Tuesday, September 6, 2016

playing catch up

Where do I begin? So much to tell since I last posted about anything. Life has been full of ups and downs, but I am grateful for every turn. As I get back into the grove of blogging, and it is my desire to do so, I'll update on my life, my kids, adventures, those mundane things we chuckle about, and of course, cross stitching and crafts we so delve into that relieve our stresses (for the most part).

First thing I noticed since hopping back on Blogger are the changes that have been made to the format and the added options. This will take some getting used to.

Talk soon!

Thursday, December 17, 2015


The last time I posted on my blog was January 2012! I think I have forgotten how to blog in its entirety. I'm having to navigate through Blogger just to become familiarized with how it's set up. All over again. Not only has Blogger changed, but so has life. From time to time, I venture on my blog and visit all the people I came to acquaint myself with through the eye of the needle. Boy have I missed all of you! I've missed your families. Your inspiring chats and your beautiful needle art. Your children have grown so much. People have moved. Changed jobs. Interests have evolved.
I digress! Alas... I have rejoined Blogger and am starting to dive back into the craft. I don't think I'll post as aggressively as I once did, but I certainly want to capture the essence of stitching, sharing, and chatting with all the amazing stitching enthusiasts around the world. I guess I've missed the common fellowship I once enjoyed, but have drifted away from over the years. I do hope that everyone will remember me and my blog as much as I remember all of you.

Talk soon ~ Julie

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Unfortunately, I don't have any stitching to share. I'm still trying to locate my decrepit mojo. I'm hoping today will be the day. I had a chance to stitch with all my wonderful stitching buddies this past weekend, but I opted for football and no stitching. I did miss all those ladies and the food. However, I do get to "live" with two of my most precious friends this upcoming weekend. Sally and Susan (no blogs); along with mom.

Every January mom, myself, Sally and Susan travel down to St. Augustine, FL for a Susan Greening Davis stitching getaway at the beach. Literally, AT THE BEACH. We always have a fun-filled weekend, good food, and score lots of goodies. I won't be scoring too many goodies this trip. Just a nice time away from home with great friends, the best mom and the talented Susan Greening Davis.

This year's project is so cute. I cannot wait to see it in person. I hope I'm bringing a suitcase big enough to bring it back in. Click on the link below to see a photo from SGD's website.

That's it for now. I leave Friday morning so I must be shoving off. Have lots to prepare in the next couple days for a 4-day extravaganza. Yay!

Talk soon...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

thy hancock and winter abound

Went by my LNS this afternoon. They were holding a couple charts and some thread AND I made my mind up on which fabric to use for the Elizabeth Hancock sampler by LHN. I joined the SAL for 2012 (see sidebar photo), thanks to Vonna.

The design calls for 30 ct Straw by WDW, but I'm opting for 30 ct Cocoa. It's very similar and just as pretty. I almost went with a 28 ct Harvest Blend linen, but digressed. I'm happy with my final choice of Cocoa. Unfortunately, only some of the silks were in for me to purchase today. The rest are on the way. I believe I could start this with what I have. I'll have a look see.

The other chart is none other than Blackbird's Loose Feather Winter design. I have the other two and am almost done stitching Summer. Ahh, so pretty, indeed.

Then I saw this out my window...
Oh-man! That white crap crud stuff. I hate snow. Tomorrow hasn't even presented itself and school is already declaring a snow day. Good grief! Talk soon... :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

mrs. rodgers' neighborhood...part 2

2011 has been one of those years. Let's just say I'm glad Christmas is over, seasonal items put away, and the new year has started. I do hope 2012 proves to be more productive and promising. Here's what did happen in 2011...

I had to start Loose Feathers - Summer by Blackbird Designs. It was like a dirty little drug calling my name...a good drug though, as I'm sure everyone can agree.

This is truly embarrassing, folks. I started stitching Trees by The Workbasket in 2008 while visiting Keepsakes in Ohio with my mom and aunt. I bought the chart, the called-for WDW threads, and some beautiful, to-die-for Lakeside Linen fabric. But this was sleeping for sometime before I "remembered" I still had it tucked away. This is the calateral damage when starting too many projects at once. It's a sickness, I suppose, and I suffer in a big way!

One loooooong q-snap, I'll tell you. But it's proving to work wonderfully with this design.
I'm sorry, but he's the cutest fox I've ever stitched. He looks like he's in mid-flight, but I assure you he's not on steroids. He's standing on some other forest friend. I promise. Maybe he or she will be lucky enough to make this year's stitching agenda. That's if I come up with one.  
This poor guy. Notice he borrowed Frankenstein's shoes so he could tread better through the trees? I stitched him 1-row too high and wasn't about to rippit out (I'd rather croak). I didn't notice his height difference until after I woke this design and started to stitch on it again. We borrowed extra shoes for him and I must admit, he doesn't look all that bad. He looks like a bad ass. I wouldn't mess with him if I crossed him through the trees.

Towards the end of the year I was visiting primitivebettys blog and was taken with Deaver Daughter's Schoolhouse Sampler. Had to have it. The concept of one large sampler embodied with two mini samplers really caught my eye. Betty's story of the sisters really inspired me to stitch this with my mom and her sister (my Aunt Pam) in mind. The focus color is blue which is my favorite color. I was hooked, but imagining two sisters diligently stitching on their very own mini sampler on the same cloth to combine one large design. Very cool! I'm sorry I'm not further along.
I have forgotten the fabric I'm using. I know I changed the count because I want this design to be substantial when finished. I stuck with the called-for threads because...
the colors are rich, deep, and Dungaree is a fabulous primitive blue.
Again, I can't remember the fabric blend or count. I'll soon get this back out too. I went for the mottled look for aging purposes, obviously.

Aunt Pam and I call this one ATS (pronounce "ats") because anytime we talk about it we don't want to keep referring to it as And They Sinned. You know that humungous, most beautiful, will-take-an-individual-longer-than-a-lifetime-to-complete design by Examplars From The Heart? Yeah, that's the one. Saying And They Sinned in a sentence sounds lengthy and because of "And" it's just plain weird to add to any type of sentence. Therefore, we say ATS - it works, and we know we're weird for it.
Such a cute little Cherub. I read that Cherubs were known to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden. Makes sense with this design.
The color purple is a calming color. The stars next to her appear to be off center. I will add, that this entire design has mistakes so if this design is in your to-do basket there are corrections you can acquire, but make sure you check the instructions every so often. I feel as if I'll be checking and re-checking the instructions and corrections sheet as I go along. The border cannot be stitched first because of mistakes and by keeping the border and inner design together, you'll make fewer mistakes. At least that's what I have found.
Another Cherub and a snake. Who doesn't like to stitch up a snake? There are two on each side atop and I must admit, even though these snakes aren't very nice, they were awfully quick and fun to stitch.
I have a little more than this done. There's a gorgeous sun and bird in the lower left hand corner peeking from the cloud. Oh! And that cloud...it was hell stitching that thing. Aunt Pam and I are thrilled to be done stitching THAT cloud. It's actually two different colors, but you almost can't tell. My aunt and I are having a long distance SAL. We're using two different count fabrics, but we are sticking with the color palatte.

I stitched two gifts for two special people this year. Both were for Christmas. I believe they were well received and much appreciated.
This was my first Brittercup Design and I truly enjoyed crossing every x. When I saw Stealing Oats I knew who I had to stitch it for. Her name is Devinee and she's a wonderful 12-year old girl I've grown quite fond of and close to over the years. She is the daughter I'll never have.
She loves horses and cats. She shares the love of horses with her mother and the cat, for me, represents Devinee. Hence stealing oats from the horse :-) That Devinee sure is a goober.
You can't tell, but the frame has traces of a subtle red hue which reminded me of a barn nestled in the countryside. The dark wood also matches furniture in Devinee's room.
Here it is in all its glory. I used a Vintage Country linen. It has a slight over-dyed appearance which goes well with the weathered barn/country look. Devinee was surprised and does appreciate my hard work. I'm glad I was able to stitch her something as she does see me stitch for myself and others.
My next gift was for my mother. I actually started and finished stitching this last year. Which translates to 2010. Egads! It wasn't intentional by any means. I had no idea how I was going to finish-finish it during the stitching. I only decided, or rather made up my mind, on how is was to be finished. I wanted something extra special so my project began...and it took awhile, but mom was pleasantly surprised, therefore, job well done.
Of course, we can all tell which designer this is. Little House Needleworks, of course! It's dainty and sweet from the Little Women Virtues Series "Strong and Beautiful" which my mom truly is - no lie. I added the Made with Love charm. I thought it cute for the little lady to hold something rather than nothing :-)
It was a pleasure using Belle Soie silks in colors as lovely as My Mom.
Mom would never presume she's strong, and she may think she's beautiful, but not nearly the way her daughter does. Mom is the most enfluential person in my life. Past. Present. And Future. Pretty is as pretty does. I've been witness to some of mom's toughest times and she comes out on top, always. That's a person I need in my life and I'm thankful to God for her.
I finished it into a box. I added lace I purchased in Florida while on a stitching retreat with mom and friends that originally came from Germany. It works perfectly, including how the scalloped edge of the lace matches the top border of the design. I didn't plan that. It just worked out that way.
I bought the unfinished box at Joann's. I think it cost a mere $3. I bought stain and varnish and went to work. I even managed not to get stain or varnish on the gold clasps. So proud of myself for that - toot toot!
Went through my fabric stash and found some that matched perfectly to the design. Again, it was meant to be! I measured, used my rotary cutter for precision, and used Mod Podge to adhere the fabric to the inside of the box.
I also padded the bottom with felt and then with the fabric. I completed the box with matching necessaires inside. My only complaint is that no matter how much time went by the lid felt tacky. It had weeks to dry so I'm not sure what the deal was. Doesn't matter. Mom truly loves it and I love her.

I do apologize for not remembering fabric choices and counts. I've lost a bit, if not all, of my mojo since the year started. I haven't stitched a lick. Aside from stitching in 2011, both boys have grown, naturally. Jose's got more of an attitude and has a strong set of friends. He had surgery too (and unfortunately not on his attitude). Cameron had major dental work done which proved costly and painful. But Cameron is still sweet, 4 years old, and very imaginative.
Went to Ohio for Thanksgiving, and my parents have retired. Except dad has started a new part-time job hosting a morning radio station show 3 times a week. This should be interesting!

A very special someone gifted me a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and man, am I ADDICTED!!! So is Cameron. It's the best Christmas gift I ever received aside from when I was 8 and dad got me an ATARI. Back then, we didn't have a lot of money so I understand now what it took. But that day, dad hooked it up to a suitable TV and played Tennis with me all afternoon. Twenty-plus years later, I'm given a gift in the same capacity and I'm in love.
This thing is amazing! I'm on it everyday. The only things it doesn't do is 'ring-a-ling-ling' and brew coffee. Other than those two things, there isn't anything this Fire cannot do. Thank you, RAD!

So, goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. I don't make resolutions because I'm not committed enough to keep them. I usually stray. Change is too inevitable. But I sure hope I get a job soon bc we're struggling. I want my children to be happy. I want my parents to feel at peace for the rest of their lives. I want my brother to be productive and healthy. I want RAD to continue having success and good fortune. And I want Mr. Rodgers to win the Superbowl!!!
Thanks for taking a walk through Mrs. Rodgers's neighborhood - Go Green Bay! Talk soon!

Friday, December 16, 2011

*love & peace*

Talk soon...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

mrs. rodgers neighborhood...part 1

Tree trimming is complete! I use a pre lit, artificial tree. I once had a nice 7-foot tree, but it was "mistakenly" put out with the trash some years ago. However, when Cameron was born and able to walk, I bought a 4-foot tree (seen below). I decided to put it on a table that continues to work well for us. I store this and all holiday decorations in the attic, but this year was more, shall we say, trying than years before.  
I believe something or someone was looking over me. While getting the boxes down I fell from the attic. I was on the 4th step from the top and just went backward. Landed on my knee. I was a cross between the bionic woman and some sort of stunt person with a little bit of grace to boot. I managed to do a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kind of move and turn in mid-air; hence landing on just my knee instead of my back or neck. Did I mention I fell on concrete? Uh, yeah. All I got was a knot and a bruise, believe it or not. I did stay out of the attic the rest of the day and asked for help later on.  
On top of this little chaotic event, more than half my lights didn’t work and I wasn’t about to test every single teeny tiny light bulb! No. No. No. Instead, I just went to Dollar General and bought a strand of white lights and VIOLA! I’m satisfied. This little tree will be purposely put into the trash this year.

Moving along…
Mom and I celebrated our birthdays on the 10th and 11th. Saturday, we had a really nice time with our friends, Sally and Susan, as we always do. We were invited to Sally’s beautiful home for lunch, gift exchanging (for our friendly Christmas exchange too) and some stitching; although we didn’t get to stitch an inch. We did rummage through Sally’s stash, though ;-)
I received these gifts from both my girls. Isn’t that Jane Austen thread keep just to die for?! And we can always use more scissors! Sally stitched this darling little JBW stocking for me and it adorns my tree as we speak. I just love handmade gifts, don’t you? Thank you, Sally and Susan, for being so good to me. I love you both so much!

Hold onto your needles gals…
This is what my mother gave me for my birthday.

This is just the top! Check out the quilting of the spools of thread and needles all around my name. This quilting is done inside and out. The background fabric is a sampler style. It looks like it could be Moda or Blackbird, but mom wasn’t sure. Even I'm not really sure, and I don't really care. She had it made for me. It’s really very pretty.

The trip inside is even better…
Five pockets are crochet serving a purpose for a ruler, scissors (with a built-in magnet), a thread keep (maybe Jane Austen will fit cozily inside), a pencil, and a dainty little cube for Thread Heaven. But of course, the mind is a crazy place and I can designate these cozy nooks for anything I like. I love that it has one massive place for “my project” and the separate areas for all other necessaries. This is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Thank you, Mom!

Sunday was my birthday and I spent it with my parents…
Mom is so funny. She stopped by her local store and saw this cute little elf cake and knew that it was for me.
Like Paulette, I took some photos at my parent’s house. There is just something about mom’s house during winter that just feels like, well, home. I messed played with my photos a bit. Mom really likes nativity scenes. I only took a few photos of two of them. She has a few more scattered around the house that I didn’t capture.
I really played with this next photo. My parents have very high ceilings and mom has Grandma's sleigh on a window ledge far out of reach. Grandma made this Santa and his sleigh of reindeer many, many years ago. She could create anything and was a queen when it came to plastic canvas and yarn, which were the used materials. I thought it would look neat to add snow...so I did.
Later on Saturday night we all met up for our birthday dinner. Hibachi style. And dad had one more gift up his sleeve for me...
Did you think I was kidding about Mrs. Rodgers neighborhood?!?! Nah! I really meant it :-). And you can start calling me that from now on, please..................(j/k).

To be continued...

Monday, December 12, 2011


And I don’t mean the band. My last, significant post was May 9. Seven months ago. A week hasn’t gone by that I haven’t thought about making a journal entry. A wise woman recently said to me, “Blogging is a luxury and we have to be in the right frame of mind to do it or there isn't any fun in it.” And I agree with that. Sharon is so right.

In May I was let go; other wise, fired from my job. It’s been touch and go since and I’ve only now felt like blogging. I still don’t have a job so times are tough, and with Christmas around the corner I’m not very “merry.” All I want for Christmas is a career. Can Santa help with that?

Jose is now 14 years old and has visited the ER twice since May. Once requiring a visit to the OR; and we have no insurance, but blessed be us. Jose is perfectly fine, health wise. He needs to do better in school and his attitude needs adjusting BIG TIME! I love him with every ounce of my body. He gave me the title “mother.” Being pregnant and unwed at 21 with him saved my life in ways he’ll never understand. But I don’t always like him. I can go from being so unbelievably proud of him one minute and telling that to anyone who will listen, to regretting ever opening my mouth the next. But God love him.

Cameron is 4 years old and has not visited the ER. Cameron has developed such a mature personality and his sense of humor is wicked. He’s extremely independent, creative and determined. He still looks like Curious George and he’s in love with his Papa (my dad). He calls me ‘sweetheart’ a lot. He’s such a hoot and a pleasure to be around, but annoying sometimes because his energy level is full force all day. Oh, and he never stops eating and still maintains a tiny figure. He does NOT get that from me!

I have been stitching and managed to get a couple things finished this summer. I was able to get one piece framed, however. It’s a Christmas gift for someone very special to me. I will post pictures of it in an upcoming entry. I also read more this summer and finished a few books from my Kindle. 

This year has been a tough one in so many areas. I’ve had a lot of blessings too. Lots of changes. I just turned 36 and by far the most difficult job on the planet is parenting. And what’s harder than that…parenting alone. Anyway, this is my humdrum post and promise the next one will be great!

In a rare moment, here is Jose and Cameron getting along. Cameron needed help battling Bowser in Super Mario and asked Jose to assist. Lucky Cameron...Jose said yes.

Talk soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

paging dr. cameron

The other day I picked Cameron up from daycare which followed a visitation with his daddy. After our miss-you hugs, we got into the car and our conversation went so...

Mommy: The kitties are sick, Cameron.
Cameron: What's wrong (concern in voice)?
Mommy: They have colds. The kitties are sneezing and have runny noses. But not Samantha. She's not sick. (She's our oldest cat.)
Cameron: Are they at the doc-dor?
Mommy: No, honey. They're at home.
Cameron: They need cat tissues.

Like I said. Paging Dr. Cameron... Paging Dr. Cameron... You have a telephone call at the front desk.

Talk soon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

meet ms. elizabeth hancock

I was tempted introduced to a new SAL for 2012 started by our infamous Vonna from The Twisted Stitcher. Of course, I joined!
Look at the gorgeous colors, and the verse is beautiful. Diane Williams did a great job with this sampler. So, head over to Vonna's blog, send her an email and sign up. Or if you lack will power go over to Stitching with Elizabeth Hancock blog, just created by Vonna, and get yourself tempted. I did!

Talk soon!