Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

Well 2009 is coming to a close. I don't know about the rest of you, but for me the whole year went by really fast!

I'm joining in with the fun over at Su's and posting my 2009 Stitchy Review.

I completed 16 projects in 2009. Not terribly impressive on it's own, but throw in the fact that my biggest project this year was the LadyBug and I think I have a reasonable excuse for not being more productive.

My favorite finishes of all this year were my exchanges with dear sweet Ranae and Vonna. Thank you both for the wonderful exchanges. I enjoyed them more than I can say!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A few giveaways to let you all know about (of course, I'm hoping to win...)

Tea Rose Home is giving away a removable chalkboard here. Love this!!!

And Someday Crafts is giving away a diaper cake here. This would be the perfect gift for DH's super sweet cousin who is expecting baby #2 in April!

So go and enter if you're interested. But just be aware that I plan on winning both of these! :P

Christmas, a New Year, and a New Look

We had a wonderful Christmas this year despite LadyBug's fever late Christmas Eve night and on into Christmas day (it figures, right?). As you can clearly see, my bugs were spoiled (again) this year. I guess it pays to be the only grandkids on both sides...

Besides the festivities, I have a finish to show you (and just in the nick of time, too)! I put the year on this one months ago. But it got set down and, for some reason that has yet to be determined, it didn't get picked back up. Please tell me I'm not the only one to forget a WIP! It narrowly escaped needing a do-over on the year until I realized it was sitting there unattended and picked it up to finish it! Phew. So here it is in all it's finished BBD glory. The fabric color is off completely. It's actually a winter white in person.

Something Sweet by Blackbird Designs
Thread: recommended CC, WDW, and GAST
Fabric: 28 Count winter white linen
Started: 6/6/09
Finished: 12/30/09

And in case you haven't noticed yet, I went ahead and made myself a fresh new blog layout to ring in the new year! I'm loving the clean white background.

Wishing you all a blessed 2010!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

As I am certain you are already aware, I have been a very good girl this year. Besides the fact that I bit the bullet and went back to school (and managed straight As my first semester despite the fact that I was taking the dreaded Statistics), I have been lovingly caring for my sweet miracles, keeping the house in only a minor state of disarray (hey, you have to admit it could be worse...), and learning new crafts!

As I am sure you are also already aware, my craft stash buying privileges were unceremoniously revoked by my husband (I think Mrs. Claus would agree that this is if he has any real power) until I have depleted the supplies I already have. Since this can simply not be accomplished fast enough, I come to you Santa. You are my only hope of acquiring any new lusciously lovely fabric to satisfy my cravings! I was recently bit by that relentless quilting bug, and without new fabric to caress this holiday season I fear I might have a meltdown!

So I would like to present to you my Christmas wish list:

Any one of these would make me the happiest little crafter in the world! And the hubby couldn't object :)
All my love,

PS: all you crafters out there should create your very own Santa Wish List from the Fat Quarter Shop too!


*Disclaimer: poorly lit photos that don't do a bit of justice to their subjects. My apologies*

My life has been hectic lately to say the very least. But I do believe that by the end of Friday, I will be able to finally slow down. Last week I was up to my ears in finals preparations. My first semester back at school, and I'm proud to report I got 3 very high As! My highest course grade was 107.4% , my lowest was (as of right may yet be curved a little) 98.5%! A pat on the back for me! To celebrate, we took the bugs to Chuck E. Cheese's. Cuddle Bug has been begging for months to go since he saw a sponsor "ad" on PBS Kids. It was a huge hit! He had a blast and LadyBug was entranced by the lights and sounds.

This week I've been working hard on Christmas details. Last night I was up until 1am making cookies for Cuddle Bug's preschool Christmas program. Welcome to motherhood, my dear :)

In all the mayhem, I didn't get to mention that I got the most amazing exchange package from sweet Vonna! Vonna kindly agreed to exchange a Christmas ornament with me despite the fact that her stitching and finishing are perfection and that hardly seems like a fair trade! All I can say is that the ornament she sent me is absolutely stunning. I gasped when I opened it! I don't call this beauty "it," I call her "she" as she is much too lovely and special to be an "it." She's a beautiful PS angel and she is front and center on my Christmas tree. Just today she was complimented by a friend who stopped by for a brief visit.

Vonna also included 2 precious stuffed dogs for the bugs! That made their day Vonna! And for me...oh heaven as if the incredible ornament wasn't enough, Vonna included the chart for LHN's Poinsettia House and the specialty fibers, fabric, and piecemaker needles to complete it! I have big plans for this chart next week when DH is home on vacation. And Vonna says the piecemakers are absolutely divine to stitch with so I am very much looking forward to giving them a try!

Thank you Vonna! I feel so unworthy to have something so special in my possession. I will cherish this beautiful angel always!

Here's a peak at what I sent Vonna (and some candy thrown in for her bugs):

I also got a wonderful little Christmas surprise from Staci! I am now the proud owner of Staci-dyed fabric! I literally jumped for joy upon opening this! Staci, you are too sweet for words! Thank you for thinking of me :)

I am always so overwhelmed by the friendship and generosity among stitchers. I know it is said often, but stitchers truly are some of the most generous and wonderful people in the world!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Round 3!

It's Wednesday night, and that means it's time to announce the third winner of my reindeer ornie giveaway!

Last night's winner, LinenStitcher, chose gift #1. Monday night's winner, DaisyGirl claimed gift #2. So that means tonight's winner will get the reindeer behind door number 3!

And package #3 goes to...

Carol! Congrats Carol! I sent you an email :)

Thank you to everyone who wished me better with my cold. It's starting to clear up and I'm feeling much better today than yesterday. And I am happy to report that despite my being under the weather, I was very productive!

Yesterday, between bouts of nose blowing and mucousy coughing, I finished up a personal exchange. That's headed to the post office tomorrow. I was also reminded on Monday night that I had not (as previously thought) crossed everyone off my Christmas list! I somehow managed to forget my bugs' Godparents. No biggie. I quickly remembered seeing this last week and bookmarking it. $4 worth of mugs from Target (90 cents each, hard to beat that!), a little over an hour of my personal time, some polka dot fabric I have in abundance thanks to my sister, ric rac and cellophane bags I had on hand already, and some ingredients from the pantry yielded these:

Not too shabby. And that price tag! Yes, each of those cost me less than a dollar out of pocket. Not bad for a day's work :)

I hope your Wednesday was a good one!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another Day, Another Winner!

Well, wonderful DaisyGirl selected gift #2 for her win in yesterday's drawing. That leaves 1 and 3 still up for grabs.

Today brings us another winner!

A reindeer ornie goes to....

LinenStitcher! So you get your pick of package #1 or package #3.

Tomorrow will be the final drawing. It's not too late to enter if you haven't already. Just head over to this post and comment for your chance to win! I won't be drawing the final name until late tomorrow night since I have a biology lab tomorrow evening.

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start! I have caught a miserable cold and have been living in my pajamas. The house is a mess, and Cuddle Bug has been watching movies to keep him occupied. I have been stitching my misery away, but I can't show it here since it's for a personal exchange. I love exchanges! They make me happy :)

Hugs to you all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

We Have a (first) Winner!

I was running way behind today, and finally got around to drawing the first winner for the Rudolph Ornie Giveaway at a little after 6pm.

I wrote everyone's name on a slip of paper jumbled them up, threw them in a mason jar, shook them up really well and then let Cuddle Bug pick out a name.

And the winner is....

DaisyGirl! She gets to pick package 1,2 , or 3. Tomorrow Cuddle Bug will draw another name to choose from the remaining 2 ornaments.

It's not too late to sign up if you want to be included in tomorrow's drawing! Just head on over to this post and leave a comment (please include your email address if it isn't already on your blog profile).

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as wonderful and delicious as ours! My sister (Ms. Motivated) somehow managed to lose 4 pounds over Thanksgiving weekend. I ate her share of the dessert!

Hugs and happy stitchy wishes!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giveaways Galore!

You have to see the giveaway over at Linen Stitcher's blog. She is giving away the chart for American Landscape from Carriage House Samplings!

Also, check out the wonderful giveaway crafty Sachiko is offering here! There's a charm pack, a sweet little handbag for your favorite lady bug, and a darling doll quilt all up for grabs. That doll quilt would be perfect under the tree for Cuddle Bug's little baby doll "Hannah Girl." (I have no problem admitting that my boy loves his baby doll. He's going to be a great Daddy).

There's also a fantastic fabric giveaway here for all you sewing/fabric craft enthusiasts!

Everyone is feeling so generous! I love that about crafters!!

So join in, enter the giveaways, and if I don't win I hope one of you do!

And of course, don't forget I've got a giveaway of my own going on :)

Hugs and happy stitchy wishes!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rudolph's Ornie Giveaway!

Well it just so happens that we have come upon my very favorite time of year! It is my favorite season, my favorite holiday, my favorite birthday...I love Christmas!!!!

The cards are written, stamped, and addressed. The hot chocolate is spiked (for Mommy, that is). The gifts for family are purchased. Santa has made his list, checked it twice..And tonight I have it on good authority that he is going out with Mrs. Claus for a final shopping spree while the bugs stay at home with Mommy's dear friend, Renee.

So what better way to celebrate with all of you than to have a GIVEAWAY?!

So here's how this one is going to work:

I have stitched and finished 3 small reindeer ornaments. Among the three is the most famous of all reindeer, Rudolph himself with his big, bright, red nose!

Each ornament has been wrapped and designated a number. Cuddle Bug specified which number Rudolph should be. On Monday, November 30th, Cuddle Bug will draw a name from all the entries received at that point. That person will be notified and will pick a number. The following day, another person will be drawn and they will pick a number from the remaining two. And on the third day, the final person will be drawn and will receive the final ornament.

But there's a twist. Rudolph, being Santa's most prized reindeer, will arrive to his new home with a special Christmas gift. He picked up a Just Nan Christmas Needle Slide at his LNS a few weeks ago and is excited to personally escort it to it's new home.

All three ornaments will be mailed at the same time and the winners will not know if they got Rudolph or not until their ornie arrives at its destination.

All you have to do to be included in the drawing is comment on this post and LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS if it is not on your blog profile. You are welcome to spread the news on your own blog, but it is not a requirement of entry. All readers, old and new, worldwide are welcome to enter. The drawing will start on November 30th. You may enter anytime up until the third and final name is drawn.

Hugs and happy stitchy wishes to everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009

BIG HUGS! and a Giveaway

I don't even know what to say. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all your love, prayers, support, and hugs! I have been counting you all among my abundance of blessings the past few days. I cannot even tell you in words just how much it meant to me. I tried to respond to each and every one of your comments to extend my thanks. I could not reply to all as some do not accept replies. So to those of you I could not respond to directly, thank you thank you thank you. I am overwhelmed with all your support!

Grandpa passed Friday evening. I could not be there as I had to be home with the kids. The hospital was asking healthy kids to stay away due to the H1N1. I don't think CuddleBug would have handled it well anyway. But I was home with them so that DH could be at the hospital with his grandfather and his family.

I can say that the time I did get to spend in the hospital with Grandpa was incredible! It really makes you think about your life and your priorities and what you want for yourself when you are living out your last moments. Grandpa's very best friend, Sister Suzanne (a wonderful nun and family friend), has been helping the dying through their last hours for 40+ years. She said very sincerely last night as everyone gathered to pray the Rosary that she had never seen so many people, so much love, and so much faith in one room in all those 40 years. This family is amazing, and everyone's love for one another and their love for Grandpa is an inspiration! He didn't live his life for wealth or material goods. He lived his life for Jesus Christ and for family. Nothing made him more joyful than to celebrate the mass daily, to welcome a new baby into the family, or to have any excuse to get as many family members together as possible! I hope I will have that much love around me when I'm dying. But you don't get that by living for stuff. Stuff doesn't hold vigil by your hospital bed for 48 hours. It doesn't weep when you are lifted up to God. Stuff doesn't care. And Grandpa didn't care about stuff. Though Grandpa was blessed with financial freedom, he gave as much away as he could to charity and to family. There is currently a senior housing project under construction in Dardenne Prairie, MO that is being build on land Grandpa donated to the archdiocese. That complex will be named St. William Apartments (St. William being Grandpa's namesake). Every Christmas Eve Grandpa had a wrapped gift for every single one of his children, their spouses, his grandchildren and their spouses, and his great-grandchild in addition to a cash gifts for all as well. Grandpa sent grandkids to college when their parents couldn't afford it, and he donated as much as he could every year to charity - sometimes exceeding one million dollars (though he never talked about it, he was unbelievably humble). When John and I were in a bind after we moved to St Louis and we had trouble with housing arrangements, Grandpa let us stay rent free in a house he usually rented out. Grandpa lived his life in service to God and in service to everyone around him. And that is why the people in his hospital room poured out into the hallway, and his grandchildren all over the world caught the first flights home as soon as word got out that he was going to Jesus.

The world is not going to be the same without him and his incredible generosity. But there are now well over 40 grandchildren that will carry on his spirit of laughter, life, love, faith, and generosity. That's a pretty big impact for one person to have. I hope I will have half that impact on the world.

I apologize if my entry is heavy. My heart is heavy. And these are the things that are on my mind.

I am going to leave you with info for a giveaway. Because I hate to think I'm leaving anyone else with a heavy heart. So...

There is a fun giveaway here for some lovely quilting goodies. I am getting into quilting (because I really have so much time for another craft *sarcasm*) and I am hoping to get my hands on one of these goodies!! Maybe you will too!

Huge hugs to everyone! I promise my next entries won't be so somber. Stay tuned, because I have a giveaway of my very own coming up!

Thank you for your prayers!!!!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion...

...have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I don't usually talk about hugely personal stuff on here aside from a little bragging about my kids. And I don't talk about my faith for fear of turning people off. But I'm going to go ahead and just say a few things. 'Cause this is my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

Right now one of the most incredible men I've ever known is in a hospital room taking his last breaths surrounded by loved ones. My husband's grandfather is passing away. He's not expected to last more than a few hours at this point. He is 82 years old. Father of 9. The youngest of those 9 kids was 2 when he was widowed. He has 40 some-odd grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren (3 of whom are still baking in their mama's ovens). He is the single most generous person I've ever known. And he will be sorely missed. It is no exaggeration to say that Grandpa is the patriarch of my husband's extended family. I don't know what everyone will do without him.

This is the man who delivered me to Jesus Christ. Seeing him walk in the light, seeing him so faith-filled and grace-filled and consumed with the Holy Spirit is what made me say "I want what he's having!" He is fed by Christ. So while there is a river of tears swelling up all around our family right now, there is comfort in knowing that Grandpa is certain to inherit the Kingdom.

I know some of you are Catholic, and you may recognize the line in my heading from the Divine Mercy Chaplet. If anyone thinks about it or is so inclined, I would be ever so grateful to anyone who would want to pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet or just pray as your heart desires for my husband's grandfather William Erker, Sr. and his family. We are overwhelmed with grief.

I leave you with a picture from LadyBug's baptism this past summer. That's me with the sweet baby in the middle. And that's Grandpa down in front on the right. He never missed a graduation, a wedding, a first Holy Communion, a baptism, an anything. And all those other people in the picture...well that's the love that he and we are surrounded by! That is a tiny fraction of DH's extended family (and my sister among them) - the ones that could come to witness LadyBug's baptism.

I'm sorry to unload my sadness here. I just thought it never hurts to reach out and ask for prayers at a time like this. You are all so wonderful.

Edited to add: Grandpa passed at about 5:40 pm St. Louis time. He was surrounded by family singing hymns and praying together. Thank you all for your prayers and your comforting words. I cannot even express how wonderful they have been to hear.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Still On Cloud 9 over My First Exchange

What a week! After being sick last week, this week I had 2 huge midterm exams. I was completely overloaded this week. Has anyone else been forced to take statistics? Wow! That is an intense class!

But now here it is Saturday morning...the exams are behind me. Cuddle Bug is curled up on the couch watching Miffy and Friends on PBS and LadyBug is upstairs taking her mid-morning nap. The floors - that shamefully have been neglected for 2 weeks - have been swept and vacuumed. No more stale Cheerios on the rug under the table for LadyBug to be stuffing into her mouth when I turn my back for a split second (did I mention she's "crawling"'s really more of a butt scoot but she's very good at it). Now I can exhale.


So now I can mention that I am still absolutely living on cloud 9 over my exchange from Ranae! That was one of the most fun things I have done in a long time! Milling over charts, picking out just the right thing to stitch and deciding how to finish it. Picking out fun things to keep the exchange piece company in the box during it's travels. It was an absolute blast! And then there's the excitement, the anticipation of finding a box on your doorstep! Oh my is fantastic!!!

Of course I forgot to get a picture of my piece before I taped the box shut. Wouldn't you know? It wouldn't have been right if my first exchange went perfectly. So I had to make at least one amateur mistake, right?! So there you go, no picture. But fortunately Ranae took a wonderful picture and has kindly given me permission to post it to my blog.

This is part of Tanya's Quaker Boo freebie she posted last year. I have wanted to do this one since she posted it. I went back and forth over this and a Bent Creek design. I really wanted to do this chart, but I couldn't decide if it's poor exchange etiquette to use a freebie chart or not. It was my favorite since I thought it would make the most interesting finish, so I went for it anyway. Anyone want to set me straight on this? Anyway, I did the large octagon motif over 2. Then I stitched 4 slightly varied versions of the pumpkin motif over 1 and hung those from the bottom 4 corners of the octagon. I put mine and Ranae's initials on the back along with the year. My pillow ornament finishing wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But Ranae didn't seem to mind.

Ranae, thank you so much for offering to exchange with me! I had so much fun doing this with you! You are wonderful! My flatfold from you is gracing my living room window sill, and I seriously can't help but smile every time I see it!

Hugs for Ranae and all the amazing stitchers out there who continue to inspire and support me in my stitching adventures :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

My First Exchange!

After a rough week - everyone in the house was sick except DH - I had a very exciting pick-me-up!

Ranae and I had arranged to do a personal Halloween exchange, and look at the amazing lovelies that came in the mail for me!!

I couldn't have dreamed of a more incredible exchange! I have been walking on cloud nine over receiving this! Thank you Ranae for such a sweet package!! This is my first flatfold and I'm going to use it as a reference to try one this finish myself. Isn't it darling? And look at that trim! So festive! The little stickers walked off in the hands of my 3-year-old, so he keeps calling the package "our Halloween package." What a goober! And check out that scissor fob! Isn't it fantastic?! This was so much fun!!!

Ranae's package from me is in the mail finally. It's off to it's new home. I have to admit, my exchange pales in comparison to the beautiful package she put together for me. I just hope she has as much fun getting her package from me as I did getting mine from her :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

H-A-Double L-O-Double U-Double E-N spells Halloween!

I cannot believe it's been about 6 weeks since my last entry! I've been getting into a groove with school, and I've been working on exchange stitching. So I haven't had too much I could show for myself around here.

But, I did get a little something finished up yesterday that's worth a show! So here it is. Overcast days make for poor pictures, but I wanted to share anyway.

It's the La-D-Da ornament from the JCS halloween issue. I stitched it 1/1 on white belfast linen with DMC. I love the way it turned out! This was my first time doing a coffee dye and I really think it gives it something special! I took a cue from Alma at the BBD blog and wove a fiber from the linen into the piece to give it a little haphazard mended look - adding to the old, worn feel of it. Cuddle Bug ran off with this one and put it on the doorknob of his bedroom door. I'm not sure that's where it will stay.

School has been going well. I've been getting into a rhythm with that. I have 2 online classes and 1 in-person class. So far, my grades have been good. And I'm really enjoying my biology class. Last night was our first exam in Bio and I got the highest score in the class. For myself, that always feels good. But I hate when the other students ask what I got and I have to tell them I got the high score for the class. I feel so self conscious about it in the classroom setting. But when I get home I want to shout it from the rooftops :)

Cuddle Bug is in his 2nd week of preschool today. He only goes for 2.5 hours twice a week (Tues and Thurs). It's been a big adjustment. So far we haven't been there without tears. But he comes home busting at the seams to tell us all about his fun! I'm hoping it won't be too much longer before he can't wait to go back.

Thank you for coming and reading my little ol' blog and leaving such wonderful and supportive comments. The stitching community is so warm! I enjoy you all! Sending you all happy stitchy wishes!!

Welcome Fall!

2 entries in one day! That's unheard of on my blog!

I just wanted to post this little freebie from Monique. I managed to whip this one up during naptime. Thank goodness for naptime...I think I would be useless without it!!

Sorry for the terrible picture. I know if I wait until morning to take a picture in natural light I won't find the time tomorrow.

Fall Freebie from My Mark Designs
1/1 on 32 count coffee-dyed linen scrap
DMC thread
Stitched and Finished 9/22/09

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's That Time of Year

Thank you everyone for your incredibly kind and supportive comments on my last entry. I don't know what to say. Stitchers are easily some of the most amazing, sincere, caring, and generous people in the world! Thank you for making me feel so good!!

And thank you everyone who offered to do personal exchanges with me! I hope to make time to do one with each and every one of you in the near future. Ranae and Vonna are on my list in the coming months! I've been busy at work getting things together for those exchanges and I have to say that I am incredibly excited about it! Thank you ladies for offering to join in the fun with me!

In between organizing myself for my first exchanges, I have made a little bit of progress on "Something Sweet" from BBD. I am loving this project now as much as when I started it! I have already picked out a spot on my wall for it too! Now if only I had a lot more open time to work on this one!

These are the weeks that get a little crazy around here. I'm sure many of you commiserate with me that this time of year gets hectic. And I don't even have "school aged" children! DH works for a university, and it's move-in time and student-tech training time. That means he works some days on the weekend (like yesterday) and he works extra long week days. We miss him. I feel spoiled to have a husband that (usually) works regular work hours. These extra hours remind me not to take his (mostly) predictable schedule for granted!

On top of that, I am headed back to school myself this year. I mentioned before that I was going to start taking classes to begin working toward my BSN. Well I have 3 classes this semester starting a week from today (8/24). Biology, Statistics, and Economics. Wish me luck! This surprise came in the mail from my mom and my sister to get me ready for my new role as student! And when I finish school, it can carry stitchy projects! Lucky me!

And we decided to find a preschool program for Cuddle Bug. We are hoping to give him more social interaction with children his own age. We found him a preschool class that meets only two days a week (Tues and Thurs) for 2.5 hours (9-11:30 am). I'm hoping that will help him to open up a bit and not be so painfully shy around other kids. We will see! He starts that in September.

So we've been working hard around here. But it isn't without it's joys and celebrations! Ladybug turned 6 months old a week ago. We had a half birthday party for her and she had her first bite of "solid food." The adventure begins with that! Smeared sweet potatoes and sticky diapers. Fun! I cannot believe she's already 6 months old!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend full of crossed stitches and relaxation! Hoping you all have a great week and happy stitchy wishes!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Beauty from Ranae

I am such a flake! I completely forgot to mention and extend my thanks to sweet Ranae for sending this gorgeous issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly to me! Ranae gave this away on her blog and I was the lucky winner. It has been forwarded on by several stitchers and I intend to pass it along once I've gotten my fill of it! Thank you Ranae!

I got some stitching in yesterday. As usual, it was not enough to make nearly the progress so many of you make on a given day, but I will take what I can get! I am hooked on this piece. It is a marvelous stitch! Brigitte, you should definitely start this one (IMHO)! You may even finish before I do! :)

Today I read this very honest and vulnerable entry on the blog of an incredibly talented stitcher. She says she feels insecure about her stitching sometimes. I am in awe of her skill. Her projects are bigger, bolder, and stitched with more mastery than I could dream of achieving! I relate though. I'm terribly insecure about my stitching and my finishing. I desperately want to participate in all of the gorgeous exchanges so many of you do, but I hate to think someone will get my pitiful stitching in exchange for a masterpiece they made! I follow the HOE blogs just to oogle everyone's creations and packages! Maybe I will get the guts to do it myself one of these days. In the meantime, it was special for me to read that even some of you gifted and experienced stitchers feel insecure about your work sometimes. Not because I enjoy hearing people feel this way, but because I know I'm not entirely alone in my feelings sometimes.

Thank you all for your support! I love reading your comments. They mean a lot to me! Happy stitchy wishes everyone! HUGS!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another Lobster Roll Please!

Well all I can say is finally...finally a little something worth showing!

Thank you all for your suggestions and comments on my last post about scroll bars vs. q-snaps. I set out finally having settled on some q-snaps. Well wouldn't you know that my Hobby Lobby would be all out?! Just my luck! So circumstance effected my decision making in the end. It was either wait a week for some q-snaps to come in or get some scroll rods and get stitching! I chose the latter, naturally.

I must say that I like the scroll rods so far. There was a bit of a learning curve with them - trying to figure out how best to go about getting my fabric on the rods and twisted taut. But I managed. And they've been doing what I paid them to do. So I'm pleased! I will be giving q-snaps a try next time I need something though. As some of you said, I guess I can only really decide what I like by trying both.

I made some progress on my BBD "Something Sweet." It's coming along swimmingly considering it sat idle for nearly 2 months and I get very little quality stitching time - what with the bugs demanding my constant attention and all. But I'm enjoying this more than I can describe! Who could have known that BBDs are such an absolute joy to stitch?! Here's a little progress pic for you to feast your eyes on!

And as I mentioned in my last post, my month-long absence was not only taken up with longing for needle and thread, but also with a little fun in the sun! DH and I dragged our incredibly awesome bugs on a long 2-day car ride from St. Louis to Boston because we're crazy like that! We spent 5 full days in Boston enjoying ourselves to bits, and then we drove 2 more days home! I would just like to say that even though our bugs are only 3 years and 5 months, they are amazing travelers! We had our moments (Cuddle Bug had to pee on the side of the road for the first time and that involved a huge meltdown "NOOOOO! Only dogs pee on the ground!" - yes, that's a quote) and I'm nursing the Ladybug so you haven't lived until you've been pumping in the passenger seat and crawling into the backseat with a bottle every few hours. For those of you wondering, running the car heater and setting the (fresh from the cooler) expressed milk on the dash does bring it up to body temperature, but be prepared to sweat utilizing this method in mid-July! Seriously though, it was easy considering the ages of our little ones! They spoil us.

We were there visiting my Dad and his wife who live just outside of Boston in a great little beachy town called Hull. And we took it easy...way easy. We didn't cram a bunch of sight-seeing or tourist stuff into our trip (since we've done all that during previous trips there). We mostly hung around my dad's water-front townhouse, ate lobster, and enjoyed the view and good company. We did take the bugs to the New England Aquarium and managed a trolley tour. Oh and we took my dad's kayaks out a few times and spent a few hours at the beach. It was more fun and more relaxation than other vacations I've been on! We came home from our trip not feeling like we needed a vacation to recover from our vacation! And that's how we know it was a success.

I leave you with a picture of the view from my nursing spot at my dad's. This is where I sat several times a day and nursed the Ladybug. Oh how I long to be back there now!

Thanks for visiting, and for all your wonderful comments, help, and suggestions! And happy stitchy wishes to each and every one of you!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Withdrawal is Setting In - Help!

It's been well over a month since I posted last around these parts. The truth is there hasn't been much to update. I haven't made any substantial progress on anything in almost 2 months! It's starting to take a toll on me!

But everyone was so helpful about the hoop marks on my BBD piece. The hoop has hit the trash! I was lucky I asked you all about it before I got much further in the project as I was able to force them out with the iron by carefully getting the hoop marks wet and avoiding the threads all together! Phew! But this one hasn't been touched since. I haven't made it to the store for a suitable hoop alternative. But I'm going to try to make it to he store today!

So I ask you all....q-snaps or scroll bars? And why?

It hasn't been all stitching withdrawal lately though. I've had my share of fun in July! Expect pictures of that fun in my next update!

Thank you all for all your help and support! And thank you in advance for any help deciding between the q-snaps and scroll bars, Happy stitchy wishes to you all!

Monday, June 22, 2009

That Lonely BBD

Thank you all for your sweet comments about my 3 problems on Friday. And an especially big thank you to everyone who encouraged me to get that Cheesecake Factory! I'm going to be letting DH know how you all feel ;)

I didn't find any time to pick up my current stitching project this weekend as I had hoped. I'm working on BBD's "Something Sweet." I started it over 2 weeks ago, but haven't touched it in over a week. So it's only got 1 week's worth of work put into it - which isn't many hours considering I have 2 small children. It will get some quality time this week I hope. Pay no attention to the stairs. I will be fixing that mistake! Oops.

Something Sweet by Blackbird Designs
Thread: recommended CC, WDW, and GAST
Fabric: 28 Count winter white linen
Started: 6/6/09

We had a good Father's Day. Cuddle Bug and I got up and made Daddy the usual Father's Day breakfast of cinnamon rolls. When they were ready we woke up Daddy and Ladybug and all had a wonderful breakfast. We gave Daddy the gift we had prepared for him. Then we loaded up into the car and drove to Ironton, Missouri to spend the day with some family. It was wonderful and low key. I finished up the day very sick. I think I had become terribly dehydrated in the heat. My head was pounding and I was dizzy and tired. I guzzled a bunch of water upon returning home, took a bunch of advil, and laid down to close my eyes for a bit. 2 hours later DH woke me up to nurse the Ladybug. I felt terrible to have napped so long on Father's Day, but I was really not feeling well at all. DH assured me he didn't mind.

This is what we gave Daddy for Father's Day (one of the rare moments you will get to see a picture of the bugs or see their names on my blog):

I have a question for all you wonderfully helpful seasoned stitchers out there in blogland. I am stitching my BBD project in a hoop. I find it makes my stitches more even and consistent than stitching in the hand. But it's leaving ring wrinkles in my fabric and I'm finding it impossible to iron them out. Since I'm using hand dyed fibers, I can't get it wet to force the wrinkles out. Any suggestions???

Well that's about it around these parts. I hope everyone else had an incredible weekend! Sending you all wonderful stitchy wishes!

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Been Too Long!

First of all, thank you everyone for your kind comments about the dress and support of my desire to head back to school! I appreciate each and every one of you!!!

It's been too long... Since what you ask?

Well it's been too long since I've posted an update to this here blog. That's one. And it's been too long since I've put needle to linen (almost a week now). That's two. And it's been too long since I've seen the inside of a Cheesecake Factory. That's three.

So I'm on a mission to fix these things in the near future.

Problem one - well I'm taking care of that one right now.

I don't have much to write about. I've spent a little more time behind the sewing machine since my last post. Cuddle Bug got a chef's hat. Now I can stop being reminded how Santa forgot to bring him the chef's hat he requested for Christmas. And this one is made of Disney Cars fabric! Beat that you little elves!!! And Ladybug just got a new summer dress. This time I managed to get the little diaper cover worked out as well :) I'm improving!

I've also been dabbling in the paper crafting world! I'm a huge admirer of the work Steph does over at Where'd All My Money Go?!. And she's peaked my interest in paper crafting! I'm all signed up for a "Scrapbooking Basics" class at a nearby scrapbooking store next week. I'm excited!

I made it out to a great LNS in historic St Charles, MO with a friend. I got some specialty fibers I needed to start my current project. They carry Belle Soie and for a moment I considered picking up a skein to quell my curiosity. But I exercised self control and just got what was on my list. I'm a bad stasher... Too much self control for my own good! Someday very soon I want to give silks a try!

That was two weeks ago tomorrow we made that trip, and that afternoon I started my current project - my first BBD. And I love it! It's been a joy so far when I have the time. That brings us to problem number two. I haven't touched this project in almost a week! I have to admit I've hardly made a dent in it and I haven't had a moment to get a good photograph of it when the sun is up. When the sun is up, my bugs are up. And that leaves very little time for taking pics of my projects. Oh well. I promise a picture this weekend! So bare with me! I may become a BBD junkie! This one is going to get some much-needed attention tomorrow...I hope...

And that leaves problem three. Something tells me this one is going to remain a problem for a while longer. I will just have to settle for some Sarah Lee cheesecake from the freezer section of my local grocer. And I admit, as humble as that sounds I may almost perfer it that way. That I can eat in my pajamas as I work on that afformentioned WIP. You can't say that about the Cheesecake Factory ;)

Okay, since I have no picture of my own adventures, I leave you with this little beauty I have been drooling over today:

Feast your eye on that!

And for anyone interested in a crafty giveaway I came across this one in my scrapbook blog hopping and you've got to check it out (not stitching related, but good fun for the craft enthusiast!):
Paper Craft Pleasures is giving away a Bind-It-All binder machine and accessories! This is generally a paper crafting tool, but stitchers could use it to bind your very own journals complete with stitched cover! You know you want one ;)

That's it for me today. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sewing, Finishing, Living

A few years ago (when we were still living in Tucson, AZ) my mom awarded me ownership of a little piece of equipment I will always associate fondly with sweet mom-made summer dresses - her old Kenmore sewing machine. All these years it's been untouched (short of the 8 moves we made in less than 2 years, that is). I hadn't a clue how to use it.

Well since my mom was in town for my sister's graduation - Congrats Steph! - I made it a point to get out the sewing machine for a little how-to! And this is the fruit of that lesson:

A little dress for my Lady Bug! It is terribly flawed, and please let's not even bring up the little diaper cover that was supposed to go with it! But I'm actually very proud of it! So I pat myself on the back! This is only the beginning of my sewing adventures!!! I am hooked!

Speaking of Lady Bug...guess who is now rolling from her back to her belly! They grow up way too fast!

On the stitching front, last week I made time to finish my "Paper Whites" by LHN into a little pinkeep. This is even complete with a hem-stitched pocket on the back! And I did a bow using Vonna's method. I'm more than pleased with the way it turned out! It's easily my best finish to date :)

Paper Whites by Littlehouse Needleworks
Stitched 1 over 1
Thread: Recommended DMC
Fabric: 28 Count natural linen
Stitched: 5/1/09 - 5/8/09
Finished as pinkeep: 5/21/09

Other than that, things are going well around here. I started thinking seriously in the past week or so about going back to school. I went to the University of Arizona straight out of high school, and after about 4 years there, I was miserable and still had no direction and no degree to show for myself. I just couldn't find anything that felt right. So after a lot of contemplation, I left school to start a family. We've been very blessed that DH can support us and I can stay at home with the bugs. But I still want to have my degree. Now at 26, I know what I want to study and what I want to do outside of being a mom and wife. I want to be a nurse. And that brings us around to today.

My sister's passion - besides boy bands of the 1990s - is student affairs in a university setting. She just graduated with a masters degree in College Student Personnel. So my talking about going back to school gets her blood flowing! Today she went with me to the University of Missouri - St Louis to poke around campus. I just wanted to see the university and planned to make some calls next week to speak with an adviser there. But, leave it to my sister to have me seated in an adviser's office in the College of Nursing before I even knew what had happened! I left there with a lot of answered questions and a plan. That leaves me both excited and terrified! But nothing happens if we don't just commit, grin and bear it for a while, and follow through. So, that's that...I'm going back to school! And, with 2 small children and commitments to my family and husband, I give myself 3 years. I expect to have my BSN in 3 years. You heard it here first :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tweet Tweet

It sounds like many of you had very nice Mother's Days. Mine was no exception!

DH and Cuddle Bug got up and made me a wonderful breakfast! We had french toast made from french loaf (not a stick in sight) that was divine! And it was accompanied by country potatoes, canadian bacon, and fruit salad! It was so yummy! We spent our afternoon at The Magic House where moms got in free. Then we joined DH's (surviving) brothers and mother at Baileys' Chocolate Bar for drinks, cheese, food, and dessert. Yummmm! If you're ever in St Louis, do be sure to give Baileys' Chocolate Bar a visit. It's a slice of heaven in my opinion. And I'm not just saying that because my BIL is the owner ;)

I also laid claim to my Mother's Day gift - Lady Scarlet's Secret Garden from Just Nan! Can you believe my LNS has had this all this time and no one took it home???? It was displayed on a low shelf, fairly out of sight and all wrapped tight in its packaging. I caught sight of her in a passing glance. I think it was fate :) DH saw my excitement and purchased her on the spot! He's so wonderful!

I've been running around for days trying to stay ahead of the game with house work. My family comes into town tomorrow and I have a list a mile long of things that need accomplished before they land. I am so excited as tomorrow I will be meeting my brother's fiance for the first time! Then Friday we head to a tiny little town in Illinois where my sister is graduating with her masters degree. This will also be the first time everyone in my family - except my sister - will meet the Lady Bug. So much to celebrate! Now if only my family could get together without the drama...

Somehow I did manage some stitching in all the housework though! I saw this little feathered friend on a few other blogs and had to have her for myself! I started this Tuesday afternoon when I found a free second and put the final stitch in her last night before bed. I can't help but notice that my bird is lighter than everyone else's (including the model). I checked the numbers a million times to be sure, and it seems my DMC 613 is lighter than everyone else's 613. I bought the skein brand new yesterday and checked the numbers and labeling repeatedly. I'm not sure what happened. But I like her just fine so she shall stay as she is. I'm thinking it's a genetic mutation or a recessive gene exhibited from one generation to the next.

Eggs...etera #109 from The Cross Eyed Cricket
Thread: recommended DMC
Fabric: 28 Count Mystery Linen (unlabeled scrap from LNS)
Stitched: 5/11/09 - 5/12/09

Still no finished finishing to show. I couldn't commit to finishing when the little birdie was calling to me :)

Off for more chores and a cup of coffee!

Thanks for your comments, help, and support! Sending you all wonderful stitchy wishes!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Little Happy Dance

Even a small scale project deserves a little jig!

I finished LHN's "Paper Whites" this afternoon while Cuddle Bug napped upstairs in bed and Ladybug napped in my lap. Even with dishes crowding the sink, toys littering the living room, and kleenex strewn about (these allergies are going to be the end of me), I still consider myself to have been incredibly productive during that rare moment when both kiddies were asleep at the same time this afternoon! I finished another small project! Now excuse me while I pat myself on the back!

Paper Whites by Littlehouse Needleworks
Stitched 1 over 1
Thread: recommended DMC
Fabric: 28 Count natural linen
Stitched: 5/1/09 - 5/8/09

So, what's next? Well I have plans to finish this finish as well as another unfinished finish I have in my to-be-finished pile. You know you're a stitcher when that sentence makes sense to you :) So I may do that this weekend. And I am going to get started on my little Cross Eyed Cricket Eggs...Cetera bird. I want him finished and on the mantle before spring ends!

A very happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mothers, moms, and mommies out there! I would give my right arm to be spending it with my mom this year (instead I will be with my MIL...). But I will get to see my mom next Thursday when she comes in for my sister's graduation. So I have that to look forward to! My mom has only seen pictures of Lady Bug and she hasn't seen Cuddle Bug in person in 2 years! So it will be a fun time for everyone. My how he's changed!

This will be Cuddle Bug's first Mother's Day in charge - to some degree at least. Last year DH got a sitter for the little guy and he took to me an amazing (and expensive) Mother's Day brunch. Ooooh what a treat! This year CB has decided he wants to make me breakfast. And after asking what exactly it was he wanted to prepare, he has boldly decided that Mommy will be having french toast sticks for breakfast! I try to explain to him that I eat my french toast with a fork, but we shall see if I end up with sticks with the crusts cut off. Who knows!

Cheryl asked me about the Cars cake I was poised to make for Cuddle Bug's birthday. Well...that didn't happen. And as the mother of an infant, I'm sure she can understand why :) Thank goodness the grocery store could manage a birthday cake on such short notice!

Hugs and wonderful stitchy wishes to you all! I appreciate all your sweet comments and support more than I can say!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cross Stitch Heaven!

DH declared yesterday that for the last few days I have been "in cross stitch heaven!" And he's right!

Friday I got started on a new project - something small and (ideally) quick. I started LHN's "Paper Whites." This is another chart I got from generous Jacque! I'm hoping it will be finished by the end of this week, but with an infant there's just no way to be sure.

Paper Whites by Littlehouse Needleworks
Stitched 1 over 1
Thread: recommended DMC
Fabric: 28 Count natural linen
Started: 5/1/09

Saturday I went to my LNS to pick up some charts I ordered. I picked up a few other things as well. But I cant show all of it because some of what I purchased is actually going to be part of an upcoming bloggging project I have planned. So pictured is what I can share. I fell in love with the little Eggs...Cetera bird after seeing him on several other blogs. I got two small cuts of fabric as well. The JBW chart and Crescent Colors floss are actually not for me. I picked them up for my sister who is giving them as a little gift to a good friend of her's who stitches.

I also made a pretty great find in my LNS and it was purchased as my Mother's Day present. I almost fell over dead when I saw it sitting on a little shelf down low! I can't say what it is yet, as I have to wait for Mother's Day to claim it as my own. But DH was quick to get it when he saw how excited I was to have laid eyes on it!

And then yesterday I got a chart in the mail from wonderful Tracy at Ink Circles. She sent me an Ink Circles chart of my choosing as a door prize from her "booth" at the Needlework Show! My entry was all about how I never win anything and my twin sister wins everything! It's been my lot in life! Let's just say that when I finally won my first raffle after watching my sister win raffle after raffle growing up, I won a washcloth folded into the shape of a bunny! My sister, however, won (in the same raffle) a calculator with matching pen, clickable pencil, and pencil case! As a 5th grader, I was especially disappointed. But I got the last laugh, because I got me a fantastic Ink Circles chart for sharing my story! Tracy is so sweet to offer such a prize to me! I scooped up "Croakworth 2008" as my winnings :) And I still have that washcloth bunny! So there!

Finally I wanted to share with everyone two awesome giveaways out there that you can enter! First off, Steph over at Where'd All My Money Go?! is offering an amazing prize to celebrate her 10,000th blog hit! You can enter her giveaway here. Congrats to Steph for her amazing milestone! And Edgar is having a blogoversary giveaway to celebrate his 2nd blogoversary. So if you haven't already, you can enter his giveaway here. And congrats to Edgar on his blogoversary!

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my fob! Happy stitching to you all!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fabulous Fob

Thank you all for your sweet comments on Peach Tree Cottage! And for your wishes on Cuddle Bug's 3rd birthday and all the birthdays we had in April! I think the mayhem is finally over!

I did manage to get a project finished in all the hustle and bustle these past few weeks. I put the final stitches in this one and did the finishing last night. DH was such a sweetie and took care of the kiddies while I worked on this to get it finished!

I got this chart from sweet Jacque - who no longer has a blog of her own. But she's wonderful and this was in a big pile of charts she sent me last year.

A Sampler Scissors' Fob by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches
Stitched 1 over 1
Thread: DMC of my choosing
Fabric: 32 Count Twilight Blue linen
Stitched: 4/19/09 - 4/28/09
Finished as scissor fob: 4/28/09

This chart is off to Mary Kathryn now. I came across it on her wishlist during an Google search of this designer. I hope she will enjoy it as much as I did. And thank you again Jacque for giving it to me!

Big hugs and lots of wonderful stitchy wishes to you all! I so appreciate your support and kind words!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tanya's Tease!

Has everyone seen the sneak peak for Tanya's new design?? I am infatuated! I am not allowed to buy any new charts until I make a dent in the charts I already own (slow going with an infant). But...I may be willing to make an exception for a SAL of this one. Perhaps there would be other takers??

I'm working on a little design right now. I will post more on that later. When I start these small designs I don't bother posting my new start because I expect to have it finished so fast. But that just doesn't happen these days :) The Bugs are totally worth the distraction though! They are amazing!!

Lady Bug has fluffed up a lot the past few weeks! She used to have a lot of definition in her legs, but now she's got little roley poley legs! I love it! And Cuddle Bug turns 3 on Monday! That means I'm making a Car's cake this weekend! Too much to do this month! Between DH's (paternal) grandmother's 100th birthday, Easter, DH's (maternal) grandfather's 82nd birthday, and Cuddle Bug's birthday, April weekends are kicking our butts! Is it May yet? :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Peach Tree Cottage Finished!

It's finished...finally!!! I put the final stitch in Peach Tree Cottage from LHN this afternoon! Dare I mention I started this project on May 31, 2008? But this one turned into a UFO and then Lady Bug came out into the world and made finishing this a marathon! But it's finally finished!

Peach Tree Cottage by Littlehouse Needleworks
Thread: Recommended Crescent Colors and DMC
Fabric: 28 ct Country French in Cashmere
Finished: 4/17/09

This one became a UFO during my pregnancy when I was just much too tired and much too distracted to work on anything bigger than a few square inches. Then I avoided it because the leaves were driving me crazy - they just seemed to go on forever! But I picked this up after I finished "Peace" and was determined to finish it! It wasn't without a few visits from the frog. And I actually put the final stitches in it (the first time) at 1am Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

And that's when I was finally convinced once and for all that there is an error in the chart. The window panes in the chart are a green-gray color and the shutters and trim around the door are a light mocha brown. But as I was stitching these parts, they seemed backwards to me. It seemed like the windows should have been the light brown and the shutters the green-gray. I decided to leave it and see how it looked at the end. But come Wednesday night/Thursday morning when I put in the final stitch, it still didn't seem right. So I inspected the picture of the sample again, and again I was thinking these were backward! I am fairly certain the picture on the chart has these colors flipped from how they are charted. I have toyed with the idea of emailing Diane about it. I googled it but couldn't find anything about anyone saying they had noticed the same thing. Maybe I'm completely wrong. Either way, I frogged the shutters and the window panes yesterday and spent last night and this morning (at any available opportunity) putting them back in with the colors reversed. And in my humble opinion, it looks right this way!

And I also got an email from Kendra that she received the little giveaway I made in honor of our sweet Lady Bug's birth! She said she loved it, so I am pleased! I was nervous to share my mediocre stitching with another stitcher, especially one as talented as Kendra! Thank you for being so kind Kendra! Here is the altoids tin I finished for her and the little extras I sent along - red and white print fabric , a ladybug button from JABCo, and "Ladybug" fibers from both WDW and CC.

And thank you everyone for your continued support and comments! I appreciate them all so much!!