Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year in Review or PRE-view

I'm not one to dwell on the past. I mean, sure I think about the past- who doesn't? But the past is just that - PAST, OVER, KAPUT, SAYONARA BABY! 
All these year in reviews on TV and mass media are just "filler" to me. Who cares what already happened when it's time to look forward to what the new year has in store, right? Right!

First of all, a big "no no" in my book is the concept of a RESOLUTION. New Year's Resolutions by nature are just begging to be broken. 
    C'mon, let's be honest, have you ever  stuck tried and true to a resolution you have made?  What? You have?! Well, good for you! I mean it - you deserve an award or something because I've never stuck to a single one I've ever made, and I'm talking about 48 years of my life. 
But, this doesn't mean I don't have PLANS!  

    Ah yes, the PLAN. You see, if you know me well, you'll know that I'm famous for my plans. Maybe it's because I spent almost twenty years writing up lesson plans for the classes I taught? I don't know for certain, but I do know I'm forever PLANNING and jotting notes to myself for things I hope to accomplish that day, or week, etc...  

   It's no surprise then that an imminent New Year is just bursting with opportunities for planning.  Mind you, NOT resolutions - they're begging to be broken -- but plans, well they're a whole different story!  Plans are ADAPTABLE.  
You can change or modify plans and a lightning bolt doesn't strike you down.  Friends don't scold you if you change your plans. You don't beat your chest crying and cursing at yourself if your plans need a little tweaking here and there.  And so, with that in mind, I've created my Master Plan for 2014. 

I'm calling 2014 "The Year of the Sampler!"  That's right, folks.  That big old cardboard box you see above is just chock full of samplers all kitted up and ready for me to dive into.  I'm not going to STRESS about schedules or deadlines or rotations either.  Stitching brings me joy and relaxation.  No point in putting a big ole damper on the works by drafting some schedule I must follow.  No way! 

Starting Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, I PLAN to focus on my stash of samplers. I hope to make a whole year out of stitching my little heart out by concentrating, first and foremost, on the samplers I've bought over the years.  Since I've already started "The Sampler" by Scarlet Letter, and "Cornelia Vanderveer" by Scarlet Letter, those will be my focal projects to begin the year.   

I have some SAL's I've signed up for as well, like Barbara Ana's "Snooty Parrots" and Blackbird Designs "Christmas Garden" (both are SAL's on Facebook) so I'll try to keep on top of those as well as my Scarlet Letter and other samplers waiting in that box.  It's really open to change and adaptation but I do hope to concentrate on this plan.  

"Jacob's Ladder Sampler" by Kunst and Vliegwerk (K&V 9704) stitched by Laurie. Posted on Corgi's Cottage blog 9/8/2012

How about you? Any stitching plans for the year ahead?  Here's wishing you all a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and PROSPEROUS new year. And may your plans bring you peace and joy in the coming year without any of those nasty guilt trips which resolutions are prone to bring along.  Plan, stitch, change plans, adapt, but above all strive to be happy no matter what the new year brings your way.  
"Norfolk Diligence" by Heart's Ease Examplar Workes 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!

Hope your Christmas is Merry ... And by that, I mean I hope Santa
brought you some new stitchy things to add to your stash! 
Have a wonderful holiday
- Kevin

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Santa, can you spare an elf or two?

Another Christmas is upon us, and, as is "tradition" here with me, I once again find myself hanging my head in shame regarding the many incomplete Christmas items I had hoped to stitch in time for the 25th.

First off is this Dimensions Gold kit which I've admired for a couple of years and finally purchased from EBay.  I opened the kit this morning just to glance at the charts, threads, and instructions and immediately felt my heart racing like a kid opening his gifts under the tree!  That joy and thrill of starting a new project was slightly hindered when I pulled out the "pre-sorted" threads for the project and found this:

Can we say, "Ugh!"  However, I'm undaunted and will persevere in untangling this "rat's nest" of threads and, hopefully, will start stitching this shortly.   I mean, what's wrong with adding one more project to the ever-growing WIP pile, right? (Don't faint - this is the stack presently tottering next to my stitching spot: 

Yes, I know, I do suffer from a case of SADD (Stitcher's Attention Deficit Disorder) which is why there really are do few photos of things actually FINISHED on this blog.   Lol! 

Aside from the stack there, I have a Scarlet Letter sampler calling my name over on my Millenium frame and stand.  And, these three WIP's that are in various states of completion (or should I say various states of "beginning?)  
Santa - can't you spare an elf or two who knows how to stitch to come down to sunny Florida and away from the cold North Pole?  

Away We Ride (Blackbird Designs)
Hearts and Holly (Lizzie Kate) 
Quaker Christmas II - Songs of the Season

Merry Christmas to all of my stitching friends out there! I have to run now -
that Dimensions kit is calling my name! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hurry -- SANTA'S taken Nancy hostage at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe!

Santa is busy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe! 

If you haven't visited Nancy's wonderful blog 

then get on over there and leave a note for Nancy, errr, I mean Santa ...
you see, I know Nancy is SUPER GENEROUS with her lovely giveaways of her gorgeous threads, 
I have a sneaky suspicion that SANTA may have taken our dear Nancy HOSTAGE!!

Yes, that's right! 
Go look for yourselves -- she's giving away so many things each day, the only explanation is
that Santa (and his elves) must be forcing her to work like crazy over there! 
We'll know for sure if we see his white beard flecked with "Sampler Blue" or "1795 Green" 
or any of the other HUNDREDS of colors Nancy dyes her threads with! 

Mark my words! 
If you find any multi-colored fingerprints on the dish of cookies left for Santa
on the morning of December 25th,
then I know my suspicions were correct!  ;-)

Good luck on entering Nancy's giveaways, 
and check out her shop link while you're on her page too! 
Nancy is very talented, and I'm sure you'll love her large pallette of colors!  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent Calendar Blog Hop - Day Two

Welcome to the Advent Calendar Blog Hop! 

Prairie Schooler 2013 Santa
18 count Country Mocha Aida 

In case you didn't know, Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching 
is hosting her annual Advent Calendar. 
 Make sure you check her blog each day for daily surprises behind each door! 

Today is Day Two of Advent which means we're getting closer to Christmas with each passing minute.
No wonder poor Santa has his Cuckoo Clock chirping and his trusty compass and clock both 
attached to his wrist!  Poor guy.  And here I thought I had it rough trying to keep up with 
Christmas stitching. (Unlike Santa, I gave up on a lot of my plans - not enough hours in the day
to stitch all the Shepherd's Bush stockings I wanted to make - LOL) 
My motto: There's always next year! 

Jo asked that each of us participating in the Advent Blog Hop share a recipe or tradition
which our culture or family follows each Christmas. 
I come from strong Scandinavian roots, having a maternal grand-mother who was Swedish
and a paternal grand-mother who was Norwegian. 
Every year we spent Christmas Eve at my Norwegian grand-mother's house, and I miss
that tradition terribly now that she's gone.  One tradition which she always made sure
we followed was the Scandinavian tradition of having Risengrod, or rice porridge, Christmas Eve.
 (My grandmother actually made and served rice pudding, not porridge.)
It was DELICIOUS, and no one in our family has 
ever been able to replicate it just like hers despite many attempts.

We'd go to church after dinner, then return to her house for coffee and the rice pudding.
The tradition is to have one almond hidden in the batch.  
Whomever gets the dish with the almond is supposed to have a year of good fortune ahead,
but my grandmother always added a little special wrapped gift to the person receiving the almond. 

I found this link which explains the tradition a bit more and includes a recipe - 
but I'm not vouching for its taste as I've never had this rice porridge before.

Here's to wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday! 
Don't forget to eat your Risengrod on Christmas Eve to keep the nissen away!