I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are:

Giveaway No. 1
Calamity Jr!

Giveaway No. 2
Rita JG!

Giveaway No. 3
Pull the Other Thread!

Giveaway No. 4

Giveaway No. 5

Congratulations, everyone!  
Please contact me with your snail mail addresses.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Big Birthday Blog Hop

Today I'm joining in the celebration of our friend Jo's birthday:  the big Five-Oh.  Jo's blog, in case you don't know, is Serendipitous Stitching.  She has assigned each of the 50 blog hop participants a different year, picked from the last 50 of course, and my year is...

Here's what happened to Jo then:

Jo was 40.  Life Begins!  Jo and her new partner continued to work together and bought a house together too.  Jo celebrated her 40th Birthday with a big party at their music venue and even got dragged on stage by her cousins to sing a song with the band.  Actually the cousins sang and Jo played tambourine!  Jo's son (not yet known as The Large Boy because he was only little) started Nursery at the local Primary School and Jo joined the PTA helping run the raffle at the Christmas Fayre.

Now I'm supposed to tell you either what I was doing when I was 40 (that was quite a while ago--my memory is hazy) or what I was doing in 2006.  Well, 2006 wasn't quite the banner year for me as it was for Jo, but here goes...

In 2003, the company that I worked for had moved from their nice commuter-friendly location in downtown Chicago to Warrenville, which meant a nightmare 43-mile (one-way) commute for me, peppered with construction delays for the entire time that I stuck it out there.  To make matters worse, office politics was making my job unpleasant, to say the least.  I was working a 9-hour day, and had to leave for work at 5:20 in the morning and didn't get home until about 12 hours later.  Needless to say, there was not too much stitching, reading, or anything else happening on a weekday evening except watching mindless TV and going to bed early.  I had already decided that I was going to take early retirement in March 2007, so when Jo told me that 2006 was my year, at first all I could think of was that it was just one big countdown to the following year.

But, it wasn't all bad.  The daughter of a good friend got married in Seattle that year, so we got to visit Washington state for the first time, and do a little sightseeing, too.

 Mt. Rainier

And the happy couple just celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary!

I started taking Spanish classes on Saturday mornings,
and the instructor was fun and engaging.

I did manage to do a little stitching in 2006
(otherwise I would have gone totally insane),
and this tiny guy on 40-count mesh was completed.

And speaking of dogs, we had two at the time...
Beulah and Timmy, a couple of cutie-pies.

Lastly, Jo asked the Blog Hop participants
to post a photo of something that we've stitched
that we think she would like.

I know she's fond of Halloween,
so here is my tree full of spooky ornaments.

Happy birthday and feliz cumpleanos, Jo!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Leap Year List - September Report... and Five Giveaways

Hey Blog Buddies,
Fall is here at last in the Chicago area, and I've been thinking about what to make for my quilt guild's boutique in November.  Not as much rotation stitching has been happening this month, but I do have an exciting "finish" to show you.

I finished the C in the Prairie School alphabet,
which means that I am now done with the
A B C leaflet!  And that is an official finish.

Here they are all together.
My first row of three is done!

And that's about it for rotation stitching.
Here are the other projects I've been working on,
all for the boutique.

I did these three hardanger bookmarks.
They are from a 2011 Nordic Needle
Bookmark of the Month club.

I've been doing some knitting, too.
The top scarf is finished,
and the bottom one is about halfway there.

 I took a class at my LQS.
This bowl can be used either for dry goods
or as a bowl caddy for the microwave,
assuming all the materials used in the
construction of the bowl are cotton.
I have some white melamine bowls
that fit perfectly in this.
Hopefully, I'll have the time and inclination
to make some of these for the 
boutique, too.

And finally we come to the giveaways.
Over the weekend, our good friend Molly

had her Fifth Gotcha Day
(i.e., anniversary of adoption).
In order to celebrate,
she decreed that I do a giveaway
for each year that we've been together.
All of these charts may look familiar
to frequent readers of this blog.
So here they are:

Giveaway #1
 This is a mixed bag:
one cross-stitch sampler, one hardanger table topper
and one canvas work piece.

Giveaway #2
The prim giveaway:
Frederika by Carriage House Samplings;
A Farmer's Almanac by Prairie Schooler
(no, I'm not finished with this one, I had an extra chart); and
Serial Bowl Lesson Three
by Plum Street Samplers.

Giveaway #3
The canvas work giveaway:
two lovelies by Needle Delights Originals
and a smaller Chrismas piece by DebBee's Designs.

The cross-stitch giveaway:
a large Rosewood Manor sampler;
a small LHN Christmas ornament
and a La D Da needle roll.

Giveaway #5
Finally, there's Ink Circle's 99 and three smalls:
a bird, a pumpkin themed piece 
and a May Flip-It.
The rules are simple.
Leave a comment on this post
letting me know the number(s) of the giveaway(s)
you are interested in.
You can enter any or all of them
Unless there is a very low response,
I will limit the results
to one giveaway per entrant.
If you don't have a blog,
please add a way I can contact you.

The prizes are charts only.

I will choose winners by random number generator
on Tuesday, September 20th.
That's it!

Good luck,
and thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Leap Year List - August Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

July sped by quickly, despite it being one of the longest months.  It's been too hot here for my liking.  And the last part of July went from drought to deluge.  As a matter of fact, we had such a series of torrential downpours here last Friday that we got seepage in our below-grade family room for the first time in years.  But luckily, we were home when it started, and it was abated by the one-two punch of a shop vac and box fans.  It also helped that the rain stopped a little while after the water started to come in.  It was more of a nuisance than anything.  Lots of others in this area weren't so lucky.  Molly's cushion had to be temporarily relocated "inland" from the wet wall after her bedding was cleaned and dried, but it didn't seem to faze her.

On to the stitching... 

First up is Prairie Schooler's Farmer's Almanac.
Here it is as of last month.

And here it is now.
I constructed a farm house, planted trees,
and did more of the verse, from the bottom up, of course.
I know I can't avoid stitching
the rest of that grass for too much longer, though.
All this over-one stitching is slow going.

Next is another Prairie Schooler design:  
the A from the ABC leaflet.
I had it started last month.

And now it's finished.  Woo hoo!

I originally toyed with the idea of
doing this entire piece over one.
I'm so glad that I didn't!
It's been a joy to stitch so far.

Finally, we have Jennifer Riefenberg's 
The Missing Piece:

Here it is as of last month.

And here it is now--all finished!
Some of the various stitches
were a little tricky to compensate.
The bargello section
had me talking to myself.
I've been spoiled with Kathy Rees' 
Needle Delights Originals designs.
She graphs out all the compensation for you.
But it's nice to know I can do it on my own
if push comes to shove.

And speaking of Needle Delights Originals,
she came out with a new "Log" design
for Halloween (uh-oh).

I just couldn't resist this one.

And, yes, it's all kitted up.

Last month I showed you a little 
design from La D Da that I stitched.
I sent it over to Averyclaire
who crafted this sweet needle roll finish.
The outside.

The inside.

Here it is all rolled up.

So cute!
And I do plan to use it, not just look at it.

Last, but not least, here is
The Lake County Fair Report

Exhibitors' Night was last night
at the Family Arts and Crafts Building.
It's a sturdy two-story brick edifice,
with the second story
being just a balcony around the perimeter.
The building has no air-conditioning,
just a couple of strategically-placed fans.
Did I mention that yesterday the outside
ambient temperature was in the low 90's
with very high humidity?
Each exhibitor gets two passes,
and there are lots of exhibitors.
Many of them do bring a guest.
Think body heat.

Of course, I knew all this going in,
but I went anyway because
it's a rollicking good time.

This photo is from 2013,
with the Fair mascot in the doorway.

The baked goods,
which have already been judged,
are always given away to the attendees
who are willing to stand
in the very long Free Food Line.

But I, and many others, were not food-oriented.
Our main objective is peering into the
display cabinets and over them,
looking at the hanging pieces
that are set up out of harm's way,
squinting at the tags,
looking for our own entries and,
almost as important, our friends' entries.

There is lots of camaraderie,
with people greeting each other,
giving congratulations and just chatting.
Yes, the competitors who I know personally
are truly happy for each other's wins,
even if it might be at their own expense.

This year I had 12 entries,
10 of which won various ribbons,
so I did good, as did most of my friends.
Yes, the blackwork horse got a blue ribbon.
(I was the only exhibitor in that class.)

I do have one photo to show you.

After 25 years of exhibiting at this Fair,
this is my first Best in Show.
I have to say I was a bit giddy last night
and very, very surprised.
I was with Averyclaire (she was my guest)
and we got to scream and jump up and down together.
I truly believe it was her gorgeous finishing
that put this piece over the top.

"Best in Show" is a misnomer anyway,
because there are many Best in Show winners.
What it refers to is your Section,
which in this case is Needlecraft II,
limited to the embroidered pieces,
with the exception of holiday decorations and ornaments.

And, yes, I'm already thinking of 
what I might enter next year.

This post turn out to be a bit longer than planned.
If you're still reading,
thanks for sticking with me.
Have a wonderful weekend.