I have several interests to share through this blog including my love of needlework, quilting, cooking, and my pets, Molly and Butterscotch. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with adding to most of these areas over time. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, October 2, 2015

More Yard Work

A couple of weeks ago I posted front garden pictures from my stay at home vacation.  I took a break from that and took a quick trip up to Canada for the weekend with my BFF for Jeannette Douglas' "Close to Home" weekend.  More about that later...  

Also while I was off I had an estimate completed for the refinishing of my deck.  It was in great need of attention.  As part of that project, I had to trim back the shrubs around the deck.  Here are the before and after pictures.


...and after! 

I ended up taking the rose bushes and flowering crab all the way down.  I didn't think I would take the crap shrub that far, but it is so close to the deck and it didn't look very good when I trimmed it back.  This way it will get a fresh start and look more uniform when it grows back in.  Deck furniture has to wait a few days to go back in order for the finish to cure.  It will all look so nice next spring when the growing season takes hold.

I'll post about the Jeannette Douglas weekend later.

Best stitches,

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Staycation - Vacation 2015

Once a year I like to take a week off and get caught up on projects that I have been putting off.  This year I decided to take it in September.  The weather here has been nice and cool for the start of my time off.  I took advantage of that cool weather and took out 3 huge evergreen shrubs that were over 5 feet tall and many feet wide.  I wish I had taken a before picture, but alas I did not.  Here are the fruits of my labors.  You can see the stumps where they were located.  They went from the corner of the front porch to past the left hand shutter.  Now time to think about getting those shutters painted before I plant something new there.    

The city picks up our brush every week on trash day.  They have a nice bunch this week.  

The next day I decided to give my body a rest so I decided to do some needlework finishing.  I am heading to Canada to take a couple of classes from Jeannette Douglas so the project I tackled was her Pumpkin Patches box.  

Fronts of all the pieces

Back of the main sampler with the sweet blackbird button, needle minder with the corn cob and blanket stitched kernels, and scissor holder.  The back of the pincushion is some sweet potato wool that I did not turn over to show.  

...and while I was in the mood to finish these small pincushions, I did a quick finish on Jeannette's "Spring Quaker Pincushion".  

Yesterday I tackled some touch up painting in the master bedroom, plus some trim work on the staircase.  The MBR had some dry wall repair that I had done from done in the ceiling and wall that needed to be primed and painted.  The staircase trim had some areas that needed some touch up from some Molly activity over the years.  No pictures - just alot of up and down the ladder.    This morning, I finished up that work and need to move on to the next project.  Before it gets too warm I think I'll head out to the garage and do some rearranging out there.  Later on today I'll be heading out to Stacy Nash's studio for some stitching time.  

Best stitches,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Shepherds Bush Finishes

This week I have a couple of finishes from Shepherds Bush.  I have been working on their series The Fold and put together the needle roll last night.  I love the beautiful hand dyed silk ribbon used for this piece.

My BFF is headed out to Utah in a couple of weeks for a class with the Swan Sampler Guild.  While she is there, she will be heading up to Ogden to visit Shepherds Bush.  I have a few samplers I will be sending up with her to have Jill Rensel frame.  This is the latest finish that will be heading out to Jill ..."Queen Bee" from Shepherds Bush.  I love all the bees in this sampler and the floral bands are some of my favorites that Tina has designed.  

Best Stitches,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

More Samplers Back from the Framer

As some of you know, I tend to go in waves with my framing.  Since I have been traveling for needlework classes from April through last weekend, I was waiting to frame some pieces in order to even out the cash flow.  These two samplers have been in my drawer patiently waiting their turn.  

Miss Baxter's House from Stacy Nash caught my eye as soon as she released it.  It was a must have and immediately went to the top of the stitching rotation.  I have used this frame set before for my Blackbird Design pieces as it works so well with primitive samplers.   

I love the chickens, rooster and the bee skip on this sampler.  

The next sampler was a Mystery Sampler from Norden Crafts from a few years ago.  They typically release their mystery samplers in three parts over a period of time.  I will admit that I did not fall in love with this when it first came out.  The main reason was that the picture on the front of the chart was a section of the original sampler that did not lend itself well to being photographed.   Then I saw someone's sampler in progress and I had to have it.  This has been in the drawer for a couple of years..."Margaret Cottam" from La-D-Da.  

I used the same outer frame, but added a different fillet.

My next round of framing will be heading out to Utah in a few weeks with my BFF Janie to go to see what Jill Rensel can do with them.  I may take a few over to Hobby Lobby while I wait for their return as Jill's turn-around-time will likely be a few months.  That will be my early Christmas present to myself.

Best Stitches,

Monday, July 13, 2015

Well, that was interesting...storms blow through this morning!

I woke up this morning to a dream where I was in the basement of my old nursing school and catch site of a big black tornado coming our way.

Move forward a few hours and I am working at my desk.  It gets really dark in my house all of a sudden and I take a look outside.  My patio furniture is on it's side due to 50+ mph straight line winds.  

Here is a picture of the storm coming across the reservoir just a little north of me...

Here is a picture of the main road going through my town just two doors down from my old house...

...the road was closed for a few hours as they cleaned up the mess.  

I'm so happy I built a house with a basement!  It looks like we're in for another round of bad storms tonight.  I guess Molly and I will be sleeping in the basement.    

Best stitches,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Back from the Framer and more...

I just got home from picking up "Peter's Patches" from Shepherd's Bush.  I framed his companion "Sophie's Roses" several years ago with the same frame and fillet, only the mat for Sophie is lavender.  I love how Peter turned out with the sage mat.  

Here is a peek at Sophie.  They will look so nice together!
On my way home I stopped at a pottery place north of Noblesville that I have always wanted to go to, but they were never open when I was driving by.  Strawtown Pottery has some very nice hand painted stoneware that I have received as gifts over the years.  This is what came home with me.  

When I got home, I found a little group of Red Admiral Butterflies on my purple coneflowers.  What a nice surprise!  

I also wanted to show the finished "1801 House" box all painted and waxed...

...and my progress with The Drawn Thread "Treasured Tools"...

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Little Stitching ADD

I seem to be having a little ADD where it comes to my stitching right now.  I have two Catherine Theron projects in the works - one of which is almost done, but just needed a break and the other I'm waiting on stretcher bars to arrive as my tent stitched area seems to be skewing a bit and I will need them for the Florentine anyway.  

So...I started and finished Chessie and Me's "1801 House".  I am in the process of painting the box, but it will be a couple more days before I can attached the piece to the top.  I love the little sheep and the satin stitched grass.  

...and then I also started The Drawn Thread "Treasured Tools".  Here is my progress so far.  I fell in love with this piece the moment I saw it at Spring Fling.  

Best Stitches,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Catherine Theron Updates and Happy 4th of July

Over the last year I have taken 2 Catherine Theron classes and received my 2015 guild project.  This year I took the Americana Sewing Roll class.  Here is a peek of the project model.  I love the Florentine pattern on the back!

Prior to stitching this piece, I decided that I needed to make some progress on this year's guild project and last year's class piece.  I am almost done stitching the Winter Strawberries Needle Roll (guild project).  I still have to Nun Stitch the needle pages and stitch the side portion for the pin cushion, but otherwise I am about ready to start putting it together.  When I was in class a few weeks ago, I saw someone's finished piece where they had filled in around the words "Needles" and "Scissors" with the Basket Weave stitch instead of the Tent stitch.  This gave the direction of the stitches a nice diagonal flow instead of the horizontal stripiness that is common with overdyed floss.     

Scissor Fob (left) and Pin Cushion (right)

I am also working on the Stitcher's Envelope from class last year.  I just love the vines of strawberries in the piece.  They are stitched with Smyrna's for a little extra dimension.  I am in the process of filling in with Tent stitches which just takes time.  

I was going through my Chessie and Me project file the other day and came across this little piece "Glory House".  A perfect project for Independence Day!!  It was such a quick stitch.  Stitched on Lakeside linen with Belle Soie silks - all kitted.  I love stitching with Belle Soie - it doesn't shred like other silks I have worked with (i.e. Gloriana).  I haven't decided what it wants to be yet.  I'm thinking a scissor case vs. pin cushion, but I haven't decided for sure.  

The other thing I have been working on is finishing the inside of My Lady's Work Box and the smalls from the class I took with Ellen Chester 2 years ago.  I hope to have pictures soon.  

Best Stitches,

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Cartonnage Weekend, a Finish and a New Toy for Molly

This past weekend I invited my BFF Janie over for an afternoon of Cartonnage.  We had lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant with our friend Laura, and then the 3 of us headed to my house.  Laura stitched while Janie and I glued our little hearts out.  

I have taken a few classes from a local Cartonnage teacher/designer Claudia Squio.  She has designed some of the most clever pieces for those of us who sew or do needlework.  Over the last several months I have collected some kits from her to do myself at home.  

The process started with covering my kitchen table with craft paper to protect it from the glue.  My kitchen island was set up as the cutting station.  I should have taken pictures of the set up, but didn't think of it at the time.  Here are the fruits of my labors.

Sewing Kit

Tool Box - closed

Tool Box - opened

Front center - Post-it Note cover with the whole collection together.  The front left hand piece is a scissor case I made a few months ago.  

I completed the sewing kit and Post-It Note piece on Saturday, and the Tool Box was a 2-day project for Sunday and Monday.  

I also finished a piece this week - Quaker Garden from Blackbird Designs.  It is stitched on 30 count Garden State Java with the called for threads, only with a couple of changes.  I did not like how the Shaker White looked inside the birds outlined in Dolphin, so I stitched both birds in just the Dolphin.  I also stitched the flowers on the vine in the lower right side in the solid Red Pear.  

Now I have to decide what to stitch next.  I really should get started on my Catherine Theron "Winter Strawberries Roll" that is a guild project, but there are a couple of other calling my name too.   

Molly also wanted to show off her new toy.  Her very favorite toy is a squeaky rubber chicken that her Aunt Kate got her a few years ago.  I tracked down the manufacturer and was able to get another toy from Amazon that I thought would be as good, but it does not have the same squeak capability as it is a bit bigger than the chicken and the rubber is a little harder.  She still loves it anyway and wanted to make sure to show everyone.

Happy Stitching, 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Garden Picture Walk

Here are some spring photos from my garden this year...

Flowering Crab Bush
Daisies Going Crazy
Columbine Gone Wild - see the tiny little starts in the center...
Roses getting ready to bloom
My first rose for the year

Happy Stitching,