Love and Tolerance

Breanna's kitten, Tilly, doesn't mind being loved.

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Which is good, considering how much Sophie really loves her.

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And before I forget, I'd like to wish everyone a fun-filled Halloween!

Bean

Hey Bean! I was going through some photos and realized I never showed you any of your birthday pictures! So here you go: the good, the bad, and the just plain weird moments on your 18th birthday… This will sort of be like watching a home movie, with me narrating and stuff. 🙂

Here you are, coming out of your dorm. Big Papa was very happy to see you… I fear he looks rather like a zombie here. But nevermind that – he was happy to see you.

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(Rawr… chompchompchomp.. I'm so happy that I've found someone to eat… rawr…)

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And of course, your baby sister was happy to see you too. You probably remember this photo from Facebook.

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And remember when Dad decided to put all of your presents in a giant lawn bag and then ask you where the dumpster was? (I hope you do, bc it was only a couple of weeks ago.)

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He thought that was the coolest idea.

Dads.

Birthday lunch at Lazlo's. Didn't you love how your steak was overcooked, and when you politely told Dad you'd handle it yourself, he said, "Okay, sweety," but when the server walked over, he took matters into his own hands and you ended up with another overcooked steak?

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Dads.

Sophie loved getting to go up to your dorm room, btw. She especially loved Oliver. RIP, little Olly. 🙁

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Here you are with your lawn bag of presents.

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I love the skirt Dad picked out for you! Here you are, modeling it.

Tyra would be so proud.

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Such talent.

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More presents…

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Here you are, taking a break to teach Dad the ways of Mac…

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Back to presents…

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I liked how you ran out to the hallway and yelled to your friends, "We can totally play tonight! I got a volleyball!"

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Sophie couldn't resist getting you the cat mask. Dad thought it was a sleep mask, btw.

Dads.

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You did tell Sophie you wanted stud earrings… was this what you had in mind?

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I suddenly want a hambuger Happy Meal.

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Remember when Soph wanted to smell the new lipgloss you got from Meems and Pops? You could have just let her smell the tube, but noooo, you had to make her get that close to smell. (It cracks me up that she's trying not to laugh.)

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Remember when Dad excitedly announced to you that you'd be getting eighteen presents? He said,  "You didn't get nothin' good, but you got eighteen!"

I won't even say it, but it starts with a D.

(I loved that super plush blanket, btw.)

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Here you are, walking us out to the car…

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Happy, happy birthday again! I hope you enjoyed your birthday photos. 🙂

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We love you, Bean!

Ordinary Surprise

It goes without saying that autumn leaves are a wonder to behold. To see them gently fall from their branches, cloaking the ground in preparation for the winter ahead is something I find utterly fascinating; God, in His Glory, has simply thought of everything.

I marvel at that. I asked Sabrina once, "Who thinks of putting leaves on top of sticks and have them come up out of the ground?"  Trees are the most odd, amazing things, if you think about it long enough.

As I stood under our giant maple tree recently, I looked up to find a particular leaf twirling above me, but never leaving its place. I waited for it to fall, but it didn't.

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It just danced.

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And then I saw it… another one of God's ideas.

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Polka dots.

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And because God also thought to give some creatures the ability to spin fine thread, this leaf was able to dance and spin in place while the spotted visitor figured out how to hide from me, the one who wondered at these odd, amazing ideas.

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I decided to leave the little ladybug and her spinning perch in peace.

I looked down, and that's when I got one last giggle.

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Who thinks of green legs?

Isaiah 55:9 – "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (KJV)

A Day with Sophie

I missed my Joonie while I was gone, so the day after I returned from Myrtle Beach, she and I decided to do something together that we haven't done in a while: we visited the zoo.

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I just posted this next photo on Facebook, and I was saying how I love it when Sophie lets her guard down and doesn't realize that she's being a little girl again…

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As much as I enjoyed my trip to Myrtle Beach, I sure am glad to be home with my girl.

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I love you, Joonie!

Myrtle Beach

What a nice time I had at the Pals Convention this past week! Although I'm happy to be home, I truly miss each person I met there, and came away with new friendships and aching sides from laughing so hard.

Shortly after arriving, I met up with Tanya Brockmeyer from The Scarlett House and we headed straight down to the beach…

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We stood in the ocean until the jellyfish started washing up, so we decided it would be better to chat further up on the sand. ;)  (Besides, Tanya was better able to photograph cute surfer boys that way.)

Would you believe I barely got any pictures while I was at the retreat? I had decided ahead of time that I wasn't going to barge up to people and ask them if I could take their photos, so I only took a few random shots and some of the grab bags. Now I wish I'd imposed myself on people, bc I'm bummed that I don't have fun photos!

Here's one though. This is Amy of Down Sunshine Lane – the founder of the Pals Convention. 🙂

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I do have a "real" photo of her, but it was taken on my iPad. Hi, Amy!

This is her husband and right-hand-man, Ray, trying to get a group photo…

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Hi, Ray!

The days were spent stitching and chatting and eating and shopping, but the highlight of the week was the annual Grab Bag Exchange. Each person brought a container filled with stitching goodies, and they were lined up on a table. Then everyone received a ticket…

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When your ticket number wascalled, you could either approach the table and choose whichever container you fancied (the objects inside were a mystery), or "steal" a container that someone else had taken. Once the last container had been received, everyone opened their grab bags at the same time, finding out what was inside and who brought it. It was such a fun event, and I still laugh when I think about Fiona-from-Scotland whispering to me, "She's a baracoota, that one!" when one of the attendees started scanning the tables for something to steal.

This is Fiona, trolling the room, looking for the container she most desired…

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Here are some of the grab bags that were on display…

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This one got stolen the most… Amy made the bag, and it was gorgeous!

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There were 3 ornament exchanges: fall, Halloween, and Christmas. Here are the ladies, checking out all the Christmas ornaments on display before getting to exchange them.

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If you've never been to a stitching retreat like Pals, I highly suggest you give one a try! What a great way to meet new stitching friends and get really motivated to finish up the projects you've started. I'm so happy I went!

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I leave you with a shot of Miss (The) Scarlett House herself, taking a photo of me; I'm sure, though, that there must have been some surfer dudes in the background. 😉

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If any of you who were at the retreat are reading this, I sure enjoyed meeting you all!

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Carol: We will go snorkel-drowning together one day.

Toni: Niiiice.

Amy: Mike says it's perfectly fine if you have a crush on him, as long as Ray doesn't mind.

Chris: Sure wish I had a stocking ornament. I wonder if anyone will make one for me?

Fiona: I have one Scottish product left, and I'm thinking of saving it to remind me of you. teehee.

Ray: I think you need to give those collard greens a chance.

Susan: You buy all the fabric you want – I won't tell a soul.

Lorrie: I still want your hair color.

Karen: Where WERE you sitting on that flight?

Faye: Now that's a calling card! You sneaky thing, you… 😉

Diane: Mike says he does those all the time. ???

Michelle: That pink feather just cracks me up!

Nicole: You should have been the one stitching Angry Bird. It would have been done in about 2 hours, no doubt.

Cochon and a Kitty

Before I leave for Myrtle Beach, I wanted to share with you Bre's new release that will be available on the Kelmscott Designs page of the online Needlework Show, starting October 20th. I love her little French words series!

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Speaking of Breanna, she was home this weekend and brought her sweet baby Tilly. We all adore Tilly, including Bre's dad, a self-proclaimed dogs-only kinda guy. (Don't tell anyone this, but he walks around holding Tilly like a baby and coos at her.)

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Tilly loves her mama.:)

See you at the Pals convention, if you're going!

Turkey Love

This one was a fun stitch!

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The fabric used on the model was 36 ct. Vintage Pecan Butter from Lakeside Linens, and the threads called for are Belle Soie (Moss, Red Fox, and Poison Apple) and Needlepoint Inc. silks (993, 973, 971, 694, 244, 775, 315, 981, and 342). The stitch count is 90 x 89, and the frame is by The Family Tree Frame Company.

I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving… it's almost time for Honeybaked Ham and mango salsa! I can't wait!

Coming Soon

The online Needlework Show is going to be opening on the 20th, and I'll have 3 new releases. You saw Eulalie Long yesterday, and here's another one…

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This one is called Poor Maidens, based on an old Christmas carol…

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This is the same frame used for Christmas Tea, by The Family Tree Frame Company. The model was stitched on 40 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens, and calls for Belle Soie silks in Poison Apple, Moss, Attic Tea, Eiffel Tower, Espresso, Angel Blush, and Vanilla Pudding. The stitch count is 132 x 132.

I'll be in Myrtle Beach at the Pals Convention during the online show, but if I can get to a computer, I'd love to browse all the "booths" to see what's new for October! Again, if you'd like to have your shopowner order this or any of my other charts, they'll be posted under Kelmscott Designs on the vendor page.

ETA: It's come to my attention that the above photo is a bit too busy to read the verse, so here's a slightly closer one…

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Imagine, if you will…

Some of you may know that I have a special place in my heart for the creepy and macabre. When I first started designing, I decided to create tombstone samplers, hoping there were a few stitchers out there who would enjoy having such a collection. I quickly found out, however, that I was in the minority – especially when I first attended market and a few shopowners, upon seeing the Emma Nettles model, exited my suite as quickly as they entered.

However, this did not deter me, and now I have soon-to-be eight headstones in The Exhumeplary Collection. Almost all of them have an obituary included with their owner's tombstone (albeit purely fictitious), and all lived their lives in "the town of Stratham." (Pronounced STRAT-um, and also imaginary.)

Since there is a newly-designed death in Stratham, I decided to take a walk through the cemetery as it stands so far. I'd love it if you'd join me!

Meet Emma Nettles… an ill-tempered widow, yes she was. She met her fate by falling into a well in 1636.

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Many years ago, the word "AEtat" was used on tombstones as an abbreviation for anno aetatis suae, which is latin for "in the year of his/her age." Read in modern English, Emma's headstone would read, "She finally departed this life May the 19th, 1636, aged 74 years and 6 days." The fine print on her stone reads "The one she loved most lies 'neath this headpost."

I'm thinking about using that for Mike's, should he pass before me. heehee.

This is sweet Jane Withers… she was kindhearted, and lived with her sister until her death at the tender age of 22 in the year 1640…

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Jane's tombstone has always been my favorite, and is the only one actually displayed in my home.

This is the Tomb with a View stone, but the residents of Stratham know it better as Mehitable Grubb's final resting place….

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Mehitable was much talked-about in town, as she was divorced 7 times.  She died in 1709.

Here is Eliza Pennance

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Not much is known about poor Eliza, other than she died in 1726. You see, when I first started coming out with these tombstone charts, I included their obituaries on a small piece of paper, inserted into the chart. I called these inserts "toe tags," and somehow I've lost Eliza's. If someone out there has one of the first runs of Eliza's chart and received a toe tag with it, I'd love to hear what the heck happened to her.

Next on our cemetery walk is the lovely Tillie Figg. Tillie was warm, welcoming, and truly a righteous, Godly woman. Her husband, Amos Figg, was devastated to lose her…

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A year to the day later, in 1808, Amos joined her in Heaven…

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Btw, it was Amos who founded The Stratham Timepiece, his quaint little clock shop. Amos never owned his own time piece, however, stating that "God's timing is better than mine anyway."

Here is Dead Man's Chess, which is a standard-sized gameboard (when stitched on 32 ct. linen) of headstones. Some of the townsfolk interred here are Josephine Hill, Jane Farrow, Goody Martin, and the Reverend Wuller. There is even a blank headstone to add your own name, if you dare…

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And so we reach a new plot in Stratham's cemetery.

But first, here's me, standing on Emma's grave…

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I'm kind of afraid to go to sleep tonight now.

As I was saying, there's a new grave to stitch, and the funeral will be on October 20th during the Online Needlework Show. My new releases will be on the Kelmscott Designs page, so if you're interested in purchasing any of them, let your local or online shopowner know.

Meet Eulalie Long

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Eulalie was a kindly, charitable woman, and she died in 1789, leaving behind her husband, Ethan Long. She is stitched on 36 ct. Vintage Sand Dune using both Needlepoint Inc. silks (222 and 967) and Belle Soie (Peacock, Vanilla Pudding, Scarecrow, Orchid, Attic Tea, and Poison Apple). Her stitch count is 199 x 216.

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I'd like to thank Nicole Neville for a beautiful job on the model!

Thank you for taking the time to walk through my little collection. I hope I haven't disturbed you too badly… but I did warn you in the beginning. 😉

(These graves would probably be more fun/creepy to stand on if it was dark out…)

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