Monday, November 24, 2008

Framed, Finished, and Grateful

Went to stitching group last night and "Wedding" was framed and ready to go. You can't really tell it by the picture, but the actual frame is silver that changes color a little as it hits the light. My daughter has seen a picture of it stitched and she knows it was being framed. Now the dilemma is - put her off and save it for Christmas or go ahead and give it to her? It really was meant to be a wedding gift, as opposed to Christmas, but it wasn't finished until shortly after the wedding. Decisions, decisions.

Made some decent progress on TS (Travel Sampler) during an SAT this past weekend. Glad to be on an actual motif, instead of one of the two borders. (Glutton for punishment here to have put in two borders (it's Kim R's fault for letting me see her gorgeous sampler borders). It'll be pretty, but it does make somewhat monotonous stitching sometimes. It's good to be stitching some of the fun part now. :)

I'm also really getting in the Christmas mood with stitching and finished up this Mill Hill kit - Poinsettia.

Sometimes it's easy to get so caught up in preparing for Christmas, Thanksgiving is just the first day of the Christmas season. Savoring this holiday is one way to show gratitude for the blessings in my life. As we all know, there's no guarantee for tomorrow. Feeling thankful for the special things today is important.

So here's my list of blessings:
-My Savior, who gives me life & gave us a fantastic church to call home.
-My DH, sweet, loving and hard-working
-My family, (DH, DD & SIL, DS & fiance, DD & BF, and my mother are the constants in my life).
-My mother - she deserves a special place here - I cherish the relationship we have.
-My brothers and all their families, that I love dearly and enjoy so much the times we get together.
-My friends, that I've had for both long & short years (Nancy, Sue, Cheryl, Frances, Terry, Kathy, & Deborah - you keep me sane!) Bless you.
-My dog, who gives me a glimpse of what unconditional love is like! (ok, ok, & my cat, who gives us a glimpse of .....never mind (sigh) LOL
-My health, though I could be doing more to help it.
-My trappings of life - shelter, transportation, jobs, and so much more.
-My country & all those who came before to give us freedom and those that keep us free still. Our country was & is built upon the backs of their sacrifices. Bless you.
-And for you, my cross stitching friends, both near and far. Some I get to see each week or every so often, and some I will never meet in person, but I treasure our friendships. The intangible gifts received through these online boards, groups, and blogs are priceless. Through them we all share a love and passion for needlework that is limitless.
I feel as if I know many of you well enough to share personal tidbits of my life and to gladly listen as you share yours. I've laughed, cried, been challenged to try new ideas, and definitely been enabled! (ahem, Rene & others...;0 ). I love the stitching pieces, the parts of your life you share, your encouragement, your pictures, your blogs, and your love of needlework. It's a privilege to know you here online and consider you all a daily part of life. And special gratitude is given to those that keep all these groups, boards, and blogs going. Thank you for all the personal comments you've made in groups or on my blog. They are so encouraging & I truly do value each and every one.
You all have touched and enriched my life in ways that you may never fully know.
God bless you all & have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Carolyn NC

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Carols #1 - I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day & and an Exchange

True Confessions - I am a Christmas music junkie! Recently I bought the Christmas CD by Casting Crowns. The first song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is absolutely gorgeous. (Click on the arrow underneath the song title on the top right, if you'd like to hear it.) They rearranged the lyrics to a different tune and in the CD leaflet gave the history.
Henry W. Longfellow wrote the lyrics after a time of great despair during the Civil War. It was Christmas Day, 1864, about six months before the War ended. He wrote seven stanzas including two about the War. He himself had been through tragedy with his wife's horrible death a few years before and recently heard that his son was seriously injured -crippled- in the War. This particular year (maybe with the hope that the War was coming to an end) he heard the bells ringing on Christmas Day reminding him of hope in God for peace. He wrote in the poem of the earlier years of war and then ended it with this knowledge of God's presence. The two stanzas about the Civil War were removed and the poem was made into a carol in the 1870's. What a moving story....
Here are the five stanzas now used. I was fascinated and touched by the whole history. Yes, we can have hope and peace, regardless of our current circumstances. :)

"Christmas Bells"

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

The picture at the top is one I'd like to stitch in the future. This was posted as someone's finish last year and I was able to find it. It came from "Cross Stitch and Country Crafts" Jan./Feb. 1996 and was designed by Patricia Andrle.

Below is my wonderful ornament exchange from Diane in my ILCS group. Much thanks - it's so pretty!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A New Form of Tag

I have been tagged by Sadie and Terry.

Here are the rules:
Find the 6th folder in your photos folder and then the 6th photo in it.
* Pray that you remember the details *
Post it on your blog
Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Well, my 6th folder was WIP's and this was the sixth and last photo. I know - not an exciting picture. Can anyone guess what this one is? I keep smaller projects to stitch on Monday nights at our group, but haven't touched this one in a while. I've been stitching other things instead. :) So it serves as a reminder to me that it is feeling sadly neglected. Unfortunately, I may not get back to it until after Christmas. We'll see. Figured it out? It's the LHN Little Women series - Quilting.
I've tagged Donna, Kathy K., Mare, Shari, and Sharon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No More Frogs on PS! (& a little Christmas cheer)

I was able to stitch on this personalized sampler right much after my fiasco with frogs. The inside border goes so much faster than the outside. Hoping to finish the page by the end of the week.
Weekend turned out to be somewhat busy. I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks and I haven't even begun to do anything for Christmas. Oh well, it always happens and it manages to all be done. Donna posted on her blog about a really cool Christmas tradition. Might have to incorporate that one in our house somehow. Can't wait to decorate the tree for Christmas! We have a tradition of going to get the tree Thanksgiving weekend and putting it up on that Sunday. Hope all my chilluns can be there this year. We play Christmas music, have pizza and hot chocolate (not sure how that one developed over time) and have a blast. I'm really big into our tree as I have been collecting ornaments for the children and us each year. Many of these are made by little hands, pictures, brass, crocheted, ceramic, pretty, not so pretty!, etc. But the memories attached are priceless. So, unfortunately, the tree gets bigger and bigger each year. Good thing it's in a tall corner. My DH has been lobbying for an artificial tree year after year, but our youngest DD (still in college) is pleading, not til she's out of school. LOL - Guess who wins this one? Right - the DD! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Progress, Slow but Sure

Slow, but sure is the truth. I participated in an SAT last night and was really looking forward to making inroads on this personalized sampler. Alas, best laid plans of mice and know the drill. The green critter visited me after two hours worth of work, and the mistake was at the beginning, so I had to take almost all of it out (sigh) and start again. However, I had more stitching time to go, so I do have some progress :). C'est la vie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quick Stitch

We had a challenge this week to stitch a Christmas ornament, so I stitched this little one yesterday and finished it today. Gotta love these quick stitches and convenient little frames for them!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Gabi tagged me to share 6 things about me.
The rules are as following:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Random Facts -
1. My grandfather was born during the Civil War (& no, I'm not that old!) My father was in his 50's when I was born, and his father (my gf) was 40ish when he was born. In essence, we have one generation for everyone else's two.
2. Secretly, I love my demonic cat (well, at least like) and keep trying to get her to love me. :)
3. I am a Christian.
4. I have a huge travel bug, which my mother contributed greatly to. She took me to visit 6/7 continents - guess which one I missed? Don't plan on going either!
5. I love unique, sentimental, or pretty Christmas ornaments. Our tree is a testament to that. It keeps getting bigger and bigger - LOL
6. I love flowers, sweet pea bushes, trees that are huge and old with character, the mountains, and the beach.

I have tagged:

Weekend SAT Finishes

Wow, judging from everyone's finishes this weekend, I am so impressed with all the beautiful work done. I was able to accomplish most of my goals, but not quite all. I did the final stitching and finishing on the Christmas Ornament,

Madeira Biscornu,

and the signature RR's (no picture - bagged up and ready to mail :).
Now I have the completed set of the Madeira Tin Sampler Project by Fancy Work.

I hit a snag with the Snowman pillow. I've been to JoAnn's twice this weekend and can't find a material that I really like to go with it. I'm going to another place soon, so I can get that one finished.

I did stitch on my Travel Sampler, but not much. It's only a little progress, but it's out and in my stitching spot and I'll be working on it more. This particular chart was a personalized sampler I got from Nouveau Encore. Stephanie designs these, similar to the French Alphabet charts, and does a phenomenal job. I was privileged to travel around with my mother over a ten year span. This sampler is a culmination of the different places we visited. I'm using black silk with a darker green and a wine over-dyed (not the green, pink, and yellow featured in the picture). The fabric is a 32 ct. cream evenweave.


After......a little bit more in the top border

Full chart design....

This has been a real joy to watch everyone's finishes and really get to work more on mine. I think we're all thinking this is a great idea to do once a month. I know Shelleen is planning on it, and so are some others. So, I hope to see everyone back with all their lovely labors once again!
On another note, I was thrilled to see that there is Let's Stitch TOO that does have memberships open, so I was able to join. This is a wonderful blog, guaranteed (well, almost) to make you pull your UFO's out and start finishing up some of these projects that are getting moth-eaten! Check it out - you'll be impressed. Until next time...hope all have a great day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekend SAT

I know, I know, you've already seen pictures of fall in the mountains on my blog. But today is one of the most beautiful fall days we've had so far. Down here in the middle of NC we've actually had a fall season this year (or close to it, if you get picky). I didn't realize how much I liked the fall; normally I'm a child of the spring! The trees have turned later than they normally do and their beauty is awe-inspiring.
Speaking of which, one of my favorite blogs is Let's Stitch. Watching all the progress on UFO's, BAP's & everything else is inspiring to me. I don't know all of the info, but I've seen Friday Stitch-a-Thons with before and after pictures. Since their membership is full at the moment (with people waiting), I can't join them on the actual blog, so I thought I'd join along on my own. :) Also, Shelleen has invited stitchers to participate with her in a weekend long finishing spree, so I'm going to incorporate that in, too. My goals are to finish a Christmas ornie for an exchange, finish the Madeira biscornu, work on the Snowman pillow that I finished last week, stitch some signatures, and stitch on my Mom's travel sampler. Below is a picture of this sampler that I haven't touched in awhile. As you can see, I need to get busy on it. Anyone care to join in and see what you can start, stitch, or finish? Come on - it'll be fun!