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.