Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Queen Bee

Good Morning my friends! The beautiful autumn weather continues here. Love it. Gorgeous colors in the leaves too. =)

I was so moved by "Pumpkins For Cathey" on Friday. So very touched. I have been praying for Cathey for a long time now. I know I am not alone. I just keep thinking how absolutely blessed Cathey is to have sooooooooo many people beseeching God for her.♥ Oh the power of prayer!

I have stitched and finished a tiny, little Queen Bee for myself. This pattern is by Maria Diaz. It is from the Rustic Style Cross Stitch booklet by Cross Stitcher. I love this booklet! I have a handful of patterns I will be stitching from it.
This little bee was stitched on 25ct Antique White linen. I used the DMC called for and stitched two over one.
I knew I wanted to use a yoyo to finish it off. I used fabric from my stash that works very well. =)
For now, I have mounted it onto my linen valence above the kitchen sink.  I made these valences years ago from an old embroidered table cloth. It is all done is greys and pale yellow. Our kitchen is pale yellow. =)

I am excited to begin my first SALs!!! Today I will start stitching Paulette's free SAL . I am stitching Mary's Sampler on 40ct Sandstone linen. I will be starting the Barbara Ana Autumn Delights SAL with Vicki, Annette and Donna on October 1st. Wanna join us? Take a look here.

I have been listening to yet another CD I checked out from the library. This one is The Bible narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier. Well, let me tell you in one word............ POWERFUL!! It is a selection of familiar and important passages from the Old Testament. Wowie zowie! I have only volume 5 & 6 so far. I am on the waiting list for the other 4 CDs. Disappointing only in that the WHOLE Bible is not done. That would have taken nearly 100 hours of recordings. I would listen to it!! There is also some dramatic music provided by leading composers from the Holy Land. Just awesome! Just saying!

I also picked up from the library The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini. Another historical fiction book by her. Looks really, really good!

I have found ONE tea on this planet that I like. ;)
Imagine that, huh?! Otherwise, I just don't drink tea or coffee at all. I DO like Chai Lattes! yum yum!

I baked brownies a few days ago. I bought a bag of Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses. I thought it might be yummy to put a kiss into each brownie top. Well, I found my first pumpkin anything that I don't care for. The flavor of the kisses is toooooooo much for us. Only Jacob likes the kisses. I wonder if he will when he finishes off the bag himself. ;)

I baked Pumpkin Yeast Bread yesterday. We all liked it..... a little. The problem is that my mom has made Pumpkin Bread for decades, and so have I. My mom's is like a desert bread/cake. This yeast bread tastes so similar, except that it is yeast bread and less sweet. I think it has us all confused, do you know what I mean? I think our brains our expecting the yummy, sweet treat from Grandma. So, since the recipe makes two loaves, I am going to attempt to make Pumpkin Bread Pudding today with the second loaf. We will see how that works out.

This is what I look at, on my kitchen window sill, as I wash dishes every day.
I planted these pansies into my pink window planters last week. They are more pinkish purple than pink, but I still love 'em. The pink, white and green sedum and the artemisia 'silver mound' are always in the planters. I put all the planters in the garage over winter. I water them about once a month, and the two perennials stay alive that way. I just replace the pansies twice a year, in spring and fall.  Pansies are my favorite flower. =)

Have a beautiful Sunday friends! Thanks for stopping by. So very glad to hear from you.♥

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkins For Cathey

Good Morning my friends!  Good Morning Cathey! Happy 7th Blogoversary to you my friend! May God richly bless you for many, many more years to come. I continue to pray for you daily. We love and care for you soooooo much! =)

In case you do not know Cathey, check out her blog with the link above. Then check out Sharon's blog to see what in the world is going on with this pumpkin mania today!! ;) I screwed up! I should have scheduled this post, instead of saving it in draft. That is why you have two posts from me today! duh! Forgot today was Friday, thought we were still on Thursday. Oh well!

I stitched and made up this little pumpkin this week in honor of Cathey. I used Summer House Pincushion for the finishing directions and the alphabet. Summer House Pincushion can be found in the Honeysuckle Manor book by BBD.
The directions call for 30 ct linen. I used an orange 30ct linen I had in my stash, but I stitched it over one instead of over two. Love those small finishes. ;) This was stitched entirely in DMC 4145.
I used the free squirrel pattern found here. I did make up my own little acorn design for them to hold however. At the top of my Pumpkin Pincushion I stitched part of another free pattern by The Workbasket, you can find here. I think the collection comes together nicely. ;)
I had ideas for this spinning around in my head since last fall. That is how long I have had this small pumpkin stem sitting around waiting. I just used my hot glue gun to attach it.=) I just read the other day on Annette's blog that she used 3 strands of DMC in place of Pearle Cotton to make up her little pumpkins. Good idea Annette! I used DMC 301. A fabulous match.

I stitched this sweet little pattern two weeks ago. This can be found in the book called Cross Stitch Card Collection by Claire Crompton. I didn't write down the actual pattern name, sorry. It is a library book I checked  out, and have since returned.
I stitched this on 25ct cream linen, two over one. I went hunting through my stash and came up with these fabrics to make this little pin pillow. I adore this look.

I just smile every time I look at this little turkey. =)

I am praying for you every day Cathey. You are so very brave. My heart is so happy and thankful to call you friend.  We all love you and care for you SO much! ♥

Stitching and praying,
Vickie


Winner And Stuff

Good Morning my friends! I hope you are well. I am the last one in the house to get the sore throat, cough and nasty cold. =( Oh well!

I have never shown you my "poodle display board". That is what I call it anyways. I purchased this a few years ago at T.J.Maxx. Love it. It works perfectly to display my many poodle cards and pictures. I am a true poodle nut. Several years ago I bid on an old collection of nothing-but-poodle greeting cards. Brian protested, "But they are all used!!" "I know. That does not matter.", I told him. ;) You see, I knew I wanted to save the fronts of the cards and show them off. I have fun with it.
 Now the print you see here, is not one of the cards. This was a page from an old book actually. I had a lot of fun reading everyone of those greeting cards from the sixties and seventies. From one nutty poodle couple to me!! ;) Glad to give them another life. You can see I put my tiny poodles up top too. I change those around also. I go with different themes and seasons.

I finished listening to Emma by Jane Austen on CD.It was good but not my favorite book by Jane.

I have been stitching away and finishing too! I will show you those in my next post.

What a ding-a-ling! I forgot today was Friday, not Thursday. So I did draw the name of the winner for the Flora McSample Heart Sampler pattern this morning, not yesterday. Karen! I have emailed you Karen. Please send me your postal address. =)

Every day we let Winky fly out of his cage. He makes his laps around the front room, then lands on top of his cage. After a bit, he climbs back into his cage and I shut the door for him. ;) You can see how exciting it is for Mabel and Henry when Winky comes out flying. ooOoo! So exciting!
We  are having beautiful autumn weather here all week. It has been in the 70's and sunny most every day.♥

Thanks for stopping by friends. Have a beautiful day!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This Is How I Store My Floss

Good Morning my friends! How are you? Things are going pretty well around here. I had a finish yesterday. This pattern is from the April 2010 issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.
This is called Live My God by Margaret G. Kohl. I stitched this in DMC 422 , two over one on 25ct cream linen. I framed this in here. I use the pinning method when mounting my needlework on acid free foam core boards. If you frame your own pieces, do you lace or pin your framed pieces?
I found this box at our Good Will store this month for $3.00. =) Yes, it has a few scratches in it, but I touched them up and it is all better. The purpose of this box is to store my DMC floss. You see, a while back my sweet sister in Christ Shirlee posted how she stores her floss. She encouraged me to show all of you. And so, I knew I needed to find the perfect box for my floss. BECAUSE, my original floss basket is filled to maximum capacity! This is where I have been storing my DMC since I first purchased this, back when I was 19 years old. I bought it at Woolworth's Department Store. =) Do you remember Woolworth's? Do you still have one? I wish we did!!
I came up with a system back then, and it has worked for me just fine ever since. ;)
See? I cut numerous pieces of cardboard over the years to fit the inside of the basket, to make layers. I just stack them on top of each other in numerical order. The new floss box is starting off with DMC in the 3000's.
Perfect? No, probably not. But it works just fine for me. Plus, I am kinda nostalgic about it I suppose. I will just cut cardboard to size for this box and start stacking again as needed. ;)

Now as for my few Anchor, Victorian Motto, Wisper and other specialty flosses (I am truly a DMC kinda girl), well they are stored in my vintage, wooden, accordion sewing box. I have one drawer that works for that.

Last week I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. This may be the season for pumpkin num nums for a lot of you. Every season is pumpkin season in this house! Mama loves me some pumpkin. Pumpkin anything! ;) You can find this recipe I have used for many years here.
Emerson went to the Homecoming Dance last night. It was in the Pius XI Fieldhouse. He went solo all 4 years. You never did that when I was young. But it is very acceptable now I guess. At least at their school I know. Jacob went 3 of the 4 years with a different young lady each time. Always as friends. Neither boy has had a girlfriend yet. Jacob wants to date carefully and wisely. I think that is great. Emerson reminds me of Brian. Very timid with girls. I had to ask him out! ;)

Finally, I will show you a new game that has been going on in our home. Henry and Mabel have discovered they can play tug-of-war with each other. =)
Now, I do realize that this isn't the best activity for Mabel with her SEVEN slipped discs! I know, I know. Brian doesn't like it. But, Mabel WANTS to play with Henry. It only last less than 2 minutes, honest!
Henry only weighs 4 lbs. Mabel is 14 lbs. So she ends up pulling him and the bed around and around the room.
They have played this way two times. I am thinking this will be a rarely played game. I do not know of any humans that would play tug-of war with such back issues. It is a blessing from God that our Mabel continues to do so well. Her last "episode" was in the spring. We are still very careful with her and her back. I have allowed this game twice, because, well I do believe she wants to have fun sometimes too. She only goes on a 2 minute walk once a week. Otherwise, all she does is chase her toys in a game of fetch daily, down the hall. Henry is a real bundle of energy. He runs and plays with us daily. Hard to believe Mabel is 4 1/2 yrs old and Henry will soon be 4. He seems to be 1!!

I am giving away the pattern for Flora McSample Heart Sampler this week. If you should like a chance to receive it, take a look here.

I began a seasonal stitch last night. Lots of orange and brown. I hope this day is wonderfully relaxing for you. Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate YOU! I do! ♥

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bookmark and My First SAL =)

Good Morning my friends! How are you today? I am so glad you stopped by. Hello to my new followers too. =) I recently received a few gifts from Lee, and one of the gifts was a New Zealand Kiwi bookmark kit. Brian is the proud new owner of this.
This was stitched on the provided aida bookmark. Wow! What a LOT of tweeding/blending of the browns. Five different variations in that kiwi. I used fusible interfacing and adhered a perfectly matched brown felt to the back.
I have been invited to join my friend Vicki in my very first ever SAL. =) How fun! We both had the same reaction to the new Barbara Ana pattern in this newest issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. It is awesome. Vicki and I adore it!! It is called Autumn Delights. Go get November 2013 issue if you wanna join us! =) We plan to start this SAL on October 1st. Leave me a comment if you wanna join us, okay? =) EDIT: So far Annette and Donna joined in the fun too!
I finished Sovereign The Books of Mortals by Ted Dekker on CD. A great story. I also enjoyed getting a book done while stitching. Neat! I will start Emma by Jane Austen on CD next. I have read almost every single one of her books, but not Emma yet. It is such a long book. I have checked the book out twice with good intentions, but, well, stitching seemed to call to me more.

There is still time to enter my Flora McSample Heart Sampler Giveaway. Take a look here.

Well, I am either going to begin the next stitch I have lined up, or......... Well, I have an itch to make another tiny Henry motif. tee hee! Not as many boy poodles available as the girly ones ya know! And we all know I need another frig magnet, right?! RIGHT!! ;)

Have a most excellent day in the Lord my friends! I thank God for YOU!♥

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Flora McSample Heart Sampler Giveaway

Good Morning my friends! Cooler weather here. The leaves are starting to change color. Emerson returned home to us last night from his Kairos Retreat. He had a very good experience. =)

I purchased Flora McSample Heart Sampler from Lizzie Kate back in June from The Stitch Inn. I just finished stitching it up a few days ago.
Isn't she sweet? I stitched this two over two with DMC on the provided 28ct Mint Green Cashel linen.
I went straight off to the thrift shop to look for a suitable frame. There was one in the correct size but not the right look. I will keep looking for a while yet.
You know what I do with most of my patterns once I have them stitched up don't you? ;) Yup! I offer them to you! So, would you like to stitch this sweet little  sampler? You will get the pattern and the remaining beads for the flower. There are more than enough still. You would have to come up with your own charm or idea for inside the basket. And as you can see, I kinda used the linen. ;)
If you would like to own this pattern, please leave me a comment here telling me so. You need to be a follower. I will draw the name of winner on Thursday, September 26th.

I found a few cute things for myself while shopping this week. Gotta love these slippers, right?!
Look at this cute little hand sanitizer holder from Bath & Body Works! I told the cashier I was quite sure this was intended for perhaps girls 40 years younger than myself, but I love poodles and I love pink. She told me it was just for me then! ;)
Have a stitchtastic weekend friends! I am so glad you stopped by.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Thursday, September 12, 2013

All The Way From Malaysia

Good Morning my friends! How are you? I am doing pretty well, thank you! The acid reflux is taming down. Not gone, but better. My hip pain is low.Hooray! God is good!

I won the recent giveaway of Lillie. Take a look at these wonderful gifts she sent me, all the way from Malaysia!
What a neat thing this needle pocket is. I love the Malaysian beads!
I read about your beautiful country on every one of these postcards you sent me Lillie. Thank you. I find it fascinating to learn of our fellow stitcher's countries. Lillie also sent me these adorable, little scissors.

I finished reading Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. What a great book! I loved it and highly recommend it.  I have never been disappointed with any of Jennifer Chiaverini's books. I am now listening to Sovereign The Books of Mortals by Ted Dekker. He is my all-time favorite author. I have never listened to a book on CD before. I thought I would give it a try since I love to read, but then my stitching time is greatly reduced. It is working out great.  I still prefer to read a real paper book, but this is rather awesome being able to do both, at the same time!!

I am very close to a finish, probably today. It is a Lizzie Kate I bought this summer at our LNS, The Stitch Inn. Which reminds me, The Stitch Inn, closed. I no longer have an LNS. =( I buy all my floss at JoAnn. Looks like I will be buying all my short needles and linen online now. So sad really isn't it?

Emerson is gone on a Kairos Retreat until Friday evening. You can read about Kairos (with Jacob) in my post here. Jacob is partly involved in this one again. They like to bring back former students who are willing to participate and support the younger students in faith formation. I WILL remember to bring my tissues to the closing ceremony on Friday evening. ;)

I thanked God for all of you today! There are some of you who need extra prayer.♥ You got it!! Shirlee is most heavily on my mind and heart right now. She is in surgery as I type this. She is having heart surgery. Say a prayer for her too, won't you?

Thanks for stopping by today old friends and new! I am so glad you did. =)

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Daisy Times Two

Hi friends!  My Uncle Ken's birthday was earlier this week. He turned 70. He is a very simple man. He loves God with a childlike faith. He and my Aunt Kathy have a  tiger striped cat named Daisy. I made him this little magnet.
See? She is holding a daisy? ;) This was a  freebie. I stitched this one over one, using DMC, on mystery 32ct linen. I used Fray Check on the edges. I forgot how it dries darker. So I went back and covered the entire thing in Fray Check. Once it dried, I glued it with Aleene's Tacky Glue to white felt. I put it under a stack of library books to dry flat. I took it out one hour later and I almost fainted! There were horrible neon orange blobs in the linen now. This was last night before bed. I did try to stain it in tea. This only made the white daisy look dirty. I tried to rub a brown marker over the orange spots. Nope! I picked new linen and, yup!, started again before bed. I worked like a maniac today. I got it done and made into the magnet. We were only 35 minutes late to my mom' house today for our family get together. I wanted it done. I gave it to my Uncle, and he and my Aunt like it a lot. =)

I did have the scope done on Wednesday friends. Guess what?! There are no ulcers! It is gastritis(my stomach is red) and I have acid reflux. The doctor said it will takes weeks still to get over this and heal. The Nexium and Gavascon I am still taking will heal the gastritis he says.

I am actually disappointed. I did not get to have a discussion with the specialist. I figured I could talk with him after the scope. I did apparently. Cannot remember a thing! Brian said the doctor kept repeating himself answering me over and over. So Brian heard it all and asked questions too. It just doesn't feel the same. I suppose it is that control thing of mine.

I read the information they sent home. Diet is my number one problem. I love to pig out on fresh fruit all summer. I must limit acidic foods forever. Lemonade too. I rarely drink soda. I do not drink coffee or tea.The only thing that has me worried is the chocolate!! I am serious. I love dark chocolate and ate it most every day. In small quantities, but still. I need to eat way less of it now. And it is my favorite food on the planet! Perhaps brownies and cookies that are chocolate don't have the same effect as eating a bar of chocolate? I wonder. Maybe it is all the same. sigh! 

Well, it is a lifestyle change. With God's help only, can I try to reduce the stress in my life, which also aggravates the stomach.

I have been waiting to tell you what a blessing this gastritis/acid reflux has been for me. Yes, you read that right! Two weeks ago the pain in my stomach was very, very bad. I laid around most of every day. I had to call the doctor-on-call because it was a Saturday morning. After filling him in on this loooong ordeal, he suggested stopping the Neurontin. I told him how hesitant I was to do that. I have been in a LOT of pain for over 9 years now. I just got the Neurontin back! I can't go without pain medication. He told me to take the percocet I had at home instead. Well the nausea came. Terrible nausea! I have never been on percocet without another prescription at the same time. I cannot handle percocet alone apparently. That was a very loooooooong weekend. I actually went to the emergency room for help that Saturday night. That doctor gave me a pill to take away the nausea. The last time I have taken percocet was that Sunday night, two weeks ago.

I was at the worst that weekend. I cried out to God many, many times. Brian, the kids, my family, my in-laws and many of you were praying for me. Friends, I woke up that Monday morning and felt that I may be in the Twilight Zone. My hip pain was minimal! I took my one Savella. That is all I have been taking now for weeks. One Savella a day, is like telling someone with a migraine to take one Tylenol to get better, it just never would have worked. EXCEPT that God did it for me! God has heard my cries and delivered me from this pain. Now do I know if this will be so greatly diminished forever?!? No, I do not know this. I do know I told my physician this. I told him I have no other explanation but God. How can my pain go almost completely away during this awful time of heightened health issues and stress? After constantly plaguing me daily for over 9 years? And after removing my pain prescriptions?And you know what?! He agrees with me 100%

This last month of suffering has brought me closer to God. THAT is the blessing. 

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 
“For who has known the mind of the Lord? 
Or who has become His counselor?” 
“Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:33-36

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gifts From New Zealand! SWOON!

Good Morning Friends! It has been nice and cool in the evenings with very warm sunny days. I finally got my appetite back after it has been missing for almost 4 weeks! I am still on a bland diet, but able to eat more because I am feeling a little better. I go in for the scope in a few hours.

I received a lovely package from Lee in the mail yesterday! Back in June, Lee had asked if anyone would care for this sweet, little bunny chart.
I was actually confused when the package arrived, since I was expecting an envelope with a chart. Not a package with gifts!
Isn't that the neatest thing? To receive an official "New Zealand" cross stitch kit. I am referring to the Kiwi in the center. Guess what?! Brian and Madeleine both want me to make it for them! Well, I think they may have to share. ;) I love the animal charts. All five of us in this family are animal lovers.♥
These sweet, little silver charms were attached to each small package that Lee gave me. The two poodles! are buttons.♥
Isn't this flower fob attached to the ruler just lovely! Such very fine work. I will share something with you. I was showing and explaining each gift to Brian. I got choked up with this ruler. I remember many posts ago, Lee sharing with us that her dear Paul drilled each hole into her supply of rulers. What a special gift!♥
Look at this my friends!! An adorable bunny measuring tape in PINK!!! Love! Love!
Every single one of us in this house(and that includes the two teenage boys Lee!) had to test it out. As Emerson said, "That is cool! How did she do that?" hahaha! How indeed! Lee you truly have a God given talent in needlework. This is not the first time I have told you this. I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE I am not the only one to say that either! Lee, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cherish these gifts, I do!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie