Tuesday, November 30, 2010

~*Star Rug Company Giveaway Antique Santa Rug*~

Okay... you DON'T want to miss this giveaway! Run on over to Maria's Blog Star Rug Company to enter for your chance to win this AWESOME rug! I just love Maria's patterns. She is so very talented & so delightfully sweet! I actually have a similar rug pattern of her's with the antique Santa & Reindeer, but have been too scared to hook it. I'm afraid I won't do good enough. I'm just going to either HAVE to win this one myself... or get busy hooking!

Best wishes to all of you... now get over there & enter!



~*Christmas Time is Here*~

Hello Dear Friends! This is our tree... simple, but so sentimental. We put it up last night. Tony and I put the tree together and string the lights... but Trinity puts all the ornaments in place. No, this probably isn't a 'magazine' display... but it is ours and it is just the way we want it. Heartfelt and joy-some! It is in the corner of our small living room. We set the tree in my old goat cart to make it a little taller... and so we don't have to find somewhere to store the cart for the holidays!

Christmas presents seem to have started for us yesterday too. My buddy Joanne got my name in the Christmas Exchange for our online Ebay group, AAPG. And oh my goodness did she spoil me... and Trinity... and Tony too! My 'big' gift was this beautiful tree skirt...

She sent me the kit to make the wool feather tree some time ago. I made it shortly after the kit came... but hadn't made anything to put around the base. And now I'm glad I didn't do it 'cause I wouldn't have made one as cool as this! For our exchange, our other buddy Deirdre, donated two patterns for us to choose from. We could work the patterns anyway we wanted to give to our exchange partner. Joanne adapted the tree skirt from the two patterns... and it just turned out wonderful!

The tree skirt wasn't all... she also sent all this!

A snowman hooked stocking, a penny-rug pinkeep, a gingerbread man ornie, some cute Christmas kitty socks, some brown shoe polish ('cause she knows how I love to use it to age things), and this really KEWL Woolens sign! In the group, we were talking about a neat Woolens sign... she must have read that I would LOVE to have one to put next door in the studio! I'm so excited about putting this over there... gosh I wish I was ready to begin decorating over there now! (The base coat of paint is finally on the walls... texture paint will be done in a day or so... then the trim & floors... and then I can move in!)
But this isn't all she sent! She also sent all of this to Trinity... and he shared some of the candy with Dad...

There were a couple of pouches of hot chocolate in the box too... we fixed it last night and also read "The Night Before Christmas"... what a great evening!

Joanne... thank you so much for the wonderful gifts... and for adding to our family Christmas memories!

On the crafty side... I have these stitched up... and they are now waiting to be sewn into some finishes.

I'm thinking needle books for the larger pieces and a simple Christmas ornie for the Noel. The kiddo has started basketball practice. So now two evenings a week are basketball practice and two evenings are tae kwon do classes... so busy busy busy. Thankfully, I can pack small bags of handiworks to take along for stitching while I watch.

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Friday, November 26, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! I hope you all had a marvelous holiday... celebrating with family and friends... making some memories to treasure always. We had a nice Thanksgiving... but, like I do each year & every holiday, I ate too much. Maybe you did too? Oh well, if you went out in the crowds today for some Black Friday shopping (I'm about to... just running a little late) that burnt a lot of those extra calories off... didn't it?

Well... sit back & relax now... here are some great ~*Friday Finishes*~...

This one is just a true TREASURE! It comes from Tracey. She converted my ~*Live, Laugh, Love*~ pattern into a birth sampler for her Grandson Dagg. Notice she added his name and some family initials... and also changed the date. This is just so beautiful! It is sure to be a family heirloom always. (You can see a larger image by clicking on Tracey's name above.)

From Murf ~ her finish of ~*Simplify*~... Isn't this just lovely? She said she used the floss colors I suggested... then finished her little pillow with some sweet rick rack. I just love how the blue POPS! It just makes me smiles...

Thank you to both ladies for stitching and sharing!

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

~*Warmest Thanksgiving Wishes*~

For you, my friends, may your Thanksgiving be filled with an abundance of happiness, special moments, and pie...

May your holiday be filled with memories that will be joyous and cherished always...

~*Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving*~

Warm smiles for you...


Monday, November 22, 2010

~*Who Do I Spy?*~

A wise old owl, that's who!

Look closely. He is camouflaged amid the branches. He flew away shortly after I snapped just one picture... but he sure was cool to see.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

~*Studio Update*~

Well... it has been one step forward and two steps back this week...

Hello Dear Friends! The more I thought about my walls, the less I liked them... or actually, I didn't like them at all. Being old plaster & lathe walls, it was difficult to fix the million (ok, it seemed like a million) nail holes riddled throughout the rooms. I patched them, all the large holes, and many of the cracks with drywall compound (not all the cracks were filled because I do want some of them to show later), but I couldn't smooth down the compound enough afterward. I was getting more and more worried that all my repairs would show through the paint. They definitely showed through the primer. Maybe you can see...

I usually am not worried about perfection, but I didn't want things to look icky. So, I borrowed this from my Mom...

Picked up a 62 lb. bucket of this at the hardware store for $13...

Found an old & rusty paint tray in the barn. Thinned down some of the compound with water...(I stirred it more than this though to mix it better.)

Then I rolled it onto the walls... thicker in some spots than others... (With the exception of the final photo, these all show the wall compound when it is wet. It dries white.)

A couple of close-ups...

After it dried (over night)... I took a damp (wet, but not dripping works best) rag (aka, old tee-shirt) and worked the surface again. Wiping in a circular motion over all the walls created an 'orange peel look'... or maybe it is called 'knock down' or something in the construction bizz. But, I must say... I am now in love with my walls! Here is a close up of how they look now...

Maybe I should have done the texture before I primed the walls... because I do have to prime them again now to go over all the compound... but really it helped to have the walls white before adding the compound. It made it easier to spot all the nail holes I missed initially. Really, there were TONS of nail holes in these walls!

Anyway, tomorrow I get to prime again... but then I get to PAINT! I did pick up my paint yesterday while I was at the store... so I am ready to move on. Plus, I mentioned before that the trim would be a 'country white'. Well, it just so happens that the store is having a clearance on a particular brand of paint. I was able to pick up two gallons of trim paint that was on clearance for 50% off... plus, the color... GET THIS... is Lambswool White. Isn't that just PERFECT?!

Thanks for letting me share! I'll be interested to hear of any of you have done this wall texture... or are maybe going to give it a try soon.

Wishing you warm smiles...


Friday, November 19, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! It is that time again... time for ~*Friday Finishes*~!

There is only one to share this week... but it is a beauty! This one comes from Karen... a ~*Simplify*~ Freebie finish...

Karen used floss colors to match some fabric she had... and it is a stunning finish! The way she sewed her pillow with the cross stitch on the top is brilliant! Beautiful job, Karen! Thank you for stitching and sharing!

It has been a 'week' for us here... more priming and remodel work has been done next door. I hope to pick up my paint tomorrow and start on the really fun part! The kiddo seems to have had lots more homework than normal this week. It seems he has been trying to hide it in the 'black hole' he calls a desk at school... so many long evenings have been spent trying to help him get caught up... and learn that it isn't a good thing to hide the work away. I've been stitching in the evenings too and have a few projects in the works. They can't be shared just yet though because they are for swap gifts... soon enough though I'll post them. The biggest thing this week was a huge scare... Wednesday we had our first round of snow and ice... which caused my hubster trouble ~ driving home from work on the turnpike. He hit a patch of black ice and busted up his truck pretty bad... thankfully though... thank you God... he was not harmed and no other vehicles were involved. Depending on the insurance, we will either be repairing his old truck... or shopping for something else. The thoughts of what could have happened are so frightening... and make us realize how special each moment is. Believe me, I didn't want to let go of him when he did get home~

Love those near and dear to you and cherish every moment.


Wishing you all warm smiles...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

~*Studio Update*~

There is almost a white palette to work with!

Hello Dear Friends! It has been a week or so since I last posted studio progress... so here goes...

The ceilings and trim in both rooms are now primed & the walls in one room are primed... I ran out of primer (after 3 gallons) and will be stopping at the store in the morning for more...but it does feel so good to be this far!

These walls (and ceiling) are far from being "perfect". They still have a tremendous amount of imperfections on them... but maybe it won't matter too much after the rooms are filled with furniture... hooked rugs, needlepunch, and samplers. I plan to do a texture paint technique on the walls... haven't decided yet if they will be dry brushed or ragged, but they will be painted in two shades. In fact, I finally picked out my shades of tan today. It was tough because so many paint samples seemed too pink, too green, too gray, or too blue. All I wanted was tan! Well, these are what I have picked...

Mocha Cafe, Whisper of White, and Ashbury

The darkest shade will be the porch paint for the floors. The lighter two will be the wall colors. The lightest will be painted on the ceiling alone - not textured. The trim in all rooms will be off-white (different from the paint samples) - mainly because the replacement windows we installed are white vinyl & I can't change that.

Thanks for letting me share... and supporting me and all my remodeling efforts. The kind words you have all offered have meant so much. Thank you!

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Friday, November 12, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! TGIF! And because it is Friday... here are some AWESOME ~*Friday Finishes*~...

Theresa (no blog) stitched up the ~*Thankful*~ freebie... and said this was her first sampler piece. It is so beautiful! The variegated threads are wonderful! Theresa stained her finished pinkeep with Kiwi shoe polish and then lightly sprayed it with a clear matte finish. I've used Kiwi on my wood projects, but it never dawned on me to use it on my fabric finishes. How interesting and unique!

Cindy stitched up the ~*School Girl Pocket*~... so sweet! She does amazing works too. This one will be for sale at the Randolph Mercantile, in Moberly, MO. I wish I could take a road trip to visit that shop!

And now some ~*Simplify*~ freebie finishes...

Danielle stitched using Crescent Colours Finley Gold and GAST Cherry Wine for the bird and a dark brown DMC for the word. The added buttons are just so cute! She made this into a really nice wall hanging.

Lori stitched using the floss colors I suggested on linen... she too loves the blue and brown combo. She also added some simple patches... perfect touches of 'olde'. The blue is a scrap of antique fabric from her collection. Lori will be offering this, and many other fine works, on her picturetrail update next week. Here is the back...

I finally stole a few crafty minutes last night to take time to stuff mine up. This one will be in the mail today & hopefully will arrive on time for my sister's birthday. I kept it very simple... just something for her to tuck on a shelf or maybe place near a candle... that she always seems to have light.

Wishing you all a great weekend full of many warm smiles...


Thursday, November 11, 2010

~*Veterans Day*~ 2010

A time of remembrance and thankfulness... for all those that have served, fought, and sacrificed for us... and for those that continue to fight for us now.

I offer my most sincere and heartfelt... Thank You...

The parade this morning was very nice. It is so touching to so many folks come out to honor our soldiers, to hear the patriotic music, to see the flags and colorful decorations... and to hear the crowd applaud as soldiers, old and young, pass by. My eyes swell up and a tear or too (sometimes several) roll down my cheek as I think about all those sacrifices... and lives lost for our country... for us.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

~*New ~Christmas Sampler~ Release*~

Hello Dear Friends! I'm pleased to announce my latest release... ~*Christmas Sampler*~ ...

That extra hour from Daylight Savings really came in useful for me & I've taken full advantage of every available minute. Most of my weekend was spent working next door on the studio... but I did get the final stitches in the sampler... framed it... and worked on putting the pattern together.

The pattern is available from me via email or my Etsy account (link on the sidebar)... or will soon be available at your local needlework shop.

The pattern is 151 by 130 stitches. The model was stitched on Weeks Dye Works 35 ct Straw Linen with threads by The Gentle Art. The frame is courtesty of East Side Mouldings.

Thank you for letting me share.

Wishing you the warmest of smiles...


Saturday, November 6, 2010

~*Studio Update*~

Happy Weekend to you my Dear Friends! For those of you that have voted in my fabric poll ~ Thank you. I was really curious to see what is the most popular fabric count... and it looks like, so far, that 32 is the favorite of choice. If you haven't voted yet, please do. And thank you kindly!

We are continuing to work next door on the studio. Thankfully we have had and are still predicted to have nice weather here. There isn't any heat over there yet, but with the warmer temperatures... it has been comfortable working. Here are some pictures just taken this morning. You may not think much has changed since the last update ~ but really it has. All the woodwork, including the floor is sanded in one room. I did attempt to use chemical stripper to remove the paint off the trim work... but have since put it aside and found that if you use the RIGHT sandpaper, work is easier. I stopped by the hardware store the other day and found a 60 grit, open coat paper specifically made for stripping paint while sanding. It is nice to learn something new!

Here is how the woodwork in that room looks now ~ ready for primer...

Before I can do any primer work though... there are some holes to patch up in the plaster. Ouch! Someone opened the old door too far!

Here is the sanded room... ready for plaster patch... then primer...

I took time this morning to vacuum up the dust & move the tools out of this room and into the room that will later be torn down. Now we have lots of room to work without tripping over something... except maybe the tangled mess of electrical cords. They, however, will be vanishing this weekend. My wonderful hubby, Tony, just headed next door to finish up the electrical work. YIPPEE!

This room will be sanded after he is finished running the conduit and wires. I can't be stirring up dust while he is busy...

Well, I better be headed next door to help where I can.

Wishing you all a great weekend full of warm smiles...


Friday, November 5, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! Friday has rolled around again... and again it is so great! Maybe some of you can relate... but I truly LOVE Daylight Savings in the Fall. For me, I do not like getting up when it is still dark outside... and knowing, that come Sunday, I'll get an extra hour of sleep ~ is so refreshing! Yup, I'm thinking like a teenager knowing that I can sleep longer... when I should be thinking like a Mom knowing that I can get an hour ahead of the daily schedule. But HEY... I'm just going to enjoy that extra hour dreaming!

Anyway... let me get on to some ~*Friday Finishes*~. Once again, there are some beauties to share!

Faye beat me to the finish! She has already stitched up and finished the ~*Simplify*~ freebie offered just the other day. (Mine is stitched, but not constructed into the cupboard hanger yet. I'm hoping to find some finish time later tonight... maybe I should rethink that extra hour over the weekend, huh?) Did Faye do an amazing job or what!? The pins, the lace, and the cotton are just so sweet! This one is an instant finish of 'vintage charm'... oh so beautiful! Thank you, Faye, for stitching and sharing!

There are also some ~*Wicked Notions*~ to share...

From Missy Ann...

Missy gave this away on her Halloween blog~ How cool! She stitched with threads she had on hand and the fabric she used may have been from Picture This Plus, but she wasn't for sure. She machine sewed the black wool pocket on the inside. The black fabric is
cotton with leaf print, more wool on the hinge & vintage buttons. (Her husband bought for her a gallon size jar full at an auction... what a special gift! :) ) Inside she embellished with black oxide safety pins (She also use one to hold the
book closed) and used them to hold thread & buttons inside. She also added some pins she dressed up with beads ~ check out those skeleton heads! How COOL!

Missy expressed excitement for stitching this one & said it worked up quickly. (I like hearing that!) She also mentioned that she used fusible cotton batting to save a step. I didn't even realize there was such a thing on the market! Guess I'll have to check that out! Thank you Missy Ann!

Pat (no blog) sent me a really cool finish of her ~*Wicked Notions*~ showing a video of her book with a cute Halloween clip art border... but I didn't know how to share it. I enjoyed seeing the video & wish I could have shared that with you... but she did send along a few photos. Wickedly wonderful it is! Thank you for sharing, Pat!

Well... time for me to head next door for more sanding. Pppffhhhh... maybe I'll get to start some primer over there next week. Oh... and before I go... the frame for the ~*Christmas Sampler*~ arrived the day before yesterday. Wish any luck ~ I'll be able to share this one with you on Monday... for release!

Wishing you warm smiles...