Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Gifties and Goolies!

My children really know me. For Christmas, I mostly get gift certificates to the bookstore and time and space to spend them! In Boston, Jason took me there, dropped me off with an offer of Starwars coffee...ugh, not know which coffee I mean....:p... And, off I went shopping books. Here are the results.
"Atonement," we all have to read before we see the movie, right? "Tiger Claws," is the sequel to "Temple Dancer," which I already highly recommended to all of you, and still do as a fabulous and exotic read for your 2008 list.
"Mary," is a novel about Mary Todd Lincoln...Abraham's wife, and is soooo good...I'm already sneaking reads of it and I just can hardly put it down. It's so much about how they used to institutionalize women in the US (and Europe) without real cause, and women were just helpless and had no way out with men in power.
"Heyday," is an interest book about a group of people during 1848 (an English gentleman seeking to reinvent himself, a muckraking journalist/ pleasure-seeker; a dangerously damaged veteran of the Mexican War; and a free-thinking actress & part-time prostitute with whom the Englishman falls in love...all headed for the frontier and the California Gold Rush. And, "relentlessly tracked, unbeknownst to them, by a cold-blooded killer bent on revenge." Doesn't this one sound good?! LA Times and others gave it rave reviews...
"World Without End," sequel to "Pillars of the Earth," by Ken Follet, which has been keeping me up nights as I read it in great 100's of pages at a time! It's wonderful, even if it is an Oprah pick. I love it..full of stone cutting, cathedral building, revenge, love, witch and bewitching, medieval life and monkish devilry. You have to read this series.
"The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox," is the story of a woman who was locked away for 61 years in an asylum and is now being released, unbeknownst to her great-niece who now becomes her prospective keeper. It's the gothic story of lost lives, family secrets, dangerous truths, jealousy and betrayal. Review: "This haunting and extraordinarily engrossing novel--part gothic mystery, part tangled family drama--reminded me why I love reading in the first place: it's because a well-written book has the power to carry us away to a place we've never been but always suspected was there."
"Flesh and Bone," A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass, who is the world's top forensic anthropologist and his co-author. I will admit it here that I am a huge fan of Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell....Nancy Grace... CSI...Bones...Court TV...Criminal Minds...and anything Forensic on television and on paper!!! I just have this fascination for the whole thing. In my next life, I hope I can tolerate blood and guts enough to work as a forensics person like Tempe on the tv program "Bones!" Hence, the above-mentioned book. I also firmly recommend anything by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell...and also Jeffrey Deaver. This would complete my dark side....:[ or some of it.... for now....
"Knitting for the Holidays," great little over-sized paperback book with smallish projects for winter. You have to be ahead of the game, of course, so I would have to start NOW to get these done. Don't you love the scarf above, despite my very crooked scanning?
More Christmas presents coming in the next blog entry!
BTW....did anyone find out who the SECRET SANTA is?????? I think I have a clue!!! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Home from the Holidays!

Back home from Boston, and what a wonderful Christmas holiday I had! It was just perfect! My son, Jason, met me at the airport bringing in a rush of crisp, wintery cheerfulness, and we headed off to the Cape through light traffic and crystal snowflakes. Boston was beautifully lighted for the Season with brilliant reds and whites over the City; and, drivers were surprisingly courteous! It was so good to be "home for the holidays." The cold was a shocker to the system for a bit, but, I was warm and snuggy in my coat which I affectionately call, The Bear, because it's so big and soft and furry. The best treat of all was watching my little granddaughter, Hadley, all week as she talked and talked and enjoyed her Christmas. She is 18 mos old and favors trucks, cars and Barney! She calls me "Daddy's Mama" instead of Grammie...LOL It's a long story....:) I had a great time with many blessings.

Now, I'm back to stitching and reading and thoughts of New Year's plans:
*Making new friends is my first goal.
*Finishing stitching projects for Jessica is my second.
*Keeping old friends and enriching those friendships
*Getting our Neighborhood RR rolling again and finished
*Finishing our HAED RR this year
*Getting involved in a new RR somehow, somewhere???
*Working on my Chatelaine Designs
*Working on my favorite WIPs and SALs: Cirque; Bride's Treasures , Colonial Coverlet; HHRH; Canadian/Sanibel Island Journey; Samplers; Marie Antoinette, etc....
*Planning to read "War and Peace," and many new books this year!

Finding New Personal Goals in 2008:
*Doing more geneological research - I found another interesting link to our Plymouth, MA, family. A "Riggs House" in Glouchester, MA, built in the 1600s....
*Thinking about taking French lessons...I've never learned to speak french
*New exercise in the sunshine program 3 times per week....walking and swimming, at least! UGH....I need help with this one!
*Recycle!! Unravelling the mass of boxes of STUFF accumulated over the years...recycling them to Goodwill, etc.. I need to simplify my home and life this year. I need to learn to let go of the unnecessary so I can let in the light!
I want, also, to thank each and every one of you for your heartfelt comments this season about Christmas memories, holiday losses, and struggles both by your blog comments and to me through personal email. Maybe in some small way, it was a comfort to know that we all cared and shared the good and the heartbreaks through the support of those who know.... You are so special! Here's to good friends throughout the year!!
Love and hugs,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Cirque.." Progress 12-9-07

Stitched a while on my "Cdc" this Sunday, though I didn't manage as much time in as I had hoped for. Stuff happens!! The new section is of the darker over-dyed thread where the glass piece is pointing...and the lower continuation of the color to the left-hand side.

I blended the lower section thread 1 ply with a thread of Balger med. gold metallic to soften the color and add more sparkle so it would work with the upper right-hand corner medallion. I like how that worked. So, now it's a matter of choosing "strengths" of color, and knowing when to blend metallic.... and when to change to the next over-dyed hue as I move along!

Seriously changing the subject here:
Christmas is a difficult time for so many. When I think of how many suffer over the holidays, my heart just goes out to them. And, when I remember the times in our own lives that Christmas was a mess, and not wonderful in the memory of it...I feel so deeply saddened that I couldn't wipe it away and make it all better; as if it were just a story on a page, or a drawing in chalk that could so easily be redrawn. Life, as they say, just isn't that way.

As you get older, or maybe it's just me, one tends to hold up their lives and actions as if it were possible to make some sense of it all. To see through all the pattern of it like a piece of lace held up to the light. We each have good and perfect people, places and things that cross our life paths, and also, nightmarish, sad and regretful things. One just hopes and prays that she has loved enough and given enough of her "good heart-side" to make the rest pale in comparison. One hopes and prays that at the end, the lace itself with be enough to be remembered as a moment of beauty in time and space. An overall pattern of knots and open spaces that was difficult to make, and caused some pain and trouble, but resulted in something that could be seen as a thing of encouragement to others in the end. Something that said, love made it through brilliantly.

But, maybe it doesn't always seem that way to others...maybe it's just too difficult for children to lose their dad at such early ages, and it's something that truly "ruined" their lives in a way that can't be "fixed." I don't know.

I used to hope I could make it bearable by being there and loving and showing tremendous support for my children. I gave it all I had to give as a mother. I suffered my own grief, walked my own road, made good and awful decisions that effected us all; and tried my level best to give my children a core family, love, understanding and respect; as well as an A #1, sterling USA education that was all money could they could have a great foundation for their own futures. That with alot of prayer and guidance was all I knew to do.

But, you know what? Nothing can really take the place of a real dad. Nobody else can fill the gap. No one can nurture and love a child like their real father....nobody really loves them that much, no matter how much they try. The hole that's left can not be filled. Whether by scores of "father figures" through schools, sports and family and a "new" dad...or by tales/stories of how much their dad loved-- would have been so proud-- was just like you--- so much like your brother--would have wanted to be a part of that--- would have loved guiding you and talking with you, reading with you, playing music with you, touring France with you, choosing a law school with you, helping you find your first apt. and car, seeing you married, watching you with your newborn child, knowing his grandchild... None of that really can make up for the fact that, "My Dad died. I was too young to really know him. I didn't have, don't have, and never will have my dad. I can't look forward to spending time with my dad and child, because he's not here. He was and is gone, and that is final, and I will never see or know him as an adult....ever. And, neither will my child."

Tough to hear, tough to know, and tough to live and still live with as a mom. Never underestimate the value of being a parent and of your children having their parents. It is so basic and so foundational, and; yet, we, in this modern age, have forgotten that it is a fact. Children need to know where/who they came from. Christmas is the perfect time to let them know with pictures and stories of their family heritage.

Christmas isn't the easiest time in our family. We have broken hearts that are patched together, and laced with love and good things.....but we have a hole in our Valentine. Nobody else can fill it, all we can do is look at it a quick moment together and recount how we've survived, and how we made the best of it we could, and acknowledge how much it still hurts. How angry it still makes us.

I hope if any of you are or have experienced sadness at Christmastime, you'll take heart in the thing that gives me the most comfort:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever (even the lowliest we can think of type of person...) believes on Him (believes that He came to take us out of the prison of darkness and to set us free from our own harmful choices against eachother and ourselves, and to lead us like a loving parent would through this life with it's difficult challenges and opportunities...) will not die, but will go on to live an everlasting life (in paradise, where He causes there to be no more tears and sadness, no more evil and unkindness, no more heartbreak, no more misundertandings, no more empty spaces....only love and light and understanding and reunion of hearts and loved ones)." Because we know that this world and this life is fleeting and fragile, and that there's no hope except in Love. Every single one of us knows it in our heart of hearts. Love is eternal, never ends, never dies, doesn't keep account of wrongs, hopes the best for us, forgives and forgets, protects and comforts us. Love is all there is that matters. Love is the reason we live. "God is Love."

I'm off to Boston for Christmas...and I'm carrying a renewed hope for a wonderful time of love and celebration in this new generation of Duncans. Because my little granddaugter has a daddy. And, he's going to stay!!! And, I know it will make all the difference.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Don't Fold Cold Laundry & Other Tastey Bits of News

A sneaky little preview of Harmien's McGoblin Buster (aka Voodoo Boy/Girl)!

What have I been doing today? Sorting and washing and folding laundry while I'm online visiting you, emailing and being nosy about new stitching freebie hideouts. By the way, one of my serious pet peeves: I don't fold cold laundry!! If my DH takes it out of the dryer and doesn't fold it, it can sit there 'til Kingdom come! I'm not gonna fold it unless it's hot from the dryer and ready to folded without creases. Just thought you'd like to know ....a fond piece of trivia. PS: I hate laundry@!

And, here we have Grampie's idea of what his grandson's (ages 12 & 10, living in the Boston area), will just love for Christmas! Yep, they were/are real...and they have original, sharp teeth. Debi had to put "Beware!" and "Watch Out!" tags on the boys' Christmas bags this year. Oh, yes, Merry Christmas!! Let me know if you, too, want one or two...they're $15.00. Grampie will be glad to go back to the Everglades City store to find you some! This is why I hold my breath sometimes, I'm sure of it...:[

Above is the type of scary thing I like to make and send! Harmien couldn't wait to see her McGoblin Buster (aka Voodoo Boy/Girl) in progress. So, here SHE is, Harmien! She's coming along nicely with all her glitz and glamour. I had a feeling your McG's were just in desperate need of some "female entertainment" of the type most of us stitching girls are unwilling to provide! So, she's coming over soon to help you out!!...and to get those nasty boys out of your way! Now when we say, "You go, girl!" the McGoblin's will get the drift!!! It's an easy enough chant. :)

She's stitched on 32 ct., hand-dyed Silkweaver fabric in a name I can't remember. I've used mostly my own choices of metallic/Balger threads. AVAS, DMC...the Swars. crystal for her eye...and some over-dyed in GAST. Still playing around with her, so she will probably channel to me what her other "accessories" are meant to be! Harmien, you'll have to name her, yourself....:o

Last, but far from least! A beautiful Christmas gift from Nicole (Island Breezes) came yesterday. Beautiful crystal and silver fobbie with threader in a tin. Nicole, thank you so much. You know how I love collecting tins of all kinds, and the fob is so pretty! It was such a surprise and delight to get your unexpected! Thank you! Isn't it sweet?! Nicole left the tin's insides for me to finish, and I'm going to do just that! Time I learned to at least finish a tin!

I'm leaving for now to go stitch on my "Cirque..." for the evening. It's just a joy to stitch. Hope each of you is enjoying your evening and having some time to smell the Christmas roses.

Hugs, Deb

PS: I saw 2 new Designing Ladies boxes of the type I pic'd last time with Judy O'Dell's finishes....I think they were on Elegant Stitch...or Hoffman Dis. Co. I'm still voting for the Mary Queen of Scots!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Night Owls Unite over Mary Queen of Scots

I've been stitching on Harmien's McGoblin Buster (aka Voodoo Boy) and I think the McG's are itchy. Last night I spent an hour stitching metallics in one general area, only to find I'd missed a stitch which multiplied into a problem and I had to rip a bunch out! I just stared at it in utter amazement. Couldn't believe it got past me when I was so careful! Stitching with pure metallic isn't the easiest on a good day, so I take care in these things....I think the McG's were seriously on my case!
:[ I'm starting on it again today in the daytime. Can't give you a small peek because it's a surprise, though Harmien knows I'm stitching it for her... sorry...

So, this brings me to a happy, non-emotional-venting place, where I can share with you that I found this piece above online tonight, and I want to know why none of you has brought this to my attention!!! Knowing how much a fan I am of all things Queenish and particularly of a Franco/Scots/Anglophile nature... How could you and I have missed this one!? I love it to pieces. I must find some elves to stitch it for me along with my other WIPs, only I want the sensation of kitting it up, feeling the fabrics, threads and silk ribbon and stitching some of it....okay? Thank you very much. Guilia Punti Antichi -- of course-- ;)

For those of us who stitch Chatelaine (see her new one coming out 2/2008): isn't it interesting that it's the identical format as GPA's? This is Martina's new "Dragonfly Boudoir" Online Class. I thought that was very noteable. Is it the Judy O'Dell connection? Because we had that connection with "Leporello." Hmmmmm Which came first, the chicken or the egg? GPA's chart is $16, and I can't remember Martina's cost for hers.

I've been flying around tonight blog-hopping and catching up with some friends I haven't seen for a while. What wonderful things you all are stitching, and what great adventures and misadventures you're all having. Gosh, it's fun to read and see it all!! I know why I blog when I see you all. I'm so happy you're my friends. I'm so happy you're kind enough and so creative you share your lives with me and all of us! What a difference you've all made in my life this year, my first year of blogging.

If I haven't said so before:
Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas to each of you. Thank you for making this year one of the most enriching and memorable I've ever had in my stitching life. I just think you are terrific. Yep, I mean YOU, if and when you're reading this.

Hugs and love, Deb

PS: I must direct you to see the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog (see my side list)...she and her friend, though not Best Friend, Hyacinth, made some fabulous cookies!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cirque Update

Dear Sweet Friends, Thank you so much for your encouraging comments about my fabric and thread choices for this piece. You make me feel so great about everything I put my hands to. Thank you all for your comments...really, you give me more credit than I deserve, though!

Here is my weekend's work on my "Cirque des Cercles" SAL! Yay! My first circle is finished. I just love stitching this. You can't see from my picture, but each of the "petals" of this has been enhanced with balger sparkling thread. I'm going to further embellish it, but that will come later this week. The thread is also over-dyed and has very subtle varigation, which I don't think shows in this pic. But, I'm happy with it irl. Fun stuff!

Other news is just plugging along on Christmas projects for narrowed down to trying to finish Jessica's DH's afghan. UGH! Crossing my fingers on this one.

I helped a friend start a new blog. She is skeptical, but wants to start it as a journal as she's leaving very soon on an around the world cruise. Check her out with a warm welcome please at: She's not a stitcher, but she's a reader, and one of my group of girlfriends who suns and chats at the Club pool with me. She's very down-to-earth and fun. Since she's a novice, please let her know where you're from when you comment. Thanks!!

Nothing else going on...except that Harmien and I are starting a new little Voodoo/McGoblin boy stitching circuit going around. Don't be surprised if it shows up at your door sometime this coming year! If you've been following her posts, my comments to her in their regard and some others...she's been visited this past year with some pesky little McGoblins that have just been worse than gremlins and Murphy's Lawish thingies. So, I'm stitching her a little guard against them. She, in turn, is stitching one for our other friend who's expressed a need....and, it will travel from there, I'm supposing!! Look out, McGoblins! We are on to you!!! :{

Here's a pic of the chart

Harmien and I are, of course, ad-libing our own threads, charms and things. These little McGoblins have to be very individual to fit the user and the purpose!

Meanwhile, have a happy week and happy stitching. Keep warm and toasty, too! Deb

PS: Forgot to mention that the darling scissors fobbie was a gift from Helen this past year! Isn't it the sweetest?!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Angels Wings and Cirque Materials

She's got her wings, and she's ready to finish as a topper. I'm not putting the additional border on her. Don't want to make her Christmasey. Sorry for the "Cabbage Rose" tape. I always use this as a way to secure the fabric when I'm stitching smallies.Here is my fabric and thread toss for "Cirque des Cerqes." I'm doing the SAL with Dani, Kathy, Vonna, Nicole and others on the Snowbirds SAL. I have to start mine on Sunday. I want it to look like a Las Vegas Cirque de Soliel show! So, I'll be adding more glitz to mine...balger threads and sparkles in crystals and beading, I hope. Have to see as it progresses....
This fabric is so much darker and so much deeper in blue color. I have an old Sony digital camera, so my pics are never that true, but close enough, I guess. The flash makes them a little lighter than they actually are.

This is my New Year's promise to myself...albeit an early one...I don't adhere to dates necessarily. I'm going to read "War and Peace" this year. Newsweek magazine had an interesting piece this past week or so about this new translation that is more authentic to Tolstoy's words and meanings. So, I had to have it...and I'm going to read it! I've always wanted to because I know it's a historical novel, but mostly I know it's supposed to be a great love story, as well. Surely, the man who wrote "Anna Karenina" knows how to write a good story!

I know I'm supposed to be taking a break from blogging...but I can't help myself! I just love keeping in touch with you! Hugs, Deb

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Secret Santa and Progress Pics

Some progress made on my Prairie Schooler angel. I hope to finish a wing tonight. I also stitched a smallie fob for a tiny present; which design came from the PS's Christmas Noah's Ark design from some time ago. I love the animals and the birds and swans on this design grouping.

For our And They Sinned SAL, I just want to share some progress pictures with you that I thought might be fun to see. We're getting back together with renewed hope. So, any of you who are interested in joining us...please email me and I'll link you with Kathy who's our organizing leader. This is really a marginal amount of progress in 2007, but I'm hoping to kick up the volume in 2008. Some of our SAL group are just starting! AnnieBees asked me which threads I'm using...I've used only GAST, which I love for this piece. I've worked it the whole time on stretcher bars and's so big and has kept clean and neat this way. I was happy to allow my LNS to cut my fabric exactly to size and to whip stitch the edges for me....that way, all I had to do was take it home and start stitching. I didn't want to be incumbered by trying to measure out the long size for myself.

And now the Mystery of the Season!!! The Secret Santa giftie! Yes, I was just amazed and puzzled and tickled to receive one in the mail when I got home last week. I've done some sleuthing and I'm pretty sure I know who the Secret Santa is...but, I'm not absolutely certain. So, I'm holding my peace and seeing how the Mystery continues to develop before Christmas. Who knows, maybe the little Santa has more tricks up her sleeve!! I don't know what to think!!! :0 At any rate, Santina, thank you so much for including me!

Bye for now!! Hugs to you all, Deb

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pictures from La-La-La-La Las Vegas!!

I, for one, loved it when Jack cried. He had good lungs, and he was soooo pretty! LOL My son, David, and Jack's mom, Adrianne, were very generous to let me hold him alot. They never put him down unless he has his diaper changed. He is the new "Special Gift" of the household. That's what my other children used to call David because he was the youngest of my five children, and they were sure he was a spoiled "little mama's boy!" LOL Long may he reign! Grammie's all for it....:) Pay back, etc....:p
Jack is looking a little startled! We were trying to get a smile...but you know how it is with 4 week olds. He's still the apple of my eye!
Along with seeing my little family, I was also able to visit with Juls (A Fairy and Margaret (Stitch or No Oh, did we have fun! They are so fabulous! We laughed and shared, and shopped and ate dinner and talked and looked at stitching WIPs, a chose fabric for Juls new project, and learned about eachother, and named their regular stitching group....and even planned a Stitching Get-Together in Las Vegas for next May!!! It was the best fun to get to meet them irl.
All I can say is that they were absolutely like they are on their blogs. So down to earth and such wonderful women. Interesting, accomplished, great stitchers, individual tastes in stitching..... I could have spent so much more time with them....which is why we decided on another Get-Together.
Also, Margaret and I talked about starting another RR in 2008, if anyone is interested, please contact her, would you? Juls isn't sure she's ready to do one. She's never been a part of a RR before. I've loved the ones I've been doing this year.
I have the Holiday Blues, everyone. So, as I mentioned below, I may be hiding out for a bit. Though I am stitching on my "Angels," and finishing an afghan for Jessica's husband, Kevin. I'm also planning on making the little quilt promised for my granddaughter, Hadley; and one for Jack; and one for my darling granddaughter in NYC, Amelia. Other than can I possibly have time to stick my head up!!???
Due to financial reasons, I've had to pull out of the Plimouth Plantation Session on the stitching of the jacket reproduction. It has just made me so sad at heart. It was necessary, though, as the realestate market has been so depressed and has really crippled our husband has been a RE broker for over 30 years. This is the worst, the flattest market since the Depression in the US. I may be able to go to another Session in the Spring or Fall.... Right now, I can't justify the I'll be stitching at home instead. Not such a bad thing, really.
Happy holidays to you all!! I'll be stopping by your blogs to say hello. Have some good times, and good stitching to you...
With love and hugs, Deb
PS: My son, Jon stops by and reads up on me once in a while....Love you very much, Jon!!! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Exceedingly Abundantly!!

Did you know that the Bible says that God gives us "exceedingly, abundantly more than we can think of or see" when we take our burdens and requests to Him?

Just wanted you to know....and to let you know that JESSICA IS PREGNANT!! La, la, la!!! There is also a strong possibility that she will have multiples, and she and her DH are very hopeful about that.

She is sooooo happy and delighted and dancing and crying and stunned and just can't believe it....and all the wonderful things that first-time mom's feel. We went right away to Border's Bookstore and picked up "What to Expect When You're Expecting," the current book that all the moms-to-be are reading nowdays. And, she's pouring over Baby Names books, of course.

Thanks to all of you "stitching god-mothers" she was able to feel so peaceful every day, encouraged and charmed by your notes and emails and cards and thoughtfulness. It meant so much, and she found such comfort and strength in your love and caring. I'm sure when I get back from Las Vegas, she'll be getting back on my blog to tell you so herself.

Until then, let me say again how very much your friendship is cherished.
Thank you. I'll be talking to you.... Hugs, Deb

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Is Pressing In on Me!!

I've decided to put all else aside and concentrate on Christmas while I still have time. These Prairie Schooler Angels have been singing to me for years, and I've been turning a deaf ear. But, this year...they are out and being stitched at last. I'm loving how quick and easy to stitch this little one is.

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and words of encouragement for Jessica as she is walking this path about her little "trifecta." (I think I got it right that time! Yay!) She's going to get through this weekend, and she'll get a call from her nurse on Monday evening to hear the results of the IVF. I'll blog the results to you right away so you'll know, too. Meanwhile, just want you to know how much more at peace she has been and how you have lifted her heart with your notes of friendship and caring. It's made all the difference, and she calls me every night to tell me how many of you have left a note for her. Thank each and every one of you.

I'm leaving for Las Vegas to see my son, David, my DIL, and my darling little grandson, Jack, on Tuesday. And, I won't be home until Nov. 26th. So, this will be my last real blog for a while. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and need some time off. But, I'll be back full force when I do come back...with lots to share with you.

I hope all of you have a blessed Thanksgiving...even my wonderful friends in Europe. I'll be thinking and being thankful for all of you this year. You've made my life so full and so charming. Your lives and your stories and stitchery has colored my life so much. What did I ever do without you before!!??

Hugs and love,

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jessica's Note: The Two Week Wait

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your warm thoughts and prayers. The latest IVF transfer was complete perfection, all three embryos made it through the deep thaw and were healthy and viable. We had all three transferred. Mom tried to get it right, but they are not the "truimphorettes"; I called them my little "Trifecta".
I prayed that they would all make it to transfer and they did! My RE (reproductive endocrinologist) said that "the embryos landed in the perfect spot!" The nurse didn't even have time to take an ultrasound picture, and my DH watched it all with eyes WIDE open!! Now, we are in the dreadful two week wait.
We are hopeful, anxious, joyful, excited, anticipatory, and fearful all at the same time. I now have a small glimpse of all the great hopes and expectations new parents have! My poor dh is conservative with his feelings this time, as the last disappointment was just about all we could bear.
Mom and I had a wonderful time in Super Target this afternoon looking at all the darling Newborn clothing. I only have a few more days before I hope to celebrate! Lots of people are praying and waiting with me, I feel blessed that I am not alone. I really hope that I will have multiples, but one would be just as wonderful.
Thank you for commenting on Mom's blog, and I hope that I will have good news to share soon! The World Wide Web will not be a big enough arena for me when I have this news to share!
PS: Although Mom called me "not a real stitcher" today because I didn't want to stitch!! LOL (She was teasing me!) I did end up buying DMCs at AC Moores with her for my LHN "Curly Q,"...and will not let her loose comment discourage me....unless anyone can define for me what a "REAL STITCHER" actually is!! :) I say a slow stitcher is still a Real Stitcher....tortoise and the hare, you know. :)
I really like the paper dresses I've seen on some of your blogs. The materials we have to make ours are so cool. I bought butterflies to put on mine today. Mom has the whole kitchen area cluttered with materials. I'd like to join the Paper Dress Swap with her.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

PIF and My Lifestyle Issues

Georgie has kindly included me in her PIF (Pass It Forward) group! Yay!! So, I'm requesting that 3 of you sign up to be my PIF friends!

Would you kindly let me know if you want to "play" by giving me a comment?
I'll send you something lovely within the next year, having to do with stitching.... It will be a wonderful surprise!! And, you'll need to PIF, of course, by finding our own little triad to send to. :)

All I can say at the moment is that I must really be on overload this past couple of weeks. I'm so exhausted in mind and body. Too much going on...too little of me to spread around.

Jessica, my DD, has gotten her IVF transfer with her what she now calls her "little Triumphorette", and we are now on pins and needles waiting until Nov. 20th to find out if she's pregnant. She is hoping for twins, or a baby or Triplets (note the 2 T's)...she and Kevin would be delighted with anything the Lord would give them. I explained to her that she has to get used to waiting...that's the name of the game in motherhood! It's been a difficult 2 years for her, and we really hope she and her husband are blessed this time. When the other times didn't work, she really took it very hard. I'm feeling anxious for and about her because, she's my baby. You can see her picture on Nicole's blog (Island Breeze). I'm going to search around for a better one of her to post on mine!

I haven't been sleeping well at all. My insomnia has really gotten so bad, though I try to "gear down" every night in hopes I can get sleepy like ordinary people. I've always been a night owl...all my I guess it's just gotten worse with time and age. I do love to stitch at night and to watch old movies while I'm stitching. But it would really be healthy for me if I could just sleep!! I'm now wondering if Harmien's McGoblins have flown to my house for a visit and are keeping me awake! "Out, out, Dark Spots!!" to loosely quote the Bard.

My favorite, latest old movies are: Fanny and Alexander by Ingemar Bergman, which is a must see for everyone on earth for so many reasons; Night and Day with Cary Grant, and Night of the Hunter with Shelley Winters and Robert Mitchum. That "Night of the Hunter" scared the pants off of me.... I really cried all through "Night and Day." Cary Grant can break your heart when he wants to.

My latest book find is: The Temple Dancer, A Novel of India by John Speed. Booklist said: "Speed conducts a dazzling tour of 17th century India. Lavish and lush...mesmerizing...Chock-full of sex, suspense and peril...this yarn will transport readers to a vanished time and place."

I've just started it, but I'm hooked. This isn't the usual type of novel I read, but after a bit of pre-reading in Border's Book's new Seattle's Best coffee shop with a cup of very latte, latte and a spinach egg and cheese omelet -muffin... it had so reminded me of "The Far Pavilions" by MM Kaye, which is one of my all-time favorite books, that I had to take it home.

Speed is a descriptive writer who knows how to entice an audience. The novel is fast-paced and addictive. The first chapter starts out with a young girl using belladonna to make her skin "pale enough" to be beautiful in society... consequently, her eyes get huge and reflect like deep pools as her pupils reflect the night light. This stuff just captures my imagination. His descriptions are wonderful and the story is fascinating.

The sequel to this book is now out in hardback. It's to be a trilogy. John Speed (cool name..) spent many years writing the book, and many years in India....I'm wondering if he's been Undercover???? and now lives quietly in CA with his dogs. Imagine Nelson DeMille writing about ancient India's temple dancers and lovers...

Could any and all of you who are interested in a SAL with the Glendon "Pretty Pumpkins" email me? I'm asking someone to set a site up for us. I'm stitching more on mine tonight. Here's a picture of the pitiful start I made at Martha's Steamy Sunday Stitching group. I assume you've already seen the pics from Nicole's (Island Breeze) and Martha's blogs taken at our Steamy time. I couldn't have looked worse in my pics! You can really see I'm not sleeping well! Jessica hasn't been either...this was the day before her IVF. The company of friends and the food made up for it! Ask Martha to get you the recipe for those ultra decadent caramel bars that our friend, Carolyn brought for dessert!!

And, isn't this just the most heartwarming? Nicole tickled me by taking this one while I was ironing my fabbie for the Pumpkins! I couldn't believe what a tiny iron Martha has!! We are having a "cold snap" here in SW Florida, so you can see I'm wearing my sweater vest....I think it was in the 70's. We could have frozen!

Did you make it through this whole blog entry?? You deserve a medal. Hope I didn't keep You up all night! Hugs, Deb

Hapsburg Crest and Roses

I saw after the fact that I had some sequin slippage on my "Marie" Sampler! LOL Just wanted to tell all of you thank you so much for your encouraging comments. It's great to do this with you looking on....

The roses above are from a French garden. Imagine this is one of the colored roses Marie Antoinette had...

Here is a picture of the Hapsburg Crest. This was the Crest even of Marie's time. Isn't it stunning!? Don't be surprised if you see something of it in my Sampler.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Some Updates

I promised to kit the "Berthe Massiet" Sampler up this weekend, and I did. The threads are Au Ver a Soie ...beautiful, soft and gleaming. I chose 28ct Cashel - Antique White for the fabric. Though I wasn't able to take a stitch this weekend, I'm sure to get my hands on it sometime this week!!

When you pick up truly a fine silk to work with like Au Ver a know it's for a different type of needlework altogether. It is so delicate (but strong!) and silky to the touch. The quality is just lush and superior. I'm going to love working with it for the "Berthe...Sampler."
I also promised you an update on my "Marie Antoinette Sampler." I need to explain it. First, the topmost winter white section of the lace is completed, except that I want to add the pearly sequins with a pearl bead in the center of them. You can bearly see where I've placed them. I have added Sw. Crystal faceted baguettes to the bottom of the white lace flounce. My final treatment of the top lace is to add a gathered ribbon, in a garter-type rosette with the hand dyed silk ribbons to each end of the lace strip. [Sorry...I don't iron my pieces when I'm stitching them!! :o]

The central floral wreath is a blend of silks of different types, DMC and Anchor flosses. I used regular cross stitches, eyelets, french knots, and smyrna crosses. Once the wreath is finished, Marie Antoinette's initials and her birthdate will be stitched inside it. Cherubs will be on either side of the wreath with golden rose trimmers and silky ribbon-like garments flowing. On either side of them will be large, stone urns with rose bushes in them to symbolize the Hapsburg summer gardens.

I want this upper section of the Sampler to symbolize the Young Marie, a Princess of the Hapsburgs Empire. Austrian born and raised, 18 yrs. old, and newly promised to the Young Duphin of France.... It is to show her youth and innocence, a touch of her homeland, and a glimmer of the hope that young girls carry in their childlike spirits for marriage, beauty and romance. So, there will be other, spot items and treasures added.

The gold lace/ribbon at the bottom of the picture shows the division of the Sampler as it will progress, and where Marie's time at the French Court begins and moves along. I'll be developing this section as I go on later.

A couple of you have asked where to get this "Marie Antoinette Sampler." I'm flattered!! It's bearly started, and it's just my own design. Once it's finished...if it turns out okay, I don't mind sharing it with you. Right now it's just a "create as you go" project for me.

Sending love and hugs to all of you! And, thank you for so many sweet comments about Hadley, the little lambie! :)

Oh....nearly forgot:

I'm so delighted that I finished...for all intents and purposes....just have my name to block on Glenna's Neighborhood RR!!! I had such fun with it. The ribbon at the base is ruched velvet in that bittersweet red color that's in the flowers above it. I'm hoping a diversion from straight XS will be okay with Glenna. Her Neighborhood was just crying out for a "happening!"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Stitchey Weekend Ahead

Don't tell me...I know I shouldn't...but I just received this beautiful chart and I'm kitting it up tonight and starting it. Even if I'm up all night again, Helen and Patti!! Isn't it to die for? You, too, can order it at: from Isabelle was 15 euros and then I had to pay 2.2 euros post. It was so worth it!!!

Yes, Patti and Helen caught me on an "all-nighter" this week when I was trying to catch up with all of your blogs! Sometimes I have terrible insomnia, and I just go with the flow and enjoy a computer time...catch up with all of you and have a happy time of commenting. Patti and I had fun instant messaging, and Helen sent me an email saying she couldn't figure out if I was "just up very early" or if I had stayed up all night! LOL It was kind of fun. Soooo, if any of you are night-owls, you can always see if I'm up, too. I probably am. It's 12:45 AM here right now.

Stitching Goals for the Weekend:

1) Kit up "Berthe Massiet" and make a start on it

2) Finish kitting up Glendon "Pumpkin..."

3) Stitch a bit on Jessica's "Mermaid of the Pearls"

4) Stitch a bit on "Marie Antoinette Sampler"

Finally, I leave you with these two pictures of my sweet little granddaughter, Hadley, who was a lambie for Halloween. She's the one who's getting the toile quilt with the Fair & Square stitched pieces in it!

I hope everyone has a pefectly wonderful stitchey weekend ahead! Deb

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I love hearing from YOU!!

Thank you so much for all your comments on Jack. My DD and I call him the "peapod." :) And, I hope you really try the quiche, it's easy and gooood! Thank you for stopping by and leaving me notes. Love you all!

Above is the really sweet gift "for the new Grammie" I received from my friend, Juls, in Las Vegas a couple of days ago!! What a surprise it was! I couldn't believe it! I'll be seeing Juls when I go see Jack in November. She and I are going stash hunting at her LNS, and are going to do some serious stitching and real life chatting together!!! Can't wait, and I'm so grateful for the gift and the gorgeous threads....:) Thank you, Juls. Love them.

Here to the left are some new charts I've added to my stash. You know what a Jane Austen fan I I couldn't resist the new "Mrs. Darcy..." I love all of the Sampler Girl designs about Jane & Mr. Darcy and the President's Wives. Not to change the subject....but can you imagine Bill Clinton as the First Husband??? Yikes!! God only knows what he'll be cookin' up in the White House this time! ...another subject...another time...

Probably all of you know of this particular Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly Fall 2007 issue, but on the off chance that my European friends do not, I wanted to show it to you. Lauren Sauer has a fantastic little Album as seen on the cover and here:
It's "an intricately crafted keepsake book...modeled after several mid-nineteenth century Plymouth, Massachusetts, samplers...and from samplers made in Scituate, Massachusetts, in the early nineteenth century." There are detailed graphs and charts to stitch and to finish the "Album;" and, you can order the little scrimshaw sewing pieces you see with it, too! The scrimshaws are handmade by a woman on Martha's Vineyard, I believe. This cover shows part 2 of the piece; part 1 was in the Summer 2007 Issue.
Another wonderful piece in the Magazine this Issue, Tsunami Charity Sampler was designed by Martina Dey of Stickideen von der Wiehenburg in Germany...many of us already know her wonderful designs and her generosity. She donated all proceeds of this design to victims of the Dec. 2004 tsunami in SE Asia. In this Issue, the sampler is converted to Hand Dyed silks. The chart is full in the Issue. It's a gorgeous piece stitched over one!

I'm showing you this S&ANQ Magazine because it's really a premier stitching magazine for samplers and interesting, educational articles and small stitching projects. If any of you have an interest in ordering it, you can inquire at:

Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, PO Box 8458, Red Oak, IA 51591-3458 According to the order blank, it says: 1 year (4 quarterly issues) $24.95 plus Canada $10 postage, and other countries outside US add $20 postage. Pay in US funds.
If you only want the this particular Issue I've shown you, you can contact:
Golden Needle, 1225 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33953 Owner:
Cathy Lyon Phone: (800) 816-0679 Cathy may also be able to get you the Summer 2007 Issue for Part 1 of the Album, as well. Or, contact me:
Probably said enough!!! Love and hugs, Deb

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Crustless Quiche, Jack, and a New Book

First of all, let's just get this out of the way...can you actually say that you've ever seen a more beautiful little peapod? Isn't he Grammie's darling boy?! :) Jack has his eyes open, and on his first visit to his pediatrician yesterday (3rd day here!) he lifted his head from his tummy position, pushed up with his left arm and politely turned himself over. Now, I say, "My grandson is a genius!" :)

On to other, more mundane things: I've promised through Teejay's blog, and Kathy of Kathy's Sit and Stitch (see my blogs sideline) reminded me I owe you, my favorite all around recipe for nearly every occasion. Good for breakfast, brunch, dinner and for comfort food! :)

Deborah's Crustless Quiche Recipe

Saute' 4 strips of bacon or ham in sauce pan until crispy, drain, crumble, place in bottom of quiche plate...or lg. pie plate

Add 1/2 small onion finely chopped, and 1 clove garlic finely chopped to bacon grease and saute' only until onion is transparent. Pour all contents of pan into the quiche plate.

In mixing bowl whip 8 whole, large eggs until lemon-colored and thickened well with hand wisk. Add 1/2 Cup of milk or half & half (I use skim milk, but it doesn't matter...) and whip to blend.

Add 4 heaping Tablespoons of Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs to the egg mixture and mix in with wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

Put any additional ingredients you'd like in the quiche plate at this time: I put spinach, mushrooms, or broccoli, artichokes, leeks....whatever you'd like. Put about 2 Cups full of these or enough to loosely cover the bed of the plate.

Over these, I put a nice covering of grated cheese(s) of my choice: parmesan and asiago, cheddar & munster, monterey jack and mozzerella, ...whatever I'm in the mood for tasting.

Now, pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the quiche pan. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes, depending upon where you live. I check the quiche at about 35 minutes. You are looking for a firm, souffle-type, golden brown top. If the middle is still's not done. If the edges have begun to pull away from the sides of your quiche plate, the quiche is probably done.

You can garnish the top with sliced small tomatoes and fresh basil leaves and bits of goats' cheese or mozzarella...or any way you like. I serve it with a small greens salad and fresh fruit. Or, I just eat it alone with a chunk of fresh buttered bread.

Hope you like it! Everyone, please feel better this weekend, keep your fingers and hands from slicing and cutting things (Becky!), your noses and eyes from itching, your ears from aching, your backs from bulging and breaking, and your heads from migrainey hurties.....have some quiche with a mimosa and lounge!!! Enjoy, dear Kathy! I hope your cold and wheezies are better! :)

BOO To All of YOU !!!

Now, the book: The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. This is an amazing read. Do you remember the "Lovely Bones?" Alice Sebold is the author of that incredible book, as well. Her writing is razor sharp and eloquent. You can "see" every detail as you walk through the story with her. I cannot put this latest book of hers down. Love it, love it.

It's the story of a woman who murders her mother, in the short, but it's so much more. From the first lines of the book, I was was hooked. Here they are: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. Dementia, as it descends, has a way of revealing the core of the person affected by it. My mother's core was rotten like the brackish water at the bottom of a weeks-old vase of flowers." The book gives a picture of their relationship through the years, of who they were, why they became themselves, and how their relationship evolved. It's a small gem of a book. You'll read it in a weekend...probably with a huge slice of my quiche! :)

Hugs and love, Deb

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fun in the Sunshine State!

Look at these pretty squares from my friend and partner, Kathy Roberts, from Australia and Oklahoma! She and I were Fair & Square partners, as you may recall from my earlier posting. I love the tiny alphabet for my granddaughter's quilt. The threads Kathy sent are interesting and so thoughtful, too. Especially interesting are the which Kathy says are newly produced hand-dyed and wound by her LNS in Australia. The feel of this thread was awesome. I've asked Kathy for a color chart.
Jessica, my perfectly lovely only daughter, should be happy to know that her "Mermaid of the Pearls" has risen out of the depths of the WIPs and is back in Mom's lap frame. I've been stitching on her for the past 3-4 days, and enjoying her again. Found some counting mistakes, however, but I'm not going back or time to do that....I'm just compensating and forging ahead. Once I get through this section of the front "tail/body" then the miscounting will be taken care of and I can resume well. I hate I made a mistake, but can't find it, anyway! I'm sure none of you have done this....
Jess is just happy that the Mermaid is getting attention! LOL
This is the Glendon designs "Pumpkins..." that Martha (Goin' Stitchin'...) and I, and some others from our EGA and Sunday Stitchers' Group are SAL for the Fall. Not a difficult piece. I may not add the leaves at the bottom. And, I'm thinking of stitching them on black fabric or opalescent...
Just a note to all my friends who've been following the saga: Our house in Massachusetts finally sold...closed on it today. It's finished and we can be at peace about that. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and lifting me up over these past months. Thank you so much for your emails and sweet words of support and caring. You've been the best of friends during a difficult time. Love you each one....and you know exactly who you are!

I want to express my deepest appreciation to Juls who is under some kind of personal deception and gave me the SMILE AWARD!!!
Thank you, Juls!! I can't believe it! I'm so glad to make you smile. You make me smile! If anything I write can make you and anyone else have a day that gives you a moment of joy in your heart, I'm just delighted.

It's my pleasure, as before, to pass along this gift by choosing 10 others who make me smile and tapping them with the official:

You Make Me SMILE AWARD!!!

1) Lizzie of Lizzie's Kindred Spirits for taking such pleasure in her double twins and being a great mommy with lots of personal style, to boot!

2) Mrs. Stagg of the Merryville Chronicles who in her own little world has created a hide away for me and others to believe in times past that were more beautiful and more gracious and a little Village far away...

3) Carol of Garden of Stitches who proves that you can count on some things always being there...somewhere in NH somebody is stitching and keeping the faith...

4) Deb in CT, my Stitching Cat friend in thick and thin over the years, always stitching beautiful things, always somebody you can trust for the truth, always steadfast with the best sense of humor!

5) Juls....back at you, dear friend!!!

6) Carissa the happy heart in Canada! Wow can she stitch and knit. I'm in awe of her fairy-light shawls, her stitching and her smiling, fun attitude. Carissa's the friend I'd like to take a roadtrip with!!

7) Isabelle.....bella little French girl....heart huge as the Eifel Tower....

8) Sally quietly being who she authentically is. I love that about her and she always makes my heart smile.

9) Vonna....thank you for sharing and always giving more than you take. I see your radiance coming through everything you "say" online!!

10) Helen....Lena Lou....your stitchery, your kindness, your gentle color selections delight me and make me smile. I love having you as a stitching friend, and I'm so glad you blog!

Please go visit each of these wonderful stitching friends and see for yourself how great they are! You can find their blogs on my side line....

Hugs and thank you each one for always leaving me a note. I check to read what you have to say because it's like talking to you every night, and you mean so much to me. Please keep in touch! Hugs, Deb

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Grandson!

I simply could not resist sending you this first picture of my first grandson, Jack Gardner Duncan, II. He was born today at 12:17 PM. He is 7 lbs, 13 oz., and 20 1/4 ins. long. I'm so thrilled. Jack is the son of my youngest son, David. They tell me he was gently born and didn't fuss...bearly cried, and has been very happy and contented. He scored nearly perfect on his ap-test and is perfect physically. David was just like that. He was the calmest of my babies, and was always the best child...just a delightful, happy little boy, and gifted child. Everyone has always loved him and been drawn to him. Very charismatic person.

They live in Las Vegas, NV. (Juls, I'm coming...Nov. 20th, to see him in person over get ready for a LNS trip!!!) The new mother wants time to bond with Jack, and David alone, so I'm allowed to come over the holiday to see him.

I'm just one delighted and proud mom and grammie today!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stitching Bits

Group picture of our Sunday Stitching Group that meets at Martha's (she's in front at the far left) house in Punta Gorda, FL. You can see me poking my head out on the back row 2nd from the end on the far right. What fun we had! I robbed this pic. off Martha's blog (Gone Stitchin', etc... see on my blog list..) since this was the first time I was caught without camera in a long time!

Stitching blogging friend, Nicole Neville, is on the front row 2nd from the right side! Many of you know her, I'm sure. I was delighted to finally get to meet her. We discovered we're both stitching Shepherd's Bush, "Happy Hauntings." And, Nicole helped me sort the threads on it while we caught up with eachother. She's a beautiful and very sweet person.

Wow! I want to thank Cheryl ( on the side...) for thinking of me as one who makes her smile in the blogging friends awards!! I'm just delighted that I do! Wow! Thank you so much, Cheryl. I'm supposed to name 10 others...but there are so many others who do, for me. It just wouldn't be fair. So, I'm pulling names from a hat and these are just the Fall representatives: THOSE WHO MAKE ME SMILE AWARDS

1) Patti from England (Queenie) My first blogging friend. The "Smile Though You Feel Like Crying" Award

2) AnnMarie from the Netherlands She's not Wackey...but wise!

3) Barbara Mainely from the Netherlands, too and the Most Thoughtful of Others Award

4) Harmien from the Eternal Sunshine of the Sparkling Mind.... :) and the "I Can Make You Gasp With Joy Award!" Harmien doesn't know selfishness.

5) Simone from the Joy of Gardening in a Dutch Country Backyard. It's Simone's joy to bring happiness and inclusion wherever she goes.

6) Lesley from Tintock Tap--- A fair, wispish lady who stitches like an ancient, wise celtic maiden in a faraway land....she may be there, and then, again, she may not be.....she's a Avalon, Lady of the Lake, girl

7) Heather of Jeweled Elegance....ooooh her spunk, her gorgeous pictures, her ideas and artistic eye!!

8) Kim's Threadheads Unite because she is alone with all that glorious creativity and beautiful work surrounding her magical mind and home!

9) Martha from FL, who is the "Heartlight" of my stitching world in FL

10) Marie Antoinette companion in obsession! See her flipping over historic costumes and movie classic dress designs, museum embroideries and fashions of the centuries... Soak in her love of Red, and eyes for color!

These are the best of those who I just adore and make me smile for the Fall.

Hugs, Deb