Friday, November 19, 2010

I've been so neglectful...

I am still here, but it's been a busy time since mid August due to traveling and once again a computer breakdown that has lasted about a month. I promise to update very soon. Gotta get my email back to working but in the meantime I am really here to ask for prayers for Peggy, my friend with ALS. Her time is near and she and her family could use as many prayers as possible. Thank you so much and I will be back with more when I can.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Some antique samplers

It's a lazy day and I thought I'd upload some unrelated photos of antique samplers. I think they are fun to look at.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Day One--Antique Samplers

If you know me or have been reading here any length of time, even five minutes,this is a pretty obvious and easy to guess love of mine, antique samplers. I don't know what first attracted me to them, probably many things, the history, the handmade crafting of them, the colors, the verses. I never tire of seeing a sampler whether antique or newly designed but the antique ones fulfill something within me. So I thought it was appropriate to start Day One of my 100 things I like in 100 days project with something obvious and a subject most here can identify with. I think they speak for themselves.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today I received this wonderful piece in honor of my mother from my good friend, Janet. Janet and I have known each other at least 10 years and have been through quite a few trials and tribulations together and I appreciate her gift and thoughtfulness more than she realizes. Thanks again gf, I'm always here for you just like I know you are for me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

July/August 2010 Just Cross Stitch

I was happy to see I had two designs in the recent Just Cross Stitch issue.
It's hard to see but the ornament I designed is the one in the upper right corner with the small reindeer and the second piece is called "Summer Song" and is stitched on 28 ct black linen. I love the way JCS framed the piece. I wouldn't have thought of using a brown frame but after seeing it I can't imagine what other color would have looked as nice. Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

And finally, where have I been the last two months?

The answer to that is mainly West Coast... Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada again. Oh and Phoenix too, not that being there is unusual for me but I may as well add it to the list.

I've been a bum, thinking only of myself and no one else, running around playing with friends and ignoring everything at home. It's been a way to relax, distract and give myself a chance to think. I've loved it and I've felt guilty but overall it was wonderful. And thank you dear, devoted David for being so understanding, smooch. I am blessed and I know it.

I started out with a trip to Oregon to visit my friend Laurel. I've known her since my son and her daughter were in first grade together. They are now 23 so it's been a while. One thing about Tucson, no one seems to stay for long. In the 20 years we've lived here, I've had seven good friends move away and Laurel was one. But like any good friend, the minute you reconnect, the time and distance disappear and it's like you never parted.

Laurel has a home in Oregon and one in Nevada. I also visited her in January, once again thinking only of myself and having a fabulous time. She mothers me, listens to me, pampers me and comforts me. She's like my husband but a better cook and doesn't work like he does so we can run around and do whatever we like.

This trip it was thrift stores! Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, Deseret Industries, and many little private charity thrift stores. I shipped home 6 boxes of stuff, good stuff I might add. Everyone is getting thrift store for Christmas this year.There's your warning, no complaints, no whining! My sister got a thrift store, specially-chosen-for-her item as a housewarming present. It's so her, so retro, so Brady Bunch, so...mushroomy? OK, you decide:

These came from Carson City, Nevada and are now on her stove for all to admire ;-) As I said, they are so HER.

I've never been to the Oregon coast so we hopped up to Seaside Oregon for a day and since the ocean is my favorite atmosphere I was in heaven. Big, broad, windy, chilly beaches...

After a bit of time in Oregon we drove to Nevada,

and did our usual rearranging furniture, decorating projects and I painted mirrors and all kinds of things black. I was picking black paint off my hands for days. Here's a before photo of one thrift store mirror, wish I had the "after" photo:

The idea here was to paint different shapes and sizes of mirrors black to hang on her dining room wall.

We hung out for 10 days and drove back to Oregon, spent 3 days in Portland and I then flew to Seattle and met up with my husband so we could visit our daughter pictured below with hubby at the Japanese Gardens in Seattle:

It was wonderful to see Maggie and her boyfriend and meet his parents. We happened to be there during mid-terms but still had fun seeing her life, friends and college life in Seattle. One of the highlights of the trip was looking outside our hotel window exactly a month to the day my mother died and seeing a rainbow:

If you have followed some of my recent posts you'll realize that for me it was an important sign that my mother made it "home".

We were back in Arizona for a week and then went to Catalina Island for our 25th anniversary.

Another two weeks and Nick arrived home, tired and dirty after spending the night in the Atlanta airport but it is wonderful to have him home. We've missed both our kids this past year.

And in a week, Maggie will be home for a week.
And that's the update from here, in a house with air conditioning kaput and an over 100 degree day. If I don't move around too suddenly I can stay cool. The a/c man can't get here soon enough tomorrow...

What lurks behind the refrigerator?

I have no shame so I will show you:

Yes, I will stand and be counted among the nameless many who are sneaky housekeepers. If you can't see the dirt, it doesn't get cleaned until absolutely necessary. Along those same lines, the clutter may be picked up, but don't open a closet door or you could receive a severe head injury.

So the necessity to clean under the refrigerator was due to painting our kitchen and family room 2 months ago. I love it now that it's done and am thankful hubby and I had an easy time doing it. Sometimes divorce threats hang heavily unspoken when we do these kinds of projects. Here are the finished family room walls, that color is called "Sagey":

And now for no reason at all other than to show why we live in Arizona and love it:

Some designs

Hello all, long time no see. I am feeling the guilt of not posting anything and will update the needlework stuff in this post and move on to another post with just a plain update. I'll start with 2 designs I had published in the current issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.
Here are two small photos I snagged off their site:

I have a couple other pieces to be published this summer I believe.JCS has had one on hold since I sent it to them last summer so it will be as much a surprise to me as to anyone when it is published. This is a sneak peek of one in progress that should be in the magazine soon.

Sadly, that is the last and about only thing I have designed and stitched this year. My mind has been away from the needlework world and is having a hard time reconnecting to that part of my life. I have a few different hobbies this year and I know I'll return to the world of stitching, after all, I have stitched since I was a kid and it will always be a part of me. I like to think of this stretch as a simple break or a rest while I adjust to a new stretch of my life.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Does everyone think they have the best mom in the world? I know I always felt that way. My mother was a loving, caring mother who had a magnetic personality and the best sense of humor. She died on Saturday after a long struggle with dementia and though her passing is sad, I am very thankful that she is free of that struggle now. I have grieved and missed her so much the past 5 years and more, so I look upon her death as the culmination of what my siblings and I have been wishing for her, a release to a better place and very much a blessing. The worn-out phrase "she is at peace now" has never been my favorite but I now realize how true it is.

There are so many things about my mother that can't be captured in words, though she loved words and phrases and taught us from the time we were young all kinds of crazy things to say. One is now a family phrase that has been passed on to the grandkids too: "no thank you, I've had an elegant sufficiency, anymore would be a superfluity to my obnoxious capacity". In other words: "no thank you, I'm full".

My mom was a mom to so many others too. There were four of us and we all had friends who loved visiting and talking to her. I used to swear some of my friends were only interested in coming by and chatting with my mom, to heck with me, I was just the vehicle that led to her. Her favorite years were when we were babies and again when we were teens. The middle years of childhood were most likely a lot of work but she loved it when we finally became old enough to be more interesting.

My mother had an instinctive sense on how to handle people. She was charming, to put it mildly, and she could get people to happily come around to her way of thinking. It came in handy for many reasons but especially because she worked as a nurse after we were grown and gone. Her patients loved her. She had a caring attitude but she never took herself seriously and was able to get the most unhappy or obstinate patient to have a new and better attitude by the time her shift was done. They would always ask to have her back as their nurse. She looked on difficult patients as a challenge that gave her much joy to conquer. Patients that other nurses felt were too much trouble, she'd ask to have and would have them eating out of her hand in no time flat. It was a gift.

She never met a stranger. She'd talk to everyone,she never picked a fight,she hated dissent and worked hard to turn dissension into peacefulness. She made it look easy. I was never embarrassed by her, funny thing to say because most children and especially teens at one time or another are embarrassed by their mothers but in retrospect, she never gave us reason to regret or complain about who she was or what she did. Whatever she did or said was always just right. She never made herself out to be more important than anyone else and she respected where people were coming from and was not judgmental. That doesn't mean she didn't have judgment but she never used it maliciously which is a rare quality. Somehow she was always able to rise above pettiness and would often say it wasn't worth wasting time on worry or being unhappy. She was a bit like Scarlet O'Hara in that she'd "think about that tomorrow". It worked for her.

There is something sacred to be said of the quiet hero mothers who cook, clean, take care of their kids, keep them safe, attend their functions, love them when they aren't loveable, rejoice in their happiness and give their hearts to them in their failures and sadness. My mother had her heart out waving unprotected in four different places in the world and she was one of those motherly heroes. She was a mother, a friend,a sister, a daughter, a wife, a nurse and she felt her most important contribution to the world were independent children who had a core foundation of love. I'm sure I never said thank you enough when you were alive Mom but I hope you can see and feel it in me now. I'll miss you Mom and only hope I can live up to your wonderful legacy.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Finishes from Stitchers

I am so ashamed of myself for holding onto these photos for over a year! Yes, there is something wrong with me but I don't know if it has a name. Please forgive me Kathy! Kathy wrote me an email last year and enclosed the photo above and below of my design "Deftly Wrought":
I completed the project and submitted to the 2008 Maryland State Fair in the sampler category. I took second place and have attached 2 pictures of my finished project. I did not use a mat when framing but still think it is great. It was a fun project and I am happy to display in my home.
Thank you for such a wonderful design. Kathy Wissmann

And below is the framed finish of "Peaceful Paradise" from Kyri Fuss in Adelaide, South Australia. It's interesting that I received the photo from her today as I just took my model off the wall to move it to another spot over the fireplace and I've been looking at it all day. Kyri wrote: (please forgive the flash spot in the middle, I couldn't get a good
photo without it - it's an overcast day)

I fussy-cut the thread for the orange flowers in the centre, so that
they all went from dark to light from centre out, which was an
exercise in obsessive-ness but the result was awesome :)

I can't stop looking at it, hanging on the wall opposite where I stitch.

Thank you so much for an absolutely beautiful design. I've had so many
compliments from stitchers and non-stitchers while working on it and
after :)

Thank you so much for sending the photos. One took me a year to put in the blog and the other I got up within the day so maybe I can work on a happy medium next time!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adam and Eve Samplers

One of the favorite themes in antique samplers is Adam and Eve. I thought I'd put up a few of the photos I've collected of these samplers and hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


My sister and I have been discussing rainbows for the past year and a half. We live in Arizona, not exactly the rainbow capitol of the world, yet have seen more rainbows in the past 18 months than we have ever seen previously.

Rainbows have always been a big deal to me, they are just so magical, a little gift from God saying hello. So believe me when I say, I might see a rainbow once a year here in the land where we get maybe 10 inches of rain per year, but never once a month which has been happening since Thanksgiving 2008. The last rainbow I saw is in the above photo, taken last month in Nevada.

And now that my sister and I are attuned to seeing rainbows, we are seeing them everywhere. Last month I was talking to her on the phone with the TV on in the background. We were talking rainbows (again) and a commercial appeared where a leprechaun carried a pot of gold over to a cardboard rainbow and set it underneath. I don't even remember what the commercial was advertising. I was just so stunned to see it while talking with her.

My daughter's dance recital this year was "The Wizard of Oz" and my sister was with me. Again we were talking rainbows and like idiots weren't even thinking that the ultimate rainbow song is "Over the Rainbow" until the whole cast came on stage in multi-colored costumes and danced to the song. We looked at each other with wide eyes and OMG mouths. One of our mother's favorite songs was Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow". So one connection made, these rainbows have to do with Mom.

I have been re-reading the Bible this year, my only new year's resolution, and turned to Noah's story to see what is said about rainbows. This is Genesis Chapter 9 verse 11:
11And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

So another puzzle solved. My Dad's birthday was Sept 11th. Chapter 9 verse 11...

My feelings are my Dad is showing my sister and I that he is with our mother. He is saying his covenant with her has not broken since his death and neither has his covenant with his children. She has dementia and except for a few devoted friends and her children, her life is extremely limited. To know he is with her while she lives out the last bit of her life is extremely comforting. I think the rainbows will stop when she does. In the meantime, thanks Dad, we have needed to see these and we have always known you are still with us and your love for Mom is endless.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Long Overdue Update!

Christmas came and went, children came and went, I went and came back and stitched a little in between. The last 6 weeks have been a storm of emotions, happiness and sadness, full house and empty nest. Today is quiet and I have time to update here.

I had a wonderful experience a couple days ago on the 2nd anniversary of a good friend's death. One birthday, she had given me a small pitcher from England and I began finding them when I traveled and shopped. One from Mexico, another from Poland, you get the idea. Then I stopped finding them even though I purposely would search for them. The 2nd anniversary date, I was in Nevada with a friend and we came upon a clearance rack at a store and the small white pitcher pictured above was on sale for $1. When I looked at it closer, what I thought were little stars on the belly of the pitcher turned out to be X's, as in cross stitch X's and important in my mind since needlework is a love we shared. It wasn't until I bought the pitcher that I realized it was the 2nd anniversary of her death. I've changed and learned through the years and something I would have considered a coincidence years ago, is no longer a coincidence in my mind. Rest in Peace Anne, I miss you.

I received this Engish Cottage Sampler by Chessie and Me for my birthday last year and immediately started working on it. I was so tired of only stitching my own designs and made relatively good progress until Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday seasons began. I just pulled it out again today and think I'll continue stitching it ASAP, the colors are gorgeous.

As mentioned above, I was visiting a good friend near Lake Tahoe and what was supposed to be a week long trip turned into a month due to various factors including a snowstorm. She taught me how to force bulbs so yesterday I planted four Paperwhite bulbs and can't wait for the roots to start growing around the marbles in the bowl.

It turned out to be an excellent idea to stay a month as I feel much better emotionally and physically than I did after Christmas when it got quiet around here again, my kids went back to college and I was sick with pneumonia. Now I feel ready to tackle new projects and get my life back on track. My intuitive daughter told me the other day that we are going through the same problem at the moment. How is that? She said she has had to find a new identity at college as her old identity from high school is gone. She is no longer the Japanese speaking, viola playing, black belt girl. Well, yes, the Japanese is still there as that is her major but she is one of many now and the viola is stored in our hall closet and her black belt is languishing until she finds a group that she feels comfortable working out with. As for me, I've devoted over 20 years of my life to raising kids and suddenly they are gone so I'm rummaging around in my mind, shuffling through ideas and trying to forge a new identity beyond motherhood. I'm still a work in progress.

And now to the good part, this is Nick on Christmas Eve. We were so happy to have him home from Thanksgiving until right after the New Year. He's funny, gentle and artistic and we couldn't ask for a more unique, creative son.

My daughter, Maggie, brought home her boyfriend Noel from college. He stayed with us a week until we put him back on the plane to Seattle Christmas afternoon. Maggie stayed on another week until she too had to return to college. We loved finally meeting Noel, he was all we imagined and hope to get to know him even better in the future and maybe stay in one place for a bit. We hit all the local attractions plus spent 2 nights in Mexico, not to mention Christmas. It was a whirlwind but a fun ride nonetheless. BTW, that's our oldest cat Snowflake in the photo, looking appropriately catlike and cranky.

I'm stitching an ornament for the 2010 JCS Christmas issue plus one for their preview Christmas issue. I'll get back to work now.

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