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

Chocolate Loving Followers!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dear friends,
So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks.  
I’ve been stitching, I’ve been traveling and I’ve been shopping.  
This first picture combines stitching (not mine) and shopping.  
I saw this sweatshirt in a shop in Traverse City, Michigan last week and picked it up to buy it because, why wouldn’t I, right?  
It is perfect – the stitching is lovely, the design is pretty.
Yeah, the sweatshirt color itself isn’t one of the prettiest shades of gray (LOL) but the colors pop on it and I could live with it.  
Wait for it.  
The price.
Can you see the ticket?

The sweatshirt was $189.00 US$.  Yes, I'm serious.
I mean, it was a SWEATSHIRT.  Not, a sweater. 
GRAY sweatshirt.  
The cross stitch was pretty, and I can imagine that some poor girl in a horrible environment got less than $10 (that’s being optimistic) to make it but I couldn’t buy it.  
Would you have bought it?

I finished this sweet, little Santa and reindeer from Plum Street Samplers.

The pattern is Merry One.
The fabric is LL Green Pear and it is much more green than the photo is showing.  
The darker fabric means I had to change some of the fiber colors.
Nothing drastic, just a tad darker in shade and randomly pulled from stash.

I don’t fancy myself a finisher but I’ll give it a go this weekend and maybe, I’ll let you see how it turns out.  Maybe.  

Rob and I took a mini vacay and visited Mackinac Island,
Traverse City, Petoskey and several other small towns and wineries.
Lots of wineries and micro breweries.  There are a lot of them in Northern Michigan.
We visited a few.
Mmm hmmm.

Here are a few pics from our trip for you to gander at.

Some antiques from a beautiful store owned by a beautiful woman from France (is there any other kind?).  A little, wooden piano and baby bank (never seen anything like it),  an antique sampler that was very inexpensive but it wasn't the finest work and the colors are a bit bright and an old game.  

At the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. 

In Petoskey and biking around Mackinac Island.

Stone piles all over the island, in town for dinner, a selfie (you can see why I hate them), and our beautiful room.

We had a grand time.

Have you seen Paulette's  THE SUNDAY MYSTERY SAMPLER?
Paulette is doing another Christmas SAL!  
And, guess what?  

It’s free.
Yep, free.  

And, it’s the 12 days of Christmas.
Twelve, TWELVE little ornies, stitched together or separately
all free and all designed by Paulette.

What’s not to love?
I'm so excited!
 Clich HERE for all the details.

I can’t wait to do this one and now I have the perfect thing to hang them on!  You see, a last stop store in Petoskey was having a closing for the season sale.  

This was a display item but I just knew I needed it forSOMEthing so I asked if they'd sell it to me.  The gal working in the store called the owner and she said I could buy it.  For $12.  Score!!!

Serendipitous, don’t you think?  
There are 14 little hangers on the tree but I’ll do something to make it work.  
Maybe hang a couple of antique ornaments on it, or something.   
Oh, gosh.  
To make this work, I have to stitch AND finish 12 ornaments.  

Finish them.  
That means sewing.

Maybe they’ll all be done in time for next year.

Will you stay tuned? 

Pictures of Petoskey borrowed from Google

Most of the stores in the quaint towns in Northern Michigan, like Petoskey, close for the winter but we got there just before they all closed for the season and between those and the wineries and the lovely dinners, I had a blast.

Can you blame them for closing?  Brrrrr….

Finally, since this IS October.  
This is my kitchen table.  

The two cheese graters were found at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago for a quarter a piece.

I love them and how they glow with a candle.

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a note, when you can.

Be well,

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.