Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Memories and Crafty Stuff

We hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new home this year. I realized after everyone left that I hadn't taken one photo of any of us.  I did take a couple snaps of the food. Yikes. Like I said, it's been on of those years, and I'm off balance in so many ways.

It was wonderful having people to the house and we had such a nice time and a huge over abundance of food.  I truly am thankful for so many things, but there have been great losses as well, and I'm trying hard not to let them overshadow what I DO have and what I AM thankful for!

So, first some food.

Line up everybody!

Turkey was perfection

Home Made Mac-n-Cheese

Pineapple Fluff Salad

Sweet Potato Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Deviled Eggs

We were all so stuffed!  That's the whole point I guess, right?   It all turned out great and we had nice conversation around the table (put both leaves in!). Just loved it. I was still full the next day.

One thing I'm always thankful for is my mother teaching me various crafts and always indulging my interest in them from the time I was just a little girl. Keeping your hands busy crafting means you you are less able to throttle people. That's probably why I always have something to do.  This is a sweet little cowl I made one night recently while trying to de-stress!

My mom and I went to The 29th Annual Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier Station VA back in early October. It was fun, a bit warmer than we expected, but overall, just a lovely time. Petting lots of yarn has become a favorite pastime for us.  And the animals were a bonus! Love me a good llama.

My little Jenny has transitioned well to our new home. She brings me lots of comfort and happiness. Don't know what I'd do without her.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes about handwork and a couple projects I'm working on.

Be good to one another and happy stitching!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hello. Is there anybody out there?

Well, it's been a long time. Again. My lovely stepfather passed away this past Feb 2nd. I learned more about the medical system than I ever wanted to. Our lives for 15 months consisted of one situation after another. Too many to go into here. Jim worked so very hard to recover, and he did everything he was told to. His attitude throughout his ordeal was just incredible. I feel I got to know him so much more than I already did. We shared many conversations, many laughs and we shed many tears at his bedside this long time just wanting something we were never going to get - him back. We will always miss this man. He arrived in our lives about 35 years ago, and never left. He was not bound by blood or any other obligation. He stayed because he loved us. And that was that.

One more thing. My mother is a warrior in every sense of the word. She is a simply amazing human being and a beautiful woman. She was there at Jim's side every single day. Every.Single.Day. And I love her. SO much.

The past year and 9 months have been a blur. This summer has been pretty stressful for a number of reasons. There will be a time and place to talk about that, but it isn't here and it isn't now.

I had a couple major goals at the beginning of the year.  One was to continue helping Jim.  The other one was to find a new house and move.  What seemed for so long to be an impossible dream finally happened.  I threw caution to the wind and stopped listening to excuses and just did it.  We are SO very happy in our new home!  This is our dream home, in a lovely and wonderful neighborhood and I have a gorgeous porch now to do a Halloween display!

We have scaled back BIG time!  And I love it. Halloween at our new neighborhood was amazing. Kids and their parents (and their dogs!) dressed up and flooding the streets. Everyone was so nice and friendly. The kids were great.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.

My husband and I went on our first "alone time" vacation in over 20 years. My son began an internship and had to work, so we went alone. Last year, we all went and my son's lovely girlfriend joined us. We missed them this year, but we had fun. We went to OC MD in early June and it was actually very chilly. The place was practically empty and we loved it.

I managed to start a bit of stitching. It's The Giving Sisters by Notforgotten Farm.

And don't you know I was so unsatisfied with it that I didn't do any more than that. Disappointing. However, when we came back, we were occupied with work, preparing to move, and as I mentioned above, a good deal of crap that I'll be talking about later. UGH.

I've also been doing quite a bit of crocheting. I'll get around to that later. I also might put some tabs at the top of the blog for separate things, like crochet, embroidery, or Project Life. I have not kept up with Project Life since Jim passed away. Sometimes it seems like too much. I do love it though. Maybe I will spend some time soon getting back up to speed. Ah well.

Don't even know if any reads this blog anymore. I keep it for myself however, so no matter. If you are reading, then Thank You.  Thank you for stopping by and taking your precious time to read these ramblings. Once more, I vow to myself to get better at blogging. As I've said many times, it's helps me keep up with and continue the things that are important to me. I think Facebook has stolen lots of "our" time away, and while I enjoy it, I also find it bloated with lots of things I don't care about, and I wind up reading things I never wish I had. You know? There are some of the most awful things on facebook. I try to block those pages as they show up, but geez.

Well, take care of yourselves and eachother. I hope all are doing well, and hopefully I will get around to catching up with some blogs and finding others. I do like blogging better than facebook. Where your attention goes, your energy flows, and I don't really like that my energy goes into facebook. At least, not as much of it.

I will be back very soon with more updates, and look forward to catching up with some of my favorite blogs soon.  Happy stitching!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy New Year!

Well, happy or not, it's New Year's. And just a week to go until February. Wow. My blog has been neglected again and I hope to catch up soon. I find I have little time to blog, and even less to comment on other blogs like I used to. I'd like to get back into the blogging rhythm this year. We shall see....

Still no stitching happening in my household. I have been continuing to crochet however, and learning some new things. I started this shawl back in September or so. It was a pattern on Ravelry and I was determined to learn it. It's nearly done now, but I've not taken a recent pic of it. Here's the skull shawl beginning:

I've already got plans to start another soon. It's so fun. I also started a blanket (another Ravelry pattern) that is super cute:

It's going to be so nice when it's done.

November was not the best month on record. I lost one of the best friends a person could ever have. My friend Chris passed away November 4th. Chris was my close friend since high school. He was in 10th grad when we met. He was a truly amazing man. Funny as hell. He lived far from me, but we talked every day via facebook's chat feature and though his physical problems were many, his heart was steadfast. He never failed to be able to make me laugh. I don't have words to describe how much he will be missed.

Later in the month, my son's grandfather suffered a stroke. There is so much more to the story, but suffice it to say, our lives have been turned upside down. One of my goals this year is to help this lovely man get back on his feet, literally. He's been a father to me for 30+ years and was there for every major event in my family's, and son's, life as well. Here he is a week prior to the event, doing what he does best-being Pop Pop.

Christmas was tough, to say the least. It was a year of just going through the motions, more or less.

Winter storm Jonas gave us quite a bit of snow to deal with. But instead of that, I'd like to post a pic of the gorgeous sunrise from the morning of the storm. It was truly beautiful. And I need to stop using my phone to take pics, judging by the quality of this one! Look at those colors!

I feel like I need a change. Ever feel like that? I don't know what it might be, but I need one. I have lots of goals this year, as I always do. But I'm missing one. I need to figure it out. Soon.

Here's to hoping everyone finds the change they need and the love they seek. And may your New Year bring you much happiness and lots of time for stitching!

Until next time, 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hello September!

 I haven't been cross stitching, but I did have a good summer! I take that back. I did do a few stitches on my Moon and Stars from LHN, but not enough to even post a pic. I've been doing some other things, not the least of which was making enormous headway in cleaning out closets, cabinets, garage and shed. Every end of summer, beginning of fall, I feel an overwhelming need to clear out and clean up. Not just material things, but mentally as well. This year is no different!

We had summer vacation in July at Ocean City, MD, as we usually do. I broke TWO toes the week before vacation. Did that stop me? Nope. Of all the times we have gone to the shore, I never seem to take a sunrise or a sunset for granted. There is just something so spectacular about seeing the sun come up and go down. Granted, I'm easily entertained, but it truly is a bit of magic in the everyday.

Got a great pic of my son sitting on the beach and my husband waving hello as he comes in. I love this shot.

August was nice. Our weather hasn't been too awful hot and the rain has been to a minimum. I took the opportunity before I went back to work to do some crocheting.

This one is called the Cloudburst Shawl, and you can find it on Ravelry. It's super easy and free, if you would like to try your hand at crochet. I made two of them because the pattern was so nice.

This is my second year keeping up with Project Life. I absolutely love it. LOVE IT. I can't tell you how important it is to record your memories and take photos. Print them out. Enjoy them. Share them. It's worth it. This is just a small example of a spread from July. I do 6x8 Project Life. The larger size just put me off and I was never able to fill it up it seemed and I would stop doing it. The smaller size just clicks with me and I look forward to working on it. Doesn't take too much time and is really enjoyable for me.

I also turned 49 in August. That's A-O-K by me! I love being here. It's a wonder to be in this world and get to enjoy all the things I enjoy, have the family that I do, and live the little life I have here with them. I'm going to approach this coming year as I do so many others-with gratitude, appreciation, and love. It's a good way to go.

I hope everyone is up to something good and enjoying the few days left of summer. Autumn Equinox, or Mabon, comes on September 23rd this year. That means celebrating harvests, and enjoying lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. I think of apples and pumpkins automatically! I'm looking forward to all things Autumn! I want to cook more, and that's one of my goals for this upcoming harvest season.

Until next time,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Moon and Stars, Stash, and Thanks Mom!

I have a brief stitchy update. My last day of work for summer was this past week and now I can concentrate on getting some things worked on and finished. I've not gotten very far on my Moon and Stars by LHN.  And let me apologize now for the crappy photos.  My good DSLR camera is out for repairs.

I am enjoying working on it however! Such pretty colors in this one. Recently, I purchased an out of print chart from The Cottage Needle, on Etsy. It's called "Witch" and I do believe it's one of the very last charts that Lisa Roswell, of The Primitive Needle, created. I think of her often. I love this chart. Seriously, it fits me to a "T", right?

It came with some really pretty fabric too, but oh, what a small thread count on that linen. I may have to swap it out for something else.  I'm only soon to be 49, but my eyesight is NOT what it used to be. I broke down last year and got some magnifying glasses if you can believe that. I have no idea what's going on with that, but I don't like it. I miss my youthful vision. But I'll do whatever I have to in order to keep stitching, hence the magnifiers. Between that and the gray hair---well, that's a post best left to a later date.

With Mother's Day coming up, I want to thank my mom. I have so very many things to thank her for. She has always been there for me and my family, in far too many ways to tell in this blog post. She also introduced me to crafting when I was very young. She taught me to crochet, embroider, needlepoint, and indulged me in so many crafty endeavors. I loved getting drawing and coloring supplies, potholder kits, rug hooking kits, macrame, little leather sewing kits, beads, and so many other things. I was never at a loss for something creative to do. Not ever.

She also gave me the gift of reading enjoyment. She never censored or refused a book for me. When I was growing up, it was not uncommon for my mom, sister and I to head out to the drugstore at 9 or 10pm on a weekend night and scour the books and magazines (and makeup!). Gosh, we loved that. I was always an avid reader, and still am. My Nook is stuffed with books, as are my physical bookcases. I could spend an entire day in a bookstore and not bat an eyelash about it.

My mom also instilled in me what it means to BE a mother.  Raising my son, and having him in my life has been so wonderful.  I love being his mom.
For this and more---much much more, I thank you Mom! You are the best. Truly.


Until next time,

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A New Start! (and can you help identify a pattern please?)

The weather is warming up here and it's just gorgeous! It inspired me to actually start something new, which is LHN's Moon and Stars. I'm a sky watcher and a moon lover, so this one has always appealed to me. Last summer, I stopped in to Salty Yarns while on vacation to get the fabric and the floss. It uses Crescent Colors and they are a dream to stitch with and so pretty! 

LHN Moon and Stars-28 ct. Ice Blue Linen

I'm off to a pretty good start if I do say so myself!

Does anyone know who makes this sweet little chicken alphabet sampler? I found this image on Pinterest, and I love it, but I have no idea who designed it. And I apologize in advance for posting someone else's photo-but I was unable to gather an identifying info at all. Any help is much appreciated!

I hope Spring is treating everyone well. Plants are coming up, trees are blossoming and leaves are beginning to unfurl. I have been without leaves for long enough and I'm ready to see all the green I've been missing! The cherry tree blooms only last a short time so I was lucky to get a good photo this year of mine.

Until next time,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hell Hath Frozen Over My Friends!

OK, it truly has frozen over. Not only do I have a follow up post sooner than my usual three months, but I have finished another project!

Snowflower Diaries - 28 ct. Linen - DMC flosses

That is all!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Is Here, Woodlawn Stash, Halloween Finish

Folks, spring arrived and as usual, it snuck up on me. We had plenty of snow to deal with last month. I feel bad posting about it because many many more people had some horrific snowstorms.

We had one day that was really blizzard-like. It's nice to be working inside and watch all the pretty snow falling and not have to go anywhere! Days like that make me very happy to work from home.

My mom and I went to Woodlawn on 3/19. We try to go every year. It's a fun tradition to have. It means a great deal to me to spend times like that with my mom.  She's a wonderful woman and we always laugh and have things to gossip talk about.

If you go to Woodlawn, you have to follow it up with a trip to In Stitches.  The exhibit was great, but there were quite a few less items than in years past. One room was entirely closed. I always tell myself I'll enter something, but then never do! I did manage to pick up (thanks Mom!) all the new Blackbird Designs Beatle's tribute patterns and a couple others. Patterns are so expensive anymore, aren't they? Here's what I picked up:

I also bought a little pair of Kelmscott scissors, but my fingers don't even fit in them due to the design of the scissors. This is the second pair I've gotten like this. I guess many of them are just for decorative purpose and not for using. I'll think twice before I get a cute pair of them again, even though I love the designs. These are the ones I got and the acorns make it near impossible to use. They scraped up my thumbnail pretty good!

Here's my recent finish. It's Homespun Elegance, A Halloween Year II, October House.

I don't know why, but I'm not real happy with my stitching on this one.  One thing I really like about it, is that it's DONE.  I can't wait to move on to something else now.

I'm going to leave you with a terrible photo of the amazing Moon. I'm a nature and a sky watcher. Sunsets, sunrises, clouds, stars and Moon-it all just seems so magical to me. This was taken just a few days ago, and the clouds flowing by were the most amazing shades of pink and white. Just beautiful.

I'll be back soon with more projects and a new start!  Now, what to choose, what to choose?  I've no shortage of things waiting for me, that's for certain! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Updates and Thoughts on a New Year

We had a nice Fall. A really nice Fall. We enjoyed some of our favorite things and took the time to do a few new things too. Our annual trip to Belvedere Farms was lovely. The morning we went, we had wonderful weather and though it rained later in the day, we had nothing but beautiful skies and warm weather. Sure, there were pumpkins and other totems of fall, but those weren't what caught my eye this year.

My husband and I love to go to King's Dominion every Halloween. Again, we had exceptionally beautiful weather and an enormous amount of fun. We're kids at heart during this special time of year.

I actually finished that Halloween bunting and it turned out great.

Work was nutty, but Thanksgiving was good. Christmas was good, but I'm glad it's over. Does that make sense? I'm going to be doing a few things differently next year.  How can one go from calm and serene to harried and hurried so quickly?

My son has been home for nearly a month, and it's been very nice. He's going back to school tomorrow and be well on his way to finishing his first year of college. Kind of unbelievable.

 I completed a major goal in 2014. I kept up with and finished a year of Project Life. Don't know what that is? You can check it out HERE. I had that as a goal for the past two years! I found that scaling back to a 6x8 album was the ticket for me. I'm so proud of it! Last year was such an important year for all of us and I wanted to record it. Well, my husband and son look at it all the time, and they looked at it all year long while I was working on it. That lets me know it was a good thing to do. I'm planning on doing it again this year too. Snapped up another core kit today and my album should be here soon. If you haven't checked it out, please do. It's a worthwhile endeavor. And easy peasy.

 Do you have goals for this year? I do. I plan to review them each month to keep them fresh in my mind and keep my attention on them. Not the least of those goals is to do more stitching. Last year was pitiful in that regard. But in my defense (do I need one?) there was a LOT happening! And it was all good. So, I guess I can't be too hard on myself there.

I'm starting out this year, as I did last year, in a state of immense gratitude. We all have losses, and I have had many over the past 10 years. However, I have so so so much to be grateful for, and I am. Those are the things I do my best to focus on. I want to live in a state of greatfulness and positivity. Sometimes it's hard, but I have such a wonderful life and such loving family...seems like such a waste to even think about what I don't have. It creeps in periodically. But that's when I kick myself in the ass and meditate for a few minutes. :)

More love, more understanding, more music, more photos, more fun, more creativity. And to that end, remember this:

Hopefully, I'll have a stitchy update soon (I'm dying to try my hand at embroidery too!), but until then,