2014 Gift Stitching

Friday, November 27, 2015

There will be cookies this year!

Because I was finally able to make a decision about a mixer!  I have spent too many years without one, searching reviews, trying to decide what the PERFECT mixer for me would be.  Should I get a Breville?  Or a Bosch?  Which Bosch--the Universal, the Compact, or the Styline?  Or stick with the tried-and-true KitchenAid?  Which one?  Which color?

But today I did it. I ordered the beauty you see above, in that pretty yellow.  Majestic Yellow, they call it.  It will be here on Tuesday.  Cookies next weekend!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ornament update

I've been working on the Plum Street Samplers 12 Days of Christmas freebie this past week, hoping that I will get them all stitched before Christmas!  These wonderful charts can be stitched either as individual ornaments (my choice) or as a sampler.  Paulette over at Plum Street Samplers posts one of these each week--the first 4 charts are available on her blog now, with remaining charts to be posted one each Sunday for the next 8 weeks.

I thought I was finished with the first one, but I see my little man is missing an arm!  That will get remedied today!

The First Day of Christmas

The Second Day of Christmas

I decided to bling up the primitive look of the designs by using 14 count Stardust Aida (gold dusted) and added some DMC gold metallic perle for the crown.  My plans are to stitch any crowns in the gold metallic floss--if one of the future ornaments doesn't include a crown I may just substitute one of the small motifs for a crown so that I have some continuity throughout the series.  

I've also skipped stitching the box around each ornament.  I haven't made a final decision on how these will be finished, so until I make that decision I don't know if I need--or want--the design boxed. I can go back and box each one later if necessary. 

All 4 of the designs released so far are winners!  If you decide to join this stitch-a-long you won't regret it!  

Enjoy your week!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Getting started!

I started stitching the first of the ornament/sampler square freebies from Paulette at Plum Street Samplers today.  Early this morning I started rooting around in my stash to see what I had that could be used on this project.  First I thought I would use some 32 count Earthen linen from Picture This Plus.  Then I thought I would use some 40 count linen from Vicki Clayton.  But then I ran across a tube of the Charles Craft Stardust Aida (Gold Dusted) that I had bought last year--and that became my first choice.  The sparkles should give the ornament a little pizzaz!  I've only got enough fabric to stitch the first 6 ornaments, so a trip to the store is in my future.

I found several bobbins of DMC 815 in my stash, so I've picked my red.  I don't see a green I'm wild about in my stash, so it's off to the store tomorrow after work to pick out a green.  I think I'll go to JoAnn's to find the floss so that I can pick out and purchase the backing fabric while I am there.  I'm sure I'll find a green print that's some sort of a small scale tonal print on the quilt wall that will work just fine, and I can get the green floss to work with the green on the ornament.

Here's a photo of my start.  Not much progress, but at least I've started.  This is going to be my lunchtime project at work--and of course I'll work on it at home on the weekend.  I really want to have all 12 ornaments stitched AND finished before Christmas this year!

See the sparkles?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Christmas Sampler/Ornaments freebie

Paulette Stewart at Plum Street Samplers has a wonderful Christmas Sampler/Ornament freebie running on her blog, starting today!

With a 12 Days of Christmas theme, it's a "must stitch" for me!  It's a mystery sampler, with 3 of the blocks/ornaments being released today.  Then you'll need to go back to her blog next Sunday for the next update.

Complete instructions and the first set of charts can be found HERE.

Paulette's original post about the sampler can be found HERE.

And Paulette's FAQ post is HERE.

So now I must decide--will I stitch these as a single sampler, or as a set of ornaments?  Which red floss?  Which green floss?  Will I introduce a 3rd color--a gold--for the crowns?


Monday, September 21, 2015



This completely beautiful red enameled cast iron 5 quart Dutch oven.  It's the most beautiful shade of red--a true red, not too blue (which would start to look burgundy) or too yellow (which would start to look orange).  I'm not really sure that it's the most practical item for my lifestyle, however.  In a 2-person household that follows a low-carb lifestyle, and limited storage space is it the most practical kitchen tool?  Throw in the weight (as heavy as the Lodge 5 quart Dutch oven, far heavier than the Le Creuset 5.5 quart Dutch oven) and I really need to think about this one before I purchase it.

The price is right:  it's in the $50 range, compared to $299 for a similar Le Creuset.  I also like the color more than I do any of the Le Creuset colors.  I don't care for the Le Creuset red at all, so if I decided to splurge on one of their Dutch Ovens it would either be the Flame, the Soleil or the Palm enamel.

Enough about kitchen quandaries!  It's time to get back to stitching.  I've only got until October 15th to design, stitch and finish my entry into the creative contest over at the LHN Facebook group so I've got to get busy!  I think tonight I will figure out what my finished design size will be and I'll start graphing.  It should be fairly quick to stitch once the graphing is done.  I've never done anything like this before so it will be a challenge...and one I'm looking forward to! 

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Pioneer Woman Collection frenzy

OK, I'm not that different from anyone else out there.  I'm in love with the whole Pioneer Woman experience.  I know that much of her carefully crafted image is about as real as any other reality-based TV show or blog, but I have always enjoyed looking at the photos she posts--especially those of the wide-open spaces of the prairie land.

So when I saw that she was launching a collection of kitchen and dining gear at Walmart I was curious, to say the least.

As soon as I landed on the Pioneer Woman page over at Walmart.com I was hooked.  I loved almost everything I saw.  I was ready to order one of EVERYTHING--in every color!

One advantage of my advanced age is that I am finally learning the difference between "need" and "want".  I have very few needs where kitchen and dining gear are concerned.  I've got 8+ place settings of Noritake's Colorwave Green and 12 place settings of Noritake's Barrymore bone china. Add in 12 place settings of Gorham's Fairfax sterling flatware and 8 place settings of Gorham's Studio stainless...well, I hardly need any dishes, now do I?

Where cookware is concerned I need even less.  I've got the full set of the Pampered Chef's stainless steel cookware, the 1 quart sauce and an 8 inch skillet in their Executive non-stick cookware line, 3 slow cookers, a George Foreman grill, an 8 inch cast iron skillet, non-stick skillets (in good shape) in sizes from 8-12 inches, and a non-stick, flat-bottomed wok.  What more do I need?

Well, I did need glasses.  Drinking glasses.  I hadn't gotten any when we got married, and the 2 sets I have bought over the past 10+ years have broken.  This is what our everyday drinking glass collection looked like just 2 weeks ago:

(my hopeless drinking glass collection)

Pretty pathetic, if you ask me.  We're a middle-aged couple, no children or grandchildren to break anything, and this is what gets put on the table when we eat breakfast and dinner.

So when I saw the Adeline goblets in the Pioneer Woman collection I got excited.  I loved the shape, loved the design.  The only thing I couldn't determine from the website was the weight and heft of each goblet.  But I took a chance and ordered 2 sets from Walmart.com, in clear.

When they arrived I fell in love with them.  The shape, the pattern, the weight, the heft--all of it is just as I wanted it to be!  I loved them so much, in fact, that I decided to take my set up to 12 goblets, rather than just 8.

(my beautiful new goblets)

I mean, what's not to love about these goblets?  In fact, I loved them so much that I decided to order some of the Adeline tumblers, also.  Just in case I want a larger glass sometime.  I like the tumblers, but not as much as I love the goblets.  I think that I just like goblets more than tumblers in general!

(Adeline tumblers)

One of the things that I really love about the Adeline collection is that it reminds me of home.  Growing up my mother had a huge collection of the Anchor Hocking Wexford glassware.  Goblets, tumblers, cups, dessert plates, pitchers, footed bowls, and platters.  About 20 years ago she packed it all up and gave it to me.  It wasn't to my taste then (and to be honest, it still isn't) so I ended up giving most of it away.  A few pieces escaped the trip to St. Vincent de Paul, and today I cherish those pieces.  You may have spied these among my drinking glass collection:

(some precious Wexford pieces that escaped the give-a-way)

These are the only Wexford glasses I have left from all the pieces my mother gave me.  They still aren't to my taste--I prefer the Adeline pieces.  But I cherish them, and the Wexford platter that I have.  They will always remind me of my mother.

The Adeline goblets and tumblers come in two beautiful colors, in addition to the clear glass.  A very pretty amethyst color (unceremoniously called purple on the Walmart.com site) and a to-die-for turquoise.  (I love turquoise, more about that another day...)  As you can see in the photos I live in a house with Country Goose Blue laminate countertops.  Those countertops aren't going anywhere anytime soon.  And my everyday china is Noritake's Colorwave Green.  So the clear glassware was the best choice for me. 

I'm really looking forward to the day that I've got this shelf (and the one above it) filled with the rest of my pretty glasses!

And yes, I've purchased a few other pieces from the Pioneer Woman's collection--more about those in another post.

Now it's time to get back to the domestic tasks of the day.  Here's hoping you and yours are enjoying a beautiful day!