Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I won a giveaway on the Colorbok blog! I'm so excited. It was their first giveaway of the month and the prize is a "Grinch" Christmas craft kit. THe best part is, I just bought the felt ornament "Grinch" kit on Saturday, so I'm glad I didn't win the same one and we'll have a wreath to compliment our ornaments.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holiday Stash

My LNS had their Holiday Open House last weekend and I was able to stop in on Friday. I was trying not to buy too much and just stitch what I have, but I couldn't resist the bargain charts. All of these charts were only $1 each, except for "Ravens & Pumpkins & Cats, Oh My!" by Carriage House Samplings, which was $3. The GAST and WDW threads are for Kringle's Christmas Tree Farm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still Here and Still Stitching...

Yes, I have been stitching, just not posting. I've been spending so much time on the computer job hunting and sending out resumes that I run out of steam when it's time to post about stitching.

I spent most of October stitching these pumpkins from last year's JCS Halloween issue. I had all year to stitch four more for my sisters and friends by Halloween, but waited until the last minute, of course. I finished them with the scrapbook paper backing and green wire on the 30th.

Now I'm working on Christmas gifts and have three Mill Hill ornaments in various stages of progress. Photos to come...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall is in the Air

I saw this tree in the Pier One catalogue that came in the mail last week and fell in love with it. Maybe I can find it for 50% or 60% off after Halloween is over. I think it would be perfect to hang stitchy Halloween ornaments from it.

Speaking of stitchy Halloween ornaments, I found a copy of the Just Cross Stitch Halloween ornament issue at Joann's last week - and was able to use my 40% off coupon to purchase it, which was a plus since Michaels doesn't let you use coupons on books and magazines. This week, I'll have to check for the Christmas ornament issue now that it's available and use a coupon again.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Unofficial End of Summer

Happy Labor Day to all! To celebrate, here are my patriotric finishes from earlier in the summer (finally!). After stitching the Quaker 4th of July freebie, I was then inspired by Carolina Stitcher's patriotic tree. I stitched "Very Merry Summer" and "Wee Flags" rather quickly, although both still need buttons attached (and to be finished finished, obviously). And I'm trying to finish up The Sampler Girl's "Summer Day 1776" freebie today. All I have left to stitch are the sails on the ship.

A Very Merry Summer
JBW Designs
Stitched on 28 ct. Forget-Me-Not Jobelan using DMC

Flags (Wee Ones)
Bent Creek
Stitched on 28 ct. Tea-Dyed Monaco using DMC

Sunday, August 15, 2010


If you're a fan of Blue Ribbon Designs (I am!), Belinda is having a "Milestone Giveaway." Be sure to check out her blog for all of the details.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I'm so excited! I was the winner this week of one of Anna's summer giveaways - a collection of Mill Hill kits, one of my favorites. It continues the good vibes from vacation. We just returned from a week in Florida - our non-Disney Orlando vacation. Instead, we went to Sea World, the Aquatica waterpark, Daytona Beach and we stayed at the Nickelodeon Hotel, which was very fun.

We drove down - about 17-18 hours each way - and I had all of these big stitching plans since we were going to be in the car for so long. I had kitted up a few new designs, basted fabric and even started a few borders so I wouldn't have to do too much counting. And what happened? I didn't stitch a single stitch the entire week! I don't know what I was thinking. The kids were constantly asking me for things - food, a drink, change the movie. And it was so hot, I felt like my hands were sticky all the time. So I just read instead. I finished two books, one of which was Pat Conroy's South of Broad. I had been waiting for vacation to read it and it did not disappoint. I love Southern fiction. And when we came home, I had an e-mail from Amazon telling me that my all-time favorite Southern writer, Anne Rivers Siddons, has a new book coming out next week - Burnt Mountain. I can't wait!

But I need to get back into stitching mode. To help me along, I had a chance to visit Needlecraft Corner today - by myself, without toting one of the kids along. I picked up two pieces of fabric - 28 ct. Flax Cashel linen for some miscellaneous ornaments and 28 ct. Rue Green Quaker cloth, which will hopefully work with Octopus Garden - a cute little needle slide with pumpkins on it and one of the new Mill Hill Festival of Trees ornaments (Old Fashioned Tree).

Still need to post those patriotic finishes! Coming soon...

Friday, July 16, 2010

July SBQ

I guess I should answer this while it's still July. Lee's question this month is:

Stitching is an activity that tends to be solitary. Sometimes I wonder if we choose stitching because we are more comfortable with pursuits that we do alone, or does our stitching cause us to be loners? So what do you think?

And you know that I can never stop with just one question or thing to think about, so here’s something else that’s been on my mind. Since we’re stitching alone most of the time, it seems to me that we get great joy from coming together with other stitchers. It can be such a good
feeling when we find a group of people who speak our language and understand our
stitching excitement and passion. But since not all stitchers are perfect, not all groups can be perfect either. So…if you could create your own perfect stitching group, what characteristics would make it perfect?

For instance, would you all be near the same age, or would you like your group to span a generation or two? Would you enjoy political or religious discussions while you stitch or would that make you shy away? Would you like a big group or a small group? Those are just a couple of variables in groups…tell us what’s important to YOU.

For me, I know I like to stitch because it is a solitary, peaceful activity. It's my "me time." None of my other friends stitch. We share other interests that could be solitary, but we do together, like scrapbooking or discussing books that we've read.

I'd love to find a stitching group of people my age (late 30s into 40s), but I feel like that could never happen. I imagine it might be like the stitching message boards online. Everyone gets so off topic and just uses it as a place to complain or gripe instead of really talking about stitching. I'd like to have someone or a small group of someones with whom I could talk about new charts or bounce questions off of about techniques or fabric, etc. The blogs that I follow come closest to this right now.

I hope to have some pictures of my latest stitching projects in the next day or two before we head out on vacation.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quaker 4th

Here is my finish of the Quaker 4th of July freebie. This was quick and easy to stitch. I've never stitched a Quaker design before and I really liked it. This one was stitched on a piece of 32 ct. linen (that looks more cream-colored in person than in this picture) using DMC 304 (red), 336 (blue) and 5200 (white). It's inspired me to stitch a few more small patriotic designs to finish into small ornaments to hang around the house for the summer. I have Heart in Hand's "Wee Flags" that I stitched as a gift a couple of years ago. I think I'll stitch one for myself!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June SBQ

Lee posted this month's SBQ on Monday:

Tell us about something that you have stitched or plan to stitch for any father in your life. Maybe it’s for your father, your father-in-law, your children’s father, your grandfather, your godfather, or someone who was or still is an important father-figure in your life. Why did you choose this particular piece of stitching? Tell us the story behind it.

Her question made me realize I have never stitched anything for my dad or really for any men - up until this year. I did complete the Christmas stocking for my husband back in February. In the past, I've looked at a few golf patterns that would be a good fit for my dad, but I never got around to stitching anything for him. Maybe I'll change that for Father's Day next year.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Out of Sorts

I've been completely out of sorts for the past month or so, but I have been stitching. It's just about the only thing keeping me sane right now! I pulled out "Quote the Raven" by Crossed-Eyed Cricket after the Big Family Room Move and realized I only had a little bit to finish - mostly the little motifs on the outside and a few letters in "nevermore." I love the colors in this design! I stitched it on 28 ct. Forget-Me-Not Blue Jobelan with the called for DMC threads.

Since then, I've been working on the fourth Christmas stocking and yesterday I started the Quaker 4th of July everyone else is working on. Hope to have a picture of that tomorrow if the sun is out and an answer to Lee's SBQ.

Monday, May 03, 2010


Thanks to Lee for starting up these questions again. This month's question is:

Suppose we say that there are two types of stitchers.

There are those who enjoy the “process” of stitching. They stitch for stitching’s sake and
if something gets finished, so much the better, but it’s not necessarily the end
goal. Primarily, it’s the application of needle and thread to cloth that makes
them happiest.

Then there are those who are “project” stitchers. They move steadily through their projects, certainly enjoying their stitching time, but finding their greatest joy in the completed stitching.

If you had to pick one to describe yourself, which type of stitcher would you be? I imagine
that we could all say that we fall somewhere in between, but really think hard
about this and try to pick just one. And once you’ve decided whether you’re a
Process or Project stitcher, tell us if your recognize that approach in other
parts of your life.

I am definitely a "process" stitcher. If I gauged my success at stitching by how many projects I finished, especially compared to what others are able to accomplish, I would not be a success. I find the act of stitching enjoyable and relaxing. I love starting new projects and picking out the floss and fabric. Fin ishing is great, too, and I've definitely finished more in the last couple of years than I ever have, but the act of stitching is more meaningful to me than finishing.

That being said, it's time to get back to stitching, which I haven't done very much of this past month. First, we rearranged the family room and I had to pack up all of my stitching stuff. Then, I spent the rest of the time planning and preparing for my daughter's First Communion. I felt guilty about stitching when I had so much cooking and cleaning to do. But the ceremony and party were on Saturday and now I'm free to make a mess in the family room again!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cake Wrecks

If you've never visited the Cake Wrecks website, you must. It's always good for a laugh. On Sundays, the site features beautiful cakes instead of wrecks. Check out the cross-stitch cake (and other needleart cakes).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reading Update

Like Anna, I've had books and reading on my mind lately - for a change! My library books were due today and I actually read all three that I checked out. I caught up on the "Temperance Brennan" series by Kathy Reichs with "Devil Bones" and "206 Bones." (I guess all of the more recent titles have to have the word 'bones' in the title to tie in with the TV series.) By themselves, the two books were what I've come to expect from the series. However, reading them back to back instead of a year apart, there were a few inconsistencies and holes in the stories, including a major plot point from "Devil Bones" that wasn't addressed in "206 Bones." I guess we'll see if it comes up in the next book in August.

I also read "13 1/2," the stand-alone book from Nevada Barr, author of the "Anna Pigeon" national park mysteries. I thought the book was very well written, even if it was a bit predictable, and the post-Katrina New Orleans setting was interesting. But I love the Anna Pigeon books and I'll be glad when the next one comes out, also in August.

That brings my total number of books read so far in 2010 to six, so I need to keep moving. I checked out the latest Margaret Maron "Deborah Knott" book (can you tell that I love crime fiction series?) and "Life Sentences" by Laura Lippman, which I've been anxious to read for awhile now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Raven

I finished "The Raven" a couple of weeks ago and finally took a picture of it one sunny day last week. Even with all of the half and quarter stitches, it was a pretty quick stitch, especially since it only has two colors. But now on to something with a little bit more color to it!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Olympic Stitching

I watched a ton of Olympic coverage, staying up way too late most nights, but I was also able to get a lot of stitching done. First, I continued working on the "Christmas Eve" stocking. Here's what it looked like at the start of the Opening Ceremonies:

And I finished it during the men's figure skating finals!

This one was much faster to stitch than the snowman stocking, since it didn't have that big block of white. I still have to decide if I want to add buttons to it.

After finishing "Christmas Eve," I decided to take a break from stockings and started "The Raven" by Lavender Wings instead. This design is full of 1/4 and 3/4 stitches. I can't remember the last time I stitched a design with these stitches, so I really have to concentrate. I changed the reddish/GAST gingersnap border to DMC 550/purple to match some other raven designs I have planned for the future. Here's how it looked during the Closing Ceremonies:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Finish of 2010

The nice thing about being snowed in is lots of time to stitch! During blizzard #1, I finished Bent Creek's Snowman Stocking in pink. This one is for daughter #2. If you remember, I finished #1 in purple last year. I've been looking at fabric online so I can finish finish these, but I think I'm going to wait until I have all four complete and then sew them all at once. I started stocking #3 - Bent Creek's Christmas Eve - during blizzard #2 and it's progressing quite nicely.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

1st Year Scrapbook

Even though it's not very sunny with 2 feet of snow on the ground and still falling, there seems to be enough reflected light to try and get some pictures of the scrapbook pages I made last weekend. I finished 38 pages - a new record for me - out of the 42 I needed to complete the album of Little H's first year. There is a page for each month, plus the major holidays and events of the first year. I only have 3 Christmas pages and a "firsts" page left to complete. Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Ready for the Snow

The flakes just started falling here and I'm ready to stay in the house all weekend and stitch. I went to my LNS this morning for their Super Bowl weekend sale. I had planned to go on Sunday, but we may still be digging out then, so I thought I would go today.

I got everything pictured here for a mere $37. The two Praiseworthy Stitches charts and the Hands to Work chart were only $2 each and the Bent Creek (Gobble and Blackbird Sampler) and Raise the Roof designs were only $1 each! "Kringle's Tree Farm" has been on my wish list since I first saw it, so I can't believe it was only $2. I needed fabric for two different raven projects - 28 ct. Forget-Me-Not blue jobelan for "Two Familiars" by the Cricket Collection and 28 ct. Country French Linen for "The Raven" by Lavender Wings, plus some miscellaneous DMC. The set of Trail Creek Farm seasons designs were freebies, along with the Mill Hill blackbird button.

School is getting out about an hour earlier, so once I get Big H off the bus at 2:30, we'll be tucked inside the house for the weekend.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scrapbook Weekend

I haven't been doing a lot of stitching lately. I'm getting ready for a three-day scrapbooking weekend coming up on the 29th, so I've been busy sorting through and packing up the stuff I need to take with me while also trying to lay out some pages ahead of time. Other than the beach chipboard album, I haven't really scrapbooked since July. I'm planning to work on my second daughter's first year album (never mind the fact that she just turned three). It will be about 40 pages and I've never completed more than 35 pages or so at one of these weekends, but I'm going to try my hardest to complete the whole album this weekend. I hope to have some photos of finished pages to post when I return.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sand Pail Scrapbook Album

On Saturday, I was finally able to exchange Christmas gifts with my girlfriends, which means I can finally post pictures of the scrapbook I made for my friend Wendy. They own a condo at the beach and spend a lot of time there, so she has tons of pictures of her daughter Meghan at the beach. I found this little sand pail chipboard album from Art Blanche and decided to make a little mini-album for Wendy featuring pics of Meghan. I had never worked on a scrapbook album like this before, but I think it turned out pretty good for a first try. I used paint as a base on the chipboard and then most pages have the background paper Mod Podge'd on. That could be painfully slow sometimes. When I had time to scrapbook, I wanted to keep moving, but I had to wait for the Mod Podge to dry first. Then I just used different beach and summer-themed papers and stickers, with a few tags and ribbons thrown in here and there.

Now that I have this first one under my belt, I'm anxious to try some more mini-albums. I have two I bought last year to scrapbook my daughter playing basketball and softball, plus one shaped like a cupcake to scrapbook birthdays.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 Reading List

Every year when I post my reading list, I complain about not having enough time to read, blah, blah, blah. Well, this year I have no excuses. After being laid off the second week of the year, I should have been able to read more this year than ever before (and perhaps some more quality reading, but earlier in the year, I become slightly obsessed with Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood after we got digital cable). But, on the plus side, one of the reasons I didn't read as much (other than watching way too much television) is that I was busy doing crafty things instead. I did more cross stitching in 2009 than I have ever done and I also did a lot of scrapbooking in the beginning of the year. So I'm stating here that one of my resolutions is to go back to reading at least 25 books a year. Here's the 2009 list:

1. Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein
2. Show No Fear by Perri O’Shaughnessy
3. Dead Connection by Alafair Burke
4. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
5. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid
6. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
7. The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner
8. The Turnaround by George Pelecanos
9. Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian
10. Death’s Half Acre by Margaret Maron
11. The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid
12. Multiple Blessings by Kate Gosselin
13. The Way Home by George Pelecanos
14. The Coal Tattoo by Silas House
15. The King of Lies by John Hart
16. Down River by John Hart
17. Angel’s Tip by Alafair Burke
18. Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham
19. Borderline by Nevada Barr
20. The Dark Room by Minette Walters
21. sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling