December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I wish all of you a safe and joyous new year!  Over the last two days, I've managed to put away my Christmas decorations, done all the laundry and waded through quite a pile of newspapers and old magazines and put a lot of stuff in the recycling bin.  I plan to start tackling my office/craft room space tomorrow.  I need to clear off my project table and put away all of the crafting materials that are strewn everywhere.  Gotta have a clean workspace to enhance creativity!  I also need to complete the end of year filing and set up a new computer printer!

I hope that there will be some time for UFO stitching as it's UFO Sunday tomorrow and I want to pull out my HAED Storeykeeper which is part of my WIPocolypse project list as well.  And I plan to wade through my stash to pull materials for a BBD SAL project I'm going to be starting with Britt.

December 28, 2011

Sweet Christmas Present

I received this adorable and very unique pincushion from a friend.  Other than my 25 Days of Christmas exchange, this was the only stitching related gift I received this year.  I think it is very clever, don't you?

As you can see I'm doing some end of year sprucing up of my blog in anticipation of the new year.  I finally figured out how to add a page for my WIPocolypse projects and I'm going to redo my blog list to add a rotation as there are so many wonderful blogs out there.  I'm going to try and focus on a variety and look for stitchers other than the "favs/superstars" we all visit daily. 

December 27, 2011

My 2012 TUSAL Container

I joined the TUSAL for 2012 after seeing so many postings about it on various blogs this year.  I don't normally save my orts but my hope is by joining this SAL, I will be motivated to do a lot of stitching in 2012 so that I can fill my jar.  I found this little glass container at Michael's last week and loved the shape of it.

Now, I must empty it of its current contents before it can be used appropriately, but I don't think that will be too hard as it is filled with Dove Peppermint Bark squares - delish!

This week I hope to make a list of all the projects I plan to work on in 2012 so that I can fill this little jar full at least once during the year!

December 26, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Closing

I wanted to share some of the last few gifts from my 25 days of Christmas as this was such a fun exchange.  My partner is a very talented stitcher but she also crochets and sews as evidence of these wonderful exchange presents.  I love the coordinating fabric and the usefulness of each item. 

My Christmas Eve gift was this clever little sewing small using a jeans pocket and the fabric that matches my other smalls.  Opening the flap reveals a wonderful pincushion and is such a clever design.  Nancy said the pattern is from the internet.  Isn't it cute?

This adorable stitched pocket was my day 25 gift.  I love the stitching on the front cover and the little pockets inside a perfect for holding a package of needles or my little measuring square.  I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of these wonderful smalls. This was the second year we did this type of exchange and I'm hoping we will be doing it again next year as I've got some great ideas for what I'd like to work on in 2012.

It's back to work tomorrow unfortunately.  We still have some snow on the ground from last Thursday and it feels much colder here than it was in NH.  My oldest sister and her boyfriend are winging their way back to OH and I wish that we all could have stayed together longer.  Maybe next year!

December 25, 2011

Merry Chrismas!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!

December 20, 2011


Michael's was having a really great deal on framing a few weeks back - 60% +10% for a total of 70% off.  I decided it was high time to get my With Thy Needle and Thread mystery sampler framed.  This cost me less than $90 by the time all the discount was applied! 

It's not the greatest photo because the lighting in my house is so bad but I'm really thrilled with the finished piece.  I used archival glass so there is no glare when you look at it straight on.  I'm always a little leery of taking a piece to Michael's or Joann's because you never know who's doing the framing but the new Michael's about 20 minutes from my house seems to have a pretty good framer who knows what she's doing - thank goodness!

December 18, 2011

Has anyone seen my Christmas Mojo?

As usual, my holiday planning and prep got off to a strong start but has since dwindled to barely discernible motion.  Despite a plan and great motivation, I got knocked off track and am still trying to find my way back.  I don' think it's going to happen. 

I did actually get decorations on my tree including my wonderful Day 19 gift from my 25 Days of Christmas partner.  Yesterday was a wonderful mini box of See's chocolates which didn't last long enough to be photographed and today was a really cute "scrunchy" ornament in red and white which goes perfectly with my tree decoration this year.

We finally had a sunny day today so I took a photo of the fabric and thread combos I've gotten on previous days.   These are going to be great for finishing.

I hope you are way ahead of me with your Christmas planning, shopping and preparations.  If not, you only have 6 days left to get going!!

December 13, 2011

Christmas in the City

Over the weekend I went to visit a dear friend in Connecticut and we went into NYC on Saturday.  This was my first time ever in the "Big Apple" and it was a wonderful day.  The weather was not too cold and despite the massive holiday crowds, it was pretty easy to get around town.  We walked our legs off!

Breakfast at Times Square

Some of the holiday displays

Radio City Music Hall

Crafters Mecca

Central Park

It was a lovely weekend and I can't wait to go back again.  Hope you had a great weekend too!

December 7, 2011

Christmas Blooms

I was in Trader Joe's just before Thanksgiving and they had a display of Christmas cacti at the front door as you entered.  I decided to buy one and it has it's first full bloom this week.  I'm not that good with green things so my fingers are crossed I can keep it alive to see it in full bloom.
I also wanted to share my Day 6 and 7 presents from my Christmas exchange.  Day 6 was a wonderful new pair of scissors and today was a package of really cute Christmas emery boards.  They are perfectly timed because I desperately need to give myself a manicure!

December 5, 2011

Days 4 and 5

The fun continues with opening my 25 Days of Christmas gift packages.  Yesterday was a really neat bead organizer which will come in handy for some new beads I bought to work on a wreath using make up pads.  I saw it in a magazine last year and just finally got around to buying beads.  I'm not sure if I will get it finished in time for Christmas but it should definitely be ready for next year.

Today was a really lovely sewn 14" pillow sham using some really gorgeous Christmas fabrics.  Didn't my partner do an incredible job.  I am pretty sure I have a pillow square somewhere in the house - I just have to remember where I stashed it!

Hope your Monday was a smooth and easy one.  Only 4 more days till the weekend!  

December 4, 2011

UFO Sunday Stitching

The first Sunday of the month is a UFO stitching day with my online stitching group.  Today, I brought out my HAED Story Keeper which hasn't seen the light of day in quite a while.  I was surprised at how little stitching was needed to complete page 1 and managed to do that and start page 2.  Now I only have 28 more pages to go!!!

This is one of my WIPocolypse pieces for next year so hopefully it will be seeing a lot more daylight in 2012.

December 3, 2011

Christmas Exchange - Day 2 and 3

Day 2 of my Christmas exchange was a fabulous Sees dark chocolate and almond candy bar and today was a package of Sour Skittles.  The candy bar did not last long enough for a photograph but I did manage to get a picture of the skittles. 

I have been working on a knit Christmas gift today and have managed top make some great progress.  I've been watching sappy holiday movies on Lifetime which is not my usual viewing choice but it's kept me parked so that I can make some progress.  My hope is to finish the cowl I'm working on tonight so that I can start something new tomorrow.

December 2, 2011

Best Parade Walker Ever

My fur baby Beau is a Treeing Walker Coonhound.  Tonight, he was a very special parade walking coonhound.  Tonight was the town's annual holiday kick off parade and my company had a float.  I decided to see if Beau would walk along.  He isn't always comfortable around a lot of noise but he did absolutely great.  And he was a huge hit.  He loves kids and he was very glad to give kisses and get some pats.  And of course as many pieces of dropped popcorn as he could scarf down while keeping up with the parade float!!  LOL  It seems our holiday season has begun.

December 1, 2011

Se abre la caja/Laatikko on avattu/Sa okno/Mae'r blwch yn agor/La boite est ouverte

The title above is the translation of "the box is opened" in Spanish, Finnish, Slovak, Welsh and French.  Today starts my 25 days of Christmas exchange.  My box came from Nancy in San Diego and it was so fun to slice into that white USPS flat rate box tonight. 

My first gift was this adorable little notebook which I am going to label as my 2012 Stitching Journal.  I plan to use it to finally track my stitching for the coming year so I can remember when I started pieces and the materials I used.  

Last night I slowly started to put out my Christmas decorations including this primitive little tree that my sister gifted me with last year.  It's looking a bit bare at the moment but if you look closely at the foot of it, there are lots more wonderful little packages to be opened - 24 more in fact!  If they're anything like today's goodie, I'm in for a real spoiling.

I'm off to find my labeler so I can tag my new little notebook and then I'm going to drag up another box from the basement and get to "Christmas-fying" my house.  That bare tree looks pitiful!

November 30, 2011


I am pleased to find that I have successfully completed my first ever NaBloPoMo.  I managed to post ever day during November and didn't need to rely on prompts.   I'm sure my posts weren't the most well written or thought out within the blogosphere but I am pleased with the results.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented this month.  I sincerely appreciate it.  I'm going to try and continue blogging as regularly as possible in the month of December and on into 2012 so I hope you continue to stop by and visit.

Congratulations to all you others out there who have completed the NaBloPoMo challenge!

November 29, 2011


I persisted with BBDs Winter Wonderland and managed to replace what I had to frog and go on to fill out a bit more.  I love the colors in this piece and it was hard to zip it away into its project envelope but I really need to be focusing on getting some gifts completed. 

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of the month and that means only 1 more month left of 2011.  Has this year flow by for anyone else?  It certainly has for me.

November 28, 2011

Anticipating December 1st

Today I had a package waiting for me when I got home.  My own 25 days of Christmas exchange package had arrived from all the way on the other side of the US.  Despite the temptation to open it up immediately, I've set it aside to break into on Thursday. 

Was it hard for anyone else to get back in the swing of things today?  After having 5 days away from work, I found myself very unproductive.  I hope a bit more sleep and a good dose of caffeine in the morning will help make me more effective tomorrow!  Hope your Monday was a good one.

November 27, 2011

A Little Winter Wonderland Rewind

This was my progress the last time I stitched on BBDs Winter Wonderland.

And here is what it looks like after some frogging.  As I got closer to the right hand edge of the roof, I made the very unwelcome realization that I was one stitch off - an extra stitch that I never noticed until I got to filling in for the last motif.  I had to frog the right side of the roof, remove the right hand chimney and the bird to the left of that before continuing on.  

I hate to frog but there just wasn't any way to fudge the extra stitch and have it look right.  I hope to continue working on this a bit more tonight so I can try and replace the bird and the chimney.

November 26, 2011

Time to Switch Holiday Focus

While I've had extra time off this holiday, I've gotten some stitching done on Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. 

The house has been pretty loud with lots more people and noise than Beau is used to at home.  I caught him snuggled into the blankets in the basement where the kids have been beading and watching TV.  I think we're both going to be ready to head back home tomorrow.

November 25, 2011


We fried our turkey yesterday but the day after, FRY-day has also become a tradition in our family.  You can't let that extra oil you bought just in case go to waste so it gets used up to fry a variety of different foods including snickers bars, Oreos, Twinkies, old cheesecake, french fries, sweet potato fries and just about any thing else we can think of to freeze and then dip in batter and drop in hot peanut oil. 

This year I was out meeting up with two former work colleagues so I missed the actual fry-fest and thus have no photos to share but the moans and groans I came home to indicate it was another successful day after Thanksgiving.  This year I am thankful I missed it!!

November 24, 2011

Thankful for Family and Feasting

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are finding much to be thankful for today on the traditional day Americans give thanks for all that they have.  Hopefully, we give thanks for all that we have much more often than on the fourth Thursday of the 11th month of the year.  I hope you are enjoying this day and all that it brings no matter where you are!

November 23, 2011

Thankful for Organized Chefs

My BIL is a fabulous cook and he takes the Thanksgiving feast process very seriously.  He always starts his morning with coffee and builds a task list which usually includes the times things are going into the oven.  We fry our turkey so today's project was to brine the turkey.  We also prepped as many sides as possible.  I was responsible for making squash casserole and a pumpkin pecan cheesecake from the November issue of Southern Living.  The cheesecake is baking and the casserole is in the downstairs fridge waiting for its turn in the oven. 

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are off to a good start!

November 22, 2011

Thankful For Stitching Exchanges

The past few days my dining room has looked like Santa Central with wrapping paper, bows, scissors and tape all over the place.  Once again, I signed up for a 25 Days of Christmas exchange with a private group I belong to.  I began gathering items back in May but I always seem to come down to the wire on gathering the last few things I needed to complete my list. 

I've been wrapping and tagging my items for the past couple of days until finally everything was sent off in the mail today - a day past my self imposed deadline.  My box is due to arrive at it's destination by Friday which is well in advance of December 1st and the opening of the first gift - just in case it gets delayed.  Which I'm sure it won't!!!

November 21, 2011

Thankful for Talented Neighbors

I had the loveliest surprise waiting for me when I got home this evening.  It had been a very hectic day at work, a rush to take the dog to be groomed and then an appointment in Portland and then back to pick up the dog by 7pm.  Upon checking my mailbox when I finally got home, I found a card from the kind and incredibly talented scrapbooker/card maker who lives a few streets over and has two very sweet dogs that Beau adores, Gracie Mae and Sadie.  I am the lucky recipient of a "Created by Chris" Thanksgiving card.  Chris makes cards that she sells to benefit the local animal welfare society and I have yet to get one as they sell out very quickly.  Now I am lucky enough to have one of my own and for that I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too Chris!

November 20, 2011

Thankful for the Kindness of Stitchers

Today I would like to express my thanks for all of those stitchers out there that take the time to write tutorials or guidelines about the finishing techniques they use.  There are a number of them out there and today I used the expertise shared recently by Daffy Cat to finish an ornament.  I used her technique for squaring off my fabric to have straight lines to cut around the finished piece.  It's the generosity of Daffy Cat and others like her that help those of us who are challenged.  They help build and cement this great cyber-stitching world we are a part of and I thank them and you Daffy Cat!

November 19, 2011

A Lovely Day-Photo Heavy!

Today, I traveled to mid-coast Maine to meet up with Barbara and I actually remembered to pack my camera.  On the way, I stopped to take this photo of what I think is Sheepshead Lake.  The sun was brilliant with a chilly breeze - this is what Maine looks like when everyone goes home.

There was very little traffic on the road so I got to Belfast a lot earlier than I expected.  The sun was still shining brightly and I stopped to take this photo as you head down the hill into town.  I love this triangular building that sits on the corner.  

Instead of turning right to head to the Co-Op where Barbara and I meet to sit and stitch, I continued on down to the harbor area.  Many of the older buildings have been repurposed into shops and places to eat.  I love all the color on these buildings.

Here are a couple of pictures in the harbor area.  The photo on the left is across the water and the one on the right is a local dock and warehouse building.

Since I was the first to arrive, I grabbed a table by the big picture windows for maximum stitching light, bought a cup of tea and vegan pumpkin muffin and started knitting.  Barbara arrived a little after 9:30 and we sat and stitched until about 2:00pm.  We both did a bit of shopping at the Co-Op and then headed home.

The picture below captures both our stitching and our snacking which is of course a part of our day.  I brought my Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow piece to work on and made some great progress.

On the way home, I stopped to take this photo looking out over the valley to the ridges running off to north.  The trees have pretty much lost all of their leaves but the pines provide their own color.  Pretty soon this view will be a whole lot whiter!!

On my way home, I needed to stop at LL Bean in Freeport to pick up some snow boots.  They already have the Christmas lights lit so I took a photo as I was leaving the main store.  This was taken at just after 5:00 and it was pretty close to full dark.  I love how the big tree is decorated.

Hope you enjoyed your Saturday where ever it took you!