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

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends!

Day 1 of 2016 and so much to look forward to!  I hope the coming year is healthy and happy for you!

I have a lot to show you!

I got the Barbara Anna, Love Never Fails sampler back from the framer and gave it to Rob for our 25th anniversary, back in November.  

I know… what's a man want with a sampler?  
But this was significant for a few reasons.
First (and probably most important), I didn't wait until the last second to come up with a gift idea.  Second, I actually remembered to get something.
Three, it's a gift that took time.  
Here it is:

I've given the details previously but it's stitched on 35 count Tin Roof by WDW, with the called for fibers.  I made a few modifications to the pattern, to make it personal.  I love how it turned out and this may be one of my all time favorite stitches. I chose a more rustic, less feminine frame that has just a hint of blue in it.  

Rob liked it too.  I think.  What else could he say???

For Christmas, I got some amazing gifts:

A lovely, sweet, antique sampler, stitched in 1820 by Maria Beckett, gifted to me by Rob.  
There are a few holes in it but it is really lovely.  
The top left is the front of the sampler and the bottom right is the back.  
She was a neat stitcher, wasn't she? 
I believe this is stitched with silk threads as they have quite a sheen to them.  

A timely verse for the New Year, wouldn't you agree?

If Happiness be your pursuit
Plant Virtue and Content's the fruit.

I have to admit, I was a bit leery when I opened the package so I took it out of the frame to inspect.  
I was afraid Rob might have been hoodwinked.

As it turns out, it wasn't EXACTLY as described - it wasn't mounted using conservation framing and in fact, it was behind PLEXIGLAS otherwise known as plastic (yikes), WITHOUT spacers and was simply sitting on a similar colored piece of linen (that hadn't been ironed) so the holes weren't as visible as they might otherwise have been.  
I took it out of the frame, cleaned it up as gently as I could, and gently sewed it to another piece of linen making sure to not disturb or break any of the threads in the already sparse areas.

  I have a new frame ordered and it will be mounted properly when the frame arrives.
I'll show you when it's all complete.

Little pink houses and a sweet verse - what's not to love?

"Little pink houses for you and me."

Rob also got me this:

Yes!  Betty Ring's Girlhood Embroidery. 

 I have read about 1/4 of the first book.  
I'm trying to take in all the information and am trying to become as knowledgeable as I can about this
art form that we all love.

These books are inspiring, to say the least, and I've wanted them for a long time.

I know what you're thinking and yes, yes he is!

My final finish for 2015, on the evening of the 31st, was the Mystery Sampler by 
With Thy Needle and Thread.

I stitched this pretty, little piece with all the called for fibers but I did change the alphabet from 
beige to cranberry.
I had the entire alphabet stitched but it just didn't show up so I frogged and restitched.

If I'd known in advance I might do this, I would also have stitched the straight borders around the flowers in cranberry too but I'm not frogging and redoing all that.  You may want to do that should you decide to stitch this using the cranberry letters.

I had a couple of parties over the holidays and they were lots of fun.  
Getting ready for a party is always stressful, no matter what and these were no exception.  
I do bring a lot of it on myself, though.
For instance, I was having some of our guild members over on Saturday.
On Friday, while I was getting ready, Rob calls and says we should go get our flu shots.
It was a pretty day, unseasonably warm for Michigan, so I thought, hmmm, that seems like a good idea. It won't take long and I doubt too many folks will be lined up on this pretty day, so why not.

Here's why not: you might get distracted.

I went to get the shot but they weren't giving them that Friday.
As I was driving home, down a road with deep farm lots, I saw a pine tree with two BIG broken branches laying on the ground.  

I drove past and then thought hmmmm… those would make a great garland.

I turn around, look around and seeing not a soul, I broke off a few branches and tossed them in the trunk (or boot) of the car.
Whew!  Nobody saw me.  At least nobody pointed a rifle at me.

I got in the car, started to drive off and then, stupidly, I decided, 
what the heck.
Why not just load the branches (9 or so feet tall of them) into the car.  The trunk was already full with the big branches I'd broken off of these big suckers so I loaded them in the back of Rob's car.

Yes.  He was thrilled when he found out.  

Driving home, I was getting quite a few looks.  I'm sure they were thinking,
"That's the ugliest Christmas tree I've ever seen" or that's the dumbest lady, ever.  Not sure.

Matt had to help me get them out of the car.  It's a lot easier to jam them in than it is to pull them out.
Believe me.

But, I knew they would make a lovely garland for over the garage and would be worth the minimal effort it would take.

How hard could it be?
Harder than it looks, believe me.

How long could it take to make a garland long enough to cover the width of a 2 car garage?
Not long, right?


It takes hours.

Literally, hours.

It took hours that I should have spent cleaning the house, readying for the party.

Instead, I spent a ridiculous amount of time making the garland and hanging that darn thing.

I hope the folks that live in the house from where I got stole these, weren't planning to use them.
I feel kind of bad.  
Kind of.

Anyway, it turned out really pretty, the house was still in pretty good shape for our gathering, if you didn't look too closely, and I didn't get shot in the process so all was well.  

I don't recommend taking large branches from a yard but this did turn out really pretty.  
Plus, there was the added benefit of Rob's car still smelling like pine for a week.  

So… what's up for 2016?  I think I'm finally going to stitch Paulette's (Plum Street Samplers) "A Yuletide Welcome" which you can read about here:

this is the pic from her blog.  It is a gorgeous piece.

I love everything about it!  The house, the santa and the sleigh with the sunflower and that reindeer!  

 I'm anxious to get started!

That'll be my big project and then I'll throw in a few smaller pieces that catch my fancy as I move throughout the year.  
Not exactly a structured plan but it is a flexible plan.

My little family has made their wishes for 2016 and I hope that you have made yours.  
I hope all of our dreams and wishes, and all of your dreams and wishes, come true this coming year.

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings. 

Thank you too for the lovely comments from my last post.  
It's so sweet of you to take the time and it is appreciated more than you realize!


Be well,


Robin in Virginia said...

Lovely sampler (and of course the frame molding) you stitched as an anniversary gift for Rob! What a gorgeous sampler you were gifted with, Terri! So, where is the picture of the garland you created? Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year!

Jackie's Stitches said...

I love every bit of your anniversary sampler! I'm sure Rob treasures it as well.

I had to laugh at the "added benefit" of Rob's car smelling like pine for a week. I wonder if he thinks that is an added benefit as well? :)

Happy 2016! Wishing you all the best!

marly said...

I think your gift to him is really special. And what fabulous gifts you received! I saw a cut down spruce in a yard that no one was removing - very tempting.

Barb said...

That was a lovely gift for your husband. I actually gave my DH a sampler for our anniversary a few years ago. He seemed to really like it and it hangs in our bedroom. I have never been tempted to make a garland. They do look time consuming. I get mine from Costco and it is a good deal and lasts until mid-January. They are made form our native red cedar. Glad to hear you had a nice Christmas. His sampler gift was so thoughtful. My best to you and your family for 2016!

Annie said...

The BA sampler looks so beautiful and that really is the perfect frame.n I am so amazed that your DH appreciates it and also is "with it" enough to pick out that sampler and the books. Talk about soul mates!

Thanks for that hilarious episode of Modern Family....oh wait...that was you guys!

Have a wonderful 2016!

chickenchupacabra said...

So enjoyed your post - thank you!

Sherry said...

I love all your finishes! Especially the anniversary gift! I am sure your husband treasures it. I am also thinking about doing the same PSS piece for New Year. I would like to change the Yuletide Welcome to Winter Welcome though.

cucki said...

My dear I truly love your post..
I love your finishes so much..your anniversary gift is so sweet..I am sure your husband will love it..
Sending you love x

Vickie said...

Your anniversary gift is fantastic! I am amazed at what Rob gave you. Awesome.

Wanda said...

Happy New Year to you and your family Terri! I just love your blog! Your 'Love Never Fails' is stunning and a fabulous anniversary gift! I learned to cross stitch because I saw a picture with 1Cor 13 in it and wanted to do it. I still have it, it's just cross stitched words and very basic. I remember how thrilled I was as 1Cor 13 were part of our wedding vows. I also fell in love with BAs design as soon as I saw it and hope to do it as well.
What a precious antique sampler you received. The embroidery books looks amazing. Love the Mystery Sampler as well.
I just laughed at the story of the garland - it's beautiful and the party went well. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything 'perfect' when company comes and yet if we don't get everything done that we think we need to, somehow the party is still amazing!
Thanks as always Terri for your beautiful blog and sharing your love of life.

Glenna said...

Hilarious about the garland! Happy New Year!

Ellen said...

Wow, Rob certainly did very well with his gifts. I know you're enjoying your books, and your "new" sampler is wonderful!

Wish I could have seen you with your branches! I'm just imagining what you looked like during your latest escapade. You certainly had me laughing.

Chris said...

Happy New Year!
The anniversary sampler is beautiful. I know that Rob treasures it and knows the time it took to make. His gifts to you show how thoughtful and caring he is. You have a special guy :)
The garland looks amazing. I am sure that everything was perfect for the party!
Your planned project for the new year is lovely.
I will be in the D 2/17-23. Maybe we can meet.

Rita said...

Happy New Year! I love your anniversary sampler. Rob did a great job with gifts.

I love your garage garland story...the only thing missing is the picture of it over your garage. I'm glad you weren't shot in the process. ;-)

KrissKross said...

Beautiful, lovely, funny, and wonderful! Thanks for the great blog entry to kick off 2016! :)

Kathy said...

Really enjoyed your post. Your anniversary present to Rob looks fantastic in the frame you picked. It looks like it was meant just for the piece. Your present from Rob was a great, great gift, too.
Also, loved reading about your quest to get the garland, so funny. I can just imagine you driving home with it in the car and out of the car, lol. Were you holding it the whole time you were driving?

Wishing you a very Happy New Year and hoping all your stitching projects brings you nothing but joy. Here's to "NO FROGS ALLOWED" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mylene said...

A lovely post, enjoyed reading it.
Happy New Year and all the best for 2016!!

Annie Beez said...

So "jelly" of your Betty Rings-wow!! I have checked them out of the library so many times!!!

Margaret said...

What a fun post to read! I'm way behind on blog reading, but wanted to save your post for when I had the time to enjoy. Love your Christmas gifts! Wow! And I'm so impressed that you were brave enough to take that antique sampler and give it some loving care too. Looking forward to seeing it in its new frame. And the Betty Ring -- lucky you! Happy New Year!

Halland House Gifts said...

What a wonderful post of content and eye candy. I am reminded how full my stash has become again seeing your beauties. Yuletide Welcome came yesterday, and LNF waits to be stitched until after I've finished my first quilt. My first love will always be cross stitch, but I think I may have quilting in my blood.

Loraine said...

Oh wow Terri! So many wonderful thing to comment on!
Congrats on your 25th anniversary. I'm so happy for both of you. I love the sampler you stitched and I'm glad Rob was sweet about it. He sure knows how to buy you Christmas gifts! What a great sampler and book!
Also love your WTNaT sampler. That one has always caught my eye.
That is a funny story about your garland. I bet it looked gorgeous though! Things like that always take forever. We've moved to the desert. It's so nice not to have to go all our out the Christmas decorations. Lol!
I have been working on A Yuletide Welcome all week and have about 10 rows of the house done. It's going to take flipping forever, but I love it too!
Wishing you all the best in this new year. Hugs!

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

I have to laugh Terri...I do wild, weird, wonderful things just like you - only difference - I usually get caught! LOL!
I ADORE your Anniversary Sampler! I LOVE Yuletide Welcome and can't wait to see it grow on your piece of the web!
I laughed out loud and spit my coffee all over the keyboard about your garland heist and best of all putting in the DH car...AND he still gave you great Christmas gifts!
Thanks for a great start to my day!

Annette-California said...

I am still wipping tears of laughing so much at your tail of the pine tree & branches, LOL!!!!! OMG! I am really happy you went back, Twice - that took courage, LOL!!!

Your Anniversary sampler gift is SOOOO LOVELY! Your man did great!
I can't stop laughing. Happy New Year - love Annette lol......

Angela said...

Beautiful finishes, Happy New Year!

Prims By The Water said...

What wonderful samplers and your anniversary one is gorgeous! I had a neighbor take the branches off my hygrangea tree once without my knowledge and it died..she told me I don't think I would take anything from someone elses property without asking...good thing no one saw you. Happy New Year and look forward to seeing your 2016 samplers. Janice

Sally said...

What a wonderful sampler for your anniversary. The frame is perfect! Love the sampler your husband bought you and the book looks wonderful.

I had to giggle at your branches! Glad it was worth it though :)

Louise said...

I just love your anniversary sampler!! I have ordered the same design for our anniversary, and waiting for it patiently as its on back order. I do hope I can still get it. Would love info on where you found letters to use for the date and names!? It looks perfect!! Thank you for any info, as I know the original design does not have it personalized as you do, and this makes it so special. Wishing you a happy new year ahead!