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Time to blog!

snowmans-quaker-christmas

Hello everyone!  It IS time to blog again. A quick synopsis is in order to explain my absence. . . I’ve had surgeries, health issues, have been caring for my dad with both heart problems and dementia, and lost my father in law to cancer.  A friend asked me the other day if I’ve started designing yet and I was happy to tell her I had in fact started new designs. She then pointed out I am finally healing from everything that has happened and have made peace with it all. This dear friend could have a point since once again I have designs in various stages, fabric bought, threads picked and I’m ready to stitch my models.

I’m sure you are wondering why Snowman’s Quaker Christmas is at the top of this post.  Earlier this year I was asked for a link or pdf to this popular little snowman and I said it would give me the perfect opportunity to begin blogging again. It all happened at a time that although at that moment I had thought I could have hubby create a pdf for me our world gave us tears and my snowman had to wait. Only recently I remembered that I planned to upload the chart for this sweet ornament and share it with all of you. There’s still plenty of time before Christmas to stitch this quick piece. Click on the chart, pick your fabric, pull threads, and enjoy stitching this happy snowman.  Snowman’s Quaker Christmas (1)  Please share your finished piece as I do enjoy seeing everyone’s finishes. A humorous observation just now, this post ended up being a “Christmas in July” with the Snowman’s Quaker Christmas pdf!

Thank you for stopping by once again. Enjoy your evening and happy stitching! I leave you with a picture of Junior who hung out on the porch with me the other day as I stitched.

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OwlsPumpkinPatch_copy-2

Owl’s Pumpkin Patch with a stitch count of 54H x 53W was stitched on WDW Carrot with WDW Mascara.  What a fun stitch and an even funnier story on how I did this photo shoot!  Picture me traipsing through the big horse pasture.  Short me, tall, very tall, weeds or probably prairie grass, looking for the ultimate pumpkin / owl shot. Spotted lovely trees dripping with burgundy berries at the edge of the woods on the pasture side, but they didn’t quite show up. Then, all the way at the very end of the pasture, I spy yarrow. Now I’m not just wandering around with my model and camera.  No, that would be too easy. I had my candle stand table, a bag with my camera, picture stand, model, and if that wasn’t enough, picture several of the barn cats following along with me and their tails just sky high in the tall grass.  I’m sure it would have made for a really funny video, me walking carefully to push down the waist high grass in front of me and the furry babies just running around with not a care in the world to all the burrs they were collecting on their fur or the pollen hitching a ride on them.  After setting up several different shots, sneezing at all the weeds and realizing there weren’t enough tissues in the world for my allergy attack, dodging bugs (bees), and convincing the cats they didn’t need to change my layouts, I was pretty happy with the pics. However, next morning my hubby found that Ninja had left him a beheaded snake next to his desk. I can only surmise that the “little” snake took a ride in my bag and shimmied under the door to go downstairs only to find Ninja who is quite the hunter. I think it’ll be a long time before I get adventurous and wander around the woods or pastures to get model shots.

QuakerSummerAcorns_copy

Quaker Summer Acorns is the final seasonal acorn. With a stitch count of 54H x 35W for each acorn, both were stitched on Lakeside Linens Vintage Bisque using GAST Royal Purple and Rose Garden. Look for Quaker Acorns I and II for the Autumn acorns, Quaker Winter Acorns and Quaker Spring Acorns for all four seasons. I’ve enjoyed these acorns with their limitless finishing ideas – pinkeeps, cubes, ornaments, framed smalls, and needlebooks. I’ve even seen scissor fobs done on very small count fabric, that my eyes can’t see, using the acorns. So much fun and a quick stitch too! And speaking of the acorns, I had a typo on my Quaker Spring Acorns. In my specs of what fabric and threads I used on which acorn, I typed Quaker Swan for Spring when it is a Quaker Peacock.  I think at that point I had the Summer swan on my brain and just forgot the sweet peacock. Future covers for this chart are corrected.

Ewok

It’s been a lovely Fall here so far.  Colors are starting to show on the trees, and leaves are tumbling down.  I saw my first Junco arrive and almost felt like he was saying hello since he faced me from the deck and bobbed his head.  I love those little birds.  They arrive October – ish (sometimes as late as November) and stay until about March.  They love the woods here and we ground feed them through the Winter.  Our finches seemed to be disappearing, the blush bellied woodpeckers are back to eating their meals here, and the blue jays are plentiful. So it’s nice to see the small juncos back signaling that Fall is in full swing and Winter is almost upon us.  Sometimes they are called the winter bird because their coloring is dark grey bodies with almost white bellies.

With the cooler temps of Fall my baking is in full swing.  I’m going to be making my son’s recipe for Crumb Cake this afternoon and here is the link to the recipe.  It is so delicious and even better the next day if it lasts that long.  Today I am hoping it lasts until tomorrow as family is coming over for dinner and I thought the crumb cake would be a nice dessert afterwards. His food and wine blog is amazing. Take the time to wander around and try a few recipes. Derek was in the restaurant business for over 16 years and now is in wine distribution. Excellent resource for what wine to pair with your meal.  His main dishes are amazing and his sweet tooth is as wicked as mine! Let me know what you try!

Leaving you with a picture of the big pasture and you’ll understand the challenges it posed. Yes, I had to walk past that little path my husband had mowed but you have a pretty good idea of how tall the prairie grass/weeds were! Thank you for stopping by for a visit and enjoy your day!

Big Pasture

 

QuakerSpringAcorns

Quaker Spring Acorns are released!  Both were stitched on R&R Reproductions 30 ct Vintage Grey! I stitched Quaker Swan with GAST Mediterranean Sea and Quaker Tulip in GAST Rose Garden.  They were fun designs to stitch and I love the frame I choose for Quaker Swan, just seems to bring out the swirl of the feathers!  Many thanks to Connie Van Camp for the lovely pincushion finish for Quaker Tulip. 

I also belatedly want to announce my May release of  Patriotic Letters. PatrioticLetters_copy The sweetness of this design is that it can be stitched for any country.  The little patriotic stripe on each letter can be changed to your country’s flag colors.  Change the letter colors to match your Nation’s colors.  This is everyone’s Patriotic Letters and  I look forward to seeing Flag stitched up in colors from outside the United States as well as patriotic stitchers from the US! 

Mary Kathryn of Impie, Hattie and Bea created a Stitcher’s Pocket just for Patriotic Letters and it’s lovely.  She was also the model stitcher for this piece and matched the threads to the Stitcher’s Pocket.  However if you aren’t finishing the design into the pocket than please use whichever Red, White and Blue threads that call to you.  I am hoping some of the prim stitchers prim this piece up so I can see how they changed it around.  I always enjoy seeing everyone’s vision for my designs. Share them with me so I can highlight them on my blog. 

What is everyone else stitching on these days?  I think I have startitis! LOL I was working on the second Loose Feathers by Blackbird Designs and then started their new patriotic design Full Glory.  Yup, all three stitches then I started changing colors around on the patriotic piece.  As if I didn’t already have enough going on with my model stitching and personal stitching I saw the sweet sampler Blackbird Designs offered on their blog, Her Sampler 1796.  I was in love!  I got a piece of WDW Parchment in 30 ct and started pulling threads.  Anyone know what I did then?  Yes, you guessed it! I started changing colors.  I noticed the conversion from silks to DMC was different than the conversion from GAST to DMC.  I pulled the DMC colors for the silk conversion then wandered between all the overdyes picking what best suited the shades.  I have a very soft looking reproduction going on.  Thank you Alma and Barb for sharing such a lovely piece with us.  I only work on it during personal stitching days as I have to concentrate on models, so tomorrow evening when my friend Jane comes over to stitch I will pray the borders match up. Oh and I also have the first Loose Feathers half done. That’s as far as that got, then I saw the second one which is now snoozing in my stitch bag until this 1796 sampler is complete.  Maybe I shouldn’t look at anything else until I get some of the personal projects under control. Am loving working on the next release already.  Hope you like it as much as I do.  Stay tuned!

Well, there is a thunderstorm happening overhead. I think that’s my cue to shut down the computer and think about making dinner.  I already baked chocolate chip muffins for this cool, rainy day.  Now it’s time for some comfort food and something from simpler times.  The fixings for tuna casserole are in my cupboard and hubby would love it if I pulled that together for tonight. 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me.  Can’t wait to hear what your projects are and seeing your Acorn and Flag finishes.  I leave you with a picture of Hallie peeking out of Jane’s stitching project bag last Tuesday evening! She thought she was being so sneaky slowly lowering herself into the bag and hoping no one else noticed!  LOL 

Enjoy your evening!hallie in jane's stitch bag

 

Ornaments Shared!

Isabelle from FranceI enjoy seeing other stitcher’s finishes of my designs. Snowman’s Quaker Christmas has really gone around the world over the years and Isabelle from France just sent me a pic of her Christmas Card this year using the little snowman in his Quaker wreath. What a lovely card! Isabelle this is such a wonderful idea for a Christmas card!

Mary Kathryn's

Mary Kathryn just finished Peace into an ornament from my Quaker Inspirations design. I love how this turned out. What a sweet ornament!

Murf'sSnowmanQuaker

This cute finish is Murf’s Snowman’s Quaker Christmas

Debrasornie09

A while back Debra sent me a finish of her Heartstruck Friends ornament! What a perfect finish for this snowman!

Maggeequakersnowman

Magee’s ornament finish of Snowman’s Quaker Christmas is sweet as well.  She used beads for her red highlights!

Lavon's finished ornie

Lavon used beads for the berries in the Quaker wreath and then did the ornament finish with beads around it as well.

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Sally from the UK did an elegant finish on her Snowman’s Quaker Christmas

I just love how all these little treasures adorn their Christmas trees.  If any of you have fashioned ornaments from any of my Midnight Stitching designs please send me pics to highlight on the blog.  It always gives other stitchers wonderful finishing ideas.

Enjoy your weekend everyone and thank you for visiting with me!

 

 

 

 Fall Foliage 2013

The Fall foliage was breathtaking this year.  Looking out from my porch this was my view by end of October. The yellows were vibrant.  Reds were beautiful! Even the little peach tree’s orange was sweet.  I was so excited about Fall and it’s colors that somehow I missed Halloween in a sense!  And for me that is the real start of the Holidays! I love Halloween. I enjoy decorating for Halloween and that didn’t happen until the very last minute when I realized my ornament tree wasn’t decorated so I put up a few Halloween ornaments.  I had even started stitching a Halloween ornament at the end of September and this was the result of that endeavor. Witchy Mermaid This Witchy Mermaid took me a month to stitch up.  The pumpkins share my sentiments exactly!  Too long to work on a cool underwater witch. <sigh> And still it sits waiting to be created into an ornament for next year now.

I keep thinking this crazy snowstorm we had in the middle of October really side tracked me.  Big fluffy snowflakes, snow covering the ground and me with visions of snowmen dancing in my head. October 2013 Snow I did however recover enough to bake Halloween Muffins at my house.  I used my favorite chocolate chip muffin recipe and mixed in the orange and semi sweet chocolate chips. Was festive and felt more like Halloween with it’s colors. Not to mention they were yummy too.

Halloween Muffins

Now I can’t believe November zoomed by and I’m really behind on everything!  Where did the month go?  I’m planning my Thanksgiving menu.  My favorite cooking and baking time of year.  But it does feels like it crept up on me without warning.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, my broccoli quiche, corn, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce a must, apple and pumpkin pies too.  Need to bake a cake as well.  Something pumpkin, perhaps a pumpkin roll.  Love the cream cheese filling! We celebrate our family Thanksgiving on Wednesday with the kids and their significant others.  So on Thanksgiving Day we go to the in laws and I bake my pumpkin sheet cake frosted with cream cheese frosting to bring to the feast. Maybe I’ll even get to stitch with my sister in law for a bit. Hmmmm, better find something small to stitch on that day. But Thanksgiving evening I so look forward to a cold turkey sandwich with heated up leftover sides. What are you cooking for Thanksgiving and what do you look forward to the most?

Which now brings us to that stitchy time of year. . . Christmas Ornaments!!  Christmas is around the corner and my homemade gifts aren’t near completion.  Some aren’t even begun!  Guess I’ll be kitting together a Christmas ornament to stitch on at the in laws with Shannon. How many years did I promise myself I’d get started early on ornaments and every year it’s the same story, later and later I start my xmas gifts for family and friends. 

Speaking of Christmas ornaments, I was so excited to see my Snowman’s Quaker Christmas stitched up on Facebook by Erica Parsons. She did such a beautiful finish too. erica parson'sErica stitched the little guy up on plastic canvas then glued them to colorful felt adding sequins and beads.  She then trimmed the felt with her pinking shears. It never ceases to amaze me how this little snowman gets around.  Snowman’s Quaker Christmas is such a fun ornament to stitch and works up quickly too.  If anyone else has stitched him and would like to share their pic of the ornament or fob or however you finished the snowman please email me so that I can share it here on my blog.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you create wonderful memories this holiday season with your family and friends. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

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Hi everyone!  Hope you are surviving the heat of summer.  It’s already been several days in the 100’s and the  humidity is horrible. My porch spot is lonely because the heat and humidity doesn’t make for happy stitching outside.  I am so looking forward to cooler weather in Fall to enjoy stitching on the porch again.  For now I sit with my tea for a bit in the morning and chat with the outside cats.  Water the plants on the porch, my hibiscus by the table and chairs is lovely.  The geraniums I brought inside from last  year are just now budding and the pots of moss roses and petunias are so colorful on the porch making it a  pretty spot to just relax.  It’s added the sound of buzzing bugs to the songs of the birds.

A while back Robin in VA had asked if I’d share my crock pot chocolate cake recipe and today I finally pulled it out to share with you.  Even though the oven got replaced I still prefer this moist cake from the crock pot.  Especially nice if you aren’t looking to heat up the kitchen but still want dessert!  Make sure you have vanilla ice cream on hand for this cake. It is yummy!

Triple Chocolate Cake for the Crock Pot

18 1/2 oz pkg chocolate cake mix, I used Devil’s Food

8 oz container sour cream

4 serving size pkg of instant chocolate pudding mix

12 oz pkg of semi sweet chocolate chips

4 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup oil, I used Crisco Vegetable Oil

1 cup water

Mix the cake mix, sour cream, instant pudding, eggs, oil and water. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into a lightly greased 5 quart crock pot. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hrs.  Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.  Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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So what has everyone been stitching on?  I’ve been trying to keep up with a round robin I joined.  I’m on the last one which happens to be Shannon’s piece who is my sister in law. I have a Mystery Exchange and a Fruit Block Exchange.  I hope to have pics next time to share with you.  I did finish my Blackbird May Basket and it is at the framers to start my wall of smalls.  I am hoping when next I’m at Heart’s Desire it will be ready to pick up. Here is a pic of the finished piece, and just so you know, I did use 30 ct Putty and it made all the threads just pop!

May Basket BBD

I  need to get dinner started.  I leave you with a pic of our hollyhocks this year.  They were just beautiful!  So glad you dropped by and hope you try the chocolate cake!

hollyhocks 2013

PrairieSchoolGirlSampler

Wanted to share my new release with you today!  It’s Prairie Schoolgirl’s Sampler, stitched on Picture This Plus Sand Cashel, using GAST Espresso Bean (love this thread) with a stitch count of 121w x 119h.  Don’t you just love the antique looking frame from Huneywood (PB-241)?!!  It really set the piece off beautifully.  Both fabric and thread complimented each other so well for this design and what a fun stitch it was!

Those of you that have stitched up A Prairie Girl’s Sampler would find this a nice companion piece.  Both Hoffman Distributing Co and Norden Crafts will have this chart next week so watch for the release.  Your LNS or ONS can also contact me to order the chart. 

Enjoy your day everyone!  I’m off  to stitch on my new model at my porch table while it’s still cool out this morning!  I’ll leave you with a pic of my early morning visitor yesterday.  I gaze at the deer and wonder if this is the scene that a Prairie Girl traveling through the Flint Hills in the 1800’s might have seen.Deer 1 5.21.13