Friday, December 6, 2013

A Few Christmas Ornament Finishes.............

I've been stitching a Christmas ornament for my grand kids every year and this is 2013's contribution. I fell in love with the little sleighs and they were a quick stitch on perforated paper. The design is by Foxwood Crossings and is called Bread Sleds.

Next are a couple ornaments I stitched back in the 90's but never finished. I wanted to give two ornaments to couples with their first child born this year and these were perfect! First up is an old Bent Creek freebie called The Angel. I always loved this cute little angel!!! I know I stitched it on an R&R  blue fabric but can't remember what it was. I added the white Mill Hill snowflakes. As an aside, I found a stack of 8 heavy cardboard "coasters" at Target for $1 at Halloween. They work perfectly for ornaments since you're covering up the printed design anyway with your stitching!!! They also had square ones and I would think they might be available at other times of the year with different themes.

Lastly is an old Claire Hatten angel--can't find the chart I used so I don't know the name. Not your typical Christmas colors but it works! again, I used a scrap of R&R fabric and Gentle Arts threads--just can't remember what.

That's it for today. We're off to Richmond to babysit for the weekend. Had hopes of taking them to Busch Gardens tomorrow night for Homeland Christmas but they are calling for 80%  chance of rain. Guess we'll be playing that by ear!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trip to The Attic

Where to begin? I had hoped to get this written much earlier, but came home to our business e-mail being hacked and a pile of work to catch up on. I also came home with laryngitis and a slight upper respiratory issue--darn those closed airplanes and people coughing next to you!!! So, it's been trying hard not to talk...not easy to do...and mega doses of vitamin C!!! So, welcome along for the ride---a word of's a long one!!! 

Day 1
I left early on the morning of the 7th--4:30 AM early and drove the 2 hours to BWI--it was worth it for a direct flight. All went smoothly (except for the "hacker" next to me) and I arrived in Phoenix around 11:45 AM, their time. I quickly caught a shuttle to the hotel, checked in and found this waiting for me:
Do I have a wonderful husband...or what?
I then  took the hotel shuttle to The Attic, where I met up with my friend, Paola, and we immediately walked to lunch at Pasta Annie's ( I was starving since it was around 3:30PM my time and I only had "snackies' on the plane. After lunch, we browsed The Attic for a couple hours. What a wonderful shop!!! Very open with lots of nooks and crannies to find lovely items! I ran into some friends from Salty Yarns (shout out to Cynthia, Crystal, Dana and Carol) and met a new friend (shout out to Cathy), in person, that I've been corresponding with the last few months via our blogs. 

 Here's a sampling of my purchases; I can't show some as they are future gifts:

I'd been looking for this.....
Lakeside 50 count linen plus special needles and a hornbook with a built in magnet

I did try to "hold the line" with my stash enhancement because I knew Jackie was going to have items for sale. Here's what I picked up from Jackie:

This didn't have a picture but has a tiny, little band sampler that is stitched and placed inside

That night we had dinner at Toby Keith's restaurant. I didn't know it was a country version of Hooters!!! We walked in to an all male line-up at the bar and girls with cut off jeans so short...well you can imagine! A funny story--Paola ordered a beer and the waiter brought it to her in..what else.. a red solo cup! She, of course, did not know about the song, was quite puzzled at the presentation and opted for a glass instead!
Bedtime was early that night as I had had a very looooong day!

Day 2
We had a free day today and visited some quilt and fabric shops in the area. I got this pattern a one shop and thought it would be great to make to take to future classes/retreats!

We hit the Attic again in the afternoon and opted for lunch at Cornish Pasties. I had envisioned a "tea room" type atmosphere, but instead it was a cross between goth/punk/rock.We did get to eat outside which was such a treat in November and the pasties were delish!

Paola and I exchanged birthday/Christmas presents since we wouldn't see each other in December. My main gift to her was a bell pull I made from an old freebie chart that was a collaboration by Shepherds Bush, Charland and Just Nan. I thought it was perfect for our long distance friendship! I also gave her some Betsy Morgan charts, which Betsy has available now, and a Kelmscott needle minder.
Verse reads: Though far apart, still close at heart, friends we'll ever be.

Paola gave me some wonderful gifts starting with  tins of Coronation tea and biscuits (I'm eating one right now). The biscuit tin is actually a music box and plays Pomp and Circumstance. She also gave me a lovely stitched tin with lots of queen stitches on it and a very unique awl with stitched case made from half a pair of scissors--is that cool or what?

I love the shamrock band on the crown!

I truly was following the early to bed..early to rise adage as I was in bed by 9:00 PM.


My first class began at 9:00 and was The Unplayed Piano. Jackie had been asked by a past president of the EGA to reproduce a leather piano etui from their permanent collection and this was the result. I am going to tweak mine a bit as I heard some great ideas for additional stitching on the piece while there. I've been wanting this piece since I first saw it to stitch for my daughter, Jess, who plays the piano. I would love to get into Jackie's "head" at some point to follow her thought processes while coming up with these ideas. She is truly unique and clever!!! I ordered a companion piece to the piano which is called Music to My Fingers. I love this title---aren't we really creating symphonies of color when we stitch!!! I think this will be my new mantra!!!
Antique leather piano etui
etui opened

Here is Jackie's version:

Note the sheet of music off to the side. That's a piece of scrimshaw that will sit on the front

Dinner that night was hosted by The Attic at a caterer's next to their shop. On the way there, after realizing there was a much quicker route, we stopped at an adorable quilt shop where I got this fun fabric with large cross stitch letters. 

Day 4
I opted for no class today so I could spend the day with my niece and her husband who live in Mesa. They picked me up in the morning and we first climbed up to see "Hole in a Rock". Hers'a pic of me and Heather with the hole behind us.
We then spent a few hours at the Phoenix zoo. It was a beautiful day--not too hot--and we saw lots of animals. It was great doing this with Justin as he's studying to be a fish and wildlife ranger and knew lots about the critters. I had an early dinner with them and then returned to the hotel for a quick rest. I accompanied some ladies (you do meet the nicest people at stitching retreats) to dinner opting for dessert only at the restaurant at Bass Pro shop. The place was very nice and quiet and we had a fantastic waitress.

Day 5
My second class, The Secret Garden awaited me. Oh the luscious colors in this one!! I'll let the fibers speak for themselves!

This class proved to be a bit overwhelming; there is a LOT of stitching but...oh the finished product is fanatastic!

(Notice I'm writing less and less--probably should have broken this up--but I'm trying to get it out while it's still semi-fresh in my brain!)

After class we made a trip to Joanns. Dinner was at Dave's Famous Bar-B-Q  with a very nice group pf ladies--shout out to  Paola, Kathy, Amy and Stephny!!! The restaurant was extremely busy and was giving all vets a free dinner for Veterans Day. They all wore tags stating what branch of the military they had served. What a generous thing to do!

Good-byes were said at the hotel and I was off to bed for an early wake up call at 4:00AM. I know I'm nuts but I so prefer direct flights!

Day 6
Up early to wait for the Super Shuttle to take me to the airport. They were late!!! Luckily, I ran into Jackie in the lobby, who was being picked up by Jean and driven to the airport. They rescued me and took me with them. It was a good thing because when I called the shuttle service to get a refund, they told me the driver had been 45 minutes late. Thanks to Jackie and Jean--much appreciated!!!! Not sure I could have handled running through the airport at that time of the morning. Who am I kidding??? I couldn't have handled that any time! No further drama and I made it home safe and sound.

It's always hard coming back to reality after these wonderful events. I get so motivated and just want to stitch..stitch... stitch! 

If you've made it to the end of this post, I'm appreciative you took the time.  Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Another little finish..............

Just a quick post today to share a pair of sweet, little...and quick finishes.

These are called Tea and Coffee Cups and are part of the Button Magnet Collection by Ewe and Eye and Friends. They "stick" to a  hand painted metal board that's about 6 X 24 inches. I had nabbed the board a few years ago in a 1/2 price sale and dug it out last week to put in my freshly painted kitchen. The "buttons" stitched up real quick and the finishing was "presto-magic" using the supplied button forms. Now my cups don't actually hold tea and coffee--I've never had a cup of coffee in my life--but more likely tea and hot chocolate! No matter, they will do a fine job holding notes and reminders for me!

Counting the days until my trip to The Attic...............

 Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Quick Update

I am finally settling back in after a long weekend in Ocean City, MD at Salty Yarns Jamboree. What a wonderful time!!! Even with 4 days of rain and dreariness, it was always bright inside the shop and Lankford Hotel. I didn't partake in the classes offered, but "volunteered" to help the owners out by cutting fabric for participants. I did manage to get some stitching in and two walks on the boardwalk. Of course, I did some stash enhancement but won't bore you with my purchases. However I did want to share some neat little scissors they are carrying. The are called Petites and are made by  Sullivans. They definitely aren't "heirloom" scissors but have pretty sharp points and come in three colors, gold, silver and copper (of course I got one of each). They will be perfect for smalls....and come in the cutest little box!

Closed box and gold scissors
On the stitching front, I have completed my pre-stitching for one of my classes with Jackie DuPlessis at The Attic, The Unplayed Piano. Luckily, it didn't involve a lot of stitching and my other class has NO pre-stitching, so I am good to go. I can't wait to see how this all shapes up into a piano,  but am showing the finished piece so you can have an idea.
Main part of piano on left/ one of 4 sides on the right

There are two really cool scrimshaw pieces that go with it, a piano keyboard
(comes with class) and sheet music (an add-on). I am counting the days until I leave and my mind keeps wondering off to think about what I need to pack, how early I have to leave for the airport (VERY early), etc..

That's it for now--thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Okay--don't hate me...another finish!!!

I just finished putting together my Whiskey Creek box and wanted to share. This was my first foray into 3-d perforated paper construction. I have to say it wasn't so tough, though I had to read and re-read the instructions to understand the sequence. Joining the corners was a little difficult as it gets tight towards the top and I "boogered" up the first two corners, but this was a learning experience and they got better as I went along. It measures 3" square and I just love the colors--the black really sets them off.  I forgot to take pics of the inside but the chart pack came with black mat board that I cut to fit inside and give it some support. This made for a very nice finish on the interior. I'm not sure this designer is still around or not--my chart is dated 1997. Luckily, I have a few more in my stash I had bought back then! :)

Top of Box

Bottom of Box

Side of Box

I went to a yard sale at our local technical school last Saturday and hit the jackpot! First, there was a vendor selling children's books, brand new, at 50 cents each. I got a stack for each of my grand kiddies and I think they'll be thrilled--heavy on the princess theme for Cora and Cars and Super Heroes for Asher. Then I found an old pincushion that has wound paper in it to stick the pins in. I'm not sure if that's the way it was originally or if some came up with that along the way, but I'm going to try to ask about it in the sampler group on FB. Last, I found a Longaberger sewing basket from 1986, with the wooden stand, and couldn't pass it up for a mere $30!! Woo-hoo!!! A good day all in all! Here's the pincushion if anyone has any ideas:

I head Thursday to Ocean City, MD for their annual Jamboree. I help Sally and Sara out by  cutting fabric for the attendees and they give me the opportunity to relive my days at Twisted Threads. I  really enjoy working with the ladies and helping them find the perfect fabric/fibers for their projects. Hopefully a win-win for all!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!


Saturday, September 28, 2013


Just a quick little post to share a recent finish. This was a car project, since it was on a large count fabric, and worked an over the last year or so. It's the 2000 LE Santa from Ewe and Eye and Friends. I was so lucky to find this for sale on the internet a few years ago, along with the companion 2000 LE Snowman kit( blog post from 9/25/12). He was stitched with Anchor floss and Gumnut wools. Luckily I didn't run out of any fibers this time around--the snowman was a different story! And that may have been because the chart says it was stitched on 18 count linen, but in fact it was 25 count!!! So, I have HUGE snowman and a "dainty" Santa. No worries...I love them both!!! I did have a time with the belt; did not like seeing the fabric "peeking" through. So I took that out and stitched a cross stitch first, then laid the Black Velvet from Rainbow Gallery over top. Definitely liked that much better. Isn't he adorable????
So with out further ado.........

Today I'm going to work on taking out the "buggered" stitches from the Tall Square Seasons, restitch and hopefully start the finishing process. Wish me luck!!!

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Scream Heard 'Round the World

Arghhhh!!!! I just ironed interfacing on the stitched side of one of my Tall Square Pieces!!!! What was I thinking!!!! Well, obviously, I wasn't thinking or paying attention. I managed to gently pull  it off and have put it aside for now to calm down. Most is acceptable but there are two rows of long arm cross that are looking pretty "fuzzy". I'm thinking I'll replace them. What would you do? Have you ever made this mistake? I'm going to try not to beat myself up too much----it could have been much worse! Just had to vent to people who might feel my pain! :)


Saturday, September 14, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Okay, I know that is usually reserved for the Christmas holiday, but fall is my favorite time of the year. I revel in the cooler weather, turning  leaves and numerous craft festivals that start to pop up! I feel invigorated and least until the time changes! :) I have all kinds of project ideas floating around in my head from redoing my kitchen to finally painting my bathroom to picking out furniture for our family room that Rich ( I am so proud of him) finally finished after 6 years. This was his ongoing winter project and he did it all from putting up the studs and dry walling to installing  the ceiling, lighting, trim woodwork and painting. We did have the carpet professionally installed and now it awaits the decorating--that's me!!! It's a huge room and quite intimidating but I figure one step at a time. We will be moving our office down there; it's been in our "dining room" for 8 1/2 years. Uh-oh...another project!!! So it's off to IKEA in Baltimore next week for ideas and hopefully some purchases. Here's a couple pics:
Family Room


 Now on to stitching....... I managed to complete the finishing of another project. It's a little out of season but I did stitch it in the spring, Just Nan's Hoppington Hill. It was a fun little stitch even with all the color changes after just a few stitches. That's a cute little round bunny button on the edge. I did add some bright flower pins but remembered them after I had already taken the photo so use your imagination! :)

 I've been searching for a new car project and am limited to the larger counts which I don't usually stitch on. Do any of you remember the perforated paper kits from Whiskey Creek that you made into boxes? Well, I came across a few of them in my stash recently and they are working great in the car! I can see the holes real well and it doesn't make me car sick like reading does. Not sure why that is but I'm not complaining..anything to keep from just sitting there staring out the window. Anyhow, I worked on my first one on our recent vacation drive and got the bottom of the box done. Here it is--don't you just love the colors--very Amish quilty!!!
Hometown Box by Whiskey Creek
The four sides will fold up and the large house will be the bottom. The top has 9 of the small houses on it. I just hope it will be easy to put together---all the mat board is included but you have to cut out the templates. Will keep you posted.

While on vacation to the Outer Banks, we had to drive right through Virginia Beach, so a stop at Dyeing to Stitch was necessitated. We had a very nice visit with Pat and Ann, the owners, and of course a little stash enhancement. They had all the new goodies from St. Charles Market and I did indulge but not overly so. Here is what I got:
 I've been searching for one of these for my car projects. It has the clamp for holding the chart and a drawer that pulls out to store your floss, scissors, etc. in. Thought it would be handy keeping it all in one small place. Also, it's hard to resist anything with an alphabet on it...isn't it?

The three charts are Snow Angel by Lone Elm Lane, an new designer at Market who came out with some wonderful designs, A Lady's Trimkeep  from Plum Street Samplers and A Needlebook Collage from Erica Michaels. 

I got my pre-stitching kit for one of two classes I'm taking at The Attic in November, The Unplayed Piano by Jackie du Plessis.I think that will be my next start. I am so looking forward to this trip but don't want to wish my time away between now and then. 

To end here are pics of my grand kids on the first day of school:

Loving his Ninja Turtle book bag on first day of kindergarten

All set for first day of pre-school

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm in a Finishing Mood.........

I usually have to be "in the mood" for finishing and have a long period of free time at my disposal. I've always liked to start early in the day and be able to work uninterrupted into the afternoon. That rarely happens, so I'm having to adjust and work in smaller segments of time between business calls and in the evening. Just a mind set change..but I have to do it if I want to get my finishing done! I managed to get two  projects finished recently. One, I had stitched back in 2008 so I am very happy to get it put together, and the other from 2012. Here we go:

Up first is Williamsburg Sewing Case from Merry Cox. I took this class back in 2008 in Cincinnati at Squirrels Nest Getaway along with The French Bon Bon Box and A Beautiful Day in Williamsburg. I now have 2 out of 3 finished!!!
Front of case and fob

back of case and fob

inside of case  with scissor holder

I'm not sure how, but I somehow have lost the ribbon to do the ruching around the pincushion. So, I substituted some cording instead. I actually had some (already made) left over from another project that was the right length and color--lucky me!!!

Next up is a Betsy Morgan class I took with the Loudoun Sampler Guild. This is such a beautiful and unique piece. It is called This One's for Betty, An Elizabethan Spot Motif Etui. Betsy dedicated it to Betty Fleming, who was instrumental in founding the Loudoun Sampler Guild and a huge proponent of the needle arts. The etui was put together similar to a biscornu and all the little smalls fit into it. Lots of pieces--hope you enjoy!

overall collection

side of etui--I just love the whitework--my favorite part of the whole piece--just love the added texture

other side of etui

bottm of etui

sweet bag front

sweet bag back

button bag front

button bag back

scissor fob front

scissor fob back

one side needlebook

other side needlebook

opened needlebook showing ribbon joining

waxer pocket

other side waxer pocket

bottom waxer pocket

top pin cushion (this was the pre-stitch piece)

bottom pin cushion
That's all folks! Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!