Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - The Year in Review

2014 was a busy year.  My husband got a promotion to manager at work and I earned my Master's Degree in teaching.

I participated in Stitch from Stash hosted by Mel at Epic Stitching.  I was able to finish 18 pieces during the year but I have a full WIP basket because I started a bunch of pieces on Mother's Day.

I also entered a piece in the local fair for the first time and got a blue ribbon!

Hopefully, next year will be just exciting.  I have decided to try a reading challenge I found on Facebook.  It should be easier to read now that I am not having to read so much for school.  I am also doing Stitch from Stash again.  So, stay tuned for more updates and as always, I look forward to hearing from everyone.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Return to Blogging

I got a bit of stitching in these last few days. 

I finished up the border on the right side and added a few more letters.  

Snow White continues to crawl at a snail's pace.  I added some to the left side of the tree.  Can't really tell though!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Behind the String - Pooh Ornament

Welcome to a Christmas edition of Behind the String.  Hope y'all had a great holiday.

My youngest daughter, Adèle, has PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified) which is related to Autism (she has not been formally diagnosed with ASD yet).  Even though she is almost four, she has very few words (most of them are about food) and mostly speaks in jargon.

She's very cute though

For my 2012 ornament for Adèle's ornament box, I made a Pooh ornament from a kit that I got at SCRAP.  I try to make ornaments that match the girls' interests and Adèle enjoys both the original Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the newer Winnie the Pooh that was released a few years ago.

I hung it on the tree this year, toward the bottom.  Adèle was pretty excited about the Christmas tree and ran over to explore it after dinner one night.  She saw this ornament, pointed at it and said, quite clearly, "Pooh."

Obviously, this is huge considering the fact that she's mostly nonverbal.  I guess she liked the ornament.  Score one for Mommy!

And that's the story behind the string.

P.S. After I posted this posting, Adèle saw the picture of her Pooh ornament, pointed at it and said "Pooh."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stitch from Stash Wrap-up!

I was happy to participate in Stitch from Stash this year hosted by Mel over at Epic Stitching.  I have signed up for next year as well.  Since I have finished my degree, I am no longer getting unemployment and my budget will be a bit tighter and I'm sure I won't have a lot to spend on stitching.  I hope to get a job in the fall.  Trying to get a mid-year teaching job is not easy so it will be nice to have a little time off to spend with the girls this spring.

I have plenty of items in my stash to stitch as well as a bunch of UFOs that I created this year to work on.

Here is this year's wrap up.

Total spent:  $118.38 (some of that technically didn't count because of spending bonuses)

Pieces started:
--God is Love (Happy Holidays in Cross Stitch)
--Traveling with Santa (Imaginating, Inc - JCS Ornaments 2013)
--Valentine Hearts (2001 Cross Stitch Designs)
--Walt the Malt (Raise the Roof Designs - JCS Ornaments 2008)
--Irish Blessing (Happy Holidays in Cross Stitch)
--Just One Bite (Dragon Dreams - JCS Ornaments 2013)
--A Year in Cross Stitch Bell Pull - Rose Arbor, Butterfly and Sweet Peas, Grapes and Vines (CS and CC Nov/Dec 1991)
--The Seasons (Bizzi Creations)
--Hardanger pincushion (DMC kit)
--Fuji (Dimples Designs)
--Winter on Logan's Creek (Brigitte Kozma - CS and CC Sep/Oct 1990)
--Starlight Angel (Rebecca Waldrop - Serendipity Designs)
--Quail Family (CS and CC Jan/Feb 1989)
--A Time of Thanksgiving (Cross Stitch! Magazine Number 7)
--Country Grace (CS and CC Dec 1992)
--Decorating the Tree (Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe)
--Jingle as Ye Enter, Jingle as Ye Go (Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe)
--Gathering Honey (CS and CC May/Jun 1987)
--The Rose Garden (CS and CC Sept/Oct 1988)
--Moon (Garfield Ornament)
--Slipping and Sliding (Leisure Arts - Snow Babies Kit)
--Mickey Mouse Wreath (Leisure Arts - Ultimate Collection)
--Pumpkin Sampler (Jeannette Douglas Designs - JCS Sept/Oct 2012)
--The Wrapper (Full Circle Designs - JCS Ornaments 2012)
--Stained Glass Holly (Ink Circles - JCS Jul/Aug 2014)

--Butterfly Rose Cross (HAED)
--Do Not Meddle (Dragon Fire Designs)
--Snow White Discovers the Cottage (MCG Textiles Kit/Thomas Kinkade)
--Sunflower Sampler (CS and CC July/Aug 1992)

--Valentine Hearts (2001 Cross Stitch Designs)
--God is Love (Happy Holidays in Cross Stitch)
--Sparkles (Mosey 'n Me)
--Irish Blessing (Happy Holidays in Cross Stitch)
--Just One Bite (Dragon Dreams - JCS Ornaments 2013)
--Walt the Malt (Raise the Roof Designs - JCS Ornaments 2008)
--Traveling with Santa (Imaginating, Inc - JCS Ornaments 2013)
--The Seasons (Bizzi Creations)
--Autumn Sampler (M Designs - JCS Sept/Oct 2011)
--Decorating the Tree (Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe) 
--Moon (Garfield Ornament)
--Slipping and Sliding (Leisure Arts - Snow Babies Kit)
--Pumpkin Sampler (Jeannette Douglas Designs - JCS Sept/Oct 2012)
--The Wrapper (Full Circle Designs - JCS Ornaments 2012)
--Mickey Mouse Wreath (Leisure Arts - Ultimate Collection)
--Marsh Marigolds on Logan's Creek (Brigitte Kozma - CS and CC May/June 1989)
--Gardener's Cottage (Elizabeth's Designs)
--A Year in Cross Stitch Bell Pull - Rose Arbor, Butterfly and Sweet Peas, Grapes and Vines (CS and CC Nov/Dec 1991)

Stitch from Stash Update - December 2014

Since my mom left Wednesday, I've had a little stitching time.  I've been working on the Sunflower Sampler

There is still a long way to go but I made the side border extend up to the top so I could do the lettering.

I also was able to work on the first page of Fuji.  I thought it was completed but there is actually some backstitching to do as well.

My only finish for the month is the Year in Cross Stitch bellpull

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Crochet Finish

I finished my Peppermint Pillow today.  It will be a present.  The pattern is free on Red Heart's website.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Stitching Q & A

I have been having some fun the last few days with my Mom so I haven't been online much.  We finished our Christmas shopping today which was exciting. 

I thought that it was about time for a Q & A session but no one has posted any questions lately so I thought I would write my own.

1. What holiday(s) do you celebrate in December?

I celebrate the Christian Church seasons of Advent and Christmas.  We don't really do the cult of Santa or Elf on the Shelf with the girls but I know they talk about it at school. We are doing Advent calendars right now with the girls at home.

2. What kinds of holiday decorations do you have in your house?

This year I have two Christmas trees.  One is a 7.5' tree with a mix of secular and sacred ornaments and one is a 4' tree with sacred ornaments only.  I also put out some snowmen, my light up nativity scene and hung up the family stockings that I have stitched.  We did not decorate outside.

3. Do you stitch small holiday items (such as ornaments) or large pictures for this time of year?

As of now, I have only stitched small holiday items.  As an ongoing project, I have been stitching an ornament for each of my girls for each Christmas.  I have also done stockings for each family member along with several other small projects. The only larger project I have done is a
5" x 7" nativity scene which I think is appropriate to hang year round.

4. Do you do any other kinds of crafting this time of year?

I do knit and crochet gifts for people.  I also loom knit a Christmas tree that I use as a decoration.

5. What kind of music do you enjoy this time of year?

I enjoy both sacred and secular Christmas songs and I listen to a variety of artists.  I also enjoy Part 1 of Handel's Messiah which I was privileged to sing with a local choir a few years ago. 

6. Do you have any favorite holiday movies?

Growing up, I remember watching It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Bishop's Wife.  I enjoy classics like White Christmas and Holiday Inn as well as modern classics like The Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, and The Santa Clause

7. Are there any upcoming holiday projects that you hope to accomplish within your lifetime?

Well, I have the ongoing project of stitching an ornament every year for my children.  Em turns 18 next year so I'm going to "cut her off."  I have a bit of catching up to do with Zoé and Adèle just needs an ornament for this year.  I have not decided if I am going to make a set of ornaments for my step-granddaughter or not.  I also have some LED candles that I would like to turn into working Advent candles but I did not get the chance to try that this year. 


I can tell that Zoé has come so far because this is what she requested for Christmas this year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Graduation Day!

Finally, the big day arrived yesterday.  I graduated with my Masters of Arts in Teaching from Texas Woman's University (with a 4.0).  Here are some pictures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I got a little bit of stitching in while cleaning everything up for my Mom who will be arriving tomorrow. 

I decided to work on Fuji a bit.  All I had to add to finish out the page was the fuzzy Whisper floss (by Rainbow Gallery).  Now we have a bit of a foot with some fuzzy pussywillows.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Finish

I was able to finish my Year in Cross Stitch Bellpull this weekend.  Here's what it looks like (before any ironing or final finishing.

I finished student teaching as well.  I had an interview last week so we'll see if I'm hired for second semester.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stitch From Stash - November Update

Most of my stitching from this week was done just this week.  There's really not a lot of time for stitching with student teaching.  Once I do get a teaching job, I'm sure there will be even less.

I spent $41.29 this month which doesn't count because of the extra $50 to spend before the end of the year.

Here's what I worked on:

Butterfly Rose Cross - Got most of the bottom corner filled in.

A Time of Thanksgiving - I got the missing color for the orangish flower

Country Grace - Added an oak leaf at the top right

Quail Family - There wasn't much there.  Added the bird's feet
Fuji - Added a missing color, still needs some more Whisper before I can call the page "done"

Jingle As Ye Enter - Added holly leaves

The Rose Garden - added a bit of color
I was able to do the final finishing on the Snow Babies ornament which I finished stitching on a few months back:

The Gardener's Cottage is my official finish for this month.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Some Finishing Touches

My husband wants to put a desk in our room, so this weekend I set about rearranging all the craft supplies to make room.  I had a small stack of finished pieces that needed final finishing so today, I finished most of them up.

Gardener's Cottage.  Elizabeth's Designs
I added the charms and Mill Hill Treasures and stretched it.  There's not a lot of excess fabric.  

Mickey Mouse Wreath. Leisure Arts
For Zoe's ornament box.  She loves Mickey Mouse.  I sewed the aida on to some felt and added a hanger.  She's only missing 2 ornaments now and one for this year.

The Wrapper. Full Circle Designs
For Em's ornament box. I finished it flat with a piece of foam board.  I was going to try to sew the edging but gave up and glued it instead.  Carol admitted to me that she does that to finish her ornaments and hers are awesome so I don't feel bad.
There is one more ornament that is almost finished but gluing the strand of little beads onto it is proving a challenge so it isn't ready yet.

Good Morning!

Good morning, y'all!

I don't know why I'm up this early.  We have the whole week of Thanksgiving off as a break so I could sleep in but I'm awake.

We put the tree up last weekend.  It's our fifth Christmas with this tree (we bought it our first Christmas when we were married) and we never had any issues--until this year!  The top half of the top string of lights (it's pre-lit) would not light up.  So, we got this thing for diagnosing light string problems from Home Depot hoping it would help.  We could not isolate and fix the problem so this weekend we went back to Home Depot and bought a replacement string of lights and I restrung the top of the tree.  It looks great so far.

After two years of doing a sacred-only tree, we decided to put some secular ornaments on it as well.  The girls are enjoying seeing Pooh and Cookie Monster on the tree.  We also have a four foot tree that has only sacred ornaments on it.  The smaller Christmons I made look better on it.

Hopefully I'll get some stitching in this week.  I've been doing a lot of crochet to try to get my Christmas presents done.  Watch for a possible second post today.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It Never Fails

So, last post, I posted about how I tried to get all the DMC colors I didn't have from Jo-Ann last week.  I found another project I want to start and I'M MISSING A COLOR!!!!!!!!

It never fails.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

T- One month and counting

Friday marked the one month out point from graduation.  I only have two more weeks of student teaching left as well (the week before Thanksgiving and the week after Thanksgiving).  When I started this whole program a year and a half ago, it seemed like it would go on forever. Now, it's almost done.  Went to a job fair on Thursday.  No one is really hiring for spring so I may have to wait for a job until fall.

After the job fair, I stopped in at Jo-Ann's.  They had a 25% off your total purchase coupon so I made the most of it.  I bought yarn for a few new projects and then I tried to get all the colors of DMC that I didn't already have (because it seems that everytime I start something new, I find I'm missing at least one color).

 I started sorting and winding them only to find that I had forgotten to pick up bobbins and I only had a few left.  I picked some up last night but I'm still short.  Grr.

When I got home, my new washer and dryer were there to meet me.  I spent the rest of the day catching up on laundry.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Unplanned Stitching and Hermiting Weekend

The middle of this week, our washer decided to die.  Mid-cycle.  With clothes in it. 

It started like it should but would not finish the rinse and spin cycles so we were stuck with a washer full of water and clothes.  When we fished them out this morning, they stunk to high heaven. 

Fortunately, my stepson lives in town and has his own washer and dryer in his apartment.  So, while he was at work, I brought my stinky clothes and the rest of the family laundry over to wash. 

I was able to finish knitting this shawlette.

I finished the body this summer but I had been working on the border for a few weeks and finally finished it today and sewed it on.

I frogged some other stuff so nothing else really to show.

As for the washing machine, we purchased one Friday night and it's coming on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Bit More Stitching and a Win

I won a book about felting from Edgar's blog this week.  If you don't already follow him, I strongly recommend it.  He does wonderful stitching and always has good pictures to share.  He recently got back from France so it was interesting to take in the sights over the web.

Here's the book.

I also stitched a bit more on my Thanksgiving themed pieces.  I didn't get a lot of stitching in because I spent most of my weekend cleaning the house. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stitch from Stash Update: October

The month is drawing to a close already so I figured it is time for Stitch from Stash before I forget.  I got a bit of stitching in today so it is not quite as pathetic as last month.

I started on Stained Glass Holly by Ink Circles.  I also worked on two WIPs: A Time of Thanksgiving and Country Grace.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Are Your Ears Ringing?

Well, they will be now!

If you've been a follower for awhile, you might remember me talking about my experiences in a handbell choir.  I was feeling nostalgic today, so I looked up some of my favorite bell pieces.

First up is "Variations on Madrid" (also known as "Savior, When in Dust to Thee").  It uses almost every technique in the book (except maybe suspended mallets, mallet lifts and a tower swing).

Another of my favorites is "Fantasy on Hyfrydol" (also known as "Love Divine All Love Excelling).  Known for the part where almost every bell rings and then goes into a tower swing.  It is also one of my favorite melodies in the hymnal.

This last one is a piece we did at contest my junior year at high school and it is absolutely gorgeous.  It is called "Soliloquy for Bells."  It has a bit of a story behind it.

My sophomore year of high school, the freshman choir director convinced the Ladies Auxiliary to buy the school a five octave set of handbells (so we wouldn't have to borrow a local church's set for Christmas).  When you ring in a handbell choir, it is very hard to cover if a person is absent because it takes the whole choir to make a song so after the first year, I was designated the extra "floater" because I can sight read music without a problem and I filled in for anyone who was missing. Well, we showed up to contest and we were missing two ringers.  We had to start because you have designated time slots so we had to do our best to absorb the missing person (since we had one extra person, not two).  We still did well on the song and made it to State.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Stitch from Stash Prize

I have been participating in the "Stitch from Stash" initiative this year.  The goal is to spend less than $25 per month on stitching supplies with a few extra "cheats" thrown in.  So far, I've been on task (mostly because I have not had any extra money for stitching supplies).  This month, I won a giveaway and won this wonderful HAED:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Holly Update

I was able to get a bit of Holly done today.  It is not quite looking like anything at this stage still.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Some actual stitching

This weekend, I was able to finally make it to my library's knitting and crochet circle.  Here's what I worked on.

This was a new project.  My mother-in-law saw some infinity scarves at Wal-Mart and wanted one.  I discovered the "crazy stitch" for crochet so I am crocheting an infinity scarf.  It crochets really fast.  I'm almost done.

I added another line to my flag afghan.  I have one red and white done.  Back to red.  Soon I'll need more yarn.  Eventually, I'll get to add blue.

I'm almost to the end of this pocket scarf I'm making for Zoe.  It is working a lot better since I got aluminum needles instead of the wood ones I was using.

I also started a new cross stitch project.  I am doing the "Stained Glass Holly" ornament out of the JCS preview issue.  The pattern is my Ink Circles.  It is solidly stitched with no partial stitches so I decided to do it on gold perforated paper instead of the recommended 32 ct fabric.

Sadly, there's not much to see yet.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stitch from Stash Update: September (Warning: Quite Pathetic!)

I have only a microscopic amount to show for this month.  I spent absolutely nothing.

The only piece I worked on was Jingle as ye enter by Victorian Motto Sampler.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Show Your Stash: Threads

Well, I have survived the first two weeks of first grade.  I started teaching a bit this week and I will take on more next week.  It is definitely challenging but I am learning a lot.  I had a seminar today on Mental Health issues in the classroom which was quite interesting.

I am now in my third week of the South Beach Diet and I am down 10 pounds!  I hope to lose at least 20-40 more.

I have stitched only a little as my time is definitely eaten up with teaching all day before coming home and having to check on homeschooling and regular chores.

I saw this Show Your Stash on Meari's blog and I thought it would go along with the Stitch From Stash project that I have been participating in all year.

What Thread do you usually stitch with?


When you shop for threads do you buy on impulse or buy only what you need?

I mostly only buy what I need, especially when buying specialty threads. With the DMC, I try to have a spare skein of anything that I am running low on.  I will buy on impulse when I shop at SCRAP.

How do you sort it?

I have my DMC wound on bobbins in plastic boxes.  I have my specialty threads in Quart size zip bags sorted by type.  Each individual skein (Like WDW) is in an small snack bag.

What tips do you have for building stash?

I buy a lot of stuff on clearance.  Thrift stores and community rummages are also a good place to find stash occasionally.  I find that you don't generally have to do a lot to build stash.  It generally accumulates over time.

How much is too much?

If you don't have room for it or it is causing damage to your relationships, I would say you have too much.  This, of course, varies by person.

How do you whittle down your stash when it's gotten too large?

I unintentionally whittled down mine when I moved from Wisconsin because I had to leave stuff behind.  I have also given it away or donated it to the local craft thrift store.

Do you have a current favorite in your stash?  Let's see it.

I really liked working with the Belle Soie but I don't have a picture of it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blue Ribbon

I got my cross stitch back from the fair.  Blue ribbon!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stitch from Stash - August Update

I figured I should post my Stitch from Stash update before I get caught up in everything.  I spent next to nothing this month, even with the bonus $25 (which nets me $0 for this month).  We just haven't had the extra money in the budget for string.

Strangely enough, everything that I worked on this month, I finished.  All four pieces.  So, here they are:

Pumpkin Sampler
Jeannette Douglas Designs

Mickey Mouse Wreath
Leisure Arts

The Wrapper
Full Circle Designs

Marsh Marigolds on Logan's Creek
Brigitte Kozma