Dutch Beauty and Friendships

the last few days have been wonderful, spent a whole day on Friday with my stitching friends. stitched all afternoon and then had a delicious lunch with 2 birthday cakes, we celebrated Becky and Jan's special day.
 i remember meeting Becky and Julie at a Sampler Guild meeting in Seattle almost 10 years ago. a short time later and Beth moved to the area from Texas. Jan is the so called "new girl" on the team moved here from California a few years ago and she fell into place easily, just like an old friend.
stitching has a way of letting that happen naturally.  i knew instantly i liked them all but who would have guessed it would grow and last this long. we do have a few other woman who when time permits join us and that just adds to our fun.
we are all still working on our "Mary Wigham" samplers and of course many other projects come and go.
we are  planning our next retreat in June, i can hardley wait.  i would travel anywhere with these woman and we are always thinking about our next adventure.
our monthly meetings are filled with our latest creations and of course the newest items we just bought.
i get so inspired by each them. i know if there is a thread i need or a question on a  project they are ready to help but most of all i know they care about me and will be my friends forever.
i am always eager to share what great friends they are and i hope all of you have at least one great friend in your life. take the time to nourish it and to enjoy it. Spring is a great time to remember that it is always about new beginings.

this picture is the reason i joined the Guild and how i meet my stitching friends. Dutch Beauty by Permin started for me as an online challenge in 1999. there were over 100 of us who joined and pledged to stitch this piece together. it was the "first" sampler i stitched and it took me a little over 2 years.
it is stitched over one on 36 count with needlepoint silk.


time for gardening or stitching

i have a double edge feeling about spring and summer. i love the new colors of greens, the smell of cut grass and all the colors of bulbs opening up. i treasure each moment i get to create in my garden. even pulling weeds  makes a day of work feel so theraputic.
yet there is always the question do i stitch today or garden? i know once i start either one i am off to the races. time slips by and the next thing i realize is the day is done. gardening seems to call me early in the morning, grass to long, weeds to big and maybe a new plant i want to plant. yet i know once i walk out into my garden my nails are filthy and my hands are stained ( i hate gloves) so most likely no stitching this night. if i start my day with linen in hand i will look up 4 or 5 hours later and realize that i have not spent one moment in the garden. so needless to say we all should be so lucky to have such delimas. i have spent the past 2 days in the garden, and it looks incredilbe. the red and yellow tulips are big and rich sitting amongst all the other greenery yet to bloom.
so the stitching has been waiting in my bag and tonight i hope to get a stitch or two on my "lady's chest" project or maybe my silk gauze necklaces for friends, or "The Truth Sampler" and the 2 baby samplers i want to work on.
then i look in the garden and see the surprise of a plant i had forgotten about.
 so this month i will wake up each moring wondering is this a garden day or a stitch day and the other crafts i love will have to wait for that rainy day.


road trip with hubby

9 days on a road trip with my hubby what a great adventure, family and reconnecting with old friends. i must admit i love car trips even in my little honda insight it is still fun. we took it slow. saw my sister in Portland had dinner. we stopped soon after that for the night like i said we are taking it slow.
next Ashland, Oregon  for lunch. a beautiful town. i can see myself living their, great shops, great community and a unique downtown.  we ate at Gorialla Bites, the best salad,soup and fresh veggie drink, organic my favorite. then back on the road. we arrived at my sisters house in Northern California on the second night and spent the next few days talking. she had a BBQ for us and it rained (must have brought it with us) but still fun with her stepson, wifey to be and his new baby boy and two little girls. James was down on the ground playing with them all and of course they loved every moment of it. they asked later once they were home if James could come over and play. woke up early for our start to Fresno,CA. to see my other sister and her daughter and her baby son Wylie. His Sampler is ready to frame and mail for his first birthday. met up with an old high school friend.and then back on the road homeward bound. we decide to drive thru our old hometown and then on thru the Napa Valley. Beautiful. more rain and then a stop at  a dear friend we haven't seen or heard from in many years. he has a great family and it was great seeing him so happy. the ride home was filled with thoughts of how good is was to see such dear friends and know that life is good for them. it is what you make it and they have made it beautiful!
we stopped at Powell Book store which is a must if you are ever in Portland, Oregon. i found a few books and one i have wanted for awhile. Encyclopedia of Needlework by Th.deDillmont probably 1940 version, love it. plus Traditional Samplers by Regina Forster,The Art of American Embroidery by Peabody Museum and one my sister gave me the new Encyclopedia of Needlwork by DMC and Therese deDillmont.
i did stitch a little on my knot piece but spent the majority of time visiting.
needless to say my mind is spinining with ideas to create for my dear friends and family.
i now see what being productive in your community and living a life full of love and being positive can give you.
remember to enjoy your life and surround yourself with all that is postive.
napa valley,ca.


It is DONE!!!!!!

i finished my Hare Pyns Needlebook and i love it. i learned allot thru the process as ususal and had so much fun stitching it and finishing it. i always worry about the finishing part but somehow i get it done. i think it is all about that second guessing we do about our skills. "i am no good at that" or "i can't do those kinds of things." Yet i know each time if i just sit down read the directions again and sometimes again i can do it. it is all about just doing it and if i have to take some of the stitching out so be it. who wouldn't love a fancy needlebook with cute Hare's on it. plus don't you love the wooden thread keep and ruler that came with the piece. Thank you again Sherri Jones of Patricks Woods for coming to Seattle and designing such a lovely fun piece.
this is the piece open flat.love the scissor sheath and booklet.

i love the button

the inside and i did a little patchwork on the pocket.
Now what's next?


necklaces and weather all in a day.

what a crazy day for weather.
rain, wind and hail the size of small jack balls, remember them?
then the sun would come out, then rain and hail again.
getting ready to take a trip to see some of my sisters this coming week.
thinking about what i want to take with me to work on while i am away. i  find that can be more of a process than clothes packing. i always bring a few books just in case i finish it or i get bored with it.
then my stitching projects, what one do i bring or do i bring two or three. then i worry i might get them dirty or misplace a thread or part of the project. so needless to say i am overthinking it all. yet i am excitied and happy to be going away with hubby and very happy to see my 3 sisters. it has been awhile and i do miss them. i also hope to go visit a great friend from Denmark who was like a second mom to me and gave me so much help when i had my daughter over 30 years ago. the time has passed so fast and i think of all the times i could have gone to visit and i made excuses and thought of reasons i couldn't. it is time to remember that the life i have is because of my sisters and my dear friends. so much to be thankful for and i must make time to express what they have given me. this trip will be full of memories i am sure.

i have been working on these necklaces for the past few weeks and i am happy with the progress. it is amazing how much i learn on each small piece.i love the process of stitching the piece and then finding little pieces of paper or small bits of lace to add to the piece.  hope you like them.
 any suggestions would be appreciated.
here's to many more years of friends, sisters and creativity.
stay dry