I only stitch on days that end in "y".

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas wrap up and Happy New Year

Christmas was a little different this year (because of DH's "medical adventure") but nice.  DH continues to do well and we're hoping he can get back to work next week.  He needs more than the doc's verbal ok to him (a specific form) and, because of the holidays, it's taking a while to get that.  We're both looking forward to getting back to "normal" (whatever that is).  lol!

Our Christmas dinner:

Now I'm back to my daily walks  (really need them after ingesting all the holiday calories) and enjoying more time to stitch and crochet.  I'm hoping to finish CCN's Silent Night which I started last year.  I was the model stitcher for this one and knew the minute I saw the graph for it that I was going to be stitching it again for me to keep.

I'm also making progress on the baby afghan and deciding which birth sampler (probably La D Da's Gabrielle Rose) and Christmas stocking (maybe one of the Shepherd's Bush ones)  I want to do for our new grandbaby coming next March.

I'm behind on my LHN Calendar Girls and plan to start either December or January for my Jan. 1 start.  I'm also behind on my Halloween and Christmas ornament stitching but will get going again on those too.  Oh!!!  I also want to start a sampler and may even start 2....Red House Sampler by The Sampler Company and a repro, Hannah Lancaster.  That should keep me busy!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

My husband had surgery Dec. 1 and ever since then, the time has just flown by!  I've always respected nurses but now so even more after I've been doing dressing changes, etc. at home.  He's doing well...and even has baked some Christmas cookies for me.

I've scaled back a bit on Christmas prep but here are some of the things I've done:

Living room tree.  The crochet angel on top and the tree skirt were made by my late maternal grandma.  I usually cram more ornaments on it but downsized a little this year.  On the mantel you can see one of the pictures I display of our kids when they were little.  I enjoy getting those pictures out every year.

Snowman tree in the foyer

Dining room tree.  Included on this tree are some little ornaments the kids made when they were in school and also some photo ornaments they made.  The kids laugh at me every year when I unpack these because often tears are shed.  (They grew up so fast!) The angel is one that was made by my sister-in-law for our first baby.  I put it on the post of the crib as a guardian angel for all our babies and now like to use it as a tree topper. Years ago, I made a latch hook tree skirt that I use for this one.  The dog thinks it's for him and likes to rearrange it whenever I'm not looking.

I also have tabletop trees in one of the bathrooms (decorated with sea shells we collected from a nearby beach) and the computer room (music theme).  I have a ceramic tree that my mother made on a table in the foyer too.

I stuffed our poor dog into a Santa outfit that was just slightly too small for him.   I'll send it to my sister so her dog can be humiliated by wearing it next year.

Grandma also crocheted lots of snowflakes.  Since we almost never have snow here in SE TX, I like to put them on the glass doors that lead to our backyard and the lake.  This is not a great picture, but you get the idea.

Here's the haphazard display on my jelly cupboard.  I love that little wall quilt.  One year I cross stitched a bunch of bookmarks for a woman who made this quilt for me in exchange.  It's one of my favorite things to take out for Christmas.  Also more pictures of the kids when they were small and some stitched ornaments on the wire tree.  The snowman tree is to the left of the cupboard so I put some more snowmen here too.

The mantel:

I finished my youngest child's stocking late in the afternoon of Christmas Eve that year.  lol!  Newman is the dog.

We've been busy baking cookies....2 kinds of biscotti, date nut pinwheels, spritz trees, rustic nut bars, pizzelles, and tomorrow I'll finish off with some raspberry thumbprint cookies.  I'll be making Louie's pie (what my late MIL called a rich vanilla cream pie topped with a layer of golden raisins soaked in rum, banana slices, slivered almonds, and meringue.  The other pie I like to make is Crimson Pie with a filling of cranberries, oranges, and blueberries.  DH will also make some more sugared pecans.

We had a Cookies and Carols celebration at church last Sunday where all the singing groups and the bell choir performed and everyone there sang carols together.  Every family who came brought their favorite Christmas cookies, candy, or other treats.  The tables looked so festive with all the treats!  There were even a couple of trifles.

I sing in the choir and also a little faith band and got to sing a verse (solo) of Mary's Boy Child with the faith band and a solo part with the choir in Not That Far from Bethlehem.  It was so much fun to sing and also listen to the other groups.

I've not been stitching as much but I've been working on a baby afghan for our grandchild who's due to be born next March.  I'm a very beginner at crochet but the baby motivated me to try to make an afghan.

Here's something I'm excited about...(it doesn't take much).  We tried planting a potted poinsettia in a flower bed after last Christmas thinking it probably would die.  It seemed to like it there and we thought we'd enjoy the foliage.  Recently I noticed it changing colors.  Cool!

My stitching has taken a back seat but I'm hoping to work a little more on Nikki's (Country Cottage Needlework's) Silent Night.  I was the model stitcher for that one and want to stitch it for myself too.

Only 2 of our 4 children will get to be here for Christmas but I'm very thankful for Skype and Facetime.

Merry Christmas and.....

Happy stitching!

Monday, November 30, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday.  One of our kids got to come home to celebrate with us and he brought along one of his college roommates.  I asked him later if his friend enjoyed his visit and his answer was that with all that food around, he really enjoyed himself. 

Speaking of food........

The "spread":

Cranberry Nut Bread (a new recipe I tried this year):

...and the pies:

I started something....baking cookies for every time I see the college boys.  Even their roommates have come to expect cookies.

My back pain is much improved although I still have to be very careful with how I move.  It's amazing how we take for granted moving without pain.  I'm so grateful to be feeling so much better.

I finished the model stitching and it has gone "home" safely.  I'll let you know when it's released.

I'm a little late on November's LHN Calendar Girl...and probably will be stitching a few Christmas ornaments so I'll probably continue to be late with this one as well as December's.  I'll eventually catch up.  I might even put Nov. aside and work on Dec. since I enjoy stitching seasonal items during the appropriate season.  (Sorry about the headless girl.  I started in the middle and like to work from the top down.  I like to pierce the needle from the back into a "clean" hole and then push it to the back in the "dirty" hole...if you know what I mean.)  I'll turn the piece upside down to work from the middle up towards the top.)

I'm also hoping to be able to crochet a baby blanket for our expected grandchild.  I'm a very beginner at crochet but a friend of mine showed me an "easy" design for a blanket just using single and double crochet stitches.  Wish me luck!

Speaking of the baby, here's the most recent profile picture of DD.  (She and her DH are visiting relatives in PA and OH this week and decided that's the last plane trip for her before the baby is born.)

We're enjoying a "cold front" (which in Gulf Coast Texas isn't very cold) but it helped put us in the mood to start decorating for Christmas.  DH managed to put up 3 trees and garlands above our windows.  I packed up both the Halloween decorations (that I'd piled up upstairs when I couldn't do much because of my back pain) and the Thanksgiving decorations and put out a few of the other Christmas decorations.  There's much more to do but we made a good start.  DH is having surgery tomorrow so I'll do the rest when he comes home.

We're expecting all 3 of our sons (including the one who lives in Denmark) to visit for Christmas so we're looking forward to it.

Happy stitching!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Small Finished Finish and a Model Revealed

This will be for an ornament exchange.  I love these little sled ornaments;  they're so cute and you can stitch up something quickly to mount on them.  I hope to mail it to the recipient either today or tomorrow.

I'm on the home stretch of the model I'm stitching.  I love the design!

Speaking of model stitching, Nikki (Country Cottage Needleworks) released another design that I model stitched for her.  It's called "Merry Christmas, My Deer".

For more info on this (and other) designs:  Country Cottage Needleworks

My back pain is starting to improve but I'm still moving very carefully.  Hopefully I won't have another "bout" of this for a very long time.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Birthday Club at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is starting a birthday club.  Click below to read the details:

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Birthday Club

Happy stitching!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prayers for France

I'm horrified by the carnage in Paris last night as are all decent human beings.  I pray for France, all families whose lives have been forever changed, for all humanity...and, most importantly, for peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Oh, My Aching Back!

I injured my back when I was in my mid-20's.  As a result, I periodically suffer from muscle spasms and back pain.  Since I started exercising regularly, these times don't happen as often, but I'm just "lucky" this week, I guess.  It started last Friday and by Tuesday I was feeling a little better so stubborn me decided to get back to my normal activities and exercising.  Not a good idea bc I've been paying for it ever since then.  I'm starting to improve by being more careful now and I know I'll be back to (my) normal before long.  It's definitely not "my first rodeo".

About the only good thing about these "bouts" is that it gives me lots of stitching time on the couch with the heating pad.  I'm making good progress on a model and was able to take some time out from it to stitch this little guy by Redbird Designs:

...and this little gem by Homespun Elegance that appears in the 2013 JCS Ornament issue:

This one will be mailed away for a block exchange but I like it so much, I might stitch it again to keep.

...and speaking of model stitching, I think one that I stitched is about to be revealed.  I'll post about it when it happens.

Our daughter and son-in-law found a house, bid on it, and their bid was accepted.  They've already had the inspection and will close later this month.  I saw pictures of it on the realtor's website except for the "Grandma Room" but I hear "my" room is very nice and has its own full bathroom...sans heater.  lol!  DD assures me they'll have a space heater in there for us when we visit...but I don't really care as long as it has hot water.  I'm so pleased that everything seems to be going so smoothly for them and they'll be moved in and settled before the baby arrives next spring.

I haven't done much at all of cooking this week because of my back pain.  We've been raiding the freezer of meals and have been eating pretty well.  I think we both like this new system where we prepare a full recipe of a dish and then freeze enough for a later meal.  It's come in quite handy many times already.

Happy stitching!

Friday, October 30, 2015

A PS Angel

I'm busy model stitching but I also managed to stitch up a PS Angel (from the Christmas Past leaflet) for the Christmas ornie sal blog.

Our daughter, who's expecting our first grandchild (who we just found out is a girl) was here for a brief visit.  We'd intended to pick her up from the airport in Houston and drive to Austin so she could visit with our sons but we had lots of rain and flash flooding warnings so we decided not to take the chance of encountering high water.  We had a nice time while she was here but the visit went by very quickly.

Happy stitching!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Another contest at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is hosting a Be Ye Thankful contest for some of her beautiful Thanksgiving-themed goodies.  Check it out on her blog:

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Be Ye Thankful drawing

Good luck and....

Happy stitching!

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Calendar Girl, Santa, and PS

I'm still managing to keep up on stitching my one-per-month LHN Calendar Girls.  Here's October:

I've enjoyed stitching these little cuties so far and they're quick to stitch up.

I also stitched a little Foxwood Santa to mount onto one of those cute sleds (that I have ordered).  Someone twisted my arm to join in an ornament exchange...didn't take my arm-twisting.  I'm "finishing impaired" and then remembered those sleds...and the fact that I have almost a whole roll of stitchery tape I can use.

I finished frogging out my mistakes on the PS piece and made some progress:

The ragweed pollen counts are peaking here which means I'm spending more time inside stitching.  While I hate the effects of the ragweed allergy, who can complain about more stitching time?

I'm working on a new model too so my personal stitching will be taking a back seat for a while.

Happy stitching!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Christmas Floss Giveaway at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Here's a chance to win some of Nancy's beautiful floss in Christmas colors.  Details on her blog:

Christmas Floss Giveaway at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Good luck!

Happy stitching!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Cherish Life!

We received some shocking news at the beginning of this week.  A fairly young (middle aged) and apparently healthy fellow church member died in his sleep.  His wife has been battling a recurrence of breast cancer so we've all been very concerned about her.  It never dawned on us that he would be gone so soon.

Things like that make us slow down from our hectic lives and remember to cherish our loved ones.  We take so much for granted!!

On the stitching front....I was going gangbusters on my PS Seasons.  Here's the progress picture BEFORE I realized I'm "off" on quite a bit of it so have some frogging to do. (I blame trying to stitch while watching college football.) I was so frustrated that I put it down for a while to work on a Halloween ornament from JCS Halloween edition 2012.

Remember to hug your loved ones!

Happy stitching!

Friday, October 2, 2015

2 WIPS No More and College Football

I must confess that I'm a serial starter so my wip pile gets pretty high.  I'm trying to whittle it down a bit by sneaking in a wip to finish every once in a while.  I'm in a fall mood and picked up these 2 that I started last fall:

CEC Nutkins mitten

I can see in my mind's eye a bunch of these CEC mittens stitched and "finished" into mitten-shaped pillow ornaments.  I'm slowly stitching mittens.  We'll see if the master plan ever materializes.  I made a couple of changes in this one...I used seed beads instead of French knots for the eyes and, since there wasn't much contrast between the fabric and the floss, I outlined the mitten with backstitching.

CEC "Leaves" (can you see a theme here?)

I'd seen a picture of this one (stitched) online and knew it was CEC but it took a while for me to figure out that it's from leaflet 142 Winter Circle.  I fondly call this guy "Leaf Man" and am thinking it would be cute "framed" in a grapevine wreath.

I'm so close to finishing Live, Laugh, Love sampler but have been thinking of what initials and date to use.  It's a prominent part of the design and I thought my initials and the current year don't quite match the mood.  I may use my grandma or great grandma's initails and birth date.  I'm still thinking about it.

I also started a fall Prairie Schooler design but haven't taken a picture of it yet.

We had a treat last weekend.  Our friends offered UT(exas) tickets to us again this year...the ones on the 50 yard-line 2 rows up from the field.  Of course, we took them up on it!  They were inducting various athletes into the UT Athletic Hall of Fame so there were lots of extra people on the sidelines.  We looked down at one point and there was Matthew McConaughey (a UT graduate and a big UT football fan) on the sidelines no more than 10-15 feet away from us.  He was very gracious posing for pictures for whoever wanted them...and there were a lot of people who wanted them.  UT failed to win the game but we had a great time anyway.

We forgot to take selfies until after the game when we were hot/sweaty.  Note the lovely "hat hair".

Happy stitching!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another contest at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Nancy's hosting another contest, this time for a boxed set of her beautiful Antique Dried Flower floss.

See her blog for details:

Contest for boxed set of Antique Dried Flower floss

Good luck!

Happy stitching!

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Finish and a WIP

I finished the stitching on this little guy from PS leaflet 198 Christmas Tree Farm for the Christmas Ornie sal blog. This one reminds me of the years we'd take the kids to cut our own trees and Christmas tree farms when we all were younger.  I think I may finish finish it like the fall ornament I did recently.  Quick and easy!

I'm on the home stretch of Primitive Betty's "Live, Laugh, Love" sampler.  I just have to stitch in the initials and date.

 I'm continuing with my daily walks and "stepping" that I added last week (despite the muscle soreness).  I (and my legs) feel more energized having added the stepping.  I'll try to keep it up.

Finally.....we're overjoyed and excited to be expecting our first grandchild next spring.  We're hoping to find out the gender soon and then I'll start deciding on a baby sampler to stitch.

Happy stitching!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Another contest at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shop is hosting another Favorite Things contest.  Read all about it here:

Favorite Things Giveaway

Good luck!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Update

Sorry but I can't think of a clever title.  lol!

My stitching update for this week:  I finished the model, sent it out, and it has arrived at its destination.  Happy dance!

After that, I went back to work on LHN Calendar Girl for September and finished stitching her:

Next, I went back to stitching Primitive Betty's "Live Laugh Love" sampler.  I'm on the home stretch of this one:

I'll probably get to work on this month's ornament (theme trees or gifts) for the sal blog.  I started one piece but think I will change to another one that I'm more likely to get finished in time.  I'll still finish the other one...eventually.

For my chatting:  I've probably mentioned that I take daily (goal of at least 5 days/per week) fitness walks.  Usually I walk on a jogging track over at the community college.  Yesterday I happened upon another track "regular" with whom I've only exchanged "Good mornings".  She was doing some step training on a bench beside the track.  I stopped to cheer her on and ended up walking with her.  We had a nice walk and chat.  Today I walked with her again...and I'm stepping up my game....literally.  I'm doing some of the step training too.  It wasn't as bad (for this old bod) as I thought it would be.  It was really nice to make a new walking buddy friend!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Another contest at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Nancy's hosting another contest for her beautiful boxed set of floss called Auntie's Flower Garden.

For more details, visit her blog:

Auntie's Flower Garden floss

Good luck!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Progress Report

I'm on the "home stretch" for finishing a current model.  I should be done by today or tomorrow. 

I took last evening to stitch up an ornament for the Halloween ornie sal blog.  It's taken from a bigger design found in the JCS 2014 Halloween issue.  Our theme this month is "spooky words".

I'm also participating in a fall themed sal with a LHN/CCN Facebook group.  Since I'm wanting to stitch all the Calendar Girls this year, I chose the September one for the sal.

Happy stitching!

Never Forget

Like many of you, I'm remembering the events of 14 years ago today and thankful for all the people who work to keep us safe and free.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another Contest at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

This time Nancy's having a contest for a beautiful boxed set of her primitive floss colors.  For more info:

Boxed Set of Primitive Floss Contest

Good luck!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A "Finish", a WIP, A Little Travel, and a Visitor

I agonized over how to finish my little fall block for the ornament exchange (yes, really-I'm finishing impaired) and after the second try, here's what I came up with.  Nothing fancy but I'm calling it a "prim" style finish.

As mentioned in a previous post, the stitching is from a Prairie Schooler leaflet called October.

I'm working on a model and it's coming along.  I can't show it but I'm also working on "Live, Laugh, Love" by Primitive Betty for my "sampler fix".

As long as we've lived in Texas, I'd not yet been to Corpus Christi so last week when DH had some spare vacation days, we drove down there.  We toured the Lexington, visited a bottanical garden, drove down to Padre Island for a beach walk, and on the way back a couple of days later, we stopped at Aransas Pass to a wildlife reserve.


Bottanical Garden

Padre Island

Wildlife Refuge

We came back home for a couple of days and then drove to Austin to visit our sons.  As many times as we've been there, we didn't know about Mount Bonnell but this time we went up there for some beautiful views of the Austin area.

Mount Bonnell

Here are a few pictures from our wanderings:

(DH's first attempt at taking a "selfie".)

We've had some rain since we came back home and the other day I had a visitor:

Happy stitching!