Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I received a delightful invitation to participate in an "Around the World Blog Hop" from Jayne at JaynesStitchingTales (THANK YOU, JAYNE!).  I jumped at the chance to be part of the fun.  So - here we go -

What am I working on?
There's always something in the craft bag next to my chair, or on my desk, or in the tables in my studio/craft room.  Right now, several are for exchanges and are surprises, so I can only show you blurry pictures.
Hooked on Exchanging Autumn Exchange:
Just finishing up a Christmas Biscornu for an exchange hosted by MiiStitch:
Tudor Tuesday FB SAL - Catherine Parr (design by Painted Pony Designs). Her dress is done in a combination of tent stitch, Scottish stitch and a stitch I made up as I went.  Angora thread was used for her white cuffs, neckline and the trim on her hat; feather and trim in metallic threads, dress embellished with red beads.  Now I need to decide on the background stitches…hmmmm…..
And - not to forget the 20 inch Christmas stocking I'm making for my soon-to-be-born grandson!
What sets my work apart from other stitchers?
I don't think my stitching stands out from other stitchers.  There are so many talented people out there, I'm just enjoying myself and love the process.

Why do I create what I do?
As a child, I was always making something.  Maybe it was because I'm an only child and I used making things as a way to entertain myself?  I remember waking up in the morning and thinking "What am I feeling special about today?"  I learned to knit when I was in fourth grade, learned cross stitch and needlepoint in fifth grade.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Years ago, I read a saying and it became my motto:  "The Work of the Hands Brings forth the Spirit of the Heart."  When I create something and give that creation to people, I feel like I'm sharing a part of me.  Love, patience, (a little frustration at times ;0)) and gratitude go into each and every piece I make.  I love sharing with others.

How does my creative process work?
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas on how to finish something, or a stitch to use to make whatever I happen to be working on "POP".  Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode with all the ideas floating around.  So there's really not a process - it just kind of happens.

Passing the torch 

I'd like to introduce you to three Stitching Sisters I've come to know through the blogosphere.  They have accepted my invitation to hop around the world and will be posting their stories Monday, October 6th, but why not pop on over to their blogs now to see what they're up to? They are talented and creative -  

Jacquie from My Journey

Kaye from Kitten Stitching

Mel from Epic Stitching

Wishing you a wonderful week - Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Round Robin and Reminders

Round Robin:
I received the prettiest stitched design from Shirley F - tea pot and roses - both my favorites.  This is part of the Round Robin Group hosted by June at Butterfly Wings.  Shirley also included teacup fabric and silk thread. Thank you, Shirley - I love it all.
I forgot to snap a picture of what I sent to Shirley.  It was a lovely basket of bluish-flowers and some coordinating blue fabric and silk floss.

Friends Swapaway

If you haven't already put your name in the hat for Kaye's and my "Friends Swapaway", click on this link to find out more about it.  Or you can click on the Ballerina Swapaway Postcard in the upper right hand side of this blog. Deadline is October 1st.

Traveling Treasure Chest
If you haven't already, please take a peek at my last post and let me know if you'd like to join the fun and add your name to the list of Stitching Sisters and the Traveling Treasure Chest.  It will be an adventure for all. The opportunity to join will close October 5th.

Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Friday, September 26, 2014

Traveling Treasure Chest

While sipping my tea this morning, an idea came to me.  I have so many lovely charts, patterns and kits in my stash, I'd love to share them.  The idea of a "Traveling Treasure Chest" came to mind.

Here's how it would work:  

  • You need to have a blog to play.
  • The Traveling Treasure Chest is open to everyone - worldwide.
  • Comment on this post you are interested in participating.
  • I will select six charts/patterns/kits and send them off to a lucky Stitching Sister...
  • She can select TWO or THREE she likes…and post her selection on her blog...
  • Then add TWO or THREE of hers back into the Treasure Chest (which will be a SECRET)...
  • Sending them on to another Stitching Sister

Does that sound like fun?  I know postage can be a bit expensive, I would suggest not adding extras.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts - hope you'll come play - 
Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Smalls SAL, Tudor Tuesday SAL, HoE Halloween Ornament Exchange, Healing

Happy Wednesday!!  Time for the Smalls SAL check-in:
This is a Sweetheart Tree design called "Covent Garden Rosebuds".  I love the little charm included with the pattern.

Tudor Tuesday SAL - I completed the Medieval tile pincushion, designed by the Wessex Collection.
Yes, I ripped out the stitches that were off - and I'm pleased with how it finished up.  The back is a beautiful velvet, finished with cording.
I also made some progress on Catherine Parr - stitched her face and hands and most of the black trim on her dress.  I'm trying to decide what type of stitch to use for her dress - maybe a diamond shape?

I stitched this for Melissa as part of the Hooked on Exchanging group I'm in.  It's from the Halloween "Just Cross Stitch" magazine - "Isn't it Fun to be a Witch?" by Gliulia Manfredini of Giulia Punti Antichi.
 I received the cutest ornament from Stephanie at Blue Star Stitcher.  It's Prairie Schooler from the Trick or Treat chart.  Thank you, Stephanie - LOVE it.  It's hanging on my office door.
Thank you for your kind wishes and sympathetic notes from you all about the mess with my finger and the rotary cutter.  It's still sore and bleeds now and then, but I'm on the mend.  And each day after that day has been GREAT!!!

Now, off to stitch on another project.
Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Have you ever had one of THOSE days…...

…..when everything you try goes awry?  I had one of THOSE days yesterday.

SIGH.  I wanted to make a journal cover using a little design I'd stitched from Sweetheart Tree.  Well, got the fabric cut and decided it wasn't going to work.  OK.  Maybe a needle book.  I couldn't understand the instructions (for some nefarious reason), so decided "Heck with it, I'll make a pillow."
I got so intent on cutting the fabric just so, my left index finger ran into the rotary cutter.

Do you know how much a finger can bleed?!?!?  It hurt like the dickens.  I wrapped it up and walked out to the barn where DH was working to see if he thought I needed stitches.  (Yes, it was that bad).  He/We decided it wasn't bad enough for a ride into town to the ER, so I wrapped it in a bandage and went back to my sewing.

The little pillow looks B-A-D.  I used some vintage lace, trying to rescue it - just not working.  OK, so I need to rip out all the stitches and start over.

I decided to give it up and do more stitching on the medieval tile I'd started.  Working away on that, I discovered I was off a stitch.  hmmmmm - I'll make up for it…..stitched some more.  DRAT.  The "making up for it" looked (here we go again) B-A-D.  I'll need to rip out all those stitches.

SIGH.  Today will be a better day.  I just know it!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blue Ribbon Designs - "Five Houses of Hope" Fund Raising Efforts

Belinda, of Blue Ribbon Designs, lives in my home state of Iowa.  I wanted to help her promote her fundraising efforts - she will be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk (again) this year.

Please pop over to Belinda's blog, Samplings from A Blue Ribbon Girl, donate a minimum of $15 to a wonderful cause, and she will send you her new design "Five Houses of Hope".

I admire her efforts and her generosity.  Belinda works hard training - and designing - for this event.  I hope many will help her reach her goal.

Keep yourself surrounded in stitches ~ Cheers ~

Horse and Nurse

Linda will receive the Horse chart and charms, Clare will receive the Nurse chart and charms.

I've sent each emails requesting their snail mail addresses.  Thank you to all who responded.

More later…..

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Two Patterns to a Good Home and Pincushion Progress

While going through my stash a few days ago, I ran across two patterns from Hinzeit, complete with charms. I know I will never stitch them. They are a quick stitch. I would like to send them to someone(s) who would like to make them up.

The first one is "Mini Block Nurse".  I had always intended to make this for my mother.  (I tried to rotate the picture, but for some reason it won't behave).
The second is also from Hinzeit - again, complete with charms.

If you are interested in one - or both - please contact me.

This week I started to participate in a wonderful Tudor Tuesday SAL group on FB.  I'm starting with a Medieval pin cushion.  I got the kit eight years ago while at Winchester.  Here's my progress so far.

If you haven't already commented on the previous post and would like to be part of a Swapaway, you have until October 1st to sign up.

Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friends Swapaway

This is a joint blog post from Kaye - Kitten Stitching - and Kim -Wisdom with Needle and Thread.  Yep – we’re waving at you!! ;0)
(Photo courtesy of  The Graphics Fairy).

Hello lovely blogging friends,

The two of us have enjoyed an online stitching friendship for quite a while now.  We have been involved in a number of swaps giveaways (“Kim is an awesome Swap Mama” says Kaye).  We love having a chat via email and Facebook. Isn’t social media a wonderful thing when it is used for good and allows you to make friends from all around the world?

A while ago, we mistakenly thought that we had the same Blogaversary, unfortunately we didn’t due to a Blogger error. However, in our initial excitement over this we conceived a plan to do a combined Swapaway. We have decided to go ahead and do this anyway, despite the Blogger mistake.

Now, what is a Swapaway,  you ask?

Well, using that old chestnut, the ACROSTIC, we are going to create or source wonderful gifts for each other using the word FRIENDS.  We will send each other a gift for each letter.  This is the Swap part.

But, we are not stopping there. One lucky bloggy, stitchy friend (chosen at random) will receive a gift for each letter of the word FRIENDS, from EACH OF US.  So, they will receive FOURTEEN gifts altogether.

As Kaye and I are committing to making or sourcing a lot of gifts for each other and our lucky recipient, this will be a long term swap and we are looking at exchanging the gifts around Valentine’s Day next year (it seemed appropriate to us).

So here are the guidelines for YOU - our Stitching Sisters – and how you could be the recipient of the Swapaway:

  • -       You must be a follower of BOTH our blogs (we will check ;))
  • -       Place a comment in this post ONLY on BOTH BLOGS if you wish to enter
  • -       We have to be able to reach you, so you need to have a valid email address.
  • -       You don’t need to have a blog to enter.

You have until October 1st to enter (but remember you must comment on the Swapaway post on both our blogs).

Here is a link to Kaye's Swapaway post for you

Friday, September 12, 2014

And the Winners Are…….

CHERRIES BAG…….goes to Melody!!

FRUIT LADIES…..goes to Peg!!!

WITCHES HATS…..goes to CalamityJr!!

CATS and PUMPKINS…..goes to Cucki!!

I've sent an email to the winners and will stuffing the bags with goodies, then they'll be whisked away to their new homes.  (Boy, was this FUN!!!……I'll have to do this again….;0).

Have a great weekend everyone - 
Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Along Came a Spider

WHEW!  This is my very first needlepoint ornament I've taken from start to completely finished - all myself.  In the past, I have't trusted myself to do the finishing on my needlepoint canvases….but this time, I put my Big Girl Panties on and gave it a whirl - and I'm THRILLED!
It's designed by JCZ Designs and is aptly named "Along Came a Spider".  I found some ruffled black ribbon with netting and it was PERFECT for the outside of the ornament.  I don't know if you can see it well, but there are blackish-bluish beads around the outside….and the spider is three-dimensional.  I don't really care for spiders, but THIS one can stay in the house  - < GRIN >

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Free Printable Halloween Gift Cards, Greeting Cards, Projects, Round Robin….I'm One lucky Girl!

When I saw this free pattern from Silver Cute Dwarf, it made me smile - I just HAD to stitch it up.
I found some Mary Engelbreit Halloween fabric in my stash and it made the perfect pillow - the back of it is cute cats and pumpkin fabric.  The Charm in the upper right is a gift from Angela at Pretty Little Things in a Box.

I received the most glorious package from Catherine at I Love to Stitch.  We were Round Robin partners.  Catherine stitched a beautiful pattern from TraLaLa.  
She also included some extras that are out of this world.  A magnet board with a darling pansy magnet, a recipe book, some threads, a charm, tea-themed fabric (AUGH!  Love it), sticky notes, a needle book - 

And look at this card!!  Isn't this a HOOT?!?  Inside it says "Sometimes I just need to communicate with another classy human being." Thank you, Catherine - I love it all.  I can tell you enjoy exchanges as much as I do.

I had a surprise in the mail yesterday.  I couldn't figure out what it was - it's from dear, sweet Jacquie.  Isn't it pretty?  And look at the card - how creative.  Many, many thanks, for your kindness.

Oh my gosh - look what I've found!  How about some freebies to dress up your Halloween gifts?  Click on these links for free printable gift tags:

Or how about free printable cards you can customize??  Check this link:

(Can you tell I'm having fun, fun fun with Halloween this year??)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Well, I went a bit bananas while stitching for the Tutti Frutti Exchange.  My studio/craft room looks like a fruit fight went on down there - that is, with fabric, floss, buttons…..(COUGH!).

I found a great tutorial on how to make zippered bags - a free PDF on Craftsy - called "Ruffled Zipper Pouch".  I modified it a bit and went goofy making bags….right now I'm up to four. 
 I've got to stop.

Here's the first one - cherries and a cherry charm attached to the zipper.

Here's the second - I found fabric called "Fruit Ladies".  Here they are at the beach….with a sea shell charm attached to the zipper.

Here's the THIRD - witch hats, bats and shoes….with a purple witch hat attached to the zipper (can you tell I'd started to stitch for the Halloween Ornament exchange at that point??)

Here's the FOURTH - little black cats and pumpkins - with a black cat and pumpkin charm attached to the zipper.  (Can you tell I thoroughly am enamoured with charms?)!

"OK - but what's the SURPRISE," you ask.

I can't possibly use all four.  Besides, I've got more ideas for other designs and modifications for future bags… I decided to give these bags away to four followers.  The SURPRISE is you won't know what goodies will be in the bags.

Here's all you need to do:
 - be a follower of this blog
 - place a comment on this post and select which bag you'd like to receive
 - please make sure I can reach you via e-mail to confirm your mailing address (i.e., no "no-reply     bloggers")

Drawing will be Friday, September 12th.
Good Luck!!!

Keep yourself surrounded by stitches ~ Cheers ~

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Witchy Stitchers - THANK YOU!!

Many thanks to those who came forward to complete the exchange.  There are enough stitchers to make the match ups.

The Exchange is now CLOSED.

Calling Out for a Witchy Stitcher

I need one more Gorgeous Ghostly Ghoulish Stitcher for the Halloween Swap.  If you missed the deadline to join the fun, now's your chance.  Please reply to this post or send me an email with your mailing address AND email address.

Bibitty Bobitty BOO!