Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blue Skys

Isn't the sky just bluer when there is snow on the ground.  

No call yet this morning for work closure so I was outside pre-dawn in my jammies shoveling the drive.

 Seconds later with the flash on.   Oops! time to defrost the car I guess.
(Driveway done and NOW I get the call the office is closed!)

Guess I will need to finish shoveling the front porch with my extra time off today.

 It is going to be a beautiful day!

And the winner is...

No fuss no muss here...keeping it simple.....

Catherine aka Diamond C of I love to stitch! is the winner of my Pay It Forward Give-A-Way.   Congrats to you Catherine.

I apologize for not opening this up internationally.   I don't know what I was thinking when I added that to the criteria!  Next time all will be welcomed.

Catherine please contact me via email or comment here with your name and mailing information.   Remember - I am packing and leaving on a jet plane early early (5:15 a.m.  airport check-in) on the 24th and will not return from the land of no internet/no email until February 1st.   I will acknowledge receipt of your address on 2/2 or 2/3 OR select another winner if necessary by 2/4.

Thanks all and keep on shopping your stash!

Been up for hours..

what is it that sleep seems to evade me (us)?   So frustrating to be WIDE AWAKE in the wee hours.   I don't mind the quiet, don't mind the extra stitching time, don't mind catching up on my DVR'd shows, do mind that I will crash and burn early in the evening.

Been cruising through blogs and catching up for an hour or so.  Been waiting for that email blast from work that the office is closed today - 15 inches of snow outside - Yippee!   I brought plenty of work home and can log in easily** to complete some tasks.  **I have to laugh at ~easily~.   When I VPN'd in last night, I needed to download an upgrade from work.  Simple right?  Well someone did an upgrade to my laptop the first of the year and assigned a password to my laptop.   Why I don't know/never had one before.  Problem is what they typed and what was written in out little old book o' passwords didn't match.  I was panicking that it meant a trip to the Apple Store in the ~snow closed~ mall.   Ah! No, not the case with modern technology.   Hats off to Apple and the Apple tech people.   Simple email from my iPad, quick phone call from Tech Support and my system is unlocked, password reset and listed correctly and  able to log a couple of hours last night.

Back to the snow, I had shoveled driveway three times before Mr. W got home from work. But it is that light powery stuff so it was E-Z P-Z.   I actually enjoyed it.   (Sicko I know).    I enjoyed the chill on my cheeks and the rosy glow when I would come inside and enjoy a nice cuppa of something - cocoa or coffee!  Right now it is still too dark to take any photos.

So here are some photos of my first finished finish of the year.  I started this in December and finished the applique earlier this month.  I actually didn't let this one gather dust while sitting in my finishing basket.   This was a great project for work or to stitch when out.   No need to watch a pattern and count and recount.   Just the good ole blanket stitch.  

I have a larger table runner that might be a good choice as a take along project for vacation.  Here's a neat trick that Stacy S. shared with me......instead of using doubled sided interfacing to iron and hold everything in place while you stitch, staple your pieces in places!  I mean why not, pulling the staples once stitch will leave no marks in the wool.   Really good tip.  Thanks Stacy.
So quick, so easy

  I selected this when I purchased my new chairs last spring.   I thought the black felt would tie together the black on the chairs.

Today - between working from home and doing other snowbound stuff, I hope to complete another finish.    Last year I stitch a large stuffed Santa but as is often the case with me....I was sidetracked to something else before I was completely finished.    Santa was to be holding a stocking.   I did the stitching earlier this month and now have the stocking ready to assemble.  It was such a wee little stocking that I am thinking it so silly that I never stitched it last year.   Here's hoping I can post another finish before vacation.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Nancy's Give-a-way

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler is at it again.   She is having another great give-a-way.  It will features reds - flosses, trims, edgings - just in time for Valentine's Day.   Check it out.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Extreme Stash Shopping

You've all seen Extreme Couponing, well I have taken Extreme Stash Shopping to a different level. This is crazy....I have been on a mission to clean out a couple of drawers or closet shelves each week in an effort to declutter, downsize, sort and donate some of the STUFF.   Last night I took on the drawers in my walk-in closet.

I can lay now claim to -
  • all single socks discarded - where do their mates go? or better yet, why do we keep the singles? do we think the mate will just return from a year long hiatus?
  • enough dental floss, mini toothpaste tubes and mini mouthwash from the dentist to last 2 lifetimes or at least several vacations/retreats
  • created new shower gels of Cucumber Melon/Plumeria and Plumeria/Vanilla Brown Sugar (I hope no one asks what the name of fragrances!)
  • enough chapstick to last 3 winters or at least put one in every coat pocket and pocketbook
  • created a rich body lotion of Eucerin/Gold Bond/Suave combo
  • I didn't need to buy that new tube of concealer - I now know where three can be found
  • several almost empty bottles of Covergirl and Clinique foundation make a lovely bottle 3/4 full of a the perfect winter shade of Clinique-Girl foundation
  • two xerox boxes ready for Goodwill
  • Q-Tips for the year
  • half a recycling can full of empty tubes and bottles
  • neat and orderly closet drawers
Shelves and drawers are getting cleaned, space is opening up, the wallet will be getting fatter.  This must be the flip side of the one-woman mission to stimulate the economy. Shopping the stash!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


and the overlooking of the obvious straying from my resolve....

We have a Guild Project going and ~remember~ I proclaim Guild Projects and Class Projects exempt from my resolve to not start anything new ..... I  can justify most anything stitch related....

We have been challenged with designing a scissors block.   One member's spouse lovingly made the blocks and it is up to us to finish.   No limits:  paint, stain, mod-podge, bead, cover.    I decided to use perforated paper.   Other than a Mill Hill kit a lifetime ago, I have not worked with perforated paper.  I was glad I was astute enough to do a little internet research first.    First tip/best tip - cut your paper larger/much larger and mount on stretcher bars to stitch.  Great tip!

But then there is the stitching.    I picked several motifs and have been stitching and outlining and frogging to get just the right look and the right color combinations.     I can't decide if I wish to use a different motif on each side or to use the scissors motif in different colors on each side.     In my mind this comes together beautifully.   In reality, we shall see and there is a 50/50 chance it will be a hot mess and I will never take my piece to the meeting.    Finished projects are due the second Saturday of February but since I will be going away for 8 days and I don't think perforated paper is the medium of choice to travel with, I need to get moving on this.

Trying to decide if I should outline with one or two threads.  I also have a selection of mystery fabric pulled and may toss the paper aside to use the linen.  Whichever way I go, I'd better get moving.

The scissor's point and bottom half of the scissors are back stitched in one strand, the top 
finger hole (there must be a proper name for that part of the scissors) is backstitched 
in two strands.  I think I will go with one strand.  No need to worry about any fellow guild 
members seeing and copying my idea.   Their finishes will be exquisite and 
mind-blowingly creative, flawless and stitched on 40 count!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Twice in one day!

Too much free time on my hands I guess....I am posting again today.  Downton Abbey returns this weekend.   Just had to share this info.  Season previews and interview with the producer.


Well it is only the 4th day of the year and I need to put a disclaimer on my 2014 Stitching Goals.  I actually realized I had run amok when I did my annual New Year's Day new start which I didn't even technically wait until the 1st to start.  It's all relative - first of the year - again with the justification!    So my stitching path for the year has wild cards which include any guild projects or SAL's, any class projects, and my New Year's Day start will be EXEMPT from this silly concentrate-on-only-two-pieces-at-a-time mantra.

This is Penny America.  Ever have one of those brainless times?   I counted, calculated and even used my ICalc Stitching ap but just struggled with the starting point so disregard the upper left motif.  It is the first 2014 frogging needed.    I knew I would never have order fabric with only a one-inch to 1 1/2 selvage.    I re-started, as you can see, by finding the middle and working out.   Rather than proceed from the center out I just had to stitch over to the left side to validate I ordered a piece big enough.

Getting a new camera for Christmas and looking back I realized I took almost NO holiday pictures. Still too many bells and whistles I don't know how to use on the camera. This is my son, intent on directions to the Flex One I gave him.  

 Gavin looks happy with the afghan made in Penn State colors by Aunt Amy.

Yesterday I had a *snow* day from work.   After shoveling and clearing walkways, a bit of stitching and a bit of napping in the recliner with Buddy on my lap, I thought I needed to get in gear and take advantage of the bonus day at home.   I started the 'undressing' of the house.   Usually it looks bare but this year I am embracing the sleekness of the clean kitchen counter.  Almost everything is down except for the trees.   Small problem, the snow has drifted and blocked access to the door to the section of the garage when the storage tubs are.  Oops!

I moved upstairs with a mission in mind.    I ~Shopped~ My Stash.    I organized my charts and kits.    One small problem....I didn't know how to proceed.  How do you organize them:  by designer, by what is completely kitted, by desired stitching order??    I decided to order by theme:   Christmas together, Patriotic together, etc.  Don't know if it it right or wrong but it works for now.  

Here's my AFTER view of everything sorted and stored.   I got the nifty boxes from Ikea.   There is not enough height in my cabinet to stand the magazine files upright but they work just fine on their sides. 

All these finished pieces that even have the finishing fabrics chosen but I never returned to complete.   It's on the list for this year.  I moved them out of the box they were stored in and into a basket I will have to see every time I go into my sewing room.  Goal - one finish a month.  

If you have managed to stay with me this far, here's a treat.  On my mission to sort I did an honest evaluation of my stash.    I made a decision to get rid of those charts that even though I still love I realize I will never ever do in three lifetimes.   I love Ellen Chester but do I really need another Huswif or Necessary? That and tastes change, new charts come along, etc., etc.  I am offering these up in a PIF/Pay It Forward Give-A-Way.  

1.  Let's keep it simple.  No jumping through hoops.  One entry per person.  Enter by responding to this post only.
2.  You can share this with others, or not.
3.  The winner must agree to peruse the charts, keeping what they wish and passing on what they don't care to keep in a PIF Give-A-Way within 4 weeks of winning.
4.  The winner must agree to shop their stash and include charts, floss, trims, fat quarters, etc. they no longer wish to keep.
5.  Winner must have a blog.
6.  Sorry, USA and Canada entries only.
7.  Winner will be drawn on January 22rd.   I  will be away from the 24th of January until       February 2nd.   Winner will need to follow up via email or a comment during that time.  When I return from the sunny, warm, snowless, Caribbean I will send the package out.  No response by the winner by February 2nd, a new winner will be selected from existing entries.

Whoosh! And that is what I thought was keeping it simple!

Here's the some of the booty:   Mill Hill, JBW, Shepherd's Bush, Maureen Appleton, Milady's Needle, Ellen Chester, Rosewood Manor, Drawn Thread, Cindy Valentine and more.   Most are just the charts, some have embellishments, some have floss, some are complete kits.

That's quite a stack o' stuff.

As for me, I think I will be staying cozy and close to the fire today.   Yes, that is Buddy on the mantle.   After countless times of replacing everything back to its rightful place each evening, I resigned myself that this is where Buddy wants to sleep.   I am not a Cat Owner, I am rather  Owned by a cat!

Happy stitching all and a thank you for stopping by and your comments.   I don't always reply to your comments (life gets in the way sometimes doesn't it) but I do read (and re-read) and cherish that you took the time to visit and leave a note not to mention that I am inspired by your blogs, your stitching, your finishes and your generosity and friendship!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a lizard!

That's what my children used to call it when it snowed!  We sure are having a 'lizard' tonight.    It was stitching night and I was a big sissy and begged off.   Better to stay home all cozy and stitch then white knuckle it across the backroads of the county.  

 Feeling a bit guilty that I am hoping to get that 6 a.m. phone call that work is closed!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Consider this a Public Service Announcement -
Found this link on Stitch Bitch's (Anna's) blog.   Jen Funk-Weber is hosting a free webinar on finishing.    Check it out.  I already signed up!