Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Winter Stitching

I've become a huge fan of Pinterest..in fact, my time on Pinterest has seriously given my time on Facebook a run for its money!  I love typing in "cross stitch" or "embroidery" or "digital scrapbooking" and seeing so many wonderful things!  I have found quite a few free cross stitch designs (I always take them back to the source to make sure they are REALLY free) that I have been stitching on the last couple of months...its been fun to find some new designs to stitch without having to order them online and wait weeks for them to arrive. I have been also a bit addicted to watching "The Good Wife", Comcast has had all five seasons available this winter, so I have had a marathon of watching every episode...so sad when I watched the final one last night!!

Here is one of the designs I worked on while watching The Good Wife...It was fun to do.  It is called Winter House by Brooks Books. She has houses for the other three seasons as well.

Winter House

It's been a typical January around here with all of  us battling the flu, and John battling unemployment.  It always makes the winter such a downer when he gets laid off, because all the progress we  have made financially during the good times quickly ends us back in the same state we were in.  We have a better plan this time. John has started school this week to be a Certified Nursing Assistant.  It will take about 2 months and he will  have his choice of positions, people are constantly needing CNA's around here.  It is good to know this will be our last winter of unemployment and lack and falling back into (more) debt.  One good thing that has come out of this exhausting year of caring for both of my elderly parents with dementia is that John has the patience and emotional security to be able to do the job well.  Another thing I found out is that I don't!!! LOL!

Daughter Amy and her family moved in with us last winter, which in the long run has been a good thing as she was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in November.  Its been easier on me to help take care of things when I am not with Mom and Dad by not having to drive across town to do so.  After two surgeries in November, and radioactive Iodine treatment in January, she has a three month rest period until May, and she tackles the next round of treatment.  She still  has cancer in the side of her neck that they didn't operate on in November, so depending on the size of the tumors, she will either have more surgery and another dose of iodine, or just the iodine treatment.  We are thankful that the full body scan showed NO tumors in her lungs, which would have meant it would have been untreatable, and have a very different outcome.

Daughter Alizabeth is doing well, though she was a passenger in a car accident two weeks ago.  She has whiplash, but will be fine soon.  She is working as a Night Auditor at a local hotel, but hopes to find a day job in an office soon.  In her own words:  "I love doing paperwork!"

Daughter Allison is plugging away at Montana State University working on her Thesis in Organic Chemistry.  She will then have about 3 years to go to finish up her PhD.  We miss her, its such a long way from Lacey, and we only get to see her about 3 times a year, but we are sure proud of her and the work she is doing!!

So, such is our life.  The grandkids are doing great and growing fast, and are our pride and joy!

Silas, Alana and Gracie, Christmas 2013

Sunday, January 05, 2014

There is a time and place for Aida!

I've been a real fabric snob for many years.  I would only stitch on linen or some other lucious evenweave fabric, and totally disdained the "lowly" Aida.  Admittedly, the type of stitching I loved to do (Hardanger, Pulled Thread, specialty stitches) were impossible to do on Aida, and I had an aversion of straight cross stitch...found it boring actually.
Until three months ago. 
I have been teetering on total burn out, verging on a breakdown, the last few months, due to the demands of taking care of both of my parents who both have advanced dementia, (as in LIVING with them 4 days a week) and caring for and worrying about my daughter who has cancer (who is living in our home full time with her family), as well as holding down a full time job.  To say that my plate is full is an understatement.  That plate is falling to the floor, and about to break.
Anyway, I had not done any stitching...AT ALL...for about 9 months.  But the desire to put needle to fabric actually resurfaced, and I started pulling out some old projects that I had kitted up long ago, and started in.  It felt good to get some of these projects done, and actually see that I had accomplished something!  But then, even doing cross stitch on evenweave, where I had to count "up two, over two" for every single stitch got to be too much for my foggy brain to handle.  So I pulled out an old project with Aida in the kit, and low and behold, it was just what I needed.  No counting.  No decisions to make.  Just the rhythmic in and out of my needle.  And so Aida is back in my life!
Here are pictures of what I have done since September.  Yet, as I am typing this, I remember that there are TWO more pieces I have tucked away that I forgot to pull out for the pictures!  So that is 11 projects total.  More than I have stitched in a long long time!

All of my old patterns are packed in a box in a storage building, so I have had to look fresh for most of these patterns.  Pinterest has been a great resource for tracking down freebies on the internet, and I have found beautiful designs I had never seen before!  I have many of them bookmarked to purchase later, and it's been fun working up some of these small freebies!  Now I just need the time to get these finished into something!! LOL!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Sweet Surprises

For several years I celebrated the anniversary of my blogging adventures with pictures of the daisies in my  yard.  And then we had to sell the house and move, and I left behind many precious flowers and trees in my yard.  There are three things I miss the most from the old house...the apple trees, the raspberry bushes, and the daisies.  Our house sold in the middle of a December...too cold and too many hidden roots to take any plants with us when we left for good.  But the people who bought our house were so kind, and invited me back the next summer to take some starts of my favorite things.  All I really wanted were some raspberries and daisies!  I thankfully dug up several starts of both, brought them to the new house, and planted and tended them.  And they both promptly died.  Or so I thought!  For the next year I lamented the loss of the starts, but last year, I actually had a couple of raspberry plants just sprout up!! I have tended them carefully again, and this summer I actually have enjoyed a handful of my very own raspberries!  But I still missed those darn daisies.  I couldn't find any store daisies that seemed to be the same, and figured it was a loss I would  have to live with.  I even contemplated going to the old house and sneaking a daisy start from the flower bed by the road!!! (True confession time!)

Two summers ago when I was planting new flowers in our new home, I had planted a daisy sort of looking plan with lavender flowers.  It bloomed nicely for two summers and I thought it was coming back again this year, as I was watching it get taller and ganglier and getting little daisy like buds on it.

And then, I came home from my parents house last week after being gone most of the week, and stopped in my tracks, for there, bright as day was a DAISY!  An honest to goodness DAISY!!  The starts that I thought had died were growing!

Seems like a bit of a miracle when I needed to be encouraged that life will get better one of these days!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Emerging from the Shadows

It's been a time of beginning again and taking inventory of my hopes, dreams, desires and wishes.  I was feeling pretty "burnt out" the last year from spending so much time designing, and after putting all of that on the very back burner, I just "vegged" for several months. I didn't even have a desire to put needle to fabric, which really concerned me, because since I have been 14 I have constantly been stitching. (That's over 45 years if anyone was wondering!).  I purposely put away all the stitching fabric, threads and accouterments, deciding I would wait and see if the "stitching bug" would ever bite again!

I was a bit surprised to find after several months the desire to go back to the beginnings of my stitching and sewing accomplishments.  My very first project when I was 14 was embroidering a set of stamped pillow cases, and it sort of crept up on me that I wanted to do that again!!  So off I went to the store and found a set that I liked well enough to bring home. It has lots of lazy daisies, which is what I had a real hankering to do!!  I've been working on those, and then I realized I wanted to do some craft sewing, which I haven't done in nearly 20 years...

Since I am a real sucker for purses, I found a great pattern for a purse.  And here is the result:

"Hampton's Handbag"

It took me about 5 hours to cut out and put together. This is a pattern is "Hampton's Handbag" from Pink Sand Beach Designs, there are some great handbag patterns that I am looking forward to making someday! Website: www.pinksandbeachdesigns.com

I also wanted to do some crazy quilting, and I had enough fabric left from the purse to put a block together:

The beginnings of a Crazy Quilt

I am really happy with how this worked up.  The little girl in the center is my Aunt Cora when she was 3 years old, about 1914, almost 100 years ago.  I printed her picture onto T-shirt Transfer computer paper and ironed it onto 100% cotton.  It's a little "grainy-er" than I hoped it would be, but it will do.  I have lots of laces and buttons and do-dads in a cream/off white, and they look so nice against the fabric!

My messy corner on the patio.
I've had an ugly spot on our patio where all the "debris" seems to end up before it goes to the land fill. I've been longing to have something to hide this spot from view (clutter and messiness really bother me visually), so today John and I went to the lumber store and got the materials for a sweet little fence! He's been a busy beaver since we got home, and it's almost ready to erect!
 We just set it upright, and its gonna be nice...but we need to go back to the lumber store and get a piece or two to get it secured to the rest of the fence!  

Monday, March 04, 2013

Well, I've put it off as long as I can.  Lacey Thread Designs is officially in "indefinite hiatus".  I am hesitant to say CLOSED, or OVER, or DONE, because I do not know what the future holds. Perhaps one day I will again pick up needle and thread and begin again. I do know that for right now, my life will not allow me to be designing any time soon.  There are some designs rattling around in my heart, but I don't have the time, space, quiet place or desire to even begin to express those ideas. 

Life has certainly not turned out the way I thought it would, desired that it would, or even worked to make it, and I have had been pushed off the path I had been traveling and enjoying by circumstances I cannot control, no matter how hard I try or protest.  My family has demanded my every last waking minute, and some of the ones when I should be sleeping too, as I care for my ailing elderly parents, encourage my unemployed husband in his quest for employment, children and grandchildren sharing my home, as well as holding down a full time job.  It is with some sadness that I let go of my own hopes and dreams to take care of others, but without rancor or bitterness, for family is infinitely more important. Perhaps one day I will be allowed to bring life to my dreams again.

Thank you to those of you who have supported me and encouraged my dream.  For those of you who purchased a design, a very special thank you.  I pray that you will be blessed many times over as you bring the design to life with your own fingers.  I have grown immeasurably, accomplished more than I ever thought possible, and have been richly blessed by the friends I have made.  God bless you all!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surprize Treasures!

 My hubby and I went browsing in a couple of antique malls last weekend, mainly just for something to do.  I found some lace doilies and trinket dishes and carried them around for awhile...and then I saw this..

And I put everything else away so I could spend my "pin" money on it!  A jar full to the brim of mother of pearl old buttons!  I knew that the value of these buttons was way beyond the asking price...and I've been longing to do some kind of a project with antique cream color buttons...it was a perfect find! I am so happy to have it!!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

New Release by Lacey Thread Designs - Spring Roses!

I am excited to announce the release of Spring Roses, a beautiful hardanger doily embellished with beads and embroidered flowers, sure to bring a taste of spring into your home! Stitched on White Cashel Linen with Gloriana silk floss and Mill Hill beads, this doily will cheer up your winter stitching! Brought to you with love by Lacey Thread Designs!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A little fan mail...

Tricia Harmon from British Columbia stitched up Allison's Ring Pillow (Lacey Thread Designs) for her daughters wedding coming up in April and was very kind to allow me to share her picture of the finished pillow with you all. She modified the pattern a bit by choosing wedding colors, substituting a pulled thread stitch and adding the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date along the outside edge of the design. I am so thrilled to see a photo of one of our stitched designs. Thanks for sharing Tricia!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A new "obsession"

"The First Thanksgiving"

I've been bitten by the genealogy bug.  A chance finding by my brother while he was waiting at my parents house unearthed an old family tree/history on my father's side that had been hiding in a drawer for 15 years.  One of my cousins had done an excellent job of researching the family clear back to the 1400's.  In reading through this "book" one night, I discovered that I have not one, but two, direct ancestors that came to America on the Mayflower. Both of these men, Edward Doty and Francis Eaton signed the Mayflower Compact.