Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 - A Quick Recap and A Quick Look Forward

I can't believe that in a few short hours it's going to be 2011, can you?  Where has this year gone?  I can remember looking back when I was in high school and thinking that reaching this point in life would make me so old!!!  2011!!!  I think that we all thought that the world was going to end by this point!  LOL  Well, the world hasn't ended, but I've definitely gotten older - but I'm not old - at least in my mind!!!

Are you doing any celebrating tonight?   We're playing it real low key around here.  DH had shoulder surgery earlier this week, and as anyone knows who has had that type surgery, it's no walk in the park!  He's not the best patient sometimes though!!!

Anyway, I thought that I would do a quick look back at the year and a quick look forward - kind of.  So if you aren't into the year in review and hopes for the new year, you can go to the next blog.  But I thought it would be fun to look back at my blog someday and see what I accomplished this year.  Here's what I came up with:

Hoppin' Bunny, 20th Century Bullseye Quilt, Sarah Seifer, Quilt (I forgot the name)
Mary Corey, Buttons and Blooms for a Cure, Evil Serpent Sampler, Margaret Pence
Jenny Bean's Pincushion, Les Petite Lettres Rouge, Mary Little, Apple Tree Sampler
Yellow House Sample, Adam Alone, Sailboat Quilt, Farmer's Wife

I was a little startled by what I had accomplished as the later part of this year felt like I had been in the middle of a train wreck, but also a little disappointed by what I didn't get done this year.  You'll note that in the far right corner is Bailey sitting on the Farmer's Wife quilt pieces.  No, it's not done, but yet I feel like I had about 59 little finishes up to that point as some of those blocks were monsters!!!

I had so many good intentions of finishing up some of my WIPs.  Unfortunately I didn't get there, but I'm making them a priority this year!  Instead of trying to start 15 new projects in 15 days during January as some people are doing, I decided that I would have some new starts, but my priority was to finish some of these: (This is the part where I embarrass myself):

The Farmer's Wife, Susanna Lane,  Sarah Pope, And All Was For an Appil
Ann Medd, Hannah Lancaster, Bliss Quilt, Angel Song, Frances Eden

And there's more:

Marquoir de Justine, Mary's Best Handwork, Convent's Herbal Garden Shores of HRH, Elizabeth Clayton
Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, Provence, Village of HRH, Women's Voices Quilt, Red and Black Quilt

So now I've publicly embarrassed myself with showing the results of being a serial starter (and there may even be a few more lurking around here somewhere).  And I'd really like to get these cleaned up.  So no new 15 projects for me.  I wanted to join that challenge - I really did, but let's be realistic!  I've got more than enough going on here!   Now before you think that I'm not going to start anything,  I do have to have my New Year's Day start (in fact, I'm going to have two - don't tell!  LOL) - Elizabeth Sheffield and Jane Atkinson.  Big ones.  I really wish that I'd learn to stitch smaller things!  And I'll add new ones during the year as I finish up some of the old ones.  I think that's what keeps us happy stitchers - having new things to start (and in my case - not finish)!!!

And I do have a couple things that really want to accomplish in the coming year:

Mirabilia Mermaid for my sister
Civil War Tribute Quilt (BOM) (will not be finished during the year)
Civil War Chronicles Quilt (BOM) (will not be finished during the year)
Sylvia's Bridal Quilt (BOM) (will not be finished during the year)
Ann Medd - the poor girl needs to be finished and framed - she's been lurking around here for FIVE years!
Start the Dear Jane Quilt (will definitely not be finished in the new year)
Start the Nearly Insane (yeah, this definitely fits my character)
Ann Hicks Sampler
Mary Allen Sampler
And about 100 other samplers!!!  LOL  I have a list, but I'm not going to publish it.

So there you have it - no real big commitments - just try to finish up what I can.  I'm hoping to get half those WIPs finished (both stitching and quilting), but I'm not going to kill myself doing it.  I know that things will pop up during the year and I'll go back to my hopeless starting of new projects.  But you know what?  That's what keeps it fun.  But it will also be fun to see actually how many of these projects I can complete during the year.

Have you made resolutions for the New Year?  I've made not a one except to finish up some of these things.  Like my stitching, I procrastinate on resolutions so I've found it's best not to even make them.  But how about you?  Have you made any resolutions?

Well, this is a quick post and I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year and thank you for all your friendships, kind comments and words of encouragement throughout the year.  They have truly meant a lot of to me.

(and don't forget about my giveaway.  I'll draw a winner on Tuesday!!!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bad Blogger, Taking a Breath and a Giveaway

I know, I know - I've been a bad blogger.  I'm so sorry!  When I got into my Reader yesterday, I almost fell over by the amount of posts that I'm behind on!!!  Oh my goodness - all the fun that I've missed out on reading.  But bear with me - I'm going to try to catch up.  Since I got back from NY it seems like the days have just flown by with preparations for Christmas and the shopping.  It seems like it's just zoomed by.  But now that the kids are home and the shopping is done,  I can finally catch up.

Is everyone ready for Christmas?  I think I am.  I say that because I know that in a day or two I'm going to remember something that I have forgotten.  No matter how many lists I make, I always forget something.  But I think I'm ready!  Presents are wrapped.  Shopping done (I think).  So now I can take a breath.  I always get anxious that I won't find what I want or they'll be sold out of the thing my kids always seem to ask for that is this year's "got to have it" thing that everyone else is looking for.  But I think I'm done.

In all the hustle and bustle of trying to get ready for the holidays, I managed to get a little more stitching done on Susanna.

Susanna Lane
The Scarlett Letter

I really love working on her with the bright colors and the satin stitch portions, but the fabric is a little hard to stitch on.  I'm using unbleached linen and some of the colors are a little difficult to see on the fabric.

You can see some of the satin stitching in the flower in the border.  The colors are a little off on this as it's cloudy here today as usual.  But I think that all the pictures are clickable to get a better look at it.  I also figured out one of the reasons why my stitching has been so slow lately.  Mr.  Bailey.  Before he came into our household, I could get up early on the weekends and get a good three hours of stitching in the mornings.  But since he's been here - the minute you get up - he's up too and he won't leave you alone.  But this morning, low and behold, I got a couple hours of stitching in without him bothering me.  Do you think it will last?  I'll keep my finger's crossed!!!  

There was no quilting this week!  Hopefully next week when everything slows down after Christmas and the kids are sleeping in.  I know that the Farmer's Wife blocks are due to show up soon, so maybe I'll be able to knock those off.

Before all the shopping this week, our Guild had it's annual Christmas Party last Sunday and it was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, the weather was not.  It dumped a good 8" inches in my part of the world and driving there and back (about 100 miles round trip) was not the easiest drive I've been on.  It still looks like this around here today as it's been so cold the snow hasn't had a chance to melt.  And another 2-4" are predicted on Tuesday.  I think we'll definitely have a White Christmas around here!!

And of course, they don't plow our street, so it's always fun trying to drive around.  Anyway, at our Guild Luncheon we had what my daughter calls a White Elephant.  Is that what it's called?  Everyone brings a gift - in this case it was to be a vintage item.  Then everyone picks a number and you start at Number 1.  That person picks a gift.  Then Number 2 goes and can either take Number 1's pick or pick a new one.  I'm sure everyone has played this at some time.  Well, this is what I came home with - Happy Dance:

This was the gift that Terri brought to the party.  Someone had picked her gift and it was sitting in their hot little hands.  Now mind you, there were some very nice gifts there and many more to be opened, but I had to have it.  I didn't think that I had a snowballs chance in you-know-where of holding on to her, but no one took her so I came home with her.  I just love her - and she's blue - what's not to like?????

Then as luck would have it, when I wasn't even looking, I scored a major find for my craft room.  I've wanted one, but then again, if I put more things in my craft room, I'm not going to have any room to move. But I went up to strip mall to pick up some things for my husband for Christmas (so I'm blaming this on him, don't you know), and in that strip mall is a Home Goods.  Yes, one of those stores that I just can't stay out of.  Well, actually, I was looking for something in there, but then I came around the aisle and not really watching where I was going - you know - head in one direction and body going in the other direction - I almost knocked this over:

So it came home with me.  I told DH this was my Christmas present since I put it on his charge!  LOL

I've been trying to put together a list of things that I want to accomplish in 2011.  I don't know if I'm going to stick with this list, but I'm sure going to give it a try.  I'd publish the list, but since I've never been known to stick to a list I won't post it here.  Maybe in my sidebar at some point.  I made up a list of 15 projects that I want to get finished this year.  Seven projects are WIPs and eight of them are new - but ones that I have the supplies for.  No buying new things (yeah right!).  My main focus is Ann Medd though.  She was my New Year's start in 2005 and I think her time has come.  I won't post a picture of it now because I've done that before.  I'll post a pic and a progress pic when I pick her up again.  But I will have a New Year's start.  It was hard to figure out which one to do, but I ended up deciding on another Adam and Eve of the Rhode Island kind:

Elizabeth Sheffield
The Scarlett Letter

I don't think that this picture does it justice because when I pulled the colors I was in love.  I also noticed that this sampler is on exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum in New York.  I would love to see it in person, but that's one of the museums that always seems to be closed on Mondays.  Maybe next year.

Anyway, in making my lists of what I'd like to get accomplished next year - WIPs and new things, I started digging around.  I keep a tote bag next to my chair with small projects in it hoping that this year I'll do some smaller things:

Okay, now I know that I collect a lot of stitching stuff, but when I went through the bag I found two Tombstone Angels by Kelmscott Designs, so I decided to have a giveaway since it's the Season of Giving.  The giveaway is for the pattern which comes with the hornbook and the trim.  I'll add in the fabric, batting and Belle Soie silk.  I'll also add the pincushion/scissor keep that's sitting next to the pattern.

Besides the pincushion/scissor keep (scissors included), I'll add in a bunch of other things to make it fun - I'm not sure what they'll be yet, so it will be a surprise even to me!  I'll pick a name on TUESDAY, JANUARY 4TH and the giveaway is open to all my followers no matter where they live.   Just leave a comment that you would like to win and also, let me know what your favorite on-line needlework store is.  :o)

I still have a tiny bit of decorating to do - no heavy lifting - just some things I want to put out.  One was my feather tree that I've collected little ornaments for.  Well, those ornaments won't go on this year - my darling daughter has decided to decorate it in her own style:

Yes, a Barbie Tree.  Not quite what I had in mind, but the ornaments fit on it perfectly!   And speaking of my daughter, she's still asleep and I need to wake her up.  We have some major baking to do this afternoon:

If you ever come across this cookbook-  run, don't walk to buy it.  I don't know if it's in print any longer, but it's got the best cookie recipes I've ever found.  Not a bad recipe in it!  Ymmmm!

On the College front, DS found out that he has been placed on the Deferred list for the University of Michigan.  You can imagine his disappointment, but as I told him, it's not a Rejection - they do see the potential in him.  So now it's decision time for him - does he want to wait until April to hear for sure, or take one of the other schools' offers?  Time will tell!!

So that's it from my part of the snowy woods.  I can't wait to catch up on all of your blogs, see what you're doing for your holidays and your decorating.  And your stitching and projects, of course!

This time of year always makes me reflect on the year past and with blogging, all the wonderful people that I've "met" or actually have met, the friendships I've formed and the emails of friendship and gifts that I've received.  I am so happy that I have met so many of you and hope that in the coming year and years, I can have the opportunity to get to know more of you better.  It truly amazes me that there are so many people out there who share their love of stitching through their blogs and who share their words of encouragement.   And I thank you for your comments and words of encouragement.  They do mean so much to me!  Now I need to be a good blogger and return those encouraging words to you.

I wish everyone a safe, healthy, peaceful and blessed holiday!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some Framing, Some Stitching and Some Quilting - But Not a Lot!!

Don't you find that this time of year puts a real cramp on all things crafty?  It seems to for me - so much shopping, decorating, etc.  I usually love the holidays, but this year it's like trying to drag a cat to water to get me in the holiday spirit.  Perhaps I need a trip to the mall to see decorations or hear the music, but it's been so cold around here I hate even sticking my head out the door!!   Maybe part of it is that now that my kids are older, their Christmas lists are smaller (although not necessarily cheaper), and they don't hold Christmas in awe like they used to.  I honestly miss those days!!

Anyway, a while ago I picked up some framing and forgot to post it.  I don't know how that happened, but the past couple months have been rather crazy with family things and my trip, so without further ado:

The Yellow House Sampler
Sheepish Designs

I went with a very simple frame for this one and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, although I think that I would have liked the frame to come a little closer to the design.  Anyway, another step closer to the A&E wall.  I was going to try to take a picture of this outside for a real artsy fartsy shot, but like I said, it's cold out there and the wind is blowing like crazy!

I worked a little more on Frances Eden:

Not the best pictures because it's draped over the scroll rods and when I took the picture it was one of those cloudy days.  I was getting a little worried though and went a little further down along the house because as you can see, I'm getting dangerously close to the bottom edge.  There is still a few more stitches to go to the bottom of the house and then wording underneath it.  I think that I'm going to make it though with about 1-1/2 inches to spare.  Whew!!  I usually leave 3 inches.

But in my true fashion, Frances just wasn't holding my attention any longer so I jumped back to this:

Susanna Lane
The Scarlett Letter

I don't know why she's been calling to me so much, but I am loving working on this again.  

Have you been reading about the 15 Project Challenge - work on a new project each day for the first 15 days of January?  Oh my gosh, pure lunacy!  LOL  I've got at least 16 WIPs in the pile and I can't imagine adding 15 more!  But, I've kind of gotten myself caught up in the 15 Project Challenge.  I'm not going to do it in the normal way though - I picked 7 WIPs to work on during the year, and picked 8 newer projects (most smaller that the BAPs I work on) to hopefully complete or get near completion by the end of the year.  And the newer projects I can't buy things for - it's got to be in my stash - okay, maybe a thread or two if I run out, BUT, no kitting of new projects!  That in itself is a challenge for me - not to buy anything!  LOL  I'm still working my way through my list picking out my challenges for the year and I'll post it when I've got it figured out.

On the quilting front, I'm caught up once again with the Farmer's Wife blocks!  Yahoo!  These were so easy peasy that I almost cried in relief after the past few months of blocks:

Please excuse any sneaker threads that made their way into the pictures.  But I'm doing such a happy dance.  Only six more installments to go!!!!  I can't wait to get this baby together!!

From there I was going to start cutting out something new, but then common sense came over me (wow, that doesn't happen very often), and I decided to go back to one already in progress - actually two.

Remember this:

Well, I decided that I should finish this one up, along with my Women's Voices Civil War Quilt to get a couple quilt WIPs out of the way too (and yes, I do have a Challenge List for those also for next year).  But anyway, this is as far as I got:

The first borders fussy cut out and not a rotary cutter in sight for the next blocks to go around the quilt.  Sheesh!  I was also going to cut out the remainder of these:

Never got there.  But both these are on the top of my 2011 quilting hit list (along with three BOM's that I signed up that are starting next year - but we won't talk about those!).  :o)

So besides a little stitching and quilting and trying to get ready for the holidays, that's been about it.  I did find a couple little somethings at one of my favorite haunts - Home Goods.  I was suppose to be shopping at the mall across the street, but like quilt shops, antique stores and cross stitch stores, my car has a mind of it's own and I end up going where I'm not suppose to.  But I found a couple cute things:

A cute birdcage inspired rack for hanging miscellaneous things from with clothespins.  I had seen one of these in Utah when Jolene and I were wandering around and I wanted it, but it wasn't for sale.  This one is a little smaller, but it will do the trick.

This mannequin.  I thought it was different from the usual ones I see so I snatched it up.  I think that I'm going to put a coat of white paint on it and then rough it up a little to make it look more vintage.

So that's it for me this time around.  I'm off to check blogs now.  I was doing so, so well for a few days, and then life got in the way and I've fallen way far behind again.  But I hate missing out on anything.  I see so many wonderful things that everyone is working on.  That's probably why I'm having a hard time coming up with my challenge list.  Each and every day I see something, like Cari's recently framed June Morning - it's gorgeous!!! - (check it out along with the rest of the framing she recently had done) - and I know that I have to add it to the list.

Until next time, take care and I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!