Monday, April 29, 2013

And it's Monday again

Dearest Friends,
Thank you so much for your comments on my Family Sampler. Those comments mean so much to me!

So much for the weekend. I think that Saturdays and Sundays are almost as busy as the week days. As a parent and a small business owner, I am thinking it really doesn't matter if it is a Monday, a Friday or the Saturday/Sunday weekend. Each days seems as busy as the next, especially with these two busy boys.

Anyway, amongst the busyness, I did manage to sit my behind down in my little corner on the couch (which has been deemed "my spot") and stitch. I finished the motif I have been stitching on my Mary Wigham...
A finished motif on Mary Wigham.
Stitched with TGA Dungarees
With that complete and 40-count playing games with my eyes, it was time to put Mary to bed for awhile and bring out something that might be easier on my eyes. 

Looking through my stash, I spied Little House Needleworks "Sampler Months" (Designed by Diane Williams - Copyright 2010). I remember seeing this series being announced in the Needlework world, and being a fan of LHN I knew that I had to have this :) So I ordered it through my LNS - the whole series. It is great, each installment came with the pattern and corresponding floss. And I ordered the fabric from my LNS, which came with the first pattern. So for the last 2-3 years, I have had everything for this series sitting in my stash pile...waiting...and waiting...and waiting...
"Monthly Sampler" Series by Little House Needleworks
Each kit comes with patter and required floss - came out in 2010
So, on Saturday, the "Sampler Months" came out of the stash pile and I got a pretty good start over the weekend.
"January" - "Sampler Months" by LHN
Stitched on LL Vintage Lt. Examplar 36ct
I have decided to stitch all 12 on one piece - stitching 3 across and 4 down. The wonderful ladies at my LNS created a diagram on the back of the fabric identifier label of the 3x4 and noted that I needed a 3" margin from the edges (it was nice to have that note! How many of us would have remembered that information if it wasn't written down?).

 However, when I started stitching January, I know that my margin is less than 3" from the top and the left hand-side. I always get nervous putting in that first stitch, especially when it is a large project. While I have done large things before, I have never stitched a big project that consists of fitting several pieces together (aka a series). So I decided that I would error on having less margin on top and left...just didn't want to run out of room later. Make sense?

Anyway, it was nice to have time to sit and stich this weekend. It is relaxing and something that is well deserved - to sit on my butt and relax! We are entering into a crazy 2 week period, so getting in a little R&R now is excellent!

Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Family Sampler is framed, home and hung!

My Family Sampler arrived home! Isn't it beautiful? I just love the framing done by Jill Rensel Studios, especially the extra touches she does. It just adds that "extra-something-special" to your finished stitching project. If you aren't aware of her work, go to her blog to see her other finished framing jobs! Her name and recommendation was given to me by several of my stitching friends: Valerie V and Brandy.  

Family Sampler by Little House Needleworks
Started: January 1, 2011 - Finished December 31, 2012
Hung on the wall - April 24, 2013
I hung this upstairs right by the doorway to my bedroom. I can see it when I am in bed. Corny, huh? It has been a very long time since I have finished a big project and had it framed for me :) This project really was suppose to have been done quicker than it was; for it was suppose to done for my 20th wedding anniversary...but you all know how things get in the way of our love for stitching.

In addition to that milestone, this sampler is also special because of those Red Birds in the trees. They were suppose to have been stitched in black, but I decided that they should be Cardinals. "Why?" you might ask...well, my husband and I met at college - at Washington University in St. Louis. St. Louis loves it Cardinals - Cardinal baseball and, back then, it's Cardinal football team. When my husband and I went to school there, my grandparents lived there.

My St. Louis grandparents were like a surrogate mom & dad to me all my life. My sisters and I would stay with them for a week or so in the summer...they would come to our house and stay with us when my parents would travel...we would be together on holidays and life cycle events. So when I went away to school - I had the best of both worlds...I was being independent, living away from my family. However, if I got homesick or needed a home-cooked meal, grandma & grandpa were never far away.  Anyway, when I started stitching my Family Sampler, I felt that it would be appropriate to stitch the birds in red. As I know that my grandparents are watching over me and my family.
Boy, am I glad that it is Friday. I get some time to go out for my walk/jog this morning and get this day to get caught up on stuff around the house. It has been a crazy week with our stores because of Administrative Assistant's Day, which was on Wednesday. We had a lot of arrangements to make on Wednesday and I was the main chocolate dipper. I had over 300 banana pieces to dip in chocolate. Yikes! Lots of standing at the chocolate warmers dipping :) Well, we are gearing up for Mother's Day which is a very, very busy weekend. It is all good...just exhausting! 

Anyway, I will let you go! Thank you for visiting me today. I hope that you have a great Friday and good weekend. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Things that come out of the dark

Mary Wigham - status from month's ago.
From out of the Dark bag of UFOs comes my Mary Wigham Sampler. I haven't put a stitch in this project for many, many months. However, Mary has been calling me from the dark..."stitch me, stitch me!" So out from the dark she has come...

...and I have taken up my needle and thread to Mary. Here is the status of this motif I have been stitching for a couple of weeks. I have been using The Gentle Art color: Dungarees for this one. Working on this brings much relaxation, believe it or not - even at 40ct and one-over-one. One of these days I will finish this, I guess :)

I heard from Jill Rensel regarding the framing of my Family Sampler and it sounds like it is almost finished and might be ready to ship sometime next week. It will be so cool to have it framed and at home. I can't wait to see it and I will definitely photograph it so I can show you the finished-finished product :)

Well, this weekend is one that is technically a very busy one - hockey games, track & field, SAT tutors, school projects, birthday celebrations...however, this morning, here I sit at home while one part of my family is at his high school volunteering at a track meet and the other portion of my family is at the hockey rink (son playing a game and husband, whose birthday is today, is watching).  I was going to go out and take a walk, but a headache just invaded my head and I needed to veg out to let the tylenol take affect. Maybe I will go later. It is a beautiful day here!

Anyway, I should go. It is time to get somethings done here in the house before all my boys come home to nap. 

Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!


You are as prone to love as the sun is to shine;
it being the most delightful and natural employment
of the soul of humans.
Thomas Traherne

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So sad...Prayers and Thoughts being sent

I am sending my thoughts and prayers out to the city of the runners, to the families...
What a horrible event! It is upsetting to take a wonderful sporting event that has a lot of tradition & meaning and...I don't even have words for it.

That is all I have today...take care, my friends and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Frustration and a finish

First...for those who are looking for my posts regarding my trip to DC with the FMS 8th grade class, you will need to click on the links below. Each on will take you to the respective post of the day.


Well, I finished my owl projects - which brought lots of frustration & well as on "happy dance".

First of all, here are the finished stitched pieces:
Owl Heart - from "Happy Hearts" Designed by Lucie Heaton; page 47 in 365 Cross Stitch Designs Vol. 2.
DMC colors as per the chart.
Owl Hearts - from "Happy Hearts" Designed by Lucie Heaton; page 47 in 365 Cross Stitch Designs Vol. 2.
DMC colors customized - #211, #550, #907, #956, #B5200
Tawny Owl Bookmark - from "Nature's Harvest" Designed by Lesley Teare in 365 Cross Stitch Designs Vol. 2.
DMC colors as per charted, but used Linen DMC
Now that all the owl projects were stitched, I decided to spend today - Saturday - finishing these; for we didn't have anywhere to go today and it was a nice relaxing day at home to do such a thing. So, I took out my sewing machine and all the supplies that I needed to turn the Owl Hearts into pillows and the Tawny Owl bookmark into a...bookmark, of course.

Well, now the frustration comes into play. I knew what I needed to do to turn the Owl Hearts into little pillows, but I just couldn't make things work out. First I totally destroyed the blue owl heart beyond use and then after an 1/2 hour I totally made mince meat out of the purple heart. Doesn't it make you sick to your stomach when you take your stitching pieces that you worked so hard on and totally destroy them? Maybe this doesn't happen to anyone else but me. Well, it makes me sick!!!!!

However, I did have one bright happy dance. Here is the book mark:
The Tawny Owl Bookmark
I was able to finish the bookmark and feel good about it. I love the little owl bead that I found at JoAnn's Fabrics, for this made a great topper to the bookmark. I will send this out to my mother on Monday with a book that I got her at the Holocaust Museum when I was in DC. 

Now that those things are is time to move on to some of the projects that are waiting for me in my stash pile. I have Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler which I started by in October 2012 that is 1/3 done. Then there is Blue Ribbon Designs Blue Jeans and Daisies which hasn't been started yet. And then there is the new addition to my stash collection: Little House Needleworks "Needleworker"...which I have been seeing on other blogs and on Facebook and felt that I couldn't live without :) MMmmmmm...which should I put needle to? 

Well, I will let you think about it and will reveal my decision in my next post.

Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Anniversary to Note and stitching update

First...for those who are looking for my posts regarding my trip to DC with the FMS 8th grade class, you will need to click on the links below. Each on will take you to the respective post of the day.


Today is Sunday, April 7th.....

22 years ago today - I married my best soulmate....
Goodness gracious, we look so young. 

Today has started early, as the boys have a hockey activity from 6:30-8:30am this morning. My DH took them for he love to watch when both of them are on the ice together. Something that doesn't happen very often any more. 

An Me? Well, I am home enjoying this quiet house :) Last night, while watching some of the final four basketball game, I was able to get some stitching done. Here is a status photo of the 2nd owl heart:
I got all the light purple finished, just need to fill in the whites of their eyes and then #2 is complete. I am getting a little tired of stitching this design, so I might opt to do a different one for my mother. I really need to get going on this project. For the anniversary of the passing of my grandmother was April 4...her burial was April 14. We all miss her dearly so that is why I wanted to make something special for my sisters and mother. Well, hopefully I will get going again.

In the mean time, I received part 3 of the Blue Ribbon Designs Mystery Sampler: Blue Jeans and Daisies. 
Is anyone out there working on this sampler? I haven't started, as you can see. I will probably make this a start in May...or sometime soon. I like the colors and look forward to starting this. There seems to be so many new designs that have come out recently!

Well, I am just rambling now. I need to sign off and get a move on - time to exercise before all the boys get home.

Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold and reveal itself.
All you have to do is be still and take time to seek what is within,
and you will surely find it.
~ Eileen Caddy

Friday, April 5, 2013

Washington DC - Last Day

Well, as I write this last entry I am home. Hard to believe that this wonderful trip is all over. But before we get a little sappy, here is the entry for the last day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013
For today's morning routine - 6:30 wake up call, 7:30 breakfast - we added a room check to it in order to make sure that no one left any of their belongings behind. Once everyone was "checked out" we headed down to the bus, loaded our luggage and headed out. But it wasn't quite time to go to the airport, for we still had a little more sight-seeing to do!

First up on the itinerary is the Newseum. This museum celebrates our freedom described in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Inside this museum, we saw exhibits regarding the 9-11 events - JFK - FBI - the Berlin Wall - and so on! This is definitely one museum that you could spend a full day, if not more, to really read and take in all the information. But, unfortunately, our time was limited and it was time to move on.

Next up - the Smithsonians...first the American History Museum where we enjoyed a delicious meal in the cafeteria before looking at as many exhibits as time would allow.
 From the History Museum, we moved on to the Natural History Museum. Here we saw:

The Hope Diamond

Stuffed Animals - Mammal, Ocean Life, Primates and so on

And of course, what would a Natural History Museum be with out the Dinosaur exhibit?
The Natural History Museum, like the Newseum and the American History Museum, is another place you really need to take a whole day to long as you have patience for the crowd! Ugh, it was busy and crowded!

From here, we headed to the Smithsonian Castle...

Here is an exhibit that was near and dear to my family's heart...

With our time in DC growing short, we had one more place to visit before heading home...the National Art & Space Museum...but this one is not on The National Mall. It is located near Dullies Airport. It is a very large building that looks like an airplane hanger and holds some amazing airplanes & helicopters.

One that caught your eye as soon as you walked in was the Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird. The long sleek black body of this plane and the fact that it can fly from one end of the country to the other in 1hr and 4 is incredible. 

However, the ultimate favorite was the Discovery Space Shuttle!!!!!

 Now this was a sight to behold!

Well, as timing would have it, the clock struck 5:30pm and the announcement came over the loud speaker: "The museum is closing, please exit". And with that, so was our trip to DC, for now it was time to do one last head count, to load up the bus one last time and head out to the airport.

What a wonderful trip! We visited lots of awesome places, learned a lot about the beginnings of our country, ate some great food and made some wonderful memories. I am grateful that there are these opportunities which the school organizes. And there are some people I would like to publicly thank (not in any particular order):

  1. Joe "the bus driver" - thank you for your great care in getting us were we need to be safely and timely! 
  2. Jeff "the tour guide" - your history knowledge is overwhelming; we enjoyed all your stories and learned a lot from you. You are a true history geek!
  3. My co-chaperones - Paul, Terri, Bambi and "Big D" - it was a pleasure getting to know you all and working with you this week.
  4. Mr. Chapman - wow! Your passion for history and your passion to be with all the kids is wonderful. I am so glad that you continue to make this trip happen!
Well, that is all there is to tell of this trip. We are in the process of recovering - getting back on west coast time.

Thank you for your interest in my trip with the 8th graders to Washington DC.

Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Washington DC - Day 5/6

Hello...hope you all are enjoying my journal of the 8th grade trip to DC 2013.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm just a bill

Yes, I'm only a bill
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee
But I know I'll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill
~School House Rock

After the 6:30am wake up call and the 7:30am breakfast, we were on the bus and headed to Capitol Hill. 
Sunrise at the Capitol
First we had the traditional group photo on the steps in front of the Capitol. Always a great souvenir of this trip. Then we headed around to the entrance of the building...

Always a lot of security around this building :)
Here I am - in front of the "front" side of the Capitol...yes, I was a little chilly
Once we arrived at the entrance to the Capitol, we went through security and got in line for a short video about the history of our country and then we started the tour of the capitol building.
Everyone got their own set of headphones so that we could hear the tour guide talk. This way, several groups can be lead around the different rooms of the Capitol all at once without disturbing each other.
Matthew and his classmates listening intently in the statue room.
One of the most beautiful rooms in the Capitol is the Rotunda...there are bronze statues of our founding fathers as well as...Ronald Reagan :)

 And then there is the ceiling...the top of the dome. It is gorgeous!

Here is the group learning about the Rotunda.
After the tour was over, the group had a couple of choice. They could either visit the US House of Representatives or go to the Library of Congress. Since the wait for the House was long, I decided to join the 1/2 of the group that went to the Library....and I am definitely glad I did. Another beautiful building!

We looked around the building for a while, even got to go to the Civil War exhibit that was there. We also got to peak into a window of the actual Library...where all those books are, especially the famous "President's Book of Secrets". Once the 2 groups met up, we all walked to the US Supreme court building where we just had enough time for a group photo :)

Then it was off to lunch! Today's lunch was in the food court of Pentagon City Mall. With over an hour for lunch, many of the kids also enjoyed some shopping time! I on the other hand had the great opportunity to visit with my cousin, Charlie, who I haven't seen in over a year. It was great to see him and catch up. While the visit was very short, I appreciated the fact that he slipped out of work to come over and see me...Thank you Charlie!
 After lunch, we headed out of the mall and boarded the bus and off to Mount Vernon - George and Martha Washington's house.

The front of the Washington's house. 
Before we took the tour of the interior of the house, we walked around the grounds. Here we saw the lower garden, the "necessary" (aka outhouse or potty), the farm yard where there were sheep and the gravesite of George and his family.

The back of the house, which overlooks the Potomac River. It is a gorgeous view!
And here is the group...
Once through the tour, and after a visit of the gift shop (something that we always ended up with after every tour), we headed off to the evening activity...the Nationals Baseball game.
We had great seats...down pretty low, behind 1st base.
Matthew sitting in the stands with his was a little chilly that evening-hovering around 40 degrees (honestly, who goes to a baseball game in this cold weather? Hockey, I understand...but baseball?????)
Even though it was $1 hot dog night...the burger from Shake Shack was a hit!
With numb fingers and toes, we all were very happen when the game ended mid-9th with the Nationals leading 3-0 and we were able to leave the park. It was time to head off to the hotel and begin to pack up, as our trip was coming to an end...

Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!