Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Standing in the silence

She stood and watched me. I mirrored her actions. Such beauty would have been missed if I had only been looking at the trees. Standing in the silence, she appeared. My wish for 2011 is that I can stand in the silence a little more, a little longer each day so I can experience the surprises silence has to offer.

Friday, December 03, 2010

2011 Crazy January Challenge

I think I've lost my mind. I found a reference to this challenge on Siobhan's blog and have decided to try it as a way to get back in the swing of stitching daily. Since I sold and/or gave away my stash several years ago (I'll never do that again), I'll start with Christmas ornaments for 2011 and two Lizzie Kate patterns I recently purchased.  

You know you want to join in the fun.   Here's  where I signed up. 

Crazy January Challenge 2011

We have so many charts in our stashes, so let's start stitching them!
The rules are simple:

1. Start stitching a new design every day, from January 1st to  January 15th.  So by January 15th you have 15 new WIPs to stitch!
2. Try and finish everything you started stitching during the year 2011 :)
3. Show photos in your blog if you have one, in January and during the whole year while you stitch, as we all love to see photos!
4. Have fun stitching!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Good morning. It's quiet chilly here in Central Virginia this morning and I love it! I've been waiting for fall to turn to winter since mid-July. I'm ready for snow. Yesterday was the first day of Advent and my soul was filled at the sound of young voices reading scripture during our Hanging of the Greens service.We'll be decorating our tree tonight.

Super excited to begin Jessica Sprague's Inspiration Everywhere class. Registration closes at midnight eastern time so register now for this free class. My creative juices are flowing and I'm looking forward to having a place to record what inspires me. Off to design the cover for my journal.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Musings

The first cup of coffee is in hand and Holly is settling in beside me (hoping to share some of her own thoughts as she did yesterday). Yesterday we took it easy. DH watched every basketball and football game he could find. By the end of the evening he was quiet bored and a little nervous that the two to three weeks of recovery from wrist surgery that he will have on Thursday is going to be much the same. Since it is his left hand and he is left-handed, my honey-do list will be very short.

We're also adjusting to not having China, she's the black kitty. She passed away on Monday due to chronic kidney failure. Holly seems to have made the transition easier than hubby and I have. I think Holly has waited 16 years to be the only feline in the family. She's receiving more than double the attention and is soaking it all in. Time will heal our broken hearts but it is easier knowing that she crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is now with Nigel, Belle and Achilles.

Today holds many chores as we prepare for DH's surgery. We're transplanting a few azaleas, watching the Virginia Tech vs. Virginia game at 12:30 p.m. and decorating the tree. In between these projects, I'm finishing an embroidery piece for a favorite 13 year-old's Christmas present (I'll post pictures when it is complete.) I'll work on Mom's jacket Friday since I'll be home with the patient. Speaking of Mom, the Thanksgiving cactus she gave me this summer has bloomed. It's a gorgeous shade of orangey salmon.

I'm also continuing to work on Dad's scrapbook. I'm almost finished with the paper layouts. I'm waiting for a new blade for my Silhouette to arrive so I can complete the embellishments. Then onto journaling. It seems my pattern is to create the layout and embellish as much as I can before using the Silhouette - I like to do all of my cutting at the same time.Then I journal. I allow the stories on the pages suggest how I will record the events in words. Sometimes I type and sometimes I hand write.

I found these templates this morning and can't wait to try them. I also love the idea of creating a page a week. Since we do not have children, my weekly pages will not only include the tidbits of our lives but also our families and extended families and friends.Since I'm digi scrapping more and more and am developing an organized system of my files I hope I can stick with this. Perhaps this will be the beginning of something new with the recording of our lives.

I'm also itching to do some cross-stitch. Many years ago, cross-stitch was my one and only passion (next to reading). As I began knitting, I gave up cross-stitching and sold most of my supplies - lesson learned, even if I make a serious transition to digi scrapping, I will not give up my paper because I know I will return to it. I'm working hard at holding off on a major project until after Christmas, or perhaps to begin at Christmas. I may try a few small ornaments but really, I have too much to complete.

I'm smelling French toast and it's time for another cup of java. Enjoy each moment of the day.

Blessings on the journey,

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List 2010

Hi, I'm Holly, Momma's kitty and I've taken over the keyboard this morning. I'm participating in a giveway over at Today's Moma because the prizes are everything that's on my cousins wish lists. Oh, how great it would be to win. Since I'm Momma's shadow, I know that my answers will match what she would answer.
1. What is your holiday wish for your family? I hope my family has a healthy holiday season so we can spend time together - there's nothing like snuggling with Momma and Daddy when it's cold outside. Oh yea, and I wish for a huge snow so they can't go anywhere! Momma's holiday wish would be for us to give gifts as an expression of the joy we have received because of Christ, the real reason we have Christmas.
2. What is your Christmas morning tradition? I'm the only child in the house. If Momma and Daddy stay here for Christmas we snuggle all day. Now, most years they go visit Momma's side of the family where my human cousins are 7,8,9 - glad I'm not there. I hear they get up as early as the children do and then the free-for-all begins. After they have opened all of their presents and examined gifts from Santa, then they slow down. Fortunately they clean up the wrapping paper before they go make breakfast so they don't step on my cousin Alice, the largest gray cat I've ever seen.
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be? A completely decadent wish for myself - well that would be to have Momma home with me 24/7. Now, she would say that for herself she would like a month in Ireland and Scotland or a new car that is fully-loaded and already paid for. But I don't like either of those ideas because then that would mean I would not get my wish.
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money? I never spend any money. Oh wait, I'm suppose to be answering these questions from Momma's perspective. Well, she makes almost all of the gifts she gives. I can't give away what she is making this year but she has used knitting needles and yarn (I love when a ball of yarn falls off of the sofa), sewing machine, paper, scissors, needles and thread.
5. What games did you play with your family growing up? I chase yarn around the house and played hide and seek from my sisters who are no longer here. Forgot again, Momma played lots of board and card games with her family, she also made her brothers play school with her (LOL). They lived in the mountains so they also spent a lot of time outside playing Kick-the-Can, King of the Mountain, Hide and Seek (hey wait, they play that too!) and baseball, football and basketball. They also took lots of walks in the woods and went fishing. Yummy, fish. I'm beginning to think I like some of the games they played.
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood? Okay, this time I'm only going to give Momma's answer. She buys a new ornament every year for our tree. She also makes sure that she buys a first ornament for family that have gotten married or have had a baby. She makes many family recipes the way her Momma makes them, especially the yummy smelling cookies.
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip? I do not want to go anywhere for Christmas. A few years ago, Momma and Daddy went to the beach for Christmas but they came back earlier than expected. They missed being at home. If Momma's entire family could go away at Christmas, it would be somewhere that has snow for Momma and beach for everyone else.
8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? The cousins were here this summer and I heard them say that on their wish lists are Super Mario All-Stars, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Wii Sports Resort.
Gotta run, I hear Momma getting up! I hope she wins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

36 Days Until Christmas

How long until Christmas? 36 Days, 20 Hours, and 2 Minutes - piece of cake for those who are making Christmas gifts. Yikes, 36 days to complete Dad's scrapbook and Mom's I Can't Believe It's A Sweatshirt Jacket, not to mention a few other handmade items.

Originally, I had planned for Dad's scrapbook to be all paper but last night I thought, why not make a hybrid book. I could do digital layouts of photos of our family and paper layouts from his childhood and his family. Here is a photo I worked on this morning.

The frame and word art is from Jessica Sprague's Frame Up and Special Effects. I love all of Jessica's classes - as a teacher none can compare. It's great taking an online class that has printed materials as well as videos. I normally watch the video and stop it along the way and then work on my project.

Here is the finished page.
Yellow Paper and Flower button - Funkarooni by Amy Sumrall
Journal Circle - Faith Sisters Birthday
Teal Paper - Live TW Stories - Wave - Jessica Sprague

I have all day tomorrow and Saturday to dedicate to the scrapbook. My plan is to finish the paper pages - that includes journaling, titles, etc. and then move onto the digi pages.

Another thought that came to me last night is that Mom's jacket maybe too big. She has lost weight since I bought the sweatshirt in the spring. Even if it is too big, my Mom will wear it because it was made by me. That's the wonderful thing about my Mom.

Here's to getting through the next 36 days.

Blessings on the journey,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Needlework Frenzy

From Needlework

Lately my fingers have had a needle in them pulling thread. Almost daily I have been sewing, quilting, stitching and always dreaming of the next project. The above needle felting landscape was created during workshop with Margo Duke when she was at Quilting Adventures in May. What a wonderful time and Margo is a gifted spirit. The women in the class were amazing - each creation filled my soul.

From Needlework

This was my very first needle felt item and I like it because I stretched myself and used colors I would normally not choose for my self.

I have also begun to embroidery again. For 20 years cross-stitch was my passion obsession. I began do embroidery work as a child. One item I'm working on is a hand-quilted and hand-embroidery baby quilt for my great-niece Haden who is due in October.
From Needlework
This is such a traditional baby quilt design but I had to have something to make for her - right away! Of course, since then, I've purchased two more quilt kits and have plans for another.

From Needlework
I've also been piece quilting and it is a challenge for me. While I was home for Mother's Day, Mom and I went through her fabric stash and I found fabric that was used for some of Granny's aprons. I'm being very cautious in how I use them because I don't want to waste them. Here is a small version of a pinwheel pattern. Lots to learn! 
From Needlework

Also while going through the stash we found a pair of pillowcases that Granny purchased more than 40 years ago to embroidery while Granddad was in the hospital. He later passed away and she never worked on the pillowcases. I have them and am stitching them as a Christmas gift for Mom. I love using the same thread and needles that Granny purchased. Pictures are found here.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring Cleaning

After a rather harsh winter, I'm ready to jump into some new projects. It's pollen season around here and for the past two days everything is covered with a yellowish-green film. Today I could see the pollen floating across the lawn as the wind blew. It's also gardening time. DH has been working on getting the soil conditioned. Yesterday he and his brother spread horse manure and today he tilled it into the ground. English peas, cabbage and broccoli are already coming up. I cannot wait for a fresh pea salad, some steamed broccoli and Asian coleslaw in a few weeks. Yum!

Even more exciting is that I'm creating a new studio. My needlework, knitting, crocheting, beading and scrapbook projects are all over the house! Photos are here. How did this craziness begin the week before Easter? The most holy and busy time (especially if you are on a church staff as I am). I've been dreaming of a wall hanging for my office. The scene is one of my most favorite spots in Burkes Garden, VA. Back to the wall hanging. A meeting with a friend in a LFS lead to a conversation about quilting - the next thing I new, I was headed to Quilting Adventures, signing up for a few classes and while I was there I found a book by Judith Baker Montana called Fibreart Montage and there were images of fabric art that I had been dreaming about for my wall hanging.

After coming home with yet another bag of supplies, I realized I needed to get myself organized. In discussing my dilemma with DH, he suggested I switch rooms and use the former guest room as my craft room. This suggest came as we were going to bed - mistake! I stayed awake all night dreaming of how I wanted my studio space to look. Notice, I'm calling it a studio (and so is he - now). The next morning, I looked the two rooms over and wondered why we had not come up with the idea sooner. The new space is twice as large as the old space and one where I can actually work. By the end of next week the two rooms should be complete. My favorite magazine, Where Women Create, has been inspirational and affirming.

Needless to say, I'm still pacing myself. I recovered from assisting and attending seven services in four days and I'm preaching this Sunday. But after Sunday, watch out!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Traveling Woman Shawl

My latest shawl is the Traveling Woman Shawl (I found it on Ravelry.)

I'm using handspun cashmere that I bought 4 years ago and have waited to use with the right pattern. This is it. I love the feel of the fiber not only on the needles but also as a finished product.

The pattern is easy to read. Even though the pattern does not suggest to use stitch markers to mark the pattern repeat, time and again, I have found for me that stitch markers help me keep the pattern straight. Also, I used a life line because on the 5th row of the pattern I had problems. After reading the Traveling Woman KAL on Ravelry, I was reminded that a life line would help. So I put on in and ripped back several rows and started over. Before I knew it, I was flying along with the pattern.

I'm now half way through the second pattern repeat. My hope is to have the shawl finished by the weekend.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Snow Storm Knitting

I am knitting so much these days in part because we keep getting snowstorms on the weekends. A few weeks ago, I began knitting cowls, scarves and shawls. It has been a while since I've knitted scarves and there is something very refreshing about knitting up something quick.

I've eyed several cowl patterns for about a year and finally starting making a few. I'm addicted! This cowl is a Spiral Cowl. I made a few mistakes in the beginning but a 1/4 of the way through the pattern made sense. I'll post my notes later. I decided not to rip out the mistakes because this is a very loose cowl that needs a shawl pin to keep it closed. I figured that the wrap-over of the material will hide the mistakes.