Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my blog-world friends!

My cousin Ray took this photo of Uncle Gary a few years ago fishing on his lake. I've always loved it.

My intention today was to post pictures of the stitching I gave away at my Christmas party with the best friends a gal can have, to show you what I received and the talent of the makers...

But instead, I want to tell you about my Grandpa - pictured above.  He passed away last night after 95 wonderful years, 49 of which I shared.  He was the most generous human I ever knew, tied on that list by my Grandma who passed 9 years ago. 

They paid for my education, they always, always thought of us grandkids.  They took care of their children and set up a family legacy for us all to carry forward.  I witnessed and learned how a human should treat another.  He was passionate about those he loved and lived to share.  My grandparents retired in the 50's and traveled the world, bringing back mementos from all over.  I traveled with them as a young child, sometimes, along with my cousins. 

Until about six months ago, this man fished each day when the lake wasn't frozen, hunted every fall for deer.  His love of nature carried him through to the last moment as he watched his beloved birds flit here and there from his "perch".  He celebrated each morning with a fried fish breakfast and closed each day with a martini and if company was around, a lively game of cards!

I can't even put into words what an AMAZING man he was.  I can only imagine the reunion in Heaven as he greeted first his wife, then his son, my Dad. 

I will post the pictures and updates after the first of the year - until then, peace to all.

Sherry :o)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A birthday...a finish...Happy Thanksgiving ;-)

 Ta-Da!  Here she is...Elizabeth Mary Gandey.  I finished her last week.  Haven't smoothed out the wrinkles yet, so excuse them.  This is one of Shakespeare's Peddlers samplers.

 Done with Belle Soie silks - beautiful, if I may say so myself.  Don't you just love the color pattern of the steps; and the pink doggie is growing on me.  Unfortunately it will have to wait for the framer until after the first of the year.
I have put my name or initials on the reproduction samplers I have completed...but I  needed some thing else where Elizabeth's age was located.  I decided to put the current year and her initials.  I have started to write on the back of framed pieces a bit of history or something about the piece so on this one, once framed, I will be sure to note that very thing.  Sorry for the shadow.

A couple weeks ago the group of friends I stitch with and hang with gathered for the (usually) bi-monthly lunch and stitching.  It was my birthday earlier this month and some of us participate in a gift exchange.  This year we did a yard of fabric each.  This was my stash addition.  What did I pick?  Well if you are a regular to this blog, batiks is no surprise!!

Aren't they lovely....hmmm, the wheels are churning on what to do, what to do - with these beautiful fabrics. Thanks to all  my friends who gave me these luscious fabrics. 

While there, Pam's husband came over to talk with another friend about a wood chest he is building.  He is the one who built my cabinet a couple Christmas' ago (I will post a picture sometime - it's phenomenal!!).  Yes, I have a Bill original.  Anyway, he stopped by and we were all visiting and it came up in conversation that he reads my blog.  So - hi Bill!! 

My postman delivered a package from the Attic (in Arizona) that I was desperately waiting for.  Don't they do a great presentation - this is what I pulled out of the envelop.
And this is what I pulled out of the beautiful tissue...

 A Maryland Inspiration by Heart's Ease Examplar Workes and the silks.  Can you say BEAUTIFUL!!  This sampler is going to be a fun stitch and a stunning finish.  Now I thought I had some linen in my stash that would work - but it's about 6-7 inches short on one side - bummer!! 

Stacy Nash Primitives have this beautiful Pears & Strawberries Sampler Sewing Bag that is so sweet. I had to have that one for sure - maybe I will kit that up for the holidays.   And finally, my friend Paulette had this JBW Birds and Berries.  I wouldn't have even looked at this one until I saw Paulette's version - the thread she used was sooo pretty.  This should be a quick stitch.

Look at this - wow!

 My mom is a snickers nut - pun intended.  I saw this the other day and knew I had to put it with her Christmas gift.  Too funny.

Speaking of Mom, here she is, surrounded by her daughters.  We went to a play together a couple weeks ago and then grabbed some drinks and appetizers after.  It was great to spend some time with my sisters and mom -  no kids, no medical crap - just hanging out.  She is slowly recouping from her March illness.  Don't we look all pretty and dolled up. 
Well that's it for today.  My husband is up north with my 95 year old grandpa, deer hunting - so I took advantage of that and invited my friends over for some stitching time.  I didn't even toil over what to have for lunch - can you say Costco chicken noodle soup, some salad and bread and a quick no-bake pie.... Yum...Now to get a shower and get out my needle and thread! 

Oh yeah - forgot, I read a book by Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches - tore through that puppy in about three days - part of a series and I am waiting for the second at the library.  I can't recommend it enough!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all - I love reading about my blogging world friends on their blogs and enjoy the comments left on mine.  May you all have much to be thankful for this year and many more to come!! 

Take time to do something that makes you happy!!

Hugs :0)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's a long one!!

I will start with the stitchy/quilty news - that way if you want to bail, you can.  Lots of pics too...

So I last left you hanging as I was getting ready to go to a stitch camp weekend with my buddies.  So this was the cart, entering the hotel...for two nights only - pile of mostly stitching for three people, for the most part.  We had already unloaded some of our bags. 
Great fun was had! We shopped our way to the hotel which is less than an hour from my house. After the three of us gathered, we hit three quilt shops, I think, and also a stop at the shop sponsoring the weekend. And of course, we had lunch in between - have to sustain ourselves!
This is the stash enhancement made to the fabric part of my world.  A Halloweel kit, some Halloween fabric.  Tiny charm packs - Three Sisters "Double Chocolate" which were too, too cute to pass up.  I also picked up two different Christmas fabrics and of course, batiks.

This is the stash enhancement made to my stitching world.   I picked up some of the new Crescent Color and Weeks Dye Works.  LIttle HOuse Needleworks Tree Farm, The Purple Thread is the black & white kit on the right and the bigger in the back - called Pink Lemonade.  It's a needlebook/roll and accessories in a box with ribbons in which to store them.   I've had my eye on that one awhile so it was time.  Another sweet pair of scissors.  The kit to the far let is a Halloween notebook, given to us by the LNS in our goodie bag.  Also received the "S" domino necklace as a giftie from LNS.  I purchased the domino (black with tree) from the gal who came to do our giftie.  I am going to use it as a scissor fob.  And yes, that is French General fabric you see in the middle.  Picked it up from one of the quilt stores - small zipper bag.  It was just too cute to pass up.  I also picked up a bit or my Christmas exchange but can't show that yet.

Now for the progress made that weekend:

Lizzie-Kate - Mystery Sampler....
 Not much progress made on this one!

Elizabeth Mary Gandey by Shakesphere Peddler.  I made progress on this one - steps -check!  Only have the border to complete now and then a small something or another in the middle by my name.  Oh yeah, and the trees to the left of the church.  When it's finished, I will post some close-up photos for you.
Strawberry Hill by With Thy Needle & Thread - progress made!  This represents about one-half of the box top.  Plus a little over half the house.
Another little something added to my stash - Chessie & Me's Joy To Ewe.  The sheep needs to have his fur stitched - french knots.  Once done, I will make this cutie into an ornament.
I also picked up this cutie for my Halloween collection - will it be done by Wednesday - I think not...nor will the L*K one above - but there's always next year, right!!  I do have the cat stitched on this, but certainly not enough to show off .  I may have to take the cat out and redo - stitched it last night watching the world series...'nother story there - see below.  Tension in my stitching  just a wee bit tight.

So this morning, I was filling out my absentee ballot and pondering the upcoming events for the day while enjoying my iced coffee (in an ugly insulated glass) and a pumpkin bagel with honey-nut cream cheese.  Yum....
Later today Iwill hand out the pretzel rods covered with chocolate mummies to my nieces and nephews.  I made these for them (along with some of the immediate neighbors who will be begging for treats Wednesday).  Took me 'freaking' forever last week...but they are cute!

We then carved pumpkins (my sisters and I - along with families) have always gathered for this event annualy since my son was born - kinda evolved to include my dad (who carved pumpkins with me even ater I was an adult) and my mom.  Couple were missing this year - oldest niece is away at school and oldest nephew had a high school play.  The left two gals are nieces - my son is the tall one, not smiling so much, other two are nephew and the youngest niece.  My pumpkin is the fourth from the left - always a hack job!  My son's pumpkin will be living here for Wednesday too, as he will be working.  I get about 400 beggers - used to be a bit higher but quite a few are my son's age and older... I live in a pretty big sub and the surrounding "country" areas come where the houses are closer.  I love it!

I took these, plus gouhl-lash to eat.  The skeleton removes his head and sings a verison of the "hokey-pokey" a.k.a. "hocus-pocus" and shakes...he also glows in the dark.  The wine - has some spices and is served room tempurature or heated.  It was quite tastey.  It's a potluck and I really ate too much.

So a couple other updating things - my back, as it turns out, is most likely sciatic.  Thank goodness it's not the virus I had last year - which made the back surgery necessary.  I am back in physical therapy.  Yuck and Yeah - yuck cuz it's not fun, costs copays and is painful.  Yeah cuz it's helping, so far.

I have a new phone - taking me some time to learn the sucker.  It's a Motorola Droid - Razor Maxx.  It's taking me some lessons from my son - WHO moved out a little over two weeks ago.  I agree with so many others - empty nest is not easy.  It's okay, but not easy.   I really, really miss him.  He has been working afternoons for so long and with that and school and me working days, I didn't see him a lot but I still saw him.  I do hear from him at least every other day.  I simply text "hi" and get same back - that's it...but it's something.

So what the heck is going on with the Tigers?  I watched them SWEEP the Yankees a couple weeks ago.  Thought they had shot at winning the World Series.  Tonight, as I type, they are loosing game 4 to the SF Giants.  I remember when they won in '84, not so much the '68 series as I was pretty young...but I heard about it alot.  My Grandpa and Dad are/were huge Tiger fans. Until his passing, I took my Dad to at least one game a year (from the age of 12, with babysitting $$).  It's always bittersweet to watch them now - I miss my Dad - so about a little heavenly help...Go Tigers!  I am still believeing you can win this one!   Update - while proofing Tigers scored 2 runs and are now in the lead - but it is only the 4th inning.  Those fans have got to be cold - 42*.  And thanks Dad - keep sending the power to win this one!!

Well if I want to stitch a bit, I better get to it.  Happy Halloween everyone!  I will try to do a shorter post soon - when I wait so long between I have so much to tell you.  Welcome to new followers and welcome back to everyone else.  Spellchecker not working tonight so I hope I caught all of the errors. 

Stitch lots -
Sherry :0)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Quick Update...and "as they are today"

There it is - framed.  I love it!  The lady who retrieved it from the back asked me how old this was... funny is that - I tea/coffee dyed this all by myself.  

I Wait for the Lord by Hands To Work.  My summer Olympic stitching piece.  Hanging on my wall - it's a bit too high (replaced a long, narrow piece) but I plan on putting a couple different things up here and don't want to "rearrange" the nail holes until I have the others framed.  And that makes my husband happy.

So this weekend I go to "camp" sponsored by one of my LNS.  Camp is not that far from my house - about an hour...but it will take me and two of my buddies a couple hours to get there.  Stopping at the LNS and a couple quilting shops.  Here is a portion of projects I am taking:

Have to fill in lots of steps!  But see the doggie all in his pink glory.

Sorry for that crappy pic - wrinkled and darkish.

This give you an idea where I am - hopefully I will have tons 'o progress. 

Have a good weekend all - hope to catch up with your blog soon - I've been having back issues again and some other yuck going on...I need this weekend away to regroup.   See you soon!!

Stitch lots - Sherry :0)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Two Finishes!!! And progress too!

I finished this one this Friday evening.  Started just before the Olympics.  It's I Wait for the Lord   by Hands To Work.  The linen - I took from an old project that was never going to be done, over five skeins of WDW "Baked Apple" and ta-da...done.  Now to get it to the framer. 
This one gave me fits.  I tried different colors, different stitches (one thread, two threads and finally deciding on the first leg of the cross with one and then the second leg with two - double times through since the fiber is overdyed).  Yes, that means I took extra stitches, but I thought it looked better than the other two choices.  I did a lot of ripping on this one, even to the very end.  Right to the very last row!  I think it should say "patience" instead of "hope".
Finished this one this weekend too - Margaret Cottam by La-D-Da.  I didn't change a fiber on this one - it has WDW "Baked Apple" too on the most beautiful cocoa linen (also called for)!  I did put my name on the sampler as I am not so much in the 'gotta do it exact' reproduction,  just close.  Loved this one. 

Sorry the pictures are not super - took them when finished each night instead of waiting for the sun - plus it's hot outside, and humid, and yucky.  I am happy it's September and that autumn is just around the corner. 

Started Strawberry Hill but didn't have enough progress to post yet.  Next time ;-)

I received a surprise in the mail Saturday.  Part III of the Lizzie*Kate Mystery Sampler.  Now just to get the fiber pack and I will be starting this cute, fun stitch!

Read a bit this weekend too - needed to stretch out after all the stitching and sewing.

And progress, you ask, as hinted in the titled - well years ago I took my first formal quilt class.  I decided on pinks and browns, yummy fabric.  It's called Nancy's Fancy, nine squares.  I had a complete one done prior to the one day retreat in August.  I left there with only five and one half to go.  What's the big deal some may ask - it's only nine squares...each square is about 100 pieces.  Yikes - what was I thinking?  But she is beautiful.  And I have to get a dent in this before starting any of my new batiks (my rule)!
Since it's a three day weekend, since my child is gone most of this three day weekend and since my husband worked all but Saturday - I took advantage - I sewed for about four hours yesterday.  I have three left to make.  It takes about one hour to assemble each square.  The only thing done for each square is the half-square triangles and the lay out - so, to sew rows, then rows to rows to equal four and then each four to make eight.  That will be progress. 

So up I go - here it is 2:30 on Monday afternoon - Tiger game on, dishes done, laundry done, emails and blog reading caught up, emails out to batik places in search of my fabric done, meal prep for the week (what I can do ahead) done, I need to shower and then plop my fanny into the chair and make pretty with the sewing machine. I am hoping to knock out the other three squares today.   I will let you know


I will leave you with a final picture - still searching - madly - for this batik.  I just have to have it for the back of my top posted last week!

Hope you have done some fun things this weekend....have a great week.

Stitches and hugs,
Sherry :0)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just wait 'til you see what I've been up to (pic heavy)

Welcome...glad you could stop by for a visit today.  Boy, oh, boy did you pick a good one; if you don't have a little bit of time, come back.  Or you could check out the parts that interest you.  There's stitching, there's quilting and fabrics, a tiny bit of cooking and some catching up with what's going on here in my corner of the blog world. 

Marmalade & Jam - love this quilt - kind of a sampler type pattern.  I really learned lots in this class!
Now I just need to find the fabric for the back...I am on the hunt!  I posted a picture before, couple posts ago...I looked for it at the quilt show I recently attended (more on that in a bit).  I know I will find it.  It was really sunny the day I took the picture.  I love batiks.  Can't find one I don't like, although I really haven't tried that hard. :0)

I have been working on I Wait for the Lord  by Hands To Work.   I am almost done, just a couple more rows.  I don't have a progress picture for you on that yet.  And what's in the wings, waiting?  Keep reading...
This is my new project - waiting, waiting - patiently for attention.  It's Strawberry Hill by With Thy Needle & Thread.  It's going to be BE-AU-TI-FUL!!!  Don't you just love those colors?!   How many of you do this, laying it all out, touching it, making it so, so pretty - and not just for blog photos, but to look and admire the colors, textures and yumminess!
Picked up this book too, a wee bit back.  It's fun to look, plan and dream! Some day I will kit up one or two from this book.
Made a 'scary' purchase too.   Fabric and two parts of three for the Lizzie*Kate Very Scary Mystery Sampler.  Only thing missing is the fibers.  They are on order and will be arriving soon - another I really, really want to start.
These are for the extra project included with each part one and two (orange-sherbet and lavender fabrics).  Cute, cute, CUTE!
Last Thursday night I got in the car with Mary, one of my bestest friends in the whole, wide world.  We drove to Grand Rapids, we got some sleep after some giggles and stories.  The next morning we got our fannies in gear and boogied on over to the DeVos Place Convention Center to check  out this...the few dollars by the booklet - well that's about all I had left after a day of fun. 

My big purchase - and a new fav shop - SEWBATIK (bet you didn't see that one coming)!  This is the Diamond Dazzler.

 Side view - these batiks are stunning.  Can't wait to get this beauty started.  Aren't you dazzled?  I know I sure am.
Stopped by another awesome booth - Primitive Gatherings.  Who am I kidding - we hit all the booths.  But what a fun group of people - the vendors and the customers packed in Primitive Gatherings.  I picked up this pin cushion.  It is so sweet.  It's wool and some stitching.  Hope to start this one soon.  It's gonna be so S-W-E-E-T!
After leaving the quilt show, we stopped at a couple fabric stores here and there, be-bopping all the way back home - sure beats a day at work!  Surprise - more batiks.  And see that pumpkin/spider web fabric?  The little tan squares are a mini-sampler.  I think it will be a marvelous choice to go along with the Mystery Sampler above -  I plan on making a pillow for my bench once I finish stitching (oh, and begin stitching too).
 Close up of the batik with pumpkins.  This is so, way cool!
I was tuckered out on Friday night!  Boy, I didn't think I could do a trade show of that size and we saw most of what we wanted to see - the quilts on display were stunning.  Many were not something I would ever think of doing but the talent displayed was phenomenal.  There was a display for Alzheimer's - I admired that one from afar - was having too much fun.  Now don't get me wrong, I love displays like this and they are truly important and bring awareness to so many causes;  but I miss my Grandmas - both suffered horribly from Alzheimer's.  My husband's uncle who just passed away had Alzheimer's.  I just didn't want to get all bummed out and sad on such an otherwise perfect day.  I can tell you I definitely want to visit another quilt show like this one.  It was fun - with a capital F!

This little ditty will make both of the mini quilts on the pattern.  This was another Primitive Gathering pattern.  Boy, could I have dropped much more cash in that booth.  My friend Mary picked up an awesome quilt kit for herself, one I was considering until I found the to-die-for batik quilt above.

Hubby and I cleaned the heck out of the house on Saturday, went to the farmer's market, did the grocery shopping.  I let the laundry wait for something fun to do on Sunday.  When it was time to water the plants at the front door - this little creature was waiting for us.  He was about two inches long and those hairs - yuck!  I bet he's gonna be a moth - not a butterfly.  He was on the ceiling of the porch - that's why he kinda looks like he is upside down.

Sunday brought the fun laundry.  I stitched some, put away all my purchases.  Had dinner with my son (hubby had to go to work, as per our usual Sunday afternoon).  It was a nice visit with him - since he works opposite shifts and he was away with friends part of the weekend, eking out a couple hours to spend with 'just mom' was much needed and really nice. 

Besides organizing the stitching above and getting it bags, ready to stitch when done with Wait for the Lord , I picked my rhubarb - made up some sauce for toast, on top of vanilla ice cream, off a spoon - plain and delicious!
You still here?  Wow - thanks for visiting for a bit.

It's about time for me to go read before turning in.  Before you know it, morning will be here and it's back to work time.  Gotta pay for the shopping I have done lately and gotta stop shopping and get busy working on some of this fun stuff.

Hope all you blog-buddies have a nice week, with lots of productive work, stitching, quilting - whatever tickles your fancy.  Only four more days and I have a three day weekend.  Can you believe it's almost September?  I don't know about you, but I am so ready for the humidity to get the heck out of here.  I love autumn - the colors, the smells, the low humidity and relief from the heat.

Take care - stitch a bit, sew a bit, do what makes you smile!
Sherry :0)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Olympic Withdrawal!

I don't know about you, but I sure miss the Olympics for a bit once they are over...I kind of go through a withdrawal even though I spent two weeks in a blur from lack of sleep and tried to cram in as much viewing as I could.  I even become a channel surfer or flipper (which bugs me normally - I have two guys in my house who flip all the time) and go from Olympic channel to Olympic channel.

This is how my Olympic piece looked after closing ceremonies...I really kicked butt on this one. I decided to work on this mainly because it was one color fiber - allowing more attention to the t.v. I think most stitchers are listeners not watchers; but when the Olympics are on (summer or winter) I am a watcher with a capital W! My tension on some of the rows seems a bit more tight than others. Hmmm, wonder if that is a result of the swimming?  The gymnastics or the boxing?  Perhaps it was the track & field - you get the picture - ALL of it! I am pleased with my progress. I don't have much more to go and hope to finish soon and then
find one of those wonderful % off coupons for framing!

As a reminder...this is what it looked like prior to Opening Ceremonies.

I Wait For The Lord by Hands to Work.  The linen is out of my stash, tea-dyed by moi.  WDW Baked Apples.

I did a bit of shopping - Pineberry Lane's Autumn on Marigold Lane.  I ordered it long ago and was very glad to finally receive it with the called for fibers and linen - it's a must stitch soon!  Beautiful.  Sorry for the glare.  I will try to get a better shot next time.  I received my final December fabric of the month too, when this arrived.  It took a long time (December 2011) but is a pretty, kind of silverish color. 

Close up of the meager start on Marigold Lane - Olympics were still on so I was focused on my other piece.  I started this at my Sampler Guild's meeting. 
My baby turned 19 since the last post.  He's almost out of the teens and sometimes I really wonder where the time went.   It was very weird this year; he works afternoons and I work days.  This was the first time I didn't actually see him on his birthday.  I did text him shortly after midnight (time he was born) and wished him a happy birthday, talked to him while I was at work before he left the next afternoon.  We are going out to dinner this weekend to celebrate but I couldn't resist getting him a birthday treat.  Isn't he cute?
 A monster cookie with cool eyebrows.  I teased my husband they looked like his "over 50" rogue eyebrows.  It must have been delicious since it was totally gone the next day.

So now with the Olympics done, the next t.v. adventure started Shark Week!  My niece painted her nails in honor of Shark Week on the Discovery channel.  When my son was little,  we taped most episodes and watched them over and over until the next year.  I still enjoy watching a bit of Shark Week. 
I couldn't capture the fin on her thumb.  There's bubbles in the blue nails.  She's a riot.  I cracked up when I saw them.

Well it's time for me to wrap things up.  I am a tired puppy this Friday night.  I have not been sleeping well with a bit of hip/back pain.   I am not sure what's up with that, but hopefully some rest and relaxation this weekend will be the cure.  Hope you get to spend time doing what you love to do, something that makes you smile!

Until next time,
Sherry :0)