A Birthday Giveaway and a New Start

Hello everyone!

It is a nice, cool morning here in the Shenandoah.  Ahhhh...a little relief from the heatwave that has been Summer 2011.  Perfect weather for my....birthday!  Yes, it is my birthday today and I am another year older but I try to look at it as just being another year wiser! 

So, to celebrate my birthday, I am holding my first ever GIVEAWAY!  I love parties and since I cannot gather everyone at my home, this is one way I can celebrate with you, my blogging buddies!  I am keeping the gifties under wraps (hehehehe) but it will include some fun stuff and maybe even a gift certificate!  So, here are the rules...

1. You must be a follower...leave me a comment on this post with your email address or some other way to contact you.  If you don't want your email out there for everyone to see just pop me a private email at valiehokie@gmail.com
2.  Score an extra entry if you post this giveaway on your blog;  please mention in your comment if you have/or promise to post the giveaway somewhere on your blog. 

That's it!  I understand this is a busy time of year for many of us due to vacations, parties, family gatherings, and just plain summer fun!  So, the giveaway will close on Monday, July 25 to give people plenty of time to enter.  I will choose a winner the next day.  Good Luck!

Now, on to the stitchy stuff!  I mentioned in my July stitching goals post that I started the Rebecah French class from The Essamplaire.  I was in love with this sampler the minute I saw her...so pretty!  I contacted Margriet, owner and designer of The Essamplaire, and she gladly gave me permission to use the photo of Rebecah French from The Essamplaire site.  So, thanks to Margriet, here is Rebecah in all her stunning beauty...

The class started the first of July and I thought I would share my progress thus far...

I am currently working on the satin stitch border...I have been playing with the macro settings on my camera and took a close-up of the satin stitches (sorry the pic is dark...light was terrible when I took it)

I hope to get some serious stitching in on her next week with more progress to follow!  If you have not been to The Essamplaire website, you must go and have a look!  There is some serious eye candy...it is calorie free, but maybe not for your wallet!

Hubby and I will be taking a trip to Williamsburg for a few days to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary (they are only four days apart!) and I cannot wait!  I promise to take lots of pics...so get ready for a few more history lessons!

Also, I would like to mention that I have tried to comment on several blogs but have been unsuccessful. For some reason, on a select few blogs, have been unable to leave comments because Blogger keeps asking me for my log in info over and over and over again...and then I still cannot actually leave the comment! It has been quite frustrating. I have tried emailing these individual bloggers but several of them do not have their email available publicly. So, if you have been leaving me comments, but have not heard from me...believe me, I have been trying! I hope this Blogger comment issue gets resolved soon!

Before I go, I would like to thank you, dear readers, for all of the kind comments regarding my ABC Lessons finish and our trip to Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest.   I am very blessed to have such great stitchy friends! 

Take care dear friends, and good luck in the Birthday Celebration Giveaway!


robindefender said…
'kay, I've been a regular reader, but not a follower. Now I'm a follower, so count me in for your giveaway! You've picked another gorgeous Essamplaire repro to work on (but then again, aren't they all?). Looks like a great beginning!

Michele said…
Rebecah French looks amazing! I would love to be entered in the giveaway! I mentioned it on this morning's post on my blog. micheletbruce@gmail.com
Thanks! :)
CarolG said…
I read your blog regularly but now I am a follower. Please enter me in your give-away - thanks so much for the chance to win and Happy Birthday!
Margaret said…
I can't wait to see more of Rebekkah -- she is gorgeous! But I'm too scared to try to stitch her myself. I'm envious of your skills! I'm a follower -- not sure if I was before, but I should have been if I wasn't! lol! Thanks for the giveaway -- and happy birthday too! Mine is next week!
Katrina said…
Happy Birthday!!!! Hope you have a wonderful day :-).

Love your new start, it's gorgeous.

I've been having the same issue with commenting, it's so annoying and I don't understand why blogger hasn't fixed it. It's been going on for weeks.
Laurie in Iowa said…
Happy, Happy Birthday. Enjoy your special day. I am in awe of your new sampler start, it's such a gorgeous sampler.
I'm now a follower and thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
Teresa said…
Hi, Happy Birthday.
Hope you have a wonderful trip to Williamsburg, I love it there.
When you sign in at google unclick the keep signed in, this should help you to leave comments.
Will post at:
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches
Anonymous said…
Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, dear Valerie! May your day (and your weekend) be filled with an abundance of happiness and wonderful new memories!

Looking forward to seeing your pics from Williamsburg!

Gabi said…
Rebecah French is gorgeous. Looking very much forward to see her growing.
Wishing you and your husband a great time in Williamsburg. What a great way to celebrate both days.
Wishing you a very happy birthday and a happy anniversary.
Please include my name also in your give away. I'm a follower :)
Edgar said…
What a super start!! Happy Birthday and how super - a gift-a-way!! I am a follower - so throw me in the mix and I'll certainly mention i ton my blog!!
Shelly said…
Happy Birthday! Great start on the sampler! It scares me just looking at it! I am posting news of your giveaway on my blog. Thanks for the chance to win.

shelly (azcampis@yahoo.com)
Jennifer said…
Have fun in Williamsburg! (I love that place!)

BTW--count me in on the fun--I'm an old follower.
Jenny said…
Many wishes for a Very Happy B-Day and A Fantastic Trip to Williamsburg + A Wnoderful Anneversarie Celebration!

The new start looks fabulous (what a beautiful sampler - off to Essamplaire after posting this...), but don't forget about your Anne Maria... ;-)
Deb said…
Oh, I love Rebecah! You've picked an other wonderful sampler.

I hope that you have a wonderful time in Williamsburgh and have a happy birthday and great anniversary!

And I'd love to be entered into your giveaway. I've been a long time follower.
Faye said…
That sampler is totally YOU Valerie!!! I cannot wait to see the progress on that baby....gorgeous!

I know what you mean about not being able to leave comments on blogs...I too have had the same difficulty and cannot email folks...so, glad you put it in your blogpost...I will have to do the same!!

Hope your weekend is wonderful, full of stitching, air conditioning and relaxation!!

Always, Faye
Mouse said…
hello I've just found you and become a follower :) Happy birthday and anniversary too :) love your sampler and am following the links in a mo for some eye candy hehehh .. thanks a bunch for the chance to win :) love mouse xxxx
Carol said…
♫♫ Happy Birthday to you, Valerie ♫♫

And Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. I just love Williamsburg and we used to stop every year on our way to the Outer Banks--can't wait to see your photos :)

You've started another lovely sampler--I look forward to watching your progress...

I'd love to enter your giveaway--thanks so much for the chance :)
Kelly said…
Happy Birthday! I love the sampler. I have been having the same problems with leaving comments. One of my followers said take off the "keep me signed in" button on the page where you log into Google. Since I took that off, I have to sign in more often but I can leave comments.

Good Luck and enjoy your trip.
butterfly said…

Please count me in on your giveaway , i also have a giveaway going on my blog come and join.
I am a very new blogger and loving it.
Anonymous said…
Just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday. Your new sampler project is beautiful. This is one that I am not familiar with.
Have a great time celebrating in Williamsburg. It is my all time favorite place to go for a vacation.
Also, I understand your frustrations with comment leaving. I have been experiencing the same frustrations and don't understand them either.

thestitched sampler@blogspot.com
Mary Joan said…
A Very Happy Birthday and Anniversary to you. I just love your samplers and that is why I became a follower of your blog. Please count me in to your Giveaway. I will post your Giveaway on my blog on the right hand side bar.

Take Care and Happy Stitching

Mary Joan
Siobhan said…
Happy, happy birthday!

I love your new start. The alphabet parts are beautiful, but the flowers at the bottom are going to be stunning!
Valerie~ Happy, Happy Birthday to my fellow Virginia/Shenandoah/Hokie girl! My wedding anniversary was yesterday, we are both celebrating! I love reading that you are playing with settings on your camera, I am the worlds worst photographer, and would SO love to have a beautiful blog like your's and others. So, throw some advice my way any time!
Would love to be entered in your drawing!
Have a safe and wonderful trip!
Hoping you have the happ-happ-happiest of birthdays ;o) Enjoy your trip to Williamsburg. I went in 8th grade and still consider it one of my favorite places to visit.

Love the eye candy in your header!
Diane Skole said…
I've been reading your blog and following your samplers for awhile. Have a great birthday.
carolm said…
Happy Birthday and Anniversary may you have many more of each...I justloveyourblogbecause you giveso much useful information. I would love to be partof your giveaway. sincerely Carolm
Michele said…
Happy Happy Birthday Valerie. I'm new to your blog, but I will be back .. it's lovely! I'm now a follower :)

Please include me in your party drawing .. we all love a party!
Amy said…
Happy Birthday! I read your blog but just became a follower. Love the start and love the bottom of the sampler!

amy frazier @ hotmail . com
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday Valerie!!! I just learned about your blog from Edgar at Blacksheep's Bit of the Web...happy to be a new follower. Please put my name into the giveaway drawing...thank you.
Busy Hands...Happy Heart
samplerlover said…
Hi Valerie, Happy Birthday. I hope that you have a wonderful day.
Rebecah French is another beautiful sampler. You are going to have a wonderful sampler collection when they are all done.
I am also a follower.
natalyK said…
Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day. I would love to enter your giveaway! Can't wait to see what it is.
valerie said…
Happy Birthday and happy almost anniversary too! I hope you have a terrific time in Williamsburg. How exciting! I would love a chance at your giveaway and I've been a follower. Great start on Margaret French!
Tracey said…
Please add me, I love surprises! Will go post on my blog straightaway. Thanks for the chance!
Jan said…
Happy, Happy Birthday, Valerie! Looking forward to seeing yet more progress on this lovely start of yours. It is destined to be an heirloom for sure.

I have had hit and miss issues with blogger, but not much blogging time of late, so that may be why I haven't had more issues. Good luck! I do hope they get things straightened out soon.

Hope your birthday and anniversary celebrations are wonderful!
Frances said…
Happy Birthday to you! Your giveaway is a great way to celebrate! I am a follower, so please put my name in!
I love the beautiful sampler you've started and it'll be fun to see your progress! Thank you!
jonette said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine said…
Happy Birthday!! Enjoy Williamsburg - it's one of our favorite places to visit.

Your new start is beautiful! It will be fun to watch your progress on this one.

Oh, and count me in for your giveaway! I'll post in the sidebar of my blog as well! Thanks!
Kimberly R. said…
Happy Birthday!!
What a stunning sampler you are stitching, I am following and would love to enter your giveaway :)
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com
Cathy Lloyd said…
I've been following you for a while but realized I was not a "follower" so I've remedied that, such an easy thing to do! Can't wait for more history lessons from Williamsburg. I've been there myself and would love to go back again! Fabulous that you live so close to all those historical sites! Thanks for a chance to win...and Happy Birthday! cat.lloyd@comcast.net
wendy111 said…
Your blog and your stitching are lovely. I like your cats as well. I will look forward to reading your blogs and would like to be a part of your giveaway.

I do like your ABC lessons from an earlier post - I have been tempted by this design.

Happy Birthday

Ruth said…
I would love to be entered into your giveaway and many happy returns of the day to you
Mindi said…
What a lovely start and Happy Birthday! Hoe generous of you to do a giveaway in celebration, please enter me.
Glenna said…
Wow, I love Rebecah French and wish I had signed up (although my wallet's glad I didn't). Enjoy Wmsburg! (Oh, and visit Haus Tirol!)
Suzanne said…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you visit Haus Tirol while you are in Williamsburg! You are down in my neck of the woods :) Looking forward to hearing about your trip when you return!
Denise said…
Just found your blog - and see that you went to Poplar Forest. I've been there a few times and Monticello too.

Can't wait to take the time to come back and read what it's like now.

Saw your give away and became a follower. What the heck - I like surprises of the stitchy kind. lol
Karen said…
Happy Birthday! Please enter me in your draw.

The Essemplaire is a stunning design! I look forward to seeing your progress!
Katherine said…
Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! And have a wonderful trip to Williamsburg. The new sampler looks challenging. Pick me! Pick me!
CalamityJr said…
Happy Birthday! I just found your blog, but since I can see this is one I'd really enjoying following, I'll sign on to become a follower right now!
Rhonda Polk said…
I will put "Happy Birthday/Anni...since they are only 4 days apart..
Please enter me in you give-away, I love to read the blogs and will be a follower here in a moment.
Hope you get lots of stash for your B-Day/Anni......

What great samplers, love your work. Enjoy seeing pictures of your trip.
Please enter me in your give a way and I am a follower and will post about your blog in my blog:
p.s. you have to have your settings set on pop up and everyone will be able to leave comments.
Karoline said…
Happy Birthday, your new start is gorgeous.
Pumpkin said…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY VALERIE!!!! I'm now an official Follower so I would love to have my name included in your draw :o)

This is one incredible sampler. I look forward to seeing more of it over time.

Have a great time away :o)
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday Valerie. I read your blog but I am now a follower. I would love a chance at your giveaway. Thanks Pat
Chris said…
Happy Birthday Valerie!
Your new Essamplaire class piece is going to be beautiful. I love those NH samplers.
PLease enter me in the giveaway!
Birthday Hugs!
I am so sorry I missed your post and your birthday! I hope you had a great day. We were without AC for a week and I had no energy to even look at blogs. It is hot, hot, hot in Michigan right now. UGH! I would love to be entered in your wonderful celebratory draw; of course I'm a follower and I'll post on my blog shortly!
Happy birthday, dear Valerie! I'm loving your Rebecah French sampler. I'm guessing it's only available as a class? Gorgeous piece! I'll enjoy watching your progress.
Happy belated birthday, Valerie!
Janine said…
Hap Hap Happy Birthday to you. I am a follower and would just love to be included with your giveaway
Ellen said…
Happy Belated Birthday! I have just signed up to be your official follower. Please include me in your giveaway, thank you for the chance.

Juels said…
Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great time. I think I am a follower, but can't get in to check nor join. A thing I have experienced since I moved. Anyway I did want to wish you a happy birthday!
Vanessa said…
Happy Birthday! How generous to give someone else a present on your birthday. Rebecah is amazing, but all your work is beautiful. Please enter me in the giveaway.
Lizzy said…
Happy Belated Birthday and Anniversary, Valerie! I hope you had a lovely time in Williamsburg! I Love Rebecah French ~ she is absolutely gorgeous and I am looking forward to following your progress on this beauty! Please enter me in your wonderful giveaway and thank you for the lovely opportunity! Blessings in stitches...
Cindy said…
Love to read about your samplers. I am a Virginia follower and appreciate being entered into your give away.
Jeanne said…
I've been a follower for awhile now, thanks for throwing my name in the mix for the giveaway. Your anniversary cruise and bday gifts all look great! I've always heard the Stitchmate stands were one of the best - do post for us telling us how you like it when you get it.
Laura said…
Happy Birthday! I would love to be entered in your drawing. My birthday is on Aug 1 this would be an awesome way to start the celebrating. Thanks Laura

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