I am so excited to join in Nicola’s celebration this year.  I have been a bad blogger.  And, my stitching has not been as frequent as I’d like because of work and family obligations this past year.  Things have slowed down, and I was already making plans for December’s stitching and 2013 goals, when I saw that Nicola has decided to spur her fellow needleworkers on in a magnificent way.  I’m just excited thinking about the progress updates that everyone will post.

I have three charts from The Scarlet Letter in my stash, and many more on my wish list.  [I need to add that all the photos here are from The Scarlet Letter website.]  The three charts I have are:

American Quaker Band Sampler

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Ann Harding 1821

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The Twigg Miniatures (kit)

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I may start one of the Twigg Miniatures just because they’re already kitted up!  But, I really love Ann Harding.  The simplicity of the American Quaker is calling me too. So, I’ll start one of the three very soon.  I have a few things I need to finish first.

And, of course, this gives me a wonderful reason to pick up a few more charts on my wish list. Here are the top charts on my wish list right now.  Of course, they change almost hourly as I drool over my list and the Scarlet Letter website.

Dorothy Walpole

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Margret Lawrance

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Anniken Christensen Simensen 1768

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My friend, Cheryl (who doesn’t blog), may likely join me in this endeavor this year.  This is the first on her list:

Helen Vertue 1812

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I’m a sucker for alphabets, houses, peacocks… the Margret Lawrance sampler is a newer one from Scarlet Letter.  I also would love to work on a variety of samplers from different countries, especially those countries where my family comes from.  So, that’s why I have the choices I do at the top of my list right now.

I also wanted to mention that I’m now helping out a bit with the Swan Sampler Guild’s newsletter.  If you’re not a member of a guild because there isn’t one in your area, the Swans are a great guild to join, because they are open to anyone in the world.  I’m having a great time getting to know more of the people involved in the guild, and we have some fun things happening.  Here’s a link to the latest newsletter: Swan Newsletter Q4 2012

I’m off to stitch a bit while I watch Harry Potter!  I’m starting to watch the movies again. It’s so fun to see them all so young, and I’ll finish them before the end of the month.  I think that will be a great help to my stitching too!

Wordle: Pride And Prejudice

So, I love it when I find a new toy. A free toy is even better. To create your own Wordle, go to http://www.wordle.net :)
I know I owe you folks a few real posts. Stitchy pictures and such. They will come. I’ve had a few in draft mode for a while waiting on pics. Someday my life will slow down enough that I can get back to this blogging thing on a more regular basis.

Until then, go Wordle something!

Laura

p.s., Downton Abbey has taken a lot of free time. Blame Julian Fellowes for my lack of blogs posts!

I know I haven’t posted for a while!  I have been busily stitching and working, and well, that’s just about it.  I don’t have pictures right now.  I can’t take pictures until late at night, and then the lighting just isn’t good.  So, I’ll just say that I’ve finished one of my WIPs, and of course, I have started three more!  Yikes.  I have made a bit more progress on Moira.  Then, I started Paradise Lost.  I’m almost done with the middle tree.  I promised myself that I would do all of the leaves, branches and fruit on that tree before I moved on to more.  I’m nearly there and I can’t wait to do that love snake and the giraffe.

I also picked up on LL Black Forest linen in 32 count, which I am using for CHS’ Lila’s House.  I’m using the DMC called for and just love it.  I also have extra of the linen to do one of those new fun folk eggs from the new Prairie Schooler chart.  I’m leaning toward the beehive egg.

And, I started BBD’s Sarah Lovina Joslin.  I’m using the threads called for, which I really love, on LL Bittersweet, 32 count.  I know some of you didn’t like the muted pinks, and went for a bit more brightness.  I wondered a bit, but now that I have a few down on the linen, I really do love them.  And, I’m a sucker for honeysuckle borders on samplers.  That’s all I will say about this one for now, because I think I may give it away as a gift.

I will try to take some pics to update all of you this weekend on these pieces.  I must say, it’s been wonderful to spend more time with needle and thread.  I know the spring garden season will encroach on my stitching time soon, so I think I’m somehow subconsciously feeling that and trying to stitch all I can.

Hello friends! I’m just stopping to show you a little progress on Moira Blackburn’s “Time and Season Sampler”. This is a piece I have had in my stash for quite a while, and knowing it would be for me and a large one at that, I have put it off. But no more. I did cheat a bit and started this last week, so I guess you could say it is my combo Christmas and New Year’s start. It is also the first I am working on in my 15 pieces for the “Up for a Challenge” blog.

Progress on Moira Blackburn's Time and Season Sampler

It’s not a great pic.  Lighting isn’t good, but you get the idea.  In fact, I think most of these pictures this first little while for this challenge will be a bit off, because I can’t take the pics during the day time.  So, my apologies up front! 

Progress on the office/craft room has been great, although I took a few days off from that project to prepare for this next first week back at work, by getting shopping done and giving Chloe and Buster a “spa day” yesterday. It has been frigidly cold here, but they needed baths and cuts so badly, that my friend and I took care of that yesterday. I couldn’t have done it without her. So, here are Chloe and Buster in their home-haircuts to wish you all a wonderful new year. I woke them to take these… can you tell?

Chloe May

Chloe May

Buster

Buster

Hi everyone!  So glad that I have some new friends who have found my blog.  I wanted to quickly post and ask Wendy in Chicago to contact me at stitchinmaniac at msn dot com.  You asked me about my BB Designs chart.  I do plan to stitch it again, but perhaps we can arrange a loan?  I didn’t know how else to reach you, so I hope you’re following my blog.

Christmas was a wonderful day, with rest and some good food.  I received some great gifts, and think I was able to surprise a few people too.  That’s always great.

I hope everyone has a great week!  I’m on a quick break from the cleaning, painting, sorting and organizing that is my office/craft studio project.

Stay warm and enjoy the season everyone!

Hello again everyone! I am here to officially wish you a grand and joyous Christmas.  I hope that all of you are well and able to spend time with loved ones this holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday.

I am enjoying a two-week vacation from the office.  That’s not to say I’m not checking e-mail and working on the odd item here and there, but I am at home, doing mainly what I would like to do!  I was able to finish my big Christmas shopping today.  Woo-wee!

I’ve been quite busy for the last few days.  I’ve had a couple of house guests (two of my favorite people).  My aunt’s father passed away this past week, and she and my cousin were at my home as they prepared for and we attended the funeral.  Their stay ended with a big group of family here for dinner on Saturday.  It was nice to see all of them, and I was happy I could help provide a place to gather.

Now, I’m on to some finishing of projects (minor) for some gifts I’d like to give. We’ll see.  I have back-up plans in case things don’t work out.  I haven’t decorated my home, other than the small Christmas tree upstairs.  At this point, I don’t think I’ll bother!  But, I am and have been listening to Christmas music, wrapping gifts, and sending good wishes to everyone.  And trying to spend quiet time remembering the reason that I celebrate this wonderful holiday.  It’s been wonderful.

I have also been stitching a bit!  Yay!  I’ve been switching back and forth between “Jenny Bean’s Christmas Sampler” and Prairie Schooler’s “Christmas Eve”.  And, I’ve picked up some fun items at local thrift shops, to help decorate my little crafting side of my office/sewing room.  I’ll show those in a later post.

Do any of you have the same problem I have when shopping?  Do you find more items that you would like than you do for your family and friends? I have found some really fun items, and I’m happy to report, I am wrapping a few for myself!  And, I’m not even wrapping the rest.  Hee, hee.  By the way, I just ordered from Down Sunshine Lane for the first time last week, and wow, is Amy fast!  I was so pleased with her service.  And, just the fact that when she has something listed on her site, it’s in stock…  Love that.

Anywho… do any of you seem to find wonderful items that you just can’t pass up during the holidays when you’re supposed to be giving to others?  I AM giving to others.  I’m just making sure I’m covered too. :)

This year, for some reason, I’ve been especially careful to have some of my old favorite Christmas songs playing on my iPod.  I’ve had these in some form or another over the years, but some haven’t made it to my digital library.  I’ve been reminiscing about my times at my Grandma Eva’s house, where she had a Gene Autry Christmas album which she played on her turntable…  My sisters and I loved it.  I think my favorite song has to be “Here Comes Santa Claus”.  I love to hear Gene sing:

“Hang your stockin’s and say your prayers ’cause Santa Claus comes tonight…

He doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor
He loves you just the same
Santa knows that we’re God’s children
That makes everything right
Fill your hearts with Christmas cheer
‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight…

He’ll come around when the church rings out
It’s Christmas morn again
Peace on Earth will come to all
If we just follow the Light
Let’s give thanks to the Lord above
‘Cause Santa Claus is comin’ tonight”

So, tell me what your favorite Christmas carol/hymn/song is… I’d love to know.  I live my life to a soundtrack… I really do.  I love music.  What Christmas song is associated with wonderful memories for you?

I’ll share some progress pics of my stitching and my workroom after Christmas.  I’m going to spend time this week finishing up the final preparations for the holiday, and spend some quality time with family and friends.  I hope you all do too!

Vintage Santa Postcard

I’ve been working hard on my office/stash room in order to better organize, and find a permanent place for things like a cutting table, or a sewing machine, etc. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from great internet posts like this: http://www.home-designing.com/2009/05/craft-room-home-studio-setup and this: http://www.sarahyoude.com/2009/06/the-craft-room.html (scroll down on the blog page).

And, I have an IKEA somewhat nearby. So, as part of my Christmas gift to myself, I have purchased a couple gallons of paint, two cabinets, and some IKEA gear to get the crafting side of my “studio” (as Spinster Stitcher would call it) up and running. Really, I’ve had the cabinets for almost a year now, awaiting some stashing organization. I’ll be starting small, but am excited. My goal is to have the room up and running before January 1. Here are some of the items I purchased on Saturday:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10192824

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50103604

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50081452

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/search/?query=bygel

I’ll post more later, and promise some pics of the work in progress. It’s a beast of a room, with large bookcases (filled) and an office space already set up. But, I’m culling through the junk and will hopefully have a much more organized, cheery place to work on the things I love most in 2011!

Ta, ta!

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