Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We have a Winner!

Hello dear readers!

Thank you to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes and for your fabulous participation in my birthday giveaway.  I have learned quite a bit from hosting this giveaway...especially that I have many more blog readers than I could have ever imagined!  Thank you to my new followers...and welcome!!  I am still in the process of visiting everyone whether it is though email or their blogs but I promise to get around to meeting everyone.  To my "oldie but goodie" followers and readers, you guys are the best!  To everyone...thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings.  You put a smile on my face everyday! 

So, without further ado I will announce the winner of my Birthday Giveaway.  I used the Random Number Generator (http://www.random.org/) and the winner is......JONETTE!!!  Congratulations Jonette!  I will be sending you an email very shortly!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Giveaway Reminder and Some Stitchy and Williamsburg Stuff

Hello blogging friends!  It is a very hot here in the Shenandoah; temperature records are being set right and left.  

I would like to remind everyone that TODAY is the last day to enter my Birthday Giveaway!  I will accept entries until late tonight/early tomorrow morning (trying to take into account time zone differences) and I will draw the winning name tomorrow morning.  If you are interested, scroll down or click here to enter! 

I don't know if it is the heat or just the lazy days of summer but I have had a hard time focusing on my stitching.  I stitched on two projects last week, Richmond Sampler (Anne Maria Clarke) and The Sparrow.  I did more frogging on Richmond than actual stitching so I got disgusted and put her down for a few days.  Hey, sometimes friends just need a short break from each other and this is one of those times for me and Anne Maria. 

The Saturday SAL with my friend Robin (no blog) has been progressing rather nicely.  Here is my progress so far...

Now for some stash enhancement!  As many of you know, I recently had a birthday and my friends and family certainly know how to spoil a girl.  My family gave me a StitchMate Needlework stand (woohoo!), my dear friend Robin spoiled me with lots of goodies and hubby gave me my first Scarlet Letter chart!  Here are some snaps of my goodies...

From Robin - La-D-Da "Praise God" with Lakeside Linen and over-dyed threads...how did she know that I have a special love for the doxology?

More from Robin - Tree of Life Samplings "Emma Rose" (our next SAL!) and a great pattern for WIP Pouches!


More goodies from Robin (what a great friend!) - my new pocketbook addition, a Sampler notebook, needles, a bookmark and some beautiful HDF silk!


From hubby - The Elisabeth Hoover sampler - Hubby is from Harrisburg, PA and this sampler was stitched in Leah Bratton's Harrisburg school in 1803.  It is part of a group of samplers called "the Susquehanna Samplers" identified by their compartmentalized borders and central human figures.  This may look like an easy stitch but after careful perusal of the instructions, Elisabeth will be anything but easy!  That's OK, you know how I love a challenge!

On to Williamsburg and Yorktown!  For our anniversary my husband and I took a sunset sailboat ride around historic Yorktown.  It was a wonderful experience and the sunset was spectacular!  I thought I would share some pics with you...
Our boat before the sails were lifted...we sailed on the schooner Alliance
The sails were raised just as we left the pier...


The sun was beautiful...


It was a magical time watching the sun set over the York River.  After we docked hubby and I had a lovely late dinner at a neat little restaurant right on the water.  While we were walking to our car we could not help but notice the moon rising over the river...and it was RED!  Here is a picture...

Isn't the moon stunning!  It was a fabulous evening...an amazing sunset and an equally amazing moon rising...definitely a memorable anniversary!

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope everyone has a great week!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Giveaway Reminder!

It is hot, sweltering hot, here in the Shenandoah.  The mercury hit over 100 today.  Whew! 

I was absolutely overwhelmed at all of the wonderful birthday and anniversary wishes!  What a lucky girl I am!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear blogging buddies!  You made my birthday that much more special! 

***My birthday giveaway is still underway.  So, if you have not entered, simply click here and enter!***

I received lots of goodies for my birthday but I have not had a chance to snap their pictures. I promise to share my new stash with you very soon!  However, there is one BIG gift that I cannot wait to open...
My family spoiled me for my birthday...they gave me the money to purchase my very own StitchMate needlework stand!  I have heard so many wonderful things about the StitchMate needlework stand I am hoping that it will allow me to stitch that much faster.  I am very excited and will be ordering my new stand very soon and promise to share all of the wonderful details. 

I would also like to share with you a SAL with my dear friend, Robin (no blog.)  We finished our Lizzie*Kate SAL and decided to embark on a Tree of Life Samplings SAL.  I am stitching "The Sparrow" and Robin is stitching Quaker Peace. 


I am enjoying the bright colors on the sampler...here is my progress so far...

Tree of Life Samplings - The Sparrow
32 ct. Vintage Cafe Mocha
DMC threads


I have lots of pictures to share from our anniversary trip to Williamsburg and I promise to post those soon!  Again, thanks for all of the well wishes and kind comments!

Valerie

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Birthday Giveaway and a New Start

Hello everyone!

It is a nice, cool morning here in the Shenandoah.  Ahhhh...a little relief from the heatwave that has been Summer 2011.  Perfect weather for my....birthday!  Yes, it is my birthday today and I am another year older but I try to look at it as just being another year wiser! 

So, to celebrate my birthday, I am holding my first ever GIVEAWAY!  I love parties and since I cannot gather everyone at my home, this is one way I can celebrate with you, my blogging buddies!  I am keeping the gifties under wraps (hehehehe) but it will include some fun stuff and maybe even a gift certificate!  So, here are the rules...

1. You must be a follower...leave me a comment on this post with your email address or some other way to contact you.  If you don't want your email out there for everyone to see just pop me a private email at valiehokie@gmail.com
2.  Score an extra entry if you post this giveaway on your blog;  please mention in your comment if you have/or promise to post the giveaway somewhere on your blog. 

That's it!  I understand this is a busy time of year for many of us due to vacations, parties, family gatherings, and just plain summer fun!  So, the giveaway will close on Monday, July 25 to give people plenty of time to enter.  I will choose a winner the next day.  Good Luck!

Now, on to the stitchy stuff!  I mentioned in my July stitching goals post that I started the Rebecah French class from The Essamplaire.  I was in love with this sampler the minute I saw her...so pretty!  I contacted Margriet, owner and designer of The Essamplaire, and she gladly gave me permission to use the photo of Rebecah French from The Essamplaire site.  So, thanks to Margriet, here is Rebecah in all her stunning beauty...

The class started the first of July and I thought I would share my progress thus far...

I am currently working on the satin stitch border...I have been playing with the macro settings on my camera and took a close-up of the satin stitches (sorry the pic is dark...light was terrible when I took it)


I hope to get some serious stitching in on her next week with more progress to follow!  If you have not been to The Essamplaire website, you must go and have a look!  There is some serious eye candy...it is calorie free, but maybe not for your wallet!

Hubby and I will be taking a trip to Williamsburg for a few days to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary (they are only four days apart!) and I cannot wait!  I promise to take lots of pics...so get ready for a few more history lessons!

Also, I would like to mention that I have tried to comment on several blogs but have been unsuccessful. For some reason, on a select few blogs, have been unable to leave comments because Blogger keeps asking me for my log in info over and over and over again...and then I still cannot actually leave the comment! It has been quite frustrating. I have tried emailing these individual bloggers but several of them do not have their email available publicly. So, if you have been leaving me comments, but have not heard from me...believe me, I have been trying! I hope this Blogger comment issue gets resolved soon!



Before I go, I would like to thank you, dear readers, for all of the kind comments regarding my ABC Lessons finish and our trip to Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest.   I am very blessed to have such great stitchy friends! 

Take care dear friends, and good luck in the Birthday Celebration Giveaway!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Celebrating with Thomas Jefferson **** Picture Heavy

On July 4th, hubby and I headed to Poplar Forest, a home owned by Thomas Jefferson, to partake in the celebratory 4th of July activities.  Poplar Forest was Thomas Jefferson's retreat and like Monticello, is only about an hour away from our house.  Monticello is located outside of Charlottesville, Virginia and Poplar Forest is near Lynchburg, Virginia.  Hubby and I had never been to Poplar Forest and decided to hop in the car and go!  There were numerous activities and period demonstrations including several dealing with textiles (we saw flax turn into linen!)  I took some snaps and thought I would share them with you.


The house is like a miniature Monticello...so beautiful


Housing for the farm workers


This is one of the outhouses...it is a hexagon just like the house!


Current archaeological digs at the house


This is the back of the house


Wool spinning - this lady was so nice...it was at least 95 degrees...I know she had to be HOT!


Hand-spun, hand-dyed wool.  All of the dyes are organic with the exception of the lime green and bright pinky/red...she used Kool-Aid for those!


Lace making...just amazing!


More beautiful lace making,..it was a joy watching the those two ladies work their bobbins!


This is the flax demonstration.  We watched how linen was made!  Fascinating!


First, the flax is smashed...


 Then, the chaff is beaten from the flax fibers


After removing the chaff, the fibers are combed.  First through the wide tooth comb (on the left) and then through a finer tooth comb (on the right)  The finer the comb, the finer the linen. 


This is the amount of line acquired from one quarter of an acre of flax. 
This is what is used to make linen!  

Spinning the linen...


Finally, the linen is woven.  The gentleman is weaving linsey-woolsey, a basic linen used for clothing and at times used for samplers! 

Well, that is all for now.  I hope you enjoyed the step back in time.  Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ABC Lessons Finished!

Happy Dance!  ABC Lessons is finished!  Yay!  ABC Lessons was one of my July goals...and it is done!  I used the called for fibers (they came with the chart) and I also used the button pack designed for this piece.  A big thank you goes out to Edgar...he mentioned that when you change the fabric count that sometimes the buttons don't fit!  He was right!  I would never have thought that using 32ct.  instead of 28ct. would make that big of a difference...but it did!  Thanks to the heads up from Edgar, I was able to move things around just a bit so that most (not all) of the buttons fit! 

ABC Lessons by Lizzie Kate
32 ct. Lambswool
Crescent Colors and DMC
Just Another Button Company Buttons


I just love the little sheep!








I love how this turned out.  As I mentioned before, I this will hang in my classroom but instead of framing, I will make it into a wall hanging.  That means a trip to the new quilting shop down the road from my house! 

Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July Goals


I know that I am coming to the monthly goals party a little late (ok, three days late) but as I tell my husband, "I am not late, I am ready."  Having never really sat down and contemplated monthly stitching goals, this is new territory for me.  Stitching has been a part of my life on and off for over 25 years.  Like many things, my stitching mojo has ebbed and flowed and it completely disappeared during my tenure as a restaurant manager (never doing that again!)  After changing careers I found renewed life, especially with my stitching and antique samplers quickly became an obsession.

However, life has been busy and full of *life stuff* over the past couple of years and finding time to stitch was, at times, impossible.  Now that I've had a break from work, (thank goodness for summers off!) I have been able to take a serious look at my stitching; short/long term goals, what I truly want to stitch and what can be reasonably accomplished in this lifetime (I crack myself up.)
While I am still working on my long term stitching goals, I have at least come up with some goals for the month of July.  I have tried to be realistic but at the same time I have also tried to challenge myself.  So, without further ado, I present my first ever monthly goals...


1.  Finish Lizzie*Kate ABC Lessons

2.  Finish Richmond Sampler (this is a big challenge!)

3.  I will be starting a new Saturday SAL with my dear friend, Robin. It is a Tree of Life Samplings SAL and we are stitching a design of our choice. My goal is to stitch on our new project EVERY Saturday! 

4.  Pull out Psalm 23 and start working on it again.  It needs to be a 2011 finish!  Probably make this piece my 15 Minute A Day Project. 

5.  Continue working on Rebecah French.  It would be nice if I could finish the first lesson...however, I am trying to be realistic and keep my sanity.  She is new and I will post more about her very soon...

6.  I would like to start something new...Shores of Hawk Run Hollow is on my mind...and has been for some time.  Actually, I cannot stop thinking about it.  So, I guess that means I need to start it??  How about this...I will start it AFTER I finish Richmond Sampler...hopefully both will be this month!!

Well, I think that does it regarding my stitching goals.  They are lofty but I hope to accomplish most of them.  Say a stitching prayer for me!  Enjoy the holiday weekend!