Monday, March 17, 2014

Wearing o' the White for St. Patrick's Day?

***

Isn't Mother Nature feeling her oats lately?  Hubby and I enjoyed glorious weather in nearby Ireland, WV over the weekend when we visited their Irish Spring Festival AND THEN, we got roughly a foot of snow overnight..  Incredible!  I'm just so glad that it held off until after the festival.  What great fun it was to join the fine people of Ireland to help celebrate the coming of Spring.  There was jig dancing, horseshoe pitching, road bowling, harp concerts, kite flying and an EPIC parade with leprechauns, pigmy goats, lots of candy, step dancers and plenty of red hair to go around.



I truly haven't seen so many people having such a great time since that time I was on cold medicine during the St. Paddy's day parade in Baltimore in 1994, but that's a story for another day...

So, with a foot of snow on the ground, I'll be hanging out at the ranch today... deciding whether or not to hire an air traffic controller for the back deck:



The feeder has been busier than a cut-rate cathouse (if you'll kindly pardon the expression).

So, until next time friends, stay warm, keep stitching and beware of the ides of March!


Friday, February 28, 2014

March Beautiful March

 
 

I do not think it is possible for me to love the month of March more than I already do.  It is a clear and convincing sign that WINTER IS OVER, and we have survived yet another dark, cold season o'misery.
Sure, it may snow or sleet or hail or whatever else in the month of March, but that's okay because the days are getting longer, the afternoons are getting warmer, the birds are back and the flowers are starting to pop up everywhere.  Just like a hot cuppa tea on a cold winter's night, the Month of March warms me from the inside and fills my heart with hope and joy.

Of course, having a wee bit of Irish blood in my veins makes March even more enjoyable.  I confess, I am in heaven the entire blessed month listening to traditional Appalachian/Celtic music (the fiddles and whistles, the reels and jigs...), switching from Earl Gray to Irish Breakfast tea, baking multiple loaves of soda bread, and sipping on an occasional Nutty Irishman as I curl up under a warm blanket with a little book of Irish poetry in the evenings.  Heaven on Earth! 

If you find that your music collection is lacking a Celtic album (yes, I said album) jump on over to Amazon or iTunes and give the search button a workout.  You'll find the uber popular Irish Tenors, Celtic Woman and so many more.  And, before I move on, no library could be called complete without a book of Irish poetry.  I just picked up a small but elegant copy at E. Shaver in Savannah that I'm falling in love with:  Irish Poems.

And so, with that, I'm off to find a delightfully springy, leprechauny, or simply green something to stitch this evening, break out the Irish cream, and hum along to some great Celtic ditties. 

Good-bye February!   Hello March!!!


Here's wishing you a happy weekend, wherever you are!





Saturday, February 15, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweet Savannah

***

Popping in to share a few of my favorite snaps from my quick trip last week...



The natives were bundled up like Eskimos but hubby and I thought it felt like Spring!  Just a light jacket and we were good to go.

Among other places, we visited the Telfair Academy (Museum) / Jepson Center and had the great fortune of seeing the "Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain" exhibition.  Incredible.  Do go if you love Spain, vibrant color, the human spirit, or if you have eyes in your head.  The exhibit departs Savannah in early March...

No stitching on this trip - just sightseeing and lots of good food. 

It's past my bedtime, so until next time - may you be warm, safe and happy, wherever you are.



 




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Monet update...

***

And so another holiday season has come and gone like a runaway train!  Hubby and I slipped out of town in early November and the next thing I knew, it was Little Christmas...  I blame Father Time for making the years slip by so quickly.  I'm putting him on notice in 2014 - I've got your number buddy, and I'm gunning for ya..  The shopping, decorating, wrapping, baking, stitching, and general prep will start earlier than ever.  So there!  (poking finger in the chest of aforementioned time bandit).

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I have dusted off the Monet charts (and the sedatives), and reacquainted myself with my game plan.  It's a wild and crazy pattern with colors galore and virtually no rhyme or reason.  Yep - crazytown.  But, the finished piece is so breathtaking, it encourages me to soldier on.  Here's where I am today:




Here's where I'm headed:


My piece is 16 stitches to the inch, so overall design is scheduled to finish at 8x8 (fingers crossed)...

So now, I'm off to listen to the playoff games and plow ahead with Monet..

Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday, wherever you are!






Sunday, November 24, 2013

Embracing Fall

***

With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, today I am planting both feet firmly in FALL and embracing football games, apple cider, chili on the stove, bread in the oven, and an awesome counted canvaswork Laura J Perin design to help me celebrate everything I adore about Fall...



 
 
Turning Leaves
on 18ct canvas


I wish I knew why Blogger is failing to upload so many of my reasonably sized pics, but alas, I am not a techie, so you'll just have to trust me -- it's beautiful!  :-)  I've only just started it, so there isn't much to see in my progress but it does seem to be going quickly.

To all my fellow Fall lovers:  Dig in my friends!  As you know, come Friday, Christmas spirit commercialism will be EVERYWHERE.  Take a few deep breaths of that crisp autumn air and give thanks for all the blessings you and yours have enjoyed this past year. 

Wishing you all an attitude of gratitude.  Happy FALL!





Sunday, November 17, 2013

Seminar Summary 2013

***

This year, the EGA national seminar slogan was "Winner by a Stitch" and boy-o-boy did I feel like a winner by the end of the week!

For starters, let me back up and say that earlier this year, I purchased a few opportunity tickets for a quilt drawing.  And....since my sister has all the luck o' the Irish, I put her name on my tickets (I know, I know, shame on me...).  She (aka "I") won.  The quilt is phenomenal in design, piecing and quilting.  I am extremely fortunate to have it and will treasure it forever more.



Fast forward one month and I see this spectacular quilt at the EGA seminar:



It was not for sale or auction; you could only purchase chances for it.  I thought, "What the heck"... even though I knew there was absolutely NO WAY I'd win another quilt this year, it couldn't hurt to try.  Right?  Right!!  And, would you believe they pulled my name out of the hat?  Talk about stunned!  I didn't even hi-jack my sister's identity to win it.  Just to gild the lily, it came with a big-ol'-bag of taffy from a 50 year old candy shoppe in Oregon.  YUM YUM YUM!

With all the quilt-flaunting I had to do, I'm glad the drawing was held on the final evening of the convention.  Even though I only took one class, Catherine Jordan's River Bottom box, I took full advantage of having some down time:


Believe it or not, I finished (or nearly finished) all of the above during my time in Louisville.  I can't remember the last time I had five finishes in a single month!
 
I even had time to start this adorable Lizzie Kate fall/halloween biscornu which I just finished today:
 
 
 

And just for good measure, I finished another Christmas ornament this past week while on vacation in Washington D.C.
 



So with jsut about five weeks left until Christmas, I hope you all are finding time to finish a few gifts and maybe even a few keepers... :o)

Have a great week, friends!





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blogger misbehaving...

Sorry folks - Blogger seems to be having a spat with my photo stream.  Update coming as soon as I can negotiate a peace treaty between the two parties...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

***

Good afternoon friends!  Wow wow wow what an action packed month I've had already.  Earlier this month, my EGA chapters partnered to bring renowned needlework instructor Marion Scoular to WV to teach our group a whitework technique called Pulled Stitches.  It is a totally new technique for me (to which hubby said, Seriously?  How is that possible?) and I thoroughly enjoyed expanding my stitching repertoire with this two day workshop.


As you can see, this is an early progress pic.  I'll be finishing this little hummingbird later this month and will be sure to post the finished pic then.

The following weekend was my birthday and hubby decided a quick four day get-away would be good for us.  We drove just three hours up the road to Columbus OH to visit the Country Living Fair, see Cirque du Soleil (Totem), eat at lobster or two at the Fish Market, and swing by (wink wink) a couple of very highly recommended needlepoint shops in Dublin and Powell.

Well.  I'm here to tell you, it was a whirlwind weekend but I enjoyed every last second of it.  I can not say enough good things about the women at What's the Point in Dublin and Louise's Needlepoint in Powell.  Both were exceedingly pleasant, funny, helpful and not even slightly pushy.  Oh, and the sales

HappyBirthdayToMe, HappyBirthdayToMe.... :-D

Being brand spankin' new to painted canvas, I decided to pace myself and focus on small things.  While there were dozens upon dozens of small canvases to choose from, I couldn't resist these:

 



The peacock is by Squiggee Designs and is stunning in real life.  I am very excited to start on it but also a little intimidated (no stitch guide). I want to do it justice and I'm not feeling super confident in my needlepoint skills.  The good news is I have several friends who are needlepoint experts and I plan to pick their brains before I set my first stitch in that one.  I'm thinking spangles!!!

I couldn't wait to start the little stocking and actually worked on it quite a bit in the hotel.. Here is my current progress with it:



I'm honestly loving it and can't wait to send it off to be finished.

And, clearly, I haven't put stitch 1 in my Monet piece since July/August.  I keep hoping the stitching elves will help a girl out.

That's all the news that's fit to report, friends..

Til next time, keep your needles nimble,


 

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sweet September

***

Greetings Friends!  Let me just say how wonderful it is to see "September" on the calendar header... This summer has been great (a bit on the rainy side) but great none-the-less.  However, nothing compares to my love for September.   Another year older, well... yes, but that's okay too.  New years bring new challenges and opportunites am I'm looking forward to all of it.

In July, I was pleased to learned about Tenerife embroidery from a very accomplished needlewoman, Lois Threlkeld, of Tennessee.  Lois traveled to WV just to visit the chapter and teach this project.  I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I loved how it turned out:


Thanks again Lois!  It was a lot of fun!!

Until next time friends...