Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hot Off The Press

I just finished this…

Designer: The Little Stitcher
Design: The Lady And The Unicorn (partial)
Fabric: 32ct Mocha HD Linen over 2
Floss: DMC, VMSS, Threadworks

Another butter paddle now hangs on my wall.  I love these little wooden paddles  because they are perfect for small finishes.  I decided to paint the paddle black and am pleased with the finished look.  

This project took three days to complete, and that includes the finishing.  I spent much of April working on a larger project and wanted to be able to post a finish for the 2016 Smalls SAL. Sunday I pulled everything together and began stitching and was able to complete the finishing on Tuesday. 

Here is that larger project that kept me busy this month…


Designer: Birds Of A Feather
Design: Good Things
Fabric: 28ct Lambswool over 2
Floss: Sampler Threads

This is a design from one of my all time favorite designers. I came across the pattern online and immediately purchased it. My Black Horse Inn stitching was put aside so that I could complete this treasure, which I did fairly quickly. The piece is currently being framed. 

Tomorrow I must get up early and head Nashua, NH to attend Celebration of Needlework. This year I am only able to attend two days, but am happy that I am able to attend at all!



Thanks for Stopping by…
Until next time…

Friday, April 15, 2016

Easter In The Mile High City

Another trip to share with you but first let me post my Gifted Gorgeousness for April.
I put aside Black Horse Inn so that I could stitch two Easter gifts, one for my DIL…


2016 Gifted Gorgeousness ~ April
Designer: Elise Tortonesi-Sieb
Design: Egg of Marguerite
Fabric: 32ct Linen
Floss: VMSS

and one for DS2 girlfriend…
La Comtesse & Le Point De Croix (Freebie)
Fabric: 32 ct Linen
Floss: DMC

We spent Easter in Denver, CO visiting my DS2 and his GF.  DS1 and DIL flew from NYC to spend the holiday, making it that much nicer. Do you know why Denver is nicknamed the mile high city? Because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level (5280 ft).

We spent a day skiing at Copper Mountain.  I was hoping for a glorious spring skiing day but realized this would not be the case when we exited the hotel to a temperature of 2 degrees ~ Brrr!



Arriving at the mountain, bundled up and anxious to hit the slopes…

Having only skied in the Northeast, I had never experienced the high elevation effects on the body.  I didn't know why I was feeling slightly nauseous and a bit light headed but suspected it was due to the fact that I had not eaten.  When we stopped for a break to get something to eat in the lodge, DS1 informed me that I was experiencing mild elevation sickness and suggested I drink plenty of water (something I never do).  The elevation in the Colorado vs Vermont is much higher.

Stratton, VT
Base: 1,872 ft
Summit: 3,875 ft
VS
Copper Mountain, CO
Base: 9,712 ft
Summit: 12,313 ft

ME and DS2

DS2 and GF

DS1 and DIL

Another highlight of our Easter trip was the unexpected, and very generous, treat from DS1 and DIL: Brunch at Elways in downtown Denver. 

We enjoyed an

Extensive selection of delicious food

Impressive and irresistible desserts

And a fun group of 5 of the best people we know
THANK YOU again, G/M!

In a few weeks I will be attending the  Celebration of Needlework show in Nashua, NH., where I will participate in Barbara Jackson's Sunday Best Stitching Basket class. In the class with me will be my friends, Carol S. and Margaret C. I look forward to spending time with these wonderful ladies!

Thanks for Stopping by…
Until next time…

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Two Down And Many More To Go

It is March Smalls SAL check in time…

2016 Small SAL ~ March
Designer: Little House Needlework
Design: Tree Lot (partial)
Fabric: 32ct evenweave over 1
Floss: DMC

I enjoy stitching tiny designs and finishing them using the Tim Holtz pocket watch, this is finish #2. Once again I placed a few Mill Hill seed beads inside so that it looks like snow. My plan is to finish a number of these, all different designs, to give out at Christmas time.  I'm trying to be a tad more organized this year so that I am not in a mad rush at year's end.  

Designer: Little House Needlework
Design: Cardinal Winter (partial)
Design: Tree Lot (partial)

To see all of the March Smalls SAL postings go HERE.

I have been meaning to share my new portable photo studio, which was a Christmas gift. I have only used it twice, but realize that I need more practice to avoid getting shadows. It comes with 4 different colored backdrops, red, white, blue, and black.  It will certainly come in handy on those rainy, gloomy days when natural light is not an option.



Thanks for Stopping by…
Until next time…

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Minor Progress and More Travel

It's been a month…really? 

Where does the time go? 

And why have I not made more progress on this?

Design: Black Horse Inn
Designer: Carriage House Samplings

VS Last Month

My monthly update is not that impressive. I managed to grow a little more grass and build 2 sections of fencing ~ but that's it for the month!


Black Horse Inn stitching got suspended due to some Easter stitching.  We will be flying to Colorado next week to spend Easter with DS2 and his sweet GF.  In addition to Easter baskets, I wanted to bring them a stitched Easter design.  DS1 + DIL will be flying from NYC to Colorado to spend Easter weekend with all of us so I stitched her an Easter design as well.  I have almost completed the finishing and will post pictures next time.

We usually spend Easter in MA with my cousins and their families.   Although we will miss all of them, we have decided to head to Colorado.  I love it there and am looking forward to exploring Denver.  There are some LNS, quilt shops, and yarn stores that I plan to visit, and we are hoping to enjoy some spring skiing, especially given the dreadful ski season here in the Northeast. Since we missed out on being together as a family over Christmas, I am happy that we are able to all spend time together over Easter.

Speaking of last Christmas, here is part 3 of my California travels along the PCH….

It was a bit cool, but the sky was sunny, so we decided to stop at the beach in San Simeon. Not for a swim but to enjoy the Elephant seals, hundreds of these creatures dotted the sand.  The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery spreads out over 6 miles of beach.  It is here that we got to see this… 






Our PCH journey began in San Francisco and ended in San Diego.  We spent Christmas day at the San Diego Zoo. Why the zoo? Because nothing else was open!  It was an odd way to celebrate Christmas but we enjoyed the day hanging out with these animals…




Look, I am getting more of that stink eye ~ but now from an elephant!



This just screams, "strike a pose" 

And another one…


Now THIS was rather disturbing…

Until we were told that the dog and cheetah are friends. It is part of the San Diego Zoo Animal Ambassador program, which paired these two together 7 years ago when the cheetah was 1 and the dog 2.  Apparently dogs have a calming effect on cheetahs, although in the picture above it does not seem so. Actually, there is a zookeeper behind that gate arriving with their food ~ both were quite anxious to get at it. 


At the end of our long day we felt much like this Koala ~ tired!


While we spent our Christmas with the animals, DS1/DIL spent theirs with her family in Arizona…



And DS2 spent Christmas with his girlfriend's family in Georgia…Quite the tree!


That's not the end of our California travels but it is the end of this post.  I'm thinking this might be a good time to put needle and thread to fabric and make some progress on Black Horse Inn so as not to disappoint next month.

Thanks for Stopping by…
Until next time…

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stitching and Quilting

It's that time again…2016 Smalls SAL monthly post.  Here is what I managed to stitch and finish.  

Designer: Little House Needlework
Design: Cardinal Winter (partial)
Fabric: 32ct Evenweave over 1
Floss: DMC & VMST

Very tiny stitching! At one time I could stitch 40ct over one without readers but not today. I hate that my eyes are not as good as they once were, drives my crazy.  This was a quick stitch (using my readers) and a relatively simple finish.  To add some dimension to this little design I decided to use some seed beads to look like snow.  I am working on another teeny design to slip into a pocket watch; I just love them!

My DS/DIL spent last weekend with us.  Saturday we headed out for a day of skiing…in less than ideal conditions.  With the lack of snow and many rainy days this winter has been dreadful.  Unfortunately, at the end of November I bought 3 ski tickets.  Who would have thought that the winter would be so terrible? Well, I was eager to use these tickets so as not to waste all that money!  The skiing was terrible but I enjoyed having G/M here for the weekend.  My DIL made some impressive raspberry french macaroons…



And, being the sweet person that she is, she handled the cleaning up…

with a little help from DH. :-)

My DS avoided the clean up by spending his time playing with messy cute Emma…


Speaking of DIL, here is the quilt that I made her for Christmas…

Design: Swoon
Designer: Thimble Blossoms
By: Camille Roskelley
Block Size: 24"
Quilt Size: 80" x 80"
Stitched for: Meg

Machine Quilted ~ Detail

Backing

I purchased the quilt kit from Waterwheel Quilt Shop. The fabrics were perfect. My DIL likes dots, and this kit had a dot fabric in each block. I purchasing the pink dotted backing fabric from one of my favorite online shops, Thousands of Bolts.  The blocks are huge, each one measuring 24 inches.  There is a modified version of swoon called, Swoon Sixteen where each block measures 16 inches. This is a very popular quilt pattern, just google "Swoon Quilts" and you will see lots of beautiful finished quilts!

For a while now I have had the itch to stitch~ as in using my neglected Bernina!  My sewing "to do" list is growing:


  • English paper piecing project
  • Zip Pouches 
  • Table Runner
  • Graduation Quilt #1
  • Graduation Quilt #2
  • 2016 Christmas Gift Quilt
There are a few bloggers that I know who have ventured off into the world of quilting never to return to cross stitch.  Well, that will never happen to me.  I have quilted since the early 80's and cross stitched since the late 80's. I truly enjoy them both but I do believe that my favorite is cross stitch. My cross stitch "to do" list is ENDLESS.



Thanks for Stopping by…
Until next time…


Monday, February 15, 2016

On The Road Again

It's Gifted Gorgeousness check-in time.  Here is my progress…

Design: Black Horse Inn
Designer: Carriage House Samplings

I stitched a few horses, some of the fencing, and began filling in the grass…

A Sweet Smelling Day
My DH headed to Germany on Valentine's Day but he did have this colorful arrangement delivered on Saturday…
So as not to overfill the vase I put a few of the roses into a smaller vase and placed them on the coffee table…
And he also gave me this beautiful bouquet with gorgeous coral colored roses…

From which I captured this pretty picture. I do believe my photography class has paid off.


On The Road Again
In a previous post I began to document our December 2015 travels in California. Continue with me down the Pacific Coast Highway. What is that I see? 




Cows? Yes, cows.  Somehow these creatures seemed out of place; not something I expected to see during our travels along the PCH. Not as many people stopped to view them. Oh well, their loss.  I snapped a bunch of pictures and, like that woman at the Brown Butter Baking Company, this cow appears to be giving me the stink eye!  Obviously, she did not appreciate me bothering her while she ate! 

We stopped for the night in Pismo Beach.  I read about Splash Cafe and their award winning clam chowder bread bowls. We wanted to see what all the hype was about and we were hungry! The murals along the outside of the building…



were adorable and very amusing!

The clam chowder bowls looked inviting but fell short of award winning. They were good but we are New Englanders, we have tasted some excellent clam chowder. 


The following morning we hit the road, but before leaving the Pismo Beach area we stopped to see something very interesting.

Do you see what I see???

Look closer

A little closer…

That is a clusters of these beauties


found at the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach, CA. This place is tiny but well worth the stop, especially if you can make it in late Oct-Feb. when thousands of butterflies cluster in the Eucalyptus seeking shelter from the winter. When we were there the temperature was 60 degrees, just warm enough for some of the butterflies to be flying around (they will fly when the temperature reaches 55 degrees or above).


300 miles into our trip we stopped in Solvang, CA ~ The Danish Capital of America. This topped my list of favorite places, probably because I much prefer exploring small towns over the craziness of large cities.  


I loved the look of all of the shops. How cute is this needlework shop? Such a cute name too: Thumbelina .  

It is here that we found the perfect spot to take a Christmas Greetings picture to send to our kids…


I jokingly kept telling them that we should have purchased a selfie stick, everyone seemed to have one.

We spent most of the day in Solvang before getting back on the PCH to head to San Diego, which I will highlight in a future post.


Thanks for Stopping by…
Until next time…