Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Remember When You First Learned How to Stitch?

Take time to pass your craft on to a young person.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas Village - Making Progress

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Mine was quiet but nice. Pulled out Prairie Schooler's Christmas Village, and stitched on the trees for a while. I'm using a pale green 32 ct. linen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's All in the Hunt!

One the funnest parts of having this cross-stitch obsession is hunting down patterns that I fall in love with. Recently, I saw a picture of the absolute cutest angel stitched by a stitching blogger for her dear grandmother. I won't snag the pic, but check out her blog (it's a great one!). I have managed to track down the recent issue of the French xs magazine it came from (Point de Croix), but I'll be darned if I can figure out (high school French was a long time ago, people!) how to buy it. Anyway, just on the off-chance one of my readers gets this, here's the one I would love to get my hands on:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What October ??

I guess blogging has taken a backseat to getting my house ready to sell, including sorting thru boxes and BOXES, painting and cleaning. So I have been a stranger to the stitching blogosphere. Even stitching has been slow, since I am really trying to read more (so far My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen, and now The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards). I did finish this one up though (CCN's Geranium House), stitched on 28 ct. French Vanilla. Found an almost-finished Stoney Creek - Rock of Ages Lighthouse, which I am plugging away on. The rope was fun, but oh that anchor with the filament thread (UGH!).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Finishes Close To My Heart

Two recent graduates of my "Currently Stitching On" list are posted for your viewing. Music & Books from LHN, is for my daughter, who is a 2nd year student at UMaine. She is an English major/Womens Studies minor, and plays in the UMaine Symphonic Band.

My Prairie Schooler Santa from 1992 was finished this weekend. I have been wanting to stitch him for SO LONG! This was my first time using 18 ct. New Khaki Davos. Gotta watch that tension all the time. Love the lobsta!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Introducing Beth's Designs

My faithful readers will recall the July shop hop my friend Vickie and I embarked on in July. In my July 23rd post to this space, I mentioned Inn Stitches in Bay Village, Ohio, and it's very talented owner, Beth Gantz. It was so refreshing to meet this young, enthusiastic, and super talented needleworker, who introduced us to the most darling "monthlies" she had designed. Here are the two that I purchased, and have now stitched up. Just love 'em!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Framed Too Late and Too Early

Back from my framer Bonnie Z.

Will put Sunny Summer by M Designs away until next year.....

and save Christmas in My Heart by Waxing Moon until Christmas decorating time.

Aren't they lovely?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fantastic Shop in "The Prettiest Village"

As you drive north on US 1 into Wiscasset, Maine, you see this sign.

And, if you go real slow and bear to the left before the bridge, you will find the Stitcher's Corner.

Owned by Janet Palen, the Stitcher's Corner is the ultimate treasure trove for cross-stitchers and other needleworkers. My mom and dad rode up with me, but left me to browse to my heart's content, and gab away with Janet and Brenda. Framed on the wall were G & P's New England Sampler, C Stitch's Lighthouses of the World, and Cedar Hill's Animal Rhymes. Awe-inspiring, to say the least!

It was a shear delight to visit with the ladies there. The little plastic card got a little ventilation as well. I will definitely be back!!

And here's a tip: If you're looking for New England Sampler, give them a call. I heard that Janet bought all of Ginger's remaining stock, and has convinced her to release more.

Back from God's Country

Well, I've been back a while, but have been very busy. Back home, we call it being "right out straight." Love those localisms ! Maine was/is absolutely lovely. 30 degrees cooler than stinky SW Ohio. Unbelievable !

Of course, I have to report on a couple of shops I visited during the week. Some of you may get the mail order catalog from Keepsakes Needlearts, in Centre Harbor, NH. I thought I would check it out, since I was so close. Mom and I drove up Rt. 25, through cute little towns like Limington, Cornish, and Kezar Falls, into NH, toward Lake Winnepesaukee (yup, just like the American Express commercial with Ellen DeGeneres, folks.)

After a two hour drive, we arrived at the large Keepsakes establishment. Much to my disappointment, and the relief of my wallet, there was not much cross-stitch there, and what was there was all kits (which I do not need). Their emphasis was clearly quilting and other needle arts. I did manage for find some sea gull fabric (just to give my credit card some air!), which I can use on stand-ups at some point.

We drove on to Meredith, for lunch at Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant (Thanksgiving Dinner in August - you can't beat that!), and then headed on down the road.

It was a fun day with Mom, but I was so looking forward to the next day, when we were to head down the coast on US 1, to Wiscasset, and the Stitcher's Corner!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Going Down East !!


I'm off to Maine for vacation....

See you all when I get back !!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 8

Why is it that you can tell you're near water? No, I'm not talking the Ohio River (ugh!). I'm talking large bodies of water, like the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Great Lakes. I had that sensation the whole ride to Vermilion, and once we got there, I knew why. Riverbend Stitchery used to be located right in the middle of this delightful lakeside community, but that left Linda with no expansion space, and the shop is now located a little ways back from the lake, on OH 60, behind the Holiday Inn.

Ann was minding the store when we arrived, and she is just a peach. Very attentive and helpful, right down to a hand-drawn map of places to eat.

After finding a few gems in the bargain bins that she kindly brought out from the backroom, we headed downtown. Well, nothing thrilled me more than discovering that Main St. dead-ended AT THE BEACH ! Now, I could live here....

We had a great lunch at the Soda Grill, and then headed back to the shop. And this is where I found my favorite chart of the whole trip! Who knew there was an Oberlin chart called Clambake!

I also admired a stitched model of Kitty Kats' Rocky Shores (#2 in her Birdhouse Row series), and Ann helped me find the seagull and flag buttons that the model stitcher had added. I also picked up Water's Edge By the Sea, Sekas' Watercolor Seashells, as well as a CEC freebie Life is a Beach, with the flip flop buttons for it.

We each got a first-time shopper's discount, and a complimentary tote bag, and we agreed, as we headed south on 60, toward I-71 and home, that Riverbend Stitchery was a wonderful last stop on our marathon shop hop through NE Ohio. We had been in some great shops, and ones that were mediocre at best, but here's a few thoughts (completely random and in no particular order) that we had on the way home:

1. We like a warm, friendly greeting when we walk in a shop.
2. We like to chat, but feel excluded if left out.
3. Fresh NEW models on the wall are a treat.
4. If there's a model on the wall, the pattern should be available for sale.
5. We can't do the math to figure out our fabric, so we assume the cutter does.
6. A business card and/or newsletter on the counter, or included in our bag, is very thoughtful.
7. Recommendations for places to eat in the area make us very happy!

This was a trip we will remember for a long time. Thank you to all my faithful readers who have kept up with my ramblings. And, yes, I have been stitching since we got back, so will have some pics in my next entry.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 7

From Broadview Heights, we headed west and along Lake Erie, toward Bay Village, to a shop called Stitches, Etc. Back in Berlin (remember Berlin?) a customer told us about this shop, and since we had eliminated the Blue Moon in Parma Heights (no longer in business), we were ready to add it to our trek.

Naturally, being a transplanted Mainer, I loved seeing so many nautical designs featured in this shop. OK, Lake Erie is LIKE an ocean, right? I fell in love with a stitched model of Seaside Collection by Ray Davenport, designed by Barbara & Cheryl, and snatched up that leaflet.

While we were looking around, the young owner, Beth Gantz, came in and we introduced ourselves. Seems the shop used to be in Westlake, so this is a relatively new location. Beth's mom was a needlepoint designer, and the acorn has not fallen far from the tree!

She definitely has a creative visual eye, and it was an absolute delight to talk with her. She believes there is a definite unfilled market niche (are you listening designers?) and that is charts for beginners. She herself has begun a monthly square motif series (she's up to July), all kitted up, and they are darling! Could not leave without May (pink potted plants on steps) and June (refreshing glass of lemonade with cut lemons). She's done a great job on her web site,too.

After picking up Lavender Wings' Hitchin' A Ride , we were pointed toward Vermilion, and Riverbend Stitchery, our last shop!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 6

On this, our second day of shop-hopping, we felt refreshed and excited to continue our drive over to Broadview Heights and Crafty Ewe.

We had been to this shop before, five years ago, when we attended Shelly Hronec's Flag Day event at Just Stitching in Strongsville (see Chapter 5). Unfortunately, we found this shop to be somewhat of a disappointment. The same ho-hum reception of two women chewing the fat (not even stitching!) sent us to the bargain bins in the back (to no avail), and I walked out of there with just the Silk 'n Colors Autumn Honey for CEC's Autumn Acorn.

Maybe that was a good thing, especially for my wallet, and we were off to Bay Village, to a shop not originally on our list - Stitches, Etc., and to a delightful visit with an up-and-coming designer!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 5

At around 7:10 pm on Thursday evening (don't worry, they are open late on Thursday nights), we arrived at Just Stitching in Strongsville. Yes, we did take a wrong turn on No. Royalton, and had to resort to calling Shelly to get turned around, but we finally got there!

Having no advance warning that we were coming, it was so sweet to hear Shelly say that she was recently talking about us (we DO leave an impression - LOL), and how four of us had attended her Flag Day Retreat in June of 2002. Yes, Shelly, you can boast that stitchers come from SW Ohio and Northern KY to your shop! That trip five years ago had impressed us very much with how it was organized, how much food there was (we do love to eat, right?), and what a great shop Just Stitching was.

Shelly was the only one there, so the three of us got to chat and catch up (and we're all good at that). She said last year had been "a little rough" business-wise, but so far 2007 was really good. She continues to ship FOR FREE, even with the new postal rates.We're sure going to remember that, right Vickie?

We felt so lucky to have caught Shelly that night, as she wasn't going to be in the shop on Friday, when we were to return to continue shopping (naturally!). She did suggest that, if we wanted fabric cut, to ask Lois to do that first in the morning, before she got busy with other customers.

We both started shopping bags, and then headed off to dinner and a motel. She suggested a great steak dinner at Longhorn's by the mall, and we couldn't wait to get into our room, so we could spread all our goodies out and drool over our loot.

The next morning, we lounged around in the room with coffee, muffins and fruit that we'd brought in the cooler, planned out some fabric needs for already-owned patterns, then headed back over to the shop.

When we walked in, right at 10 am, Lois was just getting her bearings. Our bags were still on the counter though, so, rested and refreshed, we took in all the shop has to offer with fresh eyes. Just Stitching is a spacious shop, with fresh finishes on the wall, dynamic, eye-catching displays, and a super staff. Plenty of room to browse, a table to lay out fabrics and fibers, and a wide selection of embellishments. Your eyes almost cannot take it all in!

This was definitely where we laid out the most cash. Here's the haul: Sisters and Best Friends' Find My Keys (that I'm going to stitch for Vickie for Christmas), LHN's Necessities Sampler, Oberlin's Summer and Autumn (now I have all four seasons), BC's Summer Ewe kit, 28 ct. Lt. Mocha cashel linen for LHN Music & Books, 28 ct. Pearl linen for LHN Blackbird Inn, buttons for SB's Be A Witch, and a hand-painted needle magnet made exclusively for one of the shop's retreats.

Even though we had a ball at our FAVORITE SHOP, we still had the rest of Friday to hit three more shops, before heading home.

We headed over to Broadview Heights, to Crafty Ewe.

P.S. When I told Shelly about this stitching blog of mine, called Crossroads of My Mind, she thought it was so cool, because she often refers to her shop as being at the crossroads (of US 42 and OH 82). You gotta love that!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 4

By the time we pulled in to Stitch Piece 'n Purl in Cuyahoga Falls, we were getting kinda tired. And the reception we got there did not help matters. Two ladies, obviously ready to go home and more interested in shooting the breeze with each other than talking to us, greeted us with the announcement that they were closing in 12 minutes ! Like we didn't already know this...

We had gotten a hint from the woman at Blueberry Hill that
S P 'n P had been having "some difficulties," and I guess we figured out why.

In spite of the cool reception, I did manage to find Shepard Bush's Be A Witch and CEC's Haunting Favors , a piece of French Vanilla linen, and a piece of Sandcastle Jobelan. Vickie found a real gem called Diamonds are a Boy's Best Friend , a sports related design that's adorable.

Not ones to let the grumpy people get us down, we were off to Strongsville, where we hoped to see Shelly Hronec, the owner of Just Stitching, whom we hadn't seen in five years!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 3

Since we hoped to hit two more stores before 6:00, we rushed off to Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. I was behind the wheel, and battling rush hour traffic was no picnic, but we arrived at Blueberry Hill Stitchery just before 5:00.

This shop is unique, in that it is located in the rear of an office building. This picture is from the foyer and was very welcoming to see. Completely out of breath, we were reassured by the owner that she was taking stock/inventory and would stay open for us past 5:00.

The CEC A Summer Place, which I am currently stitching on, was on display, with all the DMC threads converted to over-dyeds. It was very striking!

I was also thrilled to find two Oberlins for my collection (I have stitched Maine, America, Cincinnati, and Spring), namely Summer and Music, as well as LK's Sunshine Sampler and the new 2007 PS Santa.

She was very apologetic about placing a phone order for fibers while we were there, but we're pretty self-sufficient and enjoyed our albeit brief visit .

At the suggestion of a 123'er, we headed off to Stitch, Piece 'n Purl in Cuyahoga Falls. We were having a blast!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 2

Our drive to Canton was the one time our AAA Triptik failed us. Somehow, the exit that they told us to take we missed, and we ended up in Massillon!

Thankfully, we called Diane at the shop, and she gave us great directions over to Inn Stitches in Canton. I think we really brightened up her day, since the skies opened up while we were inside, so, of course, we had to keep cutting fabric!

I managed to walk out of there with a beautiful piece of Jobelan for DT's
Sampler Gameboard, and a great piece of spooky linen for Blue Ribbon's Six Bats and a Witch's Hat.

As soon as the rain ended, we were off again. Next stop - Blueberry Hill Stitchery in Akron!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Eight Shops in Two Days !! - CHAPTER 1

Since July 4th fell on a Wednesday this year, my friend Vickie suggested I take off Thursday and Friday. We then proceeded to plan an 8-Cross Stitch Shop Hop, heading NE from Cincinnati. Relying on an admittedly outdated list of shops from the internet (glad they are going to update that directory now!), and using AAA to build an online Triptik, we found 8 shops we wanted to hit.

We left my house in Mason around 8 am and headed toward Columbus. From Columbus, we headed out on US 62 through Amish country, namely Holmes County, and specifically to
The Stitching House in Berlin, Ohio. This may not have been the best choice of roads, being a 2-laner and pretty slow-moving at times, but we enjoyed the drive, as it rained off and on through the morning.

As we parked the car, the rain burned off, and we headed to the shop. The Stitching House is a nice little shop, right in the middle of downtown. I immediately saw Diane Graebner's Amish Alphabet on display, and knew I needed to buy that pattern, as a nice memento of Berlin. The shop will soon be changing its name to Country Craft Cupboard, when they integrate their yarn department into one store, so they are having Fun Fridays, where you can get some real bargains.

We tried to get seated at Boyd and Wurthmann's restaurant right next door. It being right at lunchtime, though, it was packed with locals, and we walked back up Main St., to Java Jo for soup and sandwiches. Downtown Berlin is very attractive, and it was so tempting to browse the other shops, but we had 7 more cross-stitch shops to visit in the next day and a half. Next shop - Inn Stitches in Canton, Ohio !

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Plethora of Pillows

The first is SamSarah's "Star Shine," stitched a very long time ago. Why do we sometimes set something aside when we are so, so close to finishing it? I'm ashamed to say all it needed was a pillow form!

Then there's Sekas and Co.'s "Watercolour Hearts," as well as the Bent Creek Stoneware Wishes Kit "Be Mine," beautifully finished by my best stitching buddy Vickie. Didn't she do a beautiful job?!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Picking up Speed on HoHRH

I loved stitching this house. Maybe it was the shading of the brickwork. Anyway, my whole outlook on this project has changed. Onward !

A Summer Place (CEC) - In Progress Finally

I am stitching this on 32 ct. Nautical Blue Jobelan from Sassy's Fabbys . Just gorgeous!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cheers! Another Finish for Me!

This was such a blast to stitch! From Water's Edge. And the finishing touches, the charms around each glass, really make it pop. Think I'll just go pour me a tall one to celebrate!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Stash Sale

Just spent a whole afternoon scanning some stash, so feel free to take a peek.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stash Shoppin!

On my way to Toledo for a business trip, I stopped by the Craft Gallery in Findlay. Had a wonderful visit with Carol there and met the owner Carlton Fruth, too. Left with this beautiful Blue Ribbon Design "Stop and Stitch The Flowers", the fabby for it, and all the Crescent Colours, too!

Then it was on to Toledo, where I just had to visit Something Extra (home of Sisters and Best Friends), where I really made a haul - all the stuff here plus the yummy fabby for BOAF's "Scared Silly."

Another Sister Gift

Just got back from Kansas City MO, where I was able to present my sister Laura and her husband Mic with their 25th anniversary sampler, designed by Sisters and Best Friends (how appropriate!). She loved it, of course.

Although stitching is not her thing, she went with me to the Old Mill Stitchery in Liberty, where I picked up a new Cricket, "Spring Fleece" and some yummy Jobelan for it.

Happy Happy Hour

This is Water's Edge's "Its 5:00 Somewhere," one of the cutest designs on this theme. The picture does not do justice to the gold sparkly fabric I found (28 ct. Opalescent Raw Linen). Will start the words at the bottom tonight. This has been a blast to stitch!

Finishes (sort of)

Here is my latest finish, "For the Cure." This was published by JABC in October of 2005. It has special significance for me, since 13 years ago on June 10th, I heard the "scary" words. I think I will make it into a fabric-framed doorknob hanger.

And, time for a drum roll !! House #1 is finished !!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. This was my gift to my mom this year. I gave it to her on Saturday, since I was up in Maine getting my daughter from college.

Monday, May 7, 2007

SBQ - May 2

The latest SBQ is: How many WIPs do you have? How many UFOs do you have? When does a WIP become a UFO?

I probably have about a half dozen WIPs. Add to that another 3-4 UFOs. My WIPs become UFOs when I haven't stitched on them in over 6 months. That reminds me, I need to find those UFOs.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

TA DA ! New England Sampler is Finished !!

The colors are stunning! This sampler was stitched over at least two years and, naturally, has alot of sentimental value. I will always be a New Englander.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Thinking 'bout Stitching

Even before I started this blog, I had thoughts of creating a "stitching rotation," with the idea that it would keep me motivated, organized, and prioritized. Well, of course, I dutifully compiled my list, kitted up several projects, and set my clock. It never really got off the ground, and I think I know why.

Now that I'm up and running in the stitching blogosphere, I am re-examining my motivation to stitch, and really don't think I will hold myself to a system or schedule ever again.

The stitching blogs that tout rotations, goals, tallies of finishes, and bemoan the ever-present UFOs, make me wonder if the love of the craft/artform hasn't been transformed into the "chore" of stitching.

Some evenings I get "start-itis" and get such a high, pulling all the threads and picking out fabric. Is there anything like that feeling?

I want to stitch for the sheer joy of it, switching pieces as my mood changes, with no time pressures or feelings of obligation. I want to prop my feet up, gather my threads around me, and watch a picture unfold in my hands, and love every minute of it!

Monday, April 23, 2007

SBQ - April 19

The latest SBQ is:
Are you on "The Wagon?" If so, how long have you been on and how "serious" are you about it? If not, have you considered it?

I guess the truly honest answer is: I have one foot on the Wagon and one foot off. Although I am really, really trying to "stitch from my SUBSTANTIAL stash," I find I cannot pass up a new design that "speaks" to me. I certainly am not buying like I used to (which is how I acquired such a great stash in the first place). And, I am trying to grab the next project if I already have the fabric for it. So, I guess you can say my heart's in the right place, right?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Story of My Life

Though I genuinely look forward to seeing my kids, it has been nice having the old homestead to myself. This design by Sherry Senicar just about says it. This will go in my kitchen, and I just pray the little angels don't take offense.


As promised, Chocolate Covered Cherries was finished last weekend. Looks like something I would display around Christmas or Valentines, a flat-fold or a standup, perhaps?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Little Stitches

Here's my Spring Chick by Waxing Moon, which I've had finished for a while.

I will also most likely finish Chocolate Covered Cherries by Casey Buonaugurio before the end of the weekend. Am I trying to avoid the BAPs in my "to do" pile, hmmmm?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back from the Framer !!

Got two of my favorite stitches back from the framer over the weekend. Bonnie Z. did an absolutely awesome job, don't you think? The first is Hinzeit's Shoreline, and the second is Medeiros' Blueberry Sampler.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Took a Break

Took a break today from HoHRH to stitch up this cutie from Stoney Creek. Makes me think summer is indeed right around the corner!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

First Pillow

I am trying to learn some alternative methods of finishing, and this is my first cross-stitch made into a pillow. It is a birthday present for my sister who is turning 50 in March.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Days = Stitching Days

With the latest snowstorm came more time to make progress on my current projects. I am determined to finish my New England Sampler, since so much floss is pulled for it, and I am so close, after all. I took it with me to a stitchy afternoon in Florence, KY, last weekend. Four of us enjoyed delicious quiche (from scratch) and soup from Panera. Yum! I am down to the final panel, having finished the border. And I must say, this tree and basket of apples came out lovely.

I have finished Crocus, too, and it was one of those surprisingly delightful designs. I picked up the chart on sale at Dixie Darlin' last summer, and on Buttercup yellow, it is striking.