• Holidays,  Stitching

    Love Presents

    Mom and I started what the girls hope to be a new tradition this Thanksgiving: we got each of them what we like to call a "love present," which is a present for absolutely no reason other than the fact that you're loved.

    When I've got the photos uploaded and ready to go, I'll show you the ones of the gifts my mom got for them, but for now here are the photos of the ornaments I chose to stitch that accompanied each of their presents…

    This one was Breanna's, and it's from the 2011 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. The designer is Brittercup, and as soon as I saw the kitty and the tree, I knew it must be Bre's! (I swapped out the colors for darker ones by Gentle Art, however.)

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    I loved the trim on it, which I got in Archiver's, a scrapbook store…

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    This one is Sophie's, bc her signature colors this season are turqoise, green, and pink. I thought she'd love this ornament, but I had to laugh when she saw it and said, "Who's the dude?"

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    Btw, Sophie's is by Country Cottage Needleworks, and I think it's the most precious design! It's from the 2009 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue, and I switched out these colors to slightly different ones from Gentle Art. 🙂 (The only reason I switched was bc I didn't have on hand what was called for, so I made the best substitutions I could.)

    Finally, I stitched Mosey 'N Me's Rejoice ornament (also from the JCS 2009 issue) for Sabrina bc she is always so happy…I thought the little leaping sheep fit her personality perfectly. Again, I switched out the original floss colors for different ones by Gentle Art, but this time it was their wool. I'd never stitched with wool before, and I loved the effect.

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    The chenille trim is from Victorian Motto, which I discovered when I was in Myrtle Beach at the Pals Retreat

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    It's hard to see in the photos, but I sprayed each of the ornaments with some glitter spray (also purchased at the scrapbook store).

    Btw, while I was at it, I stitched Mom one as well! This one came from the Joyeux Noel book by Blackbird Designs..If memory serves me correctly, I believe the strawberry design is by Niki's Creations, whose work is featured in the book.

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    I have no idea which colors I used, bc I just grabbed some from my DMC box and got to work!

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    Btw, it's sitting on top of one of Natalia's stitching wallets, which I gave to Mom. I also put the chart for Shakespeare's Peddler's A Part of Ann Dale inside, along with the latest Loose Feathers Blackbird Designs chart and some needles.

    It was such a fun Thanksgiving, and I truly enjoyed stitching these ornaments. Ornaments aren't something I generally do bc I don't usually have a lot of "recreational stitching" time outside of models, but this year I decided it had to happen.

    And now it's back to models. 🙂


  • Family

    Peas and Carrots

    It was so nice having Bre home for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Bre tp 2

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    And of course, she brought sweet Tilly with her.

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    Tilly is still quite a baby, and whenever Bre isn't home, Tilly wanders around the house, calling for her.

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    I understand, Tilly. I miss her too when she's not home.

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  • New Designs

    November Releases

    In the spirit of decorating with Colonial Couples, I designed A Colonial Garden, which was stitched by the fabulous Nicole Neville

    Colonial Garden MODEL 3 tp

    It's stitched on Lakeside's Black Forest, but I've included a color key for a lighter version of fabric, if you're not too keen on stitching with black.

    And finally, Olga and Boris have a new friend, although Olga may find him a bit more appealing than Boris…

    Sergei tp

    His name is Sergei. 🙂

  • Good Things,  Stitching

    A Friendly Gesture

    I was recently contacted by Dawn, a Pennsylvania-based stitcher who has extra copies of the Just Cross Stitch 2011 Ornament Preview issue and the Just Cross Stitch 2011 Halloween issue. She has graciously offered to pass them along to a fellow stitcher, if anyone is interested.

    For those interested, her email address is  medspell1970@comcast.net

    Thank you so much, Dawn! What a sweet offer!

    Speaking of stitching, it's been ages since I picked up my beloved Elizabeth Sheffield (from The Scarlet Letter). Mom and I started this as a stitch-along in the latter part of the summer, but then things got in the way and I had to put it on hold. I thought I'd be put off by all the over-one stitching in this piece, but it turns out that I'm addicted to doing it! I'm so excited to get back to it, but that won't be until some time in 2012, most likely.

    Here was the last progress picture I took, although I actually am a bit farther along than this…

    ES tp 2

    I started the over-one stitching with the bright blue bird up at the top. I had intended to do full crosses since I was working on 36 ct linen, but I noticed that the farther along I got, the more cramped for space the threads were. I couldn't figure out why the stitching was so laborious for me, and that's when I realized that the stitches looked awfully small… so I took out my ruler and did some measuring, and it turns out I had been stitching on 40 ct the whole time.

    I finished the bird in full crosses (which is a normal thing for many stitchers, but not for me!), but as for the remainder of over-one stitching on this sampler, it will be completed in tent stitches. Phew!

    ES tp 3

    ES tp 1

    I've stitched down to the row of Colonial couples so far, and the first lady is finished. I left off with most of the man stitched, and am very excited to pick this lovely project back up again. It has truly been one of the most enjoyable things I've ever stitched!

    When it's finished, it will go in Bre's room, which you may remember is being re-decorated in a Colonial Couples theme. And when Bre comes home, she'll just have to put on a lace bonnet and do her homework with a quill and inkwell, by candlelight. 😉

  • Family,  Good Things


    The way that the leaves turn from green into red…

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    Baking muffins on Sunday for those still in bed…

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    The way Sophie smiles when she's having some fun…

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    Bacause Dad likes to play so the work's never done…

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    The peppermint cocoa that's good for the heart…

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    The bright orange bag that fell into my cart…

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    The thrill of the jump before one is too old…

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    The way that the leaves turn from red into gold…

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  • Crazy Kids,  Family

    Off the Block

    Sophie participated in her very first swim meet this past weekend.

    Two years ago, she begged Mike and I to sign her up for the swim team that Breanna and Sabrina used to be on, so I inquired and was told there was a 100-mile-long wait list. We added our name to the bottom, and Sophie decided to use the wait time to practice, practice, practice.

    Last year, we finally got an email letting us know that new swimmers were being accepted, which thrilled Sophie. She showed up for her first practice, and loved it. That is, until we told her she needed to sign up for a swim meet.

    She balked. So for a full year, she went to practice and enjoyed learning the different strokes, content with never ever ever ever ever going to a meet.

    Then her coaches noticed, and the pressure was on.

    She signed up. And cried. And fretted. And chewed her fingernails. And said she never liked swimming to begin with, and maybe golf was more her thing. She asked us repeatedly if we'd still be proud of her if she got disqualified. (Bre shared with her that when Bre was on the swim team, she was told she got DQ'ed, and then she got very excited bc she thought she was getting Dairy Queen for swimming so well.)

    Saturday came, and Sophie was not happy. But she put on her swim cap, walked to the deck like it was the gallows, and joined her team. I don't know what these sweet girls were chatting about, but it was the first time that morning Sophie had smiled!

    Swim tp 1

    She swam 3 races that day: 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, and 50m free.

    Swim tp 2

    Swim tp 3

    She got Dairy Queen'ed for her backstroke bc of an illegal flipturn, but she was happy with herself for doing it. When she came up to where we were sitting, we couldn't have been prouder – or louder – in telling her she did a good job, and to not worry about that flipturn.

    She came in 5th place for her breaststroke, which disappointed her.

    When it came time for her freestyle, however, her attitude suddenly changed. You see, Big Papa had taught her how to freestyle, just like he'd taught her sisters. And you do not want to race against her Big Papa. Before she left for the deck, she looked me in the eyes and said with a grave tone, "DQ'ed on back. Fifth on breast. That ain't happenin' on free."

    And it didn't.


    The rest of the story:

    1. Sophie's main concerns with participating in a swim meet were as follows:

    A She thought all of her team mates would be standing at the side of the pool, watching and judging her as she swam.

    B. She thought everyone in the audience would be dreadfully silent as the races were going on, which made her nervous to think about.

    C. She thought that perhaps there were sharks in the water, just like in the bathtub and toilet at home.

    2. Sophie swam her 50 free in 36 seconds, a good 10 seconds faster than all the other competitors in her heat.


  • Crazy Kids


    A lazy, Saturday morning. No plans for the day except to make some fun plans for the day.

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    Giggling, squealing, laughing, and wanting me to tickle her like when she was little. Except for when she's texting.

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    I hope she always stays this way.

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    Except for the part where she insists I take a picture of her doing "the dead face."

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    I'm not sure what part of "you're such a sweet child" she doesn't get.

  • Freebie

    Give Thanks

    Here's a little complimentary chart to help get you in the mood for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration. I can't wait to get my Honeybaked Ham ordered – and pick up a jar of their Mango Salsa!

    Remember not to click directly on the image for your chart. Instead, click here: Download Give Thanks


    Or, if you prefer this version…

    Thankful (Black Version) color

    I'm thankful for all of YOU!