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I love anything creative...I am a busy mom of three (+4 dogs, 1 bird, 1 bunny, and 1 sweet husband) who sometimes wishes I had more time/energy/talent to devote to just being creative!

Monday, December 26, 2011


I don't know about you, but a part of me, after having a very wonderful Christmas is just glad it's over. I love Christmas, giving presents, decorating, lights, music, Santa and his reindeer. It is all so nice when its chilly and dark outside to have it be so festive inside. But a little part of me is looking forward to taking down all the lights and decorations, finding homes for all the new presents, packing the ornaments away carefully in their boxes, and taking down the tree. A part of me is looking forward to the New Year and a fresh start and new goals and moving forward from what has been a stressful year with lots of changes (good and bad). A part of me looks forward to spring time, and new gardens, and open windows, and warmth.

These are my very last minute finishes for Christmas ornaments.

These two are of my oldest's ornament. It is from Lizzie Kate's 6 fat men series. Of course with some color changes, and additional beading for his eyes and buttons

This was made for my sweetie. It is a Bent Creek Flair chart. I liked it because it's not Christmas-y so he can hang it somewhere year round. Again, I probably changed every single color I could. I liked the thread I used to border the cloud gave it a silver lining.
And this is my youngest's ornament. It is a San Man freebie. My youngest loves penguins,she calls them penguino's. Anyway we had a great Christmas, I hope your families did too!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

John Lennon = persona non grata in my house

At our house we have been playing non-stop Christmas music since before Thanksgiving. I can't help it, it's so cheerful and there's nothing inappropriate for little ears to hear. Well little did I know that Christmas music, specifically the John Lennon "Happy Christmas/War is over" could lead to a boat load of questions. As it was playing last week I mentioned that John Lennon was killed in December the year after mommy was born. I wish I had never said anything, I didn't think they were even listening. But of course instead, this led to the question of how/why/what happened??? And now every time it plays they re-ask me the whole story and are oddly/morbidly fascinated by it. And it is really hard to delicately explain "crazed gunman" to a child. We have even had to google/wikipedia it, because when I told my 8 year old I didn't know why she told me she was sure Google would know. So now that is the one song I wish they would stop playing on the radio, not that it's not a perfectly lovely song. Also the pic of John Lennon/Yoko Ono that is featured at the top of the wikipedia page on John Lennon, you know that famous one by Annie Leibovitz, while also lovely--not so appropriate for children.

And these two angels are part of the embarrassing number of Christmas ornaments I have started and will never ever finish all of this season. I love the simplicity of the two colors. I am using a Krienik gold thread for their halos/stars/belts, and a navy blue Weeks thread for their gowns instead of the traditional black. The top one is done/framed in a cute little frame I found in a thrift store for $2. The bottom one is an almost done WIP. My goal is to someday do all of them.

I hope all of you out there are having a "Happy Christmas" season.

P.s.... its 64 degrees here in Phx today, so if you can see snow from your window i'm a little bit jealous.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkeys Turkeys everywhere!

As I may have mentioned before, I like to stitch "in season". And this is the season of the bird. We actually already cooked a small turkey last week for dinner, and the left-overs only lasted maybe a week. For Thanksgiving we are going the non-traditional route of a Honey Baked Ham, YUM! The above was just finished, it is off of a larger chart "Harvest Blessings" by Diane Arthurs,(its about 3x3 I think).

And this was my start on Lizzie Kate's November flip-it, which sadly will have to wait until next November to be finished. And I found the cutest little wooden frame for it too. I was a little disappointed this one won't get to be displayed on Turkey day. Of course I again changed every single color I could on it. And as you can see I changed my mind on which color brown to use as the background for the letters, so now I have to rip all the dark brown on the right side out (it came out too dark for me).

And let me just post a warning about these next pictures...they may only be interesting to me but I was trying to motivate myself to finish this one this year. Obviously all that good motivation only lasted 5 days...sigh my touch of ADD struck me down again. I started on Bent Creek's Uber-Turkey and this is where I am at so far. I was trying to take pics every day to keep me motivated to work on it. I remember what a pain the Uber-egg became even though I loved the design and bright pastel colors. So I was trying to get this one done pre-Thanksgiving. I have changed all the colors on it, not sure I am liking my tail feather choices so far. Yet another turkey packed away for next year.

I have already started some of my X-mas ornament stitching, I think I may have even gotten my Thanksgiving stitches done if I hadn't started in trying to get some ornaments done before we put the tree up. I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey day with the people you love (and stays safe/sane on black Friday).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

State Fair

In October in Arizona the State fair comes to town, and this year we were in it! I entered "Walk in the Woods" by Cricket Collection and won 2nd place.

I also entered my "Harvest of Love" by Lizzie Kate and won 3rd in the pillow category.

My daughter on the other hand took FIRST PLACE woo-hoo! for her hand-sewn Hello Kitty purse she made. Yeah MAYA! My little crafter, I'm so proud.

I am already plotting my state fair entry for next year. And while I was so excited to win a ribbon, the piece that won first place in the stitching category I think should not have won. Is that wrong of me to say? Am I being a sore loser? It was a kit from Michael's/Joann's that was done on 14ct Aida with DMC, while it was large and colorful, it just was not as fancy/skillful as other pieces that were there. I'm not saying my piece should have taken first, it was done on plain even-weave with DMC off of a chart from 1989 I think. But there were a few pieces I saw that were just beautiful, and I wish I had taken some pics of them too. Stitched over one, with variegated threads and also alot of really difficult stitches I'm not brave enough to even attempt yet. So it did make me wonder who exactly they had judging and how I could get on the committee! When we went to pick up our pieces I asked the lady how they chose the judges. She said that most of them were from a local quilting guild (which is close but not the same as needlework). Im still excited to enter again next year though, and I know Maya is too. It's fun to see in person all the amazing stuff other crafters are making. P.S.--the winning piece is the one to the left of my head in the photo.

Anyways we spent all afternoon/evening at the fair, and finally had to drag the girls home at 09:30 at night, way past bedtime! We decided it was time to go home once the Snoop Dogg concert let out. The girls would have stayed till midnight though.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween Hangover!

These are my two girls Halloween costumes. Zoe was Dorothy this year, and Maya was a princess. I loved both their dresses, oh to be five again. I myself went as a pirate this year, and I almost went as a very naughty pirate. I found a parrot at Goodwill for 99 cents. It was one of those talking ones, but of course had no batteries with it. I bought it anyways thinking it was still pretty cute even if it didn't talk. I got it home and stuck batteries in it and WOW did that parrot talk. It said some things that would make a sailor blush. He actually said about five different witticisms, each one more vulgar than the last. It seems that Polly wanted more than a cracker. Needless to say Polly promptly had his batteries removed, and did not get to attend our preschool trunk or treat!

Now that Halloween is done, I have spent this week putting all the decorations away, and eating my children's Halloween candy. You might think my hangover was caused by all the empty candy wrappers laying around my feet. And while I do feel my teeth starting to tingle with cavities, my hangover is actually caused by x-stitch. I started lots of Halloween stitches, so many they now have their very own WIP box...sigh. I also was forced to admit I started more Halloween stitches than I finished. Instead of binging on candy I binged on cross-stitch.

This is one of the few I actually finished this season. A Lizzie Kate from the "Fall Crazy" chart. I actually forgot to sew the star on her witches wand, so I had to improvise and sew on a little charm afterwards. I also found some cute star sequins at Jo-Anns and added those on too.

This is another Lizzie Kate, off of her "Halloween" chart. I changed all the colors and it is stitched on hand-dyed even weave. One of my litle candy corn buttons broke in half as I was sewing it on. It was my own fault, I didn't want to dig for a smaller needle to sew on the buttons with. I love the little spider button, what a cute idea to sew on his legs.

And these are all my starts-and put away till next years.....The box gets bigger every year. Sigh (and a little of giggle of glee ... I really do love Halloween stitching!)

Trunk or Treat

For Halloween our preschool did a Trunk or Treat event. It was the first year I had gone (actually the 3rd year our daughter has attended the school though), and I had lots of fun. They do a raffle supporting the school and above is what I made. It's Lizzie Kate but I changed the colors into primary colors. The frame is from Pier 1, and I found it for 5 bucks at Goodwill! I painted the mat a bright yellow, and the preschool teacher had the children put their fingerprints on the wooden part of the frame and then turned them into flowers & bugs. It turned out so cute! And it raised $85 for the preschool which is awesome.

And this is what I won from the preschool raffle. The bag is handmade with really beautiful batik quilting fabric. And the inside was stuffed with really cozy/fuzzy/fluffy yarns. Is it so wrong of me to be inspired to take up knitting? Anyways I was so excited to win this.

And below is my oldest daughter and me (and our ghostie) in the trunk afterwards. I made the mistake of wearing pointy pirate boots as part of my costume and could barely walk afterwards. I also hand-dyed the skirt from white to red. The most impressive part of this is that I managed to not dye anything else in my house bright red!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Excited for Autumn

This is my first bloom out of the sunflower patch, so excited! Though the seed packets lied in the 6 to 7ft tall claim, mine are only about 4-5ft tall. But still pretty,maybe it's just the heat that is stunting their growth. There is a little bee perched on the bottom left of the sunflower, see him?

These are all my recent finishes. By showing you them here in all their unfinished glory I am trying to shame myself into actually finishing them into something pretty and display-worthy. People ask me all the time how many cross stitches I have hung up in my house. Well i've been stitching for 20 years now, so you would think I have more than a few. But really I only have maybe 15 out on display. I know I have stitched more than that, so in a recent clean up of the craft room I did a count of my finishes, and WIP. I'm gonna take a deep breath now and admit my secret....I have THIRTY FOUR finished/not finished peices stuffed in a bag on a shelf in my craft room, and TWENTY SEVEN works in progress....EEK! So my goal for the year is to get every single finished pieced out of that bag and up on a wall, made into an ornament, or given as a gift by the end of this year. I didn't put all that work into them just to have them sit in a bag. Though most of the joy of stitching for me is in the stitching itself, not necessarily the finished project. I am still pondering a way to hold myself accountable on the finishes. I'm thinking a little sidebar list, where I can cross out the finishes as I go.

And this is my Mount Everest cross stitch. It is a Sandy Orton design, Autumn Sampler, measuring 14" by 18". And it's not solid stitching. It has little designs that are fun to finish, but lots of details and backstitching, and thread changes. So this is the piece that has taken me 4 years to get this far on, and will probably be another two before it's done. I am reconsidering doing the other 3 seasons ( I have already started the Spring Sampler).

On the non-stitchy front this is what has been taking up the rest of my time. We adopted a new bunny, Gypsy. Who so far has done very well with the chaos and children and dogs in our household (I was a little worried we would give new bunny a heart attack).

Also I finished Zoey's door this week. I chickened out on painting Tinkerbell on it myself, and instead found a cute wooden cut out to glue on (like the letters for her name). I also painted a cloud of glitter/fairy dust around her that doesn't show up very well in my pics. I'm just happy she has a door again.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

giveaway winner

True Random Number Generator 2 Ok, first things first...my giveaway ( a day late but for me thats almost early!) The winner is #2 Nataly of Nataly's Needle Creations picked by random.org. Which is funny, because I actually won a great giveaway on her blog a few weeks back. So congratulations Nataly, I think I still have your address and will get the goodies mailed out next week.

I have had a fun week, I spent it camping up north out of the heat. We went swimming at a local creek with a great swimming hole and a rope swing. I conquered my fear of heights and swung off the 10 foot high tree branch (if my eight year old can do it so can I) Beware...blinding photo of me in a swim suit clutching a tree branch to follow....yes there was water below me....

So camping was great, the girls had lots of fun swimming, trying to catch fish, lizards, and frogs. We had a resident skunk come into our camp each night, but nobody got sprayed. There was a full moon each night, so even though we couldn't have campfires (due to the recent Arizona wildfires that burned up half our state) we still sat out at night. All in all a great summer camping trip.

This is my latest finish. "August" by Lizzie Kate. I have a huge Autumn sampler I need to pull out and work on, but it's so big I just can't get motivated to even start on it. I know I won't finish it this year, and this is year four of stitching.I still love it though, and can't wait to see it hung on my wall. I'm trying to motivate myself to work on it a bit before moving on to Halloween stitching. It is only July after all!

And this is the rest of what I have been doing with my week (busy week I know!) I painted both my girl's doors. Maya's I think is done, she loves it, purple is her favorite color and she helped me paint the wood letters of her name. Zoey's I am still debating wether to try and paint Tinkerbell on it, or just search for a decal/sticker thing and hope it doesn't peel off in a week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July Give-away

Yes, yes I finally (after 2 years of on and off again blogging) got around to having my own giveaway. But first my fifth of July finish. My stitching mojo failed me last week, and I was struggling to get this one done by the 4th of July for my seasonal decorating. Well I did manage to finish it on the 4th, but it was not framed and hung in my home until today. Overall I like it, the white still does not stand out as much as in the chart.
Now onto my very first give-away! The little pillow is a Bent Creek design, called red-winged blackbird, who is obviously now a red-winged blue bird in honor of summer. I'm also giving away a patriotic chart to go with. It's a Homespun Elegance chart with 4 cute little house/sampler designs. So if you'd like to win, leave me a comment and i'll pick a winner on July 15th.
And this is my next project. I have decided that from here through November it will be all Autumn/Halloween stitching all the time (you can't hold me to this though). So my first project is a Lizzie Kate flip it for August. I have a bunch of Lizzie Kate Halloween flip it block's started also, and a huge fall piece that is this close to being done. This one will probably be the only new project started and the rest of the season will be spent finishing old ones. I love decorating for fall (it's my favorite season), but i'm making myself wait until August 1st to start putting out my fall displays. When you live in one of the hottest cities in America it's hard to stay thrilled about summertime for long. Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July, and is enjoying summertime in slightly cooler climates!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pillow Project

This week we sewed pillows. On a whim....well on a four year old's whim who went with me to Jo-Ann's to get more fabric for the goldfish quilt and "discovered" hey they have Tinkerbell Fabric here. She was so cute, she carried the bolt of fabric up to the cutting counter all by herself, and it was almost taller than she was. So above is the finished project, one for big sis and one for little sis.

Big sis got to help with the making of the pillows. She actually did really good. I let her cut the fabric with my fancy quilting scissors (not ready to hand her a rotary cutter yet). I sewed the first line then, and she followed it with a 2nd. She even worked the sewing machine all by herself, pedals and all. So it was a fun little project.

These are the two giveaways I won that arrived last week. Too pretty, I was so excited to see these two packages arrive in my mail box. Marj of the Eclectic Quilter send me the cutest little knick-knack bag, and included a beautiful orange fabric that will go perfectly in my goldfish quilt. So thoughtful.
And Nataly of Nataly's Needle Creations sent me all the awesome cross stitch loot on the left. 3 pieces of linen, 2 great charts, a whole bouquet of thread, and the little sewing scissors (who can ever have enough scissors). So I wanted to say a great big THANK YOU to both of them for brightening my whole week. WOW!

This is my teeny tiny, barely worth showing bit of progress on Red White and Bloom. The white is not popping as much as I would like, but I really want to get this done and hung before July. So I am accepting what I don't want to change and hoping once it's framed I will still love it. If not I'll take it down and re-stitch the white in time for July 2012.
And I know last post I said I also wanted to do a blog give-away since I have been so blessed. So this is a sneak preview, next post I will announce the full give-away. I think I will finish this as a cute ornie with the fabric underneath it, and of course toss in some other goodies with it. So check back later this week. It's triple digits here all week, so where ever your reading from I hope your summer weather is cooler than ours!