Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vacay pics, a WIP and a finish (picture heavy)

Happy weekend friends!  It's Labor Day weekend here in the States and I'm again looking back at the summer wondering what I have to show for it..

The highlights of my summer were visiting Niagara Falls for the first time; Stratford Ontario for some Shakespeare (King Lear); and swinging through Frankenmuth MI for some German food and Christmas shopping.  Here are a couple of the best pics:


We stayed in Buffalo NY while visiting Niagara.  Hubby and I both enjoy seeing Frank Lloyd Wright homes/buildings when convenient to our other travel plans and so we spent one afternoon touring the Darwin Martin complex in Buffalo.  Spectacular!  Highly recommend.  Also highly recommend Caramici's Bakery and Bisto down in the Little Italy part of town.  We had dinner on a Saturday evening there and both agree that it was lick-the-plate good!

 
Horseshoe Falls (Canada)
the largest waterfall in North America

After being awe-struck at the Falls, we headed westward to calmer water in Stratford, Ontario to catch King Lear.  The place where we lodged had a beautiful lake on the premises and some of the biggest mosquitoes you've ever seen in your entire life.  I loved the place, but would have died of dehydration (of the blood) if I hadn't bathed in Deep Woods OFF. 


so peaceful...
 

so serene...
 
Everything about Stratford, Ontario (and King Lear) gave me warm and fuzzy flashbacks to those precious days I spent at Oxford studying Shakespeake and British history.  I've been lucky enough to see Shakespeake on stage in Stratford, England twice and now Stratford, Ontario once.  Here's hoping hubby can tolerate a few more Shakespeare plays in his future.  I hear Utah has a killer Shakespeare festival!  :-D
 
While he drove us from point to point, I worked on the JBW baby sampler for a friend from work.  I actually took two WIPs to stitch on the road because I was sure I'd be done with the baby sampler before our return home.  How. Ever.....it kept getting bigger with each passing mile.  When did 8"x 4" get sooooo big???  I'm in the home stretch now though.  Don'tcha just love all the sweet mini motifs in the JBW Designs?  I know I do...
 

 
To Do: chart "Lilliana" for the center area
(color is much prettier in real life)
 
And finally, another Christmas ornament finish to share.  Prairie Schooler this time.  Again, I'm not in love with the finish, so it will be easy to give away!
 
 
 
Have you started your Christmas stitching yet??????   Stitch Happy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cardinal ornament finish

I really love the simple yet elegant art of Charley Harper.  Not only was he a West Virginian but also a bird/nature lover which he expressed in his creations.  While I only own one CH canvas, I've been itching to make a couple of Harper inspired Christmas ornaments.  This one is mainly felt with just a few stitches for wings and such.  The shapes are so simple that I didn't bother with drawing them first.  I grabbed some felt, denim and scissors, and started with the birdbath.  The rest was super easy..



120 days til Christmas!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prelude to Autumn

With all the 'below normal' temps this week, I'd swear it's autumn already!  But, we haven't had the Dog Days or Indian Summer yet so I know Mother Nature is just fooling around.  Fooling around or not, the cool mornings have triggered my Fall Spirit!  Since I'm leading a little blackwork workshop in a couple of months, I decided the time was right to whip up this little tissue cover (and continue ignoring my wedding sampler WIP). 

 
Liz Skinner leaf and acorn design
Marion Scoular tissue cover instructions

Here's hoping you all are having a great week!  Stitch happy,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fun, fast Olympic style finish

Meet Sochi.  Isn't she sweet????  A clever stitcher friend (hi Becky!) charted this matryoshka doll to stitch in honor of the Sochi Olympics back when the games were actually being played.  I thought she was just 'totes ma-goats' adorbs... So even though the 2014 Olympics are a distant memory, here's hoping my Sochi will enjoy hanging with me for years to come.  Anyone designing anything fun to stitch for the RIO games?


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Christmas Ornament finish

Who is feeling ahead of the game?  Me!  That's who!  Christmas ornament #1 (2014) done and finished (cording, tassel, etc.).  I'm not sure I'm in love with it, but hey, it's a start to the ten I am aiming to complete before December 1.

 
 
design from Gift of Stitching magazine
corner motif from larger design


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Slow Hand (as in Geez, am I slow or what!?!)

***

Good day, friends!  It has been forever since I've update my corner of the world wide web and I thought it was high time to do so, a month ago, and then two weeks ago, and yesterday...  So!  Without further ado, allow me to apologize for myself.  I have several excuses.  Select whichever one you like best.

#1) I retired at the end of February.  Yes, like I am no longer in the work force and loving every minute of it.  But, like so many of you know, one doesn't just dive headfirst into the stash pile upon retirement.  No.  "Things" must be done like major housecleaning, closet purging, trip taking, establishing a new routine.  Yes, these things I felt had to come first - so that was my March.

#2) Stepson 1 AND Stepson 2 got married (March and May).  I was asked to photograph the May wedding, hence the photography class in March-April.  Taking the wedding pictures was an honor and a pleasure but one that put me into a state of panic, for a couple of months.  Let me state it clearly for the record, I am not a professional photographer.  I am just an avid shutterbug, doing the best I can.

#3)  I accepted a regional position with the EGA and had to learn a whole new raft of things in preparation for the regional meeting in June in Knoxville.  My stitching pals and I had a great time in Tennessee and didn't make any new enemies - always a plus!!!

#4)  SISTERS TRIP to Cincinnati to see the Princess Di exhibit.  If you are close enough to go see it and haven't yet, go now before it returns home to England  (closing Aug 17th).  Not only are the contents of the exhibit extraordinary, the museum must be credited with putting it all together beautifully.  Truly, one of the best exhibits I've ever seen - and I'm a museum hound.  Oh, did I mention that the hotel valet service in Cincinnati lost my car?  Yeah.  Long story.

#5)  June - the month of wine and roses.  Multiple major family events in June.  I can write off the month of June every year due to back-to-back-to-back celebrations for my baby sister (birthday), husband (birthday) and father (father's day), and my wedding anniversary.  Whew... 

Then, hubby retired at the very end of June.

Now, throw in three funerals between #1 and #5.

Which brings us to JULY and can you believe I actually have an actual FINISH to share?!?!?!  Yes, a stitching finish...


A couple of my sweetest stitchy pals gifted me this kit when I retired.  How sweet is that?!?

Additionally, I am totally chuffed to show you this near-finished Little House piece:


But wait, there's more!  After carefully reading Mary Corbett's recent tutorials about her Tudor Rose project, I could not wait another minute to start my luggage tag, which has had me mystified for over a year.. (I know - it's not rocket science, but needlepoint is new to me).  Mine isn't supposed to be like hers, she just inspired me to find my round 'tuit'.  Working with the Neon Rays and Very Velvet and Planet Earth silks has been a ton o' fun.  The Gumnut wool french knots were just the thing for the center, I thought..


 
 
I'll leave you with this last pic of my soon to be complete wedding sampler WIP called "The Wedding" by My Big Toe Designs.  S2's wedding was in lavender, purple, grey and white so the ground fabric is a platinum linen.  The threads are two shades of GAST overdyed purple (lavender potpourri and hyacinth).  The center section is designed to read "two shall be as one", but I think I will chart their married monogram and stitch it in the center instead (as inserted with photoshop below):

 
 
Me thinks this is plenty for today.  Tune in next time when I tell you all about my super terrific Charley Harper canvas called "And One To Grow On".
 
STITCH HAPPY!
 
 




Sunday, April 27, 2014

Playing Catch Up

***

Greetings, friends!  I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the change of seasons.  With several days of rain coming my way, I thought it was time to post some cheery spring pics.

 
Freshly graduated from my very first photography class, I actually learned what a few of the buttons on my digital camera do... See?  There is the kinda close-up shot (above).
 
And the really close-up artsy shot (below).
 

 
I know --- I'm looking into more classes....
 
There is absolutely no stitching news to report except that I am already packing for the semi-annual Stitchers Retreat being held this upcoming weekend.  (So exciting!)  
 
I have however, spotted two new-to-me birds at the feeder this month. 
 

 
 
And secondly, the stunning Summer Tanager which I have not yet convinced to sit still long enough for me to snap a pic..  However, just so your imagination doesn't run wild with possibilities, here is a pic from allaboutbirds.org:

 
 It is the only totally red bird in North America, and silly me did not even know such a thing existed. 
 

 

 
 
And with that, I'm off to do the official rain dance of my people, a.k.a., wash the car.
 
Happy stitching, friends!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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