Patriotic Feed

Land of Liberty | Cross Stitch

Well, friends.  Here we are in August!  I can hardly believe it.  We've had some blistering hot days, but the past few days have been less humid with cooler days coming next week.  Summer so far has been busy; the weekends have been packed with activities, with work keeping the weekdays busy.  I am looking forward to vacation at the end of the summer, that's for sure!

This weekend looks like it's going to be beautiful, so I plan on heading out and enjoying the sunshine.  Perhaps a stroll through Georgetown is in order.  It's been a while since I've taken in the architecture of the city.

I've been doing a bit of stitching; more lately than the past few months, so I've actually gotten a few pieces completed.  

One is "Land of Liberty" by With Thy Needle and Thread.

Land of Liberty #WithThyNeedleandThread #crossstitch #patriotic

I stitched this on 40 ct. Almond from Silkweaver.  I think it helps bring out the red, white, and blue in the flags and Uncle Sam's outfit.

I didn't like the color on the chart for the lettering - Heirloom Gold - so I switched it for Apple Cider.  Much better, I think.  I also changed the color of the pup - I used Hickory he kinda looks like Toto from The Wizard of Oz.  

Land of Liberty #WithThyNeedleandThread #crossstitch #patriotic

There's never a bad time to be stitching patriotic-themed pieces, and I have quite a few more in my stash.  I'm still muscling through Shores of Hawk Run, and I've got a cute Country Cottage Needleworks Christmas piece I'm almost finished with, and Snow Queen that's been untouched for months (I found out the shaded areas don't actually overlap, so I need to copy one side and match it up...), so God only knows what I'll get myself into once I'm finished one of these in my WIP pile!!

O Beautiful For Spacious Skies | Cross Stitch

Summer just kinda lends itself to patriotic stitching, doesn't it?  The summer holidays honoring our veterans, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, and those who volunteer to continue to protect us and the freedoms we have help keep us in that patriotic mood.  At least for me they do.

Heartstring Samplery always has such wonderful designs (the coffee series is by far my favorite, of course), and when I saw this piece, I knew I had to add it to my stash. 

I used all the threads called for, and stitched it on 36 ct Legacy from Picture this Plus.

O Beautiful for Spacious Skies Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #patriotic

Cute, right?

Heartstring Samplery O Beautiful For Spacious Skies #crossstitch #patriotic

I love how your initials and the date are incorporated into the design.  I had to alter the "J" slightly from the given alphabet, since it leaned left while the "A" leaned right.  It looks goofy.  So, with the help of my friend, Catherine (I sent her pics of the original and then the altered letter to see which was better), I had the "J" lean slightly right so it was closer to what the "A" was doing.  

Heartstring Samplery O Beautiful for Spacious Skies #crossstitch #patriotic

I love the strawberry vine on this design, too.  The reds are perfect, and they frame the rest of the piece so nicely.

Heartstring Samplery O Beautiful for Spacious Skies #crossstitch #patriotic

Are you guys working on any patriotic pieces for summer?  I have With Thy Needle and Thread patriotic piece in the works, which I hope to share with you all soon!

Nerd Alert.

I've been impatiently waiting for my eleventy billion ebooks to come off the hold shelf at the library, so in the meantime, I checked out one from the history section. 

Because...I'm a nerd.

And also because, the American Revolution, Civil War, and Turn of the Century eras in American History are really intriguing to me.  European history will always completely fascinate me, as well the Ancient Egyptian, Greeks and Romans, so I really gravitate more towards books that deal with those time periods before anything else.  And, any time there is something on tv about The Templars, I'm in.  Hook, line and sinker.  A order of knights sworn to secrecy and to gather and protect ancient religious treasures and relics??  IN.  I have a book called Christopher Columbus, The Last Templar.  A Templar?  Chris?  Almost 200 years after The Templars had been forced to disband???  SO IN.

Fun fact: Although not the origin of the superstition, Friday the 13th is linked to the fate of the templars.  

Back to the book.  So, I'm impatient, and I decided to check out a book called George Washington's Secret Six.  



I kept gravitating toward this book whenever I'd be in Barnes and Noble, so I decided to check it out on ebook from the library instead.  It was a very good account of the spy ring that helped GW squash those pesky Brits and get the American Rebels ahead in the war.  I won't spoil it for you, in case you're as big of a nerd as me and you want to read this, too, but there are four plots that the spies foiled, including the big one involving Benedict Arnold.

I was expecting this to read much like ever other history book I pick up to read for fun (again. nerd.), which is usually akin to a college textbook.  However, the author of this book really made it accessible and it reads more like fiction.  It's a quick read, keeping it as general as possible as to not get into the real nitty gritty details of the circumstances surrounding the war, but giving enough details so you can piece everything together and see how much these spies really risked in the name of freedom.

The best part?  One of the six was a woman, proving vital to the ring because she was able to get into the inner social circles of the British officers, and her identity still remains a mystery.

Next up is the new book from Eric Larson, Dead Wake, which I started last night, and I'm already loving it.  

What are you guys reading????  I'm always looking for recommendations!  You guys have given me some great ones so far!! 

Happy Thursday!!


Sweet Land of Liberty | Cross Stitch

Did you ever have one of those days where you felt just like Will Ferrell's character in "Zoolander"?



That was me yesterday.  All day.  

When I got home, I was totally wired to workout, but actually ended up feeling like I was too wired...if that even makes any sense.   I decided that what I needed instead was some quality time at my craft table.  

So, I made a pot of decaf, and headed in to the den to work on my project life album.  I just had some pictures printed from Persnickety Prints, and wanted to incorporate them as soon as possible.  As I worked, I realized that there are so many more pictures from last year that I have but never printed!  Looks like I'll be making another order of prints before those layouts are finished.  I'm determined, determined I tell ya, to keep up with my PL album this year and not get so far behind again.

After spending about an hour or so at my craft table, I moseyed on into the living room to pick up my  needle and thread.  I was able to finish the Heartstring Samplery piece I started last week, Sweet Land of Liberty.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Liberty #crossstitch #needle #hread #patriotic

So simple and pretty.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Libetry #crossstitch #needle #thread #patriotic

I stitched this on 32 ct. Heroic from Picture This Plus, which made a great compliment to the red, white, and blue used to stitch.  It's just enough dye to give it something different, yet not overpowering so it detracts from the stitching.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Liberty #crossstitch #needle #thread #patriotic

Love this flowerpot & the overflowing flowers!  It's the perfect balance of red, white, and blue.  Now I just have to figure out how I want to finish it.......

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and have some time to stitch or craft this week!


Monday. Monday. Monday. | Cross Stitch

Weekends go entirely too quickly.  Just sayin'.


The best part about this weekend, though??  I finally made it down to In Stitches, my new LNS!  I haven't been shopping for stitch stuff in so long because of my move, so I was like a kid in a candy store when I walked in.  There were so many patterns available for me to gawk at, including new ones from the Nashville Market, that I spent the better part of an hour just wandering around looking at everything.  I must've been asked at least 3 times if I needed help....I guess I looked a little ridiculous walking around just staring at everything.  HA.

Also, they have SO MUCH THREAD.  SO MUCH.  I was literally drooling at all the options.


I stealthily took this from behind a rack of patterns.  This isn't even nearly everything they have.  I literally gasped when I saw all the silks, which were down and around the corner from this wall of Classic Colorworks, Weeks Dye Works, and Shaker Threads.  I need to take inventory of the silks that I need for certain projects and head back asap!!  There was just so much to look at, and the models stitched around the store were gorgeous.  Also, the framing section is outrageous - they have more frame choices than I've seen anywhere, and they're absolutely beautiful.

Needless to say, I came back from my trip to In Stitches totally inspired to start stitching. 

I worked some on my Shores of Hawk Run - I'm working down and then across, so the next block I started is the one right underneath Block 1 - 

Block 2 start from Shores at Hawk Run Hollow

And then I decided I needed a break from the 40 ct, and started a patriotic piece from Heartstring Samplery -

 It's called Sweet Land of Liberty.  I'm stitching it on 32 ct. Heroic from Picture This Plus, and I'm literally flying through it.  I always forget how much quicker I can stitch on 32 ct. vice 40 ct.  I love the big red flower in the middle...and something about those blue flowers really catches my eye, too.

How was your weekend??  Were you able to stitch or create this weekend?? 



American Panorama | Cross Stitch

I have a lot of patriotic graphs in my stash.  A lot.  This one I've been working on here and there as I completed other bigger projects, just to keep me sane, since I picked a larger count fabric to do this on.  

I love doing anything patriotic.  In fact, I just picked up another patriotic piece to stitch now that I'm done this one.

Gotta keep at least 4 projects going at the same time, or it's just not right in my stitching world.

This is American Panorama from Blue Ribbon Designs.


So cute, amiright?!


I love that sailboat with the teeny American flag!!


The sheep!  I die.


Can't have a patriotic piece without a bald eagle!!

I loved stitching this piece.  It was a relatively quick stitch, and it's so fun and full of Americana!  You could also stitch each one of the squares individually and make smalls, if you didn't want a long piece to frame.  Belinda includes finishing instructions if that is something you'd prefer to do rather than stitch them all as one.

I stitched this on 32 count Heroic from Picture This Plus fabrics.  It has the perfect balance of red and blue dyes streaking throughout to add to the whole patriotic-ness.

Now I just need to get it framed and find a place for it on my walls!

What are you all stitching this fantastic August weekend?!


Patriotic Finishes | Cross Stitch

Patriotic themes should not be limited to just around the major American holidays which make us feel more patriotic - Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day - but should be a year-round theme.  

When I did these model finishes for The Strawberry Sampler, I felt kinda bad that I wasn't able to get them to the shop before the 4th of July for the patriotic display the gals has up in the front of the store.  The store owner quickly reminded me that patriotic is a year-round theme, and I should not feel bad I couldn't get them done sooner.

Emotional cross stitch finisher crisis averted.

With that, these are the finishes I did for the shop - all designs are done by Threadwork Primitives, a local Philly designer, which makes them even more special :-)

As always, I made some slight changes to the fibers and fabric, all of which are listed on my Floss & Fibers page in case you'd like to do the same.

I hope you're all having a wonderful summer so far!!  And don't forget, if you want to get a head start on your Christmas stitching, for the month of July, all Christmas is 20% at The Strawberry Sampler, so stop on  by or give a call to the shop to make sure you have everything you need!

More from my KAF weekend getaway

Hello all!
I realized last night that I never downloaded the pics from  my camera that I took while tooling around VT & NH.
On Friday, with an entire day to scope out the area, I decided to head over to Woodstock (no, not that Woodstock) and go to this outdoor book fair they had going on all weekend.
Vintage and second-hand books?  Yes, please!  The town was not far - maybe about a 25 min ride from the inn.
I mean, honestly.  These old buildings are just gorgeous.
The above pic I took in the town library where they were having the rare book sale.  I thought it was super cool, espeically since it's crafty & such.  Here I am, 7 hours from home, and I find something done with mixed media in the least likely of places!  I don't even know what it was doing there!  Just chillin, I guess, on that bodyform.  Whatevs.  Cool, nonetheless ;-)
This, I think, was an inn.  Well, a large inn...but I think it was called the Woodstock Inn.  It's hidden behind those pretty trees, but you can still get an idea of how big it is.  And it was a beautiful building.  I felt so touristy taking pics in this quaint little town, so I tried not to whip out my camera too often, which is why this is the only pic of this building that I took.  
This is a little shop along the main street in Woodstock.  Suspended over the river.  So cool.  So peaceful.
This was just a little cafe that I walked past on my way to the local coffee shop, and I loved the flower boxes and the umbrella tables. 
That's all I have of lovely Woodstock, VT.  Oh, and Bookstock wasn't as thrilling as I wanted it to be.  I'd hoped to snag some Nancy Drew books in the original printed text, but I didn't see one Nancy Drew in any of the places they were having the book sale.  Oh well.  I'll just have to keep my eye out at antique shops & such.
After I was done with Woodstock, I decided to go to the Shaker Museum in Enfield, NH.  This was...interesting.  I don't really know what I expected when I went here, since I knew absolutely zero about the Shakers going into it, but I still figured I'd stop by since I wasn't far.
The surrounding area is beautiful - the museum is right on the river - and must be stunning in the fall when the leaves change.  I didn't take any pictures of the building, since you had to call ahead to ask permission to take pics, which i didn't know, so I just took the tour.  There are no longer Shakers there - in fact, there are only 3 remaining Shakers in the entire country, & they're in Maine - the property was sold to the La Salette order of Catholic missionaries, who owned it until the 1970's.  So, there's a beautiful Catholic chapel on the premesis, which is a far cry from the very plain Shaker building.  
Belinda Karls-Nace, of Blue Ribbon Designs, taught a cross stitch class here last fall, and designed a teaching piece specifically for this location.  To read more about her teaching experience (and I believe she was able to take some pretty great pics), go to her blog posts about it here and here.
That's it for today!  My little side trips through VT & NH before heading to my wonderful baking class at KAF!!!  
Have a wonderfully creative day everyone!!!!!
Much love ~~~
J :-)

A quick weekend post

Holy Hera is it HOT in Philly.  I'm in no way complaining, because I HATE being cold. Like, hate.  With a vengeance.  So, even though it's a scorcher, and I'm pretty sure it'll stay above 90 degrees through the end of August (jusssst a prediction based on the fact that it didn't really dip lower than 40 over the winter. unheard of around here...), it didn't stop me from spending some crafty time. 
I spent a lot of time stitching (since it's even really too hot to anything else), but on Saturday afternoon, since I was tooootally procrastinating from cleaning my bathroom, I decided to do a sewing project.  Way better than cleaning the bathroom.
I saw this tutorial for a tote bag over at Sew4Home and decided that I had to make this bag.  Just because.  I had some fabric laying around that I'd bought with the intent of making a new nook cover for myself, but was over that once I saw this tutorial.
IMG_4160  I have no idea what I'll use it for, but I can't wait to use it.  I tried it out (you know, like any normal person, I walked around my 2nd floor hallway all sassy and whatnot with it on my shoulder), and naturally, it's amazing.  It actually fits a file folder in there with no trouble, so I might make this my new travel bag for work, since it's much, much lighter than my briefcase, and I could just shove my wristlet and cosmetic case in here rather than carrying my big purse, too.
Here's the inside of the bag.  Oh so cute.  The dimensions of this bag are approximately 18" wide by 17" high.  Not so small it only fits your lip gloss, but not so big it fits a small child with no problem.  Just right.
As I'm sure you've guessed, I've already thought of ways I'm gonna make this just a smidge different the next time I make it.  The original tutorial has you put ribbon on the handles and two smaller pieces as tie closures.  I was over the ribbon, so I eliminated it all.  Plus, without the ribbon, I don't have to worry about it getting ruined in the wash, b/c yes, this is 100% cotton and therefore, washable.  Clutch.
If any of you stitchers out there are sewers and need a quick gift for someone, or just want to make yourself something funky and fun, head on over to Sew4Home and grab the tutorial to make this bag.  It's easy, and didn't take nearly as long as I anticipated.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  4th of July festivities have started already, since the holiday is on Wednesday, so I think a lot of places did stuff this weekend, and others will be next weekend.  I went down to Penn's Landing in Philly to see the fireworks display, which is always a good time.
Stay cool if it's hot where you are, and enjoy your holiday! I hope to post this week with stitchy progress, so stay tuned!
Much love ~~~~
J :-)

Memorial Day Goodies

Hellooooo!!!!  I hope you're all having a wonderful long holiday weekend!!!  I know it's been much-needed time off for me.  It's been a great weekend so far, and HOT here in the Philly area, but you will hear no complaints from me about that!!  I LOVE summer.  LOVE IT.  My body doesn't hurt like a 95-year-old woman because my muscles stay nice and loose, and it's just a general awesome time of year.
I want to take a moment and thank all those who have served and who continue to serve this great country of ours.  It is because of them that we have the freedoms we have, to include the freedom to write and share ideas in a forum like this.  Without them, I could never even attempt to spread creativity and receive such inspiration from others.  To the men and women of our armed forces, THANK YOU.  
(for those of you who've been following me for a while will recognize this as something i've posted previously under my older blog.  and no, i haven't gotten it framed yet.  i will.  swear.)
Ok -- now onto what I did this weekend!!
 Friday.  I spent the day doing a few things around the house, and then I went out for some much needed drinks with my bestie.  This week was pure hell, and that Captain Morgan and diet coke was just what the doctor ordered.
Sadly, no crafting occurred on this day.
Saturday.  Another day filled with chores, to include planting a few things in my garden (one by one i keep adding to the plants & flowers, so hopefully soon i'll be able to share with you the fruits of my labor! i plan on spending the fall doing some serious canning! now, i just need a canning pot....)  Saturday was also met with alcoholic drinks with great friends.  We met up at one of the local, very popular sports bars in the Philly area (i swear their goal is to take over the entire east coast...), and just have a blasty blast. (i would like to mention a small gripe with the 96 tvs that are in this bar - would it have really killed you to have left the maryland/duke lax game on just one little measly tv in my line of sight???  really????? uggggh.)
Sadly, no crafting occurred on Saturday, either.
Sunday. Now, Sunday was a day spent doing something everyone hopes that someday they'll be able to do: rip up your disgusting basement carpet because your cat completely ruined it.  Well, after a mishap with my washing machine during the week which got the rug soaked on the one side (note to self: double-check the basin sink EVERY TIME to make sure a rogue washcloth does not get stuck in the drain while the washer is running. ahem.), I decided just to rip up part of the carpet in the basement, since it's already been destroyed.   Now, I will advise those of you who need to do this in your lifetime to be very wary of where your fingers are when you have that sharp box cutter in your hands.  I'll spare you the details, but I'll tell you that I did not lose an ounce of blood, but I'll need those Asian ladies at the nail place on Friday to work their magic since I'll be getting a mani/pedi for my sis's wedding.  Owwie.
Sunday ALSO included making a brand spankin-new shower curtain!!!  Whoop whoop!!!  I've only had the fabric in my bin for almost a year waiting for this project, and I decided since I was injured, what better way to spend the day than working with more sharp objects?!  Pins and sewing machine needles!! Yes!!!!
Ok so here is the "before" of my bathroom -
Now, my tiles on both the floor and walls are a pale pale grey with a marbled look to them.  The radiator cover and the top decorative tile on the walls are both black.  The rug is like a minty-sea green, to match the shower curtain.

Both were perfectly fine for my apartment, but for my house, I definitely needed something a little more updated.  I couldn't find anything I liked, however, so naturally, I decided to make something.  No pattern necessary -- the old shower curtain was my guide. (yes, i am that awesome.) And...did you notice??  Original crystal doorknobs.  Be jealous.
Any guesses as to what color I chose to go with that awesome grey & black motif already there??
You got it!!!
Now, I know this is really dark, but the fabric itself is super dark, and speckled with black, so it was tough to get a clear picture of it.  BUT, I think it's super amazing, and I can't wait to make curtains and get hand towels!!!  I went to Targeeeeee on Sunday to pick up a new bath rug, which is black since they didn't have any purple (none.  no purple at all.  they should be ashamed.), but it's super soft and plush and I love it anyway.  I'll need to get funky purple hand towels since the rug is plain.
(i don't know why this pic is tinted, but trust - the rug is black, and my shower curtain is really that awesome purple from the above pic)
Awesome, amiright?!  Love it!!!  
Along with this amazing sewing job I did (if i do say so myself), which - side note - whoever invented the automatic button hole maker for sewing machines is a GENIUS and i hope that person is living in the lap of luxury for the patent or idea or whatever.  good work, sir/ma'am. good work -  I have been able to do some updating on my "Halloween Eve" piece for you all to see.
I haven't been able to do much, but what I've done has definitely added some color!  I love those leaves!  I can't wait for you all to see the rest of this stitched -- it looks so awesome on the graph sample pic, so it'll look a bajillion times better once I have it stitched in person :-)
Lastly, I've had this poster lying around for a while now, and I recently got the frame for it, but let them both lounge around my computer room for the past 2 months or so.  Well, yesterday I decided enough is enough, and I put the poster in the frame.
I don't know what it is about this "Keep Calm and Carry On" themed stuff that's so popular now, but I absolutely can't get enough of it.  I'm suddenly obsessed with everything British for funky decor purposes.  I haven't quite decided where this will end up hanging, but for now, it's proudly displayed in my hallway.
That's all I have for the moment, peeps!!  I hope to spend today doing many crafty things, and I hope you all find time to BBQ and make at least one little crafty thing!! 
Much love ~~~~
J :-)