Just a little blog to document my needlework projects and various other things along the way.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's All Yellow!

Greetings to you from my pollen filled neck of the woods!!  Is it as yellow in your area as it is in mine?  It's pretty terrible here, yellow sneezing powder everywhere.  I battle asthma and allergies 365 days a year, I get allergy shots which are helping little by little but sometimes there just isn't enough medicine or immunotherapy to combat the seasons changing save a bubble to live in.  So to make a long story short, I haven't gotten much stitching done lately.  I don't know about you but when I don't feel well I don't feel like stitching either.  I did manage to finish reading Nicholas Sparks "The Best of Me", WOW, can't wait for the movie, I will be there with my case of Kleenex!  I love his books, but are they ever hard on my emotions.  I got to see him at our 2010 Kanawaha County Public Library Book Fair, my daughter and I got our books signed and had our picture made behind him.  Diana Gabaldon was there the next day, my other favorite author, it was the best book fair ever!!

Me and Nicholas Sparks, could I have smiled any bigger?


I did work on my "It Is Well" sampler last weekend, I started the bargello section which will be the final section.  However everything I got done I had to rip out because I didn't graph it, I winged it and it didn't look right so I started over.  I'm glad I did start over otherwise it wouldn't have looked right and I wouldnt' have been satisfied with it.  It looks great!!  I'm hoping to have it completed in the next few weeks so I can take it to Village Sampler to be framed.  I can't wait!!  Oh and I did manage to get Miss Maple Darling to the groomer this week, she looks like a new dog and she smells amazing.  I'm threatening to take Miss Daphne Darling for a lion cut, she would be furious.

Can you see all the glitter?  Just call her glitter puppy.



My daughter is on spring break this week so I am hoping to get some stitching done, unless she has other plans for me.  I'm already hearing talk about shopping, sleep overs and the Hunger Games movie, so who knows how much of anything I will get done.  Hopefully I will be feeling better and can fulfill my duty as her activities director (Is my sarcastic tone coming through here?).  I liked them much better when they were 3 and didn't have their own social lives outside of kindermusic, Bear and the Big Blue House and nap time.  I never dreamed that toddlers were easier than teens, boy was I in for a rude awakening!


Hair cuts make her sleepy.
She's out.











Well, I have rambled enough, just wanted to check in.  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Flowers, Bird Bottles and Mama Robins

Spring is my favorite time of year, I love everything about it with the exception of pollen and shedding pets, I even love the rainy days.  This time of year is full of new life.  We have a mommy Robin nesting in our front yard in one of our Bradford Pear trees.  I am very concerned that she has nested way to low in the tree, I'm praying that critters don't get her babies.  That happened in our back yard last year and I was devastated! 


In various places around our house we have bird bottles.  We first saw these in Williamsburg Virginia and I fell in love with them!  Bird bottles were discovered in the Colonial area there in Williamsburg and have been reproduced from their 18th century findings.  Small birds will nest in these bottles and are quite fascinating to watch.  Last year a family of sparrows took up residence in one of our bottles and had a piece of white foam that resembled a mattress hanging from the bottle, guess it wouldn't fit through the door of their humble abode.






















These are just a few of our bird bottles, we have bought one every time we have been to Williamsburg VA.  We have bought all but one at the Pottery Factory, which is getting ready to have their big grand re-opening.  The only other place I have seen bird bottles was in Manteo, NC.  It was a blue one hanging on the side of the Roanoke Island Inn, I never did find them for sale but the next time I go I will be inquiring as to where I can find one for our collection.

Bleeding Heart
Crabapple Tree Blooms.




Everything is starting to bloom in our yard.  The Crabapple tree in our back yard is blooming and it is one of the most beautiful trees for having such a crabby name.  I'm really looking forward to the Hydrangeas, Rhododendron, Azaleas and my Roses.  Ahh, there is nothing more beautiful than Spring!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Painting, Rain Barrels, Hungarian Stitches And IHSW

WOW!!!  Can I just tell you that I am still reeling from my crazy weekend?  It was a roller coaster.  It all started when I found pinterest as I mentioned in a previous post, then I decided I wanted my bedroom painted for my birthday that is coming up.  So hubby and I spent the whole day working on the bedroom and I spent the night cleaning the house, this whole process went from 8:30 A.M. to 1:30 A.M., and I had to be up early Saturday for Sampler Club.


Maple painting the floor
Footprints






















When we got up Sat. morning we realized we had no water, apparently there had been several main breaks and a leaking valve.  Some parts of our area were under boil water advisories but we were the lucky ones with no water to boil. We have these problems quite frequently in our area, our water works need a serious overhaul.  I was not going to miss Sampler Club because I had no water, lets just say rain barrels come in real handy when you need to clean up and go somewhere. 


What a difference, from taupe to blue in a day!



At sampler club we worked on a stitch that is very difficult with 4 hours of sleep and a rain bath.  We learned three different variations of the Hungarian stitch.  It really is gorgeous!!  But I wanted to know what drunk Hungarian came up with this confusing stitch.  But as it turns out it's not so hard when you have had a full night of sleep.

Three variations of Hungarian Stitch.


When sampler club was over there was still no water and no answer as to when it would come back, so like the troopers we are my daughter and I checked into the Embassy Suites, hubby stayed with Daphne and Maple.  I have never been so thankful for a real shower in my life!!  We had a nice mother daughter night of rest and relaxation and plenty of water.  After two tiring dramatic days I needed a break.  And there is nothing better than waking up to a breakfast buffet waiting for you, I could get used to that.

The other half of my closet and my grandmothers sampler.


So needless to say I missed the IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) , so because I am the birthday girl this coming weekend, and I can do whatever I want on my birthday weekend, I am just going to make my own IHSW weekend and plan to sit on my bum with my favorite movies and stitch away while I eat sinful amounts of birthday cake and Dr.Pepper.  So if any of you would like to join me on my special birthday IHSW weekend get yourself a cupcake or 12 and join me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Won An Award!!

I've won an award!




Milly from Milly's Stitches  honored me with my first award.  You can check out her blog by following the link.  Thank you so much Milly!!

Some background:
Liebster is a German word meaning favourite, dearest or beloved and the Leibster is awarded by Bloggers to other newer Bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers to spread the word and help the new(er) Bloggers gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions which each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

1. Choose five up- and- coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.
2. Show your thanks to the Blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog. list the Bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
4. Share five random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

And the award goes to these favorite, dearest and beloved blogs:

1. Vickie at A Stitcher's Story
2. Margaret at Margaret's Blog
3. Carolyn at Taking One Stitch At A Time
4. Maggie at Black Country Wench
5. Kathy at Sew Crafty Kathy

Five random facts about me:

1. I like peanut butter and miricle whip sandwiches.
2. I love childrens books, especially Goodnight Moon and my favorite book is the bible.
3. I am a night owl, and much more prductive after 9:00 P.M..
4. I'm addicted to Dr.Pepper.
5. I am a house cat, I like to be at home.

Congratulations to the winners - please visit their blogs.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stitcher Slacker

I have been such a stitcher slacker this past week, I have been distracted.  I love those books for kids, If you give a pig a pancake, If you give a mouse a cookie and so on by Laura Numeroff.  I am learning that the reason I like those books so well is that I can totally relate.  If you give Dana a pinterest board then she will look for things to pin, then she will find new ways to be organized and will have to try them at 1:00 in the morning and on and on.

 So I am new to this Pinterest thing and I have a love hate relationship with it, I love all the ideas I am finding, I hate the time I want to spend looking at all the pins.  And most of all I hate that it has given me clean out and re-organize fever which has taken over my stitching time.  It is nice however to have things organized and freshly cleaned.  I found things I forgot I owned, and lots of things I don't need anymore which makes extra space in a house where every square inch is valuable. Living in a small cottage size house does not allow for keeping things that one doesn't absolutely love or need.
Hopefully today I will be able to get some stitching done, it's chilly and rainy here in my neck of the woods so I can't think of anything better to do than to stitch and drink coffee.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and everyone is adjusting to the springing forward, hopefully you are adjusting to it better than I am!  Have a great week!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seaside Memories

There is nothing like a day spent at the ocean, toes in the sand, salty breezes and the surf washing over your feet.  My family has vacationed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the past 3 summers and we have had so much fun there and made so many great memories.  But by far the very best vacation we have ever taken was the first time we visited OBX in 2009.  I don't know why this was such a special vacation, maybe because it was my daughters first trip to the beach, our first time there or our first trip as just the four of us?  Maybe all of the above, but we all agree it was the best vacation yet, and it was special.

So when I saw Tanya Marie Anderson's "Seaside Memories" pattern I knew I had to stitch it to commemorate our special trip to the Outer Banks, it even has the date 2009 on it.  The only thing I have to change are the four initials for the four of us.  You can see the entire design here and can order it from The Sampler Girl or visit her blog here.  She has quickly become one of my favorite designers and I have a few more of her designs ready to stitch in my near future (hopefully nearer than farther)!

                                                              My progress so far.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It Is Well



I have decided to call my Sampler Club Sampler the "It Is Well" sampler, because it just needs a name besides my Sampler Club sampler.  So how did I arrive at that name?  From the Hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" by Horatio Spafford.  I was going to add another bible verse to my sampler but after adding the ship and the waves I decided instead to add the first portion of one of my favorite hymns.  I felt like the hymn would fit right along with the stormy theme of my sampler, and the storms of life were something Horatio knew well.  While my life has never known tragedy and trial such as Horatio knew, the past year of my life has been stormy and rough for my family.  When I started this sampler it was just a sampler but through the year it has become much more.  It represents to me a reminder of life's trials and storms while trusting God to see me through them, a reminder of the great times had at Village Sampler with new friends and also a reminder of wonderful times spent at the seashore with my family.   The verse Psalm 107:29, the saying "Through the storm you do not walk alone and the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" have been a great comfort and inspiration to me through this past year.

Here is Horatio Spaffords story:
In the late 1860s life was good for Horatio G. Spafford and his wife Anna. They were living in a north side suburb of Chicago with their five children, Annie, Maggie, Bessie, Tanetta and Horatio, Jr. He had a successful law practice in Chicago. The doors of the Spaffords' home were always open as a place for activists to meet during the reform movements of the time. Horatio G. Spafford was quite active in the abolitionist movement. Frances E. Willard, president of the National Women's Christian Temperance Union as well as evangelical leaders like Dwight L. Moody were often guests in their home. Spafford was a Presbyterian church elder and a dedicated Christian.
Until now Horatio and Anna Spafford had led a charmed life. They had everything going their way. However, in 1870 their faith was tested by tragedy. Their four year old son, Horatio, Jr., died of scarlet fever. The Spaffords were devastated. In October of 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire broke out Horatio faced another test of his faith. A few months before the Great Chicago Fire, Spafford being a wealthy man, had invested much of his wealth in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only did the Great Chicago Fire destroy most of Chicago but most of Spafford's holdings were destroyed. 250 people died in the Great Chicago Fire and 90,000 were left homeless.

The Spaffords did not despair. Their home had been spared and they had their family. God had been good. Even though their finances were mostly depleted, Anna and Horatio used what resources they had left to feed the hungry, help the homeless, care for the sick and injured and comfort their grief stricken neighbors. The Great Chicago Fire was a great American tragedy; the Spaffords used it to show the love of the Christ to those in need.

In 1873 Anna Spafford's health was failing and hoping to put behind the tragic loss of their son and the fire and to benefit Anna's health, the Spaffords planned a trip to Europe. They would sail on the French steamer Ville du Havre to Europe with their four daughters. Spafford not only wanted to visit Europe but he wanted to assist Evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey in a revival they were conducting in England.

Moody and Sankey had met at a convention of the Young Men's Christian Association in Indianapolis in 1870. After hearing Sankey sing, Moody at once invited him to come to Chicago and assist him in his evangelist work there. Ira D. Sankey considered Moody's invitation and after much thought and prayer, decided to accept. Six months later he joined Moody in Chicago.

Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey were in the middle of a revival meeting when the Great Chicago Fire broke out in 1871. Moody and Sankey barely escaped Chicago with their lives. It is said that Sankey was on a row boat a long distance out in Lake Michigan where he watched as Chicago burned. With most of Chicago having been destroyed, Moody and Sankey decided to accept an invitation to visit England. In 1873 Moody and Sankey started a work in England. Moody and Sankey made such a profound impression in England their names became household words all over Europe.

The Spaffords planed to leave in November on their voyage to Europe. As sometimes happens, God had other plans for Horatio G. Spafford. The day they were to sail for Europe Spafford had a business emergency and could not leave. Not wanting to disappoint his wife Anna and their daughters he sent them on ahead and planned to follow on another ship in a few days. Accompanying Anna Spafford were her French governess, Emma Lorriaux, several friends and several ministers.

On November 22, 1873 the steamer Ville du Havre was struck by a British iron sailing ship, the Lockhearn. The steamer Ville du Havre, with Anna Spafford and her daughters aboard, sank within twelve minutes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 81 of the 307 passengers and crew members survived this tragic shipwreck.

Even though the Lockhearn was in danger of sinking the unconscious Anna Spafford was picked up from floating debris by the crew of the Lockhearn. An American cargo sailing vessel, the Trimountain, arrived in time to save the survivors of the Ville du Havre and the Lockhearn. Anna Spafford was taken to Cardiff, Wales where she telegraphed her husband Horatio. Anna's cable was brief and heartbreaking, "Saved alone. What shall I do..." Horatio and Anna's four daughters had drowned. As soon as he received Anna's telegram, Horatio left Chicago without delay to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that "A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the Ville du Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." That night, alone in his cabin Horatio G. Spafford penned the words to his famous hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul." Horatio's faith in God never faltered. He later wrote Anna's half-sister, "On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs."

The following account is taken from the Christian History Institute.

"Anna Spafford later spoke of being sucked violently downward. Baby Tanetta was torn from her arms by a collision with some heavy debris, with a blow so violent that Anna's arm was severely bruised. She flailed at the water trying to catch her baby. Anna caught Tanetta's gown for just a moment before another smashing blow tore the little girl out of her arms forever. Reaching out again, all she could find was a man's leg in corduroy trousers. Anna, barely conscious, was then swirled about in a whirlpool before surfacing near the Loch Earn. She instinctively clung on to a small plank and the next thing she recalled was the splash of an oar as she lay at the bottom of a small boat. Bruised and sick, her long hair was matted with salt and her dressing gown shredded. But the pain in her body was nothing compared to the pain in her heart as she realized that her four daughters had been lost in the disaster. A young male passenger, afloat on a piece of wood, came upon Maggie and Annie, the two oldest Spafford children. At his direction, each girl grasped one of his side pockets as he tried to find a board large enough to support all three of them. After about 30 or 40 minutes in the water, he found a piece of wreckage and struggled to help the two young girls climb atop the board. But as he watched, their weary arms weakened, and he saw their eyes close. Their lifeless forms floated away from his own fatigue-paralyzed arms. No clues ever surfaced about the fate of little Bessie."

After Anna was rescued, Pastor Nathaniel Weiss, one of the ministers traveling with Anna and Horatio's group remembered hearing Anna say, "God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why." Anna was utterly devastated. Many of the survivors watched Anna closely, fearing she may try to take her life. In her grief and despair, Anna heard a soft voice speaking to her, "You were saved for a purpose!" It was then Anna remembered something a friend had once said, "It's easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Following their reunion in Europe, Horatio and Anna returned to Chicago to begin their lives again. God blessed Anna and Horatio with three children. They had a son in 1876, again called "Horatio." Not so much for his father but for their lost son. In 1878 their daughter Bertha was born. Tragically, when little Horatio reached the age of 4 just as his brother before him, he died from scarlet fever. In 1880 Anna and Horatio had another daughter they called Grace. After the loss of little Horatio, the Spaffords decided to leave their home in America and settle in Jerusalem. In September of 1881 the Spaffords and a few of their friends left America for Israel.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul!”

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend –
“Even so, it is well with my soul”

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live;
If dark hours about me shall roll
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Read more here

The ship, waves and compass all from "Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly" by Tricia Wilson Nguyen for Refined Inc.  The star motifs are from "A Stitchers Journey" p.33 by Blackbird Designs.

Disclaimer:
 All materials for this sampler have been purchased by me for my own personal use, this sampler is being done for my own personal use and at no time in the future will be duplicated.