Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hello Neighborhood RR

Here's the start to my Neighborhood of "Heaven and Earth...and Beyond," for our RR starting June 1st. This is the angel from "Heavens Above," design. I'm stitching her 1 over 1 on 36 ct. Her little outfit is so tiny!!! I love it! :))

I think I mentioned to you that I'm asking that the Morbid Pithies and Proverbs from the Workbasket designers be used...and tombies from the different designers. It should be fun to see when it all comes back around! Especially the tombies!

Other than stitching on this, I was able to mail out my HAED RR last week, so that was great to finally get on its way. I simply stitched the "HAED" initials at the top in a Waterlilies color mixed with blending filament in an Old English alphabet. And, it's off!! That was the one I had spent 15 plus hours on just kitting up the threads!

On another more humiliating topic:

Naples is feeling quite sunny and happy as the "snowbirds" aka "winter hawks" have flown back to their summer homes! This leaves our roads once again free of too much traffic, our restaurants open for seating without reservations, and our stores quiet with happily unstressed staff!! Oh, the joys of Summer!! So.....

We went boating was a 4 hours plus trip on water to an island with a "2000 yr. old Native American settlement" grounds to explore. Or so I was led to believe by my sweet DH. We went with one of DH's men's groups who also brought their wives. I went to do my wifely know, like sex...sometimes you just have to close your eyes and fend!!

Well, I did, fend, that is...windswept, deaf from the motor of the pontoon boat, a little sun-burned, hungry and tired...some 4 hours later...we had seen a narrow shell path through mangrove trees (these are the swampy low hanging trees that snakes and alligators love to hang out on and by), and dense vegetation to several "mounds."

I soon find out on this trek that all it really amounted to was seeing these "mounds," which were actually 2000 yr old "trash heaps." Imagine how glorious it was. DH happily took my picture by a mound. And I took his. Everybody was happy as a lark...

Before we left, I called to tell my daughter where I was going with DH, and she burst into peals of laughter. I'm a very girly girl, love to stay home and stitch and truly am not your trek through the swamp type.

Plus, she knows my DH's record in dragging me off to things like this, and she thinks it's hilarious before I even get started! Does this give you a foreshadowing?? Her husband, a Coastie, and specialist in "search and rescue" and homeland security for this coastal area said, "Sorry, mom, I'm not sure what island you're talking about, and I've never heard of such a Settlement." :)) But, we'll certainly span the hundreds of inlets and islands should you go missing. Such comfort and assurance I get! :p

Here's just a delightful picture of me, wearing my worst clothes, full of enthusiasm and joy at the prospect of hopping off the boat into swamp water to take a trek with DH through those swampy woods that other guides you pay on the Everglades tell you not to go in without an experienced guide!

Plus pics add 10 lbs., so this also just thrills me. Note the smart ladies behind me in the boat who never left the boat and are sipping beer together! But, I'm back in one piece. And, DH is happy for another few months!! Yea!!!

Until we talk again, your swamp-mound educated exploring friend, Deb
PS: Just so you get the full picture of all of this: My hat says, "High Maintenance" in rhinestones. And, my DH gave it to me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fairies and Such

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments about your own bookgroups and experiences. It's great to know so many of you have enjoyed the same rewards we have. Margaret, I'm going to suggest the book you mentioned to our group for the Fall.

Our Summer book readings are: Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburg, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and I Hate My Neck, by Nora Ephron.

About the fairies!! They are needlepoint canvases by a designer in CA. They are painted on an opalescent and colored canvas so the background doesn't have to be stitched. And they can be stitched with floss, silks or metallics, or Carons or Waterlilies!

I have them from my former needlecraft shop, "Cabbage Rose Needlework." They are $40 apiece at the wholesale price. If you want one, please email me. I only have one copy of each left.
This boy's name is "Liam." The top little fairy is "Dona," and the red-haired one is "Nissa." The ones in yesterday's blog are "Ariel," and, of course, that little trouble-maker, "Puck!"
Love and hugs to all of you!
PS: In deference to my dear friend, Julie, I've changed the horrendous original font color to something more legible. You were right, Jules!! :)) Everybody probably thanks you for curing their blindness!! LOL

Evening Bookgroup

It was a bittersweet time at Evening Bookgroup tonight. As you may remember, we meet once a month, and we never know how many of our 17 or so members will actually show up to discuss the book we've read for the month.

Bookgroups are fabulous because they give you a chance to really get to know women from all different perspectives. Not just from the polite, socially correct perspective, but in ways that may surprise, shock and maybe even confuse you.

Tonight we met to discuss "The Memorykeeper's Daughter." Which, I'm sure our Bookgroup would highly recommend to you, and we discovered so many things we weren't least I did. Some are secret things only for us....but..

First of all, we discovered that one of our friends was just diagnosed with cancer. And, she still insisted on hostessing our Group, told us about her situation, enjoyed wine with us, discussed the book and shared how she intends to be the fighter her parents guided her to be in life. It was inspiring and silenced me in my spirit in a way that I can hardly express.

The book discussion led us to learn how each of us felt about choices made in life, and how quickly they can form or deform a relationship. How in a fraction of a moment a word can be left unspoken and that moment can change the course of a person's life forever. How fragile relationships and people really are, and how we can't possibly hope to understand how another will cope or feel or live with a circumstance or choice they are confronted with in life.

We learned that each of us expresses the artist in us in different ways. Just as one likes to paint, another loves to interior design or work with fabrics, or mixed media or stitch or dance or just draw. That one may be visual in their reading, while another is spacial; and one is "seeing" a scene vividly, and another had no impression of the same scene at all!

Bookgroups are learning experiences in many ways for women who may have stopped growing intellectually. There's something to be said about stretching one's mind and touching upon things that are difficult to look at in the "nice talk" living rooms that we visit to have coffee and stitch in. Sometimes it's good to look at hard things and talk them out!

Every bookgroup I've ever been Wellesley Group of 10 years, especially, was a very extraordinary experience of personal growth for me, and I think for all involved. Something about the venue opens not just our mouths, but our souls, our hearts, our guts and our minds.

In order to face life we have to face the realities of life, and we can't always sugar-coat it. Thank God for women who can get together, form real, intellectual and meaningful relationships, and true support groups.

I'm so happy to be a part of such a women's group. I hope you have or will start one of your own. They are priceless.
I also cherish the stitching friends and relationships I have with each of you who visit me here,
BTW: You're probably wondering what on earth these fairies have to do with the price of beans!! :)) We also talked about my HAED RR tonight, as well!! They all think I'm a very "feyish" personality and were not at all surprised that I liked stitching fairies and such!! Go figure!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I just had an unbelieveably happy Mother's Day, and I hope you did, too. Here are some special pictures from my day. My sons called and sent me cards, my daughter did, too. She lives nearby, so she came over for a day spent talking and laughing, having lunch and looking at magazines of beading and doll-making together. We recalled her growing up years and enjoyed those conversations.

My children and DH surprised me with a gift certificate to Elegant Stitch, which is my favorite online shop!! :)) Somebody must have raised them right! And, they tell me there's another present coming tomorrow in the mail, they hope.

Jessica also brought me a new book, "Kept," a Victorina mystery chockful of Dickensian-type characters it seems, and a silver bookmark with a quote by James Barrie, "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." The bookmark has ribbons of bright green aross the silver with stars and then green ribbons with beads and charms attached. She and I love bookmarks!! :))

The other picture of books are my new read..."Abundance" about Marie Antoinette, and my book-on-tape (which I mentioned before) "A Wrinkle in Time." You can't believe the story behind the bust with these pictures. Remind me to tell you. She's of alabaster and from the 1800's....such an amazing mystery story... for another time!! Stacked on the floor are mirrors to be hung by DH, who never has time.

However, he did present me with the only thing I really asked for today which was a rich and yummy chocolate cake!! Pictured above with Jessica's book. (Probably should have cropped some of that pic. but you can see how we dug into that cake with some gusto!!)
Hearing from my children was the best part of the day. It overwhelms me to think I was and am their mom because I think they give me way too much credit for how wonderful they are as people inside and out. I'm so blessed and always have been that they are my children.

I hope you each had lovely times with your children today. And, for those of you who have furry children...they know you're their moms. I hope your day with them was special, as well :))

Hugs, and happy stitching this week!
Deb in FL

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I'm a Virgin...and I Was Tagged

I was simultaneously tagged by 2 friends, so I consider this a double-whammy and I'm giving back this one
---8 Random Things---

As you veterans of taggish stuff know:
1) Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
2) People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
3) At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names
4) Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they are tagged, and to read your blog.

So, now, I'm off to give you my 8 Random Things herein:

1: I very ofen stay up until 2AM to read your blogs and comment on your beautiful things
2: I sleep until 10 AM as a result, but can get up earlier if I have to
3: While I have some pretty night clothes, I like to sleep in my DH's t-shirts best
4: I listen to Christian radio every day
5: My newest CD is "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" and it is so fabulous and sexy!!
6: My newest book on tape is "A Wrinkle in Time," by Madeleine L'Engle
7: I hate doing laundry!
8: My little dog's name is Clara, short for Clarice, and my DH named her after the FBI lady in "Silence of the Lambs" !!! She's a darling little Yorkie. Go figure!

Well, now I have to tag, and I tag: Heidi, Deb in CT, Charlene, Vonna, Sonja, Katrina, and Von

And here's hoping that they don't hate me for it!!! BTW, please understand from now on, I don't do taggies and I'm NOT one who opens jokes and stuff that's emailed to me. I'm just so busy keeping up otherwise on the web, I can't do it all!! Thanks everyone!! I don't want to be mean or unkind...


My RAK!!

Here it is, the most beautiful biscornu in the world!!! Sonja sent it to me, and it is my first ever stitched just for me piece of needlework!! I'm so delighted and it will forever sit in a place of honor in my house.

I've had good friends give me lovely stitching things over the years, so I'm definitely not complaining, but this is the very first stitched, precious gift ever!!

Thank you so much for thinking of me and taking the time to do this, Sonja. What a special, beautiful gift, and it means so much to me. It has the little tag that reads, "Hand stitched with love," and that was so kind of you, too.

And, here are all the goodies she sent with it!! I don't know how she ever knew that this was one of the books I don't have!! I love all kinds of books, including stories of Russia and the Romanov royal family. I can't wait to start this one. Then, the 1990's needlework mag. with the Brenda Keyes sampler and a fabulous little quilt and stitch baby blanket is great. I have a new grandbaby coming and the quilt will be perfect!!
The biscornu smells so good, and Sonja included a packet of orange sachet which is fresh and so perfect for FL. And, then last but not least 2 little chartlets that I don't have in my stash. I'm smiling and was jumping up and down when I got her RAK!! :)))
I just want to thank each of you who visits my blog so regularly. I'm grateful for your friendship and your loyalty. Reading and commenting on your blogs is a big part of my life, too. It's been one of the best experiences of my life to get to know all of you. Thank you so much! Blog on!!


I'm really not missing in action, I've just been really trying to get my HAED RR out the door and my Hello Neighborhood RR planned and organized!!

Also, I just received the most beautiful RAK today, and I have to photograph it for you so you can OOOooo and Ahhh tomorrow! It's now 2:30 AM here and I have to get to bed! I want to slip a quick thank you to Sonja, though, and to tell her that it is the most beautiful biscornu on earth! It is really the only hand-stitched gift I've ever received. I simply adore it! And all the goodies with it, too. I'm posting a pic. in the morning!!

This is about what I'm looking like these days, except I wouldn't dare wear a bikini!! LOL

Thank you for keeping up with my comings and goings! Deb

Monday, May 7, 2007

Quick Answers and Questions

Julie: The Neighborhood RR is just beginning in June. We won't have any progress pictures for a while yet, I suspect. But as we get going, we will. I'll ask Carol, who is my team leader, when they will start being posted and how others can see them. Thanks for asking!

Stitchin Mainic: We don't know your name! :(( Also, I can't seem to post a comment on your blog and I love your blog. You have such great entries and your stash is fantastic and I really want to talk with you about your stitching which is awesome, too. And, thank you for always leaving such sweet comments on my blog! ;))

Kim: I'm thinking of you every day. This is a difficult time, and I hope you know your friends are there for you. Hugs, Deb

Anyone Interested: I have some trade items. If you're interested in seeing the list please email me: The little Christmas ornie above was one I stitched for a Chatelaine friend ages ago. Just thought you'd like to see a picture! LOL

Thank you, dear friends, for taking your precious time from stitching to stop by my blog and to comment. I appreciate every one of you so much.

Hugs, Deb in FL :))

Saturday, May 5, 2007

HAED Revisited

Barbara and Katrina, that picture yesterday was the cleaned up space after I had put the threads into those individual baggies and labeled them!!! That was the aftermath of the chaos!! LOL

Here's the result of my shopping trip today. I went hunting to find finishing things for my mailart piece that's got to get out on or before June 1st.

I decided to put this fully stitched piece on the back. Then I'll put the (now showing upside down) 2 crows with the golden needle flap and the button/clasp closure side as the address and stamp part. That way the utility side of the mailart envelope will have the utilitarian stuff on it, and the artwork side will be the more interesting and fully decorated side. I hope this isn't confusing.

When I mail it, since it's going to a place not really tracked by USMail...I'm going to have to protect it in a see-through baggie or something anyway, so I may as well enjoy beading and making it fancy! :))

This is all I really accomplished today. Except when also at JoAnn's...I found some other goodies which will have to wait to be photoed for you another day. If you haven't been there lately, you have to check out the quilting section. OMG, Fons and Porter have some to-die-for tins, and darling stitching tools, and strawberry emeries....oh, you have to go see them!!!

BTW: the pieces I've chosen for my HAED RR are these, in case anyone is interested:

1-3) Storykeeper, Splash and Atlantis by Selina Fenech

4 & 5) Viva and Moonstones by Linda Ravenscroft

and 6) Sugar Plum Fairy by Myrea Petti

Thanks you for visiting me today! Hugs, Deb

HAED RR ... the kitting up

"Oh bother," as Pooh says, I'm tired and sleepy after more than 15 hours spent kitting up and organizing threads for my HAED RR, which is due to mail out March 11th!! I got onboard last I'm really running to play catch up on this one.

Just thought you'd like to look at my orderly disorder after I cleaned up the chaos of the day. I do love my fabbie and the threads are all nicely packaged and labeled, so I feel good about that. I don't know if you can see the charts I've chosen. Now all I have to do is grid a little and it's off to Ruth in Germany next week. Piece of cake! I only have a ladies luncheon, an ANG meeting and lunch, another doctor's appt., Open Houses for DH, stitching on my Mailart project, and time to sleep!!! :[

Just a quick note to Kim, Isabelle, Dani, Terri and Anne. "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over you!" :))

Have a very happy stitching weekend to Carol, Jo, Margaret and others up in Nashua at Celebrations!! Bring back stash and pics for us!!

Hugs, Deb

PS: Don't you just love these half-baked pictures I take! It's a wonder any of you look at them!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Barnes & Noble Shopping Trip

Yesterday, I treated myself to a bookstore trip because I had to see my doctor for an annual physical. I have a fair bit of Cherokee blood in me, and the ancients must have had an aversion to modern methods which has carried down to me...I believe in self-healing and the right foods and sunshine. Or, so I say!!:))

Anyway, here's what I found at B&N, and I'm so thrilled! I'm an opera buff. I started loving opera when I lived in Jacksonville, FL, some years ago, as a single woman and interior designer. My bf at the time (and still a close friend, Kate, also an IDer) and I used to go to them whenever we could. And, Madame Butterfly is a favorite of mine...not Kate's!

Opera, if you've never gone and think you don't like it, to me is alot about art and set design, and costuming, as well as the storyline and finally the music! It's not just the music, in other words. I found this great little book all about Puccini, his bio. on Madame Butterfly, the history of the opera, a line by line translation, and the CDs of the music!!! Lots of pics, all for $20!!

The actual opera by Puccini opened on February 1, 1893, in Milan, Italy. It was called, Manon Lescaut, and was performed throughout Europe and South America in the following years as a sensation.

"A seemingly simple tale about a young Japanese girl and her love for an American soldier who is careless with her devotions, Butterfly is brought to life and eventually to her death by Puccini's powerfully heartbreaking music. many aspects of the human experience...overwhelming love, unbearable loss, rejection, motherhood, and clashing cultural ideals...with tenderness, honesty, and poingnance." It's a tragic story of love and mismatched cross-cultural understanding of honor and dishonor.

The lower pic to the left is of Cary Grant playing the Lt. in a 1933 movie version with Sylvia Sydney. Who knew! I've never seen it.

I hope, if you've never tried opera, you'll treat yourself, too. If you just hate it on CD...take it back!

BTW, I love you guys!! Thank you for your dear comments on my stitching and picture. I don't deserve all the praise, but I soak it in because it means you're my friends...and I love that most of all!!

Thanks to Carol, Katrina, Becky, Wendy, Vonna, Von, Dani, Lizzy, 'Lena, Isabelle, Barbara, Anne, Deb, Julie, Tannia, Jo, Patti, and others (I know I'm leaving someone out and I apologize!!!) who have made my first months of blogging so precious to me by reading and leaving notes so regularly. You are forever my stitching friends and I know you're there.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My Mailart in Process

Here's my Mailart piece that I've been working on this evening and last night. I'm due to send it off by June 1st. I'm going to put the address to the left of the leaf stem below the blossom--which I know is different, but I like the idea because it's unexpected. Love beading, so as you see I've put all the chart requires plus some of my own, and then put some french knots in the bud, too!!

Will keep you posted as this grows and comes to the finish. Remember, this is a first for me--so the finishing will probably be the real circus!! LOL

Why did I choose this pattern? Well, as most of you know, I was sick for about 2 years and couldn't really stitch much, but that didn't keep me from stash building. I love Blackbird Designs, though I haven't kept current stashing lately. This one was in my old stash. Since I'm loving the thought of Summer coming, I thought a Squash Blossom was a cute idea....

Specifics: Wichelt 28 ct., Waterlily; Sampler Threads & Delica Beads

Please forgive the deplorable picture! I wish you could see the real thing. It's actually vibrant with color and beads! It really looks awful with the lighting even in the larger image and I just hate that!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hire Out??

In answer to your questions, yes, I do hire out!! I'm an interior designer, you guys!! LOL But, I really never bring clients to my house. My bf, Deb in CT (Cat Tails & Needles) is about the only one who ever saw my house on a regular basis (other than a few EGA stitching friends and Martina & the Chatelaine Stitching Bee stitchaway group!) and she can testify to the color blast and visual overload for the average person's eyes!!! Deb's also seen the mess of stitching it can become, which nobody else ever has seen!!

One of my son's always used to say, "Okay, Mom, overstimulation!! Where's the quiet room for me to sleep in!?" So, I always have a very quiet, blue and white room for him and guests that's decorated in toiles and white matlese..and a few accessories.
I love antiques...English and French. This dining room piece is an English antique and the pictures are of our families, each going back many mine on the left, my dad is 2 yrs. old and he would have been 80 yo today. You can just bearly see him standing in front of his father. He had the very English name: Alfred Basil Riggs My DH has picked up these other odd bits and pieces.

Some of you have been asking about me, personally, and so I wanted to share this little bit.

Love and hugs to you all, and thanks for caring! I appreciate your stopping by!