Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, stitching friends!

My husband and I have a New Year's Eve dinner date with his sister and her new boyfriend (woot! woot!) in a little over an hour, so let's see if I can get this post done before I have to go change clothes and get ready.

Ready... set....GO!

"Snow in Love"
by Little House Needleworks
Stitched on 28-count coffee/tea-dyed linen with called for threads

Yes, yes, Christmas is over, but I'm still finishing ornaments! I stitched "Snow in Love" by Little House Needleworks while my husband and I were on vacation in Oregon earlier this month. I finished it today as a wedding gift for his former high-school band teacher. What do you get someone you haven't seen in more than 25 years, who already has everything she needs household-wise? Something handmade and personal, of course! She is a crafty girl herself, so I know she will love this. A cute "Made with Love" charm (a gift from RJ and Mary) tops it off.

The back is a Christmas print fabric from Moda fabrics.

By the way, I recently treated myself to a tracing table. It's a flat LED tablet that plugs in via USB. I don't like the dot pattern on it, so I lay a piece of plain white paper over top to diffuse that. It's awesome for centering stitched pieces on foam core, sticky board, or whatever you need to center them on when finishing. Sure beats trying to hold it up to a window and keep it centered! And it was not expensive - less than $15 on Amazon.

"Winston the Snowman"
by The Trilogy
Stitched on coffee/tea-dyed mystery linen from my stash with called-for threads

Next up is "Winston the Snowman" by The Trilogy. I didn't have the triangle buttons called for in the pattern, so I substituted some Algerian eyelets instead. He is a dapper snowman, indeed! I mounted the ornament on foam core, added a fabric-covered piece of chipboard to the back, and glued lacy trim around the outside. I topped it with a gold hanger and a rusty star.

The fabric on the back goes nicely with the rusty star, don't you think?

I hope your holiday celebrations were awesome! One of my favorite presents under the tree was this "pocket locket" from my wonderful stitching friend, RJ, from Stitching Friends Forever. Look at those tiny stitches! Thank you, RJ!

We enjoyed having my mom stay with us over Christmas. My husband and I played lots of three-handed pinochle with her, and my son joined us for cards when we agreed to play Texas Hold 'Em. We ate lots of good food and watched movies.

I wish you all lots of time to stitch, safe travels, good health and good memories-in-the making in 2019. See you next year....

Woohoo! It looks like I'm going to be on time for dinner after all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Birthdays, Beaches and a Box... Oh, My!

Hi, stitching friends!

I hope this finds all of you snuggled in and all done (or mostly done!) with your December preparations. This time of year can be hectic for any of us, but this week is a particularly busy one at our house. My niece turned 27 on Monday, one of my best friends, Amber, turned one year older than me today (haha - she's only one month older than me, really), my son, Thomas, turns 16 tomorrow, and my mom will celebrate her 80th birthday on Thursday. What is it with all of these December birthdays?

This is my son, Thomas, almost 16 years ago. I think he could have given the Gerber baby a run for his money with those blue eyes.

We still tire each other out, 16 years later.

Here is my mom, on the right, with her little sister, Pat. I just love her little dress and shoes and that smile. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Shawn and I spent the first week of December in Depoe Bay, Oregon. We had a wonderful time doing a whole lot of nothing together (the BEST vacation). We stayed in a lovely condo right on the water and passed the week recharging our batteries. We watched the waves in front of the fire and watched Hallmark Christmas movies. We shopped and ate at Nana's Irish Pub and a Chinese restaurant we had driven past for years. We walked beaches and explored.

Back at the condo in Depoe Bay, we saw a whale on our second day! Every day we were there, the waves crashed onto the rocks right outside our door (the spray in the photo above is about 50 feet in the air). Sometimes the waves were so violent that they would send a gust of air toward the condo that would rattle the windows. We would both *gasp* and look at each other wide-eyed.

We drove down to the docks in Newport, and Shawn pointed out this sign. It was on both bathroom doors. I love it.

Down on the docks, the sea lions gathered to rest and soak up the sun. These are just a few of them. There were around 40 to 50 altogether, and they barked non-stop! I just love their sweet faces. They look like dogs to me.

On our way back to Portland we stopped in Corvallis, where I got to spend as much time as I wanted at Starlight Stitchery. A real treat for me since Boise does not have an LNS. It's a great shop because the new owners are very sweet and they carry a lot of out-of-print patterns. It was fun to dig through and find things I had never seen online before. I could spend hours more there and still not see everything. If there's something rare you're looking for, give them a call. They just might have it. (Their name above links to their website.)

❦ ❦ ❦

Yesterday was a Happy Mail day. This arrived from my amazing blogging friends, RJ and Mary over at Stitching Friends Forever. (Click on the blog name and it will take you to their blog.)

Eeeeeee! (That's me barely containing my excitement.)

I won their big giveaway a little while ago, and you can imagine my delight and surprise when I got to unpack this wonderful, generous gift. Inside....

Look at this beautiful tool caddy/pincushion stitched and finished by RJ! Click on the picture to open up a full-size version. I wish I could show you this in person. The stitching is so perfect and so tiny. The finishing is absolutely beautiful, and I love it. This will be by my side from now on as I stitch. Aren't the wings on the bee amazing and lifelike? And the goodies inside... You have no idea how thrilled I am.

A gorgeous assortment of finishing fabrics....

Buttons and charms...

Three beautiful patterns (not showing the third because it would be showing the actual pattern itself).

A very cute journal and card set...

RJ and Mary, thank you again for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

I have been stitching a lot lately but I don't have any FFO projects to show you, so I'll leave you with one of my favorite Christmas finishes. It's from way back in 2011. I have the chart somewhere, but I don't recall off the top of my head what it is, so if you'd really like to know, leave it in your comment and I'll find it and tell you.

I love the warmth in Santa's eyes.

Have a lovely week, friends! See you soon!