Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Richmond Progress, Blue Ribbons and a New Job!

Hello everyone!

I trust that all of you are keeping cool while your needles are flying!  It has been hot here in the Shenandoah, however, over the past two days the heat has broken a bit and the humidity has thankfully lifted.

I do wish to mention a great giveaway over on Kim's  blog Threadheads Unite. She is a stitchy/quilty person and is having not one but two giveaways...one for a stitchy person and one for a quilty person!  Make sure to head over and check it out!

Well, I have been madly stitching away on Richmond Sampler.  I *finally* finished the flowers on the top border!  Woo Hoo!!  Now, I get to start the lovely over one verse.  I think that I am going to focus on two or three words a week.  That way I can get started on the birds and the massive house.  I apologize for the horrible pics.  I have tried everything to get a good snapshot of this sampler and to no avail.  However, I have included a couple of close-ups.  Eventhough the flowers have been annoying me, they are rather pretty.




I decided to enter two of my latest framed pieces into our local county fair.  And guess what???  I won FIRST  PLACE  for both!  

Needlework is part of the 'Homemaking Division" and therefore shown with such things as knitting, crochet, canned goods, apparel, etc.  Where were the quilts?  Well, they were shown elsewhere.  This is where I get a little hot under the collar.  My stitching, along with the knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, and other hand crafts are shown in the 4-H Livestock show ring.  Yes, you read that right.  My beloved stitching was on a table right next to where the cows, sheep, goats and chickens were shown.  The quilts, however, were shown in a large, air conditioned room separate from the livestock.  The art show was in the same room, and get this, the horticulture exhibits.  Yes, the plants were kept in an air conditioned room, free of dirt and debris while my precious stitching sat for six days in an open, dirt floor arena.  Now please understand...I love quilts and I appreciate the time and effort that goes into making quilts and I do not in any way think that the quilts should be shown anywhere other than where they are currently shown.  I DO think, however, that maybe the homemaking exhibits (which include my stitching) could be moved to the indoor room and the horticulture exhibits moved to the outdoor arena.  Just a thought....

(stepping off of my soap box....)

Now, last but not least, I have more fabulous news to report.  It is official, I was offered a full-time teaching position and I accepted!!!  I am absolutely thrilled and I cannot wait to start (next week!...eek!)  For many months, I have had my eye on the Lizzie*Kate design, "ABC Lessons," and told myself that as soon as I had a job I would buy it for myself.  And that is exactly what I did. 

I plan to stitch it and hang it in my classroom.  I think that it will be perfect next to my desk.  Thank you to all who have kept me and my job search in your thoughts and prayers.  Your positive thoughts and well wishes worked!  I am truly blessed to have such wonderful stitchy/blogging friends...you guys are the best!

Well, I am off to watch my annual summer addiction...Big Brother!  Stay cool and keep those needles flying!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday Night Stitch-In Progress on Richmond Sampler

Hello dear readers!

I decided to participate in Heidi's Friday Night Stitch-In with the hopes that I would start to see some real progress on Richmond Sampler.  Well, I can honestly say that I am approaching the end of the top border and could not be happier.  I am enjoying Richmond Sampler, but I must admit, I am tiring of the border flowers.  I am ready to move on to other things...like the house!  Please excuse the terrible photos...the house is dark because of the shade trees surrounding the house.  Also, my camera is old, tired and a bit crotchety.  The flash, especially, was not cooperative.  The scissors, scissor fob and frogging tool were all birthday gifts from DH. 



Here is a close-up of what I got stitched last night.  As I mentioned I finished the flower in the center and began the flower on the right.  I just have to finish the flower on the right and one more flower in the top right corner (where my needleminder is) and I will be finished with the flowers on the top border...woo hoo! 

In case some of you are wondering...I have not been stitching the queen stitches in the border or the flower pots.  I have decided to wait until I am finished with the cross stitching to finish the queen stitches.  I decided this because I noticed that the queen stitches were getting a bit crumpled and crushed.  So, I will stitch them last. 

Yesterday was a bit busier than I anticipated so I only had about three hours to stitch and as I mentioned earlier, I was able to at least finish one flower and start another.  There was a salvage sale at the University where I work part-time as a docent.  They are getting ready to remodel one of the academic buildings and basically everything (desks, bookshelves, filing cabinets, etc.) was on sale.  DH and I got a 6'3" bookcase and computer desk for...are you ready for this...5 DOLLARS!  Yep!  You heard right.  We borrowed our pastor's truck, loaded 'em up and brought 'em home!  I am so excited to have a new computer desk!  Our current desk leans to one side and honestly, if a stiff wind came through, I am not sure that it would survive!  Also, the large bookshelf will come in handy because we are both book lovers and have way too many books stored in boxes.  Now we can put them out and maybe actually USE them!

Stay cool everyone...till next time! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A finish, a birthday and an anniversary...

Hello dear blogging and stitching friends!

It is a hot, muggy day here in the Shenandoah and there is a storm a' brewin'.  The wind is nice and the rain will be even nicer.  It is good thing that I did not have time to put out a garden this year because rain has been a rare occurance. 

I have been busy with life and stitching lately.  Things are slowing down and speeding up at the same time.  I have more time for family and friends and they have quickly scooped up my extra time.  No complaints here...it has been quite nice spending time with them. 

I finished my husbands anniversary present in time for our anniversary on Monday.  I did not have time to get it framed but that will be taken care of soon!  DH loved his present and I enjoyed stitching it for him.  Here is the finished product...

I also celebrated my birthday last week (yes, my birthday and anniversary are only three days apart) and had a very special day.   Hubby and I went out to dinner and tried our hands at a few games of bowling.  Lately we have really taken to bowling and love when we get the chance to play a few games.  My mother spoiled me with a homemade German Chocolate Cake (my favorite!) and history books galore!  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a book lover, especially books on history!  Thanks Mom!  My grandmother gave me a generous gift certificate to my LNS and hubby gave me needlework scissors, a cute scissor fob and a frogging tool.  My dear friend Robin sent me the most amazing birthday package...just chock full of stitching goodies!  She sent me some gorgeous linen (Days Gone By - hand-dyed, and Sassy's Fabby's in Mud Pie, Bluebell and Tan Temptation,)

Blackbird Designs "Blessings and Wishes" with the threads and a choice of linens!! 

Also, she sent me the "Winter Sheep" ornament by Little House Needleworks and a lovely Longaberger pink bag - perfect for taking my stitching on the road! 


How lucky am I???  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Robin!  You are a great stitching friend and I cannot wait to get started stitching on my new stash!

As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary on Monday.  We spent the day tooling around and shopping.  We had a lovely day together and kept remarking to one another that we cannot believe that we have been married for two years!  It feels like time has flown by!  I love looking at our wedding pictures and I could not help but share a few...

This was taken through the window of the church right after we recessed and walked outside...our guests and wedding party were still inside the church and it was the first moment we had alone before people came flooding out of the church.  I love this picture and am so glad the photographer caught it!  The church where we married dates back to 1756 and many of the windows are original so it is neat to have a picture of us through one of the windows.

This was taken before the ceremony in a field right behind the church.  My bridesmaids were making me laugh right before I walked down the aisle.  I was having quite a bit of fun and enjoying the day!


Here is another picture from the field...this is my favorite and hangs in our bedroom...


The next picture is taken of us right outside of the historic mansion where we had our wedding reception (do you notice a history theme here???  :-)


The next picture was taken on the porch of the mansion.  Michael and his groomsmen were, shall we say, channelling their inner "Goodfellas."  I chose morning suits for them (since it was a morning wedding) and at first they balked at them.  However, I think they eventually liked their morning suits!

We had such a glorious day...a morning wedding, luncheon reception and then off to the beach for our honeymoon!  Thank you for humoring me and my wedding pictures.  I enjoyed looking through them and appreciate your allowing me to share them with you! 

Till next time dear friends...I promise progress on Richmond Sampler...so keep your eyes peeled!





Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New Project...

Good day everyone!

It is sunny and HOT here in the Shenandoah today.  I am trying to keep cool and get some things accomplished today.  I am finishing up some lingering job applications and wrapping up a few odds and ends that need to be mailed.   My post office has the strangest hours but I should be able to hit them when they are open tomorrow. 

I have started a quick little project that I will hopefully be able to finish soon.  With the craziness that has been my life lately, I neglected to ponder my husband's anniversary present.  I am trying to keep up with the traditional presents.  For instance, last year was our first anniversary and the traditional gift was to be something paper.  Well, I found a print of a gristmill inn that we visited and held special meaning to us.  I had it framed and it hangs in our living room.  This is our second anniversary and the traditional gift is cotton.  Well, I am stitching him a simple sampler on linen (well, it is in the natural fiber category with cotton) and using cotton threads.  Problem is, our anniversary is next Monday.  I may get it framed in time but probably not.  At any rate I chose to stitch Heart in Hand's "Family Medley."  I am using 32 ct. Summer Khaki and a mixture of over dyes and DMC. 

This is what I have stitched so far...

Heart in Hand "Family Medley"
32 ct. Summer Khaki
Weeks Dye Works, GAST, CC, DMC

I am enjoying this piece and hope to have it finished in the next day or so.  Keep your fingers crossed!  I hope that everyone is staying nice and cool and logging lots of stitching time.  Till next time everyone...


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!!

Hello dear readers!

Oh, how I have missed seeing everyone and reading all of your wonderful posts.  Life has been crazy and focused on work, work, work.  I have dearly missed everyone and am so glad to be able to poke my head in and say "Hello!"  Hopefully you all are doing well, stitching like crazy and keeping cool!  I look forward to catching up!

As I mentioned, life has been crazy and I have been searching for some balance.  What good is life if it all work and no play, right?  I do have good news though...I finished the requirements for my teaching license and I received my official license in the mail just a few weeks ago.  I have been madly filling out teaching applications and then hurriedly waiting for telephone calls.  I have had some calls and interviews, so things are moving forward! 

I did get two of my 2010 finishes framed...I am rather pleased with the results.  I framed "Blessed Be..." by Blue Ribbon Designs and Sara Schultz by Ginger and Spice.  Here they are...


Friday was a glorious day filled with fun, fellowship and a trip to my LNS.  My dear friend Robin met me at my LNS, Cross Stitch Station.  We talked, shopped, talked and shopped some more!  It was wonderful being able to spend time with someone who is as excited about stitching as me!  We both found some great stash...unfortunately, I did not snap a picture of what I found...guess I will have to do that next time! 

Believe it or not, I have had a *little* time to stitch over the past month and a half, but unfortunately do not have any finishes to report.  Here is a snippet of what I have been working on.  First, I was able to get about a third of Twenty Third Psalm done...now I am over half done! 


I have also logged a few hours on Richmond Sampler.  I have had so many people contact me about this beautiful piece and I am thrilled that so many of you are planning on being a part of the online class through the Essamplaire.  I have finally stitched the border outline all the way across the top.  Now I feel like I am getting somewhere.  Here is a pic of my progress so far...(please excuse the wrinkles...the iron was not handy at the time)

I was stitching one of the flowers a couple of days ago and thought my eyes were going to cross!  I was stitching with the same color thread as the linen.  Whew! 

Thank goodness the weather had cooled down because I had to go outside in order to see what I was stitching!  If it had been 100+degrees like the past couple of weeks, that flower would have waited!

Again, it is good to be back and I look forward to catching up with you all!   Hubby is at work, but I am off to meet him and watch the fireworks!  Stay cool and enjoy the holiday weekend!

Valerie