Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2nd Birthday and Stitching Bits

Cuddle Bug's birthday was wonderful. We had a rib cook-off and birthday cake. DH competed against his Uncle Bill and his cousin Matt (Uncle Bill's oldest son). They all had their own Weber grill, their own secret recipe, and their own racks of ribs. It was a lot of fun - and delicious! DH won although it was really close!

Cuddle Bug got a little ATV from my mom and my sister. He loved it! He rode it all over the backyard and down by the playground. Eventually it had to be put away for nap time and then it started to rain so he didn't get to ride it again on his birthday but there was lots for him to day anyway.

During CB's nap I got the chance to put "Have Faith" in a frame I picked up at Target Friday night. I laced it on myself and got it mostly centered. I'm very satisfied with how it turned out.

I didn't get much stitching done with the birthday boy demanding so much attention and praise, but I did get a little more of CCN's "A Place We Call Home" done.

In other news, Terry sent me the most wonderful email and offered to send me a chart off my wish-list - LHN's Night & Day! I was on cloud 9 with all the nice things she said about my little stitching projects and then to offer such a sweet gesture! Thank you so much Terry!

And thank you all for your kind comments and for the wonderful birthday wishes for my little birthday boy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Cuddle Bug!

Cuddle Bug playing at his Great-Grandpa's farm last weekend

Today you are 2 years old! I don't know where the time went, but everyone warned Mommy "they grow up so fast." They were right. I blinked and here we are - your 2nd birthday! You are such a big boy. You say "I do it myself!" and you are always eager to give new tasks a try. You love coffee in the morning (just a splash in your milk and always decaf!) and you say "perpendicular" to Uncle Dave - you're so sophisticated! I can hardly believe you're the same little man I used to nurse and who used to spit up all over Daddy's good work clothes - "don't touch him until you change your clothes!" Mommy used to tell Daddy when he got home. Where did the last 2 years go? I find myself in disbelief that it's already been 2 years and feeling like you've been in my life forever all at the same time.

Big hugs to you Cuddle Bug! Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dreaded LNS

I did it! Today I went to my LNS for the very first time! I was very nervous - would I become intimidated and overwhelmed? At least I had a practice-run when I went to a needlework shop in Illinois where my sister lives - somewhere I didn't have to worry as much about what kind of an impression I made since I wasn't going to be a regular. This was even better, though! The shop space was much bigger so I could actually peruse the inventory without being stared at by the employee(s) and without digging through piles of stuff. It was a very nice shop! And since I have spent the last few months perusing the world of ONS and getting help from all of you wonderful stitchers, I mostly knew what I was looking at at any given time and didn't feel overwhelmed or entirely ignorant :)

DH tricked me to get me there. He said he needed me to go so I could show him things I might want so he knew what to get me for Mother's Day. Only when I got there and I was pointing out all the goodies they have that are on my wish-list did he tell me he had already ordered stuff online from my wish-list. He said he knew I was nervous to go for the first time so he decided to manipulate me into going. Isn't he sweet? :)

I did walk away with a few scraps of linen and evenweave that were all $1 a piece and I knew I could use for smalls of various types. And I also walked away with a new chart - the last thing I needed since I've got several projects waiting in the wings already and BeckySC has been much too kind and is sending me charts for free that she is finished with. But I couldn't help myself. I'm sure I've bit off more than I can chew with this one but I just couldn't stop myself. Anyone who knows me knows Christmas is my very favorite time of year. I've become obsessed with the idea of making stockings for my children that they will (in my idealist mind) treasure every year for all the hard work their dear mother put into making those beloved Christmas keepsake stockings of their's. I am infatuated with the whimsy and sweetness of the Shepherd's Bush stockings and I think Harry's Stocking is perfect for my little Cuddle Bug. So today when I saw the chart at my LNS - I had to have it. This may very well be much too adventurous a project for me but I guess you can't know without trying. I don't have the fabric for it or anything, so I won't be starting it right away. But ideally I would love for it to be finished by Christmas. We shall see.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Start - My First CCN

I put a few stitches in CCN's "A Place We Call Home" this evening. I didn't get much done, but it was enough to officially count as a "start" and knock off my last stitching goal for April. I love this design! It's so sweet and lovely. I'm hoping it will be as much fun to stitch as it is beautiful.

My April Stitching Goals Progress Report:
  1. Finish "Thankful" freebie as a tin - Yes. I got it finished 4/3/08 and gifted it to my sister (no pics yet)
  2. Start and Finish Needle Roll for MFC - Yes. My very first needle roll! Completed 4/15/08
  3. Start and Finish "Have Faith" from Elizabeth's Designs - Yes. Completed 4/21/08
  4. Start and Finish Block 1 of PS 12 Days of Christmas - Yes. Completed 4/23/08. That's not bad since I added the goal near the end of the month!
  5. Start CCN's "A Place We Call Home" Yes. I started it 4/25/08
Since all my goals have been met, I'll be stitching on "A Place We Call Home" for the rest of the month and make finishing it my first May goal. I also can't wait to see what the MFC will be for May.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

...And A Partridge in a Pear Tree Finish

I met my goal to get this little guy finished by today! It was a really quick and enjoyable stitch! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with this bird and his respective tree - every stitch was a pleasure. I can't wait to start the next one. Many of you commented on my previous post about this project about how wonderful PS designs are to stitch and you are all so right!

Prairie Schooler's 12 Days of Christmas - 1st block
DMC on 32 count natural light linen
Stitched 4/21/08 - 4/23/08

Sorry about the lighting. It's dark outside. I may try to take a better picture tomorrow. We'll see.

I really want to back these blocks with fabric for my ornaments so I'm going to wait until I find the right fabric to finish any of them off. And does anyone suggest putting the year somewhere really small on them? I was thinking maybe a little "2008" backstitched in the lower right corner under the border. Any thoughts?

Thank you all so very much for all your support! You make stitching even more fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Genorosity of Stitchers

When I was contemplating starting this blog - something Michele of X Marks My Spot suggested I give a go at - I was really nervous. I felt so out of place. I have only been stitching since December and everyone else is so experienced and incredibly talented! I have found other hobbies in which the experienced hobbyists have something of an "elitist" attitude that isn't friendly or welcoming to new-comers. Michele assured me that I wouldn't find that kind of mentality among stitchers. She said stitchers are some of the friendliest people around. So I took the plunge and started a blog. Soon enough I felt comfortable commenting on other stitchers' blogs as well. And Michele - you were so right! Stitchers are friendly and warm. They love to share their knowledge and their talents with experienced stitchers and newbies alike. And today was just another example of how wonderful and sweet the stitching community is.

The amazing BeckySC is giving away several beautifully finished items on her blog to whomever wants to give them a home. I didn't feel worthy to claim anything for myself - but I'm a serial commenter these days and I wanted her to know what a beautiful gesture I felt that was. One of the things she is giving away is a box finished with the LHN "Be Rich in Good Deeds" design. I felt like that summed up exactly what she was doing and I mentioned it innocently. She emailed me and said she wanted me to have it!! I am so moved!!! I know it sounds silly but I seriously teared up. That is such a generous and sweet thing to do. I am so humbled by Becky's talent and to own something that she made and wants me to have is something really special! Thank you to the ends of the Earth Becky!!

The stitching community is a wonderful thing to be a part of!

PS - Becky is also giving away several charts to anyone interested in them.

PS Start

I got started on the first design from Prairie Schooler's 12 Days of Christmas chart - the Patridge in a Pear Tree - last night. This is the first PS design I've done and I just adore it! I will definitely be doing more PS in the future. So far this is stitching up nice and quick. I just hope I don't run into any bumps in the road with it and maybe I will get it finished by tomorrow!

Thank you all for your comments about "Have Faith." You are all so wonderful!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Have Faith Finish

Becky, you had more faith in me than I was worthy of! I didn't finish "Have Faith" yesterday like I had set out to. But I got really close and I got it finished this afternoon while Cuddle Bug has been napping. So that's another project done! I really like how this one turned out. I think I will finish it off in a little frame. The satin stitches weren't difficult at all and the rice stitches were also a breeze after I finished a few. I'm so proud of myself for expanding my stitching horizons with this piece!

Have Faith by Elizabeth's Designs
DMC thread on 32 count Natural Light linen
Stitched 4/18/08 - 4/21/08

We had a wonderful weekend. Cuddle Bug turns 2 next Sunday, so this weekend he got an early birthday present.

It is from Mommy and Daddy, and Daddy's aunt and uncle (CB's great aunt and uncle). Daddy and Uncle Bill built it in the backyard on Saturday and CB got the surprise of his life when he got up from his nap! He absolutely loves it! He has been playing in it as often as he can. Nothing quite compares to seeing your little guy beam from ear to ear!!

I'm going to be revising my April goals today. I'd like to challenge myself to get the first design from the PS 12 Days of Christmas chart finished as well. Since my final goal as it stands right now is merely to start CCN's "A Place We Call Home" I feel like I may be able to make the new goal happen. I'm hoping to get some kind of a start on that tonight. We shall see.

Thank you all for reading and for all your wonderful comments! I really do feel like I have cheerleaders out there in cyberspace!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Start

I started a new project last night just before bed. I'm doing "Have Faith" by Elizabeth's Designs. I think it's such a sweet little design. I'm hoping this will work up pretty quickly. I'd love to get it done by the end of the day tomorrow! We shall see how that works out. This is my first time doing a Satin Stitch. I finished one of the sheep and I was proud of the way it turned out for my first attempt at this kind of stitch. This chart also calls for a Rice Stitch so I'm testing the waters in a few different "new-to-me" stitches with this one.

Have Faith by Elizabeth's Designs
DMC thread on 32 ct Natural Light Linen

These are my new Gingher embroidery scissors too. I got them last Sunday with a 50% off coupon to Michaels. Aren't the lovely? They're so sharp! I had to replace my embroidery scissors because I gave my other ones to my sister with the tin and matching fob I made her - which she still hasn't emailed me any pictures of so we will be patient for that.

Thank you for reading and for all your nice comments!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Let's just set the record straight. I'm from Arizona. I lived in Arizona from the time I was only a few months old until 11 months ago. It's all I had ever really known. We have "natural disasters" in AZ, sure. But mostly just forest fires and flash flooding. So if you live around a city and you haven't built you house in a low lying area near a river bed, you're pretty much safe and sound as far as Mother Nature is concerned. Imagine my shock when DH discloses to me after we move to St. Louis that there are several fault lines around this part of the country and there are earthquakes! Tornadoes, earthquakes, floods... That is just not right!

Last night at 4:35 AM we woke up to a rumbling noise and our bed shaking - no - the whole house shaking! I was petrified! I prayed silently until it was over. DH says "I think we just had an earthquake!" Okay - not funny! Cuddle Bug woke up. We were all awake. The news chimed in with a report of a magnitude 5.6 earthquake with the epicenter about 150 miles from us. Now they're saying it was a 5.2. Either way, any movement of the ground is too much in my book! Then we felt another one this morning at about 10:15 - this time a 4.6 according to reports. I'm ready to pack up and head back to AZ where the land is dry, yes, but it doesn't move and that's good for me!

I'm hoping to get a start on a new project today. I should have pictures of that as soon as I can get the time to put needle to fabric. It's been a very busy week around here!

And thank you all for your wonderful comments on my needle roll! So many of you said things like "I knew you could do it!" and that you liked the design I put together! It made me feel so good! The tutorial was wonderful and it was much easier to do than I expected once I got started on it. You are all so kind!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Did It!!

My very first needle roll finish!

Little House Needleworks Roll
DMC and Crescent Colors on 30 ct WDW linen (color: Linen)
Stitched 4/10/08 - 4/14/08
Finished as Needle Roll 4/15/08

I did the finishing while watching "Tales from Avonlea" on DVD. Aunt Hetty was doing some hand embroidery in one of the episodes. I felt like we were both accomplishing a little something at the same time :)

Thank you for all your kind comments and support!

Let the Hem-Stitching Commence!

Thank you all for your comments on my last entry! Everyone felt I had acted appropriately. That is such a relief! And thank you everyone for your terrible-twos support! I'm trying to laugh about it and trying to see the world through his eyes - a little guy in a great big world whose learning that he has some control over his world. So I'm hanging in there! And there were some who reminded me that some day he will be a teenager, yikes! And one day he will be all grown up and moved away. I need to enjoy these toddler days while I still have him to crawl into my arms and say "Mommy, boo boo, kiss it." :)

In stitching news, I finished the stitching on my needle roll last night:

That was a wonderful feeling - but with it comes a great deal of anxiety. Now I have to venture into the world of hem-stitching. I'm nervous! Michele and I are in this together, though! Good luck Michele! And good luck anyone else who has any nerves about this particular finishing :) Thank you to everyone who mentioned the Focus on Finishing Needle Roll Tutorial. I am going to be following those instructions this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed this turns out!

I also got the needle roll chart I won from Michelle in the mail yesterday! It is so beautiful! Thank you so much Michelle!!

Additionally, I got an email from Rachel over at Fitness for Mommies that I won this giveaway - a tshirt! It's going to be perfect for running! DH said I need to buy a lottery ticket. I'm tickled pink because I seriously never win anything!

Thank you all for visiting and for your comments. Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Needle Roll Update

Well I'm still chugging away on the stitching of my needle roll for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. I'm a slow stitcher and I don't make nearly enough time for stitching in a day - but I do have a toddler who is now weeks away from officially being 2 and he is taking the "terrible twos" description to heart. My sweet angel whom everyone has always described as such a happy child has become disagreeable to say the least. Everything is his these days (during the family rosary tonight, he was telling the other little children - his cousins - that they were sitting on his floor), and when asked to do something he gives you this look of defiance and proceeds to do exactly the opposite. We are dealing with tantrums over everything and tantrums over nothing. He is expressing his independence, his control, his utter disregard for all things related to authority. It makes for a very worn out mommy. But I hear it's a relatively short phase. I'm trying to think of it as a rite of passage in parenthood and keep my sense of humor about it all. He really is such a precious little gem :)

But I digress. So my stitching is slow and my stitching time is limited these days. But I have made some progress. So here's how it's going:

Sally asked about the design and Vonna guessed it was LHN or CCN (good eye Vonna!). Well I have to lay it out there. I don't have a chart for any needle rolls right now and while I did find a few online that I considered, I ultimately wasn't satisfied with any of them. So during a shower (I often do my thinking in the shower - anyone else find shower time to be good contemplative time?) I was giving my needle roll some thought. I know that there are several designers who have designs specifically for needle roll finishing. And I was wishing LHN or CCN did because I so love their designs. Realizing that most needle roll designs use bands, I decided to see if I could put something together on my own based on bits and pieces of different LHN charts I have. So that's what I did. I printed a piece of graph paper and I took little parts of LHN designs - charts that I own - and arranged them in bands for a needle roll. I'm not really sure if this is appropriate to be honest. Do I have any right to go taking parts of several designs to make a new design?? DH said to go for it. And I figure I do own the charts, and it's not like I'm going to be posting the chart I made out of them or anything. And I always intended to mention that it is comprised entirely of LHN designs. But what do you all think? Was this a bad idea? Is it bad stitching form? I'm new to this, so if it is I'm really sorry. Live and learn.

Thank you all for reading this far and thank you for your comments. I am sorry in advance if my needle roll hodge-podge is offensive to anyone.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Needle Roll - the Adventure Begins

Today I started stitching up my needle roll for the Monthly Finishing Challenge. I want to get it done ASAP so I have plenty of time left if I mess it up. I'm not entirely sure how this is going to work out. Only time will tell.

Here's a sneak peak:

Sorry about the picture quality. It was overcast today so I couldn't get good lighting. The colors are really off.

I'm still waiting for pictures from my sister of my tin finish. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures I can post soon.

In other news, I won a chart over at Michelle's blog. I never win anything so this made my day! And I got my PS "12 Days of Christmas" chart in the mail from Mary Kathryn on Tuesday afternoon. It's such a great design! I can't wait to kit it up and get started on making it into ornaments!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Cuddle Bug and I had a fantastic weekend visiting my twin sister in Illinois! We went to a little carnival, decorated capes, went to a karaoke party, had chocolate fondue, and Cuddle Bug even helped make Baklava! I'm really not the type to put pictures of myself up on this blog but this is the best picture I have that doesn't have a close-up of Cuddle Bug (and I'm a nervous mom about putting close-ups of CB on a blog accessible by the general public). Please ignore my unruly hair - I'm growing it out for Locks of Love.

DH stayed home - slept in uninterrupted, went rock climbing, played roller-hockey, and watched movies with his aunt and uncle. We all had a nice weekend.

In stitching news, I finished my tin but don't have any good pictures to post. I gave it to my sister this weekend when we went out there and tried to get some good pics but they all turned out blurry. She promised to email some better pictures. It turned out great for a first time - if I do say so myself. But you'll have to wait for pictures.

I also visited a needlework shop in the tiny town we were in to visit my sister. I was a little less nervous to go in there since I won't be a regular or anything. It was super small and filled to the brim with needlework goods of all kinds! I tried looking at the linen to see what they had, but it was a bit of a disorganized mess. I did end up with a pretty little piece of WDW linen - very neutral, the color is called "linen." I was thinking it would be suitable to try a needle roll on. If I decide not to use it for that, I can always stash it away. And I picked up a Calico Crossroads design that my sister really liked - so I'm going to do that for her. DH has given me a rule that I am to have no more than 10 unfinished charts at any given time. The new chart takes me to 8, but it should be a quick stitch and I've got some linen coming from Mary Kathryn to do 3 other projects. So I'm thinking I have things under control.

Well I'm off to visit all of my blog reads I've been missing out on for the past 4 days! I have all my blogs in Google Reader and it's great! I don't have to go searching for unread posts.

Thank you all for visiting and for your wonderful comments!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Needle Roll Help!

Today is the 1st of April and that means the dreaded needle roll challenge is upon us! I'm sure there are many of you out there who have no anxiety about this particular finishing at all - but frankly I'm very nervous!

This being my first adventure in needle rolling, I've decided a simple design is best in case I need to re-do it should something disastrous happen during finishing. I've found a small free pattern from The Floss Box that I'm pretty sure I will be doing. But my question is - how much extra fabric do I need to leave around the stitched design for finishing purposes? I want to get this right!

In other news, I got another crisp white envelope in the mail with the wonderful Handcrafts Online return address label in the upper right corner today :) It is my LHN Wool Needlebook and Scissor Fob chart! And Mary Kathryn included a beautiful skein of "School Yard" green from The Gentle Art because I placed my order on St. Patrick's Day. How sweet is she?!

No new development with my "Thankful" tin. I need to make a trip to the craft store and mosey around to figure something to put in it for my sister. That will have to wait until tomorrow. Tonight DH and I are going on a double date to see the Blues play (hockey). And of course that means Tivo will have to manage American Idol for us as well.