family and good friends. Hope you are having a wonderful 4th of July weekend too!

June 22, 2010

Hard to put down the needle!

I uploaded my last paper for my last formal class on Saturday and picked up my needle that afternoon. I found it very hard to get used to not having to read anything for classes and felt guilty that I spent most of Sunday watching HGTV and stitching. But I'm sure I'll get over that soon! LOL
Here is my progress on C@HRH. There's a lot of fill in this block - at least at the top so I'm concentrating on getting that filled in and then it's on to the easier part at the bottom.

Hope your week is off to a good start! It's humpday tomorrow and then all downhill to the weekend.

June 14, 2010

Weekend Stitch#ss Results

This weekend I rebelled a bit and instead of reading for my class, I spent Saturday evening and most of yesterday stitching. A girl can stay away from the needle only so long before she has a breakdown and needs a fix I tell you! Here is the result of my stitch%ss - progress made on Block 4 (technically Block 6 if I were going in order left to right). The picture is pretty lousy because we've been without sun for the last three days. It broke through a little after a brisk burst of rain but disappeared quickly as the sun set. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny so I will try and get a better photo - maybe with a little progress to show too!

Thank you so much everyone for your nice comments on my finished ornament. I really like it too. I am way behind in blog visiting which I hope to rectify shortly as a week from tomorrow I am officially done with formal classes. It's a very good thing because I've got a serious case of scholastic burnout going. Hope you had a great Monday!

June 6, 2010

May Update

I am a little late posting my recap of my May goals but here they are:

1. Finish Block 3 of C@HRH - Done
2. Finish a Christmas ornament - Started but not finished
3. Start Block 4 of C@HRH - Not Done

I did finish the ornie I started over Memorial Day weekend today. It is Yule Rejoice by Primrose Needleworks from the 2008 JCS issue. I really, really love this ornament!
My goals for June are as follows:

1. Stitch a Christmas ornament - already kitted up Midsummer Night's design from the 2007 JCS issue.
2. Stitch Block 4 of C@HRH - I put a few stitches into that today.

I'm only doing two goals for the moment since I'm still trying to get my last formal class out of the way. It's legal issues and is taking a tremendous amount of time for reading and writing. But class will be done on 6/22 so maybe I will get both of my June goals realized this month. We shall see!