Monday, January 27, 2014

I am such a lucky friend...

Look what I received yesterday at our monthly crafting night!!  This is Maria Selby Humphrey -1831 by Blackbird Designs stitched by my friend Theresa.  I am just overwhelmed.  It is so lovely -- the colors are perfect and the frame is too.  Theresa and I wanted to stitch samplers for each other this year for Christmas.  We both were very busy, so we never really sat down and discussed the "rules" as for size, etc.  I stitched Stacy Nash Designs Blackwater Hollow for her (sorry, forgot to take a picture).  But, Theresa went above and beyond by stitching this beauty.  I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful friend.  Thank you, Theresa!

Monday, January 20, 2014

First, some cuteness and then some progress

We built our new home on my family's farm.  Our family owns a nice size farm is South Mississippi. About 2 years ago, my parents deeded each of the five children our portion.  Our portion is in the center, with my younger brother to the south of us, my older sister to the north, and my other siblings to the west.  My father raises cattle and has a small flock of chickens and my younger brother and his wife have a herd of sheep.  Well, these sheep are stubborn and graze wherever they want, which sometimes means my yard.  Yesterday, they all came for an unannounced visit (how rude!).  Normally, this drives us crazy, but there are lambs in the herd now.  Cute, cuddly, sweet lambs!!  This little guy is very sweet and friendly.  He comes to the back door wanted to visit.  His mother didn't accept him immediately, so he has been bottle-fed and gets to sleep inside with the dogs (yes, the dogs.  They love him!)  I can't tell you just how sweet and cuddly he is.  Just look at that little face!! (The other handsome one is my husband, Hobbie.)

Now, the rest of this post will not be as cute, but I do want to share my progress on current projects.  Last night I completed the third part of CCN Santa's Village North Pole Post Office.  I love this series.  The colors are so bright.  I only have the first 4 parts of the series, so after the next part, I will put it away until next year when I can purchase the remainder of the patterns.  (Remember, my resolution was to only stitch from stash this year.)

The other two projects are Shakespeare's Peddler Ann Womack and Jeannette Douglas Designs Acorn Stitches.  I am really enjoying both of these.  Ann Womack is just beautiful.  I have completed a good portion of the eyelet alphabet, which is so much fun to stitch.  I am working on this pattern one page at a time.  I am almost finished with the first of four pages.  So exciting!  Acorn Stitches is actually moving pretty quickly.  If I continue to stitch at this pace, I estimate that I will finish in a couple of weeks.  The colors on this one are beautiful.

Well, I have a lot of cleaning to do today, so I had better get started.  Have a great week.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Ann Womack progress: Four-side stitch

I just had to share this with everyone.  I am working on Shakespeare's Peddler Ann Womack as part of my rotation right now.  It is progressing quite well.  I stitch on it every third day.  Well,  I have made it to the third alphabet, which is four-side stitch.  At first I was not excited about the time that I would spend doing this, but once I got the hang of it, it wasn't that bad.  And just look at how pretty it looks.  I am so excited about this sampler now.  The next alphabet is stitched with eyelets.  I can't wait to see the results of that one.  Love this sampler!!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Progress and a complete finish...

So, here is the Jeannette Douglas Designs By the Sea Needlekeep COMPLETELY finished.  I finished the stitching on Saturday and sewed it all together today.  Wow, that feels so good to just finish it, not stuff it in a drawer or box to get to later (never).  I think it is really, really cute.  Look at that funny octopus in the lower box.

And here is my progress on Ann Womack from Shakespeare's Peddler.  I love this piece.  I have to admit that I didn't think it would be much fun stitching it but was I wrong.  I am using red silk that was given to me several years ago by Theresa.  I am loving working with the thread.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

Well, today is our last official day of Christmas break.  Nicholas is back to school tomorrow.  Classes at USM don't start until next Tuesday, but I have paperwork to complete.  These first 6 days of the year have been great.  I am "resetting" my diet back to a more whole-food standard.  Last February I did a 21 detox diet that was great.  I felt so much better and had more energy.  Then, we moved in with my parents after we sold our house and were waiting for the new house to be completed.  It was harder to stay on the diet since my mom is a great cook.  She was very ill during the summer, so I was pretty much cooking what I would normally eat.  Then, around the middle of August, she started cooking.  Did I say she was an amazing cook?  So, I gained a few pounds.  Now, we are settled in the new house and my husband and I are paying better attention to our diet.  We are on day 5 of the 21 day diet.  So far, so good.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Happy New Year...I have a good feeling about 2014

First, let me share my last finish of 2014.  In my line of work, the holidays are just wonderful.  Classes end well before the Christmas holiday and don't begin until later in January.  That gives me a lot of time to focus on my stitching.  Don't get me wrong, I still work during the holidays, writing and revising the textbooks, but I have a lot  more freedom to work on my on schedule and enjoy the down time.  This holiday I have been stitching and watching one of my all time favorite TV shows Homicide Life of the Street.  I have Seasons 1 - 5 and 7 on DVD, so I stitch and listen to the television.

And, this is my first finish of 2014, Country Cottage Needleworks Poinsettia House in the Santa's Village series.  I just love this series.  When it first was released, I knew I wanted to stitch it but it wasn't one of those that I just had to do immediately.  I love the Country Cottage Needleworks style, so I usually get her designs.  But, I have to admit that this is just a fun one to stitch.  It may be that I am using colors that I haven't stitched with in a while, but the designs are just too cute.  The fabric is 36 ct. Solo from Silkweaver.  I love the variation in blues with just a small touch of purple.  Really makes the piece look wintery.  I think I will finish this as the center of a small quilt to hang during the holidays.  

So, as many of you know, we moved into our new house this year.  The official move-in was back in October.  We are still rearranging and unpacking.   It has been a lot of fun, going through all of our 'things' and thinking about them.

This beautiful piece is my great-grandmother's biscuit bowl.  It is a large, shallow wooden bowl that she used to make biscuits every day.  The story of how I came to possess it is somewhat interesting.  My great-grandparents were extremely caring individuals.  They had three children, but opened their homes to many others that needed love and support.  They were very poor, but felt it was their mission in life to help the less fortunate.  So, their home was full all the time.  My great-grandmother, Clarcia (pronounced Clair-Cee by her family), was a great cook.  A man in the neighborhood carved this bowl for her.  After my great-grandparents passed away, different people kind of ransacked their home and threw things out into the yard.  I'm not sure how much later, but time had passed and my parents were walking around looking over the old home.  My dad found this bowl almost completely buried in the yard.  He dug it up and took it home.  You can see the termites had worked on it some.  He cleaned it up and varnished it.  I remember this bowl in my home, always full of mail and other paperwork.  I would clean it out and fill it with fruit or some other decoration.  My mother gave it to me several years ago.  It is one of my absolute favorite heirlooms.  I know the history and it connects me to a lady that though I never met her, I love her.  My mother and her sisters and cousins talk about her so fondly.  It is obvious she was a wonderful person.  She has left a legacy and this bowl, to me, is a symbol of that.