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A little blog about my big loves; family, friends, stitching and yep, chocolate!

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

An American Sampler and Parental Progress

Dear friends,

     So many of you have asked me about my folks that I thought I'd give you a quick update for what I can, here.  As you may recall from FB, my dad was on a treadmill at the clubhouse he and my mom belong to when he apparently fainted, bumped his head (several goose eggs) and skinned his knee (to put it mildly).  My mom was in a water aerobics class when he motioned her to get out of the pool.  They went home, got him cleaned up and then he drove them to the hospital (mom no longer drives) but she told him if he didn’t drive himself, she would!  After getting to the hospital, the doctors ran some tests and determined that my dad had some blockages and would likely need surgery and at a minimum, stents.  Turns out he needed more than that and had a triple bi-pass on Wednesday, Sept 16th.  He had a quadruple bi-pass in 1998 and a stent after that and now the triple.  Like I said on Facebook – we may be thin (relatively speaking) on the outside but our arteries are grossly obese!  It’s genetics.  We don’t smoke or drink (too terribly much ) and we’re not too overweight.  My sister had sextuple bi-pass at 49, about five years ago, at the same hospital my dad was just in.  Cheryl (my younger sister) holds the dubious record for the most bi-passes done at one time at that hospital and a lot of the hospital staff remembered her.  I haven’t had to have bi-pass yet but I do have a stent and fully expect to have to have a bi-pass operation one day.  Anyway, I flew down to Florida to be with my dad and to help my mom for a week.   I’ll fly back down in a couple of weeks to help with the tail end of my dad’s recovery.  Another relative is staying there for the first half of recovery so both mom and dad are in good hands.    This pic is from March, the last time I was there and was of course, just prior to my Dad's bi-pass.

They are the cutest couple!

Here is dad on the day of his release from the hospital:

He is very serious!  
The bandages on his knee are from the fall on the treadmill.  
Thank you all for the kind notes both on FB and via email.  I appreciate them so much and would ask for continued prayers as they continue to recover and we transition as a family to a new living arrangement - my folks are going to move to Michigan in the Spring and will be living with Rob and me.  We are looking forward to having them and are lucky that we have the space, means and relationship to make it work!

Now… on to stitchy news.

Julie and I and Robin all attended the Dyeing to Stitch retreat last Spring and got to meet so many wonderful people to include Paulette, of Plum Street Samplers, and Ann and Pat the sweet owners of Dyeing to Stitch.  We met so many people, "famous" stitchers and bloggers alike - you know who you are!!!  It was great fun!  Here's one of the few pics we slowed down long enough to take of the group.  I was so tickled to meet Ann and Pat and Paulette, in person.  The cutie gal to the left is Robin - you may know her from the Stitchers of Smalls board on FB, then continuing from the left are Pat, Paulette, me, Ann and Julie.  I had such a great time at the retreat and had such fun meeting everyone.  The Dyeing to Stitch store is choc full of inspiration and beautiful fabrics and trims and all sorts of goodies you can hardly live without.  I had such fun!
Paulette's sampler for the retreat was called the American Sampler but to me, it's really a Virginia Sampler.   The flags represent Virginia’s connection to our Republic (8 presidents have been Virginian’s), the flowering dogwood tree is both the Virginia state tree and flower (you may recall the movie “The American President” where the POTUS tries to order flowers for his girlfriend and a discussion between his staff, himself and the florist ensues about whether the dogwood is the state flower or state tree of Virginia.  It’s both.), the cardinal is Virginia’s state bird, the brick home represents many of its type you see in Colonial Williamsburg, there is a beautiful colonial couple, the state motto – “Sic Semper Tyrannis” which translates to “Thus always to tyrants” at the bottom, and of course, one of Virginia’s favorite dates – July 4th, 1776 when the Commonwealth of Virginia, and all of the 13 colonies, declared independence.   I loved it the minute I saw it.

I did make a few minor changes to Paulette’s design.  I stitched the dogwoods in pink – my favorite.  I stitched the verse in blue rather than red, as it’s going in a house that’s predominately blue, and I centered the verse, which was originally left justified.  Nothing major – just little, itty-bitty changes. 

Sheila doesn’t know it, but this will be a birthday gift for her.  She is not a Virginian by birth but I don’t know of too many folks that are as much a lover of Virginia as she.  She has a sister in law that lives very near Alexandria and a niece that lives right in the heart of old towne Alexandria.  Sheila and her family have been there many, many times over the years and if she could, I think she’d live there.  I can hardly wait till her birthday on October 23rd!   The day I put the last stitch in this sampler (which I decided to stitch for Sheila the moment I saw it), she asked if she could borrow a few samplers to decorate her walls, for a visit from her family (the Virginians).  Of course I said yes but as I was putting in those last stitches and I thought about her request, I couldn’t help but feel that I really did have the perfect gift for her – a sampler, made by me, especially for her, about a state we both love.  It's perfect.  
I also couldn’t help but wonder if there was a market for the renting of samplers.  Probably not.  

I'm dropping my anniversary sampler off today to be framed and should be back in a couple of weeks to share that with you.  I can't wait.

Until next time, I wish you peace,


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Love Never Fails

Dear friends,

      Another post?  Yep, maybe the last one was not a fluke! 

     Rob and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in November.  Every once in a while it falls on Thanksgiving which is always kind of fun, except that I have to get up at the crack of dawn so I can cook all day, never get to sit down, the guys watch the Lions play football and hmmm... yeah, not so fun, I guess.   Anyway, this year is our 25th so I thought I'd stitch something to commemorate this special year.  I saw Barbara Anna's design called "Love Never Fails" when Carol Sims posted her beautiful finish and I thought it'd be perfect to turn into a wedding/anniversary sampler.  My interpretation incorporates both the year we got married and this year, our wedding date and our names.  I had to eliminate the cats (sorry, Cari) and one of the flower urns by our dapper fellow to make the changes fit.  I also added some over one elements, too.  I can't wait to get it framed!  I really enjoyed stitching this piece and have no doubt that Rob will be thrilled.  LOL~


"Love Never Fails"
designed by Barbara Anna
stitched on 35 count WDW Tin Roof linen
DMC threads, 1 over 2.

Don't you love the polka dotted birds?

I hope Rob doesn't see this post - I'm pretty sure he doesn't know I've decided to start blogging again, so I think we're safe.  This isn't a present for him, per se, but I do want it to be a kind of surprise.  At least he'll know I was thinking about our anniversary prior to the night before when I go find the lamest anniversary card, ever!

 I added a few extra, colorful diamonds to the dress:

25 years deserves to be over one:
This pic is a better representation of the fabric color, though still not exactly right.  It's truly gorgeous in person.  Try it - you won't be disappointed.

   I had to add some extra hearts under the names so they didn't look like they were floating:

The very last part to be finished was the gentleman's pants.  He just flat out refused to put them on.  Nasty boy!

I also changed the diamond border, ever so slightly.  I couldn't use brown for the border because I had stitched our names in brown.  That also meant I had to change the diamond colors a bit.  I just used whatever was handy and then, like Barbara, stitched the mirror image on the other side.  An easy adjustment to make.  

This is what Barbara's pattern looks like without all my changes.  Beautiful, isn't it?

I hope I can get an equally beautiful frame.  

Next time I'll show you my American Sampler by Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers all framed and in it's glory.  It is FABULOUS!!!

These were my estate sale finds this weekend:
This old, carved, concrete pot was a steal at $15 - don't you love the patina on it?  And those daffodils!!!  Love….

This one was even less $ - not as much patina but heavy concrete and I can't wait to put some mums in them.

Finally, a couple of old graters, being used as candle hurricanes.  I think they were fifty cents each.
Cheap and easy, outdoor goodies!

Have a great week my friends and thank you so much for the warm welcome back to blogging.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Susan Rambo Sampler, La D Da Noah's Ark and more

Dear friends,
     It has been quite a while, hasn’t it?  My life has been a whirlwind of activity for the last year and a half (can it really be that long) and I have missed you, and blogging.  I got away from blogging for a while – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other media outlets are so much easier and faster but they are less personal and certainly less gratifying.  Besides, most of my family could care less about my stitching, antiquing or estate sale adventures and I need to share those aspects of my life with other likeminded souls.  So here goes, I’m jumping back in and hoping you’re still here and interested.

I've stitched a lot since last we met so let me show you something I just picked up from the framer.

This is Susan Rambo Sampler. She's a bold, beautifully colored sampler and I chose a frame as sassy and bold and intense as she.  I loved how the bright red frame made the colors on Susan pop.  I think it's a nice juxtaposition of modern with the old.  I'm sure it won't appeal to everyone, but I kind of love it. 

I also got this sweet little La D Da piece back, too.  I liked how the swirls in the frame mimicked the swirls under the ark.

I have also been hitting estate sales when I can and have found some fun treasures.  This weekend was a couple of boxes of vintage ornaments.  I love when I find the bigger ones!  Aren't they pretty?  They'll look great on my tree with all the othe vintage ornaments.  Anyone else love these as much as I do?  

But for today, only one more thing to shoe you.   I got this cupboard from a guy at work that was moving to Florida.  His mom had been an antique dealer in Kentucky but he no longer wanted it so for a very decent price, I was able to bring it home.  It’s perfect in all its imperfections and I just love it.  On top are some of my Beatrix Potter treasure gifts from a friend, old glass in the form of an ancient purple bottle and a couple of frogs, one of them (the cool irredescent one) from a dear friend, and a Liberty Hill sewing box I got in VA Beach at the Dyeing to Stitch Spring retreat.  I'll be changing this all out soon to start making way for the big decorating time... Christmas!  I can hardly wait.  

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time, I wish you Peace,


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Teeny Tiny Treasures!

We had our Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild meeting this past Sunday.  I always enjoy getting to see these exceptionally talented women and spending a little time with them.  They're inspiring, creative, crazy talented and totally fun!  I was chatting with some of them when my friend and fellow blogger Lisa (The Inspired Stitcher) came over to say hello.  Lisa is one of the many guild members that have also joined me in the Snooty Parrots Stitch-a-long on Facebook.  Lisa had a little surprise for me and when I opened it, I couldn't believe it!  Look at this darling little teacup. 
It has a tiny, snooty parrot for the handle!  
Isn't it precious? 
She found it at an antique shop and said the minute she saw it she thought of me and said that she couldn't leave the shop without it.  Awww... I know, right? 
This is a teeny, tiny treasure, and I'm totally tickled to have received it.  

I have to show this pic of Lisa and me just so you can see how tiny this cup really is! 

Adorable.  It is now safely tucked in a mini cabinet in my craft room where it won't get broken!
(that's my Snooty Parrots Sampler the cup is sitting on)
Thank you so much, Lisa! 
Oh!  Those samplers you see behind Lisa and me... those belong to Lori from La D Da.
She attended our meeting and helped us finish our little name tag bags she designed.
What a sweet gal, she is.
These are some of the drumkeeps made the first day of class (sorry, don't know who they all belong to). The one in front is mine and you can see why I don't like hand sewing.
I'm impatient and it looks crappy.  Why are photos of fabric looking so yucky???
  Maybe if I cover the seam with chenille trim, it'll look better.
That pretty box in the background was made by Heather (a KSSG member and sister-friend) and was filled with the best treasures! It is a With Thy Needle and Thread pattern called Strawberry Hill Sampler. Heather copied some sampler fabric onto paper and used that to line the inside of the box (Whitman's Candy box).  The whole thing was beautiful - I wish I had taken more pictures.
During the KSSG meeting (2nd day of class), I finished a side or two of the hand sewing on my name tag, then realized I still had to do the back side.
Oh, no! I hate hand sewing (see above)!
Sweet Vickie offered to take it home and do it for me! Really? Yes, please.
Thank you so much, Vickie!
See what I mean.... super sweet members.
This is a sampler Lori will be releasing sometime in the near future:
Sorry, don't know the name of the sampler or exact date of release.
And, if that's not enough...

How's this for exciting news:
Our annual guild auction is on May 4th and Lori said she would send some of her older
La D Da finishes for us to include in the auction!
Yes, really!
If you are anywhere close to the Northville, Michigan area that Sunday, please come by.
Gathering is at 1 PM with the auction beginning at 1:30 PM
Location: United Methodist Church
777 W. Eight Mile Road
Northville, MI 48167
There will be live and silent auctions as well as a bake sale.
Please come, if you can!
You won't be sorry!
There is no charge to attend for members but there may be a nominal charge for non members (not sure about that).  There are so many beautiful hand mades for auction, you won't be disappointed!  Bring your wallet!  Cash and check, gladly accepted.
One of our guild members is donating a quilt she made and her work is AMAZING!
I am going on a LOT of travel the next few months...
one week in Kettering, Ohio
one week in I can't remember where, Maryland
two weeks in San Diego, California and
one week in California, Maryland.
I will not have a ton of time for extra curricular things due to the work schedule but if anyone knows of not to miss shops or eateries in these areas, I'd love a recommendation or two.
Thanks for stopping by and for all the comments on my last post. I feel like blogging is really being left behind by Instagram and Facebook and appreciate you letting me know you were here! 
Be well,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Treasures and Stitching, too!

Look who I found waiting for me at an estate sale today!  Say hello to my little friends!

Oh my gosh, I love going to estate sales!  I don't always find treasures but once in a while, I do hit the jackpot.  Today was one of those days!  I was so excited when I found these Beatrix Potter Bunnies I couldn't stand it.  They were just begging to come home with me.  Benjamin Bunny and Peter are both dated 1948 with F. Warne & Co, 1948, Beswick, England stamped on the bottom.  

The other four range from the 1980's - 1992 and are stamped with Royal Albert and Warne & Co. on the bottom.  I did not pay a lot for them and because today was the first day of the sale, there was no negotiating.  
Yes, I tried.  
I wasn't about to take a chance that they'd still be there tomorrow so.... they hippity hopped right in my little bag!
Just in time for Easter!
Each one is perfect and they will be happy additions to my collections.  

This chest is something I found last week, at an estate sale.  My mom has a cedar chest and keeps all kinds of treasures in it - gifts she finds throughout the year for friends or loved ones, special blankets and other treasures.  Because it seems, I am exactly like my mom, I had to have one, too.  I haven't been purposely looking for one but knew when I saw this that my "hunt" was over.  
Maybe.  If I could get it at the right price.
Facebook and IG friends, sorry for the repeat.....
The price was $95.  I didn't want to spend $95.
So, in my best flirty voice I said to the gent running the sale:
"I'll give you $75 for the chest and will let you help me carry it to the car."
He said, "I'll take $80 and carry it out for you."
What's not to love about a fun negotiator?
I think it's lovely.  Oh, it's got a few battle scars (don't we all?) but it still has the key and its a beautiful piece and I'm tickled to own it.

Like mother.  Like daughter.

One of my recent finishes is this cutie by Plum Street Samplers.
It will hang in my stitching room, once I get it framed.
You would think while stitching such a sampler you wouldn't make counting mistakes,
wouldn't you?
Well... not me, of course.
Anyway, with a few minor adjustments here and there, it is done and I love it.
This is going in the top of the "to be framed" pile.

Count Twice, Stitch Once
Confederate Gray, 35 count
Stitched with almost all the called for fibers  ;-)
In the meantime, I'll let it hang around on this cute hanger I found you guessed it, at an estate sale.
The hanger must have been used to hang unmentionables to dry.  
That's my guess.

I changed this section just a tad... I made the frog's eyes gold (the brown just wasn't showing up) and I shortened the frog's tongue a little and added a new stitch.
I closed the handle of the vase where the stitch was originally dropped.

I got what the frog was doing.
He was grabbing the mis-counted stitch but I changed it anyway.

I finished the stitching on my class pieces for this weekend, with Lori of La D Da.
The top right will be my name tag bag.  The pattern is just to the left of it but as you can see, I adapted it to look more like her Birdy Scissor Roll pattern (far left).
When I finished stitching the Drum Pinkeep (bottom) I realized that once it's sewn together two motifs, exactly the same, are going to be next to each other.
That big purple flower is repeated just after the pinky-red flower where the pin box sits.
The 4 little flowers on the far right are going to be the top of the drum.

Shouldn't there be three different motifs going around the drum?

Two motifs, exactly the same, right next to each other?

The more I looked at it, and the more I thought about it, the more I didn't like it.

So.... while it wasn't due to a counting error, a frogging I did go.

Last night I ripped that entire purple flower section out and tonight I'll finish putting something else there so it'll be ready for class tomorrow morning.
I think I'll like it better with 3 different motifs and, it won't look like everyone else's.  That's the upside since frogging all that was a definite downer! 
I also stitched my initials into this (the M is covered by a button - oops!).

That pin box is something I found in Petersburg, Virginia in a very old home at an estate sale I went to with my mom.  Isn't it pretty?
Actually, I found two of them and gave one to Julie. 

Have a wonderful weekend!  I have Lori's class Saturday and Guild on Sunday!

Be well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Well, La D Da!

Dear friends,

It snowed like crazy here today.  The sky was gray and the snowflakes were small but it came down heavy and the foggy, snowy air made everything look like we were truly in the midst of winter's embrace and not like we're on the cusp of Spring.  With the snow today, and the sub zero temperature we're supposed to have on Thursday, this will go down as the worst winter on record for the Detroit metro area.  Whoop-doop-de-do!   When Spring does arrive, and the snow starts to melt, we are going to have lakes of mucky, dirty water on our lawns, roads and trails, for quite a while.  Dog feet are going to have to be wiped constantly!

Enough about the weather...

I have finished the stitching on a piece we are doing for a La D Da class in our guild.  Lori is coming in April to teach her name tag bag and a pin keep drum.  I love most of what Lori designs and have stitched several of her pieces.  Sadly, what she came up with for our guild, I did not love.  It just wasn't what I expected. I think she designs a different bag design each time she teaches this class.  I hate to say, I wasn't thrilled with what she came up with.   It just didn't have the pretty, primitive feel most of her designs do and I didn't want to stitch it.   What to do?  I didn't want to spend time stitching something I didn't like so I borrowed a design of Lori's I do love and went to town.  I used her new, limited addition Birdy Stitching Roll pattern, moved the motifs around to fit the bag, and ta-da!    I did add several colors to kit provided for the bag and it doesn't match the Stitching Roll exactly, but I do think they'll be nice together.

Edited to add: Why do my pictures look so crappy, unless you click on them?  Anyone?  I know - they don't look all that great when you do click on them but they're REALLY bad unless you do.

The picture above is the truest to the linen color and the patterns pictured are the Birdy Stitching Roll on the left, name tag bag in the center and drum pinkeep on the right.

The sage, floral fabric will be the lining of the bag (I think).  The three pieces came pre-sewn together in the kit.

Now I have to get busy on the pin keep drum stitching so I can finish it in class, as well!

Thanks for all the congrats on Ty!  His visit home seemed all too short and he's now in North Carolina at the School of Infantry.   He'll be a great Marine!

Time to stop.  I've gotta go watch "Survivor".  It's a guilty pleasure.  I've watched it since it first came on the air and I would have loved to compete.  I think I could have kicked ass, back in the day.


The gross food challenges would have been my biggest stumbling block.  Still, I would have loved to try.   My chipper in the morning personality might have gotten me booted faster than anything else!  It seems to me that far more people are not happy risers than are.  Which one are you?  Would my singing in the morning irritate you?  What would you do if I sang out of tune?  I love the Joe Cocker version of that song; it's one of my favorites.
Sing it today, with or without a little help from your friends!

Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by and thank you for leaving me a note!
You're the best and I'm grateful you've stuck around!

Peace and Love,

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Marines, Samplers and Friends

Dear friends!

     Okay.  I have so much to tell you!  First, and most importantly, allow me to introduce you to the newest Marine in my family!  
Private Tyler Malinovich, USMC.

He graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina on 2-14-2014. 
Isn't that an awesome graduation date and an awesome official portrait!?

Do you know our young marines have to buy all their uniforms?  
Including their dress blues you see in the picture above.  
Not only do we pay our guys and gals squat, they have to pay for their own uniforms.  Grrrrr....

This next picture was taken on Family Day (the day before the graduation) and Ty got to show us all around the depot.  Marines only get to pass through these doors one time... the night they arrive for in-processing.  
That's when the torture transformation begins.

Tyler was so honored to have not only his dad and me at the graduation but also 
my parents and my uncle Charlie and his fiance, Nelly.  
My uncle graduated from Parris Island in August of 1959 and this was the first time he'd been back.
My dad has a brother who was also a Marine and I wish he'd been alive to see this.  
He would have loved it, I think.
You may notice that Matthew is not in the pictures.  
His flight on Wednesday evening was cancelled due to mechanical trouble and by the next morning, the big snow storm had hit and his flight was cancelled due to bad weather.  
So... he wasn't able to attend.  
We (and Matt and Ty, especially) were so disappointed.
It was a cold and windy day on family day and by the end of the day, we were all a little worse for wear but as you can see, all happy to be there.  
Not sure that Tyler had relaxed enough to smile at this point.

Uncle Charlie and Nelly, my mom, Ty, me, Rob and my dad.

My dad and mom on the left, Tyler and Uncle Charlie after graduation.

Rob, Ty and me.

Before Rob and I arrived at Parris Island, we spent a few days in Savannah.  
What a beautiful place that is with so much to see and do.
We had a most wonderful dinner at The Pink House and just shopped and bopped around town for a couple of days.  

The problem with blogging is that instagram and facebook often get the pictures before I get them up on the blog because it's so quick and easy.
So, all you guys that are FB friends and Instagram followers, 
my apologies for the duplicate pictures.

This was taken at the best store (IMHO) in Savannah, The Paris Market.  
They had this sweet banner hung up for pictures and we couldn't resist.
Actually, some other people that we didn't know were taking our pictures, too.
Why would anyone want pics of someone they didn't know?

This may be my favorite wall of all places I've ever been.  
It is in the DAR cemetery in Savannah and I just love it.  
These are headstones that have floated out of their resting spot at some point and put on the wall for safe keeping.

Finally, some stitching:
This pic is from my friend Lynn's FB page but it's a part of the group of 13 friends from our guild (Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild) that will be stitching a Friendship Sampler over the next year.

Edwina, Lynn, Mary, Pat and Nancy (in back), Julie, me and Paulette.

We all will stitch the same band on each others sampler but because of the rotation, threads and fabric selected by each individual stitcher, they will all look different.  Each person provides their own threads so no two samplers will look the same.  
You may or may not choose to stitch something at the top of your band.  
I chose to stitch something in advance because I know when I get it back in a year, I will not want to put one more stitch in it!  
This is what I came up with:  
The top portion was taken from "A Quaker Pincushion" from A Carriage House Samplings.  Because this is a friendship sampler, I amended her words (a name and removed the quaker medallions) to include this passage from the Bible.

The bees and skep were taken from A Goode Huswife chart called "The Bird Tree" and the flowers are from a Blue Ribbon Designs chart called "Heart of Gold".
I'm pretty pleased with how it came together and can't wait to see what the other 12 bands will look like!  Each band is supposed to be 20 stitches tall and 80 stitches wide.  We are able to increase or decrease the height slightly but the width is an absolute.  Check back in a year for the grand reveal.  

Tonight is Ty's last night with us before heading to the 
School of Infantry in North Carolina for about 8 weeks or so.
I wish him luck and love!
I'm so very proud of him.  
He has worked hard and overcome some major obstacles to get the right to earn the title of 
United States Marine.  

Have a wonderful week, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by and for all the lovely comments you leave.  They make this process of blogging worthwhile.  After all, if no one read or commented, what would be the point?  So a hearty thank you!!!

Check me out on FB and Instagram if you haven't already.

Love and Peace,