Monday, December 8, 2014

So Excited!

What better way to end a day of shopping in Lancaster County with a girlfriend than to come home to a stitching surprise in the mail!!!!    My Lizzie Kate Mystery sampler with pattern, fabric, threads and embellishments arrived today.  Yes,  I know it was released Nov. 1 but my LNS is two states away and I am sure they didn't get it Nov. 1st.  It is not like I have been living in a drought of no available projects.  It's all good.

Don't you just love all the embellishments that come with a kit?

Look at all the WDW!  Wonder if you can spot which one is Busy Lizzie, 
a project exclusive, without looking at the names?
Calling all my willpower!  I am going to need to show some extraordinary restraint to keep me from starting this one!   Need to finish up my Christmas exchange pieces and then do some finishing on some other holiday stitches......then......and only then can I start this.  I am thinking a Christmas afternoon treat to myself.  I have no choice....Part Two could arrive any day!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Busy Busy Times

In between things, I almost have my Christmas stitching complete.   I am stitching up a sleeve for a stitch starter and a making a coordinating pin cushion.    Here is the progress on the stitch starter sleeve.   If you don't have one, check out Blue Ribbon Designs.   Almost all my stitching pals have one.   I thought it would make a nice gift to someone who didn't have one!  It consists of  a 3 inch lucite ruler that you use to find your starting placement on your linen and the sleeve you stitch to store it.  Belinda has create some cute patterns to stitch.

Otherwise.....this is what I have been up to.    I went to Longwood Gardens.   What a nice evening with friends.   Imagine your holiday dinner table decorated and set like this!   These photos from my cell phone definitely don't do the decorations justice.  

 Some photos in the conservatory.    

Somewhere along the middle of the week, I WON a cruise!    Yes, that's right!!    Actually to be clear, I WON the bid on the cruise.  Every year we assist at a silent auction fundraiser.   We decorate (as much as anyone would need to in the beautiful Hotel DuPont in Wilmington!), set up the auction items, then welcome and register the guests who start arriving at 5 p.m.   Once all are registered we get to walk through the event, eat the fabulous meal and are able to place bids.   No one had bid on the cruise package provided by AAA, so I did.   I received a gift certificate to Royal Caribbean for twice my bid!   My best friend and I will be heading to AAA this week to get the details. I am thinking either a New England/Canadian cruise or the Bahamas for something different.    

I have been working on 'gratitude' jars that I want to give to some special friends as a little something extra over the holidays.    I have it all in my 'head' what I want to do and as is so often, what is in my head is not what manifests when I actually complete the job.   So far, I wrapped mason jars with yarn, spray painted them and then removed the yarn so make the design shown to the left.                                                                                                                I did manage to get my tree up as you can barely see in the background.   I am kind of in a bah humbug mood about decorating. To say I go overboard with decorations may be an exaggeration but I have been known to have as many as three full sized trees up and fully decorated.   I have so may different themed trees and ornaments I could put up a half dozen fully decked out trees on a conservative estimate!   I decorate for myself so maybe choosing to not put up as much is for me too!

Not an original idea....saw this on Pinterest....but at home one night I made tissue paper snowflakes and taped them to the sliding glass door in my boss's office to make a holiday decoration.   Good thing I had the foresight to place a cookie sheet on the floor as I sat on the sofa and made all the snowflakes.   It actually doesn't look too bad in person and again is a cell phone pix.

I went to New York City to check out the city lights and the tree at Rockefeller Center.  I never made it back to the tree to take a photo once the lights were on.   I took the Rockefeller Center Tour and did the Observation Desk at the top.....70th floor!   That's saying something for someone who lives in a town where three story buildings are about as high as they get!  Too bad the weather was rotten....not much of a view but the tour of the complex was very interesting.
View from the top of Rockefeller Center.    Couldn't see Central Park or the river just blocks away.   But hey!  A little bad weather doesn't stop me.  The two spires at the bottom left of center are the top of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Inside St. Patrick's
This photo and the one below were taken on a previous trip to NYC.

Tree in Bryant Park
We walked and walked and walked some more.   Had a great lunch in the concourse and shopped out of the weather.  Walked some more.   Went to Bryant Park.   Had a nice dinner.   Walked through Times Square and we were really glad to get back on the bus and out of the rain!  It was a jungle of umbrellas!
Times Square
Queued up waiting on our bus.  Goodbye New York
....a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!

Hopefully I will be able to finish up my Christmas stitching this week and get it all wrapped up.   More pix to come once finished.   Have a great weekend everyone and may your stitches be plentiful!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It is a bird.....

Is this progress of mine from skill?  Is it my new stitching stand? or, Am I on a mission?    I vote definitely not skill.   As I getting used to my new stand I realized all too late that I 'crossed' my stitches in different directions due to rotating the hoop at I stitched.   Drat!  I ran amok!  So cross off the stand too as the reason for progress too.   It's a mission!  I need to stitch this up so I can do the finishing and get it wrapped and prepared for delivery!

Liking the subtle changes in the color and I have the perfect complimentary fabric already selected for finishing.   It is moving fast and I am pleased so far.   I have been cutting my length of WDW, dividing and loading three needles at a time and stitching until each are empty each time I take time to stitch......but the needle may be parked for the rest of the day now.  Hopefully I can share that by the end of the week.   But as always the plans in my head often don't come to fruition or only do after a detour (or two).

Need to get that tree up and maybe do some small business Saturday shopping (on Sunday).   Have a great week all as the countdown to the holidays begins!

Friday, November 28, 2014

No Black Friday Shopping for me!

I hope all my USA friends had a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving.    Mine was different then usual this year.   No one was coming home....I was a mix of being bummed and being thankful.  Not thankful that they weren't coming but thankful of all the fun Thanksgiving memories of years past.   It was going to be dull, boring and I didn't even want to cook.  Such a lot of work for two.   I was ready to place an order at Boston Market...then something happened.... my brother and his girlfriend were in the same situation so last Sunday we decided to join  forces.    This had to be the easiest, most delicious feast yet.   J & L were bringing the major sides that by mid morning yesterday I was like.....what am I forgetting.   Then my sister and husband showed up for dessert.   All in all in turned out to be a great day.

Dishes done and leftovers shared, football over, everyone on their way home and I settled in with a nice cup of coffee and a new start.   This is working up fast and good thing.   It is for a Christmas exchange so I can't share too many details but it sure looks like a Quaker design to me.  Stitching on 32 count with WDW Blue Bonnet.  

No worries.....chocolate candy Advent calendars in the mail (yes at ages 34, 36 and 39, I must still send these to my children.   I made the mistake of discontinuing stockings one year and still hear about it.)  Almost all my shopping done or ordered online so I have some time available for stitching as well as holiday events!  I was lucky enough to score four tickets to the Longwood Christmas display tonight so I will be meeting up with some friends for a treat tonight.  Tomorrow I have a Christmas concert with more girlfriends. (see why I shop early?   love all the extra holiday events) So maybe Sunday I will stitch or start the dragging out of decorations.

I love shopping early and probably tend to buy more because I see something that would be perfect for somebody on my list.   I'd like to get the decorating started today and may be able to get a bit done before I head out.

I am anxious to put up our tree.   It is new this year.   We had been complaining about the other tree for years and the best way to replace something is to get rid of the version you have leaving you no choice but to get a replacement.  Works with shoes too!  So after the holidays last year, we donated our tree.   You know that mess of cords for the lights on the pre-lit tree?   My new tree has the ingenious concept of the lights and wiring go up through the 'trunk'!  Nothing to mess with...connect the sections and it plugs everything in.    We shall see if this turns out as easily as advertised.   More info to follow....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Three Degrees of Separation

My current stitch mounted on my new Lowery

I know a gal, who knows a gal, who had a thing, that she didn't want so......I now am the proud owner of a Lowery Workstand.   OMGosh, not even the Cadillac of floor stands; this is the Bentley of floor stands.   It came with a corner clamp and I thought, hmmmm, let me order the side clamp.   After some considerable searching, I located a side clamp on the internet and quickly decided I will learn to love the corner clamp.   I am a two-handed stitcher and this is making my needle fly with the floss following behind it like the contrails of a jet.

Here is my progress on my La-D-Da name tag.   It is a quick stitch and should be done this weekend.   The finishing directions have me a bit confused so I have to put my head together with two fellow stitchers who have already finished this piece.

Starting Monday I need to get serious on my Christmas stitching.   I have a couple of smalls I want to get done.   Of course, I can't share them here but I can tell you one crosses over to another stitching genre or even two.

And of course, for those of you who have asked, my middle of the night companion.   Buddy, or often fondly referred to as Budders, is a fur ball that would prefer to ram around under the night skies and neighborhood waking me each night between 1:45 and 2:15 a.m. to go out.  It as been far too cold to put him out before I retire for the night.  Geez!   I tried shutting the bedroom door and there was such a CATaphony and clawing at the door off and on for hours it was deemed not a wise move.  
 I feel evil by thinking I should continually wake Mr. Nocturnal while he catches some rays and ZZZ's.

Here's wishing all a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.   May your homes be filled with family and friends, may your tables be flowing with yummy foods and may you sneak in a bit of stitching time while others take their post dinner naps.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Latest Start

Here's what I'm working on now.   This is a name tag from La-D-Da.     It is so nice to be stitching something small.    I can see this completed in no time.   as a completed stitch in the future.

I switched up the colors.   I first picked the fabric for the finishing and then pulled the floss colors.   The model is darker and drab and I wanted something brighter.

 I think I will be happy with my choices.  And I will be able to stop taking the ribbing on my guild name tag that is a color xerox of our logo with my name added.  From the top of the bridge, as we say, it appears as if I really stitched our logo.......reading ahead on the finishing directions I am a bit confused but I will just not worry about that until I cross that bridge.

And there must be something to those colors......this is a church window in a local Methodist Church.   One of my non-profits held a silent film fest last night.  It is annual event that brings a lot of laughter.   I am the driver for my elderly friend who enjoys these events and I take her to dinner with friends first.  This is a win-win for me because I am more enthralled with the windows and the architectural that the pipe organ -
 no offense to the pipe organ.

 While Roxanna mixed and mingled before the program, I put the camera to work.

This architechtural design is typical of Methodists is seems.    The open-air church I visited while in Martha's Vinyard in the Methodist Retreat was just like this.....on a much larger scale though.

I slipped outside to get the above window.

 Another view of the craftsmanship of the ceiling.

Oh and then there was the movie.   The organist always gives a little history lesson on the films before each movie giving us little insider tidbits and things to look for.  Such as, Buster Keaton was barely 5'5" inches tall; The General, a real Civil War train,  was a movie about a fictional Civil War train heist filmed entirely in Oregon on a logging train and roadways and not in the south; and more. The organist plays along with movie with all the dramatic flair you would expect that accompanied the movie as it originally was shown.   It is all and all an enjoyable, non-techno evening full of friends and laughter.....and if just for one evening, life is simpler.

And lastly, speaking of techno type wiggly words that I was seeing on my blog....I have solved the mystery, sort of,  as to why only I see you know with Blogger, you need to do you design and updates through Google so that it where I view my blog.    If I look at my Blog in IE, it is fine, no wiggling or shaking words.   I am experiencing the same issues with some of my work websites and that's what made to try IE instead of Chrome.  At work, since an upgrade with one of the banks we deal with at work, I can no longer log on to the secure site through IE......and even though my IT Dept. told me it didn't make a difference what internet explorer I used, I use Google Chrome and was able to get right into my corporate interface.  Take that you IT Techies!  Those wiggling words were really getting on my last nerve and I am glad I solved that mystery.   Now on the to mystery of socks that go missing in the washer.....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Still Fusing

about a bit with my blogger issues.   Everything looks fab while in the design screens but as soon as I apply changes and move to the live screen I get the wiggly letters again.  I think I am done messing about here!     This issue must be giving me bad mojo since I have been frogging my latest start.   Drat!     It is from La-D-Da and I will share photos tomorrow.   Too cold to get out from under my blankie and out of my comfy chair and away from my 2nd  3rd cuppa to drag out the camera.

Real quick, Nancy at Victorian Motto has launched her 25 days of Christmas give-a-way again this year.   Check out her site, register for the days/prizes you like and good luck!

For today, I am off to put a dent in my Christmas shopping and then a olde time Silent Film Festival tonight with one of my non-profits.    Tomorrow, I have sewing room plans to work on pulling threads and fabrics for some holiday stitching.   Plans and pix to be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Santa Claus Made It To Town

I have a UFO Finish.   Yeah!   Double reward.   A finish = a new start.

Santa was stitched pretty much as charted.    I think I will fluff up his beard with a brush.   It was stitched with whisper.  I am not framing this but rather mounting as a stand-up Santa or rather flying Santa.

My Favorite Things, by Pat Thode, Heartstrings, 2002

Iron not even cooled and Santa not even wrapped up and I am pulling threads for something new.....such an obsession this cross stitching is!

Veterans Day

Hug a soldier.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Have you ever.....

run amok?    I mean for me, it is a weekly occurence.   Here's the deal.    I hate looking for things.   I mean to say I despise the total waste of time.   There is a place for everything.   If I could I might be tempted to draw an outline of everything hung on my pegboard to have a visual of what may be missing.  (I hold myself back as it just wouldn't go with the rest of the decor.)  I have been called Anal by the most retentive of people I know.   And there are only certain places I put things, especially a project I am working on.   So needless to say I was at least one glass of Kendall Jackson level of frustration as I searched for the threads to my current project.    You know how you retrace your steps and keep looking in the same place like something will magically appear?   Yeh, that was me walking in circles Friday night.  I must have added a half mile to my Fitbit total for the day.  I also spent time looking for the spray bottle I use on my ferns now that I have brought them inside for the winter.   I guess I was on my way somewhere and got sidetracked and put it in a 'safe' place.   I felt like one of those internet puzzles where you have to find things that are in plane site.

I keep my floss on what I have decided are those nasty little cardboard cards and usually put them on a ring for the project at hand.   That is until the holes rip and you can't put them on a ring any longer.  I have these nifty little pencil boxes (thank you Diane from Tennessee!) that fit so nicely in my stitching bag and I can use for project threads.  After looking in the same places at least twice each, I resigned myself to be satisfied that my threads fell out of my bag under
my desk at work and that there they would remain until I return to
work on Wednesday morning.   Imagine my surprise when I found them - in a place I swear I looked in the way a woman looks and not in the way a man looks for things - and they were not there.    My other complete waste of time was that earlier in the day I had to drive right past Strawberry Sampler so I thought.....I need to stop and pick up more WDW and Crescent threads for my Chester County Sampler.   One small problem, I brought the stitching bag for the Santa with me and not the Sampler.   Crap!    But wait, any visit to a stitching shop could never be a waste of time.   It is time spent soothing the soul for sure.   Heck I almost was convinced someone was trying to tell me to start a new project!

But enough......I have since found the missing floss, I have returned to shop at Strawberry Sampler with my proper list of flosses needed and I have started on the path to replace those nasty cardboard cards with floss bags!

After all my ups and downs, I did make progress on my Santa.    I have all the embellishments and beads on the coat complete and I am liking him a lot more.  I am working on the beard now even though I should be stitching the 'moon' first.   Since I took Monday as a vacation day and Tuesday I am off for Veterans Day, I think I can squeeze in some extra stitching time.   Because, like it or not, I do want to start something new....finish a UFO/start a new project.

Look at these cuties!  I love ribbon candy.   Not to eat but the look of it.   They bring back memories of my mother's apothocary jars  filled with ribbon candy at the holidays.  I have always wanted to stitch some Christmas ornaments but I have never seem to be able to decide on the 'theme'.
Of course this pattern just had to jump in my basket when I was at SS.   These will be EZ-PZ......maybe not my next start, but on the list for soon.

Happy Stitching all!