Goodness, the year has flown by! And of all the resolutions I made, the only one I kept was to "be more creative." :) I do feel like I was a little more creative this year than I have been in the past, and it was a lot of fun!
I didn't, however, reduce the size of my stitching works-in-progress like I'd planned to.
Here's what I began the year with:
1. L'Hiver (BoaF)
2. Kind Fond Love (Brenda Keyes)
3. Jane Rees (Scarlet Letter)
4. Village of Hawk Run Hollow (CHS)
As you may remember, L'Hiver was sent to her doom by being vanquished from Cross Stitch Land to File 13, and then had coffee grounds and old food dumped on her to keep me from changing my mind. Not that I don't absolutely LOVE the design, bc it's one of my very favorites. But I almost flatlined any time I picked it up bc of all the pine needles waiting to be stitched. I still look back on that fateful day in January and want to cry. But then I tell myself that I may have singlehandedly saved my marriage by tossing the one thing that gave me night terrors.
Kind Fond Love is another that I can cross off the list, but not bc it was met with tragedy. It almost was, but my mother saved the day. She thought I should carry on with it since it was so near completion, so I did. I hated every stitch, but once Jill Rensel returned it to me, I fell back in love with it and my life hasn't been the same since.
So that leaves me with Jane Rees (which I will will will will will will will will complete one day, and hopefully in less time than it took George Muller to build his orphanage in Bristol)...
Village of Hawk Run Hollow, which has a whopping 1 block completed... (I suppose I could have taken the time to actually straighten my samplers for their photo shoot, but I was in a hurry. Sorry!)
I've added Dutch Beauty, which was supposed to go along at an easy one-page-per-month schedule, but has instead progressed at a one-motif-per-month pace...
And my good friendKim passed her lovely Frances Eden Sampler on to me bc she didn't care for the linen and threads she chose. I am in LOVE with this sampler, but it is not in love with me, or it would play nice and not take so long to finish.
I've also started Chloe's House by EEF, but didn't want to dig around in my purse for it. It is, after all, my only portable project, and if I take it out of my purse, it may not find its way back in. And then when I'm stuck at traffic lights, what in the heck will I work on??
So these are the projects I'm going into 2009 with. I've even been debating on adding another one to the list for tomorrow's start, but now I'm hesitating bc I really do want all of these samplers finished (although hot on the heels of this WIP-list is Scarlet Letter's SDW and their And All was for An Appil one...stop it, Paulette! Stop this madness!!). Hopefully you did better with your WIP resolutions than I did mine.
On a different subject, how was your Christmas? Ours was absolutely wonderful, although I'm still trying to recuperate. I think we took 281 photos bw the three family celebrations, but don't worry - I won't make you look at all of them. Just be glad you don't live next door to me, or I may come over for a visit, scrapbooks in hand.
Here are just a few of them...
I snapped this one of the girls, on the way back from our Christmas with Mike's parents in Kansas:
(Clearly, Sophie has had too much eggnogg...)
When we got home, our furnace had mysteriously shut off, so the house was FA-REEZ-ING. We all did our best to keep warm while we had our own family Christmas:
Mike has made it his mission in life to convert everyone in the whole world to his new religion: Board-Gameology. If we've heard it once, we've heard it a gabillion, zamillion, crapillion times: "Wanna play a game? Wanna play a board game? Huh? Do ya? Wanna play?? Wanna wanna wanna play a game???" And despite getting the same answer every. stinking. time. he asks (shall we say it in unison? "NO, MIKE. BUT THANKS FOR ASKING."), he continues to ask each of us, always exclaiming that he read somewhere that families in Europe have huge gaming nights, and they each look forward to this wondrous event with an almost greedy hunger, knowing they get to spend time with each other in such a fun, bonding way. (I say this: there is a reason they're called BORED games.)(I also say this: we do not live in Europe.)
ANYHOOTY, I decided that I'd be a really cool wife this year and pretend that I've converted. This was his reaction. Do I lie when I say he was a happy boy?
Btw, not only did I give him a bored game for Christmas, I've even played it a couple of times. I'm afraid if this keeps up, we'll all start speaking European.
Moving on... here's my brother with the girls:
And looky what my brother gave to me!! I absolutely love it!!
I hear Mary Queen of Scots liked to play card games.
I suppose I'll stop there. I hope your Christmas was as much fun as ours was. And may you have a blessed new year!
P.S. A fun, new trick I learned this year was to intercept any packages that my husband may have ordered for himself and then give them to him for Christmas. For instance, Mike ordered a card game from online, and I "forgot" to tell him it arrived. So when he was excitedly opening a wrapped gift from under the tree, his expression quickly changed when he beheld it. "Wait," he said. "IIIII bought this for MYSELF!!!" teehee.
Oh my goodness, my baby turned 18! And for the big day, her dad took her and Cody (her boyfriend) to Kansas City for some shopping on The Plaza and a Chiefs game. (Cody had no idea about the game, so it was quite a surprise to him when they pulled into Arrowhead Stadium's parking lot... especially since he's never been to an NFL game!)
Despite the 25-below temperature that day, all three of them had a fun time at the game. (Well, Mike and Cody had a slightly better time than Breanna, bc she spent most of the time in the ladies' room trying to get warm and fighting a nasty stomach bug that had been plagueing her.)
Doesn't Mike look kind of like Michael Jackson in this picture?
Ahhh.... warm at last in the hotel... (and here he looks sort of like Charlton Heston to me...)
Time to head out on The Plaza! (And here, Mike looks a lot like Cody...)
Oh wait. That is Cody.
Here they are at Cheesecake Factory, where Breanna was snarfing down a piece of Godiva cheesecake, despite her stomach's protests. It's her party, and she'll cry if she wants to!
And back outside they go, for more shopping...
Oh no!!! Is the Betsey Johnson store really closed???
Say it isn't so!
I'm sorry, birthday girl. Maybe next time.
However, Target was open, so Mike bought presents for himself. After all, they don't carry cd's and card decks at the Targets in Omaha...
After a very long, cold day, they dragged themselves back to the hotel, where Breanna was the first to crash:
And here is the birthday girl after a good night's sleep.
On the way home, they stopped at an enormous mall, just in case Brea didn't get enough shopping in on the first day. (Plus, I believe the boys were trying to reward her for being such a trooper at the game.)
(Btw, I got Brea the Jessica Simpson purse she's carrying, and Cody got her a gorgeous Cladaugh ring for her birthday! She's wearing the ring in the photo, but you can't see it very well. Trust me though - it's absolutely beautiful!)
The three of them had such a fun time in Kansas City. It really is a beautiful place to visit in December, and I'm so happy Mike took them. I didn't get Breanna a birthday cake this year (the first time ever!) bc she was so sick, but she was very happy with the Godiva cheesecake Mike got her. (And I promised her I'd pay for her to have her nails done since she didn't get a cake from me, and that made her very happy.) Plus, when she got to work, a co-worker had made this for her:
Isn't it just precious? What a sweet thing to do! I wish you could have seen how sparkly it was in person.
I wish you could see how sparkly Breanna is in person too. :) I'm so proud of the young woman she's grown up to be, and I love her with all my heart. (However, I do miss being able to put her on restriction and making her stitch sampler models for me as punishment... remember those Quaker Calendar things I designed a while back? Yep, those are the works of Breanna, back when she'd be grounded for something or other. LOL!)
I'm sorry I haven't been posting lately, but I've truly been busy-out-of-my-tree, let me tell you. As I was saying to my friend Kim, I'm not normally a "busy" person... I mean, I have my routine, and I always have lots to do, but I'm not a super-busy-oh-my-gosh-I-don't-have-time-to-breathe kinda gal. But lately? Oh my... lately I've been so busy I can't remember the names of my children. (I kid you not - yesterday I looked at Sabrina blank-faced and said, "Um.. Sabr-..uh, bea-... so-..br-.." She patiently looked into my eyes and said, "Sabrina, Mom. I'm Sabrina." She's a very understanding girl.)
Btw, my Breanna turned EIGHTEEN on Sunday!!!! My sweet girl, happy birthday!!! There are lots of pictures from the big day, but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet. If you don't mind, I'd love to share them with you when they are! I'm so proud of her!!!
I got the most wonderful surprise from my sweet friend Chris Laurion in the mail over the weekend! Oh my gosh, I was so surprised, and it was just what I needed to make me slow down for a bit. It brought quite a smile to my face!
Here is her beautiful wrapping job:
(And yes, she included the real holly in the package! So typical of her... it's all in the details! She could send me a plastic spoon, and it would have the most gorgeous "details" to go with it.)
And here is what was inside!
Isn't he just the cutest little guy you've ever seen? And his hat! I'd love a hat like that! I love his nose too, but I already have a nose like that, so he can keep his. He's just the sweetest thing! And look at the little drawstring bag he came in... Thank you so much, Chris!!!
In the past, Chris has stitched me other ornaments as well... I showed one of them last week, but here are a couple more:
This was the first one she did for me... I can't remember which year it's from though.. (just kidding):
Yep, we started our annual ornament exchange in 2003, and last year was the only year that was too hampered for us to get it done. But I do believe we'll be picking it up again next year, and I'm very excited! (I'm going to do my best to out-wrap her this time...)
Thank you again, Chris! Any time you want to send me a surprise like that, you go right ahead. :)
If I'm unable to get back on here before Christmas, then I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. If you have a Bible (or you can look it up online!), try to take some time in the next day or two to read Matthew 1:18 - 2:23. It's the very reason we even have this beautiful season. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Even though it's getting late in the season (and the distributors may not even get this chart until after Christmas!), I'm going to go ahead and release a new Christmas chart in the next few days or so. It's either going to be called "Tannenbaum" or "Simple Tannenbaum Pocket," or something like that. I haven't quite decided yet! Anyway, it's just a fun way to hold your ornament hooks, and you can either load them in the pocket in a crazy, tangled mess, or arrange them inside nicely and pretend that you never have any tangled-hook problems.
(I just had to add that last candy cane picture in there bc I love the way it came out! Sophie said, "It looks like it should be called 'The Evil Candy Cane.'" LOL Maybe a Hollywood studio could hire me to photograph evil candy canes, should there ever be a movie made about one.)
I stitched the pocket on 40 ct. Vintage Navy Bean linen, and I used Belle Soie silks (Scarecrow, Vanilla Pudding, Baguette, Cranberry, and Creme de Menthe). I'll be posting a tutorial in the coming days also, bc as I was putting it all together, I took photos of the process. After it's posted, it will end up in the "Categories" side bar under "Tutorials," so you can easily find it if you need to.
I hope you enjoy my last chart design for the year. I apologize for how late I am in getting it out there!
That's how I always greet my sweet boy, Friday. He usually loves the snow, but yesterday was the first time he'd ever been out in it without Chase. They used to play-fight constantly in snow, and come in the house soaking wet. Instead, he just wandered out in the middle of the circle and laid down. He really was quite pretty just sitting there in the middle of all the swirling white, but when I went to get my camera, of course he ran up to the house. That's okay though, bc he did sit and pose for me a little. Anything for a gingersnap! (He craves those things, silly boy!)
I still haven't figured out what had him so distracted that he wouldn't look at me! Oh well, maybe another box of gingersnaps is in order.
Yesterday Breanna had to go to the doctor, so as a reward for the experience, I took her to Starbucks. (What? She wanted Arby's? Oh bilge. Here I thought she wanted a piping hot caffeinated beverage and a piece of lemon loaf. Oopsies!)
Anyway, I wanted to show you my oldest child. I'm thrilled to be able to say that she can go from this:
...to this (and quite seamlessly!):
Now this is a girl who is comfortable in her own skin. Gotta love her.
I love it when I get up in the mornings around Christmastime (before Mike comes home to play Guitar Hero!) and the house is so peaceful. The white lights are just about the only things shining, and they create a glow that makes me forget that my coffee isn't finished perking and I'm supposed to be in a fog until then. As I look around, here are some of the things I see...
This is my tree, filled with a good deal of Barbie ornaments (only one is shown), which have grown to be some of my favorites. I used to want a themed tree - something primitive, or perhaps just 2 colors - but over the years my mother-in-law has given the girls a LOT of various ornaments (Barbies included), so that now I associate each one with a certain member of my family, and my notion of a themed tree is no longer a dream of mine. I absolutely love our family's tree.
Going up my staircase banister are some of my cross stitched ornaments, some stitched by myself and others stitched by my good friend Chris Laurion...
I also have some samplers going up the stairway... and btw, my samplers are straight, but bc of slight barrel distortion from my camera lens, they appear to be somewhat crooked!
Here is the table in my hallway...
On top of the piano...
And in my dining room; the first photo is a shelf that my brother, Paul, gave to me for Christmas a few years ago...
And I absolutely LOVE my tassel tree (from my mom) that sits on my great-grandmother's tea cart. Sophie likes to arrange the tassels, and I never bother to fix them any more. :)
Well, Mike just walked in the door and is wrestling with Friday, so I suppose my quiet time is over! Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you love your cozy home as much as I love mine.
If you've never had the chance to travel the midwest at sunset, you're quite possibly missing out on the most perfect representation of America's beautiful countryside (in my humble opinion). I'm not very fond of long car rides, but when I can witness the Lord's blessings to us in the form of miles and miles of farmland against the backdrop of a perfectly-painted sky, it serves to be quite a peaceful distraction for me, and suddenly I have my second wind for the miles and miles of concrete ahead.
Yesterday Breanna and I headed to Des Moines, Iowa, for a cheerleading competition. We left our house when it was still dark out (then had to turn back around bc Brea forgot her skirt!), and by the time we pulled up in our driveway, it was dark again. I always keep a small camera (a Canon SD750) in my purse bc one day I finally got tired of saying, "Where is my camera when I need it??" So when I saw the gorgeous clouds in the sky on the way home, I pleaded with Breanna to find it and snap some photos for me. I think she did a great job, considering the windshield was dirty and we were driving 79 mph (don't tell Mike).
Aren't they breathtaking? I thought the way the huge plumes were almost uniform was amazing. It's funny, bc if one would see that in a painting, I'm sure he or she would think, "Those clouds aren't very realistic!" :)
Another fascinating sight to behold are the hundreds - and I do mean hundreds - of modern windmills on the horizon. I was so astounded by them, that I could hardly keep my eyes on the road. I wish so much I could have photographed them, bc they truly looked like a scene from "War of the Worlds," like structures only aliens could think of. Amazing. Breanna was able to capture a few of them, but our little camera's zoom wasn't strong enough to see them all spread out as far as OUR eyes could see them.
May the Lord continue to bless our beautiful country.
My daughter's sweet boyfriend turned 18 yesterday, and what a fun day it was for him! He got his long-awaited-for tattoo from his mother (okay, she didn't exactly tattoo it on him herself, but she did accompany her favorite young man to the parlor and remained there for the worst part: the bill!), and after a family dinner out, he stopped by here for cheesecake, candles, and the Happy Birthday song.
While he was here, Breanna gave him the gift she's been working on ever since they began dating: his very own scrapbook! I wish you could see it; she really put her heart into it and had a fun time compiling all the photos and visiting the scrapbook stores. She had themes like their first date, football games, the first time he tried Asian food, etc. I'm sure he wondered why her crazy mother was always photographing him, but now the mystery has been revealed!
Happy 18th Birthday, Cody. Your parents did a fine job. It's young men like you that make the world a happier place.
P.S. If you're wondering why Miss Sophie looks so distressed in the photos, it's bc her tummy was hurting. Cody kept her on his lap, trying to make her feel better, but she ended up going to bed just after the candles were blown out.