Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Jose sleeping with his faslies

a cute little bunny costume for a pre-Halloween treat
(for mommy's pleasure)

"Nana, I'm going to suck your blood...wha-ha-ha-ha!"

my little Captain Jack

'Death' by 'Pea Pod'

What would I do without my little boys??? This is Cameron's second Halloween and I'm sure there are going to be many, many more treasured Halloween moments to be had in the years to come. I have pictures of Jose as a toddler in costume but they are not on the computer. I'll have DH scan these in and I'll diligently try to upload those tonight. I'll post 2008 Halloween costume photos later this evening. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Trick-or-Treat. Watch out for those crazy irresponsible drivers and those pesky vampires that swoon through the neighborhoods ~ I heard they can really take a bite outta crime (bada-boom-chhh!). Don't eat too much candy or you'll have one of these episodes shortly thereafter...



It’s Halloween! It’s Halloween!

The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can’t be seen
on any other night:

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms.

~Author Unknown~

"Arrgg Mateys!"

Happy Halloween to all! Stay safe and enjoy your children, even the ones coming to your door.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Today I woke with a headache trying to make its way into migraine status. I took my special medication and an hour later, was gone. Cameron and I had a busy day planned so we needed to get movin'. It was nearly 11:00 a.m. by this time. Much too late to begin the day for my taste but we needed to get a move on. Today was an important day. It was our final voting day in our county and I was on my way to fulfilling my civic duty: Check! Afterwards, we headed to the bank and went to the library. This library is located 2 miles from my home, but I've never been there. I've been to the downtown branch which is gigantic, but it isn't the cozy little children's nook I want for Cameron. I was expecting to have this wonderful bonding experience with Cameron sitting at a children's table, spending the afternoon thumbing through lots of colorfully illustrated children's books, with the possibility of checking out the 'big people' books and maybe even getting a couple movies. Yeah right!!!! Was I ever wrong. I thought I would get all this and the fresh aroma of that old book smell. Nope! Wasn't going to happen. Upon entering the library I was struck in the face with the foulest body odor known to man. I tried to ignore it, but it was nearly impossible.

I frantically looked for the children's section (remember I had never been there before). Yes, I found it! It was plain but cute. It had at least 6 large long steps with a kiddie table and color wooden chairs. It was loft-like and large. It was decorated for fall with a cute stuffed happy scarecrow in a rocking chair. I felt the scarecrow was in the wrong place ~ the rocking chair was perfect for what I had in mind for me and Cameron but I digress. I gleefully encouraged Cameron to sit at the table and look at books with me. He wouldn't have it. All he wanted to do was climb the stairs. However, I couldn't help but notice that the horrible body odor I smelled at the door had lingered all the way to the back of the library to the children's section. Now, how can that be?

Anyhoo, after numerous Cameron-chasings, and a few momentary disruptions to others, and the fact that he didn't want me to pick him up when he needed to be, we had to "book." I wasn't having any fun. Cameron was. After we left, we bought lunch and took it home. By the time we cleaned up from lunch we needed to pick Jose up from school. And after that, we needed to buy school clothing for Jose. He is growing like a weed: out and up. He's 11 and he's 2 inches shorter than me. lol

Don't laugh, but I love a bargain and I like the Goodwill store. It's great for just about anything. Luckily, and with struggle, we found school pants and a couple fall/winter shirts for Jose to wear around the house. Cameron even came out with some $2.99 white gym shoes, 2 toys (a $1.00 each) and a pair of corduroy pants; a $1.99. I took a bee line right for the housewares. Baskets, baskets and more baskets. Folk and primitive stuff everywhere. My mom (Nana) met up with us and she found some stuff too. We actually had a great time looking around. We all found something we needed or wanted ~ husbands not so lucky. We had to have bought 40 items and paid under $70 total. Not bad for a day's work, if you ask me. And we still needed to make dinner. We were lucky. The "King" treated us to a meal.

proud announcement

I have officially joined a wonderful group of stitchers who've inspired a passion I never knew existed. I joined the Stacy Nash Groupies at Yahoo! a few days ago. I'm so darn excited about this! All the ladies within this group are so well-rounded and a fantastic bunch at that. Each lady brings their own uniqueness to the group ~ you just keep coming back for more. Stacy Nash Primitives are quite the envy. I have begun my first piece already and I couldn't be happier about it: the Hallow's Eve Sampler Pillow. Stacy Nash designs are so addictive, fun and easy. I am able to stand in my kitchen, stitch and converse with my DH while we prepare dinner. It's so much fun! Anyone who is wanting something fun and "primitive" should definitely taste Stacy Nash Primitives. Kudos to her!!! I'm in love...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

quick hello

It's been a week since my last post. I'm not sure why. Oh it doesn't matter, I'm here now and that's what counts. Lots has been going on, which I'll riddle off in another post. It is late right now. I've decided to give my blog a face lift. I loved my blog photo in the previous page, but I wasn't happy with the mood I was projecting. The brown was getting me down and I didn't feel energized. I needed something a little more spunky...something a little more ME! I think I found what I was looking for.

My DH decided he would turn off my computer while I was in the middle of the face lift. Yep, you heard that right. He needs to understand that what's mine is not his. ;-) He thought I was just emailing and thought I was done at my computer. Unlikely story, but I'll accept it for now.

My mind is overflowing with inspiration to which I am collecting from my surroundings ~ my mother in particular. She is a great source of comfort and joy for me. I saw this photo and thought of our times together; stitching, laughing, sharing "husband-isms" and eating orange sherbet cones (low fat that is). I can't help but wonder what these beautiful women spoke and what they thought. What was on their minds? Where did their inspiration come from? What was their passion in life?

No matter where the answer, they seem at peace and without worry. They seem to have comfort and joy in the company they keep.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'trick or treat'

(I pick treat!) This is one of many items I came home with from my trip to the Celebration of Needlework in Louisville, Kentucky. Here's the Just Nan, Scream House kit, Exclusive for The Silver Needle. This picture really does not do it justice. The presentation is packed quite nicely and if you could have seen the model...OMgoodness, it was stunning! It was a must-buy-gotta-have-it feeling. Ironically, I mentioned to Mom that I had seen this advertised and was quite taken with it. By the time I arrived in Louisville Mom surprised me with the kit. She's so bad, but so nice all at the same time. Thanks, Ma!

Naturally, I had to open that sucker up and read all about it. I was amazed at how well put together it was. The kit didn't come with the DMC floss (perle cotton was included) or the Weeks Dye Works. I'm thinkin', 'I've got the DMC - no biggie.' All it calls for is 6-7 skeins of WDW. I figure 'I can handle that.' The greatest part about the kit, in my opinion, is that it came with ALL finishing supplies - fantastic! It's just all right there.

I did open it and rummage through the kit when I got into the hotel room. It felt like Christmas. It comes with a little story, which makes the Scream House even cuter. I wanted to start it immediately, but like I said, there wasn't any floss to begin with and the market was closed for the night, so I read and read and read some more. Once I was home I immediately got to work. I managed to decide which part of the house I wanted to begin. I chose to start the inside first. So far, the border of one side is stitched and 1 of 4 sides has begun. However, since I started 2 weeks ago, I haven't picked it up too much. Just so much to do and so little time. I've posted a shot of my start-up, but it isn't very remarkable. Luckily, it appears this piece may be a quick stitch.

Obviously, I don't have the kind of start I would have hoped for based on my initial reaction to the kit and its model, but I will post photos of my progress along the way. It'll go into my WIPS pile for sure.

Happy Stitching!!! Sweet dreams to all.

Monday, October 20, 2008


If my 11 year old, Jose, knew I was posting this he would leave me hugless for days. Here's a sneak peek into his "almost finished" frog piece.

The photo below is his next adventure, which he picked out.

Hey, I had to share with everyone. It warms my heart that he ever took interest in something I enjoy. Now, if I could just get the 1 year old going on some punchneedle, we'd be in business (haaa-haaa-haaa-haaa (my most menacing laugh I could muster)[[lighting strikes]])...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

comings and goings...(mommy biz)

Let's the last couple weeks I've been trying to get this blog started and I think I've done okay. I wish I could get to bloggin' a lot more, but sometimes that is difficult. This little one of mine keeps me running around like some mad cow (I mean this in the silliest way possible). My 1 year old is named Cameron. He is into the climbing thing now. He's climbing into and onto everything: the dishwasher, the couch, the futon, the stepladder, and anything with a 1 inch ledge. YIKES! Oh yeah, he's started the temper tantrum as well - he gets going so good that he sounds like the local emergency siren *no kidding!* But I love him all the same.

I want to make a few Shout Outs, if I may... Since I started blogging, I've met some really interesting ladies and they are so, so nice. You should check them out. We've got CarolR. I must say - she was kind enough to be the first to post on my blog. Thank you, Carol, for getting that ball rolling. Yuko commented too and I so appreciate that. Then there is Anita who I met my initial week on Blogger. She really took me under her wing and advised me - Anita, I can't thank you enough for pointing me in the right direction. Last, but never never least is Tanya. Tanya is my newest blog-buddy. I think we can agree that we may be different patches from the same quilt. Tanya, YOU ROCK!!!

Monday was Columbus Day and since Jose was out of school that day me and Nana took the boys to the zoo. This was really the boys' first time together at the zoo where they could do things together. It was quite magical. The petting zoo was fun for both the boys. My oldest, Jose, loves animals. He's been a Junior Zookeeper before at our local zoo. The kids really get their hands dirty and learn lots of information about the zoo animals. Jose always has the best time at the zoo. He's been so many times that he doesn't need the map anymore. He knows that place like the back of his hand.

Gorillas in the Mist

Tuesday was terrible. I had a migraine to which there was no end. I felt better Wednesday and was more productive.
Thursday was another brick in the wall. I was at mom's house helping her straighten things up after 2 major renovations. While there I helped her organize her floss boxes. It was so much fun looking at all those cascading colors. All I wanted to do was jump into them like a pile of fall leaves. Ahhhh...... My mom has a bigger hobby room (goody ~ room for more stuff) now and dad has a bathroom any man would kill for. :-)

On Friday Jose's Mamaw traveled from Canada to visit him. This is their Christmas together. He's having so much fun though. He got a new game system; a Wii concole game system. Jose is such a lucky boy! I allowed him to play hookey today so he could spend the last day of her trip with her. I'm sure I'll get an earful of "Hey mom, check out my new does this and that!" Ohhh, the joys of becomming a mother.

The weekend was 50/50. Saturday was a bust. Another migraine attack and I was out of commission the entire day. I absolutely cannot function and I'm useless to my family when I'm laid up in bed all day...and I don't get to stitch. :-( I haven't stitched since Thursday. Poohy! Sunday was better though. I went to mom's and helped her some more with the cleanup. Here's what Cameron decided to do when we got home from mom's Sunday evening.

Some late nite cleaning

Grrr... I almost forgot. I still have to post photos of the things I got from Celebration. I'll try and get to that this week. I have a lot to get to this week. Once I finish my introductions, adjust to the blog world and familarize myself with the layout environment, I'll be posting more cross stitch subject matter. I do apologize. Bear with me, please!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Boy-Stitcher ALERT

My oldest child, Jose, was taught to stitch by his Nana (my mom) a couple years ago. One weekend, Jose stayed with Nana so me and his father could move our furniture into our new home. While staying with Nana, Jose was curious about cross stitching. He wondered if he could learn to stitch and wanted to know if boys stitched too. Haha! Nana gladly taught him the very basics of cross stitch on a small piece of baby blue Aida. He wanted to make me something special and make me proud. She charted a little design on graph paper; something he could read easily and comprehend. I have to say, it is quite lovely coming from (at the time) a 9 year old little boy who had never stitched a cross in his entire young life. The piece speaks to me every time I glance at it.

Needless to say, I was very proud of him and eventually I found the perfect home for it. It hangs in my craft room along with all my other prized possessions.

Right now, Jose is currently working on a little green frog sitting on a lily pad. He's probably 75% complete, but he hasn't picked it up in quite sometime now. I'll post his little frog in the near future. :D

Stitching History

As far as memory will serve, every woman in my family prided herself in her craft. Whether that be counted cross stitch, knitting, needlework with plastic canvas, making clothing of every size and shape, embroidery, painting and just plain ole’ creating things you couldn’t imagine possible…you name it they did it. I was surrounded by skill, determination and perfection. Even the men had a striking ability to perform with their musical talents. And even the women shared that same passion. Singing, dancing, laughing, (and even yelling) was inevitable at our gatherings. Everyone could play an instrument: the ukulele, the banjo, the harmonica, the guitar, the piano, the organ, maracas, spoons, singing; the list goes on. My grandmother, Anna Mae, was the queen of the crop; the old iron fist. She could do just about anything and everything. Nonetheless, poor me couldn’t stitch, sing, be instrumental or perform to any measure. (I could figure skate, though, and no one else could do that!!!)

When I was near 12 my mother tried me with cross stitch. I remember it being a brown bear with a red single-edged border. DMC floss, of course, and probably a Dimensions design. I just couldn't do it! The floss kept getting tangled and I just…I just put it down to never touch it again. I think I even cried at the defeat. It left a sort of sore spot with me for years to come. I had my first child when I was 21 and by 22 an ambitious hair grew within and I wanted to stitch something for my son - something he would like. I decided something easy…real easy (I didn’t want a repeat of years past). I selected something a child could manage. I thought to myself ‘I can’t screw this one up’. I stitched a BIG happy Elmo face! However, I never did get it framed – maybe I’ll put it in a “vintage” stash someday (hahaha). But in my defense, it was the first piece I ever stitched in its entirety.

I stitched off and on after that - nothing to write home about though. For the last 4 years I’ve grown so passionate about cross stitch. I’ve learned so much over the past few years. I’ve attended classes and workshops. I’ve even traveled (just a bit) to gain stitching-power, and every other month I attend “Moonlight Stitchin’” at my local needlework
shop. I’ve learned Russian punchneedle in the last year, year and a half, and my Aunt Pam taught me to quilt. When it comes to cross stitch, Aunt Pam is remarkable with her needle. Her samplers are to die for! They are simply exquisite. I taught myself on plastic canvas (I’m still not done with that bag!). I want to learn to knit, and I’ve been shown once, but in due time will I truly master that craft. One can only stitch so much.

BUT my fondest and proudest enjoyment of cross stitch is that I share the art of putting needle and thread to work with my beautiful mother, Pat. Mom is quite the eloquent stitcher and I owe all my teachings to her. Her stitching is brilliant and all I can say is that her work is truly a piece of art. She is now (and forever) my queen of the cross-stitch (crop)…

Thursday, October 9, 2008

C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N time C'mon!!!

I am off to 'CELEBRATION OF NEEDLEWORK' in Louisville, Kentucky in 24 hours!!! Sure, Celebration of NW started yesterday, but I don't care. I get to go and that's fine by me. So what if I miss a couple days - I don't care. I get to go. Sorry....I'm just so thrilled. It's my first time going. My mother is already there (she goes to these things all the time) and I'll be meeting her tomorrow afternoon. I'm spending the night with her and I get to shop even more on Saturday. YIPPY!!!! I just can't contain myself right now. I have 2 kids so getting someone, anyone, to watch them is a miracle. Yes, I have a husband, but I need to leave Friday afternoon while he's still at work. My oldest son is off school Friday and I have a 1 year old as well. Thankfully, I've worked something out with my brother and husband...I get to go! Yeah for me!


Saturday, October 4, 2008


I am still at it! Trying to get this blog up and running. Of course, it is up because I see that it is...but I'm still getting things added.Tweaking here and there and so on and so on. Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist with most things and I'm afraid I may not get to the intended result. I will admit though, it is difficult to keep on task with children running around. My husband is funny, however. He's a major computer geek. It's his profession as well as his passion so him seeing me at this bloggy stuff is quite the farce to him.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blogging Introduction!!!

Hello everyone! Thanks for visiting my blog. I am brand new to this element and hope to improve over time. My intention for Julie's Keepsakes is to explore the globe of cross stitch, punchneedle and whatever the heart renders with regard to crafting. I have already viewed some pretty spectacular blog sites and I have a lot of work ahead of

I hope to meet many brilliant and creative stitchers along the way. I wish for inspiration so I can stitch better with my needle and thread. And hopefully, I can learn from the wisdom of all the stitchers around the country and across the ponds.

This is my first blog post and hope I've utilized the "posting" tab correctly. Once I've mastered this blogging-wonder :-) that I've been introduced to, I will post photos, thoughts, questions, etc. If you have pointers for me, I sure could use them. :-)