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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mourning Samplers

I never really gave this concept a lot of thought but there is a thread on Legacy about mourning samplers. I guess they were, well, too morbid for me to even consider. I've never liked the *tombstone samplers* as my son refers to them. But recently I've decided that maybe I would *research* them just in case I wanted to memorialize my parents. I came up with the following samplers that I think I could live with and would reflect who my parents were when they were alive.

My Dad was a US Navy veteran, so I came across a French sampler called Armada. Here's a picture of it:

Dad never tired of telling Navy stories and he was quite proud of his service time. So I thought this sampler was fitting for him. I will lengthen the sampler and personalize it with his Navy service record.

I chose this sampler for my Mom from Homespun Elegance called Nellie's Garden Revisited.

Her name was Nellie and she was an old fashioned gal. This sampler, to me, has a very homespun quality about it. My Mom was a stay at home mom who lived for her family.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A gift from PattiNH

A few days ago, I came home to the nicest surprise. Patti in NH made me the teensiest scissor fob just because she was thinking of me. I admired her fob that she posted on her blog and wished that I had enrolled in the Essey & Friends club that Elegant Stitch was promoting for Breast Cancer research. Patti decided to make me one. I was deeply touched by her thoughtfulness. THANKS PATTI!!! Here it is...

I am very happy and touched that she would think so much of me. It came at a great time cause Thanksgiving was tough this year. My brother and his family didn't come here to spend the weekend with us. Usually, he would bring Dad with him to spend the holiday with us. So we went to friends for an early dinner and then home in the early evening to a very quiet house.

So you see, this little token of cheer did much to lift my spirits!

My contribution to the SBEBB Lottery

Here is my Lottery piece for the Stitching Blogger's Exchange BB Lottery.

It's a freebie design from Rainbow Gallery. I changed the fibers to Weeks overdyes. It was a nice piece to stitch. Finishing though, wasn't so nice. My sewing machine and I do not get along.

Do you like it?

Karin's Ornament

Karin in Ireland made me the cutest snowman ornament for the ornament exchange on the Stitching Blogger's Exchange BB.
Here it is! TA-DA-A-A-A!!!!

Isn't it adorable? I have it hanging from a peg on my kitchen shelf. Thanks, Karin, I LOVE IT!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Karin's Christmas exchange came!

Karin had my name for the Christmas ornament exchange on the Stitcher's Blogger exchange board. She sent me the cutest snowman ornament and a boatload of goodies! I got chocolate (yum), mauve fabric, mauve Threadgather silk and gold and mauve sparkley fibers, mince pies, cute candycane and snowmen charms and a beautiful card with a nice handwritten note inside. I was thrilled to get it and later I will post pictures cause it's very dark in my house right now. Plus, it's littered with boys. Mike had 3 of his buddies come over for a video game party and you can just imagine what my family room looks like. I think I am living in a frat house! Oh, I don't mind, it's been such a wonderful 10 days having Mike home from college. I can't believe he is going back tomorrow. But only for 3 weeks and then he will be home for almost a month for Christmas break.

Stitching wise, I finished my Lottery piece, I will also post pictures of it later. It's a cute snowman design. And I also finished my Sampler House exchange piece. I got word that Aniza received her redwork piece and I am waiting for Leena to get her Sampler House II piece. Nancy's autumn exchange should go in the mail this week too, I wanted to make something special for her cause she has been so nice to me. Then I will be ALL caught up and I can stitch a couple of small gifties for some special people. I may paint too....hmmm...

Well, stay tuned for photos!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great day spent with family and friends! And LOTS of turkey! Please don't forget to give thanks for all the blessings that rain down from Heaven! I am particularly thankful for all the friends that I have met through the Stitchers Blogger Exchange BB and through my blog. I love all of you and my life certainly has been enriched because of all of you!

Our family went to friends for dinner, it was so nice! I brought the pies and one of their dogs ate the remainder of the apple pie! We all went down to the family room and we could hear doggie paws upstairs in the kitchen but we weren't sure what *Blue* was up to...well, he was up to NO GOOD! My friend found him sitting on a kitchen chair chowing down on the pie. He left not a crumb.

It snowed here today too, so the roads were pretty slippery coming home. And cold too! It was 8 degrees!!! Once we got home, I changed into my jammies and climbed into my stitching chair. I am finishing up my Lottery exchange piece. I actually created a phototrail account so I can post pictures. The url is: WWW.joaniestitch/ Check it out! It's just a beginning but hey now that I figured out how to download photos from my camera and upload them onto this account, there should be pictures to view.

I am thinking about next year's stitching. I will be doing a couple of well spaced exchanges but I really want to concentrate on finishing up some of my WIPS. I also want to work on a couple of smaller pieces because most of my WIPs are BAP. I also will be working on Sarah Tatum as a part of a SAL on Legacy. It's going to be a fun stitch. Anyway...those are my thoughts for now.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Well, dear blog readers, I apologize for not posting much sooner than now, our family has been very busy this last week.

Mike is home from RIT for the holiday, he came in last Tuesday cause his quarter ended and he finished up his finals early too! Got grades, 4 A's, 3 B's and a (sigh of relief from all of us) a C in chemistry. Plus, he was nominated for Cadet of the Quarter in ROTC Airforce.

We are planning a large remodeling job for our house too, we met with the contractor to start to pick out things, wow, was I overwhelmed! Siding styles, colors, materials! We did decide on a type of siding and a beautiful front door with leaded glass inserts - it's gorgeous! But next is windows and tile...yikes!!

We went to see Harry Potter too, I loved the movie, it's very dark film...shot in greys and browns and blues...the acting is top notch and the cinematography is beautiful. I wouldn't take a child to see this one though, it's scary in parts.

On the stitching front, I finished my Christmas ornie exchange piece, it's going down under. The rest are in process. I am waiting for confirmation that my redwork and Sampler House II exchange piece made it to Malaysia. I hate mailing international. Once it leaves the States, the PO has NO control over it. So I am on pins and needles (no pun intended) waiting and waiting.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

It's been a good stitching weekend!

Over the course of the weekend, I have made a big dent in a lot of my stitching. I have completed and assembled 3 pieces! Woohoo! I hate to assemble anything, I am sewing challenged and they never look good enough to me. But each time I make something they look a little bit better. I am not posting pictures of them, they have to do a fair bit of traveling before I can unveil anything.

I bought a bunch of new patterns from Wyndhamneedlework. I really have no business buying MORE, I have such a stash now. But I couldn't resist. I bought Sampler Cove's new Quaker, Grace. It's very beautiful. I love Quakers. I also bought some Carriagehouse Samplings designs, those little alphabet ones, K is for Keys, Q is for Queen, the Goode Huswife's Pennsylvania Quilt Pincushion, One Blue Bird, Eliza Ann Pomeroy,Fanny Erb's Sampler. I would love to start all of them but I will wait until next year. I decided that I would just finish out the year with the exchanges. Upon much reflection, I decided that instead of obsessing over what NEEDS to be done I would treat those pieces with JOY and enjoy the process. They will no longer be thought of as *obligations*. Yes, there is a commitment that goes with them but I will not link *obligation* with work. I stitch because I love to and no matter if I am keeping the piece or giving it to someone who will enjoy it, I will find joy in my stitching no matter what I am creating.

Also, I am beginning to formulate a plan for my craftroom. The 3rd bedroom has always been my room to do decorative painting. Since I have my Dad's bedroom set now, I am moving furniture around. I moved Mike's dresser into my craftroom to store my fabric and I bought some storage units for patterns and paint. A bookshelf for a small library of stitching related books. There is much to do to get organized. It will be a good winter's project.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Biting off more than I can chew

I am still plugging along on my exchanges. I appreciate Leena and Nancy who are being very patient while I finish up their pieces and take care of everything else in my life. It's been quite a ride these last few months. I feel very bad that I got behind and I am worried about my stitching *reputation*. So to those stitchers, please accept my apologies and please realize that this has been one of the worst times of my life. I miss my Dad very much and there are days when I just go through the motions.

I've been thinking of my stitching goals for next year. Around this time of the year, I take a peek at my goals and accomplishments. I have to say, I am not really good at planning my stitching, I tend to go with the flow of things. I do a great deal of planning at work so I have a tendency not to *plan* things outside of work. It's not to say that I don't make lists or try to set goals but stitching is supposed to be relaxing and not work, right? So now, with all the obligation stitching, I am up to my neck in lists and goals and plans. It's a necessity for me to do that to stay on top of it all but I am not enjoying stitching right now. I am feeling a lot of pressure and that is sapping my the joy of stitching *lovelies* for my stitching pals.

So here is a listing of my stitching musings....tell me what you think.

1. I listed all my WIPS, I have 28! YIKES!!!!! I didn't think that I had THAT many! So one of my new goals will be to finish 2 of them that are closest to being finished. That would be Drawn Thread's Welcome Spot and Real Roses. Both of them only have about 8 hours of stitching to complete. I got hung up with the roof on the house on Welcome Spot and I wanted to make the boy into a man on Real Roses to represent our family.
2. Then I will pick out one that's not as far along and work on it. I would like to work on either Carriagehouse Samplings, Wild Roses, or Moira Blackburn's Time and Seasons.
3. I want to start Sarah Tatum on December 31st, I always start a new piece on New Year's Eve.
4. I want to also do a couple of small pieces.
5. I also need to limit my obligation stitching. I love the exchanges but I also have a ton of stash (and I recently acquired MORE!!!) so I need to concentrate on stitching it.
6. I have plans for *sampler walls*. I would like to have a Quaker wall, a wall of reproduction samplers with houses, a wall of samplers with biblical verses, a wall of the Chester County samplers and a wall of french alphabet samplers in red or black.

I didn't do well with accomplishments this year, I finished a few things but not as much as I would have liked to finish. I framed Drawn Thread's Happy Halloween and Bent Creek's Blackbird Sampler. But I've also decided that stitching is not a *goal oriented* activity so I'm not going to obsess over not completing as much as I would have liked to complete.

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Redwork exchange piece from Helene in France

Helene sent me the most wonderful little hangup. It's the cutest redwork piece ever, and I am so pleased to have received it from her. It's too precious!

Thank you so much, Helene, it came at a perfect time as I have been a little *blue*.

I LOVE IT!!! Don't you?