Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some Richmond Sampler Progress and Lovely Awards!

Hello fellow stitchers!

I am in the home stretch for my teaching licensure...only a few assignments and two projects to go!  I had to video myself student teaching, so I have been suffering through that today.  Boy, was it eye-opening...good thing my gym membership is still valid because I will be hitting the gym VERY soon!  I have not been around much lately, and I apologize.  Many of you have stopped by to say hello and believe me, those little "hellos" have meant the world to me.  It is my intention to slowly start to get caught up on all of the wonderful things happening around here that I have missed.  I have not been stitching very much, but it has certainly been on my mind. 
Over the past few weeks, I have been ever so graciously awarded two blogging awards.  Unfortunately, due to the craziness of life, I have been unable to treat the awards with the respect they deserve.  However, it is high time that I do.  I want to thank Sharlotte for nominating me (weeks ago!) for the Beautiful Blogger Award.  Honestly, I was surprised and quite excited when I received word that she nominated me!  I felt like I had "arrived" in blogland society!  Then, shortly after my nomination by Sharlotte, I received another fabulous blogging award from one of my favorite designers!  Belinda from Blue Ribbon Designs graciously nominated me for the "Sunshine Blog" Award!  Needless to say, I am very honored and grateful.  Thank you, Belinda!  When I started blogging I simply saw it as an opportunity to share my work with anyone that might be interested.  Really, I needed a way to stay motivated.  Little did I know that I would meet so many fabulous people!  The inspiration that I have received from all of you has been enormous and to think that you all might enjoy reading about me, well, that is just icing on the cake! 

There is protocol that I must follow in order to formally receive my blog awards.  So, here are 7 "interesting" things about me...

7.  I used to be the General Manager of a fine dining restaurant.  I also managed the 200+ wine list and 1500+ label wine cellar.   I was twice awarded the Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence.

6.  I did not finish college until I was 32 years old.  I was mangaing the aforementioned restaurant full time when I went back to school.  It was one of the hardest, most challenging things I have ever done but it is, to this day, I consider it my greatest accomplishment. 

5.  My husband and I met at the restaurant where I used to work.  He was a chef and I was his General Manager.  In other words, I was his boss.  We dated secretly for 8 months and did not announce our relationship until we were engaged!  Our co-workers were shocked!  Originally, we thought that my now husband or even I would be forced to find employment elsewhere.  However, the owner was so impressed with our ability to keep our relationship professional that he allowed us both to keep our jobs. 

6.  I love history (it was my college major!)  During the summer months I work as a docent at Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee University.  Robert E. Lee (of Civil War fame) was president of Washington College after the Civil War.  He built a chapel on the campus and he and his family are buried in the chapel.  The chapel is almost like a visit to the Holy Land for Confederate Civil War fans.  I am a southerner, but regardless of which side he fought on, Robert E. Lee was an admirable man and I love to be able to share his story with people.

7.  I love animals and my husband and I walk the dogs and spend time with the cats at our local SPCA.  The dogs should be walked at least twice a day but since the SPCA is so short-handed, it does not always happen.  We don't get there everyday, but we do try to get in any time with the animals that we can.  Generally, the dogs lead me but I love being able to give them some freedom and attention.  The cats just love being petted and brushed.  I implore everyone to check out their local shelter and give of their time...the animals will appreciate it!

Well, that is about it on the interesting front.  I hope that I did not bore everyone!  Now, I have to nominate several other blogs, but to be honest, I don't know how to choose!  So, over the next few weeks, if I visit your blog and notice that you have not been awarded...look out!  You may end up on my nominations!

Now on to some stitching!

Alas, I wish that I had more to report regarding the lovely Richmond Sampler.  The only real news to report is that I have decided to use scroll frames.  I have been picking up and putting down this beautiful piece so much that some of the specialty stitches are starting to look worn.  Also, I am frightened that she will get dirty.  So, I pulled out a lovely scroll bar lap stand that my in-laws gave me a couple of months ago.  The scroll rods are a bit too short but they will do till I can get longer ones.  I like having Richmond Sampler on these rods...while the tension is not the best, I do like seeing it in all its glory and I can keep it on display in the corner of the living room.  This is a picture of the stand and the sampler...Simon was napping on the daybed but was most accomodating by posing in the picture



Like I mentioned, the rods are too short but has anyone ever laced the sides of their linen to keep tension there?  This is my first time using scroll rods so any ideas or help that anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Well, I am off to contiune viewing and editing my teaching video.  Great fun.  I look forward to visiting the blogs to see what everyone is up to....Happy Stitiching!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Kindness of Others

Good day fellow needleworkers and friends!

Spring has sprung and I could not be happier.  I have four more weeks of my teaching licensure program and then, well, the sky is the limit!!  Once that is behind me I am going to be a stitching fool!

Thank you all so very much for your wonderful comments and words of encouragement.  When I started this blogging journey, I had no idea how many wonderful people I would meet.  The individuals that I have encountered here in Blogland have been like angels and they have renewed my faith in humanity.  My good friend, Robin, is one of those people.  We have struck up a lovely email friendship and she was kind enough to send me some wonderful freebie charts and "The Little Red R Sampler" by the Good Huswife, just because she had them on hand.  Here are all the goodies that I got!!


Now, several weeks passed and my stress levels were rising.  One day, as I was sitting at the computer working on a school assignment and ready to crack, my husband announced that I had a package.  For the life of me I could not imagine what he was talking about since I was not expecting a package.  In the computer room he came, with an envelope addressed to me from...Robin!  As I opened the package to reveal the pretties inside, I started to tear up.  What a beautiful thing to have a friend who sends things "just because."  As I laid out the beautiful over-dyed threads, Belle Soie silks, hand-dyed fabric and sampler charts the tears really began to flow.  In a world where I felt like people only cared about what I could do for them, I had someone in my life that thought of me instead.  What a beautiful gesture!  Here is a picture of the second envelope of goodies...(you can see that Simon, the cat, just had to get into the picture...his leg is in the upper left hand corner)

Am I a lucky girl, or what?  To Robin, thank you so much.  I know that we have exchanged numerous emails since I received your lovely packages, but please know that your kindness is not forgotten!

I should also mention the numerous emails that I receive from people.  You have no idea how much those wonderful comments make my day.  They remind me that there are good people in this world...we just have to keep our eyes and hearts open to them.  Those comments and emails are like Robin's packages, reminders that there are people who care.  Everytime I read an email or comment, know that it brings a smile to my face...every, single time!

While this is not a "stitchy" post, I felt that it was important to share with/remind everyone how lucky we all are.  We have found a community of people who not only share our passion, but share our joys and sorrows.  What a blessing to have electronic hugs and postitive thoughts sent our way when we need it most.  To all of my blogging friends, thank you.  You mean more than you will ever know!

Till next time...and hopefully a progress pic of Richmond Sampler!

Valerie