Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Woke up this morning to the unexpected pleasure of a SNOW DAY!  This means something different to everyone.  For me it means Keith is home for the day and neither one of us is leaving the house except for me to shovel the driveway and walks.  No rushing out the door to put Keith and on the bus and start running everyone's errands in the house.  It is a day for catching up laundry, drinking a cup of chai, watching movies, reading, stitching and just enjoying being at home.  It has quit snowing (5" later) and now the sun is shining brightly but the temperature has dropped dramatically and the wind is just howling!

Yesterday morning I put the last stitches in Christmas Tree by Primitive Hare.  After all the thoughts on how to finish this design I thought it so lovely that it must be framed.  I stopped in at the frame shop yesterday morning while out running errands.  After trying several frames it was narrowed down to the two you see in these pictures.  They are very different looks and each have their own appeal.  One definitely represented more of the look I was going for so it is the one I chose.  Can you guess which one?!   You will have to excuse the bad photos at the frame shop - don't know why it looks like there is white line on the fabric as there is not.

Needless to say I couldn't wait to start on my next project but wait I did.  You see I ran into one of those can't decide which fabric to stitch it on quandaries.  Hubby and I had a good laugh after trying a half dozen fabrics I ended up back with my first choice.  Sometimes I need to just trust my first instincts and not over think it.  The project is Birds of Feather by With Thy Needle.  It was a mystery sampler back in 2011.  I have decided to stitch in on Edinborough (36 count) in Rue Green.  The colors really look nice on the fabric.  I'm using the called for Weeks colors if they were in my stash otherwise I've converted to DMC.  I actually did manage to put several stitches in the top border last night.  Looking forward to a bit more stitching time today to add to it.  I'm thinking it will stitch up fairly quickly as the count is only 173 x 190.  I have to admit this is the first time I've stitched with two strands on a 36 count but am liking the coverage on the Edinborough.

I have to share my find while walking through the office supply store yesterday.  I happened upon these wonderful highlighters that are retractable with a click just like ink pens.  I love that the tip is a nice small size as well.  I think these will become my new best friends.

Lastly I have to share that I really am enjoying getting some of my stash stitched up by not adding any new designs to it.  I will admit that it isn't always easy as every so often I see something I would like to have.  I'm being very disciplined and writing them down in my book by my computer on a "Wish List".  I will say that I did take a moment to look at that wish list today and crossed three of them off the list.  I do find that if I give myself a couple of weeks and then go back and look at the design I sometimes find myself saying "what did I find so appealing about that design".  If I find myself saying that, off it comes.  However, it I take another look at it and my feeling is "oooh I just have to have that" it remains on my wish list.  My friend, Harriet, suggested that I put a spot on my blog for a wish list so that family and friends who might like to give me a gift for a special occasion could.  I think that is a lovely idea and will work on that - must be sure that the only items that go on it are those "oooh I have to have it" ones.

Happy stitching!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Signed up for a Painting Class!

I'm so excited!  My friend, Mary A. posted about a painting class where you go in and for the cost they provide all the materials you need and when you are done 2 hours later you have a completed painting just like the one they are teaching.  I wouldn't believe it except a photo of a class where they are all holding up their paintings looking the same convinced me.  I do have minimal painting experience from way back when I painted this reverse glass painting owl and then some tole painting.  I don't have a picture to show you of what we are painting due to copyright of their photos but it is a red background with then a smaller background of white in the middle with a tree on the white.  The tree leaves all look like hearts.  Unfortunately, Mary A. is busy the night the class if offered but my friend, Belinda had an open night on her calendar so has signed up.  I can't wait but wait I must as the class is not until February 6.

 Bill and I had date night Saturday night and enjoyed seeing a couple of movies - Broken City and Parker.  On the way home we noticed there was a full moon through the clouds.  Well I just couldn't resist going out and taking a couple of photos when we got home.  It just happened that there was a break in the clouds for the moon to shine through while I was taking photos.  I like the effect of the clouds surrounding the moon. I am so enjoying this camera!

A quick trip through the antique store this morning resulted in a couple of small purchases.  I found this metal 3D heart patriotic welcome sign for $3 - my bargain of the day.  There was a great bin of buttons you could go through and just pick what you liked - love this idea as opposed to a jar with lots of not special buttons. I came out with this large red button - I seem to have a thing for red buttons - and this 2 pack of blue stars.  I have one of these stars reserved for a patriotic piece I've yet to stitch.  I also picked up a 10" dough bowl to display some of my small stitched pillows.  I would prefer a 14" but they are much more difficult to find.  

I'm down to the bottom border on this piece by Primitive Hare.  I'm hoping for some stitching time tonight to get it closer to the done pile.  It really is beautiful and can't wait to put it on display!
 As the guys were glued to the sports shows yesterday, I crocheted up this trivet using my favorite potholder pattern.  Skein was 100 grams so it made a generous 10"x12".   I knitted a scarf using this Circulo yarn my friend, Allison gave me for Christmas.  It is a dream to knit with.  Start to finish was done in an hour.  I loved it so much I purchased a skein of it in a reddish color along with a skein of ruffling yarn.  It is actually printed fabric with holes punched in one side that you knit to make a ruffled scarf.  It looked like a fun yarn and can't wait to try it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bits of the Week!

 Friday has rolled around and realize there are a few bits of the week I've not shared yet.   I was killing time waiting for my LNS to open to pick up a needed thread for the project I'm working on and stopped in at my local quilt shop.  Isn't it how it always starts....I ended up with an array of fabrics to make a table topper with a Valentine's theme.  Actually I think it would make a very nice one for Spring and Summer as well with all the bright pinks and greens of the fabric chosen.  I was just browsing fabrics and saw the fabric on the right in the picture and I just had to have it.  Of course, an array of complimentary fabrics was also needed to make a table topper.  I've decided I will again using the Charming Edges pattern I have as a base but rather than the scallops or points around the edge I'm just going to do a sashing all the way around.  I'm thinking today will be a perfect day to get out my Go! Baby (thank you again Belinda) and start cutting my charm squares only to realize OMG I never did get around to ordering the 6 x 12 cutting mat needed to do this.  Rest assured it has now been ordered but means I will be waiting a week to use this lovely fabric.  Boohoo!  I also purchased this pattern to make a queen size quilt called Lexington.  After my success with the pattern Teresa (At Willow Tree Pond) gifted me with during the Advent exchange I now have the confidence to try something on a much bigger scale.  As this one is for me, I can take my time putting it together. 

Yesterday I stopped in at a new cupcake shop my friend, Harriet told me about called Scratch Cupcakery.  I really wish I had taken the time to photograph their display as it was so elegant.  At any rate I picked up 3 cupcakes to honor my mom's memory on the date of her birth.  Besides I wanted to do something that mom and I would have done had she still been with us and she would have been all about finding the new cupcake shop and trying them.  

Yesterday I also received a surprise early Valentine's gift from my friend, Allison.  She gifted me with this lovely heart ornament and this flower button made by a friend of a friend (  She has asked that I send her a picture when I use the button as it was the first button she made.  I'm thinking I would like to use it as the flower and cross stitch a stem with leaves.  I have also considered some type of biscornu with this button in the middle when finished.  I'm currently searching for a good fit pattern wise for the button - SUGGESTIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED!  I can't wait to start on something for this button.

I tried out a new recipe on the family last night.  I'll be honest it took me a couple of weeks to work up the courage to give it a try.  I had mentioned the recipe to Bill a week ago but it uses apple pie filling and I'm most definitely am not a fruit person.  Give me vegetables galore but fruit is a big old yuck for me.  The recipe was a very quick to put together recipe and the entire family gave it a thumbs up - yes even me who doesn't like fruit.  


1 can apple pie filling
4-6 thick cut pork chops
Stove top or your favorite stuffing

You take a can of apple pie filling and place in the bottom of a baking dish.  You then take 4-6 thicker cut pork chops and brown in a skillet on each side and place them on top of the apple pie filling.  You then take stove top stuffing that you have made according to package directions (I used my from scratch stuffing) and place a mound on top of each pork chop.  Bake COVERED at 350 degrees for 1 hour and if you want the top browned remove the cover at the 45 minute mark.  


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surprise from my hubby last week.  So sweet!
Monday was a holiday for my hubby so we went out and ran a few errands (saw a red fox within a mile of the house on our way out), went to the furniture store and ordered a new sofa (long enough he can lay down and watch t.v.) and a new chair (a new stitching chair for me - woohoo!) and then had a lovely lunch out.  Won't actually get the furniture until mid-March but it is something to look forward to.
Tuesday my dearest friend, Harriet and I finally got to have one of our cherished days together.  Not only did this one include stitching, lunch, lots of conversation and laughter but our Christmas gift exchange.  She spoiled me terribly and I loved it!  She stitched a LHN piece that I've wanted to do for quite awhile and mounted it on a box.  It is absolutely divine and I'm so proud of her for finishing it in a way that was scary and challenging for her.  It turned out fabulous and I adore it!  She also stitched the female ice skater from LHN as well as the male ice skater by LHN in the JCS Ornament issue.  They look splendid on the blue fabric.  Her hubby also used his embroidery machine to make a towel that has our last name, then family and our first names on it.  Even the men in my house were impressed with this one.  She also purchased this old fashioned looking ice skate ornament for my Christmas tree.  Lucky for me it is still Winter and can enjoy it for a bit before it has to be put away.  The little dish is a small bowl made by potter Maggie Weldon.  It is one where she has imprinted a design by pressing completed crochet pieces into the clay.  Very original and cool!  There was also a pair of scissors and the little whale is a needle minder.  Just the cutest!  It really was a wonderfully relaxing day and we both look forward to the next one.

For Harriet I stitched one of the designs from an older Prairie Schooler Friends book.  I actually chose this one for a couple of reasons.  One - I really liked the saying and Two - I had found the fabric in the outer band of this piece and wanted to finish it using this fabric.  I knew that a piece of Lavender Sunset Jobelan I had would be the perfect color to stitch it on as it would look fabulous with the fabric and the floss colors.  I have to say I enjoyed every stitch as the floss colors were just gorgeous on it in my opinion.  I did use the called for DMC threads except for one.  I did use a darker shade on the dress than the called for color so it would show up on the fabric.  In the beginning I wasn't sure how I would finish it and finally decided to sew square bands around the outside and quilt it.  It could be used as a table topper but I knew Harriet wouldn't want to risk a spill on it so included a set of quilt hangers as part of this gift.  I gave her a few other things as well - including a Four Calling Birds LED Candle from Where Sister's Gather (I just love these candles), a coffee mug with Baby It's Cold Outside from Heartstring Samplery.   I made her a small plate that is magnetized to hold pins and needles, and a box kit that is ready for lining.

I made great progress on Christmas Tree by Primitive Hare yesterday.  I finished stitching the victorian lady.  Getting her done makes me feel like I'm almost finished!  Originally thought I would frame this piece but now am wondering if I should finish into a pillow or a table runner.  I have given some thought to trying to finish it in the block like Teresa did on this piece she stitched for me.  Oh, just posting about it has given me an idea what to do on the sides instead of ribbon.  Teresa has inspired me several times in the past few months - THANK YOU!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Another WIP Picked Up!

There I was just sitting in the chair minding my own business stitching away on Christmas Tree (Primitive Hare) when a thought struck me.  Needless to say it stopped my stitching for that day dead in its' tracks.  What you wonder could have torn me away from my beloved stitching?!  Well I was off to search for a project I started 6 or 7 years ago.  (I would be embarrassed by that except I know we all have started and then stopped projects in our stash much older than this one.) This project is a piece by Isabelle Vautier when she was designing for Savoir-Faire Valley and I just adored it.  I was stitching along quite nicely on this project and making great progress when I was suddenly struck with the thought that this design needed some type of division stitched between motifs as well as a border.  I was not as adventurous with my stitching at that time so did not have a clue as to how I was going to change this design to my liking so I just quit stitching. 

Here I am a few several years later with a sudden burning desire to finish this WIP.  I feel more capable of adding to this design and to that end have asked my "stitchy" friends for some advice.  The overall opinion is that I definitely need a division between motifs but it is about 50/50 as to whether they should be backstitched or full cross stitches (I'm leaning toward backstitching).  Everyone agrees it does need a border but there are as many different ideas as there are responses.  I have decided I am definitely going to do a stitched border rather than a specialty stitch all the way around.  I realize this is going to add some significant stitching to this project but think it will be worth the effort invested.

 I broke down yesterday and spent $5 at my LNS for a book of borders and have narrowed my selection down to 3 possibilities   I like #2 as I'm attracted to the way the corner is done but feel it is a bit "frilly" for my design as the corners are pretty squared off on each motif of the design.  I really feel like options #1 and #3 are the best choices for this design with option #1 edging ahead just a bit.  Love to hear your thoughts.

I think everyone is finally healthy in the house so we have been enjoying our days and nights much more.  Bill and I rented a movie last night to watch after Keith went to bed.  We watched Hope Springs with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carrel.  It was a wonderful movie and we both enjoyed it.

Last Saturday date night was cancelled as respite provider and Keith both sick.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that tonight's date night won't be cancelled.  I'm really looking forward to an evening out.  We've not been out in so long there are tons of movies to chose from.  Unfortunately, so many of them run 2 hr 30 minutes or better we will only be able to see one.  Thank goodness we are scheduled for another date night next Saturday.  Argo is out of the theaters now so will have to watch that one on DVD when it comes out.

Out and about early this morning so after a trip to the coffee shop to get vanilla chai teas we stopped at the DSM River to see how many Eagles were hanging out.  I counted around 28 today and even saw a couple of them flying.  I can't resist sharing this picture of my hubby watching the Eagles this morning.  

Until next time....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Two Fair Projects Picked!

After all my posting yesterday about the Fair it really got me thinking about the projects I want to work on for my entries this year.  Took some time this morning to paw through look through some of my WIP and came across this piece by Mirabilia called Gathering Eggs.  I started this one a few years ago as mom liked it so much but set it aside never to be picked up again when she got so ill and passed away.  I saw it today and as she has been on my mind so much during the holidays and with her birthday fast approaching I decided it was going to be a WIP completed this year and entered into the Fair.  There were two things my mom loved (okay three but family was a given) and that was decorating for Christmas and the State Fair.  I think she would like that this is one of the projects I intend to finish for the Fair.  I actually have a pretty good start on it already.  

I also came across the 3 parts Birds of a Feather by With Thy Needle & Thread that I purchased from Teresa several months back.  I've wanted to stitch this one but somehow missed it when it was released.  Thank goodness for friends who are willing to pass it along once they've stitched it.  I've picked out a piece of over dyed fabric that my dyer friend did which was another miss as far as she was concerned so it will again be on a one of a kind fabric.  Love that!  I have converted the over dyes to DMC colors and look forward to getting this one started for my Sampler piece.
In case anyone is interested it is the 15th of January and I've resisted purchasing any new designs to add to my stash.  I've had to purchase a couple of threads and a piece of fabric but am really enjoying going through my stash to pick out my projects.  Like visiting old friends as I go through them. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

State Fair Guidelines.

Thanks to a comment from Chrissie I decided to share a bit of information regarding the guidelines for the State Fair here where I live.

In answer to your question, Chrissie, no my projects don't have to be on 25 count over 1.  I tend to only stitch things for the Fair that I plan on hanging in my home.  As I'm running out of wall space and the cost of framing, the last few years my choices for fabric are not only based on what will look good with the threads and for that particular design but also on keeping the overall design a bit smaller so I will be able to display on a table top easel rather than hanging on the wall.  It also helps keep my framing costs down.  I could do 40 count over 2 but my stitching is at its' absolute best on 25 count over 1 so I tend to go there.

There are 19 "Classes" in which you can enter and you can enter only one time in each Class.

Our Classes are:
Wall Hanging or Bell Pull (unframed)
Picture (under 15 inches)
Picture (15-30 inches)
Picture (over 30 inches)
Verse or Motto (under 15 inches)
Verse or Motto (over 15 inches)
Picture (under 15 inches, worked on linen or linen technique)
Picture (15-30 inches, worked on linen or linen technique)
Picture (over 30 inches, worked on linen or linen technique)
Verse or Motto (worked on linen or linen technique)
Breadbasket Liner
Christmas Stocking
Christmas Decoration
Ornaments (collection of three)
Guest Towels (two)
Perforated Paper Item
Three-dimensional Item (stitchery is free standing or dimensional - item is not flat)

You can stitch your item on the fabric of your choice (even weave, aida, linen) and whatever count you desire.  You can also chose what threads you want to use DMC, overdyes, silks.  Whatever materials you think will show the design at its' best.  

Framing is your choice as well as the extras (matting, padding, glass).  Up until about 3 years ago glass was not allowed but the rules have since changed and you can have glass on your piece.

If there are more than 30 items in any one class, they then divide them out by stitch count and judge each count separately.  I always try to use a count of fabric so if they do have to divide mine won't be judged against so many.  That being said as it is based on a point system if you don't earn enough points - YOU DON'T GET A RIBBON.  People think that if there is only 3 in a class everyone gets a ribbon but this is not true.  I've seen it time and again where only a third place ribbon was awarded as no one earned enough points to be awarded the first and second places.
The criteria for judging is in 3 categories:

General Appearance - which relates to cleanliness, colors, design, blocking/pressing, choice of fibers/threads, choice of pattern.

Workmanship - which relates to neatness, tension, pattern execution, absence of knots.  I will also add as they don't list they do notice if they can see your tails through the fabric or if your doing letters and see the thread going from one letter to the next.  I always end my thread for each letter and move on to the next one.  (They always comment that my threads don't show.)  

Finishing - which relates to framing (which includes if it has even borders and is mounted straight) and on dimension pieces seams, rusching, fringe, cording, etc.

When it comes to actually picking my projects, it has to be something I really want to stitch for myself.  Once I decide on my projects I kind of think about which Class they could be entered in and pick fabrics so they will end up being appropriate for a different class rather than all the same one.  One year I had 3 things that ended up all fitting into the Picture 15-30 inches - could only enter one - sigh!

My big dream is to some day win Best of Show but I've noticed every year lately it goes to a piece that has beads and metallic threads in it.  Just haven't been in the mood to do that kind of stitching lately so I'm instead very content with the ribbons I've won.  There are so many beautiful pieces without ribbons and know what an honor it is to have been awarded that ribbon.

I hope you enjoyed me little walk through State Fair competition.
I am happy to report that my hubby and son are feeling much better.  Both ventured out in this frigid Iowa air this morning to head off to work.  Started the day at 9 degrees.  Brrrrrrrr!  

I started this lovely design titled Christmas Tree by Isobel at Primitive Hare.  It is such a lovely piece and is stitching up so quickly.  Although the design does not call for it I'm thinking about stringing beads and attaching as garland to the tree.  After I get the stitching of the tree entirely done I'll make my decision.  I'm using the called for DMC and Sampler Threads and stitching on a one of a kind piece of fabric.  In other words my friend who dyes fabrics did an experiment and didn't like how it turned out.  Lucky me!
I also pulled out my start on Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  Your fault Teresa as I saw your start and it reminded me I had started mine a couple of years ago.  WOW - I just looked into my blog book to see what fabric this actually is to find out I actually started this in 2009!  Who knew?  I am stitching this on 25 count Lugana called Moss and I'm using the called for DMCs for the most part.  I've had to do a substitution or 2 in places as the thread blended too much with the fabric.  I actually thought I was further along but in actuality I've stitched this block 3 times this far along on different fabrics until I found one I liked.  Sound familiar - remember the house on Beauty in Simplicity????

I'm starting my thinking process for pieces I want to enter in the Fair this year and in all honesty with the size of the projects I enter I need to start stitching them now.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to tackle this big project over 1 on 25 count for this year's Fair or not.  I think before I can make that decision I need to go have a look at my WIP to see if something in that pile calls to me.

Well making homemade beef and noodles tonight so off to cut my noodles.  Until next time...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Will They Ever All Be Healthy Again!

I'm beginning to think that I will never see everyone healthy at the same time in this house.  Since the day after Christmas one of the two guys has been sick with cold/flu like symptoms.  Keith came home again yesterday with a drippy nose.  Honestly think Keith's is more of the common cold but I'm sure Bill had the flu.  He ended up being off work for a week.  I'm sure his co-workers were relieved he was not spreading it around there and were happy he stayed home.  I've had a couple of days in there I thought "OH NO" but I have somehow (knock on wood) managed to keep it at bay.  Good thing too as there is no me to take care of me - LOL!

My Favorite
We have had an unusual thing happen this year where we have a HUGE population (I've heard the count of at least 38 but looks like more) of Bald Eagles hanging at the Des Moines River just a quick 10 minute drive from my house.  I've already been down there twice with camera in hand to take a few photos.  I did get a few really good pictures but in honesty all you want to do is stand there and watch them in all their majesty.  They truly are an amazing sight to see.  These are just a couple of my favorite pictures.  For those who are friends on Facebook I have an album of photos to see.  After lunch today will be bundling up to go down and see them as Bill and Keith have yet to see them.

I managed to make the quilt called Bits & Pieces out of all the cowboy/western themed flannels that Teresa (At Willow Tree Pond) gifted me in the Advent Exchange.  Between Keith's insistence that he wanted the quilt right now and Teresa's gift I tried and succeeded in a skill I didn't think I could do.  I thought I was not talented enough to take different shapes squares, rectangles and sew into blocks and then sew blocks into quilt.  I am so thrilled with how the quilt turned out and I can't wait to try my hand at it again.  Next quilt will be for me.  How much Keith loves this quilt is evident from the picture and how much joy it brought me to see that look on his face - words can't describe.  Thanks, Teresa, for thinking of Keith during this exchange.  He sleeps with this quilt every night!

I also sat down the other night and stitched up a Lizzie Kate scissor fob that was also a gift from the Advent Exchange from Teresa.  I stitch so few things on 28 count I forgot how fast I stitch on it.  I don't even have to use my magnifiers when stitching on 28 count.  It will come as no surprise to those who know me that my favorite color is blue so I changed the Winter from green to blue and then used a lighter blue for the swirl off the wreath.  Just couldn't help myself.  Now all that is left is to make it into the fob.  I bought red ribbon to make the rusching but am now thinking I want to visit the fabric store and have another look at ribbons.  I might want something in a multi-color blue with Spring green.  The picture of the finished piece does show they used a multi-color ribbon.  If anyone is interested in the pattern now that I'm done with it, let me know.  I have two more Christmas gift exchanges yet to do.  I can't wait to do my exchange so I can share the entire photo with you but until then all you get is this snippet.  

Book club was yesterday but never did even get the book opened up to read.  I, however, was a co-hostess so I attended bringing mini cinnamon rolls and a breakfast casserole you make in the crockpot.  It worked out beautifully in the crockpot as the casserole was still warm for serving.  I will be leading a discussion in March and unfortunately the book I picked does not have much available as far as discussion questions, etc.  I've done some reading on how to get the discussion going when you don't have questions and have kind of settled on a path to take.  I decided to purchase the book on audio so I can listen to it a couple of times before I have to lead the discussion and I write notes in my copy of the book (yes I'm defacing my book) as I go along so I am hopeful for a successful discussion.

Tonight was supposed to be respite night but provider is also sick so we will be spending an evening in a warm cozy house.  We rented the movie Trouble With The Curve last night and enjoyed it.  I do have Salmon Fishing in Yemen rented but not sure Bill will enjoy so will look and see what else iTunes has available for renting tonight.  

Until next time....

Friday, January 4, 2013

One By One!

We have been experiencing some extremely cold temps here where I live but I could not resist taking may camera out to capture this photo of the moon the other morning.  It was one of those rare mornings where the air is so crisp and everything crunches underfoot.  The moon was just so vivid and clear.  I don't know how I managed to capture a clear vision of the moon through the trees and get this blurred effect of the tree around it.  I like the look of it.

One by one I am getting my holiday gift exchanges done with friends so am able to share a few more photos of things that have been done for weeks/month.  Yesterday was my exchange with my delightful friend, Belinda.  I did some finishing work on Wednesday - I know these things have been stitched and waiting to be finished for over 2 years!  I gifted Belinda with the Gone Sledding piece (A Sampler Girl Design).  I used some jute to create the hanger.  Hopefully it will remind her when she sees it to take a break from her work once in awhile and do something fun for herself.  She also got that set of placemats pictured in Lorrie's Placemat Tutorial.

I always try to make something unique for each of my friends and to that end I sometimes just go to a craft store and wander around for inspiration.  Inspiration came as soon as I saw this little box.  I knew just what I wanted to do as soon as I looked at it.  I started off by stitching this Quaker Friendship topper by Sampler and Such.  I then stained the entire box with a Walnut Stain.  I mounted the stitching on top.  Covered the back and lined the drawers with self-adhesive French General fabric and added the trim.  A great little box for hiding some special treasures!
Belinda also gave me an item she made.  She made this adorable pillow/pincushion that says LOVE on it.  I had to laugh when she said she wanted to do my name but there were just too many letters.  I "love" it just the way it is and wouldn't change a thing.  I currently have it on display in my living room and it makes me happy just looking at it.  I read once that you should surround yourself with the things that inspire you, make you smile and you enjoy as they create a warm, relaxing and loving environment.  This is definitely on that list.
In preparation for my year of working from my stash and not adding to it (with the exception of my friend, Belinda's designs) I had a few items on my wish list that I definitely wanted so I spent some time on December 31 making a few purchases.  Most were small designs with the exception of the SAL 2013 from Les Grilles De Maryse.  The good thing about this is it is paid for all up front and I will receive installments over several months.  Woohoo!  

Now I will clarify that I will not be adding to my stash but that does not mean someone else cannot add to it for me.  My husband took my wish list and bought the 3 designs that were on it for me for Christmas.  Well, there is always my birthday in July.  I could have quite a wish list by that time.  

I do keep a spiral bound notebook by my computer to keep wish lists, jot down things I want to look up, order numbers, etc.  I will put items on that wish list throughout the year and if there is still anything on it by year's end I will be all set for 2014.  I started a new habit that when I put something on this list I do nothing with it.  Then 3 or 4 weeks later I look up the design again.  I find that 95% of the time when I look at the design again I can't see why I put it on my wish list so off it goes.  It really does help keep that impulse buying in check.

Teresa, you will be happy to know that Keith has been after me the last 3 days about the quilt.  He actually allowed me to pull out the pattern and look at it and I think I can do it.  My plans are to get all the pieces cut out this weekend and maybe even start sewing the blocks together.  I wouldn't be surprised if I get it done in a week as once I start Keith will want it RIGHT NOW!  LOL.   This is Keith this morning picking out a scissor fob he wants done for his scissors from Winter White Woodland (Blue Ribbon Designs).  I really do need to hide my patterns, catalogs, etc. when he is around.  My friend, Allison, was wondering if I'm going to have time to do anything for myself in 2013 with all Keith's wants.  That is a good question!