Everyday Feed

Christmastime is Here and Gone.

I swear it was last week that I was down in New Orleans, taking a billion pictures of gorgeous houses draped in Spanish moss in the Garden District.

Garden District, New Orleans

No, really.

Yet, here we are, spring is in the air, and Ash Wednesday is next week.  Time flies, my friends.

So, how are all of you?  I've missed you!  I haven't gotten much stitching done, or really anything done, really.  Oh!  I have done a lot of reading, though.  So many books, so little time.  There've been a couple that I started and just couldn't get through.  Two of them were ones that the whole world seems to be raving about, yet I just could not get into them.  The Summer Before the War and All the Brave are Forgiven.  I love period pieces, but these....I just couldn't do it.  Right now, I'm reading The Nix.  Has anyone else read this?  So far, I'm liking it, although the pace is a little slow.  Tana French's new book came out a couple months ago, so I gotta make sure to read that soon, too.  

Anyways.  I have been stitching, despite not finishing much.  Not long before Christmas, I finished "Coffee Saves Lives."  I loved loved loved stitching this piece.  I love coffee (duh), and the coffee theme plus the coffee-colored threads?  Totally in love.  And the next in the series is coming out at the Nashville Market!  I cannot wait to get my hands on it!!

Coffee Saves Lives #crossstitch #coffee

The sass with the coffee cup!  Get it, girlfriend.

Coffee Saves Lives #crossstitch #coffee

I stitched this on 40 ct. Purely Primitive.  If you stitch this, I highly recommend getting two skeins of Pecan Pie and Cocoa.  The graph does not designate how many skeins you need of each, but since I just went through this debacle, save yourself the aggravation and a separate trip to your LNS (although, is that really all that bad?! I mean...I ended up with a new Plum Street Samplers graph....so.....) and get two the first go-around.  If you stitch this on larger count, I would venture to say you'll need three of each Pecan Pie and Cocoa.

Next up, "Snow Queen".  

Snow Queen #mirabilia #crossstitch #winter

The model is stitched on a light greyish blue, but as always, I can't do that.  I can't just use what is in the picture.  I did a thread pull at the shop, and chose Picture This Plus "Dusk". 

Oh my God.

Look at the way those colors just jump off the fabric!!!  I can't.

There is a dark grey that is tough to see up agains that dark blue, but for the most part, it's just an outline, or it's surrounded by beads and lighter colored threads, so I decided that foregoing this fabric just because you couldn't really see that grey was ridiculous.

I mean, look at those purples!  Stop yourself.

I've also been spending a considerable amount of time ripping out two blocks of my Shores at Hawk Run Hollow and re-stitching them, but I'll update when I actually start a new block.  That effort has been killing me, because it's all due to being ONE ROW OFF on the lighthouse in Block One.  You have NO idea how angry I was at myself when I figured that out, and subsequently how long it took me to actually pull out that project again to start fixing it.  (sigh)

Anyhooter.  I've missed you guys.  I need to figure out a better blogging schedule than once every six or eight months.  I may need to get planner pages and write it all out, but I will make this happen. Promise.

Sig


Good Intentions | Cross Stitch

Kathy Barrick came out of retirement last year and hasn't disappointed since.  I have a few of her newer graphs in my "you're next, I swear" pile, including "Heaven and Nature Sing".

I had my eye on this one for a while, finally picked it up recently at my LNS and just finished it.

Good Intentions by Kathy Barrick #crossstitch #goodintentions

If any of you have seen this piece, you'll note that I changed one of the colors and eliminated the dog.  I didn't like the orange with all these other colors, so I switched it out for the mauve you see.  And, instead of the rando dog chillin on top of the spool on the left, I just made a mirror image of the top spool on the right with a different color.  

Easy peasy.

Good Intentions by Kathy Barrick #crossstitch #goodintentions

I stitched this on 40 count Antique Almond from Silkweaver.  One of my favorite fabrics ever.  I also used the DMC equivalents for this piece - the model was stitched in all Needlepoint Silks.  No thanks.  Since this is all solid colors, it wasn't worth it.  Still looks awesome, especially on this fabric.

Good Intentions by Kathy Barrick #crossstitch #goodintentions

Now I really want to start working on one of the Hawk Run series that I have....or maybe just fix my major f-up in Shores of Hawk Run so I can actually finish it.........

  

Sig


Building Castles.

I've been spending a ton of time feverishly stitching Raven Queen.  She's at the point where, even though there is still a good amount left to stitch, I feel like I'm so close to the finish line, I can see it.

I'm also terrified if I start another project, the three I currently have going at the moment will be neglected.  And trust me when I tell you, I have sooo  many that I want to start...

This weekend, since I had to take it easy after my first cervical spine adjustment at my new chiropractor, I spent a lot of time stitching.  In that time, I built the castle in the background of the queen.  The silks are gorgeous, and, as always, perfect.  

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needlework

As I stitched the castle, in my head I kept repeating the line from the Paul McCartney song, Beautiful Night, "Some folks got a vision/of a castle in the sky/and I'm left stranded/wondrin' why."  Have you heard that song?  It's on his Flaming Pie album.  If you're a fan of Sir Paul, you'd like that album.  He was definitely the yin to John's yang when they wrote for The Beatles.  But I digress...

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needlework

How gorgeous are those silks used for the castle??!?  This is definitely one of those situations where you need to take the plunge and get the silks.  The DMC conversion wouldn't do it justice.  The teals and purples in her dress is also a silk.  Gorgeous.

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needlework

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needleworkThe skirt on this dress!  I can't even. 

I wonder if I can find someone to commission this dress for me for the USMC ball this year....and not have it cost me my first born......

Wishing you all a wonderful Monday and peaceful nights to curl up and stitch :-)

 

Sig


Be Happy, Humble, & Kind

Being snowed in always sounds so wonderful.  Let's watch movies! Let's binge watch tv series we haven't gotten to yet!!  Let's sit and stitch for hours and hours because we can't get out!  Let's read tons of books from our book stack!!!

I'm here to tell you that I'm about ready to lose my mind.  I've been trapped inside since Friday thanks to one of the worst snowstorms DC has seen. I've finished one book, and I'm now bored with reading.  Stitching has almost lost its appeal.

Almost.

Thank God I had the foresight to stop at Starbucks on Friday morning before the sky dumped 30+ inches on us and got more ground coffee, because I wouldn't've survived.  Forget milk, bread, and eggs.  Coffee is the elixir of life.  

Last week, I sent a gift to one of my good friends from high school, who is now a real estate agent, as a thank you for helping me rent out my house when I moved here last year.  It wasn't a great time to sell, so she helped me find renters while I had already moved my life for a job in DC.  She was incredible.  There is absolutely no way I could have done that without her help.  None.  So, I had to make her something to show my gratitude and appreciation for all the work she did to help me while I was three states away.

Knowing her and her decorating style,  I picked a With Thy Needle and Thread piece that I knew would fit perfectly no matter where in her house she decided to hang it.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

I love the blues and greys that make up the color theme of this piece.  

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

Her little shoes!!  I die.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crosstitch #needleworkThe bees! I can't.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

I stitched this on 36 ct. Confederate Grey from WDW.  You all know how I feel about WDW fabric, but I love Confederate Grey, so I muscled through.  It's such a great color, and wonderful for primitive pieces such as this.  It's a really great neutral.  Now, if we could just get them to use a tighter weave fabric for dying......

Happy Wednesday!

Sig


January.

How. the hell. did we arrive at 17 January already?

No, seriously.  I feel like it was twelve seconds ago I was posting about doing a December Daily (which, HAHAHAHAHA....ahhhhhhh......i had such high hopes for everything i wanted to make this christmas season......), and then, poof! It's mid-January.

How was your Christmas? Your New Year's?  Mine were good.  NYE was spent curled up on the couch in leggings and legwarmers (seriously, you guys, you know you're jealous of my legwarmers. AND my mom got me new ones for Christmas. SCORE.), hot water with lemon in hand, watching Kathy Griffin make Anderson Cooper unbelievably uncomfortable all night. 

A while back, I posted some snips of a secret stitching project I was doing; it was a Christmas gift for my mom.  Since it's no to secret anymore, I can show the pics of the finished piece.

This is "Count Your Blessings" by Heartstring Samplery.  White Christmas is hands-down my favorite Christmas movie.  You can have your It's a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Christmas Vacation (although that one does come in a close second...." 'Why is the floor all wet, TODD??' 'I don't know, MARGO.' "), and A Christmas Story.  I'll take White Christmas any day of the week.  The Old Crooner, Rosie, Vera Ellen dancing her ass off, Danny Kaye being ridiculous, I love it all. And Edith Head's costuming! To die.  

Moving on.

Us girls in the fam used to watch White Christmas together after mass on Christmas Eve, and then head to bed.  This piece uses the lyrics from one of the songs in the movie, "Count Your Blessings", to create this lovely sampler.

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

 If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm not a huge fan of traditional samplers.  Not sure why, I'm just not.  Quaker samplers are a different story.  They're A LOT of work, but I love stitching the different motifs and the work is totally worth it in the end.  I have, however, developed an appreciation for reproduction samplers, and when stitched, they're stunning.  To think that girls as young as 7 years old made those samplers with no pattern to follow is incredible.  This small sampler captures the feel of those traditional samplers, complete with a flower and vine border, without being too overwhelming, if that makes any sense at all. 

I'm slightly partial to those scissors....

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

And the tiered cake...

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

I've been working on so many different things lately, I almost can't keep up with myself.  I have a few secret projects I'm working on, plus a couple things for myself (believe it or not), so this winter hibernation period will hopefully be very productive.  Hopefully.  I plan on being better this year about sharing my WIPs and other stuff I'm doing, so here's hoping I can remember to carve out the time to do just that.

What are you guys working on?  Have you started any new projects with the new year?  

Happy Sunday, friends!  Here's to a wonderful long weekend!

Sig


Boozy Water Ice.

I think most of the world calls this Italian ice, not water ice, but really, it's wooder ice.  I'm from Philly, and that's how you pronounce it, otherwise no one knows that you're talking about.  In fact, since I've moved from the Philly area, it's the one word I say that gives me away to anyone I meet.  

Now let's talk about limoncello.  That marvelous liqueur that cleanses your palate after a meal, and everyone's favorite wedding/party favor as of late.

Or that liqueur that you use to make boozy sorbet, which is legit like Rita's lemon and totally reminds me of walking to the evening band camp session with my friend, Lauren.  We'd leave a little early, and eat our wooder ice whilst walking to the high school for more marching band shenanigans.  

Ah, memories.

Whatever you decide to call it, it's delicious.  I highly recommend making some of your very own, whether you're just looking for something different for dessert, or if you're looking to hide the fact that you're getting sloshed on a regular run-of-the-mill Tuesday night.  

I won't tell.  Mainly because I'm doing the same thing.

We'll be each other's Secret Keepers.  Secret Keepers of the Limoncello.  That totally sounds like an underground secret society of Italians who distill limoncello with a secret recipe from 1497 AD in a super secret underground place near the Vatican, funded by the pope.  I'm all about it.

And, yes, I bought the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer in order to make this boozy wooder ice.   Don't tell my mom.  Kitchen accoutrements were deemed off-limits when she helped me pack to move last winter.  At least I purged 429 plastic containers I was no longer using and hoarding for unknown reasons in order to have room for said ice cream attachment.  Because, homemade ice cream.  Duh.

In other news, I treated myself to a new planner.  A purple one, to be exact, made out of buffalo leather.

Planner cover #filofax #malden

If you have never experienced buffalo leather, well then, you must.  My checkbook cover is made from buffalo leather (yes, I still write checks, and am probably the only person left on the planet who does), and it's the softest thing.  Ever.  It's also withstood a solid beating every.single.day in my purse, and it still looks like new.  

Anyways, have you guys seen all the fun things they have for planners out there these days????  I mean, OMG.  It's a planner nerd's dream.  

Actually, it gives me another place to use up all my scrapbooking supplies.  Last week, I had a migraine that kicked my ass...HARD...and when I could finally see straight without blinding pain, I moseyed into the den and decorated December with stamps and shiny ephemera.  I mean, what better to cheer you right up than Christmas!  Seriously.    

#Christmas #planner pages #filofax

There are only 93 days left, people.  Under 100 days.  I hope you're ready. 

Sig


Irish Blessing | Cross Stitch

I normally don't do this, but it's been so long since I've done a stitch post (or really any post for that matter....where does the time go??) that I wanted to share this with you.

In the past, when I've stitched a gift, I wait until it's framed and given to the recipient to show pics of it so that it remains a surprise.  This time, though, I'm sharing the final stitched piece, but it's not totally done - it still needs to be framed.

A couple years ago, one of my friends had her first baby, and I offered to stitch her something to mark the occasion.  I offered to stitch a graph I already had, unless there was something specific she wanted me to do.  She sent me an Irish blessing that she loved, and asked if I could stitch that for her. I searched high and low for a pattern with this blessing, but to no avail.  So, I had to graph it myself and then stitch it.  I found a Celtic alphabet and went to work.

Fast forward to this past year when my sister was going to have her first baby.  Of course, I offered to stitch her something for the baby, and asked her if there was something specific she wanted.  She came to me one day at work (we used to work together before I moved) and asked if I could stitch the same Irish blessing that I did for Erin.  The only difference is that she didn't want the baby's name on it (I had personalized the one for Erin's daughter), but just wanted the blessing so she could hang it in the nursery all the time. 

Irish Blessing #crossstitch #stitch

This weekend I'll be taking it to the framer, so I'll do a future post of it completed.

I hope you love this as much as I do :-)

Sig
 


Planner Obsessed.

Back in college and grad school, I was obsessed with my planner.  There was a Franklin Planner store in the King of Prussia mall (oh, KoP, how i miss you so...), and I would go every summer to get my refills, and then get out all my colored pens and marking up my planner for the upcoming school year.  You better believe everything was color coded.  Certain recurring things had its particular color, and any overlaps I just randomly chose what color to use.  

In case it wasn't already obvious....my OCD tendencies love paper planners.  Love them.

Then, I graduated from grad school, and didn't really feel the need for a paper planner anymore, so I slowly stopped using one. 

Last year, however, while wandering through Paper Source after Christmas, I decided to pick one up half off.  I did not realize how much I miss using a paper planner!!!  So, again this year, I picked up a planner, and have been stamping and planning to my heart's content.   I carry it everywhere with me, and am so glad I got back on this train. 

Coffee, reading, planning.  #planner #coffee #planneraddict
Three of my favorite things: my planner, my nook, and coffee. Always coffee.

For next year, I will be going back to the binder style like my old Franklin Covey planner (vice the spiral bound, like my current planner), and have already been checking out the latest and greatest on the block, gearing up for my purchase for the new year.  I'm also debating on when to start my new planner - July or January.  I kinda love the July start, since it semi-coincides with the work fiscal year, so I might do that...but I'm still up in the air about it.  Something about starting a new planner before the actual new calendar year gives me something to look forward to twice a year - new fun paper in the summer, and a brand new year five months later.

Are you planner obsessed like me?  What is your favorite brand?  Do you stamp and embellish your planner to make it fun and pretty, or do you keep it simple?  Leave a comment and tell me all about your planner style!

 


Spring has finally sprung.

You GUYS.  I hope that you had as spectacular of a weekend as we had here in DC.  I mean, OMG.  Friday was eh, with rain and still kinda chilly, but Saturday? BE-A-UTIFUL.  Sunday???  Equally as gorgeous.

Saturday I finally decided to venture into DC, because I had to figure out this Metro at some point (it's less difficult that the NYC subway, but I wish it had more stops like NYC....), and it was the last weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Well, I got off the Metro close to where I'd have to then start walking to the river to see the blossoms, and OMG.  People.  Everywhere.  I felt like I was in that Bugs Bunny cartoon where he says to Gossamer "Doc! Look - out there! In the audience!"  and Gossamer yells, "PEOPLE!!" and runs through all the stage backdrops to get away.  Insert me instead of Gossamer and that was pretty much how my Saturday in the city began.

So, rather than try and see the blossoms, I just kept on walking to the downtown area.  I really wanted to go in at least one museum, while I was there, but all those people?  I was OUT.  Downtown and Georgetown, here I come.

The city gave me plenty to take shots of, but honestly, I was too busy enjoying the sunshine (hello, Vitamin D! i'm SO glad to have you back!!) to take many pictures.  Here is a glimpse, though, of some of what I saw during my walk.

IMG_1926

IMG_1923

IMG_1924

Also, if anyone has about eleventy billion dollars they want to give me so I can move to Georgetown, that'd be fabulous.  


COFFEE. COFFEE. COFFEE.

It's no secret I have a love affair with coffee.  I used to drink so many lattes, I named my blog after that obsession.

Over the last year or so, I've gotten back into stamping since I've been making my Christmas cards and keeping project life album.  Stamps are a quick way to add a little bit extra on a filler card, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming.

I'm also a huge fan of Tim Holtz's work - he does some really incredible things with ink and paper, and his mixed media creations are absolutely out of this world.  When you get the chance, check out the stuff he makes. Seriously.  It's incredible.

Tim has a line of stamps with Stampers Anonymous (and also designs and teaches for Ranger Ink), and my favorites of all of them are the holiday themed ones (the stamp I used on my Christmas cards this year was from one of his sets).  

Until this year, when a set from the blueprint line came out dedicated to coffee.

Yes.  You heard me correctly.  

Coffee.

Naturally, I needed to get my hands on a set.  I mean, hello.  Coffee stamps.  It's an obvious need.

I had a gift card that I somehow never used and found when I was unpacking, which clearly was destiny.  This gift card was meant to be used for these stamps I so desperately needed.  And yesterday, they came in the mail.

I ripped open the package, and ran to my craft table to try them out.  I grabbed PL cards that were relatively plain and could use a little somethin' somethin' and went to work.

Tim Holtz coffee blueprint stamps

You better believe I'm going to be using these stamps on EVERYTHING. 

Sig