I know that everyone has been waiting anxiously for the unveiling of the Christmas presents. I did the Drawn Thread Calendar Covers. I did the birth month of everyone and changed out the month for the name of the receipent. I think they turned out pretty good. Again I stress that my finishing isn't always the best. I also think that there was a better way to finish the project. The count was off for the finishing. The still turned out. Not the best photos
I should get back to the Mystery Sampler but, I have a Homespun Elegance Santa I really want to work on for next year.
I have been very busy since Christmas trying to get the last of the stitching group presents stitched. I finished it this morning and got the assembly done and the hand finishing before dinner. YIPEE!! But, I can't show them yet. I can show you the piece I did for my sister for Christmas. The designer is La-D-Da
I love the saying, so did my sister. I hope they hang it in their house.
I did do a few small changes and additions to get it to look right in a square frame. I will freely admit, I am not the best finisher. My backs do look almost as good as the front though. With all the pieces I do, I would go broke having them all professionally finished. My favorite framer went out of business a few years ago. I will post the stitching group presents soon. Hope everyone had an exceptional Christmas.
We have had a late start with Christmas. The tree is up, the packages are wrapped. There are decorations boxes all over the place. There is wrapping paper everywhere. The house seems the smallest this time of the year. I have my sister's present completed now I just have to frame it. I have one stitching group present to finish and then I can sew them all up. That needs to be done by Wednesday the 28th. No sweat......
Just got done baking some Christmas cookies....Spritz
Toffee Squares....my personal favorite
Recipe for the Toffee Squares
1 c. room temperature butter
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
1 12 oz package of milk chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, salt, and egg yolk. Mix well. Gradually add the flour.
Spread into a greased 11 x 15 pan and press down. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot crust and wait one minute and then spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle the nuts. I don't know what works best to cut when still warm or after it is cooled. There are advantages to both. Either way it is a pain but, worth it.
And finally the Christmas Tree
We will be short one this year. God Bless you Big Bob, may you rest with Jesus!
These are the Prairie Schooler Patterns on my wish list. I can't possibly frame and hang everything I stitch. There is also only so many I can give away. What I like to do is stitch things that will fit in the same frame. I can then change them out for the different seasons and it greatly reduces the cost of framing. I mount everything myself. And I JUST LOVE PRAIRIE SCHOOLER anyway.
Book 134: Christmas Day
Book 135: Good St. Nick
Book 136: Spring has Come
Book 137: Summer Breeze
Book 138: Measure of a Year
I started doing some Christmas decorating. I'm not going to put the tree up until December 17th when Ed gets home. I need someone agile to go up and down the ladder since we have a 9 foot artificial tree. We got that tree about 4 or 5 years ago. Bob always insisted on cutting down a fresh tree at my aunts farm. Since my cousins had stopped trimming the trees a few years ago, the trees were getting wilder and wilder. We often had a birds nest in the tree. Well that Christmas a few years ago, after watering the stupid thing, it fell over. It was almost 11 pm when it happened and caused quite a commotion. It woke Ed up who became very upset, thinking Christmas was ruined. It took several Christmas cookies and milk to calm him down. It ruined about half of our ornaments. After that, we took half a day from work off and got a new tree and some new ornaments and had it up before the kids got home from school.
Mantel before Mantel after. Every year the kids either get me a Santa Claus or a snowman. I have gotten a few as gifts from my sister. My mom made the wall hanging for my birthday. It looks really nice. I like the boldness of the blocks.
Table after. The red and green balls I got in Nashville just after we got married. They have to be 23 years old. My mom made the table runner and I have placemats that match.
Hall table before
Hall table after, with the snowmen the kids have gotten me over the years. Except the big one in the middle, I picked that one up on Mackinac Island. I really like the two on the right side. My dad made the table one year for me for Christmas. The legs are green. I really cherish all the home made things. I have several pieces my dad made me.
I have to post things like this since the cross stitch projects are top secret. I will post them after the holidays.
Keep on stitching.
I have long had an obsession with thread. It goes back to childhood. I have always stitched. It started with the little cardboard stitching cards with the punched holes and the yarn to stitch the outline. I soon as I could thread a needle, I was well on the way. I would get rag bedsheets and my mother's spools of sewing thread and use that to create. My mom would sew our clothes so there was a significant amount of thread. I would squirrel it away until she needed it.
When I was about thirteen years old, I stayed with my grandparents for a few weeks that summer. My grandmother and I walked to Ben Franklins. It was there with her I was introduced to Coats and Clark embroidery floss. It was love at first sight! I immediately had an affinity to it. She bought me a dresser cloth, iron on pattern and lavender and black floss. Every time I was at her house, I would make the six block trek to Ben Franklin and buy more. Any color, it didn't matter, I had to have it!
It really didn't matter what kind of thread or string. I would save the string that was tied around cake boxes. I became very adept at untying the knots rather than cutting it, to salvage as much as I could. That string was great for macrame.
Once I graduated college, I needed a relatively inexpensive hobby. It was 1982, and I discovered counted cross stitch. This was for me. In 1982, it was a relatively inexpensive hobby. My obsession with floss stepped up into high gear. I had to have ALL the colors DMC made. Then came the over dyes and I would buy them just because they were pretty. Then Caron Watercolors and Waterlillies and silks...I do restrain myself a little with those....but, I have some.
I started with Aida but, when I overcame the intimidation of linen, I fully embraced it and won't go back. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to stitch on anything else. I guess I am a fabric snob.
I do knit. I really like to buy sock yarn but.......it's just not quite the same. I think I may always have a passion for floss.
It really has been a rough couple of weeks. Between my mom and my father-in-law we have been to the emergency departments of two hospitals five times. We haven't seen the last of it either. It has been very stressful. It is a good thing that I stitch because sometimes I think its the only way I stay calm. Both I and my husband have been having the middle of the night panic attacks. You know the kind.....you wake up in the middle of the night and your heart is just pounding and you can't get back to sleep because you start thinking about the impending doom. All the parents are well into their 80's.
It was good for us to have the kids home but, with all the stress they are more than ready to get back to school. I wish I was going with them.
So I keep stitching as much as possible and that has been the high point. Last night, Katy and I even had a beading night and watched Christmas in Connecticut, one of our favorite holiday movies and generally good for whatever ails you.
So the up date on Prairie Schooler November
It is done, I just need to frame it. I have moved on to other things that I just can't disclose incase there are recipients lurking.
And the bracelet I made last night. It is copper and pink and gold jasper beads. the beads are much prettier in person. Katy even wants me to make one for her.
I have this stitching group. We meet every other week. Work on projects......Well maybe not Patty. I think once a year Patty maybe brings something to knit. Jean is working on a felt table pad with snowmen around it. Arttie, Ann and I were cross stitching. We eat lots of chocolate, drink coffee (we have pretty much gotten too old for cocktails....I think) and eat a fabulous dessert.
The picture definately does not do it justice. It is called Caramel Wow Cake. The recipe is on the side of the Pillsbury German Chocolate Cake Mix
You need a German Chocolate Cake Mix: Bake the cake according to the box
While its baking take a jar of Caramel Sauce and a can of sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk) Mix together and reserve a 1/2 c.
Allow the cake to cool 5 minutes then poke holes with a wooden spoon all over. Pour the caramel mix over the cake. Fully cool the cake
Fold in the 1/2 c. of caramel mix with an 8 oz container of Cool Whip. Frost the cake.
Sprinkle 4 2.1 oz crushed Butterfinger candy bars over the top.
Store in the refrigerator lightly covered.
AWESOME STICKY GOODNESS!!!!
And finally the latest up date on Prairie Schooler November....Not much left. It will be done i think.
Great stitching weekend! Watched some old movies and stitched like nuts. I think I made significant progress and almost half way done.
Did get other things done: grocery shopping, visited the father-in-law in the nursing home (suppose to be discharged on tuesday), out for pizza, church, laundry, opened the car door when the husband got locked out while doing errands, baked home made chocolate chip cookies, (toll house is my fav's) and cooked dinner: roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. Bob is going to deer camp tomorrow night and what a pitiful place it is: no electricity, no plumping, no running water or pump and the appliances are death traps. Probably guarantee to get carbon monoxide poisoning from so he got a little gas burner and thats where he locked himself out of the car. Word of advice: Always take your keys. LOL I am sending cookies, meat with the gravy for sandwiches and I have a zucchini bread in the freezer.
Tried a new recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com/. My favorite site for recipes. It was a Beef Stroganoff but, I substituted bear meat. Really excellent and super easy.
1# Beef -Bear Stew Meat
1 can Campbells Golden Mushroom Soup
1/2 chopped onion
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 c. water
4 oz cream cheese (I used more like 6 oz)
Mix meat, soup, onion, worcestershire sauce and water. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours. Add and melt the cream cheese at the end.
We had ours with noodles and I made coleslaw. I didn't have enough coleslaw dressing so I added some Briana's Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. That was perfect.
I thought it would never stop downloading. It took almost 10 minutes to download. OUCH!
Here is the progress on the Prairie Schooler November. It is cruising right along. Maybe I will be done by Thanksgiving.
Here are some of the other Thanksgiving pieces I have done over the years. I love the colors and they go well in my house.
Prairie Schooler that was converted to overdyes by Theresa at Shakespeare's Peddler.
Hinzeit. Alas, the buttons are starting to tarnish.
Cross-Eyed Cricket: Cricket Collection. Had to search for it and found it on 1-2-3 Stitch...by the way a great place to order from!
More Prairie Schooler. I absolutely adore the turkey. On the bottom one, I had it all stitched to the board, in the frame when I realized I forgot to stitch the border around it. YIKES!!!
Drawn Thread. This was a series. My sister liked the summer one so much I gave it to her. I need to do another one. Maybe someday.....
Finally, Homespun Elegance. Kind of a combination of Autumn and Halloween. I do love this designer too. I have done a lot from her.
I have so much going on and I keep deciding I can do more. I was at JoAnn Fabrics with my 84 y/o mother and my 83 y/o aunt helping with buying quilt material. I do like helping match fabric but, I have no desire to quilt. If I did, then I think that would definately end my marriage. I don't need another hobby. Anyway, I got the supplies to make Christmas Cards this year. The kids are just too old to keep doing the photocards and I am kind of bored with it any way. I figure it might be fun to enlist the help of my off spring and anyone else who might be around.
Other projects: a pair of socks Paca Ped Yarn and I think the color is called Fireside. I'll post that some time, maybe when I get one finished. I'm on stitching group present number 2. Those don't take long. Don't want to post those just incase anyone is lurking. I started Prairie Schooler November after I finished the Shepherd's Bush Halloween Needleroll. I took liberty and made a purple checkerboard rather than the white lace....I don't know I just didn't care for it. And I think they called for black ribbon but, I liked the purple too. I think it turned out rather cute.
Here is the pattern I am doing now. Will it be done sometime before Thanksgiving? I don't know but, it will be a race again time. Anyone want to bet?
Where I am so far. I spent alot of time with the "Girls" (that is a whole 'nother story of confusion and trying to keep them in view, so as not to lose one) and too much cash. Just think how much I will be saving by making my own Christmas Cards!
I finally finished the Chessie and Me Pumpkin Row. I just made into a little pillow to plunk down in places. I looks really good on the little plant stand I am using as a portable table. There isn't room on the one end of the couch for an end table. It blocks the door to the TV armoire. I saved this from the mass clean out of the in-laws house and thought I could use it as an end table if there are guests and I need an extra table. In the meantime, its tucked into a little spot next to the armoire and I decorate it. The little basket is a Ghana basket I picked up at the Farmers Market. I have a larger one I use for market.
The Pumpkin Row turned out so cute, I whipped up a little knob fob. A little dodad that you can hang on a knob of a china cabinet or kitchen cabinet just as an element of surprise. I made this one and gave it too my mom. The little pumpkins were just so cute. I should have taken a picture of the fabric on the back of these two pieces. It is quilt fabric I picked up years ago that have little pumpkins and vines. Very Cute!
So while I had sewed the sides on the machine and was rooting around the stitch closet I found this piece. I don't exactly remember the designer on this piece. I did it last fall and never framed it. I cut some matt board and had a frame in my frame stash that would fit it and finished this off last week at the stitching group. It's hanging above the first picture. I do rotate pictures in and out of frames. Prairie Schooler pieces work well with this since they are often the same size in a series like the year ones.
Still working on the Stitching group Christmas presents. I am going to start a new Prairie Schooler, November; Book 149. I can usually burn through those pretty fast. I will keep you posted. I am also working on a pair of socks, out of Paca-ped yarn. Ab-so-lute-ly gorgeous!!!
And, finally, I made bear stew for dinner that was amazingly good. I am always amazed the bear is as tasty as it is!
If you remember the jacket I got on girls weekend, the first time I wore it I figured it needed some bling.
I have been picking up beads at a variety of places that I thought would go together, as well as some different chains. I finally finished the necklace and bracelet. I am so pleased how it turned out. I may make it smidge shorter so I can wear with a V neck sweater or I could just clip it down the the chain a little. Yeah, maybe that's what I'll do....
Some things don't turn up well on the pictures but, some of the smaller beads are really royal blue swaroski type beads.
I absolutely love the chain that is round links. I got that at Twisted Sisters. The most fun bead store I have ever been in. The sisters always call you honey. I will have to blog about that someday.
I can't stop, I can't stop with the cross stitch supplies. Don't tell my husband this but, I probably won't be able to finish all this in this life time. My latest acquisitions while at the Crosse Stitchery and Mainstreet Frames in LA-X. I adore Prairie Schooler and have been a fan for a long time. I just love these. I do them and then I often will swap them out of frames.
I love how she has the companion pieces so it is like getting several grafts. I also really like that she uses DMC and often the same colors. I have a thread box just for the colors. I will buy several skeins at once.
Bent Creek kit. The sign on the sheep says "Stitched with love." Came with the fabric and thread.
This one is Bob's fault. He just kept talking to the owner and I saw this framed and hanging. I just loved the colors so I had to get it. Blackbird Designs, I think I have a couple from this series.
So, I don't get my nails done, I don't buy designer clothing, I don't hang out in bars. And this keeps me out of the psychiatrist's office and off medication....I believe it is cheaper to stitch. Whew, I feel better.