Friday, December 31, 2010

My Favorite Tree

I used to put a Christmas Tree in every room of the house, all with different themes. It took weeks to put up and weeks to take down. Ever since Kristin went off to college, I haven't been putting as many, and have narrowed it down to 3. One is a very tall pre-lit tree in the foyer with lots and lots of ornaments collect over the years from travels and to commemorate milestones.
The second is a small tree in the kitchen with miniature ornaments and some kitchen related ornaments.
The third is my favorite. It is in the family room and is always a real tree, decorated with multi-colored lights and handmade ornaments. Some were stitched by me, many were gifts over the years. I love putting each and every ornament on the tree, and thinking of the person who stitched it for me. When I take it down, I am sad to say goodbye to these friends, but look forward to next Christmas!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

from Maddy

I received this lovely ornament from Maddy in the ornament exchange on the Crafty Natter Message board.

Maddy remembered that I love blue, so she stitched this one with that in mind, and I love how it turned out!

Thank you Maddy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

from Lesley!

I received this darling stocking ornament as a surprise from Lesley! Since she lives in Australia, the koala that she stitched on it is perfect!
Thank you Lesley, I love it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Children Made Me Cry!

This portrait of my children hangs in the entryway of my home. It was taken in fall of 1985 by my late husband, who was a professional photographer. The portrait won a number of awards, locally, statewide and nationally. I won't go into the details, but getting four children to all smile at the camera was no easy task. Peter wanted to take the portrait with out any artificial light at all, so I had to hold up a giant reflector, to put enough light on their faces. I don't remember how many rolls of film he shot that day, but this was the first photograph, and the best one from that portrait session. That was then.......

....and this is now, 25 years later! My talented son-in-law, Jonathan, was the photographer this time, and I am sure there wasn't any less arguing going on during this portrait session. The "children" wanted to surprise me and recreate the first portrait, but posing was a problem. Tony couldn't sit down in the borrowed Lederhosen he was wearing! Mark is wearing his father's Lederhosen, which is very appropriate, as he was wearing his father's childhood Lederhosen in the first portrait.
This will rank among the best Christmas gifts I have ever received!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Recent Finish

I stitched up this design recently. It is stitch on 24 count evenweave (Lugana, I think) with Weeks Dye Works threads, over one fabric thread.
I am not sure how I will finish it. I am thinking of doing a flat fold, but it will have to wait until after December 25th.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

From Patsy!

I got this lovely counted canvas ornament from Patsy. We were partners in an ornament exchange. I gave her one of my strawberries, and this is what she chose to stitch for me, and I love it!
I need to go find the chart and make a few of these to give as gifts next year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ta Da!!!!

Here it is! All finished! This design is called The Year of Favour of Our Lord Quilt by Handblessings Designs, and was a series of free charts in 2008, I think.

My EGA Chapter did this as a Stitch-a-long this past year, doing one square per month.

I am going to do Handblessings Designs 2010 freebie series, which is similar, in 2011. Once that project is done, I think I will finish both of them as pillows with complimenting fabric.

This is the December square which is the last square I stitched.

It was enjoyable to stitch, and I found myself looking forward to each month's new chart as we received them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Ornament in my mailbox

I received these two lovely ornaments from Elaine recently. The snowman is too cute!
And the other ornament is beautifully stitched and expertly finished!
Thank you Elaine! They look wonderful on my tree!

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Texas Christmas

The stitching is done! I finished the 12th day which is bluebonnets, and now all 12 ornaments are stitched.
I don't think I will have them ornamentified by this Christmas, I have to find just the right fabric to back each one, but I will have them all finished early in the new year.

Here are all twelve of them.
The charts are by Red Bird Designs, and are out of print. I will not be selling the charts. I may want to stitch them again for other deserving Texans.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas at Needle's Nest

The EGA chapter that I belong to had a Christmas dinner recently. It was a lovely evening filled with good friends, yummy food and lovely stitching.
I received this cute snowman tea pot, tea cup combination from the grab bag, the stitch happy spiral notebook and pen were my door prize, the floss was the number for the grab bag, and the ornament was from the ornament exchange.

The ornament that I received was stitched by Karen. She was not very confident of her finishing abilities, but I think she did a great job!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another LNS Visit

I need one more fibre for a project I was kitting up - a Laura J. Perin chart called Daffodil Collage and every shop in my area was out of it, except for Canvas Back, a needlepoint shop in Northfield IL.

I had been to the shop once before and wasn't too impressed with their service, but I wanted the project completely kitted so I wouldn't have to worry about finding the last fibre once I was able to start it. When I called the shop to find out if they had it, they confirmed that they did and put it aside for me.

I drove there after work, in rain that almost required that I start building an ark. Once I got there, I parked very close to the door, but still got drenched running into the shop. I figured I could browse in the shop till the rain let up. When the clerk asked me what kind of hand painted canvas I was looking for, I asked where the counted canvas charts were kept. She seemed to look down her nose at me and said "we don't carry counted cross stitch". I spotted the type of charts I was looking for and said "Oh, there they are" and proceeded to look through what was displayed. Once she realized what I was looking for she said "oh! That's what you were looking for! It's much too complicated for me!" I couldn't help but reply " hand painted canvases just aren't challenging enough for me!" I did find two charts that I really "needed" but didn't really want to buy any of the fibres or mono canvas there.

The shop carries lots and lots of fibres, but unless I can't find a specific fibre elsewhere, I highly doubt I will be visiting the shop regularly. This is the second time that I don't like the way I was treated there.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Almost done!

I recently completed the November Square of Sylvia's My Little Hearts Stitch-a-long.
I will miss this piece when I am finished!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A New (to me) LNS

A few Sunday's ago, Marguerite and I ventured out to explore Designer's Desk in Geneva, IL.
This shop was formerly in Bloomingdale, IL, but moved to Geneva. I have heard great things about the shop, but had never been there.
It's a great shop, three floors of a historic house, that is bursting at the seams.
The basement is where all the sale items are, everything is at least 50% off. There were a lot of tempting things there, but I only picked up a chart there.
The main floor is filled with fibres and hand painted canvases. I had a short list of fibres that I needed, and they had three out of the four.
The second floor is counted cross stitch and counted canvas and Mill Hill kits. Lots and lots of tempting goodies, but I held back and didn't give into temptation.....this time!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My Little Hearts October

I added the October square to this piece recently.

I am very pleased with the progress.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

ANG Christmas Party

I joined a local chapter of ANG (American Needlepoint Guild) a few months ago.
We had our Christmas dinner a little while ago, and I won all these yummy fibres in the door prize drawing!
Everyone received a set of small stacking tins and a needlepoint ornament all kitted up.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Shopping at the Country Cupboard

A few weeks ago, a number of local stitchers (and one not so local) met on the south side of the Chicago area for lunch and stash enhancement.

After some lively discussions at lunch, and ooohing and aaahing over some of Barb H's current works in progress, we drove over to the Country Cupboard in Orland Park. Barb, the owner, was kind enough to open up just for our little group.

Country Cupboard was having a trunk show by one of my new favorite designers DebBee's Designs.

There were lots of yummy fibres and charts to look at.
Of course there were lots of models displayed. I had a small shopping list and was able almost completely kit up Fun Stuff that I already had the chart for.
Country Cupboard was also running a food drive for their local food pantry. If you brought in items for the drive, you would received 20% off your total purchase - what a great deal! Being that food pantries are charities that are very close to my heart, I of course brought a bag full of boxes and cans, and encouraged all the rest of the group to do so also.
Due to the 20% off, I ended up with more than I had originally planned to purchase, but now I have some more lovely projects for future stitching!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

November Square

While on my Stitching retreat, I stitched the November square for this project.
One square left! I can't wait to get it done!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Stitching Retreat

This past October, our EGA chapter had a retreat in Rockford IL. There weren't too many of us, but we had a great time!

There were stitchers and quilters, and we stitched and chatted and ate.

The LNS that was nearby, The Needle and I, gave us a 10% discount on our purchases that weekend, so we had to take a trip to do some shopping.

I took the opportunity to purchase a counted canvas project (well, actually two) and kitted up one of them completely. I got fibres for some counted canvas charts I alreay had also. While at the shop, I found out that one of the ladies that works there reads my blog! Wow! I didn't think people were interested in what I had to say!

While at the retreat, we all received a goodie bag, and had door prize drawings. I was lucky enough to win a Welcome Stitchery gift certificate. The items in the picture were included in the goodie bag, along with lots of interesting charts.
It was a fun weekend, even though the hotel left a great deal to be desired.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I finished the October square in our EGA project,

a free design my Handblessings Designs.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Here is My Little Hearts, a Stitch-a-long on Sylvia's blog. I finished the September square since my last blog post.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

October and November Progress, December Goals

Long time no blog! Sorry to have been MIA, but it has been a rough month.

Life has gotten in the way of my stitching. It has been busy at work, and I seem to have developed what I think is some arthritis in my right hand, so stitching has been rather painful. Not much stitching was done.

October Progress:
November square for Needle's Nest project - finished it
11th Day of Texas Christmas - worked on it.

November progress:
11th Day of Texas Christmas - finished it
12th Day of Texas Christmas - finished it
December sqaure for Needle's Nest Project - finished it
My Little Hearts SAL - October Square - finished
My Little Hearts SAL - November Square - finished
Adjust Your Sailes - finished
Logan's Christmas Stocking - new fabric purchased

December Goals:
My Little Hearts SAL - December square
Logan's Stocking

I promise to be a better blogger and stitcher in December

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Be Merry (again)

I stitched two of these ornaments last Christmas, and gave them as gifts. Over the course of this past year, I stitched 6 more. They are all stitched, and just need to be ornamentified.

The chart was in the 2009 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue, and it is by Val's Stuff. I stitched them on the recommended 20 count blue lugana, with two threads of Weeks Dye Works, over 1 fabric thread.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Rose Sampler Part 5 added

Here is the Ellen Maurer-Stroh Rose sampler with part 5 finished.
I really enjoy working on this piece, and would love to get it finished now, but I have to put it away to get some holiday stitching done.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Lynn's, Madison, WI

While in Madison this past August, we stopped in at Lynn's. The shop came highly recommended, and it certainly had a gread deal of inventory.
The shop carried needlework and art supplies, as well as framing.
As far as needlework, the shop carried a great deal of samplers and quakers. Unfortunately, the ones that were carried were either charts I already owned, or designs that really aren't my taste.
There were also lots and lots of fibres. Unfortunately, the fibres were all in little drawers. They were really not displayed at all.
Although Lynn's is a lovely shop, I couldn't find anything that I wanted to purchase that day. I will stop in the shop again next time I am in the area, with a list of fibres to purchase.

Friday, October 01, 2010

September Progress, October Goals

Not much stitching this month, between the pinched nerve in my hip that wouldn't allow me to sit, and the tendonitis in my right wrist. Hopefully October will be better.

September Progress
Bavarian Table Topper
10 hours on Rocky Mountain Christmas
10 hours on Logan’s stocking
November cup ‘o Tea
11th day of Texas Christmas ornament
October Handblessings project yes
November Handblessing project yes
afghan square #11
Mystery sampler part 8
Work on Cloister garden
Work on Crystal Iris
September Little Hearts SAL yes
part 6 EMS Rose Sampler
kit up Logan's birth samper and perhaps put in a few stitches
EMS monthly flowers SAL
start on Third LHN monthly ornament
start on one Bent Creek photobooth
Stitcher's bell pull part 6
Be Merry # 8 yes

October Goals
Bavarian Table Topper
10 hours on Rocky Mountain Christmas
10 hours on Logan’s stocking
November cup ‘o Tea
11th day of Texas Christmas ornament
December Handblessings project
afghan square #11
Mystery sampler part 8
Work on Cloister garden
Work on Crystal Iris October Little Hearts SAL
part 6 EMS Rose Sampler
kit up Logan's birth samper and perhaps put in a few stitches
EMS monthly flowers SAL
start on Third LHN monthly ornament
start on one Bent Creek photobooth
Stitcher's bell pull part 6

Monday, September 27, 2010

Madison, Wisconsin

The Madison Area Chapter of EGA hosted a Wisconsin State Day last month, and Marguerite and I were lucky enough to be able to attend. We drove up on Thursday afternoon, and after stopping at Stitcher's Crossing to make sure we had enough supplies, and a quick bite at Culver's, we arrived at the Madison Area Chapter's monthly meeting, where Catherine Jordan gave a lecture about her designs and talked about some of her painting techniques.

After the lecture, we checked into the hotel. We were not happy to find out that the hotel charged $12.00 per day for internet access, so we stitched instead!

The next morning, we had breakfast with all the participants and then went on to class. The class project was this Great Lakes map. The photo does not do it justice. It is absolutely amazing, and detailed!

Of course we weren't going to finish this piece in just one weekend, so we were given a small friendship book to work on, so that we could practice the techniques.

We carefully stitched the outline of Lake Michigan and some other things in a reversible stitch that Catherine taught us, and then we got to paint! First on a blank piece of fabric to see how much water to add and then on our stitching. Once the paint dried, we got to stitch some more!
Mine will look a bit different, and I chose to put Lake Michigan in the middle and stitch the state of Michigan also. I am rather please with the way mine is turning out, and the painting of the fabric was much easier than I thought it would be. I was quite intimidated by the painting part, but it was a piece of cake!

We all had lunch together at the hotel and stitched the afternoon away. For dinner, Marguerite and I ventured to downtown Madison. Michelle had recommended The Essen Haus for dinner, so that's where we went. Yes, I know, I can get good German food anytime, but Marguerite hadn't had any German food in years, so we needed to get her some. I must admit, I was a bit put off at the waitresses wearing gray T-shirts with their Dinrdls instead of the traditional white blouses, but the menu seemed good. The food was very authentic and tasty. We were too early for the show, but that's okay, I hear German music very often. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and stitched and stitched.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early for breakfast and then back to the stitching room. We learned some hem stitches and continued to work on our friendship books. After another lunch at the hotel, we stitched for awhile longer. Before heading home, we posed for a class picture. Catherine Jordan, the instructor, is the one holding the Great Lakes map. If you are looking for me, I am second from the right in the very top row.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stitcher's Crossing, Madison WI

On a recent trip to Madison Wisconsin, it was necessary to check out the local needlwork shops.

Michelle had recommended two shops to visit. She said one was a really good shop and one was just okay. Marguerite and I stopped at the one that was "just okay" first.

Stitcher's Crossing was really a very nice shop, with lots of quilting fabric, some yarns and a small section of cross stitch charts.

There were some models up on the wall, and I found it to be a very welcoming shop.
Although the cross stitch section was small, I found lots of the newest releases.

I even found a fat quarter to finish a pin keep! I had been looking for the right fabric for quite awhile, and I found the perfect piece of fabric!

All in all, I would say it was well worth stopping at Stitcher's Crossing!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

August Progress, September Goals

August Progress
Bavarian Table Topper no
10 hours on Rocky Mountain Christmas no
10 hours on Logan’s stocking no
November cup ‘o Tea no
10th day of Texas Christmas ornament yes
August Handblessings project yes
September Handblessing project yes
afghan square #11 no
Mystery sampler part 8 no
Work on Cloister garden no
Work on Crystal Iris yes
August Little Hearts SAL yes
part 5 EMS Rose Sampler yes
kit up Logan's birth samper and perhaps put in a few stitches no
EMS monthly flowers SAL no
start on second LHN monthly ornament yes, finished it!
start on one Bent Creek photobooth no
Stitcher's bell pull part 5 yes
Antique Map needle book yes, made good progress
Be Merry # 7 yes, finished it
Be Merry # 8 yes, started it

September Goals
Bavarian Table Topper
10 hours on Rocky Mountain Christmas
10 hours on Logan’s stocking
November cup ‘o Tea
11th day of Texas Christmas ornament
October Handblessings project
November Handblessing project
afghan square #11
Mystery sampler part 8
Work on Cloister garden
Work on Crystal Iris
September Little Hearts SAL
part 6 EMS Rose Sampler
kit up Logan's birth samper and perhaps put in a few stitches
EMS monthly flowers SAL
start on Third LHN monthly ornament
start on one Bent Creek photobooth
Stitcher's bell pull part 6
Antique Map Needle Book
Be Merry # 8

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

10th Day of Texas Christmas

I recently finished the 1oth in this series of ornaments. This one stitched up very quickly.

Two more to go....they need to be finished by Christmas.