Sunday, November 15, 2015

Under the weather...

Hello fellow stitchers!

Hope this finds all of you enjoying your Fall days!  I apologize for being away for so long.  However, I have had quite a time with being sick.

It all started September 18th when my husband was diagnosed with chest congestion, an ear infection and pink eye in BOTH eyes.  YIKES!  I worked like a dog all weekend to clean and stay healthy - but I was not so lucky.  I contracted the chest stuff and the ear infection.  Luckily, I dodged the pink eye bullet.

The ear infection was bad enough, but the cough from the chest congestion was. absolutely. horrible.  I coughed so hard...well, lets just say that my bladder was rarely full.  The ear infection cleared up within a week and a half - the chest stuff and cough have been constant companions ever since.

Two antibiotics, five doctors visits, four sick days and many vials of blood tests later - we still do not know what is going on.  I have been tested for pneumonia, bronchitis, allergies, Lyme's Disease, thyroid disorder and rheumatoid arthritis.  I carry a low grade fever most days - and am absolutely exhausted.  The fatigue is awful.  My joints ache and I feel like I am 100 years old.  I took a picture of all the medicines that I have been on since this stuff began -



I am feeling better today than I have in a long time.  I am hoping that this signals an end to the plague.  This ordeal has taught me several things:

1.  Never, ever take your good health for granted.
2.  When you are sick and you feel like crud, Little Debbie Crunch Donuts can make a world of difference.
3.  Never underestimate the power of Tussinex.  It has been my best friend.
4.  Cats really are the best nurses.
5.  I work with a wonderful group of people.  They have shown a level of care and concern that made me feel better even when I didn't think I could make it through the day.
6.  My family's concern has also helped me keep a positive outlook.    I may be staring 40 right in the eye but nothing soothes like a call from mom when you are sick :-)

So, it is my sincere hope that I will be back to normal soon.  The doc ordered more tests - we are narrowing things down - and it looks like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I will keep you up to date.  

One thing I have been able to do is reorganize my stitching stuff.  I will share some of my finds in the next couple of days :-)

Till next time, peeps!  Keep stitchin'!
Valerie

And the Winner Is...

Better late than never!  So sorry for the tardiness of my announcement :-)

A BIG THANK YOU to all that entered!  I am so glad to connect and reconnect with you!  

Roscoe helped with the picture taking activities...




I used the Random.org Random Number Generator - and the winner is #6 Marsha!!!



Congrats Marsha!  I will email you with the details!!

Even though we are closer to Thanksgiving than to Halloween, I hope Marsha will still enjoy her Halloween Haul!  

Talk to you later, peeps!
Valerie

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

From the ashes...

Hello dear readers!

I hope this post finds you enjoying this first full week of October!  I was just saying today that I cannot believe that it is October - it seems like yesterday that it was July!

I am hosting a Halloween Giveaway on my blog!  If you would like to enter, click HERE to enter!  I am giving away the entire set of Lizzie Kate Halloween Rules charts AND a piece of Picture This Plus linen to stitch those cuties on!  Head on over and check it out!

Now, on to other things - I need some advice!

A couple of years ago, I started this piece - Matter's Choice by Carriage House Samplings.  I saw a model of it stitched at Haus Tirol in Williamsburg and fell in LOVE with it!



I started stitching the larger pattern on a 36 ct Lakeside Linens Sand Dune - with NPI Williamsburg Blue - a gorgeous combination!




But I put it aside but kept it on the scroll rods in case I got the urge to stitch again.  Well, last winter our furnace started to malfunction.  We have an oil burning furnace - and it began to spew little bits of soot EVERYWHERE and over EVERYTHING.  It was not pleasant, especially because the soot was so difficult to clean.

Enter my Matter's Choice.

I thought that it was safe and sound - but I was wrong.  Because it was not covered, some of the soot made its way to my sampler.  You can see some of the black bits in these pictures....




So, I am trying to figure out what to do!  As soon as I touch the stuff it smears and will never come out.  I am thinking about using the vacuum cleaner on it to see if I can get the soot off that way first.

Any ideas???  I am willing to try just about anything to salvage my sampler!!  Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Hope you guys are having a great week!  And remember, stop by my post HERE and enter the Halloween Giveaway!!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Let's Celebrate Halloween with a Giveaway!!!

Hello dear readers!

I hope this finds everyone happy, healthy and ready for a new week!

As many of you know, I have been going through my stash and clearing out the old to make room for the new!  It has been fun going through things - and I have been amazed at what I have accumulated over the years.

I have also been going through my blog list and have found that a lot of people have left the blogging world.  However, I have also found some great new blogs!

So, I got to thinkin' - how 'bout I have a give away!!  That way I can find new blogs to read but I can also reconnect with my loyal, tried and true followers and their blogs!

Since Halloween is upon us I decided to give away ALL SIX of the Lizzie Kate "Halloween Rules" charts AND fabric to go with it!  The fabric is 32 ct. Picture this Plus - it is little over a Fat 8th (I measured 10 x 22 and a fat 8th is 9x21) - but I do not know the color, sorry!  What I do know is the color is perfect for a Halloween stitching!  I have pictures below...



The deadline is Sunday, October 18 at midnight!  I will draw the winner on Monday, October 19.

How to enter:

1. Leave a comment with your email on THIS post for one entry.
2. Leave a comment, and post on your blog about this giveaway for at total of THREE entries!
3. Don't have a blog?  Leave a comment, then tell a friend with a blog about my blog!  Email them to check me out and also put a link to their blog in your comment.  That will give you THREE entries!
5.  Have a blog and a good friend with a blog?  Then leave a comment, post this giveaway on your blog, email a friend and leave a link to their blog in the comments, and you will have a total of FIVE entries!!!

I am limiting the number of friends to ONE.  However, if you have more than one friend with a blog (which I am sure you do!) then tell me about them!  The more the merrier!

I look forward to reconnecting with my old blog buddies as well as meeting a ton of new ones!  If you have any questions about the giveaway - don't hesitate to email me!  valiehokie@gmail.com

Till next time - keep stitching!
Valerie

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Antique Needlework and Printing Pictures

Hello dear readers!

It is a lovely fall day here in the Shenandoah!  The sun is shining and the birds are chirping - it is a little warm - but in my world it is perfect!

Unfortunately, I have been a little under the weather the past couple of days.  Hubby brought home more than the bacon last week (hehehe) and I was the lucky recipient of his crud.

Since I have been trying to take it easy, I took the time to start organizing my pictures - the ones ON my computer.  The digital age has been great for taking pictures; however, if you are like me, my pictures rarely get PRINTED.  That is a shame.  So, I have been trying to get my pictures organized so that I can print them in some sort of orderly and efficient manner.  I am trying to not get overwhelmed - I have digital pictures that go all the way back to

It has been a lot of fun looking back at my pictures - and I have stumbled across some really fun photos!  One really caught my eye and I knew that I just had to share here on the blog!

In 2011, hubby and I went to Williamsburg for our anniversary.  We just love Williamsburg but we also love taking the ferry across the James River to Surry and Smithfield.  These places are so very rich in history.  We stumbled across Smith's Fort Plantation during our first trip in 2009 but it was closed - on our return 2011 trip the house was open for tours!  And what an amazing tour!  If you are in the Williamsburg area, I highly recommend taking the ferry (it is free!) to Smithfield/Surry County and visiting the Smith's Fort Plantation!

Here is a brief history -

The site is just across the James River from the original Jamestown site.  It is called Smith's Fort because Captain John Smith began construction of a second fort on the land where the house sits.  The land was also a land grant wedding present to John Rolfe and Pocahontas!  The house itself was built sometime around 1751 - and what a beautiful house!  It is one and a half stories tall and while it is not huge, it feels like a home.

I was in awe of the house but the upstairs revealed quite a spectacular surprise.  On top of a simple chest was the most beautiful needlework bible/book cover!  My eyes found it and I immediately asked the tour guide about it.  Unfortunately, the lady did not know much about it other than it was purchased by the Rockefeller Foundation (the foundation that restored the house and all of Williamsburg) and dated to the late 1600's possibly early 1700's.  The cover was in a protective case (which was good because I am sure my drool would have found its way onto the precious needlework had it not been protected) so the pictures do not do the cover justice.  It appeared to be stitched on silk gauze with silk thread and glass beads.  Simply.  Stunning.

Here are the pictures that I took inside the house - I will start with the book cover - it is glorious!




 These cabinets were built into the wall - what a great idea!  And they make for interesting room furnishing.  Much more aesthetically pleasing than a plain wall.

 Here is a good picture of both cabinets flanking the fire place.  So simple, yet so beautiful!



 One of the bedrooms - I love the blue toile!
This baby cradle was so lovely.  If you look closely, you will see the bottom rocker is smaller/thinner  than the top rocker - that is because the wood has been worn down by the centuries of feet rocking the cradle - probably while the mother was in her chair working on her needlework!
 This remarkable table dates to 1709!!  Look at the beautiful wood work/carving!

This is a wooden dough bowl - it was excavated at the Smith's Fort Plantation site.  They believe it is hundreds of years old.  It was used to mix dough and then allow it to rise.  There was also a wooden roller made from the same wood.  The picture does not do it justice - that bowl was HUGE!  At least 2-3 feet wide!

Well everyone, I hope you have enjoyed your tour of Smith's Fort Plantation.  I know I did! 

Till next time - keep stitching!
Valerie



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Going through stash....

Hello dear readers!

It is a cool, breezy, early fall evening here in the Shenandoah.  We had almost 2 inches of rain yesterday and today - and I am thankful for every drop!  It has been so dry recently - to the point that I have been worried about the fall leaves becoming "blah" due to lack of water.  But Mother Nature has hopefully rectified that situation!

Thank you for all of the kind emails from my previous post.  It was so nice reconnecting with many of you!  I am still slowly working my way through my emails - so if you have written to me over the past several months, I promise - I WILL respond very soon!

I have been slowly going through my stash - and I have quite enjoyed the task!  It has been like a walk down memory lane.  Fond memories of so many lovely fabrics and threads; not to mention the patterns!  Whew!  I had no idea that I had collected so many!  As many of you know, I have an affinity for the BIG projects.  I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I own a lovely collection of smalls patterns and I can feel them calling my name ;-)

The ornament that I posted in my last post is, unfortunately, still in my stitching basket - but I have not forgotten about it!  As of late, my life has consisted of long work days and by the time I get home the only thing I have energy for is pulling the lever on my La-Z-Boy recliner!  But a girl can dream.  So until I can get myself snuggled in with my needle and thread, I have decided to share some of my favorites from my stash.  Hey - if I am not stitching at least I can DREAM about stitching!

One of the smalls that I came across and fell in love with again was this little beauty...

JBW Designs
Rose Motif Sampler

Isn't it lovely and elegant?  I love the pink color - the pattern calls for WDW Strawberry Fields or GAST Hibiscus.  I did not find those colors in my stash - so I guess that means a trip to my LNS in the future!  

Thanks so much for stopping by - I promise to find another oldie but goodie to share soon!

Hugs,
Valerie


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Back from a loooong hiatus....

Good evening, dear readers!

I know that it has been a very long time since I posted here.  Instead of boring you with details I will just say that I have missed seeing everyone and look forward to reconnecting with all of you!

Over the past few years my stitching has moved to the back-burner.  To be honest, I have not picked up my needle in quite some time (years, maybe??)  Work has taken over my life and it is time to readjust priorities.

I have been dabbling in photography - and have enjoyed the freedom that snapping pictures has afforded me.  However, I do miss my needlework!  Over the past few weeks, I have been slowly going through my stash and deciding what to keep and what to toss.  Looking over my stash has re-awakened a desire to pick up my needle.

As many of you know, I have always been drawn to the BAPs - things that take YEARS to complete!  This time around, I am going to take baby steps back into my needlework.  I have found a lovely ornament that I started years ago that I hope to finish.  It is an oldie but goodie -

Little House Needleworks
Peppermint Twist
32ct Lambswool

I love Little House Needleworks and look forward to finishing this cutie so I can have another ornament on my tree this December.

Thank you to those of you who have continued to follow my blog and send messages of encouragement!  I promise to catch up on my email soon!

Take care and keep stitching!
Valerie

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Richmond Sampler framed!

Hello, dear followers!

It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in the Shenandoah.  I do hope those who live in the mid-section of the country are faring well.  What horrible storms! 

I have been Missing In Action.  I am not going to offer excuses - there are many!  Instead I would like to say thank you to all of you who sent emails checking up on me!  They meant so much! 

I have been stitching, believe it or not!  The project I've been working on is The Sparrow.  I will post progress of that in another post.  The Sparrow and I are NOT getting along right now and we are taking a short break from one another.  We will make up later today but for now it is best that we not be in the same room.

However, I would like to share Richmond Sampler - framed!  Terri from Cross Stitch Station in Waynesboro, Virginia framed the sampler and words cannot express how thrilled I am with how it turned out!  It is stunning!  Terri did a superb job even when the sampler did not want to cooperate.  As many of you know, this sampler was a long time project and it traveled with me to many places.  So, the linen was, ummm.......shall we say.......well used and not easy to work with when it came to lacing and keeping things even and lined up.  Terri laced it and re-laced it and finally the sampler was, as Goldilocks said, "JUST RIGHT!"  So without further ado, here she is...Richmond Sampler - Anne Maria Clarke framed and on my living room wall.




I struggled to get good pictures.  I apologize for the glare but hopefully you can get an idea her beauty!  The frame is from Shenandoah Framing (fitting, don't you think?)  Shenandoah Framing is about four miles from my house but I wanted Terri at Cross Stitch Station to do all of the actual framing.  She ordered the frame but took care of lacing, spacers, glass, etc.  I.  LOVE.  IT!

Thank you all for stopping by!  I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Happy Stitching!
Valerie

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Behind

Hello fellow stitchers!

It is a crisp morning here in the Shenandoah.  First I want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments on my Richmond Sampler finish.  They have been such a bright spot in my world. 

So, you wonder what my blog post title means?   Well, I am behind.  I am behind in my blog posting; behind in my blog commenting; behind in my email responses; behind in my stitching; behind in my WIPcapolyspse updates; behind in house cleaning - the "behinds" are endless. 

The first two months of 2012 have been a roller coaster and while I have been hanging on, it has not been very graceful.  I don't know about everyone else, but when I ride a roller coaster, I regret stepping on it the moment I sit down and strap in.  I feel anxious and my heart pounds.  I know what is coming but at the same time I don't know what is coming.  I know that there will be ups and downs but I don't know where.  There are times of pure exhilaration and times that I shut my eyes and pray for the ride to be over.  Yet at the end, I bask in the adrenaline rush, hop off of the roller coaster only to line back up for another ride.  Anyone else understand? 

My husband was sent to West Virginia for five weeks - professionally it was great, but I missed him terribly.  The great news is that he has been promoted to executive chef and we could not be happier.  While hubby was in West Virginia, my dear cat Simon was very sick and I was worried to distraction.  He was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and is responding well to treatment.  Still, it has been hard coming to terms with the fact that my furbaby is no spring chicken.  Work has been very stressful and comes home with me on a regular basis.  I am the chairperson of a state social studies education committee and the responsibility has added to my already large workload.  I am thrilled and honored to be professionally recognized but I am still adjusting to the extra work.  There have been a myriad of other ups and downs but I won't bore you with those details.  So, as you can see, 2012 has been a roller coaster ride.

So, dear followers, your comments on my Richmond Sampler finish meant more than you realized!  Your words of encouragement and congratulations were like a salve to my soul.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I will leave you with a picture of Simon, enjoying one of his favorite spots - the back of my stitching chair!   Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Richmond Sampler is finished!

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus! 
 Hear Ye!  Hear Ye! 
Richmond Sampler is finished! 

Words cannot express how delighted I am with the finished product.  She is simply gorgeous.  I visited my grandmother today and was able to get some really nice photos in her dining room.   Enjoy a pictorial visit with Anne Maria Clarke and her remarkable sampler...





























I hope you enjoyed the pictures...it is because of your encouragement, dear followers, that I was able to stick with this and finish!  THANK YOU!  Now, for those of you who are wondering what in the world those mossy green stitches were - well, they were my infant attempts at queen stitches as taught to me by Margriet Hogue of The Essamplaire when I took the Richmond Sampler class at the Gathering of Embroiderers.  I had never stitched a queen stitch before attempting this sampler.  Now I can honestly say I feel like a queen stitch expert!   I decided to leave in those beginning stitches as they were part of my journey with Anne Maria Clarke.

Now, what to do with my time???  I am sure to find something and I promise to post soon! 

Happy Stitching,
Valerie















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