Winter Approacheth

We are in that strange time of year that is between seasons ... the calendar says Autumn but the weather certainly feels like winter! All the gorgeous fall colors we enjoyed this season are completely fallen off the trees now, and the temps have plummeted. We have even had some light dusting of early snow this week, which puts one in the holiday spirit. Mike and I have broken out the flannel sheets, the electric blanket, and the heavy coats. It's also hard to choose: autumn or Christmas stitching?

I have been super busy getting started with my new job, that I haven't had much time for posting here. I sent off two sets of fair squares today, so I'll have those to show soon. In the last month I also finished up the stitching on a 2007 JCS Christmas ornie, put a little progress into Where My Heart Blooms, and worked some on the large piece for Autumn Song by BBD.

Let's see, I was also tagged some time ago by both Jennifer and Tanya to share 6 Random Things About myself. I am going to be a delinquent tagger and not pass it on to 6 others, but feel free to snag this if you want!

1. My hometown is considered part of the "Dairy Capital" of Texas.
2. My father is a large animal vet.
3. I speak Spanish.
4. I am the only daughter of an only daughter, and my first name, Ruth, has been passed on for 4 generations of women.
5. I also read Greek and Hebrew.
6. I hate pickles.

Not too busy for a little tea

Tea with Jane by The Sampler Girl
28 ct. Gray Flannel Jobelan by Sassy
WDW Cadet Blue, Palomino, DMC 3750 and 4220

Hello friends,

So sorry for the long absence ~ I have been super busy of late keeping up at work and school ... and looking for a new job. As of last Saturday I have accepted a new position doing mental & behavioral health therapy at a community clinic. This job will give me hours towards the counseling license I am seeking to acquire, yay. It's also a 30 min. commute instead of the 1 hour commute (one-way) that I have been making. I should be starting there within a few weeks. I will be doing some counseling in Spanish, which should be interesting and challenging.

On Sunday, I had the privilege of meeting some great ladies at the most delightful tea that Anna organized at her home. It was lovely to meet Jennifer, Jenna, and Lee, and remember that we all have first names and not just blog names. :) I did take a picture but was asked not to make it public for all the world to see . . . so you will just have to come to Philly to meet us in person to satisfy your curiosity. :)

We had delicious tea, scones, sandwiches, lime marmalade, petite cupcakes, interesting conversation (read Anna's much more entertaining description here) and a bit of stitchery. I worked on Autumn Song by BBD and finished up the bird in the middle. I don't have any real life buddies who stitch so this was an extra special treat for me. The day before, I made up the little pillow pictured above, to thank Anna for getting us together. I am a sucker for color and couldn't resist giving it with this beautiful tin of tea and Anna informed me that the whole ensemble coordinated with her bedroom and outfit, so ... bonus.

I am only managing to get this item posted as it is the middle of the night and I am having trouble sleeping tonight. I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on many blogs lately. Hopefully life will slow down soon! Thanks for stopping by.

Giveaway Contest Winners!

Hi everyone,

THANKS for all your fun comments this month. I enjoyed seeing a number of new commenters on the Giveaway post. I'm going to have to do this again!

And the winners are .... drumroll please:

#1: Yuko (Be Happy)

#2: Ranae (The Needle & I)

#3: Shari (Shari's Sharings)

#4: Annemarie (Orts and Ends)

Thanks to everyone who entered!
Winners, please email me (rachelvendsel AT yahoo DOT com) with your snail mail address so I can get your charts in the mail.


Autumn Harvest

Hello all, I am having so much fun stitching Autumnal things. Here is a bit of my harvest:

"Autumn Song" Needle Keep by BBD
32 ct. Bay Rum Jobelan by Zweigart
Recommended WDW fibers

I added my initials over one at the left and right and plan to sew into a little pillow.

These gorgeous threads are by Victorian Motto and are for the upcoming Beatrix Potter SAL. I ordered two different sets of Pumpkin from Nancy and have a lot of rusty reds and oranges and golds to choose from!

"Autumn Harvest" by Little House Needleworks
Started 9/20/08 Finished 10/9/08
28 ct. Creamy Cocoa Jobelan by Sassy
Recommended DMC threads

Don't forget to enter the 100th post giveaway! You have until Monday October 13 to leave a comment. Bye for now~

Fair Square Round #9 & RAK for Vonna

I had a great Fair Square partner in Joan. She stitched part of Strawberry House by LHN and did a beautiful job. I love it, thanks again, Joan!

I stitched Tanya's adorable Pumpkin House freebie for Joan on 32 ct. Lambswool. I changed the roof to a bright blue since Joan loves blue, and used Crescent Colors' Fallen Leaves for the house color.

Also, I had fun with a little RAK for Dame Vonna of the Generous Heart. I made a Floss Tag/Needle Rest for her from Blackbird Designs, changing up the colors a bit to make them more autumnal. There are a few pins in this and I used my favorite technique of painting the pins with nail polish to match. It works like a charm. Vonna does so much for everyone (organizing the Fair Squares site for one, hello!) that she deserves a little kindness every now and then.

Bluebird's Needles and Pins by Blackbird Designs
28 ct. Pearl Linen Natural Light
DMC and CC Fallen Leaves
Finished as a Floss Tag

100th Post **Giveaway!**

Hello all! I have lots to show you from the last two weeks, but it will all have to go into the next post, since I promised a giveaway for my 100th post here.

I have 4 choices for you!! Two autumn and two Christmas ones.

#1 The Sweetheart Tree: Jack and the Silver Spider

#2 Calico Crossroads: Cat-o-Latern

#3 Homespun Collectibles Christmas cards

#4 Leisure Arts Christmas Patches

Please leave me a comment and tell me if you would like to be entered to win. You can specify one or more or all charts but each person will win in only one group. In other words, you can say, "please enter me in #1 and #2" but if you win #1 then I will give #2 to someone else. Hope that makes sense! Have fun and good luck! I will do the drawing one week from today and announce the winner by Tuesday, October 14th. Thanks to everyone who visits here and comments - be back soon.

Celebrate Autumn

Today is the official beginning of autumn. My favorite season of the year! I love the beautiful colors, the chilly weather, the delicious food like pumpkins and apple cider, going back to school - just everything about it.

I had fun catching up on all your blogs this weekend - I love seeing what all you creative types are up to. I am feeling a bit more perky since yesterday, thanks for all your sweet comments.

Are there any other Victoria fans out there? I was sooooo happy when they started re-publishing this again. If you have never been swept away by this wonderful magazine then do check it out! The current issue has the most fabulous autumn menu: "Autumn Bisque", "Harvest Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette", "Spiced Dinner Rolls with Walnut Caramel Butter", and "Coconut Pumpkin Tart". I was looking for an excuse to make it so I decided to host a Harvest Dinner Party in honor of my husband's birthday next month.

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post is that I attended a fabulous lecture by Jacqueline Holdsworth of Needleprint last Wednesday at The Strawberry Sampler, a fabulous LNS about 45 minutes from where I live. It was such a treat to meet this lovely lady! She had the most delightful English accent and gracious demeanor. I learned a great deal about Quaker traditions, and one thing I learned about Needleprint is that the proceeds from the sale of each chart go towards the conservation of that chart; Jacqueline referred to it as a "dowry" of sorts for the chart's future preservation. Of course my camera's battery died and so I didn't get any pictures with her, but here are two from the shop.

Speaking of Jacqueline Holdsworth, I was so excited to join the Beatrix Potter SAL that Hazel set up. I have a special fondness for all thing Beatrix Potter and have been wanting to stitch this sampler for a long time. I plan to use some rather autumnal colors that Barbara J suggested.

Hullo, this is my 99th post. Next post, number one hundred, I will have a special give-away... so do come back!

Puttering at home

When I woke up this morning, I felt so tired, even after a good night's rest, and my hubby was sweet enough to bring me this lovely breakfast in bed ... sometimes it's the little things! I stayed home from church and am wandering around in my jammies taking it easy. I did the finishing on a little surprise gift for a friend and may pull out some fall decorations for our apartment.

I received these lovely Fair Squares from Joan - aren't they pretty? This is from Strawberry House by LHN. I finished her squares off yesterday and will mail them tomorrow, so I'll show those in a few days.

Autumn has been inspiring me lately, so I started this little needle cushion from Autumn Song by BBD. I also have a small start on Autumn Harvest by LHN and hope to start In the Kitchen with Jane Austen by Sampler Girl next. I know that last one is going to make me want to bake apple pies!

The next best thing to stitching ...

... is stashing!
Thanks for the warm response to my LHN fruit salad basket. From your comments I would say that I might be seeing some more fruit salad sprinkled around some blogs in the future. :)

I have done some serious stashing this summer ... now if only I had the time to stitch all of these up in a hurry. (All pictures are clickable to enlarge.)

Lots of Prairie Schooler: love those Kris Kringles!

We Give Thanks by Blue Ribbon and Home of a Needleworker, Too by LHN.

And another piece that is 98% finished: My Beloved by Country Cottage Needleworks. Just a few more leaves to stitch.

As always, I appreciate YOU and our stitching community. You are all an inspiration. I have a very busy weekend ahead, so I probably won't be back until next week. See you then!

LHN Fruit Salad!

Well, my wee pinkeep collection is growing. These are from the Little House Needleworks Thread Pack series and I have a happy dance to share tonight: Cherries. I am in love with the way it turned out with the adorable cherry backing fabric and stitched on 32 ct. pale pink linen. The ribbon has the tiniest bit of black in it to match. I did change the red thread which came in the thread pack to a different CC as I wanted a deeper red. If anyone is interested I will look that name up.

Next up: Pear and Peaches, and I have the stitching done on those. After that, Pumpkins, of course, which I have been saving to do this season.

I have some other stitching to share and a lot of stash acquisition; hope I can put up another post this week. I'm working on my Fair Squares for Round 9 and enjoying the first few hints of autumn weather. I'm also debating joining the Me, Myself and I Round Robin. I have had visions of a Jane Austen neighborhood dancing in my head. But I am not sure if I want to embark on such a huge project! Anywho, it's late here. A great big THANK YOU for stopping by and leaving all of your wonderful and encouraging comments. Hope this finds you well, my friends!

Ukranian/Byzantine Wedding "Rug"

Hello Stitching Friends! I am back from vacation and taking a few moments this afternoon to post some pictures of the wedding gift I told you about in my last post. You can view an entire album of related pictures by clicking here, which will take you to my facebook page.

The wedding itself was beautiful - a long, elaborate service with an Eastern-rite, Byzantine style Eucharist (a.k.a., not Roman Catholic) and many interesting traditions. One tradition is for the priest to tie the bride and groom's hands together in an embroidered scarf, a symbol of their union. It was a joy to make this heirloom for my friend. I used her wedding colors and trimmed and backed the linen with a gorgeous black linen embroidered with a gold floral motif that I found at a specialty fabric store. The monograms stand for their names, and the verse is from the Song of Solomon; "Thurow" is the couple's last name. I am very pleased with the finished product!

I had a lovely time with my parents and got in some good visiting with my grandmother, who is now in an assisted living home. It was nice to be away from normal routines, but I am happy to be back home and very much anticipating the cooler weather and the advent of my favorite season of the year!

Edited to add: some of you have asked about the design: I did chart it out myself, using the alphabet and motifs from this book.

On Vacation!

Hello world ~ yes, I am still alive! I am in Texas right now hanging out with my parents for a much needed visit with them. I also have a wedding to attend/participate in this weekend. One of my best friends, the woman I lived with for three years before I married is at last getting married at the age of 38 and it is going to be such a joy ... it will be a big Catholic wedding with about 4 days of activities! The entire service is a sung liturgy and I am really looking forward to it.

I have been working all month long on an embroidered scarf that the bride and groom are wrapping around their hands during the wedding vows. It is in the final stages of finishing and as soon as I get back home I will of course post some pictures! I did not bring my computer so I will do lots of catch up blogging when I return next week.

My parents live in a small East Texas town. They have a pretty pond in the back yard and two new domesticated ducks that live here - a big white Jemima Puddle duck and a sweet, small brown duck. I am sitting by the window now drinking coffee and watching the ducks and the birds - what a peaceful, pleasant activity. I hope you can all find a moment or two of quiet in your day today.

Thank you for all the kind comments and visits I have received here lately - your friendship is sweet to me!


My other two pay-it-forward gifts have been received so I thought I would share those pictures.

Ginger requested a sheep or a Bible verse, so I combined those in a tiny Prairie Schooler-inspired pinkeep.

Jane is always posting pictures of her beautiful granddaughter, so I thought a little pillow celebrating her might be well-received. The design is a freebie from The Workbasket.

I have to make this a quick post as we are headed out the door to help some friends move today. Have a great weekend everyone!

At the movies and other miscellanies

Tuesday night, DH and I had the privilege (by virtue of our WHYY membership) of attending a preview screening of the lush new Brideshead Revisited , based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh, which features Emma Thompson as Lady Marchmain. This is a re-make of the wonderful, 11-hr. BBC mini-series from 1982 which starred a young Jeremy Irons. Although much shorter than the original, it is still basically true to the story. The story is set in Oxford and Venice in the 1920's -1940's and is about an atheistic artist who gets entangled in an aristocratic Catholic family and caught between two forbidden loves. If you are familiar with the story, you know that there is adultery and homosexuality ...let me encourage Christians not to be put off by these themes: the message is ultimately one of faith. It is beautiful - go see it if you can, it opens tonight.

In other news...

I received the fun Kreativ Blogger award that has been going around blogland. It is always nice to know that someone else out there is reading and thinking of you, so thank you to my sweet pal Michele B. and new-to-me blogger Cherry! One thing that has been fun about these awards is meeting a few new bloggers and getting to know their wonderful work; I have added some great new blogs to my blogroll by following links.

Now it's my turn to pass the award on to others. Here are the rules:

1 The winner may put the logo on her blog.
2 Put a link to the person you got the award from.
3 Nominate 5 blogs.
4 Put links to the blogs.5 Leave a message for your nominees.

So many talented and delightful stitchers have already received this award, and yet there are so many more talented and delightful stitchers to go around! Here are 5 of many who could be named.

Andrea (Deep Fried Cupcake)
Monique (Inside Number Twenty)
Annemarie (Orts and Ends)
Deborah (Midsummer Night Musings)
Michelle (Cozy Egg)

I will leave you with pictures of Philo in his favorite basket. It is far too small for him, but he loves to squeeze in anyway - simple pleasures. :)