WInter Solstice

According to an article posted by Huffington Post:

“In 2014, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 21 at 6:03 p.m. EST. 

Officially the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This is the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after the winter solstice until the summer solstice in 2015.

The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light”

To read more about Winter Solstice, click here! Me winter makes me think of more stitching weather, Downton Abbey will start soon, and all the good tv shows that are on hiatus will be back soon…and most important of all, baseball!

It seems like Mooch is getting ready for snow. ooh you are such a silly kitty, but he makes me laugh every morning!

Even though you might be expecting snow and it is bitter cold where you live…

Here is my Christmas Tree! and I don’t have to worry about the cats knocking it over.

or this one either!

My Christimas Cactus is right on schedule and is full of blooms!
This is how I get AlleyCat to act like a silly kitty that she is…throw her the empty tube from the wrapping paper!
and until next time…keep on stitching

Dear Santa…

All I want for Christmas is to learn how to take a straight picture! Well actually my list IS a little longer than that…but for now, we will start with this!

After I redid the Flair for the smoke coming out of the chimney by reconstructing the deconstructed Flair I originally started with… Deconstructing the Flair is actually pulling it apart and unravelling it, you know, taking it apart.

This sat on my coffee table for a week and I didn’t see it till I saw my picture on the blog. I didn’t like the smoke as you see it here, it looked like a big blob. I was aiming for billowy smoke coming out of the chimney, but I believe the size of it all limited what I was able to achieve. So now I am much happier with it!

So dear Santa, I would love some stitching time for me, for moi…is that too much to ask? I haven’t added any new stitched ornaments to my trees the last few years. The purple and the green canvases are by Susan Roberts and the backgrounds are stitched and all I need to do is bead the snowflakes. Noel by Patti Mann, yes I would love to totally bead the word…but I either need to find lots of bead colors or I will use a very transparent bead and just keep changing the thread.

More from the Kitty Kat Tree!

One of my favorite ornaments that I bought years ago in Warwick’s, my favorite La Jolla shop!

Speaking of La Jolla, it’s Saturday…so it’s time for breakfast at The Cottage! or there’s a new place that my breakfast buddy and I have been going to called “Snooze”… and we have been enjoying Spiced Pear Pancakes. So maybe there?!

AlleyCat being a busy girl! and doing what she does best.

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

It’s Looking a Lot Like Christmas!

When these candy canes came out from Melissa Shirley maybe about 10 years ago, who would thunk that I would have this many in my collection? I absolutely love stitching them! They are actually more than this that have overflowed onto my other trees. I look forward to seeing what new ones that Melissa debuts this year. Might just have to order some at market…not like I have much time to stitch for myself these days!

I like stitching these so much because they work up quickly! It is a great sense of accomplishment to finish something and is a nice change of pace from the bigger and more involved pieces that we seem to be always work on.

Mooch has been a little mischievous lately and I am thinking that Santa Paws might leave some coal in his stocking.

Mooch reminds me some much of AlleyCat as he has so much cat-itude!

Of course I have a kitty Christmas Tree! what were you thinking? I try to add a new kitty ornament to it every year…either stitched or not. This sterling ornament is one of my favorites! Based on an antique merry go-round piece of a cat holding a fish in its mouth.

I have been on stitching hiatus this last week and I really needed it. I think I am ready tonight to get back into my stitchy chair as I am sure the cats are too!

 

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

I Dreaming of a White Christmas!

That is my question! will it? Will I have a White Christmas?

It is beautiful, a fresh new snowfall! but after looking at the forecasted weather, I don’t think it’s happening this year.

It seems like Mooch is not thrilled with the though of snow!

I am wrapped, packed and shipped, cards are mailed and my decorating has been done!

One of my favorite ornaments, a Gay Ann Rogers designs from way back when.

My have to get finished stitching is pretty much completed, all I have left is to write the stitch guides. Maybe a little “me” stitching time too!

AlleyCat is being a busy body!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

First Night of Hanukkah…

Whether you spell it Chanukah, Hanukah, or Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish “festival of lights” starts Tuesday at sundown as the first night is celebrated.
It signifies the re-dedication of the second temple while witnessing what they believed to have been an miracle. An introduction of oil to the Menorah to light it was only supposed
to last one day…but the oil kept burning for 8 nights, hence the festival of lights that last 8 days. Today’s celebration adds a new candle to the menorah each day and then lit at night after sundown.
A canvas by pepita with the lit candles, the gelt, a dreidel, the pitcher of oil and the traditional fried jelly donuts “Sufganiyot.” (and these I found more than one spelling of!) I remember growing up with jelly donuts that were delish from our local Jewish bakery, but I didn’t realize the significance of them then.
Many holidays revolve around eating specific traditional foods and being that Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil, the menus feature fried foods and who doesn’t love that?
Gifts are exchanged every night and gelt is given to the children. Wait…8 nights of gifts! As a young child it would probably by chocolate coins, but I am sure that eventually they will hope that it turns to green.
Canvas by Sandra Gilmore of gelt and a dreidel which is a 4 sided top to play a popular children’s spinning game. So I am wondering why blue for Hanukkah? I read where it is the colors taken from the flag of Israel, but that is only about a 40 year old tradition.
AlleyCat waiting for the elevator!
and until next time…keep on stitching

The Gingerbread House!

Remember this darling little canvas? by PepperberryDesigns

It was designed to the magnet…usually it is the other way around. I am always fascinated as to how the designers design, and they are all different. And trust me, I ask them all! Some draw on paper and some on their computer, some use a specific program to design and then some design by painting straight to the canvas!

I really tried many different things on this canvas and the peak alone I stitched and restitched 4 times…OMG! For me the count of the canvas dictates the stitch that I can do and believe you me I think and try lots of combinations.

Beads, French knots, darning pattern, deconstructed Flair and so much more finished out this canvas. I see that I might need a few more couching stitches to compact that unruly plume of smoke coming out of the chimney.

So if you love this and gotta have it (it was really a fun stitch) it will be available at the TNNA show in January along with a stitch guide through Pepperberry Designs. Ask your LNS to order one for you! They may even be available at the show through the new Immediate Delivery Service that they are starting with this show or at Sample It.

No I didn’t make breakfast at The Cottage on Saturday, but I am thinking that I am going this morning. Today is our monthly get together stitching and I will probably be bringing my laptop with me instead so that I can work on stitch guides. I will have one more finish to share with you, something that I have been working on day and night this week.

The cats kept me company as I was stitching and actually shared the Christmas Quilt! Do you believe in Christmas miracles? well I do!

and until next time, keep on stitching

 

My Supurr~visor!

Most of the time when I am stitching, I have a very good supurr~visor with me!

Which usually leads to this. I don’t mind it at all, actually I love, love, love it when AlleyCat is on my lap. She doesn’t bother my stitching or my threads, but gets very upset with me when oh well shudder the thought that I might have to move or worse yet, get up! All of us who have fur children, know that stitching with their fur is a part of our stitching life.

Notice that I used my magnet to hold the bead case in place on my canvas, since I am working on a stand, so my canvas is at a slant.

So to catch you up, this is a bead/needle case by Accoutrements Designs. I was given one to work with to see if I liked it and I do! I do! After finishing a small beading project, the sticky mat did have a fair amount of cat hair on it. My mission was to see if I could clean that cat hair off by using a damp cloth, well actually it was a more than damp paper towel.

So I went from this to this:

Nice and clean! well almost as I do see a cat hair or two, but work with me here…as it really did clean up as promised.

I have been stitching round the clock for most of the week as I finished The Gingerbread House and another piece is ready to come off the bars too! Between that I have been wrapping and shipping gifts, sending out cards and adding the finishing touches on my list to Santa. It is cold, (well cold for San Diego) and rainy this morning, so I an not sure if I will have breakfast at The Cottage.

And this was again my supurr~visor as I was working on my Christmas cards. What am I to do with her?

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Let the Baking Begin!

How could I have let this slip by me? Did you know that last Friday was national cookie day? I love, love, love a good cookie. Not too crisp…well unless it’s a biscotti made for dunking… a little chewy and loaded with stuff, good stuff!

The English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch work “koekje” meaning little cake. Dutch bakers used to test oven temperatures on small amounts of batter, so that they wouldn’t waste it all if the temperature was not just right. Soon they learned that these little morsels were pretty delicious!

Hopefully these ingredients and some inspiration…

 

will turn into this!

This is absolutely hands down, one of the highlights of being with my sister at Christmas…is all the baking that we do! Are you getting the recipes in order my sister dear? With Christmas falling in the middle of the week, you should get some extra baking time in! I am very disappointed to say that I won’t be there in time for our baking adventures since I arrive early Christmas Eve morning. So instead it will be the time to ready for the feast of the 7 fishes.

AlleyCat has been very mischevious lately! I keep telling her that Santa Kitty will not be leaving her anything in her stocking…but I don’t think that she believes me!

We are expecting a big rainstorm, so I will be staying in and stitching all day, wrapping gifts and finishing my Christmas cards. Ho! Ho! Ho!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Celebrate Poinsettia Day!

Poinsettias are a gorgeous blossoming plant with colorful foilage. They used to be just red and green…but now we have white, pink, coral and mixed colorations.

This is an amazing Christmas tree created by a tower of poinsettias seen at one of our outside malls. Although the plant is native to Mexico, a majority of all the poinsettias are exported from the US. The Aztecs considered them a symbol of purity becuase of their gorgeous red color. Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico introduced these flowers to the states after discovering them growing on the hillsides while visiting Taxco in the early 1800′s.

Cat myths…are poinsettias posionous to your kitties? Read what they have to say about it by Googling it. My ladies at Adelaide’s in La Jolla told me years ago that NO, they are not posionous, but I won’t tempt fate since certain people in this house and not mentioning any names, do chew on a plant or 2 of mine, so this will live outside my front door.

Canvas by Sandra Gilmore entitled Carol. I have always wanted to stitch this canvas! Well maybe someday. I can just see that pot of poinsettias done on off canvas needle weaving!

I did stitch this quite a few years ago and is still one of my favorite ornaments! Cavas then was by Terry Enfield and I am not sure if it is still part of The Red Thread line or if it has been discontinued. I loved this so much I stitched it 2x! Once for me and once more for a dear friend.

Somebody was supervising a little early wrapping of Christmas gifts!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Dear Santa!

Have you made your list yet? Well how about asking Santa for 2 or 4 amazing days at the Blue Bonnet Needle Arts Retreat? It is held at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, located in the outskirts of Austin, TX. This will be the 5th year and it is growing and getting better and better! I am sure that you have been very, very good this year and of course you could even treat yourself.

These were bluebonnets that were blooming 2 years ago. A really beautiful location!

Lots of stitching, great friends old and newly found, wonderful new stitches, lots of inspiration, delicious food, adult beverages and oooh so much more! It is held President’s Day Weekend and you can take a 2 day class or a 4 day. You should really look into it! There was a 24-hour stitching room last year, a little boutique where you could shop while classes are going on, a merchandise night with plenty of retail therapy, a banquet one night and so much fun that it should be considered illegal and immoral…

I finished a must do piece yesterday and even though that feels great, I really wanted to get much more stitching done than I did…but wrapping gifts and getting a start on my cards sorta kinda took my stitching time.

This is how you wrap a cat!

and until next time…keep on stitching