Monday, September 27, 2010

Stitching For a Cause

Good morning, everyone! I'm so happy to share my finish for a very special cause. This little "Christmas Chick" will be winging its way to sunny Arizona for inclusion in the 12th annual silent auction to benefit breast cancer research sponsored by Attic Needlework. I signed up to stitch an ornament to be auctioned off through Pumpkin Patch and Co. Breast Cancer Fund and if any of you are interested, there is still time to participate. You can email Pumpkin with any questions. This impressive auction netted over $20,000 last year simply by auctioning off stitched creations sent in from around the world... Simply amazing!

If this Valerie Pfeiffer designed chick looks familiar, it's because I also stitched him for myself last year. This time, I used 32 ct. white Jobelan, DMC threads (over 25 colors were used on this tiny piece!), and backed it with the red and white fabric shown in the photo. I hope that by adding the red, twisted cording and little bows he looks even more irresistible and that someone will bid on him!

Last week I also stitched this Trilogy Halloween Spooky Tree ornament for dear Myra for her birthday. I know how much she loves Halloween designs, so when I saw this one it almost commanded me to stitch it and send it to her... What a fun piece to do! I chose a dark gray 32 ct. Barnwood linen and DMC and various overdyed threads along with three yellow buttons for accents. I forgot to photograph the back before I sent it on its way, but I personalized it with a little ghost, the date, and our initials. Myra took a photo of it, so you can check it out on her September 22nd post. I'm so glad you liked it Myra--I loved each moment spent stitching it for you...

I was thrilled to learn that I had won a giveaway from one of my favorite designers: Sandra Sullivan of Homespun Elegance. What a lovely lot of goodies arrived in my mailbox--click on the photo and you can see a truly unique scissor fob, a lovely Christmas card with a needle inside meant to send to a stitching friend, a pretty sampler notepad, and Sandra's "Sweet Little Sewing Basket" which included the basket and a design to stitch a pincushion to display in the basket. I have just started collecting more and more Homespun Elegance designs this year--I'm particularly fond of the "Delivering" series and the yearly ornaments. So, thank you so very, very much, Sandra--I treasure your gifts!

We spent the weekend in a very hot and humid (high 90s!!) Richmond, Virginia visiting my son for Parents Weekend. Our last one ever... I still can't believe that he is a senior and that the past 11 years that we spent as "parents of college students" for our three sons are winding down. It was a bittersweet evening Friday as we watched him play his trombone in what may well be the last time we see him perform live. As he played with the university jazz band during that final song, tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered how far he has come since he first picked up that "bigger than he was" trombone for the first time in 3rd grade. All those memories: those first awkward sounds that didn't resemble music at all, the years of paying for lessons, reminding him to practice, driving him to marching band, watching him conduct the band as drum major in his senior year in high school, hearing about the trips that took him all over the U.S. and abroad--they all came flooding back. It's been an amazing experience and I love how his love of music, from the time he was a tiny baby, has had such a positive impact on not only him, but on our whole family. I truly hope he will continue to play with community groups and jazz bands throughout his life. So thank you, my youngest son, for so many musical memories--you've made us very proud!

I'm woefully behind on my September Block 9 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow, but hope to finish it up soon. Thank you all so much for your comments on my Block 8 carolers (the revised "Carol" edition!)--I do think the whole piece is coming together quite nicely now and I can't wait to show you the finish in December... And remember--I'll be posting my giveaway next week to celebrate reaching 200+ followers, so don't forget to look for it!

Thank you all for visiting, and a special thank you to my friends whose comments and emails brighten my days--you mean so much to me! Hope your week is special...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Block 8 Is Finished!

Hello everyone! I'm so excited to finally have Block #8 finished. These carolers have been haunting me ever since I started Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow because I thought they looked rather pale and so stern-looking. So, a number of changes were made in both colors and stitches in an attempt to humanize them and make them as joyful as the rest of this piece. To compare the originally charted carolers to mine you can click here. As you can see I changed the man's coat to a gray color, changed the book's colors, and the size of the woman's mittens. I pinked up their faces and tried to give them less of a "uni-brow" look by changing their eyebrow shape and the nose (still a bit pointy, but nothing else seemed to work). I also changed the colors of their mouths and gave them a more oval shape.

The man's face looks a bit too feminine to me, but I couldn't figure out how to make him more "manly." Add a mustache? In addition to changing the window color, I added a few holly berries to the woman's hat and darkened her hair. Honestly, I felt like I was playing with a Mr. Potato Head I tried so many different noses, mouths, eyebrows, and eyes on these two! So, what do you think? Should I leave it as is or make some other changes?

As a bit of a break while finishing up the carolers' block, I stitched this little Halloween cutie from Xs and Ohs called "Boo Web." I just love the way his web spells out "boo." This grinning spider is stitched over one on 28 ct. summer khaki lugana using DMC threads.

To finish him off I used some of the black and orange pumpkin fabric that Myra gifted me with last year (thanks, Myra!!), and some black and orange ribbons for accent. (The orange ribbon didn't photograph well and really matches the orange in the pumpkins much better in real life.) And here's a little hint--look for the little pillow as part of a Halloween themed giveaway that I'll be having in October to celebrate my blog reaching 200+ followers. Watch for details in the next few weeks... (in other words, I haven't bought all the stuff for my giveaway so I need to get my act together!).

Doesn't this look like the most relaxing place to sit and stitch? This is the view my sister gets to enjoy every evening from the deck of her house on Lake Ontario. We were lucky enough to visit over Labor Day weekend and I truly realize that I'm more of a lake person than a beach person. Which are you? I feel like I totally let down sitting by a quiet lake. And, to be honest with you, I really don't like the feeling of sand at the beach! Unfortunately, the good weather didn't last more than a couple of hours. A brisk wind whipped up and we saw waves and whitecaps on Lake Ontario that would rival any ocean!

So how did we spend the time? We ate some delicious food (crabmeat quiche, blueberry pancakes), drank some Margaritas, and played lots of games: Scrabble, Yahtzee, and my new favorite, Bananagrams. Have any of you played Bananagrams yet? If you love words and a quick game that can be played by almost any number of people, you may want to give it a try. Here are some other scenes of our visit including her huge Bernese Mountain dog in a rare moment of rest! Thanks to my oldest son who was kind enough to let me use his wonderful photos of our trip (I think I was too busy eating to take any of my own!).

When I returned home from the lake visit, I found the most lovely stitched gift waiting in my mailbox all the way from The Netherlands. Sweet Mylene had a giveaway for six of her darling scissor fobs and I was lucky enough to win one. Her stitching is just perfect and I love how she beaded the edge with alternating colors of yellow and orange. You all know that I love sunflowers so this is a wonderful addition to my collection of sunflower pieces. Thank you so much, Mylene--I truly love it!

I still find it amazing that over 200 of you find what I have to say interesting! Thank you so much for the many friendships that have begun as a result of blogging--your comments, emails, and support always bring me smiles :)

Hope your week is special in every way! Bye now...