Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pinecone Update and Retreat Report


Hello Friends.  I'm back from Retreat and feeling lazy.  REALLY Lazy!  Must be the time of year but all I find myself wanting to do lately is lay around and watch the leaves turn color. 

Retreat was wonderful, as always.  Packed room with good friends, food and enough stitching to sink a battleship.  Instead of taking three projects (one per day), like my normal, I only took Pinecones.  Mainly because I was too lazy to pack more than one project but also because I wanted to get moving with this piece.  My goal was to have it finished and framed by now, but ...  (see lazy remarks above).

Gathering Pinecones
Hillside Samplings

The missing pinecone (in the 2nd position from left) was fly stitched and finished at one point but ended up twice as long as it was supposed to be sooooo out she had to come.  I'm talking to myself about starting it again.  It could be awhile...

Funny how I was drawn to all the specialty stitches in this piece but am not so sure about all of them now.  My lighting has to be just right and I still find myself squinting to get all the over-one stuff just right.  Once I finish the fly stitch pinecone, I might have to put it down for a solely cross stitch ornament, or something else along the easy lines.  Like I said, I've been in lazy mode for awhile...

In closing, let me share my Christmas cactus with you.  It's decided to bloom early this year:

Happy stitching to you, wherever you are...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

taking 5

Have you ever just needed to take 5?  Or 10?  I sure have.  As I sit writing this I am reflecting on a summer that literally passed me by.  I am not sure what I was doing that was so important but I missed summer 2011 altogether.  The winds of fall are blowing with a little sprinkle in the air today and already making my bones ache a bit.  Lord I dread winter. 

I haven't had much time for personal creativity this past month due to setting the program for my chapter on Monday.  The prep work that goes into these programs can be all consuming.  I bow down to all you program chiefs out there.  I don't know how you do it from month to month to month.  All hail Education VPs!

And, lastly, I will shortly return to prepping the budget for my EGA chapter next year.  I can honestly say that I will NEVER never NEVER volunteer to be treasurer for any organization ever again after learning how much work it is for even my small chapter.  All hail Treasurers of the world!  After October, I'll have two more months of treasuring to look forward to before some other lucky duck gets to take over. 

Well that's my 5 kiddos.  I hope this finds you all well and tucked in somewhere stitching.  I'll be on retreat next weekend with the girls so I'll plan to update you on that in about two weeks.

Take Care!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Patriot Day 2011

It's been two months since I've posted and considering today's date, I considered not posting, remaining silent in observation.  Then, on the way back from church, I heard someone on the radio comment that the best thing we all can do for our country in these times is to do exactly what you would have done naturally, in rememberance of 9-11.  So, it's Sunday afternoon.  I've worshipped, eaten and now I'll blog while listening to the sounds of football in the background. 


And, I have two really good reasons to write today.  I actually have not one but two finishes to share!!  Incredible, I know. 

#1)  I have shared before, but now I have all (read that again, slowly.... A.L.L.) the finishing completed.  Since the stitching was finished a while back, it only qualifies as a finish-finish but I couldn't be happier.  Of course, it is the GPA stitching slipper that I began way back when.. and have blogged about a time or two (or four)

scissors case, fob, thread board, tassel and slipper

tufted slipper base

slipper 'rear-end' with carved burgundy button (THANK YOU GIULIA!!!)

felt needle page between slipper layers

You may be able to see the small cording finishing the edges of the slipper top and bottom.  I would be pulling your leg if I told you this was a quick finish.  It was not.  But, it might just be my new favorite stitching set.  Which brings me to my next finish to share..

I started and finished the Quaker pin cube that I've been threatening to start for like EVER.  I filled it with crushed walnut shells so it acts like a paperweight too.  I love Love LOVE it for several reasons but the primary reason is that it is red (and it's three dimensional, and it's Quaker and..)  Don't you simply adore stitching with red thread?  Last week, as I was trying to finish stitching this little pretty and thinking to myself (over and over again) how much I enjoy stitching with red, the Sunday message was about the city of Jericho and Rahab and the red cord that spared her house.  Funny how things just seem to "sync up", sometimes. Maybe I love stitching with red so much because it reminds me of how love is the red thread that flows through everything that is good.   

Quaker pin cube stitched with random overdyed red from stash

Around the house, the table is sporting her fall colours now.  I had the pleasure of having family visit recently so I added the second leaf to the table and two more place settings to make sure everyone had a seat at the table.  It's such a joy to have a table full of family and love...  Don't you agree?

Lately, I've found myself being grateful for everything (large and small) more than normal.  I was even grateful when I discovered that if you press a half melted Milk Dud (because I left them in a hot car by accident) together with a peanut M&M, it turns out to be nearly perfect.  Next time you need a little ooey-gooey perfect party in your mouth, try warming up a Milk Dud -or two- and stick them to a peanut M&M -or two. 

Trust me - it's allllllllll good!!!

And lastly, I leave you with a picture of hope.  It is of a bird house build with love by hubby and just mounted to the tree yesterday.  We hope a couple of happy little lovebirds find it and call it home soon.

So, until next time friends.. hope you enjoy every minute of these beautiful fall days.  Jingle bells will be ringing before we know it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pinecone Progress

I have something to tell you, and you should sit down to hear it.  I wouldn't want anyone to pass out with shock...

I've picked up Gathering Pinecones to see if it's possible to finish it  and have it framed before September.  Wouldn't THAT be exciting???  FRAMING!!!!  Can't remember the last time I proudly waltzed a finished piece of needlework in to the framer.

I love these little Cretan stitch pinecones in the border:

They look a little funny without their tops on, but don't we all?


Hope you all are sneaking in some stitchin' this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon.


Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July 'round the house


Happy Birthday, USA!

A few things I'm thankful for:
  • I am so thankful today for all the past, present and future uniformed service men and women who work, fight and die to protect my freedom. 
  • I am thankful for the founding fathers and their infinite wisdom. 
  • I am thankful for every teacher who leads her classroom in the Pledge of Allegiance. 
  • I am thankful for our government leaders and their quest to do what is best for my country.  
  • I am thankful for my pocket sized Constitution of the United States of America.  If it's been awhile since you looked over the Constitution, click HERE.   In the current political atmosphere, the word "unconstitutional" seems to come up frequently.  It helps to understand what IS constitutional in order to better understand what is NOT constitutional (aka "unconstitutional"). 
  • I am thankful too for my freedom of speech.  I can not imagine living in a world without it.

I am also thankful to have marked many pesky little jobs off my "To Do" list lately.

Like finding napkins, tablecloth and silverware to match new dishes...

(better match in real life)

Making time to get a flower arrangement made for a special vase...

Having a lightening bolt of a great idea for organizing my espresso cups in the kitchen...

Finding appropriate frames for about 20 little pictures...

Hanging the pillow shams (I shared here several months ago) in my stitching room...

Finding an affordable, comfortable, attractive desk chair for my office nook...


Nothing is quite as good for my mental health as wiping out an extra long To Do list. 

Hope you are enjoying friends, family and a fine cook-out wherever you are.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guess Who...

You know it's been awhile since you updated your blog when you log in and Blogger says, "Who?  I'm sorry.  No one by that name lives here."

My deepest apologies for dropping off the face of the planet, but two years worth of "I'll get to that later" caught up with me about a month ago.  It all started with "Honey, have you seen the lid to this bowl?".  Which precipitated the emptying out and re-organizing of the pantry.  I threw away tea I bought when I was in college... 20 years ago...

You've seen this movie, right?  The "Git 'r Done" high you get from cleaning out a small area makes you think you are Super Girl and should tackle the closets, junk drawers, laundry room, kitchen cabinets, garage, garden, deck, car and everything else that has been overtaken by "I don't have time to deal with this right now".  Well, yes...that's exactly what I've been doing for the last four weeks, in addition to working very long days, six days a week. 

The Virgo in me is proud to say that as I sit here blogging at something til 2 am, the laundry is caught up, every dish I own is clean, the plants are watered, the fam is fed, the garden has been tended, the decks have been swabbed, the sheets have been changed, the pictures have been framed, car has been washed, oil has been changed, hair will be cut, and on and on...  I'm ashamed to say how long it's taken me to get my round tuit. 

As you may know (if you've been here before), hubby and I were on vaycay all of May.  Then we have June (a.k.a. the month of "Wine and Roses") with Father's Day, Sister's Birthday, Hubby's Birthday and anniversary.  So, as you can imagine, between prepping for our trip, then the actual trip, then celebrating something different every third day, there has not been much time for blogging. 

However, for hubby and me, the Fourth of July is always the marker of the slower pace of summer.  Personally, I can't wait.  I've whittled my "To Do" list down to the bare nubbin's, and believe I can see some serious stitching time in my very near future. 

I know. 

I KEEP saying that. 


Happy Fourth, friends!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Looks like Happiness to me..

Without fail, these yellow and orange flowers cheer me up immediately, no matter what...

I hope they bring a little cheer to your corner of the world today, too!

Wishing you happiness...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Still catching up

The older I get, the longer it seems to take me to get back in the swing of things after being away for even a few days.  I told a friend the other day that I was so far behind I was about to lap myself and she thought that was the funniest thing she'd ever heard. 

I'm glad she got a kick out of makes me want to cry!

While I was away 'on holiday', my office experienced a 33% turnover (a resignation, a retirement, a promotion, etc.) and my boss was promoted to another office.  We are were a two-manager office, so you do the math.  I'm down a third of my staff and my 'better half' left me (former boss, not husband), so work has been nuts since the moment I walked back in the door.  In an effort to just get my head above water I worked about 9 hours Saturday (which I thankfully haven't had to do in about 10 years!).  It's going to be rough for the next three to six months, but I'm feeling very strongly about not giving work every second of every day.  I want to STITCH something!  ANYTHING!

One thing about being so far out of any kind of normal routine, I feel totally free to jump back in anywhere I want.  I have a mound of WIPs I could use to warm-up with (don't want to pull a hammy).  But I also have a couple of extra special PIGs (projects in grocery sack) that are calling my name.  So, we'll see what happens after church today.  I'm feeling very 'stitchy'.  :-)

I'll leave you with a couple of vacation shots (until there are stitching updates to share...)

The window shopping in Venice was out of this world!

velvets to die for

and silks...

There were several of these Venetia Studium (click link to visit their website) stores throughout Venice and each featured a different color scheme in the window.  And they changed the windows very frequently.  I was mesmerized by each!

 in every imaginable color...

I'm pretty sure those aqua crocodiles were made for Elton!

You know how I have kind of 'a thing' for paint chips?  Well, the vibrant colors and orderly display of these silk scarves and shawls were almost more than my heart could bear.  I wanted so badly to pluck about 40 of them off the shelf and stuff in my purse, but since Italian prison is not my idea of a good vacation, I admired them from afar... 

silk shawls ($200 and up, each)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

And just like that, it's over..


Hi All!  I'm back from vacation and anxious to catch up with everyone.  I'm also anxious to catch up the laundry, mail, email, etc., but those pesky nuisances can wait a little while longer.

So, how was the trip?  In a word, incredible.  I'm a traveler and student at heart, so the past three weeks have been completely inspirational for me (and totally exhausting I'm afraid for dear hubby).  I won't bore you with the minutia but hope you don't mind me sharing some highlights with you as I have time to edit pictures (around 3000) and review my travel diary.  Yes, I am a nerd...but you knew that already, right?

Quickly, here's a nutshell:

Italy is captivating.  It is chock full of the best, greatest, most unique, oldest, rarest and most precious treasures the world has ever seen.  If you are into art, history, religion, architecture, literature, romance, mystery, comedy/drama, music, food, wine, photography, cooking, collecting, biking, hiking, sunbathing, etc., Italy is for YOU.  I love(d) it all - seriously.  For me, it was the total hedonistic experience. 

Italy is also chock full of tourists from every corner of the world.  More on that later.

Best things I did before the trip:
  • Set up a savings account (like a Christmas club) and saved (for years) for the trip
  • Lost weight - (like, a lot of weight)
  • Learned basic Italian
  • Packed an empty carry-on (for souvenirs, gifts, museum books, etc.)
  • Studied street maps of the major cities we were visiting
  • Used Rick Steves' website as a tool to plan the trip

Stupidest things I did:
  • Planned a three week, six city vacation to a place I'd never been instead of using a travel agent
  • Packed six pairs of shoes (I know, I know...)

What I wasn't prepared for:
  • Nerve wrecking noise levels in Florence and Rome
  • Encountering fellow tourists who were having a miserable time because they (multiple choice/fill in the blank): were having trouble communicating, couldn't understand the menu, had to walk too far, had to wait in line too long, wanted something in another size or color but it wasn't available in that size or color, etc.
Why do people go to foriegn countries on vacation and expect it to be like EPCOT?  Come on people!  You are in ITALY!  They speak ITALIAN here (many also spoke English very well).  And, SO WHAT if you had to walk half a mile to see the basilica of St. Peter?!?  On several occasions, I found myself feeling angry at the B.A.Ts (bad attitude tourists) and feeling sorry for Italians who put up with them day after day after day.  The longer we were there, the more empathetic I became.  While I was hesitant (nervous) to use the little bit of Italian I had learned at first, I quickly learned that ANY Italian was better than none at all and was GREATLY appreciated by the locals.  

Imagine being a waitress in a small cafe in your hometown.  You serve coffee and sandwiches for 12 hours a day.  Now imagine that of the 1200 customers you will serve today, 800 of them will not speak a lick of English and probably half of those will get upset AT YOU for not understanding exactly how they want their coffee and sandwich.  And you do this 6 days a week in order to barely scrape by.

One thing I noticed right away was the eye contact.  I'm big on eye contact.  When I'm having a face-2-face conversation with someone, eye contact is essential to me.  If I'm not given eye contact in return, it honestly hi-jacks my train of thought.  I can't carry on a conversation without it.  I don't know why.  Can't explain it.  I carry on phone conversations just fine.  But in person, I need you to look at me if we are going to have a conversation.  So, what I noticed was many of the waiters, clerks, and hotel staff did not make or sustain eye contact with tourists.  It struck me as peculiar - maybe a cultural thing..maybe not...  I watched.  It was definitely a pattern.  Then what I discovered, quite by accident, is that the instant I began to sputter my broken Italian... Boom ... Eye Contact!  They would look up from their order pads, key pads, cash registers, and smile at me!  And talked to me in their best English.  I'm sure my childlike language skills were amusing to them but honestly, I didn't care.  By trying to learn their language in order to communicate clearly, what I had done was found a way to connect to a people who are overrun, daily, with thousands of visitors from every corner of the globe who don't speak a single words of their language. 

I had a lot of fun trying out my Italian everywhere~ even in the gift shop where the two teenage clerks talked about how I had touched everthing in the store and probably wouldn't buy anything (yes, directly in front of me).  I continued to browse quietly for a few minutes, then, in my best Italian, said "Do you take credit cards?  I would like three of these in blue, please. They are gifts for my family back in the US.  Will you wrap them?  Thank you."    The girls looked horrified.  One dashed off to the stockroom, never to be seen again.  The other couldn't have been more humiliated.  She turned red, called me 'madam' about a dozen times, threw in a couple of freebies and gift wrapped every thing very nicely.   :-)    As I was leaving the shop, I threw in a "You have a great day", just for good measure.  Big self-satisfied smile, exit, stage right.  Wished I knew the word for 'darlin'. 
I hope this doesn't sound horrible.  I wasn't mad at the girls. They were just being kids.  I was just terribly pleased with myself.  :-))

Other than shopping, and eating, and visiting churches, galleries and museums, we walked, a lot.  In three weeks of pasta, pastry, cheese, wine and daily gelatos (plural), I lost five pounds.  Okay, so I was a little OCD about getting up early and beating all the tourists to the best places for the best picture taking opportunities.  Many mornings, I would get up and out before 6 o'clock and run around all over the historic districts in order to get a few unhurried shots.  This was one of my favorite things to do and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to photo-document their vacations and isn't on a fixed schedule.  By 9:00 am., in Venice, Florence, and Rome, you were shoulder to shoulder with a million other tourists.  You've been warned that pickpockets abound and traffic (in Florence and Rome) is a nightmare, so stopping in the middle of the street or bridge or evening making your way across a plaza to take a picture was not easy, if even possible.

If I haven't gushed enough for you to tell, I loved every minute of it.  Except maybe toting my luggage off and on countless trains.  I didn't love that part.  I hated that part.  I hated that part enough to think to myself, Why didn't I just book a bus tour?  Then I'd just have to get my luggage from the room to the bus.  Easy breezy, lemon squeezy.  But nooooo...We had to be 'independent travelers'.  Just two tourists, a train pass, six cities and increasingly heavy luggage.  Yes, that part sucked.  I'm sure my chiropractor will have a full blown fit when he gets a glimpse at what I've done to my back - but, what the heck, I may never get to see Italy again, so it was worth it!

That's enough for now.  I'm off to the laundry room.  

Here's hoping you and yours have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Let the SUMMER begin!!! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Roman Holiday


Today we depart the ancient and inspiring city of Florence and head off to Rome for the remainder of the week.  I'm sure by this time, my camera card(s) are full, my pants are too tight and I am wishing that I had brought yet another empty suitcase!

Monday is dedicated to Vatican City (there is a virtual tour of the Sistine and Pauline Chapels available on the website that will take your breath away)

Honestly, I can hardly wait.  With tickets in hand, I've been anxiously anticipating seeing the world's most valuable collection of art (Popes have all the greatest toys), St. Peter's monument, the dome of the cathedral, and of course, the Sistine and Pauline Chapels.   I could just faint.

The rest of the week will be focused on ancient Rome and all of it's magnificent offerings:

the Roman colosseum

Trevi fountain

the Spanish Steps

Of course this just skims the surface of what all there is to do and see in Rome.  While we are taking in the Steps and surrounding area, I hope to be able to visit the Keats-Shelley Memorial House and also take tea at Babington's Tea Room.  If we can't find time for tea, I know we'll find time for a pizza!
And what visit to the eternal city would be complete without a stop at Villa Medici:

and Villa Borghese too before heading back home, that is if I can find my way to the airport.. (hummmm..)

Movie suggestions:  Roman Holiday, National Lampoon's European Vacation, and Eat Pray Love

I'm sure it will take me more than a day or two to get sorted away back home. Until then, Basta Pasta, amici!  :-)   

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bye-Bye Venice, Hello Florence


After four magical days and nights in Venice, today we are training down to Florence in the heart of Italy. 

Michelangelo Buonarroti's "David"

While I was designing our Florence itenerary, I had to make some tough choices about what to leave out.  It seems that every single thing that was ever done in Florence, or by Florentines, or brought to Florence is simply put, incredible.

Trivia:  Did you know that Pinocchio (and his creator) was from Florence?

Highlights of Florence
  • tour the Duomo (cathedral)
  • crossing the Ponte Vecchio (bridge) built in 1345
  • the Accademia to see Michelangelo's David
  • the Uffizi museum to see Botticelli's The Birth of Venus
  • the Bargello museum to see Donatello's David
(don't you just hate name droppers?)

Artists and architects, poets and engineers, musicians and philosophers seemingly burst from the Florentine womb spewing forth masterpiece after masterpiece.  I could honestly spend all summer in Florence and never get bored.

Michelangelo was a fine sculptor and painter, but in my book, Leonardo was "the man". 

It gives me chills to think I will be walking the actual streets that he walked five centuries ago.

Movie suggestions:  The daVinci Code, Much Ado About Nothing

If I haven't already been forced to buy myself an auxiliary stomach, I plan to try every "Florentine" dish I see between now and Sunday when we leave for Rome.

Hopefully, we can squeeze in a side trip to Assisi, the home of St. Francis (or San Francesco, as they say...) before plunging head-long into Rome.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th - Che fortuna!

* * *

It may be Friday the 13th, but it feels like my lucky day.  For just about as long as I've known there was a place called Italy, I've longed to see Venice.  It feels pretty surreal, still, that hubby and I will be sailing down the Grand Canal to reach our hotel today.  

  gondolas near Hard Rock, Venice Italy

For such a small place, there are about 100 things on my "To Do, See, Buy" list.  Glass beads (aka Venetian pearls), Venetian marbled paper, carnivale masks, Hard Rock t-shirts (but of course), and every other tourist-y thing they are all geared up to sell me.  The challenge is always finding the nicest quality without breaking the bank.  Ha!  Who am I kidding - by now I'm sure I am broke as a joke, but I never let that stop me.  :-)

On Sunday, I think we'll visit the neighboring isles of Murano and Burano to see the amazing glass and lace makers, first hand. 

We're told Sunday is a good day to visit Mur-Bur since many tourists assume the shops are closed.  That means that only 300 people rather than 400 will be sharing my personal space.  :-)  Gotta love Europe!

Burano (Venice, Italy)

Naturally, we'll explore St.Mark's square, the basilica  (bas-ill-ee-catta), the Doge's Palace, the Accademy of Art and much much more, but first, perhaps a cafe at the Danieli...

Movie suggestions:  The Tourist (Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), The Italian Job

On the menu:  since Venice is an island, in a lagoon, lots of fresh fish and fruit are on the menu.  Yum.  Gotta save time for a Peach Bellini at Harry's Bar, the birthplace of the Bellini.

Italian phrase for the day:
  • There are many tourists in Italy = Ci sono molto turisti en Italia.
  • Che bella! = How pretty!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mama Mia, I'm in Milano

* * *

It's Wednesday already so hubby and I are leaving tranquil Como shortly after breakfast and training to the fashion metropolis of Milano today.  I think I'm looking forward to seeing our hotel as much as I am daVinci's Last Supper:

Leonardo's fresco at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Milan, Italy

We should be checking in no later than 1pm (7am back home). 

I'd have to pull the records to be sure, but I'm pretty positive that this is the most expensive hotel I'll ever have the good fortune of staying in. (omg/choke/cough/sputter she says as she clings to her souviner money)

But fear not!  There will be shoe shopping.  (whether you are a shoe fan or not, you're going to want to click that link).

Key phrases for the day:  
  • I need these shoes in black in size 40. 
  • My dear husband has our money.


I'm told that Milan has just about everything you can imagine, but from the looks of the super-mall located right next to our hotel...

I know this is going to be a different kind of shopping, altogether.

May the force be with me...and my VISA card.

For dinner, maybe Something (Pork/Chicken/Whatever) Milanese.  Or spaghetti pomodoro?  Or risotto primavera?  Or maybe just a pizza.  But, before I leave Milan, I MUST MUST MUST find the gelateria with the Nutella gelato.  Are these people geniuses or what?

OMG - my mouth waters just thinking about it. mmmmmmmmm

Friday, May 6, 2011

Italy - Here We Come!

Today is a very exciting day for the hubs and I.  We are on our way to Italy!  It's a trip that has been 4 years in the making, so to say I'm excited to actually be boarding a plane is the understatement of the century.

I've pre-written these next few posts to keep the "fam" up with our travels.  Please feel free to follow along and experience la dolce vita with us..  Stitching posts will resume in June.

D (as in Departure) Day:

Arrivederci, USA! 

Buongiorno Italia!

Saturday 5/7:  We should be landing in Milano around 9 am Italy time (3am Eastern Standard Time-USA) and training directly to Lake Como for a few days.   Barring all snags, we should be unpacked and enjoying a freshing beverage by noon-ish (6am back home/ five o'clock somewhere).

Lake Como, Italy

Perhaps a quick nap will be in order after lunch (a pesto panino perhaps?).  I'm psyched to watch the sunset across the lake and enjoy our first Italian dinner tonight.  I have not yet decided what I'll eat but I feel sure I'll be sipping a new-to-me red wine tonight.  Maybe a Chianti???   And later (to help me stay awake past 6pm...) I foresee an espresso, or 'cafe', and tiramisu for dessert.

:-P  (that's my tongue hanging out my mouth, btw)

Thank goodness I packed the stretchy pants.  :-)

While here ("Base Camp Alpha") we will majoring in "Wining, Dining and Loafing 101".  Lots of down time by design, but a couple of fun things to do (like shopping for pretty silk baubles in Bellagio and maybe even a bottle of Lemoncello) before heading off to the Fashion Capital of the World, Milano, next Wednesday.

If you'd like to see more about Lake Como, click HERE.

Until then, ciao amici!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken Stitchin'

What's kickin' chicken?

Isn't this pincushion just about the cutest thing you've ever seen? 

I thought so too!  My thanks go out again to my EGA chapter Education Crazy Smart Genius, Liz, for bringing this project my way.  Since our Education theme is Traveling Around the World, Liz draws inspiration from folk needlework from all over the world.  Our chicken pincushion was found on a Russian blog, so he is our Russian chicken.  :-)  

To make your own, you only need to stitch a rectangular shaped piece about 3"x7".  If you want your chicken to look symmetrical, keep in mind that it's "spine" runs down the middle of your design (landscape orientation). 

Click here for the tutorial and to see many different chickens.  I "heart" the plaid one. 


Speaking of birds!  I caught one of the pileated woodpeckers with the camera the other day.  They don't get too close to the house but this one seemed to be very intent of getting the attention of another woodpecker.  My guess is that it was not paying too close attention to where they were.  You can't miss those bright red heads!

Hubby and I are off for our great adventure tomorrow.  I've set up a series of posts that should publish automatically while we are gone, to let all the fam know where we are and what we are doing.   Feel welcome to follow along..