Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Cape Hatteras" by Fulmer Craft - National Park Needlework Collector Series - Framed

I promised the story behind this, so here it is. My brother Barry, who died of lung cancer last year at the age of 53, loved lighthouses. He especially loved this one, which stands on the shore of North Carolina, where he lived. Back in about 1961, our family moved to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, from Panama. Daddy felt it was important for us to see our country's heritage, so we spent many weekends traveling in Virginia and North Carolina. I remember very well our trip to Kitty Hawk, where the Wright Brothers flew their little plane, and to Cape Hatteras, where we visited the famous striped lighthouse. At that time, Barry was about 8 years old and was a big fan of GI Joe. He also was very clever, and created numerous parachutes for his GI Joe figures. When we went to Cape Hatteras, Barry saw the perfect opportunity to launch his parachutes from a great height. Time and time again he climbed the staircase inside the lighthouse up to the top, where he threw his GI Joe figure and parachute into the winds. We all watched the figure float down to the beach, where Barry scooped it up and ran once more to the lighthouse for another climb to the top.

As the years went by and we grew up and moved to opposite sides of the country, I would not forget his love of this lighthouse. I sent him a ceramic figurine of it once, and I still covet the one he painted which hangs at my mother's house. I saw this design at the Iron Kettle store in Cody, Wyoming this summer, and knew I had to stitch it for his wife, Alice. I hope she likes it. I'm sure she will.

Three More Ornaments Finished

These are all ornaments I stitched while I was at Lake Mead. The first one is from Lady Periphaeria of Periphaeria Designs. It originally called for stitching the Hebrew words "Hanuka Tova," but I decided to leave them out. This will be given to my friend and colleague Mike, who has been very gracious about my curiosity regarding Judaism.

This little ornament was designed to be a scissors fob but I just made it an ornament. It's called "Rocky Mountain Christmas," and is designed by Jeannette Douglas. The border is made of Rhodes, Rice, and Smyrna stitches.

From the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue, this is called "Winter," from Prairie Schooler.

Dutch (Hollandaise) Cow [for WOCS]

This is for a French Silly Cows quilt for WOCS. I stitched it because I thought the design was really cute. I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

Received from Marlies

One of the groups I belong to is Crazy Exchange - a group of stitchers who like to send and receive things we make. I sent Marlies a little fairy hanger and she sent me this cute star hanger. Thanks, Marlies!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Taking a Little Vacation

We're leaving early in the morning to go camping for the next week at Echo Bay, on Lake Mead (east of Las Vegas). We'll see our friend Gary and his wife Deanna, and Don and Gary will fish, fish, fish. Gee. That's rough. Because I'll get to stitch, stitch, stitch.

When I get back I'll post about the cute star hanger I received from Marlies (Crazy Exchange), as well as all the pieces I'll have finished on this trip!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Five Ornaments Finished Today

I had a "finishing frenzy" this morning - I decided to finish these ornaments before the number got overwhelming. Four of the five ornaments are from Just Cross Stitching, which I have been reading since its beginning way back 20+ years ago. I was just leafing through some of the oldest issues, and am amazed at the changes. I really like the magazine these days, and re-subscribed just this month. I don't sew, so I've finished these using various "easy" finishes that require minimal hand-sewing and/or gluing.

I made two of these for my children, to add to their collections that are part of a tradition started 28 years ago. When I graduated from college and went into the Air Force, my mother went through her ornament collection and gave me about a dozen "special" ornaments - each with its own story and memories of a Floyd family Christmas. My favorite of all time is the "whirlygig" one - we don't know what to call it-but it has to be hung above a light so that the rising heat of the light makes the whirlygig in it spin around. I started collecting ornaments, too, and made a point of buying at least 3 of a kind each Christmas. Now that my children are grown, I've gone through my collection and pulled out one for each year of their lives and set them aside. This year they're going to get stitched ones - and that's what I'll probably do each year from now on (unless I come across some really different ones to add).

As Bethlehem Slept
Shepherd's Bush
This one is from the 2005 issue of JCS. I stitched it on 28-count Lugana, and will be giving it to my mother along with the Told in a Garden piece I made this summer.

Winter Whitetail
Something in Common
From the 2003 JCS Ornaments issue. Something in Common is one of my favorite designers, since I really like rustic designs that have mountains, deer, moose, pine trees, and bears in them. I'll be giving this one to my son to go in his yearly collection.

Elizabeth's Designs
I'll probably give this to my friend and colleague, Dan. It's from a freebie pattern.

O Christmas Tree
Follow the Leader Designs
This one is from the 2007 JCS Ornament Issue. While I don't decorate a tree any more (we're always camping), I think I'll keep this one and hang it in my trailer. We might put up a mini tree, if we have room. This is supposed to be a scissors fob, but I like it fine as an ornament.

Merry Yule
Erica Michaels Designs
My daughter picked this one out from the 2005 JCS Ornament issue. It'll go in her collection of yearly ornaments.

Now I've got to "switch gears," and work on a few charity squares. I enjoy the variety of switching genres.

Friday, November 9, 2007

October Goals Review & November Goals

October was a fruitful month, stitching-wise. My goals and accompanying comments:

1. Start "Alpine Seasons Garden" mandala
Still haven't started that one. Don't know why I just can't get around to starting.
2. Stitch at least 2 more cats on "Calico Cats"
Yes, I did.
3. Stitch at least 2 more hours on "Cape Hatteras"
And I finished it! Now I just need to get it framed so I can send it to my sister-in-law.
4. Stitch at least 3 charity quilt squares
Yes, I did 4 - Pastel Bunny, Pastel Hen, Carousel Jumper, Lemon Tree
5. Finish an ornament for the Xmas Ornie Exchange 2007
Yes - "Snowed In" by Something in Common
6. Stitch two more "freebies" from my notebook
Yes - "Santa with Pear" by Prairie Schooler and "Peace" by Elizabeth's Designs
7. Stitch at least one LizzieKate snippet or flip-bit
Nope - not yet
8. Start gathering goodies for 12 Days of Christmas Exchange
Yes - beads, two patterns, some fancy threads, some fabric
9. Start "Crabby All Year"
Yes - I'm working on January
10.Do Thanksgiving bread cover for CSRR
Yes - and I received mine in exchange

November Goals

1. Start "Alpine Seasons Garden" mandala
2. Finish January on "Crabby All Year"
3. Stitch at least 3 charity squares
4. Stitch at least one LizzieKate snippet or flip-bit
5. Stitch at least 3 jar lids

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

She's Home.

We took our daughter to her home last night; she really wanted to get out of that hospital and back in her own bed. We'll know in a few months if this surgery worked. If you're curious about what is happening, go to the j-pouch website. There are some good diagrams that explain it all; and when you read about it, keep in mind that her first two pouches failed from "chronic anastomosis stricturing," and we're hoping that this third one will work.

I took advantage of all the waiting time - waiting during surgery and sitting with her in her hospital room - to get a LOT of stitching done. I've been doing some ornaments, plus a cute piece about chocolate. I'll be posting pics tonight.

I just got my new order from Silkweaver - I'd asked for neutrals, and one of them is opalescent. It looks so cool! I think I'll do some sparkly Christmas ornaments on it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Our Daughter's Latest Surgery

We just got back home today from the hospital, where yesterday our 26-year-old daughter had yet another surgery in her attempt to lose the ileostomy and external bag. The surgery took about 6 hours, and she spent the evening in recovery until they found a room for her at 11:30 pm. She's at the University of Caifornia-Irvine Medical Center, which is about 60 miles from here. We stayed in a hotel near the medical center the night before her surgery and last night, and then came home today. We'll stay home tomorrow, and go back on Sunday to spend the day with her. The doctor predicts she'll be in the hospital a week; she wants to go home on Tuesday. We'll see.