99-Cent Couture

Sabrina loves making her own costumes for all the themed parties she attends in college, and her favorite place to get the materials is at thrift stores. Basically, she re-purposes once-loved outfits, usually of the '80's persuasion.

Recently she acquired another one of these garments – one that was a size 16 (she's a size 0) jacket and skirt, with a wild pattern on it that involved ships and anchors and compasses. It was a hilarious success at the party she attended, and everyone thought she was fibbing when she said she only paid .99 cents for it (she even got a few questions asking if it was "a Ralph Lauren," at which she laughed and replied, "No, it's from the Good Will!").

Fast forward to last weekend, when she was asked to attend a fraternity's formal dance with a good friend of hers (she's no longer dating Joey, btw). She said she'd go, and jokingly told her friend that she would wear the nautical-style costume she had purchased, and he could wear the jacket so that they'd match. He agreed. She backpeddaled. He insisted, saying, "You only live once."

And so the pair wore the most informal formal attire in the history of Beta's formal dances, and they were formally the smash of the party.

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I just about died laughing when she sent me these photos! The one above was taken in the lobby of Beta's house.

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Her friend, known as Hugh Heffner on this night, was very ill with a fever, but he was a good sport. And Btw, my mom altered the size-16 skirt so that it would fit Sabrina properly as a dress, and I think it turned out so cute!

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I don't post many candid photos of Sabrina on here, but I just had to show this one that she sent to me as well. This is the Sabrina I know and love: the silly, sweet girl who loves to have fun and doesn't care what she looks like in the process. If there's anyone who truly lives by the mantra "you only live once," it's her. (But thankfully, she doesn't take it so far as to shorten my life!)

Bean, you both looked fantastic, and I'm so glad you had a great time!

Even though you're ill with a fever now. 😉

New and News from Bre!

Bre has been so busy with her Hodgepodge Cottage designs lately, and I wanted to take a quick moment to share her newest releases with you all! She's got them coming out during the online Needlework Show on April 19th, and I couldn't be more proud of her. And to think, it all started with my grounding her as a teenager and making her learn to stitch while she worried away the hours…

Here is Cat and Mouse:

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A Lucky Home

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And finally, A Warm Heart Welcome…

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I just love these sweet little designs (although I may be partial to the designer). 🙂

You can find them on the Kelmscott Designs page during the online show. You can also get more information about Bre's designs on her Hodgepodge Cottage Facebook page.

In other news, my Bre has accepted a job. A real, grown-up job! She'll be moving away from home soon, as she has accepted a graphic artist position for a marketing consultant several hours away. I'm so very proud of her, and so happy… although that first night she's away, I know it will hit me hard. It's going to be quite different from her being only an hour away at college, but I know that even if it's going to be difficult for me, she's ready for it. I couldn't be happier for her.

I love how she worded it on one of her Facebook posts: "…I'll be moving into my own home, and it can really be the Hodgepodge COTTAGE!" Okay, now I'm jealous, bc I always wanted to name my home. I'll have to come up with something cool. (And no, Mom, I can't use Greatest Show on Earth bc it's already taken. And quit calling my house a circus.)

Btw, when she was getting ready for her interview, I took a few photos of her fixing her hair in the mirror before she stepped out the door. My girls are pretty used to me getting in their space and taking a ridiculous amount of photos, so they rarely look at me unless I tell them to. I can't help it though.. I just love all those in-between moments that actually never get posted on the blog bc my girls would be embarrassed. 🙂 But all those little in-betweens are the cream in the Oreo, imvho, and I love every one.

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Looky-here, Bre!

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And then it was time for her to leave…

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I love my girl. 

Coming Soon

I love George and Martha Washington. 

My love for them started last year when I was searching the internet for a new pattern to stitch for my mom for Christmas. I stumbled across Threads of Gold's MA Dutch Sampler (which I ended up stitching for her), and was immediately drawn to the tiny horse-and-rider motif. Suddenly, I found myself on a mad search for samplers with horses and riders, and discovered that most of these samplers were of a Colonial theme. 

That's when I realized that I adore little stitched men in blue or red coats. (Especially ones that look like Jason Isaacs in The Patriot.) And so my love for George – and eventually Martha – came to be. The quintessential Colonial couple – and the love they had for each other – are the themes for my newest releases coming out at the online Needlework Show on April 19th.

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The year 1759 was when George and Martha married…

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Their marriage took place at Martha's estate, The White House in Virginia, and George wore a blue coat and blue buckles on his shoes; Martha wore a yellow dress trimmed with white lace, and purple shoes, which she ordered from London. Here is a picture of the shoes she wore:

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I designed her shoes in these samplers as pink, but that's bc I didn't want to add an entire skein of purple to the palette when only 2 stitches would be used. Feel free to use whatever purple you have on hand to stitch her shoes!

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The verses on each of these samplers are portions of two different love poems. One of them you may have heard before…

Come live with me and be my love
And we will all the pleasures prove.

The poem, called The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, was written by Christopher Marlowe in the 1590's, and although it has nothing to do with the Washingtons, I thought it was a charming fit for their fondness of each other.

The companion sampler features part of a poem written by Sir Walter Raleigh around 1600, called The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd…

These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be they love.

I hope you enjoy my new spring releases. I'd like to thank Nicole Neville for helping me with the model stitching. Without you, I'd still be sitting on my couch trying to get them finished.

 Here is Be My Love

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It was stitched on Lakeside's 40 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley using Gentle Art Sampler Threads (in Cherry Bark, Old Brick, Chamomile, Tradewind, Piney Woods, Lambswool, Brethren Blue, Wood Trail, and Oatmeal). The frame is by The Family Tree Frame Company ("The Mae" style). Stitch count: 118w x 115h.

And this is Pretty Pleasures

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This model was also stitched on Lakeside's 40 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley using Gentle Art Sampler Threads (in Wood Trail, Shaker White, Buttermilk, Old Brick, Lambswool, Endive, Cornhusk, Cameo Pink, Mountain Mist, and Oatmeal). The frame is again by The Family Tree Frame Company ("The Michelle" style). Stitch count: 126w x 115h.

If you'd like to purchase either of these during the online Needlework Show, look for them on the Kelmscott Designs page and ask your shopowner to order them for you. And if you do decide to order them, I hope you enjoy stitching them!

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Spring Break

For Sophie's spring break this year, she begged Mike to take her to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Missouri, so he took a couple of days off work and we loaded up the car and headed out. And since no Stewart trip would be complete without Mike longing to climb every single hill we passed, we had to pull over on the side of the road and let him get it out of his system.

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Needless to say, our road trips to Colorado are a nightmare for me.

Although Sophie has been to Great Wolf Lodge several times, she never tires of it…

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It's full of spouting fountains and spray guns and lounge pools and water slides – some of which you can see behind the hill-climbing duo below…

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Soph just about lost her bathing suit bottom here… and in case you miss him, Mike is the tall kid with his arms up (most likely hoping to lose his bathing suit bottom)…

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And here is Mike again, making up for all those childhood days of having only a bathtub to splash in…

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The next day was spent at Great Wolf Lodge's MagiQuest, which is a wizardry game in which participants complete various tasks given to them by wise owls and talking trees, in an effort to conquer a mighty dragon in the end. It's sort of like an interactive video game, but instead of a controller, you choose a wand…

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And once you've chosen (purchased) your wand, you can opt to add a topper to it that gives you extra powers…

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Yes, Mike, we know you've always wanted one of these..

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After consulting her Ancient Book of Wisdom, Sophie was off on her adventure…

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Here she receives instructions from a knight:

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The average length of the game is 4 hours, but after about an hour and a half, I decided to take my leave and get a coffee and settle in with Dutch Beauty in the lobby. Every once in a while, I'd hear Mike and Sophie run by (along with lots of other kids and an occasional parent), exclaiming how they needed "more gold!" or "The Whispering Woods are this way!" or something like that.

When it was just about time to defeat the evil dragon, they came to get me so I could take Mike's picture witness their mastery of the challenge…

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The game took them just under 3 hours, but that was just one of three quests. The others will be completed at a future visit to Great Wolf Lodge, and I know the two are looking forward to it… although Mike expects to get to hold the wand next time.

Spring break was an enjoyable one, but as with every Stewart trip, it's all fun and games until someone gets their eye poked out. And usually that eye belongs to Mike.

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P.S. For those of you who know Mike, you know exactly what I mean by that last sentence. 😉

Seven Sins and Nine Lives

Tilly has become quite spoiled living here. So spoiled, in fact, that I sometimes catch her in embarrassingly gluttonous situations when she thinks I'm in another room in the house.

Witness, if you will, her shame…

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So caught up is she in her greed, she cares not that I'm watching her…

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So I leave her to indulge herself bc I can't, in good conscience, look on any longer.

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But when I return, she's only gotten worse.

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I really should intervene and do something about this, or I'll find myself dangerously close to envy slothfulness.