Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I love to decorate for Christmas. This is a picture of the tree we display in our living room. My husband patiently hangs the icicle lights around the crown molding from the ceiling. In this photo you can see the lights hanging down. The walls are painted red leather and the trim is the aging technique both are Ralph Lauren techniques. It was painfully time consuming to do but the results were definitely worth it. My living room and dining room have white furniture with red and white toile. Christmas decorations really look good and I have fun decorating.

This picture is from our dining room and picks up the icicle lights a little better. The Santa hats on the dining room chairs I bought at Michael's and tea stained to get the aged look. My stepfather told me I am the only person that he knows that bought a new house and made it look old on the inside. I got quite a chuckle out of that because I love the old vintage look. Especially old furniture that needs to meet a can of white paint.

Christmas Eve we always go to church for the Christmas Eve Service, eat dinner at a Chinese restaurant and the boys are allowed to open one gift. Needless to say the one gift they get to open are the Pajamas they are to promptly put on and wear to open their gifts the next day. Amazingly, all three boys still believe in Santa (wink-wink....maybe it had something to do with the threat "If you ruin it for Lance there will be nothing for the two of you.")

The next morning all three arrived with their Christmas
pajamas on. We separate out the gifts and each person has their pile. We start with the youngest opening all their gifts. Lance had met Santa when we were in Kingsport and told him he wanted a pocket rocket. Once we got home he was upset because he didn't give him his list and he was worried Santa wouldn't bring the pocket rocket because he was too little to ride it. He was afraid he would have nothing under the tree at all due to not properly delivering his list to Santa.

I promptly informed him, I made a copy and mailed it to Santa for him. He was definitely relieved when he realized that Santa did get his list and brought him the Didj he had put on the list along with the appropriate games. All was well with the world once this package was opened.

Once Lance finished it was John's turn to open up his gifts. We try really hard to help Santa get what they put on their list. Fortunately, he didn't have a really long list. We were able to get him what he asked for. He seemed pleased. But John is always happy with whatever...he never is disappointed. He is definitely our easy middle child.

Then on to William our oldest. He wasn't really expecting much we paid for repairs his car needed. So I think he was pleasantly surprised Santa brought him some extras he was not expecting. This is a rare smile that I was actually able to catch only thing was he would not look at the camera. For such a big guy he sure is shy.

I also was able to take pictures of John and Lance with their stockings.

William wasn't as cooperative...he didn't want to get up to go get his stocking.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I had a wonderful time - it is always a lot of work, but so worth it. I hit some of the sales today and tomorrow I plan on relaxing a little before I have to start putting everything away. So glad I am off of work next week.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snows a coming....

Looks like this is going to be our year to get snow. We had a snow fall a few weeks ago. I was able to capture for the first time my antique sleigh with snow on it!!

They are calling for approximately 15 inches. I can't wait and I am so glad I don't have to go to work tomorrow. I am suppose to go with my mom and her friend to see the Rockets downtown. I will have to see how bad the snow is. Tonight I will do like all good Washingtonian's and run to the grocery store. For those of you not from the area for as long as I can remember everyone goes to the grocery store to get toilet paper, bread and milk. Don't ask me is just the way it is.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hope everyone is sitting down....

Actual stitching has taken place.....

Every since Thanksgiving things have been full speed ahead - I can't believe Christmas is a week away. Then I will be off until after the first of the year. Maybe after all the Christmas stuff is put away I can actually stitch. I know my favorite local needlework store In Stitches is having a sale after Christmas.....maybe Santa will bring me some MONEY!!!!

I have finished the stitching on my husbands stocking, but still need to add the charms - time got away from me. I also started on the Noel stocking by Blackbird designs. I modified the colors fortunately it is a fast item to stitch.

Last weekend we went to Mt. Vernon for their candlelight tour. If you are in the Washington, DC metro area I highly recommend it. Our boys enjoyed it as much as we did. I look forward to going back again next year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving

I had a great time visiting family in Tennessee. My mom's family is pretty large - that is what happens when you are the middle of 16. So we had approximately 50 - 55 people participate this Thanksgiving. Even though it is Thanksgiving it is treated more like Christmas since everyone gets together for Thanksgiving. Every year the younger ones exchange presents. Here they are patiently waiting...Lance our youngest is decked out in his John Deere attire and waiting eagerly....

Getting a little can see it in their eyes "Can we get this show on the road???"

Now that they have their gifts they begin to open their you can tell my little guy loves John Deere anything...and everyone knows it....makes him very easy to buy for.

After the younger kids finished up, we let the older kids play the GAME. I am not sure what the name of this game is called but it goes like this. You pull a number the higher your number the better (I had 20 - YEAH!!!) and you can either open your gift or take the gift of someone else's that you like. This year for the first time we had the kids between 10 and 16 play the game. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 14 playing this game. We had one who had a melt down and then we had a scuffle break out between the girls...girls??? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT??? I remember when I was a little girl we were expected to act like ladies....boy have things changed.

The boys were more polite than the girls. Here is John our middle son, patiently waiting and looking a little bored.

As you can tell my mom's family is camera crazy - it must be part of their gene pool...everyone in the photo are one of the sister's - they always have a camera. My mom is the third one from the left - yes they all resemble one another as well.

Once the older kids finished it was the adults turn. This is always a fun game and I am amazed at how adults can become kids again. My cousin would not be happy with this photo, but the game can really get to you when you are in the middle of playing it. Here is my cousin who is about 6' 2" and is a farmer who donned an apron, potholders and walked around with the bowl that we began to throw money into. He ended up collecting $50 bucks and donating it to the my aunts church that we use for the get together.

It is really hard to describe how much fun it is to play and go after gifts just for the fun of it. Or maybe it is just everyone getting together after not seeing each other for such a long time.

A couple of years ago, which was the last time I went my cousin passed away the Friday after Thanksgiving. He was 21 and had suffered from cerebal palsy from birth. I was not able to go the funeral I just couldn't do it. We did go to the cemetary this trip and I have included below the poem my aunt (his mother) wrote on his plaque the cemetary does not allow tombstones. I took a photo and included below along with a picture of Lance cleaning off my uncles plaque.

On our excursions to the Antique Store we ran into Santa. Lance didn't know what to think of Santa just walking the streets of Kingsport, Tennessee. However, he did take full advantage of having a private session with Santa.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am spending Thanksgiving in Tennessee with my mom's family this year so I spent today getting my decorations out and getting things ready for our trip. I will leave early Wednesday morning so I wanted to get a jump on things. I haven't made the trip for a couple of years now so I am looking forward to seeing everyone. My mom is from a family of 16 yes 16 children so it is usually a pretty good size get together. The boys are going to go with me my husband will stay at home - too much commotion for him. After dinner the tradition is to have a gift exchange and it is always fun because you are allowed to take someone else's gift you like their gift. I always like to get a gift that may cause a little bit of fun. Hopefully, I will be successful with my gift this year.

I have finished my husbands stocking - I just need to add the embellishments and then take it my local needlework store In Stitches to be finished. I probably won't have it back in time for Christmas, but my husband said it would be fine.

I will do my best to get better at posting and adding pictures.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Little Guy's Birthday!

Yesterday was our youngest sons 6th birthday. He came home from the hospital on Wednesday and you would never know he was sick.

Looking at him now you would never know he was 10 weeks early and weighed 2 lbs 8 oz. A far cry from where he is today.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Well here I sit with my son in the hospital. He was brought in yesterday and looks like he has the flu - not sure if it is H1N1 waiting for the results. He will be here until he is fever free. My husband and I are taking turns staying with him. I remember being in the hospital as a kid and having to share the room with four other children and that included the TV, yes TV not even cable at that time. Now my son is in a private room with a couch that turns into a bed for mom or dad. Two - yes two tv's with DVD player and Playstation 3.....unbelieveable. He is resting right now so we will see what the doctor tells us when she comes in later today.

I have almost finished my Brett Stocking for my husband. I will finally take a picture to share. I am horrible with remembering to take photos and upload them.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Interesting couple of weeks....

The last few weeks at work have been extremely busy, which is a very good thing but leaves time for little else. I did attend the DC Big Flea last weekend and purchased my first quality antique sampler, which I absolutely feel in love with. I am considering reproducing it, so right now I am researching the sampler to find out what I can about it. I have bought a couple of other samplers, but nothing of this quality. I was so excited to find it and to be able to own it. I have it proudly hanging in my office.

I leave next week to go to EGA's seminar in Pittsburgh, so glad it isn't this weekend after the G20 Summit. I really don't know why any city would want to host these summits given the protest that go along with them. I will be attending the Judging class which is a component of the Appraisal program I began in June. If anyone is interested in having their needlework appraised, feel free to contact me. It is a good idea to have appraisals for insurance purposes for needlework you have produced, family heirlooms or your collection.

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

West Town School and Strawberry Sampler

I had a wonderful day yesterday visiting West Town School with my Sampler Guild. My mom who is not a member was a trooper and went with me. We began the morning with a lecture and then we divided into two groups. We took turns visiting the archives where the majority of the samplers are hung and then upstairs visiting the various rooms where samplers are displayed throughout the school. I was able to take pictures, but we had to agree not publish them they are for our personal use only. After we finished with the West Town portion of the visit there was a second lecture by Carol - I apologize I do not know her last name and I will have to find out. She talked about Sarah Boone and the history of Oley Valley, which was very interesting. We left early I believe the second portion of her discussion was going to be focusing on Quaker Samplers. I hurt my back several months ago and I just can't sit very long or walk for very long so it was time for us to head back home since it is a little bit of a drive for me. After West Town my mom and I found Strawberry Sampler which is an adorable store with some very nice ladies working there. The models they had were absolutely gorgeous. I love going to different stores just for that reason to see the different models and to be inspired! I picked up the May, June and July Blackbird Designs Stocking Series so I am now up to date I believe August isn't in the stores yet. I may be wrong so don't quote me. We stopped by Applebee's for lunch and then headed home. Once I got home I was able to take my medicine and put ice on my back. Boy who knew ice could feel so good!!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crazy week so far....

This week has been extremely busy at work, which is a good thing. However, it lives very little time to stitch. I am looking forward to my trip this Saturday, hopefully the storm in the Atlantic Ocean stays over the ocean and doesn't come up the East coast too closely. Oh, well I will make sure to tak an umbrella and to dress appropriately.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where does the time go?

This week has went by very fast! I am continuing to make progress on Brett and I have to admit it is somewhat refreshing to intersperse with the Long Dog Sampler I am working on. I have included a partial photo of the Long Dog Sampler below. I am working it on 36ct Edinburgh Cream linen and using Gloriana Threads - Cranberry.

Next week I am going with my sampler guild to West Town School in Pennsylvania. The link I have included will take you to the information they have on their site in regards to their sampler collection. Our Guild Program Chair has arranged for us to have a tour next Saturday morning. I am looking forward to the trip and learning about the samplers they have in their collection. After our tour we are planning to stop by The Strawberry Sampler. I have never been to either location so I am looking forward to the trip.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Plugging along

I am making quite a bit of progress on Brett. I will add a current photo of my progress a little later today. This is such a quick stitch compared to the Long Dog Sampler I am working on which I will add a photo of as well. I can't believe we are in the middle of August already. The boys will be back in school before I know it. Where in the world does the time go??? Oh well, off to get my hair done.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sampler Guild Retreat

This past weekend I attended my sampler guilds annual retreat. It was so peaceful and such a great time to spend with others whom enjoy stitching as much as I do. My summer has been insanely busy since my son graduated, my brother and his family moving to Minnesota, traveling for work. It was so nice to get away and truly relax. The location is a quiet hotel that does not have T.V's, telephones and my cell phone doesn't work. Can you say pure bliss!

I began my husband's christmas stocking which is Shepherd Bush's Brett Stocking which I included a photo of below.
I have already finished the stockings for our boys and I have pictures of them below and how I display them at Christmas time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I am so horrible.....

At posting to my blog....

As you can tell it has been three months. I thought I was close to finishing my design however, I have decided to add several more elements to it so hopefully I will be able to share it with everyone soon.

I am so excited I have been accepted to participate in the Certified Needlework Appraiser offered thru which will be in June. The assignments include choosing what your appraisal focus will be. I am going to focus on early American and European Samplers. Pretty broad and I will probably narrow it down as I learn more but is a good start. I love early American Samplers and are actually drawn to all old samplers. Another part of the preparation is to evaluate samplers and to visit auctions, estate sales, antique stores, yard sales in pursuit of samplers that might be out there.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

This past week....

Well last Sunday I was in a car accident first thing in the morning. Of course it completely ruined my whole day...actually my whole week. I planned on spending Sunday working on the wording for my current project, but after the accident I couldn't do anything. Fortunately, the week progressed well and I am almost finished with the wording. On to the border and then I will be able to complete my project. I am still toying with how I want to finish the project. I was thinking of turning it into a stitchers notebook. The design on the front, poem on the back, wrought by on the binder and inside a place for thread holders, pin cushion and practice stitches. I am still contemplating how I want to finish the project. This is turning out to be a lot of fun and I am amazed at how the design has evolved as I have worked on the project and modified along the way. I have really enjoyed the process.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The weather has been so cold here and my little boy has had a cold. We ventured out to the mall this morning. I am getting ready to finish the front of my needlecase. I am contemplating making some changes before I move on to the next piece. It is amazing how I started from a draft of my design and how much it has evolved once I began to stitch it. I will have to go back and modify my original design to accurately reflect what the designed has migrated to. I have so many other designs going thru my head I need to capture them when I think of them so I can start on them next.