Friday, January 30, 2009


I finished stitching my Lovebirds piece a couple weeks ago but didn't have the right fabric for the finishing. After seeking the advice of my aunt she said she would look into her stash of reproduction fabrics and she did. The other day I posted what she mailed me; three very gorgeous squares of reddish/cranberry colored fabric. I love them all, but what stood out was the print. Since my lovebirds are a bit on the Quaker/antique/primitive side I decided to add a raw edged piece of the backing fabric as a cupboard hanger, along with 2 red heart buttons in the corners. I'm content with the finishing, although there are a few "dents" in my finishing. I'm not going to worry about it though. The wonderful thing about crafting is that I learn by making such mistakes to not repeat those again in the future. We learn by experience, right? Or at least I do. Needleart is about learning along the way...if you ask me. Hopefully, I'll get better as time goes by. :o)

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, headache and sinus trouble. I was fine yesterday and even last night, but this morning was a whole different story. I hope this is just due to temperature changes and I'm not coming down with anything. When I was ill in early December it took a month to get better. The trouble is that Cameron CANNOT get ill. He's having tubes put in his ears on Wednesday so he can't get sick or this will set us back, and we need this boy to start talking and get some inner ear relief. Pray for Cam!

Stitching Today: Country Sampler Heart Pinkeep by Stacy Nash
Watching Today: The Punisher, Young Guns

Thursday, January 29, 2009

catching up

I have so much catching up to do, but I'm still tired from my weekend trip. When I got home Sunday night I checked the mail and to my surprise was my Stacy Nash Country Sampler Heart Pinkeep & Strawberry Emery kit from Country Sampler. I was so thrilled! I sleeplessly got ready for bed, brushed those pearly whites, climbed into bed (too tired to stitch which never happens) and looked through the kit. Here was the packaging, which was sweet.

And here is what the kit entails.

And here is where I am with this project...

What's interesting about my start is that I always thought to stitch the design and then worry about getting the shape. The instructions are reverse, which I actually enjoyed. I used an iron-on transfer pencil and traced the template onto the "wrong" side of my fabric. Since I don't have a light box and it was gloomy outside I improvised and used my laptop screen. All I did was lay it down and waa-laa: traceable! The instructions say to straight stitch on top of the pencil mark, but that wasn't coming out the way I wanted so I hand sewed a running stitch instead. I like how my shape turned out. My start is nothing to write home about, but it is a start. Progress, not perfection, right!

I've spent the last couple days trying to catch up on email and groupie email and blog readings. Everyone has been so busy since I’ve been away. I drove to my LNS Monday afternoon and picked up 30 ct Weeks Dye Works Straw so I can start Betty’s kitten design bc it is just so darling and extremely tempting to begin right now! So far I've kitted my kitten project and I'm ready to begin. :o) It's going to be so much fun!

I ordered Annemiek’s A Year of Primitive Floss Tags through The Needle’s Content website. The first is the snowman and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s cute. I’ll start that soon as well. I also want to finish up Sarah’s ABC Pincushion, by Blackbird Designs. I’ve decided to stitch my own name instead of ‘Sarah Tobias’, but I’ve had to chart that out differently so I’m still working on those details, but hopefully I can get that stitched and finished sooner rather than later. I brought my Sarah piece to Florida but never touched it bc of the project from Susan.

Speaking of my Susan project, here is a photo of the Longaberger basket we received as part of the project in St. Augustine this past weekend. I believe the basket has been discontinued. It's cute.

Two nights ago I posted a couple photos of what the SGD class project was. Here's what I managed to stitch yesterday - the blue waves. The waves are stitched using one strand over one.

(Sorry this photo is sideways. No matter how I took the photo, nor how many times, it never straightened, so I apologize.)

How sweet it is to be loved???!!! My dear sweet Aunt Pam mailed me a little envelope with three pieces of fabric inside. She mailed these because I don't have any reproduction fabrics in a cranberry-purple-ish color that'll coordinated with my Lovebirds piece that I finished weeks ago. I love all 3 and cannot wait to use them. I really like the fabric with the blue-ish flowers. I asked my DH his opinion and he likes the far right fabric. I just don't know which one bc they would all look cute. ALL opinions welcome!

Okay, I have to brag about my mom real quick. She stitches models for the Just Cross Stitch magazine and she has made the cover once again. She stitched the pillow that's on the cover. I am so proud of her! JCS doesn't inform her when her models will be made she just knows they will at some point so when they adorn the cover she is always pleasantly surprised. Wouldn't you be?!?!

I had to take Cameron to the ear, nose and throat doctor Monday morning and as I suspected he has to have tubes put in. His surgery is next week. I feel bad for my baby. He isn’t hearing very well either, therefore, why he isn’t talking yet. He’s 17 months old and he should have somewhat of a vocabulary now. Luckily I’m not in the dark about all this. Jose had 2 sets of tubes put in with the same speech issues. At least I know what to expect. Anyway, Cameron was really upset by the hearing test, but as soon as the doctor entered Cameron wanted in the doctor’s lap. He’s never even met this man and he was that comfortable. It was amazing how well behaved he was for the doctor but the nurse, he wanted nothing to do with her.

Sooooo, I best get off and get crackin! Thanks for visiting and listening. I so enjoyed my travels this past weekend, and being with mom made it all the merrier! I love and like my mom! In case you’re wondering, there is a difference between liking and loving and I feel for my mother on both counts :o) She’s the best friend ever bc I can be myself. And trust me, I’m not always nice and pretty! LOL

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

home at last

I arrived home Sunday night around 8:30. I was so exhausted from all the fun and lack of rest I couldn’t unpack my suitcase – just the bare necessities (toothbrush) and that was it. I hit the sack. Me and my mom had such a good time. I don’t think she and I laughed this hard in a loooong time. We got to the Jacksonville airport and checked out the ladies room. The sink was amazing. Well, actually, there was no sink. Just a flat slab of granite and a trough in the rear of the faucets. I had to photograph this bc I had never seen something like this, have you? It was quite pretty! My mom said she wished she had seen this before they remodeled their bathroom.

St. Augustine is an hour or so away from Jacksonville so there is quite the drive. Old Town St. Augustine is absolutely breathtaking. It’s the oldest city in America (established in the 1500s) – prior to Plymouth. It’s amazing, this place! The Old Town is extremely small but oh so bustling with people and tourists. The Mediterranean and Colombian architecture and influence is stunning and ancient. So much history that it’s difficult to take it all in. For lunch we ate at a restaurant called The Colombia ~ real Spanish food. The blue crab cakes were delicious! Here are some pictures of our route to the Beacher’s Lodge where the real partying began.

Oh yeah…we visited the Vera Bradley store before leaving Old Town. OMG!!! It was so cool! I bought a bag called the Gabby with a Night Owl print. They have way more than just bags. I also bought Lip Balm!

Outside the doors of the Vera Bradley store was their "Garden of Hope." These photos don't do this garden any justice. It was lovely to see the pink ribbons with victims' names attached. My MIL died in 2006 from breast cancer so this was nice to see.

Here are some photos of St. Augustine.

Repairs being made on very old bridges.

The architecture is so fascinating. It reminded me of New Orleans; only cleaner and older. Cuter too!

Not a very good photograph, but that is the St. Augustine Lighthouse between the pole and treeline - the oldest standing lighthouse in America I think. We didn't go in it this visit. I walked all the way to the top when I was pregnant with Cameron. It was wonderful to see the view and the history of the lighthouse was amazing. When I returned home I saw an episode of Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel and found out it was haunted. Spooky!

We got to our room and here was our view from the balcony. Breathtaking!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh….is all I can say about this.

Friday night was the welcoming party, which is exciting. The theme is always pirate so some ladies are dressed for success and the room is decked out in pirate booty and decor. Susan Greening Davis arrived with her favorite “maties”; Bailey and Abby. Two very sweet teacup Yorkshire Terriers. They were pretty popular and who couldn’t resist them. I found myself rocking with one of them – I guess mama missed Cameron. :o(

The room was packed this year – totally SOLD OUT. They divided us up among our tables and assigned captains of the tables. We played pirate bingo where you win prizes or in this case booty. We learned what our weekend project was going to be and we received the first part and started working. After meet and greets, snacks, and overview of our first package we were set and moved onto our rooms. Me and mom watched a movie and I totally passed out. I was spent.

This was my table. My mom is on the right in black and beige.

Saturday we were up-an-Adam so we headed to breakfast in the stitching room, which was named “the galley.” Appropriate, ugh? Susan is so great and explains things so well. I learned a new stitch, which technically wasn’t a stitch. It’s called the H-hem stitch that Susan created herself over her past trips to Italy. Basically, I learned to cut threads for the first time. I was intimidated, but once I understood I took off with it. Here’s what that looks like. Really pretty!

(sorry for the shadow)

We got a break for lunch and then went back to class for more lessons, games and booty-buying. I really like how the buying part is set up. Each person is given a bag with their name on it. Anything you want to buy is dropped in the bag. When the evening is over, leave the bag on your assigned seat and someone comes and collects. They take inventory of what you’ve picked and it is replaced in your bag in a white bag. You do this every time you want to buy something. On Sunday, once the weekend is over you pay up. It’s really pretty cool. I enjoy this method. I did pretty well. I had to budget this year and only went $20.00 over ~ I’m pretty proud of myself! LOL Here’s a photo of my stuff.

I thought going over my budget by only $20 was great. Besides, look what you're up against. Tempting, I know!!! (see below)

And there was another side of the room I did not photograph. It just never ended.

Saturday evening we had a seafood dinner with our friends from Tennessee, Sally and Susan, and it was gooood! Before going to dinner, though, me and mom walked on the beach and watched the seagulls and the water. There was so much activity on the beach this afternoon and warm too. It was in the mid 70’s and for Florida that is really nice. We played in the sand, people and bird watched, and THEN we got hit by a small wave and the bottom of my jeans got wet. Yep, it happened. I even rolled those bad boys up and I still got wet. I was only standing in about 1-2 inches of water and all of a sudden I was in 2 feet of water. Oh well, I didn’t care…I was at the beach! :o) But I had a small dilemma. We were going to have dinner with friends and these were the only pants I had to wear at the time. YIKES!!! So we laughed it off and mom found a dryer so I was set. After dinner we returned to class at 7:00 and had lots more fun. A lot of moseying around looking at stuff to buy was to be had. After that lesson was over we returned to our room for 2 movies and a lot of stitching. Me and mom laughed and talked to my aunt on the phone. We had lots to talk about. I stayed up way too late too: 3:00 a.m. I was dragging Sunday.

Here was the beach that afternoon with mom.

Isn't he cute? I couldn't believe how close he let me get.

We don't know who this guy was, but he was brave. He was holding potato chips in the air and the birds were swooping down and grabbing them from his hand. It was amazing to watch. They even got close to me and mom (see our shadows :o).

Our project consists of a navy blue Longaberger basket that I believe is discontinued and since we’re in St. Augustine why not have a project with the city in mind. Inside the basket is to be a pirate ship (you can flip it over and use as a beading station or needle keeper). We are to stitch a scissor chatelaine with the St. Augustine light house and beads topping the edge, which I actually finished the beading while in Florida :o) Yay for me! The third portion is the pouch that holds ALL your stitching essentials. It has a special verse that Susan created herself, along with a compass we stitch. I can’t wait to finish this bc it's useful and it'll look cute to hang in the craft room. I’ve started on everything already and stitched on the plane so I got more done. We twisted our own cord while in Florida. Now that was a site to see. Some ladies were outside with their perle cotton totally undone and the rest were in the room. We looked like one big cob web. People thought we were all nuts!

Susan is a wonderful person – very genuine and such a delight to be around. She really and truly cares about the form of needleart. I see her as a preserver and artist of around-the-world needleart that Americans have forgotten or have never met. She brings a lot of history into her work and I so appreciate that being that I adore primitive pieces. Susan doesn’t design primitive, but her techniques are and I simply respect her for that. She is one of a kind and I think she’s beautiful. She’s a master in my book. She’s coming to Nashville in May and I’m so hoping I can attend that class. The May class is a big Whitman’s candy tin with a project insert. My mom has taken this class in the past and loved it. She may come again and hopefully finish up her piece from before. :o)

Sunday was our farewell day. It was all over at noon and at times I’m ready for it to end (so I can get back to my kids) and part of me wants it to never end bc it’s so much fun. We had lunch with two of our friends, Sally and Susan from Nashville, and afterwards Mom and I had hours to kill before we needed to be in Jacksonville for our flight. We decided to drive down the road a bit and visit a dolphin sanctuary. We hoped that we could make it in time to feed and kiss the dolphins, but we were late by 15 minutes. Darn! We were disappointed but we were still able to get up close, or at least close enough to not get wet ~ we had no way of getting dry if Flipper decided to drench us with water. LOL

The pathway to see the dolphins. So gorgeous!!!

After the dolphin exhibit we headed for Old Town St. Augustine to pick up our Vera Bradley bags that we had monogrammed, which was free. WooHoo! They turned out so nice!

I took some more photos before getting to the airport which I'll spare you since you've seen enough of. We returned to Nashville around 8:00 p.m. Here’s the awful part though. We left Jacksonville and it was in the 70’s. We return home to Nashville and it was 32. Now that is a tear-jerker! A rude awakening I guess one could say!

I've got some stitching updates to share, but I'll save those for another post, another day. I'm glad I made it back safe and sound to my family and to you. Thanks for stopping by and reading this very very long post!

for me???

I just got back from being out of town and was pleasantly surprised by Sharon. She has nominated me with a Fabulous Blog Award. This is my second one since I started blogging in October. I feel so privileged and happy. Thank you so much Sharon! You are way too kind!

I am to list 5 of my addictions (there are so many) and then nominate 5 wonderfully addictive blogs who I think earn the prize. Of course, everyone on my list, and then some, are prize earners, but I can only list 5 so here it goes:

Addicted to:
cross stitching
to-do lists

Prize earning blogs:

None of the prize earning blogs need to follow the rules unless they want to, but I wanted them, and everyone else I visit, that they are favorites of mine.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

*here kitty kitty*

Looky what came in the mail t-o-d-a-y!!!

I cannot wait to get this out and stitch. I opened it up to see the chart and the graph to make the cat and Betty's instructions are perfect and easily understood. This should be a quick stitch and oh so much fun! I plan on making one for my dear Aunt Pam. My aunt is owned by a lot of kitties and each is loved to the fullest. I felt like she could use an extra kitty and name it "Julie" after her favorite niece (hint hint). ;o) Thank you, Betty, for sending this so quickly. You are fantastic to work with.

Okay, this may be my last post for a few days. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. me and my mother are leaving for a stitching retreat in St. Augustine, Florida. I know I've mentioned this a hundred times already, but I am just so excited ~ not about the plane ride but about the trip itself. I'm getting away from all these boys. God love 'em, but I need my space for a few days. I'll be with my best friend - my mom! And we'll be at the beach with Susan Greening Davis and our stitching gals Sally, Susan and Pat. We actually have a designated table called The Tennessee Table because there are a few of us from Tennessee and we all know each other. It's pretty cool, and I cannot wait to get there. Wish us fun!

Today's Stitching: Sarah's ABC Pincushion
Watched Today: Mr. Brooks; Death Race (again with DH this time)

more progress and my pursuits

I have been working on Sarah's ABC Pincushion and loving every minute of it. I have one more row which is actually the name. I haven't decided if I'll keep it saying Sarah Tobias or change it to my own. What do you think I should do? Here's my progress on the pincushion.

Friday morning (tomorrow) me and mom board a plane to St. Augustine, Florida to attend a Susan Greening Davis class at the beach. We hear it's going to be in the mid to upper 60's and that beats our cold temps. Right now it's cold in Nashville, but today's high will be 54, which is considerably nice. I just can't wait to hear the crash of the waves and the sewing of my needle. It's going to be so nice and much deserved on my part. Now I just have to get through the flight. Yikes!

Annemiek from The Needle's Content has just released A Primitive Year of Floss Tags design series. The first floss tag is a primitive snowman and it is so cute! You order through paypal and receive the chart by .pdf. I'll be ordering mine tonight so I can get it quick quick quick! I'll probably take this little snowman to stitch on the plane.

Here's the latest on Cameron - he is too funny lately.

Yesterday ----

Cameron went and got Jose's swimming goggles. Bug Boy!!!

This morning ----

I asked Cameron to show me where he put his donut and here it is...such a donut face!

And later this morning ----

Cameron and Chloe were in the dining room with me and suddenly it was quiet. Oh my! 'What are those two doing?' I thought. I took the camera, just in case, and I'm glad I did. There they were...Chloe laying on the rug and Cameron leaning up against her playing with his foam blocks. So so cute these two!

Today's Stitching: Sarah's ABC Pincushion
Watching Today: not decided

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I received five interview questions from Michelle and here are my answers to them:

1. What is one lesson you've learned in your lifetime (or are trying to learn), that you'd like to pass on to others? It can’t be everybody else. This is a motto I heard as a child and continue to use now. I’ve already learned the lesson ~ my mother taught it to me. I always take full responsibility for my actions and words. I have no problems apologizing either. Most people blame others for their misfortunes or wrongdoings and it’s wrong and immoral. People need to be accountable for their actions no matter what the cost. Better to have a clean conscience than a guilty one.

2. What Chinese Zodiac sign were you born under, and do you think the description suits you? The Chinese Zodiac says I’m the rabbit. I would say that the description given is only about 10% accurate. If you read the Sagittarius sign, that is more of an accurate description into my personality. The number one description given on the Chinese Zodiac that is entirely wrong is that we avoid confrontation and arguments and can be somewhat of a pushover. That is completely wrong!!! I am quite the opposite. I'll fight with anyone.

3. What was your favorite stitching project and why? My favorite project was the January through December Flip-its by Lizzie*Kate back in 2004-2005. Instead of stitching each month individually I combined all 12 months on one piece of linen to make a calendar. I have them stitched 3 months across, 4 rows down. This is my favorite because it was my first BIG project ever and I was proud of myself.

4. How has the election and inauguration of our new President affected you? Any thoughts on what you hope to see in the next four years? The inaugural process is a tradition in this country and is extremely fascinating to watch and experience – let that be known. I won't deny that this inauguration was historical - there's no doubt about it. However, I am not in support of Barack Obama and never will be. Do I hope he makes the right choices for our nation and for others? Of course, I do ~ I want nothing but the best, but I have no confidence that he will bc he wants to take this country into a direction we don't want to go in. He sees our world differently than I do and the things he wants to take place are wrong in my opinion. His views and direction are not what this country needs. I was numb while watching the events unfold and cried at times. I'm going to be sick the next four years.

5. What's in your Netflix queue (or movies you've been wanting to see)? I had to cancel my trial with Netflix and really didn’t want to. I can barely remember what was in queue at this point. I would like to see The Reader, Them, The Unborn, The Mummy 3, Jane Austen flicks, Dexter Season 3, and there are lots more, but they escape me at the moment.

Thanks for reading!

Today's stitching: Sarah's ABC Pincushion
Watching today: LOST; Death Race

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

looky here

I just received a lovely and totally surprising gift in the mail. I see that it is from my Aunt Pam in Ohio. Several days ago she said she sent something to me in the mail and that it wasn't much - just a little something - but that she saw it and thought of me. I opened the package and to my complete surprise I pulled out a huge piece of 1800's reproduction fabric. It's white and blue stripes, just like the old Civil War type pillowcases. I absolutely adore this with ALL my heart. I was flabbergasted really. I will have to come up with something spectacular for this fabric ~ it's just so unique and special to me. My aunt's note to me, "Julie, I thought you might enjoy this! Love, Aunt Pam". Well, I more than enjoy this. I positively love this piece! Thank, thank, thank you for this fabric!

Also... is my progress on Sarah's ABC Pincushion by Blackbird Designs that I began last night. I am really loving how the silk coordinates with the Cafe Kona linen. It's getting to be very pretty when it's done.

By Friday morning, I'll be on a plane heading for Florida ~ I am counting down the days! WooHoo!!!

Today's Stitching: Sarah's ABC Pincushion; Be Still
Watching Today: 'Death Race'