Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Part 2

Wanting to share my gifts from "stitchy" friends today. As always, I am touched by their thoughtfulness (knowing exactly what I like) and generosity (taking from their valuable stitching time to make something for me). But before I do that, I want to quickly share the birthday gift I made for my friend, Paola. I finished it months ago but had to hold off until after I thought she opened it.  It is the Friendship Sweet Bag  set by Jeanette Douglas. I pretty much did it as called for, the colors were yummy and instructions for finishing good. 

So, now on to my presents!!! First up is Phyllis. She gifted me an adorable bag filled with Savannah Bee products and a really neat "shelf" for my stitching chair. I will truly feel like the "queen bee" when I use the bag--perfect isn't it? Thanks Phyllis!

Next up is Sally. Sally took the chart Where there are Bees by the Prairie Schooler and  made me a fabulous bee-themed tray and box that is bee-utiful!!! I love, love, love it and it means so much that she took the time to figure out all the re-designing and finishing to make it special for me. Thank you Sally!

Note the beehive thread minder and beeswax!

Last, but not least, is Paola. She sent an adorable snowman thread holder so that, even though we had spring like temps for Christmas, I had a little "snow" around! She also sent a lovely pin with teeny tiny stitching down over one including a black background!!! It is stunning, pictures not doing it justice. Merci beaucoup, Paola!

Sometimes, even a small gesture can mean so much. Cathy B. from the blog With Needle and Thread popped a delicate, tatted snowflake in a Christmas card to me. We have been following each others blogs for awhile now, and even got to meet once at an Attic function, but it was so heartwarming for her to remember me in this way and much appreciated. Stitching friends really are the BEST!!! 

And, speaking of stitching, I have actually been doing a bit. I finished part two of the Shepherds Bush fold, My Home, the scissor fob.  I did stitch it over one (stole that idea from Sally at Salty Yarns) and am happy with the smaller size. I was lucky and had some seed beads in the same color purple in my stash (Yes Debbie--I know!!!) since the larger ones wouldn't work. I also had to use the heart button differently for the same reason. I really don't like doing the ribbon edging and after several starts, finally got it to where I am satisfied. I know there is more of it to come in the series, so I hope to improve it as I go along. 

I have moved on to Part 3, the pincushion as my next project. Then I need to get back to work on the Lady's Pocketbook.

While in Richmond, we went to see the Downton Abby costume exhibit at the Virginia Historical Society. It was fabulous and I loved seeing all the beaded/embroidered trim. They had about 40 different costumes and pictures of the scenes where they were used. This was a perfect way to get me excited about the new season starting Sunday--can't wait!!!
While there, we did a quick run through of the rest of the museum (definitely worth a return visit) and I stumbled across this tiny beaded "purse" supposedly owned by Martha Washington.  It was only about 3 inches big and attached to a ring (which I foolishly didn't get in my photograph). You would wear the ring on your finger and hold the purse in the palm of your hand. Here's a photo and I hope you get the idea. I loved this and if I'm ever in a really clever, creative mood, would like to be able to figure out how to reproduce one. 

Ring would be attached to chain at the top

And to close, I did squeeze in the Star Wars movie over the holiday and was as excited about it as the first one back in 1977.Back then, it was the first movie with spectacular special effects and has always remained a favorite. Here is a pair of shoes I saw when visiting a neighborhood in Baltimore, called Hampden, right before Christmas. Pretty cool...if you can remain upright wearing them!!!

Well, if I'm not back before New Years, I wish you all a Happy, healthy New Year full of the things you love---family, friends...and stitching (among other things)! :)

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


Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very Merry Christmas I had

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and are gearing up for a happy, healthy, stitch filled New Year! I really wanted to get in my sewing room and organize today, but have been distracted (hubby's home) by other tasks, and did want to get a blog post in. 

We had a fairly low key Christmas at my daughters in Richmond, which was relaxing and enjoyable. Although with temps in the 70's, I don't know how many times I said, "it just doesn't feel like Christmas"!!! We carried on however and the grand kids even found imaginative ways to utilize the sleds they got from Santa! Pillows were abundantly piled at the bottom of the steps!!!

I think they waited until I was gone to do this!!!!

Christmas is a time for giving and receiving and I was blessed to receive some wonderful gifts, not only for Christmas but for my birthday which is also in December.  First up are the gifts from my family--- I'm just giving the highlights.
Older daughter's family gave us "gift cards" from a company called Kiva. We get to give a "set" dollar amount loan to someone in a third world country to aid in starting a business. Theoretically, they will pay us back as they begin to make a profit. I'm hoping to find someone with a crafty business. Pretty neat idea, huh???

Younger daughter gifted me this tee shirt for my birthday--perfect for me!!!

 Sister gave me a teapot charm which will find a  home on my charm bracelet.

Power Plant at night

But the best gift of all was that my hubby totally surprised me by flying my younger daughter and her beau in for the weekend before Christmas. It not only made my Christmas but that of my parents and daughter. He also surprised me by bringing my older daughter and her family up to spend Saturday afternoon and night at the Baltimore Inner Harbor with us. Thanks babe!!!

First ice skating experience

Pie in the Face game
I think I will end now and share my "stitchy" gifts in another post. I don't want to bore people to tears and hopefully haven't done so!!!

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


Oops!! I wanted to add the ornaments my grand kiddies made for me. I had started a tradition with my girls, when they were little, and had them make ornaments every year as their gifts to family and close friends. This lasted into the high school years. I am thrilled my daughter has continued the tradition with her own children!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Full Heart

Okay, so I couldn't wait until after Christmas to finish this. I did a lot of pondering and checking out other peoples versions on their blogs (mainly Sally at Salty Yarns and Amy at Threads in Hand) and finally decided on my version. I did change the lettering and spacing, causing me to move motifs around here and there and shortening the chimneys. I substituted the blackbird on the fence with a white squirrel, since my younger daughter lives in Brevard, NC and they are famous for their white squirrels. So, here is A Full Heart by Shepherds Bush (the first of the fold series).

 It seemed appropriate to push on and get this finished now since, at this time of year, our hearts are so full with love of family, traditions and the spirit of the Christmas season. If I don't get a chance to blog again before Christmas, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, joyous holiday season and healthy, happy New Year!

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


Sunday, December 13, 2015

On the Tree!!!

Okay, I have to get this off my chest-----it is NOT feeling very "Christmassy" around here with 70 degree weather!!! Where is the snow and Jack-frost nipping at my nose??? Last year I remember cutting down our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving with snow on the ground. This year, hubby is out taking a motorcycle ride!!!

So, to get myself in the mood, I've been working on my grand kids Christmas ornaments. I give them one every year and they each have a small tree in their rooms that they hang them on. This year I reached back into my "oldie but goodie" box of charts and pulled out a Need'l Love design called Warm Wooly Mitten Stuffers-- the year I bought it being 1994. I've had the Heatherfield fabrics on standby for over 20 years and thought it was about time to break them out of bondage! I used 16 count over two and stitched them with DMC#5 perle cotton. I embellished with JABCO buttons and did sew the top closed; that fabric unravels too easily and I just wasn't feeling like lining them--bad Mimi!!! So here are the 2015 ornaments--ta da!!!!
Size approx. 3 1/2 X 5"

Kids initials on the back

I've continued to work on The Shepherds Fold, A Full Heart, but am going to put it away until after the holidays when I can think about what I want to do at the top. Here's where I am so far:

I also managed to get two more of the Samsarah calendar pieces stitched on my travels.
Oops--just realized I need to stitch the birdhouse center!
 We went to Black Mountain, NC for Thanksgiving so I had about 14 hours in the car to work on them. We managed to visit both the Biltmore House and the Grove Park Inn for their annual gingerbread house competition. Here's a couple of the entries.

 We stayed in a beautiful log home at the top of a mountain that was able to accommodate our family, as well as my brother-in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. One thing I was most thankful for was that my younger daughter's boyfriend cooked our Thanksgiving dinner for us. He is a chef and did an outstanding job....everything from scratch and oh so yummy!!! Shout out to Alex!!!!

High Rock Haven

Now on to the holiday season with all its delights....and stress! I'm trying to be very low key this year...simplifying......we'll see how it goes!

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


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

One More Finish .......

Betsy was very quick getting me a new piece of lining fabric and I was able to finish Can't See the Forest. Such a sweet piece with a drawer that opens. I stitched as called for.

box top

box bottom

right panel of box

back panel of box

left panel of box

box and scissor fob

This is probably the last of the finishing for awhile , as I have to focus on Christmas presents. Posts may be a little lean too, since I can't show these things until after they are gifted.

 Happy Thanksgiving to all and thanks for your "twisted threads" of friendship!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

When the hubby's away, Stasi will play...............

Hubby was away for three days at his annual meeting and I had a full three days to myself. I had asked friends to join me but they couldn't, so I locked myself into my house (only venturing out for for groceries and to get mail) and finished....finished...finished. I sewed and stitched until my "pushing" finger hurt!!! I have never felt comfortable with a thimble (and usually have a callous formed on the top of "tall man"), but did break down and resort to using a leather thimble towards the end of the weekend. I feel like I accomplished quite a bit while binge watching  Reign, but also kept getting distracted by FB, Feedly, etc..

I started by finishing some projects from Jamboree (Salty Yarns) in October. Here is the second piece form A Perfect Pairing.   I din't have much to do on these, so they went pretty fast.

We were also given a sweet little accompanying piece called The Pear-fect Additon--how clever! Note the cute "pear" button! Now to see if there are "fruity" scissors and pins somewhere!

Next, I started a class piece from Betsy Morgan, but will have to show that later. I didn't have enough silk lining fabric to finish the interior, so Betsy is graciously sending me some, and I'll share that when it's complete.

Then, I tackled A Fine and Fancy Tulip Tray  by Sherri Jones of Patrick's Woods. I had taken this class in April of 2014. This is such a lovely piece, very delicate and not my normal color palette of choice. But I love it and how it all went together. It's so "girly"!!! All the stitching was complete, and we had put the pyn tower and one pocket together in class. Luckily, we had made a paper mock up of how to lace the wooden tray, which helped tremendously when assembling it. 

Note swan scrim in bottom of tray (RIP Marcy)

The top petal on the tulip pulls out and is a needlebook

A dear friend had given me some wonderful buttons and I found two pale pink flowers among them that I used on the top of the  velvet berry and on the ruler above.

In the evenings, I took a break from finishing and got a little stitching in. Here is bumble from Hands on Design/JABCO, part of their Square*ology series. 

And I started the Shepherd's Bush fold series, A Full Heart, last night as I waited for hubby to return home. I've seen different versions of this where people have changed the lettering, moved motifs around and such. We'll see where I end up!!!  BTW, I made it up until he got  home at 1:00AM, then we got caught up for an hour, so bed at 2:00. We'll see if I'll be crashing later today!!!!

All in all, a very fruitful 3 days--pun intended!!! :)

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


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Another Stocking Stitched

Well, I've been working like crazy and got the adoptive grandson's stocking stitched. I do love these Shepherds Bush stockings as they stitch up pretty quickly (18 count over 2) and are a good size for filling (wish mine was this big)!!!  I did Oliver's Stocking for him and used fibers I had on hand including #5 perle cotton, Impressions and Tweedie. I substituted some stitched "gifts" with JABCO buttons that fit perfectly and added other embellishments/beads where needed. 

I did venture up to Discount Fabrics USA and found a nice backing fabric for the boy; I'm using some from my stash for the girl. I even managed to snag a couple  dupioni silks that will , hopefully, come in handy some day. The one on the left is a dark forest green plaid, and on the right, a pale blue stripe on cream.

 I had shared a sewing stand I recently bought in my last post and was asked to show a photo of it opened. Cathy B--this is for you!

For curious minds, the stand is 29 " tall (from floor to top of barrel) and the barrel measurement is 12" wide by 9" high.

Now, hopefully stitchers will understand the following and why I'm tickled--non-stitchers, not so much.  I have a tale of woe, possibly not for the weak of stomach, to share:  I had a lump (lypoma) removed from my upper left thigh 12 days ago. On day ten I was able to remove the stitches, which I did myself. (Okay stitchers, I used a pair of those inexpensive "rainbow" scissors to cut the stitches and they worked great--very fine tips!!!) All went well until today when I went to change the band-aid and saw the incision had split open about 1/2 inch. So, off to Urgent Care and two more sutures. Here's the happy part--the doctor gave me the suture scissors (note the cute purple protective tip-it's hard to see) and tweezers! The scissors are really sharp and will certainly come in handy. However,I think I'll be letting the professionals remove these stitches when the time comes. So much for my little saga--all is well now!!!

I'm on to stitching Christmas gifts, so probably won't be sharing much of that until after they are given to their respective recipients. But I might do sneak peeks--who knows!!!

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



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stocking Stitchin'

Christmas is starting to bear down on us and I wanted to get the two adoptive grandchildren's stockings done. Sadly, it's not looking like we'll have them for Christmas but I thought if my daughter could hang their stockings, a little piece of them would be with us. I'm not allowed to share their names but here is what I have so far. 

For the little girl, I did Anna's Stocking by Shepherds Bush. I used embellishments I had on hand ---a lot of JABCO buttons---these were fresh on my mind after the recent class with them.

For the little boy, I'm stitching Oliver's Stocking by Shepherds Bush. I've switched out some fibers and am using some pretty Tweedies from Rainbow Gallery. You can't see the "tweediness" in the photo (the green in his jacket), but it is there and gives a "wool" effect.  Here is what I've accomplished so far.

A trip is in the works to Discount Fabrics in Thurmont, MD soon to pick out the backing fabrics for these. It helps they're having a  25% off sale starting Nov. 2nd! They sell decorator fabrics that I like to use for the backing...... a little more substance than cotton quilt fabric. It doesn't hurt that they sell Dupioni silk too, so I always take a gander at that.

Up until I started working on the stockings, I had been moving along nicely on the Needlewoman's Pocketbook by Amy Mitten. Here's my status on that--sorry it's a little subdued but I was trying to get all of it in one shot.

And now....drum roll please..... a fabulous find I got at an online auction!!! We live down the street from a lovely historic home (circa 1762) and it recently went on the market. Fortunately my husband was asked to do the home inspection for the buyer and I offered to help him (definitely had ulterior motives). It was an amazing place!!! They built a "new" house around the original 3 story log home --totally encapsulated it. Old, original flooring, beams, fireplaces, etc. in the living room, dining room and 4 bedrooms. Even had a long hallway running down the entire length of the "log" home  so you could see the actual exterior logs. New master bedroom, bath, kitchen and family room but blended very nicely. It was truly something out of Homes and Gardens magazine!!! Well, while doing my inspecting, I noticed a lovely old sewing stand that I had to bid on and won!!! I am thrilled with it...can't find any info on it... such as age   ( I googled and came up empty handed) but I love it and have never seen one shaped like this. I have to say these on line auctions are pretty cool and I may have to start checking more out. So, without further ado, here is the stand!

Last, but not least, is a shot of the grand kids in some Halloween PJ's I found for them at Target.

As always, thanks for stopping by and your "twisted Threads" of friendship! I do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my blog and let me share my loves!