Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I can't believe that it will be 2008 in less than 12 hours!!

We had a nice, quite Christmas, and I've finally finished my last Christmas present - LOL. I made a throw for my dad and step mom, Lynn, and I had to give it to them unfinished on Christmas Eve, but it's done now - YEH! It's my first throw, and I think it turned out quite nice. The pattern is a free one from Lion Brand Yarn. It's called the Waterfall Throw and I used Lion Brand Yarn Homespun in the color Regency.

For my grandmother, I made a pocket scarf/shawl, also in Homespun, in the colors Colonial and Williamsburg. I kinda combined a few different free patterns I found for this one, and using size 17 needles, it went fairly quickly.

Also for my Dad and Lynn, I made a wool appliqué mitten, which was fun. I really enjoy doing wool appliqué. This was a kit that I picked up at Shepherd's Bush a few years ago by Indygo Junction and it's called Merry Mitten. As you can see, I made a few changes to it, including the hanger at the top.

My neighbor who runs our Stamp Club taught us how to make coasters last month and I made two sets - one for Dad and Lynn and one for Grandma. They were really fun to make and I hope to do some more soon.

For Christmas, I got a couple of stitching related gifts from DH. He bought me Little House Needleworks Frappuchino, which anyone who knows me knows is my most favorite drink - LOL. And I've finished it already! I was really bad and stitched this before I finished the throw - I just couldn't help it!! Now all I need is a frame and I'll hang it in my kitchen.

And I got another pair of scissors - I can never have too many scissors! LOL DH picked these out all by himself, and I'm quite proud of that! They are the Hiller Art Deco style scissors from Kelmscott Designs. I told DH he's going to have to help me pick a pattern for a fob ;).

Santa came for the Girls too - LOL

Here's Odette playing with at package of catnip mousies.

And here's Akasha playing with one after Daddy unwrapped them.

Meanwhile, Minuet was having much more fun with the wrapping paper - LOL

And we had a hard time keeping Elspeth still to catch a pic of her Christmas morning - she was quite fascinated with the camera!

And here's a pic that DH took at 3:00 a.m. over the weekend - we had a small buck in the back yard eating out of our bird feeder!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's Almost Christmas!!

Well, tomorrow's Christmas Eve, and I guess I'm about as ready as I'm going to get - LOL. I have a bit left to do tomorrow still, but I'm OK with not getting everything done that I had originally planned.

My exchange package to Nancy arrived on Friday, so now I can show some pics of what I sent. When we were all talking about the 2007 JSC Ornament issue, Nancy made the comment that she thought the Victoria Sampler ornament was "stunning" - hopefully she meant it, because that's what I made her! LOL

Here's a pic of the stitched piece...

and here it is made up into a little "bon-bon".

It looked so pretty on my tree, I had a hard time taking it off and sending it to her! LOL

I also knit Nancy a scarf with a yarn Jodi picked out for her. I've lost the label, and I don't remember what it was, but it really was very soft.
Elspeth was particularly fond of this one and was kneading on the skein while I was trying to knit, which is how the label fell off - LOL.

I also wanted to show some of the goodies that have arrived here over the last week or so. Jen sent me some wonderful postcards that she picked up at Homespun Elegance (actually AT the store - I'm so jealous - LOL). Isn't that little girl cute?

And Gaby sent me a cute little biscornu scissor fob along with this beautiful German card!

Thank you both!!

Now, I need to get back to working on the afghan I'm knitting for my dad and step mom - it's not going to be finished by tomorrow night when we exchange gifts, but I'd like to have it at least half done.

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas to ME! :)

I got the most wonderful exchange packages in the mail Tuesday from two different Yahoo groups - and boy was I spoiled!!

The first package was from Dane in Germany. She makes the most wonderful pyramids, and I was keeping my fingers crossed that one was in the package - and it was!!! She used a beautiful Just Nan design called Christmas Friends, and it's finished perfectly!!

She also sent a wonderful German book full of Christmas and Winter designs. The finishing ideas in there are so pretty!

Along with the book is a gorgeous skein of red thread, and - something that really got me excited - three packages of marzipan!! I had commented that marzipan was one the of the things I missed most from my time living in Germany, so this is really a treat for me!! Thank you so much for everything Dane!!

The next package came from Jenny in Florida, and it was just FILLED with wonderful stuff!
She sent me a little stuffed Santa ornament (which until last night was the only ornament on my tree - LOL), two magnates, a shopping list and a bookmark (all Christmas themed), a stocking tin (isn't that cute?!) with her special spiced pecans (which are almost gone now - LOL), a Santa box full of dark chocolate, five different charts, Crescent Colors floss and an adorable snowman ornament!! The charts are La-D-Da Briar Rabbit, Cherished Stitched A February Box, Little House Needleworks Acorn Hill and Curly Q Ewe and Country Cottage Needleworks Forest Snowfall - the Crescent Colors are for Curly Q Ewe and Forest Snowfall! I hope to get a chance to start Forest Snowfall over the Christmas break :)

The snowman ornament is so cute too. Jenny said it reminder her of all my seasonal trees! Thanks again for everything Jenny!!!

I've gotten a few more things from other friends, and I'll try to take pics tonight so I can post about them - I've been very lucky this year and I feel very happy to have such wonderful friendships! Thank you all!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Only a WEEK 'till Christmas?!?

How on earth is time going by so quickly?!? I can't believe that Christmas is only a week from tomorrow - I am SO not ready!!

This morning I finally got all the packages out that needed to be mailed, so now I just have to worry about the local stuff - family and co-workers.

Last Monday I got a wonderful box in the mail from Jodi - she's been hording yarn for me! ROFLOL She sent me seven skeins of yarn - Red Heart TLC Amore in Celery, Paton's Divine in Richest Rose, Yarn Bee Labyrinth in Purple Paths, Yarn Bee Airy in Brown, Moda Dea Dream in Raspberry and 2 in Plum. And I already know what I'm going to use that Plum yarn for! I'm going to make myself a scarf like the one I made Jen in Airforce for her birthday (which I forgot to take a picture of - LOL) and I just cast on one for Jodi in Lavender - we'll all three have matching scarves! Jodi also sent me a beautiful Christmas kitty bookmark, a bracelet kit, some holiday beads and buttons and a stocking ornament that her dad from Bloom Woodworks makes.

Oh, and she also sent a little Pampered Chef cookbook which didn't make it into the picture because I left it by my chair after I read it - some YUMMY sounding recipes in there!

And last, but certainly not least, Jodi sent me this beautiful ornament that she stitched (and Kathy finished)!! It's No L from The Sampler House from the 1999 JCS Ornament Issue. I love it!

Thanks for the big box of goodies Jodi!!

So far, my main tree only has lights and the star on top - hopefully that will change before next Monday!! I do have my stitching tree decorated though, so I don't feel quite so bad :)

Hopefully I'll be able to post soon about exchange packages being received, and gifts I'm making for family members!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Stamp Camp!!

Yesterday I went to a Holiday Stamp Camp and got to make all sorts of fun projects - not to mention eat all sorts of yummy food! There were about 20 ladies there, with projects on three different floors of the house, and we all had a great time.

Here's a pic of everything I made yesterday. I forget how much I enjoy stamping until I get a chance to do it again! I've only been to one stamp group meeting in the past 9 months or so - I really need to make sure I can go more often.

The first thing I made was the three cards. My favorite is the green Happy Holiday card - I love the folding - I liked it so much, I made a second one! LOL

The other two cards are cute too, but as anyone who knows me knows, I'm not overly fond of blue - LOL I love snowmen, and it's hard to have a snowman without using the color blue, but there you are!

The Joy card has little embossed circles which look like falling snow - they were made with my Crop-a-Dile,
and I loved the effect. This was my first time using this thing, which I bought over 6 months ago, so I was thrilled with the opportunity to use it!! I also used it to set the star eyelet on the green card. Now that I know how it works, maybe I'll get some use out of it! LOL

Next I made the 3-D Stars. I think these would make great gift tags with names written in metallic pens. They were a bit tricky, and I definitely need more practice! But I have a bunch of pretty patterned paper that would be great to use for these.

Then I made this memo set, which I think I'll give to my step-mom. The base is an acrylic picture frame and the pen has microbeads.

The next project I made was an Explosion Box with candies in it. I've made one of these before, and they make great little gifts.

The last thing I made was a Tree Gift Bag - I actually did two of these too - it was fun to cut out the different patterned paper - I've always liked playing with scissors. When I was little I'd sit and cut up paper - Dad said was was "making little ones out of big ones" LOL. The project also came with four recipes for different snack mixes to fill the sack with.

Hopefully some time this month I'll get the opportunity to make some more paper crafts!

Something I should have posted a week or so ago was the set of ornies Jodi and I made for Jen's birthday. Jodi stitched them and I did the finishing - making them into pinkeep ornaments. The patterns are JBW Designs French Country Reindeer stitched over-one, one of the trees from JBW Designs Christmas Keepsakes II, and the candy cane from Plum Pudding Needleart Holiday Samplings .

One of the things that Jodi is REALLY good at (besides picking out yarn, LOL) is finding coordinating fabric for stitched pieces, so here's a pic of the back of the ornies showing the wonderful fabric Jodi bought.

I also knit Jen a scarf with some yarn Jodi picked out for her and sent me in September, but apparently I forgot to take a picture of it - LOL The yarn was the Moda Dea Dream in Air Force (the blue one) and I used the Elongated Brick pattern that I made my neighbor.

Other than that, I've been busy working on my last two exchanges of the year and making candy, another one of my favorite things to do!! I hope to get my main Christmas tree up sometime this week - and I have my stitching tree decorated. Christmas is coming WAY too fast for my liking!! LOL

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is it Too Late?

Is the week before Thanksgiving too late to post Halloween pictures? I kept telling myself I needed to get this done, but the days just keep slipping by!

So, I was involved in Halloween exchanges for two different groups, and I never showed what I sent for the second group. My package went to Manu in Germany, and SHE posted about it right away - LOL. I stitched her a Mill Hill Beaded and Buttoned kit called Spooky Garden - I love stitching these with all the beads - they really sparkle, which of course you can't see in the picture!!

I was told that Manu loves Halloween stuff - the gorier the better, and I was able to find her some really fun stuff - including a skull and a bloody dripping sign saying "Keep Out". I also sent her my "famous" Ghost Poop, which is ADDICTIVE! It's SO easy to make too. You just melt some almond bark on low heat in the microwave and pour it over puff corn (like cheese puffs, but without the cheese - Old Dutch and Barrel of Fun both make this and you can find it in the chip isle), then you stir to coat well, spread out on a cookie sheet to dry, then break into little "poops" - you can make it for Christmas too and call it Snowman Poop. It's got that wonderful sweet-salty thing going for it! YUM!

I also have a picture of my Halloween tree, although it's not the best pic. I love having my tree decorated for different holidays!! And now it's just about time to bring out the stitched Christmas ornies!!

Now, let's make sure I'm not posting Christmas stuff a week before Valentine's Day! LOL

Monday, October 15, 2007

Exchanges, Round Robins and Ornies, Oh My!

Wow, have I had a lot going on the past few weeks!! I received another Halloween Exchange package, this one from Debs. She stitched me the most adorable set of ornies by Bright Needle called Hatz Boo-tique. This was her first over-one project, and she did a fantastic job . She also made me this cute beaded fob (complete with scissors!) with a jack-o-lantern bell on the end - my girls think that's particularly fun! LOL They've been trying to play with it while they're laying on my lap when I stitch.

Also in the package was some fun finger puppets, two light-up necklaces, a bag of Candy Corn (yum!) and a skein of Waterlilies Glowing Embers. Thanks again for the fun package Debs!!

And I had a Halloween package received as well. My package went to Vicky, and I stitched for her the Drawn Tread Halloween House. It's stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics Squall, which I thought looked perfect for this design! I switched out some of the fibers as well, substituting what I had on hand. This is the same chart I used for Leigh's Drawn Thread House RR , except this time, I got to stitch the whole chart ;) I want to stitch it again for myself- I have just enough of this fabric left to stitch it over one!

I also knit Vicky a scarf - the yarn is Moda Dea Vixen in Licorice Whip! I thought it was perfect for Halloween.

I've also been busy with Round Robins. On Nancy's Drawn Thread RR, I stitched my four girls :)

And here is a pic of her whole RR so far - isn't it beautiful? Nancy asked us each to stitch a quote or verse that means something to us - I really like this idea, and it's making for a wonderful, personal RR!

For this round of the Quaker RR in my local group, I stitched on Kelly's piece. I stitched the corner motif and crown, both from the Ackworth Pattern Book - I'm SO glad I have this book, I can't tell you how handy it is!

And Sherie stitched on my RR - here is the progress so far. I'm anxious to see how these progress!

And as for ornies, I received this cute Halloween ornament for my tree from Laura. It's from Just Nan's chart Moon Riders. Isn't it adorable? Thanks so much Laura!

I've also gotten caught up (believe THAT or not!) with my Christmas ornie RR.

First I stitched Marilynne's ornament, which was Suzann's Designs O Christmas Tree from the 1998 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue, then I stitched Kathy's choice, which was Prairie Schooler Winter from the 2006 issue.

And last, but certainly not least, I got more yarn and beads from Jodi! She sent one skein of Bernat Frenzy in the color Outrageous Orange and three skeins of Yarn Bee Elf in Raisin. These should make some fun scarves! And she sent black leaves for me to make a Halloween tree pin! Thanks for the goodies Jodi! :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What a Great Mail Week!!

It's been a long week, but I've gotten some great packages to keep me going! LOL

On Wednesday, I got a package from Jodi with some more beads and ornies. She found me more leaf beads so I can make another tree pin. She also sent me a ring blank - I'm anxious to try making this. And she sent some holiday embellishments - I love the Christmas lights!

And Jodi found these wonderful ornaments that she thought would look good on my Halloween tree - I'm hoping to get that decorated later today. I'm actually going to try to put out all of my stitching sometime today - I think fire season should be over, and I'm really missing having all my treasures around. Even DH is asking when I'm going to put everything out again! Thanks for the goodies Jodi!!

Thursday my Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue showed up, although I didn't find it until Friday morning - LOL. There are a couple of really cute ornies in there that I hope to stitch someday.

And on Friday, I got the most wonderful Autumn Exchange package from Danya! I was so excited when I saw her name on the return address because she and her daughter Vicki do such amazing bead work - I was just hoping that there was something beaded in the package, and I wasn't disappointed!! Danya sent me all kinds of wonderful Halloween goodies - two dish towels (with kitties!), two candles (one witch's hat and one jack o' lantern), a stuffed pumpkin and some Hershey's chocolates. Plus she sent a bead scoop and some glass kitty beads.

Danya made me THREE beaded things! A bracelet with pumpkins and black and purple beads, the most amazing witch earrings (complete with brooms and striped socks on their legs!) and a fantastic tomb stone scissor fob!! I just love them!! Oh, and the fob was attached to a pair of Gingher scissors - I'm always happy to grow my scissor collection! LOL

On top of all of that, Danya stitched me four great ornaments for my Halloween tree - and they are finished into these cute felt pumpkins! Thanks so much for the wonderful exchange package!