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Saturday, December 28, 2013

El Vaquero!

Oh, if you know Laurie Prindle's art (fabulous horse artist), then you may indeed be familiar with her El Vaquero - one of the wonderful ladies at 123Stitch was giving away some of her HAED (Heaven and Earth Designs) patterns, including several of Laurie's work. I decided to take a chance to see if she had either Untamed Spirit or El Vaquero available - and El Vaquero is! Oh my! I am sitting here in shock that not only am I getting my first HAED as a gift, but that it is this one! It represents so much to me on so many different levels - it reminds me of home, beautiful Andalusian horses, various cultures I grew up, different places I have lived, the strength and gracefulness of proper horsemanship, oh so many things!

Wow. What a way to start the day/weekend! I am hoping after the 1st in January sometime, perhaps I can do a give-away for a HAED chart to someone else. Most likely in February as next month got a lot going on but still - definitely have to pay it forward on this one!!!!

It's funny - looking at the 2 titles I liked the best - reminds me of a test I took at an old job of my decades ago - to see what kind of employee you were - if you knew what a nightmare of a supervisor we were working for at the time, it still surprises me that I went ahead and took the test - the only person out of a group of 12 who had the guts to. I still remember the score, 51% loyal, 49% independent - quote, unquote, the perfect employee according to their rating scale. My ex-supervisor said she thought I would have scored 100% independent. I looked straight at her and said just remember, there is only 2 percentage points separating the two - loyal/independent - and it takes very little for me to move between them.

Guess that's still true to this day - good.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Latest Stitching Meme / Questions....

These have been floating around on a few blogs I read so I thought I'd try my hand at them:

1) Which fabric do you most prefer? Monaco. I do love working on linens but being on a tight budget most of the time, Monaco is my go-to-never-fail-me fabric.

2) What is your favorite fabric count? 14/28, 16/32 or 22 ct.

3) What colour fabric do you most enjoy stitching on? I'm slowly getting into stitching on colored fabric - hand-painted or airbrushed. i notice I like a lot of designs with a touch of blue in the background. Must be the salt water in my veins!

4) What is your favorite fibre? Oh, silk. Definitely silk. I've been gifted twice with some and oh, it is a luscious treat!

5) How many of the 450 DMC Colours do you own? I honestly do not know. Not all of them. I keep saying I'm going to re-organize my floss (many moons counting since I started that phrase!) - I do know that someday I hope to be able to order a full set.

6) Of your last five projects—how many used DMC/Anchor as the main floss? DMC. I've only used Anchor as the main floss for one project - it turned out beautiful but I'm a DMC fan.

7) Of the last five projects, if you didn’t use DMC/Anchor—what did you use? See above.

8) What needles do you prefer? Any that I can get the floss through! I prefer John James petites (don't ask me what size) but I've even been know to stitch with a needle from a sewing kit from the local Dollar Tree Store!

9) What is the UGLIEST design you’ve encountered? Hmm, there are a lot I could include here but I will be nice.

10) What is the most BEAUTIFUL design you’ve encountered? That is a super difficult question - there are so many out there that capture my eye in different ways - I see beautiful as also sentimental so it's hard to state just one or two.

11) Who is your favourite designer? Oh, wow. umm. This is hard - I really like some designers for their overall catalog of designs, then I just like one or two designs of others.

12) Least favourite designer? Designers who can't come up with original ideas or styles - I don't care for copycats.

13) Will you/would you support a designer whose personal beliefs offended/angered you? No. I have better things to do with my time and I don't think my support would make that much difference in the long run. It's not that I am a prejudiced prude by any means - there has only been 1 designer who I found did a design that really offended me and I told them about it. I stopped following their blog. That was about it.

14) Do you have a lamp especially made for needleworkers/crafters? I wish - maybe some day.

15) What brand of stitching lamp do you have/prefer? Ott I guess. Something with decent light!

16) What kind of environment best suits you when you are stitching? One where I am not interrupted too much really. I need it quiet to stitch - t.v. is good, radio is o.k. too. Just don't expect me to interact very much or get into an in-depth conversation!

17) Have you stitched any design more than once? I'm trying to think. I think I have once - yeah, in fact, I have - it was of a beautiful teacup / saucer set sitting on a lace doily.

18) Favourite design you have stitched and finished? Hmm. Hard to say. I think it is of the kimono I did - which is in storage - in another state. Ugh.

19) Least favourite design you’ve stitched and finished? A pig in a polka-dot bikini. Don't ask. It was an experiment that went south!

20) Last, but not least, what’s your longest running WIP? There are 2 I can think of immediately. One is of an orca rising up out of the water. The other is a Mirabilia.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

God's Greatest Gift....

Peace on earth, goodwill towards men....let peace reign forever more.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

They're Here!!!!

Oh, how I've been waiting!!!!

It was so sad, the local stores being totally sold out!! I literally broke down in tears over it - which is not me! It is just not the same without these! Christmas holiday week must include these!!!! So I ordered online - free shipping too! And I've been waiting....
And waiting....non-so-patiently....waiting....

Then, this morning, the start of the Christmas week (to me at least),
lo and behold what was waiting at the door....
a box. Full of these delectable treats!
And to my greater surprise, they were double packed! I thought I ordered 3 packs of them. Turns out I ordered 3 sets - 6 bags - that's how they sell them! No wonder the box was so heavy!
Oh my oh my oh my oh my....

they are so fresh and just melt in your mouth!!!!

Other types out there have powdered sugar coating. These have a light ice coating of frosting.
Oh my Holy Moley!!!! YUMMY!!!!
Stupid to be so wrapped up in a cookie, but it really sets off the season for me!!!!
Someday, I will explain why.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Me and Fabric....

It hasn't gotten the best of me yet! There's always tomorrow for revenge....HA!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Absolutely Lovely Granting of My Christmas Wish!

Before I forget, I have to give a shout-out (again) to Theresa from 123Stitch. During this's year's Christmas Wish list, I had asked for a button. Yes, a button. This one:

Country Cottage Needleworks has started a new 9 part series (this last November) called Frosty Forest.


I have fallen in love with it - actually, I fell in love with the wonky raccoon first! - and being an ocean person, this is a bit surprising but then maybe I am going back to my roots. I was born in So. CA and for the 1st two years of my life, we lived high in the mountain foothills on the way up to Big Bear Lake. So maybe something stuck. Anywho....

The first chart is called Raccoon Cabin - it is in the top middle spot of the group if you stitch them all together.

I want to start this series in January and am planning on stitching them all on the same piece of fabric (more about that in a minute). Well, to keep me motivated, I decided just to ask for the button for this chart. I figure I know a lot of folks' budgets are tight this time of year and many of us are still affected by the economy fluctuations. But I didn't think this would stretch anyone's budget too much.

Not too long after I posted my wish, low and behold, Theresa came along and said she was going to grant my wish - what a sweetheart of her to do so too! We exchanged emails a couple of times - she asked me if I had the chart and I said no, that I was planning on getting it in January with the rest of the supplies.

A few days later in the mail came a package from 123Stitch. You know what she did? She went and ordered me the button, the chart and all the specialty floss needed for the entire series!!!! I still get teary-eyed over this! When I opened the package and saw all the floss, I thought it had been sent to me by mistake so I contacted her as soon as possible to see how she wanted the situation handled - that's when she told me what she had done. She really went and totally made my Christmas - I was and still am so stunned at how generous she has been!!!! All I wanted was the button!


Anyways, as to the fabric choice, I am not sure I want to stitch it on the color suggested. I am thinking of a cross between these two from Sunny Dyes Fabrics - Ice Princess or Snowy Winter's Day. I like the idea of a soft blue with a hint of pink in it but with the light/whitish silver sparkles through it. I may just hand-paint my own fabric to see if I can create the look I want. I was even thinking of something like this originally - Misty Forest - where you could see the tree silhouettes on the borders but after seeing the 2nd chart in the series and the 9-part layout, I think it would overwhelm the design.

Oh well, I have a few weeks yet to determine what I want to do. I just can't wait to get started on this!

Sew Much To Do, Sew Little Time....

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of things happening and I am so far behind on my sewing, it's not funny. I have the 3 table-runners I was going to sew for the Christmas holiday hanging up on a pant's hanger - basted - turned inside-out hooked up on a cabinet door in the living room. Looks really quaint - not! Then there is my sister's table-topper I am planning on doing. It's grown larger and larger - originally, the finished size was to be 36" x 36" but now it's going to be a good 40" x 40" - the main piece of fabric is of the Peanuts gang during the holidays - the borders are a funky group of somewhat cartoon-like Christmas trees - it really is darling together! I even bought more backing material for it yesterday - a lovely medium green shade - it's so pretty. But it's all in the shopping bag.

We've had major college finals, illnesses, major medical issues and appointments out the kazoo, and all sorts of junk going on. We don't even have our Christmas tree out yet - and anyone who knows me knows this is NOT like me at all! The dining-room table  has a collection of various Christmas decorations grouped together - yet it all gets cleared off tonight as tomorrow, I am staying home and sewing! My table-runners are 16 straight seams away from being basically finished (there are interior top-stitching areas I want to do but that can wait) and then the table-topper and that's that. I really hope I manage to get it all done tomorrow - if my back holds up. Oh joy! lol :)

Oh yeah, I'm also supposed to teach my mom how to knit a "tutorial" sock tonight. Whimper! :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Decked Out Graham and A Few Friends....

Nativity I bought a few years ago - has a tea-light candle in center.
Graham, a couple of dollar snowglobes, and hand-blown glass snowflake.
My new Woodland Santa & another family ornament.

Sister's new nutcracker, family ornaments.
New sandcastle ornament.
Decked out Graham!
Sorry about the picture quality - need a new camera. Everything except the Nativity is new for this year - just about all bought on sale or with darn good coupons! I love my new Woodland Santa - his hat is askew - the tip is supposed to be down by his brim but I like it standing up :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What's For Dinner....

Starting off with 2 of these - to help me breathe in lieu of cough drops:

Just ordered this from Pizza Hut:


Chicken Alfredo pasta & Meaty Marinara pasta & bread sticks

Oh yeah, and this too:
Yeah, the family's being bad tonight.
:)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Smug Little Bugger....& A Hat!

Meet Graham, the new man in my life:

Smug little bugger, ain't he?
Of course, he's not dressed yet. Hopefully, he'll put on his suit tomorrow!
It's my first time making one of these - learned a lot, that's for sure.

And speaking of knitting, here's the latest hat:

This one is for my sister - she picked out the yarn and she looks too darn cute in it too :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fantasia & The Holiday Season....

It would never be the holiday season without a bit of Fantasia to go along with it:
 
I absolutely adore the Nutcracker Suite version they have:

 
And along with that for a good giggle, here is the Sorcerer's Apprentice:
 
Enjoy!!!!

On Nancy's 10th Day of Christmas....

Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is at it again - this time, letting you choose from a selection of what you would like to win - stop by and see her & wish her a Merry Christmas too :)


Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Christmas Pickle....

Being a member of a pickles-loving family, it's strange that we've never gotten a pickle ornament to hang on our tree....

Here's a bit of history about the Christmas Pickle:
The tradition of the Christmas Pickle has got to be one of the strangest modern Christmas customs in that no one is quite sure why it exists at all!

In the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection!

Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a very old German tradition and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree and then the first child to find the pickle got an extra present. However, this seems to be a total myth! Not many people in Germany have even heard of the Christmas Pickle!

There are two other rather far-fetched stories linking the pickle to Christmas.One features a fighter in the American Civil War who was born in Bavaria (an area of what is now Germany). He was a prisoner, and starving, he begged a guard for one last pickle before he died. The guard took pity on him and gave a pickle to him. The pickle gave him the mental and physical strength to live on!

The other story is linked to St. Nicholas. It's a medieval tale of two Spanish boys traveling home from a boarding school for the holidays. When they stopped at an inn for the night, the evil innkeeper, killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the same inn, and found the boys in the barrel and miraculously bought them back to life! There is an old legend about St. Nicholas rescuing boys from a barrel but the barrel was originally holding meat for pies - not pickles!
 
So it's most likely that an ornament salesmen, with a lot of spare pickles to sell, invented the legend of the Christmas Pickle!

The American city of Berrien Springs, MI (also known as the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World) has an annual pickle festival held during the early part of December. - Source
 No matter how you slice it, pickles at Christmas time are a good thing :)
Source

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Oranges....


Source
Did you know that the tradition of putting oranges into Christmas stockings dates back to the times of St. Nicholas, himself? It's true. The story goes that St. Nicholas overheard some young maidens who were upset because they were going to be sold off into slavery because they did not have enough money for a respectable dowry, therefore no husband could be found for them. After the girls had washed their stockings they had hung them to dry by the fire. The next morning they found enough gold coins in their stockings for a very adequate dowry. It is suspected that the coins had been thrown into the window or down the chimney and had landed in the stockings. The gold that St. Nicholas is known for throwing has been represented by gold balls therefore making oranges, and even apples, the symbol of the gold. - Source
Source


More stories:

The Night of The Oranges

The Christmas Orange

John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story





Of course, you could always go for the chocolate version.


Then there are such delicious things as these:

orange snowballs 
Orange Snowballs - Recipe

But I think I prefer my oranges most of all like this:

Source


Friday, December 6, 2013

Moon Flying....


 Song's been stuck in my head all week and I'm not even that much of a Sinatra fan! So here goes:
Source
 
Fly me to the moon

Let me play among the stars

Let me see what spring is like

On a-Jupiter and Mars
 
In other words, hold my hand

In other words, baby, kiss me
Fill my heart with song and

Let me sing forever more

You are all I long for

All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true

In other words, I love you
 
Fill my heart with song

Let me sing forever more

You are all I long for

All I worship and I adore
 
In other words, please be true

In other words

In other words, I love you
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

For 27 Cents....

I was able to get the most wonderful book on quilting that is extremely thorough as well as having some lovely projects in it:

of course, that didn't include the $3.99 shipping but still, well worth it!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nibbling On Some Toes....

The way today has gone, I really feel like nibbling on some toes. Be that as it may, the best I think I can manage right now is to work on something like this - and yes, it is seasonally related:

Source  
Cept I don't really feel like messing up the kitchen right now nor do I need the calories. So earlier today I went shopping and bought me a skein of this:

Vanna's Choice - Honey
I figure I can use it to make one of these:

Gingerbread Boy Pattern - © Sara Elizabeth Kellner 
Free pattern found on Ravelry - link here: Gingerbread Boy Pattern

It will be my first time knitting a toy - I figure the practice in shaping it might help me in trying to knit socks. And I do emphasis the word trying. We'll see....

If You Want A Chance For Some Awesome Floss....

then get on over to Nancy's place (Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe) - NOW! Today, Santa Nancy is having a giveaway for 25 skeins of her overdyed floss!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

BRRRRRRRR!!!!

Now I know why they call this stuff "COLD" cream - I put some on before I did my makeup like I always do before having to go pick up my sister from work and having to run a few errands. She had to go to the post office, so I sat in the car - 45 minutes later, I've turned into a popsicle! Of course, it doesn't help that I didn't have time to dry my hair after I washed it so it's up in a bun, wearing a thin blouse & lightweight jacket, and sandals (with socks due to a bruised middle toe - hence, I can't wear my boots). We didn't think it would take as long as it did!

I am now parked in front of the heater at home, eating a hot bowl of sirloin stew with veggies, got a robe on and a lovely pair of these slipper socks on that my aunt sent me:

I am starting to feel much better!