Friday, August 18, 2017

Waterfalls and Train Whistles

It's been a crazy summer.  I've enjoyed it all, and now that I'm home I just want to BE home.  LOL  I have missed my friends that I usually see often, but haven't seen all summer.  So I'm slowly getting caught up with them.  And finally getting back to stitching!

There will be no stitching in this post (that was previous post! LOL) so if you would like to see the places we visited just recently,  grab your favorite beverage, get a comfy seat and have a look!

We celebrated our Anniversary two weeks ago.  I can't believe we've been married 33 years! I love my husband more than ever now, but it hasn't always been easy.  I'm so glad he puts up with my craziness, and yes, you can call him a saint if you want to...he deserves it!  LOL

My husband likes to surprise me with a trip now and then.  We like the same things for the most part, so I'm always amazed and thrilled wherever we go.  This year we went to Elkins, West Virginia.  I haven't spent much time in WV and had some preconceived notions of what it would be like.  Never again will I just a place by it's location!  The people there were unbelievably friendly (I live in an overcrowded urban setting where people are often less than kind) and charming.  I looked at my husband once and said, "When you retire, can we live here?"  To which Mike replied, "You DO know it snows here in the winter, and look at those mountain roads!"  Oh...yeah....well it would be nice to have a summer home there I suppose.  LOL

So.....we took a train ride the first day up into the mountains, the final spot being a small waterfall.  It had been raining for days on end before we arrived, so there was ALOT of water, and it was LOUD but unbelievably beautiful.  



 There were waterfalls,




and butterflies,


and flowers,


and train tracks that lead to nowhere.




Marsha enjoyed the trip and she brought along Chuck...




We enjoyed a few shows while we were there, The Franks Family show and the Gandy Dancers...










and some hilarious entertainment.  (I tried to upload a video but it wouldn't let me :(  )



We visited Graceland (no not the one in Tennessee, the summer "cottage" built by Senator Davis and named after his daughter) which is now a lovely Inn where they serve breakfast and dinner.  I hope to go back there one day and stay, it's gorgeous!






It didn't matter where we went to eat, there were some fabulous restaurants and one of them made the BEST cheesecake I've ever eaten...it would be worth the trip just to have another slice!!

We took one day to drive to Blackwater Falls.  Again, with all the rain, the water was giving us quite a show.  The water is a darker color because of the minerals in the ground over which it flows.  I love the sound of the rushing water.  What was unique was we could hear rushing rapids from the river which was out of view because of the trees, long before we heard the falls themselves.  There is something so soothing to me when I hear the sound of water, be it ocean waves, rushing waterfalls or a babbling brook.  That is heaven on earth to me! 






I hope you've enjoyed your visit to Elkins, West Virginia.    Can you see why they call them the Blue Ridge Mountains?  I hope we get to go back in the fall when the leaves are at their peak.  Wouldn't that be lovely?


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gifted Gorgousness and Celebrations

I keep repeating myself, but it's been a wild ride lately.  I just realized I reached a goal of mine, with OVER 200 followers.  That's a first, I've been so close before.  I wasn't prepared, hadn't been watching and suddenly BOOM!  And now I want to celebrate...but how?  I'm putting on my thinking cap, so give me a day or two to decide!

Let me start with Gifted Gorgeousness.  Thank you, again, Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching.  I wish I had been around more this summer to take part in some of the cool challenges and blog hops etc that she has going on over on her blog.  I would love to meet her in person one day, I think she must be a lot of fun!  Too bad there is a huge pond between us!  This is the day we showcase things we are stitching that we have been gifted, or we are about to gift, or patterns, fabric and/or floss we have been given.  Anyway, it's never too late to join in the fun...so you can sign up to take part in the Gifted Gorgeousness by signing up here, and you can ooooh and aaaah over the lovely stitching by visiting the blogs listed here.

Now on to the fun!

First off, is a freebie SAL that has been going on since January.  It is never to late to start, and even more fun now that you've seen all the colorways that are being used.  This is the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL and you can find the patterns here, and follow the fun on Facebook.  I have often been asked what materials I'm using so I'm including some pictures of the floss I'm stitching with, substitutes I have found, and my project so far.  I am stitching this on 28 count black over one.  And surprisingly I haven't lost my eyesight yet!  LOL


The vintage Bucilla Floss I'm using that is no longer being made


The floss I found that is a good substitute  Anchor 903,  and DMC 355 and 612.  



Second, I had to put Sweet Nectar in mothballs for a while, but I was able to do just a tad bit more before I put her away.  I'm nearly done with the beautiful hummingbird in the middle.  This will be a gift for my Mom when I'm finished, if I can bear to part with it that is...LOL


Next up is one of the berries from Part 4 of the 12 Berries of Christmas by Erica Michaels.  This is the 12 Drummers Drumming, though you can only see feet at the moment.  LOL  I started this on a whim one night, and then went to bed, and when I woke up the next day the next portion of Linen and Threads SAL had been posted early.  I have never been this scatterbrained in my life...so here they sit, I will get to them shortly.  These patterns were a Birthday gift last year from my Hubby.....he really knows the way to my heart!  LOL

Next is Summer Schoolhouse Lessons part 1 from With Thy Needle & Thread.  *Sigh*  I have loved this since first glimpse.  It was a gift from DH.  I ordered the whole package from a needlework store that shall remain nameless, and have had one issue after another.  I'm not going into details, lets just say, I'm kinda sorta disappointed but in certain light I kinda like it.  The fabric is different than they call for and one of the threads is a bit off color from what is pictured on the pattern.  I will sit on it a while and decide if I want to do the rest on the same fabric or different or I might even change one or two of the colors.  I would love your honest opinion of this.  It's stitched on 28 count over one using the suggested colors but a little darker fabric.  Opinions?  Please be honest as I'm not quite sure myself.  I just finished this yesterday...told you I was hooked....LOL!!

Last is a piece I'm stitching for a patriotic theme exchange.  I am not going to list the pattern or probably show any other pictures of it until I have given the piece away.  I started this today and am struggling with counting and such...I've already had to frog a few stitches, so I may have to put it away for a bit.  I guess my mind is on other things today.

And then came my Christmas in July ornament that I received from Mouse over in Jolly Olde England.  I feel totally spoiled.  Isn't it lovely and so beautifully finished?  She also sent along the fabric it is sitting on hoping it would match my Linen and Threads SAL so I can finish it into a Huswife.  Next time I will try to take a picture of them together.  It's too dark today to get a good picture.  




I apologize for the crappy photos, it's a terrible day to take pictures.  I will try and do better on another day.

And that, as they say, is that!  See you next time, until then, happy stitching!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Winding Sideways....

Not the most original title....but I guess it kinda explains my mood.  I started to type Winding Down....but that's not really the case....so then I typed Winding Up, but that's not really the case either....so that's how I ended up with Winding Sideways.  We are nearing the end of our summer plans so hopefully things will get back to normal...

I have one more trip to make, and it's this week.  We will be leaving our son home while we travel to Elkins, WV.  I've never heard of it before, and I'm not sure why  my husband picked this place, but that's where we are headed.  I'll let you know what we find when we get there.  I searched the internet for cross stitch stores along the way.  Nope...couldn't find a thing.  *sigh*  So if any of you good folks out there know of a good stitch store for me to explore please let me know in the comments.  I'll keep watching to see....and I'll let you know!  We will be celebrating our 33rd anniversary!  He likes to surprise me with these trips....making all the plans...and then telling me where we are going as we are arriving (or sometimes, as in this case, just before we leave).  Yes, I'm spoiled, yes, he's a keeper, and yes, he has a brother...but I got the pick of the litter!!  LOL!!

It's been a wild and crazy summer.  With three trips to Northern NY, visitors galore, and lots of appointments last week, I finally have a couple of days when I didn't have to do anything, and I got caught up on a few things.  

I finally finished up the July installment of the Linen & Threads SAL....just in time for the August installment to get published...LOL  Here it is so far....with a couple of close up shots.





I got caught up on This Corner of Earth Mystery SAL by Tempting Tangles.  They published all the words which I'm thankful for.  So this is actually a few weeks worth, so I'm ahead of the game.  


And....last but not least, here is where I'm at with Sweet Nectar.  I REALLY should do some outlining, it's going to be a bear when I finally do get to some of that.  You can see where I started a little bit of the hummingbirds tail in the center of the circleWi.  That should be fun!  I'm still only about halfway done, I don't know why this one seems to be taking forever....but I will persevere.  



I decided to do a SAL with a few of my St. Michaels friends with Summerschool Lessons.  It finally arrived in the mail, but not all of us have received our items, so I'm waiting until we can all start together.  Hopefully after this weekend I'll be ready to start.  I just love this pattern!!

I'm aching to sink my teeth into this sampler as well.  I think these colors of fabric will be pretty when I'm ready to get started.  What do you think?  I wonder what I will actually finish this year?  I'll keep you posted.  


One of my trips to Northern NY I came home with a few treasures.  My Mom is at that stage that she is giving little trinkets and telling the stories behind them as she does.  This last trip she gave me this little plate that came from Mrs. Gamble's home (the original Mrs. Gamble of Proctor and Gamble fame) Seems my mother's Grandmother worked for the Gamble's (Mrs. Gamble was blind and she was her caregiver) and was given this plate from their table service.  It was something my mother always admired, so her grandmother gave it to her.  I can only imagine how old it must be considering my Mom just turned 80.

The other treasure is something we gave her and Dad one year for their anniversary when we still lived in Germany.   Just recently one of the Hummels I had in our grandfather clock took a tumble and broke.  She offered to replace it with this one that we had given her.  I always loved this little figurine.  Thanks Mom!!  (I'm going to miss the one that broke, though.)


I've been losing weight a little bit here and there.  It's a daily struggle, especially when DH brings home these......Oreo, as if you weren't good enough before, you had to test my will power even more?  You are diabolical...and YES...they are as good as they look.  Since they are flavored coffee tasting, I have declared them breakfast food.  I'm surprisingly self controlled with these things, making them last as long as possible!  LOL



I ran errands like a crazy person today (two days until we leave) and one of them was to my LNS where a couple of wayward items sacrificially jumped into my basket.  When I get back, if I remember, I'll post pictures of my stash enhancement....especially if I find a cross stitch store between here and Elkins, WV!  I'm also thinking of having another giveaway....so watch this space!  

Just learned Katie is back in the hospital tonight.  She has a bacterial infection they can't seem to control with any known antibiotic.  They recently released a new one and they will be starting her on that one hopefully today.  They want to monitor her for a while to make sure she tolerates it ok so admitted her today.  Good thoughts and prayers are appreciated!  Thank you to those who have asked about her and prayed for her before.

See you  next time!  Till then, happy stitching!