Monday, July 21, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Preparing this post felt like a flashback to my elementary school days when I was required to complete a homework assignment titled, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" 

Have you ever hiked up Mount Washington? Have you ever wanted to? Have you ever wondered what it was like? Let me share with you my adventure and spare you the long walk over a very rocky trail.

My DH and I spend the 4th of July in North Conway, New Hampshire where we did a bit of shopping and climbed a portion of Mount Washington.
2014 Mount Washington 
from Hermit Lake Shelter

We were hoping to climb to the summit, something that I did once before when I was in my early 20's but unsure if I could accomplish it again 30 years later. When we arrive at the mountain we were told that, thanks to tropical storm/hurricane Arthur, the winds at the summit were 65-75 MPH!  We decided we would hike up Tuckerman Ravine and go as far as our bodies would allow. 

The trail was much rockier than I remembered:

so we walked cautiously, enjoying large waterfalls:

small waterfalls:

and hikers hauling ski gear up the trail. All of them anxiously anticipating their arrival at the top, excited about the opportunity to ski in July.

The pace at which that group stormed past us, weighted down with all that gear, made my head spin.

I, on the other hand took the leisurely hike carrying nothing but my camera and posing for pictures.

DH carried all of our "stuff" and occasionally posed for a picture.  No, he is not bracing for a fall he is pretending to prepare for a dive.

Just 0.7 miles short of the floor of the Ravine we stopped collapsed at a shelter for a quick break and a snack.  From this point the climb became more challenging and much steeper.  We proceeded upward but it did not take long for us to decide that we had gone far enough would never make it down if we continues on this path. The trail got narrower, rockier, and much steeper.  DH and I are small town walkers not large mountain hikers.  We had been on the trail for 3 1/2 hours (good enough for me!) so we made an "about face" and began the decent. We made it to the bottom 3 hours later and very happy have made it without stumbling on the rocky terrain. Our 6 1/2 hour walk was over.  We did not make it to the summit, we fell short of making it to Tuckerman Ravine Bowl, but we genuinely enjoyed the day and hope to return to climb again. We will probably head up Boott Spur next time. It is a bit longer but not as steep.
It was nice to return to the Bed and Breakfast:

to rest on the porch:

 to walk the grounds and view the barn:

as well as the beautiful horses:

And to finally collapse in bed:

happy to have hiked Mt Washington but wondering if my legs would function in the morning!

 Thanks for stopping by and...

Until Next time ~ remember:

"Striving for success without hard work 
is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted"
David Bly

Monday, July 14, 2014

An Unexpected Surprise From A Stitching Angel

I was truly surprised when I opened a package from Carol S.  My HOE partner fell ill and was unable to fulfill her exchange obligation; I was fine with that and did not want anyone "angel stitching" a replacement. Dear sweet Carol, who dedicates a great deal of her time keeping the HOE blog active and enjoyable, found it necessary to stitch this beautiful replacement exchange ornament for me:

2014 HOE Christmas Ornament
Designer: Ravenelle
Angel stitched by: Carol S.

Thank you so much, Carol.  This was such a pleasant surprise that quickly put a smile on my face.  I shall treasure this ornament forever! You are very thoughtful and such a dear valued friend. 

I recovered from my shoulder surgery and immediately put needle to thread in an effort to do a bit of birthday gift stitching.  Knowing that Vonna is hoping to have a PS Santa tree I thought I would help her along and stitched up a few ornaments for her birthday.  Here is what I sent:

2014 Birthday gift for Vonna
Designer: Prairie Schooler
Design: Father Christmas ~ Book #43
Designer: Prairie Schooler 
Design: 2010 Santa

Happy Birthday, Vonna!!! 

Thanks for stopping by and...

Until Next time ~ remember:

"A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses"
Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Snow Has Melted, Rain Has Stopped, The Sun is Shining

The arrival of summer 2104: June 21st ~ FINALLY!

Thank you for all of the well wishes for a speedy recovery from my shoulder surgery.  I began physical therapy last week, not sure why I need it but I am following doctors orders.  

I am back to stitching, thankfully.  The Fair & Square group is up and running once again...Thanks, Jill. 
I participated in the July Patriotic exchange and sent these blocks to Jill.

2014 Fair & Square Patriotic
Design: Happy 4th
Stitched for: Jill

In March I found these vintage butter paddles in an antique store. I knew that they would look great with a cross stitch mounted on the front. My DH stained them a bit darker and drilled a hanging hole in the handle. 

I found two designs; the first is Aqua Queen and the second design I took from a larger design but I can't remember the name. 

Designer: The Primitive Jewel
Design: Aqua Queen

I have a few more butter paddles and plan to stitch more designs with a "Queen" theme.  The next design will be this one:

Designer: The Primitive Hare

 Thanks for stopping by and...

Until Next time ~ remember:

Some of the best memories 
are made in flip flops


Monday, May 19, 2014

Busy Doing Nothing

That's right, for the past 6 days I have been busy doing absolutely nothing and here's why....

Last Wednesday I had shoulder surgery and am expected to strap my arm into this sling for the next 4-6 weeks. REALLY??? After 5 days I thought it best to remove my arm from this device, my doctor felt differently and I am once again strapped into it.  UGH!!!

Does he not understand that I have a life to lead, a house to tend to, cross stitching to work on?  Six days has felt like an eternity. How will I last 4-6 weeks?  Answer: I won't.

Prior to surgery I finished stitching this...

Design: Vintage "Betty"

Which I plan to use for the cover on this...

This vintage pipe holder, which is in great condition, will be re-purposed into a scissor holder. 

The original design had Betty holding a floss card so I modified it and put an oversized pair of scissors in her hand.

I also stitched up these two designs...

Design: Calendar Girl ~ February
Fabric: 28ct Jobelan Lambswool
Floss: DMC

Designer: Little House Needleworks
Design: Calendar Girl ~ March
Fabric: 28ct Jobelan Lambswool
Floss: DMC, VMST

I must end now so that I can return to doing nothing, absolutely nothing!

 Thanks for stopping by and...

Until Next time ~ remember:

"Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another"
Marguins Condorcet

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Busy Start To Spring

We spent Easter weekend with relatives where we enjoyed the beautiful spring weather, chatted endlessly, and ate way too much.  I stitched up this little treasure for my cousin who hosted the holiday get together...

Designer: Midsummer Night Designs
Design: Gentle Thoughts 2
Stitched for: Lynda

Last month I decided to participate in the 2014 VT Shop Hop. My DH and I spent the weekend traveling hundreds of miles stopping at 12 Vermont quilt shops.  It took three days but was well worth the trip.  We enjoyed traveling this beautiful State discovering some very nice shops.  You cannot imagine my surprise when I learned that I won gift baskets from 2 of the shops: 




Wow, so much new quilt stash!

With the onset of Spring comes the start of many Guild Quilt Shows.  A few weeks ago I attend a local show where I saw this wall quilt:

There's No Place Like Home
Quilt Show: Maple Leaf Quilters 

Apparently, the guild had a quilt challenge with a "Home" theme and this quilter was clever enough to come up with Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, an original design...loved it!

Amy, who I stitched for in the HOE Christmas Ornament Exchange, contact me to let me know that she received my ornament.  Here is what I sent...

2014 HOE Christmas
Designer: A Stitcher's Hands
Design: Let It Snow
Stitched for: Amy V-M

I usually do flat finishing but after seeing Carol's (Stitching Dreams) pillow finish I had to duplicate it...thanks, Carol!  Her talent is evident in her truly beautiful stitching and finishing. 

Most of my stitching time, what little I manage to find these days, has been spent on my HAED.  The detail of HAED makes the finished pieces amazingly beautiful but that same detail can make the stitching quite boring. Will this sky ever end??? 

Heaven and Earth Design
A Moment To Cherish

Thanks for stopping by and...

Until Next time ~ remember:

"Spring is when life is alive in everything"
Christina Rosetti

Monday, March 24, 2014

Something Big

Typically I stitch on "smalls" but I have started something BIG.  My collection of Heaven and Earth Designs totals 5.  I did start Wintery Heirloom back in 2009 but have done very little stitching on it.  Recently, I decided to stitch this design...

Heaven & Earth Designs
Designer: Jane Wooster Scott

And in one week here is what I managed to complete...

Given the size of the design (18 x 22) I have not stitched very much.  It's only been a week and I am finding it difficult to stay on task!  With each stitch I find myself am thinking: 

What other projects I could start?
Have I messed up?
When will I finish this?
Will I finish this?
I must be crazy!

I discovered a few gadgets that are helping to make this a more enjoyable stitching experience.  The first is the Easy Count Guideline thread...

When you grid your fabric with the red nylon thread it allows you to easily locate the exact point to stitch on the fabric. It really is instrumental in keeping you stitching faster and more accurate. Since the thread is nylon there is no chance of splitting the guideline threads with the needle.  A must have, especially when stitching any of the HAED.  Click HERE for a video demonstration.

The second is this View Stick Magnifier which clips directly to your pattern...

When I purchased the HAED I probably should have paid a bit more for the EXTRA LARGE printed version! Wow, the print is quite small on these patterns but the stick magnifier is helping.

The last is this Storage Clipboard from Staples...

Not only does it hold my pattern but it also opens up allowing me to store my supplies in the 9.5" x 12" storage area.

I just love it! 

Today I headed to the post office where I found Amy's wonderful Halloween Ornament in my box. She stitched this cute little Prairie Schooler owl...

2014 HOE Halloween Ornament round #3
Designer: Prairie Schooler
Design: Heads Up
Fabric: 28 count Lambswool Linen using DMC
Stitched by: Amy V-M

The eyes make him so adorable.  Thank you, Amy!!!

  Thanks for stopping by and...

Until Next time ~ remember:

"Never wish that life where easier, wish that you were better"
Jim Rohn