Wednesday, December 31, 2008


A New Year is right around the corner! A brand new clean calendar! It's up to each one of us what we do with it. Each year I make the same goals with a possible extra or two tossed in for good measure. I prefer to use GOALS instead of RESOLUTIONS because I feel that I am taking already important things in my life and putting my focus on strengthening them.

1. To make an effort to learn something new every day. The joy of knowledge is indeed a blessing no matter what you choose to learn.

2. To make time for myself. It's amazing what 15 minutes sitting on the deck with a hot cup of coffee and watching the birds can do for my soul. A little time each day to refresh my spirit is all it takes.

3. To take time to appreciate each day. Too often we forget to see the beauty around us and take the simple things in life for granted. My continued goal is to look with my eyes but to see with my heart. To simply enjoy life and all that is a part of it.

4. To enjoy my family and friends. I am lucky to have each and every one of them in my life. I have been blessed with so many online friends and each day I am grateful for each one of you! My online stitching friends are a very important part of my life!

5. Organize and Simplify! Two key words I always yearn to make a part of my everyday routine but often lose focus on. Organize doesn't mean I have to go on a cleaning rampage each day. It just means I need to get my life and things that are a part of my life in some of manageable order so that I feel comfortable instead of constantly overwhelmed. Not putting things off until the last minute can contribute greatly to this cause! Simplify! Just what it means - plain and simple! Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill, do what I can and leave the rest, don't volunteer for more than I feel I can handle or feel will stress me out!

6. To Remember. So many people have come and gone from my life over the years and I want to keep their memory alive.

And of course the New Year just wouldn't be complete without a few stitching, collecting, decorating and quilting goals!

1. Make a big dent in my stash this year!

2. No pressure. Keep the fun and joy in stitching. This is why I started in the first place!

3. Continue stitching on AAFG & hopefully finish(keep as Friday night SAT project until complete)

4. Get Victoria's Quaker out of UFO pile and resume working on it & hopfully finish

5. Have more blog give a ways

6. Try to start one new stitch a month (and hopefully finish one too)

7. Work on ornaments and holiday stitches

8. Take knitting lessons

Be sure to sign up for the PIF drawing on Sunday's post by 5PM EST if you interested. I will be posting the winning names on tomorrow's post.

Have a safe New Year's Eve! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Getting Ready for 2009!

I began stitching on this Stacy Nash design during Christmas week and finished it up yesterday. I just took my time and didn't rush with it. I had thought that Wool and Flax would be my last finished stitch of 2008 but I was wrong! I hope to do a lot more holiday stitching in 2009!

We ran some errands on Friday and I picked up some much needed bird food so my feathered friends don't suffer any on these cold winter mornings! I told Harold it would be just my luck to run out of bird food and there would be a big ice storm! No worries now, though!

Between now and the end of the year, I am getting ready to start working on ornaments for next Christmas. I will share with you as I finish. I am planning to stitch up 5 before the final finish into ornaments.

I was able to get several more designs kitted up over the weekend. And I have some thread shopping to do. I also added some new links to the sidebar and not just stitchy links. Can you find them?

Even though I have enough designs in my stash to keep me busy for a good long while, I am still excited to see what the designers are going to surprise us with in 2009! I know there will be some I will *just have to have* and will bump some current charts to the back of the line!

Be sure to sign up for the PIF drawing on my previous post! Thank for stopping by!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year PIF's

I have always said that the people who work with fibers (stitchers, quilters, knitters, crocheters) are the kindest, warmest, most generous group of people on the face of the earth and I feel it is my priviledge to be a part of their numbers so it my way of saying "thanks for allowing me to belong" that I give back a little with occassional give a ways and PIFs.

Ok, where is it written that I can't start my own PIFs? LOL! That's what I thought so I will reveal both of the different type PIFs I had talked about in a post last month!

PIF #1 will be a notion and thread PIF. Instead of making something to send out for 2-5 people over the course of a year, I will send out notions and/or threads. We all use these things so why shouldn't they be acknowledged with their own PIF! I will send out a package to 2 people sometime within the next 365 days.

The rules will be as follows.

1. Send no less than 5 items per person.
2. Items can be DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons, ect, just use your imagination. You can send a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins and 1 pack of stitching needles or just 5 threads.
3. All I ask is that items be in new condition and not used.

If you are interested, leave a comment on this post until December 31 and I will draw 2 names that evening then post the winners names on my January 1st blog. Please be sure to leave your email address or a link to your blog so that I can get in touch with you if you are a winner!

If you win, you must be willing to post this PIF on your blog and do the same for at least 2 people.

PIF #2 will be a Fat Quarter PIF. Everyone loves a FQ! Quilters and stitchers use them all the time! Sometime within the next 365 days, I will send out 2 FQs to 2 people.

If you are interested, leave a comment on this post until December 31 and I will draw 2 names that evening then post the winners names on my January 1st blog. Please be sure to leave your email address or a link to your blog so that I can get in touch with you if you are a winner!

If you win, you must be willing to post this PIF on your blog and do the same for 2 people.

Please state which PIF you are interested in.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Meet Ethel

I love primitive muslin dolls but I am especially fond of old lady dolls! Unfortunately they are not very common and I only have several. This is Ethel. She came to live here about 10 years ago after I met her at a craft show and she has been a valued member of our household ever since! My aunt was crazy about Ethel and used to make jokes about how I should send Ethel on a plane to visit her or how I should even leave Ethel to her in my will! I would just laugh and assure her that Ethel was very happy here and that she got all the love and respect (because age does command respect) she deserved! As much as I loved Ethel before, I love her even more now because each time I see her I am reminded of my aunt and how much we had in common with one another!

Our house isn't big enough to do an excessive amount of holiday decorating yet I have closets and drawers full of decorations! It seems like every year I buy some decorations before Christmas then I go nuts buying them at the after Christmas sales! They have really built up over the years. I decided that it was time this year (after Christmas, of course) to go through and pick out what I really to keep and feel we will use. First of all, I made a list of what I really like to put out each year and areas that I like to decorate. This will keep me keeping more than necessary! I There is just no reason to keep things if they aren't going to be seen by staying in the closet each year! Most of my valued and sentimental decorations and ornaments were destroyed quite a few years back when Hurrican Hugo hit so I have nothing anymore that should be too hard to part with.

I don't know why but I take all the decorations down the day after Christmas and put them away. I have just always been this way. I love Christmas, the holday season in general, all the beautiful lights and more but once it's over - it's over. At least until next year and then I can't wait to begin all a new!

I totally forgot about yesterday being Friday and didn't get any stitching done for my usual SAT piece. Things are just so busy during the holiday season! I will definitely make up for it starting in 2009!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. It was a quite day around here. Ours was a quite day without all the excitement that little ones bring to the day! It was still nice though. I stitched, called my dad and cousins, remembered others that were no longer with us to celebrate, walked among my birds for a while with camera in hand (of course) and enjoyed spending time with my husband.

We don't have many Christmas presents to get anymore. We used to have oodles with all the small kids, cousins, neices and nephews, grandparents, family name drawings and more. A lot of these people have either passed away or moved on. Now we only get for my parents, our kids and each other. I miss all the clatter of getting that 'just right' gift and then wrapping them all! It definitely is a lot more stressful now but I just miss it, plain and simple!

I want to make an obscene amount of Christmas ornaments in 2009 and have a large over sized bowl and basket waiting to hold these as they are stitched and finished into ornaments!

Aren't these little ornaments beautiful? I found them at my Dollar Store. They are plastic but look like glass and they catch the light making them just shimmer with soft colors. I plan to sew these on to some of the ornaments I make as a charm.

Although I definitely plan to keep to my no obligation stitching rule for 2009, I would still like to make several gifts for next Christmas. Not many, mind you. Just a couple. We'll see what happens.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas is a Comin'

The blogs are starting to slow down and get quite now with everyone spending more time with family around the house in preparation of the holidays!

This is the Holiday Stitching Journal I made to use for my year of Christmas stitching. I also made a journal for my 2009 stitches and one for Special Stitches (quilts, gifts, ect). Who knows, someday a person may pick up this book at a yard sale! My work and the work of others will live on no matter what through these journal.

We went to see my parents yesterday for our holiday get together and it was very nice because for the first time in years all the kids were able to show up at the same time. Me, my stepsister, two stepbrothers and all the spouses! This hasn't happened in at least 15 years or more.

Wow! Once again I was bowled over by the responses for my birthday give-a-way! I wish I had enough to send something to everyone but there can only be one winner and it is Karen! Karen, please contact me as I need a mailing address so I can send you surprise pack out this week!

The Mouse
Long ago there lived a mouse in the forest. The mouse was very clever and was able to hide from a sly fox that was always trying to catch him. One day the fox was very close and the mouse knew he could not run away so he decided to hide in a Douglas-Fir cone. Unfortunately, the cone was too small. That is why - even today – you can still see the hind legs and the tail of the mouse sticking out from the Douglas-Fir cone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I did pretty good!

I worked on Good Things yesterday and got it framed. I automatically see several things I will need to do differently next time but overall, I am pretty pleased! Practice makes perfect and I think I will get better as I continue to do alot of my own framing! Now to look for frames I can use!

I just love the frame. It is sort of a brownish gold color but the design is what really caught my eye and made me get it! This is such a simple piece so I felt it needed a little something extra!

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes yesterday! It was a nice day. I made a trip to the fabric store and picked up some very nice Aida along with some fat quarters for my Delectable Mountain quilt stash! I may go back after Christmas and pick up a few more FQs!
The Owl

According to Celtic legend, the owl symbolizes wisdom and helpfulness. Owls were also thought to have the powers of prophecy and were held in high prestige in nature ceremonies. Today, owls are still thought to be “wise”. Hanging an owl on your tree is thought to help you deal effectively with the challenges of the year ahead.

*I would love to find some frames to use for my stitching in my stocking!* (my stocking just keeps getting bigger and bigger!)

Remember to sign up on the post below for my give a way! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sherry's Goodie Bag and a Finish

Look what I finally finished! This will probably be my last finish for the year and I am very pleased with it!

Today is my birthday and time for me to start thinking about AARP! LOL! It is also time for Sherry's Birthday Goodie Bag give a way! I decided to make this give a way a surprise but I promise something you will absolutely love (and it is holiday related) and be able to use alot of it for your stitching projects!! Don't you wish I had a birthday everyday with give a ways like this? LOL!

To enter the drawing for this give a way, leave a comment on this post with you email address or a link to your blog so I can contact the winner. I will have hubby help me draw a name on Sunday evening and I will announce the winner on Monday's blog post!

Since the winner will not be announce until Monday, the give a way may not arrive until after Christmas but stitchers can use holiday related goodies all year, can't we?! *wink wink*

Unless Harold takes me out today, I have no plans. No laundry, no cooking, no dusting. Only stitching!

The Legend of the Snow Maiden

Once there was an old couple who had no children. One beautiful winter day, they looked out their window and saw the neighborhood children playing in the snow. At that moment, the couple was overcome with their longing for a child and decided to make a little girl out of the snow. As soon as they finished, color came into the little snow girl’s lips and her eyes opened. She had come to life! The couple was overjoyed, and took the girl into their hut. The snow maiden loved the outdoors and was happiest playing with the animals in the winter weather. However, when spring came around, she became sad and would hide from the sun’s light. One day, when summer had arrived, a group of girls from the village called for her to come and play with them. The snow maiden didn’t want to, but the couple encouraged her, and she went out into the meadows with the girls. It grew into evening and the girls lit a fire. The snow maiden, after hanging back from their games all day, finally gave in and joined the other girls around the fire, laughing, singing and dancing. One by one, the girls began to jump over the little fire they had built. Following her new friends, the snow maiden jumped over the fire as well, but halfway through her jump, she suddenly melted and turned into a white cloud. A faint good-bye was heard as she drifted up to the heavens.

*I would love to find some ribbons and buttons and decorative pins in my stocking*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas is Getting Closer!

This was my story and picture that was in the Deare Ladyes of Threade newsletter this month. I was thrilled that Lori liked it enough to share with everyone else!

"A friend of mine told me (in passing) about a needlework piece she had acquired years ago. I was genuinely interested in knowing some more about it and she informed me that she intended to toss it out. She never liked it very much and it just didn't mesh with her decor. I told her to send it to me instead. I would be glad to give it a good home and show it off as I was sure it deserved.

When I look at it, I wonder about the person who made it. How old was she? Was she married? Where did she live? There is a connection among women who work with fibers (such as needleworking and quilting) that is as strong as the fibers they work with. Our work tells a story written with needles and threads instead of pen and ink to pass on and live through the years. A story of our lives, our loves, our passions. I am proud to be connected to these women from the past and the present. May our stories from the needles we use inspire someone in the future to join our ranks...."

After my soapbox rant yesterday about framing costs, I decided to make a few phone calls. I found a woman not far from me who seems to have very, very reasonable prices! She just may be my new framer! I am still going to try my hand at framing since I bought all the supplies but I am sure I will start taking some things to this new framer after the first of the year!

In keeping with my no obligation stitching rule for 2009, I have decided on several different types of PIF's for the New Year (which I will announce shortly after Christmas) and I will still have my occasional give a ways. I like the feeling of giving back to a community that has given me so much and with the economy how it is right now, it makes it even nicer to know I could help in a small way. Afterall, who says I can't start my own PIF? LOL! Keep checking back so you don't miss these!

Remember to check back often for my special birthday give a way that will be coming up very, very soon! *double wink*

The Legend of the Mouse

Long ago there lived a mouse in the forest. The mouse was very clever and was able to hide from a sly fox that was always trying to catch him. One day the fox was very close and the mouse knew he could not run away so he decided to hide in a Douglas-Fir cone. Unfortunately, the cone was too small. That is why - even today – you can still see the hind legs and the tail of the mouse sticking out from the Douglas-Fir cone!

*I would love to find some white chocolate candy in my stocking* (I didn't say I needed it though! LOL)

Thank you for stopping by to see me during this busy holiday season! I hope you come back again real soon!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I was Framed!

I went out this weekend to take a finished piece to the framers for the first time in many years. Oh my gosh! I almost had a heart attack when they gave me the price and that price included the 50% off coupon I had!

The gal that frames it all was real nice and showed me what they use and how they do the framing so I could buy what I need and hopefully do it myself. If I can do it like I am hoping, that will be a big money saver. I know there will be a few pieces I will want professionally framed which is fine but I will be looking for another framer in my area to do the job! I am not looking for super cheap. Just reasonable.
On one of the yahoo groups I am a member of, there was a discussion about the price of framing. Everyone was pretty much disgusted with the rates these days!

I love a nice pillow or ornament but nothing says "homey warmth" to me more than a wall full of framed needlework!

I did get to stitch on AAFG some on Friday for the weekly Let's Stitch SAT. I think everyone is a bit behind on their SAT, SAL and challenge stitching this month with all the busy-ness in the air! I know I am but as long as I can keep stitching on these a little, I won't feel that I have totally neglected them!

I have been making my 2009 stitching list complete with a few quilting goals. I am being fairly easy on myself this month so that I can get rested up and ready for the New Year! I have quite a few cross stitching and quilting projects I would like to get done this coming year. The actual list will be for my eyes only since it is fairly long but I will post progress on projects and also a list of finished pieces!

I am also thinking that 2009 just might be the year I learn to knit! I have thought about for a long time. Even as a child. I would love to make some yummy soft afghans to snuggle up with on a cold evening!

The Legend of the Carrot
A long time ago, the carrot ornament was very popular in Germany as a traditional gift for new brides. The carrot was believed to bring the bride luck in the kitchen when she would cook meals for her family, and when she was entertaining company.

*I would love to find a woodpecker birdhouse in my stocking!* (I will need a much bigger stocking this year! LOL)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Old Man Winter

Winter Cover. When we rake up the fallen leaves in Autumn, I like to use the many piles for winter cover around some of my more tender plants. Then later in the Spring, the leaves will turn to mulch good for the soil around these plants!

An American legends has the pineapple a symobl of hositality. When colonial sea captains returned from their tropical voyages, they would take pineapples from their cargo and hang them on their front door or gate post as a sign of welcome and hospitality. Later, people began carving designs into doorways and gate posts. Pineapples are still given today as a symbol of welcome or friendship.

*I would love to find a renewal to JCS in my stocking*

Thanks for stopping by to see me today and I hope you will take the time to say hi in the comment section! I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Getting Ready for the New Year

Do you have a Christmas collection? What is it? Reindeer? Snowmen? Santas? Something different? I collect Santas. I just love them and keep them out year round! My collection changes from time to time with some becoming too tattered to enjoy and being discarded but a new one always comes to take it's place

This was my stitching journal for 2008. It is pretty full even though I really didn't get as much done as I had hoped to. I just took alot of extra pictures to fill it up! LOL! Last night I worked on fixing up my stitching journal for 2009, a holiday stitching journal and a journal of special stitches where I put photos of gifts, quilts, hand me downs, just those "special" stitches, ect along with notes about them. I also want to want to fix up a journal for all my beloved collections. I will show these later.

The Legend of the Silver Pine Cone

There once lived a poor family without enough food to eat or enough wood for their fire. The mother decided to go into the forest to search for pine cones. She was planning to use the pine cones to build a fire for her family, and she was also hoping she could sell some of them to get money to buy food.

After walking for hours, the mother finally reached the forest and started gathering pine cones into her basket. Suddenly, she heard a voice say, "Why are you stealing my pine cones?" With that, an elf appeared beside her.

She explained her sad story to the elf. With a crooked smile, the elf said, "Go into the next forest. The pine cones there are much better."

Hesitantly, the mother set off to the next forest, which was even farther away. When she reached it, she was very tired. She leaned against a tree and sat her basket on the ground.

No sooner had she set down her basket, and dozens of pine cones started falling to the ground. Filled with renewed energy, she gathered all the pine cones into her basket and returned home.

Tired again, once she returned home, she set down the basket for a moment on her doorstep. When she looked down at the basket of pine cones, they had all turned to silver.

The family would never be poor again.

Because of this legend, many people believe that a silver pine cone is lucky. It is customary to keep one on your dresser or hearth to make sure good fortune comes your way.

*I would like to find It's A Wonderful Life by the Sampler Girl in my stocking!"

Thank you for coming by to see me today! I enjoy your visits and comments so much! It means alot to me to share my love of collections, photography, needlework, cooking and more with you!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Legend of the Evergreen Trees

Legend of the Evergreen Trees

One winter, when the birds were all leaving for the south and warmer areas, one little bird broke its wing on the way and was left behind. Soon frost and snow covered the forest and she was cold and hungry. So she asked the trees to help her and let her stay in their branches. However, the trees are not always kind. The birch tree was proud of being beautiful and haughtily replied to the bird's pleas by saying that he could not possibly help out because he had to look after the other birds of the forest first. The strong oak tree was reluctant because it was afraid that the bird would have to live there till spring time and would eat up some of its acorns. Even the willow tree that seemed to be gentle refused to help.

The poor bird was in much distress and tried to fly some more but her wing was still not fit for the purpose. Seeing her struggling like this, the spruce tree asked her, why she seemed so downcast. When the bird revealed her miseries, it offered her the thickest, softest and warmest branch to stay. The bird was really glad to find some help. Inspired by the kindness of spruce tree, the big and strong pine tree also volunteered to protect the spruce tree and the bird from the North Wind all through the winter. The little juniper tree also piped in to offer its berries to the bird to quench her hunger. So, the bird lived comfortably there and flew away again at springtime, when its wing healed again.

The Frost King, who kept close note of the behavior of all trees, strictly instructed the North Wind not to touch even a single branch of the kind spruce, pine and juniper trees; while he was free to play havoc with the leaves of other trees. The North Wind especially enjoyed in plucking the shining, green leaves of the willow, oak and other trees, leaving them bare for the winters, with nothing to protect them from snow, rain and sleet. It is for this kindness that the spruce, the pine, and the juniper remain green and shall always be known as evergreen trees.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Holiday legends

One of my favorite folklore tales is about the Christmas Pickle ... or is it really folklore!

A very old Christmas eve tradition in Germany was to hide a pickle [ornament] deep in the branches of the family Christmas Tree. The parents hung the pickle last after all the other ornaments were in place. In the morning they knew the most observant child would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas. The first adult who finds the pickle traditionally gets good luck for the whole year.

And here is another version of the Christmas Pickle story.

A descendent of a soldier who fought in the American Civil War, John Lower (Hans Lauer?), born in Bavaria in 1842, wrote to tell about a family story that had to do with a Christmas pickle. According to family lore, “John Lower was captured and sent to prison in Andersonville, Georgia. ...In poor health and starving, he begged a guard for just one pickle before he died. The guard took pity on him and found a pickle for John Lower. According to family legend, John said that the pickle—by the grace of God—gave him the mental and physical strength to live on. Once he was reunited with his family he began a tradition of hiding a pickle on the Christmas tree. The first person who found the pickle on Christmas morning would be blessed with a year of good fortune.”

The Civil War ended in 1865, but glass Christmas tree ornaments did not become popular in the U.S. until around 1880, when F.W. Woolworth began importing them from Germany.