Friday, December 30, 2016

Ending 2016 in a Good Place

Whew---time flies when you're having fun....and even when you're not particularly. 

2016 has definitely been a very trying year, mentally, emotionally and physically but, it will be behind us very shortly. We sold our business, sold our house in WV, bought a new house in VA, packed two Pods, moved to a a temporary house, moved again to the new house, unpacked two pods, fought two months with the USPS to get our mail forwarded correctly to the new house, and all the other various and sundry tasks associated with these major life changes. Throw in our daughters wedding in October, which was lovely, and it makes for a very exciting and challenging year. But, we are settling in, enjoying the Richmond area and being closer to our older daughter and her family. (On a side note, our two grand children from Sierra Leone are still not here, but we think we are in the final stretch!)

So, here are the highlights since my last blog post:
 First up, here is where me, hubby and my stitching now abide. We're working to get the inside to feel like "home" slowly but surely.

 My younger daughter got married in October in Brevard, NC. We drove my parents down to attend and had a wonderful time. It did rain the day of the wedding ---only rain in over two months in her area (sadly, she lives close to where the fires were in NC), but all turned out beautifully!!! Here is a photo of our family!
Photo by M-Pact Studios
 And here is a close up of her bouquet...all made from felted wool!
Photo by M-Pact Studios   

Not long after the wedding, I made my first solo trip to Ocean City for a weekend of stitching. To my surprise, it was the exact same distance as my drive from WV---woo-hoo---I can do the drive......and I won't have to miss this!

I joined the Virginia Guild of Needlewomen and have been to three meetings. One was a fun class with Beth from Summer House Stitche Workes where we made a drum called Harvest Home. My finished drum got packed away with my fall decorations but here is a photo.
 We also had an afternoon class to make a Commemorative Anniversary Postcard project. It is the 50th anniversary of the Guild--what an accomplishment!!! I am so happy to have the opportunity to meet with fellow stitchers and share our passion. In December, we had a tea and mini class to make an adorable reindeer pincushion.
 We have attended many football games, both for the football and cheer leading, helped out at school and had sleepovers with the grand kids---exactly the reason we moved here.

On the stitching front, not a lot has been accomplished but I have managed to squeeze some in. I worked on the Samsarah calendar while driving to and fro and have July almost complete (3 of the 4).
 I got the annual Christmas ornaments done for the grand kids. Asher is a big Cubs fan and Cora dreams of living in Paris. I try to pick a theme that means something to them that year.

 I was able to go to Williamsburg and meet up with my friend, Paola, while she was attending the Annie's seminar. This was my early birthday gift to her. It is Call of the Mermaid by Sherri Jones. I bought the kit from someone on the internet. The original kit was made into a small ultrasuede "purse" but I thought it worked perfectly on this Longaberger basket. It is stitched on 34 count silk gauze. I might just have to search for this basket and do one for myself too!!!
 Okay, if you have stayed with me this far---you may be a glutton for punishment, but I appreciate it very much. I do this to share my love of stitching with others of like mind, but also as a journal of sorts for me.  So thanks for hanging in there; I will try  to keep up now that things are calming down. I'm off to do some unpacking and organizing in my craft room.

So, as we end an old year and begin a new one, thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship. See you in 2017!!! Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gearing up....again

Our time at the cabin is winding down....we will be leaving WV this Thursday for good. We'll be watching the grand kids until Labor Day weekend, followed by some down time at the beach before we begin the unloading, unpacking and re-establishing of our household. We should have possession of the new house by 9/14!!!!

We've been reassessing our time in WV and realizing we didn't take full advantage of opportunities the region offered up to us over the last 11 years. It's that pitfall where you think you'll have all the time in the world for discovering/enjoying things, but then you get caught up with your day to day work and responsibilities and, before you know it, you're pulling up stakes. I wish we had tubed and/or rafted down the Shenandoah River, visited DC more often, taken a ghost tour of Shepherdstown, gone to the Luckett's Antique Market etc.. We did manage to visit Harpers Ferry last weekend with the goal of me getting my Senior pass to our National Parks--mission accomplished! (Oh my...did I just say "senior"????????)

On to stitching news......I have the back panel of the Mexican reticule stitched. I managed the Aztec stitch without any difficulties and love it as the centerpiece of the panel.

Not sure how much I'll be getting accomplished --stitching-wise-- in the next few weeks/months, but will try to post when possible. If nothing else, I'll try to work on the Samsarah calendar series as I can pick that up easily and stitch just about anywhere.

Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship! See you on the flip side!!!


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Binging and Stitching.....or Stitching and Binging.....

......either way I am getting a lot accomplished. Of course, I don't have much else to do here at the cabin and to be's starting to get a little old. I wish I had my finishing supplies here to break up the stitching but I don't so, whoa is me, I have to stitch (very tongue in cheek)!!! BTW, I've been binge watching Cedar Cove from the Hallmark channel.

Things are going to liven up soon however. Not sure how long ago, or if, I shared this but my daughter has been on a list to adopt two children from Sierra Leone for almost 2 years. Lots of waiting, red tape, dealing with different cultures, patience and faith on her part. But she finally has a court date and she and her hubby will be traveling there in a couple weeks. We have been "on call" for when this might happen to go take care of our grandchildren; we received the call yesterday and are starting to plan accordingly. Sadly, they won't be bringing the children home this trip but it brings them one step closer. Fingers crossed they are with us by Christmas--what a gift that would be!!!! So if you can spare a prayer or positive thought for them, it would be much appreciated. 

For my next project I decided to take on Maria Katarin's Mexican Reticule, the second class I took in June from Betsy Morgan. This is not my usual color palette but I am enjoying the bright colors and different stitches. The most challenging stitch is the Aztec stitch and I'm showing my practice piece from class. There are linen threads that must be cut for this stitch, so the execution of such on the reticule will take my utmost attention...not to mention extremely sharp scissor points!!! Please don't let me screw up...please don't let me screw up may become my mantra!!!

Front of reticule

Aztec Stitch
 Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship! Be cool!!!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Words to Live By...............

I started the Lizzie Kate piece yesterday and with my marathon Olympic watching was able to get it completed today. I picked my own floss colors and then thought the final look was too bright for me. So I pulled out my bottle of "Distress" and shot it! I think I over shot it as the "distressing" is too uniform, but it did tone down the colors a bit, especially the light pink. I'm showing a before and after photo. So here is Accept What Is.....  Next to decide whether to frame or make into a pillow----oh the possibilities!


Now, on to see what project I pull out of my "magic" basket!!!!

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


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Travel Stitching

We've been traveling to Richmond and back for house updates and such so I've been getting some work done on the Samsarah perpetual calendar. I usually delegate this to car rides and doctor visits since I can see the perforated paper holes without my magnifier. The aging vision process sure does cramp my stitching style!!!! Here are four more that I have completed----Wednesday is from the May series and the rest are from June. I still have one more June to go!


We also recently traveled to see my younger daughter in NC. She is getting married in October and I took the opportunity to shop for dress while I was in an area that actually had some department stores. We found a Dillard's outlet in Asheville and wonder of wonders I could say "yes" to a dress!!! I was dreading this hunt as I don't like myself in dresses. I'm on the shorter side and always feel I look "frumpy". But my daughter found a lovely burgandy shift dress with lace overlay and sleeves. It fit well and, with the addition of Spanx  to smooth out the "muffin tops", should be perfect. I'm definitely channeling my great aunts/grandmother who squished themselves into girdles. LOL    Oh, and they were also having a BOGO sale so I got a second dress for free!!!

I finished the stitching on the Pioneer Girl's Book Etui last night. I had great intentions of completing the finishing on this but I'm too frazzled/out of sorts without my usual "finishing" set up. It will be on my growing list of things to do once I'm settled in the new digs.

Pin roll (top), Scissor fob (center) and thread winder (bottom)
 Next, I'm on to a Lizzie Kate Inspiration Boxer called Accept What Is ...... My husband saw this and really liked the saying...I did too! It goes "accept what is..let go of what was...have faith in what will be". It should be a fairly quick stitch. I need to learn to practice this in my daily life...words of wisdom!

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


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pioneer Girl Etui Progress

Quick update on the  Pioneer Girl Etui. I've finished stitching two more pieces, the scissor pouch and the second inside box lid (the first was our pre-stitch). Don't you love the little birdie in a cage? It reminds me of an old optical illusion "toy" (See

Here they are:

Top- inside box lid/ Bottom-scissor pouch
 That's it for today--heading out to meet some friends for lunch in Frederick, MD. Hopefully will be back soon with another update.

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


Monday, July 25, 2016

Baby, It's HOT, HOT, HOT

This heat wave has been quite beneficial to my stitching accomplishments. And that's about the only good thing I can say about it!!!! I don't tolerate these high temps very well....never have. I can remember, as a child, our welcoming front porch as a haven in the summer...perfect for reading, playing jacks and cutting out paper dolls. That was well before the days of A/C and I'm not sure how we ever survived the heat of those summers. Fans, popsicles, and cool washcloths on our heads at night! Now, I am extremely thankfuI for mechanical systems that can moderate our inside temps and keep me cool, calm and collected. So please mother nature, send some cooler temps our way!!!

Here is what I accomplished over the last few days, the book cover for the Prairie School Girl Etui...stitched as called for.

Now, it's back to stitching and binge watching Suits.

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


Friday, July 22, 2016

A New Project.....

A new project beginning is an exciting time. It is always a thrill to put that first stitch into the virgin piece of linen. This time is a little different. The piece I'm starting is called Pioneer Girls Book Etui by Betsy Morgan and it requires a little fabric manipulation before the actual "stitching" begins. The outside book cover is based on a training cloth on which school girls of old would practice their needlework. Since they don't make this training cloth anymore, we have had to create our own by removing horizontal linen threads and reweaving with a blue thread. I've spent the last couple nights doing just that!!! It was a little tedious (there were 16 lines to be rewoven) but soothing in a way. I did find using a size 28 petite needle made the "over and under" a bit easier. And that being said, I am HAPPY to be done with it!!!

Overall view

Close up of small section
 Here is a photo of the whole project so you can see where I'm heading.

I am now anxious to begin adding some color and motifs! Please stop back and follow my progress.

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


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Buzzing by................

with a bee-utiful hive. When I first saw this, I lusted after it, but it was a club piece, Queen Bee Needle Poke from Notforgotten Farm, and I was a little too late to the party. Luckily, I found it recently on the second hand market and was able to acquire it. Before I started, I had seen a post on FB where someone ( I'm pretty sure it was  Patti from the blog Winding Vine Wanderings) had tweaked the original design a bit. I was having an "issue" with the orange bee so I also changed mine to a very dark brown (DMC 3371--my go to substitute for black) and added an entry to the hive. I also changed one of the bands a bit to add back in some of the rusty color. I'll be attaching a bee button when I can unpack my stash and will have to wait to finish it then. All my plans to finish the Black Eyed Susan piece have gone up in smoke since I had PACKED the box!!! Oh well, the best laid plans!!! 

my version (following inspiration from FB)

original version
 Now it's back to my basket of goodies to pick out my next project!!!

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


Monday, July 18, 2016

A Little Catching Up.........

Greetings one and all. I'm doing a little catching up today. I had completed two projects back in May/June, but since they were gifts, I couldn't share (until gifted) and then promptly forgot about it until today! 

First up is ( I can't remember the exact title and chart is packed) a tiny thimble purse from With Thy Needle and Thread. I wasn't sure how this was going to "finish" but it wasn't that difficult....and yes glue was called for. I love the tiny buttons along the bottom.

Next up is Shepherd's Purse by Shepherd's Bush. I had stitched this back in the 90's and did it again (recipient is a SB lover) with some updates. I used silks from my stash and happened to have the sweet ceramic button too. I lucked out and had enough original beads for all the beading required!!! Here are the two versions side by on left, old on right.

Now a few of the newer version:
Front (closed)

Front (opened)
 I wanted to share the improvement in joining techniques. The original called for just whipping the sides together, which is what I did as I didn't know any better at the time. Now, after my classes with Betsy Morgan, I used her joining technique and I think it looks so much more polished! We certainly continue to grow with our stitching!!!

I have completed the stitching for the Black Eyed Susan project. I may try to see if I can manage to "finish" it with supplies/equipment I have on hand. We will see! The flower I'm using for the box bottom was a freebie chart I found on line and I'm using the "wrought by" tag in the top of the box. I really wish these would photograph better as the colors are so much more vibrant in person.

Ort ontainer (top) and thread keep (bottom)

Needles and Pins pages (left) box top tag (right)

Box bottom

I forgot to share this photo last time, but this is hanging on our bedroom wall ..... a true telltale sign this cabin has a 70's vibe!!!

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


Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Cabin in the Woods

Well, we closed on our house this past Monday and have moved on to our little cabin in the woods for the next two months. It's tight and it's cluttered----I think we brought way to much "stuff" not knowing what we'd need..or not. But it's only the hubby and me, so we'll be fine...and hopefully still talking on the other end. I think we're both looking for a little downtime after the frenzy of the last few months. I'm going to share a few photos of the cabin (this was before we moved in) because it is so cute and has a fabulous view out the back.

Do you get that 70's vibe??? My daughter is calling it a "Brady Bunch" house.

I have managed to get some stitching done this week. I brought a number of kits with me so I'd have everything I need together. I decided to start on one from Jackie Du Plessis called Black-Eyed Susans Workbox with Smalls. I thought it appropriate since I'm a Maryland girl (even though I've lived in other states) and it's the state flower. It's not a lot of stitching and I even thought I could get the finishing done. But, at the last minute, I decided to pack my finishing supplies, as it was just more "stuff" to bring. I may regret that decision!!!

I did make a mistake right out of the gate (that's my Preakness reference) and used the wrong color floss for the backstitching---it should have been the darker gold. But I think I like it this way and am cool with it. I did change the center of the flowers to a dark brown so they would be truly "black-eyed". So, here are the photos and I have to say upfront the fabric color is showing up MUCH lighter than it is. The fabric is a very beautiful, rich gold tone. (If I had my DMC color chart, I'd give you an approximation...but, of course, it is packed!!!  (I wonder how many times I'm going to say that over the next two months!)

Box liner band

bead storage roll

button bag

scissor fob

 Well, that's it for now. If it's hot where you are be careful and stay in the A/C. They are calling for temps in the 90's here for the next week.

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


Saturday, June 25, 2016


I'm having a little down time this morning so thought I'd swing by and do a quick post. It is full steam ahead here at Chez Buhrman. The first pod is packed and we are awaiting the "switch" on Monday. We made a quick trip to Richmond this week to store my needlework in a climate controlled unit. (If you ever need to do something like this, consider renting a cargo van from Enterprise rather than U-Haul. It was less expensive and the van was very nice with a comfortable seat.) We signed the lease on a small cabin, not far from us, to live for the next two months. I'm starting to see the "light at the end of the tunnel" least for this phase of the move. Two weeks to go and we're out of our home of the last 11 years.

 I have truly loved this house.....  it's layout and location. I've come to love the solitude and peacefulness. I wasn't sure at first, having always lived in a city, but I adjusted fairly quickly. I am adaptable and know I will readjust to city life when we get to Richmond. After all, I will have local needlework guilds, theater, Williamsburg,  every store and/or restaurant possible AND the number 1 draw.....the grandkids!!! We'll be able to attend their ball games, school functions and be a help when the two adopted children from Africa finally become a part of our family. So much to look forward to!!!

Today is a sad day. I am saying goodbye to my stitching "nest". This has been a perfect chair to "needle" in (and I'm going to replace it ASAP in Richmond); but it is also a small "sofa" style bed and is extremely heavy. We have never used the bed and felt it best to sell and replace on the other end. A fond farewell to a nice family!

On the stitching front, I have completed Nova!!!! Happy dancing all around!! I started this in March 1998 and made it through approximately 10 1/2 rows before putting it aside for other projects. It definitely got "lost in the shuffle" but I rediscovered it in January and committed to get it done by the end of 2016. I am WAY ahead of was like an Utz potato chip..."you can't eat just one"!!! I couldn't stitch just one and consequently achieved my goal sooner rather than later. Now to decide on a finish. I've googled "Nova" to try to get ideas and haven't seen much. I will most likely frame it; it's just so busy, I'm not sure how...with mats or without....what color mat, etc.. I'll have to ponder this a bit--I want to do it justice. Any suggestions would be welcome!

I immediately pulled out a new project ( I have a basket ready to go to our rental place with kits) and have started Black-eyed Susan's Work box and Smalls by Jackie DuPlessis. I have only done some back stitching, so won't bother to share at this point.

Well, I will stop now and get some more packing done for the next pod. Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship! 


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stop the World...I Want to Get Off!!!!

Well, a lot has happened since my last post. We have sold our house and found out the new one won't be ready until mid-September. So, I am busy looking for temporary housing, comparing movers, Pods and U-Haul for storage and moving, packing boxes, selling on Craig's List and FB, had two yard sales at our house and thinking...thinking...thinking!!! I feel like my mind is swirling around like a mix master and I was getting physically drained. Sweetly, my hubby insisted I go to my pre-planned Betsy Morgan classes at Salty Yarns last weekend to revitalize. I did have a very relaxing time and did my best NOT to think what I should have been doing at home. Betsy did her usual fantastic job of teaching and the team at Salty Yarns/ The Lankford took wonderful care of us. I even treated myself to a pedicure--I needed that!!! Now I am back on track and trying to take each day as it comes. We need to be out of here by July 11th (and that was asking for a two week extension). We think we have found a furnished home to rent not far from where we now live ( will see that next Monday). 

So, I'm sharing all this because I'm not sure when I'll post again--probably after we've moved to the temporary house. At that point there should be a lull of about 2 months before the frenzy begins again to move into the new house. On top of all this, my younger daughter in NC is getting married October 8th, so we want to be at least semi-settled in Richmond by then. 

I'm still stitching in the evenings, when I can keep my eyes open and that does provide some down time. We're thinking about renting a small unit in Richmond to store my stitching in a  climate controlled building since the Pods storage is not. I was afraid heat would buildup and cause moisture under the glass on my framed pieces. So, another thing to plan and check out, but well worth it as a preventative. I'm also working on packing a number of projects, kits mainly, that I can work on over the next couple months that are all inclusive. Hopefully I won't pack something I'll desperately NEED!!!

I will leave you now but will be back as soon as some order/sanity has returned to my life. Sorry if I seem to be rambling.......

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



Saturday, May 14, 2016

All this rain is getting a little old................

I know, we've needed this rain but, enough is enough!!! The yard sale got cancelled for the second time and now won't be rescheduled until the fall. We're scrambling to figure out what avenue to take now. We have quite a bit of decent stuff to get rid of! We live a bit out of town and feel most people won't drive out for just a single yard sale. But, I'm leaning towards doing it at our house next Saturday because a huge neighborhood near us is having their annual sale and people will be driving out for that. We'll see!!!

In the meantime, I've been working on some finishing, a little bit at a time, and was able to get my other Sherri Jones class completed. about sweet, sweet, sweet! The piece is the Afternoon Leisure Basket. It comprises two tiny "books", scissor sheath, pin pillow, pin keep and berry......all of which fits in a beautiful swing handle wooden basket with lovely stitched bottom sections. Here's the photos:

Overall shot in basket

Fronts of smalls

Back of smalls

Inside of book

Basket bottoms
Close up of darning stitch butterfly

Inside of second book
That's it for today. Hopefully we'll be drying out soon. Enjoy your weekend!

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