Monday, November 30, 2009

A little Christmas decorating & some mail arrives

Hello everybody! First off I must apologize for not posting the handmade gift idea on Friday. I have had lots of things on my mind. We went shopping for some stuff, not Christmas shopping per sey, and the city was so crazy! I have forgot about the Friday posts I guess with the guys being gone and all. I promise I will post this Friday!
I hope those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving, that you had a wonderful one. Ours was slow and easy. We decided to stay home and have our own this year and it was very relaxed. The only things I had to do was make a pecan pie the night before and stuffing the day of. Hubby took care of everything else! Here is the wonderful bird he cooked.

It was a 23lb. turkey and we have lots leftover up in the freezer for other nights.
I also got some wonderful mail. I received this beautiful ornament from the lovely Sadie It is LHN's Holly & Berries and is so so pretty! She added a very pretty cording with gold and deep red around the edge and she chose the perfect fabric for the back that had cardinals on it. Thank you so so much for the beautiful ornament and for all the hard work! I'll treasure it always my friend!

I dabbled with some ornament making this weekend. I will be making a few others for the little tree in the kitchen. So far I have a cookie and a little s'more man done. Here was the outcome.

Up on the Housetop.... that was the song that was going through my head when I went outside to check on the guys to see how the outside lights were coming along. I brought them out some hot chocolate. It was quite nippy outside while they were putting up the lights. It had started to rain before they got them all up so the rest of the lights will wait 'til later this week when they have a chance.

....and here's the tree. Still have room for ornaments from a couple of other exchanges and the tree will be all set. I just can't get a good closeup shot of the whole shabang so maybe I will take closeups of sections later. We even have a few presents under there already! There're kind of tucked away in the back.

I had wanted to make a tree skirt this year but we couldn't stand to fight the crowds at Jo-Ann's the other day. Hubby thought that a fabric store wouldn't be busy on the day after Thanksgiving! I told him that he must not know women very well and he said that no he didn't . We got there and it was almost wall to wall shoppers. There was a lady there that was practically crying because they wouldn't give her a certain percent off of something she wanted just because she had driven a hundred miles (so she said and no one believed her) to get there. I'll tell ya , the nutcases really come out this time of year don't they?

Well, that's it in a nutshell! Thank you all for all of your nice comments on American Star. Now I just need to figure out a way to finish it.

'til next time,

happy stitching,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

American Star

Hello everyone! Just a quick post to show my finish of American Star from Blackbird Designs. I had most of the stitching of it done for quite some time. I just needed to fill in the background. I finally got around to finishing that part over the last couple of days. I think I will finish this into a stitching box of some sort. For lack of space, I store my stitching and other crafting supplies in the family/game room. Because of that I try to disguise my storage containers with stuff that will fit the room nicely without looking to hodge- podge. I say "try", I'm not quite there yet. It's a small room that is actually an exta bedroom with two entrances. There is no bed in there, just family stuff. The things that stick out like a sore thumb in there are my stackable drawer units. I have no place to put them. I'd take a picture for all of you crafty people so I could get ideas on how to disguise those, but it's such a hideous mess right now, I'd be too embarassed! The projects that I will be focusing on between now and Christmas is getting my winter stitching done and finishing up Alex's quilt.It's a not a Christmas present so no need to worry about him visiting my blog. I may get around to making a tree skirt too that I have wanted to make for some time now. Here's hoping this is the year! I won't be doing quite as much stitching for a while other than that. I need to give my eyes a break, the eye doctor informed me yesterday that the iritis has reared it's ugly head again. I'm not a bit surprised, it's been a real bugger to deal with.

Anyway, here is the American Star.

'til next time,
Happy Stitching,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Some finishes to share

Greetings all! Well the guys are back from the deer hunting trip so that means I get to use the camera again! Yeah!! For all of those who are wondering, nope ,no deer :( . There is still the muzzle loading season and the atlerless season, so hopefully then. While they were gone I did a lot of decluttering and also I got a lot of stitching done. Since I was excited that I got to have the camera ,I thought I would take some pictures of the things I've stitched. I worked a bit on Alex's flannel quilt too ,but I'll save a picture of it for when I get it done.
First , here is the Be Ye Thankful that I won from Jolene all finished. I decided to finish it in slip on style for a pillow . That way I can stitch other things for other seasons and be able to keep using the same pillow base. The cases will store a lot easier than a ton of pillows.

Here is a little closer look. The camera isn't taking very clear pictures, I think it is getting old.

Jolene is just full of surprises! I went to check my mail the other day and low and behold I find a package from her! Inside was a Pine Mountain Designs pillow sham that I have been wanting for a long time. Even though Halloween had already passed , I couldn't resist stitching it up. These things go so fast, it only took me the part of a couple of days to do. I love the way it turned out! Thanks dear one! I had so much fun with it!

Next is my version of I Love Snow from Bent Creek. The pattern was gifted to me from Dee She is my Monday great blog shout out today. If you like knitting as well as stitching , you will love her blog. I've enivous of her Catherine socks. I really like Dee's color choices for the nose and cheek better than the pattern colors that I used. I'm thinking about taking those out before getting him into finished form. Thank you so much for the pattern Dee. I loved stitching this little guy!

I also got the Rose Sampler from Little House Needleworks done. I stitched it on some wonderful pink linen from Silkweavers that I recieved from my beCAUSE It's Pink partner. Thanks again Caroline! This was the perfect linen for this. I will make it into a project keeper/ stitching pouch. I have the perfect fabric for it, just got to get it into finished form.

Hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks everyone for commenting on the quilt. I really appreciate it.

'til next time,


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just a quick 'Hi'

Hello everybody! This is just a quick little post so that you all don't forget who I am! Below is a picture that I have had on the computer for a while but don't think I've ever shared on the blog. It is a quilt I made a few years back called 'For All Those Scrappy Times'. It was a McCall's Quilting pattern and though it was a simple pattern to do, it turned into a nightmare! I spent a few years collecting fabrics for it,no big deal there. Then when I had together all the fabrics I wanted to use , I followed the cutting instructions and cut my fabric. Well , they made a cutting 'error' and that caused a huge waste of fabric. Well , no so much a waste as I could use that fabric at some point for another quilt, just not the one I wanted to use it on. I contacted them, let them know my problem, and they stated that in the following issue they had made a 'correction'. Well a lot of good that did me. I mean who buys every single issue of a particular quilting magazine? I for sure don't! They appologized and said that all they could do was send me a free issue and took my name and address. Well , they didn't even do that. I contacted them several weeks later and asked them where my magazine was and no response whatsoever. I still have never bought another one of their magazines. Call me petty ,but I was really upset about it. Since I had had the fabrics for awhile , by the time I went to purchase fabric again to finish cutting the quilt, the original fabric choice was no longer available. As it turns out, the new fabric I bought I liked much better than the first . That led me to finding a new fabric designer that I just love, Sandy Gervais.

Sorry there's not much detail in this picture. I'll probably get around to taking a better one eventually. The dark blue fabric for the hour glass block is from the Stitches on the Oregon Trail collection from Kansas Troubles, another favorite fabric designer of mine. The yellow/gold print is the fabric from Sandy Gervais but I can't for the life of me remember what that collection was. Any guesses out there?

Ok, ok, so this wasn't such a quick post after all ! Sorry!

'tll next time,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Greetings everyone! I just wanted to kind of update you all . I know I haven't been posting but I really don't like to write posts without pictures. The guys are still in the woods deer hunting and as far as I know ( or they get a deer, fingers crossed) they will be there through the weekend. I have mentioned before that they took the camera with them to the woods, but I'll mention it again incase someone missed that post. Because of that , there will be no gift idea this Friday either. Hard to write a tutorial post without pictures. ; ) The guys will be in town for a while today as they had to come back for a funeral. My husband's cousin passed away from cancer but it was still somewhat of a surprise to everyone that he had passed away so soon as he was not yet at the stage that most are when they pass away from it. He was such a sweet man.

While the cats away the mice will play right? While the guys have been gone, I've been busy stitching of course. I have also been busy doing lots of cleaning and decluttering. Very hard to do when someone is around to say 'oh I was saving that'. LOL! I have also been busy planning Thanksgiving and where we will be putting the tree this year and other Christmas decorating. I won't pull a thing out until after Thanksgiving though. We never decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed.We don't like to overshadow the holiday. I do want to have a little quilted turkey banner done for Thanksgiving, but with it being only a week away, I highly ,highly doubt it. Oh well, another time perhaps.

I probably won't have another post until after I have the camera to use. Posts look so 'empty' without pictures don't they?

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on the last post. I appreciate that you take the time to read my ramblings.

'til next time,
Happy Stitching,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A couple of finishes

Hello everyone! I have a couple of finishes that I wanted to share with you. This first one is of the acorn pattern that is an extra pattern on the Cross-Eyed Cricket Be Ye Thankful chart that I won from Jolene. I plan on finishing it either as a basket lid or shaker box top. Not sure which yet but Thanksgiving is right around the corner so I need to decide soon.

This next one is a freebie pattern from Primitive Traditions and Needlework Press. It was intended by the designers to be stitched with a shade of blue from Crescent Colours with the word 'persevere' at the bottom . I omitted the word and used Crescent Colours Wild Berries for the the flower and a dark olive shade from DMC for the bottom. I stitched it on 32 count lambswool linen. I was hoping that the color changes would make it look like a poinsetta and I think it pretty much does. I then made it into an ornament . The fabric in the background is what I used for the backing. I don't know if you can tell much in the picture but the backing fabric is mistle toe and has a little sparkle to it. I made a two color cording out of an olive green shade and a dark red shade from DMC, specifically 3051 and 221. I like the way it turned out. Simple but elegant at the same time.

Here's a little close up.

Not much to write about today. I got extremely busy this past week and didn't get a chance to work on the Friday homemade gift idea. I won't be able to do it tomorrow morning either as the guys will be in the deerwoods and they are taking the camera. So unless I dig up some pictures of past projects, I won't have anything to show for a post either so I may not be posting for a few days. :( Sorry about not having the time to think ahead this week and not have anything to post tomorrow like I had scheduled. I must make it up by coming up with a really good gift idea to make up for it.

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful posts. They are so appreciated!

'til next time,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Have you heard the news??

I was at my local quilt shop today and one of the women that work there told me that Weeks Dye Works is going colorfast!! I was thrilled to hear the news. She said that they are going to be changing their labeling ,but until they do, if you pick up a skein of Weeks and it has a red dot on the name card, that means that it was from their colorfast batch. Now I would imagine that their competitors would follow suit to keep the customers coming back. If they were wise they would. Didn't know if any of you had heard this and thought I would pass it on. Now lets hope it's not a nasty rumor! LOL!

'til next time,
happy stitching,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some Fall baking ...and a few pics

Hello everyone! Well I was in the kitchen yesterday and started to get a whif of bananas. I looked in the bowl and sure enough the banana peelings were getting pretty brown. It was banana bread making time. Alex and I had a quick home ec lesson in bread making. We whipped up a simple but good recipe and tossed in some chopped walnuts. An hour later we had this wonderful loaf of banana-nut bread. I'm not a huge banana bread fan but it was really pretty good.

I finished my own strawberry a couple of days ago. It didn't turn out as nice as the one I made for Jolene. It will do though. I didn't take the time to make the pins. I may do that while the guys are away.

I've been working on a pinon pines quilt from designer/quilter Robert Callaham for quite some time now. I will get back to it, but I was in need of something for our bedroom windows. I made some valances using some of the same fabrics from the quilt to make prairie points along the bottom. I didn't want to make them very full as I wanted the prairie points to show nicely, however , I think that's why the header won't stand up nicely.I didn't realize until after I had taken the picture that I really need to clean the mini-blinds. Hopefully you can't see that in the picture!!

Here's a little closer look.

Well that's it today. Thanks for all of your nice comments. You all are great!!

'til next time,

Happy Stitching!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Whirlwind state of mind

Greetings all! Today's great site is John's blog over at I know that this isn't a stitching blog , but I also know that there are a lot of you that are into more types needlework besides just stitching. John is very talented and if you like what I call "the new wave of quilting", you'll enjoy his blog. He will show you that it's not your Grandmother's quilting anymore.
I know I missed a few days posting last week. Our lives have been pretty eventfull. We witnessed a robbery and had to go through the details with the police. We've been trying to double up on school since the guys will be in the deer woods for a week and a half. We've been busy running to this sale and that to get what they need. We had to replace the front tires on the car, so there went my spending money for the beautiful yarn that was on sale! We learned that a friend's breast cancer has returned after seven years of remission and we also found out that my husband's aunt has lung cancer in both lungs. So my mind has been... well ... occupied. I have given myself some time to breathe though. During those times I have done some stitching at least.

Here is a pattern from LHN that I have wanted to work on for a long time and just needed the motivation. I had joined the beCAUSE It's Pink exchange on HOE / HOE II and recieved some lovely pink linen by Silkweavers from Caroline P and decided that it would be perfect for this pattern. I will be turning it into a large needlebook and floss keeper. Here is the results of my weekend effort.

I had a couple of buttons left over from a baby sweater I had made awhile back and thought that one of the buttons I had left over would be perfect for it. Hope you can see the detail in the picture.

While in Branson looking for hunting gear , I needed to take a break so we went into Cecilia's Samplers for a bit to look around. They are no longer going to be carrying DMC Perle Cotton #3 and had bags of 10 marked for $1 a bag. Well I wasn't going to pass that up. I came home with 3 bags. They had placed 11 in one bag instead of 10 so I now have 31 skeins , originally marked for $1 a skein, for a grand total 0f $3! I figure I can use it for ornament hangers and so forth.

I worked some on the Be Ye Thankful piece and here is that progress.

Worked some more on Long Winter from Bent Creek that I started last year. Can you see the tiny little skater on the pond? I'm getting close to being done. I'm thinking either a navy blue or rusty red frame for this.

I had gotten a free pattern by JABC from Cecilia's the last time I was there. I wasn't sure whether or not I would stitch it so I popped it in the mail to someone. I then , of course, decided I would stitch it and had to get another copy. I had a small bit of blue evenweave that I tried some dye out on. I thought I would try to squeeze it in on it. Since it's 28 count it's stitching up to big for the tree I think. I will probably make it into a small pillow or bowl filler, I'm not sure.

Well , that's it for today. I will try to post something in a day or two.We'll see how it goes.

'til next time,

Happy Stitching,


Friday, November 6, 2009

Homemade gift idea #4 - Toffee Delight

Well here we are again friends for another Friday gift idea. Today is Toffee Delight and it is really good. If you like Heath candy bars, you'll like this one.

Supply list:
1 c. butter or margarine (plus a little more for buttering a cookie sheet)
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 T. light corn syprup
1/4 c. water
4-oz. milk chocolate bar
8- oz. package pecan pieces ( if using a bag that is very fine pieces , you won't need the whole bag)
candy themometer - I'll teach you how to test without one if you don't have one.

Using a medium sized heavy saucepan ( it will boil over in a small one) , melt butter , then add sugar,corn syrup and water. Insert candy themometer and cook , stirring often until mixture reaches "hard" crack stage, 300 degrees. If you don't have a candy themometer, wait until the mixture is pretty golden brown and thickening. Use a spoon and drop a tiny bit of the mixture in very cold water. Wait a minute and take the piece out and try to break it. If it bends it is at the "soft" crack stage and it isn't ready. If it breaks when you try to bend it, it's at the "hard" crack stage and it's done. Just keep testing in cold water until it reaches "hard" crack stage if it wasn't ready the first time. REMEMBER, you're working with quite a bit of sugar and this mixture will get very hot ,very fast. I highly recommend you don't do any taste testing, you'll burn the heck out of your tongue!

Pour onto a buttered cookie sheet and spread evenly. You'll need to work quickly at this stage because it will set quickly as it cools and will be harder to work with. It may pull away from the edges and corners a little ,but that's ok as long as you have almost the entire pan covered. Cool completely on the counter top using potholders or a wooden cutting board (to protect the counter) and not in the fridge.Keep flat to insure an even set.

When cooled completely, melt chocolate and sread over the top. Sprinkle on the pecan pieces. Chill until hard and break into pieces. I twist my cookie sheet like plastic ice trays, to give myself a starting point. Line a decorative tin with wax paper and fill the tin. This is a great recipe for giftgiving and just about anyone will just love it.

That's it for today. Hope you enjoy trying out the recipe.

'til next time,


Monday, November 2, 2009

One...two...Freddy's coming for you...

Greetings all! Happy November to you all! Can you believe that another month is gone?! I'll be putting up the Halloween decor this week and getting out some Thanksgiving stuff.I don't have a much of that. Then before you know it we will be decorating for Christmas! This year has really flown by!! Well I announced last week that on Mondays I would be directing you to some great blogs . Today I would like to tell you about Jolene at : . Jolene has such a soft ,tender, and generous spirit and is such a joy to know. If you catch her blog now, you can enter a drawing so make sure you check it out!
Alex thought that this would be his last year trick or treating as he said he would be getting too old to next year. He asked if he could go as a horror movie character and after much thought we decided he could. He went as Freddy Krueger. We thought the streets would be not so busy this year, with people cutting back and there are so many churches in town that have parties and such for the kids . We thought things would be fairly calm on the streets. Wrong!! There is a particular neighborhood that decorates big time for Christmas. Turns out that they are a great neighborhood to hit on Halloween too! Alex came away with full size candy bars and full size bags of M&M's , as well as a ton of other things from those streets. That neighborhood was lined bumper to bumper with cars on both sides of the street as well as a line driving down the middle at about 7-10 mph. Guess where I was at ? In the car driving down the middle! There were hundreds , I KID YOU NOT, hundreds of kids walking on the sidewalks, yards, and inbetween traffic! One house was decorated to the gills and there was a line of kids in an S shape in that yard and stayed like that for a long time. My husband forgot his cell phone in the car by accident and let me tell you , it took me a long time to find him and our son! I had even stopped one of the dads to ask if he had seen a Freddy Krueger and he said no but if he did he'd let him know where I was . The next thing I know this guy was calling out Frreeddyy! I though that was so funny! Ok , the house I just told you about with the long line of kids... my husband said that even with all the tons of candy they had bought, the guy told him that they had run out and started giving things from there pantry, like pudding and stuff like that. Turns out this guy is a retired Army Col. and is the father of one of Jack's co-workers. Funny what you learn walking the streets! LOL!

Here's our 'Freddy'.

Every year one of Jack's friends decorates his yard up and all the kids in his neighborhood can hardly wait 'til Halloween night to come to his house. Here is some pics from his yard. Bear in mind I only took a few , there was just so much stuff.

Here is Alex with the son of one of Jack's co-workers. I never knew that Batman was such a talker! Three year olds are a hoot aren't they?

Dave always takes down their regular decor and puts up all Halloween for this time of year. In the bathroom if you accidently bump up against the shower curtain , it starts playing the movie theme from Psycho. I don't know if you can read the sign on the front door ,but it basically tells everyone that if they want candy they have to walk through the "haunted yard" and the "haunted house" . The path leads them through the yard ,into the backyard, around through the garage , then through the house where his wife sits at the end passing out candy. Several kids said that they would be back next year!

Well that does it for today! Hope you didn't get bored! We had such fun though I had to share!
'til nect time,
happy stitching,