Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Third Day of Christmas...

I know today is the 4th day of Christmas, but yesterday, on the 3rd day, I went to a LNS!!!! I told myself I was only there to buy fibers and fabric, and that's what I did. It was difficult, but it helped that 1. I had purchased a rather large pattern of the Bridget Power Sampler that morning (here's a link to a great photo, and 2. as I looked around the shop at all the stock in the store, I began thinking my stash was... well let's just say competitive.
So I settled on 4 patterns to "kit up." My husband had taken the girls with him to spend his REI gift cards. Boy, did he regret that! While I waited for him to try on every pair of 5-finger shoes in the area (with negative comments from his children), I sat down with the lady at the shop and stitched. I started "Dear Friend," a Reward of Merit by Blackbird Designs. I had to pick out every stinkin' stitch because, apparently, I cannot count! When I returned home, I started "Stitcher's Prayer" by Barrick Samplers. I have been wanting to stitch this for ages, but I couldn't find colors I liked for the flowers. Now, I'm a DMC girl, and I planned on using the DMC conversion, but 522 and 524? Sea foam flowers? I don't think so. But 931 & family weren't right; neither were 926 & family. So I told the lady at The Stitch Store, "I need heeeeellllpppp!" We pawed through and rejected the called-for Needlepoint Silk, then WDW, Gentle Arts, Caron, and Crescent Colors, and FINALLY I settled on Needlepoint Silk Williamsburg Blue 323 and Jade 522. I am willing myself not to fall in love with NPS!! ;)
Hector, my little Cookies and Cream, says hello. Why do I have a Coleman sleeping bag on the couch? Who knows?

I will leave you with a few of the pictures I have taken during Christmas. Now to get back to "Stitcher's Prayer!"

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Stitching...well it's red and green at any rate

I am resisting the many urges to begin a Christmas sampler. I have stacks of Christmas designs, mostly Blackbird Designs, that I would love to begin. But I am anxious to finish something sometime soon. At any rate, the reds and greens of Ms. Rambo are satisfying to stitch this time of year.

Goals are my downfall, but I keep toying with the idea of stitching Christmas designs all through 2012. That should last until about January 2.... :P


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts of my grandmother

Trying to organize some of the many thoughts, memories, and stories going through my mind...

My grandmother: sitting on an enormous pile of stuffed animals in Nutmeg's closet while having a tea party.

My grandmother: opening a telegram during WWII wondering whether it was her husband or one of her 5 brothers.

My grandmother: always arriving with gifts such as fake vomit, fake doggie-do, or the old "fly in the ice-cube."

My grandmother: mourning the death of her little daughter on a Christmas morning.

My grandmother: going trick-or-treating with her grandchildren - wearing a costume and mask.

My grandmother: waiting to hear from her sons in two different wars.

My grandmother: laughing so hard she couldn't speak, tears coming from her eyes.

My grandmother: sitting in a wheelchair, unable to make herself understood, trying to tell us with her eyes.

My grandmother: being slapped full in the face by my dad's pet monkey. she could never tell the story because she would start laughing too hard.

My grandmother: wiping off her lipstick on the way to visit her mother and telling her children not mention going to the movies.

My grandmother: rustling plants in the mountains with my grandfather.

My grandmother: mixing up dressing in a large dishpan. she always made with onions and without.

My grandmother: always having something good under that metal cake holder. we laughed when she used such a large knife to cut the cake.

My grandmother: always filling an old pie plate with scraps for various dogs, cats, and birds.

My grandmother: always rooting a bit of this or that in a pot of soil or a jelly jar of water.


If you have a moment to pray...

Please say a prayer for my grandmother Christine.

"Acknowledge, O Lord, thy creature not made by strange gods, but by thee, the only living and true God: for there is no other God beside thee, and none that doeth according to thy works. Make glad the soul of this person, O Lord, with thy presence, and remember not her old sins and excesses which wrath or heat of evil desire may have aroused. May the heavens be opened to her. May the angels rejoice with her. Into thy kingdom, O Lord, receive thy servant. May St. Michael, the Archangel of God, prince of the heavenly hosts, receive her. May the holy Angels of God come forth to meet her, and conduct her to the city of the heavenly Jerusalem. May the blessed Peter the Apostle, to whom were given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, receive her. May St. Paul the Apostle, who was counted worthy to be a chosen vessel, assist her. May St. John, the chosen Apostle of God, to whom were revealed the secrets of heaven, intercede for her. May all the holy Apostles, to whom the Lord gave the power of binding and losing, pray for her, May all the saints and elect of God, who, in this world, suffered torments in the name of Christ, intercede for her, that loosed from the bonds of the flesh, she may attain unto the glory of the heavenly kingdom, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Sampler Menagerie Blog

I feel a bit sheepish - ha ha- about this post. I started a new blog( 5 minutes ago), The Sampler Menagerie. It is nothing fancy (boy, is it ever nothing fancy!), but I hope with your help it will be an interesting place to visit with a cup of tea. My vision is a blog dedicated to the charming and odd, beautiful and downright weird animals that appear on samplers. By samplers, I mean reproductions and those done in an old-fashioned style. My definition is fairly flexible: the piece need not have an alphabet or a pansy band. I am just trying to avoid photograph-like reproductions of a current pet. Will you join me? Will you help me grow this tiny half-baked idea? Let me know in a comment, and I will send you an invitation. Then search your stitching, and take CLOSE-UP photos of the animals that captured your heart with their breathtaking elegance or their homeliness only a mother could love! More information on posting can be found here

The Sampler Menagerie

I hope to meet you there! :)


Monday, December 5, 2011

I hit the 1/2 price jackpot!!

I have made the tiniest bit of progress on Susan Rambo. I chose to use DMC 500, 501, and 3013 as the main greens.

Saturday, while visiting my grandmother's nursing home, we drove by a cross stitch store. I have not been in a cross stitch store in ages!! My mother had told me marvelous tales about the shop's 1/2 price bins, and they did not disappoint! I was thrilled to add to my Carriage House Samplings collection. Some of the charts I had considered before - I loved them, but not in a full-priced kind of way. The lady and her husband who owned the shop were VERY kind, especially considering that I arrived 1 minute before they closed, had them drag out and then rejected all their 40-count fabric, and stayed for a LONG time. They closed up shop around me, and I do not exaggerate when I tell you their keys were in the door as I left! It was a very nice treat!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

28 November - 1 December 2011

Homeschool is usually a bit rough around here after more than two days off. This week, however, Nutmeg let it slip that she had missed school! Can it be? Is she learning to love learning in spite of me? Nutmeg has an early morning violin lesson at a nearby college. Sometimes Louisiana Man is able to take her, and on those occasions, Nutmeg and her daddy go have a cup of coffee ( I think Nutmeg has a hot chocolate or chai) and read for a few minutes before he goes to work. Nutmeg mentioned she realized she missed school while watching the college students writing in notebooks. I hope that is the only habit she picks up from them! ;)

Artist and Composer Studies

This week's Picture Study is brought to you by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Calendar. Our family looks at this calendar every single day! Some weeks it saves Picture Study when an artist happens to show up on a day I didn't prepare very well. So here is Degas' Woman with Ibis, or some similar title.

While I type this, the girls are listening to Tchaikovsky: The Mystery Box in the Attic, while they draw ballerinas from How to Draw Ballet Pictures. This is actually how I picture homeschooling; I needed to document the moment before it evaporated! ;)


We do other subjects besides art and history, but these two subjects have been the more blog-able lately because they are more photogenic. (You don't really want to see pictures of math worksheets or hear how Nutmeg thought she was just supposed to copy the answers onto her fact drill sheets from the one she did the day before.)

We are on day 75/180 of school and are on chapter 8/42 of Story of the World volume 3. (Perhaps I should spend more time on math.) Anyway, we read chapter 8 of SOTW and did the suggested mapwork. I cut circles of different colored construction paper, and the girls glued them on the map of Persia as a I read about the various empires that had conquered and ruled there. It is a really nice visual and hands-on project. Are we going to memorize the names and correct order of conquerors? No.

I also read to the girls a few chapters about the Middle East from V. M. Hillyer's A Child's Geography of the World. Both girls did written narrations as well as drew camels. Nutmeg also had an additional Hillyer reading from his art series. She read and narrated a section on Islamic architecture. Yes, I edit as I read, choosing current terminology and adding current events.

Here is the beauty of a Book of Centuries: the various figures we study in history (it is not always possible or edifying to study in strict chronological order), the artists and composers we focus on, as well as current events that should not be ignored can all be visually organized in one place.

Here is one more picture, a Homeschool Room Reality Shot.