Friday, December 24, 2010

A very happy Christmas.....

and a peaceful, productive New Year for all of us!  I have had intermittent internet since being in the UK and here in the US again.  We are back briefly to visit our treasures then home again to Cheshire in the new year when normal service, it is hoped, will be resumed!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parting IS Such Sweet Sorrow.....

... and this has been twenty four hours of just that.  Goodbyes, to Mara and Bonnie, my neighbours and fellow gardeners, to those from my stitching chums, the Plainwell Pretties and the Bronson Babes.  How's that for great names, girls? Last night at Stitching Bits and Bobs, Bobbi and Cam surprised me with some treats pictured below

Dinky Dyes Silk - Bobbie's Blossoms
Kelmscott Needle Minder
Corner Gauge
Sylvester Seahorse Scissors
Purple Hippo Button
 Thank you so much, both of you!  I have enjoyed the stitching and shopping on Wednesday nights over the past year with the Plainwell Pretties, lol.  I'm looking forward to more of the same fun (well, the shopping at least) online!

Perhaps the purple hippo button requires a bit of explanation.......  Bobbi, Carolyn and I have been stitching Plum Street Sampler's Olga and apparently Bobbi has been trying to persuade Paulette to design a hippo to go with Olga and Boris - Henrietta, Hermione?

Today I had to say good bye to the Bronson Babes, these are ladies from EGA and elsewhere, who gather together in different locations on a Thursday to eat, stitch and chat.  One of the locations is in our local hospital, Bronson, where we are kindly allocated a room by Julie, the volunteer co-ordinator there, sorry I couldn't let my basket go, Julie!

Both groups, along with the Mattawan Gardening Club and EGA and all the friendly ladies there too, have been a lifeline for me over the past year.  Moving into the woods in November is not the best time and knowing I had somewhere to go on specific days gave me something to which to look forward each week.

Another lovely surprise that came my way last week was this beautiful bag

Poppy Stitching Bag
Designed and Sewn by Sue Hill
in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Isn't it gorgeous?  Sue, another of the Thursday stitchers, so generously asked me to come and choose a bag to take on my travels and I chose this one.  Outside and inside pockets and a zipped pouch for all the bits and pieces that one HAS to have! Thank you again, Sue!

On the way home from stitching I stopped at the store to pick up dinner, and the cashier, as often happens, asked where I was from, he's visited a lot of the UK, including Ipswich where he has family and much to my surprise, he'd acted in one of the Fringe productions in Edinburgh!

Julie asked me today what I'm going to miss about the States and I said the "can do" attitude here, if life hands you lemons make lemonade kind of thing!  Another thing I'll miss is chatting with people (like the young man above) when they hear my accent and ask where I am from, I've had some great conversations that way!  Mention was made of American bacon as something I might NOT miss, lol, but that's enough of that!

On the other hand, I'll be glad to be closer to family, long-standing friends in the UK and , of course, my mates in the Friendly Stitchers' group, oh, and British bacon, lol!

Hmm, it seems like I must have given you some clues to what we might be doing........?  Yup, moving back to England after 22 years in the good ol' US of A.  The WT was hardly in the job here for five minutes, well, maybe ten, when they mentioned that they'd really like us to move to the UK for another job with the company.  You know me, global nomad and serial mover all my life, so we said yes and we leave tomorrow!  Well, we go first to Pittsburgh to see the precious girl treasures and the Liam treasure then I backtrack to Idaho to see the boy treasure and my sweet daughter in law and the William treasure.  I'll be in England in a week!

I suppose I'll have to think of another name for my blog.......:)

Thank you to all who post comments, I love receiving them from friends and new friends so, please don't stop!  I'm glad the new font is pleasing to the eye!

Talk to you all soon!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My favourite things, lol!

I really think it's time to put some stitching on this 'ere stitching blog - enough of world travellers and his comings and goings (Dallas this week, St Louis last week, lol!).  But just have to mention Charlene's new name for me - Mrs WT, I love it, thanks, Charlene!  When you have a minute pop over to her blog to give her a hug, she's not been too perky.  Glad you like the new font, too!

Anyway, where were we?  Oh right, two over two, 32 count!  I've temporarily deserted biscornus for humbugs which are smaller , therefore quicker and easier to put together.  So far don't have one that I stitched to show you, alas, as it's apparently going round the Horn to reach Canada but I live in hopes that it will arrive soon!  Here is the one Crystal sent me from beautiful British Columbia, a perfect choice for this time of year.  It's from Just Nan and I love it, thanks, Crystal!

Friendly Stitchers' Humbug Exchange
stitched by Crystal
Just Nan
This was the first exchange organised by yours truly on the Friendly Stitchers group.  Some say I am disorganised, some say I keep forgetting things but all I know is, I did it and it was a success!  With apologies for that little bit of plagiarism to the Stig and Jeremy, lol!  In fact, I was allowed to take charge of the next exchange so look for pictures of Christmas ornaments soon, mine is coming all the way from Australia, from my cobber, Julie!
Goodness, my photography and placement definitely doesn't do the little guy justice, as the photograph insists on going sideways between my computer and the blog.  Well, you get the idea!

What's next?  Well, had to slide in some biscornus......

Faby Reilly Lavender Biscornu
stitched by Val (who organised the exchange)
for the Friendly Stitchers' Secret Biscornu Exchange
 The beautiful one above smells gorgeous too!  We had fun with that exchange, mine went to Dallas to my friend, Rebecca, who I hope is having a great time on the high seas! I forgot to take a picture of mine before I sent it, sillly me, so will have to nudge Rebecca.

These next three (I forgot to photograph the fourth one, of course) were all part of the Please Pass the Biscornu 2010 exchange.  I am unable to give you a link to the blog as the blog owner, as I've mentioned before, deleted the blog a couple of months ago!  Such a shame as there was some gorgeous work on there.

 This one is from Florences's blog, an entry on 23rd December 2008.  I have made it twice now and really want to make one to keep!

This one is called Japanese Biscornu and is designed by Antonina Taskaev, regrettably I did not save the specific link so can't take you directly to this freebie.  I must get better at saving links to patterns.  Maybe you will have better luck finding it than I did just now.

This last biscornu is an adaptation of a Theresa Wentzler whitework ornament in her freebie section.  Don't delay though, as I'm not sure how long this site will be up and running!  I used Carrie's Silks in Thanksgiving.

Another easily identifiable picture of the WT preparing to go out on leaf patrol, he worked so hard on Sunday clearing all the garden around the house and on the roof - I am blessed to have this man as my husband.

Finally, I'm leaving you with a little "teaser", a change is coming to the life of Mr and Mrs WT (again! so soon!) and I'll tell you more next time.  Leave me a comment, they make my day and I read every one!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Almost home....

......after a lovely ten days in the UK staying with good friends and catching up with other friends in Cheshire for ten days.  I've (for right now) decided not to moan about the WT's travelling - I'm sitting writing this in the Admiral's Lounge at O'Hare waiting for the little puddle jumper to Kalamazoo - all courtesy of his "diamond encrusted" status on American airlines!  Even better, the area where I'm sitting is cell phone and loud conversation frowned upon, lovely!  In desperation I moved in here after being regaled with the entire wedding service and menu from the reception of a couple who appeared to have more money than sense! Oh, and I thought you might like to see a picture of the WT.  Nice, isn't he?

The WT Catching Up with World News at Manchester Airport
 The connection is a bit slow here so I'm having trouble putting up more photographs.  It's quite amazing, too, a couple of people seem to be having trouble grasping the concept of cell phone free too, just had to ask an Arabic gentleman to please finish his conversation somewhere else!  After quite a few years of working for Whole Foods Market I have no problem getting in people's faces (in a very ladylike way, of course!).

Our flight will be called soon so had better go, leave me a comment if you feel so inclined, I do enjoy reading them!
Oh, and by the way, bringing granary flour in your cabin baggage is NOT a good idea, I got searched twice!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A giveaway on DJ's blog to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

This is just a quick dive in and out - my dear friend, DJ, is having a giveaway over at her blog, please get over there right now and check it out!  Even if you don't need another chart still stop by for a visit and catch up on the journey that DJ is taking - she didn't really want to travel this road but, my goodness, you will be amazed and encouraged by her attitude and her frankness, you will be giggling in some places and crying in others.

Small note from me - my LAST biscornu is in its envelope  waiting to be sent to Michelle - was halfway out the door to the post when I realised it is Columbus Day today!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stash Acquisition!

This is just a quick post with some photographs of what I bought at the Counted Wishes Festival this week.  I was hoping to show you the threads from HDF that Vikki mailed first class on Thursday, but alas the USPS did not deliver! 

Being me, of course, guess what I bought?  Yup, three biscornu patterns from Pine Glen Designs and I received a little treat (totally undeserved and Lorri knows why, lol) in the shape of one of her Heirloom Ornaments.

Great service from all three ladies and the festival closes at midnight tonight!  It doesn't say but I am assuming it's Eastern Time!

Forest Elegance
Pine Glen Designs

Dragon's Fire
Pine Glen Designs

Garden Glory
Pine Glen Designs
Lavender Dreams
Pine Glen Designs

Going much bigger, lol, I bought from Deb  at Tempting Tangles the Needleworker's Abecedarius as I also love samplers AND Deb recommends HDF threads for her designs - do you see where this is going, lol?

Needleworker's Abecedarius
Tempting Tangles

Well, I think I'm done with enabling for right now!  Tomorrow I'm going to be showing off some progress and other stuff!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back finally!

I hope some of you missed me, well, DJ did, bless her heart!  Get over there (after you've read MY post, thank you very much!) and read about her texting monster!

The reason for the long absence was a trapped nerve from a cervical problem I have, horrible pain all down my arm and guess what the worst position was?  Yup, sitting at the desk using the mouse and typing and since I LOVE to check up on you all and let you know what's happening here in the woods it was not good.  Of course, silly me, I wouldn't learn and kept trying to email, click on blogs etc and then came away with worse pain than ever.  Duh!  Anyway, spinal epidural yesterday (nasty but usually works) and I am almost pain free today, hooray!  Enough of that, on to the important stuff....

This gorgeous beauty came from Shay, it is quite lovely and not really done justice by my photography.  It's a pale coral, with the most elegant Hardanger you ever did see!  Thank you again, Shay, who also sent some Carrie's threads and a silk Dinky Dyes

Shay's Most Elegant Biscornu
Isn't it lovely?  There's a much prettier picture on Shay's blog, lol!

Finished some stuff last week that I can't talk about until recipients receive it, you all know how that is!  Have to say I would have been in the home for the criminally insane if I couldn't have stitched over the last month.  Luckily stitching didn't seem to affect the pain too much or you might have been reading about me in the New York Times - Kalamazoo woman goes completely round the bend, thousands of $$$ in damage done!

Really don't have much else to show you right now so will stop wittering.  The WT has been in Kuala Lumpur all week (actually his birthplace) on business but will be back tomorrow night.  Lots of lovely air miles, hee hee!

Comments on my blog much appreciated as always, I love to know that someone has actually read what I write!  Tara for now!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Stitching Life

First off, I had a little fiddle with the layout of the blog using Blogger's new design thingy, not entirely blown away by it but will keep tinkering.  I realised that I didn't actually have the title of the blog up there after the last tweak - bit silly, that!

Anyway, what's happening in this neck of the woods?  Mostly stuff that I can't talk about, for exchanges and such!  I had a terrible attack of startitis while I was away and finished another Blackbird stocking, almost finished another BBD small, my secret exchange stuff, the list goes on....!

I had a lovely time at Acorns and Threads in Portland.  I got the bus there and was then directed to it by a lovely man.  Everyone in Portland that we met was so nice, several people struck up conversations with us on the tram or bus, very proud (and rightly so) of their city, these Portlanders!  I digress, into the shop, full of wonderful stuff with a nice wooden table in the middle where some ladies were stitching busily.  A large wooden table is something that no self respecting LNS owner should ever begin trading without, if at all possible!

I was greeted warmly by all three ladies working there, right to left, Jeannine (the owner), Janet and Laurie.  Laurie recognised my name it transpired, when I gave her my credit card (!), from a Yahoo group to which we both belong.  I had asked on the group if there was somewhere for the World Traveller to sit while I shopped, more on that later.

I wandered around the shop for ages, having a little ladylike drool, and began to start a little pile of stash on one of the glass fronted display cases!  This was added to and subtracted from several times until the final tally......

I bought some Belfast Linen in Cobblestone and Platinum, some Gloriana (of course), a Big Toe Pattern and another BBD stocking book.  Just before I left I was having a little look around the store with Jeannine, and have NO idea how it happened but ended up with some beautiful Lakeside Linen 40ct in Navy Bean and couple of new to me Gloriana threads, a Luminescence and a Florimell!  A great haul! The ladies mentioned that Gloriana being in Seattle, a hop and two threads away, they often have her come down to the shop with all her goodies!
Having (I thought) spent all my money I realised I'd probably have a long wait as #3 treasure, wife and son were picking up the WT in Portland then coming to pick me up on the way to Cannon Beach for our family weekend.  No problem, the ladies were about to order lunch from the pub, very conveniently situated just across from the shop and invited me to do the same and sit down with them.  A delicious lunch and good conversation!  Thank goodness the family arrived before I'd gone over my Visa limit and after introductions and exclaiming over the gorgeous William, we left, reluctantly in my case!  Thank you, ladies, you really did make my day and I'll be back!

We went over to the pub as the others were starving and the bossy needlewoman made them all choose the same as I'd had - chicken and peanut soup, wonderful!

Time for some stitching photographs, I think, what do we have...... oh, yes -

This pincushion beauty came from Najma in Spain.  It is quite gorgeous and only 3" high.  This was from an exchange group to which I belong and this is what I sent my partner in the same exchange.......

 Ann who, as well as stitching, sews and makes delicious cakes!  I wanted to make something that reflected Ann's other love, gardening so this little freebie from Cosmic Handmade seemed perfect.

The last one is of the biscornu that I sent to Shay as part of our monthly exchange.  I used my favourite Gloriana threads, Highland Garden, and I thought it was a freebie from Stitch Creations but I can't seem to find it on there!  It's a great blog, anyway so enjoy having a look, lots of freebies!

Both Ann's and Shay's pieces were photographed on a very convenient little piece of ground cover outside our post office since I had forgotten to take a picture at home!  The ladies there are very kind and exclaim over all the pieces that I send from there.

Well, dears, are you still with me? If you made it this far, well done! I love comments, as you know!

PS - I nearly forgot, many thanks to Tasha, Tara and Rachel who kindly commented when I asked about coffee shops and directions for my Acorns and Threads trip.  You were right about the pub, it was excellent!  I was sorry to have just missed either Tasha or Tara, can't remember which, in the shop that morning!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On the Oregon Trail

Spent most of yesterday either on the air or waiting to be in the air, we finally made it to Portland, Oregon after our very own version of the Oregon Trail!  We were using air miles so had an exceedingly roundabout route -Kalamazoo to Chicago to Dallas/Fort Worth to Portland - I stitched my way here on a small Blackbird Designs piece (Noel) from the book, Joyeux Noel.  I also, while waiting for the first plane, signed up for a new Blackbird Designs blog (and also as co-organiser with Nina) and my goodness, take a look, some gorgeous stitching!

I'm hoping to get to Acorns and Threads tomorrow, we don't have a car here but I'm told a bus from downtown will take me fairly close.  Portland has a terrific public transit system with a big fareless section - Mayor Daley, are you reading this?  And yes, we do need a direct line from downtown and/or Union Station to Chicago O'Hare International Airport, one of the biggest and busiest in the world, so we don't have to rely on the Blue Line L which stops every few minutes and takes nearly an hour - I could fly to DC in that time!

Can't work out how the WT's camera works so will upload photographs later!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Exchanges and Friends

Well, I got thoroughly spoiled on my last day in the UK - Karen and her lovely husband Pete picked me up and took me back to their house a bit north of where I was staying outside Manchester.  Just had time to enjoy a cup of tea and then Mouse arrived from Yorkshire - what a treat to meet two people that I've been chatting to online over the past two years!  We had a lovely pub lunch and got our photograph taken under a sign that said "Nutter's Corner"!  Another friend inquired as to whether they had put up the sign especially for us!   There was another sign that was even more perfect for that day but I completely forgot to take a picture, not exactly sure of the words but something like this " Strangers are friends that you haven't met yet".

We spent the afternoon reviewing the contents of Mouse's bag, she'd brought lots of stitched treats to show us and having a nosy around the walls in Karen's house to see all her gorgeous items.

I was delivered back by car just in time to get my packing done before bed.  I'm home again, long boring flight, and a two hour delay in Chicago as they didn't have a pilot available for the little puddle jumper.  Thank you girls, here's to the next time!

Two exchanges were waiting for me, one from Joyce in Texas, this was a May Day exchange on Friendly Stitchers and had to have ribbon somewhere on it. Joyce very appropriately stitched lots of flowers with a maypole in the middle!  She also spoiled me with some more Valdani threads in lovely fall colours.  Thank you, Joyce!

The other exchange was from Marjorie on the monthly biscornu exchange, this is a Floss Box one and  I also received some lovely threads and a LK pattern.  Thank you, Marjorie!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meeting (sort of) New Friends!

So long since I last posted, big sigh, I have been stitching, honestly, mostly on exchanges but right now not in Michigan!  I flew over to England on the first visit since 2004 a couple of weeks ago!  We were a little on tenterhooks when we booked the flight because of the dreaded ash but all was well and the WT and I both arrived safely a few days apart.  We spent a couple of days in Northamptonshire with my sister and family, they live in a former pub dating back to the sixteenth century, not a straight wall in sight! 

The sign on the house giving a little history and a view from the garden across the fields full of rape - the smell is quite strong when you go outside.

Then on to Runcorn in Cheshire where the WT was working for the week.  Not such good weather here so didn't leave the hotel much (this is when the stitching was done) but did manage a rather drizzly trip to Chester and had a little wander up and down The Rows

I had a little giggle at the restaurant sign above, apparently it's a chain, but one would have have to be absolutely sure the first item would never appear on the menu! Excellent cup of coffee in a little cafe bistro, just about managed not to succumb to the delicious dessert menu.  I don't think I've had a bad meal yet, hotel, pub, or Indian!
The last few days we've been staying in Sale, just outside Manchester, famed for being the last place yours truly and family lived before heading west over the ocean on New Year's Day, 1989!  Lovely visits with old friends and attended church where we used to worship, eldest treasure was confirmed there and my mother's funeral so quite a lot of memories.........

I must say I went a bit weak at the knees when my host consulted a website and informed me of what the house we sold would now be worth - it's quadrupled in price!  The problem is, I left with the value of the pound sterling fixed in my mind at 1989 rates and have had a hard time dragging that mindset into the 21st century!  That being said, things are not as expensive as I remember and meals out especially don't cause heart failure when the bill comes now.

On to the meeting of friends, in a little while Karen, an online friend from one of my Yahoo groups, is coming to pick me up to spend the afternoon together and yet another friend, Mouse, will be there too!  I was so hoping I could meet someone from the group and since Karen lives fairly close to Sale and Mouse was willing to travel it's going to happen!  Maybe I can persuade them to pose for a photograph!

Just to show you that with all this gadding about my fingers have not been entirely idle here's a couple of photos of things stitched by me and others! The first went to a friend in Texas, Joyce, it was a May Day piece and had to have ribbon on it so I stitched a beautiful Dinky Dyes pink silk ribbon around it along with some little pink beads - this is one that I will definitely stitch again!

Blackbird Designs
from Joyeux Noel
I've forgotten the title of the piece!

In the Garden Exchange
from Karen in South Africa
and the first stitched tin that I have owned!

I'll save the biscornu pictures for my return as I think I have at least one waiting for me!

It's been a very exciting week here in Britain as Nick Clegg kept us all on tenterhooks after the election and then Gordon Brown went and preempted everybody by handing in his resignation to the Queen before the Tories and Lib Dems had a chance to lay out the Big Plan!  We shall see if all the election promises are kept!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Exchanges and Challenges

.....and now March is gone!  Yikes!  Sad to say, the sewing room is almost back to the *before* pictures!  Thank you, ladies, for the nice comments, but I'm not an organised soul at all (the WT would be nodding furiously if he were here!) although I do realise just how much easier one's life would be if things got put away after use!

Anyway, onto some stitching,  here are a couple of biscornus sent and received, the first one is a French freebie that I stitched using a Stef Francis silk - absolutely beautiful to work with and the second came from Karen in Arizona.  It's a Stacy Nash design with linen coffee dyed by Karen.  It has a lovely *heavy* feel to it as Karen stuffed it with poly pellets.

I sent this little one to Mayté in February, adapting it a little from one in the biscornu edition of The Gift of Stitching, thank you for the photograph, Mayté!

Thanks to two challenges thrown down from both sides of the pond I am slowly making a dent in my pile of UFOs.  Back in January our EGA guild president challenged us to finish as many UFOs as we were able but added a little twist - they had to be finish finished!  We bring them to a meeting to show off and put a pink ticket in The Box for a chance to win a prize. As well, in a British Yahoo group to which I belong, we have UFO Thursday when we all, with varying degrees of success, attempt to add a few more stitches to  something that's been hanging around for too long.  We have the threat of the wet noodle lashing hanging over us, and believe me, we get scared!  Because of both of these challenges I have finished stitching three items that were beginning to gather dust! Yay for me! 

Blogger was playing silly wotsits last night so couldn't post this so doing it right now, enjoy your weekend and leave me a comment!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Month so a Spring Clean Long Overdue!

You have to love Blogger (or not)!  I came to the conclusion that the only way to hurry along spring in this corner of the great stitching globe was to change the photograph at the top of my blog.  Putting away the Christmas tree and the snowmen in the sitting room probably wouldn't hurt either!  Anyway, I digress.  I found a photograph, put it in the right place, played around with fonts and colours of the text (still not happy but I'm working on it), saved it, viewed the blog, same picture as before, the snowy berries!  Tried about four times, said a couple of not so nice words and went to bed.  This morning, power up, check the blog, and there's the picture I was trying to save last night!  What did Blogger need, to sleep on it, lol?

I had (for me) a big UFO finish (some stitchy pictures coming) on the 28th so I was looking for the next one and therein lies the rub as one of Shakespeare's characters once said!  The sewing room  IS  A  MESS! 
Big sigh, just get on with it and thought I'd share some views before I started so you can all gasp in horror!

Not a pretty sight, is it?

All those open boxes from frantically looking for threads and not taking the seconds to close the box and return to the shelf! Anyway, this is what it looks like today, not perfect but a whole lot better, all the threads are back in their homes, at least most of them and even better, I put some UFOs that are just too old in the box for our next EGA silent auction or for Goodwill.  Sometimes, I realise, I just have to admit my tastes have changed and GET RID of stuff!  Stitching feng shui, I love it!

Quite an improvement, don't you think? I have many faults (yes, really, lol!) but two big stitching ones are not closing thread boxes when I've found the right threads AND putting them away and the other is not returning the little cardboard label to the thread before I begin to stitch so I have a sporting chance of remembering the name! 

Now I have to decide on tomorrow's UFO for my Thursday stitching of same - let's see, what do we have.......five (yes five!) Elizabeth's designs, LHN The Thread Gatherer, Jane Greenoff's The Embroideress, the list could go on!

The picture at the top is of the May sampler from JCS in the 90s.  I adapted it to send to a friend in Minnesota for an exchange last year as her birthday is in May.  I thought after putting up the photograph that the stones are appropriate too in my quest for spring! 

To end on a positive note with Blogger - they've updated the technology for getting photographs on a blog and I love it!  They go exactly where you want them with no dragging!  You have to update your settings and away you go.

Have a great day (or evening) and I'll be back with some stitching updates soon.  Enjoy life!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday, Monday

I could get to like this no work plan! Don't tell the World Traveller but I have stitched the entire day! I did empty the dishwasher and put on a load of laundry but apart from that it was me, thread and a bunch of cross stitches! Last week, I happened to see an audio tape in the library, Lady Susan by Jane Austen. It was written quite a few years before her more famous novels and not published until after her death. Written in the form of letters and with a cast of seven I found it delightful. Quite a few of my online buddies listen to audio books while stitching and I've long wanted to join them, but unfortunately, until now a single voice has just lulled me to sleep! Maybe that's the trick, several voices to keep me awake! I was determined first get to the end of the tape without dropping off and secondly, finish my February exchange biscornu. I managed to do both, I'll post a photograph of the biscornu when my partner receives it.

I put a picture of Mary on the SAL blog so thought I'd show her here too. I haven't worked on her much in the last couple of weeks as she stayed home while I was in DC. I must get back to my two needlefuls a day.

The other challenge I have set myself is to finish Alla Turca by Pelin Tezer, I only have two or three motifs to stitch so I would like to get it completed by the end of the month which is flying towards us rapidly!

Off to make the bed, fold the laundry and think about dinner!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Biscornus from Nita and to Despina

I knew this would be waiting for me when I got home but not how beautiful it would be! Thank you, Nita, I love it. I'm sending you an email too. I belong to an exchange group ( ) where we stitch a biscornu a month and send to a partner. I sent one to Despina in Quebec that I've wanted to stitch for a long time, I adapted it slightly from Alexandrina's original one, ( ), scroll back to January 2009 to see her original.
To finish the train saga...... I arrived in Kalamazoo at midnight, after a train journey of nearly eight hours and one that should have taken just over two and and a half hours! The World Traveller, bless him, was there to meet me and and we slipped and slid over snowy roads to arrive home safely. I'm hoping a couple I met on the train got home safely, the dad had been to the city for his monthly dose of chemo and was obviously very tired, their journey was quite a bit longer than mine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane.....

....sitting on an Amtrak train, motionless! I was in DC last week, leaving on Saturday, or so I thought, but the weather had other ideas, we got 20 inches of snow dumped on the city which came to a complete standstill, schools and government closed, planes, trains and automobiles buried.

I got as far as Chicago today, got on the 4.10 to Kalamazoo thinking I'd be home with a glass of wine and the world traveller by 8 pm. Ha! We came to an abrupt halt with some sort of malfunction about three miles down the track. We've been on the train for two hours and they just announced we're going back to Union station to get a new engine then we'll try again. Who was it that said it was better to travel hopefully than arrive? They've obviously never taken the Amtrak!

Okay, I'll stop moaning! I got quite a lot stitched on Alla Turca while I was in DC, a picture will be posted tomorrow or when I get home, whichever comes first, lol!

Before the snow flew I got up to Maryland to visit with DJ, a virtual (now real life) friend. We got on on famously (same odd sense of humour or, in her case, humor!). Visited her local LNS, had lunch, and I got to have a little drool over some of her stitching, which is beautiful. And, DJ, if you're reading this, STOP LAUGHING!

The other bit of excitement going on is that I've let my driver's licence expire...... I was waiting until nearer my birthday to apply for a Michigan one but didn't realise that it was overdue until February 1st. Had to take my passport for ID while I was travelling! I have a sinking suspicion I'm back to square one, written test and driving test........rats!

Oh well, we're still going backwards.........I'll post again tomorrow!

PS Did I mention it's snowing?

Update - we got as far as Michigan City on end of Lake Michigan and stopped - apparently if the crew goes further they are in violation of FRA regulations for working more than twelve hours at a stretch. It slightly begs the question that if they'd done a little maths addition when they got the new engine back in Chicago they could have had a new crew on standby. We now have to wait an extra hour until a crew comes from Battle Creek (which is east of where I want to get off!).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And the winners are.......!

The names for my birthday giveaway were drawn this morning by the WT before rushing off to work!

Shepherd's Bush - SHARON!

Cedar Hill - JULIE!

M Designs - SUNSHINE!

Moss Creek Designs - MEG!

Send me your addresses and I'll get the charts in the mail this week.

Thank you, ladies, for the nice comments. I think I'll do another giveaway in June - our wedding anniversary!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Giveaway or Two!

Goodness, two posts in one day! A little different from last year, and the year before that, methinks!

Anyway, the reason for the second post is because I have a few charts from the stash acquisition of yesterday that I probably will never stitch. Just the charts, no threads or embellishments but I'm hoping they will find a good home or two!

Please leave your name and contact info in the comments and the World Traveller (so long as he's not ahem, travelling), will draw names next Wednesday, which just happens to be my &*rd (good grief!) birthday! Let me know which or all of the charts that you are interested in.
The above is a small Shepherd's Bush chart of the Stars and Stripes with a SMALL amount of the thread, the previous owner must have completed the design as she put a beginning and ending date on the thread holder!
The next is Berry Patch Rabbit from Cedar Hill

Can you all tip your heads sideways, please? Why does Blogger do this to some of the pictures? Sunny Summer from M Designs.

The one below is definitely not for the faint of heart, it is Casalguidi Stumpwork by Rae Iverson of Moss Creek Designs and consists of a needlerooll with attached needlebook and a scissor fob. It has very detailed pages of instructions.

Leave a comment and let me know!

Yesterday's Stash Acquisition

Here for the curious is a picture of the haul. It's a gloomy day in Michigan so not the best picture.

A pile of magazines for $2.00, I've found several charts already......!

Two CA Wells kits with what looks like Gloriana threads and some fabric,

charts from Shepherd's Bush (with threads), Cedar Hill and Blackbird Designs,

Part 1 of a Berlin woolwork sampler with a ton of Needlepoint silks and Lugana fabric (I splashed out there - $7!)

Chart, fabric and threads from Moss Creek

Three little charts that will probably be donated.

And let's not forget the T-shirt with Quilting Chick on the front, lol!

I may have to do a giveaway with a couple of the charts, check back!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

He returned and another EGA!

Thank you for all the good wishes for the WT's safe return. They eventually landed (late) at O'Hare and were offered an hotel room by American in recompense for missing the last flight to Kzoo. Does our fearless traveller take advantage of this kind offer? Of course not, he and colleagues had morning meetings, so the intrepid band rent a car and drive the two and a half hour plus journey home. We finally got to bed at 2am and guess what? Today he drove back to Chicago for another meeting!

I had fun again tonight, this time at the Kalamazoo chapter of EGA at their monthly meeting. Everyone was most welcoming and when I introduced myself at the beginning of the meeting a very nice lady leant forward and said "I read your blog today"! Thanks, Julie!

The best part of the evening was the stash acquisition for the grand total of $16.00! Tonight happened to be their silent auction and members had brought stuff to bid on. I'll take a picture tomorrow when I unpack the bag. Thank you, ladies, for a great time and I'm glad I became your latest member!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This and That and an EGA

I have just heard from the world traveller (who was supposed to be home tonight) that he is still in Frankfurt, the plane is missing a part (wing? wheel?) that apparently has to be flown in from Paris. This means that even if he makes it to Chicago tonight he misses his connection to Kzoo.

This is both good and bad -

Good because it gives me longer to remove the three stitching stations that I appear to have set up around the house.

Sewing Room
Sharon Cohen Band Sampler
Scissor Case Exchange (breathing deeply here before attempting the drawn thread bit)
Exchange biscornu

Sofa in family room
Mary Wigham

Kitchen Table
Beau Bands

Kitchen Counter (okay, four!)
Prairie shawl, a knitting pattern from a 2000 Piecemaker

More time to do some h**s*w*rk, pay b*lls, pick up mail from the PO box and think about tomorrow's dinner.

Bad because I miss him dreadfully when he is away and I am the world's biggest procrastinator, which must be obvious since I am blogging instead of the above!

I just wanted to mention my visit to the Elkhart, Indiana branch of the EGA last Monday night. It was quite a long drive and I had been unable to contact anyone that day to see if the meeting was on. It was and though a small gathering that night, maybe a dozen ladies, it was such a warm welcome from everyone, they went around the table introducing themselves and mentioning their stitching loves. Thank you, ladies and yes, Barb, definitely worth the drive!

Stay warm, stay cool!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A frustrating day with some good bits!

Today was the first day that I felt a little bit human, and actually got dressed! I was disgnosed with bronchitis on Tuesday after a week of misery and was prescribed some very efficient antibiotic and cough syrup with codeine.

I decided to sneak to the library while Himself was safely at work since I was desperate for something to read, I got through a lot of books in a week in bed. Got in the car, reversed out, couldn't see the door opener in the car, decided to risk leaving the door open for ten minutes (we live deep in the woods) and swung around to go down the drive and landed - in a snowbank! Completely stuck, couldn't go backwards or forwards, hoarse screaming of some rude words came from inside the car, threw the useless snow shovel on the driveway and stomped back indoors.

Okay, well, let's get some pictures on the blog, couldn't understand why I was unable to see the pictures in my post - did not throw the computer across the room but felt like it, all was revealed tonight when H. gently pointed out that I was working in the Edit HTML tab. Grrr!

Stitching - how can I mess that up - turns out I can't, well, not right then anyway! I found, quite by chance, the PERFECT project for an exchange and am moving right along with it so spirits went up a notch. I have an idea for a second exchange too, so there's no stopping me! I find the most difficult part of any project that I'm stitching for someone else is making up my mind. Would she like this, no, this, well yes, but what about that? To have two sorted on the same day is terrific.

I was totally cheered by my friend DJ (Tickled Pink), who blew me away and nearly caused a relapse, when she announced she'd finally finished a biscornu! Margaret and I have been encouraging (well, nagging, if we're honest!) her to do one and she kept on coming up with ridiculous excuses - you made my day, DJ! What are we going to push her onto next, Margaret?

Thanks for listening, I'm shattered, night night everyone!

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Finish (sort of) for 2010

We are doing an ornament SAL over on Friendly Stitchers so put together one that I stitched a while ago. It's from JCS year unknown and my ornament stuffing skills are in need of improvement, I have baggy corners! The other pillow is a Sampler Girl one, a quote from WH Auden, and I made it for Himself since he literally is my east and west. Tanya's having a sale until tomorrow so get over there, the address is in my sidebar!

The stitching underneath is one of the Blackbird stockings, a March one. This was not AT ALL what I intended to stitch today, I saw a completed Brightneedle design that I also have kitted up but could I find the dratted thing? I was determined to stitch something new, why you may ask? This only took two threads and I found them and a piece of fabric!