Monday, September 29, 2008

Beatrix Potter SAL

My new pink palette for "Beatrix Potter Sampler" Needleprint, SAL which Hazel has kindly organized to begin Jan. 2009. I completely failed to get going on the SAL last year, and just bailed on it, sadly. So, I'm giving myself this new start of hope!!!

Last year I had chosen Soy Luster thread in a sort of periwinkle blue dark color. I never was quite sure of it and couldn't really decide what I wanted. Maybe that held me back?? Anyway, I'm loving this pink palette for this year's attempt...finish. It makes me happier and I feel confident in it. I always felt the browns just didn't speak to the love of colors and joyful spirit of Beatrix I've always wanted to change them, anyway.
I also kitted up Cricket Collection's "Sleepy Hollow" which came out last year, and which I never got to. This fabric is from Silkweavers and is called Stormy Skies or something...can't quite remember. Naturally, it's been in my stash since I owned the Cabbage Rose Needlework shop. It has sections of storm cloudiness. I really didn't want it to be so dark and gloomy a background that we lost the colors of witches houses, etc....:] in the whole piece as it continues to be a full Halloween neighborhood.
Otherwise, I'm nursing along my cervical spine herniated discs which are causing me horrendous pain down my right neck and arm!! Ouch!! This has not kept me from stitching and kitting...:) I've been seeing my massage therapist, but that's not really helping. Jessica has kindly gotten me an appt. to see a specialist in these things and acupuncture, too, on Wednesday. Hopefully, I'll be able to avoid the surgery like I had on my other shoulder 3 yrs ago!! Not fun!
Thank you so much for reading and leaving comments on my blog. Friends keep me going... Hugs, Deb

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bits & Book

Here's my layout for my "Me,Myself&I, RR." I worried myself to death about what to do because I've had so many ideas of what I would like to do, but I finally decided on "A Celebration oc Christmas" past and present.

I've been collecting Praire Schooler santas, angels, winter scenes, woodland animals, etc...for years and I haven't stitched many of them because I just haven't wanted Christmas ornaments. My goal has been to make framed series' of them, and I figured this is my chance to incorporate them in a vast piece!

I'm using the Byzantine Angels (my name for them) like this one I stitched last year, as my corner images to start. I'll be revealing the other pieces as I go along just for the mystery and the fun of it. Going to have to create a fourth Byz. Angel of my own to make the last corner piece.

Has everyone seen that Dani (please see her link on my sidebar) is running a marathon for breast cancer? Go check it out! You can sponsor her for the race for just a few dollars to cheer her on. I'm so proud of her!! It's great to see one of our stitching friends do something so wonderful and so challenging! Way to go, Dani!! So proud of you!!!

New book finish: This is a very intriguing and strange "post-modernist" novel which very openly tells the story of the JonBenet Ramsey mystery from the perspective of the son. It's a page-turner of 400-plus pages which I found so engrossing I would stay up nearly all night. (Which really isn't unusual for me as many of my stitching friends well know, but nevertheless!!!) Allison, dear, I'm sending this one to you. You have to read it!! As you all know, Joyce Carol Oates is one of my very fav. authors of all time. I've been reading her since I was 19 yrs. old, and she never fails to deliver. I would, however, wait for the paperback...the hardback is expensive unless you are collecting her first editions like I am.

Kellan's growing! He wants to thank all of you who prayed for him before, during and after he was born! Remember when he was a preemie? Now he's 16 lbs. and in the 95%ile for 3mos. olds. :)

Have a happy time stitching Halloween!!! Thank you for commenting, I need to hear from you! Hugs, Deb

PS: I am mourning Paul Newman, who was my favorite actor and humanitarian. What a dear man he was. I was fortunate to see him in person in 2007, and to see him on screen since I was a little girl. I know he will be remembered for all he did for children with cancer for so many years, as well as his generosity to untold others. Good-night, Sweet Prince.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PIFs and Quaker Friendship RR

Jinger got several of us started on a Quaker Friendship RR, and we are all still at the baby stages, deciding upon fabrics and threads. I'm thinking of using DMC's new Color Variations in this pink and melon colored blend on 32 ct. linen called "French Lace." My other thought is to use all the new colors in this series... I have shown some of them above (in perle cotton). We are supposed to get started very soon!! Don't want to make this such a serious sampler...just a happy, friendship sampler.

NEWS: I am soooo delighted to have been pulled from the hat of Fate in Edgar's draw for his PIFs for the year!! I am one of three and am so excited to be on the receiving end of an Edgar stitchery.
This means that I am putting out the word to all of you that I'm opening up the possibility to three of you to sign up as my PIFs for the year. PIF= Pass It Forward...which entitles the PIFer to receive a surprise package of some stitching kind from me! If there are more than 3 who would like to be chosen, I will exercise my little feathered hat and pull out the 3 winners, myself! Please leave your requests in my comments section.
Thirdly, and really so importantly, I appreciate all of you who took the time to answer me about my loss of commentors on my blog. I didn't understand about this "rapid reading" thingie with Google. I still don't understand it. I know that I'm sort of resigned to sit at my computer for hours...literally 4-5 hours per week just to catch up and comment on friends' blogs. I, too, read many and don't always comment. So, I'm guilty of the same no commenting behavior. It's just nice to know there's someone out there who's a friend and cares, isn't it. Thank you, dear friends for taking the time to talk to me.

Here's my new progress on Karen's's coming along.

I only have 4 more days to mail this one on to Sabine! :) Got to think of something for the sky section. I have the ground area covered. Do you have any suggestions for the sky besides birds?

Hugs, and thanks again for being there....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Stitching Start & Neighborhood RR Update

New from Market by Primitive Traditions....Sarah Elliot's Sewing Chest....: This may be a "Mom's request for Christmas" for me....unless one of you wants to share the $180 cost and split the chest with me!!! :}

These two pics above are my golden house as it's coming along on Karen's (Dragonfly Dreams) Neighborhood RR piece. I've also tried to give you and her a glimpse of her whole Neighborhood which is so pretty! After my block, we have only one more until our Neighborhoods all come home to us after the year of stitching. It's going to be ending and a happy surprise at the same time. :]
Here's just a fun little needlecase I started this Monday. I was rooting through my fabrics looking for something to stitch Halloween things on, and found this kit. I don't care to stitch on aida anymore, so found a 32 ct. unidentifiable color-named linen and used that. Really enjoyed it and I expect I'll finish it in another day or so.

Were you all just delighted with the new charts from Market!!?? I loved so many though I have my favorites. I'm just going to share a couple which I've ordered already from Stitching Bits and Bobs. You know I had to have this one for my little grands!!! Isn't it beautiful?

I'm devoted to Quaker Samplers. This one is so soft and sweet.

This biscornu is gorgeous from Sweetheart Tree. I love beaded berries, don't you? I did order the new Indigo Rose biscorn, too, which I think is fabulous! And, I've never liked Boards particularly (except that cemetery one from Plum Street! :o), but I just think this one is fantastic. I also couldn't resist ordering "Creepy Crawly" by Blue Ribbon (I think it is)...that little casket needle tools set.
I couldn't believe Mosey n' Me's new Samplers, could you? Check out Shakespeare's Peddler where I saw them...Theresa always has a good eye for things.

Too many great things to picture here. I loved the new CHS pieces, especially The Swan....have to have those. And, the Just Nans are great! And, Chessie and Me houses are to die for, too. I thought this was a good Market considering the state our country is in right now.....

Must go and eat the scrummy chocolate cake and Blue Bells Homemade Vanilla ice cream my DH has put together for me. I think I really like him!!

Hugs to all, and thanks so much for your faithful few friends.

BTW:I don't know why but not many visit me anymore and comment. Could it be my political views? Or, maybe I wax too long in my blog and don't show enough stitching??? Tell me why.....Here's your chance....I'm listening. I will send a surprise package to someone whose name I pull from a bag for all the comments on this..... Thanks so much. Deb

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Annabel Lee by Poe

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide,
I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Edgar Allan Poe

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cross Stitch Madness

I suspect you may have seen already this beautiful new "Christmas Sewing Set" from Guilia Punti Antichi. Isn't it wonderful?! I love the European look of it. Comes with finishing directions...$18. I'm thinking I would be perfectly happy starting this on Christmas morning! :] Oh, boy!! I'm so happy "Just Cross Stitch" is going to give us Halloween Issues of ornies...aren't you!!?? I love all of them, but here are my favorites to start stitching this week: La-D-Da's "Smell My Feet" which reminds me of the "Wizard of Oz" and the witch Dorothy smashed with her house! "Batty Jack" by Just Nan....Monster Bubbles "Batty".....and CHS "Tombstone Angel." Didn't you also just love that little "Harvet Moon Cottage"!! All in all, a great Halloween magazine for all of us.

When Halloween comes around, I always think of my favorite grotesque, gothic, and beautiful Southern male writer, Edgar Allan Poe. Here's a summary of his life story by James Southall Wilson of the Poe Museum in Richmond, VA.

Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, where his mother had been employed as an actress. Elizabeth Arnold Poe died in Richmond on December 8, 1811, (note from Deb: his father died shortly afterwards)and Edgar was taken into the family of John Allan, a member of the firm of Ellis and Allan, tobacco-merchants.

After attending schools in England and Richmond, young Poe registered at the University of Virginia on February 14, 1826, the second session of the University. He lived in Room 13, West Range. He became an active member of the Jefferson Literary Society, and passed his courses with good grades at the end of the session in December.
Mr. Allan failed to give him enough money for necessary expenses, and Poe made debts of which his so-called father did not approve. When Mr. Allan refused to let him return to the University, a quarrel ensued, and Poe was driven from the Allan home without money. Mr. Allan probably sent him a little money later, and Poe went to Boston. There he published a little volume of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems. It is such a rare book now that a single copy has sold for $200,000.00

Moldavia, Poe's last home in Richmond located at Fifth and Main Streets. John Allan bought the house in 1825, and Edgar lived there before entering the University of Virginia in 1826.

In Boston on May 26, 1827, Poe enlisted in The United States Army as a private using the name Edgar A. Perry. After two years of service, during which he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant-major, he secured, with Mr. Allan's aid, a discharge from the Army and went to Baltimore. He lived there with his aunt, Mrs. Maria Poe Clemm, on the small amounts of money sent by Mr. Allan until he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Meanwhile, Poe published a second book of poetry in 1829: Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems. After another quarrel with Allan (who had married a second wife in 1830), Poe no longer received aid from his foster father. Poe then took the only method of release from the Academy, and got himself dismissed on March 6, 1831. (note from Deb: drunken and disorderly behavior! :[)

Soon after Poe left West Point, a third volume appeared: Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, Second Edition. While living in Baltimore with his aunt, Mrs. Clemm, young Poe began writing prose tales. Five of these appeared in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier in 1832.

With the December issue of 1835, Poe began editing the Southern Literary Messenger for Thomas W. White in Richmond; he held this position until January, 1837. During this time, Poe married his young cousin, Virginia Clemm in Richmond on May 16, 1836. (Note from Deb: Thought to be his famous "Annabel Lee" in his poem)

Poe's slashing reviews and sensational tales made him widely known as an author; however, he failed to find a publisher for a volume of burlesque tales, Tales of the Folio Club. Harpers did, however, print his book-length narrative, Arthur Gordon Pym in July of 1838.

Little is known about Poe's life after he left the Messenger; however, in 1838 he went to Philadelphia where he lived for six years. He was an editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine from July, 1839 to June, 1840, and of Graham's Magazine from April, 1841 to May, 1842. In April, 1844, with barely car fare for his family of three, [including his aunt, Virginia's mother, who lived with them], Poe went to New York where he found work on the New York Evening Mirror.

In 1840, Poe's "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque" was published in two volumes in Philadelphia. In 1845, Poe became famous with the spectacular success of his poem "The Raven," and in March of that year, he joined C. F. Briggs in an effort to publish The Broadway Journal. Also in 1845,Wiley and Putnam issued Tales by Edgar A. Poe and The Raven and Other Poems.

The year 1846 was a tragic one. Poe rented the little cottage at Fordham, where he lived the last three years of his life. The Broadway Journal failed, and Virginia became very ill and died on January 30, 1847. After his wife's death, Poe perhaps yielded more often to a weakness for drink, which had beset him at intervals since early manhood. He was unable to take even a little alcohol without a change of personality, and any excess was accompanied by physical prostration. Throughout his life those illnesses had interferred with his success as an editor, and had given him a reputation for intemperateness that he scarcely deserved.

In his latter years, Poe was interested in several women. They included the poetess, Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman, Mrs. Charles Richmond, and the widow, Mrs. Sarah Elmira Shelton, whom he had known in his boyhood as Miss Royster.

The circumstances of Poe's death remain a mystery. After a visit to Norfolk and Richmond for lectures, he was found in Baltimore in a pitiable condition and taken unconscious to a hospital where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849. He was buried in the yard of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. ( Note from Deb: Some say he was on his way to Boston to prepare for his wedding...met up with old friends in Baltimore...went on a drunk and died there before he could get to Boston.)

In personal appearance, Poe was a quiet, shy-looking but handsome man; he was slightly built, and was five feet, eight inches in height. His mouth was considered beautiful. His eyes, with long dark lashes, were hazel-gray.
The most remarkable of his tales are “The Gold Bug,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders of the Rue Morgue,” “The Purloined Letter,” “A Descent into Maelstrom,” and “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.” “The Raven” and “The Bells” alone would make the name of Poe immortal. The teachers of Baltimore placed a monument over his grave in 1875.
I personally love his poetry. His books of murder and investigation were precursers of our modern mystery novels. Every year pilgrims go to his grave to pay homage to the great writer. Can you even see a raven without thinking of Poe?? I can't.
What are all of you stitching for Halloween? I saw Annemarie's gift from Harmien and went green! It was darling!! And, it's inspired me to stitch some things this year.... along with Neighborhood RR, MeMyself&IRR, Fair&Square, Cirque des Cercles, Buckles & Bows, my Marie Antoinette Sampler, some Chatelaine Designs, CHS designs, etc.... :) Happy me!!!
Thank you all for visiting and commenting on my bloggish blog. Sometimes...maybe lots of times...I'm long-winded. Never a dull moment...
Hugs, Deb
Thanks for your very interesting comments on Poe! See my favorite poem above in my next blog. It's unsettling, isn't it? :]

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Stash and Braggin'

These are pics of my granddaughter, Hadley, above & on the right as she's about to begin her first Baby Ballerinas class. And, you can see her dancing below. I think she's adorable! She's 2 yrs. old. :]
Hadley, as you probably remember from her previous pics, lives in MA on the Cape. She's my son, Jason and wife, Adrien's only child. I could just squeeze her!!!
Here's a picture of Hadley's daddy, Jason (2nd row, 2nd from right in red and navy w/hat) with his team mates after running a marathon relay for charity called Reach the Beach last weekend. They each ran 28 miles along villages, mountain roads and beach. I'm a very proud mom. He's happy and running his part of the relay....
Jas nearing the end of his 1st run, and it's hot! His second run was in the rain, and his 3rd was in darkest night with reflective tape all over him!

And, here's my newest passion to start!! I just kitted this one up. It's from "Mary Hickmott's NEW STITCHES" magazine out of the UK. I get mine from my bookstore magazine stand. This particular piece is called: "Buckles and Bows" and features shoes from the 1600's showing richly embroidered designs, pointed toes, ribbons and fabulous colors! I can't resist stitching it! I've chosen a light seafoam green fabric--28 ct. You can see a bit of it from the pictures.
Pictures inside the magazine. There are about 60 DMC or Anchor colors. I decided to use DMC, though I think the model was done in Anchor.
Have to run off to Jessica's to fetch my mother, who's visiting for the week. I'll show my start on this one in my next blog.

Hugs, Deb

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Book Benders and Stash!

This darling little project is the new Buttons and Blooms stitch for a cure from Elegant Stitch! It's created by Blackbird Designs...and includes the ready-made ditty bag, the fabbie, threads and fabric backing....AND the little wax piece! All for $30. to charity. Go see Lois while they last!

I was in such a reading, craving mode this week, I stacked up paperbacks for a reading hibernation, bought a coconut lemon sponge cake, and dug out my most luxurious and comfy pjs....changed my bed into a cushy, gorgeous Princess bed, too!! It was decadent. :P

Here are the books I read:

"The Great Man" by Kate Christensen - Winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award
A truly fabulous novel that kept me reading from 4PM to 3AM to the finish! This was a strange thing, because I really wasn't drawn in by the title of the book, nor the summaries on the cover. It said it was about an artist in NYC who had died, whose biography was being written by two men, and who left behind a wife and son, a sister, and a mistress and two daughters. Yawn.... I really bought the book because it was given the Pen/Faulkner Award, and that alone made me curious enough to buy it! I'm so glad I did!! What a wonderful and spellbinding author Christensen is! I was completely captivated from page one! Couldn't put the book down...fell madly in love with the women characters...and could have read 300 more pages after the book ended!! Treat yourself to this all-nighter book in paperback.

Next, I read "Summer Reading," by Hilma Wolitzer. Not a beachy paperback, though the title might seem like it is. This book is well written with characters of interest and depth, and a recommended booklist for you, too. The story takes place in the Hamptons mostly at the home of a seasonal, wealthy young woman who hosts her friends/acquaintances' Summer book group "The Page Turner's." The focus of the story is on the year-round leader of the group, the hostess of Page Turner's, her the books change their lives. One of the main premises of the book is that "novels are supposed to change the way we live," and to help us see and live more "authentic lives." It makes you think, and wonder..... A great book to start the school year out....

I've also been stashing some other goodies!!
Shepherds Bush: Sail Away Can't resist this pretty one!
Shepherds Bush: Into the Night Nothing better than SB for Halloween

Rosewood Manor: Quakers and Quilts Reminds me of an old Presidential Campaign board or grandstand. I may trade the alphabet for this year's candidate's names. Rosewood Manor: Family Reunion Not sure I'd ever do this whole piece, but I do like bits of it, especially the frame and tag ideas for pincushions and fobs.

Did I tell you I'm in Vonna's "Me, Myself and I, RR" group? So many of you are, too. It's going to be great fun this year! I'm thinking a "His eye is on the sparrow" type village for my piece with lots of birds... It's still in the cranium. :)

Hugs, Deb