Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have truly been blessed.

"Tell the Lord how thankful you are,
because He is kind and always merciful."
Psalm 118:1

I have truly been blessed with generous gifts from the blogging world. I am truly thankful not only for the gifts but the wonderful comments.

First I will show you the wonderful package I received in the Winter Wonderland Exchange. Tricia - The Stamper's Stitching sent me the most wonderful package.

Just receiving this box in the mail put a smile on my face.

Inside was all these beautiful wrapped gifts with the most wonderful handmade card.

Just look at all the fun and wonderful stuff I received. Tricia also included three extra handmade cards for me to send out. Two have already gone out to special people. I can't wait to add the pattern to my list of must do's this year. Can you see she also sent me a pair of scissors, you know my saying "A girl can't have too many scissors".

Her stitched pillow is just the cutiest. Love that it is in the pink tones.

Here is what I sent to Jennifer - Crafty Inaginings by Jen.

This last week I received a few surprise packages in the mail. All I can say is they came at a time I needed an extra cheering up.

First came this package from Ann (no blog). I sent to her in the Authum exchange. The threads are so lovely with a small gold thread in them. I will have to find something special to stitch when I use them. Love the heart buttons made out of shells. Thank you so much Ann.

Cucki - Cucki Stitching Cove sent this cheery envelope with a fun frame and some cute cards. I will have to find something special to stitch to put in the frame. Thank you Cucki.

If all that wasn't enough Belinda - Samplings from a Blue Ribbon Girl surprised me with this wonderful gift. I saw the beautiful snowflakes on her blog and never dreamed I would recieve one. They are even more beautiful in person. Look at the fun pin cushion she made and stuck in some fun pins. There was a lot more candies in the bag but they needed to be tested right away. She is so creative with all her scrapes of material.  Thank you Belinda for brighting my day.

Back in the summer when I had emailed Lainey I told her about a delicious treat I had in Scotland. She graciouly sent me the recipe but it was way too hot to do any baking. I did manage to make a couple of batches this week and they are wonderul. It is a shortbread bottom, a layer of homemade caramel and then topped off with chocolate. Boy do they bring back memories of my trip to Scotland.

I don't like ending on such a sad note but the reason these gifts all came as such a time when I needed it most is my SIL. I have told you she had been very ill. On Saturday she left of to be with the Lord and is no longer in pain. So many of you have sent me your prayers and I thank you so much. Please keep her family in your prayers.

This picture was taken on Easter Sunday just days after she was diagnosed with cancer. She was only 51 years old and leaves behind her husband and two daughters, ages 22 and 10.

Remember the reason we are celebrating his holiday season with the birth of Savior.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Joy of Family and Friends

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of one's friend springs
from his earnest counsel."
Proverbs 27:9

Over the summer I mentioned I was looking for a pattern to make favors. You helped me find the pattern but it was in a old magazine I couldn't find but it lead to an even better pattern. I wanted to make favors for my table guests at our annual church "Women's Tea". Each year we hold a tea where different people host a table and the church provides the food. Each host is in charge of decorating her table any way she wants to. We have about 25 tables and what joy it is just to see how each are decorated. Every year I host a table of ten for family and friends. I plan my theme all year.  I like to stitch an item for my guests to take home as a reminder of our wonderful time together. Last year at this time I found plates and mugs that  either said Joy, Hope or Peace on them. I knew that would be my theme.

I decided to make scissor fobs this year and this was the pattern that I used. Here are my nine fobs. You can't tell but the red in the trees is beads. Each one went into a bag that also contained a box of tea and some sweet treats. Most of the ladies at my table do some kind of craft so I thought who can't use a pair of scissors.

Here is my table. The sugar cookie at each plate was their name tag to show where they would sit.

One of the guests at my table brought everyone a sleigh she made out of a square plastic cup she glued candy canes to to make a sleigh and then filled them with candies. She didn't even know my center piece was a sleigh filled with flowers.

What a wonderful time I had being with family and friends enjoying a cup or two of tea. This is one of favorite traditions I take part in each year. This is about the time I look around to see what I might use as my theme next year.

I hope everyone is enjoying this season of remembering the birth of our Savior.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Long Over Due Hello !

"To us, family means putting your arms
around each other and being there."
Barbara Bush

A very long over due "HELLO" to everyone. I am usually very busy this time of year but throw a very sick family member and it seems like I am taking 2 steps back for every step I take. I am sorry I have not been reading as many blogs as I would like. When I started mine I had such great plans to change my blog to match every season. Well I am sorry to say that too has been put on the back burner. I will had that to my new year's list.

Thanksgiving weekend brought back many memories of when my children were growing up. I am not saying happy memories but memories. With my SIL's illness I went and got my niece for the weekend.  Well when I got her I also knew she had a science project due and to help out the family I said I would help her get it done. I really don't miss school projects. I called my teacher daughter and on Saturday we spent the whole day learning about the planet Venus.  We were able to sent her home with a finished report.

In November I got a nice card from my blog pen pal. It did really make my day to get a card. I can't wait until I find out this month who has been writing to me.

My pen pal already received my December package and now knows it was me writing to her. I had Michelle, "Mouse" at Tales of a Stitching Mouse. I sent her a little Christmas package that included this tote bag I made. I found the material on my retreat to New Hampshire and I knew just who to sent it to. I included a Christmas Mouse made with beads. I gave her a magnet and pin back and let her decide how she wanted it finished.

My mom's three granddaughter each have a different color hair, red, blond and dark brown. When I saw this pattern where the angels had their color hair I knew this was a piece to stitch for my mom.

The only other stitching I have managed to get done was for an exchange. We are not able to post pictures yet. I have received mine and I will say I was so spoiled.  Her kindness actually brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you all for hanging in there. I will try my best to get back to blog reading.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Surprise Thank You !

"You have put more joy in my heart than they
have when their grain and wine abound."
Psalm 4:7

All of your comments have been such a joy to read. I really appreciate all of them.  While I was on my journey posting about my trip it was comforting knowing you were all traveling along with me. While I was at the retreat I was fortunate to receive so many goodies, from threads, patterns and fun accessories. I would like to share some of my travel treasures with a couple of my loyal followers as a way of saying "Thank You".  I numbered all of my journey comments and used the random generator to help me pick out a couple of numbers.

My first place winner is : Catherine from Bramblewood Stitches.

My second place winner is : Cucki from Cucki Stitching Cove.

Both of these ladies are such loyal followers and it is my pleasure to send them a little thank you. Please email me your address and I will get a surprise package out to you.

"Kindness is the sunshine
in which virtue grows."
Robert Green Ingersoll

Always keep love in your stitches,

PS: Please keep my SIL Cindy in your prayers. Hospice has now moved in and I am not sure how much time we now have left.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finish, Field Trip and a Fun Package !

"Good humor is one of the best articles
of dress one can wear in society."
William Makepeace Thackgray

I think I am finally getting my normal quiet life back. My son left on Monday after a almost 4 week visit. It was really nice having him home. He did take up residence in my guest / stitching room. Since I returned from the retreat I have not been able to unpack my treasures and really sort them out. With him in the room and me going back and forth to SIL's they had to take the back burner. Now I am having fun going through it all and seeing just how much stash I managed to fit in my suitcase.

I have been able to finish the project from the first class. Belinda from Blue Ribbon Designs taught the class the cutest little shaker chair. You might remember in one of my retreat posts just how small this chair is.

Here is what Belinda's chair looked like:

After changing a few of the colors and going with my favorite pink theme, here is my finished chair:

I am super excited to tell you about a field trip I took this week. We have a new store that is only 24.7 miles from my house.

That's right we now have Hobby Lobby in California. I went to my mom's and loaded up her and her scooter and off we went. It was my mom's first time in a Hobby Lobby. We had the best time. She rode up and down every aisle. I think we were in there 2 hours. It is the first time I have been in one and didn't have to think, will this fit in the suitcase or is there any more room in the car for me to take this home.

One of my purchases was this ornament tree. I thought it would be a great size to hang some fobs or humbugs from. Even cuter at 50% off.

Right now it is sitting next to a fun little sewing machine lamp I got in New Hampshire. To bring it home in my carry on I got it without the shade. I just purchased the shade and it is part of my retreat unpacking. The quilt that is hanging in the background we found while cleaning out my grandmother's house. It was one of the first ones she made. There is lots of holes where the stuffing is coming out but I think it is my favorite. She really did make some beautiful quilts.

Today I got a fun package in the mail. I won a give away from Karen - Sew Much 2 Luv. I won the cutest apron. My daughter loves aprons and I can't wait to give it to her. Karen surprised me by adding a LHN pattern in the package. It is :"All Dolled Up". Can you believe I don't have this one.

Karen even has this cute little labels that say "Sew Much 2 luv". I thought her picture of the apron was much better than mine so I borrowed it off her blog.

Thank you so much Karen, it is just beautiful.

I am going to have a surprise announcement in a couple of days so keep posted.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm still here!

"Kindness, I've discovered,
is everything in life."
Isaac Bashevis Singer

I am still here I haven't gone missing. Right after I got back from the retreat I had to go do a family favor. My husband's sister has cancer and was told if she wanted to go anywhere or do it now is the time. She has always wanted to see Italy.  She also has a 10 year old daughter. So why they went on a trip I stayed at their house and got my niece to bed each night and off to school in the morning. They live about 18 miles away but if I stayed here to take her to school would be right in the direction of traffic in the morning and that 18 miles would take us forever. While there also discovered sort of a hoarding problem so I spent most of my days cleaning my niece's room so she could find the floor. I was also busy at night helping with 5th grade fractions. It has been way too many years since I have helped with homework.  My SIL's trip was cut a bit short due to her illness and has since been hospitalized.  Please keep her in your prayers.

In the middle of all this my son is also home on leave and I have been trying to spend some time with him. Hopefully I can get back to regular blogging soon. I really miss it.

Meantime I have been lucky to receive this wonderful give away from Shannon at "A bit of this and that".

I am sorry to say I did not have time to stitch up these fun Halloween patterns this year, but look forward to stitching them next year. Thank you so much Shannon.

I participated again in "The Stitched With Love" exchange.  I sent my package to Ann in England, she does not have a blog.

I received a wonderful fun package from Pirjo, Finland. Her blog is

Look at all the fun goodies. I just love the fall leave fabric. It so reminds me of my retreat trip to New Hampshire. There is a beautiful piece of hand dyed linen with matching beads and thread along with some pins. I just love LHN patterns and the one she sent is not one that I already have.

The little pillow that she stitched is the cutest ever. I love the little man trying to pick up the big pumpkin.  Thank you so much Pirjo for the wonderful package.

Meantime I am starting to work on my piece for the next exchange. I hope to post my retreat project  this week. I did manage to finish one of them. Sorry it has been so long since I posted.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back to the real world!

"Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I
remember and remember more then I have seen."
Benjamin Disraeli

What a fun time I had on my last day of the trip. I got to not only meet a fellow blogger but got to join in on her stitching group. Deborah from Cranberry Sampler commented on my blog that I was near where she lived when I was by Plymouth Rock. I emailed her back and said I didn't really have any real plans for the last day of my trip. I heard it was her stitching group day so I was invited to join them.

This building use to be the towns library. When they built a new one this one was turned into a coffee/sandwich shop. How fun it would be to stitch here every week. For lunch I had the most delicious chicken salad wrap, it had cranberries and walnuts.

This church and building were across the street. I just love these small New England cities.

This is Deborah and her stitching friends. Two had to leave early.

Thank you so much for letting join your little group even if it was for just a day.
You all made me feel so welcome.

After the group it was time for me to leave all the beautiful fall colors.

It was a rainy ride back to the airport to turn in the rental car. I tried to get everything out of car and not get too wet. I loaded into the shuttle and headed for the airport. When I checked in I discovered my luggage was almost 5 pounds over. I was quickly pulling out fat quarters and stuffing them in my carry on and pulling out my big sweatshirt. After I got it down to 50 pounds I checked in and went to security. Just as I was going through I remembered my ghost scissors were still in my carry on. Made it OK, they didn't take them away. I spent my last couple of hours stitching away at the airport.

When I arrived back in Los Angeles (at 11:00 pm  which was 2:00 am my body time) I was not only greeted by my husband but my son came home on leave from Grand Forks, North Dakota. He arrived about a hour before I did. His plane was early and mine was late.

Now the fun part of unpacking and trying to find a place for all the new stash. I had a wonderful time seeing new places, getting together with old and new friends with a bonus of stitching, stitching and more stitching.
I just finished one of the projects from the retreat and will post pictures soon.

Thank you to everyone who followed me on this journey and left such wonderful comments. I enjoyed reading them all. Now I need to get caught on my blog reading.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stitching Friends

"We may run, walk, stumble, drive or fly,
but let us never lose sight of the reason
for the journey, or miss a chance to see
a rainbow on the way."
Arthur Unknown

My journey is almost to it's end. I cannot tell you what a wonderful time this as been. Not just in stitching two new projects, or visiting so many exciting places but in the stitching friends I go home with.

Here is a picture of our room at the Shaker House. It is a very simple room with no TV or fancies. It was very peaceful and inviting.

Last year when I attended the retreat I was so excited to meet Nataly because I had been following her blog Nataly's Needle Creation. She was back again this year being our wonderful hostess. She did a fantastic job spoiling us to no end. A "BIG" thank you Nataly for all your hard work.

Last year I met Pam - Confessions of a Southern Stitcher. We became friends and email each other just about every day. It was so wonderful to see her again in person and spend some great quality time together.

Pam, Nataly and myself

What a treat it was to meet Carol - Stitching 'n Stashing. She is a follower of mine.
 She is brand new to blogging

This is sisters Sue and Dawn from New York.
They are stalkers of my blog but don't have a blog themselves.

This is Lesley and Patricia from Maine. We met them last year at the retreat.
They are both new stalkers to my blog.

These four girls really made the retreat fun. They flew in from Australia to attend the retreat.
Janette, Sonia, Maralyn & Kathy.  Pam and I spent our free day with them and learned so many new
Aussie sayings.

We left the retreat with so many new stitching friends. Yesterday Pam and I spent the day driving around New Hampshire and filling up all those last few inches we had left in our suitcases. Tomorrow I am meeting a fellow blogger Deborah - Cranberry Sampling. I have been invited to join their stitching group. That should keep me out of trouble and not buying anything else until I fly home tomorrow night.

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments and following me on this journey.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Almost Over

"Why I'd like nothing better than to achieve some
bold adventure worthy of our trip."

Today was our last day stitching. We have been working on a piece taught by Thea of Victoria Sampler.
It is a shaker style wooden spindle with a pin cushion on top and hanging from it a needlebook, strawberry cushion and a bee's wax heart.

In the afternoon we had another trip to the ABC Stitch shop. I only got a piece of linen and some threads this time around. We again enjoyed a wonderful selection of treats with tea.

The next two pictures are what was in our goodie bags on Saturday and Sunday night.

They really have spoiled us with the special little extras the entire time. The food has been just wonderful. Last night was steak and shrimp and tonight was turkey and ham. We have not been hungry the entire time.
Tonight was spent doing a little packing. Tomorrow we tell everyone good bye. Pam and I will spend the day seeing New Hampshire and then on Tuesday  I take her back to Boston to fly home that evening and I leave on Wednesday evening. We have had so much fun it is hard to believe it is starting to come to an end.

Thank you again for all the wonderful comments. I will get back into blog reading when I return home. It just seems like we stay up late talking and stitching and I haven't read as many as I would like. Will let you know where our travels take us tomorrow.

Always keep love in your stitches,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shopping anyone!

"The quickest way to know a woman
is to go shopping with her."
Marceiene Cox

What do you get when you load up a mini van with 4 Aussie's, 1 Alabama, and 1 California girl and head of shopping? You really get a fun field day. With our free day between retreats we decided to take a drive and go shopping. Our first stop was the King Arthur Flour shop in Vermont. Great place with all kinds of cooking stuff. Next we headed off for a nice country drive. The leaves are just about peak and they were gorgeous. Our only problem it was raining all day yesterday, but that didn't stop us. Some of the girls is really into quilting and we found a small really nice one on our way to Center Harbor to the Keepsake Quilting. The Keepsake one was actually so big that I liked the small family run one better. After that stop was lunch and back on the rainy road. We were about 60 miles back to the shop but made another stop on the way back to a Hobby Lobby. We got back around 6:30 just in time for the welcome reception for the next class.
Our first class had 14 and 12 stayed for the next one. This class has 27 in it. Later that night we headed for our room to find another goodie bag.

This morning we came down to the stitching room to find it all ready for another class.

I will get some pictures tomorrow of our class and the teacher.

Some have been asking what stash I have purchased on the trip. Before I show you the next picture you must first promise not to call my husband. Do you promise? OK great, here is a picture taken in the corner of our room.

Yes, everything on the table I got here. Now you see why I said don't tell my husband. Need a better look?

With the gift card I won from Carol - The Polka Dot Chicken I got the gold scissors and the mother of pearl small ruler. Thank you so much Carol. No I do not know when I will find the time to stitch all these patterns.

They have a gift shop here at the Shaker House. I purchased this basket. The small little basket will look nice next to my shaker chair.

Thank you so much for all your kind words about my journey. Coming back to the room at night your comments have been very comforting. I wish I could have taken you all with me. It was very exciting last night when the new guests arrived, one lady came up to me and said I follow your blog. What a pleasant surprise to meet a follower in person. She is brand new to blogging and I will get her blog and tell you next time. I can barely keep my eyes open and we have another busy day stitching tomorrow.

Always keep love in your stitches,