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 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!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I'm dropping in for a quick hello. I've updated my page here. I've got new additions (furry babies, that is) - take a peek on the side panel! They are awfully cute, I must say so myself :-). I haven't posted in 7 months. Whew! I'll talk briefly about that in my next post. Have a good evening!

Talk soon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

mother's day

I wish I could say that Mother's Day was a wonderful day, but it wasn't. My mom is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean heading to Rome, Italy, but I did receive a call from her. We chatted just a bit while she was cruising across the pond. I received some lovely text from friends and family, and I had a great conversation with Aunt Pam.

Oh, yesterday just didn't turn out the way I wished it would or thought it should. Cameron was with his father for the weekend and that was all right with me. I made the choice not to spend it with Cameron AND Jose so that I could spend more quality time with just Jose. But things didn't go so well between us. A waste of a day, actually. Cameron does come home this evening, as I need the comfort of his upbeat sense of humor right now. A sneak peek of the usual dose I get of Cameron.
Yep! Can't wait until he comes home this evening. He's always full of surprises.
Talk soon...

Friday, May 6, 2011

smitten over

** Jose and Cameron
** Mom
** new blog looks
** Fridays
** moonlight stitchin'
** free weekends
** Sade's music
** laying pool-side
** reading from my Kindle
** summer
** stitching
** orchids
** kittens
** chats with Aunt Pam
** starting a new book
** a good movie
** margaritas
** Orion's belt on a clear night
** being in love
** cheese
** organizing
** close friends
** starting a cross stitch project
** finding lost misplaced items
** morning coffee outside
** samplers
** chocolate
** traveling
** laying in bed
** pasta
** freshly painted nails
** fabric
** primitives
** punchneedle
** a finished piece
** wikipedia
** a clean house
** shopping at my LNS
** Cameron telling me he loves me & smiling
** Jose telling me I'm pretty cool

Talk soon...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

shows open!

Run on over to the Online Needlework Show and check out all the venues. Get your list flowing and head to your LNS so they can pony Anyway, you know the drill...Talk soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"good news" post

I said I had "good news" to share in my last post. At least good news to my eyes. On Saturday, my LNS called to say two of my stitched pieces were framed and ready for pick up. I didn't waste any time. Now, please forgive my photography because I'm no photographer, but more importantly, I don't own a good camera anymore so I do my best with what I have.

The Sampler Lady by Little House Needleworks
I must raise my own needle with this one. I love, love, love the framework on this piece. It matches perfectly with the floral-work in the design and that's why I picked it. I could not be happier about the finish. Kathy, at my LNS, did a superb job!

Schoolgirl Lessons by Little House Needleworks

Again, I'm very pleased with how this design turned out all framed. I liked the beaded edging and for a reason I can't quite put my needle on, I thought it went well with the design (shrugging my shoulders). You may not notice, but around the edges of the beading there is slight hints of red which between that and the Country Vintage linen (that has hints of green), the red Belle Soie I used really pops. It's a dainty piece and I like that.

I finished both these LHN design in 2009 but because of my divorce that ensued afterwards, getting them framed took a backseat. A lot took a backseat, but these ladies are framed and home with fresh walls and a new slate of life.

My late-Aunt Lora stitched this for my mother (her sister) when I was born. Don't know who the designer is, but my mother told me it is stamped cross stitch. I'm divulging quite a bit of personal information about my self in this photo (lol), but I thought it was more important to demonstrate that all the women in my family are needle-crafters.

I'm a 4th generation cross stitcher and I take great pride in that. Since I don't have much to show for in the way of hand-me-downs from my dear Aunt Lora, who passed away from brain cancer when I was 17, I wanted to share what she made. Mom gave this to me over the weekend. I often walked around the homes of all my "mothers" and was envious of all their earlier pieces, some childhood handwork and some that they created for others, especially those no longer with us. I'm going to cherish this piece no matter how juvenile it may be. It's vibrant, cheerful, in great condition, and it's something my Aunt Lora stitched for her sister, my mom.

As everyone knows, Aunt Pam and I are extremely close. She has a piece of needlework in her kitchen that she did at a very young age (possibly between 6-10 years of age) that I'd love to have one day. In fact, Aunt Pam has tons of giant samplers worked all throughout her home - amazing stuff! Unfortunately for me, Aunt Pam has a daughter (my cousin Kari) that will, more than likely, inherit these treasured pieces.

This is all my good news for now. We've had several severe thunderstorms over the last couple months and we'll continue to have more. Today was gorgeous and tomorrow shouldn't be too bad. It's been difficult to take good pictures with all this happening...Take care and Talk soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

downton abbey

Another finish in my midst. It's really no big deal, but it counts.
It was a freebie by Tanya designed after a PBS production called "Downton Abbey." It was a fantastic series which I'd like to order on DVD at some point and re-watch.

Good news to share in an upcoming post...stay tuned...Talk soon!

Friday, April 8, 2011

i love a good mystery!

Don’t you?! Today I joined a club sponsored by Attic Needlework & Collectibles. And not just any club. A Mystery Sampler Club which will be sent in 3 portions over a 3 month period starting May 10. A photo of the sampler won’t be revealed until the 3rd and final portion is sent (oh the suspense!), but the fabric choices are terrific. I have chosen Lakeside Linen, 40 ct. Choice of threads are WDW or a conversion for silks, and since I don’t want to run out and collect 18 skeins of silk any time soon, I’m going to stick with WDW. This just works for me and it keeps the cost down.

The design is called “Birds of a Feather” by designer Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches / With Thy Needle & Thread. Jean Lea, from Attic Needlework & Collectibles, is extremely helpful and she creates a beautiful newsletter which I have also subscribed to. Jean's newsletter comes in a .pdf format so if you have trouble accessing the newsletter link I've provided, you can find it on her website under Newsletter - Here’s a sample of her recent newsletter – it’s fab-u-lous! But as of today, there's a new newsletter. Please subscribe AND sign up for the Mystery Sampler Club!

I also ordered "Feather Your Nest" cross stitch chart. It's so vibrant. That's it...Talk soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Last Saturday night, Jose and I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. As a child, my parents took me to see these Jellicle Cats perform when we lived outside Chicago. I was a mere 9-12 years old (wow!). I remember it being just before Christmas - might have been Christmas Eve because I distinctly remember coming home and our Christmas morning was celebrated that night due to a trip back home to Cincinnati the very next morning. That evening with my parents is a fond memory of mine. I remember going into the city, catching a cab ride, seeing the musical, and even losing my blanket on the streets of Chicago. But dad convinced the cab driver to drive around the block to see where I had dropped it. In hopes we'd locate it. Luckily, it was still lying on the cold winter street waiting for my return.

I was engrossed by Cats. I learned that the stage was built at an incline so the performers could jump through the air and achieve their acrobatic maneuvers more easily, and as I remember the most about Cats, the stunning performance of Memory. Such a breathtakingly sad moment of the musical.

Now I have a new memory of Cats. I love musicals and I always enjoy the musicality and performance of such, but this time Cats was, well, kinda boring. I realize now that Cats has no plot. No story. Just a bunch of people dressed in cat-like costumes, pretending to lick and clean themselves and then bust out in song for no aparent reason at all. Albeit there were funny moments and entertaining parts that still caught my attention. The performance of Memory is still to die-for. Once again, it was a beautiful performance and still remains the highlight of the show. It’s still a wonderful memory for me and always will be.

The fondest memory of the evening was spending it with my well-groomed son (he does clean up well) and the company we kept. We all had a lot of much-needed fun!

[And thanks to mom for babysitting Cameron while I made a memory with Jose like the one they made with me – xoxo!]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Two must be my lucky number this week, but then I’m lucky to have finished anything at all. I managed to finish stitching 2 designs, both by The Sampler Girl.
My Everything by The Sampler Girl
I changed it up so it’ll suit my suitor. I took antique white linen and dyed it with taupe Rit dye. I used WDW Blue Topaz for the lettering and Perle Cotton for the heart. The turquoise batik fabric is being used for the back. My hope is for a hanging pillow. I have a leather-y type cord so it’s pretty masculine, I think. It’ll do.

Movie Night by The Sampler Girl
I started this in 2009 and got most of it stitched then. I used what I had on-hand so some threads were changed and I used a different linen color, but stayed with the same count. The popcorn buttons are adorable. They are by Just Another Button Company – had them forever too. It’s a wonder I was able to keep up with them for so long.

I recently decided that, although a stitching addict and it’s a sickness to start one project without finishing another (admit it, you are all guilty of this too), I’m going to attempt (ahem) to finish my past WIPS. But still continue with new projects. I mean, I have too much stash as it is and it’s only going to get worse grow so I might as well grab thy needle and start stitching. Sooooo, Movie Night was one of them and it's done! One down and onto the next “X.”

In the mail this week, came two new charts I ordered from none other than The Sampler Girl (maybe I have a thing for Tanya…hhhmmm).

The Beggar’s Purse Sampler, where I adore the brown color arrangement and the special stitches Tanya implements in this one. Plus, who doesn't like a sampler, right? Her newly released French Folio immediately caught my eye, with all the delicate pinks, whites and blues – very fresh and 'Gai Paris'. I can’t wait to stitch these up and decorate a spot in my home.

Also in the mail, came two of my quilting magazines that my Aunt Pam gifts to me with regular subscriptions.

Better Homes and Garden’s American Patchwork and Quilting and McCalls Quilting. Aunt Pam also provides me with Fons and Porter, but that one hasn’t arrived yet, and thankfully not, because it wouldn’t mesh well with this post, now would it?! I’m not the advanced quilter like my aunt. I’m more of a beginner and an itchy-wannabe quilter, even though I do know how to quilt, I still love my magazines. They are so inspiring if nothing else.

I may even come up with another finish this week. Don't hold your breath, but definitely keep your fingers crossed :D --- Here’s to hundreds more of two of everything…Talk soon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


If you are really loved, someone will gift you with one of these. But if you're really, really, really loved, then someone extra special will make one and gift it to you. No drooling allowed. I don't want my etui wet or

I spent Thanksgiving 2010 with my Aunt Pam and the rest of my mother's (my) family. While visiting one night, my aunt presented me with an unexpected gift bag. I was rather surprised, to say the least, but inside was this beautifully handmade, personally made-with-love for me, etui. I was in total shock and disbelief!

We both love the color blue so she was on the mark with her color choices. And as far as the etui itself, I was mesmerized by its detail and functionality. I really couldn't believe it was mine; still don't. It's such a special creation that even my mother has taken it with her to her guilds for show-n-tell and received many rave reviews (well, Aunt Pam has received the rave reviews). I've taken it to our LNS and again, mouths drop and mops come out to sop up the drool.

When I opened my gift and the etui fell open, as did my mouth, it reminded me of a bloomin' onion (without the smell, of course) and as such, Aunt Pam says, "Julie, when someone makes this for you, they really really really love you." And I know my Aunt Pam does. I love her too!

Talk soon!

Monday, April 4, 2011


I was off work today because Cameron was under the weather and so we hung out around the house. Even though Cameron wasn't feeling well he never loses his sense of humor or his need to show off!!!

After every pose Cameron would say "And this!" "And this..."
"And this!"

"And this!"

"Mommy, show me your face!" (How could I resist this child?)

"Good job, Mommy!" Cameron says ;-)

Friday, April 1, 2011

friday funny

Ha-Ha.....April Fool's Day!

Talk soon!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

first school picture

{Taken St. Patrick's Day - 2011}
I just got back Cameron's first school picture. There's a story to having his picture taken, but I can't share it. However, Cameron had been crying before this photo was taken because all the kids were getting their mugs photographed and he wanted his done too. It was finally his turn and he gave a very sweet, yet exhausting, little smile. When I showed Cameron this photo of himself, well, here's how it went:

Mommy: Look Cameron. See, it's your picture.
Cameron: [Silent gaze at the photo]
Mommy: I love this picture of you, Cameron! What do you think?
Cameron: I cute like Curious George.

Talk soon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

that is the question

To cord or not to cord?
[Designer/Design Unknown (because I can't remember)]
This was the piece I mentioned in an earlier post where my late-pooch Chloe had gnawed on it, resulting in bleeding fibers. Mom skillfully salvaged one of my first completed pieces back in 2005. Now it’s 2011 and I’m just now getting around to giving it purpose. So pathetic, but I digress. I do like what its become, almost.

I laced the back, but have yet to secure it to the wooden base and that’s because it isn’t necessarily even (like I needed to tell you). I was so hell-bent on making sure it was securely fastened to the cut-out backing,  that I didn’t pay close enough attention to the front that the edges were, in fact, smoothly round. 

Anyway, cord or not to cord? That is the question. If I  attach twisted cord around the edge to hide the uneveness I'll have a more "polished" look. If I go cordless, I'll need to re-lace the back and not pull so tightly; making sure to pay closer attention to my front, but this means starting over. Either way isn't too bad - it's all fun and I still get a homemade pincushion, nonetheless.

So, what's say you! Talk soon, shall we?