Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope everyone is having, or has had, a safe and happy holiday! Mike is busily getting his computer (our main machine) set up right now, so my internet may come and go tonight as he gets it all organized. I think I should be able to get back online before bedtime to post my progress of my first night on Mermaids of the Deep Blue... but if I can't, I will edit in the morning :-)

Yep, the network is all set here, so here is my first WIP pic of Mermaids of the Deep Blue :-) This one is very fun to stitch. I haven't had a Mirabilia in my rotation since I finished Petal Fairy a few months ago, so this was a refreshing and welcomed change. As you can see, one of the mermaids has a face already - had to get that done! My fabric is Ocean Waves 32 ct belfast by Stitches and Spice. And, now the Mirabilia SAL is officially started for me!

Deciding what to stitch today was a bit more confusing than I had expected it to be - Martina dropped down the passwords for both Medieval Town Mandala and Mystery IX early today... now, this may not be a very popular opinion, but I truly do dislike when stitchers in the groups start to beg Martina to give the passwords early. I feel like they are aggravating her, and well... come on guys, can't you all just wait?? Sigh. Anyhow, I will start my Mystery IX tomorrow. Part 4 for Medieval Town Mandala looks easy for this month.

We had a quiet night in, as you can well guess... it started snowing in the mid afternoon after we had gone to run an errand and had lunch at Cactus Jack's... my guess is that it is still snowing even now...

Hope everyone did indeed have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Stitched on today: Mermaids of the Deep Blue

Friday, December 30, 2005

Finished all those gold swirls!!

OK, I did about, what??... I'd say 95% of the gold stitching on Celtic Winter now... there is a little bit left to do on the right side border, but no big deal. Should be able to get that done on Wednesday. Wow, this lady is really starting to grow now! I won't be able to take many more pics of her in the Q-Snap, as once I stitch the bottom of the hem of her dress, it will no longer fit :-) I see many of the ladies in this SAL are making gorgeous progress now too - I just love watching everyone's work!
I have been having quite a bit of help while stitching this afternoon. Here my Beau has found just the perfect spot to scrutinize and double check my stitching on Celtic Winter! He seems to really like being under my Ott-Light! Anyhow, here is my new stitching area in the newly finished off basement... note my very comfy leather rocker/recliner, my new Ott-Light floor lamp (with "mocha pearl" finish), and my end table with TV remote, low carb chocolates, and all other such necessities... and one of the surround sound speakers you think my clients would notice if I don't show for work any longer and just sit here and stitch? Also... please don't notice that I did not at all bother to put on any cosmetics today LOL!

Glenna has asked how I hold my chart when I am stitching... well, I don't care much at all for chart holders, so I just have it lying across the upper section of the Q-Snap and am holding it down with my thumb - nothing technical LOL!!!!! I also generally stitch in a bit of a cross legged position, until my legs cramp up. We all know that story, don't we?

And, Jo, yes indeed - it is a wonderful Ott-Light - it is very cool to know you have the same one! I liked the brushed pewter too, but in the end Mike and I selected this one, figuring it went with our new furniture better...

Gosh, it was another day of little tasks to be done to get this new basement set up - carrying down our big copy machine, dragging down one of my three HUGE DVD racks and then up and down the stairs bringing all the DVDs down and getting them into the rack... two more of those still to go... and as my way of keeping track of my DVDs, I got one in the mail from ebay today: Unleashed..

OK, time for bed - it is almost New Year's Eve now - and I get to start another new project tomorrow!!

****Oh, before I forget! Do you like the cockatiels at the top of my blog now? That photo was taken by my friend Karen Kirk in Leura, NSW Australia - those little guys were lined up like that eating seed off of her porch railing! So cute!! I don't get exotic birds like that here - we have blue jays, finches, goldfinches, wrens, robins, cardinals, woodpeckers, mourning doves, nuthatches and the like here... little tiny things :-)

Stitched on today: Celtic Winter

Thursday, December 29, 2005

OK, Here's what I started...

Uh-oh... I started a new project today! But... I can't show you tonight. The USB connection from my digital camera to either my desktop or my laptop is not working, and Mike is asleep. I have tried what I could, so he gets to look at it tomorrow... official entry for today will be written tomorrow when my technical difficulty is worked out...

No, it isn't Mermaids of the Deep Blue.... hmmmm, what did I start? Well, AC Moore has floss for 8/$1.00, so I ran out and got enough DMC for two projects - neither of which are even on my goal list for 2006 :-)
OK, Mike fixed the USB connection to my desktop, so I can share with you... I started A Christmas Spirit by Passione Ricamo, c. 2005 tonight... It just struck me as something I wanted to do - and it looks like it will be a pretty easy and fun stitch too :-) I am stitching her on that ugly duckling 28 ct Silkweaver jobelan solo that I received in my first Halloween Treat Bag... I am hoping that this pretty and colorful design will bring some life to the ugly duckling. I really wanted to make sure I found some use for it, as I hate to waste pricey hand dyed fabric and did not want to try to sell or trade it (it really is a strange mix of colors). I selected SMF's Sugared Snickerdoodles lugana at first, put about ten gold stitches into it and totally changed my mind. That fabric had a lot of purple in it - now, I surely cannot put a lot of red stitches into a purple fabric, now can I?? LOL!! Anyhow... where this will fit into my rotation is a bit of a mystery to me... but as organized as I usually am, I will find its spot :-) It's funny - I was back to stitching gold swirls again tonight - and, of course, it calls for PB01 just like Celtic Winter does! I guess I just needed something new tonight, even though I can start the Mirabilia SAL piece on Saturday night. (You may or may not have noticed that I had already snuck in the image of A Christmas Spirit in the 'Currently Stitching' section of my sidebar...)
Yikes! Look at what Mike did to my Lily tonight!!! Oh, my poor little girl! She actually doesn't seem to mind at all, and she lets him to whatever he wants to her anyhow. Her coat was getting terribly matted. No amount of brushing and grooming really helps my persians out when it gets cold out and the heat is on in the house. The dry air does not do their coats any good. So, Mike takes over with the shaver. All six of my kitties are shaved to some degree or other. I would say Lily definitely is the most "butched" right now!

We ran about a hundred errands again today, limiting my stitching time to 8 PM and later...but one errand included a trip to Circuit City where I was able to pick up two new DVDS: Four Brothers and The Polar Express for my viewing/stitching pleasure :-)

Stitched on today: A Christmas Spirit

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A reminder: Mirabilia/L&L SAL is about to start... want to join us?

The SAL group is an open ended group - you can join us at any time! We have set a January 1st start date as a leaping off point. The more the merrier! There are no rules - well one, you need to have a Mirabilia or L&L project going... stitch when you want, take as long as you want, but share some progress with us in your blog, chat with us in the group... this is for fun. I noticed today there are 33 of us in the group now... you can join us at Mirabilia/L&L SAL Group... I hope you will join us!
It is Wednesday, so I worked on Celtic Winter. OK, I had interruptions here and there and didn't start until late... yet I felt I stitched and stitched for so long and what did I get done? I stitched her fluffy white muff and then some of her dress line underneath it... I wonder if that even shows in this photo? It's very sparkly tonight!! I will probably stitch for a bit more tonight though... I didn't go back to the swirls tonight - I will probably finish those next week....

Vacation is half over now... not getting much stitching done at all.... just been busy here doing various things... Oh yeah, it is SBQ day...

Q. How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc.?

A. Well, to be husband and I have divided our work load as such - I work busy hours at my office, and he works at home - this includes housework and cooking. I do the laundry, though. So, I pretty much can stitch after dinner on weeknights. On the weekends, I am pretty flexible with stitching time. Sometimes I can stitch a little at work, as I am in private practice. If my paperwork is going well and my phone calls are caught up, I can sometimes fit in a little bit of stitching - but not lately though....

Stitched on today: Celtic Winter

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's Still Christmas!

I received a surprise in the mail today! Bine surprised me with a lovely holiday package! She had emailed me that she sent me something... but I was totally surprised by this gift! She is so generous! She sent me this adorable Victoria Sampler ornament - it is tiny and cute and looks just perfect on our tree! It has "2005" stitched on the back too :-) She also sent me a tradtional German cut out ornament of Santa on a rocking horse. I tried to photograph it three times, but it came out washed out and overexposed each time... Bine also sent me a nice skein of overdyed perle cotton (which I can use to finish off ornaments, right?) in reds and greens, two ornament cuts of fabrics, and... a bar of orange marzipan! Mike took that - I am on a sugar free/controlled carb diet. I am drooling over his treat though! What Bine does not know is that I am almost 100% German - a little French, a little Swiss mixed in... but almost entirely German! These treats were soooo cool!!!! Bine, you are wonderful and you spoilt me! Thank you :-)

Mike kept Christmas going for me today, too, by picking up a new Ott Lite for me for our newly finished basement. He was miserable last night with me stitching with the bright light we already had down there... now I have a lovely Ott and he can relax and not feel blinded - a win/win situation, right??
And, I really applied myself to putting some time in on Garden Spot Sampler tonight. I am realizing lately, though, that my SAL mate is miles and miles ahead of me with her progress. I wonder what happened to mine... and I pretty much think I have wasted a lot of time trying to struggle with this darn R&R 40 ct linen. It does not fit well in my large Q-snap, stitching in hand is not fun - it is slow and the silk does not lay as nicely (not even close) as when it does in the Q-Snap... I used the tiny Q-Snap tonight and folded the linen and caught it up in one side of the Q-Snap - Jo had suggested that a while back, and it worked quite well. But, I have quite a bit of motoring to do in order to come at least a little bit close to Jo's progress now.

Oh darn! Becky's mom loved Oh, Christmas Tree... I had dibs on it if she didn't like it LOL! Well, I guess I will have to stitch it myself now!

I got in my beads and Kreinik for Forest Goddess today! Oh, I am so tempted, but no! Mermaids of the Deep Blue starts this weekend, and that is what I need to focus on right now :-) Nonetheless, the mailman was holding onto a few other things over the holiday too - a couple of cuts of vintage belfast (one Cream, one Autumn Fields), Brightneedle's Strawberry House Sampler, a skein of Thread Gatherer Silken Perle that was delayed for Mystery IX...

Stitched on today: Garden Spot Sampler

Monday, December 26, 2005

I spent some time today playing a bit of catch up with An Open Heart. I am pretty disappointed that this legacy linen really fluffs as I was drawing out the cut threads. It is not as smooth as when pulling threads on belfast linen. I hope it will work out OK when the satin stitching goes over it later. But I plan to move on to something different for later on. This one is too complex to stitch while watching football :-)
I worked for a bit on Little Wings again tonight while the football game was on (Patriots 31, Jets 21)... but not for long at all, the light was bothering Mike. That is a dilemma we have to work out as we decide how to arrange our new family room in the basement...

OK, I think that now is as good a time as any to review my Stitching Goals for 2005 that I had posted back on December 11, 2004.... how did I do??
Houses of Hawk Run Hollow: Well... I did get it started, and maybe I will even get through the second of the twelve blocks before this year ends...
Legends of the Dragons: Yes, Nicki and I stitched it as a SAL and we both finished!
Convent's Herbal Garden: I did put it back in my rotation, and it is averaging one to two days a month right now...
Angel of Love: Yes, I started it and am moving along well
Little Wings: Yes, I started this one, took a six month break from it because I had thought I wanted to switch to 36 ct, but have now chosen not to change anything... just got back into my rotation last week :-)
Celtic Band Sampler: Yes, Katrina, Dani and I stitched it as a SAL and all three of us finished - it is at the framer's right now!
Kingdom Sampler: No, but Nicki and I plan to do it as a SAL in 2006
17th Century Irish Garden: I have this as my at work project - and there has been almost no at work stitching time for a couple of months now... however, I am down to the outer garden borders now - one down, one half done, and two to go!
Rebecca's Sampler: No, not at all
Elizabethan Sampler: No, not at all
My Stitching Treasures: No, but Becky and I plan to do either this one or Jeannette Douglas' Autumn Stitches as a SAL in 2006
Roma's Garden: No, not at all
Anything by Brightneedle: No
Anything by Birds of a Feather: No
Anything by Just Nan: Yes, I stitched Peacock Cypher in a SAL with Karen K.
Anything by Long Dog Samplers: No, but plan to do Paradigm Lost in 2006 in a SAL with Jo
Anything by Drawn Thread: Yes, started An Open Heart as a SAL with Karen K. and Tannia - slow going but getting there!
Anything by Indigo Rose: Not really - I started Catherine Agnes, miscounted and cut the wrong set of threads... sigh... will restart in 2006!
Anything by Elizabeth's Designs: Yes, I stitched Green Old Gardens!
Finish Mermaid and the Sea: No
Finish Gathering Eggs: No
Finish Beneath the Stars: Yes!
Finish Harvest Moon: No
Finish Bag Ladies: No

However.... I did also stitch The Orchard by Shepherd's Bush, Judy's Garden by Dreams of Stitches, Mirabilia's Fairy Flora, Mirabilia's Petal Fairy, Valerie Pfeiffer's Story Time, Passione Ricamo's Miracle Butterfly, and L&L's Earth Angel - my finishes can be seen here :-)

I also started and have actively going in my rotation: PINN's Mermaid Heaven, Lanarte's Girl with Cat (resurrected UFO), L&L's Celtic Winter, Garden Spot Sampler by Samplers and Such, and Chatelaine's Medieval Town Mandala.

Mike and I braved the day after Christmas traffic, in the pouring rain, and picked up Dark Water - the DVDs came out a day early this week... holiday commercialism at its best. I hope we can find time to watch it this week :-) That traffic was ridiculous out there today!

Stitched on today: An Open Heart and Little Wings

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It is finally Christmas! We seem to have gotten it last - most of my pals are as far away as New Zealand and Australia... ranging to Singapore and then Europe :-) At last, my US and Canadian pals, and I, are celebrating too :-) We had a nice day. It was 50F here today, which is unusual. No white knuckle driving in snow storms either to or from Massachusetts this year :-) First we visited Mike's mother and uncle for breakfast, and then we visited my mother and sister for dinner. We are so full! I even used my treadmill for a little bit tonight when we got home LOL! We got to talk to my brother and nieces on Cape Cod, and Roger is doing a little better. He is off the ventilator and now they are attacking his pneumonia. The girls got to see him for a little bit today. Although the prognosis is bleak, it is great to hear he is feeling better and got to see the girls :-) Now we will do a second Christmas later this week sometime when they get back home. It was really strange to spend the holiday without them.
Here is the one and only photo that was taken today... this is from our breakfast visit at Mike's mother's house... I am in the center, my mother in law Madeleine is on the left, and Mike's Uncle Bob is on the right... not a flattering photo of any of us... but the only one that was taken!

I recieved this absolutely gorgeous stocking from my friend Karen K. for Christmas! Is this just the best treat, or what? I think it is Tina's Stocking (??) I love the gardening theme! This is just beautifully finished off with burgundy velveteen as the backing and the gold braid around the edges is tied into a loop at the top for hanging! It arrived perfectly safe all the way from Australia in the same box as all those stunningly framed Just Nan samplers. I am truly spoilt! Oh Karen, you are so wonderful (thanking her personally via email!)... Mike wants one of these too, hint hint! LOL

And, here is the stash that arrived yesterday.... but I was too tired and lazy to post it... Shepherd's Bush's Fair Philomel kit (a Christmas gift for myself), two belfast linens - Silkweaver's Winter Breeze for Mirabilia's Winter Queen and Kiwi Illusions Paua (both from one of my favorite ebay sellers), and silks ordered from Victoria Clayton - the Konini (blue/purple/grey combo) is for Long Dog's Paradigm Lost, and the Dragon Blood (obviously, the very red combo) is for A Love Story by fouroaks designs... nice, aren't they? I love VC Silks!!!!!
I stayed up pretty late tonight working on Angel of Love, primarily thanks to a couple of cups of Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee.... I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine, it really keeps me awake. I worked a bit more on her first wing, and then really got into more of the beading on her skirt. I love this project. All the little designs in her skirt are wonderful for my OCD!

Stitched on today: Angel of Love

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Another Christmas Surprise!

Mike and I were off running errands today, when my cellphone rang. It was the framer - my four projects were ready to be picked up! They had told me it would be a while, and certainly not before Christmas. We were in Office Max at the time. The funny thing was, our very next stop was going to be to the framer's anyhow! Today was the last day of their sale, and we had Celtic Band Sampler, The Marriage of Minds and Garden Bounty with us to be framed! (I did drop those off, and I hope the frames I picked out will be pretty for them....). Meanwhile, I am over the moon with how the other four came out! We took the photos of them leaning against the wall - we have to figure out where to hang them now. May I present to you:

Petal Fairy, c. Mirabilia

Silkweaver 32 ct. Solo Lugana

Stitched in 2005 as a SAL with Karen Kirk

Fairy Flora, c. Mirabilia

Silkweaver Belfast Solo

Stitched in 2005

Miracle Butterfly, c. Passione Ricamo

Silkweaver 32 ct Chocolate Lugana

Stitched in 2005 as a SAL with the Needle & Thread BB

Earth Angel, c. Lavender & Lace/MLI

Silkweaver 32 ct Blue Fusion Lugana

Stitched in 2005 as a SAL with Jenn

I found some time to stitch this evening while we were watching movies (and waiting for Santa). I managed to finish Part 7/8 of Mermaid Heaven, except for the metallic gold backstitching of the scales on her tail. I will definitely be adding all of the gold metallic last. It looks like the next page, Part 3/8, will be a very, very busy page!

Mike spotted this visitor on our deck this morning and took a photo - this is one huge blue jay!

I got in some stash today, but am too tired to take a photo... will do it tomorrow :-)

Stitched on today: Mermaid Heaven

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Surprises

Do you mind if share a few wonderful Christmas surprises with you today? My friends sure kept the mailman busy at my house this morning!! I really want to thank my sweet friends for these gifts - I really, really need to learn some finishing techniques this year so that I may do such wonderful things for my friends next year!

I just received a lovely package from Katrina today. In it were these two beautiful Christmas ornaments. Aren't they just lovely? I fear the heart one did not photograph terribly well. They are just too sweet! And, Katrina knows how much we both love Elizabeth's Designs, which makes the stitched one all that much more special!

Katrina also sent me this adorable little ort bag! I adore the fabric, and I am over the moon over these gifts. I remember seeing some of these cute ort bags in her blog a few months bag, and you cam imagine my glee when I saw that she sent one to me. And her fabric choice for me is beyond perfect! She also sent me a fat quarter of Geyser Kiwi Illusions lugana as her half of our recent fabric exchange. Thanks so much Katrina, your friendship is so dear to me!

My Christmas surprises did not end there. I also got an amazing package from Jenn today too! Oh my gosh! She sent me this most wonderful HAED chart... wish I could recall its name as I type this. It will be an amazing tapestry that will take a lifetime to stitch, yet you know I will give it my best shot! She also sent me a fat quarter of Platinum Pizzaz lugana by Silkweaver and truly enhanced my DMC stash while she was it! Jenn, your friendship means the world to me too - you are also so, so very sweet!

I also received two more charts from the lovely ebay seller in France... don't these just look amazing?? They remind me of HAED and White Willow Stitching designs and appear to be very, very well charted :-)
OK... sometimes I feel like Convent's Herbal Garden gets a little bit neglected (probably because it is not a SAL). But I focused on it this evening, stitched tons and tons of little yellow Jessicas, and now the upper left garden is finished! Relief!
Your Elf Name Is...

Ditzy Candy Cane Lips

Stitched on today: Convent's Herbal Garden

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Little Wings is back

My plan tonight was to restart Little Wings on the 36 ct Morning Dew linen. But after four stitches, I realized this is not at all what I wanted to do. Two reasons really. The first is that I felt the stitches looked quite bulky on the linen and could only picture how clumped up that green velvet dress would look. I couldn't use one strand, as I had hoped I could, because two shades are blended needle. After looking at them, I saw no other alternative. One is one of the main greens of the dress, and the other is prominent in the mauve ribbons on her dress. The second reason I ditched the restart plan was because the Morning Dew linen is greener than I had thought it was - the Meadow Mist cashel I am already using compliments this design much better. OK, I am happy again with this project, and I managed to make a lot of progress on the little girl tonight.

I began thinking today about my Stitching Goals for 2006. Now, I am quite certain that this will not actually play out the way I would like it to - life will get in the way, and new charts will come along that will just have to be stitched, resulting in others getting pushed aside... but it is still fun to set the goals!! I will review how my 2005 goals actually went sometime before the year ends... So, here is what I am thinking of for 2006:

1. Continue to plug away on all the projects currently in my rotation - Little Wings, 17th Century Irish Garden, Angel of Love, Garden Spot Sampler, Celtic Winter, Medieval Town Mandala, An Open Heart, Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, Girl with Cat, Convent's Herbal Garden and Mermaid Heaven.
2. Since Girl with Cat is an old UFO that I resurrected this year, I am thinking that if I finish that one in 2006, I will replace it with another UFO... Bag Ladies, which is at least 3/4 done already.
3. I have several SAL's to start this year:
**Mirabilia SAL - Mermaids of the Deep Blue
**Long Dog Samplers SAL - Paradigm Lost
**Nature's Alphabet II with Katrina
**Egypt Garden with Anne
**Spring Ride with Karen B.
**Kingdom Sampler with Nicole
**Emerald Jeweled Garden with Karen V.
**Dawn, Fairy Spirit of Grace with Bea
*****other possible SAL pieces will be Fairy Idyll with Karen K. and Rose of Sharon with Bea... if time allows... either can easily just be incorporated into the Mirabilia SAL since both ladies are in that group too...
4. Some projects that really appeal to me right now, some of which have been in my stash forever, are:
**Just Nan - High Hopes
**Drawn Thread - The Sanctuary
**Little House Needleworks - Coffee Menu
**Fouroaks Designs - A Love Song
**Indigo Rose - Catherine Agnes (a re-start after messing it up this year!)
5. Mystery IX starts on January 1st....
6. I also am seriously considering The Forest Goddess as well....

Sounds like a really, really tall order now, doesn't it? If you want to do a SAL with me for any of these, please let me know! That always helps!!!

Mike moved our TV and many other items down to our now finished basement. Feels weird to be down here with a big house over our heads! It is really nice though! I do have better stitching lighting down here now!
I found this photo in my camera tonight when I uploaded the WIP of Little Wings. Mike said he was cleaning the kitchen today and put one of the cat towers across the kitchen table while he was cleaning. Our Lily seems to be wondering what has happened to her tower :-)

I am now on vacation from work for 11 days! Yay! I really don't know what I am going to do with myself for 11 days, though - well, other than stitching! I do have a few clients I will need to call and check in on during the break, especially some of my eating disordered clients. But for the most part, my time is my own - what should I do with it? Sleeping in late comes to mind...

Stitched on today: Little Wings (I can't believe this chart was published 16 years ago! It is copyright 1989. It feels like I only just bought it a couple of years ago - where did time go??)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More Gold Swirls & A Retired Blinkie

It is Celtic Winter night again - lots and lots more of the gold swirls... getting close to finishing those now.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments about Karen's framing job on my Just Nan samplers - she reads my blog via email, and I am sure she will appreciate seeing all of your kind words!

Passione Ricamo has some pretty new freebies out on her site - as always, they will not be there long. One is a super pretty Merry Christmas banner with angels, and the other is the beginnings of what is going to be a very pretty alphabet!

I am retiring this blinkie effective immediately. It used to be in my sidebar, and was one of my favorites. But, now Johnny must cut his hair and shave his beard. He has chosen to play for the "Dark Side." 'Nuff said.

One more day of work until the holiday break.... oh, just hang in there!

Stitched on today: Celtic Winter

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Karen's Amazing Generosity

Several months ago, my friend Karen, who owns Dragonfly Dreams in the Blue Mountains of Australia, asked me if she could borrow some of the many Just Nan samplers I have stitched over the years. I have stitched many, but framed only two (sound familiar??). She was about to attend a needlework show and wanted to display some, as well as later use them as models in her shop. They were just sitting in a drawer in the bureau in one of our spare bedrooms, so I sure did not mind sending them to her. Today I got them back - framed! What an unbelievable job her DH, Bren, did with the framing on these samplers!!!!!!!! What amazing generosity! I did not care when I ever saw these again, as I trust Karen. I am over the moon over the results, and I want to share them with you. Now mind you, it is winter here so the photos were taken inside the house and the flash bounced off some of them, and in at least one of them you can see my Christmas tree's lights in the reflection. Oh well, sorry!! I am posting them in Blogger's smallest size to save space, but you can click on them to see them bigger.

Ebony Rose

Flowers of Joy

Lady Scarlet's Journey

With My Needle

Now comes the fun of deciding where to hang all of these lovely samplers in my home!! Each and every mat and frame Karen and Bren selected for me is just perfect!!! Wow! I am quite sure that Mike and I have two very, very good friends in Karen and Bren!

And... one little bit of stash today... Issue 150 of Mary Hickmott's New Stitches. I don't buy this magazine, as I have never been attracted to it. But I love the marquoir featured in this one. Now it seems I have to collect Issue 151 as well, as the marquoir is divided into two issues... fortunately, I believe Issue 151 is at Barnes & Noble right now, so next time I am out and about running errands in Manchester, I will pick it up...
And, here is my little installment this week on the Garden Spot Sampler. Blogger pics wasn't working when I tried to post it, so I used Photobucket - sorry you cannot enlarge this pic...

It is New DVD Release Tuesday again - and it was a big one! We got The Brothers Grimm (Just watched it, excellent), Must Love Dogs and Serenity.

Well, it appears tht Johnny Damon could really care less about Red Sox Nation and he is off to the dreaded Yankees next year (well, for four years, they say...) - sooooo... I am so mad my stomach flipped over. If anyone knows anyone... with or without baseball experience... who would like a job.... please ask them to call The Boston Red Sox... we could use all the help we can get. No shortstop, no center fielder... really, no General Manager either. You won't see many blog updates on the Red Sox from me this year - I hate the management right now.

Stitched on today: Garden Spot Sampler

Monday, December 19, 2005

A lovely gift from Jenna!

I received the most adorable and exceptionally well stitched and constructed ornament from Jenna today! I wanted to brag on her and her work a little bit here! Isn't it just adorable?! I love Dragon Dreams designs, and was so thrilled to receive this lovely gift from her today! And the note in her card was so sweet. Jenna, I am glad that I inspire you with my stitching. That always amazes me, as I really just blog as my own little on-line diary, something I do for myself. It always stuns me to realize how many other people actually care about and read this blog!
OK, here is more Angel of Love for tonight... not a whole lot done, had a busy night - I decided to start her wings now... what do you think Anne??

OK... I have selected my fabric for Mirabilia's Forest Goddess! I will be doing this in the Mirabilia SAL as well. This is Mindy Decker's WIP of her project (hope she doesn't mind my sharing this) on her custom dyed fabric, Shimmering Forest Sprite! So nice. I ordered some belfast and now am really anxious to start this one - what a great color. (Mindy is Sugar Maple Fabrics.) I ordered up my Kreinik, beads and MH Treasure from SB&B... will be ready to go soon! (***Don't get all excited - I didn't start her yet, this is Mindy's work, my needles are not that fast - heck, I am still waiting for the chart to arrive - I know I panicked at least one stitcher with this photo here LOL!)

And... the mailman was quite nice to me today - aside from the super cool ornament, I also received two Silkweaver Solos... and I got Home of a Needleworker by Little House Needleworks today too - this one is overdue for being in my stash LOL!

Wow, the Mirabilia SAL is coming along nicely. We had 19 members already a couple of hours ago! Want to join us?? Please click either the link in yesterday's entry or the one in my sidebar - the more the merrier! Please know the rules are super simple - you just need to be stitching any Mirabilia, at whatever pace you want, and even if it is one you have already started!!

Stitched on today: Angel of Love

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Want to join a Mirabilia SAL for 2006?

I have now set up a Yahoo Group for those who are interested in doing a SAL for any Mirabilia chart starting January 1st. This idea first originated when Katrina, Lisa and I decided to stitch Mermaids of the Deep Blue as a SAL starting on that date. There has been a lot of interest in other Mirabilias and doing an SAL... so.... the more the merrier! Please feel free to join us! This is also being coordinated over on the Friends Gather BB. You can click on the link above, or use the sign up box in the sidebar of my blog. There is a database in the group where you can let us know which Mirabilia you plan to stitch too :-) Won't it be fun to stitch together?
Now, on to today's stitching business... I tossed aside An Open Heart for today as I just was not in the mood to have the scroll bars in my lap. I decided to work on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow instead. I have a mini goal of finishing House 8 before the year's end, and now after tonight's bout of stitching, I think I am nearing that goal. I have the blue house done now, and my Angus is even stitched on there too :-) Now I need a fence for the kitty to stand on, a flag pole, a little bit of lawn and the outer border of the block... that should not take too long and can be done during the holiday break.

Mike is back to stitching his house again tonight. Today's lesson: it's important to keep all of your x's going in the same direction LOL!!

Only four more days of work until the holiday break! Yay!

But sadly, today marks the 10th anniversary of my father's sudden death... I kept distracted by watching lots and lots of football...

Stitched on today: Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Patriots clinch AFC East :-)

It is Saturday, and Mermaid Heaven is back. After running some errands, watching the football game and then going down to Lawrence, MA to have dinner with Mike's grandfather, there was not a whole lot of time left today to stitch. But I did stitch a good portion of the rock tonight...I think my SAL mate may have dropped out of this SAL, though. I should check with her - it has been forever since she has updated. And, Mike started his Victorian house kit tonight too - after teaching him that two strands in the needle did not mean two lengths of floss (as in, 12 strands), he is pretty much good to go! LOL

Some really nice stash came in today :-) Somehow it managed to get through despite the heavy holiday rush through the postal service. I got three fat quarters of Sugar Maple Fabrics through three different sources today - Moon Princess 28 ct Jazlyn from SMF's ebay store, Sugared Snickerdoodles Cashel from ebay seller in England, and Serendipity opalescent belfast as a gift from my friend Karen in Australia... they are all so pretty!! And, I also received a skien of Frangiapani Waterlilies from Karen for Chatelaine's Taj Mahal. Additionally, an order came in from Stitching Bits & Bobs with the Au Ver A Soie silks and two skeins of Waterlilies for Garden Spot. Lots of pretties to look at again today.

Here is our Ava all snuggled up and wrapped up in an afghan and a blanket designated for the cats on our sofa... where she was almost all day long. Strange, it is nice and warm in here today, but she acts like it was cold :-)

Happy 17th Birthday to our niece, Caitlin. Unfortunately, Caitlin is down in Falmouth, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) where her grandfather, Roger, remains in ICU with lung cancer and pneumonia :-(

And, like the title of today's entry says - the New England Patriots will go to the post season again this year by clinching the AFC East title with a 28-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are really starting to look good again after a lousy start with so many key players being injured - most of them are healthy and are back, and it shows.

Stitched on today: Mermaid Heaven

Friday, December 16, 2005

Slushy, icy rain.... yuck!

I really enjoyed having some time today to work on Girl with Cat again. I love this project, and am glad it was resurrected from UFO status this year. It has such a nice watercolor effect, which makes me think of my mom, who happens to be a watercolor artist and instructor :-) A lot of what I did today may well not even show in the photo - quite a bit of off white (DMC 746) on the kitty's tummy just does not show well on the white fabric in the photo (really stands out IRL).

I selected one of my Christmas gifts from Mike today - I signed up for Chatelaine's Mystery IX, and just ordered my kit... with any luck, it will be here before Christmas so Mike can wrap it up LOL! Anyhow... with its start date of January 1, I will probably start my Mirabilia SAL piece on New Year's Eve instead. (I have been warned that I will end up with Chatelaine burn out, but I really don't think that is true at all. I know how I can pace myself - I am sure I will be fine - what is the rush, right??).

I spent my entire morning and early afternoon trying to get BlogRolling to work in my blog - FINALLY, it works! Unfortunately, I have to put it at the end of my sidebar, as it seems existing items tend to cover it up.

I got some horrible news via email from my mother today. Christmas is very much up in the air for our family this year. My brother's father in law, Roger, whom we all love dearly, is in ICU. He has been battling some form of cancer for the past couple of years. According to my mom's email, it does not look good at all. He lives on Cape Cod, and my brother and his family are heading down there today as the roads are clearing nicely from the storm. Christmas is usually at my brother's house, so we will have to alter our plans... but most importantly, it is time to pray for Roger's recovery. Very sad. And the strangest part of it is that on Sunday, the 18th of December, it will be the tenth anniversary of my own father's sudden death - tomorrow, the 17th, is my niece Caitlin's 17th birthday - I don't think she needs to have both of her grandfathers pass away around her birthday :-(

On a whole different note, I received some stash from Stitching Bits & Bobs today - the first part of which is some of the December releases. I got Elizabeth's Designs' Nature's Alphabet II, which I will be doing as a SAL with Katrina some time next year. And, I got in Jeannette Douglas' Winter Stitches with embellishment pack. This is the companion piece to her stunning Autumn Stitches that was in Just Cross Stitch just a few short months ago :-)

And... I also received two discontinued charts by White Willow Stitching, which I am thrilled to have been able to get! One is Atlantis, which has got to be one of the thickest charts I have ever owned (LOL!) and the other is Moon Witch. I have been tracking this one down for some time now, after having seen a stitched model of it on White Willow's website. I had shown it to Mike, and he was not at all impressed by it. But I am strangely drawn to Moon Witch.

Our basement is completed now. The carpet was installed today. I think Mike will be taking pictures of it very soon now, so I will post them when he does. I imagine he will do a better job of it than I could!

Speaking of Mike taking pictures... when I took the photos of my WIP and my stash off of my camera just now, there was a photo in there from earlier today that he must have taken - I thought it was cute! Here are three of my kitties all trying to squeeze in on their cat window shelf to watch the bird feeder today! (left to right: Ava, Lily, Gig)

Stitched on today: Girl with Cat