Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jessica's Birthday Quilt

Here's the first leg of the quilt I'm making Jessica for her birthday which is actually tomorrow, but which I have a couple of days to finish because I won't see her until the weekend! I'm actually just going to tie it and not quilt it. It's going to be a lap quilt. She loves these colors. Thought I would share it with you.
Actually, this is my first attempt at applique. I just fused it. And, I don't think you could get me to do alot of it ever again unless I was designing my own, in which case I wouldn't make those itsy bitsy pieces!! :[

After this one, I'm on to making a couple of baby quilts for my new grandson, Jack, who is expected the end of October. So, I'll share those as they progress.

Speaking of quilts, you should check out Carissa's blog for some that she's stitching! And, Kim also quilts some very interesting designs. See their blogs on my sidebar, please.

If anyone else quilts, please identify yourselves to us! I'm very interested in seeing your things. And, if anyone of you could start a quilt block sharing group....I'd love to belong!

Hugs, and happy stitching, and please keep talking to me through your comments!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Have to Have This

I just saw this beautiful piece from Midsummer Nights Designs and I have to have it! It has all the elements that I love: Bible verses, a mixture of pastels and deeper colors, angels, lambs, little people, not so dominant a border...etc.. And, it's a big project, which tends to draw me, as well, because I don't like to do anything in a small way, I suppose. Darn it!! :{

Brookes Books also is coming out with a darling new angel for the holidays. Here she is, "The Spirit of Christmas." Brooke hasn't named her officially, yet. She's accepting suggestions on her Board. She's a really fabulous person. And, she's working on another little belle, who will be "The Spirit of Snow." I just adore all of Brooke's girls!

Then, I want to express my deepest appreciation for the generosity of friends. This week, I was so delighted to receive from Nicole a bunch of the Whitman's tins!! Now I can make little stitching kits for my DD, and my granddaughter! Thank you so much, Nicole. And, she sent me a Hershey's tin in the shape of the famous "kiss," which I didn't know existed. I love it, too.

Deb in CT sent me a chart I have been wishing for for soooo long a time, and she always sends me things. We've been friends for some years now and I continue to cherish her friendship.

Then, Deb in MO, sent me a darling Shepherd's Bush chart which I've been wanting! Thank you so much, Deb!! You can't believe how that little sheep cheered me today! Shepherd's Bush is a company that has always touched my heart and reminds me of when my children were little people. I miss my little children, though I'm glad they're grown now...don't get me wrong!! LOL Deb, you are the greatest!! Thank you so much.

I've decided that stitching has kept me pulled together this summer along with stitching friends. It's really amazing. I was at a wonderful EGA meeting the other night, see details on Martha's ..."Gone Stitchin' Instead of Just a Wishin' " blog on the sideline... and it was so refreshing to be with other needleworking crazed women! I came home and told my DH, "Those women were really serious about stitching!" He said, "MmmHmmm, you all are!" It made me stop dead in my steps and think...he meant me...and I am. And so are you, my stitching friends. And, I'm so glad you are!

Happiness is to be found in the repetitve, soul-soothing motion of stitching a treasure which captures not only a verse or image we love, but a piece of our spirit, a slice of our life's segment in time, be it a peaceful or a hard time. It's a reflection and a memorykeeper for us just as surely as an image captured by a camera. The "beautiful, fragile moments" that only we can "see."

Sending many hugs, and love,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Taking a New Inventory of WIPs

Have to take a new look at what on earth I'm doing with my WIPs! I've been off the rails all summer with personal issues, and my stitching has really suffered for it. So, now I'm just going to take the opportunity to think aloud:

What I have closest to me on my chaise, thus blocking all personal contact:
1) Neighborhood RR - Wendy's piece
2) HAED RR - Jan & Lyns
3) Chatelaine Designs - Taj Mahal
4) Fair & Square - Monique

WIPs blocking anyone from getting near me on the rest of the sectional sofa:
1) Mermaid of the Pearls - for my daughter, Jessica
2) CHS - Houses of Hawks...
3) Chatelaine Designs - Convent Herbal Garden
4) Chatelaine Designs - White Nights of St. Petersburg
5) Colonial Coverlet Sampler Set
6) GPA - Nautical Journey (Sanibel Island)

On the floor frame in rotation, blocking my stitching room door:
1) And They Sinned
2) Matisse - Woman in the Red Room - Needlepoint

Stitched, waiting to be finished:
1) Pumpkin Bloosom - mailart for Aniza
2) Elizabethan biscornu
3) Chatelaine Designs - Mystery tryout needleroll

Bearly started and dying to work on:
1) Ackworth School - Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler
2) Cirque des Cercles

Nearly finished, and needing attention:
1) Hester's Needle - (Sampler for my DH....) "Alone With You"

Things I really want to start but am afraid will just get lost in my WIPs:
1) GPA - Queen of the Fairies
2) French Names Sampler (Custom made by Elegant Stitch years ago~!)
3) A Merry Cox stitching tools piece
4) A Whitmans Sampler stitching smalls for the tins
5) A Brightneedle "girly" pieces as seen below
6) Some Prairie Schooler santas
7) Blackbird Designs anything!
8) Playful Day Necessaire
9) Feed My Soul in Stitches

French Freebie Marquoirs

I may be the last stitcher on earth to know about this sampler, but I just found it tonight and I love it! For those of you who don't have it, it's an on-going freebie marquoir and here's the addy:
It's full name is Le Marquoir (The Sampler) "Il e'tait une fois..." something. You have to go to the site to get the full name. And, I wish Isabelle, Helen, Su, or somebody else who can translate would go there and help me out with more information!! As you can see, we only have 10 parts so far, and the others will be coming. I love the medieval theme.

I'm in the French Sampler SAL group online and we're working another of the freebie Marquoirs. It's just unbelievable how beautiful these samplers are in monochromatic, too.

Aren't you continuously struck by how generous and creative the French are with their stitchery?! I'm thinking we Americans are lagging behind in this department. Maybe we should take one month this year and do something about it!!

Other than all of the above....I want to send out hugs and thank yous to all of you who continue to make my days very special with your comments, notes and emails. You are truly the best of friends and I love that we can keep up with eachother this way. I'm here if you want to "chat."

To those who are taking "time out" and are now just reading and maybe not commenting....we are thinking of you, we understand, and we miss you. Good thoughts and hugs coming your way!!

Deb in FL

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back in the Hospital

I'm so blessed to have Patti (Tapestry of Dreams) as my friend. She and I keep up via emails and I can't believe that she RAKed me today with this very pretty fob and Stitcher's Friend! Many of you know Patti as the organizer of the Mailart Group...she's an American transplanted to England. And, she's so generous and open-hearted. Thank you so much, Patti, for cheering me up and making my day!!
BTW, I was back in the hospital this weekend with what they think is trouble with my mitral valve. I think it's probably stress related. But, I'm following up with a cardiologist...and taking it easy. I feel sort of tired, but not too tired to stitch!! LOL
I'm visiting your blogs and sending emails, and sneaking some RAKs out, myself!
Hugs to all, and thank you so much for your comments and notes...I check every day to see if you're there. Deb

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer Stitching

I'm so happy to show you the progress of my HAED RR...that is, my personal piece as it's making the circle of my friends. It's first picture is completed by my friend, Ruth, from Germany. It's the face of "Splash" by S. Fenech, who also designed "Storykeeper."

Can't wait to show you my completed piece once it gets back to me, and I finish the overall design that I have planned for it. I'm going to add the entire "Storykeeper" to mine to finish it. This fabric that I chose is handdyed and I just love how it is looking!

There are more mermaids, fairies and an elf or two coming on my piece!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Deb's Bazaar....Wanna Play???

Here are some duplicate charts from my stash, which I'm trying to organize. I wonder if we could do some exchanging or trades?

These charts have never been used at all. Please email me if you're interested in anything! My email is:

Here they are--
Prairie Schooler: Woodland Sampling, Garden Beasties, Wedding & Birth Samplers III, M,N,O,; and Designer Series - Forget Me Not
Forever in my Heart: Sophie's Heart Sampler
CHS: A New England Village, Live w/the Creatures, Elijah's Angel, Stitcher's Prayer, Miss Lila's House, Log Cabin Cat, The Fox and the Hare
Indigo Rose: Jester's Bliss ....and the "Aunts" series....
Bittersweet House, Samplers of the Past and Present: Rebekah Vollintine, Circa 1740
Blackbird Designs: Pumpkin Blossom Needle Case {traded}
Paw Prints: Malachite Blackwork (sampler and fob), Butterflies in Bloom (sampler and fob), Christmas Cardinal Egg (bird and holly)
Chatelaine Designs: Mini Mandala series, Taj Mahal, many other earlier charts such as the Elements

Here are some of my wishlist:
Just Nan: Bluebird (sewing box)
Sheepish Designs: "Against Every Sin"
Primitive Traditions: Ladyes Pocket Needfuls
Workbasket: Fancy Peacock Pinkeep
Beardie Designs: Paradise Box
Lilybet Designs: Lady Violet, and other designs *Traded for it!
Little by Little: Tisket a Tasket
*Prairie Schooler: S, T, U *Broke down and bought this one! :)
Cherished Stitches: February Box
Mirabilia: Miss New Year Fairy

PS: I do have other charts for trade that are not listed for lack of space and time.... @sk me!!!


HAED "Storykeeper" Update

Unless you click on this picture, you really can't see the new stitching which is so light and glimmery. I am enchanted when I stitch HAED pieces. If any of you haven't tried them, you really are missing out on something special.

Don't be afraid to try a Heaven and Earth Designs piece. They are well charted, and so beautiful, just to stitch them takes you away to a different place. It's amazing how quickly they work up. Many of us just stitch sections, and not the whole the faces our HAED RR group is doing.

On another note, I want to thank my dear friend, Kajsa, for the cutie, cute little get well card and the beautiful threads: GASTs Red Grape and Purple Iris...yummy! and Six Strand Sweets' Heather's Sweets and Mint Chocolate. I don't have any 6 Strand Sweets, and have never used them. They are really beautiful and have a wonderful sheen! Thank you so much, Kajsa!!! I'm spoiled, aren't I?? :) See her blog on my side list and go see her!

Yes, I do quilt, too. And, I'm just going to get my stash out and take pictures one of these days.....

Hugs to everybody!

Monday, August 13, 2007

When Hearts are Broken

I'm moved to share tonight this feeling of silence I have. It's a stillness in the face of my dear friend's grief. Many of you who are connected to her know who I'm speaking of. She's a wonderful mother and friend, and a joyful spirit in our stitching circle. It's just heartbreaking and immobilizing to sense her pain even as its waves crest at this distance. I'm feeling numb, and nearly stunned with sadness for her and her family. That little family was so happily expecting what was partially taken from them, and what can't be explained to them.

When such devastatingly shattering things happen to us and the ones we love, it's nearly beyond absorbing. I recently told my precious daughter when she had a heartbreaking disappointment, that we just can't survive if we "stare into the hot sun too long." I meant that if we only look directly at the heartbreak, it will destroy us. And, that's no comfort when we go through a horrendous loss such as each of us at one time or another may have experienced....and which our special friend is now walking through. It was our friend who sent several messages of comfort to my DD during that time. That's her generosity of spirit and thoughtfulness.

So many of you comment that you don't have words to say. Actually, you do. You can share them through cards and notes. I just want to encourage you on her behalf (and having been there in a similar situation myself once...) that your words do matter. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, and not for months...but someday when she can pick them up....they will matter. Words that simply say you care are best.

I'm a Christian, as many of you know, so at times like this I turn to my faith. God is the only one who can really comfort me. I see Him as a gentle Shepherd sitting on a rock near a quiet stream...a green and lush area shaded with trees. I visualize myself coming to Him and putting my head in his lap and He comforts me. He rubs my hair and soothes my heart. I can feel His unconditional love for me. He never tells me why things happen, only that, "All things happen for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose." There have been some earth-shattering times in my life when I could absolutely not see how they could be for good! I know that I'm weak, and that I can't begin to understand the things He knows that are good. I just know He loves me and I can always count on that, and that He loves my loved ones, not as much as I do, but even more than I do. This is the only true comfort I've found in the world. And, it's the only truth I can share.

I just had to write this tonight, because it's so sad to feel your friend's pain and not be able to sit with her, or touch her hand and give her comfort. I hope tonight she is resting in comfort. I hope her children are giving her moments of joy. And, I hope her DH continues to lift her burdens and to let her know how precious she is to so many. I pray that God will give her "a garment of praise for the ashes of mourning," as He has promised when she looks to Him.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hopewell House is Dedicated to You

You, my friends, have been so faithful to keep up with me and my Hello Neighborhood RR race. Getting my little house in Clarissa's "neighborhood" out has meant so much to me. I thought I should give you a last glance at the finished piece. As you know, I named my house "Hopewell House," in honor of all of you this past month who have been so kind to me in my hospital issues. In a very real sense, this is your house! Thank you all so much for your kindnessess, your caring, your cards, little gifts and support. I don't how I could possibly deserve it all, but I'm so grateful to each one of you: Carol, Helen, Carissa, Lyns, Jan, Anne, Martha, Juls, Margaret, Julie, Lody, Dusty, Karen, Vonna, Deb in CT, Debs, Deb in MO, Kajsa, Michelle, Su, Jenn, Harmien, Barbara, Isabelle, Patti, Michele, Lizzy, and to all my other friends who took time to leave well wishes in comments.

I'm now finishing up on my HAED RR piece...."The Storykeeper," which I'll photograph this week. And, I'm going to start working on my Fair & Square piece for Monique on Tues...something having to do with FL, as she requests.

WIPS I'm hoping to work on:

And They Sinned, Mermaid of the Pearls, Taj Mahal, Houses of Hawks..., St. Petersburg, Nautical Journey

Happy stitching to you all!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Antique Cabbage Rose Story

Rosa centifolia

Cabbage Rose (Rosa centifolia LINN.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations The pale petals of the Hundred-leaved Rose or Cabbage Rose are also used in commerce. On account of its fragrance, the petals of this variety of rose are much used in France for distillation of rose-water. Though possessing aperient properties, they are seldom now used internally and preparations of them are not official in the British Pharmacopoeia.
The roses grouped as varieties of R. centifolia have all less scent than R. gallica.
The best of them is the old Cabbage Rose. It is a large rose, sweet-scented, of a pink or pale rose-purple colour, the petals whitish towards the base. Its branches are covered with numerous nearly straight spines: the petioles and peduncles are nearly unarmed, but more or less clothed with glandular bristles and the leaves have five or sometimes seven ovate, glandular leaflets, softly hairy beneath. This species and its varieties have given rise to innumerable handsome garden roses.
The flowers are collected and deprived of the calyx and ovaries, the petals alone being employed. In drying, they become brownish and lose some of their delicious rose odour.
The Constituents of the Pink Rose are closely similar to those of the Red. The very little colouring matter is apparently identical with that of the Red Rose. A little tannin is present.
Rose-water. The British Pharmacopceia directs that it shall be prepared by mixing the distilled rose-water of commerce, obtained mostly from R. damascena, but also from R. centifolia and other species, with twice its volume of distilled water immediately before use. It is used as a vehicle for other medicines and as an eye lotion. Triple rose-water is water saturated with volatile oil of Rose petals, obtained as a by-product in the distillation of oil of Roses. The finest rose-water is obtained by distillation of the fresh petals. It should be clear and colourless, not mucilaginous, and to be of value medicinally must be free from all metallic impurities, which may be detected by hydrogen sulphide and ammonium sulphide, neither of which should produce turbidity in the water.
Ointment of rose-water, commonly known as Cold Cream, enjoys deserved popularity as a soothing, cooling application for chapping of the hands, face, abrasions and other superficial lesions of the skin. For its preparation, the British Pharmacopceia directs that 1 1/2 OZ. each of spermaceti and white wax be melted with 9 OZ. of Almond oil, the mixture poured into a warmed mortar and 7 fluid ounces of rose-water and 8 minims of oil of Rose then incorporated with it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Books I'm Loving Right Now

Just a quick note to tell you my latest (after Harry) reading and forage finds at Borders, Books-a-Million, and Barnes!

The River Wife by Jonis Agee is a beautifully written and interesting tale. Ms. Agee was inspired by an actual occurrence that took place in the early 1800's in the Mid-West. An earthquake caused a young girl to be crushed and trapped under a house beam in her bed...her family deserted her...the river waters near her house began to rise threatening to drown her...and a handsome French trapper serendipitiously finds and rescues her. She becomes his wife and starts a family legacy. Her future great granddaughter (in law) pregnant in the 1930's finds her journals and mysterious things happen. It's a really good book which I strongly recommend.

Another Jane Austen treasure book!! The Jane Austen Miscellany by Lesley Bolton is so pretty, so ruffled edged, so delicately illustrated, and chockful of our dear Jane's charming's impossible to leave out of your library. Austen fans will love it. Anyone will love having the little book. I can see some darling tiny samplers with quotes from Jane.

Then, American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever is new for my non-fiction read this summer. It chronicals "..lives, ...loves,," of such American authors as: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. It's a fairly slim volume, and interesting. Susan Cheever is a great writer.

Treasure from Carol and in Tins

Look at this beautiful get well RAK that came today from Carol!! It was so unexpected and I love it to pieces! It's a little mattress pincushion, which she says is her first. It doesn't look like her first! It's just impeccably stitched and finished. I adore it!! This is the only one I have, and it will always be precious to me because Carol stitched it with me in mind. I'm so grateful for our friendship. Look at the pretty card, too! Thank you, Carol, I'm really humbled by your generosity and care for me. I'm sure Carol has a better picture on her Garden of Stitches blog...go see it!
Of course, you can't have helped noticing my new tin collection above, can you? Deb in MO was so kind to me, and sent me the coppery Whitman's tin which I think is so vintage looking and wonderful. I can't wait to put some stitching in it. It's a treasure and I just can't believe Deb would favor me with the tin in her random act of kindness. Thank you so much, Deb. You are a special friend, and a treasure in yourself, coming from MO!! xxoo
Then, that gorgeous, huge Whitman Sampler tin is from my dear friend, Martha!! Oh, I just love it! She shocked me with this one. When she said she'd found a tin at the flea market or Goodwill or something, that she'd give me for my collection, I thought I would die with excitement. But, when she pulled this one out, I was stunned!! It's so big and I just can't wait to make some stitchery for it. Martha, what can I say, you are amazing!
The other tins are some from my collection. My best friend in New England, Deb in CT, will testify that I'm a tin and box collector from way back! I just love pretty containers! So, I found the little black one years ago at an antique shop, and the Quimper tin came from a french bakery shop in Las Vegas that my son took me to. It's his favorite coffee and snack place on his way to work. I love this Quimper tin. Don't know if there are other images. It came with delicious butter cookies, too!! Yum!
Then, the box and chocolate brown is one i found at Target. The colors are so cool. I tend to love this french blue, chocolate, and pinks....or deep, rich jewel tones. Seems to depend on which Gemini mindset is most dominant!! LOL But, my desk, where the box now sits, is mostly these pinks, french blues and a jumble such in patterns. Revisit my old blog entries to see the mess, new friends!! LOL
I'm so enjoying everybody's summer pictures and stitching on your blogs. Barbara's children are adorable, the vacation pictures are so stunning, and your gardens are in splendor with blooms and veggies! You've made my summer such a rich and full one. Thank you each and every one for taking time to share your pictures with me and your other stitching friends.
So many of you have blogged pictures of finishes in stitching, and great progress in your big projects. It's inspiring and wonderful to see. I'm wishing you lots of fairy helpers to speed your stitching along even when you're sleeping!
And finally, I truly want to thank those of you who continue to send me lovely cards and emails and treats for get well messages. I'm just now feeling a little post trauma sadness. It's no fun being sick. To which I add, please keep feeling better, Becky, I'm thinking of you.
Sending love and hugs to all,

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Well, it's a little crooked as I placed it to take its picture, but it's not stitched crooked! LOL
Here is the final phase of Carissa's little "Hopewell House," in her Neighborhood. A tiny surprise or two will be added before I mail it off to Bine tomorrow. I think I'll always remember this house, this time in my life, and this Neighborhood Round Robin.
The chart is from Little by Little, I have changed the DMCs to GASTs and fussed with those colors a bit. Some of the fancy stitches are my additions, as well.
This was a full day with writing and editing and sending out my Summer issue of our Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) Newsletter. We have some awesome teachers planned for our Chapter this year: Joan Thomasson, Judy Souliotis, and a Susan Portra lessons--and others. Many of our members go up North for the summer, and come back to FL in October, which is when we start up our regular meetings again.
My newest stitching friend, Martha, from Punta Gorda....see her brand new blog: is having a Stitching Party at her house on Sunday and I can't wait!! She was so good to find me and invite me via email. We met this week in person and really hit it right off! She's just awesome!! It's going to be such fun having her in my life as a friend. Please welcome her into our circle. She's a gem. You are going to love her sassy, kind and gentle ways!!
I have some stash to show you, too. But, have to wait until later as stitching calls me tonight.
Sending hugs to all and thoughts to Isabelle as she continues to draw nearer to her wedding day!! Can you believe it!!?? So exciting!!
Keep well everyone! Especially you, Becky! :) xxoo