Monday, May 04, 2015

The Best of Intentions

I have had the best of intentions regarding my blogging, but, it just has not happened.  But, after several LONG months I am finally back!  I at least have a few things to show you for my long absense.  :-)
First I have two ornaments I stitched for my RR friends:

Designer:  The Prairie Schooler
Title:  St. Nicholas II (Book No. 36)
Fabric:  Stitched over 1 on a scrap of blueish gray 32 ct linen
Color changes: 
B5200 in place of white
304 in place of 221
758 in place of 356
754 in place of 407
367 in place of 501
369 in place of 503
739 in place of 738
839 in place of 844
630 in place of 869

Title:  Nordic Holiday (Book No. 191)
Designer:  The Prairie Schooler
Fabric:  Stitched over 1 on a scrap of white 32 ct linen

I also managed to get a few pieces "finished" that had been hanging in my back closet for quite some time.  

First up, 3 RR pieces:

2009 RR piece
Title:  Quaker Style Friendship Sampler
Designer:  Samplers and Such
Fabric:  32 ct Heather by Picture This Plus
Thread:  Aged Plum by Silk 'n Colors
Stitched with: Clare, Marti, Deb, Lynda & Sharyn
Finishing:  Pillow by my friend Sherri

2010 RR piece
Title:  The Hunt
Designer:  Homespun Samplar
Fabric:  coffee dyed 28 ct monaco
Threads:  Carrie's Creations 
Grid - Navy Blues
Medallions in Grid - Pacific Blue
Wreath - Sea Mist
Ribbon - Ocean Blue
Alphabet - Teal Mist
Diamonds Between Letters - Baja Blue
Initials & Year - Navy
Stitched with: Clare & Lynda
Finishing:  Pillow by my friend Sherri (I need to find larger pillow form for this)

2012 RR piece(2012-2014)
Title:  Beneath the Sunlit Sky
Designer:  Blackbird Designs - Loose Feathers
Fabric:  28 ct Celadon
The frame is a golden color (like the star bursts), but has blueish/gray in it as well.  
This did not photograph well.  It is much prettier in person.

Now, for a fun stitch that is not an RR piece:

Title:  Warm Water Wash
Designer:  Raise the Roof
Fabric:  28 ct Zephyr by Picture This Plus
  • Several Color Changes (sand, basket, bucket, center of sun & clothesline)
  • Made bucket & shovel smaller (shovel is stitched over one)
  • Used a free pattern for the sandcastle (with a couple minor changes there)
  • Added some different buttons & changed placement of others

What I am currently stitching on:

  • Country Cottage Needleworks Santa's Village - doing 5 of these for stockings (they will be on the cuff of the stocking) for my niece and her family.  I am on the 2nd one of the 5.
  • RR with my friend Clare - stitching Pumpkin Farm by Blackbird Designs. 
  • First few stitches on Christmas Wishes by Mirabilia.  (my new big project)
  • Thine is the Trick and the Treat SAL w/my friend Sharon.  Very little done on this.  
I have gone on a bit of a stash haul over the last year and am trying to put the brakes on that.  I don't know when I will ever have the time to stitch all that I have.  I think it is beyond time to weed out some very old patterns that I know I will never stitch.  That is on my To Do List for this summer/fall.  

I am WAY late doing this, but, here are my end of year movie thoughts from 2014:

Year End Movie Thoughts 2014:

  • Hunger Games - Mockingjay - Part I
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier
  • Big Hero 6
  • The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
  • X-Men:  Days of Future Past
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Unbroken
Honorable Mentions:
  • Divergent
  • If I Stay
  • The Giver
  • Planes: Fire & Rescue
  • When The Game Stands Tall
  • Penguins of Madagascar

Movie thoughts thus far in 2015:

  • Cinderella - I LOVED this movie!  I loved the colors, the costumes, the casting, the beauty of it,  just ALL of it!  Plus, I felt there were definite nods to the classic animated Cinderella as well.  I have already purchased Cinderella Sampler and will use colors from this movie as my inspiration on it.  
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron - really enjoyed this!  If you enjoy the Marvel movies, then you will enjoy this one.  
  • The Divergent Series: Insergent - I did not like this movie at all!!!  It was sooooooo different from the book.  I felt like there was a narrative being driven based on something the author posted after the last book that was completely different from the books themselves.  I already knew that I would not be seeing the last movie (movies, since they are dividing it in two) based on my dislike of the last book (not just the ending, but, the book as an entirety), but, this absolutely confirmed it.  
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - enjoyable.  I can't say I liked it as much as the first, but, I did really like it.  The ending was good, but, was sadder than I was expecting.
Movies I am looking forward to in the remainder of 2015:

  • Jurassic World
  • Inside Out
  • Paper Towns
  • Maze Runner:  The Scorch Trials
  • Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Christmas Time Is Here!

Once again many months have passed and I have been a no show here in blogland!  Well, I had good intentions, but, got in the way.  However, I do have some great stuff to show!!!  No stitching, but, some fabulous framing!

First up...drumroll please....ta da!!!!!

Holiday Express by Stardust
Framed by:  Rensel Studios

Here is a close up of the corner detail.  

I can't tell you how pleased I am with this and how fabulous it looks on the wall!  I absolutely love it!

Also, got this back as well:

Letter "A" by Passione Ricamo

I wish I had more to show, but, am still working on a few ornaments.  Hope to post them before Christmas.  

Until then...enjoy the season!

Sunday, July 06, 2014


Well, here it is summertime and I haven't posted in months!  Where did the time go?!  I wish I could say I had tons of stitching to show you, but, I don't.  Sad, I know.

I have been busily slowly stitching on a birth sampler type piece for my niece's 2nd baby (she turns a year in August).  I am about 3/4 of the way through it and hope to have it done before long. Here is a pic of my progress:

Designer:  Passione Ricamo
Design:  Letter "A" (used to be a free chart, but, no longer on their website)
Fabric:  28 ct White linen
Thread:  Silk 'n Colors Fairy Rose (using 1 strand)

I did get back my RR piece (that I posted about in May of 2012) in December.  I only had to finish the side flower border and do the fan type flowers and I was done.  It took me a few months to get to it, but, here it is:  

Designer:  Blackbird Designs - Loose Feathers
Design:  Beneath the Sunlit Sky
Fabric:  28 ct Celadon 
Changes:   changed the area around the year a bit.  That's it, I think

This year seems to be full of obligation stitching.  That is not necessarily a complaint, but, I definitely look forward to getting back to more relaxing stitching for me.  I have already kitted up my next "big" project.  It is not as daunting as my train project, but, I will surprise you with the reveal at the beginning of next year.

Speaking of my is being sent off to the fabulous Jill Rensel for framing this month.  I hope to have it back by Thanksgiving.  We have been in email communication and I am very excited about it.   I will be sending the aforementioned birth sampler with it, so I better get on a move on with that  project!

Recent Movie Thoughts

  • Captain America:  The Winter Soldier - Loved it!!!  Enough said.
  • The Amazing Spider Man 2 - Really enjoyed it.  I can't say I liked it as much as the 1st one, but, I love Peter and Gwen's relationship and just the tone, pacing and acting of these Spider Man movies better than the previous Tobey Maguire ones.  (though I enjoyed those as well)
  • X-Men:  Days of Future Past - Loved it!  I have had a few say they got a little lost with the time travel and trying to match the consistency with the other movies, but, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  You just can't over analyze it all.  Thought the ending was great, we saw some old favorites.
  • Divergent - I really enjoyed this and thought it was fairly faithful to the book.  However, having read the rest of the series and being very unhappy with the last book as a whole and the ending entirely, I am not sure if I will see the rest of the series.  Still debating on that.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 - I loved this movie!  This is a great series.
  • The Fault in Our Stars - this movie was so, so good!  I thought it was one of the best book to film adaptations.  Yes, there were a couple things left out and a minor change here or there, but, just fabulous book to movie adaptation here.  (that is not always easy to do, some things have to go)  I boo-hooed through this movie.  Like seriously! 
 So, that is what is happening in my corner of the world.  Hope to be back before too long.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Little Late...

It looks like we are well into 2014 and I have been very late in welcoming in the new year.  2013 was a year full of stress and change and new beginnings.  2014, while off to a somewhat rough start, seems to hold the hope of good things ahead and new adventures.

I am also late in posting 3 ornaments that I finally "finished" just in time for Christmas.  I finished stitching all of them around 2008, but, they have long sat in my box of "finishing" and I had just never gotten around to the task of making them complete.  Finished just in time for Christmas!

Santa Claus
By:  Sekas & Co. (free design on back of an old needlework shop newsletter)
Used called for fabric & threads, ceramic train button and small blue beads for eyes

 Snow Bunny
By:  Hobb Nobb (no longer in business - loved their buttons & cute designs)
Stitched on Blue Heatherfield - cannot remember threads used

2004 Christmas Ornament
By:  Blackbird Designs
2004 Just Cross-stitch Christmas Ornament Issue
Stitched over 1 on scrap hand-dyed linen w/called for threads

Projects to work on/finish up this year (we'll see what gets finished):
  • Birth Announcement for niece's 2nd daughter (born in Aug 2013, still not finished)
  • SAL piece w/Sharon - Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick and the Treat (very slow on progress here)
  • RR piece w/Clare & Lynda - Blackbird's Beneath the Sunlit Sky (got it back, need to finish tiny bit of my stitching)
  • Start new RR piece w/Clare & Lynda - Blackbird's Pumpkin Farm
  • Alphabet Blocks by Carriage House Samplings - started by a friend and "gifted" to me
  • Some random ornaments
  • My Winter Olympic Project - Winter Snapperland by Bent Creek
  • Nautical Fence by Raise the Roof

Year End Movie Thoughts:

Favorites of 2013:
  • Hunger Games:  Catching Fire
  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor:  The Dark World
  • The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug (what great computer animation on the dragon!!!)
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Now You See Me 
  • Saving Mr Banks
  • Frozen
  • Monsters University
  • Planes
Honorable Mentions:
  • Safe Haven
  • Warm Bodies
  • Despicable Me 2
  • The Wolverine
Worth Noting:
  • The Host - was really surprised I liked this
  • Oz The Great and Powerful - while I somewhat enjoyed this movie, I left the theater with mixed feelings on it and felt ultimately disappointed
  • The Lone Ranger - same comments as Oz
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - this was beyond a disaster, it was downright awful!

 Movies I am looking forward to in 2014:

  • Divergent 
  • Captain America:  The Winter Soldier
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • X-Men:  Days of Future Past
  • The Fault in Our Stars (I'm packing tissues already!)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Maze Runner
  • Hunger Games:  Mockingjay, Part 1
  • The Hobbit:  There and Back Again

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A HUGE Christmas finish!

Dear Stitching Friends, please excuse my very long absence.  I have been very busy trying to finish my massive train project.  As some of you know, this is a project that has been 10 years in the making and I swore it would not go past the 10 year mark!  It was set aside many times due to things of life getting in the way and sometimes out of pure frustration. But, alas, it is finally finished!

May I present...drumroll, please...

Holiday Express
Stitched on 28 ct Pewter Jobelyn 
Used called for threads, beads & blending filament
Stitched from June 2003 - December 24, 2013

Please, ignore all the wrinkles!  I was trying to get it finished, in a box and wrapped before my husband got home from work on Christmas Eve.  He came home while I was putting it in the box.  ;-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Start of Summer Finish

Well, everyone, it is summer!  And here in Florida it means a lot of sun & fun.  But, it also means one other is HOT!!!  I have lived in Florida most of my life and cannot imagine not living near the water, seeing pine trees, having all the greenery, but, I just don't know if one can get used to the heat.  Where the humidity stays in the 80-100% range,  where you break a sweat walking to the store from the car, where you can forget about your hair looking decent.  But, I guess compared to having a horrible, bitterly cold and icy winters of the north...I'll take the hot summers.

Life here has been super busy.  My son graduated from high school last month and is all in preparation to start college.  He goes to orientation next week and starts classes in late August.  But, boy was May a whirlwind!

I did manage, since my last posting, to complete a piece.  Here it is....

Design:  Promise Me
Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Fabric:  a scrap piece of 28ct ivory linen

Color Changes:  
Called for                    My color choice                 Location
GAST Wood Trail        CC Portabella          Lines 1 & 3
WDW Cocoa      GAST Mountain Mist    Lines 2 & 4
WDW Whiskey         GAST Gold Leaf         all gold/yellow
GAST Antique Rose       WDW Red Pear           all pink
GAST Endive        WDW Scuppernong        all green
WDW Cocoa           GAST Nutmeg       owl & bird branch
GAST Wood Trail    GAST Toasted Barley    owl branch
WDW Blue Heron        GAST Blue Jay                bird
WDW Pecan          WDW Pelican Gray         basket

Other Changes:
  • Used my initials & small hearts in place of large heart - upper right corner
  • Did not stitch the called for blue stitches on the green clovers - lower right 
  • Stitched some small hearts to "fill in"  - lower right
  • Added date - lower right
This was a great, fun piece to stitch.  It might be a while before I get it framed, but, I love it!  It is one of my favorite quotes from Winnie the Pooh.

I started stitching on Raise the Roof's Nautical Fence during our "Graduation Trip".  I didn't get much accomplished, so I will not bore you with a shot of that.  We were much too busy and when I did sit down, I was much too tired to pick up a needle.

I am still stitching away on my train project.  I am hoping to have it done this year.  One stitch at a time, right?!!!

Here are my latest movie thoughts:
  • Iron Man 3 - The first time I saw this movie, I wasn't sure what to think.  It went in such a different direction than I thought it would, that I just really needed to sit back and process it for a while.  Upon second viewing, I must say that I really, really enjoyed it tremendously.  Let me just say...the trailers misled me completely.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness - I thoroughly enjoyed it.  A great sequel to the first movie.  

Well, off to do some stitching or enjoy the summer or catch a movie.  So, grab a glass of sweet tea, or a margarita or whatever tickles your fancy and enjoy your summer!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Now It's Spring!

I know, I know!  I promised an update soon and here it is almost 8 months later and I am just now updating!  All I can say is that life has been challenging.  But, on to better things!

I think I have back most of my stitching mojo!!!  YAY!!!  Or at least a good bit of it.  Despite all the craziness that has been going on in my life in the last 8 months or so, I have managed to get some stitching done! 

I finished stitching my niece's wedding piece and then stitched a birth announcement for the beautiful baby girl she had born the following year, but, did I take a picture before I mailed them?!  No!!!  So, unfortunately I can't show those 2 pieces to you.  If I ever remember when I am down visiting her, I will take a picture to post here.

Here is my long overdue Olympic Finish:

Design:  Warm Water Wash
Designer:  Raise the Roof
Fabric: 28 ct Zephyr by Picture This Plus
  • Several color changes (sand, basket, bucket, center of sun, clothesline)
  • Made bucket & shovel smaller
  • Used a free pattern for sandcastle (with a couple very tiny changes)
  • Added some different buttons and rearranged placement of others

Another piece I finished around Halloween:
Design:  Vlad's Vash Day
Designer:  Raise the Roof
Fabric:  28 ct Heather by Picture This Plus *
  • A couple color changes (words, ribbon for medal, colored zig-zag in undies)
  • Did not add flower, bat or heart buttons
  • Changed placement of some buttons
*The piece of fabric was purchased several years ago and looks quite different from the Heather I have seen recently.  My piece is gray with purple places in it.  The ones I have seen more recently are darker gray with larger, darker purple places in them.

 I have been continuing to work on my large train project and am coming closer to finishing it with each stitch.  I have also been working on Promise Me by Lizzie Kate (with some color changes), my SAL with Sharon of Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick and the Treat (not much progress there) and starting a new baby sampler for the above mentioned niece as she is expecting (surprise!) another baby in late summer this year (only in very beginning stages here with fabric choice and design, no stitching started).  

Here are my latest movie thoughts.

 Favorite Movies of 2012:  
The Avengers
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Hunger Games
Wreck-It Ralph
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Rise of the Guardians
The Lucky One
The Dark Knight Rises
Honorable Mention:
The Woman in Black
The Vow
Hotel Transylvania
Silver Linings Playbook

Disappointments of the Year:
Brave - beautiful animation & enjoyable, but, least favorite of Pixar movies.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - somewhat enjoyable, but, least favorite of series probably
Dark Shadows - just disappointing all around!

Movies thus far in 2013:
  •  Oz The Great and Powerful - somewhat enjoyable, but, left feeling overall somewhat disappointed.  Makes me want to read all the original books and see how true the movies are.
  • Safe Haven - really enjoyed it.  Wish it had done better at the box office.  I think a lot of people missed out on this one.  If you like other Nicholas Sparks movies, you should enjoy this one by him as well.
  • Warm Bodies - my son drug me to this one and I must say I enjoyed it.  Surprisingly.
  • Beautiful Creatures - enjoyable, if you like supernatural type movies.  I had not read the book before I went to movie (a friend wanted me to go), but, since reading the book, they changed quite a lot.  So, I guess it was probably disappointing for a lover of the books.  I was surprised it didn't do better with the teenage/preteen set, especially those that loved Twilight.  Go figure!
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - Just disappointing on so many levels.  I enjoy Steve Carrel and Jim Carrey can really surprise me at times, but, this was just so not good.  Though I will admit I liked the illusion they did at the end.
  • The Host - I really enjoyed this, but, it is a very slow, cerebral type movie with a lot of inner monologue going on, so it can be boring to those that want action.  Never could get past the first chapter of the book, but, this has made me want to try & read it again.
 Movies I am looking forward to in the rest of 2013:
  • Iron Man 3
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Monsters University
  • Man of Steel
  • The Wolverine
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Well, off to possibly work on some stitching.  I will do my best to post again soon.  ;-)