Friday, December 27, 2013

Gifted Treasures Received

Holiday Greetings to you! Thank you very much for wishing me and my family a Merry Christmas. Our Christmas was wonderful. Today is the 3rd day of Christmas. January the 6th is the 12th day of Christmas. So therefore it's still the Holidays. Makes me happy to know it's not over yet.

I finally decided what to serve for our Holiday meals. Our menu for Christmas Eve was turkey sandwiches, lots of different cheeses, dips and crackers. After an early dinner we went over to Nannies house. There we exchanged gifts with the family and had desserts. For Christmas day there was BBQed filet mignon wrapped in bacon and baked pounded chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and cheese. We picked up my grandmother "Nannie" and brought her over for Christmas dinner. We all had a very lovely time together.
I was so blessed to receive some gifts from stitching friends that I waited to open them on Christmas morning.  And oooooooh how surprised I was. I couldn't wait to share with you. This is a very heavy photo post so grab your favorite beverage and enjoy. You won't believe how blessed I am:

 Look at what sweet Vickie gave me! A beautiful card, a felt heart with gorgeous marking pins that she elegantly beaded herself and then.....a elegant pen that she added black linen stitched over one with pretty PINK thread. Isn't that cool? What a great idea. I love them Vickie Thank you very much my friend.

 Then look at what precious Shirlee sent me. She made for me a beautiful ornament stitched on perforated paper and mounted it on a darling sled. I absolutely love it Shirlee. I've added it to my stitchers tree and I plan to leave my tree up. So I will get to enjoy seeing it. It's not getting put a away for a long time:)
Thank you my friend for your thoughtfulness and for gifting me with one of your stitched treasures.

 On the 24th - Christmas eve day, I went and got the mail and look what was waiting for me! This is a postcard from Chiara from Italy. Can you believe it?  It's actually a cross stitch chart! Oh yes I will be stitching this design  for Valentine's. Thank you sweet Chiara! Love it!!

I had received a parcel from my very special friend Lee in New Zealand. She had instructed me to open the box and open a gift she had wrapped in green bubble wrap - it was something for my tree. This is what I found...A darling New Zealand Fantail bird jingle bell ornament. I added this to my stitchers tree and every day when I walk by I tap it and make it jingle. SO super cute. I LOVE it Lee and have been enjoying it everyday. Thank you.

 And on Christmas morning I got to open the rest of Lee's gifts. Where do I begin. Words cannot express my appreciation and gratitude but I am going to do my best to do so.
Inside the box every item was wrapped individually so I had placed them under my stitchers tree. Lets have a closer look - shell we....

 I have named these remarkable stitcher's necessaries my "Victorian Downton Abbey Set" because they are so elegant looking. I was so overwhelmed and touched that Lee made everyone of these for me. Can you see all the details and finishing in every item Lee added? Yes she even added beads on top of the lovely trim surrounding the tape measure.

 LOVE the stitched silk roses and the beautiful victorian background fabric. Do see the gold butterfly charms?
Now lets have a look at the triangle needleworkers keeper....

Pink Rose budded marking pins
and the mother of pearl hearts. Now lets have a closer look at the gold handles...

 A beautiful pair of gold scissors that Lee attached a black handmade cording with 
a mother of pearl heart fob. At this point I cried - lost it....

 Attached to a floss tag fob Lee gave me packages of beautiful crystal Delica beads by Maria George.
The packaging on the beads has gorgeous silver scrolling and elegant pink script labeling Maria George. Love the pinkeeper with pearls surrounding it.

A wooden hornbook floss keeper from the popular elegant needlestore "Heirlooms" in Napier New Zealand graces a small stitched fob with handmade tassels Lee made. Lee I cherish and treasure you, our friendship and all of the spectacular gifts you created for me. Your amazing talents are breathtakingly gorgeous.
Thank you ever so much Lee and for spoiling me.

The day after Christmas I received a parcel in the mail and inside were these beautiful flosses that I was a winner of Nancy's 12 days of Christmas giveaways on her Victorian Motto Sampler blog. WOOHOO - I won 10 skeins of her wonderful flosses.
Thank you Santa Nancy for your generosity. Your flosses are sooooo pretty and they feel silky.

 From my #1 sister (my only sister) I received all these goodies. I got a magazine that came with some silver metallic thread, Margaret Sherry Christmas designs, buttons, sachet bags, fabric and a Joann's gift card.

 The elegant gold brass needle holder matches a gold brass seam ripper that I have. 
Thank you Nicole for all my gifts and for your thoughtfulness. 

 Santa brought me Gingerbread Tree Etui chart by The Victoria Sampler and the needed 28ct Almond linen to stitch it on. How did Santa know? Just what I wanted. LOL!!!

 Well I didn't finish stitching Victorian Merry Christmas by Nancy Turner, but here is my progress. I am going to keep stitching this project till I finish. This has been my go to project during the holidays.

This apple strudel I brought to Nannies house for our get together Christmas Eve. No I did not bake it. Mike's pastry shop did. When my uncle had some that evening he said it took him back to the pastries he had in Germany. So that's a big compliment. It was very good.

 My aunt brought this cake also for Christmas eve. It was a coconut cake with buttercream filling. It was so beautifully decorated for Christmas and was good too. I'm not a coconut fan but I liked this cake.

Thank you for all your loving comments, for your friendships and for making my Christmas very special.
With my Love and Appreciation - Annette

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Stitches

Merry Christmas! I have been enjoying seeing all the posts of decorations and Christmas trees and ornaments on the blogs. All the posts have been cheerful and uplifting to get to see. I'm sure you feel the same way too.
Next week is Christmas and this week has been great so far. I am so excited to share with you my Christmas Eve sampler that I had picked up from the framers just last evening. The last time I had a sampler professionally framed was back in 1989, my very first cross-stitched piece (I will have to take a photo of it for you). Since I got back into stitching I have done all the frames myself, but for this one design that I loved so much I wanted to get just the right color frame for it.

 A look at the detailing of the frame. Can you see the cross stitches on the frame itself? 

 Christmas Eve by Prairie Schooler
Fabric hand dyed by me. I think its 28ct linen.

When I went to have it framed I wanted a chocolate brown one. Well I was looking at the woods and the salesman showed this one. Leather, chocolate brown and he pointed out the cross stitches designed on the frame itself. I am not only pleased but I must say I love it. I feel like a grown up now that I got to have this framed. OH YES! I had a 60% plus 15% off additional coupon to have it framed totalling 75% off. I did not have glass and am now thinking that maybe I should of. Oh well! I am still thrilled with how it turned out.

Winter-ize by Lizzie Kate
25ct Flax Dublin Linen

This was a kit that included the chart, linen, buttons and a needle. This darling kit was a gift I had won on a giveaway that Shirlee from The Easily Influenced Stitcher blog had a while back. Thank you very much Shirlee I sure enjoyed stitching this. I saw this kit in my stash and wanted to have it done in time for this Christmas. Also I wanted another ornament to stitch. I can't help it that I've been totally feeling the Christmas spirit. And this design was very fast to stitch, it took me longer to decide on what threads to use. Will get this finished as a ornament in the next few days.

Speaking of which here is a list of what threads I used:

Hunter    -  Petite Glass Float  silk by Dragonflylotus Designs Handspun Thread 
sky         -  Petite Fae silk             by           "                 "              "             "
deep sea - Petite Moonlit Lagoon silk  by     "                "              "             "
crimson   - Wine and Roses silk by The Thread Gatherer
aztec red - Christmas Red  50% wool and 50% silk,  by The Thread Gatherer               
whitewash - 991BB by Needlepoint Inc, Silk 

Victorian Merry Christmas by Nancy Turner - The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
14ct white adia and threads by The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

If you are not aware Nancy from The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe blog is having the 12 days of giveaways. And let me tell you that she is Santa Nancy by gifting so many stitchers with her love. Well one of her day giveaways I left a comment telling mentioning that I really wished for her chart "Victorian Merry Christmas". And after I had posted early in the morning I got a response in a few short minutes and Guess What? Santa Nancy gifted me her chart. I was soooooo surprised and it totally made my day. I had bought some Christmas colors of Nancy's threads last year with hopes of one day getting to stitch her gorgeous chart. My WISH came true. Well after printing and kitting it up I started on it immediately. I took this photo late last evening and today I (after being gone all of today and yesterday) finished stitching the "C" letter. I plan to get this all stitched in the next few days (hope to anyways). Then I will pin it to some foam board and make a hanger for it because there's no way I can frame it in time for Christmas but it will be on display for this Christmas:)  The color of Nancy's thread so far for all the lettering is "Paprika" that's what I had in my stash. Yesterday I was a lucky winner of Nancy's giveaways. There is still time for you to leave a comment on the days that she has not posted winners for yet of her giveaways. Thank you Santa Nancy for spreading your love and good cheer.
So are you deciding or have decided on the menu for Christmas Eve and Day yet? I haven't. 
Wishing you much Joy, Love and my Appreciation - Annette

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree #2

A short quick post. After reading your lovely comments on my last post, I had been asked a very good question.
Sweet Chris had asked me "So do you have another tree for your stitched ornaments?".
Bless you Chris!!! Now I can answer "Yes I do!!!".  Last evening I put it up and is all done.
 I don't have many stitched ornaments and I have one more that needs to be finished Peppermint Twist by LHN. I did add some floral picks to help fill in and the ribbon I used is a tapestry fabric and design.

Now I have a perfect excuse that I do need to stitch lots of ornaments. How fun and perhaps next year I will get to decorate a larger tree for the stitched ornaments and I already have some different sized trees:) Thank you very much Chris for asking.
If you are wondering about the framed print behind it's by Alan Maley titled Cafe Royale.
Happy Holidays, With Love and my Appreciation - Annette

Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree

Happy Holiday's to YOU!
If you have not heard - Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Blog HERE is having many giveaways. If you visit her blog there is plenty of time to go and leave a comment on each giveaway post. If you are not familiar with her hand overdyed flosses, trims, laces, buttons and charts - All her haberdashery items are wonderful, very pretty and a pleasure to stitch with . To see Nancy's store with all the items for sale you can click HERE.

The last 5 days we've been rearranging furniture, cleaning and decorating. Now we have a decorated Christmas tree. Since then I've only managed about 15 stitches during the whole time and I miss stitching like crazy. Thought I would share with you some photos of our decor.
 I moved my Gingerbread Village Street piece and set out the baking Elf's set from Hallmark underneath it.

My gingerbread cupcake is on the last tier. Hard to see in this photo but in person looks darling and not as dark at all.

We call this tree "The Fairy Tree". All things that fly and are pretty. Okay now I can share a bit of history as to the decorating the tree. My mom LOVED fell in love with Macy's decorated trees here in the bay area. And thru the years, every year she would go and study how they were decorated. One year she spoke to the manager and learned that Macy's hired a mother and daughter team from the neatherlands to come and decorate. My mom was told that they were paid $40,000 per year and not only did they decorate Macy's department store in Pleasant Hill but all the bay area stores including San Francisco. One year my mom learned when the ladies were coming to decorate at Macy's and she took her camera & video camera and recorded them. No I cannot find the tape (8mm) but I am not giving up. From watching and speaking to the ladies as they decorated my mom learned to: Place LARGE items first in the tree, then place ribbons and then finish adding ornaments. The Macy's trees used to be decorated extremely elaborately. I recall one tree that had HUGE gold
Because our tree looks like a Charlie brown tree before everything goes on.  I didn't add too many ribbons this time. Really it takes about 1 month to decorate the tree as my mother had but I didn't start early. But the tree is up:)

Hopefully all these fairy's will make up for me not showing Tinkerbell's with my Fairy Hill Bothy Threads Cut Thru SAL progress. Lots and lots of ornaments. This is a tree where no matter where you sit looking at it - there is always something to see. And even when you think you've seen it all you still are able to find something new that you hadn't seen before. Lots of work but very lovely to enjoy.

 Can you see a nest under the fairy?

 When going thru the bins of ornaments I found this RaggyAnn that my mom had made years ago.  It was a very nice surprise and treasure to find. Like a gift from my mom:)

 more fairy's...

 See the 2 sets of large fairy wings? I had bought them at a Renaissance faire.

 Thought I would end with these stockings I had made loooong ago. The designer is Mary Englebright.
I am still waiting for my Christmas Eve by Prairie Schooler to came back from the framers.
Wishing you peace, laughter and lots of fun preparing for Christmas and great stitching too!
With my Love and Appreciation - Annette

Friday, December 6, 2013

Preparing for Christmas

Hello to YOU! Oh boy have I been enjoying the holidays and I hope you have been too. Already have attended 2 Christmas parties. One was the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That certainly helped set the cheerful mood for the holidays. Lots to share again with you so grab a favorite beverage and hope you enjoy all the photos.

Cupcake cuteness!!! I LOVE this ornament from 20143 JCS Christmas magazine called Gingerbread Cupcake by The Victoria Sampler. I hand over dyed the fabric myself, the darling gingerbread buttons I found at Michael's, the beads I had in my stash already. Very convenient! This was a ornament that I had marked to stitch but never got around to kitting it up. THEN I had read on Sharon's blog Shebafudge that this was one of the ornaments she wanted to stitch and from reading her post - I was inspired and went on a quest to shop for the gingerbread buttons and the silicone cupcake liners:) I had success after 2 days of hunting.
Thank you Sharon for your inspiration!

Here it is all finished

Made the cording for the hanger myself. I didn't have the tiny heart buttons, I substituted tiny red buttons.

After making the cupcake ornament I was inspired to decorate some edible cupcakes which I took to Ladies Night with for our church Holiday potluck.

I have been participating in some exchanges thru EMS (Ellen Maurer-Stroh forum website). This beautiful ornament was sent to me by Catherine (EMS-Catvache) from France. This was our Holiday ornament exchange.

Catherine sent me some extra goodies with the ornament. I was so surprised when I saw this book - I LOVE it! You see for some reason DMC has lots of incredible chart books that are not sold here in the USA and I wish they did. Thank you so much Catherine.

For our EMS Holiday stash exchange, I sent these gifts to who I had - Christine (EMS - Chrisy59) here in USA. She received her package and loved it all.

Here is all that I received for the Holiday Stash exchange (EMS) from Bea (EMS - Beaj) from Canada.
All these goodies came to me in this Incredible hand made stitched envelope by Bea. Yes it really did get thru customs and arrived safe and sound. Some trims, needles, a pretty felt ornament and a gift certificate to - WOW!!! How lucky I am!

The back of the envelope Bea stitched a wreath, bee, and a Christmas tree:)
Thank you very much Bea for all your generosity. I am using the pocket for threads and scissors. 

A while back I was a lucky winner at Chiara's giveaway at her blog "thegreytail" back in October. I won a signed copy of Autumn Sampler by Nikycreations. All the way from Italy. How cool is that!
Thank you Chiara, I look forward to stitching it after the holidays.

Some updates on my wips. This is Mary's Sampler all I have to do is stitch the border.

"Peppermint Mint" by Little House Needleworks. The fabric is 28ct Pink Peppermint Candy Stripes evenweave by Fabric Flair. I thought the name of the pattern and fabric where a good match. And I LOVE Pink:)

and here is my progress for my sister's Christmas quilt. These are the fabrics that she has been collecting the past 4 years. I added some fabrics that I had purchased on a recent shopping trip not long ago. The middle panel is all one piece and I wanted to use it as a center focal point. I know there are lots of colors going on but I did my best to lay them out and hopefully look good. This is turning out to be a large sized quilt not a lap quilt - lol.

I did show my sister when I layed them out to see what she thought and she loves how it's looking. I still have to add more rows below whats photoed. So far the size of each square was cut  9x9 and I have 8 squares across and haven't decided on how many squares going down yet. My sister wants is very long because shes tall. Hope to get this done before Christmas. Good thing she loves Christmas all year round.

My progress for Fairy Hill Bothy Threads Cut Thru SAL with Debbie and Linda!

Finished the backstitching for this section. Now you can see a  bag that says gold, a gold cup, a key and gold stars in the earth. There's a fairy resting and reading a book, a jar for teeth for the tooth fairy, even the spines of books are labeled, and a flower clock.

A few years ago I signed up for a online scrapbook class called "Journal your Christmas" by Shimelle.
This is a scrapbooking class to celebrate the holiday season. I've enjoyed participating in this class over the years. And for this year I'm keeping it simple, here is my album cover.  If you would like to learn more of the class click on "Journal your Christmas" above for Shimelle's post explaining all about it.

Just to give you an idea what the inside looks like, this is my page for Dec 1st.
Preparing the album is lots of fun and after the holidays are over I have something nice to reflect back on.
No trees up yet but am getting closer. Preparing for Christmas is so much fun! Do you have your tree up yet? By the way we are having extremely cold temperatures the last few nights - 28 degrees. No snow! I also have my PS - "Christmas Eve" sampler being framed. It will be done in 2 weeks. Just in time for Christmas.
Thank you for your visit.  with my Love and Appreciation - Annette