When Bre left home to start a life of independence in her new apartment, she took with her all the fun personality that she'd put into her room. The white iron headboard that Mike and I bought for her when she was little was gone, the bobby pins that had usually littered every surface had vanished, and the soft scents of her favorite perfumes had finally faded. (She was, however, kind enough to leave behind the makeup stains on the carpeting.)
I decided that I'd redecorate the empty space, turning it into a quiet room that she could come home to if she needed to, and I'd set up office in there as well. I didn't know how I'd do it, but I knew I needed to start with a small bed and dresser. That eventually turned into a desk and table and nightstand and upright chest and bookshelf, which means all that's left to acquire are the samplers. :) (Feel free to stitch them and send them along to me.)
I decided to go with a "Colonial Couples" theme, and with the help of some dear stitching friends of mine (hi, girls!), I've come up with several samplers I want to stitch that have colonial figures on them. I haven't felt this much excitement over stitching in ages! (As a matter of fact, I found myself so inspired, I even designed a Colonial-themed piece that is at the model stitchers' house right now.)
The sun was shining in the room yesterday so prettily, so I took a few photos to share with you.
Nevermind those blank walls. Like I said, they're waiting for samplers. :) I love that rug... it reminded me of sampler motifs when I first saw it a year ago, so I was very happy that I finally had a reason to purchase it (at Lowe's, btw).
And I couldn't leave Weathered and Worn (my favorite little shop!) without this hurricane lamp shade...
This tin horse reminds me of Sabrina bc she loves all things equine...
My rug again. I adore it. :)
Sophie has taken to sleeping in this bed, btw. It's a pillow-top mattress, and I purchased the softest sheets and blankets I could find for it. I was lucky enough to get a much-coveted pillow case (the red French General one) from my mother as well! She makes them so beautifully!
And what would a Colonial Couples room be without the Quintessential Colonial Couple themselves, George and Martha?
I saw this painting somewhere online, but since I didn't want to pay what they were asking for it, I decided to paint it myself.. sort of. I liked the original much better, but this will do. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep it or not though.
I've never bee one for window treatments. Mostly bc I never knew how to make them actually look good. So now I'm just a sheers-and-black-rod sort of gal, and I'm very happy with that.
Here's the dresser. It has really cool dividers in the drawers...
Whenever I open the top drawer, I hear angels singing. It's the weirdest thing.
And my favorite part of the room? A Sgraffito Redware plate!
Oh, wait a second. I lied.
This, looking ever so dreamy - and on loan from Mom - is the best part of the room:
I hope you like the room so far! And I really hope Bre likes it. I know Sophie does. ;)
Back in the '90's, Bre and Sabrina got to go to their first concert: 'NSync. (That happened to be my first concert too, but that will be our little secret.) And this week, after asking, "Who the heck is 'NSync?" Sophie attended hers too:
We went with one of Soph's BFF's (and business partner for The Glitz Girlz) and her mom, and on the way there, the girls took quite a few self-portraits of themselves. Here is one:
And here is another, after reaching the concert venue:
They were so excited. That is, until we walked about a mile to the end of the line. It turns out 9,000 other people had the same idea we did about what to do on a Friday night.
Nevertheless, after standing in line for over an hour, we finally made it into the concert area and headed down to the field...
Selena brought a band called The Scene along with her, and all the tweens went wild...
It wasn't until an hour-and-a-half later, when Miss Gomez herself appeared, that the REAL screaming began. Behold: the teenager every young girl in America wants to be...
...including my own.
A quick change into her boyfriend's (Justin Bieber) favorite color...
...and then again, into Sophie's favorite outfit of the night...
Sophie and her BFF kept disappearing into the crowd to wriggle their way toward the front, dancing and jumping and singing like seasoned pros...
...and when Selena closed the show with the tween anthem Who Says, they came back to their moms, who were exhausted from watching all the dancing.
I do believe these two got our money's worth. ;)
When I first started blogging back in 2004, I had intended to write just about my stitching endeavors - sort of a way to keep myself motivated by posting my plans and progress reports. Then I started designing, and it went from my "Cranberry Crossing" blog (the name coming from the primitive/folk art craft business I had for a few years back in the '90's) to my Plum Street Samplers blog, where - again - I had intended to write strictly about my stitching, whether it be my own designs or others I was working on.
Soon, however, I became bored with my slow progress reports, and decided to branch out and start sharing a little bit about my family, although I was afraid it might annoy some people. Seven years later, I'm amazed at how many people have written to me to ask about my family... you show your concern when I express mine, and you share in my joy as well. You have no idea how much that means to me! I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are annoyed, as I'd feared, but that's what makes us all different; it's nice that everyone is not the same, or there really wouldn't be anything at all to blog about, no matter who you were.
So now I have a stitching/designing/dogs/family/cooking/photography/andsometimesTraderJoe's blog. And I'd like to thank you for allowing me to share it all with you.
Today is my blog's anniversary, so if you're still reading, I'd love to have a giveaway to celebrate! Just leave a comment (and if you don't like comments, your name will do - or you can email me) in the comments box of this post for a chance to receive 3 currently-released Plum Street Samplers charts of your choice*, as well as an e-voucher for any one future Plum Street Samplers release through December 31, 2011. The winner will be announced this Friday, July 22nd.
*This is the fine print: I'm sorry, but I cannot give away any current or upcoming Just Cross Stitch magazines, nor can I give away anything that is or will be released as a retreat or shop exclusive.
Thank you so much for always taking the time to stop in and see what we're up to. I feel like I've gotten to know many of you, whether it be through your own blogs or emails, and I'm thankful for this new, "modern" way of making friends!
See you soon!
My goodness, it's been ages! How have you been?
It's that crazier-than-usual time of year around here, what with all of the end-of-the-school-year events taking place, my youngest girl's birthday, doctor and orthodontic appointments, graduation preparations, and Bre dragging my bum to the gym every day. Here's just a bit from the last couple of weeks...
My Joonie had a birthday! She turned eleven, and is very proud of that, thankyouverymuch.
Sabrina is teaching herself to play the guitar, with the help of Friday...
Bre has started training for a marathon (to take place in September), and has changed her Le Clic photography blog to The Rising Runner. Instead of feeling guilty that she hadn't been taking a photo each day, she decided to get inspired by documenting her journey from occasional jogger to marathon runner, keeping track of her self-training progress and sharing a runner's recipe here and there.
Missy is still making lovely patterns on my carpeting, as well as breaking the sound barrier with her screechy announcements anytime one of us is coming or going...
...and Tasha is still channeling her inner Yoda.
Sophie and some friends recently tried out for the end-of-the-year talent show, but her little dance group didn't make it. :( Good try though, Sophie!
Sabrina was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Rotary Club... Congratulations, Bean!
Adam has started training for the marathon with Bre, and comes over to play with Sophie a lot, even though he pretends he's there to visit Bre. ;) (He feels a kinship with Sophie, since they're both the youngest in a family of five, and Sophie adores him for that.)
Sophie took 2nd place in the 60-yard-dash at her school's track and field day...
...She also played her last volleyball game and had fun at the season's end pizza party...
I shot another wedding! This time for two of Bre's best high school friends, Brooke and Alex. My Canon Sister Jaime shot with me, and we had so much fun working together. It was quite a learning experience!
And finally, my sweet Sabrina has a few not-so-fun doctor appointments ahead of her. She has an angiofibroma in her neck that needs to be removed, as well as several cysts in her left sinus. We've been puzzled by how sick she always is, getting frequent colds and not being able to breathe at night. (We don't even remember what her regular voice sounds like, she's been so stuffy for over a year now.) She meets with the head-and-neck surgeon on Friday, just after her commencement practice (yes, my girl is graduating!).
Please keep her in your prayers, if you would?
And that's just about it for Chez Stewart! I hope you all have been enjoying your first days of summer (well, almost!), and hopefully I'll see you soon! :)
Hi everyone! Bre and I have been trying for a week to get her photo uploaded to a contest Smashbox Cosmetics has been running... the winner gets a trip to L.A. and a bunch of Smashbox goodies! Anyway, it's for fun, and Breanna dreams of a shrine full of mascaras. Ha!
If anyone out there has a spare minute (another ha!) to vote for her, that would be so awesome! Thank you so much! Here's the link: Smashbox "It" Girl Contest (Oh, and the only down side is you do have to have a Facebook account to vote.)
Btw, the reason we kept getting the photo rejected is that it wasn't perfectly centered when we sent it in, but we didn't know that at the time. You've seen it before, but here's the photo we submitted:
Again, thank you so much - and if you don't have the time (or care to spend your internet time voting), then we understand! :)
Good luck, Bre! My fingers are crossed that you'll have more mascara than you have lashes for.
Recently I was reading a post by The Sampler Girl about some of her favorite things. Which reminded me that it's been ages since I've shared some of the fun things I've run across lately!
Check out this darling owl wristlet I got for Bean... she and I were in a little shop called Francesca's (my older girls' favorite place to shop), and when we spotted this, we knew it must be hers. (She loves owls.)
Don't you love that stamped leather? I know it's not called "stamped" leather, but right now the correct word eludes me.
Here's the back:
This is my very favorite kind of polish... Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry nail color. The square-round brush is the best I've ever used, and you can get about 4 1/2 nails polished with one dip in the bottle. It's very cool.
This particular color is "Lively Lilac." (And yes, it does dry almost instantly.)
Sophie had a book fair at school this past week, and Sabrina asked me to pick her up a couple of these pens:
She likes how people get freaked out when she does this:
I could do this all day...
I'm planning on doing a stitch-along with my mom soon; we'll be working on Scarlet Letter's Elizabeth Sheffield, and I've discovered a new kind of silks I'll be using on it. They're called Carrie's Creation silks, and they're just gorgeous! (I got mine at Reflections Framing - 402.331.1740.)
(By the way, the linen is 40 ct. Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens.)
Sometimes I like to peruse Etsy, in the hopes of getting myself in trouble. I love the smell of cloves, so when I stumbled on this lip color by The Epically Epic Soap Company, I knew I had to try some...
It's actually a lip tint in "Red Clove." It does smell very mildly of clove, and it goes on very smoothly.
And that's it! No food this time! I'm going to have to remedy that, bc I do love food. (Especially Fruit Pastilles, which are from England and are always calling my name, even this far across the pond. I should write to Kate and Wills to see if they'll send me some.)
And now I must take my leave and get back to whatever it was I was doing before I sat down here.
I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of finishes from some very sweet ladies recently, and as usual, I'd love to share them here. :)
This is from Nadine in France... she stitched Fruit of the Spirit on Antique Ivory Belfast, and I love how beautifully it turned out...
Thank you so much, Nadine!
And here is Bonnie's Favorite Font Sampler, which she made into a pinkeep by stitching it on 48 count linen...
It's barely 5" x 2", and she used her own black walnut stain to dye it. I love how primitive it turned out!
Thank you so much to both Nadine and Bonnie for sharing your finishes with me. I'm blessed. :)
It's been a very busy spring so far in the Stewart house... each new day has been quite full, but I'm not complaining. It's that time of year when the stores are full of graduation gift ideas (yay, Sabrina!), there are bags of mulch to purchase at every gas station, and Bre starts slowly bringing her dorm things back in laundry baskets, ready to move back home for the summer. (Which I'm very excited about, btw.)
And amid all the bustle that is our house lately, the trees bloom quietly; their heady fragrance hangs in the air when the wind is still and the moon is out. And that's when the Yorkie decides to take a dump on my living room carpet just so I will toss her outside and she can enjoy the moonlit spring.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of being my Canon-sister Jaime's second-shooter (a backup shooter/assistant) for a lovely outdoor wedding. I'd never photographed a wedding before, but had always wanted to... and now I know why wedding photographers are so expensive. This was the most grueling experience ever. (In a good way, of course.)
For nine hours, Jaime and I lugged around about 20 pounds' (each) worth of camera gear and battled wind, clouds, extreme sunshine, and uncomfortable church shoes - all to capture the most beautiful moments of such an important day.
Did we succeed? I have no idea. We're both still in traction. But Lindsay and Creighton made such a sweet couple, and my favorite thing to see during the day was when she would relax and smile every time he put his arms around her. It was so romantic! :)
Here are some of my favorite images from the day...
Her grandfather walked her down the aisle...
Her flower girl, getting excited to empty her basket...
Whatever did bored little boys do before there were gaming consoles?
The groom's brother lost his rose, which was actually quite funny...
It was very chilly outside, but the sun was at its brightest best (which made things extremely challenging to photograph)...
Congratulations to you, Mr. and Mrs. Micek! And thank you, Jaime, for being a gracious first-shooter.
P.S. I have to post this last photo bc I found it quite funny; I told Lindsay to think about her wedding night, and this was the look she gave me... Rawr. ;)
P.P.S. The very first photo I posted was taken immediately after this one; after I took it, she told me, "You wouldn't believe what he's whispering in my ear." Oh my! ;)
A couple of weeks ago my mom invited me to go antiqueing at a large "antique mall" just up the road. Since I can't quite justify the expense of real antiques, my perusing turned into more of a "let's go vintage-ing" trip. Mom was on the lookout for the ever-elusive pink flower frog, while I searched for samplers from the 1700's that might have a price tag of $2.49 on them. (Kind of like when she and I used to go in the Good Will, looking specifically for Longabergers, thinking that there must be tons in there that people don't want.)
She didn't find her pink flower frog, and I only found a print of a sampler stitched in the 1700's, but I did see these, and fell in love with them.
Bobbins and wooden spools! I love wooden spools. And they came in this really cool Presto jar...
I had never seen a Presto jar before. The difference bw these and Ball jars is that these have a glass piece that fits under the tin cap, whereas the Ball jars use tin for both pieces. Mom and I searched all over the place for another jar like it, but found nothing but more Ball jars for miles of aisles.
I love what I came home with that day! This is especially surprising to me bc I'm the type of person who will carry something around a store with me, and by the time I'm ready to checkout, the novelty of the item has worn off and I end up putting it back. I also tend to over-analyze my potential purchases to the point that I have no idea why I even picked them up in the first place (my husband calls this "analysis paralysis," and it's a trait my mil used to get quite annoyed at!)
Mom, we'll have to cover the second half of the antique mall next. I'm sure we'll find loads of pink flower frogs and Presto jars and samplers-for-$2.49!
I'm thinking we should check the Good Will first.