Hello Friends!

Shortly after my son was born, the demands of motherhood quickly took priority over stitching and blogging.  My husband was in the midst of finishing a PhD and I was in the midst of acquiring my counseling license.  In 2013, we moved back to Texas and I worked more or less full time while my husband focused on writing his dissertation for a year. Our children were then 3 and 1.  (They are nearly 6 and 4 now).  I stitched a tiny little bit here and there, but both time and money were in rather short supply.  However, life is beginning to settle into some more predictable patterns, and I am finding a few hours here and there to revive my love of stitching.  I have decided to fire up the old blog here as a way to chronicle my progress and re-connect with other stitchers.  Many of my old blogging stitching buddies have become dear friends on Facebook.  I have found, by and large, that my stitching friends are uncommonly blessed with magnanimous and generous hearts, and it has been an unexpected joy to know so many of you through the interwebs.  I hope to perhaps make a few new friends in this season of life.

I do have one small finish to share for 2016. It is a pattern by The Sampler Girl from several years ago, and I changed up the color scheme and finished it as a wee flatfold.  It brought me so much pleasure to start and finish a piece like this.  I think it is a fitting thing to share as I bid my blog welcome again after five years.   If you are reading this, thank you so much for stopping by!  Please come back.  Leave me a comment so I can come and see your work, too!  Happy New Year and here's to new beginnings.

I finally have two finishes to share! Wish I could motivate myself to come on here and blog in between finishes about something beautiful or interesting like so many of you do. Life is filled with many beautiful moments that pass us by so quickly.

My dear sister-in-law just had a sweet baby boy last month, and she has requested that I stitch her a birth sampler. This truly motivated me to finish up Connor's. I put the finishing stitches in today and I just love it. It's too bad we're poor as church mice because I really want to get it framed prontisimo!

I also finally finished the Erica Michaels 'Random Thoughts of Spring' sampler. I had fun playing with color on this piece. Not sure how to finish it off, though ... ideas?
So next up, the sampler I selected for my new baby nephew is "Peapod Sampler" by Bent Creek. Have you seen this one? I think it's really cute, and I have a hard time finding baby samplers that I like. They are mostly all horrible, in my opinion! ;) Do you ever feel this way?

Otherwise, I am busy working and taking care of Connor baby. He is now 17 months, and a big, strong, independent young man who fills our house with joy. Here he is meeting his cousin last month. He wasn't too sure about mommy holding another baby! Hope your summertime is off to an enjoyable start.
Yours in stitches,
x o x o x

Who else is ready for some spring stitching?
Most of our snow has melted, and I am itching to hang up my coat and hear the birds sing. Last night I kitted up an old Loose Feathers by Blackbird Designs (#13) called Spring Fling. I'm just missing my green threads, GAST Avocado and Dried Thyme, to get started. I also pulled out the fibers and fabric for "In the Garden with Jane Austen" by The Sampler Girl. I hope to have this one ready by May.

And, I put a few stitches into my choice of colors for Erica Michaels' "Random Thoughts of Spring." The fabric is Silkweaver Spring Garden, 28 ct. Opalescent Cashel and the thread is DMC 4045.

Here is my progress on the little man's Beatrix Potter Sampler (with a few stubborn wrinkles). Almost done! Speaking of the little man ... he is getting so big:
Until next time!
So who has found some pretty new things from Nashville this year? What are the "must-haves on your list? It is hard to choose just a few, but here's my wish list from the 2011 Nahsville Market.

Top to bottom:
Kelmscott Designs, Woven Scissors $11.50

Blackbird Designs, A Stitcher's Journey, $27

Just For Today by Primitive Traditions
Fabric: 40 ct. Pear (Lakeside Linens)
Fibers: Sampler Threads Heirloom Gold, Endive, Onyx; Crescent Colours Poblano Pepper, Tiny Vine, Jakey Brown, Used Brick
Price: $10

Jenny Bean's Creation Sampler by Shakespeare's Peddler
Fabric: 40 ct. Vintage Pear (Lakeside Linens)
Fibers: Sampler Threads Endive, Uniform Blue, Willow, Lambswool, Mustard Seed, Acorn, Oatmeal, Fisherman's Wharf, Toffee, Espresso Bean, Cinnamon, Piney Woods, Summer Shower, Mulberry, and Old Hickory
Price: $12

Ann Grant 1829 by Shakespeare's Peddler
Fabric: 32 ct. Vintage Sand Dune (Lakeside Linens)
Fibers: Gloriana Schoolhouse Red and Pecan; Au Ver a Soie 2635 (2), 3812, 3431 (2), 3745, 3815 (2); Belle Soie Baguette and Chocolat; Silk N Colours Camelot's Lady and Potter's Clay; Needlepoint Silk 993 and 222
Price: $25

Prairie Schooler Book 168, May, $8
Stitching friends! Still alive over here, and still stitching, just making very small progresses lately. I have precious few finishes for 2010, and don't have pictures of everything yet. But I added a few pictures to my facebook album tonight and thought, "why not go ahead and update this blog?"

I have been collecting the LHN Christmas ornaments, and have 3 stitched so far. I have actually finished off two of them, but don't have them photographed yet. I love Christmas ornaments and have enjoyed this collection.

I also make bits of progress on Connor's Jemima Puddle Duck birth sampler. I am hoping to get this finished before his first birthday. Beatrix Potter is so nostalgic for me. I grew up loving her little books and had BP wallpaper in my nursery until I was about 8 or 9. So this is quite a delightful stitch for me. It has LOTS of colors!!

I finished another special birth sampler at the beginning of the year for a dear friend who lost her baby girl at six weeks old. She knew I had been stitching a sampler for her baby and asked if I would finish it. Everyone grieves in different ways, and for this sweet mother, physical mementos have been healing.

I also finished up the Jane Austen Christmas stocking by The Sampler Girl. I need to get this finished finished but have been afraid to trust my paltry sewing skills, so I'm thinking of having it professionally finished.

That's it for 2010 finishes that I have pictures of. I have a few more things to photograph and show plus some yummy stash I picked up this week. Maybe I'll be back again in a few days!!

And how about a pumpkin picture of my sweet Connor baby?

Dearest Stitching Friends, Hello!

Apologies for my long absence ... who knew this mothering business was so time-consuming?

Here are some pictures of our wee lad. He was 7 weeks old yesterday. He is the delight of my heart, an amazing gift from God. He arrived exactly on his due date (which happens to be Mary Kathryn's birthday) of 1/31. I was in labor for about 14 hours, only about 10 of which was active. We delivered in a birth center with a midwife and I had no epidural or pain meds; I was very happy with this decision and would do it again. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but of course, oh so worth it.

Connor is active, alert, curious and melts my heart with the little coos and gurgles and smiles he has been making lately.

I only have a week and a half left of maternity leave. :( Then I go back to work part time and my husband will be with him when I am not. I have had very little time to stitch -- how do you mothers of young children do it? When he is asleep, I mostly catch up on housework or nap myself. I am sure that eventually we'll find a rhythm and I will get back to more stitching -- I do miss it!

I will try to return soon with some stitching updates -- what little I have been able to do.

Meanwhile, I'll be busy over here being a mommy. :)

Only 10 days until my due date -- hooray! We are ready to meet our boy. In lieu of stitching photos today, I thought I would share some of our nursery/bedroom pics. Last night we picked up our changing table and baskets, and our crib bumper arrived. Today I made and hung the bulletin board so the room is really coming together! The crib and the changer were gifts from friends with older babies; it is a coincidence that they match so well. We are really grateful for all that we have received. My mother in law purchased the Moses basket -- isn't it sweet? And the awesome bedding came from The Land of Nod.

I do have some finishes to share but it requires lugging out the ironing board first. I think I had 5 goals for January, I have met one and should meet another tonight I hope. Be back soon.
Happy New Year, Stitching Friends!

My how time flies. I kept thinking I would have a finish to share by Christmas, but I'm not QUITE there. I have been working on the Jane Austen Christmas Stocking, and thought I should at least share my progress. Here I was last time I wrote, in November:

and here I am now - almost there:

We had a lovely visit from my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, and did indeed "think little of even the worst weather" when Christmas brought record-breaking snows to Philadelphia. We stayed indoors, mostly, sleeping in and having cozy breakfasts in the afternoon, but ventured out for a walk from time to time:

(we have a Danish tradition of making Aebleskivers at Christmastime)

(My DH enjoyed torturing his sister with giant snowballs)

One of the highlights of our Christmas was the cooking. We made a fabulous "Julie and Julia" inspired French feast thanks to my mother-in-law's generous gift of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and some gift certificates to Trader Joe's. On the menu, we had ... bacon-wrapped dates and ratatouille to start, roast duck, chestnut and sausage stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon (bacon makes everything better), arugala with green apple, dried cherries, and candied pecans in a white balsamic vinaigrette, and from scratch walnut fougasse (a gorgeous leaf-shaped flat bread). The meal took about 10 hours to make on Christmas Eve and I did it at 8 1/2 months preggers - woot!
Walnut Fougasse

And of course Philo enjoyed the ribbons and paper.

I have a few January goals... will be back soon to post about those.
Hoping you are all happy and well -- Blessings for 2010!