Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all. I hope 2008 has been a wonderful year for you and hope 2009 brings you good health and happiness.

I'm at my Dad's for the holiday. I did bring my camera and have taken a few pictures, but, silly me left the sync cord for my camera at home, so I can't upload photos until I get back home.

I'm having a relaxing time at my Dad's ..... stitching a little, napping a little, and getting talked into playing XBox with my step-nephews when they are over. I'm happy to say I have 2 weeks off from work, all of this week and next.

For those of you that have snow, enjoy the snow .... hopefully you'll share pictures on your blogs. For us here in NC, it's upper 60's, sunny and beautiful.

Hugs to all.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stitching update

Hello all. It's been a bit since I've posted. I thought I'd share some stitching photos with ya. While at my Dad's for Thanksgiving, I stitched this Pine Mountain pillow kit:

I had some WIPs I could have worked on while at my Dad's, but the light is not the greatest, and I usually have a Pine Mountain kit or 2 in my stitching bag, so that's what I stitched on Thanksgiving Day.

From the Society RR group, I stitched an extra 2 squares on Karen's piece.

Back in September, I stitched "J" and "R" on this piece, then sent it on its way to the next couple of stitchers. I had wanted to stitch a third, so after my buddy Ruth finished working on it, she sent it back to me and I stitched another 2 squares, "H" and "I". Now it's off again to the next stitcher. Isn't it looking great.

Now onto WIP's. After the PALS Fling in October, I started working on the pinkeep from the class I attended at the PALS Fling:

The class was taught by Jane Timmers of Fancy Work. As other blogger buddies that took this class have posted, Jane is a wonderful teacher. If you ever get a chance to take one of her classes, you should. The pinkeep is stitched over 1. I love the colors of this. There is also a biscornu, also over 1, that will get stitched after the pinkeep is finished. I was working on this the first part of November, when I could find time to stitch.

After Thanksgiving, I found myself in a mood to start something new, even though I have several WIPs and UFOs that could use my attention. So, I started JBWs "French Country A, B, C's":

The fabric is darker than it appears in this photo. The pattern and photo is blue floss stitched on a white fabric. I purchased the pattern and the blue fabric at the PALS Fling a year ago and decided to stitch it reversed, white floss on the blue fabric. Not too much of it completed yet, but I think it's going to look very cool when completed.

And last but not least, I started working on Lizzie Kate April FlipIt, from the very first FlipIt series from 2002.

Most of these were stitched last year in a round robin. There were 4 squares left to stitch when it returned to me. My buddy Ruth took it home with her after the PALS Fling in October and stitched a square. And her friend Judy surprised me by stitching another. So that leaves 2 more squares to stitch, April and May.

That's it for stitching updates. I hope to have these WIPs finished by end of the month.

Hugs to all....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you Veterans

Thank you Veterans for your loyal service to our country. The sacrifices you make to keep our country safe and free is greatly appreciated. For those that are currently deployed overseas, may you soon be home safe.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why I love Autumn

There are a many reasons why I love Autumn.... Watching football, crisp sunny days and nights starting to get a little chilly, apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkins. But one of the best things in Autumn, the colors of fall foliage. The colors of fall are georgeous now. It's a little past peak color, but still beautiful. I took my camera to work Friday and took a few photos from the windows of where I work. And after breakfast this morning, I drove around a bit, taking a few more photos.

I hope you enjoy these photos.

I had to take a picture of this one tree in the parking lot at work:

This is a field next to my building:

The rest were taken while I was driving around this morning:

I haven't forgotten that I still own you Myrtle Beach photos. I'll try to get those posted in the next few days.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trip to Utah and the Shepherd's Bush retreat

Yes, I'm finally posting pictures from my trip to the Shepherd's Bush stitching retreat in Utah. The trip to Utah was the end of September. Since then, last week, I also have attended the PALS stitching retreat in Myrtle Beach. I have lots of photos to share, but this post will be dedicated to the trip to Utah and the Shepherd's Bush retreat.

I traveled to the retreat with 2 of my stitching buddies from my LNS. After arriving in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, we drove to Ogden, home of Shepherd's Bush. One street over from Shepherd's Bush was a knitting store we visited. On that street, it was Main Street if I'm remembering correctly, they had several painted horse statues. Here are pictures of 4 of them:

Aren't they COOL.

Here is the photo taken from my hotel window in Odgen:

On Thursday, we drove from Odgen to Park City. Park City is where the stitching retreat was held. The directions we were given to travel from Odgen to Park City took us on a longer route, but it was a wonderful scenic route. Here is a view from the car as we traveled west from Odgen:

Park City is where some of the 2002 Winter Olympic events were held, one of which was the ski jump. As you enter Park City area from the interstate, you pass right by the ski jumps:

We drove up into the Olympic Park area where the ski jump is. The bobsled and luge runs were also there. Apparently you can ride down the bobsled and luge runs (on wheels I assume when there is no snow) on certain days of the week (we weren't there on those days). :-)

The stitching retreat is held at The Canyons resort. The entire area of Park City is big-time ski resort area. Historic downtown Park City is very cute, all kinds of shops and restaurants. We ate lunch at a restaurant in historic downtown Park City called Zoom. Zoom is owned by Robert Redford and we were told he is there during Sundance. Alas, he was not there while we were there. Here is a photo from the balcony of my room at The Canyons resort:

Now, on to pictures of what I bought at Shepherd's Bush and of the projects from the stitching retreat.

The first 2 photos are what I bought at Shepherd's Bush:

Note: The little red "Dash" project in lower right corner has been stitched, I stitched it while at the retreat. I just need to mount it into the included tin.

On Thursday night of the retreat, they have what they call "Shared Stitches". Everyone gathers together and receives a project. All of the designers/teachers at the retreat pitch in parts of this project. The project on the left in the next photo was the "Shared Stitches" project. The 2 pictures show the design for the front and the back of the project:

The scissor fob kit to the right of the above photo was the Shepherd's Bush scissor fob for the 2008 Stitching Retreat. I picked it up at the "store" at the retreat, forgot to include it in the earlier photos of things I bought.

My class on Friday was with Charland Designs. Here is photo of the class project. We received all supplies needed to stitch and finish the project:

Friday night we gathered for a presentation from Jacqueline Holdsworth from England. She shared stories and photos from the Ackworth Quaker Sampler Collection. We also received a small project from her, pictured here:

On Saturday, there were 2 classes. First was the Shepherd's Bush class. Here is photo of Shepherd Bush class project:

Notice the small felt scissor fob on the left. That was Teri's special project for us. From what I've heard, Teri of Shepherd's Bush loves to give people a quick and easy project, one that you can finish very fast, so you can at least walk away with one completed project. The flowers and hearts were already cut, we just had to cut out the leaves, thread a needed with thread and add the layers, run the needle through a few times and .... done, a finished project. It's really cute.

Saturday afternoon was Blackbird Designs class. Here is photo of the Blackbird Designs class project:

The class time was spent in painting, waxing, and fabric lining the box. I wasn't too keen on having the painted box in my luggage the next day, so I watched and helped others and will paint, wax and fabric line my box at home.

Last, but not least, a very cool part of the retreat was an ever growing charm bracelet. When we met for the "Shared Stitches" project on Thursday night, we were given a charm bracelet and a charm. Then every time we attended something, our classes, the presentation by Jacqueline Holdsworth, etc, we received another charm or two. We also received a necklace with a pendant on the banquet night. Here is a photo of my bracelet, all the charms I received, and my necklace:

That's it for the Shepherd's Bush Retreat. I took many photos of the mountains around Ogden and Park City. And I have a few photos from the classes, but I figured I've flooded you with enough photos for one post.

I'll give everyone a few days to enjoy my pictures from my adventure to Utah, while I'm working on photos from the PALS retreat last week in Myrtle Beach.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And the winner is.........

Carol R

Congratulations Carol. I've sent you an email, please send your mailing address in your reply.

Thanks to all that visited my blog and left comments. I hope you will visit again.

I am putting together photos from the Shepherd's Bush retreat. I will probably post later tonight about the Shepherd's Bush retreat. Then I'll be posting about my PALS retreat last week at the beach.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A contest for my 1st Blogoversary

Hi everyone. It has been weeks since I've posted. A few weeks ago, I flew to Utah to attend Shepherd's Bush Stitching retreat. I do have pictures on my camera that I need to post. My apologies for not posting pictures yet. In a few days, I will be going to the PALS Falls Fling. The time between retreats has been very busy with work and rehearsals and trying to get ready for the PALS retreat. I still have many things to get done between now and next week.

The main purpose of this post is to announce my upcoming 1st Blogoversary, which will be October 22. AND, to celebrate, I have decided to have a Blogoversary Contest!!!

To enter my contest, all you have to do is post a comment to this post, asking to be entered into my Blogoversary Drawing. Deadline for comments - end of my day October 22, midnight US Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT). On Thursday, October 23, I'll put all names into a hat (or bowl) and draw a winner.

The winner will receive a surprise package containing an assortment of cross stitch goodies (things like fabric, threads, beads, etc), totaling $20-$25 value.

Feel free to spread the word to your cross-stitching blog-buddies. For those that visit my blog, I hope you will visit again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good morning everyone

This past weekend was a mixture of being busy and being lazy (lazy mixed in with occasional naps). I'm sad to say I did not pick up a needle the entire weekend.

Friday, I left work a little early to meet up with some friends to go see "Mama Mia". Yes, I had not seen it until now. Oh, it was so hilarious. I loved it. After the movie, we migrated to the Friday's parking lot and had dinner (while the first bands of Hannah had arrived .... the rains had started).

Saturday I worked at my LNS, and relaxed and fought off naps later that afternoon. As for tropical storm Hannah, she was pretty much gone by noon, by early afternoon, the sun was out and it was a beautiful afternoon. For Sunday, the only thing I accomplished was going to the grocery store and a banjo lesson. I took a nice long nap around noon on Sunday. The only stitching related thing I did was on Sunday evening when I pulled out several Christmas ornaments patterns, picked out several, and pulled some pieces of 28ct and 32ct fabrics on which to stitch ornaments. Monday night, I did go to my LNS after work for stitch night and did start stitching on an ornament. I should finish it tonight.

I will share one photo with you. Background -- a few years ago Raleigh tore down the old convention center (a hidious building) and started working on a new convention center. It is now complete and this past weekend was the grand opening. A few blocks of downtown were blocked off and a celebration dubbed "Raleigh Wide Open" began. I did not go (I sortof forgot about it). One photo I found which I had to share was of the banners that were hanging in downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh is named for Sir Walter Raleigh. I love the "Rock on with Thy Self" banner. Whomever came up with that one, A+.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did y'all have a great Labor Day weekend?

My Labor Day weekend was uneventful. The Raleigh Concert Band had a concert at a park Sunday afternoon. We played about 1/2 of the concert before the rain started from a passing thunderstorm. Of course, by the time we were getting the percussion instruments packed up, the rain stopped ... oh well. Yesterday (Monday) was a beautiful day here. Sunny, not too warm, nice breeze blowing. I did not spend as much time outside as I should have, was only out to run a couple of errands.

As for stitching, I worked on Teresa Wentzler's Needle Guardian. Here is a progress picture as of last night:

Oh, on Friday, I picked up my new banjo. It is absolutely beautiful. I'll post pictures in the next day or so.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Howdy Everyone! Happy Friday!

I finally uploaded pictures from the digital camera. First, my recent trip to Asheville, NC. Each year, my LNS has 2 stitching retreats, a beach retreat to Myrtle Beach in March and a "Christmas in July" retreat to the NC mountain town of Asheville. The mountain retreat was August 8 and 9, yes, this summer our "Christmas in July" retreat was in August. Asheville is a small to medium size town I would say. To me it has become a town that is a mixture of generations of families that have lived there their entire lives and lots of new folks.... a mixture of arts and crafts and business. To me the one word that describes Asheville is quaint. There are some beautiful old churches in Asheville. One church you will pass as you head into downtown is the Basilica of St. Lawrence.

It is beautiful inside. It has the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. Here's a picture of the inside (you can see part of the dome ceiling).

Another church is the First Baptist Church of Asheville.

This church has a domed roof and every time I pass the church I love looking at the colors on the roof.

More about the retreat. Susan Greening Davis is the guest instructor. Susan is a wonderful person. If you have met her or attended one of her classes or retreats, you know what I'm talking about. Here is a picture of Susan (on the left) and Sarah, my LNS owner (on the right). Both Susan and Sarah are wonderful designers and both have class projects for us at the retreats. NOTE: The red purse in the chair was Susan's first project.

Here is my finished purse.

Other designs (or photos) can be inserted into the front pocket. I will eventually pick a patriotic design to stitch and insert into the bag for non-Christmas time.
Susan's second project was a Christmas ornament. Here is my completed ornament.

Susan's project include red and green ribbon that she added around the perimeter. I decided to just use the white ribbon. If I decide to stitch another, I'll use the other colors of ribbon on it.

Sarah's 2 projects were also ornaments. I don't have them finished yet, but here is a WIP photo of project #1.

Each square will have the gold "box" and within each gold box are various designs. Once stitched, it gets folded and finished into a cube. The designs Sarah designed for the sides are very cute. I'll keep you posted with WIP pictures as I continue working on it. Along with this project, during the last few weeks, I'm bouncing between a handful of other projects, including a couple of Patriotic projects not finished in July. Here are current WIP pictures of the others:

Susan's "large project bag" from the March stitching retreat (a picture of the "small project bag" can be seen in April 08 posts on my blog):

Shepherd's Bush "Scatter Freedom":

Shepherd's Bush "Land That I Love":

And, for the Stitch a Fantasy blog, Teresa Wentzler's Needle Guardian:

I love the colors used on this.

Sorry the post is so long, but I had lots of photos to share. I hope everyone has a wonderful upcoming weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How old is your brain?

Yes, yes, ok, first a quick update on recent trips. And, yes, I know, I owe you stitching updates and pictures.

I have been back to the NC mountains the last 2 weekends. Weekend before last, I was in Asheville, NC for my LNS' Mountain Retreat. This is the "Christmas in July" stitching retreat, even though the trip was in August. This past weekend, the Dixieland band had a gig in Valle Crucis, NC. Valle Crucis is a small NC mountain town, very pretty area of the mountains, not too far from Boone, NC.

I have 2 of the projects from the mountain retreat done, and have some other WIP's I keep bouncing between. Tonight I will upload pictures from the camera and will post some stitching pics.

Now. How old is your brain. I thought this was fun and figured I would share.

1) Click the link below:

2) Most of the website is in Japanese, ignore that. Click "START".

3) Wait for the 3, 2, 1 countdown. At the end of the countdown, various numbers will flash in the box.

4) Try to memorize the positions of the numbers and, when the circles appear, click on the circles in order of the numbers, going from lowest number to largest number.

At the end, the age of your brain will be displayed.

First time I played, my brain was 38.
Second time I played, my brain was 32.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A view from the NC mountains

Saturday evening the Blue Notes Dixieland Band performed in Blowing Rock, NC. We were performing at a fundraiser / auction at the Westglow Resort and Spa (this was a paid performance). We performed on a small stage in the corner of a huge tent on the croquet lawn (very swanky). We definitely were the "hired help". The people attending (who paid $150 for their "ticket" to attend the event and auction) did appear to like our music, they even paid us a little extra for "tip". The auction was not for the faint-of-wallet. Most of the items auctioned sold for $800 to $2000. There was a "dinner for 8" package at a very expensive restaurant in the area (including very nice wine) that went for $4000.

The resort is on a 20-acre estate about 3 miles out of Blowing Rock, NC, was once the home of Elliott Daingerfield, artist and writer. The views from the lawn were beautiful. Drove through a nasty thunderstorm maybe 20 minutes before getting to Blowing Rock and it continued to rain off an on. The rain stopped about the time we arrived at the resort. At one point, there was a beautiful rainbow arc'ing into the valley.

The road trip to the NC mountains and back took most of Saturday. Sunday I relaxed more than I intended, only stitched a couple of hours Sunday night.

Friday, August 1, 2008

On this Day in History - August 1st

Hi everyone. I do not have any stitching photos to share. I am trying to finish up a couple of Patriotic designs, but I don't have progress photos handy. I haven't had time to stitch since Monday, work and life have been super busy this week. I do plan to stitch some tonight, and hopefully more on Sunday. I got the idea to look on the internet for things that have happened today.

On This Day - August 1

1790 The first U.S. census was completed, showing a population of nearly 4 million people.

1876 Colorado was admitted to the union as the 38th state.

1914 Germany declared war on Russia at the onset of World War I.

1936 The Olympic games opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.

1942 Rock musician Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead was born in San Francisco.

1946 President Harry S. Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law, establishing the scholarships named for Sen. J. William Fulbright.

1946 The Atomic Energy Commission was established.

1957 The United States and Canada reached agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

1966 Charles Joseph Whitman shot and killed 14 people at the University of Texas before he was gunned down by police.

There were more listed where I found these, I chose to only list the ones that happened prior to 1970.

I hope everyone has had a good week and will have a great weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Monday....

My work week started with waking up with a headache this morning. Not a bad headache, but annoying enough to take some Ibuprofin. The headache finally left around 11am. I also started the work week by sleeping late (I hit the snooze button a few too many times).

For my continuing saga of Patriotic stitching, after finishing the stitching on Shepherd's Bush "Glory" scissor fob last night, I took a break for a few hours and goofed off on the computer and heated up something for supper. After supper, I looked through the small Patriotic designs and started Trail Creek Farm "USA" pillow:

The design is very small, and it's mostly done. I could have finished it last night, but it was getting late and a wave of sleepy-ness sent me to bed. I was going to finish it during my lunch break, but alas, I didn't toss the white-dmc into the ziplock bag (and that's all that's left for it to be finished). I'll finish it this evening. Next in line is Shepherd's Bush "Scatter Freedom":

I do have everything I need to start this in the ziplock bag I brought into the office with me this morning. I think I'll spend a few minutes of my lunch break getting this one started.

Tonight is stitch night at my LNS. I tossed my digital camera into my stitch bag this morning. Thought I would take and share photos of "stitch night" with everyone.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A relaxing weekend....

How is everyone doing? I hope everyone has had a great weekend so far. We had some rain Saturday evening, rain that swirled inland as tropical storm Cristobal moved up the South Carolina / North Carolina coast. Today is sunny and a little muggy, a great afternoon for stitching.

My Patriotic stitching continues. I have 2 finishes from the weekend. Last Saturday I picked up Shepherd Bush "Sam" kit from my LNS. I had most of it stitched earlier in the week, finished it Friday night. I went to a coffee shop Friday after work to listen to some friends that play in a dixieland jazz group. I finished "Sam" at the coffee shop.

Then after getting home Friday night, I started Shepherd Bush "Glory" scissor fob. I finished the last stitches a few minutes ago:

I still need to join the sides together and stuff it. The red ric-rac is the "cording". It will go around the edge, being tacked in place with white beads. I'll show another picture when the sewing is complete and scissors attached (not in the mood to "sew" today, but will finish it up this week sometime).

I have a few other small Patriotic designs ready to start. Of course I could be working on Mirabilia "The Lady of the Flag", but I'm in the mood to work on some small projects. I will be working on "The Lady of the Flag" soon and will post a progress picture.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hello everyone...

Ok, Ok, I'm finally posting. Between work and rehearsals and everything else, time has flown by. June is gone and it's now almost mid-July. I hope everyone had a very Happy July 4th. I had my usual 3 concerts, one the evening of July 3rd and two on July 4th. The concerts went fine .... lots of Patriotic music and flags waving. I love playing Patriotic music. The concerts on July 3rd and July 4th are my favorites. Now for my stitching update:

Here is photo of Fair&Square 4th of July squares I stitched and mailed early June (yes, finally posting a picture).

Around the end of April, I had posted a picture of a needlepoint star I had stitched from a class at my LNS. I finished it into a biscornu several weeks ago. Here's a photo.

Since it was a needlepoint piece, using larger size fibers, the fabric used was a larger count. I also didn't stitch anything for the back side of the biscornu, so it's a little on the plain side, but I still like it. It's going to be a pin-cushion next to my sewing machine.

For the Society RR, I stitched "K", "L", and "M" from Elizabeth Designs "Nature's Alphabet". It's on 40 count fabric, stitching over 2 threads. I love how this is looking on the 40ct fabric. I finished these a few weeks ago, sorry for being so late in posting a picture.

I was late in finishing Fair&Square Round 7 square, but it is finally finished and in the mail. I'll post a picture once it has reached its new home in Austrailia.

And tonight, I finished a needlepoint piece from the May class at my LNS. The design is called "Log Cabin in the Woods". Everyone got to choose their own colors, one being a metallic. For my metallic, I chose a lavender shade in Rainbow Gallery FYRE WERKS. It's a metallic ribbon. I love how the metallic ribbon worked for this.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.