Monday, April 30, 2007

New Flowers from My Garden

These flowers in the little majolica pitcher are newly picked from my garden around my house in Naples. I chose this Hibiscus to plant because it's such a vibrant tangerine color...then the Gardenia and Night Blooming Jasmine for a heady fragrance. Oh, it's so yummy to walk by on the brick/pavers to my door! So, I want to share it with you.

The picture behind is of my son's grandmother and his aunt. His daughter, my little Hadley looks just like his aunt!! We were all shocked at the resemblance when she was here to visit last week!

The other pic is of my favorite little Lambie and a gift my son and DIL gave me while visiting. It's a candle, actually! It fits my decorating style, as you can see. Love it! Lambie sits with me on my computer and keeps me company...I touch him for good vibes.

Thanks to everyone who's been emailing and commenting on my Neighborhood idea! I'm excited to get it going. I really appreciate your kind responses.

Also, thanks for your comments on the Mermaid. The colors are so vibrant and my camera work just doesn't do them justice! It's a shame..:(
Love and hugs, Deb

April's Final WIP Posting

I just want to give you a look at the progress on my last rotation piece for April. This is the one I haven't shown you for the month. It is, of course, "Mermaid of the Pearls," and she's been rather neglected for a couple of months as I've been working on other things. But, I picked her up this weekend and was reminded how much I love stitching on her.

I stitched her tail section, her tummy and part of her fin/gill attached to her back. See my new seahorse needlekeeper? I love it!
Stash: This to the lower right is my newest stash. It's the new Whitman's tin collection of tiny bits, some Workbaskets for my Neighborhood RR and a couple of Angel tops for my RR, too. My Neighborhood is going to be starting June 1st, so I'm in high-drive to get it started!!
Mailart: I really have to work on my Mailart starting this week. I have my design planned out. It's going to be fairies. And, I'm stitching it on banding fabric. It's my first Mailart piece, so I'm hoping it meets the expectation. When I finish stitching, I'll post it.
Good luck with your stitching plans for May! I'm eagerly awaiting your blogs and photos for the month. You know how I love to come visit you, and I make it a point of seeing you often because you're my friends!
Hugs, and happy stitching! Wish me luck, too!! Deb

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Some New Blogsites to Share

This is the very beautiful and wonderous work of Sara Butcher which is converted to cross stitch by Heaven and Earth Designs. I know most of you know HAED. But have you visited Sara's blog? You can find her at the above site and then click onto "visit the artist."

Also a newbie site to me is Renee's she is such a treat to read. Anybody who is an Anne Rice fan and loves Lestat is a fan of mine!!

My best stitching friend, Deb from CT, has decided to join us in blogland with her new blog at . Please give her a big welcome when you stop by. She's a stitcher extraordinaire, but has to get her pics up. She leaves me in the dust with her stitching capacity!! :[ But, I love her to bits, and she has lots of good investigative stash, etc.. :)

Everybody who is a stitcher probably knows this is coming out May 1st. I've already ordered it. Will Mirabilia stop tormenting us!!??? I'm still trying to finish my "Mermaid of the Pearls!" And here she is, "Mermaid of Atlantis." I'm now convinced I'll never get through my stash, and I'll have to bribe my grandchildren to learn to stitch!!

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs to all my stitching friends,

Deb in FL
Lavender Rose

PS: Nearly forgot: I'm working to get my Neighborhood RR together by June! If any of you has any Chartmakers Tombstone Angels you'd like to sell or trade with me, could you please email me?? I'm having trouble finding them. Thanks.

Thanks to all of you for your ATS encouragement! I'm crawling along with it. But you make me feel so accomplished!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April And They Sinned

Here's the stuff that the Sinful Sisterhood is made of!! I've only stitched the completion of the upper alphabet and some of the green separation border this month. But it's something! So, I have to take pride in posting it, I guess!

I've been busy with my grandbaby's visit (it's such a trip!), taking office as the Newsletter Editor for our local American Needlepoint Guild chapter here in Naples (and writing the first copy this week!), starting work with my DH by sitting on weekends in some of his realestate open houses, and stitching on other WIPs in my rotation (which you have seen this month...and will see later). Whew!!
I've also made it a point to visit all your stitching blogs and my ez Board groups this month to keep up on things. And, have been emailing stitching friends and supporting some who are going through crisis right now.
It's been a full, and rewarding month. I'm contented and happy with my life. I wish the same for each of you.
Here's a picture of a rose from one of my rose bushes from me to you! It smells so sweet, and I wish you were here in the sunshine.

My New Wishlist

I've been window shopping today at the online Needlework Show. So, I thought I'd share with you some of the things that caught my eye. Not that I have any money left for stash this month! My birthday is June 1st, and I'm going to sneak a list in my DH's computer pile and see what happens!! It will probably get lost in noman's land! LOL This Beardie Designs, "Iris" is unlike anything I've ever stitched. I love the colors and the design placement--composition is wonderful on it. It's just something different for me, and I think I would enjoy stitching it for a change of pace. It's really a beautiful piece.

Then, I like this Beardie Design, too. It's called "Frasselt 2." Reminds me of ribbons and silk patches from Europe when I lived there as a little girl. I really like it.

And, finally, these threadwinders are so great! Look at the costumes!! These are from "The French Needle" and I think they are to die for!
So, that's my window shopping for the day. Hope you've enjoyed.
And, thank you as always for stopping by and leaving comments.
I hope I didn't scare any of you with my VA Tech soapbox the other day. It's an American thing, I guess...:p
Hugs, Deb

Saturday, April 21, 2007

New Passione Ricamo Design!!

OOOO!!! Just found this new design from Passione Ricamo and I can't wait for it to actually come out so I can order one! Isn't it beautiful? I've held off getting any of hers to date because I couldn't chose one. But I think this might be the one for me.

Virginia Tech Shootings

As an American, it's difficult not to be inundated with news this week about the shootings in Virginia. I think it behooves us to take it in and comment upon it for our friends across the world, and at home. My heart is so sad about the children and teachers who were killed.

Of course, my first reaction when I saw the inital live tv news was simply, "Oh, no, it's more student killings." I didn't think for one moment it was a terriorist plot or anything of the sort. It seems a national disorder in the States that our children are doing these things in their schools. I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of problem on a lesser scale is happening every day in several locations across the nation. Children/young people carry weapons all the time in this country. They threaten others with them. They kill others with them. They bully eachother all the time.

Children in our society see violence in every media: on tv and nearly every movie and video game, on their computers; and, in their homes, neighborhood streets and schools every day. They hear all manner of vulgarity and see it on the streets and in the schools and in their homes on a daily basis. They are surrounded by a world of "dog eat dog," survival of the fitest, every man for himself, survival/reality tv, the good die young, gangs, sex and drugs, rap and sexy music videos, etc...morality is pretty much unknown and out of fashion.

This is no longer a country with moral foundations. We've become a nation of greed and tolerance of things unheard of in former generations. There are no boundaries, no limits for what we will tolerate seeing and/or hearing in the media.

And, we fear our own children. Because their parents are unavailable or disconnected, many young adults have disconnected from family and feelings. Games and gangs become their connection. Fantasy and unrealistic expectations become their visons. And, when they are disappointed, they get angry enough to become violent...because that's what they see getting results most of the time. Violence and aggressive behaviors probably gets them what they want at home and in the neighborhood. Fear works better than negotiation and love.

I'm not surprised when violence breaks out at schools and colleges anymore. I know that this young Korean man was a psycopath. But, the boys at Colombine HS were not. Children killing children isn't news anymore.

I'm not saying all American children are undisciplined and lack moral foundations, values and boundaries. I certainly don't believe that. I am saying that it's getting to be more and more the majority; however, that do lack these important characteristics. I don't think it's their fault in many cases. It's parenting and strong role-models to a large degree.

It's difficult to parent in a permissive world gone mad. But we have to be vigilant. It's a dangerous and harsh world, but we have to allow our children to go out the door prepared to face it. It's frightening, and we have to arm them with the tools and the armour to protect themselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and educationally. We have to love them enough to allow them to be angry at us for protecting them!

I think all we can do is vote responsibly, pray for our leaders and the nation, volunteer in our communities, and teach and lead our own children...standing strong for what's of a moral base. We can only live by example, and love our children enough to say "no" sometimes, too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

JoAnn's Fabrics Shopping Trip

Thanks for your responses to my favorite tools!
Just wanted to answer some of your comments:
As to the laying tool/trolley needle, I don't keep it on my thumb the whole time I stitch with silks. I do use it for specialty stitches in XS and canvaswork/needlepoint. Sometimes I use it for projects like Chatelaine Designs and Mirabilia where I really want my metallics and silks to shine.
That Dazor lamp is one thing I just can't live without, girls. As I said, I know it's expensive, but we really are committed stitchers, and that calls for some serious equipment, I think. It's the perfect Christmas present! I found that the "hang around your neck-type" magnifiers are annoying and not good enough. Ott light is good in a pinch, but doesn't have a realistic light or magnifier at night. The Dazor bulb has lasted me nearly 4 years without changing it, and I've used it almost every day for several hours. I even read by it. The face swivels easily, and the "window" gives lots of visual space. It's a good investment.

New News: Trip to JOANN's Fabric Store

***I found a great little magnetic group of 4-5 polished metal jars with clear plexiglass tops at JoAnn's yesterday. They are magnitized to a long rectangular base that you can sit on a table or screw to the wall! The "jars" are like the "watch jars" that Kathy used to sell through European XS for Delica Beads, but these are about 10 times larger! They would be great for holding stitching thingies....and jewelry-making things, too, since you can see what's in them. Buttons, beads, bits of left over threads, ribbons, etc... Going back to get one next week.

***Also found this packet which has inspired me to think of how we can make some "inside and outside" stitching needlecases! I'm working on a design. Anyone want to collaborate on this? The top picture is another view of it. I also bought the tiny frames in colors and in black to hold a single stitched thingie like a monogram of single flower or bee, etc.. It actually could even hold a needle to the front of the tin. I'm going to try a Bright Needle picture or "Miss Mary Mack" on the front!! LOL That's a contrast for you!!
To the left is another find: I like this bracelet alot. I've been curious as to how to make one so I can make my own and embellish them with beads and fancy threads. This one is just backed with ribbon and fastened with a button. It's stitched with floss. I'll let you know how it goes.

Deb in FL Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and happy stitching!

Favorite Floor Frame

I thought I would share with you my favorite stitching tools and things. One of my stitching friends on Noble Needle was asking about frames today. Here's a pic. of my favorite. It's from "K's Creations."

I prefer this frame for a number of reasons: It's portable/easily collapsible for taking to classes, stitch-ins and guild meetings; and it's strong and sturdy. It's also very user-friendly and flexible, as it takes so many sizes of scroll frames and needlepoint frames, and the little "jaws" turn so it's easy to get to the back of your work. This frame also has lots of accessories, and it's strong enough to hold all of them. It is a little pricey, but for a once-in-a-lifetime investment, it's the way to go.

My favorite laying tool is a trolley needle. It's such a simple little device. If your silk threads are twisted and won't lay nicely they won't shine well, so you really need this handy little tool that fits over your left thumb. It's easy to wear and it works like a charm! I have fancy laying tools that are handmade and beautiful...some are blown glass! But, this slightly ugly little tool is great.

I have to have my Dazor Light! I have the white one on wheels. I don't know how I would see without it! I can see 40 ct. linen with it like I was a new born baby!! :)) I also have a small Ott Light for travel.

My favorite all time scissors are these stork scissors. I collect scissors and have lots of different ones in gold and silver and plated and enameled, and bronzed, etc.. but when you boil it all down, if I had to choose one to use all the time, it would be the traditional ol' storks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Please Help With the Choice

I have to say that I've never struggled so much over a choice before. It's not in my nature, as my best friend, Deb in CT, will tell you!! I'm used to changing colors and things about patterns and needlepoint like I really know what I'm doing!! LOL

But, I want this one to be very special since it's for Hadley, my grandbaby. So, I really need your input.

Do I stick with the traditional and authentic sampler colors as shown on the chart and at Ackworth School, or do I try to personalize?

Here are my first choices: The thread that's lavender blueish is called "Blueberry." Found it in my local needlepoint shop. It's made of soy fibers and is hand-dyed. I chose the solid and the varigated to work with. It has a very soft hand like silk, but it's a mid-hue strengh in actual color somewhere between DMC and Sampler Threads or such. It's the only color like this I've seen. I tried to match it up with Waterlilies, AuVeraSoie, and others, but it's really unique to their dyepot.

Then, there's the NeedleNecessities handdyed. I like its wide range of browns if I'm going in that direction. The plain mono-colors just tend to bore me to death to work with in larger pieces.

I've also tried to give you pics of the inside and outside of the chart itself, which I'm really loving!

My other option is to hand-paint the threads myself with dye. I've been wanting to try that and it might be a fun place to start. I might get a better brownish variation in subtle color that way. I bet the Ackworth School dyed their own! Can always use them elsewhere if they don't work.

I think I want to lightly spot-dye the linen, as well, to get a look like it was stitched in the 1800's.

Help!! I really want your honest opinions. Don't be afraid to brainstorm with me!
Hugs, and thanks for stopping by,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Magazines for April

When I showed you the Jane Austenish girl in an earlier entry, I meant to add this pic of my April mag. stash. These are some of my favs that I pick up nearly every month, if they have worthwhile charts or articles in them. I'm very discriminating now that stash space is at a premium.

Don't you find so many of the new groups have questionnaires asking which mags. you read regularly? My favorite is really "The Gift of Stitching Magazine," like I said, because there's nothing like it. But, I also regularly purchase "Samplers and Antique Needlework," "Quilting Arts," "Needlepoint Now," "Dollmaking," "Somerset Studio," "Vogue Knitting," etc...,and these you see here. "The World of Cross Stitch," which the Jane Austen chart was in is consistently good, too, IMHO.

What are your favorites?? Let's share.

PS: I think this is a better pic of my "Coverlet" progress, too. Here you can see the woven effect I'm trying to achieve better with the Needle Necessities overdyed thread.

Asian Market Shopping

DH and I stopped off at a great little Asian Market tonight after dinner. It was a darling little shop with alot of hand-selected specialty items. I found these treasures!

The small, yellow silk pocket has 2 sections (one zippered) and snaps in front with this pretty plum-colored ribbon decoration. I thought it was so pretty for the price, and it's perfect for my scissors and new Zecca fobbie! If anyone wants one, just email me. They came in peacock blue and red, as well as this yellow.

These fans are so pretty in person, too. There were several women painted ones, but I had to choose one lady (you know, with DH along...frugality is the name of the game! LOL). The other fan is painted on silk organdy and the "spokes" are carved, which you can't really see in the pic. well. It was a fun little treasure hunt for me! I'll go back there again.

Also, I'm so proud to give you this update on my weekend stitching of "Colonial Coverlet," the sewing pieces. This is the folding pocket, which is very close to being finished! I think another night of stitching and it will be there. This is photoed against the white to show you the hand-dyed's a soft taupey color on the cream. Doesn't really show well here...I guess I'm really not a photographer, girls!On another topic, my thoughts and prayers are with those of you in the Midwest, South and Eastern Seaboard as you weather these stormy days. If this is any example of "April Showers Bring May Flowers," we ought to have a bumper crop! I pray each of you and your families are kept safe. I hope your homes are safe, as well.

Deb, keep warm in CT, too! Hugs and warmest regards to each of you.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thank God You're Back!!!

Here is a bowl of beach roses and shells and sunshine from me to you all!!

I'm so grateful to Isabelle, Julie, Sandy, Katrina, Connie, Michelle, Von, Vonna, Sonya, Deb and other friends who emailed me and rescued me from being so lonely while my blog was sick and refusing comments. OMG, it was awful!

I can't believe how much I rely on all of you! I'm completely co-dependent!!! Without you, I'm literally lost in space. I have no problem journaling at home, but I guess I see this as an open letter to my stitching friends every day. I didn't even realize it, myself.
So, thank you, thank you for emailing me and letting me know you're there and thank you for visiting me and spending precious time to say hello and to leave notes of encouragement and fun. You mean so much to me! I visit nearly all your blogs every day to see what you're up to, as well.

Lost My Blaaggghhh Land!! Help!

Well, it seems that I am having technical difficulties. I'm not receiving any comments made to my blog, and this is causing me lots of distress and sadness. Thank you, Julie and Deb, for emailing me with your thoughtful words of encouragement. I don't what's up with my blog.

Meanwhile, I am soothed somewhat by the fact that Lois at Elegant Stitch has reserved a space for me in the up-coming Bright Needle--"The Lady's Collection," online class!!! I'm so tickled! I love this piece! It's going to be such fun to work on for the Spring, and reminds me of my little GB Hadley. Plus, my youngest son, David and his wife, are now expecting...and we think are also expecting a girl, so this will be the perfect "keep grammie's mind occupied" piece to stitch! If a boy's Plan B...!! :p

(Connie, this doesn't mean I've forgotten our "little girls" pictured at the top, either! These have to be started in Splendor silks. We are praying for a third little girl someday in the grandbaby department. So, I hope the Stork will not be too tired of making trips for Grammie in the coming years!)

The piece at top is by MIL in her Butternut Road collection....which you can see on her Told in the Garden website.

Hugs and happy stitching hours, Deb in FL Thanks you
for stopping by! :))

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stitching Progress for April

Love, love, love to get new stash in! Here's something from AMAP which I adore. The little pocket is perfect, and I'm crazy about her tiny stitching lady and dog! See the great freebie Jackye sent with it!? To the right is a bookmark I've stitched from Textile Heritage Collection of a French garden. I'm putting a small gold bee on it, of course (Bee that I am!! :)) and making a tassel of this Gloriana silk perle.

I'm having a rather strange month. I'm doing alot of stitching, not much many of you know, finishing isn't my forte'. Sometimes I wonder if you really even want to see my things and ideas for completion because I'm probably not going to actually finish them until I get a small batch of things together and take them all at once to the finisher. Oh well, I'm going to post the stitching anyway, I guess. I feel very lonely when no one comments on my blog for weeks, so I think I have to have a new attitude about the blog...I think I have to consider it a memorykeeper for my stitching, as well as a place others can take a peek at from time to time.

Friendships I have made through the blogs mean so much to me, and have opened up a whole new world of friendships, so much so that I miss your comments and faces when they aren't here. I don't know you've been here, or what you're thinking if you don't post. I'm realizing how very much you all mean to me, and it's nice! Nearly every day I check your blogs to see what's going on in your minds and stitching hands and homes. It's like a little visit with friends that keep
s me going!

Well, here's some of my progress on stitching so far: Here at the left is my "Three Emblems" that I'd mentioned in a previous blog message. I like it much better now that it's all stitched! What I want to do is back it in this lavender mat with a cut-out for a sort of pincushioned center in the frame. I want a framed pincushion, in other words. So I can stick my stitching needles in it instead of the arm of my velvet sofa! LOL I decided on this frame because it looks simple, but French with the ribbon motif. Adding the royal bee in the middle enhances Mary Queen of Scots' french heritage a bit more... and I'm having the finisher put pearls at the four corners to give a nod to the English, as well.Progress on Taj Mahal pt l: It really bothers me that it isn't photographing better because it's so pretty! The opalescent fabric is going to fight with the flash, I can see. But, this has been so much fun to stitch. Martina is really genius at creating these designs. (When I say 'pretty' I'm giving all credit to her!) Everytime I pick this one up, it's like a puzzle of color...such a joy! This is probably a week's worth of work...or more. I stitched this and the "3 Emblems" at the same time.
Here is a needlepoint stitchery of mine which I just found in my stash buried away, and have to revise a bit. It needs some more of the pink stitching to surround it for turning to finish it...and I have to find a way to emphasize the eyes more. Any suggestions for doing that?
It's called the "Flying Santa" and will be suspended on a post with ribbons and bells, etc. Actually has alot going on, and if I were to start this one again, I would try to find a way to make the toy sack stand out more. But, it was such fun to stitch, and I think it came out really cute. My DD is itchy to have him for Christmas.

Hope you'll stop and leave me a note, I so appreciate your every comment, and just to know you're there! Happy stitching! Hugs! Deb

Thursday, April 5, 2007

And They Sinned SAL

Our Sisterhood of Sinful Stitchers, alias the ATS Stitchalong, is adding new people. I hope, if you are trying to stitch it alone and are putting it aside, you will consider joining us. The motivation is great. Mine was in my WIP system for a couple of years, though I really wanted to get it done. I just was stitching alone, and couldn't get myself to move on with it. I know Carol has mentioned hers, and others of you, too. Please check out our blog: And then email Patti to join. The above picture is obviously my progress of last month, and I'll be stitching away this week, too!! I'm about a third of the way down this 4.5' long piece using Sampler Threads on 38 ct. fabric. It really is great fun to stitch and one I consider a legacy piece for my children and grandchildren. Come be inspired and join us so we can all finish this really beautiful piece!

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Secret

Have any of you purchased the new DVD called "The Secret?" It's unbelievable! It is a commentary on such a wonderful way to live life and to have a joyful one. Barnes & Noble...and every other bookstore has it, I'm sure. The latest hot selling book by the same name is a longer take, and one I want to skip so I'll have more time to stitch, but the DVD is awesome! Once you see it, you want to share it with everyone. As a spiritual person, I've been practicing the "secret" for many years, but this new perspective causes one to reflect on the idea of visualizing what good things we want in our lives every day, and achieving a sense of joy. It's well worth the cost and well worth sharing with family and friends. My DD bought it and we watched it together.

Also, DD treated me to a couple of books at Borders! So nice to have a grown daughter who can do this once in a while. I love it! I chose "Forever Amber," by Kathleen Windsor and "The Road," by Cormac McCarthy, which is Oprah's new choice. And, I am loving these books about Marie Antoinette. I read everything written about her!
The book on the upper left is "Abundance." If you have never read "Forever Amber," you have the biggest treat in your life! I read it when I was in my 20's and I'm reading it again. It is a classic with lots of detail about fashion, interiors, the courts of England, the plague and love and intrigue. It's one of my all time favorite novels. It's as big and as good as "Gone With the Wind!"

Just Back From Massachusetts Trip

I'm so happy to be home after a wonderful visit with my son, DiL, and darling little grandbaby, Hadley! DH and I came home with sneezes and sinus issues, and friends here in Naples tell us, "That's why we don't go North in the Winter!" Oh...I didn't get that message soon enough! LOLStitched on my Taj Mahal quite a bit while travelling, (my son called stitching "self-soothing"...a new fathering term he's picked up, which I kinda like!) but I couldn't photograph it well. I think the light yellow opalescent fabric reflects too much light! The silks are much brighter in reality.

I have some magazine pics for you to see. There are some really great designs in the current stitching magazines for this month. I had so much fun on the plane reading and dreaming through $40 worth of them! "The World of Cross Stitching," probably is my favorite of the month, because of a variety of fun charts: the Jane Austenesque girl and her spaniel, the blue and white smallies, were just a couple of the ones in this magazine I really liked. Speaking of smallies; here is the beginning of my latest needlecase. It's a freebie from Papillion Creations called "The Three Emblems." I'm sure I may be the last to know about this very generous designer and all her freebie charts! I have a great love of all things Scots and English, so this companion piece to the Mary Queen of Scots Sampler (which is in my stash) caught my eye. I used Vicki Clayton's silk "Amethyst." The picture isn't great...sorry... But, it's been a fun, quickie for the weekend to stitch-n-carry with me. And, as a final word, I want to thank Isabelle (Kitty Couture) for making such a fuss (as we say in the South/NC, where she taught for some time...) over her RAK from me! :) It was such a pleasure to put together for her and I was just delighted to know she liked it so much. Isn't that what it's all about!?

Thank you all for commenting and keeping me going with your kind words of encouragement. I stitch because I love it, but having friends like you makes it more precious to me every day.