Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Home By the Sea is finished!

Home By The Sea by Designs by Pamela is finally finished!

Home By the Sea - Designs by Pamela
Stitched over 2 on 32 ct. with recommended threads

I started this back in June while on vacation with the family at the shore, and finished it up last week. It's my housewarming gift to myself and my husband for our first home. I knew as soon as I saw it at last year's Online Needlework Show that I had to stitch this piece - it's perfect for us. I did modify the original to include our family name (blurred for privacy) and the year we were married. The year I stitched it (and the year we bought the house) is stitched into the piece itself. I had debated stitching our house number somewhere on the house, but decided against it.

I plan to have my husband frame it similar to the model with the hooks in the frame so we can hang it by the laundry room door in the kitchen (we come in from the garage through the laundry room, so it's the perfect place for keys and such).

And this piece is extra special to me because my six year old niece helped me stitch a little on it while we were down the shore, and again this fall when we were all at my in-laws for a weekend. She can't do the stitching herself, and she had a hard time with the holes on such a high count fabric, but she did a good job pulling the needle and thread through once I got it in the correct hole for her. (Boy, does THAT slow the stitching down, but it's so worth it.) She asked me, "Aunt Jenn, are you EVER going to finish that?" but she's six. She has a short attention span. I can't wait to show her at Christmas that it's all finished up and just waiting to be framed!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I've been a bad, bad blogger

But I have been dealing with a very serious Facebook addiction. Very serious, indeed, folks. Probably going to need rehab. (It's amazing what 20 years out of high school can dredge up out of your memories. Even more from elementary school! People I haven't seen in 30 years!)

But I simply MUST thank Sharon for her wonderful, wonderful package of goodies. Sharon held a giveaway in honor of World Diabetes Day and I was lucky enough to be the winner. Check out the goodies that landed in my mailbox!

All in my favorite color blue!!!! Sharon included some very cute charts, awesome threads, and some gorgeous blue fabric from Polstitches that I can't wait to stitch something on (I've wanted to try this fabric for a while now).

So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Sharon!!!!! I am so thrilled with your gift! And for those of you that don't know Sharon, stop by and pay her a visit. She's always eager to meet new stitching bloggers, so be sure to leave your blog address so she can return the visit!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Six More Random Things About Me

Tammie tagged me to name six random things about myself. I've already done it, but I don't mind doing it again, so here goes:

1. I love magazines, but not the clutter. I am fairly diligent about cutting out and filing pictures, articles, recipes, etc., that I want and recycling the rest. However, once I file them, they rarely ever see the light of day again until I purge. Which isn't often. I also like mailing articles to people I think would be interested. I have done this for years, and yes, I know it's weird.

2. Even when it is stinkin hot outside, I have to sleep with at least a sheet on me.

3. I never pay full retail if I can help it. I am a champion bargain hunter and almost always have a coupon code and/or a rebate program. If you are interested in the ones I use, email me.

4. If I have ever acknowledged or celebrated your birthday in any meaningful way, I probably remember it. I remember birthdays of people I haven't spoken to in YEARS as well as pretty much everyone in my current circle.

5. I cannot, however, remember phone numbers. There are exactly 9 phone numbers I can recall off the top of my head: our home and cells, my ILs home and FIL's cell. I can also recall my childhood home number, my grandparents (who have been deceased for ~25 years), my aunt, and my best friend's father's home number. I do not know my DH's work #, the numbers of any of my closest friends or family members. I only know their speed dial location on my cellphone.

6. For luck on my wedding day, I had a silver sixpence taped onto my shoe (I wore sandals) and a tiny horseshoe charm on my ankle bracelet. Our wedding colors, blue and silver, and our theme, stars, were selected because we're just that devoted to our Dallas Cowboys. (DH's uncle, a longtime Redskins fan, made a face when he figured this out.)
Friday, December 5, 2008

Fair and Square Christmas Round with Claire G.

My partner for the Christmas 2008 Round of the Fair and Square exchange was Claire, and she sent me the CUTEST little snowman that's going to become an ornament for our tree. Just look at how adorable he is!
Claire also included a beautiful Christmas card she crafted herself. It's quite stunning in person, and it's officially the first Christmas card I received this year.

Now, let me show you what I stitched up for Claire. In our initial emails, she mentioned her tradition of making gingerbread houses, which gave me a few ideas. But her faith and her church were very important to her, and I thought that would be something meaningful on which to focus. Claire said they they have a severe lack of homemade ornaments for their tree, so I wanted to make sure whatever I stitched could be turned into an ornament.

I chose to stitch Winter Church by Primavera Designs (a freebie you can find here). I thought it tied in nicely with Claire's preferences, and it also reminded me of going to church on Christmas eve for Midnight Mass. (Even though DH and I aren't particularly religious, I still find Christmas Eve services to be a gratifying experience)

I did french knots for the snow instead of the stitches, and used a silver metallic thread for the Christmas star. It is indeed a full star. (I perhaps did not photograph it as well as I could have. But trust me, it's all there.) And you can't really tell from the picture, but I had a little irridescent blending thread in with the white for the french knots.

I made a few other color changes as well, but I figured why not, since the piece is charted for Anchor Tapestry Wool Colors. Did you know there's just no good conversion to DMC from Anchor Tapestry Wool? So basically, I looked at the picture and came up with my own conversions, and I think it turned out quite nice. Even without the border, which I removed to fit within the F&S requirements. (The border would have made it far too big anyway.)

For my signature square (in which I have cleverly blocked out my full last name for privacy), I used a candle piece from my PC Stitch program.

Friday Feast #5

From Friday's Feast: A Buffet for Your Brain

Appetizer: Briefly describe your living room.

Our formal living room is really just waiting to be turned into a library. The carpet is beige, the walls are faux painted tan and blue (it was like that when we moved in. I'd never do such a thing) and the furniture is blue. There's a big window in the front, and the room is open to the dining room on one side and the staircase on the other. Eventually, the one complete wall will be lined wall to wall, floor to ceiling with bookshelves, the furniture will be replaced and the walls painted, maybe some shade of grey.

The family room, which is where we do most of our living, is painted yellow with a red accent wall. I hate the wall color. There's a fireplace on one end, hardwood floors, two south facing windows, and the room is open to the eat-in kitchen. Our newest furniture, a huge couch and loveseat upholstered in a brown chenile, is in there, as are our two fish tanks. This will probably be the first room we paint since we spend the most time in it.

Soup: List 3 things you'd like to accomplish before the end of 2008.

1. Get a new job
2. Start Paradigm Lost
3. Replace my car (probably not going to happen)

Salad: When you're online, what do you spend the most time reading/playing/doing? Suggest a site for us to visit.

Mostly I am on Google Reader, catching up on blogs. I also read email, the NY Times and the Dallas Cowboys website. There are a TON of links to stitching sites on my blog.

I believe all stitchers should visit and try to contribute to the Stitcher's Report Card. If your LNS is not listed, please contact the board administrator and ask her to add it. It's a great help for stitchers visiting your area to know where these shops are located. It's also nice to know which shops to avoid, or at least be wary of.

Main Course: What would the title of your autobiography be?

I don't really know. I don't think about these things. Once, for a journalism class, we had to write our own obituary. It was a very weird and disturbing experience.

Dessert: What time do you usually go to bed?

Sometime around 11. If it's an interesting news night, we might stay up for part of the news, but usually we're in bed by 11.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Economic Stimulus Package

aka Enablement.

In case you haven't heard, Anita is having a Needle sale. I placed an order yesterday with her yesterday, and can't wait to get it. The prices are excellent, and I stocked up on the bulk packages of petite needles, so I should be good to go for a while.

She's also got Carrie's Creations Threads for $1 a skein (I treated myself to a few) and several other overdyes as well. Definitely worth checking out, and did I mention she's offering free shipping for US orders over $65? And even if you don't manage to spend the full $65, her shipping prices are INCREDIBLY reasonable.


She has scissors. Pretty scissors. I know. I'm just sayin....

Fair and Square Exchange from Cyndi H.

I know, I know. I should have posted sooner, but we were away for the holidays. What can you do? You'll all be pleased to know that there will be actual stitching content on this blog. WOO HOO!!!

First up, my Fair & Square exchange from Cyndi. Check out this completely adorable Leprechaun she stitched up for me. (In case you were wondering, St. Patrick's Day is my second favorite holiday, right after Christmas.)

Isn't he just the cutest thing? I just love him. And Cyndi included a simply gorgeous handmade card with him. Thank you so much, Cyndi!