Thursday, February 04, 2016

February already?

It's hard to believe that January has come and gone and February is here already.

As promised in  my last post I will now tell you about the stitching projects I am planning to concentrate on in 2016.

First up "The Bookshop".

In January I completed Page 6 of 15.
Although I hadn't had much time to stitch in the second half of 2015 I feel I'm on a roll again and hope to have it completed and framed for our son's birthday at the end of August.

Having said I'm on a roll again I must backup a bit and let you know that there won't be an update on this piece at the beginning of March.
My BIL and SIL will be arriving from Michigan on the 10th and flying home again on March 1.
While they are here I will work on something that needs a little less concentration so that I have loads of time to chat.

Secondly the 2016 Christmas ornaments for the grandchildren.
You may or may not remember that I stitched "The Nutcracker Suite" for my husband in 2008.

Since Opa collects nutcrackers and the grandchildren love them I thought it might be nice for each of them to have a nutcracker ornament.
I will be stitching the nutcracker on the right for our granddaughter but will be changing the colors to pink and purple (her favorites).
For our grandson I am stitching the nutcracker beside it (the one with the sword). In his case I am changing the blue coat to his favorite color of green and may adjust some of the other colors as well.

Grandson's ornament has been started. I am stitching it on 18 ct. Aida with DMC.

I find that finish-finishing ornaments stitched on Aida is easier than those I have stitched on linen or lugana.
Do you have a fabric preference when finishing small pieces?

My third 2016 project will not be finished during the year but I am hoping to have a least six motifs completed by December 31.

Brenda H. and I started this as a SAL in 2014.
Up till now this is what I have stitched.

At the beginning of this year Brenda & I talked about stitching one motif per month but I'm already a month behind so I'm now trying for six motifs instead.
I know Brenda understands.

Now I may surprise myself and you by doing some finish-finishing in February instead of stitching on the ornaments. 
We will just have to wait and see what works during the month.

For all my fellow booklovers - my favorite January book was:

I am currently reading:
Circling the Sun 

Till next time,

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"60 is the new 20" by Margie Taylor

2016 got off to a good start.
I decided which stitching projects to concentrate on (more about that in another post) and began a new year of reading.
Stitching is my passion, reading my addiction. Hey, things could be much worse. :)

What better way to start my new reading year than with a book written by a friend?
sent me her newest book, "60 is the new 20" "A light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek look at boomers by one of their own", for Christmas.
The weekend after New Year's Day (a weekend which would normally have been a downer with our children and grandchildren far away again) was a perfect time to spend reading, remembering, chuckling and laughing.

Oh Margie what a great read!
There wasn't a chapter which didn't either bring back a great memory or give me insight into not only you then (gulp - 50 years ago), through the years, and now; but also a look at myself and all the other 60 plussers.
Yup I had/have bad hair days, fade to black and have a bucket list.
I also have wonderful memories of long summer evenings in Fort William, Ontario, Christmas caroling at Westmount Hospital, and Friday evenings listening to local singers and bands at the Royal Eddie (making one rum and coke last as long as possible).

Read Margie's book and rediscover yourself.

Go to her website, meet her and listen to Margie read from Chapters 4 and 14 of the book on the podcasts shown on the right hand side of the home page.
Listening to the podcasts is great. Margie has a lovely reading voice - a voice I remember well from Mr. Hyatt's English class 50 years ago.
Then do yourself a favor and read this "boomer's guide to aging with grace, dignity, and what's left of your self-respect".

"60 is the new 20" is a real treasure, a book you will read and reread.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Short overview of 2015

With the ringing in of the New Year I felt it was time to make a decision about this blog - either close it or put some effort into bringing it back to life.
Since I have wonderful memories, especially of my first years of blogging, I didn't want to just "leave the building" so here I am on January 5, 2016 with an overview of 2015 and a promise to myself and you (if anyone reads this) that during 2016 I will blog at least once a month (during the first week of the month).
If at the end of 2016 I do not feel satisfied with what I have written and the overall experience I will say farewell.

Let me begin by giving you a short overview of 2015.
- DH retired
- we moved to Palm Coast, Florida
- children and grandchildren were all home (from Bremen, Germany and The Hague, The Netherlands) in December during which time we:
  1. celebrated our 40th anniversary in a wonderful day at the Kennedy Space Center
  2. celebrated Christmas
  3. celebrated our grandson's second birthday
- reconnected with a classmate after almost 50 years and discovered that she is not only just as nice a person as she was then but that she is an author. Meet Margie here. She sent me her book "60 is the new 20" for Christmas. I will tell you about it in an upcoming post as I read (loved) it this past weekend. 
- read (too) many books
- stitched less than normal
All in all it was a busy year.

Now to the whole point of this post - a stitching update with pictures.

"Blue Snowman"
designed by Linda Bird - Imaginating, Inc.
stitched 2/2 on 32 ct opalescent Belfast linen
with suggested DMC colors

from Borduurblad #61
a gift from DD's children for my 2014 birthday
stitched 1/1 on 18 ct white Aida
with my own choice of DMC colors
made into bookmark for DD
"Gingerbread Cottage"
a Medeiros Needlecraft Design
from Just Cross Stitch 2007 Special Christmas Issue
made into 2015 Christmas ornament for granddaughter

"The Decorator" 
by Full Circle Designs
from Just Cross Stitch 2007 Special Christmas Issue
 made into 2015 Christmas ornament for grandson

"The Bookshop"
as it stands December 31, 2015

I'll close off with a few of the books I enjoyed during 2015.
"The Hours" Michael Cunningham
"Ventoux" Bert Wagendorp (Dutch)
"The Giver Quartet" Lois Lowry
"The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" Lewis Buzbee
"The Sun Also Rises" Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Have you read?

I laughed out loud,
I was moved to tears,
I gained wisdom.
I loved this wonderful book.

Thank you Jojo Moyes

Friday, February 13, 2015

First Finish of 2015

And here he is - my 2015 snowman.

"Blue Snowman" by Linda Bird (Imaginating, Inc.)
stitched 2/2 on 32 count opalescent Belfast linen with DMC
started January 4, 2015 - finished February 12,2015

Oh how I wish you could see him in real life. The opalescent linen is absolutely perfect for this piece. Rather than stitch the word snow and the snowflakes with white I left them open so they glimmer.

Last night as they were announcing the winner of "Project Runway All Star" I put in my final X.

The next project I will be concentrating on is one I started in 2014. It is "The Bookshop" from a painting by Anton Pieck.


I bought this pattern from The Cross Stitch Pattern Gallery. I'm sorry to say that this company is no longer in operation but happy to report I bought two other patterns at the same time. I will show you pictures of these at the end of this post.

Before I do that, here is my progress at the end of 2014. My goal is to have it completed by July 31 of this year.
 "The Bookshop" by Anton Pieck
stitched 1/1 on 25 count ivory Lugana with DMC
finished design will be 7 1/8 x 10 3/8 inches
started August 28, 2014

Last but not least, the pictures of the other two patterns I purchased from The Cross Stitch Pattern Gallery.
 "The Snowman" by Anton Pieck

Fishbowl Fantasy 1867 - Edward Goodes reproduction oil painting
  "Fishbowl Fantasy" by Edward Goodes

Have a wonderful weekend. 

 PS: I forgot to show you the books I am currently reading. I tried to add pictures of them this morning but somehow it isn't working so here are the titles:
"A Light in the Window" by Jan Karon
"Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch" by Sally Bedell Smith