Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving.....

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~Cicero
The Pilgrim Fathers Arrive in America by Angus Mcbride

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Something We Should Take to Heart

It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it. ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Post #101.....

and everyone that left a comment on my last post "Here's Your Chance" about giveaways... was entered in the drawing the lucky winner was.... Diane...I have your email and will be contacting you this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here's Your Chance.... say what you like about giveaways.
what would you like to win.... what wouldn't you want to win... do you want to know exactly what's in your box or do you like surprises?
Is candy a good thing to get in a giveaway? And what's your favorite kind?
Do you enter giveaways for the prizes or for the thrill of seeing your name pulled? What is it that will prompt you to leave a comment on a giveaway post or to just skip it and wish the others Good Luck?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Mother's Book....and a finished sock.

With the children settled on the couch with reading of their own, I pulled a book from my shelf and began reading .... when soon I stumbled across a few lines that caused me to stop and ponder on the lessons I teach when I don't finish what I have begun and the custom of having half a dozen things on hand at once.
"Making patchwork is likewise a quiet amusement; and if a child be taught to fit it herself, it may be made really useful. If the corners are not fitted exactly, or sewing done neatly, it should be taken to pieces and fitted again; for it is by inattention to these little things that habits of carelessness are formed. On no occasion whatever should a child be excused from finishing what she has begun. The custom of having half a dozen things on hand at once, should not be tolerated. Everything should be finished, and well finished. It ought to be considered a disgrace to give up anything, after it is once undertaken. Habits of perseverance are of incalculable importance; and a parent should earnestly improve the most trifling opportunities of impressing this truth." The Mother's Book by Mrs. Child 1831 I threw down my book and hurried off to my knitting basket... because what a disgrace to stop knitting one toe shy of a new pair of socks?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Christmas Ornament

Sometimes it takes a gentle nudge to get me moving. Early yesterday morning in an email, that nudge arrived from a sweet friend asking me to consider a tutorial for a beaded and embroidered wool felt ornament. And so dear friend, this is for you...
Trace desired shape onto non-shiny side of freezer paper twice.
On one shape draw lines to divide into sections and label with color name.
Cut out freezer paper shapes and heat set with warm iron to the wool felt.
Cut out shapes and rearrange back into original shape on lightweight fusible interfacing. It is important to make sure that each of the pieces is fitted snuggly next to one another. Do not heat set them until you are certain that there are no gaps between pieces.
Using two strands of embroidery floss and decorative stitches, stitch across each seam being careful to catch both edges so that there are no open seams. The white lines you see on the edges of the stitches are from a rolling chalk marker that I use to mark as a stitching guide. They will wear away over time or with gentle brushing.
A jelly jar full of beads is way more than you will need. I've used gold, purple and ruby beads of assorted sizes on the sample.
Stitch beads on one at a time using two strands of embroidery floss to match the color of the bead. Not all embroidery needles will pass through the center of small beads, you may need to change the size of the needle to stitch the beads. If the eye of the needle is too small for two strands of floss then use one strand doubled over. After all embroidery and beading are complete, trim interfacing away as closely as possible to the edge of the shape being careful not to clip through embroidery stitches that may be close to the edge.
Place embroidered heart on top of second heart and pin edges. Using two strands of embroidery floss, stitch completely around the edge of the heart using blanket stitch and changing colors as desired. On this sample I have used a single ply of red perle cotton as a simple hanger. MERRY CHRISTMAS MILAH! A Simple Supply List freezer paper 6" square of lightweight fusible interfacing Black wool felt scraps 4" x 5" 2" x 3" Red wool felt scrap 2" x 3" Gold wool felt scrap 2" x 4" Olive wool felt scrap 2" x 4" DMC embroidery floss #725-gold, #470 - olive, #792 - purple, #321 - red assortment of beads and baubles in reds, purples and gold 5" of perle cotton or ribbon for a hanger Note about felt: This sample was stitched in wool felt that can be purchased through Magic Cabin. It is very easy to work with and is more forgiving then acrylic if you need to rework stitches. The wool also offers a wider range of colors. Each heart uses very small amounts of wool and the pieces of felt that can be purchased through Magic Cabin would allow you to make many, many ornaments. Note about beads: The sample was stitched with beads in a bag labeled 'Bead Heaven' that I purchased at Michael's. I have seen similar bead collections and assortments at both Hobby Lobby and Joann's. These ornaments don't require large amounts of beads so I shop for smaller bags in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. If you would like a copy of the heart shape I used, please email me and I will send a scan of the image.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Four and twenty black birds....

....baked in a pie.
Ok, so there's only one and it's not black, but I use this sweetie to vent the steam from all of my pies while cooking in the oven. and it wasn't a pie it was a tortiere, and there wasn't a single piece left the next day!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Good Golly Miss Molly!

The long wait is over...
Molly has arrived and is checking things out in the house.
The children made sure to put out food and she ate to her hearts content,
and promptly feel asleep before the children even had a chance to show her around the farm.
And so they have set up camp beside her playpen and patiently wait for naptime to end. My house is so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Indian Summer

"The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest." Belonging to the writer John Bradbury and written nearly an "eternity" ago, back in 1817, I can think of no better way to describe an amazing week of Indian Summer. So with a loyal friend by my side... in a cozy chair in the warm autumn air... mixed with a bit of woolgathering and chicken watching... a few minutes were spared to finish the first part of stitching for a dear friend who I've never met, and though we are separated by great waters it is by simple threads that our friendship is bound.