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

Chocolate Loving Followers!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hello, friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day and that it was as happiness filled as ours.  The truth of the matter is, I never thought Christmas would be as special as it was when our boys were little. The magic of the day was always amplified by their laughter and the sparkle of belief in magic, in their eyes.  They were the most special times and I treasure those memories.  This Christmas was every bit as special, and every bit as memorable.  Christmas day with my Rob, my boys, my dad and my mom was a gift that I will forever treasure.  We do not know how many more Christmases we will get with my mom where she will be able to understand what's going on, so we all did everything we could to make it a perfect day for her.  The happiness and surprise in her eyes, as she opened her many gifts, was the best gift I could have gotten.  It was special.  There are so many days where she is confused about everything around her and words just don't come very easily and it is heartbreaking .  But this day, oh, this day was wonderful!  

Look at that face.  That beautiful, joy filled face!


   🌺 🌹 🌸 🌺 🌹🌸🌷 🌺  πŸŒΉπŸŒΈπŸŒ· 🌺 🌹🌺🌸🌷 🌺 🌹 🌺 🌷🌸 🌺 🌹 🌺🌸🌹🌷

 do have something stitching related to show you!  I know I showed you my finished PSS 'A Yuletide Welcome', but I didn't show it to you framed.  Did I?  Anyway, here it is.  If I already showed you this, I'm sorry.  I love how it turned out and as I planned, I will leave it out year round.

I also want to show you a beautiful gift I received from my friend Judy.  She is an amazing stitcher and always makes the most beautiful things for our guild auction.  I was flabbergasted when she made this for me.  Isn't it beautiful?  It is an old Carriage House Samplings pattern, 'A Quaker Stocking', and she finished it beautifully!  It will also hang in my home, year round.

Finally, thank you to all of you that sent my sweet mother a birthday card for her 80th birthday.  She was overwhelmed by how many of you sent them and at how pretty they were. She received over 100 cards from most of our states and many foreign countries.  I can't tell you how fun it was to go to the mailbox everyday and receive so many cards!  You all wrote such sweet notes and she was just giggly about it.  You all are the best and I appreciate it more than I can tell you.  Her 80th birthday was special because of you We had a great meal with a few close friends and family.
My parent's good friends Bob and Nadine on each end of the sofa, my mom, her brother Charlie and my dad are in the center.

We had a wonderful meal with the table surrounded by a canopy of 40 balloons.

Finally, we set off Chinese paper lanterns for a little love and luck.
Everyone tied a special wish onto their lantern and we let them go.  It was a clear, beautiful night and the lanterns soared and looked like their own constellation.

Those are all lanterns in the distance except of course, the moon.

 The lanterns were made of entirely biodegradable material so it was not only pretty in the night sky, it was safe for the planet when they landed! 

Thank you for your friendship, your comments and your support as I go through my stitching and life journey.  I appreciate you all more than you can know.  Here's hoping for a healthy and happy and prosperous New Year for all of us.

Be well,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Celebrity Spotting Goodfellows

Dear friends,


    I was going to do a post to show you a few estate sale finds but have decided instead to showcase the beautiful work of my friend, and KSSG guild member, Nadine.  For the last few years, she has organized the donation of dolls to the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Fund of Detroit.

 From the Goodfellows official website:

 "No Kiddie Without a Christmas"

Since 1914, that’s been the mission of the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit. This year, 34,000 children in Detroit, Harper Woods, Highland Park, River Rouge and Hamtramck will get holiday gift boxes filled with clothing, candy, books, toys and more. But we do more than make sure kids aren’t “forgotten” one day each year. We enhance their lives with our shoe and dental programs, camperships and scholarships to Wayne State University. Because regardless of what day it is, “forgotten” is no way to feel.

The Goodfellows provide about 10,000 very ordinary, undressed dolls to volunteers that dress them for distribution, during Christmas.  This is what the dolls look like when the stylists get them.

Plain.  Not fancy.

Nadine and her friends and coworkers dressed approximately 50 dolls, this year.  

The two that Nadine dressed this year were so fantastic, I had to show them to you.

First up, Lady Gaga (whom I have MAD respect for after seeing her with Tony Bennett). 

Lady Gaga at the Oscar's.

The inspiration!
Perfection.  Pure. Simple. Elegant. Perfection.

Her next doll is a tribute to a legend we lost this year. 

Check out the pants Nadine made.
 Nadine said he borrowed his guitar from his Metallica friends!
That face!

Here are some other dolls that Nadine created, in past years, that I thought you might enjoy seeing:
The Queen of Soul. 
Aretha at Barrack Obama's inauguration!      
Look at the details - the dress, the belt, the pin, sequins on the hat and the pearl earrings.
Will you ever forget that hat?

Meet Nicki Minaj! 

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce

 I don't know about you, but I think these Goodfellows dolls would make a wonderful display at the


 Here are a few more examples of Nadine's work.

Our civil rights heroine. 
Rosa Parks.

A beauty from India:
Nadine even made these sweet sandals.
I have a pair very similar!
Every detail is thought of and exceptionally executed!
Every girl's favorite princess.
All are perfect. 
All are Gorgeous.
I know that all are loved.
Thank you to this beautiful lady for letting me show off the amazing dolls she created to make Christmas so much more special for our metro Detroit, little girls.

Recognize that hat???? 

Thank you, Nadine!

 Be well and thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving your kind notes.
Each and every note and visit is greatly appreciated!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Bees Knees~

Dear friends,

Welcome back to my  little corner of the blogosphere!  I have some fun pics to show you today!
First up are some pictures from our latest guild meeting.  The theme was bees.  The ladies brought in things they had stitched or collected, related to bees.  The most magnificent bee item was this bee skep casket which was designed and made by Pam Zolkosky's husband.  Every year, a group of women exchange gifts and every year Pam's husband designs and makes a wooden something as her (their) gift.  After that, Pam stitches all the accessories for it.  I'd guess this was about 8 inches tall and about the same circumference.  It was big, beautiful and creative!
Feast on this beauty~

Next up are other items our talented guild members brought in.  I'm sorry that I didn't get the name(s) of those who brought each item.  But, as you can see, they are all talented!

Fabulous, right?

The project in this next pic (upper left) was our bee project for the day. 
Sharon had her nephew make these wonderful cherry spools for us and she designed the pattern to go with it. 
I think I'm going to leave the pin cushion top off of mine so you can see the beautiful wood and use the fabric to make a coordinating scissor fob. 
Then, I'll use the spindle to hold the scissors.

It's in the queue.   

My other favorite thing that was brought in was this bee skep hat by my friend Nadine. 
I LOVE this and just had to try it on. 
Luckily, she said she didn't mind if I put it on my head.

Wouldn't this be a fun Sunday, church picnic hat?
Yeah, I'd totally wear it~!

 If you ever see a fancy, vintage hat like this grab it for me, will ya?

One of the last estate sales I went to was the home of a sewer and a stitcher. 
I found this small spool holder that I thought was adorbs and it totally went with the little box my  mom had found for me at an estate sale in Virginia a couple of years ago.

One of the other things I found at the same sale were these floss organizers full of
1/4" silk ribbon and silk embroidery floss. 
The boxes were $10 each, I think, but on the last day, they were 1/2 off so I got them all.
Why not? 
This was not all of it, either. 
A whole lot more was in bags, still in original wrap and/or wound on old, wooden spools and because they weren't sorted like these were, they were even cheaper.  A huge bag for $2.50 on the last day. 

Next time I'll show you the shaker style boxes I got with ribbon embroidery on top of them.
They were even more of a steal than these were, if you can believe it!

I didn't get as much stitching in during the Olympics as I thought I would and despite my best efforts, the grassy area of PSS's "A Yuletide Welcome" is not quite done. 

Here's a little peak of it and the floss I'm using for the grass.
A few more rows...
Thanks so much for all the sweet, encouraging and thoughtful comments on my last post.
You are all a blessing to me and I appreciate you so very much.

Be well,

Monday, August 8, 2016

Alzheimer's, Stitching and Estate Sales, Yay!

Dear friends,
I have tried to write a blog post many, many times since my last post.  I have so much to say and to show you that I just get overwhelmed.  And, I'm tired.  So, I do nothing.  I'm going to try again by taking one or two bites out of the elephant and then, if successful, I'll come back and do it again. 


First - thank you to all of you who have asked about my parents, and my mom, in particular.  They have settled in nicely and we've all gotten into a pretty good rhythm and are enjoying each others company.  My folks pretty much have the house to themselves during the day and in the evening, we are there to socialize and offer whatever help we can. 

This is the former dining room turned bedroom for them.

My mom's Alzheimer's has progressed, and is continuing to progress, faster than I would have thought.  I was sure I had a pretty good understanding of how retched this disease was but until seeing it day to day, I didn't have a clue.  

What I really hate is when she smiles and waves at someone, and they don't respond in kind.
It's hurtful.
It's sad.
I want to punch those people in the throat.
Sorry, but I do.

Not only are the memories of who we are fading from her, but her memory of how to do things we think so simple and ingrained are becoming a mystery as well.  My goal is, and has always been, to protect her and to make sure she never feels embarrassed, humiliated or without dignity.  I try to remember to ask if she'd like assistance with a task before jumping in and just doing it.  I don't always remember.  Simple things are becoming a challenge.  I try to remember to cut her food for her before serving, so she's not embarrassed that my dad or I have to cut it for her, in front of others at the table.  I offer to help her select her outfits hoping she'll know that I enjoy doing it.  I gently remind her that I am here for her, for whatever she needs.  We all are.  She was in the hospital last week mainly due to dehydration.  I beg, plead and cajole her to drink water but as with many, it's hard to get her to do it.  The hardest times though are when she wants to go visit her parents, who have long since passed.  She misses them terribly.  I wish I could find a way to ease that pain.  That aside, there are plenty of happy moments that make us smile and be happy that we are all together and we cherish those moments! 
I'm so glad they are with us.

Now... for some stitching related news!

My Joyful World SAL is coming along nicely, I think.

It's sitting in front of my little fairy garden, in a galvanized bucket, that Julie gave me last year for my birthday.
If you're part of the SAL on FB, I apologize that you're seeing this picture again! 

I changed the January, April, May and August blocks to suit my own personal taste.  I also decided to add our households names and birthdates under their birth month block and I have to admit, I love how it looks.  I hope to have the outline completed for September before the 10th, when the next pattern is released.  We'll have to wait to see if I decide to keep that block as designed, or change it up a bit.  This has been a fun project and it is stitched on 35 count, over one, with various DMC, silk and over dyed flosses.  I'm not really keeping track of colors.  If I use one, I toss it in a bag and I may or may not use it again.  If I want to add another color, I grab one from stash.  The August block is from a Cricket Collection Scottie mitten freebie.

I have managed to get a small bit of work done on Plum Street Samplers A Yuletide Welcome.  I can't wait to get this one done and really, just love everything about it.  I have debated and debated about how to do the grassy area because even though it's a Christmas sampler, I'd like to leave it out year round (if I can find wall space).  I think I've resolved that - but a pic will have to wait till next time.  I started the grass area during the Olympics and my goal is to have it done by the time the Olympics are concluded.  I may just stitch till then and call it done, regardless of what's been done.  

I almost hate to show you all the stitching related estate sale finds I've stumbled upon recently!  Seriously, fabric (more specifically, lots and lots of cross stitch linen), buttons, bed linens (glorious, hand embroidered and pieced together linen sheets and pillow cases), DMC thread boxes and lots and lots of floss, ribbon and old embroidery hoops and all kinds of other goodies.  Far too much to show in one post so here a few pics of my finds.

First, this is the home of the most recent sale I went to in Grosse Pointe.  Quite the grand house and not what most of the estate sale homes look like, but it's always fun to go in something this big, just to see the house and decorating.  The gardens in the back were absolutely spectacular.

I was so excited to find all of these calico buttons!  Aren't they pretty? 
What shall I use them for?  Any ideas?
                                                           More buttons I found.  I think the card was maybe a dollar. 
I might put these on a sweater. 

I thought these embroidery hoops were amazing and for a quarter a piece,
I couldn't just leave them there, could I? 
Some are marked... some not.


More estate sale finds next time.

Finally, Rob and I went to a concert last week and had a great time although the concert (Brian Ferry of Roxy Music) wasn't all that great.  The music doesn't always have to be great to have a great time, right?

We have another concert coming up this weekend - Sarah McLachlan and Josh Grobin.  Rob is not too excited about this one.  I'm mostly looking forward to hearing Sarah but I love Josh too, so I'm sure it'll be a good time.  We're going to that one with Sheila and her DH, Moe.  Can't wait!

Until next time, have a great rest of summer and be kind to everyone!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I am Blessed

Dear friends!

Life is good.  Busy, but good.  Rob and I successfully moved my folks from Florida to Michigan.  Their belongings, that weren’t transportable by plane or car, will arrive on Friday.  While the transition for Rob and me and the boys has been easy, it has been more challenging for my folks, as I expected it would be.  There’s a lot to get used to – the different climate (cool temperatures and a lack of sunshine are hard to take when you’re used to so much sun), the noise of a busier household, the different routines, the clutter of a busy, still working family, ongoing construction and so many other things.   The house is a noisy disaster as the reno on the bathroom still isn’t done.  There is stuff everywhere, not to mention the constant dust on the furniture and the floors.  It’s very hard for mom to go up and down stairs so once the first floor bath is done, and the dust settles, their life should be greatly improved.   My dad is truly a saint.  Almost every night, and often during the day, my mom gets very disoriented and confused.   The house, the location and the people in it are a mystery to her and I can’t imagine the level of fear and angst she must have on an almost continual basis.  My dad very calmly tells her their story beginning with how they met, married and raised a family to include all the places we’ve lived and finally explains that she has a disease called Alzheimer’s and that he (and all of us) are here to help her remember, when she can’t.  He is the most gentle and loving person and she is extremely lucky to have him in her life.  She knows this, too.  When I am with her for any length of time, and my dad isn’t around, she talks about how wonderful he is.  She knows she is blessed to have him and I know that I’m blessed to have THEM.  I am truly honored that we (Rob and me) have the privilege of having them live with us.    I am further blessed that my Rob is much like my dad – loving, patient and kind.  Yep, even for all that is going on, life and God, are good.

Here’s my progress on the Joyful World SAL by Matya at Snowflower Diaries.  I have changed a lot of the blocks, as you can see.  For April, I changed the bunny to one of Matya’s free patterns that I’ve always loved but had never stitched.  Since she had a bunny for April, I thought it a perfect time to incorporate this cute couple into my SAL.  For May, my changes were a bit bolder.   I wouldn’t say I don’t like cats but I would say cats don’t like me.  They make my eyes all puffy and red and itchy and because of that I guess, I’ve always had an affection for dogs.  So you might think I would stitch Sophie and Gracie, but you’d be wrong.  No, I thought I’d like a polka dotted cow thrown in the mix to prim the whole thing up a bit.  After trying to design my own, and having failed miserably – trust me, it looked really, really bad, I decided to use the cow from the Maria Tilley chart.  I made a few bad alterations and now have something that looks like a cross between a weird looking cow and a not too attractive horse.  Let’s just call it primitive.  Yeah, that’s it.  It’s Primitive.

Our guild auction was a success and I was actually able to attend and bring my mom with me!  The only reason I could do that was because Julie and Sheila and Meghan and Christina ran the auction along with lots of other helpers.  Without them all, the auction would not have been a success. 

The scissor fob sale went pretty well and certainly made more than past bake sales have but I don’t know if it was the huge success I was hoping.  All the fobs brought in were really pretty though – here they are – I’m sorry for the poor pic quality on some of them:

There are Matya’s cute bunnies, again!


The fob I made is on the top row, middle of the next picture.  There was a small bee stitched on the back, as well.   


Aren’t they all fabulous!? 

My mom had a good time at the auction and got the one item that she fell in love with – a quilt!  The perfect thing since she seems to be constantly chilly.  This is a picture of her (on the right) and the maker, Mary holding up the beautiful quilt.  It is folded in half in the pic so it’s a biggie and my mom absolutely adores it!   The auction was a very long day for my mom and she had fun but by the end of the day she was exhausted and pretty confused.  It was my fault – I kept her there a bit too long but I was so happy to share the day with her and to have her meet all the ladies I’ve grown to know and love so much.


Today is my Matt’s 25th birthday.  He has become a successful young man and will be moving into a house, in a trendy little town, at the beginning of June and I am going to miss him terribly. Matt always has a smile on his face when he comes through the door and he is gracious and helpful and kind and I am going to miss having him around.