Is 2013 over Already?

Tomorrow it will be a new year…which you all know, so why am I telling you THAT? Wow where has the year gone to? I know that we all say the same thing. But really where does the time go to? It slips by all too fast. I normally keep very busy and never let myself waste much time… there is just way too much to be accomplished, too many places to visit, new needlepoint shops to discover, new books, new threads and stitches to fall in love with and new canvases to find. Another stitching venture to relish and ooh just so much more!

I had a wonderful time in NY with family and friends, and it is great to be home again with kids. I could hear AlleyCat meowing at me through the door as I approached it and she kept it up for quite awhile until I opened that can of cat food! They are usually always good while I am gone and really don’t get into too much mischief.

I will be stitching the New Year in…how about you? I pretty much finished my assignment for some special person that I am stitching for, so now I can turn my needle and thread to this canvas. I have the gold beads almost finished up…note I said almost, when I was challenged again with the way that the “C” is painted, so out it came and instead I worked on the mug. As soon as I finish the letters, I will work on the background, since the long arms of the snowflakes need to be stitched over the background…or maybe not! I noticed on the others, that when I stitched the white of the snowflakes after the green (or the red) so that it came up in canvas holes shared with the green already stitched, that the green shaded my beautiful white Kreinik to a pale, pale green.

And I need to finish the flowers on this, Welcome by Annie Lane before market.

A few stitchy things that Santa brought for me this year! A handmade frog crafted with exotic woods for scissors, laying tools, a ruler and so much more. Magnets and a cat scissors round out the new treasures.

I have my eyes set on a new canvas, which is not on bars, nor have I studied it for stitches and thread selections. I also would love to finish up a few things that are crying to be finished. Here I thought I had all this time before Christmas to stitch for myself…well it didn’t happen, so what was I thinking? Now next week is market and I am sure that there will be more canvases coming home, either for me or to work on for stitch guides.

Happy New Year from Sylvester, AlleyCat and myself!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Christmas is but a Memory…

I agree with Mooch…don’t you? The trouble with Christmas is that it goes by all too quickly…

The cookie baking was a fun, fun, fun as always! we laughed, had some great sister moments and came across a few recipes that challenged us. Is it that or am I loosing my touch?

and this assortment of stuff, turned into these delicious cookies!

Butterballs, cherry pistachio biscotti and pignoli’s which is an Italian cookie made with pine nuts..

Spumoni cookies…

Walnut shaped cookies which will later be filled with hazelnut praline and chocolate, rugelach and rosettes, another Italian cookie.

Santa was very good to me and must have read my list! I will love reading this book while snuggled up with Sylvester & AlleyCat…

and a beautiful Christmas quilt made by sister! This was one of not 1, but 10 Christmas quilts that she made for friends and family…

I hope everybody had a great Christmas, Hanukkah and whatever else you celebrate.

I better get home before I start looking like Mooch! tomorrow, tomorrow! as much as I love being with my sister and the wonderful cooking by my brother-in-law, it is time to for me to get back to sunny San Diego and the cats! so I will see you next year

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Everything you Needed to know about Boxing Day!

Boxing Day, the day after Christmas…maybe it was just invented for the cats?

Well not really…but you try and convince the cats about that! any cats and especially my cats.

If you’re looking for something that explains the origins of Boxing Day, I found this wonderful article, just in case you were not convinced it is just for the cats. The day-after-Christmas holiday is celebrated by most countries in the Commonwealth, but in a what-were-we-doing-again? bout of amnesia, none of them are really sure what they’re celebrating, when it started or why.

The best clue to Boxing Day’s origins can be found in the song “Good King Wenceslas.” According to the Christmas carol, Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century, was surveying his land on St. Stephen’s Day — Dec. 26 — when he saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snowstorm. Moved, the King gathered up surplus food and wine and carried them through the blizzard to the peasant’s door. The alms-giving tradition has always been closely associated with the Christmas season — hence the canned-food drives and Salvation Army Santas that pepper our neighborhoods during the winter — but King Wenceslas’ good deed came the day after Christmas, when the English poor received most of their charity.

King Wenceslas didn’t start Boxing Day, but the Church of England might have. During Advent, Anglican parishes displayed a box into which churchgoers put their monetary donations. On the day after Christmas, the boxes were broken open and their contents distributed among the poor, thus giving rise to the term Boxing Day. Maybe.

But wait: there’s another possible story about the holiday’s origin. The day after Christmas was also the traditional day on which the aristocracy distributed presents (boxes) to servants and employees — a sort of institutionalized Christmas-bonus party. The servants returned home, opened their boxes and had a second Christmas on what became known as Boxing Day.

So which version is correct? Well, both. Or neither. No one, it seems, is really sure. Both the church boxes and the servant presents definitely existed, although historians disagree on which practice inspired the holiday. But Boxing Day’s origins aren’t especially important to modern-day Brits — Britain isn’t known for its religious fervor, and few people can afford to have servants anymore, anyway. Today’s Boxing Day festivities have very little to do with charity. Instead, they revolve around food, football (soccer), visits from friends, food and drinking at the pub.

Boxing Day has been a national holiday in England, Wales, Ireland and Canada since 1871. For years in which the holiday falls on a weekend, the celebration is moved to make sure workers still get a day off (except in Canada, where it remains Dec. 26), but since visits to Grandma and other family obligations are fulfilled on Christmas, there isn’t anything left to do on Boxing Day except eat leftovers, drink and watch TV. Just as Americans watch football on Thanksgiving, the Brits have Boxing Day soccer matches and horse races. If they’re particularly wealthy or live in the country, they might even participate in a fox hunt.

The annual Boxing Day fox hunts — which have been held all over the English countryside for hundreds of years — were imperiled in 2005 when Parliament banned the traditional method of using dogs to kill the prey. Despite the dogs’ limited role (they can still chase the animal, but they can’t harm it) hundreds of thousands of people turn out at Boxing Day fox hunts around Britain.

The Irish still refer to the holiday as St. Stephen’s Day, and they have their own tradition called hunting the wren, in which boys fasten a fake wren to a pole and parade it through town. Also known as Wren Day, the tradition supposedly dates to 1601, to the Battle of Kinsale, in which the Irish tried to sneak up on the English invaders but were betrayed by the song of an overly vocal wren — although this legend’s veracity is also highly debated. Years ago, a live wren was hunted and killed for the parade, but modern sentiments deemed it too gruesome.

The Bahamas celebrate Boxing Day with a street parade and festival called Junkanoo, in which traditional rhythmic dancers called gombeys fill the streets with their elaborate costumes and headdresses.

And of course, there’s the shopping. England and Canada’s Boxing Day evolved into a major shopping event in the 1980s — the equivalent of post-Thanksgiving Black Friday. But this year, many of the sales started earlier in an effort to boost the slumping economy.

Boxing Day has evolved from a charitable day to an extended Christmas afternoon. It’s a holiday with presents that have already been opened and a dinner that has been eaten. It’s a holiday best spent lounging around in brightly colored sweaters, wondering, lazily and lethargically, what to do next. Come to think of it, it’s a wonder Americans haven’t adopted it yet.

This post originally ran on Dec. 25, 2009.

I had a wonderful Christmas and Santa was very good to me. The family, friends, food and adult beverages have been amazing as always. My nieces and nephews will be here in a few days, so we get to celebrate Christmas all over!

I am missing the cats and wondering if they are sleeping together as I caught them last week? or as they normally do?

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Merry Christmas!

Stopping by to wish that everybody a very merry, merry with their family and friends…

I just wanted to share with you too, that Christmas miracles really do happen! Should I say that these 2 are really not BFF’s? they get along great, but they do not curl up and sleep together ever! well almost never. I was packing away and set this sweater down. It was just freshly washed and was going to get packed.

and what do I find? the 2 of them curled up here. OMG! Needless to say, the sweater is not getting packed.

and from Sylvester & AlleyCat, and me too, we all wish you a very merry. I leave tomorrow morning at 0dark30 seriously!

 

Santa’s Making his List and Checking it Twice!

I have mountains and piles and boxes of threads…oh my! I made myself gather everything into one place yesterday to check that everything is here and accounted for. I am just waiting for a few more things and I think it is more the postal service that is the holdup.

I have my thread lists and was being just like Santa, and checking it twice!

So many threads and such little time. I really wanted to create some wonderful photo opportunities…but I got sidetracked!

Here’s the wonderful Gloriana threads that we will be using in the Stilt Houses of Halloween Green and Velvet Sky.

So you are probably wondering what I was sidetracked by? ooh step into my office…

New colors by Gloriana!

I am in love with Toadstool and Peruvian Lily! Now I just need to find the purr~fect canvas for this thread.

A little Christmas cheer in between.

We all wish you a very meowy Christmas! I will be headed back east in a few days for a very white one with my family and I can’t wait…so not sure when I will be popping in again. Allot will depend on my connections or if I have anything to say. For now, so much to do and so little time left.

I wish you all a very merry one and hopefully Santa brings you everything that you wished for!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas!

The snow has been falling all over the place from Oregon to Chicago to the East Coast…will I get home to New York before the snow affects my travels? Of all the years that I have been flying back and forth at the heart of the holidays, I have only been challenged once getting to my destination. Thanks to the determination of not spending Christmas Eve in an airport, I used the rails to make it there. An adventure that I will not soon forget.

The cats are supervising my preliminary packing as they cat nap in and around my suitcases!

I just need to figure out what stitching to take with me. I am thinking that between the cookie baking and all the entertaining that is scheduled, that there will be very little time for stitching.

I usually try not to add the clothes till the last minute so that my clothes don’t arrive covered in cat hair. AlleyCat didn’t even wait till I folded my sweatshirt before she curled up.

Well of course I would have a kitty Christmas Tree? what were you thinking?
Dear Santa…I have been a very good girl, may I have a White Christmas this year, please?
and until next time…keep on stitching

Dear Santa…

all I want to Christmas is more time to stitch? is that possible? is that doable?

I have been a good girl and have been very nice too. Here I was dreaming that I was going to have lots of stitching time for myself…what was I thinking? OMG was I out of my mind?

As you can see I have another canvas from Pepperberry Designs as the one that I stitched and is already in the finisher hands…well it seems that the painting elves forgot the red in the peppermint stick. So I am stitching another one…I really love this canvas and the designer person behind it, so no problem!

I will take this with me to NY and this will be one of my stitching pieces while I am spending the holidays with my family. I will try to do the beading before I leave and then just stitch. Heck I could even stitch on the plane, something that I very rarely do, as I would rather read or even take a nap.

If you notice in the bottom left of the picture is a bag of Bella Lusso thread and that is for another project with a whole lotta Turkey work! hint…hint it will probably use about 28 skeins total just for this one part, and tonight I will start the 13th skein of the Bella Lusso!

Here are my boxes and boxes of threads for my 3 classes. I am waiting for my overdye threads and would like to assemble the bags, but I think that it will wait. I am pretty sure that I am going to spend some serious time separating and organizing and hoping that everything is here. Yes there is a cat sleeping on the pillow on my bed!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Mischevious Kitties!

I am taking a little break from work as I finish up some Christmas stuff. I leave for points east on Friday and OMG where has the time gone? I need to finish my cards, wrap and ship a few gifts and ooh so much more.

I love these candy canes…can you tell? When these candy canes debuted 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 like these candy canes so much because they are such a quick stitch. 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 might not leave him any treats or new catnip toys!

AlleyCat is being very mischevious too!

I am not sure exactly what she has her eye on…what could it be? She is as wide eyed as a little kid on Christmas morning!

I am sorry AlleyCat, those are not for you. She is not listening as she is bound and  determined to stick her nose in there.

Okay she says what’s in here? I keep telling her that Santa is not going to leave you anything if you keep getting into everything! I don’t think she believes me as she pokes her nose in there every day anyway. I will make sure that all the temptations are away before I leave.

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Sand, Surf & “See” Needlearts!

So I am sure you are wondering while most of the country is freezing and covered in a blanket of snow…why am I talking Sand, Surf & “See” Needlearts? Well that is the theme for the TNNA Trade Show that starts in San Diego on January 9th, 2014.

This is one of my classes that I will be teaching on Sunday morning January 12th. If you are a TNNA member and are attending, you have until December 17th to register for the market and classes on line. After that you will need to do on site and then hope that the classes aren’t filled!

The is Debbie Mumm’s Daisy Teacup for Melissa Shirley Designs. You know what? I feel very honored and feel that I have arrived now that MY name is on a Melissa Shirley stitch guide!

This is my other class on Friday morning entitled “Stilt Houses” by BB Designs. It is really a walk through working with a variety of overdyed threads as there at least 1/2 dozen or maybe more of them in this piece! Including the new Silken Straw by Silk Road Fibers that I loved working with.

I still need to add the shells to the canvas. This picture wasn’t very good as I believe that I took it on a rainy cloudy day…look at the difference in color! so I redid the picture and then realized that I didn’t move the shells over. I need to see if I can sew them on as using a little glue on the FRONT of my stitching is a little difficult for me to get past. This class is on Friday morning January 10th.

This is by Point of It All and what a fun, fun, fun canvas to stitch! Lots of Turkey work in this one…and we will have time to explore different ways of doing that stitch. This class is on Thursday afternoon.

Not to rub it in, but I am sure that the weather will be pretty nice in San Diego…just as it will be this weekend! New threads, new books, toys and canvases. Great restaurants and getting to see familiar faces and meeting new people. What could be better than that?

Tomorrow I will be making my list and checking it twice to make sure all my threads are here or on the way for my classes!

okay, okay…note that there is a red sweater and a white sweater. Which one does she decide to sleep on? of course it would be the white one, fresh out of the dryer!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

A Very Welcoming Welcome!

yes I know it’s Friday the 13th! and yes I know that we only have 12 days left till Christmas… but this is red, correct? Does it not fit in with the holiday feel of Santa’s red coat?

This has been such an enjoyable canvas to stitch! Everything pretty much worked the first time…little to no reverse stitching! Just fun, fun, fun and pure stitching enjoyment. Canvas is by Annie Lane and seriously, I could stitch most of what’s in her line.

It’s almost finished…it really is! Just some more flowers need to bloom in that flower pot and that’s it! Notice the little red stitches in the margin of the canvas? that’s how I started each row of the wood slats to keep that end stitch nice and straight, a trick that I learned in class along the way.

Cindy I know that this is supposed to be a model for you and I will have it for you at market…but not sure I can part with this one! I am in love with it and I want to hang it on my walls. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to your work.

AlleyCat was hard at work supervising my thread organization the other day. Thank you to Rainbow Gallery who keeps me in threads!

and until next time…keep on stitching