Friday, December 29, 2006

Some thoughts for today

I don't exactly know what this entry is going to be about. I'll just start in and see where it goes.

I skipped that whole 10/25/50 deal. Now, New Year's Resolutions are the talk. I am an anti-resolution sort of gal. Yet, I do feel a need for some focus. I'm not any good at making resolutions. My first thought is just to make a few very general proclamations and leave it at that. But what good is that? Then I go the other direction and start listing everything I can think of that I might want to do. Again, what good is that?
Here's a couple that may make the cut, that is if I decide to venture forth into the resolution making madness -
1. Start a Spanish sampler
2. Finish a Merry Cox piece

The other thing I wanted to talk about was my holiday project starts. It didn't happen. I did start Heaven Is My Hope (The Scarlet Letter) on Thanksgiving. I really thought I'd be starting two more projects, Sarah Moon December 1, and another one on Christmas Day. Didn't happen. I needed some supplies and I was struggling with purchasing anything when I have plenty of other things I can start that I don't need to buy anything for. Unfortunately, those other things just aren't as interesting now. I do have a couple of large gift certificates I can use, but I waited too long to place the orders and I won't have them in time for New Years start either. :( All of this is actually good! It means I've been far too busy with other things. Those other things would be my family. (Oh yeah, people. Interaction and the such. Good. LOL... ) In the meantime, I've been working on HIMH while I wait for the next round of the quaker round robin. When I started this piece I really had no thought of actually finishing it. Isn't that silly?! It's just that I've had it for a while and I got such a screaming deal on it and it was ready to go since it was a kit. I had already decided I would use the kit as is and not substitute the fabric or the cotton floss. It is such a large sampler that I thought if I were to swap the supplies out I would be investing more in it than I want to and I'd rather spend it on other new charts or fibers and fabrics I need for other cool projects. I'm not too keen on this linen but I can deal with it. Here's a progress shot after stitching on her by candlelight the other night. I was desperate! It's not on 32ct though. It's on 30ct and, as you see, there's a lot of repetitive stitching and that doesn't require consulting the chart so much, that's why I was able to work on it in such little light. The queen stitches will require full light.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Power Out!

13+ hour power outage = me no happy

I stitched by candlelight last night. Really!

Oh, and I just switched to the new Blogger, so if I'm popping up on your Bloglines with a crazy amount of posts, this is why.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Are you ready?

Christmas. Just two days away. Are you ready?!
I am! It was decided this would be a "no gifts" Christmas. (In truth, there are a couple of secret little gifts hidden away.) I am so relaxed I can't even believe it. The house is decorated. We play Christmas music throughout the day. I've baked some of my annual Magic Bars. This is the easiest recipe in the world for some decadent bar cookies. You must try them! Today, we made up some batches of pretzels dipped in white chocolate, another ridiculously easy thing to do and everybody loves them. Of course, tamales were made a few weeks ago. Miraculously, we still have some left, because I froze several dozen. I've been out shopping with daughter a couple of times and I am sort of marveling over my free and easy attitude. I don't feel the least bit of stress and I am loving it. There's been a twinge or two wishing we had the money to do the Christmas's we've done in the past, but it passes quickly. This Christmas, my biggest gift has been having our younger daughter home from college on break. Oh, how I've missed her! Our other daughter has been ill with a terrible cold. Hopefully, next week she'll be up for some "hanging out" but this week she's been down for the count. She seems a little better today. The next few days we'll be on the go, going to church, visiting family near and far, and eating a lot.

Best of all, our hearts are prepared, as we approach the day set aside to honor the Christ child, Savior, Redeemer, King. Gloria in excélsis Deo!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Quaker Round Robin Update

Time for an update on the Quaker Round Robin I'm in on the Legacy Board. I was the fourth stitcher to add to Linda's piece. I'm sorry the color just isn't showing up correctly no matter how many photos I take. It's stitched on a very pretty shade of blue with mostly DMC 824 and a little 3842. I really like her center alphabet idea and I get a kick out of her initials being "LMN". I added the large floral urn and the little crown, plus my initials of course. Bring on the next round!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Fourth Ornament

Have you been counting?
Remember, I said I signed up for four Christmas Ornament Exchanges?
Believe it or not, I would do it again. I think Christmas ornaments are my favorite thing to stitch. I definitely enjoy receiving them too!

Here's the third ornament I received. Sorry, I didn't post that pic sooner. I received it on a day I had to rush over to my mom's and I never got around to posting it here. Isn't it darling?!
Julianne stitched this design from "All Our Yesterdays" by Faye Whittaker. She generously included a lot of extra goodies including two fabric cuts and some darling snowman fabric I know I will definitely use. I've already worn the Christmas socks twice. The chocolate bar was enjoyed by the family. What a sweet package. Thanks Julianne! :)

I signed up for the ornament exchange and contest with Judy Odell's board, Just A Thought. I did her exchange last year and she sweetened the pot by offering a free finishing class to show us how to do a box finish. This year the extra incentive was a free set of chimes to add to our ornament and the winners got bucks at her sight. I was very motivated! However, I stretched my finishing time too thin and when it came down to it I just didn't have the creativity to figure out a clever way to hang the chimes. Anyway, I did not win the contest but I am a winner anyway because I got one of the best ornaments in the bunch. Su's entry was this gorgeous quaker and it suits me perfectly. Another of my favorites belonged to a stitching friend, Nancy, and it was another quaker, very cleverly constructed.

I can't tell you who got mine yet but I can show it to you.
This is the other ornament I refered to stitching from last years JCS issue. I'm afraid the pulled work doesn't show up that well in the photo. There is gold lining underneath the stitching that doesn't show through. The design is by Patricia Ann Designs. I botched up on changing the 2005 to 2006. The six is strange looking. I've been wanting to do some whitework after seeing some beautiful work others have done lately. This was just the right size for me right now. Small. LOL...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fancy Work Sampler Noel

Juanita received the Christmas ornament I made for her. This one is (also) from Fancy Work. This one is Sampler Noel from this years JCS Ornament issue. I am so happy she likes it because I did not want to let it go. I plan to stitch this one again. I am not sure what fabric I used but the fiber is Vikki Clayton's Garnet and the silk ribbon is also from Hand Dyed Fibers.

photo is clickable

Monday, December 11, 2006

And Heaven & Nature Sing

Chris received the Nature Sings ornament I stitched for her. It seems I made the right choice for her for. That always feels nice. This one is by Fancy Work and it is in the 2005 JCS ornament issue. Funny, that was an issue I was quite disappointed in last year, yet I've stitched two of the four ornaments I just finished from that magazine. I'm not sure what that proves, but surely it must count for an exemption of this, or an allowance of that, somewhere in the stitching world, right?

Thanks for the comments on Tamale Day. We have survived two back-to-back days of tamale madness this weekend :) More to come about that later.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tamale Day is Coming

Yes, Senorita stitches and she makes tamales too!
My family enjoys making tamales every year at Christmastime.
I've been doing it since I was a kid and my girls have done the same.
Last year we initiated a 2nd tamale day and started what I think will be a new tradition of the younger set (the cousins) all joining together to continue on the family tradition. So this week I will be busy shopping for ingredients and preparing the meat and chile. We save a lot of time by doing as much of the prep work as we can in advance so Tamale Day itself really just involves wrapping the tamales and cooking them. It's a festive day will lots of laughter, great music, and THE BEST tamales you'll ever taste.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Why don't you make some for our tree?

You can't blame 'em. Four perfectly nice ornaments out the door...where's ours? LOL... Since I was in the finishing mode I decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to finish off one for the home team. The stitching on this one was actually completed in 2003 - says so right on the edge there. This little guy was originally intended for my first ornament exchange sometime back in say 2000 or 2001. I abandonded it when it was taking way too long to complete this solidly stitched ornament with many color changes. He's from a Better Homes & Gardens Special Issue they used to put out every Christmas. Are they still doing that?
You know, I've got a good little stack of stitched ornaments, and every year I say I'm going to do a finishing day and get them done. Maybe I'll do it this year...

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