Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Christmas Finish

I completed a gift card holder/ornament for my step-son, Brian. Since he isn't joining us for Christmas this year, I wanted his Gift Card to arrive in style.

The holder an pattern are from Stoney Creek from their Winter 2013 magazine.
The pattern called for DMC colors and Mill Hill 03049 beads.
Once completed, I glued the back pieces and created the pouch.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Update on a Round Robin

The Round Robin that I worked on for a friend, is now leaving South Africa.  Prior to me, Evening Primrose was stitched in the bottom, I stitched Waterlily to the left, and now Winter Faerie with a more Spring coloring is included.  None of us can wait to see what will be added next.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Some purchases and a WIP

I'll start with my WIP.  I am making another Gadsden Flag, and I'm really hoping to have it ready in time to be a Christmas present.  Why do I always procrastinate??  I know what I want to make people for Christmas gifts, but I put it off and then stress myself out at the holidays.  Well, this one has a different fabric than the other, so it's a darker yellow.
I also made a rather large purchase from Gina Figueroa - her FOBS and needle minders are gorgeous!  I could not help myself especially since I have the new Gingher's in Sharon.  She made the white flower one specifically for it after seeing a picture.  
Well, now I have one more FOB than scissors, so I just MUST find a new pair of scissors that I like to house it.  The Audrey one is definitely going on the Ella Ginghers!!  Such a beautiful match!  I couldn't resist The Grinch! I have no idea what I will do with him. The needle minders are fun, and I really love having them. 
The Needle Minder I purchased from an Etsy store is actually spoiling me, however. It was custom made out of clay, and there is a notch in the middle for the needle.  I have not lost it at all since using it!!  
I am now equipped to have numerous WIPs on the scroll rods and enough needle minders to keep them on each WIP and not have to transfer them around.  Yay!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's Home!!

My Song of the Seasons returned home yesterday.  I had sent it to Jill Rensel for framing, and she and her staff once again amazed me with their work!!
It arrived packaged amazingly well.  Everything was bubble-wrapped, cardboard everywhere and then wrapped again.  One day, I will not be so excited for a shipment from her and I will photograph how well everything is put together for shipping.

I had asked Jill for something "fatigued" that would give the piece a type of instant vintage look.  I think she found the perfect frame for it!

I have hung it in the living room so that it is visible to anyone allowed in the home.  I love this project, and I am so glad that I was able to complete it and send it out for Jill to frame.

On a side note - the hubby and I learned a valuable lesson.  Language acquisition is not only important but vital.  We have shared our limited knowledge of our family's native German, but I failed to allow my girls to READ in the language.  So, the middle daughter had a fit when she was reading that the Koehler Family should "DIE".  "Why do you want our family to die?!?!"  She could NOT understand why I was laughing so hard.  I had to explain the language again and then she calmed down.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Round Robin - finished

I finished Waterlily for my friend's RR.  I will be pulling it off the rods today and then carefully package them up for their next trip.

The one really cool thing is that I have Waterlily in my stash for myself, and I learned a lot about the pattern while doing this portion. Yay! Hopefully, she'll be a quick stitch for me in 2014!

Post-script:  The next one in line for the RR, Nikki, took a picture of the entire piece thus far and sent it to me so I could show it off.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November IHSW

My goodness!!  Where has this year gone?!  I cannot believe that we're already posting for November.  I'm a wreck because I am almost positive that my Christmas stitching will not get done in time. Since I am a horrible procrastinator, I guess it's par for the course.

This weekend, my mission is to complete my portion of a Round Robin so I can send it off to the next person.  I have had it {gasp} for over a month.  Ugh!  Here was where I left off on Waterlily in my section:
I have no idea why my skins always look so untidy, but I have continued to try to make this as pretty of a piece as possible.  

I didn't actually get her done, but I made really good progress on Waterlily.  I cannot wait to stitch her in her entirety for myself!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Round Robin

I have found a group of women with whom I can create and work on Round Robins!!  I am so excited to give this a try, and I am even happier that I was finally able to finish my own fabric to prepare for mine to be shipped out.

The last two weeks saw me with a horrible cold, so it was too difficult for me to stitch - I would have frogged everything since I was too dizzy to sit up.  I managed to work and get my job done, but then I would crash at the end of the day.  So, finishing this (Finally!) was a very cool accomplishment.

The fabric is by Stephanie and is called Ice Goddess.  It is 28 count Opal Lugana.  I used Valdani M-49, Subtle Elegance for the borders because I wanted a lace-look and feel to the piece.

Each stitcher is given free reign on the piece.  I have told everyone that I want them to pick something that is their favorite or best represents them.  

Happy Squeeee!!!  Now, this piece is off to it's first destination - South Africa!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


It is already time for the TUSAL photo for the month.  I can't believe that we're preparing for Halloween, but it has been nice to have the cooler temperatures.  
You can see that I was working on the Song of the Seasons sampler, a beach Christmas theme and the Waterlily Pixie in my top threads of my ORTs.  It's been very productive lately, but I will need to step things up in order to get ready for all of the Christmas gifts I have planned.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Song of the Seasons Finished

I finally finished my version of the Little House Needleworks Mystery SAL. Whew! It was a lot of time that I didn't actually have, so I completely hibernated until I was done.  
Once I was into this project, I couldn't seem to work on anything else (and I received a Round Robin which was pushing me forward).  I added beads for the raindrops and snowflakes as well as for the snowman.  I also reworked the Season names so the colors matched the season.

Then, I took the time to alter the alphabet portion.  I really don't care for alphabet samplers, so I changed this to be for our Family name, and I used our native German for it.  I debated about making the date large and to match, but I opted for a smaller date in the bottom right corner. That way, any of the children who decide they want this can have it hang as just a Family Banner, but when it was completed will be remembered.

Because of how important this piece became to me, I have written a small account of it on parchment paper so I can attach it to the back of the piece when I received it back from the framer (Jill Rensel - who else??).  It describes how Nikki Loans convinced me to try this with her and she will have one similar to it at her house in South Africa as well as how our family is to sing together through all of the seasons every year.  

So, now that my sentimental heart is done with this piece, I'm packaging it up to send it off for framing....and kitting up the RR piece that I need to get done.  

Then, it's on to Christmas stitching!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 2013 IHSW

Wow! Is it really September already??  And the month is over half-way over!!  I don't know about you, but I cannot believe that 2013 is almost gone.  We are (finally) enjoying some cooler weather here. The hubby was actually cold last night with the window open (yeah, I wasn't cold since I'm constantly on my personal tropical island).  Autumn seems to be here even though we don't see a physical changing of the seasons in the desert other than the temperature.  This also means that I need to step up my Christmas stitching. Oh dear. Time to make the list of who gets what so that I'm ready to go!

I failed to take a picture of my latest work prior to the start of the ISHW weekend, but I have been working on the Little House Needleworks Mystery SAL.  I really need the scroll rods in order to get to the Round Robin that is sitting on my desk waiting. I just don't want to take the SAL off the rods and not finish it!! 

So, here is where I left off last night:
Sorry about the shadow which seems to be a blue line on here.  I will get a better picture once I move the fabric on the bars.

As you can see, the third panel is almost done.  I still have some grass to stitch and flowers to complete it, and then I can start on the Part 3 - which is the Seasons portion and the Sampler.  I'm working to change the sampler part to writing our family name since I'm not keen on alphabets.  

I have really loved working on this SAL. This is my first one, but I have already purchased the Lizzie Kate Christmas SAL and have Part 1 waiting for me.  Maybe by Christmas 2014...

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Californian Ornament

I seriously love making things to give to people.  The best part is that I am making a set of these to give to a group of great ladies who I know will actually like them!  
There were really cute flip-flop holiday buttons, which I attached, and then I used a pre-made ornament as the finish (I just really hope they don't look inside at the cutting that was necessary to get this to fit.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August IHSW

I completely forgot to take the "before" picture, and I'm very late in getting a post for the IHSW weekend, but here is what I accomplished over the weekend:
This is the Little House Needleworks Mystery Sampler.  I am {still} on Part 2, but I managed to finish the Winter House.  The Sampler is entitled Songs of the Seasons, so it goes from Spring to Winter from left to right.  I am not typically a Sampler person, but this one is really cute, and I am enjoying it.

The pattern called for the snowman to have french knots for his eyes and buttons, but I decided that I wanted to use some petite beads instead, and then I got the great idea to use some more beads for the snowflakes and the wreath since snowflakes shimmer and the wreath would have lights.  
Again, a friend of mine in South Africa is also stitching this.  We both decided to take the leap together on a Mystery SAL, so it sweetened things considerably.  I am working on having the story put on pretty stationary to attach to the back after it's framed.   Now, to figure out where this is going to hang in the house when it's finished....

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Gadsden Flag

I managed to finish the last of the backstitching today!  Yay!! So the first of The Gadsden Flags is now complete. At this time, I only have one more requested since a friend of my husband's saw me making this and now wants it for himself.
The pattern is from Stoney Creek, and the fabric is 32 ct Jobelan from Stephanie.  I hate that I have been so busy that I haven't found a lot of time to stitch, but I'm glad that I'm able to have a few finishes for this year.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

TUSAL - August 2013

I have been rotating between the Gadsden Flag and the Little House Needleworks Mystery SAL as my ORTs show.

The girls returned to school today, so hopefully I will get more stitchy time!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


OK, someone needs to please tell me where the rest of the year has gone already. Didn't we just put away the Christmas tree and relish in the fact that the Christmas ornaments were made and completed on time and appreciated?? 

Wow, so here is where I left off prior to the IHSW weekend beginning:
I've pulled out The Gadsden Flag, and I'm fairly confident I can finish this this weekend, but we'll see.

By Sunday night/Monday morning, I'll post the update here.

And welcome to Monday Morning!! I must, sadly, return to work today. The school I work for has the world's shortest Summer Break, but having a paycheck again will be nice.

So, here is what I accomplished over the weekend:
The top portion:
 And then the bottom portion:
Not too bad!! I feel like I did some good work in a couple days!  I can't wait to see what everyone else managed to complete!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Part 1 Finished

Part 1 of the Little House Needleworks Mystery SAL is now complete.  I had such a great time working on this piece - even with a little frogging.

Again, what is making this piece so awesome for me is that my friend all the way in Cape Town, South Africa is also stitching this same piece at the same time.  It is really nice knowing that when this is complete, it will hang on a wall in my home just as there will be a "copy" hanging on a wall in a different Country!!  

Seriously, this is a very easy stitch, and it is simply joyous to do.  I do not like linen, so I asked about a Jobelan fabric. My fabric is much lighter than what was called for in the kit. The floss is all Weeks Dye Works. The entire piece of fabric is only 16" x 16", so this won't be very big. 

I was most nervous about NOT starting this piece in the middle.  Since Part 1 was the top, I asked around, and then measured two inches down, crossed my fingers and dove right in.  

Well, I should have a week before Part 2 is here, so I'm going to get moving on some other projects in the meantime.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Little House Needleworks Mystery SAL

I received the first part and waited for a friend to get ready to stitch. Once she was, I kitted up and got everything ready. Sadly, I made the mistake of thinking I could fill an ink bottle quickly and then sit down to stitch. Well, the ink went everywhere and my hands were covered. Ugh!

Being a clever person and not one to give up, I grabbed some gloves and started stitching anyway. The hubby laughed when he saw me persevering.

I spent an hour scrubbing my hands, but they were still pretty bad. I was finally glove-free on Day 2.

This is a great little stitch, and I'm loving it!!! Even better for me is knowing my fried in South Africa is working on the exact same thing!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Baby Sampler - Done!

I am doing a really big, Snoopy Happy Dance!! After 10 1/2 months, I am finally finished with the Baby Sampler!  Whoo-hoo!!!
My youngest is going to be very happy to take this to the framer's tomorrow so she can (finally) have it hang on the wall in her room.  Both of her sisters have one, and now she will too. 

Again, this one was an emotional one for me. I had almost had it finished when my ex (their father) become enraged and to show me a lesson, he took scissors to it on the scroll rods and slashed it in front of us. It took me years to rebuild my stash after leaving him, and after many, many years, I started stitching again.  In that process, I had to find the original pattern that I started for her. I don't know why it was important to me to use the original pattern and not just start something different, but it was. 

I had many things come up inbetween the start and finish of this one, but it is probably the most important accomplishment I have had. 

Friday, June 28, 2013


It was just too much fun to resist putting all of those letters in the title. I giggled every time I tried to say the name of the Get Together in Chigaco when I was there over the weekend.

The Superstar Serial Starters and Divine Disciplined Divas group on Facebook had its annual get-together this past weekend, and I was actually able to make it! I was a day late since my family's vacation had already been planned, but no one seemed to mind that I was a bit late. According to some, my weird sense of humor and continual laughter made up for being late.

If you ever have the ability to attend a get-together or a retreat, I highly suggest you make it work out. I had such a wonderful time meeting these great ladies - and man (go Mike!). It was wonderful to see everyone's work in person, ask questions, see the toys that others' use, etc.  I loved being able to get to know these great folks rather than just see posts on a computer and a small picture of their faces (or their kids', etc.)

Here are some of the pictures that were taken, and I have tried to keep the pictures of just me since no one else has given permission to use their photos, but I want to capture how amazing it is at one of these events.
 Everyone found their spot and enjoyed stitching
 Yes, I really see a camera and stop to smile! (I'm in the purple shirt)
 Everyone walks around to see what others are working on, to chat, etc.
 Aury on the left of AuryTM who kept us entertained at the table. 
Tina Bush on the right who is simply amazing!
 Lori really hates her picture taken. She also has a Johnny Depp obsession that we enjoyed during the trip
 Make yourself comfortable and get to know your neighbors!
 Go out to eat and laugh some more (OK, yeah, we were drinking).
 Spend time taking a train with Stephanie Bishop of Steph's Fabbys and have a great time!
 Yep, we had a ton of fun. My cheeks still hurt from laughing so much!!
 Stephanie Bishop smiling while Lori hides behind her menu
 Captain Jack did a pole dance on the cup and earned some cash (can you see how silly we were??)
Hanging out in jammies at night was totally cool!! The conference room 
was open as long as anyone wanted!

Also wonderful was meeting Aury of AuryTM Designs.  You should have seen my face when I realized that SHE was AURY! I knew that someone in the room was a designer, and then I felt stupid when I was commenting on the USA Pattern she was holding up. Ironically, I had it on my wish list on a stitching site, but when I said how much I loved it, Aury handed it to me.  I kept trying to pay her for it, but she said she really liked my honest comments and loved seeing my shocked face when I finally put it together that she was the designer.  Haha! Yep, still feeling like a naive dork!

Again, if you have the ability to attend a retreat like this - please do it.  I have added many more amazing people into my Facebook life as well as their email addresses and phone numbers. Some of these ladies traveled from Canada to attend, and I thought it was great they could and did make it!!

I have already put next year's GTG on my calendar, and now I'm trying to see how many other retreats I can afford to attend. There's nothing like having Stitcher Wives in your life.  (Yes, an inside joke, but I'm sure you can put it together.)